Skip to comments.Iranian Alert -- July 21, 2004 [EST]-- IRAN LIVE THREAD -- "Americans for Regime Change in Iran"
Posted on 07/20/2004 9:01:56 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.
Memorandum to: Opinion Leaders
July 20, 2004
Project for New American Century
From: William Kristol
Memorandum to: Opinion Leaders
From: William Kristol
Subject: CFR Report On Iran
One has to hand it to the Council on Foreign Relations. Just as Iran has spent the last several months reconfirming why it was a charter member of the "axis of evil," a CFR taskforce, led by former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski and former DCI Robert Gates, has concluded that the time is now ripe for a policy of "engagement" with Iran. This, in spite of the fact that:
Iran continues to tell the International Atomic Energy Agency - along with the British, Germans and French - to stuff it when it comes to Tehran's nuclear weapons program.
Iranian officials, caught red-handed in New York photographing likely terrorist-targets, were expelled from the United States.
Iranian intelligence agents were caught in Iraq building car bombs and are now assisting Iraqi radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's efforts to rebuild his militia.
Iran's hard-line clerics and revolutionary guards have eliminated virtually all remaining reformist elements from the government over the past year.
Iran apparently has had and continues to have a working relationship with bin Laden's al Qaeda. Indeed, if the 9-11 commission report is accurate, Tehran might well have been involved in both the 1996 Khobar Towers attack and in 9-11. Furthermore, Iran today harbors senior al-Qaeda leaders.
And, today, the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz reports that the head of Israeli military intelligence research has warned the Knesset defense committee that Iran might well give non-conventional weapons, such as chemical weapons, to Hizballah, the Iranian-backed terrorist organization.
We do need a coherent, serious policy toward Iran; one of containment, pressure, accountability and, ultimately, regime change. If the CFR report helps force a real debate on Iran policy and encourages the Bush Administration not simply to kick the can down the road until after election day, it will have (inadvertently) performed a service.
Appeasement of Iran, Fantasy of "Engagement"
July 16, 2004
The US Alliance for Democratic Iran
The sham parliamentary election in Iran last February turned a new page in the countrys political developments as the theocratic regime was working to cope with growing domestic and external challenges.
Before the election, the watchdog Guardian Council undertook a major political house-cleaning and disqualified the candidates from the pro-Khatami camp. The move was prompted by the clerics realizing that the old good cop-bad cop game was no longer tenable. The benefits of having a unipolar make-up in the ruling establishment far outweighed the political and diplomatic advantages of having a reformist wing.
The presence of former and current commanders of Irans Revolutionary Guards Corps in the new parliament has become highly visible. This, however, is not confined to the parliament or the state broadcasting. The GC commanders have also been playing a greater role in domestic suppression of political dissent as well as in advancing the mullahs sinister designs to undermine Iraqs nascent democratization process. In addition, Supreme leader Ali Khamenei has put the GC in complete control of Tehrans secret nuclear weapons program.
At first look, this may seem as a sign of increased confidence of the Iran rulers. In reality, however, it reflects desperate actions by a regime finding itself increasingly confronted by its citizens and the international community.
Domestically, anti-government protests, and strikes have spread beyond university campuses to many cities. Frightened by the specter of major anti-regime demonstrations on the anniversary of the July 1999 student-led uprising, the regime flooded the main streets of Tehran and other major cities with anti-riot security forces under the pretext of traffic control. It also arrested many student activists in the weeks prior to the anniversary. More recently, officials have unleashed a new campaign against women on the pretext of combating vice and improper veiling.
Irate because its allies in the Iraqi Governing Council were left out of the Iraqi Interim Government, Tehran has become more brazen in its meddling in Iraq. Iraqi Foreign Ministers warning to the clerics to stay out of Iraqs underscored this point.
The mullahs buy-time-and-dodge-the-bullet tactic in dealing with the IAEA is now fully exposed as even their EU backers are realizing what a big lie this so-called cooperation was. Result: a growing albeit inadequate - determination to stop Irans suspected nuclear weapons program.
Recruiting suicide bombers for dispatch to Iraq, providing ideological fuel for terrorist attacks against the West, seizing British navy personnel and boats, and reneging on last autumns agreement with the IAEA to stop enriching uranium, are just a few examples of the increasing role played by Revolutionary Guards.
This new intransigence at home and abroad is dictated by the regimes survival instincts. The reformist vs. hardliner trickery has run its course.
The world community has also arrived at a historic crossroad: to continue to appease the mullahs or to side with Iranian people and their struggle to establish an Iran free of torture, terror, fundamentalism and weapons of mass destruction.
As the voices of appeasement disguised under engagement or a grand bargain - are trying to revive this dead horse, they must remember that the Iran under the mullahs is where it is today not because no one has tried mollifying it. This policy has never worked in dealing with ideologically-driven totalitarian regimes, more so in the case of a religious fascism such as the one ruling Iran.
The advocates of engagement have been sounding the drumbeats of creating an opening with Tehrans tyrants for more than two decades. Of course, so far, they have nothing to show for, except for humiliation of successive U.S. administrations and bolstering a loathed and isolated regime in Iran.
The choice made at this crucial juncture, no doubt, will have strategic reverberations in Iran, the Middle East and the Western world for decades to come. We have a chance to be on the right side of history by supporting Irans anti-fundamentalist, democratic opposition movement, which is the only viable vehicle for change in that country.
Iran Not Meddling in Iraqi Affairs!
July 20, 2004
The Financial Times
Edward Alden and James Harding in Washington
Iran's hardline government has refrained from efforts to destabilise the new government in neighbouring Iraq - a positive sign in spite of continued concerns over Iran's ties to terrorism and its pursuit of nuclear weapons, a senior US official said on Monday.
The official told the FT that while Iran was expanding its capabilities and attempting to exercise its influence inside Iraq, "they have held back in many ways and have not declared war on the [Iraqi] regime to try to destabilise it".
The comments were made on Monday as part of a broad White House defence of its policy towards Iran in the face of pressure for change from critics on both sides.
Since the war in Iraq, US policy towards Iran has become the subject of internal administration battles over whether the US should actively try to bring down the regime in Tehran. Some conservatives inside and outside the administration are dismayed that Washington has failed to put more direct pressure on Iran, even as Tehran has advanced its efforts to acquire nuclear weapons.
But the senior official said the White House had no plans to adopt a more aggressive policy aimed at "regime change" in Iran.
"What the president has said is that the aspirations of the Iranian people are now clearer and he supports those aspirations," he said. "He has not talked about regime change."
Mr Bush has "put himself rhetorically on the side of those forces in Iran that push for change. But it is not fair to say that he has gone beyond that."
At the same time the White House is rejecting calls for closer engagement with Tehran, as recommended on Monday by a blue-ribbon panel of the Council on Foreign Relations.
The senior official said that European efforts to engage with Iran had been set back by the revelations that Iran had continued to shield its nuclear programmes from international inspectors. "The Europeans have for a long time had an approach that emphasises engagement more than we," he said. But "the nuclear experience has been a sobering one for all of us".
The administration is facing renewed questions over its policy towards Iran with the release this Thursday of the report of the commission investigating the September 11 attacks. The report is expected to say that as many as eight of the hijackers may have received safe passage through Iran on the way to the US.
The report is likely to raise new questions about why the US went to war with Iraq in the aftermath of September 11 rather than focusing on countries with known ties to al-Qaeda, including Iran.
President George W. Bush said on Monday his administration was still investigating whether Iran had any connections to the September 11 plot.
Mr Bush said at the White House that he had continued concerns over Iran: "We will continue to look and see if the Iranians were involved. I have long expressed my concerns about Iran. After all, it's a totalitarian society where people are not allowed to exercise their rights as human beings."
Iraq Says Iran Interfering in Its Affairs [Excerpt]
July 20, 2004
The Associated Press
CAIRO, Egypt - Iraq has evidence that its neighbors were interfering in its internal affairs, Baghdad's defense minister said in an interview published Tuesday, and he threatened reprisals.
Interviewed by the London-based Asharq Awsat newspaper, Defense Minister Hazem Shalan al-Khuzaei blamed neighboring Iran, but gave no details.
"If they do not stop this we will move it to their own streets," he said in another interview, with the Gulf-based Al-Arabiya television.
At a regional meeting scheduled for Wednesday, Iraq was expected to complain to its neighbors that they aren't doing enough to help it stop violence and may even be fomenting trouble.
Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari was to meet his counterparts from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Kuwait, Iran, Syria and Jordan to discuss attempts to stabilize the country following a U.S.-led invasion a year ago. While host Egypt does not border Iraq, it is a Mideast heavyweight and has had a key role in a series of such meetings aimed at addressing concerns volatility in Iraq could affect the whole region.
The group has met five times since U.S. forces overthrew Saddam Hussein in April 2003.
U.N. envoy Lakhdar Brahimi and EU representative Javier Solana also were planning to take part in the discussions. They were likely to urge Iraq's neighbors to fully back Iraq's new interim government.
Iraqi leaders facing almost daily car bombings and firefights accuse foreign Muslim infiltrators of being behind some of the deadliest attacks and say neighboring countries are either facilitating or turning a blind eye to cross-border infiltration.
Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia say it is difficult to control their long, porous borders with Iraq. Washington, which still leads some 160,000 multinational troops in Iraq, has accused the Iranians of meddling in Iraq in hopes of turning the country, with its Shiite Muslim majority, into a Shiite theocracy like Iran. Iranians deny the charges, but are worried about the continued military and political influence in Iraq of the United States, a longtime foe.
Egyptian Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said during their meetings in Cairo, Iraq's neighbors will "reaffirm their commitment to the principle of noninterference in Iraq's internal affairs."
Neighboring countries have their concerns, too.
A proposed federal system that would meet the political aspirations of Iraq's ethnic and cultural groups, such as the Kurds in the north and Shiite Muslim Arabs in the south, worries some of Iraq's neighbors.
Turkey fears that a Kurdish federal province could incite some 12 million Kurdish Turks to push for autonomy. Ankara fought a 15-year war against Kurdish rebels in southeastern Turkey.
In an interview that appeared Tuesday in the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet, Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul reiterated Ankara's fears that Kurds will take over Iraq's oil rich province of Kirkuk, where tens of thousands of ethnic Turkish Iraqis live.
He compared Kirkuk to Bosnia, where fighting over control of the former Yugoslav federal province sparked an ethnic war.
"Everyone is aware that this is the issue that could end up being the greatest headache for Iraq," he said.
Iraq's northwestern neighbor, Syria, which has a sizable Kurdish population, has similar fears.
Britain Drawn into Brewing Iran Spat
July 21, 2004
WASHINGTON -- The United States recently consulted Britain on when to refer Iran's suspected nuclear arms program to the United Nations, a sign U.S. patience with Tehran may be wearing thin, U.S. officials say.
The United States accuses Iran of trying to develop nuclear arms -- which Iran denies -- and failing to fully disclose its atomic programs to the International Atomic Energy Agency. The Vienna-based agency could refer the issue to the U.N. Security Council which in turn could impose sanctions on Iran.
John Bolton, U.S. under secretary of state for arms control and international security, raised the issue of the timing of a possible referral during a visit to London last week, said a U.S. official who asked not to be named.
This official declined to say when Washington might choose to seek a referral but he noted the IAEA board of governors is scheduled to meet in September and in November.
"Bolton consulted with the British about what might be the appropriate time to move it to the U.N. ... unless they (the Iranians) change their record of noncompliance," he said.
"We are talking to the Brits about precisely that ... it's all in the conditional," said another official, stressing the talks were hypothetical and no decision on a referral had been made.
Washington decided before the IAEA's June board meeting not to press for referral, concerned it might not have the votes to prevail and pleased with a tougher line adopted by the European nations in a board resolution that deplored Iran's failure to fully cooperate with the U.N. nuclear watchdog's inspectors.
But the fact U.S. officials are again talking about when to seek one suggests growing impatience with the IAEA diplomacy, which U.S. officials say has yet to produce a "strategic decision" by Iran to abandon the pursuit of nuclear weapons.
While the IAEA has reported numerous instances where Tehran concealed potentially arms-related activities, it has found no clear proof of a weapons program.
Iran in October struck an agreement with France, Britain and Germany to suspend its uranium enrichment program, which Washington believes aims to make fissile material for atomic weapons.
Iran, which says its nuclear program is peaceful and aimed solely at meeting domestic energy needs, never fully suspended the program and recently said it would resume the production, assembly and testing of enrichment centrifuges.
"We take very seriously Iran's suspension of its agreement with the EU," said a U.S. official. "The potential of the EU agreement was cooperation and (the Iranian) declaration shows that promise is rapidly failing."
Fact or Fiction? Iran's Quest for the Atomic Bomb
July 20, 2004
VIENNA -- It is two years since a group of Iranian exiles accused Iran of hiding a secret atomic weapons program from U.N. inspectors, and diplomats and analysts say Tehran is only getting closer to the bomb.
Officials and nuclear experts say that one of the two facilities Iran had not declared to the U.N. at the time was a uranium enrichment plant that, once completed, could enrich enough uranium for a dozen or so nuclear bombs each year.
Several diplomats said Iran began with a plan of developing its nuclear capabilities so that the atom bomb option would always be there -- the "break-out" scenario. Later, one said, Iran decided the only solution to the U.S. threat was the bomb.
"Iranian leaders got together after the Iraq war and decided that the reason North Korea was not attacked was because it has the bomb. Iraq was attacked because it did not," a Western diplomat told Reuters this week, citing intelligence reports.
Iran has vehemently denied pursuing nuclear weapons, arguing that its atomic ambitions are limited to generating electricity and that developing the bomb would violate Islamic law.
Wary of sparking another Iraq-like invasion of a Middle Eastern country, inspectors from the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) are cautious and say there is still no clear evidence that Tehran wants the bomb.
"We all think the American assessment is probably right because there is no other good explanation for the Iranian activities," a senior international diplomat involved in the investigation of Iran told the New York Times last week.
"But we still don't have the smoking gun," he said, adding that after Iraq "we need smoking guns more than ever."
Uzi Arad, director of Israel's Institute of Policy and Strategy and a former senior official in the Israeli intelligence service, Mossad, disagreed, saying it was time the IAEA stated openly that Iran is pursuing nuclear arms -- which it could one day use to destroy the Jewish state.
"Anyone who suggests differently is under illusions," Arad said. "At which point will the IAEA state the obvious?"
A Western diplomat said such caution and conservatism was only giving Iran the time it needed to reach its goal.
"Is this evidence of a weapons program? Or do we need to wheel a nuclear bomb into the IAEA boardroom first?" he asked.
U.S. CHOOSES DIPLOMAACY, NOT FORCE
Washington, which is still trying to pacify Iraq, has not threatened Iran with military action and has vowed to deal with the Iranian nuclear program at the United Nations.
For over a year, the United States has tried to pressure the IAEA's 35-nation governing board to report Iran to the U.N. Security Council for hiding its uranium enrichment program from the IAEA for nearly two decades.
Washington says this is a blatant violation of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which Iran signed in 1970. It has also said that Tehran is only trying to drag out the inspection process to buy time as it approaches the bomb.
"Every passing day could bring it closer to producing the enriched uranium needed for nuclear bombs," Kenneth Brill, U.S. ambassador to the IAEA, said last month.
Experts say that once a country has enough fissile uranium, it is only months away from a nuclear weapon.
But the Egyptian-born head of the IAEA, Mohamed ElBaradei, along with the European Union's three biggest states -- France, Britain and Germany -- have blocked U.S. attempts to send the Iran file to the Security Council for fear of Iran's reaction.
"You are running the risk that the Security Council might not act and therefore the situation would exacerbate. And you run the risk that Iran might opt out of the NPT (Non-Proliferation Treaty) and you have another North Korea," ElBaradei said recently in Israel.
Last year, the IAEA board referred the case of North Korea to the Security Council after Pyongyang expelled all U.N. inspectors from the country on December 31, 2002 and later announced it would leave the NPT. The Council did nothing.
Officials from the EU trio agree privately that Tehran appears to be keeping the door open to the bomb and have encouraged Iran to suspend its uranium enrichment program in exchange for a promise of peaceful nuclear technology. So far this has not worked though the "EU three" refuse to give up.
NO "SMOKING GUN"
While it has yet to find any "smoking gun," there is no question that the IAEA has uncovered many things in Iran that would appear to support the U.S. view.
First, Iran already has the ability to produce fissile material for a weapon should it choose to.
Iran has experimented with multiple avenues of enriching uranium -- using lasers, as well as different types of centrifuges bought on a black market set up by the founder of Pakistan's nuclear weapons program, Abdul Qadeer Khan.
Also, traces of bomb-grade uranium found inside the country last year have never been adequately explained.
Iranian scientists also experimented with a substance called polonium which can be used to spark a chain reaction in a bomb.
Iran says that its experiments with polonium were not military-related but civilian. But the IAEA cited an absence of information to support Iran's statements in this regard.
Despite their frustration with the IAEA process, officials from the United States and its allies doubt that military strikes on Iranian nuclear facilities would do more than push Tehran's nuclear activities further underground.
This is why they have pushed to report Iran to the Security Council, which can impose unpleasant sanctions to push Iran to decide that pursuing the nuclear option is not worth it.
There have been hints that Israel, which in 1981 bombed Iraq's Osiraq reactor where it believed Saddam planned to develop atomic weapons, might take similar action in Iran.
"Everything has to be done to stop it," said a senior Israeli official about Iran's possible nuclear arms program. "We are not discussing (a military) option right now. Israel hopes international efforts and pressure can still be brought to bear. This is an issue that concerns the entire world." (Additional reporting by Dan Williams in Jerusalem)
Iraq Issues Threat to Iran over Insurgents
July 21, 2004
Adrian Blomfield in Baghdad
Iraq threatened military retaliation against Iran yesterday, accusing its former foe of backing terrorists who have begun to focus their campaign of violence on the interim government itself.
Hazim al-Shaalan, the defence minister, denounced Iranian interference, saying that Teheran was supporting foreign Islamic militants fighting alongside remnants of the Saddam era to destabilise Iraq.
"They confess to the presence of their spies in Iraq who have a mission to shake up the social and political situation," he said. "Iranian intrusion has been vast and unprecedented since the establishment of the Iraqi state."
In the past Iraq has levelled similar accusations against Syria and Mr Shaalan warned: "We are prepared to move the arena of the attacks on Iraq's honour and its rights to those countries."
Meanwhile, gunmen shot dead Basra's acting governor, the latest in a series of attacks on members of the three-week-old government. Two of Hazim al-Aynachi's bodyguards were also killed.
In the past week militants killed the governor of Mosul and a director general in the defence ministry. An assassination attempt against the justice minister, who will play an integral role in the trial of Saddam Hussain, narrowly failed.
After a fortnight of relative calm since sovereignty was handed over by the American-led coalition at the end of June, insurgents have sharply increased the intensity of their attacks in the past week.
Iraq is furious with the Philippines for withdrawing its troops in compliance with a deadline imposed by militants who held a Filipino lorry driver hostage for two weeks.
Angelo de la Cruz was released by his captors yesterday, prompting jubilation in the Philippines but bringing condemnation from the United States, which said the decision amounted to caving in to terrorism.
Iraq Issues Threat to Iran over Insurgents
July 21, 2004
Adrian Blomfield in Baghdad
DoctorZin Note: Bill Kristol get it! It is as thought he has been reading our reports.
Memorandum to: Opinion Leaders
July 20, 2004
Project for New American Century
From: William Kristol
GSS: Iran Building 5th Column Among Israeli Arabs
July 20, 2004
The Jerusalem Post
Iran is trying to build a "Trojan Horse" among Israeli Arabs, and is also the leading force behind most Palestinian terror groups, including the Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Tanzim, Shin Bet director Avi Dichter said on Tuesday.
Dichter also warned that Gaza could become another "south Lebanon" if arms keep flowing in. He termed the smuggling of arms a "serious threat."
Since the beginning of 2003, some 330 anti-tank missiles have been smuggled in, and anti-aircraft missiles have either already been brought into the Sinai or are on the way, he said.
According to Dichter, smugglers who previously dealt in drugs and women trafficking via the Sinai have moved into the weapons business.
As for Israeli Arab terror activities, Dichter said that Iran is trying to penetrate via the Hizbullah to Israeli Arabs and Palestinians.
At present two Israeli Arabs are being held after returning from Hizbullah training bases in south Lebanon. One is a secretary of a Balad branch.
They reached Lebanon by traveling from Turkey to Syria and then to Lebanon. "The Iranians are certainly aiming to create a Trojan Horse among Israeli Arabs," Dichter was quoted as saying.
From the start of the year, another three Israeli Arabs were arrested for independent activities and another seven were working for Palestinian groups, he said.
In 2001, 56 were arrested, 78 in 2002 and 43 in 2003.
As for east Jerusalem, Dichter said that four out of every 1,000 Arab residents are involved in terror activities. He noted that of 577 civilians killed in terror attacks since 2001, 204 of the victims were killed in Jerusalem.
He termed the Hamas a "front for Iran," and the Islamic Jihad as an "entirely Iranian organization." The majority of the Tanzim cells in the West Bank serve as the basis of the Iranian infrastructure in the area and receive money and arms.
Despite fears of the rise of Hamas in Gaza, Dichter said that Fatah is the "domineering force," has the majority support there, and the Hamas has "no chance" to take over.
He also said that he did not believe there would be a change in the terror threat from Gaza after disengagement because at present Israel is not operating from within Gaza as it does in the West Bank. At present, he said that West Bank terror could be considered a "barrel with a bottom."
Iraqi Minister Threatens Mullahs On Backing Terror
July 21, 2004
The New York Sun
Iraq's defense minister yesterday threatened the Islamic Republic of Iran with reprisals for backing terrorists and warned Tehran against intruding in Baghdad's internal affairs...In a threat directed at the mullahs in Iran, Mr. Shalan told Gulf-based Al-Arabiya television: "If they do not stop this, we will move it to their own streets."
Iraq's defense minister yesterday threatened the Islamic Republic of Iran with reprisals for backing terrorists and warned Tehran against intruding in Baghdad's internal affairs.
The accusation that Iranian-backed terrorists are targeting the interim government came a day after the new Iraqi government said it expected to have good relations with Iran.
In an interview with the London based Asharq Awsat newspaper, Iraq's defense minister, Hazem Shalan, blamed the Iranians for interfering in its internal affairs and accused Tehran of supporting foreign Islamic terrorists fighting alongside holdouts from Saddam Hussein's regime.
In a threat directed at the mullahs in Iran, Mr. Shalan told Gulf-based Al-Arabiya television: "If they do not stop this, we will move it to their own streets."
"They confess to the presence of their spies in Iraq who have a mission to shake up the social and political situation," the Daily Telegraph quoted Mr. Shalan as saying. "Iranian intrusion has been vast and unprecedented since the establishment of the Iraqi state."
Mr. Shalan told Asharq Awsat: "The Iranians have infiltrated the various departments of the state in general and have set up intelligence and security centers in several Iraqi cities."
Yesterday's saber-rattling was a sharp turn from the language used by Iraq's top diplomat in America, Rend al-Rahim Francke, the day before. Ms. Francke, chief of Iraq's diplomatic mission in Washington, told the Associated Press that Iran so far has had a positive role in Iraq. In the interview, she rejected suggestions that Iran supports terrorism in Iraq, saying, "It is not in Iran's interest for Iraq to be in turmoil. If Iraq turns into a haven for terrorists, not only Iraq but all countries in the region will be affected."
Today in Cairo, Egypt, at a meeting of foreign ministers of Iraq's neighbors, Iraq is expected to complain about terrorists flowing into the country and ask that they do more to secure their borders.
The Islamic Republic is concerned about the emergence of a pluralistic democracy in Iraq. The Tehran mullahs have strong influence among some leaders of the Shiite community, concentrated mostly in southern Iraq. Iran hopes Shiites, almost two-thirds of all Iraqis, will control the future politics in Baghdad. Kurds and, to a lesser degree, Sunni Arabs, demand strong protection for minorities.
The Iraqi foreign minister, Hoshyar Zebari, is scheduled to meet with foreign ministers of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Kuwait, Iran, Syria, and Jordan. The U.N. envoy Lakhdar Brahimi and European Union representative Javier Solana also were planning to attend the parley.
Since the new government's inception, terrorists have more and more focused on its members. On Monday, a fuel tanker rigged as a bomb killed nine at a Baghdad police station. That bombing was the fourth in a string of attacks on government facilities in five days. At least 77 people have been killed since the new government took power. Yesterday in Basra, gunmen killed Hazim al-Aynachi, a gubernatorial candidate, and his bodyguard and driver as they were leaving his driveway for work, the Associated Press reported.
Iraqi Minister Threatens Mullahs On Backing Terror
July 21, 2004
The New York Sun
DoctorZin Note: Sorry for all the pings but the news on Iran is coming fast and furious! Finally!
Ping your friends who might be interested in these developments. We need to get the word out.
Thanks for the report. Loftus was on yesterday or the day before, too. Made similar statements.
The Ottawa Citizen
July 21, 2004
A significant barrier was crossed when President George W. Bush spoke aloud, Monday, about the possibility of an Iranian role in the 9/11 attacks on the United States. By doing so, he was responding in a language that the ayatollahs would understand to escalating threats and provocative behaviour from Iran. No matter who is President after November, it appears the U.S. and Iran are now on course for another history-making collision.
The movement of known Afghan-Arab Jihadis through Iranian territory from Afghanistan, both before and after the U.S. invasion, is now so well established in fact that even the CIA has acknowledged it. But as ever, it is nearly impossible for the CIA or any other Western intelligence service who do not have their own agents in the field, and thus rely entirely on second-hand information to confirm much beyond that.
I fear Mr. Bush is about to repeat a mistake he made in his approach to war in Iraq. This is to develop a case for war, based on narrow, legalistic arguments. As we discovered before, during, and after the invasion of Iraq, this concedes most of the debate to nitpickers in the media and the political opposition: an especially hard course when we remember that agencies like the CIA have proved entirely incompetent in establishing the facts upon which legalistic arguments can be based.
Iran itself has been doing a better job of establishing a casus belli. With the sort of arrogance made visible even to Canadians in the recent "trial" of suspects in the murder of Zahra Kazemi, the regime's officials from Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei down have been making bellicose declarations against America, Israel, and the West generally.
"Today we have in our possession long-range smart missiles which can reach many of the interests and vital resources of the Americans and of the Zionist regime in our region," writes Yadollah Javani, political head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards in the daily Kayhan, which has become the Iranian "Pravda".
"The ability of the Western media to ignore them is astounding."
"a show of force sufficient to plausibly counter-threaten the existence of the ayatollahs' regime. This could count on the multiplier effect, of inspiring renewed efforts by the Iranian people to complicate the regime's life"
U.S. Will Not Let Nuke Issue Slide Until Election: Bolton (Ultimatum?)
Chosun Ilbo ^ | 07/22/04 | N/A
Posted on 07/21/2004 8:26:48 AM PDT by TigerLikesRooster
U.S. Will Not Let Nuke Issue Slide Until Election: Bolton
Why arent our friends and allies in the south that knowingly opened Iran Iraq border for Shiites to cross and perhaps brought in sleepers, are beyond approach?
Are you referring to the Brits in control of southern Iraq or the Saudi's?
IRAN US RELATIONS CONTINUE DOWNWARD TREND
By Safa Haeri
Posted Tuesday, July 20, 2004
PARIS, 20 July (IPS) The Islamic Republic of Iran rejected as utterly baseless new American allegations that it was harboring al-Qaeda leaders and could have been linked to the 11 September 2001 attacks carried by this organization against World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington.
The claims are fictitious and most ridicule, as they came from a country that had issued entry visa, residence permit to the attackers who had undergone pilot training in the United States", Hamid Reza Asefi, the official news agency IRNA quoted senior spokesman for the Foreign Affairs Ministry on Tuesday 20 July.
"Any claim regarding Iran's direct or indirect relationship with the September 11 terrorist incidents is merely fabricated and fictitious. When it comes to al-Qaeda, we act in line with our interests and our national security", he explained.
US President George W. Bush on Monday said Washington was probing the possibility that Tehran had offered assistance to some of the terrorists who conducted the 11 September attacks against the United States.
The United States is investigating possible ties between Iran and al-Qaeda, and wants to know if the Iranian government played a role in the attacks, President Bush said, adding, "We will look to see if the Iranians were involved".
However, he made it clear that there was no definite proof yet that this had occurred, and he didn't mention any possible consequences for Iran.
According to the 9/11 Commission, some of the 19 hijackers of the airliners that went crushing against World Trade Center twin towers and the Pentagon are believed to have passed through Iran, and details of their journey are expected to be released by the in the Commissions final report.
For its part, the US Central Intelligence Agency says at least eight of the hijackers who carried out the attacks passed through Iran but stresses that it has no proof that Tehran backed the operations or had links to al-Qaeda.
While rejecting all links with the al-Qaeda, Tehran has admitted the arrest of up to 450 operatives of the terrorist organisation that had fled Afghanistan immediately after the massive military intervention of American forces in that central Asian nation ruled by the orthodox Taleban and controlled virtually by Mr. Osama Ben Laden, al-Qaedas leader, alleged to also have masterminded the 11 September operations that killed more than 3.500 people.
The Shiia Iran was at odd with the staunchly anti-Shiate Taleban who had killed nine Iranian diplomats and a journalist when they stormed the northern city of Mazar Sharif on August 1998.
According to Iranian officials, some al-Qaeda members who had slipped to Iran from Pakistan were arrested and those the nationalities had been established were handed to their original countries, including Saudi Arabia.
However, the Islamic Republic is also suspected by the American intelligence to shelter some senior al-Qaeda leaders, including Sad Ben Laden, Osamas elder son and Saif al Adl, the Organisations intelligence boss.
The US Department of State repeated long-standing accusations against the Iranian ruling ayatollahs, including their support for terrorism and helping terrorist organisations, opposing the peace between Israel and Arabs, pursuing nuclear arms and a disastrous human rights record.
Washington would be willing to open a dialogue with Iran, but if and when it is best for our interests, it is up to the President to determine that", Richard Boucher, the State Departments Spokesman told reporters
But Asefi said Iran was not interested in resuming ties with a country that uses the stick and carrot policy. "Iran it will only accept relations with other countries based on the principles of equality, mutual respect and national interests", he reiterated.
He also ridiculed Washingtons criticism of the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic saying that the pictures of American soldiers torturing Iraqi prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison are still in the minds of the international community".
Washington cut off all relations and imposed trade sanctions against the Islamic Republic after Iranian revolutionary students attacked the US Embassy in Tehran on 4 November 1979 and took 55 American diplomats and staff hostage for 444 days.
Iran and the United States are also at odd over Iranian controversial atomic projects, with Washington claiming the programs are for building a nuclear arsenal to attack Israel in the one side and Tehran claiming that the atomic plants it has under construction with the help of Moscow are for civilian uses, mostly producing much needed electricity.
More than Iraq, Iran is becoming the topic issue in the campaign of American candidates to the presidency, observed Mr. Amir Taheri a veteran Iranian journalist.
According to the Baztab internet site that belongs to Mr. Mohsen RezaI, the Secretary of the Expedience Council and the former Commander of the Revolutionary Guards, the report compiled by the9/11 Commission might serve as a pretext for preparing a military action against the Islamic Republic.
ENDS US IRAN QAEDA 20704
Yes Doctor. It seems there has been a Shiite/brit reconnection in the past 25 years in Iran. Maybe a trade off of S. Iraq now that Persia seem to be in a possible to do list of US. There just are too many ignored reports for it to mean otherwise. I refuse to accept we were taken to Iraq to get bogged down with our recourses without considering these type of old politics.
I am with you on that.
The only thing used to "engage" a mullah should be the end of a TOW missle.
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