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Join Us At Today's Iranian Alert Thread – The Most Underreported Story Of The Year!

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail DoctorZin”

1 posted on 07/18/2004 9:03:56 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Join Us At Today's Iranian Alert Thread – The Most Underreported Story Of The Year!

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail DoctorZin”

2 posted on 07/18/2004 9:06:27 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Washington DC Freepers!!!! Alert!!!

We need your help Tomorrow!!!

Meet at the "Washington Club"
located at 15 Dupont Circle, N.W. Washington DC 20036,
On July 19th from 08:30 till 11:30 AM.


More information below:

Denounce "Council on Foreign Relations" meeting in WDC
SMCCDI (Urgent Action)
Jul 16, 2004

Dear Freedom Lovers,

Once again, the pro-Islamic republic's lobby group in the US and few immoral former US officials, are organizing events in order to buy time for the bankrupt and collapsing theocratic regime with the desire to influence the US policy in reference to Iran. This money oriented group which is totally disregarding the Iranians' aspiration for a "Democratic Regime Change in Iran" and Americans' sacrifices in the "War Against Terror & Tyranny", is hoping to legitimize the barbaric Mullahcracy and is targeting resumption of US-Islamic republic ties in case of the election of Senator J. Kerry as a next US President.

Indeed, Dark forces that have been dreaming of George Bush’s defeat are now poised to decide Iran's fate and negotiate Iranians destiny without their presence and consent. They are about to make the kinds of deals that have in the past resulted in tortures and deaths of thousands of Iranians who rose in the name of Freedom, Self Determination, and Independence of Iran.

In this line, a so-called "Iran Task Force" has been created and a launch meeting has been scheduled, in Washington DC, on Monday July 19, 2004, from 08:30 AM till 11:30 AM.

The official responsibles of this illegitimate entity and guest speakers at the meeting are "Zbignew Brzezinski", the National Security Advisor to Jimmy Carter, and "Robert M. Gates, the former CIA Director (1991-93) and current President of Texas A&M University. Maybe It's necessary to remind the lack of intelligence, lucidity and competence of these two individuals who were involved in the two last Democratic administrations of the US and the disastrous consequences of their ill-policies which lead to the rise of Islamism and increase of Terrorism.


The plight of enslaved Iranians and oppressed Middle Easterners in general notwithstanding, how many more 9/11 types of tragedies would it take to fully realize and accept that far from deserving to be romanced, the terror masters' rule must end?

Would an "Allah u Akbar" chanting suicide bomber’s nuclear blast in middle of Manhattan be convincing enough?



Under these Circumstances,

More than ever, you are OBLIGATED to intervene and to denounce such actions at a time that Iranians are subject to the Islamic regime's persistent repressive measures; And that America's sons and daughters have become the daily targets of its militiamen sent to Iraq as "pilgrims".

There are several ways you can help in making the world hear the cry of freedom of millions of Iranians, who're calling for liberty and their legitimate and violated rights:

1) By demonstrating in order to protest against such meeting in front of the "Washington Club" located at 15 Dupont Circle, N.W. Washington DC 20036, On July 19th from 08:30 till 11:30 AM.

2) By contacting the "Council on Foreign Relations" which is organizing the meeting and protesting against such planning: or (212) 434-9716

3) By contacting the US policymakers and officials in order to protest against any support of the Islamic regime and resumption of ties with the Mullahs regime.

They MUST UNDERSTAND the Islamic republic regime is not representative of the Iranian Nation and that it's an Evil regime.

They MUST UNDERSTAND that the only way of establishing a relation between the US and Iran is to back its repressed people and to support them in their quest for SECULARITY and DEMOCRACY....

They MUST UNDERSTAND that supporting the Islamic regime's lobby groups is equal to supporting the "Mother of All Terrorists" and trying to make forget the memories of all those killed in terrorist attacks...

It is YOUR conscientious DUTY to ACT.

Acting TODAY is to help the creation of the Free Iran of Tomorrow and a safer World for all.

July 16, 2004

The "Student Movement Coordination Committee for Democracy in Iran" (SMCCDI)

3 posted on 07/18/2004 9:13:17 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

CIA says 9/11 plotters passed through Iran

Sun 18 July, 2004 20:01
By Randall Mikkelsen

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - About eight of the September 11, 2001, hijackers passed through Iran before attacking the United States, but there is no sign of official Iranian complicity, the CIA's acting director says.

"We have no evidence that there is some sort of official sanction by the government of Iran for this activity. We have no evidence that there is some sort of official connection between Iran and 9/11," John McLaughlin, acting director of the Central Intelligence Agency, said on "Fox News Sunday".

The disclosure that the hijackers transited Iran raises the question of whether the Bush administration has been too focused on Iraq in seeking state connections to the attacks, a Democratic member of the Senate Intelligence Committee said.

"We focused so much energy on Iraq, when other countries may have been more directly linked to 9/11. That should give us pause," Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois said on CNN's "Late Edition."

Iran acknowledged some of the 19 September 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."

U.S. government sources have said a bipartisan commission's report this week on the attacks will say that some hijackers had travelled through Iran on their way to the United States.

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.

Said McLaughlin, "We've known for some time ... I think the count is about eight of the hijackers that were able to pass through Iran at some point in their passage along their operational path."

However, he said, it was not surprising that the hijackers could transit Iran, given what he said was the country's history of supporting terrorism.


Iran, like Iraq, has been branded by U.S. President George W. Bush as part of an "axis of evil" that threatens to fuel global terrorism.

But Bush and members of his administration have focused more attention on disputed Iraqi ties to al Qaeda, and cited them in making their case for invading Iraq.

The Senate Intelligence Committee earlier this month harshly criticised the U.S. intelligence community for overstating the Iraqi threat of weapons of mass destruction before the war.

A September 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.

McLaughlin echoed that finding. "What we can't say is that there was some relationship of operational control or command between Saddam and al Qaeda," he said.

However, he said there is credible intelligence of contacts and training exchanges between Iraq and al Qaeda, and that Iraq had provided "some degree" of safe haven al Qaeda members.

Senate Intelligence Committee member Saxby Chambliss, a Georgia Republican, said on CNN that Bush "was right to do what we did with Iraq first," but the administration was now "paying a lot of attention to Iran."

McLaughlin also expressed reservations about reports that the September 11 commission would recommend a Cabinet-level agency be created to oversee all U.S. intelligence.

He said "it would be hard to do it without adding an additional layer of bureaucracy." The objective of a stronger intelligence overseer could be met through making "modest changes" to the CIA director's job, he said.

Following the departure of CIA director George Tenet, Bush is considering naming a permanent head of the agency soon, rather than wait until after the U.S. presidential election in November. McLaughlin said he was not "campaigning" for the permanent director's job.

8 posted on 07/18/2004 9:36:05 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

DoctorZin Note:
Here is an example of the most recent effort to appease the Mullahs of Iran by some amonng the Democrats...

Lack of Iran Contacts Said Harming U.S. Interests

July 19, 2004
Carol Giacomo

WASHINGTON -- The lack of sustained engagement with Iran over the last 25 years is harming U.S. interests at a time when America is engaged to an unprecedented extent in the Middle East and Central Asia, according to a panel of experts and former U.S. officials.

In a report published on Monday by the Council on Foreign Relations, a think tank, the panel warned that "overcoming the absence of any U.S.-Iranian contacts may be the only alternative to ... force" to assuage U.S. concerns about Iran's behavior.

It recommended that Washington change its approach to a "selective" engagement with Iran that includes incentives, like the prospect of U.S. commercial ties, as well as penalties, in an effort to resolve a growing nuclear problem and stabilize the Middle East,

The findings were released during a U.S. election campaign that is focused on President Bush's foreign policy leadership and amid rising American fears that Iran is galloping ahead in a quest to build a nuclear bomb.

Throughout its tenure, Bush's administration has been divided over whether to reach out to Iran after a quarter-century of hostility or to toughen its approach.

Democratic presidential challenger John Kerry has signaled an interest in greater engagement with Tehran.

The task force, chaired by former national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski and former CIA Director Robert Gates, concluded that "the current lack of sustained engagement with Iran harms U.S. interests in a critical region of the world and that direct dialogue with Tehran on specific areas of mutual concern should be pursued."


A U.S.-Iran political dialogue should not be deferred until differences over Iran's nuclear ambitions and its involvement in regional conflicts have been resolved, the report said.

"Rather, the process of selective political engagement itself represents a potentially effective path for addressing those differences" as was seen in U.S. engagement with China and the former Soviet Union.

Lying "at the heart of the arc of the crisis in the Middle East," Iran has such intricate ties to Iraq and Afghanistan -- sites of major U.S. military operations -- that it is a "critical actor" in both countries' postwar evolution, the report added.

The report called Iran's nuclear ambitions "one of the most urgent issues" facing the United States.

Task force members were divided on whether Tehran is fully committed to developing a nuclear weapon.

But they agreed that, even while cooperating with U.N. nuclear monitors, Iran will continue "attempting to conceal the scope of its nuclear program in order to keep its options open as long as possible."

Iran hid its nuclear activities for 18 years until they were exposed by an Iranian opposition group in 2002 and then inspected by the U.N. nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Tehran denies U.S. charges it is using a civilian nuclear program to conceal a covert bid for nuclear arms.

Some U.S. estimates say Iran could have a nuclear bomb by 2006 if no steps are taken to slow the program.

The panel rejected a "grand bargain" that would seek to settle comprehensively all U.S.-Iran conflicts, including U.S. allegations that Iran backs terrorism, undermines Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts and stirs problems in Iraq.

The United States and Iran have not had diplomatic ties since the 1979 Islamic revolution when student fundamentalists held 52 American hostages for 444 days.

12 posted on 07/19/2004 7:55:27 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

13 posted on 07/19/2004 7:56:26 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Iran Rejects US Claim of Al-Qaida Link

July 19, 2004
Guardian, UK
Ewen MacAskill

The Iranian government yesterday admitted for the first time that half a dozen of the al-Qaida terrorists behind the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington had passed through Iran.

But the government, anxious to avoid being the next US target after Afghanistan and Iraq, denied any official involvement with al-Qaida members.

The admission came five days before the US commission investigating the September 11 attacks was scheduled to publish its 600-page report, and amid growing speculation that it would endorse the view that there was no evidence linking the September 11 hijackers to Saddam's Iraqi regime - one of the Bush administration's key arguments for going to war.

The Washington Post reported yesterday that the commission would criticise the White House, Congress and other parts of the US government, for failing to detect or prevent the atrocities.

With the focus of suspicion recently turning to Iran, Hamid Reza Asefi, an Iranian foreign ministry spokesman, yesterday acknowledged that some of the hijackers had passed through the country from Afghanistan months before the attacks. "We have long borders and it is not possible to fully control them. It is normal that five or six people who cross the border illegally over a period of five or six months may evade our attention. The same happens on the border between Mexico and the United States."

John McLaughlin, the acting director of the CIA, yesterday told Fox News: "We have no evidence that there is some sort of official connection between Iran and 9/11." But he said it was not surprising that the hijackers were able to pass through Iran, given the country's "history of supporting terrorism". He said eight of the 19 hijackers had passed through the country.

The link being made between Iran and al-Qaida comes as pressure grows on Tehran over suspicions that it is planning a nuclear weapons capability. The US, which has no diplomatic ties with Tehran, wants a UN security council resolution imposing sanctions.

The Israeli government, which bombed an Iraqi nuclear plant in 1981, has been hinting that it will mount a military strike to prevent Iran fulfilling any nuclear weapons ambitions. Iran continues to insist that it is seeking to develop its nuclear programme for peaceful purposes.

The British government has meanwhile become increasingly disillusioned over Iran, the Foreign Office shifting to the view that Tehran is intent on nuclear weapons. Relations have also been strained by the failure of Tehran to return two British boats seized at the Iran-Iraq border.

Mr Asefi said that news reports from the US linking Iran and al-Qaida were part of a US government cover-up to deflect attention from Iraq. He added that Iran had tightened its border controls since the September 11 attacks. The passage of the al-Qaida members had happened before the attacks and "who knew that September 11 was going to happen?" Iran had demonstrated over the past few years that it was opposed to terrorism - and the US had failed to show appreciation of that.

Iran helps finance Hizbollah in south Lebanon but says it has had no involvement with al-Qaida. Tehran has arrested hundreds of al-Qaida suspects over the past few years, last week handing to Saudi Arabia a man dubbed a senior al-Qaida memberwho had surrendered.

The Washington Post reported yesterday that the US commission report on the September 11 attacks would recommend a restructuring of US intelligence to create a "cabinet" with an overview of the other agencies. However, Mr McLaughlin said it would be difficult to achieve that "without adding an additional layer of bureaucracy". He said the same objective could be brought by "modest changes" to the role of CIA director.,12858,1264171,00.html

14 posted on 07/19/2004 7:58:33 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

RSF Disgusted by Sham Trial in Kazemi Murder Case

July 18, 2004
Reporters Without Borders

"We are appalled at this denial of justice," the international press freedom organisation said. "The Iranian judiciary has displayed intolerable cynicism and hypocrisy in a case which the world sees as a test of intent by the Iranian regime, which has been unanimously condemned by international human rights organisations.

"By turning the trial into a mockery, the authorities have once more totally discredited themselves and deserve to have sanctions imposed on them," it said.

Reporters Without Borders welcomed the reaction of Canada which, for the third time in connection with the case, announced after the trial curtailment the recall of its ambassador (Philip MacKinnon) in protest. It urged Canada to keep up strong pressure on Iran.

The organisation also renewed its call to the European Union to impose tough economic and political sanctions on the regime, whose repeated human rights violations it said were incompatible with the official EU-Iranian dialogue begun in 2001.

Kazemi was arrested on 23 June 2003 as she was taking pictures of prisoners' families outside Evin prison, north of Teheran. She was ill-treated in detention and died of her injuries on 10 July. After trying to cover up the cause of death, the authorities admitted on 16 July that she had been "beaten."

Her body was hastily buried on 22 July in the southern town of Shiraz, against the wishes of her Canadian son Stephan. Her mother, who lives in Iran, admitted being pressured to allow burial in Iran. Requests for the body to be exhumed and returned to Canada have been refused.

15 posted on 07/19/2004 7:59:50 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Argentines Criticize Investigation of '94 Attack

July 19, 2004
The New York Times
Larry Rohter

BUENOS AIRES -- With President Néstor Kirchner looking on, Argentine Jewish leaders on Sunday marked the 10th anniversary of a deadly anti-Semitic attack here by delivering blistering attacks on his predecessors and European institutions they say have blocked efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice.

The bombing killed 85 people and wounded about 300 at a Jewish recreation and education center, commonly known as AMIA, its Spanish initials. Though a group of police officers are on trial for having procured the vehicle in which the bomb was placed, Argentina has been thwarted in efforts to prosecute Iranian government officials it says organized the attack.

In a sharp speech, Abraham Kaul, the president of the community group, criticized Britain's refusal to allow the extradition of a former Iranian ambassador to Argentina who was indicted here last year, and also complained about a lack of cooperation in Switzerland in determining how the attack was financed. "They have betrayed us," Mr. Kaul said.

But the harshest criticisms were reserved for Carlos Saúl Menem, who was president of Argentina at the time of the bombing and has been accused by a defector from Iranian intelligence of having deliberately undermined the official inquiry into the attack. Mr. Menem is now living in self-imposed exile in neighboring Chile rather than submitting to questioning in relation to corruption charges pending against him here.

"Carlos Menem is the culprit and is a criminal fugitive," said Marina Degtiar, who spoke on behalf of relatives of the victims. Because of Mr. Menem's efforts to cover up the case, she said, "so many facts still lie with impunity beneath the ruins."

There has long been resentment here over the botched investigation, but the anger has grown in recent months as a result of the train bombings that killed 190 people in Madrid in March. Although the Spanish government initially blamed the attack on Basque separatists, its ability to identify and apprehend fairly quickly the people suspected of being Islamic militant organizers has been repeatedly contrasted here with the Argentine government's ineptitude or unwillingness to act.

In recent months, there has also been talk here of seeking "a Lockerbie solution," in which Argentina would relinquish some of its legal claims so that the accused Iranians could stand trial in a third country. But Iran, which threatened to "adopt appropriate measures" if Argentina did not revoke the indictments, has offered no indication it is interested in such a deal.

With the recent release of government documents, ordered by Mr. Kirchner, Jewish community groups are also pushing for a belated investigation into a Syrian link to the attack. Among the questions they have raised is why Mr. Menem, himself of Syrian descent, allowed various Syrian citizens who were then under surveillance to leave Argentina in the wake of the bombing, including one who is said to be a cousin of Hafez al-Assad, who was then the president of Syria.

Mr. Kirchner, who took office 14 months ago, is the first Argentine president to attend the annual AMIA ceremonies. In April, he described the unsolved case as such "a national disgrace" that it required him to "find the historical truth," and on Sunday he was hugged, kissed and greeted with cries of "keep on pushing, Mr. President," by relatives of many of the victims.

But his wife, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, generated criticism last week when in an interview with a local Jewish publication she suggested that some Jewish leaders aided in the cover-up. Mrs. Kirchner, a prominent senator and member of a legislative commission that also investigated the bombing, was understood to be referring to an ally of Mr. Menem who controlled a financially troubled bank that received questionable government support.

Mr. Kirchner is scheduled to meet Monday with members of a delegation representing the American Jewish Committee. In an interview, David A. Harris, executive director of the group, said resolving the AMIA case will "require extraordinary political will and courage" and urged Mr. Kirchner "to translate good intentions into concrete results."

"That is going to be a mountain of a challenge," Mr. Harris said. "It's late in the day."

16 posted on 07/19/2004 8:00:42 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Iranian Reformists Seek Détente with US

July 18, 2004
The Financial Times
Gareth Smyth

Iran's reformists have attempted to ease rising tensions with the US over Tehran's role in Iraq, its nuclear programme and its alleged links to al-Qaeda.

Over the weekend Mohammed Ali Abtahi, one of Iran's vice-presidents, called for détente with Washington, while Ali Yunesi, the reformist intelligence minister, told state television that Iran had dismantled all al-Qaeda branches in the country.

Their remarks were made after media reports in the US suggested that the commission investigating the September 11 attacks would conclude that some of the hijackers passed through Iran between October 2000 and February 2001.

Some administration officials have also been briefing journalists that President George W. Bush would adopt a tougher line towards Iran if he were re-elected for a second term.

Mr Abtahi, a close ally of President Mohammed Khatami, distanced Iran from al-Qaeda, pointing out that the group's recent propaganda had targeted "two big enemies, the Shia [the majority population in Iran] and the US".

In an interview with the FT, Mr Abtahi reasserted the reformists' credo in spite of their losing control of parliament following February's elections and the recent hardline drift in Iranian politics.

"Speaking in general", he stressed Iran should "continue a policy of détente and keep away from things that can become a big political crisis".

But Mr Abtahi said he could not explain the "specifics" of last month's incident when Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) arrested eight British sailors on the Arvand Rud, or Shatt al-Arab, waterway separating Iran from Iraq.

Mr Abtahi acknowledged powerful domestic restraints on the reformists who are set to continue in government at least until next June's presidential election, when Mr Khatami must stand down.

"In cases like relations with the US, it is not solely the [Iranian] government that can make decisions," he said. "There are other organisations, and particularly the supreme leader [Ayatollah Ali Khamanei], who have their own ideas and opinions. And the main point of the supreme leader is 'mistrust the US'."

Mr Abtahi said that the lack of trust between the US and Iran had produced the "problems" over Iran's civil nuclear programme, which Washington says masks an intention to develop a nuclear bomb.

A critical report from the International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA) last month sharpened tension with Britain, Germany and France, with whom Tehran last year reached an agreement to suspend uranium enrichment. Newly elected conservative parliamentarians in turn argue that Iran should end all co-operation with the IAEA.

The judiciary - which, like the IRGC, answers to the supreme leader - is also becoming more assertive.

On Sunday the court trying an intelligence agent for the "semi-intentional murder" of Zara Kazemi, a 54-year-old Iranian-Canadian photographer who died last year under arrest, excluded diplomats from Britain, Canada, the Netherlands and France, who had been admitted as observers just the day before when the case resumed.

While recognising the right's growing influence in Iran, Mr Abtahi said that US was partly responsible for tension in the region.

"The problem of American officials is that they don't understand our region," he said. "They don't know Iran, Iraq or Afghanistan. The overthrow of Saddam Hussein was very good news, but US misbehaviour has turned it into a catastrophic increase of racialism in the area."

17 posted on 07/19/2004 8:01:39 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

U.S. Faces a Crossroads on Iran Policy [Excerpt]

July 19, 2004
The Washington Post
Robin Wright

The Bush administration is under mounting pressure to take action to deal with Iran -- and end the drift that has characterized U.S. policy for more than three years.

The final report of the commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, due Thursday, may further intensify the policy debate, as it says Iran let eight of the 19 hijackers transit through Iran from neighboring Afghanistan -- a claim Tehran does not deny. The issue is whether it happened with Iran's compliance or because of porous borders.

Acting CIA Director John E. McLaughlin said yesterday that the United States has known for "some time" about the al Qaeda passage through Iran, although he said there is "no evidence" of a connection between Iran and the Sept. 11 attacks.

In response, Iran's Foreign Ministry said yesterday that preventing illegal passage was difficult because of the long frontier, adding that it has since tried to tighten control. "Even more people may [illegally] cross the border between Mexico and the United States," spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told reporters in Tehran.

The dispute -- and uncertainty -- over al Qaeda's use of Iran comes as the White House is being pulled in distinctly different directions on Tehran.

Since May, Congress has been moving -- with little notice -- toward a joint resolution calling for punitive action against Iran if it does not fully reveal details of its nuclear arms program. In language similar to the prewar resolution on Iraq, a recent House resolution authorized the use of "all appropriate means" to deter, dissuade and prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weaponry -- terminology often used to approve preemptive military force. Reflecting the growing anxiety on Capitol Hill about Iran, it passed 376 to 3.

In contrast, two of the most prominent foreign policy groups in Washington are calling for the United States to end a quarter-century of hostile relations and begin new diplomatic overtures to Iran, despite disagreements on a vast range of issues. Because the "solidly entrenched" government provides the only "authoritative" interlocutors, Washington should "deal with the current regime rather than wait for it to fall," says a Council on Foreign Relations report released today.

The disparate range of proposals underscores the near void in U.S. policy toward Iran -- in stark contrast to the two other countries in what President Bush calls the "axis of evil." The administration launched a war to oust Saddam Hussein in Iraq and is now engaged in delicate talks over nuclear issues with North Korea. But six months before its first term ends, the administration has still not formally signed off on a strategy for Iran since a review of U.S. policy was begun in 2001, U.S. officials say.

Pressed to define U.S. policy on Iran, one frustrated senior U.S. official cracked, "Oh, do we have one?"

Bush administration policy has generally been piecemeal and reactive to broader or tangential issues, rather than to Iran itself, U.S. officials say. "What we have is a summation of various pieces -- one piece on nuclear weapons, one on human rights, another on terrorism, other pieces on drugs, Iraq and Afghanistan," a senior State Department official said.

White House officials point to a three-paragraph presidential statement two years ago this month as the core policy. It notes local and national elections when voters supported reformers; it then calls on Tehran to "listen to their hopes."

"As Iran's people move towards a future defined by greater freedom, greater tolerance, they will have no better friend than the United States," the statement reads. But it offers no policy specifics or prescriptions. It instead reached out beyond Tehran in hopes that Iranians would be able to change their government or its positions.

Since then, the Bush administration has warned Tehran about meddling in Iraq and lashed out at the Islamic republic for not fulfilling its promise to provide all information to the U.N. watchdog agency on its nuclear energy program, which Washington suspects is being diverted to build a nuclear weapon.

"The Iranians need to feel the pressure from the world that any nuclear weapons program will be uniformly condemned," Bush told newspaper editors in April. "The development of a nuclear weapon in Iran is intolerable."

But in a split reminiscent of the deep prewar divisions over Iraq, the administration has been at odds over how to accomplish its goals -- engagement, containment or confrontation. Once again, the State Department has been willing to explore areas of potential cooperation -- notably narcotics interdiction, Afghanistan and Iraq -- to see whether discussions under international auspices might lead to wider discussions.

18 posted on 07/19/2004 8:03:43 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Iran's Expanding Influence in Russia's Backyard [Excerpt]

July 19, 2004
The Wall Street Journal
Ilan Berman and Christopher Kelley

With the Bush administration preoccupied with the war on terror and Iraq, Iran has quietly opened up a new front against the United States in Central Asia and the Caucasus. Its aim is to win hearts and minds in the fledgling post-Soviet republics. And, through a mixture of savvy diplomacy and military muscle, Tehran is now doing just that.

Iran's involvement in the Russian near abroad is hardly new. Since the break-up of the Soviet Union, it has been keen to influence the political direction of the fragile post-Soviet states. But an unspoken power-sharing arrangement with Moscow prevented Tehran from interfering too deeply in regional politics throughout much of the past decade.

All of that appears to have changed, however. Policy makers in Moscow, worried over the entrenchment of a lasting American military presence in their backyard as part of the war on terrorism, have relaxed their opposition to Iran's maneuvers. And in response, Tehran has launched an unprecedented diplomatic and strategic offensive in the post-Soviet space.

Iran's motivations are clear. The growing U.S. military footprint in places like Khanabad, Uzbekistan and Manas, Kyrgyzstan -- not to mention Washington's expanding ties to Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan -- have sparked fears in Tehran of strategic rollback on its northern front. When coupled with American advances in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Iranian regime now faces the very real threat of encirclement by the United States and its "Coalition of the Willing." Substantial progress on pro-Western energy routes -- such as the long-awaited pipeline to carry Caspian crude from Baku, Azerbaijan to Ceyhan, Turkey -- have meanwhile presented Iran's rulers with the possibility of a dramatic decline in regional energy clout.

In response, Iran has upped the diplomatic ante with energy-rich Kazakhstan, pushing for deeper energy integration between Astana and Tehran. Kazakhstan currently exports oil to Iran as part of an "oil swap" agreement hammered out with the Islamic Republic in the year 2000, under which Kazakh oil is shipped to Iranian Caspian ports for Iranian consumption while oil from southern Iran is sold on the world market. But the Islamic Republic is now working actively to expand this arrangement, and has upgraded and increased the capacity of its Caspian ports in hopes of "doubling" the volume of Kazakh oil swaps.

Iran's oil companies, meanwhile, have themselves become a growing player in Kazakhstan's energy calculus, participating in tenders to develop its sector of the Caspian. Iranian officials have even begun quietly lobbying for a southern pipeline route to carry Kazakh crude to the Persian Gulf via the Islamic Republic. In late May, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbeyev publicly endorsed Tehran's plans when he announced his government's desire to build a pipeline across Kazakhstan and Iran.

By contrast, Iran has taken a harsher tone with neighboring Azerbaijan. In mid-October, the Islamic Republic commenced large-scale military maneuvers in its northwest district, near Azerbaijan. The exercises, reportedly the largest conducted by Iran in recent memory, massed troops along the Iran-Azerbaijan border in a show of force intended to persuade Baku to tone down its growing strategic cooperation with Washington.

Subsequent reports suggest Tehran is now employing a more subtle tack, and has begun to foment separatist sentiment among the non-Azeri, non-Turkic population on the country's Caspian coast in an effort to arrest Azerbaijan's pro-Western tilt. In response, Azeri officials have apparently acquiesced to a religious accord with the Islamic Republic. The deal, due to be signed in the near future, would give Tehran vastly increased input into the Caucasus state's religious affairs, and correspondingly greater influence over overwhelmingly-Muslim Azerbaijan's political orientation.

Simultaneously, Iran has ratcheted up contacts with its traditional Caucasus ally, Armenia. In recent weeks, the two nations have divulged plans to construct a pipeline linking natural gas fields in Iran and Turkmenistan to Ukraine and from there to Europe by way of Armenia. Such a move would of course be a strategic coup for Tehran, providing it with an energy conduit that undercuts both Russia and United States while simultaneously squeezing Azerbaijan.

19 posted on 07/19/2004 8:05:44 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

The Discovery of Iran

July 19, 2004
National Review Online
Michael Ledeen

Are you sitting down? Iran is a terrorist state.

The organizers of the Council on Foreign Relations special task force to promote the appeasement of Iran must be cursing their uncommonly bad luck. They scheduled a meeting in Washington today to call for increasing normalization of relations between the United States and Iran. With a fine eye for dark comedy, the Council persuaded two relics of the catastrophic Carter years to appear: Zbigniew Brzezinski and Robert Gates. The principal advocate of the policy, however, is undoubtedly the president of the Council, Richard Haas, who has long seen rapprochement with the mullahs as an "historic opportunity" for the United States. Haas was the head of Colin Powell's Policy Planning Staff.

Whatever chances they had of successfully advancing appeasement were shattered over the weekend, as some talkative source at the 9/11 Commission told the old media (notably Time and Newsweek) that there was new evidence documenting the longstanding relationship between al Qaeda and Iran, including the fact that ten of the 9/11 terrorists had crossed Iran from Saudi Arabia the year before the attacks in this country, and the Iranians were careful not to stamp their passports, so that the Iranian connection could not be documented.

To be sure, the Commission leaker was careful to say there was no proof that the Iranians were witting of the 9/11 conspiracy, but that is hardly a surprise. Given the track record of CIA's "intelligence" on the role of the mullahs in the terror network, it would have been astounding if we had had any such evidence.

News stories on Sunday reminded readers that Richard Clarke had written that there was considerable evidence of collusion between Osama and the mullahs, and Asharq al-Awsat reported on the 15th that "more than 384 members of al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations are present in Iran, including 18 senior leaders of Osama bin Laden's network." These terrorists were not, as the Iranians were quick to pretend, under arrest. Nor, as Iranian officials put it the day after, had the al Qaeda groups been destroyed. Many were living in villas near Chalous on the Caspian Sea, while others were in Lavizan, either in or near a big military base.

As luck would have it (and for this information I am indebted to the redoubtable Dan Darling), Chalous is the locus of a major underground nuclear facility that has been heavily reinforced of late, while Lavizan houses the Shiyan Technical Research Facility within one of the largest Revolutionary Guards bases in the Central Province.

What a surprise! Terrorists at Iranian military bases! Who ever would have imagined such a thing? Well, aside from NRO, which has long proclaimed Iran to be the safest of havens for Osama & co., the Iraqis not only imagined it, they knew it. Listen to the fine Iraq blogger at Iraq the Model early in July: "An Iraqi military check point...was subjected to Iranian fire on Friday.... Colonel Dhafir Savah Al Timemi mentioned that this was the 4th time the Iranians have opened fire on Shehan check point during the last week in addition to several other aggressions...Colonel Timemi said also that Iraqi border guards have captured 83 Iranians who were trying to cross Iraqi-Iranian borders illegally...."

And of course there is the ongoing slapstick routine at the United Nations Atomic Energy Agency, which constantly finds Iran cheating on its promises to tell all and show all about its atomic project, but never does anything to impose its will, bringing to mind Groucho's classic words, "I've got principles. And if you don't like them, I've got other principles."

This is all very inconvenient for Haas, Brzezinski, and the others who keep deluding themselves into believing that we can make a reasonable deal with the mullahcracy in Tehran. This is a very dangerous delusion, akin to Neville Chamberlain's conceit that he had achieved peace with Hitler, when, as Churchill put it, given the choice between war and dishonor, Chamberlain chose dishonor and got war. The Council is making the same humiliating choice.

Meanwhile, the mullahs and the other terror masters in the region quite sensibly continue to wage war against us. At the recent meetings in Tehran between a Syrian delegation led by President Bashar Assad and the Iranians, including Supreme Leader Khamenei and top deputies including strongman Rafsanjani, the head of intelligence Yunesi, several leading officials of the Revolutionary Guards, and Foreign Minister Kharazi, the two sides agreed on five key points:

A common strategy involving Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah to thwart American plans for the democratization of the Middle East;

Coordination of joint operations against the Coalition and the interim government in Iraq;

Coordination of political strategy to influence groups and countries that oppose the American presence in Iraq;

Planning for revenge should Israel attack Iranian nuclear, chemical or missile sites, or Syria's chemical and missile sites, or Hezbollah bases;

Full cooperation to prevent the reelection of President Bush, including all possible measures (such as sabotage of oil pipelines and terminals) to drive up the price of oil.

Advocates of rapprochement with Iran should be running from their announced principles as fast as they can.

Those of you who have followed along these little therapy sessions of mine know of my despair regarding this administration's fecklessness concerning the mullahs. It has pained me enormously, especially because I still believe that this president has a solid understanding of the evil of the Islamic Republic, despite the efforts of the State Department — even after the departure of Haas — to convince him that a really good deal is just minutes away. I have been reduced to begging "faster, please," but I have long since recognized that nothing would happen until after the elections (a potentially suicidal policy). Now the London Times has found a nameless someone in the Bush administration who promises that a second term for W. would bring vigorous support of democratic revolution in Iran, and decisive action against the atomic project. It is beyond me why anyone would take seriously such claims, given the fact that after four years in office this administration still has no Iran policy, and the deputy secretary of State, Richard Armitage, has never backed off his claim that Iran is a democracy, nor has he been gainsaid by any other top official. I certainly hope the Times is right, but I have my doubts. I'm afraid we're not going to get serious about Iran without another 9/11.

In the 20th century we were often saved from our own isolationism and self-delusion by our enemies, who attacked us and thereby resolved our foreign policy debates in favor of honorable self defense. Check this one out with the Germans regarding World War I, with the Japanese regarding World War II, with Stalin regarding the Cold War, and with Saddam concerning two Gulf wars. Osama bin Laden made a terrible mistake on 9/11, sealing the doom of the Taliban and a goodly number of his own killers, and depriving the remnant of vital support. If the Iranians approved yet another attack on Americans or on American soil, they might, let's say it as delicately as possible, no longer benefit from the benevolent shelter offered by the Middle Eastniks in the CIA and State, supported by the likes of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Maybe that would finally produce an Iran policy worthy of the name: support for democratic revolution against the mullahs. But Khamenei's and Rafsanjani's experience with the United States leaves them pretty sanguine about that risk, because every time we come up with some devastating bit of information on Iran, we immediately follow it with "but that doesn't mean that the leaders knew about it, or that it was the actual policy of the regime." You find half of bin Laden's family and top assistants in Tehran? Not to worry, maybe the mullahs didn't know. You discover that that 9/11 band crossed Iran and were assisted by the border guards and customs officials? Not to worry, that wasn't necessarily the actual policy — this from the lips of the acting director of Central Intelligence on Fox News yesterday. Scores of Iranian intelligence agents are found in Iraq, some in the act of preparing bombs? Some bright bulb in the intelligence community puts out the line that Iran is actually helpful to us, and has actually restrained Hezbollah. We find Iranian involvement in the bombing of Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia? The evidence is quashed by the Saudis, with the complicity of State and large sectors of the intelligence community.

So why should the men in the blood-soaked turbans fret over the consequences of aiding and abetting yet another murderous assault against Americans? I'm unfortunately betting on the second half of October, based on their happy experience with the Spanish elections last March.

-Michael Ledeen, an NRO contributing editor, is most recently the author of The War Against the Terror Masters. Ledeen is Resident Scholar in the Freedom Chair at the American Enterprise Institute

20 posted on 07/19/2004 8:07:01 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
More executions carried in Esfahan

SMCCDI (Information Service)
Jul 19, 2004

The Islamic regime has executed two more individuals under false charges of "Banditism" and "Kidnapping" in the rebellious City of Esfahan.

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.

22 posted on 07/19/2004 8:10:41 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

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.

23 posted on 07/19/2004 8:11:37 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

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.

25 posted on 07/19/2004 12:49:50 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Bush: U.S. Looking Into Whether Iran Involved in 9/11

July 19, 2004
Adam Entous

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.


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.

26 posted on 07/19/2004 12:51:34 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

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, I’m 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.

28 posted on 07/19/2004 12:56:48 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
DoctorZin Note: Below is the Press Release the Council on Foreign Relations released today:

Press Release

Lack of Engagement with Iran Threatens U.S. National Interests in Critical Region of the World, Concludes Council-Sponsored Task Force

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:

  1. Offer Iran a direct dialogue on specific issues of regional stabilization to "encourage constructive Iranian involvement in the process of consolidating authority within the central governments of both Iraq and Afghanistan and in rebuilding their economies." A basic statement of principles along the lines of the 1972 Shanghai Communiqué signed by the United States and China could be developed to outline the parameters for U.S.-Iranian engagement.
  2. Press Iran to clarify the status of al-Qaeda operatives detained by Tehran and "make clear that a security dialogue will be conditional on assurances that [Iran] is not facilitating violence against the new Iraqi and Afghan governments or the coalition forces that are assisting them." At the same time, Washington should work with the interim government of Iraq to conclusively disband the Iraq-based Mojahideen-e-Khalq, the largest and most militant group opposed to the Islamic Republic of Iran.
  3. Together with its European allies and Russia, implement a more focused strategy to deal with Iran's nuclear program. "Iran should be pressed to fulfill its October 2003 commitment to maintain a complete and verified suspension of all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities," while the United States and other members of the international community pursue a framework for a more durable solution to the nuclear issue. "Tehran must clearly understand that unless it demonstrates real, uninterrupted cooperation with the IAEA process, it will face the prospect of multilateral sanctions by the United Nations Security Council."
  4. Resume a genuinely active involvement in the Middle East peace process and press Arab states to do the same. "A serious effort on the part of Washington toward achieving Arab-Israeli peace is central to eventually stemming the tide of extremism in the region."
  5. Adopt measures to broaden the political, cultural, and economic linkages between the Iranian population and the wider world, including authorizing nongovernmental organizations to operate in Iran and consenting to Iran's application to begin talks with the World Trade Oraganization. "Iran's isolation only impedes its people's ongoing struggle for a more democratic government and strengthens the hand of hard-liners who preach confrontation with the rest of the world."

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


29 posted on 07/19/2004 1:39:32 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
This thread is now closed.

Join Us At Today's Iranian Alert Thread – The Most Underreported Story Of The Year!

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail DoctorZin”

33 posted on 07/19/2004 9:01:04 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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