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Iranian Alert -- DAY 40 -- LIVE THREAD PING LIST
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 7.19.2003 | DoctorZin

Posted on 07/19/2003 1:21:39 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: iran; iranianalert; protest; studentmovement
To find all the links to all 40 threads since the protests started, go to:


1 posted on 07/19/2003 1:21:39 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; ...
Join Us at the Iranian Alert -- DAY 40 -- LIVE THREAD PING LIST

Live Thread Ping List | 7.19.2003 | DoctorZIn

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

2 posted on 07/19/2003 1:22:39 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: All
Thank you very much!
Thank you very much!
That's the nicest thing that anyone's ever done for me.
It isn't every day
good fortune comes me way!
I never thought the future would be fun for me!
And if I had a bugle
I would blow it to add a sort
o' how's your father's touch.
But since I left me bugle at home
I simply have to say
Thank you very, very, very much!
Thank you very, very, very much!

Thank you for your donation!


3 posted on 07/19/2003 1:23:49 AM PDT by Support Free Republic (Your support keeps Free Republic going strong!)
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To: DoctorZIn
http://www.forbes.com/global/2003/0721/024.html
4 posted on 07/19/2003 1:26:59 AM PDT by F14 Pilot
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; ...
Bush Has a Strong Belief that Iran's Population Should be Free

July 19, 2003
The Telegraph
Toby Harnden

Iran has become the most contentious foreign policy issue in the Bush administration, with bitter division over whether to force regime change in Teheran or woo reformist elements amid growing concern about the country's nuclear ambitions.

Some of the most hardline, neo-conservative elements have suggested a pre-emptive strike against nuclear facilities if Iran does not come clean about its weapon production capabilities, but no senior figure in the administration is advocating a new war.

America questions the need for the Nuclear plant at Bushehr
"There's a couple of us who say, 'wouldn't it be nice' but then we'll flip into a more pragmatic mindset and then the belief is all we really can do is to encourage the revolution is to continue," explained one official aligned with the neo-conservatives.

While few would mourn the collapse of such a repressive regime, "regime change" in Iran is still not official US policy.

The hawks are placing their faith in Elliot Abrams, the neo-conservative head of Middle East policy on the White House's National Security Council, to resist moves from career diplomats to "reach out" to Teheran in the hope of encouraging a change in behaviour.

"The feeling among some of the more hawkish elements is that the State Department really wants to cut a deal with the mullahs and we're not happy about that," said the official.

Although it was not clear whether President George W Bush would want to bring about regime change by force, the official said, he appeared to have a strong belief that Iran's population of 65 million should be free.

"The way the president has spoken about this says to me he's got a pretty right-wrong sense of the world and he'd really like to see the mullahs undercut as well. I don't know the president would endorse anything that looks like a sell-out.

"But often in some of these thin-air, upper atmosphere deliberations at the top of the administration logic does get twisted."

The hawks advocate, at a minimum, covert intelligence operations to foment discontent in Iran and mobilise young people. Preferably, military aid would also be forthcoming.

But more cautious officials say Iran has been helpful with assisting the fight against al-Qa'eda and that active intervention by America could radicalise the population and therefore strengthen rather than weaken the regime.

A senior administration official said he believed the overthrow of Saddam Hussein had given heart to Iranians who wanted an end to theocracy. "The hopes for Iran are the fact that three-quarters of the people voted for a different government.

"They still haven't been allowed to have it and the unelected rulers of that country continue to support terrorism and pursue weapons of mass destruction.

"It's going to be a very complicated equation.

"Obviously everyone in Iran, including the worst elements there, are going to welcome the demise of their old enemy if it comes to that. But I also think that if - big if - the Iraqis can demonstrate some success at building a representative government it's going to embolden those people in Iran who are demanding freedom."

For now, the State Department and CIA appear to have been successful in urging Mr Bush to hold back. But there are powerful voices calling for a more aggressive policy.

Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas has argued for a congressional mandate for regime change in Iran similar to the 1998 Iraq Liberation Act.

"We'll never have true stability in the region as long as the Iranian regime remains in power," he said at a recent conference of the American Enterprise Institute, the intellectual engine of the neo-conservative movement. "We're riding a horse and we're in the middle of the stream. We've got to press on to the other side."

Iranian support for Shi'ite rebels in Iraq and co-operation between Teheran and Havana on jamming Voice of America broadcasts in Farsi to Iran have hardened attitudes in Washington.

Teheran has made overtures to the Bush administration through Mohammad Javad Zarif, its ambassador to the United Nations in New York, but the White House has rejected the notion of direct talks about Iran's nuclear programme.

http://portal.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2003/07/19/wiran19.xml&sSheet=/portal/2003/07/19/ixportaltop.html

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail me”
5 posted on 07/19/2003 1:27:14 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
That's a great article Doc. One of the things that people must understand is that the Bush administration likes to have confusion, it throws the enemy off guard.
6 posted on 07/19/2003 1:34:27 AM PDT by McGavin999 (Just because we met our fundraising goals doesn't mean you can't still contribute.)
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To: DoctorZIn

Belgian windsurfer goes missing off the southwestern coast of Mauritius

Excerpt from report by Mauritius newspaper L'Express web site on 18 July

A 35-year-old windsurfer from Belgium went missing yesterday at about 1800 [local time] in a lagoon situated near the Berjaya Hotel in Morne [southwestern Mauritius].

According to available information, the windsurfer, who was on holiday in the Mauritius, was indulging in his favourite sport when he was swept away by a heavy swell. The mast of his windsurfing board broke with the force of the waves. He lost control and fell into the water. Some 30 windsurfers nearby helplessly witnessed the scene. The people and tourists who saw the drama rushed to look for coast guards and other available boats.

The search was difficult and fruitless given the bad weather and the fast approaching darkness. The relatives and friends of the victim demanded a police helicopter continue with the search but all was in vain. The search resumes this morning. [Passage omitted].

Source: L'Express web site, Port Louis, in French 18 Jul 03


BACK TO TOP ^

Iran: Official affiliated with senior ayatollah's arrested for helping students

Text of report by Iranian Labour News Agency (ILNA) web site

Tehran: Madah, the head of Ayatollah Taheri's office has been arrested.

It has been reported that Madah, the head of the office of Ayatollah Taheri, the former Friday prayer leader of Esfahan [and a member of the Assembly of Experts], had allowed the Central Council of the Office for Fostering Unity to hold its unofficial meeting at Esfahan's Hoseyn-Abad mausoleum.

Source: Iranian Labour News Agency (ILNA), Tehran, in Persian 0752 gmt 19 Jul 03

http://www.monitor.bbc.co.uk/nfnews.shtml#second
7 posted on 07/19/2003 6:44:14 AM PDT by knighthawk (We all want to touch a rainbow, but singers and songs will never change it alone. We are calling you)
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To: DoctorZIn
Thanks for the ping
Good morning
8 posted on 07/19/2003 6:53:03 AM PDT by firewalk
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To: F14 Pilot
The economy bears more than a little resemblance to the crony capitalism that sprouted from the wreck of the Soviet Union. The 1979 revolution expropriated the assets of foreign investors and the nation's wealthiest families; oil had long been nationalized, but the mullahs seized virtually everything else of value--banks, hotels, car and chemical companies, makers of drugs and consumer goods. What distinguishes Iran is that many of these assets were given to Islamic charitable foundations, controlled by the clerics. According to businessmen and former foundation executives, the charities now serve as slush funds for the mullahs and their supporters.

Well heck these guys are nothing more than a bunch of mafia thugs in long robes and turbans.
9 posted on 07/19/2003 7:18:56 AM PDT by Valin (America is a vast conspiracy to make you happy.)
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To: Valin
The economy bears more than a little resemblance to the crony capitalism that sprouted from the wreck of the Soviet Union. The 1979 revolution expropriated the assets of foreign investors and the nation's wealthiest families; oil had long been nationalized, but the mullahs seized virtually everything else of value--banks, hotels, car and chemical companies, makers of drugs and consumer goods. What distinguishes Iran is that many of these assets were given to Islamic charitable foundations, controlled by the clerics. According to businessmen and former foundation executives, the charities now serve as slush funds for the mullahs and their supporters.

Actually, Iran has, under the guise of Islam, bridged the gap between Facism and Socialism. On the low end of the economic scale, companies operate amongst themselves and the government. On the other end of the economic scale, the government owns all the high-end corporate assets.

Currently, A middle class can exist in Iran if they choose to have a small enough business that is below where the government isn't interested in nationalizing / extorting their businesses. The alternative is to become de-facto partners with the mullahs and have an opportunity to grow.

10 posted on 07/19/2003 7:59:14 AM PDT by jriemer (We are a Republic not a Democracy)
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To: knighthawk
I'm sorry...The significance of the Belgian windsurfer is what?
11 posted on 07/19/2003 8:06:38 AM PDT by nuconvert
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To: jriemer; Valin; dixiechick2000
It is important to know that Mullahs are doing their best to be benefited from Iran.
They know Iran as an occupied soil.
This is not their country and they dont care about what it comes to Iran.
12 posted on 07/19/2003 8:10:04 AM PDT by F14 Pilot
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To: DoctorZIn; All; Grampa Dave; Poohbah
New Jamming news:

China is a relative new threat to the U.S. in Cuba. The presence of Chinese personnel in Cuba is now very obvious. The Electronic Warfare Battalion located at Bejucal, south of Habana, conducts intelligence operations, that is eavesdropping, cyber-warfare, telephone espionage and jamming operations capable of disrupting communications inside the United States. Since March of 1999, Chinese personnel have taken partially over the operations of the Bejucal base.

47 posted on 07/19/2003 9:47 AM EDT by flamefront

This kicks things up a notch or two and explains why there's not a lot of talk about this overall. This is just the tip of the iceberg and bigger than just the "axis of evil".

13 posted on 07/19/2003 8:11:25 AM PDT by jriemer (We are a Republic not a Democracy)
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To: flamefront; DoctorZIn; All; Grampa Dave; Poohbah
More follow-up, on the Iran Jamming:

According to an original article on the jamming U.S. satellite feeds to Iran jammed:

Not only are the Iranian signals jammed, but those of other nearby broadcasters are as well. We have a Chinese client who is being jammed.

A Taiwanese client?

50 posted on 07/19/2003 10:12 AM EDT by flamefront

The Iranian jamming could be a smokescreen to jam Taiwanese broadcasts into mainland China. They can't have a break-away provence getting their message out, you know...

14 posted on 07/19/2003 8:16:16 AM PDT by jriemer (We are a Republic not a Democracy)
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To: jriemer
Very interesting
15 posted on 07/19/2003 8:18:18 AM PDT by nuconvert
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To: jriemer
Either way I think we are seeing the equivalent significance of Lourdes to 1962. Expect more news from there.
16 posted on 07/19/2003 8:24:35 AM PDT by flamefront (To the victor go the oils. No oil or oil-money for islamofascist weapons of mass annihilation.)
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To: jriemer
"This kicks things up a notch or two and explains why there's not a lot of talk about this overall.s"

Could be. Might be so that Cuba doesn't look worse than it already is. Media heads love Cuba.. I'll give that some thought. Hmmm. AND, FOX seems to be the one out there with the story. The anti-communist network. I think you may have something here. I think FOX will be reporting the China connection before too long.
17 posted on 07/19/2003 8:30:41 AM PDT by nuconvert
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To: nuconvert
Sorry about it. Copied it from the BBC site too.
18 posted on 07/19/2003 8:31:15 AM PDT by knighthawk (We all want to touch a rainbow, but singers and songs will never change it alone. We are calling you)
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To: knighthawk
Ah...I make mistakes a lot.
Too bad for the windsurfer. Just when he thought he was having a great time...
19 posted on 07/19/2003 8:43:15 AM PDT by nuconvert
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To: F14 Pilot
I hope you don't mind, but I'm reposting an article you posted at the end of yesterday's thread for any who may have missed it.




A LONG STORY BUT IT IS A MUST READ & A TRUE STORY (( PLEASE PASS ON TO OTHER FRIENDS AND FREEPERS ))), THANK YOU!

Millionaire Mullahs
Paul Klebnikov, 07.21.03


A looming nuclear threat to the rest of the world, Iran is robbing its own people of prosperity. But the men at the top are getting extremely rich.
It's rumble time in Tehran. At dozens of intersections in the capital of Iran thousands of students are protesting on a recent Friday around midnight, as they do nearly every night, chanting pro-democracy slogans and lighting bonfires on street corners. Residents of the surrounding middle-class neighborhoods converge in their cars, honking their horns in raucous support.

Suddenly there's thunder in the air. A gang of 30 motorcyclists, brandishing iron bars and clubs, roars through the stalled traffic. They glare at the drivers, yell threats, thump cars. Burly and bearded, the bikers yank two men from their auto and pummel them. Most protesters scatter. Uniformed policemen watch impassively as the thugs beat the last stragglers.

These bikers are part of the Hezbollah militia, recruited mostly from the countryside. Iran's ruling mullahs roll them out whenever they need to intimidate their opponents. The Islamic Republic is a strange dictatorship. As it moves to repress growing opposition to clerical rule, the regime relies not on soldiers or uniformed police (many of whom sympathize with the protesters) but on the bullies of Hezbollah and the equally thuggish Revolutionary Guards. The powers that be claim to derive legitimacy from Allah but remain on top with gangsterlike methods of intimidation, violence and murder.

Who controls today's Iran? Certainly not Mohammad Khatami, the twice-elected moderate president, or the reformist parliament. Not even the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei--a stridently anti-American but unremarkable cleric plucked from the religious ranks 14 years ago to fill the shoes of his giant predecessor, Ayatollah Khomeini--is fully in control. The real power is a handful of clerics and their associates who call the shots behind the curtain and have gotten very rich in the process.

The economy bears more than a little resemblance to the crony capitalism that sprouted from the wreck of the Soviet Union. The 1979 revolution expropriated the assets of foreign investors and the nation's wealthiest families; oil had long been nationalized, but the mullahs seized virtually everything else of value--banks, hotels, car and chemical companies, makers of drugs and consumer goods. What distinguishes Iran is that many of these assets were given to Islamic charitable foundations, controlled by the clerics. According to businessmen and former foundation executives, the charities now serve as slush funds for the mullahs and their supporters.

Iran has other lethal secrets besides its nuclear program, now the subject of prying international eyes. Dozens of interviews with businessmen, merchants, economists and former ministers and other top government officials reveal a picture of a dictatorship run by a shadow government that--the U.S. State Department suspects--finances terrorist groups abroad through a shadow foreign policy. Its economy is dominated by shadow business empires and its power is protected by a shadow army of enforcers.

Ironically, the man most adept at manipulating this hidden power structure is one of Iran's best-known characters--Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who has been named an ayatollah, or religious leader. He was the speaker of parliament and Khomeini's right-hand man in the 1980s, president of Iran from 1989 to 1997 and is now chairman of the powerful Expediency Council, which resolves disputes between the clerical establishment and parliament. Rafsanjani has more or less run the Islamic Republic for the past 24 years.

He played it smart, aligning himself in the 1960s with factions led by Ayatollah Khomeini, then becoming the go-to guy after the revolution. A hard-liner ideologically, Rafsanjani nonetheless has a pragmatic streak. He convinced Khomeini to end the Iran-Iraq war and broke Iran's international isolation by establishing trade relations with the Soviet Union, China, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. In the 1990s he restarted Iran's nuclear program.

He is also the father of Iran's "privatization" program. During his presidency the stock market was revived, some government companies were sold to insiders, foreign trade was liberalized and the oil sector was opened up to private companies. Most of the good properties and contracts, say dissident members of Iran's Chamber of Commerce, ended up in the hands of mullahs, their associates and, not least, Rafsanjani's family, who rose from modest origins as pistachio farmers. "They were not rich people, so they worked hard and always tried to help their relatives get ahead," remembers Reza, a historian who declines to use his last name and who studied with one of Rafsanjani's brothers at Tehran University in the early 1970s. "When they were in university, two brothers earned money on the side tutoring theological students and preparing their exam papers."

The 1979 revolution transformed the Rafsanjani clan into commercial pashas. One brother headed the country's largest copper mine; another took control of the state-owned TV network; a brother-in-law became governor of Kerman province, while a cousin runs an outfit that dominates Iran's $400 million pistachio export business; a nephew and one of Rafsanjani's sons took key positions in the Ministry of Oil; another son heads the Tehran Metro construction project (an estimated $700 million spent so far). Today, operating through various foundations and front companies, the family is also believed to control one of Iran's biggest oil engineering companies, a plant assembling Daewoo automobiles, and Iran's best private airline (though the Rafsanjanis insist they do not own these assets).

None of this sits well with the populace, whose per capita income is $1,800 a year. The gossip on the street, going well beyond the observable facts, has the Rafsanjanis stashing billions of dollars in bank accounts in Switzerland and Luxembourg; controlling huge swaths of waterfront in Iran's free economic zones on the Persian Gulf; and owning whole vacation resorts on the idyllic beaches of Dubai, Goa and Thailand.

But not much of the criticism makes its way into print. One journalist who dared to investigate Rafsanjani's secret dealings and his alleged role in extrajudicial killings of dissidents is now languishing in jail. He's lucky. Iranian politics can be deadly. Five years ago Tehran was rocked by murders of journalists and anticorruption activists; some were beheaded, others mutilated.

Some of the family's wealth is out there for all to see. Rafsanjani's youngest son, Yaser, owns a 30-acre horse farm in the superfashionable Lavasan neighborhood of north Tehran, where land goes for over $4 million an acre. Just where did Yaser get his money? A Belgian-educated businessman, he runs a large export-import firm that includes baby food, bottled water and industrial machinery.

Until a few years ago the simplest way to get rich quick was through foreign-currency trades. Easy, if you could get greenbacks at the subsidized import rate of 1,750 rials to the dollar and resell them at the market rate of 8,000 to the dollar. You needed only the right connections for an import license. "I estimate that, over a period of ten years, Iran lost $3 billion to $5 billion annually from this kind of exchange-rate fraud," says Saeed Laylaz, an economist, now with Iran's biggest carmaker. "And the lion's share of that went to about 50 families."

One of the families benefiting from the foreign trade system was the Asgaroladis, an old Jewish clan of bazaar traders, who converted to Islam several generations ago. Asadollah Asgaroladi exports pistachios, cumin, dried fruit, shrimp and caviar, and imports sugar and home appliances; his fortune is estimated by Iranian bankers to be some $400 million. Asgaroladi had a little help from his older brother, Habibollah, who, as minister of commerce in the 1980s, was in charge of distributing lucrative foreign-trade licenses. (He was also a counterparty to commodities trader and then-fugitive Marc Rich, who helped Iran bypass U.S.-backed sanctions.)

The other side of Iran's economy belongs to the Islamic foundations, which account for 10% to 20% of the nation's GDP--$115 billion last year. Known as bonyads, the best-known of these outfits were established from seized property and enterprises by order of Ayatollah Khomeini in the first weeks of his regime. Their mission was to redistribute to the impoverished masses the "illegitimate" wealth accumulated before the revolution by "apostates" and "blood-sucking capitalists." And, for a decade or so, the foundations shelled out money to build low-income housing and health clinics. But since Khomeini's death in 1989 they have increasingly forsaken their social welfare functions for straightforward commercial activities.

Until recently they were exempt from taxes, import duties and most government regulation. They had access to subsidized foreign currency and low-interest loans from state-owned banks. And they were not accountable to the Central Bank, the Ministry of Finance or any other government institution. Formally, they are under the jurisdiction of the Supreme Leader; effectively, they operate without any oversight, answerable only to Allah.

According to Shiite Muslim tradition, devout businessmen are expected to donate 20% of profits to their local mosques, which use the money to help the poor. By contrast, many bonyads seem like rackets, extorting money from entrepreneurs. Besides the biggest national outfits, almost every Iranian town has its own bonyad, affiliated with local mullahs. "Many small businessmen complain that as soon as you start to make some money, the leading mullah will come to you and ask for a contribution to his local charity," says an opposition economist, who declines to give his name. "If you refuse, you will be accused of not being a good Muslim. Some witnesses will turn up to testify that they heard you insult the Prophet Mohammad, and you will be thrown in jail."

Other charities resemble multinational conglomerates. The Mostazafan & Jambazan Foundation (Foundation for the Oppressed and War Invalids) is the second-largest commercial enterprise in the country, behind the state-owned National Iranian Oil Co. Until recently it was run by a man named Mohsen Rafiqdoost. The son of a vegetable-and-fruit merchant at the Tehran bazaar, Rafiqdoost got his big break in 1979, when he was chosen to drive Ayatollah Khomeini from the airport after his triumphal return from exile in Paris.

Khomeini made him Minister of the Revolutionary Guards to quash internal dissent and smuggle in weapons for the Iran-Iraq war. In 1989, when Rafsanjani became president, "Rafiqdoost" gained control of the Mostazafan Foundation, which employs up to 400,000 workers and has assets that in all probability exceed $10 billion.

Theoretically the Mostazafan Foundation is a social welfare organization. By 1996 it began taking government funds to cover welfare disbursements; soon it plans to spin off its social responsibilities altogether, leaving behind a purely commercial conglomerate owned by--whom? That is not clear. Why does this foundation exist? "I don't know--ask Mr. Rafiqdoost," says Abbas Maleki, a foreign policy adviser to Ayatollah Rafsanjani.

A picture emerges from one Iranian businessman who used to handle the foreign trade deals for one of the big foundations. Organizations like the Mostazafan serve as giant cash boxes, he says, to pay off supporters of the mullahs, whether they're thousands of peasants bused in to attend religious demonstrations in Tehran or Hezbollah thugs who beat up students. And, not least, the foundations serve as cash cows for their managers.

"It usually works like this," explains this businessman. "Some foreigner comes in, proposes a deal to the foundation head. The big boss says: ‘Fine. I agree. Work out the details with my administrator.' So the foreigner goes to see the administrator, who tells him: ‘You know that we have two economies here--official and unofficial. You have to be part of the unofficial economy if you want to be successful. So, you have to deposit the following amount into the following bank account abroad and then the deal will go forward.'"

Today Rafiqdoost heads up the Noor Foundation, which owns apartment blocks and makes an estimated $200 million importing pharmaceuticals, sugar and construction materials. He is quick to downplay his personal wealth. "I am just a normal person, with normal wealth," he says. Then, striking a Napoleonic pose, he adds: "But if Islam is threatened, I will become big again."

Implication: He has access to a secret reservoir of money that can be tapped when the need arises. That may have been what Ayatollah Rafsanjani had in mind when he declared recently that the Islamic Republic needed to keep large funds in reserve. But who is to determine when Islam is in danger?

As minister of the Revolutionary Guards in the 1980s, Rafiqdoost played a key role in sponsoring Hezbollah in Lebanon--which kidnapped foreigners, hijacked airplanes, set off car bombs, trafficked in heroin and pioneered the use of suicide bombers. According to Gregory Sullivan, spokesman for the Near Eastern Affairs Bureau at the U.S. State Department, the foundations are the perfect vehicles to carry out Iran's shadow foreign policy. Whenever suspicion of complicity in a terrorist incident turns to Iran, the Tehran government has denied involvement. State Department officials suspect that such operations may be sponsored by one of the foundations and semiautonomous units of the Revolutionary Guards.

Iran's foundations are a law unto themselves. The largest "charity" (at least in terms of real estate holdings) is the centuries-old Razavi Foundation, charged with caring for Iran's most revered shrine--the tomb of Reza, the Eighth Shiite Imam, in the northern city of Mashhad. It is run by one of Iran's leading hard-line mullahs, Ayatollah Vaez-Tabasi, who prefers to stay out of the public eye but emerges occasionally to urge death to apostates and other opponents of the clerical regime.

The Razavi Foundation owns vast tracts of urban real estate all across Iran, as well as hotels, factories, farms and quarries. Its assets are impossible to value with any precision, since the foundation has never released an inventory of its holdings, but Iranian economists speak of a net asset value of $15 billion or more. The foundation also receives generous contributions from the millions of pilgrims who visit the Mashhad shrine each year.

What happens to annual revenues estimated in the hundreds of millions--perhaps billions--of dollars? Not all of it goes to cover the maintenance costs of mosques, cemeteries, religious schools and libraries. Over the past decade the foundation has bought new businesses and properties, established investment banks (together with investors from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates) and financed big foreign trade deals.

The driving force behind the commercialization of the Razavi Foundation is Ayatollah Tabasi's son, Naser, who was put in charge of the Sarakhs Free Trade Zone, on the border with the former Soviet republic of Turkmenistan. In the 1990s the foundation poured hundreds of millions of dollars into this project, funding a rail link between Iran and Turkmenistan, new highways, an international airport, a hotel and office buildings.

Then it all went wrong. In July 2001 Naser Tabasi was dismissed as director of the Free Trade Zone. Two months later he was arrested and charged with fraud in connection with a Dubai-based company called Al-Makasib. The details remain murky, but four months ago the General Court of Tehran acquitted him.

Iran's most distinguished senior clerics are disgusted by the mullahcrats. Ayatollah Taheri, Friday prayer leader of the city of Isfahan, resigned in protest earlier this year. "When I hear that some of the privileged progeny and special people, some of whom even don cloaks and turbans, are competing amongst themselves to amass the most wealth," he said, "I am drenched with the sweat of shame."

Meanwhile the clerical elite has mismanaged the nation into senseless poverty. With 9% of the world's oil and 15% of its natural gas, Iran should be a very rich country. It has a young, educated population and a long tradition of international commerce. But per capita income today is 7% below what it was before the revolution. Iranian economists estimate capital flight (to Dubai and other safe havens) at up to $3 billion a year.

No wonder so many students turn to the streets in protest. The dictatorship has been robbing them of their future.

Discontent Unveiled
Disaffected, denied opportunity and just plain bored, Iran's youth have taken their frustrations with the clerics' regime to the streets.




Iran U.S.

Population **** 67 million 283 million
Percent under ****** 25 65% 35%
GDP per capita ******* $1,800 $37,000
Inflation ******* 25% 2%
Unemployment ***** 18% 6%
**
Sources: U.S. Census Bureau; U.S. Department of Labor; Atieh Bahar Consulting; Forbes estimates.

http://www.forbes.com/global/2003/0721/024.html

***** IT IS A TRUE STORY ***** unfortunately!
the stats you see is a comparison.

20 posted on 07/19/2003 8:57:28 AM PDT by dixiechick2000
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To: F14 Pilot
Oops! I see you posted the link.

I should have read the thread! Sorry!;o)
21 posted on 07/19/2003 9:00:00 AM PDT by dixiechick2000
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To: dixiechick2000
It is Okay.
Please send this to every one you know.

Thank you
22 posted on 07/19/2003 9:13:52 AM PDT by F14 Pilot
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; ...
Executions increase in Iran

SMCCDI (Information Service)
Jul 19, 2003

The Islamic republic regime has increased the executions of Iranians involved in activities against the "Islamic State". This policy of terror and fear has taken four more lives based on a report published by the official "Iran" daily.

The names of these four new victims have not been revealed but the way the report has been edited along with confirmed reports, about the decision of the regime to destroy any opposition will among Iranians, let beleive that most of these four executed individuals were among those who prefered to stand against the Islamic system.

The Islamic regime kills its unknown opponents under false labels, such as Murder, Spying, Armed Roberry, Drug Trafficking, Rape and other labels which help its European and Japanese collaborators to justify, for their public opinions, the continuation of their business relations with the clerical leadership.

http://www.daneshjoo.org/generalnews/article/publish/article_1244.shtml

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail me”
23 posted on 07/19/2003 9:46:44 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn; Ernest_at_the_Beach; BOBTHENAILER
I wonder how much of the Yellow Cake Scam was financed by the murdering mullahs of Iran to distract attention from Iran during this critical time?

While the mediots in the States and around the World were trying to Electronically Lynch President Bush, the attention of the world was focus on the Yellow Cake Scam. This allowed the Murdering Mullahs in charge of Iran to get by with more murders.
24 posted on 07/19/2003 9:53:08 AM PDT by Grampa Dave (Please invest 17 cents a day/5$ per month in Free Republic as a monthly supporter.)
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To: All
Bush Slams Iran

July 18, 2003
AFP
Yahoo News

DALLAS, Texas -- President George W. Bush hit out six regimes on a US blacklist he said were guilty of oppression and human rights abuses in Myanmar and Iran, Cuba, North Korea, Zimbabwe and Belarus.

In a proclamation issued to mark "captive nations week" first observed in 1959 as a statement against communism, Bush hit out at a familiar gallery of US foes.

"Millions of people still live under regimes that violate their citizens' rights daily," Bush said in a statement issued as he made a day-trip to Dallas from his Texas ranch.

"In countries such as Burma and Iran, citizens lack the right to choose their government, speak out against oppression, and practice their religion freely," Bush said.

"The despot who rules Cuba imprisons political opponents and crushes peaceful opposition," he said, in barbed remarks aimed at Fidel Castro.

There were also harsh words for North Korea, with which Washington has been locked in a nuclear showdown since October.

"Hundreds of thousands languish in prison camps and citizens suffer from malnutrition as the regime pursues weapons of mass destruction," Bush said.

"Violence, corruption, and mismanagement reign in Zimbabwe and an authoritarian government in Belarus smothers political dissent."

But Bush lauded his ouster of the "brutal regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq," during a US-led war earlier this year.

"The Iraqi people are no longer captives in their own country," Bush said.

"Their freedom is evidence of the fall of one of the most oppressive dictators in history," he said, claiming that Iraqis were now meeting "openly and freely" to discuss the future of their country.

http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&cid=1521&u=/afp/20030718/pl_afp/us_bush_dictators_030718232441&printer=1
25 posted on 07/19/2003 9:53:40 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
This is bad news indeed. A bump for freedom and bravery.
26 posted on 07/19/2003 9:55:54 AM PDT by Peach
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To: All
Five more Iranians to be hanged

World News
Jul 19, 2003

TEHRAN - Five Iranian men sentenced to death for murder are to be hanged Saturday and Sunday in the central city of Isfahan, the Javan newspaper reported Saturday.

The men, only identified by their first names and aged between 26 and 34, were all convicted of murder and armed robbery, a local judge was quoted as saying.

Islamic Iran also imposes the death penalty for rape, blasphemy and serious drug trafficking.

http://www.daneshjoo.org/generalnews/article/publish/article_1240.shtml
27 posted on 07/19/2003 9:56:31 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
"Executions increase in Iran"

"Five more Iranians to be hanged"

"The Islamic regime kills its unknown opponents under false labels, such as Murder, Spying, Armed Roberry, Drug Trafficking, Rape and other labels which help its European and Japanese collaborators to justify, for their public opinions, the continuation of their business relations with the clerical leadership."

Boy, the mullahs are just begging for it!

" President George W. Bush hit out six regimes on a US blacklist he said were guilty of oppression and human rights abuses in Myanmar and Iran, Cuba, North Korea, Zimbabwe and Belarus."

Excellent posts this morning, Dr.ZIn. Thank you very much.

28 posted on 07/19/2003 10:07:39 AM PDT by dixiechick2000
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To: F14 Pilot
"Please send this to every one you know."

I will do so. Thank you!

29 posted on 07/19/2003 10:10:29 AM PDT by dixiechick2000
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To: Grampa Dave
Excellent point!
30 posted on 07/19/2003 10:21:11 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Recall Gray Davis and then start on the other Democrats)
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To: All
The Iranian-Canadians in Toronto are using an interesting method of creating public awareness of which properties in the Toronto area are owned by such Iranian mullahs as the notorious Rafsanjani.

I met last night a leader of the Iranian community from Toronto. He said they organize groups of seventy or more cars, drive to one of these properties and slowly drive around the perimeter of the property, displaying the old Iranian flag, honking, and using loudspeakers let the public know that the property they are encircling is owned by the mullahs of the oppressive Iranian regime and asking people cease doing business with the hotel or whatever enterprise they are exposing.

These same mullahs own expensive properties here in the US even in conservative Orange County, California. Perhaps we need to organize similar activities here.
31 posted on 07/19/2003 10:59:05 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
This is terrible.
32 posted on 07/19/2003 11:02:15 AM PDT by nuconvert
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To: DoctorZIn
How would we find out which businesses are owned by the regime or mullahs? Does anyone have a list of major businesses in larger cities across the country?
33 posted on 07/19/2003 11:15:18 AM PDT by nuconvert
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To: nuconvert
I will work on it, but if anyone has such a list, please post it here.
34 posted on 07/19/2003 11:25:23 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
That's exactly what needs to be done. This morning I watched a documentary on the 1979 revolution and the hostage taking. It was sad to watch them and even sadder to watch the US led by Carter (such a weak man) who sealed their fate. They were talking about the brutality of the Shah, but didn't realize that the worst day of the Shah would be a mere warm up to the mullahs who took his place.

If the people of Iran want their freedom, if they want democracy, they must do it while Bush is still in office. Watching Carter made me sick.

35 posted on 07/19/2003 12:17:45 PM PDT by McGavin999 (Just because we met our fundraising goals doesn't mean you can't still contribute.)
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To: McGavin999
"Watching Carter made me sick."

The feeling's mutual. Still makes me sick.
36 posted on 07/19/2003 12:59:59 PM PDT by nuconvert
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To: dixiechick2000
By 1996 it began taking government funds to cover welfare disbursements; soon it plans to spin off its social responsibilities altogether, leaving behind a purely commercial conglomerate owned by--whom? That is not clear.

How much Am I bet that he doesn't wear a robe and turban?
37 posted on 07/19/2003 2:07:51 PM PDT by Valin (America is a vast conspiracy to make you happy.)
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To: nuconvert
Message in Iran window on FOXNEWS site:
"FOXNEWS.com does not endorse content on external sites"

Do you think maybe they know we're posting their articles?
; )
38 posted on 07/19/2003 5:33:43 PM PDT by nuconvert
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To: All
Eating burgers beneath the veil

By Frances Harrison
BBC correspondent in Tehran

Some wear black from head-to-toe even in searing heat
When you talk about going to Iran people have images of hanging out in leafy gardens and traditional tea houses or encountering crowds of angry men shouting "Death to America".

But I spent many of my evenings with my three-year-old child in burger joints like Mac Mashallas - an Iranian imitation of McDonald's - the fast-food icon of the "Great Satan".

American-style restaurants have rapidly spread throughout Tehran in the past year or two.

They are popular haunts for young people who now have access to western culture in a way that is unprecedented since the Islamic Revolution.

The ketchup may not be Heinz and the Coca-Cola is certainly not the real thing but these are places where you can feel you might be anywhere in the world - almost.

That is if it was not for the neon sign saying respect Islamic moral values, the head-scarved waitresses and the portraits of Iran's spiritual leaders that seem strangely out of place in the world of Happy Meals and Ronald McDonald.

Cutting edge

The differences are shrinking in a country that once talked about building a Chinese-style wall around itself to protect its values from outside corruption.

Disney has penetrated this market like every other - at amusement arcades they sell Mr Potato Head and Buzz Lightyear from the Toy Story films.

[Teenage girls wear] short white trousers to mid-calf with no socks, pointy, fashion-victim, high-heeled shoes and skin-tight overcoats that only reach to the knees

While children play on flight simulator video games which say US State Department, I wonder who they think the enemy is being bombed out of existence on the screen.

It is only the mothers who look a bit like something from another planet - some in diaphanous headscarves and chic coats - others shrouded in seemingly endless layers of black clothing despite the searing summer heat.

But the teenage girls in outdoor cafes and fast food restaurants are pushing the boundaries like never before.

Short white trousers to mid-calf with no socks, pointy, fashion-victim, high-heeled shoes and skin-tight overcoats that only reach to the knees.

That is with long dyed blonde hair that is only nominally covered with a half see-through white or pink headscarf.

The effect is fairly electric - especially when combined with huge quantities of make-up. It certainly has nothing to do with being modest and demure and everything to do with being a rebel.

These girls are among 45 million people who are today under the age of 30 - the massive force responsible for the winds of change currently blowing over Iran - a country of 65 million.

And it is these young Iranians who have been taking to the streets recently to protest against what they see as the lack of freedom.

Open to outside influences, they now have a taste of what they are missing and they are hungry for more.

Pushing for change

The frustration is huge - one young mother told me she was thinking of taking her two children out to anti-government protests and just leaving a note for her husband to find when he came back from work.

He had warned her not to go - asking who would look after the kids if something happened to her. She was propelled not by recklessness but by a desire for a better future for her daughters.

For the slightly older generation in their 30s who remember the pre-reform years, there is an attitude of awe and envy.


There were a string of anti-government protests in June
They talk about having had to go to weddings in ankle-length black cloaks with no make-up or nail polish in case they were stopped at a checkpoint and scrutinised.

One woman who grew up during the first years of the revolution described going to England and not knowing who the Hollywood star Richard Gere was - to the shock and horror of her new friends.

Those were the days of isolation - now satellite television, smuggled videos and the internet mean that young Iranians can watch the latest films and keep up with western fashions.

In a country where - if you are a woman - you have to cover even your ankles to enter a government office, you can still watch Fashion TV or sex channels among many hundreds of stations you can receive if you have an illegal satellite dish - something that is now common.

Explaining the paradox

There are so many contradictions that make life in Iran difficult to explain - especially to a three-year-old whose favourite word is why.

"Mummy, you look ugilee," said my son when I wore the obligatory headscarf and overcoat.

But being at a phase where he mimics everything I do he of course wanted to wear a headscarf too and be equally "ugilee".

There were tears if he did not have a cloth tied on his head too when we went out.

He attracted such extraordinary looks of either amusement or horror being a boy wearing a scarf that I finally coaxed him into removing it on the grounds that he would seriously offend people.

"Why?" was a question I found hard to answer in simple terms - not wishing to introduce ideas about men lusting after women's ankles to my toddler.

I just said it was the rule and then my child complained Iran had too many rules.

I could not help but wonder if he had accidentally strayed into the realm of political comment.

Young Iranians are now trying to change the rules, and the question is whether the system will bend to accommodate them.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/from_our_own_correspondent/3077935.stm
39 posted on 07/19/2003 8:15:10 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: Valin
I'm not taking THAT bet.;o)
40 posted on 07/19/2003 8:21:58 PM PDT by dixiechick2000
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To: DoctorZIn
"Young Iranians are now trying to change the rules, and the question is whether the system will bend to accommodate them."

It needs to do a lot more than "bend".
41 posted on 07/19/2003 8:26:26 PM PDT by nuconvert
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To: DoctorZIn
"While children play on flight simulator video games which say US State Department, I wonder who they think the enemy is being bombed out of existence on the screen."

I found this comment to be very interesting, and something I had not thought of before.

I am surprised at the extent to which the teen girls go in their dress. I thought they had to be more discreet than that.

42 posted on 07/19/2003 8:30:50 PM PDT by dixiechick2000
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To: All
Cuba denies jamming U.S. broadcasts to Iran

Saturday, July 19, 2003 Posted: 7:41 PM EDT (2341 GMT)

HAVANA, Cuba (CNN) -- Cuba's foreign ministry Saturday denied U.S. allegations it has been deliberately jamming satellite transmissions from the United States into Iran.

It indicated, however, the government would investigate if any unintentional interference may be taking place.

"This is part of a new pack of anti-Cuban lies, and the foreign ministry says it is precisely the government of the United States that is violating flagrantly the norms and regulations established by the International Union for Telecommunication by maintaining and, in fact, increasing its illegal radio and television broadcasts toward Cuba," the ministry said in the government's first official statement on the matter.

Earlier this week, Kenneth Tomlinson, chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, an independent federal agency that oversees the Voice of America and other non-military international broadcasting, said Cuba was jamming satellite transmissions from the United States into Iran.

The BBG said the jamming was detected July 6 when the government-funded Voice of America launched a daily half-hour Persian language television news and analysis program.

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs rejects this new defamatory campaign against Cuba and the shameless statements made by Mr. Tomlinson," the ministry said. "Cuba has never and would never carry out this type of corruption of satellite transmissions of U.S. television."

The statement said the only broadcasts Cuba jams are those it considers illegally beamed from the United States into Cuba, in reference to Radio and TV Marti, actions it considers violations of international law.

The United States government funds Radio and TV Marti, which are broadcast from Miami and beamed into Cuba in an effort to undermine Cuba's communist government.

Havana successfully jams TV Marti but manages to only partially black out Radio Marti.

In response to a diplomatic note from the U.S. government, the Cuban foreign ministry said it has notified the United States that Cuba is making a detailed investigation to determine whether any transmissions originating from the island "could be interfering unintentionally with transmissions from the United States."

The BBG said the jamming was "deliberate and malicious" effort by Cuba to block Iranian audiences from having access to truthful news and information.

Tomlinson called the alleged jamming "illegal" and she said it "interferes with the free and open flow of international communications."

CNN Havana Bureau Chief Lucia Newman contributed to this story.

http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/americas/07/19/cuba.jamming/index.html
43 posted on 07/19/2003 8:31:24 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
"...Cuba is making a detailed investigation to determine whether any transmissions originating from the island "could be interfering unintentionally with transmissions from the United States"

Lourdes? Bejucal?...we don't know what you're talking about.
44 posted on 07/19/2003 8:52:16 PM PDT by nuconvert
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To: All
New U.N. Team Enters Iran

By THE NEW YORK TIMES

TEHRAN, July 19 — Iran said a team of International Atomic Energy Agency representatives began a new round of inspections of Iran's nuclear sites today, the Islamic Republic News Agency reported.

The team arrived to start its work "within the framework of the nonproliferation treaty," said the spokesman for Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, Khalil Moussavi. A previous team, accompanied by the agency's head, Mohamed ElBaradei, left on Wednesday, he said.

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/07/20/international/middleeast/20TEHR.html?ex=1059278400&en=59ff6ca8b9e95d2c&ei=5062&partner=GOOGLE
45 posted on 07/19/2003 8:58:25 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: All
India content with democracy in Iran

IRIB News Department
2003/07/19
04:01:06 È.Ù
New Delhi, July 19 - Speaker of the Lok Sabha of the Indian parliament Manohar Joshi on Saturday said that the people and Indian authorities are closely following developments in Iran and are happy seeing the process of democracy in the country constantly developing since the triumph of the Islamic Revolution.

The Lok Sabha (lower house) speaker made the comment during a meeting with Islamic Republic of Iran's ambassador to India Siavash Zargar Yaghoubi in New Delhi.

Joshi said: "The basis of the civilizations of the two countriesis one," adding that the "numerous cultural commonalties between the two countries are natural."

He also emphasized the prominence of the role of the Persianlan guage and literature in promoting the countries' commonalties.

Joshi, while showing keen interest in Iranians and referring to India and Iran as two democracies in the region, emphasized the importance of the relations between the parliaments of the two countries.

http://www.iribnews.com/Full_en.asp?news_id=183974&n=17
46 posted on 07/19/2003 9:14:46 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: nuconvert; DoctorZIn
How would we find out which businesses are owned by the regime or mullahs? Does anyone have a list of major businesses in larger cities across the country?

It would be interesting to see such a list. Perhaps the nature of the properties would help in generating ideas...

47 posted on 07/19/2003 10:29:53 PM PDT by Eala
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To: Eala
I am working on it.

If anyone else has a source, let us know.
48 posted on 07/19/2003 10:40:53 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Please ping me or free[ mail if you find or develop a list of American Businesses owned by the murdering mullahs of Iran.

That will be the tip of the iceberg re a lot of political behavior in America that is pro Islamofascist Mullahs.
49 posted on 07/19/2003 11:04:33 PM PDT by Grampa Dave (Please invest 17 cents a day/5$ per month in Free Republic as a monthly supporter.)
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To: All
This Thread is now closed.

Join Us at the Iranian Alert -- DAY 41 -- LIVE THREAD PING LIST

Live Thread Ping List | 7.20.2003 | DoctorZIn

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

50 posted on 07/20/2003 12:11:04 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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