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Discover all the news since the protests began on June 10th, go to:

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1 posted on 10/09/2003 12:58:23 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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2 posted on 10/09/2003 12:59:24 AM PDT by Support Free Republic (Your support keeps Free Republic going strong!)
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3 posted on 10/09/2003 1:04:11 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn


The raw between the leader-controlled Judiciary and the Executive escalated Wednesday to new heights after senior tenors from the government came out strongly in defending the Intelligence Ministry, accused of being behind the murder of Ms. Zahra Kazemi, an Iranian-born, Canadian photojournalist killed in prison.

The office of Tehran and the Islamic Revolution Court, accuses Mr. Mohammad Reza Aqdam Ahmadi, an employee of the Intelligence Ministry, for having killed the photographer.

Ms. Kazemi was arrested on 23 June while taking pictures of the families of detained political prisoners demonstrating near the notorious Evin prison in the outskirts of the Capital and taken to prison, where she had been interrogated by the Prosecutor, Mr. Sa’id Mortazavi as well as officials from the Law Enforcement intelligence department and the Intelligence Ministry.

She died on 10 of July in a hospital belonging to the Revolutionary Guards from severe injuries on her skull, the result of a blow by a “heavy object” to her head, according to a five men team formed on orders from President Mohammad Khatami.

At first, the authorities said she had died of a brain stroke, but they changed the version, admitting that one or more of the interrogators hit Ms. Kazemi.

Immediately, the fingers pointed to Mr. Mortazavi, who had ordered the arrest, on charges of espionage. According to the French newspaper “Liberation”, Mr. Mortazavi, trying to force Ms. Kazemi “confessing” to espionage, hit her with his shoe.

But the Prosecutor, put in charge of the case, accused Intelligence Ministry’s interrogators for the assassination and at the same time refused requests from both Canada and Ms. Kazemi’s son, who is living in Montreal, and mother, to transfer the body to Canada for autopsy.

From the outset, the Intelligence Ministry denied that its employees had anything to do with the murder and thretened to “tell all the story” if the Judiciary continued in its “fabricated” accusations.

However, Mr. Ahmadi was brought to Court on Monday, accused of having hit Ms. Kazemi while interrogating her.

Mr. Ahmadi denied all the charges during the first session of trial, which was open to the public and the prsence of the press and the Canadian diplomts in Tehran.

“It is not clear why Mr. Mortazavi, who also had personally interrogated the photojournalist is not questionned in order to understnad what happened at that time?”, asked Hojjatoleslam Mohammad Ali Abtahi, the Vice-president for Legal and Parliamentary Affairs on Tuesday.

He was echoed on Wednesday by the powerless President, repeating that the Intelligence Ministry had never accepted the charges.

“What I want is justice to be applied according to the laws”, he told newmen at the Majles, wher he was introducing the new Higher Education Minister, Mr. Ahmad Tofiqi.

“The Intelligence Ministry feels that it is unjustly victimised and the process is not fair”, he pointed out, adding that in this case, even the lawyer (of the accused) had been denied access to legal documents”.

For its part, the Intelligence Ministry rejected the charges and renewed its threats on Wednesday that it would directly address the public, but stopped short of explaing when?

“No one could destabilise the regime’s most powerfull intelligence organisation as did the office of the leader”, said Mr. Ahmad Salamatian, a respected analyst of Iranian affairs based in Paris.

Hinting indirectly that Mr. Mortazavi, better known by the public as “The Buthcer of the press” is a protege of Mr. Khameneh’i, Mr. Salamatian told the Persian service of the BBC the reason the Intelligence Ministry do not go along telling the public all the information it has over the case, it is because pressures coming from the office of the leader. ENDS JOURNALIST KILLED 81003
4 posted on 10/09/2003 1:07:28 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Unhelpful Iran?

October 08, 2003
Jane's Online
Foreign Report

Sources in the Bush administration say that Iran is putting pressure on Shi'ite members of Iraq's Governing Council to pull out of the newly created 25-member body. If this story is true, and the Shi'ites walk out, the council would be plunged into crisis. The story may, however, be US propaganda.

What Foreign Report has learned, however, is that Abdulaziz Hakim, head of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) and a member of the Governing Council, was in Tehran on 6 October meeting President Mohammed Khatami and the role of the council was up for discussion.

With little sign of elections, the Governing Council is trying to become a de facto government. The problem is that, because it was set up to represent all the different groups within the country, the Council has let the genie of ethnic competition out of the bottle.

The Governing Council is also considering a report on creating a new constitution. Many would like to see a strongly Islamic document with reference to Sharia law, but it is hard to see the USA agreeing. And the thorny subject of federalism is still in the pending tray.
5 posted on 10/09/2003 1:08:49 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Khatami blasts custody death trial

Wednesday, 8 October, 2003

Iran's reformist President Mohammad Khatami has publicly questioned Iran's judges over their handling of the investigation into the killing in custody of a Canadian journalist.

An intelligence ministry interrogator went on trial on Tuesday, accused of killing Zahra Kazemi, but President Khatami has cast doubt on the proceedings and called for them to be corrected.

"We are asking for nothing else than impartiality, and we think that there should be an impartial trial that is not influenced by the very same people who rank among those who have been accused in the affair," he said.

The BBC's Jim Muir, in Tehran, said Mr Khatami has followed closely the case which has implications for human rights in the country and that has also aggravated tensions between reformists and hardliners.

Ms Kazemi, 54, was detained on 23 June for taking pictures of Tehran's Evin prison.

She died in hospital in Tehran on 10 July after falling into a coma having received head injuries during more than three days of interrogation.


Our correspondent says the case has sparked a bitter feud between the highly conservative judiciary and the largely reformist Intelligence Ministry.

Between her arrest and her admission to hospital, the journalist spent four days moving between the custody of prosecutors of the judiciary, police and the Intelligence Ministry

It is one of the ministry's interrogators who has being accused by the judiciary of dealing the blow which killed Mrs Kazemi.

But President Khatami clearly cast doubt on the prosecution, saying he said it was essential to identify who had carried out the action.

The procedure of the case, he said, had not been correct, and he hoped the head of the judiciary would amend it.

"Why were all the people who were implicated in this affair... not interrogated?" Khatami told reporters after a cabinet meeting.

This was a reference to Tehran Chief Prosecutor, Judge Said Mortazavi, our correspondent says.

Judge Mortazavi personally interrogated Mrs Kazemi early in her detention.

The Intelligence Ministry has already challenged the indictment of its interrogator, saying the charges ignored testimony that Mrs Kazemi had been beaten while in the custody of judiciary officials.

The ministry has promised to hold a news conference to lay out its version of the truth.

7 posted on 10/09/2003 1:24:57 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Russia doggedly at Tehran's side

By Stephen Blank
Asia Times

It should come as no surprise that President Vladimir Putin refused to curtail Russia's assistance to Iran's nuclear reactor at his recent summit with President George W Bush. Indeed, it would have been surprising if he had agreed to do so. Russia's unwillingness to foreclose on Iran's nuclear project is what philosophers might call overdetermined. That is, Russia, which is assisting with the construction of a light-water nuclear reactor near Bushehr, derives so many benefits from the Iranian project that it would be strange for it to forego those merely to please America.

After all, it is eminently arguable from a Russian standpoint that Russia received very little for supporting America after September 11. Not only did the US and then North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) troops appear in Central Asia, Georgia and Azerbaijan invited US forces to their countries to help them defend against threats, not the least of which are from Moscow.

These moves clearly contravened the Russian elite's ingrained belief in an imperial state where the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) are wayward children who, unable to govern themselves, will soon return, whether they want to or not, to the Russian fold. Likewise, NATO enlarged to the Baltic states, another reminder of the end of empire. And since then American emissaries throughout the CIS have more or less overtly used their influence to retard Russian attempts at reintegrating those states under its auspices. The US also went ahead and withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty to build missile defenses, and to add final insult to injury, it disregarded Russian offers of assistance in Iraq in return for guarantees of Iraq's debt payment to Russia and a share in future oil contracts. Meanwhile, few contracts with US oil firms have materialized since 2001, despite ongoing negotiations in some cases.

Presently, Washington wants Russian assistance in Iraq, and while Putin will supposedly support sending Russian troops there pending an authoritative UN resolution, one can be sure that there is a larger payoff, presumably connected to that Iraqi debt and energy supplies. Therefore, there are few quid pro quos that Washington can offer Moscow in return for cessation of its support for Iran, Putin's rhetoric to the contrary notwithstanding.

To understand this fact in its full context one must remember that nuclear and other forms of proliferation are an issue that brings together domestic and foreign policy issues. Key domestic lobbies stand to benefit considerably from aiding Iran. In this case, Russia's Ministry of Atomic Energy, Minatom, is a prime example. It makes a fortune from sales abroad, including Iran, and has steadily refused to even consider not selling nuclear reactors to Iran and other potentially proliferating states like India and China. Although not a rogue elephant, as it may have been in the 1990s, it still remains a formidable bureaucratic player.

The same may also be said for Russian weapons producers. The defense industry is a shadow of what it was under communism, but on issues of direct relevance to it it has shown considerable power and ability to get its way, including major state subsidies for key projects. It, too, has large and vested interests in arms sales to Iran. Indeed, it views Iran as being potentially, if not actually, the third largest foreign market for Russian arms sales. So it will certainly oppose any Russian policy that imposes limits on Iran's ability to acquire Russian weapons and technology.

Thus these two elite blocs, and many members of the government, have habitually taken refuge in the endlessly reiterated their belief that America simply wants to take away a Russian market for itself, as it supposedly did with North Korea. Putin, too, has baldly restated this story and publicly pretended that he has no idea of the extent of Russian nuclear assistance to Iran. When one considers that in 1997-98 Russian journalist Evgenia Albats published a detailed institution-by-institution account of who was helping Iran and how, it is clear that Putin's and his acolytes' story is wrong.

But even if key domestic lobbies were silent on this issue, there are strong foreign and defense policy reasons for continuing to support Iran. Iran remains the only true friend of Moscow in the Persian Gulf and Middle East as well as a state dependent on Russian diplomatic support and arms transfers. Both of them share a common determination to keep Washington out of the Gulf and the CIS. Their leaders have at times talked in public about the virtues of a bloc with China against America in support of a "multipolar world". Therefore, Iran is a major foreign policy investment for Russia's ministries of foreign affairs and of defense.

Likewise, despite a lot of official rhetoric, major sections of Russia's foreign policy makers clearly do not take the threat of proliferation very seriously. Otherwise they would not have been proliferating to Iran, Iraq, China, India, and North Korea during the past decade. As all those cases are pretty well documented, it is hard to square protestations about the danger of proliferation with the actual policies involved.

Finally, despite many pubic fears to the contrary, Iran has, since 1991, followed an extremely circumspect policy towards the Caucasus and Central Asia. It decided when the Soviet Union was collapsing that it made no sense for it to antagonize Russia with regard to these areas, which Iran rightly appreciated would come to be seen as Russian vital interests, given America's unremitting hostility to it. Moreover, it clearly calculated correctly that Russia would be a source of diplomatic support, collaboration and arms sales to it. Moscow, for its part, had decided by February, 1992 that Iran, if it did not get arms sales, could make a lot of trouble for Russia in the Caucasus and Central Asia, which Moscow did not need.

Thus these sales are a way of paying off Iran not to make trouble, a bargain that Iran has faithfully kept and which works very well for Russia. Ending that bargain gains nothing for Moscow, except American good will, which it has already clearly discounted.

This analysis also shows that once again Washington has fallen for one of the oldest mistakes in relations with Russia, namely the belief that good personal relations with Russia's leader overrides anything else in the bilateral equation. While such relations are vital, they go nowhere if bureaucratic support and elite support are not forthcoming.

As Nikolai Gvosdev forcefully pointed out in the Moscow Times, that is precisely the case in US-Russian relations, neither side's domestic and bureaucratic elites has any compelling interest in making presidential agreements a reality, at least as far as Iran is concerned. Thus Washington cajoles Moscow, which pretends to listen. And when Moscow shows its true colors on this issue, nothing much happens, except for some meaningless sanctions of a few small fry.

Unfortunately, Iran advances ever closer to a nuclear capability that will constitute a global threat, given its support for terrorism on a global scale, as in Argentina and Western Europe. Russian authorities know what is at stake, but clearly do not care very much. The hour of decision on Iran is fast approaching, and if Iran does succeed in going nuclear, Moscow will hardly be able to escape the ensuing threats to its position in Central Asia and the Caucasus. But by then it will be too late for both it and for America, not to mention other states.

Meanwhile, the experience of the 20th century and of current world politics tells us that if we really want to prevent someone from going nuclear, it is necessary either to physically destroy the weapons by preemptive strike, as Israel did to Iraq in 1981, or to occupy the country, as the post-1945 history of Japan and Germany tell us.

Do Moscow and Washington really want to leave themselves only these options to prevent a conclusion that they both profess to want? If so, this is a very strange way to form the strategic partnership that they both claim to want. On the other hand, as the summit in Camp David suggests, rhetoric aside, that there is probably less to this partnership than meets the eye.

Stephen Blank is an analyst of international security affairs residing in Harrisburg, PA.

(Copyright 2003 Asia Times Online Co, Ltd. All rights reserved. Please contact for information on our sales and syndication policies.)
8 posted on 10/09/2003 1:28:24 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
In First, IAEA Inspects Iranian DM Nuke Site

October 09, 2003
Middle East Newsline

LONDON -- The International Atomic Energy Agency has completed its first inspection of a secret nuclear facility.

Arab diplomatic sources said the IAEA conducted an inspection of the Kolahdouz military base on Sunday. Located 14 kilometers southwest of Teheran, Kolahdouz has been under Defense Ministry administration and never opened to outsiders.

Kolahdouz was said to have been at the top of the IAEA list of targets. The diplomatic sources said the inspection marked a watershed in the agency's efforts to determine whether Teheran has been developing nuclear weapons.

The sources did not report the results of the IAEA inspection. But the London-based Al Hayat daily said on Wednesday that the IAEA team did not find any traces of uranium enrichment or other nuclear activity at Kolahdouz. The facility upgraded and produced main battle tanks in wake of the 1980-88 Iranian war with Iraq.
17 posted on 10/09/2003 9:03:20 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Human-rights Hypocrisy

October 09, 2003
The Washington Times
Greg Raikes

The current Liberal government headed by Prime Minister Jean Chretien has long attempted to trumpet Canada as being at the forefront of a global movement, led by the United Nations, to promote human rights worldwide.

Canada is currently signed on to a wide range of U.N. human rights treaties, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Convention on the Political Rights of Women and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. The government has incessantly promoted the message to Canadians that Canada is the torch-bearer for a global community that will no longer accept state behavior that condones systematic abuses of individual rights and freedoms. Canada is seen to advocate the standard themes espoused in the human-rights community; the rights of children, persons with disabilities, aboriginal peoples, and freedom of expression.

Our voice on these issues is projected to the international community via organizations such as the United Nations, the Organization of American States, the Commonwealth and La Francophonie. In addition, the government supports numerous Canadian and international NGOs working on the implementation of global human rights initiatives at the grassroots level.

The government's desire to continuously promote issues surrounding social justice betrays the fact that it has failed to translate its loaded words into fundamental change in the countries guilty of consistently ignoring human rights.

Canada is certainly not the only paper tiger in the international community when it comes to enforcing international standards, but our voice on these issues is often the loudest. The governments that are notorious for committing violations of the very U.N. treaties we signed continue to go unpunished for their actions.

Even more unfortunate is the fact that Canada continues to encourage and embrace international trade with some of the worst offenders. China is perhaps the most visible example of this hypocrisy, as it has risen to become our third largest trading partner. China's human rights abuses are numerous and well- documented but our government understands that ignoring the Chinese market would allow other countries to fill the very profitable void created by our absence. As a result, it is willing to overlook China's record while easing its conscience with the tried and true "controlled engagement" argument.

The case of Burma is particularly troubling, as the Canadian government has been a very vocal supporter of democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi in response to her repeated detention by the military junta controlling the country. In the meantime, Canada imported close to $18 million in 2001 of goods from Burma not including the millions of dollars that have made Burma Canada's No. 1 heroin supplier.

Iran is one of Canada's largest export markets in the North Africa- Middle East region with export's of roughly $500 million a year (2001 figures). The extreme nature of Iran's human-rights abuses was encapsulated by the recent killing of Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi while being detained for photographing a prison. Canada is Cuba's third-largest global trading partner with figures totaling $753 million. Fidel Castro's regime has been responsible for, among other things, countless political imprisonments and the complete abolition of the free press. Canada also has active trade relationships with questionable regimes such as Syria, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Libya and Zimbabwe.

Canada would lose valuable markets by refusing to trade with the large number of countries that systematically ignore its calls for human rights and freedom for all. As a result, putting serious economic and political pressure on these countries is a proposition that would require consensus among all nations.

Governments that consistently violate U.N. Human Rights treaties have no incentive to change their policies when the revenues keep rolling in. Canada should play a significant role in establishing a new global foreign policy framework that creates that incentive.

If Canada truly aspires to formulate a foreign policy rooted in the principals of human rights, than it must be prepared to lead in practice not just theory.

Greg Raikes is a free-lance writer.
18 posted on 10/09/2003 9:07:15 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Kazemi Wrote About Prison Beating, Iranians Say

October 09, 2003
National Post
Graeme Hamilton

MONTREAL - The Montreal photojournalist killed while in custody in Tehran managed to write down details of a beating she received on the first day of her imprisonment, Iran's Intelligence Ministry has said.

In a statement released after one of its agents went on trial on Tuesday for Zahra Kazemi's killing, the ministry said the victim's own account, written on June 24, was ignored by authorities investigating her death.

"A letter written by Zahra Kazemi the day after her arrest said she had been beaten and thrown to the ground during her first day in detention in Evin prison," the statement carried by Iran's ISNA student news agency said.

"It was in the report prepared by [intelligence] agents but unfortunately, this important detail, which is just part of a body of evidence we have, was not taken into account by prosecutors." The statement offered no additional details but said more information would be provided at a future news conference.

The revelation comes amid a power struggle between the reformist Intelligence Ministry and the conservative judiciary, which has charged Mohammad Reza Aghdam Ahmadi, an obscure intelligence agent, with fatally beating Ms. Kazemi.

The 54-year-old photographer, who was born in Iran and held both Iranian and Canadian citizenship, was arrested on June 23 while taking pictures outside Evin prison.

After enduring 77 hours of interrogation, she fell into a coma and died in hospital on July 10. Authorities initially attributed her death to a stroke but later admitted she had suffered fatal blows to the head.

Mohammad Khatami, the reformist President, yesterday cast doubt on the fairness of the trial and suggested the judiciary is covering up its own involvement in the death. The trial was adjourned on Tuesday to allow the defence time to study the indictment.

"How is it that the trial opens but the defendant and his lawyer are not informed of the bill of indictment?

"That means they are invited to a court to defend something they don't know about," Mr. Khatami said.

The President urged the police to question the judiciary official who initially said Ms. Kazemi died of a stroke.

"Why are all those who were in contact with Kazemi not questioned, including those who ordered a Culture Ministry official to say she died of stroke," Mr. Khatami said in reference to the hardline Tehran Prosecutor General, Saeed Mortazavi.

In a statement carried on the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency yesterday, Iran's deputy judiciary chief responded to criticism of his department by belittling Ms. Kazemi.

Mohammad-Javad Larijani, the deputy judiciary chief, denied any political motive behind Ms. Kazemi's death, "given that Kazemi was neither a prominent figure, nor had she accomplished any significant achievement." He went on to say "such a crime is likely to happen everywhere in the world," according to the statement.

Canada's ambassador, Philip MacKinnon, who returned to Iran this month after being recalled in protest, attended the trial's opening.

Asked whether Canada is satisfied with the legal process to date, Reynald Doiron, a spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs, said only, "We're watching closely."
20 posted on 10/09/2003 9:26:02 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
U.S.: Iran to 'Throw Sand in Our Eyes' on N-Arms

October 09, 2003
Andrew Cawthorne

LONDON -- A senior U.S. official predicted on Thursday Iran will seek to "throw sand" in the world's eyes to prevent a showdown over an October 31 deadline for Tehran to dispel international suspicion of its nuclear ambitions.

"I think what will happen prior to October 31st is the Iranians will cooperate a little bit and the issue will be, 'Did they cooperate enough?"' U.S. Undersecretary of State John Bolton told reporters in London, speaking about the deadline set by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

"They will try and throw sand in our eyes and use a modest level of cooperation to hide some level of obfuscation and lack of cooperation, to conceal as much as they can, to delay, to fight for time, and to avoid having the issue referred to the (U.N.) Security Council," he added.

In a tough resolution last month, the IAEA gave Iran until October 31 to dispel doubts about its atomic ambitions and is demanding rigorous inspections of suspect sites. Washington is urging strong U.N. measures against Tehran, whom it suspects of secretly developing nuclear weapons.

Iranian President Mohammad Khatami insisted on Wednesday Tehran would provide whatever cooperation was needed to prove its nuclear program is solely geared to producing electricity -- the latest such assurance from the Islamic Republic.

Bolton predicted that if unchecked, Iran could have nuclear weapons capability "toward the end of the decade," though some people theorize it could be much sooner, he said.

"The risk of outward Iranian proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to other countries in the region is also a risk we take very seriously," he added.

Asked why Washington did not take a similar line on Israel's nuclear program, Bolton said: "The issue for the U.S. is what poses a threat to us and to our allies...We are not platonic guardians, we are representing American interests."

He was in London for a conference on a hotly debated U.S. plan to intercept ships and planes that may be trafficking weapons of mass destruction.

The Proliferation Security Initiative has won support from 10 other nations, helping ease diplomatic tensions over the U.S.-British invasion of Iraq and the subsequent failure to find weapons of mass destruction there.

Bolton said deposed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein may well have got rid of his weapons.

"In the short term we don't entirely know what Saddam may have done with the weapons of mass destruction. They may have been moved out of Iraq years ago -- it's possible," he said.

Saddam may also have ordered them destroyed, he added, "in which case it was a bad mistake not to keep records."

The existence of about 1,000 nuclear scientists whom Saddam dubbed his "nuclear Mujahideen" (holy warriors) demonstrated Baghdad's dangerous intentions, Bolton added.
21 posted on 10/09/2003 9:27:08 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
DRUDGEREPORT: U.S. wants defensive missile system in Europe against Iran

DrudgeReport ^ | 10.9.2003 | Matt Drudge
Posted on 10/09/2003 12:14 PM PDT by DoctorZIn

Munich (dpa) - The U.S. government is sounding out the possibility of bilateral agreements with European countries to allow stationing of a defensive missile system directed against Iran, a leading German newspaper reported in its Friday edition.

Countries accepting the missiles would be rewarded by the U.S. with economic assistance, according to the report in the Sueddeutsche Zeitung citing unnamed U.S. State Department officials.

One ranking U.S. diplomat told the newspaper a joint project with European participation would be preferable, creating a missile-defence system to guard against attacks on both Europe and North America. However chances of obtaining NATO approval for the project were slim, the official said.
26 posted on 10/09/2003 12:15:55 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
U.S. says Iran to try to avert showdown

Thu 9 October, 2003 18:17 BST
By Andrew Cawthorne

LONDON (Reuters) - A top U.S. official has predicted that Iran will show some cooperation to prevent a showdown over an October 31 deadline but not enough to dispel international suspicion of its nuclear ambitions.

In a tough resolution last month, the U.N. nuclear watchdog gave Iran until the end of October to answer doubts about its atomic ambitions, demanding rigorous inspections of suspect sites. Washington is urging strong U.N. measures against Tehran, which it suspects of secretly developing nuclear weapons.

"I think what will happen prior to October 31st is the Iranians will cooperate a little bit and the issue will be, 'Did they cooperate enough?'" U.S. Undersecretary of State John Bolton told reporters in London on Thursday.

"They will try and throw sand in our eyes and use a modest level of cooperation to hide some level of obfuscation and lack of cooperation, to conceal as much as they can, to delay, to fight for time, and to avoid having the issue referred to the (U.N.) Security Council," he added.

Iranian President Mohammad Khatami insisted on Wednesday Tehran would provide whatever cooperation was needed by the deadline set by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to prove its nuclear programme is solely geared for peaceful purposes.

Bolton, considered a hawk within the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush, said that if unchecked, Iran may have nuclear arms "towards the end of the decade" though he noted "some people have theories that put the Iranians much closer".

"The risk of outward Iranian proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to other countries in the region is also a risk we take very seriously," he added.

Bolton, who was recently called "human scum" by North Korea for describing its leader Kim Jong-il as a dictator, suggested that U.S. President George W. Bush's so-called "axis of evil" - Iraq under Saddam, Iran and North Korea -- should be widened to include other "rogue, loser states".

"I think there are other candidate members for the axis of evil...Libya, Syria and Cuba and a variety of places."


Asked why Washington did not take a similar line on Israel's nuclear programme, Bolton said: "The issue for the U.S. is what poses a threat to us and to our allies...We are not Platonic guardians, we are representing American interests."

Quizzed in a similar vein on media reports that Pakistan may have supplied materials for North Korea's nuclear programme, Bolton noted that Islamabad had roundly denied that.

"We take them at their word -- at this point," he said.

Bolton was in London for talks on a U.S. plan to intercept ships and planes that may be trafficking weapons of mass destruction. The Proliferation Security Initiative has won support from 10 other nations, helping ease diplomatic tensions over the U.S.-British invasion of Iraq and the subsequent failure to find weapons of mass destruction there.

Bolton said deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein may well have got rid of his weapons. "They may have been moved out of Iraq years ago -- it's possible," he said.

Saddam may also have ordered them destroyed, he added, "in which case it was a bad mistake not to keep records."

But he said that Iraq had about 1,000 nuclear scientists, whom he said Saddam had dubbed as his "nuclear Mujahideen" (holy warriors), which demonstrated Baghdad's dangerous intentions.
27 posted on 10/09/2003 12:17:00 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Karzai For Iran Or Agreement With America?

Mabrouk bin Abdulaziz

Has the U.S finally found its long-sought goal in Hassan Khomeini, grandson of Ayatollah Khomeini, to the point of making out of him an Iranian Karzai? This question comes to mind after his visit to the United States, and particularly to the American Enterprise Institute, which is very influential in the planning of long-term American strategy, as well as following the concurrence of his statements with the U.S.'s desired changes of the Islamic regime in Iran.

First, we notice that the escalating confrontation between the U.S. and Iran reached a level higher than ever, which warns of important events in the near future, as the battlefields, in order of importance, are the following: the nuclear file, Iraq, Afghanistan, the Palestinian cause, Lebanon, the Caucasian Sea and Central Asia, Al Qaeda, the Gulf, the oil…

Lately, the U.S. declared having categorically eliminated the option of using force against Iran, which asserts the occurrence of a drastic change in the strategy it adopted in this country. Maybe America has finally also dropped the idea of replacing the current Islamic regime with a Westernized, secular one, and accepts in return a moderate solution through a democratic Islamic regime, which would be open to the Western civilization. Hence, it would be close to the reformists' suggestions on one hand and convenient to U.S. interests on the other. The U.S. will probably try to test this kind of rule in Iraq, so that it would represent later on an example to other countries in the Middle East.

The changes in the American vision of the confrontation with Iran are probably due to the following two reasons:

1- The situation in Iraq:

The U.S. was surprised following the invasion of Iraq and the downfall of Saddam Hussein with the Iraqis' reaction to the occupation, as the brief joy of celebrating Saddam's departure soon ended, and the American presence became shameful for Iraqis, as it only existed to prevent the return of Hussein. Everyone is demanding Americans now to leave and hand Iraqis their affairs, as to choose the rule that convenes them. The U.S. was also surprised with the Iraqis' attachment to their religion, although they had been under a secular rule for decades. Maybe their last hope is to establish an Islamic rule similar to that of Iran, aside of each country's particularities, and this undoubtedly confused the Bush administration. Hence, the American administration has two choices: either to meet Iraqis' demands and risk the entailments that would definitely serve Iran's interest, or settle with the rising resistance and accepting more enmities even form its friends.

One of the reasons preventing the U.S. to hand the management of Iraq to the UN is its fear of a rapprochement between Iraq and Iran, despite the eight years of war these two countries had, as they feel now more than ever, the need to unite in terms of their religion. Hence, America is trying hard to cut the way between them as to prevent a potential axis between Iran, Iraq and Syria, which would threaten Israel and weaken Jordan.

Iran has lost an important link with Iraq following the death of Mohamad Baqir Al Hakim, who was assassinated as soon as he started revealing his stances from the American occupation and the relation with Israel.

2- The second reason is the lack of alternative individuals from outside the regime, who would be convincing and have enough credibility to run such a large country as Iran.

America is not placing its bets on a monarchic rule, which brought nothing but mayhem to the country, nor is it considering Mujahideen Khalq organization, which is enlisted on the terrorist organizations list, and is no longer influential in Iran.

As for the liberal Iranian individuals living in the West and fond of the Western example, they are split between two groups: those who refuse the American adventures in Iran as a matter of principle, and the second group who follow what the Americans want, but are not very popular in Iran.

Will the U.S. return to Iran the way it left? Obviously, it is a surreal option that would end up with the same failing results of the previous choices.

Finally, if America wants to operate some changes in Iran's policies, it should be patient, maybe for another 20 years, not to mention that it should make compromises, especially regarding Israel. It should also be aware of the fact that increasing pressure will only push Iranians to take more precautionary measures, which could include repressing freedoms.
30 posted on 10/09/2003 3:32:55 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
US pressures Lufthansa over Iran Air's engine service - report

Payvand's Iran News ...

The United States has stepped up its pressure on Lufthansa over the German airliner's maintenance and overhaul of Iran Air plane engines, the weekly Stern magazine said Thursday, IRNA reported from Berlin.

The unnamed American engine spare parts supplier has threatened to terminate all its business activities with Lufthansa, should it continue to provide Iran Air with US-made engine spare parts.

Lufthansa has reportedly caved in to American pressure and will no longer US-made engine spare parts in Iran Air planes.

The German national carrier has been in charge of Iran Air's maintenance and overhaul for the last four decades.

Since Iran's Islamic Revolution of 1979, US embargoes have forced Iran to buy mainly Russian-built planes and older European Airbus models to supplement an existing fleet of Boeing and other American and European models.
31 posted on 10/09/2003 3:33:50 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
UN nuclear agency warns Iran 'time is running out'

Financial Times
By Roula Khalaf in Vienna
Published: October 9 2003 22:06 | Last Updated: October 9 2003 22:06

The chief United Nations nuclear inspector on Thursday called on Iran to accelerate its co-operation with his agency. He warned that time was running out for Tehran to comply with an end of October deadline and provide full transparency to allay international concerns over its nuclear programme.

Tehran insists its nuclear programme is aimed at peaceful energy production, but the US maintains it is a front for developing nuclear weapons.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency, said teams of inspectors sent last week were given access to sites they had requested and received fresh information from the Iranian authorities.

But he stressed that the amount and flow of information remained inadequate.

The IAEA's governing board last month set a deadline of the end of October for Iran to provide inspectors with assurances that it had not diverted nuclear material to weapons use. Failure to meet the deadline would escalate the dispute by sending it to the UN Security Council, where the US would seek a statement that increased diplomatic pressure on Iran and countries that had assisted its nuclear programme.

The IAEA board's pressure on Iran appears to have intensified the debate between hardliners and reformists within the Tehran regime over the merits of co-operation.

Mohamed Khatami, the president, this week said Iran would provide all necessary co-operation to prove it was not developing nuclear weapons.

"They've promised information will be forthcoming but it has not yet been provided," Mr ElBaradei said. "The central question is whether Iran has any [uranium] enrichment activities that we have not been informed about. On that question I haven't got satisfactory information."

Iran has also said it would provide a list of all imported components to address an important sticking point with the IAEA and convince inspectors that traces of weapons-grade uranium found at two sites were the result of contaminated equipment purchased from abroad.

Mr ElBaradei, however, stressed that he needed to know the origin of the components to verify Iranian assertions.

Iran has insisted that it would continue enriching uranium despite the IAEA governing board's call for it to suspend such activities. Mr ElBaradei said the suspension of uranium enrichment was demanded as a confidence-building measure and failure to comply with the request would not constitute a violation of Iran's Safeguards Agreement.

Iran has also given conflicting signals as to whether it would sign an agreement, known as the additional protocol, to allow more intrusive inspections of nuclear sites. Mr ElBaradei said the agreement was essential for the future, but was not his immediate priority.

Speaking in London on Thursday, John Bolton, US undersecretary of state for arms control, predicted Iran would "co-operate a little" with the IAEA, to buy time.

He said Iran would be capable of producing nuclear weapons "towards the end of the decade".
32 posted on 10/09/2003 3:46:10 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
'A Bird With Just One Wing'

October 09, 2003
Al-Ahram Weekly
Mustafa El-Labbad

The past week was historic for the Islamic Republic of Iran since it was one of the most difficult junctures the Iranian regime has passed through since the establishment of the republic in 1979.

It has witnessed heated political debate between its political forces on the one hand and the increasing international pressure on Iran to disclose the secrets of its nuclear programme on the other. At the beginning of the week, a delegation from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) concluded its negotiations with Iranian officials regarding its nuclear file. Ali Akbar Salehi, Iran's representative to the IAEA, said that the negotiations were "positive and constructive", and that both parties had set a "framework" for cooperation between them.

But far from the usual diplomatic niceties, the delegation's visit to Iran could be seen as a clear Iranian retreat in the face of increasing international pressure to divulge the secrets of its nuclear programme. Observers say that the agency's representatives asked questions concerning Iran's activity in enriching depleted uranium, and the source from which Iran obtained the related equipment and the nuclear technology, especially in Natanz, where inspectors had found in a previous visit to the plant traces of uranium. Iranians said that the equipment had been imported and that it was polluted from its country of origin. Negotiations also dealt with the issue of signing a second protocol, which allows for surprise inspections of Iran's nuclear establishments.

The visit by the IAEA delegation comes in the wake of the agency's decision to impose a deadline on Iran, by the end of this month, to sign the protocol and open its establishments for surprise inspections and to stop its tests to enrich uranium. Otherwise, the file would be turned over to the UN Security Council, which could open the way for international sanctions against Tehran.

Since the former Shah's rule, Iran has been developing nuclear programmes to maintain its position as a regional power with nuclear capabilities like those of India, Pakistan and Israel. Accordingly these programmes should be viewed as a way of supporting regional capabilities and protecting higher Iranian national interests. However, the Iranian nuclear programme, as observers see it, does not have the support of a specific lobby, such as the military which supports the nuclear programme in Pakistan, or the civil-technological lobby which supports the Indian nuclear programme. This weakens Iran's ability in its attempts to confront internal and external pressures. The issue of signing a new protocol is a new reason for the divisions in the Iranian regime between the conservatives and the reformists.

The Iranian regime formed a five-member committee to deal with its nuclear file. The quintet is composed of Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi, Intelligence Minister Ali Yunessi, Defence Minister Ali Shamkhani, National Security Council Secretary Hassan Rowhani and Foreign Affairs Advisor and former Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati. The formation of the committee reflects a clear conservative tendency, since Intelligence Minister Yunessi is considered a reformist, while the remaining four members move within a clique associated with the conservatives. This format translates into a form of agreement, Iranian style, between the reformists and the conservatives. A statement by Mohsen Mirdamadi, chairman of the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee at the Iranian Parliament, made it clear that the reformists supported the signing of the additional protocol unconditionally. Meanwhile, the conservatives insist, through their media, on rejecting the deadline and hint of a pullout from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

The Entekhab newspaper, mouthpiece of the conservatives, said it thought that Iran would finally sign the protocol since "acceptance, while it would create problems for us; a refusal to sign would bring about even bigger problems." The English-language Iran News wrote, "To those who claim that signing the protocol would open the door for other requests, we say that had it been signed earlier, it would have protected us from other future requests." The conservative Etemad newspaper, which is an organ of the religious-military lobby, thinks that "Iran has the right to have nuclear capabilities," and that "no one has the right to sign agreements which are not in the interest of the Iranian nation nor its national interests." On the other hand, the reformist Shargh appealed to the political elite to speak in one voice to the world. The leftist, quasi-reformist Aftab-e Yazd cautioned Iran against provoking the international community, leaving international public opinion easy prey for Washington to manipulate.

The Iranian regime is used to promoting its vision of controversial issues and sending out signals to the outside world by way of the Friday sermon at Tehran University, which sees hundreds of thousands of worshippers. The importance of last Friday's sermon is that it was proportionate to the increasing pressure against the regime. The sermon leader was Ali Akbar Rafsanjani, one of the most important figures in the Iranian regime and one of the most powerful. Rafsanjani criticised the IAEA because, he said, it "has succumbed to Washington's will." Rafsanjani announced the signing of the protocol under four conditions: no inspection of sovereign places; no entry of military sites which are not related to the nuclear programme; acknowledgment of Iran's right to own reactors for peaceful purposes; and no inspection of religious sites. There was another unannounced condition -- obtaining guarantees that Iran would not be subject to other procedures in case it signed the protocol.

The Iranian regime has been far ahead of that of Saddam Hussein in the sense that it is facing up to US pressure by employing a dual strategy, that of using pretexts and using measured and calculated climbdowns while covering up its tracks with statements for local and regional consumption. This is unlike the case of the former Iraqi leader who depended basically on policy speeches. And perhaps at a time when tens of thousands of voices were raised during the Friday prayer in Tehran University demanding "mar bar America", or "death to America", secret talks were being held between the United States and Iran.

Jordanian King Abdullah II visited Iran last week and held talks with the highest-ranking state official, President Mohamed Khatami, and Foreign Minister Kharrazi before leaving for Washington carrying the Iranian viewpoint to US President George W Bush regarding regional cooperation between Washington and Tehran. Immediately thereafter, officials at the US State Department announced they had received "positive signals" from Tehran. Richard Armitage, assistant secretary of state, said "Iran is showing more cooperation on the issue of Iraq," adding that Iran will participate in the conference of donor countries for the reconstruction of Iraq to be held in Madrid at the end of October.

For its part, the US administration has been quite successful in focussing attention on Iran, and this within the short period of time since the occupation of Iraq last April. It was able to have Iran's nuclear file before the Security Council within six months, despite the absence of any international resolution that impinges on the sovereignty of Iran, at least thus far. The US administration also succeeded in making the nuclear issue a contentious one between the two factions of the Iranian regime, the reformists and the conservatives. It has in effect rendered Iranian politics a bird with just one wing.

The situation in Iran took a turn for the worse last week after Tehran insinuated it might pull out of the IAEA and following its conditional approval to signing the protocol. However, the time might have come and gone for Iran to impose its terms in return for allowing surprise inspections. Tehran is not at present in a position to dictate conditions. America's media and diplomatic machineries started moving with remarkable speed in the past few weeks in order to point the finger of accusation at Iran. This comes before the US forces Iran into entering an unending cycle of American requirements and conditions which not only aim at making major changes in Iran's policies but also at changing the very shape and form of its political system.
35 posted on 10/09/2003 4:09:00 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
I have made several changes to my web page.
Comments, suggestions, or help to improve the web page would be appreciated.

42 posted on 10/09/2003 8:43:02 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
US hawk warns Iran threat must be eliminated

Richard Norton-Taylor
Friday October 10, 2003
The Guardian

An American official warned yesterday that the potential threat posed by Iran's nuclear programme had to be "eliminated" and predicted Tehran would try to "throw sand" in the eyes of the world to avoid a confrontation at the UN.
John Bolton, deputy under secretary of state for arms control, who is regarded as the state department's chief hawk, was speaking to journalists in London where he reaffirmed the Bush administration's notion of "rogue states" which threatened US interests.

Top of the list were Iran and North Korea, he said. "There is awareness of the threat posed by Iran and consensus that threat has to be eliminated," he said referring to the Iranian nuclear reactor at Bushehr.

Iran "will try and throw sand in our eyes" mixing cooperation and obfuscation "to conceal as much as they can, to delay and to avoid having the issue referred to the security council," said Mr Bolton.

The UN international atomic energy agency has given Iran until October 31 to prove it does not have a nuclear weapons programme. Mohammad Khatami, the Iranian president, said on Wednesday that Tehran would offer whatever cooperation was needed to show its nuclear programme was to produce electricity.

Mr Bolton yesterday questioned the need for Iran to produce nuclear power, given the size of its natural gas and oil reserves. He said the existing non-proliferation treaty needed to be strengthened to deal with Iran which, he speculated, could have a nuclear weapons capability "probably towards the end of the decade".

He said North Korea was being dealt with by multilateral talks conducted by China, and that Pakistan had denied trading in nuclear materials with North Korea. "We take them at their word," he said. Asked about Israel's nuclear weapons capability, he replied: "The issue for the US is what poses a threat to the US."

On Iraq, Mr Bolton said "the purpose of military action was to eliminate the regime ... The real security risk was the regime". He implied it was not weapons of mass destruction that was the issue but whose hands they were in.

Mr Bolton described the "level of cooperation" from Syria - which Washington accuses of manufacturing chemical weapons and harbouring terrorists - as "not satisfactory".

He did not specify what action the US might take against Iran and Syria beyond pointing out that the US already imposes sanctions against Iran and that Congress was poised to adopt a law applying them to Syria.

He said Libya, a country with which Britain is now developing closer ties, had "increased efforts to acquire biological, chemical, and nuclear, weapons".

Mr Bolton was in London for meetings on US plans to intercept ships and aircraft suspected of trafficking weapons of mass destruction.,12858,1060030,00.html
43 posted on 10/09/2003 8:44:57 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
This thread is now closed.

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49 posted on 10/10/2003 12:16:40 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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