Skip to comments.Iranian Alert - November 12, 2004 [EST]- IRAN LIVE THREAD - "Americans for Regime Change in Iran"
Posted on 11/11/2004 9:11:26 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.
Khamenei, who has the final say on all state matters, denounced Arafat in 1998 for signing an accord with Israel promising to crack down on Islamic militants in exchange for a withdrawal of Israeli troops from part of the West Bank.
Khamenei made no comments following Arafat's death today.
Iran's Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi is scheduled to attend the funeral ceremonies for Mr Arafat in Cairo, Egypt, according to state-run television.
Posted Thursday, November 11, 2004
PARIS 11 Nov. (IPS) The Islamic Republic of Iran joined the international community offering its condolences to the Palestinian people Thursday over the death of Yasser Arafat and appealed to them to remain unified in the face of "Zionist aggression" and on the Muslim world to emulate the Islamic Republic in supporting the Palestinian resistance against the usurpers.
The Palestinian leader died in the early hours of Thursday at Percy military hospital on the outskirts of Paris where he had been in a coma since 29 October following his urgent transfer to France from the West Bank city of Ramallah, where he was living in a half destroyed office and residence for the past three years, prisoner of the Israelis.
The Palestinian leader died in the early hours of Thursday at Percy military hospital on the outskirts of Paris.
"Mr Arafat's death is a sad event and we send our condolences to the Palestinian people", Foreign Affairs Ministrys senior spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said, quoted by the official news agency IRNA, hours after the official announcement of the death of Mr. Arafat.
"Doubtless, his eminent role over near half a century is not concealed to any fair-minded and honest person; his name is now tied to Palestine", said an official statement from the Iranian government, adding that it received the news about Arafats death with great sadness.
The statement said Arafats demise had ushered in a new chapter in the legitimate struggles of the oppressed Palestinian people, urging the young Palestinian leaders to uphold this grave responsibility that now lies on their shoulders.
Though the statement did not name the so-called new, young Palestinian leaders, but observers said it certainly refers to the new leaders of Hamas, the Islamic Jihad of Palestine and the Martyrs of al Aqsa, the military branch of Fattah, the group led by Arafat himself, all three radical organisations opposed to peace with Israel and that have wowed to continue the struggle against the Jewish State.
"The lofty aspirations of a nation as well as its identity do not die with the demise of its leaders; rather, their death or martyrdom enormously helps consolidate those ideals", the statement further said, calling for "the total end of the occupation of the Palestinian territories, the return of refugees and the creation of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital".
Relations were cold between Iran and the Chairman of the Palestinian Authority.
"Mr Arafat had fought a long struggle for the goals of the Palestinian people. From a young age he fought the Zionist regime, and recently he was under tremendous pressure from Israel and he endured this pressure"
"We sympathise with the Palestinian people. But what is important now is that the Palestinian people maintain their unity and integrity and do not allow the Zionist regime to exploit the situation and continue its policy of aggression", Mr. Asefi told the Arabic television channel al Alam, run the Iranian Radio and Television.
"The Zionist regime, following Yasser Arafats demise, is trying to exploit the situation as much as possible in line with its continued policy of aggression", he said.
Relations were cold between Iran and the Chairman of the Palestinian Authority and reached the lowest point after Mr. Arafat shook hands with the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzahak Rabin and former US President Bill Clinton in Washington on 13 September 1993.
Irans former President Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, one of the Iranian leaders who had accused Mr. Arafat of selling to the Zionists and Americans the cause of the Palestinian people also voiced his sorrow and regret over the death, saying although Abu Ammar (Arafats nom de guerre) did not achieve his long-life aspirations, it is hoped that the Palestinian parties... would put aside their differences and create a united front to lead the resistant Palestinian people on the difficult road to saving their holy land".
According to IRNA, Iranian Foreign Affairs Minister Kamal Kharrazi will represent Irans delegation at the official funeral ceremony that is to be held Friday in Cairo.
As observed in the Iranian statement, the death of the legendary Palestinian leader would open a new chapter in the bloody history of the Middle East and Arabs-Palestinians and Israel conflict.
Iranian analysts of the region said much would depend on how both the new Palestinian leadership and Israelis could come together making he best of the tragic situation.
Immediately after the announce of the death, the Palestinian national Assembly named Abou Mazen as the leader of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation, the umbrella structures made of more than 12 different Palestinian groups and organisation, with the Fattah, now being led by Mr. Farouq Qoddoumi, as the largest and most important of them.
While Abou Ala would keep his job as Prime Minister, the Speaker of the Parliament replaces temporarily the presidency of the Palestinian Authority, the three posts of leadership of the PA, Fattah and PLO being monopolised by Abou Ammar.
A fresh outbreak of violenc, as promised by radical Palestinian organisations would be responded immediately by more repression from Israel, thus ruining hopes for renewal of the dialogue between the Palestinians and the Israelis, they noted.
The major problem, they added, is that not only any of the new Palestinian leaders is capable of harnessing angry mobs, but some of them are even accused of being Israelis and Americans puppets and to show their independence, they have to be firm with the Israelis.
In their view, the only way of getting dialogue started is a very active participation from the international community, mainly from the Quartet made of the European Union, the United States, Russia and the United Nations, offering the two sides possibilities and means of reviving the famous Road Map that was almost killed by the Israelis after he victory of Ariel Sharon in the last Israeli elections. ENDS ARAFAT 111104
12 November 2004
|British Prime Minister Tony Blair and President George Bush|
Friend of mine was saying today that the Iranian government is going to fill the void in the PA and aggressively pursue their radical agenda in the region now that Arafat is gone. He thinks that Arafat was actually keeping the Iranian government in control.
Thank you for your post.
Keep up the good work!
I had heard that Arafat was trying to limit the control of Iran in the Isreali conflict. I believe that is Amir Taheri's position. I need to check that out.
The American experience in Iran: Monarchy, Mullahs and the Madness
The establishment of the Islamic Republic marked the beginning of a significant increase in international terrorism. The fundamentalist government has consistently promoted the concept of Jihad, and they are closely linked to terrorist organizations such as Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad.
As previously indicated, the Islamic Republic well deserves its title as the worlds premier sponsor of state terrorism. Iran has been directly linked to terrorist training camps in Lebanon and the Sudan, and has assisted groups trying to overthrow the governments of Egypt, Algeria and Tunisia. This is the reason the United States prohibits military and most commercial ties against Iran.
Since the Group of Seven summit in Munich in July 1992, the United States has proposed a strong condemnation of Iranian policies concerning terrorism, human rights, and nuclear weapons. The Europeans, especially the Germans and the French, have opposed the American initiative, leading to its withdrawal.
Over 120 Iranian dissidents living in foreign nations have been slain by agents of the Islamic Republic. Listed below are 75 of the most sensational murders abroad which have been linked to the Tehran regime. The Islamic government has addressed several of these murders by saying the victims were killed because they supported the Shah, were attempting to overthrow the mullahs or were religious heretics.
On December 7, 1979, Prince Shahriar Shafiq, the Shah's nephew, Princess Ashraf's second son, was walking on a Parisian street carrying groceries home to his sister's apartment when he was shot in the back of the head. In Tehran, revolutionary judge Ayatollah Sadegh Khalkhali announced the death. "We were lucky," he told reporters. "We were after his mother but got him instead." Khallhaili also bragged that he had personally killed Prime Minister Hoveyda.
In July 1980, Former Prime Minister Shapour Bakhtiar escapes an assassination attempt in Paris, France. A French policeman and a neighbor are killed and one policeman is seriously injured.
On July 22, 1980 Ali Akbar Tabatabai was shot three times in the abdomen at his Bethesda home in Maryland by an assassin disguised as a postman. Tabatabai, a former press attache at the Iranian Embassy in Washington, D.C. under the monarchy, had emerged as one of the main critics of the Khomeini regime in the United States and was the leader of the Iran Freedom Foundation. The man who fired the semi-automatic Browning revolver was an African American Muslim who had been paid five thousand dollars for the job.
In January 1982, Shahrokh Missaghi is killed in Manila, Philippines.
In June 1982, Shahram Mirani is fatally wounded in India.
In August 1982, Ahmad Zol-Anvar is fatally wounded in Karachi, Pakistan.
In September 1982, Abdolamir Rahdar is killed in India.
In 1982, Colonel Ahmad Hamed is killed in Istanbul, Turkey.
In February 1983, Esfandiar Rahimi is killed in Manila, Philippines.
On February 7, 1984, assassins shot and killed the 64 year old General Gholam-Ali Oveissi, the former Military Governor of Tehran. Also killed was his brother Gholam-Hossei. They were murdered as they left an apartment in Paris. Oveissi's death dealt a major blow to the anti-mullah opposition forces. Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the murders.
In August 1985, Colonel Behrouz Shahverdilou of the National Movement of Resistance is killed in Istanbul, Turkey. The Colonel was close to former prime minister Baktiar.
On September 9, 1985, Mirmanoute Balouch, a former member of parliament from Balutchistan, was murdered in Karachi, Pakistan.
On December 23, 1985, Colonel Hadi Aziz-Moradi is killed at the entrance of the house where he was a guest in Istanbul, Turkey.
On January 16, 1986, Ali Akbar Mohamadi, the former personal pilot of Ayatollah Rafsanjani, who had fled Iran, was murdered in Hamburg, West Germany.
On August 19, 1986, a bomb exploded in a Persian video store in the Kensington section of London. It killed Bijan Fazeli, the 22 year old son of Reza Fazelli an opponent of the Islamic Republic who had produced a number of comedy shows deriding the mullahs as "corrupt and evil."
On October 24, 1986, Ahmad Hamed Monfared, a former body guard to the Shah, is shot by two people in front of a primary school while waiting for a bus in Istanbul, Turkey. The police arrested Iranian agents.
In December 1986, Vali Mohammad Van is killed in Pakistan.
In January 1987, Ali-Akbar Mohammadi is killed in Hamburg, Germany.
In July 1987, Faramarz-Agha and Ali-Reza Pourshafizadeh are killed and twenty-three persons are wounded in residences of Iranian refugees Karachi and Quetta, Pakistan.
On July 7,1987, Amir-Hossein Amir-Parviz, a former Minister to the Shah, is seriously wounded by the explosion of a bomb placed in his car in London, England.
On July 12, 1987, the body of Hamid Reza Chitgar of the Iranian Labor Party was discovered in Vienna, Austria. He was employed at the Universit Louis Pasteur in Strasbourg, and had disappeared in France on May 19, 1987.
On July 25, 1987, Mohamad-Hassan Mansouri was shot in Istanbul, Turkey by two assassins in obscure circumstances while in the company of an Iraqi diplomat, Behman Fadil. The assassins escaped in white Mercedes registered to the Iraqi consulate in istanbul; but a ballistics exam showed the same murder weapon was used to kill Colonel Aziz-Moradi in December 1986.
On August 10, 1987, Ahmad Moradi-Talebi, a former Colonel in the Iranian Air Force who had deserted, is gunned down near the Hotel Edelweiss in Geneva, Switzerland. The assassins left a blue Air Force baseball cap behind them, as a signature.
On October 2, 1987, Mohamed Ali Tavakoli-Nabavi was killed with youngest son, Noureddin, outside of his home in Wembley. He had lived in Britain since 1979 with refugee status. Responsibility for the murders was claimed by a group calling itself the Islamic Revolutionary Guards.
On October 10, 1987. Behrouz Bagheri is killed when his shop is fire-bombed in Paris.
On October 10, 1987, a hotel in Karachi where Iranian opposition members were staying is fire-bombed, killing one person and wounding another. The Pakistan police accused Iran's Pasdaran, or Revolutionary Guards.
In October 1987, Abol-Hassan Modjtahed-Zadeh of the Iranian opposition is kidnapped in Istanbul, Turkey. His body was discovered on October 11, 1988 bound and gagged in the trunk of a car in Erzeroum, Turkey. The car had diplomatic plates which were traced to Irans consulate in Istanbul. The occupants of the car were five Iranian diplomats who were attempting to cross the border into Iran.
On October 25, 1988, Abdul Ghani Bedawi is gunned down by an unknown assailant in Ankara, Turkey. He was the second secretary at embassy of Saudi Arabia, and was believed to be an intelligence agent. A professional killer was arrested in March of 1996 for the crime and confessed. He said he was hired by agents of the Islamic Republic.
On December 12, 1988, an armed man opens fire on Iranian refugees waiting in line in front of the headquarters of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Karachi, killing an Iranian refugee and wounding five others.
On January 4, 1989, Saleh Abdullah al-Maliki, the third secretary at the Saudi embassy in Bangkok, Thailand was murdered. Responsibility for the killing is claimed by the al-Hijaz Islamic Jihad, an Iranian-backed Shiite opposition group in Saudi Arabia.
On May 4, 1989, Colonel Attaollah Bay-Ahmad Flag of the opposition is killed in his room at the Hotel Astoria in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The assassins used a pistol equipped with a silencer. He had been working with the opposition network inside Iran.
On July 12, 1989, Abdol-Rahman Ghassemlou, the 59 year old leader of the Kurdish Democratic Party, was in Vienna to negotiate an autonomy agreement with emissaries of President Rafsanjani. At about 7:30 p.m. police discovered Ghassemlou's bullet-riddled body seated in an armchair. His associates Abdollah Ghaderi and Fazel Rassoul were sprawled dead on the floor. The three assassins were quickly arrested but the Austrian authorities let all of them go back to Tehran.
In August 1989, Gholam Keshavarz is killed in Cyprus.
In September 1989, Sadigh Kamangar is assassinated in the north of Iraq.
In September 1989, Hossein Keshavarz, victim of a terrorist attempt, is paralyzed for life.
On October 16, 1989, Abdurrahman Shrewi, the Saudi military attach in Ankara is killed by a bomb placed underneath his car. It exploded just before he arrived at his office at the embassy, severing both his legs.
On November 1, 1989, Ali al-Marzuq, the last remaining Saudi diplomat in Beirut is killed outside his home in West Beirut. Responsibility claimed by Islamic Jihad, the Iranian-backed military wing of Hezbollah.
On February 1, 1990, Abdalrahman al-Basri; Fahd Abdallah al-Bahli, and Ahmad Abdallah al-Sayf are all gunned down in Bangkok, Thailand. They are all suspected Saudi intelligence agents.
In February 1990, Hadj Baloutch-Khan is killed by a terrorist commando in Pakistan.
In March 1990, Hossein Mir-Abedini is wounded by an armed commando in the airport of Istanbul, Turkey. Radio Tehran claimed responsibility.
On April 24, 1990, Dr Kazem Rajavi, a human rights activist and the brother of Massoud Rajavi, the leader of the Iraq-based National Council of Resistance, was assassinated by a four man hit team that opened fire on his car outside his home in Coppet, Switzerland. Two months later, the Swiss Police issued a report saying that the killers carried Iranian government service passports -- "all issued on the same date" -- and flew between Tehran and Geneva on Iran Air.
In July 1990, Ali Kashefpour is kidnapped and killed in Turkey.
On September 6, 1990, Efat Ghazi is killed in Sweden by a bomb intended for her husband.
On October 23, 1990 at 9:30 a.m. Cyrus Elahi, a high-ranking member of the pro-democracy opposition movement, the Flag of Freedom Organization, was assassinated in cold blood. He was hit by six 7.65 revolver bullets. Elahi's body was found in the lobby of his Parisian residence at 8 Rue Antoine Bourdelle.
On April 8, 1991, Dr Abdol-Rahman Boroumand, a close adviser to Bakhtiar, was stabbed to death outside his home in Paris. He was an active member of the National Resistance Movement.
On May 5, 1991, Safiollah Soleimanpour and Ahad Agha are killed in Suleimanya, Iraq. The Iranian government has admitted the killings.
On July 12, 1991, Hitoshi Igarashi, the Japanese translator of Salman Rushdie Rushdie's book The Satanic Verses is killed in Tokyo. An assassination attempt against Rushdies Italian translator was committed a week earlier. He was severely wounded but lived.
On August 6, 1991 in Suresnes, France, a three-man commando team sent from Tehran and posing as his supporters, brutally murders the 77 year old former prime minister, Dr. Shapour Bakhtiar and his secretary, Soroush Katibeh. Both men were stabbed to death. Bakhtiar's corpse was found lying on a leather couch, his throat and wrists cut by a kitchen knife. One of the assassins is later arrested in Switzerland and extradited to France. During his 1994 trial he admits that they are Iranian government agents, and they had been trying to kill Baktiar for some time. It was difficult because Baktiars son was a French police inspector. The other assassins had returned to Iran before they could be apprehended.
August 7, 1991, Jawad Mehrani, an arms dealer linked to the Iranian government, was killed in Paris within 24 hours of Bakhtiar. He was in the process of negotiating a large helicopter purchase from Aerospatiale. The French police have speculated that he may have been eliminated by the same hit team because he was aware of details of the Bakhtiar murder.
In September 1991, Sad Yazdan-Panah is fatally wounded in Iraq.
In December 1991, Massoud Rajavi escapes a terrorist attempt in Baghdad,Iraq.
In January 1992, Kamran Hedayati is wounded opening a letter bomb in Vastros, Sweden. He looses his sight and his hands.
In May 1992, Shapour Firouzi is killed in Iraq.
On June 4, 1992, Akbar Ghorbani (aka Mansour Amini) was abducted and his body was found in a shallow grave on June 16 with its fingernails pulled out and genitals mutilated. Police found explosives in two cars he had been using. Turkish fundamentalists confessed they had been paid by Iranian intelligence to carry out the kidnaping and murder.
In July 1992, Kamran Mansour-Moghadam is killed in Suleymania, Iraq.
On August 9, 1992, Fereydoun Farrokhzad, a well-known singer and opposition figure, was stabbed by an assassin at his home in Bonn, Germany.
On September 17, 1992, Sadegh Sharafkandi, Fatah Abdoli, Homayoun Ardalan and Nouri Dehkordi are killed at the Mykonos restaurant in Berlin, Germany. They were gunned down mafia-style while they ate. Despite the German Government's attempts to pressure the Court to refrain from pointing a finger at Tehran, the president of the tribunal, Judge Frithjof Kubsch, declared that the "atrocious murders" were ordered by the "highest state levels". In March 1996, the German Federal Prosecutor issued an international arrest warrant for Iranian Intelligence Minister Ali Fallahian for having ordered the killings.
On December 26, 1992, Major Abbas Gholizadeh is kidnaped in Ankara and later murdered by members of Islamic Action, a Turkish fundamentalist group financed by Iran. In late January 1994, the leader of the group, Mehmet Ali Bilici, admits to having received more than $37,500 for the kidnapping and to having turned Gholizadeh over to Iranian intelligence agents, who are believed to have interrogated him, tortured him, and killed him. He had been a bodyguard of the Shah.
On January 1, 1993, Ayatollah Mehdi Haeri narrowly escapes an assassination attempt in Berlin. An Iranian government agent, Fakhrodine Zalikhani, is arrested.
On January 24, 1993, Ugur Mumcu, a prominent journalist, is killed by a car bomb which explodes in front of his home at 63, Karli Sokak in Ankara. Prime suspects include members of Islamic Action , an Iranian-backed fundamentalist group in Turkey; and three Iranian diplomats. Mumcu had denounced Iranian subversion in Turkey.
In February 1993, fundamentalist terrorists in Turkey admit to have kidnapped and killed Ali-Akbar Ghorbani who had disappeared in June 1992 in Turkey.
March 16, 1993, Mohammed Hussein Nagdi is gunned down in his car by assassins riding on a motorbike on a Rome street. He was the local representative of the National Council of Resistance, a front organization for the Massud Radjavi's Mujahidin. He served as military attach to Italy for the Islamic Republic until 1982. In July 1996, the Italian prosecutor asked the Islamic Republic embassy in Rome to lift diplomatic immunity on an individual serving at the Rome embassy at the time of the assassination.
In June 1993, Mohammad-Hassan Arbab is killed in Karachi, Pakistan.
August 8, 1993, Mohammad Ghaderi was kidnaped and found dead in Ankara, Turkey allegedly by Iranian-controlled agents.
On October 11, 1993, William Nygaard, the Norwegian publisher of The Satanic Verses is shot three times from behind as he is leaving his home in Oslo, but survives.
On January 1, 1994, Aoubakr Hedayati of the Iranian opposition is wounded by a letter bomb.
In January, 1994, Taha Kermanj is killed in Corum, Turkey. An Iranian was arrested for killing this Kurdish activist.
On January 24, 1994, Naeb Umran Maaitah, the number two diplomat at Jordan's embassy in Beirut, was gunned down in Syrian-controlled West Beirut. Five days later, Jordan expelled 21 Iranian diplomats from Amman. Iranian intelligence is suspected of having planned his killing, which was carried out by elements from the pro-Iranian Hezbollah.
On August 1994, Ghafour Hamzei'i is killed in Baghdad, Iraq.
On November 12, 1994, Mohammed Ali Assadi was killed in Bucharest, Romania when three assailants burst into his apartment and thrust a two-edged Ninja sword into his back. His wife said she recognized one of the assailants from the Iranian embassy staff.
On September 17, 1995, Hashem Abdollahi is murdered when assailants broke into his father's apartment. Hashem was the son of Davoud Abdollahi, the chief witness in the Bakhtiar murder trial. The State Department's yearly report on terrorism speculated his murder "may have been an anti dissident attack."
On February 20, 1996, Zahra Rajabi, a senior member of the National Council of Resistance, was killed by five bullets to the head fired at point blank range when gunmen burst into her Istanbul apartment. Killed with her was Abdul-Ali Moradi.
On March 4, 1996, Molavi Abdul-Malek, the 45-year old son of Iran's most prominent Sunni cleric, was murdered by two gunmen in a taxi as he was leaving his house in Karachi, Pakistan. Molavi Abdul Malek was a well-known opponent of the regime and was involved in organizing the Balouchi community. He was killed along with an associate, Jamshid Zahi, 25. A Pakistani woman passing by was also wounded.
On March 7, 1996, Hamed Rahmani was killed while driving to his office in central Baghdad. The Iraqi government said it was the sixth assassination of a Mujahedin member in Baghdad since May of 95.
On May 28, 1996, Reza Mazlouman (Kourosh Aryamanesh), a dissident publisher and activist, was found dead in Paris with two bullets in his chest.
IRAN CALLS ON THE PALESTINIANS TO KEEP THE STRUGGLE ALIVE
Bump to me for tomorrow. I have to go to sleeeeeeeep.
He was. Iranian government saw Arafat as far too moderate on Israel.
So can anyone explain the difference between the nuclear deal the Europeans are now waiting for--indeed, practically begging--Iran to accept and the 1994 Agreed Framework with North Korea?
The latter, readers will remember, was the Clinton Administration's failed attempt to buy off Pyongyang by providing it with fuel oil and a couple of light-water reactors in exchange for the North's promise to give up its nuclear weapons program. But as usual, appeasement didn't work. In 2002 the North booted out U.N. inspectors, turned off the TV cameras monitoring its nuclear facilities, and began demanding even larger payoffs to stay out of the nuclear business. North Korea had been running a secret program in violation of the Agreed Framework and is now estimated to possess as many as nine warheads.
Fast-forward to the current Franco-British-German proposal for Iran, and you find . . . well, offers of light-water reactors and various economic payoffs in exchange for Iran's promise to temporarily suspend uranium enrichment activities. That's right, only temporarily, since Iran is demanding to be recognized soon as a perfectly normal nuclear nation. That's pretty audacious for the world's No. 1 state sponsor of terrorism, but it's not surprising given the way the world has responded thus far to its 20 years of nuclear deception.
Let's start with the Europeans, who are actually credulous enough to believe that there is some doubt over whether "hardliners" in Tehran will accept their generous offer. An exquisitely timed Monday story in Iran's Jomhuri-e-Islami newspaper appeared to denounce the country's delegation for dealing with the "three traitor European countries." ...
But we never expected much from Europe in the first place. Far more disappointing is that the White House has done little or nothing to support the work of Undersecretary John Bolton's non-proliferation team at the State Department. It can't have escaped the mullahs' notice that President Bush failed to mention them during his September speech at the United Nations. That was a shocking omission given the extent to which the Iranian nuclear program ought to occupy the Security Council over the coming year, and an unfortunate indicator of where White House priorities don't lie.
There isn't any doubt among serious observers that Iran is running a bomb program. In 2002 an Iranian resistance group exposed two decades of Iranian nuclear double-dealing with the International Atomic Energy Agency by revealing a secret enrichment facility at Natanz and a heavy-water plant at Arak. In October 2003 a European-brokered inspections deal offered the mullahs a chance to come clean but they continued to deceive.
Among other pieces of information Iran has since failed to volunteer is the fact that they possess advanced P-2 centrifuges of the type peddled by Pakistani A-bomb merchant A.Q. Khan. They've been found to be working with polonium-210, an element whose primary use is as a bomb trigger. And IAEA inspectors have found traces of uranium enriched far beyond the grade needed for use in a civilian power reactor. Consider also Iran's rapid advance in the field of medium- to long-range ballistic missile technology, which surely isn't meant for carrying conventional warheads.
The only question is whether the world is going to do anything about all this. The Europeans are essentially arguing that any deal with the mullahs is better than nothing, given Tehran's repeated threats to withdraw altogether from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. But what's really more dangerous: immediate clarity regarding Iran's real intentions, or the country going nuclear with the quiet blessing of the IAEA and the permanent discrediting of the multilateral arms control system?
President Bush needs to pay some overdue attention to Iran now that the election is over, and put the above case to his friend and ally Tony Blair. The model for disarming Iran ought to be the process the two countries have just gone through with Libya's Moammar Gadhafi: unambiguous cooperation, including the handover of all nuclear and WMD-related facilities. Anything less--like the Agreed Framework Part II now on offer--deserves only one response in Washington and London: No deal.
THE course of Iran's relations with the outside world seldom runs smooth. Just when Britain, France and Germany thought they had at last won agreement from Iran to suspend its most troubling nuclear activities, so that negotiations on a broader tension-defusing deal could take place, hardliners in Tehran seemed to dig their heels in. The Europeans had been hoping to avert a showdown later this month at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) over whether Iran's nuclear transgressions should be reported to the UN Security Council. But a last-minute dispute over the scope of the suspension left it uncertain whether it would be in place in time. One of Iran's negotiating team threatened it would pull out of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) if western countries piled on the pressure.
Nor is Iran sounding conciliatory in other ways. Its defence minister said pointedly this week that it could now mass-produce missiles (by churning them out just like cars, he joked) that it has in the past claimed are capable of striking both Israel and American bases in the Gulf. Another spokesman was reported to say that Iran had the technical know-how to build a bomb, while still denying that it had any intention of doing so. Iran appears also to have helped Hizbullah, to which it has long sent cash and arms, launch an unmanned aerial vehicle from Lebanon on a photographic mission over northern Israel. Such drones can also carry bombs.
None of this was coincidence. A previous deal that the Europeans thought they had struck a year ago with Iran to suspend its uranium and plutonium programmes unravelled when IAEA inspectors kept uncovering new evidence of Iran's nuclear cheating and Iran huffily refused to end its manufacture of parts for uranium-enrichment machines, and then went on to produce the gas that is spun in such centrifuges to produce uraniumwhich can be used for nuclear fuel or bombs. Since then, Iranian officials have insisted that any new suspension they agree to will be short-lived: six months at the most.
The Europeans have also taken a tough line this time: the agreement reached with Iran specifies no deadline, and they insist it must include all work towards enrichment. They will not negotiate the second element of the deal, which would include trade and political concessions to Iran, as well as offers of nuclear co-operation, while the Iranians are busily stocking up to start enrichment whenever they choose. And while Iran insists it has a right to enrich uranium under the NPT, the Europeans, pointing to past breaches of nuclear safeguards, want it to agree not to do soas many other countries have done.
But hardliners in Iran think they hold a strong hand. Just as the Europeans are refusing to pay much up front to get Iran to reinstate the suspension of uranium enrichment that was supposed to have started a year ago, so the Iranians may calculate they need not sacrifice much to avoid referral to the UN Security Council. There, whatever the tone of the latest report from the IAEA that was being finalised this week, they hope for the blocking support of China and Russia. China has already said the issue should be handled at the IAEA, not the UN. And Russia hopes to continue its lucrative nuclear commerce with Iran, having just completed the country's first power reactor.
So even if this week's hurdles can be overcome, Iran may have no intention of pursuing real negotiations with the Europeans. Instead it could be playing for time in the hope that eventually others will tire of the issueor while it carries on working towards nuclear break-out in ways the IAEA's inspectors don't know about.
That is the worry among Israelis and among some in the Bush administration. Israel has already hinted that, if the Iranians cannot be stopped by other means, it may consider military strikes at nuclear facilities, similar to its raid on Iraq's Osirak reactor in 1981. Hence Iran's unveiled warnings of its ability to strike back using missiles and other means.
Such talk alarms the Europeans: Britain's foreign secretary, Jack Straw, has said it is inconceivable that America would strike at Iran, or give the nod to Israel to do so. America's secretary of state, Colin Powell, also recently advised Israel to rely on diplomacy rather than force.
Meanwhile the Europeans know that, if Iran is to be diverted from any nuclear weapons plans, their own inducements will not be enough. At some point America will need to join the diplomacy too. So far, with a long list of complaints about Iran's behaviour, America has refused. But just before the IAEA next takes up Iran's case, in two weeks' time, Mr Powell will have a rare chat with his Iranian counterpart at a meeting of Iraq's neighbours at the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. Though with both countries still in uncompromising mood, the cause of diplomacy may not advance very far.
VIENNA, Nov 12 (Reuters) - The U.N. nuclear watchdog has held up a new report on inspections in Iran while Tehran and the EU's "big three" try to break a deadlock in talks aimed at freezing Iran's uranium enrichment programme, diplomats said on Friday.
France, Britain and Germany had urged Iran to announce the suspension by Thursday for it to be included in the new report. However, no announcement was made and it was unclear if Iran was ready to halt its enrichment programme, which could be used to make fissile uranium for atomic weapons.
Former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, still one of Iran's most influential officials, told worshippers at Friday prayers in Tehran the negotiations were moving ahead "step by step" though the Iranians were not yet satisfied.
"If the Europeans are fair, I think the door is open for a solution and we can reach an agreement," he said.
The U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had originally hoped to distribute the new report to the 35 members of the agency's board of governors by Friday, but diplomats said this was unlikely.
Several diplomats said they suspected the IAEA has delayed previous reports to give Iran time to hand over late information.
"I know for a fact that the people responsible for the report had all they have to say (ready) a few days ago," a Western diplomat in Vienna who follows the IAEA told Reuters. He said what was missing was a paragraph stating that Iran had agreed to suspend its uranium enrichment programme as demanded by an IAEA resolution passed in September.
Confirmation of the suspension would prevent Iran from being reported to the U.N. Security Council, which could impose economic sanctions, when the IAEA board meets on Nov. 25. This is what Washington has demanded of the IAEA.
The United States says Iran is using its nuclear power programme as a front to develop weapons. Tehran denies this.
Some diplomats were confident Iran would announce the enrichment suspension later on Friday though others were more sceptical. "I'll believe it when I see it," one diplomat said. (additional reporting by Paul Hughes in Tehran)
Millions of Iranians boycotted today the sham show of force and anti-Semite "Ghods" rally, organized by the Islamic republic regime forcing it to bring more "professional" demonstrators and forced young school students and governmental employees, especially from the security forces and army, to compensate the lack of popular support.
Pressures, Free food, pocket money and promises of welfare didn't work and in Tehran alone, with over 12 millions of inhabitants, the regime was not able to bring more than 70 or 80 thousands of "demonstrators" who were carried by buses, placed under the supervision of the Islamic Propagation Office and other organisms affiliated to the clerical leadership, to the seven designated points of departure of the rallies.
The "Ghods Day" (Jerusalem in Arabic language) was instated, in 1979, by Rouh-ollah Khomeini who made of Israel the first target of his newly created theocratic regime. But with its boycott, Iranians showed once again the rejection of Khomeini's dark legacy and any hate or discriminatory action. They also showed in another disobedience move the total rejection of the Islamic republic regime which had placed big hopes to play the good feelings of Iranians in order to create a show of force in its current unprecedented needy time.
It's to note also that many Iranians are well aware of the current repressive role played by paid Palestinian elements involved in the regime's security forces.
In addition, Iranians also remember the well remunerated and armed role of Yasser Arafat, the dead Palestinian leader, and his terrorists in supporting the Iranian mullahs by helping them in the victory of their Islamic revolution. Many suspect Arafat's Fedayins hidden role of having been involved in creating the Sep. 1978 Jaleh Square shoot out during which tens of protesters and members of the Iranian Imperial Army were killed by thinking that the other side has opened fire. Worst of all, Iranians can't forget that the same Palestinian leadership and fedayins were later involved against Iranian soldiers by siding with Saddam's forces and how in addition to receiving huge financial and logistical remuneration for such aggression, they were also targeting to detach the Iranian province of Khoozestan.
Arafat had answered, to an astonished French reporter wondering on his sudden change of side, that "Iranians are our friends but Iraqis are our Arab brothers".
The Movement had called, earlier and for the 4th consecutive year, for a massive boycott of the governmental rallies of "Ghods Day". Several interviews were made with its members, in the last days, and the SMCCDI's official statement was broadcasted by several abroad based sources, such as, the popular Voice of Iran (KRSI), NITV, Pars TV and Azadi Satellite Networks.
In addition, the SMCCDI Coordinator lectured the full statement and call for boycott on the wave of the well listened Radio Voice of Israel (Persian Service) on Wednesday. The recorded program is available in the archive section of Radio Israel's website (Part III of Wednesday from minute 12':40"): http://www.radis.org/Audio-arcive.htm
The AP reports that a deal supposedly hammered out by the EU is collapsing due to Iran's renuncuiation of the agreement:
A deal committing Iran to suspend activities that Washington says are part of a nuclear arms program was close to collapse Friday, with diplomats suggesting that Tehran had reneged on an agreement reached with European negotiators just days ago. ...
The deal leaves open the exact length of the suspension but says it will be in effect at least as long as it takes for the two sides to negotiate a deal on European technical and financial aid, including help in the development of Iranian nuclear energy for power generation.
But on Friday the diplomats told The Associated Press that Iranian officials had presented British, French and German envoys in Tehran with a version of the agreement that was unacceptable to the three European powers.
Well, color me shocked -- the Iranians reneged on an agreement to limit their nuclear research and development. Iran wants to continue refining uranium into a precursor of uranium hexafluoride, a gas essential to breeding weapons-grade fissile material. The EU-3 insists that this option never was part of their agreement ... and so we're back where we began.
I'm no fan of the UN Security Council, but the nonproliferation agreement uses it as the next step in enforcing its requirements. The EU-3 needs to step aside and get this issue in front of the UNSC so that sanctions and other penalties can be implemented. Iran has played this string out as long as possible and will continue to stall the West until they have their nuclear bomb. Sitting atop their new Shahab-3 missiles, they can threaten eastern Europe and force a stalemate in Southwest Asia. If we are to stop them, we need to do it now.
Nov. 12, 2004 22:46
A former Iranian president put forward his own solution to the Israeli-Palestinian dispute on Friday: Israel and the Palestinian territories should unite under one government, which would be elected by all Jewish and Arab residents, as well as the Palestinian refugees in neighboring states.
The proposal by Hashemi Rafsanjani marked an evolution as Iranian policy-makers have long insisted that Jewish immigrants to Israel had no right to live there.
The Iranian government has never recognized Israel nor approved of its interim peace accords with the Palestinians. It has called for the destruction of Israel, saying that is the only way to resolve the Middle East conflict.
"Let's organize free elections in Palestine under the auspices of Islamic countries and the United Nations," Rafsanjani told tens of thousands of worshippers at his Friday prayers sermon in Tehran. "Let the Jews brought (to Palestine) be there, and also Palestinian refugees ... all Palestinians."
"Let them all participate in elections, and choose their government democratically, which would be acceptable to the whole world.
"Let Jews, Christians and Muslims live together. The United Nations, world powers and Muslims would guarantee the security of this government," he said.
Rafsanjani said Israel's supporters, including the United States, fear that Jews would lose such an election because Palestinians would be in the majority, but his proposal would allow recent Jewish immigrants to Israel to vote.
"This will be a retreat (from our past policy), but a retreat to avoid so many crimes," he said, referring to the current violence between Israelis and Palestinians.
Rafsanjani, who was president in 1989-97, chairs the Expediency Council, a powerful body that arbitrates between the parliament and another council that vets legislation.
Before the sermon, Rafsanjani took part in a rally to mark Jerusalem Day, where he said Thursday's death of Palestinian leader Yasser Aright was a loss to the Palestinian nation, but also an opportunity.
"Definitely, the death of Arafat will create new conditions in Palestine, and Palestinian leaders should not allow discord among themselves," Rafsanjani told the rally.
Iranians commemorate Jerusalem Day on the last Friday of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan as a protest against Israel's occupation of east Jerusalem. The Al-Aksa mosque in east Jerusalem is the third holiest shrine in Islam, after those in the Saudi cities of Mecca and Medina.
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