Skip to comments.Iranian Alert -- July 19, 2004 [EST]-- IRAN LIVE THREAD -- "Americans for Regime Change in Iran"
Posted on 07/18/2004 9:03:50 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
The US media still largley ignores news regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran. As Tony Snow of the Fox News Network has put it, this is probably the most under-reported news story of the year. Most Americans are unaware that the Islamic Republic of Iran is NOT supported by the masses of Iranians today. Modern Iranians are among the most pro-American in the Middle East.
There is a popular revolt against the Iranian regime brewing in Iran today. I began these daily threads June 10th 2003. On that date Iranians once again began taking to the streets to express their desire for a regime change. Today in Iran, most want to replace the regime with a secular democracy.
The regime is working hard to keep the news about the protest movement in Iran from being reported. Unfortunately, the regime has successfully prohibited western news reporters from covering the demonstrations. The voices of discontent within Iran are sometime murdered, more often imprisoned. Still the people continue to take to the streets to demonstrate against the regime.
In support of this revolt, Iranians in America have been broadcasting news stories by satellite into Iran. This 21st century news link has greatly encouraged these protests. The regime has been attempting to jam the signals, and locate the satellite dishes. Still the people violate the law and listen to these broadcasts. Iranians also use the Internet and the regime attempts to block their access to news against the regime. In spite of this, many Iranians inside of Iran read these posts daily to keep informed of the events in their own country.
This daily thread contains nearly all of the English news reports on Iran. It is thorough. If you follow this thread you will witness, I believe, the transformation of a nation. This daily thread provides a central place where those interested in the events in Iran can find the best news and commentary. The news stories and commentary will from time to time include material from the regime itself. But if you read the post you will discover for yourself, the real story of what is occurring in Iran and its effects on the war on terror.
I am not of Iranian heritage. I am an American committed to supporting the efforts of those in Iran seeking to replace their government with a secular democracy. I am in contact with leaders of the Iranian community here in the United States and in Iran itself.
If you read the daily posts you will gain a better understanding of the US war on terrorism, the Middle East and why we need to support a change of regime in Iran. Feel free to ask your questions and post news stories you discover in the weeks to come.
If all goes well Iran will be free soon and I am convinced become a major ally in the war on terrorism. The regime will fall. Iran will be free. It is just a matter of time.
The Discovery of Iran
July 19, 2004
National Review Online
These two new victims of the regime's persistent repression of Iranians were named "Mehdi Yazdani" and "Navab Davoodi" aged 20 and 18.
The regime's demagoguery goes to the point of stating that the two executed were part of a band named "Evil".
The Islamic regime has increased the number of executions since last March in an effort to put a stop on the growing opposition and increase of armed struggle.
Regime change in Iran if Bush wins?
WorldNet Daily - By Aaron Klein
Jul 19, 2004
Senior official says U.S. to help 'hugely dissatisfied' population
Following leaked reports yesterday that Israel is ready to strike against several of Iran's nuclear power facilities if Russia supplies the Ayatollah's with rods for enriching uranium, a senior U.S. official said America will take actions to overturn the regime in Iran if President Bush is elected for a second term.
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the London Times Bush would provide assistance to Iran's "hugely dissatisfied" population to help them revolt against the ruling theocracy.
The U.S. would not use military force, as in Iraq, but "if Bush is re-elected there will be much more intervention in the internal affairs of Iran," said the official, who stressed the war on terror would "continue to be relentless."
The Times said the official hinted at a possible military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities, explaining there was a window of opportunity for destroying Iran's main nuclear complex at Bushehr next year that would close if Russia delivered crucial fuel rods, which are currently sitting in a Russian port.
Israel has said that if the rods, which are needed to enrich uranium, are shipped, it would strike several of Iran's nuclear facilities.
The official also said Britain, France and Germany should take a tougher line on Iran, voicing disdain with the Europeans Union for its attempts to defuse the Iranian nuclear threat through diplomacy.
The official dismissed suggestions Washington would hesitate to seek regime change in Iran, and stressed the Iranian population is extremely dissatisfied with the mullahs, and with Iran's sluggish economy.
Russia is expected to deliver the enriching rods late next year after a dispute over financial terms is resolved.
Iran signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and has obligated itself to random inspections supervised by the IAEA. But the treaty allows Iran to produce nuclear material as long as it can plausibly claim the production is for "peaceful purposes."
Experts warn that Iran can build the infrastructure needed to make nuclear weapons, telling inspectors they need the material for "energy and nuclear medicine research," and then kick out the inspectors, renounce the treaty and quickly assemble a nuclear arsenal, as did North Korea, which is now said to have ten nuclear warheads.
An Israeli defense source said yesterday "Israel will on no account permit Iranian reactors especially the one being built in Bushehr with Russian help to go critical."
The source was also quoted as saying that any Israeli strike on Iran's reactors would probably be carried out by long-range F-15I jets, flying over Turkey, with simultaneous operations by commandos on the ground. Israel has completed test exercises of the strike.
Despite the US and Israeli threats, one of Iran's top ruling clerics vowed yesterday the Islamic republic would continue to pursue its controversial nuclear program. "We are resolute. It is worth achieving it at any cost," Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, head of the Guardians Council, said.
Aaron Klein is WorldNetDaily's special Middle East correspondent, whose past interview subjects have included Yasser Arafat, Ehud Barak, Shlomo Ben Ami and leaders of the Taliban.
Boucher: U.S. Concerns About Iran "Undiminished" in Recent Years
July 19, 2004
Kuwait News Agency
þþWASHINGTON -- Long-standing U.S. differences with Iran þremain, and U.S. concerns are "undiminished" in recent years, State Department þspokesman Richard Boucher said on Monday.
The United States has had "grave concerns about Iran's support for terrorism, Iran's pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and its appalling human rights record," Boucher said during a department briefing. "The Iranians are well aware of the kind of steps we expect of them to help overcome these concerns, and I would have to say that looking at the past year or two, even longer, our concerns are undiminished."
U.S. officials are willing to talk about these issues with Iran "if we think it is appropriate and if we think it can be useful to us," Boucher said.þ" ... If we see Iran stop supporting the terrorists who have tried to undermine the hopes and dreams of the Palestinians, if we see Iran starting to comply with its nuclear commitments, with requirements of the international community, if we see Iran improve its appalling human rights record, that is the time for people to start thinking that there is a prospect for something better in our relationship," he said.
Iran, like all the neighbors of Iraq, has an obligation to try to support stability and peaceful development of democracy in Iraq, Boucher said.
At times we have expressed concerns about what some Iranian groups are doing inside Iraq," he added. "But we have also said at various moments that they have been helpful, and we have in fact talked to them."
At the same time, Iran continues to support and supply terrorist groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas by funneling weapons and money to groups that are trying to sabotage the creation of a Palestinian state and the creation of a Palestinian-Israeli peace process, Boucher said.
The United States has not seen much progress on these issues, Boucher said. "Europeans have met frequently with Iran on the nuclear issue, and Iran seems to be telling the Europeans they are not going to cooperate anymore," he said.
" ... There is not a lot of progress with Iran on these issues that are a concern not just to us, but more broadly to the international community," þBoucher said.
Bush: U.S. Looking Into Whether Iran Involved in 9/11
July 19, 2004
WASHINGTON -- President Bush said on Monday the United States was trying to determine whether Iran was involved in the Sept. 11 plot and accused the government of harboring al Qaeda leaders.
"We want to know all of the facts," Bush said when asked about reports that at least eight of the 19 hijackers passed through Iran before attacking the United States.
The commission investigating the attacks will detail links between al Qaeda and Iran in its final report this week, raising new questions about why Bush turned his focus to Iraq after Sept. 11, 2001. The commission has found more al Qaeda contacts with Iran than with Iraq, officials said.
Bush, at a meeting with Chilean President Ricardo Lagos, quoted acting CIA director John McLaughlin as saying "there was no direct connect between Iran and the attacks of Sept. 11."
The U.S. intelligence community has been harshly criticized for overstating the Iraqi threat before the war, leading to calls for its overhaul and for the creation of an intelligence czar. White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Bush was willing to consider this step, although McLaughlin Sunday questioned whether it was necessary.
Bush said the United States will continue to look into whether Iran was involved. "As to direct connections with Sept. 11, we're digging into the facts to determine if there was one."
Iran, branded like Iraq by Bush as part of an "axis of evil" that threatens to fuel global terrorism, was "harboring al Qaeda leadership there," the president said. He urged Tehran to have them "turned over to their respective countries" of origin.
"If the Iranians would like to have better relations with the United States there are some things they must do," including halting the country's alleged nuclear weapons program and support for terrorism, Bush said.
IRANIAN BORDER CROSSING
The New York Times reported on Sunday that the Iranian government had ordered its border guards not to stamp the passports of Saudi al Qaeda members moving through Iran after training in Afghanistan.
An Iranian stamp could have made the al Qaeda members subject to additional scrutiny upon entering the United States, U.S. officials said.
Iran acknowledged some of the Sept. 11 attackers may have passed through illegally, but said it had since tightened border controls. It said any attempts to tie the country to al Qaeda, the militant network which carried out the attacks, were part of U.S. election-year "news propaganda."
Bush and members of his administration have focused more attention on disputed Iraqi ties to al Qaeda, and cited those ties in making their case for invading Iraq in 2003.
The Senate Intelligence Committee earlier this month harshly criticized the U.S. intelligence community for overstating the Iraqi threat of weapons of mass destruction before the war.
And a Sept. 11 commission staff report, which is expected to be endorsed in the final report, said there was no evidence that ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein had a "collaborative relationship" with al Qaeda.
Bush: U.S. Looking Into Whether Iran Involved in 9/11
July 19, 2004
Katie Couric: Did We Attack the Wrong Country?
Monday, July 19, 2004 12:27 a.m. EDT
In the wake of the news that the upcoming 9/11 Commission report includes evidence that several of the 9/11 hijackers may have been given safe passage through Iran, NBC "Today Show" host Katie Couric wondered aloud Monday morning whether President Bush hadn't "attacked the wrong country."
Couric's guest, former CIA Director James Woolsey, urged her to take a look at the recently released Senate Intelligence Committee report on Iraq, which he noted "has far more details about the Iraqi-al Qaida connections, particularly in Chapter 12."
"People ought to go over that with some care," he recommended.
For those who may find wading through Chapter 12 too tedious, we recommend the far more pithy "Conclusions" section. Here are a few of the Intelligence Committee's findings that Couric and her media brethren apparently missed:
The CIA's judgment that Saddam Hussein, if sufficiently desperate, might deploy terrorists with a global read - [including] al Qaida - to conduct terrorist attacks in the event of war, was reasonable.
The CIA's assessment on safehaven - that al Qaida or associated operatives were present in Baghdad and northeastern Iraq in an area under Kurdish control - was reasonable.
The CIA's examination of contacts, training, safehaven and operational cooperation as indicators of a possible Iraq-al Qaida relationship was a reasonable and objective approach to the question.
The CIA reasonably assessed that there were likely several instances of contacts between Iraq and al-Qaida throughout the 1990s, but that these contacts did not add up to an established formal relationship.
The CIA's assessment that Iraq had maintained ties to several secular Pakistani terrorist groups and with the Mujahidin e-Khaliq, was supported by the intelligence. The CIA was also reasonable in judging that Iraq appeared to have been reaching out to more effective terrorist groups, such as Hizballah and Hamas, and might have intended to employ such surrogates in the event of war. [END OF EXCERPT]
Though not specified in the report's Conclusion section: Saddam gave safe haven to 1993 World Trade Center bomber Abdel Rahman Yasin, notorious Palestinian terrorist Abu Nidal, Achille Lauro hijacker Abu Abbas and Khala Khadr al Salahat, who furnished Libyan agents with the Semtex bomb that destroyed Pan Am Flight 103.
Then there's al Qaida kingpin Abu Musab al Zarqawi, who was admitted to a Baghdad hospital run by Uday Hussein before the Iraq war - not to mention a Mukahbarat document uncovered last December placing lead 9/11 hijacker Mohamed Atta in Baghdad two months before the 9/11 attacks.
Though Newsweek immediately challenged the document as "a probable forgery," soon-to-be Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi said at the time the evidence was convincing.
"We are uncovering evidence all the time of Saddam's involvement with al Qaida," he told the London Telegraph. "But this is the most compelling piece of evidence that we have found so far. It shows that not only did Saddam have contacts with al-Qaeda, he had contact with those responsible for the September 11 attacks."
Of course, the folks at NBC were never particularly receptive to evidence tying Saddam to 9/11. When Dr. Allawi broached the topic with Tom Brokaw in an interview earlier this month, the NBC anchorman tried to shut him down.
"Prime minister, Im surprised that you would make the connection between 9/11 and the war in Iraq," the distressed Brokaw insisted. "The 9/11 Commission in America says there is no evidence of a collaborative relationship between Saddam Hussein and those terrorists of al Qaida."
Whatever you say, Tom.
Policy Based on Regime Change Not Likely to Succeed; New U.S. Approach Needed
July 19, 2004 - The lack of sustained engagement with Iran harms American interests, and direct dialogue with Tehran on specific areas of mutual concern should be pursued, concludes a Council-sponsored Independent Task Force, Iran: Time for a New Approach. "The Islamic Republic appears to be solidly entrenched and the country is not on the brink of revolutionary upheaval," says the Task Force. "Those forces that are committed to preserving Iran's current system remain firmly in control and represent the country's only authoritative interlocutors. The urgency of the concerns surrounding [Iran's] policies mandates the United States to deal with the current regime rather than wait for it to fall."
Co-chaired by former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski and former Director of Central Intelligence Robert M. Gates, and directed by Suzanne Maloney, the Task Force includes experts with a wide range of views and backgrounds.
The Task Force acknowledges that past efforts to engage Iran's Islamic regime have failed, and that even a discerning policy may still be rebuffed by the regime's obstinacy. However, two recent developments highlight the most urgent priorities for U.S. policy toward Iran. The ongoing investigation of the International Atomic Energy Agency into Iran's nuclear program and the evolving situations in Iraq and Afghanistan underscore the vital relevance of Iran for U.S. policy.
The Task Force concludes Iran is experiencing a gradual process of internal change. It argues this process will eventually produce a government more responsive toward its citizenry's wishes and more responsible in its international approach. In the meantime, the urgency of U.S. concerns about Iran and the region mandate that the United States deal with the current regime rather than waiting it out.
The Task Force advocates a "compartmentalized" process of dialogue, confidence building, and incremental engagement. Specifically the Task Force concludes that it "is in the interests of the United States to engage selectively with Iran to promote regional stability, dissuade Iran from pursuing nuclear weapons, preserve reliable energy supplies, reduce the threat of terror, and address the "democracy deficit" that pervades the Middle East as a whole."
The Task Force highlights the following different approaches to Iran:
Among the Task Force's recommendations for U.S. policy toward Iran:
Task Force Co-chairs:
Zbigniew Brzezinski is former National Security Advisor to the President, and author, most recently, of The Choice: Global Domination or Global Leadership.
Robert M. Gates is the 22nd President of Texas A&M University, one of the nation's largest universities and an institution recognized internationally for its teaching, research and public service. He assumed the presidency of the land-grant, sea-grant and space-grant university on August 1, 2002. Dr. Gates served as Director of Central Intelligence from November 6, 1991 until January 20, 1993. In this position, he headed all foreign intelligence agencies of the United States and directed the Central Intelligence Agency. Dr. Gates has been awarded the National Security Medal, the Presidential Citizens Medal, has twice received the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal, and has three times received CIA's highest award, the Distinguished Intelligence Medal.
Founded in 1921, the Council on Foreign Relations is an independent, national membership organization and a nonpartisan center for scholars dedicated to producing and disseminating ideas so that individual and corporate members, as well as policymakers, journalists, students, and interested citizens in the United States and other countries, can better understand the world and the foreign policy choices facing the United States and other governments.
Contact: Lisa Shields, Vice President, Communications, (212) 434-9888
DoctorZin: Today, Michael Ledeen cited a blogger, Dan Darling, for much of his information on the al Qaeda connection in Iran. Below is a posting by the author of that blogs.
Welcome to all NRO readers!
I see my boss has been kind enough to link to me as token of his favor. Whoo-hoo!
But since you all probably came here wondering about Chalous (Chalus) and Lavizan, let me see what I can tell you about them.
Here's some recent tibbits on Chalus:
Chalus has been reported as the locale of an underground nuclear weapons developoment facility located inside a mountain south of this coastal town. The facility has been variously reported as being staffed by experts from Russia, China and North Korea.
Regarding Lavizan, one might note that it's also been in the news lately.
Also, the CIA might want to seriously consider taking a look at today's story in al-Sharq al-Awsat:
An Iranian general collaborated with al Qaeda to arrange the transit through Iran of nine of the September 11 hijackers, the Arabic newspaper Asharq al-Awsat reported on Monday.
"A general in the apparatus (Revolutionary Guard) coordinated with the number two man in al Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahri, to provide safe passage to around nine of those who carried out the attacks," the London-based paper said.
It cited as its source an official in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, and said Zawahri, who requested the help, had links with the general going back to the early 1990s.
There are several individuals within the Iranian hierarchy who fit that description, but my money's on former Qods Force commander Ahmed Vahidi. Qods Force, of course, is the elite of the IRGC that is accountable only to Khamenei and is currently harboring most of the surviving al-Qaeda leadership. Most of the Caspian villas in and around Chalus are owned by extremely wealthy Qods Force, IRGC, and VEVAK members in addition to Iran's so-called "millionnaire mullahs" in the ruling clerical class. Somebody might want to tell this to the CIA.
Oh yes, and faster please.
posted by Dan Darling @ 10:18 AM
You know, there's an awful lot of "pressing' recommended by CFR. How about giving the regime a good scrubbing and hanging them out to dry instead?
2 good articles. (#9 & 10)