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Iranian Alert -- August 13, 2003 -- LIVE THREAD PING LIST
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 8.13.2003 | DoctorZin

Posted on 08/13/2003 12:02:17 AM PDT by DoctorZIn

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for all the help.

DoctorZin


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: iran; iranianalert; protests; studentmovement
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1 posted on 08/13/2003 12:02:17 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 13, 2003 -- LIVE THREAD PING LIST

Live Thread Ping List | 8.13.2003 | DoctorZin

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

2 posted on 08/13/2003 12:03:03 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: All
Iran Pressing Campaign To Undermine America

August 11, 2003
The New York Sun
Ira Stoll

The Iranian government, feeling pressured by popular protests and by America's increasing presence in the region, is responding with a four-pronged policy aimed at preserving its regime and weakening America.

That is the assessment from those familiar with events inside Iran and nearby states. They describe a pattern by which Iran is reacting to the American defeat of Saddam Hussein.

What is significant is the aggressive nature of the Iranian moves, which both helps to explain some of the problems America has faced in postwar Iraq and at the same time threatens to eclipse them. The steps being taken in Iran, according to those familiar with them, include:

- Budgeting several billion dollars to build a nuclear bomb by the time of the next American presidential inauguration, in January 2005.

- Moving aggressively to expand Iranian influence in Syria by building mosques in Damascus and by providing free and low-cost oil to the Syrians.

- Undermining America in Iraq by working with Saudi Arabia, Syrians, and loyalists to Saddam Hussein.

- Pressing a campaign of meetings between Iranian officials and American foreign policy experts.

Efforts on the last front included a conference at Geneva on June 27 and 28 at which eight Iranians met with an international group that included a top White House counterproliferation official from the Clinton administration, Gary Samore, as well as the deputy director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Patrick Clawson; a senior research fellow at National Defense University, Judith Yaphe, and the executive director of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center, Henry Sokolski.

"They were very anxious to get face-to-face time with American officials," Mr. Sokolski said, describing the Iranians as "pleading" for him to go to New York to meet with officials at the Iranian mission to the United Nations. He declined. "I think they want to make folks believe they are meeting with Americans all the time, that the dissidents should give up," he told The New York Sun.

Among the speakers at the Geneva meeting was Iran's ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Ali Akbar Salehi, who sought to convince the Americans and Europeans that Iran's nuclear program was intended for civilian use.

The claim was "not credible," Mr. Clawson told the Sun. "It was spin. It was laughable. It was embarrassing."

Ms. Yaphe described the Geneva event as "a really interesting meeting" featuring "important Iranians" who were "serious people, well plugged in with the regime."

When it came to Iran's efforts to build a nuclear bomb, the Iranians "really didn't understand why it was viewed as such a bad thing, why there was so much opposition to it," she said.


Mr. Samore, director of studies at the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies, which organized the June meeting in cooperation with the Swiss Center for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces, said he'd like to convene another, similar gathering in the fall, after a September meeting of the board of governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Iran's actions are driven in part by a sense by the mullahs that they are being encircled by America. The American Navy has had ships in the Persian Gulf to support the liberation of Iraq.

The American military also has established bases in Qatar and in the former Soviet republics of Central Asia. American troops are present in Iraq and Afghanistan, which both border Iran and which America is trying to reshape into free democracies.

America is pursuing an oil pipeline deal with Azerbaijan, which borders Iran. Turkey, which also borders Iran, is a NATO ally of America, and while the Turkey-America relationship has had its rough spots recently,Turkey is still in the American camp.

The Iranian actions are also driven in part by how it sees America acting toward other countries. North Korea and Pakistan are getting friendlier treatment from the Bush administration than Iran does, and the mullahs think that is because Pyongyang and Islamabad already have nuclear weapons.

Iran's nuclear program was detailed in a 5,000-word investigation in the August 4 issue of the Los Angeles Times, which reported, among other things, that "so many North Koreans are working on nuclear and missile projects in Iran that a resort on the Caspian coast is set aside for their exclusive use."

The Iranian actions against America in Iraq are driven by the examples of Somalia and Beirut, where Americans bled and fled. The Iranians are said to be hoping for America to react to the casualties in Iraq by leaving there, too.

The Iranians are happy to allow others to take responsibility for the attacks on American soldiers in Iraq, so they are working with traditional rivals, including the Saudis and Saddam Hussein's loyalists. The Iranians, who are Shiites, are focusing their attacks in traditionally Sunni areas of Iraq, but they are also active in Iraq's Shiite areas.

An Iranian story involves a man falsely accused of a crime by a scoundrel. The case goes before a meticulously honest judge. The man considers bribing the judge, but is advised that such an attempt would certainly backfire, with the insulted judge finding the man guilty. The accused man went ahead and sent the bribe, and was found innocent. Later, he explained that he had sent the bribe in the scoundrel's name. Such deception characterizes the Iranian activities in Iraq, according to those familiar with them.

The newly deepened ties between Iran and Syria are driven by needs on both sides. The Syrian regime had been funding itself by importing cheap oil from Saddam Hussein's Iraq and selling it at a profit. With Saddam ousted, the Syrians needed a new sponsor, and found it in Iran, which has stepped in to provide oil to Syria in exchange for the right to use Syria as a base of operations against America in Iraq.

The financial ties between Tehran and Damascus are mirrored by increasingly close religious ties. Syria's ruling sect, the Alawites, are considered heretics by many mainstream Muslims.

But in the early 1970s, a fatwa by the Imam Musa Sadr ruled that Alawis are a branch of Shiite Muslims. Sadr mysteriously disappeared in 1978, but his niece is now the wife of the president of Iran, Mohammed Khatemi. The Iranians are now building new Shiite mosques all over Damascus, and the Syrian dictator, Bashar Assad, appears to be trying to move Alawism closer to Shiism.

"There is a very, very close relationship between Iran and Syria," said the president of the U.S. Committee for a Free Lebanon, Ziad Abdelnour. He said the ties had been "very much heightened" following the ouster of Saddam's regime in Iraq.

http://iranvajahan.net/cgi-bin/news_en.pl?l=en&y=2003&m=08&d=13&a=1
3 posted on 08/13/2003 12:05:29 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; ...
Iran Pressing Campaign To Undermine America

August 11, 2003
The New York Sun
Ira Stoll

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/963108/posts?page=3#3

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail me”
4 posted on 08/13/2003 12:06:43 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: All
IRAN’S RICH AND WELL-CONNECTED FAVOUR ECONOMIC STATUS QUO

By: Nicholas Birch*

TEHRAN, 12 Aug. (The Daily Star) Two years ago, Hoseyn Yazdi was looking forward to a quiet retirement. Now he’s back at work as one of Tehran’s countless unofficial taxi drivers, trying to supplement a monthly pension of $65.

"A kilo of meat costs $5 these days; most weeks my wife and I go without", he says angrily. "If things carry on like this, people like us will soon be dying of starvation".

Strong words, but by no means unusual in a city where people’s conversation turns with alarming speed to their daily struggle to make ends meet. But what makes such talk baffling is that most economists insist the country is relatively well managed.

"Iran has huge resources of oil and gas, and the rise in oil prices since 1999 from $10 a barrel to over $26 today has given the economy an immense boost", says Yves Cadilhon, head of the French economic mission in Tehran.

"Quite frankly, they’ve used the money well: roads have been improved throughout Iran, and their electricity infrastructure is now as good as Turkey’s".

"Our sales have more than quadrupled since 1996", says Sa’id Laylaz, assistant manager of sales and marketing for the country’s biggest car maker, Iran Khodro. "Somebody must have money to buy them".

So why are Iranians complaining? For Laylaz, a supporter of moderate President Mohammad Khatami, popular gripes are a side effect of political reforms.

"People are no longer afraid to speak out. They’re not … angrier, just more vocal", he argues.

Jahangir Amouzegar, Iran’s Finance Minister in the 1970s, disagrees: "It’s the envy factor", he says.

"I doubt anybody is getting poorer, but the trouble is that a tiny minority is getting richer very quickly".

It has been a bitter pill to swallow given that "the covenant of the meek", or social justice, was a favourite catch phrase of the leaders of Iran’s 1979 revolution. It has been made far worse, though, by the fact that the principal beneficiaries of wealth redistribution have been regime clerics and their closest allies.

Among the main bastions of clerical control are the bonyad, immense foundations built up after 1979 from wealth confiscated from Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Iran’s last Shah. Ostensibly "charitable" organisations, they frequently use their amassed wealth ­ up to 35 percent of the country’s economy according to analysts ­ for more questionable purposes. In 1997, for instance, one senior cleric and bonyad boss announced his institution was offering $2.5 million for the assassination of novelist Salman Rushdie.

Another bonyad based in the holy city of Mash-had has used donations from pilgrims to buy 90 percent of the arable land in the surrounding region. Controlled since 1979 by the arch conservative Ayatollah Abbas Vaez-Tabazi ­ whose son and daughter are married to two of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khameneh’i’s children ­ the foundation also owns universities and a Coca-Cola factory.

Backed by Khatami, Iran’s majority reform-minded Parliament recently scrapped laws exempting the foundations from paying tax. Most observers doubt anything will change. In any case, they argue, bonyad bosses can always fall back on privileged relations with Iran’s banks, almost all state-owned.

"Credit is rationed", explains Amouzegar, "and it’s rarely private business that gets it."

"I’ve never even bothered trying to get a bank loan", says Ata’ollah Khazali, owner of a small smelting works just outside Tehran. "Perhaps the private banks will be better for people like me, but they’re very new and few people trust them".

For now, cash-starved businessmen like Khazali are obliged to turn for credit to members of the country’s bazaari class, strongly pro-regime merchants who double as money lenders.

"Iran lacks liquidity; we do our best to remedy that", one bazaari says. One method used, he explains, is the systematic back-dating of cheques.

"Strictly speaking it’s illegal, but it enables us to play with money that isn’t ours".

This bazaari is a small player, specialising only in copper goods. Others, with political attachments, are more powerful.

The current head of the influential pro-bazaari Coalition of Islamic Associations, Habibollah Asgar-Auladi, was Commerce minister in the 1980s, a position he used to procure lucrative foreign trade contracts for his brother. The family is now estimated to be worth $400 million.

Neither brother is renowned for his reformist sentiments. When Khatami broke his customary cautious reserve to warn against the rise of "religious fascism" in December 1998, Habibollah publicly reminded him he was "president of the whole nation and not just one group which insults and violates the holy values of the revolution".

"These bazaari are like a mafia, obeying no laws", says one clothes manufacturer, who buys all his fabric from them. "If one of them decides to boycott a company, they all do".

"Fortunately the younger generation is slightly more moderate", adds opposition economist Ali Rashidi. "Unfortunately, they age well: Plenty are over 90 and still going strong".

With Iran’s chronic unemployment ­ officially 12.5 percent but likely closer to 20 percent ­ exacerbated by the arrival on the job market of 1980s baby-boomers, analysts insist only a radical reworking of Iran’s crony capitalism can stave off a crisis.

"The regime knows it has no choice but to liberalise", argues Sa’id Laylaz. "They may use anti-Western rhetoric as their political trump card, but they can only save themselves by opening up the country".

Jahangir Amouzegar is more pessimistic: "It’s not Islamic ideology that’s holding the system up; it’s the clerics’ and bazaaris’ hold on the economy", he says. ENDS IRAN ECONOMY 12803

Editor's note: Mr. Nicholas Birsh is a specialist on the Middle East, mostly on Iran and Turkey

The Beirut-based "The Daily Star" published the above story on its Tuesday 12 August issue.

Highlights and phonetisation of names are by IPS

http://www.iran-press-service.com/
5 posted on 08/13/2003 12:08:13 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; ...
IRAN’S RICH AND WELL-CONNECTED FAVOUR ECONOMIC STATUS QUO

By: Nicholas Birch* IPS

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/963108/posts?page=5#5

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail me”
6 posted on 08/13/2003 12:09:15 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Well, isn't that special? I swear that once Iran is free, they will have much to teach US about Republics, Democracy and Freedom - IT WILL HAPPEN!
7 posted on 08/13/2003 12:45:18 AM PDT by BiffWondercat
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To: BiffWondercat
It may happen sooner than most expect.
8 posted on 08/13/2003 1:37:11 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; ...
This just in from Iran....

People in Tehran reported they are now getting some LA based Iranian broadcasts again. They mentioned NITV and Pars TV.

This is very encouraging to them.

9 posted on 08/13/2003 1:51:40 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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Comment #10 Removed by Moderator

To: DoctorZIn
Iranian dancer sparks cultural conflict during homecoming
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Associated Press
Aug. 12, 2003 07:05 AM

LOS ANGELES - Mohammad Khordadian spent days in a cramped Iranian prison cell while an Islamic court decided whether to have him hanged.

His alleged crime? Sharing his love of dance.

It was another twist in the strange odyssey of the Iranian-born dancer known to millions in his homeland for his Jane Fonda-type aerobics videos and campy dance routines.

Khordadian, 46, became the a symbol of lingering Iranian-American tension when he returned to Iran last year for the first time since 1980 to visit his ailing father.

In the nation where student aspirations for democratic reforms have clashed with the ideals of religious hard-liners, he was arrested and convicted for "promoting moral corruption" by holding dance classes in the United States.

"I had two loves in my life, dancing and my country. Unfortunately, they tried to make me pick one of them," Khordadian said.

Instead of death, the Islamic judge eventually banned Khordadian from teaching dance for the rest of his life. Though released from prison and allowed to leave Iran, he could be jailed for up to five years if he returns and is again convicted on those charges.

Now back in Los Angeles, where he is again grooving with fans, the dancer's experience provides insight into the power struggle in Iran.

"All I did was dance and try to keep our culture alive," he said.

The dancer became famous in Iranian households after moving to Los Angeles and being granted political asylum. His line of exercise videos were smuggled into revolutionary Iran where housewives relied on them to stay fit and entertained.

These days, his dance routines - a mixture of old world folklore and Hollywood glitz - have gotten frequent play on Farsi-language shows beamed into Iran by satellite television.

"Youngsters follow him because they see Westernized and Easternized dance moves in his routines," said Alireza Amirghasemi, a partner at the Persian Broadcasting Co. in Encino, which beams entertainment and news programs to an estimated 15 million viewers in Iran.

In the two decades since Iran's Islamic revolution, exiles like Khordadian have thrived in Los Angeles, home to a third of the nation's 277,000 Iranian immigrants.

It's here that Khordadian teaches Middle Eastern dance, including belly dancing, to many Iranian-born expatriates seeking a connection to their culture.

"His classes make you happy," said Guity Satey, a men's clothing retailer who has been honing her dance steps three times a week at a studio in West Los Angeles. Khordadian's classes are open to both genders unlike in Iran, where men and women dancing together in public is not permitted.

Friends and relatives had warned Khordadian that it would be foolhardy to attempt a trip to Iran. When he got word last year that his father was ill, the dancer decided to ignore the advice. His mother and best friend had died in Iran during his absence, and fame was making him lonely.

"I go to concerts where 6,000 people come to see me. But in the end, I go back to a hotel room alone," said Khordadian. So on April 9, 2002, he arrived in Tehran.

He was taken to a room and questioned about the reason for his trip. A few days later, he was summoned to meet with an adviser to President Mohammad Khatami. The aide expressed concern that Khordadian's image was being exploited on satellite broadcasts.

Khordadian believes now that the president's aide tried to warn him of the power of the Islamic clerics who control the country's courts. But he didn't know how to read between the lines.

"They said 'Go quietly,' " he said.

After spending time with his father and sisters, Khordadian traveled to the town of Isfahan, known for its ancient architecture. Khordadian was soon spotted by fans and a spontaneous crowd of hundreds of people formed.

Back at his hotel, Khordadian found 10 men with long beards waiting. The country's religious establishment had figured out he was there.

Ten minutes before his plane was due to depart Tehran, Khordadian was arrested and blindfolded. He spent 21 days in solitary confinement in a cell that was too small for him to lie down.

He was later transferred him to the notorious Evin prison, where he spent 40 days. He was not physically mistreated during his detention but was emotionally scarred by the experience.

Still, even during his court hearing, Khordadian recalled a strange compliment from the Islamic judge, who had clearly heard of the defendant.

"'You are more talented than Michael Jackson because you can dance many different styles. Can you dance salsa?' " Khordadian recalled the judge asking.


http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/0812IranianDancer12-ON.html

Comment: The judge watch Western TV.

I anticipate that judges differs, but in general how independent are they? For instance in Poland even before the wall fell down in 1989 the judges were mostly honest people.
11 posted on 08/13/2003 2:57:37 AM PDT by AdmSmith
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To: DoctorZIn
Aug. 13, 2003

Iran expatriates make waves, By Nir T. Boms

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/A/JPArticle/ShowFull&cid=1060661323948

In March, Iranian ex-rock star Zia Atabay placed a small satellite dish on the roof of a former pornographic studio in a Los Angeles neighborhood and began broadcasting. Atabay once the "Tom Jones of Iran" escaped his homeland shortly after 1979 and found refuge in California's 600,000-strong Iranian expatriate community. With his wife's support he launched his Farsi satellite station, calling it NITV (The National Iranian Television Network) and stressing its nonpartisan nature.

The station began airing some old films, music and eventually news and original programs. A few days later he received his first telephone call from Teheran. The Iranians on the line were exhilarated, telling him how excited they were to see programming banned in Iran.

This caught Atabay by surprise. "What do you mean?" I am not even broadcasting to Iran!" He wasn't. Someone at the satellite dispatch station had pushed a button which opened an additional link that quickly went across the ocean.

The Iranian regime feared an American "invasion" but never suspected the intrusion would come in this form and daily enter 300 new homes.

According to Atabay, approximately 25 million Iranians a third of the population have viewed NITV. It has created a culture around it. Since private satellite dishes are expensive not to mention illegal programs are often recorded and distributed via video tapes and the Internet for private screenings.

Atabay quickly established satellite links to other Farsi-speaking communities in Pakistan, Azerbaijan, and Bahrain. The channel was received in the Middle East, Europe, the Persian Gulf, South America, and even Australia, adding millions of viewers.

"We tell the Iranians about Gandhi and Nehru in India," says Atabay. "We broadcast programs about the Iron Curtain and about the fall of the Soviet Union. In the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks I asked young Iranians to show solidarity with America. The world must understand that the Iranian people do not condone the terrorists. Using my channel, I asked that they take to the streets, and they did. The images of students in the streets of Teheran were broadcasted all over the world."

Atabay hired Iranian comedian Ali Dean, known for impersonating ayatollahs. Dean successfully recreated a popular 1980s British show, Spitting Image. The difference was that instead of puppets in the spitting image of Margaret Thatcher and Neil Kinnock, the Farsi-speaking community watched puppets in the image of the mullahs. NITV began fighting the Iranian theocracy by revealing its leaders' true faces.

Following NITV'S example, other Farsi channels like Azadi and Channel One began beaming to Iran. They join the Voice Of America and Radio Farda, a 24-hour US-run radio service.

IN RESPONSE to this new wave of information, the mullahs of Iran launched their counterattack. Armed with microwave trucks designed to jam satellite signals and help locate the dishes, the mullahs unleashed the Revolutionary Guards to crack down on people tuning into the foreign programs.

Iran also reached out to Cuba for assistance. Intelligence sources reported a secret visit to Havana by Moshen Hashemi.

The details of the visit remain unknown. However, only days before the anniversary of the commemoration of the first wave of student riots, July 9, 1999, Cuban satellite jamming systems were successful in blocking Parsh TV, Azadi TV, VOA, and NITV broadcasts into Iran.

The jamming signal is thought to come from a complex outside Havana built by the Soviet Union to eavesdrop on the US during the cold war.

Though the mullahs have been temporarily successful in their efforts, Atabay believes the power of the dish having been unleashed will not be forgotten.

He tells me that when Iranian students arrested by the Republican Guards come out of jail they immediately call his station. They play a crucial role in providing information about the evolving situation on the ground. In turn Atabay sends them new satellite frequencies that will be in use.

Unfortunately, finding alternative ways of reaching Iranian audiences is increasingly difficult. Kourosh Abbassi, a spokesperson for Azadi Television, says they tried changing the satellite frequencies, but "within minutes" the new ones were blocked. The task of locating these broadcasts on the satellite dial becomes ever more difficult.

"Morale is low here," says Abbassi, as he notes over 2,000 responses received from supporters in Iran. "Technically, if they can do it to us they can do it to anyone, even to CNN."

On June 28, Iranian students took to the streets by the thousands and they are still there today. According to government reports 4,000 were arrested (the actual number is estimated at 10,000), many with the use of excessive force.

Some outside television and radio stations were able to find alternative ways to reach their audience using short wave, Internet, and telephones.

Alireza Morovati, an anchor for the Voice of Iran radio station, told me that the students were coordinating their activities on the air: "Someone from Shiraz was talking with someone from Teheran, telling them about the demonstration and the riots. Teheran and Shiraz were connected only via Los Angeles."

It seems that the battle over the power of the dish is reaching a climax. "Our mission is to bring the voice of freedom to Iran" says Morovati. Sometimes all it takes is one small dish.

The writer is vice president of the Washington-based Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.

12 posted on 08/13/2003 5:46:36 AM PDT by yonif ("If I Forget Thee, O Jerusalem, Let My Right Hand Wither" - Psalms 137:5)
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To: DoctorZIn; nuconvert; dixiechick2000; AdmSmith; McGavin999; Eala; RaceBannon; Texas_Dawg; Valin; ...
Breaking News
Posted on Wed, Aug. 13, 2003

Iran Won't Let U.S. Interrogate al-Qaida
ALI AKBAR DAREINI
Associated Press

TEHRAN, Iran - Iran said Wednesday it won't allow the United States to interrogate senior al-Qaida operatives in Iranian custody.

"No," was President Mohammad Khatami's brief reply when reporters asked if Iran would allow U.S. investigators access.

A day earlier while on a visit to Australia, Deputy U.S. Secretary of State Richard Armitage told reporters the United States wanted to talk to al-Qaida suspects in Iran.

"We know that Iran, to her own admission, is holding a certain number of al-Qaida," Armitage said. "Some of them we believe to be quite high level. We'd like to get access to them and interrogate them to try to head off whatever plans they've already got in the works."

Khatami said Iran was ready to hand over Saudi al-Qaida detainees to Saudi Arabia, which is investigating bombings on May 12 in Riyadh, its capital.

"If their nationality is Saudi, we have no problem handing them over. We have no problem cooperating with Saudi Arabia," Khatami told reporters after a Cabinet meeting.

On Monday, Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said Iran would try al-Qaida operatives in Iranian custody whose nationalities are not clear and if no country takes them.

Asefi also said Iran will also try those al-Qaida figures who have committed crimes in Iran. He gave no further details.

Last week, Iran's government spokesman Abdollah Ramezanzadeh said Iran won't hand over senior al-Qaida captives to the United States because Iran had no extradition treaty with Washington.

Intelligence Minister Yunesi confirmed for the first time last month that Iran was holding "a large number of small and big-time elements of al-Qaida." Iran has not identified any of the detainees, citing security reasons.

U.S. officials have said intelligence suggests that al-Qaida figures in Iran include Saif al-Adl, a top al-Qaida agent possibly connected to the May 12 bombings in Riyadh; Abu Mohammed al-Masri, wanted in connection with the bombings of two U.S. embassies in East Africa in 1998; Abu Musab Zarqawi, whom some U.S. officials describe as the key link between al-Qaida and toppled Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein; and Saad bin Laden, the son of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.

Many al-Qaida operatives are believed to have fled to Iran after the overthrow of the Taliban regime in neighboring Afghanistan in late 2001.

http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/news/breaking_news/6522526.htm
13 posted on 08/13/2003 6:05:24 AM PDT by F14 Pilot
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To: DoctorZIn
We will need to disengage in AFGHANISTAN,IRAQ before we are of much use in IRAN i fear
14 posted on 08/13/2003 6:09:48 AM PDT by y2k_free_radical (i)
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To: F14 Pilot
Iranian hard-liners' grip tight as reformists regroup

13 August By Nicholas Birch Christian Science Monitor

Many in the reform movement have become disenchanted by the inability of their leaders to loosen conservatives' hold over Iranian politics.

Amir Mohebbian, a columnist for the conservative Iranian daily Resalat, has little trouble summing up the state of his country's reform movement.

"Iran's reformers are like poker players whose bluff has been called," he says firmly. "Their game is over."

Mr. Mohebian's paper is a mouthpiece for the hard-liners who surround supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, its pronouncements ignored by most Iranian readers. But on the issue of the country's beleaguered reform movement, even those at the opposite end of the political spectrum grudgingly admit it is right.

In 2001, following the reelection of moderate President Mohammad Khatami by a wide margin, many Iranians believed they finally had a government capable of bringing the changes they demanded. But disenchantment quickly set in. Despite the support of a new reformist majority in parliament, the man some have labeled Iran's Gorbachev has proven unable to influence hard-liners in the executive and judiciary to loosen their grip on Iranian politics.

"The reform process has been emasculated," says Davoud Hermidas Bavand, a law professor at the Supreme National Defense University in Tehran. "The mood in Iran now is angry, but above all pessimistic."

Analysts say the crunch came on June 3, when the Guardian Council - a staunchly conservative unelected upper house - refused to ratify a parliamentary bill that would have stripped the councilof its power to veto candidates it considered unsuitable for elected office.

Mr. Khatami had described the measure as crucial to planned reforms, and had hinted he would resign if it was vetoed. He has yet to budge, however.

Their leader's helplessness exposed more harshly than ever, parliamentary reformists seem increasingly split between moderates, many of whom are clerics willing to work within Iran's theocratic system, and others, who privately want out.

Rift among reformists

With rumors rife that a small group of radical reform lawmakers may be preparing to resign, analysts question Khatami's ability to hold his group together until elections next year. "His insistence on change through consensus has reached the end of its usefulness," says one reformist deputy. "The time has come for confrontation."

A far more serious blow to Khatami's cause came in early July. Dismayed by his perceived failure to defend 4,000 protesters detained after nationwide pro- democracy demonstrations in June, the student-led Office to Foster Unity (OFU) announced it would no longer be supporting him. With about 60,000 members, OFU is among the largest and best-organized protest groups in Iran.

Though conservatives like Mohebbian insist reformists "overestimate people's desire for change." In Tehran, at least, criticism of the regime is omnipresent.

Taxi drivers routinely boast that they have stopped picking up anyone wearing a cleric's turban and robes. Deep skepticism of Iran's leaders extends even to some members of the baseej, a pious semi-militia.

The trouble, argues pro- reform columnist and businessman Saeed Laylaz, is that hard-liners have been just flexible enough to appease most of their critics.

"These people are not stupid," he says. "Their willingness to permit the loosening of puritanical laws on dress and public behavior have created the illusion of freedom." He also warns against the assumption that the grumbling in Tehran is shared throughout the country.

"The Shah made that mistake, and he ended his life in exile," he says. "Only cautious reforms can balance urban radicalism and rural demands for bread."

He may be right. A more convincing explanation for widespread Iranian apathy, though, was given by Mohsen, a student at Tehran University. "Look where our last one-night revolution got us. How can we be sure the next one won't be worse?" he asks.

New catalyst

Such cynicism worries Rouzbeh Mirebrahimi, the youthful political editor of the pro-reform daily Etemad. He points to the dismal 12 percent turnout at local elections in Tehran this February. "We handed victory to the conservatives on a plate," he fumes. "And the same thing could happen in next year's general election."

He believes the recent death of Canadian-Iranian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi, who was detained by police after taking photographs outside Tehran's high-security Evin prison and had her skull fractured during interrogation, could motivate the flagging reformists. "Her murder," he says, has forced us to pull together."

Bolstered by Canadian pressure, reformist criticisms have forced Iran's hard-line judiciary chief to remove Tehran prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi - whom many suspect of having had a hand in killing Ms. Kazemi - from leading the investigation into her death.

"He's been the main instigator of newspaper closures over the past four years," comments Iran expert Ali Ansari, who is based in Britain. "Now it's payback time."


http://www.iranexpert.com/2003/iranianhardliners13august.htm
15 posted on 08/13/2003 6:13:25 AM PDT by AdmSmith
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To: AdmSmith
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=1514&e=14&u=/afp/20030811/wl_mideast_afp/iran_iraq_us_unrest_030811113753


I think this article is good to read again.
16 posted on 08/13/2003 6:16:52 AM PDT by F14 Pilot
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To: All
President denies claims on Iran-US talks/correspondence

Tehran, Aug 13, IRNA -- President Mohammad Khatami here on Wednesday
dismissed the prospect of interrogation of Al Qaeda members in Iran by
the Americans.
Speaking to reporters, the president said that no talks have been
held between Iran and the US on the issue and added that once Iran is
through with the investigation of Al Qaeda members who are currently
Iran's custody and their identities are confirmed, proper decision
will be taken for their trial or expulsion.
"We will arrest Al Qaeda members if we come across them, given
that they are our enemies, similar to Americans," he noted.
Concerning the claim of a Saudi official that Iran is refraining
from delivering a member of Al Qaeda, a Saudi citizen, to Saudi
Arabia, he said, "Given joint cooperation and constant negotiations
between the two states, if that is the case, there will be no
problem."
He rejected that there were any exchanges or any correspondence
between the Iranian and American statesmen and said that such claims
are simply speculations.
President Khatami also denied the rumor that Iran's permanent
representative to the United Nations, Mohammad-Javad Zarif, has been
holding talks with the US officials on behalf of Iran.

http://www.irna.ir/en/tnews/030813170324.etn00.shtml
17 posted on 08/13/2003 6:32:01 AM PDT by F14 Pilot
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To: DoctorZIn; nuconvert; dixiechick2000; AdmSmith; McGavin999; Eala; Texas_Dawg; Valin; yonif; ...
Khatami says will not forward twin bills to EC

Tehran, Aug 13, IRNA -- President Mohammad Khatami said here on
Wednesday that he would not forward his twin bills on promoting
presidential powers and reforming the electoral law to the Expediency
Council (EC).
"I will not send my bills to the EC," Khatami told reporters after
a cabinet meeting, adding that he hoped the dispute between the
Majlis and the Guardian Council (GC) on the electoral law would be
resolved before the elections for the seventh Majlis.
Khatami presented the twin bills to the Majlis last September as
what he said could enable him to better deliver on his promises to the
people and to actualize people's aspirations.
The bill on presidential power redefines Khatami's prerogatives by
highlighting the president's right to warn any of the highest ranking
officials of the three constitutional powers whenever needed and mete
out punishment in case the warning is not heeded.
Also, the bill on amending the electoral law has been basically
drawn up to address the GC's prerogative of approbatory supervision.
Under the Constitution, the GC is authorized to reject Majlis
legislation which it deems contrary to the Sharia law of Islam or
the Constitution.
After the fourth Majlis, however, the GC expanded its domain of
responsibility to decide the competency of election candidates by
interpreting one of its constitutional authorities - approbatory
supervision - as a right to ensure that only candidates who meet its
standards are allowed to run for public office.
The government has announced that Khatami's bill on amending the
electoral law is meant to increase people's participation in elections
and reduce wanton disqualification of elections hopefuls.
The GC has rejected both the bills.

http://www.irna.ir/en/tnews/030813145154.etn01.shtml
18 posted on 08/13/2003 6:36:02 AM PDT by F14 Pilot
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To: y2k_free_radical
...We will need to disengage in AFGHANISTAN,IRAQ before we are of much use in IRAN i fear...

I disagree.
Our engagement in Afghanistan and Iraq is putting significant pressure on Iran.
To disengage in those countries is precisely what the Iranian regime wants.
19 posted on 08/13/2003 8:42:38 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: All
Iraq "chaos" will only end with foreign forces' departure: Iran

Mon Aug 11, 7:37 AM ET Add Mideast - AFP to My Yahoo!

TEHRAN (AFP) - The "chaos" in Iraq (news - web sites) will only end with the departure of foreign forces from the country, Iran's foreign ministry spokesman warned.

"We do not support any acts which endanger the life of the innocent, but we think that the presence of foreign forces and the way they behave towards the Iraqis are the principal cause of insecurity in Iraq", Hamid-Reza Asefi said in his weekly press conference.

"So for calm to return, it is necessary for the foreign forces to leave Iraq and to agree to give the future of this country to the Iraqis as soon as possible," Asefi said Monday. "Only under these conditions, can we hope for the end of chaos in Iraq."

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=1514&e=14&u=/afp/20030811/wl_mideast_afp/iran_iraq_us_unrest_030811113753

20 posted on 08/13/2003 8:45:20 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: All
Rising Tide of Islamic Militants See Iraq as Ultimate Battlefield

By Neil MacFarquhar
Aug 13, 2003

SULAIMANIYA, Iraq — In much the same way as the Russian invasion of Afghanistan stirred an earlier generation of young Muslims determined to fight the infidel, the American presence in Iraq is prompting a rising tide of Muslim militants to slip into the country to fight the foreign occupier, Iraqi officials and others say.

"Iraq is the nexus where many issues are coming together — Islam versus democracy, the West versus the axis of evil, Arab nationalism versus some different types of political culture," said Barham Saleh, the prime minister of this Kurdish-controlled part of northern Iraq. "If the Americans succeed here, this will be a monumental blow to everything the terrorists stand for."

Recent intelligence suggests the militants are well organized. One returning group of fighters from the militant Ansar al-Islam organization captured in the Kurdish region two weeks ago consisted of five Iraqis, a Palestinian and a Tunisian.

Among their possessions were five forged Italian passports for a different group of militants they were apparently supposed to join, said Dana Ahmed Majid, the director of general security for the region.

Long gone are the bearded men in the short robes believed worn by the Prophet Muhammad that the Arabs who went to Afghanistan favored. Instead, the same practices that allowed the Sept. 11 attackers to blend into American society are evident.

The fighters steal over Iraq's largely unpoliced borders in small groups with instructions to go to a safe house where they can whisper a password to gain admittance and then lie low awaiting further instructions, say Iraqi security officials in northern Iraq and in Baghdad.

"They come across as civilians, they shave their beards and have clean-cut hair," said a senior security official in the Kurdish region.

Iraqi officials say they expect a broad spectrum of Muslim militants to flood Iraq. They believe that Ansar al-Islam, a small fundamentalist group believed to have links with Al Qaeda, forms the backbone of the underground network. The group was forced out of northern Iraq by a huge attack during the war.

Mullah Mustapha Kreikar, the founding spiritual leader of Ansar al-Islam, said in an interview on Sunday with LBC, the Lebanese satellite channel, that the fight in Iraq would be the culmination of all Muslim efforts since the Islamic caliphate collapsed in the early 20th century with the demise of the Ottoman Empire. "There is no difference between this occupation and the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in 1979," he said from Norway, where he has political asylum.

"The resistance is not only a reaction to the American invasion, it is part of the continuous Islamic struggle since the collapse of the caliphate," he said. "All Islamic struggles since then are part of one organized effort to bring back the caliphate."

Such appeals appear to be attracting a wide range of militants. The fight against Al Qaeda and its numerous offshoots worldwide during the last two years has severely disrupted their coordination, but details emerging from either suspects captured in the last few weeks or from recent surveillance indicates that Qaeda training methods in everything from forgery to establishing sleeper cells are being applied here.

Al Qaeda Web sites carry long treatises on the need for jihad, or holy war, and argue that the effort should not be dissipated in meaningless activities like peaceful demonstrations. Chat-room discussions occasionally focus on how to sneak across borders.

Once established in Baghdad or in the Sunni triangle north of the capital, where much of the armed resistance occurs, the Islamic militants often make common cause with members of the former Baathist government who are also determined to fight Americans.

At least one Saudi and one Egyptian formerly linked to Al Qaeda helped establish an initial training camp three weeks ago where new recruits are lectured on the theological underpinnings of jihad, a security official in Baghdad said.

"All previous experiences with the activities of the underground organizations proved that they flourish in countries with a chaotic security situation, unchecked borders and the lack of a central government — Iraq is all that," said Muhammad Salah, an expert on militant groups and the Cairo bureau chief of the newspaper Al Hayat. "It is the perfect environment for fundamentalist groups to operate and grow."

United States troops have arrested two clerics from Islamic Kurdish groups — once all part of one big organization — suspected of providing logistics help to Ansar fighters, Iraqi officials said. More than 150 members of Ansar al-Islam are believed to have slipped into the country in recent weeks, said a security official in the Kurdish region. Smugglers are believed to be bringing them over daily.

In addition, there are an estimated 100,000 former members of the Iraqi security services without gainful employment, all concentrated in the Sunni triangle north of Baghdad. Perhaps 2,000 of them, especially those with no source of income and no hopes of gaining any kind of amnesty, would be likely recruits for the fundamentalists, the official said.

Although attacks like the deadly car bombing outside the Jordanian Embassy that killed 17 people last Thursday are most likely the work of militants, security officials say, some attacks are carried out either for money or by Iraqis who just do not want Americans here. But the officials anticipate that militant organizations will carry out more attacks.

The training around Baghdad so far has been in three stages, a security official said. Some sort of initial contact is made — usually after prayers in a mosque — and then a second meeting is arranged. Some recruits are weeded out then, but the third round of likely candidates are the ones who make it to the training camp, the official said. They are told to move away from their families and not communicate with anyone.

Some candidates are believed to be the men who worked for Muhammad Khtair al-Dulaimi in the Special Operations Directorate, the branch of the Iraqi secret service that specialized in remote control bombings, poisoning and other operations. The former chief is still at large and is suspected of putting his employees to work against the Americans, the source said.

But the main group organizing an underground route of safe houses and coordinating the various efforts is believed to be Ansar al-Islam, or the Islamic Partisans in English, whose suspected ties to Al Qaeda were among the reasons the Bush administration used to justify the war against Iraq. Although initially a strictly Kurdish organization, its ranks swelled with Arab fighters after the United States attacked Afghanistan in October 2001.

Before the Iraqi war the group was believed to have some 850 members, but up to 200 were killed in the attack against them by Kurdish and United States Special Forces troops in March. Several hundred more were either captured or turned themselves in, leaving an estimated 300 to 350 who fled to Iran.

The extent of their activities remains cloudy. But Web sites believed linked to Al Qaeda are clear enough about the envisaged fight: "The struggle with America has to be carefully managed, the `electric shock method' must be applied, relentless shocks that haunt the Americans all the time everywhere, without giving them a break to regain balance or power."

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/08/13/international/worldspecial/13ISLA.html
21 posted on 08/13/2003 8:50:10 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; ...
Rising Tide of Islamic Militants See Iraq as Ultimate Battlefield

By Neil MacFarquhar
NYTIMES
Aug 13, 2003

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/963108/posts?page=21#21

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail me”
22 posted on 08/13/2003 8:51:37 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: All
Israel's Red Flag on Iran

August 13, 2003
The Washington Post
Jim Hoagland

A grim warning from Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to President Bush that Iran is much closer to producing nuclear weapons than U.S. intelligence believes has triggered concern here that Israel is seriously considering a preemptive strike against Iran's Bushehr nuclear reactor.

Sharon dramatized his forecast by bringing Maj. Gen. Yoav Galant, a three-star army officer who serves as his military secretary, to a meeting with Bush in the Oval Office two weeks ago, U.S. and Israeli sources tell me. Galant showered a worried-looking Bush with photographs and charts from a thick dossier on Iran's covert program.

So much for the news. Now the analysis: Oy. And vey.

Sharon's description of the unacceptable risks of Iran's being able to launch "a nuclear holocaust" comes just as the Bush administration is making headway in constructing a diplomatic containment strategy for the nuclear weapons programs of Iran and North Korea. Unilateral Israeli action against Iran would destroy this strategy and gravely complicate Bush's reconstruction efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan as well.

Bush's frequently warring senior policymakers have reached a consensus (now there's news) in recent weeks that the United States has no attractive military options in Iran or North Korea. Instead, Washington must work with its allies to impede these rogue efforts to create nuclear arsenals. Europe and Russia have responded by increasingly distancing themselves from Iran and by joining the Bush team in pressuring North Korea into multilateral talks.

Knee-jerk Bush critics will no doubt poke fun or scorn at these post-Iraq multilateralist efforts. As someone almost said once, let them eat yellowcake. An improving climate in transatlantic relations as the bitterness over Iraq recedes makes this strategy the best bet for the next six months, and probably beyond. U.S. officials believe they can use that time to put new obstacles in the way of the Iranian and North Korean programs.

But Sharon's presentation to Bush challenges the assumptions and viability of the emerging U.S. nonproliferation strategy on Iran. U.S. intelligence estimates that put Iran's covert nuclear weapons drive about four years short of being able to turn plutonium into a workable nuclear warhead overstate the time factor by at least 100 percent, Sharon argued. One to two years is his projected timeline.

To be sure, Sharon would face formidable logistical and political problems in trying to update Israel's successful preemptive 1981 strike against Iraq's Osirak reactor. His Oval Office briefing may have been designed to pressure Bush to move more forcefully on Iran rather than to advertise an impending Israeli action.

Israeli leaders have consistently warned Americans for two decades that Iran's Islamic regime is a mortal enemy for the Jewish state and must not be underestimated. Sharon's account, while apparently more urgent and dramatic than past presentations, fits a pattern of Israel "treating a nuclear-arming Iran as an immediate existential threat," says one U.S. official, while Washington does not.

But it is Israel's experience with Osirak that makes Sharon's alarming words impossible to ignore. The trigger for that strike was intelligence that the Iraqi reactor was about to be loaded with nuclear fuel. Hitting it after the loading would have risked spreading radioactive contamination across a wide area in the Middle East. And after the 1991 Gulf War it was discovered that outside assessments -- including Israel's -- underestimated how close Saddam Hussein had been to getting the bomb.

Russian delivery of fuel to the Bushehr reactor that it will complete for Iran later this year could be taken by the Israelis as a similar point of no return. The Iranians also have a covert uranium mining and enrichment effort underway that could be tied into the Bushehr reactor, international inspectors have reported.

"The enrichment effort is the bigger unknown for us," says a U.S. official. "But our estimate is that Iran does not now have a completely indigenous nuclear capability. Efforts to prevent it from reaching that point of no return are worth pursuing. The longer you can keep Russia from delivering the fuel, the better off you are."

A year-long effort led by Undersecretary of State John Bolton to persuade Russia and other countries to be more wary of Iran seems to be making inch-by-inch progress. Moscow has joined in summit-level statements critical of Iran, and Germany and France recently blocked shipment of aluminum tubes useful to Iran's enrichment program. Bolton will seek new action from the International Atomic Energy Agency at a Sept. 8 meeting.

Hope that he gets it. Whatever his purpose, Sharon has usefully sketched one awful alternative to the Bush administration's making multilateralism work for it.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A52278-2003Aug12.html
23 posted on 08/13/2003 8:53:35 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: All
Iran Plan to Remove Inequalities Blocked

August 13, 2003
The Financial Times
Najmeh Bozorgmehr

Iran's hardline constitu-tional watchdog yesterday blocked a move by Iranian reformists to remove legal and social inequalities against women.

State television announced that the conservative-dominated Guardian Council had rejected a bill binding Iran to the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. The council ruled the measure was against Sharia (Islamic law) and the constitution "in numerous cases", and could oblige Iran to accept un-Islamic laws.

The bill was presented by the pro-reform government and won overwhelming support in parliament.

Iran's legal system, which is based on Sharia, enshrines unequal rights in areas including divorce, custody, inheritance and blood money.

In the past few weeks senior conservative clerics, based in the holy city of Qom, have criticised reformists for endorsing the campaign. Ayatollah Ali Meshkini, a prominent hardline cleric, this week addressed a letter to the parliament, calling the motion "illegitimate" for "imposing cultural and social patterns" of the west, and for contradicting "tens of Islamic decrees".

The pro-reform Yas-e-No daily wrote yesterday that women in Qom had claimed the bill could allow opposite sexes to mingle even in traditional public baths and swimming pools. Under the present law, men and women are segregated for activities that require loose covering of hair and body.

Analysts believe that the embattled reformists, who face declining popularity for failing to meet demands for reform among young Iranians, women in particular, had expected the bill to be blocked. But analysts said the main intention was to challenge conservatives and demonstrate the obstacles they presented to reforms.

The parliament is expected to refer the bill to a higher forum.

http://news.ft.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=FT.com/StoryFT/FullStory&c=StoryFT&cid=1059478959949
24 posted on 08/13/2003 8:54:54 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran Watchdog Rejects Bills on Elections, Torture

August 13, 2003
Reuters
Paul Hughes

TEHRAN -- A conservative Iranian constitutional watchdog has rejected a raft of key legislation on election procedures and civil rights, dealing another heavy blow to President Mohammad Khatami's reformist agenda.

The official IRNA news agency said on Wednesday the Guardian Council -- a 12-member body dominated by conservative clerics -- had rejected the bills on the grounds that they were unconstitutional and against Islamic Sharia law.

One bill, on election procedures, was aimed at curbing the Guardian Council's power to bar candidates from running for office. The other bills related to Iran adopting U.N. charters on banning torture and eliminating discrimination against women. All had been approved by the reformist-controlled parliament.

Khatami acknowledged in a speech on Tuesday that his reform agenda had largely failed after six years in office and warned his hardline rivals that they were alienating the country's youth and storing up trouble for the future.

Khatami's failure to overcome conservative resistance to his reformist agenda has caused his popularity to plummet and led to growing calls for him to resign.

Guardian Council spokesman Ebrahim Azizi told IRNA the election reform bill had been rejected because it contained ''many legal problems which were contrary to the constitution.''

It was the second time that the bill had been rejected.

If the Guardian Council and parliament fail to come to an agreement on the bills they should be sent to the Expediency Council, an arbitration body which has tended to side with Guardian Council rulings in the past.

Khatami has said he does not want the election bill to be sent to the Expediency Council. He has linked this bill with another proposed reform which would increase the president's authority over the judiciary -- another bastion of hardline opposition to Khatami's reforms.

REJECTIONS LITTLE SURPRISE

Khatami and his allies argue the election bill is essential to ensure real democracy prevails in the Islamic Republic.

They say that the Guardian Council has in the past used its powers to bar reformist candidates from running for office and fear it will do the same in upcoming parliamentary elections in March next year and a presidential vote in 2005.

The Guardian Council insists it only rules out candidates who are ''anti-revolutionary'' or have criminal records.

Conservatives point to the fact that reformists won a large majority in the last parliamentary elections as evidence of the Guardian Council's impartiality.

The Guardian Council has already set up scores of offices around the country to monitor the statements and records of potential candidates for next year's parliamentary vote.

Reformists have called the Guardian Council regional offices illegal and demanded they be closed down.

As with the elections bill, the Guardian Council's rejection of legislation to adopt U.N. charters on torture and women's rights came as little surprise.

The torture bill has been rejected several times by the Council and sent back to parliament for amendment.

The bill to adopt the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women had met with fierce opposition from conservative clerics, some of whom described it as a colonialist ''plot to undermine Islam.''

Guardian Council spokesman Azizi said the bill had been rejected as several articles contravened Islamic Sharia law.

http://famulus.msnbc.com/FamulusIntl/reuters08-13-005913.asp?reg=MIDEAST
25 posted on 08/13/2003 8:56:40 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; ...
Iran Watchdog Rejects Bills on Elections, Torture

August 13, 2003
Reuters
Paul Hughes

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/963108/posts?page=25#25

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail me”
26 posted on 08/13/2003 8:57:47 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: All
Iran stakes a claim to the Silk Road

By Hooman Peimani
Aug 13, 2003

Iran, positioned at the crossroads of the 7,000-mile Silk Road, the ageless trading track between China and the West, has embarked on a variety of transport and other projects to reconstruct, revitalize, expand and diversify its economy to become the epicenter of Asia- Middle East trade.

These diverse projects mainly seek to capitalize on Iran's rich resources or on its geographical location. They aim at returning Iran to its traditional role in expanding trade between Europe and Asia and making it a trade powerhouse. As such, their determination has strategic and economic significance for shippers and traders not just across Asia to Europe, the traditional end of the Silk Road, but all along the Arabian Peninsula, to India and the Mediterranean Sea as well.

Apart from many under-construction highways and ports, railway construction reflects the determination of the Iranians to achieve their objective. The country is now setting a Middle East record for railway construction. Mohammad Saeednejad, managing director of the Islamic Republic Railways, said on Monday that, on average, "500 kilometers of railways have been laid in the country annually" since 2000. Currently they are laying 3,300 kilometers of track, including the 1,000 kilometer Bafq-Mashhad line, which, once finished, will cut by about 900 kilometers the existing track distance connecting Turkmenistan and the entire Central Asia to the Persian Gulf via the Tajan-Mashhad-Bandar Abbas line.

Bandar Abbas is a well-developed Iranian port through which a growing amount of international cargo transaction is conducted. Another major line is a 400 kilometer line connecting the Caspian Sea to the Persian Gulf through the Tehran-Bandar Abbas line. Apart from their position as the main connecting ports between Iran and Russia, the Iranian Caspian Sea ports are becoming increasingly important for their role in expanding regional and international trade between the Caucasus, Central Asia and Russia.

Iran has an advanced land transportation infrastructure, the result of extensive investment since the early 1960s. Various high-quality, well-kept highways connect its major trading, mining and industrial regions to each other as well as to neighboring countries, but that includes few railways. Its main lines stretch less than 10,000 kilometers, extremely inadequate for a vast country of 1.64 million square kilometers. Especially since its major ports are along its 2,500 kilometer coastline with the Persian Gulf and the Oman Sea in the south and most of its populous and industrial regions are in the north.

Apart from Iran's plan to expand its international trade, this rapid transport development is also part of a plan to expand economic relations with the newly-independent neighboring Central Asian and Caucasian countries, and also with its main regional partner, Russia.

In particular, Iran's efforts to turn itself into the major transit route for the landlocked Central Asian countries as well as for the two landlocked Caucasian states, Azerbaijan and Armenia, require connecting road and railroads as well as expanding its domestic land transportation network. The idea of restoring the ancient Silk Road by connecting China's roads and railroads to Europe via its neighboring Central Asia and through Iran is another part of its ambition to expand trade.

Yet another factor has been Iran's membership in the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO). Formed by Iran, Turkey and Pakistan in the 1980s, the ECO was revitalized when five Central Asian countries, Afghanistan and Azerbaijan, joined it after the Soviet Union's fall. Iran's geography makes it the natural link among all these countries, which are its neighbors or which can access it through a land neighbor (Turkmenistan) or a sea neighbor (Kazakhstan) in the case of three Central Asian countries (Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan).

Finally, Iran's joint project with India and Russia to offer an alternative route for European-Asian trade to the one via the Suez Canal has been a factor. Their land/sea route is both shorter and cheaper.

To meet growing domestic and regional/international demand, Iran is expanding and modernizing its land and sea transportation networks to function as the main regional connecting state for long-term trade routes. Within this context, land transportation, and in particular railway construction, is a priority.

Iran is also building a 150 kilometer railroad connecting its eastern Khorassan province with Afghanistan's Herat province, through which it can access other parts of Afghanistan. Since that country borders Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, Iran can also access those Central Asian countries by a shorter link than the current one through Turkmenistan.

To that end, last June Iran signed trilateral agreements with each country and Afghanistan. Given Afghanistan's shared border with China, Iran is also considering offering its route to the Chinese in search of a shortcut for their trade with the Middle East and Europe for which highways and railways would be required.

Iran's plans include connecting the Iranian railway network to Iraq and to its neighboring Syria, which would begin after the completion of Bafq-Mashhad, according to Saeednejad. That rail link would enable the Iranians to access the Mediterranean through an alternative route to the existing Turkish one, which is both long and expensive. There are also political considerations arising from Turkey's close ties with the United States and Israel.

It is not clear if the rail track will pass through Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region, which is on good terms with Iran and which, at least theoretically, does not require the American approval or through its non-Kurdish region requiring that approval.

The expanding railway network is creating a market for foreign suppliers, most of which are struggling to survive. The troubled French corporation Alestom has so far supplied 20 locomotives, while 80 more will be assembled in Iran. China is now selling 150 passenger wagons to Iran, although Iran's Pars Wagon Manufacturing produces and exports wagons to countries such as Syria.

Railway cargo handling capacity is growing. According to Saeednejad, in the first four months of the current Iranian year beginning on March 21, Iranian cargo trains carried 10 million tonnes of cargo and 342,000 tonnes of transit cargoes, indicating, respectively, 17 percent and 40 percent increases compared to the same period in the last year. Nevertheless, the Iranian rail network requires rapid expansion to meet growing domestic and international demands, although the highway system compensates, to a large extent, the former's limitation for the time being.

Despite the shortcoming of their rail system, evidence suggests that the Iranians are determined to fully exploit their geographical location as a major source of income, employment and economic and political influence. If all the existing rail, road and port projects are fully implemented, Iran will certainly become a major transit route for the Asian-European trade on its own merit.

Dr. Hooman Peimani works as an independent consultant with international organizations in Geneva and does research in international relations.

http://www.daneshjoo.org/generalnews/article/publish/article_1723.shtml
27 posted on 08/13/2003 9:00:21 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Consider enemy threat

USA Today
By Newt Gingrich
Aug 13, 2003

Some will argue that a weapon capable of protecting American and allied lives is more dangerous than the terrorists and dictators who openly state their willingness to use weapons of mass murder to kill hundreds of thousands and even millions of civilians. This argument against America protecting itself is a path to enormous danger.
Imagine an enemy of the United States that has developed a chemical or biological weapon. Now imagine that we knew conclusively its precise production and storage locations. However, because our enemy has studied us and has learned our capabilities and our vulnerabilities, he has located the facility two stories deeper than any weapon in our arsenal can penetrate.

The president would be told that we know what it is and where it is but that we have no capability to stop it.

Every year, as tunneling technology improves, countries such as Libya, North Korea and Iran get closer to an ability to create a weapons-of-mass-death facility that simply will be out of our reach. We should conclude from this reality that in order to pre-empt such weapons of mass murder, and those who would use them, we must have the capability to destroy those sites.

The most promising option is a very accurate, limited and reliable low-yield nuclear weapon— a "bunker buster" — that is capable of penetrating deep into the earth and destroying with certainty a fortified weapons facility that is buried deeply underground.

Some will argue that existing weapon systems can do the job, but that is simply not true. Improvements in precision guidance and weapons design would allow a microtactical weapon to be developed that would effectively eliminate a weapons-of-mass-murder program with minimum collateral damage.

This would be a weapon designed to be used. It would not simply be a weapon of deterrence, as current nuclear weapons are.

Yet after Sept. 11, 2001, and after all of the public threats of Osama bin Laden, Kim Jong Il and others, how can we not be prepared to defend ourselves if necessity requires it?

Such a weapon with its potential to save millions of innocent lives should not be seen as a threat but as a necessary step toward strengthening American and world security.

Those who accept the reality of this threat — and all of us must — and yet oppose such a weapon because it is "new" or because they dislike anything "nuclear," need to answer one question: What will they do to defend American lives when such a facility is discovered — if they refuse to use the only current technology that can get the job done.

Former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

http://www.daneshjoo.org/generalnews/article/publish/article_1722.shtml
28 posted on 08/13/2003 9:03:32 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; ...
Consider enemy threat

USA Today
By Newt Gingrich
Aug 13, 2003

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/963108/posts?page=28#28

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail me”
29 posted on 08/13/2003 9:04:42 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
This is good news! The mullahs' days are numbered.
30 posted on 08/13/2003 9:20:51 AM PDT by sheik yerbouty
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To: All
Amnesty slams the regime's watch body on Women's convention
SMCCDI (Information Service)

Aug 13, 2003

Amnesty International (AI) slammed, today, the Islamic republic's Guardian Council for its refusal to ratify the proposal to let Iran to accede to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women

The famous rights watch organization stated, in its communiqué : "The women's convention includes standards that are contained in international human rights treaties to which Iran is already a state party, such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR),"

"The Guardian Council's decision therefore undermines Iran's commitment to uphold international human rights standards and fails the aspirations of all Iranian women to have their dignity and place in society measured against international standards relating to women's rights." AI added.

It's to note that the Islamic ideology is in direct contradiction with Women's Rights as known in our time. Based on this ideology a women can never became a judge or a ruler or to benefit of the same share, or her statement is considered as half of a man.

This backwarded principle is being followed by the therocratic system and its leaders while the majority of the Iranian Nation is composed by woman under 35 years of age who are following with big interest the liberal model of life as existing in the western world.

Many Iranian women have been killed, injured, arrested or fined for having defied the Islamic tabou's.

http://www.daneshjoo.org/generalnews/article/publish/article_1729.shtml
31 posted on 08/13/2003 12:42:49 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
"People in Tehran reported they are now getting some LA based Iranian broadcasts again. They mentioned NITV and Pars TV.

This is very encouraging to them."

That is really good news. I hope they keep getting these channels and more.
32 posted on 08/13/2003 7:44:15 PM PDT by mjaneangels@aolcom
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To: All
Rejecting Women's Convention Undermines Iran's Commitment to International Human Rights Standards

August 13, 2003
Amnesty International
amnestyusa.org

Amnesty International today expressed its dismay that Iran's senior legislative body, the Guardian Council (Shoura-ye Negahban) has refused to ratify parliament's proposal on 12 August to accede to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

"The women's convention includes standards that are contained in international human rights treaties to which Iran is already a state party, such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)," Amnesty International said.

"The Guardian Council's decision therefore undermines Iran's commitment to uphold international human rights standards and fails the aspirations of all Iranian women to have their dignity and place in society measured against international standards relating to women's rights."

http://www.amnestyusa.org/news/2003/iran08132003.html
33 posted on 08/13/2003 8:11:40 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: goldstategop; BlessedAmerican; Miss Marple; glowworm; PhiKapMom; dalereed; CarmelValleyite; ...
Rejecting Women's Convention Undermines Iran's Commitment to International Human Rights Standards

August 13, 2003
Amnesty International
amnestyusa.org

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/963108/posts?page=33#33

"If you want on or off this RECALL ping list, Freepmail me”
34 posted on 08/13/2003 8:12:32 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: All
Did Ayman Zawahiri and Hizbullah's Imad Mughniyeh Leave Iran?

August 14, 2003
Middle East Newsline
MENL

LONDON -- Iran has again asserted that leading Islamic insurgents have fled the country amid fear of being extradited to their countries of origin.

The escape by the insurgents come as Iranian and Western sources report a power struggle between President Mohammed Khatami and the ruling Islamic clergy over the fate of Al Qaida and other anti-U.S. insurgents in Iran. The sources said Khatami has launched an effort to capture Al Qaida members wanted by Saudi Arabia while the ruling clergy has sought to protect them.

Al Qaida's Ayman Zawahiri and Hizbullah's Imad Mughniyeh were said to have left Iran over the last two weeks, the Iranian sources said. The sources said they did not know where the insurgents were headed.

Zawahiri has been a leader of Egypt's Jihad and the number two member of Al Qaida. Mughniyeh was described as the foreign operations director of Hizbullah and the leading operative for Iran.

http://www.menewsline.com/stories/2003/august/08_14_1.html
35 posted on 08/13/2003 8:13:15 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: goldstategop; BlessedAmerican; Miss Marple; glowworm; PhiKapMom; dalereed; CarmelValleyite; ...
Did Ayman Zawahiri and Hizbullah's Imad Mughniyeh Leave Iran?

August 14, 2003
Middle East Newsline
MENL

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/963108/posts?page=35#35

"If you want on or off this RECALL ping list, Freepmail me”
36 posted on 08/13/2003 8:13:59 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: All
Iran Hard-liners Again Show Their Claws

August 14, 2003
The New York Times
Nazila Fathi

TEHRAN -- In another blow against Iran's reform movement, the country's hard-line watchdog rejected Wednesday three progressive bills approved by Parliament that could have increased civil rights.

The Guardian Council rejected two bills that required Iran to adopt United Nations conventions on eliminating torture and discrimination against women.

The third bill was aimed at curbing the Guardian Council's power to bar candidates from running for office.

The council's spokesman, Ibrahim Azizi, said that the bills were rejected because they were unconstitutional or against Islamic law.

But the move was widely considered as another blow to the reform movement prior to the next parliamentary elections, which are scheduled for February.

The Guardian Council has set up offices around the country to identify potential candidates and examine their political records.

Reformers have said that the offices are illegal. "We had predicted that the council would reject the bills because the current structure of the council is like a book that has been printed a million times and everyone is familiar with its contents," said Jafar Golbaz, a member of Parliament, Iranian Labor News Agency reported.

Golbaz said that the time had come for Parliament to use its constitutional power and put the election bill to a referendum. "By putting the issue on referendum, the fate of the matter will get out of both the Guardian Council and Parliament's hands," he added.

President Muhammad Khatami acknowledged in a speech Tuesday that his reform agenda had largely failed and warned his hard-line opponents that they were alienating the country's youth.

"Lately, speaking has become difficult for me because I feel that many of the ideas and programs I sincerely offered and the people voted for have not been materialized," he said.

Scores of activists, frustrated with the slow pace of reforms, remain in jails since pro-democracy protests around the country in June. Only a number of student activists were released after the supreme religious leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, called on the judiciary to show leniency toward them.

The internal conflict is continuing as the international pressure is increasing on Iran to clarify its nuclear programs. Hard-liners have proposed that Iran should withdraw from the nonproliferation treaty as well while reformists close to Khatami are trying to ease the tension.

However, the head of Iran's atomic energy agency, Gholamreza Aghazadeh, told reporters Wednesday that the result of the latest meetings with inspectors were positive.

A team from the UN nuclear agency arrived in Iran this week for another round of inspections. The team took environmental samples to determine the scale of nuclear tests already conducted. Another legal team came last week to explain Iran's obligations if it decided to sign on to an additional program.

Iran has come under pressure to sign a protocol that will allow intrusive and unexpected visits of its sites. The UN agency will review Iran's case Sept. 8 and may send the case to the Security Council if it finds that the program represents a threat.

http://www.iht.com/articles/106267.html
37 posted on 08/13/2003 8:15:14 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: goldstategop; BlessedAmerican; Miss Marple; glowworm; PhiKapMom; dalereed; CarmelValleyite; ...
Iran Hard-liners Again Show Their Claws

August 14, 2003
The New York Times
Nazila Fathi


http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/963108/posts?page=37#37

"If you want on or off this RECALL ping list, Freepmail me”
38 posted on 08/13/2003 8:16:02 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Liberty for Iran and Iranians BUMP!
39 posted on 08/13/2003 8:16:20 PM PDT by EternalVigilance
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To: All
Washington Post: U.S. Fears Israel May Strike Iran's Nukes

August 14, 2003
Ha'aretz
Aluf Benn and Natan Guttman

A senior Washington Post columnist yesterday reported that after the latest meeting between Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and U.S. President George W. Bush in Washington, there is mounting concern in the administration that Israel might be planning to attack Iranian nuclear facilities.

The columnist, Jim Hoagland, opened his column yesterday by saying: "A grim warning from Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to President Bush that Iran is much closer to producing nuclear weapons than U.S. intelligence believes, has triggered concern here that Israel is seriously considering a preemptive strike against Iran's Busher nuclear reactor." According to Hoagland, who quoted U.S. and Israeli sources, Sharon brought Maj. Gen. Yoav Galant, his army liaison officer, "to shower a worried-looking Bush with photographs and charts from a thick dossier on Iran's covert program."

Hoagland said Sharon told Bush that Israel believes Iran is much closer to a bomb than American intelligence suspects, and that as far as Israel is concerned, the delivery date of Russian fuel for the Iranian project will be a point of no return. Hoagland noted that Israel deliberately struck the Iraqi reactor in 1982 before it was supplied with nuclear fuel.

The column indicated that Sharon still "enjoys" a reputation in Washington as a "wild card" or "rogue," a reputation that the prime minister put to good use leading up to the war in Iraq when his semi-veiled threats to take action if Baghdad struck Israel made Washington provide both a defensive umbrella for Israel and a hefty aid package.

But Sharon has been careful not to make explicit threats, lest they be tested one day and meanwhile cause unnecessary escalation. Instead, he has preferred to make vague statements that have left the Arabs, Iranians and Americans in a worrying fog.

Israel has made no secret that the Iranian nuclear program is the leading risk to its national security. Israeli intelligence believes the point of no return in the Iranian nuclear program is within two to three years, and some elements in Israeli intelligence apparently think it could come sooner.

But attacking Iran's nuclear facilities would be far more complicated than the 1982 strike outside Baghdad. First, Iran's nuclear program is dispersed at several sites, some of which are protected from conventional weapons; the distance to fly is much greater; and perhaps most importantly, the Iranians could respond in a painful manner.

Therefore, Israel would prefer that the United States handle the problem through either diplomatic means or force. There have been recent reports that the CIA has shown some countries, although not Israel, plans for an air and missile attack on the Iranian facilities.

Israel would like to maintain a low profile and let the Americans lead the campaign against the Iranian program, so Israeli officials are not commenting on it right now.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=329267&contrassID=2&subContrassID=1&sbSubContrassID=0&listSrc=Y
40 posted on 08/13/2003 8:17:01 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: goldstategop; BlessedAmerican; Miss Marple; glowworm; PhiKapMom; dalereed; CarmelValleyite; ...
Washington Post: U.S. Fears Israel May Strike Iran's Nukes

August 14, 2003
Ha'aretz
Aluf Benn and Natan Guttman

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/963108/posts?page=40#40

"If you want on or off this RECALL ping list, Freepmail me”
41 posted on 08/13/2003 8:17:46 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: All
Ottawa may take Iran human rights record to UN

News Section
Aug 13, 2003

Canada is considering introducing a UN resolution condemning Tehran's record on human rights, following the violent death of a Montreal photojournalist in Iran, according to Montreal La Presse.

"We regularly examine this question each time there is an apparent infraction or demonstration of human rights in Iran," Foreign Affairs department spokesman Reynald Doiron confirmed to La Presse.

If Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Graham decided to go ahead, it would mark the next stage in disintegrating relations between Ottawa and Tehran that was damaged by the violent death and quick burial of Zahra Kazemi.

Kazemi, 54, was detained by Iranian authorities on June 23 after taking photos outside a prison north of the capital. She died in custody on July 10 of a cerebral hemorrhage after being struck in the head.

If Graham decides to proceed with the UN resolution, Canada would first have to approach the United Nations Commission on Human Rights about the situation in Iran.

While the resolution would officially condemn Iran's human rights record, it's unclear if Canada would also recommend sanctions against Tehran.

Canada has already withdrawn its ambassador from Iran. It made that move after Kazemi was buried in the southern Iranian city of Shiraz against the wishes of Ottawa or her son, who lives in Montreal.

Kazemi's case has pitted unelected hardline conservatives against Iran's elected reformers, who support President Mohammad Khatami's program of democracy and social freedoms.

Hardliners have targeted pro-democracy publications and jailed dozens of writers and political activists, almost all of them without trial or in closed trials without a jury.

A judicial inquiry into Kazemi's death resulted in the detention of five Intelligence Ministry agents, two of whom are now out on bail.

The inquiry followed a presidential commission investigation that found she died of a "fractured skull, brain hemorrhage and its consequences resulting from a hard object hitting the head or the head hitting a hard object."

Iranian Vice-President Mohammad Ali Abtahi later said Kazemi had been murdered.

http://www.daneshjoo.org/generalnews/article/publish/article_1730.shtml
42 posted on 08/13/2003 8:19:17 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: All
Iran financing tied to teen suicide attacks by Fatah

Report Section
Aug 13, 2003

RAMALLAH - Iran has financed a new wave of suicide strikes by loyalists to Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat.

Israeli and Palestinian sources said Iranian-organized squads from the northern West Bank city of Nablus have been responsible for two suicide bombings against Israeli civilian targets on Tuesday. The sources said the squads were comprised of current and former PA officers as well as insurgents from the ruling Fatah movement.

Iran has recruited about 100 Palestinian insurgents in Nablus and Jenin over the last year, the sources said. They have been ordered by Iran and the Lebanese-based Hizbullah to maintain suicide strikes against Israel amid a truce declared by insurgency groups on June 29. [Hizbullah has renewed anti-aircraft strikes against northern Israeli communities. On Wednesday, Hizbullah gunners fired 357 mm shells toward Israel, but officials said none of them landed in Israeli communities.]

On Tuesday, two Israelis were killed and 11 were injured in two suicide bombings in separate Israeli communities. In one attack, a Palestinian blew himself up in a supermarket in the Israeli town of Rosh Ha'Ayin, killing one Israeli and wounding 10.

An hour later, a Palestinian detonated his explosive belt at the entrance to the Israeli city of Ariel in the West Bank. One Israeli was killed and one other was injured.

Israeli and Palestinian sources said the Ariel attack was the work of Hamas and the Rosh HaAyin strike was carried out by Hamas. Later, the sources said both attacks were carried out by Fatah. Both of the suicide bombers were teenagers.
"This was carried out by rebel factions of Fatah," Israeli Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Moshe Ya'alon said.

On late Tuesday, a Palestinian insurgent opened fire on an Israeli bus near the Ramallah-area village of Silwad. Nobody was hurt. Hours later, Israeli military sources said seven Palestinians were arrested in the northern West Bank. They said at least two of them comprised a would-be suicide bomber and his handler.

Israeli officials said the government of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon does not plan to launch a major military operation in retaliation for the suicide strikes. They said Sharon has agreed to a U.S. request to maintain a truce with Palestinian insurgency groups.

http://www.worldtribune.com/worldtribune/front_1.html
43 posted on 08/13/2003 8:20:29 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: goldstategop; BlessedAmerican; Miss Marple; glowworm; PhiKapMom; dalereed; CarmelValleyite; ...
Iran financing tied to teen suicide attacks by Fatah

Report Section
Aug 13, 2003

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/963108/posts?page=43#43

"If you want on or off this RECALL ping list, Freepmail me”
44 posted on 08/13/2003 8:21:15 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; ...
Iran financing tied to teen suicide attacks by Fatah
Report Section
Aug 13, 2003
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/963108/posts?page=43#43

Washington Post: U.S. Fears Israel May Strike Iran's Nukes
August 14, 2003
Ha'aretz
Aluf Benn and Natan Guttman
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/963108/posts?page=40#40

Iran Hard-liners Again Show Their Claws
August 14, 2003
The New York Times
Nazila Fathi
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/963108/posts?page=37#37

Did Ayman Zawahiri and Hizbullah's Imad Mughniyeh Leave Iran?
August 14, 2003
Middle East Newsline
MENL
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/963108/posts?page=35#35

Rejecting Women's Convention Undermines Iran's Commitment to International Human Rights Standards
August 13, 2003
Amnesty International
amnestyusa.org
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/963108/posts?page=33#33

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail me”
45 posted on 08/13/2003 8:44:08 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
"Aiman al-Zawahiri and Imad Mughniyah left Iran recently"
SITE Instutite


Today’s Asharq Al-Awsat contained a story detailing how Aiman Al-Zawahiri, al-Qaeda’s second-in-command, and Imad Mughniyah, a top Hezballah leader, secretly left Iran only a few days ago, due to increased pressure from the Iranian government. Below is a summary of the article.

---- “Aiman al-Zawahiri and Imad Mughniyah left Iran recently. Fears that Saif al-Adel and Sa’ed Bin Laden might escape too.”

“An incident in the Maher Abad airport reveals a plan to smuggle al-Qaeda leaders with the help of elements non-submissive to the government.”

According to Asharq Al-aswat, Imad Mughniyah, a Hezballah leader and one of the world’s most wanted terrorists, left Iran two days ago, after a 14-month stay.

A reliable source in the Revolutionary Guards Intelligence revealed to Asharq Al-aswat that it is no longer safe for Mughniyah and his people to stay in the country, due to the new policy of the Ministry of Defense, to arrest and deport al-Qaeda elements.

The Ministry of Defense, headed by Ali Yunasi, is submissive to the Khatemi’s government, while the Revolutionary Guard Intelligence is believed by the Iranian government to harbor terrorist elements in their facilities.

Asharq Al-aswat learned that Saif al-Adel and Sa’ed bin Laden, Osama bin Laden’s son, did not leave the country yet, although there is a possibility that they will do so with the help of non-submissive security and military elements, as happened with Aiman al-Zawahari and other al-Qaeda leaders.

The article describes a mysterious incident that had occurred two weeks ago in the Maher Abad airport. Apparently, three men, who were escorted by Revolutionary Guard Intelligence officers and declined to show any identification documents, were put on a flight to Turkey, on the V.I.P list. Although airport security attempted to thwart this move, Intelligence officers managed to put them on the plane in the last minute.

This incident reveals the Revolutionary Guard’s plan to transfer al-Qaeda leaders outside of Iran, and, according to sources close to the Revolutionary Guard, is connected to Mughniyah’s decision to leave Iran, as it has become too difficult for the Revolutionary Guard to secure his safety.


http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/963742/posts
46 posted on 08/13/2003 8:50:09 PM PDT by Valin (America is a vast conspiracy to make you happy.)
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To: DoctorZIn
"Instead, he has preferred to make vague statements that have left the Arabs, Iranians and Americans in a worrying fog."

Yeah, the White House is in a "worrying fog" (pffft)

"... attacking Iran's nuclear facilities would be far more complicated than the 1982 strike outside Baghdad. First, Iran's nuclear program is dispersed at several sites, some of which are protected from conventional weapons; the distance to fly is much greater; and perhaps most importantly, the Iranians could respond in a painful manner."

I think he's got a better handle on things here.
47 posted on 08/13/2003 9:22:16 PM PDT by nuconvert
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To: Valin; McGavin999; Eala; AdmSmith; dixiechick2000; nuconvert; Tamsey; BeforeISleep; ...
Iran's leader admits reforms have stalled

Dan De Luce in Tehran
Wednesday August 13, 2003
The Guardian

The Iranian president, Mohammad Khatami, acknowledged yesterday that his attempts to introduce democratic reform have largely failed, but he said he would keep pushing for change.
Mr Khatami was quoted by the official IRNA news agency as saying: "Recently it has been difficult for me to speak because ... many of my opinions, my beliefs and my promises which I expressed truthfully and sincerely and were supported by the people, have not been fulfiled."

Addressing hundreds of young people at a conference for non-governmental organisations, Mr Khatami said he still believed in the values he had campaigned on and gave no indication he would resign.

"I am hopeful ... I believe that there is no other way than to continue the path that we have started," he said.

Since he was elected on a wave of optimism six years ago, Mr Khatami and the reformist majority in parliament have tried to initiate political and social reform of the country's rigid theocracy. But they have been blocked repeatedly by conservative bodies with sweeping powers of veto and by hardline clergy in the judiciary.

Mr Khatami's popularity has started to fade. Protesters chanted for his resignation in street demonstrations earlier this summer.

"I remain committed to the promise I made to the nation, although doubts may have surfaced, because of the existing problems, that their servant (Khatami) has broken his promise," the president said.

The speech seemed to be aimed at restoring faith among Iranians that he would keep fighting for democratic change. But with no sign that his conservative opponents are ready to compromise, Mr Khatami's words will provide little comfort to many young people who no longer believe their vote has any value.

Mr Khatami has proposed curbs on clerical authority through two bills, but they have been vetoed by the Guardian Council, which vets all legislation adopted by parliament.

In yesterday's speech, the president warned that neglecting the country's youth and abusing religion for expedient ends would produce grave problems.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,1017312,00.html
48 posted on 08/13/2003 10:19:20 PM PDT by F14 Pilot
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To: All
Official: Dlrs 14.5bn needed to be invested in Iran annually

Tabriz, East Azarbaijan prov, Aug 13, IRNA -- Dlrs 14.5 billion is needed to be invested in Iran annually in line with global standards, said Director General of the Economic Affairs Department at Ministry of Economy and Finance Mohammad Taheri said here on Wednesday.

Taheri told the International Seminar of Foreign Investment
Opportunities that Iran has not yet been able to achieve its targets in terms of investment due to lack of comprehensive laws.

He hoped that ratification of the Law on Attraction of Foreign Investment would help promote national economy and attain economic objectives.

He put the amount of assets held by expatriate Iranians at dlrs 600 billion and said attraction of the sum would help upgrade Iranian economy.

The International Seminar of Foreign Investment is underway in this northwestern provincial city for two days.

Some 270 projects, worth dlrs 2.2 billion, are to be offered for foreign investment at the seminar.

The meeting aims to make the participants acquainted with each other.
Some 200 foreign and 500 Iranian investors are taking part in the
seminar.
216/AH/210
End
http://www.irna.ir/en/tnews/030814191039.etn06.shtml

49 posted on 08/13/2003 10:53:41 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; ...
Official: Dlrs 14.5bn needed to be invested in Iran annually

Tabriz, East Azarbaijan prov, Aug 13, IRNA

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/963108/posts?page=49#49

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail me”
50 posted on 08/13/2003 10:54:58 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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