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Iranian Alert -- October 2, 2003 -- IRAN LIVE THREAD PING LIST
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 10.2.2003 | DoctorZin

Posted on 10/02/2003 12:21:30 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.

DoctorZin


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: iaea; iran; iranianalert; protests; studentmovement; studentprotest
Discover all the news since the protests began on June 10th, go to:

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

1 posted on 10/02/2003 12:21:31 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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2 posted on 10/02/2003 12:23:03 AM PDT by Support Free Republic (Your support keeps Free Republic going strong!)
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Join Us At Today's Iranian Alert Thread

Live Thread Ping List | DoctorZin

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

3 posted on 10/02/2003 12:24:29 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Kuwait foils smuggling of chemicals, bio warheads from Iraq
Associated Press

Kuwait City, October 2

Kuwaiti security authorities have foiled an attempt to smuggle $60 million worth of chemical weapons and biological warheads from Iraq to an unnamed European country, a Kuwaiti newspaper said on Wednesday.
The pro-Government Al-Siyassah, quoting an unnamed security source, said the suspects had been watched by security since they arrived in Kuwait and were arrested "in due time." It did not say when or how the smugglers entered Kuwait or when they were arrested.

The paper said the smugglers might have had accomplices inside Kuwait. It said Interior Minister Sheik Nawwaf Al Ahmed Al Sabah would hand over the smuggled weapons to an FBI agent at a news conference, but did not say when.

Government officials could not be immediately reached for comment.

Iraqi Interior Minister Nouri Al-Badran met on Tuesday with Sheik Nawwaf and discussed cooperation between the two countries in security matters. His visit is the first by an Iraqi interior minister to Kuwait since 1990.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_399454,00050004.htm
4 posted on 10/02/2003 12:24:59 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
‘Iran will prevent nuclear issue from going before UN’

Daily Times
(Pakistan)
10.02.2003

TEHRAN: Iran will do all it can to prevent the International Atomic Energy Agency from referring the Iranian nuclear program to the UN Security Council, Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi has said.

Speaking on his return from New York late Tuesday, Kharrazi said Iran was working toward “providing the necessary clarifications and taking the appropriate decisions to prevent this matter from going before the Security Council.”

Hard-line elements in the Iranian establishment have urged the government to reject the deadline and even to withdraw from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, which prohibits Iran from building nuclear weapons.

But Kharrazi, who belongs to the reformist wing of the hierarchy, made clear he rejected such a course. “Of course, we should not allow our issue to be dragged before the Security Council,” Kharrazi said in an interview posted on state television’s web site.

The United States strongly suspects Iran does have a secret program for nuclear weapons and has lobbied the IAEA board of directors to declare the country in breach of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

Kharrazi reiterated that Iran was prepared to sign an additional protocol to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty providing for IAEA inspectors to enjoy unfettered access to all sites it deems suspicious. “First, the ambiguities of this protocol must be removed through discussions, and then we must be assured that by signing this protocol we will not be deprived of our rights, which include the manufacture of (nuclear) fuel for our (nuclear) power plants,” Kharrazi said.

Iran unlikely to meet nuclear deadline: “At the moment it looks like they’re on a collision course with the Security Council,” said one European diplomat in Teheran. “You can’t rule it out, but I can’t see them pulling a surprise and meeting our demands before the deadline.”

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 UN deadline.

“They just don’t show any sign of changing their pattern of very grudging and limited cooperation,” a diplomat said. “Pulling out of the NPT (nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty) is the most logical path to adopt,” Hossein Shariatmadari, influential editor of the hardline Kayhan newspaper, wrote in an editorial on Tuesday.

“The debate is very intense as the public comments suggest. But ultimately the onus is on reformists to convince the hardliners that it’s in Iran’s best interests to meet the IAEA’s demands,” said one local analyst. While differences exist between hardliners and reformers about how to respond to international pressure, there is broad cross-factional support for the nuclear programme.

Concerned that Iran may sign the Additional Protocol but delay for years its ratification and implementation, the European Union on 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. —Agencies

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_2-10-2003_pg4_12
5 posted on 10/02/2003 12:35:43 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn; McGavin999; Eala; AdmSmith; dixiechick2000; nuconvert; onyx; Pro-Bush; Valin; ...
Nuclear inspectors set for Iran talks

By Jim Muir
BBC Tehran correspondent

The agency has given Iran until the end of October to convince it that it is not seeking to produce nuclear weapons.

Otherwise, the issue could be referred to the United Nations Security Council, and Iran could face sanctions for breaching the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

The 31 October deadline has stirred anger in Iran, which has been giving out mixed signals about how far it will co-operate.

Not 'one-way street'

The IAEA has already given Iran a detailed programme and timetable for the work it wants its inspectors to do here during the four remaining weeks.

The question is whether Iran will go along with that programme and answer the many questions the agency is also asking, such as how traces of highly-enriched weapons-grade uranium came to be found at two Iranian facilities.

Iran's ambassador to the IAEA, Ali-Akbar Salehi, told the BBC that Iran would answer such questions - handing over, for example, lists of the imported components on which it says the contamination was brought in from outside the country.

Mr Salehi said Iran would also co-operate in allowing further inspections and the taking of more samples.

But Iranian officials have made it clear that it is not going to be a one-way street.

'Middle ground'

They want practical recognition of Iran's right to produce peaceful nuclear energy and to process their own uranium for fuel - something the IAEA has asked them to stop doing, at least for the time being.

Iran also wants assurances that if it signs an additional protocol that would allow tougher inspections, there would be limits to how intrusive they would be - and also that signing that protocol would not spur the Americans to make more demands.

This has emerged as a substantial middle ground here, after several weeks of widely-divergent views and arguments behind the scenes.

Some hardliners have been arguing that Iran should scrap its NPT commitments altogether and go the way of North Korea.

That is certainly not the official position, though it can't be ruled out if the talks go badly wrong.

One problem could be that the Iranians want to negotiate on many points, while the IAEA officials are bound by the resolution passed by the agency's board of governors last month and have little room for manoeuvre.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3157332.stm
6 posted on 10/02/2003 1:21:44 AM PDT by F14 Pilot
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To: All
>>>> An interesting scheme of Nuclear Centers in Iran.
7 posted on 10/02/2003 1:27:52 AM PDT by F14 Pilot
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To: DoctorZIn
MPs one on Iran

Want Kazemi's body back
By Sun Media

OTTAWA -- Federal political parties banded together yesterday and upped the pressure on Iran to exhume and return the body of a Montreal photojournalist yesterday.

MPs of all stripes offered a rare show of unity in the Commons by unanimously supporting Brampton Liberal MP Sarkis Assadourian's call for Zahra Kazemi's body to be returned to her son in Montreal.

Canadian Alliance MP Stockwell Day said his party supported the motion but objects to Canada returning its ambassador to Iran.

"We have been asking the government to be firm on this particular item all along, and it has not," Day said.

BLOW TO THE HEAD

Kazemi died July 10 from a blow to her head while being interrogated for taking pictures of an Iranian prison.

Also yesterday, the head of the Arab League said he would raise with Damascus the case of a Canadian man who is facing trial after being deported to Syria by the U.S. last year.

Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa spoke after a meeting with Canadian Foreign Minister Bill Graham that focused on the plight of Maher Arar and other Canadians who have fallen foul of the law in Middle Eastern countries.

http://www.canoe.ca/WinnipegNews/ws.ws-10-02-0043.html
8 posted on 10/02/2003 1:30:29 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Asefi: Canada approach has no impact on Iran stance


TEHRAN ,Oct 2, IRAN NEWS -- Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi, denouncing the allegations of Canadian Foreign Minister Bill.Graham, said that Canada's approach had no impact on Iran's stance, IRNA reported.

He added that the improper and non-diplomatic approach of Canadian officials has degraded their position in the mutual political dialogue and bilateral cooperation trend which will disrupt the process of mutual understanding and confidence-building. Asefi reiterated that this will leave its negative impact on Canada's future policy towards Iran.

According to a report released by one of the news agencies on Tuesday, Graham had announced on Monday that Canada returned its ambassador to Iran, Phillip MacKinnon, mainly to pressure Iran on its nuclear program.

The Tehran Times yesterday, quoting Canada's Foreign Ministry, said that MacKinnon returned to Tehran after several months of being kept at home in protest over the beating to death of photojournalist Zahra Kazemi.

Thursday, October 02, 2003 - ©2003 IranMania.com


http://www.iranmania.com/News/ArticleView/Default.asp?NewsCode=18422&NewsKind=Current%20Affairs
9 posted on 10/02/2003 5:00:49 AM PDT by F14 Pilot
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To: DoctorZIn; McGavin999; Eala; AdmSmith; dixiechick2000; nuconvert; onyx; Pro-Bush; Valin; ...
IRAN EXPRESSES ITS FEAR OF POSSIBLE SANCTIONS BY THE UNITED NATIONS

TEHRAN, First of October (IPS) With senior Iranian clerical leaders still undecided over the crucial issue of bowing to demands by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Islamic Republic expressed Wednesday for the first time its fear of seeing its raw with the Vienna-based Organisation to be sent to the United Nations’ Security Council for final decision.

"This question must not be sent to the Security Council. This must be prevented" Iran’s Foreign Affairs Minister Kamal Kharazi told reporters in Tehran upon his return from New York, where he took part at the UN’s general assembly.

He was joined by Mr. Abdollah Ramazanzadeh, the Government’s official spokesman, who told journalists that Iran does not want this question to go to the Security Council and would "take all measures to reach an accord with the United Nations nuclear watchdog.

Iran fears that if the issue is passed on to the UN, it could face harsh sanctions, considering that the European Union’s instance on Iran’s atomic intentions have considerably been going close to that of the United States.

Washington alleges that Iran’s ongoing atomic projects, including the electricity plant that is under construction in the Persian Gulf port of Booshehr with the help of Russia are a "cover" for producing atomic bomb.

Last week, French President Jacques Chirac, speaking on behalf of the 15-25 members EU, also urged Tehran to fully comply with demands by the IAEA.

Both Kharrazi and Ramezanzadeh, as well as the Vice-president for Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Hojjatoleslam Mohammad Ali Abtahi stressed on Iran’s readiness for "full cooperation" with IAEA and repeated that all Iran’s nuclear programs were for peaceful purposes, but were not able to say whether Tehran would sign the Additional Protocols to the Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

The Protocols would enable IAEA’s inspectors full and unrestricted access to all Iranian nuclear and nuclear-related sites, including enriching uranium plants, but Iran says some of the sites would be off-limit to international experts.

According to Mr. Kharrazi, signing the protocol is not against the Constitution. "The issue would undoubtedly be discussed in Majles and the Expediency Council", he said, adding that the government will sign the protocol after reviewing all its aspects "if it becomes sure that this would help the country’s progress".

Iranian political analysts noted that while the Parliament is controlled by reformers who in general supports signing the Protocols, but the final decision falls with the Expediency Council, a powerful organ that is chaired by former president ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the regime’s number two man and controlled by the conservatives who are strongly against signing the Protocols.

Abtahi told reporters that decision on Iran`s accession to additional protocol of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is too difficult and one of the important challenges facing the country in the post-Islamic Revolution era.
He said all strata should have a share in the decision making process.
He added that Majlis and government had in separate sessions discussed Iran’s accession to the additional protocol.

But on Monday, IAEA’s Egyptian Chief Mohammad El-Bradeh’i said signing the Protocols is no more his top priority. "What we want now from Iran is to convince that its nuclear programs and projects are not for military use.

The change in the IAEA’s first priority took place after Iranian leaders, including President Mohammad Khatami as well as senior conservative personalities and spokesmen close to the regime’s orthodox leader Ayatollah Ali Khameneh'i made contradictory statements, confirming indirectly that Iran wanted the nuclear technology for defence purposes.

Kharrazi stressed Iran has no hidden program to produce nuclear weapons and said all doubts should be cleared up and that Iran would be able to use its legitimate right for peaceful nuclear activities.

Iran’s ambassador to IAEA, Ali Akbar Salehi said on Wednesday that he has submitted a report to President Khatami on the outcome of what has so far been discussed on the Additional Protocol by the IAEA Board of Governors.

The 35-members Board on 12 September urged the Islamic Republic to sign "immediately and unconditionally" the Protocols and also stop "at once" all its controversial enriching uranium programs.

"Our collaboration with IAEA is based on understanding and joint cooperation", Mr. Salehi told reporters after meeting with Mr. Khatami.

Asked whether Iran will stop enriching uranium, Salehi pointed out that no decision has yet been taken to the effect and that the process is still underway.

Turning to the IAEA delegation’s visit to Tehran on Thursday, he said their mission is to hold talks and not to inspect Iran’s nuclear facilities, adding that the agency’s inspectors are likely to arrive two days later.

"The two officials, namely Mr. Pierre Goldschmidt, the Belgian Deputy to Mr. El-Bradeh’i and an IAEA director are commissioned to negotiate on nuclear safeguard regulations and executive issues with Iranian authorities respectively", he added.

In reply to a question about El Baradei`s rejection of the priority of signing the additional protocol by Iran and the importance of accepting the IAEA-resolution, he said that exerting pressure on any country into signing a treaty is against international laws.

The official hoped that the visit by IAEA’s officials to Iran is another proof to Iran’s peaceful nuclear activities’ being transparent, according to IRNA.
He stressed that naturally, the Agency`s inspectors should respect national dignity and individuality of countries.

"We're going to start very important discussions with the top officials from Iran...We do expect that we will make a lot of progress", Mr. Goldschmidt told reporters before leaving for Tehran.

http://www.iran-press-service.com/articles_2003/Oct-2003/iran_iaea_10103.htm
10 posted on 10/02/2003 7:04:03 AM PDT by F14 Pilot
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To: F14 Pilot
GWB and the US will do what's appropriate and right!
11 posted on 10/02/2003 8:23:07 AM PDT by blackie
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To: F14 Pilot
Maybe fear will bring them to their senses.
12 posted on 10/02/2003 8:44:34 AM PDT by blackie
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To: F14 Pilot
Thanks for the heads up!
13 posted on 10/02/2003 8:47:36 AM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: DoctorZIn
I wonder how long it wile take for this story(chemical weapons) to disapear.
14 posted on 10/02/2003 8:51:08 AM PDT by oyez (Stop the insanity while we can.)
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran Reportedly Ready to Accept Nuclear Inspections

October 02, 2003
EuroasiaNet
Ardeshir Moaveni

Iran will conditionally accept the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Additional Protocol as early as October 4, according to source familiar with the country’s strategic planning. Tehran’s prickly disposition toward joining the protocol, which would allow expanded inspections of its nuclear facilities, has been a major source of global tension, involving Iran, the United States and the European Union.

In signaling a willingness to accept the Additional Protocol, Iranian leaders are insisting on an international guarantee that the country can continue existing nuclear programs, including uranium enrichment activities, which they insist are for civilian purposes. The source indicated that the decision of Iran’s leadership could be implemented only after it received the formal approval of the parliament and cabinet, as well as the Islamic republic’s non-elected institutions; the Council of Guardians, the Expediency Council and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei.

"We fulfill our obligations in the context of our commitments. We have made up our mind about the protocol which will be announced later," said government spokesperson Abdollah Ramezanzadeh in an October 1 report by the Islamic Republic News Agency.

For Iran, acceptance of the Additional Protocol would mark the perhaps most momentous move taken by the government since the decision to end the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war, experts in Tehran say. Some see the move as a preemptive act, designed to prevent the issue of Iran’s nuclear programs from being discussed in the United Nations, and possibly being the subject of a UN Security Council resolution.

In a strongly worded resolution adopted September 12, the IAEA demanded that Iran accept the Additional Protocol by the end of October or face possible sanctions. US pressure reportedly played a key role in the formulation of the IAEA ultimatum. The EU subsequently threatened to reduce trade ties if Iran failed to comply with the IAEA’s wishes.

Iranian policy makers, including Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi, reportedly have been eager to keep the country’s nuclear programs beyond the reach of the UN Security Council. The thinking in Tehran is that if the Security Council took up the issue, it would come under intense pressure from the Bush administration to approve a tough resolution.

Miriam Rajkumar, project associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, believes that Iran’s conditional acceptance may foster negotiations -- even though the United States is likely to take a skeptical position. "If true, this is an opening gambit that may lead to further negotiations down the road," Rajkumar told EurasiaNet. "Most governments don’t want to see this turning into a crisis. It is possible that after Iran modifies its position somewhat, the Europeans would put pressure on the United States for a compromise solution."

The EU, Russia and India have significant trade links with Iran and would stand to suffer if the UN imposed sanctions against Tehran. Thus, they would likely be open to a compromise that satisfies the IAEA’s concerns while leaving Iran’s nuclear programs in place.

Iran’s move on the Additional Protocol does not automatically mean the end of the dispute with the IAEA. In addition to wanting a guarantee on maintaining its nuclear programs, the source said Iran also seeks permission to continue receiving expert assistance from "advanced countries" after signing the Additional Protocol. In addition, Tehran is reportedly wants to exempt certain sensitive sites from inspection, citing religious, security and political reasons. This position emerged, according to the source, was hammered out during high-level meetings of the country’s Supreme National Security Council on September 27. It is unclear whether the IAEA will accept such terms.

During a public appearance September 24 in New York, Kharrazi stressed that Iran would be happy to conduct all its activities under IAEA’s aegis, as long as it was not forced to abandon its current nuclear efforts.

The willingness to accept the Additional Protocol marks a significant policy shift by Tehran. Right-wingers and religious conservatives in Tehran had earlier dubbed the Additional Protocol a modern form of colonialism. Of late, however, the hardliners appeared to be softening their stance, starting to speak of a compromise "third option."

In Iran, opposition to the Additional Protocol has centered on the IAEA’s powers of inspection.

Some conservative newspapers stirred controversy by publishing stories of IAEA inspectors being able to make unannounced inspections of private homes and places of worship. In general, hardliners sought to portray the Additional Protocol as an infringement upon Iran’s sovereignty. A leading protocol opponent, Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, secretary-general of the elite Guardian Council, inferred, through an expressed appreciation for North Korea, that rather than accepting the Additional Protocol, Iran should withdraw from the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

The so-called rejectionists also sought to play on public concerns about the US-led ouster of Saddam Hussein’s regime in neighboring Iraq. Citing years of inspections in Baghdad, the rejectionists argued that accepting the Additional Protocol would effectively be the first step of a US-orchestrated campaign to topple the Islamic republic.

Such arguments found a large audience in Iran, as many citizens are extremely sensitive on sovereignty-related matters. As recently as late September, some Iranian experts were publicly wondering how the government could accept the IAEA ultimatum without tarnishing the prestige of its prominent detractors.

Only a minority of officials fully embraced either full accommodation of the IAEA ultimatum, or outright rejection. The fact that most policy makers found themselves somewhere in the middle, created enough space for Iran’s conditional acceptance.

Editor’s Note: Ardeshir Moaveni is the pseudonym for an Iranian journalist.

http://www.eurasianet.org/departments/insight/articles/eav1002a.shtml
15 posted on 10/02/2003 3:55:06 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Iran Reportedly Ready to Accept Nuclear Inspections

October 02, 2003
EuroasiaNet
Ardeshir Moaveni

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/993559/posts?page=15#15
16 posted on 10/02/2003 3:56:09 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Prominent Iranian Editor Threatens Resignation

October 02, 2003
The Media Line
The Media Line Staff

The managing editor of a centrist Iranian newspaper said that he is considering resigning because pressures from conflicting political forces and a lack of civil liberties infringe on his journalistic freedom, according to Iranian news sources.

Seyyed Taha Hashemi, an analyst for the Entekhab daily newspaper, said this week that president Muhammad Khatami’s proposed democratization reforms must be realized.

Hashemi was quoted in the English-language Iran Daily newspaper as speaking in vague terms. Likewise, he did not accuse specific people or organizations, connoting the lack of freedom of expression inherent in Iranian society.

Hashemi also said that financial motives, factional alliances and anti-religious actions impede effective reporting.

In recent months, thousands of Iranian students have been imprisoned for demonstrating in favor of reforms and secularization.

http://themedialine.org/news/news_detail.asp?NewsID=3146
17 posted on 10/02/2003 3:58:12 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
IAEA Team, Iranian Officials to Discuss Tehran's Nuclear Ambitions

October 02, 2003
VOA News
VOA

U.N. nuclear inspectors meet with senior Iranian officials in Tehran Thursday in another attempt to determine if the Islamic republic is seeking to develop nuclear weapons.

Iran faces a deadline of October 31st to prove it is not producing nuclear weapons.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspection team, headed by Pierre Goldschmidt, is to hold what is described as crucial talks regarding Iran's uranium enrichment program, which could be used to produce atomic weapons. Talks will also focus on Iran's testing of centrifuges used to enrich uranium.

Wednesday, Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi promised greater cooperation with inspectors but also indicated Iran does not want to allow limitless inspections of its nuclear facilities without its right to enrich uranium being guaranteed. But he also said Tehran will do all it can to keep the IAEA from referring Iran's nuclear program to the U.N. Security Council.

Observers say if the IAEA's concerns are not fully satisfied, Iran could face stiff economic and diplomatic sanctions from the U.N. Security Council.

The European Union also has warned if international concerns are not fully addressed, Tehran could lose a lucrative economic accord.

The United States suspects Iran is enriching uranium to make nuclear bombs -- a charge Iran denies. Iran says its nuclear program is only for peaceful purposes.

http://www.voanews.com/article.cfm?objectID=1AB50C33-8339-4EF7-ADCF62A4835E4F94&title=UN%20Nuclear%20Team%2C%20Iranian%20Officials%20to%20Discuss%20Tehran%27s%20Nuclear%20Ambitions&catOID=45C9C78D-88AD-11D4-A57200A0CC5EE46C
18 posted on 10/02/2003 3:59:44 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Top Iran Clerical Dissident Calls for More Freedom

Reuters - World News
Oct 2, 2003

QOM - Iran's leading dissident cleric urged ruling authorities to ease restrictions on a restless population and said President Mohammad Khatami had failed to capitalize on the huge mandate he had won for reform.

"If officials really want to solve the crisis and satisfy the people, they should put aside their strictness. People should be free to express their ideas," Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri said in an interview at his home Wednesday.

Montazeri, 81, one of a handful of Shi'ite scholars to attain the rank of Grand Ayatollah, has first-hand experience of the consequences of standing up for his ideas.

Jailed and tortured under the former Shah for his close ties to Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini before the 1979 Islamic revolution, he spent five years under house arrest for criticizing Khomeini's successor, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, before being released earlier this year.

But the short-statured cleric, whom Khomeini once referred to as "the fruit of my life" and designated as his natural successor, remains undaunted.

"This country and the revolution belong to the people and the officials are their servants. If the officials review their behavior, everything will be fine," he said, seated in his study in Qom, the center of religious studies in Iran.

Montazeri said the restrictive climate in Iran, where scores of liberal publications have been closed and dozens of writers, students and political activists jailed in the last four years, was forcing thousands of Iran's best minds to leave the country.

He highlighted the actions of the judiciary, where the Special Court for Clergy and Revolutionary Courts have jailed dozens of Khatami supporters in recent years, often after closed-door trials without a jury.

"We do not have Special Courts and Revolutionary Courts in our constitution, both have been invented. They should close these courts and stop the judiciary's harshness. Then many things could become better," he said.

Montazeri, sidelined by Khomeini in 1988 for criticizing the execution of political prisoners, has recently returned to teaching after a bout of heart problems leading up to and following his release from house arrest in January.

Analysts say hard-line officials released Montazeri because of fears that his death while under arrest could become a lightning rod for protests against the political system.

MESSAGE OF TOLERANCE

Around 300 men, including many senior reformist clerics, packed into a simple classroom Wednesday to listen to Montazeri's message of tolerance and equality.

"My point is that all human beings, no matter whether they are believers or not, or whether they are Muslims or not, should be respected," he told the attentive audience.

Friends say they are not surprised Montazeri, who wears large black-rimmed glasses and sports a pointed white beard, has returned with vigor to teaching and making his opinions known.

"He cannot be changed, everyone knows that. He has never been scared of prison or exile or torture. They described him like that in the SAVAK files," said Ayatollah Hossein Mousavi-Tabrizi, referring to the Shah's feared secret police.

Back at his desk, having removed his white turban and put on house slippers, Montazeri turned his attention to politics.

Parliamentary elections are due to be held in four months' time but turnout is predicted to be very low because of growing disillusionment with the slow pace of reform.

Khatami, despite the large mandate he won in 1997 and 2001 elections, has been unable to overcome resistance to change from powerful unelected conservatives who control the judiciary, armed forces and veto-wielding constitutional watchdogs.

"Khatami made a lot of promises to the people, he had the backing of 22 million voters and people were hopeful, but he was not able to fulfil his promises and this has caused people's disappointment," Montazeri said.

"If the situation continues like this, yes the turnout (in the February parliament vote) will be low," he said.

http://www.daneshjoo.org/generalnews/article/publish/article_2684.shtml
19 posted on 10/02/2003 10:26:15 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Top Iran Clerical Dissident Calls for More Freedom

Reuters - World News
Oct 2, 2003

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/993559/posts?page=19#19
20 posted on 10/02/2003 10:28:31 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran's Nuclear Program. Part I: Its History

Payvand
10/2/03
By Mohammad Sahimi

On February 9, 2003, Iran's program and efforts for building sophisticated facilities at Natanz and and several other cities that would eventually produce enriched uranium were revealed. President Mohammad Khatami announced the existence of the Natanz (and other) facilities on Iran's television and invited the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to visit them. Then, in late February, Dr. Mohammad El Baradei, the head of IAEA, accompanied by a team of inspectors, visited Iran. Since then, the IAEA's experts and inspectors have visited Iran several more times. A preliminary report was published in July, with a follow up report on August 26. On September 12, 2003, the IAEA gave Iran an ultimatum to reveal all the details of its nuclear activities by October 31, 2003.

Iran's nuclear program and activities, though discussed for many years, have come into sharp focus since the February announcement. The information and data that have been obtained by the IAEA, after visiting the Natanz facility and a few other locations, have surprised the United States, the European Union, Russia, and Japan. Similar to the Clinton administration, the Bush administrtation has been suspicious of Iran's nuclear program, arguing that, having vast oil and natural gas reserves, Iran hardly needs nuclear energy. Hence, the Bush administration argues that the primary purpose of Iran's nuclear program is developing nuclear weapons. The EU, which is negotiating with Iran extensive economic and cultural agreements; Russia, which is completing construction of nuclear reactors in Bushehr and hoping to build many more reactors in Iran, and Japan, which is hoping to sign a lucrative oil agreement with Iran for developing Iran's huge Azaadegaan oil field (the largest oil field in the Middle East), have all pressed Iran hard, demanding that it reveal all the secret details of its nuclear program and facilities.

Note that, according to the original IAEA safeguard agreements, Iran did not have to declare the start of construction of the Natanz facility. These agreements stipulate that, only 180 days before introducing any nuclear material, does Iran have to declare the existence of the facility. Therefore, construction of the undeclared Natanz facility was NOT illegal. In addition, the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) allows Iran to legally build any nuclear facility, including one for uranium enrichment, so long as it is intended for peaceful purposes. Moreover, the NPT allows the member states to withdraw from the agreement, subject to giving a 90 days notice to the IAEA, if they believe that abiding by the terms of the NPT threatens their national security (in the language of the NPT, if it is in their "Supreme Interest").

Aside from the political confrontation that the revelations about Iran's nuclear program have created between Iran on one hand, and the US and her allies on the other hand, the questions that I believe we Iranians must ask and debate, are: Does Iran need nuclear energy, and is acquiring it in its national interests? Before starting to debate these all-important questions, however, we must first decouple Iran's need for nuclear energy from its alleged or real intentions for producing nuclear weapons.

This article represents the first of a three-part series in which these two important questions are discussed, and Iran's nuclear program is described and analyzed in detail. In the present article, the history of Iran's program for nuclear research and development is reviewed. The significance of this review is twofold. (1) History shows that the US and her allies were in fact the driving force behind the birth of Iran's nuclear program in the late 1960s and early 1970s. (2) It is also particularly important to recognize that since the late 1980s, when Iran restarted its nuclear program, the US and her allies have been given every opportunity to participate in the development and construction of nuclear reactors in Iran, which would have provided them with significant control on the reactors and their products, but that they have always refused to do so.

Although various portions of Part I (the present article) have been published before, it may be useful to put all the pieces together in order to present a cohesive and brief review of the historty of Iran's nuclear program, and to make it available through an easily-accesible web site. In this author's opinion, this may be particularly useful for the young generation of Iranians who may be interested in this history, and the important role that the US played in the birth of Iran's nuclear program.

Part II will discuss why Iran must stop relying almost exclusively on oil and gas as her sole sources of energy, and start developing alternative sources, the most advanced of which are nuclear reactors. There are compelling economical, social, and environmental reasons for seeking alternative sources of energy for Iran, which will be described in detail in Part II.

Part III will describe, in simple terms, how violations of the NPT are detected, and what the major issues are at the center of the dispute between Iran and the IAEA. The dispute - some call it a crisis - is in fact mostly between Iran on one hand, and the US and some of her allies on the other hand, with the IAEA being used as a tool in a political battle.

Before embarking on this task, we must recognize that the development of adequate energy resources is a highly important part of the national interests of every nation which, by their very definition, transcend the political system that governs a nation. Both Democratic and Replublican administrations in the US, and their allies, such as Britain, have waged wars, invaded and occupied oil-producing countries, and engineered coups to overthrow the legal, often democratically-elected, governments of oil-producing countries in order to control the world's oil reserves. They have always justified their deed solely based on protecting their national interests and national security. We only need to recall what happened in Iran in 1953, after Dr. Mohammad Mosaddegh nationalized Iran's oil industry, and the recent invasion and occupation of Iraq by the US and Britain, to understand this. The same principles are also applicable to Iran, namely, that she has a fundamental right for securing adequate energy resources - the engine for her development and advancement.


Iran's foray into nuclear research and development began in the mid 1960s under the auspices of the US within the framework of bilateral agreements between the two countries. The first significant nuclear facility built by the Shah was the Tehran Nuclear Research Center (TNRC), founded in 1967, housed at Tehran University, and run by Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI). This Center has always been one of Iran's primary open nuclear research facilities. It has a safeguarded 5-megawatt nuclear research reactor that was supplied by the US in 1967. The reactor can produce up to 600 grams of plutonium per year in its spent fuel.

Iran signed the NPT on July 1, 1968. After the Treaty was ratified by the Majles, it went into effect on March 5, 1970. In the language of Article IV of the Treaty, the NPT recognized Iran's "inalienable right to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful proposes without discrimination, and acquire equipment, materials, and scientific and technological information." The events of the early 1970s were, however, instrumental in shaping and accelerating the development of Iran's nuclear program. The 1973 war between the Arab countries and Israel, and the subsequent huge increase in the price of oil, provided the Shah's government with considerable resources for Iran's development. At that time, a study by the influential Stanford Research Institute concluded that Iran would need, by the year 1990, an electrical capacity of about 20,000-megawatt.

According to declassified confidential US Government documents posted on the Digital National Security Archive (see the article, "The US-Iran Nuclear Dispute: Dr Mohamed El Baradei's Mission Possible to Iran," by Drs. A. Etemad and N. Meshkati, published on July 13, 2003, in the Iran News), in the mid-1970s, the US encouraged Iran to expand her non-oil energy base, suggested to the Shah that Iran needed not one but SEVERAL nuclear reactors to acquire the electrical capacity that the Stanford Research Institute had proposed, and expressed interest in the US companies participating in Iran's nuclear energy projects. Building these reactors, and selling the weapons that the Shah was procuring from the US in the 1970s, were, of course, a good way for the US to recover the cost of the oil that she was buying from Iran.

Since the Shah never read or heard an American proposal that he did not like, he started an ambitious program for building many (presumably as many as TWENTY THREE) nuclear reactors. Hence, his government awarded a contract to Kraftwerk Union (a subsidiary of Siemens) of (West) Germany to construct two Siemens 1,200-megawatt nuclear reactors at Bushehr. The work for doing so began in 1974. In 1975, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology signed a contract with the AEOI for providing training for the first cadre of Iranian nuclear engineers, and the Iranian-Indian nuclear cooperation treaty was also signed (India is now a nuclear power). In addition, the Nuclear Technology Center at Esfahan (Isfahan) was founded in the mid-1970s with the French assistance in order to provide training for the personnel that would be working with the Bushehr reactors. The Esfahan Center currently operates four small nuclear research reactors, all supplied by China.

According to the same declassified document mentioned above, in an address to the symposium, "The US and Iran, An Increasing Partnership," held in October 1977, Mr. Sydney Sober, a representative of the US State Department, declared that the Shah's government was going to purchase EIGHT nuclear reactors from the US for generating electricity. On July 10, 1978, only seven months before the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, the final draft of the US-Iran Nuclear Energy Agreement was signed. The agreement was supposed to facilitate cooperation in the field of nuclear energy and to govern the export and transfer of equipment and material to Iran's nuclear energy program. Iran was also to receive American technology and help in searching for uranium deposits.

The Shah's government had also envisioned building two nuclear reactors and a power plant in Darkhovin, on the Karoon River, south of the city of Ahvaz. Iran signed, in 1974, a contract with the French company Framatome to build two 950 megawatt pressurized reactors at that site. Framatome did survey the area and began site preparation. However, construction had not yet started when the government of Prime Minister Mehdi Bazargan cancelled the contract after the Islamic revolution in 1979. In 1992, Iran signed an agreement with China for building the reactors in Darkhovin, but the terms of the agreement have not yet been carried out by China. Given the proximity of the site to the border with Iraq, it is probably not prudent to proceed with that project at that particular site.

The Shah's government also obtained uranium materials from South Africa in the 1970s. According to Dr. Akbar Etemad, who was the founder and first President of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran from 1974 to 1978, the TNRC carried out experiments in which plutonium was extracted from spent fuel using chemical agents (see, A. Etemad, "Iran," in, "European Non-Proliferation Policy," edited by H. Mueller, Oxford University Press, 1987, page 9). Note that the only use for plutonium is in a nuclear bomb. It is also believed that the Shah assembled at the TNRC a nuclear weapon design team. Asadollah Alam, the long-time Imperial Court Minister and the Shah's close confidant, wrote in his memoires that the Shah had envisioned Iran having nuclear weapons.

In February 1979, when the Islamic Revolution toppled the Shah's government, the Bushehr-1 (that is, reactor 1) was 90% complete and 60% of its equipment had been installed, while Bushehr-2 was 50% complete. Had the 1979 Revolution not happened, the Kraftwerk Union would have continued its work in all likelihood with the cooperation of the US corporation Bechtel Power, which was its joint-venture partner in many power plant projects around the world. The government of Prime Minister Mehdi Bazargan then decided that Iran did not need nuclear energy, and therefore the work at Bushehr was halted after the victory of the Revolution in February 1979. The German firm had left Iran earlier, anyway.

During its war with Iran, Iraq bombed the Bushehr site six times (in March 1984, February 1985, March 1985, July 1986, and twice in November 1987), which destroyed the entire core area of both reactors. According to officials of Technischer Ueberwachungsverein, Germany's National Reactor Inspectorate, before the bombings, Bushehr-1 could have been completed in about three years. Note, however, that, at the time of the bombings, none of the main equipments had been installed, and in fact two steam generators (that use the heat from the reactors to produce steam to be used in power generators) were stored in Italy, while the pressure vessel for Bushehr-1 was stored in Germany.

The Revolution and its aftermath, and the eight-year war with Iraq which resulted in colossal damage to Iran's infrastructure, reduced temporarily Iran's thirst for electricity. After the war with Iraq ended, however, Iran began to rethink her position regarding nuclear energy and technology, although it would not be unreasonable to believe that Iraq's savage bombing of Iran's main population and industrial centers, and the missile attacks that it carried out against Tehran during 1986-1987, also motivated Iran's leaders to think about nuclear technology. The first reconstruction and development plan proposed and carried out by President Hashemi Rafsanjani's government, coupled with Iran's chronic shortage of electricity that went back to the early 1970s, and the rapid growth of her population, were three major reasons for Iran to restart her neclear program for obtaining electricity.

Rafsanjani's government first approached Kraftwerk Union to complete the Bushehr project. However, under the US pressure, Kraftwerk Union refused. Iran then asked Germany to allow Kraftwerk to ship the reactor components and technical documentation that it had paid for, citing a 1982 International Commerce Commission (ICC) ruling under which Siemens was obligated to deliver all plant materials and components stored outside Iran, but the German government still refused to do so. In response, Iran filed a lawsuit in August 1996 with the ICC, asking for $5.4 billion in compensation for Germany's failure to comply with the 1982 ruling. The issue is still unsettled.

In the late 1980s, a consortium of companies from Argentina, Germany and Spain submitted a proposal to Iran to complete the Bushehr-1 reactor, but huge pressure by the US stopped the deal. The US pressure also stopped in 1990 Spain's National Institute of Industry and Nuclear Equipment to complete the Bushehr project. Iran also tried, unsuccessfully, to procure components for the Bushehr reactors, but her attempts were blunted by the US. For example, in 1993, Iran tried to acquire eight steam condensers, built by the Italian firm Ansaldo under the Kraftwerk Union contract, but they were seized by the Italian government. The Czech firm Skoda Plzen also discussed supplying reactor components to Iran, but, under the US pressure, negotiations were cancelled in 1994. Iran was also not successful in her attempt to buy nuclear power reactor components from an unfinished reactor of Polland.

After years of searching in the West for a supplier to complete her first nuclear power plant, Iran turned to the Soviet Union and then Russia. She signed, in March 1990, her first protocol on the Bushehr project with the Soviet Union. The agreement called on Moscow to complete the Bushehr project and build additional two reactors in Iran, but financial problems delayed the deal.

China, in 1991, provided Iran with uranium hexafluoride (a uranium compound, which is gaseous state, and used for enriching uranium; see Part III) which is, however, under the IAEA safeguard. In addition, Iran recently acknowleged that she also received (again in 1991) from China 1,000 kgr of natural uranium hexafluoride, 400 kgr of uranium tetrafluoride, and 400 kgr of uranium dioxide, without reporting them to the IAEA. Although the amount of the (until-recently undeclared) uranium compounds is small, what has been done with them is more indicative of the real intentions behind obtaining the materials. In 1993, the AEOI and the Russian Ministry of Atomic Energy signed an agreement for the construction of two Russian reactors at Bushehr, but the contract was never carried out as Iran was facing major financial problems.

Finally, Iran signed, in January 1995, a contract with the Russian Ministry of Atomic Energy to finish the reactors at Bushehr. These reactors will be under the IAEA safeguards, and will be capable of producing up to 180 kgr/year of plutonium in their spent fuel. The agreement called for Russia to complete the first reactor at Bushehr within four years, although it is still unfinished; to provide a 30-50 megawatt thermal light-water research reactor, 2,000 tons of natural uranium, and training for about 15 Iranian nuclear scientists per year. Iran and Russia also agreed to discuss the construction of a gas centrifuge uranium-enrichment facility in Iran. However, in May 1995, the US announced that it had convinced Russia to cancel the centrifuge agreement, although Russia later denied that the agreement with Iran ever existed! The light-water research reactor deal has also been cancelled.

After the 1995 agreement was signed by Iran and Russia, the Clinton administration tried, unsuccessfully, to convince Russia to cancel the agreement, but its entreaties were rebuffed by Russia which saw the Bushehr project as an openning for her ailing nuclear industry to get itself into the international market. Having failed in its attempts, the Clinton administration then began charging that the plutonium that the reactors would produce would be used by Iran for making nuclear weapons. However, this issue is also being addressed by Iran and Russia, since they are negotiating an agreement by which the nuclear wastes from the Bushehr reactors would be returned to Russia which has a large facility for storing the wastes in southern Siberia (although Russian environmental laws appear to forbid storing nuclear wastes of another country in Russia), but no agreement has been reached yet. It was reported recently that Iran has demanded payments for returning the spent fuel to Russia, contending that she pays to buy the fuel from Russia in the first place, and therefore she should also be paid for the spent fuel. If ture, this would be an absurd demand, because if Russia is to pay for Iran's nuclear wastes, she should also be paid for keeping Iran's nuclear wastes! The issue of who should pay whom appears to be the only obstacle to reaching an agreement between Iran and Russia concerning the nuclear wastes.

After it appeared that the plutonium issue would be addressed by Russia, the US, under huge pressure by Israel, began claiming that, while the Bushehr reactors cannot be directly used for making nuclear weapons, they will train a generation of Iranian scientists and engineers for operating the reactor, which in turn will prepare Iran for making nuclear weapons. Is there any merit to this charge? Having a nuclear reactor is NOT necessary for obtaining the necessary know-how for developing a nuclear bomb (although it certainly helps). The best example is provided by Iraq. Israel bombed and destroyed Iraq's only nuclear reactor at Osirak in 1981, before it started operating, yet when its nuclear weapon program was discovered after the 1991 Gulf war, Iraq was only months away from making a nuclear bomb!

Most experts believe that the completion of the Bushehr project by Russia is a highly complex task: As mentioned earlier, the Kraftwerk Union has not provided any technical documents to either Iran or Russia. Since Russia plans to install a reactor, her engineers must modify what Kraftwerk Union had left behind to accomodate the Russian reactor and its support system, which differ in many significant ways from the German reactor. For example, the structure of the steam generators in the Russian reactors is significantly different from the original German reactors. The reactor is supposed to start operating in early 2004.

In addition to the what has been described so far, Iran does have a few other nuclear facilities. One is the Bonaab Atomic Energy Research Center (which is south of city of Tabriz), which is a research center for applications of nuclear technology in agriculture. In addition, Center for Agricultural Research and Nuclear Medicine at Karaj (near Tehran) was inaugurated on in May 1991, and is run by the AEOI. None of these is, however, considered to be for military applications.

This concludes the review of the history of Iran's nuclear program. The review reveals three important facts:

(1) Nuclear research, facilities, and reactors, and even the vision for Iran having nuclear weapons, were all conceived and initiated by the Shah and his government, with the direct assistance and encouragement by the US and her allies. This is very much similar to what happened in Israel, which developed her arsenal of nuclear weapons with the direct help of the US and France. They were not conceived or initiated after the Revolution. In fact, for the first few years after the Revolution, Iran rejected nuclear reactors!

(2) It is clear that the US and her allies have had many opportunities to complete the Bushehr project, or to participate in the construction of other nuclear reactors, and, hence, to have significant control on the reactors, but they have always refused to take part.

(3) In addition, the US and her allies could have participated in the Bushehr project by helping Iran improve the safety of the reactors there and, hence, have influence on their operations. As pointed out by Drs. Etemad and Meshkati (see their article cited earlier), there is good precedence for this: The Temelin nuclear power plant in the Czech Republic, the construction of which began during the Soviet Union, when the former communist government was in power in Czechoslovakia, but was halted in 1992. In 1994, with a $317 million loan guarantee from the United States Export-Import Bank, an American company, Westinghouse Electric Corporation, participated in completing the Temelin's reactors.

Hence, there is no way of avoiding the conclusion that the real goal of the United States is dismantling Iran's nuclear infrastructure, regardless of its orientation, and to despatch Iran to the era of nuclear, scientific and technological illiteracy, which is in violation of the letter and spirit of the NPT.

Part II of this series will discuss why Iran must stop relying exclusively on oil and gas, and develop alternative sources of energy, and in particular nuclear energy.


About the author:
Mohammad Sahimi is Professor & Chairman of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Since 1986, he has been a member of the Union of Concerned Scientists, an organization devoted to preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction, and a member of the Union's Partners for Earth Program. In addition to his scientific research that has resulted in over 200 papers, published in scientific journals, and six books, his political articles have also appeared as book chapters, on various web sites, and in the Los Angeles Times.

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21 posted on 10/02/2003 10:31:02 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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22 posted on 10/03/2003 12:03:16 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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