Skip to comments.Iranian Alert -- August 9, 2004 [EST]-- IRAN LIVE THREAD -- "Americans for Regime Change in Iran"
Posted on 08/08/2004 9:09:04 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.
IRAN SAID IS UPDATING NUCLEAR DEFENCE AND MISSILES
By Safa Haeri
Posted Saturday, August 7, 2004
TEHRAN, 7 Aug. (IPS) Iran revealed on Saturday 7 of August 2004 that it has a deterrent nuclear defence program and is improving it along its delivery vehicle based on the Shahab-3 missile system.
"We are improving the Shahab-3 and we shall report when we test it in a time that is not very far away", Defence Minister Admiral Ali Shamkhani told defence correspondents, reported by the semi-independent students news agency ISNA.
The Shahab missile, whose name means "shooting star" in Farsi, or meteor, is thought to be capable of carrying a 1,000 kilograms (one-ton) warhead at least 1,500 kilometres (900 miles), well within range of Israel.
"These improvements do not only concern the missile, but all other aspects related to our defence, he said, adding that the weapon does not menace any European nation, excluding states in the region, particularly Israel.
When a journalist asked if the Defence Ministry is involved in nuclear activities, the Minister responded vaguely, saying yes and not.
No, because our nuclear activities are for peaceful purposes, as confirmed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that in all its latest findings had stated that we are not diverting these activities towards military use. But yes, because at the same time we work on a nuclear activity that have a defensive purpose, only intervention in the nuclear area, meaning nuclear protection", Mr. Shamkhani explained.
"The Israelis are trying hard to improve the capacity of their missiles, and we are also trying to improve the Shahab-3 in a short time," he said, denying the Islamic republic was working on a more advanced Shahab-4.
Analysts immediately said that this is the first time that a high-ranking Iranian official points to the existence of a nuclear defence program that is in the process to be improved.
Shamkhanis declarations to journalists would provide more credit to the Americans and Israelis accusing the Islamic Republic of producing nuclear weapon aimed at destroying the Jewish State, the analysts said, adding that some years ago, Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Irans second man in command had urged Muslim nations to drop an atomic bomb over Israel.
"If a military operation is carried out against us, we cannot do nothing, so we are investing in nuclear protection", he said referring to possible attack from Israel's suspected nuclear arsenal. "That's why we have to invest on nuclear defence preparation", he added without elaborating.
We consider Israel as najes (an Arabic word meaning dirty, or unclean, used by Muslims against mostly the Jews and also the Christians). So dirty that we are even not willing to ask them for payment of the debts they have to us from before the Islamic Revolution (of 1979), because we consider that even the money is also unclean, he told a journalist quoting Arab press claiming that Irans stated opposition to the Jewish State is a a parody, standing no nothing more than a war of words.
Mr. Shamkhani was referring to some 300 millions US Dollars Israel owes to Iran from the oil it used to sell to Israel and the investment in a pipeline carrying the oil from the port of Ashdod to a nearby refinery.
Israel successfully tested recently its Arrow II anti-missile missile in the United States. It was the seventh time the missile has worked, but the first time it destroyed a real Scud missile.
Israeli officials made it clear the improved anti-missile system was aimed squarely at fending off any attack by Iran, Israel's arch foe.
The Shahab-3 is believed to be derived from technology acquired from Pakistan and North Korea, though Shamkhani denied any dealings between Tehran and Pyongyang.
Six Shahab-3 missiles were paraded in Tehran in September during commemorations of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war. One of them carried a banner declaring "We will wipe Israel from the map".
Mr. Shamkhani rejected American latest allegations that his country was providing test sites for North Korean long-range missiles designed to deliver nuclear warheads, saying, Iran does not cooperate with North Korea in missile technology and it does not need to.
Tehran is at loggerhead with both the IAEA and Europes Big 3, namely Britain, France and Germany over its controversial enriching uranium programs.
US Secretary of State Colin Powell said last Thursday that it was "more and more likely" that Iran would be referred to the UN Security Council as a possible prelude to sanctions.
Mr. Kamal Kharrazi, Iran's Foreign Affairs Minister asserted Wednesday the Islamic republic had a "legitimate right" to enrich uranium, the most sensitive part of the nuclear fuel cycle that the country is under pressure to abandon.
"We will lobby for our rights in the international community to deal with the negative atmosphere our enemies have created against Iran", he was quoted as saying by the state news agency IRNA.
"We will never allow the enemy to trample upon our legitimate rights enshrined in the international conventions," he added, as hard line conservative lawmakers and press are urging the government of the powerless President Khatami to get out of the Non Proliferation Treaty and end cooperation with IAES.
ENDS IRAN DEFENCE 7804
Iran dismisses Iraqi official's request of returning planes
www.chinaview.cn 2004-08-08 13:25:52
TEHRAN, Aug. 8 (Xinhuanet) -- Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi on Sunday dismissed a top Iraqi official's request that Tehran immediately return the Iraqi planes sent to Iran for shelter from the 1991 Gulf War.
"We have more important issues to discuss, and we will negotiate these with the future elected government, not with the interim government," Asefi said.
Kuwaiti daily newspaper Al-Anbaa recently reported that Hazem al-Shaalan, defense minister of the Iraqi interim government, said that Iran should "now" return the planes in question.
"The 130 planes should be given back to Iraq now," Shaalan said in an interview with the Kuwaiti daily.
The figure is less than what Iraqi officials had previously asked Iran to return, namely 113 military and 33 civilian planes entrusted to Tehran by the former regime of Saddam Hussein on the eve of the 1991 Gulf War.
Tehran said that it was holding only 22, and insisted that it was ready to return them if asked by the United Nations.
In 1991, Iraq also sent four planes to Tunisia and six to Jordan. Enditem
Iran Issues New Iraq Travel Warning For Pilgrims
TEHRAN (AFP) -- Iran issued a fresh warning to its nationals Sunday not to travel on pilgrimages to Shiite Muslim shrines in neighboring Iraq, and appealed to Iraq to stop issuing them visas. Iran's deputy interior minister in charge of security affairs, Ali Asghar Ahmadi, told state television the call was made "due to the adverse domestic situation in Iraq."
The report said the interior ministry had also asked the Iraqi diplomatic mission here to annul existing pilgrimage visas.
One of the most popular destinations is the shrine of the father of Shiite Islam, Imam Ali, in Najaf. The central city is currently the scene of heavy fighting between militia loyal to radical Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr and U.S.-led forces.
Since the ouster of Iraqi ruler Saddam Hussein in April last year, thousands of Iranian pilgrims have made the journey illegally, despite a growing death toll from landmines and bandits and the risk of arrest by U.S. forces on the look-out for infiltrators.
Pilgrimages to Iraq's holy Shiite places were halted throughout the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war, and only resumed in very limited numbers at the end of the 1990s.
US out to sabotage Iran's atom bomb programme
By David Rennie in Washington
The Bush administration is trying to find covert ways to sabotage or delay Iran's nuclear weapons programme believing that diplomatic deals struck with European nations have barely slowed Teheran's rush towards the bomb.
Intelligence and administration officials are urgently trying to find secret means "to disrupt or delay as long as we can" the development of an Iranian bomb, one said. The urgency stems, in part, from "increasingly strong private statements" by Israeli counterparts that they may be forced to take military action to stop Iran achieving its dream of a nuclear arsenal.
Iranian missiles could deliver a nuclear payload to Israel or US bases in the gulf
One American official told the New York Times that the Israelis were "doing what they can to delay the Iranian programme, and preparing military options".
It is uncertain that it is possible to stop Iran joining the nuclear club, thanks to the know-how Teheran bought from Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan, the former Pakistani nuclear chief, US officials told the newspaper.
With his appearances now focused on the November elections, President George W Bush rarely mentions Iran and North Korea in public, although the two nations were founder members of his "axis of evil" with Iraq.
Mr Bush's Democratic challenger, Senator John Kerry, has sought to attack him for ignoring North Korea and Iran and concentrating on Iraq, whose nuclear programme has turned out to have been largely moribund.
Such Democratic charges have not gained much traction with ordinary voters. In Middle America the Iraq war is overwhelmingly viewed as a response to the September 11 attacks and part of a campaign to keep America safe from further terror attacks, rather than as a piece in a larger geopolitical puzzle.
Iran has announced in the past two weeks that it was resuming the construction of centrifuges needed to produce weapons grade uranium, dealing a seemingly fatal blow to a deal brokered by European nations last year, to limit Iran's nuclear research.
The national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, said US leadership had brought the world - including the United Nations watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Authority - round to seeing the menace of a nuclear-armed Iran.
Israel: Diplomacy has slowed down Iran's nuke program
By Aluf Benn
International efforts to halt Iran's nuclear program through diplomacy have achieved some success, albeit far from complete, and should therefore be continued, senior Israeli security officials believe.
This contradicts the American assessment reported in yesterday's New York Times, which is that diplomatic efforts to halt Iran's nuclear program have accomplished nothing.
The Israeli assessment, which was presented to the cabinet on July 21, is that the diplomatic pressure has delayed Iran's progress toward nuclear weapons by about two years. Israel now believes that Iran will reach the "point of no return," meaning the ability to produce enriched uranium for nuclear weapons on its own, only in 2007. Previously, it had believed that Iran would cross the nuclear threshold in 2005.
Israel attributes this deferral to the diplomatic efforts of the United States and the European "troika" (Britain, France and Germany). However, it also believes that the diplomatic pressure has recently been eased, due to the upcoming American elections and Iran's attempts to buy time. One result of this letup is Iran's recent announcement that it will resume making centrifuges for uranium enrichment. That announcement led to Israel's decision to intensify its warnings about the Iranian threat.
Currently, the diplomatic effort is experiencing difficulties. Ten days ago, Iranian representatives insisted on their right to enrich uranium at a meeting in Paris with "troika" representatives. The Europeans demanded a renewed suspension of the enrichment program, as Iran promised last year, but did not issue any ultimatums or threaten sanctions.
Next month, the International Atomic Energy Agency's board of governors will hold another discussion on Iran. The Americans are pressing for a decision to transfer the issue to the UN Security Council, which can impose sanctions, but it is not clear that there is support for this move.
Israeli sources said yesterday that The New York Times report on the failure of diplomatic efforts was an attempt to pressure both the Bush administration and Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry to back stronger diplomatic pressure on Iran. Israel's impression is that Kerry would seek dialogue with Iran if elected, while Bush does not want to open another Middle Eastern front until he knows whether he will win reelection.
So, assuming that the Iranian nuclear threat is more serious than presented here, what are the implications with regard to future relations with a "new" Iran of
(a) a US effort to eliminate the reactors,
(b) an Israeli attack,
(c) a joint US / Israeli operation, or
(d) an operation with plausible deniability by the operators?
Iranian envoy taken hostage
BAGHDAD: Militants in Iraq said yesterday they had taken a top Iranian diplomat hostage, according to video shown on the Arab-language Al-Arabiya television station.
The video showed a bearded man identified as Faridoun Jihani speaking to the camera, though his voice was not audible. The video also showed nine forms of his identification, as well as his passport and a business card identifying him as the consul for the Islamic Republic of Iran in Karbala, a southern Iraqi city.
The kidnappers, who called themselves the Islamic Army in Iraq, accused Jihani of provoking sectarian war in Iraq and they warned Iran not to interfere in Iraq's affairs, according to Al-Arabiya.
Teheran's foreign ministry confirmed the kidnapping.
Faridoun Jihani disappeared Wednesday night on the road from Baghdad to Karbala.
After he failed to reach Karbala, all efforts to find his whereabouts failed, the statement said.
Iran, a Shi'ite Muslim country with close ties to Iraq's majority Shi'ite population, is believed to have used money and intelligence, not weapons, to influence its western neighbour.
It is accused of quietly funding Shi'ite political parties in a bid to influence the government that emerges from planned January elections, while avoiding a direct confrontation with its longtime rival, the United States. Agencies
Tehran Summons Iraqi Envoy Over Reported Detentions
Greg LaMotte, Voice of America, August 8, 2004
Iranian officials are upset over allegations by Iraq's interim government suggesting that four Iranians arrested in Iraq are spies.
A spokesman for Iran's Foreign Ministry said Sunday that Tehran wants Iraq to prove that four Iranians, recently arrested in Baghdad, are spies, as Iraqi officials are alleging.
On Saturday, a spokesman for Iraq's Interior Ministry, said four Iranian intelligence officers were taken into custody and charged with suspicion of spying and of carrying out acts of sabotage in Iraq.
Iranian authorities responded Sunday, saying Iraq's charge d'affaires was being summoned to provide proof of the allegations.
Iraqi authorities have been cracking down on the presence of thousands of Iranians believed to be illegally in Iraq, most of whom say they are pilgrims traveling to the Islamic holy cities of Karbala and Najaf, south of Baghdad.
According to Iranian expert and political science professor Amal Hamada, who teaches at Cairo University, Tehran is attempting to increase its influence in Iraq by taking advantage of the political situations both in Iraq and in the United States.
"They're trying to take advantage of the situation in Iraq and the advantage of the domestic situation in the USA, meaning, the Iranians know that the USA administration is going to be very busy with the presidential elections coming in the next few months, so they (US) may not be willing to escalate things in the Middle East," she commented. "With the government in Iraq, they know that the transitional government is not as strong as it should be. So, I think they're trying to win compromises, to win a kind of influence in Iraq by taking advantage of the situation in general."
Ms. Hamada says she has no doubt that Iran has spies in Iraq. But, she says, she believes many other countries, both from the Middle East and the west, also have intelligence agents in Iraq.
On Sunday, the spokesman for Iran's Foreign Ministry, Hamid Reza Asefi, called on Iraqi officials to stop creating what he called a "bad atmosphere" between Iran and Iraq.
The interim government in Iraq is calling for cooperation from Tehran to help protect its border from the flow of Iranians entering Iraq illegally. The Baghdad government has blamed some acts of terror in Iraq on insurgents from Iran.
US Ponders Covert Actions Against Iran
Agencies, Arab News
WASHINGTON, 9 August 2004 White House national security adviser Condoleezza Rice yesterday said the United States could not rule out taking covert action against Iran to disrupt its nuclear weapons program. We will use many means to try to disrupt these programs, Rice told NBC television. The president will look at all the tools that are available to us.
Rice was asked about a New York Times report that quoted unnamed senior US officials as saying they were seeking to step up covert actions against Iran to disrupt or delay as long as we can Tehrans nuclear weapons drive.
We are having diplomatic successes, but these are very tough problems, Rice said. For a long time ... we were the only who ones who seemed to think that Iran really did have an aggressive program to try to develop nuclear weapons, she said.
We are now getting stronger (International Atomic Energy Agency) action against them. We believe in September we will get a very strong statement out of the (IAEA) board that Iran will either be isolated or it will submit to the will of the international community.
US Secretary of State Colin Powell said last month that it was more and more likely that Iran would be referred to the UN Security Council by the IAEA as a possible prelude to sanctions. The United States has accused Iran of wantonly flouting international calls to curb its nuclear activities, saying Tehran is engaged in a direct challenge to the UNs nuclear watchdog.
The European Unions big three Britain, France and Germany have been pressing Iran to cease working on the nuclear fuel cycle in exchange for increased trade and cooperation and the guaranteed supply of nuclear fuel from abroad.
Such work is permitted under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), but fears persist that once fully mastered, a country possessing such technology can easily divert it into military usage.
Many diplomats believe that even if Iran is not working on nuclear weapons now, it would like to have the option in the future. Tehran, meanwhile, denies charges it is seeking to develop a nuclear bomb.
Iran has agreed to temporarily suspend enrichment pending the completion of an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) probe, but is working on other parts of the fuel cycle and has recently resumed making centrifuges used for enrichment.
I would love to see him standing there behind the lectern, expressing his support for President Bush.
Iran named as "VICTORY BRIDGE" in the 2nd world war.
And in 1943, Leaders of UK (Churchill), USA (FDR) and Soviets (Stalin) met in Tehran.
I read that story... Churchil and FDR were afraid of Nazi secret agents that planned to kill them. FDR stayed in Soviets' embassy ........ ((LONG STORY))!
Why the new interim Iraqi government don't mention the damages of the 1980s war?
I think Iraqis owe bilions to the people of Iran, (however the regime shouldn't get that money).
Between September-November 1980, they took (stole) thousands of new brand TOYOTA SUVs from Khoramshahr port in south west of Iran.
I think they are wasting their time and they are making Iranian people angry and seems that arabs will never try to learn to be friendly with Persians. I am sorry for them if they think they can rule the world.
Any way, I doubt if a new regime in Tehran would care about what they may mention. They still have to pay us bilions of dollars for the damages of the 1980s war and due to weakness of the current Iranian government, the people of Iran can not get any thing in return of the damages on their homes, farms...etc.
-good times, G.J.P. (Jr.)
I think your 'd' choise is so funny!
Iran's Population Over 67 Million
Aug 8, 2004, 10:57
Iran's population exceeded 67 million in spring, which is 1.47 percent more than last year. According to Iran Statistic Center, figures for urban and rural regions stood at over 44.771 million and 22.705 million respectively, which are 66.4 percent and 33.6 percent of the country's population.
Tehran, Khorassan, Isfahan, Fars and East Azarbaijan are the most populated provinces respectively, while the capital city of Tehran, with a population of over 7 million, is the country's most populated city.
Over 11.931 million people are living in Tehran province, of which 87 percent live in urban and 23 percent live in rural areas.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.