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Iranian Alert - January 15, 2005 - Soros supports mullahs: The left embraces yet another enemy
Regime Change Iran ^ | 10.15.2005 | DoctorZin

Posted on 01/15/2005 12:25:41 AM PST by DoctorZIn

Top News Story

WND Exclusive Commentary

Soros supports mullahs: The left embraces yet another enemy

Posted: January 14, 2005
1:00 a.m. Eastern

© 2005

On Jan. 13, 2005, the pro-mullah American-Iranian Council joined forces with George Soros's Open Society Institute to host Javad Zarif, Iran's ambassador to the United Nations, to give a talk titled, "The View from Tehran."

Soros did not waste any time after supporting with millions of his own money John Kerry's losing 2004 presidential bid. Even before George Bush could be inaugurated the second time, Soros was rolling out the carpet for the mullah's top man in New York. Soros invited Zarif to explain why Kerry was still right to insist that Iran deserves full economic and diplomatic recognition, as well as nuclear fuel, all the while trusting that they would keep their word and not make bombs.

The New York papers announcing the event commented that on Jan. 3, 2004, Iranian government spokesperson Abdollah Ramenzanzadeh told reporters that Tehran "had not yet decided on a third party" to mediate "negotiations" with the United States. What negotiations? Investigative reporter Kenneth Timmerman, writing in the New York Post commented:

There are no ongoing negotiations between the United States and Iran. However, whenever the regime has felt under pressure from a vigorous U.S. policy, it has dangled the prospect of such negotiations in an attempt to discredit and to weaken the American side.

– "Shilling for the Mullahs," Jan. 11, 2005

(Kenneth Timmerman has consistently written important reports on the pro-mullah lobby in the United States and their efforts to recruit a long list of Democratic politicians, including John Kerry, to their side.)

Once again, the mullahs are being clever. The entire staged event gave the appearance of putting pressure on the Bush administration to go along with the EU-3 and the IAEA and accept Iran's word that they would be good and would stop enriching uranium. Now President Bush would appear to be the unreasonable one if he did not assign some third party to mediate these non-existing negotiations.

Moreover, the American left would have even more ammunition to make the case that the president was on yet another pre-emptive warpath against a presumed Islamic enemy who really never had any intention of possessing any weapons of mass destruction that could possibly be a threat to anyone.

Let's face facts: The only reason Soros likes the mullahs is because they are as anti-American as the American far-left itself has become.

The Iranian foreign ministry went further, suggesting that Secretary of State Colin Powell has determined that a "future Iraqi government dominated by the Shi'a and influenced by Iran will not be a threat to the United States or its interests," and "that Washington and Tehran have reached an understanding on how Iraq needs to be stabilized."

Once again the pro-mullah public-relations effort in the United States was hard at work, trying to pin on outgoing Colin Powell – known to be one of the administration's more liberal foreign-policy officials generally in favor of negotiations – the presumptive conclusion that Iran could be constructive in Iraq. This was not something the Bush administration itself would readily concede – not when the reports coming from our military in Iraq were presenting evidence that the mullahs were funding terrorists to cross the border into Iraq to harass our troops and create as much instability as possible prior to the scheduled elections on Jan. 30, 2005.

Ken Timmerman is used to the mullahs' shenanigans: "What Tehran wants is abundantly clear. Iran's ruling clerics want to continue mucking around in Iraq and to complete their nuclear weapons development, without the United States intervening."

The key story here was not that the mullahs and their cohorts in America were dissembling – that was old news. What this event signaled was that George Soros and the American far left were ready to spend millions more supporting America's enemies, including radical Islamic extremists from a terror-supporting rogue state like Iran.

"Soros is once again showing his true colors," Timmerman wrote. "He is anti-American, anti-freedom and pro-tyranny, for America and for America's friends overseas."

Hassan Nemazee, as we have seen earlier, one of John Kerry's top fund-raisers in his 2004 presidential campaign, was a board member of the American-Iranian Council. Nemazee has funded a long list of Democratic Party candidates, including Bill and Hillary Clinton, Ted Kennedy and Joe Biden. At every event where Democratic candidates have been present, the AIC has been certain to press its agenda to get the mullahs back their economic and diplomatic recognition.

Aryo Pirouznia – the Iranian freedom fighter whom Nemazee sued for defamation when Aryo called him an agent of the mullahs – was extremely upset by this Soros sponsored get-together between the AIC and the Open Society Institute in New York.

It seems once again the very same individuals and groups of interest, who tried to sell the false idea of any possibility of reforming an ideologically rogue and tyrannical regime, have mobilized in order to influence the second Bush administration.

These are the very same circles that pushed for Mr. Kerry's presidency and now they're intending to avoid the formation of a strong U.S. policy, which might back the Iranian people morally and financially in their struggle to overthrow the illegitimate and shaky Iranian regime.

There was no doubt in Aryo's mind that the mullahs needed America's economic and diplomatic support to prop up their regime. What Aryo wanted was freedom in his country, something he knew in his heart could only be achieved if the mullahs were thrown out of power.

More than ever, the Bush administration should avoid engaging the Mullhacracy and must increase its political and economic pressures on the totality of the Islamic regime and its partners in order to favor the opposition groups in Iran pushing for a popular take-over of power.

Only an elected Iranian secular and democratic state, issued from a real and genuine referendum, can answer the aspirations of the Iranian people and fulfill the world's legitimate concerns about freedom, fanaticism, Islamism, terror and the dangers of nuclear weapons.

Timmerman was equally strong in his conclusion: "Soros' prescription for America's future was bad for America. His prescription for the future of America's relations with Iran is bad for the world. Strengthening Tehran's mullahs means a nuclear-armed Iran."

Jerome R. Corsi received a Ph.D. from Harvard University in political science in 1972 and has written many books and articles, including the No. 1 New York Times best-seller, "Unfit for Command – Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry." Dr. Corsi is an expert on political violence and terrorism and is currently writing a new book titled, "Atomic Iran," due to be released in 2005 by WND Books.

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

1 posted on 01/15/2005 12:25:48 AM 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 01/15/2005 12:33:33 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Honoring Democracy

From the January 24, 2005 issue: Honor points the path of duty; the path of duty for us is the defense of liberty.
by William Kristol
01/24/2005, Volume 010, Issue 18

LAST TUESDAY'S OVAL OFFICE INTERVIEW appeared to be over. Washington Times editor in chief Wesley Pruden had thanked the president. But President Bush had something to add:

"If you want a glimpse of how I think about foreign policy read Natan Sharansky's book, The Case for Democracy. . . . For government, particularly--for opinion makers, I would put it on your recommended reading list. It's short and it's good. This guy is a heroic figure, as you know. It's a great book."

What a plug! But the praise is deserved. And it's good news that the president is so enthusiastic about Sharansky's work. It suggests that, despite all the criticism, and all the difficulties, the president remains determined to continue to lead the nation along the basic foreign policy lines he laid down in his first term. As with any foreign policy, there have been deviations--some reasonable, some unfortunate--from the basic course. As with any administration, there have been errors of judgment and failures of execution--some defensible, some indefensible. But the Bush/Sharansky path is both right and necessary. And with the Afghan and Palestinian elections just behind us, and the Iraqi election coming up, our progress along that path should become more visible.

Bush has eloquently explained the essence of his foreign policy many times, and he undoubtedly will do so again in his second inaugural address this week. But, as we await that speech, one quotation from Bush's recommended guide may be helpful. The following is from a July 2000 article by Sharansky--once

a political prisoner in the Soviet Union, now a politician in Israel--quoted in The Case for Democracy:

The same human rights principles that once guided me in the Soviet Union remain the cornerstone of my approach to the peace process. I am willing to transfer territory not because I think the Jewish people have less of a claim to Judea and Samaria than do the Palestinians, but because the principle of individual autonomy remains sacred to me--I do not want to rule another people. At the same time, I refuse to ignore the Palestinian Authority's violations of human rights because I remain convinced that a neighbor who tramples on the rights of its own people will eventually threaten the security of my people. . . . A genuinely "new" Middle East need not be a fantasy. But it will not be brought about by merely ceding lands to Arab dictators and by subsidizing regimes that undermine the rights of their own people. The only way to create real Arab-Israeli reconciliation is to press the Arab world to respect human rights. Israel must link its concessions to the degree of openness, transparency, and liberalization of its neighbors. For their part, Western leaders must not think the Arabs any less deserving of the freedom and rights that their own citizens enjoy--both for their sake and for ours.

True then, and true now, for Israel and for America.

There is more enlightened guidance in Sharansky's book. He comments in the preface, "During my long journey through the world of evil, I had discovered three sources of power: the power of an individual's inner freedom, the power of a free society, and the power of the solidarity of the free world." The Case for Democracy focuses on the latter two sources of power. Sharansky's earlier book, Fear No Evil, a memoir of his days as a dissident and a prisoner in the USSR, elaborates on the first source of power--the power of an individual's inner freedom. That book is well worth reading too.

For it is the power of citizens' inner freedom that gives them the strength to defend freedom in the world, and it is true inner freedom that is the fruit of that defense. Sharansky's inner freedom, acquired in the exercise of his extraordinary courage and understanding, made it possible for him to accept his conviction to the Gulag with equanimity. As he said on July 14, 1978, in his statement to the Soviet court that convicted him in a show trial:

Five years ago, I submitted my application for exit to Israel. Now I am further than ever from my dream. It would seem to be cause for regret. But it is absolutely the other way around. I am happy. I am happy that I lived honorably, at peace with my conscience. I never compromised my soul, even under the threat of death.

Living honorably--surely that is the goal of a free people, both at home and abroad. President Bush will face many difficult foreign policy challenges in his second term. After consulting all complications of interest and calculation, he will surely want to repair, as Sharansky did, to the standard of acting honorably. As Churchill put it in his history of World War II, there is a "helpful guide" to nations facing difficult choices: "This guide is called honor."

"It is baffling to reflect," Churchill adds, "that what men call honor does not correspond always to Christian ethics. Honor is often influenced by that element of pride which plays so large a part in

its inspiration. An exaggerated code of honor leading to the performance of utterly vain and unreasonable deeds could not be defended, however fine it might look." "Here, however," Churchill continues, writing of the choice Britain faced at Munich in September 1938, "the moment came when Honor pointed the path of Duty, and when also the right judgment of the facts at that time would have reinforced its dictates."

Today, in Iraq and beyond, honor points the path of duty, and the right judgment of the facts reinforces its dictates. The path of duty for us, as it was for Churchill and Sharansky, is the defense of liberty. As he takes the oath of office for the second time, having won a deserved reelection from the American people, this is Bush's challenge, and his mission.

-- William Kristol

3 posted on 01/15/2005 12:34:23 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Iran and Osama: Match Made In Hell

1/16/2005 By Ryan Mauro

While the world remains fixated on the situation in Iraq, the Bush Administration seems equally concerned with Iran. As the world’s most intense (in quantity and quality) sponsor of international terrorism, and a rogue state in search of weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons, the specter of an alliance between Al-Qaeda terrorists and the fundamentalist Iran is indeed a scary one. Accusations by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and President Bush show that this is indeed the case. This article will examine if the evidence has been stretched or even falsified.

Iran in the past has been responsible for attacks on Americans. Beginning with the hostage crisis of 1979, through the 1980s Lebanon bombings that forced the withdrawal of American troops, and to the recent war in Afghanistan. As the primary sponsor of terrorist groups including the Al-Aqsa Martyr Brigades (terrorist wing of Fatah which is a branch of the PLO), The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, The PFLP-General Command, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah, and a wide range of other anti-Israeli organizations, there is a realistic possibility of the forging of an alliance with Al-Qaeda. Beginning in the 1980s, Iran’s openly proclaimed goal through sponsoring militants was to remove Western influence from the region so as to encircle Israel. The linkage the extremists see from the Jewish state of Israel to the United States is that the U.S. is “Big Satan”, while Israel is “Little Satan”, cooperating hand-in-hand on a campaign of genocide against Islam.

Such thinking began with the Islamic revolution in 1979, after which the new Islamist government of Iran called for striking out upon its enemies as a religious duty. These callings would increase throughout the decade, particularly because the extremists saw victories in Lebanon, Somalia, and other places which resulted in the withdrawal of Israeli and/or American forces. Some analysts feel that due to the inability of the Western countries to see the “hidden hands” involved in major terrorist attacks, has encouraged state sponsors to continue using proxies for their war, as it covers their fingerprints.

By the end of 1990, Iran and other state sponsors saw the world in a very simplistic manner, particularly in the Middle East. Any government in the world, whether it hold a Moslem majority or not, decided its fate by their relationship to the United States and the United Kingdom, even if that relationship was different than the relationship they had with Israel. Thus, any country assisting the US in any manner was thought to be a “puppet government” of the West used in its War on Islam. To this end, the Iranians, Sudanese, Iraqis, and other state sponsors felt the first step in fighting the West and moving towards the destruction of Israel was the promotion of radicalism so as to topple “infidel” governments in the region “serving” America, and terrorism was seen as a way to intimidate the West. It was also a bargaining chip, a way to radicalize Moslems and inspire the believe that through the power of jihad, they could prosper. The state-controlled media blamed their poverty and despair on the West, so as to draw a link between the “glory of jihad” and the pursuit of happiness. Manipulating religious teachings served as another tactic to magnify the campaign.

The radical states had little fear of Western retaliation as they saw several encouraging signs:

A. The United Nations leaving Saddam Hussein in power after the Gulf War
B. The West forcing Israel into limiting retaliation against Palestinian militants
C. The lack of retaliation for the 1980s episodes in Lebanon
D. The failure of the Americans to rescue the hostages at the embassy in Tehran
E. The withdrawal from Sudan
F. The toleration of Yasser Arafat’s militants while simultaneously pressuring Israel into giving concessions
G. The growing impact of extremism on the Moslem youth and the growing anti-Americanism. Anti-Americanism grew due to state propaganda, the lack of confidence in the West after these episodes, and American support for regimes such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia which committed serious human rights violations, while going unpunished due to their cooperation with the American forces.
H. A reoccurring belief that any major Israeli or American retaliation not seen as justified would arouse pan-Arabism and pan-Islamism, resulting in a unified Islamic world withholding their oil.

As Islamic religious sects united against their common enemies beginning with the war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan and later Israel and the West, their theological differences were removed for the time being. Soon after the Gulf War, the dozens of branches of militants, the strongest being the “Afghans” (those who fought against the Soviets), formed a common front known as the Armed Islamic Movement, or the “International Legion of Islam”. Seeing confidence in this union, the sponsoring states of Sudan, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and to a lesser degree, Syria and Iraq, began cooperation with the legion as a form of proxy warfare. This is similar to what we are seeing today in Iraq, where the Saddam Fedayeen guerillas have united with the foreign terrorists.

Seeking leaders, Osama Bin Laden rose to the top of this union due to his experience in Afghanistan, his financial power and his lengthy international connections. Inside the Armed Islamic Movement were still intact branches of militants, and Osama Bin Laden recruited only the best for his organization, Al-Qaeda, or “The Base”. Al-Qaeda then would cooperate with a closely fitting ring of similar organizations such as the Armed Islamic Group (rebels in Algeria) so as they would all form a network, with Al-Qaeda as the nexus.

The network depended heavily upon state sponsors, so the network would be careful not to upset their state sponsors in order to keep the delicate alliance alive. The state sponsors initially began their own terrorist groups, as Iran did with Hezbollah, but as these groups grew closer to the branches of the Armed Islamic Movement, the sponsorship would extend to AIA so as to:

A. Enhance the deception and denial strategy
B. Enhance the overall terrorist legion
C. Enhance the capabilities of their closest terrorist allies that served directly under them
D. Remove ideological and theological barriers preventing the accomplishment of the primary objectives of the extremists.
E. Change the competitive nature of rival groups into a productive catalyst for the cause.
F. Increase influence over the elements of other Islamic sects they did not approve of.

In 1991, Sudan (in close cooperation with Iran) took a further step to unify the various branches of terrorists into a single front. The Islamic Arab Peoples’ Conference was formed while Sudan and Iran simultaneously created the Popular International Organization, an allied front of Sunni Moslem extremists that would take part in the driving power for the Islamic Arab People’s Conference. This began the setting up of Sudan as a terrorist harbor, and the placement of Iranian forces in Sudan to facilitate this infrastructure.

As a result of the meetings and conferences, the Egyptian Islamic Jihad led by Ayman Al-Zawahiri, now Al-Qaeda’s main operational branch became deeply involved in the various Islamic movements. On October 18, 1991, the group went to the International Conference in Support of the Islamic Revolution of the People of Palestine, with over 400 representatives. The meeting also managed to unify the branches despite their theological differences even though Sudan and Iran secretly hoped that their Popular International Organization would take the lead in the efforts. Subsequently, Osama Bin Laden saw the gathering movement and began concentrating his major efforts towards that movement, landing him a spot at the top of the movement, and as a result, assistance from Iran and the various state sponsors of terrorism.

In July of 1992, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, now Al-Qaeda’s #2 leader, went to Tehran after consulting with Sudan. Zawahiri had already become a huge figure in the Islamist movement, serving as a conduit for coordination between many branches of organizations. His prestige and theological beliefs drew Osama Bin Laden to him, later resulting in the fusion of Egyptian Islamic Jihad into Al-Qaeda and tightening of the overall Islamic coalition, all under the union sponsored by that of Iran and other state sponsors.

The Alliance

Beginning in 1992, an agreement was reached. In return for Zawahiri’s efforts in the movement led by Iran, the Iranians agreed to provide a safe harbor and training camp for about 800 of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad terrorists in Mashhad. Iranian proxy forces like Hezbollah, and the Pasdaran division of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps based in Sudan would assist in virtually all areas of Zawahiri’s contributions to the movement. Zawahiri subsequently agreed to join a faction of the overall movement, called the Arab Liberation Battalions which was headed by the Revolutionary Guard’s intelligence community. By the end of the year, Al-Zawahiri’s alliance with Hezbollah became complete. It also set the stage for the battle of Mogadishu, Somalia which accelerated the prestige of the various Islamist movements banned into one union. This is why after 9-11, President Bush had to make it clear the War on Terrorism was required to fight all terrorist organizations.

In 1992, 12,000 Arab volunteers who had fought into Afghanistan transferred into the terrorist organizations involved in the movement. The leading force in Afghanistan of extremist volunteers was Hizb-i-Islami, led by Gulbaddin Hekmatiyar, the force behind the recent guerilla warfare in Afghanistan in alliance with the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. This same year, Osama Bin Laden sent 3,000 Yemenis he had recruited back to their homeland from Pakistan to help expand the terrorist network in Arabia. The bases were reportedly in the al-Maraqishah Mountains. But by mid-1993, with the movement’s new focus on East Africa, many of these Yemeni forces were moved to Somalia, which he claimed cost him $3 million. These forces later took part in the Mogadishu battle.

The alliances continued into October 1994, accelerating with the Iranian-sponsored meeting in Khartoum, Sudan with Iranian intelligence delegates, Osama Bin Laden, Hezbollah, and the various branches of Muslim Brotherhood. The focus returned to the Arabian Peninsula. Another meeting with the same groups occurred in November 1994 in Cyprus, to discuss operations in the United States. There were even more people at the meeting, including Sudanese, Syrian, and Iranian intelligence, and various other terrorist organizations including Hamas, Hezbollah, PFLP-GC, Islamic Action Front, etc.

In early 1996, Iran formed the Hezbollah International, which cooperated closely with Osama Bin Laden. Hezbollah International picked up from where Iran-sponsored terrorism in the Middle East in 1995 left off. The new Hezbollah International worked to facilitate attacks by financing and training, while very often, Bin Laden and Zawahiri led and commanded the terrorist forces. To oversee such activities, the President of Iran, Ali Akbatrr Hashem Rafsanjani created the Supreme Council for Intelligence Affairs. Dr. Mahdi Chamran Savehi led the External Intelligence branch which was responsible for sponsoring terrorism, often through hiring the al-Quds Forces of the Iranian military. Also in 1996, there was a new turn towards the Balkans, particularly in Bosnia where the state sponsors send forces, alongside Bin Laden to the region to assist the Moslems in their war with Serbia.

As part of the new campaign, groups which were not part of Hizballah International did decide to cooperate and form an alliance to coordinate their activities with the Iranian-sponsored movement. This included Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Egyptian Islamic Jihad, Lebanese Hezbollah, Osama Bin Laden’s forces, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, Hamas, The Turkish Islamic Party, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and Kurdish People’s Party. The Islamic Change Movement, a group of organizations, also joined the alliance. Iran’s main instruments in the non-Hezbollah forces inside the alliance were Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas which work very closely with Iran. Efforts to assist operations in Saudi Arabia and East Africa continued, as a way to reduce American and Israeli power.

The alliance members held a meeting on September 20-23, 1997. The meeting included Ayman al-Zawahiri and an Al-Qaeda commander, where they all agreed to escalate the terrorist campaign. Plans were to begin for attacks on Turkey, Israel, and the USA.

Bin Laden decided the next month to begin preparing a base of operations more centrally located in Afghanistan to facilitate the coming offensives. Bin Laden intended to preserve his prestige and power in the revolution. Most of the Al-Qaeda forces went from Sudan into Pakistan and Afghanistan with the assistance of Pakistani intelligence, while at the same time coordinating the upgrading of capabilities with the anti-Indian militant forces backed by Pakistan in Kashmir, who were simultaneously planning for a new campaign. Bin Laden and Zawahiri soon held a meeting in Kandahar, Afghanistan to talk about a new campaign to counter American influence all over the world, and Zawahiri became the leader of the major operational elements of Al-Qaeda, particularly the efforts against Egypt. Meanwhile, forces from the various terrorist organizations spread out into the Balkans, India, and Western Europe.

Later in 1997, Iran had a breakthrough in their planning for the Islamic revolutions. At the final meeting to prepare the details of the next campaign, about 20-30 organizations, or terrorist “unions” took part including non-Moslems! Al-Jamaah al-Islamiyah joined, as did the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, The Algerian Armed Islamic Group, various extremist factions from all over the world, the Armenian Secret Army, 17th of November based in Greece, and Latin American groups. Immediately after, Zawahiri issued a call for jihad on the United States and our allies in the Middle East if we did not withdraw from the areas of Islam. On November 17, 1997, Zawahiri’s forces attacked Luxor, Egypt and killed nearly 70 West European civilians. The campaign had begun.

In February 1998, Egyptian Islamic Jihad (already close to Bin Laden) joined the World Islamic Front for Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders, an umbrella over Al-Qaeda and all their associated groups. This new umbrella cooperated side-by-side with the Armed Islamic Movement—some analysts even suggest they are the same thing, as most of the groups were members of both umbrella organizations. Nevertheless, the world’s radical Islamic terrorist groups had united under the supervision of the several state sponsors of terrorism.

Yossef Bodansky’s book, “Bin Laden: The Man Who Declared War on America” goes much further into details of how Iran may have been behind the major Al-Qaeda attacks, particularly the operations in Saudi Arabia, Somalia, and Tanzania and Kenya. It shows how Iran works behind the various extremist unions, issuing restrictions and permits on terrorist entities depending on how they fit Iran’s interest. If you are interested, I suggest buying the book. Since I am unable to prove and verify Iran’s role in these acts, it will not be discussed here. However, what can be proven is how Iran has provided aid to Al-Qaeda.


In the mid-1990s, Iran began to diversify the types of terror sponsorship it would pursue. Rather than regular assassination and guerilla warfare-type training, new methods of attacks were expanded upon, a trend also seen in Iraq. Much of this upgrading would be seen later in the Palestinian Intifada uprising against Israel and by militants around the world in the late 1990s and the new millennium.

According to one of Yossef Bodansky’s books, airline hijacks were involved in the training. The book however, was written in 1993. He is currently the US Congress’ Director of the Joint Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare. There were two training facilities set up in Iran for advanced warfare involving aerial platforms. One was at Wakilabad, the other near Mashhad (where Al-Qaeda forces currently reside). Several former Iran Air pilots and Air Force pilots, including ones trained in the United States, served as instructors under the Revolutionary Guards and intelligence community. At the airfield at Wakilabad were a Boeing 707, Boeing 727 and a Boeing 747. Selected pilots were sent to train at the Won San Air Force Base in North Korea, where Korean pilots gave training over the course of one year. Military training for the air force and navy in North Korea traditionally teaches the tactics of the kamikazes. By 1995, at Salman Pak in Iraq, a similar training site was set up with a Boeing jet used for hijacking training, which witnesses confirm consisted of foreigners.

The former highest ranking CIA operative in Iraq, Robert Baer, says that in December of 1995, one of Osama Bin Laden’s associates went to Tehran, for a meeting with several officers of the Ministry of Intelligence and Security. The following July, Bin Laden met with an Iranian intelligence officer whom was sent to Afghanistan to make the anti-American alliance stronger in coordination and trust. The cooperation soon extended to all “sections” of Al-Qaeda, including the Egyptian Gami’at group, whom established contact with Iran through Imad Mughniyah and Hezbollah. By late 1997, the CIA knew that Bin Laden had discussed coordination efforts with Iran and the prospect of destabilizing central Asia as part of the war against the West was brought up.

Most of the Iranian-Bin Laden cooperation was done through Ayman Al-Zawahiri. The efforts described above were the result of meetings with this man. Over the past decade, Zawahiri could often be spotted in Iran meeting with high-level government officials including the Minister of Intelligence and Security, Ali Fallahian and Ahmad Vahidi, the leader of the al-Quds forces, which consist of special forces operatives whom assist terrorists or carry out terrorist acts themselves. These forces are responsible for supervising covert support to militants.

Beginning in the summer of 2000, Osama Bin Laden alongside Syria and Iran began working to upgrade the militant capabilities in Lebanon and the areas of Palestinian resistance against Israel. New stages of Arab cooperation in the extremist realm led to reestablished ties between Syria and the Syrian branch of Muslim Brotherhood, which was tied to Al-Qaeda, and with Iraq by July 2000. The various Palestinian terrorist organizations and Hezbollah also began a ground-breaking chapter of cooperation. Iran even managed to build trust between Bin Laden’s group and Syria by showing that they intended not to topple the Bashar Assad regime, but rather to work together.

In mid-July, Iran called for a meeting in Afghanistan between the head of Bin Laden’s bases in Lebanon and representatives of other Palestinian groups. They agreed to coordinate activities, and that Al-Qaeda would receive safe harbor at Ein Hilweh, Nahr al-Bard, Hezballah-dominated areas in the Bekka Valley and the Palestinian refugee camp of Tripoli. In the Bekka Valley, Iran’s Hezbollah organization began training and arming the Al-Qaeda forces based there to integrate the forces into an anti-Israeli militant infrastructure. Keep in mind, any activities of Hezballah should be under the direct responsibility of Iran and sometimes, Syria, as the group is founded by, trained by, armed by, directed by, and accompanied by Iranian Revolutionary Guards and intelligence.

As the new network was build, Al-Qaeda contributed dozens of fighters to join the Palestinian militants in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, to work alongside Hamas and Islamic Jihad, more groups sponsored by Iran. Arafat’s forces took no action against Al-Qaeda’s movements once they were seen as non-threatening to the Palestinian Authority, which was promised by Iran. This resulted in Arafat giving permission to Syria, Iran, and radical Palestinian groups to facilitate Al-Qaeda escapes to the harbors made available by the Palestinian groups.

In Tehran on June 1, 2002, there was another terrorist conference to coordinate plans for the war on Israel. It involved most Iranian leaders, the founder of Hezballah, senior Iranian Pasadaran commanders from Lebanon, Syrian intelligence officials, Imad Mughniyah and an Al-Qaeda commander, alongside the Palestinian radical forces of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and PFLP-GC.

Before we go any further, one must understand the cycle of Iranian terrorism, regarding the United States, particularly in the Gulf. While some terrorist acts occur at a timely moment at the leaders’ wishes, the separate campaigns Iran launches go on a cycle. Beginning in March 1990, Iran began the three-phase terror escalation strategy: 1) Terrorism using local capabilities, loss of which would not hinder the movement for Islamic movement. 2) More advanced attacks using sleeper cells that depend upon sleeper networks, so as to avoid detection and enhance the capabilities of the attacks. 3) “Spectacular strikes”, usually with suicide bombers, and top-of-the-line trained militants that aim to incite the Muslim world and usually take place far away from Iran.

After each phase, a new terrorist sleeper network is planted so that any intelligence the West gains from the investigations into the operations does not hinder the subsequent plans of the Iranian regime. The Iranian-directed coordinated campaign, for the more decisive attacks (as opposed to small-scale bombings like that in Israel carried out by mediocre Palestinian groups with Iranian permission or support) utilize the manpower of Hezballah, sleeper cells consisting of “Afghans” (volunteers of the mujahideen in Afghanistan during the war against the Soviets, this is where Al-Qaeda associated branches come into play) and Sunni networks far away with local capabilities whose elimination does not affect the separate networks.

Regarding the “Afghans”, Iran’s contact with them, particularly through Ayman Al-Zawahiri began in May 1986 with a meeting at Ben Bella to unify the branches, as we discussed before. The initial components of the giant union of Islamic radicals included Muslim Brotherhood, Iranian Revolutionary Guards and intelligence, Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, the forces behind the Islamic Conferences in Europe, Hezballah, and Egyptian Islamic Jihad, operational branch of Al-Qaeda today, which were represented by Sheikh Umar Abdel-Rahman, mufti of the organization. Iran’s links to the inner circle of Al-Qaeda go back for over a decade. Beginning that summer, Iranian intelligence began funding Egyptian Islamic Jihad and providing technical assistance.

According to Ali Mohammed, a former Al-Qaeda security chief whom testified during the trials after the 1998 embassy bombings, the organization’s financial manager, Muhmud Salim met with Imad Mughniyah, an associate of the Iranian intelligence community, government, and Revolutionary Guards (and “employee” of Iran to take part in the business of terrorism sponsorship) in Sudan several times between 1992 and 1996, laying the foundation for tight cooperation between the two groups of extremists. Insight Magazine also has provided details from the court case that raise much worry.

“The federal grand jury that indicted bin Laden in 1998 for the embassy bombings described the operational support al-Qaeda received from governments in explicit terms: "Al-Qaeda also forged alliances with the National Islamic Front in the Sudan and with the government of Iran and its associated terrorist group Hezbollah for the purpose of working together against their perceived common enemies in the West, particularly the United States," the indictment says. Mohamed testified that "much of this type of training is actually carried out at a training camp there, in Iran, run by the Iranian Ministry of Information and Security." Even more damning comments were made by Mohamed under seal, because James Owens, one of the victims of the U.S. Embassy bombings in Tanzania, told the court at a sentencing hearing last month for the convicted bombers that "Iran provided the explosives for the bombings which have brought us here today." Despite this evidence of operational ties between Iran and the network that blew up the U.S. embassies, no Iranian official has yet been publicly indicted for the bombing.”

Ali Mohammed goes on to say that as of October of 2000, he knew that representatives of Iran, Hezballah, Al-Qaeda, Egyptian Islamic Jihad, along with Imad Mughniyah himself were holding several meetings. At these meetings, shipments of arms to Egyptian Islamic Jihad (and thus Al-Qaeda, as E.I.J. is the group’s operational arm) were discussed, and at one particular meeting, the Iranian representatives specifically pointed out they intended to use Hezballah as a proxy force for the cooperation. The meetings concluded with Hezballah agreeing to pass on their tactics used in Lebanon to the new Armed Islamic Movement (more specifically Bin Laden’s forces, although they didn’t have the widely known name of Al-Qaeda just yet) for use against “Big Satan” and “Little Satan”, particularly in the countries with their influence, specifically pointing out Saudi Arabia.

These contacts continued throughout the decade, mostly unnoticed, until the 1998 bombings of the embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. According to captured documents during the investigation and trial testimony, Hezballah forces, Iranian government and intelligence officials and members of the Special Revolutionary Guard forces all had contact with high-ranking Al-Qaeda forces, and enjoyed at least one visit from Osama Bin Laden himself. At the meeting mentioned, Iran directed its Hezballah forces near Al-Qaeda safe havens to arm and train Egyptian Islamic Jihad and Al-Qaeda, which had recently joined forces. At the meeting, Osama Bin Laden stressed that the organization needed to push aside differences with Shiite militants, specifically Iran and Hezballah, in order to pursue a common war against a common enemy.

Even when the Al-Qaeda and associated Islamic militant branches centralized into Afghanistan under Taliban rule, Iran assisted them. During the war in Afghanistan, the Northern Alliance identified two instructors at an Al-Qaeda training camp at Shomali as Iranians, both of which previously had experience with Hezballah. Documents seized at the camp showed blueprints to seize an American embassy, run assassination missions, and formulas for enriched uranium.

The days prior to 911 also show Iran had an alliance with terrorists. Over the summer of 2001, the bulk of Egyptian Jihad forces that we would fight in Afghanistan began entering the country through Iran, crossing at Mashhad. But in the first week of September, Iran stopped the immigration to Afghanistan. Some in US intelligence suspect this means Iran had some idea of a major terrorist attack that was imminent, which could potentially incriminate the Iranian regime.

On September 11, 2001, immediately before or after the first attack, a senior Iranian government official called relatives in Los Angeles saying he was hoping to flee to the United States. The official explained that Iran’s media/propaganda machine hoped to blame the attacks on the Japanese Red Army, providing details of elements of the disinformation operations that did not play out until weeks later. What is known though is that immediately following 9/11, the government-controlled media (broadcasting into Lebanon) did in fact try to spin the facts to make it appear it was the Japanese Red Army.
And so we go back to the Insight Magazine report on November 9, 2001. In the investigation, they write:

“A former Iranian-government intelligence officer who has defected to the West tells Insight during telephone interviews from Germany that he personally informed the FBI at the beginning of September of a plot by Iran to crash civilian jumbo jets into the World Trade Center and government buildings in Washington. A key element of the plot, which was code-named Shaitan der artash (Devil in the Fire), was the use of Arab "muscle men" to hijack the airliners. "Only the men leading the cells were Iranians," he says, "and they were recruited from among Iran's Arab-speaking population" in the southwest province of Khouzistan, bordering Iraq.....
The former intelligence officer says he received a coded message from inside Iran one week before the Sept. 11 attacks, signaling that the Shaitan der artash plan had been reactivated. He says he contacted the German intelligence agency, the BND, and the legal attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Berlin. U.S. government officials tell Insight that the FBI now claims it didn't receive the defector's warning until after Sept. 11.

To carry out the plan, a private company connected to the Iranian government purchased a Boeing 757 simulator through the European Airbus consortium 18 months before the attacks, the defector tells Insight. One of the individuals who purchased the simulator in Paris was in the United States on Sept. 11, he adds. “

Hamid Reza Zakeri

Insight Magazine ran another amazing investigation on June 10, 2003. It was about Hamid Reza Zakeri, whom defected from the Supreme Leader’s intelligence directorate, bringing along with him classified intelligence documents. Zakeri has testified to being in charge of the security apparatus surrounding at least two meetings inside Iran between Al-Qaeda and Iranian officials prior to 9/11. The secret document he gave to US intelligence was dated May 14, 2001, signed by the Minister for Information and Security, and quoted Khomeini in regards to how to handle the cooperation with Osama Bin Laden.

In the document written less than four months before the attack, Khomeini says to “strike at [American] economic structure, their reputation—and their internal peace and security....We should be very careful and very clever, so as not to leave behind any evidence that could negatively impact our future standing or policies.”
At the end of the document, the Minister of Information and Security writes to his ministry to “...improve our plans, especially in coordination with fighters of Al-Qaeda and Hezballah to find one objective that is beneficial to both sides...The Leader [Khomeini] mentioned that we should limit our relations with Al-Qaeda to just two people, as before—Imad Mughniyeh and Ayman Al-Zawahiri—and deal only with them.”

Zakeri says the first meeting he was present at was held in January 2001 when Al-Zawahiri arrived in Iran (from Afghanistan) alongside 29 other Al-Qaeda officials for a meeting that would go on for four days. “Zawahiri told my boss, Mustafa Hadadian, that they were planning a ‘major operation’ against the United States and Israel.” Zakeri says the meeting was at Varamin, just outside of Tehran. He testifies, “After the meeting, 12 of them [Al-Qaeda officials] stayed in Iran. They were talking about their ‘plans for the future’, and that they had the ‘same enemy’ as the Iranians. They said they were trying to build up one movement to cooperate together, and were asking Iran for operational support, equipment and money-laundering help in Dubai, as well as assistance with travel documents to help them travel from Iran to Europe. Ayman Al-Zawahiri told my boss that Al-Qaeda was ‘very soon’ going to make a major operation against the United States.”

Zakeri says Naleq-Nouri, former speaker of Iranian parliament and top aide to Khomeini, led the Iranian delegation and was assisted by Ali Akbar Parvaresh, former education minister and member of Section 43, the planning unit of the intelligence ministry. The success of the meeting led to Osama’s sending of Saad Bin Laden to Iran on May 4, 2001. Flying from the Talebat border of Afghanistan, to the Damavand airfield near Tehran, he and three Al-Qaeda officials began their three-week stay, which would include at least one meeting with Iranian government officials.
At Khomeini’s meeting house in Jamaran at the slopes of Elburz Mountains (just north of Tehran), the five members of the Leadership Council (the ayatollahs, Khomeini, and ex-president Rafsanjani) began discussing operations with Al-Qaeda representatives. Not long after, in the main hallway of the Ministry of Information and Security headquarters in Tehran was a new exhibit with models of the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and Camp David. Zakeri says: “From the ceiling, a missile was suspended as if to strike the buildings. ‘Death to America’ was written on its side in Arabic, not Farsi.” Zakeri says that the same hallway often had pictures of dissidents targeted by Iranian intelligence, whom would die or disappear soon after their pictures were posted. Zakeri went to the US embassy in Azerbaijan on July 26, 2001, met with the CIA station chief, and warned of a something occurring on or around September 10th. Insight Magazine was unable to confirm if he really did make that prediction, but was able to confirm that the meeting took place.

Worldwide Expansion

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Iran even helped forces that were part of the growing Armed Islamic Movement to expand worldwide into the menace we see today. Apart from helping Pakistan in the training and equipping of Kashmir-based militants, Iran often took a unilateral approach in these efforts. Even Pakistan often played only a minor role. From 1990 to 1991, Iran began helping Islamic radicals in the Philippines, particularly present-day Abu Sayyaf (one of Al-Qaeda’s Pacific branches) to build camps and general self-sustaining infrastructure. Often this was done through Iranian intelligence agents accompanying Hezballah. Present-day Moro Islamic Liberation Front also got help from Iran (and Pakistan) in making a network of camps, and establishing lines of supply and communication.
By 1994, the rebels numbered over 120,000 organized into 6 divisions, with an elite division of 6,000 veterans including Afghan mujahideen. Throughout the fall of 1994, reaching the height in October, Iran send huge amounts of experts (embedded into Hezballah) and supply to the radicals in the Philippines, landing on Mindanao. Even a few American-designed Stinger missiles are suspected of being shipped. By the end of the year, nearly 180,000 people had joined the rebellion.

Due to differences with a commander in the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Abu Sayyaf split apart (but did not fight with the MLF), now being led by a graduate from an Iranian training camp. In 1995, Abu Sayyaf formed back the alliance with MLF, and the militants became a crucial part of Al-Qaeda’s network of terrorism. The next year, Iran withdrew most forces from the Philippines including Hezballah to avoid the political ramifications. Iran had successfully covered up their role, and instead of risking being caught in the act, withdrew as the new terrorist infrastructure had already reached self-sustaining capabilities. Nevertheless, Hezballah still often helped recruiting efforts overseas, and graduates from Iranian and Hezballah camps were encouraged to join the group.

In fact, many of the Latin American recruits for Al-Qaeda were initially recruited by Hezballah. This is certainly the case in 1996 and afterwards when new Hezballah networks were propped up in Uruguay, Chile and Argentina that expanded as time went on. Using its connections in the Pacific, Hezballah networks expanded in Thailand, Australia and Indonesia (possibly contributing to the current Al-Qaeda branch there, known as Jeemah Islamiyya). Even today, the representatives of the various terrorist groups belonging to the Armed Islamic Movement meet at the Triple Border where Paraguay, Brazil, and Argentina meet, to coordinate terrorism. Mughniyah himself has met with Al-Qaeda representatives here. According to intelligence, this is where Western Hemisphere-based terrorism was planned and coordinated between several groups including Islamic Jihad, Hezballah, Al-Qaeda, Egyptian Islamic Jihad, etc., for during and after the war in Iraq.

Other Assistance

By early May, the US was pressuring Iran to hand over Al-Qaeda and extremist forces being harbored in their territory, with the knowledge of the government. It has been reported that Iran demanded that members of the opposition forces, Mujahideen-e-Khalq be handed to them first, which the US refused to do. According to some reporting, one of those harbored in Iran was Saadoon Mohammed Abdul Latif, also known as Abu Wail, who was an Iraqi intelligence officer who served as Iraqi liaison with Bin Laden by visiting in Afghanistan in 1999. Also hidden in Iran was Ayub Afghani, an Al-Qaeda explosives expert and senior leaders of Ansar al-Islam, an Al-Qaeda branch formerly in northern Iraq. Also from Iraq was Al-Qaeda associate Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi, head of a terrorist poisons network and weapons of mass destruction efforts, and who also has been given the responsibility of finding safety for hundreds of Taliban and Al-Qaeda fighters using his expertise in false documentation and escaping the authorities.

Iran has become a major base for Al-Qaeda operations. In fact, the military commander of the group and the #3 ranking leader, Seif al-Adel, organized the May 12th bombing attacks on Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in Iran. The head of logistics, Saad Bin Laden, Osama’s oldest son, as well as the head of training, Abu Mohammed Masri, are also in Iran forming this command group.

Seif al-Adel has coordinated Al-Qaeda’s cooperation with local extremist groups including those in Morocco and Pakistan to launch attacks. He also oversees the security of the organization and distributes money and propaganda to Afghanistan-based forces from Iran. Working alongside Abu Mussab Al-Zarqawi (whom escaped to Iran between March 19th and 29th from Iraq) and Saad Bin Laden, Saif al-Adel coordinates his actions wtih the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and the Intelligence Ministry. It is believed at least 500 Al-Qaeda connected or associated persons are in Iran despite their claims of expelling them. The strategy behind this is to use the group’s profound influence to launch terrorist attacks that cannot be traced back to Iran, and to promote Iranian influence in Afghanistan and Iraq. The most dangerous detail not mentioned yet is that Seif Al-Adel is currently in the process of activating sleeper cells in Western Europe and the United States.

Iran enjoys a tremendous advantage due to this. According to Ali Nouri Zadeh of the Arabic paper, Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, if any attacks or militant circles are traced to Iran, they simply remove them from their territory. Iran is careful not to reveal their role in terrorism (unless it is Palestinian resistance). Immediately after the May 12th Riyadh attacks, Seif al-Adel and Saad Bin Laden left Iran (but returned later). Other forces of Al-Qaeda and Ansar al-Islam began moving back into northern Iraq, Afghanistan, or the triple border between Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan. An investigation in February revealed an Al-Qaeda network centered in Tehran, Mashhad and Zahedan. Saad Bin Laden, al-Adel, and Abu Khaled at the time were all living in a safehouse under the ownership of the Special Revolutionary Guards in the Bamk Abroad district.

Israeli intelligence says that the reason for a heightened alert in Saudi Arabia which occurred about a week before the May 12th attacks on Riyadh, was that Western intelligence had picked up suspicious amounts of electronic “chatter” among Al-Qaeda cells around Saudi Arabia, and simultaneous movement of operatives from the Pakistani-Afghani tribal areas to Abu Dhabi, Yemen and Qatar through Iran. Saad Bin Laden, Seif al-Adel, Abu al-Walid, and Al-Masri were all supervising the movement from Iran.

The command centers for Al-Qaeda and associated militants such as Ansar al-Islam in Iran were said to be in four areas. Up to 600 operatives and associates were in the province of Khorasan at Tayebat (12 miles from the border of Afghanistan) and near Garmab (60 miles away from Mashhad). In the province of Baluchistan there were two locations for cells at Zabul and Zahedan, where Revolutionary Guards forces were stationed. The week after the attack, the United States cut off diplomatic contacts with Iran and demanded the extradition of terrorists and cooperation with the Riyadh investigation.

This could also be due to the suspicion that Iran may be at times harboring Osama Bin Laden. The most common view held right now is that the he and Ayman Al-Zawahiri often find harbor in the southern Assir province of Saudi Arabia in the Empty Quarter Desert (which is not controlled by the Saudi government), and the area which extends onto the Yemeni border. From here, it is believed they very often travel to the Pakistani tribal areas, sometimes slipping into Afghanistan, and sometimes slipping into Iran where the borders of the three countries meet. Other people hold that they are always in the Pakistani and Afghani tribal areas, where some have even said they are often at the Hindu Kush Mountains.

Nevertheless, the suspicion towards Iran in regards to their location is justified. According to Italian intelligence, Osama Bin Laden often meets with his oldest son, Saad in Iran, traveling freely throughout Iran to consult with his group’s leadership. In early May, it is said that Osama and seven senior aides including Al-Zawahiri went to Iran, and were spotted in Tehran, where they are believed to have authorized the May 12th Riyadh attacks (and the other attacks throughout the spring) putting Seif al-Adel in charge. Attacks on Turkey, Pakistan and Italy were reportedly discussed. The reports finish with saying that the delegation carried Iranian passports, identifying themselves as businessmen.

In the face of US threats, Iran claimed it had detained senior Al-Qaeda in the country but would not hand them over to the United States, but rather would send them to their homelands after being identified. Even today, in the second week of July, there is still “identification” going on and the militants are still “detained”. The definition of “detained” appears to be loose, as it can mean they are under “arrest”, but really in police possession while being allowed to continue their work. Iranian authorities have said there are some 350 Al-Qaeda in their possession.

The Al-Qaeda spokesman, Suleiman Abu Ghaith, was leaked to the press (probably on purpose) to be among those detained. Immediately, Egypt began contacting Iran about sending Egyptian nationals home for prosecution. At least 14 Egyptian terrorists are believed to be given safe haven in Iran, particularly those involved in the 1998 embassy bombings.

Among those harbored: Mustafa Hamza, conspirator in a plot to kill Egyptian president Mubarak in 1995; Abdul Rahman Khader, leader of Egyptian Islamic Jihad and conspirator in the bombing of the Egyptian embassy in Pakistan in 1995; leading members of Gamiat Islamiya including members of the Shura Council like Muhammed Shawqi Islambuli, the brother of the assassin of Anwar Sadat.

The War in Afghanistan

Around the first week of October 2001, Imad Mughniyah, a senior intelligence official from Iran, and an Iraqi intelligence official close to Saddam Hussein met in Mashhad. Knowing the American onslaught was near; it is likely this had to do with preparations for the import of militant forces.

Ever since winter 2001-2002, when the American forces toppled the Taliban government in Afghanistan, these forces have been welcomed in Iran, for the proper amount of money. Most of the forces that escaped to Iran are in northern training camps, while more important officials moved to Tehran, Qom, and Mashhid. Upon significant pressure, Iran would transfer selected militants to northern Iraq and/or Syria and Lebanon to bolster the Hezballah forces. By December 2001, Israeli intelligence reported that hundreds, possibly thousands of foreigners harbored in Afghanistan had escaped a very large portion of which escaping through Iran. It was said that they escaped using drug trafficking routes in Baluchistan, with full awareness of Iranian intelligence. Most of those escaping were Saudis, which makes the observer question the significance of the Saudi-Iranian alliance (as it relates to terrorism investigations, as we saw when the Saudis covered up incriminating evidence against Hezballah and Iran in the investigation into the Dhalan bombings and Khobar Tower bombings).

Iran also traditionally interferes in Afghan relations to sway factors in the politics in their favor. Such covert operations dramatically increased before 9/11 (it is reported that Iran assisted Al-Qaeda in killing the Northern Alliance commander just days before 9/11 by providing transportation and security) and had another acceleration once Western forces attacked Afghanistan. According to an American special ops officer, the Iranian-modified AK-47 flooded Afghanistan in increasing numbers during the fighting. Press reports also indicate that three officers from the Revolutionary Guards were killed in the bombing raids at Herat on Taliban and Al-Qaeda sites. Herat has always been a site for Iran’s “active measures”, and today is ruled by Ismail Khan, a man who openly admits ties to the government of Iran. According to an Insight Magazine investigation, Khan has ten Iranian generals serving under him whom are suspected of being involved with resistance forces against the new post-war government. One of the generals, General Blokian of the Revolutionary Guard, previously assisted Hezballah based in southern Lebanon, and now trains resistance forces loyal to the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. On the other hand, to manipulate the forces consisting of the Northern Alliance, Iran supported ethnic Tajik factions in the Alliance.

Today Iran still supports the Hekmatyar forces allied to the Taliban and Al-Qaeda whom lead a rebellion against the Western forces in Afghanistan, as well as the new government there. Even the former deputy chief of finance for the Taliban, and the former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Taliban have said that Iran is supporting Hekmatyar and the regrouping terrorist forces, allowing them to have just as much funding as they did before 9/11.
The fact that Iran has assisted Al-Qaeda’s campaign of terrorism during the war in Afghanistan should be a sign that the hope that Iran will quit the business is faint. It appears that Iran’s very foundation as a radical Islamist government depends upon serving the forces of evil, even if it means confrontation with American forces. Iran, immediately after the war in Afghanistan began, provided safe haven for militants from a wide range of groups to assemble across the border in eastern Iran, where a militant camp was detected by US spy satellites. An obstacle course and rifle training (primarily used for guerilla warfare and targeted killings) have been seen from the bird’s eye.

Iraq War

Iran originally intended to, if possible, ignite a regional war with Israel if Iraq was attacked, feeling that their regime would be in peril if such a war was successful. As war came close, seeing how this was not the route to take as conditions was not ripe (including the fact that Palestinian militants were unable or unwilling to launch spectacular attacks to provoke Israel), Iran with Syria’s help chose another tactic. The Iranian regime cooperated with Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi regime in the past few years but of course, a more trustworthy regime would be more favorable. Iran aimed to keep the Coalition forces bogged down in Iraq as long as possible while assisting radical Shiites in winning the government over, through democratic means or by coup.

As early as February, the Iranian-backed force called the Badr Brigades (more like an extension of the Revolutionary Guards) crossed into northern Iraq. This group consists of 5,000 Shiites used to expand Iran’s influence in the post-war environment. At the exact same time, Iran began shipping light and medium weapons to Ansar al-Islam, the Kurdish branch of Al-Qaeda based in northern Iraq (and sponsored by Saddam Hussein’s regime as a way to persecute the rebellious Kurdish forces). Not long after, their northern offensive meant to hinder cooperation between Coalition forces and Kurdish rebels was launched. This can be seen as a forced bargaining tactic, as it was reported that Iran promised the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and other Kurdish forces that Iran would assist against Ansar forces in return for a promise of extended Shiite influence in Iraq.

It was decided in March that paramilitary units would be sent to five Shiite cities to begin sporadic resistance once Saddam Hussein’s fate was sealed. The five cities initially targeted for Shiite upheaval was Baghdad, Najaf, Karbala, Basra, and Kirkuk. It is interesting to note these were the same sites of fighting with volunteer foreign terrorists, as well as Al-Qaeda cells. As part of this effort, Iran purchased Kuwaiti and Saudi military uniforms. If the Shiites were rejected the representation they deserved in the government (so Iran would have great influence in Iraq) or the Americans were preparing to confront Iran in any way, the plans were to cooperate with Baathist remnants and foreign volunteers for the resistance. A branch of Hezballah was established in northern Iraq specifically for this purpose, and according to Israeli intelligence, there was evidence that truck bombings were part of the contingency planes.

During the beginning of the campaign, Iran donated $2 million to their agents in the Shiite communities in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon to incite the peoples. Part of that money was shifted to build a “command center” at Ahuaz in Kohzestan province to oversee the covert warfare. After learning that portions of Iraq’s Republican Guards planned to merge in with the population and fight from the underground, Iran sold communications equipment, as well as agreed to temporarily harbor senior commanders if they were in transit.

Within one week, efforts to recruit and distribute militants in Umm Qasr, al-Amara, the Faw Peninsula and Basra began. Shiite extremists temporarily got public eye and power as the lack of control allowed their pour to source in central and southern Iraq, particularly around the oil fields. Not long after, six Hezballah insurgents were captured along the Syrian border, planning some form of an explosives attack on American soldiers.

By April 22, especially in the time up to the annual Shiite pilgrimage in Iraq, thousands of Badr Brigades had entered Iraq as an Iranian proxy force. Entering from Kurdistan, they established base in areas of Baqubah in the Diyala region near Baghdad, while a second force established base in Nasariya, Najef and Karbala. Iran also ordered Hezballah, while Arafat ordered certain extremists under the supervision of the Palestinian Authority to enter Iraq so as to recruit and incite people amongst the crowds. Fortunately, there were only a few violent protests and minor bloodshed, and the plot to incite the Shiites into either bribing for overwhelming power in the government or to begin anti-American revolution had failed. This led to the beginning of the end of the power of the Supreme Assembly for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, which had hoped to win by democratic means.

Mujahideen-e-Khalq, a terrorist group that opposes the Iranian regime, which disarmed and surrendered to the US and provided valuable intelligence, has confirmed all this. The group (which has not targeted civilians for many years) claims to have captured four of the commanders of the Revolutionary Guards in Nandalr, Iraq which had infiltrated with the goal to cooperate with the Badr Brigades to incite revolution. Immediately after, American officials confirmed that thousands of Iranian agents had been organizing anti-American demonstrations in Shiite towns, and had been assisting Hezballah political activities in the country.

The failure to incite revolution led to, while still capitalizing on anti-American sentiment, Iranian forces to try to destabilize any type of post-war government. Beginning April 8th but continuing for the next few months, religious edicts were issued in Iran and in Iraq by clerics and mullahs on the extremist payroll, calling for Shiites to use all efforts to seize administrational jobs or to incite others to peacefully remove the American presence. Clerics in Najaf began funding and appointing clerics to cities, who are given responsibility to appoint officials that run everything from civil defense forces to civilian infrastructure construction. This even resulted in Coalition forces arresting a Shiite self-proclaimed mayor.

Parts of this effort aim to have pro-Iran Shiites take power over pro-American Shiites and then to gain higher power, as the Shiites is the majority in Iraq. To do this, assassinations and intimidation of “unhelpful” Shiite leaders must occur to frighten the rivals. This tactic began on April 10th, with the assassination of Ayatollah Abdel Majid el-Khoei, believed to have been done by Iranian special agents.
Disappointed with the incitement campaign, efforts resumed to win politically, by having favorable Shiites in critical centers of power in Iraq. During the first two weeks of May, approximately 2,000 Iranian elite troops expanded the infiltration campaign to include 11 Iraqi cities. In cooperation with the Badr Brigades, the extremists hoped to appoint mayors and governors in power to undermine US rule. The cities targeted included Karbala, Najef, Hillah, Kufah, Diwaniyah, Kut, Nasariya, and Amarah.

Soon after, Iran set up four Arabic radio stations, hired hundreds of indoctrinated mullahs to go into major mosques, and began preparing for a sequel to the Lebanon episodes of the 1980s. Now, in July, Iran is using eight radio stations to incite attacks, while moving selected Hezballah and Al-Qaeda experts into northern Iraq to work alongside the Baathist militant resistance. Israeli intelligence has reported that Iran even sometimes does surveillance activities for these terrorists, including sending intelligence officers to investigate potential attacks on American command-and-control sites in the Gulf and warships. At Iran’s disposal is said to be at least 5 senior commanders of Al-Qaeda located in Tehran and Mashhad, and according to the unconfirmed report, about 1240 low and mid-ranking operatives associated with Bin Laden’s forces.

It is easy to mistake Iranian-backed Shiite attacks on Coalition forces for Baathist militants. It has been alleged this was the case in the killing of 6 British soldiers in Iraq, in a Shiite-dominated town said to have been infiltrated by Iranian agents, and occupied by the Shiite forces known as Badr Brigades and also the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, an Iranian-backed umbrella organization of Shiite extremists.

Like in Afghanistan, we see Iran overtly and covertly assisting elements loyal to terrorist forces of all kinds (Al-Qaeda, miscellaneous groups and foreign volunteer batches, even Baathist loyalists which have formed alliances with the Islamic radicals and terrorists). As presented, there seems to be a pattern with a cycle that is unlikely to be broken. The motive for Iran’s government, Islamic revolution and the perceived threat of the United States in the region and in the world is one that will drive terrorism for a time to come. The only option to make is either to succumb to Iran’s wishes, which would throw the USA out of the region, result in the destruction of Israel, and in further expansion of hostile elements, or to confront this threat in escalating fashion.

Ryan Mauro has been a geopolitical analyst for Tactical Defense Concepts (, a maritime-associated security company, since 2002. In 2003, Mr. Mauro joined the Northeast Intelligence Network (, which specializes in tracking and assessing terrorist threats. He has been published in,,,,, and in the Turkistan Newsletter (Turkistan Bulteni). He is a frequent writer for as well. He has appeared on radio shows including The Al Rantel Show, WIBG Radio, WorldNetDaily Radioactive with Joseph Farah, Jeff Nyquist Program, Kevin McCullough Show, Laurie Roth Show, Tovia Singer Show, Stan Major Show, and Preparedness Now. His book "Death to America: The Unreported Battle of Iraq" is scheduled to be published in the coming months. He publishes his own web site called World Threats. Mr. Mauro may be reached at

4 posted on 01/15/2005 12:35:22 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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ISSA Special Topical Studies
Iraq War 2003: Background, Lessons and Follow-On

Return to Iraq War index page

January 10, 2005

Iraqi Leadership, In Battle For Survival and Under Direct Coercion, Begins Process of Cooperation With Iranian and Syrian Leaderships

Analysis. By Jason Fuchs, GIS UN Correspondent. GIS sources in Iraq on January 8, 2005, confirmed that the Iranian Government had been involved in organizing the December 19, 2004, bombing in Najaf which killed more than 50 people, as well as its ongoing involvement in the Iraqi intifada, and yet there appeared to be a growing reluctance in the Iraqi interim Government — and in Washington, DC — to openly confront Iran’s clerical leadership and the Syrian Government. Indeed, there now appeared to be a pattern of cooperation developing between the Iraqi interim Government of Prime Minister Iyad Allawi and the governments of Iran and Syria, because of the apparent belief that the US could not provide protection to the Baghdad Administration.

In essence, the development of a revived modus vivendi between Iraq and the Iranian clerics and Syria’s Ba’athist leadership threatens to jeopardize US strategic goals for the Middle East, by helping those two leaderships survive and continue with anti-US/anti-Western terrorist, WMD, and political activities.

On December 29, 2004, the Najaf police chief, Gen. Ghaleb al-Jazairi, had accused the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) of involvement in the attack, following the capture and interrogation of three suspects linked to the bombing. Four days earlier, Gen. Al-Jazairi had released information on another arrested suspect, stating that the man had “lived in Syria where he worked for Syrian intelligence”, apparently at an Iraqi refugee camp. According to Gen. Al-Jazairi, the suspect had “confessed that Syrian intelligence services had played a rôle in the blast”.

GIS sources noted that, while this intelligence was essentially accurate, the Najaf police chief had, it was believed, received his information through US intelligence and that the subsequent decision to publicly release the “discovery” had been a choice made by US decisionmakers, not the Najaf authorities or the interim Administration of Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi’s Administration. It remained unclear, though, as to who had made the decision to release this information through the Najaf police chief. Whomever the source, both Tehran and Damascus appeared to have read the message in the context of increasingly terse “threats” from a variety of Iraqi political figures, notably the Iraqi defense minister Hazem al-Shaalan, who called Iran Iraq’s “number one enemy”.

Yet Tehran appeared appropriately unconcerned by the escalating rhetoric. As far as the Iraqi Defense Minister was concerned, GIS sources noted that within the interim Government and on the Iraqi political scene “everyone was distancing themselves from Hazem al-Shaalan”.  As one GIS source in Iraq noted: “The problem isn’t his message, but his lack of subtlety.” With the Defense Minister being slowly ostracized, the Iranian leadership would pay little heed to his warnings and more attention to what had been the apparent reaction on the political scene; that is, a tremendous reluctance to openly confront Tehran regardless of the overwhelming evidence of its involvement in the Iraqi intifada and, by inference, recognition that Washington remained incapable of protecting its Iraqi allies from Tehran’s reach.

The Iraqi Defense Minister’s cause had been further hindered by the overt and unmistakable domestic political overtones of his message, in which he inaccurately conflated the Iranian threat with the prospect of the Iraqi National Alliance, the so-called “unified Shi’ite list”, dominating the polls in the January 30, 2005, elections. To this end, Shaalan accused Dr Hussein Shahristani — a leading, independent candidate on the Iraqi National Alliance (al-Ittilaf al-Watani al-Iraqi) list — of acting as an agent for Iran and implied that the entire list of candidates would act as an Iranian surrogate if allowed to assume the majority in the Iraqi National Assembly. GIS sources noted that the National Alliance list remained the most viable if not the only viable party in the upcoming elections. This political viability stemmed not from Tehran’s interference in Iraqi affairs, but from the broad-based support the party received from large swathes of Iraqi Shi’ites—not necessarily, nor mostly pro-Tehran—as well as Failis (Kurdish Shi’ites), Turkmen, and Yazdis, all of whom fielded candidates on the National Alliance list.

With virtually no Iraq-based constituency, PM Allawi continued to prepare for all possible contingencies with the recognition that his personal and political wellbeing depended on his ability to convince both Washington and Tehran that he would serve their respective interests to the fullest. Problematically for the US, Tehran seemed far more cognizant of this reality than did the US Bush Administration. As GIS/Defense & Foreign Affairs Daily reported in a September 2, 2004, dispatch by Senior Editor Yossef Bodansky that by mid-August 2004 PM Allawi had reached out to Iranian-sponsored Shi’a cleric Moqtada al-Sadr and Tehran:

This was achieved through a secret agreement reached between Allawi and his three confidants and Sadr and his close aides, including representatives of Iranian intelligence and the HizbAllah, according to which the Moqtada al-Sadr “Mahdi Army” would not be disbanded, the Shi’ite mujahedin would be permitted to keep their weapons, and Sadr and his commanders would enjoy blanket immunity.

Essentially, the Shi’ite forces were left intact and permitted to regroup and prepare to fight another day, which was fine by Allawi as long as they would fight against the US forces and not his Administration. Moreover, Sadr’s people remained in the Najaf Grand Mosque, albeit as “agents of Sistani’s court”. To ensure compliance, in late August 2004, Allawi reached out to Tehran and offered a rapprochement. In a series of meetings in Tehran, Allawi’s official and clandestine emissaries assured the Iranian leaders that the guerilla warfare against the US would continue, albeit without endangering Allawi and his inner circle. Moreover, Allawi’s Baghdad said that they would recognize the Iranian legitimate vital interests in Iraq (which, needless to say, cannot co-exist with a US presence in Iraq). The Iranians stressed that Tehran was adamant on realizing its strategic objectives, and that Allawi’s remaining in power would depend on his “performance”.

In light of this, the Allawi Administration’s response to Gen. Al-Jazairi’s revelations proved particularly illustrative. By January 2, 2005, Gen. Al-Jazairi had been ordered by the interim Government to leave Najaf and return to Baghdad “before he would be ultimately fired” according to Iraqi Interior Minister Fallah al-Naqib. GIS sources noted that al-Naqib had been included in the Allawi-Tehran understanding and, further, al-Naqib’s declaration came during a meeting with the Syrian Interior Minister, Ghazi Khanaan in Tunisia. Significantly, the initial report, quoting the Iraqi Interior Minister deriding Gen. Al-Jazairi’s comments as “unfounded”, came from the official Syrian news agency SANA. The fact that official Syrian media had been appraised of decisionmaking regarding an Iraqi police matter before any prepared statement was released from Baghdad indicated the degree to which the decision made had been aimed at audiences in Damascus and, by extension, Tehran. The anticipated reaction of those in Najaf and even of Coalition authorities had proven entirely secondary. By January 6, 2005, Iraqi Deputy Interior Minister Sabah Kadhim had issued an official apology to Syria and Iran regarding the Najaf police chief’s “quite unfounded and baseless” accusations.

While there had been little other indication of the Allawi-Tehran agreement in the ensuing months, GIS sources reported in early January 2005 that the pact still held and, critically, was nearing on-the-ground implementation.1 The January 30, 2005, elections would, GIS sources detailed, act as the practical “trigger” for the maturation of this pact. If the elections unfolded as expected, January 31, 2005 would see the Iraqi National Alliance list with a majority in the newly elected National Assembly and find PM Allawi at his weakest juncture. Allawi had clearly anticipated this. For his part, Tehran’s backing would allow him to survive in the post-election Iraq that the Iranian leadership was determined to shape. The US Bush Administration, on the other hand, either ignorant of or unwilling to accept the reality of Allawi’s positioning and heavily influenced in this regard by the State Department and outgoing US Secretary of State Colin Powell, would, in all likelihood, continue to see the secular Allawi as a worthy prime ministerial counterbalance to a perceptibly more religious, pro-Tehran National Assembly. Already, Washington’s allies in the region, cognizant of the US Bush Administration’s tenuous short-term strategic footing, had capitalized on the concern within the State Department and parts of the CIA over the looming success of the unified Shi’ite list.

Jordan’s King Abdullah, in particular, had provided excellent intelligence to Washington on the Iranian presence in Iraq, but — not unlike Iraqi Defense Minister Shaalan — tied these reports to warnings about the Shi’ite-takeover in Baghdad that the January 30, 2004, elections promised. Concerns included the presence of Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraqi (SCIRI) leader, Abd al-Aziz al-Hakim, at the “head” of the National Alliance list, which had prompted many to suggest that al-Hakim would be the likely choice for prime minister if the Ayatollah Sistani-backed list succeeded. Yet, as American Enterprise Institute (AEI) Resident Fellow and former political adviser to the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in Iraq, Michael Rubin, told GIS in early January 2005: “Who is first on the list does not matter. Once the entire assembly is elected, they will choose a prime minister.” And while the National Alliance would, in all likelihood, take a majority, it would still be forced to deal with a variety of Iraqi political factions, narrowing al-Hakim’s chances to assume the prime ministership. Rubin added: “The candidate will more likely be someone not deemed a party leader, but rather a compromise candidate.” A more likely choice could be the current interim Finance Minister, Adel Mehdi.

For the US White House, distinguishing between real threats from Iran and imagined threats from Iraqi Shi’ites had become a troublesome component in discerning a clear Iraq policy. Ultimately, the belief that Iyad Allawi would provide a better counterweight against the prospect of a pro-Tehran Baghdad than a National Alliance dominated assembly failed to acknowledge the shifting alliances in Baghdad and overestimated the sway that Tehran held within the Iraqi Shi’ite community.

The Iraqi elections came at a particularly sensitive time for Tehran, which found itself staving off international pressure to end its “suspected” nuclear weapons programs at the same time as a burgeoning democracy in Iraq threatened its own stability and perpetuity. Complicating matters was a developing leadership struggle at the uppermost levels of the Iranian hierarchy.

GIS Iranian sources detailed that the rift between Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Hoseini-Khamene‘i and Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani, the chairman of the Expediency Council, was increasing “day by day”. Rafsanjani, the most powerful man in Tehran after the Supreme Leader, remained undecided through early January 2005 as to whether or not he would run for president in the June 17, 2005 Iranian elections. Already Rafsanjani had been invited to run by a number of Iranian political parties including the Executives of Construction Party (reformist), Islamic Civilization Party, Islamic Labor Party (conservative), Jam'iyat-e Vafaadaaraan-e Enghelaab-e Eslaami (conservative), Moderation and Development Party (conservative), and Workers' House (reformist).

Ideologically, both Khameine‘i and Rafsanjani remained “on the same page”; that is, they both continued to view the Islamist revolution as the heart of the Iranian Islamic Republic’s very existence and, in turn, accepted the use of “unconventional warfare” through Islamist “vanguard forces” as the primary means for the export and defense of the revolution. While Rafsanjani had often been described as a “pragmatist” in contrast to the more “fundamentalist” Supreme Leader, both remained committed to the same overall goals. As one GIS Iranian source explained: “The disagreement between Khameine‘i and Hashemi-Rafsanjani is not about ideology. It is about power.”

While the conflict had simmered beneath the surface for more than a decade, with the tense situation in neighboring Iraq and concern rising about domestic unrest, GIS sources revealed that, by January 2005, there existed the possibility that Rafsanjani would attempt to remove Khameine‘i with the support of elements of the MOIS, a key component of Rafsanjani’s power base. While many Iran observers focused on Rafsanjani’s presidential aspirations, GIS sources noted that real power, regardless of the outcome of the June 2005 elections, would still rest with Khameine‘i. Whether Rafsanjani would view a presidential victory as a stepping stone to unseating Khameine‘i or an unnecessary distraction from this campaign would, it was believed, play a central rôle in whether or not Rafsanjani decided to run for president.

Regardless, Rafsanjani’s eyes remained focused beyond the June 2005 elections and on the seat of the Iranian Supreme Leader. Aware of the challenge from Rafsanjani, Khameine‘i appeared to be in the process of adopting some of Rafsanjani’s “pragmatic” tactics in order to hold off international/US pressure long enough to allow the covert Iranian nuclear weapons program to produce a sufficient deterrent capability to preserve Khameine‘i’s rule. To this end, the Iranian leadership was committed to undertaking an ostensible rapprochement with Washington even as it collaborated with the international Islamist-jihadist leadership to launch a new offensive against and within the West.

GIS sources pointed to a speech scheduled for January 14, 2005, in New York by the Iranian Ambassador to the United Nations, Hojjat ol-Eslam Dr M. Javad Zarif, as one component of this “rapprochement” strategy. One GIS Iranian source detailed that the speech had been approved by the highest levels of the Iranian leadership and would discuss opportunities to bring Washington and Tehran closer together. This speech could mark the beginning of a diplomatic offensive designed to force the US Bush Administration’s hand at a time when it recognized its unstable position in Iraq and the failure, thus far, of US pressure and coercion to obfuscate Iranian nuclear weapons development.

At the same time, the Islamist faithful found itself in the throes of intense anticipation, awaiting the long promised jihadist offensive. The need for a new round of “spectacular” strikes from the Islamist standpoint had never been greater, both with regard to the upcoming elections in Iraq and the PA, and in light of the promises made by Islamist leaders including Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri about impending “painful” strikes against the “Crusader-Zionist alliance”. Further, the strategic decision to withhold the offensive until after the November 2004 US election may yet prove a wise one for the Islamist international, but risked engendering an image of weakness and irresolution unless subsequent strikes could soon be launched.

Tehran fully recognized this need and, as GIS sources reported in late October 2004, remained deeply involved along with Damascus in discussions about the new offensive. Bin Laden himself had even acknowledged the Iranian rôle, particularly in Iraq, re-justifying a point of contention in the Sunni Islamist movement: the involvement of Shi’ite, non-Arab Iran in an Iraqi intifada fought, in part, by determined Sunnis. Bin Laden in a tape recording released on December 27, 2004, declared: “When there is blatant helplessness in Palestine and Iraq, jihad [becomes] a personal duty incumbent upon those around them, such as the residents of Saudi Arabia, Syria, Jordan, Turkey, Iran, and Kuwait, and if [they are also] unable to carry it out, the duty is incumbent upon those around them.” Thus, not only did bin Laden deem it acceptable for Iran to play a central rôle in the jihad, but, moreover, explained that it was actually a religious duty to do so, regardless of national or theological differences.


1. Associated Press confirmed the GIS reports on January 7, 2004, in a dispatch which noted:

An Iraqi militant suspected of involvement in beheadings and other bloody attacks told Iraqi authorities that his group has links with Iran and Syria, according to a tape aired Friday [January 7, 2004] by an Arabic TV station funded by the US Government.

Moayad Ahmed Yasseen, leader of Jaish Mohammed [believed to operate entirely autonomously from — but certainly sympathetically with — the Pakistan/India-based Jaish-e Mohammadi, which see — GIS Ed.] which is Arabic for Mohammed's Army, was captured nearly two months ago in Fallujah, the former guerilla stronghold west of Baghdad.

Alhurra television, which has its headquarters in Washington, said the tape of his purported confession was made December 24 [2004] and provided to the station by Iraq's Ministry of Defense.

Iraqi and US officials, including President Bush, have accused Syria and Iran of meddling in Iraq's affairs and aiding insurgents, a charge both nations vehemently deny. Interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi said last week that Iraq's patience was running out with countries that support the insurgency.

On the tape, Yasseen, a colonel in Saddam Hussein's army, said two other former Iraqi military officers belonging to his group were sent "to Iran in April or May [2004], where they met a number of Iranian intelligence officials." He said they also met with Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamene’i.

He said Iranian officials provided money, weapons "and, as far as I know, even car bombs" for Jaish Mohammed.

Yasseen also said he got permission from Saddam — while the former dictator was in hiding after his ouster by the US-led invasion in 2003 — to cross into Syria and meet with a Syrian intelligence officer to ask for money and weapons. He didn't say if the request was met.

The US military has said Jaish Mohammed appears to be an umbrella group for former Iraqi intelligence agents, army officers, security officials and members of Saddam's Ba’ath Party.

The group is known to have cooperated with Jordanian terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi as well as other Saddam loyalists and al-Qaida supporters. Allawi has accused Jaish Mohammed of killing and beheading a number of Iraqis, Arabs and foreigners in Iraq.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Allawi was quoted in the United Arab Emirates daily al-Bayan, on January 8, 2004, as saying: “Syria has been an important factor of stability in Iraq and vise versa … A positive relationship with Syria is at the top of my priorities.” This came after Defense Minister Shaalan threatened, on January 8, 2004, in a statement to Agence France Press (AFP): “We do not want to be a party in harming either Syria or Iran ... (But) we have the means of shifting the battlefield from the streets of Baghdad to the streets of Tehran and Damascus.”

5 posted on 01/15/2005 12:35:54 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn



Respect for basic human rights in Iran, especially freedom of expression and opinion, deteriorated in 2004. Torture and ill-treatment in detention, including indefinite solitary confinement, are used routinely to punish dissidents. The judiciary, which is accountable to Supreme Leader Ali Khamene’i rather than the elected president, Mohammad Khatami, has been at the center of many serious human rights violations. Abuses are carried out by what Iranians call “parallel institutions”: plainclothes intelligence agents, paramilitary groups that violently attack peaceful protests, and illegal and secret prisons and interrogation centers run by intelligence services.  

Freedom of Expression and Opinion  
The Iranian authorities systematically suppress freedom of expression and opinion. After President Mohammad Khatami’s election in 1997, reformist newspapers multiplied and took on increasingly sensitive topics in their pages and editorial columns. Prominent Iranian intellectuals began to challenge foundational concepts of Islamic governance. In April 2000, the government launched a protracted campaign to silence critics: closing down newspapers, imprisoning journalists and editors, and regularly calling editors and publishers before what became known as the Press Court. Today, very few independent dailies remain, and those that do self-censor heavily. Many writers and intellectuals have left the country, are in prison, or have ceased to be critical. Days after the visit of the Special Rapporteur for freedom of opinion and expression, Ambeyi Ligabo, in late 2003, one of the student activists with whom he spoke was re-arrested. In 2004 the authorities also moved to block Internet websites that provide independent news and analysis, and to arrest writers using this medium to disseminate information and analysis critical of the government.  
Torture and Ill-treatment in Detention  
With the closure of independent newspapers and journals, treatment of detainees has worsened in Evin prison as well as in detention centers operated clandestinely by the judiciary and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Torture and ill-treatment in detention has been used particularly against those imprisoned for peaceful expression of their political views. In violation of international law and Iran’s constitution, judges often accept coerced confessions. The use of prolonged solitary confinement, often in small basement cells, has been designed to break the will of those detained in order to coerce confessions and provide information regarding associates. This systematic use of solitary confinement rises to the level of cruel and inhuman treatment. Combined with denial of access to counsel and videotaped confessions, prolonged solitary confinement creates an environment in which prisoners have nowhere to turn in order to seek redress for their treatment in detention. Severe physical torture is also used, especially against student activists and others who do not enjoy the high public profile of older dissident intellectuals and writers. The judiciary chief, Ayatollah Mahmud Hashemi Shahrudi, issued an internal directive in April 2004 banning torture and inhumane treatment of detainees, but as of yet no enforcement mechanisms have been established.  
Parallel Institutions  
“Parallel institutions” (nahad-e movazi) is how Iranians refer to the quasi-official organs of repression that have become increasingly open in crushing student protests, detaining activists, writers, and journalists in secret prisons, and threatening pro-democracy speakers and audiences at public events. These groups have carried out brutal assaults against students, writers, and reformist politicians, and have set up arbitrary checkpoints around Tehran. Groups such as Ansar-e Hizbollah and the Basij work under the control of the Office of the Supreme Leader, and there are many reports that the uniformed police are often afraid to directly confront these plainclothes agents. Illegal prisons, which are outside of the oversight of the National Prisons Office, are sites where political prisoners are abused, intimidated, and tortured with impunity. Over the past year politically active individuals have been summoned to a detention center controlled by the Department of Public Places (Edareh Amaken Umumi) for questioning by “parallel” intelligence services. According to journalists and student activists who have undergone such interrogations but not been arrested or detained, these sessions are intended to intimidate and threaten students and others.  
There is no mechanism for monitoring and investigating human rights violations perpetrated by agents of the government. The closure of independent media in Iran has helped to perpetuate an atmosphere of impunity. In recent years, the Parliament’s Article 90 Commission (mandated by the constitution to address complaints of violations of the constitution by the three branches of government) has made an admirable effort to investigate and report on the many complaints it has received, the Commission lacks any power to enforce its findings and recommendations. The Commission repeatedly called for a thorough investigation of the judiciary’s violations of the law, but thus far this has not happened. In October 2003 the Article 90 Commission presented a public report on the death in custody several months earlier of Iranian-Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi. The report placed responsibility for her death squarely on agents of the judiciary. In a bizarre development, the judiciary accused a low ranking official of the Intelligence Ministry, Reza Ahmadi, of killing Kazemi. Despite a strong rebuke from the Intelligence Ministry, the judiciary proceeded with a hastily organized trial held in May 2004 in which Reza Ahmadi was cleared of the charges. The judiciary has taken no further steps to identify or prosecute those responsible for Kazemi’s death.  
The Guardian Council  
Iran’s Guardian Council is a body of twelve religious jurists: six are appointed by the Supreme Leader and the remaining six nominated by the judiciary and confirmed by Parliament. The Council has the unchecked power to veto legislation approved by the Parliament. In recent years, for instance, the Council has repeatedly rejected parliamentary bills in such areas as women’s rights, family law, the prohibition of torture, and electoral reform. The Council also vetoed parliamentary bills assenting to ratification of international human rights treaties such as the Convention against Torture and the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women.  
The Council also has the power to vet candidates for elected political posts, including the presidency and the national parliament, based on vague criteria and subject only to the review of the Supreme Leader. The Council wielded its arbitrary powers in a blatantly partisan manner during the parliamentary elections of February 2004 when it disqualified more than 3,600 reformist and independent candidates, allowing conservative candidates to dominate the ballot. The Council’s actions produced widespread voter apathy and many boycotted the polls. Many Iranians regarded the move as a “silent coup” on behalf of conservatives who had performed poorly during previous elections in 2000. The Council also disqualified many sitting parliamentarians whose candidacy had been approved by the same Council in 2000.  
Iran’s ethnic and religious minorities remain subject to discrimination and, in some cases, persecution. The Baha’i community continues to be denied permission to worship or engage in communal affairs in a public manner. In a rare public protest, eighteen Sunni parliamentarians wrote to the authorities in July 2003 to criticize the treatment of the Sunni Muslim community and the refusal to allow construction of a mosque in Tehran that would serve that community. The Baluchi minority, who are mostly Sunni and live in the border province of Sistan and Baluchistan, continue to suffer from lack of representation in local government and have experienced a heavy military presence in the region. In December 2003, tensions between the local population and the Revolutionary Guards led to large demonstrations in Saravan, in Baluchistan province. In the ensuing clashes between demonstrators and the police at least five people were killed.  
Key International Actors  
The European Union has increased both economic and diplomatic ties with Iran. The E.U. has pledged to tie human rights standards to this process, but so far with little impact. Australia and Switzerland have also initiated “human rights dialogues” with Iran, but benchmarks have not been made public, making it unlikely that these will have any greater impact than the dialogue conducted by the E.U.  
Iran issued a standing invitation to thematic mechanisms of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in 2002. Since then, the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression have visited the country and issued reports critical of government practices in these areas. The government, however, has failed to implement the recommendations of the U.N. experts, and there were reprisals, such as re-arrest, against witnesses who testified to the experts. Since then, Iran has not responded to requests by the U.N. Special Rapporteurs on Torture and on Extra-Judicial Executions to visit the country.  
Relations between the United States and Iran remain poor. The Bush administration has publicly labeled Iran as part of an “axis of evil.” Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, in October 2003, said that the U.S. was not pursuing a policy of “regime change” towards Iran, but persistent reports from Washington indicate that the administration remains divided on this point. The U.S. continues to oppose loans to Iran from international financial institutions.  

6 posted on 01/15/2005 12:36:30 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Iran has reached incredible level of nuclear expertise: Asefi

TEHRAN, Jan. 14 (MNA) -- Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said on Friday that Iran has reached an incredible level of nuclear expertise, which has surprised all visitors.

Speaking on the IRIB program Kankash, Asefi addressed Iranian expatriates, stating, “At the current juncture, we have embarked on a difficult path since Europe has not yet reached a political consensus on the Iranian nuclear issue and the political pressure of the United States and the Zionist regime has an influence on it.”

He also said that the Islamic Republic of Iran has complained to Russia about delays in the construction of the Bushehr nuclear power plant, adding that the Russians should pay more attention to the project. Yet, Tehran and Moscow are cooperating and have an understanding on a vast of array of issues such as the Caspian Sea, drugs, terrorism, Afghanistan, and Iraq, he noted.

He referred to the necessity of the continuation of Iran’s nuclear activities and the fact that over 85 percent of Iranians are in favor of this position, stating that nuclear expertise has been institutionalized in the country, and the world has realized that attacking Iran’s nuclear installations would not be a correct response since Iran can not be addressed with such language.

Asked to comment on the numerous stances recently adopted by Arab countries toward Iran, Asefi said that these countries are not united, and that the latest anti-Iranian stances are not related to one another.

In conclusion, he observed that the issue of the three Iranian islands of Abu Musa and the Greater and Lesser Tunbs is not something new but rather is ten years old, and the accusations currently being leveled by certain Arab officials actually are signs of their anxiety about the future situation of the region.

7 posted on 01/15/2005 12:36:58 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Parts bound for Iran nuclear plant seized

Fri Jan 14, 2005 05:40 PM GMT
BERLIN (Reuters) - German investigators have seized four special motors they suspect were about to be illegally exported to an Iranian nuclear power plant and hope to intercept another shipment en route to Iran, prosecutors say.

Customs officers found the high-voltage engines, each weighing around seven tonnes and imported from South Korea, when they raided an unnamed trading company in Hanover on Wednesday.

Prosecutor Manfred Knothe told Reuters the raids followed a tip-off from an employee of the firm, who said a previous consignment of engines had been dispatched to Iran in December.

Investigators are trying to intercept this batch before it reaches its expected destination of Bushehr, the southern port where Russia is helping Iran to build its first atomic reactor.

The December shipment was worth at least 200,000 euros (140,000 pounds), Knothe said, and authorities have confiscated this amount from the firm.

Iran denies U.S. accusations it is secretly developing an atomic bomb, saying its nuclear industry exists purely to generate electricity, but it remains under investigation by the United Nations nuclear watchdog in Vienna.

Western diplomats say Iran is seeking to acquire equipment for its nuclear industry via front companies whose activities are closely watched by customs officials in Europe.

Prosecutor Knothe said the export of materials for Iranian power plants needed government approval, which had not been given in this case. The offence carries a jail term of up to five years.

Customs investigators also searched the homes of company officials and confiscated computers and other material.

"These are being evaluated, and then we'll conduct questioning. The proceedings are directed against the head of the export department of this firm," Knothe said, declining to name it. No one else was currently under suspicion and no arrests had been made, he added.

8 posted on 01/15/2005 12:37:25 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Iran's Rafsanjani tells Muslims to 'kick' Americans out of region

Posted: Friday January 14,2005 - 09:47:08 am

TEHRAN (AFP) - Iran's influential former president, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, told Muslims in the weekly sermon to "kick" Americans out of region.

AFP/File Photo

"The Muslims should take advantage of the political openness and kick the Americans out of the region," Rafsanjani said in a sermon broadcast on state radio.

"The United States cannot mislead people any more and claim that they want to bring about freedom and the democracy... the shame of Abu Gharib and Guantanamo still trails the US and it cannot claim to speak about human rights," said Rafsanjani, now the head Iran's arbitration body.

He also asked Iraqis to resist and not "to be afraid of the American and British soldiers and the terrorists who attack the leaders," referring to assassination of an aide to Iraq 's top Shiite leader Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani on Wednesday.

9 posted on 01/15/2005 12:37:55 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Triangulating the War

Yesterday’s genius, today’s fool, tomorrow’s what?

Reading the pages of foreign-policy journals, between the long tracts on Bush's "failures" and neoconservative "arrogance," one encounters mostly predictions of defeat and calls for phased withdrawal — always with resounding criticism of the American "botched" occupation.

Platitudes follow: "We can't just leave now," followed by no real advice on how a fascist society can be jumpstarted into a modern liberal republic. After all, there is no government handbook entitled, "Operation 1A: How to remove a Middle East fascist regime in three weeks, reconstruct the countryside, and hold the first elections in the nation's history — all within two years." Almost all who supported the war now are bailing on the pretext that their version of the reconstruction was not followed: While a three-week war was their idea, a 20-month messy reconstruction was surely someone else's. Yesterday genius is today's fool — and who knows next month if the elections work? Witness Afghanistan where all those who recently said the victory was "lost" to warlords are now suddenly quiet.

Heads You Lose, Tails We Win

Indeed, from the oscillating analyses of Iraq, the following impossible picture often emerges from our intelligentsia. It was a fatal error to disband the Iraqi army. That led to lawlessness and a loss of confidence in the American ability to restore immediate order after Saddam's fall. Yet it was also a fatal error to keep some Baathists in the newly constituted army. They were corrupt and wished reform to fail — witness the Fallujah Brigade that either betrayed us or aided the enemy. So we turned off the Sunnis by disbanding the army — and yet somehow turned off the Shiites by keeping some parts of it.

Massive construction projects were hogged by gargantuan American firms, ensconced in the Green Zone that did not engage either local Iraqi workers or small companies and thus squandered precious good will. Or, indigenous contractors proved irresponsible and unreliable, evidence for why Iraq was in such bad shape to begin with. And when we did put exclusive reliance on them, it ensured only lackadaisical and half-hearted reconstruction.

We also lost hearts and minds by using GPS bombs to obliterate houses full of killers and take out blocks of insurgents. And yet we lost hearts and minds by failing to act decisively and de facto turning over large enclaves to terrorists and Saddamites whom we were afraid to root out. Elections should have been held earlier; no, they must be delayed since they come too soon when the country is still unsecured.

Our helmeted soldiers with sunglasses are holed up in enclaves, don't mingle, and perpetuated the heavy-handed image of snooty occupiers. But leaving the Green Zone is an open invitation to kidnapping and worse. So we are both too well hidden and yet not hidden enough. Embedded media gave us a real-time picture of the fighting. But (if one is conservative) it left open the opportunity for sensationalism on the part of wannabe crusaders, and (if one is liberal) it created too close a psychological bond with the soldiers that impaired objectivity.

It was a mistake to postpone Iraqi sovereignty for so long; but it is an equal mistake to rush into elections while the country is so insecure. The CIA is impotent, out-of-touch, and clownish; somehow it mind-controlled Allawi, Chalabi, and a host of other Iraqi "puppets."

The litany from the mercurial Beltway always goes on: There were enough troops to take out Saddam in three weeks, but not enough to restore order to the countryside — but still too many that resulted in too high an American profile on the streets of Baghdad. The transformations of Donald Rumsfeld (this week's genius, last week's fool) have left us stripped down and bereft of the muscle needed. Yet new, more mobile brigades in strikers and special forces with laptops are preferable to old armored divisions on the streets of Iraqi.

We cannot flee, but must not stay. Iraqis publicly say we should leave, but privately beg us to remain. We were after cheap oil, but gas prices somehow climbed almost immediately after we went in. Democracy won't work with these people, but somehow we are seeing three elections in the wake of the Taliban, Arafat, and Saddam.

There are many constants in all this pessimistic confusion — beside the fact that we are becoming a near hysterical society. First, our miraculous efforts in toppling the Taliban and Saddam have apparently made us forget war is always a litany of mistakes. No conflict is conducted according to either antebellum planning or can proceed with the benefit of hindsight. Iraq was not Yemen or Qatar, but rather the most wicked regime in the world, in the heart of the Arab world, full of oil, terrorists, and mass graves. There were no helpful neighbors to keep a lid on their own infiltrating jihadists. Instead we had to go into the heart of the caliphate, take out a mass murderer, restore civil society after 30 years of brutality, and ward off Sunni and Baathist fomenters in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Syria — all the while keeping out Iranian-Shiite agents bent on stopping democracy. The wonder is not that there is violence and gloom in Iraq, but that less than two years after Saddam was removed, elections are still on track.

The Follies of World War II

Second, our very success creates ever increasing expectations of perfection for a postmodern America used to instant gratification. We now look back in awe at World War II, the model of military success, in which within four years an unprepared United States won two global wars, at sea, on the ground, and in the air, in three continents against Japan, Italy, and Germany, and supplied both England and the Soviet Union. But our forefathers experienced disaster after disaster in a tale of heartbreak, almost as inglorious as the Korean mess or Vietnam tragedy. And they did things to win we perhaps claim we would now not: Shoot German prisoners in the Bulge, firebomb Axis cities, drop the bomb — almost anything to stop fascists from slaughtering even more millions of innocents.

Our armored vehicles were deathtraps and only improved days before the surrender. American torpedoes were often duds. Unescorted daylight bombing proved a disaster, but continued. Amphibious assaults like Anzio and Tarawa were bloodbaths and emblematic of terrible planning and command. The recapture of Manila was clumsy and far too costly. Okinawa was the worst of all operations, and yet was begun just over fourth months before the surrender — without any planning for Kamikazes who were shortly to kill 5,000 American sailors. Patton, the one general that could have ended the western war in 1944, was relieved and then subordinated to an auxiliary position with near fatal results for the drive from Normandy; mediocrities like Mark Clark flourished and were promoted. Admiral King resisted the life-saving convoy system and unnecessarily sacrificed merchant ships; while Bull Halsey almost lost his unprepared fleet to a storm.

The war's aftermath seemed worse, to be overseen by an untried president who was considered an abject lightweight. Not-so-quite collateral damage had ruined entire cities. Europe nearly starved in winter 1945-6. Millions were on the road in mass exoduses. After spending billions to destroy Nazi Germany we had to spend billions more to rebuild it — and repair the devastation it had wrought on its neighbors. Our so-called partisan friends in Yugoslavia and Greece turned out to be hard-core Communist killers. Soon enough we learned that the guerrillas in the mountains of Europe whom we had idolized, in fact, fought as much for Communism as against fascism — but never for democracy.

But at least there was clear-cut strategic success? Oh? The war started to keep Eastern Europe free of Nazis and ended up ensuring that it was enslaved by Stalinists. Poland was neither free in 1940 nor in 1946. By early 1946 we were already considering putting former Luftwaffe pilots in American jets — improved with ample borrowing from Nazi technology — to protect Europe from the Red Army carried westward on GM trucks. We put Nazis on trials for war crimes even as we invited their scientists to our shores to match their counterparts in the Soviet Union who were building even more lethal weapons to destroy us. Our utopian idea of a global U.N. immediately deteriorated into a mess — decades of vetoes in the Security Council by Stalinists and Maoists, even as former colonial states turned thugocracies in the General Assembly ganged up on Israel and the survivors of the Holocaust.

After Americans had liberated France and restored his country, General de Gaulle created the myth of the French resistance and immediately triangulated with our enemies to reforge some pathetic sort of French grandeur. An exhausted England turned over to us a collapsing empire, with the warning that it might all turn Communist. Tired of the war and postbellum costs, Americans suddenly were asked to wage a new Cold War to keep a shrinking West and its allies free. The Department of War turned into the Department of Defense, along with weird new things like the U.S. Air Force, Strategic Air Command, Food for Peace, Alliance for Progress, Voice of America, and thousands of other costly entities never dreamed of just a few years earlier.

And yet our greatest generation thought by and large they had done pretty well. We in contrast would have given up in despair in 1942, New York Times columnists and NPR pundits pontificating "I told you so" as if we were better off sitting out the war all along.

Iraqi options

Finally, the United States has a number of options in Iraq. In fact, the paradoxes are ever more confronting our enemies. There is a glaring problem for the terrorists in Iraq: 75 percent of the country wants elections. The Sunni clerics wish to delay them on the strange logic that they either cannot or will not stop their brethren who are trying to derail the voting through which their cause will lose. But such appeals appear increasingly empty — almost like the Secessionists complaining about Northern voters in 1860 might imperil the Union. And no one is all that sure that there really is a purist Sunni block of millions of obstructionists, rather than just ordinary Iraqis who want to vote and are in fear of extremists who claim their allegiance. Saudi Arabia unleashed terrorists to stop democracy in Iraq, and is now worried their young Frankensteins hate their creators just as much.

So we are inching ahead as global television soon will air an elected and autonomous government fighting fascists for the chance of democracy. If the Kurds and the Shiite majorities vote for us to leave, then we must — but to do so would be to ensure the return of the Baathists, the domination of Wahhabi fundamentalism, or the Lebanonization of the country. And so they probably won't. There is much talk of an Iranian takeover, but no evidence that an Iraqi Shiite sees himself as more an Iranian than an Arab.

All this we cannot see at the present as we in our weariness lament the losses of almost 1,100 combat dead and billions committed to people who appear from 30-second media streams to be singularly ungracious and not our sort of folk. We dwell on unmistakable lapses, never on amazing successes — just as we were consumed with Afghanistan in its dark moments, but now ignore its road to success. But never mind all this: The long-term prospects are still as bright as things seem gloomy in the short-term — but only if we emulate our grandfathers and press on with the third Middle East election in the last six months.

Victor Davis Hanson is a military historian and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. His website is

10 posted on 01/15/2005 12:38:30 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

On Iran, Arab Gulf states are seen but not heard

By Emile El-Hokayem
Commentary by
Saturday, January 15, 2005

There is something deeply disconcerting about the absence of any Gulf Arab involvement in the negotiations aimed at stopping, or at least slowing, Iran's nuclear progress. Many criticize the United States for staying on the sidelines while Europeans negotiate agreements that are doomed to fail if Iran's security concerns are not addressed - and rightly so. But the silence of Iran's Gulf Arab neighbors is troubling and cannot be good for the future of Gulf stability.

Some Arab experts, such as Abdullah Bishara, the former secretary general of the Gulf Cooperation Council, have voiced their angst at the prospect of a nuclear Iran, but the official reaction has been muted so far. Expecting the worst from a nuclear Iran is counterproductive, and is also probably a self-fulfilling prophecy. However, Iran's historic regional ambitions, its support for Shiite movements in the 1980's, and the sense that it feels emboldened by the instability in Iraq, are powerful reasons why Arab Gulf countries should care about Iran going nuclear. Arab states prefer a non-nuclear Iran, but they are unwilling to take on the costs of negotiations or confrontation with Iran. The existing asymmetry of power between Arab Gulf states and Iran, combined with the Gulf Arabs' lack of political options, complicate the situation. It is unclear what issues could be tackled during potential negotiations. If Gulf states decide to negotiate, Iran will almost certainly ask them to expel the U.S. military from its bases in Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates. For states relying on the U.S. security umbrella, this is a nonstarter. Likewise, because they remember Iran's eagerness to export its revolution in the 1980's and the instability that ensued, Gulf sheikhdoms will likely rebut any Iranian call to address the political and social needs of their oppressed Shiite communities. The Gulf monarchies are very suspicious of Shiite political demands, and insist that political reforms be incremental and managed in such a way as to ensure the survival of their regimes. Arab Gulf states might evaluate that antagonizing Iran by siding with the U.S. now will result in more tensions in the future. Tehran probably does not identify Arab Gulf states as a major threat to its security. Its rationale for acquiring a bomb has to do with strategic considerations as well as prestige. Tehran perceives threats from other nuclear actors in the region, including the U.S. and Israel. Squeezed between these giants, Arab Gulf states want to minimize the risks to their internal and external security. Not alienating Iran is, therefore, required. Many Arab and Western analysts are convinced that Tehran is set on its course and nothing except a grand bargain, improbable as it is, with the U.S. will change its strategic rationales. The key question is when Iran will acquire all the components necessary to build a bomb and if it will actually build it or will prefer to maintain some ambiguity about its nuclear status. If the assumption is that Iran will go nuclear regardless of what happens, GCC states could understandably question the wisdom of using their political capital for nothing or little in return. On the other hand, Gulf states could expect Iran to reward, or at least remember, countries that remained less aggressive during the crisis. Arab Gulf regimes reason that Iran will not use its nuclear capabilities in the future. Arab assessments of Iran's nuclear intentions seem to suggest that Iran will behave as a rational state and will use its nuclear capabilities for deterrence. Should Tehran decide to make use of its nuclear arsenal, it can expect massive retaliation from the U.S. or Israel.

Because Iran is far from acquiring a second-strike capability, this view seems valid and logical. But given the absence of an official Iranian nuclear doctrine, combined with uncertainty as to who will control the nuclear arsenal given Iran's fragmented leadership, one cannot rule out bad surprises. As evidenced by the tragic history of the past two decades, the Gulf is prone to miscalculations and misperceptions. Controlling nuclear risks and understanding the risks of nuclear escalation will therefore be key to ensuring the region's stability.

The mullahs in Tehran have proven shrewd players on the international scene, but possessing nuclear capabilities might render them even more prone to brinkmanship. Moreover, military commanders sometimes do not appreciate the implications of using nuclear weapons. There is a risk that Iranian military leaders, especially in the Revolutionary Guards, now a prominent actor in Iranian politics, will feel emboldened by a nuclear capability, or in times of crisis, ask: "Why not use it since we have it?" Of course, this is speculation, but there is too much uncertainty and ambiguity in Iran's behavior to exclude these scenarios.

Given these factors, the Arab Gulf states' position becomes more comprehensible: they have little leverage over Iran, they are unwilling to pay too high a price in what they consider a losing battle and they calculate that Iran is really interested in the economic benefits and security guarantees that only the U.S. and Europe can provide. In this context, what they can do amounts to little: they praised Iran for its wisdom when it agreed to a deal with the Europeans - an effort to minimize friction. But this is not enough: even in the unlikely event that Iran's nuclear program is intended only for peaceful purposes, there is a real environmental risk that Gulf states should not underestimate. The nuclear technology that Iran has acquired is not state-of-the-art. The Russian-built Bushehr reactor is located on the Iranian coast, only 250 kilometers from Kuwait and Saudi Arabia and 350 kilometers from Qatar, with only the sea in between. A Chernobyl-type catastrophe would inflict considerable human and economic damage to these countries, not to mention Iran. Security and maintenance of nuclear installations is therefore essential, and Arab Gulf states should talk to Iran about this issue. Involvement in the negotiations can take other forms. Arab Gulf states could press Washington to get involved in European efforts to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions. They could also associate themselves with the European initiative by offering extra benefits to enhance its effectiveness. If the crisis escalates into diplomatic confrontation, Gulf states will have to decide whether the threat to the region comes from a nuclear Iran or from American and European attempts to contain and deter it. The Arab monarchies and sheikhdoms will understandably worry that a diplomatic standoff at the International Atomic Energy Agency or at the UN Security Council will only heighten the risks of military confrontation, and that they would suffer from an ensuing conflict. An aggressive U.S. attempt to prevent Iran from going nuclear might affect domestic stability in the Gulf if Iran decides to resort to nonconventional means such as terrorism. In sum, Arab Gulf states, as relatively bit players in a drama that pits Iran against the West, have no easy options. They are profoundly affected by all the possible outcomes, but their silence suggests that they believe involvement today entails only greater risks. As history has shown, they sometimes wait too long for others to act on their security requirements.

Emile Hokayem is a researcher in Middle East security issues at the Henry L. Stimson Center,

a Washington think-tank. This commentary was written for the center's Web site.

11 posted on 01/15/2005 12:39:05 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

'Iran keen to share knowhow, tech with Senegal'

Friday, January 14, 2005 - ©2004

LONDON, Jan 14 (IranMania) - Iranian President Mohammad Khatami said on Thursday evening that Tehran was willing to provide Dakar with its great experiences and technologies on different fields of industry and economy.

According to IRNA, President Khatami who arrived in the Senegalese capital on Thursday afternoon, made the remark at the first round of his talks with the Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade. Referring to the old history and culture of Senegal, President Khatami said that the country was the "cultural capital of Africa."

He further noted that Africa succeeded to free itself from colonialism during last century, adding that "at the present century, Africa should strive to make a major step towards development, progress and obtaining its real status at the international scene." President Khatami also said that promotion of ties with the developing countries, specially the African and Islamic states, was among major political priorities of Tehran.

"There are numerous potentials for Tehran-Dakar relation," said President Khatami who at the same time hoped that his visit to Dakar would "open a new phase at bilateral ties." Referring to the economic and trade agreements previously signed by the two sides, the Iranian president said that Tehran would help Dakar to find access to auto making technology in the near future.

He further noted that some of the Iranian private companies were also to start installation of a 170-km power transmission line for Senegal soon. President Khatami also hailed Dakar`s efforts to restore peace and stability in the continent and to solve the existing crises in Africa stressing that if the continent was to make progress and have development, it should solve its problems.

He also noted that all crises which were facing the African countries were made by "some certain big powers who were to waste the power and potentials of the continent`s developing states." The President stressed that signing of the peace agreement in south of Sudan was an example of victory of the logic of negotiation over the logic of violation in Africa.

President Khatami hoped that other African countries would also follow the example of Sudan and that the world countries relations would "some day be based on the logic of the negotiation among civilizations so that it would pave the way for restoration of peace, security and solidarity."

Meanwhile, the Senegalese president during the talks stressed the need for further promotion of Tehran-Dakar cooperation in all fields. Wade said that Dakar needed Tehran`s technological and engineering assistance in the fields of building and operating airport, auto making industries and railroad.

He also said that Dakar would welcome the presence of the Iranian private and public companies in Senegal as well as the activities of the Iranian Red crescent Society in the Senegalese health and medical sectors. The Senegalese president also praised Tehran`s stands at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and said Iran and Senegal shared common views regarding the fight against terrorism and cooperation with many international organizations.

12 posted on 01/15/2005 12:39:33 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Human Rights Watch annual report condemns violations in Iran

Fri. 14 Jan 2005

Iran Focus

Paris, Jan. 14 - In its annual report on human rights practices around the globe Human Rights Watch said that "basic human rights in Iran, especially freedom of expression and opinion, deteriorated in 2004".

"Torture and ill-treatment in detention, including indefinite solitary confinement, are used routinely to punish dissidents… Abuses are carried out by what Iranians call 'parallel institutions': plainclothes intelligence agents, paramilitary groups that violently attack peaceful protests, and illegal and secret prisons and interrogation centers run by intelligence services", the report said.

The report continued, "The Iranian authorities systematically suppress freedom of expression and opinion… Today, very few independent dailies remain, and those that do self-censor heavily. Many writers and intellectuals have left the country, are in prison, or have ceased to be critical. Days after the visit of the Special Rapporteur for freedom of opinion and expression, Ambeyi Ligabo, in late 2003, one of the student activists with whom he spoke was re-arrested. In 2004 the authorities also moved to block Internet websites that provide independent news and analysis, and to arrest writers using this medium to disseminate information and analysis critical of the government."

In a section titled "Torture and Ill-treatment in Detention" the report read, "With the closure of independent newspapers and journals, treatment of detainees has worsened in Evin prison as well as in detention centers operated clandestinely by the judiciary and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Torture and ill-treatment in detention has been used particularly against those imprisoned for peaceful expression of their political views. In violation of international law and Iran’s constitution, judges often accept coerced confessions. The use of prolonged solitary confinement, often in small basement cells, has been designed to break the will of those detained in order to coerce confessions and provide information regarding associates. This systematic use of solitary confinement rises to the level of cruel and inhuman treatment. Combined with denial of access to counsel and videotaped confessions, prolonged solitary confinement creates an environment in which prisoners have nowhere to turn in order to seek redress for their treatment in detention. Severe physical torture is also used, especially against student activists and others who do not enjoy the high public profile of older dissident intellectuals and writers."

"The judiciary chief, Ayatollah Mahmud Hashemi Shahrudi, issued an internal directive in April 2004 banning torture and inhumane treatment of detainees, but as of yet no enforcement mechanisms have been established," it said.

"Illegal prisons, which are outside of the oversight of the National Prisons Office, are sites where political prisoners are abused, intimidated, and tortured with impunity," the report added.

Referring to the position of the European Union vis-à-vis Iran's systematic violations of human rights the report said, "The European Union has increased both economic and diplomatic ties with Iran. The E.U. has pledged to tie human rights standards to this process, but so far with little impact."

13 posted on 01/15/2005 12:40:00 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

European Parliament adopts Iran resolution to review EU terror list

Fri. 14 Jan 2005

Iran Focus

Strasbourg, Jan. 14 – After a debate in which a number of Euro-MPs spoke out against the terror-tag placed upon the main Iranian opposition group, the People's Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI), the European Parliament yesterday adopted a resolution on Iran calling for a review of the European Union's list of terrorist organisations.

Paulo Casaca (Portugal) co-chair of the EP Group, Friends of a Free Iran, and chair of the Delegation for relations with the NATO Parliamentary Assembly spoke out against current EU negotiations with the clerical state and demanded the terror label against the PMOI be removed.

Struan Stevenson (UK) who also co-chairs Friends of a Free Iran said, "We should courageously say no to the demands of the Iranian regime to keep the name of the People's Mojahedin in the EU's terror list".

Ryszard Czaranecki (Poland) said in this regard, "The most serious message that we could give to Tehran is to remove the name of the Iranian Mojahedin from the EU terror list. In reality (it is) the criminal mullahs who are the real terrorists and are constantly hanging their own people, including children and are also sending terrorists to the neighboring Iraq".

First vice-President of the European Parliament, Alejo Vidal-Quadras Roca, chaired the parliamentary session.

A number of other Euro-MPs also addressed the parliament criticizing in particular Iran's systematic violations of human rights and called for an end to dialogue with the Iranian regime.

The final resolution stated that the EP "asks its Committees on Foreign Affairs and Civil Liberties to examine the way in which Parliament may become involved in the process of regular updating of the Council's common position on the implementation of specific measures for the fight against terrorism, taking into account developments from 2001 onwards".

The EP resolution, coming in the wake of a November 2004 international conference of jurists in Paris, where over 500 prominent legal experts said blacklisting the PMOI as a terrorist organization violated international and European laws, raises the pressure on the EU to redress what is widely seen as a "goodwill gesture" to Iran's clerical rulers.

Ten eminent experts in international law, including Rt. Hon. Lord Slynn of Hadley (former judge at the European Court of Justice), Prof. Eric David, President of the Centre for International Law from Brussels, Prof. Henri Labayle, professor of European Law at the University of Pau, Prof. Bill Bowring, director of Human Rights and Social Justice Research Institute from London, and Prof. Jean-Yves de Cara (President of International Law Institute of University of Paris V ) presented their legal opinions to the conference.

14 posted on 01/15/2005 12:40:25 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

US concern over Iran human rights

Shirin Ebadi, Iranian Nobel winner
Shirin Ebadi is the first Muslim woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize
The US has expressed grave concern over what it called the worsening human rights situation in Iran.

State Department Spokesman Louis Fintor said the US was monitoring Tehran's actions towards the Iranian human rights activist Shirin Ebadi.

Ms Ebadi has been ordered to appear in court in Tehran to answer unspecified questions, or risk arrest.

She has clashed several times with the Iranian authorities since winning the Nobel peace prize in 2003.

The continued harassment and arrest of proponents of moderation, pluralism, and political reform are in violation of international standards of human rights
Louis Fintor
US State Department
On Thursday, Ms Ebadi told the BBC the judicial order was unlawful because it failed to spell out why she must go to the court.

The 57-year-old Ms Ebadi's defence of dissidents has brought her into frequent confrontation with Iran's theocratic authorities.

She recently called for the country's Islamic penal system to be reformed to safeguard human rights.

First woman judge

Ms Ebadi told the BBC she has not yet decided whether or not to respond to the court order, but will reach a decision by Saturday.

"The court order is against Iranian law," she said. "It should clarify why they are calling me and in relation to what case."

Since winning the Nobel Prize, Ms Ebadi has complained of increased threats against her and has been placed under police protection.

Ms Ebadi came to prominence when she was appointed Iran's first woman judge. That distinction was removed after the revolution.

In 2000, she was accused of distributing the videotaped confession of a hardliner who claimed that prominent conservative leaders were instigating physical attacks on pro-reform figures.

She received a suspended jail sentence and a professional ban for this. Recently, she has represented the family of Zahra Kazemi, a Canadian-Iranian photographer murdered in custody in 2003.

15 posted on 01/15/2005 12:40:54 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Brussels urges US to engage with Iran

By Guy Dinmore
Published: January 14 2005 02:00 | Last updated: January 14 2005 02:00

A senior European Union official yesterday urged the Bush administration to join the EU in adopting a policy of engagement towards Iran, a view that has received unusual endorsement from a Washington group of prominent hawks and neoconservatives.

Benita Ferrero-Waldner, the new EU external relations commissioner, said she was asking the US to adopt a "complementary approach". On a day of meetings in Washington, she said: "Mutual co-operation is essential." Guy Dinmore, Washington

16 posted on 01/15/2005 12:41:21 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Iran's women continue to defy hardliners

By Najmeh Bozorgmehr
Published: January 15 2005 02:00 | Last updated: January 15 2005 02:00

The six Iranian women and four men who make up the Mehr-Banoo classical music band are given a warm reception by an enthusiastic crowd in northern Tehran.

But the presence of female performers, wearing yellow scarves and long black shirts and trousers, outnumbering the men in the band, poses a direct challenge to Iran's hardliners, who would like to see greater restrictions on women.

Mahroo, a woman singer in the band, is not allowed to sing solo, as the regime regards it as un-Islamic for women to sing to men. Instead, she is accompanied by Hamed, a male singer.

"It is difficult to co-ordinate voices, but we do what can be done. I am happy as long as I can sing," Mahroo says.

As a woman, she is at least able to perform to a mixed audience, thanks to some liberalisation following the reform movement that followed the election of President Mohammad Khatami in 1997.

But even this, and other relaxations in social and political rules, are now at risk, following a shift to the right that took place after the parliamentary elections last February.

The conservatives won back control of the previously reformist legislative body after the Guardian Council, a constitutional watchdog, rejected more than 2,000 reformist would-be candidates, including 80 sitting deputies.

Iran's hardliners had capitalised on widespread disillusion with politics, due to the slow pace of reforms. And the balance could tilt further in their favour in presidential elections expected in June.

But despite their growing political strength, the conservatives face a challenge in the social arena. Their main source of support comes from the traditional sections of Iranian society. But there is widespread dissatisfaction with the regime among Iranians under 35 years old, who make up about 70 per cent of the population of 70m.

Many are highly educated and with access to internet and satellite TV, making attempts at censorship futile.

"The mental gap between the rulers and young people is now between 100 and 150 years," said Mohammad-Ali Abtahi, a former vice-president who resigned in protest at parliament's conservative shift.

Young people are able to ignore the intense power struggles within the leadership and go their own way thanks to the "institutionalisation of the reforms", says Mr Abtahi.

"During the past seven years, we managed to help society get on a train. .. It may stop because of differences in the engine room, but whenever it starts moving, it goes in the same direction - towards reforms. This path is irreversible," he says confidently.

One of the most obvious manifestations of the gulf between Iran's conservative hierarchy and the country's young is in the Islamic dress code. A quarter-century after the Islamic revolution made wearing the hijab compulsory for women outside the home, the issue remains controversial.

Many young women ignore the loose dresses recommended by the religious establishment and instead wear tight trousers, covered with short overcoats or flimsy cotton shirts. Their headscarves slip backwards to reveal as much hair as possible, and they wear heavy make-up.

Last summer, a Tehran police chief announced during a crackdown on women for non-observance of hijab that the arrest of "100 street supermodels" would resolve the problem. But this proved not to be the case, as many women responded with defiance.

Recently a member of parliament, who was also a cleric, tried to beat a woman journalist inside the parliament in protest at what he considered to be her improper dress. He was prevented by other parliamentarians from doing so.

Fatemeh Rakei, a former MP, sees a "short-sighted and restricted interpretation of Islam" as the main problem. "We are suffering from a horrible paradox. Some claim that they are serving Islam, whereas they are striking the biggest blows against Islam, because their methods are outdated and their Islam has few customers. The stick is not today's language any more."

Social challenges are not restricted to cosmopolitan Tehran. Senior clerics have raised concerns over the spread of "corruption" in the holy city of Qom, where women are expected to wear the all-encompassing black chador.

The parliamentary research centre in Tehran is working on a standard uniform for women that would fully comply with Islamic codes. But experts say that even if it was approved, it is very unlikely that people would comply. MPs behind the proposal refused to be interviewed.

Mahroo does not seem too worried about the future of her singing - even if power does fall more fully into the hands of the conservatives. "I do not want to think about presidential elections. That has nothing to do with me."

17 posted on 01/15/2005 12:41:48 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

1/10/2005 Clip No. 479

"Zahra's Blue Eyes" - Episode 5: Zahra Escapes Evil Zionist Palace

The following are excerpts from episode five of the new antisemitic Iranian TV series "For You Palestine" or "Zahra's Blue eyes" on Sahar 1 TV that aired on January 10, 2005

Shimon:What happened?

Nurse: I don't know what happened.

Theodor: Daddy, daddy!

Shimon: Why is the door open?

Nurse: I locked it!

Shimon: Why is the boy screaming like this?

Nurse: Calm down. Calm down, my dear. Calm down.

Shimon: What happened?

Nurse: Calm down, my dear. Go to sleep. I am certain I locked the door. Someone came and opened the door and scared the boy.

Itzhak Cohen: What happened to him? I asked you: what happened to my son?

Nurse: I think someone scared him.

Itzhak Cohen: Scared him? So what are you doing here, you fools? Don't you know what's going on here?

Shimon: I will check it myself, Sir.

Itzhak Cohen: Quickly. Move! Go!

Shimon: I hear and obey.

Shimon: What are you doing here?

Zahra: I'm looking for the nurse.

Shimon: Go back to your room immediately!

Zahra: OK.

Abd Al-Rahman: What happened, my dear? What happened?

Zahra: Let's leave here, let's go. Promise me?

Abd Al-Rahman: As you say, dear. I promise you. Now tell me, what happened?

Zahra: That man screamed at me after I saw my picture he screamed "What are you doing here?"

Abd Al-Rahman: Your picture?

Old Man: Yasser sent this message. He says: We discovered the location of Zahra and Abd Al-Rahman.

Woman: He found them?

Ismai'l: We must do something. They need us now.

Old Man: We must… We must discuss this thoroughly. They are in a place that is hard to reach. Get it?

Women: You want us to do nothing and shut up? And leave them like that?

Old Man: Arriving at the palace might expose our activity.

Abd Al-Rahman Come, dear. Come, and be quiet.

Shimon: This was a tiring evening, at least it ended well.

Soldier: Sir, there's no sign of them.

Shimon: They've escaped! Wake everyone up, they've escaped! Let's chase them. Quick, call everyone, prepare the jeeps. Everyone must be ready.

Itzhak Cohen: What's all this commotion? What happened?

Shimon: Sir, they've escaped. The old man and his granddaughter. They've escaped.

Itzhak Cohen: When? How?

Shimon: I don't know. The truth is I don't know how they escaped. Sir, we guarded the place all night.

Itzhak Cohen: You've let me down Shimon.

Shimon: Sir, give me some time. I'll find them. Whatever it takes, I'll find them, Sir.

Itzhak Cohen: Find them, Shimon. You must find them. You must find them.

Shimon: I will close all the escape routes, don't worry.

Itzhak Cohen: The most important thing for me is that girl.

Shimon: At your command, Sir. I will find them.

Soldier: You search the camps, and you brake in to houses. Pay close attention!

Shimon: Be alert. Everyone be prepared. Inform all the guards. This is top secret! Inform all our spies. Everyone at high alert. Get the old man and the girl quickly. I want them quickly! Why are you standing? Move! You! Why are you standing? Move!

Zahra: Grandpa, what a pretty view.

Abd Al-Rahman: Yes, dear. It's pretty. All this land once belonged to us.

Zahra: They took it away from us?

Abd Al-Rahman: We will take it back. Here we were born, and here we must die. They took our country by force, and conquered our lands. Zahra! It seems they have discovered our escape. Come on, hurry.

To View Video Click Here.

18 posted on 01/15/2005 12:46:36 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

1/11/2005 Clip No. 482

Russian Ambassador to Iran on Nuclear Cooperation between Moscow and Tehran

The following are excerpts from an interview with Russian ambassador to Iran Alexander Maryasov on Jaam-E-Jam TV that aired on January 11, 2005. The interview was conducted in Farsi

Maryasov: Russia is the first and only country that has consented to Iran's request to build this nuclear power plant [in Bushehr]. The other countries did nothing but talk. We are actually doing it. Regarding what has been said about the delay in completing the power plant and so on - this matter has its reasons. These reasons are technical and not at all political. Some claim that under pressure from America and other countries, Russia is delaying the project. This is not true. It's baseless.

Host: Many believe that what we paid you for the Bushehr power plant is much more than the regular price. You repeatedly raised the price under various pretexts. I don't know how much we've paid so far, maybe $3 billion… $2.5 billion…

Maryasov: I believe this is a mistake.

Host: Could you please clarify?

Maryasov: The price was determined in advance. When the contract was signed, the price of the power plant was determined.

Host: But the Russians discussed the price three times, and each time, they raised the price.

Maryasov: I don't think the price we suggested is higher than the price other countries would have offered. I don't think our price is higher than those offers. But no one else made an offer.

Host: Exactly. Since no other country made an offer, you took advantage of your position as a sole party…

Maryasov: I don't think this is true. These are reasonable prices, and are by no means higher than what is acceptable.

Host: Are the Russians, with the trump card of the Bushehr power plant, toying with us and the Americans? The situation suggests that this is exactly what is happening.

Maryasov:Rest assured that we're not playing games. You may rest assured. There are certain circles that wished to portray our actions as if we were playing games. We are not. When we signed the contract in 1992, we did anticipate have to take the fuel back [to Russia]. Later on, we accepted all the international treaties and legislated a law in Russia. According to this law of ours, all the fuel we gave for nuclear plants in other countries would be returned to us. Therefore, we agreed with the Iranians that the fuel would be returned to us. We have no political problem. The Iranians have agreed to this. The other issue is the price. The negotiations about the price continue. The minute the Iranians agree to pay the sum we've proposed, the contract will be signed the next day. There is no problem.

Host: It seems that our relations would have been better without this power plant.

Maryasov: I don't think so. Building such a power plant is not a simple task, especially in light of Iran's circumstances. I am referring to Iran's nuclear program. Some countries are concerned that Iran's nuclear program has purposes that are not peaceful. There are concerns in the world in this respect. Therefore, building a nuclear power plant is a delicate issue. But as far as we're concerned, there is no problem – technical or financial. There are only the technical problems I mentioned earlier. There is no underlying political scheme here. This I tell you with absolute certainty. Obviously, we welcome cooperation between Iran and other countries. We are interested in Iran cooperating with other countries - not only with us - so you can address your criticism at other countries as well.

Host: Why?

Maryasov: We believe that we should not have a monopoly. If other countries agree to cooperate, we will welcome it.

Host: You're bluffing!

Maryasov: Not at all! I said that all the countries made promises to you but did nothing. Russia was the only one that started building the Bushehr power plant. Where are the Germans? Where are the French? Who else do we have… Where are the Americans? We are the ones building your power plant. Russia! We are doing this in spite of the pressure on us.

Host: Care to explain?

Maryasov: You say there is a lot of pressure. That is true. I confirm it. There is political pressure, but despite that, we continue to build the power plant. If this pressure was indeed intense and effective, we could have packed up and returned to Russia the following day. We are not doing that. We are continuing our work.

Host: Why didn't Russia - in the [last] meeting of the IAEA board of governors - support the positions of Iran and of the non-aligned states against the Americans?

Maryasov: Yes we did… We most definitely did. The resolution that was approved…

Host: The Russians had nothing to do with that…

Maryasov: Wrong! They were very involved. The Russians played an important part. Just as we did during previous board meetings. We put in a lot of effort. We have closely cooperated with the Iranians and with the Iranian negotiating team. The same thing happened this time. The fact that this resolution does not mention the transferring of Iran's dossier to the Security Council – Russia played a part in that too. We insisted on it. We defended your position.

To View Video Click Here.

19 posted on 01/15/2005 12:51:20 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

01/11/05 Clip No. 485
Hamid-Reza Asefi, Spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry on Iran's Nuclear Intentions

Hamid-Reza Asefi Spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry

appeared on Jam-e Jam 1 (Iran) on January 11, 2005

Asefi: The westerners said in the past to the previous regime, "You should have nuclear energy. Nuclear power stations are both healthier and cheaper," and so forth. This is one of the points of contention between ourselves and the Westerners. We ask them why nuclear power plants are good for a certain regime, but aren't good for another? This shows that political motives are behind the affair.

Mahdi [a caller from Cyprus]: I wanted to know what our [Iran's] policy is going to be for this new year. Will it be as it was in the past? Are we, for the sake of Palestine – or rather, for the Arabs' sake, going to be under political, media, and economic pressures? That's it. I wanted you to answer this question.

Host: Thank you…

Caller: As an Iranian youth… How much longer must I endure these pressures, for the sake of the Palestinians? Why aren't the Arabs supporting them?

Asefi: It is true that we are defending Palestine's hopes. It is true that we are defending the Palestinian public, but at the same time we are defending our own national interest as well. Host: Do you mean that we feel threatened by Israel?

The Muslim world feels threatened by Israel. That is true. They themselves don't hide this. They still want to make good on the slogan, "from the Nile to the Euphrates." We did not start a war with the Israelis. It is the diplomatic right of every nation to define its identity. Iran has the right to recognize one country, and not to recognize another. It is its diplomatic right to consider the Zionist regime an illegitimate regime and an illegitimate country, and not to recognize it. It may be that someone will destroy the nuclear facilities, but it is impossible to destroy the nuclear know-how. This know-how is in the minds of this country's youth. If a given facility should be destroyed, another one will be built. We are not worried on that count. The Americans and the Israelis themselves said that an attack on Iran's facilities would not solve the problem, since Iran already possesses the relevant knowledge. If they destroy any facilities, they will be rebuilt elsewhere the next day. What is more, the world knows that one cannot speak with Iran in that language [of threats]. We are not the ones who boycotted American oil companies. As you may remember, when I was the ambassador to France, 10 to 12 years ago, we signed a contract with Coneco. Since Mr. Clinton declared a boycott, we conducted negotiations with Total and signed the same contract. Any country that conforms to the standards we require in quality, quantity, price, and competitiveness, we have no problem with them, whether it's America, England, or any other country. We will negotiate with them.

To View Video Click Here.

20 posted on 01/15/2005 12:55:09 AM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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