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Iranian Alert -- October 1, 2003 -- IRAN LIVE THREAD PING LIST
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^
Posted on 10/01/2003 12:40:44 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 10/01/2003 12:40:45 AM PDT
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posted on 10/01/2003 12:42:29 AM PDT
Another interesting analysis by Amir Taheri. -- DoctorZin
Amir Taheri: Both Said and Shariati belong to 'blame-the-west' school
Gulf News Online Ed
Edward Said, the American scholar, who died last week, is often regarded as the man who invented the "blame-it-on-the-west" theory. His "Orientalism", a polemical pamphlet masquerading as historical analysis, presented the study of the Muslim world by European scholars as a "colonialist plot".
The premise of the polemic is simple: the West is an "imperialist" monster out to dominate the world, devour its resources, impoverish other nations, and plunge mankind into perpetual war.
The conclusion is equally simple: the only relationship possible between "the West" and "the rest" is one of perpetual conflict.
Almost two decades before Said, the Iranian polemicist Ali Shariati had presented a similar reading of history in several books, some of which were serialised in the Tehran daily newspaper Kayhan in the mid-1970s.
Both men made a number of assumptions.
First, they saw the West is a monolithic machine motivated by Machiavellian considerations of power and profit.
Shariati had spent years in France while Said spent almost the whole of his life in the United States where his father had become a citizen. Both writers failed to see, or chose to ignore, the diversity of political opinion, social mores, cultural attitudes, and the more classical class conflicts that existed in all pluralist and democratic Western societies.
Secondly, they saw the East-West relationship in purely moral terms and ignored the "cold" political, economic and military aspects of international relations.
They never asked why it was so easy for Napoleon Bonaparte to conquer Egypt with a handful of men. Nor did they wonder how the British were able to control the Indian Subcontinent with a few thousands European officers and bureaucrats.
Nor, again, did they ask why was it that Muslims, who had supposedly discovered the wisdom of the ancient Greeks before the Europeans, failed to develop the rationalism without which there can be no modern industry and thus no modern military power.
Thirdly, both men assumed that whatever came from the West was evil. They ignored the positive influence of Western ideas that, imported into "the rest", enabled non-Western nations to attempt long overdue reforms.
Had Said and Shariati looked around them they would have seen that virtually the whole of the cultural and literary revival that Muslim nations experienced from the middle of the 19th century onwards was a result of Westernisation.
Finally, both men wanted "the rest", which in their case meant Muslims, to resist Westernisation at all cost.
To Shariati, becoming westernised was like "catching syphilis". Said saw Westernised Muslims as "service slaves" fed on crumbs from the Western high table. "We have to re-become ourselves," Shariati insisted.
But, like Said, he failed to say what that "ourselves" exactly was? Did it mean the moribund societies in which despots ruled over an ignorant and terrified peasantry with the help of corrupt elites? Did it mean a life blighted by poverty, disease and insecurity? Did it mean a culture reduced to the level of silly neo-classical poetry and ornament-stricken prose?
Said and Shariati were intelligent enough not to re-become "themselves", whatever that meant. They did not obtain their education at a madrassah in Qom or a maktab in Quetta. One passed through the crucible of the Sorbonne in Paris while the other studied at several American universities.
As far as style, reasoning, methods of analysis, and cultural terms of reference are concerned, both were entirely 'Western' writers, although Shariati wrote most of his works in Persian. Shariati was influenced by Fanon and Gurovitch while Said was inspired by Anderson and Milliband.
Shariati loved Balzac and wrote his books while listening to Bizet. Said was a fan of Conrad and listened to Bach. The only concession they gave to the cause of "re-becoming themselves" was that both stopped wearing neckties in their final years and, instead, grew beards.
Shariati and Said adopted the Western culture of nationalism as the basis of their Manichaean view of the world. Living in Europe and America, they could not identify with any particular nation, however.
For them "us" meant the Muslim world of which neither had a serious, first-hand experience. To them Islam was not a religion but an ideology and a cultural identity.
Two issues preoccupied Shariati and Said above all else.
Shariati became obsessed with the Algerian war of independence. Said's preoccupation was with Palestine. Each saw the issue of his preoccupation in terms of "just versus unjust" and "Islam versus the West". This led them into a moralistic maze that precludes a proper analysis of issues that are neither religious nor cultural, but fundamentally political.
In Algeria it was not "the Crusading West" fighting Islam. On one side there was a colonial state experiencing a crisis of identity and unable to tame its conservative instincts. On the other, there was the Algerian peoples that, for the first time in history, were beginning to define themselves, ironically enough, in expressly Western terms, as a nation.
In other words, it was after they had become Westernised that the Algerians rose against the French.
The Palestine issue is not an "us versus them" conflict either. It is about land, borders, sovereignty and, ultimately, political power. It is, if you like, a secular issue, not a theological one. The focus of the hurt nationalism of some Arabs, it is not a theatre of war between Islam and the "Judeo-Christian" West.
Said and Shariati differed on one important point. Said blamed almost everything on Western imperialism. His historic question was "what have others done to us?" Shariati, however, shared the blame between the West and the Muslim ruling and theological elites. Having asked the same question as Said, he proceeded to pose another: what have our rulers and religious leaders done to us?
But even Shariati, although he goes further than Said, fails to contemplate the possibility of subjecting the Islamic experience itself to serious analysis and criticism.
It is not enough to say we are in this mess either because the "Imperialists" have dominated us or because our rulers and theologians have been corrupt and ignorant. This kind of blame game may make for exciting polemics. But it leaves the basic question un-attended: is there not some fundamental flaw in our culture that makes us vulnerable to "Imperialist aggression" and domination by corrupt rulers and ignorant theologians?
Blaming others for the mess we have been in for centuries may make us feel good, even heroic.
But at the same time it divests us of our humanity. It turns us into objects of history, mere pawns manipulated by powers beyond our comprehension.
In that sense, the reading of history by Shariati and Said could be described as metaphysical. Their work, therefore, should be read as literature rather than politics.
The writer, Iranian author and journalist, is based in Europe. He can be contacted at his e-mail at email@example.com http://www.gulf-news.com/Articles/Opinion.asp?ArticleID=99062
posted on 10/01/2003 12:50:49 AM PDT
To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
posted on 10/01/2003 12:51:44 AM PDT
Syria and the New Axis of Evil
By Washington Times
Washington Times | October 1, 2003
While President Bush did not officially list Syria as a member of the axis of evil during last year's State of the Union address, the administration clearly seems to be moving toward making Damascus a sort of ex officio member of the club, alongside Iran and North Korea. In recent testimony before the House International Relations Subcommittee on the Middle East, a senior State Department official made it clear that President Bashar Assad's Ba'athist dictatorship is well on its way to attaining pariah status with the Bush administration an unenviable position to be in, as his Ba'athist neighbor Saddam Hussein found out six months ago.
The official, Undersecretary of State for ArmsControlJohn Bolton, emphasized that Syria remains a security threat in two major areas: weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and support for terrorism. Mr. Bolton listed Syria, along with North Korea, Iran and Libya, among "rogue states" that pose "threats to our national security." And, using terminology that has to worry Mr. Assad, Mr. Bolton said that Washington is determined to "roll back" and "ultimately eliminate such weapons from the arsenals of rogue states and ensure that the terrorist groups they sponsor do not acquire weapons of mass destruction." He left open the possibility that Washington might need to use force against dangerous regimes like the one in Damascus.
For at least the second time in the past year, the administration expressed concern about possible Syrian efforts to develop nuclear weapons. "We are aware of Syrian efforts to acquire dual-use technologies some through the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Technical Cooperation program that could be applied to a nuclear weapons program. In addition, Russia and Syria have approved a draft program on cooperation on civil nuclear power," Mr. Bolton told the subcommittee. "Broader access to Russian expertise could provide opportunities for Syria to expand its indigenous capabilities, should it decide to pursue nuclear weapons."
Mr. Bolton also noted that Washington suspects that Syria is continuing to develop an offensive biological weapons capability; has stockpiled chemical weapons such as sarin and VX nerve gas and has equipped part of its force of several hundred ballistic missiles with chemical warheads. A longer-range missile the Scud D developed with assistance from North Korea, is capable of reaching large portions of Iraq, Jordan and Turkey from sites well inside Syria. Iran has also played a key role in aiding Syria's ballistic missile development. By developing weapons of mass destruction and continuing to support terrorist groups like Hezbollah, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Mr. Bolton warned, Syria falls into a category of states that pose a "potential dual threat" to American interests. And, the senior State Department diplomat also warned that, by permitting Arab "volunteers" to enter Iraq to kill American service members, Syria has been playing a dangerous game.
Unlike U.S. policy toward Iraq which Democratic partisans have turned into a political football there is strong, bipartisan support on Capitol Hill for legislation to penalize Syrian misbehavior. Indeed, despite some initial misgivings from the Bush administration, as of last night, 272 House members and 75 senators have supported legislation to impose a sweeping set of economic sanctions to force Damascus to dramatically change its behavior. Should the administration eventually decide it is necessary to take decisive action against Mr. Assad's regime, it will begin with a surprisingly bipartisan, strong level of support in Congress. http://frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=10097
posted on 10/01/2003 12:57:40 AM PDT
To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
posted on 10/01/2003 12:58:25 AM PDT
Iran's Katami Vows to Pass Reform Bills
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: September 30, 2003
Filed at 10:57 p.m. ET
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iran's president, repeatedly stymied in efforts to carry out promised reforms, said Tuesday he would get two key bills passed ``one way or the other.''
The two pieces of legislation -- seen as vital for President Mohammad Khatami to implement the reform platform on which he was elected -- would limit the powers of the Guardian Council and other unelected bodies controlled by hard-liners in Iran's Islamic government.
One proposal would give Khatami greater powers to stop constitutional violations by his hard-line opponents, while the other would bar the Guardian Council from arbitrarily disqualifying candidates in parliamentary and presidential elections.
``Unfortunately, both bills faced problems, but still I've not lost hope because in the end this issue will be solved one way or the another,'' state-run Tehran television quoted Khatami as saying.
Khatami was addressing provincial governors at a meeting in Tehran to prepare for crucial parliamentary elections scheduled for February. He said he did not expect the elections bill to be approved before the February vote.
Khatami has few remaining options: He can take up the issue with supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final say on all state matters; demand a referendum on the bills; or resign.
For years, Iran been embroiled in a power struggle between elected reformers supporting Khatami's program of peaceful democratic reforms and hard-liners resisting them through the powerful but unelected bodies they control, including the Guardian Council and the judiciary.
Since Khatami took office in 1997, hard-liners have used their control of unelected bodies to block all reform legislation, shut down more than 100 liberal publications and detain dozens of pro-reform activists and writers.
Khatami, who offered to resign in July, has repeatedly complained he is powerless to stop hard-liners from violating the constitution and acting against voted reforms.
``Khatami has made it clear that if the two bills are not approved, it would be meaningless for him to remain in his position as president,'' said Saeed Shariati, a leader of the Islamic Iran Participation Front, Iran's largest reformist political party.
The reformist-dominated parliament passed the bills over the summer but the hard-line Guardian Council, an oversight body, vetoed them, claiming they were contrary to Islam and the constitution.
Members of the hard-line Guardian Council have vowed to reject reformist candidates who seek major changes. http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/international/AP-Iran-Politics.html
posted on 10/01/2003 1:05:22 AM PDT
Scores of States May Build Nuclear Weapons -ElBaradei
Tue September 30, 2003 11:28 AM ET
By Louis Charbonneau
VIENNA (Reuters) -
The head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog said Tuesday that unless the United States and other nuclear powers take concrete steps toward disarmament, scores of countries will follow their lead and build atomic weapons.
The United States, China, Britain, France and Russia all signed the 1968 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). They were allowed to keep their atomic arsenals, but agreed to begin negotiations on full disarmament.
"Unless we are moving steadily toward nuclear disarmament, I'm afraid that the alternative is that we'll have scores of countries with nuclear weapons and that's an absolute recipe for self-destruction," International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Mohamed ElBaradei told reporters.
The IAEA is charged with verifying members countries' compliance with the NPT through regular inspections of its nearly 190 signatories' nuclear facilities to ensure they are not diverting resources to secret weapons programs.
ElBaradei has attacked U.S. plans to research so-called "mini nukes," smaller nuclear bombs which Washington says it wants to study but not deploy. ElBaradei says these plans are sending the wrong signal to states considering atomic bombs.
"I think eventually the weapons states have to make good on their commitment under the NPT, which was made 30 years ago, saying that we are going to move to nuclear disarmament," he said.
"That was an acknowledgment that nuclear weapons are inherently bad and that we should get rid of them," ElBaradei said. "The sooner we do that the better."
India and Pakistan have not signed the NPT but have nuclear weapons. Israel has never acknowledged it has a nuclear arsenal, though it is estimated to have up to 200 atomic weapons.
The IAEA discovered Iraq's secret nuclear weapons program after the first Gulf War in 1991. The agency has said that by 1995 it had dismantled the program.
Earlier this month the IAEA governing board gave Iran until October 31 to prove it has no secret atomic weapons program, as the United States alleges. ElBaradei said Tuesday Tehran would miss the deadline unless it began to give him "full cooperation" soon. http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=topNews&storyID=3533051
posted on 10/01/2003 1:07:48 AM PDT
Iran Unlikely to Meet Nuclear Deadline
Wed October 1, 2003 03:53 AM ET
By Paul Hughes
TEHRAN (Reuters) -
Loathe to ditch a project it began in 1985 and riven by factional disputes on how to respond to international pressure, Iran appears unlikely to allay fears about its atomic aims before an October 31 U.N. deadline.
Failure to do so could see Iran's case taken before the United Nations Security Council where the Islamic Republic would face possible economic and diplomatic sanctions.
"At the moment it looks like they're on a collision course with the Security Council," said one European diplomat in Tehran. "You can't rule it out, but I can't see them pulling a surprise and meeting our demands before the deadline."
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors are due in Tehran Thursday to begin a crucial round of visits and talks to verify Iran's statements that its sophisticated network of nuclear plants is geared solely to electricity production.
IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei said Tuesday Iran must give his team "full cooperation" soon or face accusations it is secretly building a nuclear weapons capability.
But as the clock ticks Tehran shows little sign of softening its stance.
Angered by the IAEA call for it to clear up remaining questions and halt uranium enrichment, Iran says it will only give inspectors limited access to nuclear sites.
Enriched uranium can be used as fuel for power plants, or as bomb material if highly enriched.
Iran says arms-grade enriched uranium traces found at two Iranian plants by IAEA inspectors this year were caused by contamination from imported centrifuge enrichment parts.
But to the dismay of the IAEA, diplomats say, Iran still refuses to say where the imported parts came from.
"They just don't show any sign of changing their pattern of very grudging and limited cooperation," a diplomat said.
Hard-liners, who control the main levers of power in Iran and tend to have the final say on security matters, argue Tehran must not bow to international pressure. "Pulling out of the NPT (nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty) is the most logical path to adopt," Hossein Shariatmadari, influential editor of the hard-line Kayhan newspaper, wrote in an editorial Tuesday.
Members of Iran's reformist government say following North Korea's example of pulling out of the NPT is not on the cards.
Some argue in favor of signing up to tougher nuclear inspections to head off concerns expressed by the European Union, Russia and Japan as well as arch foe the United States.
"We should neutralize the propaganda against Iran's peaceful nuclear activities," deputy Foreign Minister Mohsen Aminzadeh said last week. "If we fail, global public opinion will remain suspicious about our peaceful activities and will block them."
Officials say Iran's response to the IAEA demands is being analyzed by the Supreme National Security Council, where reformist officials rub shoulders with representatives of hardline bodies such as the Revolutionary Guards.
"The debate is very intense as the public comments suggest. But ultimately the onus is on reformists to convince the hard-liners that it's in Iran's best interests to meet the IAEA's demands," said one local analyst.
While differences exist between hard-liners and reformers about how to respond to international pressure, there is broad cross-factional support for the nuclear program.
Iran's Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi told U.S. audiences last week Iran would sign the NPT Additional Protocol for no-notice inspections in return for assurances it could continue its nuclear program, including enrichment, for peaceful ends.
"We want to make sure this (signing the protocol) is going to solve our problems and remove all suspicions," Kharrazi said.
Such assurances, however, are unlikely to be forthcoming.
Concerned that Iran may sign the Additional Protocol but delay for years its ratification and implementation, the European Union Monday hardened its stance by demanding Iran also stop activities which could produce fissile material.
That would mean halting a uranium enrichment project which Iran now acknowledges dates back to 1985.
"This is the key sticking point now," said the local analyst. "The hard-liners are saying that no matter what Iran does, even signing the protocol, Washington and its allies will keep up the pressure."
"And even the reformers in the government are not prepared to give up the nuclear program altogether." http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=topNews&storyID=3537365
posted on 10/01/2003 1:09:41 AM PDT
To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Iran, Syria call for expansion of ties
Tehran, IRNA -- Visiting Syrian First Vice President Abd al-Halim Khaddam conferred with Iranian counterpart Mohammad-Reza Aref on expansion and consolidation of ties between the two countries.
At the meeting, Aref underlined the need to promote the activities of the Iran-Syria Economic Commission and follow up the agreements signed earlier between the two countries.
Exchange of visits by officials of the two sides will help upgrade political, economic and cultural cooperation, he said. Both Iran and Syria share very close stands on regional and international developments, he noted calling for immediate withdrawal of occupying forces from Iraq and underlined the need to restore that country`s independence and sovereignty.
He called for the formation of a democratic government under the supervision of the United Nations in Iraq. Underlining the need to reconstruct Iraq, he said Iran and Syria can take part in the country`s reconstruction campaign under the supervision of the United Nations.
Aref also pointed to the need for collective efforts by all Muslim countries to help restore the legitimate rights of the Palestinians and pave the way for the return of refugees to their homeland.
According to the Information and Press Bureau of the Presidential office, Khaddam, for his part, described the existing level of ties between Iran and Syria as `good` and called for further consolidation and expansion of all-out cooperation in various economic and cultural fields as well as in sharing technological know-how.
Highlighting the significant impact on boosting ties between Iran and Syria at regional and international levels, he called for cooperation among Islamic countries to help restore stability and security in the region.
On continuation of Israel`s policies and its impacts on the region, he called for serious efforts by Islamic countries to find a logical solution to offset conspiracies hatched by a number of powers in the region.
Unity among various political parties and ethnic groups in Iraq will lead to establishment of a democratic government in the country, he pointed out. Iran and Syria can help various groups and political wings in Iraq to get united, he concluded. http://www.iranmania.com/News/ArticleView/Default.asp?NewsCode=18371&NewsKind=Current%20Affairs
(( Allied members of the Axis of Evil Club, Time to Re-act? ))
FM: Iran ought to prevent nuclear issue from going to Security Council
Iran's Foreign Minister said Wednesday that his country must prevent its nuclear dossier being transferred to the United Nations Security Council, without specifying if Tehran would satisfy an International Atomic Energy Agency ultimatum.
"This question must not be sent to the (U.N.) Security Council. This must be prevented," Kamal Kharazi was quoted as saying by IRNA news agency on the eve of a visit by the nuclear watchdog's inspectors.
"The official position of the Islamic Republic of Iran regarding the additional protocol ... is for greater cooperation with the IAEA. We are determined to have an active and transparent cooperation with the agency," Kharazi said.
The IAEA has set October 31 as a deadline for Iran to prove that it is not covertly developing nuclear weapons. http://www.albawaba.com/news/index.php3?sid=259961&lang=e&dir=news
"Syria remains a security threat in two major areas: weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and support for terrorism"
Sounds like they meet the qualifications for the "axis of Evil" club, to me.
posted on 10/01/2003 5:27:13 AM PDT
( Stop thinking about it and do it.)
Leader: Region Now Under Threat From U.S.
TEHRAN, Sept. 30, (Mehr News Agency) - - Ayatollah Khamenei, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, today met with the Syrian Vice-President Abdolhalim Khaddam and his entourage. He stressed the high status of Tehran-Damascus ties in the Iranian foreign policy and the need for further cooperation.
The foundation of this firm cooperation was laid by the late Hafiz Asad and now we witness that the same trend is retained by the young Hafiz Asad, Bashar Asad, he added. Regarding the status quo in the region, notably in Palestine and Iraq he said, Cooperation and coordination among the countries of the region are of great significance under such circumstances. He described racial and religious conflicts as great dangers Iraqi groups and all effective countries should try to preserve the Iraqi unity and integration.
Ayatollah Khamenei reiterated that the Islamic Republic of Iran is suspicious of the intelligence services of the Zionist Regime and the U.S. in regard to terrorist acts inside Iraq such as the case of Martyr Ayatollah Seyed Mohammad Baqir Hakim. Martyr Hakim used to symbolize the Iraqi independence and integration and the Iraqi peoples protest against occupation; Abdol-Aziz Hakim will follow his path.
He described the use of threat as a frequent device used by the U.S. to terrorize the officials and the elite for achieving its objectives.
Countries in the region should realize that the U.S. threats are targeted against all nations in the region; these countries can thwart the U.S. policies only by cooperation and coordination, he added.
He expressed hope that the Palestinians and the Iraqis would soon regain their freedom. The Islamic Republic of Iran is very optimistic about the future.
While the Iranian Vice-President, Aref, was present at the meeting, the Syrian Vice-President underscored the excellent ties between the two countries and asked for their further enhancement.
Elaborating on the situation in the Occupied Territories and Iraq, Abdol-Haleem Khaddam stressed that the U.S. presence in Iraq is a danger for the whole region.
Emphasizing the need for maintaining unity and integration in Iraq, he said that despite all the U.S. attempts to help the Zionist Regime, all Washingtons plans such as the Oslo Accords and the Road Map were doomed to failure.
If the regional countries cooperate on the issue of Palestine, the Zionist Regime will definitely fail in all its efforts, he added. http://www.tehrantimes.com/Description.asp?Da=10/1/03&Cat=2&Num=010
(( The Tehran Times is a pro-cleric newspaper in Iran- Just wanted all Freepers to see how these hard-liners in Iran view us ))!
To: DoctorZIn; McGavin999; Eala; AdmSmith; dixiechick2000; nuconvert; onyx; Pro-Bush; Valin; ...
Lari urges boosting confidence
Tehran, Oct 1 - Minister of Interior said here Tuesday that people should feel that their votes counts in elections.
Speaking at a gathering of governors from across the nation, Abdolvahed Mousavi Lari added that if people feel that their representative are running the national affairs then they will strive to back them in the settlement of crisis or in resolving problems.
"The people, through their participation in elections, will express their will and desire," Lari said.
He said the level of people participation in elections will revealthe direction of the society and the people's wants and aspirations.
The upcoming 7th Majlis election embodies sensitivities different from previous elections, the interior minister underlined.
"The world is also watching the level of people's participation in the elections."
He further referred to statements by the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei and President Mohammad Khatami on the importance of people's participation in elections.
"If we are part of the Islamic system, it is because of the people's votes," he added. http://www.iribnews.com/Full_en.asp?news_id=189306&n=14
(( IRIB is a state-run public media in Iran ))
Khamenei Calls Middle East States to Unite
October 01, 2003
Irans supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, called Tuesday 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. http://www.riyadhdaily.com.sa/display_assay.php?id=37300
Iran Red-lines 'Green' as Prelude to Regime Change
October 01, 2003
TEHRAN -- Tehran's acceptance of tougher UN nuclear inspections would be tantamount to giving the green light to a plan to overthrow the Islamic regime, a prominent Iranian hardliner argued Tuesday.
"We should remain firm and not put our existence in danger by signing the additional protocol," said Hossein Shariatmadari, editor of the hardline Kayhan newspaper, in comments carried in the national press. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has given Iran until Oct 31 to answer all its questions concerning allegations that it is seeking to develop atomic weapons.
The international community is also calling on Iran to sign an additional protocol to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty which would allow inspectors to conduct surprise visits to suspect sites. IAEA teams are currently only permitted to make pre-arranged visits. But Shatmadari said the additional protocol was merely the "first step in a plan slowly to overthrow the Islamic republic." The editor, well-known for his radical hardline views, is one of several conservatives urging Iran to follow the path of North Korea and pull out of the NPT altogether. Iran on Tuesday labeled as unacceptable the European Union's renewed threat that lucrative trade ties were in danger if the Islamic Republic did not come clean on its nuclear program.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi criticized an EU statement released Monday that called on Iran to suspend uranium enrichment and sign the so-called Additional Protocol that would allow snap nuclear inspections. "The European approach to Iran's peaceful nuclear program is inappropriate, politically motivated and unacceptable," he said. "The Islamic Republic expects the EU to recognize Iran's legitimate right to obtain nuclear technology and use it peacefully." The head of the UN atomic agency suggested Tuesday that Iran has done little to disprove it is making nuclear weapons since being asked to do so weeks ago and called for the "full story," from Tehran by Oct 31.
Ahead of a crucial round of UN inspections, Director General Mohamed ElBaradei of the International Atomic Energy Agency told reporters he expected Iran to dispel suspicions by an October deadline."Four weeks is ample time for Iran to come up with a full and complete declaration," ElBaradei told reporters. "The next few weeks are key to gauge the level of cooperation and transparency displayed by Iran." An IAEA team is scheduled to leave Wednesday for negotiations in Tehran ahead of what the agency hopes will be a new round of inspections starting Friday.
Traces of weapons-grade uranium in Iran and other activities pointing to a possible military nuclear program led the IAEA board of governors last month to impose the deadline. The 35-nation board meets again in November. If it rules that Iran violated the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty banning the spread of nuclear arms, the Security Council could impose diplomatic or economic sanctions. ElBaradei suggested Iran should have few problems "telling us the full story" by the deadline. He would not say how long it would take the agency to verify Iran's submissions.
The head of the UN nuclear watchdog said Tuesday that unless the United States and other nuclear powers take concrete steps toward disarmament, scores of countries will follow their lead and build atomic weapons. The United States, China, Britain, France and Russia all signed the 1968 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). They were allowed to keep their atomic arsenals, but agreed to begin negotiations on full disarmament. "Unless we are moving steadily toward nuclear disarmament, I'm afraid that the alternative is that we'll have scores of countries with nuclear weapons and that's an absolute recipe for self-destruction," Mohamed ElBaradei told reporters.
The IAEA is charged with verifying members countries' compliance with the NPT through regular inspections of its nearly 190 signatories' nuclear facilities to ensure they are not diverting resources to secret weapons programs. ElBaradei has attacked US plans to research so-called "mini nukes," smaller nuclear bombs which Washington says it wants to study but not deploy. ElBaradei says these plans are sending the wrong signal to states considering atomic bombs.
"I think eventually the weapons states have to make good on their commitment under the NPT, which was made 30 years ago, saying that we are going to move to nuclear disarmament," he said. "That was an acknowledgment that nuclear weapons are inherently bad and that we should get rid of them," ElBaradei said. "The sooner we do that the better." Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov urged Iran to be open about its nuclear programs during a meeting with his Iranian counterpart at the United Nations, the foreign ministry said Tuesday.
In a brief statement about Monday's meeting, the ministry suggested that Ivanov linked the volume of future trade with Iranian compliance with the UN nuclear agency resolution demanding that Tehran prove it is not seeking to develop nuclear weapons. Ivanov and Iranian foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi discussed "a broad specter of international issues, as well as perspectives for the development of bilateral relations, including in trade and economic ties," the Russian statement said. http://www.al-seyassah.com/arabtimes/world/view.asp?msgID=1200
The "Right of Reply" as a New Means of Pressure
October 01, 2003
Reporters Without Borders
Reporters Without Borders today denounced the latest harassment of Iran's reformist press, whose leading daily paper, Yas-e no, was banned for 10 days on 29 September for defying a request to print for a second day the same "right of reply" article by hardline Teheran prosecutor Saïd Mortazavi.
The paper eventually agreed and was allowed to reappear from 1 October.
"This situation would be a joke if it was not for the alarming state of press freedom in Iran," said Reportors Without Borders secretary-general Robert Ménard. "The judiciary, controlled by hardliners, has been busy shutting down newspapers, summoning journalists and making bogus investigations in cases such as the murder of photographer Zahra Kazemi. Now it is using the principle of 'right of reply' to fill up the space in reformist papers."
Mortazavi, formerly head of the so-called "press court," cited article 23 of the press law, which provides for a "right of reply" with an article accompanied by the offending article's headline, in the same place in the paper, and without editing, but limited to twice the length of the original article.
Mortazavi sent several rebuttals to articles in the paper about the Kazemi case and the prison conditions of journalist Abbas Abdi, who has been in jail for several months. The latest reply, which occupied two-thirds of the 16-page paper, was published, with a few cuts, on 27 September.
The judge objected to the cuts and complained it was positioned too close to reports about Abdi's hunger-strike. He demanded that it be printed again in its entirety in the next day's paper, starting on the front page. The paper initially refused to do this but then yielded.
Other media harassment in recent days has included a three-year suspended jail sentence by the Teheran revolutionary court on 28 September on a journalist working for the reformist press, Fariba Davoudi Mohajer, who wrote articles that were allegedly "anti-government propaganda" and which "harmed state security." He was also accused of signing a petition to release prisoners.
Mohsen Sazgara, editor of the Internet website Alliran and the closed reformist daily Jameh, was sentenced to a year in prison by the court on 27 September for insulting the Supreme Guide of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. His lawyer said the trial was held in secret and that the court did not say which of the charges he was convicted of.
Eskandar Deldam, of the suspended weekly Tabarestan, was summoned last week by the state prosecutor's office after writing a satirical article about the state radio and TV network, which is directly controlled by Ayatollah Khamenei. http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=8120
Khomeini's Grandson Applauds the U.S.
October 01, 2003
United Press International
Eli J. Lake
The grandson of the late Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini is in Washington this week and giving his blessing to the United States should it decide to invade Iran and throw the clerics out of power.
"The establishment of democracy should be taken very seriously in Iran," Hossein Khomeini said in an interview.
"Even if the situation necessitates for the United States to take military action in Iran, they should not hesitate," Mr. Khomeini said.
He called Americans liberators for invading neighboring Iraq and throwing out the regime of Saddam Hussein.
Hossein Khomeini has his grandfather's eyebrows, dark bushy lines arched like wide triangles over his dark eyes, but similarities to his grandfather, who established Iran's theocracy in 1979 and labeled the United States the Great Satan, end there.
For the interview, he wore loose-fitting gabardine slacks and a gray long-sleeve T-shirt with the outline of two arrows.
Mr. Khomeini said he opposed Iran's sponsorship of terrorism, a point he made last week at the United Nations for a terrorism conference.
"I like Washington," he said. "But I really love New York. The city has such a warmth to it."
Mr. Khomeini, a junior cleric, moved to the Iraqi holy city of Karbala last spring during the U.S. war against Saddam.
While he said he used the occasion of his Friday sermons to criticize the Islamic Republic while he was in Iran, since his arrival in Iraq his words have become sharper.
"The rulers of Iran have to go and they have to go forever," he said. "If the Iranian people rise up, they will kill them all."
This may be unsettling news to some in the Bush administration who had hoped for a bloodless revolution in Iran.
The State Department, for example, held preliminary talks last month to discuss how to funnel nonmilitary assistance and training to democratic groups in Iran.
Mr. Khomeini said he believed that President Bush's encouragement over the last year and a half to the democrats in Iran would ultimately be helpful to their cause.
"If there is honesty in what the president says and he follows up with it, it may not give them the result we want immediately, but in the long run, if the United States is committed to democracy and freedom for Iran, it is going to be effective and not hurt us."
But he also warned against U.S. policy-makers putting too much stock in the opinions of Iranian Americans.
"The United States should not make the mistake of looking at this generation inside Iran from the perspective [of the] Iranian community here," he said.
"With all due respect I have for the Iranian Americans, because of the historical baggage they carry they cannot be representatives of the young generation in Iran." http://washingtontimes.com/world/20030930-084107-9658r.htm
Iran's Race for Nuclear Weapons
September 29, 2003
Asia Today Online
In March and June, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) requested access to a small complex of buildings at the Kalaye Electric Company in a suburb of Tehran. The agency suspected that the Iranians were using this site to research and develop nuclear weapons. During two attempts to gain access to this site, the IAEA was refused. Finally, after construction and cleanup had been completed at the site, the IAEA inspectors were allowed entrance. After conducting a thorough search, the IAEA discovered traces of weapons-grade enriched uranium.
This is now the second site in Iran where traces of weapons-grade enriched uranium have been found; the first discovery took place at the nuclear facility at Natanz, located in central Iran. Tehran's explanation for these two discoveries is that residual weapons-grade uranium was left on second-hand nuclear equipment purchased from Pakistan. While this explanation is possible, since Pakistan is a nuclear-armed state, it is a dubious one at best. Instead, these two discoveries by the IAEA lend further credence to the accusation that Tehran is on a course to develop nuclear weapons.
For the leadership in Tehran, the quest to acquire nuclear weapons has become a race. With the United States in inextricable situations in Afghanistan and Iraq, Washington will have a difficult time using military power to prevent Tehran's pursuit of nuclear arms. With troop levels nearly exhausted, a military attack on Iran would have to rely mainly on air power, which would not produce the desired results of completely eliminating Iran's nuclear program or altering the government structure in Tehran.
Indeed, the Pentagon has been arguing, for the first time in years, that the US may have to increase the size of its military. The conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq have exhausted the active duty forces, and the US has been continually calling up additional National Guardsmen and Reserves to maintain its current troop levels. With US forces not designed to fulfill extensive peacekeeping roles, the US Army's vice chief of staff, General John Keane, recently admitted, "We do not have enough military police in the active duty force, as well as in the Reserve ..." This failure has taxed US troops, with General John Abizaid, chief of US Central Command, recently warning the US Senate and House Armed Services Committee, "We have to address the issue of fatigue." Based on the preceding statements from US military personnel, Washington has enough to worry about in both Afghanistan and Iraq for it to also consider taking military action in Iran.
Tehran's desire to develop and acquire nuclear weapons is based on its deteriorating national security situation. Before October of 2001, when the US began military action against Afghanistan, Iran had less to fear regarding its territorial integrity or the survival of its government. Afghanistan to the east was plagued by inner turmoil and did not pose much of a threat to Iran's eastern border. Iraq, to the west, was more of a concern, yet the United Nations-enforced sanctions did much to keep Iraq in a state of perpetual weakness. The UN and the US were intent on keeping the status quo in the Middle East.
Iran's only major threat, Israel, was being kept largely at bay, having to deal with its own internal problems centered on the continuing resistance by its large Palestinian population. Yet the attacks on New York and Washington on September 11 would soon alter the geopolitical makeup in the Middle East and Central Asia. The attacks on that morning provided justification for the Bush administration - which consisted of an abnormally aggressive cabinet - to become involved in the affairs of Central Asia.
Beginning with its attack on Afghanistan, the Bush administration greatly increased its influence in the affairs of Central Asian states; indeed, before the invasion of Afghanistan, the US had little to no involvement in the affairs of Central Asia. During the Soviet era, the US did not have the military power to become involved in this region, and after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the US lacked the political power to become involved. It was not until Washington could use the justification of retaliating to the devastating attacks on its homeland that it could establish military bases in former Soviet states and therefore increase its influence with the governments in those states.
After establishing military bases in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan and Afghanistan, the Bush administration had engineered the successful projection of US power and influence into Central Asia that could then be used to achieve US interests in the region. As alarming as this sudden influx of US troops and influence was for Tehran, it was eclipsed by the ability of the Bush administration to gain political support for not only overthrowing the Ba'ath Party in Iraq, but in establishing a military occupation of the country. Plus, by taking this action unilaterally, the Bush administration could not be directly influenced by member states of the UN.
This sudden change of the geopolitical map on both Iran's western and eastern borders has led to the conclusion in Tehran that it must make itself militarily powerful in order to continue to secure its interests and, most importantly, its territorial and governmental integrity. This explains why in recent days Iran has continued to focus attention on its Shahab-3 missile, which was fully and successfully tested on July 15, 2000. According to the Federation of American Scientists, these missiles have the ability to strike targets within a 1,350 kilometer to 1,500 kilometer range, putting them well within striking capability of US forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, and also within striking distance of Israel.
By coupling the development of nuclear weapons with its ability to strike targets in the Middle East and Central Asia, Iran will have transformed itself into a powerful state that would be able to protect its national interests and territorial integrity. If these ends were achieved, rival states such as the US and Israel would lose massive foreign policy leverage in the Middle East. It is for this reason that Israel and the US are extremely concerned over Iran's continued development of nuclear technology that could be used to develop nuclear arms.
It is clear that the military card is currently not a desirable option for Washington. The threat of Iranian retaliation in addition to an extremely taxed US military has caused Washington to seek alternative means in dealing with Iran. The Bush administration has been pushing the UN and the international community to apply political and economic pressure on Iran. So far, the Bush administration has achieved the establishment of an October 31 deadline for Iran to sign an additional protocol to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). This protocol would allow the IAEA to conduct surprise inspections of suspected Iranian nuclear sites. Unfortunately for the White House, it is not clear if this added pressure will halt or delay Iran's nuclear plans.
As of now, Iran has said that it will not sign the additional protocol. In the meantime, work is continuing on the main Iranian nuclear reactor in the city of Bushehr, which is being built with the technical support of Moscow. President George W Bush recently met with President Vladimir Putin of Russia in continued attempts to get Moscow to cease assistance to the Iranian government, but Putin refrained from taking a solid stance against Russia's nuclear assistance to Iran. Putin said, "It is our conviction that we shall give a clear but respectful signal to Iran about the necessity to continue and expand its cooperation with the IAEA." Furthermore, the Russian president said that Moscow would continue to assist Iran's nuclear program, even if Tehran does not sign the additional protocol to the NPT that would pave the road to surprise inspections of Iranian nuclear facilities.
Moscow's reason for assisting Iran at the expense of the US lies in the same distaste that Tehran has over the increasing US presence in Central Asia and the Middle East. By boosting support to Iran, Moscow is ensuring that Washington will be unable to further increase its dominance in the Middle East and Central Asia. One of the main purposes that Washington has in establishing US military bases in the former Soviet republics in Central Asia is to encroach on Russia's borders and limit Moscow's influence in the rich oil and gas region of Central Asia. Therefore, while Russia certainly does not want to damage relations with the US, it will still make foreign policy decisions - such as supporting Iran - that will work to contain US influence in Eurasia.
In light of this, Tehran is racing to develop and acquire nuclear weapons before the US has the military leverage again to effectively deal with Iran. But once the main Iranian reactor at Bushehr is loaded with nuclear fuel - possibly in 2004 - it will become much more costly for Washington to launch an air attack on that reactor as any such attack would risk nuclear fallout. But Washington may not have the military or political ability to attack Iran before then.
Therefore, the wildcard to this festering conflict is Israel. Like Washington, the Israeli government does not want to lose foreign policy leverage in the Middle East. If Iran were to acquire nuclear weapons, Israel's nuclear monopoly in the region would end. This result is undesirable to the leadership in Jerusalem. In 1981, Israel was in a similar predicament. At that time, the French were assisting Iraq in Baghdad's pursuit of nuclear energy at the Osirak nuclear reactor. Before the reactor was loaded with nuclear fuel, Israel launched a surprise air attack and partially destroyed it. Leaders in Israel have warned that Israel will take such action again, if necessary, before the Iranian reactor at Bushehr is loaded with fuel.
If in 2004 the Bushehr reactor is ready to be loaded with nuclear fuel, the US may quietly encourage an Israeli attack on Iran. An Israeli attack would achieve Washington's objectives of weakening the Iranian government, but without putting US military forces in jeopardy from Iranian retaliation. The state of Israel, however, will be at risk from possible Iranian retaliation with its Shahab-3 missiles. It is still unclear whether Israel will risk such retaliation in exchange for its desire to preserve its nuclear monopoly in the Middle East. http://pinr.com/report.php?ac=view_report&report_id=96&language_id=1
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