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Iran sees holding Iraq neighbors'' FMs meeting unnecessary -- Kharrazi
POL-IRAN-IRAQ-KHARRAZI Iran sees holding Iraq neighbors' FMs meeting unnecessary -- Kharrazi TEHRAN, Dec 29 (KUNA) -- Iran said on Wednesday it does not see necessary the holding of Iraq neighboring countries foreign ministers meeting, scheduled for January 15 in the Jordanian capital Amman, Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi announced.
In a statement, quoted by the Iranian Students' News Agency (ISNA), Kharrazi said he would not attend the meeting, and that Iran was studying the level of its participation at this meeting, which "would not help Iraq hold its election scheduled on January 30," Kharrazi added.
Observers link Kharrazi's stand to a statement by the Jordanian King Abdullah II to the US Washington Post paper, inwhich he said that more than a million Iranians have entered Iraq in a bid to influence the upcoming election.
On a related arena, Iraq's ambassador to Iran Mohammad Majeed Al-Sheikh urged Iran to attend the meeting.
"It is necessary that Iran participates in the meeting, considering its 1300-kilometer-long borders with Iraq, so it plays an important role in controlling such borders and stopping infiltration attempts by terrorists," he was quoted by ISNA as saying.
Al-Shiekh said Iran's absence may undermine efforts to reach an agreement by Iraq neighboring countries.
12/27/2004 Clip No. 444
Iranian Cleric Hassan Al-Kashmiri: Jordanian King Abdallah Is A "Mouse," "Vagabond," "Ostrich," and Not Jordanian
The folliowing are excerpts from an interview with Iranian cleric Hojjat al-Islam Hassan Al-Kashmiri:
Al-Kashmiri: I have no complaints towards the Jordanian king. He is in a crisis, first and foremost with his family. He is also in a crisis with his people. The reality in Jordan is that the regime is tyrannical and the people is rebellious. Yesterday he dismissed his brother, whom his father, King Hussein, had decreed should be Crown Prince. He is in crisis with his uncle, in another crisis with his brother, in yet another crisis with his people, and he is in the greatest crisis with himself and with his conscience. Towards Israel he acts like a vagabond or a mouse. Frankly, he pretends to be a lion, but in war he is an ostrich. Brother, Israel If he whined about the Sunni brothers in Iraq, why isn't he whining about the Palestinian people, which was sold out by his great grandfather, King Abdullah. He is the one who sold out Palestine and Arab honor to Israel.
Host: I don't want us to talk about anyone specifically...
Al Kashmiri: The Jordanian king is, in fact, in a crisis with himself. He is not Jordanian at all. Britain brought him from the Hijaz. He has English maternal uncles, and "a maternal uncle is like a parent [genetically]. Even the Jordanian people consider him a foreign element.
12/27/2004 Clip No. 442
"Zahra's Blue Eyes" - Episode 3: Zahra Is Taken to Itzhak and Theodor Cohen's Mansion
The following are excerpts from Episode three of the new antisemitic Iranian TV series " For you, Palestine" or "Zahra's Blue Eyes" Sahar 1 TV (Iran), December 27, 2004
Other episodes and an interview with the director are MEMRI TV clips 420, 421, 431, and 442.
Children: What a beautiful place this is!
Eye doctor: Is the doctor in?
Eye doctor: Thank you.
Nurse: Doctor, they have brought the children.
Eye doctor: Layla Ramadan!
Girl: Layla, he's calling you.
Eye doctor: No, no. You'd better not go in.
Zaynab: I am these children's doctor.
Eye doctor: Don't worry, we are here. [To Layla]Come in.
President: Don't worry about the elections. Trust me, don't worry at all.
Itzhak Cohen: Sir, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
President: By the way, Itzhak, go ahead with your nice medical project. There are many people like me who need new and healthy human organs. You can also educate others to follow your path. Go ahead, Itzhak.
Itzhak Cohen: Sir, the coast is one of the safest places to cultivate and breed vegetative body organs.
President: Alright. .
Eye doctor [to Layla]:: Look over here. Well done. Stay still. Excellent. Great. Open wider.
Officer: Good. What was the condition of the other children?
Other doctor: They didn't meet the requirements. But there were one or two with two good kidneys. I have written their numbers for the day we might need them.
Officer: Good, good.
Zaynab: The doctor says that all the children are healthy Except
Grandfather: Except who?
Grandfather: Zahra?! My granddaughter Zahra? Impossible. I swear Zahra is healthy.
Zaynab: Don't worry, Ahmed, please. Zahra will simply stay here at the hospital.
Grandfather: I will not allow her to stay here. Zaynab, believe me, Zahra is healthy. I swear by Allah that she is healthy.
Doctor: If you really love your granddaughter, you must think of her health. I'm sure that you don't want her to be blind for the rest of her life. At this point, we cannot perform the operation because her body is weak. She needs to remain under supervision for a while, to prepare her for the operation.
Grandfather: I can't believe it. I must be with her. I cant leave her alone.
Doctor: No problem, you may accompany her. [To Zaynab] You'd better get ready to return to the refugee camp.
Ambulance driver: Come on, move. Get off. Come on, we're here. Get off, come on. You have to walk the rest of the way.
Zaynab: Aren't you taking us to the refugee camp?
Ambulance driver: I don't care. Get off, you. Get off. Get off
Girl: I'm scared.
Zaynab: Wait a minute, don't worry. Where is your compassion? You are inhumane! Don't worry, my dears. Allah's curses be on all of you! Dont worry. Come Come Come with me Come
Grandfather: Where are we now?
Officer: In a convalescent home.
Grandfather: Does it belong to the Red Cross or the UN?
Officer: Come with me.
Officer: Excuse me for disturbing, sir.
Itzhak Cohen: Go ahead.
Officer: I wanted to say that you can see Theodor.
*** Itzhak Cohen: How is he now?
Nurse: Better. But he is in discomfort. It is natural, a three-month hospital stay is not a simple thing.
Officer: London has cooperated with us many times.
Itzhak Cohen: His leg How is his leg?
Nurse: It is hard for him to walk now, and it will take time for the scar tissue to heal. But his medical condition is much better.
Grandfather: There must be some secret. Since when do the Zionists care about our health, they of all people, who do nothing for free, not even for their fellow Jews.
Woman: How can they benefit from a little girl?
Grandfather: I recall that many of our young men were by the Zionists and never returned to their homes.
Young man: Abu Hamed! Abu Hamed! It's Ismail. Ismail has done a great thing.
Young man: Yes, Ismail. He has caught the spy and is bringing him here.
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC ISSUES WRITTEN APOLOGY TO IRAN
TEHRAN, December 29 (RIA Novosti's Nikolai Terekhov) - Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Assefi has said that the National Geographic magazine offered a written apology to Iran and expressed its readiness to correct the mistake made in one of its issues.
The press service of the Iranian Foreign Ministry told RIA Novosti on Wednesday that "following talks held in New York with representatives of the American magazine a letter was sent to the IRI, in which the head of the publication extended an apology and said he was ready to correct and compensate for the mistake made."
An atlas recently published by the magazine, along with the name "Persian Gulf", carried the name "Arab Gulf" (this is how the Persian Gulf is called in Arabic), changed the names of Iranian islands in the Gulf - Kish and Lavan - and cited claims by the United Arab Emirates to three islands Abu Musa, Greater Tunb and Lesser Tunb, forcibly annexed by Iran in the past and now the subject of a territorial dispute between the Islamic Republic and the UAE.
Iran officially expressed a sharp protest over this, accusing the publishers of an attempt to deliberately change the historical and geographic realities.
The Iranian diplomat reported Iran's intention to continue taking political and legal measures to have the damage done to the Islamic Republic compensated.
The new issue of the magazine is expected to carry a correction. But, in the view of Iranians, the ambiguous approach to the given problem is not eliminated in general.
In October this year, Iran's Ministry of Islamic Culture and Guidance described the National Geographic as "non-professional" and banned its distribution throughout Iran, as well as the issue of entry visas to the correspondents and representatives of this publication.
Thursday 30th December, 2004
Iran slams eviction of Muslim studentThursday 30th December, 2004
Iranian parliament Speaker Ghulam Adel Wednesday denounced the expulsion of a Muslim student from a French school for wearing a veil.
Adel urged European countries to confront such unfair French measures, the Iranian News Agency reported.
The French decision to ban the Muslim veil in public schools is a blunt violation of human rights and aimed at confronting a religious minority in that country, Adel told parliament.
He said Muslim women know very well that wearing the veil does not curb their political and social activities.
France earlier this year passed a controversial law banning the provocative display of religious symbols in public schools, including Muslim veils, Jewish skullcaps and oversized crosses.
Publication claims Iran's lands belong to Armenia
"Metsamor" newspaper run by Armenians has included Iran's territories into the map of "Great Armenia" published on its first page. The Iranian ambassador to Azerbaijan, in an interview with local ANS television, stated that Armenians are distorting history. He said that such statements are laughable and pose no threat to Iran's territorial integrity.
The mentioned map is provided in every issue of this newspaper published in 5,000 copies. The publication's editor-in-chief is a well-known academician in Armenia.
I think it might be time for the U.S. to take the Israeli approach to Iranian sponsored terrorism.
US senators say reassured Iraqi Shiite leader Hakim not in Iranian orbitAFP - World News (via Yahoo)
Dec 29, 2004
BAGHDAD - US Democrat senators who met representatives of Iraqi Shiite political leader Abdel Aziz al-Hakim said they were encouraged the cleric would work to bring the Sunni minority into a future government and dismissed the notion his movement was under Iranian influence.
Senators Joseph Lieberman and Mark Dayton, on a one-day visit to Iraq, met Hakim representatives belonging to the Unified Iraqi Alliance, a political grouping of Shiite parties considered the favourite in the January 30 elections.
The senators said they had planned to see Hakim, who escaped a car bomb attack outside his Baghdad offices on Monday that killed 13 and wounded dozens more, but that security concerns prevented such a meeting.
Hakim's list is considered to be pro-Iranian in some Western political circles, with some officials believing Hakim's own party, the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, is receiving funding from Iran.
Lieberman, an influential right-leaning senator who ran for vice president in 2000, said he was reassured about Hakim's intentions and that he believed his party would work to bring the Sunni Muslim minority into the fold.
"There is some concern in the US about the closeness of this list to Iran and their intentions as they go forward. I found it to be a very reassuring meeting," he said.
"They (Hakim's representatives) indicated they hope to have an inclusive government (and) that they are attempting to reach out to the Sunni forces.
"Again this is just the beginning. Ultimately actions speak louder than words... (but) I found their words encouraging."
By Reuven Pedatzur
All eyes are set on Iran, which is trying to dupe the Europeans and carry on with its plans to produce nuclear weapons, but the truth is that the more immediate threat for the acceleration of nuclear proliferation can be found nearby, in Pakistan.
Eleven months have passed since Dr. Abdel-Kader Khan was arrested by the authorities in his country, on suspicion of running a clandestine international ring for the sale of nuclear technology and related equipment. However, to date the American or the European investigators have not been permitted to meet with him. The president of Pakistan, Pervez Musharaf, who rushed to grant amnesty to the man called "the father of the atomic bomb" in Pakistan, complained in an interview to CNN that the requests of experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to question Khan "points to a lack of trust in Pakistan."
Thus, the "insulted" president of Pakistan continues to protect, with all his power, the individual who appears to have been the greatest, least traceable and most dangerous proliferating agent of all times of information and equipment for the development of nuclear weapons.
"We ourselves can question him best," Musharaf insisted to the American reporter, without cracking a smile. In view of the broad magnitude of Khan's illegal activities, there is little doubt that Musharaf was privy to it. A number of the deals were carried out by the Pakistani air force, whose aircraft delivered the equipment that Khan sold to their foreign destinations.
Musharaf opted to close his eyes and enrich the coffers of his country from the profits of the nuclear ring of the senior scientist, and also increase the prestige of Pakistan among Muslim countries, some of whom were clients of Khan's wares.
The immunity enjoyed by Khan is rooted in the dependency that the Bush administration has developed in the form of Pakistan's president, who has been an important ally in the war the Americans are waging against international terrorism, and especially the hunt for Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan.
"A leader determined to bring to justice not only persons such Bin Laden, but also those that have caused suffering and pain to his people," was how President George Bush described General Musharaf, who took over the country in a military coup, after the two met in the White House two weeks ago.
With this attitude, the US administration is in fact preventing the clearing of the air surrounding Khan's nuclear dealings, and does not allow the tracking of the path of proliferation that he paved around the world. The details of Khan's dealings are not known, but the list of his clients is very impressive. Iran, Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Algeria, Kuwait, Abu Dhabi, and also Communist North Korea and Buddhist Burma, benefited from the goods that the Pakistani scientist generously doled. And still, it is not certain that the list is complete.
While it is not clear who bought what, the quality of Khan's merchandise is confirmed by the many accurate drawings that document and explain the process for the production of a 10 kiloton nuclear bomb, found in the files of the Libyan nuclear program, and which were revealed to IAEA officials earlier this year. Only after Libya decided to dismantle its programs for the development of weapons of mass destruction were inspectors able to get their hands on the enormous quantity of information that led directly to Khan. It became clear that in addition to the designs, whose origin seems to have been in China, Khan sold to the Libyans centrifuges and data necessary for enriching uranium.
What is even more serious in this terrible affair is that Khan's arrest in Pakistan did not put an end to the activities of the secret smuggling ring which he headed. John Bolton, US under secretary for arms control and international security, said recently that the ring continues to have unknown clients, and that this affair "involves a lot more than that which we are permitted to discuss openly."
There are therefore many unanswered questions. For example, did groups, which are not states, purchase data and nuclear equipment from the Pakistani scientist? Is one of them Al-Qaida? Did other countries, in addition to North Korea, Iran, and Libya, purchase designs for the production of centrifuges, uranium and the bomb from Dr. Khan?
The Khan affairs proves once more that even when the more sophisticated intelligence agencies seek to follow the nuclear activities of various countries, they fail over and over again. Just like the more advanced intelligence organizations in the West failed to expose the Iraqi nuclear program prior to the Gulf War, failed in monitoring the Libyan nuclear program, and did not expose a significant portion of Iran's program, American intelligence failed to monitor the full extent of the illegal nuclear dealings of Khan, in spite having him under surveillance for the past three decades.
In Israel the affair needs to raise a number of alarms. A significant portion of Khan's clients are in the Middle East, and it is possible that Iran is not the sole country in the region with a nuclear weapons program. One should not forget that in the past, not only the Americans but also Israel's intelligence failed in exposing the Iraqi nuclear program in the 1980s and the nuclear efforts of Libya in the 1990s.
The lesson is that there should be no reliance on the IAEA to tackle the problem and not even on the American determination to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Israel must prepare for "a New Middle East" in which it will no longer be the sole nuclear player.
We Need a Real Iran Policy[Excerpt]By Susan E. RiceThursday, December 30, 2004; Page A27
Has President Bush quietly concluded that the United States can live with a nuclear-armed Iran? If this seems preposterous, recall the president's words at his year-end news conference. Asked about U.S. policy toward Iran, he said: "We're relying upon others, because we've sanctioned ourselves out of influence with Iran . . . in other words, we don't have much leverage with the Iranians right now."
This bizarre statement obviously does not portend the president's born-again conversion to multilateralism. Rather, it is a false assessment of U.S. influence and a potentially deadly recipe for U.S. acquiescence to a nuclear Iran.
Consider what's at stake. Oil-rich Iran is arguably the world's most active state sponsor of terrorism. Iran was behind the 1996 bombing of the U.S. military barracks at Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia. It is funding anti-Israeli terrorist groups, harboring al Qaeda operatives and meddling in Iraq. Iran clandestinely built a sophisticated uranium enrichment program that the United States and European nations agree is intended to produce nuclear weapons. Iran has missiles capable of delivering such weapons to Iraq, Israel and even parts of Europe.
President Bush says the greatest threat to U.S. national security is a nuclear weapon in the hands of terrorists. A nuclear Iran, not Saddam Hussein's Iraq, is a truly dangerous manifestation of that threat.
So how has the Bush administration acted to protect us? Overstretched with 140,000 U.S. troops in Iraq and paralyzed by internal policy disputes, the administration's response has been to posture, threatening to take Iran to the U.N. Security Council, while effectively having no Iran policy at all.
In response to one of the most urgent threats to the United States, Bush has subcontracted American security to the Europeans. Last week the president confirmed this as his approach, arguing that the United States has no choice. "We've sanctioned ourselves out of influence," the president said, almost echoing Vice President Cheney, who as chief executive of Halliburton pressed for lifting U.S. sanctions against Iran.
Britain, France and Germany recently negotiated a fragile, temporary suspension of Iran's uranium enrichment activities. Some U.S. officials have trashed the E.U. effort as toothless and certain to fail. Others hail it as the cornerstone of the U.S. approach. The logic of this contradiction is that the president expects the Europeans to fail but refuses to help them succeed or to offer an option of his own.
The United States was right to unilaterally impose sanctions on Iran when our allies would not go along. But U.S. sanctions do not eliminate U.S. influence over Iran. Leverage can take the form of carrots as well as sticks. ...
President Bush should take no option off the table with Iran, including the use of force. But he should start by testing the potential of negotiations to halt Iran's nuclear weapons program. No deal can be made with the Iranians without the United States offering significant incentives. Nor is Iran likely to make concessions without the credible threat of the Europeans and the Japanese imposing tough multilateral economic sanctions should negotiations fail.
At the bargaining table, the United States could dangle various incentives the Iranians might find attractive. For instance, in exchange for a full and verifiable halt to Iran's nuclear program as well as termination of its support for terrorism and anti-U.S. elements in Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States could offer to lift U.S. sanctions; normalize relations; pay some Iranian claims against the United States; promote new trade and investment flows; allow Iranian membership in the World Trade Organization; guarantee access to civilian nuclear power; or provide regional security guarantees.
This approach demands more of the United States than abdication to European diplomacy. It requires U.S. leadership, in partnership with the Europeans, of a complex and urgent negotiation with Iran. Apparently, President Bush finds this prospect too difficult or too uncomfortable.
True, the United States faces tough realities and even tougher policy choices. Iran may be determined to acquire nuclear weapons. If so, negotiations will ultimately fail. But we cannot know this unless we try. In any case, we cannot get Europe to apply sanctions against an Iran destined to go nuclear until we've done our best to negotiate a solution.
Negotiations require making concessions. Neoconservatives argue that such concessions would help sustain the current Islamist government, but most analysts agree that the regime is well entrenched. The alternative to negotiating is for the United States to continue to do nothing. By doing nothing, our self-described wartime president is in fact doing something quite significant: He is ensuring there will be no effective brake on Iran, along with North Korea, going fully nuclear.
The writer, assistant secretary of state from 1997 to 2001, is a senior fellow in foreign policy studies at the Brookings Institution.
Iran's population growth rate divesTehran Times - Economy Section (From IRIB)
Dec 30, 2004
TEHRAN -- Population growth rate in Iran dived down to 1.2 percent, a dramatic drop from a former 3.2% record, according to a research and technology deputy affiliated to Ministry of Health, Treatment and Medical Training.
Hossein Malek-Afzali described as rational the population growth rate in Iran over the past 15 years and hailed government moves towards population control.
"The death toll emanating from pregnancy side-effects among women had shrunk down to 40 people per 100,000, from 300 people out of the same number," he said.
Malek-Afzali attributed the breakthrough to the measures adopted by medical officials in recent years.
Time to spend political capital and achieve regime change in this member in good [bad] standing of the Axis of Weevils.
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