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Iranian Alert -- DAY 20 -- LIVE THREAD PING LIST
Live Thread Ping List | 6.29.2003 | DoctorZin

Posted on 06/29/2003 1:30:50 AM PDT by DoctorZIn

The Iranian regime has been threatening a major crackdown on the protesters. In just 9 days (July 9th) the people of Iran are planning massive demonstrations events and strikes. On this date, 4 years ago, the regime brutally attacked peaceful student demonstrators while in their dorms. The result was the loss of life and liberty of hundreds of students, many of which are still unaccounted for.

Iran is a country ready for a regime change. If you follow this thread you will witness, I believe, the transformation of a country. This daily thread provides a central place where those interested in the events in Iran can find the best news and commentary.

Please continue to post your news stories and comments to this thread.

Thanks for all the help.

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: iran; iranianalert; protests; southasialist; studentmovement
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1 posted on 06/29/2003 1:30:50 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: JulieRNR21; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Pan_Yans Wife; RobFromGa; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; ...
Iranian Alert -- DAY 20 -- LIVE THREAD PING LIST

Live Thread Ping List | 6.29.2003 Posted on 06/29/2003 1:30 AM PDT by DoctorZIn

Click on the banner to join us.

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

2 posted on 06/29/2003 1:52:21 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... 10 days until July 9th)
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran to try some of those detained in unrest next week

Sunday, June 29, 2003 - ©2003

Tehran, Jun 28 - Iran will carry to dock some of those arrested during recent unrest in Tehran and several other cities, IRNA quoted head of Tehran Justice Department, Abbasali Alizadeh, Saturday.

"The prosecution of this group will be held at a competent court as soon as probe into their file is complete," he told reporters after paying homage to the Islamic Revolution's founder, late Imam Khomeini, at his mausoleum south of Tehran.

The fate of the rest will be established once investigations are final, Alizadeh added.

The announcement came as officials said the riots had fizzled out in the wake of measures taken by the country's security and intelligence officials.

Media have already quoted the state prosecutor general, Abdon-Nabi Namazi, as saying that police had detained 4,000 people across the country in connection with the unrest.

The daily Keyhan on Saturday cited Tehran prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi as saying that the judiciary would also deal with any MP who was found guilty of instigating recent unrest.

The warning serves a serious challenge to parliament deputies who enjoy immunity from prosecution in their own words, as long as in office. It also comes amid accusations that some of parliamentarians had provoked the unrest.

The riots followed a peaceful gathering of students in protest to perceived privatization of state universities, which officials have rejected, and took an ugly turn when vigilantes attacked students.

The unrest prompted the government to jump the gun and ban students from taking out any protest rallies during next month's anniversary of July 9, 1999 unrest.

A peaceful gathering at the Tehran University campus, held in protest to a court's banning of a newspaper in July 1999, degenerated into several days of clashes after vigilantes attacked students.

State officials, including Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, have said that Washington was behind riots in the Islamic Republic and accused it of "blatant interference in the country's internal affairs" through provoking the unrest.

Police have said maximum security had been restored following the unrest and vowed to "stand up with full force to those who seek to jeopardize the country's security".

Former Judiciary head, Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi, has called on Iranian courts to treat rioters as 'enemies of God', a charge which could in the worst case carry a death sentence.

Parliament Speaker Mehdi Karrubi, however, has ruled aside the plea, saying "It is not possible to label anybody as Mohareb" or those who fight against God. He has also said that the arrested students must instead be treated with maximum 'Islamic compassion'.

Officials have also said that most of those who stirred up the unrest were "thugs and hooligans" and that very few students were among those arrested.

Also, among those detained are agents who worked for 'foreign countries' and passed information to foreign televisions as well as several sympathizers of terrorist Mujahedin Khalq Organization.

Press, citing officials, has also implicated some of nationalist-religious activists - advocates of liberal Freedom Movement of Iran - which is outlawed, in the unrest.
3 posted on 06/29/2003 2:05:44 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... 10 days until July 9th)
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran Student Leaders Say Crisis Deepening

By ALI AKBAR DAREINI, Associated Press Writer

TEHRAN, Iran - Iran announced that more than 4,000 people were arrested during a month of violent pro-reform protests, and a student leader warned on Saturday that the crackdown was only fueling hatred of the ruling clerics.

Iran's prosecutor general, Abdolnabi Namazi, said about 800 students and 30 key student leaders were among the 4,000 arrested as a result of the June 10-14 protests, the state-run daily newspaper Iran reported Saturday.

Namazi said about 2,000 people remained in jail.

Authorities had earlier said only 520 people — mostly "hooligans" — had been detained.

"The confirmation of 4,000 arrests shows how insincere the rulers are and how the crisis has deepened in Iran," student leader Saeed Allahbadashti told The Associated Press.

Also Saturday, four reformist lawmakers began a 48-hour sit-in inside parliament to protest the "violent and illegal continuing arrest of students."

The recent protests, the largest in months, began with students demonstrating against plans to privatize universities then snowballed into broader displays of opposition to Iran's hard-line clerical establishment, led by supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The demonstrations largely ended after the deployment of hundreds of security forces and the unleashing of pro-clergy thugs — armed with knives and batons — to attack protesters.

Allahbadashti, one of few student leaders not imprisoned during the protests, said the establishment had lost its legitimacy through the crackdown.

"The judicial authorities are openly lying to the nation. First, they said few hooligans been arrested. Now, they confirm the arrest of 800 students. They are buying only greater hatred from the people whose call for change has been ignored," he said.

Meanwhile, authorities are trying to prevent a new round of student protests to mark the fourth anniversary of a July 9, 1999 attacks on Tehran University dormitories by pro-clerical militants.

Those attacks killed one student, injured at least 20 others and triggered six days of nationwide anti-government protests, the worst since the 1979 Islamic revolution that toppled the pro-U.S. Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

Authorities have banned any marches to commemorate the raid. "An incident took place a few years back and there is no necessity to mark the anniversary," Namazi said, according to the Iran newspaper.

Students have vowed to defy the ban and warned that their accumulated wrath was about to explode.

In a gesture of support for students, lawmakers Fatemeh Haqiqatjou, Ali Akbar Mousavi Khoeini, Meysam Saeidi and Reza Yousefian began their sit-in protest at parliament.

"We are here to protest the very inappropriate arrests of students, with guns pointed at their throats by unidentified agents, including some students who were not part of recent protests," Haqiqatjou told a news conference before the sit-in.

Haqiqatjou, one of 11 female lawmakers in the 290-seat parliament, said at least 30 more students were missing Saturday. "More names are added every few hours while unannounced arrests of students continue in provincial cities," she said.

Khoeini said the judiciary prevented lawmakers from visiting detained students. "We want to talk freely to detained students without interrogators, the judge and the prosecutor. But judiciary officials are preventing this," he said.

Protesters have long focussed their anger on Iran's unelected hard-line clerics, while supporting President Mohammad Khatami ,who was elected by a landslide on promises of delivering social, political and economic reforms. But this month's student-led protests also denounced Khatami for failing to fulfill his promises.
4 posted on 06/29/2003 2:08:37 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... 10 days until July 9th)
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To: Eala; RaceBannon; pcx99; JulieRNR21; fat city; freedom44; Arthur Wildfire! March; piasa; ...
This is not a reply or a post.
This is only an offer to Americans to read a book if they can, and I ask them hereby to know Iran more and more.
Please find and read this book to get familiar with IRAN.
It is a real story of an American family who lived in Iran in 70's and travelled to Iran again in 90's to find the man who was their friend in Iran.
I am sure all Americans will enjoy reading it.

5 posted on 06/29/2003 3:04:40 AM PDT by Khashayar
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To: *southasia_list
6 posted on 06/29/2003 4:22:29 AM PDT by Free the USA
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To: Khashayar
You mentioned that an officer in the Iranian military told you the Iranian army is pro-shah and hates the mullahs. Is it true that the The elete guard of the mullahs is largely made up of foreigners? Why would that be? They can't trust Iranians? I think those are very important factors to consider.

Looking at the protests, this reminds me of the history of Texas.

[I can't say my studies are detailed or even highly accurate on this, but as I understand it....]

The Dove paved the way. But the Hawk was needed, too.

Austin, the lawyer, was able to get US citizens into Mexico's region of Texas. He did it within the laws of Mexico. He feared bloodshed and told the US immigrants they would have to renounce their citizenship and follow Mexican law. He tried his best to create harmony between the Mexican government and the US nationals who immigrated there. But as the conflict accelerated between the US immigrants and the Mexican government, that became impossible.

Austin paved the way. But without Houston, the immigrants of Texas would ultimately have been slaughtered. They were beginning to act on their own, openly defying the strange, evolving Mexican law that kept getting more harsh toward immigrants. With Austin in defiance, it took a strong leader, such as Houston, in order to organize any kind of effective and unified resistance.

Austin tried one last appeal to the Mexican government and was thrown into jail for what he said, despite his detailed understanding and respect for Mexican law. After getting out of jail, he sided with Houston. It was time to fight. If he had continued to resist an uprising, that might have caused enough dissention to make the resistance fail, and the immigrants would have been crushed.

Instead, rather than have trickling, ununified resistance with doves pecking at the hawks, Texas was united and victorious. It is fitting that Texas has one bright star, because it was unified.

It was a difficult decision for Austin, just as it is for the doves in Iran. They are thinking in the past, when they originally formed an organisation that was able to grow peacefully. They must ask themselves, how long will that continue?

It's fortunate that Houston was able to wait for Austin's agreement. It's always difficult for the dove to transform into a hawk. I have personal experience there. I was a dove when militia people wanted to overthrow Clinton by force of arms. Our situation was different than your's, however, because we still had the right to free speech, unlimited internet access, and the right to own fairly lethal weapons. So, while we had Waco, it really wasn't to the point that we should start killing people. A rogue blew up a building in Oklahoma City and did our cause terrible harm. In our case, we never needed to transform into hawks, thank God. In your case, it will, at some point, be inevitable. I tried to work out triggers with the hawks. For example, if our elections were postposed twice or postponed for two months, that could be a trigger. If there was martial law in more than two cities at the same time, that could be a trigger. If all weapons at 30 calibre are made illegal, that could be a trigger. Or if a US citizen who obeys US law and isn't named Clinton is arrested by the UN's world criminal court, that could be a trigger to kill members of the UN.

Perhaps your leaders should agree on various triggers. "If fifty thousand get arrested, we go violent," for example. Or, "If five thousand are killed, we go violent." The trrggers MUST be shockingly painful, IMHO, to ensure unity, just as painful as the hawks can stand. Doves have a much more difficult time transforming than hawks. At the same time, when hawks start saying, "How many must die before we resist violently?" that puts the doves on the spot. "What number must die before you can't take it any more? Will they allow 5,000 to die? 10,000? How about 10% of the population? Give us a number. We will try to make our followers wait."

I personally think that you should wait until the number exceeds the number of people killed at the Twin Towers. "If the US could not stand that number, why can we stand more than that?"
7 posted on 06/29/2003 4:32:04 AM PDT by Arthur Wildfire! March (LIBERTY or DEATH!)
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To: DoctorZIn
TY for your timely focus on this major situation. I have been on email lists from Iranian students for a long time. They are good, freedom-loving people. [I confess, I haven't had the time to read them all.] FReegards....
8 posted on 06/29/2003 4:35:24 AM PDT by Arthur Wildfire! March (LIBERTY or DEATH!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Morning bump
9 posted on 06/29/2003 6:52:55 AM PDT by Valin (Humor is just another defense against the universe.)
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To: Arthur Wildfire! March; DoctorZIn; Khashayar
At the same time, when hawks start saying, "How many must die before we resist violently?" that puts the doves on the spot. "What number must die before you can't take it any more? Will they allow 5,000 to die? 10,000? How about 10% of the population? Give us a number. We will try to make our followers wait."

There is another reason to have a widely agreed-upon trigger point. Take a look at the research paper Modeling civil violence: An agent-based computational approach

The summary is: if various factions have different trigger points, if the government increases pressure sufficiently slowly, then complete revolution will not be triggered. Instead, each faction will either attempt to rebel by itself (and be crushed) or will not do anything, seeing it has no widespread support for action at its trigger-level.

But if EVERYONE has an agreed-upon trigger level, then when that level is reached, all will erupt at once, and the government's ability to suppress revolt will be overwhelmed

10 posted on 06/29/2003 7:51:58 AM PDT by SauronOfMordor (Java/C++/Unix/Web Developer looking for next gig)
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To: Khashayar
Please find and read this book to get familiar with IRAN. "SEARCHING FOR HASSAN " By Terrence Ward.

I have heard of the book and will get it. Glad to meet you Khashayar. I look forward to hearinf from you.

11 posted on 06/29/2003 8:06:45 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... 10 days until July 9th)
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To: JulieRNR21; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Pan_Yans Wife; RobFromGa; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; ...

TEHRAN 29 June (IPS) Iranian President Mohammad Khatami is locked in serious, if not vital, discussion with Ayatollah Ali Khameneh'i, the leader of the Islamic Republic over the extradition of some senior members of the al-Qa’eda organisation to their respective countries, Egypt, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, according to well informed sources.

Iranian official admitted the arrest of at least five hundred al-Qa’eda "terrorists", but said they don’t know if any senior member of the network like the Egyptian Dr. Eyman al Zawaheri, Osama Ben Laden’s right hand man, his son, Sa’d or his spokesman, Soleyman Aboy Qaith, a Kuwaiti are among the detainees, since they have several passports.

Abdollah Ramezanzadeh, the government’s spokesman said once the nationality of the detainees established, they would be handed over to their countries, provided they have security arrangements with the Islamic Republic, which is not the case with Egypt that has no diplomatic relations with Tehran.

"Because he had authorised the entry of the al-Qa’eda people to Iran, where they had been protected by the Revolutionary Guards, Ayatollah Khameneh'i is reluctant to let the men be extradited to their home countries, where they could face execution", an informed sources told Iran Press Service, adding that there is strong reason to believe that some of the networks members are in Iran.

"The negotiations, that also involve the former president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani are very intense, as Khatami insist that all the terrorists must be handed over to their respective countries, arguing that if not, the regime would become absolutely isolated and placed under international embargo, the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Washington suspects that last month’s explosions at a residential compound in the Saudi Arabia Capital of Riyadh was worked out by al-Qa’eda members based in Iran.

Mr Ramezanzadeh told the French news agency AFP on Saturday that many of the detainees were still being identified, but added that is was unlikely their names would ever be officially released anyway.

"We have not been able to identify all Al-Qa’eda members, and even if we did there is no reason for us to give their names to the press. This is a security issue, and this is how security apparatuses work", he said.

The Islamic Republic of Iran helped hundreds of al-Qa’eda members and the family of Osama Ben Laden to escape from Afghanistan and helped in the transit of hundreds of other members of the organisation and the toppled Taleban to reorganise or find refuge in other countries, the source, which is close to the revolutionary Guards, said.

"Iran helped Osama taking his rather large family out of Afghanistan from the very start of American (military) intervention in Afghanistan and bombardment of al-Qa’eda bases", the source added.

At first, and for sometimes, senior Iranian spokesmen would categorically deny the presence of al-Qa’eda or Taleban terrorists in Iran, the government, led by Mr. Khatami, being kept outside of the decision regarding sheltering the al-Qa’eda in Iran, but they made a 180 degree U-turn after the Intelligence Ministry announced the arrest of at least 150 of them.

"The Foreign Affaires Ministry or the government do not know about these matters more than any ordinary Iranian", the source observed.

"Osama and some senior members of al Qa’eda and Taleban were greeted in Mash-had by Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani, who took them to Tehran with a private plane and were first placed in a luxurious compound, managed by the Revolutionary Guards in the posh Abbas Abad district, but after the American insisted that al Qa’eda and Taleban people are in Iran, they were moved to Alamout, north of the city of Qazvin, West of Tehran, out of curious eyes, the source said.

A mountain area, Alamout -- the base of Hasan Sabbah, the famous and legendary leader of the "feda’iyan", or "assassins" or "hashishins" – is a highly protected military site, one of the regime’s most secret missile installations being based there.


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

12 posted on 06/29/2003 8:21:24 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... 10 days until July 9th)
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To: DoctorZIn
Good morning
13 posted on 06/29/2003 8:21:53 AM PDT by firewalk (thanks for the ping)
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To: BeforeISleep
Good morning to you all.
14 posted on 06/29/2003 8:23:59 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... 10 days until July 9th)
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To: DoctorZIn
Iranian president envoy visits Damascus, Beirut Iran's deputy foreign minister for Arab and African affairs, Seyed Mohammad Sadr, arrived in Damascus Saturday at the head of a delegation and as President Mohammad Khatami's special envoy. Sadr told reporters upon arrival that he is carrying Khatami's message for President Bashar Al-Assad, IRIB reported.

On Monday, the official will leave for Beirut with another message from President Khatami for his Lebanese President Emile Lahoud, he said.
15 posted on 06/29/2003 8:25:06 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... 10 days until July 9th)
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To: DoctorZIn
The danger of appeasement, By Michael Ledeen

Lacking the gift of prophecy, none of us is able to foresee the immediate outcome of the wave of demonstrations that have swept Iran for the past two weeks, and continue to erupt almost every night in one of the country's cities.

The mullahs, whose ruinous policies and arrogant decimation of the Iranian people are the causes of the uprising, show a clear pattern of fear, above all by importing Arab-speaking thugs - most recently from the ranks of Hizbullah in Lebanon and the Badr Brigades in Iraq - to club and slash the demonstrators into submission. Evidently the regime does not have full confidence in its own security forces, and while it is hard to judge such things from a great distance, it is generally wise to rely on the reaction of the oppressors.

The mayhem has been considerable. Here again, it is hard to judge which of the various reports is closest to the truth, but estimates of those incarcerated in the past two weeks range as high as 3,700. Hundreds have been wounded badly enough to require emergency treatment, and scores have been killed. Most of the victims are young, even by the standards of contemporary Iran, where more than 60% of the population is under 30. In Mashad two nights ago, for example, the local judiciary announced that half of those arrested were under 15, and hence would have to be judged by special courts.

This is terrible news for those who, like me, have been calling for the civilized countries of the world to support the Iranian people's heartfelt cry for freedom. It is terrible that so many young people are dying at the hands of a regime that not only oppresses its own people but sends killers abroad, from Lebanon to Iraq to Israel, Saudi Arabia and Argentina.

And it is terrible that so many of the so-called leaders of Western countries have remained mostly silent, and have done nothing concrete to advance freedom in Iran. Not a word from the secretary-general of the United Nations, Kofi Annan. Not a word from the cynically corrupt prime minister of France, Jacques Chirac. Not a word from the suddenly tongue-tied chancellor of Germany, or from the European Union now hell-bent on posing as a potent military and diplomatic force - and only mild lip-service from the multitudes of peace-seekers of the Davos Forum that gathered in Jordan last week.

No demands - save from Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch (and even those in largely muted tones) - for the release of the political prisoners, many of whom are undergoing horrific tortures. With one exception - the admirable Journalistes sans frontieres - no insistence upon the release of the several journalists now suffering in Iranian prisons.

Where is the outrage? Why is there no support for the demands of the demonstrators - shared by the overwhelming majority of the people, according to several soundings of public opinion - for a national referendum on the political system, to be followed by free elections? The arrest of a single woman in Myanmar has generated great outrage, but thousands of arrests and scores of murders in Iran provoke a feeble echo.

To be sure, both Tony Blair and George Bush have spoken bravely and clearly on behalf of the Iranian democracy movement. President Bush has done so several times, and in recent days both National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of State Colin Powell have picked up the theme. But these welcome expressions of concern have not been accompanied by policies designed to advance Iranian democracy, even though everybody knows that the Iranian regime, the world's number one supporter of international terrorism (including as it does many leading al-Qaida killers), is hell-bent on the manufacture of atomic weapons.

Rarely has a threat been so clear, and rarely has a lack of response been so astonishing. The fecklessness of the civilized countries is encouraged by some highly imaginative arguments on behalf of appeasement from the intelligentsia, ranging from those who have convinced themselves that gradual "reform" is still possible, to those who claim that support for the Iranian people would somehow undermine their cause. Nothing new here; we heard the same thing during the Cold War, when support for the dissident movement was rejected on similar grounds. And we heard the same thing in 1991, when the Iraqi Shi'ites and Kurds were abandoned to the vengeance of Saddam Hussein.

Appeasement always comes at a price, and in the current crisis the Iranian people are paying it with their lives. But if we continue to appease the mullahs, we will pay more and more, first in the loss of lives on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan, where Iranian-backed terrorists, saboteurs and religious fanatics are operating against coalition troops and those engaged in the rebuilding of those countries, and then in the inevitable terror attacks against our own countries.

The war against the terror masters is a war of freedom against tyranny. The tyrants support terrorists against the free countries, and against their friends and allies. Iran is the most powerful, the most brilliant, and the most lethal of those tyrannical regimes, and is the keystone of the terror network.

If we are serious about winning the war against terrorism, sooner or later we will have to confront the mullahs. Far better now, when the Iranian people are fighting our war for us, than later, when many more of them have been killed, broken or mutilated, and when the regime is able to brandish atom bombs to deter our cause.

The writer, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, is author of The War Against the Terror Masters.
16 posted on 06/29/2003 8:31:43 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... 10 days until July 9th)
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To: DoctorZIn
Say you want a revolution?

By Amir Taheri

For almost a quarter of a century the United States and Iran, under its Khomeinist rulers, have been locked in a mini-version of the Cold War.

During that period Iranian agents seized and held more than 100 Americans as hostages, releasing them only after Teheran extracted concessions from Washington. Several hostages were murdered, including a US Marine colonel, hanged by the Hizbullah in Beirut, and the CIA station chief in Lebanon who was transferred to Teheran and died under torture during interrogation.

In the same period, Teheran organized terrorist attacks in which over 300 Americans, including 241 Marines, were killed in various parts of the Middle East.

Iran's Khomeinist regime has also acted as the principal opponent of all US-backed peace initiatives in the region. In 1982, Iran founded the Lebanese branch of the Hizbullah that, in time, emerged as the most active force against the "peace process" in the region.

Today, the Hizbullah is one of the world's strongest unofficial armies and, equipped with some 10,000 medium-range Iranian-made Fajr IV missiles, is capable of attacking any target in Israel. It also enjoys high prestige in the region as the only Arab force that managed to drive Israel out of a chunk of occupied Arab territory.

For much of the 1980s Iran also tried to foment revolution in a number of Arab states with friendly ties to the US. Among those targeted were Kuwait, where a plot to kill the emir was aborted at the last moment. Bahrain suffered years of violence promoted by Iranian agents while Saudi Arabia witnessed a number of terrorist attacks organized by groups linked to Teheran.

So intense was Iran's promotion of terrorism that several Arab countries, including Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, severed diplomatic ties with it for varying lengths of time.

In 1987 the Islamic Republic and the United States became directly engaged in military conflict. President Ronald Reagan dispatched the US Navy to protect Kuwaiti oil tankers against missile attacks by Iran. The Iranians, testing US resolve, continued to fire at the Kuwaiti tankers. The American riposte came hard and fast and led to the sinking of more than half of the Iranian Navy's combat fleet. The US navy also dismantled several Iranian offshore oil installations, inflicting an estimated $2 billion in damage.

For part of the 1990s Iran was the main source of support, including money and arms, for the military fundamentalist regime in the Sudan. Iranian mullahs also backed various terrorist groups operating against a number of Muslim countries, including Turkey.

With the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq, Iran has emerged as the principal source of support for all radical Palestinian groups, including Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the People's Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

TODAY, TEHERAN is the only place where terrorists from all over the world can still meet and operate in the open. Every year, from February 1-10, Teheran hosts a festival of radicalism in which terror groups, including the last remaining Marxist-Leninist ones, come together to exchange views and coordinate strategies.

The Shining Path may have been defeated in Peru, but it still has a big office in one of Teheran's poshest streets. The main Columbian terror group, FARC, operates several front companies based in Teheran. At least 22 other terrorist groups maintain offices, and in some cases, such as the PKK, which fought a 15-year war against Turkey, even have operational and logistical bases in various parts of Iran.

Teheran is the only capital where several of its major streets are named after convicted terrorists. The street where the British Embassy is located is named after Bobby Sands, an IRA leader of the 1970s. The street where the Egyptian Embassy, now empty, is situated is named after Khalid al-Islambouli, the man who killed president Anwar Sadat.

Iran's Khomeinist leaders are convinced that modern history will be a repeat of what happened in the early Islamic era. At that time the world was dominated by two "superpowers," the Persian Empire and Byzantium. Within three decades, however, both empires had been destroyed, almost all of their territories captured by Muslim armies.

According to Ali Khamenei, Iran's "Supreme Guide," the late Ayatollah Khomeini, known to his followers as "The Imam," had the "divine mission of reviving Islam" and "putting it on its natural path of cleansing the whole world."

"The contemporary world has been dominated by perfidious empires: the Soviet Union and the United States," Khamenei said in a celebrated speech in 1991. "Now, one of the two empires, the Communist one, has collapsed thanks to its defeat by the forces of Islam in Afghanistan. Our energies should now be directed at dismantling the other incarnation of perfidy which is the Great Satan, America."

Thus anti-Americanism and the dream of destroying the United States lie at the heart of the Khomeinist ideology. Without it, Khomeinism would lack a coherent discourse and could quickly lose its hard core of supporters who still believe that one way or another, the whole of mankind will be converted to their brand of Islam.

The liberation of Afghanistan from the Taliban and of Iraq from Saddam Hussein, have added two new theaters to the cold war waged between Teheran and Washington.

In Afghanistan, Teheran has armed and continues to finance a number of armed groups with the aim of preventing Hamid Karzai, the pro-American interim president, from establishing a support base and gaining a durable hold on power.

Iran's closest allies in Afghanistan are the Hazara Shi'ites who form a majority of the population in two provinces: Bamiyan and Maydanshahr in central Hindukush. With Iranian money and weapons, the Hazara now have the second most powerful indigenous military force in Afghanistan, second only to that of the Panjshiris led by "Marshall" Qassim Fahim.

But Iran is also supporting the Pushtun extremist leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar who has concluded an alliance with the remnants of the Taliban and is mounting growing attacks against the Americans and their allies in southern Afghanistan. Iran has also concluded a number of accords with Ismail Khan, who controls six western provinces.

More interesting is the fact that Iran has allowed the Taliban and the al-Qaida terrorist groups to seek refuge in its territory. There is, of course, little love lost between Iran and the Sunni militants of the Taliban-al-Qaida axis. But there is a shared interest: to prevent a pro-American regime to be established in Kabul.

Despite Teheran's denials, large numbers of Taliban and al-Qaida militants and sympathizers are currently in Iran. According to sources some Iranian border villages, including Pishin, Qasr Qand and Dost Muhammad now shelter hundreds of Taliban and al-Qaida fighters and their families. More prominent al-Qaida and Taliban figures openly live in the larger frontier cities of Khash, Zahedan and Zabol.

On a smaller scale, the Islamic Republic is also engaged in a campaign against the US and its allies in other parts of the region, notably in Transcaucasia where, in coordination with Russia, it backs Armenia against Azerbaijan.

During the past six months Iran has arrested more than 200 Arab al-Qaida members and/or sympathizers and returned them to their native countries. But those were individuals whose names were given to the Iranian authorities by their respective governments, notably Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. All others have been allowed to stay, presumably because Iran believes they may one day become useful for its designs in Afghanistan or other Muslim countries.

The Islamic Republic is also engaged in what amounts to a low intensity war against the US presence in Iraq. There, Iran is joined by Syria which is trying to gain control of what is left of the Iraqi Ba'ath Party.

Iran has not put all its eggs in one basket in Iraq. It maintains much influence in the newly renamed High Council for the Liberation of Iraq, led by Muhammad Baqer al-Hakim al-Tabatabai. The group's military wing, the Badr (Full Moon) Brigade maintains close ties with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard in Teheran. But Iran also finances several other smaller Shi'ite groups, including a breakaway faction of the Al-Daawah (The Call) Party. In the northern part of Iraq, Teheran finances and largely controls the Kurdish branch of the Hizbullah plus a number of tribal networks.

The current Iranian strategy is aimed at preventing the US from securing a support base for an eventual pro-American administration in Baghdad. Teheran pursues that strategy through a mixture of threat, bribery and actual violence against those tempted to tilt towards Washington.

ONE THING is certain: The Khomeinist regime regards itself as a regional "superpower" and is determined to do all it can to prevent the Bush administration from imposing its new "political architecture" on the Middle East.

"The idea that the United States could impose its wishes on the Middle East and marginalize our revolution is based on a dangerous illusion," says Ali Akbar Velayati, a former foreign minister and now senior adviser to Khamenei.

Involved in the Middle East more deeply than ever, the US has no choice but to review its attitude towards Iran.

What could the US do? Ignoring Iran is not possible. The Khomeinist leadership pursues an active anti-American policy at various levels. It is determined to oppose and, when possible, frustrate US policies on a wide range of issues in the Middle East, Transcaucasia, the Persian Gulf, the Caspian Basin and Central Asia.

At the same time, the Khomeinist regime has embarked on a program of massive military build up. With help from North Korea, it has already developed a wide range of missiles based on Soviet and Chinese models, and has the industrial potential to produce large quantities of chemical and biological weapons. There is now little doubt that the Islamic Republic is also working on a military nuclear program that is expected to reach production stage by 2005.

If ignoring Iran is not possible, containing it is not a realistic option either. After Russia, Iran is the one country in the world with the largest number of neighbors. It is thus directly important in the affairs of numerous nations in an unstable part of the globe.

So what are the other options? A version of d tente as practised between the US and the USSR from the 1970s onwards could, of course, be an option for dealing with the Islamic Republic.

The Khomeinist regime has shown that it understands the language of power. Whenever its survival has been in jeopardy, it has backed down without any qualms. It has shown that, unlike Saddam Hussein's Ba'athist regime in Iraq, it is not suicidal.

But d tente could strengthen the Khomeinist regime at a time that it is facing the most serious challenge to its rule at home. D tente could prolong the Khomeinist regime's historical lifespan just as it did in the case of the Soviet Union. Given legitimacy and access to world capital markets and US technology, the Khomeinist regime may last several more decades during which the new "political architecture" of the Middle East, as envisaged by President George W. Bush would have to be left on the backburner.

IF D TENTE is ruled out, military confrontation may emerge as an option. But Iran is certainly not a pushover as were Afghanistan and Iraq. The Khomeinist regime has a stronger popular base than did Saddam or the Taliban. Iran is also better armed and could, if provoked, inflict serious damage on some of the United States's closest allies in the region.

In a military showdown with the US, the Khomeinist regime will ultimately be defeated. But such a showdown could lead to a disintegration of Iran, triggering decades of conflict and crisis with repercussions that are not easy to foresee.

Possibly the most effective option would be a mixture of political, diplomatic and economic pressure backed by the threat of military force. The Khomeinist regime, currently split between hardliners and moderates, is also facing a growing popular opposition movement. That movement is still in gestation, its core ideology and eventual leadership still unclear. But there is evidence that the anti-Khomeinist movement harbors some democratic sentiments and is generally well-disposed towards the US.

Many analysts believe that the historic countdown against the Khomeinist regime has started. Some foresee its demise within the next year or so. I am not so sure. One thing, however, is certain, the Khomeinist regime has become "overthrowable." It has lost a good part of its revolutionary and religious legitimacy, is rejected by many from within its traditional support base, and, weakened by corruption and mismanagement, lacks the moral authority to crack down against its opponents.

Thus the US should consider supporting the Iranian opposition movement and encouraging its latent democratic aspirations. But regime change in Teheran should not be perceived as an American project. It should remain an Iranian enterprise backed by the US and other democratic powers.

The worst option for Washington would be to talk of forcible regime change but to do nothing beyond diplomatic declarations. As Machiavelli said, it is foolish to wound an enemy and let him be. "Either turn your enemy into a friend, or kill him!" advised the Florentine.
17 posted on 06/29/2003 8:35:11 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... 10 days until July 9th)
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To: DoctorZIn
As most of you are aware there is an effort underway by supporters of the Iranian protest movement to sponsor a large demonstration of support for the Iranian protesters in Washington DC on July, 9th. If you can find any way to attend or encourage others, please do so.

Below is a press release from Senator Brownback's office.

Media Advisory

June 27, 2003


All Media Invited to July 9 Event

WASHINGTON - U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback today announced he will speak to a large group of Iranian-Americans at a July 9th rally in support of the pro-democracy demonstrations occurring inside Iran. July 9, 2003 marks the fourth anniversary of the original student protests in Iran which were brutally put down by the current regime.

The rally will take place on July 9, 2003 at the West Front of the U.S. Capitol. Sen. Brownback will address the crowd at noon.

Currently in Iran, we are seeing a constant display of courage on behalf of the Iranian people against their terrorist government," Brownback said. "These Iranians have made a pledge to continue their protests up through July 9th - and I want to stand in solidarity with these brave souls.

I am pleased that so many Iranian-Americans are planning to come to Washington, D.C. and show the world that they support a free and democratic Iran. This rally will be a show of support and encouragement to the Iranian people who are seeking freedom in Iran," Brownback said.


Aaron Groote
Deputy Communications Director
U.S. Senator Sam Brownback
303 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
(202) 224-6521
(202) 224-5311 fax

18 posted on 06/29/2003 10:05:17 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... 10 days until July 9th)
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To: DoctorZIn
This just in...

I have heard that the regime plans on calling martial law in all cities of Iran three days prior and after the July 9th anniversery of the 1999 crack down of the student protests. It will be interesting, if this is true, what the protest movement will do in response.
19 posted on 06/29/2003 10:35:42 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... 10 days until July 9th)
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To: DoctorZIn
"It will be interesting, if this is true, what the protest movement will do in response."

Yes, indeed it will be interesting.

Good articles today. BTW, I didn't know they are claiming to have arrested 500 al Qaeda. If they need help identifying Zawaheri, Sa'ad, or Qaith, I bet someone could get them some photos...

20 posted on 06/29/2003 11:06:47 AM PDT by dixiechick2000
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