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Iranian Alert - November 7, 2004 [EST]- IRAN LIVE THREAD - "Americans for Regime Change in Iran"
Regime Change Iran ^ | 11.7.2004 | DoctorZin

Posted on 11/06/2004 9:31:20 PM PST by DoctorZIn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DoctorZin



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

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

1 posted on 11/06/2004 9:31:26 PM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn

I also hear the people were thrilled with Bush's re-election.


2 posted on 11/06/2004 9:33:33 PM PST by Darkwolf377
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Join Us At Today's Iranian Alert Thread – The Most Underreported Story Of The Year!


3 posted on 11/06/2004 9:33:57 PM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn

Bush Vows No Letup in War on Terror

Saturday, November 06, 2004

​WASHINGTON — Fresh off his re-election victory, President Bush vowed the United States would not retreat from trying to spread democracy through the Middle East and would continue to pursue a no-holds-barred approach to Iraq and the War on Terror (search).

"I understand, in certain capitals and certain countries, those decisions were not popular," Bush said at his first post-election news conference Thursday. But he made no apologizes about the course he had set and said he would not back down.

Before flying to the presidential retreat at Camp David (search ) to rest after the grueling campaign, Bush took congratulatory calls from world leaders and met with his Cabinet to discuss his second term.

He said he had not made any decisions about personnel changes, although some turnover is almost inevitable in his Cabinet and White House staff.

"I haven't made any decisions on the Cabinet yet," nor about his top staff, Bush said. "The word 'burnout' is oftentimes used in Washington, and it's used for a reason, because people do burn out."

The first job to change hands could be that of attorney general, since John Ashcroft might leave even before the second term begins, senior aides said Thursday.

Others expected to leave — although maybe not immediately — include Secretary of State Colin Powell (search), Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson (search) and Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta (search).

FOX News has learned that Thompson has indicated to associates that he would leave early in Bush's second term.

"I'm proud of every person here — they've done a great job for the country and I've reminded them that even though an election just ended, we've still got work to do," Bush told reporters after the Cabinet meeting Thursday.

"I made it clear to them [the Cabinet] I was glad the election was over and reminded them that we're here for a reason," Bush said at the meeting. "They understand that it's such an honor to serve America, it's a privilege to sit around this table ... and do the nation's business."

As U.S. forces in Iraq mobilized for an all-out offensive against Fallujah and other Sunni militant strongholds, the president refused to say how much the war would cost or whether he planned to alter troop levels.

"I have yet to hear from our commanders on the ground that they need more troops," the president said.

Privately, senior Pentagon officials said it was possible that more U.S. forces could be deployed before January.

Two overnight raids in Fallujah destroyed barricades set up by guerrilla forces inside the city. But troops have not yet moved into the heart of the city.

U.S. military commanders believe the insurgents have used the past few months to booby-trap roads and set up potential ambushes using homemade bombs, which they said might slow down the assault but would not stop it.

The president on Thursday expressed determination to see the Iraq mission through.

"In order for Iraq to be a free country, those who are trying to stop the elections and stop a free society from emerging must be defeated," Bush said.

He vowed to work with the government of interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi (search).

The president is expected to ask Congress early next year for up to $75 billion for Iraq, Afghanistan and operations against terrorism.

The White House said that with Bush's second-term victory and the planned Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, it sees a new opportunity to advance Mideast peace.

"I think it's very important for our friends the Israelis to have a peaceful Palestinian state living on their border," Bush said. "It's very important for the Palestinian people to have a peaceful, hopeful future."

Bush did not go as far as British Prime Minister Tony Blair in declaring that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the world's most important political challenge.

"I agree with him that the Middle East peace is a very important part of a peaceful world," said Bush. One factor in Mideast peace talks is Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, whom a senior Palestinian official said was in a coma in a French hospital.

Bush reaffirmed his policy, enunciated in June 2002, of an independent Palestinian state existing at peace with Israel. The U.S.-backed plan for peace, known as the "road map," called for the new Palestinian state in 2005.

"My hope is that we'll make good progress," Bush said.

The president sees the war in Iraq as part of a drive to establish a stable democracy in the Middle East and create a model for the rest of the region.

"And I fully understand that that might rankle some, and be viewed by some as folly," Bush said. "I just strongly disagree with those who do not see the wisdom of trying to promote free societies around the world."

Bush said he'd reach out to countries around the globe, as well as organizations like the European Union and NATO, to help in the War on Terror and spread democracy; he stressed that these are issues that shouldn't be politicized.

"Every American has a stake in the outcome of this war — Republicans, Democrats and independents," the president said. "We have a solemn duty to protect the American people, and we will."

Bush is the first president in 68 years to have won re-election while his party gained seats in both the House and Senate. He said Americans have embraced his conservative agenda.

"I'll reach out to everyone who shares our goals," said Bush. A day earlier, he had promised to try to win over those who voted for his Democratic opponent.

"I've earned capital in this election — and I'm going to spend it for what I told the people I'd spend it on, which is — you've heard the agenda: Social Security and tax reform, moving this economy forward, education, fighting and winning the War on Terror," the president said.

FOX News' Steve Centanni and The Associated Press contributed to this report.p>


4 posted on 11/06/2004 9:34:33 PM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn

WHY does the media hide this? How many people even know of the how jubilant the Iranian people were over the President's reelection? I saw ONE story about it.


5 posted on 11/06/2004 9:35:08 PM PST by CWOJackson
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To: CWOJackson
Are you kidding?

You expect the media to report that people in Iran celebrated the reelection of President Bush....

But yes, they did celebrate by the millions.

http://www.daneshjoo.org/smccdinews/article/publish/article_4319.shtml
6 posted on 11/06/2004 9:41:42 PM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn

Cautious Mid-East optimism greets Bush win


By Jon Leyne
BBC News correspondent in Amman

Leaders and other senior figures across the Middle East have queued up to offer their congratulations to President George W Bush on his re-election. But many people in this troubled region view "four more years" with foreboding.

Effigy of President Bush during a protest in Iran
Anti-US sentiment in Iran was in evidence during a recent protest outside the US embassy in Tehran
Messages have been sent to the White House from Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Officials with Yasser Arafat in Paris have offered their good wishes on behalf of the Palestinian leader, even though Mr Bush has been harshly critical of Mr Arafat.

Iran has been less enthusiastic, but even one senior official there, Mohammad Ali Abtahi, an adviser to President Mohammad Khatami, suggested Mr Bush's victory was good news because of John Kerry's lack of experience in dealing with the region .

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was one of a number of Arab leaders to call on Mr Bush to work harder for peace between Israel and the Palestinians in his second term.

"We hope Mr Bush's new administration, together with the EU, can bring influence to bear to arrive at a peaceful development in the region," the Egyptian leader said.

Fearing the worst

It's easy to argue that the Middle East views President Bush as an ogre. The picture is not quite that simple, but many do fear the worst from a second term.

"We should expect a more tense Middle East in the coming four years under Mr Bush's leadership," said Labib Kamhawi, a political analyst based in the Jordanian capital, Amman.

"And we should expect a more arrogant and less compromising president, who believes that he has been re-elected because his policies capture the support and acceptance of the American people."

We hope the US administration will be more engaged in solving the Arab-Israel conflict
Palestinian PM Ahmed Qurei
In contrast, Israeli Deputy Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, described President Bush as "the most friendly president towards Israel that we have ever had".

It is that unqualified support for Israel that has alienated much of Arab opinion, combined with the growing number of civilian casualties in Iraq, and Mr Bush's uncompromising language of "crusades".

Yet, ironically, many Iraqis still support President Bush for getting rid of former President Saddam Hussein.

Additionally, some Iranians quietly hope Mr Bush will also help the cause of reformers in their country.

Israel knows it will have a firm friend in Washington, whichever party is in power.

But the Israeli leader, Ariel Sharon, also suspects he may come under more pressure during a second Bush term to withdraw Jewish settlements and reach an accommodation with the Palestinians.

Israeli commentators point out that Mr Bush might be forced to apply more pressure on Israel as the price of reconciliation with Europe and in order to defuse the situation throughout the Middle East.

Syrian, Iranian nervousness

No-one can be more nervous, surely, than Syria and Iran.

Syria is being pressed by both the United States and France to withdraw its remaining troops in Lebanon. Iran is in a continued standoff with the United States over its nuclear programme.

Yet any thought either country might be the next target for invasion is wild exaggeration.

Washington still maintains diplomatic relations with Syria - a long way from the chill that existed with Saddam's Iraq.

Even the toughest hawks in Washington know war with Iran is almost inconceivable. Indeed, the occupation of Iraq is already seriously over-stretching American forces.

Despite the widespread dislike of Mr Bush in the Middle East there are voices suggesting he is the man to finish what he has started.

Analyst Mr Kamhawi argues a victory for John Kerry would have done the region no favours.

"I always believed it was better to have Bush re-elected than having Kerry elected," he said. "Because, had Bush failed, a lot of Arabs and Muslims might believe that victory has been attained against Bush, and this is quite fallacious."

So the Middle East will just have to learn to live with President Bush.


7 posted on 11/06/2004 9:42:22 PM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn

Secularist dissidents agressed by Islamists in London

SMCCDI (Information Service)
Nov 6, 2004

Several Secularist dissidents, including an Iranian female journalist, were aggressed today, in the British Capital, as they denounced the organization of the so-called "Ghods Day" sponsored by the Islamic regime and several Islamist groups.

The dissidents were distributing leaflets and shouting slogans against the Mullahs' regime and Islamist fanatism; As Islamist marchers and several mullahs were promoting their anti-Semite and hate agenda under the protection of the British police.

Not astonishingly, most of British Leftist groups had refused to participate in the secularist protest actions intending to condemn the "Ghods Day". These organizations preferred to stay mum by leaving few Iranians and lucid Middle Easterns to carry what should have been the combat of all progressist forces. It's to note that most of the European Left wing is sick of its own anti-Israeli and Pro-Palestinian complexes to the point of being unable to differentiate between Human Rights and the gradual progress of hate and terror ideologies promoted by Islamist fanatics.

Ghods is the Arabic name for Jerusalem and the Islamic regime is organizing, each year, demonstrations and actions targeting the annihilation of the Israeli State. Such policy was instated by Rooh-Ollah Khomeini, the back warded and dogmatic founder of the regime, who was targeting the use of innocent Palestinians in order to solidify his power in the Islamic World at the detriment of both Iranians and Palestinians. In that line, the Mullhacracy intends, next Friday, to bring into the Iranian streets its usual "professional demonstrators" and some forced governmental employees and schools' students while it has invited, again, the heads of several Islamist terror and fanatic groups.

The SMCCDIt's Coordinator called, this morning, for the massive boycott of what has been qualified, by the terrorist and tyrannical Islamic regime, as the 'celebration' of the "Ghods Day". The call was made by Aryo B. Pirouznia during interviews with the well respected Pari Saffari and Cyrus Sharafshahi of the popular Los Angeles based "Voice of Iran" (KRSI) and "National Iranian Television" (NITV).

The Movement's Coordinator stated: "What can be a better sign of a massive rejection of the Islamic regime and hate policy than the majority of the Iranians who will stay home, on next Friday, and will leave to the clerics and their affiliates just some empty streets and dead cities ? ....Tehran alone has over twelve millions of inhabitants... What can do the regime will be to try to bring or force a maximum of one hundred thousands of individuals for its needed false show of legitimacy. But the World will surely witness the maturity and exasperation of Iranians.."

SMCCDI is known for having endorsed or being involved in various anti-terror campaigns in US, France, Germany and it has always denounced the hate and terror policies of the Mullhacracy. Statement entitled "Leave Palestine alone and think about us"  or "Another mass murder in accordance with the worldwide celebration of Ghod day" were amply commented, in 2002-2003, by some of the main American newspapers, such as the New York Post and the Miami Herald, and various Middle East Political watch organizations, such as, MEMRI.

The Movement will be issuing, in the next few days, another official statement in condemnation of the organization of the "Ghods Day" and the Islamic regime's anti-Semite policy. It will also call on Iranians to show the power of their Civil Disobedience Movement by boycotting this symbol of terror and violence.

8 posted on 11/06/2004 9:43:36 PM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn

France:'Considerable Progress' On Iran Nuclear

[Excerpt]
November 06, 2004
Dow Jones Newswires
The Associated Press

PARIS -- European diplomats have made "considerable progress" toward a provisional accord on Iran 's nuclear program, the French foreign ministry said Saturday. The statement came after two days of talks in Paris aimed at persuading Tehran to stop developing technologies that could be used to make nuclear weapons.

"At the end of difficult discussions, the two sides have achieved considerable progress toward a provisional accord on a common approach to these questions," the ministry said.

A diplomatic official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said talks stretched over 20 hours and set the stage for better relations between Europe and Tehran.

9 posted on 11/06/2004 9:44:23 PM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn

November 5, 2004

 

A New Beginning in Washington, an Old Menace from Tehran

As several thousands die-hard supporters of the Iranian theocracy were marking the 25th anniversary of taking 52 Americans hostage in Tehran on Wednesday, President George W. Bush was re-elected.

The Iranian state-run press decried Mr. Bush’s re-election as a “victory for violence and for Zionists”. "The United States is intrinsically opposed to the Islamic republic on matters such as Israel, the Middle East peace process, nuclear technology, human rights and democracy," wrote the Siassat Rouz daily. The paper, anticipating a more vigorous campaign by Washington in support of democracy movement in Iran, added that it expected "new hostile measures and new accusations from the United States".

A majority of Iranians, however, had a totally different view of the Tuesday elections, hoping that it would signal a new beginning marked by adopting a firm Iran policy in support of their movement for a secular democracy.

Ironically, it was the faithful 444-day-long occupation of the U.S. embassy in Tehran, which introduced America to the evil of the fundamentalist inspired terrorism. This menace plagued the world ever since and culminated in the September 11 tragedy.

The 1983 suicide bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut, the 1996 bombing of Khobar Towers in Riyadh, the 1994 explosion of the Jewish community center in Argentina and hundreds of terrorist assaults on Iranian dissidents abroad were part of Khomeini’s war on the free world.

Referring to the 1983 Beirut bombing, Iran’s former minister of the Revolutionary Guards said in the early 1990s that Tehran had provided “both the T.N.T. and the ideology” for the operation.

Years of appeasement, cloaked under the banner of constructive engagement, or the less-than adequate containment policy, contributed to the spread of Tehran-inspired terrorism as the mullahs soon realized that by continuing their rogue behavior they could gain diplomatic and strategic windfalls.

It is no wonder that even today Tehran is complaining it has not been adequately rewarded for its terrorist actions. On Wednesday, Hossein Mousavian, a top security official in Tehran said, "We showed goodwill and helped release the hostages [in Lebanon], but America reneged on its promises." Translation: we ordered our terrorist proxies, the very same ones we had directed to take American hostage, to release them but we have not been rewarded.

The absence of a coherent and firm policy toward Tehran in the past two decades explains why the mullahs embarked on running a very sophisticated clandestine nuclear weapons program in the mid-1980s. Then, warnings from nuclear proliferation experts and the Iranian opposition about Tehran’s menacing nuclear intentions went unheeded, prompting the clerical regime to continue with its secret nuclear program.

Now, as the world is faced with the specter of the most active sponsor of terror going nuclear, the European Union is again prescribing incentives and compromise to resolve the nuclear standoff. It has even offered more carrots following Tehran’s rejection of its initial appeasement package and is no longer calling for an “indefinite suspension of Iran's uranium enrichment.”

On this side of the Atlantic, the expectation is that the re-election of President Bush would herald a marked departure from the “engagement” policy – a legacy of the Clinton administration – still lurking within our foreign policy-making circles.

Last Tuesday, majority of Americans declared their support for President Bush’s vision that expansion of democracy in the Middle East, particularly in countries under totalitarian rule such as Iran, remained at the core of the war on terror and that nuclear proliferation by rogue regimes was unacceptable.

Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly in September, President Bush said, “For too long, American policy looked away while men and women were oppressed, their rights ignored and their hopes stifled. And that era is over”. Now that he is re-elected, he ought to put the diplomatic and political weight of the United States behind the democracy movement in Iran that is working to unseat the ruling tyranny.

Iranians are hopeful that America would no longer “look away” when it comes to their struggle against the religious dictatorship in Iran, opting instead to stand by the people and the anti-fundamentalist democratic opposition there.

Strategically speaking, this would be the only effective “stick” available to Washington as it tries to cope with Iran’s nuclear campaign.

For the next four years, “democracy for Iran, security for America” should be the guiding light of our policy towards the terrorists who are running Iran.

10 posted on 11/06/2004 9:44:47 PM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Saturday, November 06, 2004

Islamic Republic's Qods Day March in London Disrupted by Iranian Dissidents

November 06, 2004
Iran va Jahan
IRVAJ Network


Islamic Republic’s efforts to capitalise on the Palestine conflict was disrupted today in London by several Iranian dissidents who shouted counter slogans at the marchers and handed out leaflets describing the evils of the Islamic Republic to the onlookers and passers by.

The leaflet outlined the sufferings of the Iranian people at the hands of the clerics ruling Iran and stated that a regime which acts against her own citizens is no friend of Palestinians nor any other nation.

The leaflet also exposed the priorities of the Islamic Republic which purchased arms from Israel during the Iran-Contra affair but refused the help of Israeli NGOs to the earthquake victims in Bam.

Other notable events during the march was an Iranian female journalist who was attacked by one of the fundamentalist women while interviewing one of the Iranian dissidents and the refusal of a Left Wing English organisation to take part in the march after reading the leaflet by Iranian dissidents and talking to them.

The Iranian dissidents had gathered at the march after calls by Supporters of the Pro-Democracy Movement in Iran and the International Alliance of Iranian Students.

For further details contact : London@daneshjooyan.org

Following is the leaflet handed out by Iranian dissidents:

Freedom Loving People of Britain,


The Islamic Republic of Iran is exploiting the Palestine issue as a propaganda tool by holding an AL-Qods day rally in the streets of London.

In its 25 years of existence, the Islamic Republic of Iran has executed thousands of Iranian dissidents, jailed hundreds of political activists, closed down all the newspapers for the slightest of criticisms of its outdated ideology, and assassinated scores of its opponents outside Iran, including in Europe and Britain.

A medieval regime which claims to represent God on earth is no friend of its own people and has little regard for the lives and well beings of its own citizens, let alone the Palestinians and others in the Middle East. Islamic Republic of Iran, is an evil regime which thrives on exporting Islamic fundamentalism, meddling in other countries, and sponsoring international terrorism.

A regime which treats her own people in such brutal manner, is no friend of any other nation including the Palestinians. Her only objective by holding this Al-Qods rally is nothing but inflaming further a sensitive situation in the region.

Islamic Republic of Iran is the same regime which purchased arms from Israel in the Iran-gate affair and yet refused the humanitarian aid by Israeli NGOs during the devastating Bam earthquake. Such are the priorities of the Islamic regime in Iran.

The Iranian people in the last twenty-five years have experienced with their flesh and bones, the injustices of the Islamic Republic. The Iranian people have experienced the false promises of its founder, Ayatollah Khomeini, when he promised them free electricity, water, buses etc. upon his return from exile, but his religious dictatorship has brought nothing to Iranians except poverty, corruption, and terrorism.

We ask you to defy their Al-Qods day of propaganda by all means you can. The solution to the problems of Middle East is not Islamic fundamentalism but a secular democratic regime in Iran which can bring about peace and prosperity to the people of the Middle East and security for the world.

As the protesting workers and teachers shouted in the streets of Iran, ‘Leave Palestine be, think of your own people’


Alliance of Iranian Students in London
Supporters of the Pro-Democracy Movement in Iran

11 posted on 11/06/2004 9:45:11 PM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn

Thanks for the link. The truth needs to get out.


12 posted on 11/06/2004 9:45:17 PM PST by skikvt
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To: DoctorZIn

Iran Nuclear Talks End with No Agreement

Sat Nov 6, 2004 05:50 PM ET

By Leon Malherbe and Paul Carrel

PARIS (Reuters) - Talks between Iran and three European Union heavyweights ended on Saturday without an agreement on Tehran's nuclear program, a source close to the negotiations said.

Iran was seeking a compromise in the talks with France, Germany and Britain to avoid a dispute over its nuclear program being referred to the United Nations Security Council and avert the risk of sanctions.

The EU trio wants Iran to stop enriching uranium.

"At the end of difficult talks, the two parties made considerable progress toward a provisional agreement on a common approach on these issues," the French Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

But a source close to the negotiations said: "Nothing is settled ... The discussions were difficult, very difficult. The Iranians struggled hard."

"Everyone has to touch base now," the source added after the second day of talks. "That's the end of this meeting ... There is no (further) meeting planned."

Iran denies U.S. accusations that it is developing nuclear weapons. It says uranium enrichment, a process of purifying uranium for use as fuel in atomic power plants or in weapons, is a sovereign right that it will never abandon.

Its official IRNA news agency said lawmakers had drafted a bill, to go to parliament next week, outlawing the state from developing nuclear weapons in a bid to show the world that Tehran's atomic ambitions were entirely peaceful.

"Parliament intends to make it a law ... that Iran does not need atomic arms, to prove to the world that the U.S. and Israel are lying," lawmaker Hamid Reza Hajbabaei was quoted as saying.

At the talks Tehran was offering a six-month suspension of its enrichment program but Britain, France and Germany wanted it to agree to an indefinite suspension before an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) meeting on Nov. 25, diplomats said.

If no deal is struck before the meeting of the U.N. nuclear watchdog's board of governors, the EU is expected to support Washington's demand for a referral to the U.N. Security Council.

CHINA OPPOSES SECURITY COUNCIL REFERRAL

China's Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing said during a visit to Iran on Saturday that it would be better if the matter were not referred to the Security Council, where Beijing holds the option of vetoing any sanctions against Tehran.

"It would only make the issue more complicated and difficult to work out," he told a news conference.

Iran's Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi added: "It is in the interests of both sides that the issue be resolved in a way that Iran retains its legitimate right to use peaceful nuclear technology and others are assured that Iran is not seeking nuclear weapons."

An Iranian negotiator in Paris said a key issue was Tehran's demand for the IAEA's board of governors to stop considering it a case for special investigation. Any suspension of Iran's enrichment program would have to be "linked to the normalization of the IAEA process in Iran," he said.

Dutch Foreign Minister Bernard Bot said at an EU foreign ministers' meeting on Friday that Europe wanted full suspension of all uranium enrichment and plutonium reprocessing activities.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the last word on all state matters, said on Friday Iran had no intention of producing atomic weapons.

IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei has encouraged Iran to reach a deal and offered to guarantee its supply of nuclear fuel if it abandons its fuel production capabilities, diplomats said.

(Additional reporting by Louis Charbonneau in London and Paul Hughes and Amir Paivar in Tehran)


13 posted on 11/06/2004 9:45:35 PM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn

CHINA REFUSES HELPING IRAN AT THE UNITED NATIONS

By Safa Haeri
Posted Saturday, November 6, 2004

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TEHRAN, 6 Nov. (IPS) China said on Saturday that it will oppose the transfer to the United Nations Security Council of Iran’s nuclear file, but stopped short of saying it would use its veto power in case the United States and European Union’s three major nations presses for harsh sanctions against Tehran.

"My opinion on the issue is that referral of Iran’s file to the Security Council will make it more complicated and will not help with its settlement", Chinese Foreign Affairs Minister Li Zhaoxing said during a joint press conference in Tehran, adding “the right way is to solve the problem through dialogue and negotiations”.

"Iran has had good cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency and all ambiguities have been removed; thus, there is no reason to send the file to the Security Council", observed Mr. Li, who had arrived earlier in the morning for a two days official visit.

Veto cannot be used excessively since there are special limits to that.

But when asked by journalist if Peking would use its veto power against possible sanctions if Tehran was hauled to the Security Council, he said emphatically that "Veto cannot be used excessively since there are special limits to that".

"We must see if there is any ground for such a referral or who has the prerogative to do this", the Minister said, quoted by the official Iranian news agency IRNA.

But experts on the working of the world body expresses surprise, noting that both the United States and Russia have used and abused of its veto right, a power shared also by France and Britain.

“If the Iranians think that China would take their side against that of the United States at the UN, they are wrong, no matter that Tehran and Peking have signed a colossal natural gas deal worth 100 billions of US Dollars”, Professor Hermidas Bavand who teaches political sciences a Tehran University told the Persian service of Radio France International, adding that among the five nations that have the right of veto in the Security Council, China is the one that has used this power the least”.

“It is not in the Chinese policy to use veto at the Security Council unless there is something that affects directly its own interests, like the case of Taiwan and Li’s explanations about the limit, prerogatives or ground for using veto means very politely that Tehran should not count much on Peking for engaging Washington at the Security Council’, he added.

This view was confirmed by the Head of the Supreme National Security Council’s Foreign Policy Committee Hoseyn Moussavian in an interview with the hard line daily “Kayhan”, a mouthpiece of Mr. Khameneh’i.

"We would be mistaken if we thought China would ever stand up to the Americans and engage in an embroilment over Iran’s nuclear activities", Moussavian told the daily, quoting an unnamed Chinese diplomat as having told him once that the volume of our trade transactions with the Americans is “thousand times more than that with Iran”.

The United States is accusing the Iranian ruling ayatollahs of seeking nuclear weapons by diverting atomic technologies for civilian purposes and is pressing the international nuclear watchdog to sent Iran’s case to the Security Council for economic sanctions unless Tehran stops completely and indefinitely all activities related to enriching uranium, as demanded by IAEA in its latest resolution sponsored by the EU Big 3 and adopted on 18 September 2004.

If the Iranians think that China would take their side against that of the United States at the UN, they are absolutely wrong.

But Iran insists that it has no plan to produce nuclear weapons. "As we have often said, and even announced our jurisdiction decree on the issue, we are not after manufacturing, stock piling, or taking practical advantage of any type of nuclear weapons, strongly believing that a solid and strong nation and government relying on such a huge pious youth power is basically needless of nuclear weapons", Ayatollah Ali Khameneh’i, Iran’s leader stressed on Friday.

Asked about his phone talks with US Secretary of State Colin Powell and British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw prior to his Iran tour, the visiting Chinese minister said "I told them that the Islamic Republic has had good, constructive, and positive cooperation with the IAEA”.

Receiving Li, Hojjatoleslam Hasan Rohani, Iran’s senior nuclear negotiator with both the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in the past year, Iran has satisfied all demands from the IAEA and now it is the turn of the Agency’s Board of Directors to help closing Iran’s file.

“We shall continue cooperating with IAEA, but would not accept the law of force”, Mr. Rohani told Li, adding that both Iran and China are for solving problems by the mean of negotiations and against a one polar world, a reference to he United States as the world’s sole master.

As Li was meeting with Iranian officials, including President Mohammad Khatami and Chairman of Expediency Council Ayatollah Ali Akbar hashemi Rafsanjani, in Paris meanwhile representatives from Iran were continuing “complicated and difficult” talks with counterparts from Britain, France and Germany.

Asked about the results of Saturday’s negotiations between representatives of Iran and the EU big trio, Britain, France, and Germany, in Paris, he said, "Although the two sides are holding tough talks, they are eager to keep negotiating.

"This is to the advantage of both parties to reach an agreement on authorizing Iran to enjoy its inalienable right to use nuclear knowledge for peaceful purposes. It will assure the other countries that Iran does not seek nuclear weapons", Kharrazi said, stressing that his country is ready to negotiate or carry out any confidence-building measure but not suspending enriching uranium for ever.

The second round of Paris talks ended after seven hours, with informed sources telling briefly Iran Press service that “all is not hat bad”. ENDS CHINA IRAN 61104

14 posted on 11/06/2004 9:46:03 PM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn

You know, I've seen a lot of these encouraging reports over a long time, reported as being 'under' reported. Personally, and I've got some professional insight into this as well, I don't see an internal overthrow of the mullahs even on the horizon, without some strong external influence as a catalyst. If anything were going to happen as a result of our just being in the neighborhood (Iraq) it would have already happened. JMO.


15 posted on 11/06/2004 9:47:25 PM PST by Magnum44 (Terrorism is a disease, precise application of superior force is the ONLY cure)
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To: DoctorZIn

Europeans reject Iran nuclear offer

TEHRAN: European countries have rejected an Iranian offer to suspend its nuclear activities for six months, state-run television reported last night as China's visiting foreign minister sought to resolve the dispute without formal UN Security Council involvement.

China does not want to see Iran hauled before the council for possible sanctions over its nuclear programme, as Washington has threatened, but Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing would not say if China would use its veto to protect Iran.

Li's remarks came as Iranian and European officials met in Paris to continue negotiations aimed at a compromise.

State-run television did not provide any details about the Iranian offer, which likely would have fallen far short of what the US would be willing to accept.

Britain, Germany and France have offered Iran a trade deal and peaceful nuclear technology - including a light-water research reactor - in return for assurances the country will indefinitely suspend uranium enrichment and related activities such as reprocessing uranium and building centrifuges used to enrich it.

Iran has rejected any indefinite suspension, but is under pressure to make a substantial goodwill gesture of its peaceful intentions. If Tehran doesn't give up all uranium enrichment activities before a November 25 meeting of the UN International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) board of governors, most European states were expected to back Washington's call to refer Iran to the Security Council for possible sanctions.

Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Hossein Mousavian, was quoted on state television from Paris as saying both sides were showing flexibility, but that agreement had not been reached.

Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi, speaking at a joint press conference with Li, described the Paris talks as "complicated and difficult".

He reiterated Iran's insistence that any solution must recognise Iran's right to the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

Li said he had spoken by phone before arriving in Tehran with US Secretary Colin Powell as well as top British and Japanese officials about how to "properly resolve" the dispute.

"I told my colleagues that China supports a solution within IAEA," he said.

Tehran says it has already obtained technology to master the whole cycle of the nuclear fuel from mining uranium ore to enriching uranium.

Uranium enriched to a low level can be used to produce nuclear fuel, but if enriched further it can be used to make nuclear weapons.

Iran is not prohibited from enriching uranium under the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, but faces growing international pressure to suspend such activities.


16 posted on 11/06/2004 9:51:12 PM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn

Iran wants China its top oil importer
(Agencies)
Updated: 2004-11-07 10:29

Iran wants China to replace Japan as its biggest importer of oil and gas, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh was reported as saying here.


Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing talks to the media while his Iranian counterpart Kamal Kharrazi (R) looks on in Tehran, November 6, 2004. China said on Saturday it would be better to resolve Iran's nuclear case without sending it to the U.N. Security Council, where Beijing holds the option of vetoing any sanctions against Tehran. [AP]
"Japan is our number one energy importer due to historical reasons ... but we would like to give preference to exports to China," Zanganeh was quoted as saying the China Business Weekly magazine.

"From the supply side, we have no difficulties (in making China the top energy oil importer from Iran)," the minister added.

Iran and China last week signed a preliminary accord under which China will buy 10 million tonnes a year of liquefied natural gas (LNG) for 25 years in a deal worth 100 billion dollars.

The memorandum of understanding also grants to Chinese oil giant Sinopec the right to exploit the Yadavaran oil field on a buy-back basis in cooperation with a major international oil company.

On Saturday, Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing said in Tehran that Beijing opposed US efforts to refer Iran to the United Nations Security Council over its nuclear programme.

"It would only make the issue more complicated and difficult to work out," Li said during a news conference.

The United States accuses Iran of secretly trying to develop nuclear weapons under cover of its civilian atomic energy program and wants the UN watchdog International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to take Iran before the UN Security Council when the IAEA meets in Vienna on November 25.

17 posted on 11/06/2004 9:56:23 PM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn

News on Iran-EU Big 3 Talks Contradictory

Islamic Republic News Agency-News Story
Nov 7, 2004

Vienna -- Western diplomats and news sources have made contradictory reports on the outcome of the two-day meeting held between Iran and representatives of the European trio in Paris. Iran and the EU`s Big 3 (Britain, France, Germany), in continuation of their previous talks in Vienna, started a new round of talks in Paris, France on Friday and Saturday in order to reach a consensus on Iran`s nuclear program.

A diplomat close to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said here on Sunday that the Paris negotiations ended with the two sides not able to reach a final agreement on Iran`s nuclear activities although they have considered the process of negotiations as "positive" and "progressing." He did did not elaborate on the issue, but expressed the hope that the two sides will gain access to a final settlement to the "complicated crisis."

The diplomat predicted that another meeting would be held between representatives of the two sides before the November 25th meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors to be held in Vienna.

Meanwhile, Iran`s Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said Sunday that negotiations between Iran and the European trio in Paris were "complicated and difficult but constructive and progressing."

Talking to IRNA, he said the talks, which lasted over 20 hours, had made "considerable progress" towards reaching a preliminary agreement on a common approach to the Iran nuclear issue.

The negotiations, which began Friday, were earlier said to have been deadlocked over the duration of suspension of uranium enrichment, a condition imposed by the European side, and the timing or scope of incentives in the European Union`s proposal to Iran.

Tehran remains unbending to Europe`s demand for an indefinite suspension, arguing that it would infringe its right to pursue nuclear power for civilian purposes.

Uranium enrichment is permitted under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to which Iran is a signatory and which is being enforced by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The secretary of Iran`s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), Hassan Rowhani, told state television Saturday before the French Foreign Ministry statement that the talks in Paris were "very complicated and difficult," and reiterated Iran`s refusal to give up what Tehran sees as its right to master the sensitive nuclear fuel cycle including enrichment.

"We will not accept any constraint. It is us who will decide on the duration (of a suspension of enrichment) and we will keep it in place for as long as we want," said Rowhani, adding that both sides were sticking to their respective positions on the key questions.

"Negotiations were very hard and complicated but we reached a preliminary agreement on an expertise level," said Hossein Mousavian, head of the Iranian delegation in Paris.

"It is a framework that contains the viewpoints of all sides. "All four delegations are supposed to go to their capitals and if the capitals agree with the agreement, it will be officially announced in the next few days," he told state television.

Iran says its atomic plants are intended solely to produce electricity and denies US accusations they are a front for a bomb-making program.

18 posted on 11/07/2004 8:54:24 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn

November 07, 2004

Britain offers Iran nuclear plant aid

Nicholas Rufford and Robert Winnett
BRITAIN may help Iran build a nuclear reactor and supply it with other nuclear material under a controversial deal to persuade the Islamic state to abandon its alleged weapons programme.

The deal — discussed at talks that ended in Paris yesterday — would require Iran to abandon its own efforts to enrich uranium for six months and to stop other controversial work at its nuclear facilities.

In return, provided the regime in Tehran meets the terms of the probationary period, British and other western European technicians will help to construct a light-water research reactor there.

Work would start next summer after Iran has started to dismantle some of its own nuclear installations. It would also be supplied with reactor fuel for the plant.

The plan, understood to have been discussed at the Paris talks between Iran on the one hand and officials from Britain, France and Germany on the other, is intended as a way of breaking an impasse over Iran’s increasingly naked ambitions to develop an “Islamic bomb”.

As the talks in Paris concluded last night, the French hosts reported “considerable progress”. But a source close to the negotiations said: “Nothing is settled. The discussions were difficult, very difficult. The Iranians struggled hard.”

The offer is also claimed to have been discussed at separate talks in London this weekend between British diplomats and senior aides of Mohammed Khatami, the Iranian president.

There are concerns, however, that the deal will be opposed by hardliners in America, who have been pressing for Tehran to be taken to the United Nations Security Council for its repeated failure to come clean over its ambitions.

One critic of the plan said the solution being offered by Britain and its European partners was as bad as the problem: “It’s like taking a firework from a delinquent teenager and giving him a hand grenade.”

In efforts to reach agreement, a British expert in dismantling nuclear facilities — known to the Iranians as “Edwards” — is said to have been shuttling between Tehran and London for more than a year.

Any such agreement could put an end to a long-running row over Iran’s nuclear ambitions which has opened up divisions between London and Washington.

In what has become an increasingly dangerous game of international poker, Iran has repeatedly called the Europeans’ bluff, refusing a demand by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to halt uranium enrichment during negotiations.

The United Nations’ nuclear watchdog is scheduled to complete a report this week that will claim Iran has questions to answer over its nuclear programme.

The IAEA wants an explanation from Iran for the discovery by international inspectors of traces of weapons-grade uranium at one of its installations, and for its failure to disclose work on a new type of centrifuge for enriching uranium.

The report is being prepared before a meeting in Vienna on November 25 when the IAEA will decide whether to bow to American demands to submit the matter to the UN Security Council.

Iran is anxious to get a clean bill of health at the meeting so it can begin importing nuclear fuel from Russia for a nuclear reactor already completed at Bushehr.

Israel has warned privately that it may bomb the reactor if it goes into operation next year, as planned. It is not clear how any agreement with Britain, France and Germany would affect the Bushehr plant.

In a further sign of co-operation, Iranian lawmakers have drafted a bill preventing the state from developing nuclear weapons in an attempt to show the world that Tehran’s atomic ambitions are entirely peaceful. “In fact parliament intends to make it a law . . . that Iran does not need atomic arms to prove to the world that the US and Israel are lying,” said Hamid Reza Hajbabaei, a member of the parliament, known as the Majlis.

American experts, however, insist there is strong evidence Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons. One of their main concerns is a planned 40MW (megawatt) nuclear reactor and a heavy water plant near Arak, 150 miles south of Tehran. When completed, the installations could produce enough plutonium for two bombs a year.

Britain believes a light water research reactor would be less open to abuse by the Iranians because it is not so suitable for making plutonium. The nuclear fuel for such a reactor could be made in Springfield, near Preston, or in France.

Experts nevertheless admit the equipment and material could still be subverted by Iran to make weapons. “Israel made 30 or 40 nuclear weapons from just a 26MW reactor so Iran could do the same with a research reactor,” said one.

Britain and its European partners have been accused by some in Washington of being too soft with Iran and even of giving in to nuclear blackmail.

At one stage in the latest series of negotiations the Foreign Office warned Iran that unless a deal was reached, it would back the Americans in calling in the UN Security Council, which could impose punishing sanctions.

Britain later appeared to back down when a Foreign Office official said Iran’s continuing uranium enrichment was “no longer the main issue”.

The plan to offer a light water nuclear reactor was first raised in document presented by Britain, France and Germany to a meeting of the G8 group of industrialised nations in Washington last month.

“We would support the acquisition by Iran of a light water research reactor,” the seven-page document said.


19 posted on 11/07/2004 9:10:53 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Sunday, November 7, 2004

The next surprise

U.S. policy should look ahead to challenges from Iran, North Korea
[Excerpt]

By Lee Hamilton
Guest Columnist

The presidential debates provided a clearer look at where the candidates stood on several foreign policy issues, but in a world teetering on the brink of chaos, a major challenge was not debated: the next foreign policy surprise.

On the 9/11 commission, we became interested in how often terrorism was brought up in the 2000 election. A careful review determined that terrorism came up once in the entire campaign, and was not mentioned in the debates - despite the USS Cole bombing on Oct. 12, 2000, and the east African embassy bombings in 1998.

Yet after 9/11, terrorism vaulted to the top of President Bush's agenda, and foreign policy issues debated in 2000 - Slobodan Milosevic, missile defense, humanitarian intervention - shifted to the background.

Unforeseen crises often consume a president's foreign policy. Upon taking office, the former President George H.W. Bush did not expect an Iraqi invasion of Kuwait; former President Clinton did not anticipate the amount of time he would spend on the Balkans.

This does not mean that candidates, and voters, could not have seen trouble on the horizon. Like terrorism in 2000, the 1988 situation in the Persian Gulf and the 1992 situation in the Balkans pointed to gathering peril.

In 1988, the Iran-Iraq war was drawing to a close and the region was unstable; in 1992, Yugoslavia had begun its disintegration. But in each case, key decisions lay far in the future, and candidates focused on more pressing concerns.

It seems necessary, then, to step back and consider what issues, floating under the radar screen, might pose problems for President Bush after his inauguration for a second term in January.

At the top of the list are North Korea and Iran. These hostile countries were addressed in the first debate, but the severity of the threat has not been fully acknowledged. North Korea likely has nuclear weapons; Iran is making progress with its nuclear program. We must decide soon what to do about this.

In the next four years, the president will face one of these situations: a military confrontation with one or both countries, the acceptance of one or two new nuclear-armed nations, or a peaceful resolution of differences with one or both nations that leads to their nuclear disarmament.

It may be difficult to conceive, but an armed confrontation with North Korea or Iran could push terrorism off the front burner of American foreign policy. Averting the possibility of such confrontations and halting nuclear proliferation will not be easy.

Pakistan also could pose enormous problems. Right now, we maintain a firm alliance with Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf. But there have been many attempts to assassinate Musharraf, and Pakistan is home to several strong radical Islamist movements.

It is not inconceivable that Pakistan - and its nuclear arsenal - could fall into the hands of an Islamic fundamentalist government harboring Osama bin Laden. This would immediately raise dire concerns - about nuclear proliferation, terrorism and the possibility of a war between Pakistan and India.

A crisis could also develop over Taiwan. China has stated its concern that the island is moving toward independence. If the Taiwanese do declare independence, or the Chinese act to pre-empt such a move, the United States might have to make a choice: defend Taiwan militarily, or see the island fall to Chinese invasion. Given our current deployment in Iraq, and China's role in the global economy, a confrontation with the Chinese would be immensely challenging.

The American people are right to demand a focus on Iraq and terrorism. But even these issues are laced with unpredictability. Consider a few scenarios:

• What if Iraq becomes a full-blown civil war?

• What if Israel strikes Iran's nuclear facilities or goes to war with Syria?

• What if a terrorist detonates a nuclear device in Moscow?

There is, of course, no end to these "what ifs." That is why, when we ask politicians for plans, we should recognize that the best-laid plans must adjust to circumstances. In a world of swelling turmoil, a jolt on any number of issues could cause the global scene to explode.

President Bush will not get through the next four years without huge and unforeseen choices - on war and peace, or terrorism, genocides, spiking energy costs, epidemics, financial crises or environmental catastrophes. Americans always must keep a difficult truth in mind: A president must prepare for the challenges clearly ahead, but also for those that lie around the corner. ...

---

Lee Hamilton, who served Southeast Indiana in the U.S. House for many years, is the vice chairman of the 9/11 commission, director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and former chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. Readers may write him at WWIC, Ronald Reagan Building, One Woodrow Wilson Plaza, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20004.

20 posted on 11/07/2004 10:25:33 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn

Provisional deal in Iran N-talks

[Excerpt]
From CNN's Kasra Naji in Tehran
and Robin Oakley in London
Sunday, November 7, 2004 Posted: 1056 GMT (1856 HKT)

(CNN) -- A provisional agreement has been reached over Iran's nuclear program in talks conducted in Paris, but it must now be taken back to the capitals of Iran, Britain, Germany and France for confirmation, Iran and the EU said.

The agreement could usher in an important change in Iran's relations with Europe and much of the international community, said Iranian delegation spokesman Hussein Mousavian.

"The agreement will have to be approved at the highest levels of government," Mousavian told Iranian TV.

"My impression is that if this is approved by all four parties, we will witness an important change in Iran's relations with Europe and much of the international community in (the) not-too-distant future."

The European Union's so-called "Big Three" -- France, Germany and the United Kingdom -- have been holding their third round of talks with Iran in an effort to persuade Tehran to suspend its nuclear enrichment activities in return for improved trade and political relations.

Washington had warned Tehran that if no agreement was reached, Iran's nuclear program would be referred to the U.N. Security Council at the next meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors.

"The agreement is the outline of future cooperations between Iran and the EU in political, economic, security and confidence-building spheres," Mousavian said.

EU spokeswoman Ewa Hedlund confirmed that an agreement was reached Saturday on a "technical level," but she would not comment on details of its substance until it has the "political blessing by the governments in the four countries."

A spokesman for the French foreign ministry also confirmed the breakthrough, saying there was "considerable progress towards a provisional agreement."

Once the agreement is approved by the four capitals, expert-level talks about specific cooperation will begin.

It was not clear just how the two sides have resolved their difference over the EU demand that Iran suspend uranium enrichment activities -- something Iran has repeatedly said that it would not do for a sustained period. ...

21 posted on 11/07/2004 10:28:55 AM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn

Extremists Moving Across Iran-Iraq Border

Nov. 05, 2004


Extremists Moving Across Iran-Iraq Border

LOUIS MEIXLER/ Associated Press Writer

ANKARA, Turkey - Islamic extremists have been moving supplies and new recruits from Iran into Iraq (news - web sites), say Iraqi Kurdish and Western officials, though it's unclear whether Tehran is covertly backing them or whether militants are simply taking advantage of the porous border

Iranian involvement with extremist groups in the Iraqi insurgency would be potentially explosive, especially given the history of U.S.-Iranian animosity. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said recently Iran was engaged in "a lot of meddling" in Iraq but gave no details.

Iran, which shares a mountainous 800-mile border with Iraq, has confirmed that loyalists of the al-Qaida-linked Ansar al-Islam group illegally entered Iran from Afghanistan (news - web sites) after the start of the U.S.-led 2001 war to oust the Taliban and destroy Osama bin Laden (news - web sites)'s terrorist training camps. But Iran's government has repeatedly denied it is backing the radicals.

A handful of senior al-Qaida operatives who were among those fleeing to Iran after the Afghanistan war may have developed a working relationship with the Revolutionary Guards, a special military unit in Iran linked to Tehran's hard-liners, U.S. counterterrorism officials have said.

The U.S. government report on the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks also pointed to contacts between Iranian security officials and senior al-Qaida figures and found evidence that eight to 10 of the Sept. 11 hijackers passed through Iranian territory. There was, however, no evidence the Iranians knew that the hijackers were planning to attack the World Trade Center.

Iraqi officials have suggested privately that Iran, which is overwhelmingly Shiite Muslim, is backing its Shiite brethren, who form a slight majority in Iraq. One Iraqi official said more than 100 volunteer fighters have entered this year from Iran into southern Iraq, where Iran may be trying to use its influence within the dominant Shiite community there.

Iran might also support extremists from the rival Sunni branch of Islam — such as al-Qaida or the group loyal to Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi — to gain influence in the Sunni community, which is powerful in central Iraq, and to destabilize U.S. efforts to control the country, some analysts say.

Brig. Sarkout Hassan Jalal, director of security in Sulaimaniyah, the largest city in Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq near the Iranian border, said that Islamic militants "are smuggling recruits to Iraq from Iran ... (and) then take them to Fallujah or other hot spots."

He gave no figures for the number of people who are crossing but said the number has fallen since Kurdish security forces boosted border security in the past few months.

Another Kurdish official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told The Associated Press that at the start of the year, dozens of militants were crossing the mountainous, poorly patrolled border each week, but that the number had fallen sharply in the past six months.

The official said that extremists who crossed the border often headed for Mosul, the largest Arab Sunni Muslim city in the north and an area where Islamic extremist groups are powerful. He said some of the militants have repeatedly crossed back and forth, returning to Iraq with better weapons, explosives and training.

The fall in the number of people crossing could be attributed to increased Iraqi patrols or to the fact that foreign militants have recently built up better infrastructure within Iraq and now find it easier to train fighters and arm people within the country, the official said.

"There seems to be logistical and practical support," the official said. "These people flee to Iran and come back days or weeks later with better equipment."

Kurds living in mountainous villages near the border who have traveled inside Iran to visit relatives said they have seen Arabs living in what appeared to be safe houses in the Iranian border town of Mariwan.

Former Ansar prisoners held by the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan — one of two Kurdish militias that control the north — have backed up the claim as have PUK intelligence officials.

A U.S. official said Kurdish security forces found passports from Arab countries including Yemen, Egypt and Saudi Arabia buried under the dirt floor in one safe house on the Iranian side of the border.

"We are not just talking about Iranians passively dealing with al-Qaida," one former U.S. official who worked in Iraq said, speaking on condition of anonymity. "We are talking about al-Qaida at Revolutionary Guard bases and safe houses. This is active assistance."

The Revolutionary Guards are the shock troops of Iran's Islamic revolution, a well-funded force of 200,000 that answers to the country's Islamic leaders and not the military.

Who could be assisting the militants is sharply contested, however.

The Iranian leadership is deeply divided between moderates and hard-liners.

Hard-liners and elements of the Revolutionary Guards could be backing the insurgents with the Iranian government turning a blind eye or unable to respond, experts say. Many hard-liners are extremely fearful that the United States, which now has some 140,000 troops in bordering Iraq, could try and destabilize Iran.

"There are forces in the Revolutionary Guards who are very, very hard-line and who generally have their own foreign policy and ... are almost never held accountable for their actions," said Gary Sick, professor of international affairs at Columbia University and a former adviser to the U.S. National Security Council. "There is very serious suspicion that members of the Revolutionary Guard felt that they had something to gain from these people who were seriously trying to stir up trouble in Iraq."

Sick called it "extremely unlikely" that the Iranian government itself would sponsor and actively promote Sunni terrorist activities, though officials might want to "keep an eye on the Sunnis." He also noted the matter could simply be a border control problem.

"They have been trying for years to stop the trafficking of drugs coming across the Afghan border with zero success," Sick said.

In the past, Iran has been accused of backing Ansar al-Islam, a militant fundamentalist Kurdish group that opposed ousted Iraqi President Saddam Hussein (news - web sites), as a way of destabilizing and pressuring the secular Kurdish groups that controlled northern Iraq.

Tehran, while confirming that Ansar elements might have crossed its border illegally, has denied the charges.

Dozens, perhaps hundreds, of pro-Taliban fighters possibly linked to al-Qaida left Afghanistan and made their way to northern Iraq, where Ansar al-Islam controlled an enclave on the Iranian-Iraqi border, U.S. intelligence reports said. Al-Zarqawi, one of the most feared terror leaders in Iraq, is believed to have had a role in running Ansar al-Islam in 2002.

Al-Zarqawi, whose group has been responsible for car bombings and beheadings, recently proclaimed his loyalty to bin Laden in a statement released on the internet.

U.S. forces attacked the Ansar al-Islam enclave at the start of the war and many of the activists reportedly fled, either into Iran or Sunni Muslim areas of Iraq, where they eventually ended up in places like Fallujah, a hotbed of violence.

Some experts doubt the Iranian government would risk supporting an extremist anti-U.S. group in Iraq and thereby provoking a reaction from Washington and more instability on their border.

"By allowing al-Qaida to go about its business several Iranian interests are served but it is an incredibly risky card to play and Iran has at times been quite cautious in Iraq," said Daniel Byman, a senior fellow at the Saban Center at the Brookings Institution.

___

EDITORS: Associated Press writer Yahya Barazanji in northern Iraq contributed to this report.

http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20041107/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iran_iraq_insurgency_1


22 posted on 11/07/2004 2:30:34 PM PST by nuconvert (Everyone has a photographic memory. Some don't have film.)
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To: DoctorZIn

Iran Gives Boost to Iraq Uprising

November 07, 2004
[Excerpt]
Thanassis Cambanis


TUWELLA, Iraq -- A dirt track winds from this Kurdish border outpost to the top of a jagged mountain ridge separating Iran from Iraq's northern Kurdish enclave. For years, and with the blessing of Iranian officials, Islamist terrorist groups have smuggled weapons and money into Iraq on this road, many Kurdish intelligence and security officials said.

When US special forces and Kurdish peshmerga fighters attacked Ansar al-Islam, an Al Qaeda affiliate, in March 2003, hundreds of its members fled to Iran, the officials said, and have regrouped in several towns just over this border.

There, they continue to train, raise funds, and plan terrorist operations in Iraq, infiltrating operatives across a porous, rocky, high-altitude border that has long been a haven for smugglers and that, in practical terms, is impossible to police, the Kurdish officials say.

Iraqi and US officials have grumbled for more than a year about what they perceive as Iranian interference in Iraq. Iran has repeatedly and forcefully denied any such interference.

But here in the mountains of Kurdistan, the Kurdish officials point to what they say are tangible footprints of Iran's collaboration with terror and insurgent groups responsible for attacks inside Iraq.

According to a half-dozen officials in the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, known as the PUK, which controls the southern half of the Kurdistan region of Iraq, and commanders in the peshmerga, the force that provides security in the region, Iran has extended its network of agents inside Iraq.

Iran, the officials say, continues to aid groups like Ansar al-Islam and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's group, now named Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia.

Even though Iran is a Shi'ite theocracy, these officials said, it helps Sunni insurgent groups because it wants to prevent a strong unified government from taking shape in Iraq.

"They go back and forth after running missions here," said Anwar Haji Othman, head of security in the area around Halabja, including a long stretch of the Iranian border. "They bring cash from Iran to Iraq across the border."

Iran denies supporting Iraqi insurgents, and has declared its support for a peaceful, democratic Iraq. Tehran has argued that an unstable, violent neighbor would undermine Iran's security.

Iraqi and Iranian officials have met repeatedly, and have pledged to work closely on security matters.

At Iraq's request, Iran stopped tens of thousands of Iranian Shi'ite pilgrims who were flooding across the border to visit Iraq's shrine cities -- and bringing with them crime, infiltrators, and drug dealers, some Iraqi officials say.

Tensions have flared publicly. This summer, in widely repeated comments, the Iraqi defense minister, Hazem Shaalan, called Iran his country's "first enemy," and said Tehran's policies had "added fuel to the fire."

American officials have warned Iran against interfering in its neighbors affairs, but have sent mixed signals about whether they believe Iran's government is helping insurgents. Many top officials, including Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, have called Iran's activities unhelpful, but General John Abizaid emphasized in April that "there are elements within Iran that are urging patience."

Tehran has said it does not allow militants to cross the border, but Iranian officials have not ruled out that Islamic fighters might be moving illegally from Iran to Iraq.

Iran's foreign minister, Kamal Kharrazi, said at the time: "From the outset, Iran has tried to help Iraq overcome its problems."

But Othman, the Kurdish regional security chief, said that despite impressive internal security forces, Iran has not stopped terror groups from living and training just across the border in a group of Iranian Kurdish cities.

Othman said that Kurdish forces had arrested many members of Ansar al-Islam, including three top leaders over the last six months. Ansar al-Islam operated for two years in a cluster of villages between Halabja and Tuwella. The US government identified Ansar as a terrorist group, and believes it sheltered Abu Musab al-Zarqawi for two months before the US invasion in 2003.

According to Othman and other intelligence officials, Ansar's members have reconstituted as a new group, Ansar al-Sunni, or have joined Zarqawi. US officials have made the same claim.

According to information gleaned from questioning of the arrested Ansar members, Othman said, former Ansar fighters are now based in the Iranian border towns of Marivan (home to about 60 Kurdish Islamists), Sanandaj, Dezli (where about 30 Iranian villagers have joined the Islamist cause) and Orumiyeh (the base for up to 300 Islamists, including Gulf Arabs, Afghans and Kurds). They have a training camp in Dolanau, just a few kilometers from the Iraqi border. Three other leading officials have confirmed this.

"Iran continues its relationship with Ansar," Othman said. "They are training them how to use explosive ordnance for terrorist attacks in the south of Iraq."

The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan controls the half of the region that includes the major cities of Suleimaniya and Halabja, where three powerful groups held territory from 2001 to 2003.

Its security and intelligence arm, the Asaish, has offices across Iraq, including Mosul, Baghdad, and Baquba, and has sources in centers including Fallujah, said the agency's leader, Dana Ahmed Majid. The Asaish has operated as an independent agency for more than a decade, and has worked closely with US intelligence.

Mohammed Mohammed Saeed, a peshmerga commander and the top PUK official in the region around Halabja, said that Iran regularly sends intelligence agents into Kurdistan to monitor the Kurdish peshmerga and the movements of Americans.

Iran used to have offices in Suleimaniya and Halabja until US special forces landed in the region in March 2003. But, Saeed said, the Iranians have retained their spy network inside Iraq, and are now using it to watch American forces and to help insurgents.

"The Iranians are worried," he said. "They don't want a pro-American government in Iraq. The Iranians want neighboring countries to be full of anarchy, violence, and chaos."

When Iran still operated openly in Kurdistan, Saeed said, locals bribed Iranian officials with television sets to get visas. The PUK, he said, paid the Iranians to restrain the Islamist forces that controlled the valley stretching from Halabja to Iran. There, one group, Komala, or the Islamic Group, led by Ali Bapir, controlled the town of Khurmal. Ansar al-Islam controlled Biyara, and a third allied group, called the Islamic Movement, held Tuwella.

One Kurdish official in Tuwella, named Tahir Mustafa Ali, said the three groups should be viewed as "three wings of the same bird." Ali added that the terror groups responsible for much of the killing, hostage-taking, and bombing in Iraq, despite their different names, should similarly be viewed as part of a single network.

Iran has deep ties with many of the Iraqis who suffered under Saddam Hussein's leadership. They sheltered Kurds when Hussein attacked them with chemical weapons in 1987 and 1988, and in the south they sheltered Shi'ites who were fleeing retribution for the 1991 uprising.

And the Kurds and Shi'ites, among others, who have not secured their future in a post-Hussein Iraq, hesitate to repudiate their erstwhile ally to the west.

"They have been a friend to us," Saeed said. "We do not want to have any problem with Iran."

Daily, about 50 truckloads of legal imports stream into Iraq through this tiny border crossing above Tuwella, carrying cement and soft drinks. The illegal trade is just as important; Iraqi smugglers openly drive by the Iranian checkpoint and, farther down a dirt track, carry goods across the border on foot or by donkey.

At the border post last week, Iranian soldiers -- under the watchful eye of a Revolutionary Guard officer -- refused to speak to a reporter. "The intelligence will punish us if we talk to you," one said with a smile.

Down the dirt track, in the town of Tuwella, the local PUK chief, Ismail Ameen, said he kept his PUK membership a secret during the two years that Islamists ruled Tuwella. Just before the war, in February 2003, he saw six gray Toyota Landcruisers drive into town from the Iranian border. He said the trucks were loaded with bullets and mortar shells for Islamic Movement fighters.

"They would have run out of ammunition . . . without the supplies they got from Iran," he said.

Two top PUK security officials, and three members of the PUK's political bureau, also contended that Iran has continued to support Islamist insurgents.

Majid, head of the PUK's security agency, said that one former Ansar leader, Omar Baziani, had been caught by US forces in Baghdad six months earlier. Through interrogations, authorities heard that Baziani had crossed the border from Iran, Majid said, and had met with Zarqawi in Fallujah.

"It's easy to cross the Iranian border," Majid said. He added that the presence of Islamist terrorists in Iran, and their apparent ease in moving between the two countries, did not prove that Iran was sponsoring the groups.

According to the Kurdish officials, four former Ansar leaders have been arrested in Baghdad, Kirkuk, and the border town of Penjwin in the past six months. All four are believed to have been planning or supervising attacks.

There's a long history in the area of nations giving shelter to their enemies' enemies. ...

Thanassis Cambanis can be reached at cambanis@globe.com.

23 posted on 11/07/2004 3:37:04 PM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn

North Korea Exported Nuclear Materials to Iran

NOVEMBER 07, 2004 23:22
by Won-Jae Park (parkwj@donga.com)

Japan’s Sankei Shimbun, citing Japan’s military sources, reported on Sunday that North Korea exported fluorine gas, one of the ingredients for building a nuclear weapon, to Iran in May of this year.

According to the Shimbun, North Korea air transported several kilograms of fluorine gas, a requisite material for producing the “fluorinated uranium (UF6),” a material needed for making enriched uranium, to Iran on May 20.

The sources asserted that “Iran entered into a treaty with North Korea due to the fluorine import difficulties arising from international trading restrictions, indicating that North Korea is participating in Iran’s nuclear development program.”
24 posted on 11/07/2004 3:40:00 PM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn

Nov 7, 1:23 PM EST

Confessions Show Terror's Spread in Iraq


BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- Iraqi government television has repeatedly broadcast confessions of what it says were foreign terrorists - 17 Arabs and two Iranians - who allegedly infiltrated the country's porous borders to fight U.S.-led coalition forces.

The confessions, aired several times over the weekend, coincided with the massing of U.S. and Iraqi forces near Fallujah for an anticipated showdown with insurgents who have made the city their headquarters.

The broadcasts were seen as a means of preparing the population for the coming attack on Fallujah, where the government says it's after foreigners and "terrorists" not city residents who are not involved in the insurgency.

The station, Iraqiya, showed 19 men ages of 20 to 40, dressed in blue jumpsuits and lined up against a wall while the camera panned their pale, bearded faces.

An announcer read a statement accusing the prisoners "of carrying out mass killings, sabotage, inciting sectarianism and racism, destroying the economic and the social infrastructure of our people to take us back to the Dark Ages."

Of the 19 - five Syrians, five Saudis, four Jordanians, two Egyptians, a Palestinian and two Iranians, most were said to have entered the country in October, 2003 during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

One of them, Youssef Hassan Suleiman, said he came from the same town in Jordan as did Iraq's most feared terrorist mastermind, Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi.

"I had $2,000 on me," he said with a smile when asked if he brought money to help finance the insurgency.

Saleh Said al-Rahmani, of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, said that he crossed the Saudi border to Iraq last Ramadan to follow "the call" - a phrase normally meaning to spread the message of Islam.

A young Palestinian, Tayseer Hassan Halabi, said he entered Iraq from Syria where he lived temporarily. "I came to Iraq when the war started to join the fighters," he said. Halabi said that he made contacts with insurgents only after arriving in Iraq.

Others such as Ali Hassan from Yemen, Amer al-Abbas Mohammed from Jordan and Anaas Farouq Ahmed from Syria did not give details of their activities here.

Iraqiya said the 19 were among 167 people arrested recently by Iraqi police and who are now under interrogation.

Iraq's interim government and the United States have been pushing Iraq's neighbors, especially Syria, to secure their borders to prevent foreign fighters from neighboring Arab states and elsewhere to enter Iraq and attack coalition forces.

25 posted on 11/07/2004 3:45:48 PM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
This thread is now closed.

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


26 posted on 11/07/2004 9:01:29 PM PST by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn

No wonder it failed. The French were helping.


27 posted on 11/08/2004 10:59:31 AM PST by Mr Mimi (Never met a lib that made sense)
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To: DoctorZIn

Perhaps you can help me. I was telling a friend just tonight that Iranians were very pro-American by-and-large and actually hated their present government. My friend was incredulous. But I said I saw a poll about a year ago or so that the Iranian government itself conducted that showed a vast majority of its people were actually pro-American or pro-Bush, I cannot remember the exact poll question and percent. Do you know the poll I am talking about and/or can you get me a link or two to share with him?


28 posted on 11/13/2004 8:59:12 PM PST by Tennessean4Bush (An optimist believes we live in the best of all possible worlds, a pessimist fears this is true.)
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