Skip to comments.Iranian Alert - October 20, 2004 [EST]- IRAN LIVE THREAD - "Americans for Regime Change in Iran"
Posted on 10/19/2004 9:32:50 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
The US media still largely ignores news regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran. As Tony Snow of the Fox News Network has put it, this is probably the most under-reported news story of the year. As a result, most Americans are unaware that the Islamic Republic of Iran is NOT supported by the masses of Iranians today. Modern Iranians are among the most pro-American in the Middle East. In fact they were one of the first countries to have spontaneous candlelight vigils after the 911 tragedy (see photo).
There is a popular revolt against the Iranian regime brewing in Iran today. I began these daily threads June 10th 2003. On that date Iranians once again began taking to the streets to express their desire for a regime change. Today in Iran, most want to replace the regime with a secular democracy.
The regime is working hard to keep the news about the protest movement in Iran from being reported. Unfortunately, the regime has successfully prohibited western news reporters from covering the demonstrations. The voices of discontent within Iran are sometime murdered, more often imprisoned. Still the people continue to take to the streets to demonstrate against the regime.
In support of this revolt, Iranians in America have been broadcasting news stories by satellite into Iran. This 21st century news link has greatly encouraged these protests. The regime has been attempting to jam the signals, and locate the satellite dishes. Still the people violate the law and listen to these broadcasts. Iranians also use the Internet and the regime attempts to block their access to news against the regime. In spite of this, many Iranians inside of Iran read these posts daily to keep informed of the events in their own country.
This daily thread contains nearly all of the English news reports on Iran. It is thorough. If you follow this thread you will witness, I believe, the transformation of a nation. This daily thread provides a central place where those interested in the events in Iran can find the best news and commentary. The news stories and commentary will from time to time include material from the regime itself. But if you read the post you will discover for yourself, the real story of what is occurring in Iran and its effects on the war on terror.
I am not of Iranian heritage. I am an American committed to supporting the efforts of those in Iran seeking to replace their government with a secular democracy. I am in contact with leaders of the Iranian community here in the United States and in Iran itself.
If you read the daily posts you will gain a better understanding of the US war on terrorism, the Middle East and why we need to support a change of regime in Iran. Feel free to ask your questions and post news stories you discover in the weeks to come.
If all goes well Iran will be free soon and I am convinced become a major ally in the war on terrorism. The regime will fall. Iran will be free. It is just a matter of time.
Tuesday October 19, 06:04 PM
|Iran given nuclear deadline
By Louis Charbonneau
VIENNA (Reuters) - Senior diplomats from France, Britain and Germany will meet top Iranian officials in Vienna on Thursday to offer Tehran a final chance to halt uranium enrichment plans or face possible U.N. sanctions.
"What will be sought on Thursday will be discussions about Iran's compliance -- not with any conditions laid down by the three of us but by the (International Atomic Energy Agency) board of governors," said Foreign Secretary Jack Straw.
"A proposal will be put to them," he told a news conference with German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer on Tuesday.
Last month, the board of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the U.N. nuclear watchdog, passed a resolution demanding Iran freeze its uranium enrichment activities -- procedures that could produce fuel for nuclear weapons. Tehran rejected the demand as illegal.
The United States has accused Iran of having a secret nuclear weapons programme and has threatened to press for U.N. sanctions. Tehran says its nuclear efforts are only for power generation.
If Iran rejects the European Union offer, diplomats in Vienna say most European states would back U.S. demands that Tehran be reported to the U.N. Security Council when the IAEA meets in November.
"We hope very much this matter can be resolved finally within the board of governors and not referred to the U.N., but only time will tell," Straw said.
Gholamreza Aghazadeh, head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation, said Iran was determined to press ahead with its atomic plans and would not give up its right to enrich uranium.
"We will review the Europeans' proposal only if it respects Iran's right (to master the nuclear fuel cycle)," Aghazadeh told state television.
Several diplomats in Vienna said top Iranian nuclear negotiator Hassan Rohani, secretary-general of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, would attend Thursday's meeting with the EU's so-called "Big Three".
Other diplomats close to the EU-Iran talks said Rohani would not be at the meeting, where the terms of the EU offer would be laid out in a four-page document, but Tehran would still send senior representatives.
Rohani will be in Italy on Tuesday evening. It was unclear what his itinerary would be while he is in Europe.
Diplomats said the IAEA, which has its headquarters in Vienna, would not be directly involved in the talks.
The process of enriching uranium increases the concentration of an especially radioactive isotope, resulting in a product usable in nuclear power plants or weapons.
The IAEA has been investigating Iran's nuclear programme for more than two years. While it has uncovered many previously hidden activities that could be related to a weapons programme, it has found no "smoking gun".
At the London news conference with Straw, Fischer said that suspending uranium enrichment was something Iran had already promised the EU's "Big Three" in October 2003.
"Let me use this opportunity to appeal once again to the leadership of Iran to fulfil its commitments and to avoid miscalculation which will lead us into a very serious situation," said Fischer.
At a Group of Eight meeting on Friday, the EU presented plans for a "carrots and sticks" approach with Iran, offering incentives in exchange for a verified suspension and eventual termination of uranium enrichment.
One Western diplomat said the U.S. response was one of deep scepticism about whether Iran would comply.
Iran adamant on enrichment halt
Date: Tuesday, October 19, 2004 7:59:14 PM EST By MODHER AMIN
TEHRAN, Oct. 19 (UPI) -- Iran has remained unyielding on demands to permanently stop uranium enrichment, despite an incentives package expected to be presented in the coming days by the European Union's top three powers -- Britain, France and Germany -- aimed at convincing the Islamic republic to give up its nuclear ambitions.
The offer, apparently coordinated with the United States on Friday at a G8 meeting in Washington, will come as a Nov. 25 deadline looms for Iran to comply with the demands of the United Nations nuclear watchdog -- the International Atomic Energy Agency -- to suspend all enrichment-related activities and come clean about its nuclear plans or be referred to the U.N. Security Council for possible sanctions.
Iran's top nuclear negotiator and secretary of the country's Supreme National Security Council, Hassan Rowhani, dashed hopes for the effectiveness of the offer when he said Monday Tehran was prepared for further negotiations with the European nations only over the length of its uranium-enrichment suspension but that it would never abandon its "right" of fuel-cycle work.
"If they (the European Union trio) want to negotiate about tactical matters, such as the extension and duration of the suspension, then these are negotiable," Rowhani was quoted by the Iranian media as saying.
The European offer is said to include such incentives as a pledge to resume EU-Iran trade talks as well as guarantees that Iran will be provided with the required nuclear fuel for its reactors.
"But if the issue is to stop Iran from pursuing its right, our representatives are not even allowed to have talks about these issues with anyone," Rowhani said.
Earlier, another national security official, Hussein Mousavian, had said Tehran "is not prepared for cessation" and that any package embracing a cessation of fuel cycle work would be rejected. He, however, echoed previous comments from some other Iranian officials that his country was ready to discuss new initiatives to provide guarantees that the process would never lead to military purposes.
Enriched uranium, depending on its level of purity, could be used for both power generation and weapons manufacture.
In a commentary on Tuesday, Iranian state television said the European proposal "as reported by some foreign media" was nothing but "a hindrance to Iran's scientific achievements."
On Sunday, a conservative lawmaker and a member of Iranian Parliament's Foreign Policy and National Security Committee, Ahmad Pishbin, described what he called the exchange of uranium enrichment for technology as "mischief" that would "jostle the country into dependence."
"They (the Europeans) maintain that access to nuclear technology should be under monopoly of a few countries and they are afraid of Iran's access (to the technology)," he was quoted as saying.
Pishbin referred to Article 4 of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, known as the NPT, saying it authorizes the signatories to develop nuclear technology. He stressed Iran should go ahead with its uranium enrichment programs "because we cast no doubt on the nature of our ambitions."
Iran, a signatory to the agreement, insists it wants to master the full nuclear fuel cycle to provide fuel for the several reactors that are planned to be built to generate some 7,000 megawatts of electricity by the year 2020. The United States and Israel, however, suspect the intention, accusing the Islamic republic of using the technology as a cover to produce weapons.
"It is unacceptable to say that such and such a European country or the United States has the right to fuel cycle and nuclear power plants, but that Iran does not have the right," Rowhani said, adding, "Nobody can tell us that. It is illogical and contrary to international rules and the NPT. We will not give up our national right."
"We have decided to have nuclear power stations ... and this is not negotiable," he asserted.
Russia, being involved in an $800 million deal to build Iran's first nuclear power station, has joined other Western countries in expressing concern about Tehran's nuclear ambitions.
Earlier this week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who recently visited Iran, said Tehran should ratify a protocol signed last year with the IAEA and end its uranium enrichment program. He, however, stressed that Russia would continue to cooperate with Iran on construction of the 1,000-megawatt Bushehr plant, which both countries announced last week it was almost completed and ready to be launched in the next year or so.
"We're done," a spokesman for Russia's Atomic Energy Agency was quoted as saying. "All we need to do now is work out an agreement on sending spent fuel back to Russia."
The agreement, going through its final stages, according to Iranian officials, is apparently designed to allay international concerns. It would guarantee the return of the spent fuel, which could be used to make weapons. The signing, however, has been repeatedly delayed.
Analysts say Iran's nuclear program has somehow turned into the country's national pride and a solution to the stand-off seems to be even harder than it was over Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction.
"Iran's case is not like Iraq that could be dealt with easily," a top Iranian MP and spokesman for the Parliament's Foreign Policy and National Security Committee, Kazem Jalali, was quoted as having said earlier this month.
1 hour, 11 minutes ago
By ALI AKBAR DAREINI, Associated Press Writer
TEHRAN, Iran - The head of Iran's security council said Tuesday that the re-election of President Bush (news - web sites) was in Tehran's best interests, despite the administration's axis of evil label, accusations that Iran harbors al-Qaida terrorists and threats of sanctions over the country's nuclear ambitions.
Historically, Democrats have harmed Iran more than Republicans, said Hasan Rowhani, head of the Supreme National Security Council, Iran's top security decision-making body.
"We haven't seen anything good from Democrats," Rowhani told state-run television in remarks that, for the first time in recent decades, saw Iran openly supporting one U.S. presidential candidate over another.
Though Iran generally does not publicly wade into U.S. presidential politics, it has a history of preferring Republicans over Democrats, who tend to press human rights issues.
The Bush campaign said no thanks.
"It's not an endorsement we'll be accepting anytime soon," Bush campaign spokesman Scott Stanzel said. "Iran should stop its pursuit of nuclear weapons and if they continue in the direction they are going, then we will have to look at what additional action may need to be taken including looking to the U.N. Security Council."
Kerry, who says halting nuclear proliferation will be a priority if he becomes president, believes Bush should have done more diplomatically to curb Iran's alleged nuclear weapons ambitions. He says Iran should be offered nuclear fuel for peaceful purposes, but spent fuel should be taken back so it cannot be used to develop nuclear weapons.
"It is telling that this president has received the endorsement of member of the axis of evil," Kerry campaign spokeswoman Allison Dobson said. "But Americans deserve a president who will have a comprehensive strategy to address the potential threat of Iran's growing nuclear program."
The United States severed diplomatic relations with Iran after militants stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979 and held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days. Iranian clerics were crucial in determining the fate of the 1980 U.S. election when Republican Ronald Reagan (news - web sites) won in part because Democratic incumbent Jimmy Carter was unable to secure the hostages' release.
The hostages were freed as Reagan was inaugurated.
The United States supported Iraq (news - web sites) in the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war, but by the late 1990s, U.S.-Iranian relations were somewhat better. They plummeted again after Bush accused Iran of being part of the "axis of evil" with North Korea (news - web sites) and prewar Iraq.
The Bush administration also accuses Iran of pursuing nuclear weapons and sheltering operatives of Osama bin Laden (news - web sites)'s al-Qaida terror network. Still, Iran was happy to see Bush destroy two big regional enemies the Taliban in Afghanistan (news - web sites) and Saddam Hussein (news - web sites) in Iraq.
Iranian political analyst Mohsen Mofidi said ousting the Taliban and Saddam was the "biggest service any administration could have done for Iran."
And Bush, he said, has learned from his mistakes.
"The experience of two wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the responsibility Bush had, will make it a very remote possibility for him to risk attacking a much bigger and more powerful country like Iran," he said.
Mofidi added that "Democrats usually insist on human rights and they will have more excuses to pressure Iran."
Republican and Democratic presidents have issued executive orders against Iran, with Reagan in 1987 barring Iranian crude oil and other imports, and Bill Clinton (news - web sites) in 1995 banning U.S. trade and investment in Iran.
"We should not forget that most sanctions and economic pressures were imposed on Iran during the time of Clinton," Rowhani said. "And we should not forget that during Bush's era despite his hard-line and baseless rhetoric against Iran he didn't take, in practical terms, any dangerous action against Iran."
Bush has been reluctant to offer Iran any incentives for better U.S.-Iranian relations, but in recent days there have been signs Washington will back European economic incentives if Iran stops uranium enrichment activities.
Gholamreza Aghazadeh, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, was quoted by state-run television Tuesday as saying Iran is interested in buying nuclear fuel from the West, but will not concede its right to the technology.
The nuclear issue has been most sensitive, and the Bush administration is threatening to press for sanctions against Iran over it. Tehran says its nuclear ambitions are peaceful, for energy purposes.
Kavoos Emami, another Iranian political analyst, praised Kerry for mentioning the need for dialogue with Iran, and said the Democrat would be better for Iran.
"Bush has insulted Iran more than any other U.S. administration. If Kerry is elected, a U.S. military attack against Iran will never happen or will be a very remote possibility," he said.
What one needs is to commit an accident (causing years of delay) and blame it on shoddy technique because of the Mullahs.
Iranian government trying to undermine President Bush by giving him an endorsement sounds rather fishy right before the election and right when many of Kerry's surrounding croonies are under questioning for ties with the Iranian government.
WASHINGTON, 20 October 2004 Iran is known to be deploying long-range missiles that would be militarily useless unless equipped with a nuclear warhead. And it has insisted that it will continue to enrich uranium in defiance of a request by the United Nations to stop.
Whats more, President Bush and Sen. John F. Kerry both have said an Iranian nuclear bomb would be unacceptable to the United States; Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharons rhetoric is even tougher. Given all this, what are the prospects that US military force or Israeli military force with tacit or public US backing will be used to stop Irans nuclear program?
The first hope is that Irans program can still be stopped via diplomacy. It is not out of the question that Iran will step back from its nuclear program scaling it back and slowing it down, if not dismantling it entirely if confronted by the international community with a stark choice: Penalties if the nuclear program continues, benefits if it is stopped.
But such a choice, of course, is effective only if Iran believes that the penalties for proceeding will be serious and it is hard to come up with a set of meaningful and plausible penalties that do not involve the military. Comprehensive sanctions like those imposed on Iraq seem unlikely. Who would propose banning Irans 2.5 million barrels a day of oil exports when oil prices are so high?
So is military force a realistic option? An air raid on Irans nuclear facilities, similar to Israels 1981 raid on Iraqs Osirak reactor, would face many problems. First, we probably do not know about all of Irans many facilities. What we do know shows that Irans nuclear program is physically dispersed and designed to be rebuilt after raids. We can hope that Iran would react to a raid by deciding that its nuclear program was not worth the cost, but if Iran decided instead to rebuild, then our raid might only slow the program by two years.
Plus, if we struck, Iran could retaliate by laying mines in and around the Strait of Hormuz at the entrance to the Gulf. That could drive world oil prices even higher.
And then theres the fact that we could end up paying a high price in international public opinion for a raid against Iran, jeopardizing the willingness of other governments to join with us in putting pressure on Iran.
In other words, a raid on Irans nuclear facilities might buy some time, but only at a considerable cost. An invasion of Iran is even less appealing than an Osirak-style raid. There is the obvious cost in lives and dollars, as well as the sobering lesson from Iraq about postwar stability.
What America can do both on its own and with allies is to contain and deter Iran. Steps to this end could include increasing US military presence around Iran; putting nuclear weapons on US ships off Irans coast; reinforcing the regions protection against missiles and extending an explicit nuclear umbrella to those threatened by Iran. None of these measures is as dramatic as an air raid, but as a package they could show Tehran that Iranians will be less secure if it pursues nuclear weapons. Containment and deterrence can be used to press Iran to accept a diplomatic solution, and they also enhance the ability of the US to apply military force later if need be.
In short, there are a wide range of military options to step up pressure on Iran if we think creatively. We do not need to start by dropping bombs.
10/19/04 - G-8 ON IRAN'S NUCLEAR AMBITIONS
The following is an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government:
Iran's foreign minister Kamal Kharrazi says the European Union cannot persuade his country to give up its plans to enrich uranium. "It is wrong for them [the E-U] to think they can, through negotiations, force Iran to stop enrichment," said Mr. Kharrazi.
Uranium enrichment is a key step in the development of nuclear weapons. In September, the International Atomic Energy Agency, or I-A-E-A, passed a resolution calling on Iran immediately to stop all enrichment activity. U.S. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher says the major industrialized nations, known as the Group of Eight, are focused on getting Iran to abide by that resolution:
"The simplest description I can give you of [last] Friday's [G-8] meetings is a chance to share ideas about how to bring Iran into compliance with the requirements of the I-A-E-A Board of Governors, and to share ideas about how the [United Nations] Security Council might take up the issue, should it be referred to the Security Council."
Mr. Boucher says the United States is willing to listen to ideas suggested by members of the E-U:
"The Europeans have been talking about their approach, their package, their discussions that they intend to have with the Iranians about what they might say. And they. . .have always made clear that there are certain aspects, certain benefits in the E-U relationship with Iran that wouldn't happen without Iranian compliance. So we'll hear what they put together; we'll hear them out, and talk together with them about how to move Iran into compliance."
Mr. Boucher says the U.S. position remains clear:
"I think it's important to remember [that] the United States has always felt and continues to feel very strongly that Iran's history of covert activity, Iran's history of developing programs that are designed to produce nuclear weapons requires that this matter be referred to the U-N Security Council for action." The International Atomic Energy Agency meets again on November 25th to review Iran's case.
|Iranian President Khatami insists his country's nuclear ambitions are peaceful (file photo)|
guys i am all for you and it's nice to know,but the clock is ticking..if not bush then sharon will be doing something re the reactors post 11/02
The world now has about 20,000 nuclear weapons; there were once 65,000. It must be counted as a major miracle of the modern age that in the 59 years since Hiroshima and Nagasaki none of them has been used in anger. With hindsight, history may conclude that the major threat facing the United States -- and the world -- in 2004 was not the war in Iraq or the immediate danger of terrorism. It was the impending breakdown of the global system that for six decades kept nuclear holocaust at bay.
Put differently: Despite this campaign's focus on Iraq and terrorism, the next president's major foreign policy problem may involve what can be done about Iran and North Korea.
North Korea already claims to have nuclear weapons; estimates are from six to eight, though the claims and estimates could be wrong. Iran denies pursuing nuclear weapons, but its denials are doubted by outside experts and undermined by Iran's incomplete compliance with nuclear inspections.
There are now eight nuclear powers: the United States, Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Israel (suspected), Britain and France. The danger is not mainly increasing that number by two. It is that if North Korea and Iran gain nuclear weapons, other countries -- possibly many of them -- would ultimately go nuclear. Then, every nuclear danger would rise dramatically: miscalculation, preemptive attacks, theft, a global market in weapons technology, and use by terrorist groups.
Since the 1950s, a two-part system has prevented nuclear horror.
The first is "mutual assured destruction." The Americans and Soviets didn't attack each other, because both knew they faced annihilation. Over time, other safeguards (the Washington-Moscow "hotline," for example) emerged to minimize miscalculations. One side effect was that, aside from Britain and France, few advanced countries that could have developed nuclear weapons did so. Most lived under the U.S. nuclear umbrella. If they were attacked, they knew (or thought) the United States would retaliate.
The second pillar is the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). This now commits five major nuclear powers (the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France) not to transfer weapons technology to other countries. All other signatories, numbering more than 170, disavow nuclear weapons and permit inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency. North Korea and Iran signed the NPT; India, Pakistan, Israel and Cuba did not.
If North Korea and Iran go nuclear, this system would be in tatters. The NPT would seem toothless, and the residual self-restraint of "mutual assured destruction" might evaporate.
Would Japan (or South Korea) trust the United States to retaliate against North Korea? Doubts might inspire Japan (or South Korea) to go nuclear. Would Indonesia, Asia's third-largest country, want nuclear weapons? If Iran went nuclear, would Turkey, Egypt or Saudi Arabia follow suit? Would Europe want a bigger nuclear arsenal? The point: If North Korea and Iran permanently go nuclear, we will cross a threshold with unpredictable and frightening consequences.
Unfortunately, it's unclear how we can prevent this. Airstrikes can no longer eliminate North Korea's nuclear weapons because, as Nicholas Eberstadt of the American Enterprise Institute says, "we don't know where they are." Military strikes might have worked in the early 1990s (eliminating the capacity to produce weapons), but the risk was that North Korea would attack South Korea.
In their book "Crisis on the Korean Peninsula," Michael O'Hanlon and Mike Mochizuki report that the North Korean military has 1.1 million troops; 12,000 artillery pieces, 500 of which can hit Seoul; 500 ballistic missiles; 20 tunnels under the South Korean border; and 5,000 tons of chemical weapons. "North Korea would probably begin any war with a massive artillery barrage of South Korean and U.S. positions . . . and likely of Seoul itself," they write. "Chemical weapons might well be used."
American airstrikes -- or perhaps Israeli -- might destroy Iran's bomb-making capabilities. But at what cost? Iran might retaliate by sponsoring anti-U.S. terrorism. After an attack or economic sanctions, it might curb oil production.
It's not obvious (to me, at least) whether George Bush or John Kerry could best handle the nuclear threat. Britain, France and Germany have urged Iran to abandon plans to enrich nuclear fuel (from which bombs can be made) in return for assured fuel supplies for its reactors and pledges of economic aid. Kerry has endorsed such an approach, and the Bush administration has backed it, through skeptically. Kerry might work better with the Europeans and Iranians (whom he hasn't labeled part of the "axis of evil''). The case for Bush is that he's scarier. Iran might accept a diplomatic solution if it stood to lose its nuclear facilities through airstrikes.
On North Korea, O'Hanlon and Mochizuki suggest a similar bargain. North Korea surrenders its weapons and submits to inspections; in return, it receives security guarantees from the United States, diplomatic recognition and economic aid. The idea is to bribe a country from going nuclear. Operating on that theory, the Clinton administration signed a less far-reaching agreement with North Korea in 1994, but the North Koreans ultimately cheated. None of these bargains will work if either country's true aim is to possess nuclear weapons and not simply use them as negotiating chips. ...
20 leading european online news sites have rallied to join Reporters Without Borders in support of colleagues in Iran as the fifth journalist was arrested on 18 October in a crackdown against the online media.
They are calling for the release of Shahram Rafihzadeh, Hanif Mazroi, Rozbeh Mir Ebrahimi, Omid Memarian and Javad Gholam Tamayomi.
"We want to demonstrate our solidarity with our Iranian colleagues, imprisoned simply for doing their jobs," the media said in a statement. "At a time when the Internet has become one of the main sources of news, protecting online journalists and publications is the key to defending press freedom."
Javad Gholam Tamayomi, journalist with the daily Mardomsalari (Democracy) was arrested on 18 October 2004, after responding to a summons from the 9th chamber of the Tehran prosecutor's office.
Omid Memarian, journalist and weblog creator, was arrested on 10 October.
Shahram Rafihzadeh, cultural editor of the newspaper Etemad (Confidence), was arrested on 7 September.
Hanif Mazroi, former journalist with several reformist publications, was arrested on 8 September.
Rozbeh Mir Ebrahimi, former political editor of Etemad, was picked up at his home on 27 September.
The five journalists are accused of contributing to reformist news websites. In the past few months, the regime has also tightened Net filtering, blocking access to several dozen online publications and political weblogs.
In a country where television, radio and newspapers are heavily censored, the Internet is, despite censorship, the only source of independent news and information.
For a full summary of freedom of expression on the Internet in Iran see the Reporters Without Borders report "Internet Under Surveillance at http://www.rsf.org/article.php3 ?id_article=10733
Violent clashes opposed, yesterday, hundreds of residents and tens of bikers to the members of the Islamic regime forces in the usually very peaceful City of Yazd.
Protesters and bikers retaliated to the regime forces by smashing windows of public buildings and damaging patrol cars with incendiary devices, pieces of stones and clubs in the Kargar area.
Slogans were shouted by groups of young protesters against the regime and its leaders and especially against Khatami a native of Yazd.
The incident happened due to the persistent harassment of motor bikers and as a young biker was seen thrown on the ground and beaten up severely by two plainclothes agent.
Tens have been injured or arrested and the situation of the city is tense.
Iranians are sizing any pretext in order to show their deep rejection of the unpopular theocracy and violent retaliations are in constant raise.
Other Topics Today Include: Iran processing uranium; Kerry's campaign connection to the Islamic Republic; Russia completes construction of a nuclear plant in Iran; EU appeases Islamic Republic; Iranian bloggers shut down, arrested; NIAC issues statement on death of Iranian-American Soilder in Iraq; Germany supports Iran's entrance in the WTO; Armed resistance gains momentum; ActivistChat launches Iran Blog
IRAN'S QUEST FOR THE BOMB
THE INTERNATIONAL STAGE
TEHRAN, Iran, Oct. 20 (UPI) -- Iranian President Mohammed Khatami charged Wednesday that President George Bush and his election rival Sen. John Kerry are both hostile to Iran.
The Iranian News Agency, IRNA, quoted Khatami as saying "Kerry and Bush are both wrong if they think they can deprive Iran of its legitimate right to acquire nuclear technology."
"U.S. policy is based on denying the right of Iran in enriching uranium to produce nuclear fuel and this is something we do not accept," he said.
Khatami aired a gloomy outlook about U.S. future policy towards his country saying both Bush and Kerry were hostile to Iran.
"We hope America will adopt a wiser and fairer policy in view of the lessons it has learned as a result of its arrogant attitude and expansionist policies."
"We are confident that America is not capable anymore of repeating the same methods as in Iraq because it is definitely not in its interest," Khatami said.
In an odd twist, the BBC reports that Moqtada al-Sadr's mentor, Iranian Grand Ayatollah Kazem Haeri, has denounced Sadr for fighting US troops and has essentially fired Sadr as his representative in Najaf:
A senior religious leader in Iran has severed ties with radical Iraqi Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr for encouraging his followers to fight US troops. Grand Ayatollah Kazem Haeri, one of the top authorities in Shia Islam, said Mr Sadr was no longer his representative in the holy city of Najaf.
A spokesman said that Mr Sadr's actions no longer reflected the ideas of the Grand Ayatollah's teachings.
But he praised a scheme to disarm Shia militias in Baghdad's Sadr City slum.
Haeri went on to blame US and British troops for damage done to shrines in Najaf, but scolded Sadr for mounting armed attacks in the first place. Haeri leads the Shi's from Qom, known for its radical view of Islam and its belief that Islam should not only guide the personal lives of its followers but also should provide leadership for public life as well. Given that, Haeri's renunciation of Sadr is rather puzzling.
Even more puzzling is Haeri's endorsement of the Iraqi government's disarmament plan in Sadr City. The Iranian ayatollah announced his approval of the Allawi plan to strip Sadr's forces of its heavy weaponry in the only political stronghold it has left. Allawi has spoken of his desire to offer the same plan across Iraq if it works well in the vast Baghdad slum that has been the haven of many terrorists operating in the Sunni triangle.
Does Haeri's statement indicate a retreat by the Iranians as the Americans begin to agitate for action on the mullahcracy's nuclear program? The timing certainly indicates something is up, as the Iranians made an offer today to "prove" that they are not pursuing N-weapons technology if the West allows them to use nuclear power peacefully:
Iran is ready to prove to the world it is not producing atomic weapons provided the West recognizes the Islamic Republic's right to peaceful nuclear technology, President Mohammad Khatami said Wednesday. ...
Iranian officials say they are open to talks but will never give up uranium enrichment -- a process which can be used to make fuel for nuclear reactors or material for atom bombs.
"If our rights are recognized and they admit that Iran can have peaceful nuclear technology we will present everything necessary to prove that Iran will not produce an atomic bomb. But we will not give up our rights," Khatami said.
Should Iran reject the EU trio's offer, most European states are expected to back Washington's demand that Iran be reported to the U.N. Security Council when the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) board of governors meet in late November.
Either the Iranians have become spooked by US insistence on some backbone in the nuclear-proliferation talks on behalf of the EU-3 or they have decided that Sadr wasn't going anywhere anyway, and cutting him loose publicly makes them look more reasonable. Either way, it represents some movement on behalf of the Iranians, who have gone out of their way to be belligerent during the weapons negotiations and in the aftermath of Saddam's fall. It's hard to imagine either of these developments occurring under an American administration that promises to fall all over itself to deliver nuclear fuel to the Iranians as a test of the goodwill of the same Islamist mullahcracy that openly sponsors Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad.
A Vote for Kerry Is a Vote for the Enemy
Behind Liberal Lines
October 19, 2004
In an interview published Oct. 10, John Kerry compared fighting terrorism to fighting prostitution and illegal gambling, calling it a "nuisance." In the same piece, Richard Holbrooke, Kerry's likely pick for Secretary of State, opined that "we're not in a war on terror, in the literal sense. The war on terror is like saying 'the war on poverty.' It's just a metaphor." Can't you see the headlines? "Truck Nuisance Explodes, Metaphorically Killing 28." Let's hope the nuisance doesn't form a coalition with the metaphor, or it might become an allegory.
Consider the nuclear nuisance. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is reported to have recently told his top advisors, "we must have two bombs ready to go in January or you are not Muslims." With Russian help, construction of a nuclear reactor was just completed in Iran last week. Chances are extremely high that Iran will arm terrorists with nuclear weapons, or install them on nuclear-capable missiles. Kerry's solution? "Call their bluff" by giving the mullahs uranium, to see if they really wanted it only for peaceful purposes -- and sanction them if it turns out they wanted it for, uh, something else. Clinton armed North Korea in exactly this fashion, and Kerry thinks it's a good idea to try it again. Is he just recklessly naïve?
Among Kerry's top fund-raisers are three Iranian-American cheerleaders for the Islamic Republic of Iran. One is Hassan Nemazee, a shady figure who has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Kerry and other Democrats. He has also been on the boards of at least two groups that lobby Congress on behalf of Tehran. In March, Nemazee filed a defamation lawsuit against the largest U.S. organization promoting democracy in Iran. The Student Movement Coordination Committee for Democracy in Iran has blasted Nemazee for "seeking to legitimize the tyrannical Islamic Republic regime," and criticized Kerry for his desire to broker an arrangement with the ayatollahs. Nemazee seeks $10 million in punitive damages for these "slurs," and just the cost of defending themselves could bankrupt and silence the group.
A friend of Nemazee's, Faraj Aalaei, has raised between $50,000 and $100,000 for the Kerry campaign. Aalaei's wife, Susan Akbarpour, has also raised between $50,000 and $100,000 for Kerry. Akbarpour recently launched a trade association, whose goal is to see that Iran suffers no consequences for sponsoring terrorism or brutalizing its own citizens. Thus, Kerry, an ideological shill for tyrannies in the past, is predictably on the take from apologists for the terror and oppression of the Iranian regime. For the record, Iranian money also goes to Hamas, Hizballah, and terrorist groups killing our soldiers in Iraq. That's right, the Boston Strangler wants to command the troops his policies and associates are helping to kill.
Then, there's Kerry's 2002 endorsement of the Islamic Society of Boston (ISB). They're building the largest mosque in the northeastern U.S., at a cost of $22 million. Just one little problem: Three ISB officials are terrorists. Abdurahman Alamoudi, a key terrorist financier, was just sentenced to 23 years in prison, for, among other things, transferring at least $330,000 to al-Qaida and Hamas. Also, the current ISB chairman, Osama Kandil, served with Alamoudi as a director of Al-Taibah International Aid Association, a conduit for terrorist financing. Another ISB director is Yusef Qaradawi, an Egyptian cleric who encourages Muslims to kill U.S. civilians in Iraq, and advocates the conquering of the U.S. and Europe. Literally, not metaphorically.
On Saturday, a Kerry campaign rally in Florida was hosted in coordination with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Its website looks benign enough, but CAIR officials have defended suicide bombers, funneled money to Hamas, and at least five of its leaders have been deported, indicted, or convicted on terrorism charges. The chief of the FBI's counterterrorism section has said that "CAIR, its leaders, and its activities effectively give aid to international terrorist groups. CAIR is but one of a new generation of groups in the United States that hide under a veneer of 'civil rights' or 'academic' status, but in fact are tethered to a platform that supports terrorism." Apparently, Kerry's okay with that.
In addition, other security measures Kerry mentioned during the debates indicate that he is either ignorant or incompetent. First, he insinuated that Bush is doing nothing to secure Russian nuclear materials. But in the last year, the Department of Energy's Global Threat Reduction Initiative has helped to repatriate 106 pounds of highly enriched Russian uranium from Romania, Bulgaria, Libya, and Uzbekistan. Furthermore, Kerry wants to halt the development of one of our own critical weapons systems: bunker-busting tactical nuclear weapons. These can destroy underground facilities, and they produce no fallout, minimizing civilian casualties. His determination to shut down this program aids proliferation by hampering our ability to destroy illicit weapons facilities. Finally, there is the matter of "rebuilding alliances." At the end of September, NATO agreed to triple its support in Iraq, in particular to run a training center for Iraqi forces. But both the French and German governments have said they won't send troops to Iraq, regardless of who wins the election. So much for Plan A. And according to the campaign website, Plan B appears to be . . . pretty much what Bush is already doing. Except Bush often thanks our troops and our allies for their hard, nasty work.
The Flipper has been consistent about one thing. For almost 40 years, he has presumed the good intentions of our enemies while assuming the worst about our own, and acted on this in ways that badly undermine our security. Perhaps this is tolerable coming from private citizens, even during wartime. But it's unconscionable coming from public officials, and from the Commander-in-Chief, it's tantamount to national suicide.
Sara Townsley is a graduate student in BMCB. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Behind Liberal Lines apppears Tuesdays.
There's no question that Iran's Mullahs are much cleverer than the heavy-handed Yasir Arafat who endorsed John Kerry for President the other day, thus probably scaring away more votes in South Florida than Pat Buchanan. The mullahs know better. They feign indifference to the American election:
It makes no real difference to Iran whether US President George W. Bush or Democrat contender John Kerry wins the presidential elections, a senior Iranian official said Tuesday.
"It makes no difference for us which of the two parties wins the elections," Iran's top national security official Hassan Rowhani said in an interview on state television.
Oh, really? Well, we shall see. Meanwhile, on Thursday, the EU's big three will attempt to play "Let's Make a Deal" with the Ayatollahs. The Iranian response is, as usual, equivocal:
"We are not saying we are refusing Westerners offers to provide us with nuclear fuel, but we want also to produce our own nuclear fuel ... as well as buying what we lack from the West," Iranian Atomic Energy Organization (IAEO) chief Gholamreza Aghazadeh said on state television.
He also denounced the "politicizing" of the Iranian nuclear case, declaring that Iran did not have "any non-peaceful nuclear activities."
I guess I'm one of those nefarious "politicizers," since I will be appearing on the John Batchelor Show tomorrow at 7:30PM Eastern to discuss the situation in Iran along with DoctorZin (the Iran, not the wine, expert) and Dan Darling of Regnum Crucis. Maybe I should do some homework.
OOPS: It seems we will be taped at the above time and broadcast later that night. I will post the exact broadcast time when I learn it.
I hope it goes well.. my computer's sound has decided to go south. I think it has something to do witgh spyware etc. It is on when rebooting.. the nice little windows chime but shortly thereaftrer is gone.
so I cant pull up on of the links to listen. Hopefully someone will give a report.
I forgot to ping you on the above post of mine. Duh!
Oh, my. Prayers for Reverend Pourmand .....
Thanks for the ping, Spook. I join with you.
Oh Spookie...thanks for pinging me. I'm with ya.