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Iranian Alert - November 17, 2004 [EST]- LIVE - "Group Says Iran Has Secret Nuclear Arms Program"
Regime Change Iran ^ | 11.17.2204 | DoctorZin

Posted on 11/16/2004 10:01:58 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.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: armyofmahdi; ayatollah; binladen; cleric; eu; germany; humanrights; iaea; insurgency; iran; iranianalert; iraq; islamicrepublic; japan; journalist; kazemi; khamenei; khatami; khatemi; lsadr; moqtadaalsadr; mullahs; persecution; persia; persian; politicalprisoners; protests; rafsanjani; revolutionaryguard; rumsfeld; russia; satellitetelephones; shiite; southasia; southwestasia; studentmovement; studentprotest; terrorism; terrorists; us; vevak; wot

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

1 posted on 11/16/2004 10:02:01 PM PST by DoctorZIn
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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!

2 posted on 11/16/2004 10:05:45 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Group Says Iran Has Secret Nuclear Arms Program


Published: November 17, 2004

WASHINGTON, Nov. 16 - An Iranian opposition group says it has new evidence that Iran is producing enriched uranium at a covert Defense Ministry facility in Tehran that has not been disclosed to United Nations inspectors.

The group, the National Council for Resistance in Iran, is planning to announce its finding in Paris on Wednesday. The group says that inspection of the site would demonstrate that Iran is secretly trying to produce nuclear weapons even while promising to freeze a critical part of its declared nuclear program, which it maintains is intended purely for civilian purposes.

A senior official of the group, Muhammad Mohaddessin, said in a telephone interview late on Tuesday that the group had shared the new information "very recently'' with the International Atomic Energy Agency. But he and other officials of the group said it had not discussed the matter with the United States government, and its claims could not be verified.

Iran's mission to the United Nations did not return messages seeking comment on the assertion.

The group, based in Paris, is the political arm of the People's Mujahedeen, which is listed by the United States government as a terrorist organization because of its involvement in attacks on Americans in the 1970's. But the group also has a successful track record in gathering intelligence on Iran, and was the first, in 2002, to disclose the existence of what was then the secret Iranian nuclear site at Natanz.

United Nations inspectors "should not be fooled or deceived by the Iranian regime,'' Mr. Mohaddessin said.

A spokesman in Washington for the National Council for Resistance in Iran provided a seven-page summary of the assertion to The New York Times.

It says that the previously undisclosed site, in northeastern Tehran, covers 60 acres and houses biological and chemical warfare projects as well as nuclear activity. It says that the site, known as the Modern Defensive Readiness and Technology Center, now houses operations previously carried out at another Defense Ministry site in Tehran that was destroyed by the Iranian government this year before international inspectors could visit it.

The assertion by the opposition group is surfacing in a week in which France, Britain and Germany announced a formal agreement with Iran committing the country to freeze a critical part of its nuclear program in exchange for an array of possible rewards.

As part of the pact with the Europeans, the International Atomic Energy Agency said Iran had promised to suspend its uranium enrichment program starting a week from now. But the agency said it could not rule out the possibility that Iran was conducting covert activities.

"All the declared nuclear material in Iran has been accounted for, and therefore such material is not diverted to prohibited activities," the agency said in a report, referring to possible Iran nuclear weapons activity. "The agency is, however, not in a position to conclude that there are no undeclared nuclear materials or activities in Iran."

The United States and European countries have argued that Iran's nuclear program is intended to produce weapons. Iran's leadership has insisted that is not engaged in a nuclear weapons program but has the sovereign right to enrich uranium.

Officials of the opposition group said they believed that the Iranian Defense Ministry and Revolutionary Guards Corps were pursuing their program in secret and had not told Iran's atomic energy agency of the existence of the facility in Tehran.

3 posted on 11/16/2004 10:06:24 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

David Ignatius

Bush's New Start With France


By David Ignatius
Tuesday, November 16, 2004; Page A25

PARIS -- John Kerry's supporters dreamed that if he were elected, he would reach out to France and other disgruntled European allies and work with them on Iraq and the Middle East peace process. It turns out that a version of this rapprochement is emerging with a victorious George W. Bush.

The Bush team has been preparing its transatlantic olive branch for the past few months, even as the president's campaign managers were out bashing Kerry for his supposed pro-French leanings. One strategist who is familiar with the transition plans for Europe prepared by Kerry and Bush advisers in October says he was struck by how similar they were in describing the challenge: Both plans recognized that there was a crisis in transatlantic relations that had to be repaired soon after the election.

The French, despite their anger at being demonized during the campaign, were also ready to make a new start. The first step was a phone call a week ago from Jacques Chirac to Bush. The French president began by listing areas where Franco-American cooperation was working well -- such as the war on terrorism, Afghanistan, the Balkans and Africa. Chirac then cited three areas where he wanted to do better: Iraq, Iran and the Middle East peace process.

There was "a meeting of minds" between Bush and Chirac on the peace process, says one man who was privy to the conversation. Both presidents agreed that "the only way to put things back on track is to give the Palestinian Authority a new generation of leaders through municipal and legislative elections," this official said. At the end of the phone conversation, Chirac said he wanted to follow up immediately by sending his top foreign policy aide to Washington.

Chirac's adviser, Maurice Gourdalt-Montagne, met for 90 minutes on Friday with Bush's national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice. One man who attended the meeting says that both sides understood they couldn't put the relationship back on track by talking about peripheral issues such as steel trade or banana quotas, but must focus on the big problems of Iraq, Iran and the Middle East. And according to French and American sources, the session made some progress.

On Iraq, the French agreed that the only scenario for progress is a successful Iraqi election in January, and they pledged to encourage Iraq's Sunni Muslims to participate. An early test will come when Iraq's Sunni interim president, Ghazi Yawar, visits Paris this month. Yawar has been skittish about the U.S. assault in the Sunni stronghold of Fallujah, but the French will urge him to remain on board for the elections.

"Our motto is 'inclusivity,' " says a French official. "Beyond Fallujah, it's necessary to convince the Sunnis of the Triangle that they will lose everything if they boycott the election." The French also agreed to a compromise formula to forgive more than half of Iraq's $2.9 billion debt to France, considerably more than they had previously offered.

The French-American meeting also yielded early ideas for supporting Palestinian elections. The French and other Europeans will provide money and observers to help organize the polling; the Americans will encourage Israel to move with a "light footprint" before the elections. The French side was pleased that Rice mentioned a continuing role in the peace process for the "Quartet," made up of the United States, Europe, Russia and the United Nations.

As the Chirac and Bush advisers were meeting in Washington, a high-level group gathered in Paris to discuss the troubled relationship. The group was organized by Jean-Louis Gergorin, a former top French diplomat who is now chief strategist for the European defense company EADS, and by the Center for Strategic and International Studies. On the American side were such luminaries as Henry Kissinger, Zbigniew Brzezinski and just-resigned Bush adviser Robert Blackwill. The French side included a similarly illustrious list of current and former officials.

The Paris discussions yielded a rough consensus: Stay the course in Iraq through January's elections and then evaluate the situation; frame a clear outline of what an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement would involve, before pushing negotiators to the table; engage Iran in a broad dialogue, to see if a lasting compromise can be reached to head off its nuclear weapons program; and avoid glib talk about democratization in the Middle East that might backfire. ...

4 posted on 11/16/2004 10:08:18 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Iranian hardliners slam deal with IAEA

Web posted at: 11/17/2004 1:49:52
Source ::: AFP
An Iranian MP walking between rows of seats in Iran’s new parliament building in Tehran yesterday. Iranian hardliners condemned a deal where Tehran has agreed with the European Union to suspend all activities related to its enrichment programme in a bid to allay international fears about its nuclear ambitions.

TEHRAN: Pragmatists in Iran’s clerical regime were under pressure from hardliners yesterday who lined up to condemn an agreement to suspend sensitive nuclear activities in line with international demands.

At a noisy session in the hardline-controlled parliament, one deputy likened Iran’s deal with Britain, France and Germany to the 1993 Oslo autonomy accords between Israel and the Palestinians, considered by the Islamic republic as an act of “treason”.

“We agreed to make 13 precise commitments while the Europeans only made four vague ones,” seethed conservative MP Ahmad Tavakoli, referring to the text of a accord agreed upon late Sunday between Iranian and European diplomats.

The UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), confirmed on Monday that Iran has pledged to suspend all uranium enrichment-related activities as of November 22.

The suspension came ahead of an IAEA meeting in Vienna on November 25 that will decide whether to take Iran to the UN Security Council for possible sanctions. By agreeing to a suspension, Iran is likely to escape such a fate.

The deal brokered by the so-called EU-3 offered Iran trade, security and technological incentives in return for the “confidence-building measures” aimed at easing widespread fears the regime is seeking nuclear weapons.

“The Europeans said they would help us join the WTO, but it is the Americans who oppose our joining and them who decide,” Tavakoli said, adding that joining the World Trade Organisation would in any case only bring “misery and poverty” to Iran.

“The concessions that we accepted compared to the commitments the Europeans made is like us offering a rare pearl in return for a lollipop,” complained Ali Larijani, another top official who represents supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei at the Supreme National Security Council.

“This accord goes against our national interests,” added Rafaat Bayat, another hardline deputy. “I say to the United States and the Europeans, and in particular France who insists a lot on the suspension of enrichment, that our parliament will not accept anything that goes against our national interests,” she said.

5 posted on 11/16/2004 10:08:47 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Rafsanjani seeks to lead Iran again

Tehran, Iran, Nov. 16 (UPI) -- Former Iranian president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani is positioning himself to run again in May's elections, the Washington Post reported Tuesday.

Rafsanjani would not speak with the newspaper, but his brother said initial polls strongly favored the former president.

"In the last poll, he had about 60 percent -- with a big gap between him and the next, who had 10 or 11 percent," he said.

An ayatollah who advocates free markets, Rafsanjani was the face of moderation in Iran. He persuaded the leader of the Islamic revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, to end the war with Iraq in 1988. In the 1990s, he oversaw the period after the war and Khomeini's death, when he opened up the rigid country.

Rafsanjani was succeeded by a new bloc of reformers led by President Mohammad Khatami, whose landslide victory in 1997 transformed Iranian politics. If Rafsanjani decides to run, he would be considered a conservative candidate, the newspaper said.

6 posted on 11/16/2004 10:09:15 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

The Adventures of Chester

War and Foreign Affairs

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

The Future of the Iranian Nuclear Program, Part I

What does the future hold for the Islamic Republic of Iran and its nuclear weapons program? What forecasts can be made about US policy toward Iran?


The President has stated that Iran will not be allowed to possess nuclear weapons. He can be taken at his word.

The current diplomatic agreement between Iran and several nations of the EU has no verification mechanism, and will not satisfy the President that Iran has ceased its nuclear weapons program. Having seen the ill effects of a failed diplomatic solution to the North Korean nuclear program, the President will be short on patience for similar negotiated disarmament schemes that miss the mark of full and unconditional disclosure, like that of Libya. Iran will not submit to such disclosure.

However the current cabinet shakeup plays out, the Bush Administration will view Iran as a greater threat to US security than Syria. While Syria provides geographic territory, logistical support, and moral support to various terrorist groups, these groups, Hamas and Hezbollah, mainly target Israel and not the United States. While Syria may be the repository of whatever Iraqi weapons were stashed away prior to the invasion, Syria has no nuclear weapons development program. The President and Vice President have clearly stated that the over-riding reason for the invasion of Iraq was the threat to the United States of the "nexus between weapons of mass destruction and terrorist groups." This nexus clearly resides in Iran, which is actively seeking nuclear weapons and has a long history of supporting all manner of terrorist groups, including, from time to time, Al Qaeda.


Before assumptions about the use of US force can be definitively stated, the critical question becomes the time horizon. What to make of this? How to define in time, the event that creates the deadline? Iran will eventually reach a point wherein it has completed the infrastructure and research necessary to manufacture a nuclear weapon. This is the point it must not be allowed to reach.

The Atlantic article gives the Iranians 3 years, with many backside-covering qualifications. A recent US News report states three to seven years. Other reports, including one referenced in the Belmont Club by Wretchard, state as little as 4-6 months before Iran has the break-out stage and can "construct nuclear bombs whenever it wishes."

As we all know from the re-election campaign, President Bush was criticized as "rushing to war" in Iraq. Agreeing with the characterization of this decision (that it was poor form to move so quickly) or not is irrelevant. Instead, assume that Bush prefers to err on the side of action, and move quickly. In this case, let us assume the time horizon for his decision is 12-18 months. In the next year and a half, the US, whether alone or with allies, must address the Iranian nuclear program once and for all, or grudgingly admit Iran into the fraternity of nuclear powers, and like it or not, live with its regime for an indefinite period of time.


Let us revisit the assumptions about military force from yesterday's critique of the Atlantic Monthly's December cover story. Now we'll add commentary to each of the assumptions:

"1. Any military action will reflect current thinking within the Pentagon."

This is wrong. Military war plans really only exist for two reasons -- in case of dire emergency, and to use as building blocks for situationally-dependent detailed planning. Witness Operational Plan 1003-V (called "Oh-plan ten-oh-three victor"), which was used to plan the invasion of Iraq. The plan had been gathering dust on the shelves in some classified vault for years, with a few updates and modifications here and there. When the attention spans of senior policy-makers dwell upon a particular issue, the plans are dusted off and revised, revised, revised, ad infinitum, as much as time will allow, and even with the possibility of major changes (complete rerouting of the 4th Infantry Division, for example) right up until the event in question is about to start.

"2. The only way to stimulate a regime change is through military force in general and an invasion in particular."

This too is wrong. Overthrowing governments used to be one of the core competencies of the CIA. This skill may not be as honed as we would like, but it is there, deep down. Moreover, a well-executed punitive strike, even against limited military targets, and not the entire apparatus of a regime, can be a powerful instigator of regime change. Having one's government unable to prevent a foreign military strike on one's soil is a seriously and catastrophically delegitimizing and destabilizing act.

"3. The military has no stomach for stability operations."

Also wrong. Secretary Rumsfeld and General Myers have issued directives since the Iraqi campaign started detailing the importance of postwar planning in future conflicts. The military can apply the same operationally detailed planning to postwar stability as it can to invasions, airstrikes, humanitarian missions, and other large-scale undertakings, so long as it has the necessary guidance.

"4. The buildup to an invasion cannot be disguised."

Correct. While tactical surprise is possible, even with a telegraphed punch such as seen in the defense of Kuwait, the invasion of Iraq, or the recapture of Fallujah, it is very difficult for a democracy like our own to commit large numbers of ground forces to any task while keeping it under wraps. In general, logistics cannot hide. Moving 10,000 men cannot be hidden in a stratgically significant way. If performed quickly enough, their exact destination and time of arrival can be difficult to determine. But their trip itself cannot.

"5. The US military is too overstretched for an invasion of Iran at this point in time."

More or less correct. An invasion of some size could be mounted, but the longer the invasion force stayed in Iran, the more force structure begins to catch up to it. A large-scale recall of reservists could increase the time US forces could operate in Iran, but such a move would make the United States vulnerable in other spheres of influence (Taiwan, South Korea).

As the time horizon moves further and further into the future though, this statement becomes less and less true. As Iraqi forces take more and more responsibility for Iraq's security, the forces available for an invasion of Iran increase dramatically.

"6. If a pre-emptive strike only succeeded in delaying the Iranian program, they would sooner or later have weapons after all."*

This may be true; but it assumes that the US would stop at one air campaign. If one air campaign buys 18 months, that is 18 months to prepare for the troop heavy option. If another air campaign has to then take place, why couldn't it? Singular, "it-all-comes-down-to-this" decisiveness is always preferable, but if it is impossible to achieve it is entirely plausible that a series of air campaigns could take place.

Knowing that there are 12-18 months to work with, what are the options open to US policy-makers?

Tomorrow . . . GOALS OF US ACTION, in The Future of the Iranian Nuclear Program, Part II.

*Note: These assumptions are derived from the article; they do not appear there verbatim.

Note 2: I am about to post an update to Sunday's critique of a New York Times article. Refresh your screen in a moment to see it.


someone said...

Thanks, Chester. What of the fairly imminent issue, discussed here, of Russia delivering fuel rods to Bushehr? Have we averted that, or does that speed up our time frame a bit?

10:55 PM  
trilogy said...

A comment on the #5 point you make. I think you will see the terrorist situation in Iraq subside dramatically once the US attacks Iran. Give that some thought. A 50,000 man force in Iraq alongside the new Iraqi army at your back will feel pretty good when that time comes.

Also, it seems to me that a good way to get set up for an attack against Iran would be to build up the US force in Iraq, on land, in the air and at sea, under the pretext of dealing with the insurgency quickly before the election. A tactical surprise is very possible in my opinion.

I also think that Iran, for all their brave talk, would be pretty darn confused if the US started to bomb a couple dozen sites all at once, some of which the Iranians may even think the US does not know about. Despite what others have said, Iran did not handle the rag tag army or Iraq very well a few years ago. They would simply be no match for a dedicated American stike. Then I think you would see the Iranian people do the rest.

One more thing. There was a reason why Dresden was bombed to the ground and two very big bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I don't like to see even one American soldier die because of this scum.

A friend from the north

7 posted on 11/16/2004 10:09:51 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

2004 Tuesday 16 November

A 14 year old boy is sentenced to 85 lashes for breaking his Ramadan fast !

A 14 year old boy died on Thursday, November 11th, after having received 85 lashes; according to the ruling of the Mullah judge of the public circuit court in the town of Sanandadj he was guilty of breaking his fast during the month of Ramadan.

The Kurdish site Rojeh´heh Lât reports that the young man´s identity has not been disclosed. He was scheduled for burial on Saturday, November 13th (after 3 days at the local morgue), in the cemetery of Beheshteh Mohammadi in Sanandadj. However due to the public´s realization of the events surrounding the boy´s circumstances the cemetery was stormed [in protest] and his burial did not take place.

According to informed sources, supervisors have instructed that the burial take place in the presence of his closest relatives, surveyed by security forces.

8 posted on 11/16/2004 10:14:00 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

2004 Tuesday 16 November

Iranian boy,16, sentenced to death for murder

TEHRAN –AFP- Iran's hardline judiciary has sentenced a 16-year-old boy to death for murder, the reformist Shargh daily reported Tuesday.

According to the report, the boy -- only identified as Vahid from near Tehran -- confessed to stabbing his friend Mehdi to death but insisted he did it in self-defence, saying the victim wanted to sexually abuse him.

No further details were given, but verdicts can be appealed and death sentences are subject to supreme court approval.

Under Iranian, any person who has reached the age of maturity -- considered nine-years-old for girls and 15 years for boys -- can be executed for capital offences.

But executions for those who committed their crimes while under the age of 18 are rare.

Last month the judiciary said it has drawn up a bill that would scrap the death penalty and lashings for under-18s -- meaning the sentencing of the 16-year-old could be annulled.

Several Iranian human rights organisations and Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi have been lobbying Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahrudi, the head of the judiciary, not to sentence minors to death.

Murder, armed robbery, rape, apostasy and serious drug trafficking are all punishable by death in Iran.

9 posted on 11/16/2004 10:15:18 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

World Opinion Roundup by Jefferson Morley

Defusing the Cold War Between Iran and Israel


By Jefferson Morley Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 16, 2004; 10:55 AM

Will Israel attack Iran?

While Americans focused this fall on the presidential campaign, the rhetorical conflict between the Middle East's two most formidable military powers steadily deepened.

Since last summer, Israeli officials have repeatedly threatened to attack Iran's nuclear energy facilities to prevent the Islamic republic from obtaining atomic weapons. Iranian leaders, while denying ambitions to become a nuclear power, have insisted on their right to develop peaceful nuclear technology. They have promised to respond to any Israeli attack with a barrage of its Shahab-3 missiles to "wipe Israel from the face of the earth."

Iran's announcement on Sunday that it would suspend uranium reprocessing, a key step in developing nuclear weapons, marked a break from the saber rattling of recent months. European officials who negotiated the deal were quick to hail the agreement as a step in the right direction. And, in a rare break with the Bush administration, the British government is signaling that it will not support military action to prevent Iran from going nuclear.

Israeli commentators, preoccupied with the post-Arafat transition in Palestinian politics, have mostly ignored the latest developments. But the story is front and center in the Iranian press, where the agreement is controversial thanks to the Persian version of America's famed red state-blue state divide.

On one side are Iran's conservatives. Like red-state Americans, they tend to favor infusing public life with traditional religious values, harbor deep suspicions of international organizations and support increased defense spending. They criticize the suspension of uranium processing as an unnecessary concession to untrustworthy foreigners.

On the other side are Iran's more cosmopolitan reformists. Like blue-state Americans, they tend to favor less religious involvement in daily life and see international engagement as essential to the country's future. They say Iran's nuclear diplomacy will bolster Iran's security by fortifying its international standing.

Iran's conservative media, led by the Tehran daily newspaper Jomhuri-ye Eslami (in Farsi), strongly opposed any negotiated settlement leading to the suspension of uranium enrichment. Last week, the paper said "the US cannot do a damn thing" about Iran's nuclear program. "Iran has bloodied the US nose before," the paper added in a not-so-subtle reference to the taking of American hostages in 1979.

Professor Hamid Mowlanam, writing in another conservative daily, Kayhan (in Farsi) argued that "America and the big Western European countries basically oppose the Islamic Republic of Iran's scientific advancement, especially in the missile and nuclear industries." He said the United States was using the nuclear issue "as a pretext to weaken our system." (The translations come from the Foreign Broadcast Intelligence Service, an office of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.)

But in the more liberal Iran Daily, the agreement was favorably presented as international validation of Iran's peaceful nuclear intentions. "The good omen is that Europe has recognized all the rights of Iran in this agreement," said Hassan Rohani, secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council. "In the not-so-distant past they may have referred to Iran's rights but would not have recognized them in an official manner."

Iran Daily Columnist Mohammad Taqavi called the agreement "a minus for America".

Iranian officials emphasized that the move was a voluntary confidence-building measure and that they had not conceded their most important principle: that Iran has the right to develop nuclear technology.

The editors of the Iran News acknowledged that "a number of powerful elements and factions" oppose the agreement.

"Nevertheless, the conventional thinking is that the system made the right choice in line with the country's national security interests. The fact that most top-tier officials of the Islamic Republic including the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khameni and President Mohammad Khatami supported the just reached agreement bolsters this view."

In Europe, hope springs eternal that war can be avoided.

Patrick Jarreau, Washington correspondent for the French daily Le Monde (in French) said the Bush administration cannot credibly threaten the Iranian government.

"With 135,000 troops in Iraq, 15,000 in Afghanistan, and a budget deficit of $450 billion, the U.S. President no longer has the resources for a 'war of choice' such as the one in Iraq. In the case of Iran, a policy of regime change as applied against Saddam Hussein is out of the question."

To the dismay of Bush administration officials, British U.N. Foreign Secretary Jack Straw all but ruled out a military response to Iran's nuclear program. In an interview with the BBC, Straw was asked if the world would support U.S. or Israeli military action against Iran. ...

Straw went so far as to imply that an Israeli or U.S. strike on Iran's nuclear facilities would amount to another Sept. 11.

"I don't think, please God, that we are going to see in the next four years the most cataclysmic event for international relations that we have seen in 60 years which occurred on 11 September 2001," he said.

The Bush administration and Israel may dismiss Iran's nuclear diplomacy as a ruse designed to buy time while the ayatollahs secretly pursue weapons of mass destruction. And they may dismiss the European approach as naïve.

But they cannot ignore the British government.

If Israel were to bomb Iran's nuclear facilities, as it destroyed Iraq's nuclear reactor in 1982, British troops in Basra, just a few miles from the Iranian border, would be vulnerable to massive retaliation from Iran's much larger army. And Prime Minister Tony Blair's hopes for a peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would go up in smoke.

In short, the strongest deterrent to war between Israel and Iran may well be Great Britain.

10 posted on 11/16/2004 10:32:06 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

War on terror is on track

By Michael Ledeen
I'm not surprised to see people leaving the CIA. Their work for the past decade and more has been exposed by a long series of congressional committees and presidential commissions as a significant failure.

Perhaps the most surprising thing is that it has taken so long. I recommended a thorough housecleaning of the CIA, FBI and other agencies engaged in counterterrorism on Sept. 12, 2001, when their errors and shortcomings were so tragically demonstrated.

Some of these failed analysts and operatives complain — in leaks and "anonymous" books and essays — that we have somehow lost our focus in the war against terrorism. What did they think the interminable presidential campaign was all about, anyway?

They support this odd contention by claiming that some of our most vigorous anti- terrorist actions — notably in Iraq — have actually made things worse by killing large numbers of terrorists and destroying two tyrannical regimes that supported them. This, they say, rallies the faithful to support jihad. They want to go after the "root causes" of terrorism, usually identified as poverty, American support for corrupt regimes in the Middle East and support for Israel.

Such claims show how bad professional analysis has been. The 9/11 terrorists came from good families, were well educated and had plenty of opportunity for upward mobility. So did the man who murdered Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in Pakistan, and the assassin of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh, a critic of Islamic extremism.

... America must support democratic societies, and we must convince those who share our values around the world that they can count on us. That, as President Bush has said, means killing terrorists and supporting freedom.

It was widely reported that the CIA had not a single human agent in Iraq as of Sept. 11, 2001. That alone shows the magnitude of the failure of those people now leaking and whining as they finally leave.

Michael Ledeen is a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, specializing in terrorism and foreign policy.

11 posted on 11/17/2004 12:49:58 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Iran's New Alliance With China Could Cost U.S. Leverage


By Robin Wright
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, November 17, 2004; Page A21

TEHRAN -- A major new alliance is emerging between Iran and China that threatens to undermine U.S. ability to pressure Tehran on its nuclear program, support for extremist groups and refusal to back Arab-Israeli peace efforts.

The relationship has grown out of China's soaring energy needs -- crude oil imports surged nearly 40 percent in the first eight months of this year, according to state media -- and Iran's growing appetite for consumer goods for a population that has doubled since the 1979 revolution, Iranian officials and analysts say.

An oil exporter until 1993, China now produces only for domestic use. Its proven oil reserves could be depleted in 14 years, oil analysts say, so the country is aggressively trying to secure future suppliers. Iran is now China's second-largest source of imported oil.

The economic ties between two of Asia's oldest civilizations, which were both stops on the ancient Silk Road trade route, have broad political implications.

Holding a veto at the U.N. Security Council, China has become the key obstacle to putting international pressure on Iran. During a visit to Tehran this month, Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing signaled that China did not want the Bush administration to press the council to debate Iran's nuclear program. U.S. officials have expressed fear that China's veto power could make Iran more stubborn in the face of U.S. pressure.

The burgeoning relationship is reflected in two huge new oil and gas deals between the two countries that will deepen the relationship for at least the next 25 years, analysts here say.

Last month, the two countries signed a preliminary accord worth $70 billion to $100 billion by which China will purchase Iranian oil and gas and help develop Iran's Yadavaran oil field, near the Iraqi border. Earlier this year, China agreed to buy $20 billion in liquefied natural gas from Iran over a quarter-century.

Iran wants trade to grow even further. "Japan is our number one energy importer for historical reasons . . . but we would like to give preference to exports to China," Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said this month, according to China Business Weekly.

In turn, China has become a major exporter of manufactured goods to Iran, including computer systems, household appliances and cars. "We mutually complement each other. They have industry and we have energy resources," said Ali Akbar Salehi, Iran's former representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency.

China's trade with Iran is weakening the impact on Iranian policy of various U.S. economic embargoes, analysts here say. "Sanctions are not effective nowadays because we have many options in secondary markets, like China," said Hossein Shariatmadari, a leading conservative theorist and editor of the Kayhan newspapers.

Accurate trade figures are difficult to get, in part because trade is increasing so rapidly and partly because China's large arms sales to Iran are not included or publicized. But at the second annual Iran-China trade fair here in May, Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce Gao Hucheng said trade had increased by 50 percent in 2003 over the previous year, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency.

Beijing has also provided Iran with advanced military technology, including missile technology, U.S. officials say. In April, the Bush administration imposed sanctions on Chinese manufacturers of equipment that can be used to develop weapons of mass destruction.

The Iran-China ties may be partly a response to the United States, analysts here say. President Bush's strategy has been to contain both China and the Islamic republic, said Siamak Namazi, a political and economic analyst, "so that's created natural allies."

The growing presence of U.S. and other Western troops in Central and South Asia and the Middle East is another joint concern. In the English-language Kayhan International, Ali Sabzevari wrote in an editorial: "Politically, the two countries share a common interest in checking the inroads being made by NATO in Asia. . . . The presence of outsiders does not bode well for peace and security."

The countries also share concerns over radical Sunni Muslims. Most Iranians follow the rival Shiite strain of Islam; China has more than 20 million Muslims, and the government has been facing Muslim unrest in some of its western cities. The dissidents receive support from Islamic groups in Afghanistan and the countries of former Soviet Central Asia -- the region that straddles both Iran and China. ...

But in recent times, ties between China and Iran have not always prospered. In the midst of the unrest that led to Iran's revolution, one of the last foreign leaders to visit Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi before he was overthrown in 1979 was Chinese Communist Party chief Hua Kuo-feng. "The visit left a very strong negative feeling about China among Iranians," said Abbas Maleki, director of the Caspian Institute, a Tehran research organization.

But today, China with its one-party political system appears to feel fewer restraints than do Western nations in dealing with the world's only theocracy. "For China, issues like human rights don't affect your relations with Iran," Namazi said.

12 posted on 11/17/2004 12:55:22 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn


13 posted on 11/17/2004 5:45:28 AM PST by windchime (Won't it be great watching President Bush spend political capital?)
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To: DoctorZIn
An Iranian opposition group says it has new evidence that Iran is producing enriched uranium at a COVERT Defense Ministry facility in Tehran that has NOT been disclosed to United Nations inspectors.

GOOD GRIEF!!!! I JUST LOGGED ON AND THOUGHT THAT THERE WOULD BE A TON OF COMMENTS ABOUT THIS STORY ALONE! This is HUGE folks! Weren't we just talking about how this "friendly announcement" by the rulers of Iran, to declare a "suspension" of their nuke activities, was nothing more than a HUDNA???????? How can the world [read UN-United Nutcases] be so asleep?! Personally, I believe this report, and it should be taken seriously. I'll bet you Arik is taking it seriously.

The group says that inspection of the site would demonstrate that Iran is SECRETLY trying to produce nuclear weapons even while promising to freeze a critical part of its declared nuclear program, which it maintains is intended purely for civilian purposes.

HAHAHA, "inspection of the site", yeah right. In Iran? You know folks, Iran has seen this very same game played BEFORE by Saddam. BUT THIS TIME, by the time the world wakes up enough to take this seriously, Iran will pull a North Korea and just say, "Too bad world, we NOW HAVE NUKES. DEAL WITH IT."

A senior official of the group, Muhammad Mohaddessin, said in a telephone interview late on Tuesday that the group had shared the new information "very recently'' with the International Atomic Energy Agency.

I'm sure they did. That is why we heard NOTHING, and they themselves (Iranian group) had to get the word out. Sheesh, the IAEA is useless. Ever since they received this news they've probably been shaking in their boots wondering if this should be put to a global test. Thank God sKerry isn't in office right now, brrrrrrr.

The group, based in Paris, is the political arm of the People's Mujahedeen, which is listed by the United States government as a terrorist organization because of its involvement in attacks on Americans in the 1970's. But the group also has a successful track record in gathering intelligence on Iran, and was the first, in 2002, to disclose the existence of what was then the secret Iranian nuclear site at Natanz.

The FIRST, hmmmm. No need to comment on this.

United Nations inspectors "should not be fooled or deceived by the Iranian regime,'' Mr. Mohaddessin said.


"All the DECLARED nuclear material in Iran has been accounted for, and therefore such material is not diverted to prohibited activities," the agency said in a report, referring to possible Iran nuclear weapons activity. "The agency is, however, not in a position to conclude that there are NO undeclared nuclear materials or activities in Iran."

Officials of the opposition group said they believed that the Iranian Defense Ministry and Revolutionary Guards Corps were pursuing their program IN SECRET and had not told Iran's atomic energy agency of the existence of the facility in Tehran

Huh, Iran didn't tell? Yes, Saddam showed them how to play the games. I'm sorry, but this is JUST EXACTLY what I figured was going on. I can't see Israel sitting around waiting on the UN to get things going correctly with Iran. This is a mess, and the world is quickly running out of time, sigh.

14 posted on 11/17/2004 12:09:04 PM PST by Reborn
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To: DoctorZIn
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Iranians Need Our Support for Regime Change

[Excerpt] November 17, 2004
The Wall Street Journal
Derk Kinnane Roelofsma

In your Nov. 12 editorial "Appeasing Iran" you are right to say "no deal" to anything short of the Iranian mullahs' unambiguous cooperation in ending their pursuit of nuclear weapons. But it seems highly unlikely they will accept such terms, and that raises the question of what to do about them. Proposals to get the United Nations to impose sanctions ignores the veto that China can be expected to apply in the Security Council to prevent this happening.

Given the situation in Iraq, a major U.S. military intervention seems ruled out. There is, however, talk in Washington about air strikes to take out the mullahs' nuclear installations. Given the number of installations, their dispersal around Iran and the measures taken to protect them, burying some deep underground and placing others in densely populated urban centers, air attacks are likely to slow down the mullahs' quest for nuclear arms, not finish it off. Then there is the effect air strikes are likely to have on the Iranian people.

Most Iranians loathe the mullahs and their repressive, corrupt and mismanaged rule. The greater part also like America and Americans. Air strikes could change that and lose us the friendship of a major Muslim nation in a region where we have precious few friends.

Expert opinion varies as to how long it will be before the mullahs are able to make their own nuclear weapons. Some say as little as a year, others as much as six years.

Although we may not know how long it will stay open, there is nevertheless a window of opportunity to remove the danger of the mullahs acquiring nuclear arms and to accomplish much more. That is to change the regime in Tehran, not by force of American arms, but by the Iranians doing so themselves. A beginning was made in July when Sens. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and John Cornyn of Texas introduced the Iran Freedom and Support bill to authorize the president to provide assistance to Iranian pro-democracy groups.

The bill has been stuck in the Foreign Relations Committee. ...

Derk Kinnane Roelofsma
Alliance For Democracy In Iran

15 posted on 11/17/2004 4:39:20 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Exiles: Iran Hides Secret Military Nuke Site from U.N.

Wed Nov 17, 2004 04:33 AM ET

By Louis Charbonneau

VIENNA (Reuters) - Iran's government is conducting nuclear activities linked to a covert atomic weapons program at a military site unknown to U.N. inspectors, says an exiled opposition group that has given accurate information before.

"We know of a military site where Iran has been carrying out nuclear work," Shahin Gobadi, a spokesman for the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), told Reuters.

Diplomats in Vienna who follow the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations' nuclear watchdog, say the NCRI has been the best source of information on Tehran's previously undeclared nuclear program.

The NCRI, like Washington, accuses the Iranian government of using its nuclear power program as a front to develop atomic weapons. Tehran dismisses this allegation, insisting its nuclear ambitions are limited to the peaceful generation of electricity.

Gobadi said that the group would disclose details of the site in Tehran, including its address and a map, at a news conference later Wednesday.

"The IAEA always says it wants addresses (of secret sites). Now we are giving it to them," Gobadi said.

The NCRI is the political wing of the exiled group known as the People's Mujahideen Organization. Both are listed by the State Department as terrorist organizations.

The IAEA said in a new report on its two-year investigation of Iran's nuclear program that Iran had not diverted any of its declared nuclear materials to a weapons program, but did not rule out the possibility secret atomic activities existed.

The NCRI established its reputation as a nuclear whistleblower in August 2002 when it said the Islamic republic had not declared a massive uranium enrichment plant at Natanz and a heavy water facility at Arak. The allegation was later confirmed and Iran declared the facilities to the IAEA.

Since that time, the NCRI has disclosed several sites linked to Tehran's nuclear program, but nothing as shocking as Natanz and Arak.

Enrichment is a process of purifying uranium for use as fuel for nuclear power plants or weapons. Iran this week promised the IAEA to temporarily freeze its enrichment program and related activities as part of a deal with France, Britain and Germany.

16 posted on 11/17/2004 5:21:47 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

November 17, 2004

Iranians Have Nuke Plans, NYT Hasn't Got A Clue

A group of Iranian exiles claim that the Khan network of Pakistan has already given the Iranian mullahcracy the necessary plans for nuclear weapons as well as a small amount of weapons-grade uranium, making the Iranian claims of developing nothing other than a peaceful nuclear-energy program suspect:

Iran obtained weapons-grade uranium and a design for a nuclear bomb from a Pakistani scientist who has admitted to selling nuclear secrets abroad, an exiled Iranian opposition group said on Wednesday.

The group, that has given accurate information before, also said Iran is secretly enriching uranium at a military site previously unknown to the U.N., despite promising France, Britain and Germany that it would halt all such work.

"(Abdul Qadeer) Khan gave Iran a quantity of HEU (highly enriched uranium) in 2001, so they already have some," Farid Soleiman, a senior spokesman for the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), told reporters.

"I would doubt it was given enough for a weapon," he added.

The State Department lists the NCRI, the political front for the People's Mujahideen Organization, as a terrorist organization -- think Sinn Fein and the IRA. However, Reuters reports that diplomats regard the NCRI as the best source of information on Iran's nuclear program and that the group has delivered accurate and timely information to the IAEA in the past. It seems that the Iranians have at least one mole within the program -- and that the Iranian resistance may be better organized than some think.

Of course, this confirms American suspicions about Iran's nuclear ambitions. It made little sense that a country with the vast oil reserves of Iran and the ability to refine it in great quantities would turn to nuclear power for domestic energy production. However, Iran's fairy tale convinced many people, not least the editorial board of the New York Times, who hailed the recent agreement between Iran and the EU-3 as a breakthrough for peace:

Nobody knows whether Iran is really ready to give up its ambitions to have nuclear weapons, but its commitment on Monday to freeze all uranium enrichment work and invite back international inspectors is a welcome step toward nuclear sanity. ...

The fact that Iran agreed to these terms after several days of hesitation strongly suggests that even the hard-liners now ascendant in Tehran are susceptible to economic appeals. Some of them clearly understand that without increased foreign trade and investment to generate more jobs for a rapidly expanding labor force, the mullahs' grip on power could be threatened.

First, the entire problem with the agreement reached by the EU-3 is that "nobody really knows whether Iran is really ready to give up its ambitions to have nuclear weapons". The agreement has not put any verification into place as yet; Iran could be refining uranium as we speak, and probably are. Iran has not acknowledged having the Khan plans for nuclear weapons, nor have they opened their research facilities to prove their peaceful intentions.

The idea that Iran succumbed to economic pressures demonstrates the hopeless naivete of the Gray Lady. Iran has plenty of trading partners, and everyone knows that economic sanctions are an iffy prospect at best. France and Russia allowed themselves to be bought off by Saddam Hussein, who had actually invaded and raped another country to earn his sanctions; Iran's transgressions being much more amorphous, the likelihood of having Chirac stand fast on punitive sanctions seems as likely as him kissing George Bush's feet.

Iran caved just after the American elections, when it became clear that they had to deal with another four years of Bush rather than the appeasement-minded John Kerry. Instead of trading openly for nuclear fuel, the mullahcracy understands that Bush intends to keep the pressure on Europe to push this to its diplomatic conclusion, so that Bush can exercise other options when Iran continues to defy the non-proliferation treaty.

This latest agreement is nothing more than a stall tactic, but it's the only one left to them with Bush in the White House. As long as they give the impression of diplomatic progress on the issue, Iran knows Bush cannot press for more action. And as long as the mullahcracy knows they can easily hoodwink the Western media into swallowing their story about peaceful energy production as their sole reason for nuclear development, they know that Bush will remain handcuffed in his options. Fortunately for Iran, the New York Times exists to appease dictators and regurgitate their public-relations efforts.

Addendum: Apparently, the NYT editorial board doesn't read their own paper.

17 posted on 11/17/2004 6:19:28 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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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!

18 posted on 11/17/2004 9:26:03 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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