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Iranian Alert - September 28, 2004 [EST]- IRAN LIVE THREAD - "Americans for Regime Change in Iran"
Americans for Regime Change in Iran ^ | 9.28.2004 | DoctorZin

Posted on 09/27/2004 9:09:02 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: armyofmahdi; ayatollah; cleric; humanrights; iaea; insurgency; iran; iranianalert; iranquake; iraq; islamicrepublic; jayshalmahdi; journalist; kazemi; khamenei; khatami; khatemi; lsadr; moqtadaalsadr; mullahs; persecution; persia; persian; politicalprisoners; 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 09/27/2004 9:09:03 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 09/27/2004 9:10:46 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Analysts: Rare Demonstration in Iran Hints at Momentum for Change
Ursula Lindsey
Cairo
27 Sep 2004, 20:17 UTC
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A rare pro-democracy demonstration took place in Tehran on Sunday, sparked by foreign TV channels and the promise of a Zoroastrian mystic to return to Iran on October 1st and solve the country's problems.

According to press reports, about two thousand people milled around streets in downtown Tehran, many of them driving cars up and down major avenues, honking their horns and flashing victory signs. Hundreds of volunteer militiamen arrived on the scene, but there were no violent clashes.

Demonstrations are rare in Iran, although Iranian students have taken to the streets several times to call for change from the country's conservative clerical leadership. In 1999, the closure of a reformist newspaper led to student protests and six days of rioting. In 2003, thousands of students held nightly marches in Tehran calling for democratic reform.

The demonstration on Sunday appears to have been catalyzed by the statements of a Zoroastrian mystic, Ahura Pirouz Khalegi Yazdi. Dr. Ahura, as he's known, has been appearing regularly for the last three months on a Los Angeles-based Iranian expatriate TV channel, saying he has the spiritual power to heal Iran's problems. He promised to return to Iran on October 1, along with thousands of other expatriates, if Iranians in the country showed their support for him.

Ali Nouri Zadeh is a member of the Arab Iranian Studies Center in London and has a program on the popular expatriate Iranian radio and TV show Yaran. He said Iranians are so desperate for change nowadays that they are willing to believe anything. He added that many who don't put faith in Dr. Ahura's claims still went into the streets out of a desire to see something happen.

"The majority of people who participated in the demonstration came out either out of curiosity or they came out expecting something big is going to happen," he said. "I mean, I was talking to a university professor and he was telling me: I know all this is a shamble, it's crooks, and all of that, but I came out with my wife and my children just to see what's going to happen."

In 2000, reformists aligned with President Mohamed Khatami were voted into power on an agenda for change. But in the last four years, the Council of Guardians, a highly-conservative, 12-man appointed watchdog body which supervises both legislation and elections, has blocked most proposed reforms. Before the country's last parliamentary elections, the Council struck hundreds of reformist candidates from the rolls, ensuring that conservatives returned to control the parliament.

Tensions in Iran have been further aggravated recently as the country's nuclear program has come under international scrutiny. On September 19, the International Atomic Energy Agency told Iran to freeze all operations connected with uranium enrichment or face possible retaliation. But Iranian officials declined to do so, saying that Iran is developing atomic power for peaceful purposes and describing U.S. claims that it is developing nuclear weapons as "lies."

According to Mohamed El-Saiid Abdel Moamen, Professor of Iranian Studies at Ein Shams University, the demonstration points to the broader tension over access to information in Iran. The reformers in government, led by President Khatami, are in favor of greater openness towards the outside world, says Mr. Moamen. The hardliners who surround Iran's supreme spiritual guide Ayatollah Ali Khameni, on the other hand, view foreign media as a threat to their power, and try to curtail access to it.

There's a ban on satellite dishes in Iran, says Mr. Moamen, and the installation of dishes takes place in secret. This is an attempt on the part of the regime to stop foreign cultural infiltration. The regime controls and monitors the foreign channels and penalizes those who are caught watching them.

But according to Mr. Moamen, it is increasingly impossible for the government to control access to TV, radio and the Internet. Expatriate Iranian communities, particularly in the United States, operate several radio and TV channels that oppose the government, says Mr. Moamen, and that have vast audiences.

3 posted on 09/27/2004 9:11:08 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

The Seductions of Islamism

Revisiting Foucault and the Iranian Revolution

Janet Afary and Kevin B. Anderson

 

FEBRUARY 2004 MARKED THE TWENTY-FIFTH ANNIVERSARY of the Iranian Revolution. From September 1978 to February 1979, in the course of a massive urban revolution with millions of participants, the Iranian people toppled the regime of Muhammad Reza Shah Pahlavi (1941-1979), which had pursued a highly authoritarian program of economic and cultural modernization. By late 1978, the Islamist faction led by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini had come to dominate the antiregime uprising, in which secular nationalists, democrats, and leftists also participated. The Islamists controlled the slogans and the organization of the protests, which meant that many secular women protesters were pressured into donning the veil (chador) as an expression of solidarity with the more traditional Iranian Muslims. By February 1979, the shah had left the country and Khomeini returned from exile to take power. The next month, he sponsored a national referendum that declared Iran an Islamic republic by an overwhelming majority. Soon after, as Khomeini began to assume nearly absolute power, a reign of terror ensued.

Progressive and leftist intellectuals around the world were initially very divided in their assessments of the Iranian Revolution. While they supported the overthrow of the shah, they were usually less enthusiastic about the notion of an Islamic republic. Foucault visited and wrote on Iran during this period, a period when he was at the height of his intellectual powers. He had recently published Discipline and Punish (1975) and Vol. I of History of Sexuality (1976) and was working on material for Vol. II and III of the latter. Since their publication, the reputation of these writings has grown rather than diminished and they have helped us to conceptualize gender, sexuality, knowledge, power, and culture in new and important ways. Paradoxically, however, his extensive writings and interviews on the Iranian Revolution have experienced a different fate, ignored or dismissed even by thinkers closely identified with Foucault's perspectives.

Attempts to bracket out Foucault's writings on Iran as "miscalculations," or even "not Foucauldian," remind one of what Foucault himself had criticized in his well-known 1969 essay, "What Is an Author?" When we include certain works in an author's career and exclude others that were written in "a different style," or were "inferior," we create a stylistic unity and a theoretical coherence, he wrote. We do so, he added, by privileging certain writings as authentic and excluding others that do not fit our view of what the author ought to be: "The author is therefore the ideological figure by which one marks the manner in which we fear the proliferation of meaning" (Rabinow 1984).

Throughout his life, Foucault's concept of authenticity meant looking at situations where people lived dangerously and flirted with death, a site where creativity originated. In the tradition of Friedrich Nietzsche and Georges Bataille, Foucault embraced the artist who pushed the limits of rationality and he wrote with great passion in defense of irrationalities that broke new boundaries. In 1978, Foucault found such morbid transgressive powers in the revolutionary figure of Ayatollah Khomeini and the millions who risked death as they followed him in the course of the revolution. He knew that such "limit" experiences could lead to new forms of creativity and he passionately threw in his support. This was Foucault's only first-hand experience of revolution and it led to his most extensive set of writings on a non-Western society.

Distinctive Positions

FOUCAULT FIRST VISITED IRAN in September 1978 and then met with Khomeini at his exile residence outside Paris in October. He traveled to Iran for a second visit in November, when the revolutionary movement against the shah was reaching its zenith. During these two trips, Foucault was commissioned as a special correspondent of the leading Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, with his articles appearing on page one of that paper. He published other parts of his writings on Iran in French newspapers and journals, such as the daily Le Monde and the widely circulated leftist weekly Nouvel Observateur. Student activists translated at least one of his essays into Persian and posted it on the walls of Tehran University in the fall of 1978.

Foucault staked out a series of distinctive political and theoretical positions on the Iranian Revolution. In part because only three of his fifteen articles and interviews on Iran have appeared in English, they have generated little discussion in the English-speaking world. Many scholars of Foucault view these writings as aberrant or the product of a political mistake. We believe that Foucault's writings on Iran were in fact closely related to his general theoretical writings on the discourses of power and the hazards of modernity.

Long before most other commentators, Foucault understood, and this to his credit, that Iran was witnessing a singular kind of revolution. Early on, he predicted that this revolution would not follow the model of other modern revolutions. He wrote that it was organized around a sharply different concept, which he called "spiritual politics." Foucault recognized the enormous power of the new discourse of militant Islam, not just for Iran, but globally. He showed that the new Islamist movement aimed at a fundamental cultural, social, as well as political break with the modern Western order, as well as with the Soviet Union and China.

The Iranian experience also raises some serious questions about Foucault's thought. First, it is often assumed that Foucault's suspicion of utopianism, his hostility to grand narratives and universals, and his stress on difference and singularity rather than totality, would make him less likely than his predecessors on the left to romanticize an authoritarian politics that promised radically to refashion from above the lives and thought of a people, for their ostensible benefit. However, his Iran writings showed that Foucault was not immune to the type of illusions that so many Western leftists had held toward the Soviet Union and later, China. Foucault did not anticipate the birth of yet another modern state where old religious technologies of domination could be refashioned and institutionalized; this was a state that combined a traditionalist ideology (Islam) with the anti- imperialist discourse of the left, but also equipped itself with modern technologies of organization, surveillance, warfare, and propaganda.

Second, Foucault's highly problematic relationship to feminism becomes more than an intellectual lacuna in the case of Iran. On a few occasions, Foucault reproduced statements he had heard from religious figures on gender relations in a possible future Islamic republic, but he never questioned the "separate but equal" message of the Islamists. Foucault also dismissed feminist premonitions that the revolution was headed in a dangerous direction. He seemed to regard such warnings as little more than Orientalist attacks on Islam, thereby depriving himself of a more balanced perspective toward the events in Iran. At a more general level, Foucault remained insensitive toward the diverse ways in which power affected women, as against men. He ignored the fact that those most traumatized by premodern disciplinary practices were often woman and children.

Third, an examination of Foucault's writings provides more support for the frequently-articulated criticism that his one-sided critique of modernity needs to be seriously reconsidered, especially from the vantage point of many non-Western societies. A number of Middle Eastern intellectuals have been grappling with their own versions of the Enlightenment project over the past century. The questions in the Middle East are quite concrete. Should such societies, which are often dominated by secular or religious despotic orders, ignore the juridico-legal legacies of the West? Or can they combine aspects of Foucault's theory of power and critiques of modernity with a modern secular state? This is an issue that is hotly debated in many Middle Eastern countries today, especially in Iran and within Iranian exilic communities. Indeed, there are some indications that Foucault himself was moving in such a direction at the end of his life. In his 1984 "What Is Enlightenment?" essay (Rabinow 1984), he put forth a position on the Enlightenment that was more nuanced than before.

Foucault's Analysis

IN FRANCE, THE CONTROVERSY over Foucault's writings on Iran is well known. For example, during the debate that followed the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, a prominent French commentator referred polemically and without apparent need for any further explanation to "Michel Foucault, advocate of Khomeinism in Iran and therefore in theory of its exactions," this in a front-page op-ed article in Le Monde (Minc 2001). Even French commentators more sympathetic to Foucault have acknowledged the extremely problematic nature of his stance on Iran. Biographer Didier Eribon (1991), himself an editor at Nouvel Observateur and a friend of Foucault, wrote: "The criticism and sarcasm that greeted Foucault's ‘mistake' concerning Iran added further to his despondency after what he saw as the qualified critical reception" of Volume I of the History of Sexuality. Eribon added: "For a long time thereafter Foucault rarely commented on politics or journalism." Eribon has furnished us with what is to date the most detailed and balanced discussion of Foucault and Iran. Another French biographer, Jeannette Colombel (1994), who was also a friend of Foucault, concludes that the controversy "wounded him."

The English-speaking world has seen less discussion of Foucault's Iran writings. One exception is the intellectual biography by the political philosopher James Miller (1993), who characterized Foucault's Iran episode as one of "folly." Miller was the only biographer to suggest that Foucault's fascination with death played a part in his enthusiasm for the Iranian Islamists, with their emphasis on mass martyrdom. David Macey, the author of the most comprehensive biography of Foucault to date, was more equivocal. Macey (1993) regarded the French attacks on Foucault over Iran as exaggerated and mean-spirited, but he nonetheless acknowledged that Foucault was so "impressed" by what he saw in Iran in 1978 that he misread "the probable future developments he was witnessing." Elsewhere in the English-speaking world, where Foucault's writings on Iran have been only selectively translated and the contemporary French responses to him not translated at all, his Iran writings have been treated more kindly. His last two articles on Iran, where he rather belatedly made a few criticisms of the Islamic regime in the face of the attacks on him by other French intellectuals, have been the most widely circulated ones among those that have appeared in English up to now. They are the only examples of his Iran writings to be found in the three-volume collection, The Essential Writings of Michel Foucault, issued recently by the New Press (Foucault 2000).

Foucault's problematic treatment of Iranian Islamism was partly due to the fact that he ignored the warnings of Iranian and Western feminists as well as secular leftists, who, early on, had developed a more balanced and critical attitude toward the revolution. This undercut what were in other respects some valuable analyses of the nature of the shah's regime and its Islamist opposition.

Foucault carried out a probing analysis of the shah's regime in his October 1978 article for Corriere della Sera, "The Shah Is One Hundred Years Behind the Times."1 He wrote that in Iran, "modernization" took the form of the shah's authoritarian policies. Situating himself in a postmodern position, he argued that the shah's plan for "secularization and modernization," handed down by his father Reza Shah, a brutal dictator known for "his famous gaze," was itself retrograde and archaic. Here one can discern echoes of his Discipline and Punish, published three years earlier. The Pahlavi shahs were the guardians of a modernizing disciplinary state that subjected all of the people of Iran to the intense gaze of their overlords. Most notably, Foucault was criticizing the surveillance methods and disciplinary practices adopted by the regime of Muhammad Reza Shah and his notorious secret police, the SAVAK, whose methods and practices remained brutal and retrograde.

Later, in February 1979, just after Khomeini had assumed power, Foucault made an astute prediction in his article, "A Powder Keg Called Islam," also in Corriere della sera. He mocked the hopes of French and Iranian Marxists, who had believed that Khomeini would now be pushed aside by the Marxist Left: "Religion played its role of opening the curtain; the Mullahs will now disperse themselves, taking off in a big group of black and white robes. The decor is changing. The first act is going to begin: that of the struggle of the classes, of the armed vanguards, and of the party that organizes the masses, etc."

In ridiculing the notion that the secular nationalist or Marxist left would now take center stage and displace the clerics, Foucault made a keen assessment of the balance of forces. Indeed, he exhibited quite a remarkable perspicacity, especially given the fact that he was not a specialist on either Iran or Islam. Even more importantly, he noted, a new type of revolutionary movement had emerged, one that would have an impact far beyond Iran's borders and would also have major effect on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: "But perhaps its historic importance will not hinge on its conformity to a recognized ‘revolutionary' model. Rather, it will owe its importance to the potential that it will have to overturn the existing political situation in the Middle East and thus the global strategic equilibrium. Its singularity, which has constituted up until this point its force, consequently threatens to create its power of expansion. Indeed, it is correct to say that, as an ‘Islamic' movement, it can set the entire region afire, overturn the most unstable regimes, and disturb the most solid. Islam -- which is not simply a religion, but an entire way of life, an adherence to a history and a civilization -- has a good chance to become a gigantic powder keg, at the level of hundreds of millions of men."

While Foucault's insight into Islamism's global reach was surely prescient, this was undercut by Foucault's uncritical stance toward Islamism as a political movement. In October 1978, during the period when the first nationwide strike was taking place in Iran, he decided to publish his views on Iran in French for the first time in an article entitled "Of What Are the Iranians Dreaming?" for Nouvel Observateur. Foucault described the current struggle in mythic terms: "The situation in Iran seems to depend on a great joust under traditional emblems, those of the king and the saint, the armed sovereign and the destitute exile, the despot faced with the man who stands up bare-handed and is acclaimed by a people."

As to the saintlike Khomeini's advocacy of "an Islamic government," Foucault was reassuring. He noted that "there is an absence of hierarchy in the clergy" and "a dependence (even a financial one) on those who listen to them." The clerics were not only democratic; they also possessed a creative political vision: "One thing must be clear. By ‘Islamic government,' nobody in Iran means a political regime in which the clergy would have a role of supervision or control. . . . It is something very old and also very far into the future, a notion of coming back to what Islam was at the time of the Prophet, but also of advancing toward a luminous and distant point where it would be possible to renew fidelity rather than maintain obedience. In pursuit of this ideal, the distrust of legalism seemed to me to be essential, along with a faith in the creativity of Islam."

Foucault also attempted to reassure his French readers concerning the rights of women and religious/ethnic minorities. His sources, who were close to the Islamists, assured him: "With respect to liberties, they will be respected to the extent that their usage will not harm others; minorities will be protected and free to live as they please on the condition that they do not injure the majority; between men and women there will not be inequality with respect to rights, but difference, since there is a natural difference." He concluded the article by referring to the crucial place of "political spirituality" in Iran and the loss of such spirituality in early modern Europe. This was something, he wrote, "whose possibility we have forgotten ever since the Renaissance and the great crises of Christianity." Already poised for the sharp responses he knew such views would receive in the highly charged world of Parisian intellectual debate, he said that he knew that his French readers would "laugh" at such a formulation. But, he retorted, "I know that they are wrong."

Islam as a Political Force

FOUCAULT'S SUGGESTION THAT HIS Nouvel Observateur article would stir up controversy turned out to be correct, perhaps more so than he had anticipated. Nouvel Observateur published, in its November 6 issue, excerpts of a letter from the pseudonymous "Atoussa H.," a leftist Iranian woman living in exile in France, who took strong exception to Foucault's uncritical stance toward the Islamists. She declared: "I am very distressed by the matter of fact commentaries usually made by the French left with respect to the prospect of an ‘Islamic' government replacing the bloody tyranny of the shah."2 Foucault, she wrote, seemed "deeply moved by ‘Muslim spirituality,' which, according to him, would be an improvement over the ferocious capitalist dictatorship, which is today beginning to fall apart." Why, she continued, alluding to the 1953 overthrow of the democratic and leftist Mossadeq government, must the Iranian people, "after twenty-five years of silence and oppression" be forced to choose between "the SAVAK and religious fanaticism?" Unveiled women were already being insulted on the streets and Khomeini supporters had made clear that "in the regime they want to create, women will have to adhere" to Islamic law. With respect to statements that ethnic and religious minorities would have their rights "so long as they do not harm the majority," Atoussa H. asked pointedly: "Since when have the minorities begun to ‘harm'" the majority?

Returning to the problematic notion of an Islamic government, Atoussa H. pointed to the brutal forms of justice in Saudi Arabia: "Heads and hands are cut off, for thieves and lovers." She concluded: "Many Iranians are, like me, distressed and desperate about the thought of an ‘Islamic' government. . . . The Western liberal left needs to know that Islamic law can become a dead weight on societies hungering for change. They should not let themselves be seduced by a cure that is perhaps worse than the disease." Foucault, in a short rejoinder published the following week in Nouvel Observateur, wrote that what was "intolerable" about Atoussa H.'s letter, was her "merging together" of all forms of Islam into one and then "scorning" Islam as "fanatical." It was certainly discerning on Foucault's part to note in his response that Islam "as a political force is an essential problem for our epoch and for the years to come." But this prediction was seriously undercut by his utter refusal to share any of her critique of political Islam. Instead, he concluded his rejoinder by lecturing Atoussa H.: "The first condition for approaching it [Islam] with a minimum of intelligence is not to begin by bringing in hatred." In March and April 1979, once the Khomeini regime's atrocities against women and homosexuals began, this exchange would come back to haunt Foucault.

While many prominent French intellectuals had become caught up in the enthusiasm of the Iranian upheaval in late 1978, none to our knowledge followed Foucault in siding so explicitly with the Islamists against the secular Marxist or nationalist left. Others with more background in Middle Eastern history were less sanguine altogether, notably the leading French specialist on Islam, Maxime Rodinson. An historian who had worked since the 1950s in the Marxian tradition and the author of the classic biography Muhammad (1961) and of Islam and Capitalism (1966), his leftist credentials were very strong. Rodinson's prescient three-part article entitled "The Awakening of Islamic Fundamentalism?" appeared on the front page of Le Monde in December 1978.3

As he publicly revealed some years later, in this article Rodinson was responding to Foucault's earlier evocation of a "political spirituality." However, in a time-honored tradition of Parisian intellectual debate, Rodinson chose not to name Foucault. For those in France who had followed Foucault's writings on Iran, however, Rodinson's references in this December 1978 article were clear enough, as they undoubtedly were to Foucault himself. Rodinson poured cold water on the hopes of many on the left for an emancipatory outcome in Iran. He pointed to specific ways in which the ideology of an Islamic state carried with it many reactionary features: "Even a minimalist Islamic fundamentalism would require, according to the Koran, that the hands of thieves be cut off and that a woman's share of the inheritance be cut in half. If there is a return to tradition, as the men of religion want, then it will be necessary to whip the wine drinker and whip or stone the adulterer…Nothing will be easier or more dangerous than this time-honored accusation: my adversary is an ‘enemy of God'." Bringing to bear the perspectives of historical materialism, he wrote: "It is astonishing, after centuries of common experience, that it is still necessary to recall one of the best attested laws of history. Good moral intentions, whether or not endorsed by the deity, are a weak basis for determining the practical policies of states." What lay in store for Iran, he worried, was not a liberation but "a semi-archaic fascism."

By spring 1979, these controversies came to a boil. At the March 8, 1979 International Women's Day demonstration, the repressive character of Iran's new Islamist regime suddenly became quite apparent to many of the Iranian Revolution's international supporters. On that day, Iranian women activists and their male supporters demonstrated in Tehran against an order for women to re-veil themselves in the chador worn in more traditional sectors of society. The demonstrations continued for five days. At their height, they grew to fifty thousand in Tehran, women as well as men. Some leftist men formed a cordon around the women, fighting off armed attackers from a newly formed group, the Hezbollah or "Party of God." The demonstrators chanted "No to the Chador," "Down with the Dictatorship," and even the occasional "Down with Khomeini." One banner read, "We made the Revolution for Freedom, But Got Unfreedom," while others proclaimed "At the Dawn of Freedom, There Is No Freedom." For their part, the Hezbollah chanted "You will cover yourselves or be beaten," but their response was mainly nonverbal: stones, knives, and even bullets. After support demonstrations also took place in Paris, Simone de Beauvoir issued a statement of solidarity on March 19: "We have created the International Committee for Women's Rights (CIDF) in response to calls from a large number of Iranian women, whose situation and whose revolt have greatly moved us…We have appreciated the depth of the utter humiliation into which others wanted to make them fall and we have therefore resolved to struggle for them."

On March 24, a highly polemical article directed against Foucault appeared in Le Matin, a leftist daily that had editorialized forcefully against what it called Khomeini's "road toward counter-revolution and moral regulation." Entitled "Of What Are the Philosophers Dreaming?"4 and written by the feminist journalists Claudie and Jacques Broyelle, it derided Foucault's enthusiastic praise of the Islamist movement: "Returning from Iran a few months ago, Michel Foucault stated that he was ‘impressed' by the ‘attempt to open a spiritual dimension in politics' that he discerned in project on an Islamic government. Today there are little girls all in black, veiled from head to toe; women stabbed precisely because they do not want to wear the veil; summary executions for homosexuality; the creation of a ‘Ministry of Guidance According to the Precepts of the Koran;' thieves and adulterous women flagellated." Alluding to his Discipline and Punish, they referred ironically to "this spirituality that disciplines and punishes." The Broyelles mocked Foucault's notions of "political spirituality" and asked if this was connected to the "spiritual meaning" of the summary executions of homosexuals then taking place in Iran. They also called upon Foucault to admit that his thinking on Iran had been "in error." Foucault's response, published two days later, was in fact a non-response. He would not respond, he wrote, "because throughout ‘my life' I have never taken part in polemics. I have no intention of beginning now." He wrote further, "I am ‘summoned to acknowledge my errors'." He hinted that it was the Broyelles who were engaging in thought control by the manner in which they had called him to account.

Unproblematic Sympathy

AT THIS POINT THE CONTROVERSY was fueled by the appearance of Claire Brière and Pierre Blanchet's book Iran: la Révolution au nom de Dieu, published at the end of March. It included a lengthy interview with Foucault by the two authors that discussed the events in Iran. The interview, which appears to have been conducted before Khomeini assumed power in February, was entitled "Iran: The Spirit of a Spiritless World." Unfortunately for Foucault's reputation, this enthusiastic discussion of Iran's Islamist movement was mentioned frequently in reviews of the book, which appeared in the immediate aftermath of the March women's demonstrations and amid the growing reports of atrocities against gay men, Baha'is, and Kurds. The book achieved a certain notoriety because of its timeliness and months later, it was still the most prominently displayed title on the Iranian Revolution in Paris bookstores.

In the interview, Foucault began his analysis of Iran by complaining that "the Iranian affair and the way in which it has unfolded have not aroused the same type of unproblematic sympathy as Portugal, for example, or Nicaragua." He deplored the Western left's "unease when confronted by a phenomenon that is, for our political mentality, very curious." In Iran, he added, religion offered something deeper than ideology: "It really has been the vocabulary, the ceremonial, the timeless drama into which one could fit the historical drama of a people that pitted its very existence against that of its sovereign." Because Shi'ism had been part of the Iranian culture for centuries, and because the revolutionary drama was played out through this religious discourse, Foucault believed that Shi'ism, "a religion of combat and sacrifice," would not play the role of a modern ideology, one that would "mask contradictions." What Foucault perceived as Iran's unified historico-cultural discourse system seemed to override those "contradictions" with which, he acknowledged in passing, "Iranian society" was "shot through."

What's more, when Blanchet warned of uncritical euphoria with respect to the events in Iran, referring to his and Brière's experience in China during the Cultural Revolution, Foucault refused the implications of a more questioning, critical stance. Disagreeing directly with Blanchet, Foucault insisted on the uniqueness of the events in Iran vis-á-vis China: "All the same, the Cultural Revolution was certainly presented as a struggle between certain elements of the population and certain others, certain elements in the party and certain others, or between the population and the party, etc. Now what struck me in Iran is that there is no struggle between different elements. What gives it such beauty, and at the same time such gravity, is that there is only one confrontation: between the entire people and the state power threatening them with its weapons and police." Here, Foucault's denial of any social or political differentiation among the Iranian "people" was absolutely breathtaking.

Finally, about nine-tenths of the way through the interview, after more prodding by both Blanchet and Brière, Foucault acknowledged a single contradiction within the Iranian Revolution, that of xenophobic nationalism and anti-Semitism. We can quote these statements in full, since they are so brief. First, he noted: "There were demonstrations, verbal at least, of virulent anti- Semitism. There were demonstrations of xenophobia, and not only against the Americans, but also against foreign workers [including many Afghans] who had come to work in Iran." Then, somewhat later, he added: "What has given the Iranian movement its intensity has been a double register. On the one hand, a collective will that has been very strongly expressed politically and, on the other hand, the desire for a radical change in ordinary life. But this double affirmation can only be based on traditions, institutions that carry a charge of chauvinism, nationalism, exclusiveness, that have a very powerful attraction for individuals."

Here, for the first time in his discussions of Iran, Foucault acknowledged that the religious and nationalist myths through which the Islamists had mobilized the masses were full of "chauvinism, nationalism, exclusiveness." At the same time, however, and what continued to override the possibility of a more critical perspective, was the fact that he was so enamored by the ability of the Islamists to galvanize tens of millions of people through such traditions that he ignored the dangers. Strikingly, in the entire interview, Foucault never addressed the dangers facing Iranian women, even after Brière recounted, albeit with a big apologia for the Islamists, an incident in which she had been physically threatened for trying to join a group of male journalists during a 1978 demonstration.

At the end of March, soon after Iran: la Révolution au nom de Dieu appeared, a review in Le Monde emphasized the interview, calling Foucault's position "questionable." Days later, another critique of Foucault appeared in a review in Nouvel Observateur by Jean Lacouture, the veteran journalist and biographer. Lacouture argued that the book "poses important issues with a rather abrupt simplicity that becomes most apparent in the concluding conversation between the two authors and Michel Foucault." The biggest problem with the book and with Foucault's contribution, Lacouture added, was the way in which "the unanimous character of the movement" was emphasized in a one-sided fashion. Something similar to this so- called "unanimity" for Islam was also observed, erroneously it turned out, during China's Cultural Revolution of the 1960s, he concluded. Still another attack on Foucault soon appeared in L'Express, a mass-circulation centrist weekly, in which the prominent journalist Bernard Ullmann wrote that Foucault's interview "did not have the same prudence" as the rest of the book in assessing the possible dangers of an Islamist regime in Iran.

Foucault never responded directly to these various attacks on him in the reviews of Iran: la Révolution au nom de Dieu. Unlike some of the previous attacks on his writings, for example those by Sartre and de Beauvoir on his The Order of Things (1966), hardly anyone defended Foucault's Iran writings. One exception was the post-structuralist feminist Catherine Clément, who wrote in Le Matin that Foucault had simply "tried to discern what has escaped our intellectual expectations" and that "no schema, including that of ‘Human Rights' within our tradition, can be applied directly to this country, which makes it revolution from its own culture." Foucault published two more articles on Iran in April and May 1979, one of them for Le Monde, in which he made a few very mild criticisms of the revolution. Then he lapsed into silence over Iran.

The Significance of Gender

IN THE TWO AND A HALF DECADES since 1979, the tremors set off by the Iranian Revolution helped in no small way to spark an international series of Islamist movements. Radical Islamists have taken power or staged destructive civil wars in a number of countries, from Algeria to Egypt and from Sudan to Afghanistan, in the latter case with U.S. support. These regimes and movements have been responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths and for numerous setbacks to women's rights throughout the Muslim world. Islamism gained such power and influence during a period when equally retrogressionist Christian, Hindu, and Jewish religious fundamentalist movements were also on the rise, all of them inimical to women's rights. The September 11 attacks were a dramatic and horrific example of the dangers of such religious fanaticism.

Two questions for today emerge from Foucault's Iran writings. First, were these writings aberrations, largely the product of his ignorance of Iranian history and culture? This is what Maxime Rodinson suggested in his critiques of Foucault. We think not. We note that de Beauvoir and other French feminists took a markedly different stance, one that holds up better today, although they had little specialist knowledge of Iran. We suggest that Foucault's Iran writings reveal, albeit in exaggerated form, some problems in his overall perspective, especially its one-sided critique of modernity. In this sense, the Iran writings contribute something important to our understanding of this major social philosopher.

A second issue for today concerns the whole issue of religious fundamentalism, more important than ever to debates over the crisis of modernity since September 11, 2001. The international left's failure to chart an adequate response to religious fundamentalism is not Michel Foucault's problem alone. It is ours today as well. And this is no easy task, just as in past decades it was not easy to chart a leftist perspective independent of Stalinism and Maoism. As Maxime Rodinson later wrote, with a measure of Gallic humanism: "Those who, like the author of these lines, refused for so long to believe the reports about the crimes committed in the name of the triumphant socialism in the former Tsarist Empire, in the terrible human dramas resulting from the Soviet Revolution, would exhibit bad grace if they became indignant at the incredulity of the Muslim masses before all the spots that one asks them to view on the radiant sun of their hope. Michel Foucault is not contemptible for not having wanted to create despair in the Muslim world's shantytowns and starving countryside, for not having wanted to lose hope, or for that matter, to lose hope in the worldwide importance of their hopes." And, as we have seen above, hope needs to be tempered by a critical spirit cognizant above all of the significance of gender in an era of religious fundamentalism.

 

References

Afary, Janet and Kevin B. Anderson. Forthcoming. Foucault, Gender, and the Iranian Revolution: The Seductions of Islamism. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Colombel, Jeannette. 1994. Michel Foucault: La clarté de la mort. Paris: éditions Odile Jacob.

Eribon, Didier. [1989] 1991. Michel Foucault. Trans. by Betsy Wing. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Foucault, Michel. 2000. Power. Volume III of The Essential Works of Michel Foucault, 1954-1984. Edited by James Faubion. Translated by Robert Hurley et al. New York: New Press.

Macey, David. 1993. The Lives of Michel Foucault. New York: Vintage.

Miller, James. 1993. The Passion of Michel Foucault. New York: Doubleday.

Minc, Alain. 2001. "Le terrorisme de l'esprit." Le Monde (Nov. 7), pp. 1. 15

Rabinow, Paul, ed. 1984. Foucault Reader. New York: Pantheon.

 

Notes

  1. These and other quotations from Foucault's Iran writings are from the appendix to Afary and Anderson, where they are all translated, in most cases for the first time. return

  2. This letter is translated in the appendix to Afary and Anderson. return

  3. Rodinson's critiques of Foucault are translated, some of them for the first time, in the appendix to Afary and Anderson. return

  4. Beauvoir's statement, and Broyelle and Broyelle's article, are translated in the appendix to Afary and Anderson. return

 

JANET AFARY and KEVIN B. ANDERSON are the co-authors of Foucault, Gender, and the Iranian Revolution: The Seductions of Islamism (forthcoming). Janet Afary teaches history and women's studies at Purdue University and is the author of The Iranian Constitutional Revolution, 1906-11: Grassroots Democracy, Social Democracy and the Origins of Feminism (1996). Kevin Anderson teaches political science and sociology at Purdue and is the author of Lenin, Hegel, and Western Marxism: A Critical Study (1995) and the co-editor of the Rosa Luxemburg Reader (2004).

4 posted on 09/27/2004 9:11:30 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

John Loftus reported Ayman al-Zawahiri dead or captured?

On Batchelor and Alexander radio program tonight John said the British paper the Guardian reported that Zahwahiri had been caputured in Tehran. Their source was a leading newspaper in Tehran run by the brother of the Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry later denied the story. But interestingly the Iranian diplomat held hostage was released around the same time the Iranian Foreign Ministry denied the reported capture of Zahwahiri. Could there have been a connection?
5 posted on 09/27/2004 9:11:49 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
I have a feeling something BIG is about to happen -- before the election. We may even make the first move, possibly.
6 posted on 09/27/2004 9:14:40 PM PDT by SteveMcKing
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To: DoctorZIn
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. Do they want to be free? We thought the Iraqi people wanted to be free too but look at how they are treating the U.S. and coalition troops who are there. They hate us and all we did was liberate them from a brutal, oppressive dictator. These people are not going to change their way of life that has been dictated by a 2000 year old culture.
7 posted on 09/27/2004 9:18:16 PM PDT by no dems (Saddam Hussein, himself, was a Weapon of Mass Destruction.)
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To: DoctorZIn

I honestly believe that our President is well aware of the problem there and that we have forces on both borders of Iran for a reason, I believe he sees the big picture and that Iran will be free along with Afghanistan and Iraq. I do not believe that it is coincidence that we have surrounded Iran nor do I think that it is a coincindence that the insurgency has increased. THE TERROSIST ARE AFRAID as they should be, they are more intelligent than some of our elected officials. They know that this President has their number and is coming for them.


8 posted on 09/27/2004 9:23:14 PM PDT by goldie3213
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To: no dems

Please remind me how many years England, Spain, Portugal, France, and Holland were dictatorships?


9 posted on 09/27/2004 9:42:09 PM PDT by freedom44
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To: freedom44

Europe was under Monarchies not dictatorships. But that is neither here nor there. I think Iraq has been an eye opener for all of us. I, for one, at this point in time, would never be in favor of sending U.S. troops into another Muslim country.


10 posted on 09/27/2004 9:47:04 PM PDT by no dems (Saddam Hussein, himself, was a Weapon of Mass Destruction.)
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To: DoctorZIn

Dr. Yazdi had a press conference with the National Press Club today. I will listen and translate the main important sections, although alot of it is actually in English and can be listened.

Press Conference at the National Press Club on September 27, 2004

http://www.rang-a-rang.com/YazdiNPC09_27_2004.asx


11 posted on 09/27/2004 9:50:58 PM PDT by freedom44
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To: no dems

Iran was under a monarchy for 2,500 years in the 1970's when the Shah held celebrations at Persepolis.


12 posted on 09/27/2004 9:54:15 PM PDT by freedom44
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To: no dems

Comparing Iraq and Iran is like comparing US and France.


13 posted on 09/27/2004 10:01:02 PM PDT by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn

This is awesome. He's slamming the western media for consistenly ignoring the demonstrations in Iran. He just said "the people of Iran are going to overthrow this terror regime, and we will hold you the media reliable if you do not report honestly. It is not only your journalistic duty, but your moral duty".


14 posted on 09/27/2004 10:03:10 PM PDT by freedom44
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To: SteveMcKing
...I have a feeling something BIG is about to happen -- before the election. We may even make the first move, possibly...

Iran has to do something to turn US public opinion against President Bush before the election or they are doomed and they know it.
15 posted on 09/27/2004 10:15:20 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

"The Mullahs are not Iranians they wear cloths the Palestinians wear" - Got a feeling this was a sidebent strike at them being Arabs and not Iranian.

"President Bush support us, we don't want you to interfere with any issues in Iran, but we need your moral support"

On his way to the Press Club they said agents of IRI tried to kill him so he had to switch cars at the last minute.


16 posted on 09/27/2004 10:36:02 PM PDT by freedom44
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To: no dems
... Do they want to be free?...

The people of Iran desperately want to be free and have been very pro US.

(The Iraqi people also want to be free, they may not like our continued presence but they also don't want us to leave yet.)

One thing that most people don't realize is that Michael Moore's film "Fahrenheit 9/11" is being show all over Iran (even showing clips on TV) and the people of Iran assume that the "American" film is factually accurate. It is confusing the people of Iran greatly.

I met with an Iranian student who just returned from Tehran and he said that he was constantly arguing with young people who a year ago were very pro Bush, pro America. After seeing Michael Moore's movie they have turned anti Bush.

They are scared of the violence of war. This is a disturbing development. However, this may encourage the people of Iran to act now against the regime before the US is forced to deal with the Mullah of Iran.
17 posted on 09/27/2004 10:56:51 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Dr. Yazdi told people not to come out in the streets until October 1st b/c he said he has reports from his agents within the IRI that the Iranian government are planning a demonstration to undermine the efforts.


18 posted on 09/27/2004 11:05:42 PM PDT by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn

WARS AND RUMORS OF WARS
Iran's new missile supports nukes
Redesigned Shihab-3 can carry WMD warhead


Posted: September 28, 2004
1:00 a.m. Eastern

Iran's newly redesigned Shihab-3 intermediate-range missile is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, U.S. intelligence sources tell WND.

Over the weekend Iran said it had successfully test-fired a long-range "strategic missile" and delivered it to its armed forces, saying it is now prepared to deal with any regional threats and even the "big powers."

Iran's new missiles can reach London, Paris, Berlin and southern Russia, according to weapons and intelligence analysts.

"This strategic missile was successfully test-fired during (the recent) military exercises by the Revolutionary Guards and delivered to the armed forces," Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani was quoted by the state-run radio as saying.

The missile is believed by intelligence analysts to be an updated version of the Shihab-3, improved with the help of the North Koreans.

The news comes shortly after Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards staged military maneuvers near the border with Iraq, seen as a signal to Washington Tehran is prepared to fight back against any attempts to prevent the development of a nuclear reactor that could be used to make weapons-grade plutonium.

The radio said Shamkhani refused to give details about the missile for "security reasons," but said Iran was "ready to confront all regional and extra-regional threats."

Shamkhani last month said Iran was working on improvements to the range and accuracy of the Shihab-3 in response to Israel's moves to boost its anti-missile capability.

Today's announcement came days after Israel said it was buying from the United States about 5,000 smart bombs, including 500 one-ton bunker-busters that can destroy 6-feet-thick concrete walls.

Analysts say such bombs could be used to destroy Iran's nuclear reactor before it goes online. In 1981, Israel bombed Iraq's nuclear reactor before it went "hot." Iran may be only weeks or months away from activating the reactor.

The 2,000-pound "bunker-buster" bombs are part of one of the largest weapons deals between Israel and the U.S. in years. The bombs include airborne versions, guidance units, training bombs and detonators. They are guided by an existing Israeli satellite used by the military.

In addition to the 500 one-ton bunker-busters, the purchase includes 2,500 other one-ton bombs, 1,000 half-ton bombs and 500 quarter-ton bombs. Funding will come from U.S. military aid to Israel.

On Tuesday, Iran defied the International Atomic Energy Agency by announcing it is producing uranium hexafluoride, the material for centrifuge enrichment.

Kurtis Cooper, a U.S. State Department spokesman, declared: "Although Iran has repeatedly asserted that its nuclear program is exclusively for peaceful purposes and its pursuit of uranium enrichment technologies are to fuel a planned civilian power program, Iran will have no peaceful use for enriched uranium for many, many years. ... The rush to convert 37 tons of yellowcake into feed-stock for centrifuge enrichment has no peaceful justification. ... Thirty-seven tons of yellowcake is not a test. It is a production run."

19 posted on 09/27/2004 11:08:26 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: freedom44

However I dislike this guy and I think he is so silly, uneducated and full of superstitions but let me mention one important thing that today, Iranians desperately need to get rid of the Mullahs and that is why they even try to believe a silly guy like him.


20 posted on 09/27/2004 11:12:52 PM PDT by Khashayar (R E S P E C T)
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To: DoctorZIn


Know Thine Enemy

The beheadings are about them, not us.

Accustomed as we are to believing that everything in the world has to do with us, we've misunderstood what the recent beheadings are all about. The terrorists are not trying to make us cower. They are not using the beheadings as a technique to drive us out. Insofar as the slaughter of Westerners affects the policies of Coalition members, the same effect could be accomplished by other forms of murder; a government that is prepared to be routed from Iraq will turn tail when its public demands it, regardless of how its citizens have been killed.

This is not about us — it is about them. The beheading films are recruitment tools. They've been around for a long time, part and parcel of the first generation of "jihad" home movies, circulated mostly in North Africa to excite homicidal fanatics and lure them into the Islamist bands. The main difference between then and now is that their marketing and distribution have improved, thanks to their comrades at al Jazeera and al Arabiya, and the Internet.

We should have no trouble understanding this and drawing the proper conclusions. A movement that draws its foot soldiers from people who dream of beheading one of us is clearly a barbarous phenomenon, one that puts the lie to the notion that our enemies in this terror war are human beings driven to desperation by misery and injustice. Not at all: The recruiting films are aimed at subhuman homicidal maniacs who revel in bloody brutality. Given the human capacity to rationalize most any ghastly behavior, some of the killers' supporters — even in the Western intelligentsia — include misguided souls who are so confused they can accept and even justify barbarism in the name of the cause of the moment. There is nothing new in invoking ends to justify dreadful means. But in this case, the means — the beheadings — define our enemies and their followers.

It follows that there is no policy that will successfully end their jihad against us short of total surrender and mass conversion to their brand of Islam. They see us, quite explicitly, as animals who deserve slaughter. The terrorists' recent response to Tony Blair's statement that he would not negotiate with them was eloquent: We are not interested in negotiations, they said. Either the British withdraw or we will slaughter the hostage.

Do not think for a moment that the beheadings are a unique form of viciousness aimed only against Americans or American allies. Beheading has been a common form of execution of Islamic (and Christian, and Bahai, and Zoroastrian) enemies, and I have no doubt the jihadists have beheaded more of "their own" than of ours. It is not about us, it's about them.

Our debate, however, is not about them; it's about us. Should we permit the horrible videos to be broadcast? Does it not risk either dulling our sensitivities or truly terrifying our own people? The very nature of this debate shows how far we have strayed from the understanding we gained on September 11, 2001. That day we saw scenes every bit as horrible as the beheadings, and we recognized that we were facing a war that would have to be fought to the finish. The people who were burned or crushed in New York and Washington, those who jumped to certain death from the Twin Towers — they provided the clearest possible documentation of what awaited us all if we did not win.

The opponents of our campaign against the terror masters immediately recognized that it was crucial to cancel that message, to dilute it with nuance and deception, and the first step in their campaign was to stop broadcasting the images of 9/11. They justified it by saying they did not want to shock the American people, that the pictures were too horrible, that we needed to move on. In like manner, they now say that the beheadings should not be shown, because they too are too shocking, too upsetting to our sensitivities. Others say they should not be shown because in showing them we risk becoming indifferent to such acts, losing our sense of shock and our will to resist.

This is all nonsense. We cannot wage an effective war unless we understand the nature of our enemy. If we do not grasp that the terrorists' ranks are full of people who are there precisely because they are thrilled by the prospect of beheading human beings, we will fail to see the war through to its necessary conclusion. The beheadings are about them, not us. They show us very important things we need to know: What they are, what they want, what they will do if we do not stop them.

Two factoids from recent days should enhance our understanding. The first is a story about a man recently released from Guantanamo who showed up back in Afghanistan, working to kill Coalition soldiers. A fine triumph of legal nicety! The second has not yet been published, so far as I know, but it helps us understand a bit more about the terror network. It turns out that many of the hostages in Iraq are taken by "common criminals," who then sell the hostages to the terrorists so that they can behead them. I suspect, for example, that the Italian women held by terrorists in Iraq fell victim to such a gang.

It is folly to think of the terrorists and their masters in the various capitals of the region as people merely trying to avenge injustice or settle old grievances. The only way sensible people can come to believe that is to censor the evidence — by taking the scenes of 9/11 and the beheading videos off the air, by filtering the utter barbarity of these people through the use of uncharged words that lose their emotional impact.

Don't worry about our sensitivities. Show us — we need to see — so that we bring our full political and military might to bear and end this thing as quickly as possible.

Faster, confound it.

Michael Ledeen, an NRO contributing editor, is most recently the author of The War Against the Terror Masters. Ledeen is Resident Scholar in the Freedom Chair at the American Enterprise Institute.

21 posted on 09/27/2004 11:15:20 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Kerry on Iran


Posted: September 27, 2004
1:00 a.m. Eastern

© 2004 WorldNetDaily.com

In recent weeks, John Kerry has crossed the line from the traditional American position of "loyal opposition" in his fierce and self-contradictory criticism of President Bush's policies in Iraq.

He crossed that sometimes blurry line in a free society to the point where he is endangering Americans' lives and giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

The man who urged pre-emptive military action in 1997 and who voted to authorize the invasion now says a policy of regime change was all wrong – simply to position himself as a viable political alternative to the president.

But Kerry is sending even more potentially dangerous and deadly signals to another enemy – one the United States must decide how to confront in the coming weeks and months.

That enemy is the soon-to-be nuclear-armed, fanatical mullah regime in Iran.

Over the weekend, there were reports Iran has developed the range and targeting capability of missiles and is now capable of hitting London, Berlin, Paris and, of course, all of Israel.

Iran is on the verge of becoming a nuclear power, and, despite the regime's claims of only wanting to build a reactor for peaceful energy uses, it is also moving rapidly to begin reprocessing weapons-grade plutonium.

In addition, there were new reports that Iran has been talking to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad about the possibility of providing safe haven for former Iraqi nuclear weapons scientists.

Despite these ominous developments, Kerry's campaign rhetoric is making it more difficult for the United States to address the imminent threat posed by Iran.

For instance, listen to what Teresa Heinz Kerry told an audience in Colorado over the weekend:

The way we live in peace in a family, in a marriage, in the world, is not by threatening people, is not by showing off your muscles. It's by listening, by giving a hand sometimes, by being intelligent, by being open and by setting high standards.

In case anyone wasn't certain which nation she was talking about, Heinz Kerry elaborated – even mentioning Iran by name and denouncing the administration's warnings to Tehran: "There are about 50 countries in the world that have the capability to build nuclear weapons. Are we going to attack them all?" she said.

It should be of grave concern to every American that among Kerry's top fund-raisers are three Iranian-Americans who have been pushing for dramatic changes in U.S. policy toward Iran.

I'm talking about Hassan Nemazee, 54, an investment banker based in New York, who has raised more than $100,000. Why is he betting on Kerry? Read Teresa's lips.

I'm talking about Faraj Aalaei, who has raised between $50,000 and $100,000 for the Kerry campaign. Why is he betting on Kerry? Read Teresa's lips.

I'm talking about his wife, Susan Akbarpour, whom the Kerry campaign also lists as having raised between $50,000 and $100,000 for the campaign. Why is she betting on Kerry? Read Teresa's lips.

And the Iranians may not have to read Teresa's lips. There may be more direct communication at work between Kerry and the terrorist-supporting mullah regime.

Last February, WorldNetDaily reported that Iran's official Mehr News Agency had received an e-mail from Kerry's campaign pitching the candidate as one who will "repair the damage done" to international relations by Bush.

Yes, once again, Kerry is doing what he always does – what he has done ever since he came to the attention of the American people in 1971 and, in fact, what first brought him to the attention of the American people.

He is giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

But, this time, the enemy is not a group of communists in black pajamas with conventional weapons. This time, the enemy is a soon-to-be nuclear-armed jihadist nation with one goal in mind – destroying the "Great Satan," otherwise known as the United States of America.

22 posted on 09/27/2004 11:20:32 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Regime's apologists target influencing US Intelligence

SMCCDI (Information Service)
Sep 28, 2004

Some of the Islamic regime's notorious apologists are intending to open their way of influence to the "US House's Select Committee on Intelligence". In this line a "fundraising" has been planned for the Honorable "Anna Eshoo" (D-14th/CA) who's a prominent US lawmaker and member of a very sensible legislative body.

The House Representative member seems to be totally unaware of her supporters background and their ultimate goals.

The main organizers and members of the Host Committee are "Susan Akbarpoor", founder of "Silicon Iran" and "Iran Today", and her husband, "Faraj-Alaei" head of the "Centillium Corp." and co-founder of the so-called "Iranian American Political Action Committee" (IAPAC). The couple and some of their related organizations are notorious for having tried, for several years, to legitimize the tyrannical and terrorist Islamic republic regime in the US.

The controversial fundraising is to take place in a Bay area home, located at 27011 DeZahara Way in Los Altos Hills - CA 94022, on October 10th from 05:00 PM. This home seems to be belonging to "Gita Kashani" who's a former head of the "Society of Iranian Professionals" (SIP) of N. California. Involved in the organization of some very controversial activities, Kashani was one of the main planners of "Technological trips to Iran", by non scrupulous US researchers, scholars and businessmen, and a well known organizer of official exchange seminars in cities, such as, Esfahan. It's to note that such actions are known to be needing the collaboration of the highest levels of the Islamic regime's Intelligence and Government in order to take place. She has since joined IAPAC and has increased her activities in a different way and which are more adapted to the current sensible circumstances.

Akbarpoor is a close friend to Hashemi Rafsanjani's daughter and a firm advocator of Kamal Kharrazi the Islamic regime's FM. Her organizations are intending to bring US Technology firms to lobby the US Administration for a recognition of the Mullahcracy and the cancellation of sanctions. She seems to have been able to attract, so far, the support of some mercantilist individuals, such as the wife of one of AT & T's main heads, to her goals.

In addition, "Hassan Nemazee", IAPAC's main co-founder who has tried to silence the Movement by initiating a costly juridical litigation, is expected to be present during Ms. Eshoo's questionable fundraising along with his long date colleague, Akbar Ghahary, the current front man of the Kerry Campaign for Iranian-Americans.

It's to note that IAPAC's initial founders, Nemazee, Alaei and Ghahary, were also Board members of the infamous and self-called "American Iranian Council" (AIC). Nemazee used of his position, as AIC Board Member, for publicly calling for the recognition of the Islamic regime, on June 1, 2002, in presence of Senator J. Kerry.

AIC, which is headed by the infamous "Hooshang Amir-Ahmadi", is still publicly trying to lobby for the recognition of the Islamic regime. It has to its dark credit the formal apology offered to Iran (meaning the Mullahs) by "Madeleine Albright", the then Secretary of State; Joe Biden's fundraising at the IMAN Islamist Center of Los Angeles headed by Sadegh Nemazikhah who's a AIC Board member; And various meetings organized between members of the Mullahs' regime, such as Mehdi Karoubi, and several US lawmakers and members of Clinton Administration. Biden is well known for having tried to use of his influence within the US Senate's Foreign Relations Committee to push for resumption of ties with the illegitimate Mullahcracy.

The IAPAC's trio founders are also among John Kerry's main fundraisers. They're hoping that the election of the Democratic Candidate, as a future US President, will help to avoid Islamic regime's total collapse by boosting it via commercial and nuclear deals with Uncle Sam. Huge amounts of money are getting disbursed, at this time, by this group's members and their affiliated creations or partners, such as the self called "National Iranian American Council" (NIAC), in order to use some of non scrupulous Iranian Satellite TV and Radio networks, such as Tamasha, Channel One or 670 AM, in order to promote Candidate Kerry among the Iranian-American community.

NIAC's front man President is Titra Parsi. He was also a AIC Board member and a well known Khatami advocator. In addition to some questionable Iranian financial sources, the group is receiving financial contributions from groups affiliated to Theresa Heinz Kerry , such as Tides Foundation, and George Soros' Open Society Institute. Playing the nationalistic feelings of young Iranians, NIAC claims to be bi-partisan while in reality its heads are targeting a Democrat victory in the next US Presidential elections.

The Honorable Anna Eshoo's contact references are:
Phone: (202) 225-8104; (650) 323-2984; (408) 245-2339
Fax: (202) 225-8890 ; (650) 323-3498
E.mail: 
http://www-eshoo.house.gov/contact.aspx

23 posted on 09/27/2004 11:22:47 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Iran unveils redesigned Shahab missile

Jane's - By Alon Ben-David
Sep 27, 2004

Tel Aviv - Iran has enhanced the range of its Shahab 3 medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM) and a recent Shahab test appears to be of an early version of the expected Shahab 4, according to Uzi Rubin, the former director of Israel's Ballistic Missile Defence Organisation (BMDO).

Following analysis of footage of an 11 August Shahab test in Iran, Rubin claims the new Shahab design bears a significant resemblance to the Soviet-era SS-9 inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM), now withdrawn from Russian service.

According to Rubin, the Shahab re-entry vehicle of conical design has been replaced by a smaller vehicle shaped like a 'baby bottle' neck. Also, the cable raceway that ran along the propellant storage sections in previously presented Shahabs has been elongated and is now emerging from the rear 'skirt' of the front section in what could be termed an 'over-the-shoulder' layout.

"This kind of layout used to be a hallmark of Soviet ballistic missiles of the 1960s, such as the liquid fuel, silo-launched SS-9 ICBM," said Rubin. "Engineers have a tendency to copy their own previously successful designs. The resemblance between the new Shahab and old Soviet missiles seems to be more than a coincidence."

Rubin said that in previous Shahab variants the instrument section was separated from the re-entry vehicle and located in the missile's cylindrical section, whereas the new Shahab features an instrument section located in the 'skirt' of the re-entry vehicle. "If indeed these are the thumbprints of Russian designers, then the new Shahab's instrument section, like that of the SS-9, will travel with the re-entry vehicle, rather than be discarded. This is a useful arrangement for precise altitude fusing of nuclear warheads," he said.

"The new Shahab is longer by 1m than its predecessors," said Rubin. “Combined with the space freed by relocating the instrument section, the new Shahab carries about 15% more propellant, enabling a range of 1,450km.”

24 posted on 09/27/2004 11:26:03 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Two Islams face off




By Jalal Ganje''i

    

    Thirty-five years ago, when in a jurisprudence course in Najaf, Ayatollah Khomeini boasted that Khoms (a religious tax equivalent to one-fifth on property or income) from Baghdad's Bazaar was adequate to run the affairs of the Islamic world, he wanted to affirm that assuming power on his part cost very little but benefited the public at large.

    However, no one, not even me, attending his course as a student at the time, had any idea that some day Khomeini's covetous design on Baghdad, not to mention Tehran, would emerge as the principle foreign policy objective of the theocracy that he erected a few years later.

    Several years after, as Khomeini's despotic views became more evident, I chose to disassociate myself from him. That meant I had become an infidel and Khomeini sentenced me to death in absentia.

    My classmates in Najaf then and the power brokers in Tehran now are trying their utmost to exploit the crisis in Iraq to realize Khomeini's dream not only to give the regime in Tehran some permanence, but also to impose their fundamentalist reign on Iraq.

    That prospect would represent a catastrophe for the civilized world and Muslims across the globe. The Iranian experience is a case in point. Since the onset of Khomeini's rule, the face-off between two Islams came to the forefront of Iranian political landscape. The mullahs were challenged by tolerant and democrat Muslims who rejected fanaticism.

    Khomeini realized that the tolerant Islam was the antithesis to his brand of Islam, prompting him to shun the democrat Muslims, namely the People's Mujahideen, the main Iranian opposition movement. The vast majority of the 120,000 people executed in Iran in the past quarter century were members and sympathizers of this group.

    From day one, the fundamentalists in Iran found the export of crisis and expansion as the only way to counteract their popular illegitimacy. Article 11 of Iran's Constitution stipulates, "All Muslims are one nation and the Islamic Republic of Iran is duty bound to rest its general policy on the unity of Islamic nations and undertake efforts to realize the political, economic and cultural unity of the Islamic world."

    Owing to many historical factors, including a majority Shiite population, Iraq was the most strategic target. Despite an eight-year war, Khomeini failed to make his dream of "liberating Jerusalem via Karbala" come true. He died in 1989, but his disciples have followed suit.

    Subsequent to the Iraq war, the clerics saw a window of opportunity. Months before the fall of Saddam Hussein, the clerics devised a two-pronged strategy under the guidance of SupremeLeaderAli Khamenei. One was to expand seemingly benign charities, clinics and health-care centers. The other was to spread clandestine armed cells in order to deliver military blows to the coalition forces and be in position to fill the vacuum of power quickly in case the United States left Iraq.

    Four agencies — the Revolutionary Guards, the Ministry of Intelligence and Security, the state radio and television, and the clergy network — have been coordinating their meddling in Iraq.
    The West has mistakenly tried to minimize the scope of Iran's meddling. The reality on the ground depicts an entirely different story. Thousands of Iranian operatives have already crossed into Iraq. The mullahs have also sent tens of thousands of weapons and millions of dollars to that country.

    "Iranian intrusion has been vast and unprecedented since the establishment of the new Iraqi state. The Iranians have penetrated the country's sensitive centers and set up many intelligence and security centers in Iraq," warned Iraqi Defense Minister Hazem Shaalan in an interview with the Arabic language daily Asharq Al-Awsat on July 20.

    If the mullahs were to succeed, not only the people of Iraq, but also other regional states would fall victim to religious fascism.
    The policy of appeasing Tehran by ignoring its egregious human-rights abuses, drive to procure nuclear weapons and sponsorship of terror has been a dismal failure. The West even kowtowed to Tehran's biggest demand: blacklisting the People's Mujahideen. This policy has only strengthened the most anti-Western and extremist faction of the ruling theocracy, while disarming of the People's Mujahideen has been the biggest help to the mullahs in advancing their goals in Iraq.

    It is now time for decisiveness against Tehran. The fate of Iran and Iraq are intertwined as never before. The vision of a stable, tranquil Iraq without a halt in Tehran's meddling is naive and a recipe for disaster, since it would hand the entire region over to the fundamentalists on a silver platter.

    Conversely, the mullahs' defeat in export of fundamentalism to Iraq would deprive it from a strategic lever and profoundly impact the developments in Iran and beyond. Everyone, including the Iranian and Iraq people as well as tolerant Muslims would be the main beneficiaries.
    

    Ayatollah Jalal Ganje'i, a prominent dissident ayatollah based in Paris, is chairman of the Committee on Religious Freedom in the National Council of Resistance of Iran. Several members of his family, including his son, have been executed by the clerical regime.

25 posted on 09/27/2004 11:36:23 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Posted on Mon, Sep. 27, 2004

Israel May Not Be Able to Destroy Nukes




Associated Press

Israel would not be able to destroy Iran's nuclear installations with a single air strike as it did in Iraq in 1981 because they are scattered or hidden and intelligence is weak, Israeli and foreign analysts say.

Israeli leaders have implied they might use force against Iran if international diplomatic efforts or the threat of sanctions fail to stop Iran from producing nuclear weapons.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said this month Israel is "taking measures to defend itself" - a comment that raised concern Israel is considering a pre-emptive strike along the lines of its 1981 bombing of an unfinished Iraqi nuclear reactor at Osirak near Baghdad.

Speculation has also been fueled by recent Israeli weapons acquisitions, including bunker-buster bombs and long-range fighter-bombers.

Israel's national security adviser, Giora Eiland, was quoted Monday by the Maariv daily as saying Iran will reach the "point of no return" in its nuclear weapons program by November rather than next year as Israeli military officials said earlier.

Concern about Tehran's nuclear development intensified last week when Iran's Vice President Reza Aghazadeh said Iran has started converting raw uranium into the gas needed for enrichment, an important step in making a nuclear bomb.

The declaration came in defiance of a resolution passed three days earlier by the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. nuclear watchdog, demanding Iran freeze all uranium enrichment - including conversion. The group's 35-nation board of governors warned that Iran risked being taken before the U.N. Security Council, which could impose sanctions.

Iran denies it is developing nuclear weapons, saying its nuclear development program is aimed at generating electricity. Israel and other countries, including the United States, doubt that.

Recent Israeli weapons purchases could be crucial in a possible strike.

In February, Israel received the first of 102 American-built F-16I warplanes, the largest weapons deal in its history. Military sources say the planes were specially designed with extra fuel tanks to allow them to reach Iran.

In June, it signed a $319 million deal to acquire nearly 5,000 U.S.-made smart bombs, including 500 "bunker busters" that can destroy six-foot concrete walls, such as those that might be found in Iranian nuclear facilities.

Military and strategic analysts in Israel and abroad say even with the new weaponry, Israel lacks the ability to carry out a successful strike against Iran's nuclear installations.

"You have to have solid intelligence, you have to know what to hit ... The intelligence on Iran is very weak," said Alex Vatanka, an expert on Iranian security issues at Jane's Sentinel Security Assessments in London.

Israeli strategic analyst Reuven Pedatzur pointed to a claim last year by Iranian opposition figures that foreign intelligence services have been unaware of two of the Iranian nuclear facilities.

"There is no good intelligence on Iran, and this is the proof," he said. "Any Israeli attack on Iran would cause huge political damage, and in the end, the program would proceed."

After Israel attacked the Osirak reactor, it came in for worldwide criticism. Arab opposition to an Israeli strike against Iran - particularly if it appeared to be unprovoked - would likely be widespread and intense. It could lead to attacks against Israeli and Jewish institutions abroad and condemnations from the United Nations.

Other difficulties in attacking Iran's nuclear facilities include their dispersal throughout the country, their sophisticated defense systems and the likelihood that some of the installations have been replicated, said Cliff Kupchan, vice president of the Nixon Center in Washington, a former Clinton administration Iranian expert who met with Iranian officials during a visit there last year.

Kupchan said IAEA threats to impose sanctions on Iraq are unrealistic, because U.N members, including those with fledging nuclear programs, such as Brazil, would be reluctant to back them.

Sanctions against Iranian oil production are also unlikely when world demand is about 80 million barrels per day, prices are sky-high, and the only surplus capacity - about 2 million barrels per day from Saudi Arabia - is heavy oil the market usually shuns. Iran exports about 2.6 million barrels per day.

Kupchan said if diplomacy fails, there may be no choice but for the United States to lead a concerted military campaign against Iran. "If the U.S. moves aggressively, it won't be sanctions, it will be a coalition of the willing," he said.

Speaking at the United Nations last week, Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom appeared to back him up.

"The time has come to move the Iranian case to the Security Council in order to put an end to this nightmare," Shalom said.


26 posted on 09/27/2004 11:44:31 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

27 posted on 09/27/2004 11:45:58 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Persian Journal

British companies look forward to Iran visit


Sep 27, 2004, 12:40

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A delegation from the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MYCCI) arrived in Tehran on September 24 on a week-long visit as part of the Gateway Middle East initiative.

A press released issued on Sunday by the British embassy in Tehran said that the Gateway Middle East is a pilot trade development program aiming to support Yorkshire companies in developing their business relations with the Middle East.

It added that the initiative is financed in part by the European Regional Development Fund and is managed by MYCCI.

"The Middle East and particularly Iran is an important trading partner for the UK and we aim to assist UK companies to develop and strengthen their links with this exciting part of the world," said the project manager for the initiative, Chris Marshall.

28 posted on 09/28/2004 12:16:10 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Bush says he'll seek diplomatic solution to Iran nuke issue


WASHINGTON — U.S. President George W Bush said in a television interview aired Monday that he will continue to seek a diplomatic solution to Iran's suspected nuclear arms program.

"My hope is that we can solve this diplomatically," Bush said on Fox News channel's "The O'Reilly Factor" program. "All options are on the table, of course, in any solution. But diplomacy is the first option. We are working our hearts out so that they don't develop a nuclear weapon, and the best way to do so is to continue to keep international pressure on them."

29 posted on 09/28/2004 12:19:57 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

THE HATE OF THE PEOPLE REACHING EXPLOSION POINT

By Safa Haeri
Posted Tuesday, September 28, 2004

PARIS, 28 Sept. (IPS) The demonstrations that took place in Tehran and some other major Iranian cities on Sunday 26 September 2004 on the call by a maverick, if not lunatic, Iranian opponent reverberated by the Los Angeles-based Iranian radio and television stations shows above all the degree of the hate the Iranians have for the ruling ayatollahs and the vulnerability of the Islamic Republic, according to political analysts and experts.

On the invitation of a certain Ahoura Pirouz Khaleqi Yazdi, an “unknown illustrious” who, since two months ago, promises the “liberation” of Iran from the grip of the ayatollahs on first of October, hundreds of people and cars poured into the streets, blaring horns, congratulating each other and distributing sweets and patisseries to passer byes.

That so many people come out on the invitation of a man whom they don't know tells you that the society, frustrated, humiliated, oppressed and insulted by the clerics, has reached the explosion point.

Addressing Iranians inside the country on the Rangarang (multicolour) television, Mr. Ahoura who has predicted the “disappearing” of the mullahs, the restoration of a secular and democratic regime, had urged Iranians to come out on Sunday 26 September for peaceful demonstrations.

According to press reports, about two thousand people milled around streets in downtown Tehran, many of them driving cars up and down major avenues, honking their horns and flashing victory signs. Hundreds of volunteer militiamen arrived on the scene, but there were no violent clashes.

Although demonstrations for democracy are rather rare in Iran, but it is not unusual neither, for, in the past, Iranian students have taken to the streets several times to call for change from the country's conservative clerical leadership.

In 1999, the closure of a reformist newspaper led to student protests and six days of rioting. In 2003, thousands of students held nightly marches in Tehran, backed by ordinary people, on the incitation of foreign-based radio and televisions, most of them pro-Monarchy.

“That so many people come out on the invitation of a man who was the centre of jokes and laughter for the last two-three months tells you about the depth of the hate the Iranians for the ruling ayatollahs. It also shows that the society, frustrated, humiliated, oppressed and insulted by the clerics, has reached the explosion point. It is also dangerous, for it shows that any group, or a hostile nation with proper planning and program, might bring down the Islamic Republic”, one Iranian journalist told the Persian service of Radio France International.

Those who have heard Dr. Ahoura say he seems to be a bit illiterate, his Farsi is weak and he lack charisma.

So, how to explain the presence of so many people in the streets, not only in the capital, but also major cities and even some smaller ones?

“As soon as Iranians hear something, as soon some one invites them to come out into the streets and demonstrate against the regime, there are plenty, mostly young ones, to heed”, a analyst in Tehran explained to Iran Press Service, adding that the last Sunday after noon demonstrations was not “that strange”.

“People are so desperate that they are ready to throw themselves into the fire. They came out, greeted each other, saying haxa, haxa–code name of Dr Ahoura -- mobarak, tabrik (felicitation, congratulation) without ever thinking what that haxa means or that Mr. Ahoura speaks as he is another God’s Messenger?”, he pointed out.

Mr. Alireza Nourizadeh, an independent journalist in London says Iranians are so desperate for change nowadays that they are willing to believe anything. He added that many who don't put faith in Dr. Ahoura's claims still went into the streets out of a desire to see something happen.

"The majority of people who participated in the demonstration came out either out of curiosity or they came out expecting something big is going to happen," he said. "I mean, I was talking to a university professor and he was telling me: I know all this is a shamble, it's crooks, and all of that, but I came out with my wife and my children just to see what's going to happen", the Voice of America quoted Mr. Nourizadeh as having explained.

The Iranian Labour News Agency ILNA described the protesters as “monarchists”, loyal to the monarchy regime that was toppled in the 1979 by Grand Ayatollah Rouhollah Khomeini, the leader of the Islamic revolution and founder of the present Islamic Republic.

"These people are obviously under the influence of the Iranian opposition based abroad", the report said, confirming also that some clashes had occurred and several demonstrators arrested by Law Enforcement Forces and plain clothes agents.

The leniency – some says unusual -- the Police showed towards the demonstrators prompted other analysts asking if the new liberator is not a product of the regime itself?

A group of volunteer militiamen arrived on motorbikes as scores of people had been chanting "freedom," clapping and handing out pastries but there was no sign of any fighting.

In the view of Mr. Sadeq Saba, a senior analyst of Iranian affairs for the BBC, the fact that no major clashes had been reported shows that the regime is not afraid of such calls and demonstrations.

The leniency – some says unusual -- the Police showed towards the demonstrators prompted other analysts asking if the new liberator is not a product of the regime itself?

However, other analysts, more adept of “theories of conspiracy”, a national sport of Iranians in general asked if the whole affair is not a “rehearsal” of some scenarios, some foreign nations are preparing for Iran?

"We were responding to his call to avoid a war," the French news agency AFP quoted one person who said he had taken part in the gathering.

"Ahura Pirouz Khaleghi was saying that Israel intends to attack Iran and that he had asked (Israeli Prime Minister) Ariel Sharon to give him the time to return home and sort out the problem", the person told AFP.

“The invisible hand that pushes Haxa, is that of the United States and Israel, busy taking polls and preparing plans”, wrote the leftist “Peyknet” website on the event, predicting that the time bomb generated by the hate of the regime would explode, “maybe not on first of October, the date of liberation and freedom promised by Mr. Ahoura, but at another time”.

ENDS IRAN DEMOS 28904

30 posted on 09/28/2004 8:20:09 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn


The Heart of Darkness
There is no word to describe the horror.

By Ramin Parham

Another man has just been decapitated in Iraq and a video showing the horror posted online. In Tehran, the French ambassador recently met the head of the national-security and foreign-affairs committee of the Islamic Majlis (parliament), and the president of the Iranian-French Parliamentary Commission to discuss "the expansion of ties...." Did this meeting have anything to do with what took place in Paris last week? A meeting of the International Moral Court was held in the French capital September 23-25 to expose the crimes of the theocracy in Tehran. Having lived under religious fascism, I prepared myself psychologically for three days of horrific stories and images.

At the hotel where the event took place, I met Ali, a 23-year-old man in a family of nine. Ali came here eight months ago, fleeing persecution. "I have a high-school bachelor's degree and I used to work as a mechanic in Islam-Shahr (Islam City)." Islam-Shahr — a poverty-ridden suburb that saw, back in the mid-1990s, the first popular anti-regime demonstrations — is located on the outskirt of Tehran, a world away from those chic quarters north of the city from which western reporters regularly speak of the bright horizons of reformism. Islam-Shahr is where Ali was born and lived until he left the country out of fear.

"When did it all start for you?" I asked my young compatriot, by then at ease in the conversation after a cup of coffee. "It started with the first student uprising [in 1999]. The whole city was turned upside down. Even in our neighborhood, far away from the main Tehran University campus, bassij [the Islamist militia] quarters were taken over by the people, their vehicles burned, their walls covered with anti-regime graffiti...I was identified by the denouncers and later summoned to Islamic court."

The "denouncers," as Ali calls them, are the shadowy figures behind the more visible agents of the bassij. While the latter are "known to all, in every neighborhood, the former are more pernicious, more difficult for us to keep an eye on."

Ali continued, reciting his ordeal for the "umpteenth time," as he sadly said. Later "my case became even thicker," he related. "Why?" I enquired. "The local mullah [a Shia cleric], having seen my wife God knows where, started having a malicious eye on her. He wanted her and she was mine. So, he went after me, found out about my recent security troubles and managed to put his hands on my file. He then made it thicker than it already was. And that was the end of it. What followed was yet another summoning to Islamic courts, and, in absentia, I was notified of my charges: 'Insult to His Sacred Leadership's dress,' 'Insult to the System's sanctities,' and 'Conspiracy against national security.'"

"What do you mean 'His dress'?" I asked. "They all wear the same f***ing dress," he replied, before adding, "Insulting one is insulting them all, and above them all, His Sacred Leadership."

As we talked, the court went on. Following the administrative procedures a film was shown; smuggled out of Iran, it pictured scenes of despicable horror. We all watched the unwatchable: a man lay on a stretcher while another, bearded and looking like an official, read what seemed to be a court sentence. Then a man dressed in white comes in — presumably a physician — bends over the lying man and applies the sentence.

There is only one word to describe the horror of what I saw: horror. There is other word for the act of tearing out a living man's eyes; there is no adjective to describe it. The whole assembly was plunged into a macabre silence. In the next scene, another man, lying alive and awake on a stretcher, watched his physician-torturer cut his fingers with a hand-mower. Next, a third man, or woman — there is no way of distinguishing the gender of someone wrapped up like a mummy — is buried, alive and awake, up to his chest, before being stoned to death. It barely takes a minute or two before the chest and head of the living mummy start circling around in a dance of death. What magnifies to near-infinite the evil of these scenes of barbarity is the unbearable accompanying cry, "Allah Akbar!" — "God is Great!"

"The situation becomes so explosive, every now and then, that they bring in their Lebanese commandos," Ali told me, turning his head away from that sickening screen. "Lebanese?" I asked. "Yah, Lebanese. They run out of local hands to repress, so they rely on their network. These guys are physically huge and mentally sick. Speaking not a word of Persian, they just beat. A friend of mine got caught the other day by one of these patrols. The guy was so colossal that he sucked my friend in through the car's window with just one hand. They laid him on the car's floor and started beating him. I never saw him again. Seventeen of us disappeared like this in our hood alone. Eleven never came back. Those who did return, including one of my own childhood friends, were so profoundly disrupted psychologically that no one would ever talk of his ordeal."

The projection is followed by testimonies of those who survived the heart of darkness. Coming back from death, a woman goes to the microphone, and, as she speaks, the room sinks into silence once again. A Kurdish sympathizer of an armed opposition group, she was arrested in her native Kurdistan in 1982. Hanged naked upside down — to "tear apart the self that is in every one of us," she says — she was then raped, over and over again. Gang rape, rape with a bottle...

"We will never forgive our parents for having done this to us with their revolution," says Ali, staring at nowhere. "My father said once that they did it because they thought they would get free oil at their door step. Can you believe that? Now, people won't take to the streets anymore. I mean, what for? Every one saw what they did to Zahra Kazemi [a Canadian journalist killed while in the custody of the government in Tehran]. Did the Canadians do anything in outrage? Did the Canadian government take any significant retaliatory step? Every one knows that the mullahs have huge personal savings and investments in Canada. So why should we sacrifice ourselves by defying Lebanese mercenaries in our own neighborhoods? Is the world going to recognize that we exist? Has anyone among the Iranian expatriates supported us? Has any Iranian even come to the refugee camps to see in what miserable conditions we live? We hate the mullahs so much that we could hang every single one of them on every single tree in Tehran, but, so long as we, the Iranians, are only "I" and never "Us" — so long as the West is behind the mullahs — no one will take the matters to the streets any more."

I leave the courtroom, sick of myself, sick of bearing my being. I retire to an adjacent room to write and forget. "Did Nicholas Kristoff of the New York Times ever talk to Ali when he toured Iran a few months ago? He has never lived under fascism, has he? Mr. Kristoff doesn't have to face the Lebanese Hezbollah in the streets of New York, does he? So why does he advocate reforming the theocracy and flooding it with American dollars? The "reform" movement is dead, Mr. Kristoff. The aspiration for liberty and a life without fear, for a life with dignity, is not."

"We are 70 percent of the people," said Ali before I left him. They are the most redoubtable weapon of mass destruction against the mullahs, I keep telling myself. They are the end of the tunnel, if only we could recognize that there is tunnel out there and not a dead-end — if only we decided to lend them our voice.

If only...

Ramin Parham, editor of Iran Institute for Democracy, is an independent commentator based in Paris.


31 posted on 09/28/2004 8:43:44 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Iraq arrests spy working for Iran: paper

www.chinaview.cn 2004-09-28 17:52:46

    BAGHDAD, Sept. 28 (Xinhuanet) -- Iraqi security forces have arrested a spy working for Iranian intelligence, local newspaper AlFurat reported Tuesday.

    The arrested Nashaat Abd Ali Al Husseiny is accused of spying for Iran, said a top Iraqi intelligence official who declined to give his name.

    Al Husseiny confessed serious things that would incriminate the Iranian intelligence and its interference in Iraq's internal affairs, said the source.

    The source added that an Iranian intelligence officer called Mohamed Qarbani, titled Abu Mohamed, who is working under diplomatic cover in the Iranian embassy in Baghdad, has recruited Al Husseiny.

    Al Husseiny revealed in the interrogation that the Iranian embassy in Baghdad is the headquarters of making sabotage and spying in Iraq, said the source.

    Iraqi government has been accusing Iran of interfering in its internal affairs and had sent an official delegation recently to inform Iran about such affairs, it was reported.

    Iraqi Defense Minister Hazim Al Shaalan also criticized Iran of standing behind the bombings and acts of sabotage in Iraq. Enditem


32 posted on 09/28/2004 9:14:49 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Notable & Quotable

[Excerpt]

September 28, 2004
The Wall Street Journal
WSJ.com

The coming presidential debate, which focuses on national security, would be a good time for John Kerry to drop Iraq and pick up Iran and North Korea (which on Thursday threatened to turn Japan into a "nuclear sea of fire").We're not in the habit of giving him advice, but his gamble on Iraq -- that by playing the war up as a "disaster" he can sell himself to voters -- has a big, obvious flaw. Voters may well think Iraq is disaster, but they don't think of Mr. Kerry as the solution. . . .

On Iran again, there's nothing surprising about an insecure regime seeking nuclear weapons -- and "revolutionary" regimes are always insecure because of intrinsic doubts about their legitimacy. But nuclear weapons have a way of making regimes more conservative, because once you've got them, you become a target for other people's nuclear weapons. An Iranian nuke would be a bad thing, to be sure, and waving our hands and imposing the usual non-proliferation sanctions would be an appropriate and justified U.S. response. But it also runs a risk of uniting Iranians on one issue at least. A more profitable focus of U.S. policy ought to be trumpeting democracy and human rights -- and embarrassing the Iranian regime in front of its own (mostly young) citizens for its failures on both scores. That's likely to pay better dividends in the long run.

33 posted on 09/28/2004 9:19:30 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Consensus Approach Needed on Iran's Nuclear Programme

September 28, 2004
The Irish Times
Rory Miller

The possibility that Iran's Islamic revolutionary regime may be close to developing a nuclear weapon capability has come to top the international non-proliferation agenda.

Only last week Tehran announced that it would begin converting raw "yellow cake" uranium to prepare it for enrichment - a process that can ultimately lead to an atomic capability.

This despite an October 2003 promise to France, Germany and Britain that it would halt its uranium enrichment programme and a more recent International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) resolution demanding Iran cease such activities.

The international response to this latest development has been predictable. The Bush administration, which in January 2002 included Iran in its "axis of evil", continues to call for a united front behind its threat of UN sanctions.

The EU, which since 1993 has pursued a policy of "Critical Dialogue" that has put it at odds with both the Clinton and Bush administrations, refuses to commit to this approach and continues, publicly at least, to place its faith in the powers of persuasion.

Ireland adheres to the EU's official Iran policy of dialogue and on the nuclear issue, defers to the "EU-3" - Germany, Britain and France - who, in the absence of US engagement, have taken it upon themselves to negotiate a compromise on behalf of the international community.

Nevertheless, one cannot help contrasting the muted Irish position on Iran's nuclear programme with the commitment of successive Irish governments during the Cold War to the UN's nuclear non-proliferation effort.

This was so widely recognised at the time that the groundbreaking 1961 General Assembly resolution on nuclear disarmament came to be known as the "Irish Resolution" and foreign minister Frank Aiken had the honour of being the first signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) on July 1st, 1968.

It is true that Ireland's unflinching effort, in the words of Aiken, "to promote a Pax Atomica while we build a Pax Mundi" during the Cold War was idealistic and may have little relevance in an era when mutually assured destruction is possibly the objective, rather than the fear, of those who control an Iranian "bomb".

It is also true that Ireland has had little success on those rare past occasions when it has attempted to act independently of the EU to see if it could moderate Iran's stance.

It failed to gain concessions on the fatwa against author Salman Rushdie; on Iranian opposition to the Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations at Madrid and Oslo; and on human rights, when it managed, in the company of Britain and the Netherlands, to get the EU's "Critical Dialogue" to emphasise the "human rights dimension".

But it should also be remembered that at no time in the quarter of a century since Iran became a theocracy has its atrocious human rights record or its wide-ranging links to international terrorism topped Ireland's agenda.

Rather Ireland has focused its efforts on developing two distinct but overlapping priorities - trade and positive diplomacy - both of which necessitated a willingness to ignore the worst excesses of the Iranian regime.

At the time of the establishment of an Islamic republic in 1979 Iran was Ireland's second most valuable export market in the Middle East after Saudi Arabia. From this time until 1986 Ireland's main priority was building on economic ties with this oil rich, beef-importing nation and by the mid-1980s over half of the work of the Irish diplomatic mission in Tehran was occupied with trade.

Following the kidnapping of Brian Keenan in Beirut in 1986, until his release in August 1990, the main focus shifted to fostering close diplomatic relations with the ayatollahs in the hope that they would use their influence in Lebanon to help gain his release.

From 1993 to the present time Ireland has followed the EU's policy of "Critical Dialogue" based on the belief that normalising economic, cultural and political ties with the radical regime would foster domestic reforms, empower moderate factions and, in particular, help the reformer president, Mohammad Khatami, known affectionately as "Ayatollah Gorbachev", to marginalise extremists.

Dialogue is a viable option for dealing with Iran's long-time involvement in domestic repression and sponsorship of terror.

But as long as Iran refuses to suspend its enrichment programme for the duration of such talks, it is of little use in dealing with the nuclear issue.

A nuclear Iran will be an immense threat to regional and global security. Ireland should use its position inside the EU and its credibility and prestige outside, particularly in the Islamic world, to urge consensus on the matter of UN sanctions in the case of continued non-compliance.

This in itself would not solve the current crisis. But it would contribute to the establishment of a united front that would send a clear message to future proliferators.

It would also help the process of rebuilding trust and co-operation between the EU and US, a key priority of Irish foreign policy. Last, but by no means least, it would help restore the credibility of the NPT, a framework that past Irish governments laboured so hard to bring about.

Dr Rory Miller is a lecturer in Mediterranean Studies at King's College, University of London

34 posted on 09/28/2004 9:24:12 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Iran's nuclear no-return point by November


By ASSOCIATED PRESS

National Security Adviser Maj.-Gen. (res.) Giora Eiland was quoted Monday by the Maariv daily as saying Iran will reach the "point of no return" in its nuclear weapons program by November, rather than next year as Israeli military officials said earlier.

Concern about Tehran's nuclear development intensified last week when Iran's Vice President Reza Aghazadeh said Iran has started converting raw uranium into the gas needed for enrichment, an important step in making a nuclear bomb.

The declaration came in defiance of a resolution passed three days earlier by the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN nuclear watchdog, demanding Iran freeze all uranium enrichment - including conversion. The group's 35-nation board of governors warned that Iran risked being taken before the UN Security Council, which could impose sanctions.

Iran denies it is developing nuclear weapons, saying its nuclear development program is aimed at generating electricity. Israel and other countries, including the United States, doubt that.

However, and contrary to expectations based on Israel's 1981 strike in Iraq, Israel would not be able to destroy Iran's nuclear installations with a single air strike because they are scattered or hidden and intelligence is weak, Israeli and foreign analysts say.

Israeli leaders have implied they might use force against Iran if international diplomatic efforts or the threat of sanctions fail to stop Iran from producing nuclear weapons.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said this month that Israel is "taking measures to defend itself" - a comment that raised concern that Israel is considering a pre-emptive strike along the lines of its 1981 bombing of an unfinished Iraqi nuclear reactor at Osirak near Baghdad.

Speculation has also been fueled by recent Israeli weapons acquisitions, including bunker-buster bombs and long-range fighter-bombers.

Recent Israeli weapons purchases could be crucial in a possible strike.

In February, Israel received the first of 102 American-built F-16I warplanes, the largest weapons deal in its history. Military sources say the planes were specially designed with extra fuel tanks to allow them to reach Iran.

In June, it signed a $319 million deal to acquire nearly 5,000 US-made smart bombs, including 500 "bunker busters" that can destroy six-foot concrete walls, such as those that might be found in Iranian nuclear facilities.

Military and strategic analysts in Israel and abroad say even with the new weaponry, Israel lacks the ability to carry out a successful strike against Iran's nuclear installations.

"You have to have solid intelligence, you have to know what to hit ... The intelligence on Iran is very weak," said Alex Vatanka, an expert on Iranian security issues at Jane's Sentinel Security Assessments in London.

Israeli strategic analyst Reuven Pedatzur pointed to a claim last year by Iranian opposition figures that foreign intelligence services have been unaware of two of the Iranian nuclear facilities.

"There is no good intelligence on Iran, and this is the proof," he said. "Any Israeli attack on Iran would cause huge political damage, and in the end, the program would proceed."

After Israel attacked the Osirak reactor in Iraq, it came in for worldwide criticism. Arab opposition to an Israeli strike against Iran - particularly if it appeared to be unprovoked - would likely be widespread and intense. It could lead to attacks against Israeli and Jewish institutions abroad and condemnations from the United Nations.

Other difficulties in attacking Iran's nuclear facilities include their dispersal throughout the country, their sophisticated defense systems and the likelihood that some of the installations have been replicated, said Cliff Kupchan, vice president of the Nixon Center in Washington, a former Clinton administration Iranian expert who met with Iranian officials during a visit there last year.

Kupchan said IAEA threats to impose sanctions on Iraq are unrealistic, because UN members, including those with fledging nuclear programs, such as Brazil, would be reluctant to back them.

Sanctions against Iranian oil production are also unlikely when world demand is about 80 million barrels per day, prices are sky-high, and the only surplus capacity - about two million barrels per day from Saudi Arabia - is heavy oil the market usually shuns. Iran exports about 2.6 million barrels per day.

Kupchan said if diplomacy fails, there may be no choice but for the United States to lead a concerted military campaign against Iran. "If the US moves aggressively, it won't be sanctions, it will be a coalition of the willing," he said.

Speaking at the United Nations last week, Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom appeared to back him up.

"The time has come to move the Iranian case to the Security Council in order to put an end to this nightmare," Shalom said.

35 posted on 09/28/2004 9:27:48 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Sep. 23, 2004 20:55

Column One: How to deal with Iran


By CAROLINE GLICK


Iranian soldier with banner reading ‘Death to America’ during paramilitary parade marking 24th Iran-Iraq war anniversary.
Photo: AP

Iran this week summarily rejected the latest call by the International Atomic Energy Agency to cease all its uranium enrichment programs. Speaking at a military parade on Tuesday, where Iran's surface-to-surface Shihab-3 ballistic missiles earmarked "Jerusalem" were on prominent display, Iranian President Muhammad Khatami defied the IAEA, saying: "We will continue along our path [of uranium enrichment] even if it leads to an end to international supervision."

US and European sources involved in tracking the Iranian nuclear program have made clear in recent weeks that Iran is between four and six months away from nuclear "break-out" capacity. This means that in the next four to six months Iran will have the nuclear fuel cycle complete, and will be able to independently construct nuclear bombs whenever it wishes. More conservative estimates have spoken of 12-24 months.

Given the seeming inevitability of Iran attaining nuclear weapons capabilities, a new received wisdom seems to be coalescing in Washington. This view is that it is not possible today, given US preoccupation with Iraq, either to change the Iranian regime and therefore moderate the threat posed by a nuclear Iran, or to engage the mullahs in negotiations that would appease them into giving up their nuclear ambitions. Therefore, it is being said, a new "middle road" policy must be constructed.

The most serious voice weighing in on the "middle road" option to date is Henry Sokolski. Sokolski, who now heads the Washington-based Non-proliferation Policy Education Center, was a US arms control negotiator in the first Bush administration and has held senior positions on arms-control-related issues in Congress and in the US intelligence community. Last week, the NPEC published a report, partially funded by the Pentagon, on the Iranian nuclear program, entitled "Restraining a Nuclear-Ready Iran: Seven Levers." (http://www.npec-web.org/projects/Iran/2004-09-13SevenLevers.pdf)

Given Sokolski's own hard-won credibility in non-proliferation affairs, and the fact that the Pentagon partially funded his report, it is important to analyze the study and its conclusions.

The study asserts at its outset that it will be impossible to target Iran's nuclear sites militarily. This assertion arises from intelligence reports which have shown that Iran has up to 15 separate and disperse nuclear sites, many of which are hardened and underground. Aside from this, the report and its precursor, "Checking Iran's Nuclear Ambitions," asserts that Iran already possesses the scientific knowledge base necessary to reconstitute any sites that are destroyed or damaged by air strikes.

Similarly, the study asserts that engaging Iran on its nuclear program is an exercise in futility, given Iran's current and past duplicity on the subject.

Disturbingly, while Sokolski accuses officials presently working on the Iran issue of being "in denial" about the inevitability of Iran acquiring nuclear capabilities, he himself is in denial about the threat that a nuclear-armed Iran would pose. Sokolski enumerates three dangers that he views as likely to emanate from a nuclear Iran.

First, he says that Iranian nuclearization will act as a catalyst for neighboring countries to attempt to gain nuclear capabilities, citing Saudi Arabia, Syria, Egypt, Algeria and Turkey as likely candidates for adopting such a policy.

Second, the report argues that nuclear capabilities will embolden Iran to take action to reduce world oil shipments by attacking tankers in the Straits of Hormuz or Saudi and Iraqi oil installations and pipelines, leading to a dramatic increase in oil prices.

Finally, a nuclear armed Iran would feel free to increase its support for terror strikes against the US and its allies. Such strikes would lead to a diminishment of US influence in the Middle East and throughout the world.

In truth, all of the threats that Sokolski's report argues will arise if Iran becomes nuclear capable already exist. Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Algeria are all already seeking to gain nuclear capabilities, as the report itself acknowledges. As well, Iran has been linked to much of the terrorism against oil-related targets in Saudi Arabia over the past year-and-a-half, and to most of the sabotage attacks against Iraqi oil installations since the US-led invasion. Indeed, Teheran is already the main cause of the recent surge in global oil prices. Furthermore, Iran today is the world's primary sponsor of terrorism. Its links to al-Qaida have been copiously documented. Its primary sponsorship of Hizbullah, Islamic Jihad, Hamas and Fatah is also unquestionable.

Yet, while labeling already existing threats emanating from Iran as future ones, Sokolski ignores the main new threat that would exist were Iran to become equipped with nuclear bombs – the use of those bombs to destroy Israel or its neighbors and rivals in the Persian Gulf, or the transfer of nuclear weapons to a terrorist group deployed as Iran's proxy.

Given that Sokolski fails to acknowledge this threat, it is not surprising that his policy recommendations for checking Iran's nuclear ambitions read like an instruction manual for US arms negotiators facing the Soviets during the era of detente in the 1970s. They are all based on the assumption that, like the Soviet Union, Iran is a status-quo power that will respect some mutually acceptable game rules.

Some of Sokolski's recommendations are interesting, but irrelevant to the matter at hand. He talks of the need to strengthen the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty by amending it to extend automatic nuclear blacklisting and other sanctions on any state that vacates its signature to the treaty. This may be a good idea, but what possible effect could it have if Iran has independent nuclear capabilities?

Other such recommendations are variations on ideas that have been tried in the past and failed. For instance, Sokolski calls for the US to achieve Russian cooperation in checking Iran's nuclear aspirations by offering the Russians a long-sought-for and lucrative nuclear cooperation deal. In the 1990s, the US offered Russia a near partnership in much of its space program. It often threatened that it would curtail its space cooperation if Russia did not stop assisting Iran in its ballistic missile program, but it never followed through. US sanctions on Russia for its cooperation in the Iranian ballistic missile programs were limited to sanctions on specific Russian entities that were directly involved in the enterprise, and the Russian government never flinched.

Most significantly – and egregiously – Sokolski recommends that in an effort to check Iranian nuclear capabilities, "Israel should announce how much weapons usable material it has produced and that it will unilaterally mothball (but not yet dismantle) Dimona, and place the reactor's mothballing under IAEA monitoring. Israel should announce that it will dismantle Dimona and place the special nuclear material it has produced in 'escrow' in Israel with a third trusted declared nuclear state, e.g., the US." That is, the primary target of Teheran's nuclear arsenal should respond to the emerging threat by disarming itself.

If this recommendation were made by a European or an Arab, one could simply laugh it off. But given the respectability of the source, it is necessary to engage it. Adopting such a course would be devastating for three main reasons:

First, it ignores the real danger of Iran using nuclear weapons to destroy Israel, as it has threatened.

Second, it ignores the rationale behind Israel's nuclear program: deterring the threat of physical destruction by both conventional and non-conventional enemy forces. It is not simply a deterrent against nuclear attack. To discuss nuclear transparency for Israel without calling for conventional disarmament of, say Egypt, whose conventional armed forces alone constitute a strategic threat for Israel, is to ignore Israel's strategic vulnerabilities.

Finally, the recommendation makes no distinction between a nuclear-armed, stable democracy and a nuclear-armed, terror-supporting theocracy. Comparing a nuclear Israel and a nuclear Iran is like comparing a housewife in the kitchen wielding a butcher's knife to a murderer in a dark alleyway wielding a butcher's knife. It is both morally obtuse and strategically blind.

Sokolski states at the outset that the option of a military strike against Iran must be dismissed because Iran's program is too far flung and its sites are too hardened. That is, since it may well be impossible to hit every nuclear target, it is not worth hitting any of them. As well, Iranian leaders daily threaten that any military action taken against Iran will be responded to in a devastating manner.

Yet, were an air strike on Iran to take out say, only 10 of 15 sites, it would still severely retard the Iranian nuclear effort, buying the West time to formulate and enact either a policy of engagement from a position of strength, or a policy of regime change with the requisite credibility among regime opponents that such a strike would inspire.

As to the threat of Iranian retaliation, it can be mitigated by taking certain steps. Hizbullah leadership, as well as its rocket and missile depots and launchers, can be preemptively destroyed or disabled in Lebanon. Saudi oil installations can be secured by Western Special Forces. A naval flotilla can be deployed to the Persian and Oman Gulfs, ready to secure the Strait of Hormuz for oil tankers.

In addition, immediately following a military strike on Iran's nuclear installations, allied governments could launch a massive information warfare campaign, flooding Iran with radio and satellite television broadcasts explaining the need for the strike and offering assistance to Iranian reformers.

In short, while calling for a "middle ground" – looking askance at naive formulations of engagement with no deterrent credibility, or regime change with no operational credibility – may seem like an attractive option, in reality, given the hostility and radicalism of the Iranian regime, Sokolski's report provides no real new option. A more formidable middle road that could be used to develop options for either regime change or engagement must necessarily be predicated on a comprehensive military option supporting limited air or commando strikes at Iran's nuclear facilities.


36 posted on 09/28/2004 9:35:22 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Spend on nukes? Iran should tend to its poor first

By Pranay Gupte

IS IRAN - with oil-export revenues of more than US$30 billion (S$51 billion) expected this year - on its way to producing nuclear weapons that would threaten not only neighbouring Middle East enemies such as Israel but also European nations?

Indeed, should it be allowed to do so? With growing unemployment among its young, and rising social tensions, can Iran afford to pursue the development of a nuclear arsenal?

And even with proven crude oil reserves of more than 130 billion barrels, and daily production of some 4.2 million barrels, can Iran - a nation of 70 million overwhelmingly poor people - afford to live off its oil revenues if imports, already at US$32 billion now, keep rising each year?

The oil industry is not generating the volume of jobs required to alleviate Iran's reported unemployment rate of 16-17 per cent. Among those younger than 30 years of age, the jobless rate may be even higher. Inflation - usually a key indicator of economic health - is running in excess of 17 per cent annually.

NO IDLE THREAT

BACK in 1979, when I covered the Islamic Revolution that deposed Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, the new rulers of what had been transformed overnight into a theocratic state often boasted about how their country would one day become a nuclear power. They pointed out that the Shah had plans to build more than 20 nuclear reactors with the assistance of Germany and the approval of the monarch's ally, the United States.

Iran, they said, would match the presumed nuclear capability of Israel, the Jewish state hated by the Shi'ite fundamentalists who took over the oil-rich country. The ayatollahs turned to the erstwhile Soviet Union to replace Germany as Iran's main builder of these plants, of which one - at Bushehr - has already been completed.

Their boast, 25 years ago, has not turned out to be an idle threat. Last week, President Mohammad Khatami said that Iran would continue to produce enriched uranium fuel for nuclear energy. He said Iran had begun converting 40 tonnes of uranium oxide into uranium hexafluoride gas, the feedstock for enriched uranium.

While it has not yet resumed enrichment of the gas by feeding it into supersonic centrifuges, President Khatami - who is ineligible for re-election when his second term expires at the end of the year - said Iran intends to do so.

The cleric-politician also said that Iran plans to build a second nuclear reactor. Although Mr Khatami stopped short of saying that Iran would develop nuclear weaponry, there has long been suspicion within the International Atomic Energy Agency that Iran is not quite pursuing its nuclear plans for civilian purposes alone.

Last week's disclosure by Mr Khatami was followed by another Iranian announcement that it had test-fired a new long-range missile, the Shahab, which means 'shooting star' in Persian. According to the Israelis, this missile can easily reach London, Paris and southern Russia.

There is speculation that the Israelis may well use US-manufactured bunker-busting rockets to destroy Iranian nuclear facilities, just as in 1981 when they bombed Iraq's incipient nuclear plants.

Iran, predictably, says that it will resist any Israeli efforts to attack its nuclear facilities. It also contends that, even though it is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), it has every right to develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

It is not alone in maintaining such a stance: virtually every developing country that has signed the treaty insists that it needs nuclear energy to meet growing domestic demands for electricity, manufacturing and industry.

The Associated Press reported last week that some of these developing countries say that the NPT has become 'a tool of nuclear states to impede nuclear development in nations they mistrust, and has lost its original purpose'.

The original purpose was to encourage a system under which countries without nuclear weapons that signed the treaty were promised full support in developing other nuclear technologies in exchange for renouncing nuclear weapons.

But could there be some truth in Iran's public insistence that its nuclear ambitions are confined to sustainable economic development?

The 61-year-old Mr Khatami told union representatives in Teheran recently that it was high time that the theocracy weaned itself away from its traditional reliance on oil export revenues, which account for about 80 per cent of the Islamic republic's export income.

Industrial productivity needed to be enhanced, he said, and the country's management and training projects warranted overhauling. And Iran, he added, would be seeking more foreign direct investment through already proven successful vehicles such as the issuance of euro bonds and other measures.

But it is not going to be easy for Iran to attract foreign capital in the volume it would like. Last year, the Islamic republic received a puny US$40 million in foreign direct investment, less than a twentieth of neighbouring Pakistan, also an Islamic state, but one that has acknowledged it is a nuclear power.

Foreign capital is also critical for Iran because it wants to increase its daily oil production from 4.2 million barrels to 12 million barrels. It cannot accomplish this without heavy foreign investment in the oil industry.

NON-OIL SECTOR WEAK

IRAN has been severely affected by the US-imposed sanctions in 1979 soon after Islamic militants seized the American Embassy in Teheran and kept diplomatic hostages for 444 days. Unless there is greater inflow of foreign technical know-how, Iran's prospects of reviving its moribund non-oil sector remain weak.

That sector was once much more productive. For example, exports of Caspian caviar sturgeon have fallen nearly 90 per cent since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

A report by Reuters said recently that hand-woven Persian carpets, Iran's second most valuable exports, have been 'bludgeoned' by foreign copies - made in Pakistan, Turkey and Iraq.

Only exports of pistachio nuts - a key agricultural product - have shown continued strength. Non-oil exports are expected to be about US$7 billion this year, according to the International Monetary Fund.

The IMF also estimates that Iran's overall economic growth rate for the next four years is expected to be 5.2 per cent annually. This will not be sufficient to make up its budgetary deficits as it attends to domestic social and economic development projects, rebuilds its long-neglected infrastructure, and also continues major agricultural and fuel subsidies.

Iran, in short, neither needs nor will be able to sustain a nuclear weaponry programme. It is time that the ayatollahs tended to their own parish first.

37 posted on 09/28/2004 9:43:10 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn


38 posted on 09/28/2004 10:11:20 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Crisis in Iran could blow up in an instant


With news media full of stories about roadside car bombs in Iraq and the military records of President George W. Bush and Sen. John Kerry, Americans may not have noticed news about Iran is worsening rapidly.

- Last week, Iranian officials revealed that they already have begun to convert 37 tons of uranium ore to enriched weapons-grade uranium, which is enough for about five bombs.

- Iran also announced last week that it successfully tested a "strategic missile" and delivered it to the nation's armed forces. Israeli military experts believe the missile is an improved version of the Shahab 3 missile, which is capable of reaching Israel — or American bases in the region.

- Israel plans to buy 500 bunker-buster bombs, according to the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz. The bombs can penetrate 6 feet of concrete and could be used against fortified missile silos.


Iran officials say they want enriched uranium to operate a nuclear power plant. "We have made our choice. Yes to peaceful nuclear technology and no to nuclear weapons," Iranian President Muhammad Khatami said last week.

Few western nations, however, were reassured by Khatami's words.
The international community, led by Britain, Germany and France, has been pressuring Iran to stop it's nuclear enrichment program.

Earlier this year, it appeared the diplomatic effort might be fruitful.
Now, with Iranian officials saying they may stop cooperating with inspectors from the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency, it appears Iran may have just been buying time.

John Wolfstahl of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace told National Public Radio that it appears Iran is "almost daring or bluffing the United States or Europeans to decide what they're prepared to do about it."

The diplomatic effort will reach ahead in November. The U.N.'s watchdog agency has called for full disclosure of its nuclear program by the time the International Atomic Energy Agency meets that month.
The wild card in the diplomatic effort is Russia, which has assisted Iran with its nuclear research in the past. Russia holds a veto on the U.N. Security Council against imposition of sanctions or other stern response.

In the meantime, Iran officials sound more combative than ever. After the missile test, Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani said Iran stands "ready to confront all regional and extraregional threats."

All the elements for a crisis, from a bombing attack by Israel to a  missile strike by Iran, are present. The stakes in the ongoing negotiations are enormous. If diplomatic efforts don't succeed soon, it may be too late.
39 posted on 09/28/2004 10:40:04 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Iran's hardline lawmakers want withdrawal from NPT

28 Sep 2004 15:44:58 GMT
Source: Reuters
By Parisa Hafezi

TEHRAN, Sept 28 (Reuters) - Iran's hardline lawmakers could try to force President Mohammad Khatami's government to follow North Korea's example and quit the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the official IRNA news agency said on Tuesday.

Leading conservative parliamentarian Hassan Kamran has prepared a bill for submission to parliament that would force the government to set a November deadline for the U.N. nuclear watchdog to take Iran off the agency's agenda, IRNA said.

"The bill obliges the government to pull out of the NPT if the International Atomic Energy Agency does not meet the deadline," IRNA quoted Kamran as saying.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has threatened it will take tough action against Iran at its November meeting if it defies the agency's call to stop uranium enrichment.

The United States accuses Iran of running a secret nuclear weapons programme and has forced the IAEA to report Iran to the U.N. Security Council for possible economic sanctions.

Iran insists its network of nuclear facilities are geared to produce atomic power, not bombs. Iran's Foreign Minister said Iran did not intend to pull out of the NPT: "No that is not our policy," said Kamal Kharazzi when questioned on CNN on Tuesday. "We are sticking to NPT".

The bill by Kamran, a member of parliament's Foreign Affairs and National Security commission, will be submitted to parliament if it is backed by 15 out of 290 lawmakers.

Kamran said he was seeking special triple-urgency status for the bill. If accepted by two-thirds of lawmakers, parliament would have to discuss it immediately. It would then go to the hardline Guardian Council, a watchdog body, before becoming law.

Some sections of Iran's clerical establishment have called for the country to withdraw from the NPT in return to the IAEA's "hostile stance". But the government has assured the world that it had no intention to end its co-operation with the IAEA.

Kamran said the government would be obliged to end its "voluntarily undertakings" to the IAEA as well if the bill passed into law.

International pressure forced Tehran last year to agree to snap checks of its nuclear sites and to halt the enrichment of uranium, a process that can be used to develop nuclear weapons.

Reformist lawmakers said they were against the bill. "We believe in more co-operation with the IAEA," Nureddin Pirmoazen told Reuters. He added: "But we are in minority in parliament".


40 posted on 09/28/2004 10:50:16 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; ...

Iran's hardline lawmakers want withdrawal from NPT

28 Sep 2004 15:44:58 GMT
Source: Reuters
By Parisa Hafezi

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1228852/posts?page=40#40


41 posted on 09/28/2004 10:51:43 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

This just in from inside of Iran...

"BBC confirms riot in South of Iran near city of Shiraz.

One killed, dozens injured.

The reason was that a local bank owned by a local Mullah took a lot money of the members and clients and people came to street to protest against that Mullah. ( rumors say the mullah stole people money).

Confirmed official stories saying that these local banks are busy washing al-qaeda money and finances in Iran too."


42 posted on 09/28/2004 10:53:45 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Update on Sunday's Demonstration...

The most recent reports I have received lead me to believe that the original numbers were likely inflated, as I reported previously.

The numbers reported widely of 2,000 demonstrators have been refuted by eyewitnesses I have heard from personally. In one location I heard credible reports of 7-10,000 demonstrators. Understand that the numbers are hard to verify due the fact that the demonstrations are scattered all over.

Behrooz has revised his estimate to 70-100,000 demonstrators. I doubt we will ever get better estimates beyond this.


43 posted on 09/28/2004 11:09:03 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
A Few More...


44 posted on 09/28/2004 3:40:13 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: no dems

"I, for one, at this point in time, would never be in favor of sending U.S. troops into another Muslim country."

Are you saying it is ok for terrorists to attack us? We should not defend ourselves?

I completely disagree with you on this issue.


45 posted on 09/28/2004 6:07:31 PM PDT by mjaneangels@aolcom
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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”

46 posted on 09/28/2004 9:02:54 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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