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Iranian Alert -- DAY 43 -- LIVE THREAD PING LIST
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 7.22.2003 | DoctorZin

Posted on 07/22/2003 12:07:58 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; protests; studentmovement
To find all the links to all 43 threads since the protests started, go to:


1 posted on 07/22/2003 12:07:59 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 43 -- LIVE THREAD PING LIST

Live Thread Ping List | 7.22.2003 | DoctorZIn

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

2 posted on 07/22/2003 12:08:50 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; ...
U.S. Said to Seek Help of Ex-Iraqi Spies on Iran

By Neela Banerjee with Douglas Jehl
NYTimes Jul 22, 2003

BAGHDAD, Iraq, July 21 — Relying on the help of an Iraqi political party, the United States has moved to resurrect parts of the Iraqi intelligence service, with the branch that monitors Iran among the top priorities, former Iraqi agents and politicians say.

The Iraqi National Congress, which is led by Ahmad Chalabi, the longtime exile who is now a member of the Iraqi Governing Council, says its senior officials have met with senior members of the so-called Iran and Turkey branch of the Mukhabarat, or Iraqi intelligence, over the last several weeks. The party has received documents from the intelligence officers and recruited them into a reconstituted version of the unit, said Abdulaziz Kubaisi, the Iraqi National Congress official responsible for the recruiting effort.

American officials, he said, are fully informed about what the party is doing. Iraqi intelligence officers who have been asked to rejoin the branch contend that the United States is orchestrating the effort.

"As far as what we do, we are sending back information to the Pentagon, to people who are responsible," Mr. Kubaisi said. "They know the nature of what we're doing. There is coordination. We have representatives of Rumsfeld at the I.N.C."

But some Middle East experts said trying to revive the branch before a sovereign government was in place and working through a political party could backfire.

"This sets a bad precedent because you don't have a government in place, and because Chalabi's party is a minority and doesn't represent the majority of Iraqis," said Edward S. Walker Jr., former ambassador to Egypt and Israel under the first President Bush and now president of the Middle East Institute, a Washington research group. "I think it will be highly controversial to rebuild the intelligence arm when there are so many unresolved questions about Iraqi intelligence from before."

The effort to reach out to former Iraqi intelligence officials also appears hard to harmonize with the American drive to "de-Baathify" Iraqi society, given the prominence of the Baath Party of Saddam Hussein in his government.

A senior American official said concern about Iran was driving some of the discussion about moving quickly to re-establish an intelligence service. The official said the United States recognized that Iraq had a good intelligence apparatus focused on Iran because activities in the neighboring country might affect Iraqi security at home.

People close to the Iran branch said the Americans had also expressed interest in reviving the intelligence service's Syria branch.

Mr. Kubaisi also said the possibility that Iran might try to interfere in Iraq's affairs made the revival of the Mukhabarat's Iran branch a top priority. "There are political parties — not the main seven ones — who have alliances with Iran, who are flirting with it," he said. "I think the Iranians are interfering in Iraq's affairs. They've been meddling here for years."

American officials in Washington and Baghdad maintained that reviving the Iran branch was only being discussed now. Senior United States government officials in Washington said the question of when and how to re-establish Iraq's intelligence service was under active consideration at the highest levels of the government. They said that it was discussed recently by the Deputies Committee, which represents the second-ranking official at national security agencies, and that the C.I.A. had been designated the lead agency in the process.

"There's been a lot of discussion, but I haven't seen anything that has developed into concrete thinking," one official said. Asked whether the Defense Department was working through the Iraqi National Congress to recruit former Iraqi intelligence officers, the official declined to comment.

But people close to the Iraqi members of the Iran branch say recruitment efforts began two months ago, when the crisis over Iran's nuclear program flared, and continue now. Sabi al-Hamed, a former Iran branch member in Zubayr, in southern Iraq, said two of his former colleagues made contact with him two week ago and told him that they had been working with Americans.

Mr. Hamed, a Mukhabarat officer since 1976, said he refused to join the revived unit when former co-workers told him that it would be cooperating with the Mujahedeen Khalq, or People's Mujahedeen, an Iranian opposition group that is on the State Department's list of foreign terrorist organizations. Mr. Hamed said he had worked with the group during the Iran-Iraq war and called them butchers, adding that he had seen bodies of people they had executed.

The People's Mujahedeen, which seeks the overthrow of the government in Tehran, found refuge in Iraq under Mr. Hussein, playing an important role during the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980's and later in 1991, in crushing the uprisings of the Shiites in the south and the Kurds in northern Iraq. In April, the United States signed a cease-fire with the group's troops in Iraq and in early May began to disarm them. A sizable contingent of senior members of Congress now advocate removal of the group from the terrorist list, arguing that its members' knowledge should be mined for use against Iran.

A person close to the Iran branch members says the currently coalescing intelligence service has been in touch not only with former Iran branch officers in Iraq, but also with those in Iran and with former People's Mujahedeen members.

Mr. Kubaisi denied that a future intelligence arm in Iraq would work with the People's Mujahedeen, and a spokesman in Paris for the group did not return e-mail messages seeking comment.

Mr. Kubaisi said the Iran unit would begin working once the Governing Council settled in and the ministries were fully functioning. But the former Iraqi agents who had discussions with the Iraqi National Congress and with members of the Iran branch say the unit is already working in a building in central Baghdad.

Mr. Kubaisi said Iran branch members were being vetted before being signed up. He and others close to the branch said none of the officers had been paid yet.

"These are people we should attract and make use of," he said. "But they shouldn't be bad people. They should not have a criminal past, and they shouldn't be stained with people's blood."

The officials said it was unclear to whom a new Iraqi intelligence service would report. But they said the C.I.A. now had a sizable operation in Iraq, with at least several dozen officers on the ground.

http://www.daneshjoo.org/generalnews/article/publish/article_1303.shtml

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail me”
3 posted on 07/22/2003 12:15:08 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
US Waits for Formal Cuban Response on Jamming of Satellite Broadcasts to Iran

News Section
Jul 22, 2003

The Bush administration says it is still waiting for Cuba to formally respond to complaints about the jamming of U.S. satellite television broadcasts to Iran.

State Department spokesman Richard Reeker said Monday in Washington that U.S. officials have asked Cuba to investigate the matter.

Mr. Reeker also says that while the jamming appeared to be emanating from Cuba, U.S. officials at this point do not have enough information to know who is responsible.

Las week, the U.S. - government affiliated Broadcasting Board of Governors said the communist-run island was jamming the satellite news programs to Iran.

The BBG, which oversees the Voice of America, said the jamming was first detected July 6, when VOA started a daily, 30-minute Persian language television news and analysis program to Iran. The new program began amid anti-regime protests there.

U.S. officials also said two other weekly Persian language television programs were being jammed as well. Cuba's Foreign Ministry Saturday denied the allegations, saying they are part of a defamation campaign against the island.

The Cuban government also said it is investigating whether Cuban signals may unintentionally be interfering with American broadcasts.

Cuba has regularly jammed Radio and Television Marti, the BBG-run broadcasts targeted at Cubans.

http://www.daneshjoo.org/generalnews/article/publish/article_1301.shtml
4 posted on 07/22/2003 12:16:45 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn; Valin; nuconvert; dixiechick2000; piasa; seamole; Eala; backhoe; jriemer; freedom44
Canada tackles Iran over reporter


Canada has made its strongest call to date for Iran to take action against those responsible for the violent death of one of a Canadian journalist.
Zahra Kazemi, an Iranian Canadian, died as a result of a severe blow to the head on 10 July after her arrest in Tehran on 23 June, the Iranian authorities say.

The Iranian prosecutor responsible for ordering her arrest was appointed on Monday to head the investigation into her death, much to Iranian liberals' dismay.

BBC correspondent Lee Carter reports from Toronto that it seems that Canada, after initial caution, is now losing patience with the authorities in Tehran.

Foreign Minister Bill Graham said that only the "full and swift prosecution" of those responsible for Ms Kazemi's death would "clearly demonstrate that [Iranian] officials are not allowed to act with impunity".

"Those responsible for this horrific act must be prosecuted," he said.

"The treatment of Ms Kazemi, as detailed in this report, was a flagrant violation of her rights..."

The minister also expressed frustration over delays in repatriating Ms Kazemi's body to Canada, despite the wishes of both her Iranian and Canadian relatives.

Liberal dismay

Ms Kazemi, a 54-year-old photographer, was reportedly arrested for taking pictures of a Tehran prison.

It is thought she was never formally accused of a crime.


Kazemi's son wants an independent autopsy in Canada
An Iranian presidential report released on Monday said she died in custody from a severe blow to the head which fractured her skull and caused a brain haemorrhage.

The report failed to say how and why the injury was inflicted but called for an independent investigator to conduct an investigation.

The chief of the judiciary, Ayatollah Mahmoud Shahroudi, then appointed the Prosecutor General, Saeed Mortazavi, to lead it.

The appointment came just after Iranian MPs had launched a fierce attack on Mr Mortazavi, demanding his resignation for failing to protect Ms Kazemi.

The BBC's Miranda Eeles reports from Tehran that the choice of Mr Mortazavi will come as a blow to reformist politicians.

Many believe he is behind a wave of arrests of journalists and writers over the past month.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3085551.stm
5 posted on 07/22/2003 12:25:35 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.)
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To: DoctorZIn
The Iranian Journalist will hold a Sit In on the 7th and 8th of August to show their protest against the latest arrests of their colleagues.

6 posted on 07/22/2003 12:46:29 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.)
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To: nuconvert; Valin; dixiechick2000; RaceBannon; piasa; Persia; DoctorZIn; seamole; jriemer; ...
http://www.iranian.ws/iran_news/
7 posted on 07/22/2003 12:53:16 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.)
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To: DoctorZIn; nuconvert; dixiechick2000; Valin; seamole
TORONTO STAR

We want justice, Iran told

MARY GORDON
STAFF REPORTER

OTTAWA—Those responsible for the "horrific" treatment in Iran of Canadian journalist Zahra Kazemi must be prosecuted, Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Graham says.

The minister is pressing Iran over questions left unanswered in its report into her death.

"The treatment of Ms Kazemi, as detailed in this report, was a flagrant violation of her rights under international human rights law and a breach of obligations that Iran owes to the international community," Graham said yesterday.

"We now ask the Iranian government to take the next step and proceed with the full and swift prosecution of those responsible for Ms Kazemi's death in order to clearly demonstrate to Canada and the rest of the international community that its officials are not allowed to act with impunity, and to deter any future violations."

Foreign Affairs spokesperson Reynald Doiron said Graham is expected today to reiterate these statements to his Iranian counterpart, Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi, and will demand the body of the photojournalist be brought back to Canada, as requested by her son, Stephan Hachemi of Montreal.

Federal officials said that if the conversation "does not yield immediate results in a rapid fashion," the next step would be for Prime Minister Jean Chrétien to speak to Iranian President Mohammad Khatami.

Kazemi, 54, died of a fractured skull in a Tehran hospital after being in the custody of Iranian authorities. The dual citizen of Canada and Iran had been taking pictures outside Evin prison, a notoriously tough facility that has held many dissidents.

The fate of Kazemi's body is still unknown. Her mother, who lives in Iran, had originally said she wanted her daughter buried there. In a conference call on the weekend with consular and government officials, the family agreed the body should be returned to Canada.

A source close to the case said Hachemi was planning to fly to Iran last Friday to help his family reach a consensus. A Canadian passport was issued Thursday, but the Iranian embassy told Hachemi an Iranian visa could not be issued in time for his departure, and could come only from Tehran, the source said. The Iranian embassy then suggested he use his Iranian passport, but government officials advised Hachemi against it, the source said.

A report by five cabinet ministers said Kazemi was interrogated over three days. She spent the first 24 hours at a prosecutor's office, 26 hours at the intelligence unit of the Law Enforcement Forces, and 26 hours at the intelligence ministry.

Although Iranian Vice-President Mohammad Ali Abtahi last week told reporters Kazemi was beaten to death, the report does not spell that out, saying she died from a hemorrhage due to a "blow by a hard object." It is also unclear about the time of the blow, indicating at one point it could have occurred up to 36 hours before she was admitted to hospital.

An unofficial translation of the report casts some new, eerie light on Kazemi's last days.

June 23, 5:40 p.m. Kazemi is arrested outside Evin prison for taking photos of family of those arrested during a riot in Tehran. "She was asked to submit her camera and her permit and then to pick them up later on the next day; however, she resisted and with her own responsibility asked to stay with her possessions in the prison. At this time, she `blackened' the films by taking them out of the camera."

June 26, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. After three stages of interrogation and now in the hands of the intelligence ministry, "the suspect ... claimed the questions have nothing to do with her occupation." At 4:30 p.m., Kazemi is examined by a prison doctor who says she is in good health. She complains of weakness and feels faint.

June 26, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The interrogator reports Kazemi "is not in a normal state and the nurse gave her some water with sugar," which she drinks. At 8:40 p.m., guards call for a nurse. Kazemi is given a shot, sleeps, then later complains of headaches. "At this moment she wipes her nose and notices ... fresh blood. Then she vomited some blood." About three hours later, she is taken to Azam Hospital by ambulance, accompanied by three people.

Declared brain dead on June 27, Kazemi died July 10 at 5:30 p.m. The report states she died from a "blow by a hard object."

The Khatami-appointed committee report calls for a judicial inquiry, informing the public of its results, and "adapting and using tolerable methods of interrogations of people arrested, especially `reporters.'"

The report also recommended further investigations to question those who had been in contact with Kazemi before her death.

The investigation is seen as a key test of Khatami's ability to shed light on the practices of Iran's shadowy security services and take on his hardline opponents in the judiciary.

The report showed "Iran is serious and transparent," foreign ministry spokesperson Hamid Reza Asefi told a news conference.

"If we weren't transparent and serious Khatami wouldn't have ordered the creation (of the investigating committee)," he said.

Kazemi's son said the report shows the Iranian government is now finished with his mother's body, and the Canadian government must move to have it sent to Canada.

"Why are they not acting?" Hachemi said, adding that an international lawyer has advised him that the case should be "easy."

Hachemi has repeatedly said the Canadian government has not adequately pressured Iran in getting his mother's body back.

A source close to the case said Hachemi may not understand the workings of diplomacy necessary to fulfil his wish.

"It's not by banging fists on doors that we will achieve our goals, which happen — in this case — to be his goals."

Iran insists Kazemi was an Iranian citizen travelling on an Iranian passport and Canada has no right to interfere in her case.

Stockwell Day, the Canadian Alliance foreign affairs critic, said Canada should take a tougher approach against the Iranian government, and will today join two members of the Committee For Defence of Human Rights in Iran and Mohammad Javanmardi — a former political prisoner of Evin prison — to demand action.

Day said Mohammad Mousavi, Iran's ambassador to Canada, should stay in Iran until that country agrees to allow independent participation in its investigation, prosecutes the perpetrators and repatriates Kazemi's remains.

"The government's response lacks any reference to consequences for inaction or non-compliance," he said.

Those consequences include isolating Iran in the diplomatic community, which could include sanctions, he said. "Nothing happened in South Africa dealing with apartheid until democratic nations made it very clear that there would be consequences for this type of regime and its practices to continue."

Iran insisted yesterday the government inquiry was serious despite its failure to pinpoint how Kazemi's death happened or who was responsible.

The episode has strained relations between Iran and Canada and put the Islamic republic's treatment of the media under a spotlight.

Diplomats in Tehran said the report was unlikely to satisfy Canada.

"This isn't going to go down well with Ottawa," an Asian diplomat said. "The initial optimism when Khatami announced the investigation hasn't been lived up to."

Diplomats at the Canadian embassy in Tehran would only say they had not been officially told of the report's contents.

The report is also unlikely to satisfy Khatami's reformist allies in parliament, some of whom openly said on Sunday that Kazemi had been beaten by interrogators and pinned the blame for her death on the hardline judiciary.

The judiciary has been a thorn in the side of Khatami's reformist program since his first 1997 election win. In the last three years, it has closed down around 100 pro-reform publications and jailed dozens of reformist activists.

"It's a very political case. The reformists clearly intend to use it to put pressure on the judiciary, which has been the cause of so many of their problems," said the Asian diplomat.

"But I doubt they will succeed," he said, noting that the inquiry had recommended the judiciary appoint an independent judge to continue the probe into Kazemi's death.

The European Union branded Kazemi's violent death a crime and said Iran had an obligation under international law to prosecute those responsible.

www.thestar.com
8 posted on 07/22/2003 1:07:54 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.)
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To: DoctorZIn; Enemy Of The State; Travis McGee; rontorr; Texas_Dawg; McGavin999; Eala; freedom44; ...
BY MATTHEW MADDOX
July 21, 2003

Opinion
Gross Disservice

1989 was perhaps the greatest and worst year for freedom in recent history. In Czechoslovakia, during the "Velvet Revolution," peaceful protesters brought about the nonviolent overthrow of their communist government. But during the same year, the world watched in horror as student-led protests in favor of democracy were crushed by the Chinese communist government. In Tiananmen Square, students were viciously suppressed with military tanks, resulting in the deaths of more than 500 civilians. Today, Iran is on the verge of its own student-led democratic revolution, and free people should not tolerate another Tiananmen Square. America must do everything it can to support the democratic movement in Iran, but it must do it from the sidelines.

Democracy cannot come soon enough to Iran. In the summer of 1999, peaceful student protesters in the city of Tehran were beaten and stabbed in their dorm rooms by supporters of the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. Hashem Aghajari, an Iranian professor and opponent of the theocratic regime, was sentenced to death earlier this year for a campus speech that offended Iranian religious leaders. Valentine's Day and New Years celebrations are also signs that the population is increasingly resistant to the extremist Islamic government. In the past month, there have been renewed pro-democracy student demonstrations across the country. Once again though, the government has acted with an iron fist. Since June, there have been 4,000 demonstrators arrested.

America must strike a balance between its support of the Iranian people's democratic revolution and the need for Iranians to succeed on their own. "Change has to be brought by Iranians themselves, not foreigners," Fatimeh Haqiqat-Ju, a parliament deputy told The Associated Press. The United States must not hesitate to support the Iranian cause for democracy, but must be cautious about jumping in with both feet. There is another cost to direct military intervention in Iran other than the human and financial ones. In an area of the world where America is viewed suspiciously, direct intervention might rob the democracy movement of popularity.

Popularity is currently not a problem for the demonstrators as the Iranian population is ripe for a revolution. Students, while the most vocal group wishing for a change of government, only make up a small group of such supporters. Nearly half of the population is under the age 25, raised oppressed after the establishment of the theocratic regime. In addition, women, a group that constitutes half the country, are without full rights under the hard-line government. While the rights of Iranian people are important, there are even greater reasons for democracy.

Democracy in Iran could bring stability to the region, especially neighboring Iraq and Afghanistan. This would eliminate the second member of the Axis of Evil without shedding American blood and dollars. Recently, the United Nations' request to test for a nuclear weapons program was rejected by the Iranian government. The White House has made it clear that America may disarm Iran if the preserved threat of weapons is great enough. Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani, Iran's former president and current leader of the country's highest religious governing body, said last year that on the day the Muslim world gets nuclear weapons, the people of Israel will be easily killed "since a single atomic bomb has the power to completely destroy Israel, while an Israeli counter-strike can only cause partial damage to the Islamic world." So much for a Palestinian state.

Iran must shed its radical Islamic government to have freedom. Currently, elected Iranian officials are powerless. Iran's President Muhammad Khatami, while called a reformist, does not have the power that the religious councils do and has been unwilling to challenge them. Actually leading the government are two branches of unelected radical Islamic leaders, called mullahs. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, a self-proclaimed messenger of God, has complete dictatorial power over the government. Because of the Islamic government, Iranian schools are not effective since they cannot have full dialogue as long as professors and students fear draconian retribution for their thoughts. Communications in the country will not keep the public aware of their world until the government discontinues its censorship. Women will never be equals in a country religiously dedicated to their inferiority. Extremist Islam not only strikes in the form of international terrorism, but as domestic oppression as well.

The best route for America is constant and consistent verbal support. Secretary of State Colin Powell said recently that Washington wanted to encourage "those (in Iran)...seeking the right to speak out." A firm message that recognizes the current government of Iran as part of the Axis of Evil, not the Iranian people as terrorists, is important. Also vital is the message that Iran is not a true democracy that supports the inalienable rights of the Iranian people. America can help by keeping the regime's allies, including Russia, at bay. The United States must use the strongest diplomatic means possible to stop another Tiananmen Square, but it must let Iranian people wage their own revolution.

*
http://www.iranian.ws/iran_news/latest/fullnews.php?id=655
9 posted on 07/22/2003 1:16:03 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.)
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To: DoctorZIn; nuconvert; happygrl; dixiechick2000; Valin; RaceBannon; Texas_Dawg; norton; rontorr; ...

http://www.canoe.ca/EdmontonNews/es.es-07-22-0056.html
10 posted on 07/22/2003 1:19:33 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.)
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To: DoctorZIn; RaceBannon; dixiechick2000; nuconvert; happygrl; Valin; rontorr; Eala; freedom44; ...
Students want to sue Khatami over blocked Website.

July 15 - Students of Tehran's Amir Kabir university want to sue President Mohammad Khatami and his government over the university's website which is blocked to internet users in Iran, according to a letter addressed to Khatami Monday.
"Mister President, as a minister from your reformist cabinet has ordered the website of our university to be filtered, we ask you to revise this decision and at the same time reserve the right to take legal actions," the students said in the letter, a copy of which was sent to the foreign press in Tehran.
The telecommunications ministry has blocked several sites on the Internet, including that of the Amir Kabir university, which are categorised as either unethical or counter-revolutionary and against national security. We regret that access to many pornographic sites are easier than that of an acknowledged and registered students group," the students said.
While blocking pornographic sites may seem understandable for an Islamic state, the blocking of local and foreign news sites as well as on-line dailies and magazines are seen by the students as a sign of failure in Khatami's doctrine./

http://www.iranwpd.com/default.asp?p=current&t=5267
11 posted on 07/22/2003 4:31:05 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.)
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To: DoctorZIn
State Department spokesman Richard Reeker said Monday in Washington that U.S. officials have asked Cuba to investigate the matter.

Oh I'm surre they'll get right on it! First thing tomorrow, day after at the lastest.
12 posted on 07/22/2003 5:27:15 AM PDT by Valin (America is a vast conspiracy to make you happy.)
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To: F14 Pilot
Iran says Kazemi was questioned for 77 hours
National Post July 21 2003 Janice Tibbetts and Clare Demerse
Posted on 07/21/2003 2:38 PM CDT by knighthawk

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/950024/posts


13 posted on 07/22/2003 5:28:58 AM PDT by Valin (America is a vast conspiracy to make you happy.)
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To: DoctorZIn
The Iraqi National Congress, which is led by Ahmad Chalabi, the longtime exile who is now a member of the Iraqi Governing Council, says its senior officials have met with senior members of the so-called Iran and Turkey branch of the Mukhabarat, or Iraqi intelligence, over the last several weeks. The party has received documents from the intelligence officers and recruited them into a reconstituted version of the unit, said Abdulaziz Kubaisi, the Iraqi National Congress official responsible for the recruiting effort.

The clown Chalabi involved in "intelligence" is a recipe for disaster, his track record for reliable information is not very long and the list of bad info, yes even disinfomation, is owerhelming. The Administration should put chains on him.
14 posted on 07/22/2003 5:56:34 AM PDT by AdmSmith
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To: DoctorZIn; F14 Pilot
Good morning
Thanks for the pings
15 posted on 07/22/2003 6:30:31 AM PDT by firewalk
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To: Valin
Well, it's such a B-I-G country and Castro has No idea what's happening on 1/2 the island, so it's gonna take at least a week to send some poor schlemiel out there to check it out and of course he won't find anything.
They'll have to investigate it further after that.
Eventually, it will just stop, but they'll either have no explanation or some "we have no idea how that could accidentally have happened" explanation.
16 posted on 07/22/2003 6:33:55 AM PDT by nuconvert
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To: nuconvert
I have every confidence that fidel won't rest until they are tracked down and given the harshest penalty the law allows.

Wait min. I know who it is! It's the CIA, yeah..yeah they're doing it to make Cuba look bad. That's got to be it.
17 posted on 07/22/2003 7:00:26 AM PDT by Valin (America is a vast conspiracy to make you happy.)
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To: All
EU to review ties with Iran

BBC
By Patrick Bartlett
Jul 22, 2003

The European Union has said it will review its ties with Iran in September amid increasing concern about the country's nuclear programme.

The declaration in effect sets a deadline for Iran to co-operate with United Nations nuclear inspectors or risk losing the promise of closer economic ties with Europe.

Earlier the Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom, on a visit to Brussels, described Iran's nuclear programme as a threat to the stability of the entire world.

Like the United States, Israel is convinced that Iran is using an atomic energy programme as cover to allow it secretly to develop nuclear weapons.

The EU has been more circumspect, but insists Iran should remove all doubt by allowing full-scale inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

In a statement, EU foreign ministers said there was increasing concern about Iran's nuclear ambitions. They warned that Iran's hopes of closer economic relations with Europe depended on it co-operating to prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction.

Four-point deal

Iran, however, insists its nuclear programme is purely civilian. But it is now under intense pressure to convince the EU that is indeed the case.

In its statement, the EU said a promised trade and co-operation agreement was dependent on Iran's attitude to four key issues: nuclear proliferation, human rights, terrorism and the Middle East peace process.

The Israeli foreign minister used his visit to Brussels to urge the EU to take a tougher line with Tehran.

He expressed fears that a new long-range Iranian missile could reach Europe and parts of southern Russia as well as Israel.

http://www.daneshjoo.org/generalnews/article/publish/article_1310.shtml
18 posted on 07/22/2003 7:30:16 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: All
Iran rejects EU's conditions and "language of threats"

World News
Jul 22, 2003

TEHRAN (AFP) - Iran rejects any conditions or threat attached to its negotiations with the European Union (EU), foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Assefi said, quoted by state radio.

"Iran does not accept that the other party in the negotiations impose conditions or use the language of threats," said Assefi.


On Monday, EU foreign ministers expressed "increasing concern" over Iran's nuclear programme and warned the trade bloc would review relations with Tehran unless it cooperates fully with the UN's nuclear watchdog agency.

http://www.daneshjoo.org/generalnews/article/publish/article_1318.shtml
19 posted on 07/22/2003 7:31:13 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; ...
Apocalypse Soon?

July 22, 2003
The Economist Global Agenda
The Economist

Amid reports that North Korea may have a second plutonium plant, the IAEA says it presents the world’s gravest nuclear-weapons threat. But Iran is running it a close second. Can a dangerous showdown be averted in either case?

THIRTY-FIVE years ago this month, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) was signed by 60 countries, with the aim of stopping the spread of nuclear weaponry. Though three countries in troubled parts of the world—India, Pakistan and Israel—refused to sign and went on to develop nuclear arms, the NPT has, overall, been a success. However, the prospects for preventing proliferation have now taken a severe knock, with North Korea’s withdrawal from the NPT in January, followed by its recent admission that it is making nuclear weapons; and growing suspicions that Iran is doing the same despite still being in the NPT. Over the weekend, American officials said they had evidence that North Korea was building a second plant to produce plutonium. On Monday July 21st, Britain’s prime minister, Tony Blair, had talks in Beijing with President Hu Jintao about the growing Korean crisis, having visited South Korea’s president, Roh Moo-hyun, on Sunday. Afterwards, Mr Blair expressed optimism that three-way talks between North Korea, America and China would be held in the next few weeks.

On Friday, Mohamed ElBaradei, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)—the United Nations body that monitors countries’ compliance with the NPT—had said that he regarded North Korea as “the most immediate and most serious threat to the nuclear non-proliferation regime”. But the worries about Iran’s suspected nuclear-weapons programme have also grown in the past few days: on Friday, diplomats told Reuters news agency that UN inspectors had found enriched uranium—possibly the highly enriched type used to make bombs—in samples taken in Iran. On Sunday, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, presided over a ceremony to bring into service a new long-range missile, based on North Korean technology, which is capable of hitting Iran’s arch-foe, Israel, or indeed American bases in the Middle East.

Mr ElBaradei said he was encouraged by China’s recent diplomatic moves to bring North Korea back to the negotiating table. But he expressed concern at recent North Korean claims to have reprocessed 8,000 spent nuclear-fuel rods, which would produce enough plutonium for about six nuclear warheads. American sensors have detected emissions of krypton-85 gas—which is emitted when nuclear fuel is reprocessed—from North Korea’s Yongbyon plant, though only in small quantities. This may mean the Koreans are exaggerating how much plutonium they have produced there. On Saturday, though, American officials confirmed an earlier report in the New York Times that sensors on North Korea’s borders had detected elevated levels of krypton-85 that did not seem to be coming from Yongbyon, suggesting the country might have built a second plant to produce plutonium.

Last October, America said North Korea had admitted having a secret nuclear programme. In December, North Korea expelled the IAEA inspectors that had been monitoring the Yongbyon plant, and in January it announced its withdrawal from the NPT. North Korea says it will only discuss its nuclear programme in one-to-one talks with America and will only make concessions if America agrees to a “non-aggression” pact. America has been insisting that any talks must be multilateral, bringing in China, Japan and South Korea. In April, China persuaded North Korea to participate in a three-way summit with itself and America but this appeared to make little headway. In June, North Korea formally admitted trying to make nuclear weapons, so it could reduce the cost of its conventional forces and divert resources to improve living standards in its ravaged economy.

The machinations of North Korea’s eccentric dictator, Kim Jong Il, are hard to fathom at the best of times. On the one hand he continues to talk and act tough: on Thursday, his troops fired on an observation post in the demilitarised zone that has separated the two Koreas since their war 50 years ago. And on Saturday, it emerged that North Korea had deployed more missiles (so far, non-nuclear ones) capable of reaching Japan, and had moved more artillery within range of the South Korean capital, Seoul. On the other hand such sabre-rattling has sometimes in the past been a prelude to a climbdown or compromise. On Monday, though North Korea reiterated its demands for bilateral negotiations with America, there was speculation in South Korea that a further round of talks involving China, to be held in early September, may be announced shortly.

Iran’s nuclear questions

Whereas North Korea is boasting that its nuclear programme is aimed at making weapons, Iran continues to insist that its programme is only for peaceful purposes: to generate electricity. Over the weekend, both the Iranian authorities and the IAEA stopped short of denying the reports from diplomats that enriched uranium, possibly weapons-grade, had been detected in Iran: a government spokesman said the reports were “questionable” while the IAEA said they were “pure speculation”. The IAEA has the right, under Iran’s current status in the NPT, to take samples at Iran’s Natanz nuclear plant but not at some other facilities, such as the Kalaye Electric Company, near Tehran, where machinery used in uranium enrichment has been assembled. Iran has already turned down a request by the IAEA to take samples there.

Backed by many of the world’s main powers, Mr ElBaradei went to Tehran this month to press Iran to sign an additional protocol to the NPT which would oblige it to allow much more intrusive inspections. This protocol was devised in 1991 after the discovery of Iraq’s secret nuclear-weapons programme. Iran has said it is considering signing the protocol but talks continue. There are many reasons to question Iran’s protestations that its nuclear programme is entirely peaceful: why is it producing uranium metal, which is useful for weapons but not for generating electricity? Why develop a heavy-water reactor (again, of possible use for bomb-making) when the nuclear power plants Iran is building with Russian help have light-water reactors? And above all, why would a country with some of the world’s largest oil and gas reserves, which flares off (ie, wastes) vast volumes of gas that could fuel power plants, bother with the expense of nuclear power unless it had other motives? Iran’s unveiling of its new long-range missile, which could one day be nuclear-tipped, at a time when revelations about various secret nuclear plants are spilling out, is hardly reassuring.

There are some reasons to hope that deals can be reached with both Iran and North Korea to discourage them from deploying nuclear weapons on their own soil or offering them to other countries. The world’s main powers have started to put concerted pressure on both states: China, which is North Korea’s only important friend in the world, and an important supplier of food and fuel, has been sending its senior diplomats to Pyongyang, Washington and Seoul to try to get talks going; Russia has been urging both North Korea and Iran to avoid a conflict; and the European Union announced on Monday that it would review its ties with Iran in September, depending on whether it signed up for the IAEA’s tougher inspections.

But there is also plenty to be pessimistic about. Iran is in the middle of an internal conflict between liberal reformers and hardline Islamic conservatives, with the latter convinced that any concessions will only encourage America to demand more, perhaps including “regime change”. It is not clear at all what North Korea’s Mr Kim really wants, nor whether he would stick to any deal if one were reached. If either country did deploy nuclear weapons, it would destabilise the whole of the surrounding region: in Iran’s case, it might prompt Egypt and Saudi Arabia to try to go nuclear. So far, America has stopped short of threatening either North Korea or Iran with military intervention. But it has also stopped short of ruling this out entirely: on Monday, Mr Bush said America had “no intention” of attacking North Korea; but he also told Iran, along with Syria, that it would be “held accountable” for the support that Mr Bush accuses it of giving to terrorist groups.

http://www.economist.com/agenda/displayStory.cfm?story_id=1937313

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail me”
20 posted on 07/22/2003 7:32:56 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Additional lists of websites with news on Iran from
RFE/RL Iran Report Vol. 6, No. 30, 21 July 2003

ANGRY REACTION TO TEHRAN'S INTERFERENCE WITH WEBSITES. Iran's Post, Telegraph, and Telephone Ministry announced that the blocking of the websites persianblog.com and blogspot.com, both hosting sites for personal-publication websites, were caused by a private company's mistake, "Yas-i No" reported on 14 July. The ministry added that it has ordered the company, Pars Online, to lift the filters and be more careful in the future.

As noted in iraniangirl.blogspot.com about the blocking of
the sites, "They always knew that Iranian weblogs can be their first enemy [and] they couldn't stand so many pages in the Internet without their control written by Iranians [and] were always searching for a way; at last they did the worst [and] blocked all of them!"

Meanwhile, students at Amir Kabir University have threatened
to take legal action against President Mohammad Khatami's
government for blocking Iranians' access to their website
(www.akunews.org), dpa reported on 14 July. The students' letter noted, "We regret that access to many pornographic sites is easier than that of an acknowledged and registered students' group."

The Amir Kabir University website is not the only one that
provides news that irritates the Iranian government. The following are the addresses for several other websites that provide news and analysis of Iranian affairs (these sites are mentioned only for informational purposes and this does not imply endorsement of them):
http://www.alliran.com, http://www.daftartahkimnews.persianblog.com,
http://www.daneshjoo.org, http://www.daneshjooyan.org,
http://www.emrooz.org, http://www.hammihan.com,
http://www.iran-azad.de, http://www.jebhemelliiran.org,
http://www.manshoor.org, http://www.mehr.org,
http://www.mellimazhabi.org, http://www.mihan.net,
http://www.nehzat.org, http://www.nehzateazadi.org,
http://www.newsgooya.com, http://www.noandishan.org,
http://www.parspejvak.com, http://www.peiknet.com,
http://www.peykeiran.com, http://www.radiofarda.com,
http://www.roshangari.com, http://www.rouydad.com,
http://www.saanei.com, http://www.tahkimdemocracy.com,
http://www.voanews.com/persian and http://www.7sang.com. (Bill Samii)
21 posted on 07/22/2003 7:51:49 AM PDT by AdmSmith
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To: DoctorZIn
Re #20

Mullahs in Iran are working closely with N. Koreans.

North’s air cargo: missiles (N. Korea now sends missiles to Iran by air)

Iran cargo ship visits port in North Korea, Seoul aide says

22 posted on 07/22/2003 8:09:06 AM PDT by TigerLikesRooster
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To: DoctorZIn; F14 Pilot
I'm here for just a few minutes, but I wanted to thank you both, and bump the thread.
23 posted on 07/22/2003 8:21:49 AM PDT by dixiechick2000 ("Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." --Will Rogers)
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To: TigerLikesRooster; AdmSmith; DoctorZIn; RaceBannon; seamole
Mullahs have been cooperating with North Koreans since mid 1980's during the Iraq-Iran War.

Surface to Surface missiles were bought from N Korea and Libiya and Yemen.
That was the point they started to know their counter-parts in N.Korea and world kept silent.
24 posted on 07/22/2003 9:52:44 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.)
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To: AdmSmith
Most of those webpages are filtered in Iran, As I know!
25 posted on 07/22/2003 9:54:52 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.)
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To: Valin
You're too late. Cuba's been saying that for a few days already. Actually, that the interference is coming from Gitmo. Some tin hat wearers think so, too.
26 posted on 07/22/2003 10:02:41 AM PDT by nuconvert
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To: All
Any one else having problems with really slow connections?
27 posted on 07/22/2003 11:01:33 AM PDT by nuconvert
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To: TigerLikesRooster
I heard the report of the cargo ships several days ago. It is good to see someone was able to confirm it.

DoctorZIn
28 posted on 07/22/2003 11:47:04 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: nuconvert
"Any one else having problems with really slow connections?"

The reason is a BIG increase of the traffic here, mainly to this thread: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/950538/posts

The doubles of Uday and Qusay appears to be dead, or is it doubles-doubles or the original?
29 posted on 07/22/2003 11:52:37 AM PDT by AdmSmith
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To: AdmSmith
holey moley
30 posted on 07/22/2003 12:33:53 PM PDT by nuconvert
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To: All
A FRIGHTENED IRAN CENSORED LEADER’S THREATS AGAINST ISRAEL

By Safa Haeri

PARIS-TEL AVIV 22 July (IPS) Urged urgently by some 300 Iranian political activists, lawmakers, scholars and intellectuals, a controversial passage of a speech delivered to the Iranian Armed Forces by Ayatollah Ali Khameneh'i in which he said Israel could be a target of Iranian new missiles had been deleted from all Iranian media, internet sites and news agencies, including the official IRNA and the independent ISNA, run by the students.

In the address, pronounced Sunday during ceremonies marking the transfer of the newly tested Shahab-3 ballistic missile to the Revolutionary Guards Air Force, Mr. Khameneh'i said Iran could target Israel, in defence of the Palestinian cause.

The Shahab-3 has a range of over 1.300 kilometres and can reach Israel as well as American forces stationed in Saudi Arabia and Turkey, but also parts of southern Europe and Russia.

"The office of the leader instructed Judge Sa’id Mortazavi to order all Iranian media, without any exception, to delete that part of the speech, since it has already caused an international outrage against Iran", one journalist told Iran Press Service

"Today, the Iranian nation and armed forces ... is prepared to stand up to the enemy with a firm resolve anywhere. Today, we can target Israel, defending Palestinian cause and also Lebanon", Khameneh’i said, quoted by the State-run, conservatives-controlled radio and television.

A senior Israeli intelligence official, quoted Tuesday by Israeli newspaper "Ha’aretz", has warned that Iran's upgrading of its Shihab-3 long-range missile is aimed, first and foremost, at giving Tehran the ability to strike at Israel.

The official said that the chances of Iran firing a missile at Israel were low for now, but that Tehran's announcement that the ground-to-ground missile was operational should set off warning bells.

"A new element has been added to the Iranian's ability to threaten Israel. We shouldn't ignore, either, the statement attributed to Ali Khamenei, that the missile is part of the answer to the Palestinian problem," the senior intelligence official added.

"Reacting to the menace, Israel’s Defence Minister Shaul Mofaz told the ruling Likud Knesset (Israel’s parliament) faction that Israel is prepared to counter the threat from Iranian Shahab-3 missiles.

The Iranian-origin Mr. Mofaz assured the Israeli public that the Arrow missile can effectively defend against the Shahab-3, adding that he was in contact with American and other international officials who are helping Israel deal with the Iranian threat.

"We're taking all steps necessary to counter the threat as much as possible", Mofaz told reporters. "Israel has the necessary means to respond defensively, as well as deterrent capability. The Shihab-3 and other projects reveal that Iran is eager to achieve non-conventional and even nuclear capability, but Israel is prepared".

Israel’s Foreign Affairs minister Silvan Shalom, meeting 25 counterparts from the European Union Monday in Brussels, had also taken the issue, calling on them to join the United States and Israel in putting more pressures over the Islamic Republic to abandon its programmes for developing nuclear-based arms that he said is primarily targeting the Jewish State.

Tehran denies the charges, insisting that the project has a purely civilian nature, aimed at generating electricity.

The European Union issued its strongest warning so far to Iran about its nuclear programmes and human rights on Monday and said it would review ties with Tehran in September in the light of its behavior.

EU foreign ministers expressed "increasing concern" about Iran's nuclear program and reaffirmed that closer economic relations depended on Iran making progress in four areas of concern -- human rights, fighting terrorism, non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and its attitude to the Middle East peace process.

"The Council decided to review future steps of the cooperation between EU and Iran in September in view of further developments particularly with regard to the second report of IAEA Director General (Mohamed) ElBaradei, the IAEA evaluations and the possible conclusions of the Board of Governors of this Agency", they said in a statement.

They also branded the violent death of Canadian-Iranian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi, killed during interrogations, a crime and said Iran had an obligation under international law to prosecute those responsible.

The 15-nation EU is negotiating a trade and cooperation agreement with the Islamic Republic but has clearly linked conclusion of the accord to progress on its political demands.

French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin said Iran had to make a strategic choice to sign up to more intrusive, no-notice inspections of its nuclear program, cooperate in the fight against terrorism and improve its human rights record.

"Iran has to know clearly what we expect of it, and what it can expect from us if it meets our expectations", Villepin told a news conference.

Israeli Defence Forces Chief of Staff Lt. General Moshe Ya’alon told senior officials during his visit to Washington last week that Iran is currently attempting to fill the vacuum left by Saddam Hoseyn’s regime by supporting terror organizations and Palestinian suicide bombers.

President George W. Bush accuses Syria and Iran of backing terrorists who undermine peace process U.S. President George W. Bush on Monday accused Syria and Iran of supporting "terrorists" who undermine Middle East peace efforts and said countries continuing the practice would be held accountable.

"Today Syria and Iran continue to harbor and assist terrorists. This behavior is completely unacceptable and states that support terror will be held accountable", Bush said at a news conference at his Texas ranch with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, one of his European supporter of war in Iraq.

Bush has branded Iran - along with North Korea and the Iraq of ousted President Saddam Hussein - as a member of an "axis of evil" that threatens to spread terrorism. Washington charges Iran is not doing enough against members of the militant Al-Qaida network.

"Ha’aretz" reported this month that the missile's recent testing was its most successful of seven or eight launches during the past five years.

The last time Iran declared a test of the missile was in May 2002 when Defence Minister Ali Shamkhani said the country conducted a test to "enhance the power and accuracy of (the) Shahab-3 missile."

The missile technology is allegedly based on North Korea's No Dong surface-to-surface missile, but Iran says it is entirely locally made. "Shahab" means shooting star in Farsi.

U.S. intelligence officials have said Iran can probably fire several Shahab-3's in an emergency, but that it has not yet developed a completely reliable missile. ENDS IRAN MISSILE 22703

http://www.iran-press-service.com/
31 posted on 07/22/2003 1:44:44 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: All
Saddam's sons are dead! We will soon be able to focus on Iran...


32 posted on 07/22/2003 1:49:47 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Funny
33 posted on 07/22/2003 4:33:17 PM PDT by nuconvert
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To: DoctorZIn
"Sa’id Mortazavi"

This guy hasn't been shot yet?
34 posted on 07/22/2003 4:43:33 PM PDT by nuconvert
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To: DoctorZIn; F14 Pilot
I see nothing has happened in a while.

Maybe with the evil brothers rotting in hell tonight, attention will turn to Iran. Judging from Bush's speech yesterday, he may well be focusing on Iran and Syria, now. I hope so...

G'nite!
35 posted on 07/22/2003 10:06:31 PM PDT by dixiechick2000 ("Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." --Will Rogers)
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To: dixiechick2000
Iranians must be the happiest nation of the world to hear that good news.
Uday hated Iranians deeply.

http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/meast/07/22/sprj.irq.sons/index.html

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,92591,00.html
36 posted on 07/22/2003 10:36:08 PM PDT by F14 Pilot (If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.)
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To: DoctorZIn
There was an Open Letter to Mr. Khatami from 85 Iranian Students in Toronto, saying that They are against torture of people like Ms. Kazemi.
They also asked Khatami to stop what they called Use of Force and Torture to make prisoners and detainees talk.

This Open Letter is Available at :
http://akunews.org/News/view.asp?ID=2746
(( But in Farsi ))
37 posted on 07/22/2003 11:28:04 PM PDT by F14 Pilot (If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.)
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To: DoctorZIn; nuconvert; seamole; RaceBannon; Eala; Valin; piasa; jriemer
Middle East

Enemies from within: Iran and Saudi Arabia
By Ehsan Ahrari
Jul 22, 2003

Iran and Saudi Arabia are edging closer to political instability and even cataclysmic change. In the case of Iran, the United States prefers a change of regime, but not for Saudi Arabia. However, regime change might be the eventual outcome in both countries for reasons that are essentially similar: the enemies of regimes are inside the borders. But there are also certain important aspects of dissimilarity in both Iran and Saudi Arabia.

The Islamic revolution occurred in Iran in 1979 as a powerful protest against a highly corrupt and equally ruthless regime of Mohammad Reza Pahlevi. At the risk of oversimplification, it should be stated that the vanguards of that revolution at the very outset made two significant mistakes whose ramifications might bring about its end.

First, they created a constitution which established the Vilayat-e-Faqih (rule of the clergy). As such, it made the head clergy (the Supreme Leader) both infallible and beyond reproach. The concept of infallibility is essentially an anti-Islamic concept, since from theological perspectives no one is infallible, save God. At the same time, the notion of the Vilayat-e-Faqih sowed the seeds for the establishment of a theological dictatorship, which was going to be as exclusionist of the common people as the monarchy that it replaced.

The constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran is fundamentally anti-democratic in the sense that it allocates too much power to the Supreme Leader and his handpicked cronies. Only a cursory review of the Iranian constitution makes it clear that it has created an absolute dictatorship of the Supreme Leader. The Iranian parliament is held in check by the Council of Guardians, a body that has power to "examine all laws passed by the parliament to determine their compatibility with [the] Sharia or Islamic law". The Supreme Leader appoints half of the members of this council, and the second half are recommended by the head of the judiciary and confirmed by parliament. The radically conservative nature of the council may be underscored by the fact that it has been known to strike down up to 40 percent of the laws passed by the government.

Another powerful body is the Assembly of Experts, which elects the Supreme Leader from within its ranks and has no record of challenging any of his decisions. Under the Islamic Republic, Iran might be the only country where the president of the republic does not control its armed forces. On this issue as well, the Supreme Leader has ultimate authority.

The second mistake of the Iranian constitution is that there are virtually no institutional constraints on the authority of the Supreme Leader or provisions to create some balance between his authority and that of the president of the Republic, who is an elected official. The Iranian constitution makes this elected official - indeed the entire executive branch - subordinate to the Supreme Leader. This theological dictatorship of the Supreme Leader, along with his cohorts in the Assembly of Experts, Council of Guardians, Expediency Council and the judiciary have become the chief enemies from within of the survival of the Islamic Republic. It is befuddling, then, why Iran even pretends to be a democracy.

Iran is a country in which about 70 percent of the population is below the age of 30. It is within this age group that the unemployment rate is reported to be hovering around 24 percent. It seems that Iran's ruling class and its young population are focused on entirely different agendas. Within the rank and file of the ruling establishment, the issues of contention are liberalization of the government (rather, the denial of it) and strict interpretation of Islam. The youth of Iran, on the contrary, like young people anywhere else in the world, are driven by their collective ambitions of getting quality education so that they can get promising jobs and a good standard of living. Many are also enticed by the consumerism and free lifestyle of the West. But the hardliners' insistence on making their lust for the "good life" a crime, becomes just another reason why the feeling of alienation regarding the Islamic government is reported to be mounting among young Iranians.

While the hardline ayatollahs see popular demands for liberalization as a threat to their authority, the liberal or moderate clerics do not fare that much better among Iranian youth because of their unwillingness to challenge the hardliners. The hardliners in Iran have learned nothing from the miserable legacy of the regime of Reza Pahlevi, its brutality, and, above all, its repudiation to compromise. By wittingly or unwittingly emulating those traits of the previous regime, the hardline Islamic clerics are pushing their rule toward the same fate.

The United States is on the sidelines of this brewing struggle in Iran, but it is not a disinterested party. As much trouble as the Bush administration is currently encountering, stemming from regime change in Iraq, it would still welcome a regime change in Iran if it was carried out by the Iranian youth, a la the Islamic revolution of 1979.

The pro-democracy elements are showing their interests through radio broadcasts from the comfortable environs of Los Angeles, urging the Iranian youth to overthrow the ayatollahs. Like Iraqi expatriates in the United States and Britain, the pro-democracy groups are supported by the American neo-conservatives. The Mujahideen-e-Khalq has their own fight with the Islamic regime. They have even approached the Bush administration to use them as a proxy force to carry out regime change in Iran, much like the Northern Alliance was used to dismantle the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. Despite the disparate endeavors of these groups to oust the Islamic government from Iran, the chief threat to that country's stability, in the final analysis, stems from the enemies from within - the hardline ayatollahs who would rather be swept away by the winds of change than bend and survive.

The problem in Saudi Arabia is similar to that in Iran in the sense that the legitimacy of the regime faces challenges from within. But the challenge to the stability of Saudi Arabia stems from a constant pull and push between the forces of Islamic orthodoxy and the nexus between militant orthodoxy and al-Qaeda. The general understanding is that the support of that terrorist organization comes from a number of Sunni Muslim clerics and the population at large. However, since Saudi Arabia is a closed society, it is well nigh impossible to make even a reasonable judgment about the actual number of these supporters. There is little doubt about the strength of their commitment, though. They will go to any extreme to fulfill their objectives of ousting the monarchy. The suicide attacks in Riyadh of May 12 were a declaration of war by these militants on the Saudi monarchy.

The current dilemma for the Saudi government is how much violent tactics it should use to suppress and eradicate the militant orthodox and their al-Qaeda cohorts before alienating even a larger portion of its population. At the same time, in the eyes of their American interlocutors, the government's willingness to suppress these groups has become a litmus test of its earnestness in dealing with terrorism.

The Saudi monarchy is going through an unprecedented era when its own legitimacy is being threatened by the hardcore orthodox-al-Qaeda nexus. At the same time, its ties with the US have also experienced considerable strain and tensions. It seems that the Saudi rulers are hearing from both parties that now-famous line of George W Bush, with a slight modification, "Either you are with us or you are with the enemy." Except in this case, they seem to be doomed by choosing either side. But remaining neutral in the evolving hardball in their polity is not an option.

Stability-related problems of Iran and Saudi Arabia should be viewed in the larger context of South and West Asia. Afghanistan continues to be highly volatile. Pakistan's domestic tranquility remains a mirage. Further west of Pakistan, Iraq is a place where the escalating spirals of anti-Americanism have pushed all prospects of stability into the distant future. If Iran and Saudi Arabia were also to face instability, then the world might witness chaos on a very large scale.

Ehsan Ahrari, PhD, is an Alexandria, Virginia, US-based independent strategic analyst.

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/EG22Ak03.html
38 posted on 07/22/2003 11:42:35 PM PDT by F14 Pilot (If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.)
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To: All
This Thread is now closed.

Join Us at the Iranian Alert -- DAY 44 -- LIVE THREAD PING LIST

Live Thread Ping List | 7.23.2003 | DoctorZIn


39 posted on 07/23/2003 12:26:57 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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