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Iranian Alert -- September 29, 2003 -- IRAN LIVE THREAD PING LIST
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 9.29.2003 | DoctorZin

Posted on 09/29/2003 12:02:20 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: iran; iranianalert; protests; studentmovement; studentprotest
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Discover all the news since the protests began on June 10th, go to:

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1 posted on 09/29/2003 12:02:21 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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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

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2 posted on 09/29/2003 12:06:50 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn


There is good news, and bad news, and a country given a chance

by Amir Taheri
National Review
October 13, 2003

There is good news, and bad news, and a country given a chance


As millions of Iraqi children start a new school year, they face two uncertainties. The first: Will enough of their teachers show up in the classrooms? The Ministry of Education has appealed to all teachers to be present at their posts — but many, associated with the Ba'ath, the former ruling party, have gone into hiding for fear of being taken to task by people who suffered under the fallen regime. The second: What kind of textbooks will be used? Under Saddam Hussein the principal goal of all education was to worship the despot. A phrase that adorned most textbooks simply stated: Learn the instructions of the Leader and all science shall be yours!

Nevertheless, there is also one certainty: The thick fog of fear that hung over all schools, indeed all Iraq, under Saddam has been lifted. This year there will be no mysterious disappearances from the classroom. No teachers and pupils will be found dead in the school doorways. There will be no suspicious characters dropping in during lectures to sit in the back row as the eyes and the ears of the Mukhaberat (secret police). Teenage schoolgirls will not be abducted and taken to one of the many harems maintained by Uday, Saddam's sadistic elder son, and other apparatchiki of the regime.

Anyone who knew Iraq before liberation and who visits the country now is immediately struck by the impact that the feeling of freedom has had on almost everyone. A society where people hardly spoke to one another, let alone to strangers, is bustling with talk, debates, disputes, and demonstrations for every cause under the sun. Thousands of banned books are on sale in the streets, and over 200 new newspapers and magazines have started publication. People are no longer afraid to turn on their radios and TVs as loud as they wish; there is no Mukhaberat to eavesdrop on what they are hearing or watching.

And yet, Iraq still faces a number of major challenges. The liberation phase was completed with remarkable ease and minimal human and material loss, largely because few Iraqis wanted to fight for their oppressor. The regular army almost never entered the war. The various parallel armies set up by Saddam Hussein also proved unreliable. "We had enough men and arms to put up a decent fight," says Gen. Toumah Abbas, a former chief of staff of the Iraqi army. "But no one wanted to fight; there was nothing worth fighting for." Iraq is now passing through the phase of pacification. That phase, too, is nearing completion in many parts of the country. In some areas, pacification efforts are threatened by criminal elements linked to the fallen regime. In a dozen or so towns, well-organized bands of thieves, smugglers, black-marketeers, and racketeers are taking advantage of the lack of adequate police coverage to rob and loot not only public buildings but also private homes and shops. Since the mid 1990s, bandits, backed by local tribes, have been active in some segments of the western Iraqi desert. The dissolution of the army, and the disappearance of all police presence, means that these bandits are now able to operate with almost total impunity.

Another threat to pacification comes from diverse elements opposed to liberation. Some remnants of the Ba'ath have regrouped and are engaged in a campaign of murder and sabotage in parts of the Sunni Triangle to the north of Baghdad. But there are also disgruntled elements in some former garrison towns such as Fallujah, Ba'qubah, and Ramadi that had benefited from the largesse of the Ba'athist regime. To these must be added some elements of the 20 or so Arab and Islamist terrorist organizations that had been sheltered by Saddam Hussein since the mid 1970s. The capture of some of their leaders by the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq has not deterred these groups; it has persuaded them, rather, that their best chance is to help the remnants of the Ba'ath in making life difficult for "the occupiers." Several hundred Islamist militants who have infiltrated Iraq from Syria, Iran, and Saudi Arabia also contribute to the current level of violence in Iraq.

But the threat of all those elements should not be exaggerated. Since early May, Iraq has witnessed 29 attacks that could be described as terrorist. Of those, 22 took place in just five localities. Some, such as the blowing up of the Jordanian embassy and the U.N. office in Baghdad, were spectacular. That said, Iraq — judged by Middle Eastern standards — is still way down the Richter scale of terrorism. More important, the various groups that threaten pacification are not growing in number or resources. Although the coalition lacks enough forces to devote to search-and-destroy operations, many terrorists and saboteurs are tracked down and neutralized each day. Almost 90 percent of the acts that threaten pacification have taken place in less than 5 percent of Iraqi territory.

If all goes relatively well, pacification will be completed by the end of the year. The coalition then will face two other crucial tasks: reconstruction and democratization. Physical reconstruction efforts so far have been modest, limited mostly to private citizens rebuilding their homes, workshops, and stores. Hundreds of contracts, big and small, worth billions of dollars have been granted or negotiated. But five months after liberation there is still no agreement even on the basic economic rules of reconstruction. On democratization, too, a start has been made, with the establishment of a Governing Council and a Council of Ministers. A new constitution is being drafted. Over 40 political parties, old and new, are getting organized. The first free trade unions, professional associations, and guilds are taking shape.

Although Iraq is by no means out of the woods — it would be surprising if it were, after 35 years of the most vicious rule in the region's modern history — the transition from liberation to democratization is assured. The greater hope is that Iraq will become a model for democratization for Arabs, and Muslims in general. The removal of the Ba'athist regime in Baghdad has changed the political architecture of the Middle East, opening new opportunities for peace — and for a positive Iraqi role on the global energy scene.

The impact of change in Iraq is already being felt throughout the region. Since 1980, when Saddam's army invaded Iran to start a war that would last eight years, Iraq has been unable to play its full role in regional politics. Saddam's invasion of Kuwait in 1990 deepened Iraq's isolation. Iraq was shut out of the Gulf Cooperation Council, the six-nation organization created by Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, with the participation of four smaller petro-emirates, to coordinate key aspects of their economic and defense policies. Excluded from the Arab League for some six years, Iraq also lost its voice in the broader council of the Arab nations.

Under a new regime, Iraq could quickly regain its position as a major regional player. A democratic Iraq could find itself the natural leader of a small but growing group of Arab states that have taken timid steps toward democratization. Countries such as Jordan, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and even Kuwait — all of which have developed new systems based on some form of elections — could find themselves closer to a new democratic Iraq than to a Saudi Arabia that rejects all forms of elections as a matter of principle. The group could be joined by Yemen, which has held at least two reasonably clean general elections.

The new Iraq might also balance the power of Ba'athist Syria, which seems to be backtracking on the reform project initially presented under President Bashar al-Assad. It is not far-fetched to suggest that change in Iraq will, in time, be followed by change in Syria, as has actually always been the case since the 1950s. The new Iraq will almost certainly revive Baghdad's traditional opposition to the Syrian domination of Lebanon. Since any future Iraqi government is likely to include a strong Shiite element, Iraq is likely to become the key Arab player in Lebanon, where Shiites form the single largest community.

The return of Iraq to regional politics would break the duopoly established by Egypt and Saudi Arabia within the so-called Arab world. Iraq, which has the world's second largest oil reserves, could match Saudi Arabia in terms of economic clout. In terms of population and the deployment of an intellectual elite, it could emerge as a serious challenger to Egypt's current dominant position among the Arabs. And it is not only Iraq's Arab brethren who will be affected by the regime change in Baghdad: The new Iraq has already recognized full national rights for the Kurds, an action that will reverberate in Iran, Turkey, Syria, and Armenia — which have all oppressed their ethnic Kurds, albeit in different ways.

Iran, where Shiites account for some 88 percent of the population, is already affected by the possibility of a democratic pluralist government in Baghdad in which Shiites would have a leading role. The Iraqi Shiites, representing some 60 percent of the population, have always rejected the Iranian system of walayat al-faqih (custodianship of the jurisconsult) that, translated into practical politics, means despotic rule by a small group of politicians disguised as mullahs. Iraq could show that a different Shiite model is possible — and thus deal a serious blow to the claims of the Iranian rulers that walayat al-faqih is the only divinely sanctioned form of government in Islam. Since the liberation of Baghdad, thousands of Iranian Shiite clerics have left their traditional seminaries in Tehran and Qom to settle in the Iraqi Shiite cities of Karbala and Najaf. "The American presence in Iraq is a guarantee for religious freedom that we do not have in Iran," says Hussein Khomeini, a mid-ranking mullah and grandson of the late Ayatollah Khomeini, leader of the 1979 revolution in Iran. "The Americans are not going to tell me how to live my Shiism as do the present rulers of Iran."

Iraq's relationship with neighboring Turkey is also certain to undergo important changes. For almost five decades, successive Iraqi regimes have pursued a policy of provocation against Turkey, in the name of Arab nationalism. Also in the name of pan-Arabism, they have maintained an irredentist claim on the Turkish province of Iskenderun, where ethnic Arabs form a majority, and pressed a dispute over the sharing of the waters of the Euphrates. The new Iraq, however, is almost certain to have no pan-Arabist hangovers. In fact, many Iraqis want their country to withdraw from the Arab League and emphasize its ethnic and cultural diversity. For them the key word is uruqa (Iraqi-ness), not uruba (Arabness).

Since all Iraqi political forces have agreed to end Baghdad's traditional policy of hostility to Israel, the new Iraq could act as a positive influence on the Palestinians. With Iraq leaving the "destroy Israel" camp of the Arab states, the Arabs as a whole might move toward a strategic peace with the Jewish state. Right now, 12 of the 53 member states of the Organization of the Islamic Conference maintain full diplomatic ties with Israel. If Iraq were to join them, as it almost certainly will do as soon as possible, a further 20, including at least nine more Arab states, are likely to follow suit. Beyond the Middle East, the emergence of Iraq as a democratic state with close ties to the U.S. and other Western democracies is likely to strengthen the position of those Muslim countries that seek — in the words of Iranian author M. A. Forughi — "a grand alliance between the two halves of the same civilization," that is to say, Islam and the West.

And Iraq's importance will go beyond politics. Its vast untapped oil resources could redefine the basic rules of the global energy market by mobilizing production capacities beyond the dreams of many oil strategists. It is a cliché in the oil business that Saudi Arabia is capable of pumping up to 10 million barrels of oil a day, thus making sure that the global economy can cope with any eventuality with regard to energy. But this claim made for Saudi Arabia has not been tested, or properly investigated, since the late 1980s; it is actually not at all certain that the Saudis could reach such production levels easily and speedily. Saudi Arabia's largest oilfields are over half a century old and in a state of "fatigue." Saudi efforts to attract foreign — principally U.S. — investment in modernizing its oil industry and increasing production capacities have produced little result.

The Iraqi fields, however, are new and robust. The island of Majnun, close to the Iranian border, and the South Rumailah fields, close to the border with Kuwait, represent the world's largest reservoirs of crude oil. Most experts believe Iraq could produce an average of 4.2 million barrels a day within five years, thus emerging as the world's second largest exporter of crude. This would be good news for the European Union and the Far East, notably Japan and China, which heavily depend on imported oil from the Persian Gulf. The policies and attitudes of the European Union powers, as well as Russia, China, and Japan, with regard to the process of change in Iraq are sure to have an impact on relations with the future regime in Baghdad: Those who sided with Saddam Hussein until the bitter end may find that their choice will prove costly.

Iraq has another advantage: its relatively large population, projected to hit the 30 million mark by the end of the decade. That could turn it into the richest market in the Middle East, where other states are either too small, in demographic terms, or too poor to be attractive trading partners.

It's still early, but change in Iraq has put paid to the traditional post-1950s model of the Arab state, based on single-party rule backed by the military and centered on one charismatic leader. Some circles, especially in the European Union, fear change and warn of instability. But the Middle East needs a period of creative instability. A stability symbolized by Saddam Hussein and other despots is not worth preserving.

Mr. Taheri is the author of ten books on the Middle East and Islam.
3 posted on 09/29/2003 12:08:58 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...

4 posted on 09/29/2003 12:10:04 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran's FM warns Israel of retaliation during ABC interview

Reuters - World News
Sep 28, 2003

WASHINGTON - Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi, denying his country has "any program to produce weapons of mass destruction," warned Israel that Iran would respond to any strike on its nuclear facilities.

In an interview aired on Sunday on ABC's "This Week," Kharazi
said the possibility of an Israeli military strike on its nuclear program was "a threat, no question."

Israel has warned that Iran's nuclear program posed a threat
to the world and was reportedly considering such a strike if Iran is pursuing a nuclear option.

Kharazi said: "Israel knows if it commits such an action, it would be reacted."

He declined to be more specific, saying simply "there will be a response" if Israel launched such a strike.

Iran faces mounting pressure to prove it is not developing nuclear weapons. Diplomats in Vienna last week said the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, had discovered traces of weapons-grade enriched uranium at a second site in Iran.

The IAEA has given Tehran until Oct. 31 to prove it does not have a secret atomic arms program or be reported to the United Nations Security Council for possible sanctions.

On Saturday, U.S. President George W. Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin demanded Tehran give up any ambitions to build nuclear weapons.

Early last week, Iran paraded six of its newly deployed medium-ranged missiles, which military analysts say could reach Israel or U.S. bases in the Gulf.

Iran insists its nuclear scientists are not working on a weapons program but are trying to meet the country's soaring electricity demand.

"Certainly, we don't have any program to produce weapons of mass destruction, that is for sure," Kharazi said in the interview taped on Saturday evening.

Iran is willing sign a new inspection protocol with the IAEA, but only if that makes clear "we can continue with enrichment facilities to produce fuel needed for our power plants," he said.

Iran says won't halt uranium enrichment Iran said on Sunday it would not give up its nuclear program, including uranium enrichment, despite international pressure to prove it is not developing atomic weapons.

"Abandoning nuclear activities or enrichment is not something that Iran is ready to compromise on," foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told a weekly news conference.

He had been asked whether Iran would halt uranium enrichment activities as demanded by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in a resolution this month.

Inspectors are due to arrive in Tehran on Thursday for a round of further inspections and talks with Iranian officials.

The IAEA has given Iran until October 31 to prove it has no secret nuclear weapons programme, as the United States alleges.

If doubts remain about Iran's nuclear ambitions in November it could be reported to the UN Security Council for possible sanctions.

Iran insists its nuclear programme is solely geared to producing enough electricity from atomic power to meet growing demand and insists it has cooperated with the IAEA.

"We have been transparent. We have said we're not seeking to produce weapons of mass destruction," Asefi said.

"But we haven't received a reciprocal answer from the international community. The (IAEA) resolution that was passed was political."
5 posted on 09/29/2003 12:11:33 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn; McGavin999; Eala; AdmSmith; dixiechick2000; nuconvert; onyx; Pro-Bush; Valin; ...
Pro-reform newspaper banned for 10 days in Iran

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iran's hard-line judiciary banned the country's most prominent reformist daily for 10 days for failing to follow instructions to print a statement for three days in a row, the paper's editor said Sunday.

Morad Veisi, editor of Yas-e-Nou, a daily close to Iran's largest reformist political party, said he received a letter Sunday evening from the judiciary ordering him to stop publishing for 10 days.

The letter -- signed by one of Iran's deputy prosecutor general _ cited Yas-e-Nou's failure to publish a 71/2-page judiciary statement issued by the judiciary over three days, Veisi told The Associated Press.

The statement, explaining the verdict against a member of the Islamic Iran Participation Front laid by the judiciary in February, was published in one issue over 10 pages.

Veisi said the judiciary wanted him to publish the entire statement for three days, with big chunks of it on the front page.

"We published the judiciary's statement to show our goodwill. That the judiciary issues an order and determines how we should publish its response ... is misuse of legal powers by the judiciary officials," Veisi said.

Abbas Abdi, a senior member of the Islamic Iran Participation Front, was sentenced in February to eight years in prison for selling classified information to foreign intelligence agencies after a poll he conducted showed strong public support for dialogue with America. He is appealing the verdict.

In the past months, Yas e-Nou has been running a series of articles on Abdi's condition. The judiciary asked the paper to run its full report on the case. Veisi said the paper conceded the first day, but did not have to take its publication instructions from the judiciary.

Mass closures of newspapers began in April 2000, days after Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said 10 to 15 reformist publications were "bases of the enemy."

Hard-liners have closed down over 100 pro-democracy publications and jailed several dozen writers and political activists since then, almost all of them without trial or in closed trials without a jury.

Security agents routinely visit the print shop in the evening to see if the papers are adhering to the ban. Newspapers normally observe the ban to avoid clashes with the security.
6 posted on 09/29/2003 1:09:54 AM PDT by F14 Pilot
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To: DoctorZIn
I hope Taheri is right.
7 posted on 09/29/2003 1:37:08 AM PDT by McGavin999
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To: DoctorZIn


8 posted on 09/29/2003 3:19:38 AM PDT by Nix 2 ( QUINN AND ROSE IN THE AM)
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To: DoctorZIn
9 posted on 09/29/2003 3:57:32 AM PDT by windchime
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Comment #10 Removed by Moderator

To: DoctorZIn






11 posted on 09/29/2003 5:56:48 AM PDT by Nix 2 ( QUINN AND ROSE IN THE AM)
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To: DoctorZIn
Britain Demands Iran Come Clean on Nuclear Ambitions

Iran must declare "unequivocally" that it harbours no ambitions to develop nuclear arms, Britain's Europe Minister Denis MacShane said Monday.

The will of the European Union and the rest of the international community is "very, very clear", MacShane told reporters as he arrived for a meeting of EU foreign ministers.

"We want Iran to state unequivocally that there are no nuclear weapon possibilities that could be developed as a result of any nuclear programme in Iran," he said.

"We want Iran to cooperate fully with the international inspection agencies," added MacShane, standing in for Foreign Secretary Jack Straw at the EU meeting.

"That's what the entire international community wants from Iran and I hope Iran is listening to that common and uniform demand from everybody in the international community."

Iran on Sunday signalled its willingness to comply with the demands of the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency, but vowed to continue its uranium enrichment programme.

"We are trying and we are determined to cooperate" with the IAEA, Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi told ABC television in the United States.

The IAEA has given Iran until October 31 to answer all its questions concerning allegations that it is seeking to develop atomic weapons.

The EU foreign ministers are expected to renew their demands for Tehran to sign an additional protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty that would allow IAEA inspectors to descend on its nuclear sites without warning.

The EU has warned that, without credible guarantees over the protocol, it will review its economic ties with Iran.
12 posted on 09/29/2003 5:59:23 AM PDT by nuconvert ( Stop thinking about it, just do it.)
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To: All
Iran acknowledges enriched uranium found

Monday, Sep. 29, 2003

Tehran — Iran acknowledged Monday that traces of highly enriched uranium have been found at a second site in the country, but it insisted the source was contaminated equipment purchased from another country.

Ali Akbar Salehi, Iran's representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency, said enriched uranium has been found at the Kalay-e Electric Co., just west of Tehran.

Mr. Salehi, speaking on Tehran television, insisted that the enriched uranium found at the site and another facility at Natanz was not produced in Iran.

Foreign diplomats said last week that IAEA inspectors found minute quantities of weapons-grade uranium at the Kalay-e Electric Co. Earlier this year, UN inspectors found weapons-grade highly enriched uranium particles at a plant in Natanz that is supposed to produce only a lower grade for energy purposes.

Mr. Salehi said Iranian and IAEA officials were surprised that high percentages of enriched uranium had been found at both sites.

It was “unexpected ... because it needs a lot of centrifuges to work for a long time to enrich uranium,” he told the TV station.

“The IAEA and we know that there has been no such level of activity in Iran.”

Iran maintains that traces of the new enriched material were imported on equipment purchased from abroad, but the United States and its allies say it is further of evidence of an Iranian nuclear weapons program. Tehran insists that its nuclear program aims only to produce energy.
13 posted on 09/29/2003 6:14:25 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (Detective Z is here behind me...!)
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To: F14 Pilot
Thanks for the heads up!
14 posted on 09/29/2003 7:09:45 AM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: DoctorZIn
Minister Says al-Qaeda Was Active in Iran

September 28, 2003
The Financial Times
Guy Dinmore and Mark Turner

Iran disclosed on Sunday that the extremist al-Qaeda network had set up operational cells inside the Islamic republic and that a dozen suspects, caught after a gun battle, would soon go on trial behind closed doors.

Kamal Kharrazi, foreign minister, told the Financial Times in an interview that the al-Qaeda detainees, whom he declined to identify, had committed crimes against Iran's national security by "establishing cells" to plot operations elsewhere.

His comments were the first public admission that members of the network headed by Osama bin Laden were more than just fugitives from Afghanistan and were actually active in Iran, as alleged by the US.

But Mr Kharrazi rejected the core US accusation that senior al-Qaeda figures inside Iran had planned the May 13 suicide bombings in the Saudi capital Riyadh. More than 30 people including several American defence contractors were killed in the bombings.

The US broke off direct official contact with Iran after the bombings and demanded that the detainees, believed to have been given help by elements of the Iranian regime, be extradited to their home countries.

Mr Kharrazi said the suspects had been arrested before the Riyadh attacks and had no more contact with their network.

One Iranian intelligence officer lost both hands from grenades thrown by the suspects when they resisted arrest, the minister said.

A US official in Washington told the FT it was possible that official bilateral contacts could resume if the case of the al-Qaeda suspects was resolved.

Mr Kharrazi indicated Iran might be flexible, holding out the prospect that Iran might surrender the suspects after their trial. He said they could serve their sentences in Iran "or be exchanged or sent to their original countries".

US officials dealing with Iran believe that Tehran's hardliners are trying to to use the al-Qaeda suspects as bargaining chips in any resolution of the hostile relations between the two countries, involving Iran's nuclear programme and its influence in Iraq.

Mr Kharrazi said the US and Iran had common goals in seeking a stable, democratic Iraq, but different views on how to achieve this. Iran would consider reopening talks with the US on this.

"We could co-operate more fully on Iraq - but unfortunately the US administration is reluctant to consult with the neighbouring countries of Iraq."
15 posted on 09/29/2003 7:54:00 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Amnesty Int'l Makes Plea to Iran to Free Protesters

September 29, 2003
Portsmouth Herald
Jesse J. DeConto

PORTSMOUTH -- Amnesty International’s Seacoast chapter has been campaigning for more than a year to free two young prisoners in Iran, with few signs of success.

Ahmad Batebi and Akbar Mohammadi were arrested in July 1999 as they protested a government closure of the reformist newspaper, Salam. The men were sentenced to death, but, as far as local Amnesty members know, they are still languishing in prison.

"We haven’t really received any responses from all the letters we’ve sent to Iran," said chapter President Peter Sommsich of Portsmouth. "Up to this point, it’s all pretty sad stuff."

During the Iranian New Year celebration n March of this year, Mohammadi was released from prison for a week to seek medical treatment for various illnesses, infections and injuries. In 2000, news reports suggested he was losing his right ear and kidney functions.

"They most likely were tortured many times," Sommsich said.

Though Amnesty is known for fighting human rights abuses around the globe, Seacoast Group 550 was the first chapter to take on an Iranian case since the 1970s. Because of poor relations between Iran and the United States, Amnesty International had been reluctant to petition leaders in Iran.

Thousands of Tehran University students were arrested and one was killed when they clashed with members of the vigilante student group Ansar-e Hezbolleh and government security forces over the state’s curbing of free speech in 1999. Batebi, a film student in Tehran, was detained and beaten while shooting footage of the attacks on the peaceful student demonstrators.

"When he heard about the disturbances, he went to cover the incident," said Katherine Greeley, a local Amnesty member.

Greeley, who has written to the Iranian judiciary on behalf of the two students every month since the spring of last year, said Iranian President Mohammed Khatami and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khameini condemned the police action and the men’s death sentences were later reduced, but they still have to serve 15 years in prison.

Amnesty International is concerned that Mohammadi and Batebi were sentenced after secret trials at special courts whose procedures fall short of minimum international standards for fair trial.
16 posted on 09/29/2003 7:54:48 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: F14 Pilot
The truth will out!
17 posted on 09/29/2003 7:55:20 AM PDT by blackie
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Amnesty Int'l Makes Plea to Iran to Free Protesters

September 29, 2003
Portsmouth Herald
Jesse J. DeConto
18 posted on 09/29/2003 7:56:11 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran Says IAEA Inspections Will be Limited

September 29, 2003

TEHRAN -- Iran said a team of U.N. nuclear inspectors due to arrive in Tehran this week would only be given limited access to nuclear sites, a newspaper quoted an official as saying on Monday.

The International Atomic Energy Agency has said it hopes the visit, from Thursday, will enable it to verify Iran has no secret atomic arms programme.

The IAEA has given Tehran until October 31 to dispel doubts about its nuclear ambitions, which Washington says include making weapons.

But Iran, angered by a tough IAEA resolution passed this month which also called on it to halt all uranium enrichment activities, has said it will scale back its cooperation with U.N. inspectors.

''The inspections will only be within the framework of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty,'' the Javan daily quoted Saber Zaimian, spokesman of Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation, as saying.

Iran says it has no intention of developing nuclear arms and merely hopes to use nuclear technology to produce electricity.

Under the NPT Iran is only required to allow inspectors access to certain declared nuclear facilities such as the Natanz uranium enrichment plant in central Iran and the Bushehr reactor under construction in the southwest of the country.

Other sites, such as the Kalaye Electric Co in Tehran where Iran has said uranium enrichment centrifuges are stored and assembled, are not currently covered by the NPT.

In what it said was a gesture of goodwill, Iran earlier this year did allow IAEA inspectors to visit Kalaye.

Diplomats told Reuters last week that the IAEA found traces of arms-grade uranium at Kalaye. A similar find was made earlier this year at Natanz. Iran says the uranium finds were to due contamination from parts it had imported.

Zaimian said the six-member IAEA team would stay in Iran for up to seven days.

''There is still no specific schedule for their visit and after talks in Tehran we will decide about it,'' Zaimian said.

Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi, in an interview with U.S. television, said Iran was prepared to agree to wider, snap inspections of its facilities provided it was allowed to continue its nuclear programme, including uranium enrichment.
19 posted on 09/29/2003 7:58:12 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Tehran Tries to Control Domestic Nuclear Debate

September 29, 2003
Radio Free Europe
Bill Samii

Iran's Supreme National Security Council has submitted to the Islamic Culture and Guidance Ministry its assessment arguing that the mass media should "refrain from discussing arguments and analyses or raising any issues that may cause misperceptions about the Protocol."

Iran's Supreme National Security Council has submitted to the Islamic Culture and Guidance Ministry its assessment arguing that the mass media should, in the words of the Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) on 20 September, "refrain from discussing arguments and analyses or raising any issues that may cause misperceptions about the [Additional] Protocol [to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, or NPT]."

The Supreme National Security Council argued that media organizations should coordinate their reporting with government officials who deal with the issue, ISNA reported.

This is not the first government decree on the line that the media should follow in reporting on domestic affairs. And considering officials' contradictory statements about the nuclear issue, it is not surprising that the government wants to control the reportage.

Iranian representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Ali-Akbar Salehi said on 22 September that Iran does not have the technical capability of producing the enriched uranium needed for nuclear weapons, dpa reported, citing state television. "For all experts, it is quite clear that the enriched uranium was not made in Iran but imported as the country is technically not capable to make this process," he said. Salehi also said that Iran does not have the facilities or equipment for enriching uranium and rejected all accusations that Iran is seeking a nuclear-weapons capability.

Yet Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had said in a 17 September speech that Iranians enriched uranium themselves (see "RFE/RL Iran Report," 22 September 2003).

Further undermining Tehran's claims was the 25 September report from AFP, citing anonymous diplomats, that UN nuclear inspectors have discovered traces of highly enriched uranium (HEU) in environmental samples taken at the Kalaye Electric Company near Tehran. The inspectors do not know if the HEU was produced in Iran or if it was on equipment that Iran imported from another country. HEU was previously found in samples taken at Natanz. There is speculation that equipment Iran purchased from Pakistan could have been contaminated, but Pakistan has denied providing Iran with nuclear technology (see "RFE/RL Iran Report," 1 September 2003).

While they are not united on the IAEA's 12 September resolution on Iran or on the wisdom of signing the Additional Protocol (see here and below), Iranian officials are united in denying that they have any intention of developing nuclear weapons. Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi, for example, told the United Nations on 25 September: "Iran does not have a nuclear-weapons program nor does it intend to embark on one. Thus we have nothing to hide and in principle have no problem with the Additional Protocol." Kharrazi had preceded that assertion by saying that Iran will continue to "vigorously pursue its peaceful nuclear program."

President Hojatoleslam Mohammad Khatami stressed at the 22 September military parade in Tehran, state television reported, that Iran has a defensive military strategy and has "no intention of gaining access to weapons of mass destruction." Khatami also said, "Our region is the center of aggression, terror, and storage of weapons of mass destruction, and the center is the Zionist regime." "The biggest atomic arsenal is in Israel and the worst kind of state terror occurs in Palestine," he continued.

Ayatollah Khamenei, furthermore, said in a 20 September speech to members of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps and Basij of Mazandaran and Gulistan provinces that complaints about Iran's nuclear pursuits are untrue. Khamenei warned that an unidentified enemy has launched a massive propaganda campaign against Iran, state radio reported. "They have launched a deceptive propaganda campaign, saying that the Iranian nation is making efforts to acquire nuclear weapons," Khamenei said. "They are trying to portray the Islamic Republic of Iran as being a threat to regional and global peace." Khamenei went on to accuse the United States and Israel of threatening "regional and global peace." Khamenei accused the "tyrannical world powers" -- which he did not identify -- of being furious with Iran because of its Islamic faith....

20 posted on 09/29/2003 8:01:58 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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