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Iranian Alert -- September 1, 2004 [EST]-- IRAN LIVE THREAD -- "Americans for Regime Change in Iran"
Americans for Regime Change in Iran ^ | 9.1.2004 | DoctorZin

Posted on 08/31/2004 9:02:48 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.

DoctorZin




TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; 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
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 08/31/2004 9:02:50 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 08/31/2004 9:06:37 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

U.S. Presses U.N. Agency on Iran Nuclear Program

August 30, 2004
National Public Radio
Vicky O'Hara

National Public Radio (NPR)

SHOW: Morning Edition 10:00 AM EST NPR

August 30, 2004 Monday

LENGTH: 795 words

HEADLINE: Atomic regulators unlikely to refer Iranian nuclear program to UN Security Council

ANCHORS: STEVE INSKEEP

REPORTERS: VICKY O'HARA

BODY:

STEVE INSKEEP, host:

The International Atomic Energy Agency is expected to report on Iran this week. That United Nations agency has been investigating Iran's nuclear program. The United States has accused Iran of having a covert nuclear weapons program and it wants this issue referred to the UN Security Council to consider punitive action. The atomic regulators have refused to recommend that step in the past, and the Bush administration is considering what to do if they refuse again. Here's NPR's Vicky O'Hara.

VICKY O'HARA reporting:

In advance of the IAEA board meeting, the Bush administration has tried to bolster the case for finding Iran in non-compliance with its obligations under the non-proliferation treaty. Undersecretary of State John Bolton, who's known as a Bush administration hawk, went public with statements he attributed to an Iranian representative during a recent meeting with European nations. Bolton says the Iranian told the Europeans that Tehran could accomplish uranium enrichment within a year, and be able to weaponize it within three years.

Mr. JOHN BOLTON (State Department): The significance of that is that it's a clear statement of nuclear weapons intention. And I think it gives the lie to their public statements that their nuclear efforts are entirely peaceful.

O'HARA: But two European diplomats who asked not to be identified took issue with Bolton's characterization of what was said. A third European diplomat said that Iran frequently uses hectoring language in such meetings and makes statements that are open to interpretation. But Bolton points out that the Iranians have not denied making the statement as he described it.

Geoffrey Kemp, an analyst with The Nixon Center in Washington, says that if Bolton's characterization is accurate, it would suggest that Iran has abandoned its previous commitment to non-proliferation.

Mr. GEOFFREY KEMP (The Nixon Center): It goes against everything they have been saying in the past, and to that extent, does reflect a significant and more ominous shift in their rhetoric, and therefore, presumably, their policy.

O'HARA: Germany, France and Britain are in an uncomfortable position going into this meeting. Last fall, as Washington clamored for IAEA action against Iran, the three European nations negotiated a deal under which Tehran agreed to suspend uranium enrichment activities. But Iran later rescinded that agreement. Nonetheless, diplomats at the IAEA in Vienna say the latest report on Iran offers no conclusive evidence that Tehran is involved in illicit activity. Diplomats say that makes any IAEA referral of the matter to the Security Council very unlikely.

Michael Rubin, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington, warns that IAEA action would only encourage Iran's nuclear ambitions.

Mr. MICHAEL RUBIN (American Enterprise Institute): What the IAEA has said would constitute proof would be the discovery of nuclear weapons components. By that point, it would be too late.

O'HARA: Undersecretary Bolton says that Washington feels a great sense of urgency about resolving the Iran issue.

Mr. BOLTON: The longer we get lost in diplomatic exchanges, the more progress the Iranians are making and the greater the likelihood that they'll have a completely indigenous capability, which will make it harder to stop their program by affecting their external procurement.

O'HARA: Another State Department official says that in recent months, the Bush administration's view of the Iran problem has changed from questioning Tehran's ability to develop nuclear weapons to the conviction that a nuclear-armed Iran is all but inevitable. Perhaps reflecting that change of view, a senior administration official in recent weeks has talked to the news media about efforts at regime change in Iran through covert methods.

Undersecretary of State Bolton emphasizes that Washington's goal is to reach a peaceful resolution of the Iran problem.

Mr. BOLTON: But let's be clear. We don't want Iran to have a nuclear weapons capability.

O'HARA: Geoffrey Kemp suggests that if the IAEA fails to send the issue to the Security Council, that the US immediately work with the Europeans, develop a unified strategy outside of the IAEA, using what he calls `carrots and sticks.'

Mr. KEMP: If the Europeans and the Japanese, who are also very interested in investing in Iran, were to take a really tough stand on continued investments in Iran, particularly in the energy sector, that would send a very strong message to the mullahs which they simply could not ignore.

O'HARA: Though Michael Rubin warns that whatever the US is going to do, it had better be done quickly before Iran, like North Korea, acquires nuclear weapons.

Vicky O'Hara, NPR News, Washington.

3 posted on 08/31/2004 9:08:25 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Iraqi delegation arrives in Iran



Tehran, Iran, Aug. 29 (UPI) -- The Iraqi deputy prime minister arrived Sunday in the Tehran, Iran, a day later than planned, the BBC reported.

Deputy Prime Minister Barham Saleh was part of a high-level political delegation that will meet top Iranian officials, the BBC said.

The three-day trip was intended to pave the way for a later visit by Iraq's interim Prime Minister, Iyad Allawi.

Saleh was accompanied by several Iraqi ministers.

4 posted on 08/31/2004 9:13:16 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Pahlavi "You shall be the most powerful king on earth my son..." French magazine Paris Match, October 9, 1976.
5 posted on 08/31/2004 9:16:28 PM PDT by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn

Tuesday, August 31, 2004 · Last updated 2:31 p.m. PT

Iran poses vexing problems for U.S.

By KEN GUGGENHEIM
ASSOCIATED PRESS WRITER

WASHINGTON -- Iran, a country that has bedeviled the United States for decades, could prove to be the biggest foreign policy challenge facing whoever is the next president. The messy Iraq war and a spy scandal linking Pentagon and Israeli officials could complicate U.S. hopes of halting Iran's nuclear ambitions.

Both President Bush and Democratic nominee John Kerry say they want to use diplomacy - although with different approaches - to prevent what could be a nightmare scenario for the United States: a nuclear-armed, hostile Islamic state in the volatile Middle East.

But the United States' ability to sound an international alarm on Iran has been damaged after much of its intelligence on Saddam Hussein's weapons programs proved to be wrong. And its credibility could be further hurt by suspicions that a Pentagon official passed secrets about Iran to Israel.

Neither Bush nor Kerry advocates a pre-emptive strike on Iran. "The military option is always the last option for a president, not the first," Bush said in an interview broadcast Tuesday on NBC's "Today" show.

Yet Iran, by many standards, poses a greater threat to the United States than Saddam ever did.

As they did with Iraq, U.S. officials suspect Iran has chemical and biological weapons. But Iran's nuclear program is much more advanced than Saddam's program was believed to be. U.S. officials say Iran could produce weapons-grade uranium within a year and a nuclear weapon three years after that.

Iran says its nuclear program is for making electricity, not weapons.

The United States has long considered Iran the world's most active state sponsor of terror. Iran has supported militant Palestinian groups and U.S. officials say it has provided safe-haven for al-Qaida members.

And even though Iran is more democratic than other nations in the region, the United States continues to condemn its human rights record.

In 2001, Bush called Iran part of an "axis of evil," along with Iraq and North Korea. Yet his administration has been divided on how to deal with it. Some, mostly in the Pentagon, favor a tougher approach. Others, mostly in the State Department, believe some accommodation is possible with Iranian moderates.

Tehran has offered some signs of seeking better relations with the United States, providing some cooperation on narcotics policy and in the war in Afghanistan. A State Department paper says relations with Iran "are frequently confused and contradictory due to Iran's oscillation between pragmatic and ideological concerns."

In a speech Monday, Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards said the Bush administration "has stood on the sidelines" while both Iran and North Korea "advanced their nuclear programs."

Kerry holds out some hope that a negotiated solution with Iran is possible. He said the United States and other nations should "call their bluff" by offering nuclear fuel for peaceful purposes, then taking back the spent fuel so it can't be used for weapons.

If that process fails, the United States could try to ensure that the International Atomic Energy Agency takes the issue to the U.N. Security Council, where Iran could face sanctions.

Bush administration officials have suggested that it is too late for incentives. National security adviser Condoleezza Rice said recently that Iran "has to be isolated in its bad behavior, not engaged."

The administration is expected to request Security Council action if the IAEA condemns Iran at a meeting Sept. 13.

Yet prospects for action at the U.N. are uncertain. Russia, which is building Iran's nuclear reactor, has a veto. Other council members also have trade relationships with Iran.

Bush has demanded that Iran give up its nuclear program, but it's unclear what he would do if Iran refuses and the United Nations doesn't act.

Winning either domestic or international support for military action against Iran would be difficult.

Invading Iran has never seemed a credible option, said Robert Malley, an adviser to President Clinton on Middle East issues. "I think it has become far less so after what has happened in Iraq," he said.

Yet Raymond Tanter of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said he believes the next president will have little choice but to support the main Iranian opposition group, the MEK.

That group, however, is on the State Department's list of terrorist organizations and few politicians openly support it.

And Tanter says support for either military action or for using the MEK could be undermined by the investigation into whether Larry Franklin, a Middle East analyst at the Pentagon, provided classified information on Iran to Israel.

"Those people who would say unleash the MEK could be accused now of following a Zionist agenda," Tanter said. "The Franklin flap is quite damaging. It plays into Iran's hand."

6 posted on 08/31/2004 9:19:07 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Special Report - No. 32
September 1, 2004 No.32
MEMRI TV Project Special Report: Arab and Iranian TV Clips in Support of Suicide Bombing

Introduction

The following are clips from MEMRI's TV Project on support for suicide attacks. They include TV segments from leading Muslim religious figures such as Sheikh Tantawi, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Abd Al-Rahman Al-Sudayyis, Imam of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, and Sheikh Qaradhawi, one of the prominent leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood Movement.

Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Muhammad Sayyed Tantawi

On New TV (Lebanon), August 19, 2004 the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Muhammad Sayyed Tantawi was interviewed about suicide operations. The following is an excerpt from the interview:

Interviewer: "Will you issue a fatwa about the resistance and especially what is happening in Iraq?"

Sheik Tantawi: " I was very clear: Anyone defending his right, his land, his money, and his religion and gets killed is a martyr. Anyone who blows himself up amongst the enemy that wants to kill him and he can find no means of defending himself except blowing himself up amongst these soldiers who are occupying his land and destroying his home, and so he blows himself up amongst these aggressive soldiers, is a Shahid, Shahid, Shahid."

To view this clip, click here: http://memritv.org/archives.asp?ACT=S9&P1=209

Prominent Leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Sheikh Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi

On Al-Jazeera TV (Qatar) Apri 25, 2004, Dr. Sheikh Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi, a prominent leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, explained his support of suicide operations on his weekly religious program. The following is an excerpt from his program:

Sheikh Dr. Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi: "There are clerics who oppose martyrdom [i.e. suicide] operations in Palestine. By these operations Allah has compensated the Palestinians for their lack of strength. They do not, as the Zionists do, have Apache helicopters, warplanes, tanks, missiles. Allah has compensated them for this with these human bombs. This is divine justice.

"[God] gives the weak a weapon for self-defense that the strong, despite his military and nuclear arsenals, can do nothing against. There are clerics who condemn this and even say that these are suicide operations that are not allowed in Islam. We need a religious law to clarify this issue. On the other hand, you find among those who claim that they waged Jihad, people who have left the Americans, the Jews, and the Zionists. They left the enemies and aimed their arrows at their own people."

To view this clip, click here: http://memritv.org/archives.asp?ACT=S9&P1=45

Former President of Al-Azhar University, Ahmad 'Omar Hashem

On Channel 1 of Egyptian TV, April 23, 2004, Sheikh Ahmad 'Omar Hashem, the former President of Al-Azhar University delivered a Friday sermon. The following is an excerpt from the sermon:

Dr. Ahmad 'Omar Hashem:"We ask of our believing brothers not to forsake Jerusalem. We want our believing brothers to see their brothers in the occupied land, who have no support and no weapons, no money, and no [assistance] in the struggle. They have nothing except for their souls and their bodies, which they turn into a weapon and blow themselves up before the enemy in defense of their honor and their stolen land. Shall we not stand by them as Mujaheedin ?"

To view this clip, click here: http://memritv.org/archives.asp?ACT=S9&P1=43

Imam of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Abd Al-Rahman Al-Sudayyis

On Saudi TV Channel 1, April 2, 2004, in his Friday sermon at Al-Haram Mosque in Mecca, Saudi government-appointed Imam of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Abd Al-Rahman Al-Sudayyis discussed Jewish history and the modern Jihad. The following are excerpts from the sermon:

Imam Al-Sudayyis: "The history of the [Jewish] people is written in black ink, and has included a series of murders of the prophets, the Mujaheedin, and righteous people. This, although the book descended upon Moses is all mercy. Allah has said: 'And is preceded by the Book of Moses which was a guide and a mercy for people before him…' So where is this mercy in all this barbarity, devoid of moral and human values? But maybe it is the beginning of their end.

"Oh Brothers in the land of missions and the cradle of valor, Oh Sons of brave Mujaheedin, Oh descendents of conquering heroes… You have revived the hopes of this nation through your blessed Jihad. By Allah, be patient until, with Allah's help, one of two good things will be awarded you: either victory or martyrdom. Our hearts are with you; our prayers are dedicated to you. The Islamic nation will not spare money or effort in support of your cause, which is the supreme Muslim cause, until the promise made by Allah, who never breaks a promise, is fulfilled."

To view this clip, click here: http://memritv.org/archives.asp?ACT=S9&P1=26

Sunni Iraqi Cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Qubeisi

On Dubai TV, May 5, 2004, the Sunni Iraqi cleric Sheikh Ahmad Al- Qubeisi discussed suicide bombings on his weekly religious program. The following is an excerpt from the program:

Sheikh Al-Qubeisi: "Any Arab ruler who tries to please this enemy by keeping silent about its crimes, which the entire world has seen, by obeying it while he curses the Muslims and Islam and the [Islamic] groups, and the clerics, and treats the martyrs with contempt, as well as those who commit martyrdom [i.e. suicide] operations who are, by Allah, the greatest martyrs in Islamic history...

"The Prophet said: 'I will show you who are the most noble among the martyrs. They are Hamza, and a man who came to preach to an oppressing Imam, reproaching him, and was killed. All the more so, (someone who killed) a Jew! Why is he under attack? He wraps himself in an explosive belt, and dies for the sake of Allah, and then they say he was a terrorist and condemn him?'"

To view this clip, click here: http://memritv.org/archives.asp?ACT=S9&P1=95

On Iqra TV (Saudi Arabia), March 25, 2004, the Saudi-based religious television channel interviewed the Sunni Iraqi cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Qubeisi, who discussed the situation in Iraq. The following is an excerpt from the interview:

Sheikh Al-Qubeisi: "The nation is unstable?! This Nation that begets courageous and brave girls, this amazing steadfastness, this commendable return to this great religion and this awareness the like of which you cannot find anywhere in the world. An unstable nation?! How could this nation be unstable when it has a girl who, in the spring of her life, with two children blows herself up, and she is in the height of her happiness. The nation is not unstable. It is the regime that is unstable."

To view this clip, click here: http://memritv.org/archives.asp?ACT=S9&P1=21

Lebanese Preacher, Sheik Ahmad Al-Zein

On Al-'Alam TV (Iran), July 22, 2004, Sheik Muhammad Al-Zein, a Friday preacher at Al-'Omari Mosque in Sidon, Lebanon, was interviewed on the Arabic-language Iranian channel, and called on Palestinians to increase suicide operations. The following is an excerpt from the interview:

Sheik Al-Zein: "I call to our brothers, the Intifada youths, whether from Hamas, [Islamic] Jihad, or Al-Aqsa Martyr's Brigades to rise above internal conflict and raise the banner of Jihad and martyrdom for the sake of Allah in order to contend with the Israeli enemy…

"We cannot confront this entity in familiar ways of politics and negotiation, calling for peace and other conventional ways. The struggle should be … through resistance and martyrdom, by which we can achieve balance with the Zionist entity…"

To view this clip, click here: http://memritv.org/archives.asp?ACT=S9&P1=171

PA Cleric, Sheikh Ibrahim Mudeiris

On Palestinian Authority TV, May 21, 2004, i n his weekly Friday sermon from a mosque in Gaza, Sheikh Ibrahim Mudeiris warned of future suicide attacks: The following is an excerpt from the sermon:

Sheikh Ibrahim Mudeiris: "Have you forgotten [suicide bomber] Hanadi [Jaradat] who avenged the death of her brother and fiancé by killing dozens of Zionists? It is they who opened the gates of hell upon themselves. These Zionists will get many more black [body] bags. By Allah, we will show them no mercy. When Allah allows us victory over them, we will show them no mercy at all.

"What Sharon is doing now is not strange. What the Zionist Entity state is doing to our people in Rafah is not strange. They are avenging the deaths of their cowardly soldiers who were torn to shreds, here in the southern entrance of Gaza, in the Zaytoun neighborhood. They saw our children playing soccer with the heads and body parts of their soldiers. Our children do not fear body parts or blood, nor do our women and youth..."

To view this clip, click here: http://memritv.org/archives.asp?ACT=S9&P1=77

Hamas Spokesmen, Sami Abu Zuhri

On Al-Majd TV, a UAE religious channel, June 13, 2004, Hamas spokesman in Gaza, Sami Abu Zuhri, and Faraj Shalhoub, an expert on Palestinian affairs discussed the recruitment and training of Palestinian suicide bombers. The following are excerpts from the debate:

Faraj Shalhoub:"The volunteers are those who initiate and accept upon themselves to commit a martyrdom operation. There is a widespread misconception, propagated by the Zionist enemy, that there are recruiters among the Palestinian fighters who look for martyrdom bombers.

"The opposite is true. The martyrdom bombers are the ones looking for the resistance factions in order to commit martyrdom operations. We are talking about hundreds of martyrdom bombers waiting in line to commit martyrdom operations…"

Sami Abu Zuhri:"There are hundreds of female martyrdom bombers, who stream en masse and insist on participating in martyrdom operations. This is a unique phenomenon, reflecting the live spirit of Jihad among this people…

"We see this stream of young men and of women seeking martyrdom. This people emphasizes its adherence to the option of martyrdom, especially, in light of the models of female martyrdom bombers."

To view this clip, click here: http://memritv.org/archives.asp?ACT=S9&P1=117

Member of the Palestine Religious Association, Sheikh Muhammad Al-Bajirmi

On Al-Manar TV, March 24, 2004, Sheikh Muhammad Al-Bajirmi, a member of the Palestine Religious Scholars Association, talked about death in Islam. The following is an excerpt from his comments:

Sheikh Bajirmi: "The Jews or the Zionists are the people who preserve life the most. The Koran uses the word 'life' negatively, meaning 'any life.' This, while our Islamic principle, as the Prophet Muhammad has taught us, yearn for death and you will be given life. As much as the Muslim yearns for death for Allah, he will be awarded life. Not any life, but a life of dignity."

To view this clip, click here: http://memritv.org/archives.asp?ACT=S9&P1=19


7 posted on 08/31/2004 9:23:35 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

maybe they should ask them about this:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1204371/posts


8 posted on 08/31/2004 9:25:58 PM PDT by oceanview
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To: oceanview

99% chance of attack on Iran


30/08/2004 11:28  - (SA)  

Amman - A prominent Jordanian journalist on Monday expected the United States or Israel to launch a "pre-emptive strike" against Iran in September or October with a view to enhancing President George Bush's re-election chances.

"A pre-emptive strike is coming 99% either in September or October before the US presidential elections early in November," said Fahd Fanek in an article in the daily Al-Rai.

"If the United States decides to carry out the strike, the timing will be before the elections so as Bush guarantees his re-election. If Israel launches the attack, it will do that for the avowed aim of ensuring Bush will be the next president," added Fanek, an economics expert and respected newspaper columnist.

Fanek contended that Iran "was well aware of this and, accordingly, it was heating up the war language with the Americans".

"What Moqtada al-Sadr did in Iraq could be part of an Iranian plan designed to foil any American blueprint to proceed eastward," he said, alluding to the recent bloody confrontation between al-Sadr's militias and the US troops at the holy town of Najaf. - dpa

9 posted on 09/01/2004 12:22:21 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Iran Poses Vexing Problems for U.S.


Tue Aug 31, 5:31 PM ET

By KEN GUGGENHEIM, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - Iran, a country that has bedeviled the United States for decades, could prove to be the biggest foreign policy challenge facing whoever is the next president. The messy Iraq (news - web sites) war and a spy scandal linking Pentagon (news - web sites) and Israeli officials could complicate U.S. hopes of halting Iran's nuclear ambitions.

 

Both President Bush (news - web sites) and Democratic nominee John Kerry (news - web sites) say they want to use diplomacy — although with different approaches — to prevent what could be a nightmare scenario for the United States: a nuclear-armed, hostile Islamic state in the volatile Middle East.

But the United States' ability to sound an international alarm on Iran has been damaged after much of its intelligence on Saddam Hussein (news - web sites)'s weapons programs proved to be wrong. And its credibility could be further hurt by suspicions that a Pentagon official passed secrets about Iran to Israel.

Neither Bush nor Kerry advocates a pre-emptive strike on Iran. "The military option is always the last option for a president, not the first," Bush said in an interview broadcast Tuesday on NBC's "Today" show.

Yet Iran, by many standards, poses a greater threat to the United States than Saddam ever did.

As they did with Iraq, U.S. officials suspect Iran has chemical and biological weapons. But Iran's nuclear program is much more advanced than Saddam's program was believed to be. U.S. officials say Iran could produce weapons-grade uranium within a year and a nuclear weapon three years after that.

Iran says its nuclear program is for making electricity, not weapons.

The United States has long considered Iran the world's most active state sponsor of terror. Iran has supported militant Palestinian groups and U.S. officials say it has provided safe-haven for al-Qaida members.

And even though Iran is more democratic than other nations in the region, the United States continues to condemn its human rights record.

In 2001, Bush called Iran part of an "axis of evil," along with Iraq and North Korea (news - web sites). Yet his administration has been divided on how to deal with it. Some, mostly in the Pentagon, favor a tougher approach. Others, mostly in the State Department, believe some accommodation is possible with Iranian moderates.

Tehran has offered some signs of seeking better relations with the United States, providing some cooperation on narcotics policy and in the war in Afghanistan (news - web sites). A State Department paper says relations with Iran "are frequently confused and contradictory due to Iran's oscillation between pragmatic and ideological concerns."

In a speech Monday, Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards (news - web sites) said the Bush administration "has stood on the sidelines" while both Iran and North Korea "advanced their nuclear programs."

Kerry holds out some hope that a negotiated solution with Iran is possible. He said the United States and other nations should "call their bluff" by offering nuclear fuel for peaceful purposes, then taking back the spent fuel so it can't be used for weapons.

If that process fails, the United States could try to ensure that the International Atomic Energy Agency takes the issue to the U.N. Security Council, where Iran could face sanctions.

Bush administration officials have suggested that it is too late for incentives. National security adviser Condoleezza Rice (news - web sites) said recently that Iran "has to be isolated in its bad behavior, not engaged."

The administration is expected to request Security Council action if the IAEA condemns Iran at a meeting Sept. 13.

Yet prospects for action at the U.N. are uncertain. Russia, which is building Iran's nuclear reactor, has a veto. Other council members also have trade relationships with Iran.

 

Bush has demanded that Iran give up its nuclear program, but it's unclear what he would do if Iran refuses and the United Nations (news - web sites) doesn't act.

Winning either domestic or international support for military action against Iran would be difficult.

Invading Iran has never seemed a credible option, said Robert Malley, an adviser to President Clinton (news - web sites) on Middle East issues. "I think it has become far less so after what has happened in Iraq," he said.

Yet Raymond Tanter of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said he believes the next president will have little choice but to support the main Iranian opposition group, the MEK.

That group, however, is on the State Department's list of terrorist organizations and few politicians openly support it.

And Tanter says support for either military action or for using the MEK could be undermined by the investigation into whether Larry Franklin, a Middle East analyst at the Pentagon, provided classified information on Iran to Israel.

"Those people who would say unleash the MEK could be accused now of following a Zionist agenda," Tanter said. "The Franklin flap is quite damaging. It plays into Iran's hand."

10 posted on 09/01/2004 12:32:09 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn; nuconvert
Yet Raymond Tanter of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said he believes the next president will have little choice but to support the main Iranian opposition group, the MEK.

That group, however, is on the State Department's list of terrorist organizations and few politicians openly support it.

And Tanter says support for either military action or for using the MEK could be undermined by the investigation into whether Larry Franklin, a Middle East analyst at the Pentagon, provided classified information on Iran to Israel.

"Those people who would say unleash the MEK could be accused now of following a Zionist agenda," Tanter said. "The Franklin flap is quite damaging. It plays into Iran's hand."

US support & protection for such evil terrorists is hilarious!

11 posted on 09/01/2004 2:17:42 AM PDT by Khashayar (Learn Geography!)
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To: DoctorZIn

Next Administration Must Deal With Iran

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

WASHINGTON  — Iran (search), a country that has bedeviled the United States for decades, could prove to be the biggest foreign policy challenge facing whoever is the next president. The messy Iraq war and a spy scandal linking Pentagon and Israeli officials could complicate U.S. hopes of halting Iran's nuclear ambitions.

Both President Bush (searchand Democratic nominee John Kerry (searchsay they want to use diplomacy — although with different approaches — to prevent what could be a nightmare scenario for the United States: a nuclear-armed, hostile Islamic state in the volatile Middle East.

But the United States' ability to sound an international alarm on Iran has been damaged after much of its intelligence on Saddam Hussein's (searchweapons programs proved to be wrong. And its credibility could be further hurt by suspicions that a Pentagon official passed secrets about Iran to Israel.

Neither Bush nor Kerry advocates a pre-emptive strike on Iran. "The military option is always the last option for a president, not the first," Bush said in an interview broadcast Tuesday on NBC's "Today" show.

Yet Iran, by many standards, poses a greater threat to the United States than Saddam ever did.

As they did with Iraq, U.S. officials suspect Iran has chemical and biological weapons. But Iran's nuclear program is much more advanced than Saddam's program was believed to be. U.S. officials say Iran could produce weapons-grade uranium within a year and a nuclear weapon three years after that.

Iran says its nuclear program is for making electricity, not weapons.

The United States has long considered Iran the world's most active state sponsor of terror. Iran has supported militant Palestinian groups and U.S. officials say it has provided safe-haven for Al Qaeda members.

And even though Iran is more democratic than other nations in the region, the United States continues to condemn its human rights record.

In 2001, Bush called Iran part of an "axis of evil," along with Iraq and North Korea. Yet his administration has been divided on how to deal with it. Some, mostly in the Pentagon, favor a tougher approach. Others, mostly in the State Department, believe some accommodation is possible with Iranian moderates.

Tehran has offered some signs of seeking better relations with the United States, providing some cooperation on narcotics policy and in the war in Afghanistan. A State Department paper says relations with Iran "are frequently confused and contradictory due to Iran's oscillation between pragmatic and ideological concerns."

In a speech Monday, Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards said the Bush administration "has stood on the sidelines" while both Iran and North Korea "advanced their nuclear programs."

Kerry holds out some hope that a negotiated solution with Iran is possible. He said the United States and other nations should "call their bluff" by offering nuclear fuel for peaceful purposes, then taking back the spent fuel so it can't be used for weapons.

If that process fails, the United States could try to ensure that the International Atomic Energy Agency (searchtakes the issue to the U.N. Security Council, where Iran could face sanctions.

Bush administration officials have suggested that it is too late for incentives. National security adviser Condoleezza Rice said recently that Iran "has to be isolated in its bad behavior, not engaged."

The administration is expected to request Security Council action if the IAEA condemns Iran at a meeting Sept. 13.

Yet prospects for action at the U.N. are uncertain. Russia, which is building Iran's nuclear reactor, has a veto. Other council members also have trade relationships with Iran.

Bush has demanded that Iran give up its nuclear program, but it's unclear what he would do if Iran refuses and the United Nations doesn't act.

Winning either domestic or international support for military action against Iran would be difficult.

Invading Iran has never seemed a credible option, said Robert Malley, an adviser to President Clinton on Middle East issues. "I think it has become far less so after what has happened in Iraq," he said.

Yet Raymond Tanter of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said he believes the next president will have little choice but to support the main Iranian opposition group, the MEK.

That group, however, is on the State Department's list of terrorist organizations and few politicians openly support it.

And Tanter says support for either military action or for using the MEK could be undermined by the investigation into whether Larry Franklin, a Middle East analyst at the Pentagon, provided classified information on Iran to Israel.

"Those people who would say unleash the MEK could be accused now of following a Zionist agenda," Tanter said. "The Franklin flap is quite damaging. It plays into Iran's hand."


12 posted on 09/01/2004 8:57:49 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Key Dates in U.S. - Iran Relations

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Published: September 1, 2004

Filed at 2:15 a.m. ET

Important dates in U.S.-Iranian relations:

--Jan. 16, 1979: U.S.-backed Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi flees Iran after mass demonstrations and strikes.

--Feb. 1, 1979: Ayatollah Khomeini returns from exile.

--Nov. 4, 1979: Iranian students seize 63 hostages at the U.S. embassy in Tehran.

--April 25, 1980: A secret U.S. military mission to rescue hostages ends in disaster in a sandstorm in a central Iranian desert.

--July 27, 1980: Pahlavi dies of cancer in Egypt.

--Sept. 22, 1980: Iraq declares war against Iran.

--Jan. 20, 1981: As President Reagan is inaugurated, Iran releases the remaining 52 American hostages after 444 days of detention.

--Jan. 20, 1984: The United States declares Iran a sponsor of international terrorism, making Iran ineligible for various forms of U.S. foreign assistance.

--1985-86: Washington and Tehran engage in a complex scheme to finance assistance to Nicaraguan rebels through proceeds of U.S. weapons sales to Iran.

--August 1986: The United States prohibits Iran from receiving U.S. arms under the U.S. Arms Export Control Act.

--1987-88: Hostilities between Tehran and Baghdad draw in neighbors and international shippers. The United States and Iran engage in open and direct conflict in the ``tanker war.''

--Oct. 29, 1987: Reagan signs an executive order banning Iranian imports, including crude oil, because of Iran's support for terrorism and its threat to maritime traffic in the Persian Gulf.

--July 3, 1988: The USS Vincennes shoots down an Iran Air A300 Airbus over the Persian Gulf, killing 290 people. The U.S. military says it misidentified the plane as an Iranian fighter, an account disputed by Iran.

--July 20, 1988: Iran formally accepts a U.N. resolution calling for a cease-fire between Iran and Iraq, ending its war with Iraq.

--June 3, 1989: Khomeini dies. Ali Khamenei is appointed supreme leader. Hashemi Rafsanjani is sworn in as Iran's president two months later.

--1990-91: Iran remains neutral in U.S.-led Operation Desert Storm to push Iraq out of Kuwait.

--May 6, 1995: President Clinton issues an executive order banning U.S. trade and investment in Iran.

--May 23, 1997: Mohammad Khatami wins Iran's presidential election.

--June 17, 1998: Secretary of State Madeleine Albright gives a major policy address on Iran, proposing the two countries construct a ``road map'' for better relations.

--April 28, 1999: The Clinton administration loosens sanctions to permit sales of food and medicine to Iran.

--July 1999: Major protests erupt in many Iranian cities; the United States criticizes the repression of student demonstrators.

--Feb. 18, 2000: Iranian reformists win a landslide victory in a general election.

--April 14, 2000: The United States announces sanctions on four Iranian entities, including the Defense Ministry, for missile proliferation.

--September 2001: After the Sept. 11 attacks, Friday prayers in Tehran omit ``Death to America'' chants for the first time in recent history; Iranians mourn U.S. deaths.

--Oct. 9, 2001: Khatami calls for an ``immediate end'' to U.S. military strikes on the Taliban.

--Nov. 12, 2001: Secretary of State Colin Powell and the Iranian foreign minister meet at an international session on Afghanistan and shake hands in an unprecedented diplomatic overture.

--Jan. 29, 2002: In his first State of the Union address, President Bush includes Iran in his ``axis of evil'' along with Iraq and North Korea.

--Feb. 11, 2002: Iran commemorates its revolution's anniversary with the largest anti-U.S. protests in years.

--Feb. 13, 2002: The United States and Israel block Iran's application to the World Trade Organization.

--December 2002: The United States accuses Iran of seeking to develop a secret nuclear weapons program.

--August 2003: The International Atomic Energy Agency confirms finding weapons-grade uranium at the Iranian nuclear facility in Natanz.

--Oct. 21, 2003: Iran agrees to suspend its uranium-enrichment program.

--December 2003: Washington sends humanitarian aid to Iran after an earthquake in Bam kills up to 26,000 people.

--March 13, 2004: Iran indefinitely bars inspections of its nuclear program, but relents two days later.

--July 31, 2004: Iran confirms it has resumed building nuclear centrifuges. Washington continues lobbying IAEA to refer Iran to U.N. Security Council.

13 posted on 09/01/2004 9:00:49 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Iran accuses US of using Al-Qaeda


Iran accused the United States and European secret services on Tuesday of unsuccessfully using former Al-Qaeda operatives against the Islamic republic.

SyriaTimes

First

1-9-2004

summary: Iran accused the United States and European secret services on Tuesday of unsuccessfully using former Al-Qaeda operatives against the Islamic republic.

Intelligence Minister Ali Yunessi also warned the United States of an Iranian response to any attempt by it to destabilise the country, the official news agency IRNA reported.

The minister told reporters that elements that were no longer a part of Al-Qaeda "were infiltrated by intelligence services from America, Europe and even the region".

"A number of them were activated by these services to commit terrorist acts, but we identified and arrested them," he claimed, without giving any further details.

"There is no security in the region without Iran, and if the United States or any other country threatens our security, their security will also be threatened," the minister warned.

"The region is not safer than what it was before September 11. The Americans got rid of Saddam Hussein and the Taliban, but have expanded insecurity in the world. One of the aims of the US ... is Iran," he added.

Yunessi nevertheless reiterated that Iran was fighting "all forms of terrorism".

"At the present moment, a number of important members of Al-Qaeda and Ansar al-Islam are in our prisons," he said, repeating earlier declarations but again refusing to elaborate on the identity of those being held.

14 posted on 09/01/2004 9:06:11 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

U.N.: Iran Readies Batch of Uranium for Enrichment

Wed Sep 1, 2004 11:26 AM ET
VIENNA (Reuters) - The United Nations said on Wednesday Iran planned to convert a large amount of raw "yellowcake" uranium into uranium hexafluoride, which one nuclear expert said would be enough to build five atomic bombs.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in the confidential report circulated to diplomats and obtained by Reuters that Iran planned a "larger test" of a uranium conversion facility "involving 37 tons of yellowcake."

David Albright, a former U.N. weapons inspector and currently president of the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) said this could theoretically result in 100 kg of weapons-grade highly-enriched uranium.

Speaking purely hypothetically, Albright said: "It's roughly enough for about five crude nuclear weapons of the type Iran could conceivably build."

The U.N. agency said it had made much progress in understanding Iran's nuclear program, though its investigation is not yet complete.

"It is a work in progress," a senior Western diplomat said about the IAEA investigation, which has neither confirmed nor disproved U.S. allegations that Tehran has a secret nuclear weapons program.

The agency praised Iran for providing it with access to sites inside the country and information, but chided it for being late with the provision of some information.

"In (some) cases, sufficiently detailed information has been so late that it has not been possible to include an assessment of its sufficiency and correctness in this report," the IAEA said.

Washington says Tehran's nuclear program is a front for a nuclear arms program. Tehran vehemently denies the charge, saying it is only interested in generating electricity.

15 posted on 09/01/2004 9:20:31 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; ...

Breaking News!
U.N.: Iran Readies Batch of Uranium for Enrichment

Wed Sep 1, 2004 11:26 AM ET
VIENNA (Reuters)

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1204431/posts?page=15#15


16 posted on 09/01/2004 9:23:15 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Demagoguery on Iran



As John Kerry sinks in the polls, his campaign has trotted out John Edwards to attack President Bush's foreign-policy record, starting with Iran. In an interview with The Washington Post, Mr. Edwards (after rightly stating that it would be unacceptable for Iran to be permitted to obtain nuclear weapons) accused the Bush administration of abdicating responsibility for dealing with the Iranian nuclear threat to the Europeans.
    
But based on the relatively minimal amount of information made available thus far, it's difficult to see how the Kerry-Edwards approach would substantively differ from the failed effort made by the EU 3 — Britain, France and Germany — over the past year to persuade Iran to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in shutting down its nuclear weapons programs.
According to Mr. Edwards, the solution entails offering Tehran a "grand bargain" in which sanctions against Iran would be lifted and it would be allowed to keep its nuclear power plants. In exchange for these concessions, Iran would give up the right to keep nuclear fuel that could be used to produce weapons. The genius of this proposal, according to Mr. Edwards, is that if Iran rejects it, the whole world will realize that Iran is acting in bad faith. Were this to become clear, "then we know that our European friends will stand with us," he maintains.
    
The premise is absurd. No serious observer would claim that Iran is doing anything but acting in bad faith. Last year, the IAEA issued a report showing that Iran has been deceiving the world about its nuclear weapons programs since the mid-1980s. For the past 14 months, the Europeans, working together with the IAEA, have tried to persuade Iran to change its ways, only to have the door slammed in their face every time. In July, Iran brazenly told the EU 3 that it could enrich enough uranium for a bomb in one year, according to Undersecretary of State John Bolton.
    
Mr. Kerry has repeatedly and falsely tried to depict Mr. Bush — not the mullahs in Tehran — as the main obstacle to improved relations between Washington and Tehran. In a December speech to the Council on Foreign Relations, Mr. Kerry said it is "incomprehensible and unacceptable that this administration refuses to broker an arrangement with Iran." He has also touted the failed EU 3 initiative as superior to Mr. Bush's diplomatic approach.
    
If Messrs. Kerry and Edwards have a substantively better way to deal with Tehran, they should come forward with some serious proposals. Thus far, their rhetoric, unaccompanied by substance, is an embarrassment.

17 posted on 09/01/2004 9:34:23 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Al-Sadr linked to mass killings




By Rowan Scarborough
THE WASHINGTON TIMES

A U.S. military intelligence report says that followers of radical Shi'ite cleric Sheik Muqtada al-Sadr imprisoned, killed and mutilated Iraqis who opposed his insurrection.
    
American intelligence officers are now investigating in the town of Najaf, the site of Sheik al-Sadr's bloody standoff with coalition forces. A U.S. military officer told The Washington Times that the command recently acquired photos of 15 to 20 mutilated bodies that appear to be Iraqis lying in a courtyard.

A written U.S. intelligence report, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Times, puts the body count much higher, based on an Iraqi informant, some of whose information was confirmed by local police.
    
The report said that after last week's truce, Iraqi forces moved into buildings held by the radical cleric's Mahdi's Army militia and found the bodies.
    
"Inside the court building, Iraqi police found approximately 200 mutilated bodies taken by the Moqtada militia for speaking out against Moqtada al Sadr," said the intelligence report sent to the Pentagon and stamped "secret."
    
"Some of the prisoners had eyes and ears drilled out and others had their limbs and heads cut off. Some males had genitals cut off and shoved in their mouths. There was evidence of rape to men, women and children," according to the report.

    
The senior officer, who asked to remain anonymous, said that the number of bodies found is much less than 200. The source said that while it appears certain that the bodies exist, the circumstances of when and where the people were killed, and by whom, remained unknown yesterday.
    
"We don't have a complete picture of where they came from," the officer said. "We're trying to uncover what really happened before we are able to release information."
    
The source said that the U.S. command in Baghdad only learned of the deaths Sunday, and later acquired the photographs of mutilated bodies.
    
"There appears to be a large group of bodies that were uncovered," the officer said.
    
He said that a military-intelligence unit was in Najaf investigating the deaths, alongside Iraqi police.
    
Sheik al-Sadr has led several deadly uprisings in southern Iraq, unleashing his rifle-toting, ragtag army on coalition forces and innocent civilians. U.S. Army and Marine units have responded by attacking and killing scores of the fighters.
    
Sheik al-Sadr holed up in Najaf's main mosque for days before Iraq's leading Shi'ite, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, returned from Britain and helped negotiate a cease-fire on Thursday.
    
The sheik's aides say that he now may choose to enter politics. But if his Mahdi's Army is tied to the massacre of innocent Iraqis, he could face a criminal investigation.
    
"The commander of the Sadr movement, leader Muqtada Sadr, announced today in Najaf the end of all fighting in the whole of Iraq and the integration of his movement in the political process," Sheik Naim al-Qaabi said last week.
    
U.S. military sources have told The Times that Iranian money helped Sheik al-Sadr rise from an obscure cleric during Saddam's rule to an influential rebel who paid a large army, provided social services and opened a rabble-rousing newspaper.
    
Earlier this year, the coalition shut down the newspaper after it called for the killing of al-Sadr opponents. The U.S.-led allies also began arresting some of his top aides. Looking boxed in, Sheik al-Sadr openly called for a rebellion that touched off a series of urban battles against American soldiers.
    
The U.S. intelligence report obtained by The Times states that most of Sheik al-Sadr's recruits were criminals that Saddam released from prison weeks before the March 2003 invasion.
    
The report states, "They slaughtered the innocent people. Most of the al-Mahdi were criminals jailed during the former regime and released by Saddam before his capture."

18 posted on 09/01/2004 9:43:52 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

NY protesters fuel Islamic regime's propaganda machine


SMCCDI (Information Service)
Aug 30, 2004

The New York's anti-GOP protesters are fueling the Islamic regime's anti-American propaganda machine and are helping it to vehicle its messages of hate and fanatism across the World by the use of its Persian and Arabic speaking satellite TV networks.

Short interviews made by the Islamic regime TV's reporter with some very idealistic and emotional protesters, who seem to be unaware of to what kind of media they're speaking to, are broadcasted mixed with footages related to war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Such lack of lucidity, by the interviewed protesters, help the Islamic regime to vehicle its preferred message that the American forces are getting defeated and that the American society is on the falling edge of collapse due to the direct ramification of armed actions carried by the Islamist "resistance".

Astonishingly, two or three Iranian-Americans were "found", in the crowd, and interviewed also by the regime's TV reporter named Nobaveh. These so-called innocent protesters were seen trying to give credit to the Islamic regime and slamming the Bush administration for its Palestinian and Iraqi policies. Of course none of these few Iranians made any kind of comment about the existing repression in Iran and the popular rejection of the Mullahcracy.

It's to note that the majority of Iranians and Iranian-Americans are fervent supporters of President George W. Bush. Several of them, such as Saeed Assef of Wisconsin, are actively participating or supporting the GOP Convention with the hope of Mr. Bush's re-election and his help for the Freedom Movement in Iran.

There are also few who are endorsing Senator Kerry. They're often controversial individuals such as Hassan Nemazee or Titra Parsi who are known for intending to legitimize the Mullahcracy and promoting ties between the US and the Islamic regime. Nemazee is the main initial founder of the so-called "Iranian American Political Action Committee" (IAPAC) and one of Kerry's main fundraiser who has sued the Movement and has been counter sued. Parsi is the appointed facade head of the self-called "National Iranian American Council" (NIAC) which has benefited of donations made by the "Tides Foundation" linked to Mr. Kerry's wife.

19 posted on 09/01/2004 9:48:36 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Aug. 31, 2004 21:51  | Updated Sep. 1, 2004 0:06

Look who wants Bush to lose


By MICHAEL FREUND

The excitement is palpable. You can almost feel it in the air. The dictators of the Arab world just can't wait for George W. Bush to lose the US presidential election in November.

Gripped with fear as they watch Bush's democratic experiment in Iraq take shape, the tyrants and despots of the Middle East are pinning their hopes on Democratic challenger John Kerry to prevail.

After all, the last thing they want to see is a second-term Bush determined to reform the region, a development that would threaten their grip on power and stymie their efforts to obtain more lethal types of weaponry.

And so the rhetoric in the Arab world is heating up, pointing to a real desire to see the US president go down in defeat.

Take, for example, a recent article in the Egyptian Al-Ahram Weekly (August 12-18 issue) by Cairo University's Prof. Hassan Nafaa. Bush, he wrote, is a "wild eyed zealot" and an "evil fanatic" whose "departure from the Oval Office will mark the beginning of the decline of the forces of extremism and the rise of the forces of moderation."

A Kerry victory, Prof. Nafaa says, barely containing his glee, would mean that "US foreign policy will undergo a major shift that will ultimately impact positively on Washington's approach to the affairs of the Middle East."

In other words, a Kerry administration would be far more compliant as far as the Arabs are concerned.

An August 4 editorial in the Syria Times expressed a similar sentiment, urging Arab-Americans not to make "the very mistake they made in the past when they gave their votes to Bush the Junior" in the 2000 presidential election. Instead, suggested the government-run paper, a vote for Kerry this time would prove to be "a wise one."

Judging by their leadership, the Palestinians seem to feel the same way, with Yasser Arafat said to be among those who is rooting for a Democratic victory.

"Arafat is waiting for November in the hope that George Bush will lose the election to John Kerry," Israel's military intelligence chief Maj.Gen. Aharon Ze'evi Farkash told a cabinet meeting just over a month ago.

Following Arafat's lead, the official Palestinian media has made no effort to hide where its sympathies lie. On July 27, the Palestinian Authority daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda, for example, ran a political cartoon depicting an American soldier bleeding to death in Iraq, his final words being, "Don't Vote Bush."

And then, of course, there is Iran. The mullahs, whom Bush famously labeled part of the "Axis of Evil" in his January 2002 State of the Union Address, are also panting at the prospect of a Republican defeat.

Just last week, on a visit to New Zealand, Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said that the US government was "looking for excuses" to act against Iran over its nuclear ambitions.

A June 17 article in the English-language Tehran Times entitled "Pity the Next US President" was even more critical, comparing Bush and his neo-conservative advisers to "neo-Nazis" who have created a "stinking heap of a mess" throughout the world. "Kerry," the paper asserts, "is exactly what the US needs right now."

That the prospect of a Kerry presidency is evoking so much enthusiasm in the terror capitals of Damascus, Ramallah and Teheran is reason enough for Americans, and especially American Jews, to think twice before supporting the Democratic candidate.

Why, after all, would Arafat, Bashar Assad and the ayatollahs want to see Kerry elected if they didn't have good reason to believe he would go soft on terror?

To be fair, Kerry has sought to dispel this image, taking a slap at the Saudi royal family in his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention last month and subsequently criticizing President Bush for not imposing tougher sanctions on the Syrian regime.

But these statements did little to dispel the notion throughout the Arab world that Kerry is "their man." As Martin Sieff, United Press International's senior news analyst, recently pointed out, no one in the Arab world "really thinks Bush will change: And that is why so many old or former friends of the United States in the Arab world are praying for his defeat."

Nonetheless, it seems, a majority of American Jews continue to lean toward Kerry, as a recent poll by the National Jewish Democratic Council is said to have found. According to the survey, an astonishing 75 percent of US Jews back the Massachusetts Senator, while just 22 percent support Bush.

With the election just two months away, now would be a good time for America, and particularly its Jews, to start thinking long and hard about the choice they face in November.

Because if the ayatollahs are banking on Kerry to win, that certainly cannot be the right way to go.

The writer served as deputy director of Communications & Policy Planning in the prime minister's office under Binyamin Netanyahu.

20 posted on 09/01/2004 10:04:25 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
This thread is now closed.

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

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

21 posted on 09/01/2004 9:16:16 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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