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Iranian Alert -- August 30, 2004 [EST]-- IRAN LIVE THREAD -- "Americans for Regime Change in Iran"
Americans for Regime Change in Iran ^ | 8.30.2004 | DoctorZin

Posted on 08/29/2004 9:14:12 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 American’s 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.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: alsadr; armyofmahdi; ayatollah; cleric; humanrights; iaea; insurgency; iran; iranianalert; iranquake; iraq; islamicrepublic; jayshalmahdi; journalist; kazemi; khamenei; khatami; khatemi; moqtadaalsadr; mullahs; persecution; persia; persian; politicalprisoners; poop; protests; rafsanjani; revolutionaryguard; rumsfeld; satellitetelephones; shiite; southasia; southwestasia; studentmovement; studentprotest; terrorism; terrorists; wot
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Join Us At Today's Iranian Alert Thread – The Most Underreported Story Of The Year!

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

1 posted on 08/29/2004 9:14:14 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Join Us At Today's Iranian Alert Thread – The Most Underreported Story Of The Year!

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

2 posted on 08/29/2004 9:17:02 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Aug. 29, 2004 14:45  | Updated Aug. 29, 2004 23:57
Fischer: Nuclear Iran would be a 'nightmare'

An Iranian nuclear arms buildup would be a "nightmare," German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer warned Sunday, saying Europe is looking to head off any dangerous confrontation with Tehran.

Fischer said an Iranian nuclear challenge only adds to Middle East problems that include bringing security and stability to postwar Iraq, resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict and introducing democratic reforms.

"It would be a nightmare for the region ... if there'd be the beginning of an arms race - a nuclear arms race - in the region," Fischer told reporters in Jordan, where he was meeting with Foreign Minister Marwan Muasher. "We are in intensive talks with Iran, and we hope the leadership in Tehran would not miscalculate the situation."

Fischer also indicated Germany, France and Britain were near an understanding with Tehran on supplying Iran with nuclear energy technology - a prospect the European have held out if their suspicions about a nuclear weapons program are alleviated.

"We think we have reached an agreement, and we are ready to fulfill our part step by step and word by word," Fischer said. The Iranians accused the Europeans of backing out on a previous commitment.

Fischer did not elaborate, but said: "We are really very serious to find a way out of a very dangerous, possible confrontation."

Fischer, currently on a regional tour, is slated to arrive in Israel Monday for a one-day visit that will include talks with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom.

This is the first visit for Fischer – who in 2002 visited every few months – since February 2004.

In addition to meeting Sharon and Shalom, Fischer will also meet Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz and Labor leader Shimon Peres. German diplomatic officials said Fischer is not slated to visit the Palestinian Authority.

Fischer's visit comes at a time when Israel is lobbying the European Union not to support an expected Palestinian resolution at the United Nations calling for sanctions on Israel because it has not abided by the International Court of Justice's ruling to dismantle the security fence, and at a time when the EU is looking for a more central role in the diplomatic process.

EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, who was here in July, was the last top-tier European diplomat to visit, arriving within days of the UN vote calling for Israel to abide by the ICJ ruling on the security fence.

The Solana visit, as a result of that vote, was held in a tense atmosphere, with Israel saying it may freeze the EU out of the diplomatic process because of their imbalanced approach to the conflict, and with Solana countering that the EU will take part in the Mideast diplomatic process "whether Israel likes it or not."

The talks with Fischer are expected to focus on the disengagement plan, Israel's relations with the EU, and the Iranian nuclear issue.

In a related development, Shalom met EU special Mideast envoy Marc Otte on Sunday and said that since PA Chairman Yasser Arafat feels Egypt has lowered its profile regarding possible involvement in the disengagement plan, the EU must, as a result, exert pressure on the PA to implement security reforms. Shalom told Otte that Arafat is currently waiting to see the results of the November elections in the US, hoping that a change of presidents will relieve the pressure on him.

Otte also met Sunday with Justice Minister Yosef Lapid, who told him that if Germany, France, and Britain do not exert enough pressure on Iran to stop its nuclear program, diplomats may lose control of the situation.

3 posted on 08/29/2004 9:17:35 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

from the August 30, 2004 edition

US stakes between Iraq, Iran

During the Athens Olympics, world-class Iranian judo champion Arash Miresmaeili forfeited his place when he refused to compete against Israeli athlete Ehud Vaks. This small vignette pales in comparison with the 1972 Munich Olympics, when Middle Eastern politics intruded on the Games in a far more lethal way, but it provides some insight into the late-summer intrigues in the region.

For weeks now, Iran and Israel have been exchanging threats and barbs over Iran's nuclear program. Israel wants to raise the temperature over Iran's program, perhaps to win more focused attention from Washington and the international community, perhaps to deter Iran from going the next step in enrichment activities at the Bushehr reactor. Hints of Israeli contingency planning have provoked strong words from Tehran, including threats to destroy the Dimona facility where Israel's own nuclear program was developed decades ago.

This war of words may hint at a real reckoning point: Israel believes that Iran is only months from crossing new thresholds, and perhaps no more than two to three years away from completing its nuclear project. The Aug. 17 announcement that the Bushehr reactor will not be operational until 2006 may be intended to bring this round to a close. Is Iran blinking in light of Israeli statements or is it hoping to buy time with the international community that will address the Iran issue at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and later at the UN in September?

US Undersecretary of State John Bolton insists that the Iran nuclear problem will be dealt with diplomatically. But US officials have used the UN before to declare that diplomatic means are exhausted, and they are now expected to seek punitive action from the Security Council, should Iran fail to satisfy the IAEA in September.

Meanwhile Iran and Iraq are also exchanging harsh words as they stumble toward a new relationship. Acute agitation stirred in the Iraqi Shiite community by radical Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's challenge to the interim government and US policies has created opportunities for Iran, which almost certainly has ties to every major Iraqi political and sectarian faction. Iraqi Defense Minister Hazem el-Shaalan is the most antagonistic in characterizing Iran's behavior, accusing it of working to destabilize his country. He may be reacting to both the fact of Iran's meddling and to deep-seated fear about Iran's strategic designs on Iraq.

As different power centers in the Iraqi Shiite community square off, it is hard to avoid the impression that Iran's interests might be best served by supporting the young firebrand al-Sadr. Al-Sadr is best suited to bring the US down a notch, and thus make the US less likely to work directly for regime change in Iran.

Iranian President Mohammad Khatami said Aug. 23 that Iraq's interim government risked losing popular support because of its backing for military operations against Shiite Muslim rebels in Najaf, and made clear that responsibility for all the stresses on the Shiite community falls to the US occupying forces and their "collaborators." Iranian parliamentarian, Mahmoud Mohammadi said it more directly: "Moqtada al-Sadr is an anti-occupiers figure and Iran should support him."

But there may not be consensus in Tehran that Iraqi turmoil is the best option. One has to assume that there are leaders in Tehran who fear chaos and have enough on their plate not to want to provoke total failure of governance in Iraq. Many Iranians probably wish Iraq some stability, and felt deep animus toward the Saddam Hussein regime, not to all of Iraqi society.

In both of these summer dustups, the stakes for the US are high. Yet Washington, perhaps distracted by campaign season, has been coy in what could create serious new complications for its regional policies. With respect to Iran's nuclear policy, Washington is for now pursuing an overt political strategy, trying to keep like-minded Western states in a loose coalition to press for full Iranian compliance with its IAEA and nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty obligations. But there could well be a separate track, planning for paramilitary options, alone or secretly coordinated with Israel, to delay or disrupt any imminent Iranian activities that would constitute a "point of no return" in its nuclear plans.(Editor's note: US officials Saturday confirmed reports that the FBI has been investigating whether a Pentagon analyst funneled classified material about Iran to Israel.)

The US also has big stakes in how Iran and Iraq learn to live as neighbors. At one level, the administration may expect Iraq to see Iran as a regional threat that would deepen Iraq's reliance on the US as its security partner and build regional support for policies that constrain Iran's ambitions. But Iraqis themselves need to decide how to manage this large and overly interested neighbor.

For the US to, intentionally or not, fuel the antagonisms that have characterized Iran-Iraq relations to such tragic ends over the past quarter century seems to undermine its larger goals of Iraqi stability and regional peace.

Ellen Laipson is president of the Henry L. Stimson Center and was vice chairman of the National Intelligence Council, a US government strategic analysis center, from 1997 to 2002.

4 posted on 08/29/2004 9:18:04 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

US officially informs Iran of national held in Guantanamo

TEHRAN: Iran’s foreign ministry said on Sunday it had been officially informed by the United States that one of its nationals detained in Afghanistan is being held at the Guantanamo Bay detention centre. “We asked the Americans to give us information and they have done so,” spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told reporters. He did not say how the matter was comminicated, but in the absence of diplomatic relations the two sides generally use the Swiss embassy in Tehran as an intermediary. But Asefi did say Tehran still did not have full details on the individual in question, and added “we still have doubts that he is an Iranian”. The prisoner, reported to be 25 years old, has been accused of fighting alongside Afghanistan’s Taliban militia, but has claimed he was merely in Afghanistan to buy stereo parts.

5 posted on 08/29/2004 9:18:25 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Death and the maiden in Iran
By Alasdair Palmer
(Filed: 29/08/2004)

Atefeh Rajabi appears to have been a fairly normal 16-year-old: sulky, disobedient, and eager to have sex. In London, those attributes earn lectures from parents and teachers on the importance of acting responsibly and not being offensive. In the city of Neka in Iran, where Atefeh Rajabi comes from, they get you hauled up in front of a judge.

Atefeh's typical teenage behaviour meant that she was charged and found guilty of "acts incompatible with chastity". The judge in the Islamic court ruled that the appropriate penalty was death. That's right: death. Her sentence was confirmed by Iran's Supreme Court.

Two weeks ago, on August 15, the 16-year-old girl was hung from a crane in the main square of Neka, in full public view, in order to keep "society safe from acts against public morality".

Sharia law, the Islamic code which is supposed to govern punishments in Iran, states that unmarried people who have sex should be punished with 100 lashes. That was the chastisement meted out to the single man with whom Atefeh was accused of "committing acts incompatible with chastity".

Married women who have sexual relations with someone who is not their husband should, according to Sharia, be stoned to death - although Iran's chief justice, apparently revolted by the cruelty of pelting women with rocks, ruled two years ago that stonings should be abandoned.

Hanging is not prescribed for either category of transgressor. So what was the judge (one Haji Rezaie) doing sentencing an "unchaste" 16-year-old to hang? He said that she had a "sharp tongue" and had "undressed in court".

It seems that all she did was to take off her headscarf and insist that she was the victim of an older man's advances: but even if she had stripped naked and called the judge a fat ignorant bastard, those actions would hardly merit death, even under Islamic law. Nevertheless, the judge was so outraged that he decided he would personally put the noose round the child's neck.

That disgraceful and disgusting "punishment" has excited a great deal of condemnation in Iran among the reformists. As far as I can see, it has not produced any comment here. Amnesty International issued a statement expressing outrage at the execution (the tenth of a child in Iran since 1990) - but no British newspaper or television station has reported this.

Why not? The two extremes of pro- and anti-Muslim sentiment in Britain are now united in not expecting even the most minimal ethical standards from Islamic countries such as Iran: the pros because they think that Islamic laws should not be criticised for fear of giving offence; the antis because they think all Muslims are just a bunch of irredeemable barbarians.

Those two extreme views have infected media coverage. What would be headline news if it happened in America (can you imagine the response if a 16-year-old girl was executed for having sex in Texas?) is, because it happens in an Islamic state, apparently too banal to count.

That attitude guarantees that more children will suffer Atefeh's fate. Of course, it suits our Government - which is pushing for greater trade links with our new-found ally, Iran - just fine if people think that criticism of Islamic judges is inappropriate because standards are different. But respecting Islam does not require accepting the judicial murder of 16-year-olds (or indeed anyone, of any age) for having sex. That's wrong wherever it happens. We need a Government, and a press, that says so.

6 posted on 08/29/2004 9:18:44 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

A fashion fatwa

By Arnold Beichman

Iran's parliament is preparing fashion designs for national Islamic costumes to combat what they call the corrupting influence of Western fashion.
Agence France Presse reports the move comes after the supreme leader of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, warned the nation about a "cultural invasion" and the dangers to public morality of imitating foreigners. Iranians needed to design their own styles, he said.
A special Parliamentary committee report has been submitted with recommendations for national costumes. Here are some ideas the Iranian parliamentary committee should consider: New and special costumes are needed to go with the historic vocations of the new Iran. These fashion designs reject undesirable and corrupting Western styles. These fashion proposals are in strict harmony with Iranian religious practice.
Adulterers are generally stoned to death by assembled onlookers in keeping with Islamic teachings. Therefore, a pleated dress shirt should be made for stoning adulterers, preferably in white silk to attest to the stone-throwers' purity. The stone-throwers should have a free throwing arm, so both right and left sleeves should be amply (mutton-shaped) proportioned from shoulder to forearm. Stoning adulterers is a religious rite and participants should dress as for a holy day.
For the lesser punishment of whipping, as prescribed for violators of Islamic law, a different colored shirt — red — should be designed for the whipper and witnesses. An experienced whipper will start guilty blood flowing and even spurting from the criminal. This would discolor a white shirt and make it perhaps unsuitable for normal wear. A red shirt would eliminate that problem.
Different costumes are needed for those who fulfill the religious authorities' orders to inflict pain on sinners. (We repudiate designation of these devout Muslims as "torturers" when, as is well known, the punishment is a form of penance to assure the victim a place in paradise.) Pain inflicters need a sleeveless shirt to keep the swinging arm free from the shoulder down.
Special costumes are needed for the dedicated hangmen, one for those who prepare male sinners for hanging and another for those who prepare the hanging of women, especially young female law violators. It is not morally proper or civilized that the hangman who oversaw the execution of a 16-year-old girl sinner last week should wear the same costume as a hangman who supervises the ultimate fate of a hardened criminal.
The 16-year-old girl, Ateqeh Sahaleh, was publicly hanged in the city center on Sunday, Aug. 15, in the town of Neka. The sentence was issued by the head of Neka's Justice Department and subsequently upheld by the mullahs' Supreme Court.
At her trial, the teenager had no lawyer, and her family's efforts to recruit a lawyer were to no avail.
Ateqeh personally defended herself. She told the religious judge, Haji Rezaii, he should punish the main perpetrators of moral corruption, not the victims. After her execution, Judge Rezai said he had her killed for her "sharp tongue."
Above all, there must be an extraordinary costume for Muslim men and women who make the ultimate sacrifice as jihadists (the infidel description of "suicide bombers" should be repudiated). The holy martyrs will be arriving at a heaven that will welcome them with open arms, and they should have a costume that shows they are faithful followers of Islam. For these holy martyrs, we will design a gown of gold-streaked silk with a green band hem on which will be imprinted the sacred words "Allah Akhbar" and the photograph of the revered and immortal Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
If necessary, a fatwa will be issued coincident with Iran National Fashion Week to ensure these recommendations are fulfilled.          
Arnold Beichman is a Hoover Institution research fellow. His updated biography "Herman Wouk, the Novelist as Social Historian," will be published next month.

7 posted on 08/29/2004 9:54:29 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn; TigerLikesRooster

Here is an article translated by TigerLikesRooster

Israel informed U.S. that, in order to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, she plans to bomb Busheher Nuclear Power Plant, under construction in Iran, if Russian-supplied fuel rods are put into its reactor(s.) The fuel rods are now at a Russian port, which are to be shipped in the first half of next year. 24 years ago, Israel's squadron of (F-15's and) F-16's bombed Iraq's Osirak Reactor which was being constructed using French technology, stopping Iraq's nuclear weapon's program on its track.

8 posted on 08/30/2004 2:09:52 AM PDT by AdmSmith
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To: DoctorZIn
These articles on 'dress' and clothing are bringing back images of 25 yrs ago.

Will we see this again? Is the U.S. prepared to support the Iranian people this time to help unify the country against the regime and bring it down once and for all?

Hundreds of Thousands demonstrate against mandatory veil after the 1979 revolution in Iran.


9 posted on 08/30/2004 5:50:47 AM PDT by nuconvert (Everyone has a photographic memory. Some don't have film.)
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To: nuconvert

Link for article, "1979 Hundreds of Thousands Iranian women protest mandatory veil [History w/ Pics]" (previous post)

10 posted on 08/30/2004 5:53:17 AM PDT by nuconvert (Everyone has a photographic memory. Some don't have film.)
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To: DoctorZIn

I like the new 'Look' of the Thread.
Thanks for all your hard work.

11 posted on 08/30/2004 6:01:44 AM PDT by nuconvert (Everyone has a photographic memory. Some don't have film.)
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To: DoctorZIn

Defense and Foreign Affairs Daily


Aug 27, 2004

Part of Strategic Analysis of Chief  Editor Gregory Copley

That relates To Iran From GIS


Iran: But to get to that main list of concerns in the Middle East, let us first look at Iran, with a population moving toward 100-million, and which is the most important element of the regional dynamic. It is today even more critical, because the Iranian clerical leadership, under Supreme Leader Ali Hoseini Khamene‘i and former President and the Chairman of of Iran’s Expediency Council, Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani (the highest authority in formulating Iran’s strategic policies), feel that they are now confronted with a life-or-death challenge to their leadership. As a result, we will need to take more time with Iran than with the other problems.

The Iranian clerical leadership has been at war with the US, and the West, since the beginning of 1979; that is, for a quarter-century. The clerics knew this all along, but only lately is the West discovering the level of ambition and hostility emanating from Tehran. Iran has been the principal sponsor of radical Islamist terrorism worldwide, and, essentially, was the source of the phenomenon, working with a range of Sunni as well as Shi’a leaders to create what is essentially, today, a new approach to Islam.

The Iranian population — which is essentially more Persian in orientation than Muslim in the Arab sense — was ready to revolt against the Khomeini Administration in 1982, when the clerics launched the attack on Iraq. This stopped all domestic opposition to the then-new Government, and people united against a perceived foreign threat. That cost Iran a million dead and wounded, and set back the economy and society by decades, but for the clerics it was a small price: they retained power.

Today, the Iranian clerics find themselves surrounded by hostile forces: Iraq, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Gulf states. And in all of this they see the hand of the US, against which Khomeini had declared war in 1979. The Iranian Government had been proselytizing for a quarter century in the Middle East, Central Asia, Europe, North America, South America, and in Africa. It took the lead rôle in the bombing of Pan Am flight 103, an operation in which Libya took a very secondary function to Iran and Syria. It took an active rôle in the first World Trade Center bombing in New York in 1993, working with Sunni terrorists. And it has worked closely with the Wahabbist al-Qaida group for many years.

Today — as a result of extensive preparations over the past few months — Iran is ready to move to the next stage: it is willing to let some of the mask slip from its war preparations. Until now, it has fought the US and the West through proxies and alliances. Now it is preparing to provide open military support for its surrogate in Iraq, Moqtada al-Sadr and his “Mehdi Army”.

The clerics believe that if they do not remove US Pres. George W. Bush in 2004, and if he is re-elected, he will ensure that they, the clerics, are removed in Iran. They see his re-election as an inspiration to domestic Iranian opposition elements which have, in the past year, been only barely contained.

To assist in this process, the clerics have encouraged the break-up of Iraq, and have persuaded the Iraqi Kurdish leaders Barzani and Talabani to pursue this line. This momentum is now underway. As well, they sent al-Sadr to build a local power base in Iraq, and in this, to a large extent, he has failed; there is no widespread popular support for his insurrection, even from among the Shi’a population of Iraq which does not necessarily appreciate the intervention of Iranian Shi’a clerics.

So Iran is now preparing to provide open military support to al-Sadr, using, particularly, Iranian Revolutionary Guards — Pasdaran — to attack US forces around Najaf. This is intended to provoke a US strike against Iranian forces, preferably inside Iran. Through this gesture, the clerics hope to repeat the 1982 lesson: namely, that the Iranian people would unite around their national leaders and against the external aggressors.

The Iranian clerics are probably correct in assuming that this would not result in any US invasion of Iran. The US political and military leadership is aware that Iran is too big to invade, and such an act would be strategically counterproductive. There are now about a quarter of a million Iranian troops in the south-west of the country, adjacent to Iraq. These forces, Pasdaran and regular Armed Forces, are not like the Iraqi forces; they are supported by sophisticated weapons which Saddam, for example, could not acquire in the past decade. The Iranian Air Force would have a significant capability which the US Air Force did not have to face in Iraq.

Let me quote to you from our Defense & Foreign Affairs Daily intelligence report of August 24, 2004. This was part of an estimate by GIS Senior Editor Yossef Bodansky, who authored the major new book, The Secret History of the Iraq War. He was also author, in 1999, of the monumental and important study, Bin Laden: the Man Who Declared War on America. He noted in his August 24, 2004, study:

Around May 20, 2004, Chairman of Iran’s Expediency Council, Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani … formally proposed to the higher Iranian leadership that Iran sends “volunteers” to Iraq in order to carry out “qualitative operations” — the euphemism for spectacular terrorism — against the US forces at the Shi’ite heartland [of Iraq]. Hashemi-Rafsanjani argued that it was imperative “to fight the Americans in Iraq to foil the US plan for the region” that he believed would be detrimental to the fate of the mullahs’ Administration.

That these were not empty words was highlighted by the fact that there was a noticeable intensification in the activities in the Iranian system of bases in the Ahwaz area near the Iran-Iraq border, particularly the arrival of elite forces organized by Iran’s Al-Quds Corps. Most of them were volunteers from Khuzestan — Iran’s Arab-populated province — who are indistinguishable from Iraq’s Shi’ite population. The Ahwaz forward HQ was placed under the command of Gen. Ahmad Foruzandeh, a highly experienced veteran who has been involved in intelligence and subversion activities in Iraq for a long time.

Tehran had no illusions that its active support for the rejuvenated Shi’ite intifada would be noticed by the US. Hence, by mid-June 2004, Iran deployed four Army divisions toward its southern border with Iraq: the area bordering the Shi’ite heartland. The force included the élite Golden Division and a host of Special forces and intelligence elements. These divisions were deployed in the vicinity of Dezful in the Maysan sector, facing the Al-Amarah and Al-Basra sector in Iraq; and in Shalamcheh, facing the southern parts of the Al-Basra sector in Iraq. As well, Iranian intelligence began infiltrating into Iraq numerous military intelligence units and teams which were making contacts with the Shi’ite militant elements in order to establish operational cooperation and coordination with the Iranian military units. (The Iranian build-up has continued unabated throughout the Summer and Tehran aims to reach at least 20 divisions by early Autumn 2004.)

But the tactical aspects of such a contest are the least important. What is significant is that any action perceived by the Iranian people as an attack on Iran by the US could save the life of the clerical leadership of the country. It could condemn Iranians to decades more of clerical rule. The clerics know this. They know that they can afford to strike at the US forces, and at worst they would lose many tens of thousands of troops, maybe more; but they would be safe. And Iran would then be free to develop as a major nuclear power, and expand its dominance of the region, as it has been on the brink of doing. And Tehran sees itself not only as master of Central Asia, but also as a major player in the Indian Ocean, capable of dominating the sea lanes through that ocean. The rôle of the clerical Iranian leadership in essentially dictating the terms of the Somalia conflict in the 1990s was evidence of that, despite the fact that most Western defense planners remain to this day unaware of Iran’s ongoing and pivotal influence in the Horn of Africa.

So, if the clerics survive, they would have Iran emerge as the major strategic threat to the region, to Europe, and to the West generally. [So I would stress here that the threat to the West in the future is not the People’s Republic of China, as many old Cold Warriors have postulated, but Iran. China, in a very significant sense, has already joined “the West”, despite the fact that there are many things still to be resolved, particularly relating to Taiwan and North Korea.]

Alternately, if the US does not respond to provocation by Iran, then there is a strong chance that the Iranian public will take matters into its own hands and remove the clerics. It should be noted that, historically, the Iranian people like to instigate changes themselves; they do not like their choices thrust upon them.

However, in a further twist, if Sen. John Kerry wins the US Presidency, then the pressures on the Iranian clerics will be automatically removed. Kerry’s close links with pro-clerical Iranian-American financiers has resulted in a commitment by Kerry to normalize US relations with Tehran if he came to office.

So, if Bush is re-elected to the US Presidency and does not allow the US to be provoked into a war with Iran, then the clerics could fall and the entire situation in the Middle East — and much of the rest of the world — will change for the better. Iran, after all, has always had the potential, since the time of the Hellenic Wars, to have been a major and positive element of forward-looking modern society. Iranians, without the clerical domination, would again be able to focus on their own civilizational development and the incomparable literary focus of Ferdowsi, Omar Khayyám, and others. But if Bush goes, and Kerry wins, or if the US falls for the bait and responds to Iranian attacks, then the clerics stand a good chance of consolidating power and crushing all internal dissent. And the world then faces an ongoing slate of terrorism.

So much hangs on what Iran does, and how the US responds, in the coming weeks and months.

But if the clerics prevail, then Iraq is broken up and Iran has access through Kurdish and Shi’a territories to the ‘Alawite Shi’a territory of Syria and the Shi’a area of southern Lebanon, allowing a projection of Persian influence into the Mediterranean for the first time since Cyrus the Great in the Sixth Century BCE. Iran would be free to link up with its allies in the Balkans, particularly through Albania and into Kosovo and Bosnia, where Pasdaran forces are already based in support of terrorist operations.

12 posted on 08/30/2004 8:47:45 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Last Update: 30/08/2004 16:49
Latest Iranian missile has upgraded warhead
By Ze'ev Schiff, Haaretz Correspondent

The warhead of the Iranian Shihab-3 missile has been considerably upgraded, according to photographs published in Iranian newspapers of test launches three weeks ago. It is believed that the improvements will permit slower entry into the atmosphere so the warhead, which may be chemical in nature, will be more durable and its contents will be better protected. It is also believed that the missile's range has been extended.

The operational and technological conclusions from the changes in the missile indicate that the Iranians are not resting on their laurels in developing their surface-to-surface missiles, and have shown a daring approach to their technological planning. It is very likely that the Iranians are being assisted by foreign experts from the former Soviet Union hired by Iran under personal contracts, or by experts from North Korea.

It is also likely that the Iranian effort is not limited to the Shihab-3, which has a range of about 1,300 kilometers, but also to the Shihab-4, planned with a range of 2,000 kilometers or more. At present the Shihab-3 can already come within range of Turkey, which is a member of NATO, as well as most Saudi cities and oil fields. On the last test of the Shihab-3 on August 11, the missile did not pass the maximum trajectory that had been determined for it.

The Iranians gave the experimental launch extensive media coverage, stressing that the test was a response to an Israeli experimental launch of the Arrow missile, which intercepted a Scud missile in the U.S. at the end of July.

It subsequently turned out that the reported success of the Shihab's launch was intended to camouflage a failure in the missile's flight early in the launch.

However the photographs published by the Iranians show several new details. In addition to the new warhead, the missile was fired from an operational vehicle and not from an ordinary surface launcher. In all the other Shihab 3 tests, the warhead was cone-shaped, but this time it has a new, flatter shape and appears to have various short wings.

Experts from various countries are expected to analyze the technological and operational aspects of the new form of the Shehab-3. It is especially interesting to several European countries, which understand that the day is not far when Iranian missiles will be within range of a considerable portion of Europe.

13 posted on 08/30/2004 8:55:37 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Edwards Says Kerry Would Give Iran A Nuclear `Bargain' [Excerpt]

August 30, 2004
Dow Jones Newswires
Dow Jones

NEW YORK -- A John F. Kerry administration would propose to Iran that the Islamic state be allowed to keep its nuclear power plants in exchange for giving up the right to retain the nuclear fuel that could be used for bomb- making, Democratic vice presidential nominee John Edwards said in an interview, The Washington Post reports in its Monday edition.

Edwards said that if Iran failed to take what he called a "great bargain," it would essentially confirm that it is building nuclear weapons under the cover of a supposedly peaceful nuclear power initiative. According to the Post, he added that if elected, Kerry would ensure that European allies were prepared to join the United States in levying heavy sanctions if Iran rejected the proposal.

Edwards said that in Afghanistan, Kerry would push to expand NATO forces beyond Kabul to enhance security and would double the $123 million in funds to counter the drug trade that the administration spent in 2004 in Afghanistan, the Post reported. He said that despite the problems NATO has had in meeting its commitment in Afghanistan, Kerry would push NATO to add troops there and perhaps military equipment, but that the U.S. force of 20,000 would not be expanded.

14 posted on 08/30/2004 8:58:34 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...

Edwards Says Kerry Would Give Iran A Nuclear `Bargain' [Excerpt]

August 30, 2004
Dow Jones Newswires
Dow Jones

15 posted on 08/30/2004 8:59:40 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Business News »
Police walk through the closed IKIA
Time is GMT + 8 hours
Posted: 30 August 2004 1427 hrs

Iran's transport minister accuses hardliners over airport closure

TEHRAN : Iran's reformist transport minister has accused the Islamic republic's hardline Revolutionary Guards of shutting down the capital's new airport as part of a wider campaign against foreign investment.

In an interview with AFP, Ahmad Khorram suggested one of the other reasons the new showpiece international airport was dramatically stormed in May could have been because the ideological army had failed to win a lucrative operating contract.

"Iranian companies also took part in the tender process. Among them were companies run by the armed forces... and the Revolutionary Guards. But their prices were higher and they were not selected," Khorram said in the interview Saturday.

The Revolutionary Guards, one of the most powerful institutions in the Islamic republic, shut down the sprawling capital's new Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKIA) on May 8 after just one flight landed.

Reports said military vehicles blocked off the runway, warplanes were scrambled and an approaching commercial passenger jet was diverted with a warning of anti-aircraft fire.

The elite army argued the 200 million dollar contract signed with Tepe-Akfen-Vie (TAV) -- an Austrian-Turkish consortium -- endangered the Islamic republic's security because the operators were foreign and also had business dealings with Israel.

"When they talk about security, this is groundless. There are some 300 foreigners who work at Mehrabad airport. And if the presence of foreigners at an international airport is a danger to national security, then by definition all international airports should be closed," the minister asserted.

IKIA, situated in the middle of the desert about 45 kilometres (30 miles) south of the capital, was built at a cost of at least 350 million dollars.

It is designed to take the strain from Mehrabad airport -- situated in the city centre and doubling as a military base.

Embattled President Mohammad Khatami inaugurated the airport's Terminal 1 with much fanfare on February 1 -- the 25th anniversary of the return from exile of the founder of the Islamic republic, the late Ayotollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

But the move by the Revolutionary Guards was seen as a major blow to efforts by Iran's reformist government to attract foreign investors.

Khorram asserted the problem appeared to be a mix of money and hardline, isolationist politics.

"There is a mentality that is against foreign investment in our country," he said.

"But you cannot get economic growth without foreign investment. Now is not the time to close our doors to the outside world."

"We are not against the Revolutionary Guards winning contracts," he went on to say. "Some of their companies already have contracts with us, but first they have to win the tender."

Khorram said negotiations to reopen the airport -- a three-decade-old project -- were still ongoing and that he hoped for a solution in the "next 10 days or so".

He said it could reopen after "two to three weeks", but did not elaborate on how a solution to the stand-off could be found.

The minister, whose three-year term in office has coincided with the usual string of transport disasters, is also facing impeachment by the new conservative-controlled parliament.

Conservative deputies said Sunday they had gathered enough signatures to force an impeachment vote. Khorram is obliged to appear before them before September 9.

The parliament has taken issue with the IKIA deal, a runaway freight train explosion in February that left hundreds dead as well as the ongoing chaos and carnage on the Islamic republic's roads.

"There are a lot of accidents all over the world, and how many ministers resign because of them?" Khorram asserted, referring to the Neishabour freight train blast.

"But questioning the ministry and the minister is the right and duty of the parliament, and I treat this impeachment affair as an opportunity to elaborate on my performance," he asserted, blaming Iran's shoddy transport system and congested roads on his predecessors.

"I knew that when I took this portfolio it was a ministry of disasters. There has been 20 years of mismanagement," he explained, asserting that he had merely exposed a large number of failings.

Khorram may be impeached, but even that fate would be better than the one suffered by his predecessor -- who died in a plane crash.
16 posted on 08/30/2004 9:04:11 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Asefi briefs on troops sending
10:35:49 Þ.Ù
Tehran, Aug 30 - Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi said here on Sunday that Iran's decision toward a possible UN request to send peace-keeping troops to Iraq will depend on the establishment of a permanent government in the country.

"We have not made any such request and have neither received any request [to that effect]," Assefi told reporters in a news meeting.

"It is still too soon to judge Iraq's current situation, and one should wait for the establishment of a permanent government in the country to see how it wants other countries to be in Iraq."

Assefi's comments were raised just as Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister Barham Saleh arrived in Tehran Saturday to discuss issues of mutual interest with Iranian officials.

Saleh, who is accompanied by Interior Minister Fallah al-Naqib and Minister of Transportation Behnam Zia Boulos, is reportedly visiting Tehran to make preparations for Prime Minister Iyad Allawi's trip to the Islamic Republic.

17 posted on 08/30/2004 9:08:15 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Israel, Iran Trade Threats As FBI Investigates Spying


U.S. Ally Said to Have Received Documents on Tehran

By Molly Moore and John Ward Anderson
Washington Post Foreign Service
Monday, August 30, 2004; Page A18

JERUSALEM, Aug. 29 -- Israel and Iran traded significantly escalated threats of military attacks in recent months as the FBI investigated allegations that a Pentagon official passed secret U.S. policy information about Iran to Israeli authorities.

Israel has warned that it could launch strikes against Iranian nuclear facilities to thwart the country's advancing weapons program. In response, Iranian Gen. Yahya Rahim Safavi, commander of the Revolutionary Guards, said earlier this month: "If Israel should dare to attack our nuclear installations, we will come down on its head like a heavy hammer crushing its skull."

Since the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Israeli officials have expressed more concern about the danger Iran poses and have been more emboldened in their threats to quash it. But the espionage allegations, which surfaced Friday, prompted a wave of vehement denials, political angst and disbelief among Israeli officials, intelligence experts, diplomats and other political analysts.

"It's hard to see this as such an issue of controversy or disagreement that Israel would say, 'Break all the rules because we have to find out what they're doing,' " said Yossi Alpher, a former official in the Mossad, Israel's intelligence agency.

The FBI is investigating whether Lawrence A. Franklin, a career analyst at the Defense Intelligence Agency who specializes in Iran, gave classified information to two lobbyists for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, known as AIPAC, according to sources. U.S. officials said the information, which included the draft of a presidential directive on U.S. policies toward Iran, was then given to Israeli officials. AIPAC has denied any wrongdoing and said its employees were cooperating with the inquiry.

Newsweek magazine reported on its Web site Sunday that FBI agents had monitored a conversation between an Israeli Embassy official and an AIPAC lobbyist at lunch nearly 18 months ago. Another American, later identified as Franklin, "walked in" during the session, according to the report. At the time the FBI was looking into possible Israeli espionage, Newsweek said.

The investigation is the second in recent months involving allegations of Israeli espionage against an ally. In July, a New Zealand court found two Israeli men, accused of being agents for the Mossad, guilty of attempting to forge New Zealand passports. Israeli officials denied that the men were members of the Mossad, but New Zealand's prime minister announced diplomatic sanctions against Israel and demanded an apology.

Michael Oren, an Israeli historian, said Israel would have very little to gain by spying on the United States "because the relationship is so open and giving."

"Israel and the United States see very much eye to eye on the Iran threat, and the intelligence cooperation is extremely close -- it's on an unprecedented level," Oren said. "Both countries perceive Iran's future acquisition of nuclear weapons as a grave threat to the region and the world, and both are committed to trying to prevent Iran from going nuclear."

For months, Israeli officials, including Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, have warned Iran that Israel was prepared to take what Mofaz called "the necessary steps" to eliminate its nuclear capability. In 1981, Israeli bombers destroyed Iraq's Osirak nuclear reactor in an effort to curtail then-President Saddam Hussein's nuclear weapons program.

In recent weeks, Israel and Iran have stepped up their rhetoric. Iranian Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani told al-Jazeera Arab television network this month that "Iran is not Iraq -- we will not sit by idly if our nuclear reactor's installations are attacked."

Israeli defense and intelligence officials have said Iran's nuclear weapons development program, coupled with its Shihab-3 missile, which is capable of striking Israel, represent the most significant threat to Israel.

In a simulated test last Friday off the Californian coast, Israel's Arrow anti-ballistic missile system, which is designed to destroy or intercept short- and medium-range missiles, failed to stop a Shihab-3 and a Syrian Scud D, according to Israeli defense officials.

18 posted on 08/30/2004 9:14:17 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Mission to grab slice of Iranian trade

Aug 30 2004

By Staff Reporter, Birmingham Post


The White House may consider it part of the Axis of Evil but international trade knows no such distinctions.

West Midlands companies have until Wednesday to take advantage of an opportunity to get a foothold in the potentially lucrative Iranian market.

UK Trade & Investment, the Government's lead organisation for supporting British companies in overseas business, is organising a trade mission to Iran from 27 November to 3 December 2004, with the closing date for applications on Wednesday.

The mission is being organised by Allen Matty, an international trade adviser based at Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

"Iran is a difficult market for British companies to penetrate, although, if done successfully, it can be extremely rewarding," he said.

"The main areas of opportunities for UK firms are providing capital equipment to Iran's priority sectors, namely oil, gas and petrochemicals, mining, power, agriculture and the automotive industry.

"However, good opportunities exist in all sectors in Iran, particularly in healthcare and food processing."

Iran's geographical area is nearly seven times the size of the UK and it has a population of 64 million, with 12 million people living in the capital, Tehran. It is OPEC's second largest oil producer and holds nine per cent of oil reserves.

Companies taking part in the trade mission have been offered a grant of up to £650 from UK Trade & Investment towards travel costs. They will also benefit from a pre-mission briefing and a local briefing meeting by the commercial staff in the British Embassy in Iran.

Mr Matty will work closely with company representatives to prepare them for the mission, and will be on hand throughout the visit.

For further details, contact Birmingham International Trade Team on 0121 607 1755.

19 posted on 08/30/2004 9:17:20 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn


NEW YORK - So all those left-wing kids taking media studies courses at college do seem actually to have learned something: The anti-Republican demonstraters who filed through Manhattan yesterday avoided disorder and violence to focus instead on creating powerful images for the evening news. Their message may be wrong-headed, but they did not step on it.

And the same can be said for whoever it was that leaked the story of the investigation of the alleged leak of a Pentagon planning document to a pro-Israel lobbying group. What a triumph of press manipulation this story is!

Somebody sold CBS News, NBC, and the Washington Post a grand conspiracy theory of sinister Zionist influence in the Pentagon based on … well on what really? The theory alleges that

a) Two years ago, some Pentagon planners wrote a draft memo suggesting that the US adopt a tougher policy toward Iran;

b) One of those planners then supposedly informed a friend at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee about the memo – who in turn informed the Israeli embassy.

Can we pause to consider what an amazing non-story all of this is?

The memo in question - a draft of a proposed presidential policy directive for Iran - was essentially rejected. The Bush administration has opted since 2001 for a policy of engagement and attempted compromise with Iran. For all practical purposes, the memo was an expression of something close to a purely personal opinion.

And even if the memo had been adopted, it involved no spycraft, no technical secrets. It simply offered a vision of what US policy toward Iran ought to be: a series of policy options.

Discussing policy options with knowledgeable people – and even with allied governments – is not “espionage.”

Which is why, after 18 months of investigation, the investigators were about to drop the matter. It looks as if whoever leaked the story of the investigation leaked it precisely because he or she was annoyed that the investigators were concluding that the whole thing was much ado about nothing.

But by cleverly shopping it to journalists who were eager to strike a blow at the Bush administration, a fizzle of a story was (at least temporarily) transformed into a one-day wonder.

Who shopped it? Presumably somebody at the FBI – an agency that has alas showed nothing like so much vigilance in cases in which life and limb were actually at risk. Along the way, however, the story got “sexed up,” to borrow a phrase.

Here are some steamy extracts from CBS’ report:

“CBS News has learned that the FBI has a full-fledged espionage investigation under way and is about to -- in FBI terminology – ‘roll up’ someone agents believe has been spying not for an enemy, but for Israel from within the office of the Secretary of Defense at the Pentagon. …

“This put the Israelis, according to one source, ‘inside the decision-making loop’ so they could ‘try to influence the outcome.’

“The case raises another concern among investigators: Did Israel also use the analyst to try to influence U.S. policy on the war in Iraq?

“With ties to top Pentagon officials Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith, the analyst was assigned to a unit within the Defense Department tasked with helping develop the Pentagon's Iraq policy.”

Notice a couple of things in the CBS report: The story is written in such a way as to suggest that it was the FBI investigators who described the Israelis as “inside the loop.” And yet if you look carefully, you will see that this is not so. The allegation is attributed only to a “source” who might or might not even be a government employee – who is in fact very likely one of the small number of former government employees to whom journalists turn when they want some heavy breathing about the role of Israel.

Notice too the gratuitous and unsourced insinuation that Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith might somehow be implicated in the leak.

What seems to be going on here is this: People in the Pentagon broadly discussed proposed American policy toward one of America’s severest Middle Eastern problems – Iran, its terrorism and its nuclear ambitions. In the course of those discussions, they talked to knowledgeable people in many places. Possibly they talked as well to knowledgeable people in the governments of US allies, including Israel.

But there are figures inside the US government who want to see Israel treated, not as the ally it is by law and treaty (Israel like Japan, Australia, and New Zealand is designated a “major non-NATO ally” for intelligence- and technology-sharing purposes) but as the source of all the trouble in the Middle East and the world. They have injected their own hysterical agenda into the reporting of what would otherwise be a story of an FBI investigation that found nothing much.

20 posted on 08/30/2004 9:24:29 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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