Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Iranian Alert -- September 30, 2003 -- IRAN LIVE THREAD PING LIST
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 9.30.2003 | DoctorZin

Posted on 09/30/2003 12:39:00 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
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-2021-4041-55 next last
To: DoctorZIn
Israel May Destroy Iran's Nukes

September 30, 2003
United Press International Wires

TEL AVIA, Israel -- Israel, alarmed by the failure of international community to move against Iran's nuclear weapons program, may do so on its own, says a report.

In a report from Tel Aviv, the Middle East Newsline said senior Israeli government and military officials have been mulling over this possibility.

The report said the clearest warning came on the eve another effort by the International Atomic Energy Agency to investigate suspected Iranian violations of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

The suspected violations include the unauthorized enrichment of uranium.

"The fact that a country like Iran, an enemy (of Israel) and which is particularly irresponsible, has equipped itself with non-conventional weapons is worrisome," Israeli Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Moshe Ya'alon said.

"At the moment there is continuing international diplomatic activity to deal with this threat, and it would be good if it succeeds," Ya'alon added, the report said. "But if that is not the case we would consider our options."
21 posted on 09/30/2003 7:50:17 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
U.N. Needs 'Full Iran Nuke-access'

September 30, 2003
22 posted on 09/30/2003 7:51:47 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: AdmSmith; seamole; Pro-Bush; blackie; PGalt; downer911; McGavin999; Eala; RaceBannon; Persia; ...
German economic delegation in Iran

Berlin, Sept 30 - A German economic delegation, headed by parliamentary State Secretary of the German Economics Ministry Rezzo Schlauch, will visit Iran on Thursday.

"The parliamentary state secretary will be accompanied in his Iran trip by 20 representatives of major German industries," a spokesman for Schlauch's office said Tuesday.

He added that Schlauch would also tour the German pavilion at the Tehran International Fair.

Meanwhile an official of the Iranian embassy, speaking on the condition of anonymity, here said that Schlauch is expected to meet with Iran's Deputy Economics Minister Khazaie and Deputy Energy Minister Ahmadian during his one-day stay.

Germany remains one of Iran's top trading partners, as German exports have been on the rise for three consecutive years whereas Iranian exports have been on the decline since 2000.

(( Iranians should get rid of Europeans sooner ))!!!...
23 posted on 09/30/2003 8:55:48 AM PDT by F14 Pilot
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: seamole; windchime; AdmSmith; yonif; RaceBannon; Persia; PGalt; Alamo-Girl; Pro-Bush; Eala; ...
Iran: Tehran Rejects EU Warning On Nuclear Issues

Tehran, 30 September 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Iran's Foreign Ministry today rejected a European Union warning over Tehran's nuclear program, calling the warning "unacceptable" and "far removed from the principles of cooperation."

Yesterday, EU foreign ministers said in a statement issued after a meeting in Brussels that a failure by Iran to come clean on the nuclear issue could adversely affect trade relations with the EU.

The ministers also said that economic relations with Iran could be endangered if Tehran fails to meet international concerns over global terrorism, human rights, and the Middle East peace process.

The UN's International Atomic Energy Agency has given Iran until 31 October to answer questions related to allegations that it is seeking to develop nuclear weapons.
24 posted on 09/30/2003 9:01:26 AM PDT by F14 Pilot
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: F14 Pilot
Watch those bastards like a hawk!
25 posted on 09/30/2003 9:02:27 AM PDT by blackie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: F14 Pilot
Thanks for the heads up!
26 posted on 09/30/2003 9:03:29 AM PDT by Alamo-Girl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: F14 Pilot
It's about time to level their nuke plants!
27 posted on 09/30/2003 9:03:37 AM PDT by blackie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn


September 30, 2003 -- IN the next few weeks, Iran's leaders will face one of their toughest decisions in two decades.
The question is: Should Iran accept random inspections of its nuclear sites by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)?

If yes, Iran should adhere to protocols added to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Iran was one of the first countries to join the NPT in 1970. Thus, for more than 30 years, Iran's nuclear installations have been regularly inspected by the IAEA.

Last month, however, an IAEA team in Iran found traces of enriched uranium, a substance used to manufacture nuclear weapons. When asked by the IAEA about the find, Iranian authorities responded with contradictory claims and assertions. The IAEA director, Mohamed ElBaradei, felt obliged to give Iran until the end of October to come up with clear answers. If it does not, the matter will be reported to the U.N. Security Council.

Washington, of course, would like nothing better. For years it has tried to turn Iran into a pariah in conflict with the United Nations.

There is more bad news for Tehran.

Britain, France and Germany have sent a joint letter to Iran demanding that it adhere to the NPT's additional protocols. Their letter threatens that failure by Iran to comply could lead to punitive measures. But it also contains a promise that, provided Iran signs the protocols, the European Union will offer both financial and technological support for the Iranian nuclear-energy plan.

The European move has received support from Japan while Russia, now building a nuclear power station in Iran, has announced a scaling down of its involvement. Last year, China withdrew from talks about building five nuclear stations in Iran.

Since 1979, Iran's revolutionary authorities have successfully played the Europeans against the Americans. The so-called "critical dialogue" between Iran and the European Union had become a framework within which both sides criticized the Americans.

At times, the Iranians have also played the Russians, Japanese and Chinese cards against both the United States and Europe.

Tehran was able to play that game for two reasons.

The first was that, despite accusations from Washington, no "smoking gun" was ever found to support charges that Iran was sponsoring terrorism and developing weapons of mass destruction. Now, however, there is a "smoking gun" - the uranium discovered by the IAEA.

The second reason Tehran was able to pursue a game of "divide and do as you please" was that successive administrations in Washington had no stomach for a fight with the Islamic Republic.

The Bush administration, however, is full of people itching for a duel with Iran. Their influence is likely to grow if Bush wins a second term. Washington is already drafting punitive plans against Iran, including a global embargo on Iranian oil. Some hawks are talking of "surgical attacks" against Iran's nuclear centers and "terrorist training camps."

It's in Iran's best interest to accept the European offer and sign the NPT protocols. Iran does not need nuclear energy urgently, if at all, and could announce a moratorium on its nuclear program for at least a year until an accord is reached with the E.U.

With Afghanistan and Iraq still unstable, the last thing that anyone needs is a blow-up in Iran.

28 posted on 09/30/2003 9:10:35 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...


September 30, 2003
29 posted on 09/30/2003 9:11:28 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
Disinformation on Iraq

By Jeff Kojac
Washington Times

When the electricity went out during Hurricane Isabel, Americans wanted to know when their lights would go on. The same goes for Iraq's citizens — who have been through far worse than Isabel. There is no doubt that the residents of Iraq have a hunger for information. Yet, the Coalition Provisional Authority is still struggling to get its message to the Iraqi people. Meanwhile, Al-Jazeera, Iranian state-sponsored broadcasting and others are filling the information vacuum with a bias that is harmful to our mission in Iraq.

The reconstruction of Iraq and the war against terrorism are ultimately battles of ideas, just as the Cold War was a struggle of ideologies. Victories in such confrontations are fundamentally about demonstrating the validity of either side's views. Such a revelation only comes with the communication of information that builds an audience's comprehension, both of specifics and the larger context. If the United States has any hope of convincing the Middle East of the validity of our involvement in the region, it is dependent upon our boosting Middle Eastern access to news and entertainment that is not hostile to us.

The power of information was a critical ingredient in the tearing down of the Berlin Wall by the German people. The Voice of America and Radio Free Europe gave Eastern Europeans a window to something other than the oppressiveness found behind the Iron Curtain, and that vision helped undermine the Communist Bloc's hold on the minds of its people. The question is whether or not America will use this tool to convey the merit of liberty, the rule of law, political pluralism and religious tolerance once again.

Last year, Al-Jazeera profited $66 million from advertisers who believed in the value of reaching the Arabic-speaking world. In comparison, the annual budget for the United States' Radio Sawa for young Arabs is $35 million; and our effort to launch a new Arabic-language 24-hour news and entertainment network has been allotted ten percent less than Al-Jazeera's yearly advertising take. Radio and TV programming are not a panacea for the misunderstandings and rifts in U.S.-Arab relations; but, such programming is crucial for shared security and prosperity in the long term because it promises to shape how Arabs interpret events.

The potential for success is real. Access to international commercial satellite television networks and the Internet have played an important part in the enthusiasm young Iranians have for the West. This sentiment has been strengthened by the United States' VOA Farsi-language television, radio and Internet services, and Radio Farda. Still, the VOA's TV services to Iran are limited to six-and-a-half hours a week. Far more effective programming time is warranted, given the opportunity for the U.S. to connect with young Iranians — three-quarters of the population is under 30 years of age — and the ramifications of Iran's nuclear ambitions.

Likewise, Turkey is a NATO ally and a democratic frontline state in the Middle East. Nevertheless, internal politics prevented Turkey from hosting U.S. forces in their overthrow of Saddam's regime because Turkey's citizens were poorly informed as to America's resolve and intentions. No surprise: a lack of funds prevents American broadcasters from service beyond 14 hours per week of radio. No television is provided. This is not an adequate use of mechanisms that can further America's relationships at the grassroots level in a pivotal nation.

America's annual international broadcasting annual budget hovers around $550 million ? one-fourth the price of a B-2 bomber. This is a weak investment, considering that the American defense budget is $400 billion and the U.S. has a $10.4 trillion economy. Consider that as a percentage of the government budget, the U.S. spends a quarter of what France spends on international broadcasting. No wonder then that a recent Gallup Poll in Iraq found that France's President Jacques Chirac, who opposed the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, is twice as popular as President Bush, even though the vast majority of Iraqis say they are thankful Saddam is gone.

Our nation enjoys history's most powerful military, widest-ranging alliances and largest economy. Our other instrument of national power — information — nonetheless has yet to see its potential realized in our connection with the world. We need to increase the reach, availability and suitability of U.S. broadcasting programs for the 300 million people in the Middle East.

We have the human resources to accomplish this mission: Of the nine largest global media corporations, seven are American. Let us apply our corporate abilities to make concepts resonate across cultures. And, let us appropriate more broadcasting funds, recognizing that military power cannot be the only tool we use to touch the lives around the globe. As the most successful example of modern liberal democracy, and as the world's foremost example of a republic of ideas, we have much to gain by communicating to the world, and much to lose if we do not.

Jeff Kojac is a Council on Foreign Relations Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

30 posted on 09/30/2003 11:43:59 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
French Foreign Minister Urges Iran to Cooperate with IAEA

September 30, 2003
VOA News
Melanie Sully

The French foreign minister says Iran must cooperate fully with international inspectors by the October 31 deadline or face possible U.N. sanctions.

Speaking to reporters, Dominique de Villepin urged Iran to comply with the request of the International Atomic Energy Agency and sign an additional protocol to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty by the end of October. He said he delivered the same message to Iran's foreign minister.

The protocol would expand the list of facilities subject to international inspection and allow IAEA scientists to make full inspections on short notice.

Iran stands accused of maintaining a secret nuclear weapons program, which Tehran has repeatedly denied. Iran said Monday it would give international inspectors access only to declared facilities, raising doubts about the full scale of its nuclear program.

Mr. Villepin said Iran must meet the October 31 deadline that the IAEA imposed or face possible sanctions.

Mr. Villepin said if Iran does not meet the October deadline, then the IAEA board of governors will have to decide whether to refer the matter to the United Nations Security Council. He said it would be up to the international community to decide if sanctions should be imposed on Iran.

Head of the atomic agency, Mohamed ElBaradei, told reporters IAEA inspectors, who are expected to arrive in Tehran later this week, must be given full and unlimited access to all nuclear sites.

The European Union also has stepped up the pressure on Iran, threatening to curtail its trade with Tehran if it rejects tougher international inspections.
31 posted on 09/30/2003 12:24:08 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
Iran's Medicinal Alcohol Craze

September 30, 2003
Parisa Hafezi

Alarmed by soaring sales of medicinal spirits, Iranian authorities have begun seizing large quantities of the liquid which Tehran black marketeers say has fast become a favorite tipple in the officially "dry" country.

According to the country's strict Islamic law, only members of religious minorities are allowed to make and drink alcohol and trade in liquor is forbidden. Violators face punishments ranging from fines to jail terms or flogging.

Those determined to break the enforced sobriety have had to turn to the black market, where smuggled European vodka costs around $30 a bottle, or to buy locally-made white spirits known for their bitter aftertaste and causing prodigious hangovers.

But the recent appearance on pharmacy shelves of the cut- price wheat-based alcohol has caused a sensation.

"People have been coming in and buying cases at a time," said Dariush, a pharmacy owner in Tehran.

Sold in bottles marked "Ethyl Alcohol," the extremely potent clear liquid becomes palatable when watered down with fruit juice, fans of the drink said.

"It's better than European vodka and you don't have to find a dealer to get it for you," said Amirali, a 27-year-old engineer. "You can even buy it at the supermarket for only about $4."


Health Ministry warnings that the liquid, a sterile disinfectant, is unsuitable for consumption have been largely ignored by its growing band of devotees.

"This kind of alcohol is only for medical use but as with sleeping pills some opportunists have misused it," the Etemad newspaper Tuesday quoted a ministry official as saying.

Pharmacists said the drink craze began in March when the Health Ministry began supplying the new alcohol.

Unlike previous medicinal alcohol sold in Iran it is not discolored by dye and the bottles do not carry a "skull and crossbones" health warning.

But Etemad said the Health Ministry has now ordered pharmacies not to sell the alcohol without prescriptions and closed down a handful of pharmacies in Tehran which violated the new regulations.

"This kind of alcohol will be collected from the pharmacies and will be distributed under the supervision of the Health Ministry," the ministry official said.

Black market alcohol dealers say the new drink had hit their business hard.

"It is worse than police raids. We are facing a real recession," said Shahram, one of Tehran's booze dealers.

He said even many of his wealthy customers had switched to the locally-produced drink, claiming they preferred the taste and that it did not give them hangovers.
32 posted on 09/30/2003 12:59:23 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
Iran Rejected EU's Warnings on Nuclear and terrorism Issues

September 30, 2003
Iran Press Service

TEHRAN -- Iran reacted angrily on Tuesday at the European Union’s warning that it would face economic sanctions if it did not comply with demands by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

“This is unacceptable for the Islamic Republic”, the Iranian Foreign Affairs Ministry’s senior spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi was quoted by the Iranian students news agency ISNA as having commented on the 15-25 members organization’s statement issued Monday in Brussels.

The warning was "unacceptable" and "far removed from the principles of cooperation" between the EU and Tehran, he said, according to ISNA.

EU foreign Affairs ministers issued the warning to the Islamic Republic as the two sides continue talks on the signing of a Trade and Cooperation Agreement.

Political analysts told Iran Press Service that Europe could stop the TCA, which is very important for Iran, if Tehran fails to sign the additional Protocols to the Non Proliferation Treaty by the end of October.

"More intense economic relations can be achieved only if progress is reached in the four areas of concern", the ministers said in a statement, referring to Iran’s nuclear programs, its support for international terrorism and its opposition to peace between the Palestinians and Israelis.

“Iran’s harsh reaction shows that it had not expected the EU taking such a hard line on Iran”, one political analyst in Tehran said, noting that Tehran has counted on Europe as a bargain chip and counterweight to US and Israeli pressures.

“The EU should act in an independent manner, without account of the climate that has been artificially created (by the United States), ISNA quoted Asefi as having said, as the Vienna-based IAEA’s Chief Dr Mohammad El-Bradeh’i warned on Tuesday that, unless Iran began to give him "full cooperation" soon, it could face international sanctions.

On 12 September, the 35 Governors of the IAEA gave the Islamic Republic until the end of October to sign the Additional Protocols or its case would be passed on the United Nations Security council for decision, that could include economic punishments against Tehran.

The Resolution utterly angered the Iranian ruling ayatollahs, with some of them openly urging the government to leave the NPT.

The additional Protocols would allow inspectors from the UN’s nuclear watchdog unlimited access to all of Iran’s nuclear sites.

On Monday, Tehran said it would limit access for IAEA’s inspectors, due to arrive in Tehran on Thursday, to declared nuclear sites, including its controversial uranium enriching plants that were built secretly.

"If we cannot have full cooperation, full disclosure, unfortunately I'll have to say that I am not able to verify the Iranian statements", that their nuclear program is purely peaceful, IAEA chief Mohamed El-Barade’i told reporters.

He said on Tuesday the "number one priority" was to understand the nature of Iran's uranium enrichment program.

The IAEA has found traces of weapons-grade uranium at two sites in Iran, diplomats told Reuters, raising suspicions that Iran has long been making enriched uranium.

Iran says the traces were due to contamination from imported equipment, but that explanation has met with skepticism inside and outside the IAEA.

The uranium enriching plants have increased international concerns that Iran is after a nuclear arsenal, an allegation strongly rejected by Iranian officials, claiming that the enriched uranium is to be used in Iran’s nuclear powered electricity plants.

But experts pointed out that the enriched uranium needed for the Booshehr plant would be provided by Russia, the country that is building the nuclear-powered station in this Persian Gulf city.

After meeting with his Iranian counterpart in New York, Russia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Igor Ivanov said Moscow had “no problems” in continuing its atomic cooperation with Iran.

El-Barade’i said Iran had yet to answer any of the outstanding questions outlined in the September 12 IAEA board resolution, though he hoped all would be answered before the deadline.

He also said that Iran had yet to open talks on signing the Additional Protocol.

"This (the protocol) is not my number one priority," he said. "My number one priority is to resolve past outstanding issues, primarily the enrichment program".
33 posted on 09/30/2003 1:01:14 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Iran Rejected EU's Warnings on Nuclear and terrorism Issues

September 30, 2003
Iran Press Service
34 posted on 09/30/2003 1:01:57 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
IAEA: Inspectors in Iran Need Unlimited Access

VOA News
30 Sep 2003, 18:06 UTC

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency is calling for unlimited access in Iran to verify the government's claim it has no nuclear weapons program.
Mohamed ElBaradei made the comment in Vienna Tuesday ahead of talks planned for Thursday in Iran. The IAEA has set an October 31 deadline for Iran to prove it is not developing nuclear weapons, as the United States and several other countries have alleged.

Meanwhile, Iran is rejecting a European Union warning of economic consequences if it does not comply with the deadline. Iran's foreign ministry said today the E.U. threat that Iran could lose a lucrative trade accord is "unacceptable."

French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin is also urging Iran to meet the deadline and says if it does not, the Tehran government could face U.N. sanctions.

Monday, Iran's Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi told a gathering at New York's Columbia University that his government does not object in principle to tougher IAEA inspections and would agree to the additional inspection protocol it is currently discussing with the IAEA. But he said the protocol should also allow Iran to continue its nuclear program to create energy and pursue other peaceful purposes.
35 posted on 09/30/2003 3:03:38 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
Brain Drain Ministry?

Tehran Times - By Hamid Golpira
Sep 30, 2003

Iran is currently looking for a new science, research and technology minister. This post cannot remain vacant for long.

Iran has one of the worst brain drain problems in the world. Intellectuals, scientists, and young university graduates are leaving the country in droves. Something must be done about this soon or a national catastrophe will occur.

The former minister of science, research and technology, Mostafa Moin, resigned, saying he could no longer tolerate the "poisonous political atmosphere" created by the conflict between rival factions.

Earlier this month, the Majlis rejected President Mohammad Khatami?s nominee for the post of science minister, Reza Faraji-Dana.

Of the 220 MPs present for the Majlis vote, 127 voted to reject Faraji-Dana's nomination, 86 voted in favor, and seven abstained.

It seems that some MPs voted to reject Faraji-Dana?s nomination because he is regarded as apolitical. Well, maybe that?s the kind of person we need now for the post of science minister, someone who will do their job and not get involved in endless and counterproductive factional disputes.

This reminds one of the Indian legend of the man struck with a poisoned arrow. When the doctor arrives, the injured man wants to know about his caste, his family, his character, and other such details before allowing him to treat him. The folly of delay is obvious then and now.

Maybe the MPs who are so concerned about the fact that Faraji-Dana has never been very active politically should take a look at the attendance record of their colleagues in the legislature. Seventy Majlis deputies did not even bother to show up for the vote on the nominee for a ministerial post. That?s nearly a fourth of the entire Majlis. This was an important vote and they should have been present.

At the end of the day, it is obvious that one of the most important tasks of the next science minister will be reversing the brain drain trend. He or she must have a good plan to accomplish this.

And just why are so many educated Iranians leaving the country? For some it is an economic decision since they will be paid much higher salaries in the West. Others are interested in doing serious research that they can not do in Iran because the national budget has never allocated sufficient funds for research. Some feel they are not being properly appreciated.

All of these issues must be addressed in order to solve the brain drain problem. Majlis deputies would be advised to make sure that the person they select as the new science minister has a comprehensive plan to solve this problem. After all, what do we want, a Ministry of Science, Research and Technology or a Brain Drain Ministry? The future of Iran hangs in the balance.
36 posted on 09/30/2003 7:17:26 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
It is beginning again. -- DoctorZin

Sporadic protest actions in Iranian universities

SMCCDI (Information Service)
Sep 30, 2003

Sporadic protest actions are taking place in most Iranian universities on the 3rd day of the new University year.

Many students openly criticize the regime and the persistent repression while asking the release of their arrested colleagues and the admittance of those purged from the universities.

Reports from Mashad, Kermanshah, Sari and Hamedan universities are stating about partial strikes and distribution of tracts calling on solidarity and actions intending to use the positive International situation for gaining "our rights".

Many students beleive that Iran's living the last year of dictatorship.

More structured actions are planned for the days ahead.
37 posted on 09/30/2003 7:20:27 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
Deja vu all over again: Iran playing dance of the seven veils with UN inspectors.
38 posted on 09/30/2003 7:20:49 PM PDT by PhilDragoo (Hitlery: das Butch von Buchenvald)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
You say you want a revolution?

Christian Science Monitor - By Scott Peterson
Oct 1, 2003

Iran bands rock on

TEHRAN, IRAN – As if performing before an arena packed with tens of thousands of rock fans, guitarist Nurick Misikian lets his lightning-fast fingers energize the chords of his green-blue Fender guitar, building the sound of one of Iran's "underground" heavy-metal bands into a full-throated roar.

Driven by the pounding rhythm of Babak Riahipour's bass guitar, Mr. Misikian plays some chords overhand, and even with his teeth - turning this 12-foot square rooftop studio into a sweating paragon of ear-splitting rock music that would make Jimi Hendrix proud.

In East and West, the language of rock 'n' roll is one of rebellion and pushing the limits. And in the Islamic Republic of Iran, these musicians are creating a parallel reality that could not be further removed from Friday prayers and routine calls for revolutionary sacrifice and waging war against the West.

Could there be life without their music? "No way," says Misikian, a veteran of more than two decades at the guitar, shaking his head. "We'd be dead," concurs Mr. Riahipour matter-of-factly.

Many Iranian youths today are disillusioned with politics and the stalled reform movement of President Mohammad Khatami, despite two land- slide election victories that promised more social freedoms and the rule of law. And while young people increasingly turn to drugs (hits of heroin are cheaper than a box of cigarettes) and mysticism for escape, mainstream Iranian pop bands - and fringe rock groups like this one - are finding some restrictions easing.

The new band - which may be called "Shanti," the Sanskrit word for "peace" - hopes to play publicly for the first time Thursday night at a conference hall at a local hospital. That's progress: Another popular band that Riahipour helped launch four years ago, the first of its kind, never got a stamp of approval.

"We couldn't play publicly, and never got permission," says Riahipour, who since has played with dozens of Iranian bands, in public and at "private concerts" at parties. "Well, we did have one concert: inside the Russian Orthodox Church. They needed the money [as a fundraiser] - you know the Russians."

The seated headbang

Back then, the bass player says, band members were required to play sitting down. Even today, though the band can stand, the audience must sit. Forget about Elvis Presley, and any kind of suggestive gyrations, which are standard musical fare elsewhere.

"They are headbanging while sitting," Riahipour says of the audience. "Many people know us now. Heavy metal is very popular in Iran. There have been more and more concerts in Tehran recently."

Among those concerts is a big-ticket performance of Assar, a popular Iranian band lead by singer and keyboard player Seyyed Alireza Assar, that includes a choir and a string section, playing deeply Persian and religious themes and rhythms.

Each of Mr. Assar's three albums has sold one million copies. In early October, Assar will play a series of 20 concerts for a total of 40,000 people. It's quite a change for a Beethoven devotee and pianist who once dreamed of studying classical music at UCLA, before he joined Iran's budding pop scene several years ago.

"Everybody told me I was always crossing the limit in my poems, but I love my people, and love everything about my country, Iran," says Assar, who wears a black beard and ponytail. "As an Iranian, a Persian, I try to tell the truth."

A portion of his songs draw their lyrics from Koranic tales about Imam Ali, the revered founder of the Shiite branch of Islam. Such devotion has helped Assar steer away from trouble with the authorities, especially from Hizbollahi, the self-styled enforcers of strict social rules that govern women's headscarves and public behavior.

They have been known to stop events mid-concert - even if officially approved - if they felt they were too demonstrative or un- Islamic.

"Hizbollahi have come to my concerts, but they listened, because of the poems I chose to sing about," says Assar between practice sets for the upcoming concert. "Music is not a kind of war, where we [musicians] are fighting [the Islamic Guidance Ministry] and Hizbollahi."

He notes that Iran has "Islamic rules," and that performers "must understand their people. Maybe [Iranians] like heavy metal - I love it - but it is not our culture. To play that, you must know who is listening to you ... and this kind of music has side effects."

The result in Iran is a mixture of musical styles, and degrees of legality, as Iranians explore ways of expression. "People are looking for a new reality," says one amateur musician who first picked up a guitar during high school in the 1960s. "I couldn't find anyone interested in playing with me then, but now it is like a fever."

That fever is spreading. A website called "Tehran Avenue" ( launched a competition between underground groups last year. The competition turned into a big deal for local bands. Now on the site is a link to "Setting up a performance: A survival guide," that notes potential pitfalls.

Music can have an impact in the political realm as well. A couple of concerts were approved for a popular rock band last June, music fans here say, at a time of antigovernment demonstrations in the streets. The aim, some believe, was to siphon off some of the support for the demonstrations, and distract young people from their grievances in the run-up to the anniversary of the 1999 student demonstrations.

Master and maestro

But little of that matters in the practice room for this band, where the walls are lined with decibel-dampening painted Styrofoam and floors carpeted with a tangle of cables. A portrait of Johann Sebastian Bach - an inspiration to guitarist Misikian, who has drawn on some of Bach's classic melodies in his own compositions - hangs from one wall; not far away is a printout of the word "GOD" in capital letters.

Even the window - opened wide between sets, to let in fresh air - has a chunk of Styrofoam glued over it, though Misikian says the neighbors in this Christian Armenian neighborhood of east Tehran don't complain.

Music has come a long way since the first decade of the Islamic revolution of the 1980s and after, when live performances of anything but the most tepid traditional music were forbidden - no singing, whatsoever. Back then, visitors entering Iran were patted down for bootleg CDs; now anything can be downloaded from the Internet.

Surprisingly, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, founder of the 1979 Islamic revolution, played a key role in easing restrictions. While most traditional ayatollahs considered only music used for traditional prayer services acceptable, Mr. Khomeini ruled that not all other music was bad, opening the door to traditional and classical music, and now more.

Still, rock is having to push the limits to make inroads. And bassist Riahipour - who also plays bass in Assar's ensemble - says that changing perceptions and prejudices is part of the job.

He was on tour for six months in the US a couple years ago, with Googoosh, Iran's most most famous singer since the 1960s. (The Persian equivalent of Elvis, she specializes in prerevolutionary love songs and melancholy ballads. She was branded an infidel by Khomeini, and now lives in exile.) The concert was a hit, but many Iranians in America were amazed.

"Some of them couldn't believe we came from Iran," says Riahipour. "They thought all Iranians were bearded [militants] with Kalashnikovs."
39 posted on 09/30/2003 7:22:44 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoctorZIn
Iran's leader calls for Mideast states to unite against US policies

AFP - World News (via Yahoo)
Sep 30, 2003

TEHRAN - Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, called for Muslim countries in the Middle East to unite their efforts to thwart US policies in the region, state television reported.

"Countries of the region must know the American threats target them all and that they can thwart the United States by cooperating and coordinating their policies," he said in a meeting with Syrian Vice President Abdel Halim Khaddam.

Khamenei said unity was essential to confront the crisis in US-occupied Iraq as well as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

"All Iraqi groups and all the influential countries of the region must work to preserve the unity and integrity of Iraq," he said.

The visiting Syrian vice president also met with Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, an Iranian vice president who has remained an influential figure in the Islamic republic.

Rafsanjani condemned the "strategic errors committed by the extremists who are running the United States and who do not recognise the rights of the Iraqi, Afghan, Palestinian and Lebanese peoples."

He said the United States was stuck "in a quagmire from which it will take years to get out".

40 posted on 09/30/2003 7:24:38 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-2021-4041-55 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson