Skip to comments.Iranian Alert - October 30, 2004 [EST]- IRAN LIVE THREAD - "Americans for Regime Change in Iran"
Posted on 10/29/2004 9:05:19 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.
Appeasement of Mullahs: Dangerous and Ineffectual
The European Unions blatant appeasement of the terrorist regime ruling Iran is deplorable and the nuclear grand bargain it has offered Tehran could very well have strategic and regional security repercussions.
Striking similar to the Neville Chamberlains initiative in 1938 to placate the Nazi Germany, the EUs dream offer to Iran will only embolden the mullahs to demand even more concessions from the EU and continue their rogue behavior.
Yesterday, the second round of talks with Iran ended with Tehrans rejection of the core demand of the EUs proposal: the immediate and indefinite halt to uranium enrichment. Tehrans tactic of prolonging the so-called diplomatic track was in full display when its nuclear point man Hossein Moussavian told reporters, Iran could take months to agree to the EU request since the offer was riddled with ambiguities and must be more balanced. It should come as no surprise that an Iranian diplomat present at the talks said, the negotiations were very constructive for Iran.
Following their now familiar pattern, the regime leaders and its senior officials, speaking with many voices, feed the international media with contradictory statements, never authoritatively or decisively taking a clear stance.
Increasingly confident in light of the EUs stance, Tehran has hardened its position in the nuclear brinkmanship it has waged on the world and in recent weeks it has announced the operation of new nuclear-related facilities. Now, Tehran appears to be in the drivers seat. As such, EUs reckless approach has bolstered Irans nuclear arms program.
The Washington-based Nonproliferation Policy Education Center (NPEC) warned this week that the nuclear technology the EU has offered Iran could indeed help it make an atomic bomb, not prevent it.
The EUs appeasement of an innately outlaw regime will not defuse the serious nuclear threat posed by Iran. It would also have catastrophic consequences for U.S. security and regional stability by unwittingly facilitating Tehrans nuclear drive.
Engagement is an inherently dangerous policy when it comes to dealing with terrorist, totalitarian states like Iran for it would encourage them to continue their behavior and demand even more concessions when they see their outlaw conduct is economically and politically rewarded.
It was just last year that the EUs Big-3, France, Germany, and Britain, were trumpeting their nuclear agreement with Iran as sign of success for use of diplomacy in dealing with rouge states.
That was a year ago. During this period there was no shortage of talks or leniency in dealing with Tehran. Still, Tehran continued its campaign of cheat-and-conceal, violating the word and spirit of the agreement and has had plenty of time to push its clandestine nuclear weapons program forward and from all indications is very close to the point of nuclear no return.
Intrinsically and structurally incapable of real change, the mullahs regime lacks long-term stability and legitimacy. Ensuring its permanence has been the driving force of its domestic and foreign policy since coming to power in 1979.
Contrary to the contention of Tehrans apologists in the EU, Irans two-decade long nuclear drive is not a part of a defensive doctrine to deal with a dangerous neighborhood or legitimate security concerns in the aftermath of the Iraq war. It is a core component of Tehrans strategy of survival and expanding its fundamentalist Islam elsewhere. It stems from the depraved and rogue nature of the regime.
As quoted in the Middle East Defence News of July 22, 1991, Irans powerful former president, Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, told a gathering of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps in October 6, 1988, that We should fully equip ourselves both in the offensive and defensive use of chemical, biological, and nuclear weapon. From now on, you should make use of the opportunity and perform this task.
No doubt Iran represents a clear and present danger to worlds peace and security. The ever-shrewd Europeans may have their commercial or geopolitical interests in mind for not wanting to break their bridges with the mullahs. However, the specter of a nuclear-armed Iran the most active state sponsor of terrorism is far too ominous to let appeasers in the EU formulate policy toward Tehran.
Fri Oct 29, 2:19 PM ET
VIENNA (AFP) - The European Union (news - web sites) is considering making concessions to Iran ahead of a nuclear meeting next week in order to get it to abandon uranium enrichment but the hardline United States is unhappy with such a compromise, a Western diplomat told AFP.
Iran and the EU are to resume last-chance nuclear talks in Paris next week with time running out for Iran to accept the European offer for it to suspend uranium enrichment in order to avoid possible UN Security Council sanctions, diplomats said in Vienna.
Iran and the European Union's three key states Britain, France and Germany have already met twice this month in Vienna ahead of a meeting of the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on November 25 that will decide on the Iranian nuclear program, which the United States claims is aimed at secretly developing atomic weapons.
At a meeting that failed to reach an agreement, Iran responded last Wednesday to an EU proposal that would allow Tehran to escape potential UN sanctions and as a reward receive nuclear technology by indefinitely suspending uranium enrichment and all related activities.
Enrichment is the process that makes fuel for civilian reactors but which can also be the explosive core of atomic bombs.
The Western diplomat said the European trio was meeting this Friday in Paris to prepare the session with Iran that will be next Friday and were considering giving Iran incentives immediately rather than have Tehran wait, and during this time suspend uranium enrichment, while a long-term agreement is hammered out.
The Europeans "obviously don't want this process to die and are getting together a draft agreement on uranium suspension," the diplomat said.
The diplomat said that in order "to sweeten the deal, the Europeans are thinking about conceding a few minor points to Iran."
These would be guaranteeing Iran's right to peaceful nuclear technology, promising to support Iran in having international access to nuclear fuel and giving assurances immediately on a European offer to help Iran get a light-water research reactor designed not to promote proliferation of nuclear weapons, if Iran gives up plans to build a heavy-water reactor that could easily produce weapons-grade plutonium.
The Europeans would also be ready to have IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei report on Iran "as appropriate" to the agency's board of governors, instead of reporting on Iran as a special issue as he currently does at every meeting.
The United States, which wants Iran to immediately halt all uranium enrichment activities or be taken to the Security Council for possible sanctions, "has already told the EU informally that it thinks these concessions are an unhelpful step," the diplomat said.
But he said Washington was continuing "to take a public posture of saying very little."
Another diplomat said that Wednesday the Iranians had clearly told the European countries that they want something in return, and quickly, for their cooperation.
The diplomat said the Iranians had said: "How can we make it clear to our political leaders and our public that we are committing ourselves without getting anything in return?"
Diplomats said Iran must decide by mid-November about suspending uranium enrichment if it is to avoid having the IAEA, the UN's nuclear watchdog, take it to the Security Council.
ElBaradei has said it would take his agency 10 days to verify suspension, a Western diplomat said.
"November 15 is a kind of logistical deadline for the IAEA," ahead of the November 25 meeting, the diplomat said.
In Tehran, influential former president Hashemi Rafsanjani said Iran would continue talks with Europe over its nuclear activities but reject any threats aimed at depriving the country of peaceful nuclear technology.
Iran has since October 2003 voluntarily suspended the actual enrichment of uranium as a confidence-building step but has refused to agree to an indefinite suspension, saying this would violate its right to enrichment under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
It also says that some parts of the fuel cycle, such as making the feed gas and the centrifuges that carry out the enrichment, should not be covered by the suspension.
The European trio demand a full and indefinite suspension of nuclear fuel cycle activities.
Analysts and diplomats have said Iran was seeking to delay the matter until after US presidential elections Tuesday, and then give in just enough to avoid having the IAEA send Iran's dossier to the Security Council.
2004 Friday 29 October
Based on received reports, more than 150 riots were organized by people of various social classes, around Iran between September 15th and October 15th.
During this period 153 instances of strikes, sit-ins, conflicts and protest occurred in dozens of cities around Iran against the ruling Mullahs. Cities like Tehran, Esfahan, Sabzehvaar, Birjand, Miaandowaab, Karadj, Khorramabad, Torbat-jaam, Rasht, Hamadan, Orumi´yeh, Maybod, Bojnourd, Mash´had, Zanjaan, Baabol, Qom and many more.
Knowledgeable and active students organized sit-ins and demonstrations in 60 of said cases. These protests occurred in universities in: Tehran, Karadj, Lorestaan, Zanjaan, Shiraz, Mash´had, Kermaanshah, Orumi´yeh, Gilaan, Sabzehvaar, Esfahan, Rasht, Torbat-jaam, Araak and Kerman.
The country´s destitute workers, in 37 cases of sit-ins and protests were the second highest active group, after the students. During this one month period the most noticeable aspect of these protests were the 20 cases of extensive clashes between the protestors and the regime´s disciplinary forces which was much higher that previous months. In a few instances the representatives of the regime were severely beaten. Other groups such as nurses, teachers and highschool students were also among the protesting groups.
In light of the non-stop executions at the hand of the Mullah regime, protests proliferated and increased all around the country. During the one month period between September 15th and October 15th, 36 people (that are known of) have been executed. These executions were specifically designed to intimidate and scare the already exasperated citizens.
The hardworking and honest Shop-keepers and street vendors of the town of Boraazjaan (province of Bushehr) harassed by the disciplinary forces
The clashes that continued on for hours forced the Bazaar of this town to close down. The problems began when the disciplinary forces began gathering merchandise belonging to the street vendors.
The office of the regime representative in the city of Ramsar, was attacked by armed gunmen
Based on published reports, the attacker entered the regime´s representative´s office at 8 AM and began shooting. The representative is now hospitalized.
| October 27, 2004 11:41 AM US Eastern Timezone
2003 Nobel Peace Prize Winner Joins Battle Against Treasury Department for Free Speech; Iranian Human Rights Lawyer's Memoir May Not Be Published in the United States
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 27, 2004--Shirin Ebadi, the Iranian human rights activist who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003, has filed suit against the U.S. Treasury Department in federal court in New York because regulations of the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) prohibit the publication of a book she wants to write about her life and her work for readers in the United States. Ms. Ebadi and The Strothman Agency, LLC, a literary agency that wants to work with her, filed the suit which will be joined to a legal challenge mounted by publishers and authors last month.
Ms. Ebadi's predicament provides a perfect illustration of the harm the OFAC regulations cause. Ms. Ebadi has been imprisoned for her human rights work in Iran. She could not publish the book she wants to write in Iran, but the OFAC regulations also prevent anyone from publishing it in the United States. As long as the regulations stand, the book will not come into being.
The regulations were first challenged in a lawsuit filed on September 27, 2004, by the Association of American Publishers Professional and Scholarly Publishing division (AAP/PSP), the Association of American University Presses (AAUP), PEN American Center (PEN), and Arcade Publishing.
The publishing and authors' groups point to Ms. Ebadi as exactly the kind of author whose work should be published in the United States. "Do we really want to deprive an Iranian human rights activist of the opportunity to communicate with the American public?" asked Marc H. Brodsky, Chairman of AAP/PSP and Executive Director of the American Institute of Physics. "These regulations are counter-productive and should simply be scrapped." Brodsky also responded to recent statements OFAC has made in defense of the regulations, in response to the September 27 suit: "According to OFAC, publishers who have concerns should just come to them for a license, but publishers should not have to ask their government for permission to use their constitutional right of free speech."
The regulations stem from U.S. trade sanctions imposed on particular countries. Congress has declared that trade embargoes may not be applied to "information and informational materials," but OFAC has defied that prohibition and maintained regulations that prohibit the publication of many books and articles by authors in Iran, Cuba and Sudan. The regulations are being challenged as violations of the specific instructions of Congress as well as the First Amendment.
The OFAC regulations specifically forbid the publication of works by authors in Iran, Cuba and Sudan unless the works in question have already been completed before any American is involved. Americans may not co-author books or articles with authors in the embargoed countries and may not enter into "transactions" involving any works that are not yet fully completed -- even though authors, publishers an agents generally must work with one another well before a new work is fully created -- and Americans may not provide "substantive or artistic alterations or enhancements" or promote or market either new or previously existing works from the affected countries, unless they obtain a specific license from OFAC. Violators are subject to prison sentences of up to 10 years or fines of up to $1,000,000 per violation.
Both Ms. Ebadi and the groups that initiated the challenge agree that Ms. Ebadi is only the most prominent example of a valuable voice that has been silenced. "There are untold numbers of less prominent authors whose stories have no chance of reaching us. The embargoes are cutting Americans off from scholars, dissidents, scientists and others in regions that are of enormous public concern," said Peter Givler, Executive Director of AAUP. He cited books on history, music and archaeology that university presses have been unable to publish, and even an article that had to be withdrawn from the scholarly journal Mathematical Geology. "Ms. Ebadi's inability to publish her memoirs provides another example of the chilling effect the regulations are having on publishing in America."
In her court filing, Ms. Ebadi decries the "enforced silence" the OFAC regulations impose, calling it "a critical missed opportunity both for Americans to learn more about my country and its people from a variety of Iranian voices and for a better understanding to be achieved between our two countries."
"At a time when building mutual understanding between peoples and nations seems to us more urgent that ever, these regulations only serve to reinforce distances and divisions," said Larry Siems, Director of the Freedom to Write and International Programs at PEN American Center. PEN and Arcade are planning to publish an anthology of works by Iranian writers, poets, and critics since the Iranian Revolution that expose the turmoil and repression of recent years. "Some of the work can't be published in Iran because of government censorship there," said Dick Seaver of Arcade Publishing. "If publication is blocked by government interference here, what's the functional difference between Iran's censorship and ours?"
The groups challenging the OFAC regulations point out that the regulations violate the Trading with the Enemy Act (TWEA), the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and the First Amendment. TWEA and IEEPA were twice amended by Congress, in the Berman Amendment and the Free Trade in Ideas Amendment, to make it clear that transactions involving "information and informational materials" are exempt from trade embargoes. The AAP/PSP, AAUP, PEN, and Arcade contend that OFAC's regulations directly contradict the statutes that authorize trade sanctions and infringe the First Amendment rights of publishers, authors and the public. "Accordingly to Congress and the Constitution, Americans are entitled to receive ideas and information from authors anywhere in the world," said the organizations' lead counsel, Edward Davis. Ms. Ebadi's suit makes the same contentions on behalf of authors and the literary agents who help them prepare and market their works.
Since the effect of these OFAC regulations became clear late in 2003, as a result of several rulings issued by OFAC, publishers, authors, and public interest groups have pursued a number of paths to making OFAC enforcement consistent with the protection for "information and informational materials" mandated by Congress in the Berman Amendment and the Free Trade in Ideas Amendment. "We decided to pursue the legal challenge because our efforts have not yet yielded a resolution that is satisfactory on either the law or the principle," explained Mr. Brodsky. The plaintiffs hope for a decision by early next year.
Edward Davis and Linda Steinman of the New York office of Davis Wright Tremaine are lead counsel for the AAP/PSP, AAUP, PEN and Arcade. Marjorie Heins of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU and law professor Leon Friedman are co-counsel for PEN and Arcade. Ms. Ebadi and the Strothman Agency are represented in their suit by Philip A. Lacovara, Anthony J. Diana and Ryan P. Farley of Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw.
For links to relevant OFAC rulings, the legal papers of AAP/PSP, AAUP, PEN and Arcade, and additional materials, visit http://aaupnet.org/ofac.
About the AAP/PSP
Members of the Professional/Scholarly Publishing (PSP) Division of the Association of American Publishers, Inc. (AAP) publish the vast majority of materials used in the U.S. by scholars and professionals in science, medicine, technology, business, law, reference, social science and the humanities. The Division's (www.pspcentral.org) 182 professional societies, commercial publishers and university presses produce books, journals, computer software, databases and electronic products.
AAUP (www.aaupnet.org) counts among its members 111 nonprofit scholarly publishers affiliated with research universities, scholarly societies, research institutions and museums located in 43 states. Collectively they publish around 10,000 books each year and over 700 journals in virtually every field of human knowledge.
About PEN American Center
PEN American Center is an organization of over 2,500 prominent novelists, poets, essayists, translators, playwrights, and editors. As part of International PEN, it and its affiliated organizations have defended free and open communication within and among nations for more than 80 years. The 2,500 PEN American Center (www.pen.org) members are a major voice of the national and international literary community.
Arcade Publishing, Inc. (www.arcadepub.com) is an independent book publisher based in New York City. Founded in 1988, it publishes fiction and nonfiction by authors from around the world, including works by some of the most prominent authors of our time. Arcade is the publisher of the upcoming PEN Anthology of Contemporary Iranian Literature.
29 October 2004
Sixth online journalist thrown in prison as authorities reportedly prepare "adultery" charges
Reporters Without Borders today deplored the arrest of Iranian journalist Fershteh Ghazi, of the daily Etemad ("Confidence"), for working with reformist Internet news websites and expressed alarm at reports that the intelligence services were preparing to accuse her and five other imprisoned journalists of "adultery" in a bid to hide the political nature of their detention.
"Such accusations, about private matters, would serve to cover up a flagrant violation of free expression and would be a disgusting legal spectacle," the worldwide press freedom organisation said.
Ghazi was picked up on 28 October by the Teheran morality police, Edareh Amaken, when she answered a summons to appear before the 9th chamber of the Teheran prosecutor-general's office. Her family was not told why she was arrested or where she was being held.
The five other imprisoned journalists - Javad Gholam Tamayomi, Omid Memarian, Shahram Rafihzadeh, Hanif Mazroi and Rozbeh Mir Ebrahimi - are expected to be accused of having sex with her. Some of them are said to have been forced to sign confessions. Such accusations by the authorities are common against political prisoners in Iran.
Tamayomi, of the daily Mardomsalari ("Democracy") was arrested on 18 October when he answered a summon from the same officials as Ghazi. Memarian (editor of a weblog) was arrested on 10 October, Rafihzadeh (cultural editor of Etemad) on 7 September, Mazroi (who worked on several reformist papers) on 8 September and Ebrahimi (former political editor of Etemad) at his home on 27 September.
October 29, 2004, 8:25 a.m.
The terrorists cannot win either a conventional or an asymmetrical war against the United States, should it bring its full array of assets to the struggle. Indeed, the Middle East, for all its revenue from inflated oil prices, has a smaller economy than Spain's. It has never won a war against a Western power. Arab nations lost in 1967, 1973, 1991, and 2004. Hence the fatwas must go back to millennia-old glories about Saladin, the siege of Cyprus, the Moors, and the Caliphate about the last examples of Islamic victories over the West. The Middle East's only successes in 1956, or during the 1980s in Afghanistan, were due to either a United States' veto of British operations or the importation of American stinger missiles. The Iranian hostage crisis, Lebanon, and Mogadishu were Western retreats, not battlefield defeats grievous, yes, but hardly arbiters of relative military advantage. The present terrorists are a nasty sort, but they are still not the SS or millions of Tojo's crack Japanese troops; nor do they have the organization or the skill of the Vietcong or NVA. These are losing hundreds of jihadists every week in Iraq and have failed to retake Afghanistan.
So why do the now-surrounded and desperate insurgents in Fallujah think they can prevail, especially after the rout of the Taliban in six weeks and the implementation of a consensual government in less than three years in Afghanistan? In a word, the jihadists and their fellow-travelers are once again convinced that this time it will be different because the West, and the United States in particular, have neither the patience nor the will to endure their primeval killing of a post-Saddam Iraq.
Beheadings, suicide bombings, mass executions, and improvised explosive devices are not intended to destroy or even defeat the U.S. military. Rather, they are aimed at the taxpaying citizens back home who fuel it. In a globalized world of instant communications, a bin Laden or Zarqawi trusts that most of us would prefer to take out the garbage than watch a blood-curdling video clip of yet another Western hostage kneeling before a half-dozen psychopaths as they begin to saw off his vertebrae. They hope that we the sickened ask, "Why waste our billions and hundreds of lives on such primordial folk?" wrongly equating 26 million who wish freedom with a few thousand criminals and terrorists.
The improvised explosive device is a metaphor for our time. The killers cannot even make the artillery shells or the timers that detonate the bombs, but like parasites they use Western or Western-designed weaponry to harvest Westerners. They cannot blow up enough Abrams tanks or even Humvees to alter the battlefield landscape. But what they can accomplish is to maim or kill a few hundred Westerners in hopes that our own media will magnify the trauma and savagery of their attack and do so often enough to make 300 million of us become exhausted with the entire "mess." The message of Arabic television is that the Iraqis are supposed to blame us, not their brethren who are killing them, for the carnage. Not our power, but our will, is the target.
Al Qaeda and their appendages in Iraq do not know the requisite numbers of dead or wounded Americans necessary to break the resolve of the United States, but brag that with 1,000 fatalities they are nearing their goal and thus a few more will give them a change of administration, schedules for withdrawal, an abandoned interim Iraqi government ripe to pluck, and a Lebanon-like paradise to reconstruct the lost sanctuary of Afghanistan. In other words, they are desperate for a reprieve from their looming destruction. Al Qaeda "the Base" without a base is not much of a terrorist organization since its own proud appellation has become an ironic joke.
Despite the three-week victory over the Baathists, there is some reason for the Islamists' optimism that they can break our will given a decade of nonchalance after the first World Trade Center attack, the Khobar towers, the USS Cole, and an assortment of other unanswered murders in the 1990s. The April withdrawal from Fallujah whether due to worry about Iraqi civilian or our own casualties was a grievous blow. The Spanish debacle was an even worse Western defeat. Killing about 200 Spaniards got a Socialist and anti-American prime minister elected and an almost-immediate troop withdrawal from Iraq even though such appeasement was met not with thanks but with a subsequent attempt to blow up the judges of the Spanish High Court.
Meanwhile, here at home, John Kerry talks about timetables for departure and cessation of the present course. His supporters on the extreme left from George Soros to Michael Moore blame George Bush, not Osama bin Laden or Saddam Hussein, for the current televised butchery. There is a reason why candidate Kerry now painfully insists that he would not precipitously withdraw because everyone else worldwide, from a Chirac and Schroeder to Arafat and most of the Arab world suspect that, in fact, he will.
An American flight would shame Tony Blair and John Howard, leave eastern Europe to the bullying of Paris and Berlin, destroy the Iraq interim government, take the heat off Arab autocracies, and send a message that American policy was back to Clintonian-like law enforcement, replete with jargon such as "sensitive" and "nuisance." It does not matter what Kerry would "really" wish to do, since the last two years of campaign rhetoric have earned him the worldwide reputation of the Bush antithesis, and thus his victory would, rightly or wrongly, be interpreted as a complete rejection of toppling Saddam and fostering a constitutional government in his place. His supporters and financial backers on the left would not tolerate anything less than a withdrawal.
Because of our astounding weaponry and superb military, the terrorists in Fallujah count on the help of such postmodern Western guilt and internecine blame to supply constraints on the American military every bit as effective as the old Soviet nuclear deterrent. Again, a Michael Moore or so they believe is worth an entire jihadist cell. Our parents were terrified that, should America resort to military force abroad, they would be nuked; we are even more scared that our lethality will earn us the parlor disdain of the French and Germans. The terrorists are assured that the Western press is obsessed with Abu Ghraib, but not at all with Saddam's necropolis or their own slaughter of innocents. They suspect that those who endured Omaha and Utah or scaled Suribachi are long sleeping in their graves, and that a few thousand creeps in Fallujah scare us more than a quarter million in the Bulge did our parents.
So yes, it is a strange war. Jihadists are amused that a few American soldiers, worried over their safety, can refuse orders, call 7,000 miles home in anguish, and expect that their complaints, handed over by Mom to the local TV station, will turn up on national cable news before their own commanders in the field even know what is up. A teenaged terrorist with a RPG, being filmed as he is killed, is every bit as an effective soldier through his globally broadcast death than had he lived on to hit his target Humvee with his rocket in the first place. We don't ask, "Which school-builder or power-restorer was he trying to obliterate?" but rather "Why did we have to kill him?"
When the Islamists behead a tearful Englishman or American, it is more likely that his surviving dad or sibling back home will be on television all over the Middle East within minutes damning Tony Blair or George Bush, without a word of censure for the Dark-Age head-loppers. After all, we are not Nepalese who storm the local mosque and put the fear of God into Islamists when they butcher our own. We are more likely to be frightened, turn on ourselves, and condemn some American somewhere who cannot stop "this."
But cannot our self-induced forbearance vanish as soon as we decide enough is enough? Should the American government ignore the EU hysteria, tell Kofi Annan to worry about his son's crooked shenanigans and not Americans' killing terrorists, and simply take Fallujah as part of a larger effort to correct the laxity of the past and finish the war then we would surely win. The fallout would be as salutary as our present restraint is disastrous. Like the murderous Pakistani madrassa zealots who flocked to Tora Bora only to be incinerated, Fallujah would not stand as a mecca for the jihadists, but an Armageddon better to watch on television than die in.
The truth is that war remains the same the more it changes. For all the technological gadgetry, foreign landscapes, baffling global communications, and endemic pacifism of the present age, war is still a struggle of the human spirit. The morality, materiel, and technology are all on our side. But we are confused in this postmodern age that such advantages should automatically equate to near-instantaneous and costless victory as they sometimes do in Panama and Serbia as if the heart of the medieval caliphate next to Syria and Iran, replete with terrorism and a 30-year past of mass murder, is a mere Haiti or Grenada.
In the heart of even the most ardent liberal lies a dormant but still alive desire for victory, and in every strutting hawk there lingers the fear of abject defeat. Had we secured Iraq by June 2003, the sputtering Kerry candidacy would by now have been faulting Bush for not going into Iran. But blink, falter, and witness beheadings and hostage-taking on television, and Kerry can reinvent himself as the apostle of peace all along and a bizarre group of creepy people come out of the woodwork professing Biblical wisdom about George Bush's purported catastrophes.
In short, the more sophisticated, the more technological, the more hyped and televised war becomes, the more pundits and strategists warn us about "fourth-generational," "asymmetrical," "irregular," and "new dimensional" conflict, the more we simply forget the unchanging requisite of the will to win that trumps all other considerations. John Kerry has no more secret a plan than George Bush because there is no secret way to pacify Iraq other than to kill the killers, humiliate their cause through defeat, and give the credit of the victory, along with material aid and the promise of autonomous freedom, to moderate Iraqis. Victory on the battlefield not the mysterious diplomacy of "wise men," or German and French sanction, or Arab League support alone will allow Iraq an opportunity for humane government.
Meanwhile, we all vote. One candidate urges us to return to the mindset of pre-September 11 law enforcement dealing with terrorists as nuisances. He claims the policies that have led to an absence of another attack at home, the end of the Taliban and Saddam Hussein, idealistic efforts to extend freedom, and radical and positive changes in Pakistan, Libya, the West Bank, and the Gulf have made things worse. In contrast, the other reminds us that we are in a real war against horrific enemies and are no longer passive targets, but will fight the terrorists on their home turf, win, and leave behind humane government. No choice could be clearer. It is America's call.
Diplomats said that the head of the UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Mohamed ElBaradei, made this offer to help France, Britain and Germany in their talks with Iran aimed at persuading the Islamic republic to abandon its controversial uranium enrichment programme.
ElBaradei and the IAEA have offered to guarantee Irans fuel supply, a Western diplomat familiar with the European Unions negotiations with the Iranians.
The diplomat said that the Iranians, who insist their nuclear programme is peaceful, have argued that if they give up their nuclear fuel production capabilities, they will never have a reliable source of fuel for their nuclear reactors.
Iran has demanded a guaranteed supply from the Europeans, but has not yet been satisfied with any of the proposals as to where the fuel would come from. So, this IAEA offer could help break the deadlock.
A IAEA guarantee would mean that Irans fuel supply would not be subject to the political whims of countries such as Russia, which plans to provide Iran fuel for its Russian-built Bushehr reactor and to take back the burnt fuel from the plant.
Iran is afraid that the US could put pressure on Russia to halt its fuel supplies to Iran and they would not have fuel for their reactors, the diplomat said.
Iranian officials were not immediately available for comment.
The United States says Iran is using its atomic energy programme as a front to develop nuclear weapons and believes Iran is using the negotiations with the EU to buy time as it races to develop the capability to build an atom bomb.
Several diplomats confirmed the IAEA offer, but said the details have not been worked out. It is unclear if the offer would be acceptable to Iran, which says that enriching uranium is a sovereign right that it will never give up.
The IAEA declined to comment, but one diplomat close to the Vienna-based agency said that this idea was close to the UN agencys original mission when it was set up in the 1950s.
At that time, the IAEA was envisaged to be an authority that would oversee the allocation of nuclear material that could be used in weapons but would be intended for nuclear power plants.
French, British and German officials will meet with an Iranian delegation on Nov. 5 to continue talks on a possible suspension of Irans enrichment programme, which could be used to develop fissile uranium for weapons.
The EU has warned Tehran it would back US calls to refer Iran to the UN Security Council, which can impose economic sanctions, if it did not agree to freeze all uranium enrichment activities before an IAEA board of governors meeting on Nov. 25.
(AFX UK Focus) 2004-10-29 13:15 GMT:
TEHRAN (AFX) - Influential former president Hashemi Rafsanjani said Iran would continue talks with Europe over its nuclear activities but reject any threats aimed at depriving the country of peaceful nuclear technology. "We agree to continue negotiations within the framework of international rules but if the Europeans want to use threats, there is no more place for negotiations," Rafsanjani said on state radio. Iran and three European nations -- Britain, France and Germany -- failed on Wednesday to agree on getting Tehran to suspend all uranium enrichment activities, but further talks are due to be held. "We have the feeling that the Europeans are now more serious and the hope of arriving at an acceptable point exists," Rafsanjani said. He also expressed his hope that the European three "do not become an instrument in the hands of the Americans". Washington charges that Iran is using its nuclear programme as a cover for efforts to develop a nuclear bomb, allegations vehemently denied by Tehran. Tehran now has to prove to the UN's nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, that it is not pursuing the bomb or risk being hauled in front of the UN Security Council to face sanctions. Iran's supreme guide Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned Wednesday that Tehran could break off nuclear talks with the international community if it insisted on a long-term suspension of uranium enrichment, a key stage in the nuclear cycle. email@example.com
By Paul Hughes
TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran believes there is only a 10 percent chance the U.N. Security Council will impose economic sanctions on it if Washington succeeds in sending its nuclear case there, a senior security official said on Friday.
Hossein Mousavian, foreign policy committee secretary at the Supreme National Security Council, said Iran's past cooperation with U.N. inspectors and support from key non-Western states such as Russia and China would spare Iran.
"Iran has given reports on its nuclear activities, it has signed the additional protocol (on snap nuclear inspections) and has proved its commitments to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty," the ISNA students news agency quoted him as saying.
"Therefore, even if Iran's case is sent to the Security Council, we are more than 90 percent sure no economic sanctions will be imposed on Iran because our nuclear activities have been peaceful."
The European Union has warned Tehran it would back U.S. calls to refer Iran to the Security Council if it did not agree to freeze all uranium enrichment activities before an International Atomic Energy Agency meeting on Nov. 25.
Iran, which denies pursuing nuclear arms and says it only wants to generate electricity, says it may freeze enrichment -- a process that can make bomb-grade material -- for a few months.
But the European Union wants a longer suspension and ultimately wants Tehran to scrap all atomic fuel cycle work, which it says it will never do.
Western diplomats in Tehran acknowledged that the failure of U.N. inspectors to find any "smoking gun" in Iran pointing to an atomic arms program made the likelihood of sanctions against Tehran unlikely in the short term.
"The most we could expect at first is a resolution calling on Iran to cooperate more or halt certain activities," one said.
RUSSIAN, CHINESE SUPPORT
EU and Iranian negotiators are due to meet again to try to hammer out a deal on uranium enrichment in Paris on Nov. 5.
"If Iran's case is sent to the Security Council, Russia, China and the non-aligned nations and many other countries know that Iran does not have an atom bomb to be punished for," Mousavian said.
Russia and China hold veto powers on the Security Council.
Russia has a $1 billion contract to build the Islamic state's first nuclear reactor. Tehran also secured a $70 billion oil and gas contract with energy-thirsty China this week -- the biggest energy deal ever between the countries.
Mousavian said Russian and Chinese officials had visited Iran recently and China's foreign minister may visit Iran soon.
"Iran's team of (nuclear) negotiators have spent about 70 percent of their time negotiating with countries such as Russia, China and non-aligned countries and have only spent 30 percent of their time negotiating with European countries," he said.
Security Council referral would be unwelcome.
"When a country's case is sent there it is viewed as a threat to international peace and security and Iran does not welcome that.
"If Iran's case is sent to the Security Council it is because we want to defend our rights ... Of course, we have to pay the price, but it will be more costly for the other side."
TEHERAN The Iranian judiciary yesterday ordered the arrest of a woman reporter in Teheran, the students news agency ISNA reported.
Fereshteh Ghazi, a reporter with the reformist daily Etemad, was arrested on still unknown charges and with no information on her whereabouts, her husband told ISNA.
Despite widespread protests and appeals to the states leaders, the conservative clergy in the judiciary is continuing a crackdown on journalists, charging them with spreading lies, insulting officials and endangering national security.
In the latest round of measures against the Press, several journalists working for news web sites have been arrested in recent weeks and several Internet sites closed down.
Iran's clerical regime is resorting to shady tactics against its opponents in Denmark. Daily newspaper Information reported that Iranian refugees in the country have been subjected to extortion and pressure, presumably by agents from the Iranian Embassy in Copenhagen. Informants from the nation's Iranian émigré community have passed on information to agents that has in many cases had drastic consequences for family members in Iran.
Several Iranian refugees spoke with the newspaper for its report, including defected Iranian diplomat Perviz S. Khazai, who represents the National Council of Resistance in Iran (NCRI) in Scandinavia.
I believe the Iranian regime has 50-60 very active 'Gestapo' style agents in Scandinavia - predominantly embassy workers and refugees who forward information on other refugees. In Denmark alone, there are at least 5-10. I know one of them by name, said Khazai.
Chief inspector Hans Jørgen Bonnichsen of the Security Intelligence Service (PET) confirmed that refugees in Denmark are often subjected to espionage.
I won't say anything on the extent to which Iranians are targets of espionage. It would damage our counterintelligence work if I said which exile groups we were focusing on, said Bonnichsen, who has urged any Iranian refugees who feel they may have been targeted by spies to contact PET.
© 2004 WorldNetDaily.com
According to a report in Al Jazerra, Iran has decided to wait to see if John Kerry will win the presidential election on Nov. 2.
Why? Iran would like to accept the "Kerry Plan" in which the United States and the European Union triumvirate of France, Germany, and England would accept Iran's right to sophisticated nuclear technology and supply them the nuclear fuel necessary to run that technology.
The re-election of President Bush is clearly less acceptable to Iran. What the Bush Administration wants is to force a Nov. 25 decision by the International Atomic Energy Agency that Iran is not cooperating with the international controls needed to use nuclear technology responsibly, for peaceful purposes only. Following such a determination, the Bush administration could force the Iranian question before the Security Council where further sanctions could be imposed upon Iran. We again encourage John Kerry to telephone one of his top fund-raisers, Hassan Nemazee. Mr. Kerry could even refer to this site where on WorldNetDaily.com he could view in streaming video the clip of Mr. Nemazee's deposition where on Oct. 18, 2004, Mr. Nemazee under oath testified that he "would not trust this regime on the nuclear issue to have any intentions other than a weaponized program." Would someone please give Mr. Nemazee a telephone? Here is one of the campaign's top fund-raisers a man who has raised over $500,000 for Sen. Kerry. Sen. Kerry, Mr. Nemazee thinks giving Iran nuclear fuel with the expectation that the mullahs will use it only for peaceful purposes is foolish. Yet, Kerry's foolhardy Iran plan should not surprise us. This week, WorldNetDaily.com has reported on documents captured by the U.S. military during the Vietnam War. The documents show Hanoi's clear intentions to guide and assist the U.S. anti-war movement, communicating directives through the communist delegates to the Paris Peace Conference. According to these documents, Hanoi planned carefully to influence the American anti-war movement in the Fall of 1971 by promoting what was known as the 7-Point Peace Plan of Madame Binh, the chief negotiator of the Provisional Revolutionary Government, more simply known as the Viet Cong. On July 22, 1971, John Kerry called a press conference in Washington, D.C., where as chief spokesperson for the Vietnam Veterans Against the War he called for President Nixon to accept Madame Binh's 7-Point Peace Plan. Moreover, John Kerry followed precisely the methodology specified by the Hanoi directive he surrounded himself with sympathetic POW families, emphasizing the heartfelt nature of their loss and expanding anti-war sentiments to the Air Force community, from which most of the American POWs in Vietnam had come. John Kerry, quite simply, had become Madame Binh's surrogate spokesperson. What was this 7-Point Peace Proposal? Again, simply put, an American surrender a capitulation, an admission that the war was immoral, a complete withdrawal of American military forces from Vietnam, and the payment of reparations to the Vietnamese communists. Why would America do this? To get our POWs back, of course. The Vietnamese communists wanted to achieve the propaganda victory that we ourselves, in our determination to carry the war to victory, were the only barrier to the return of our imprisoned loved ones. John Kerry had crossed the line. Even though he yet was an officer in the Naval Reserves, he was supporting our enemy, betraying the U.S. Army we then had in the field of combat. How are the two events which bridge over 33 years of history tied together today? In both instances, John Kerry is ready to become the apologist for a declared enemy of the United States. Even though we were at war with the Vietnamese communists, John Kerry wanted to portray the war as an immoral war, a mistake. His charge before the Fulbright Committee was that we were colonial aggressors meddling in a civil war. He stated that few consequences would be felt if we would withdraw and he has never taken responsibility for the over 500,000 South Vietnamese put in thought-reform camps under the communists, the murderous communist sweep across the killing fields created throughout Southeast Asia, or the approximately 2 million boat people who fled Vietnam for freedom, with many families dying desperately in boats that were not seaworthy. John Kerry was wrong. The consequences of allowing the Vietnamese communists to take over South Vietnam were catastrophic to millions of human lives. Now John Kerry asks us to ignore the terrorist nature of the Iranian Islamic regime. These mad mullahs introduced themselves to Americans by taking our embassy personnel hostage for 444 days under Jimmy Carter. Iran supports Hezbollah and Hamas, terrorists organizations with a dedicated purpose to send suicide bombers into Israel, consistent with Iran's stated goal of bringing death and extinction to the Jewish state of Israel. The mullahs fund insurgents pouring into Iraq, determined to cause instability and attack American troops. Even the 9-11 commission report lays out a clear case that Iran gave free passage to the al-Qaida hijackers who flew into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Iran is an enemy of the United States. If the 9-11 terrorists had been armed with nuclear weapons, does anyone seriously doubt they would have detonated them in New York and Washington? We dare not accept the consequences of John Kerry being wrong once again. Has John Kerry ever met an enemy of the United States that he doesn't like?
We again encourage John Kerry to telephone one of his top fund-raisers, Hassan Nemazee. Mr. Kerry could even refer to this site where on WorldNetDaily.com he could view in streaming video the clip of Mr. Nemazee's deposition where on Oct. 18, 2004, Mr. Nemazee under oath testified that he "would not trust this regime on the nuclear issue to have any intentions other than a weaponized program."
Would someone please give Mr. Nemazee a telephone? Here is one of the campaign's top fund-raisers a man who has raised over $500,000 for Sen. Kerry. Sen. Kerry, Mr. Nemazee thinks giving Iran nuclear fuel with the expectation that the mullahs will use it only for peaceful purposes is foolish.
Yet, Kerry's foolhardy Iran plan should not surprise us. This week, WorldNetDaily.com has reported on documents captured by the U.S. military during the Vietnam War. The documents show Hanoi's clear intentions to guide and assist the U.S. anti-war movement, communicating directives through the communist delegates to the Paris Peace Conference.
According to these documents, Hanoi planned carefully to influence the American anti-war movement in the Fall of 1971 by promoting what was known as the 7-Point Peace Plan of Madame Binh, the chief negotiator of the Provisional Revolutionary Government, more simply known as the Viet Cong. On July 22, 1971, John Kerry called a press conference in Washington, D.C., where as chief spokesperson for the Vietnam Veterans Against the War he called for President Nixon to accept Madame Binh's 7-Point Peace Plan.
Moreover, John Kerry followed precisely the methodology specified by the Hanoi directive he surrounded himself with sympathetic POW families, emphasizing the heartfelt nature of their loss and expanding anti-war sentiments to the Air Force community, from which most of the American POWs in Vietnam had come. John Kerry, quite simply, had become Madame Binh's surrogate spokesperson.
What was this 7-Point Peace Proposal? Again, simply put, an American surrender a capitulation, an admission that the war was immoral, a complete withdrawal of American military forces from Vietnam, and the payment of reparations to the Vietnamese communists. Why would America do this? To get our POWs back, of course. The Vietnamese communists wanted to achieve the propaganda victory that we ourselves, in our determination to carry the war to victory, were the only barrier to the return of our imprisoned loved ones.
John Kerry had crossed the line. Even though he yet was an officer in the Naval Reserves, he was supporting our enemy, betraying the U.S. Army we then had in the field of combat.
How are the two events which bridge over 33 years of history tied together today? In both instances, John Kerry is ready to become the apologist for a declared enemy of the United States.
Even though we were at war with the Vietnamese communists, John Kerry wanted to portray the war as an immoral war, a mistake. His charge before the Fulbright Committee was that we were colonial aggressors meddling in a civil war. He stated that few consequences would be felt if we would withdraw and he has never taken responsibility for the over 500,000 South Vietnamese put in thought-reform camps under the communists, the murderous communist sweep across the killing fields created throughout Southeast Asia, or the approximately 2 million boat people who fled Vietnam for freedom, with many families dying desperately in boats that were not seaworthy. John Kerry was wrong. The consequences of allowing the Vietnamese communists to take over South Vietnam were catastrophic to millions of human lives.
Now John Kerry asks us to ignore the terrorist nature of the Iranian Islamic regime. These mad mullahs introduced themselves to Americans by taking our embassy personnel hostage for 444 days under Jimmy Carter. Iran supports Hezbollah and Hamas, terrorists organizations with a dedicated purpose to send suicide bombers into Israel, consistent with Iran's stated goal of bringing death and extinction to the Jewish state of Israel. The mullahs fund insurgents pouring into Iraq, determined to cause instability and attack American troops. Even the 9-11 commission report lays out a clear case that Iran gave free passage to the al-Qaida hijackers who flew into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
Iran is an enemy of the United States. If the 9-11 terrorists had been armed with nuclear weapons, does anyone seriously doubt they would have detonated them in New York and Washington? We dare not accept the consequences of John Kerry being wrong once again. Has John Kerry ever met an enemy of the United States that he doesn't like?
When Her Majesty Farah Pahlavi, the Empress of Iran, walked into the room you knew you were in the presence of royalty. The last Empress of Iran greeted hundreds of her fellow countrymen last week at a reception and book signing at Queens College. Regal and elegant, a beautiful woman with a touch of sadness in her eyes, the Empress was most approachable at a small, private opening reception and disarmingly honest, incredibly knowledgeable, during the public program that followed, as she discussed her book, An Enduring Love, My Life with the Shah, "A Memoir," and answered questions both in English and in Farci.
|The Empress of Iran (center) greets her old friend, Great Neck's Lee Seeman (l.) and Nassau County Comptroller Howard Weitzman. Photo by Wendy K. Kreitzman|
A large contingent of Great Neck's Iranian population came to see Her Majesty and Great Neck's own very talented pianist/composer Tania Eshaghoff performed a moving musical tribute for the Empress, along with musicians from the Copeland School of Music at Queens College. The audience was warm and welcoming and most supportive of the Empress.
Threaded through her words during the evening was Her Majesty's strong desire to see a free Iran, a country where her people would be free to choose either a constitutional monarchy or some other form of democratic government. And, over and over again, she did emphasize the beauty and value of the Iranian culture, the rich history she and so many others had to leave behind, and the importance of instilling that culture in future generations of Iranians, some of whom have never seen their homeland.
Her Majesty explained that she chose to write her book, and share her memories, so that her children and grandchildren and young Iranians the world over would know the story. Why did she write the book now? "I needed some distance from events, as did my compatriots," she told the audience.
The Empress met the Shah when she was only 8 years old and admired him always. She next met her future husband in Paris, when she was a young architecture student, a rare opportunity for an Iranian young woman of that era. The Shah was impressed with the young woman and they met again and a romance began. "I couldn't imagine life as a queen," Her Majesty said. "I was told there would be many responsibilities toward my country and my compatriots."
Speaking of the Shah, her husband, she told that he was "a civilized man with a sense of justice, patient, always in control, and very kind and respectful to those who worked for him." The Empress said that the man she married was "a loving husband, my guide, and a loving father, very open to his children." The Shah, she said, "loved Iran and the Iranian people."
During her reign as Empress of Iran, Farah Pahlavi headed 35 organizations, traveled extensively and managed "a huge amount of work." She spoke of being very thankful that the Shah let her serve her country and she said that she "achieved many dreams." For the Empress, helping the children was paramount, especially education and health care. Improving the conditions of women in Iran was a project dear to her heart and the Empress truly hopes to see those women once more treated as first class citizens.
The Empress also spoke of her work during her years in Iran as she strove to encourage contemporary artists and create many museums. Not all of these museums were completed during the Shah's reign, but it is the hope of the Empress to one day see all completed.
"It was a very hard day when we left Iran; I felt for His Majesty," the Empress said as she began to discuss exile. "You leave your roots, your family, your friends, your home; but we never lost hope that one day we would return, even today," she said in her soft, yet strong voice, in perfect English. It has been almost 26 years since the Shah and his Empress, along with their four children, had to flee Iran. "We lost everything and now we see what has happened for all Iranians," she added.
The Empress went on to speak of the respect with which Iran was held during her husband's reign. "Iran was respected, a center of peace," she reminded her appreciative audience. "It's hard to bear now," she said, and began to speak of her pride in her compatriots now living all around the world. The Empress spoke of her pride in the young Iranians of today and how well the exiled young ones have been educated. She spoke, too, of her pride in the Iranian women, how they have kept their families intact.
Today the Empress communicates with young Iranians the world over, personally answering emails, often hearing from young Iranians still in Iran, those who never knew her nor the Shah. "I am touched; I receive strength from those young Iranians who write to me," she said.
Her Majesty also spoke of the hurt she felt when they fled Iran and many people changed in their attitudes toward the deposed Shah and his family. She is most grateful to the late Egyptian President Anwar Sadat for his warm reception at the start of their years in exile. "How we were received in Egypt, when no one wanted us, it showed how, even in politics, there are some moral values," Her Majesty said. She is most grateful, too, to her compatriots "who have suffered so and come to me with affection."
The admiration and affection for Farah Pahlavi was palpable in the large concert hall. Asked how she has been able to go on, she simply said "Life is a struggle, but you cannot lose your dignity and your hope for the future; you cannot keep bitterness." The Empress is most grateful for what she has, for the love of her family, her friends and her compatriots, and again, she spoke of her strong desire to see Iran be a democracy. This, she said, is important to her, important for Iran, important for the Middle East and important for all the world.
When asked how history would judge the Shah, her answer was met with great applause, as she said "We don't have to wait for history to judge the King. He is judged now by his compatriots." And she told how people stop her in the streets, with words of blessing for her late husband.
Her message to her compatriots was heartfelt: "Don't give up hope! It will change. Keep hope and fight!" She asked one and all to "think of the Iranian people, invest in the future of Iran" and she said that her son would continue to fight for the freedoms today denied in Iran. And when Iran is free, her son, she said, would serve in any way he could, whether the people chose a constitutional monarchy or some other form of democratic government.
"Do not lose hope," the last Empress of Iran begged her compatriots. To her fellow exiled Iranians she implored "Don't forget about Iran; it is worth fighting for. We have a valuable culture that should not be forgotten. Keep Iran inside of you!"
THE man whose presidential ambitions were destroyed when he plagiarised Neil Kinnock is set to become Americas chief foreign policymaker if John Kerry is elected President next Tuesday.
Senator Joseph Biden of Delaware has been asked by Mr Kerry to become Secretary of State in a Democratic administration, according to Kerry campaign aides. Mr Biden, the leading Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for the past four years, ran for President in 1988. His campaign ended abruptly when it was revealed that a key element of his stump speech had been lifted directly from Mr Kinnocks general election speeches in 1987.
Mr Bidens possible elevation is one of the thousands of permutations circulating in Washington in the final days before the presidential election. If Mr Biden does go to the State Department it will be a disappointment for Richard Holbrooke, the UN Ambassador during the Clinton Administration and the architect of the Dayton peace accords that ended the Bosnian war in 1995. Mr Holbrooke has lobbied hard for the Secretary of State s job. But in what will be seen as both an effort to conciliate the famously self-confident Mr Holbrooke, and as a signal change from Bush administration policy, Mr Kerry is likely to offer him the job of special Middle East peace co-ordinator, senior Democrats say.
Mr Kerry plans to announce both appointments soon after the election as a sign of the urgency he assigns to mending diplomatic fences.
President Bush has declined to appoint a senior level emissary to the Middle East and the Kerry move would delight European leaders, including Tony Blair, who have been urging a renewed US engagement in the region.
Other senior foreign policy positions in a Kerry administration are likely to go to three former senior officials who have been advising the senators campaign.
Rand Beers, who resigned from the Bush Administrations National Security Council over the Iraq war, is likely to be National Security Adviser, although Wesley Clark, the former Nato commander, may also be considered.
James Rubin, President Clintons State Department spokesman and husband of the CNN star reporter Christiane Amanpour, is in line for a front line policy role, as is Susan Rice, another Clinton appointee, meaning that whoever wins next week, an African American female called Dr Rice will be a senior foreign policy figure.
One puzzle for the Democratic team is the Pentagon. Mr Kerry is understood to want his friend John McCain, the Arizona senator, to be Defence Secretary. But Mr McCain is believed to be reluctant. The confirmed maverick might fit uncomfortably even in his close friends administration. If the Republicans keep control of the Senate, the Arizona senator will take the powerful job of chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Another possibility is Chuck Hagel, the Nebraska senator, also a Republican. Mr Kerry is said to be intent on removing Porter Goss, who was confirmed as the head of the CIA only this month. A candidate to replace him is Bob Graham, the retiring Florida senator.
One problem with this lineup, however, for the Kerry team, is that it looks a little Senate-heavy.
Given the reputation of senators as windbags with large egos and an argumentative manner, Mr Kerry, a senator himself, may be reluctant to have former senators at President, Vice-President (John Edwards, his running mate), Secretary of State, Secretary of Defence and Director of Central Intelligence.
There is less clarity about what the foreign policy team will look like if President Bush wins, which seems odd, given that the Republicans are already in charge.
Though nothing is fixed, officials say, Colin Powell is likely to leave the State Department, as is his deputy, Richard Armitage. Both have been bloodied in the Administrations infighting in the past four years and are not inclined to stay. But Donald Rumsfeld is eager to remain at the Pentagon and a newly re-elected Mr Bush may feel vindicated enough to keep him in place.
Possible replacements for General Powell include Condoleezza Rice, the current National Security Adviser, if she decides to stay in Washington at all, or Robert Blackwill, currently a senior director on the NSC and the man who has been in charge of Iraq policy in the past six months. Mr Blackwill is regarded as a pragmatist and problem-solver rather than an ideologue. John Danforth, the recently appointed ambassador to the UN, and former senator, is another name under consideration. There is much jockeying for the National Security Adviser post job if Dr Rice does leave. Stephen Hadley, her deputy, seems to be favourite. But other possibilities include Paul Wolfowitz, the deputy secretary of defence, and leading light among the neoconservatives in the Administration, Mr Blackwill if he does not get the State job, and Lewis Scooter Libby, Dick Cheneys chief of staff, and a key figure in administration policy in the past four years, who is also sympathetic to the neoconservative approach to foreign policy ends.
HERGEINA -- Kurdish Iranians in poor border towns are taking advantage of the porous boundary with Iraq to sneak into the country for coveted items -- like alcohol -- to sell back home.
For the past three years, Farshid Karimi has earned his living smuggling goods -- and dodging border guards.
The 23-year-old was drinking a cold beer at an Iraqi bar on a recent evening, taking a short break before carrying 60 bottles of whisky into Iran. With his baggy, Kurdish-style pants tucked inside his socks so he wouldnt trip while climbing the regions mountains, Karimi had already carried his load two hours.
Karimi is one of the "night men" who hide on the Iranian side of the border, waiting for the right moment to make the crossing under cover of darkness.
"I am afraid of encountering Iranian soldiers who would chase me and might shoot at me for carrying liquor," he said as he sipped his beer. "Or I might wander on the road and end up stepping on a land mine" left over from the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s.
Karimi, who is from the Iranian border town of Marivan, admits that what hes doing is dangerous, but for him, the risk is worth it. He must provide for his family of five.
Alcohol is illegal and considered sinful under Irans strict Islamic laws. Lashing is the usual punishment for drinking in Iran and traffickers can end up in prison.
Last year, Iranian soldiers caught Karimi in a border ambush. He was jailed for one year and given 80 lashes in public. His back was covered in blood and he could not sleep on it for a month, he said.
"I did not mind the physical pain. What hurt most was my pride and dignity that was shattered by being beaten in front of everyone," he said.
Despite efforts to tighten border security, Iranian smugglers remains so active that a few taverns have opened in the Iraqi frontier towns to serve the clandestine transporters hot meals, beer and whisky. Some also sell feed for the mules and donkeys that smugglers often use.
Residents on both sides of the border in this area are Kurdish. They speak the same language, dress alike, have the same traditions and many intermarry.
After crossing the border, smugglers gather in the Iraqi town of Bashmagh, where they fight among themselves to purchase whatever Iraqi goods are available.
Iraqi trader Mohammed Ibrahimi, who sells china, says he offers 100 packages for sale every day but often has up to 500 smugglers clamoring to buy.
"It becomes a fierce fight where survival is for the fittest," he said.
The Bashmagh crossing point has two routes -- one used by trucks transferring legal goods and another used by smugglers carrying items that are illegal to sell in Iran, like liquor. The smugglers, who sometimes have to bribe the Iranian soldiers to let them in and out of the country, also carry foodstuffs not available in Iranian border towns, like tea, sugar and rice.
Its not only young men who embark on the smuggling journey. The elderly, children and women also take a chance.
Sirwa Ahmady, a 31-year-old Iranian widow with eight children, says she crosses the border into Iraq three times a day to buy plates and cups to sell back home.
"This is my everyday routine so that my children wont go hungry," she said. "The worst thing for me is to return home empty handed."
TRENTON - A New Jersey tool company violated a federal order to do business with Iran by sending fuel oil nozzles to a German company, the U.S. attorney said Friday.
Company officials at Monarch Nozzle knew the equipment ultimately would be shipped to Iran, according to charges brought by the U.S. attorney in Philadelphia, where the case was investigated.
The Swedesboro-based company sent $11,068 worth of nozzles for fuel oil burners to a customer in Karlsruhe, Germany, in October 1999, according to court papers.
Authorities allege Monarch Nozzle did not get the federal clearance needed for companies to do business with Iran, which is required under a 1999 executive order.
If convicted, the company could face fines of up to $50,000 and lose the ability to export goods for 10 years.
Officials at Monarch Nozzle did not immediately return messages seeking comment Friday afternoon.
WASHINGTON - The United States said that "time is running out" for Iran to avoid being hauled before the UN Security Council for possible sanctions by complying with international demands to halt uranium enrichment activities and come clean on its suspect nuclear program.
The State Department noted that next month's meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency's board of governors was fast approaching and recalled that the IAEA had set a November deadline for Iran to comply with the threat of UN Security Council referral if it does not.
"Iran needs to agree to that and needs to be able to put the IAEA in a position to verify and report it," spokesman Richard Boucher told reporters.
He declined to comment on whether the US position on bringing the matter to the Security Council might change depending on talks between Tehran and Europe's big three nations who are now trying to convince Iran to abandon uranium enrichment in return for concessions.
"Time is running out on the Iranians," Boucher said, noting that the talks Britain, France and Germany are having with Iran had yet to yield any result and that the IAEA board is scheduled to meet on November 25.
"But at the same time, these discussions will continue and we will see where we are in November whether or not Iran has met the requirements," he said. "That's the issue and it's a simple issue as far as we're concerned."
Iran and the so-called "EU3," have met twice this month to discuss the incentives and are to resume the last-chance talks in Paris next week as the IAEA meeting looms.
In Tehran, influential former president Hashemi Rafsanjani said Iran would continue the talks but would reject any threats aimed at depriving the country of peaceful nuclear technology.
Iran insists that its program is for civilian power and has angrily dismissed persistent US accusations that it is really a cover for secret nuclear weapons development.
Win or Retreat? It's America's Choice
Victor Davis Hanson,
National Review Online
More than 150 demonstrations took place in cities around Iran...
Iran John Kerry's next Vietnam?
Dr. Jerome Corsi
Ping; Excellant read; Victor Davis Hansen article
Win or Retreat? It's America's Choice
Victor Davis Hanson,
National Review Online
When the Americans go to the polls on Tuesday they would do well to remember two events that have altered their lives forever. The first was the raid on the US Embassy in Tehran, and the seizure of American hostages on Nov. 4, 1979. The second was the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks against New York and Washington.
The embassy seizure showed that Americans were no longer safe outside their homeland and that even diplomatic immunity would not protect them. The 9/11 attacks showed that the Americans were no longer safe even in their own homeland, and that no amount of military clout could protect them against enemies that recognized no bounds.
In a sense the Nov. 4, 1979 attack on the US Embassy in Tehran could be regarded as the opening scene of a long drama that reached its catharsis on Sept. 11, 2001.
Here is why.
The 1979 embassy attack came at a time that the administration of President Jimmy Carter was trying to prop up the new Khomeinist regime in Tehran. Carter had decided to support Khomeini in the context of the so-called Green Belt strategy developed by his National Security Advisor Zbigniew Bzrezinski.
That strategy was born out of the assumption that the US and its allies were unable to contain the Soviet Union, then expanding its zone of influence into Africa, the Indian Ocean region and, through left-leaning regimes, in Latin America.
To counter that, Bzrezinski envisaged the creation of a string of Islamic allies that, for religious as well as political reasons, would prefer the United States against the Godless Soviet empire. The second stage in Bzrezinski's grand strategy was to incite the Muslim peoples of the USSR to revolt against Moscow and thus frustrate its global schemes.
The Bzerzinski strategy had been partly inspired by the French Sovietologist Helene Carrere dEncausse who, in her book called The Fragmented Empire, predicted the disintegration of the USSR as a result of revolts by Muslim minorities.
When the Islamic revolution started in Iran, the Carter administration saw it as the confirmation of its assumption that only Islamists could master enough popular support to provide an alternative to both the existing despotic regimes and the pro-Soviet leftist movements.
The Carter administration went out of its way to support the new regime in Tehran. A ban imposed on the sale of arms and materiel to Iran, imposed in 1978, was lifted, and a US presidential finding, signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1954, was dusted up to reaffirm Washingtons commitment to defending Iran against Soviet or other threats.
Also to symboliZe support for the mullas, President Carter initially rejected a visa application for the exiled Shah to travel to New York for medical treatment.
Just weeks after the mullas regime was formed, Bzerzinski traveled to Morocco to meet Mehdi Bazargan, Ayatollah Khomeini's first prime minister. At the meeting, Bzrezinski invited the new Iranian regime to enter into a strategic partnership with the United States. Bazargan, concerned that the Iranian left might bid for power against the still wobbly regime of the mullas, was ecstatic about the American offer.
The embassy raid came just days after the Bzrezinski-Bazargan meeting in Morocco and, by all accounts, took Khomeini by surprise. It is now clear that leftist groups opposed to rapprochement with the US had inspired the raid.
Khomeini saw the incident as a leftist ploy to undermine his authority. He was also concerned about the possibility of the US taking strong military and political action against his still fragile regime. Deciding to hedge his bets, the ayatollah played a double game for several days, waiting to gauge American reaction.
According to his late son Ahmad, who had been asked to coordinate with the embassy-raiders, the ayatollah feared thunder and lightning from Washington. But what came, instead, was a series of bland statements by Carter and his aides pleading for the release of the hostages on humanitarian ground.
Carters envoy to the UN, a certain Andrew Young, described Khomeini as a Twentieth Century saint, and begged the ayatollah to show magnanimity and compassion.
Carter went further by sending a letter to Khomeini. Written in longhand, it was an appeal from one believer to a man of God. Carters syrupy prose must have amused Khomeini who preferred a minimalist style with such phrases as we shall cut off Americas hands.
As days passed, with the American diplomats paraded in front of television cameras blindfolded and threatened with execution, it became increasingly clear that there would be no thunder and lightning from Washington. By the end of the first week of the drama, that was to last for 444 days and ended the day Ronald Reagan entered the White House, Khomeinis view of the United States had changed.
Ahmad Khomeinis memoirs echo the surprise that his father, the ayatollah, showed, as the Carter administration behaved like a headless chicken.
What especially surprised Khomeini was that Cater and his aides, notably Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, rather than condemning the seizure and the treatment of the hostages as a barbarous act, appeared apologetic for unspecified mistakes supposedly committed by the US and asked for forgiveness and magnanimity.
Once he had concluded that the US would not take any meaningful action against his regime, Khomeini took over control of the hostages enterprise and used it as a means of propping his anti-imperialist credentials while outflanking the left.
The surprising show of weakness from Washington also encouraged the mullas and the hostage-holders to come up with a fresh demand each day. Started as a revolutionary gesture, the episode, soon led to a demand for the US to capture and hand over the Shah for trial. When signals came that Washington might actually consider doing so, other demands were advanced. The US was asked to apologize to Muslim peoples everywhere and, in effect, change its foreign policy to please the ayatollah.
Matters became worse when a military mission sent by Carter to rescue the hostages ended in tragedy in the Iranian desert. The A-Team dispatched by Carter fled under the cover of the night, leaving behind the charred bodies of eight of their comrades.
In his memoirs, Ahmad nicely catches the mood of his father who had expected the Americans to do something serious such as threatening to block Irans oil exports or even firing a few missiles at the ayatollahs neighbourhood.
But not only none of that happened, the Carter administration was plunged into internal feuds as Vance resigned in protest against the attempt to rescue the hostages. It was then that Khomeini coined his notorious phrase America Cannot Do a Damn Thing.
He also ordered that the slogan Death to America be inscribed in all official buildings and vehicles. The star-spangled flag was to be painted at the entrance of airports, railway stations, ministries, factories, schools, hotels and bazaars so that the faithful could trample it under feet every day.
The slogan America cannot do a damn thing became the basis of all strategies worked out by Islamist militant groups, including those that, for doctrinal or political reasons, were opposed to Khomeini.
That slogan was tested and proved right for almost a quarter of a century. Between Nov. 4, 1979 and Sept. 11, 2001 a total of 671 Americans were seized and held as hostages for varying lengths of time in several Muslim countries.
Almost a thousand Americans were killed, including 241 Marines who were blown up while asleep in Beirut in 1983.
For 22 years the United States, under presidents from both parties, behaved in exactly the way that Khomeini predicted. It took countless successive blows, including the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center in New York, without decisive retaliation. That attitude invited, indeed encouraged, more attacks. The 9/11 tragedy was the denouement of the Nov. 4 attack on the US Embassy in Tehran.
Iran,China to construct gas refinery
| 11:37:53 Þ.Ù
Beijing, Oct 30 - Iran and China here Friday night signed a memorandum of understanding to construct a gas condensates refinery in Iran's southern city of Bandar Abbas.
The refinery will be constructed within the next three years aiming at producing extra gasoline which constitutes 56 percent of the refinery's output.
The refinery's capacity is estimated to be some 300,000-350,000 barrels per day.
Total investment necessary for the joint project is projected to stand at some 1.5 billion dollars.
According to the MOU, Iran will own the gasoline produced at the refinery and China will export other outputs.
Iran will take the ownership of the refinery after 25 years.
Visiting Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh and the chairman of China's development and reforms commission Ma Kai on Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to award the project to develop Yadavaran oil field to China's Sinopec.
Under the MoU, Sinopec has agreed in return for Yadavaran project to purchase annually 10 million tons of Iranian liquefied natural gas (LNG) over a period of 25 years.
Iran: 13 year old schoolgirl facing death by stoning flogged 55 times
Iran Focus ^ | 10/30/04 | Iran Focus
Tehran, Oct. 30 - Zhila Izadyar, the 13-year-old schoolgirl from the Iranian town of Marivan (north-western Iran) who is sentenced to be stoned to death is reported to be in poor health after she was lashed 55 times in prison. Azad Zamani of the Society for the Protection of Childrens Rights has said that Zhilas health has been rapidly deteriorating. Zamani has managed to visit Zhila although under close supervision of the Iranian regimes agents. Zamani stated that Zhila said, I am scared; I want to go home; I want to be able to go back to school like other...