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Iranian Alert - June 1, 2005 - Members of Congress push tougher line on Iran, write them today!
Regime Change Iran ^ | 6.1.2005 | DoctorZin

Posted on 06/01/2005 5:31:56 PM PDT by DoctorZIn

Top News Story

Members push tougher line on Iran

Geoff Earle, The Hill:

Key members of Congress are girding to take a tougher line on Iran by tightening sanctions and taking a high-profile stance against the Iranian government.

But despite President Bush's calls for democratic reform in the Middle East, the administration is urging Congress to hold off on legislation out of concern that it might disrupt sensitive negotiations about Iran's nuclear program.

The momentum for legislative action in Congress has reached such an extent that the administration has begun voicing its concerns to powerful committee chairmen.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) - who does not favor taking up Iran legislation right now - said he has been consulting with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and other members of the administration on the issue.

"They're not indicating that would be helpful right now," he said. "For the moment, we're trying to work through negotiations, not legislation."

But with passion on the issue running strong, it is uncertain if members will hold off for more than a few months. A bill by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) on Iran had attracted 263 co-sponsors before the recess - well beyond a majority of 218 needed to pass the House. Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), a possible presidential candidate in 2008, has introduced a companion bill that is identical to the version by Ros-Lehtinen.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) recently signed on to the bill, which also has substantial Republican support - including Chief Deputy Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.).

"I'm hopeful this is something the majority leader and others will see as consistent with what we're trying to do in spreading freedom and democracy," he said.

Some supporters had hoped to act on the bill before the June 17 Iranian presidential elections

to put pressure on the regime. Iran's Guardian Council has barred numerous reformist candidates from running, as it did in parliamentary elections last year.

Iran has become a major foreign-policy concern for the administration, which charges that Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapons program - something the government in Tehran denies.

At last month's American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference, Iran was a major topic of discussion. The powerful lobbying group set up a dramatic multimedia presentation arguing that Iran is "pursuing a nuclear weapon" and discussing "how it can be stopped." AIPAC dispatched 4,500 members to lobby members on the Hill, and they pushed for the Iran legislation along with a handful of other items.

Still, the administration is advocating a go-slow approach in Congress. State Department and National Security Council officials met with staff in Ros-Lehtinen's office Thursday to discuss her legislation and urge caution, according to sources familiar with the meeting.

"Obviously they had concerns," one GOP aide said.

According to the aide, members supporting the bill "certainly want to cooperate with the president" and hope to use the legislation as a lever to pressure European allies who are negotiating with Iran.

But, the aide said, "the time is going to come in late July, August, where the evidence is going to continue to mount" that Iran has a nuclear weapons program under way. The aide added, "The members are committed to affording time flexibility to the administration for the time being."

The International Relations Committee's Subcommittee on the Middle East and Central Asia, which Ros-Lehtinen chairs, approved her Iran bill in April. But International Relations Chairman Henry Hyde (R-Ill.) has bottled up the bill. Hyde wrote Ros-Lehtinen about the legislation, telling her, "I'm concerned that it would overly constrain the president as he attempts to grapple with a difficult and fast-moving situation in Iran."

Hyde urged Ros-Lehtinen to afford the president the flexibility to support negotiations with the Europeans - something Bush decided to do on his recent trip to Europe. Ros-Lehtinen also has discussed the issue with Rice.

There have been similar demonstrations of support for Iran legislation in the Senate. The Santorum bill has 25 co-sponsors from across the ideological spectrum, including Sens. George Allen (R-Va.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Evan Bayh (D-Ind.), Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), Trent Lott (R-Miss.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.). Allen, Bayh and McCain also are considering presidential bids.

Santorum introduced a bill in the last Congress that had stronger language calling for "regime change" in Iran. But that term has fallen out of favor since the invasion of Iraq. Both Santorum and Ros-Lehtinen settled on softer language this year.

Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), another potential 2008 contender, told The Hill that he was drafting his own bill and called Iran "possibly the most pressing foreign-policy issues we're facing."

"This is a dangerous regime," Brownback said, "and they're not supported by their people."

McCain said he thought Congress should "speak out" about Iran. But he also called for a coordinated approach with the administration, noting that the Iranian-American diaspora is divided about whether or how aggressively the United States should confront the regime in Tehran.

"I think they're careful," McCain said, referring to the Iranian diaspora, "because we know that the majority of the people of Iran wants them to be a nuclear power. So the diaspora wants us to be cautious."

Asked about legislative efforts to make regime change a U.S. policy in Iran, Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) responded, "I'm sorry, but that's not the way you do things. … We all think we're secretaries of state."

Ros-Lehtinen's bill would codify existing optional sanctions on Iran, limit a presidential waiver of the sanctions to six months at a time, authorize the president to withhold aid from countries investing in Iran's oil industry and authorize the president to provide financial and political assistance to pro-democracy groups opposed to the government of Iran.

Bush said in March that he was glad the United States and European nations were speaking with "one voice" on Iran, and there have been signals since that positions have been coalescing. The British, French and Germans have been conducting the negotiations with Iran in Geneva, and the United States has dropped its objection to Iran's joining the World Trade Organization. Meanwhile, the Europeans have said they will refer the matter to the U.N. Security Council if Iran carries out its threat to resume nuclear fuel enrichment. Bush said yesterday that the negotiations seemed to be making progress.

But congressional sentiment runs strongly against the regime in Tehran, which took power in a 1979 revolution and the State Department has listed the country as a sponsor of terrorism. If the administration presses too hard against legislation, it could face a reaction from critics inside and outside Congress.

"Syria and Iran are ripe for revolution, and the dictators know it," Michael Ledeen of the American Enterprise Institute wrote in a recent article for National Review Online. "The revolutionaries are looking to Washington for clear and material support. They are not getting it today."


The people of Iran need our support now. This summer they will begin to act against the regime. To see the bill and write your representatives in congress, click here.

A Daily Briefing of Major News Stories on Iran:

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

1 posted on 06/01/2005 5:32:02 PM PDT 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 06/01/2005 5:33:18 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Rumors are congress will be taking a hard look at the Iran legislation soon.

We need to write our representatives now!

3 posted on 06/02/2005 12:05:29 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

What do you mean by that?

4 posted on 06/02/2005 12:18:05 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (Democracy is a process not a product)
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To: F14 Pilot
If you want more info on the bill go here...

I posted it above.
5 posted on 06/02/2005 1:11:17 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn; nuconvert; freedom44; F14 Pilot; Khashayar
The Coup d'Etat is approaching:

Khanjani warns military over mystery election plot

LONDON, June 2 (IranMania) - Certain sections of Iran's armed forces have laid out plans to interfere in the June 17 presidential elections, the interior ministry warned Tuesday without elaborating on what the alleged plot involved.

"In some military institutions, they have been preparing very elaborate and organised activities for the presidential elections," Interior ministry spokesman Jahanbakhsh Khanjani was quoted as sayign by the official news agency IRNA.

"We sense, behind these preparations, a whiff of military intervention in the election," he said, before mysteriously speaking of "10 plus one" and "20 plus one" plans.

The spokesman did not elaborate, although he was not believed to have been raising the spectre of some sort of armed intervention.

The interior ministry, still controlled by the reformist government of outgoing President Mohammad Khatami, is responsible for organising elections.

So far there have been no signs of military interference in the poll, yet there has been concern over a possible militarisation of the regime -- given that four out of the eight contenders have been former senior commanders in the Revolutionary Guards.

On Monday the ministry ordered the country's military forces to keep out of the polls, in a demand aimed primarily at members of a hardline Islamist vigilante milita.

The directive reiterated the law that soldiers and policemen are forbidden to participate in the election campaigns and cannot represent candidates at the polls.

Last week President Mohammad Khatami also called on the police, the army, the Revolutionary Guards and the Basij militia to refrain from any type of moves that might be interpreted as interference in the election.


Lari warns against Iran army interference in poll

LONDON, May 31 (IranMania) Iran's Interior Minister dolvahed Moussavi Lari has asked military forces to steer clear of next month's presidential election, IRNA reported.

In a letter to the Guardian Council, Moussavi Lari has protested to remarks attributed to the supervisory body's spokesman who had reportedly said that there was no legal ban on the military forces' intervention in the 'executive and supervisory domains' of the polls.

In his letter, a copy of which was faxed to IRNA, the interior minister has described the remarks as 'the cause of escalating concerns and a note of alarm against the entry of armed forces into the electoral process and a direct threat to a healthy election'.

In similar statements in the central city of Shiraz, Moussavi Lari cautioned the volunteer Basij forces against interfering in the election.

"Basij, as a military force, cannot interfere in the presidential election and the interference of the Basij members amount to the interference of other armed forces," he said.

"The whole set of the laws and directives served by the chief commander to all military and police forces has banned the interference of these forces in the elections.

"According to these laws, none of the members of the Sepah (the Islamic Revolution's Guards Corps, Basij, army and police, have the right to interfere in the elections," Moussavi Lari added.

The Guardian Council has qualified eight candidates, including former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, to run in the June 17 election.

The other qualified candidates are former parliament speaker Mehdi Karroubi, Tehran Mayor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, ex-police chief Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf as well as Mohsen Rezaei, the former commander-in-chief of the Islamic Revolution's Guards Corps, and the former head of the state broadcasting Ali Larijani.

Two other candidates, former higher education minister Mostafa Moin and Vice President Mohsen

Mehralizadeh, were reinstated after Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei asked the Guardian Council to clear them.

The two were among more than 1,000 aspirants who were disqualified from the election as the Guardian Council expressed frustration with the high number of registrations.

Moussavi Lari also called on supporters of the candidates to observe 'legal norms' in the electoral campaigning.

"There are rules for campaigning which have been defined in the law, and if there are not respected...this will lead to general disappointment among the public," he said.

On Wednesday, Rafsanjani's office had to deny that the veteran politician was pulling out of the June 17 presidential election.

In a statement a copy of which was faxed to IRNA, the office said reports about Rafsanjani's intention to withdraw his candidacy 'lacked authenticity'.

"Certain currents ... are stoking up rumors about possible pullout of Hashemi Rafsanjani from the 9th presidential election and using rumor-mongering devices to spread them in the society which are not true at all," it said.

"Hashemi Rafsanjani's decision to participate at the election came after months of rumination and consultations ... and by registering he has stepped onto an irreversible road," the statement added.

As a matter of fact, Rafsanjani held Iranians on tenterhook after dropping a hint to make a comeback, but falling short of making a clear announcement.

He described presidential candidacy a bitter pill which he had to swallow.

"The issue of presidency is among the current preoccupations of my mind and although I would like someone else to accept this responsibility, I think I have to take this bitter medicine," he said.

Electoral campaigning began Wednesday morning but few hours later hackers targeted Larijani's website, defacing his home page which resulted in its subsequent crash.

The site was attacked by 'unknown elements during which main contents of the site were hacked and replaced with other sentences and minutes later the site totally crashed', the official in charge of the website announced.

"Ill manners like these unfortunately come in the early days of the electoral campaigning, serve as a warning to the related officials," he added.

Officials at the public relations department of Larijani's electoral headquarters were trying to maintain the site 'as soon as possible', he said.

A message on its home page reads: "The website is currently undergoing emergency maintenance. Please try the site again later."

Larijani's electoral headquarters had also to deny reports that he intended to pull out of the race in favor of other candidate Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.

"Unfortunately, this news is mostly being reported in the press by the supporters of Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani," it said in a statement, denouncing the report as part of a 'psychological war'.
6 posted on 06/02/2005 3:12:41 AM PDT by AdmSmith
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To: DoctorZIn

"language calling for "regime change" in Iran. But that term has fallen out of favor since the invasion of Iraq. Both Santorum and Ros-Lehtinen settled on softer language this year."

And that "softer language" is what?

7 posted on 06/02/2005 7:21:23 AM PDT by nuconvert (No More Axis of Evil by Christmas ! TLR) [there's a lot of bad people in the pistachio business])
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To: nuconvert

This legislation represents an historic moment for the Iranian Diaspora.  Congress and the President have smartly abandoned the catch phrase "regime change" that has consistently focused media attention on them, in favor of generating a platform for Iranians to develop their own cohesion, ideas and language.

Ultimate responsibility for positive change in Iran belongs to the Iranian people and the Iranian Diaspora alone.  The Congress and the President are only responsible for protecting the American people from the threat the Iranian regime poses to us.

Check out and get creative.  Focus all of the passion you have on this subject into creating a plan to achieve your goals.

Once you've developed your idea within the basic guidelines of NED and develop your own interpretation of what "regime change" implies, distribute it widely and let your ideas inspire others.

If you don't like the ideas of others come up with better ones.  An army of social critics cannot and will not force the mullahs to change their behavior.

8 posted on 06/02/2005 12:05:55 PM PDT by humint (Define the future... but only if you're prepared for war with the soldiers of the past and present!)
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To: DoctorZIn
To read today’s thread click here.

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”

9 posted on 06/02/2005 7:38:23 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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