Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Iranian Alert - December 1, 2004 [EST] -- Special Report: Iran In Focus
Regime Change Iran ^ | 12.1.2004 | DoctorZin

Posted on 11/30/2004 11:46:35 PM PST by DoctorZIn

Top News Story

Iran In Focus: 2004-12-01

by Guest Author at December 1, 2004 05:12 AM

Winds of Change.NET Regional Briefings run on Tuesdays & Wednesdays, and sometimes Fridays too. This Regional Briefing focuses on Iran, courtesy of DoctorZin at Regime Change Iran.


Other Topics Today Include: Iran's secret nuclear tunnel, heavy water reactor, military action against Iran, expose of Iran's efforts in Iraq, chatting with the Mullahs, Saudis and nukes, hardliners consolidate power, furor over National Geographic, execution for prostitutes, what Iranian's want, Iranian's view of America, China's oil deal, Iran's new friends, bloggers on a referendum in Iran, Kamezi update, Basij show of force in Tehran.






TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: armyofmahdi; axisofevil; axisofweasels; ayatollah; binladen; cleric; eu; germany; humanrights; iaea; insurgency; iran; iranianalert; iraq; islamicrepublic; japan; journalist; kazemi; khamenei; khatami; khatemi; lsadr; moqtadaalsadr; mullahs; napalminthemorning; neoeunazis; persecution; persia; persian; politicalprisoners; protests; rafsanjani; religionofpeace; revolutionaryguard; rumsfeld; russia; satellitetelephones; shiite; southasia; southwestasia; studentmovement; studentprotest; terrorism; terrorists; us; vevak; wot
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-25 next last

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

1 posted on 11/30/2004 11:46:37 PM PST by DoctorZIn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

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!

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

2 posted on 11/30/2004 11:52:53 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn

DoctorZin Note: Later today I will be reporting some good news. Check back again later.

3 posted on 11/30/2004 11:54:56 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn

Commentary > The Monitor's View
from the December 01, 2004 edition

Trust Iran, or Entrap It?

President Bush says it would be "intolerable" to let Iran make a nuclear bomb, and he's convinced Iran is doing just that. But this week, he ended up tolerating a European approach that will only shakily contain Iran's nuclear ambitions.

On Monday, the US winced but winked as the 35-nation board of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) approved a deal with Iran worked out by three European nations. In exchange for temporarily halting its uranium enrichment work, Iran will be able to negotiate needed economic benefits from Europe.

Why did Mr. Bush go along with this plan by Britain's Tony Blair, France's Jacques Chirac, and Germany's Gerhard Schröder?

For one, Bush owes one to Mr. Blair for his support in Iraq. And he wants to warm up to Europe during his second term. He also can't afford to antagonize Iran while neighboring Iraq copes with a Jan. 30 election and ongoing violence.

The IAEA-Iran deal also mirrors Bush's diplomatic approach to containing North Korea's nuclear ambitions. And without any hard proof of Iran's intentions, Bush can't afford a repeat of his miscue in claiming Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

But Bush probably has a lesser-known reason, too. Iran has a history of breaking nuclear agreements. A similar deal last year with the three European nations was violated by Tehran. It also hid its nuclear enrichment for 18 years and bought nuclear hardware secretly on the world market. As IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei says, Iran has a "confidence deficit."

Showing the world that Iran can finally not be trusted could be Bush's ultimate aim in acquiescing to this current deal. Given the political battles among Iran's clerical leadership over how much to concede to the West, there is a strong possibility that Iran will violate the deal.

Much depends on the IAEA's ability to spot violations at Iran's facilities. The agency's track record, just like the CIA's on Iraqi WMDs, is faulty. Still, it may be just weeks before the world knows if Iran is simply playing for time in order to play for keeps in getting an atomic weapon.

4 posted on 12/01/2004 12:13:06 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn; nuconvert

Khomeini's Grandson Criticizes 'Islamic Clerical Rule'

Washington, D.C. - Oct. 1, 2003 - Seyyed Hossein Khomeini, the grandson of the late Ayatollah Khomeini, told the Voice of America's new Persian language TV news program that the clerical rulers of his native Iran have left Iranians yearning for democracy. "Iran is not free," Khomeini told VOA in an exclusive interview. "Islamic clerical rule is not, and cannot be, democratic."

Khomeini, who, like his grandfather, is a Shi'ite Islamic cleric, made the comments in a wide-ranging interview with VOA News and Views anchor Hossein Kangarloo. Segments of the interview are being broadcast from Sept. 27 through Oct. 1 on News and Views via satellite to Iran.

Khomeini, who now lives in Iraq, said he moved there to experience the freedom made possible by the United States. Khomeini said that despite Iraq's problems, he feels not only a sense of hope in Iraq, but a will to establish democratic government and a disavowal of terrorism. He said that the Islamic rulers of Iran are anti-Western and supporters of terrorism, but, he asserted, "The Iranian people do not support this terrorism and are strongly opposed to it."

Although the Islamic revolution brought about by Khomeini's grandfather in 1979 ushered in an era in which females could not be seen in public without a veil, the younger Khomeini has a more tolerant view of women's rights. He told VOA: "It is a woman's right to choose to veil or not."

During his visit to VOA's Washington headquarters, Khomeini gave interviews to VOA's television and radio programs, as well as to Radio Farda, a joint operation by Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Khomeini told his VOA hosts that programs like VOA's are the most effective way for him to communicate with the people of Iran.
5 posted on 12/01/2004 12:13:10 AM PST by AdmSmith
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn

Bush says Iran freeze 'not the final step' as US rejects Iranian victory claim

11-30-2004, 21h51

Luke Frazza - (AFP)

- US President George W. Bush said that Iran's agreement to freeze all uranium enrichment activities was "certainly not the final step" in easing US fears that Tehran seeks a nuclear weapon.

"The Iranians agreed to suspend -- but not terminate -- their nuclear weapons program. Our position is that they ought to terminate their nuclear weapons program," Bush said.

The UN nuclear watchdog agency Monday spared Iran from being referred to the UN Security Council for possible sanctions after Tehran agreed, in a deal with Britain, France and Germany, to suspend its uranium enrichment program.

Iran quickly boasted of having humiliated the United States by agreeing to only a temporary freeze and beaten the UN sanctions threat. In Washington, however, the State Department rejected such claims as "jaundiced, prejudiced and counterfactual."

Bush would not say whether he still hoped to take the Islamic republic before the Security Council or say directly whether he was unhappy about Iran's agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

"I viewed yesterday's decision by the Iranians as a positive step. But it's certainly not the final step," said Bush, who has accused Tehran of using its nuclear program as cover for a secret effort to acquire atomic weapons.

"It's very important for whatever they do to make sure that the world is able to verify the decision they have made. And so we've obviously got more work to do," he said.

Bush's comments came during a joint public appearance with Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin as the US president made his first official working visit to Canada since taking office in January 2001.

The president also pledged to keep working with Britain, France, and Germany, who brokered the deal with the Iranians.

"What we're interested in is them terminating a nuclear weapons program in a verifiable fashion. And we'll continue to work with our friends," he said.

Canada, the 2004-2005 chair of the IAEA Board of Governors, has largely mirrored the US position, and has warned it will press the agency to inform the Security Council of any violation of the deal with Iran.

"Whether it's Iran, whether it's North Korea, I think that the world came to a very important decision many, many years ago in terms of nuclear proliferation," Martin told reporters at the press conference.

Iran and the European trio are to begin talks in December on a package of rewards to Iran for suspending uranium enrichment, the key process using centrifuges to make fuel for nuclear reactors -- or the explosive core of atomic bombs.

Iran claims its nuclear program is a peaceful, civilian effort and rejects Washington's claims.

Earlier Tuesday, Iran's top national security official and nuclear negotiator Hassan Rowhani stressed that Tehran "has not renounced the nuclear fuel cycle, will never renounce it and will use it."

"We have proved that, in an international institution, we are capable of isolating the United States," he told reporters at a news conference. "And that is a great victory."

Rowhani, who smiled and joked with reporters during a nearly two-hour-long press conference, claimed that the US envoy to the IAEA "was enraged and in tears, and everybody said that the Americans had failed and we had won."

But State Department spokesman Richard Boucher dismissed his assertion.

"No, I don't," he told reporters when asked if he agreed with Rowhani's comments. "I expect him to take a jaundiced, prejudiced and counterfactual view of the situation."

"The only thing that matters is performance," Boucher said. "Our view is that Iran is very specifically on the hook to carry through with its pledges and its promises now."


6 posted on 12/01/2004 12:16:00 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn

Iran and the EU's Agreement: An "Oil for Nukes" Program?

For many months now, the US State Department, the CIA, as well as other foreign intelligence services have been sounding the alarm that Iran has an undeclared nuclear weapons program.

In response the US has said it will not permit Iran to become a nuclear power.

The US wanted to take the issue to the UN Security Council which can authorize sanctions or an embargo on its oil exports. An embargo of oil will likely collapse the regime, given time. But time is not something the EU has, as it imports 8% of its oil from Iran and has only 90 days of oil reserves. The EU fears their economy will collapse before Iran's government falls.

Therefore, the EU sought to cut a deal with the Iranians to convince the US that Iran is not a threat. Years ago, Iran signed the Non Proliferation Treaty, in which they agreed not to pursue nuclear weapons technology. But Iran had recently been threatening to withdraw from the treaty.

Therefore, the EU sought to offer Iran greater economic ties in exchange for promises not to pursue a nuclear weapons program. The US encouraged their effort, but had little faith that the EU would be able to accomplish the deal.

Last week, diplomats from the EU worked feverishly to get an agreement prior to the November 25th meeting of the IAEA. They announced success. Before the ink was dry on their agreement, the Iranians began demanding exceptions.

The end result being that the EU agreed to softer agreement than the US had hoped for. The agreement would open greater trade between the EU and Iran, the EU would provide Iran with peaceful nuclear technology if Iran would stop its uranium enrichment program. But the agreement has no teeth as it is "a voluntary confidence building measure, not legal obligation.

This agreement was accepted by the IAEA. The Russian and Chinese applauded the agreement.

But immediately Iran declared that Iran will never indefinitely suspend their uranium enrichment program.

So Iran bought some time and it will likely leave the US to deal with Iran on its own. To be continued.

7 posted on 12/01/2004 12:27:30 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn

UK condemns TV man who Iran hardliners want dead

30 Nov 2004 15:02:15 GMT
Source: Reuters
TEHRAN, Nov 30 (Reuters) - Britain on Tuesday strongly condemned a UK-based Iranian exile TV presenter whose inflammatory broadcasts insulting Islam have provoked religious hardliners in Iran to call openly for his murder.

But in a case with echoes of the Iranian fatwa against British author Salman Rushdie, the British government hinted police were considering special protection for Manouchehr Fouladvand in view of the threats.

Clerics in Iran have not issued a religious edict, or fatwa, calling for Fouladvand's murder, as Iran's late Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini did in Rushdie's case in 1989.

But his broadcasts on the U.S.-based Farsi-language Ma-TV, in which he frequently mocks the Prophet Muhammad and Islam's holy book the Koran, have upset many Iranians and spurred hardline commentators to call for his death.

"The firing of a bullet into his damned and blasphemous head is an incontestable necessity, and how cherished is the emissary of that bullet," Hossein Shariatmadari, editor-in-chief of the hardline Kayhan daily, said in an editorial.

Shariatmadari and other Iranian hardliners have accused Britain's intelligence services of funding Ma-TV, something London denies.

"The British government does not share Mr Fouladvand's views," said Matthew Gould, deputy head of mission at the British Embassy in Tehran. "We deplore any attacks on Islam ... We condemn those who stir up division."

"The British government does not support Ma-TV, does not agree with Ma-TV, and has given no backing or assistance to Ma-TV," he said.

"However, because of the threats to kill Mr Fouladvand, the British police need to consider his security," Gould said. "This does not imply any support for his views ... This sort of approach is essential if we are to have a society based on the rule of law."

Rushdie brought the wrath of many Muslims with his book the Satanic Verses, which Khomeini said was blasphemous. Khomeini said it was the duty of Muslims to kill Rushdie and a $2.5 million bounty was placed on the author's head.

The Iranian government in 1998 said it no longer supported the mission to kill Rushdie, although it could not rescind Khomeini's fatwa.

8 posted on 12/01/2004 12:30:00 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Comment #9 Removed by Moderator

To: DoctorZIn

DoctorZin: I received this from our friends at and

Dear Compatriots, Bloggers & Activists:

Several individuals and groups have begun pushing a SHAM REFERENDUM sponsored by the Islamic Republic, which is calling for a Referendum while the Islamic Regime is still in power - with the hope that they will step down peacefully once "voted" out.

All freedom-loving Iranians and citizens of the world have from the very beginning only pushed ONE KIND of referendum. A free and fair referendum that will take place in the post-IRI era.

The sham referendums and distractions are brought to you by the same minds that promoted Khatami and other puppets and procedures that only served to lengthen the stay of the Islamic Regime.

Show your support for a true referendum by signing the petition at brought to you by all freedom-loving Iranians and the Iran of Tomorrow Movement (! Please pass around the above petition as well as the following important articles to your friends, family members, blog readers, compatriots, and all who care!


Fool Me Once, Shame On you! Fool Me Twice, Shame on Me...
By Amir Fassihi

Some are attempting to recreate the reform movement through a referendum overseen by the Islamic Republic?

Fooled me once?

In 1997, I was one of the 26 million people who saw no other exit strategy for the Islamic Republic but through internal reforms. Rafsanjani was nearing an end of an 8 year run on power where he had consolidated his forces, money and strength. The intelligence ministry was a feared entity not unlike the SAVAK 20 years before it. Clinton administration was non-confrontational and the world was looking to end the impasse with the Islamic Republic.

The end goal of mine and the 26 million others who voted for Khatami was to create a division within the regime and to somehow exploit the division for the benefits of Iran.

The end goal was sincere. But the method to get there and the tools used were inadequate.

Rafsanjani/ Khamenei coalition soon crushed the movement. They destroyed the student movement violently and closed more than 70 news papers. The forces behind this change were dispersed, sent to prison or fled the country.

The tools used to make this change were either destroyed and were proven to be incapable.

Looking back, we can learn one thing from what happened: Rafsanjani and Khamanei will use any force necessary to stay in power. To unseat them, they need to be confronted. Confrontation needs to be non-violent; however, a confrontation and a forceful exit nevertheless.

To the politicians, academicians, intellectuals and writers who made up the 2nd of Khordad movement and who let me down, who let the students down, who let Iran down: Shame On You!!!

Fool Me Twice, Shame on Me!!!

Some of those same leaders, the self-claimed intellectuals and philosophers once again want you and me to follow them down a path.

This time, their plan is once again with a sincere and respectable goal of a civil and democratic society, but again there are some flaws in this plan:

Their plan is to gather up all the countries forces and people. Force Islamic Republic to hold a referendum to change the constitution. And once the constitution is changed, ask Mr Khamenei and Rafsanjani to politely step down per requirements of the new constitution.

They are really hyped up about step 1) Referendum. They also talk about step 2) Changing the Constitution. But for step three, there is not much talk.

They’re just assuming that Mr Rafsanjani and Mr Khamenei will say :”Thank you very much, it was nice to be your leader, but now since the constitution has no role for me, I will step down as requested.”.

An Iranian referendum cannot be vague on its wording in regards to democracy and freedom. It cannot only hint at separating religion from state. It must be direct and to the point. The referendum must be forceful and include the elimination of the Islamic Republic and the separation of religion from government.

The leaders of this movement have a decent plan, without being able to see two or three steps down the line. The weakness of this plan is both in lack of planning for the steps down the line, as well as its inability to look at the world around and distinguish the position of Iran today as compared to 1996.

In today’s world, the Islamic Republic is at a dead end. The political pressure for the nuclear issue is immense. The economy, unlike 1996 (at the end of a 6 year borrow and spend boom) is at a halt with no serious hope for a rebound. Taliban is gone in the East; Saddam is gone on the West and replaced by American forces. And lastly, an American president who’s made “Greater Middle East Plan” a central goal of his administration has just replaced his dovish Secretary of State with the architect of the Soviet downfall.

With all this going on, some are calling for a referendum where steps 2 and 3 are not only unclear, but unknown, not clearly planned and a source of easy manipulation by the Islamic Republic.

If I sign this petition, I will be pushing for a plan with no clear outlines of what needs to be done and if I get fooled again with an incomplete plan, Shame on Me!!!

This plan may force IRI, just prior to the presidential elections and as a last option, to drop its opposition to barring candidates from running and allow someone like "Mohsen Sazgara", one of its sponsors to run for president. Then what, "Hamoon Asho , Hamoon Kase...".

Check out their website and sign their petition:

Referendum  AFTER the removal of the Islamic Republic in Iran.

10 posted on 12/01/2004 12:47:19 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn

Iran jubilant about nuclear deal

IRAN claimed victory in its nuclear dispute yesterday, saying it has isolated the United States while keeping its right to enrich uranium.

Iranian negotiator Hasan Rowhani said the resolution passed by the International Atomic Energy Agency on Monday was a "success for Iran and Europeans".

"We have proved our enemies are liars," Mr Rowhani said, referring to US suspicions that Iran is trying to produce nuclear weapons.

11 posted on 12/01/2004 1:09:27 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn

Bush: Iran has more to do

Ottawa, Canada, Nov. 30 (UPI) -- Iran's decision to suspend its nuclear program was a "positive step" but not the final one wanted by the United States, President George W. Bush said Tuesday.

"Our position is that they ought to terminate their nuclear weapons program," Bush said. "(The) decision by the Iranians is a positive step, but it is certainly not the final step. And it's very important for whatever they do to make sure that the world is able to verify the decision they have made, and so we obviously got more work to do."

Iran, after months of roller-coaster negotiations with representatives from Britain, France and Germany, agreed earlier this week to suspend nuclear enrichment programs that could produce weapons grade materials. Iran had argued the enrichment was for energy, but the United States and others suspected it was for an illicit nuclear weapons program.

As part of the deal, under which Iran would not face U.N. Security Council sanctions, Iran agreed to allow cameras to monitor the nuclear sites and equipment, but refused to allow on-site inspectors.

"... The world will be better off if Iran does not have a nuclear weapon," Bush said.

12 posted on 12/01/2004 1:15:56 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn

Iran Says It Will Suspend but Not End Its Uranium Program


Published: December 1, 2004

TEHRAN, Nov. 30 - Iran's chief nuclear negotiator said Tuesday that Iran would suspend its uranium enrichment activities for only a few months while negotiations with Europe for a longer-term accord continued, but would never wholly abandon the program.

The negotiator, Hassan Rowhani, also claimed victory for Iran in the dispute over its nuclear effort, saying that for the first time, the nuclear monitoring agency of the United Nations had "recognized Iran's right to peaceful nuclear activities."

His comments came a day after a resolution was passed by the monitoring group, the International Atomic Energy Agency, welcoming the country's freeze of its uranium enrichment activities.

"Suspension must be for as long as we are negotiating with Europe," Mr. Rowhani, who is also secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, said at a news conference. "Its period must be reasonable."

Iran's supreme religious leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final word on state matters, also said Monday that Iran would never cease its nuclear activities.

In Ottawa on Tuesday, President Bush said Iran's agreement to suspend its enrichment activities was "certainly not the final step."

"The Iranians agreed to suspend, but not terminate, their nuclear weapons program," Mr. Bush said at a news conference with Prime Minister Paul Martin of Canada. "Our position is that they ought to terminate their nuclear weapons program."

In a deal reached in mid-November with France, Germany and Britain, Iran agreed to suspend all its uranium enrichment activities in return for negotiations on possible rewards, including economic benefits, political and security cooperation with Europe and assistance in its nuclear technology. The talks are expected to begin in mid-December.

A Western diplomat in Tehran said Europe had made it very clear that the suspension must last until the two sides reached a long-term solution. "Europe will not accept if Iran tries to impose artificial suspension or to bully out of the agreement," the diplomat said. "In that case, it has been clear that the three European countries, along with the United States, will refer Iran's case to the United Nations Security Council."

Mr. Rowhani also emphasized Tuesday that Iran had chosen the path of cooperation "rather than confrontation" with Europe.

"We admit that there were violations on our behalf," he said. "We had to find a solution and we chose to cooperate."

13 posted on 12/01/2004 1:17:35 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn

"Iranian Regime is Ripe For Falling"

November 25, 2004
Abraham Rabinovich

The queries he receives from Iran about converting to Judaism say less about the lure of the Jewish faith than about the abysmal situation in the land of the ayatollahs, according to veteran Iran hand Menashe Amir.

"The main reason they ask about conversion is that people want to get out of Iran and it has become more difficult to obtain visas to Europe and elsewhere," says Amir, the longtime director of the Iranian desk at the Israel Broadcasting Authority. "They believe that if they convert to Judaism they can receive refuge in Israel."

However, for a small number, religious searching may play a role.

"The regime in Teheran is so oppressive, it has made Islam hateful to many Iranians. Some convert to Christianity, despite the fact that it could cost them their lives if it were discovered. A few think about converting to Judaism."

Several dozen queries about conversion have come to Amir in recent years, mostly through a weekly call-in program he conducts. The callers in Iran dial a number in Europe and are rerouted automatically to the IBA Jerusalem studio. Many openly criticize the regime in Teheran and some do not even mind giving their names. There have been no reports of the government hunting them down.

"The regime apparently sees this as a way to let off steam," says Amir.

The Jewish community in Iran, which numbers 23,000 compared to 80,000 before the revolution, retains its vitality. In Teheran, there are 11 active synagogues serving 15,000 Jews. There are four synagogues in Shiraz and several in other towns.

"The Jews are doing all right economically and their educational institutions function," says Amir.

The community avoids contact with Israel or international Jewish organizations but maintains contact, with the tacit approval of the Iranian regime, with the large Iranian Jewish communities in England and the US.

Amir and his team closely monitor the Iranian pulse via the Iranian media - radio, press, television, Internet - and "other sources." The IBA broadcasts a daily 35-minute news program in Farsi to an audience estimated at one-to-two million Iranians. Amir believes that the broadcasts have earned high credibility because of the detail they offer about events in Iran and the incisiveness of analysis provided by a veteran team.

"We stick to the facts," he says. "The situation in Iran is so terrible there is no need to distort." Revolutionary regimes, by their nature, begin enthusiastically but are slowed down by life's underbrush like bureaucracy, economic thickets and human ornariness.

"It's clear that the regime in Iran has reached a dead-end after 25 years," says Amir, himself a Teheran native. "The country has become much poorer. The population has grown from 37 million to 67 million. They need to provide 800,000 new jobs each year but can't. Poverty is spreading and many turn to prostitution. Even senior clerics in their Friday sermons speak out against the cost of living. When I ask callers why there has been no uprising, they say the regime is brutal and people are afraid. They point out that without American intervention, neither Afghanistan nor Iraq would have been freed of their oppressive regimes."

There is no leadership around which the various opposition groups have been able to rally, he says, and there is little cooperation among the dissidents. When university students took to the streets, no other segments of the population joined them.

Amir believes that the Iranian people would welcome an American incursion "with open arms," an appraisal that may raise eyebrows in view of similar appraisals by experts about Iraq before the US invasion of that country. However, Amir believes that the Iranian regime is ripe for falling, even without the intervention of foreign troops.

"If America invested in encouraging opposition groups inside and outside Iran, it would not need to send in a single soldier."

If such an effort were made, he believes, the results could be felt within the coming American presidential term.

"President Bush has made some encouraging declarations about support for Iranians' struggle for liberation but that's not enough. America has to help practically by uniting the opposition."

As for the Iranian bomb, dissidents want it as much as the regime, notes Amir, although they would not like to see the ayatollahs get their hands on it.

"Iran is a nation without a natural ally and it always feels threatened by outside forces. Every Iranian wants the bomb. They want deterrence."

Would relations with Israel be restored if the present regime falls?

"I have no doubt about it," says Amir. "Iran and Israel are both isolated in the region and need allies. You would have an Israel-Iran-Turkey axis."

After the regime falls, he says, Iran would need serious reconstruction in many sectors. "Israel is in a position to help."

14 posted on 12/01/2004 2:47:22 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn


30 November 2004

Five webloggers jailed

Reporters Without Borders has strongly protested against the Iran's relentless efforts to stifle free expression online after the arrest of five webloggers in less than two months, the latest on 28 November 2004.

"The government is now attacking blogs, the last bastion of freedom on a network that is experiencing ever tighter control," said the worldwide press freedom organisation. "At the same time, an Iranian delegate is sitting on a UN-created working group on Internet governance. The international community should condemn this masquerade," it added.

Three webloggers identified only by their first names were arrested on 29 October 2004. They were : Dariush (, Omid ( and Payvand (

Mojtaba Saminejad was arrested at the beginning of November for speaking out against the arrest of his three colleagues in his blog (

Farid Modaressi, a member of the student organisation the Office to Consolidate Unity, was arrested on 28 November on the order of the prosecutor's office in the city of Qom. He had posted a number of articles on his weblog ( exposing persistent harassment in the city by members of the conservative movement. Two of his brothers were reportedly arrested two days earlier and are apparently still being held.

The crackdown also continues against news websites. Hamed Motaghi, editor of, a webzine in Qom, was sentenced on appeal on 18 November to a three-month suspended prison term for "publishing false information with the aim of disrupting public order". His site has been inaccessible in Iran since March 2004.

Five cyberjournalists - Mahboubeh Abbasgholizadeh, Fershteh Ghazi, Javad Gholam Tamayomi, Omid Memarian et Shahram Rafihzadeh - are still imprisoned for contributing to reformist websites.

15 posted on 12/01/2004 2:50:42 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn

First Published 2004-12-01, Last Updated 2004-12-01 09:18:16

You need to do something


Iraq, Iran exchange recriminations over border security

Tehran challenges accusers to come up with hard evidence of Iranian hand in Iraq insurgency.

By Laurent Lozano- TEHRAN

A conference on improving security in Iraq opened in the Iranian capital Tuesday with Baghdad and Tehran immediately trading recriminations over which side was not doing enough to fight terrorism.

As the meeting got underway, Iraq's interim Vice President Ibrahim al-Jafari said he believed Iran had to do more to secure the lengthy border in order to prevent the transit of foreign fighters seeking to join the anti-US insurgency.

"Normally we do not need the help of others, but given the current exceptional circumstances we are ready to accept the help of our neighbours," he told reporters.

He said "the Islamic republic (of Iran) can participate in the securing of borders and prevent all persons from crossing, and not only people coming from Iran" to join the insurgency.

Jafari said a better exchange of security information throughout the region in general would help see Iraqi elections held on schedule on January 30, 2005.

"The Iraqi government is very serious about organising these elections on time."

Iran's invitation to host the interior ministers or other officials from Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Syria, Turkey, Jordan and Egypt has been seen as a bid here to shake off allegations that Tehran's clerical regime has been fighting its quarter-of-a-century-old battle with the US on Iraqi soil or siding with fellow radical Shiites across the border.

And hitting back at a string of US and Iraqi allegations, Iranian Interior Minister Abdolvahed Moussavi-Lari said it was Iraq's authorities who needed to do more to fight terrorists.

"Nothing can justify the presence in Iraq of terrorist groups who cooperated with the regime of Saddam Hussein and who committed crimes against the Iraqi people and the neighbours of Iraq," he said in his opening declaration in a clear reference to the continued presence in Iraq of the armed Iranian opposition group, the People's Mujahedeen

"We wait for our brothers in the Iraqi government to end their unacceptable and destructive presence in Iraq," he added.

The People's Mujahedeen sought refuge in Iraq in 1986, and sided with Saddam during the Iran-Iraq war. They are currently confined to their camp northeast of Baghdad, but Iraqi authorities have yet to follow through on a vow to expel them.

But Moussavi-Lari did acknowledge "we need to reinforce controls along the border", and in this light he said "Iran is ready to train and equip Iraqi police and border guards."

"From the beginning we have taken positive steps," he later told reporters.

This offer was rejected by his Iraqi counterpart Falah Hasan al-Naqib, who told reporters "we are strong and a rich country and we don't need them to train us."

Iran has consistently denied interfering, and has challenged its accusers to come up with hard evidence of an Iranian hand in the insurgency. The Islamic republic blames the insurgency on the US occupation, and says the departure of foreign forces is the sole solution.

But after the initial talks, Naqib went on to complain that "many of the neighbouring countries have not fully understood the situation in Iraq so far."

"We need their support for a short period of time to stop terrorists and gangsters from entering Iraq, to exchange information and to secure their borders. But first of all they have to understand Iraq is a sovereign country," he said.

However he did add that "we did not accuse the Iranian government" of directly backing the insurgency, and said he believed "the Iranian government is trying its best" to prevent the infiltration of insurgents, including elements from Afghanistan.

It was not clear if his reference to the "Iranian government" meant Iraqi authorities still suspected other, more hardline elements of the Iranian regime.

And regarding the People's Mujahedeen, he asserted "they are isolated" and called on Iran to put in place "some kind of amnesty" programme so that the rebels can return home.

Despite the bickering, the top United Nations envoy for Iraq, Ashraf Qazi, nevertheless told reporters it was a "very important conference", and he said he was "looking forward to an agreed joint statement" when the meeting ends on Wednesday.

16 posted on 12/01/2004 2:55:58 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn

US gaze rests on Iran

PM - Tuesday, 30 November , 2004  18:29:17

Reporter: Mark Colvin

MARK COLVIN: With the United Nations at a difficult juncture, the United States, where George W. Bush sees himself as having earned political capital with his election victory, may well be emboldened to be even more active on the world stage.

It was President Bush who labelled Iraq, Iran and North Korea as the Axis of Evil, and over the last couple of weeks, speculation has been growing that Iran may be next on his list.

Just in the last 24 hours, the US has said the world must "remain vigilant" about Iran's nuclear program.

Washington remains sceptical about Iran's deal with Europe to freeze all uranium enrichment.

Dr Michael Ledeen of the American Enterprise Institute is one of the thinkers at the forefront of the push to "do something" about Iraq.

But despite him being painted in some circles as a proponent of war, Dr Ledeen says he doesn't advocate armed intervention and when I spoke to him this afternoon, he said he hadn't argued for the invasion of Iraq either.

MICHAEL LEDEEN: I thought it was the wrong way to go. I thought it was much too much military and not enough political. I would have done a lot more political at the beginning before I tried to decide how much military was necessary.


MICHAEL LEDEEN: Would have taken Iraq and you know, we have these two no fly zones – north and south – I would have turned those into free Iraq. Would have constituted a democratic Iraqi government in exile then, and then appeal to the Iraqi people to abandon Saddam and go live like free people.

MARK COLVIN: And do you think that might have had a better outcome?

MICHAEL LEDEEN: Well, one thing we would have know, who was with him and who was against him. It would have been a lot easier to sort out people. We've been having a lot of trouble sorting out people.

MARK COLVIN: The trouble is now that it was military, and there is a perception that America and Britain and most of the West got it really severely wrong on weapons of mass destruction. How do you persuade the world that Iran is now the danger that you see it as?

MICHAEL LEDEEN: I think that it's right to support democratic revolution in Iran – terrorism or no terrorism, WMDs or no WMDs. I just think it's the right thing to do. It's what we should do.

MARK COLVIN: But it wouldn't be top of the list if it wasn't for the imminent possibility of a nuclear bomb, would it?

MICHAEL LEDEEN: Well, I argued about three years ago that Iran should be at the top of the list, not because of atomic bombs, but because they are the number one sponsor of terrorism in the world, and after all, what we are up to in the Middle East is responding to an attack on the United States.

MARK COLVIN: A worse sponsor of terrorism that Saudi Arabia?

MICHAEL LEDEEN: Much. I mean, Saudi Arabia's never done anything of the magnitude that Iran has done. Iran created Hezbollah, which is arguably the world's most dangerous terrorist organisation. They created Islamic jihad, they run most of, if not all of Hamas and so forth. They're the big sugar daddy of international terrorism.

MARK COLVIN: But America is now militarily overstretched. Sanctions don't look very possible, you've got seven land borders, some of the most difficult land borders in the world, plus the Caspian Sea and the Gulf. So you couldn't put sanctions on. You're talking about political pressure. How do you do that?

MICHAEL LEDEEN: I'm talking about – look at Ukraine today. I mean, nobody imagined the morning after the elections that just yelling and screaming would have in effect forced Putin to recognise that he had to have legitimate elections in the Ukraine and that his people might lose.

So I think we always underestimate the enormous power of words and ideals and so forth. I think that if the American President, the British Prime Minister and various other world leaders stood up and said this is an evil regime, it has to go. We stand with the Iranian people. We will support them in their desire to be free. I think it would have an enormous effect.

MARK COLVIN: They have, as you mentioned, demonstrations of a million people. They tried to elect Khatami. The Ayatollahs just keep on coming back. The young people, the people who want democracy, keep on getting crushed, don't they?

MICHAEL LEDEEN: Well, they're very discouraged and yes, crushed – never mind, killed, hung, executed in public, tortured in the most terrible ways. It's an awful regime. Yes, they're very discouraged and they keep asking well, why isn't the western world supporting us? Why don't we have more support? What is it that people support freedom in Liberia and Sudan – which is fine, which I support - but I mean Iran is also strategically very important.

It's the most powerful country in the Middle East right now. I mean Iraq had 22 million people. Iran has 70 million people. Very well educated, high culture, long tradition of self-government. Every reason to believe that it would be a terrific addition to the community of free nations, and would have an enormous impact on the rest of the Middle East and still we sit around.

MARK COLVIN: But, just a generation ago, they had a revolution. It was very nasty, it was very bloody and a lot of people are really scared of the consequences of having a counter-revolution.

MICHAEL LEDEEN: Right. They are. And they don't want bloodshed. They don't want a blood bath.

MARK COLVIN: So how do you get over that hurdle?

MICHAEL LEDEEN: Well, we've seen – look, the world's changed a lot since then and the turning point was Juan Carlos in Spain in the mid 1970's after the death of Franco because up until that point, there wasn't a person in the world who believed that you could get from dictatorship to democracy peacefully. Everybody thought it would require violence.

Spain showed that it could happen without violence and we're now at a point where people get very annoyed in fact, when a transition from dictatorship to democracy entails some violence, because now we're all convinced that it should be done peaceably. The Iranians believe it can be done peacefully. Why not?

MARK COLVIN: Every Iranian school child is taught again and again, about the involvement of the British secret service and the CIA in bringing the Shah to power in the 1950's. That's another big hurdle you've got to cross, isn't it? I mean, how can you…

MICHAEL LEDEEN: No, I don't think so. No, because they also learned from their parents that things were better under the Shah who was installed by the British and the Americans.

So, I mean if you took a vote today among Iranians and said who would you rather Khomeini and Rafsanjani or the Shah? They would vote for the Shah overwhelmingly, even though they would find plenty of bad things to say about the Shah.

MARK COLVIN: What do you want? You want American style democracy?

MICHAEL LEDEEN: I want, I want elections. Look, they'll do it themselves. What they want is a national referendum to choose their form of government and then free elections to staff it out.

MARK COLVIN: People paint you as a warrior. You talk yourself about America being at war. This is a war and yet you don't want to use the weapons of war.

MICHAEL LEDEEN: Well, politics is a hell of a weapon for war.

MARK COLVIN: Dr Michael Ledeen of the American Enterprise Institute, speaking to me this afternoon.

Listen Here.

17 posted on 12/01/2004 3:09:12 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn

If there are 10 million Basiji why is it they can only consistently turn out about 500-4,000 people?

18 posted on 12/01/2004 7:55:47 AM PST by freedom44
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: freedom44

It is due to the exchange rate; 10,000 Basiji = 1 Normal Person. ;-)

19 posted on 12/01/2004 10:23:13 AM PST by AdmSmith
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: AdmSmith


20 posted on 12/01/2004 12:46:05 PM PST by F14 Pilot (Democracy is a process not a product)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-25 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson