Skip to comments.Iranian Alert -- August 22, 2004 [EST]-- IRAN LIVE THREAD -- "Americans for Regime Change in Iran"
Posted on 08/21/2004 9:00:30 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
The US media still largely 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. As a result, 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. In fact they were one of the first countries to have spontaneous candlelight vigils after the 911 tragedy (see photo).
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.
IS IRAN SERIOUS ABOUT HITTING ISRAEL?
By Abdul Rahman Al Rashid
Posted Saturday, August 21, 2004
PARIS, 21 Aug. (IPS) As the war of words escalate between the Islamic Republic and the Jewish State, with both sides menacing each other with their latest weapons, including Shahab-3 missiles for Iran and Arrow for Israel, some Arab commentators wonder whether Tehran is serious in its menaces against Israel.
In an interview last week with the Qatari Television Al Jazira, Admiral Ali Shamkhani, the Iranian Defence Minister quoted some high-ranking officers suggesting pre-emptive strikes against Israel and American forces in the Persian Gulf.
"We will not sit (with arms folded) to wait for what others will do to us. Some military commanders in Iran are convinced that preventive operations which the Americans talk about are not their monopoly", Mr. Mr Shamkhani warned in the interview when asked about the possibility of a US or Israeli strike against Iran's nuclear facilities.
Some days earlier, the same Minister had surprised the word by revealing that Iran had a nuclear-based defence capacity.
A day before, a high-ranking Revolutionary Guards commander had stated that in case Israel attack Iranian nuclear facilities, it should permanently forget about Dimona nuclear centre, referring to Israels best-known nuclear site.
If Israel fires one missile at Booshehr atomic power plant, it should permanently forget about Dimona nuclear centre, where it produces and keeps its nuclear weapons, and Israel would be responsible for the terrifying consequence of this move, the acting Revolutionary Guards Commander General Mohammad Baqer Zolqadr warned.
As usual in such cases, when Iranian officials makes declarations that provokes strong reactions in the international community, the Iranian Foreign Affairs Ministry immediately corrected the statement, saying Mr. Shamkhani had been misunderstood, even though the Minister was talking in Farsi, leaving no place for misinterpretation.
Nevertheless, the alarming statements have created more concern among Arab neighbours than in Israel, as seen by a recent article carried out in the Saudi Arabian daily Arab News.
In the early nineties, an American newspaper attributed to a Saudi diplomat a statement to the effect that his country saw the strength of the Iraqi Army, after the Iraq-Iran war, as a source of threat. The Iraqi government protested and said that its armys strength was directed at Israel and would always be directed so. The Saudi government had to clarify that the statement of the diplomat did not represent the governments views, wrote Mr. Abdul Rahman Al-Rashid.
A few months after this incident, the Iraqi Army invaded the Saudi city Al-Khafji in the northern border, after occupying Kuwait.
The Saudi diplomat was right. The Iraqi Army proved to be a threat to Saudi Arabia, and no threat at all to Israel. It did not march toward Israel, Mr. Al Rashid noted.
These days, Iran says the same thing about its nuclear weapon program. It is developing a nuclear arsenal and naturally the countries in the region are worried. But Iran keeps on assuring all that its nuclear program is directed toward Israel, as are its developed missiles.
That is sweet talk calculated to win our support. Israels track record in the region is such that anyone who stands up against it will be forgiven all his crimes. And Iran has a record that will give credibility to the claim that it is developing an Israeli-specific arsenal. It is a country opposed to Israel. It is taking the side of the Palestinians and supported Hezbollah in Lebanon in the fight against Israels occupation of southern Lebanon. It is also supporting Syria for the same reasons.
But a closer look will show that if Irans weapon program is directed against Israel, there is no reason for it to continue developing them because there has never been a military clash between the two, he added.
All countries in the region use Israel as an excuse for their actions. Israel, it is true, is an enemy. However, the history of Irans wars does not support the theory that the weapons it is building are to fight Israel.
A cursory look at the war record reveals another fact important to us in the Kingdom: Iran has a record of clashes with Saudi Arabia. There were air and ground engagements between them. Iran also had confrontations with the UAE and Qatar. Irans fights with other nations include clashes with Afghanistan during the Taleban regime before Sept. 11 and also with Azerbaijan and the war with Iraq.
We know of all these clashes. The date and details of what occurred when and where are in our files. But we have never heard of a single clash between Israel and Iran. This makes Irans neighboring countries worried about it continuing to build and develop nuclear weapons.
Iran does not share borders with Israel and has had no hostile contact with it. It is only supporting forces that fight Israel. Its developed weapons cannot be sent to these parties to fight Israel. Then who are the targets of these sophisticated weapons?
There is only one logical answer: Neighboring countries. And they are already paying the cost. They are the ones scared by Irans race to build weapons. They dont scare Israel.
And the scared neighboring countries are being forced to buy more weapons to defend themselves. And the happy ones are those countries that build and sell these weapons, Mr. Al-Rashid concluded.
ENDS IRAN NUKE NEIGHBOURS 21804
Iran says Iraq now admits arresting three missing "journalists"
AFP - World News
Aug 21, 2004
TEHRAN - Iraq's US-backed caretaker government has now admitted that three reporters for Iran's state IRNA news agency who went missing on August 9 were detained by police, a senior interior ministry official said.
"Now that the Iraqi government has officially acknowledged that it arrested the IRNA reporter and his staff, it is responsible for their safety," Amir Hossein Motahar told Tehran dailies.
Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi had announced on Thursday that he had assurances that IRNA's Baghdad bureau chief Mostafa Darban, who went missing with Iraqi colleagues Mohammad Khafaji and Mohsen Madani, was in good health.
Teheran two-times Straw by backing both sides
Telegraph - By Anton La Guardia
Aug 21, 2004
The past fortnight in Najaf marks the end of the affair between Britain and Iran.
British officials accuse Teheran of infidelity with Moqtada al-Sadr and of breaking its vow over nuclear weapons.
The question now is whether the sides maintain a cold but cordial relationship for the sake of their wider interests, or head for a dangerous divorce.
The estrangement is a blow for Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, who has courted Teheran with passion despite warnings from American hardliners that it would all end in disaster.
The breakdown happened over the summer. British officials who only weeks ago refused to accept US accusations that Iran was helping Iraqi insurgents no longer bother to hide their anger.
The crisis over Iran's nuclear programme also came to a head over the summer, when Iran reneged on its agreement with three European countries - Britain, France and Germany - to suspend all uranium enrichment-related activity.
Enrichment can be used to make either fuel for power stations, or fissile material for atomic weapons.
The governing board of the International Atomic Energy Agency is due to discuss its next move in Vienna next month.
The US, accusing Iran of trying to make nuclear weapons, wants it to be reported to the United Nations Security Council for possible sanctions.
In retrospect, Iran's brief detention of eight British Royal Navy and Royal Marines personnel on the Shatt al-Arab waterway in June was the first sign of serious trouble. British officials at the time played down any link to the nuclear question.
But it is probably no coincidence that the servicemen were held on the same day that Hassan Rowhani, the Iranian official charged with handling the nuclear crisis, wrote to the "EU 3" to announce that Iran would resume making and testing uranium enrichment centrifuges.
On Wednesday the Iranian defence minister, Rear Adml Ali Shamkhani, said that the presence of US forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, far from being a threat to Teheran, meant the US troops were now "hostage" to Iran.
One possibility is that Iran is supporting the Shia uprising to demonstrate this assertion - threatening to kill off the Iraqi interim government if Teheran is pushed too hard on the nuclear question.
British officials say it is impossible to prove "there is an Iranian bullet in British casualties".
But Sadr's Mahdi army has undoubtedly made an effort to intensify its campaign in the British-controlled sector. Basra, which has been relatively quiet, has seen the deaths of four British soldiers since the end of June.
Soon after becoming Foreign Secretary, Mr Straw seized on the September 11 attacks to try to transform Iran from a "rogue" regime into a friend of the West.
He visited Iran five times in two years, so often that Iranian dissidents mocked him as "Ayatollah Straw". But nobody in the Foreign Office now expects another trip.
Iran and North Korea - The proliferation lesson
International Herald Tribune - By Ian Bremmer
Aug 21, 2004
NEW YORK - One reason the Bush administration went to war in Iraq last year was to demonstrate that the United States was prepared to use a lot more than just rhetoric to prevent countries from quietly developing weapons of mass destruction. The president hoped that when the leaders of would-be nuclear states heard words of warning from Washington, images of Saddam Hussein's unshaven face would persuade them to support American nonproliferation efforts.
Of course, no weapons of mass destruction have been found in Iraq. But President George W. Bush has argued that Libya's decision last December to renounce its own weapons of mass destruction demonstrates that the strategy has already paid dividends. According to the president, Libya's leader, Muammar el-Qaddafi decided to forego the pursuit of such weapons precisely because the United States and its allies had "sent an unmistakable message to regimes that seek or possess weapons of mass destruction" that these programs will not be tolerated.
The president's critics argue that Qaddafi was already talking about opening his country to inspectors before Bush was president and point to the suspected escalation of nuclear development in Iran and North Korea as proof the Bush nonproliferation strategy has failed in two key states.
Both sides are right. The Bush administration argues that, while Qaddafi may have talked about opening his country to nuclear inspectors before the war in Iraq, it was only in the Iraq war's aftermath that Qaddafi actually did it. And he did it quickly. The Bush team can take credit for this, just as they deserve credit for Syria's offer in talks with the European Union to open its territory to international weapons inspectors. The decision - if Damascus follows through on it - marks an important step by the Syrian leader, Bashar Assad, away from rogue-state status.
Unfortunately for Bush, his critics have a point too, since not all would-be nuclear states calculate their risks and interests as Assad and Qaddafi have. Rather than renouncing their nuclear programs to avoid the fate of Saddam's Iraq, other states have chosen to develop a viable nuclear capacity as quickly as possible. With U.S. troops tied down in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a presidential election approaching, Iran and North Korea may have calculated that now is exactly the wrong time for the U.S. to be confrontational with its antagonists and to back up its threats of war in yet another country.
The lesson that would-be rogue states have learned from the Bush administration is that it's extremely dangerous to have an ambiguous stance on proliferation. The tough choice facing such countries is not "renounce weapons of mass destruction or face America's military might." As Iran and North Korea have demonstrated, the real choice is "give up your weapons program immediately or develop it as fast as you can."
That is the logic behind Iran's increasing defiance of the United States, the European Union and the International Atomic Energy Agency, as it restarts work on its uranium-processing plants. That is also the logic behind North Korea's recent decision to reprocess its nuclear fuel rods, probably increasing its nuclear arsenal from two to eight weapons.
We can expect North Korean and Iranian proliferation efforts to intensify over the coming months. Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions are already widely considered a fait accompli. But in the case of Iran, the accelerating pace of nuclear development will have as-yet-uncalculated spillover effects on the security decision-making processes of neighboring countries.
The Saudis will have to weigh the threat to their security posed by the nuclearization of Iran, its principal regional rival. Speculation of an Israeli pre-emptive attack on Iranian nuclear facilities will also intensify. With precisely that possibility in mind, Iran recently announced that its Shahab-3 missile can reach Israeli territory.
Ironically, a nuclear Iran would probably push Iraq to argue that it was forced to develop its own deterrent capability. Somewhere a little further down the track, U.S. inspectors might finally be able to find Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.
Ian Bremmer is president of Eurasia Group and a senior fellow at the World Policy Institute.
Let's not play the underhanded propaganda games of the Brits.
In spite of the garbage the British and Iranian government spew forth for propaganda reasons, the English are certainly no enemy to the Iranian government. They helped overthrow the Shah in 1979 for their own interests and are presently underhandedly aiding their "creation in Iran".
Our own Michael Rubin of the CPA reported that the British weren't allowing a Secular Democracy to take shape in Iraq and trying to endorse the Iranian form of regime in Iraq.
Ministers Remarks Misinterpreted: Iran
Agence France Presse, Arab News
TEHRAN, 22 August 2004 Tehran yesterday disputed remarks by Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani apparently warning of pre-emptive Iranian strikes on US troops in neighboring countries, claiming they were misinterpreted.
The statements of the defense minister have not been reported accurately to some extent they have been altered, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Raza Asefi was quoted as saying by the state news agency IRNA. We will not sit (with arms folded) to wait for what others will do to us, Shamkhani told Al-Jazeera TV on Wednesday when asked if Iran would respond to a US attack on its nuclear facilities, speaking in Farsi through an interpreter into Arabic.
Some military commanders in Iran are convinced that preventive operations which the Americans talk about are not their monopoly, he added, according to the translator. America is not the only one present in the region. We are also present, from Khost to Kandahar in Afghanistan; we are present in the Gulf and we can be present in Iraq.
But Asefi said there had been misinterpretations, adding, Mr. Shamkhani said that we would defend our territory and national interests and would allow no one to attack the Islamic republic. If anyone attacks our country, we will respond with determination. Shamkhanis remarks were seen as an extension of an exchange of threats between Israel and Iran in recent weeks focusing on Irans nuclear program.
Iran insists that the program, centered on the construction of a nuclear power plant at Bushehr, is purely peaceful but the United States and Israel in particular fear it conceals efforts to develop atomic weapons.
Speculation has arisen that Israel may strike at Bushehr, in a repeat of its attack against Iraqi nuclear facilities at Osirak in 1981. Shamkhani added: We will consider any strike against our nuclear installations as an attack on Iran as a whole, and we will retaliate with all our strength. Where Israel is concerned, we have no doubt that it is an evil entity, and it will not be able to launch any military operation without an American green light. You cannot separate the two.
The US military presence (in Iraq) will not become an element of strength (for Washington) at our expense. The opposite is true, because their forces would turn into a hostage in Iranian hands in the event of an attack, he said. Earlier in the week, a commander of Irans elite Revolutionary Guards was quoted as saying that Tehran would strike the Israeli reactor at Dimona if Israel attacks the Islamic republics own burgeoning nuclear facilities.
Two Iranians ranked among most powerful women in world
London, Aug 21, IRNA - Faezah Rafsanjani, the daughter of Iran's former president, and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Shirin Ebadi, are ranked among the 100 most powerful women in the world by American business magazine Forbes.
Rafsanjani, chair of the Islamic Countries Women's Sports Federation, was placed 47th, the second highest in the Middle East after the British wife of Jordanian monarch, Rania al-Abullah, who is listed 13th.
Ebadi, a human rights lawyer, was ranked 99th, the fifth highest in the Middle East, behind Afghanistan's deputy premier Sima Samar, who is listed 74th and Palestinian Legislative Council member Hanan Ashrawi at 96.
The ranking, the first of its kind, classed the top three most powerful women as US National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, China's health minister and a vice-premier Wu Yi, and the president of India's Congress Party Sonia Gandhi.
Forbes said that for its list, which was dominated by 31 Americans, t used a numerical weight defined by title and resume; the size of the economic sphere in which she wields power; and the number of global media mentions.
The results were then subjected to such subjective adjustments like giving more weight to a current head of state than a former one and advice given by selected researchers and academics.
The top Briton in the ranking was Prime Minister Tony Blair's wife, Cheri, who was placed 12th, ahead of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and the British monarch, who were listed at 21st and 22nd respectively.
Former Iranian MP Blasts Majles for Scraping Gender Equality from Rights Bill
Source: Radio Farda Newsroom
August 20, 2004 - No religion can deny the need for justice and equality among all people, reformist former Majles MP Fatemeh Rakei tells Radio Fardas broadcaster Golnaz Esfandiari, blasting the conservative Majles for scratching a provision that called for gender equality from a bill on protection of womens rights.
All major divine religions, especially Islam, want to establish justice, and it is impossible to believe in inequality and discrimination among the individual human beings, she adds. The conservatives who voted to scrap the provision believe in their own version of Islam, which believes physical differences justify legal differences, she says. Their justifications are contrary to common sense, logic and even Islamic norms, she says.
The women MP voted to keep the provision, which had been previously approved by the Majles, but Ms. Rakei criticizes them for not standing up to defend their belief and urge others to join them.
19th century colonialism policies in the 21st century!
Not really. The British are brilliant. They act as if they are the enemy of the Iranian government; feed off the infringement groups that chant death to the Brits and storm their embassey, but at the same time send over anti-Riot equipment, re-enforcement of media propaganda and secret intelligence aid to the IRI force to combat any form of dissident in the country. At the same time they want to play the "combat terrorism" game which simply doesn't fly.
Iraq is at WAR with Iran
Fox News - John Loftus | Sunday, August 22, 2004 | Granite
Posted on 08/22/2004 10:06:46 AM PDT by granite
John Loftus reported on Fox news this morning that Iraq is at WAR with Iran. Three weeks age Al-Sadrs boss, an Iranian Counsel-General in Karbala was kidnapped by a rival clan. Bags of encrypted codes were found in his car, and as it turns out, this guy is close to the chief of Iranian spydom. After serious interrogation, a video taped confession has been obtained proving that Iran is behind the insurgence. The Counsel-General declared that Al-Sadr is a puppet of Iran, that his job was to announce in a very few days that Moqi has taken over the holy city and was declaring it an independent Shiite state in alliance with Iran. The Iraqi government is preparing to tell their own people that they are at war with Iran and that Iran is behind the wave of assassinations all across the country.
Iran, S. Africa Sign Defense MoU
August 22, 2004
Middle East Newsline
NICOSIA -- Iran and South Africa have agreed to increase defense cooperation in a process that could result in the transfer of Israeli-origin technology to the Islamic republic.
Iran and South Africa have signed a memorandum of understanding meant to pave the way for cooperation in defense and other fields. The MoU was signed on Aug. 17 during a visit by South African Defense Minister Mosiuoa Lekota to Teheran.
The visit was the first by a South African defense minister to Iran since 1979. Iranian officials said the two countries discussed a range of proposed projects, including training, exercises and joint development.
"The event can be considered as a turning point in expansion of defense cooperation between the two sides," Shamkhani said.
MULLAHS Murder 16 Year Old Iranian Girl: THEY MUST BE STOPPED!
ActivistChat.com Translation ^ | Aug 22, 2004 | Peykeiran.com
Posted on 08/22/2004 12:33:52 PM PDT by faludeh_shirazi
Iran Announces Delay in Reactor Start Up
By NAZILA FATHI
Published: August 22, 2004
TEHRAN, Aug. 22 Iran said today that it will delay the start-up of its first nuclear reactor, in the southern city of Bushehr, until 2006 but that it intended to build more nuclear power plants with Russian help.
Assadollah Sabouri, the deputy chief of the Atomic Energy Organization, who is in charge of the power plant project, said at a news conference that the process of starting up the reactor would take seven months after the Russians hand over the keys, which Iran now estimates will be early in 2006. The reactor would then be operational by October, he said, adding that the final cost was expected to exceed $1 billion.
Iran had hoped at one point that the reactor would start operating by the end of 2003.
"We have contracts with Russia to build more nuclear reactors," Mr. Sabouri said. "No number has been specified but definitely our contract with Russia is to build more than one nuclear power plant."
The United States has raised concerns about Iran's nuclear projects, contending that Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons. The country's capability to enrich uranium has raised concerns that it can produce a nuclear bomb.
Iran began building two nuclear reactors in Bushehr, with German help, before the 1979 revolution, but the work stopped because of the revolution and the war with Iraq. Instead, Russia undertook to finish one of the plants.
Mr. Sabouri said two other European countries had expressed interest in joining the projects, but he declined to name them.
"My message to Europeans is that we have to pass the paperwork stage and go for binding contracts as soon as possible," he said.
Mr. Sabouri said that under the new timetable, Iran would need to receive nuclear fuel from Russia by the end of 2005, and that Iran had agreed to return the spent fuel to Russia.
"There is no ambiguity on returning the spent fuel," he said. "What we have not agreed on with Russia is the expenses."
Iran has said that it is planning to produce its own fuel, but Mr. Sabouri said today that Iran is still "many years away" from making its own fuel.
"For the first stage we have contract with the Russians for the supply of fuel for 10 years," he said. "We are counting on the fact that we can use the fuel produced by Iran for the second phase."
Undersecretary of State John Bolton said on Thursday that Iran had informed British, French and German officials it could produce weapons-grade uranium within a year and a nuclear weapon no more than three years after that, The Associated Press reported.
"These Iranian assertions give the lie to their contention that their nuclear program is entirely civil and peaceful in purpose," he was quoted as saying.
Iran reached an agreement last October with three European countries to sign an additional protocol for the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, to allow more intrusive inspections of its nuclear sites. It also agreed to suspend enriching uranium to earn international confidence.
But Iran rejects the accusations that it plans to produce nuclear weapons and contends that nuclear plants are needed to help increase its electricity supply.
Mr. Sabouri said today that Iran's electricity consumption will reach 56,000 megawatts by 2021 and the country needed to produce 70,000 megawatts. Nearly 7,000 megawatts, about 10 percent, is expected to be produced through nuclear power plants, he added.
""Now that the Iraqi government has officially acknowledged that it arrested the IRNA reporter and his staff, it is responsible for their safety," Amir Hossein Motahar told Tehran dailies."
I have a feeling these 3 are a lot safer in an Iraqi jail today than they would be in an Iranian jail.
"his job was to announce in a very few days that Moqi has taken over the holy city and was declaring it an independent Shiite state in alliance with Iran."
That's kinda hard to believe ......the U.S. and Iraqis were just supposed to throw up our hands and walk away?
I Don't THINK So.
As for the Iraqis announcing they're at war with Iran....I hope not........
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