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Iranian Alert -- August 19, 2003 -- LIVE THREAD PING LIST
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 8.19.2003 | DoctorZin

Posted on 08/19/2003 12:03:46 AM PDT by DoctorZIn

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for all the help.


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: iran; iranianalert; protests; studentmovement
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1 posted on 08/19/2003 12:03:46 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 19, 2003 -- LIVE THREAD PING LIST

Live Thread Ping List | 8.19.2003 | DoctorZin

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

2 posted on 08/19/2003 12:04:56 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran will not give in to Western nuclear demands - Khamenei

Aug 19, 2003

TEHRAN - Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei rejected Western demands that Teheran stop its nuclear activities, the news agency IRNA reported Tuesday.

In a related development, the news Web site Baztab reported that the foreign ministers of Britain, France, Germany and Russia have sent an urgent letter to Teheran asking the Iranian government to sign the international nuclear inspection protocol.

Khamenei told visiting Iranian diplomats from abroad that Iran's nuclear projects were peaceful and that the country was not after atomic weapons.

Khamenei, who has the final say on all state affairs, termed the demands that Iran to stop its nuclear activities as groundless and unfair and therefore unacceptable.

While accusing especially the United States of demanding the international community act according to its will, he considered any kind of concessions to the U.S. as a grave strategic mistake.

Baztab reported that the letters from European leaders were considered as too important to be answered by Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi.
President Mohammad Khatami himself took charge and assured the four ministers of the peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear programs, Baztab said.

There was no official reaction from the Iranian foreign ministry to the Baztab report.

Last week, IRNA reported that Iran was planning to build a second nuclear plant in the southern Gulf port of Bushehr, to provide 1,000 megawatts to the country's electricity network.

Iran's first nuclear plant, also in Bushehr, will have a capacity of 6,000 megawatts when it is completed.

Iran is under intense international pressure to sign an additional protocol and allow unannounced inspections of its nuclear sites to prove it is not trying to develop nuclear weapons.

The issue is expected to be settled before the International Atomic Energy Agency board meets next month as the Islamic state has been threatened with international political isolation.

The issue has triggered intense debate within Iran.
3 posted on 08/19/2003 12:11:06 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; ...
Iran will not give in to Western nuclear demands - Khamenei

Aug 19, 2003

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail me”
4 posted on 08/19/2003 12:11:56 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
The Future of Drones (or, how I learned to stop fearing and love dropping leaflets over Tehran)
5 posted on 08/19/2003 12:12:21 AM PDT by Southack (Media bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: DoctorZIn
Letter from Bin Laden found on body of Saudi bomber

By John R Bradley in Jeddah
Aug 19, 2003

A letter from Osama bin Laden and a telephone call made from Iran by his son Saad are linked to a series of al-Qa'ida attacks on Westerners in Saudi Arabia, according to Western diplomats and Saudi intelligence officials.

The letter from al-Qa'ida's leader was found on the body of Yosif Salih Fahd Alayeeri, one of 19 attackers involved in a closely co-ordinated series of bombings in Riyadh on 12 May, who was killed in a shootout with security forces in central Saudi Arabia in May. The Saudi authorities have refused to divulge the contents of the letter, confirming only that it was found on the dead terrorist.

Two days before the bombings, which killed 34 people, including nine Americans and two Britons, Saad bin Laden made a telephone call from somewhere in Iran to another member of the same al-Qa'ida gang, according to a senior Western diplomat. The unidentified Saudi suspect was arrested as part of a crackdown on Islamist militants after the May bombings. Authorities said he had revealed the details of the telephone conversation between himself and Saad bin Laden under interrogation.

British Airwayshalted flights to the kingdom on Wednesday last week after Saudi authorities learnt of a plot to shoot down one of its planes with a missile. The plan is believed to have been the work of the same wide network, directed by Bin Laden and associates, including his son Saad, to which the Riyadh gang belonged. Intelligence about the plot probably came from CIA agents working in the kingdom, and with whom the Saudis are now sharing information on al-Qa'ida.

The attack was foiled when a Saudi police special forces ambushed 10 terrorist suspects who had escaped a shootout in Riyadh the night before. Three Saudi officers died and five suspects were captured.

Details of the planned missile attack were found in documents in a car used by the gang, and BA announced it was suspending flights to Saudi Arabia the next day.

Adel al-Jubeir, a Saudi foreign policy adviser, partly confirmed the details in an interview yesterday with CNN. "One of the cells that was broken up ... there were maps, there were certain things that indicated that there was a high level of interest in British Airways," Mr Jubeir said. "The conclusion that was arrived at by British Airways ... was that there may be a threat there."

There have been fears of a missile attack against a civilian airliner in Saudi Arabia since May last year, when a shoulder-launched SA-7 missile was fired at an American fighter plane taking off from the Prince Sultan air base. Earlier, explosives were found outside the base, with another al-Qa'ida letter attached, demanding that all American forces withdraw.

Much of the intelligence coming out of Saudi Arabia is emerging from CIA interrogations. This is given more credibility by international experts than details provided by the Saudi Interior Ministry. Some of the best information is believed to be from Ali Abdul Rahman al-Faqaasi al-Ghamdi, who is accused of masterminding the Riyadh attacks, and who surrendered in Jeddah. Mr Ghamdi met Bin Laden insouthern Afghanistan before the Taliban regime fell.

It has not been revealed whether Mr Ghamdi was the source of the information about Saad bin Laden's phone call, but the revelation has severely affected relations between Riyadh and Tehran. The Iranians have denied US claims that the Riyadh bombings were directed from their territory.

Iran has declined to reveal the identities of terrorist suspects it is holding, other than saying they include "important and less important members" of al-Qa'ida. But US officials and Arab press reports say Saad bin Laden, who has been stripped of Saudi citizenship, is among those being held.

The Saudi Interior Minister, Prince Nayef, has confirmed that all the gangs arrested in the country since 12 May have links to al-Qa'ida.
6 posted on 08/19/2003 12:13:16 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; ...
Letter from Bin Laden found on body of Saudi bomber

By John R Bradley in Jeddah
Aug 19, 2003

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail me”
7 posted on 08/19/2003 12:14:18 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
U.S. expands sanctions on Iran

Monday, August 18, 2003

The United States has expanded sanctions on a leading Iranian opposition group.

The State Department has designated two political fronts of the Mujahadeen Khalq as terrorist organizations. Mujahadeen was placed on the department's list of terrorist organizations in 1997.

The action allowed federal authorities to close the offices of two organizations aligned with the Mujahadeen and seize their assets. About $100,000 in assets were found and seized.

Secretary of State Colin Powell amended the designation of the Mujahadeen Khalq as a foreign terrorist organization to include what officials termed two of the group's aliases. They were identified as the National Council of Resistance and National Council of Resistance of Iran, Middle East Newsline reported.
The groups are located in Washington and have been active in lobbying the U.S. Congress.

Officials said Powell cited Executive Order 1322, which allows the secretary of state to designate foreign entities and individuals as posing significant risks for U.S. national security. They did not specify the threat.

"The action to amend the Executive Order 13224 designation of the MEK [Mujahadeen Khalq] to include NCR and NCRI is based on information from a variety of sources that those entities functioned as part of the MEK and have supported the MEK's acts of terrorism," State Department acting spokesman Tom Casey said.

Officials said the State Department's designation came after consultations with congressional leaders. The Mujahadeen attacked U.S. interests in Iran during the period of the Shah of Iran in the mid-1970s. In the 1980s, Mujhadeen were harbored and supported by Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

In November 2002, more than 100 House members signed a letter that urged the State Department to remove the Mujhadeen Khalq from the terror list. There was no outcry from Congress to last week's closure of the two Washington offices of the Iranian opposition.

In August 2002, the National Council disclosed two secret Iranian nuclear facilities. The United States later confirmed the sites and inspectors for the International Atomic Energy Agency toured the Natanz facility in February 2003.
8 posted on 08/19/2003 12:34:23 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn; McGavin999; Eala; AdmSmith; dixiechick2000; nuconvert; Valin; Tamsey; ...
Supreme Leader: Iran not to compromise over fundamental values

Tehran, Aug 19, IRNA -- Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution
Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei said here on Monday in a meeting with
the ambassadors of Iran abroad "The Islamic Republic of Iran will
never compromise over its fundamental values, that are the basis for
our national pride."
Emphasizing on the need to resorting to initiatives, relying on
expertise, high talents, speed, perseverance, and tactful planning in
acting as the representatives of Iran abroad, the leader said, "There
is no price for our national pride."
Referring to the rapid developments at global level, the leader
emphasized on the need to have a dynamic evaluation system at the
foreign ministry to survey the bilateral and international ties of
The Supreme Leader added, "The ambassadors must quite dynamically,
play decisive roles in the countries where they are commissioned,
defining the stands and viewpoints of the Islamic Republic of Iran
logically and strongly."
Ayatollah Khamenei Said, "Some of the current international rules
are imposed due to the hegemony of certain powers, accepting which
equals abandoning our national identity and the Islamic values and
The leader added, "There is no pride in doing so, and we cannot
compromise over our fundamentals, just in order to please a part of
the world, that is crystallized in the west, atop which is the
arrogant United States."
Counting the capabilities of the country in scientific, political,
economic, cultural and social fields, and particularly the "quite
strong popular support of the Iranian nation for their own political
system", the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution said, "These
are all miracles of the Islamic Revolution."
The leader further emphasized, "Relying on such unique
capabilities, and relying on God's grace, we can come out victorious
from all various challenges in the field of our foreign policy."
Ayatollah Khamenei said that the people's broad presence at the
upcoming parliamentary elections, too, will be a great demonstration
of the popular support of the Iranian nation for their system, adding,
"God willing, the Iranian nation will have a truly dynamic, vivacious,
and broad presence at the elections polls."
Referring to the achievement in the field of nuclear technology
thanks to the endeavors of the pious Iranian youth, and the hue and
cry raised by the the west, and led by the US, the leader said, "The
country's nuclear technology is truly indigenous, and aimed merely
at peaceful purposes."
Ayatollah Khamenei further emphasized, "The Islamic Republic of
Iran, based on its religious and jurisprudence fundamental beliefs,
would never resort to the use the weapons of mass destruction."
Referring to the US and some European countries' insistence that
Iran should abandon its nuclear technology, the leader emphasized,
"Such stands and requests are unjust, and illogical, and the Islamic
Republic of Ira would never yield to them."
Regarding restoration of relations with the United States,
Ayatollah Khamenei emphasized, "Under such conditions that the United
States is treating the whole world as if the nations were all indebted
to it, showing any sign of weakness, and any tendency to yield to the
US demands, would be the biggest strategic mistake."
Referring to the Arab countries stands regarding the Palestine
issue, the leader said, "During the past 35 years, the Arab countries
gained no interests regarding the Palestinian issue, and the United
States, took no step back regarding its full support for the Zionist
regime, and never took sides with the Arabs."
9 posted on 08/19/2003 12:37:16 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (What Goes Around, Comes Around...!)
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To: All
Journalist to appear at court on charges of distorting public opinion

Tehran, Aug 18, IRNA -- Managing Director of Persian language daily
`Tose'e' Gholi Sheikhi is to show up at the Bench Four of the Court of
Civil Servants' Offenses on Tuesday for the fourth time in the last
one and half months to respond to charges against his daily.
Chief Editor of Tose'e Seyed Hossein Sajjadi told IRNA here on
Monday that Sheikhi had been summoned to the court on the basis of a
complaint against him by the general prosecutor and is facing charges
such as distorting public opinion.
Sajjadi said daily Tose'e had in the former session been informed
of 23 counts of charges.
He added that Islamic Azad University, Security Department at the
Islamic Republic of Iran's Police, Basij and daily `Ya al-Tharat' are
among the plaintiffs in the case.

10 posted on 08/19/2003 12:40:09 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (What Goes Around, Comes Around...!)
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To: DoctorZIn; Texas_Dawg; McGavin999; Eala; happygrl; ewing; norton; piasa; Valin; pcx99; nuconvert; ..
Rafsanjani says Iran is too strong to be defeated

Tehran, Aug 18, IRNA -- Expediency Council Chairman Akbar Hashemi
Rafsanjani said here Monday that the Islamic Republic of Iran is too
strong to be defeated.
Rafsanjani told a group of war veterans on the anniversary of
their return home that the Islamic Republic of Iran is now highly
stable and firm, and is only worried about the condition of Muslim
He said the conditions of Saddam, Baath party, and Iraqi rulers
and the unfavorable state of US occupiers in Iraq set a good example
of divine justice.
"God punishes tyrants by tyrants; enemies of the Islamic Republic
(of Iran) were punished with each other but the Islamic Republic of
Iran is now firm and stable, being concerned about the condition of
Muslim Iraqi people," said Rafsanjani.
He lauded war veterans as main elements of the Islamic Revolution
and its inheritors and owners.
11 posted on 08/19/2003 12:42:13 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (What Goes Around, Comes Around...!)
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To: DoctorZIn; AdmSmith; Texas_Dawg; McGavin999; Eala; happygrl; ewing; Valin; nuconvert; freedom44; ...
US must "turn up the heat" on Syria, Iran: top Republican

Sun Aug 17, 3:57 PM ET

WASHINGTON (AFP) - A senior US Republican congressman said that the White House should increase pressure on Syria and Iran to prevail in the war against terrorism.

We've got to continue the pressure on Syria and Iran," Tom DeLay, leader of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, told Fox News television.

"We need to turn up the heat on both those countries to join us -- either join us against these terrorists or suffer the consequences," he said.

"We have to fight this on every front that we can find to get these terrorists," said DeLay, who recently returned from the Middle East.

"The United States ought to be ... fighting the war against terrorism, whether we find it in the Middle East or in Southeast Asia or in Israel," the Texas lawmaker said.

"We ought to go after these terrorists, as we have been doing, and eliminate them and the states that support them. And.............

12 posted on 08/19/2003 12:47:16 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (What Goes Around, Comes Around...!)
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To: DoctorZIn
The Shah and Us -- and Regime Change

By George F. Will
Tuesday, August 19, 2003; Page A19

Tehran, Iran, Aug. 19 -- Iranians loyal to Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlevi, including Tehran civilians, soldiers and rural tribesmen, swept Premier Mohammed Mossadegh out of power today in a revolution and apparently had seized at least temporary control of the country.

This anniversary reminds us that America is not new to the business of regime change. Fifty years ago U.S. and British intelligence services -- the principal U.S. operative was Kermit Roosevelt, Teddy's grandson -- had a remarkably easy time overthrowing Iran's government.

It took just two months and $200,000, mobs being cheap to rent back then. It was so easy that, according to the late CIA director Richard Helms in his just-published memoir, "A Look Over My Shoulder," Roosevelt felt the need to sound a warning that Secretary of State John Foster Dulles did not want to hear.

Roosevelt said the coup succeeded because the CIA had accurately concluded that the Iranians, including most of the military, "wanted exactly" the result we were seeking. "If we," said Roosevelt, referring to the CIA, "are ever going to try something like this again, we must be absolutely sure that [the] people and army want what we want. If not, you had better give the job to the Marines!"

The shah's "at least temporary control of the country" lasted just a bit more than half of these 50 years. The fact that his control crumbled in 1979 under the assault of Islamic fundamentalists responsive to the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini does not mean the coup was misguided or unavailing.

History teaches that everything is temporary. Besides, the coup's purpose was to confound Soviet designs, not settle Iran's future in perpetuity. The fact that the coup in some sense set in train events that led to today's highly unsatisfactory situation in Iran does not mean that the coup was not successful, any more than Soviet control of Eastern Europe for almost a half-century after 1945 meant that the Second World War was not worth winning. Rather, the point to be pondered on this anniversary is that U.S. involvement in regime change deeply implicates the United States in the future of the affected country.

Much ink has been spilled in arguing about when the U.S. commitment in South Vietnam became large and irreversible. It is at least arguable that the day can be pinpointed: Nov. 2, 1963. That was when the United States was involved in regime change -- in the assassination of President Ngo Dinh Diem.

Again, the reason for remembering such U.S. undertakings at this moment is not to reopen arguments about their wisdom but to underscore the point that the United States has been practicing the craft of regime change for a long time. And that such changes inevitably are the beginnings of long and sometimes melancholy entanglements.

We are in the process of acquiring yet another in Liberia. That one arises from historical ties, supplemented by President Bush's post-9/11 conclusion that "weak states, like Afghanistan, can pose as great a danger to our national interests as strong states."

The Economist of London, which was founded in 1843, when British imperialism was flourishing, is neither squeamish about the fact of empire nor tainted by anti-Americanism. But as an anxious friend, the Economist notes:

In less than two years the United States has occupied two Muslim countries with a combined population of more than 50 million. Afghanistan "remains a failed or nonexistent state" where "the government's writ does not extend much beyond Kabul" and "local warlords, deep into the heroin trade, wield the real power." In Iraq, where a U.S. general says the current condition is "war, however you describe it," there are 161,000 occupying troops, of which 148,000 are American. The largest contingent of the other 13,000 are British and the other 18 participating nations have sent on average a few hundred.

It might be time to pause in pushing the American project that was implicit in Woodrow Wilson's assertion that America's flag is "the flag not only of America but of humanity." Wilson was echoing Lincoln's belief that our nation is "dedicated to a proposition" that is "an abstract truth, applicable to all men and all times." But the belief that the American model of civic life could be a blessing to everyone is as old as Benjamin Franklin's proclamation that America's "cause is esteemed the cause of all mankind."

Franklin did not say, but probably was wise enough to think: "Eventually. Maybe."

13 posted on 08/19/2003 12:49:04 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
George F. Will is showing his isolationism proudly. I see it as a lack of faith in America's ideological strengths. We're "just a powerful nation" to him. Nothing more, nothing less.

But the American Revolution is a billion times more powerful than Mao's agrarian revolution, the Soviet empire, and Islamism put together. Why? Because it embodies human freedom in law, reason, and economic terms. It makes no promises except equality before the law and the rights of conscience.

Nothing could be more powerful, because it is simple: freedom is what every human being wants, and any honest human being knows that neither the state nor religion can provide it in any collectivist sense. Happiness and responsibility come from within.

George Will needs to take a civics refresher. His faith in the American dream is weakening.
14 posted on 08/19/2003 1:07:49 AM PDT by risk
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To: All
Iran Says U.S. Should Expand Its Crackdown on MKO (MEK) in Iraq

TEHRAN (Mehr News Agency) – Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamidreza Asefi said on Monday that the closure of Mujahedeen Khalq Organization (MKO) offices in the U.S. is a positive sign but Washington should expand its crackdown on this terrorist group to other places including Iraq.

“The U.S. has acted on the basis of its responsibilities and naturally they should do this and what the U.S. has done is a positive step but it should be expanded to every where including Iraq,” Asefi told a regular press briefing.

When asked whether the closure of MKO offices in the U.S. could serve as a stepping stone for establishing ties between Tehran and Washington Asefi said every thing depends on the U.S. policy toward Iran.

If a positive change happens in the U.S. officials’ behavior toward Iran then the conditions would naturally change in Iran, Foreign Ministry official told reporters.

The United States on Friday shut down the offices of the political wing of the Mujahedeen Kalq Organization, closing a loophole that had allowed the group to operate despite being designated a terrorist organization.

State, Treasury and Justice departments closed the Washington office of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), placing notices on its doors declaring that it was now banned, officials said.

U.S. federal agents acted after Secretary of State Colin Powell clarified earlier terrorist designations of the NCRI's parent, the Mujahadeen Khalq Organization, they said.

The order also freezes the group's U.S. assets and bars U.S. citizens from making contributions to it, the officials said as quoted by AFP.

The U.S. move against the MKO follows a similar crackdown on the group in France, where police raided their headquarters in a Paris suburb in June, arresting scores of people.

Foreign Ministry spokesman also said Iran believes that the security of the Caspian Sea can only be guaranteed by the cooperation of the littoral states without the presence of foreigners.

“We believe that the security of Caspian states can be protected only through more regional cooperation and the presence of foreign troops would only complicate the situation,” Asefi said.

Asefi said Iran has asked explanation from Baku about a joint military maneuver between Azerbaijan and U.S. in the Caspian Sea.

MP Hamid-Reza Hajbabaei said on Saturday that the U.S. has entered the territorial waters of the five littoral states in its joint military maneuver with Azerbaijan in the Caspian Sea.

He added that as long as there is no legal regime to divide the sea, the United States is violating the littoral states’ borders.

Hajbabaei, a member of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, told the Mehr News Agency that Azerbaijan is opposed to an equal division of the Caspian Sea, saying that Azerbaijan is using Washington’s presence in the area to force Russia and Iran to accept the views of Azeri officials on the establishment of the Caspian legal regime.

On the relations between Iran and Iraq Foreign Ministry spokesman said during a recent visit of Iranian delegation to Baghdad different subjects were discussed between the sides in which the Iraqi officials expressed their willingness to expand relations with Iran.

During this visit it was agreed that an Iraqi delegation to visit Iran but no date has yet been set for the travel, he told reporters.

During the visit of Iranian delegation to Iraq the two sides discussed bilateral cooperation in areas of border security, the return of Iraqi refugees, the visit of Iranian pilgrims to holy sites in Iraq, trade ties and etc.

The visit of Iranian delegation to Baghdad received an international attention and many international analysts interpreted it as a preliminary step by Tehran to recognize the Iraqi Governing Council.

The Iranian delegation held talks with some members of the Iraqi Governing Council and the two sides become aware of each other’s views.

Iran welcomed the overthrow of the previous Iraqi regime under Saddam Hussein but it has called for the speedy withdrawal of occupying forces from Iraq and the establishment of democratic government by the Iraqi people.

Saddam Hussein launched a massive military invasion against Iran in 1980 which lasted until 1988 which brought about many human and material damages for both countries.

Comment: Tehran Times is a conservative paper in Iran.
15 posted on 08/19/2003 1:23:08 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (What Goes Around, Comes Around...!)
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To: F14 Pilot
Most interesting! Thanks for your post!
16 posted on 08/19/2003 1:25:37 AM PDT by onyx (Name an honest democrat? I can't either!)
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To: onyx; DoctorZIn; nuconvert; AdmSmith; McGavin999; dixiechick2000; seamole
19:23 2003-08-18

Japan quits Iran's oil project?

Japan intends to quit a development project for the Azadegan, Iran's largest oilfield, say non-confirmed reports, which Hamid Reza Asefi, spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, has dismissed.

As far as he knows, the Japanese government stays true to available understandings, and talks on Japan's contribution to the project are going on, Mr. Asefi said to the media.

Certain media outlets assume, however, that Japan is giving up the project under US pressure. Suggestively, Nezhad Hoseiniyan, Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister, has recently complained of related bilateral negotiations procrastinated. If they proceed at their present pace, Iran's current obligations may become invalidated, he warned.

Iran may seek overseas partners elsewhere. Russian-based petroleum companies are among its options.

The Azadegan oilfield, recently prospected in the country's southwest, is estimated at 26 billion barrels, and its development costs US$2.8 billion.
17 posted on 08/19/2003 1:28:23 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (What Goes Around, Comes Around...!)
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To: All
Interior Ministry to Blame for Disturbances in Semirom: MP

TEHRAN (Mehr News Agency) – MP Keraamatollah Emadi said here Monday that the plan to incorporate Vardasht district into the municipality of Shahreza is illegal, adding that the Interior Ministry and the Isfahan Governor General's Office are to blame for the turmoil in Semirom. He also stated that President Khatami should deal with the guilty parties.

Emadi told the Mehr News Agency that the Interior Ministry and Isfahan Governor General's Office ignored the fact that the city council and people of Vardasht were against the plan, angering the people.

Emadi, who represents Semirom in the Majlis, said that the people of Semirom protested against the plan in the city center, but some opportunists took advantage of the situation and ran amok.

“The opportunists set fire to the Semirom Governor's Office and a number of cars, and broke the glass of windows of houses, shops and offices, causing disorder in the city,” Emadi said.

Police arrived on the scene to restore order after the chaos which left a number of people dead and injured.

Emadi said that the plan had been cancelled.

He added that the Judiciary should identify those who are trying to cause turmoil and should follow up the issue as soon as possible.

He stated that a year ago, some people in the governor general's office attempted to make one of the districts of Shahreza a town and to achieve their plan legally, they tried to join another district to it.

Emadi pointed to his meeting with the state director for country divisions and the deputy minister for legal and parliamentary affairs of the Ministry of the Interior, saying that he asked them to implement the plan only after taking an opinion poll in order to prevent any further turmoil, insecurity, and protests.

He noted that most of the people of Semirom and Vardasht are against the plan, adding that officials took advantage of his trip to India to state that the plan had been implemented.

Elsewhere in his remarks, he said that imprudent actions and politicization should be avoided in order to increase security in the country.
18 posted on 08/19/2003 1:29:53 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (What Goes Around, Comes Around...!)
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To: All
19:21 2003-08-18

Washington meets Teheran halfway

In Teheran's opinion, Washington's closure of offices of the Iranian National Resistance Council, making part of Mojaheddin-e Halq-e Iran /Iranian People's Mujaheddin Organisation/, is a positive step.

This organisation is known as terrorist, and the United States should have taken steps to neutralise the structure, said Hamid Reza Asefi, official spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry.

"To strengthen and improve such positive moves, the Americans have to seriously and toughly oppose such organisations, based on Iranian territory", added the Iranian diplomat.

At the end of last week, US State Secretary Colin Powell introduced sanctions against the Iranian National Resistance Council, which is in opposition in Iran today and is part of the Iranian People's Mujaheddin Organisation. Now the United States views as terrorist all offices of the Iranian National Resistance Council in American territory and abroad.
19 posted on 08/19/2003 1:31:06 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (What Goes Around, Comes Around...!)
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To: onyx
Enriched uranium in Iran?
Aug 19, 2003, 00:21

On Monday, Hamid Reza Asefi, official spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, turned down the reports by certain diplomatic sources on the discovery of enriched uranium in Iran. "It is not up to diplomats to make such allegations. It is the prerogative of the International Atomic Energy Agency", Mr. Asefi told the journalists. "Wait till IAEA specialists voice their opinion in Geneva in September, where a report on the Iranian nuclear programs is to be heard", he added. Mr. Asefi also stressed that Iran's cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency was fully transparent and the recent visits to Iran by two IAEA delegations were a confirmation of the frankness and truth of the dialogue. Earlier, some media reported with reference to diplomatic sources that enriched uranium, which can be used in the production of nuclear weapons, had been found in Iran.

20 posted on 08/19/2003 1:32:37 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (What Goes Around, Comes Around...!)
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To: F14 Pilot; farmfriend; AmericanInTokyo; GATOR NAVY
Let Japan and the United States work together to extract western own oil in ANWAR, off the coast of California, and in the Gulf of Mexico. Besides, if Japan is helping us in Iraq, they can buy oil from the Iraqis.

No Iranian oil for blood. When Iran abandons its nuclear program and transforms itself into a democratic state, we can go back to buying its oil.
21 posted on 08/19/2003 1:37:05 AM PDT by risk
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To: F14 Pilot
For many of us Kalifornians, we are almost totally involved in the re-call election, and as one Kalifornian, I must thank you for posting the news articles which have a far greater impact on all of us as Americans. Much appreciated and please ping me to all articles you post!

Much appreciated and thanks again!
22 posted on 08/19/2003 1:38:00 AM PDT by onyx (Name an honest democrat? I can't either!)
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To: F14 Pilot; onyx
# 20 --- Bump to me for tomorrow morning's first read!
23 posted on 08/19/2003 1:41:10 AM PDT by onyx (Name an honest democrat? I can't either!)
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran will not give in to Western nuclear demands - Khamenei

That sounds like a statement that supports Khamenei's professions of Iranian nuclear power endeavors for peaceful power for his country only....doesn't it?

24 posted on 08/19/2003 2:01:02 AM PDT by EGPWS
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To: EGPWS; onyx; risk; DoctorZIn; nuconvert; RaceBannon; Eala; McGavin999; AdmSmith
Khamenei: Iran Must Not Yield to US Pressure on Nuclear Program

VOA News
19 Aug 2003, 09:53 UTC

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says his country should never yield to U.S. pressure over its nuclear program.

In a speech late Monday, the Ayatollah said Iran's nuclear program is for peaceful purposes and the Islamic Republic's religious principles prevent it from using weapons of mass destruction. He said the United States is treating other countries as if they were indebted to it. He said giving in to U.S. pressure or showing any sign of weakness would be a "grave strategic mistake" for Iran.

Tehran is under strong international pressure to prove that it is not developing nuclear weapons and to sign an Additional Protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty that would allow U.N. inspectors to carryout surprise inspections of Iran's nuclear facilities.

Tehran denies developing nuclear weapons and says it is still discussing the inspection issue with representatives of the International Atomic Energy Agency -- the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog body.

Observers say Iran's reformist government led by President Mohammad Khatami favors signing the Additional Protocol but conservatives are strongly against it. Some conservatives say Iran should pull out of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty -- a move that would bar U.N. inspectors from visiting Iran's nuclear facilities.
25 posted on 08/19/2003 3:57:25 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (What Goes Around, Comes Around...!)
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To: EGPWS; onyx; DoctorZIn; nuconvert; RaceBannon; Eala; McGavin999; AdmSmith; Valin; seamole
Japan vows to proceed with oil deal in Iran
By David Pilling in Tokyo

Published: August 19 2003 9:22

Japan will press ahead with a $2bn (E1.8bn) oil deal in Iran so long as it is commercially viable, despite US pressure to withdraw from the investment, according to a senior Japanese government official.

Japanese companies, which won exclusive negotiating rights to invest in Iran's Azadegan oilfield, failed to conclude an agreement by the initial deadline of June 30, triggering widespread speculation that Tokyo had abandoned the project because of US objections. Washington is discouraging business with Tehran, which it accuses of seeking to develop nuclear weapons.

But a senior Japanese official with close knowledge of the negotiations said: "We have not withdrawn from the deal. We basically think the issues of nuclear and oil are separate."

The official said the Azadegan decision had been held up for purely commercial considerations and that Tokyo was trying to persuade Washington to drop its objections. "We want to sign if the commercial conditions are met," he said.

Jiro Okuyama, foreign ministry spokesman, said: "The nuclear concern is one thing. But Azadegan is another."

However, he added: "Of course we share the concern about possible nuclear development in Iran. That's why we have been putting pressure on the Iranian side to sign the additional
protocol of the International Atomic Energy Agency." Such a protocol would allow the agency to carry out unannounced visits to registered and non-registered nuclear sites.

Some oil executives in Tokyo say a deal cannot be signed if Washington objects, partly because of the threat of sanctions under the 1996 Iran-Libya Sanctions Act.

One diplomat said that, despite Tokyo's bravado, it was unlikely to defy Washington over such a high-profile issue.

Japanese officials are privately furious at Washington's attitude. They say years of patient diplomacy with Tehran, including the provision of $3bn in loans, could be thrown away
because of exaggerated concerns about Iran's nuclear intentions.

The Azadegan oilfield is considered a vital part of Japan's strategy to diversify its oil supply. It could provide 6 per cent of Japan's oil imports, reducing its dependence on Arab oil from 75 per cent to 69 per cent.

"A close and intimate relationship with the US is a sine qua non. We cannot harm this basic relationship," said the government official. "But we are not fully convinced of the US logic and reasoning."

Tokyo is trying to persuade Washington to engage with Iran by encouraging it to sign the "additional protocol" to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. "Our policy towards Iran is
that of engagement, so that is different from the US," the official said.

Japan's sense that it is being victimised by the US is compounded by the fact that several European companies are doing business in Iran with impunity. However, last week, Spencer Abraham, the US energy secretary, warned the Dutch and Italian governments not to allow their companies to invest in Azadegan, which is up for grabs following the expiry of
Japan's exclusive negotiating period.

"This is one of the most difficult decisions we arefacing," the Japanese official said. "What is at stake is the crucially important Japan-US relationship against an obvious case of national interest, not to mention our relations with Iran."
26 posted on 08/19/2003 4:01:06 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (What Goes Around, Comes Around...!)
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To: EGPWS; onyx; DoctorZIn; nuconvert; RaceBannon; Eala; McGavin999; AdmSmith; Valin; seamole
Kharrazi, Ivanov discuss Iran's nuclear programs

Moscow, Aug 19, IRNA -- Iran's Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi and hi
Russian counterpart Igor Ivanov discussed Iran's nuclear programs on
Russian Foreign Ministry in a statement said that Kharrazi, in a
telephone conversation with Ivanov, outlined Iran's talks with the
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Kharrazi stressed Iran's peaceful nuclear programs as well as
Tehran's commitment to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and expressed
Iran's determination to expand cooperation with the IAEA.
According to the statement, Iran and Russia agreed to continue
bilateral talks between the two sides' experts to this effect.
The Iranian and Russian foreign ministers discussed the
Caspian Sea issue and also various avenues to help change the current
situation in Iraq.

27 posted on 08/19/2003 6:50:01 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (What Goes Around, Comes Around...!)
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To: All
MP: Vivaciousness, continuity of society depend on women's role

Kerman, Aug 19, IRNA -- Tehran Constituency MP Elahe Koulaie said here
on Monday that the vivaciousness and continuity of a society's life
depend on the role played by women in that society.
Koulaie who was speaking for the female managers of Kerman
Province added, "The Constitution (of the Islamic Republic of Iran)
has quite favorable capacities that can be employed at the service
of the flourishing and development of women's talents, but this does
not mean that those potential capacities have also been properly
The Foreign Affairs Commission member of the parliament said, "The
only way to eliminate the problems with which the society is entangled
regarding the women's role is to offer proper training and to educate
the society on the issue."
Koulaie said, "Women should not be viewed merely as mothers, or
wives, but rather as equal human beings, who have rights, and must be
able to use and enjoy those rights."
The Tehran Constituency MP added, "When a woman is not energetic,
vivacious, and hopeful, how can he train a vivacious and strong
She said, "Proving the potentials of women in the society depends
on proving their positive social capabilities, in addition to their
natural role of mothering children and being good wives for their
Describing the unpresentably high divorce rates in various
Iranian cities as "horrendous and quite alarming", the MP said, "We
are faced with a flood that can uproot the foundations of our society
in that regard today."
Referring to the passing of a bill on the Convention on banning
discrimination against women at the parliament, Dr. Koulaie said,
"Many of those who launch serious attacks against that convention have
not even read it, at least once, and their judgments are merely based
on what they have heard about it."
She further reiterated, "The MPs who passed the law regarding the
country's joining to the said convention do care for their religious
beliefs, and do know that there is a Hereafter where they would have
to answer for their deeds."
Koulaie added, "In addition to those serious guarantees, the MPs
have sworn before the Holy Qor'an not to pass any laws to contradict
the Islamic jurisprudence."
28 posted on 08/19/2003 6:53:10 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (What Goes Around, Comes Around...!)
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To: EGPWS; onyx; DoctorZIn; nuconvert; RaceBannon; Eala; McGavin999; AdmSmith; Valin; seamole; Ronin; ..
Iran: The road not taken
By Mohammad Ayatollahi Tabaar

Fifty years ago on August 19, 1953, the Americans, with the help of the British, overthrew one of the few democratic governments in the Middle East. The Central Intelligence Agency carried out a coup against premier Mohammad Mossadegh of Iran and brought the Shah, who was in exile at the time, back to power. The success of this subversion emboldened the US for the coming decades to carry out similar actions in Guatemala, Chile, Cuba, Vietnam, and many other countries in the world (The Bay of Pigs fiasco in Cuba and the coup against Salvador Allende in Chile that led to the ascendance of Augusto Pinochet to power are just two examples).

Although the whole operation in Iran cost the US less than US$1 million (including money given to mobs and looters to create chaos in the capital), the coup proved to be much more costly for Washington than anyone could have imagined at the time. Today, it is quite clear that that operation paved the way for the Islamic Revolution of 1979, which in turn inspired fundamentalist movements in the Muslim world for decades.

In its Cold War against communism, the US staunchly supported the Shah for 37 years, a move that allowed him to imprison, torture and kill dissidents and squash any criticism of the government to the point that the opposition had no other way but to overthrow the Shah's regime. He forcefully implemented his selective modernizing and Westernizing policies, which did not include democracy or liberalism. His zero tolerance approach alienated moderate and democratic dissidents and his anti-religious and de-traditionalization prescription caused the emergence of religious fundamentalism in Iran. In such an environment, it was not surprising that the wide variety of opposition groups (from Marxists to nationalists, to Islamists) eventually united behind Ayatollah Khomeini, a religious and revolutionary figure, whose uncompromising attitude appealed to the masses who vividly remembered how 25 years earlier Mossadegh, a moderate lawyer, had failed to peacefully bring about a government independent from foreign interference. Hence, the Islamic Revolution of 1979.

Not having learned from this negative experience, the US continued its destructive policy towards the new regime in Iran by trying to destabilize it. Less than two years after the revolution, in the summer of 1981, Saddam Hussein attacked Iran. Throughout the eight-year war, he enjoyed the strongest support from the US. As the Americans would clearly understand now - as a result of the Americans' "war on terrorism" - the Iran-Iraq war reduced civil liberties in Iran, and gave the government an upper hand to suppress any form of opposition.

After the war, some religious-intellectual circles gradually emerged in Iran. Many of the participants were among those who established the Islamic government in 1979. In these circles, new ideas about the role of religion in politics, and the separation of mosque and state emerged. The climax of this intellectual movement was the election of 1997 when Mohammad Khatami, who ran under the platform of civil society and rule of law, surprised the world by winning the presidency. More than 76 percent of the eligible voters participated in this election, out of which 70 percent voted for him. By comparing this election with the 1980 referendum, (when 88 percent of the people participated, and 98 percent of them said "yes" to the establishment of "Islamic Republic") it was obvious that a new political culture had been born in Iran. But it took the Iranian society almost 50 years to be able to create a semi-democratic condition similar to Mossadegh's era.

Surprised by the emergence of "democratic elements" in Iran, the Bill Clinton administration modified its approach towards Iran and called the US intervention of 1953 "short-sighted". This shift, however, was rather short-lived. With the slow process of the reform movement in Iran and then the September 11, 2001 attacks on the US, the new administration decided to not only follow the old policy again but to do it in the extreme way: the Bush administration branded Iran part of an axis of evil, along with Iraq and North Korea. Some in Congress even talked about regime change in Iran.

Naming Tehran a member of the "axis of evil" in 2001, when even the US State Department is acknowledging that Iran is a kind of democracy, is reminiscent of Jimmy Carter calling it "an island of stability" (just a year before the revolution). The statements are the opposite sides of the same coin. Both ignored the fact that Iran was undertaking a major development. In 1977, Iran was on the verge of major turmoil. Today, Iranian society is experiencing a movement as pivotal for the Muslim world as the Reformation was to Christianity. This movement, if it succeeds, could affect the whole Muslim world and lead them toward democracy, without repeating the same experiences of Iran. Today, the US is investing $4 billion a month, and one American life per day in Iraq to materialize the dream of creating a democratic model for the Middle East. Iran and Iraq could provide a great political laboratory for the US to examine how its involvement or lack of involvement in a country could affect that country's path toward democracy.

Americans who go to Iran are often surprised to see how friendly Iranians are towards them. Many believe that the Iranian people are the most pro-American in the Muslim world. If this is the case, then it certainly has something to do with the absence of the US from Iran for a quarter century. By looking at the rest of the Muslim world, we can see a very strong but negative correlation between Washington's support of the Muslim governments and the popularity of the US among the people of those countries. The overflowing anti-American sentiments in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, all traditional key allies of the White House, are three examples. The same is true in all other 53 Islamic nations.

If in the past, Washington, in the name of "war against communism", was supporting Middle Eastern and South Asian dictators, now in the name of "war against terrorism", it is increasingly backing the brutal governments of Central Asia, whose human rights records are among the worse in the world. Therefore, it's not surprising that according to recent reports, the fundamentalist movements in this region are flourishing and US involvement is only helping these movements to become stronger and more popular. If the US follows its old policy and does not force these evil governments to respect human rights and the rule of law, the moderate elements of the opposition groups will be marginalized by the revolutionaries and "a second Iran" could very well be on its way.

Some policymakers in Washington justify the current policy by arguing that a lack of US support will lead to the establishment of Islamic theocracies in these countries. But both support and lack of support could lead to that end. It would be just a matter of time. However, there is a third way. Through international organizations, including the United Nations, the US should hold these governments responsible for their domestic as well as their foreign policies. The US should abstain from getting involved in political conflicts within these countries and instead, by using multilateral approaches to put pressure on the governments (whether secular or theocratic) and indiscriminately force them to respect human rights and rule of law. This could provide a peaceful environment in which a democratic political culture could take root. Had the US adopted such an approach half a century ago, Iran's path toward democracy could have been shortened, more peaceful, and less costly. It would have undoubtedly been in the interests of the United States too.

Mohammad Ayatollahi Tabaar is a PhD student in the Department of Government at Georgetown University.
29 posted on 08/19/2003 6:55:11 AM PDT by F14 Pilot (What Goes Around, Comes Around...!)
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To: F14 Pilot

Deputy Interior Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Seyyed Mahmud Mirlohi has said the Guardians Council wants to hold the next parliamentary election on 26 February, which would coincide with the Muharram mourning period, "Etemad" reported on 18 August.

In contrast, "the Interior Ministry has proposed holding the elections during the Ten Days of Dawn [revolution anniversary celebrations in early February] and coinciding with the Id al-Ghadir [the anniversary of the Prophet Mohammad's designation of Ali as his successor], which is a celebratory occasion, and the people would take part in the elections with enthusiasm and joy," Mirlohi said. Reformist campaigning, which tends to be positive and cheerful by Iranian standards, would seem inappropriate during a somber period like Muharram and could be criticized by conservative forces. BS

Comment: What do you think of the effect of the suggested dates?
30 posted on 08/19/2003 8:29:35 AM PDT by AdmSmith
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To: DoctorZIn
Khamenei told visiting Iranian diplomats from abroad that Iran's nuclear projects were peaceful and that the country was not after atomic weapons.

Riiiight. No really I believe him. And if they just HAPPEN to get weapons grade material oh well.

31 posted on 08/19/2003 8:32:12 AM PDT by Valin (America is a vast conspiracy to make you happy.)
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To: AdmSmith
The above article as well as the one below is from RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 7, No. 157, Part III, 19 August 2003


A conference entitled Intifada -- a Step Toward Freedom will open at Tehran University on 19 August, ISNA reported the previous day. It will be hosted by the student committee of the secretariat of the Support for the Palestinian Intifada conference series. Hojatoleslam Ali Akbar Mohtashami-Pur -- who is secretary of the Support for the Palestinian Intifada conference series, a founder of Lebanese Hizballah, President Hojatoleslam Mohammad Khatami's special envoy, and a reformist parliamentarian from Tehran -- and Palestinian scholar and Hamas ideologue Munir Shafiq will give the opening speeches. Conference secretary Ruhollah Owhadi said that "active Palestinian students from numerous Palestinian Jihadi groups" will be there, and "a number of Iranian students from various branches of political parties have also been invited to attend the conference in order to establish cultural and civil ties with the Palestinian students, and to reaffirm their support for the Palestinian nation's resistance against the Zionist regime." BS

Comment: Welcome to the world of terrorism.
32 posted on 08/19/2003 8:33:34 AM PDT by AdmSmith
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To: AdmSmith
These are amazing, aren't they?

Just your normal, everyday terrorist conference so all the terrorists can share ideas and learn how to get along.

A real learning experience & "love-fest".
33 posted on 08/19/2003 9:33:30 AM PDT by nuconvert
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To: DoctorZIn
Axis of Proliferators

August 19, 2003
The Wall Street Journal
Henry Sokolski

On Aug. 27, the U.S. will join China, Russia, North Korea, Japan and South Korea in negotiations over how best to neutralize the North Korean nuclear threat. One country that's sure to be watching is Iran.

Earlier this summer, I attended a meeting in Geneva that included Tehran's ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency and several members of Iran's Expediency Council. After the formal session, they pulled me aside. The one question -- the only question -- they pressed me about was what Washington planned to do about North Korea.

Since then, Iranian diplomats have been consulting European officials. Tehran has begun developing a grand negotiated nuclear bargain of its own. The stakes are high. If, like North Korea, Iran succeeds in getting the world to accept its nuclear program and is allowed to finish its nearly completed "peaceful" light water reactor (which after little more than a year of operation can make over 50 bombs worth of near weapons-grade plutonium), its neighbors are sure to follow suit.

Saudi Arabia, which helped bankroll Pakistan's bomb project and has medium-range rockets of its own, has already had officials visit Islamabad's bomb factory in Kahuta. There's even been talk about Pakistan loaning some of its nuclear weapons to Saudi Arabia, keeping them under Pakistani control (as the U.S. does with its weapons in Germany). Egypt and Syria, meanwhile, are planning nuclear desalinization plants (i.e., big reactors producing material which could be used for nuclear weapons).

Algeria, which was caught in 1991 covertly developing a reactor that might make bombs, now has it on line. Finally, Turkey, a close friend to Israel, has made it clear that Iran going nuclear would force Ankara to secure new "security assurances." Like Taiwan, South Korea and Japan, which have either tried or considered producing nuclear weapons, all of these nations have or could quickly acquire nuclear-capable missiles.

This is not a world the U.S. and its allies want. They probably could identify adversaries and friends in it. But it would be possible only to form a vague idea of how well-armed they might be. And friends, when called upon, would be more inclined to go their own way. Too much would be reminiscent of 1914 but with one big difference -- an increasing number of conflicts would be spring-loaded to go nuclear.

What must the U.S. do to avoid this? How can it convince Iran and the others that violating their nuclear nonproliferation pledges is a bad idea? First, it would help if Washington were clearer about its own view of North Korea -- the most egregious violator of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Certainly, Undersecretary of State John Bolton was lucid enough when he spoke in Seoul on July 31: "To give in to [Kim Jong Il's] extortionist demands would only encourage him, and perhaps more ominously, other would-be tyrants around the world."

He went on to explain that the best way to bolster upcoming six-way talks, was to have the U.N. Security Council take up the IAEA's six-month-old violation report to the council and identify North Korea as an NPT outlaw. This would at least dispel the fiction Pyongyang is promoting that it should be treated as an equal by the other parties to the negotiations (which the IAEA has not found to have violated the treaty). Mr. Bolton also highlighted President Bush's global strategic weapons technology interdiction effort, the Proliferation Security Initiative. Top on every participating nation's target list for this effort, he noted, were North Korea and Iran.

Mr. Bolton's points angered North Korea, which depicted him as "human scum." The White House, in turn, backed Mr. Bolton, saying he spoke for the administration. This support, however, was soon downgraded. Earlier this month at the U.N. mission in New York, U.S. Ambassador Jack Pritchard met with North Korea's U.N. Ambassador Han Song-ryol and reassured him that Mr. Bolton's comments were strictly his "personal" opinion. Mr. Han notified the Japanese press on Aug. 10 and the following day North Korea all but demanded Mr. Bolton's resignation.

The question now is, how does the administration view Mr. Bolton's comments? Do they have the administration's backing or do they merely reflect, as one official put it, "a point of view held by many Americans"?

Iran and North Korea seem ready to exploit the lack of clarity. This month, U.S. and Japanese newspapers have detailed Iran and North Korea's cooperative efforts to develop nuclear warheads and Taepodong-2 nuclear-capable rockets (designed to fly over 6,000 miles). The number of North Korean weapons experts in Iran is now so large, one paper reported, the North Koreans have a seaside community in Iran of their own. Iranian nuclear experts, meanwhile, have already flown to Pyongyang to consult on how to handle IAEA inspections and the possibility of being found in violation of the NPT. The IAEA Board of Governors is set to address these issues next month in Vienna.

To curb the mischief that might be done here, the White House ought to reiterate its support for what it claimed were administration views on using the Security Council to find North Korea in violation of the NPT. If this is not done, the six-way talks will simply become an excuse for keeping the U.N. from enforcing the NPT. North Korea loathes the NPT and IAEA inspectors (whom they see as biased) and hates the idea of bringing their violations before the U.N. As far as Pyongyang is concerned, it has withdrawn from the NPT and should not be held accountable for what it did while it was a member of the treaty. Count on Iran and other would-be bomb makers to be watching this carefully.

Second, the U.S. can hardly ask others to be firm against North Korea's nuclear nonproliferation violations or to block the start-up of Iran's power station if Washington allows construction of the two large U.S.-designed reactors President Clinton promised Pyongyang under the 1994 Agreed Framework to proceed. Work on these reactors (which like Iran's, are prodigious producers of near weapons-grade plutonium) continues. This should end.

The only way these reactors can be completed is with key U.S. components that President Bush can only approve for export by waiving U.S. legal prohibitions against doing so for NPT violators. Despite all of the Bush administration's tough talk, Japan and South Korea continue to pour concrete in hopes Mr. Bush will waive the law. At any time, President Bush could announce that he has no intention of doing so. The sooner he does so the better.

Finally, it would help if, before the six-way talks begin, the U.S. makes it clear what it believes the talks' minimum objectives are and when these objectives need to be met. If North Korea must disclose and dismantle its nuclear program, when, at a minimum, must this be accomplished? Also, what topics should be off the table? Is the U.S. unwilling to give Pyongyang assurances that it will not attack it militarily? Or is this an open question?

Some (including Iran and North Korea) might see the talks as an end in themselves. So long as we are negotiating, they hope, Washington can hardly risk killing the talks by taking any adverse actions (e.g., terminating the reactors, interdicting weapons-related shipments, identifying Pyongyang at the U.N. as an NPT-violator, etc.). Moreover, the longer the talks go without resolving any of the key issues, the more likely it is that the U.S. will be forced by the others at the table to make concessions, setting additional advantageous precedents for Iran.

Cynics, on the other hand, are already arguing that the talks are simply designed to kick the can on the entire set of axis nuclear headaches until sometime after Mr. Bush wins re-election. The problem here is that they might be right. Iran and North Korea's misbehavior, however, will hardly wait that long. If Washington thinks it can be tough and pull out of the talks after being vague, coy or quiet about its ultimate goals and general time table for 15 months, it certainly knows something that no one -- including the other parties to the negotiations and the world's proliferators -- yet has sound cause to believe. Under these circumstances, Iran's proposed grand bargain and nuclear program should be fully ripe for another crisis by November.

Mr. Sokolski is the executive director of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center in Washington.
34 posted on 08/19/2003 1:24:36 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; ...
Axis of Proliferators

August 19, 2003
The Wall Street Journal
Henry Sokolski

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail me”
35 posted on 08/19/2003 1:25:27 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
US accuses Syria and Iran for interference in Iraq

World News
Aug 19, 2003

TIKRIT, Iraq — The top American official in Iraq accused Syria of allowing "terrorists" to cross the border, and U.S. forces on Tuesday reported another attack, this time from assailants firing from behind an ambulance.

No U.S. soldiers were injured in Monday night's attack in which assailants driving alongside an ambulance for cover fired on U.S. forces in one of Saddam Hussein's palaces, a military official said Tuesday.

The attack came shortly after a bomb blew up along the same road in Tikrit, 120 miles north of Baghdad, Lt. Col. Steve Russell of the 4th Infantry Division said.

"We don't believe that the ambulance itself was engaged" in the firing on the troops, Russell said. "This is not the first time we've seen ambulances used in cross fire."

But Maj. Josslyn Aberle, also of the 4th Infantry, said that while no gunfire came from the ambulance, soldiers found an automatic rifle and ammunition inside. The three occupants, one of whom was wounded, were detained for questioning.

L. Paul Bremer said in remarks published Tuesday that Syria, which opposed the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, was allowing "foreign terrorists" to sneak across the border into Iraq.

"We held talks with the Syrians in this regard, we hope to see better cooperation," Bremer told the London-based Arabic newspaper Al Hayat.

Bremer also said he was "still worried" over Iran's meddling in Iraq's affairs, accusing Iran's Revolutionary Guards and Iranian intelligence of actively working against the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq.

"This is irresponsible conduct and runs counter to Iraq's interests. We believe that a free Iraq must not be subject to any interference by its neighbors," Bremer was quoted as saying.

An audiotape, purportedly from an al-Qaida militant, calls on Muslims around the world to travel to Iraq and fight the U.S.-led occupation.

The speaker on the audiotape, obtained by The Associated Press and aired Monday on Al-Arabiya television, claimed to be Abdur Rahman al-Najdi, a Saudi-born militant sought by the United States.

A wanted poster for al-Najdi was circulated by U.S. forces in Afghanistan earlier this year, alongside others for Osama bin Laden, Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar and other militants. Western intelligence sources believe the Taliban, al-Qaida and fighters loyal to Afghan rebel leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar are working together to oppose U.S.-led forces and the Afghan government.

The tape was thought to be the first public call by bin Laden's al-Qaida terror network for Muslims to join the fight in Iraq.

In Washington, a U.S. official familiar with the audio message could not confirm its authenticity. However, the official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said al-Najdi is a known senior al-Qaida propagandist and financier who has released messages in the past to boost the morale within al-Qaida's ranks.

On Tuesday, a suspicious fire continued to rage on Iraq's main northern oil export pipeline into Turkey, the U.S. Army said. Accounts varied over whether the blaze was accidental or an act of sabotage. It would take at least 10 days to repair the damaged pipeline once the fire is extinguished, U.S. military officials said.

Bremer said Monday that the sabotage of water, petroleum and electrical lines was slowing U.S. efforts to rebuild Iraq.

"It's people who do not share the vision of a free Iraq with a vibrant economy the president has set forth and which Iraqis share," Bremer said on CNN. "These are probably people left over from the old regime who are simply fighting a rear guard action."

In the past three months, such attacks have cost billions of dollars in damage, according to Bremer. But he warned that the United States would not be pushed out of Iraq.

"I think these bitter-enders that we are faced with live in a fantasy world, where they think somehow the Baathists are going to come back," Bremer said, referring to members of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party. "They are wrong. We'll leave when the job is done. They are not going to chase us out, they are not destined to succeed."

Most people in Baghdad had water service Tuesday after saboteurs blew an enormous hole in a 5-foot-diameter water main in the north of the city.

In other attacks, a U.S. soldier was killed by an explosive device in Baghdad on Monday, but the military said it was not clear if the blast was the result of a hostile act.

In a separate incident Monday, two 4th Infantry soldiers were wounded when their patrol was fired on with rocket-propelled grenades and small arms fire in the town of Balad, the army said. Both soldiers were evacuated to an Army support hospital in stable condition.

North of Tikrit, Iraqi police and fire brigades discovered six bodies from an explosion two days earlier at an ammunition storage site. It wasn't clear what caused the blast, which was followed by secondary explosions, but Army officials blamed looters. One other body was recovered at the site Monday.
36 posted on 08/19/2003 1:27:30 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; ...
Judiciary releases officers involved in killing of young Tehrani resident

SMCCDI (Information Service)
Aug 19, 2003

The Islamic republic Judiciary has released 3 officers of the Militia involved in the murder of a young Tehrani resident named "Mohammad-Reza Nikbakht". The victim was shot in the neck by the officers following his escape from a crackdown on an innocent Party Gathering.

The shoot out happened on last Thursday in the Alvand street of Tehran and proves, once again, the brutality of the Islamic regime forces and their suspicion to anyone as "element of distabilizing their popular regime". Twelve bullets have been reported as having been shot by the militiamen against the car of the victim.

The late Nikbakht's only crime was to wish avoid being lashed for presence in a friendly meeting where boys and girls were present under the same roof.

The sentence for attending a party, for fun purpose, can vary anywhere from huge fines to lashing or imprisonment of the participants.

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail me”
37 posted on 08/19/2003 1:28:49 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: AdmSmith
What's going on in March?
38 posted on 08/19/2003 3:59:41 PM PDT by nuconvert
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To: Valin
"Khamenei told visiting Iranian diplomats from abroad that Iran's nuclear projects were peaceful and that the country was not after atomic weapons"

Hey, I'm convinced
39 posted on 08/19/2003 4:11:09 PM PDT by nuconvert
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To: nuconvert
I believe they are referring to the upcoming parliamentary elections. The hardliners want to retake the parliament and if the people continue to refuse to vote, they will succeed.
40 posted on 08/19/2003 5:16:08 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Could Cooperation With U.S. Put Tehran in Al Qaeda's Crosshairs?

August 18, 2003

Iran's national security chief claims that country, like the United States, has been a target of al Qaeda plots. Tehran may be manipulating the facts, but if it steps up cooperation with the United States against al Qaeda, it could in fact become a target in the future.


The secretary-general of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, Hassan Rowhani, says Iran has foiled several al Qaeda attacks, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported late Aug. 17. The agency quoted Hassan as saying that Iran had been battling al Qaeda for some time, and that Tehran had arrested hundreds of suspected militants.

Rowhani's statements are a direct signal to the United States that Iran is cooperating in the U.S. war against al Qaeda. Tehran and Washington are currently in talks focused on two issues: the situation in Iraq and Iran's harboring of al Qaeda members. In reality, it is unclear if Tehran has ever been targeted by al Qaeda, or if it will aid Washington's efforts to dismantle the organization. The risk for Iran, however, is that its cooperation with the United States could prompt al Qaeda to retaliate against the country itself.

Iran's relationship with al Qaeda is of prime importance to the United States. Washington believes one key to pre-empting further attacks is to deny the group sanctuary, especially in countries hostile to the United States. Washington also believes this will be vital in preventing al Qaeda from regrouping.

Iran -- an Islamic state that is adjacent to Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and shares some of al Qaeda's goals -- makes an attractive host country for the group. Like Osama bin Laden's network, Tehran wants to see the United States withdraw from the Arabian Peninsula. Iran aspires to become the regional hegemon, but it cannot do so as long as the U.S. military dominates the area. Second, Iran sees instability stirred by al Qaeda in countries like Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen as advantageous to its influence over these states.

There are, however, reasons for discord between Iran and al Qaeda. For one thing, the militant group hopes to establish a Sunni Islamic caliphate, but Iran is predominantly Shia. Moreover, an al Qaeda-inspired regime in Riyadh ultimately would rival Tehran's influence in the region. These issues are real, though can perhaps be glossed over in the short term. In addition, Iranian diplomats tell Stratfor that al Qaeda has long plotted and carried out attacks against Iranian assets -- including its airliners -- inside the country.

Iranian officials are now in senior-level talks with the United States, and recent events point to progress on the terms of cooperation. On Aug. 17, IRNA reported that Iraq would reopen its embassy in Tehran on Sept. 1, 2003 -- a move that suggests Iran is willing to expand diplomatic ties with U.S.-occupied Iraq. It also indicates an indirect acceptance of the U.S. rule in Baghdad, as well as perhaps a new avenue for talks and cooperation.

Two days earlier, the U.S. State Department announced that it would close two of the Washington offices of the Mujahideen e-Khalq (MKO), an Iranian opposition group. Tehran has been angered by the U.S.-MKO alliance since U.S. military troops seized Baghdad. Washington's attempts to distance itself from the group, which is based in Iraq and has fought a decades-long war against the clerical regime in Tehran, signal a concession to Tehran.

The U.S.-Iranian talks are intended to prevent a clash between the two countries and to reduce U.S. anxiety about Tehran's relationship with al Qaeda. During a meeting with Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer in late May, Rowhani claimed that Iran had been battling al Qaeda even before Sept. 11 -- arresting more than 500 members and deporting scores to other countries. Australia is a close U.S. ally, and Rowhani's statements were meant for Washington's ears as well as Canberra's.

Rowhani's statement now that al Qaeda had planned to attack inside Iran emerges at an interesting time -- at a point when the U.S.-Iranian talks seem to be making progress. The claim might be meant to demonstrate a shared concern with Washington, though the plots themselves -- if they did in fact exist -- likely predated the detente between Washington and Tehran.

In Rowhani's words, "Their [Al Qaeda's] plans for a wide range of terrorist acts inside Iran were neutralized by our intelligence organizations." This comment suggests a time frame that likely would span the last several months, at the very least. Intelligence agencies aren't known to operate with lightning speed, and uncovering such plots can take weeks, months or even years. In addition, Rowhani claimed in May -- when Tehran and Washington were still doing more shadowboxing than secret talking -- that his government had started the crackdown on al Qaeda years ago.

Iran has reason to worry. Al Qaeda is no doubt unhappy with the Khamanei-Khatami government's cooperation with the Bush administration, nor will it appreciate Tehran's willingness to extradite its members to other countries like Egypt, Kuwait or Saudi Arabia, where members of the network would be tortured and jailed, if not executed.

Various reports, rumors and flies on the wall have claimed that several senior-level al Qaeda members are hiding out in Iran, including Egyptians Ayman al Zawahiri and Seif al Adel, Kuwaiti Sulaiman Abu Ghaith and Osama bin Laden's son, Saad. If Tehran were to extradite these men, it would deal a crippling blow to al Qaeda. A few small-scale attacks aimed at destabilizing Tehran would not be an unexpected response.
41 posted on 08/19/2003 5:17:32 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; ...
Could Cooperation With U.S. Put Tehran in Al Qaeda's Crosshairs?

August 18, 2003

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail me”
42 posted on 08/19/2003 5:18:54 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
In Iran, Clerics' Wealth Draws Ire

August 20, 2003
The Christian Science Monitor
Nicholas Birch

TEHRAN -- Two years ago, Hossein 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 .

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

Daily conversation here turns with alarming speed to the daily struggle to make ends meet. But what makes such talk baffling is that most economists consider the country to be 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.

So what are many Iranians complaining about? A powerful group of clerics and merchants who, critics say, have a stranglehold on the economy.

For Saeed Laylaz, an assistant manager at Iran's largest car manufacturer and a supporter of moderate President Muhammad Khatami, the gripes are an effect of political reforms. "People are no longer afraid to speak out: they're not getting angrier, just more vocal," he says.

Jahangir Amuzegar, who was 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."

What happened to social justice?

That is a bitter pill to swallow given that "covenant of the meek," or social justice, was a favorite catchphrase of the leaders of Iran's 1979 revolution. But it's made far worse by the fact that the principal beneficiaries of wealth redistribution have been the 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 Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, Iran's last shah. Ostensibly "charitable" organizations, they frequently use their wealth - up to 35 percent of the economy, according to analysts - for 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 Mashhad, in northeastern Iran, has used donations from as many as 8 million pilgrims a year to buy up 90 percent of the arable land in the surrounding region. Controlled since 1979 by arch-conservative Ayatollah Abbas Vaez-Tabazi - whose son and daughter are married to two of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's children - the foundation also owns universities and a Coca-Cola factory.

Backed by President Khatami, Iran's reform-minded parliament recently scrapped laws exempting the foundations from paying tax. Most observers doubt anything will change. Bonyad bosses, they say, can always fall back on privileged relations with Iran's banks, almost all state owned. "Credit is rationed," explains Mr. Amuzegar, "and it's rarely private business that gets it."

"I've never even bothered trying to get a bank loan," says Ataollah Khazali, owner of a small smelting works 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 Mr. 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, he explains, is the systematic backdating of checks. "Strictly speaking it's illegal, but it enables us to play with money that isn't ours."

This bazaari is a small player, specializing only in copper goods. Others are far more powerful, and with political attachments. The current head of the influential pro-bazaari Coalition of Islamic Associations, Habibollah Asgar-Ouladi, 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, Mr. 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.

Reworking crony capitalism

With Iran's chronic unemployment - officially 12.5 percent but probably 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 liberalize," argues Mr. Laylaz. "They may use anti-Western rhetoric as their political trump card, but they can only save themselves by opening up."

But Amuzegar 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. "As long as they survive, so will the system."
43 posted on 08/19/2003 5:20:12 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; ...
In Iran, Clerics' Wealth Draws Ire

August 20, 2003
The Christian Science Monitor
Nicholas Birch

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail me”
44 posted on 08/19/2003 5:21:13 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Bremer Worried About Iran Meddling in Iraq's Affairs

August 19, 2003
The Associated Press
Barry Schweid

WASHINGTON -- The State Department credited Syria on Tuesday with ''limited progress'' in restraining terrorists from crossing the border with Iraq and in expelling some extremists.

But President Bashar Assad's government has not gone far enough, particularly in closing the offices of extremist groups in Damascus, department spokesman Richard Boucher said.

Earlier, and before Tuesday's bloody truck bombing at U.N. headquarters in Baghdad, the top U.S. official in Iraq took a tougher line against Syria.

L. Paul Bremer, who is in charge of U.S. occupation forces, said Syria was allowing foreign terrorists to sneak across the border.

''We held talks with the Syrians in this regard,'' Bremer told the London-based Arabic newspaper Al Hayat. ''We hope to see better cooperation.''

Bremer also said he was still worried about Iran meddling in Iraq's affairs. He accused Iran's Revolutionary Guards and Iranian intelligence of actively working against the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq.

''This is irresponsible conduct and runs counter to Iraq's interests. We believe that a free Iraq must not be subject to any interference by its neighbors,'' Bremer said.

Terrorism was on the agenda when Secretary of State Colin Powell held talks last spring in Damascus and during a meeting Assistant Secretary of State William Burns held last week with Assad in the Syrian capital. Syria opposed the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

But Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., said Monday in Jerusalem after a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon that Sharon had complained that Syria allows Hezbollah to ''run wild'' in Lebanon and does not feel the heat of U.S. diplomatic overtures.

Engel said in a telephone interview that he would push a bill to sanction Syria unless it stops helping Hezbollah guerrillas and ends its military occupation of Lebanon.

The State Department has called on Syria to end its support for the group, which has resumed its cross-border conflict with Israel. Assad, however, defended recent rocket attacks by Hezbollah guerrillas on the Israel-Lebanon border, telling Burns they were in response to Israeli provocations.

Syria is listed by the State Department as a sponsor of terrorism and Hezbollah as a terrorist group.

Boucher said ''the Syrians understand and continue to understand that we expect to see continued progress, we expect to see significant progress.''

The spokesman said ''we'll keep pressing in that direction.''

Boucher said it was important that Syria restrain the activities of terrorists and terrorist groups, police its borders to prevent crossings and use its influence to restraint activity on the border between Lebanon and Israel.

''We've all noted in the past some efforts that the Syrians have made, whether it was closing the border or kicking some people out,'' he said. ''But like in the other areas, it's been limited progress, it hasn't been enough, and we've kept pressing for more.''
45 posted on 08/19/2003 5:22:01 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; ...
Bremer Worried About Iran Meddling in Iraq's Affairs

August 19, 2003
The Associated Press
Barry Schweid

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail me”
46 posted on 08/19/2003 5:23:20 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Iraq Blast Fits Pattern of Sabotage

August 20, 2003
The Christian Science Monitor
Peter Grier and Faye Bowers

WASHINGTON AND BAGHDAD -– Insurgents opposed to the US presence in Iraq increasingly appear to have adopted a new strategy: create chaos by striking a wide range of targets.

Tuesday's suicide truck-bomb explosion at UN headquarters in Baghdad was but the latest in a string of attacks aimed at civilian and economic sites. Jordan's embassy in Baghdad was shattered by a similar bomb Aug. 7. Over the weekend Iraqi oil, water, and electricity lines were all hit by saboteurs.

The coordination involved in this campaign is unknown. US officials have said they believe that the violent Iraqi opposition is a polyglot mix of Saddam Hussein die-hards, Islamist terrorists, and criminals.

But some Western analysts believe that an influx of foreigners is driving this violence. Radical Muslims bent on jihad are now flooding into Iraq, some say, as they poured into Afghanistan during its years of Soviet occupation.

Whoever the perpetrators, their aim may be to convince the mass of Iraqis who are neither strongly anti- nor pro-American that the current situation is intolerable. They probably want to layer fear on top of the frustration and anger already felt by an Iraqi population whose economy and infrastructure are in shambles.

"The whole purpose is to demonstrate that the Americans are not in control. Nobody is safe," says a former intelligence officer with 25 years experience in the region.

The explosion at the UN's Baghdad headquarters, based in a three-story converted hotel, was the deadliest attack on an Iraqi soft target yet.

The nature of the strike showed the desperation of those who oppose the US presence in Iraq, claimed President Bush in an audio statement from his ranch in Crawford, Texas. He vowed that the US would persevere.

"The terrorists who struck today have again shown their contempt for the innocent; they showed their fear of progress and their hatred of peace," said Mr. Bush. "They're the enemies of the Iraqi people."

An enormous amount of explosives was used in the attack, according to Bernard Kerik, the former New York police commissioner now involved in the Iraqi rebuilding effort. The force of the blast ripped off the front of the building.

Early reports from the United Nations said that at least 14 people had been killed, including the top UN official in the country, Sergio Vieira de Mello.

Bystanders - the concerned, the curious, and the media - could only speculate about the nature of the blast as dusk fell in Baghdad.

One man said the bomber had been in a cement mixer whose driver was still in the vehicle as the explosion occurred.

The US military swarmed over the area in the wake of the attack, with dozens of Humvees converging on the site and helicopters circling overhead.

Those on the scene found it difficult to imagine a motive. The UN does not have a central role in Iraqi reconstruction at the moment, though it does distribute aid.

The UN's oil-for-food program, now being phased out in the wake of the US invasion, has funded regular food rations that have kept Iraqis fed for several years. Although the UN is associated in many Iraqis' minds with efforts to find and destroy Iraq's weapons, it has also maintained extensive humanitarian programs in the country.

The attack may have been "because there were so many foreigners there, probably," says Feriyal Scott, personnel director of the World Health Organization office in Baghdad. "And probably because the UN did not support the previous government [of Iraq]."

Analysts outside the country said that while they could not be sure about the reasons for the attack, it was likely the UN building was chosen almost at random because it was both a symbol of the West and vulnerable.

Blowing up the UN, as well as blowing up oil pipelines and water mains, can only make the ordinary life of Iraqis more miserable. Thus it seems obvious that the campaign of destruction aims to create chaos and deliberately harm the ability of the United States to administer Iraq.

"This could be very devastating to [US] efforts," says Judith Yaphe, an Iraq expert at the National Defense University.

It's possible that the attack was carried out by remnants of the Hussein regime, says Ms. Yaphe. Some of Mr. Hussein's elite forces, such as the Special Republican Guard, received training in car bombs and other means of sabotage.

But the smoothness of the planning and the clever choice of unexpected targets points to a more experienced kind of terrorist organization, according to Yaphe. That might mean jihadis crossing from Syria or Iran.

"I can believe there are all kinds of forces coming to play here," she says.

A US attack last month on an alleged terrorist training camp in the desert west of Baghdad killed 70 foreign fighters. They included Saudis, Yemenis, Afghans, and Sudanese, according to news reports.

A statement purportedly from Al Qaeda broadcast Aug. 18 on Arab satellite television asserted that the recent spate of attacks in Iraq was indeed the work of such jihadis.

Whatever the nature of the opposition, it is clearly adjusting, adapting, and searching out targets that have not yet been protected.

That makes life more difficult for US administrators on a number of levels. More troops might have to be dispatched for the guarding of pipelines and other infrastructure, for instance - stretching an already thin force.

Pressure to send yet more soldiers to Iraq might increase. On Tuesday, Sen. John McCain (R) of Arizona said publicly, "I think they need more people."

Mr. McCain did not specify how many additional troops he thought were necessary. Current US end strength in Iraq is about 140,000.

At the same time, nations that the US is attempting to persuade to join the occupation effort may become more reluctant to get involved. India, Pakistan, and other such countries might be wary about sending their units into a clearly hostile country.

"Most have wanted to avoid this for obvious reasons, and this is going to make it [easier for them to do so]," says Jim Walsh, an international security expert at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government.

The real target of the blast was not so much the UN as the Iraqi people at large, according to Mr. Walsh. Without their confidence, the US occupation of Iraq won't succeed in building a stable nation.

"It's hard to get [the insurgents] unless the average Iraqi has faith and ... a sense of security and sees their future best hope is for a successful reconstruction," says Walsh.

But a simmering summer with poor electrical service and 60 percent unemployment has already hammered Iraqi morale. US military tactics that seem as occasionally heavy-handed may only become more so as the search for Hussein adherents and terrorists intensifies.

Both the Shiite and Sunni Muslim religious establishments have taken umbrage at recent US actions, say other experts. The establishment of an Iraqi governing council may have been a step in the right direction, but, like US administrators, the Iraqi leaders have to operate from behind barbed wire and a guard of US guns.

"I don't think we are poised to break out of this very quickly," says the former intelligence officer with expertise in the region.

- Cameron Barr contributed from Baghdad.
47 posted on 08/19/2003 5:24:33 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; ...
Iraq Blast Fits Pattern of Sabotage

August 20, 2003
The Christian Science Monitor
Peter Grier and Faye Bowers

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail me”
48 posted on 08/19/2003 5:25:27 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Thank you, Doctor.
49 posted on 08/19/2003 5:59:59 PM PDT by nuconvert
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To: DoctorZIn
"The UN does not have a central role in Iraqi reconstruction at the moment, though it does distribute aid." "...has funded regular food rations that have kept Iraqis fed for several years."
"The real target of the blast was not so much the UN as the Iraqi people at large,..."

It boggles the mind. There are people who think there is justification in killing their own, and killing those trying help their own.

(An extra-sad day in the Middle East with this news and the bus in Israel. And now Sharon must retaliate.....)
50 posted on 08/19/2003 6:38:28 PM PDT by nuconvert
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