Skip to comments.Iranian Alert - October 28, 2004 [EST]- IRAN LIVE THREAD - "Americans for Regime Change in Iran"
Posted on 10/27/2004 9:12:16 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.
Wednesday, October 27, 2004; 1:48 PM
TEHRAN, Iran - Iran's supreme leader rejected a long-term suspension of uranium enrichment on Wednesday and threatened to withdraw from talks with European negotiators if they insist on such a suspension.
"A long term suspension of enrichment is a discussion without logic," state-run television quoted Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as saying.
Khamenei, who has the final say on all state matters, made the comments as Iranian diplomats ended a second round of talks with officials from Britain, France and Germany without agreement. ...
"If there is any form of threat in the talks, it will show a lack of logic on the part of (Iran's) partners in the negotiations," the television quoted Khamenei as saying.
"In that case, the great Iranian nation and the Islamic Republic of Iran will reconsider the very basis of negotiations and cooperation."
How dare the N.Y. Times offer advice on Iran
By Ed KochSPECIAL TO WORLD TRIBUNE.COM Tuesday, October 26, 2004
An October 22 New York Times editorial entitled Irans Nuclear Threat opens with the statement, One of the most serious questions raised by the debacle in Iraq is whether it has crippled the ability of the worlds leading powers to contain dangerous states. The editorial points to an assessment by the International Institute of Strategic Studies, which contended that Iran and North Korea, the other nuclear rebel, have been emboldened in their ambitions by the sorry plight of the United States and its coalition partners in Iraq. The perception is that the major powers no longer have the stomach, or the unity, to seriously threaten sanctions or military action. According to The Times, the "major powers" -- namely Britain, Germany and France are seeking a diplomatic agreement with Iran, and the United States is wisely keeping out of the way. Raising the decibel level, The Times concludes, But if this [diplomatic] effort fails, it will be time to try a more punitive approach.
When President Bush described the threat posed by Iran in his January 29, 2002 State of the Union address to the Congress with his phrase, States like these [Iran and North Korea] and their terrorist allies, constitute an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world, my recollection is that he was caricatured by the media cognoscenti for using such a provocative phrase which many described as sophomoric, just as those same commentators thought President Reagans reference to the evil empire was foolish. Both phrases were brilliant and right on target.
The Times editorial reminds the major democratic nations of the world and the winner of the presidential race that it is critical they make clear the West will brook no further delays and that it is serious and united about imposing stern sanctions if Iran wont abandon its nuclear fuel enrichment efforts.
The editorial is unusually martial in tone. While I agree that the West should take that course of action, I cant help but note the hypocrisy of The Times, which is responsible in part for the current situation. The Times defended the actions of France and Germany and others who deserted the U.S. when it undertook to enforce United Nations Resolution 1441, which they supported.
That resolution stated Iraqs refusal to comply with 1441 was a cause for war and was adopted unanimously by the 15 members of the Security Council. Iraq had been required under 1441 to account for the weapons of mass destruction Saddam Hussein had admitted were in Iraqs possession after Gulf War I in 1991; weapons (poison gas) it used to kill 5,000 Iraqi Kurds and thousands of Iranian soldiers in the Iraq-Iran War.
Had Germany, France and Russia joined with the U.S. in enforcing Resolution 1441, and had The Times urged them and other nations in the original Gulf War coalition to do so, it would not now be writing of the West that they no longer have the stomach to undertake the necessary sanctions or military action. Even The Times cannot argue that President Bush, as well as Prime Minister Tony Blair, do not have the stomach to continue the battle against the Islamic terrorists in Iran and Iraq where terrorists and insurgents seek to torpedo the scheduled elections in January and prevent the Iraqi provisional government from functioning in the interim.
The Times has the gall to write, a strong signal that the Europeans are ready to get tough is also vital for another reason. After the mess caused by going it alone in Iraq, Washington may now be more willing to return to multilateral methods of combating nuclear proliferation, but only if it is convinced that the Europeans are capable of waving a stick, as well as a carrot. How unfair of The Times. If any country has demonstrated its willingness to stand up to international terrorism, it is the U.S. We now know European leaders in France, Germany and Russia and UN personnel were bribed by Saddam Hussein using up to $10 billion skimmed from the oil for peace program, undoubtedly affecting their decision not to join the coalition in the war against Saddam Hussein.
I am so outraged at The Times chutzpa that I feel like opening the nearest window and shouting, a la Peter Finch in the movie Network, New York Times, you should be ashamed of yourself. You defended France and Germany when they refused to join the U.S. to confront Saddam Hussein who committed atrocities against his own people, was a proven threat to his neighbors and a foreseeable threat to the U.S. and its allies. How dare you offer advice.
Does The New York Times honestly believe that John Kerry has the stomach to confront Iran and North Korea? I dont.
I also think back to 1981, when Iraq was building its nuclear bomb facility, and Israel, which would have been the first target of those bombs, launched an air attack destroying Iraqs nuclear plant. Israel was censured by almost every nation, including the U.S. at the UN. Ten years later, those same leaders knew how lucky the world has been that Israel had the courage, the stomach, to take that action which deprived Iraq of the use of nuclear weapons against the coalition troops who freed Kuwait in 1991. Perhaps The Times editorial is signaling a change in its thinking. Perhaps we will yet see France and Germany recognize how wrong they were to desert us when we launched Gulf War II. They have an obligation to join us now and share the burdens of casualties and costs.
By Francois Murphy
VIENNA (Reuters) - France, Britain and Germany failed to reach a deal with Iran on Wednesday under which Tehran would scrap its uranium enrichment program in exchange for nuclear power technology, but the two sides agreed to meet again.
Talks in Vienna on the European proposal ended without agreement, but Britain and Iran said the talks had been constructive.
"Some progress was made toward identifying the elements of a common approach to the issues and the two sides agreed to meet again shortly," a British Foreign Office spokesman told Reuters in London after Wednesday's talks.
If Iran rejects the offer, diplomats say most European nations will back U.S. demands that Tehran be reported to the U.N. Security Council for possible sanctions when the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog meets in November.
Sirus Naseri, a member of Iran's delegation in Vienna, said there was no breakthrough but it would have been premature to expect one at this point.
"We are at the bottom of the first inning. We are at the beginning (of the negotiation process)," he told Reuters.
"We are both trying to make an effort to make the best use of the time so that we have an agreement, if possible, by the board meeting (on Nov. 25)," Naseri said.
"We will meet again next week," he added.
French, German and British officials first put their proposal to Iranian negotiators in Vienna last week.
The United States accuses oil and gas-rich Iran of trying to make an atomic bomb behind the veil of a civilian nuclear program. Tehran says it only wants to produce electricity.
Iran has said it is not prepared to abandon uranium enrichment -- a process that can be used to make fuel for nuclear reactors or material for atom bombs.
But Iranian officials have indicated that Tehran may agree to an indefinite freeze on activities linked to uranium enrichment.
"Regarding the suspension (of uranium enrichment) as a confidence-building measure, we have not given our final answer yet," Hossein Mousavian, one of Iran's top nuclear negotiators, told Reuters.
CONCERN IRAN MAY BE STALLING
Once such a suspension is verifiably in place, the EU trio has pledged to negotiate a full solution, which could include help with Iran's civilian nuclear technology and a trade deal in return for scrapping nuclear fuel cycle activities for good.
One European diplomat said there was concern Iran may agree to freeze enrichment and then drag out talks to buy time and ease political pressure as it did in a similar 2003 deal.
Iran agreed last year to temporarily halt all uranium enrichment activities and signed up to snap inspections of its nuclear facilities in a bid to counter U.S.-led charges.
Tehran's suspension of enrichment has remained in place but it has resumed making and assembling centrifuges, the machines that enrich uranium. It has also said it plans to convert 37 tons of raw uranium into the feed material for centrifuges.
The IAEA, at its last board meeting in September, called on Iran to halt all such activities.
Hardline Iranian lawmakers, who control a majority in Iran's parliament, introduced a bill on Tuesday that would oblige the government to resume enrichment and halt snap inspections.
Government officials have said they would have no choice but to obey such a bill if enacted but diplomats said Iran was using it as a bargaining tool ahead of Wednesday's talks.
The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) -- the political wing of the exiled People's Mujahideen Organization (MKO) -- was angered by the document outlining the EU offer which said the EU would "continue to regard the MKO as a terrorist organization" if Iran complied with the terms.
Several dozens NCRI supporters protested against the EU offer in Vienna.
(Additional reporting by Louis Charbonneau, the Tehran bureau and Kate Kelland in London)
Powell says Iran moving in the direction of nuclear weapon
|www.chinaview.cn 2004-10-28 04:43:35|
WASHINGTON, Oct. 27 (Xinhuanet) -- US Secretary of State ColinPowell said on Wednesday that Iran is moving in the direction of a nuclear weapon and the United States is insisting on referring the matter to the United Nations Security Council.
"Iran is moving in the direction of a nuclear weapon. They are putting together a program that could produce such a weapon. I do not think it is something they can do overnight or in the next several months, as some people suggest. It is going to take the mtime," Powell said in an interview with the CNBC, a US financial news television.
"It is time for this matter to be referred to the Security Council for it to be considered there. It is not in the interests of the region or the world for Iran to be moving in this direction," Powell said.
Powell said that the United States has been working with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to report Iran's nuclear issue to the Security Council and has been working with the EU-3,or France, Germany and Britain, to "get the Iranians to come into compliance with their IAEA obligations."
Under prodding from the United States, the IAEA has set late November as the deadline by which Iran must comply with demands that it do more to disclose its nuclear activities. The United States has threatened to refer Iran's nuclear activities to the Security Council for discussions of sanctions. Iran has insisted that its nuclear program is for civil purposes.
| The United States would expect Israel to consult prior to any strike against Iran, but does not expect Israel to give up its right to strike in self-defense, a top diplomat said.
No country unilaterally gives up their rights to self-defense, Richard Armitage, the deputy secretary of state, told the London-based Arab newspaper Al Hayat in an interview transcript released this week by the State Department. Now, having said that, we have a very close relationship with Israel and would expect Israel to consult with us if anything were going to happen, but we have not asked Israel to give up its unilateral right to self-defense.
Israel is not alone in feeling threatened by Iran and its nuclear potential, Armitage said, adding that Persian Gulf states and some European nations feel threatened as well.
Hassan Nemazee, Senator Kerry's main Iranian fundraiser and a well known apologist for the Islamic regime, has hired a very controversial PR person in order to help him to remake his tarnished image due to the litigation opposing him to SMCCDI and its Coordinator. The latter named "Eleana Benador" is based in New York and affiches on her website http://www.benadorassociates.com the names of several well respected conservative think tanks as part of her portfolio.
Nemazee aknowledged her existence and mission during his first deposition, made under oath on October 18th, in presence of the SMCCDI's Legal team and following a court order issued by the Judge in charge of the case.
Eleana Benador had already made a trip to Dallas in mid August in order to speak to Aryo B. Pirouznia. She had declared her wish of using some of her influence in order to help the Movement in its struggle against the Islamic regime, but she changed soon the course of the discussion by requesting from the Movement's Coordinator and the SMCCDI to end the litigation with Nemazee.
Most likely the proposal made, by Kerry's main Iranian fundraiser, to the money oriented Benador have been to the level of persuading her to show another face than the till then believed pro-conservative individual and to take the risk of loosing some of her credibility as well.
In addition, Benador has been accused by some reporters for having been actively involved in a smear campaign against SMCCDI and that she had called several reporters and distributed tracts in order to dissuade them from participating in the Movement's Press Conference held on October 14th at the WDC National Press Club. But despite such desperate tries the meeting took place with the presence of several reporters and participants including herself.
The panel composed by Aryo B. Pirouznia, Jerome Corsi, Kenneth Timmerman and the SMCCDI legal team, composed by Judge Robert Jenevein and Michael Payma, was able to bring to the public's attention some very troubling points in reference to what has been qualified by part of the American Press as John Kerry's Iranian Connection.
In addition to a detailed transcript, posted on the internet, the event was also broadcasted live via Satellite AMC9 for many US TV and radio networks. Subsequently several articles were written related to the affair and interviews were made with the Movement's affiliates by famous Talk Show Radio hosts, such as, Joseph Farah and Paul Shiffer. The copy of Nemazee's 1st deposition can be find at: www.regimeinfluence.com . He's due for a more detailed deposition in Dallas.
The copy of Nemazee's 1st deposition can be find at: www.regimeinfluence.com . He's due for a more detailed deposition in Dallas.
TEHRAN: An Iranian nuclear plant that atomic experts say could give the Islamic state access to weapons-grade material is nearing completion, a senior Iranian nuclear official said on Wednesday.
The Arak heavy water production facility in central Iran is one of several plants the European Union is hoping to persuade Tehran to close down. Two of the three main units are now operational, said Manouchehr Madadi, head of research and development at Arak.
We hope that the third unit will become operational by the end of the current Iranian year (March 2005) so that we can reach full production capacity, he told state television. Iran denies US accusations that it is making a covert bid to build nuclear weapons and has resisted international pressure to scale back an ambitious atomic programme. Irans defiance has brought it to the brink of being referred to the United Nations Security Council for possible sanctions when the International Atomic Energy Agencys board next meets on November 25.
Iranian officials were due to meet negotiators from Britain, Germany and France in Vienna on Wednesday to discuss an EU proposal that would avert Security Council referral provided Tehran freezes key activities that could be used to produce weapons-grade material. reuters
|10/26/2004||Clip No. 305|
Anti-Bush Clip on Iranian TV
The following is an anti-Bush clip on Iranian TV: "We have come to spread freedom and democracy in Iraq."
Koch getting tough on Kerry, nice to see.
Iran at the crossroads
By Hamid Ansari
The future of Iran may well depend on the success or failure of the efforts of a responsive society to seek a place in the sun while retaining its dignity and identity.
IRANIANS ARE political creatures, love to politic, enjoy its uncertainties, and delight in manipulating it. These traits are in evidence as the stage is being set for a presidential election in May 2005 when Mohammad Khatami's second term of office comes to an end. The Iranian Constitution prohibits more than two successive terms. There is now a broad consensus that the reform programme initiated with Mr. Khatami's first election in 1997 has run aground in the teeth of conservative opposition.
The gridlock of the constitutional structure, and the contradictory impulses that go into it, was evident earlier this year at the time of the elections to the Seventh Majlis. The Guardian Council exercised its authority to disqualify about 2,300 candidates. As a result, the conservatives obtained 195 seats in a House of 290. The President, in his last year in office, is facing a Majlis determined to thwart his agenda.
The Vice-President for Majlis Affairs, Mohammad Ali Abtahi, resigned on October 11 and said the country needed "an all out struggle against obscurantism, reactionary ideology and indifference to people's votes." Earlier, the Minister of Transport was impeached; action against some others is threatened. His supporters consider the President feckless on account of his disinclination to force a crisis before the Majlis polls.
Who is the likely successor? Article 115 of the Constitution prescribes the qualifications for candidates: apart from being a Shia, an Iranian, and of Iranian origin, he must have "administrative capacity and resourcefulness, and a good past record." Reformers had hoped that the former Prime Minister, Mir Hussein Mousavi, would draw the requisite support; he, however, has refused to contest. This leaves the field open to the Conservatives. The former President, Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who now heads the Expediency Council and is the Deputy Chairman of the Assembly of Experts, is unquestionably the most influential player on the scene and is mischievously referred to as "Akbar Shah." "If there is no other suitable candidate," he told a student group on October 8, "I will run in the next election for the sake of Islam and the Revolution." Other names include Ali Akbar Velayati, Ali Larijani and Roohani.
The Revolution is over and is in a post-Thermidorian phase. The resultant situation has inherent contradictions. An overwhelmingly young population wants change but has no stomach for another revolution. It is tired of the clergy and its ways; Grand Ayatollah Montazeri spoke for many when he said the clergy had replaced the Shah.
The economy has registered significant gains, some foreign investment has taken place, the stock market is booming, but the problem of youth unemployment has reached critical dimensions. Freedom of expression and constraints on expression seem to coexist. `Factions' thrive in the absence of political parties, reflecting the fragmentation of the political elite. Having jettisoned failed economic policies, the talk now alternates between the `Chinese' model advocated by Mr. Rafsanjani and an `Islamic Japan' suggested by the new Majlis Speaker, Haddad-Adel, who is the first non-cleric to hold the office.
Some of these contradictions are reflected in foreign relations. Complexities abound in the regional environment. In Afghanistan, Iran participated in the effort to oust the Taliban and is supportive of Hamid Karzai and the electoral process initiated earlier this month. The Dari language broadcasts from Meshed, however, have a somewhat different tone.
In Iraq, the satisfaction over the fall of Saddam Hussein was accompanied by the apprehension of encirclement by the United States and concern over the future shape of Iraqi policy.
In regard to Shia groups, caution rather than adventurism is the preferred option. The re-emergence of the centrality of Najaf in the Shia world has some implications for Qum that would need to be pondered over. In global terms, the need for FDI necessitates an investor-friendly foreign policy. The expectation generated by the Council for Foreign Relations Task Force report in July has been overtaken by the electoral rhetoric and a clear picture may not emerge till a new administration settles down.
On the nuclear question, all factions in Teheran want to retain the enrichment option and so does public opinion. The new 2000 km range missile is intended to strengthen the negotiating hand. The former Foreign Minister, Ibrahim Yazdi, however feels that "Iran lost the confidence of the IAEA" by not giving details initially and now has little option but to accept the package being offered by the European Union team.
Recent unofficial initiatives suggest a desire to make civil society views better known and influence opinion. In September, a group of public figures, led by Shireen Ebadi, addressed an Open Letter to the American People urging a change of course in policies "since they harm the struggle against extremist Islamic terrorists." Another letter, signed by 275 personalities, invites Muslims the world over to condemn abduction and murder in the name of Islam.
The future in Iran may well depend on the success or failure of these efforts of a responsive society to seek a place in the sun while retaining its dignity and identity.
Iran's Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Pirooz Hosseini leaves in a car after a second round of talks with EU negotiators failed to produce an agreement for a total suspension of uranium enrichment in Iran, on Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2004, in downtown Vienna. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)
VIENNA, Austria Oct 27, 2004 Iran's supreme leader threatened to pull out of negotiations if European countries press their demand for total suspension of uranium enrichment, as a new round of talks ended Wednesday without an agreement to avert the possible threat of U.N. sanctions.
Britain, France and Germany are trying to work out a deal that would avoid a standoff with Iran over its nuclear program, which the United States says aims to develop nuclear weapons.
The Europeans are offering Iran incentives a trade deal and peaceful nuclear technology, including a light-water research reactor in return for a halt in enrichment, which can produce fuel for both nuclear energy and atomic weapons.
They have warned that most European states will back Washington's call to refer Iran's nuclear file to the U.N. Security Council for possible economic sanctions if Tehran doesn't give up all uranium enrichment activities before the Nov. 25 meeting of the U.N. nuclear watchdog.
In talks Wednesday, Iran's delegates insisted on the right to enrich uranium. And supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final say in all issues in Iran, ruled out any long-term suspension of the program.
"A long term suspension of enrichment is a discussion without logic," Khamenei said, according to state-run television in Tehran.
"If there is any form of threat in the talks, it will show a lack of logic on the part of (Iran's) partners in the negotiations," he said. "In that case, the great Iranian nation and the Islamic Republic of Iran will reconsider the very basis of negotiations and cooperation."
Sirus Naseri, a member of the Iranian delegation at the talks in Vienna, said "total suspension will not be accepted under any circumstances."
Diplomats have called the EU package a "last chance" offer ahead of a key Nov. 25 meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency. The meeting could result in Tehran's defiance being reported to the U.N. Security Council, which has the authority to impose punishing sanctions.
Still, Iranian negotiators held out the possibility of a compromise with the Europeans. The Iranians and British officials said another round of talks would be held soon.
Hossein Mousavian, Iran's chief delegate to the IAEA, told Iran's state-run radio Wednesday that Iran has not ruled out a compromise with the Europeans before the IAEA meeting.
"We haven't closed the door for an understanding before the November meeting, but will reach compromise if there is a balanced package of agreements. Obligations and confidence-building measures have to be bilateral," said Mousavian, adding that the agreement had to be clear and contain a timetable.
"There has to be no discrimination against Iran," he said.
In London, a spokesman for the British Foreign Office said "some progress was made toward identifying the elements of a common approach toward the issues, and the two sides agreed to meet again shortly."
Iran insists its nuclear activities are peaceful and geared solely toward generating electricity. The United States, pointing to Iran's vast oil reserves, contends it is running a covert nuclear weapons program.
Heightening the U.S. concerns, Iran has resumed testing, assembling and making centrifuges used to enrich uranium.
The European envoys, who first presented their offer to the Iranians in Vienna last week, made clear they would not budge on the enrichment issue, but Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Hasan Rowhani, has suggested there was some flexibility in the talks.
Rowhani told state television earlier this week his government might be willing to consider a temporary suspension of enrichment, but he cautioned: "No other country can stop us exploring technology which is the legal right of Iran."
Rowhani said Iran has run its program "under the influence of agreements and safeguards of the IAEA" and has signed a so-called additional protocol to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, which allows unfettered IAEA inspections of Iranian facilities.
World > Middle East
from the October 28, 2004 edition
Freedom of the press: Saudi Arabia, Iran and Syria are the worst, Lebanon is vanguard
Regional, Politics, 10/27/2004
The Sans Frontiers organization which is concerned with the press freedoms in the world said in a report yesterday that the countries of Eastern Asia, especially northern Korea, Burma and China, the Middle East countries especially Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syria and Iraq are considered "the worst regions in the world" in the field of the press freedoms while northern Europe is described as " safe haven for journalists."
The report added, in its third classification issue for the freedom of the press in the world that Lebanon has restored back its position in the Arab states concerning the freedom of the press in occupying the rank number 87.
Concerning the Middle East, the report said that Saudi Arabia comes in 159, preceded by Iran 158 and then Syria is number 155, Libya 154 and Iraq 148.
The report gives two classifications for Israel. One for the "country of the freedom of the press in Israel " ( number 36 and the second number is over the violations committed by the Israeli occupation army against the press in the Palestinian territories ( number 115) while the Palestinian authority occupies number 127.
The report considers that Iran is the largest prison for journalists in the Middle East ( 14 detainees).
According to the same report, the situation of the press in Algeria has deteriorated (number 128 ) before the presidential elections which were held in April 2004, noting that there is no independent press in Tunisia ( 152) and Saudi Arabia, Syria and Libya.
The report considered that Iraq is the bloodiest country for the press as some 144 journalists were killed since the eruption of the war in March 2003.
The report indicated what it described the black points in the world of the freedom of the press especially in Cuba which came immediately before North Korea, on which the report said it represents the largest prison for pressmen in the world ( 26 detainees), while journalists are still vulnerable to killing in countries such as Brazil, Colombia, Peru and Mexico.
Afghanistan ( 97) achieved a ( genuine improvement). In the USA (22) there are violations of the secrecy of resources and the difficulty for journalists to get entry visas and acts of arrests targeting journalists.
The report said that Turkey( 113) which is designated to join the European Union and despite "tangible progress" in the legislative field has not achieved "any notable progress in practice."
The organization deplored "the total control " by the side of the Kremlin on the media in Russia ( 140) during the hostages crisis in Beislan school in Northern Ostetia.
113 is pretty low for Turkey.
Turkey & Iran are among those countries that help spread democracy in the region.
BAGHDAD Leaders and supporters of the anti-U.S. insurgency say their attacks in recent weeks have a clear objective: The greater the violence, the greater the chances that President Bush will be defeated on Tuesday and the Americans will go home.
"If the U.S. Army suffered numerous humiliating losses, [Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John] Kerry would emerge as the superman of the American people," said Mohammad Amin Bashar, a leader of the Muslim Scholars Association, a hard-line clerical group that vocally supports the resistance.
Resistance leader Abu Jalal boasted that the mounting violence had already hurt Mr. Bush's chances.
"American elections and Iraq are linked tightly together," he told a Fallujah-based Iraqi reporter. "We've got to work to change the election, and we've done so. With our strikes, we've dragged Bush into the mud."
Mowafaq Al-Tai, a London-educated architect and intellectual, said different types of resistance fighters have different views of the U.S. election.
The most pro-Kerry, he said, are the former Saddam Hussein loyalists Ba'ath Party members and others who think Washington might scale back its ambitions for Iraq if Mr. Kerry wins, allowing them to re-enter civic life.
The most pro-Bush, he said, are the foreign extremists. "They prefer Bush, because he's a provocative figure, and the more they can push people to the extreme, the better for their case."
Abu Jalal, answering questions submitted to him through the Iraqi journalist, devised a simple formula for how his group's attacks on American soldiers draw votes from Mr. Bush.
"They say there are 1,100 dead soldiers. That means 1,100 families hold grudges against Bush and hate him. There are 6,000 families whose sons were injured who hate Bush and will not re-elect him."
But even within the resistance, not all agree that removing Mr. Bush from office would make a difference.
"The nation of infidels is one, and Bush and Kerry are two faces of the same coin," said Abu Obeida, nom de guerre of a leader of Fallujah's al-Noor Jihadi regiment. "What is taken by force will be returned only by force, and we don't care what the results of the elections are."
Among ordinary Iraqis interested only in a return to peace and stability, there is far less clarity about what the American election might bring. Many, like 35-year-old bank branch manager Sahar Mahmoud, say they are bewildered by media reports about the nuances of polling, swing states and attack ads.
"It's a very big political game, and something that we are very far from," he said. "We are very tired people, and we're just emerging from a big crisis. So we can't imagine what other people are going through."
Zeydoon Mohamad Jassem Najar, a biology student at Baghdad University, simply shakes his head as the U.S. politicians argue over his country's fate.
"It's like everybody is looking out for their own interests and nobody is looking for the Iraqi people's interests," he said. "It's like a game of personal interests between Bush and the other guy."
Mr. Bashar, a professor at Baghdad's Islamic University, said he and many of those who oppose the U.S. presence in Iraq were rooting for Mr. Kerry.
"I think if Kerry wins, he's going to try to get world support and United Nations involvement," he said during an interview at Baghdad's Um al-Qura mosque. "You'll see a different situation in Iraq if the United Nations is involved."
But Nazar Judi, a 41-year-old money trader who had his right hand cut off by Saddam Hussein's security forces nine years ago, is squarely in the Bush camp.
"I prefer Bush over the other guy because he knows Iraq well," said Mr. Judi, who received a new prosthetic hand from the U.S. Army and was flown to Washington to meet Mr. Bush in person. "I hope he wins his election because he wants to modernize Iraq."
A photograph of the American president shaking Mr. Judi's prosthetic hand hangs on the wall of a back room at his Khademiya office. In the front room, however, are portraits of Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the vehemently anti-U.S. Iranian cleric, and his successor, Ali Khamenei, the current theocratic ruler of Iran.
28 October 2004
Iran yesterday stepped up its confrontation with European countries as its Supreme Leader threatened to break off negotiations over its suspect nuclear weapons programme.
Senior officials from Britain, France and Germany yesterday held negotiations in Vienna with an Iranian delegation to persuade Iran into indefinitely suspending uranium enrichment ahead of a deadline in one month. It could be used to produce a nuclear weapon.
The EU countries are warning that Iran must comply with the demand in time for the next governors' meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency on 25 November or face being referred to the UN Security Council for punishment. Initial reports after the talks sounded positive, as both sides spoke of some progress and agreed to meet again next week. But a British official said ominously: "I don't think we're that close yet" to an agreement.
Last night, making his first comments on the dispute on which he has the final say on behalf of Iran, the country's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, rejected a long-term suspension of uranium enrichment. "If there is any form of threat in the talks, it will show a lack of logic on the part of [Iran's] partners in the negotiations. In that case, the great Iranian nation and the Islamic Republic of Iran will reconsider the very basis of negotiations and co-operation," he said.
Iran has heightened tensions by testing a long-range missile on 20 October, while hardliners in parliament have introduced a bill to force the government to resume enrichment and halt snap UN inspections of nuclear facilities. There are fears that the Iranians will try to wring every possible concession right up to the IAEA meeting.
The Iranians also have their eye on the American elections next Tuesday, in the hope that a Kerry administration would adopt a less hard line than George Bush, who wants the Security Council to take action against Iran. Iran has insisted its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes.
In their "last chance" offer to Tehran, the three European countries are offering Iran the acquisition of a light water research reactor and resumed trade negotiations with the EU, in return for compliance. The EU states would also back the Russian Bushehr nuclear reactor project in Iran and Russia's guarantees of reactor fuel.
They privately recognise that there is not enough support among Security Council members to impose sanctions, and there are fears that sanctions could prove counter-productive if the Council is not united.
The International Institute for Strategic Studies said last week that in the cases of Iran and North Korea, "the US and its allies may not have sufficient instruments of enticement or coercion to achieve disarmament. The threat of effective sanctions is difficult to realise and military options are unappealing."
An independent expert said the deal being offered by the Europeans was favourable for Iran, adding that the Iranians would rather accept European technology than Russian.
European Union exports to Iran grow by 25 percent
According to IRNA, in contrast Iranian exports to the world's biggest trading bloc grew by just 6 percent to amount to Euro 3.5 billion between January and June compared with the same period in 2003.
The huge growth in EU exports was led by Iran's three largest suppliers, Germany, Italy and France, whose sales together stood at Euro 3.85 billion, accounting for 77 percent of the rise.
Exports from Germany in the first half of 2004 rose to Euro 1.6 billion from Euro 1.2 billion in the same period last year. Sales from France grew from Euro 833 million to Euro 1.2 billion, overtaking Italy`s increase of Euro 128 m to Euro 1 billion in second place. (menareport.com)
2004 Wednesday 27 October
At the commencement of the second series of talks between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the EU Big 3, the ex-head of the Revolutionary Guard, Mohsen Rezai threatened the three European Leaders stating that any further pressure from them on Iran to cease further nuclear development will lead to exposing "secrets" about the Europeans.
He said: "the leaders is clear on acquiring nuclear capability. They (the Europeans) are serious about Iran not acquiring nuclear capability." He went on: "We should never have been in this spot as the (IRI) leaders will have to shut these Europeans up, cut their expectations down and make some serious decisions!"
Guard Rezai who was speaking at the liberal arts college of the Free University of Tehran, attacking the experts in charge of Iran´s nuclear records went on to say: "The parties responsible for Iran´s records should not have panicked, threatening to take the case to the Security Council."
The Secretary of the society of recognition of the expediency of the Islamic Republic of Iran referring to an item of the terrorist measures in Europe said: "Tomorrow they order us to do certain things and the U.S. will open the gates of technology for you...this is another one of their dreams..."
Iran-EU3 talks to resume Nov 5 as deadline looms
28 Oct 2004 15:32:49 GMTSource: Reuters
The Paris talks will build on a second round of negotiations between officials from Iran, Britain, Germany and France in Vienna on Wednesday described as positive and constructive by both sides.
"The EU has a positive feeling about the meeting yesterday. The talks were substantive," said an EU diplomat.
"The next round will be in Paris on November 5," said a diplomat from one of the EU's three biggest countries. A Western diplomat confirmed the date and venue for the talks.
The diplomats, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Iranian negotiators hinted during Wednesday's talks that Iran was prepared to freeze uranium enrichment for a short period.
"Their opening gambit was for the suspension to last two or three months," said the EU trio diplomat.
The EU has called for Iran -- which insists its atomic programme is geared solely to electricity production -- to agree to an indefinite freeze on enrichment which can be used to make either nuclear power reactor fuel or bomb-grade material.
"They need to agree to the suspension by around Nov. 10 in order for the U.N. to verify it in time for the Nov. 25 board meeting" of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the EU trio diplomat said.
The EU has warned it will back U.S. calls for Iran to be reported to the U.N. Security Council for possible sanctions at the Nov. 25 IAEA meeting if the enrichment suspension is not verifiably in place by then.
But while Iran is open to a freeze on enrichment it steadfastly refused to contemplate scrapping enrichment for good as the European Union and Washington wants.
"Cessation (of enrichment) is out of the question," Hossein Mousavian, a senior Iranian security official, told Reuters in Tehran.
"This is our red line. If it is the other party's red line as well then we may have to try a period of confrontation in the Security Council," he said. "But Iran is ready for confidence-building measures to assure the world that our uranium enrichment programme will never be diverted (to military use)."
The EU is offering Iran various incentives to scrap its enrichment activities including a guaranteed supply of reactor fuel, help with building a light-water power reactor and a resumption of stalled trade talks.
(Additional reporting by Paul Hughes and Parisa Hafezi in Tehran, Sebastian Alison in Brussels)
| Joint motion for a resolution on Iran
Doc.: B6-0107/2004, B6-0113/2004, B6-0116/2004, B6-0118/2004, B6-0121/2004, B6-0124/2004
In a resolution adopted by 105 votes in favour and none against with six abstentions, MEPs strongly condemn the execution in Iran of the 16 year old Ateqeh Rajabi and all other death sentences and executions of child offenders in that country. They call on the Iranian authorities immediately to halt all attempts at stoning and to prevent any further application of the death penalty to minors. They reiterate their general opposition to the death penalty and hopes that a judicial reform in Iran will bring this inhumane practice to an end.
Parliament also condemns the recent arbitrary arrests of journalists, and calls on the authorities to release all prisoners prosecuted or sentenced for press- and opinion-related offences. It condemns the travel ban that was imposed on journalist and human rights activist Emadeddin Baghi, as on many other Iranian citizens. It calls on the Iranian Parliament to adapt the Iranian Press Law and the Penal Code to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and notably to repeal all criminal provisions dealing with the peaceful expression of opinion, including in the press. MEPs call on the Iranian authorities to stop the practice of arresting family members of journalists and reformers.
Parliament demands that the Presidency of the Council and the Member States diplomatic representatives in Iran urgently undertake concerted action with regard to these concerns and calls on the Council to present a resolution on behalf of the European Union on the deteriorating human rights situation in Iran for the next session of the United Nations General Assembly.
Finally, MEPs call on the Council and the Commission to monitor developments in Iran closely and to raise their serious concerns about human rights abuses in the framework of the EU-Iran human rights dialogue.