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Iranian Alert -- August 8, 2003 -- LIVE THREAD PING LIST
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 8.8.2003 | DoctorZin

Posted on 08/08/2003 12:01:04 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; iranianmovement; protests; studentmovement
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1 posted on 08/08/2003 12:01:05 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 -- August 8, 2003 -- LIVE THREAD PING LIST

Live Thread Ping List | 8.8.2003 | DoctorZin

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

2 posted on 08/08/2003 12:05:26 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
The Tehran-Pyongyang axis

Washington Times
8.8.2003

While the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was again visiting Tehran this week in an effort to persuade the regime to open its nuclear facilities to unannounced inspection, there were disturbing new accounts of heightened military cooperation between Iran and North Korea. First, the Los Angeles Times reported that North Korean military scientists were recently seen entering Iranian nuclear facilities, and were helping Iran test a nuclear warhead. So many North Koreans are presently in Iran working on nuclear and ballistic missile projects, the story said, that a Caspian Sea resort has been furnished for their use.

Then, just two days ago, a story in the Japanese newspaper Sankei reported that the two countries would likely reach an agreement in mid-October to jointly develop nuclear warheads. Also, under the agreement, North Korea will export Taepodong missile components for assembly in Iran. The story said that a North Korean arms export company was working on the deal, together with Iranian military and aerospace officials. Two months ago, Sankei reported that Iranian nuclear experts visited North Korea in March, April and May, possibly to learn from the communist regime how to be more successful in stonewalling IAEA inspectors.

If the reports turn out to be true, they would constitute just the latest sign of how Iran and North Korea, the two surviving members of the "axis of evil" mentioned by President Bush in last year's State of the Union, are collaborating in the production of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. For upwards of a decade, Pyongyang, which is in desperate need of money, has sold missile technology to Tehran in return for cash. North Korea, in turn (which has no economic activity to speak of aside from its weapons programs) uses the money to lower its production costs and invest in new weapons technologies which menace its neighbors. Iran, for its part, has obtained missiles which can threaten U.S. allies in the Middle East, such as Israel, Jordan and Turkey. Were Iran to acquire the Taepodong-2 missile (with a range of approximately 3,600 miles), it would be able to hit targets in much of Europe.

And if anything, the immediate situation looks even bleaker. Western intelligence estimates suggest that Iran may be just two years away from acquiring a nuclear weapon of its own. Were it to do so, it would obtain the ability to deter any military action against it by the United States in response to its meddling in Iraq and efforts to torpedo the Arab-Israeli peace process. As for North Korea, the Japanese government, in an annual defense report issued Tuesday, calls the DPRK the top security threat it faces.

On the positive side, the Japanese government's new awareness of the North Korean threat has spurred it to come out in favor of speeding up research on anti-missile defenses. Japan's new assertiveness and realism on defense is welcome. Washington should encourage Tokyo to play a larger role in helping protect the Pacific Rim from local predators.

http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20030807-081836-8599r.htm
3 posted on 08/08/2003 12:07:24 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; ...
The Tehran-Pyongyang axis

Washington Times
8.8.2003

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/960289/posts?page=3#3

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail me”
4 posted on 08/08/2003 12:08:39 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
A Question of Numbers

August 08, 2003
Rouzegar-Now
Cyrus Kadivar

Rumours, exaggerated claims by the leaders of the Islamic revolution and a disinformation campaign against the fallen monarchy, not to mention Western media reports that the imperial regime was guilty of "mass murders", has finally been challenged by a former researcher at the Martyrs Foundation (Bonyad Shahid). The findings by Emad al-Din Baghi, now a respected historian, has caused a stir in the Islamic republic for it boldly questions the true number of casualties suffered by the anti-Shah movement between 1963 and 1979.

In the aftermath of the fall of the Pahlavi dynasty in 1979, Ayatollah Khomeini, the leader of the Islamic revolution, ordered the creation of the Martyrs Foundation with the sole purpose of identifying the names of the so-called "martyrs" and provide financial support for their families as well as those who had sustained injuries in the fierce street battles with royalist troops. The necessary funds were immediately raised from the assets seized from the high officials in the Shah's regime, many of whom had been executed after summary trials.

For many years the Martyrs Foundation collected the names of the victims of the anti-Shah revolution classifying them by age, sex, education, profession and address. The files were kept secret until 1996/7 when a decision was made to make public the figures on the anniversary of the revolution. At about this time, Emad al-Dib Baghi, was hired as a researcher and editor of the bonyad's magazine "Yad Yaran" (Remembering our Comrades) to make sense of the data. By the time his work had finished he was told that the names were not to be made public. The reason given was that to pursue the matter would run contrary to the statements made by the late Ayatollah Khomeini and his successors who claimed that "60,000 men, women and children were martyred by the Shah's regime."

Emad al-Din Baghi who left the Martyrs Foundation to write two books on the subject claims that the authorities felt that releasing the true statistics would simply confuse the public. So, officials continued to stick to the exaggerated numbers. During a debate in the Majlis at the height of the US hostage crisis, an Islamic deputy claimed that giving in to America would be an insult to the memory of "70,000 martyrs and 100,000 wounded who fought to destroy the rotten monarchy." In fact, by continuing the myth that so many people had been killed, the regime was able to buy a certain legitimacy for its "noble revolution" and excesses.

"Sooner or later the truth was bound to come out," Baghi argued. In his opinion history should be based on objective findings and not baseless rumours which was the root of the anti-Shah hysteria and street demonstrations in 1978 and 1979. The true numbers are fascinating because contrary to the official view they are quite low and highly disproportionate to the hundreds of thousands murdered in the last 24 years in the Islamic republic.

The statistical breakdown of victims covering the period from 1963 to 1979 adds up to a figure of 3,164. Of this figure 2,781 were killed in nation wide disturbances in 1978/79 following clashes between demonstrators and the Shah's army and security forces. Baghi has no reason to doubt these figures and believes that it is probably the most comprehensive number available with the possible exception of a few names that were not traced.

During the years separating the arrest of Khomeini on 5th June 1963 for instigating the riots against the Shah's White Revolution and his return from exile on 1st February 1979, most of the 3,164 victims were in Tehran, Rey and Shemiran and 731 were killed in riots in the provinces which constitutes 14% of the country. Most of the casualties were in central Tehran and the poorer southern areas. Of this number 32 "martyrs" belong to the 1963 riots who were killed in 19 different parts of the Iranian capital. All were male and from southern Tehran.

Despite this revelation all officially sanctioned books in Iran dealing with the history of the Islamic revolution write of "15,000 dead and wounded". Such wild figures have found its way in Western accounts.

Another myth is the number of those killed on Friday, 8th September 1978 in the infamous Jaleh Square massacre. On that day the Iranian government imposed martial law in Tehran after troops had fired at several thousand anti-government demonstrators in the capital. The opposition and Western journalists claimed that the massacre left between 95 and 3,000 dead, depending on widely varying estimates. Historians agree that the bloody incident was to be a crucial turning point in the revolution. Baghi refutes those numbers as "grossly inflated."

The figures published by Baghi speaks of 64 killed among them two females – one woman and a young girl. On the same day in other parts of the capital a total of 24 people died in clashes with martial law forces among them one female. Therefore, according to Baghi, the number of people "martyred" on Black Friday is 88 of which 64 were gunned down in Jaleh Square. These statistics are closer to the figures announced by Dr Ameli Tehrani (executed by the revolutionaries) who served in Prime Minister Sharif Emami's government. The Shah's officials repeatedly spoke of 86 people dead and 205 wounded in clashes.

But at the time nobody in Iran was prepared to believe the government version, says Baghi, himself an ardent revolutionary in those troubled days. Instead rumours turned into facts and made headlines further weakening the Shah's crumbling regime. Opposition leaders quoted figures as high as "tens of thousands" and agitators spread stories that soldiers had fired on the people from helicopters piloted by Israelis. Michel Focault, a leading French journalist, who covered the Jaleh Square wrote of "2,000 to 3,000 victims" and later increased the figures to "4,000 people killed" adding that the demonstrators had no fear of death.

The number of non-Muslims who died for the revolution was deemed by the Martyrs Foundation as "too insignificant" to be included in the list. Many of them were die-hard Marxist guerrillas who had fought running battles with the Shah's secret police known as Savak. In the 1970s the Shah's regime faced many threats from so-called Islamic-Marxist terrorists who carried out assassinations of top officials, kidnappings, bank thefts and bomb attacks on cinemas. Savak was given special powers to deal with this "terrorist" threat and appeared successfully ruthless in its "dirty war." Savak's crude brutality received a lot of criticism in the West. Amnesty International reported cases of illegal detention and torture.

But how many were killed? Baghi is methodical in the way he states numbers. Firstly, he claims that the total number of guerrillas killed between the 1971 Siahkal incident during which armed Marxists attacked a police station in a Caspian village and the February 1979 insurrection is 341.

The figure 341 is made up of 177 persons killed in shoot-outs with the Shah's security forces; 91 were executed for "anti-state activities"; 42 died under torture; 15 were arrested and "disappeared", 7 committed suicide rather than be captured, and 9 were shot while escaping. From among the guerrilla groups who died fighting the imperial regime the Marxist Fedayeen Khalq organisation suffered the highest losses. From the total figure of 341 killed, 172 were Fedayeens (50%); 73 Mujaheddin Khalq (21%); 38 fringe communists (11%); 30 Mujaheddin marxists before changing their ideology to Islamic (9%) and 28 Islamists (8%).

For completion sake, Baghi has added 5 other names to his long list. Four of them (Sadeq Amani, Reza Safar Herandi, Mohammad Bokharaie and Morteza Niknejad) were executed by firing squad after a military tribunal found them guilty of assassinating Prime Minister Mansour in 1965. The fifth name belonged to Reza Shams Abadi, a member of the Imperial Guard, who opened fire on the Shah as he came out of his limousine at the Marble Palace. The assassin was shot down by the king's bodyguards. By adding these five names to the 341 we get the figure of 346 non-demonstrators killed between 1963 and 1979.

In addition to the 32 demonstrators killed in the June 1963 pro-Khomeini riots two other persons were shot dead in the following weeks in an undisclosed part of Tehran. On 2nd November 1963 a certain Mohammad Ismail Rezaie was murdered in jail and on the same day Haj Mohammad Reza Teyb was shot by firing squad at the Heshmatiyeh army barracks.

The mysterious death of the famous wrestler Gholam Reza Takhti in 1967 was attributed to Savak but Baghi has established that Takhti committed suicide. Unfortunately, Baghi makes no mention of the Islamic philosopher Ali Shariati and the Imam's eldest son, Mustapha Khomeini. Both died of heart attacks in London and Najaf respectively. At the time of their deaths there were many rumours that they had been eliminated by Savak agents but subsequent evidence proves the opposite. Nevertheless, the negative effect on public opinion was tremendous and played a major role in eroding support for the Shah's regime.

In any case, by adding Takhti's name the total of those killed for underground action against the Shah's regime comes to 383 which added to the 2,781 "martyrs" would mean that 3,164 Iranians lost their lives in the revolution against the monarchy and not 60,000 as the Imam had stated. In time, other historians may take up the task of finding the truth about the countless people executed or eliminated during the brutal 24 years rule of the mullahs. But that will only be possible in a free Iran and the findings may prove to be a greater shock.

Rouzegar-Now
August issue

http://iranvajahan.net/cgi-bin/news_en.pl?l=en&y=2003&m=08&d=08&a=1
5 posted on 08/08/2003 12:10:06 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; ...
A Question of Numbers

August 08, 2003
Rouzegar-Now
Cyrus Kadivar

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/960289/posts?page=5#5

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail me”
6 posted on 08/08/2003 12:11:22 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Ayatollah Khomeini's Grandson:'The Iranian Regime Is the World's Worst Dictatorship'

August 06, 2003
Middle East Media Research Institute
MEMRI

The London-based Arabic-language daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat reported that Hussein Khomeini, the grandson of the founder of Iran's Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini, had left his place of residence in Iran's holy Shi'ite city of Qom to relocate to Iraq's holy Shi'ite city of Najaf, which is traditionally the seat of the highest Shi'ite religious authority, as a sign of protest against Iran's regime. [1]Hussein Khomeini, 46, called the Iranian regime "the world's worst dictatorship," and stated that the regime's heads, Supreme Leader 'Ali Khamenei and former president and current Expediency Council head Hashemi Rafsanjani"and everyone who has taken over the regime" since his grandfather's time "was exploiting his [Ayatollah Khomeini's] name, the name of Islam, and the religious regime in order to continue their tyrannical rule." Hussein Khomeini called for the separation of religion and state in Iran and expressed his expectation that the movement opposing the Iranian regime would gather momentum and turn into a popular movement.

The newspaper also noted that members of Iran 's Revolutionary Guards were now searching for Hussein Khomeini in Iraq because Iranian authorities fear that he could become a symbol of resistance to the Iranian regime. [2]The following are excerpts from Al-Sharq Al-Awsat's report:

From Qom to Najaf

According to the Al-Sharq Al-Awsat report, tensions between Hussein Khomeini and Iran's religious leadership increased in recent years after Hussein Khomeini publicly lent his support to the students and reformists and issued statements that the Fatwas issued by the Judiciary against the Iranian students, intellectuals, and writers opposed to the regime were illegitimate. [3]

Al-Sharq Al-Awsat added that Hussein Khomeini's move to Najaf, which was done without the knowledge of the Iranian authorities, sparked suspicion among Iran's conservatives, who are aware of the extent of Khomeini's influence in the religious seminary in Najaf and among the religious youth, as well as within reformist circles. According to a source close to the reformists, the Iranian authorities fear that Hussein Khomeini will become a new symbol of the religious opposition to the regime in Iran. [4]

According to the paper, from his temporary residence in a region of Iraq, prior to his move to Najaf, Hussein Khomeini stressed that Iran needed "a democratic regime that does not make use of religion as a means of oppressing the people and strangling society." He noted further that it was necessary "to separate the religion from the state," and "to put an end to the tyrannical rule of religion that was reminiscent of the rule of the Church during Europe's Dark Ages," and that "All those who took control of the centers of power of Iran after my grandfather are exploiting his name, the name of Islam, and the religious regime so as to continue their tyrannical rule."

'The World's Worst Dictatorship'

The paper also noted that Hussein Khomeini spoke of the dissatisfaction and the anger pervading the Iranian street, and that he considered the current religious regime in Iran to be "the world's worst dictatorship." According to the paper, Khomeini believes that Iran's escalating protest movement "would in not too long develop into a popular revolution, and soon we would see the great event, i.e. regime change." [5]

Khomeini, who has strong ties to some Iranian Revolutionary Guards commanders and members of the Iranian parliament and the Iranian security apparatuses, emphasized that he was continuing his struggle in order to bring about a change in the situation in Iran. He stated: "Freedom is more important than bread. If the Americans will provide it, let them come – but the Iranian people is capable of determining the fate of the current regime by itself… What we need is international sympathy and understanding for our legitimate needs." [6]

Al-Sharq Al-Awsat was informed that a squad commanded by a member of the intelligence service of the Revolutionary Guards known as "Assadi" had entered Iraqi territory the previous week in search of Hussein Khomeini, in order to assassinate him. An Iranian reformist source told the paper that Revolutionary Guards Deputy Commander Mohammed Baqir Dhu Al-Qadr had, in a meeting with top officials in the Revolutionary Guards Intelligence service, promised to put an end to the Khomeini phenomenon epitomized by Hussein Khomeini, just as his uncle, Ahmad Khomeini, was assassinated when he stopped supporting the regime and publicized his opposition to it. [7]

Najaf Versus Qom : Two Cities Holy to Shi'ites

Al-Sharq Al-Awsat noted that Hussein Khomeini's move to Najaf was considered a "painful blow" to the Iranian regime's years-long attempt to make Qom the capital of the Marja'iya, [8] as well as "a clear provocation to Supreme Leader 'Ali Khamenei." The paper added that since the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime, the idea of reviving Najaf's religious seminaries, opening new schools and rejuvenating the old ones, as well as the move by leading Qom clerics to Najaf, had attracted the attention of leading Shi'ite authorities who are opposed to the regime in Iran, as well as the attention of figures from the circle of Qom's religious seminary, which under the rule of Supreme Leader Khamenei is not independent. [9]

According to the paper, at the regime's order Iranian security authorities blocked sources of funding to the country's independent ayatollahs as long as they refused to accept Khamenei's authority, to consider him the Supreme Leader, and see him as the representative of the Master of Time. [10]

Four leading ayatollahs refuse to obey Khamenei: Ayatollah Hussein 'Ali Montazeri, Ayatollah Sadiq Ruhani, Ayatollah Yousuf Sani'i, and Ayatollah Muhaqiq Damad. [11]

The paper further reported that Hussein Khomeini spoke out against attempts by Sheikh 'Ali Ha'iri, who is close to the Iranian regime, [12] to impose the authority of Khamenei's control on the people of Najaf. Ha'iri, who is close to Maqtada Al-Sadr in Iraq , recently went to Iraq accompanied by personnel from the intelligence service of Iran 's Revolutionary Guards for this purpose. [13]

According to a source close to Hussein Khomeini, Khomeini considers Ayatollah 'Ali Sistani, Ayatollah Saeed Al-Hakim, and Ayatollah Fayadhi the "true Marja'iya" – that is, the true Shi'ite religious authorities. [14]




[1] The paper noted that while Hussein Khomeini is not a leading cleric, he does have special status and influence in Iranian society.

[2] Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), July 29, 2003, August 4, 2003.

[3] Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), August 4, 2003. The paper noted that Hussein Khomeini's relationship with Iran's regime had been tense since the death of his grandfather Ayatollah Khomeini in 1989, and that this tension had become public following the death of his uncle (and Ayatollah Khomeini's son) Ahmad Khomeini and following the disclosure that Ahmad Khomeini had been assassinated by Iranian intelligence agents. During his last years, Ahmad Khomeini, under the influence of his nephew Hussein, had begun to speak out against the policy of the ruling group in Tehran, i.e. former president and current Expediency Council head Hashemi Rafsanjani and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, and accuse them of prolonging the war with Iraq in order to strengthen their rule and of removing Ayatollah Hussein 'Ali Montazeri from the position of designated heir of Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini.

[4] Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), August 4, 2003.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Marja'iya – the source of Shi'ite religious authority, whose conduct must be imitated.

[9] Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), July 27, 2003.

[10] i.e. the Hidden Imam, the religious leader ofall generations.

[11] Ibid.

[12] The brother-in-law of previous Iranian intelligence minister Mohammad Mohamdi Rish'hari, close to Supreme Leader Khameini and today serving in his office and son-in-law of Iran's Experts Council head Ayatollah 'Ali Mashkini.

[13] Sheikh Al-Baydha'i and Sheikh Al-Ashkuri, of Khamenei's office and his helpers in this. Ibid.

[14] Ibid.

http://www.memri.org/bin/latestnews.cgi?ID=SD54803
7 posted on 08/08/2003 12:15:39 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; ...
Ayatollah Khomeini's Grandson:'The Iranian Regime Is the World's Worst Dictatorship'

August 06, 2003
Middle East Media Research Institute
MEMRI

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/960289/posts?page=7#7

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail me”
8 posted on 08/08/2003 12:16:45 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Thanks, Doc.
9 posted on 08/08/2003 12:17:42 AM PDT by Mortimer Snavely (Ban tag lines!)
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To: DoctorZIn; nuconvert; dixiechick2000; freedom44; Pokey78; RaceBannon; Valin; AdmSmith; norton; ...
Arms dealer in talks with US officials about Iran

By Knut Royce and Timothy Phelps in Washington
August 9, 2003

Pentagon hard-liners pressing for change of government in Iran have held secret, unauthorised meetings in Paris with an arms dealer who was a main figure in the Iran-Contra scandal.

Administration officials said at least two Pentagon officials working for the Undersecretary of Defence for Policy, Douglas Feith, have held "several" meetings with Manucher Ghorbanifar, the Iranian middleman in United States arms-for-hostage shipments to Iran in the mid-1980s.

The officials who disclosed the secret meetings said the talks with Mr Ghorbanifar were not authorised by the White House and appeared to be aimed at undercutting sensitive negotiations with Iran's Government.

A senior Administration official said the US Government had learned about the unauthorised talks by accident.

The senior official and another Administration source said the ultimate objective of Mr Feith and a group of neo-conservative civilians inside the Pentagon is change of government in Iran.

The immediate objective appeared to be to "antagonise Iran so that they get frustrated and then by their reactions harden US policy against them".

The official confirmed that the Secretary of State, Colin Powell, complained directly to the Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, several days ago about Mr Feith conducting missions that went against US policy.

A spokesman for Mr Feith's Near East, South Asia and Special Plans office, which sources said played a key role in contacts with Mr Ghorbanifar contacts, ignored an emailed inquiry about the talks.

The senior Administration official identified two of the defence officials who met Mr Ghorbanifar as Harold Rhode, Mr Feith's top Middle East specialist, and Larry Franklin, a Defence Intelligence Agency analyst on loan to the undersecretary's office.

Mr Rhode recently acted as a liaison between Mr Feith's office, which drafted much of the Administration's post-Iraq planning, and Ahmed Chalabi, a former Iraqi exilegroomed for leadership by the Pentagon.

Mr Rhode is a protege of Michael Ledeen, who was a National Security Council consultant in the mid 1980s when he introduced Mr Ghorbanifar to Oliver North, a NSC aide, and others in the opening stages of the Iran-Contra affair.

It is understood Mr Ledeen reopened the Ghorbanifar channel with Mr Feith's staff.

Mr Ledeen, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute who backs change of government in Iran, would neither confirm nor deny that he arranged meetings with Mr Ghorbanifar.

"I'm not going to comment on any private meetings with any private people," he said. "It's nobody's business."

Mr Ghorbanifar, who is said to live in Paris,

was a link man to Tehran in the Iran-Contra scandal, in which Reagan administration officials diverted cash from secret sales of arms to Iran to bankroll Nicaraguan guerillas at a time when such aid was forbidden by Congress.

The senior Administration official said he was puzzled by the resurfacing of Mr Ghorbanifar after so many years. "It would be amazing if anybody in government hadn't learnt the lessons of last time around," he said.

http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/08/08/1060145871467.html
10 posted on 08/08/2003 7:23:33 AM PDT by F14 Pilot
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To: Mortimer Snavely; DoctorZIn; nuconvert; dixiechick2000; freedom44; Pokey78; RaceBannon; Valin; ...
Secret Talks With Iranian
Sources: Meetings 'unauthorized'

By Knut Royce and Timothy M. Phelps
WASHINGTON BUREAU; Staff writer Craig Gordon contributed to this story

August 8, 2003


Washington - Pentagon hardliners pressing for regime change in Iran have held secret and unauthorized meetings in Paris with a controversial arms dealer who was a major figure in the Iran-contra scandal, according to administration officials.

The officials said at least two Pentagon officials working for Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith have held "several" meetings with Manucher Ghorbanifar, the Iranian middleman in U.S. arms-for-hostage shipments to Iran in the mid-1980s.

The administration officials who disclosed the secret meetings to Newsday said the talks with Ghorbanifar were not authorized by the White House and appeared to be aimed at undercutting current sensitive back channel negotiations with the Iranian regime.

"They [the Pentagon officials] were talking to him [Ghorbanifar] about stuff which they weren't officially authorized to do," said a senior administration official. "It was only accidentally that certain parts of our government learned about it."

The official would not identify those "parts" of the government, but a former intelligence official confirmed they are the State Department, the CIA and the White House, itself.

The senior official and another administration source who confirmed that the meetings had taken place said that the ultimate policy objective of Feith and a group of neo-conservatives civilians inside the Pentagon is regime change in Iran.

This second official said, "United States policy officially is not regime change, overtly or covertly," but to engage Iranian officials in dialogue over contentious issues, such as Iran's nuclear weapons program, and to press the regime to extradite al-Qaida operatives.

He said that the immediate objective of the Pentagon hardliners appears to be to "antagonize Iran so that they get frustrated and then by their reactions harden U.S. policy against them."

He confirmed that Secretary of State Colin Powell complained directly to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld several days ago about Feith's policy shop conducting missions that countered U.S. policy.

A spokesman for Feith's Near East, South Asia and Special Plans office, the controversial intelligence office that sources said played a key role in the Ghorbanifar contacts, did not respond yesterday to an e-mailed inquiry about those contacts. Newsday's inquiry was e-mailed at the spokesman's request.

The senior administration official identified two of the Defense officials who met with Ghorbanifar as Harold Rhode, Feith's top Middle East specialist, and Larry Franklin, a Defense Intelligence Agency analyst on loan to the undersecretary's office.

Rhode recently acted as a liaison between Feith's office, which drafted much of the administration's post-Iraq planning, and Ahmed Chalabi, a former Iraqi exile disdained by the CIA and State Department but groomed for leadership by the Pentagon.

Rhode is a protege of Michael Ledeen, a neo-conservative who was a National Security Council consultant in the mid-1980s when he introduced Ghorbanifar to Oliver North, a National Security Council aide, and others in the opening stages of the Iran-contra affair.

A former CIA officer who himself was involved in some aspects of the Iran-contra scandal said that current intelligence officers told him it was Ledeen who reopened the Ghorbanifar channel with Feith's staff.

Ledeen, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington and an ardent advocate for regime change in Iran, would neither confirm nor deny that he arranged for the Ghorbanifar meetings. "I'm not going to comment on any private meetings with any private people," he said. "It's nobody's business."

Ghorbanifar, who is said to live in Paris, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Ledeen once described him as "one of the most honest, educated, honorable men I have ever known." But the CIA, noting he had failed four polygraph tests administered during the arms-for-hostages deals, warned its officers not to deal with him, asserting he "should be regarded as an intelligence fabricator and nuisance."

The senior administration official said he was puzzled by the resurfacing of Ghorbanifar after all these years. "It would be amazing if anybody in government hadn't learned the lessons of last time around," he said. "These guys [including Ledeen] should have learned it, 'cause they lived it."

Staff writer Craig Gordon contributed to this story.

http://www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/nation/ny-usiran083405946aug08,0,779634.story?coll=ny-nationalnews-print
11 posted on 08/08/2003 7:26:29 AM PDT by F14 Pilot
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To: All
Yesterday, I created a lot of confusion by accidently making a post as another user, "MasterZin."
My son signup on FR yesterday.
I didn't know he was signed onto my computer when I made a post.
Sorry for the confusion I created.
Thanks for those watching out for the thread.
I will try to be more careful in the future.

DoctorZin, father of MasterZin
12 posted on 08/08/2003 8:15:21 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; ...
Iranian journalists make symbolic strike

SMCCDI (Information Service)
Aug 8, 2003

Iranian journalists and reporters are in a symbolic strike at the occasion of the official "Journalist Day".

They intend, by this way, to protest against the dictatorship and dangers threatening them.

It's to note that several Iranian journalists and writers have been killed, in the last years, by elements affiliated to the Islamic republic regime and that several of them are languishing in jails.

Iran has been qualified as the "Biggest Jail of Journalists" by the famous right watch Reporters Sans Frontieres.

http://www.daneshjoo.org/generalnews/article/publish/article_1639.shtml

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail me”
13 posted on 08/08/2003 8:16:54 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
U.S. Promises Democracy in Mideast

By Peter Slevin
Aug 8, 2003

Rice proposes a 'generational commitment'

The Bush administration made a broad pledge yesterday to spread democracy and free markets to the Middle East, promising to move beyond the recent focus on Iraq and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in an ambitious but vaguely defined project to transform a troubled region.

Calling the development of freedom in the Middle East the “security challenge and the moral mission of our time,” national security adviser Condoleezza Rice said the United States and its allies must make a “generational commitment” to Middle Easterners who live under oppressive and often corrupt governments.

In a speech to the National Association of Black Journalists in Dallas, Rice disputed “condescending voices” who say Arab cultures are not ready for freedom. Drawing on her girlhood in racially segregated Birmingham, Ala., she said: “We’ve heard that argument before. And we, more than any, as a people, should be ready to reject it.

“The view was wrong in 1963 in Birmingham,” Rice said, “and it is wrong in 2003 in Baghdad and in the rest of the Middle East.”

She offered few details of a project whose prospects have been greeted with widespread skepticism, particularly in the Middle East itself, where the depth of the administration’s spoken commitment to Arab democracy remains unproved. Historically, U.S. presidents have accepted the stability of autocratic rule.

The White House says that pattern must be broken. Beyond Baghdad, where the administration is spending $4 billion a month to establish security and a new government, officials are designing a mixture of approaches that range from grants and private arm-twisting to public criticism in troublesome cases, such as Syria and Iran.

‘SOURCE OF THE PROBLEM’

The goal years from now is a region of increasingly open societies, economic prosperity and representative government. But undemocratic rule remains the norm in a tense area where the United States has extensive oil interests and political relationships that it considers critical to the anti-terror war and Arab-Israeli peacemaking.

“It is a region,” Rice said , “where hopelessness provides a fertile ground for ideologies that convince promising youths to aspire not to a university education, a career or family, but to blowing themselves up, taking as many innocent lives with them as possible. We need to address the source of the problem.”

A central difficulty will be spurring change among allies such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia that have long been criticized for their human rights records. To make significant progress, the United States must also establish credibility from a low starting point, said independent analysts who predict Arabs will watch carefully to see how much money and political capital the administration invests in such ambitions.

“How much are we going to lean on Egypt to introduce democratic reforms?” said David R. Smock, a U.S. Institute for Peace director. “So much of the Arab world is looking to see whether we really believe in democracy, or whether we’re making strategic partnerships.”

Unlike the Palestinian Authority — in which the White House is intervening deeply in management issues — and other points on the globe from Burma to Venezuela, the administration has not yet called for elections or set specific democracy-minded targets in much of the Middle East. Nor has it often established terms for improved relations.

“The difficulty they face is, since their strategy is incremental change, the initial changes are not going to be very impressive,” said Patrick L. Clawson of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “They’re going to have to find ways of convincing Middle Eastern governments that they’re serious about this.”

Rice, in her Dallas remarks and an op-ed article in yesterday’s Washington Post, said the administration intends to work intently with Middle Eastern figures who “seek progress” on tolerance and prosperity. She said “patience and perseverance” will be required, and the long-range U.S. commitment would not be primarily military, but diplomatic, economic and cultural.

In Iraq, the Bush administration used force to overthrow Saddam Hussein’s Baath Party government and is undertaking the United States’ most ambitious nation-building exercise since the 1940s. To entice and cajole others, Bush in May proposed creating a Middle East free-trade area in the coming decade. The State Department is reviewing $1 billion in annual aid to Egypt, and U.S. officials are telling their Arab counterparts that change will weaken radical Islamic movements.

The administration secured $145 million this year for democracy, education and economic initiatives in the Middle East. Many of the proposed projects are small. Plans include campaign seminars in Qatar and Jordan for women throughout the region. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and a group of U.S. judges plan to attend a workshop in Bahrain next month.

SUPPORT FOR MICRO-ENTERPRISES

Officials have begun briefing Congress on a proposal to spend $20 million this year and $30 million next year on a Middle East financial corporation. The State Department is supporting a proposal by Sen. Joseph R. Biden (D-Del.) to spend $15 million on a foundation to support civil society initiatives, such as strengthening an independent press.

A separate micro-enterprise project for women is on the drawing board and publishers are being sought to produce children’s books in Arabic. The administration is talking quietly with allies in Europe and elsewhere, hoping for significant support.

“We will work with our partners to ensure that small and mid-sized businesses have access to capital and support efforts in the region to develop essential laws on property rights and good business practices,” Bush said May 9. “By replacing corruption and self-dealing with free markets and fair laws, the people of the Middle East will grow in prosperity and freedom.”

Winning support in the Arab world poses a significant challenge, particularly given growing levels of anger toward a Bush administration widely seen in the region as arrogant and culturally tone-deaf. U.S. forces mounted invasions to overthrow Hussein in Iraq and the Taliban in Afghanistan. In the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, Arabs are closing watching assertive new American efforts and questioning whether Bush will exert sufficient pressure on Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

Smock described the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as “the touchstone” for Arabs and Muslims who will “look to see if we really are on the same side or not, and whether we stand for justice and liberation or not.”

A U.S. official who supports the president’s emerging policy singled out the stakes in Iraq. “If you don’t get Iraq right,” the official said, “nothing else matters much.”

http://www.daneshjoo.org/generalnews/article/publish/article_1635.shtml
14 posted on 08/08/2003 8:18:24 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. Promises Democracy in Mideast

By Peter Slevin
Aug 8, 2003

Rice proposes a 'generational commitment'

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/960289/posts?page=14#14

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail me”
15 posted on 08/08/2003 8:19:28 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: All
UK declares concerns on Human Rights situation in Iran

SMCCDI (Information Service)
Aug 8, 2003

In response to an appeal made by hundreds of Iranian intellectuals and activists, such as Dr. Hossein Bagher Zadeh, the British Foreign office says in a letter that "We have ...made it clear to the Iranian Government that we expect them to respect the human rights of all demonstrators, including any that are accused of restoring to violence."

Baroness Symons the Minister of State at the Foreign Office who has signed the letter goes on further to say: "I am acutely aware of the difficult issues in our relationship with Iran and share [the signatories'] concerns about human rights and freedom of expression. Through a policy of critical engagement we put forward our views and concerns about human rights abuses regularly and at the highest levels, as Jack Straw did most recently while in Tehran on 29-30 June."

http://www.daneshjoo.org/generalnews/article/publish/article_1640.shtml
16 posted on 08/08/2003 8:21:09 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran Holding al-Qaida Men 'as Bargaining Chip with US'

August 08, 2003
The Guardian
Dan De Luce

Iran is using the senior members of the al-Qaida network it has detained as a bargaining chip in its war of nerves with the US, and will only allow their extradition in return for substantial concessions, sources in the political establishment said yesterday.

"Iran holds the golden key on the al-Qaida issue, and the US knows it," a source familiar with the senior leadership told the Guardian. "They need us."

Iranian officials privately acknowledge that Tehran is holding important members of the network - thought to include Saif al-Adel, an Egyptian who is believed to be the head of al-Qaida's military operations; Suleiman Abu Ghaith, its Kuwaiti-born spokesman; and Saad bin Laden, the son of the its leader, Osama bin Laden.

Reports in Saudi-owned newspapers have alleged that the network's second in command, Ayman al-Zawahiri, may also be in Iranian custody. The government has officially confirmed it is holding some senior figures, but has declined to name them.

With Iran under intense US-led pressure over its nuclear programme, its role in Iraq and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, al-Qaida members held in custody could provide invaluable leverage in negotiations with Washington.

Fleeing the attack on Afghanistan, hundreds of al-Qaida members crossed the border into Iran. Although some 500 have been extradited, some figures are reported to have received protection from Iran's revolutionary guard.

Whenever the extradition of al-Qaida members has been suggested by European diplomats, Tehran has protested that an exiled Iranian resistance group, the People's Mojahedin of Iraq, has received lenient treatment in the west .

Iranian sources and European diplomats say resolving the fate of this group is inextricably linked with any handover of al-Qaida suspects.

Iran has demanded the US take a firmer line against the People's Mojahedin, which has bases in Iraq and has staged attacks against Tehran. US-led forces have disarmed the group in Iraq and are questioning its officers in an attempt to glean intelligence about Iran.

French authorities recently staged a raid on the group's headquarters in Paris - a move praised by Iranian sources, who said it was part of an understanding under which Tehran would eventually allow the extradition of Algerian nationals linked to bombings in France.

"The US should take note of France's policy on this issue," one source said. French officials have denied a quid pro quo with Tehran.

Iran remains resentful at being named by President George Bush's as part of the "axis of evil", and some within its establishment remain opposed to handing over prisoners at any time.

"Iranian radical conservatives believe that we should cooperate with al-Qaida and turn them into another Hamas," said Saeed Leylaz, a political analyst at Sharif University. "The main policy of these radicals is to militarise the situation in Iran to survive, so they need America's hostility - and unfortunately the US adds fuel to their fire."

Tehran also has reason to fear the network if Iran is seen to be cooperating with the US, Iranian sources say. Saudi Arabia, too, fears al-Qaida's wrath.

Iran has developed close cooperation on security with Riyadh, and there is speculation that Tehran may eventually extradite al-Qaida members to Saudi Arabia.

If Iran is really holding some of al-Qaida's most powerful figures, it would be a serious setback for the organisation, three of whose military commanders have been captured or killed in the past two years.

Even so, its autonomous cells are still able to operate, experts say. The group is suspected of a role in the bombing on Tuesday of a US-managed hotel in Jakarta, which killed 16 people.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/iran/story/0,12858,1014346,00.html
17 posted on 08/08/2003 8:22:07 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; ...
Iran Holding al-Qaida Men 'as Bargaining Chip with US'

August 08, 2003
The Guardian
Dan De Luce

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/960289/posts?page=17#17

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail me”
18 posted on 08/08/2003 8:22:57 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; ...
Secret US-Iran Talks?

August 08, 2003
Neftegaz.RU
neftegaz.ru

It was reported that Iranian President Mohammad Khatami sent a letter to US Secretary of State, Collin Powell and asked for secret direct talks in Geneva.

However, the foreign minister was quick to deny that the President has never written such a letter.

He went on claiming that Iran does not need clandestine relations to any country but can defend its interest in an open, transparent way.

http://www.neftegaz.ru/english/lenta/show.php?id=38539

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail me”
19 posted on 08/08/2003 8:24:37 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; ...
Judiciary to Release only Repentant Students

August 07, 2003
Iran Weekly Press Digest
Iran WPD

In the wake of an amnesty proposal for detained students, the Iranian judiciary only released those repentant of their participation in political unrests, the Tehran press reported Thursday.

Tehran prosecutor's office said in a statement that nine students detained in connection with the unrests of June and July will be released.

The total number of the detained students is said to be around 90. hence just ten per cent of them became subject of Tuesday’s amnesty call by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Students throughout the country had staged in June and July protest demonstrations during which they called for the resignation of state leaders and a referendum to amend the political status quo of the country.

The remaining detained students will reportedly go on trial later this week with Tehran university officials already looking for lawyers to represent them in court.

The news agency Kar had reported Wednesday that seven students were thrown out from Tehran’s Shahid Beheshti in connection with recent political unrests.

http://www.iranwpd.com/

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail me”
20 posted on 08/08/2003 8:26:38 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Bush administration paralyzed over Iran

By Jim Lobe
AsiaTimes Online 8.8.2003

WASHINGTON - Does the administration of US President George W Bush still consider al-Qaeda and its associates the main target in its almost three-year-old "war on terrorism", or has its military victory in Iraq whetted its appetite for bigger game?

That is in effect the question that the powers-that-be in Iran appear to be posing to Washington at a critical moment in the war's evolution. The administration appears deadlocked over an answer.

According to a series of leaks by US officials, Iran has offered to hand over, if not directly to Washington then to friendly allies, three senior al-Qaeda leaders and might provide another three top terrorist suspects that Washington believes are being held by Tehran.

But its price - for the US military to shut down permanently the operations of an Iraq-based Iranian rebel group that is on the State Department's official terrorism list - might be too high for some hardliners, centered in the Pentagon and Vice President Dick Cheney's office, who led the charge for war in Iraq.

Members of this group see the rebels, the Mujahideen-e-Khalq (MEK), or People's Mujahedin, as potentially helpful to their ambitions to achieve "regime change" in Iran, charter member of Bush's "axis of evil" and a nation that is believed to have accelerated its nuclear-weapons program in recent months.

The question of what to do about the reported Iranian offer is one of the issues being discussed this week in successive visits to Bush's Texas ranch by Secretary of State Colin Powell (who returned from there Wednesday night), Cheney, and Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld.

Iran has confirmed that it is holding three al-Qaeda leaders, including Seif al-Adel, considered the network's No 3 and chief of military operations who already has a US$25 million bounty on his head; its spokesman, Suleiman Abu Gheith; and Saad bin Laden, Osama bin Laden's third-oldest son.

In addition, Washington believes Tehran also has custody of three other much-sought-after targets: Abu Hafs, a senior al-Qaeda operative known as "the Mauritanian"; Abu Musab Zarqawi, who has been depicted by the administration as a key link between al-Qaeda and former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein; and possibly Mohammed al Masri, an al-Qaeda associate active in East Africa, according to a recent report by a special investigative team of the Knight Ridder newspaper chain.

"If Washington could get its hands on even half these guys, it would be the biggest advance since the fall of Afghanistan in the fight against al-Qaeda," said one administration official who declined to be identified. "If we could get them all, that would be a huge breakthrough."

The State Department has been pushing the administration to engage Iran more directly in pursuit of the best deal possible and was reportedly authorized to hold one meeting with the Iranians two weeks ago.

Washington and Tehran broke off bilateral relations during the US Embassy hostage crisis in 1980, but quiet meetings were held over the past year, until they were broken off in mid-May after administration hardliners charged that a series of terrorist attacks carried out against US and other foreign targets in Saudi Arabia on May 12 were organized from Iranian territory, presumably with the approval of elements of its government.

But the same hardliners reportedly oppose a deal with Tehran, which they depict not only as a sponsor of terrorism determined to acquire nuclear weapons, but also an exhausted dictatorship teetering on the verge of collapse that could be easily overthrown in a popular insurrection, with covert US help or even military intervention.

The hawks are backed by the Likud government in Israel, which has been urging Washington to go after Iran since even before the war in Iraq. As soon as Iraq is dealt with, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon told the New York Post last November, he "will push for Iran to be at the top of the 'to do' list".

Pentagon hardliners, who exert the greatest control over the occupation authority in Iraq, last month authorized the rebirth of the arm of Saddam Hussein's intelligence service - the Mukhabarat - that worked on Iran, according to the Pentagon-backed Iraqi National Congress (INC), which is helping in the effort.

That was the same unit that worked closely with the MEK under Saddam Hussein.

The MEK, which began in the late 1960s as a left-wing Islamist movement against the Shah but broke violently with the leaders of the Islamic Republic after the 1978-79 revolution, was given its own bases, tanks and other heavy weapons by the Iraqi leader during the Iran-Iraq War, all of which it retained during his regime to use in raids against Iran, but also to help Saddam put down unrest, particularly after the 1991 Gulf War.

US forces bombed the group's bases in the initial phases of the Iraq campaign this year, but negotiated a ceasefire and eventually a surrender as Washington expanded its control over Iraq. Yet the group has been permitted to retain most of its weapons, remain together, and, despite its listing by the State Department as a terrorist group and Tehran's demands that it be completely dismantled, continue radio broadcasting into Iran.

Although the MEK, which displays many of the characteristics of a cult in its hero-worship of its "first couple", Maryam and Massoud Rajavi, appears to have intelligence assets inside Iran - the group was the first to alert Washington to the existence of a previously unknown nuclear facility this year - most Iran specialists believe it has no popular following there whatsoever, and is mostly despised because of its alliance with Saddam during the Iran-Iraq war.

"It's hard to see how they could ever be seen as a political asset to the United States in Iran," one administration official who favors a deal said recently. "The [MEK] is precisely the kind of common enemy against which both the reformists and the conservatives - and even the students - are likely to rally against."

A deal would also reconfirm to an increasingly skeptical Islamic world that al-Qaeda was indeed the primary target of Bush's "war on terror" and not simply a pretext for a major intervention in the Middle East and the Persian Gulf to ensure US and Israeli domination of the entire region, say analysts here.

"Our priority should be al-Qaeda, and if we can engage the Iranians tactically to get some high-ranking al-Qaeda operatives, we should," Flynt Leverett, the top Mideast expert on the National Security Council under both presidents Bill Clinton and George W Bush until his departure this year, told the New York Times on Saturday.

The same analysts argue that disbanding the MEK would help demonstrate that Washington is not applying a double standard to different terrorist groups, depending on their usefulness. But the Pentagon reportedly remains resistant to stronger action against the group.

"There is no question that we have not disbanded them, and there is an ongoing debate about them between the office of the Secretary of Defense and the State Department," Vince Cannistraro, a former counter-terrorism director in the Central Intelligence Agency, told USA Today this week.

It appears that some officials believe the MEK could yet serve some purpose.

(Inter Press Service)

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/EH09Ak01.html
21 posted on 08/08/2003 8:46:22 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; ...
Bush administration paralyzed over Iran

By Jim Lobe
AsiaTimes Online 8.8.2003

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/960289/posts?page=21#21

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail me”
22 posted on 08/08/2003 8:47:33 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Thanks for the ping
23 posted on 08/08/2003 9:20:03 AM PDT by firewalk
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To: DoctorZIn
Secret US-Iran Talks?

I am not breaching any secrecy regulation if I say that ALL branches of the Iranian government from clerics of various brands to government officials regularly is in contact with US and EU officials. Apparantly without the knowledge of other parts of the Iranian "government" This has been going on since the 80s (Sic!)It is very confusing.
24 posted on 08/08/2003 10:40:28 AM PDT by AdmSmith
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To: DoctorZIn
The [MEK] is precisely the kind of common enemy against which both the reformists and the conservatives - and even the students - are likely to rally against."

Correct, dump them.
25 posted on 08/08/2003 10:44:08 AM PDT by AdmSmith
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To: DoctorZIn
IRAN SPIN MACHINE
(Student news and news of interest in bold.)

US, Israel
Hostilities In Vain

TEHRAN, Aug. 6
Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei here on Wednesdaysaid despite the propaganda warfare that a global anti-Iran drive has been formed, Iran's enemies are only the US and Israel.
According to IRNA, Ayatollah Khamenei was addressing the heads of the threebranches of the government, chairman of State Expediency Council, cabinet members, MPs, judicial officials and senior military and police commanders of the country.
The leader noted that the US and Israel showed their hostility towards Iran from thevery beginning of the Islamic Revolution in different ways, such as the Nojeh coup attempt, Tabas military operations, encouraging Iraq to fight against Iran, rendering unconditional support to the former Baathist regime of Iraq during eight wars of war with Iran, attacking Iranian oil platforms, downing an Iranian airbus towards the end of the Iraq-imposed war and imposing various economic sanctions.
"Thanks to Almighty God, all these hostile efforts have been in vain so far," he said.
Ayatollah Khamenei underscored that the only way to withstand the enemies is by forging such a high level of national unity that the enemies would become automatically disappointed with their hostile approach.
Referring to the country's natural resources, the leader stressed that Iran has many potentials to undergo progress and development.
"The enemies of the Islamic Revolution have been forced to admit that Iran is among 10 countries of the world with access to the nuclear fuel cycle know-how he pointed out.
Ayatollah Khamenei pointed out that the Islamic system has succeeded in institutionalizing public participation in electoral undertakings.
"Serving the public under the banner of the Islamic system is source of honor. This glorious feeling should also be conveyed to the youth so that they also feel proud of living in Iran,despite all the enemies' propaganda," he concluded.

Iran Daily August 7, 2003
Reformist Tactic
Siasat-e Rouz reflected on the rumors pertaining to a widening rift among reformist groupings. The paper asserted that veteran reformers argue that the newly-formed reformist entities are extremely radical and that they have a poor track record. How is that the vanguards of the reform movement have only recently spoken about the shabby performance of new reformist groups?" asked the paper.
More senior reformers actually blame the new reformers for the existing economic shortfalls, it added. It claimed that because the public did not vote for reformers the way they were expected in the course of City Council elections last March, some reformist groups, such as the Assembly of Combatant Clerics, have decided to regain people's support by blaming all the existing problems on the so-called neo- reformers.

Khatami's Statements
Yas-e Nou covered the statements of President Mohammad Khatami during his recent meeting with MPs and cabinet mem bers. The paper recalled that the president's remarks have received a mixed reaction. In fact, Khatami's comments could be assessed from two different angles; namely the people whom the chief executive addressed and also the content of his speech, it asserted. It must be clearly understood that the people who were addressed by Khatami are not those whom he expects to win their votes in the next presidential elections, because he cannot become president for another time, it maintained. The crux of the matter is that what Khatami said revealed his concern about the ongoing plots masterminded against the Islamic system and Islam, it highlighted.

US Stance

Resalat in an editorial wrote that the recent standpoint adopted by US President George W. Bush with regard to Iran's nuclear activities was not completely covered inside the country. Bush said that the US wants to pressure Iran to stop its nuclear activities by seeking assistance from the European Union (EU) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it recalled. The paper noted that Bush also intends to force the 18 European member-states of the IAEA's Board of Directors to issue an anti-Iran resolution in an upcoming meeting.

Continued Efforts
Nasim-e Saba in a political commentary discussed the issue of Iran's joining the UN Convention for Removing All Forms of Discriminations Against Women. The Majlis and reformers came under attack by those who consider the Majlis ratification, which urges Iran to join the convention, to be contradictory to Islamic tenets, it stated. The main issue at stake is not what the Majlis has done, but rather that efforts are still underway to portray that the incumbent Majlis and the reformist camp are incompetent, argued the daily.
Amid all this, some ruling elite insist our adminis trators should have "absolute power" and be off limits to "criticism" which actually means "account- ability".
But is this not contradictory to the lofty notion of a religious-democracy?
Sections of the officialdom should realize that the survival of the system largely depends on transparency and putting the performance of senior officials to the full glare of public scrutiny.
The fact remains that constructive criticism is no longer an issue of political or any other convenience. It is a strong and undisputed necessity if we really want to build our country, know our flaws and move forward with confidence, honor, and dignity.
Those who think otherwise should be great enough to do a service to themselves and the nation. The need to get out of the way and kiss politics and economics goodbye.

Learning From Criticism
Perspective
TEHRAN, Aug. 6--President Mohammad Khatami here on Tuesday called on the nation to continue the historical movement for establishing democracy.
Speaking at a meeting with members of the Scientific Committee and the Headquarters for Commemorating the Centenary of the Constitution Movement, he referred to the Constitution Movement as a sym bol of the will and determination of the Iranian nation in the past century to materialize democra cy. He added that though people's attempts failed for various rea sons, the nation never stopped its campaign even after the constitu tion was established, IRNA reported.
Turning to Iran as a forerunner in establishing a democratic system in the region, Khatami said, "I believe that the major success achieved by mankind in the field of human sciences was that power, which is a material con cept, should be harnessed in accordance with a nation's will and determination."
Referring to the democratic rule of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) at the outset of Islam, the presi- dent regretted that in practice and similar to the history of other communities, the prophet's demo cratic legacy was violated by powerful empires and eventually replaced by the prevalent system which ignored the national will.
Khatami noted that Iran's Constitution is rooted in the peo- ple's Islamic and national beliefs and marks the historical maturity of a nation determined to release itself from the grip of dictator ship linked to foreign powers.
Turning to traditionalism and western concepts as the major factors behind the Constitution's failure, he reiterated that tradi tionalists and western-oriented groups interfered with the move ment in the name of religion and freedom, and sidelined moderate reformists such as Allameh Naini.

"Unfortunately, our contempo rary community suffers from extremism and needs to be mod erated to help meet people's demands," he declared.

Pakistan Denies Nuke Assistance
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Aug. 6--Pakistan has rejected as "completely false, irresponsible and motivated" a US media report alleging Pakistani assistance to Iran in the latter's alleged enrichment program, IRNA reported.
"Such reports appear part of a malicious campaign against Pakistan's consistent and established record of safeguarding its sensitive nuclear technology and ensur- ing that this technology was not transferred by any orga- nization or individual to any other country," a foreign office spokesman said Tuesday.
He was responding to a question regarding a news report in the US, alleging Pakistan's assistance to an alleged Iranian enrichment program.
The spokesman said the allegation had already been denied at the highest level.
"Pakistan's commitments, affirmed at the highest level that it would not export any sensitive technologies to third countries, remain unquestionable. Pakistan has a strong export control regime in place. Pakistan's record in this regard is impeccable," he added.
With regard to Abdul Qadeer Khan, the spokesman said, "Pakistan's prominent scientist had never set foot in Iran or ever met with any Iranian nuclear experts. The false allegation by the so-called defector from Iran that A.Q. Khan had a villa on the Caspian Sea further demonstrated the baseless and fabricated nature of these wild flights of fancy."

Call for Tracking Journalist's Killer
TEHRAN, Aug. 6--Wife of Iranian journalist Mahmoud Saremi, who was killed by Talibanmilitia when they captured Mazar-i-Sharif,urged the Iranian government to identify the killer of her husband. Khadijeh Rouzbahanisaid here on Wednesday that those who were behind Saremi's death have not yet been identified since five years ago.
She went on to say that theambiguities surrounding Saremi's death add to the great sorrow of his death.
"I expect the officials to help Saremi's family to visit Mazar-i-Sharif in Afghanistan, where he was killed,lt she said.
Born in 1968 in Boroujerd, Saremi worked at the state news agency IRNA as an expert in 1992. He was sent to Afghanistan in 1996 as the head of IRNA bureau in Kabul and undertook the responsibility of disseminating news and developments about the war-torn country.
Saremi was killed on August 7, 1998, along with eight Iranian diplomats. The day is annually marked in Iran as Journalist Day.

UK Unions Slam US Policies
LONDON, Aug. 6--British labor unions have been urged to voice their opposition to US threats against Iran in the annual congress slated for next month.
According to IRNA, they are also expected to con- demn the US-led war against Saddam Hussein's Iraq and call for the end of the war-ravaged country's occu pation.
The congress, which represents some seven million British laborers, will also emphasize the necessity of administering justice in occupied Palestine.
In a communiqué on the threshold of their annual meeting, British labor unions denounced US efforts to put pressure on such independent states as Iran, Syria and Cuba to change their regimes. It added that the US- led war on Iraq further destabilized the Middle East region and gave rise to the possibility of acts of terror worldwide.

Kharrazi Sympathizes With Russian Victims
MOSCOW, Aug. 6--
Iran's Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi has expressed condolences over an explosion at a Russian military hospital, which claimed at least 50 lives.
In a message to his Russian counterpart Igor Ivanov, a copy of which was faxed to IRNA officehere, the Iranian foreign minister regretted theblast and hoped for an end to such incidents.
"With deep regret, I condole your Excellency and the Russian nation, especially the bereaved families, over the deathof several Russian nationals in the tragic Mozdok hospital incident in North Ossetia," Kharrazi said.
"I hope that the existing crises will end in favor of the peace-loving Russian people in the wake of helpful conciliatory negotiations."
A vehicle packed withexplosives blew up outside a hospital in a Russian region bordering Chechnya on August 1, killing at least 20 people.
Mozdok, North Ossetia, was the base for Russian troops when they entered Chechnya to deal with a separatist rebellion in 1999.
Mozdok was also the scene of a suicide bombing two months ago when a woman blew herself up killing 18 people, mainly military pilots on a bus in the outskirts of the town.

Jakarta Bomb BlastsCondemned
Meanwhile, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi here on Wednesday condemned a bomb blast at a hotel in Jakarta which left at least 15 people dead and tens others injured. The massive explosion at the Marriott Hotel in Jakarta on Thursday was caused by a car bomb.
Expressing Iran's sympathy with the Indonesian government and the families of the victims, Asefi said that such inhuman and illegal acts only incite anger and hatred.

Secular Systems Cannot Survive
HAMEDAN, Aug. 6--A senior cleric said secular ruling systems can no longer survive as human beings realize the futile nature of the world minus the here after.
Leader's representative and Shiraz Friday prayer leader, Ayatollah Mohieddin Haeri-Shirazi, added that many are of the view that "religious establishments are on the verge of extinction, while this is the beginning of religious rule in the world".
"In the current age, human beings have figured out what futility is and those who wrongly believe that spir- ituality is a thing of the past must know that mankind has made new attempts for greater familiarization with the creator," he analyzed.
The senior cleric also noted that while criminal and brutal acts are on the rise worldwide, man's endeavors to find the truth has also improved significantly.
Haeri-Shirazi pointed out that the man of today does not voice strong opposition to secularist thoughts, although religious rationality has greatly improved. He went on to say that the enemy has resorted to economic means to lure the youth away from the 1979 Islamic Revolution's lofty ideals.

Ganji in hospital
TEHRAN, Aug. 6--
Relatives of prominent political activist Akbar Ganji said he has been taken to hospital from prison on Monday after his health deteriorated, the student news agency ISNA reported.
They also said that thejailed journalist was medically treated in the prison before he was transferred to a Tehran hospital for further treatment.
Ganji is reportedly suffering from a chronic flu.
His relatives told ISNA that he is still not allowed to speak to his family.
Ganji was sentenced in 2000 to five years in jail by a revolutionary court in Tehran on charges of undermining national security and carrying out propaganda against the Islamic system.

Iraqi TV Director Resigns
Ahmad Al-Rikaby
TEHRAN, Aug. 6--
Managing director of Iraq's national TV net- work stepped down for what he said was the humiliating failure of US propaganda against Iran and the former regime of Saddam Hussein.
Ahmad Al-Rikaby, a former London-basecorrespondent for Radio Free Iraq, was quoted by the Saudi daily Ar-Riyadh as saying that the US has lost its psychological war against Iran and Saddam.
He also said that Washington has failed to bring Iraqi media under control, because the "Iranian Al-Alam satellite TV as well as Qatar-based Al-Jazeera are enormously popular in the war-battered country."
The former political dissident went on to say that the US must try to meet the Iraqi people's demands.
Al-Rikaby's family was forced into exile when the Ba'ath party came to power in 1968.
"It has been very difficult not to have a homeland, or rather to have a homeland you cannot visit without risking your life," he said.
His family sought refuge in seven different countries. He complained about not knowing the comfort of his close rela tives.
"When I speak now with other Iraqis in exile, we talk mainly about the future. We don't dwell on torture inside Iraq because it is something so obvious. We are concerned about the future--how to change the current situation, how to rebuild our country. We talk about our dreams of a democratic Iraq, whereyou can travel, write and express your opinion about the government or any other subject. As a journalist, I want to meet the next Iraqi president and ask him tough questions without fearing for my life," he said.

"IRAN" faces new complaints
TEHRAN, Aug. 6--
Managing director of the Persian daily ‚Iran™ showed up at Branch III of the Government Employees and Press Judicial Complex, ISNA reported on Wednesday.
Abdorrasoul Vesal was summoned to respond to a compli- ant filed against "Iran" by the prosecutor general for printing a headline about Information Ministry being dissatisfied with the follow-up on the case of Zahra Kazemi in its July 4 issue.
After leaving the complex, Vesal said, "After several hours of interrogations, I was informed that in addition to this complaint, other complaints have also been filed against "Iran" for printing the viewpoints of Mashallah Shamsolvaezin (an outspoken veteran journalist), Mohsen Armin (a prominent MP),Mohammad Reza Khatami (Majlis first vice speaker) and Ali Akbar Mohtashamipour (head of the Majlis reformist faction).
"I have been given five days to defend myself against these complaints.
Of course, the Information Ministry has not yet directly reacted and the first complaint was only filed by the prosecutor general."
Kazemi, an Iranian-Canadian photojournalist, died of brain hemorrhage caused by a severe blow to her head while in police custody.
The popular daily has been accused of spreading lies, libel, and propigating against the Islamic system.

SPIN CYCLE COMPLETE. PEASE RINCE TWICE TO REMOVE REMAINING PROPAGANDA.

26 posted on 08/08/2003 11:26:21 AM PDT by Nix 2 (http://www.warroom.com QUINN AND ROSE IN THE AM)
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To: DoctorZIn
Bush administration paralyzed over Iran

IMHO I would state that as "Bush Administration appears to be paralysed over Iran situation".

27 posted on 08/08/2003 2:27:49 PM PDT by EGPWS
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; ...
Iranian journalists refuse prizes in sign of rejection

SMCCDI (Information Service)
Aug 8, 2003

Several Iranian journalists and reporters who were invited, yesterday evening to a meeting hosted by the Islamic republic Ministry of Propagation of Islamic Culture, refused taking their prizes and left the meeting sign of opposition.

These journalists protested to the action of the regime's officials and the Minister as they avoided any comment on the fate of the arrested journalists and the murder of Zahra Kazemi.

It' to note that the meeting took place according to the official "Journalists Day", while tens of Iranian journalists have been murdered or imprisoned by the Islamic republic regime.

http://www.daneshjoo.org/generalnews/article/publish/article_1642.shtml

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail me”
28 posted on 08/08/2003 2:43:32 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran Journalists Call for Release of 21 Colleagues

August 08, 2003
Reuters
MSNBC News

TEHRAN -- Iranian journalists on Friday called for the release of 21 imprisoned colleagues, many of whom have been detained in the past few weeks making Iran the biggest jail for journalists in the Middle East.

''Every morning when I want to go to work I feel this could be my last day and they will arrest me,'' Akbar Montajebi, who writes for the liberal Yas-e No newspaper, said at a sit-in organised by the Trade Union of Iranian Journalists.

''And when I get to the office, I can see the same feelings in the eyes of my colleagues,'' he said.

About 200 people attended the sit-in, held on the Islamic Republic's annual Journalists' Day.

The print media has been a battleground in recent years between reformers who advocate greater freedom of speech and conservatives who fear too much press freedom may undermine religious values and Iran's Islamic political system.

Around 100 liberal publications have been shut down in the last four years, often as the result of closed door, jury-less court hearings.

According to the Paris-based rights group Reporters Without Borders (RSF), at least 14 journalists have been arrested in Iran in the last few weeks on charges ranging from ''propaganda against the regime'' to ''publishing an improper photograph.''

RSF says Iran has more journalists behind bars than any other country in the Middle East.

''Those lucky enough to have been freed have talked of very harsh conditions of detention, psychological pressure and mistreatment,'' Robert Menard, secretary-general of RSF, said in a statement earlier this week.

Last month a Canadian photojournalist died in custody after receiving a severe blow to the head following her arrest for taking photographs outside a Tehran prison where many political dissidents are held.

The wave of newspaper closures and arrests has intimidated those journalists who continue to work, said Mohsen Kadivar, a dissident cleric who addressed the sit-in.

''Right now there is self-censorship and our newspapers are not even mentioning the main issues that are happening in society,'' said Kadivar, who was convicted in 1998 of engaging in propaganda against the Islamic state and jailed for 18 months.

Kadivar read out the names of all 21 journalists currently in jail and criticised conservative-controlled constitutional watchdogs for blocking a Press Law which would have improved the rights of journalists in the country.

http://famulus.msnbc.com/FamulusIntl/reuters08-08-085920.asp?reg=MIDEAST
29 posted on 08/08/2003 2:45:32 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; ...
Iran Journalists Call for Release of 21 Colleagues

August 08, 2003
Reuters
MSNBC News

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/960289/posts?page=29#29

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail me”
30 posted on 08/08/2003 2:46:14 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Rumsfeld Downplays Secret Meeting On Iran By Officials

August 08, 2003
Dow Jones Newswires
Nasdaq Headlines

NEW YORK -- Pentagon officials held a clandestine meeting with Iranians who were reportedly seeking a regime change in Iran, but the gathering took place more than a year ago and "it went nowhere," U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Friday.

Rumsfeld was downplaying a Newsday report published Friday that claims Pentagon hardliners pressing for regime change in Iran held secret and unauthorized meetings in Paris with Manucher Ghorbanifar - a controversial arms dealer who was also a key figure in the Iran-Contra scandal.

At press briefing in Crawford, Texas, broadcast by major TV news channels, Rumsfeld said two Pentagon officials were approached by people claiming to have information about Iran. A meeting did take place, "and the information was moved around" between agencies before being dropped, Rumsfeld said.

"As I understand it, there wasn't anything there that was of substance or of value that needed to be pursued further," Rumsfeld said.

http://www.iranvajahan.net/cgi-bin/news_en.pl?l=en&y=2003&m=08&d=08&a=7
31 posted on 08/08/2003 2:48:02 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; ...
Rumsfeld Downplays Secret Meeting On Iran By Officials

August 08, 2003
Dow Jones Newswires
Nasdaq Headlines

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/960289/posts?page=31#31

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail me”
32 posted on 08/08/2003 2:48:50 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran: Tehran Takes A Keen Interest In Regional Road Building

By Antoine Blua

While the United States increases pressure to isolate Iran, Tehran is pressing ahead to build a highway into neighboring Afghanistan. Iran, which is seeking to establish itself as a main trade route, sees Afghanistan as a potential land link between the Persian Gulf, Central Asia, and China.

Prague, 8 August 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Representatives of two Iranian companies this week arrived in Tajikistan to assist in the construction of the 5-kilometer Anzab tunnel, providing a direct link between Tajikistan's capital Dushanbe and the northern city of Khujand. Tehran is giving $31 million in loans and grants to Tajikistan to complete the work by 2006.

The new link will bypass the existing route via Uzbekistan, which requires a transit visa for Tajiks traveling from one part of their homeland to another, and sometimes closes the border without notice, creating traffic chaos and trade disruptions.

Iranian Road and Transportation Minister Ahmad Khorram mentioned last month that the Anzab tunnel is part of a broad transport blueprint, in which Afghanistan plays a central role. The plan consists of establishing a transit route running from Iran through Herat in western Afghanistan, Mazar-e Sharif and Sherkhan Bandar in northern Afghanistan to Tajikistan, and from there up to China.

Mohammad-Reza Djalili is a professor at the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva. He told RFE/RL that Iran has been developing several transport plans since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, when the possibility arose to become a major transit country.

"There are at least three projects: the Caspian oil-and-gas-pipeline project; the so-called north-south corridor linking Northern Europe, the former Soviet Union, Iran, the Persian Gulf, and then India [by sea]. Iran's [road] plan in Afghanistan is in keeping with a third project, the so-called new Silk Road. It is a question of making Iran a transit country for two Central Asian states, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, via Afghanistan, and then to extend this route to China," Djalili said.

This year in June, the Uzbek and Tajik presidents, Islam Karimov and Imomali Rakhmonov, signed two separate trilateral transport agreements in Tehran with their Iranian and Afghan counterparts, Mohammad Khatami and Hamid Karzai, envisaging the construction of land routes. Accordingly, Iran would provide access to international routes, while Afghanistan would connect Tajikistan and Uzbekistan to Iran.

Central Asia already is connected to Iran's highway and rail networks via Turkmenistan. However, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan seek to access Iran's developed transportation infrastructure and the Persian Gulf by a shorter land link through Afghanistan.

Tajik Transport Ministry spokesman Mohammad Yusuf Shodiev explained what the completion of road links with Afghanistan means for the region: "Passing from Tajikistan to Afghanistan, and from there to Iran, would certainly be another move to break Tajikistan's isolation. All the Central Asian countries are trying to build as many international-standard highways as possible between their nations."

Iran's projects to improve Afghan roads and link them to its own transport system include the 125-kilometer highway connecting the Iranian city of Dogharun to Herat, and the Milak bridge over the Helmand River between Iran and Afghanistan. Iranian Minister Ahmad Khorram stated earlier in June that his country has allocated $43 million for the former and between $3 million and $4 million for the latter.

On its own territory, Iran is to upgrade the road between Milak and the Iranian port of Chabahar, on the Persian Gulf, to facilitate international trade. Afghanistan is to receive the right to use the port of Chabahar with a 90 percent discount on port fees, except for oil tankers.

According to Hooman Peimani, a Geneva-based independent consultant, the connection of the Uzbek and Tajik road infrastructure to Iran through Afghanistan will not translate into a major change in the region's economy, as the two Central Asian republics have very limited industrial production and exports.

However, in the long run, the connection of Iranian and Chinese roads via Afghanistan will turn Iran into a major intersection of trade, connecting Europe to China's fast-growing economy and 1.3 billion-strong domestic market.

"Iran, India, and Russia have created the north-south corridor to connect Europe to Asia via land routes and also sea routes. Connecting China and Afghanistan to the Iranian routes in the long run will help the north-south corridor to become even more interesting for all parties in Asia and Europe, because that will give them, particularly the Europeans, a land access to China through the shortest possible way. And of course it also gives the Chinese the possibility to try to decrease their dependency on the American market," Peimani said.

Peimani noted that China's expanding international trade could generate billions of dollars in transit fees for Iranians, while uplifting their regional status and political influence. It will also help stabilize Afghanistan.

"In the long run, if the connections become reliable and Iran conducts huge international transactions to and from China or the Central Asian countries via that road, that operation would generate a huge amount of income for Afghanistan in terms of transit fees," Peimani said.

More generally, Peimani pointed out, multilateral transport agreements have the potential to significantly expand regional cooperation to deal with common concerns. These include peace and security, the two major prerequisites for economic prosperity for the entire region. However, Peimani added, this is all dependant the actual implementation of the agreements, for which specific dates are yet to be announced.

Djalili sees three obstacles -- technical, financial, and political -- to the implementation of Iran's road projects: "First of all, there are technical obstacles: the digging of north-south tunnels in Tajikistan requires, for instance, sophisticated methods. Then there is a financial dimension: Iran has relatively limited [financial] means, although it has agreed to invest in Afghanistan and Tajikistan to improve transport infrastructures. There is also a political obstacle, owing to Iran's isolation on the international stage and to its very bad relations with Washington, which has increased its presence in the region."

Furthermore, Afghanistan's continued instability means the roads will not translate into an immediate jackpot. Unknown attackers killed six Afghan soldiers and the driver of a U.S.-based aid group in southern Afghanistan on Wednesday (6 August) night.

http://www.rferl.org/nca/features/2003/08/08082003160534.asp
33 posted on 08/08/2003 2:52:18 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; ...
Iran: Tehran Takes A Keen Interest In Regional Road Building

By Antoine Blua
Voice of America 8.8.2003

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/960289/posts?page=33#33

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail me”
34 posted on 08/08/2003 2:53:15 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Go easy, says Khatami

Middle-east Times 8.8.2003
TEHRAN

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has urged the judiciary to show leniency to dozens of students who were arrested during pro-democracy protests in June and July.

The announcement follows growing calls by student bodies, reformist politicians and human rights groups for the release of students arrested during street protests which took place in several Iranian cities in the past two months.

Judiciary officials said in July that 4,000 people were arrested during the protests although more than half of them were quickly released.

Mohsen Safaei Farahani, parliament's special envoy to investigate the status of detained students, said that 30 were being held in Tehran's Evin prison, where most of Iran's leading political dissidents are detained.

Local analysts said Khamenei's move on Tuesday may indicate an effort by Iran's clerical establishment to ease lingering tensions left by the protests and the wave of arrests.

His instruction to the judiciary came in response to a letter he received from two of his appointed representatives in tertiary education.

"We are asking you, if you agree, to order that the few [arrested] students... be handled based on Islamic kindness and mercy and the grounds be prepared for their release," Mohsen Qomi and Muhammad Hassan Aboutorabi wrote in their letter to Khamenei.

Khamenei, who has the last word on all state matters in the Islamic Republic, said he agreed generally with this suggestion but that it was up to the institutions responsible for their detention to decide how the leniency would be exercised.

Local media earlier this week reported that Tehran's Revolutionary Court had sentenced two students.

One received a 10 million rial ($1,250) fine and a suspended sentence of 30 lashes. The other was handed a three-month jail term and a suspended sentence of 50 lashes. Four other students were acquitted.

Reuters

http://www.metimes.com/2K3/issue2003-32/reg/go_easy.htm
35 posted on 08/08/2003 2:54:18 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; ...
Go easy, says Khatami

Middle-east Times 8.8.2003

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/960289/posts?page=35#35

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail me”
36 posted on 08/08/2003 2:55:37 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Chinese Bank Gives Iranian Company Credit for Trade Deal

Biz News
Aug 8, 2003

SHANGHAI - The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Shanghai Branch will provide an Iranian passenger transport company with US$84.46 million worth of buyer's credit for an export deal.

An agreement on the deal was signed on Wednesday between representatives of the bank and the State Bank of Iran.

Under the agreement, Raja, a state-owned railway company operated by the state railway administration of Iran, will use the credit to import 150 first-class carriages and 25 generator cars from China for its construction of a railway hub in the Middle East.

It was the third time the Chinese bank had provided financial support to China-Iran projects.

http://www.daneshjoo.org/generalnews/article/publish/article_1643.shtml
37 posted on 08/08/2003 5:41:33 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Pentagon met with discredited figure from Iran-Contra scandal

By PETE YOST
The Associated Press
8/8/03 6:54 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Friday that Pentagon officials met more than a year ago with a long-discredited Iranian middleman from the Iran-Contra scandal.

Rumsfeld did not say exactly when the discussion with Manucher Ghorbanifar took place but he characterized it as a meeting with people who had information about Iranians that they wanted to provide to the U.S. government. He didn't elaborate.

A senior Pentagon official said the Defense Department participants were two people from the office of Undersecretary of Defense Doug Feith and that the meeting was about two years ago, which would place it around the time of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Standing by Rumsfeld's side at the president's Texas ranch, President Bush said, "We support the aspirations of those who desire freedom in Iran" when he was asked if the meeting was a good idea and if his administration wants a regime change in Iran.

The two Pentagon officials who met with Ghorbanifar were Harold Rhode and Larry Franklin. Franklin was on loan to Feith's office from the Defense Intelligence Agency, said the senior Pentagon official, speaking on condition of anonymity. Feith is the undersecretary for policy.

Rumsfeld's comments followed disclosure of the Ghorbanifar contact in the newspaper Newsday.

"One or two Pentagon people were approached by some people who had information about Iranians that wanted to provide information to the United States government," said Rumsfeld.

Ghorbanifar, according to congressional testimony 15 years ago, was among those suggesting that profits from the Reagan White House's secret arms-for-hostages deals with Iran be funneled into covert arms shipments to U.S.-backed Contra rebels fighting the leftist government of Nicaragua.

Subsequent public exposure of the two operations that the Reagan administration had concealed from Congress gave rise to the scandal that scarred the last two years of Reagan's presidency.

Known to the CIA even before the Iran-Contra scandal as someone to avoid, Ghorbanifar in the 1980s failed two lie detector tests for the spy agency, which issued a "burn notice" to other agencies advising that the U.S. government should have nothing to do with him.

"Ghorbanifar is clearly a fabricator and wheeler-dealer who has undertaken activities prejudicial to U.S. interests," stated a CIA report that surfaced in congressional hearings into the Iran-Contra scandal in 1987.

Despite the CIA report, Ghorbanifar, an exiled Iranian businessman, managed to attend meeting with Reagan's aides about arms deals, playing on U.S. desires to free American hostages held by terrorists in Lebanon.

When asked to explain the Pentagon's contact with Ghorbanifar, Rumsfeld said that "people come in offering suggestions or information or possible contacts, and sometimes they're pursued."

"A meeting did take place, and the information was moved around the interagency process to all the departments and agencies," said the defense secretary. "There wasn't anything there that was of substance or of value that needed to be pursued further."

Rumsfeld said it was "absolutely not" the case that the meeting with Ghorbanifar was intended to be part of any other ongoing, unofficial talks with Iranians.

The Bush administration's posture toward Iran has become increasingly strident since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

After Iran's pro-reform president was re-elected in the summer of 2001, some Iranians had predicted Tehran would push for improved relations with the United States, but Iran's supreme leader ruled out any Iranian help for a U.S.-led attack on Afghanistan.

Iran, however, condemned the Sept. 11 attacks and assured U.S. officials through Swiss intermediaries it would try to rescue any American military personnel it found in distress on its territory.

In his State of the Union speech on Jan. 29, 2002, President Bush characterized Iran as being part of an axis of evil. Since then administration officials have repeatedly denounced what they characterize as Iran's expanded support of regional terrorist groups and its program to develop nuclear weapons. Iran says its nuclear program is solely to produce electricity. ------

AP Pentagon reporter Pauline Jelinek contributed to this story.

http://www.nj.com/newsflash/washington/index.ssf?/cgi-free/getstory_ssf.cgi?a0704_BC_Pentagon-Ghorbanifar
38 posted on 08/08/2003 5:43:35 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; ...
Pentagon met with discredited figure from Iran-Contra scandal

By PETE YOST
The Associated Press

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/960289/posts?page=38#38

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail me”
39 posted on 08/08/2003 5:46:10 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: All
There have been a few posts in the past inquiring about present day Tehran.
Thought I'd post a few photos

40 posted on 08/08/2003 7:53:24 PM PDT by nuconvert
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To: All
Tehran
41 posted on 08/08/2003 7:56:22 PM PDT by nuconvert
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To: All
Tehran
42 posted on 08/08/2003 7:58:03 PM PDT by nuconvert
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To: nuconvert
Tehran
43 posted on 08/08/2003 7:59:44 PM PDT by nuconvert
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To: All
And a good place for photos of all of Iran:

http://www.tehran24.com
44 posted on 08/08/2003 8:02:16 PM PDT by nuconvert
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To: nuconvert
Thanks for the pics.
It's good to give others a sense of the country of Iran.
45 posted on 08/08/2003 9:15:51 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: DoctorZIn; nuconvert; dixiechick2000; AdmSmith; freedom44; RaceBannon; Valin; Texas_Dawg; yonif; ...
Iran holds al-Qaeda agents as chips in dangerous game

THE GUARDIAN
Saturday, Aug 09, 2003,Page 7

Iran is using the senior members of the al-Qaeda network it has detained as a bargaining chip in its war of nerves with the US, and will only allow their extradition in return for substantial concessions, sources in the political establishment said Thursday. "Iran holds the golden key on the al-Qaeda issue, and the US knows it," a source familiar with the senior leadership said. "They need us."

Iranian officials privately acknowledge that Tehran is holding important members of the network -- thought to include Saif al-Adel, an Egyptian who is believed to be the head of al-Qaeda's military operations; Suleiman Abu Ghaith, its Kuwaiti-born spokesman; and Saad bin Laden, the son of the its leader, Osama bin Laden.

Reports in Saudi-owned newspapers have alleged that the network's second in command, Ayman al-Zawahiri, may also be in Iranian custody.

The government has officially confirmed it is holding some senior figures, but has not named them.

With Iran under intense US-led pressure over its nuclear program, as well as its role in Iraq and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, al-Qaeda members held in custody could provide invaluable leverage in negotiations with Washington.

Fleeing the attack on Afghanistan, hundreds of al-Qaeda members crossed the border into Iran. Although some 500 have been extradited, some figures are reported to have received protection from Iran's revolutionary guard.

Whenever the extradition of al-Qaeda members has been suggested by European diplomats, Tehran has protested that an exiled Iranian resistance group, the People's Mujahadeen of Iraq, has received lenient treatment in the west.

Iranian sources and European diplomats say resolving the fate of this group is inextricably linked with any handover of al-Qaeda suspects. Iran has demanded the US take a firmer line against the People's Mujahadeen, which has bases in Iraq and has staged attacks against Tehran. US-led forces have disarmed the group in Iraq and are questioning its officers in an attempt to glean intelligence about Iran.

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/world/archives/2003/08/09/2003062939
46 posted on 08/08/2003 9:30:30 PM PDT by F14 Pilot
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To: DoctorZIn; nuconvert; dixiechick2000; freedom44; RaceBannon; AdmSmith; McGavin999; Texas_Dawg; ...
A must see Webpage for those who want to know more about inside events of Iran.

http://behnoud.com/behnoud/indexmb.htm

Behnoud is an Iranian Author and Journalist.***
47 posted on 08/08/2003 10:08:18 PM PDT by F14 Pilot
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To: DoctorZIn; Texas_Dawg; McGavin999; Eala; happygrl; risk; ewing; norton; piasa; Valin; pcx99; ...
A must read story from Behnoud, An Iranian Writer and Coloumnist.

Iranian Fundamentalists: Flexibility toward the word, Harshness toward people

By M.Behnoud


Two months after the invasion of Iraq by the Coalition Forces, Iranian opposition groups inside and outside the country overcame their initial astonishment and by revealing cases of violation of Human Rights by Moslem Fundamentalist, they intend to pave the way to democracy, a demand that the ruling fundamentalists and ecclesiastic tend to ignore.
Saiid Hajariaan, the theoretician of the reformation movement that started six years ago by election of Mohammad Khatami as the President and winning the majority both in the Parliament and the Cabinet revealed last week that the fundamentalist are using US led military invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq as an excuse to increase their pressure on people and seize back the power from the hands of the Parliament and Cabinet. Hajariaan has said that there is no reason for reformists present in the government to hide the iron fists of the fundamentalists from the world by acting like white gloves.


Hajariaan is one of the ex-leaders of the secret service of Islamic Republic. Three years ago he miraculously escaped assassination plotted by the extremist clergies, nevertheless as the result of the brain injury incurred by the bullet shot he has been hemiplegia living on the wheelchair ever since. Just before this fatal attempt on his life, Hajariaan acting also as one of President Khatami’s advisors was publishing a newspaper disclosing financial corruption among ruling clergies and their role in murders carried out inside and outside the country.
In an interview with the only remaining reformist newspaper last week Saiid Hajariaan said that so far the reformist have shown a great deal of patience and have endured the fundamentalists' pressure in order not to give any excuse to Americans, but our totalitarian rulers with the fanciful excuse of the presence of a hidden enemy behind the frontiers are exercising a harsh dictatorship in the country.
The reformists inside and outside the country hoped that president Khatami's election would force the fundamentalist clergies to yield to democratic changes and concede at least a part of power to the people. Since the very first day after September 11, the followers of gradual and peaceful reformation have been under great pressures exercised by the fundamentalists who with the support of Ayatollah Khamenei, the life long leader of Islamic Republic having all the major powers in his hand, have obstructed the way of reformation to the extent that in the last election of February 28, the overwhelming majority of people showed that they will not be satisfied with anything less than a total shift of power.


Refusal of 85% of people to participate in the election of city councils occurred when the reformists had already warned the rulers against the danger of loss of hope among people, but not only the fundamentalists did not pay any attention to these warnings, but referring to the US threats expressed against Iran after the fall of Baghdad's regime, the religious leaders asked people and reformists to stay quite and get mobilized against these threats and by participating in demonstrations await the fall of American Imperialism. The fall of America and spread of Islamic revolution throughout the world is a promise that the clergies keep on assuring people in Friday Prayers and consider it as one of the promises of Koran, the Holy Book of Moslems.But these are slogans that are only used to keep people quite, for in their negotiations with European and American authorities behind the closed doors, they emphasize on their readiness to surrender to the new world order and refer to their position in regard to the establishment of Us led governments in Afghanistan and Iraq as an evidence and promise not to hinder the establishment of peace in the Middle East and the international struggle against terrorism in the future. The positive reaction of European and American authorities to the growing flexibility of Iranian government in its foreign policy is encouraging the fundamentalist to continue the suppression of the students, journalists, lawyers and liberalist groups and by simultaneous increase of pressures, they do their best to keep the world ignorant of the internal events.
The closing down of 82 newspapers, issuing of long term sentences for political activists and even reformist MPs and journalists, foundation of semi-fascist groups to attack parties and newspapers and student gatherings are among the activities that the fundamentalists carry out in order to maintain their sovereignty and to minimize the possible consequences of events going on around Iranian frontiers. This very policy is making political reformist groups to prepare themselves for a collective resignation and leaving the government.


During the last three years, and under the cover of an approved parliamentary bill in relation to possession of satellite dish, the military agents of the government have forced 400000 people to pay fines, sometimes as high as $100000, while confiscating their systems as well. Fed up with the tedious propaganda of Islamic TV, the middle class looks at the satellite programs as a mean to learn about what is really going on around the world by watching BBC and CNN channels and the youth who make up the majority of the present population watch MTV and films and programs never shown on the Islamic TV. During the outbreak of war in Iraq the demand for satellite dishes increased and in Tehran it was sold twice as high as its normal price, for people had realized that the national radio and TV only broadcast Iraqi and Aljazeereh censored news with commentaries on resistant of Iraqi people. And they continued to behave that way up to two days after the fall of Saddam and disappearance of Saiid Alsahaf.
In addition, while the government agents were busy to prevent people from watching satellite programs, Iranian youth were busy opening their own sites and web logs disseminating the news of fundamentalist attacks on the universities and lecture halls. Suddenly the internet users quadrupled. And it was here that under the pretension of “protection of security and morals of the society,” the leader of Islamic Republic ordered the government to use filters for 110000 internet sites to prevent access to real information.
Once it was revealed that the communication system of Iran is not equipped with the required technology for this purpose, the secret service pompously began to arrest young people who wrote daily in their web logs and by throwing them into dark solitary cells they created an atmosphere of terror to make other young people to close down their web logs at least until the government manages to buy the necessary equipment - costing over 10 million dollars – that would make access to political and sex sites impossible for Iranians.
While this mortal struggle is going on between the fundamentalists and people particularly the youth, monarchists and followers of Mojahedin Khalgh – the armed opposition force enjoying military bases in Iraq, but forced to hand in their arms after the occupation of Iraq – have been asking people to demonstrate in street, promising them that if they rebel the people of the world will not leave them alone. So far their request has been ignored by the youth who perhaps still hope that the clergy and fundamentalists would yield to peaceful and non-violent changes.
Another part of the four million people forced to immigrate in the past 24 years have recently published a statement called ‘Manifesto of Republicans’ in which they have asked people to insist on a referendum by the means of demonstrations, strikes, civilized non-violent resistance, violation of orders in order to spare themselves from living under the rule of a religious government. Despite all the dangers that publication of such a manifest could bring about, the above manifest was rapidly copied and disseminated in student campuses and posted on nameless news sites as it not only suggests another alternative, but tries to spare Iran from foreign military invasion. In the Manifesto of Republicans it is said that the fundamentalist clergies are driving the country toward a dangerous abyss, similar to that which Saddam drove Iraqi people to, that is to watch American tanks and trucks, through their home windows, passing their streets.
These days the reformists and conservatives are referring to the present period as the time of the ‘stillness before tempest,’ while the fundamentalists are still opposing people violently. By writing letters to the leader of Islamic Republic, the reformists try to make it clear that the danger threatening the government should not be neglected and the internal state is rapidly moving toward militarization.


By arresting those who had written such letters to Ayatollah Khamenei, the fundamentalists tried to block this way of information dissemination as well, but the publication of Amir Farshad Ebrahimi’s letter startled every one. Ebrahimi used to work for fascist fundamentalist groups who attacked women and students and cinemas and had killed a number of intellectuals. He was sentenced after disclosing the secrets of these pressure groups and their connection to the clergies and the secret service in the office of an attorney and spent a year in prison. Last week he received a letter from a terrorist group informing him that the religious order for his murder has been issued and his body will soon be found in the streets.
In a shocking letter to President, Amir Farshad Ebrahimi has written that people have grown tired of the President’s intellectual poses and his beautiful philosophical words and they have lost hope in the President with his photochromic glasses. “It is quite possible that by the time you receive this letter I am already dead, but you would still be sitting idle.” This 27 years old young man is one of the 21 million Iranian who were hoping to liberate the country from religious despotism by electing a clergy who claimed to believe in civil society and democracy, but as Saiid Hajariaan has said, not only what people hoped was not realized, but Mohammad Khatami and his reformist followers turned into ‘velvet white gloves’ hiding the iron fists holding the last signs of Islamic fundamentalism after Bin Laden and Taliban, continuing their ruler through showing flexibility in regard to foreign policy and violence in relation to people.

http://behnoud.com/behnoud/articles/harsh.htm

http://behnoud.com/behnoud/indexmb.htm
48 posted on 08/08/2003 10:13:05 PM PDT by F14 Pilot
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To: DoctorZIn; dixiechick2000; Enemy Of The State; Travis McGee; kattracks; rontorr; nuconvert; ...
I found this link so interesting for those who might be interested in Iran's affair.

http://behnoud.com/behnoud/articles/youcl.htm
49 posted on 08/08/2003 10:15:34 PM PDT by F14 Pilot
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To: F14 Pilot
Excellent article. Although it seems painfully slow, I still think this is going to happen a lot quicker than most people think. America is not going to invade Iran, it doesn't need to. Democracy will spread from Iraq to Iran and there is nothing the mad mullahs can do about it.
50 posted on 08/08/2003 10:53:43 PM PDT by McGavin999
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