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Iranian Alert -- August 24, 2003 -- LIVE THREAD PING LIST
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 8.24.2003 | DoctorZin

Posted on 08/24/2003 12:49:56 AM PDT by DoctorZIn

The regime is working hard to keep the news about the protest movment in Iran from being reported.

From jamming satellite broadcasts, to prohibiting news reporters from covering any demonstrations to shutting down all cell phones and even hiring foreign security to control the population, the regime is doing everything in its power to keep the popular movement from expressing its demand for an end of the regime.

These efforts by the regime, while successful in the short term, do not resolve the fundamental reasons why this regime is crumbling from within.

Iran is a country ready for a regime change. If you follow this thread you will witness, I believe, the transformation of a nation. 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 join us here, 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: academialist; iran; iranianalert; osamabinladen; protests; southasialist; studentmovement; studentprotest; talibanlist
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Discover all the news since the protests began on June 10th, go to:

1 posted on 08/24/2003 12:49:58 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Argentina plays down Iran's decision to suspend ties

BUENOS AIRES, Aug 23 (AFP)--The Argentine government on Saturday played down news of Tehran's decision to suspend diplomatic cooperation following Britain's arrest of a former Iranian ambassador to Buenos Aires.
3 posted on 08/24/2003 1:07:47 AM PDT by F14 Pilot
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Join Us At Today's Iranian Alert Thread

Live Thread Ping List | DoctorZin

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

4 posted on 08/24/2003 1:15:15 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: All
Leader meets intelligence staff

Tehran, Aug 22 - Supreme 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 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 Supreme 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 blesse d by God".

Information Minister Ali Younesi presented a report on the ministry's operations before the Supreme 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 ti dings that the Islamic Iran is stronger than any other time and prepared for a bright future."

5 posted on 08/24/2003 1:15:23 AM PDT by F14 Pilot
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To: F14 Pilot
I know that this is not on topic, but I am in Sydney at the moment. We are in the midst of an absolute raging gale. A storm is laying waste to the whole coast. My house is shaking.
6 posted on 08/24/2003 1:21:42 AM PDT by BlackVeil
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To: All
MP: Washington should pay remaining part of compensaton to Iranian victims' families

Member of Parliamentary Commission on National Security and Foreign Affairs Mrs Elaheh Koulaei said on Saturday that Washington should pay the remaining portion of compensation for Iranian passengers who were killed when an Iranian commercial aircraft was shot down by US warship Vincennes in 1988, IRNA reported from Tehran.

She said that families of American victims will receive 10 million dollars for every victim from Libya whereas US paid lower compensation for Iranian victims.

Under the deal, Libya will pay up to 10 million dollars per victim in three stages -- four million dollars would be paid for every victim once the UN sanctions are ended. This would be followed by four million dollars more if Washington lifts its sanctions and two million dollars when Libya is dropped from the US list of terrorist state.

If Washington doesn`t take these steps within eight months of Libya placing $2.7 billion into the escrow account, the Lockerbie victims families would receive only 1 million dollars more, bringing the total compensation to dlrs five million per victim.
7 posted on 08/24/2003 1:29:45 AM PDT by F14 Pilot
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To: McGavin999; Eala; piasa; Valin; nuconvert; Texas_Dawg; kattracks; RaceBannon; seamole; AdmSmith; ...
Iranian cleric wants Islam promoted as a peaceful religion

Knight Ridder Newspapers

WASHINGTON - An Iranian cleric is in Washington with the blessing of his government to drum up support for an unprecedented international Islamic conference to promote Islam as a religion of peace, and not one that encourages Muslims to kill people of other faiths.

Ayatollah Seyed Mostafa Mohaghegh Damad is among a growing number of moderate Islamic scholars who are concerned about the popularity of extremists such as Osama bin Laden, especially among disillusioned youths in the Islamic world. These extremists use some Islamic texts to recruit young men and women into terrorism.

Muslim extremists often point to Surah 2, verses 190-191, in the Quran, Islam's holy book, to justify their call for attacks on the United States and other Western targets: "And slay them where ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution is worse than slaughter."

Damad and other Islamic scholars contend that militants are misinterpreting such verses and distorting Islam.

Islam has no one central authority on its teachings, and Muslim scholars often differ on their interpretations of holy texts. Islam also unites more than 1 billion people of varied races, cultures and languages. Such differences will make it difficult for Muslims to agree on the religion's teachings, even if they accept Damad's call for an international conference.

"The first major problem concerns the relation of Muslims vis-a-vis followers of other religions," Damad said recently at a gathering of Islamic scholars at the United Association of Studies and Research, an Islamic center in Springfield, Va. There are "many ordinary Muslims and even scholars who believe there can be no permanent peace between Islam and kofr (unbelievers), and the two should be in perpetual war until the final victory of Islam."

But there is another interpretation of Islam, he said, that sees it as a "religion of peace and tolerance that can coexist with other faiths. … These two conceptions … are in hot competition for the minds and hearts of men in my own country, Iran."

Damad, the head of the Islamic studies department at the Academy of Scientists in Iran, is calling for Muslim scholars to unite to agree on a moderate, tolerant interpretation of Islamic texts, especially those that militants use to justify jihad - holy war - against the West.

A spokesman for the Iranian interest section in Washington said Damad's call for a more moderate interpretation of Islam had the full blessing of the Iranian government, including President Mohamed Khatami and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Damad supports Khatami's efforts to promote dialogue with the West. Iran and the United States haven't had diplomatic ties since 1979.

Damad, a Shiite Muslim, needs the backing of mainstream Sunni Muslim scholars, such as those associated with the United Association of Studies and Research in Virginia, to promote his call for Muslims to re-examine Islam's teachings for the modern world. Damad recently started to travel, beginning in the United States, to solicit support for a conference.

Militants are gaining ground throughout the Islamic world, since so many people are angry at U.S. support for Israel as well as the American-led occupation of Iraq, Damad said. While militants encourage Muslims to act on their own to fight nonbelievers whenever and wherever they can, most mainstream Muslim scholars don't support such teachings, Damad said.

Like Damad, many moderate Muslims are alarmed at the increasing anti-American hostility in the Islamic world. This hostility is even growing among Muslims who have supported the West in such countries as Qatar and Kuwait, warned a prominent Kuwaiti official who asked not to be identified. The only way this battle can be fought is with the help of moderate Muslim scholars, he said, who have the authority and the prestige to challenge the militants.

8 posted on 08/24/2003 1:37:20 AM PDT by F14 Pilot
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To: seamole; BlackVeil; AdmSmith; nuconvert; DoctorZIn
"Japan should go ahead with Iran oil deal "

TOKYO, Aug 24 (AFP)--Japan should go ahead with a multi-billion dollar deal to develop a massive oil field in Iran even though the United States opposes it due to Tehran's suspect nuclear programme, the defence minister said Sunday.
10 posted on 08/24/2003 2:08:34 AM PDT by F14 Pilot
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To: F14 Pilot
Lari stresses confidence-building in Islamic system

Yasouj, Aug 24, IRNA -- Iran`s Interior
Minister Abdolvahed Mousavi Lari said any move that would tarnish
public trust in the Islamic system should be avoided.
Making the remark in a ceremony held here Saturday to introduce
the new governor general of this southwestern province, he said the
only way to confront all threats posed by enemies against Iran was to
safeguard and value the solid ties between the public and the Islamic
Pointing to the fact that the enemies, unlike the past, were now
very close to Iranian borders, he noted that those who are living
examples of evil themselves were now introducing Iran as an axis of evil.
11 posted on 08/24/2003 2:12:25 AM PDT by F14 Pilot
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To: seamole
I am right on the coast, I don't know the altitude. It is getting a bit calmer now, but all day it has been a most raging gale.

1 person was killed, and on the national news they interviewed a witness (this gets us back on topic!) who is from Sydney's Iranian community. He witnessed this awful accident where a flying tree hit a car and killed the passenger. That is a whole tree whizzing through the air.
14 posted on 08/24/2003 2:29:05 AM PDT by BlackVeil
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To: F14 Pilot
Damad, the head of the Islamic studies department at the Academy of Scientists in Iran, is calling for Muslim scholars to unite to agree on a moderate, tolerant interpretation of Islamic texts ...

He is unlikely to have much influence outside Iran, because of the Sunni/Shia thing, he would be seen as a meddling Shia.

15 posted on 08/24/2003 2:31:36 AM PDT by BlackVeil
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To: BlackVeil; seamole; nuconvert; McGavin999; AdmSmith; RaceBannon; Valin; Eala; onyx; Ronin; ...
-- I Would like to draw your attention to this article and compare it with the last one --
Meet the people shaping the future of science

Come the revolution

Only in a few countries could a philosopher of science be seen as an enemy of the state. Abdolkarim Soroush, one of Iran's best-known intellectuals, argues that science cannot progress under totalitarian regimes. His greatest "crime" is to suggest that this is a legitimate Islamic view. After six years in exile, Soroush bravely returned to Iran last week. Ehsan Masood spoke to him on the eve of his departure

Why are you going back to Iran?

I have been away for six years. I need to go back to sort out various things and visit my students, family and friends. Some of my closest friends have been arrested. Before I left I set up an independent institute for epistemological research, which I have discovered was closed down last month. The building has been sealed off. I need to find out what happened.

How risky will this visit be in terms of your personal safety?

It is difficult to say. My friends tell me I am taking a risk. But I need to go.

President Mohammad Khatami is also a personal friend of yours. Will you meet him?

I avoid him and he avoids me. That is better for both of us.

Many of your students are taking to the streets in Iran calling for more freedoms. Do you think they will succeed?

These protests are coming entirely from within. They are not because of foreign provocation. Iran has had an explosion in its university population since the revolution, when there were just 200,000 students. Today there are 2 million. They and their families want greater freedoms and I believe the end result will be a reduction in the power of Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, more power to parliament, and greater academic freedom.

How has your experience in Iran influenced your views about science?

My experience in Iran teaches me that a minimum amount of freedom is necessary for the advancement of science, for the advancement of thought. Research cannot flourish if you cannot communicate with your fellow scientists; if you cannot explain your ideas freely, or have to hide part of them lest you be arrested.
I am communicating with you now. We can freely chat and freely exchange information. Science is a child of these kinds of conditions. If I hide something from you and you hide things from me, and both of us are obliged to read between the lines, these are not ideal conditions for research to progress.

Yet science has done well under totalitarian regimes in China and the former Soviet Union, and even under some fairly unpleasant governments during Islam's "golden age of science" between the 9th and 13th centuries...

Let me make a distinction between empirical research and thinking per se. Thinking needs a free environment. Empirical research, where you have a well-defined project with official approval, can indeed flourish even under a totalitarian regime, because scientists can still meet other scientists, read the literature and publish. But it is impossible to advance new theories - particularly in the social sciences - when you are under the influence of a particular view, or under the pressure of a particular dogma.

And I disagree with you about Islam's golden age. Totalitarianism is absolutely a modern phenomenon. In the past, kings were despots but they were not totalitarian. They weren't able to put their hands on science and philosophy. There was no widespread plan to limit scientists, philosophers and other academics. If there were restrictions, they came from religion or fellow philosophers rather than the political system.

You started your professional life as a chemist. Why did you switch to history and philosophy of science?

While still in Iran, I became fascinated with a whole series of problems to do with the nature of science. This happened when I took private tuition in the philosophy of Islamic metaphysics and my teacher and I would often discuss issues such as the nature of theories, the nature of observation and experimental evidence. Neither of us was ever satisfied that we had properly understood these issues, but then neither of us knew that there existed a branch of knowledge called philosophy of science. In fact, philosophy of modern science was unknown in Iran at the time. I didn't find out about it until I came to the UK in 1973.

Are you saying there was no teaching or research in philosophy of modern science in Iran before the Islamic revolution of 1979?

Yes. I was the first person to introduce this subject in Iranian universities. I arranged for academics to be trained and books to be translated and written. Prior to the revolution, philosophy courses at Tehran University concentrated on figures such as Kant, Hume and Heidegger. There was no teaching of the works of modern analytical philosophers such as Karl Popper and Bertrand Russell. This may have been because our heads of department were mostly educated in Germany and France - French is Iran's second language - and were generally weak in English.

You were a supporter of the 1979 revolution...

Yes. Everybody was a supporter. We thought that there was no other way to get rid of the regime of the shah.

Scientific revolutions and political revolutions are similar in many ways. You cannot plan them, they just happen, and you become wiser after the event. After the revolution there was no one dominant view. There were secular people, moderate Muslims, radical Muslims and so on. Revolutions tend to result in totalitarianism. People like me were in it to make it more moderate.

After the shah was overthrown, you returned to Iran. How did you attract the attention of Ayatollah Khomeini?

I met Ayatollah Khomeini when he was in exile in Paris during the 1970s. I later discovered from some of his intimate friends that he had read and liked one of my books on the philosophy of Islamic metaphysics. Khomeini himself had taught metaphysics. I was also known for another book I had written criticising Marxism - considered a serious threat in Iran at the time - and for another on ethics and science. You could say I was a public figure in Iran.

After the revolution, Ayatollah Khomeini set up what he called the Advisory Council for the Cultural Revolution to revise the curricula in the universities. I was invited to become one of the council's seven members and I served on it for four years. It was here that I was given the opportunity to introduce philosophy of modern science in universities.

How did the students take to it?

The students became very excited. I myself taught the subject for more than 10 years and set up a research faculty at Tehran University. Today, I am happy to say that history and philosophy of science is flourishing in Iran. There are many professors and books are constantly being published.

How did you fall out with the authorities?

Around 1990, I published a series of seven articles in a popular cultural magazine called Kyan. The magazine is part of the country's biggest-selling newspaper group. The articles went under the title "The expansion and contraction of religious knowledge". In these articles, I defined a branch of knowledge called religious knowledge and tried to explain it using the principles of philosophy of natural and social sciences. These articles rapidly became quite controversial. The ayatollahs [Shiite Muslim religious leaders], in particular, became very sensitive. Some 10 books have since been written in response to my series.

What did you write that got the ayatollahs so inflamed?

They didn't like the idea that interpretations of religious knowledge can change over time, or that religious knowledge can be understood in its historical context. They thought I was taking away the sacredness of religion and making it dependent on human understanding.
But as the controversy grew, I was happy to see these ideas debated in the public media. The original articles were later published in a 700-page book, and I found that I was beginning to attract quite a following. My classrooms became overcrowded and my books were selling very, very well. Books on philosophy usually sell between 2000 and 3000 copies. Some of my books sold more than 50,000. This made the politicians and clergy very sensitive as I was seen to be undermining their exclusive position. I started coming under restrictions.

What kinds of restrictions?

Vigilante groups would stop me from speaking in public. I was often attacked and beaten. I found that I no longer had a job. No one would employ me. No one would publish my work. Invitations to speak stopped coming. The magazine where my original series of articles appeared was closed down. I was summoned to the Ministry of Intelligence and told very explicitly that the authorities did not like me any more and did not want me to feel secure in the country.

To what degree do you think research in Muslim countries should be regulated?

When I was on the Advisory Council for the Cultural Revolution, the clerics thought there was an excessive leftist influence on the social sciences and wanted us to purge them of this. I always argued that this would not work because scientists never accept commands from anybody.

But in a country like Iran, surely religion will always guide what research you can do?

There are always barriers to science. Some come from the nature of the research itself, and these have to be recognised and acknowledged. Others come from outside, and these need to be minimised or eliminated. If you are asked to confirm predetermined conclusions to further a social, political or religious cause, that has to be resisted. If you believe through your religion that you know the answer to a particular issue, then embarking on research to find the answer seems to be a contradiction.

You are sometimes described as Islam's Martin Luther, the 16th-century Christian reformer. Are you?

I do not think I am. My main job is to offer an alternative to the totalitarian view of Islam.

*Comment: Sorush, A former pro-revolution university professor in Iran who is a strong protestor these days.
He was in the United States to teach philosophy as well.
16 posted on 08/24/2003 3:25:48 AM PDT by F14 Pilot
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To: nuconvert; DoctorZIn; RaceBannon; AdmSmith; onyx; McGavin999; BlackVeil; seamole; Pro-Bush; ...
Iran's Khatami Demands British Apology in Arrest of ex-Diplomat

VOA News
24 Aug 2003, 13:06 UTC

Iranian President Mohammad Khatami is demanding Britain apologize for the arrest of a former Iranian diplomat for alleged terrorist activity.

Iranian state media quote Mr. Khatami as saying Iran will have a "strong reaction" to the arrest of Hadi Soleimanpour, the former Iranian ambassador to Argentina.

On Thursday, British police, acting on an international warrant, arrested Mr. Soleimanpour in Durham, northern England.

In his remarks Sunday, Mr. Khatami said he hopes Britain will quickly correct the situation.

The Iranian president called the arrest "politically motivated," and said there are forces trying to pressure Iran's Islamic Republic through unfounded allegations.

However, the British charge d'affaires in Iran, Matthew Gould, said he told Iranian officials Saturday the police decision to arrest Mr. Soleimanpour was independent of the British government.

The arrest warrant, which was issued by Argentina, charges Mr. Soleimanpour with involvement in the July 1994 bombing of a Buenos Aires Jewish community center. The attack killed 85 people. Mr. Soleimanpour was ambassador to Argentina at the time.

Iran has denied any involvement in the community center bombing. Tehran has cut economic and cultural ties with Buenos Aires over the issue.
17 posted on 08/24/2003 6:39:59 AM PDT by F14 Pilot
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To: nuconvert; DoctorZIn; seamole; onyx; AdmSmith; RaceBannon; Valin; Eala; McGavin999; Pro-Bush; ...
Iran escalates envoy arrest row

Last Updated: Sunday, 24 August, 2003, 11:08 GMT 12:08 UK

Iran has demanded an apology from the UK Government over the arrest of its former ambassador to Buenos Aires on terrorism charges.
18 posted on 08/24/2003 6:43:43 AM PDT by F14 Pilot
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To: All
Related news stroy about the Terrorist and foreign fighters in Iraq.
19 posted on 08/24/2003 7:04:43 AM PDT by F14 Pilot
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To: F14 Pilot
She said that families of American victims will receive 10 million dollars for every victim from Libya whereas US paid lower compensation for Iranian victims.

20 posted on 08/24/2003 7:10:44 AM PDT by Valin (America is a vast conspiracy to make you happy.)
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