Skip to comments.Iranian Alert - September 15, 2004 [EST]- IRAN LIVE THREAD - "Americans for Regime Change in Iran"
Posted on 09/14/2004 9:01:52 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
The US media still largely ignores news regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran. As Tony Snow of the Fox News Network has put it, this is probably the most under-reported news story of the year. As a result, most Americans are unaware that the Islamic Republic of Iran is NOT supported by the masses of Iranians today. Modern Iranians are among the most pro-American in the Middle East. In fact they were one of the first countries to have spontaneous candlelight vigils after the 911 tragedy (see photo).
There is a popular revolt against the Iranian regime brewing in Iran today. I began these daily threads June 10th 2003. On that date Iranians once again began taking to the streets to express their desire for a regime change. Today in Iran, most want to replace the regime with a secular democracy.
The regime is working hard to keep the news about the protest movement in Iran from being reported. Unfortunately, the regime has successfully prohibited western news reporters from covering the demonstrations. The voices of discontent within Iran are sometime murdered, more often imprisoned. Still the people continue to take to the streets to demonstrate against the regime.
In support of this revolt, Iranians in America have been broadcasting news stories by satellite into Iran. This 21st century news link has greatly encouraged these protests. The regime has been attempting to jam the signals, and locate the satellite dishes. Still the people violate the law and listen to these broadcasts. Iranians also use the Internet and the regime attempts to block their access to news against the regime. In spite of this, many Iranians inside of Iran read these posts daily to keep informed of the events in their own country.
This daily thread contains nearly all of the English news reports on Iran. It is thorough. If you follow this thread you will witness, I believe, the transformation of a nation. This daily thread provides a central place where those interested in the events in Iran can find the best news and commentary. The news stories and commentary will from time to time include material from the regime itself. But if you read the post you will discover for yourself, the real story of what is occurring in Iran and its effects on the war on terror.
I am not of Iranian heritage. I am an American committed to supporting the efforts of those in Iran seeking to replace their government with a secular democracy. I am in contact with leaders of the Iranian community here in the United States and in Iran itself.
If you read the daily posts you will gain a better understanding of the US war on terrorism, the Middle East and why we need to support a change of regime in Iran. Feel free to ask your questions and post news stories you discover in the weeks to come.
If all goes well Iran will be free soon and I am convinced become a major ally in the war on terrorism. The regime will fall. Iran will be free. It is just a matter of time.
The global effort to curb nuclear proliferation may now be facing some of its most daunting challenges in years. Taken separately, the news items above are bad enough. But some experts worry that, added together, they might spiral into a whole more dangerous than the sum of its parts.
That's because a few serious cracks could conceivably shatter long-held international taboos against acquiring an atomic arsenal. Even one overt new nuclear nation might produce others, as rivals and neighbors rush to arm themselves defensively.
But this outcome isn't necessarily inevitable. Today, the number of states with a nuclear weapon remains the same as 15 years ago, points out Matthew Bunn, a nuclear expert at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.
"If we work hard and patch up these holes in the [nonproliferation] regime ... we still have a chance to be at the same place 15 years from now," says Mr. Bunn.
The case against North Korea
Still, September has so far been a daunting month for nuclear revelations - bad enough to make the issue a live one for the presidential campaign. Senator John Kerry said Sunday that by focusing on Iraq, Bush administration officials have "taken their eye off the real ball" and allowed nuclear threats to develop. Bush officials denied the charge - and said that this is one area where they are working with the international community to try to develop multilateral solutions.
For instance, the US isn't alone in confronting North Korea, said Secretary of State Colin Powell in a broadcast interview: "It's North Korea versus all of its neighbors, which have no interest in seeing North Korea with a nuclear weapon."
North Korea remains perhaps the most acute proliferation concern for US officials and experts outside government. Last weekend, reports that Pyongyang might be preparing to test a nuclear device coincided with the inexplicable appearance of a mushroom cloud in North Korea, near the border with China. By all accounts the cloud was the result of a non-nuclear explosion, the cause of which isn't yet clear. But if nothing else, the incident reminded the world of North Korea's self-proclaimed steady nuclear progress.
US intelligence estimates hold that North Korea now has enough fissile material for six to eight nuclear devices. That's enough of a stockpile to use some in a design experiment, say experts - meaning it's entirely possible that a real mushroom cloud will appear somewhere over the secretive nation in the next few years.
"I think it is a real possibility they will carry out a test," says Bunn. "Of course it would be completely insane on their part - they may think it may lead the US to bargain with them, but it would most certainly have the opposite result."
How the 'nuclear club' could grow
An overtly nuclear North Korea might not spark a regional arms race right away. But if Japan and South Korea saw no progress in containing the threat within a relatively short period of time, they, too, might decide it would be safer to be in the nuclear club than out. And if Japan and South Korea move, Taiwan might not be far behind.
Meanwhile, the international community on Monday was struggling with how to deal with Iran's nascent nuclear activities. Among the key aims of the US and European allies is to get Iran to fully give up nuclear enrichment activities, which it has so far refused to do, saying they are related only to a nuclear power program.
The US wants the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to set a November deadline for action. If Iran didn't comply, it would be hauled before the UN Security Council for possible sanctions. Europe has moved closer to the US view recently, though the US still wants a more automatic "trigger" for action than many of its allies.
The fact that Iran is far more wily in geopolitics than North Korea or Iraq may make it a difficult opponent for the US on this issue, note some experts. "I think there's a bit of a stalemate, but there's room for progress," says Paul Kerr, a non- proliferation analyst at the Arms Control Association. "The Iranians seem to be probing to see what they can get away with."
In this context, South Korea's newly revealed nuclear activities, including production of 300 pounds of uranium metal in the '80s and creation of a small amount of highly enriched uranium in 2000, gave potential proliferators a rhetorical advantage, at the very least. North Korea has already used the admission to try and justify its own activities.
On Monday, IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei said South Korea's admissions were of "serious concern." A fuller IAEA report on the matter should be forthcoming by November, he said.
A broad but critical agenda
Can the cracks in the nonproliferation dike be plugged? Possibly, say experts. The US could make the issue one of higher visibility, and commit more money to programs designed to secure existing stocks of nuclear materials, says the Arms Control Association's Mr. Kerr.
Bunn of Harvard, for his part, says the US should tackle the nuclear programs of hostile states with more adroit diplo- macy. Then it should redouble efforts to secure fissile stockpiles, and roll up any black-market nuclear networks, such as the one headed by rogue Pakistani scientist A.Q. Khan.
Next on Bunn's list is establishment of a robust international inspection regime to make sure controls stay in place. And the US might have to accept limits on its own arsenal, he says, such as a cap on development of new warhead designs.
"This a very broad agenda," says Bunn, "and it's very crucial, partly because the review conference [of the Non Proliferation Treaty] is coming up in early 2005, right after either a new President takes office or President Bush takes up his second term."
| NICOSIA [MENL] -- Iran has launched a major military exercise as the International Atomic Energy Agency began formal discussions of Teheran's nuclear program.
Iranian officials said the exercise in western Iran was meant to test the effectiveness of troops and strategic platforms against any foreign invasion. They said the exercise was the latest of more than a dozen over the last 18 months in an attempt to bolster deterrence against any Israeli or U.S. military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities.
The exercise, entitled Ashura-5, began on Sept. 12 in the western provinces of Hamedan, Kurdistan, and Zanjan. The exercise was being commanded by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, responsible for Iran's missile and nuclear weapons programs.
IRGC commander Gen. Yahya Rahim-Safavi said Ashura-5 would include the firing of surface-to-surface missiles and anti-aircraft batteries. The commander did not identify the missiles, but said they would be used for what he termed deep-strike warfare.
Posted Tuesday, September 14, 2004
VIENNA, 14 Sept. (IPS) The usually calm city of Vienna continue to be one of the worlds most news generating point, as alongside of the ongoing battle in the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) over the controversial Iranian nuclear activities, ministers from the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) are also here to discuss the situation of oil markets, as prices hovers around 40 dollars per barrel.
The cartel, which supplies more than a third of the world's oil, will continue to produce as much crude as possible to lower near-record prices, the oil ministers for two members, Qatar and Algeria, said ahead of the OPECs meeting on Wednesday.
Informed sources told Iran Press Service that besides seeking practical ways and means to lower the prices, the ministers faces the thorny question of naming the next president of the 11 members Organisation as well as considering changing the present target price range of 22 to 28 US Dollars a barrel, a bracket that had been ignored during last nine months, with prices hitting 49.40 a barrel in New York.
OPEC is also divided on weather raising its official $22-$28 price target to a range centred around a $30-a-barrel or to keep the present system
"We do not see a reason at this time to change or do anything with the band", Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi told reporters upon his arrival in Vienna, were both OPEC and IAEA are based.
OPEC output, including Iraq, rose 360,000 barrels a day to an average of 29.92 million a day in August, at a 25-year high for a second straight month, according to Bloomberg data. The 10 members with quotas, all except Iraq, pumped 28.1 million barrels a day.
OPEC is pumping 2 million barrels per day above its quota of 26 million and most of its members think that there is not a shortage of crude oil on the market, but speculation.
The group is meeting for the fourth time so far this year and may gather again in November or December.
On the presidency of the organization, sources said Iran has told other members that it is time that the job is given to an Iranian, in this case Mr. Kazempour Ardebili.
But Kuwait is also seeking the position.
The chips are high and members divided, but it seems that Iran is the favorite, one source told IPS, adding that Mr. Namdar Zanganeh, Irans Oil Minister, has warned colleagues that if Mr. Ardebili is rejected, Iran might create difficulties for the 40 years-old cartel.
Meanwile, on the other end of the city, participants at the IAEA meeting were reported to face serious problems on various fronts, as some medium-sized European Union members have put up a challenge to the Union's "Big 3" in the one hand and the Non aligned group opposing the draft resolution prepared by Britain, France and Germany.
Italy and Spain are spearheding a movement contesting that the so-called Big 3 should decide for the whole 25-members European Union on dealing with Iranian nuclear issue, sources said, adding that debates on the sidelines of the meeting aimed at watering down the EU's trio resolution that gives Iran until November to convince the EU, the US and the IAEA on its intentions has resulted in the posteponment of the session until Thursday. ENDS OPEC 14904
Together, these funds invest over $1 trillion in stock alone2 on behalf of this country's fire fighters, police officers, teachers, state and local officials and other public employees, making this collection of funds one of the most powerful investment blocks in the world. Given this extraordinary financial influence and the important role played by public companies in the economies of terrorist-sponsoring states3,the Center for Security Policy has reached a key finding: America's 100 largest and most prominent pension systems have the power to help defeat terrorism.
From the pension system of this country's smallest state, Rhode Island, which has close to $400 million invested in 41 companies that are active in terrorist-sponsoring states, to America's largest public pension system -- the California Public Employees Retirement System -- which has over $17 billion invested in 201 such companies, the results were remarkably uniform:
Among the report's other important findings:
From the fact that virtually each and every public employee in this country holds stock in companies that partner with governments that sponsor terrorism flows an extraordinary opportunity: America's 100 largest and most influential pension systems have the power to help defeat terrorism. To understand why requires only one further statistic: The total estimated value of the stock of some 400 companies doing business in terrorist sponsoring states held by America's leading public pension systems is approximately $188 billion.6
When a group of investors own roughly $200 billion worth of stock in some 400 companies, they should be able to exercise considerable influence over the decision-making and business activities of those companies. Accordingly, if these Top 100 pension systems were to make clear that their funds will not be available to corporations partnering with terrorist-sponsoring states, the message would be unmistakable: There will no longer be simply profits to be garnered from investments in rogue states; from now on, there will be real costs. Ideally, those costs will translate into a choice between doing business with the American people and capital markets on the one hand or, alternatively, doing business with terrorists' friends and this country's enemies.
The South Africa divestment campaign of the 1980's taught Americans a compelling lesson: When companies receive a unified message from state pension systems and other institutional investors who follow their lead, they respond. It seems reasonable to expect that, just as such corporate actions (notably, withdrawal from business operations in-country) compelled changes in the policies -- and ultimately the government -- of South Africa, application of this model to state-sponsors of terror could also produce salutary results. In other words, the Top 100 public pension systems can help defeat terrorism by using their investments in public companies to force the governments of Iran, Syria, North Korea, Sudan and Libya to choose between their sponsorship of terrorism and their critical partnerships with public companies.
In a recent letter to the Executive Directors of the same Top 100 pension systems assessed herein, Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) left little doubt as to the moral responsibility of our nation's pension systems to help defeat terrorism. According to the Senator, "It is� uncon-scionable for our country's public pension systems to permit investment in companies that provide revenues, advanced equipment and technology to countries that threaten our vital security interests."
The data in this report establishes that such "unconscionable" behavior is pervasively occurring today. For Americans to understand the full extent to which their money is being used by publicly traded companies to help terrorist-sponsoring regimes, they will need greater transparency and disclosure on the part of those who manage and invest such funds. Toward that end, public employees, taxpayers and state and federal officials and legislators should insist on knowing the full extent of their unintended and undesirable exposure -- moral, strategic and financial -- to aiding and abetting our enemies.
In the meantime, a simple principle must be applied: Americans do not want to invest in terror, directly or indirectly. Regrettably, that is what is being done on a massive scale today. Stopping such a practice -- the goal of DivestTerror.org -- can make a significant contribution to waging and winning the war on terror.
This report sought to analyze America's "Top 100" largest and most prominent public pension systems, excluding public university endowments. At the time of publication, only 87 of these public pension funds had provided the data required to undertake this analysis.
For the purposes of this report, terrorist-sponsoring states are defined as Iran, Saddam Hussein's Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan and Syria. Although Cuba is also correctly listed as a state-sponsor of terrorism by the U.S. Department of State, relevant data for Cuba was not available for this study.
To perform the analyses of the 100 pension systems' investment portfolios, the Center forwarded this data to the Conflict Securities Advisory Group (CSAG). Using their Global Security Risk Monitor, CSAG ran each portfolio to determine its exposure to companies doing business in terrorist-sponsoring states or to proliferation-related concerns. The Center's use of this data and the views and policy recommendations expressed in this report do not necessarily reflect those of CSAG or its partner firm, Investor Responsibility Research Center.
Of the roughly 400 companies considered in this report, project values and similar financial data was available for only some 150 companies. A reasonable estimate of the value of all 400 companies' projects in terrorist-sponsoring countries would be well over $100 billion.
Based on the results for the 87 funds analyzed, we estimate that the actual holdings of the Top 100 pension systems in the stock of companies that do business in terrorist-sponsoring states likely exceeds $210 billion.
1. This report sought to analyze America's "Top 100" largest and most prominent public pension systems, excluding public university endowments. At the time of publication, only 87 of these public pension funds had provided the data required to undertake this analysis.
2. America's Top 100 funds invest via a number of other investment vehicles, making their total investments on behalf of the American people closer to $2 trillion.
3. For the purposes of this report, terrorist-sponsoring states are defined as Iran, Saddam Hussein's Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan and Syria. Although Cuba is also correctly listed as a state-sponsor of terrorism by the U.S. Department of State, relevant data for Cuba was not available for this study.
4. To perform the analyses of the 100 pension systems' investment portfolios, the Center forwarded this data to the Conflict Securities Advisory Group (CSAG). Using their Global Security Risk Monitor, CSAG ran each portfolio to determine its exposure to companies doing business in terrorist-sponsoring states or to proliferation-related concerns. The Center's use of this data and the views and policy recommendations expressed in this report do not necessarily reflect those of CSAG or its partner firm, Investor Responsibility Research Center.
5.Of the roughly 400 companies considered in this report, project values and similar financial data was available for only some 150 companies. A reasonable estimate of the value of all 400 companies' projects in terrorist-sponsoring countries would be well over $100 billion.
6.Based on the results for the 87 funds analyzed, we estimate that the actual holdings of the Top 100 pension systems in the stock of companies that do business in terrorist-sponsoring states likely exceeds $210 billion.
Europe sets deadline for Iran to respond to nuclear concern
|www.chinaview.cn 2004-09-15 09:42:52|
VIENNA, Sept. 14 (Xinhuanet) -- Germany, France and Britain formally submitted a draft resolution Tuesday to the InternationalAtomic Energy Agency (IAEA), setting a deadline for Iran to respond to concern about its nuclear program.
The draft urged Iran to meet all the requirements of the IAEA before Oct. 31, according to sources.
Meanwhile, the IAEA will carry out a comprehensive evaluation of Iran's nuclear program, in accordance with which the 35-nation Board of Governors of the IAEA will decide on whether or not further steps are needed at a meeting set to be held in November, the sources added.
The draft also called on Iran to provide necessary cooperation with the IAEA in its inspections of the country's nuclear facilities and suspend all uranium enrichment-related activities.
IAEA Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei told reporters Tuesday that he can't assure the inspection could be finished before November. But he stressed the inspection so far could not prove that Iran has been developing a program on nuclear weapons.
Hossein Mousavian, head of the Iranian delegation to the IAEA meeting, said Monday that Iran's year-long suspension of uranium enrichment is not without a time limit and Iran has the right to develop peaceful nuclear technology.
The Iranian official also stressed his country's uranium enrichment was under the supervision and control of the IAEA.
The IAEA Board of Governors began a week-long meeting on Monday,during which the Iran nuclear issue would be discussed. Enditem
Yes. And guess who and what, is the root cause of the Iranians misery? Democrat Jimmy Carter, that's who.
"who and what, is the root cause of the Iranians misery? Democrat Jimmy Carter, that's who"
Thought that was worth saying again.
Americans do not want war with Iran...Thinking
Israeli's and their sympathizers should not want
war with Iran...Long ago Arik Sharon urged his
protege in the white house to attack Iran the
day after he defeated Iraq....we should not fall
prey to the designs of the military adventures
of expansionists....it is not in the interest of
the USA....USA First--all others second.
BUMP for you!
'Persian Gulf islands, insaparable part of Iran'
Sep 15th, 2004
LONDON,Sep 15 (IranMania) - Iran reiterated Tuesday its "total sovereignty" over three Persain Gulf islands claimed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), state media reported.
"Any claims against the territorial integrity of Islamic Republic of Iran and its possession of its regional waters, air space or economy are condemned," foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi was quoted as saying by AFP in reaction to a final declaration from a Persian Gulf Cooperation Council summit.
"The three islands of the Greater and Lesser Tunbs as well as Abu Musa are inseparable parts of Iranian soil," Asefi asserted.
According to the Kuwaiti news agency KUNA, ministers from the GCC states meeting in Saudi Arabia on Monday renewed their support for the United Arab Emirates regrading the "three islands occupied by Iran".
Iran has controlled the three islands since the withdrawal of British forces from the region in 1971.
The UAE was established in 1971 following Britain's pullout from the region, shortly after Tehran took control of the islands situated roughly halfway between the two countries.
The GCC groups the gas- and oil-rich states of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
"The draft urged Iran to meet all the requirements of the IAEA before Oct. 31"
I think I could go back one year and pull that sentence out of an article written then. In other words, Nothing has been accomplished in the past year.
US debates military strikes on 'nuclear Iran'
By Guy Dinmore in Washington (FT.com)
The Bush administration's warnings that it will not "tolerate" a nuclear-armed Iran have opened up a lively policy debate in Washington over the merits of military strikes against the Islamic republic's nuclear programme.
Analysts close to the administration say military options are under consideration, but have not reached a level of seriousness that indicate the US is preparing actual action.
When asked, senior officials repeat that President George W. Bush is removing no option from the table - but that he believes the issue can be solved by diplomatic means.
Diplomacy on Wednesday appeared stalled.
The US and its European allies on the board of the International Atomic Energy Agency continued to wrangle over the wording of a resolution on Iran which insists it has no intention of using its advanced civilian programme to make a bomb.
Gary Schmitt, executive director of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), a neo-conservative think-tank, says that with "enough intelligence and spadework", the US could "do a good job" of slowing Iran's programme for a while.
But, he cautions, the Bush administration would need a "game plan" for the aftermath.
That long-term approach is lacking, analysts say, and has floundered in the debate over "regime change".
Asked whether Israel would take military action if the US dithered, Mr Schmitt replied: "Absolutely. No government in Israel will let this pass ultimately."
Tom Donnelly, an analyst with PNAC and the American Enterprise Institute, says that while inflicting military damage is possible, the consequences rule out this option.
If the US started down the military road, it would have to consider going the whole way to invasion and occupation.
"We have to start thinking in terms of a post-nuclear Iran," he said, describing the Europeans as "hopeless" on Iran, and India and China boosting their energy relations with the clerical regime.
Henry Sokolski, head of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center, says the US and its allies are in a state of denial, that it is too late to stop Iran from getting the bomb. It already has the capacity, he says.
Neither of the US and European options "to bomb or bribe Iran" would succeed and both could make it worse.
Mr Sokolski describes as "highly irresponsible" the idea that the US can let Israel do the job.
The short-term benefits of air strikes would have to be weighed against the costs of a blow to US efforts to foster more moderate Islamic rule in Iran and the Middle East.
"The short-term benefits of air strikes would have to be weighed against the costs of a blow to US efforts to foster more moderate Islamic rule in Iran and the Middle East."
If the regime changes to one that isn't hostile to U.S., europe, or other mideast countries, the nukes issue becomes a moot point.
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