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Iranian Alert - October 11, 2004 [EST]- IRAN LIVE THREAD - "Americans for Regime Change in Iran"
Regime Change Iran ^ | 10.11.2004 | DoctorZin

Posted on 10/10/2004 10:00:28 PM PDT by DoctorZIn

The US media still largely ignores news regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran. As Tony Snow of the Fox News Network has put it, “this is probably the most under-reported news story of the year.” As a result, most American’s are unaware that the Islamic Republic of Iran is NOT supported by the masses of Iranians today. Modern Iranians are among the most pro-American in the Middle East. In fact they were one of the first countries to have spontaneous candlelight vigils after the 911 tragedy (see photo).

There is a popular revolt against the Iranian regime brewing in Iran today. I began these daily threads June 10th 2003. On that date Iranians once again began taking to the streets to express their desire for a regime change. Today in Iran, most want to replace the regime with a secular democracy.

The regime is working hard to keep the news about the protest movement in Iran from being reported. Unfortunately, the regime has successfully prohibited western news reporters from covering the demonstrations. The voices of discontent within Iran are sometime murdered, more often imprisoned. Still the people continue to take to the streets to demonstrate against the regime.

In support of this revolt, Iranians in America have been broadcasting news stories by satellite into Iran. This 21st century news link has greatly encouraged these protests. The regime has been attempting to jam the signals, and locate the satellite dishes. Still the people violate the law and listen to these broadcasts. Iranians also use the Internet and the regime attempts to block their access to news against the regime. In spite of this, many Iranians inside of Iran read these posts daily to keep informed of the events in their own country.

This daily thread contains nearly all of the English news reports on Iran. It is thorough. If you follow this thread you will witness, I believe, the transformation of a nation. This daily thread provides a central place where those interested in the events in Iran can find the best news and commentary. The news stories and commentary will from time to time include material from the regime itself. But if you read the post you will discover for yourself, the real story of what is occurring in Iran and its effects on the war on terror.

I am not of Iranian heritage. I am an American committed to supporting the efforts of those in Iran seeking to replace their government with a secular democracy. I am in contact with leaders of the Iranian community here in the United States and in Iran itself.

If you read the daily posts you will gain a better understanding of the US war on terrorism, the Middle East and why we need to support a change of regime in Iran. Feel free to ask your questions and post news stories you discover in the weeks to come.

If all goes well Iran will be free soon and I am convinced become a major ally in the war on terrorism. The regime will fall. Iran will be free. It is just a matter of time.

DoctorZin



TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: armyofmahdi; ayatollah; cleric; humanrights; iaea; insurgency; iran; iranianalert; iranquake; iraq; islamicrepublic; jayshalmahdi; journalist; kazemi; khamenei; khatami; khatemi; lsadr; moqtadaalsadr; mullahs; persecution; persia; persian; politicalprisoners; protests; rafsanjani; revolutionaryguard; rumsfeld; satellitetelephones; shiite; southasia; southwestasia; studentmovement; studentprotest; terrorism; terrorists; wot
Join Us At Today's Iranian Alert Thread – The Most Underreported Story Of The Year!

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail DoctorZin

1 posted on 10/10/2004 10:00:30 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2004-10/11/content_2075873.htm

Russia opposes referral of Iran to UN Security Council

www.chinaview.cn 2004-10-11 10:44:38

BEIJING, Oct. 11 (Xinhuanet) -- Russia says it opposes a US proffer to refer Iran's nuclear case to the UN Security Council.

Visiting Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov made the remarks in Tehran at a joint news conference with his Iranian counterpart Kamal Kharazi.

Lavrov said that any unconstructive proposal is premature, and Russia expects the cooperation between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to continue.

Accusing Iran of developing nuclear weapons secretly, Washington is pressing the IAEA to refer Iran's case to the UN Security Council.

The IAEA last month adopted a resolution, urging Iran to suspend all of the activities related to nuclear activities and fully cooperate with the inspectors. The resolution was rejected by Iran, who was angered and termed it as "illegal".


2 posted on 10/10/2004 10:02:49 PM PDT by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn

Iran, Russia close to nuclear agreement

www.chinaview.cn 2004-10-11 10:36:06

BEIJING, Oct. 11 (Xinhuanet) -- Iran and Russia have announced that an agreement on return of spent nuclear fuel from Iran to Russia has come to the final stage, paving the way for the operation of the plant.

The announcement was made at a joint press conference held in Tehran by Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, who arrived here earlier in the day for a two-day visit.

Bushehr plant, Iran's first nuclear power plant, is being built with Russia's help in a Persian Gulf island in the southern province of Bushehr.

The construction of the plant, formerly aided by other western countries such as Germany and Spain, has been delayed for several times since its start in 1974 due to volatile international and domestic situations.

In order to prevent Iran from making nuclear weapons with spent fuel, Russia conditions delivery of nuclear fuel to Iran on an agreement signed between the two sides assuring all spent fuel would be returned to Russia.

The repeated failures in reaching the agreement have delayed the operation of the Bushehr nuclear plant.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2004-10/11/content_2075682.htm


3 posted on 10/10/2004 10:03:26 PM PDT by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn

Russia aggresively arming the Iranian government and doing everything possible to undermine the pro-US democratic movement in Iran.
4 posted on 10/10/2004 10:04:43 PM PDT by freedom44
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Comment #5 Removed by Moderator

To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Join Us At Today's Iranian Alert Thread – The Most Underreported Story Of The Year!

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail DoctorZin”

6 posted on 10/10/2004 10:05:11 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

10/10/04
Iranian official denies to have welcomed Kerry's nuclear offer

A senior Iranian official Sunday denied a report which said Tehran would welcome Senator John Kerry's proposal for a 'great bargain' to solve dispute over Iran's nuclear program, IRNA reported from Tehran.

"US presidential candidate John Kerry's proposal is part of his electoral campaigning and we are not interested in being drawn into such issues," head of the foreign policy committee at Iran's Supreme National Security Council Hossein Mousavian said.

Reuters news agency had quoted him as having welcomed the proposal, virtually made by vice presidential candidate Senator John Edwards.

Edwards had said that Kerry would be willing to supply Iran with nuclear fuel for power generation if Tehran abandons its own fuel-making capability and if Iran did not accept this offer, it would confirm Iran wanted to make an atom bomb.

In a fax sent to IRNA, Mousavian said, "Reuters news agency has filed a news as if I had welcomed Kerry's proposal.

"But we are rejecting direct negotiations with Washington about Iran's nuclear program because of the United States' antagonistic policies."

Washington accuses Tehran of trying to make atomic bombs, a charge which Iran strongly denies, stressing that its nuclear program is directed at electricity generation.

The United States is also campaigning to report Iran to the UN Security Council for possible sanctions.

Last month, the Europeans opposed Washington's demand to set an October 31 ultimatum for Tehran to fully suspend uranium enrichment or report Iran to the UN Security Council for possible sanctions.

Mousavian recounted US animosity towards the Islamic Republic, including Washington's support for the former regime of Saddam Hussein during the 1980-1988 war between the two neighbors.

The official stressed that 'the Islamic Republic of Iran will consider any constructive American proposal for recognizing Iran's legitimate right to peaceful nuclear technology, including fuel cycle'.

"Iran, as a member of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT), must be allowed to pursue its peaceful nuclear program and its legitimate right of having access to peaceful nuclear technology must be respected," Mousavian said.

The official stressed that Tehran was ready to suspend uranium enrichment in order to build confidence, but rejected to halt such activities for good.

"Iran is ready to build trust so that its uranium enrichment activities remain peaceful, but we do not agree to halting uranium enrichment (for good)," he said.

"We do not reject suspension of uranium enrichment for confidence building, provided that Iran's full right to nuclear fuel cycle is recognized," Mousavian added.

The IAEA Board of Governors approved a resolution last month, setting a November 25 deadline for a full review of Iran's nuclear program and calling on Tehran to 'immediately' suspend all uranium enrichment activities.

Mousavian reiterated Iran's rejection of the resolution, saying the country would only consider it 'in the framework of political understanding'.

"We do not accept any request for suspension of uranium enrichment in the framework of the IAEA treaties, since uranium enrichment is legitimate according to the agency's laws and the resolution has gone beyond them," he said.

Iran has already dismissed the world nuclear watchdog's demand to freeze uranium enrichment, saying the country does not accept any obligation in this respect.

"Any resolution which seeks to bind us to suspension (of uranium enrichment) is unacceptable and we will not accept such an obligation," Hassan Rowhani, who is secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, has said.

"The Islamic Republic has never accepted the suspension under a resolution, thus the country cannot be obliged on that and Iran can only be asked through negotiations to (continue) the suspension," he said after the IAEA adopted its resolution on Sept 18.

http://www.payvand.com/news/04/oct/1082.html


7 posted on 10/10/2004 10:06:42 PM PDT by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn

Five Dead in New Clashes in Iran

October 10, 2004
Agence France Presse
AFP


TEHRAN -- Three members of an obscure Shiite Muslim sect and two policemen have been killed in fresh clashes in northwestern Iran on Sunday, the student news agency ISNA reported Sunday.

The deaths occurred after members of the Ali-Alahi cult -- who were armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles -- attacked a police headquarters in the region of Mian-Doab near the city of Mahabad.

The report, quoting provincial police spokesman Shahnam Rezaie, said several other people were injured.

On September 29, police in the area were attacked by the group in an incident that left three members of the cult and one policeman dead. The previous week news reports said two senior local police officials died in clashes in the same area.

The Ali-Allahi (roughly meaning "Ali is God") group has been described here as heretical. Imam Ali is considered by Shiite Muslims to have been the first successor of the Prophet Mohammed and their first imam, or spiritual leader, but the cult sees him as an incarnation of God.

A local official also told AFP the apparent leader of the cult, identified as Said Agha Nazem, was posing as the 12th Shiite Imam, Mahdi, who is known to Shiites as the "hidden Imam" after he disappeared in the year 873 AD.

Shiite Muslims believe Imam Mahdi will one day return to earth and bring with him justice and peace.

In recent months, followers of the Ali-Allahi group have held small protests in Tehran and in the central clerical capital of Qom.

8 posted on 10/10/2004 10:06:44 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Security HQ and militiamen attacked in NW Iran

SMCCDI (Information Service)
Oct 10, 2004

Fresh deadly clashes rocked, today, the Northwestern City of Mian-do-Ab as armed assailants made a surprise attack against the Security HQ. The action has resulted in several deaths and injured among the regime forces, including Colonel Razmjoo, and three of the attackers.

Heavy damages have been made to the installation and military materials by the un-identified commando's rocket propelled grenades and assault guns.

The Islamic regime's officials and its propaganda tools sized by panic are intending to portray the armed opponents as members of a religious cult, more fanatic than themselves, but residents qualify them as freedom fighters targeting the end of Mullahcracy. The official number of today's deaths have been announced as five but other reports are stating about a much higher number.

The today's attack marks a big shift in the deadly clashes which have rocked the region since September 22nd, as, it shows the gradual organization of the armed opposition and its initiative to strike the regime's military forces. Many in the region have, already, rallied the armed opposition and nightly attacks are carried against the regime forces and interests.

Already several militiamen, including two regional commanders, were killed in last month's clashes despite the massive use of the Pasdaran Force's Attack helicopters against the rebels and villagers of the nearby "Seh-Tapeh".

Armed struggle is in constant raise as a majority of Iranians are believing that the Islamic regime will not step down from political power by peaceful means.

9 posted on 10/10/2004 10:07:10 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

The revolution next time

[Excerpt]

As Iran moves to the front burner, some in Washington are arguing that with a little help exiles and dissidents can topple the mullahs and establish a pro-Western democracy. Sound familiar?

By Laura Rozen  |  October 10, 2004

AS INTERNATIONAL CONCERN mounts about Iran's nuclear aspirations, a fractious debate is emerging in Washington over what to do if multilateral diplomacy fails to persuade Tehran to abandon its nuclear program.

Some basic facts are agreed upon: that Iran's nuclear program has become broadly popular in that country and has given further political strength and cohesion to a clerical regime that has also been under growing internal pressure from its population to reform. But here consensus ends.

To some American observers, these facts imply that the United States should grit its teeth and deal directly with a regime that calls America the Great Satan, perhaps even offering to lift US sanctions in exchange for Tehran abandoning its nuclear program. Another faction believes the United States should pursue the Bush administration's current course of multilateral diplomacy to its logical conclusion: Encourage the International Atomic Energy Agency to report Iran in noncompliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to the UN Security Council, thus triggering discussion of a host of various punitive measures, from travel bans and an oil embargo to possible enforced disarmament.

To another group, however, the current facts argue for an entirely different solution: Change the Iranian regime, their thinking goes, and the nuclear issue will take care of itself.

Leading the charge in favor of this idea is neoconservative writer and political operative Michael Ledeen. For years, Ledeen -- currently the Freedom Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and acontributing editor at National Review -- has argued that the chief source of international terrorism in the world is Tehran. In numerous articles and his most recent book, "The War Against the Terror Masters" (2002), Ledeen has insisted not only that overthrowing the regime in Tehran should have come before military intervention in Iraq (though he continues to strongly support that operation), but that it would be relatively easy. "You don't have to fire a shot," he told The New York Sun in November 2002. "The Iranians are dying to bring down the government themselves."

While Ledeen's argument did not prevail then, it is gaining attention now, in particular as European-led diplomatic efforts to persuade Iran to curtail its nuclear program have faltered in recent months. Earlier this year, the White House considered a secret policy directive that included a proposal to destabilize the government in Tehran. Preoccupied with the insurgency in post-war Iraq, and facing opposition from the State Department, the Bush administration put further consideration of the plan on hold. But there are signs that it is returning to the fore. In July, Senators Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) introduced the Iran Freedom and Support Act of 2004, which declared that "it should be the policy of the United States to support regime change for the Islamic Republic of Iran and to promote the transition to a democratic government to replace that regime" and would authorize the president to "provide assistance to foreign and domestic pro-democracy groups opposed to the non-democratic Government of Iran." (The bill has been referred to the Foreign Relations Committee for further consideration.)

The regime change idea is generating controversy both inside and outside the Bush administration, not least because it is Ledeen himself who is most vigorously championing it. For inseparable from Ledeen's decades-long fascination with Iran and fervent belief that it is on the verge of democratic revolution is Ledeen's own controversial history with America's Iran policy, his zeal for the covert, and his disdain for sanctioned bureaucratic channels for US foreign policy making.

It was Ledeen who, as a consultant to Alexander Haig, President Reagan's secretary of state, helped broker the initial secret arms-for-hostages deal with Iran in 1985 that became part of the Iran-Contra scandal. More recently, he introduced his partner in that deal, Parisian-based Iranian arms dealer Manucher Ghorbanifar, to two Farsi-speaking Pentagon officials, Lawrence A. Franklin and Harold Rhode, interested in discussing the regime change idea. In late August, the meetings drew new attention after it was reported that the FBI was investigating whether Franklin had passed the classified draft national security directive on Iran to officials with the pro-Israel lobbying group AIPAC. In addition to Ghorbanifar (who is alleged to have long ties to both the Iranian and the Israeli governments), the meeting also included a former senior member of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards who reportedly had intelligence on dissident ranks within the Iranian security services.

The regime-change idea is greeted with skepticism by many Iran experts. A high-profile task force at the Council on Foreign Relations, headed by former Carter national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski and former CIA director Robert Gates, published a report this summer casting doubt on the prospects for a democratic revolution in Iran any time soon, and recommending that Washington therefore pursue a focused dialogue with Tehran on its nuclear program and other regional security issues."

Despite considerable political flux and popular dissatisfaction, Iran is not on the verge of another revolution," the CFR report said. "Direct US efforts to overthrow the Iranian regime are therefore not likely to succeed. The ferment of recent years demonstrates that the Iranian people will eventually change the nature of their government for the better."

But eventually isn't soon enough for Ledeen, who concludes most every article on the issue by imploring "faster, please." Ledeen believes that with a little push, the United States could help revolutionary efforts among Iranian exiles and dissidents along. This won't require military action, he insists, just "money, communications gear and good counsel."

While prospects for success -- at least in the short term -- of any US effort to back regime change in Iran are not widely considered high, some foreign-policy hands concede that it may be worth a try, given the even less attractive (and equally unpredictable) alternatives. Reuel Marc Gerecht, a Farsi-speaking former CIA officer now at the American Enterprise Institute, described them bluntly in a recent interview: "Punt, or strike" -- either let Iran go nuclear (as early as 2006), or strike their nuclear facilities. 

Given the grim alternatives, Gerecht says, "I see no reason . . . why the US government cannot develop clandestine techniques for aiding certain Iranian factions. But you cannot do these things quickly. I think the Bush administration is deeply divided on this issue."

But even some who are sympathetic to the idea of nonviolent regime change in Tehran question whether Ledeen and other supporters of the idea really grasp the "nonviolent" part of the idea -- or the tangled political realities of Iran. If the Unites States starts down this road, will it end up with a bloodless revolution like the one that brought down Serbia's Slobodan Milosevic in 2000 -- or a mess that looks more like Iraq?

Today, support for regime change in Iran doesn't come only from neoconservatives who believe, like Ledeen and Gerecht, that long-term US security depends on spreading democratic revolution in the Middle East. Current circumstances have produced an interesting convergence of regime-change agendas by groups with widely differing goals, intellectual inspirations, and visions for what a future government of Iran should look like -- not to mention what role the United States should play in any transformation. They also include Iranian exile and opposition groups hostile to the Tehran regime (and often, each other), pro-Israel activists concerned about what a nuclear Iran would mean for Israel, and activists and academics associated with the nonviolent resistance movement credited with helping empower the Serbian opposition to peacefully overthrow the Serbian dictator Slobodan Milosevic in October 2000.

The convergence is highly imperfect. Mistrust between different factions runs high, including among the various Iranian groups. They range from the monarchists surrounding Reza Pahlavi, son of the former shah, who is now based in Potomac, Md.; Western-educated writers and intellectuals such as Johns Hopkins's Azar Nafisi, author of "Reading Lolita in Tehran"; and the National Council of Resistance of Iran, an umbrella group that maintains an office in Washington. (While the NCRI enjoys the support of some influential Middle East experts, it was placed on the State Department's list of designated terrorist organizations in August 2003 because of its connection to the Mujaheddin-e Khalq (MEK), or People's Mujaheddin, a highly controversial group that was sponsored for decades by Saddam Hussein and currently has 3,000 members under US guard at Camp Ashraf in Iraq.)

How neoconservative regime-change advocates like Ledeen fit in the mix is partly a story of overlapping agendas, partly a papering over of vast differences -- differences intensified by wariness over the neoconservatives' role in championing the US invasion of Iraq.

Case in point: A potential ally in the struggle for regime change in Iran is the loose network of NGOs, academic experts, and practitioners known variously as the nonviolent resistance network, or the strategic nonviolence movement. Based on the writings of Harvard political scientist Gene Sharp, the movement was instrumental in helping train the Serbian student group Otpor (Resistance) in techniques that enabled them to peacefully overthrow Milosevic. That struggle won the backing of the Clinton administration, and has been cited approvingly by Ledeen and other neoconservatives (despite their usual disdain for all things Clinton). More recently, nonviolent resistance experts have been involved in training democratic opposition groups from Burma to Georgia to Zimbabwe in their techniques. 

At the heart of the strategy is the concept that through a sustained series of nonviolent resistance actions, a country's population can persuade the agents of a dictator's repression -- usually the police or army -- that the people have withdrawn their support for the regime. In so doing, the theory goes, they can get the security services to switch sides.

Some in the movement see potential for such a transformation in Iran. "There is plenty of political space in Iran for people to use now," says Jack DuVall, president of the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict, a Washington-based organization that provides educational materials and training on nonviolent resistance strategies and techniques. "For the last few years, there have been multiple reports of dissatisfaction with the regime even within the Revolutionary Guards. There have even been clerics, ayatollahs, who have strongly criticized the regime. This is not a society in lockstep with the ruling group."

Others question whether the involvement of forces from outside the country would help or hinder the process. "I think if people are looking for any more from the outside, from the Iranian exiles, it's dead on arrival," says an Iranian-American activist recently back from Iran, who asked that his name not be used in order to protect his Iranian contacts. "It's a nonstarter. Because there's no opposition figure who's managed to convince both the Iranian community in the United States, or the people in Iran, that they have the ability to kick out the regime and that they are democrats."

This contrasts sharply with the vision that Ledeen sketches in his frequent writings on the subject, which emphasize an indispensable and central role for the US government. In a recent e-mail interview, Ledeen suggested that whether the push comes from inside or outside Iran is just a small detail that distracts from the larger goal."

Most successful revolutions have had external support," Ledeen wrote. "That includes the American, French, and Russian revolutions." Besides, he asserts, "Most Iranians believe that American support is crucial for the spread of freedom, and that unless there is American support, efforts to topple the regime are doomed."

Some Iranian opposition activists agree that the United States signaling to Iran in a decisive way that it wants regime change may embolden the internal opposition, as Reagan's labelling the Soviet Union "the Evil Empire" and calling on Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall may have emboldened dissidents to step up resistance to Soviet totalitarianism."

So our Natan Sharansky sitting in Iranian jail has to feel that something serious has changed in US policy," says Shary Ahy, a Virginia-based Iranian-American political scientist who is involved in a new effort to build a coalition of Iranian democratic opposition groups inside and outside the country. "Instead, they've been hearing a lot of double-talk from the US."

While Ahy wants the United States to commit itself to democratic regime change in Iran, he says it is crucial that it clearly state that this does not include any military action. "No one in the Iranian opposition I have talked to wants military action," he says.

This perhaps goes to the heart of the debate over American support for nonviolent regime change -- the fear that it won't really be nonviolent, and that it may in fact open the way for military intervention, either by Iranian opposition groups covertly armed by the United States or its proxies, or the direct involvement of American troops.

After all, several years ago, when the regime-change movement that became the Iraq war was gaining ground, some prominent neoconservatives, including former CIA director James Woolsey (who served as Ledeen's attorney during the Iran-Contra investigations) and Paul Wolfowitz (now deputy defense secretary), insisted that Saddam Hussein could be toppled with just US airpower and Special Forces, with indigenous Iraqi opposition groups, such as Ahmad Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress and the Kurdish peshmerga, serving as the bulk of the ground troops. If the Bush administration pursues nonviolent regime change, will Iran end up looking more like Serbia or like Iraq -- with nukes? ...

10 posted on 10/10/2004 10:07:41 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

IRAN CONSIDERS BIDS FROM EUROPEANS


LONDON [MENL] -- Iran has been examining bids from five European companies for the development of a giant oil field.

The OPEC News Agency said Iran has been considering bids from Royal Dutch/Shell, Norsk Hydro, Repsol, Statoil, and Total. The bids were for the development of Iran's Yadavaran oil field.

U.S. companies have been banned from participating in energy projects in Iran that exceed $20 million.

Iran has also been negotiating liquid natural gas marketing deals with companies from China, India and Spain. Iran has offered the winner of any LNG bid a 20 percent share in the Yadavaran development project, the news agency said.


12 posted on 10/10/2004 10:08:23 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Persian Journal

UK trade team to visit mullahs of Iran

Oct 10, 2004, 17:28

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A British trade team will visit Iran Nov 19-26 to review the business capabilities of several major cities. Michael Thomas, director of international trade of the Middle East Association (MEA), will lead the team. Thirty British companies will be represented in the team, Thomas said in London.

Thomas said the visit, organised with the cooperation of the Iranian government and Kerman's Chambers of Commerce, Industries and Mines, will review the business capabilities of Iranian cities of Tehran, Kerman, Kish Island and Isfahan.

Thomas, who recently visited Iran, said the British companies' interaction with their Iranian counterparts will pave the way for their investment in the country

13 posted on 10/10/2004 10:08:44 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
10/10/04 http://www.payvand.com/news/04/oct/1086.html

Klinsmann thanks Iranians for "incredible hospitality" German national football squad headcoach Juergen Klinsmann voiced his deepest appreciation for what he termed "incredible hospitality and kindness" of the Iranian nation during the three-day stay of his team in Tehran, IRNA reported from Berlin.


14 posted on 10/10/2004 10:09:06 PM PDT by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn

"the apparent leader of the cult, identified as Said Agha Nazem, was posing as the 12th Shiite Imam, Mahdi"

That can get you in trouble.....


15 posted on 10/11/2004 5:51:09 AM PDT by nuconvert (Everyone has a photographic memory. Some don't have film.)
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To: freedom44

Was that taken in Iran or Germany?
I don't think these photographers should be showing the faces of people they catch in 'compromising' situations.


16 posted on 10/11/2004 5:56:28 AM PDT by nuconvert (Everyone has a photographic memory. Some don't have film.)
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To: DoctorZIn
10/05/04

TERRORISM / COUNTER TERRORISM


10/04/04
VECERNJE NOVINE
'Evening Newspaper', Croat and Bosniak daily newspaper from Mostar

American “Defense & Foreign Affairs” Daily on BiH Terrorist Organization
Saudi and Iranian governments are working together on supporting the anti-Russian operations in Chechnya and they are building bases for future operation in the North Cyprus, which is under the Turkish control. During 2004 this organization has operationally and financially spread and opened new offices in BiH and Sandzak, in Southern Serbia. “Defense and Foreign Affairs” Daily mentioned a secret Vahhabi terrorist organization called “Kvadrat” (Square), which was established in 1995 in BiH. The members of that organization are practicing the original Islam ideology and recruiting children who stayed without parents during the war in BiH to go and fight in Chechnya. They are teaching those children the Vahhabi ideology and terrorist guerilla war tactics. The clear participation of the Iranian Intelligence Service- VEVAK in the “Kvadrat” youth’s training supported by Saudi’s funding shows that Iran and Saudi Arabia are working close together in the Islamic mission. Bosnian sources claim that “Kvadrat” is an organization connected to Al Qaeda. This organization operates in the triangle between Zenica, Tuzla, and Sarajevo in BiH. It is believed that certain Pezo Adnan is the operational leader of the group and he receives orders from Vienna. He lives in Zenica and his nickname is Acit. Acit was a member of El Mujaheed terrorist unit in BiH. “Kvadrat” has started training orphan children in 2001 at the Jablanica Lake in a small place called Podi. One of their main activities in 2004 was to provide fighters to go and help their Islamist brothers in Chechnya. One of those fighters is Kenan Bijedic who was arrested in Turkey on his way to Chechnya. This analysis also claims that this organization receives financial help from an “innocent” organization called “Saudi High Committee for Orphan Children” located in Sarajevo. SFOR troops searched their offices several times. Al Haramain also finances “Kvadrat” organization. Al Haramain is on the US list of people and organizations connected with terrorism. Bosnian Muslim Mohamed Porca controls “Kvadrat” organization from Vienna. He is also connected with other Islamic organizations in Austria and Germany and he also collects funding for this organization. “Kvadrat” organization opened its offices in BiH and Southern Serbia as well. “The opening of “Kvadrat” offices in Serbia shows that they are directly financed from the drug trafficking business going from Afghanistan, through Iran, Azerbaijan, Turkey, to Albania and then through Kosovo and Raska (Serbia) to BiH and further to Western Europe”. The main radical activists in “Kvadrat” are: Samir Softic, Samir Susa, Nisvet Kolisic, Emir Dzafic (born in 1975, President of Kvadrat in Visoko). Page 13 BB (Summary)


17 posted on 10/11/2004 8:06:05 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

A Doctrine Under Pressure: Pre-emption Is Redefined

By DAVID E. SANGER

Published: October 11, 2004

CRAWFORD, Tex., Oct. 10 - Under pressure to explain anew his decision to invade Iraq in light of a damaging report from the C.I.A.'s top weapons inspector, President Bush appears to be quietly redefining one of the signature philosophies of his administration - his doctrine of pre-emptive military action.

Traditionally, pre-empting an enemy is all about urgency, striking before the enemy strikes. In the prelude to the invasion in March of last year, Mr. Bush and his aides stopping short of saying Saddam Hussein posed an "imminent" threat. Still, they used urgent-sounding language at every turn to explain why they could not afford to wait for inspectors to complete their work, or for the United Nations Security Council to come to a consensus on authorizing military action. "Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof, the smoking gun that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud," he said in a speech delivered Oct. 7, 2002.

But the C.I.A. report released last week, written by Charles A. Duelfer, described the evidence as anything but clear and the peril as far from urgent. Mr. Hussein's military power began waning after the 1991 Persian Gulf war, the report concluded. While Mr. Hussein most probably wanted to rebuild his illicit weapons, there is no evidence he had started by the time Mr. Bush was delivering that speech.

So over the last five days, with some subtle changes of language and a new previously undiscussed justification for the war, Mr. Bush appears to have expanded the conditions for a pre-emptive military strike. He no longer talks about urgency. Instead, for the first time, he has begun to argue that a military invasion is justified if an opponent is seeking to avoid United Nations sanctions - "gaming the system" in his words.

"We did not find the stockpiles we thought were there," Mr. Bush told supporters in Waterloo, Iowa, on Saturday. "But I want you to remember what the Duelfer report said. It said that Saddam Hussein was gaming the oil-for-food program to get rid of sanctions. And why? Because he had the capability and knowledge to rebuild his weapon programs. And the great danger we face in the world today is that a terrorist organization could end up with weapons of mass destruction."

Then, returning to the line he has used in his debates with Senator John Kerry, and one that always elicits applause, he added: "Knowing what I know today, I would have made the same decision. The world is safer with Saddam in a prison cell."

Taken at face value, Mr. Bush appears to be saying that under his new standard, a country merely has to be thinking about developing illicit weapons at some time. "He's saying intent is enough," said Joseph Nye, a Harvard professor who under the Clinton administration headed the National Intelligence Council, the group that assesses for the president when countries have trespassed that hard-to-define line.

"The classical definition for pre-emption was 'imminent threat,' " Mr. Nye said. Then, with the development of the president's "National Security Policy of the United States," that moved to something less than imminent, because, as Mr. Bush argued, it is often hard to know when a country is about to attack. Now, said Mr. Nye, "the Duelfer report pushed him into a box where capability is not the standard, but merely intention."

Of course, discerning changes of policy in the heat of a political campaign is always risky. Candidates will often push a policy or a doctrine to the breaking point to differentiate themselves from their opponents. So as the campaign has come down to its last three weeks, Mr. Bush has torqued his stump speech to make it clear that in a post-Sept. 11 world, he will strike quickly, while Mr. Kerry hesitates, negotiates or creates a "global test" for action.

The "global test" phrase comes from a statement by Mr. Kerry in the first presidential debate that Mr. Bush now regularly throws back at him. "Now he says he wants a global test before we take action to defend our security," Mr. Bush said on Saturday in Chanhassen, Minn., waiting for the crowd to yell "Boo!"

When the audience obliged, he added that "The problem is that the senator can never pass his own test," going on to list military action that Mr. Kerry has opposed, including in the Persian Gulf war.

In fact, Mr. Kerry has not done much to define when he would take pre-emptive action. He has said he would reserve the right, and criticized Mr. Bush for making pre-emption a doctrine. In the second debate on Friday, Mr. Kerry made it clear that Iraq did not meet his test: "Gut-check time," he said. "Was this really going to war as a last resort?"

But when the subject turned to Iran, Mr. Kerry tried to sound more hard-line than Mr. Bush, who he said had ignored nuclear developments in both Iran and North Korea. "If we have to get tough with Iran, believe me, we will get tough," he said, without describing how close he would let the country get to a nuclear weapon before acting. Mr. Bush, in an interview with The New York Times in August, declined to draw that line, either.

The result is that America's allies - and perhaps its voters - are more confused than ever about what will drive Washington to war. To listen to Mr. Bush in the last few days, a country that merely desires to obtain the world's worst weapons is a potential target - but he has clearly avoided threatening Iran and North Korea, the two nations racing fastest toward such weapons. To listen to Mr. Kerry, Iraq's intentions to rebuild its arsenal some day clearly did not meet the Kerry test: Mr. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, he said the other day, "may well be the last two people on the planet who won't face the truth about Iraq."

It may be that the election must pass before Washington sends a clear signal. "If I had a piece of advice for America's allies," a senior foreign policy adviser to Mr. Bush said a few weeks ago, "it's this: Turn your television sets off until this is all over."

18 posted on 10/11/2004 8:26:48 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Democracy Comes to Afghanistan

[Excerpt] October 11, 2004
The Wall Street Journal
Michael Gonzalez


KABUL -- It is difficult to deny that the free presidential election held in -- and by -- Afghanistan was a success for the Bush administration and its policy of bringing democracy to the Muslim world.

Skeptics will say that this was an imperfect election that will not fix Afghanistan's many intractable problems. In a sense that is true. But it is the limited truth of the myopic -- those unable to appreciate the positive magnitude of an election in a land that had never before known democracy, and which, for many years, has known only strife, bloodshed and war.

Yes, there were problems with the indelible ink used to prevent double voting. Some losing candidates complained of unfairness, a familiar cry in elections everywhere: 15 of them, with no prospect of winning, seized on the issue to call for a boycott of the election. Yet there was little evidence that Afghans -- proud of their democratic accomplishment and now more optimistic about their future -- heeded their call.

* * *

In many parts of the country, voting required real courage. The Taliban and al Qaeda had threatened to bomb polling places in a last-ditch attempt to exercise control through terror. Some people I talked with before the election had fear on their faces as they discussed the possible return of their former tormentors. Security for the vote was heavy. Kabul on Thursday and Friday bristled with soldiers, tanks and checkpoints, while helicopters patrolled the skies.

But in the end, the legendary defiance of the Afghan won the day. A phrase I heard over and over -- as I visited polling booths and asked why they were taking a risk to cast a vote -- was, "We're Afghans!" It was as if it had been rehearsed.

"We know war. We don't care about these threats," said 63-year-old Haji Enayatullah, as he waited his turn in a line of about 100 at a polling center set up at the Haji Yaqoob Mosque. His turban and garb adding dignity to his words, he continued: "This is the first time we get to elect a president. Nobody wants to miss that. I don't even care who wins. I just like the fact that he will be selected by the people of Afghanistan." Nor was the defiance limited to the older Afghans. At the Hazrat-e-Noman Mosque, 28-year-old Wahid, also waiting in a long line, said, "If we let the terrorists scare us, we won't be able to choose our future. This is a very important day for our history. We want a better future."

That better future will depend on the ability of the eventual winner to unify and lead the country. Results won't be known for days -- perhaps weeks if a run-off election is necessary. Afghans will transport ballot boxes by helicopters, trucks, horses and donkeys. But it's widely predicted that the winner will be the incumbent, Interim President Hamid Karzai. He has ably led Afghanistan since December 2001, a month after the U.S. and its allies put an end to the medieval madness of the Taliban.

Since then, things have gone very differently in Afghanistan. The U.S. still has 18,000 soldiers here, and Europe 9,000; both help the Afghan National Army -- which together with the police numbers 40,000-and-growing -- to provide security. Their hard work paid off, and there were no reports of terrorist attacks on Saturday.

Indeed, the results since the fall of the Taliban are palpable. Kabul, literally in ruins after years of war, is thriving, and the rest of the country is starting to rebuild. This dispatch was filed from an Internet café, one of many that now dot Kabul, where a sighing young man helped me reconfigure my laptop. Only three years ago, the Taliban were throwing people into dungeons for owning TV sets, or for listening to music.

A foolproof way to know whether a society is on the way up, or down, is to track the movement of its people. Three million refugees have returned to Afghanistan from Pakistan, Iran and India. On my flight in to Kabul from New Delhi, I was able to put those numbers in human context. There they were, these refugees, giddily snapping pictures of each other with antiquated cameras. Others looked out the window with wonderment at the countryside of their ancestors -- a landscape they hardly knew. They were coming home, some for the first time in years, the younger ones to a place they'd never seen.

The excitement makes for a potent brew. An Arab cameraman, recording the voting at a school on election day, told me how important it was to bring these images to the Middle East: "The Arab world is coming under pressure to democratize. This will show our leaders that democracy will not devour them."

Most importantly, the Afghans organized the election on their own -- though with help from the United Nations -- providing 16,000 domestic observers. The "international community" was able to muster only 227 monitors for 5,000 district polling centers around Afghanistan. Despite its absence from the scene, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe complained of "irregularities" and said it wouldn't certify the vote. Jimmy Carter wasn't here either. The Carter Center cited security fears for not sending people, along with a haughty (and quixotic) concern that the Center did not want to be put in the position of pointing out that the elections had been imperfect.

It may be that the Carters and the OSCEs of this world did not want to acknowledge a success for which the Bush administration can take some credit. John Kerry has made a big deal out of his support of the liberation of Afghanistan, but charges that President Bush has managed the situation here badly.

It is niggardly in the extreme, however, to refuse to acknowledge what has happened in this land thus far. There are occasional comments in the Western media that the courageous Mr. Karzai is a "puppet" because of the U.S. presence. But U.S. ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad was much closer to the mark when he told me that for "70% to 80% the fear is not of American domination, but of American abandonment." My very unscientific street surveys make his figures seem conservative.

"Not only do I not want international troops to leave, I want them to stay here for many years," said a man I encountered near a thoroughfare, as U.S. tanks crunched by. A 22-year-old called Farhad -- who'd spent almost all his life in exile in Iran, but had moved back -- explained things to me by placing a can of Coke (what else?) on a bench and putting his hands on either side of it. Talking of his erstwhile place of exile, he said: "Iranians see their country and see that on one side Iraq's been liberated, and on the other Afghanistan's been liberated. No one in Iran likes the fundamentalists. They are praying they are next. Bush has brought peace to Afghanistan, and he will do that to Iraq. Will he do that to Iran?"

Since Vietnam, America has been talking about the need to win not just battles, but also hearts and minds. Well, this appears to be happening in Afghanistan. The old Persian-speaking world stretches from here, with the Pashtuns and the Tajiks, westward to the Kurds of Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey. America has started the process of bringing democracy to this world, and to flinch from this task now would be a betrayal of the courage which the Afghans displayed on their election day.

Mr. Gonzalez is editor of the editorial page of The Asian Wall Street Journal.

19 posted on 10/11/2004 8:30:30 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

The Islamic urge to vote

[Excerpt] New York Post-by Amir Taheri
Oct 11, 2004

IT is a rather surprising by product of the War on Terror: For the first time, a consensus seems to be emerging among Islamic authorities worldwide that Muslims in the West should participate in democratic politics.

Before taking credit for this, President Bush might note that these authorities tend to favor votes for his opponent. But Sen. John Kerry's pleasure in that must be tempered by the awareness that those authorities favor him only because they are quite sure he will permit the undoing of Bush's work in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The emerging consensus could become a turning point for Islamic theology. It drives a hole in the cardinal concept of "association and exoneration" (al-wala'a wa al-bara'a), which means that Muslims should steer clear of non-Muslims, and associate only with fellow believers.

The consensus also challenges the classical Islamic division of the world into two parts: the House of Faith (Dar al-Iman), meaning Muslim countries, and "The House of War" (Dar al-Harb Dar), meaning countries ruled by the "infidel." The emerging view, it seems, would allow for a third category of countries to be recognized as the "House of Truce" (Dar al-Sulh), of which the United States would be one.

By declaring participation in Western elections "licit" (yajuz), Islamic theology is abandoning two traditional positions:

* Muslims, although allowed to spend time in non-Muslim lands for trade and/or missionary activity, should not settle in countries ruled by non-Muslims. Muslims owe no loyalty to a non-Muslim authority which is, by definition, an expression of "un-belief" (kufr). A Muslim is not allowed to pay taxes to an "infidel" government or fight in its army.

* Islam, while encouraging consultation and consensus, rejects lawmaking by mortals, and is opposed to any election in principle.

Both positions have been undermined by events. Almost 300 million Muslims, a quarter of the world total, now live in countries under "infidel" rule, including an estimated 6 million to 9 million in the United States.

The first fatwa (religious edict) allowing Muslims to vote in non-Islamic countries was issued at Aligarh, India, in 1947. Since then, Muslims, 16 percent of India's population, have played am active part in all elections.

For American Muslims, taking part in elections was declared "licit" at the 1999 Islamic Summit in Detroit, Mich. A year later the European Islamic Council for Fatwa and Research issued a similar fatwa.

As the debate has heated up in recent months, more and more fatwas have been issued. Some theologians have gone so far as to declare that taking part in elections is not only "licit" but an "obligation" (wajib) for Muslims in non-Islamic lands.

The theologians who say taking part in elections is "licit" include the Egyptian Ali Jad al-Haq, the Lebanese Muhammad-Hussein Falallah, the Iraqi Abdul-Karim Zaydan and the Saudi Muhammad-Saleh al-Munjed.

Their argument is that, though Muslims owe no loyalty to non-Islamic states, they must be free to decide when their participation in elections serves the interests of Islam. "What matters is whether or not any action is good for Islam," says al-Munjed. "No vote should be cast unless the voter is certain that it will benefit the faith and his Muslim brethren."

Theologians insisting that voting is an "obligation" include Yussuf al-Qaradawi (an Egyptian based in Qatar), the Lebanese Faisal al-Mawlawi and the Iranian Makarem Shirazi. Their argument is that Muslims living in non-Muslims lands should regard themselves as missionaries whose task is to convert the citizenry to Islam and, in time, establish an Islamic state. Thus if taking part in elections is a means of achieving those goals, it is incumbent on Muslims to do so.

"Wherever they are, Muslims should work towards the day when humanity is united in the only true faith, which is Islam," says Qaradawi. "If taking part in elections is one way of achieving that, it is an obligation."

Some theologians claim that the Koran, which contains all possible and imaginable knowledge of the past, the present and the future, has anticipated and answered the question.

Salah al-Din Sultan, who has devoted a book to the subject, quotes verses from two of the Koran's most famous Surahs, The Cow (al-Baqarah) and The Banquet (al-Ma'edah), to show that voting should be regarded as a form of "bearing witness" (shihadah) to what a believer regards as right. A similar view is expressed by the Iranian Ayatollah Muhammad Yazdi. He sees elections as a method of "commanding the Good and combating evil," an Islamic duty.

Both recall a fatwa by Al-Izz bin-Abdul-Salam that makes it incumbent on Muslims to "snatch away every bit of power they can" from the "infidel."

British Muslims have used that fatwa to inflict defeat on candidates from Tony Blair's Labor Party in a number of recent local and by-elections. The idea is that, facing the possibility of losing the next general election as a result of Muslim votes for the opposition, Blair would be forced to abandon his alliance with the United States in the War on Terror.

One problem remains, however. It concerns the attitude of Muslims towards laws that contravene Islamic jurisprudence (shariah). Most theologians, whether they regard voting as merely "licit" or an "obligation," agree on one thing: Muslim voters should not vote for legislation that contravenes the Shariah and, if such is passed, have a duty to disregard or, when necessary, actively oppose it. "The believers should do what is good for Islam," says Shirazi. "There could be no ambiguity [about that]."

The debate has generated much excitement among American Muslims, who are reportedly registering to vote in record numbers. According to the latest polls by John Zogby, almost 60 percent of them intend to vote for Kerry.

Arab newspapers are full of editorials urging American Muslims to "throw Bush out of the White House" as a prelude to "kicking the United States out of Iraq and Afghanistan."

"We may not be able to throw the American army out of Afghanistan and Iraq," says Hassan Nasr-Allah, leader of the Lebanese Hezbollah (Party of God). "But we can throw George W. Bush out of the White House."

Muslim support for Kerry is not inspired by any love for the senator but by the perception that he would withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan , thus allowing the establishment of Islamic regimes in Baghdad and Kabul.

... The difference is that Bush is aggressive, and Kerry is not."

20 posted on 10/11/2004 8:49:13 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...

The Islamic urge to vote

[Excerpt] New York Post-by Amir Taheri
Oct 11, 2004

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1241290/posts?page=20#20


21 posted on 10/11/2004 8:50:58 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Implications of New International Consensus on Lebanon

October 11, 2004
Radio Free Europe
Gary Gambill


Great Power recognition of Syrian hegemony in Lebanon formally came to an end in early September when the UN Security Council called for the withdrawal "without delay" of all foreign forces, the disarmament of all paramilitary groups, and the constitutional election of a new Lebanese president. Although virtually ignored by the mainstream Western media, UN Security Council Resolution 1559 has far-reaching implications for the Middle East.

The international community had been conspicuously silent about the world's sole remaining satellite state since invading Syrian forces swept away the last remnants of Lebanon's First Republic in October 1990. Western governments initially turned a blind eye to this seizure in exchange for Syria's decision to endorse Operation Desert Storm and participate in the Arab-Israeli peace process, but it was Syria's success in pacifying the war-torn country and maintaining postwar political stability that ensured tacit international consent for the occupation throughout the 1990s.

The unraveling of tacit international consent for the occupation came about as the result of a policy alignment between the United States and France, who jointly co-sponsored Resolution 1559 and vigorously lobbied other council members to win their approval (or decision to abstain). Cynical Lebanese political commentators liken this rare display of trans-Atlantic solidarity to a solar eclipse. When different motivations propel governments into alignment on an issue, the diplomatic equilibrium may be spectacular, but it is usually fleeting due to the multiplicity of independent variables sustaining it. In this case, however, Franco-American consensus on Lebanon will not be so easily undone.

The United States began rescinding its recognition of Syrian hegemony in March 2003, when Secretary of State Colin Powell used the term "occupation" (hitherto absent from U.S. diplomatic parlance on Lebanon for over a decade) to describe the Syrian presence in Lebanon. This policy shift, along with parallel pressures on Syria to stop sponsoring terrorist groups and developing weapons of mass destruction, was essentially a punitive response to Syrian intervention in Iraq, culminating in the Bush administration's decision to impose economic sanctions earlier this year.

In Paris, this escalation of U.S. pressure on Syria was seen as a window of opportunity to advance French interests in Lebanon. The top grievance of the French, who have long-standing historical ties to Lebanese Maronite Christians, was the obstruction of Lebanon's economic recovery by its Syrian-backed president, Emile Lahud. In the fall of 2002, France persuaded international donors to provide over billion in debt-relief assistance to Lebanon, in return for relatively modest economic-reform pledges. However, fearing that a more open economy would weaken their political power, Lahud and the security establishment prevented Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri from implementing any of these pledges.

In France, which once treated Assad as a modernizing reformer worthy of two state visits to Paris, this precipitated a strategic (not merely punitive) decision to begin publicly denouncing the occupation early in 2004, often in conjunction with the United States. The French policy shift greatly increased U.S. leverage over Syria by facilitating broader European and international coordination on Lebanon, which in turn precipitated a U.S. shift from punitive to strategic pressure.

There was a time when either major Syrian concessions to the United States on Iraq or limited accommodation of French interests in Lebanon could have disrupted the formation of this diplomatic equilibrium, but Assad missed the deadline. In recent months, Syria began taking limited steps to reduce terrorist infiltration of Iraq, but they were not sufficient to prompt a reevaluation of policy in Washington. France would have been satisfied had Syria allowed Lahud's departure from office this fall at the end of his six-year term (as the Lebanese Constitution requires), but Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was too concerned that Lahud's departure would strengthen Hariri, a billionaire who has strong U.S., European, and Saudi ties, and lead him to gravitate further from the Syrian orbit.

Syria's decision in late August to force the Lebanese cabinet and parliament to amend the constitution and extend Lahud's term was the final straw. French officials, who had loudly criticized U.S. economic sanctions on Syria as heavy-handed, now advocated a much more painful (and irreversible) form of international censure -- the first Security Council resolution in two decades to dispute Syrian control of Lebanon.

Assad will not simply comply with Resolution 1559. Since the early 1990s, the cash-strapped Syrian government has grown more and more financially dependent on remittances from over 1 million Syrian workers living in Lebanon, favorable asymmetric trade relations, and kickbacks from institutionalized corruption -- none of which can be preserved for long if Syrian troops depart. The Assad regime cannot survive without its Lebanon lifeline -- unless it either carries out major economic reforms at home (of which it appears manifestly incapable) or receives substantial foreign aid (which doesn't appear forthcoming).

In recent weeks, Syria has frantically sought to disrupt Franco-American consensus by accepting a range of U.S. demands concerning Iraq and carrying out a limited redeployment of Syrian troops from Lebanon. But Resolution 1559 has been met with considerable support in the Arab world -- Jordan and the six Gulf Cooperation Council states even brought forth an unsuccessful motion in the Arab League to endorse Resolution 1559. In such an atmosphere, Washington will not want to be seen as backsliding on its commitment to Lebanese sovereignty.

Syria's biggest problem, however, is that Resolution 1559 is making Lebanon ungovernable. Domestic opposition to Syrian hegemony has long been checked by international approval of the occupation. When asked why they have been unable to mount a more robust challenge to Syrian authority, Lebanese opposition leaders typically cite the muted international reaction to the arrests of over 200 anti-Syrian activists in August 2001. Ordinary citizens are much more willing to participate in public demonstrations against the occupation if they know that a massive crackdown by the authorities will elicit a torrent of international criticism.

Even within Lebanon's traditionally quietist political elite, challenges to Syria are mounting. The traditional Christian political elite is now voicing its opposition to Syrian hegemony more strongly than ever before. They have been joined by Druze leader Walid Jumblatt and his political allies, who voted against Lahud's term extension in parliament and subsequently withdrew from the cabinet. Hariri, the most powerful Sunni politician in Lebanon, is widely expected to step down as prime minister and join the opposition. Only those who see no political future for themselves in a postoccupation, pro-Western Lebanon still display unswerving loyalty to Damascus. If the current international consensus endures, Syria's rump satellite regime in Beirut will be not be able to maintain its grip on power without resorting to a level of coercion likely to further isolate both countries and precipitate their economic collapse.

(Gary Gambill is a political analyst at Freedom House and adjunct professor at College of Mount Saint Vincent in New York City)

IRAN AND SYRIA TO CONFRONT U.S.

President Khatami arrived in Damascus on 7 October in a last-minute addition to a trip that had already taken to Algeria, Sudan, and Oman (see below). Khatami told Syrian television, according to Syria's official SANA news agency, that U.S. and Israeli "pressure on Syria, Iran, and Lebanon is nothing new. It always existed. Cooperation among us would drive this pressure away from all of us." Khatami told Hizballah's Al-Manar television that the three countries are coordinating their activities to withstand such pressure. What Khatami referred to as Israeli and U.S. "pressure" is UN Resolution 1559, which calls for the withdrawal of foreign forces from Lebanon and the disarming of militias there.

Khatami and Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi discussed Israel's allegedly "inhuman operations" against Palestinian Arabs, as well as Iraq and the Darfur crisis in Sudan, with President Bashar al-Assad, Vice President Abd al-Halim Khaddam, and Foreign Minister Faruq al-Shara, SANA reported. After the meeting, Khatami visited the shrines of Zeinabieh and Ruqayyah (the sister and daughter of the third Shi'a imam). This was Khatami's third visit to Syria since taking office. (Bill Samii)

22 posted on 10/11/2004 9:06:55 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Russian Ruminations on The Prospect of a Nuclear Iran

October 11, 2004
Radio Free Europe
Mark N. Katz


While some Russian observers maintain stoutly that there is no evidence that Iran is seeking to acquire nuclear weapons, others privately indicate that Moscow recognizes this is exactly what Tehran is trying to do. Furthermore, the administration of Russian President Vladimir Putin is increasingly concerned about the implications of a nuclear-armed Iran for Russia.
Moscow, though, does not see itself as able to stop this from happening. But others may be able to.

During a recent conversation in Moscow, one Russian scholar with close ties to the Kremlin stated that Putin sees himself as being in a dilemma regarding Iran. On the one hand, he does not want to see Tehran acquire nuclear weapons, both because of the threat from Iran this might pose to Russia and because this could encourage proliferation of nuclear weapons to other Middle Eastern countries that have -- or may eventually have -- governments more hostile to Moscow.

On the other hand, the source said, while Putin realizes that the nuclear reactor Russia is building for Iran in Bushehr will help Tehran acquire nuclear weapons, he does not want Russia to stop work on it. To do so would be seen as Moscow backing down to U.S. pressure. Further, those in the Russian nuclear industry and others who want to continue building the reactors are arguing that, if Russia stops work at Bushehr, U.S. or other Western firms might step in to finish the reactor and build others if, say, there is an Iranian-U.S. rapprochement similar to the recent Libyan-U.S. one. The source also said that statements by prominent U.S.-based organizations, such as the independent Council on Foreign Relations, calling for an Iranian-U.S. rapprochement are viewed by the Kremlin as evidence that such a rapprochement might soon occur. According to him, Putin does not understand that such statements have little influence over U.S. foreign policy, and that even if the U.S. president wanted to change course on Iran, getting Congress to lift U.S. sanctions against Tehran would be extremely difficult -- and without such a move, an Iranian-U.S. rapprochement is unlikely.

Another Russian observer, a specialist on nuclear issues, said that Moscow should never have signed the deal with Iran to complete the Bushehr nuclear reactor, but since it did so, the Putin administration feels that it must finish the job. But Moscow, he too argued, is increasingly nervous about the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran. The best solution to this problem, according to him, would be for what has already been built at Bushehr to be destroyed either by the United States or Israel.

The Putin administration, the observer predicted, would publicly denounce such a move in the strongest terms, but would actually be relieved. For this would both end the Iranian nuclear weapons program and forestall any unwelcome -- from the Russian perspective -- U.S.-Iranian rapprochement. Russia would offer to rebuild Bushehr -- if Iran would pay for it again. Even if Tehran did, this project would take years and years to complete.

When asked about reports that Tehran has hidden, hardened facilities that would enable the Iranian nuclear program to survive even the destruction of Bushehr, the nuclear specialist responded that, while he believes Iran does have other facilities where it is working on nuclear weapons, the spent fuel from the Bushehr reactor would still be needed to fabricate them. Thus, without Bushehr, there can be no Iranian nuclear weapons. Iranian statements that it has hardened facilities elsewhere are apparently intended to convince the United States that an attack on Bushehr would not end the Iranian nuclear program -- even though it actually would.

But it would be better for Moscow, he said, if Bushehr were to be destroyed by Israel and not the United States. A U.S. attack on Iran would whip up anti-American hysteria in Europe and elsewhere that would be difficult for Moscow not to go along with without appearing acquiescent or even complicit in the destruction of Bushehr. An attack on Iran by Israel, by contrast, would allow Moscow to condemn Tel Aviv while maintaining reasonably cooperative relations with Washington.

Such sentiments by observers, of course, do not necessarily reflect a desire on the part of the Putin administration to encourage the destruction of Bushehr. Indeed, when a Russian Foreign Ministry official was asked whether it would better for Moscow if this were undertaken by the United States or by Israel, he pointedly responded, "By neither!" What these statements do reflect, though, is a growing Russian unease about the prospects of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons as well as the sense (whether accurate or not) that Moscow cannot do much to prevent this.

Mark N. Katz is a professor of government and politics at George Mason University. This piece is based on conversations he had in Moscow in September with several Russian scholars.

23 posted on 10/11/2004 9:10:24 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Saudi Arabia invites Iran to counter-terrorism conference

Sun Oct 10, 6:07 PM ET

RIYADH (AFP) - Saudi Arabia invited Iran to attend an international counter-terrorism conference it plans to host in February, the official SPA news agency reported.

Photo
AFP/HO/File Photo

 

It said the kingdom's ambassador in Tehran delivered the invitation from Crown Prince and de facto ruler Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz to Iranian President Mohammad Khatami (news - web sites).

Saudi Arabia announced last month that it planned to host the conference in Riyadh from February 5 to 8. It has invited the United States to take part.

Washington accuses Iran of being the world's leading "state sponsor of terrorism."

Saudi Arabia, hit by a string of terror attacks which have killed around 100 people and wounded hundreds more since May 2003, has cracked down on suspected Al-Qaeda extremists blamed for the violence.


24 posted on 10/11/2004 9:13:20 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

'Hyenas of the Tehran desert' to stand trial


    October 11 2004 at 02:58PM

Tehran - Nineteen Iranian police officers have been reprimanded for "shortcomings" in investigating two men due to stand trial this week for kidnapping, raping and murdering 20 children in the desert south of Tehran.

An announcement seen on the Iranian police website on Monday said seven of those reprimanded were also referred to the judicial body dealing with the police. The statement did not say what punishment the officers faced.

The police have been accused of incompetence after two men working in a brickworks in Pakdasht, an impoverished town south of Tehran, allegedly carried out 20 child murders over a period of more than one year

The two men, Mohammad Bijeh and his alleged accomplice Ali Baghi, were arrested last month. Their trial is due to begin on Tuesday, but will be held behind closed doors, according to press reports.

They then allegedly stunned their victims with blows from a stone
The case has drawn huge media attention, with one reader writing into a newspaper asking for the alleged serial killers to be burned alive in a brick furnace.

The press has dubbed them "hyenas" or "vampires of the Tehran desert", while President Mohammad Khatami has ordered his interior minister to personally investigate the case.

The men allegedly lured children into the desert south of Tehran by saying they were going to dig out rabbits or foxes from their burrows.

They then allegedly stunned their victims with blows from a stone, sexually abused them and buried the bodies in shallow graves. The pair also allegedly placed dead animals near their victims' bodies to cover up the smell of the rotting corpses.

"To see blood makes me feel euphoric," one of the alleged killers, Bijeh, has been quoted as saying by the press. He has reportedly stated that he was abused by his mother and wanted to see other children suffer.

'To see blood makes me feel euphoric'
"I talked to him and he was upbeat. There were no signs of remorse and guilt," Bijeh's lawyer, Dabir Daryabeyghi, told the Shargh newspaper.

If convicted, the pair face execution.

In addition, Tehran's Governor Ali Akbar Rahmani has also announced that the government will compensate the families of the victims by paying the "blood money" that the killers usually have to fork out.

Blood money stands at 220 million rials (about R164 000) for a male, and half that for a female. - Sapa-AFP


25 posted on 10/11/2004 9:16:41 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
MORE THAN 200 SUSPECTS ARRESTED IN LATIFIYA Oct 11, 2004 Baghdad, As-Sabah Relying on accurate intelligence information reported by the departments of the ministry of interior, the security political observers said that the Iraqi guard and police in coordination with the multi national forces have arrested more than 200 Arab, foreign and Iraqi suspects through cordoning Latifiya or the so-called the death road. Notably, As-Sabah was the 1st paper that indicated to death triangle and the existence of terrorist groups on the manner of Talban in the site extended between the city of Latifiya until Haswa in which it shared same geographical unit and natural passages with Falluja , Jbala and Selman Pack.The police source said that the US forces and Iraqi guard and police arrested 27 suspects of Jordanian, Syrian and Iranian nationalities through the raids launched on the city of Yousufiya the outskirts of Latifiya . The crack down runs in the course of eliminating armed men and pulling out the heavy weapons." The US forces launched extensive crack downs on Yousufiya in which the national guard and police accompanied by 60 machineries ranged among tanks , armored vehicles , jet fighters and helicopters were chased the gunmen who took this city as a base for their military operations" .The Iraqi police source said. http://www.alsabaah.com/iframe.php?file=http://www.alsabaah.com/English.html
26 posted on 10/11/2004 2:07:18 PM PDT by nuconvert (Everyone has a photographic memory. Some don't have film.)
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To: DoctorZIn

Immigrants Raise Voices for Democracy(Mid Eastern American Convention for Freedom and Democracy)

Dr. M.Z. Jasser
American Islamic Forum for Democracy

Oct. 10, 2004

Since World War II, nearly every Middle Eastern nation has been under the smothering vise of ruthless tyrants, autocrats and monarchs.

Only since 9/11 has American foreign policy begun to show it understands there is a definite connection between Middle Eastern despotism and Islamo-fascist terrorism.

Yet, the ones most familiar with these systemic human rights abuses in the Middle East have been silent for years. Those Americans who escaped Middle Eastern tyranny during the last 40 years have until now been incomprehensibly silent.

Sept. 11, 2001 woke up America to the dangers of theocracy and despotism in the Middle East. It has also awakened the slumbering community of Middle Eastern immigrants.

The reasons for our past silence are manifold. Some Middle Eastern Americans have feared retribution to family in their ancestral lands. Some fear for their own safety. But many have simply not seen any viable alternative to the secular dictatorships, because the Islamo-fascists are waiting in the wings.

On the first day of this month in Washington, D.C., the first Middle Eastern American Convention for Freedom and Democracy took place. It was sponsored by the newly formed Center for Freedom in the Middle East, and included a consortium of more than 20 liberty-minded organizations of Middle Eastern Americans.

This meeting was nothing less than historic. It brought together first-, second- and third-generation immigrants who share a common ancestral heritage and whose lands remain governed by these malignant despots.

We shared a common love for the freedom and liberty we have experienced in America and yearned to bring these ideals back to our brethren in Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Libya, Sudan and Iraq, to name a few.

We also clearly identified organizations such as Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and al-Qaida as terrorist organizations that must be combated.

We agreed that it is the duty of we who have enjoyed freedoms here to help our brethren break free of the murderous ideologies that have suffocated them for so long. The truth also is that the tribal culture of the Middle East has hijacked the religion of Islam. We see this most clearly in the case of Wahhabism and Salafism, which has been at the center of this war on terrorism.

It is finally clear, at least to those of us in attendance, that the liberation of the Middle Eastern peoples will also be the liberation of Islam from the terrorist ideologies that have proven so helpful in propping up these despotic autocrats and monarchs.

The conveners all agreed that our American founding principles are universal. They are not limited to any particular culture, faith or place. It became unanimously clear to all that any Middle Eastern state that wants its people to flourish must have separation of religion and state, protection of minority rights and a fundamentally tolerant and spiritual environment for its citizens.

Such a gathering of Middle Eastern Americans had never happened. It sent a new collective message that the future belongs to the secular democrats in the Middle East and not the authoritarian theocrats.

Our American soldiers and the coalition of the willing of more than 30 nations have been fighting for freedom in Iraq. Thousands have given their lives to free the Iraqi people. To that the conveners expressed their everlasting debt and acknowledged their responsibility to lead this effort in winning this war of ideas in the Middle East.

At the center of this global confict is not "terror," which is only a tactic, but rather a competition between theocracy and secular democracy. To those of us who know the freedom of religion in America, there is no system of government that comes close to empowering the faithful as here. No meeting of this sort could have happened anywhere else but in America.

[M. Zuhdi Jasser is a Phoenix physician and chairman of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (www.aifdemocracy.org). AIFD is a member organization of the Center for Freedom in the Middle East (www.middleeastfreedom.org), which sponsored the Oct. 1 Middle East American Convention for Freedom and Democracy.]


http://www.aifdemocracy.org/pages.php/1020


27 posted on 10/11/2004 3:15:00 PM PDT by nuconvert (Everyone has a photographic memory. Some don't have film.)
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To: DoctorZIn
This thread is now closed.

Join Us At Today's Iranian Alert Thread – The Most Underreported Story Of The Year!

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail DoctorZin”

28 posted on 10/11/2004 9:45:05 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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