Skip to comments.Iranian Alert - November 9, 2004 [EST]- IRAN LIVE THREAD - "Americans for Regime Change in Iran"
Posted on 11/08/2004 9:05:47 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 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.
By Louis Charbonneau
VIENNA (Reuters) - A European deal aimed at freezing Iran's nuclear fuel programme in exchange for peaceful atomic technology and other incentives will never work if Washington is not directly involved, diplomats and an analyst said on Monday.
Over the weekend, diplomats from France, Britain and Germany reached a preliminary agreement with Iranian negotiators under which Tehran would suspend its uranium enrichment programme for an unspecified period, while negotiating a larger package of economic and political benefits with the European Union.
Washington, which accuses Iran of using its atomic energy programme as a front for developing weapons, believes Iran is only using the talks with the EU to buy time to get the bomb. Tehran denies wanting nuclear weapons.
"In the long run, I don't think this deal can work without the U.S. buying into it," David Albright, a former U.N. weapons inspector and head of the Institute for Science and International Security think-tank, told Reuters. "It can work for six months or so, but not for the medium or long term."
If approved by the four capitals, this agreement will stop the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) from referring Iran to the U.N. Security Council when it meets on November 25, as Washington has been demanding for over a year.
"One problem is that Iran can suspend for six months, then resume enrichment and somehow blame the EU," Albright said.
Several diplomats said the Iranians might suspend enrichment now to avoid the Security Council, then pick a fight with the EU sometime after the November 25 IAEA meeting and begin preparing for the actual enrichment of uranium -- a process of purifying uranium for use as fuel in reactors or weapons.
"Iran has the parts for 1100 to 1200 (enrichment) centrifuges and is eager to put a cascade together," said one diplomat. "The next stage for Iran will be announcing that they are setting up a pilot enrichment cascade but not enriching any uranium. That would be too much for the Europeans."
U.S. SAYS "NO DEAL YET"
In Washington, a U.S. State Department official, who asked not to be named, said of the imminent European-Iranian deal: "We take them at their word that they seem to be moving close to a deal, but that they are not there yet."
White House spokesman Scott McClellan, referring to the IAEA deadline, said: "The board set a November deadline. And this is a time when Iraq should take this opportunity and comply."
Albright said another problem was the EU offer of nuclear technology. In the original offer, the EU trio pledged to sell Tehran a light-water reactor, which is considered to be less useful for covert weapons activity than heavy-water reactors.
Several Western diplomats familiar with the EU-Iran talks, speaking on condition of anonymity, said they believed firms in France, Britain and Germany would never agree to sell nuclear technology to Iran with the United States opposing it.
"The only ones to provide this (light-water reactor) would be the French or Germans. Government officials went to German companies and asked if they would sell Iran this technology and they said no, because their U.S. business is too valuable for them. The same with the French," said the diplomat.
European diplomats and officials from the IAEA have said U.S. participation would give much-needed strength to the EU initiative with Iran.
But Washington's hardliners have refused to join forces with the EU, insisting that Tehran forfeited the right to a nuclear programme by keeping its nuclear fuel production research hidden from the IAEA for almost two decades.
Another diplomat said the EU-Iran agreement was "purely political" and that all it really amounted to was a declaration of support for Russian nuclear activity in Iran.
Russia has built the Bushehr nuclear reactor in Iran and hopes to build more plants, despite fierce U.S. opposition.
Nov. 9, 2004 0:10
Iran is expected to announce this week a full suspension of activities that can be used to make nuclear arms as part of a deal with European powers aimed at stymieing US attempts to have it hauled before the UN Security Council, diplomats said Monday.
Outlining for the first time the contours of a confidential agreement hammered out on the weekend, the diplomats told The Associated Press the deal could still collapse due to resistance by hard-liners in the Islamic Republic to cooperation with the Europeans.
"We are very close to an agreement but we still need to hear the final word" from the Iranians, said one of the diplomats, who was briefed on the substance of the weekend talks in Paris. "We think it will be a yes - the noises are positive but we are not sure."
Any such deal would be significant because it would commit Iran not only to continue its voluntary freeze on enriching uranium - which can be used to make nuclear weapons - but also to stop related activities such as building centrifuges used in the enrichment process and uranium reprocessing.
The International Atomic Energy Agency unanimously passed a resolution in September demanding Iran freeze all work on uranium enrichment and related activities, and the UN nuclear watchdog is to judge Iran's compliance at a November 25 board of governors meeting.
But Iran has defied the agency by continuing to build centrifuges and by converting a few tons of raw uranium into hexafluoride gas - a stage before enrichment.
In a provision sure to be opposed by the United States, the weekend deal would only commit Iran to suspending its work until it and the European Union reach a deal on economic and technological assistance to Tehran, including help in building a peaceful nuclear industry, said the diplomats, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Washington wants a guarantee of indefinite suspension if not an outright scrapping of Iran's domestic enrichment plans.
The United States wants Iran referred to the UN Security Council for secret nuclear activities it says have breached the Nonproliferation Treaty.
But if Iran accepts the deal, US hopes of building consensus on that later this month at the agency's 35-nation board meeting are unlikely.
One of the diplomats acknowledged approval of the deal by the Iranians could lead to tensions with Washington.
"If we solve a problem with the Iranians we hope there will not be a problem with the Americans," said the diplomat.
The diplomats spoke as Iranian officials suggested the preliminary agreement - negotiated for the EU by France, Germany and Britain and already accepted by the Europeans - may be finalized soon.
"The trend of negotiations was a positive trend," Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi told state-run television Monday. "We hope the deal between Iran and Europeans can be finalized and create the necessary confidence."
But hard-liners in Teheran called on the government to ignore demands it suspend nuclear activities with the daily Jomhuri-e-Eslami newspaper denouncing the accord on its front page.
"Despite the fact that the Europeans cannot be trusted has been proven to all, unfortunately these people (Iranian negotiators) have again reached agreement with these three traitor European countries," the daily said.
Mohamed ElBaradei, the head of the Vienna-based IAEA, called the agreement "a step in the right direction."
Speaking on the sidelines of an international conference on nuclear security in Australia, Elbaradei said he hoped the deal would be finalized in "the next few days" and would lead Iran to suspend its nuclear enrichment and reprocessing programs.
The US State Department reacted cautiously to the developments.
Spokesman Richard Boucher said the Europeans had not yet provided Washington with a full readout of the talks, but they agreed with Washington that Teheran must fully and immediately suspend all nuclear weapons activities.
Repeating the US stance, Boucher said Washington believes if Iran does not comply, its behavior should be referred to the Security Council.
In Brussels, Cristina Gallach, a spokeswoman for Javier Solana, the EU's senior diplomat, said: "We came very close to agreement (Sunday) but we still need to hear the final word (from Iran."
Iran is not breaching its Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty obligations by seeking to enrich uranium, but is under strong international pressure to drop such plans as a good faith gesture to prove it is not seeking atomic weapons.
Teheran suspended uranium enrichment last year but has refused to stop other related activities such as reprocessing uranium or building centrifuges, insisting its program is intended purely for the production of fuel for nuclear power generation.
By Joel C. Rosenberg
Yesterday I arrived in Istanbul for an eight-day research trip through this ancient and strategically positioned country to do research for my next novel, which focuses on the increasingly dangerous nuclear alliance between Russia and Iran.
But as with JIHAD, the truth may be stranger -- and deadlier -- than fiction.
An Iranian friend just back from several months in Tehran tells me the buzz among those opposed to the mullahs' suffocating regime is, "When will President Bush invade us so we too can be free?"
That may be the most important question of the President's second term: Will Iran be next?
More to the point: If necessary, will the U.S. go to war against Iran, not just to set tens of millions of suffering souls free from the Ayatollah's reign of terror but to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear power and thus posing a clear and present danger to U.S. national security?
President Bush knows Iran is feverishly working to build, buy or steal nuclear weaponry. He also knows Moscow is inexplicably helping the mullahs in their pursuit. And he was right to describe Iran as part of the "axis of evil."
We have far stronger evidence that Iran has an aggressive nuclear weapons development program than we ever did against Iraq. We know the Russians have built nuclear power facilities for Iran's terrorist regime, and are contracted to build more such facilities in the coming years. Furthermore, Iran admits its intent to enrich uranium into weapons-grade material despite international protestations. On top of all this, evidence of Iran's support for global terror (including funding and at times directing Hezbollah, Hamas, and the deadly anti-American insurgents in Iraq) is unmistakable.
I pray war can be avoided. There is, after all, almost no American or international public support for taking miltary action against Iran.
But U.S. covert capabilities were so scaled back in the '90s that few have the confidence the CIA alone can stop Iran. And I have little confidence that an effective diplomatic deal can be struck to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
What incentives would be truly persuasive enough to overcome Tehran's radical Islamic ideology, passionate Persian nationalism, and the mullahs' fear that the U.S. (a.k.a, the "Great Satan") is closing in on them from the east (in Afghanistan) and the west (in Iraq)? And how would we know that any deal the U.N., Europeans or the even the U.S. administration could strike would be honored, rather than used by Iran simply to buy them enough time to finish a secret nuclear arms program?
The challenge is that if the mullahs sense the slightest whiff hesitation in the White House, they will surely regard it as weakness, concluding the U.S. will not take action to stop them from going nuclear. And every day we delay taking action brings Iran closer to the holy grail of the jihadists: membership in the nuclear club.
Is there any serious doubt that if the mullahs acquire nuclear weapons they will use them -- at the minimum to intimidate Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf emirates; drive up the price of oil; and bring Western economies to their knees?
Evil is regrouping within the borders of Iran.
To misunderstand the nature and threat of this evil is to risk being blindsided by it. America was blindsided by al-Qaeda on 9/11. At enormous political risk and to his great credit, President Bush took preemptive action to avoid being blindsided by the genocidal Saddam Hussein.
It is now imperative that President Bush take whatever preemptive action necessary to stop Iran's murderous ambitions. It may cost him all the political capital he just acquired. But we have no choice.
There may be less time than we think.
The tragic murder of Dutch film maker Theo Van Gogh in Amsterdam has underscores a far broader and more sinister trend for Islamic extremism in Europe. It also has a number of dangerous international implications to it, especially as it relates to the broader war on terrorism.
This analysis will attempt to present the facts behind the crime using both English and Dutch news reports. I apologize for the lack of point-by-point sourcing but am more than willing to provide sources upon request.
According to press reports, Theo Van Gogh was gunned down in Amsterdam and apparently begged for his life before the attacker finished him off by slitting his throat. The attacker, one Mohammed Bouyeri, had previously been investigated by Dutch authorities for his involvement with Samir Azzouz, an Islamic extremist who appears to have attempted to join Basayev's Chechen contingent 2 years earlier. Bouyeri left a letter containing atypical Salafist rhetoric on Van Gogh's body and is already believed to have something of a criminal record.
Van Gogh, as is already commonly known, was involved in making of a controversial film about the life of women under Islam. However, there seems to be a lot more to the murder than simple Islamic extremism.
The Netherlands is one of the most liberal nations in Europe outside of perhaps Scandinavia and like that region, Christianity is more or less an endangered species and the birth rate is plummeting. Because of that, many Islamist radicals like the UK-based al-Muhajiroun hope to be in control of the country by some period in the mid to late 2020s and the general plan seems to be to use the eventual Dutch takeover as a model that can be spread to other European nations, France and the UK in particular. Now I don't think that this plan is even remotely viable for a whole host of reasons, but then I'm not a radical Islamist and they believe that in order to keep their cadres ready for the inevitable revolution that they have to be kept as separate and unassimilated from the rest of Europe as possible. One of the best ways to do this is to ensure ethnic strife and Amsterdam, one of the most multi-ethnic cities in all of the Netherlands, certainly fits the bill as far as the perfect place to start a race riot.
More to the point, the Islamist extremist leadership in the Netherlands (personified by an individual that we know from the Milan wiretaps as an al-Qaeda leader called "Ismail" who has been operating there for decades) already has a perfect model for whipping up ethno-religious discord: the assassination of the Dutch politician Pym Fortuyn. Fortuyn was killed by a deranged animal rights' activist, but the political unrest that followed from his death gave Ismail and his immediate superiors in London a perfect model for stirring up political unrest in the Netherlands. In addition, the al-Qaeda/GSPC/Salafi Jihad/Lashkar-e-Taiba networks that run through the Netherlands are extensive enough to ensure that if it does come to riots, Ismail will have anywhere between one and several hundred stormtroopers to call upon.
The Saif al-Din al-Muwaheed (SDM, "Sword of Justice of the Faithful") group that appears to have carried out the Van Gogh murder also planned to assassinate Somali-born VVD MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali, independent conservative MP Geert Wilders, Immigration and Integration Minister Rita Verdonk, Amsterdam Mayor Job Cohen, and Deputy Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb. All of these are fairly prominent targets, especially in a country as small as the Netherlands, and had even half of the attempts succeeded they would have unquestionably stirred up ethno-religious strife throughout the country. All of this might seem fairly odd from a group that purports to seek to advance the interests of Islam - unless one accepts that this was the plan all along.
Unfortunately, Bouyeri and the apparently 10-man SDM group (cell?) was far from merely a group of disgruntled Islamists. Azzouz, whom I mentioned earlier, was arrested in October 2003 by Dutch authorities along with 4 other al-Qaeda members. According to Dutch intelligence, Azzouz was in contact with Naoufel, a Spanish Moroccan who was involved in both the Casablanca and 3/11 bombings and may have given Azzouz orders to carry out an attack in the Netherlands. Azzouz was eventually released on lack of evidence but arrested yet again in June after Dutch intelligence linked him to plans to carry out bomb attacks against the Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, the Dutch Parliament, and an unidentified nuclear reactor.
Given the close ties between Azzouz and Bouyeri and the apparent connection between Bouyeri's SDM and the Takfir wal Hijra movement, it would seem fairly obvious, at least to me, that they are part of the larger al-Qaeda network and that Azzouz or an unidentified third party likely recruited Bouyeri and convinced him and his social clique to form the SDM and draw up the hit list. Right now however, all Dutch authorities are saying is that Bouyeri and Co are part of a group of 150-200 North African extremists from several terrorist groups (al-Qaeda, GSPC, Salafi Jihad, etc.) that they're keeping an eye on.
One can't help but wonder though, how many more people like Bouyeri are there out there that the Dutch won't catch in time?
In any case, if this was an act of international terrorism, you can look for the ultimate source of this either with Ismail or his masters in London. Or, if you want to stretch the casuality even further, you can link it all the way back to Saif al-Adel and the rest of the al-Qaeda ruling council in Iran. Because as long as that chain of command remains intact, what we've seen so far is only the tip of the iceberg.
Faster please, in Europe as well as in Iran.
A militiaman has been killed and several other wounded following an armed clash with the residents of the Esmaeel-Abad village of Rafsanjan located in central Iran. Other reports are stating about several villagers killed or injured during the bloody turmoil by the regime forces.
Official sources are claiming that the villagers had resorted to violence which lead to the security forces' retaliation; But other reports are stating about the degree of brutality used by militiamen against the villagers who were first protesting peacefully against the take over of their water resources.
The villagers water has been confiscated by the powerful Rafsanjani clan for their own Pistachio cultures.
Government urged to address key issues of manufacturing, oil revenues and industry
Tuesday, November 09, 2004
A group of 11 prominent Iranian economists issued a dire warning to the Islamic Republic's leadership Monday, complaining that political squabbling had left fundamental weaknesses in the economy ignored.
In an open letter carried in several national newspapers, the group of top university academics lashed out at what they said was a "society infected by politics" and policies dictated by "emotions and idealism regardless of their economic consequences." The professors also cautioned over continued "isolation in the international arena and blanket state administration in the manufacturing, industrial and service sectors."
Iran is also over-dependent on oil revenues and suffers from budget shortfalls, financial and administrative corruption, stubbornly high unemployment, lofty state subsidies, technological underdevelopment, smuggling and uncompetitive manufactured products, they said.
"For a country like ours, whose administration has always been in the hand of a certain domain of limited figures, there can be no room for the justification of absurd trials and errors" or "spontaneous initiatives without scientific basis," the letter said.
The 11 signatories of the letter, timed to figure in the debate ahead of presidential election scheduled for May 2005, are from several top universities across the country. A number of them have served in state economic organizations.
The warning is a direct challenge to Iran's conservative-held Parliament, elected in February after most pro-reform candidates were barred from contesting the polls.
Conservatives pledged to focus their attention on bread-and-butter issues, accusing reformists loyal to President Mohammad Khatami of having spent too much time on social and cultural reforms.
But Parliament has yet to focus much of its attention on issues such as the burden of energy subsidies, high inflation - 15 percent officially, around 30 percent unofficially - or downsizing or privatizing state bodies.
The open letter comes after months of mixed messages from Iranian authorities on privatization plans.
Article 44 of Iran's constitution, written after the 1979 Islamic revolution, states that core infrastructure must remain in the hands of the state.
Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final say on state matters, was quoted as saying in early October that a capitalist approach to privatization was out of the question.
However, in early October the Expediency Council gave a ruling to allow the privatization of downstream oil and gas sectors, mines, banking, insurance, telecommunications, railway, roads, airlines and shopping.
Two weeks ago, the Management and Planning Organization (MPO) furthered the council's decision by drawing up a 20-year economic, social and cultural development plan (2005-2025) which calls for privatization of major state enterprises.
But the MPO and Expediency Council decisions came after deputies openly opposed several major contracts that were signed with foreign firms in recent months, despite the government's privatization target of $5.95 billion in the year to March 2005.
The Council of Guardians has opposed French car manufacturer Renault's bid for a joint contract to build a new car with Iran's national car industry, and a cell phone contract awarded to Turkish company Turkcell.
Tehran's airport was also closed by the Revolutionary Guards on the basis that a contract with a Austrian-Turkish consortium threatened national security.
Reformists have accused hard-liners in Parliament of being hostile to what they see as badly needed foreign investment.
"The international community is resolved not to allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons. And we are committed to pursuing this through peaceful diplomatic means and this is what we are continuing to do," White House spokesman Scott McClellan told reporters.
"I have seen the reports on a preliminary agreement. We've been in touch with our European friends involved in these efforts. We appreciate their efforts.
"We're still working to find out more details of what that may be. We will see what the results are later this week," McClellan added.
An Iranian negotiator, Hossein Moussavian, announced Sunday that Iranian and European Union officials have reached a "preliminary agreement" on easing concerns over the Islamic republic's nuclear programme following negotiations in Paris.
"We reached a preliminary agreement at the experts level," Moussavian told state television from the French capital after what has been described as two days of "difficult discussions".
"This agreement is to be taken to the capitals of the four countries, and in the next days, if the capitals approve it, it will be announced officially," he said, adding that he was "not pessimistic".
Iran and the EU states of Britain, France and Germany held talks on getting Tehran to suspend uranium enrichment in order to avoid being hauled before the UN Security Council for possible sanctions.
The United States accuses Iran of secretly trying to develop nuclear weapons under cover of its civilian atomic energy program and wants the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), to refer Tehran to the Security Council when the agency meets in Vienna on November 25.
McClellan highlighted that the IAEA board has five times called on Iran to fully cooperate with the international community and to suspend all enrichment and reprocessing activities.
"The board set the November deadline and this is a time when Iran should take this opportunity and comply," added the spokesman.
Many of Iran's most high-profile civil society activists rely on the internet to get their message out. Human Rights Watch said that the Iranian authorities are arresting these activists and bloggers in order to cripple the country's growing network of independent nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).
"The internet has been a gateway for outreach and information sharing with the Iranian public," said Joe Stork, Washington director of Human Right Watch's Middle East and North Africa Division. "With so many NGO activists arrested or under surveillance, the remaining members of civil society fear for their safety."
Human Rights Watch said that the arrests, which began on September 7, point to a disturbing development in which the government is attacking mid-level activists in the NGO community for the first time. In case of the Internet-related arrests, the authorities are detaining contributing journalists and technicians rather than higher-profile political leaders under whose names these web sites operate.
"We're talking about rank and file activists working on social and cultural issues," said Stork. "Their basic freedoms are being sacrificed as conservative leaders try to purge critics from society."
Human Rights Watch said that to date none of the detainees have been charged with any crime. Judicial authorities have given differing reasons for these arrests. On October 12, 2004, Jamal Karimi Rad, the judiciary's spokesman, said that the detainees were accused of "propaganda against the regime, endangering national security, inciting public unrest, and insulting sacred belief." The head of the judiciary, Ayatollah Shahrudi, in an interview with state-run television on October 27, 2004 stated that "these people will be tried in connection with moral crimes."
Nemat Ahmadi, defense counsel for some of the detainees, has been repeatedly barred from meeting his clients and has stated that they are being kept in solitary confinement.
"The only criminal behavior here appears to be that of Iran's judiciary officials," Stork said. "They seem to be ready to defy the country's own laws as well as its international human rights obligations in solidifying their hold on power."
Human Rights Watch called on the Iranian authorities to end their harassment and intimidation of peaceful critics, and free the arrested activists immediately and unconditionally.
Background: Internet writers and civil society activists who have been arrested over the past two months include:
Mahbubeh Abasgholizadeh, the editor of Farzaneh, women's rights and NGO activist, arrested at her home on November 2,
Fereshteh Ghazi of the daily Etemad and on-line journalist, arrested in her office on October 28,
Reza Mir Ebrahimi, former editor of foreign affairs of daily Etemad, arrested on October 27,
Javad Gholam Tamayomi of the daily Mardomsalari, arrested on October 18,
Omid Memarian, NGO activist and on-line journalist, arrested in his office on October 10,
Hanif Mazroi, former journalist, arrested on September 8,
Amir Mojiri, on-line journalist, arrested on September 8, and
Shahram Rafihzadeh, cultural editor of daily Etemad, arrested on September 7, 2004.
In addition, a number of prominent civil society activists, including Azam Taleghani, Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, Imad-din Baghi, and Mohammad Maleki have been banned from leaving the country.
ARIS, Nov. 8 - Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi of Iran on Monday praised the outcome of weekend talks with European negotiators, saying that a preliminary agreement had been reached to suspend Iran's production of enriched uranium immediately. But he emphasized that any suspension would be only temporary.
"We hope that the deal between Iran and Europeans can be finalized and create necessary confidence," Mr. Kharrazi said of the 22 hours of difficult negotiations in Paris on Friday and Saturday between an Iranian delegation and senior officials of France, Germany, Britain and the European Union.
But, he added, "The talk is about continuing the suspension for a short period to build confidence."
Paradoxically, Mr. Kharrazi and his negotiator in Paris, Hussein Mousavian, were more optimistic in public than the Europeans in describing the negotiations. The two Iranians described the result as a "preliminary agreement," while all of the European participants said only that "considerable progress" had been made toward a "preliminary agreement."
That seems to indicate the desire of the Iranian officials to push the agreement through Iran's murky political leadership, where agreement is universal that Iran has the right to produce enriched uranium and must not agree to a permanent ban.
Mr. Kharrazi's comments in Tehran to state-run television underscored the fact that the Europeans had given in on the issue of whether Iran's suspension of uranium enrichment would be permanent, European officials said. But the Europeans also resisted Iran's demand that the suspension last only six months, the officials added.
Instead, the suspension will continue only as long as Iran and the Europeans are involved in negotiations for a comprehensive package of rewards for Iran in exchange for a suspension of its production of enriched uranium, which can be used in civilian and military nuclear programs.
The Iranian side is studying a draft agreement that was discussed over the weekend, and European officials said areas of disagreement between the two sides remained when the talks broke up.
But the Iranians have made clear in public statements before and after the negotiations that they want a deal.
If a deal is in place by the time the 35 countries that make up the leadership of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations nuclear watchdog agency, meet Nov. 25 in Vienna, it will block a move by the United States to send the Iran problem to the Security Council for possible penalties.
In Brussels on Monday, Javier Solana, the European Union's foreign policy chief, said an agreement would make referring Iran to the Security Council unnecessary. "I think if we get an agreement we will not see any reason why,'' he told Reuters.
In Australia on Monday, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, called the agreement "a step in the right direction," adding that he hoped that a deal would be completed in "the next few days" and that it would lead Iran to suspend its nuclear enrichment and reprocessing programs.
Mr. Kharrazi's call for the need to "build confidence" is code for the Iranian demand that it be given a package of rewards as proof that it is not suspending its enrichment program and getting nothing in return.
Among the incentives proposed to Iran by the Europeans were the reaffirmation of Iran's right to a nuclear energy program for peaceful purposes; support in Iran's acquisition of a light water research reactor; resumption of talks on a trade agreement between the European Union and Iran; support for Iran's membership in the World Trade Organization; continuation of a policy defining as a terrorist organization the Iranian opposition group known as Mujahedeen Khalq ; access to imported nuclear fuel at market prices for Iran's reactors; and help with regional security concerns, including combating drug trafficking.
In Iran on Monday, the hard-line daily Jomhuri-e-Eslami denounced the talks on its front page and criticized the Iranian negotiators who conducted them.
"Despite the fact that the Europeans cannot be trusted has been proven to all, unfortunately these people have again reached agreement with these three traitor European countries," the newspaper said.
In October 2003, Iran and the same three of European countries reached agreement in Tehran for Iran to suspend uranium enrichment and to accept stricter international inspections of its nuclear sites. But Iran violated the agreement this year, charging that the Europeans had reneged on their promises of economic and political incentives.
Yea. "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. "
I have known two electrical engineers Reza and Hassim while working at AT&T about 10 years back range. They both where so pro American and for freedom it was not funny. They where amoung the lucky ones that got their families out and resettled here. They both held quite similiar philosphies,
which amoung them was the strong desire for many Iranians to be free of the yoke of religious tyranny. They told me many people of all ages that had contacts with western cultures, desired a democratic/leader elected system similiar to what we have. Perhaps the day will come when this country can manage to break the stronghold the mullahs have over them. It is really sad.
Iran is forming a coalition with China, Russia and the EU to counter US policies.
Constitutionalist Party of Iran's letter to President Bush
CPI ^ | 11/08/04 | CPI
Dear President George W. Bush,
As the Secretary General of the Constitutionalist Party of Iran and on behalf of CPI members, I would like to extend our deepest condolences for the recent tragedies in Iraq. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and the families of the victims.
We in CPI fully support your administrations stated vision of a democratic Middle East. Therefore we feel compelled to remind you that your vision of a better future for the people of Middle East will not be realized as long as the Islamic Republic is in power in Iran.
As the tragic events of the past few days has shown, Iranian Mullahs are repeating what they did in Iran during the Islamic revolution but this time in Iraq through their agents and criminal elements within Iraqi society. They are sending their trained terrorists and agents across the border to blend in with the local population. They are quietly moving into mosques and seminaries. They are training thugs and vigilantes in the name of providing security for the neighborhoods. They are intimidating the local populations and moderate clergies into submission through beatings and murder. They are creating chaos and will continue to do so in the future.
Mr. President, peace, stability and progress in Iraq will not be possible as long as these radical Mullahs in Iran are not confronted and defeated. We strongly encourage you to control the borders with Iran, hunt the Islamic regimes agents down in Iraq, and disarm the vigilantes and thugs such as the followers of Mughtada Al-Sadr. Iranian regime wants to see Americas total defeat in Iraq. They want to extend their dark and evil rule to Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East. They must not be allowed to succeed.
Mr. President, The radical regime in Iran must be defeated. In this struggle America will not be able to find a better ally than the freedom loving people of Iran. Iranian people are eager to see the end of radicalism in Iran but they need your moral support and need to see your firm stance against the terrorists and thugs in Iraq and their supporters in Iranian regime. Therefore we strongly encourage you to stand firm and do all you can to defeat them in Iran and Iraq.
Mr. President, I am sure millions of Iranians will join me in wishing you and the coalition troops a speedy victory against the Evil forces of darkness in the Middle East.
May God bless you, and may God bless the U.S.A.
Sincerely yours Foad Pashaei Secretary General of CPI
Posted Monday, November 8, 2004
TEHRAN, 8 Nov. (IPS) A high-ranking officer of the Iranian revolutionary Guards admitted Monday for the first time that using atomic weapons by Iran would have adverse results for the country.
Using non conventional weapons in military dimension would produce adverse effects for the nation.
Using non conventional weapons is in contradiction with the fundaments of our religion and in military dimension, such arms would produce adverse effects for the nation, the acting commander in chief of the ruling ayatollahs Praetorian Guard General Mohammad Baqer Zolqadr told journalists on the occasion of the so-called Qods (Jerusalem) Day, that falls on the last Friday of the fasting month of Ramazan and marks the Islamic Republics solidarity with the people of Palestine.
Analysts noted that this is the first time that a senior military officer was both admitting that the Islamic Republic might be in possession of nuclear arms and warning against using them.
Last week, Ayatollah Ali Khamenehi stated that atomic weapons were against Iranian religious jurisdictions that are based on Islamic Canons. However neither Mr. Khamenehi nor the general failed to explain how Islam could have banned the production of an arm that did not exist on the time of Muslims prophet Mohammad?
The United States and Israel accuse Iran of seeking to develop atomic bombs under cover of a civilian nuclear program. Iran denies the charges saying it only intends to produce electricity from nuclear power plants.
Mr. Zolqadr described Israels threats against Iran as political bluffing and warned that Tehran would strike back at the Jewish State or any other country that attacked Irans nuclear installations.
"Not Israel, but no other power in the world is capable of attacking Iranian nuclear centres. However, if Israel or any other country attacks any site in Iran, we know no limits to threaten their interests anywhere in the world", Mr. Zolqadr said, adding that the enemy cannot sustain an all out riposte from Iranian armies.
According to Mr. Zolqadr, considered as a hard line officer, no nation would dare to attack Irans 10 millions trained basijis (volunteers) and one million soldiers ready to defend their Islamic state.
His comments were an answer to recent press reports that Israel is considering the destruction of Iranian nuclear facilities on the same pattern they used for the bombing of Iraqs nuclear reactor in 1981.
But most military experts doubt about the seriousness of Israels plans for Iran, noting that not only Tel Aviv was in possession of all details concerning the location of Iraqs nuclear facility, but also it benefited from the ongoing war between Iran and Iraq, while in the case of Iran, the nuclear facilities for military use are well hidden and scattered across the vast country.
If Israel or any other country attacks any nuclear site in Iran, we know no limits to threaten their interests anywhere in the world.
Iran is known to have developed a sophisticated missile system based on the Shahab 3 ballistic missile that, with a range of 1.500-2.000 kilometres, can easily hit Israel.
According to the commander, Iran reorganised its armed forces after the eight years Iran-Iraq War and also benefited from Americas invasion of neighbouring Afghanistan and Iraq.
Earlier the commander addressed high-school students at a conference entitled "The World Without America."
"The world without America is a world without oppression, without terror, without invasion, without massacre", he said in a speech, adding America today is the symbol of all the worlds miseries. If America abandons these evil qualities, the world would be a much better place to live. ENDS ZOLQADR THREATS 81104
"IS NORTH KOREA ABETTING IRAN'S NUCLEAR PROGRAM?"
Gee, wouldn't that be a shocker?
(now I'm trying to remember if there were any mysterious mishaps around that time - maybe shortly before or after? - and might there be a connection?)
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