Skip to comments.Iranian Alert - October 3, 2004 [EST]- IRAN LIVE THREAD - "Americans for Regime Change in Iran"
Posted on 10/02/2004 10:51:20 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.
Iranian leader wants nuke in 4 months
'We must have two bombs ready to go in January or you are not Muslims'
Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has urged his country's weapons developers to step up work on making a nuclear bomb, a U.S. official said, according to Geostrategy-Direct, the global intelligence news service.
According to the official, an authoritative source in the Iranian exile community has stated that Khamenei met recently with senior government and military leaders on the nuclear weapons program.
Khamenei told the gathering, "We must have two bombs ready to go in January or you are not Muslims," the official said.
Jafari-Jalali, a member of the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee of the Majles, stated in an Iranian press interview last week that the recent International Atomic Energy Agency resolution calling on Iran to halt uranium enrichment could lead to Tehran withdrawing from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
Iran's military announced earlier this month that it would test-fire a "strategic" missile during the Ashura 5 military exercises of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.
Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami announced the missile test on Sept. 18. "The climax of this stage of the exercises is the actual missile operations and the testing of a series of missiles with different ranges," he said.
Iranian Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani said earlier this month that "given that an effective deterrent policy does not halt at a certain point, the Islamic Republic of Iran continues upgrading its defensive capability."
Shamkhani said Iran has acquired an effective deterrent power to confront its enemies in the region.
Iran test-fired a Shihab-3 on Sept. 18 and had also tested one in August.
Meanwhile, British intelligence, working with Iraqi security, has uncovered a cell within the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps that is working to destabilize Iraq.
The Iranians had paid insurgents to conduct attacks in southern Iraq.
"I don't think there's any doubt that the Iranians are involved and are providing support" to the Iraqi insurgents, Secretary of State Colin Powell said last week.
A Persian proverb says: "From this signpost on the road to the next, there is hope!" And it was in that spirit that the International Atomic Energy Agency decided last Saturday to give the Islamic Republic of Iran until 25 November to comply with its obligations under the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT).
The resolution passed by the IAEA's 35-nation board of governors criticises Iran for "lack of candour" over its nuclear programme and calls on the Islamic Republic to suspend all uranium enrichment activities that could contribute to producing fuel for a nuclear bomb.
The resolution warns that the agency "considers it necessary" that Iran halt its uranium enrichment programmes, and meet all of the agency's demands within the next eight weeks.
But is this an ultimatum?
Hardly. This is, in fact, the third time in two years that the IAEA has fixed "a signpost" for Iran before moving to the next with no more than some timid huffing and puffing. IAEA spokesmen have made it clear that, come 25 November, they would simply "review the situation" once again.
The new "signpost" suits all sides of this bizarre dispute.
The mullahs will get two more months in which to hasten whatever it is that they are doing. The Bush administration, which has been making loud noises about the threat of a nuclear-armed Islamic Republic, is happy because the potentially explosive issue is postponed until after the US presidential election in November.
The Europeans, who have already burned their fingers by trying to coax the mullahs into a diplomatic solution, have their own reason to be happy: the IAEA's decision gives them time to see who will be the next US president. If Bush is re-elected, the European Union would find it hard to continue the diplomatic dance with the mullahs. If Senator John Kerry is the winner, however, new horizons could open for deal-making with the mullahs.
It is important to understand what this dispute is really about.
On the surface it is about uranium enrichment.
The process , in which uranium is converted into a gas and spun in centrifuges to concentrate more fissile isotopes, is used to produce fuel for nuclear reactors, but it can also produce material for making nuclear weapons.
Signatories to the NPT are allowed to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes, provided the IAEA is allowed to keep an eye on the operation to make sure it will not be used for weapon-making.
Iran had a uranium enrichment programme in 1978, two years before the mullahs seized power . At the time Iran was also a shareholder in Eurodif, a company formed to mine uranium in Gabon and enrich it in France, Spain and Iran. No one objected to the Iranian programme because Iran, one of the 11 countries that had originally sponsored the NPT, was suspected of seeking nuclear weapons.
There is no doubt that Iran has the scientific, technological and industrial base to produce weapons' grade uranium. But this is also true of almost all other signatories of the NPT, including those that do not belong to the so-called " nuclear weapons club".
The real question, therefore, is this: does the IAEA trust Iran's present leadership?
The present Iranian leadership has never committed itself to foreswearing nuclear weapons forever, and cannot do that for at least two reasons.
The first is that no regime worth its salt will voluntarily limit its options when it comes to national defence, especially when none of its neighbours are asked to do the same. Iran is at the centre of a region with the largest number of nuclear powers: Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Israel, and the United States, thanks to the NATO presence in Turkey. One might also add Egypt which is not a signatory to NPT and thus might be engaged in activities beyond the ken of the IAEA . The " Supreme Guide" Ali Khamenehi has issued a statement forbidding the use of nuclear weapons, but not manufacturing them.
The second reason is that the present Iranian regime, like others that claim a messianic mission, is in conflict not only with the regional status quo , which it sees as a threat, but also against the so-called global system dominated by the Islamic Republic's arch-foe, the United States.
Iran's national defence doctrine, as developed since 1989, is based on the so-called " pre-emptive defence" concept.
The assumption is that the enemies of the Islamic Republic and its Islamist ideology will, at some point, use military threat and/or action to check the spread of its influence, especially in its "natural habitat" of the Middle East, the Caspian Basis and the Gulf.
To meet those threats the Islamic Republic needs three assets: a capacity to sustain large casualties in long wars, a massive arsenal of medium and long-range missiles to compensate for the weakness of its air force, and a nuclear arsenal to deter the " big powers", meaning the United States, that wish to curb Tehran's regional ambitions.
Without its nuclear component, the Iranian national defence doctrine would have little value beyond diplomatic gesticulations.
The question therefore is not to persuade Iran to abandon the nuclear component of its dotcorine but to revise its regional and global ambitions.
An Iran that does not want to "export" its Khomeinist ideology or reshape the map of the region will not be a threat even if it has nuclear weapons.
One question that is often asked is why should Iran be singled out while others, notably India, Pakistan and Israel, are allowed to do as they please? The answer is that India, Pakistan and Israel are not signatories of the NPT and have no obligation to act in accordance with the rules of the IAEA.
Developing and deploying nuclear weapons is not illegal. The Islamic Republic is not the victim of any conspiracy or unjust treatment. It could withdraw from the NPT, and do as it pleases. The problem is that the mullahs want to have it both ways. They want to stay in the NPT so as to benefit from legal access to technology, equipment and materiel. If they withdraw from the IAEA whatever they buy would be regarded as illegal and banned by the signatories of the NPT.
The problem, as stated above, is one of trust. The IAEA's chief, Mohamed El-Baradei made that point abundantly clear when he said Iran needed to suspend its enrichment activities "in order to restore confidence".
Last year, Iran agreed to suspend enrichment after it was found to have concealed an extensive illegal programme, a breach of its treaty obligations. But it almost immediately began to " cheat-and-retreat" over what activities were covered.
In July, Iran resumed the manufacture of centrifuge parts and the assembly of centrifuge units, while pledging not to use those to enrich uranium.
Trust and confidence, of course, are subjective notions.
Why do people trust Japan, for example, not to secretly manufacture nuclear weapons, but refuse the same to the Islamic Republic?
There is no way for IAEA ever to find out exactly what Iran is up to without sincere cooperation from the Tehran leadership.
The IAEA was able to close down the nuclear programmes of Kazakhstan, the Ukraine, Byelorussia and South Africa because it was invited by the governments of those countries to do so. The most recent example of voluntary nuclear disarmament came from Libya which transferred the material and the equipment it had assembled to the United States.
The real question is whether or not the major powers are prepared to accept the Islamic Republic on its own terms, which includes a capacity to manufacture nuclear weapons, or will be able to persuade Tehran to abandon its revolutionary ambitions and seek a normal place within the global system? And this, as all those involved know without saying so, is a geo-strategic problem, not a technical one about uranium enrichment and centrifuges.
I pray everyday for the good people of Iran, they don't deserve the horrible fanatical leaders they have now.
Baha'i faithful speak out against Iran
By Mary Butler, Camera Staff Writer
October 2, 2004
In 1982, Mirza Kouchak Majidi faced a death sentence in his native homeland the Islamic Republic of Iran planned to execute him for his religious beliefs.
The Louisville man, who today is 87, packed up his family and traveled three days without food or water by way of Pakistan to escape. He left behind his carpet business, his home and his community.
"Despite all of this persecution and being denied basic human rights, he can see the fruits of such suffering," said Jilla Sabeti, who interpreted the Farsi spoken by Majidi, her grandfather, last Sunday.
"He sees this as being analogous to the crucifixion of Christ."
The suffering of the Baha'i people, who are Iran's largest religious minority with 300,000 adherents, has been constant since the faith's inception there in 1844.
On Sept. 12, the Baha'is of the United States took out a full-page advertisement in New York Times to protest the Islamic Republic's most recent acts of violence against the faith.
Several Baha'i holy sites including the home of the father of the faith's founder, Baha'u'llah, and the gravesite of Quddus, the foremost disciple of the Bab, who was the prophet herald of the faith were destroyed this past spring and summer.
"The hatred of the extremist mullahs for the Baha'is is such that they, like the Taliban of Afghanistan who destroyed the towering Buddhist sculptures at Bamiyan, intend not only to eradicate the religion, but even to erase all traces of its existence in the country of its birth," the ad read.
Local Baha'is, of which there are about 200 adherents at four Boulder County assemblies, said they were saddened by the destruction but not surprised by it.
"This is really sad for Baha'is all over the world because a place where history took place was destroyed," said Marilyn Fisher, who became Baha'i in 1961. Fisher, who lives in Boulder, said the Cold War prompted her switch from Christianity.
"Christianity did not seem to answer the needs of humanity," Fisher said.
"I though about what would happen if Christ could actually return and what it would be like ... The answer that came to me was that it'd be another person with a new message and that person would be persecuted just like Christ before him."
She's far from alone in her belief: More than 6 million people in 235 countries are Baha'i. There are about 1,000 Baha'i in Colorado and 150,000 nationwide.
Baha'is believe in one God, who has spoken through a series of divine teachers Jesus Christ, Muhammad, Moses, Abraham, Zoroaster, Buddha, Krishna and the Baha'i prophets Baha'u'llah and the Bab.
The faith preaches universal education for all, embracing science and religion equally and the elimination of racism, sexism and extremes of wealth and poverty.
Adherents recite daily prayers. As not to impede spiritual growth, Baha'is don't drink alcohol or take narcotics for non-medical reasons. Members of the faith don't believe in proselytizing. New adherents must be no younger than 15 and have made an "independent search for truth," meaning they have chosen the religion for themselves.
In Boulder County, members of the faith gather on Sundays in Lafayette for an 11:15 a.m. service at the Baha'i Faith Center, located in a strip mall near Centaurus High School. The congregants are diverse in ethnic background, physical abilities and in age, ranging from Majidi and his 80-year-old wife, Havvah, to others in their 20s and 30s, who have young families.
Members take turns leading services, which consist of songs and readings. Baha'is do not have clergy or ministers.
A photograph of white-bearded Abdul Baha, Baha'u'llah's oldest son, hangs in the meeting room near a small library of spiritual texts. Metal stacking chairs are formed in a crescent facing a dark wood table adorned with candles.
Nine scrolls inscribed with the sayings of Baha'u'llah line the room, reminding worshippers, "All the prophets of God proclaim the same faith," and "So powerful is unity's light that it can illumine the whole earth."
Tall screens at the end of the room conceal a small kitchen where worshippers gather after services to socialize, drink punch and nibble on cheese and crackers.
"There's a general awareness here about what's going on in Iran," said Alicia Green, who serves as the Lafayette Baha'is' spokeswoman.
"I would not be able to go to Iran and practice my faith ... And the destruction of our religious and cultural heritage is only getting worse there."
Indeed, the latest series of events in Iran point to a new pattern of violence emerging, said Kit Bigelow, director for external affairs for the Baha'is of the United States.
"They've made efforts to destroy the Baha'i by killing leadership, confiscating property and taking away jobs all those elements have been implemented in varying degrees over the past 25 years" since Iran became an Islamic Republic in 1979.
Now cultural landmarks appear to be under siege, she said.
"We are certainly worried there could be further action taken," Bigelow said. "That's why the statement was published: To call attention to the fact that the leadership and government was willing to destroy a beautiful piece of architecture ... they were willing to destroy part of their own cultural heritage."
The Baha'is of the United States have turned to high-profile media advertising to get their message across before. The last time the organization paid $150,000 for a full-page New York Times ad was following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
"We wanted to let the country know the Baha'i had an understanding of the world and a role to play in bringing about eventual peace," Bigelow said.
The fact that violence against the Baha'is might again be escalating prompted the Baha'is of the United States to draw attention to the issue.
"We wanted to reach as broad a population of leaders of thought those who are familiar with leaders in Iran, the U.S. government, policy-makers and people around the country who are interested in international affairs," Bigelow said.
"We're letting the world know this issue has not gone away."
For more information on the Baha'i faith, see www.bahaiworldnews.org.
Contact Camera Staff Writer Mary Butler at (303) 473-1390 or at email@example.com.
Keep up the great work!
I pray the young people take out the current leadership in Iran so we won't need a war there as well.
Hundreds of protesters have ben injured or arrested following the sporadic but often violent clashes which rocked, on late Thursday and early Friday, several Iranian cities. Popular demonstrations took place, following last Sunday's unrest and as many Iranians sized a state sponsored religious ceremony and then a consecutive banned Ancient Iran's tradition named "Mehregan", in order to break Islamist taboos and show their rejection of this ideology and its concordant regime.
Cities such as, Tehran, Esfahan, Hamadan, Ardebil, Shiraz, Kermanshah, Ahwaz, Falavarjan, Oroomiah (former Rezai-e) and Yazd were widely affected by these unrests. The most violent clashes have been reported from Esfahan where the crowd attacked public buildings, banks, Islamist centers and patrol cars in retaliation to the brutal attack of militiamen which were sent to stop their public peaceful demosntrations.
The amplor of some of the clashes, which were reported immediately by SMCCDI in the very early hours of Friday, were to the point that even the official "Baztab Daily" has acknowledged, in its today issue, the seriousness of some of them and the damages made to some of the regime's institutions, homes of officials and symbols of Islamist power. Of course Baztab which is managed by Mohsen Reza-i, the former head of the Pasdaran Corp. and current Secretary of the Interest Council of the regime headed by Rafsanjani, portrays the demonstrators as bunch of "Hooligans" and "Drunks".
These qualifications are some of the favorite labels used by the Mullahcracy for naming their non famous opponents.
We are truly not getting this information anywhere else. Thank you very, very much for your much-needed posts.
CAIRO: Israel has taken advantage of last years US-led invasion of Iraq to deploy large numbers of agents in the Kurdish north to spy on neighbouring Iran and Syria, a leading Egyptian MP charged yesterday.
Israel is present in force in northern Iraq and is spying on Iran and Syria, the chairman of the parliamentary foreign affairs committee, Mustafa Feki, told state television.
Challenged about a recent denial by Iraqs US-backed premier, Iyad Allawi, of any Israeli presence in Kurdish areas, Feki retorted: They can deny it all they like but its the reality.
During a Kurdish rebellion that was brutally suppressed by Baghdad in 1975, Israel maintained a significant presence in rebel-held areas.
Feki, who is a leading member of the ruling National Democratic Party of President Hosni Mubarak, added that the situation in Iraq is getting worse, with the country now a centre for everyone who wants to fight American troops.
ASHINGTON, Oct. 2 - After months of forceful American talk on Iran, the Bush administration's new openness to having Secretary of State Colin L. Powell attend a conference along with an envoy from Iran next month is spreading hope among European and Arab officials that such a meeting may reduce tensions in the region.
State Department officials insist that Mr. Powell's newly expressed willingness to be in the same room with an Iranian representative at a conference on the future of Iraq does not portend a softening in other American grievances, including the demand that Iran abandon its suspected nuclear weapons program and support of terrorism.
"We don't see this as an opening for a new dialogue," said a senior State Department official. "It just shows we will talk to Iran on certain issues like Iraq when it is in our interest to do so."
But administration officials say there has been a debate for months over how to deal with the growing problem of Iran's nuclear program as Britain, France and Germany have sought to engage the Iranians over their nuclear program to avoid a confrontation with the United States.
While hard-liners around President Bush press for a tough stance, hoping to open a debate about whether to support "regime change" after the American election, some in the State Department are said to be more sympathetic to the idea of diplomatic engagement, as urged by many Arab and European allies.
Except for a brief talk between an American envoy in Baghdad and some visiting Iranian officials earlier this year, the United States has not had diplomatic contact with the Iranian government since May 2003. Talks were cut off then after a series of bombings in Saudi Arabia that were linked to groups based in Iran.
An opening for a new engagement occurred in recent weeks, however. It was initiated by Prime Minister Ayad Allawi of Iraq, American, European and Arab officials say.
Dr. Allawi has appealed to Iran and Syria, which also has troubled relations with the United States, to do more to stop cross-border help for insurgents in Iraq. While in the United States last week, Dr. Allawi said that this issue could best be dealt with in a conference of Iraq's neighbors in the region, plus other leading countries in the world.
The United States accepted the idea, and State Department officials say they now expect it to occur in late November in Cairo. Although the purpose of the conference is not to achieve an American-Iranian reconciliation, some organizers say they hope that it may coax the process along.
Mr. Powell, in an interview last week with the Arab broadcasting network Al Jazeera, said the conference would focus on bringing stability to Iraq. "If the Iranians are in the meeting and wish to talk in a responsible manner about this problem, I will be in the room, too," he said.
An Iraqi official said that Iran's role in supporting insurgents in Iraq was alarming but that the conference could lead to a "ratcheting down" of tensions within Iraq and between the United States and Iran.
Many European and Arab officials involved in discussing plans for the conference, to be held in Cairo, say they suspect that the Bush administration has embraced it in part for political reasons, in order to defuse Senator John Kerry's criticism of Mr. Bush, accusing him of refusing to work with other countries to address threats to world peace.
President Bush referred to the conference at the debate with Mr. Kerry on Thursday night, though he called it a "summit" when in fact officials say it will be a meeting of foreign ministers, including Mr. Powell.
"I don't care whether it's American electoral politics or some other motive," said a European diplomat. "If at the end of the process the United States has an opportunity to talk to Iran, maybe on the margins of this conference, it would have very positive effects."
One reason European and Arab officials say they are hopeful, despite the fact that there are no signs of willingness by the United States to do more than attend the Cairo conference, is that there have been signs of improvement in the United States' relations with another difficult country in the region, Syria.
Mr. Powell, after meeting in New York last week with Foreign Minister Farouk al-Shara of Syria, said there had been some positive signs of Syrian willingness to cooperate on a number of fronts, including stopping cross-border infiltration into Iraq and cracking down on terrorist groups based in Syria.
Administration officials say that two technical teams were in Damascus last month to set up border patrols involving Syrian, Iraqi and United States forces and ways of blocking the transmission of financial aid to militant groups.
On the other hand, the United Nations secretary general, Kofi Annan, reported Friday that Syria had not complied with a Security Council demand to pull its troops out of Lebanon and was unable to give any indication of when it might do so, making it doubtful that sanctions could be lifted on Syria any time soon.
Some experts on the Middle East say President Bashar al-Asad of Syria has been shaken by the threat of further American sanctions and may be ready to cooperate more with the United States.
"Everything we heard in Syria indicates that they have decided that their own interests now require cooperation with the United States," said Martin Indyk, director of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, who recently met with Syrian leaders.
"Agreeing to joint patrols with Americans on the Syrian border is a big deal for the Syrians," Mr. Indyk said. "They have to explain to their own people that it's in Syria's national interests to avoid chaos and disintegration in Iraq. It's a part of a broad reassessment that they were becoming too isolated and that sanctions were a problem."
But Mr. Indyk said he was skeptical that any such change of mood was visible in Iran, which remains angry over American demands on its nuclear program and other matters. "I'd be surprised if the meeting with Powell even comes off," he said. "You never know."
On Tuesday, September 28th the New York based "Asia Society", played host to yet another representative of the tyrant and terrorist regime of the Islamic Republic in Iran; Foreign Minister, Kamal Kharrazi, was guest speaker of this event. The Asia Society, claims to be "America's leading institution dedicated to fostering understanding of Asia and communication between Americans and the peoples of
Asia and the Pacific."
Asia Society's management went out of it´s way to keep the Kharrazi event under raps, fearing peaceful demonstrations from conscientious objectors. The event was neither promoted or announced nor has anything about the event reported in the international media. However on September 30th the Islamic Republic regime's official News Agency, IRNA, reported the gathering.
As usual the propagandists of the Mullacracy intended to use this offensive function as a signal of international recognition of a regime that is otherwise considered by a landslide majority of Iranians as illegal and corrupt.
"Addressing members of Asia Society in New York late Tuesday, Kharrazi alluded to the regional development and foreign policy of Islamic Republic, and said continued instability in Iraq had raised serious questions about the real goals behind the invasion of that country." IRNA reported.
Not surprisingly, names like, Hassan Nemazee and Ambassador Nicolas Platt are among the highest levels of Asia Society's management or its Board of Trustees. Both men are known for their efforts to legitimize the Islamic regime ; both have repeatedly spoken of the resumption of ties between the government of the United Stated and the Mullahs: the same people who are known for sponsorsing and
supporting anti-American Terrorism.
Nemazee, who has sued the Movement in an effort to silence the SMCCDI and its Coordinator, is John Kerry's main fundraiser and a notorious apologist for the Islamic republic regime. Platts is a surreptitious, retired US diplomat who is supported by various lobbies. The duo were also members of the board of the infamous American Iranian Council (AIC) which is headed by Hooshang Ami-Ahmadi, also known as "the death broker" by many Iranians.
The AIC was the shady channel through which Madeleine Albright, the then Secretary of State, offered the Mullahs, the formal U.S. apology.
Senator Joseph Biden´s (D-Delaware) fundraiser at the IMAN Islamist Center of Los Angeles was also hosted by the head of IMAN, Sadegh Nemazikhah, who happens to be yet another AIC Board member; there are also various other meetings that were 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 his influence within the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee to push for resumption of ties with the illegitimate regime of the Mullahs.
Other members of the Kerry campaign, such as, Richard C. Holbrooke are also part of Asia Society's trustees.
TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran on Sunday rejected a proposal by U.S. presidential candidate John Kerry who has suggested supplying the Islamic state with nuclear fuel for power reactors if Tehran agrees to give up its own fuel-making capability.
Foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said it would be "irrational" for Iran to put its nuclear program in jeopardy by relying on supplies from abroad.
"We have the technology (to make nuclear fuel) and there is no need for us to beg from others," Asefi told a weekly news conference.
Washington says Iran plans to use its nuclear facilities to make atom bombs. Tehran says it merely wants to generate electricity from nuclear power.
President Bush wants Iran sent to the United Nations Security Council for possible sanctions over its nuclear program.
But Kerry says he would put Iran's intentions to the test by agreeing to supply it with nuclear fuel for its power reactors provided Tehran stopped efforts to make its own fuel and returned the spent fuel after use.
Iran has rejected repeated efforts by European countries to get it to scrap its nuclear fuel-cycle activities -- activities which could be used to make atomic bombs.
Asefi said Iran could not trust any deal from the West to supply it with reactor fuel.
"What guarantees are there? Will they supply us one day and then, if they want to, stop supplying us on another day?" he said.
TEHRAN - Scores of people were arrested last week in the central Iranian cities of Isfahan and Kashan when rioting broke out after a religious celebration, an official source said Sunday.
According to an official in the Isfahan governor general's office, police detained 70 people in the historic city on Thursday after they "vandalised a number of charity donation boxes and traffic lights".
The official told AFP that seven people were detained on Friday in the city of Kashan after several hundred young people took to the streets.
Thursday evening was marked by large public gatherings across the Islamic republic to commemorate the anniversary of the birth of the 12th and last Shiite Muslim imam, Mahdi.
The religious festival, mainly marked by street parties, also coincided with a pledge from an exiled Iranian opposition figure and satellite television personality, Ahura Pirouz Khaleghi, to return home and bring down the 25-year-old Islamic regime.
For several weeks, Khaleghi has been declaring he intended to return to Iran on October 1 with some 50 airplanes, and his scheme -- while in all appearances totally absurd -- had become a hot topic of conversation here.
But the US-based figure reportedly backed away from his promise at the last minute.
The official in Isfahan said the unrest there and in Kashan was not linked to Khaleghi's bizarre prediction that the regime would collapse last Friday.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.