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Iranian Alert -- DAY 29 -- LIVE THREAD PING LIST
Live Thread Ping List | 7.8.2003 | DoctorZin

Posted on 07/08/2003 12:10:58 AM PDT by DoctorZIn

In less than 24 hours (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: iran; iranianalert; protest; southasia; southasialist; studentmovement
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1 posted on 07/08/2003 12:10:58 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: All
Hi Mom!
2 posted on 07/08/2003 12:12:53 AM PDT by Support Free Republic (Your support keeps Free Republic going strong!)
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To: JulieRNR21; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Pan_Yans Wife; RobFromGa; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; ...
Join Us at Iranian Alert -- DAY 29 -- LIVE THREAD PING LIST

Live Thread Ping List | 7.8.2003 | DoctorZIn

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

3 posted on 07/08/2003 12:14:52 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... 12 hours until July 9th protests begin)
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To: DoctorZIn

July 7, 2003

The Voice of America-produced program, News & Views, will be broadcasted across Iran by satellite from 9:30 pm to 10:00 PM local time, featuring original news reporting and aimed at Iran's younger population.

The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), which oversees all U.S. international nonmilitary broadcasting, including VOA, decided to launch the program after student protests against the Iranian government last month.

Kenneth Tomlinson, chairman of the BBG, said the new program intends to provide Iranians with an alternative to government-controlled newscasts.

"By reporting what's happening in Iran today, we can help further the struggle for freedom and self-determination in Iran," Tomlinson said in a press statement July 3.

"If ever there was a time when the people of Iran need sound, factual reporting on their country, it is now."

The program includes world news summaries, analysis of issues and events and cultural features. The new show will feature reports contributed from inside Iran, as well as Washington, New York, Los Angeles and around the world.

The BBG already broadcasts two weekly television programs in Farsi: Roundtable with You, a 90-minute discussion show, and Next Chapter, a weekly newsmagazine. The BBG also funds Radio Farda, a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week, youth-oriented Persian-language radio service.

News & Views, scheduled to run through at least September 30, is expected to cost up to $500,000 and will use existing VOA staff and Radio Farda stringers in Iran.

Satellite television -- while banned by the Iranian government -- is a top source of news in Iran, where some 70 percent of the population, roughly 67 million people, is under 30.

American officials hope the new U.S.-funded broadcast will complement the work of the National Iranian Television, NITV, a satellite channel operated by Iranian exiles based in Los Angeles, Calif. Iranian clerics have blamed NITV's 24-hour daily broadcasts for fomenting dissent and student protests last month.

The Iranian government has also accused the U.S. of bankrolling the NITV and of using the new program to interfere in its internal affairs.

U.S. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher last week rejected Iran's allegations that the U.S. sought to intervene through its new satellite broadcast.

"We don't consider that providing information is getting involved or interfering in anything," Boucher said at a briefing July 3.

"The Voice of America provides information. It's a standard tool of our public diplomacy to help inform people overseas," Boucher added.

The show's premiere of News & Views included the first of a special series of reports on events leading up to the fourth anniversary of the Iranian government's July 9, 1999 violent crackdown on student uprisings in Iran.

Fearing more student protests this week, Iranian authorities have banned rallies for Wednesday July 9, postponed university examinations, and closed dormitories, the British Guardian reported Monday.

DoctorZin Note: Now the only question is what are they going to say. If it is anything like the Voice of America broadcasts we can't expect much. I hope I am proved wrong.
4 posted on 07/08/2003 12:24:26 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... 12 hours until July 9th protests begin)
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To: DoctorZIn
Good Morning from the Garden of England.

Being one of the Brits on this forum makes me feel rather pissed. While the Great American government are actively supporting the protesters, Ol'Red Bastard Straw, is supporting the Iranian government.

The protests tomorrow, will not just be against the Iranian government, but their supporters in Europe and in the Middle East.

5 posted on 07/08/2003 1:46:13 AM PDT by Big Bad Bob (On July 9th 2003, We will all be Iranians, United against Evil)
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To: Big Bad Bob
Bless you.
6 posted on 07/08/2003 1:49:43 AM PDT by Pan_Yans Wife (Lurking since 2000.)
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To: DoctorZIn

7 posted on 07/08/2003 2:26:37 AM PDT by putupon
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To: *southasia_list
8 posted on 07/08/2003 4:28:25 AM PDT by Free the USA
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To: Big Bad Bob; RaceBannon; ewing; DoctorZIn; Pan_Yans Wife
The Straw thing is unbelievable. What do we know about his alleged betrayal? I think the Iranian youth might want to ignore it and make their own choices today. This is their time.

Stay safe everyone...
9 posted on 07/08/2003 4:28:39 AM PDT by risk
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To: DoctorZIn; freedom44; RaceBannon; risk
Dont you know that the ruling mullahs in Iran have ever
had great and strong ties with UK ?
Iranians believe that this regime is "Made in UK"
Production Date is : 1953
Expiration Date is : 2003

I don't know this history, and I will assume that much evil befell Iran during the Cold War. I can't apologize because we had a truly evil international Soviet regime to battle then.

It is time to undo all manner of Cold War era damage. Good luck, and as we say, keep your powder dry.

10 posted on 07/08/2003 4:37:48 AM PDT by risk
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To: Khashayar
The news from HK is heartening:

Maybe your luck will improve, as well.
11 posted on 07/08/2003 4:40:55 AM PDT by risk
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To: DoctorZIn
6 hours and 10 minutes until July 9th, 2003, in Tehran, Iran.
12 posted on 07/08/2003 6:22:02 AM PDT by Texas_Dawg ("...They came to hate their party and this president... They have finished by hating their country.")
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To: DoctorZIn
Good morning
& thanks for the ping
13 posted on 07/08/2003 6:49:47 AM PDT by firewalk
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To: JulieRNR21; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Pan_Yans Wife; RobFromGa; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; ...
Judgment Day

National Review Online.
July 9 and beyond.
By Pooya Dayanim

Tmorrow is Judgment Day for the terrorist mullahs that run the Islamic regime in Iran. July 9 is the four-year anniversary of the beginning of the student uprising that has now matured and has begun to shake the foundations of the Islamic regime. Iranians all around the world are holding rallies in support of and in solidarity with the pro-democracy supporters and freedom fighters inside Iran who are about to begin a movement to liberate themselves from one the darkest chapters in the history of Iran. So what is going to happen tomorrow in Iran?

The Islamic regime announced last week that it has already arrested over 4,000 pro-democracy demonstrators including 800 students including the key student leaders who have lead demonstrations in the past. The true number is even higher. The Islamic Republic's prisons are now home to more journalists, dissidents, and students than any other country in the world. Several people were killed in the demonstrations two weeks ago and hundreds were badly beaten by the regime's thugs.

The regime has closed the University of Tehran. All other universities are closed. The so-called reformist city council and the Khatami government have banned all rallies and demonstrations inside university campuses and outside in the streets. Newspapers inside Iran have been told not to report what is happening. The few foreign journalists who are there are being urged to cover the visit of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief (when the regime will promise more cooperation on its nuclear program in order to divert world attention from the popular unrest) and stay away from any gatherings. There is currently no freedom of speech, no freedom of press and no freedom of assembly in a dictatorship some naively call a "democracy."

The streets of Tehran and several other major cities are swarming with members of the revolutionary guard, the Hezbollah militia, plainclothes thugs, foreign mercenaries, and others hired by the regime to immediately suppress and crush any gatherings.

And it seems the regime has not settled for suppressing the people inside Iran, but is now attempting to silence the pro-democracy voices outside of Iran. For the past two days, three Los Angeles-based satellite TV stations (NITV, Azadi TV, and Channel One) that were largely responsible for carrying political messages and urging pro-democracy activists to pour to the streets of Tehran have had their signals jammed — at a time when they are about to play a potentially historic role in the liberation of Iran. (Disturbingly, there are indications that the signals are being stopped from locations in Europe and the U.S.) The regime has also restricted access to the website of Reza Pahlavi, the website of the student movement, as well as access to the website of the three satellite television stations. Meanwhile, the other Satellite broadcasters that are beaming non-political content into Iran have not had their signals jammed.

All of this, however, is irrelevant. The people of Iran (inside Iran and outside) want an end to this evil regime. Freedom will prevail. There will be demonstrations. The regime with attack, but the people will fight back. Today, in Los Angeles, several thousand Iranian Americans will stand in solidarity with people of Iran. Tomorrow, Iranian Americans will stand in solidarity with the people of Iran in front of Capitol Hill and will be joined by members of Congress (make sure your member is there) who believe that the people of Iran deserve freedom.

We just celebrated America's Independence Day. People throughout the world deserve freedom as well. As lovers of freedom we should all join the Iranian-American community and stand in solidarity with the people of Iran.

Judgment Day is approaching for those who have shed the blood of tens of thousands of innocent Iranians. Judgment Day is approaching for those who have ordered the stoning of women. Judgment Day is approaching for those who ordered the bombing of the Jewish community center in Argentina. Judgment Day is approaching for those who ordered the bombing of the Marine barracks in Lebanon and the Khobar Towers in Riyadh. Judgment Day is approaching for those who started the chant: "Death to America" and everything America stands for. Judgment Day is approaching for the Islamic Republic of Iran. It may not be tomorrow, but soon this evil regime will join the other evil regimes in the dustbin of history. Judgment Day will come.

— Pooya Dayanim is the president of the U.S.-based Iranian Jewish Public Affairs Committee (IJPAC). The views expressed in this article are his own.

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail me”
14 posted on 07/08/2003 7:56:11 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... 4 hours until July 9th protests begin)
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To: DoctorZIn
What's the update on the Sat TV jamming of the Pro-Freedom Iranian TV broadcasts orginiating in the US and the interference with local reception?

Inquiring minds want to know...

15 posted on 07/08/2003 8:00:11 AM PDT by jriemer (We are a Republic not a Democracy)
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To: jriemer
...What's the update on the Sat TV jamming of the Pro-Freedom Iranian TV broadcasts orginiating in the US and the interference with local reception? ...

Nothing new to report yet. The most interesting development that the National Review just cited it that someone is jamming uplink signals inside the US. This has serious national security implications.
16 posted on 07/08/2003 8:11:53 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... 4 hours until July 9th protests begin)
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To: DoctorZIn
Today, in Los Angeles, several thousand Iranian Americans will stand in solidarity with people of Iran.

And in Seattle there will be at least two Americans not of Iranian origin.

17 posted on 07/08/2003 8:15:32 AM PDT by Eala ("Every Child a Wanted Child" TruthfullyTranslated: "Abortion. It's for the Children.")
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To: DoctorZIn
Reading the Popular Mood in Iran

July 07, 2003
The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
Patrick Clawson

July 9 is the fourth anniversary of the student-sparked mass protests that erupted in Iran in 1999. New protests this July could test Washington no less than Tehran. Will the U.S. government side openly and publicly with the freedom-minded students against not only the unelected hardliners, but also the ineffectual elected leadership of President Muhammad Khatami?

Background: Polarization On June 22, 2003, the Iranian newspaper Yas-e Now published a remarkable poll that had originally appeared on the "Feedback" web page of the Expediency Discernment Council, run by former president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. Those polled were given the question, "What are the actual demands of the Iranian people?" and a choice of four answers. They responded as follows:

- 13 percent chose the answer "solutions to the problems of people's livelihood, and the continuation of the present political policy" -- in other words, the current hardline stance.

- 16 percent chose "political reforms and increases in the powers of the reformists."

- 26 percent chose "fundamental changes in management and in the performance of the system for an efficient growth" -- a position often identified with Rafsanjani.

- 45 percent chose "change in the political system, even with foreign

The fact that 45 percent of respondents endorsed foreign intervention if necessary is all the more surprising considering two factors: first, the continued imprisonment of pollsters who last year found that 75 percent of Iranians want open negotiations with the United States; and second, the ominous rumors circulating in Iran that the United States is considering an invasion -- rumors with no basis in fact.

Against this background, student protests are becoming more common. One wave of protests occurred in December 2002. Then, on June 10, 2003, protests began in the Amirabad dormitory complex of Tehran University. Thousands of nonstudents eventually joined these demonstrations, encouraged by Los Angeles-based Persian-language satellite television channels. As the Tehran protests wound down over the course of ten days, demonstrations, some of them violent, erupted in several other cities. In Khatami's home city of Yazd, for example, six banks were reportedly attacked with Molotov cocktails and 230 protestors were arrested.

Protests This Week? The July 9, 1999, demonstrations, which had been sparked by attacks on students, filled the streets of Tehran with over 100,000 people demanding basic change. Every major Iranian city saw demonstrations on succeeding days. These protests, the largest ever under the Islamic Republic, represented a turning point for the reformist movement led by Khatami, largely because he refused to support the demonstrations or to use them as a means of pressing hardliners into approving reforms. For months, the expectation has been that July 9, 2003, would occasion a new test of wills between protestors and the hardliners who control the police, judiciary, Basij militia, and Ansar-e Hizballah vigilantes.

In fact, it would be impressive if large-scale demonstrations do occur on July 9. The authorities have gone to extraordinary lengths to prevent new protests. Besides the obvious measure of banning all public demonstrations, they have gone so far as to close the Tehran University dorms for the week in order to disperse students. Perhaps most important, as Prosecutor-General Abdolnabi Namazi explained, 4,000 people were detained after the June protests, of whom 2,000 remain in prison.

Nevertheless, student leaders remain defiant. On July 3, 106 such leaders -- many of them mainstream figures long opposed to violent protest -- released a letter warning Khatami, "We ask you to prevent an uprising before it is too late to find a clear path forward. . . . Mr. President, if you are incapable of protecting our rights, if you cannot put an end to illegal arrests and the kidnapping of students, please resign so that the student movement can confront the regime on its own. Then everyone will know what the end result of such confrontation will be."

Implications for U.S. Policy There is broad agreement within the Bush administration and Congress that the United States should support political change in Iran, and equally broad agreement that neither military force nor covert operations should be used toward that end. Yet, disagreement abounds regarding exactly what to do, with three broad policy options in play. The first is President George W. Bush's approach of publicly supporting democratic forces against the unelected leaders who hold power -- a strategy of ignoring the ineffective elected leaders who remain committed to perpetuating undemocratic clerical rule. Bush has used strong language to support demonstrators; for example, on June 18, 2003, he stated, "I appreciate those courageous souls who speak out for freedom in Iran. They need to know America stands squarely by their side." The Bush administration's harsher rhetoric has been accompanied by increasing boldness among Iranian demonstrators, suggesting that a more activist U.S. approach does not undermine the democratic cause.

The second option was perhaps best captured in a July 3, 2003, statement by Secretary of State Colin Powell: "The U.S. can support the protests by Iranian youth but it should remember that the Iranian president has been elected freely and we must not meddle in a family fight." This statement, which has been well received by Iranian hardline media, emphasizes the limitations of U.S. power and the positive aspects of Iranian political life -- rather than how Iran's elected representatives have steadily lost power and have rarely stepped forward to fight for reform.

The third, more active approach, is best represented by Republican Senator Sam Brownback's proposed Iran Democracy Act, cosponsored by several other Republicans and Democrats. The act would provide the State Department with million to increase broadcasting and promote an internationally monitored referendum in Iran. Some critics characterize this approach as aggressive regime change, though it is by no means clear that the State Department would use the funds toward that end.

Which approach the United States adopts will surely be influenced by the policy that Iran adopts on key issues such as financing Palestinian rejectionists and apprehending al-Qaeda activists hiding in Iran. Two other issues stand out: nuclear proliferation and Iraq. Regarding the former, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) director-general Mohamed ElBaradei is due to arrive in Tehran on July 9 for yet another round of discussions about Iranian activities that belie Tehran's claim that its nuclear program is purely peaceful in nature. He will also press Iran to sign and quickly implement the Additional Protocol, adopted by the IAEA in 1995 in order to allow more inspections. Time is running out for Iran to address these concerns before the September 8-10 IAEA Board of Governors meeting, at which the United States will press the agency to refer the problem of Iran's noncompliance with the Non-Proliferation Treaty to the UN Security Council.

Regarding Iraq, although Iran has had little impact in fomenting attacks against the postwar U.S. presence, Iranian hardliners are calling on Tehran to do more. For example, on June 26, the powerful hardline Keyhan newspaper published an editorial by director-in-charge Hossein Shariatmadari stating the following: "American and British troops [are now] within the reach of the Muslim and revolutionary nations. And obviously killing them and taking revenge on them for the blood of the innocent slaughtered by them is easier than ever. . . . Today there is no need for Muslim revolutionaries to take the trouble of carrying bombs and explosives to distant bases in order to punish the American and British forces, and their punishment is easily possible by throwing grenades and firebombs and even by sticks and stones. This is a divine blessing and golden opportunity for the Muslim nations to take revenge on the invaders."

It seems that some Iranian hardliners have decided to redouble their hard line: doing little about IAEA concerns, repressing popular demands for reform, and stirring up trouble for the United States wherever they can, including Iraq. They are acting as if they have decided that confrontation with the United States is inevitable, and that their best defense is a strong offense. If that is their approach, it may well become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Patrick Clawson, Deputy Director The Washington Institute for Near East Policy 1828 L St. NW, Suite 1050, Washington DC 20036 202-452-0650 Fax 202-223-5364

- E-Mail:
18 posted on 07/08/2003 8:16:24 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... 4 hours until July 9th protests begin)
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To: All
Economic Ills Fuel Iranian Dissent
By By Afshin Molavi
Jul 8, 2003, 4:48am

Struggling Workers Find Solidarity With Protesting Students

TEHRAN -- Thin streaks of sweat dripped down Ali's gaunt, sun-baked face as he sat behind the wheel of his car amid Tehran's chaotic afternoon traffic. The 53-year-old army technician tapped his horn repeatedly as he dodged oncoming cars, motorbikes and pedestrians.

"Traffic is awful," he said, downshifting past a pedestrian as a motorbike sped by within inches of his battered, wheezing yellow car. "By the time I get home, my nerves are frayed. It's really terrible."

Still, Ali will spend the next six hours on the road at his second job: taxi driver. With rampant inflation, stagnant wages and an anemic economy, many Iranians hold second and even third jobs simply to survive. One taxi agency boasts three university professors on its part-time staff.

"Our economy is a mess," said Ali, who declined to be identified by his full name. "The prices of meat, housing, cars, everything, is overwhelming. I have given 27 years of my life to serving the army, and I am reduced to misery. I barely eat meat once a week, but our government officials are eating the finest kebabs day and night. This is outrageous."

From working-class neighborhoods to affluent suburbs, millions of disenchanted Iranians like Ali are becoming increasing vocal about their frustration with the price of meat, the lack of jobs and widely perceived government corruption. In expressing hopes for a better economic future, and anger at what they view as government mismanagement and corruption, they have found themselves in league with younger student activists calling for greater freedoms and secular democracy. Last month, roughly 10,000 protesters, a mixture of university students and local residents, took to the streets of Tehran and other Iranian cities.

Ali says he played a small role in the protests, joining a group of drivers who purposely clogged streets around Tehran University and honked their horns for hours in solidarity with the younger demonstrators. He is prepared to do so again, he says, if students defy an official protest ban on Wednesday, the anniversary of nationwide student protests that rocked the country in 1999, leaving at least five students dead and hundreds in jail.

"Our government needs to know how upset we are," he said. "They cannot simply live like kings while we live in poverty. Before the revolution, I ate meat every day. Today, I eat it only once a week."

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who lived a modest life in a humble home, once said that Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution "was not about the price of watermelons."

But today watermelons cost roughly seven times more in real terms than they did before Iranians toppled the U.S.-backed monarchy of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and put Khomeini at the head of a theocratic state. Iranians' consumption of bread, meat, rice and tea is down as much as 30 percent compared with before the revolution, according to the country's central bank, and in real terms, Iranians earn one-fourth of what they did then.

Official statistics put 15 percent of the population below the poverty line, though some economists put the actual figure closer to 40 percent. Over the last three years, inflation has averaged 15 percent. Unemployment is officially 13 percent, but independent economists say the rate is more like 25 percent.

According to the International Monetary Fund, Iran has the highest rate of brain drain in the world -- 160,000 of the country's best and brightest emigrated last year -- and with two-thirds of the country's 66 million people under age 30, the government estimates that nearly 1 million jobs must be created each year to stanch the flow of emigration.

Such statistics would likely stir passions in any country. But frustration is particularly acute in Iran, where economic expectations rose along with oil prices in 1973 and Khomeini's populist speeches included promises that government officials would personally distribute oil income checks to the masses and elevate the downtrodden. Despite possessing the world's second-largest gas reserves and third-largest oil reserves, the government has been unable to fashion a sustainable, job-creating, globalized, efficient economy, Iranian economists lament.

Officials have shown signs that they comprehend the level of popular discontent. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Khomeini's successor as Iran's supreme leader, recently made a rare call for increased foreign investment and said: "Dispensing economic justice has been one of the regime's most cherished yet unrealized goals since its establishment nearly a quarter-century ago."

New foreign investment laws, the introduction of private banking to compete with plodding state-owned banks, and measures to boost private enterprise have all been offered recently by the government as remedies for Iran's economic ills.

Still, many economists dismiss the initiatives as insufficient. "The entire structure of the economy needs to be overhauled," says Ali Rashidi, a Tehran-based economist and newly elected member of Iran's national Chamber of Commerce. "These small measures are like putting a Band-Aid on a cancer patient."

Rashidi said he believes control of the economy must be taken from the government's hands. About 70 percent of the nation's gross domestic product is controlled by inefficient government entities, Rashidi estimated, citing bonyads -- tax-exempt charitable foundations and business conglomerates -- as a key impediment to sustainable private-sector growth.

President Mohammad Khatami, whose once-popular reform agenda has been thwarted by conservatives in Iran's government, repeatedly has called for more accountability from the bonyads. Reformist lawmakers, economists and journalists publicly criticize government-affiliated "economic mafias" that distort the economy for private gain, using access to import licenses and cheap credit to create monopolies in such items as sugar, tea and cars.

Rumors of senior officials with Swiss bank accounts, villas in Europe and Canada and shady financial dealings appear to be a mixture of exaggeration and truth. But taxi drivers often point out the palatial homes of senior officials, some of whom are Muslim clerics who once lambasted the shah's wealthy elite for its profligacy. After passing one such clerical palace, a driver deadpanned: "I guess those modest government salaries have been raised recently."

As economic discontent grows -- manifested in occasional bouts of labor unrest, including strikes -- analysts say it poses no threat to the government. Still, officials take the stirrings seriously, canceling all official activities on May Day -- Labor Day in much of the world -- for fear of strikes.

Ali Jafarzadeh, a reformist member of parliament from the northeastern city of Mashad and an advocate of economic liberalization, said in an interview: "Unless we improve the economy, we are headed toward a social crisis."

Meanwhile, as Ali picks up passengers late into the night, he queries a Tehran University student. "When are you protesting again?" he asks. "I'm ready to honk my horn."
19 posted on 07/08/2003 8:18:06 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... 4 hours until July 9th protests begin)
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To: DoctorZIn
I pray for safety and freedom.Sounds bad.
20 posted on 07/08/2003 8:26:57 AM PDT by MEG33
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