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Iranian Alert -- July 31, 2003 -- LIVE THREAD PING LIST
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 7.31.2003 | DoctorZin

Posted on 07/31/2003 12:03:50 AM PDT by DoctorZIn

The regime is working hard to keep the news about the protest movment in Iran from being reported.

From jamming satellite broadcasts, to prohibiting news reporters from covering any demonstrations to shutting down all cell phones and even hiring foreign security to control the population, the regime is doing everything in its power to keep the popular movement from expressing its demand for an end of the regime.

These efforts by the regime, while successful in the short term, do not resolve the fundamental reasons why this regime is crumbling from within.

Iran is a country ready for a regime change. If you follow this thread you will witness, I believe, the transformation of a nation. This daily thread provides a central place where those interested in the events in Iran can find the best news and commentary.

Please continue to join us here, post your news stories and comments to this thread.

Thanks for all the help.


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: iran; iranianalert; protests; studentmovement
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1 posted on 07/31/2003 12:03:51 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 -- July 31, 2003 -- LIVE THREAD PING LIST

Live Thread Ping List | 7.31.2003 | DoctorZin

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

2 posted on 07/31/2003 12:04:22 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; ...
Part two of a four part series by the BBC explaining why the US is focused on Iran. As normal, the BBC holds a negative view of the US position on Iran. Still it is an important series to read, -- DoctorZin

How strong is Iran's opposition?

By Roger Hardy
BBC Middle East analyst 7.31.2003

In the second piece in a special four-part series on the United States and Iran, Roger Hardy looks at US perceptions of how durable the Iranian regime may prove to be, and what might take its place.

A few weeks ago, on 9 July, Iranian-Americans gathered in Washington to show their solidarity with students in Iran who have been campaigning for greater freedom.

It was the anniversary of demonstrations in Tehran and other Iranian cities four years ago - demonstrations that were harshly suppressed.

These Iranian-Americans want "regime change" in Iran. But who should take the place of the mullahs who have ruled the country since the overthrow of the Shah in the Islamic revolution of 1979?

Some Iranian-Americans favour the restoration of the monarchy, and look to the son of the late Shah, Reza Pahlavi, who lives in exile in Virginia.

A well-known figure in the Iranian-American community is the businessman, academic and political activist, Rob Sobhani.

"I think there's a role for all dissidents, including the son of the Shah - because Iran today is thirsty for leadership, Iran is thirsty for someone with vision," he says.

Waiting in the wings

"I think what's lacking in Iranian politics today is someone with a vision. I think if that individual - a man or a woman - appears on the scene and grabs the attention of the Iranian people, with a vision of what he or she would like the country to move towards, they will certainly be the beneficiary of that goodwill, that thirst for a leader."

Reza Pahlavi is a favourite with those who want to restore the monarchy
Among the Washington think-tanks there are conflicting views about the credibility of the Iranian opposition.

Patrick Clawson, an Iran-watcher at the influential think-tank, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, says: "In the external opposition, we've got the People's Mujahideen, who are a very loud and noisy group. They have very little support inside Iran, but they are a useful source of intelligence."

"Scattered in with a lot of misinformation they do have some important titbits - and so we should listen to them.

"Then there's the monarchists and Reza Pahlavi, the son of the late Shah, and he seems to have hit his stride (i.e. improved his performance), and to be learning better how to communicate.

"But a large part of that stride is to avoid any direct role in confronting the mullahs and to avoid presenting himself as someone who should run Iran in the future."

Mr Clawson and others believe the US should give material as well as moral support to the forces inside Iran campaigning for democratic change, including the students and others who have grown disillusioned with the efforts of Iranian reformists, led by President Khatami, to change the country from within.

'Regime change'

Some of the right-wing Republicans in Washington, known as the neo-conservatives, think the recent student unrest is a sign that the regime is close to collapse.

John Calabrese of the Middle East Institute, a Washington research centre, takes a different view.

"I think the street demonstrations and protests that have been occurring over the last month or two provide yet additional evidence that there is a deep resentment, a deep alienation - a gulf really - between the regime and the population," he says.

"Having said that, it's also clear from the protests and demonstrations that the regime is resilient, resourceful, and prepared to use repression in order to make sure that the protests are kept more or less under control."

Mr Calabrese believes the weakness of the student demonstrators is their lack of leadership and organisation. He believes the prospects for "regime change" from within are low.

So the two main camps in Washington, the neo-cons and their critics, sometimes known as the realists, disagree over whether "regime change" should be the goal of US foreign policy.

On Friday, our correspondent looks at the debate over the issue of terrorism.

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail me”
3 posted on 07/31/2003 12:14:59 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
"So the two main camps in Washington, the neo-cons and their critics, sometimes known as the realists, disagree over whether "regime change" should be the goal of US foreign policy."

Oh great, the neo-con critics are now being touted as realists? I think the fantasies started back after we halted at the Elbe instead of racing to stop the Russians in central Europe at the end of WWII. The fantasies continued when we believed that we could "contain" the communist threat at the 38th parallel in Korea. And the Vietnamization process of abandoning our dear friends on the Vietnam conflict were just another pipe dream.

President Carter's decision to withdraw support for the Shaw's rule in Iran led to Iran's collapse to a Shi'ite theocratic revolution on the pretext that presumably involved limiting American power in the time of detente. Hundreds of thousands of lives have been impacted throughout the region since then, including the massive Iran-Iraq war and Iraq's suppression of the Shi'ites in the south and Kurds in the North, and Iran's funding of Palestinian terrorist organizations.

The real fantasy is believing that American power shouldn't be used to tip the balance when the freedom of so many is at stake. Each time we lose a country or a region to tyranny, the risk to western democracy has increased many fold. I believe that 9/11 was a result of such collapses, adding up from central Europe to Korea to Vietnam and Iran. As we backed away from our obligations, the forces of darkness became stronger!

Realism is accepting our responsibility to help the Iranian student uprising succeed one way or another, peacefully or otherwise.

4 posted on 07/31/2003 12:36:42 AM PDT by risk
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To: DoctorZIn
It would be really nice if the foreign press bothered to find out what they are talking about. Right wing and Neo-con are NOT interchangable. They are perverting the words and slapping labels on things they know nothing about.
5 posted on 07/31/2003 7:53:56 AM PDT by McGavin999
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To: All
US Orders New Intelligence Estimate on Iraq

July 31, 2003
The Boston Globe
Bryan Bender

WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration has ordered a new National Intelligence Estimate of Iraq, the first such sweeping review since before the war, seeking to determine the extent of guerrilla resistance to US occupation and to predict whether the country's rival ethnic groups will be able to establish a stable government.

A National Intelligence Estimate is a top-secret document that pulls together the views of the CIA, Defense Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency, and the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research on a subject of intense interest to top policy makers. The last intelligence estimate on Iraq, completed in October 2002, became the focus of scrutiny two weeks ago when the White House declassified portions of its findings on weapons of mass destruction.

This time, the White House has asked spy agencies to conduct a detailed assessment of the "sources of instability" in Iraq, the first formal effort to gauge the strength of the ongoing insurgency against American troops, the influence of Arab fighters arriving from neighboring countries, and alleged efforts by Iran to promote a Shi'ite Muslim-led religious government in Iraq, a senior intelligence official confirmed yesterday.

A spokesman for CIA Director George Tenet, who is overseeing the intelligence estimate, declined to comment.

But intelligence sources said the review would broadly assess the attitudes of the Iraqi people after the war, with a goal of predicting whether a democratic government can begin functioning, and if so, under what conditions.

In the months after President Bush declared an end to major hostilities in Iraq, there has been a steady stream of US combat deaths in ambushes and sniper attacks whose intensity has surprised American commanders. At the same time, the US-led Coalition Provisional Authority has been forced to quell anger over the lack of electricity, water, and security in large parts of the country. Specialists who recently assessed the situation for the Pentagon during a visit to Iraq concluded the window for success there is quickly closing as American-led forces compete with other powerful influences that could turn Iraqis away from the United States.

On the guerrilla war, administration officials have made contradictory statements about whether the ongoing attacks, which have become more sophisticated, are being centrally organized or are the work of independent opponents to the US and British presence.

The intelligence review will attempt to answer whether the attacks are the work of former Hussein operatives or have broader backing in the country, intelligence officials said.

And while most of the culprits are believed to be mid-level officers from the former regime's elite military and security services, an unknown number of the foreign fighters have also slipped into Iraq to wage a holy war against US troops, the officials said.

"We don't know what those numbers are," General John Keane, the acting Army chief of staff, told lawmakers on Tuesday. "But we have evidence that they are there. And they come from the plethora of countries: from Syria, from Saudi Arabia, from Egypt, from Sudan."

Meanwhile, a terrorist group that was targeted during the war, Ansar Al-Islam, is also accused of crossing in and out of Iran to launch attacks on US troops.

Iran, meanwhile, is believed to be dispatching Muslim clerics and possibly intelligence operatives into Shi'ite areas of Iraq to influence events. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has repeatedly accused Tehran of being "unhelpful" by meddling in postwar Iraq, something the Iranian government denies. The new intelligence assessment, according to officials, will also look at a variety of other factors that could either frustrate or aid American efforts to stabilize the country and establish the conditions for representative government in a country reeling from years under a brutal dictatorship.

According to a different intelligence official, those factors include assessing the potential impact of Turkey, Iraq's neighbor to the north, which is seeking to halt any aspirations for independence among northern Iraq's Kurdish population; the influence of Arab news channels such as the Qatar-based Al-Jazeera on Iraqi popular opinion; and the role minority Wahhabis and other branches of Sunni Islam might play in the postwar political scene.

The official, who will be involved in the intelligence review, said it might also assess the psychological impact on Iraqis of the arrival of peacekeeping troops from countries other than the United States and Great Britain. It could also weigh the prospects for the recovery of Iraq's oil industry, which would provide a substantial boost to the country's economy, as well as the impact of moving from a state-run economy to one more akin to a free market, he said.
6 posted on 07/31/2003 8:09:29 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: All
Strategic Improvement May Not Last

July 31, 2003
Globes Online
Dror Marom

Minister of Defense military secretary Brigadier General Mike Herzog: There are forces opposing US policy in the region.

Brigadier General Mike Herzog, who is military secretary to Minister of Defense Shaul Mofaz, yesterday expressed pessimism about the chances for a lasting improvement in Israel’s strategic position in the Middle East. He said that while 2003 would be remembered as a year of profound change in the region, which benefited Israel, “The situation could be reversed. There are forces opposing US policy in the region.”

Speaking at the “Globes” conference on economic growth, Herzog noted that the US was acting counter to the fundamental processes taking place in the region, and was arousing counter forces. “While the threat from Iraq, the chief power developing weapons of mass destruction, one of the causes of the arms race, and a radical power center, has been eliminated, Israel still faces threats of conventional war, strategic weapons, and terrorism,” he added.

According to Herzog, the US is moving to a declared policy of replacing regimes. The US will invest a great deal of money in promoting this policy, and is sitting on the borders of two intractable countries: Iran and Syria. Trade is being employed as a weapon, and European countries, including Russia, and even Japan, recently joined the US in asking hard questions about Iran’s nuclear program, such as why it needs enriched uranium. Japan has even frozen its investments in Iran, pending answers on this issue.

”The main point is whether the US succeeds in Iraq not just in winning the war, but also in establishing security and founding a pragmatic, liberal regime. The US must reconstruct the Iraqi oil industry, and leave after having achieved full victory. A US retreat from Iraq due to many casualties, or for some other reason, will be regarded as a debacle. Iran’s goal is to get the US away from its border. If the US fails, the entire region will regress,” Herzog explained.

Herzog said he was not expressing the views of Minister of Defense Shaul Mofaz. He predicted that the Iranian regime would fall soon, and described it as “a regime in decline. The Iranian government is no longer legitimate in the eyes of its citizens. I don’t know how long it will take to replace it, or who will replace it. The question is what will happen first: the achievement of nuclear capability, or the replacement of the regime. The process is beneficial for us, because it’s hard to find Middle Eastern countries today that sponsor terrorism. Even Iran and Syria are finding it difficult. Lebanon seems to be the best place for the terrorist organizations.”

Herzog also said that the confrontation with the Palestinians was far from being resolved. “We have reached a new stage in the conflict with the Palestinians a quasi-ceasefire. Both sides are weary. The Palestinians have not halted terrorism because of moral qualms. They simply realized that terrorism does them more harm than good.”
7 posted on 07/31/2003 8:12:42 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; ...
Hizbullah Chief Offers Carrot, Stick

July 31, 2003
The Christian Science Monitor
Nicholas Blanford

BEIRUT –- The leader of Lebanon's Hizbullah has a warning for the United States: Any attempt to destroy the militant group could mean American interests being attacked around the world. But Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah also hinted that Hizbullah's military wing, which is poised along Lebanon's southern border with Israel, could be dismantled in the event of a comprehensive Middle East peace.

In an interview with the Monitor in his heavily protected, sealed-off compound in the southern suburbs of Beirut, Sheikh Nasrallah claimed the Bush administration has no evidence linking Hizbullah to acts of anti-American terrorism. He accused President Bush of exploiting the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, to pursue a military agenda that benefits US economic and strategic interests.

The US ranks the Shiite Muslim Hizbullah high, if not at the top, of its list of terrorist groups, perceiving the Lebanese radicals as a genuine threat to US interests. But from where Sheikh Nasrallah sits, it is the Bush administration that is the real terrorist organization.

"We believe that the American administration has always exercised terrorist and aggressive policies and backed terrorist groups and regimes," Sheikh Nasrallah said.

He cited the CIA's training of Osama bin Laden and his mujahadeen in Afghanistan in the 1980s and its past support for Saddam Hussein's regime.

"The American administration is a sponsor of terrorism, so ethically and legally it is not qualified to categorize terrorism," he said.

"We believe the Bush administration is being dishonest in claiming to be against terrorism," Nasrallah continued. "It has been exploiting the events of Sept. 11 to achieve its long-term strategies throughout the world."

Last year, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage described Hizbullah as the "A-team of terrorists" and vowed to take them down "one by one." The US accuses Hizbullah of responsibility for numerous high-profile anti-American attacks such as the 1983 suicide bombings of the US Embassy and Marine barracks in Beirut, in which over 300 people perished, and the kidnappings of Westerners in war-torn Lebanon in the late 1980s.

One of the most wanted figures in the war on terrorism is Imad Mughnieh, a Lebanese who US officials believe heads Hizbullah's military wing. Mr. Mughnieh is said to have been the organizer of the 1980s suicide bombings and kidnappings in Lebanon as well as two suicide bombings in Argentina against Israeli and Jewish targets in 1992 and 1994.

The mysterious and security-conscious Mughnieh is rumored to have had plastic surgery twice to alter his appearance.

"The American accusations against Mughnieh are mere accusations," Nasrallah argued. "Can they provide evidence to condemn Imad Mughnieh? They launch accusations as if they are given facts."

"Haj Imad Mughnieh is among the best freedom fighters in the Lebanese arena," he said, using the honorific for those who have conducted the pilgrimage to the Muslim holy city of Mecca. But Nasrallah refused to reveal whether Mughnieh has a role in Hizbullah.

The legacy of the 1980s

The Reagan administration's Lebanon policy in the early 1980s was shattered by the devastating suicide attacks against American targets. Some officials who served in the Reagan administration have returned to office under President Bush - including Armitage, who was an assistant defense secretary in the 1980s. Twenty years later, they see Hizbullah as a legitimate target in the war on terrorism.

Since the Iraq war, the Bush administration has applied steady diplomatic pressure on Syria to dismantle Hizbullah's military wing. Syria, which dominates the political process in neighboring Lebanon, grants Hizbullah a certain freedom of action in south Lebanon, where the group's fighters are marshalled along the border with Israel.

It remains unclear to what extent Washington intends to pursue Hizbullah, as not all officials are entirely convinced the group poses a threat to US interests.

Nasrallah insisted that Hizbullah does not possess a "global reach," saying the group was a Lebanese-based resistance movement against Israel.

"To compare Hizbullah to Al Qaeda is wrong," he said. "We are a Lebanese party that fought occupation forces on Lebanese territory. We have not carried out operations anywhere in the world." He said that Hizbullah has had ample justification during 20 years of "very difficult existence" to perpetrate worldwide attacks, but has not done so.

But Nasrallah delivered a clear warning that Hizbullah would fight back if it felt its survival was in jeopardy.

"In such a case, Hizbullah has a right to defend its existence, its people, and its country through any means and at any time and in any place," he said.

According to a former FBI counterterrorism specialist, Hizbullah's "global reach" is not a deterrent against the US taking action against the group, but it does "add layers to the decision-making process."

Similarly, Hizbullah's potential global reach is factored into any planning for action against Syria and Iran, both sponsors of the group. "Should we take action against Iran, not necessarily military action, it's very likely that the response will come from Hizbullah elsewhere" around the world, the source said. "If we were to attack, part of the preparatory process would be to crack down on [Hizbullah] elements abroad."

Focused on Israel

Yet many analysts believe Hizbullah has no interest in targeting the US and remains focused instead on the struggle against Israel. And it is the group's potential for disrupting the faltering peace process and its lingering threat toward Israel that some analysts believe is the real reason behind Washington's hostility toward Hizbullah.

"It's not Hizbullah that is doing the terrorism out of Lebanon," noted Robert Baer, a former CIA operative who worked in Lebanon in the mid-1980s and investigated the US Embassy bombing. "They didn't do the US Embassy in 1983 nor the Marines. It was the Iranians. It's a political issue here [in Washington] because the Israelis want the Americans to go after Hizbullah."

Hizbullah's battle-hardened guerrilla fighters fought a 20-year war of resistance against Israeli troops, forcing Israel to withdraw unilaterally from its south Lebanon occupation zone three years ago.

Since then, Hizbullah has deployed in strength along the frontier, manning observation posts beside the border fence, often just yards from Israeli outposts, and stockpiling weapons and ammunition.

The US is pressuring Syria and Lebanon to have Hizbullah's forces removed from the border and replaced by Lebanese Army troops. Many analysts believe that dismantling Hizbullah's military wing is a red line for Syria, one the regime in Damascus cannot cross if it is to maintain its credibility in the Arab world.

The Lebanese-Israeli border

Although Hizbullah traditionally refuses to reveal its future plans, Nasrallah suggested that its military wing does not have to remain a permanent fixture along the border with Israel.

"Of course, Lebanon and Syria are ready to discuss the resistance in south Lebanon within the framework of a comprehensive settlement that tackles the issues of the [Israeli-occupied] land, [Lebanese] detainees and Palestinian refugees and the future of the region," he said. "If not within this framework, I don't think there's anyone in Lebanon or Syria ready to discuss" disarming Hizbullah.

The rise of Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah

He is considered one of the most popular leaders in the Arab world. His speeches garner Page 1 headlines and are scrutinized by analysts. His enemies fear and respect him in equal measure. He led the campaign to drive Israel out of Lebanon, turning Hizbullah into one of the most redoubtable guerrilla forces in the world.

"He's the most well-known, popular, and respected Shiite Muslim figure in the Arab world," says Farid Khazen, professor at the American University of Beirut.

"He has shown a great deal of skill and leadership and is beyond compare with any other Islamist leader in the region."

Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah wears a black turban, which denotes him as a sayyed, or direct descendant of the Prophet Mohammed. Chubby and soft-spoken, Nasrallah at first glance appears an unlikely leader of a militant group.

He grew up in Beirut. Religiously devout from a young age, Mr. Nasrallah traveled at age 15 to study Islam in Najaf, Iraq, the city holy to Shiite Muslims, with the help of Abbas Mussawi, who would become leader of Hizbullah. Nasrallah fled Iraq in 1978 to escape arrest by Saddam Hussein's regime. Back in Lebanon, he joined Amal, then the mainstream group representing the interests of the Lebanese Shiite Muslim community.

After the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in June 1982, Nasrallah, along with other religious radicals, split from Amal and helped establish Hizbullah. Between 1982 and 1985, Hizbullah was an underground organization known to a few people. In 1985, Israel withdrew its forces to a border strip in south Lebanon, which it would occupy for the next 15 years. That same year, Hizbullah announced its existence and published a manifesto explaining its ideology and goals.

In 1992, Sheikh Nasrallah was elected secretary-general of Hizbullah after Mr. Mussawi was assassinated in an Israeli missile strike on his motorcade.

Hizbullah transformed itself in the early 1990s into a disciplined guerrilla force skilled in the use of antitank missiles, explosives, artillery, field reconnaissance, intelligence-gathering, and communications.

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail me”
8 posted on 07/31/2003 8:18:30 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; ...
Two more executions carried in Iran, Nine more to follow

World News
Jul 31, 2003

TEHRAN - Two Iranians convicted of murder have been hanged in Tehran's Ghasr prison, the government daily Iran reported Thursday.

Hossein-Ali Yussefi was executed for stabbing his wife to death with a knife because of her "suspect" behaviour, while Said Rafiie, a young gardener, killed a 72-year-old man and his sister, aged 75, during a break-in at their villa.

The hangings were carried out on Wednesday with the approval of the country's supreme court, Iran said.

The newspaper also reported that two young Iranians found guilty of killing nine women after robbing them in the eastern town of Arak have been handed multiple death sentences.

The women were strangled with their headscarves, in a spate of murders between February 2001 and March 2002, said Iran. One of the convicts has also been sentenced to 100 lashes of the whip for "illicit sexual relations".

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

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail me”
9 posted on 07/31/2003 8:24:46 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: McGavin999
I find that can be confusing. Neo-con is misused here in the U.S. also.
10 posted on 07/31/2003 8:33:59 AM PDT by nuconvert
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; ...
MPs call for release of Iran journalists held in Iraq

Thursday, July 31, 2003 - ©2003

TEHRAN, July 30 (AFP) - Iranian MPs have urged President Mohammad Khatami in an open letter to work to secure the release of two Iranian journalists held by US forces in Iraq, the state news agency IRNA reported Wednesday.

The arrests of the journalists "making a documentary on the life of Iraqis" under occupation was "a patent example of violation of democracy and freedom", read the letter signed by 162 MPs.

They called on the president "to order the foreign ministry to do whatever is needed to obtain the release" of the two journalists.

"The occupation forces in Iraq, with violent and regrettable acts against journalists, have prevented the free flow of information," the MPs charged in the letter, quoted by IRNA.

"By killing, hitting and mistreating journalists, these forces have shown they oppose democracy and the international regulations that they stand for," the MPs said.

A coalition spokesman said Tuesday the two television journalists had committed "security violations" and were being detained in Baghdad pending a decision on their fate.

"They claim to be journalists, but they were certainly not acting in a journalistic capacity when they were arrested" on July 1, the spokesman said.

Iran's foreign ministry has called for the coalition to release the journalists, identified as Saeed Abutaleb and Soheil Karimi of Iran's Channel 2, whose detention it deemed "unacceptable".

The two, plus an Iraqi interpreter and a driver, were working on a documentary in the mainly Shiite Muslim region around Diwaniyah, southern Iraq, when they were arrested, said Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting.

On Wednesday, Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Ahani called for their "immediate release" in a meeting with the outgoing British representative to Iraq, John Sawers, who was in Tehran on his way home.

Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Ahani called for "immediate release" of the two Iranian journalists held by US forces in Iraq

"They've been arrested filming coalition activities," Sawers told journalists. "They are currently detained and being questioned and I believe they will be released when the procedure is complete."

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail me”
11 posted on 07/31/2003 8:39:10 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
That entire article is disgusting.

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black...
12 posted on 07/31/2003 10:03:59 AM PDT by dixiechick2000 ("The Prez is as focused as a doberman on a hambone!"---Dennis Miller)
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To: DoctorZIn
Thanks for the pings
13 posted on 07/31/2003 11:34:56 AM PDT by firewalk
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To: DoctorZIn

Members of the household of former Isfahan Friday prayer leader Ayatollah Jalal Taheri visited the family of his recently arrested associate, Mohammad Madah, on 29 July, ISNA reported the next day. The ayatollah's wife reportedly recalled the prison years they endured under the monarchy, stressed the importance of patience and composure, and expressed gratitude for Mohammad Madah's hard work since the 1979 revolution. Ayatollah Taheri visited the family on 21 July and said, "I was the target, and they can come and arrest me if they want to do so," ILNA reported on 23 July. "I have not committed any crimes for which I can be prosecuted or arrested."

Members of the Islamic Society of Isfahan University and Isfahan Medical Sciences University visited the Madah family on 23 July, ILNA reported. Madah was arrested on 19 July on the basis of a warrant issued by the Special Court for the Clergy. The arrest is presumably connected with his allowing the Central Council of the Office for Strengthening Unity student organization to hold a meeting at the Husseinabad mausoleum. BS

source: RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 7, No. 144, Part III, 31 July 2003
14 posted on 07/31/2003 12:27:44 PM PDT by AdmSmith
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To: All
Iran to take decision after experts' visit

TEHRAN, July 30: Iran will decide whether or not to accept snap inspections of its nuclear sites after an upcoming visit by legal experts of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi said.

Mr Kharazi, quoted by the state news agency IRNA, said on Tuesday that Iran, which is under increasing international pressure to act, was expecting the arrival of the experts it has invited in the next few days.

"After these people come to Iran and we listen to their reasons and justifications, then we will decide whether to sign the IAEA's additional protocol," he said.

The international community, suspicious that Tehran has a secret weapons programme, is pressing it to sign an additional protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) allowing the IAEA to carry out thorough inspections of the country's installations without prior declaration.

On July 28, IAEA spokeswoman Melissa Fleming said: "A first IAEA team of judicial experts will go in the first week of August on a 48-hour mission to explain how the protocol will work if Tehran signs."

A second team will carry out routine inspections ahead of a report on Iran's nuclear facilities by the IAEA due to be released on Sept 8, she added.

Earlier this month, European Union foreign ministers expressed their increasing concern over Iran's nuclear programme and demanded Iran's unconditional acceptance of the additional NPT protocol.

The EU, which is negotiating a key trade pact with Iran, said it would review its cooperation with Tehran when the report is published. Iran denies the allegations that it is covertly developing nuclear weapons. -AFP
15 posted on 07/31/2003 2:51:02 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: All
France presses Iran to sign protocol on enhanced inspections

PARIS: France on Thursday called on Iran to make a "strong gesture" to assuage international concern about the goal of its nuclear program by signing a protocol that allows for more intrusive inspections of its nuclear facilities.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Herve Ladsous said that Iran should "sign and put into practice without delay or conditions" an additional protocol to a safeguards agreement.

The United States suspects that Iran is trying to build a nuclear bomb - an allegation Iran denies. Tehran insists that its nuclear program is designed to produce energy.

U.S. President George W. Bush said at a news conference Wednesday that the European Union needs to join the United States and send a "very clear message" to Iran on the subject. The French statement followed a day later.

The International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, has said that Iran has failed to meet its obligations in reporting on nuclear material and its processing and use. The agency asked that Iran sign an additional protocol to the safeguards agreement to allow for enhanced inspections "to provide credible assurances regarding the peaceful nature" of the country's nuclear program.

Iran is a signatory of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, which the IAEA is entrusted with verifying.

However, Tehran has placed conditions on the signing of such a protocol.

The French Foreign Ministry asked that the protocol be signed "without delay or conditions which would be a first significant step in response to our concerns," Ladsous, the spokesman, told reporters.

Such a "bold gesture (would) contribute in restoring confidence on the goal of the nuclear program," he said.

French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin said last week that "it is necessary for Iran to make a significant move now."

He spoke after EU foreign ministers urged Iran to accept enhanced inspections.

16 posted on 07/31/2003 2:51:54 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: All
Western Press Review: Bush's News Conference, Russian-Iranian Military Ties, And Rethinking NATO
By Khatya Chhor

Prague, 31 July 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Several Western dailies today comment on U.S. President George W. Bush's news conference yesterday, his first in four months, in which he took questions from the press on a range of domestic and international issues.

Also discussed is Russian-Iranian military cooperation, the continuing dominance of regional warlords over life in Afghanistan, and rethinking NATO to meet today's threats.


A "New York Times" editorial says U.S. President George W. Bush is known for focusing on only a few issues "and repeating a few well-burnished talking points over and over." But during his rare appearance at a news conference yesterday -- his first in four months -- Bush "should have been able to come up with better responses to two [big] questions: why he ordered the invasion of Iraq and why he pushed for tax cuts that have left the nation sinking into a hopeless quagmire of debt."

The paper says Bush's "vague and sometimes incoherent" responses suggest the president had simply decided to sidestep the difficult questions about his foreign and domestic policies. For example, Bush will not discuss whether his administration exaggerated the threat posed by Iraq in the run-up to war. The paper says Saddam Hussein was a menace to the Iraqi people, and "a prosperous, open society in Iraq" would be a beneficial outcome. But these considerations "[do] not cancel out the fact that the primary reasons Washington gave for the invasion look increasingly suspect. That is a serious problem, both in terms of the nation's credibility and the reliability of American intelligence." And President Bush "owes the nation more than a brushoff on these matters."

Bush again relied on "his most well-worn buzzwords" yesterday, says "The New York Times." The president and his advisers "obviously still believe that the constant repetition of several simplistic points will hypnotize the American people into forgetting the original question."


A "Washington Post" editorial says Bush's news conference yesterday offered reporters an opportunity "to ask more substantive questions than they can during the [photo opportunity] sessions to which their contact with Mr. Bush is often limited."

Both "[the] White House and the public would benefit from more frequent and regular exchanges."

Bush said he was focused on two primary issues: national security, specifically the war on terror, and the economy, in particular creating more jobs.

"His call for patience and his pledge of steadfastness overseas were heartening," says the "Post." Bush pledged to complete the U.S. missions in both Afghanistan and Iraq. He made clear that the United States "is committed to leaving Iraq freer and more peaceful than before and that he understands such a transformation will take time."

But Bush's "pleas for patience on the economy evoke less sympathy," the paper says. His responses yesterday "showed that he still has only one remedy for any economic ill -- tax cuts." While at times tax cuts can stimulate the economy, the paper predicts that in this case such cuts "will inflict huge damage on the Treasury -- and ultimately place a drag in the economy -- long after the effects of the recession have passed."


The "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung" today discusses the Turkish Parliament's approval on 24 July of a controversial bill granting partial amnesty to Kurdish militants. The paper says Islamic forces in Turkey have long sought to ease tensions with the Kurdish minority. But although the amnesty is a conciliatory gesture to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), its leader, Abdullah Ocalan, and other top figures will not be freed under the armistice. Ocalan is currently serving a life sentence.

The main reason for the amnesty, says the commentary, is to inspire the Kurds to withdraw from northern Iraq, where they have encamped. It remains to be seen whether this ploy will work, the paper says.

Turkey has much to gain by settling this issue, for its people resent the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. More importantly, Washington welcomes the clearance of Kurdish camps to ensure stability in northern Iraq. Moreover, settling the issues moves Ankara closer to membership in the European Union.


Writing in "The Wall Street Journal Europe," Ilan Berman of the American Foreign Policy Council says "behind the smiles" of the last summit between U.S. President George W. Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin, Washington and Moscow are "increasingly deadlocked" over what to do about Iran's alleged nuclear ambitions and its "ambitious" regional agenda. The White House has expressed growing concern over Iran's alleged attempts to acquire nuclear capability. But strong Russian-Iranian ties may complicate any moves Washington might hope to make with respect to Tehran.

Berman says Moscow-Tehran ties have become "an important hedge against U.S. hegemony in the Middle East, and a powerful tool for Russia to regain influence among the new states of Central Asia."

Nuclear cooperation is just one example of their partnership. In addition to Russian aid in developing the nuclear reactor at Bushehr, Moscow has provided Tehran with "critical atomic know-how" and helped Iran develop ballistic missiles. Berman says, "With this kind of help, Iran is virtually guaranteed to become a nuclear power by the end of the decade, and possibly much sooner."

"Capitalizing on its commerce with Moscow," Berman says Tehran has increased its military presence in vital Gulf shipping lanes; acquired missile boats and battle cruisers; and has reportedly "begun deploying significant numbers of missiles along its southern coastline."

Berman says the U.S. will soon have to deal with Iran's rising ambitions. And Washington's success in this endeavor will rely on "severing the relationship" between Tehran and Moscow, its "chief broker."


In his weekly column in "Die Welt," Michael Stuermer looks at the situation in North Korea 50 years after the armistice agreement signed on 27 July 1953. The armistice established a tremulous framework that left the devastated Korean peninsula neither at peace nor war.

Stuermer sees the situation in the Koreas as "the Cold War that never ended." He says "either there will be a new balance of power in the Far East between the U.S. and China, including new rules for the handling of nuclear weapons, or the world will experience new fireworks."

The world has become inured to the situation on the Korean peninsula. In the South, a blossoming and an opening, and in the North, stagnation. Periodically, the North threatens the South while the South pursues a "sunshine policy" toward the North.

Stuermer looks at the prospects for the future, saying, "It seems a new constellation is on the rise in Western policy. Europe is joining the U.S. in its firm stance on nuclear nonproliferation."

In this respect, Stuermer sees trans-Atlantic unity. British Prime Minister Tony Blair "could essentially represent the entire Western world in Peking, while China is doing all it can to put a brake on North Korea, if necessary by stopping oil supplies. It is possible that the nuclear crisis on the 38th parallel is serving as a lesson in statesmanship."


In "The Wall Street Journal Europe," Matthew Kaminski says that although the debate over war with Iraq divided NATO members, the aftermath of the controversy has served to rejuvenate the alliance. Europe recognizes anew that NATO is "the only effective multilateral security organization, and a prized link with America." The United States, now "struggling to bring order in Iraq, [is] aware that permanent allies can often better keep the peace and rebuild nations."

But the NATO of the past was largely a defensive mechanism, a force designed to react to a threat from the Soviet Union. "Western powers can't wait for today's threats -- terrorism, loose nukes and biological weapons, rogue dictators and states -- to come to them like Soviet tanks rolling through the Fulda Gap," Kaminski says. Wise investments must be made in specific areas, in modernizing and restructuring NATO's already copious forces.

"The other big change will be in realigning America's own military posture" in Europe. The U.S. "doesn't need 100,000 [troops] in Germany anymore. The action in the wider Europe long ago shifted [toward] the Caucasus, the Middle East, and South Asia. The logical response would be to put troops closer to zones of instability."

Kaminski says the U.S. has shown that "it can win wars alone or through ad hoc coalitions. But as a permanent alliance, NATO offers a cheaper and effective way to nation-building."

Ultimately, he says, "any alliance is as much as its members want it to be."


Independent defense analyst Pavel Felgenhauer in "The Moscow Times" discusses the announcement this week by Russian President Vladimir Putin that the reform of the military and related ministries is drawing to an end.

"After the demise of the Soviet Union, Russia did not demilitarize or seriously cut the overall number of military personnel," Felgenhauer says. "The power ministries continue to be totally secretive and their activities remain out of the public's reach. Now it's clear that Putin does not want to change this situation."

Felgenhauer says when Putin meets with Western leaders, he often emphasizes "the need for partnership and integrating Russia with the West." But "[inside] Russia, Putin emphasizes his desire to re-create and reinforce" a great Soviet-style military machine. Felgenhauer says these two faces of Putin seem to contradict each other.

It is now clear "that the Kremlin wants Western investments and technology to refurbish Russia's economy and double GDP, so that it will have money to re-arm and re-create a Soviet-style global military machine that could in the future threaten the West." Felgenhauer says this strategy "was successfully employed by Josef Stalin in the 1930s."

And Putin appears to have similar ambitions of an eventual Russian military renaissance.


In a contribution to the British "Guardian," Isabel Hilton says, "More than 18 months after the collapse of the Taliban regime, there is a remarkable consensus among aid workers, NGOs and UN officials that the situation [in Afghanistan] is deteriorating." And this deterioration may be a "direct consequence" of coalition policy, Hilton says.

"Some 60 aid agencies have issued a joint statement pleading with the international community to deploy forces across Afghanistan to bring some order." But many already fear "that it is too late. Even if the political will existed, foreign troops may no longer be in a position to restore order."

The funds promised to Afghanistan for reconstruction "have been slow to arrive and less than promised, but aid agencies argue that the most urgent problems are not primarily a question of money. [What] is needed is a fundamental change in the power structure."

Many regional warlords are considered allies of the international coalition in Afghanistan. But these warlords control "private armies, raise private funds [and] pursue private interests." And their considerable power threatens the legitimacy of Transitional Administration Chairman Hamid Karzai. But the warlords continue "to be supported, on grounds of security, by both the British and the U.S. governments."

Local warlords control the roads, exact tolls, and are bought off politically by funds from the government in Kabul. But Hilton says, "At no stage of this dismal process do funds trickle down to the people of Afghanistan."

(RFE/RL's Dora Slaba contributed to this report.)
17 posted on 07/31/2003 2:52:53 PM 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; ...
New Report On The Cuban Jamming... buried deep in the article. -- DoctorZIn Appeasing Castro

Thursday, July 31, 2003

WASHINGTON -- It was not just that the Bush administration dispatched 12 Cubans who hijacked a boat to the tender mercies of Fidel Castro. What inflamed pro-Bush Cuban-Americans in south Florida is that the United States negotiated with the communist dictator to impose 10-year prison sentences. This sudden agreement between Washington and Havana could cost George W. Bush a second term.

President Bush's Cuban-American friends consider this a de facto trial, resulting in incarceration by a police state. "This is a very pained community," Republican Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart told me. Sharing the pain of his Cuban constituents and known to be unhappy with the decision is the president's brother, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. "I do not think the president was aware of this decision," said Diaz-Balart.

Although there is truly no sign the decision went to the Oval Office, its political sting may be felt there. It is clear that Bush could not have won Florida and the presidency in 2000 without Cuban votes. Since repatriation of the hijackers, Florida Democrats have been busy pointing out betrayal by the White House. If Cuban voters stay home next time, Florida will almost surely be won by Bush's Democratic opponent.

Eleven men and one woman, seeking freedom in America, stole the Cuban boat Gaviota 16 on July 15 but were intercepted by the U.S. Coast Guard the next day. They were denied automatic entry into the U.S. granted under law, citing an agreement with Castro made by President Bill Clinton. The issue went to a U.S. interagency committee, where Justice and State Department career bureaucrats insisted the refugees be returned to Castro.

The three Cuban-Americans from south Florida in Congress -- Lincoln Diaz-Balart, his brother, Mario, and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen -- pleaded to send the hijackers elsewhere, perhaps Guantanamo. Instead, the bureaucrats bargained with the Cuban dictator. Once Castro agreed not to execute the refugees as he had U.S.-bound hijackers in April, U.S. negotiators eagerly accepted 10-year prison sentences. The freedom-seekers were sent back July 21.

Desire to achieve accord with Castro has not borne fruit. Starting July 6, U.S. broadcasts to Iran that are critical of the mullahs were illegally jammed from Cuba. Why has the U.S. government not protested? The CIA has informed the White House that the jamming originated at the Iranian embassy in Havana. It defies belief that this could have been done without concurrence and cooperation by Cuba's government.

Repatriation of the hijackers fits a pattern. In federal court in Key West, Fla., July 10, a Cuban accused of skyjacking was denied permission to testify that he feared for his life if he surrendered control of the plane to Castro's agents. President Bush has waived the rights of Americans to sue foreign speculators who profit from stolen American properties in Cuba. The Justice Department never has sought indictments of Cuban Air Force pilots who shot down small civilian aircraft in international air space.

President Bush has been prevented from getting his choices in control of Cuban policy. Democratic Sen. Christopher Dodd has been relentless in blocking confirmation of Bush's own assistant secretary of state for Latin America. Without much effort made by the White House, Bush gave up on Otto Reich, former ambassador to Venezuela, who was instead named a presidential adviser. Roger Noriega, ambassador to the Organization of American States, was finally confirmed by the Senate Tuesday night after a four-month wait.

If Fidel Castro was a fixation for John F. Kennedy, he seems off the screen for George W. Bush. While repatriation to Cuban prisons caused a furor in south Florida, it hardly made a ripple in Washington. My check of Bush policy and political advisers indicated neither awareness of nor interest in what happened.

Lincoln Diaz-Balart refers to the Cubans as the base of Hispanic support for the president and the Republican Party. If this is the treatment given the only minority group that supports the GOP, he wonders what message will be sent other minority groups wooed by Republicans. "When the base is ignored," the congressman said, "there is a problem." More than ignored, the Cubans are simply disrespected, and that is the painful message in Miami.


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

18 posted on 07/31/2003 3:19:06 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: All

TEHRAN, 31 July (IPS) Iran, with a laps of one month, reacted officially to the arrest of two of its nationals by the Americans in Iraq, calling on Britain to help their release.

Sa’id Aboutalebi and Soheyl Karimi, working for the Iranian State-run, leader-controlled Radio and Television’s second channel network, were arrested on first July alongside a driver and an interpreter, both Iraqis, by American forces in a Shi’ite suburb of Baghdad while, according to the Iranians, were preparing a documentary on the daily life of the Iraqi people under American occupation.

Mr. Qolamreza Koochak, VVIR’s bureau Chief in Baghdad, was the first to disclose the news of the arrest of Aboutalebi and Karimi on 19 July, provoking no reaction form Iranian officials, then overwhelmed by the tragic death of a Canadian-Iranian photojournalist while in the custody of judicial and security services in the one hand and mounting international pressures over its nuclear programs on the other.

Though American authorities in Baghdad had immediately confirmed the information and stated that the Iranian authorities had been informed of the arrest of the pair via "routine diplomatic channels", but the event continued to be ignored in Tehran for unexplained reasons.

But on Wednesday, a spokesman for the Allied Forces in Iraq said the two men were engaged in "activities harmful to the US interests" and are detained in a high security detention centre.

"They pretended that they are journalists, but they were acting in a very different manner when arrested", the spokesman added, without explaining what the detainees had done harming American interests?

Iranian Foreign Affairs Ministry’s spokesman, reacting belatedly to the event, described the arrest of the journalists as "unacceptable" and on Thursday, the Government of President Mohammad Khatami urged the Foreign Affairs Minister to follow up the incident using all available diplomatic channels.

Although 162 deputies called on Mr. Khatami to do "all he can" for the release of the journalists, but observers were surprised at the very slow motion and a near indifference Iranian authorities, but particularly the ruling conservative’s media, including the Voice and Visage of the Islamic Republic (Iranian Radio and TV), known for their fierce anti-Americanism, showed to the matter, confirming a widely spread sentiment among Iranian journalists that the two document-makers might not be professional reporters.

"It is an established fact that there is a very close working relationship and coordination between the VVIR and Iranian security and intelligence agencies, with almost all the offices of the Iranian Broadcasting abroad serving as a cover for the intelligence machine controlled directly by the office of the leader, Ayatollah Ali Khameneh'i", explained a former high-ranking VVIR employee living now in exile somewhere in the West.

According to the official news agency IRNA, Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister for Euro-American Affairs Ali Ahani called on Wednesday on the British Deputy Head of Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq John Sawers for the "immediate release of two Iranian TV reporters captured by US troops in Iraq while making a documentary film on Iraqi people".

While Iranian media remain silent, the Paris-based international press watchdog Reporters Sans Frontieres denounced the arrest of the Iranian reporters and the New York-based Committee for the Protection of Journalists, in a letter to Paul Bremer, the US appointed Governor of Iraq, asked him to inform the public about the reasons Aboutalebi and Karimi had been detained.

A representative of the International Red Cross in Baghdad who visited the arrested men on Wednesday for the first time said they were in "relative good health" and might communicate with their families soon, but confirmed that they were guarded under "high security measures". ENDS REPORTERS DETAINED 31703
19 posted on 07/31/2003 4:20:06 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
"U.S. broadcasts to Iran that are critical of the mullahs were illegally jammed from Cuba. Why has the U.S. government not protested?"


The US did officially protest. Then Cuba officially assured the US that they are not doing it. Whatever may have happened behind the scenes I don't know, but I doubt that the US will put up with this.

Are they STILL jamming the broadcast?
20 posted on 07/31/2003 4:29:16 PM PDT by FairOpinion
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