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Iranian Alert -- DAY 22 -- LIVE THREAD PING LIST
Live Thread Ping List | 7.1.2003 | DoctorZin

Posted on 07/01/2003 12:04:24 AM PDT by DoctorZIn

In just 8 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.

Once again, the regime has been threatening a major crackdown on the protesters. A major confrontation is just days away.

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: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: bushdoctrineunfold; iran; iranianalert; protests; southasialist; studentmovement; warlist
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
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1 posted on 07/01/2003 12:04:24 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 22 -- LIVE THREAD PING LIST

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

2 posted on 07/01/2003 12:10:58 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... 9 days until July 9th)
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To: DoctorZIn
Student protesters warn leaders to allow free speech or risk confrontation

Dan De Luce in Tehran
Monday June 30, 2003
The Guardian

Student leaders, defiant after a wave of street demonstrations, are warning Iran's political leadership that they will face full-blown confrontation unless political prisoners are released and a protest rally is allowed to go ahead.
"We openly declare that these words are the final words of dialogue between the student movement and the ruling establishment," a group of students said in a letter addressed to the reformist president, Mohammad Khatami.

Signed by 106 prominent students, the letter condemns the arrest of dozens of student activists and a ban on street rallies to mark the anniversary on July 9 of a raid on a Tehran University dormitory four years ago.

Following protests which erupted across the country earlier this month, the letter sets the stage for further possible unrest as the July 9 anniversary approaches.

The students are also running out of patience with President Khatami, once hailed as their hero but now increasingly considered too timid to stand up to the conservative clerics who wield real power in Iran. Mr Khatami's failure to speak out clearly about the suppression of the student movement was "painful and disappointing", the students said.

The letter told him: "We call on you... to react before it is too late and adopt a reasonable solution, or otherwise have the courage to resign so that you do not justify oppressive policies and allow students to settle their accounts with the establishment."

Protest
While city streets have returned to normal, the protests that erupted on June 10 and persisted for more than a week shocked the authorities in the level of anger that they expressed against the country's clerical rulers.

"The protests were a serious alarm bell for the system," Abdullah Momeni, a prominent student leader, told the Guardian. "Two years ago, it was an open secret that the system was dysfunctional. Now people are saying it openly."

The disorganised and chaotic nature of the protests showed the need for a coherent opposition leadership which could harness public anger, said Mr Momeni.

"The authorities have to learn to allow people to voice criticism or there will be more protests. The huge number of arrests they have carried out shows how nervous they are," he said.

A day after speaking to the Guardian, Mr Momeni was detained when he walked out of the university campus in Tehran's city centre.

In an apparent attempt to pre-empt rallies on the July 9 anniversary, some 1,000 people - including dozens of student activists and the son of an MP - have been arrested in the past week.

The detentions are carried out by plain-clothes security agents operating outside regular legal authority, reformist MPs say. Most of those detained are being held without access to lawyers or their families, and their whereabouts are unknown.

"I am worried my husband is being tortured right now," said Aidin Hassanlou, 26. Her husband, Mehdi Aminzadeh, is another student leader who was detained a week ago and has not been heard from since.

"I am really anxious about this situation. I don't know where he's being held. After seven days they won't let me see him or talk to him," said Ms Hassanlou, who was warned by the authorities not to speak to the press.

Initially reported as a demonstration by university students, this month's protest was more of a family event, with teenagers leading the way while Iranians of every age came out to watch and blare their car horns in solidarity.

Criticism
As quickly as they exploded on June 10, the protests faded after 10 days. The demonstrators had no leadership and no clear demands. A newspaper story that helped spark the protests, which suggested that privatisation of universities might be in the offing, turned out to be inaccurate.

But the tidal wave of frustration continues to grow among a new generation who are less willing to tolerate a theocratic system that they believe is defying the popular will and the modern world.

Conservative officials and police say the protests do not represent any serious political protest, but are merely acts of "hooliganism" orchestrated by foreign governments.

They have no shortage of evidence, if the statements of the White House are anything to go by. The Bush administration has accused Tehran of helping al-Qaida, of developing a clandestine nuclear weapons programme and of undermining US attempts to rebuild Iraq - all claims which Tehran has denied.

The clerical leadership in Iran does not deny the existence of protest. Rather, they point to the sharp political disagreements between the conservatives and reformers as proof of the country's democratic credentials.

Unlike in previous street protests, the club-wielding, bearded vigilantes who came out to crush the demonstrators met fierce resistance. Instead of running away, teenagers fought back, throwing stones and torching the militia's motorbikes.

While previous demonstrations had called for free speech, this time there were hostile chants against clerical rule and even the supreme leader himself, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Criticising the supreme leader, who wields ultimate authority, is normally a taboo that risks imprisonment.

For the first time, demonstrators also openly castigated President Khatami, who was elected six years ago amid high hopes for dramatic change. He and his allies in parliament have tried to introduce democratic and social reforms, but have been repeatedly blocked by unelected clerics who wield blanket veto power.

To distract a restive young population, state television has announced an extensive schedule of Iranian soap operas and European football matches. Free outdoor concerts, with free food, are also being organised in the capital to coincide with the July 9 anniversary.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,987617,00.html
3 posted on 07/01/2003 12:41:59 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... 9 days until July 9th)
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To: DoctorZIn
Japan Holds Off on Iran Oil Deal on Nuclear Worry

July 01, 2003
Reuters
George Nishiyama

TOKYO -- Japan appeared today to bow to U.S. pressure to hold off on finalising a deal to develop a giant oil field in Iran - Tokyo's third-biggest oil supplier - due to concerns over Tehran's nuclear development programme.

The controversy over the $2 billion deal to develop Azadegan, one of the world's biggest untapped oil fields, has put resource-poor Japan in a bind as it seeks to balance its thirst for oil with a staunch security alliance with the United States. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda said that the deal to develop Azadegan was important for Japan's energy needs, but noted there were concerns over Iran's nuclear programme.

"Crude oil is very important for Japan, but on the other hand, the nuclear development issue has turned into a big international concern," Fukuda told a news conference.

"I don't think there will be a contract ignoring (such concerns)," he said. "We will make a final decision looking at future developments," he said, adding that Japan was urging Iran to try to clear up suspicions over its nuclear programme.

Japanese officials have declined to confirm reports that the United States was pressuring the Japanese government-backed consortium to back out of the deal in order to boost pressure on Tehran to open its nuclear sites to inspections.

Trade minister Takeo Hiranuma told a separate news conference that negotiations were continuing but that he could not say for certain when a deal would be signed.

"We are making wholehearted efforts on negotiations," he said.

Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said last month a $2 billion deal for Azadegan could be signed with a Japanese consortium by early July.

But Japan's Kyodo news agency quoted U.S. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher as saying in Washington yesterday: "It is highly inappropriate to proceed with talks on new oil fields or gas at this time."

TALKS STILL ON

An Iranian official confirmed yesterday that the talks were still on.

"Negotiations on the development of the Azadegan oil field are still continuing between this company and the Japanese companies," the official IRNA news agency quoted Oil Development and Engineering Company head Abolhassan Khamoushi as saying.

"Agreements have been achieved on some issues like the production ceiling, but agreements on the project cost have yet to be achieved," said Khamoushi, whose company is affiliated with the Oil Ministry.

The United States, which accuses Tehran of seeking nuclear weapons, has placed sanctions against Iran that prohibit U.S. firms from investing in the country, branded by Washington as part of an "axis of evil".

Japan, however, has never been comfortable with the inclusion of Iran in the triad along with communist North Korea.

The consortium includes the government-backed Japan Petroleum Exploration Co (JAPEX), Japan's Indonesia Petroleum Ltd (INPEX) and Japanese trading house Tomen Corp, which today declined to comment on the state of play.

The portion of the Azadegan oil field that could be developed by Japan is expected to yield 300,000 bpd.

Japan has been keen on the deal, agreement on which was reached during a visit to Tokyo by Iranian President Mohammad Khatami in late 2000, to help make up for losing a 40-year-old oil concession in the Saudi Arabian section of the Neutral Zone.

http://www.planetark.org/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/21349/story.htm
4 posted on 07/01/2003 12:59:53 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... 9 days until July 9th)
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To: DoctorZIn; JulieRNR21; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Pan_Yans Wife; RobFromGa; fat city; freedom44; ...
24 students arrested by militant forces in the north western city of Tabriz.
The arrestes were not a legal action, according to sources at university of Tabriz.
www.iran-emrooz.de ( A Farsi website )

We still have checkpoints at night and they check and verify all passengers of the cars, especially youngsters and single men.
They set up many check points in the most important junctions of the city of Tehran.
5 posted on 07/01/2003 1:43:09 AM PDT by Khashayar
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To: Khashayar
Re #6

Are universities still open? How about the situation in high schools? Are high school students restive too?

6 posted on 07/01/2003 1:55:02 AM PDT by TigerLikesRooster
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To: DoctorZIn; JulieRNR21; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Pan_Yans Wife; RobFromGa; fat city; freedom44; ...
As the time goes by and we are approaching the anniversary of the 9th of July, some sources say that some high-rank officers of the Armed forces have been arrested because of their role in the recent protests in Tehran.
These commanders and officers did not obey the order to stand against the protest. They were believed to be kept in military jail of Tehran which is under supervision of the Revolutionary Guards loyal to the supreme leader.
I got this info from VOA and RFI radios in an interview with Mr.Keshtegar who is a political analyst in France.
7 posted on 07/01/2003 1:55:53 AM PDT by Khashayar (I may change my name soon)
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To: TigerLikesRooster
Universities are open for final exams and some of them suspended their exams.
High schools are closed now and the student of High schools are ready to join the protests.
I know many who desire to join the protests but they are afraid too.
8 posted on 07/01/2003 1:59:47 AM PDT by Khashayar (I may change my name soon)
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To: Khashayar
Re #7

It would be nice if somebody could storm the jail and free the arrested officers to direct soldiers to stand with protestors when the uprising starts.

9 posted on 07/01/2003 2:05:23 AM PDT by TigerLikesRooster
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To: Khashayar
Re #8

Understandably, it would be really tough. However, if people turn out in large numbers, it would be hard to control them. Any way, good luck on Iranians. We hope to hear a great news from Iran on July 9.

10 posted on 07/01/2003 2:12:26 AM PDT by TigerLikesRooster
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To: Khashayar
Keshtegar seems to be a far left person:

The Leftist Movement
Dr Mohamad Omidvar – The Tudeh Party of Iran, England
Mr. Babak Amir Khosravi – People’s Democratic Party of Iran, France
Mr. Nader Baktash – The workers’ Communist party of Iran, France
Dr Manouchehr Sabetian – Head of Student Confederation, England
Mr. Bijan Hekmat – Nationalist Republicans of Iran, France
Mehrdad Darvishpour – Researcher & Leftist activist, Sweden
Mr. Farokh Negahdar – Head of international relations, The Organization of Iranian People’s Fedayeen (Majority), England
Mr. Ali Keshtegar – Editor of ‘Meehan’ monthly publication, France

http://www.aciiran.com/socio-po1.htm
11 posted on 07/01/2003 2:58:20 AM PDT by AdmSmith
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To: AdmSmith
Sir
I think all forces, people and fractions that work to free Iran are welcome and moreover, the only thing Iran need now is unity to get rid of the clerics.
In a free atmosphere after in which regime changed, a free election can tell who is who.
I also dont get along with the leftists but they are also working to make a free land.
In other hand, I just transfered a news from their source.
Hope you consider that in this time, Iranians must be united in word and action!

12 posted on 07/01/2003 3:09:37 AM PDT by Khashayar (I may change my name soon)
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To: *southasia_list
http://www.freerepublic.com/perl/bump-list
13 posted on 07/01/2003 6:06:55 AM PDT by Free the USA
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To: JulieRNR21; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Pan_Yans Wife; RobFromGa; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; ...
Looking Toward July 9
Independence Day in Iran?

July 1, 2003, 8:45 a.m.
Michael Ledeen, NRO

The demonstrations that shook Iran for the better part of two weeks have died down, but the aftershocks continue to unnerve the mullahs in the run-up to the general strike called for the 9th of July. Even today, the Shiite storm troopers at the service of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and ex-president Mohammed Hashemi Rafsanjani prowl the campuses and go door to door from one youthful leader to the next, arresting and imprisoning all those believed capable of mobilizing a national uprising against the failed regime.

From this distance it is impossible to predict what will happen in the next ten days, which is another way of saying we do not know the political consequences of the demonstrations. There are those, like Columbia University's Gary Sick, who describe the demonstrators as "a rag-tag bunch" who were merely upset at the prospect of having to pay college tuition. Sick and others of his ilk were not impressed by the repeated calls for an end to the regime, and the remarkable tenacity and courage shown by the demonstrators in the face of the lethal violence unleashed upon them.

The mullahs were more impressed. The government itself now admits to having arrested 4,000 demonstrators, of whom some 800 were students. The student movement says the numbers were even higher, and the actual number could well be upwards of 6-7,000. Many were killed. Iranian websites carry the piteous cries of parents whose college-age children have disappeared without a trace, as well as reports from students who describe being thrown into cells of incredible crowding, and then subjected to psychological and physical humiliations.

Regimes do not react this way to a rag-tag bunch. This is the reaction of a regime that fears its days may be numbered. Look at its own numbers: less than a quarter of those arrested were students. The rest came from other walks of life. In other words, the demonstrations were not restricted to a single sector of Iranian society, but were, for the first time, a truly national protest, both sociologically and geographically. No major city, not even the holy city of Qom, was free of demonstrators. And, perhaps most menacing of all, there were reports of angry confrontations in the oil fields, and rumors of sabotage. I cannot confirm them, but the stories themselves have circulated widely, and are symptomatic of the national mood.

Meanwhile, some of the things I have been reporting and predicting for more than a year have been confirmed by the regime in recent days. The most interesting of these is the admission that al Qaeda leaders have been in Iran for some time. Of course, the mullahs do not say it that way. They suddenly announce that they have arrested hundreds of al Qaeda terrorists, refuse to identify any of them, but promise that if any of them are identified they will be sent back to their country of origin.

This is rather like the old joke of the woman accused of stealing a neighbor's pot. "I never took it," she protests. "And anyway it was a very old pot," she continues, "and I gave it back in better condition than I found it," she concludes. Thus the Iranians, who first denied there were any al Qaeda personnel in Iran, then claimed they were in fact in jail, and then promised to return them (with the usual provisos that would protect any Egyptians — like Osama's right-hand man, Zawahiri — from extradition).

And in Iraq, the mullahs' offensive continues unabated, to the apparent indifference of the leaders of the Bush administration. The newspapers are full of stories about Iran-based religious fanatics calling for an uprising against the Coalition. At least ten Iranian-run radio and television stations are broadcasting anti-American and anti-Semitic venom throughout Iraq, while we have yet to organize a single radio or TV there, to our great shame. And the Iranians brazenly sabotage our reconstruction efforts, as in the case of the monster water treatment plant in southern Iraq, which was dismantled and carted off across the border, or the several factories that were broken up and either smuggled into Iran or sold to them.

And am I the only person to smell a connection between Tony Blair's call for the civilized world to support the democracy demonstrators one day, and the murder of seven English soldiers the next?

This administration clearly has no stomach for any sort of campaign against the mullahs, at least for the moment. But it can no more avoid the showdown with the mullahs than it can cause Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein to surrender; this is a fight for survival, and they will not permit us the luxury of setting the timetable at our convenience.

That means there must be regime change in Tehran. In their hearts, or perhaps at a somewhat lower level, our leaders know that. Even the admittedly limited information in the hands of our intelligence community shows the pattern of Iranian skullduggery, and it is only a matter of time before the mullahs pull off some murderous assault large enough to compel us to act. They still fondly remember their glory days in Lebanon, when they killed hundreds of Americans in a single suicidal stroke, an event incautiously recalled by Bashar Assad in the first days of Operation Iraqi Freedom. That is what undoubtedly awaits our fighting men and women if we do not move first to support the freedom fighters in Iran.

But even if Iraq were peaceful and flourishing and headed towards democracy in the near future, indeed even if there had been no September 11 and thus no war against the terror masters, our refusal to call for regime change in Tehran would still be a disgrace. Blair and Bush have warm words for the demonstrators, but no Western government has called for an end to the Iranian tyranny. Hell, they haven't even called for the release of the thousands of political prisoners or for the release of the many journalists rounded up during the demonstrations of the past two weeks.

July 9 is coming soon. Nothing would encourage the Iranian people more than a clear declaration that the United States is with them, and against their oppressors.

Faster, please.

— Michael Ledeen, an NRO contributing editor, is most recently the author of The War Against the Terror Masters. Ledeen, Resident Scholar in the Freedom Chair at the American Enterprise Institute, can be reached through Benador Associates.

http://nationalreview.com/ledeen/ledeen070103.asp

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail me”
14 posted on 07/01/2003 7:11:41 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... 9 days until July 9th)
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To: DoctorZIn
"And am I the only person to smell a connection between Tony Blair's call for the civilized world to support the democracy demonstrators one day, and the murder of seven English soldiers the next? "

Well I hadn't until you pointed it out.

15 posted on 07/01/2003 7:18:33 AM PDT by DannyTN (Note left on my door by a pack of neighborhood dogs.)
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To: Khashayar
"As the time goes by and we are approaching the anniversary of the 9th of July, some sources say that some high-rank officers of the Armed forces have been arrested because of their role in the recent protests in Tehran.
These commanders and officers did not obey the order to stand against the protest."

Good reporting there.

It's just as you said. The army is pro-shah. That helps confirm it. And that also means that it would take little help from the US to topple the regime. FReegards....
16 posted on 07/01/2003 7:42:23 AM PDT by Arthur Wildfire! March (LIBERTY or DEATH!)
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To: Khashayar
Sometimes you have to quote a leftist source. No worries. FReepers don't fully realise how left-wing dominant the media is outside the US, with the exception of Islam dominant media. I can imagine the difficulty finding an Iranian Rush Limbaugh [although Limbaugh could find one-- just kidding].
17 posted on 07/01/2003 7:49:21 AM PDT by Arthur Wildfire! March (LIBERTY or DEATH!)
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To: Khashayar
So many Americans are passionately hoping you succeed in winning your freedom and are awed by the dedication and courage of the protestors. Thank you also for the risk you've been taking to keep us posted on the political situation there. Our hearts break at every student arrested, missing or injured throughout your efforts at gaining democracy.

Many of us have been trying to help in our own small ways as individuals (raise the awareness of the situation in Iran around our own communities, writing to media to cover the protests more fully, etc.). Please let us know if there is anything else you find that we can do to help?

Praying for your success and your safety!
18 posted on 07/01/2003 7:50:33 AM PDT by Tamzee
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran to shut down tense Tehran university campus

TEHRAN, June 30 (AFP) - Iranian authorities have decided to shut down Tehran University's main campus from July 7-14 in a bid to prevent any gatherings there to commemorate major student riots in 1999, press reports said Monday.
The reports, quoting a statement from Amir Abad campus authorities, comes after officials have already refused to allow any attempt to mark the anniversary of the July 9, 1999 unrest that saw at least one student die and hundreds arrested.

The statement said the decision to shut down the downtown complex was taken due to "excessive fatigue among campus staff". It said students staying on campus over the summer would be required to get a new access pass.

From June 10-20, the Amir Abad campus once again became the epicenter of protests showing widespread frustration with Iran's clerical leadership, as fierce clashes erupted between anti-regime protestors and Islamist vigilantes in the area around the campus.

The demonstrations also spread to other cities, and were marked by the unprecedented shouting of slogans targetting supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

A tough crackdown followed, resulting in the arrest of some 4,000 people, 2,000 of whom are still be held.

The events of July 1999 also saw violent clashes between armed extremist pro-regime groups and students. Some of the student leaders of those protests are still in jail.

Frustrations have been mounting in Iran over the deepening political deadlock between reformists in parliament and the relatively moderate President Mohammad Khatami on the one side and unelected but more powerful hardliners in the judiciary and legislative vetting bodies on the other.

http://www.iranmania.com/News/ArticleView/Default.asp?NewsCode=16586&NewsKind=Current%20Affairs


19 posted on 07/01/2003 7:52:16 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... 8 days until July 9th)
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To: DoctorZIn
Now where are the protests going?
20 posted on 07/01/2003 7:53:43 AM PDT by ewing
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran media spotlight Iran-UK spat

BBC Monitoring Services
June 30, 2003

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw's trip to Tehran was dominated by the nuclear issue, as he urged Iran's leaders to sign an additional protocol allowing tougher inspections of its nuclear facilities.
But the country's media seemed more interested in the state of Iran-UK relations, after last week's diplomatic row over remarks by British Prime Minister Tony Blair on recent student protests.

The differences between British and Iranian policy over Iraq, Afghanistan and the Middle East are the focus of an Iranian radio commentary on the visit.

"On the whole, it must be said that the talks between Mr Kharrazi and Mr Jack Straw in Tehran demonstrated that a clear division of opinion remains between the two countries."

Fence-mending

The English-language Tehran Times put a more positive slant on the visit.

It believes that, unlike Iran-US ties, Tehran-London relations have improved "despite all their ups and downs".

But the paper is in no doubt that Mr Straw's visit has been "a tough one" following Tony Blair's remarks in which he said the recent anti-government demonstrations in Iran deserved Britain's support. Iranian officials condemned the remarks as interference in the country's internal affairs.

"Blair has spoilt the game. Straw is expected to mend fences," it says.

The conservative Resalat warns Mr Straw that the UK Government's "strong diplomatic stances" could damage ties with Iran.

"If Jack Straw is bearing an intemperate message we remind the British that, from now on, there is a clear link between their stances and their interests in Iran," it says.

US puppet?

The extent to which Britain agrees with the US over Iran also interests the press.

Several newspapers are divided over whose interests the British foreign secretary is representing - London's or Washington's.


The hardline Jomhuri-ye Eslami believes Mr Straw's visit illustrates that "London has turned into a political clown that only repeats America's words in order to receive something in return".

This view is disputed in the centre-right Entekhab.

"Straw's visit to Iran does not amount to a step by the US to solve the problems between the two countries, nor is Britain playing the mediator," it says.

He has come to Tehran to "make demands" on behalf of the UK Government, according to the paper.

"This creates an opportunity for Tehran to voice its demands decisively, in exactly the same way that they raise their demands."

The reformist Etemaad believes Mr Straw has Europe's interest at heart.

"If Europe loses Iran as it did Afghanistan and Iraq, it effectively has to give up the Middle East or pin its hope on this strategic region within the limits of America's will."
21 posted on 07/01/2003 7:54:37 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... 8 days until July 9th)
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To: Khashayar
24 students arrested by militant forces in the north western city of Tabriz. The arrestes were not a legal action, according to sources at university of Tabriz.

Thanks for the updates.

22 posted on 07/01/2003 7:59:34 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... 8 days until July 9th)
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To: ewing
Now where are the protests going?

I have no information at this time. News sources have dropped significantly.

23 posted on 07/01/2003 8:09:58 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... 8 days until July 9th)
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To: Arthur Wildfire! March
some sources say that some high-rank officers of the Armed forces have been arrested because of their role in the recent protests in Tehran. The regime does not trust their military. This has its roots in the revolution to over throw the Shah. Because of this the regime has created numerous paramilitary forces in the country loyal to the regime. These paramilitary forces are very large and rival in size the military and are better trained than the military. The regime fears a civil war and is attempting to purge the military of its pro democracy sympathizers. So things are rather dicey at the moment.
24 posted on 07/01/2003 8:18:57 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... 8 days until July 9th)
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To: DoctorZIn
Iranian Revolution 2003
National Review Online ^ | June 16. 2003 | Michael Ledden


Posted on 07/01/2003 4:15 AM CDT by Khashayar


ou never know what will provide the spark for revolution. The most you can expect from a good analyst is the recognition of what the Marxists used to call a "revolutionary situation," but the crucial ingredient is impossible to measure (which is why the so-called social scientists have never been very good at predicting revolutions). It can only be sniffed out, and the revolutionaries are the first to know. They smell rot and fear coming from the corridors of power. They smell tell-tale odors coming from the undergarments of the doomed leaders. And they sense a wavering of will, a growing pattern of panicky response.

Those odors are beginning to waft through the air of the central squares of Iran's major cities, and have stimulated the people to an increasingly open challenge to the reigning mullahs. There have now been six consecutive nights of demonstrations all over Iran, and although Western reporters there are on a tight leash — the regime has banned all journalists and photographers from the sites of demonstrations, so the "reports" are almost always based on second-hand information — and although there do not seem to be any Western reporters covering events outside Tehran itself, several facts are dramatically clear.

First, the demonstrators are not just "students" (the word itself is rather misleading in context, since many of them are in their thirties or forties). Some estimates reckon that up to 90 percent of the demonstrators are non-students.

Second, the regime is flustered, and misjudged its response. It reminds me of Gorbachev's ham-handed response to demonstrations in Lithuania towards the end of the Soviet era. He sent in just enough soldiers to enrage the Lithuanians, but not enough to put an end to the protests. The mullahs in Tehran did just the same, unleashing the most unruly and undisciplined members of the vigilante security forces, the Basiji. But the demonstrators fought back effectively, which was an enormous boost to the morale of the democratic forces. As of Sunday night, the regime had sent in some of the shock troops of the Revolutionary Guards, who were more effective, but the situation may well have gotten out of hand.

Third, the brutal assaults on the demonstrators (female students were hurled out of dormitory windows, and survivors were beaten savagely as they lay on the street) provoked the police to intervene against the Basiji, showing once again that the regime cannot count on its own security personnel to put down the freedom movement. This is one of the prime reasons for the smell of fear coming out of the mullahs' mosques and palaces.

Fourth, and perhaps most important, the anti-regime demonstrations are not limited to Tehran. On Sunday night, for example, the biggest demonstrations to date — anywhere in the country — reportedly took place in Isfahan (where my informant said virtually the entire city was mobilized against the regime), and other protests were staged in Mashad, Shiraz (where three distinguished scholars were thrown in jail last Thursday, following an extorted "confession" from a 14-year old) and Ahvaz. This is doubly significant, both because it shows the national character of the rebellion, and because Isfahan has historically been the epicenter of revolutionary movements (and indeed some of the harshest critics of the regime are in and from Isfahan).

Fifth, the leaders of the regime are acting with open incoherence. While Supreme Leader Khamenei and Information Minister Yunesi accused the United States of financing the uprising, strongman Rafsanjani publicly offered assistance to America in fighting terrorism. He announced that Iran had abundant information on various terrorist groups (now there's a real revelation for you) and would be willing to share it with us in exchange for a friendlier attitude. Put in simple terms, he's negotiating for his survival. Meanwhile, the speaker of parliament, Mehdi Karrubi, demanded that Yunesi document the regime's claim that Iranian officials had been paid off by the Americans, and threatened to impeach the information minister if he didn't carry out an exhaustive investigation. To be sure, Karrubi is a mere figurehead, but his willingness to openly and melodramatically challenge the regime speaks volumes about the determination of the opposition and the contempt held for the leadership.

Sixth, there is mounting violence against the regime. We are no longer talking about purely peaceful demonstrations. The protesters know they are going to be attacked with guns, clubs, knives, machetes and chains, and they are responding with Molotov cocktails and guns of their own. In some of the recent street fighting, the demonstrators strung wires across the streets to bring down the Basiji, who were on motorcycles.

The regime is in a real jam. The mullahs know the people hate them — even the timorous correspondent of the Christian Science Monitor in Tehran says that 90 percent of Iranians want democratic change, and 70 percent want drastic change — and they also know that their own instruments of repression are insufficient to deal with a massive insurrection. Many leaders of the armed forces have openly said they will side with the people if there is open civil conflict. Members of some of the most powerful institutions in the country have said that they believe more than half of the Revolutionary Guards will support the people in a frontal showdown. Ergo, the mullahs have had to import foreign thugs — described as "Afghan Arabs" in the popular press — to put down demonstrations.

On the other side of the barricades, the pro-democracy forces seem to have passed the point of no return. They know that if they stop now, many of them will be subjected to terrible tortures and summary execution. Kamenei and Rafsanjani are not likely to embark on a domestic peace process. Just as they have sensed the rot within the regime, the mullahs are desperately sniffing the air for similar odors from the university areas and the homes and offices of the other leaders of the insurrection.

As usual, President Bush has been letter perfect in his praise for the freedom fighters and his condemnation of the repression in Iran. And the State Department spoke in similar terms through its spokesman, Richard Boucher. It would be good if Secretary Powell and his deputy, Richard Armitage, threw their prestige openly behind democracy (and hence regime change) in the next few days. There has been considerable criticism — which I have joined — of the administration's lack of a formal Iran policy, but it seems that the president himself has clearly formulated it. He should now ensure that the whole choir is chanting from his hymnal.

Part of the reason for the failure to agree upon an explicit endorsement of Iranian democracy is a lack of good information from inside Iran, and a consequent lack of accurate analysis. At this point, there is nothing that can be done about the failure of the intelligence community to obtain an accurate picture of the forces in play within Iran. It is not to be blamed on the current CIA, or on its personable leader, George Tenet. The truth is that the United States has had rotten intelligence on Iran ever since the run-up to the 1979 revolution that removed the shah and brought the awful mullahs to power. But even so, there is no excuse for the misunderstanding of revolutionary change that dominates the thinking of the intelligence and diplomatic communities.

The spooks and dips believe that democratic revolution in Iran is unlikely because the revolutionary forces have no charismatic leader — no Walesa, no Havel, no Robespierre, no Jefferson — and without revolutionary leaders, revolutions do not occur. Our deep thinkers fear that if we supported the rebels, we would risk a replay of the abortive uprisings in Poland and Hungary in the 1950s and 1960s.

But Iran today is not at all comparable to Central Europe half a century ago, or for that matter to revolutionary France of America in the 18th century, or Russia on the eve of the Bolshevik Revolution. In all those cases, the revolutionaries were a distinct minority, and only a combination of dynamic leadership and foreign support could bring down the regimes. In Iran today, the revolutionaries constitute the overwhelming majority of the population, while the tyrants only glean minimal support. Thus, the Iranian people hold their destiny in their own hands. They share a common dream of freedom, and need only transform it into a common mission to liberate themselves.

Finally, our analysts should be more modest when they pronounce on the lack of revolutionary leaders in Iran today. The democracy movement has been growing for years, and has clearly attracted mass support. That does not take place without good leadership. The leaders are there, we just don't know their names and faces. But if we stick to our own guiding principles, and support the democratic revolution under way in the streets of Iran — and if the revolutionary momentum is as strong as it now appears — we will get to know them soon enough.

Michael Ledeen, an NRO contributing editor.






http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/938563/posts

25 posted on 07/01/2003 8:22:42 AM PDT by Valin (Humor is just another defense against the universe.)
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To: DoctorZIn
Thank you for the clarification. Is it true that the government had to hire a lot of foreign soldiers because they don't trust their own people enough?
26 posted on 07/01/2003 8:28:31 AM PDT by Arthur Wildfire! March (LIBERTY or DEATH!)
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To: Khashayar

27 posted on 07/01/2003 8:29:38 AM PDT by Arthur Wildfire! March (LIBERTY or DEATH!)
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To: Arthur Wildfire! March
Is it true that the government had to hire a lot of foreign soldiers because they don't trust their own people enough?

Yes, they have brought in large numbers of Arabs from Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and even Afghani's. All of which most Iranians consider an insult. The exact number are unknown to me, but apparently they are in large numbers because I have heard many reports that these forces are speaking Arabic not Farsi.

28 posted on 07/01/2003 8:55:46 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... 8 days until July 9th)
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To: DoctorZIn; *Bush Doctrine Unfold; *war_list; W.O.T.; Eurotwit; freedom44; FairOpinion; ...
Neat banner!

Thanks for the ping!

Bush Doctrine Unfolds :

To find all articles tagged or indexed using Bush Doctrine Unfold , click below:
  click here >>> Bush Doctrine Unfold <<< click here  
(To view all FR Bump Lists, click here)



29 posted on 07/01/2003 9:39:10 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Iran Mullahs will feel the heat from our Iraq victory!)
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To: DoctorZIn
TEHRAN, Iran - Iran is using advanced U.S. technology to block web sites containing pornographic material and others run by opposition groups, an official said Tuesday

Iran Cracks Down on Banned Web Sites

30 posted on 07/01/2003 10:12:37 AM PDT by TigerLikesRooster
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To: JulieRNR21; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Pan_Yans Wife; RobFromGa; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; ...
SMCCDI: "Mercenaries of US Imperialism and Sionism" to be executed

July 1, 2003

Many families are in a very desperate situation with the official news of the hand over, by the Islamic Judiciary, of their detained relatives to the special Invesigation unit of the Information (Intellegence) Ministry).

Such transfer is more alarming coupled with the calls of several official clerics to "Punish all arrested Mercenaries of the US Imperialism and Sionism" and confirm the SMCCDI report published last week stating about the decision made within the regime leadership to execute several of demonstrators in order to break the popular will to riot.

Already, several detainees have been put under torture in order to make false confessions about their collaboration with US Intelligence and one of them, Bagher Parto, has passed away following heart failure.

Several others are subject to same harsh treatements inflicted by the tortionars of the Intelleigence Unit of the Pasdaran Corp.

The regime is in a despererate need to demonize the protesters and to avoid the join of rural people to the mouvement seeking its end.

http://www.iran-daneshjoo.org/cgi-bin/smccdinews/viewnews.cgi?category=5&id=1057082259

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail me”
31 posted on 07/01/2003 11:09:55 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... 8 days until July 9th)
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran MPs end sit-in protest

7.1.2003 -

Four members of the Iranian parliament have abandoned a sit-in they staged at the parliament building to protest against the arrest of students during and after anti-government demonstrations.

The four reformist deputies began their protest on Saturday.

The main focus of their complaint was the violent way some of the students were arrested and the fact that some are being held by the hardline judiciary and not the normal agencies.

Those immediate objections have now been defused by an agreement involving both sides of the house, which is dominated by reformists but has an influential right-wing minority.

A bipartisan committee set up by the house speaker negotiated an agreement with security and judiciary officials.

It states that all students, without exception, are to be handed over to the intelligence ministry, which normally deals with such cases.

Open trials

Assurances were also given that any students facing charges would be given an open trial, with defence lawyers acting on their behalf.

One of the four MPs described this bipartisan agreement as important and unusual.

It covered students arrested both during and after the disturbances which shook the capital Tehran and other Iranian cities for 10 days in mid-June.

Some of them were student leaders who did not take part in the street protests. Their supporters accuse the judiciary of carrying out a wave of pre-emptive arrests in order to deter any possible demonstrations on 9 July.

That date is the fourth anniversary of a raid on a student dormitory by police and right-wing vigilantes in Tehran which triggered several days of street riots.

Iran's public prosecutor said 4,000 people were arrested during the disturbances around the country, and half of them were still being held.

Student groups have expressed fears that their arrested colleagues may be subjected to physical and psychological torture in order to extract confessions.

The authorities have banned any rallies or meetings to mark the 9 July anniversary either on or off campus.

http://www.hipakistan.com/en/detail.php?newsId=en30640&F_catID=&f_type=source

32 posted on 07/01/2003 11:39:54 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... 8 days until July 9th)
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To: DoctorZIn; Khashayar
I'm just now catching up!

Thank you both for your posts!


33 posted on 07/01/2003 12:44:36 PM PDT by dixiechick2000
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To: All
HUNGER-STRIKING WIFE OF JAILED IRANIAN JOURNALIST HOSPITALIZED.

RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC
RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 7, No. 123, Part III, 1 July 2003

Soheila Hamidnia, the wife of journalist Mohsen Sazgara, was
hospitalized on 27 June, the "Hambastegi" daily newspaper reported on 28 June. An anonymous source said her condition resulted from her hunger strike and mental stress that were brought about by the ailing of her husband and her son Vahid. Hamidnia had just visited the Prosecutor's Office at Evin Prison to inquire about her family members when she was told that she must report to the prison in 48 hours, "Iran Daily" reported on 28 June. BS
34 posted on 07/01/2003 2:14:00 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... 8 days until July 9th)
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To: DoctorZIn
I thought AdmSmith said this wouldn't happen.?
35 posted on 07/01/2003 2:16:47 PM PDT by nuconvert
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To: JulieRNR21; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Pan_Yans Wife; RobFromGa; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; ...
A Profile of Revolutionaries

By Pejman Yousefzadeh
techcentralstation.com | July 1, 2003

The ongoing revolts and demonstrations in Iran are finally capturing the attention and interest of the media, and the Bush administration -- which has decided to come down strongly in favor of the Iranian dissident movement. Protests both within Iran and outside of it have helped expose the brutality of the Iranian regime, brutality that international organizations are decrying.

It is not easy to take one's life into one's own hands, as the protesters are doing night after night, and risk injury, arrest, and even death at the hands of the regime's thugs. They take these risks to protest the totalitarian and incompetent manner in which the regime has made Iran a pariah among nations by fomenting terrorism and Islamic fundamentalist movements. And they protest the way in which the regime has run the country's economic and social structure into the ground. All of this is clear from the news reports that we receive out of Iran, and is enough to make the dissident movement inside the country worthy of our support and best wishes.

But it may be helpful to learn more about the nature of the dissident movement -- about who helps constitute the movement, where their motivation comes from, and what intellectual influences propel the movement along. So here is a thumbnail sketch of Iran, and of the people who may very well bring down a theocracy.

First of all, Iran is a young country, thanks in large part to the Islamic government's constant efforts to encourage a baby boom, and thanks to the early tendency of Iranian mullahs to discourage the use of birth control devices. According to the CIA World Factbook, nearly a third of the country is under 15 years of age. Those who are 15-64 years old make up over 63% of the population. The franchise in Iran is given to those 15 years and older, so the large youth contingent possesses a powerful voice in determining Iran's political future. Given their desire to see political reforms instituted in Iran that would bring about a more democratic society, as well as revitalize the relationship between Iran and the West (especially the United States), the Islamic regime may very well have sown the seeds of its own destruction by encouraging the recent high birth rates.

Young Iranians have many influences that encourage them towards adopting democratic values. One is the Internet. Weblogs have become an immensely useful source for Iranians in search of information that has not been filtered by government censors. Other Internet sites devoted to the cause of Iranian democracy, and the Internet in general, help influence Iranians in their political views, and thus help determine the direction of the protests. Iranian efforts to establish a substantial Internet presence -- efforts that have even led small villages such as this one to establish an Internet page -- will allow for outsiders to gain a greater understanding of Iran's closed society, along with an understanding of the nature of the Iranian dissident movement, and how to help it thrive. Iranians are enthusiastic users of the Internet, a fact that the Iranian regime has finally begun to notice with its newfound attempts to censor and restrict Internet content inside Iran.

Iranians are also receiving valuable information from National Iranian Television (NITV), as well as cultural programming from Radio Farda (the organization's Farsi-language website is here), and the Voice of America's Farsi language service. NITV has become increasingly influential in shaping the national mood in Iran. The Iran Democracy Act, currently pending in Congress, promises to fund satellite television and opposition groups with as much as $57 million. In this way NITV may be able to remain financially viable while not having to require subscriptions from Iranians to its satellite television service, and may be further empowered to frustrate the satellite jamming activities regularly undertaken against its broadcasts by the Islamic regime.

Iranians are increasingly -- and strongly -- in favor of enhancing their country's relationship with the United States, with some going so far as to hope for American military action against Iran, once the United States was finished defeating the Ba'athist regime in Iraq. The days of "Death to America" may be passing, with more and more Iranians looking to the United States as an estimable role model in their own struggle to modernize and reform their country. To be sure, some Iranians remain wary of gharibzadegi, or "Westoxication" as the phenomenon is commonly referred to in English. But many other Iranians believe that their country will benefit from closer ties to the West. It should therefore surprise no one that instead of hearing "Death to America" out in the streets, the mullahs are increasingly listening to chants of "Death to the Taliban -- in Kabul and in Tehran!"

This then is modern day Iran -- a country whose people are determined to bring about revolutionary change. Indeed, such a need for change is part and parcel of the country's history -- as it struggles to finally realize the dream held by millions of Iranians of a democratic and pluralistic society that is a respected member of the international community.

Lest the hardliners in the Islamic regime believe that they will be able to ride out the protests against them in the long run, they need only consider the following passage in Amir Taheri's biography of Ayatollah Khomeini to realize that in the long run, the regime is doomed:

But Iran in the past eighty-five years or so, the life span of [Khomeini], has also been an extremely unruly nation. In that period it has been ruled by two dynasties and six kings before the establishment of the Islamic Republic. Of the six kings of Iran in the period under study, one was assassinated and another died a broken man under the pressure of a constitutional revolution. All the other four were either forced to abdicate or were dethroned. Every one of them died in exile. Not a single one is even buried in Iran today.

Taheri wrote his book in 1985, while Khomeini was still alive. Currently, Khomeini defies the historical trend Taheri describes by remaining buried in Iran. But graves can always be dug up, and institutions brought down. And it appears that modern Iran is increasingly moving to do just that in its attempt to replace totalitarianism with democracy, and to cease the support of international terrorism in favor of joining with the international community to further enhance regional and global security and stability.

http://frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=8592

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail me”
36 posted on 07/01/2003 3:50:44 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... 8 days until July 9th)
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To: DoctorZIn
LOL, great article Doc. It looks like the model Iran should use is having a president elected by the people with a set term. That way they don't have to worry about deposing kings :o)

More and more the Iranian people sound just like us!

37 posted on 07/01/2003 4:48:06 PM PDT by McGavin999
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To: DoctorZIn


Everyone please feel free to use this banner. Save and upload to your own sites whenever possible to save my bandwidth ;^)
38 posted on 07/01/2003 4:49:14 PM PDT by visualops (For Freedom!)
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To: visualops
Great Banner... I will let others know about it.

DoctorZin
39 posted on 07/01/2003 4:52:11 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... 8 days until July 9th)
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To: All
Iranian Alert! URGENT: New Public executions lead to violent clashes in Khoozestan

Student Movement Coordination Committee for Democracy in Iran ^ | 7.1.2003 | Press Release
Posted on 07/01/2003 4:43 PM PDT by DoctorZIn

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/938930/posts
40 posted on 07/01/2003 4:52:57 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... 8 days until July 9th)
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To: DoctorZIn
thanks
41 posted on 07/01/2003 5:07:48 PM PDT by visualops (It's gotta start somewhere...)
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To: Khashayar
NAMES!

Khashayar, the students MUST get the names of the men executed. They must be remembered. They gave their lives for freedom and they must be honored. Keep their memory alive by using their names as a rallying cry. If you can't shout it, whisper it, but keep their names in front of everyone!

42 posted on 07/01/2003 5:58:49 PM PDT by McGavin999
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To: JulieRNR21; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Pan_Yans Wife; RobFromGa; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; ...
Iran Buys US Tech From 3rd Party; Blocks Opposition Sites

July 01, 2003
Dow Jones Newswires
The Associated Press

TEHRAN -- Iran is buying advanced U.S. technology through third parties to block web sites run by opposition groups, an official said Tuesday.

More than 140 web sites promoting dissent against the ruling Islamic establishment, and others including dancing and sex, have been blocked since the crackdown was launched last month, said Farhad Sepahram, a Telecommunications Ministry official.

Most blocked sites belong to Iranian opposition groups, including one run by Reza Pahlavi, son of the late Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, who was toppled during the 1979 Islamic Revolution, and Abolhassan Banisadr, Iran's first-elected president after 1979, who now opposes the clerical establishment.

Also blocked are the Voice of America's Farsi program and radiofarda.com, another U.S.-financed, Farsi-speaking radio program.

Sepahram said his ministry had blocked some pornographic sites run by Iranians from outside the country, but admitted it was impossible to close all sex- related sites.

"We are employing modern U.S.-made devices to block immoral and abusive web sites," Sepahram told The Associated Press.

The U.S. cut off relations with Iran in 1979 after militant students stormed its embassy in Tehran. The U.S. has also imposed trade sanctions on Iran.

Sepahram said Iran imported the U.S.-made technology from third parties, but refused to elaborate.

Sepahram said his ministry was following orders from the Supreme Cultural Revolution Council, an unelected body controlled by hard-liners.

"We have no preferred choice. We block sites according to a list we get from the council," he said.

The council was established by the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, leader of the 1979 revolution that replaced the shah with a government run by Islamic clergy. Most members are appointed by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Khomeini's successor. Reformist President Mohammad Khatami is the chairman but conservatives outnumber reformists on the council.

Prominent analyst Saeed Leylaz said the crackdown was intended to undermine or limit the impact of opposition sites on Iran's public.

"That they are blocking sites with pornographic materials is a malicious lie. It's simply impossible to block hundreds of thousands of sex web sites," Leylaz said.

"The intention is to block web sites run by both opposition groups and reformers who talk to their audience through the web after their newspapers were closed down by the hard-line judiciary," he said.

Leylaz said the crackdown was an attempt at denying reformers of a forum to address Iran's young and Internet-savvy population.

Hard-liners are increasingly concerned about Iranians' access to information from the outside world, a sign of worry that communications are playing a role in stirring pro-reform sentiment

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail me”
43 posted on 07/01/2003 6:09:24 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... 8 days until July 9th)
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To: DoctorZIn
Those kids ought to be able to hack through that. If we knew the equipment, we could probably have one of the freepers figure out the backdoor.
44 posted on 07/01/2003 6:13:36 PM PDT by McGavin999
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran Buys US Tech From 3rd Party; Blocks Opposition Sites

We need to do two things.

One, publish for our friends in Iran, methods to workaround the filters. We need this up quickly.

Two, get the media to dig up which 3rd party country sold them US filtering equipment. France and Sweden sold them the equipment to jam the satellite broadcasts. Whichever country did it need to pay a price from our government.

45 posted on 07/01/2003 6:22:09 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... 8 days until July 9th)
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To: JulieRNR21; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Pan_Yans Wife; RobFromGa; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; ...
The Crackup of the Arab Tyrannies?

From the July 7 / July 14, 2003 issue:
They tried every bad idea of the 20th century. Maybe it's time for liberal democracy.
by Amir Taheri

IN A SPEECH in Washington on February 26, 2003, President George W. Bush spoke of his hope that a change of regime in Iraq would herald the Arab nations' joining the worldwide movement toward democracy. Some critics dismissed this "pious hope," arguing that Arab culture, and Islamic civilization generally, were unready for so momentous a transformation. Others questioned the president's sincerity, at a time when members of his administration were still debating Iraqi self-rule after Saddam.

Yet one thing was certain then and remains so today: The Arab world is in crisis, and change in Iraq could trigger change across the whole arc from North Africa to the Indian Ocean. While it is too soon to tell the shape of things to come in Iraq, it is clear that we are witnessing the end of a certain nationalist and socialist model developed in several Arab countries in the 20th century.

Most of the states where the nationalist-socialist model developed were created after the First World War, with the crumbling of the Ottoman Empire. Britain and France played the central role in shaping them. Sometimes described as "Sykes-Picot" offspring, the new states were designed to protect or further the strategic interests of the colonial power. Iraq, for instance, was created around the oil fields of Mosul and Kirkuk. Egypt's task was to protect the Suez Canal. Lebanon was carved out to place the interests of the Maronite Christians under French protection. Transjordan was a British military outpost with the task of keeping an eye on the Arabian Peninsula, to the south and east, and providing a base for intervention in the Levant.

Each new state was built around an army created by the colonial power largely for policing purposes. In almost every case, the new army drew its officer corps from ethnic and religious minorities. In Iraq, Assyrian, Turkmen, Kurdish, Faili, and Arab Sunni Muslims provided the backbone of the British-made army. In Syria, the French favored officers from the Alawaite minority. In Transjordan, most of the officers were Bedouin, Circassian, or Chechen fighters. In Egypt, many senior officers had Turkish or Albanian ethnic backgrounds.

With the advent of decolonization, these newborn army-based Arab states lost their original function. Anxious to protect their power and privilege, the military elites decided to seize power. Armies that were originally instruments of colonial domination redefined themselves as standard-bearers of Arab nationalism. The excuse they found for intervening in politics was the Arab defeat at the hands of the new state of Israel in 1948. The Arab armies blamed their poor performance on incompetent or even treacherous political leadership, and vowed that, once they were in power themselves, they would restore Arab honor.


A SERIES of coups d'état began in Syria (1948) and continued in Egypt (1952), Iraq (1958), Yemen (1960), the Sudan (1962), Algeria (1965), and Libya (1969). In most cases, the military overthrew a traditional regime that derived its legitimacy from Islam and tribal loyalties. The new military regimes, by contrast, found nationalism doubly attractive because it cut across religious divides and thus legitimized rule by officers who subscribed to creeds other than mainstream Sunni Islam. Socialism appealed to the urban poor and a secular intelligentsia that wanted to distance itself from tribal and "feudal" social and cultural structures.

The army's direct assumption of power led to a gradual militarization of Arab politics. Force came to be seen as the main source of legitimacy, and the rulers did what they knew how to do: wage war. They began by waging war on their own societies, with the aim of destroying within them all potential alternative sources of authority.

They disarmed as many of the tribes as they could and executed, imprisoned, exiled, or bought most tribal leaders. In some cases, these measures reached the level of genocide--the anti-Kurd campaigns in Iraq between 1932 and 1988 come to mind. Operations akin to ethnic cleansing were also conducted against Coptic Christians in Upper Egypt and against Jews and Persians in Iraq. (At one point almost a fifth of Baghdad's population were Jews. By 1968, only a handful remained, all others having fled to Iran, emigrated to Israel, or been put to death by military rulers. In 1972-73, Saddam Hussein conducted the biggest ethnic cleansing campaign in Iraq's history when he expelled over 600,000 Iraqis to Iran on the grounds that they might have had Persian ancestry.)

Next it was the turn of religious authorities to be brought under state control and deprived of the independence they had enjoyed for over 1,000 years. Traditional religious organizations such as Sufi fraternities, esoteric sects, and charitable structures were either infiltrated or dismantled. The new states assumed control of these groups' property, worth billions, depriving civil society of its most important economic base.

The military state also annexed the educational system, nationalizing thousands of private Koranic schools and dictating the curricula at all levels of schooling. The traditional guilds of trades and crafts, some with centuries of history, were also disbanded.

Political parties and cultural associations did not escape the destruction. In the 1950s, some of the newly independent Arab countries were home to genuine political movements representing the various ideologies of the 20th century. By the end of the 1970s, all of them, including parties such as the Baath that were nominally in power in Syria and Iraq, had been destroyed.

The elimination of the independent press, state ownership and control of all radio and television networks, and the vast resources allocated to "information" ministries enabled the new Arab regimes to stifle dissident voices and impose their version of reality.

Evolving toward totalitarianism, the Arab military state embarked upon wholesale nationalization. In some cases, such as the nationalization of the Suez Canal in 1956, this clashed with the interests of the former colonial powers and led to war. In other cases, such as land reform in Egypt in the late 1950s and the seizure of small businesses by the first Baathist regime in Iraq in 1963, the result was economic dislocation and widespread hardship for the most vulnerable strata of society.

The fact that the state now controlled the biggest sources of national revenue--the canal in Egypt, oil in Iraq--facilitated the imposition of a command economy. It also meant that the state had no real need of the population. Foreign experts and workers managed and ran vital sectors of the economy. (In 1990, Iraq hosted 1.5 million foreign experts and workers, almost 50 percent of the non-military, non-civil service urban work force.) And the government drew little or no revenue from taxes, relying instead on national assets like oil and the canal--and, from the 1960s onwards, on foreign aid.

The new Arab state could also do without the people when it came to national defense. The officer corps provided the bulk of the manpower for special units designed to protect the regime. In a broader context, the regimes relied on foreign alliances, mostly with the Soviet Union, for arms, training, and ultimate protection against potentially hostile neighbors. (Thus, in the late 1960s, Egypt was host to some 25,000 military experts from the Soviet bloc.)

Finally, the new regimes didn't need the people to vote for them. Although elections were introduced in the 1980s, their aim was merely to confirm the rulers in power, with 99.99 percent or even 100 percent majorities. By the start of the 1970s, traditional Arab society had been all but destroyed. Totalitarian states--ideologically confused, unsure of their legitimacy, addicted to violence, and ridden with corruption--dominated all aspects of life.

The allocation of large budgetary resources to the military further warped the economies of these countries. Average spending on Arab armies in the 1950s was no more than 2.3 percent of their estimated gross domestic products. By the mid-1980s, however, the figure had risen to 18 percent, with some countries, Iraq and Syria notably, spending as much as 23 percent. Virtually all Arab states maintained armies far larger than their demographic base warranted. The military machine also distorted labor markets by sucking up most of the scant technical and managerial skills available.

In time, the military in these countries developed into a new caste of rulers that controlled most decision-making positions: High government officials, provincial governors, ambassadors, chief executives of state-owned companies, and even media editors were recruited from the ranks of active or retired officers. The new caste was reinforced by an even more tightknit sub-caste, the intelligence and security services (mukhabarat), which eventually established themselves as the source of power in almost all the Arab states.

The emergence of this monstrous new state apparatus was accompanied by tens of thousands of executions, the imprisonment of countless people, the flight into exile of millions, and, last but not least, the destruction of the moral fabric of Arab society.


IT WAS NOT ONLY against its own people that the new Arab regime waged war. Almost inevitably, it became embroiled in foreign wars--conflicts unrelated to the national interests of the countries concerned.

The Suez dispute could have been resolved through negotiations to phase out Franco-British ownership. Instead, the Egyptian leader, Gamal Abdel-Nasser, provoked a war that he must have known he could not win against a Franco-British-Israeli triple alliance. That he was bailed out of his crushing defeat by the diplomatic efforts of the United States and the Soviet Union working in tandem does not alter the fact that Nasser took a reckless risk with Egyptian national interests. In 1960, Nasser intervened in Yemen, first covertly, then openly, dispatching a 60,000-strong army of occupation, which remained bogged down for almost seven years. In the early 1960s, Nasserite agents and sympathizers engineered Egypt's annexation of Syria. In 1967, Nasser provoked another, more disastrous, war with Israel, which ended with his losing the Sinai Peninsula and the Israeli army dipping its feet in the Suez Canal (which remained closed for a decade). Syria, Jordan, and Iraq also participated in the Six Day War, this time sharing defeat with Egypt. Syria lost the Golan Heights, while Jordan lost the West Bank, the eastern part of Jerusalem, and chunks of territory along its border with historic Palestine. And Egypt engaged in smaller military adventures, in the Sudan, the (Belgian) Congo, Somalia, and the British protectorates of southern Arabia.

The Iraqi military regime flexed its muscles with an attempted annexation of Kuwait in 1961, setting the pattern it would follow for three decades. Between 1969 and 1975, Iraq fought a major, but unpublicized, border war against Iran that ended with Iraqi capitulation in 1975. In 1977, Iraq had a military showdown with Turkey over the water of the Euphrates river. Border clashes took place between Syria and Iraq in 1978. In 1980, Iraq invaded Iran, starting a conflict that lasted eight years and claimed a million lives on both sides. In 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait and remained in a state of war against the United Nations until the fall of Saddam Hussein.

The Syrian military regime, for its part, clashed with Turkey over the Iskanderun enclave, and fought several battles with the Jordanian army on the pretext of protecting the Palestinians. From the late 1950s onwards, military intervention in Lebanon was to become a permanent feature of Syrian policy. Then in 1973 came defeat in the Six Day War.

Other Arab military regimes had their share of war. Algeria triggered a war against Morocco over the issue of the Spanish Sahara starting in the 1970s. In the 1980s, Libya tried to conquer Chad, an adventure that ended, despite the investment of billions of dollars, in a decisive defeat for Colonel Muammar Qaddafi's government.

All the Arab military regimes also used terrorism as a routine instrument of policy. One can hardly find a terrorist organization, from the Japanese Red Army to the Irish Republican Army, including the Basque ETA and the Peruvian Sendero Luminoso, that did not forge some link with one or more of the Arab military regimes. In some cases, the links came via Palestinian terror organizations, including Yasser Arafat's Al Fatah. In other cases, the link was the Soviet or East German intelligence service. In the 1970s, Syria and Iraq were the most active centers of international terrorism, providing shelter and diplomatic and sometimes financial support to dozens of groups.

Depending on the Soviet bloc for aid, protection, and diplomatic guidance, the Arab regimes closed their societies to influences from the West, thus reversing a trend that had started in the 19th century. Many of the Arab regimes concluded treaties of friendship and cooperation with the USSR and sent tens of thousands of their young men and women to study in the Soviet empire. The result was a deepening of the culture of totalitarianism within the ruling elite. By the mid-1980s, the last representatives of Western-style liberal thought in the Arab world were either dead or dying.

That opened the way for the reemergence of Islamic extremism as the only alternative to military rule. In Egypt, the regime alternated between ruthless repression of the Islamists (under Nasser), unsuccessful co-optation (under Sadat), and a mixture of the two (under President Hosni Mubarak). In Libya, the state has been fighting an Islamist insurgency since 1986. In Syria, the regime managed to break the back of the Islamist movement by organizing the massacre of an estimated 20,000 people in the city of Hama in 1983. In Iraq, the regime used the iron fist against the Islamists, mostly Shiites, throughout the 1980s, then adopted an Islamist posture of its own in 1991 to rally support against the U.S.-led coalition. In 1991, Saddam ordered the slogan Allah Akbar (God is supreme) inscribed on the Iraqi flag. In Algeria, the government's war against the Islamists started in 1986 and intensified after 1992. In the Sudan, the military came to power in alliance with the Islamists but broke with them in 1999 and has cracked down on their leaders and organizations ever since.

By the start of 2003, the Arab Islamist movement was in deep crisis. It was split in Egypt between those who urged accommodation with governments and those who preached endless war. In the Sudan, the Islamists were going through a process of "self-criticism" and trying to recast themselves almost as Western-style democrats, though few people were convinced. In Iraq, the Islamist movement found itself faced with a choice between alliance with the United States to topple Saddam Hussein and alliance with him in the name of patriotic unity. In Algeria, despite persistent terrorist violence, the divided Islamist movement seemed to be petering out. In Libya, the Islamist guerrillas appeared to be reduced to an enclave in the Jabal al-Akhdar region, while in Syria, hopes for reform under President Bashar al-Assad led to a split within the Islamist movement.

The pan-Islamist movement seems to have suffered a strategic setback with the failure of the Islamic revolution in Iran, the tragic experience of Islamism in the Sudan, and the dramatic end of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. The emergence of al Qaeda as the most potent symbol of Islamism also weakened the movement by alienating key elements within the Arab urban middle classes. Al Qaeda's extremism frightened large segments of Arab traditional opinion, forcing them to rally behind the regimes in support of the status quo.


THE PRESENT SEASON of change in Iraq comes at a time when both the Arab military state and its principal challenger, the Islamist movement, are both in crisis. Nor can traditional monarchy, still present in some Arab states, offer a serious alternative. (Jordan's campaign to restore the monarchy in Iraq has been rejected by virtually all Iraqi political parties.) So what might a new Arab state look like?

The failed model is the power state, known in Islamic literature as "saltana," whose legitimacy rests on the possession and use of the means of collective violence. In saltana, there are no citizens, only subjects, while the ruler is unaccountable except to God.

The only alternative to this failed model is what might be called the political state, whose legitimacy rests on the free expression of the citizens' will. Such a model could be based on what the 14th-century historian Ibn Khaldoun called "al-assabiyah," a secular bond among citizens. The key feature of this model is pluralism, known in modern Islamic political literature as "ta'adudiyah" and "kisrat-garai."

Both the Islamists and the secular authoritarians of the Arab world have persistently opposed the idea of bonding through citizenship. Nevertheless, Islamic political and philosophical literature offers a wealth of analyses that could be deployed in any battle of ideas against both the Islamist and secular enemies of pluralism. Both Farabi (d.950) and Avicenna (d. 1037), partly inspired by the work of the Mutazilite school, showed that there need be no contradiction between revelation and reason in developing a political system that responds to the earthly needs of citizens. On the contrary, because Islam places strict limits on the powers of the ruler, it theoretically cannot be used as the basis for tyranny.

The new model for the Arab state should reassert those limits. It should allow civil society to revive. The resuscitation and renewal of nongovernmental institutions should be accompanied by a massive program of privatization, designed to reduce the government's power to dictate economic policy, including the allocation of national resources. The early privatization of the media should receive top priority, as it did in post-Nazi Germany and Japan.

In a multi-ethnic, multi-faith country like Iraq, a federal structure would encourage popular participation in decision-making while limiting the power of the central authority to impose any radical ideology on the nation as a whole. The army should be reduced in size, its role redefined to emphasize defense against external threats and rule out internal repression. Its relationship with the political authority should be clearly stipulated.

The Arab Middle East is one of the few parts of the world as yet untouched by the wave of democratization that eventually swept away the Soviet empire and numerous dictatorships in the Third World. The liberation of Iraq provides a historic opportunity to open the entire Arab world to democracy. For the liberators to allow tactical concerns to distract them from that strategic opportunity would be a grave mistake.

To sell the democratic ideal, it is important to draw on the experience of past generations of Arabs and Muslims who struggled for democracy and in some places--Turkey, Iran, Egypt, Iraq, and elsewhere--achieved certain victories against tyrannical regimes. It is essential to show that the ideal of self-government is not alien to Islam and that, given a chance, many Muslims will reject the despotic model in favor of one respectful of human rights and popular participation in the political process.

Winning the military war against Iraq's dictatorship may prove to have been the easy part. Defeated in war, despotism must also be defeated politically. The hardest battles remain to be fought on the field of ideas.

Amir Taheri is an Iranian journalist and the author of ten books on the Middle East and Islam.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/002/853fjapb.asp

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail me”
46 posted on 07/01/2003 6:42:22 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... 8 days until July 9th)
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To: All
I hope you read the article by Amir Taheri.
It is a must read article, for those interested in the middle-east. As I have meantioned before, he is one of the finest journalists in the middle-east and provides an excellent analysis of how the middle-east got into this mess. Let me know your thoughts about it.
47 posted on 07/01/2003 7:41:47 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... 8 days until July 9th)
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To: DoctorZIn; Khashayar
Oh! This breaks my heart! I was praying that they wouldn't resort to executions! I'm so sorry for the dead and their families. Do you know who they were?

They are Martyrs for Freedom!

48 posted on 07/01/2003 7:43:04 PM PDT by dixiechick2000 (Free Iran!!!)
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To: All
BTW, I would like some feedback. I have chosen to put most of the articles in full text in this thread. I choose one or two breaking stories and post them in the breaking news sections. I do this to expose our thread to new readers, but try to keep the full text articles in the thread since many of these articles may be dropped on the websites they came from.

I would like to know if you can put up will all the extra text you have to wade through. If you have any suggestions on how I can improve the thread, or how to expose it to the entire FreeRepublic community I would appreciate it.

Please send your responses back to me privately so we don't waste a lot of space in this thread for this discussion.

Thanks for all your support and contributions.

DoctorZin
49 posted on 07/01/2003 7:48:28 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... 8 days until July 9th)
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To: DoctorZIn
FreeRepublic has the best archives anywhere. Post the entire articles, that way we can find them in the future when we need to research a subject.
50 posted on 07/01/2003 7:53:34 PM PDT by McGavin999
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