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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 10/13/2004 10:15:35 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Join Us At Today's Iranian Alert Thread – The Most Underreported Story Of The Year!

2 posted on 10/13/2004 10:17:38 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

SMCCDI’s Press Conference at the National Press Club

SMCCDI (Public Announcement)
Oct 14, 2004

The topic: "Senator Kerry and the Islamic regime influence on US elections."

The world will be watching this potentially explosive Press Conference scheduled to take place on Thursday October 14, 2004, from 09:15 AM at the Washington DC's National Press Club located at 529 14th Street NW Washington, DC 20045.

Joining SMCCDI are two journalists: Insight Magazine's Kenneth Timmerman and the author of the bestselling "Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry," Dr. Jerome Corsi who is writing a book based on the Kerry-Namazee nexus.

The press conference will be of interest to all those following the 2004 elections and the events in Iran.

The coordinates needed to view the satellite feed are as follows:

Live Broadcast Date: Thursday, October 14, 2004
Live broadcast time: 9:30am-11:00am EASTERN TIME
A Test Signal will start: 9:15am-9:30am EASTERN TIME
Ku-band analog satellite: AMC9, Transponder: 3K
Orbital Position: 85 west
Downlink Frequency: 11760 MHz Vertical
Transmission Contact: ConnectLive Communications, 202-513-1000.

3 posted on 10/13/2004 10:19:09 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Rewards for Iran?

New York Sun Staff Editorial
October 13, 2004

The press is full of trial balloons with respect to proposals for Europe or America to offer "incentives" for Iran agreeing to stop work on a nuclear weapon. The New York Times reported yesterday that "The package would lift a ban on exports to Iran of certain badly needed civilian aircraft parts, without which its fleet of civilian airliners has been virtually grounded."

One of the lessons of September 11 is that civilian aircraft in the hands of terrorists can do considerable damage. This is a point so obvious that it is painful to have to point it out. On what grounds does an officially designated terrorist regime get help from their target countries in flying civilian airliners? If the Europeans who are negotiating with the Iranians do not grasp this essential point, certainly the people of New York do.

Beyond that, it will be important in considering any proposed deal with Iran to focus on the fact that Iran's nuclear ambitions are not at the heart of America's dispute with Tehran. After all, India, Pakistan, Israel, and France all have nuclear weapons and America has full diplomatic and economic relations with them. There are a host of other issues on the table with Iran: its human rights record that includes executing a Canadian journalist, jailing student dissidents, and persecuting Jews, among others; its financial and logistical support for radical Islamist terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah that engage in suicide bombing attacks in Israel that kill Americans and Israelis; its harboring of Al Qaeda terrorists; and its aid to anti-American forces in Iraq.

Even were a deal reached in which the Iranians promised progress on all those fronts, there is no guarantee that the Iranians would not cheat on such a deal. Iraq cheated on its United Nations-supervised oil-for-food and disarmament arrangement. North Korea cheated on the nuclear disarmament deal that it cut with an overly credulous Clinton administration.

It is true that diplomacy is more likely to be successful when it is backed, as it is in the Bush administration, with a credible threat of the use of force. But count us as skeptical that America or its allies should send nuclear fuel or civilian airplane parts or anything else useful to Iran - other than aid to its democratic opposition - so long as the regime there is aiding and harboring terrorists and oppressing internal opposition.

Senator Kerry is on record as preferring a negotiated approach to the Persian problem. President Bush himself has been too willing to countenance a European approach. On the campaign trail, Mr. Bush has said of the terrorists, "You can't negotiate with them." This would be an excellent moment for the president and his diplomats to keep that in mind.

4 posted on 10/13/2004 10:19:38 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Rights Group: Human Rights Violations on the Rise in Iran
Leah Krakinowski
New York
13 Oct 2004, 21:08 UTC

Listen to Leah Krakinowski's report (RealAudio)
Krakinowski report - Download 314k (RealAudio)
An Iranian-American human rights group says the Iranian government has stepped up its campaign against pro-democracy dissidents, women and minorities with the staging of some 120 public hangings, and the arrest and imprisonment of more than 40 journalists. Members of the National Coalition of Pro-Democracy Advocates say that in the past year, the Islamic fundamentalist regime has been taking extreme measures to silence reform efforts.

The non-profit group cites as evidence of the government's tactics an Amnesty International report of the public execution of a 16-year-old girl for "acts incompatible with chastity." Atefeh Rajabi was reportedly hanged in the Northern city center of Neka on August 15.

Iranian authorities have also detained journalist and rights advocate Emadeddin Baghi and seized his passport at Tehran airport. As a result, Mr. Baghi is unable to come to New York this week to accept an award for civil courage.

Haydar Akbari is president of the National Coalition. He says human rights violations have increased since Iran's Islamic hardliners won control of the 290-member parliament by a landslide in the February 2004 elections.

"They closed the whole atmosphere of freedom regarding even the freedom of clothing and scarves, freedom of music, CDs, DVDs," he said. "The atmosphere is totally different from last year. Since January, more than 100 people were openly hanged, and many journalists, many writers, many intellectuals have been imprisoned and tortured."

Mohammed Alafchi, president of the New York Iranian-American Association, says that as the United Nations' General Assembly begins its sessions, his organization is trying to bring media attention to the escalation of human rights abuses.

"The hardliners are grabbing all the powers from all different parts of the country and they are consolidating their powers, and they are stepping up their campaign against any freedom that people have," he added.

Last November, a key United Nations committee approved a Canadian-drafted resolution rebuking Iran for human rights abuses, including torture, suppression of free speech and discrimination against women and minorities.

VOA was unable to get a response to the coalition's charges from the Iranian mission to the United Nations. But in the past, spokesmen for the Iranian government have routinely rejected such criticism, saying it fully supports the human rights of its citizens.

5 posted on 10/13/2004 10:19:59 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

'EU can't force Iran to give up on uranium'

[ THURSDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2004 12:37:39 AM ]
TEHRAN: The European Union cannot force Iran to give up its right to enrich uranium, Iran’s foreign minister said, dealing a blow to EU efforts to halt the process and ease fears Tehran is seeking a nuclear bomb.

“It is wrong for them (the EU) to think they can, through negotiations, force Iran to stop enrichment,” foreign minister Kamal Kharrazi told a conference in Tehran on Tuesday. “Iran will never give up its right to enrichment.”

Diplomats said EU had agreed on Monday to prepare a package of “carrots and sticks” to get Iran to comply with demands by the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to suspend enrichment activities — a process which can be used to make material for atomic bombs.

Washington is working with EU on the plan in a final effort to get Iran to cooperate with IAEA, but is unlikely to offer any specific new incentives of its own, said a senior US official.

Officials in Washington said the US wanted a commitment from the Europeans that they would back sanctions if Iran insists on continuing its nuclear activities.

Iran says its nuclear programme is for electricity generation and says it wants to master the full fuel cycle, including enrichment, so it does not have to rely on imported fuel. Washington believes the programme is aimed at developing atomic weapons.

EU ministers had urged Russia, which is building an atomic plant in Iran despite strong US criticism, to join the initiative. But a foreign ministry official in Moscow said on Tuesday Russia thought the EU proposals would be ineffective.

Russia maintains that Iran has an entirely peaceful nuclear programme and cannot use Moscow’s atomic know-how to make arms.


Although Iran is not enriching uranium at present, it is preparing a large batch of raw uranium ready for the process and has resumed building enrichment centrifuges in defiance of a previous agreement with Britain, Germany and France.

The IAEA called on Iran last month to halt such activities and said it may be sent to the Security Council if it failed to do so by the next IAEA board meeting on Nov. 25.

Kharrazi said it was up to the EU to make proposals “that safeguard our right to nuclear technology for peaceful ends” while he provided assurances to the world that Tehran is not building atomic weapons.

The IAEA said on Monday that equipment and material that could be used to make atomic weapons had been disappearing from Iran’s western neighbour, Iraq.

Western diplomats said the agency feared the U.S.-led war aimed at disarming Iraq may have unleashed a proliferation crisis, if looters had sold nuclear equipment.

“If some of this stuff were to end up in Iran, some people would be very concerned,” a diplomat close to the IAEA told Reuters. “The IAEA’s big concern would be profiteering, people who would sell this stuff with no regard for who is buying it.”

As a signatory of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Iran is entitled to enrich uranium under IAEA supervision. A senior IAEA team arrived in Iran on Monday, state television reported.

It said the IAEA team hoped to clarify outstanding questions about Iran’s nuclear programme and to visit several facilities including the Parchin military base near Tehran which some diplomats have cited as a possible covert atomic arms site.

The IAEA has so far said it has found no evidence of a nuclear weapons programme in Iran but that some outstanding issues need to be clarified. (Additional reporting by Louis Charbonneau in Vienna and Carol Giacomo in Washington)

6 posted on 10/13/2004 10:20:22 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Iran’s regional ambitions


14 October 2004

ALTHOUGH its desire to spread hard-line Islam abroad has waned somewhat since the Khomeni revolution a quarter century ago, Iran remains an ideological state. But apart from Islam, it is the Shia doctrine that defines Iran’s religious leadership and its worldview.

Before 9/11 and its immediate aftermath altered the regional balance of power irrevocably, Iran was well placed to project its influence beyond its borders. It was arming and funding the Shia Hazaras and Ahmed Shah Masood in their resistance against the Sunni Taleban in Afghanistan. Shia Muslims in Central Asia were being given scholarships to study theology in Iran’s seminaries, and Shia armed groups in Pakistan were being helped by Teheran in their fight against Sunni extremists.

In Iraq, the only other Muslim country with a Shia majority, the ayatollahs were content to play a waiting game, secure in the knowledge that Saddam Hussein, weakened after a decade of sanctions, no longer posed a threat. They had mended fences with the Gulf States, and were gradually becoming more acceptable to the West.

With 9/11 and the consequent American-led attack and occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq, Iran was suddenly encircled by the world’s sole superpower. Worse, its President had branded the country one of the ‘axis of evil’ together with Syria and North Korea.

But the invasion of Iraq brought opportunities as well as dangers for Iran. For the first time since Iraq’s creation after the First World War, the majority Shia population was in a position to gain power. Teheran understood that if it played its cards right, it could wield enormous influence in Baghdad after the Americans left.

Basically, Ayatollah Khamanei seems to have decided to proceed along two tracks. The first track has the firebrand Shia leader Moqtada al-Sadr leading his Mahdi army in an armed insurrection against the American occupiers. The idea is to make Iraq virtually ungovernable, forcing the Americans into an early exit. The second track consists of encouraging Grand Ayatollah Sistani, the hugely respected Iraqi cleric, to consolidate his power among the Shia community.

This policy is based on the expectation of a Shia majority in any reasonably fair Iraqi election. While the Americans are trying to finesse this possibility through safeguards for the Kurdish and Sunni minorities, it is a matter of time before Teheran’s waiting game pays off.

Should a Shia-dominated Iraq emerge from the embers of the Gulf War, it can be expected to cooperate closely with Iran. While the seniority of its hierarchy of ayatollahs would give it considerable independence, the two countries would consult closely on a wide range of matters from oil prices to diplomacy.

Close ties between the world’s only two Shia countries would make for a formidable alliance. Given their oil and gas reserves, as well as their land mass and literate populations, they would dominate the region, and pose a major threat to American and Israeli interests.

The current expressions of alarm over Iran’s nuclear programme should be seen in the context of the West’s growing concern at Teheran’s ambitions in Iraq. Similarly, its continuing improvement of the range and accuracy of its missiles is giving it the means to project its power far beyond its borders.

But this overt muscle flexing is making it vulnerable to a joint pre-emptive strike by Israeli and American forces. Although its nuclear and missile-related assets are scattered and hidden, they are not completely immune. If the Americans can obtain a UN resolution based on the IAEA findings that Iran is in breach of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, they can justify military action.

Thus, Iran may be in danger of overplaying its hand. If it waits patiently, the sheer demographic realities in Iraq virtually assure it of a major say in that country, together with the strategic and economic implications that flow from Shia rule in Iraq. If, however, it continues to exert pressure on the Americans through Moqtada Al Sadr and his Mahdi army, while also defying world opinion by acquiring nuclear arms, it will be risking all its gains on one roll of the dice.

The ongoing negotiated disarming of the Mahdi army is a subtle sign that Teheran’s ayatollahs understand the stakes. They are aware that they and their fellow Shias in Iraq would be the biggest losers if the January elections were disrupted through violence.

In the post-9/11 world, nuclear proliferation is a tough sell. Iran can ill afford a confrontation with the world’s sole superpower on an issue that isolates it, as none of its neighbours are happy with the thought of militant clerics with a nuclear arsenal. After the American elections, no matter who wins, the pressure on Teheran to roll back its uranium enrichment programme can only mount. The fact is that it is difficult to believe the official claim that Iran’s nuclear programme is entirely peaceful and is aimed at overcoming the country’s power shortage.

All too often, revolutionaries miscalculate the reaction of pragmatic leaders to their actions. The ayatollahs in Teheran should try and put themselves in Bush and Sharon’s place: the former will not accept Iran’s dominance over the world’s biggest oil-producing region, while the latter would never countenance its sworn enemy’s possession of nuclear warheads and the missiles to deliver them.

There are times when it pays to tread softly, specially when you live in a rough neighbourhood.Irfan Husain is a Pakistani political analyst

7 posted on 10/13/2004 10:20:48 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Iran Pledges to Halt Work on Bomb

The Associated Press

TEHRAN, Iran -- Iran made Europe an offer Tuesday: Stop pressuring us on nuclear energy and we'll guarantee not to make a bomb. European and U.S. governments were discussing an alternate proposal -- to buy Iran out of its nuclear ambitions.

Teheran's offer was not new, but given UN pressure on Iran to stop work on enriching uranium and a bill in parliament aimed at intensify such work, it came at a vital moment.

"The time has come for Europe to take a step forward and suggest that our legitimate right for complete use of nuclear energy is recognized [in return for] assurances that our program will not be diverted toward weapons," Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said.

The offer is unlikely, however, to ease international pressure on Iran. A senior U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Iran was already obliged by the International Atomic Energy Agency to stop uranium enrichment.

8 posted on 10/13/2004 10:21:14 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Good work!

Keep it comming!

9 posted on 10/13/2004 10:22:49 PM PDT by Cold Heat (
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To: DoctorZIn

Tehran John: Pro-Iranian lobby funding Kerry
Whistleblowers disclose hundreds of thousands of dollars given candidate

Posted: October 14, 2004
1:00 a.m. Eastern

By Aaron Klein
© 2004

Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been given to Kerry from the pro-Iranian lobby, possibly influencing the presidential candidate's startling call to provide Tehran with the nuclear fuel it seeks, according to Iran's Student Movement Coordination Committee for Democracy chairman Aryo Pirouznia.

With top Iranian officials openly calling for the development of nuclear weapons within the next four months and overwhelming intelligence indicating Iran is seeking to create a nuclear arsenal, Kerry has been insisting as president he would provide Tehran with nuclear fuel as long as it is used for peaceful purposes only, a position that has many Middle East analysts baffled.

During the first presidential debate, Kerry said, "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."

The same policy of accommodation toward Iran's nuclear aspirations is clearly outlined on Kerry's campaign website as well.

Under the heading: "Prevent Iran From Developing Nuclear Weapons," the Kerry campaign states: "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 ..."

Pirouznia, who is holding a press conference in Washington, D.C., this morning, is disclosing the details of Kerry's financial ties to backers of the mullah government in Iran that have been seeking to moderate America's harsh line with regard to Tehran's nuclear aspirations.

Most prominent among them is Hassan Nemazee, 54, an investment banker based in New York who has 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. Nemazee has raised more than $100,000 for the senator's campaign.

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.

As well, a Nemazee friend in Silicon Valley, Faraj Aalaei, has raised between $50,000 and $100,000 for the Kerry campaign.

Last year, Aalaei married a 35-year-old recent immigrant from Iran named Susan Akbarpour, who has also 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.

Kerry has embraced the political agenda of Akbarpour and other wealthy Iranian-Americans lobbying for Tehran. Aside from nuclear accommodation, other key positions include ending the finger printing of Iranian visitors to the U.S; expanding "family reunion" visas to allow extended family members of Iranians living in the U.S. to immigrate here legally and in large numbers; offering a "dialogue" with the hard-line, terrorist-supporting clerics in Tehran; and help Iran join the World Trade Organization.

Pirouznia will be working closely with Dr. Jerome Corsi, co-author of the New York Times best selling "Unfit to Command," on a new book about the Iranian-Kerry connection titled, "Atomic Islam," which will be published by WND Books in 2005.

"America is incredibly popular with the Iranian masses, so this is a grave mistake for a short-term benefit," Pirouznia says. "To the regime, [Kerry's policy] sends a message that America is willing to make a deal despite the blood of Americans who were murdered in Dhahran [Saudi Arabia] and are being killed today in Iraq by so-called foreign elements. And to Iranians, it shows that the old establishment may be back in power, a return to the Carter era."

Dr. Corsi said, "Not surprisingly, Iran has publicly accepted Kerry's 'offer' in the last few days."

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 recently 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.

Khamenei has in the past told many newspapers that nuclear weapons would be used to "destroy the Zionist regime."

Middle East Expert Craig Smith of Swiss America, who wrote the introduction to the forthcoming Atomic Islam book, said, "During the Presidential Debates, many of us were baffled as to why Senator Kerry unabashedly promised that as President he would give the totalitarian government of Iran nuclear fuel, but now it all makes sense. He knew who took him to the dance and he had no choice but to attempt to waltz American technology over to his newfound friends in Tehran."

13 posted on 10/13/2004 10:34:01 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Repsol Signs $39 Million Iran Oil Exploration Contract

[Excerpt] October 14, 2004
Dow Jones Newswires
Hashem Kalantari

TEHRAN -- Repsol YPF (REP) late Wednesday signed an exploration contract worth up to $39 million with the National Iranian Oil Co. (NIO.YY) for two oil blocks in the Persian Gulf.

Repsol will pay a total fixed cost of million over two-and-a-half years, said Mahmoud Mohaddess, director of NIOC's exploration office. If necessary, the parties can extend the contract for a year at a cost of a further $11.2 million, he added.

"The total of the fixed and probable cost of the contract will be $39.2 million, which will have to be paid by Repsol," he said.

Mohaddess described Repsol's service contract as an "exploration risk" contract, under which the NIOC won't pay for any of the costs incurred in the course of the exploration if the contractor fails to come up with a commercially viable field.

If the field is viable, NIOC will pay for the exploration costs and retender the field for development. Repsol would then enjoy some priority in this "partial tender". ...

The winners of the five other awarded blocks haven't been revealed.

-By Hashem Kalantari, Dow Jones Newswires, +9821 896 6230

18 posted on 10/14/2004 8:40:01 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Thursday October 14, 12:23 PM

Russia finishes Iran nuke plant

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's top nuclear authority has finished construction of an atomic power plant in Iran -- a project the United States fears Tehran could use to make nuclear arms.

"We're done. All we need to do now is work out (with the Iranians) the agreement on sending spent fuel back to Russia," said a spokesman for Russia's Atomic Energy Agency (RosAtom) on Thursday.

To allay U.S. concerns, Russia has promised not to start up the Bushehr plant in southern Iran until Tehran guarantees to return to Russia all spent nuclear fuel, which can be used in making weapons.

The signing of the document has been delayed repeatedly in past years, raising speculation that Moscow, under severe U.S. pressure to ditch the project, could shelve it until the U.N. nuclear agency declares Iran's nuclear programme peaceful.

Alaeddin Boroujerdi, head of the Iranian Parliament's Foreign Affairs and National Security Commission, was in Moscow on Thursday for talks with Russian nuclear and foreign affairs officials.

RosAtom head Alexander Rumyantsev is due to visit Iran in late November, but industry sources have said signing of the key document could be delayed again.

The 1,000-megawatt, $800 million (445 million pounds) Bushehr plant is due to be launched in the next year or so and reach full capacity in 2006.

The RosAtom spokesman said work still remained to be done on assembling some security and control equipment.

Russia has been building the Bushehr plant since the early 1990s. Both Moscow and Tehran maintain Iran's nuclear programme is peaceful.

19 posted on 10/14/2004 8:43:15 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
Cover story
America's next target

By keeping the rest of the world guessing about its nuclear capacity, Tehran has raised talk of war to dangerous levels in Washington and Tel Aviv. By Barbara Smith
Bluff, perhaps, or double bluff, but the game is dangerous. Iran, while protesting that its aim is to build on its civilian nuclear energy only, is acting in a way which makes it pretty clear that its true pursuit is weapons. Israel, with apparent US backing, is encouraging the world to speculate that if Iran is not stopped by diplomatic means from going nuclear, then Israel will stop it by force. Both sides are nearing the edge of their brinkmanship. Yet, for both, the calculations are dense and devious.

Late last month, Iran went out of its way to defy the International Atomic Energy Agency. Three days after the IAEA had told Iran to freeze all operations connected with uranium enrichment, Tehran announced that it had resumed producing a uranium gas for enrichment as a nuclear fuel. Depending on the process, the fuel can be used either for peaceful or for military purposes. Iran is carefully preserving this useful, and deeply threatening, state of ambiguity. Outside experts differ on when Iran might be in a position to test a nuclear weapon, but many believe it will be able to do so within the next few years.

Israel's defence minister, Shaul Mofaz, told the newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth on 29 September: "All options for preventing [Iran obtaining nuclear weapons] will be considered." A nuclear-armed Iran, still calling for elimination of the Jewish state, would not be tolerated by the nuclear-armed Israel. Mofaz accepted that America's demand for political and economic pressure to be brought to bear might be the right way to go for now, but indicated that time was running out. He posed the sinister question: "What will happen first, nuclear capability or a change in [Iran's] regime?" Another Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, pointed out that same day that nobody was asking Israel "to refrain from a belligerent act". Underlining the belligerency, Israel deliberately talked up the 500 "bunker-buster" bombs (capable of penetrating six feet of concrete and thus exploding underground sites) that it was about to get from the United States.

So is Israel planning a pre-emptive strike along the lines of its 1981 bombing of Iraq's unfinished nuclear plant at Osirak, near Baghdad? One thing is obvious: if it happens, it won't be the surprise attack that Osirak was. Both Israel and the US seem set on allowing widespread speculation about pre-emption, presumably in the hope that the threat will underpin diplomatic attempts to deter Iran from going nuclear. But is the threat realistic? Maybe it is: look, after all, at the men who are ruling Israel. We should not forget, wrote Aluf Benn in Haaretz on 29 September, that "the present political-military leadership - Sharon, Mofaz, Moshe Yaalon [Israel's chief of staff], [Major General] Dan Halutz - has few inhibitions about exercising military might. Operations that were once considered taboo, such as attacks on Damascus and assassinations of Hamas leaders, now seem self-evident."

That said, destroying Iran's nuclear facilities would be a totally different affair from destroying Osirak: it would be both harder and much more dangerous. For a start, Iran has many installations scattered over its huge territory, and they are protected. The main military site, at Natanz in central Iran, is buried deep underground. Bombing Bushehr, its one nuclear plant on the verge of completion, might be feasible (if the Russian technicians working there could be got out of the way), but it would bring about huge retaliation while chalking up only limited military gains.

And Iran, unlike Iraq, has many means of retaliation, directly against Israel and indirectly against US interests in Iraq and elsewhere. "The entire Zionist territory," declared Yadollah Javani, head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards political bureau, "including its nuclear facilities and atomic arsenal, is currently within range of Iran's advanced missiles." Echoing Israel's publicity tactics, Iran has been noisily testing its upgraded Shahab (shooting star) ballistic missile. Even if it refrains from directly attacking Israel, Iran can cause considerable pain for that country through the two Islamist guerrilla movements it partly controls: Hezbollah in Lebanon and Islamic Jihad in Palestine (though it has links with Hamas, the larger Palestinian Islamist movement, it does not exert much influence over the group).

America's wars with Iraq and Afghanistan have put Iran at the heart of the world's most sensitive region, giving it ample opportunity for good or for mischief. For instance, Iran's Shia clerics are believed to have influence over Moqtada al-Sadr, Iraq's Shia firebrand who challenged the Baghdad government; they were certainly on hand during his recent crucial negotiations with Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, Iraq's most influential clerics. Iran's defence minister, Ali Shamkhani, has hinted strongly at the spoiling tactics to which it would resort if it were attacked: at the very least, it would destabilise an already unstable region.

Behind the furious rattle of sabres is the other question: whether or not Iran really is determined to go nuclear. There is one very good reason why it should, exemplified by North Korea. At one time Iraq, Iran and North Korea were all on George W Bush's little list for regime change. Then North Korea revealed, by testing a weapon, that it had crossed the nuclear threshold, and suddenly there was no more talk of Korean regime change. By acquiring the bomb, North Korea had put itself on a higher level. Equally, there would be no better way for the Iranian regime to protect itself from overthrow from outside than by having the bomb.

Iran is surrounded, and in some cases threatened, by nuclear countries and forces: the Americans in the Gulf, Nato's arms in Turkey, Israel (with its formidable though absurdly unacknowledged nuclear arsenal), Russia and Pakistan. Having its own bomb would lessen the constraints, allowing Iran more freedom to try to expand its theocratic influence. Whatever the deplorable consequences of a nuclear Iran for world safety - not only the perils of a bomb in the hands of a fundamentalist regime, but also the copycat effect on the region, possibly signalling the death knell of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) - it would provide a safety net for Tehran's own leaders.

Set against this is the evident usefulness of the nuclear threat as a trade-off for some grand international deal. So long as Iran simply remains on the verge of going nuclear, it has the chance of backtracking in return for some hugely worthwhile bargain. But the conservative forces that run Iran are divided on the "bazaar" advantages of the bomb - and the neoconservatives in America would be unlikely to consider any prospect of a bargain.

Note that, in Iran, this is an internal split among the conservatives only. The long-running division between conservatives and reformists, which has been the prime Iranian story ever since President Mohammad Khatami's election seven years ago, is no longer particularly relevant - though it could become so again one day. In his memoir of Iran, In the Rose Garden of the Martyrs, published this summer, Christopher de Bellaigue reflects on the sad demise of the reform movement: "It was possible that President Khatami, who had been elected on a pledge to make Iran more democratic, would succeed in steering a course between God and freedom, to the detriment of neither. No longer. Reform had been defeated. The conservatives had won."

Though Iran's conservatives do not advertise their divisions, they hardly speak with one voice. On one side are the ultra- hardline ideologues, prepared to brave it out and waiting for the security of the bomb. They see virtue in reversing Khatami's internationalism, visualising a future in which Iran will promote core revolutionary idealism behind a wall of isolation. Believing that America's difficulties in Iraq have strengthened Iran, they think that the west's (and Israel's) bluff can be called.

On the other side are the relative pragmatists, probably including Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who do not care to return in full to the ostracism of the past. They appreciate the tentative links with Europe fashioned by Khatami; they may even, behind the public bombast and sermons, see the bomb as the instrument of a giant bargain with the United States which could lead to a new relationship between the two countries.

Yet with George W Bush and Ayatollah Khamenei in charge of their respective countries, with hard men on both sides, the notion of a new relationship seems a forlorn, if not surreal, hope. The much more likely outcome, if Iran continues to defy the IAEA, is that the US will succeed, at the end of this year, in getting Iran referred to the UN Security Council for breach of the NPT, and will then press the council to punish Iran with some form of sanctions. It is quite unclear what such sanctions might be, beyond a tightening of existing restrictions on dual-use equipment and so forth, or indeed whether Russia and China would allow any sanctions resolution to get through the council.

In its current mood, Iran would probably shrug off minor sanctions. But, for all its bravado, the country is not in a strong position economically. For the moment, it is floating along, buoyed up by the high price of oil, its people lulled into political passivity. But oil and gas apart, Iran has nothing to sustain it. Its other industries are sclerotic, and a strong nationalistic tendency in the new parliament (right-wing, because most reformist candidates were barred from competing in February's general election) is blocking development by insisting on vetting all foreign contracts. While America's unilateral sanctions are painful, barring all US investment and deterring others from investing in Iran's oil and gas, UN oil sanctions would destroy the regime.

None the less, it is unlikely that petroleum consumers will impose oil sanctions, if for no other reason than the precipitous effect this would have on oil prices. Nor, so long as the top people in Iran and America keep their jobs, is there likely to be any sort of grand, solve-all bargain. So we have a stalemate: it looks as if the perilous brinkmanship will continue - until one side or the other steps over the edge.

21 posted on 10/14/2004 8:50:28 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Severe Exchange of Accusations on Human Rights

October 14, 2004
Alberto Zanconato

TEHRAN -- Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said on Wednesday that the latest document on the human rights situation in Iran, approved on Monday by the EU Council of Foreign Ministers, was a position based on incorrect information and ignorance of reality.

This is the second time in less than four months, in which friction between the EU and the Islamic Republic on the issue has arisen. This confrontation coincides with the tension over the Iranian nuclear programme.

According to Asefi, cited on Wednesday by the Tehran media, Europeans are those who have discriminatory approaches with regard to human rights. Therefore, Iran is expecting them to promote more human rights protecting initiatives.

Asefi also accused the EU of using the human rights issue as an instrument for protecting its own interests and to conduct its "double standard" policy.

With the document, approved on Monday, the heads of the EU diplomacies said they were deeply concerned with the fact that a series of human rights abuses still existed in Iran and added that only scarce progress had been made since the start of the EU-Iranian dialogue on the problem in 2002.

Practically, the same observations were included in a document on the issue, published last June by the then Irish EU Governance. Iran responded by accusing the EU countries of discrimination against Muslims and "Islamophobia", as well as of insufficient capacity to agree on transparent and frank dialogue.

The EU and Iran have been negotiating an economic-trade accord for two years already. However, Brussels constantly stresses that progress in these sectors is impossible without progress in the political field, covering four points: human rights, the nuclear issue, fight on terrorism and the Iranian position with regard to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

Nevertheless, the Islamic Republic has repeatedly stressed that it was unwilling to accept conditions in the development of bilateral economic relations. Apart from the human rights issue, the nuclear programme is another grave problem, afflicting the relations between Europe and Iran.

Tehran rejected a recent resolution by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), supported by France, Germany and Great Britain, which called on Iran to put an end to all its uranium enrichment activities.

It was on Monday when the EU Foreign Ministers decided to use the "carrot and stick" policy, offering new cooperation prospects to the republic had it accepted the IAEA resolution. Otherwise, the next meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors in November might refer the case to the UN Security Council for eventual sanctions against Tehran. (ANSA) (MI/AM)

22 posted on 10/14/2004 8:53:35 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Iraq Accuses Iranian Embassy of Killing Agents

October 14, 2004
Agence France Presse

Iraq's national intelligence chief Mohammed al-Shahwani has accused Iran's Baghdad embassy of masterminding an assassination campaign that has seen 18 intelligence agents killed since mid-September.

Shahwani told AFP a series of raids on three Iranian "safe houses" in Baghdad on September 29 had uncovered a treasure trove of documents linking Iran to plots to kill members of the intelligence service and using the Badr former militia of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq's (SCIRI) as its tool.

SCIRI has vigourously denied the allegations and counter-charged that the intelligence service is full of veterans of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's military who are now renewing their vendetta against former Shiite resistance groups based out of Iran in the 1980s.

Since mid-September, 18 Iraqi intelligence agents have been killed in Iraq, 10 of them by the Badr organisation on orders from Iran and the rest by Al-Qaeda-linked foreign militant Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi, Shahwani charged.

"Badr and Zarqawi have assassinated 18 of my men," Shahwani said from his heavily-guarded villa in central Baghdad.

Shahwani confirmed that two of his intelligence agents were beheaded by Zarqawi's Unity and Holy War group, as seen in a video released by the fighters on Wednesday.

The intelligence chief said he suspected Tehran was funding Zarqawi, but lacked conclusive proof.

Prime Minister Iyad Allawi's government has escalated its rhetoric against Iran in recent days, accusing the neighbouring Islamic republic of running a campaign of sabotage in Iraq.

But Shahwani's claims of huge caches of documents seized in the September raids are the most explicit charges to date against Iran and the first time an Iraqi party has been publicly named as Tehran's proxy.

Shahwani said that during the raids, "Documents were obtained ... (showing) the Iranian regime ... is seeking to embroil some of the SCIRI members in subversive acts to exaccerbate Iraq's wounds and dominate it."

The intelligence director said the documents showed Iran had a 45-million-dollar budget for sowing chaos in Iraq and had recruited members of Badr and a subsidiary party, Hezbollah, to kill Iraqi intelligence agents.

"A document (showed) that Iran allocated a budget to Badr Corps, totalling 45 million dollars.

"Among the objectives of this budget is to back the formation of a security service grouping several directorates to carry out a set of subversive acts including ... physical liquidation."

Shahwani flipped through folders of charts and writing in Farsi that he said his agents were still sifting through.

He claimed his intelligence service had obtained the names and addresses of Badr members working directly for Iran.

Badr, the former paramilitary wing of SCIRI, has formerly renounced violence since the party returned to Iraq in the spring of 2003 after a 20-year exile in Iran.

SCIRI vehemently denies the charges.

"These are false accusations made against the organisation. Badr and SCIRI are the biggest threats to terrorists," said SCIRI spokesman Haitham al-Husseini.

Instead, Husseini charged that Shahwani, a general who fled Saddam's Iraq, was running amuck and taking out his bias against Shiite parties which fought Saddam during the 1980s when Iran was at war with Iraq.

"We criticise the way the new intelligence agency is ... hiring ex-officers of Saddam Hussein's military back to their posts. They have a history of targeting SCIRI and Badr members."

The two groups currently serve in the interim parliament and Allawi government.

Shahwani says that four Iraqis who were arrested following a botched assassination attempt on an Iraqi intelligence officer in September belonged to the Hezbollah of Iraq party and had confessed to being on the payroll of Iran's intelligence service

Hezbollah is part of the SCIRI alliance of Shiite parties.

The intelligence chief took out dossiers and glossy photos of 27 members of Iran's embassy in Iraq and accused them of masterminding Iranian covert operations.

"We will ask them to leave the country," Shahwani said.

Shahwani also claimed that Iranian spies had held meetings at Iraqi politician Ahmed Chalabi's Baghdad home since May when the one-time Pentagon favourite's house was raided by Iraqi police and US forces, saying that Chalabi was suspected by the Americans of leaking intelligence to Iran.

The Iraqi foreign ministry declined to comment on the intelligence chief's allegations against the embassy.

23 posted on 10/14/2004 8:56:49 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Iran Threatens to Bar IAEA Inspectors

October 14, 2004
Agence France Presse

MOSCOW -- A top Iranian lawmaker said here Thursday that Iran would bar IAEA inspections in its country if debate on its nuclear program is taken up in the UN Security Council.

If the issue goes to the Security Council "there will be no place for any kind of inspections, no continuation of our openness" with IAEA inspectors, Aladdin Broujerdi, chairman of the Iranian parliament's committee on national security and foreign affairs said at a news conference.

The United States has pushed for examination of Iran's nuclear program to be taken up in the Security Council, where Russia has veto power.

Moscow has reiterated that it opposes such a move.

24 posted on 10/14/2004 9:02:24 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Hopefully the mullahs will be overthrown soon!

25 posted on 10/14/2004 10:14:11 AM PDT by sheik yerbouty
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To: DoctorZIn

Press Conference Update:

Dr. Jerome Corsi will be appearing on Joseph Farah's program discussing his press conference at the National Press Club.

They will be discussing:

"Senator Kerry and the Islamic regime influence on US elections."

Listen in live on-line by clicking the link below.

26 posted on 10/14/2004 11:55:20 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

'Khan network supplied N-parts made in Europe, Southeast Asia' wot
Dawn (Pak) ^ | WASHINGTON, Oct 13 | By Anwar Iqbal

Posted on 10/14/2004 10:48:29 PM EDT by Perdogg

A large number of sensitive nuclear components sold to Iran and Libya for building uranium enrichment plants were made at workshops in Europe and Southeast Asia, says a Washington-based nuclear monitoring agency.

In a recent report on the nuclear black market, the Institute for Science and International Security confirms Pakistan's claim that the network might have been headed by a Pakistani, Dr A.Q. Khan, but it was a gang of international proliferators and smugglers that had bases and workshops at many places across the globe.


29 posted on 10/14/2004 8:51:28 PM PDT by Calpernia (
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