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1 posted on 08/23/2003 12:03:25 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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2 posted on 08/23/2003 12:04:23 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Britain to Continue Holding Former Iranian Ambassador to Argentina

VOA - By Tom Rivers
Aug 22, 2003

LONDON - A former Iranian ambassador to Argentina will remain in custody in Britain pending a court decision on whether to extradite him to Argentina. Hadi Soleimanpur is wanted in Argentina for his alleged involvement in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center. The court adjourned the extradition hearing Friday and ordered the former envoy held until August 29.

Argentine authorities allege Hadi Soleimanpur had been involved in the planning and commissioning of the bombing of the Jewish center nine years ago, in which 85 people died and hundreds were injured. Mr. Soleimanpur, along with seven other Iranians, faces conspiracy charges in Argentina.

But a lawyer for the former ambassador says his client has always publicly and strenuously denied these allegations.

Mr. Soleimanpur, now a researcher at Durham University in northeastern England, was arrested Thursday on an extradition warrant and held by local police pending Friday's court appearance. He was remanded in custody and ordered to appear before the court of August 29.

Earlier, an attorney for the Argentine-Jewish Association Federation in Buenos Aires said Mr. Soleimanpur's arrest is extremely important in the process of unraveling details about how the attack was organized. Argentina has the largest Jewish population in South America, estimated at around 300,000.

Iran has long denied it was in any way involved in the powerful blast, and denounced the arrest of the former diplomat as politically motivated and illegal.

Last March, Argentina's arrest warrants for four other Iranian diplomats caused tensions between Buenos Aires and Tehran, and the current Iranian ambassador to Argentina was recalled for consultations.

Just weeks ago, Argentina's president, Nestor Kirchner, called the slow progress in the investigation a "national disgrace." He vowed, on the ninth anniversary of the attack, to bring those responsible to justice.

Mr. Soleimanpur has been in Britain since February last year. The 47-year-old entered the country on a student visa.

http://www.daneshjoo.org/generalnews/article/publish/article_1890.shtml
3 posted on 08/23/2003 12:06:48 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
And let us thank Bush and his administration for doing absolutely nothing to help.

When a tin horn dictator in Cuba, while being serviced by Tom Hanks and Steven Speilberg, can jam our signals to Iran and Bush does nothing but send back those that escape, you can be assured it's not going to work out in Iran.

Expect even more terrorist crossing the border from Iran into Iraq while Colin Powell shoves his hand farther up Bush and does his ventriloquist trick where the dummy chides Israel for defending itself.

4 posted on 08/23/2003 12:12:27 AM PDT by Fledermaus (Democrats have stunted brain development!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran ready to send spent nuke fuel to Russia- IRNA

TEHRAN, Aug. 22 —

Iran has said it is ready to sign a protocol to return nuclear waste to Russia, which is building a nuclear power plant in the Islamic Republic, Iran's official IRNA news agency reported on Friday.

Analysts have said that comments by Iran in the past that it wanted to manage spent fuel from the plant being built at the southern port of Bushehr had raised some fears it could be seeking to convert it to weapons grade material.

The United States has accused Iran of seeking to develop nuclear weapons under the cover of a civilian programme.

Iran has dismissed the charge, saying it wants to develop nuclear power to satisfy a booming demand for electricity and save its massive oil and gas reserves for export.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran has said it is ready to sign a protocol on the return of waste fuel from the Bushehr nuclear plant to Russia,'' IRNA reported, quoting the Iranian embassy in Moscow.

"The Iranian government, based on its former stance during negotiations between the head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organisation with Russian officials in Moscow, is ready to sign this protocol,'' IRNA said.

Analysts said Iran has been seeking to reduce international pressure for it to sign an Additional Protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty that would allow more intrusive snap inspections of its nuclear facilities.

The U.N. body, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), is producing a report on Iran's nuclear programme to be issued early in September.

Russia has agreed to supply low-enriched uranium for the 1,000 megawatt power plant at Bushehr.

http://famulus.msnbc.com/FamulusIntl/reuters08-22-123852.asp?reg=MIDEAST
But Iran has said it is building its own uranium enrichment facility, which has also raised some concerns that by doing so it could move closer to developing a capacity for making highly enriched uranium suitable for nuclear weapons.


Copyright 2003 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters.
5 posted on 08/23/2003 12:23:01 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
UK Charge d`Affaires Summoned to Foreign Ministry

August 23, 2003
Islamic Republic News Agency
IRNA

Tehran -- British Charge d`Affaires to Tehran Matthew Gould was summoned here Saturday to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to be informed of Tehran`s objection to the arrest of former Iranian ambassador to Argentina, Hadi Soleimanpour.

Since the British ambassador was not available, Director General for Western Europe desk at the Foreign Ministry Ibrahim Rahimpour summoned the UK charge d`affaires and informed him of Iran`s protest over the arrest.

According to the Information and Press Bureau of the Foreign Ministry, the British charge d`affaires was informed that the court case and the arrest of Iranian national was a politically motivated move orchestrated by the Zionist circles.

The UK was asked not to enter into the new game masterminded by the Zionist circles through Argentine.

Rahimpour underlined the need for cooperation between Iran and UK to resolve the issue and clear the charges lodged against the former Iranian diplomat.

Highlighting judiciary procedures in England, Gould assured that he will convey the matter to his country`s officials and will ask that the case be pursued without bias.

He underlined that as soon as he receives a reply from British officials, he would inform the Iranian authorities about it....

http://www.irna.ir/#2003_08_2318_53_501
13 posted on 08/23/2003 9:21:36 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Iranians Arrested for Planning Sabotage campaign in Iraq

August 23, 2003
BBC News
BBCi

US President George Bush has predicted that more foreign troops will join American forces in Iraq to help win "the continuing battle in the war on terrorism".

Mr Bush said "al-Qaeda-type fighters" were moving into Iraq, but insisted the US would "stay the course".

He said he was working with the United Nations to seek broader international support - but he gave no sign he was prepared to relinquish more power to the UN.

Iraqi police said that earlier this week they arrested a group of Iranians who were planning a sabotage campaign in Baghdad.

A source within the Iraqi interior ministry told the BBC the Iranians had been handed over to the American military police for interrogation.

Speaking in Seattle, Mr Bush said a "foreign element" was moving into Iraq.

"They want to fight us there because they can't stand the thought of a free society in the Middle East," he said.

UN discussions

London and Washington want a UN resolution authorising a larger international force, following Tuesday's bomb attack on the UN headquarters in Baghdad.

But the UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, has warned they face a "difficult" task to secure wider involvement in Iraq unless the UN is given more say.

Germany, France and Russia - three of the most vociferous opponents of the US-led invasion - are among those demanding a wider role for the UN.

None of the three are expected to send troops but several potential large contributors, such as India, Pakistan and Turkey, have refused to send soldiers without a stronger UN mandate.

"We do need and welcome more foreign troops into Iraq and there will be more foreign troops into Iraq," Mr Bush said.

"Those who hate freedom destroyed the infrastructures that we've been improving, so we'll get more people guarding then, and that'll help free up our hunter teams."

The BBC's Greg Barrow at the UN says many countries have expressed a willingness to assist in Iraq but they do not want the stigma of serving under an occupying force which has yet to win over the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people.

The body of the UN's envoy to Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello, who was among more than 20 killed in Tuesday's apparent suicide attack, is being flown to Brazil for a wake, before his funeral in France.

Vieira de Mello's interim replacement in Iraq has been named as Ramiro Lopes da Silva, a fellow Brazilian.

Mr Annan said the UN was largely counting on the US-led coalition to provide its staff with security in Iraq.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3175425.stm
14 posted on 08/23/2003 9:32:13 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
All Officials Must Remain Vigilant - Leader
Tehran Times - Politics Section
Aug 23, 2003

TEHRAN -- Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei here Thursday stressed that vigilance against enemy plots is among "important issues which all officials and responsible (state) apparatus, especially Information (Intelligence) Ministry, must maintain".

"As long as there is vigilance, none of the plots hatched by the enemies of the establishment and their bragging will prove effective," he told a group of senior officials of the Information Ministry.

The leader lauded the "sincere and very valuable services of Information Ministry", saying "these efforts, which are made under hard and complicated conditions and many people and officials are unaware of them, are among the acts which are blessed by God".

Information Minister Ali Younesi presented a report on the Ministry's operations before the leader's speech and said: "Information Ministry, thanks to its recognition of the country's situation as well as the enemies' plots, is giving the glad tidings that the Islamic Iran is stronger than any other time and prepared for a bright future."

http://www.daneshjoo.org/generalnews/article/publish/article_1897.shtml
16 posted on 08/23/2003 9:37:12 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
50 Years Later, Iranians Remember U.S.-UK Coup

Fri Aug 22, 3:26 PM ET Add World - OneWorld.net to My Yahoo!

Dan De Luce, Christian Science Monitor

TEHRAN, IRAN, Aug. 22 (CSM) -– Iranians mourned this week the consequences of Anglo-American regime change as they marked the 50th anniversary of a CIA (news - web sites) coup that toppled their democratically elected prime minister.

At a time when the United States has adopted a policy of preemptive action in its war on terrorists - and is portrayed here as encouraging student street protests - the 1953 overthrow of Mohammad Mossadegh's government is taking on fresh relevance for some Iranians.

"This year, many political groups in Iran are showing more interest in the history of the [US-orchestrated] military coup," says Ibrahim Yazdi, a former foreign minister and leading member of a political party that traces its origins to Mossadegh's National Front. "Now it seems that the Americans are pushing towards the same direction again. That shows they have not learned anything from history."

Organized by the CIA and the British SIS to secure Iran's oil resources from a possible Soviet takeover and secure Iran's oil resources, the coup marked America's first intervention in the Middle East. Its aftershocks are still being felt.

The end of Iran's first democratic government ushered in more than two decades of dictatorship by Shah Muhammad Reza Pahlavi, who relied on US aid and arms. The anti-American backlash in 1979 shook the whole region and helped spread Islamic militancy.

"If there had not been a military coup, there would not have been 25 years of the Shah's brutal regime, there would not have been a revolution in 1979 and a government of clerics," says Mr. Yazdi, who served briefly as foreign minister in the first cabinet after the fall of the Shah. "What we have now is a result of the coup."

Today, Mr. Mossadegh remains a hero to many Iranians who believe he fought against colonial exploitation and dictatorial rule during his 26 months in office. Perhaps because he represents a future denied and what might have been, his memory has approached myth.

Mossadegh incurred the wrath of Britain by nationalizing the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company and then argued his case successfully at the UN Security Council.

After considering military action, Britain opted for a coup d'tat. President Harry Truman rejected the idea, but when Dwight Eisenhower took over the White House, he ordered the CIA to embark on one of its first covert operations against a foreign government.

A new book on the coup - "All the Shah's Men," by New York Times reporter Stephen Kinzer - describes how the CIA and the British helped to undermine Mossadegh's government through bribery, libel, and orchestrated riots. Agents posing as communists threatened religious leaders, while the US ambassador lied to the prime minister about alleged attacks on American nationals.

The book isn't on sale here, but the 50th anniversary was front-page news in Iranian newspapers this week. One paper published excerpts from CIA documents on the coup, which were released only three years ago, and lamented how the intervention stunted the country's evolution.

In an allusion to the US-led invasion of Iraq (news - web sites), the daily Yas-e No wrote that some Iranians might wrongly assume the best way to solve the country's problems now would be to turn to a foreign power: "If a foreign country comes to an area, it will think about its own national interest first and not care about the people's rights."

The ruling conservative clergy have portrayed recent street protests in Iran as an attempt by the US to foment discontent among university students. Although student leaders distanced themselves from Washington and monarchist exiles, accusations of foreign meddling carry weight in a country with Iran's history.

The Bush administration has handed the hard-liners valuable ammunition by cultivating relations with Iranian exiles who favor restoring the monarchy and by promoting a media campaign to undermine Iran's clerical leadership.

Washington's tough rhetoric against Tehran and flirtation with the Shah's son are a kind of nightmarish dj vu for the embattled reformists and students struggling to push for democratic change in Iran.

The reformists allied with President Mohammad Khatami (news - web sites) say their country now faces another choice between despotism and democracy, and they worry that the combination of outside interference and internal squabbling within their own ranks could once again defer their dream.

At a conference here this week commemorating Mossadegh, a young Iranian man who asked not to be identified said "If there is going to be [democratic] change, it should not be done by a foreign government but by Iranians, and it should happen gradually," he said.

On Tuesday, the day of the anniversary, there were no official government ceremonies to honor Mossadegh's legacy. Deemed too secular for the Islamic Republic, he is seldom mentioned by the conservative clergy. When they do mention him, they stress the role of clerics at the time and show contempt for Mossadegh.

Abolfathi Takrousta, who worked as Mossadegh's cook, says, "Under both regimes, now and before, they like to hide his name. But the good things he did are clear to Iranians, so I don't know why they would do this. When Mossadegh died, people felt their father had died."

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=655&ncid=655&e=1&u=/oneworld/20030822/wl_oneworld/4536665621061581573
17 posted on 08/23/2003 9:40:54 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran Cuts Culture, Economic Ties with Argentina

August 23, 2003
Reuters
Ha'aretz

TEHRAN - Iran is cutting its cultural and economic ties with Argentina because of the arrest in Britain of a former Iranian ambassador to Argentina in connection with a 1994 bombing in Buenos Aires, state television said on Saturday.

Ex-envoy Hadi Soleimanpour, 47, was arrested in Britain on Thursday after Argentina requested his extradition in connection with the AMIA Jewish Community Center blast that killed 85 people in Buenos Aires.

"Iran's foreign ministry official in charge of the Americas desk announced Iran's strong objection to the Argentinian judiciary's measure and informed him (the Argentinian charge d'affaires) of Iran's decision on halting cultural and economic cooperation with Argentina," state television quoted Foreign Ministry official Mehdi Mohtashami as saying.

Officials at the Argentinian mission in Tehran were not immediately available for comment. One Western diplomat said Argentina had a charge d'affaires in Tehran. Iranian Foreign Ministry officials were also not available.

Iran is a major wheat importer and Argentina has traditionally been among the country's suppliers. It was not immediately clear whether that trade would be affected by Iran's latest initiative. Tehran denies any involvement in the bombing and previously withdrew its ambassador from Argentina to protest against the claim of Iranian involvement, though it retains a mission in Buenos Aires.

One diplomat in Tehran said the Iranian move suggested the government wanted to express anger at the ex-diplomat's arrest, but was stopping short of a major new diplomatic initiative against Argentina.

Britain's charge d'affaires in Tehran, Matthew Gould, told Reuters he had told Iranian Foreign Ministry officials Soleimanpour's arrest was not politically motivated, and the court's decision was independent of the British government.

"The British government cannot interfere at this stage of the extradition process," he said, adding that he had been summoned to the Iranian Foreign Ministry and asked for the immediate release of the ex-diplomat. Soleimanpour entered Britain on a student visa in February last year to study at Durham University.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=332427&contrassID=1&subContrassID=8&sbSubContrassID=0&listSrc=Y
19 posted on 08/23/2003 10:16:04 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Iranian Asylum Seekers to be Forceably Repatriated

August 23, 2003
Brendan Nicholson
The Age

The Federal Government will shortly begin forceably repatriating up to 30 Iranian asylum seekers and it admits they are likely to be detained in Iran while authorities confirm their identities.

A spokesman for Immigration Minister Philip Ruddock said 15 Iranians from the Baxter detention centre in Port Augusta had gone back voluntarily in the past two months and 30 more were "available for removal".

The 15, who volunteered to leave, were mostly single men. Each took the $2000 incentive payment provided by the Government.

A further 30 had been processed and refused refugee status. Those who were not subject to court injunctions would be sent back "in ones and twos" on commercial flights as Iran indicated it was ready to receive them.

The spokesman said the Iranians might be detained in Iran "for a day or so" while authorities there verified their identities.

That was done because they had left Iran illegally and authorities wanted to ensure they really were Iranian.

The spokesman would not say when the next repatriations would take place.

The detainees have written an open letter to Prime Minister John Howard and the Australian people, saying they feared being forced to return to Iran.

"It is Friday night and we are all very frightened because they tell us that tomorrow we will be deported by force to our country," the letter said.

"So tonight we cannot sleep. We pray that something will save us and we try to help each other.

"We did not leave our country and our family for getting rich or big adventure. We must leave because our Government is a dictatorship that tortures and kills its own people, like it was in Iraq, and we see on television how they open the graves of the poor tortured people.

"We ask that you see that we cannot go back to Iran because we are too afraid of the torture and prison we will have to go to. Many of us have already lost family or have brothers and fathers in prison in Iran."

The detainees said they felt they had not always been able to explain their plight in ways Immigration Department officers could understand.

"We need your help in this terrible situation," their letter said. "Please help us and stop this deportation of us. We beg you from our heart."

http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2003/08/23/1061529379615.html
20 posted on 08/23/2003 10:18:09 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
The Cult of Journalist as Hero
Amir Taheri

ArabNews
The Middle East's Leading English Language Daily
Friday, 22, August, 2003 (24, Jumada ath-Thani, 1424)

The Watergate episode had a lasting impact on journalism throughout the world. After it many newcomers to journalism saw themselves as white knights of the truth, storming the palaces of the mighty to lay them low. The Watergate reporters had done little on their own to find the story. The story had been spoon-fed to them by “Deep Throat” who wanted to destroy Nixon. “Deep Throat” had offered his story to four other reporters who had refused to take it. Thus the Washington Post reporters ended up, in effect, working for “Deep Throat”.

The cult of journalist as hero is dangerous because it injects the poison of personal ambition into the business of reporting. The reporter who is seeking stardom is soon programmed not to look for facts but for the story that could bring him fame and glory. All this has leads to dependence by journalists on informants, usually referred to as “highly informed sources” or “sources speaking on condition of anonymity.” The latest example of that can be seen in the current dispute between the BBC and the office of British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Last spring, a BBC reporter, Andrew Gilligan, broadcast an item claiming that “intelligence sources” had told him that Blair’s chief press officer Alistair Campbell had exaggerated — “sexed up” — a report on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction in order to persuade the British public to support military action against Saddam Hussein. In the months that followed, it became clear that Gilligan had not had “sources” but a single source, Dr. David Kelly, a weapons’ expert in the Ministry of Defense.

Gilligan could easily have telephoned Campbell and asked him to comment about the Kelly claim before broadcasting the story. He did not. He could have also asked a dozen other sources to comment on Kelly’s claim. He did not. It is, of course, perfectly legitimate for any journalist to hit at Campbell and Blair. But this should be done in editorials and opinion columns, not through a story presented as news.

My first editor Kazem Zarnegar taught me that no news item was acceptable unless checked with at least three sources. “If someone says something, you must find someone else who is likely to refute that,” he used to say. “Once you have those two, find a third source who is on neither side.” Journalism that depends on a single source becomes a branch of public relations. Zarnegar’s advice was to be always suspicious of anyone who leaked a story to you. He used to say: “Ask yourself: why is this guy doing it? Does he want to advance my career as a reporter or is he grilling his own kebab?” When the Watergate scandal broke out we thought that we had an argument against Zarnegar. “Would you have dismissed the Watergate story because it came from one unnamed source?” we asked him. “Absolutely,” he said.

What would have happened if Zarnegar had been The Washington Post editor in place of my late friend Ben Bradlee? “Deep Throat” would not have been able to use the newspaper as a weapon against Nixon. He would have been forced to go to the police or the FBI, or at least inform members of the Congress. All that would have forced the police and the FBI to investigate, and, in time, Nixon’s role would have been revealed. Eventually,

The idea is that the media should not try to do what other institutions of the state must do. If those institutions are weak or, for whatever reason, do not do their job properly, the media must report and analyze their shortcomings. But it should not pose as a substitute. Because of the Watergate effect, some journalists go under cover in search of stories, ranging from smuggling a knife through airport security to exposing a sexual relationship between a politician and a call girl.

Because so many journalists try to do other people’s jobs, it is no surprise that other people are trying to do the job of the journalist. Politicians write op-ed pieces at an alarming rate. And people from all walks of life set up Internet websites to secure a journalistic niche.

Abu Al-Nasr Al-Farabi said over a thousand years ago that civilization starts when men learn to mark out spaces allocated to each of the activities needed for the survival and progress of human societies. The blurring of those demarcation lines is always a step back toward barbarity.

22 posted on 08/23/2003 10:31:09 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran Extradites Qaeda Members to Saudi Arabia

August 23, 2003
Reuters
Reuters.com

LONDON -- Iran has extradited a number of Saudi members of al Qaeda to Saudi Arabia, the official Iranian news agency IRNA, monitored in London by the BBC, reported on Saturday.

IRNA quoted Tehran's ambassador to Riyadh as saying the al Qaeda members had been arrested in Iran after the U.S.-led war on Afghanistan, but did not name them, or say how many had been extradited or when they had been handed over to Saudi Arabia.

The envoy, speaking to IRNA on the sidelines of a conference in Tehran, said Iran and Saudi Arabia, leading oil producers and both Muslim nations, had signed a security pact and "have shown a firm resolve to improve ties in all areas," the BBC said.

Last Sunday IRNA quoted Hassan Rohani, secretary-general of the Supreme National Security Council, as saying that Iran had foiled a number of attacks al Qaeda had been planning to carry out on its soil.

"Their (al Qaeda's) plans for a wide range of terrorist acts inside Iran were neutralized by our intelligence organizations," IRNA quoted Rohani as saying, though he gave no details.

Although a staunch political enemy of Washington, Iran condemned the September 11 attacks on the United States which were blamed on al Qaeda and was fiercely opposed to the rule of al Qaeda's former sponsors, the Taliban, in neighboring Afghanistan.

Tehran has said previously that it has arrested a number of al Qaeda members, including some senior figures in Osama bin Laden's organization. But it has declined to name them and has refused to hand them over to U.S. officials for questioning.

The Islamic Republic has also acknowledged that its extensive eastern border with Afghanistan is hard to police and some fleeing al Qaeda members may have been able to slip into the country undetected.

Intelligence sources and media reports suggest Iran may be holding Saad bin Laden, a son of the al Qaeda leader, al Qaeda's security chief Egyptian Saif al Adel and its Kuwaiti-born spokesman Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, among others.

Washington has in the past accused Iran of sheltering al Qaeda and said members of bin Laden's network in Iran may have planned the May 12 bombings in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, which killed 35 people.

Fifteen of the 19 men who carried out the September 11 suicide hijackings in the United States were Saudi citizens, and Riyadh, under pressure from Washington, has launched a crackdown that has involved bloody clashes between security forces and militants.

Iran says that in the past year it has arrested and deported around 500 al Qaeda suspects who fled across its borders from Afghanistan and Pakistan.

http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=worldNews&storyID=3326459
27 posted on 08/23/2003 7:25:46 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran Rejects An Equal Production Quota With Iraq

August 23, 2003
Dow Jones Newswires
Nasdaq Headlines

TEHRAN -- Iran's governor for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, Hussein Kazempour-Ardebili, said Iran will never accept an OPEC production quota on par with neighboring Iraq based on that country's alleged 112 billion barrels of oil reserves, Iran's Labor News Agency (ILNA) reported Saturday.

"For instance, if Iraq should claim that because of its 112 billion barrels of oil reserves, it must have a production equal to that of Iran, it will certainly not be accepted by us," he said.

Kazempour said estimates of Iran's oil reserves stood at 99 billion barrels in 2001, but since then it has been revised to 130.7 billion barrels based on the outcome of exploratory activities and hikes in the oil recovery index.

He said Iran's claim of cumulative reserves of 130.7 billion barrels has been "confirmed" by all international oil companies involved in oil exploration and development activities in Iran.

He also explained that quotas for the OPEC member states have nothing to do with estimates of their reserves.

"Saudi Arabia is producing 8 million barrels of oil a day in view of its 265 million barrels of reserves, though OPEC quotas have nothing to do with the members' reserves."

Kazempour said production levels by various OPEC member countries are based on mutual agreement.

In view of the anticipated drop in the global demand for crude oil, the international oil market will experience price fluctuations next year if Iraq should decide to raise its oil production to 2.5 million barrels a day by then, Kazempour said.

He said if Iraq asks OPEC for a quota of 2.5 million barrels a day, production by other members will most likely rise by some 1.2 million b/d as well to establish an equilibrium. "Therefore, we will be witnessing pressure on prices," Kazempour added.

He said that based on forecasts by industry observers, Iraq's production will amount to 1.7 million b/d by the end of this year and around 2.5 million b/d next year. "The degree of pressure on prices will depend on the level of production then."

OPEC will have to provide for production of 1.7 million b/d for Iraq to let it join the organization after a hiatus of a number of years from the organization's quota system, the Iranian governor said.

Kazempour said Iran's production capacity now stands at 4.2 million b/d with an OPEC assigned production of 3.3 million b/d.

-Hashem Kalantari, Dow Jones Newswires; +9821 896 6230

http://iranvajahan.net/cgi-bin/news.pl?l=en&y=2003&m=08&d=23&a=8
29 posted on 08/23/2003 7:28:28 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Mystery Surrounds Iran's al-Qaeda Captives

August 23, 2003
The Financial Times
Roula Khalaf

Iranian officials describe them as "big fish". Western governments think they are of "high intelligence value". But the case of the senior al-Qaeda members detained in Iran - even how many they number - has been shrouded in mystery.

The US has been pressing for access to the captured operatives. But Tehran has been in no rush to deliver or to reveal details about the detainees.

The controversy erupted in May after suicide bombings of westerners' residential compounds in Riyadh, the Saudi capital. A telephone conversation between Iran and Saudi Arabia, intercepted by western intelligence, suggested that Seif al-Adel, said to be al-Qaeda's chief military planner, was in Iran.

Tehran eventually responded to renewed US pressure by saying that it had arrested 500 suspected al-Qaeda members by March and sent most of them back to their respective countries, as it had done in the past.

Since then, however, western speculation has intensified over the continued detention of top figures from the terrorist organisation. Names that have been mentioned in the region include: one of Osama bin Laden's sons; Egyptian-born Ayman Zawahiri, the second in command; Suleiman Abu Gaith, the Kuwait-born al-Qaeda spokesman; and Abu Musab Zarqawi, a key Jordanian member.

Iranian sources say Saad bin Laden, who is in his early 20s, has been sent to Pakistan and that Mr Zawahiri is too big a fish to keep in Iran. But they hint that those Iran is holding could know the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden himself.

Officials in Tehran say that while US access to the detainees has been ruled out, discussions are under way to send them to their countries of origin. But they also acknowledge resistance from powerful forces in the regime. "Internal decision-making is very difficult on this issue," says one.

Western diplomats in Tehran also say technical hurdles could explain Iranian delays in a few cases. Mr Abu Gaith, for example, has been stripped of his Kuwaiti nationality. But diplomats and analysts think the al-Qaeda file in Iran is closely guarded by hardliners who consider the captured operatives an important bargaining chip - particularly at a time when Iran faces enormous US pressure on several fronts, including its nuclear programme.

Following the ousting of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, the US accused Iran of harbouring al-Qaeda terrorists. But Tehran has repeatedly complained that its subsequent co-operation in the war on terror had not been appreciated.

The reformist government of President Mohamed Khatami has signalled that it wants to put the al-Qaeda issue behind it. Last week Mr Khatami pledged that Saudi detainees would be sent back to Riyadh.

It remains unclear, however, whether any of the top captured al-Qaeda members are Saudi. Nor is it clear whether Mr Khatami will overcome resistance from the powerful hardliners. "There are people who say that because [the detainees] are Islamist we should at least not hurt them," says an official.

Fundamentalist Shia Iran and the Sunni radicals of the Taliban who harboured al-Qaeda had long been bitter enemies. Tehran celebrated the ousting of the militias from Afghanistan.

But some of the Islamist groups that joined al-Qaeda in the 1990s had past relations with Iran, which had been a magnet and source of support for Islamist opposition in the Middle East.

A key Iranian concern, say diplomats, is that US access to detainees if ever delivered to Arab countries may reveal how the al-Qaeda operatives entered Iran and who might have facilitated their arrival.

"A most sensitive issue for Iran is what happens when it hands them over," says a western diplomat.

Some analysts say the controversy has been further complicated by reports of recent al-Qaeda threats against Iran. "In the past we tried to hand people over to respective countries and it is still our policy, but al-Qaeda threats should be taken into account," says one insider.

"Iran will keep them as a lever. It is waiting to see positive steps from the US."

This week Tehran welcomed a US decision to close the Washington offices of the political wing of Mujahedeen Khalq, the Iranian opposition group listed by Washington as a terrorist organisation.

Iran is said to want more action on the Iranian dissidents in neighbouring Iraq and is hoping for a more general easing of US pressure on the regime.

But diplomats warn that Iran is playing a dangerous game. The longer it takes Tehran to deliver the suspects anywhere outside Iran, the more it will antagonise the Bush administration, now battling a rising tide of violence in Iraq. The value of the intelligence the operatives might reveal, meanwhile, diminishes with time.

Most perilous for Iran is that it could pay a heavy price if any of the detainees are suspected of having helped plan new terrorist attacks. "There seems to be this idea of having an ace to use vis-à-vis the US. But it's a bizarre logic. It leads to more US pressure," says a diplomat.

http://news.ft.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=FT.com/StoryFT/FullStory&c=StoryFT&cid=1059479260149&p=1012571727172
30 posted on 08/23/2003 7:31:32 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran Cuts Culture, Economic Ties with Argentina

Reuters - World News
Aug 23, 2003

TEHRAN - Iran is cutting its cultural and economic ties with Argentina because of the arrest in Britain of a former Iranian ambassador to Argentina in connection with a 1994 bombing in Buenos Aires, state television said on Saturday.

Ex-envoy Hadi Soleimanpour, 47, was arrested in Britain on Thursday after Argentina requested his extradition in connection with the AMIA Jewish Community Center blast that killed 85 people in Buenos Aires.

"Iran's foreign ministry official in charge of the Americas desk announced Iran's strong objection to the Argentinian judiciary's measure and informed him (the Argentinian charge d'affaires) of Iran's decision on halting cultural and economic cooperation with Argentina," state television quoted Foreign Ministry official Mehdi Mohtashami as saying.

Officials at the Argentinian mission in Tehran were not immediately available for comment. One Western diplomat said Argentina had a charge d'affaires in Tehran. Iranian Foreign Ministry officials were also not available.

Iran is a major wheat importer and Argentina has traditionally been among the country's suppliers. It was not immediately clear whether that trade would be affected by Iran's latest initiative. Tehran denies any involvement in the bombing and previously withdrew its ambassador from Argentina to protest against the claim of Iranian involvement, though it retains a mission in Buenos Aires.

One diplomat in Tehran said the Iranian move suggested the government wanted to express anger at the ex-diplomat's arrest, but was stopping short of a major new diplomatic initiative against Argentina.

Britain's charge d'affaires in Tehran, Matthew Gould, told Reuters he had told Iranian Foreign Ministry officials Soleimanpour's arrest was not politically motivated, and the court's decision was independent of the British government.

"The British government cannot interfere at this stage of the extradition process," he said, adding that he had been summoned to the Iranian Foreign Ministry and asked for the immediate release of the ex-diplomat. Soleimanpour entered Britain on a student visa in February last year to study at Durham University.

http://www.daneshjoo.org/generalnews/article/publish/article_1901.shtml
32 posted on 08/23/2003 7:33:29 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Iranians 'secretly deported'

News - News Section
Aug 23, 2003

Three Iranian men were removed from a South Australian detention centre this morning to be forcibly deported from the country, the National Anti-Deportation Alliance (NADA) said today.

NADA spokeswoman Liz Thompson said the three men, all aged about 40, were taken from the Baxter Detention Centre, which is closed to visitors today, between 7.45 and 8am (CST).

"We have received information that three men have been taken from the compound and they are on the road at the moment, either to Adelaide or to the Woomera airstrip," she said from Port Augusta.

"Their things have been taken, so they're definitely leaving, they're not just paying a visit somewhere, their gear was collected this morning and they were removed from the compound."

Ms Thompson said it was likely more failed Iranian asylum seekers would also be removed today.

http://www.daneshjoo.org/generalnews/article/publish/article_1902.shtml
33 posted on 08/23/2003 7:34:39 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Why the mullahs need a war with America

Aug. 22, 2003
Jerusalem Post

Conventional European wisdom holds that Washington's nonconservatives are itching for war against Iran, but little attention is paid to Teheran's hawks, who wish to provoke conflict as an excuse for suppressing democracy at home.

Although some mullahs, including President Muhammad Khatami, argue that a clash with the US should be avoided, others, notably Supreme Guide Ali Khamenei, are actively preparing for it. Last April Khamenei convened a meeting of senior military commanders, the largest in almost 10 years, ostensibly to review the consequences of the war in Iraq.

According to Teheran sources, Khamenei ordered commanders to prepare "a strategic plan" to face military action by the US. Ahmad Vahidi, a two-star general and adviser to the supreme guide was put in charge of preparing the plan.

Last week, what is described as the first draft of the plan was presented to Khamenei. Elements of it have been revealed in public statements by Maj.-Gen. Rahim Safavi, commander-in-chief of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, and Vice-Admiral Ali Shamkhani, the defense minister.

"We expect aggression [from the US]" Safavi told a rally of volunteers about to join the guard in Sabalan, western Iran, on August 11. "Our strategy is to prepare for an unequal battle." Safavi claimed that the "unequal battle" nabard namotoqaren worked both ways. As far as modern weapons and military technology were concerned, that inequality favored the US. But when it came to manpower and "readiness to sustain large numbers of casualties," Iran had the advantage.

The Iranian commander also revealed that "the strategic plan" was based on the assumption that the US and its allies would attack from four directions: Iraq in the west, Azerbaijan in the north, Afghanistan in the east and the Persian Gulf in the south.

At the same time the US may try to air-drop troops close to big cities such as Shiraz and Isfahan in the hope that the local population will rise against the mullahs. Safavi said that Iran's traditional war plans had been based on the assumption of attacks by "enemy forces" from the border areas, especially in the west and north. "Now we must be prepared for attacks coming from all directions," he said. "We must treat our entire nation as frontier land."

The general spelled out what he called "the doctrine of defense in depth" difaa omghi. This consists of creating thousands of small units capable of engaging the American "invaders" in countless localities, thus depriving the US of a chance to deliver a knockout blow.

According to Safavi, the new strategy provides for a dispersion of arms and materiel as a means of limiting losses likely to be caused by heavy American bombing raids. Mountain hideouts have been designated as secret arms depots.

ARE IRAN'S armed forces large enough to cover a territory three times bigger than Iraq? The Revolutionary Guard consists of two corps and four independent units, totalling 300,000 men. The regular army, used mostly as a technical backup, has 180,000 men and the lightly armed gendarmerie 120,000.

There are also a number of paramilitary organizations, of which the largest, Baseej Mustazafin Mobilization of the Dispossessed has 200,000 fighters, at least on paper. Safavi claims that the Baseej has a reserve force of over eight million. Next fiscal year, the Iranian budget will allocate an additional $1.2 billion to retraining and arming a million Baseej reservists.

Some experts, however, believe that most of the forces Safavi counts on exist only on paper. "A good part of those numbers represent the civilian personnel and the bureaucracy that runs numerous enterprises on behalf of the Revolutionary Guard," says Hamid Zomorrodi, a former army captain. "In any case Iran has few units that are trained and equipped for guerrilla warfare of the kind Safavi envisages."

Defense Minister Shamkhani, for his part, has shed more light on the current thinking in military circles. In recent interviews and speeches, he has expressed confidence that if attacked by the US, Iran would be able to resist beyond "the American capacity for endurance." That capacity is believed to be limited to a maximum of 20 weeks of fighting and 5,000 American killed.

Shamkhani believes that had the Iraqis continued to fight the US to the limits of that capacity American public opinion would have forced the Bush administration to seek a cease-fire with Saddam Hussein.

"The key question is never to admit defeat," Shamkhani said in a recent speech. "No war is won until one side admits to being the loser."

The strategy is, in part, based on Iran's experience during the 1980-88 war against Iraq. At that time Iran used its geographical and demographic superiority to wear out the outnumbered Iraqis, who also lacked territorial depth.

Iran suffered almost two million casualties, including 750,000 deaths, but managed to halt the initial Iraqi advance and then take the war into Iraqi territory.

The new strategy reflects the influence of North Korean military doctrines on Iranian commanders. Safavi, Shamkhani and almost all other senior Iranian military leaders have received part of their training in North Korea, which has been Iran's principal military ally since the mid-1980s.

FORMER FOREIGN minister Ali-Akbar Velayati, a close adviser to Khamenei, says that Iran should welcome a direct clash with the US because it would create "an earthquake" in the Middle East and, possibly, throughout the Muslim world.

In the 1980-88 war Iran also tried to spread the war to the whole region. It launched air raids on Saudi Arabia and briefly stopped the flow of Kuwaiti oil by firing at Kuwaiti tankers. This time Iranian commanders believe they have a better chance of applying the strategy of kondeh-suz bonfire and widening the war to the whole of the Middle East.

In a recent paper, partly leaked in Teheran, Velayati said that, if attacked, Iran would open "a second, a third, a fourth and a fifth front."

The Iranian-controlled branch of the Hizbullah in Lebanon would immediately open a new front against Israel, using thousands of medium-range Fajr IV missiles it has received from Teheran. Various Palestinian militant groups now heavily dependent on Iranian finance, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad, would move onto the offensive against Israel.

The Islamic Republic also has allies in Afghanistan and Iraq that could raise a few fires against the US and its allies there. The Arab oilfields of the Persian Gulf, and similar installations in the Caspian Sea, could be targeted by Iran's massive arsenal of missiles, one of the largest in Asia.

THE WHOLE strategy is based on the assumption that once Iran has developed its own nuclear deterrent it would be immune to any US attack. This is why Iran's quest for nuclear weapons has been put in high gear, emerging as one of the few issues on which all factions are in agreement.

"The next 18 months to two years will be the most dangerous in the history of our revolution," former president Hashemi Rafsanjani said in a recent sermon in Teheran. "Once we have passed through that danger zone we shall be in a position that will discourage attacks [by the US]."

Some commentators take those remarks to mean Iran is confident of having a nuclear deterrent before 2005.

Khamenei, Vahidi, Safavi, Shamkhani, and Velayati are only a few of the "bitter-enders" who think they can take on the US and defeat it.

In 1980 the Khomeinist regime was saved from a popular revolt because of Saddam Hussein's invasion of Iran. Khomeini's successors hope story will repeat itself with a US attack producing a patriotic reflex that would stifle democratic aspirations.

Anyone familiar with Iran's realities, however, knows that what was true in 1980 will not necessarily be true today. A military conflict with the US could, in fact, accelerate the downfall of what is now an unpopular, deeply divided and corrupt regime.

Paradoxically, a diplomatic settlement with the US may prolong the life of the regime. Libya's Colonel Mu'ammar Gaddafi seems to have understood what the Khomeinists refuse to acknowledge.

The writer, an Iranian author and journalist, is editor of the Paris-based Politique Internationale.

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/A/JPArticle/ShowFull&cid=1061438429434
34 posted on 08/23/2003 7:50:39 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
This thread is now closed.

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43 posted on 08/24/2003 1:14:29 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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