Skip to comments.Iranian Alert - October 4, 2004 [EST]- IRAN LIVE THREAD - "Americans for Regime Change in Iran"
Posted on 10/03/2004 9:43:48 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
The US media still largely ignores news regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran. As Tony Snow of the Fox News Network has put it, this is probably the most under-reported news story of the year. As a result, most 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.
Dr. Jerome R. Corsi, a Harvard University graduate of political science, has joined the SMCCDI defense team as special advisor and consultant in the litigation against Hassan Nemazee. Mr. Corsi is an expert on political violence and terrorism and received his Ph.D from University in 1972.
He is a famous researcher and a writer who has written many books and articles, including the No.1 New York Times best-seller, "Unfit for Command - Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry." This book is viewed to be as one of the main reasons behind the Democratic Presidential nominee's difficulties in garnering popular support, because it points out many of his mistakes in reference to the Vietnam War and betrayals of his comrades in arms.
Mr. Corsi is currently working on a new book that deals with terrorism, oil money and domestic U.S. politics. This book is expected to expose many individuals and will offer evidences of links between some high level members of the Democratic Party and circles affiliated with the terrorists and the tyrannical Islamic republic regime.
It should be noted that Hassan Nemazee is one of the Islamic regime's well known apologists, or rather legitimacy doctors, and John Kerry's main Iranian fundraiser. He has sued the Movement and its Coordinator, Aryo B. Pirouznia, for 10 Million Dollars but has been counter sued. However, Namazee's legal action intended for intimidating and silencing the Movement is promising to be heading towards an undesirable direction. Having been called on his miscalculated political Poker bluff, Nemazee is facing the predicament of opening a Pandora's box for the Islamic regime's lobbyists and affiliates in the US and the Democratic Presidential nominee.
Nemazee's lawyers have been notified that Dr. Jerome Corsi will be present in their client's future deposition, that is scheduled for October 18th.
Dr. Corsi will also be speaking at a press conference scheduled for October 11th in Washington DC by SMCCDI. The topic of that press conference will be Kerry's Iranian connection and Kerry's campaign links to the Mullahcracy.
A Dallas Judge rejected a very controversial request from Nemazee's lawyers. They wanted the deposition of their client to take place after the US Presidential elections in November!
That legal set back occurred after Nemazee's lawyers had already retracted from one of their main formal requests, which was "to know the names of the students and Movement's affiliates located in Iran." This retraction took place following the scandal raised on that issue by a September 8th article written in the "FrontPage Magazine" by the well respected "Robert Spencer" and a related editorial published by the Washington Times' Editorial board on September 15th. All who are familiar with "Nemazee Vs. SMCCDI & Pirouznia" case were astonished by such a request in a "defamation case," because, being absolutely not related to the case, it would have compromised the safety, and endangered the lives of many Iranian students.
SMCCDI is blessed to have the support of a powerful and knowledgeable legal defense team which is composed of the Honorable "Robert Jenevein", a former elected Judge, and "David T. Denny" of the famous Dallas based "Brady & Cole LLP" (www.bradyandcole.com); Assisted by the well respected "Michael Payma," of the "Law Offices of Payma & Kuhnel PC".
A website that is launched by SMCCDI's Counselors to keep abreast of matters relating to this case is:
For more information on October 11th WDC Press Conference, contact: (214) 906-8181
Iran has said that it would be ''irrational'' to surrender its capability to produce its own nuclear fuel in exchange for receiving supplies from overseas.
Hamid Reza Asefi, the Iran foreign ministry spokesman said: "We have the technology and there is no need for us to beg from others. This suggestion is good for countries that do not have this technology, but we do not need their generosity and help."
Asefi was responding to US Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, who has suggested providing Iran with nuclear fuel to generate electricity if Iran agreed to give up its controversial work on the sensitive nuclear fuel cycle.
In a debate with US President George W. Bush, Kerry said the United States should have joined a British-French-German initiative aimed at getting Iran to agree to stop work surrounding the enrichment of uranium.
Fuel cycle work for peaceful purposes is permitted under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), of which Iran is a signatory, but the process can also be used to produce the core of an atomic bomb.
But Asefi repeated the assertion here that Iran needs to be self-sufficient when it comes to fueling it atomic energy programme, and would not accept being dependent on supplies from overseas.
"What guarantees are there? Will they supply us one day, and then if they want to, stop supplying us another day?" he said.
MPs accused him of failing to improve Iran's air, rail and road safety.
Mr Khorram is the first member of President Mohammad Khatami's reformist Cabinet to be sacked since hardliners won a majority in February polls.
Before the vote, the parliament's speaker said "whatever the decision..., it does not mean that we do not want to work with this government".
From a total of 258 parliamentarians present at the session, 188 voted in favour of the motion - 58 voted in Mr Khorram's favour and nine abstained.
Conservative deputy, Ali Ahmadi, said in the current Iranian year, which began on 20 March, road accidents had already gone up by 24%.
"Between the [1979 Islamic] revolution and three years ago, we had 148 plane accidents with 780 dead. Over the last three years, we have had 86 accidents with 212 killed."
The impeachment motion - signed by about 116 deputies - mentions alleged corruption in the transport ministry and Mr Khorram's handling of Tehran's new international airport.
Mr Khorram was accused of "tarnishing the Islamic Republic of Iran's reputation" after he handed a $200m contract to a Turkish-Austrian consortium to build and run the airport.
The Iranian army closed the airport down in May - after only one flight had landed - saying its foreign ownership was a security concern.
Iran has one of the world's highest rates for traffic accidents.
Mon October 4, 2004 1:18 AM GMT+05:30
By Christian Oliver
TEHRAN (Reuters) - The prospect of large-scale privatisation in Iran has pitted hardliners keen to keep the government's grip on the economy against pragmatic conservatives who want to free business from the state's stranglehold.
The Expediency Council, Iran's top legislative arbitrator, on Saturday gave the green light to major privatisations, overhauling Article 44 of the constitution that had decreed core infrastructure should remain in the hands of the state.
After stripping reformers of their parliamentary majority and isolating the moderate government of President Mohammad Khatami, splits have emerged among Iran's conservatives.
Although the pragmatic conservatives looking to revitalise the lumbering state-heavy economy are focusing on commercial goals, analysts say a more alluring environment for foreign investment could catalyse political and cultural reform.
The changes to Article 44 drew instant fire from radical hardliners who are inspired by religious seminaries that have resisted foreign infiltration into Iran for more than a century.
"We have repeatedly warned about doctoring Article 44 and the negative consequences of entrusting sensitive and vital state bodies to the private sector," the hardline Jomhuri-ye Eslami daily said on Sunday.
This breed of hardliner is represented by the most vocal of the hardline lawmakers who took up parliamentary seats in May. They are opposed by pragmatic conservatives, who argue Iran can breathe life into its economy without weakening Islamic values.
"I was expecting something like this since Rafsanjani and others in the Expediency Council are more business-minded (than the parliamentarians)," said Albrecht Frischenschlager, a director of Tehran's Atieh Bahar Consulting.
Former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani heads the Expediency Council and has reared an influential network of business-minded proteges active throughout the economy.
"It is a clear signal to parliament. Most of the leadership, both conservatives and reformists, have been very unhappy about parliament's performance," he added.
Iranian parliamentarians have thrown out bills proposed by reformists looking to privatise banks and insurers and lure foreign investors into the needy energy and financial sectors.
Radical parliamentarians argued they could make no concessions to the private sector because of Article 44. Pragmatists have now stripped them of this excuse.
"This shows that the radicals still lack strongholds within the senior decision-making bodies of the establishment," said economic analyst Saeed Leylaz.
The change to Article 44 must now be approved by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's most powerful figure who asked the Expediency Council to make a ruling on the issue.
Leylaz said the pragmatist conservatives had formed alliances with the traditional merchant conservatives of the bazaar, also alive to the merits of liberalisation.
"Traditionalists and technocrats are allied and have extensive plans for running Iran the morning they land on the president's seat next August, as they think they will," he said.
The reformist Khatami cannot stand again in mid-2005 polls.
Downstream oil and gas, mines, banking, insurance, telecommunications, railways, roads, airlines and shipping can all now be privatised in Iran, which holds the world's second largest reserves of crude oil and natural gas.
Many view Iran as a slumbering giant, with massive resources and an educated workforce held back by outdated laws.
Major sectors such as shipping and car-making have outpaced the weak domestic banking structure and are seeking European bank loans and eurobond issues.
"The political impact could be huge, once you leave things to the private sector, you lose control," said one Iranian political analyst, who declined to be named.
"Central government will lose its grip on society and politics. The people will not have to depend on them for everything," he added. "There will be an opening up to foreign investment and ultimately culture."
Iran's parliamentarians have opposed foreign investment, trying to bar Turkey's Turkcell from running a mobile telephone network and accusing Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell of excessive cultural influence.
A starker warning to foreign investors came as Revolutionary Guards took over Tehran's new airport the day it was due to open in May after Turkish company TAV spent millions of dollars building it and hoped to recoup its money by running it.
But though these high-profile names have proved alluring targets for hardline attacks, many middle-sized foreign contractors have found rich pickings in Iran, in power stations, mining and the petrochemicals' port of Assaluyeh.
(Additional reporting by Paul Hughes and Amir Paivar in Tehran)
Posted Sunday, October 3, 2004
TEHRAN, 3 Oct. (IPS) Irans beleaguered President Mohammad Khatami was dealt a severe blow on Sunday after the conservatives-controlled Majles impeached Mr. Ahmad Khorram, his Minister of Roads and Transportation by a large majority.
Mr. Khorram was voted out of office by a tally of 188-58 and nine abstentions in the 290-seat parliament, an impeachment motion brought up for mismanagement in his office, the official news agency IRNA reported.
The decision was that hardest humiliation dealt to the powerless Khatami by the Majles and in total contradiction with the new lawmakers who, when they took control of the House, had assured the President of their cooperation with him and his government, analysts noted.
The vote came while Mr. Khatami was in Algiers, addressing Algerias parliament and lecturing lawmakers on the values of Islam, religious democracy and friendship among all nations, mostly Muslim world.
Iranian political analysts said the powerless Khatami could postpone his visit to Algeria, but he deliberately left the country in order to escape the difficult task of defending personally the embattled Minister, accused of corruption, abuse of power, mismanagement and impotence in the face of high fatalities on Iranian roads as well as rails and aviation.
"The performance of Transport Minister Ahmad Khorram has been satisfactory and I believe the ministry is among the successful branches of the government in terms of the volume and quality of work done", Mr. Khatami had said on Thursday, informed of the Majles decision to impeach Mr. Khorram.
But analysts said the Revolutionary Guards, who have some 80 lawmakers in the present Majles brought on the Sunday motion, angry with Mr. Khorram over the contract he signed with a Turkish-Austrian consortium awarding all the services at the newly constructed, but no yet finished Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKIA) to the firm.
The Armed Forces shut down IKIA to air traffic hours after it was officially inaugurated last May, invoking security risks and warned that the 500 US Dollars million airport would remain closed as long as the nations security requirements for carrying out flights from the facility are not met.
Khorram had adamantly defended the contract, rejecting contentions that his ministrys decision in awarding the tender for the construction and operating the IKIA to the Tepe-Afken Vie had jeopardized Irans national security, IRNA reported.
Khatami had suffered a serious blow last week when lawmakers approved a bill imposing on the Government the necessity to secure Majles authorisation for signing any major contracts with foreign companies and since the bill included contracts signed before the measure, it obviously faulted contracts with TAV and TurkCell, a Turkish telephone company that was awarded Irans second mobile telephones operator.
Opponents of this contract accuse TurkCell of having contacts with Israel, a country that not only the ruling Iranian ayatollahs do not recognise the existence.
The decision, taken on the eve of Mr. Khatamis official visit to Ankara prompted the Government to postpone the planned trip to Turkey as long as the fate of the contracts have not been decided.
However, in a conciliatory move, the Majles decided later on the week not to include the deals with the two Turkish concerns in the unprecedented law, one that Mr. Khatami described as unjust and against the Constitution.
According to a government official, the annulations would cost Iran billion of dollars, as TurkCell was expected to invest about three billion dollars in the project, making it one of the biggest foreign investments in Iran since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
During the Sunday debates, Mr. Khorram said, "Those who voted for my impeachment are not certainly satisfied with this move. "If the MPs had looked fairly at this issue, they should have opposed the impeachment", he added.
Majles Speaker Qolamali Haddad-Adel defended the motion, saying, "Impeachment is among the prerogatives and responsibilities of the Majles.
"If the government feels that there is a powerful supervisory apparatus, this will definitely help it improve its performance", he observed.
The Road and Transportation Minister was formally summoned last month to the parliament to defend his record and answer for a spate of disasters at the countrys air and rail networks.
In February, 289 people were killed and several hundreds wounded in a train accident in Neishabour in northeast Iran, where wagons loaded with sulphur, fertilizer and cotton careened and exploded.
Last February, 276 people were killed when a passenger plane crashed into a mountain in southeastern province of Kerman.
Another plane, an Il-76, crashed also into mountains last year, killing all on board, including 302 passengers and the crew.
Khorram took over as the transport minister from Rahman Dadman, who died in a plane crash four years ago.
ENDS KHORRAM IMPEACHED 31004
Someday, I hope very soon, the media will be forced to acknowledge that Iran wants freedom from religious tyranny. Americans sympathies are with those in Iran who yearn for liberty and democracy. The leftists Kerry and the Old Media would prefer that Iranians wait patiently for the UN and the EU to decide how to get rich off your movement towards freedom before they lift a finger. Could be a while if Iranians are waiting on Kerry's favorite do-nothing scumbags in the UN, France, Germany, and now Spain...
True Americans (and probably Israelis) won't wait for the mullahs to get nukes and therefore doom the Iranians to years, maybe decades of additional oppression and stagnation. You start, the US will back you if I have to go myself.
Money trail behind
Kerry's Iran stance
Candidate has financial ties to backers of mullah regime
© 2004 WorldNetDaily.com
WASHINGTON Sen. John Kerry's call for providing Iran with the nuclear fuel it seeks, even while the regime is believed to be only months away from developing nuclear weapons, is being linked to his campaign contributions from backers of the mullah government in Tehran.
During last Thursday's nationally televised debate between the Democratic presidential candidate and President Bush, Kerry insisted as president he would provide Tehran with the nuclear fuel it wants for a pledge to use it for peaceful purposes only.
"I think the United States should have offered the opportunity to provide the nuclear fuel, test them, see whether or not they were actually looking for it for peaceful purposes," Kerry said in a critique of the Bush administration's handling of Tehran's nuclear program, which the Iranians claim is only for civilian purposes.
The comments came in response to a question about whether diplomacy and sanctions can resolve the "nuclear problems" with North Korea and Iran.
"If they weren't willing to work a deal, then we could have put sanctions together," Kerry said of Tehran. "The president did nothing."
Among Kerry's top fund-raisers are three Iranian-Americans who have been pushing for dramatic changes in U.S. policy toward the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Most prominent among them is Hassan Nemazee, 54, an investment banker based in New York. Nominated to become U.S. ambassador to Argentina by President Clinton in 1999, Nemazee eventually withdrew his nomination after a former partner raised allegations of business improprieties, WND previously reported.
Nemazee was a major Clinton donor, giving $80,000 to the Democratic National Committee during the 1996 election cycle and attending at least one of the famous White House fund-raising coffees.
In 2001, at the invitation of Mobil Oil Chairman Lucio Noto, whom he counts as a "personal friend," Nemazee joined the board of the American-Iranian Council, a U.S. lobbying group that consistently has supported lifting U.S. sanctions on Iran and accommodating the Tehran regime.
The Kerry camp has identified Nemazee as having raised more than $100,000 for the senator's campaign, WND reported last spring.
A Nemazee friend in Silicon Valley, Faraj Aalaei, has raised between $50,000 and $100,000 for the Kerry campaign. Aalaei has worked in the telecommunications industry for 22 years and is the chief executive officer of Centillium Communications, a publicly traded company.
Last year, Aalaei married a 35-year-old recent immigrant from Iran named Susan Akbarpour, whom the Kerry campaign also lists as having raised between $50,000 and $100,000 for the campaign.
In just six years since coming to the United States on a tourist visa from Iran, Akbarpour has started a newspaper, a magazine and, most recently, a trade association whose goal is to get sanctions lifted and promote U.S. business and investment in Iran.
Most odd about the support from Akbarpour, writes Kenneth Timmerman in this month's issue of the American Spectator, is that she claimed political asylum from the Iranian regime when she came to this country.
Meanwhile, Kerry has embraced the entire political agenda of Akbarpour and other wealthy Iranian-Americans embracing Tehran. Those positions include:
The stunning remarks by Kerry were initially reported only by WorldNetDaily, and some analysts suggested the statements were misunderstood, taken out of context or simply a verbal gaffe by the candidate.
Under the heading "Prevent Iran From Developing Nuclear Weapons," the Kerry campaign makes the same point emphatically that the U.S. should still give or sell the nuclear fuel Iran wants in exchange for a promise not to build nuclear weapons.
"A nuclear armed Iran is an unacceptable risk to the national security of the United States and our allies in the region," the campaign policy statement reads. "While we have been preoccupied in Iraq, Iran has reportedly been moving ahead with its nuclear program. We can no longer sit on the sidelines and leave the negotiations to the Europeans. It is critical that we work with our allies to resolve these issues and lead a global effort to prevent Iran from obtaining the technology necessary to build nuclear weapons. Iran claims that its nuclear program is only to meet its domestic energy needs. John Kerry's proposal would call their bluff by organizing a group of states to offer Iran the nuclear fuel they need for peaceful purposes and take back the spent fuel so they cannot divert it to build a weapon. If Iran does not accept this offer, their true motivations will be clear. Under the current circumstances, John Kerry believes we should support the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) efforts to discern the full extent of Iran's nuclear program, while pushing Iran to agree to a verifiable and permanent suspension of its enrichment and reprocessing programs. If this process fails, we must lead the effort to ensure that the IAEA takes this issue to the Security Council for action."
However, according to the latest intelligence reports, Iran has decided at the highest levels of government to build its nuclear weapons program within the next four months. 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.
Citing an authoritative source in the Iranian exile community, the official said Khamenei met recently with senior government and military leaders regarding 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.
Tehran has said the recent International Atomic Energy Agency resolution calling on Iran to halt uranium enrichment could lead to the country's withdrawal from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
Officials of the Kerry campaign were unavailable this weekend.
In addition to the nuclear weapons threat, Iran test-fired a Shihab-3 medium-range ballistic missile, capable of reaching Israel, Sept. 18 and also in August. The missile is reportedly capable of carrying nuclear warheads.
During the debate, Bush said he wants to continue to work with the foreign ministers of France, Germany and Great Britain to "convince the Iranian mullahs to abandon their nuclear ambitions."
Responding to Kerry, Bush noted the U.S. already has sanctioned Iran.
"We can't sanction them any more," he said. "There are sanctions in place on Iran."
Israel has said it wants to await the outcome of international pressure on Iran before it considers a pre-emptive military strike on reactors as it did in 1981 in Iraq.
At another point in the debate, Kerry also said he wants to end research on bunker-busting tactical nuclear weapons, which presumably could take out an Iranian reactor if his sanctions are ineffective.
Kerry said it "doesn't make sense" for Bush to be pursuing a new set of nuclear weapons when the U.S. is trying to tell countries, such as North Korea, to disarm.
"You talk about mixed messages," he said. "We're telling other people, 'You can't have nuclear weapons, but we're pursuing a new nuclear weapon that we might even contemplate using.'"
"Not this president," Kerry said. "I'm going to shut that program down, and we're going to make it clear to the world we're serious about containing nuclear proliferation."
Money trail behind
Kerry's Iran stance
Candidate has financial ties to backers of mullah regime
Posted: October 3, 2004
10:25 p.m. Eastern
© 2004 WorldNetDaily.com
GRAVE images of the former Ayatollah Khomeini and wartime martyrs stare down from the omnipresent billboards that decorate the buildings of downtown Tehran.
"Support the Supreme Jurisdiction," instruct the slogans in the lavish subway stations, "so your country will not come to harm." A quarter-century after the Islamic revolution transformed Iran's capital, the ideology is still clear.
But there is another city: one of fashion, pleasure, yearning appetites, where the younger generation live by mobile phone and pay little thought to the musty slogans of the clerical regime above them. This is a society quietly seething, yet strangely stable, where contradictions have come to form the thread of daily life.
At the vast burial shrine of Ayatollah Khomeini, where construction of the monument continues to this day, the thoughts of the Islamic Republic's founder are prominently on sale in the gift shops, alongside new-release DVDs of Shrek and Jungle Book.
The centre of Tehran was host to a pair of landmark cultural events this month: the Fifth International Holy Koran Reading Competition, and the local premiere of Fahrenheit 9/11.
After the first night's screenings of the suitably anti-American documentary, glamorous women could be seen strolling the boulevards, window-shopping eagerly, checking out the latest Western clothing imports. The most sought-after fashion items just now for the city bourgeoisie are Louis Vuitton monogram shoes, which have the advantage of being visible beneath a full Islamic robe.
From time to time, the women would slip into the darkly inviting cafes, pausing as they entered, to adjust their mandatory headdress, for all restaurants now carry a stylised logo, and a warning from the morality police: "Dear improperly attired sisters, unfortunately we cannot serve you unless you adjust your head-coverings."
These conflicting social currents both influence, and are played out in, Iran's subtle politics, now dominated by the resurgent conservative forces. In 1997, reformist President Muhammad Khatami came to power. His liberalising instincts made him a figure of almost cult-like popularity with younger urban Iranians and prompted a counter-reaction from Islamic ideologues at the heart of the regime, who have spent the past few years strengthening their control over the levers of politics.
This process is almost complete. In the parliamentary elections early this year, large numbers of reformist candidates were disqualified and the hardliners gained full control of the legislature. And the presidential elections midway through next year are expected to mean a conservative candidate's rise to power.
A set of measures to regain control over the free spaces of Iran's civil society and rein in potential opposition has been in high gear for much of the past year. It is relentlessly, and efficiently pursued. Dissidents are monitored and anti-regime protests broken up. Reformist newspapers have been closed and the sharp purge on unwelcome opinion has even been extended to liberal internet websites.
During a visit to Tehran over the past month, extensive interviews and contacts, both official and non-official, provided a picture of this crackdown, but also of a more startling phenomenon: for all the increased control by the regime, it remains a dominant government widely accepted outside the elite circles of the city intelligentsia.
"The liberal intellectual class is small," sighs one prominent dissident. "When we talk about freedom, everyone says they want it. When we talk about a modern Islam that puts no limits on democracy, that too is popular. But now people have gradually lost belief in political life and simply don't care. The Iranian people are like a field of wheat that bends in the wind, and will only ripen and stand up again when the climate becomes gentler. Many accept what the Government is prepared to give them, and take the quiet life."
Western diplomats struggling for reasons to explain the present state of affairs point to the extensive social subsidies that Iran's oil revenues make possible to prevent poverty and despair. And they argue that the country at large, still exhausted by the after-effects of revolution and war, prizes stability above all other goals.
But the key factor behind the regime's secure position may well be the deep strain of Persian nationalism that forms a key component of the Iranian mentality.
Stable, religious in its watch-words, ideologically driven, the Iranian ruling circle has another all-important characteristic: it is a scholastic regime, with power tightly centralised in the hands of determined, experienced and sophisticated men. A glance at the austere pronouncements of the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, suggests the steely temper of the figures directing this theocracy. Around Khamenei is a parallel power structure, supported by the hardliners of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard.
Figures in this world never make themselves available for interview. They practise a secret politics. Cryptic conduct and undetected action are their hallmarks. Hence, of course, the critical significance today of Iran in the Middle Eastern region, and as a player on the world stage. What, the Iran-watchers ask, is Iran really doing, and what does the regime want?
Next month, the showdown between the International Atomic Energy Agency and Iran over Tehran's uranium enrichment programs will reach a climax. Israel, which is the regime's chief opponent, is considering military raids to destroy Iran's nuclear reactors.
The US sees Iran's hidden hand behind the insurgency that has derailed the reconstruction of Iraq. And the Iranian-backed Hezbollah guerrilla movement remains a crucial element in the strategic balance between Israel and its northern neighbours.
The reality behind these three linked concerns is hard even for quasi-insiders to fathom. One Tehran observer with former ties to the power structure said in an interview that not even President Khatami and his ministers would know the truth about Iran's nuclear program. Outside the closed scientific facilities, said this source: "You could count on the fingers of one hand the number of people who know the real goal of Iran's nuclear project."
Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi was last week reiterating Iran's insistence that it is not seeking atomic weapons but merely attempting to develop nuclear power for peaceful purposes.
He said Iran had not backed the militant Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's rebellion in the holy Iraqi city of Najaf last month although the detention of hundreds of Iranian infiltrators by US-led forces sits a touch uncomfortably with this claim.
In similar fashion, the pro-Iranian Hezbollah leaders in Lebanon now present themselves as normal politicians in the social landscape, as much as dedicated anti-Israel resistance squads.
It may be that both aspects of Iran's regional involvement are real: that the regime's current instincts are at once ideological and practical.
Western experts often argue that Iran's most disquieting operations are really attempts to deal, to find a negotiating partner, either in Washington or among the powers of the European Union. And Iranian officials love to stress their capacity to act as a blocking force, and their urgent wish to be treated as part of the equations of regional decision-making.
On this view, Iran is just a state like any other, even if it sits poised between the two countries the US is currently trying to reshape Iraq and Afghanistan.
But there is another face to Iran's grand civilisation, as those pondering the implications of its nuclear research venture are nervously aware. This is the face that confronts the passer-by at every turn along the avenues of Tehran, as stern-faced religious leaders gaze down, exhorting their followers to fresh feats of purity, of martyrdom and sacrifice.
What happened with the protests, and the reports of members of the Republican Guard being killed?
This just in from Banafsheh...
The Mullahs have sent one of their biggest spin doctors, Deputy foreign minister of Iran ALI AHANI has been sent to Brussels as the new IRI ambassador in order to continue the last ditch efforts and hyper-desperate bolstering of relations between the European Union and the Islamist terrorist punks. This man has been known to have manipulated many heads of nations in order to augment trade and further spread radical Shiíte doctrine.
He is one of the reasons WHY the European Union has once again started "polishing the Mullahs´ apples" and is continuing the corrupt colonialist looting that only Europeans can do oh so well...
Lastnight an extravagant event was organized by this slick "agent" in order to impress members of the European Union whose palms requires further greasing and treacherous Iranians who live in Europe but tow God´s party line!
Please distribute. Thank you.
TEHRAN - Iran Saturday overturned a key plank of the constitution to allow large-scale privatizations in a bid to overhaul the lumbering economy, over which many hard-line parliamentarians have been trying to maintain state dominance.
The Expediency Council, Iran's top legislative arbitration body, gave the green light to Privatisations in the downstream oil and gas sectors, mines, banking, insurance, telecommunications, railways, roads, airlines and shipping.
"In order to realize economic growth and development ... investment, ownership and management of these fields by private, cooperative and public sectors are permitted," a statement faxed to Reuters by the Expediency Council said.
Article 44 of Iran's constitution, written after the 1979 Islamic revolution decreed the core infrastructure must remain in the hands of the state.
The Expediency Council made no reference to radio and television which are cataloged in the constitution along with the sectors now earmarked for sale.
Upstream oil and gas and the airwaves for telecommunications will also remain in the hands of the state, news that will relieve parliamentarians who have said these must stay state-run in the interests of national security.
Several attempts by President Mohammad Khatami's government and the former reformist parliament to privatize key industries were blocked by the Guardian Council, a hard-line watchdog that labeled the moves unconstitutional.
Reinterpreting article 44
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the last word on all state matters in oil-rich Iran, in June referred the debate to the Expediency Council. The council acts as a consultative wing for the leader in outlining key policies.
Saturday's decision is a final ruling on the constitutional legitimacy of privatization but details have not been finalized.
Although hard-line clerics sit on the Expediency Council, it also includes reform-minded ministers and pragmatic conservatives looking to shake up the economy.
Iran's 2005-2010 economic development plan envisages average economic growth per year over the five years, up from 6.7 percent in the year to March 2004. Iran's calendar runs from March to March.
Analysts dismiss the target as wildly optimistic and Iranian officials say it will not be realized unless the state ends its hegemony over the country's economy.
Hard-line lawmakers opposed the privatization of banks and insurance companies but in August gave the nod to a 49 percent sale of state-carrier Iran Air. Iran's Privatization Organization Wednesday said it would this month sell more than $570 million worth of state assets.
Government has a privatization target of $5.95 billion in the year to March 2005, but this month's sales will be the first major step taken toward this goal.
Iran sold more than $1 billion worth of state assets in the year to March 2004.
The Islamic Republic's parliament, whose members were carefully hand picked by the guardian council during the last parliamentary sham elections, has voted overwhelmingly for removal of Mr. Ahmad Khorram, the Transportation minister.
Following a long session of interpellation, a vote of no confidence was reached based on uncorroborated allegations of Mr.Khorram's "incompetence" and innuendo's of official corruption.
Although the atrocious condition of Iran's transportation safety is known world wide, the real reason behind Mr. Khorram's sacking lies elsewhere.
As of late, Mr. Khorram had become highly outspoken in denunciation of rampant illegal trafficking and smuggling activities that are taking place at Iran's borders and ports. He had attempted to assert authority and gain control of numerous illegal border crossings and harbors. The Revolutionary Guards Corps (PASDARAN), the Islamic Mafia's armed wing, in cooperation with other circles in neighboring countries, particularly Dubai, supervise and coordinate these illegal border activities. As such, Billions of dollars of unaccounted profits are netted annually by the Mullahcracy and their mercenaries. Money which goes, after filling the coffers of the Mullahs and their goons, to support terrorist activities in Iraq and elsewhere in the world.
Last month Mr. Khorram had threatened to expose and reveal the names of some of the businesses involved in illegal border activities.
It should also be noted that the "Reformist" group, which Mr.Khorram is considered to be a member of, is no less guilty of corruption and self enrichment at the expense of the nation.
The so-called "Reformers" have offered billions of dollars worth of illegitimate Oil and various services contracts to foreign groups. Examples of which are, the Turkish contract for Tehran's new international air port that was shut down by the Revolutionary Guards at its inauguration, and contracts to BP, Total, Shell, Nokia, Siemens, Alcatel, Society General, Banque Nationale de Paris or the Dresdner Bank.
Karoubi, the former speaker of the Islamic Parliament, and Behzad Nabavi, his deputy speaker, are two of the most notorious members of the "Reformist" camp who have amassed substantial wealth as they bought foreign recognition for their hated regime.
Several businesses reputed to be linked to the Mullahcracy, and a number of Islamic regime's patrol cars were destroyed or damaged in nightly commando style operations during the last 48 hours.
In Tehran alone, unidentified individuals, whom the local residents call "Freedom Fighters," set 26 businesses on fire and destroyed 14 patrol vehicles and were able to escape from the scene unscathed.
Same types of actions have been reported from Shahin Shahr and even the usually peaceful Kashan.
Violent means of confrontation with the repressive Islamic regime are alarmingly on the rise, where as more and more, incendiary devices such as Molotov Cocktails, home made grenades, and fire arms are being used by the citizens.
The belief among the populace that the Islamic Republic can not be brought down by "peaceful means" is getting stronger every day.
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.
U.S. Poll Results Prompt
A Strategic Re-Evaluation; Can Divisions Be Healed?
LONDON -- In August, French President Jacques Chirac, one of U.S. President George W. Bush's chief sparring partners in international affairs, asked the White House to meet with his foreign-policy chief.
U.S. officials say the request came as a surprise. It was the middle of an American presidential campaign, a notoriously bad time for negotiating foreign policy, and the U.S. and France had been at loggerheads as recently as June at a North Atlantic Treaty Organization summit in Istanbul, Turkey.
The lengthy meeting between Maurice Gourdault-Montagne and U.S. National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice also resulted in an agreement -- rare between the two countries nowadays -- for France and the U.S. to co-sponsor a United Nations Security Council resolution that passed Sept. 2. It demanded all non-Lebanese -- meaning Syrian -- troops should pull out of Lebanon.
The French initiative is one sign that European countries at loggerheads with Mr. Bush in the past are preparing the ground to be able to work with a second Bush administration, as opinion polls ahead of the Nov. 2 election have tipped slightly in Mr. Bush's favor.
Indeed, a few weeks after the joint Security Council resolution, on Sept. 22, France agreed to allow 300 NATO trainers to go to Iraq -- something Mr. Chirac had ruled out at the June NATO summit.
The signs of overtures to the Bush administration come after months when the debate in European capitals had focused more on what change Sen. John Kerry, Mr. Bush's Democratic challenger, would make if he were to win.
But Mr. Bush's resurgence in the late summer has prompted some European nations to pay more attention to what it would mean to them if Mr. Bush was re-elected and how a second Bush administration might differ from the first.
"Don't consider that Bush 2 would start the same way as Bush 1" was the message one Washington ambassador said he had sent home.
In terms of U.S. attitudes, "now NATO is back, even the U.N. is on the way back," the message said, according to the ambassador. "Yes, [U.S. Vice President Dick] Cheney is there, but will there be a role for the neoconservatives?"
Foreign diplomats say they would look to see what roles prominent foreign-policy hawks, known as neoconservatives, would be given in a second Bush administration for an indication of whether it would be more pragmatic.
Of course, there remains less than a month until the U.S. election, and the race was viewed as tightening last week after Mr. Kerry's widely perceived strong performance in Thursday's presidential debate.
For his part, Mr. Kerry early in the campaign claimed he had garnered support among foreign leaders. And most Europeans would support Mr. Kerry, opinion polls show, if they had a vote.
But Mr. Kerry's campaign claims that he would be able to produce troops for Iraq from allies that have rebuffed Mr. Bush have prompted some concern among officials in France and Germany. Both governments have been sending out quiet warnings not to raise expectations, because they still could decline to provide troops even if Mr. Kerry wins.
There is a lot at stake in the outcome of the election for many countries. The next few years will decide the structure of international affairs for decades to come, says Simon Serfaty, director of global policy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank. He likens the moment to the U.S. Truman-Dewey election of 1948, after which U.S. President Harry Truman built a Western alliance to deal with the threat from the Soviet Union.
"Will we have a U.S. strategy, a European strategy, or a Western strategy" toward the major global problems, Mr. Serfaty asked, starting with how to fight the war on terrorism.
Whoever wins the White House, the window of opportunity to figure out whether the divisions that emerged over the war in Iraq can be healed could be pretty short, officials say. For example, the U.S. on one side and France, Britain and Germany on the other will have to try to reconcile their approaches to Iran's refusal to abandon its uranium-enrichment program. The next board meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency to discuss Iran is on Nov. 25 -- less than a month after the election.
Decisions will come quickly in Iraq, too, as countries decide how to respond to elections set for January that could for the first time produce an elected -- rather than U.S.-appointed -- government there. Also outstanding are differences over how to deal with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; how to spread stability in the so-called wider Middle East; and how to handle Russian President Vladimir Putin's growing authoritarianism.
Officials and analysts say all sides are likely to take one issue at a time, rather than try to hammer out some grand new trans-Atlantic agreement. But it won't be easy. Take Iran.
U.S. officials say they believe Britain, France and Germany have realized the deal they made in Tehran in October 2003, offering improved trade terms and other incentives in exchange for a suspension of Iran's uranium-enrichment program, has failed. Britain, France and Germany have acknowledged that the deal needs fresh ideas.
This past month, Iran said it was restarting its enrichment program.
U.S. Undersecretary of State John Bolton, the American point man on antiproliferation, has said the next step should be to refer Iran to the U.N. Security Council. But many European officials describe a Security Council referral as a last resort, and reject setting a "hard trigger" -- or automatic referral to the U.N. Security Council -- if Iraq failed to meet requirements set by the IAEA's Nov. 25 meeting. They worry it isn't clear what the Security Council would be able to do, while the act of referral could end any chance of getting Tehran to cooperate.
In Europe, meanwhile, officials are batting around ideas for proposing to the next U.S. administration that it join in offering Iran a new grand bargain. The U.S. and European Union jointly would promise trade, restored diplomatic relations and guaranteed fuel supplies for Iran's civilian nuclear-power program. In exchange, Iran would offer to give up all activities that could be used to create fuel for a nuclear weapon and cease its support of groups that carry out terrorist acts, including in Israel. Many analysts and even some European officials say the U.S. is unlikely to buy into such a deal.
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