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Iranian Alert -- September 30, 2003 -- IRAN LIVE THREAD PING LIST
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^
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
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posted on 09/30/2003 12:39:01 AM PDT
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posted on 09/30/2003 12:41:09 AM PDT
US Troubled by 10-Day Suspension of Iranian Daily
September 29, 2003
WASHINGTON -- The United States said on Monday it was troubled that Iran's conservative judiciary had banned a leading reformist daily from publishing for 10 days after it failed to give top billing to a judiciary statement.
The judiciary statement was a riposte to articles in the Yas-e No newspaper on the welfare of imprisoned pollster Abbas Abdi, who published a survey that found three-quarters of Iranians in favor of resuming dialogue with the United States.
''We view with concern the Iranian judiciary banning a reformist publication simply for not placing prominently a judiciary statement,'' State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said at his daily briefing, citing U.S. support for freedom of speech and freedom of the press.
''We hope the voice of the Iranian people and their call for democracy and the rule of law will be heard and help transform Iran into a force for stability in the region,'' he added.
A member of the newspaper's board of editors said the paper had been told to hold its presses for 10 days from Monday after it refused to reprint the judiciary statement, which it had originally printed in its middle pages.
The judiciary had demanded the paper reprint the statement on its front page. Some 90 newspapers have been banned by Iran's judiciary in the last three years and scores of reformist journalists have been jailed.
(Reporting by Arshad Mohammed, editing by Patricia Zengerle; Reuters Messaging: arshad.mohammed.reuters.com+reuters.net; e-mail arshad.mohammed+reuters.com; +1 202 898 8393)) http://famulus.msnbc.com/FamulusIntl/reuters09-29-151354.asp?reg=MIDEAST
posted on 09/30/2003 12:43:27 AM PDT
IRAN SOUGHT ENRICHED URANIUM FROM AUSTRIA
LONDON [MENL] -- Iran sought to obtain a significant amount of enriched uranium from Austria in a deal scuttled by the United States.
Western intelligence sources said the Iranian effort took place in 1999 and disputed Teheran's claim that it never sought to purchase weapons-grade fissile material and related equipment. Iran has denied assertions by the United States of an illegal uranium enrichment program, traces of which was discovered by the International Atomic Energy Agency. An IAEA delegation was scheduled to arrive in Teheran on Thursday for another nuclear inspection.
The Iranian effort took place in 1999 when Teheran launched negotiations for the acquisition of an Austrian nuclear research reactor built in the late 1950s. Austria offered Iran its Astra reactor at the Seibersdorf nuclear center in an effort to unload an aging U.S.-origin heavy-water reactor.
Austria's offer stemmed from its assessment that giving away the nuclear facility was cheaper than dismantling the reactor. The cost of dismantling the reactor was estimated at $6.7 million. http://www.menewsline.com/stories/2003/september/09_30_1.html
posted on 09/30/2003 12:44:24 AM PDT
Canadian envoy to pressure Iran over nuclear aims
OTTAWA, Sept 29 (Reuters) -
Canada said on Monday it would send its ambassador back to Iran to help the international community maintain pressure on Tehran to come clean about its program to enrich uranium.
Envoy Philip MacKinnon was withdrawn in late July to protest Iran's handling of the case of Zahra Kazemi, a Canadian photographer who died from a broken skull after being arrested in Tehran.
The International Atomic Energy Agency has given Tehran until Oct. 31 to dispel doubts about its nuclear ambitions, which Washington says include making weapons. Iran denies this, saying it hopes to use nuclear technology to produce electricity.
"What we're saying to the government of Iran is 'You have to address these problems, you have to convince the world, and we are going to keep the heat on you to make sure you do that'," Canadian Foreign Minister Bill Graham told reporters.
"That's a good reason why I want to have our ambassador there because we need the weight of an ambassador to carry that important message to the government authorities."
Relations between the two countries are still strained over the death of Kazemi. An intelligence ministry interrogator has been charged in connection with the her death.
Graham met Iranian counterpart Kamal Kharrazi at the United Nations last week and said he had been given assurances that Ottawa and Kazemi's family would have access to the trial.
Graham said the ambassador would be taking a letter from Prime Minister Jean Chretien to Iranian President Mohammad Khatami saying Canada wanted Kazemi's body returned and a "full, open and transparent trial whereby those who are responsible for her death are brought to justice". http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/N29348885.htm
posted on 09/30/2003 12:45:27 AM PDT
Iran confirms enrichment find, denies making it; US expects Russian pullout
Iran on Monday played down the second discovery here by UN nuclear inspectors of highly enriched uranium, while rejecting the imposition of any restrictions on its civil atomic programme.
The Islamic Republic's representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) told state television that traces of enriched uranium found by the UN body in August at the Kalaye Electric Company near Tehran came into the country on imported equipment. He explained that given the level of enrichment was over 50 per cent, the traces could have only come from overseas because "such enrichment requires a number of centrifuges to be working over a long period of time" - in other words something that he asserted has not taken place in Iran.
Salahi added the company near Tehran had been producing machinery for a nuclear facility located in Natanz, 250 kilometres (150 miles) south of Tehran, where inspectors had earlier found traces of enriched uranium. Officials here say enrichment experiments have only just got underway. Meanwhile, government spokesman Abdollah Ramezanzadeh told reporters that Iran would not accept any restrictions on its bid to generate nuclear power, rejecting international demands for tougher safeguards on Tehran amid suspicions the programme is merely a cover for nuclear weapons development.
"The Islamic Republic of Iran rejects any restrictions on the peaceful use of nuclear technology," Ramazanzadeh told reporters. "Up to now, we have cooperated with the IAEA beyond our commitments" under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), he said, adding that future cooperation with the IAEA depended on "how our negotiations progress". The IAEA has given Iran until Oct 31 to answer all its questions concerning allegations that it is seeking to develop atomic weapons, and has also called on the country to cease uranium enrichment.
The agency has also called on Iran to sign an additional protocol to the NPT, which would allow inspectors to conduct surprise visits to suspect sites. IAEA teams are only currently permitted to make pre-arranged visits, although Iran says it is cooperating beyond the terms of the NPT.
"The issue of the additional protocol is not an issue to be dealt with in one or two sessions," Ramazanzadeh said, shrugging off IAEA calls for Iran to sign the text unconditionally and immediately. It is also discussing the additional protocol with the IAEA, in order to clear up what it describes as "ambiguities" in the text. The United States has charged that the Iranians have used Kalaye to test centrifuges used to make highly enriched uranium that can be used to make atomic bombs.
Ramazanzadeh repeated official denials of the allegations. "We are ready to have full cooperation with the IAEA, and according to our religious teachings and special circumstances... we are in no way intending to use nuclear energy for anything other than peaceful purposes," he said.
The United States said Monday it expected Russia to halt construction of Iran's first nuclear power plant should the Islamic state fail to prove by Oct 31 that it is not secretly developing atomic weapons. The US ambassador to Moscow said President George W. Bush and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin did not specifically touch on Russia's decision to push on with Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant project during their weekend Camp David talks.
But Ambassador Alexander Vershbow said that Bush had made it clear he expected Russia to cease Bushehr's development project should Iran fail to cooperate with the UN nuclear watchdog, the IAEA. Russia and the United States "continue to have difference of views on this issue but this (Bushehr) was not the focus of this discussion," Vershbow told reporters. He stressed that Bush's discussion with Putin on Iran was "very positive ... because both the United States and Russia have reservations about Iran's nuclear ambitions."
During a joint press conference with Putin on Saturday, Bush evaded a question on whether the Russian leader had given him a direct assurance if Russia intended to halt nuclear cooperation with Tehran. Although the project is worth some $800 million (around 700 million euros) to Russia, the US official said Washington expected Moscow to end all cooperation with Tehran should it fail to meet the IAEA's Oct 31 deadline. "It is our expectation that if Iran fails to comply (with IAEA resolutions), than the Russian side does the right thing in regards to Bushehr," Vershbow said.
The European Union Monday warned Iran of economic repercussions if the Islamic Republic fails to come clean on its nuclear programme. EU foreign ministers said a lucrative trade accord could be in danger if Iran fails to meet international concerns over nuclear non-proliferation, fighting terrorism, human rights and the Middle East peace process.
"More intense economic relations can be achieved only if progress is reached in the four areas of concern," the EU ministers said in a statement issued at talks in Brussels. The EU foreign ministers, restating demands they made in July, called on Tehran to sign an additional protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) that would allow IAEA inspectors to descend on its nuclear sites without warning.
The EU hopes "Iran will sign and implement the additional protocol without delay as a first and essential step to restore international trust in the peaceful nature of its nuclear program," said the ministerial statement. The United States alleges the Iranians have used a nuclear plant near Tehran to test centrifuges used to make highly enriched uranium, which can be used to make atomic bombs.
The EU, which unlike the United States advocates a policy of constructive engagement with Iran, has been conducting talks on a trade accord with the Islamic republic over the past year. But according to the Iranian foreign ministry, the 15-nation bloc's Italian presidency has warned that the trade talks will effectively stop without a resolution to the nuclear crisis. The reported threat sparked an angry reaction from the Iranian government on Sept 18.
"Iran and the European Union began their political and commercial negotiations based on mutual respect, and just as Iran did not accept preconditions to start the talks, it will very certainly not accept preconditions to continue them," foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said. http://www.arabtimesonline.com/arabtimes/world/Viewdet.asp?ID=1192&cat=b
posted on 09/30/2003 12:47:37 AM PDT
Iran, Denmark experts to meet on "right to defence"
Monday, September 29, 2003 - ©2003 IranMania.com
Tehran, Sept 29, IRNA -- Experts and law scholars from Iran and Denmark will take part in a gathering on "right to defence" to be held in Tehran on October 7.
The one-day gathering is organized by the Islamic Human Rights Commission within the framework of Iran-Europe cooperation.
Iranian experts are to present articles to the gathering on the right to defence in Iran`s legal system, the right to defence in Islamic jurisdiction, the performance of lawyers and legal consultants in this regard and the practical approaches of the judiciary branch on the issue.
Fair trial, right to defence in the system of international law, role of lawyers in Denmark in enhancing right to defence and legal advices offered to families in Denmark are among the topics to be focused on by Danish scholars. Eight articles on specialized issues are to be presented to the gathering. http://www.iranmania.com/News/ArticleView/Default.asp?NewsCode=18346&NewsKind=Current%20Affairs
posted on 09/30/2003 12:48:40 AM PDT
Iran Says It Does Not Object to Tough IAEA Inspections
30 Sep 2003, 05:25 UTC
Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi says his government does not object in principle to tougher inspections of its nuclear program by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
In a speech at Columbia University in New York Monday, Mr. Kharazi said Tehran wants to be "transparent" 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 efforts to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
The IAEA has given Iran until the end of October to show it does not have a nuclear weapons program. Meanwhile, Iran's representative to the IAEA, Ali Akbar Salehi, acknowledged that traces of highly enriched uranium had been found at a second site in Iran. But he said the material must have come from elsewhere.
Mr. Salehi said Monday international inspectors and local officials were surprised by the discovery at the Kalaye Electric Company near Tehran. He said it takes many centrifuges a long time to produce highly enriched uranium that can be used in nuclear weapons, adding that there has not been that type of activity in Iran.
Earlier this year, international inspectors reported finding traces of highly enriched uranium at a facility in Natanz, south of Tehran. The Iranian government said that material must have come into Iran on equipment purchased from another country.
The United States has accused Iran of using its civilian nuclear power program as a cover for developing nuclear weapons. The European Union is also calling on Iran to unequivocally renounce any ambition to develop nuclear weapons. http://www.voanews.com/article.cfm?objectID=5F56892D-166A-4CA1-A7C3E445DCB4F628
posted on 09/30/2003 1:35:44 AM PDT
by F14 Pilot
Nukes in Iran
September 30, 2003
Unless the United Nations acts soon to prevent it, there is a good chance that Iran may face the world with a nuclear weapons crisis .
After disturbing evidence surfaced last month that Iran possessed weapons-grade nuclear fuel in the form of enriched uranium at two of its electric plants, the International Atomic Energy Agency gave Tehran just five weeks to show it was not working on a bomb. That deadline expires Oct. 31; IAEA teams are now in Iran preparing to carry out inspections.
After repeatedly denying it had any weapons-grade fuel, Tehran yesterday conceded traces of highly enriched uranium could be found at both suspected sites. But the government insisted disingenuously that the source could be traced to contaminated equipment purchased from another country. The IAEA must get a more credible explanation and if it's not convinced by it, then report to the Security Council that Iran is violating nuclear non-proliferation accords. That would subject Iran to stringent international economic sanctions.
Sanctions are notably weak enforcement tools. But they would at least put Tehran on notice that stronger measures could follow if it continues to defy UN orders.
More troubling is the certainty that Israel may not be quite so patient. Israel sees a nuclear weapon in the hands of the hard-line Iranian ayatollahs as a potential threat to its existence and has hinted that it would not hesitate to target reactors with air strikes.
Israeli officials estimate that Iran is close to producing a working weapon, perhaps by as early as next year if Russia goes ahead with plans to help Iran build a reactor capable of producing plutonium. President George W. Bush was unable to dissuade Russian President Vladimir Putin at last week's meeting in Camp David to give up the lucrative Iranian contract to build a reactor. Though U.S. estimates of a weapons timetable are far less alarmist than Israel's - more like five years before a bomb is produced - the potential implications are just as serious.
The United States must make common cause with UN allies to forestall Iran's weapons development before it blooms into a major crisis for the Middle East. http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/991489/posts?page=1
posted on 09/30/2003 1:52:59 AM PDT
To: McGavin999; Eala; AdmSmith; dixiechick2000; nuconvert; onyx; Pro-Bush; Valin; Pan_Yans Wife; ...
North Korea, Iran not the only culprits
By SAMUEL M. MAKINDA
The recent general conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna reminded the world that nuclear weapons remain a major danger to human survival.
Unfortunately, the debate on the threat these weapons continue to pose has focused on some countries while ignoring others which are equally dangerous.
The limelight has been on Iran and North Korea, and for a good reason. There is no doubt these two states have ambitions to become nuclear powers, and their compliance with the IAEA safeguards system is less than exemplary.
In relation to Iran, the IAEA director, Dr Mohammed el Baradei, told the conference on September 15: "It is essential and urgent that all outstanding issues, particularly involving high enriched uranium, be brought to closure as soon as possible."
On North Korea, Dr El Baradei said: "The situation continued to pose a serious and immediate challenge to the non-proliferation regime".
But while disarming these two may satisfy powerful interests in the West, it would not eliminate the danger of nuclear weapons in the Middle East, north-east Asia or globally.
There are eight other nuclear weapons states, namely Britain, China, France, Russia, the US, India, Israel and Pakistan. The nuclear weapons of these countries are as dangerous to the world as those that might be developed by Iran and North Korea.
The first five of these are acknowledged as nuclear weapons states and are also permanent members of the UN Security Council.
Israel has had nuclear weapons for decades, but Western governments are not particularly concerned about them. Indeed, drawing attention to Israel's nuclear weapons is considered unacceptable.
India and Pakistan, which openly tested their nuclear weapons in 1998, have had them for decades. Given the tension between these two neighbours, it is plausible to argue that any deterioration in their conflict over Kashmir could trigger a nuclear exchange.
However, analysts believe that countries that possess nuclear weapons tend to be less radical in their dealings with other nuclear-armed states.
India, Israel and Pakistan are not members of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, so they did not violate international rules by developing nuclear weapons. However, their weapons have undermined global security.
The fact that these three countries became nuclear powers is an indication of a weakness in the existing international nuclear safeguards system.
The IAEA found North Korea to be in breach of its Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty obligations in 2002, before it decided to pull out of the NPT earlier this year, but several countries are not convinced that it met the requirements for withdrawal.
According the NPT rules, any country may withdraw after giving a three months' notice. It also needs to provide a statement of reasons, detailing the extraordinary events that might jeopardise its security if it did not withdraw.
In the early 1990s, North Korea gave notice to quit the NPT, but it changed its position one day before the notice was due to expire. However, this time, it gave one day's notice, claiming that it had reactivated the earlier withdrawal notice. It is for this reason that several countries believe North Korea did not meet the requirements.
There is also concern about the precedent North Korea has set. The fact that it could quit the NPT easily in order to develop nuclear weapons demonstrates the weakness in the anti-proliferation regimes, and this might be addressed in the forthcoming NPT review conference in 2005.
It is not clear whether North Korea possesses nuclear weapons or not. Its government claims it has several nuclear bombs, but several countries in the Asia-Pacific region remain sceptical about the claim.
Unlike North Korea, Iran is still an NPT member, so if it develops nuclear weapons clandestinely, it violates international law. Iran's nuclear ambitions go back to the 1970s. Undeclared sites Iran has not been found to be non-compliant with its NPT obligations, but the IAEA has been monitoring only its declared facilities. Given the suspicion that it might be pursuing nuclear weapons clandestinely, the IAEA has requested Iran to sign the additional protocol, which would give the IAEA authority to inspect undeclared sites, but Iran is unwilling to do so.
The additional protocol was developed in the early 1990s after serious shortcomings were discovered in the previous system, which Iraq had exploited to develop weapons programmes in undeclared sites, while appearing to comply with the IAEA safeguards system in the declared sites.
While it is important that North Korea, Iran and other states should be prevented from acquiring nuclear weapons, the US has been sending conflicting signals about the efficacy of these weapons. For example, Washington has not signed the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, which was concluded in the 1990s.
Moreover, after withdrawing from the 29-year old Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty with Russia in 2001, the US indicated it was willing to use nuclear weapons against countries that have no such weapons.
If the US finds the use of nuclear weapons attractive, it is not likely to persuade other countries that they are bad. Disarmament efforts should target all countries that have nuclear weapons. That is the only way we can build a safer world. http://www.nationaudio.com/News/DailyNation/Today/Comment/Comment300920031.html
Comment #12 Removed by Moderator
To: DoctorZIn; F14 Pilot
Thanks for the information.
posted on 09/30/2003 4:19:41 AM PDT
''We view with concern the Iranian judiciary banning a reformist publication simply for not placing prominently a judiciary statement,'' State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said at his daily briefing, citing U.S. support for freedom of speech and freedom of the press."
"We hope the voice of the Iranian people and their call for democracy and the rule of law will be heard and help transform Iran into a force for stability in the region,'' he added. "
WOW. What a change. I can't remember anyone from the White House or State Dept. even bringing up the subject of Iranian newspapers being banned. (doubt it's my letter writing campaign.) Must be Reporters Without Borders.
Finally. Now, maybe the press will be forced to reveal their shameful lack of coverage in the past. (nah, they'll just pick it up like it's somethinig new going on. Who am I kidding?)
Ethical Journalists = Oxymoron
Unethical Journalists= Redundant
posted on 09/30/2003 6:24:06 AM PDT
( Stop thinking about it and do it.)
This newspaper is from Nairobi, Kenya.
The U.S. is as dangerous as totalitarian dictatorships in league with terrorists. Maybe more so.
Didn't you know that? </sarc>
posted on 09/30/2003 6:32:27 AM PDT
( Stop thinking about it and do it.)
"And it's been a particularly idiotic morning."
posted on 09/30/2003 6:44:28 AM PDT
Wolfowitz Honors Slain Iraqi Cleric
September 27, 2003
The Associated Press
jenifer C. Kerr
ARLINGTON, Va. -- Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz paid tribute Saturday to a top Shiite cleric killed last month in Iraq, calling him a true patriot and an inspiration to many people of different faiths.
"His untimely death deprived Iraq of an important leader, at a time when men like him are badly needed," said Wolfowitz.
Ayatollah Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim was killed in a car bombing Aug. 29 in the holy city of Najaf. The attack left more than 80 others dead, and over 140 wounded.
Wolfowitz told about 300 mourners at a memorial service that al-Hakim and others who have died since the fall of Baghdad should be remembered for their efforts toward a free and democratic Iraq.
"The best way to honor their memory is to finish their work," he said.
Wolfowitz said much has been accomplished since the "horrible, sadistic, vicious, brutal regime" of Saddam Hussein crumbled. Hospitals and universities have reopened, and new Iraqi army is being trained as more than 40,000 Iraqi police conduct joint patrols with coalition forces, he said.
Critics have complained of the slow pace toward stability in Iraq, and the rising costs and casualties among American and coalition armed forces.
Rebuilding Iraq will take time, said Wolfowitz. "It will require patience."
Wolfowitz, a key architect of U.S. policy in Iraq, drew applause from the crowd when he said a new currency will go into circulation next month, replacing bills with the likeness of Saddam. They will "no longer bear the ugly face of the butcher," he said.
Ahmad Chalabi, the current president of the U.S.-appointed interim Iraqi Governing Council, also attended the service. Al-Hakim's brother is a member of the council.
Al-Hakim spent more than two decades in exile in Iran before returning to Iraq in May. He formed the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, a prominent anti-Saddam group that advocated Islamic rule for Iraq.
While al-Hakim denounced the U.S. military occupation, he did not support violent resistance against it. http://customwire.ap.org/dynamic/stories/I/IRAQ_CLERIC?SITE=DCTMS&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT
Israel - Prisoner Exchange Awaits Crescent Moon
September 30, 2003
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report
The machinery is running for the Israel-Hizballah prisoner swap.
Barring hitches, DEBKAfiles intelligence sources report it is due to take place on a date between Wednesday October 22 and Friday October 24, depending on when the sky-gazing senior imams sight the next crescent moon and proclaim the start of the holy Muslim feast month of Ramadhan.
The Israeli government has agreed to this schedule, a bonus for Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah that enables him to advertise himself as the only Muslim leader - not Saddam Hussein or even Osama bin Laden or Yasser Arafat - capable of bringing about the release of Islamic fighters.
However, in the last two days, his demands for restoring Elhanan Tanenboim and the bodies of the three soldiers the Hizballah kidnapped in October 2000: Benny Avraham, Adi Avitan and Omar Suweid, are spiraling out of sight. Relishing his new status, the Hizballah leader sat in state over the weekend, receiving delegates of the Palestinian Hamas and Jihad Islami terrorist groups with requests to put their imprisoned members on the negotiating table. From obedient minion of Damascus and Tehran, Nasrallah was in the privileged position of bestowing favors on allied terrorist groups - according to the potential usefulness of the recipient.
He may be overplaying his hand.
Tuesday, September 30, the Israeli cabinet put its foot down by taking the item off its agenda. The number of prisoners Israel would release had not been determined, said a spokesman in Jerusalem, and would certainly not include terrorist-murderers, Jordanians or Israeli Arabs.
All sides now await a decision by Irans spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, minister of intelligence Hojatoleslam Akli Younesi and senior justice Mahmoud Hashemi Shah-Roudi regarding the release of information on the fate of the Israeli navigator Ron Arad who fell captive in Lebanon 17 years ago.
Expectations are low. Tehran never parted with a word on what befell two US colonels, William R. Higgins and William Buckley, who were kidnapped in Lebanon in the eighties at their behest and tortured before they were put to death. The Iranians are even less likely to be forthcoming on the Israeli navigator.
Against all odds, Ron Arads family is fighting a courageous and spirited battle to force the Israeli government to make any prisoner handover to the Hizballah conditional on receipt of news about the missing Israeli navigator. They have petitioned the Tel Aviv district court to place a $1 million lien on the rights and properties of a key Lebanese captive, Mustafa Dirani, to prevent his release and cover damages for the abuse he inflicted on Ron Arad before selling him to the Iranians. By filing a second petition with the Supreme Court in Jerusalem, they have gained partial access to a secret report that concluded there is no proof of the missing navigators death; therefore he must be presumed alive.
But it is a losing battle, because the information they want is not in the hands of the Hizballah but in Tehran. It will be made available only if a top Iranian decision-maker calculates that its release will benefit Tehrans interests. In particular, Tehran would like to disentangle its relations with Washington or Berlin without giving up its nuclear program. The Iranians might also be tempted into giving the German government information about the Israeli navigator to set off a four-way prisoner exchange between Germany, Iran, Israel and Hizballah. They would then be able to demand that the Schroeder government hand over Iranian prisoners held on charges of terrorist action or assassination on behalf of Iranian intelligence.
In return Israeli would be required to cut loose an expanded number of Palestinian prisoners or detainees. However, if Tehran stays out of the transaction, Israel will feel less obliged to be forthcoming on Palestinian prisoners.
In any case, some exchange will go forward. The Arads therefore have little hope of winning their just, heartbreaking fight. Rons brother, Hen, who is spearheading the battle, will have to accept that it is too late in the day to bear results. The missing Israeli may still have been alive in the early 1990s. By now, given the nature of his captors, the chances are dim. The dated confidential report to which the Arads have been granted partial access establishes no more than non-proof of his death. At some point, the Sharon government will tell the court that there is nothing more to be done and present them with the solomonic decision between holding out for Ron Arad however hopeless the prospects - or winning freedom for an Israeli known to be alive, Elhanan Tanenboim, and recovering the abducted soldiers to grant their grieving families the solace of a ceremonial burial.
If anyone in Lebanon knows what befell Ron Arad, it is not Nasrallah who was never au fait with his disposition but the wanted master terrorist-abductor Imad Mughniyeh. The only realistic path remaining to the Arads is an appeal through official channels to the White House in Washington with a proposal of concerted action against the man notorious for orchestrating the deadly wave of mass terror and abductions of westerners in the Beirut of the 1980s, who subsequently served Tehran and al Qaeda as their terrorist operational ace.
It was Mughniyeh who abducted the late Colonels Higgins and Buckley and it was he who secretly moved Arad from the Lebanese Beqaa Valley to Damascus for interrogation by Syrian and Russian agents and after that most probably to Tehran. His is the most likely hand to have kidnapped the three Israeli soldiers three years ago. It was up to Mughniyeh to decide whether Nasrallah would be given the locations of Tanenboim and the three soldiers. He therefore held the key to the current prisoner exchange.
However, in recent months, the veteran master terrorist senses Washingtons noose closing around his neck. He lives in Lebanon at the mercy of the Syrians and the Hizballah because he has nowhere left to go. Therefore, the big question hanging over the current trade is not how many Palestinian prisoners Nasrallah will break free, but what deal he struck with Mughniyeh in lieu of the information he received on Tanenboim and the soldiers.
After the prisoner swap goes through if it does Mughniyeh will be left with a single trump word of Ron Arad. That is the card the navigators family must seek to uncover and it wont be achieved by litigation in Israeli courts over Mustafa Dirani. http://www.debka.com/article.php?aid=576
U.N. Needs 'Full Iran Nuke-access'
September 30, 2003
VIENNA, Austria -- The U.N. nuclear watchdog chief has said he will need full and unlimited cooperation from Iran to verify Tehran's insistence that it has no secret atomic weapons programme.
Iran said on Monday it would limit the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) access to declared nuclear sites when inspectors arrive this week ahead of an October 31 deadline for Iran to show it has no nuclear weapons programme.
However, to verify Iran's claims about its controversial uranium-enrichment programme and other aspects of Iran's atomic activities, the IAEA needs access to facilities that have not been officially declared as nuclear sites.
"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 programme is purely peaceful)," IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei told reporters Tuesday.
Iran has until the end of October to convince the IAEA that it has not been diverting resources to covertly make an atomic bomb, as the United States and other countries have alleged.
If ElBaradei tells the IAEA governing board at its November meeting that he cannot verify the Iranian statements, the board would have to report Iran to the U.N. Security Council for possible economic and diplomatic sanctions.
ElBaradei said that IAEA inspectors were leaving on Wednesday for talks in Iran scheduled to begin on Thursday.
He said the priority was understanding the nature of Iran's uranium enrichment programme, which Washington says would be used to purify uranium for use in a nuclear explosive device -- a charge Iran denies.
"The most important issue (is) the nature and extent of Iran's uranium enrichment programme and that's our number one priority," he said.
The IAEA has found weapons-grade uranium at two sites in Iran, diplomats told Reuters, which has raised suspicion that Iran has long been making enriched uranium -- a key element in a nuclear weapon.
Iran says that this is due to contamination, but that explanation has met with scepticism inside and outside the IAEA.
Originally Iran had said that its enrichment programme began in 1997, but recently changed its story and told the agency that it began in 1985. This has made understanding the programme even more urgent than it was before, ElBaradei said.
"We need to reconstruct a two-decade old programme," he said. http://edition.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/meast/09/30/iran.nuclear.elbaradei.reut/index.html
Iran Hardliners Allow Reformist Daily to Publish
September 30, 2003
TEHRAN -- Iran's conservative judiciary has granted a leading reformist newspaper a reprieve from a 10-day ban criticised by the U.S. State Department, one of the newspaper's editorial board said on Tuesday.
Yas-e No had been ordered to stop its presses from Monday after it failed to reprint a judiciary statement on its front page that it originally tucked away in its middle pages.
But Morad Veysi, one of the editorial board, said the daily would return to the kiosks on Wednesday.
''There has been agreement and the newspaper is going to be published tomorrow and I know that the statement will be published in the middle eight pages,'' he told Reuters.
U.S. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher expressed concern over the suspension at his daily briefing on Monday.
The judiciary statement had been a riposte to articles in the newspaper on the welfare of imprisoned pollster Abbas Abdi who published a survey that found three-quarters of Iranians in favour of resuming dialogue with arch-foe the United States.
Some 90 newspapers have been banned by Iran's judiciary in the last three years and scores of reformist journalists have been jailed. http://famulus.msnbc.com/FamulusIntl/reuters09-30-061256.asp?reg=MIDEAST
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