Skip to comments.Iranian Alert - September 30, 2004 [EST]- IRAN LIVE THREAD - "Americans for Regime Change in Iran"
Posted on 09/29/2004 9:00:38 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
The US media still largely ignores news regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran. As Tony Snow of the Fox News Network has put it, this is probably the most under-reported news story of the year. As a result, most Americans are unaware that the Islamic Republic of Iran is NOT supported by the masses of Iranians today. Modern Iranians are among the most pro-American in the Middle East. In fact they were one of the first countries to have spontaneous candlelight vigils after the 911 tragedy (see photo).
There is a popular revolt against the Iranian regime brewing in Iran today. I began these daily threads June 10th 2003. On that date Iranians once again began taking to the streets to express their desire for a regime change. Today in Iran, most want to replace the regime with a secular democracy.
The regime is working hard to keep the news about the protest movement in Iran from being reported. Unfortunately, the regime has successfully prohibited western news reporters from covering the demonstrations. The voices of discontent within Iran are sometime murdered, more often imprisoned. Still the people continue to take to the streets to demonstrate against the regime.
In support of this revolt, Iranians in America have been broadcasting news stories by satellite into Iran. This 21st century news link has greatly encouraged these protests. The regime has been attempting to jam the signals, and locate the satellite dishes. Still the people violate the law and listen to these broadcasts. Iranians also use the Internet and the regime attempts to block their access to news against the regime. In spite of this, many Iranians inside of Iran read these posts daily to keep informed of the events in their own country.
This daily thread contains nearly all of the English news reports on Iran. It is thorough. If you follow this thread you will witness, I believe, the transformation of a nation. This daily thread provides a central place where those interested in the events in Iran can find the best news and commentary. The news stories and commentary will from time to time include material from the regime itself. But if you read the post you will discover for yourself, the real story of what is occurring in Iran and its effects on the war on terror.
I am not of Iranian heritage. I am an American committed to supporting the efforts of those in Iran seeking to replace their government with a secular democracy. I am in contact with leaders of the Iranian community here in the United States and in Iran itself.
If you read the daily posts you will gain a better understanding of the US war on terrorism, the Middle East and why we need to support a change of regime in Iran. Feel free to ask your questions and post news stories you discover in the weeks to come.
If all goes well Iran will be free soon and I am convinced become a major ally in the war on terrorism. The regime will fall. Iran will be free. It is just a matter of time.
| NICOSIA [MENL] -- Iran has introduced what officials termed a new combat doctrine meant to repel any attack by Israel or the United States.
Officials have termed the doctrine "asymmetric warfare" and said it was aimed at countering a threat from a much larger and powerful adversary. They said the combat doctrine sought to identify and exploit Iranian military advantages in any war with a foreign power.
The new doctrine was said to have been demonstrated during the Ashura-5 military exercise in September. During the Sept. 12-18 exercise, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps tested the effectiveness of coordinated air and ground strikes, strategic medium- and intermediate-range missiles as well as other weapons and methods.
IRGC commander Gen. Yahya Rahim-Safavi said Iran developed the concept of asymmetric warfare based on the assessment that Teheran's greatest threats came from Israel and the United States. He said Teheran has sought to deter these two countries by demonstrating Iran's deep-strike capability.
29 September 2004
hile impossible to confirm, there is a high probability that the leadership in Tehran is attempting to acquire a nuclear weapons capability. By achieving a nuclear weapons capability, Iran would be better insulated from foreign threats and would help to stabilize its regional power. While a nuclear-armed Iran would assist in securing Iranian interests, it would be a dangerous development for the interests of the United States and Israel.
Because Washington lacks a viable military strategy in dealing with Tehran, it is essential that it continues to garner the support of the European countries of France, Germany and the United Kingdom in order to adequately threaten Tehran with United Nations repercussions; the present U.S. strategy is to threaten Iran with international economic sanctions unless Tehran dismantles its enrichment-related programs.
Iran has many valid justifications for developing a nuclear weapons capability. This status would protect Iran from the United States which has labeled Iran an "evil" state subject to "regime change"; it would also remove the geopolitical growth restraints that Israel has placed on the countries of the Middle East.
Iranian acquisition of nuclear weapons would weaken U.S. hopes for external regime change in Tehran, thus protecting the regime, and would also give Iran the opportunity to expand its influence in the Middle East and Central Asia without certain fear of U.S. or Israeli reprisals.
Yet, while a nuclear weapons capability favors Iran's state interests, the opposite is true for U.S. and Israeli state interests. A nuclear-armed Iran would prevent the U.S. from executing a forceful change of government in Tehran, since if faced with regime termination, the Iranian leadership could possibly exercise its nuclear weapons option in a last ditch effort for regime survival. This uncertainty would guarantee a more prudent U.S. response to Iranian policy actions.
For Israel, which has, with the support of the United States, managed to keep the Middle Eastern states weak and disunited, a nuclear-armed Iran would hurt its ability to respond militarily to Iran's support of destabilizing forces that affect Israel, or to those actions that increase Iran's regional strength.
Weak U.S. Response
In light of Iran's potential pursuit of nuclear weapons, both the U.S. and Israel will need to take steps to secure their regional interests at the expense of Iran's. Due to Iran's military strength, Israel would prefer to rely on the U.S. to weaken the Islamic republic, for if Washington were to move on Iran, with Israel remaining on the sidelines, it would likely limit Iranian retaliation against Israel. But Washington has less leverage to act since it is bogged down in Iraq and overextended elsewhere due to its involvement in multiple theaters of conflict. Plus, in the midst of an election year, it is not clear how the U.S. public would respond to serious U.S. saber rattling on the issue.
Considering these restraints, Washington must refer the Iranian nuclear issue to the U.N. Security Council so it may threaten Tehran with economic sanctions. This type of threat could cause Tehran to comply with international pressure. However, this route requires the support of France, Germany and the United Kingdom. For these reasons, the U.S. must convince these states to join in efforts of intimidating Iran with punitive sanctions. This is the present course of the White House, with President Bush telling American television, "We are working our hearts out so that they do not develop a nuclear weapon, and the best way to do so is to continue to keep international pressure on them."
Until recently, Paris, Berlin and London have been loath to adopt the U.S. approach to the Iranian nuclear issue. Their motives rest in their heavy trade with Iran and also with the concern that threatening Iran could cause the state to act irrationally and potentially threaten the stability of the Middle East. The Europeans have few qualms about allowing Iran to pursue nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, but they recognize that a nuclear-armed could destabilize the region.
A nuclear-armed Iran could pose a great danger to the region's stability. Presently, the only truly powerful state in the Middle East is Israel, and its power has kept the other regional states weak and disunited. A nuclear-armed Iran would create a new power source that would reduce Israel's supremacy. A reduction in Israeli power could mean an increase in power for other Middle Eastern states since Israel would not be able to strike surrounding states, such as Syria, with impunity. Any such strike would have to consider the potential for Iranian retaliation, or at least heightened Iranian assistance to states or organizations focused on reducing Israel's regional power.
If Israel were to make a military move on Iran independently of the U.S., the military response from Iran would be harsh. Indeed, in recent weeks, the Iranian government has gone to extremes to emphasize the retaliatory actions it will take upon attack from Israel.
In the event of a decrease in Israeli power and an increase in the power of other regional states, the region could become a multi-polar mini-system, with each country competing with the other in the regional power balance. This competition would threaten regional stability and thus threaten the globe's oil supply -- a development that could cause oil prices to skyrocket, hurting the economies of oil dependent countries such as the United States and the European states.
It is this fear of regional instability that is a major factor in why the United States has consistently supported the state of Israel. Israel has managed to keep the power balance tilted in its favor, which has resulted in the Middle Eastern states remaining dependent and weak, a geopolitical status quo that provides stable, cheap oil prices due to little regional development.
Because Iran threatens this geopolitical status quo, the European states have been reconsidering the U.S. approach, and have shown signs of adopting parts of it. Their reconsideration is why Washington needs to capitalize on the opportunity and push the Europeans to adopt a more hard-line course toward Iran. If the Europeans were to follow the U.S. approach, it could delay Iran's acquisition of nuclear arms.
Avoiding International Condemnation
Despite its potential pursuit of nuclear arms, Iran does not wish to be ostracized by the international community. If Tehran were threatened with international economic sanctions, and loss of its European connections, it will prove to be counter-productive to the interests of the Iranian state. Thus, while the pursuit of nuclear weapons is a rational objective for Tehran, it is not rational if it comes at the expense of all other objectives. Tehran has recognized this predicament and has balked when faced with threats of isolation from Europe.
In the past, when threatened with isolation, Tehran has generally complied with European demands, such as by opening up its country to U.N. nuclear inspections, and by freezing the enrichment aspect of its nuclear program. To demonstrate this, upon the latest threat by the Europeans, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asef said, "Iran will adjust its policies according to the performance and decision of the [Europeans]. We do not want Iran's file to be referred to the Security Council, but in case of a referral, the Europeans will be harmed more than us."
The preceding strategic analysis provides a course for the Bush administration to set if it wishes to secure its interests in the Middle East. After taking a serious hit to its military capability due to the unexpected level of violence found in the Iraq occupation, Washington cannot adequately threaten Iran with force. It must use the skillful art of diplomacy to coax the Europeans to adopt Washington's position. While there are signs that the Europeans are complying, it is far from certain that they will agree with the U.S. on referring Iran's nuclear issue to the U.N. Security Council.
After all, in the latest rounds of diplomacy, the Europeans did take the step of agreeing with U.S. demands for Iran to halt its uranium enrichment program, but they did not agree to place a "trigger mechanism" into the U.N. draft. Therefore, if, by November, Iran does not comply with U.N. demands, the issue will not be automatically referred to the Security Council. It will merely spark more debate and thusly more time for Iran to sprint down the path toward a nuclear weapons capability. All sides in this conflict know what needs to be accomplished -- the foreboding question, however, is which player will find itself in a better position at the end.
Report Drafted By:
September 29, 2004
Last Saturday, The New York Times, which has not yet formally endorsed a presidential candidate, published an editorial that could have passed for a piece of Kerry campaign literature.
The editorial was titled An Un-American Way to Campaign. The last paragraph summed up The Times' attack on Bush and its support for Kerry. We think that anyone who attempts to portray sincere critics as dangerous to the safety of the nation is wrong. It reflects badly on the president's character that in this instance, he's putting his own ambition ahead of the national good.
The editorial does not quote President Bush, but it does quote Vice President Cheney, Speaker Dennis Hastert and Senator Orrin Hatch. Cheney is quoted as saying that electing Mr. Kerry would create a danger that well get hit again. Hastert, according to The Times, said recently on television that al-Qaeda would do better under a Kerry presidency, and wrote The Times, Senator Orrin Hatch, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, has announced that the terrorists are going to do everything they can do between now and November to try to elect Kerry.
Are any of these statements beyond the pale of political discourse or un-American? I dont think so.
The Times editorial went on to say that It is absolutely not all right for anyone on [President Bushs] team to suggest that Mr. Kerry is the favored candidate of the terrorists. But shouldn't the real question be, "Do terrorists in fact prefer one candidate over another?"
No one is suggesting that Islamic terrorists approve of any American presidential candidate, all of whom are Christians. According to Bernard Lewis, America's foremost scholar on Islam, The Wahhabi demand, as far as I know, is not that Christians and Jews convert to Islam, but that they accept the supremacy of Islam and the rule of the Muslim state. On that condition, they may continue in the practice of their religion.
But just as I and millions of Americans believe Kerry and Bush differ in their approaches to international terrorism, you can be certain that bin Laden, al-Zarqawi and other Islamic terrorists recognize these differences. Surely they know which presidential candidate would be more likely to wage war against them and the countries that harbor them, with or without United Nations support, and pursue them until they are defeated.
Kerry apparently believes we should never have waged war to liberate Iraq in the first place, and that we should get out of Iraq as soon as possible, preferably within a year. Indeed, Kerry and 46 other U.S. Senators, including Senator Ted Kennedy, voted against the Gulf War of 1991. Remember, the U.S. responded to an attack by Iraq on Kuwait and a threatened attack by Iraq on Saudi Arabia. Kerry still has not explained his opposition to waging war against Iraq on that occasion. In Gulf War II, he has flipped-flopped: voting for it, then opposing it. Bushs statement, We'll get the job done as quickly as possible, and then we'll bring our troops home not one day longer than necessary," evinces a commitment to get the job done.
Kerrys supporters, especially the so-called "Deaniac" delegates, believe we should have been out of Iraq yesterday, and Kerry has donned the mantle of Howard Dean as the anti-war candidate. Is it unreasonable to think that the Iraqi insurgents, Jihadists and terrorists would prefer a president whose policies seem most likely to give radical Islam the ultimate victory? If they didnt, they would be stupid, and stupid they are not.
The terrorists who blew up the commuter trains in Madrid a few days before the Spanish elections in March 2004 , timed their attacks to influence the outcome of those elections. The attacks had their intended effect. The 200 deaths and 1,400 casualties caused a Spanish government committed to the war against terrorism and a military commitment to assist us in Iraq to topple. Similarly, the terrorists who destroyed the World Trade Center on 9/11 may have hoped to undermine U.S. resolve. If a person with less steel in his spine than George W. Bush had been in the White House, our resolve might have crumbled in the face of that horrific terrorist act.
There are five weeks left to the campaign. Kerry supporters in large part realize the country is headed in a direction different than where he and The Times would take us. I predict a margin of victory approaching eight points for President Bush. Adding to Kerrys problems is the fact that he stirs no passion among his supporters. Contrast that with the deep passion Bush supporters have for their candidate. Many of Kerrys current followers can be persuaded to switch to Bush. Many more may stay home on November 2nd. I fear that Kerry will drag many moderate Democrats down to defeat.
For The Times to attack the Presidents character is truly injurious to the nation. Referring to his campaign as un-American is ludicrous.
Ed Koch is the former Mayor of New York and a partner in the law firm Bryan Cave LLP.
LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Tony Blair said on Wednesday the international community was closer than ever to making North Korea and Iran accept its demands to halt nuclear programs.
"A couple of weeks ago Libya finally wound up its WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction) program. America has lifted sanctions. We have a better chance of getting Iran and North Korea into compliance than we have ever had," Blair told BBC radio.
Defending the decision to go to war in Iraq, Blair added: "I thought and I still think it was absolutely essential we took that step. I don't accept that containment was working."
Both Iran and North Korea, along with pre-war Iraq, were labeled by President Bush as part of an "axis of evil" and have been under pressure from the West over their nuclear programs.
North Korea canceled a scheduled September round of talks over scrapping its nuclear program in exchange for security guarantees, while the International Atomic Energy Agency has said it will take tough action if Iran defies its call to stop uranium enrichment.
JOHANNESBURG - South Africa on Wednesday called for an urgent solution to the row over Iran's nuclear program following a meeting here between President Thabo Mbeki and Iranian national security adviser Hassan Rowhani.
Iran is under threat of being hauled before the UN Security Council amid suspicions it is seeking the capacity to develop nuclear weapons.
South Africa "believes that a confrontation should be avoided and a solution should be sought urgently," said Abdul Minty, South Africa's representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
"Such a solution should be possible by finding a balance between the rights of the NPT members to nuclear technology for peaceful purposes and the need to build international confidence," said Minty in a statement.
He added that South Africa would "be interacting intensively with all parties concerned and work for a satisfactory solution."
Mbeki met with Rowhani in Cape Town for about an hour to discuss the nuclear standoff, said presidential spokesman Bheki Khumalo.
The IAEA called on Iran earlier this month to halt its uranium enrichment-related activities amid suspicions that they could be used to develop weapons.
The United States claims Iran is hiding a covert weapons development program and wants the agency to bring Iran before the UN Security Council in November.
Washington, DC, Sep. 29 (UPI) -- A top U.S. official Wednesday had rare words of praise for Iran, lauding Tehran's cooperation with Afghanistan.
Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage told the House International Relations Committee Iran was cooperating with the Afghan government in stemming the sale of drugs, and the influx of Taliban and al-Qaida.
"They signed a good neighborly agreement with the Afghan government," he said. "They're very rigorous on the prosecution of drugs."
He noted, however, Tehran was "not as helpful" in Herat, anti-American sentiment runs high.
Iran was included along with Saddam Hussein's Iraq and North Korea in President Bush's "axis of evil." The State Department accuses it of supporting terrorism and the administration is trying to prevent Iran from possessing nuclear weapons.
WASHINGTON, Sept 29 (AFP) - The United States on Wednesday slapped sanctions on seven Chinese firms, two Indian men, and companies from Belarus, North Korea, Russia, Spain and Ukraine for selling weapons or cruise and ballistic missile technology and equipment to Iran.
The penalties were imposed for the transfer of "equipment and technology controlled under multilateral export control lists or otherwise having the potential to make a material contribution to the development of weapons of mass destruction or cruise or ballistic missile systems, the State Department said.
The sanctions include a bar on the firms and individuals doing business with the US government, a ban on US assistance and the automatic denial of US export licenses to them, the department said in a notice published in the Federal Register.
The notice did not elaborate on the specifics of the alleged sales which are punishable under the Iran Nonproliferation Act of 2000.
Many of the companies, in particular the Chinese and North Korean firms, have been under US sanctions for previous transgressions and are unlikely to be significantly affected by the new penalties.
The firms and individuals identified in the notice are:
The Beijing Institute of Aerodynamics of China, the Beijing Institute of Opto-Electronic Technology (BIOET) of China, Belarus Belvneshpromservice of Belarus, the Changgwang Sinyong Corporation of North Korea, the China Great Wall Industry Corporation of China, China North Industries Corporation (NORINCO) of China,
Dr C Surendar and Dr YSR Prasad of India, Khazra Trading of Russia, the LIMMT Economic and Trade Company of China, Oriental Scientific Instruments Corporation (OSIC) of China, South Industries Science and Technology Trading Company of China, Telstar of Spain, and the Zaporizhzhya Regional Foreign Economic Association of Ukraine.
TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran's clerical leadership will fall on Friday, if Iranian self-styled prophet Ahura Pirouz Khaleghi Yazdi -- whose broadcasts on a U.S.-based satellite channel have become hot gossip in Iran -- is to be believed.
Khaleghi's Web site (www.ahura.info), based in California, says he will return to Iran on Friday to remove the "Terrorist Regime" using good thoughts, good words and good deeds, the central tenets of Zoroastrianism, Iran's pre-Islamic religion.
But Khaleghi's rhetoric has ruffled few feathers among the country's rulers.
"If they wanted to, they could easily have blocked his Web site. It is a sign they are not that worried," said one Tehran resident, Karim.
Although many Persian Weblogs dismiss the man as a lunatic, numerous protesters at minor pro-democracy demonstrations on Sunday said they were responding to his call.
Khaleghi, an aviation consultant, says he will charter 50 aeroplanes to bring the Iranian diaspora back from exile, in a clear parallel to Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's arrival at the advent of the 1979 Islamic revolution.
"Everybody says Ahura is coming," said one grocer in central Tehran. "Even I know his Web site address and I do not have access to a computer. It is crazy, my friends in (the cities of) Shiraz and Isfahan are talking about him."
A state radio comedy on Friday mornings has turned Khaleghi into a figure of fun, dancing the "babakaram", a sultry Arabian-style dance on his return to Iran.
His choice of arrival date is no accident. Friday is not only a major Zoroastrian festival but also the birthday of the Mahdi, the 12th of the Shi'ite Imams, descendants of the prophet Mohammad, who disappeared in the ninth century.
Iranian Shi'ites, many of whom believe the Mahdi will return to save the country, will be celebrating on Friday, packing the streets under gawdy decorations, handing out pastries.
Although Khaleghi's Web site is loaded with Zoroastrian iconography, the hardline newspaper Jomhuri-ye Eslami pointed out that his real name was the Muslim-sounding "Fatollah", and played on his lowly origins as a sergeant in the Shah's airforce.
"Ahura Pirouz" means victory of Ahura, the Zoroastrian good God who fought Ahriman, the embodiment of evil.
"The risible claims of this charlatan, using U.S. satellite channels, have brought a few impressionable people onto the streets," Jomhuri-ye Eslami wrote in its editorial.
While some Iranians complained on Tuesday that Khaleghi's platform, the "Rangarang" (Multicoloured) channel, was being scrambled, Persian gossip columns have mainly suggested that he needs urgent psychiatric attention. Some joke the Iranian airforce will simply shoot him down in mid-air.
But his Web site still sports a digital clock, counting down to the day he will arrive in Tehran's Azadi (Freedom) Square.
"If there is chelo kebab, I am there," one blogger quipped.
TEHRAN - Four people were killed and a dozen were injured in northwestern Iran when police attacked the hideout of an extremist Shia Muslim religious group, an interior ministry official said on Wednesday.
Members of the group, which authorities did not name, attacked police on Tuesday near the northwestern city of Miandoab, an official in the city told Reuters by telephone.
The group, whose leader Seyyed Agha Nezam claims to be the last imam of Shi'ite Muslims, has repeatedly caused civil disorder in Miandoab, the source said.
Shi'ite Muslims believe their 12th and last imam Mahdi, who went into hiding in the year 874, will return to earth one day to usher in an era of perfect justice.
"Three members of the group and one police officer were killed during the fight," said the official who declined to be named. "The leader of the group managed to escape."
At least 12 police officers were injured and some eight gang members were arrested.
Police seized a large amount of weaponry including rifles and hand-grenades when they entered the group's hideout near Miandoab, city governor Hamid Shokri was quoted by student news agency ISNA as saying.
VIENNA (Reuters) - Libya, which last year renounced its nuclear weapons program, Monday urged Iran to follow suit and comply with the demands of the U.N. nuclear watchdog to stop enriching uranium which can be used to make atomic bombs.
"As (IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei) said today, some things have to be fulfilled by Iran," Libyan Deputy Prime Minister Matouq M. Matouq told reporters after meeting U.S. Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham at the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) annual general conference.
"The Iranians have to meet these obligations because of the agreement with the IAEA, and we hope that we can have another example (of) Iran of fulfilling the obligations and following the IAEA agreements," he said.
Saturday the IAEA Board of Governors passed a resolution calling on Iran to end uranium enrichment. Tehran rejected the resolution, calling the demand illegal.
Matouq also said Tripoli's December 2003 decision to abandon all weapons of mass destruction could be seen as an example for Iran and all other countries.
"Libya has set an example for everybody," he said.
Washington accuses Iran of developing nuclear weapons, but Tehran insists its atomic ambitions are peaceful.
Four killed in Iran
TEHRAN: A policeman and three members of an obscure Shi'ite Muslim cult have been killed and 12 other people injured in fresh clashes in northwestern Iran, the student news agency Isna reported yesterday.
According to Hamid Chokri, prefect of the region of Mian-Doab near the city of Mahabad, police seized a "large quantity of firearms and grenades" after they came under attack on Tuesday by members of the group. Last week news reports said two senior local police officials died in clashes in the same area with a "heretical" group called the Ali Allahi.
Kim Jung Il says he supports Kerry.
Tehran's bush telegraph has been abuzz in recent days in expectation that amysterious exile would return to Iran and overthrow the Islamic Republic.
Taxi-drivers, housewives and shopkeepers have been talking about little else other than Ahura Pirooz Khaleghi Yazdi, a 57-year-old businessman based in Los Angeles who is promising through satellite television broadcasts to land in Iran with 50 aircraft full of exiles, journalists and United Nations monitors.
Mr Yazdi originally set September 25 as the date for the "liberation" of his country but this has now been postponed until October 1 owing to his being "busy with preparations".
The whole affair highlights weaknesses of the Iranian political opposition more than any real threat to Tehran's 25-year-old clerical- led regime.
Despite US pressure on Iran over its nuclear programme and Washington's occasional flirtation with a policy of "regime change" in Tehran, the CIA reported to Congress this year that Iran's rulers were secure for the foreseeable future.
Recent street gatherings called by Mr Yazdi have attracted only a handful of well-heeled young people.
"I just went to see what is going on, for fun, like I go to the cinema to watch Godzilla," said Reza Abdullahi, a student who turned out on Sunday.
Mr Yazdi is managing director of Rangarang, one of 23 LA-based satellite Iranian language television stations that beam into Iran a diet of music videos, political programmes calling for the return of the royalist system overthrown in 1979 and advertisements for liposuction and weight-reducing vibrating belts.
Since Iran's judges closed more than 100 reformist newspapers and magazines, Iranians have tuned into satellite television as an alternative to the mainly state-run domestic media.
But despite an avalanche of publicity through Rangarang and his website, Mr Yazdi remains an enigmatic figure. He speaks up-to-date colloquial Farsi and, according to his biographical details, gained a PhD at 16.
Sceptics include Zia Atabai, a chat-show host on the rival LA-based station, National Iran TV, who suggested that Mr Yazdi was a "puppet of the Islamic Republic" and not to be trusted. "If he goes to Iran and liberates the country, I will cut my own throat," vowed Mr Atabai.
Washington has cast round without success over many years for a credible opposition force. This year it enraged Tehran by giving "protected status" under the Geneva Convention to the Mujahideen-e Khalq, a cult-like Iraq-based group once armed by Saddam Hussein, which has mounted periodic attacks in Iran.
The US has also reportedly had talks with Ali Chehregani, a Washington-based activist calling for independence for Azeris living in north-west Iran.
The most public face among the US-based opposition has been the 42-year-old Reza Pahlavi, eldest son of the Shah deposed by the Islamic Revolution in 1979. Mr Pahlavi has appeared regularly on LA-based television to assure Iranians that a restored monarchy would be democratic and secular.
The remoteness of the opposition and the failure of President Mohammad Khatami's reformist project have together produced a mixture of fatalism and alienation from politics that can build an attractive fantasy round a figure such as Ahura Yazdi.
The Islamic Republic was unperturbed. Hossein Shariatmadari, editor-in-chief of the conservative Kayhan newspaper, called Mr Yazdi and his followers "the army of the insane". www.ahura.info
The liberal facist media largely contributed to the downfall of the Shah with assurances of a Democratic Party victory in the US and an Islamist dictatorship to replace the pro-West regime in Iran. Twenty five years later the liberal media are virtually silent on the weekly demonstrations for freedom, democracy and secularism in Iran mainly because this particular movement is largely pro-American.
The leftist media have been virtually silent on SEVERAL dozens of demonstrations against the Mullahs in Iran reported by other news agencies, b/c they a) Reporting the truth on Iran is tremendously against their agenda b) they hate to see a pro-US government take shape in Iran b/c the current regime gives them immense ratings and allows them to keep their offices in Iran and c) and finally they do not want to see President Bush's Mid-East Doctrine emerge.
The last thing on earth the liberals, EU, China, Russia, and far right wing fundamenalist - kill the Muslims on the right group wants to see is a free, secular, democratic Iran.
Reports over the past 24 - 48 hours via several important information services such as SMCCDI, Peykeiran, Zagros and direct email reports and phone calls from Iranian citizens is beginning to shine light on what at this time looks to be country-wide fighting and quickly escalating into what could potentially become a freedom revolution.
Several independent citizen sources have reported the formation of significant crowds throughout the country, and have heard many loud explosions and gun shots, including in the cities of Tehran, Esfahan, and Shiraz.
SMCCDI and Peykeiran have both reported intense battles between freedom-loving Iranian citizens and the regime's fanatical militias in the village of Meeyan Do Ab. Both sources are reporting many deaths and injuries both to the villagers and regime's forces.
In the past week and recent days, many regional commanders and leaders of the regime's militias have been targeted and killed along with many of their militiamen.
Initial reports from Iranian online news sources as well as from western satellite news media are reporting intense fighting throughout Iran, and report that such fighting is increasing at a constant rate.
On September 28th, SMCCDI reported that in Iran's main southern port of Bandar-Abbas located by the Hormoz Strait on the Persian Gulf, heavy fighting between Elite commandos of the Pasdaran Corp and Iranian residents who were protesting the regime's murder of three fishermen broke out. Angry residents attacked several public buildings as well as regime vehicles with incendiary devices.
Reports also indicate that Bandar Abbas is the main commercial entry to Iran and its paralysis could help spark unprecedented chaos that would severely threaten and likely cause the fall of the Islamic Regime.
Regime forces are also acknowledging the discovery of several ammunition depots used by Iranian citizens against the Mullah's militias.
At this time and for several months now, regime security forces have remained heavily deployed in the most strategic areas of Iranian cities in an effort to prevent the spread and growth of any major uprising.
The current situation appears to be quite explosive at this time.
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