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Iranian Alert - December 2, 2004 [EST] -- Arms Inspectors Said to Seek Access to Iran Sites
Regime Change Iran ^ | 12.2.2004 | DoctorZin

Posted on 12/01/2004 9:35:51 PM PST by DoctorZIn

Top News Story

Arms Inspectors Said to Seek Access to Iran Sites

By WILLIAM J. BROAD, DAVID E. SANGER
and ELAINE SCIOLINO


Published: December 2, 2004

This article is by William J. Broad, David E. Sanger and Elaine Sciolino.

VIENNA, Dec. 1 -International inspectors are requesting access to two secret Iranian military sites where intelligence suggests that Tehran's Ministry of Defense may be working on atomic weapons, despite the agreement that Iran reached this week to suspend its production of enriched uranium, according to diplomats here

The inspectors at the International Atomic Energy Agency base their suspicions on a mix of satellite photographs indicating the testing of high explosives and procurement records showing the purchase of equipment that can be used for enriching uranium, the diplomats said. Both are critical steps in the development of nuclear arms.

The suspicions were aired here as an Iranian opposition group was preparing to release what it called new information that Iran was secretly developing a nuclear-capable missile whose range is significantly greater than what the Iranians have publicly acknowledged to date. [Page A19.]

Iran has insisted that its uranium enrichment program is entirely for civilian nuclear energy production, but the areas the I.A.E.A. wants to visit are all in secure military bases. Traditionally, such facilities are considered off limits to the agency, whose primary mandate is to monitor civilian nuclear programs, unless there is strong evidence of covert nuclear activity at the military sites. Weapons experts cautioned that the equipment purchases and other activities could have nonnuclear purposes.

Mohamed ElBaradei, the director general of the I.A.E.A., said in an interview here on Wednesday that he had repeatedly asked Iran for access to the two sites, but that it had not yet been granted.

"We are following every credible piece of information," he said. Understanding the exact significance of what is happening at the two military sites is "important," he added. "We still have work to do, a lot of work." He estimated that even with full Iranian cooperation, it would take at least two years to resolve all of the outstanding questions surrounding the country's nuclear program.

"We're not rushing," he said. "It takes time."

The deal the Europeans signed with Iran, which the United Nations atomic agency blessed on Monday, was designed to defuse the most urgent problem, Tehran's enrichment of uranium at civilian sites, which could have given it quick access to the raw material for making bomb fuel.

With that problem at least temporarily under control, inspectors and the United States are now turning to the question of whether Iran has a parallel military nuclear program that it has not declared. Last year, the country admitted to inspectors that it had hidden critical aspects of its civilian program for 18 years.

The inspectors now want to examine the military sites to see whether secret nuclear work is under way. Much of the equipment needed for centrifuges - which spin at supersonic speeds to purify uranium for reactors and bombs - is "dual use," meaning it could be used for peaceful purposes as well.

Some officials close to the atomic agency said a last-minute disagreement over centrifuges in Iran's civilian program, which emerged before this week's accord was signed, may have been designed as a diversion by Tehran to take attention away from the agency's request for access to its military bases.

An Iranian official who was one of the negotiating delegation dismissed the idea of opening up the military sites, saying Tehran had no responsibility to do so. "There is nothing required for us to do," he said.

"They should have evidence that there are nuclear activities, not just 'We heard from someone that there is dual-use equipment that we want to see.' "

Diplomats and weapons experts here said in interviews that the intelligence on Iran's military activities came from several sources, including nations that are members of the United Nations nuclear agency.

One of the suspect military sites under investigation by the I.A.E.A. is a huge, decades-old facility southeast of Tehran, the Parchin military complex. Inspectors believe Iran's military may be testing conventional high explosives at the site, of a type used to detonate nuclear weapons.

If their suspicions are correct, inspectors say it could explain what Secretary of State Colin L. Powell was referring to nearly two weeks ago when he disclosed new American intelligence suggesting that Iran is working to shrink a nuclear device to a size that could fit atop the country's missiles.

While the United States has declined to discuss the intelligence Mr. Powell saw, the American representative to the I.A.E.A.'s board of governors, Jackie W. Sanders, at a meeting of the board on Monday, raised questions about Iranian efforts to obtain equipment "in the nuclear military area" and demanded a specific list of Iran's purchases "so we can make our own decisions about Iran's intentions."

But because there is no hard evidence now of actual nuclear material at Parchin, the international agency is left in the awkward position of asking Iran to admit its monitors to the site voluntarily, to prove what one European diplomat called "the absence of nuclear material."

The second site is a relatively new facility, called Lavisan II, built in northeastern Tehran, near the site of an older facility that was dismantled within the past year. The existence of the new facility was highlighted last month by an Iranian opposition group, the National Council of Resistance, the political front for the People's Mujahedeen. Even though the State Department has called the group a terror organization, American officials have been intrigued by the intelligence it has gathered on Iran's program.

Inspectors say they now possess procurement records showing that the military ordered a long shopping list of high-tech equipment for the Lavisan facilities - including specialized power supplies that smooth electrical currents to meet the exacting requirements of centrifuges.

A European diplomat who is dealing with the Iranian government on nuclear issues, said of the array of ordered equipment, "We believe it's related to enrichment and uranium conversion." He added that "it's something they need to explain for us."/P>

The diplomat called the equipment orders "a little bit of everything" short of actual centrifuges. Each of the technologies on the order list, the expert said, had plausible uses both for nuclear and nonnuclear programs, making them "dual use" items.

"But when you combine them all together," he said, "it looks like a shopping list for an enrichment program."

He said it would make no sense for the military to buy the equipment on behalf of a civilian program. The more likely explanation, he said, was that the military itself "did the experiments," which would undercut Iran's argument that it has solely civilian nuclear projects under way.

The Parchin military complex has hundreds of bunkers, buildings and test sites scattered over a vast area about 20 miles southeast of Tehran. For decades, it has developed and made such things as ammunition, rockets and high explosives.

In September, the Institute for Science and International Security, an arms control group in Washington, issued a report claiming that Parchin contained "an isolated, separately secured site which may be involved in developing nuclear weapons."

The European expert on the Iranian program said that Parchin had helped develop Iran's long-range missiles and that evidence from satellite photographs and other sources suggested that some of its explosives work now centered on perfecting nuclear arms.

"If you go for nuclear weapons development, you need those places at a fairly early stage of your program," he said. International inspectors, he said, need to inspect the site rule out such work and "assure the absence of nuclear material."

Iran has so far refused to allow access to the military sites, even while denying that it has any hidden military program to develop nuclear arms.

European experts and diplomats said they remained hopeful that the Iranians might eventually permit access to the disputed military sites, citing past cooperation.

In October, 2003, they noted, Iran let the I.A.E.A. visit three locations at an industrial complex in Kolahdouz in western Tehran that the military controls. Despite rumors to the contrary, the inspectors found no work at those locations that could be directly linked to the enrichment of uranium. Moreover, the results of environmental sampling showed no signs of any use of nuclear materials.

One European official said the Iranians might be stalling for time to clean up the sites and remove all evidence of nuclear research.



TOPICS: Extended News; 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

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

1 posted on 12/01/2004 9:35:55 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!

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

2 posted on 12/01/2004 9:37:55 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Beware the nuclear threat in Iran

Monday, November 29, 2004
CYRUS PARTOVI

A ccording to the Islamic principle of Taqiah or dissimulation, the clerical rulers of Iran have every right to lie and deceive their enemies, and an international agreement signed under duress with non-believers can be broken if necessary. In other words Taqiah trumps Iran's commitment to the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

One would hope that the International Atomic EnergyAgency and the foreign ministers of France, Germany and Great Britain who seemed enamored by the Iranian charm offensive are fully aware of Taqiah.

There is no doubt that the Islamic Republic of Iran is determined to become a nuclear power. They know that possession of a nuclear bomb has ensured the survival of the North Korean regime, and they intend to buy the same insurance. Just imagine a country with one of the world's largest oil and gas reserves possessing a nuclear bomb and that is ideologically obsessed with the United States.

The Iranian clergy are in a win-win situation. First, to their domestic supporters, the principle of Taqiah justifies their broken promises to the IAEA and the Europeans.

Second, they tell their very nationalistic Iranian audience that it is Iran's sovereign right -- as it is Israel's, Pakistan's and India's -- to possess nuclear technology.

Third, the mullahs in Iran know that the United States is globally overstretched, that she is bogged down in Iraq. In fact they know that unlike the war in Vietnam, the Americans cannot cut and run and abandon Iraq. Geopolitics, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and oil dictates American Middle East entanglement for decades to come.

Fourth, The Iranian clergy will continue to help the Iraqi insurgency, knowing full well that an exhausted American public has no stomach for more military involvement beyond Iraq and Afghanistan.

Fifth, even if the Bush administration or the Israelis decide to use military force, that will ignite Iranian nationalism and trigger rally-around-the-flag effect. Therefore, whatever happens, the mullahs are in the driver's seat. All they care about is to remain in power. Nothing else matters.

Under the circumstances, the only viable option left for the Bush administration is to support the desires and aspirations of those Iranians who mobilized and voted for the reform-minded President Khatami, voters who have come to regret their naivete in believing that a smiling mullah could save them from 23 years of theocratic nightmare.

As we know, more than 65 percent of Iranians are younger than 25 and are politicized. They aspire to the same freedoms as we treasure. Unlike in the rest of the Arab world, whenever possible young Iranians have shown their affection for America. The Bush administration must identify itself with this young, frustrated generation.

There is no need for military intervention. Just provide satellite and shortwave radio capabilities to the Iranian exile opposition. It will send a powerful signal to the Iranian student movement that Washington is serious about removing the clerics. Short of that we are in for a long nightmare.

Cyrus Partovi is a senior lecturer in the Department of International Affairs at Lewis and Clark College.


3 posted on 12/01/2004 9:38:19 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

EDITORIAL

One More Round on Iran's Nukes


Published: December 1, 2004

The compromise resolution thrashed out this week on Iranian nuclear programs is not enormously satisfying, but it represents the best available alternative. Whether it actually stops Tehran's long-running drive to build nuclear weapons will be clearer when it's time to clarify and tighten this set of temporary and conditional agreements sometime next year. Success will depend on whether Washington and Europe can overcome their mutual suspicions and pursue a common strategy including explicit incentives and explicit threats.

Although Iran has now agreed to a temporary suspension of all work on uranium enrichment while it discusses a possible trade agreement with Europe, it has by no means renounced its two-decade-long effort to acquire the capacity to make nuclear bomb fuel. Its many known uranium enrichment centrifuges remain in place, and there may also be other centrifuges, not yet disclosed or discovered, on which work has not been suspended. Meanwhile, Iran has not agreed to stop building a plutonium separation plant that would provide a second route to nuclear weapons production.

But the most pressing known problem, the ready-to-use centrifuges, has been addressed, delaying the date Iran can build bombs and buying time for a more definitive solution.

The last-minute maneuvering in which Iran sought to water down its agreement to suspend centrifuge work suggests that it is forgoing an important element of its nuclear program to fend off, for now at least, Washington's drive to refer its activities to the United Nations Security Council.

That would be an empty gesture without some possibility of the Council's imposing punitive sanctions. And that cannot happen as long as two veto-wielding members, Britain and France, believe that diplomacy has not been exhausted. Two other veto-wielding members, Russia and China, are also believed to be against imposing sanctions at this time.

That could and should change, however, if Iran proves unwilling to turn its temporary suspension of centrifuge work into a complete and verifiable renunciation of all uranium and plutonium enrichment programs capable of producing nuclear bomb fuel. To secure such an agreement, Washington should be willing to join Europe in guaranteeing Iran's access to imported reactor fuel. It should also be willing to declare that despite President Bush's "axis of evil" speech three years ago, it has no intention of attacking Iran. Further, it should make clear that once Iran's nuclear disarmament has been verified, the United States will be willing to discuss normal diplomatic and trade relations.

Holding out incentives is not enough. Without a corresponding set of threats, Iran will simply try to get what gains it can without giving up its nuclear ambitions. The incentive strategy can work only if it is accompanied by an explicit and unambiguous threat. If Iran refuses to give up on nuclear weapons, Europe must be prepared to join Washington in voting for Security Council sanctions. A united trans-Atlantic front may persuade Russia and China to go along as well.


4 posted on 12/01/2004 9:38:40 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Kowtowing to Tehran

December 01, 2004
Editorials/Op-Ed


In the latest sign that Washington and its European allies have failed to persuade Iran to end its nuclear weapons programs, the International Atomic Energy Agency on Monday passed a watered-down resolution that is likely to encourage more defiance from the ruling mullahs.

At a meeting in Vienna, the IAEA board of governors approved a resolution that "welcomes the fact that Iran has decided to continue and extend its suspension of all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities." The resolution also capitulates to Iran on a major point: its insistence that it is not legally required to freeze its uranium enrichment efforts. It refers to Iran's suspension as "a voluntary confidence building measure, not a legal obligation."

The IAEA resolution fell short of what Washington was seeking: a binding commitment that Iran will end its nuclear weapons programs and referral of the matter to the U.N. Security Council if the regime fails to do so. But State Department spokesman Richard Boucher tried to put the best face on things, stating that Washington "went along with the resolution" because it believes that Iran will eventually violate it, and that this can serve to trigger further action.

Iran has a very different view. The resolution was "a definite defeat for our enemies who wanted to pressure Iran by sending its case to the U.N. Security Council," said Iranian President Mohammed Khatami. The New York Times reported that Iranian officials toasted approval of the resolution with the French ambassador to the IAEA at his residence.

The resolution is just the latest example of a lengthy, embarrassing ritual that has become commonplace since the IAEA began investigating Iran last year. IAEA inspectors periodically visit suspect Iranian sites. Every few months, the IAEA board gets together and passes a resolution criticizing Iran's cheating and concealment activities, and the European Union 3 — Britain, France and Germany — announces that Iran has agreed to change its behavior. Months later, the world learns that Iran has continued to cheat and misinterpret the treaty. Indeed, Iran's failures to come clean about its nuclear activities have repeatedly been documented by the IAEA — as recently as Monday.

Iran has successfully been buying time while advancing its weapons research and development. Appeasement has had the predictable effect of emboldening Tehran to take a much more aggressive posture in the region, which includes financing Hezbollah and Hamas terrorism in Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza and the terrorist insurgency in Iraq. The current situation is probably a picnic compared to what will happen should Iran develop nuclear weapons.

5 posted on 12/01/2004 9:39:05 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn


Fatal Fool’s Game

Europeans ignore the deadly stakes in negotiating with Iran.

Here we go again. The game is nuclear rope-a-dope with a dictatorship. The U.S. played it with the North Koreans in 1994, and now the Europeans are going a round with the Iranians, with the same disastrous results almost assured.

Iran has announced that it will temporarily suspend uranium enrichment while negotiating with France, Germany, and England over the terms of a possible final nuclear deal. Such a deal would require Iran to halt uranium enrichment, a key step in producing nuclear weapons, in exchange for economic incentives as well as light-water reactors, access to fuel, and other support for its civilian nuclear-power program.

This final deal, even if it's possible to reach (unlikely), would be terrible policy. It would basically mean trusting the mullahs to stop producing nuclear weapons, while at the same time making it easier for them to produce them. Light-water reactors are generally considered difficult to use for weapons production. In fact, they can "be a copious source of near-weapon grade plutonium," according to a recent study by the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center. The Iranians could easily extract bomb-grade plutonium in small facilities that would be difficult to detect.

“The so-called EU3 are headed
toward folly, and are happy to embrace
farce on the way there.”

In short, it would be easy for Iran to continue its weapons program clandestinely even under a comprehensive European agreement. In fact, that's precisely what North Korea did under the Clinton administration’s Agreed Framework, a similarly hapless attempt to bribe a nuclear weapon-seeking rogue state.

So, the so-called EU3 are headed toward folly, and are happy to embrace farce on the way there. Tehran will probably not cut even such a sweetheart final deal, exactly because it is so set on pursuing nuclear weapons. The mullahs don't want to give up uranium enrichment. How do we know? They say it — all the time. Iranian National Security Council chief Hassan Rohani said on Tuesday, "Iran did not promise to stop enrichment but only to suspend it for a limited period of time."

There is only one reason for such determination — Iran wants a nuke. Theoretically, uranium can be enriched to low levels and used for civilian purposes only. But Iran has no need for such a uranium-enrichment capability, since it sits on vast amounts of oil and natural gas and, in any case, the Europeans have promised to ensure that its civilian reactors are supplied with fuel. If a rogue state walks and talks as though it's seeking a nuclear weapon, it’s seeking a nuclear weapon.

Diplomatically, Tehran has been wiping the floor with the EU3. This latest "breakthrough" came just in time to avoid a U.N. Security Council referral, which the Bush administration had been advocating. The Europeans have been negotiating with Iran since August 2003, and getting strung along the entire time as Tehran tries to extract more "carrots." Tehran later reneged on its agreement to stop building centrifuges and enriching uranium, but the Europeans continued to negotiate anyway. Now, the Bush administration — apparently the only international actor serious about ending Iran's nuclear program — will have to wait on the sidelines while the EU3 once again buys the mullahs time.

But sidelining the Bush administration is exactly the point for the EU3. They are desperate to prove that, unlike the cowboys in Washington, they can take care of global threats without resorting to force. As the EU expands, Germany and France are also realizing that they need a broader power base — hence the importance of having the Brits on board. Meanwhile, Tony Blair is anxious to establish that he is, after all, a good European.

No one should mistake what is really at stake here. As Colin Powell pointed out last week in a Santiago, Chile press conference, we have every reason to believe that Iran is seeking a nuclear weapon, and it has become ever harder for the international community to deny it (try as they might). In Iran, the world faces a potentially nuclear-armed terror state. All that phony diplomatic deals can achieve is to delay the day of reckoning, and maybe not even that.


6 posted on 12/01/2004 9:40:11 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Tehran's Triumph

[Excerpt]
December 01, 2004
The Wall Street Journal
Review & Outlook


So the International Atomic Energy Agency adopts a resolution Monday holding Iran to a "non-legally binding," "voluntary" and "confidence-building" commitment to suspend its uranium enrichment program. Tehran immediately declares it will abide by the agreement for no more than a few months. And our European friends tell us it's a triumph of their tough-minded but subtly adaptive brand of diplomacy.

In the words of fashion philosophe Kenneth Cole, Are they putting us on? ...

No sooner was the ink dry on that agreement than Iran rushed to convert 22 tons of uranium ore into uranium hexaflouride gas, which can be enriched to weapons-grade levels. Then Iran proceeded to demand that it be allowed to operate 20 centrifuges, ostensibly for the purposes of research and development. On this point, however, the Europeans held firm, Iran relented, and the IAEA resolution was passed. But not before Iran obtained some further watering-down of the resolution's language.

Even without the 20 centrifuges, the Iranian-European entente is a triumph for Tehran. It gives the mullahs diplomatic cover against the U.S. It implies a promise of open-ended European economic, technical and political aid. And it gives Iran the right to restart its nuclear programs at any moment without even being in technical breach of the IAEA resolution. All this without even touching Iran's undeclared and illicit nuclear programs, which are active and numerous and mostly beyond the IAEA's capacity to monitor.

For all this, it's possible the Europeans really do believe they've struck a credible bargain. The Bush Administration can hardly be so persuaded. In a speech to the IAEA Board of Governors, U.S. Ambassador Jackie Sanders noted that Monday's resolution was the sixth of its kind passed since September 2003, and that in nearly all cases IAEA demands remained "unmet" or "unresolved."

"Iran has repeatedly demonstrated bad faith," she said, "and the United States has long lost any illusions that Iran's ultimate intentions are peaceful." Nevertheless, the United States went along with the IAEA resolution.

Part of the reason for this, no doubt, is a personal concession by President Bush to his Iraq ally Tony Blair, who has his own domestic reasons for supporting the diplomatic track. But the Administration also seems to hope, and perhaps expect, that the Iranians are bound to again renege in some obvious way on their commitments, and probably sooner than later. At that point, presumably, the President's debt to the Prime Minister will have been paid, and a chagrined Europe will have no choice but to refer the matter to the U.N. Security Council.

Then again, if the Europeans haven't been embarrassed by Iran's six previous compliance failures, why should a seventh be different? Tony Blair may yet be brought aboard, but it is hard to see the rest of the Security Council doing so. The aggregate value of French exports to Iran amounts to $2.4 billion, not a huge sum but double what it was five years ago. Russia is building Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant. As for China, it gets 13.6% of its oil from Iran ; the Chinese state-owned oil giant Sinopec was recently invited by Tehran to develop the huge Yadavaran gas field.

These countries are not going to line up behind sanctions under any circumstances, no matter how conclusive the evidence of Iranian malfeasance. They worry more about losing contracts than they do about an Iranian Bomb. The sooner the Administration admits this, the sooner it can escape the IAEA trap and begin to assess its options realistically.

One such option is to provide active and serious support for Iranian opposition groups, as the U.S. did with Poland's Solidarity movement in the 1980s. The Iranian people may or may not like the idea of a Persian bomb, but they are, broadly speaking, the most pro-American in the Muslim world and they despise the clique of clerics who have squelched democratic reform while presiding over a sinking economy.

Such support is right in itself but it can also give the U.S. indirect leverage with the regime on the nuclear issue. Of course, it would help if the Administration finally made up its own mind about how -- or indeed whether -- it seriously intends to stop the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism from becoming its 10th nuclear power.

7 posted on 12/01/2004 9:40:35 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Bush: US, Canada Are United in Confronting Iran

[Excerpt]
December 01, 2004
Alex Keto

WASHINGTON -- Wrapping up a two-day visit to Canada to help repair the badly frayed ties between it and the U.S., President George W. Bush on Tuesday defended his foreign policy and called on Canada not to remain on the defensive in the war on terrorism.

In a speech in Halifax, Bush both thanked Canada for the help it has given in the war on terrorism, but also sought to brace Canada for the need to do more.

Pointing back in history during the opening years of fighting in World War II, Bush noted "some Canadians argued that Canada had not been attacked and had no interest in fighting a distant war."

"Your prime minister, Mackenzie King, gave this answer. 'We cannot defend our country and save our homes and families by waiting for the enemy to attack us. To remain on the defensive is the surest way to bring the war to Canada'," Bush said.

While the threat is different now, Bush said, the duty remains the same to confront the enemy overseas.

Pointing to the threat posed by rogue nations armed with weapons of mass destruction, Bush said the U.S. and Canada are united in confronting both North Korea and Iran. Both countries must also be ready to do more than this, Bush said.

"Peaceful nations must keep the peace by going after the terrorists and disrupting their plans and cutting off their funding. We must hold the sponsors of terror equally responsible for terrorist acts. We must prevent outlaw regimes from gaining weapons of mass destruction and providing them to terrorists. We must stay at these efforts with patience and resolve until we prevail," Bush said.

The president acknowledged his decision to invade Iraq caused a deep rift with many Canadians, particularly because of the U.S.'s decision not to secure a U.N. resolution explicitly authorizing the attack.

Nevertheless, Bush argued Canada now has a "vital interest" in seeing Iraq stabilized regardless of the justification of the invasion.

As he has done in the past, Bush defended his decision on Iraq by saying that international bodies have to be more than talking shops, and called on the Canadians to join with the U.S. in making the U.N. a more effective international organization.

The president argued that his foreign policy consists of more than military operations, and outlined his plans to bring democracy and stability to the Middle East. This, he said, will undercut the appeal of terrorism.

One way to push this process forward will be to work for an Israeli- Palestinian peace deal, Bush said, and promised, "I believe this is an historic moment in the broader Middle East, and we must seize this moment by standing with everyone who stands for liberty."

However, he put the onus for peace on the Palestinians saying that nothing can be achieved until they reform the Palestinian Authority and move towards democracy.

Specifically, Bush said he wasn't interested in haggling over borders and said that past efforts to do so haven't yielded success.

"Achieving peace in the Holy Land is not just a matter of pressuring one side or the other on the shape of a border or the site of a settlement. This approach has been tried before without success. As we negotiate the details of peace, we must look to the heart of the matter, which is the need for a Palestinian democracy," Bush said.

Bush opened his remarks on a light note and acknowledged one of the more difficult trade issues between the two countries: a ban on the import of Canadian cattle because of fears of mad-cow disease.

"I proudly ate some Alberta beef last night, and I'm still standing," Bush said to laughter and applause.

The president thanked Canadians for their efforts three years ago in the wake of the Sept. 11 terror attacks to house and feed 33,000 Americans who were stranded outside the U.S. when the air traffic system was shutdown.

For his part, Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin recalled the disaster that struck Halifax during the First World War when a munitions ship in its harbor blew up, killing an estimated 10,000 people in the city. He noted Americans from New England streamed north to help the stricken city. ...

-By Alex Keto, Dow Jones Newswires; 202-862-9256; Alex.Keto@dowjones.com

8 posted on 12/01/2004 9:40:56 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Democracy Defended
From the December 6, 2004 issue:

Natan Sharansky explains why democracy makes the world safer.

by Meyrav Wurmser
12/06/2004, Volume 010, Issue 12

The Case for Democracy
The Power of Freedom to Overcome Tyranny and Terror
by Natan Sharansky
Public Affairs, 303 pp., $26.95

NATAN SHARANSKY, one of the great champions of human rights, personifies freedom's victory over tyranny. Before immigrating to Israel and becoming a prominent politician, he was one of the best-known leaders of the dissident movement in the Soviet Union and an advocate of the cause of Soviet Jewry. Convicted of treason in 1978, he was sent to the Gulag, where he stayed until Mikhail Gorbachev released him in 1986.

His book The Case for Democracy:The Power of Freedom to Overcome Tyranny and Terror reads at once as a warm, personal account and a dispassionately analytical treatise. Its title is its theme: How can freedom overcome tyranny and bring security and peace?

Sharansky builds his argument like a mathematical equation. First, he divides the world between "free" and "fear" societies. Then he employs a simple test to discern a free society from a society based on fear: Can one enter a public square and express any opinion without fear of being arrested? If not, one is in a society that runs on fear.

Then, he describes the mechanics of fear societies, focusing on three basic groups: true believers, doublethinkers, and dissidents. Sharansky uses personal anecdotes to demonstrate what these categories mean, and to describe, for readers who have lived only in free societies, the experience of living in a fear society. He admits that he was, like most of the Soviet population, a doublethinker, constantly performing

a balancing act between his true feelings and his public feelings. As a child, he privately celebrated Stalin's death, and then joined the public expressions of mourning and praise.

Only those adept at reading these mechanics, Sharansky warns, can tell the true believers from the doublethinkers. Most outsiders mistakenly accept the popularity of despotic states because these regimes spend great effort trying to conceal the difference between their true believers and doublethinkers. The failure to see the difference between the two, however, is not just a question of political acumen, it is a question of moral clarity.

Sharansky then analyzes the inherent instability of fear societies. Their leaders lack popular support, and, over time, they lose true believers. So the regime must work harder to hold onto power. To prop itself up, the regime needs an external enemy, who serves a dual, if not contradictory, purpose. Because the fear society stifles creative thought, it lacks scientific and technological progress, and so must mimic those of its rival. It also uses the rival as the scapegoat for its own political malaise. By contrast, governments of free societies are accountable to the will of the people and the laws of their country. A democratic leader who pursues a reckless agenda cannot do so indefinitely.

Sharansky explains how freedom can guide free societies in their dealings with fear societies. He does so by raising three questions: Is freedom from tyranny universally desired? Is pursuing that goal universally desirable? And can it be done, even if imposing it on a nation is required?

Discussing the United States's role in the world, he responds to criticisms of so-called realists from both the left and right who believe that America's foreign policy should be guided only by interests--and not by ideals. He rejects the notion that certain cultures are incompatible with democracy. Exporting freedom to these societies, he argues, is moral since it helps oppressed people obtain basic liberties. But it is also pragmatic, because democratic societies tend to resolve their differences peacefully.

SHARANSKY ADVOCATES the use of well-calculated international pressure against tyrannies. In the Middle East, the dictatorships may be vehemently anti-American, but the people tend to favor the West. The West can influence undemocratic and anti-American regimes such as Iran's, Saudi Arabia's, and Syria's by insisting that their people enjoy some basic freedoms. The freedom deficit in the Arab world, argues Sharansky, does not mean that Arabs do not strive for freedom. The desire for liberty is universal and beats even in Arab hearts.

In fact, says Sharansky, the West's tendency not to challenge the tyrannies that govern the Middle East is partly to blame for the scarcity of freedom in the Arab world. The realist pursuit of stability led certain American administrations to endorse some of the world's darkest oppressors. The futile Oslo process serves as a glaring example of the failure to bring peace when freedom is ignored. The West mistakenly sought to strengthen Yasser Arafat in the hopes that he would control his people and make peace with Israel. But embracing a corrupt

dictator in the name of stability only served to oppress the Palestinians and undermine Israel's peace and security.

Sharansky's book, written prior to Arafat's death, is optimistic about the prospects for Palestinian freedom. He makes reference to Omar Karsou, a Palestinian dissident and voice for freedom. While admitting the differences of opinion between himself and Karsou--who does not believe in the Jewish people's historic right to the land of Israel--Sharansky nevertheless argues that democrats like Karsou are better partners for peaceful coexistence than was Arafat. Under the dictatorial rule of Arafat, all grievances were deflected toward Israel.

Even when former Israeli premier Barak offered an unprecedented territorial compromise, Arafat had to reject it and renew the intifada for fear that his people would challenge his rule after a settlement. Democrats like Karsou, Sharansky insists, would not endorse violent struggle to maintain their power.

PRESIDENT BUSH recently met with Sharansky and carefully read his book. Rumor also has it that the president asked his newly appointed secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, to read the book as well. This means that a former Soviet dissident and one of the great champions of freedom is now influencing the thinking of the most powerful man in the world. Dictators everywhere, take note.

Meyrav Wurmser is the director of the Center for Middle East Policy at the Hudson Institute.


9 posted on 12/02/2004 1:58:25 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

10 posted on 12/02/2004 6:30:33 AM PST by Robe (Rome did not create a great empire by talking, they did it by killing all those who opposed them)
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To: All
Ping to help our Iranian Freeper!

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1292792/posts

11 posted on 12/02/2004 9:16:10 AM PST by Reborn
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To: Robe
Cartoons are supposed to be amusing. Since your post hits dead on the mark (brrrrr) how 'bout this latest attempt by the dictatorial tyrants controlling Iran:

Fair use policy applies http://www.spacewar.com/2004/041202124320.uk3n6ozp.html

Iran's intelligence ministry has announced the arrest of a "spy" accused of setting up a fake nuclear company as part of a bizarre international plot to damage the Islamic republic's reputation, press reports said Thursday. "Asghar C., who has a past of spying for foreigners, was seeking to make centrifuges with a fictitious contract and under the name of a false company," the intelligence ministry was quoted as saying in a statement..

By pretending to manufacture centrifuges, the machines that can enrich uranium to make both fuel for a civilian reactor or the explosive core of a nuclear device, "this individual was trying to damage Iran's international commitments."

The statement said the man "was arrested and handed over to the courts."

It said the United States has put into action a bizarre plan so it can "accuse Iran of not respecting international conventions and past accords and in this regard certain individuals are taking actions to facilitate these accusations."

Iran is a signatory of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and is obliged to report all of its nuclear activities to the UN's nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Agency (IAEA).

This week Iran escaped the threat of being referred by the IAEA to the UN Security Council for possible sanctions after it agreed to suspend its controversial work on the nuclear fuel cycle, including enrichment.

The United States accuses Iran of having violated the NPT and of seeking to develop nuclear weapons. Iran insists it only wants to produce nuclear fuel to generate electricity, and says it has declared all of its nuclear activities to the IAEA.

The case is the latest announcement of action against nuclear spies.

Last month four Iranians accused of spying on nuclear facilities for foreign governments reportedly went on trial in Tehran.

In August, Intelligence Minister Ali Yunessi announced the arrest of a number of "spies" who allegedly sent information on Iran's nuclear programme to foreigners.

He said the People's Mujahedeen, an armed opposition group based in Iraq that the regime in Tehran labels as "hypocrites", had played the central role in the espionage.

The group's political wing, the National Council for Resistance in Iran, in 2002 revealed two key nuclear sites Iran had been hiding, including an uranium-enrichment plant in Natanz.

12 posted on 12/02/2004 9:20:03 AM PST by Reborn
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To: DoctorZIn

Iranian Student Freeper Just Escaped Iran! He needs our help! – Ping this Post!

We first met in the summer of 2003 when I was reporting on the protests inside of Iran (Iranian Alert Daily Threads). This young man kept us on FR informed by sending me “on the spot reports” at risk to his life about these protests, which I posted for him.

After the protests died down, he would send messages trying to educate Americans and those in the west about what the average Iranian thinks of America and what kind of support the people of Iran need to see a regime change take place in his country.

Well, this friend of ours was forced to go “underground” a month ago. The Iranian regime discovered that he had passed information to our government. As a result, for the past month the regime has been hunting him. He had to keep on the move every few hours. He was nearly captured several times. He struggled with depression, health and fear. It was a horrifying situation. I tried to encourage him to the best of my ability.

After many weeks he was finally able to get help and sneak out of the country.

But now he could use some help from the Freeper community.

We need to ensure that when he finally gets to a US embassy that they will help him, not merely refer him the UN refugee program.

We are asking any Freepers that have contacts in the administration or the state department to please contact us. We are seeking a way to help him get asylum.

He risked his life for us; the least we can do is help him.

If you have a ping list, please ping this thread to your ping list. There must be someone on FR that can help us.

Thanks in advance,

DoctorZin and our Iranian Freeper


PS Our Iranian Freeper still has family in Iran so we have to limit what we are saying on this thread. But I can give much more detailed information to contacts in our government. Thanks.
13 posted on 12/02/2004 9:21:32 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

See our seperate thread on this.

Iranian Student Freeper Just Escaped Iran! He needs our help! – Ping this Post!

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1292792/posts


14 posted on 12/02/2004 10:13:52 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

U.S. Told of Iranian Effort to Create Nuclear Warhead

December 02, 2004
Bill Gertz


Recent intelligence shows Iran has been working to produce a missile re-entry vehicle containing a small nuclear warhead for its Shahab missiles and has encountered problems developing a reliable centrifuge system for uranium enrichment, U.S. officials said.

The officials, who discussed the intelligence on the condition of anonymity, said Iran's new nuclear warhead program includes what specialists call the basic "physics package" for fitting a nuclear bomb inside the nose cone of a missile.

The officials provided details on the program after Secretary of State Colin L. Powell disclosed Nov. 17 that Iran was developing delivery systems for nuclear missiles. Iran has since agreed to halt uranium enrichment under pressure from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and three European governments, a deal the Bush administration views skeptically.

The warhead is based on an indigenous Iranian design and is not being built from design information supplied by the covert nuclear network headed by Pakistani technician Abdul Qadeer Khan, who has admitted supplying nuclear goods to Libya, Iran and North Korea, the officials said.

"They are moving ahead with a design for a warhead," one official said.

Mr. Powell two weeks ago told reporters traveling with him to Santiago, Chile, that the intelligence shows that Iran is "actively working on [nuclear delivery] systems."

"You don't have a weapon until you put it in something that can deliver a weapon," he said.

Other officials said the intelligence revealed that Iranians belonging to the Atomic Energy Agency of Iran were conducting research and testing on development of a nuclear warhead for a missile. The information came from reliable intelligence sources and was not provided by an Iranian opposition group, they said.

In November, the governments of France, Germany and Britain negotiated an agreement with Iran that calls on Tehran to suspend all uranium enrichment. In exchange, Iran received assurances that it will not be brought before the U.N. Security Council for potential sanctions.

Iran demanded that it be allowed to keep 20 centrifuges for research. The IAEA said it will monitor the machines.

U.S. officials said privately that the Iranians appear to be trying to buy time to continue covert work on nuclear weapons. The Bush administration wants to take the issue to the United Nations, where sanctions can be imposed on Iran.

A U.S. official said the Iranians learned from Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq not to put all their nuclear programs in a single location. "They have multiple locations that can be used in case one facility is lost," the official said.

A CIA report made public last week said the U.S. government "remains convinced that Tehran has been pursuing a clandestine nuclear weapons program."

The program is based on making a nuclear fuel cycle "ostensibly for civilian purposes but with clear weapons potential," the report said.

Regarding Iran's uranium enrichment program, the officials said Tehran is having problems with developing a reliable centrifuge "cascade," a series of hundreds or thousands of machines that spin uranium hexaflouride gas into highly enriched uranium — the key fuel for nuclear bombs, the officials said.

However, the design work is close to completion and once testing is finished on a successful machine, the Iranians will begin large-scale production of centrifuges, they said.

"They just need to make one machine that doesn't explode when it spins at 7,000 rpm, and then they'll go into large-scale production," one official said.

Iran has deployed at least six 620-mile-range Shahab-3 missiles, said the London-based International Institute of Strategic Studies.

U.S. officials think these missiles and future long-range versions will be the main system for the nuclear warheads.

The IAEA, the watchdog group of the United Nations that has been dealing with the Iranian nuclear problem, announced Monday that it has verified most of Iran's claims about its nuclear material, after months of dissembling by Tehran.

IAEA Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei, in a report to the board made public Monday, said Iran has been working on nuclear activities since the 1980s at various locations and is using several methods for making nuclear fuel.

The report said Tehran has not fully cooperated in explaining its nuclear programs, although Mr. ElBaradei said he has accepted most of Tehran's explanations for discrepancies.

The White House has disagreed. "Iran has time and time again deceived and denied, deceived the international community," White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Tuesday.

The IAEA report said that Iranians had provided false statements and conflicting responses to questions about the program, and that unanswered questions remain about Iran's uranium enrichment and its importation of centrifuges.

15 posted on 12/02/2004 10:16:59 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Tehran arrests centrifuge 'spy'

TEHRAN, Iran (AP): Iran has arrested a spy who has been pretending to work on nuclear centrifuges in order to cast doubt on Tehran's recent agreements to suspend such work, the Information Ministry announced Wednesday. "This person has been active in a fake company engaged in the construction of several centrifuges in the country to order to damage Iran's recent nuclear agreements and commitments," the ministry said in a statement quoted by state media. Iran agreed last month to suspend uranium enrichment and all related activities. Centrifuges can spin gas into enriched uranium, which can then be used to produce energy or bombs.

The Information Ministry statement said the man, identified only as Asghar S., has a record of "espionage activity" and has been handed over to judicial officials. It said the man had forged records that said he headed a company that was still assembling centrifuges. "The individual had embarked on racketeering. Our personnel managed to arrest him," the statement said. The International Atomic Energy Agency agreed Monday on a plan for policing Iran's nuclear programs. Under the agreement reached last month with France, Germany and Britain, Iran will suspend its enrichment activities only during negotiations with the Europeans on economic, political and technological aid from the 25-nation European Union. Those talks are set to start in mid-December. However, Iran, which insists its nuclear program is peaceful, had demanded it be allowed to run 20 centrifuges for research.

16 posted on 12/02/2004 10:22:19 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Iran Reportedly Hides Work on a Longer-Range Missile

By DOUGLAS JEHL

Published: December 2, 2004

WASHINGTON, Dec. 1 - Iran is secretly developing a longer-range ballistic missile than it has publicly acknowledged, with the capacity to strike targets as far away as Berlin, an opposition group plans to assert publicly on Thursday.

The group says the missile, which it says could have the capacity to carry nuclear warheads, is being developed with help from North Korean scientists, even as Iran has agreed to curbs on its nuclear program in a new pact with three European countries.

The dissident group says the new missile would have a range of more than 1,500 miles, hundreds of miles longer than the most advanced missiles now in Iran's arsenal, an upgraded version of the Shahab-3 that was tested in the summer.

The group, the National Council of Resistance, is the political arm of the People's Mujahedeen, and is listed by the United States as a terrorist organization. It has had a mixed record of credibility about developments in Iran. But several of its disclosures have proved accurate and have played a significant role in unearthing secret Iranian nuclear activities.

Iran's defense minister, Ali Shamkhani, said in early November that the country could "mass produce" its Shahab-3 missile, a weapon capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. The versions of those missiles now in Iran's arsenal have a range of 800 miles to 1,000 miles but Mr. Shamkhani said his country recently upgraded that range to 1,250 miles. In remarks on state-run television, however, he rejected reports that Iran was seeking to produce a longer-range missile.

But in an unclassified report issued last month, the Central Intelligence Agency said that Iran "is pursuing longer-range ballistic missiles" than the Shahab-3 and its follow-on versions. In public testimony last February, George J. Tenet, then the director of central intelligence, said that Iran could begin flight testing those longer-range missiles "in the mid- to latter part of the decade."

Neither Iran nor the United States government has publicly described the new missile that the Iranian group says is being developed. Officials of the group said they believed the weapon is known as the Ghadr, which means capable or powerful, and would operate on solid-fueled engines, meaning it could be launched much more quickly than the liquid-fueled, medium-range missiles now in Iran's arsenal.

Officials of the People's Mujahedeen, which is based in Paris, provided a detailed written outline of their contentions and discussed them in telephone interviews on Wednesday. One senior official, Muhammad Mohaddessin, said the group believed Iran could conduct test flights of the new missile within months.

In New York, Morteza Ramandi, a spokesman for the Iranian Mission to the United Nations, denied that Iran was developing a ballistic missile with a range greater than 1,250 miles.

A C.I.A. spokesman said Wednesday that the agency would add nothing to its previous public statements about Iran's missile program.

Iran has long sought to become self-sufficient in the production of ballistic missiles, and the C.I.A. said in the report issued last month that North Korea, China and the former Soviet Union had helped it toward that goal. In recent years, North Korea has been the most important source of Iranian missile technology.

Mr. Mohaddessin said in a telephone interview that he believed the development of the new missile showed that Iran had "to a good extent become self-sufficient." While North Korean scientists were providing aid, he said, "the most important role is now played by the Iranians themselves."

He said the group believed that the missile was being developed in close conjunction with efforts to design a warhead capable of carrying a nuclear weapon.


17 posted on 12/02/2004 10:25:50 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

LA Times

Iran's Anger Over a New Map Magnifies a Perception Gulf

[Excerpt]
Tehran bans National Geographic after a secondary label for the Persian Gulf is interpreted as an attack.
TEHRAN — They were just two small words, a parenthetical aside on a National Geographic map.

But that's all it took to get fiercely proud Iranians to rise up this week against what they saw as an attack on their history.

In its latest world atlas, National Geographic added "Arabian Gulf" in parentheses beneath "Persian Gulf" to label the body of water that cuts along the coasts of Iran and its Arab neighbors.

The use of Arabian Gulf, and the implication that Iran may somehow be losing its historical claims to dominance of the ancient seas, pierced the cultural pride that pervades the land once known as Persia. It gave fresh life to the long and often bloody tensions between Iranians and Arabs, and added fuel to a widely held Iranian suspicion that Arabs have been quietly lobbying for years to change the name of the Gulf.

The Islamic Republic swiftly banned the National Geographic Society from selling its publications here or sending journalists into the country.

"Under the influence of the U.S. Zionist lobby and the oil dollars of certain Arab governments, the society has distorted an undeniable historical reality," wrote Hassan Hanizadeh in Tehran Times, a leading daily newspaper. "The society owes the Iranian nation an apology for distorting historical realities and using the unacceptable 'Arab Gulf' instead of the beautiful and historical name of the Persian Gulf."

So keen was the perceived slight that it brought a fleeting unity to Iran's far-flung political spectrum. From the left to the right to the disaffected, Iranians rallied against the offending American magazine. They blamed the "Zionists," accused the Arabs and lambasted the Americans.

"Distortion," "Discreditable," and "Politically Motivated," cried the headlines.

"The Arabs think that because they're rich they can buy anything, even names," said Mahbubeh Tabatabei, a 30-year-old woman who wandered in a sleepy shopping center in Tehran, window shopping with her mother and sister. "Even the way they walk, they think they own everything."

Al Jazeera, the Arab satellite television channel whose headquarters are in Qatar, on the other side of the Gulf from Iran, played an animated cartoon to poke fun of Iranian ire. In it, an Iranian mullah is oblivious to regional strife but furious over the name of the Gulf.

Iran responded by threatening to restrict Al Jazeera's work along with the National Geographic ban.

"I was shocked and disappointed to see such a prestigious network acting so unprofessionally and falling into a Zionist trap," said Abdollah Nasseri, an official with the Islamic Republic News Agency.

"There is no doubt that it is a Zionist conspiracy to sow discord among the Muslims, and it is unfortunate that some fallen Arab capitalists have also fallen into the same trap."

Even some computer techies sympathetic to Iran were stirred to action, and pulled off a "Google bomb," successfully manipulating the search engine to obtain a high ranking. When computer users type "Arabian Gulf" in the Google search field, the first link is to the arabian-gulf.info website, which says, "The Gulf you are looking for does not exist. Try Persian Gulf."

Tehran's Shahr Cultural Center hastily announced a contest called "Persian Gulf Forever," and requested paintings and slogans inspired by Iran and the Persian Gulf "in response to the use of unacceptable alternative names."

"The competition is being organized as a protest and to inform the National Geographic Society of the Iranian nation's dissatisfaction with the move," an article in Tehran Times said.

The Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance urged Iranian filmmakers to bolster their homeland's image by learning about their heritage and producing films showcasing Iranian history.

"We need to seriously defend our Iranian identity," said Ahmad Masjed-Jamei , according to Iranian news reports. "We should not allow the faking of history as well as names for Iranian areas."

Iran also was miffed — though considerably less so — because the atlas also referred to the disputed islands of Abu Musa and Greater and Lesser Tunb, claimed by the United Arab Emirates, as being "occupied by Iran."

National Geographic has remained unapologetic. The publication recognizes "Persian Gulf" as the primary name, but "we want people searching for 'Arabian Gulf' to be able to find what they're looking for and not confuse it with the nearby Arabian Sea," said a statement by Allen Carroll, chief cartographer, on the National Geographic website.

Iranians may have felt isolated during the 25 years since the Islamic revolution, but they are also raised on proud tales of a glorious past when Persia was a superpower and one of the world's great civilizations.

The Persian Gulf figures prominently in that collective memory.

"Before Islam, all these countries belonged to the Persian empire," said Sayed Mustafa Taj-Zadeh, an advisor to Iranian President Mohammad Khatami. "Therefore, when the Persian Gulf is changed to another name, it doesn't matter what ideology you belong to, it's insulting."

In the early, idealistic days of the Islamic revolution, he recalled, the young revolutionaries considered changing the name to "Islamic Gulf" in a bid to forge friendships with their Arab neighbors. But the idea was discarded.

"Our pride has kept us going for thousands of years," he said. "For Iranians, prestige is very important."

In its latest world atlas, National Geographic added "Arabian Gulf" in parentheses beneath "Persian Gulf" to label the body of water that cuts along the coasts of Iran and its Arab neighbors.

The use of Arabian Gulf, and the implication that Iran may somehow be losing its historical claims to dominance of the ancient seas, pierced the cultural pride that pervades the land once known as Persia. It gave fresh life to the long and often bloody tensions between Iranians and Arabs, and added fuel to a widely held Iranian suspicion that Arabs have been quietly lobbying for years to change the name of the Gulf.

The Islamic Republic swiftly banned the National Geographic Society from selling its publications here or sending journalists into the country.

"Under the influence of the U.S. Zionist lobby and the oil dollars of certain Arab governments, the society has distorted an undeniable historical reality," wrote Hassan Hanizadeh in Tehran Times, a leading daily newspaper. "The society owes the Iranian nation an apology for distorting historical realities and using the unacceptable 'Arab Gulf' instead of the beautiful and historical name of the Persian Gulf."

So keen was the perceived slight that it brought a fleeting unity to Iran's far-flung political spectrum. From the left to the right to the disaffected, Iranians rallied against the offending American magazine. They blamed the "Zionists," accused the Arabs and lambasted the Americans.

"Distortion," "Discreditable," and "Politically Motivated," cried the headlines.

"The Arabs think that because they're rich they can buy anything, even names," said Mahbubeh Tabatabei, a 30-year-old woman who wandered in a sleepy shopping center in Tehran, window shopping with her mother and sister. "Even the way they walk, they think they own everything."

Al Jazeera, the Arab satellite television channel whose headquarters are in Qatar, on the other side of the Gulf from Iran, played an animated cartoon to poke fun of Iranian ire. In it, an Iranian mullah is oblivious to regional strife but furious over the name of the Gulf.

Iran responded by threatening to restrict Al Jazeera's work along with the National Geographic ban.

"I was shocked and disappointed to see such a prestigious network acting so unprofessionally and falling into a Zionist trap," said Abdollah Nasseri, an official with the Islamic Republic News Agency. ...

Tehran's Shahr Cultural Center hastily announced a contest called "Persian Gulf Forever," and requested paintings and slogans inspired by Iran and the Persian Gulf "in response to the use of unacceptable alternative names."

"The competition is being organized as a protest and to inform the National Geographic Society of the Iranian nation's dissatisfaction with the move," an article in Tehran Times said.

The Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance urged Iranian filmmakers to bolster their homeland's image by learning about their heritage and producing films showcasing Iranian history.

"We need to seriously defend our Iranian identity," said Ahmad Masjed-Jamei , according to Iranian news reports. "We should not allow the faking of history as well as names for Iranian areas."

Iran also was miffed — though considerably less so — because the atlas also referred to the disputed islands of Abu Musa and Greater and Lesser Tunb, claimed by the United Arab Emirates, as being "occupied by Iran."

National Geographic has remained unapologetic. The publication recognizes "Persian Gulf" as the primary name, but "we want people searching for 'Arabian Gulf' to be able to find what they're looking for and not confuse it with the nearby Arabian Sea," said a statement by Allen Carroll, chief cartographer, on the National Geographic website.

Iranians may have felt isolated during the 25 years since the Islamic revolution, but they are also raised on proud tales of a glorious past when Persia was a superpower and one of the world's great civilizations.

The Persian Gulf figures prominently in that collective memory.

"Before Islam, all these countries belonged to the Persian empire," said Sayed Mustafa Taj-Zadeh, an advisor to Iranian President Mohammad Khatami. "Therefore, when the Persian Gulf is changed to another name, it doesn't matter what ideology you belong to, it's insulting."

In the early, idealistic days of the Islamic revolution, he recalled, the young revolutionaries considered changing the name to "Islamic Gulf" in a bid to forge friendships with their Arab neighbors. But the idea was discarded.

"Our pride has kept us going for thousands of years," he said. "For Iranians, prestige is very important."br>

18 posted on 12/02/2004 10:39:38 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

China Can Do More To Deter Nuke Spread

[Excerpt] December 02, 2004
Dow Jones Newswires
The Associated Press


HONG KONG -- A U.S. congressman accused China on Thursday of standing in the way of America's efforts to halt nuclear weapons programs in North Korea and Iran , calling Beijing shortsighted and irresponsible.

Rep. Henry Hyde, head of the U.S. House of Representatives' International Relations Committee, criticized China for not doing more to stop North Korea's nuclear weapon program, given what he said was Beijing's vast influence over the country.

"China's role has fallen between offering begrudging help and doing outright harm," Hyde, an Illinois Republican, said in a speech to business leaders in Hong Kong.

"Frustrating the United States in its efforts and entangling it indefinitely may have its attractions to Beijing, but the result has been to allow and even encourage a dangerous and unpredictable regime to progress in its deadly efforts," he said.

The Hong Kong office of China's Foreign Ministry said Hyde's speech was full of "vicious attacks against China's foreign policy and social system."

"Hyde's remarks are totally irresponsible and against the consensus reached earlier by the Chinese and U.S. heads of state on the development of the relationship between the two countries," the office said in a statement. "His speech is harmful for the healthy development of Sino-U.S. relations."

Washington is hoping to persuade North Korea to begin a new round of nuclear disarmament talks. The two Koreas, China, Japan, Russia and the United States have held three rounds of six-nation talks on the nuclear dispute since last year with no breakthrough. North Korea refused to attend a fourth round, originally set in September.

Hyde also accused China of thwarting Washington's move to bring a dispute over Iran 's suspected nuclear weapons program to the U.N. Security Council, implying that Beijing was trying to gain influence with Tehran's leadership.

"This stunningly shortsighted and irresponsible position may result from the short-term attractions of currying favor with a potential ally, one increasingly important in terms of China's growing need for oil. But the cost will be the emergence of a permanent threat," he said.

Iran denies trying to make nuclear weapons and says its program is aimed at power generation and other peaceful goals.

Also Thursday, U.S. officials said Washington has imposed sanctions on three Chinese companies and a Chinese citizen accused of violating American restrictions on supplying Iran with weapons-related goods or technology. ...

19 posted on 12/02/2004 10:42:53 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Diplomats: U.N. Lacks Right to Inspect Sites in Iran

Thu Dec 2, 2004 06:51 AM ET

By Louis Charbonneau

VIENNA (Reuters) - Inspectors from the U.N. nuclear watchdog would like to visit a secret military site in Iran that an exile group said was a nuclear weapons site, but they lack the legal authority to go there, U.N. diplomats told Reuters.

Iran, which insists its nuclear program is solely for electricity generation, earlier this week escaped possible U.N. Security Council economic sanctions after agreeing to freeze all activities which could be used to make bomb-grade material.

The New York Times reported Thursday that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) believes satellite photographs show that high explosives are being tested and that procurement records show equipment has been bought that can be used for making bomb-grade uranium, citing unnamed diplomats.

The intelligence came from several sources, including nations that are members of the IAEA, the Times reported.

But the military sites the inspectors would like to inspect -- the Parchin military complex southeast of Tehran and Lavizan II in northeastern Tehran -- are legally off limits to the IAEA, which only has the right to monitor civilian nuclear programs.

"The IAEA simply has no authority to go to sites that are not declared nuclear sites," a diplomat close to the IAEA inspection process told Reuters. He said that the IAEA had not asked to inspect Lavizan II, although they would like to.

Last December, Iran signed the IAEA's Additional Protocol, granting the agency more authority to conduct short-notice, intrusive inspections. Although the protocol has not been ratified, Tehran has been acting as if it was in force.

However, this extended authority is only limited to declared sites. Additional access to locations like Parchin and Lavizan II has to be negotiated with the country under inspection.

The diplomat described it as "depressing" that the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), an Iranian exile group with a history of revealing hidden nuclear sites in Iran, said recently that Lavizan II was a secret atomic weapons site and then days later reported that it was being stripped clean.

"TERRIBLE BLOW" TO IAEA INSPECTIONS

"If a country has a strategy for hiding its nuclear program, then the Additional Protocol is of little use," a U.N. diplomat said, adding that the IAEA would not have been able to prove that Libya had an atomic arms program if Muammar Gaddafi had not confessed and handed over his atom bomb designs.


20 posted on 12/02/2004 10:45:11 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Iran Hard-liners Mark 1983 Attack on U.S. Marines

Thu Dec 2, 2004 10:59 AM ET

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iranian hard-liners erected a monument Thursday to commemorate a suicide bombing which killed 241 U.S. servicemen in Lebanon in 1983, witnesses said.

A group called the committee of the "Commemoration of Martyrs of the Global Islamic Campaign" held the event at Tehran's Behesht-e Zahra cemetery to praise the attack 21 years ago against the United States, Iran's arch-foe.

"The bombing was a great achievement of Muslims in their fight against America," said its spokesman Ali Mohammadi.

More than 100 others were wounded when a suicide bomber detonated a truck full of explosives at a U.S. Marines barracks at Beirut's international airport. The United States accused the Iran-backed Hizbollah guerrilla group for the bombing.

The Americans were taking part in a multinational effort to halt Lebanon's civil war, although many Lebanese saw the U.S. forces as actively shoring up a pro-Israel, right-wing Christian presidency.

About 200 men and women gathered at the cemetery in southern Tehran. Some dressed as suicide bombers chanted "Death to America" and "Death to Israel" as the stone monument was unveiled.

The group, which has no links to official organizations, in September also placed a symbolic gravestone at the cemetery for two Palestinian suicide bombers who carried out a twin bus bombing that killed 16 Israelis earlier this year.

It announced its existence in June when it started registering volunteers prepared to carry out suicide attacks on U.S.-led forces in Iraq. Iran has strongly condemned the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq.

The group said more than 25,000 "martyrdom seeking" volunteers have so far signed up and one of its members said the registration drive would continue.

"We have been ordered to cover the faces to avoid being recognized when traveling abroad to carry out the attacks," a masked volunteer said at the cemetery.

But the group has said it will only carry out attacks if Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei gives the green light.

Iran's deputy interior minister for security affairs, Ali Asghar Ahmadi said Sunday the volunteers would not be allowed to cross Iran's borders. "Such groups are illegal. Such measures will be strongly confronted by Iran," he said.


21 posted on 12/02/2004 10:48:01 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
The suspicions were aired here as an Iranian opposition group was preparing to release what it called new information that Iran was secretly developing a nuclear-capable missile whose range is significantly greater than what the Iranians have publicly acknowledged to date. [Page A19.]


QUESTION: Can I take you back to what you were saying about Iran, and the latest accusations? The group that has made this has sometimes been right with the facts and has sometimes been wrong. You also talked about verification, so what's the US attitude to this? Is this something that looks credible, or do you need to look into it further?

SECRETAERY POWELL: I have seen intelligence which would corroborate what this dissident group is saying. And it should be of concern to all parties.

Remarks to the Press En Route to Santiago, Chile

22 posted on 12/02/2004 10:51:26 AM PST by OXENinFLA
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To: DoctorZIn


The Heart of Darkness

A quick tour of the evil we face.

As the war on terror continues, it is vital to pause occasionally and remind ourselves how truly horrific an enemy civilization confronts. In militant Islam, America and its allies — and even some nations that have sidestepped this conflict — face a breathtakingly evil foe. In recent weeks, this Coalition of the Wicked has reconfirmed its barbarism.

Until liberation, Fallujah was an Islamist house of horrors. U.S. soldiers discovered up to 20 blood-stained homes in which innocent hostages were detained and killed, often on videotape. Amid guns, rockets, and an unfinished car bomb, terror master Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s headquarters included computer and audio-visual gear for disseminating al Qaeda’s hateful missives and real-life snuff films.

-Iraqi forces found a reputed toxic-weapons laboratory featuring poisonous chemicals and anthrax recipes.

-Roughly half of Fallujah’s mosques doubled as military outposts. Their minarets became sniper’s nests. American GIs found artillery shells, machine guns, and anti-tank mines at the Saad Bin Waqas Mosque on November 24. The Sunni shrine also housed a suspected mobile bomb factory inside a truck, rocket-propelled grenades, surface-to-air missile parts, and, a military spokesman told the Associated Press, “documents that detailed insurgent interrogations of recent kidnap victims.”

-Dublin-born Margaret Hassan, 59, married an Iraqi, converted to Islam, and spent 30 years bringing Iraqis medicine, clean water, and other relief. She also denounced the Iraq war. Impossible-to-please Islamic extremists kidnapped her in October. A mid-November videotape showed an unidentified terrorist fatally shooting a blindfolded captive believed to be Hassan.

-James Mollen, 48, cheerfully spent 16 months improving Iraq’s beleaguered schools and linking some to the Internet. Nonetheless, a Zarqawi-tied assassin fatally shot Mollen in the head as he drove through Baghdad November 24.

-A Sunni communiqué promised, as NBC News’s Richard Engel reported November 18, “to kill all organizers of coming elections here, and anyone who votes.” Not since the Ku Klux Klan’s glory days in the 1950s and ‘60s have hooded villains threatened lethally to disenfranchise those who aim to cast and count ballots.

When Iran’s theocrats are not enriching uranium, they destroy their own people — even teenagers. As the December 13 National Review notes, a local Islamic judge sentenced a 14-year-old boy for breaking the Ramadan fast. Last month, he endured 85 lashes, then died. Earlier this year, officials publicly hanged a 16-year-old girl for having pre-marital sex.

-An Iranian group, seemingly with government supporters, is training 20,000 volunteers for suicide operations, the AP reports. The Headquarters for Commemorating Martyrs of the Global Islamic Movement (HCMGIM) recently let 300 applicants choose among preparing for suicide attacks on U.S. soldiers in Iraq, similar assaults in Israel, or assassination attempts on Salman Rushdie, the British author of The Satanic Verses against whom the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a 1989 fatwa. (Although Tehran later backed off of this death warrant, Khomeini died before rescinding it, so it technically remains in force.)

“This group spreads valuable ideas,” Iranian lawmaker Mahdi Kouchakzadeh told the AP. “Iran’s foreign policy makers have to take the dignified opinions of this group into consideration.” Kouchakzadeh, a former Revolutionary Guardsman, attended HCMGIM’s initial meeting, as did Revolutionary Guard General Hossein Salami.

British authorities on November 22 outlined an al Qaeda cell’s thwarted plans to blast the London Underground and Westminster Abbey, crash planes into London’s Heathrow Airport, and bomb three skyscrapers at Canary Wharf, including 50-story One Canada Square. Last August, British cops snagged eight terrorists including Dhiren Barot. He allegedly possessed maps of the New York Stock Exchange, Citigroup’s Manhattan headquarters, Prudential’s Newark, New Jersey base, and Washington, D.C.’s International Monetary Fund. These arrests raised America’s terrorist-alert level last summer.

German politicians have proposed requiring imams to lead services in German to prevent them from concealing extremist speech in Arabic or Turkish.

“We will have to step up measures to track down hate preachers and remove their residency rights,” Interior Minister Otto Schily told Reuters November 16. Schily also advocated padlocking radical mosques.

Belgium recently announced plans to restrain anti-Semitic and anti-Western Arabic-language websites and radio stations. Police are shielding Belgium’s justice minister after she and two other officials were menaced by mail. An Islamic convert allegedly warned he would “ritually slaughter” one Belgian lawmaker who criticized Muslim attitudes on women.

In Holland, both mosques and churches have burned since filmmaker Theo Van Gogh’s November 2 murder, allegedly at the hands of Dutch-Moroccan Mohammed Bouyeri, 26. Van Gogh, 47, a grand nephew of the 19th-century Impressionist painter, produced a controversial movie about Islam’s treatment of women. Police say Bouyeri, inflamed by the film, shot Van Gogh in Amsterdam, tried to sever his head, “as if he were slicing bread,” one eyewitness recalled, then stuck a five-page letter into Van Gogh’s chest with a knife.

Addressed to Somali-born Dutch legislator Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who worked on Van Gogh’s movie, the letter spewed death threats against Ali, plus Koranic passages, and anti-Semitic rants. “Hair-raising screams will be squeezed from the lungs of the non-believers,” warned the Dutch- and Arabic-language letter.

Bouyeri grew more fervent after leaving a relatively tame Islamic center for a more radical one. Amsterdam’s Al-Tawheed mosque sold books that advised dropping gay people head first from tall buildings. Any who survived were to be stoned to death.

Dutch police first noticed Bouyeri while investigating Samir Azzouz, 18, another Dutch-Moroccan. Azzouz and a Dutch Islamist were caught in Ukraine bound for Chechnya. After searching Azzouz’s apartment, Dutch cops found detailed maps of Holland’s parliament, Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, and the Borssele atomic power plant.

As Andrew Higgins chillingly related in the November 22 Wall Street Journal, two days after Van Gogh’s death, Islamists aimed their knives at Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders, a critic of open immigration. They posted his picture on line beside this message: “The punishment is beheading, and the reward for doing it is paradise.”

Moderation against such fanaticism is inconceivable. Fundamentalist Islam must be transcended from within while militant Islam must be vanquished from without. Victory cannot come too soon.

Until then, Geert Wilders grasps the stakes. “Bush was totally correct,” he phoned Higgins while dashing between safe houses on the advice of police. “This is war, a world-wide war.”


23 posted on 12/02/2004 10:53:56 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

UN Lacks Authority For Comprehensive Iran Inspections Regime

In a blow to the entire concept of inspections regimes, UN diplomats admitted to Reuters that the UN lacks any authority to inspect areas not explicitly declared by Iran as nuclear sites. While nations collect intelligence detailing Iranian nuclear activities at new locations and the stripping of those facilities that have been declared by Iran, the UN can do little but ask Iran for permission to see for themselves:

Inspectors from the U.N. nuclear watchdog would like to visit a secret military site in Iran that an exile group said was a nuclear weapons site, but they lack the legal authority to go there, U.N. diplomats told Reuters. ...

The New York Times reported Thursday that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) believes satellite photographs show that high explosives are being tested and that procurement records show equipment has been bought that can be used for making bomb-grade uranium, citing unnamed diplomats. The intelligence came from several sources, including nations that are members of the IAEA, the Times reported.

But the military sites the inspectors would like to inspect -- the Parchin military complex southeast of Tehran and Lavizan II in northeastern Tehran -- are legally off limits to the IAEA, which only has the right to monitor civilian nuclear programs.

"The IAEA simply has no authority to go to sites that are not declared nuclear sites," a diplomat close to the IAEA inspection process told Reuters. He said that the IAEA had not asked to inspect Lavizan II, although they would like to.

This demonstrates the problem with inspection regimes in general: they only work when confirming compliance by a nation which disarms willingly. Unless the UN implements an inspections regime in Lichtenstein or The Vatican, nations are too large for inspectors to confirm disarmament with any confidence under existing rules. Saddam played this shell game with the UN inspectors for years, and the UNSCOM teams had more latitude than the IAEA has with Iran. If anyone feels safer because the IAEA has the right to inspect only those facilities that the Iranian mullahs designated as nuclear research sites, raise your hand.

No one? No one?

Inspections work in Libya because Libya wants to show that they've disarmed, and for good reason. Moammar Gaddafi saw what happened when the Anglo-American coalition lost patience with Saddam and decided to conduct final inspections in force. The Western nations, prior to that, had spent the better part of two decades trying to convince Gaddafi to renounce terrorism and drop development of WMD, but he only took it seriously when he saw the consequences of further defiance: getting pulled out of a spider hole is not Gaddafi's retirement plan.

If the West wants to convince the Iranians to comply with the nonproliferation treaty, then the EU has to step aside and allow the process to move quickly through the rest of the nonproductive steps -- like the UNSC -- so that the threat of action can be made clear to the mullahcracy. Just as in Iraq, the delay only allows Iran to build its defenses and stockpile its weapons. Given the US and Israeli viewpoint that Iran cannot be allowed to go nuclear, allowing Iran to stall the West only makes war more likely, not less.


24 posted on 12/02/2004 11:03:52 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Iran "making missiles that could hit Europe"

Thu 2 December, 2004 15:13

By Madeline Chambers

LONDON (Reuters) - Iran is working on long-range missiles capable of hitting European capitals, as well as nuclear and chemical warheads, an exile group has said.

The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), which has in the past given accurate information on some of Iran's nuclear facilities, said Tehran was working on missiles with a range of 2,500 to 3,000 km (1,600 to 1,900 miles), capable of hitting cities such as Berlin.

Iran denies any intention of making long-range ballistic missiles and says its existing medium-range missiles are purely for deterrence.

The NCRI told reporters on Thursday Iran was carrying out research, testing and making the Ghadr 101 and Ghadr 110 missiles, comparable to advanced Scud E missiles, at the Hemmat Missile Industries Complex.

Ghadr means value or merit in Farsi and Shab-e Ghadr refers to the night the Koran was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad.

The NCRI is a coalition of exiled opposition groups fiercely opposed to Iran's clerical rulers. The U.S. State Department lists the NCRI and its armed wing, the People's Mujahideen, as a terrorist organisation.

The exiles also said Tehran had in August tested a Shahab-4 missile with a range of 1,900 to 3,000 km (1,200 to 1,900 miles), depending on the weight of the warhead. Shahab means meteor in Farsi.

Iran has acknowledged it can make large numbers of medium-range Shahab-3 ballistic missiles, capable of hitting Israel or U.S. bases in the Gulf, but has repeatedly denied Israeli accusations it is developing Shahab-4.

"Militarily speaking, by obtaining long-range and medium-range missiles, the clerics are trying to put many regions of the world, including all of Europe, within their range," NCRI's Ali Safavi told reporters.

The NCRI acknowledged that the missile programmes did not contravene international law. It provided site maps and detailed explanations but had no blueprints of the work.

Safavi also said Iran's Shahid Karimi Industrial Group was pursuing nuclear and chemical warheads, but he gave few details.

Last month U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell suggested Iran was working to fit missiles with nuclear warheads but Iran says its atomic plants are solely for power generation.

Earlier this week the United Nations' nuclear watchdog decided against referring Iran to the Security Council after Tehran agreed to freeze all activities which could be used to make bomb-grade material.


25 posted on 12/02/2004 11:36:15 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

UN report: World threatened by 'cascade of proliferation'


Endorses preemptive strikes

SPECIAL TO WORLD TRIBUNE.COM
Thursday, December 2, 2004

A report submitted to the United National today called the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction a leading threat and endorsed the preemptive strike option.

UN member states have the right to defend themselves, including preemptively, when an attack was deemed imminent, the report said. The panel also urged the Security Council to be prepared to "act earlier, more pro-actively and more decisively than in the past."

The report sounded a note of alarm, suggesting that the world is on the verge of losing control over the spread of WMD.

"We are approaching a point at which the erosion of the nonproliferation regime could become irreversible and result in a cascade of proliferation," the report said.

The report came amid an effort by the International Atomic Energy Agency to inspect suspected Iranian nuclear weapons sites, Middle East Newsline reported. IAEA director-general Mohammed El Baradei told the New York Times on Thursday that Iran has refused to allow inspections of sites in northern and southern Iran.

"The international community does have to be concerned about nightmare scenarios combining terrorists, weapons of mass destruction and irresponsible states, which may conceivably justify the use of force, not just reactively but preventatively," the panel said in a 95-page report.

A 16-member panel concluded a study for the United Nations that warned that unidentified states and groups deemed terrorists could launch a WMD attack anywhere in the world.

"The question is not whether such action can be taken: it can, by the Security Council as the international community's collective security voice, at any time it deems that there is a threat to international peace and security."

The panel, created by UN secretary-general Kofi Annan in 2003, submitted 101 recommendations to improve international security. The recommendations included stricter controls meant to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and a definition of terrorism that would prevent states from sponsoring insurgency groups that target civilians.

Iran has signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, a document the UN panel said must be strengthened. The report said the NPT has lost much of its effectiveness.

"[The NPT] is not as effective a constraint as it was previously because of the lack of compliance, threats to withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, a changing security environment and the diffusion of technology," the report said.

"The case for collective security today rests on three basic pillars," the panel said. "Today's threats recognize no national boundaries, are connected, and must be addressed at the global and regional as well as the national levels. No state, no matter how powerful, can by its own efforts alone make itself invulnerable to today's threats."

The panel said the UN Security Council or individual states must be prepared to eliminate WMD threats before they could be carried out.

The report called on the UN to undergo reforms that would allow the world body to direct campaigns against terrorism and WMD proliferation. The recommendations, requiring approval by member states, would include "a more proactive" Security Council. The panel also urged the council to expand to 24 members.

The panel offered a definition of terrorism that unlike several Arab and Islamic states does not refer to efforts at national liberation. The panel's definition of terrorism comprised "any action ... that is intended to cause death or serious bodily harm to civilians or noncombatants, when the purpose of such an act, by its nature or context, is to intimidate a population, or to compel a government..." to take a specific action.

"There is nothing in the fact of occupation that justifies the targeting and killing of civilians," the report said.


26 posted on 12/02/2004 1:01:44 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
WHAT IS AL-QAEDA MANAGEMENT DOING IN IRAN?

By Sharon Chadha

"No Al-Qaeda leaders are in Iran," Iranian Deputy Interior Minister Ali Asqar Ahmadi said at a 28 September news conference in Tehran. "Iran has never permitted the transit of terrorists to Iraq or any other country from its own territory," he added. Although Tehran has repeatedly issued such denials, two separate Iranian officials confirmed in 2003 and early 2004 that Iranian authorities are holding Al-Qaeda members in custody, and that they will be brought to trial as they constitute a threat to Iran's national security, ONASA news agency reported on 15 February 2004.

But to date, no such trial is known to have taken place. Reports nonetheless persist that hundreds of Al-Qaeda operatives along with some 18 senior leaders -- including Saif Adel, Al-Qaeda's military commander, and Osama Bin Laden's son, Saad, are living in Iran. Spain's top counterterrorism judge has dubbed this Al-Qaeda's "board of managers," according to the 1 August "Los Angeles Times." A French counterterrorism official says that these leaders have "controlled freedom of movement" inside Iran, AFP reported on 15 July, and the London-based Arabic daily "Al-Sharq al-Awsat" reports that some are even living in villas near the Caspian Sea coast town of Chalus, AFP reported on 28 June. Other accounts of their activities are far more disturbing. U.S. communications intercepts indicate that the 12 May 2003 attacks on the expatriate compounds in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, were orchestrated from Iran, according to the 1 August "Los Angeles Times," and though others may be involved, European government officials reportedly point to Adel as the primary suspect.

Moreover, French government officials are reported to suspect that the Al-Qaeda leadership based in Iran played a role in the suicide bombings that targeted Western and Jewish interests in Casablanca, Morocco, that occurred four days after the Riyadh attacks and resulted in the death of 33 civilians as well as 12 suicide bombers Al-Qaeda members in Iran are also said to have funded the Istanbul bombings in November 2003, in which two synagogues, the British Consulate, and a London-based bank were bombed and 63 people were killed, according to court testimony provided by Adnan Ersoz, one of 69 charged in connection with these incidents, AFP reported on 13 September.

Spanish investigators believe that even the 11 March commuter train bombings in Madrid were at least partially planned from the Al-Qaeda base in Iran. Mustafa Setmariam Nasar, named by Spanish police as a primary suspect, is suspected of having operated from Iran, as is another suspect, Amer Azizi, who is believed to have spent time in Iran before returning to Spain to carry out the attacks, according to Spanish communications intercepts cited in the "Los Angeles Times."

These intercepts indicate that Azizi met with then-Al-Qaeda-affiliate Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian terrorist believed to be behind various assassinations, car bombings, and beheadings in Iraq. It is widely reported that he too has used Iran as his base of operations, where he was able to extend his reach as far as Europe, and where he remains the primary suspect in terror plots involving chemical and biological weapons attacks on targets in Europe that were foiled in 2002 and 2003, according to law enforcement authorities in London and Paris cited by the "Los Angeles Times." U.S. government officials are said to believe that al-Zarqawi had more contact with the Iranian government than he ever did with former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, according to "Newsweek" of 25 October. Although some U.S. analysts remain skeptical of the notion that al-Zarqawi could have established a close relationship with the Shi'ite regime given his alleged hostility toward Shi'ites in general, Jordanian intelligence have corroborated the existence of such links, the weekly reported.

That al-Zarqawi was indeed allowed to operate from Iran was confirmed by a commander of the elite Al-Quds unit of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), General Qasem Suleimani, who reportedly said that the IRGC provided assistance and refuge to al-Zarqawi in order to prevent the establishment of a pro-U.S. regime in Iraq, according to "Al-Sharq al-Awsat" on 11 August. The general's remarks contrast with the official position of the Iranian government, which is that it has "no affinity" with Al-Qaeda and has from time to time arrested and extradited various Al-Qaeda suspects to their home countries. In August, the Iranian Intelligence Ministry foiled a series of assassinations allegedly being planned by Al-Qaeda's Adel along with a high-ranking leader of the IRGC, "Al-Sharq al-Awsat" reported on 19 August. The plot, which was revealed in recorded telephone calls, targeted U.S. military, CIA, and FBI personnel in the former Soviet Republics that neighbor Iran. According to the Arabic daily's source, the plot was apparently conceived in order to force a confrontation with both the United States and Iran's northerly neighbors -- Armenia, Azerbaijan and its Nakhchivan exclave, and Turkmenistan -- and it furthermore shows the deep divisions between the hard-line and reformist factions in determining Iranian foreign policy. Many Iran experts are not surprised that the IRGC might provide assistance and refuge to Al-Qaeda members at the same time that other elements of the Iranian government, such as the Intelligence Ministry, are arresting and extraditing Al-Qaeda suspects. Many experts believe the IRGC operates beyond the control of elected politicians in Tehran and answers only to the hard core of the unelected clerical elite. As a top French law enforcement official told the "Los Angeles Times": "Iranians play a double game. It is a classic Iranian style of ambiguity, deception, manipulation.

Everything they can do to trouble the Americans, without going too far, they do it. They have arrested important Al-Qaeda people, but they have permitted other important Al-Qaeda people to operate."

Source: RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 8, No. 225, Part III, 2 December 2004
27 posted on 12/02/2004 1:08:07 PM PST by AdmSmith
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To: DoctorZIn

Bump!


28 posted on 12/02/2004 8:44:56 PM PST by windchime (Won't it be great watching President Bush spend political capital?)
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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!

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

29 posted on 12/02/2004 11:12:44 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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