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Iranian Alert - March 19, 2006 - Iran reformers call for nuke freeze, negotiations
Regime Change Iran ^ | 3/19/06 | freedom44

Posted on 03/19/2006 1:42:41 PM PST by freedom44

Top News Story

Middle East Newsline

Tehran - Iran's largest reformist party called on Sunday for dialogue with the United States and a freeze on sensitive nuclear work to head off an escalating crisis with the international community.

The party is the Participation Front, headed by Mohammad Reza Khatami, the brother of Iran's former reformist president Mohammad Khatami

They said: "In order to break the international consensus, we are proposing a return to previous policies and the voluntary suspension of all nuclear fuel-cycle work to resolve this crisis and re-establish confidence."

The United Nations security council is considering what action to take against Iran concerning its refusal to halt uranium enrichment, a process that creates fuel for nuclear power stations, but also that can be the core of an atomic weapon.

Top foreign ministry officials from the five veto-wielding members of the council plus Germany were due to meet in New York on Monday to plot a long-term strategy on the crisis.

"The nation's leaders apparently want dialogue with the United States not only on Iraq but on other issues," said the Participation Front, calling for "complete transparency" in any talks.

In recent weeks, former presidents Khatami and Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani have criticised Ahmadinejad's foreign policies and warned against the increasing isolation of the Islamic republic.

Last week, leading Iranian reformist cleric and former parliamentary speaker Mehdi Karrubi criticised Ahmadinejad's stance, warning that sanctions would lead to "great difficulties".

A Daily Briefing of Major News Stories on Iran:

Iranian politicians seek unity over nuclear program

Talabani hopeful on US-Iran talks

US Commander: Not much hope in Iran talks

US pullout from Iraq would be catastrophe

Harvard rallies for Students in Iran

Bring it Iran
American’s options for Iran

Belarus accused of selling arms to Iran

Iran threatens Europe and an Ayatollah breaks ranks

Eight killed in Iran clashes

TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: ahmadinejad; alqaedaandiran; atomic; axisofevil; axisofweasels; ayatollah; azadi; binladen; buygoldstocks; china; democracy; dissidents; energy; freedom; freeiran; ganji; guardiancouncil; humanrights; iaea; insurgency; iran; iranazadi; iranianalert; iranianregime; irannukes; iranpolicy; irgc; iri; islam; islamic; islamicrepublic; khamenei; khomeini; khomeinism; ledeen; mansoorijaz; mullahs; muslims; nuclear; nukes; persecution; persia; persian; persians; politicalprisoners; protest; protests; regime; regimechangeiran; revolutionaryguard; rop; russia; shiite; studentmovement; studentprotest; tehran; terrorism; theocracy; timmerman; usa; vevak; wot

1 posted on 03/19/2006 1:42:45 PM PST by freedom44
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To: freedom44


2 posted on 03/19/2006 2:06:40 PM PST by nuconvert ([there's a lot of bad people in the pistachio business])
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; 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”

3 posted on 03/19/2006 4:56:12 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: freedom44

Look out, the "Iranian Moderates" are back! Next they'll be demanding Stinger Missiles and Abrams tanks in exchange for scrapping their Nuke program and ending their support for the "insurgents" in Iraq.

4 posted on 03/19/2006 7:25:14 PM PST by pawdoggie
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Comment #5 Removed by Moderator

To: freedom44

Unrelenting Iranian dissident does full jail term, freed
Hiedeh Farmani
March 18, 2006

FREE, AT LONG LAST: Massoumeh Shafi'i (L), wife of the Iranian dissident journalist Akbar Ganji (C), speaks with journalists as his attorney Youssef Mowlaie listens at Ganji's home in Tehran on March 18. Ganji, has been released from prison after six years behind bars for criticizing some of the most powerful figures in the Islamic Republic.

TEHRAN -- Iran's most prominent political prisoner, dissident Akbar Ganji, was released late on Friday night after six years in prison.

Visibly thinner and sporting a bushy beard, Ganji smiled and greeted family and friends on Saturday but refused to make any comments.

"He was released at the end of his term," Ganji's lawyer Yusef Molai said. "To my surprise, prison officials brought him home at 10 last night. I did not expect it as the papers said he would not be released before March 30. I am extremely happy," his wife Massoumeh Shafie said.

"I have asked him not to talk because I am very worried and do not want the same thing to happen again," she added.

She denied there was any gag order on the fiery journalist and worried about his health after his grueling stay behind bars.

"He has decided not to talk due to his physical conditions. He should not get tired," Molai explained.

Ganji, 46, was sentenced to six years in prison in 2001 after he wrote articles implicating several regime officials in a string of gruesome murders of opposition intellectuals and writers in 1998 - crimes that shocked Iran.

He did not give names, and instead kept readers guessing over the identity of the "Master Key" and the "Grey Eminence" - but the nicknames were widely interpreted as referring to former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and former intelligence minister Ali Fallahian.

In 2005, Ganji, who for many symbolized the fighting spirit of Iran's reform movement, denied having made any reference to Rafsanjani in his articles.

The uproar over the serial murders prompted official action, with the killings blamed on "rogue" intelligence agents. The alleged ringleader eventually committed suicide in jail by drinking hair remover.

Reformists rejoiced at the news of Ganji's freedom even as the dissident returned to an Iran that was far more conservative than the one he left when he started his prison sentence.

"One of my best friends has been released," said dissident cleric Mohsen Kadivar, who had come to welcome Ganji at his modest Tehran apartment, two days before the Iranian New Year Nohrouz.

Kadivar, who was himself jailed in 1999 for championing greater independence for the government from the clergy, defended his friend.

"Prison is not the right solution for political critics. Despite serving six years, Ganji has not changed but he has become more radical," Kadivar said. "His silence will not last long but he has to examine the situation and he has to speak in a manner that can be published."

Ganji, who was first jailed in 1997 after giving a lecture on "the theoretical foundations of fascism", was arrested a final time in April 2000 following his participation in an academic and cultural conference at the Heinrich Boell Institute in Berlin.

Iranian state television aired footage of the conference, which included debates on social and political reforms and interruptions by Iranian exiled dissidents slamming the clerical regime.

The conference drew the ire of conservatives and many angry demonstrations were organized in Qom - the religious epicenter of the country - and other cities against the "counter-revolutionaries" who had attended the forum.

He was sentenced in 2001 to 10 years in prison, but the sentence was later commuted to six. During his prison stint, Ganji spent long periods in solitary confinement and reportedly suffered from chronic asthma.

In May 2005, he was granted prison leave for medical treatment, but used the opportunity to call for a boycott of the June 17 presidential election.

He also called for Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to step down, even though criticising the country's supreme leader is a serious offense in the Islamic republic.

Sent back to jail, Ganji launched a hunger strike in a bid to win the unconditional release which his lawyers - who include Nobel Prize winner Shirin Ebadi - had been calling for.

The strike action brought international attention to the case and the wider issue of human rights in Iran.

6 posted on 03/20/2006 7:53:17 AM PST by IrishMike (Dry Powder is a plus)
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To: IrishMike

Thank you for the update on Ganji.

7 posted on 03/20/2006 8:38:04 AM PST by Reborn
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To: freedom44
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”

8 posted on 03/20/2006 4:31:12 PM PST by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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