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Iranian Alert -- September 7, 2003 -- IRAN LIVE THREAD PING LIST
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 9.7.2003 | DoctorZin

Posted on 09/07/2003 12:22:06 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; studentprotest
Discover all the news since the protests began on June 10th, go to:

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

1 posted on 09/07/2003 12:22:07 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Join Us At Today's Iranian Alert Thread

Live Thread Ping List | DoctorZin

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

2 posted on 09/07/2003 12:23:21 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Bush on warpath over UN's shock report on Iran A-bomb
By Con Coughlin
(Filed: 07/09/2003)

America will tomorrow demand that the United Nations takes urgent action to prevent Iran acquiring the atom bomb as fears mount that Teheran is on course to develop a nuclear weapons capability within two years.

United States officials will make the demand at a special meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna that has been arranged to consider a 10-page report by Mohammed al-Baradei, the agency's director-general, into the state of Iran's nuclear programme.

Washington has already expressed deep concern about the discovery of traces of weapons grade uranium found in soil samples taken from one of Iran's top secret nuclear facilities last July.

In his report, a copy of which has been obtained by The Telegraph, Mr al-Baradei lists serious concerns raised by UN weapons inspectors about the scope of Iran's nuclear programme, which Teheran continues to insist is aimed at developing a nuclear power industry.

Inspectors are particularly concerned about activity at a nuclear complex at Natanz, in central Iran, which has sophisticated equipment for enriching uranium to weapons grade standard.

Even though the complex was built five years ago, the Iranian authorities only confirmed its existence to the IAEA earlier this year after its location was revealed by Iranian exiles.

The report also details the inspectors' concerns about the development of a heavy water facility at Arak, which they believe could help Iran to manufacture weapons grade uranium.

Mr al-Baradei writes in the report's conclusion that "there remain a number of important outstanding issues, particularly with regard to Iran's enrichment programme, that require urgent resolution".

US officials, however, are concerned that Mr al-Baradei, who this year argued in favour of UN inspectors being given more time to locate Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction, will try to play down the significance of the recent discoveries made in Iran.

One American closely involved in monitoring Iran's nuclear programme said: "The big difference between Iraq and Iran is that the Iranians now have the ability to develop an atom bomb within two years. The time has come to force the Iranians to come clean about their real intentions."

Although Mr al-Baradei admits that the Iranians have deployed a variety of delaying tactics to prevent UN inspectors gaining access to secret nuclear facilities, he believes that they should be given more time to comply with their obligations under the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty.

American officials fear that many Europeans on the IAEA's 35-member board of governors, some of whose countries have lucrative trade ties with Teheran, will back Mr al-Baradei's position.
3 posted on 09/07/2003 12:24:30 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Current Headline on the


Which he links to the following article....

Bush on warpath over UN's shock report on Iran A-bomb
By Con Coughlin
(Filed: 07/09/2003)

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail me”
4 posted on 09/07/2003 12:31:36 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Tehran Fail To Agree On Return Of Nuclear Fuel

September 06, 2003
Radio Free Europe

Moscow -- Talks between Russia and Iran have still failed to resolve the question of the return of spent fuel to Russia from Iran's nuclear power plant at Bushehr.

Russia is helping Iran build the nuclear power plant at Bushehr. But, under strong international pressure -- particularly from the U.S. -- Russia has demanded that Iran return spent fuel from the plant. The U.S. has accused Tehran of seeking to develop its nuclear weapons program.

Russia's Atomic Energy Ministry said today it would not start delivering fuel for the Bushehr plant until an agreement is reached on the return of the fuel once it is used.

Representatives of the two countries met yesterday in Moscow but failed to agree on a date for signing the agreement.

Meanwhile, Iran's Foreign Ministry today rejected U.S. claims that Tehran was not doing enough to prevent anti-U.S. fighters from crossing from Iran into Iraq.

Iran's state news agency IRNA cited Foreign Ministry spokesman Reza Asefi as saying Washington is looking to lay blame for the continued resistance to U.S. troops in Iraq.

U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said this week that Iran and Syria's efforts to stop foreign fighters were "intermittent" and "uneven."

Washington has blamed fighters loyal to ousted Iraqi ruler Saddam Hussein and foreign Islamic radicals for the continued violence in Iraq.
5 posted on 09/07/2003 12:33:38 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Iranians Divided on Nuclear Inspection Issue


EHRAN, Sept. 6 — Tension among political groups here is intensifying over whether Iran will allow more aggressive inspections of its nuclear sites.

The possibility is remote that Iran would sign the additional protocol for the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty before the International Atomic Energy Agency meets on Monday to discuss the issue. The agency could send the case to the United Nations Security Council if it concludes that Iran's nuclear activities pose a threat.

But the issue has divided policy makers here into two distinct groups, not necessarily along the lines of their hard-line or reformist affiliations. One side wants to yield to the international pressure and open up nuclear sites to surprise inspections, while the other wants to refuse, despite any consequences.

Opponents of the protocol, who are mostly military or defense officials, see the measure as part of an effort to force Iran to abandon not only its nuclear program but also its ambitious arms program.

Some influential politicians have even suggested that Iran opt out of the nonproliferation treaty. "Even though they are in the minority, their voice is becoming louder as the international pressure is increasing," one official said.

Under the terms of the treaty, a country that has signed, as Iran has, can declare its "supreme interests" to be in jeopardy and can drop out on three months' notice.

Alireza Akbari, a senior member of the Revolutionary Guards whose rank is equal to that of general and who was deputy defense minister until two months ago, contends that if Iran appears to waver, its other security projects will become the next international target.

"If we retreat every time they put pressure on us, they will continue the pressure and push us farther back until we are completely disarmed and defenseless," he said. "The protocol is only the first step, not the last."

Mr. Akbari considers Iran's nuclear energy program essential for the country's development, to serve its growing population.

"The protocol is purely a political issue, not legal, and in line with other conventions that are aimed at keeping weaker countries weaker," he said.

Those who favor signing the protocol, including the Foreign Ministry, warn that Iran, by its delay in signing, is provoking international threats. Yet the Foreign Ministry has urged the atomic energy agency not to allow the matter to become overshadowed by political issues and to let Iran to sign the protocol in its own time.

The chairman of Parliament's energy committee, Hussein Afarideh, a reformist, said last month that "Iran has no intention not to sign the protocol and just wants to examine it well before signing it."

Iran, which has always maintained that its nuclear power program is for peaceful purposes, has said it would sign the protocol only if it had a promise of technical cooperation in nuclear science from other signatory states. It took a step toward signing it last month, after a report revealed traces of highly enriched uranium at one of the country's nuclear sites, and said it would begin negotiations over the protocol.

Iran has repeatedly reminded the West that its nuclear program goes back to a period when it was supported by several Western powers, before the 1979 revolution, which put an Islamic government in power. Reactors were purchased from the United States, France and West Germany. Iranian scientists were trained in those countries, as well as in Britain.
6 posted on 09/07/2003 1:23:20 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Maybe we'll hear something about this during the President's speech.
7 posted on 09/07/2003 3:49:06 AM PDT by nuconvert
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To: DoctorZIn; All

Free Republic's 9-11 100 Hours of Remembrance
Click on Link Above

8 posted on 09/07/2003 4:12:31 AM PDT by jriemer (We are a Republic not a Democracy)
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To: DoctorZIn; McGavin999; Eala; AdmSmith; dixiechick2000; nuconvert; onyx; Pro-Bush; Valin; Tamsey; ...
UN Nuclear Agency Seen Demanding Iran Come Clean

Sun September 7, 2003 06:59 AM ET
By Louis Charbonneau

VIENNA (Reuters) - The United Nations nuclear watchdog looked set to urge Iran to come clean about what some suspect is its secret atomic weapons program, diplomats said.

But there was little support on the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) governing board which meets in Vienna this week for a tough U.S. resolution that could have led to Iran reported to the U.N. Security Council for possible sanctions.

But the now-softened resolution still calls for Iran's "urgent and essential cooperation," demands Tehran answer all outstanding questions about its uranium-enrichment program and sign a protocol permitting intrusive, snap IAEA inspections.

Diplomats said there was a good chance of the softened resolution being approved by a majority of the board.

They said IAEA Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei would back a strongly worded resolution demanding full cooperation from Iran but stopping short of declaring Iran in non-compliance.

"Any call by the board for Iran to do what it needs to do to answer the agency's questions would be welcome," said IAEA spokesman Mark Gwozdecky. "That's what ElBaradei has been asking for all along."

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in Vienna, Kenneth Brill, said most board members want to strengthen the IAEA's hand so it can "get to the bottom of the Iranian nuclear file."

"From my consultations with other fellow members of the board, they, like the United States, see a pattern of behavior (that is) very troubling and certainly consistent with efforts to evade international obligations and to get the capacity to build nuclear weapons," Brill told reporters.

The United States, which has labeled Iran part of an "axis of evil," accuses Iran of secretly developing nuclear arms.

Iran denies the charge and says it is ready to start talks on allowing snap inspections, but says it wants clarifications on issues of sovereignty before signing up.

"A country like America is adopting an extremist stance on the issue with political motivations," Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told reporters on Sunday.


Some diplomats and non-proliferation experts say Iran's repeated failures to inform the U.N. about its nuclear program, detailed in two IAEA reports, clearly violate Iran's obligations under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

More now agree with U.S. charges that Iran wants The Bomb.

"Iran has been secretly developing the capability to make nuclear weapons -- in particular, developing the wherewithal to produce separated plutonium and highly enriched uranium (HEU)," David Albright and Corey Hinderstein wrote in the latest issue of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

The IAEA's August report confirmed that inspectors found traces of weapons-grade HEU at the Natanz enrichment plant.

This finding has fueled suspicions that Iran has been secretly enriching uranium at Natanz to use in a nuclear weapon.

Tehran blames the HEU on contamination from imported centrifuge parts it bought on the black market in the 1980s. But it has refused to tell the IAEA where the parts come from, which prevents the agency from verifying the truth of the explanation.

Another cause for concern is Iran's experiments with the creation of uranium metal, which has few civilian uses, but is crucial for creating the uranium metal core of an atomic bomb.

"Countries with nuclear weapons programs tend to recognize this body of activities the Iranians have been conducting as being similar to the kinds of things that they've done in developing their own weapons systems," a senior diplomat said.

"Everything about Iran's nuclear program points to proliferation," said another Western diplomat.
9 posted on 09/07/2003 5:22:00 AM PDT by F14 Pilot
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To: yonif; RaceBannon; DoctorZIn; nuconvert; seamole; onyx; downer911; McGavin999; AdmSmith; Valin; ...
Iran blasts Israel over Hamas attack, accuses EU of "discrimination"

Iran on Sunday accused Israel of "government-sponsored terrorism" by attempting to kill Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, and blasted the European Union for blacklisting his radical Palestinian group.

"This is another example of government-sponsored terrorism. We strongly condemn this," foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said of Saturday's attack, in which Yassin was lightly wounded.

Asefi also blamed the Jewish state for the resignation of Palestinian prime minister Mahmud Abbas, who quit Saturday after a bitter power struggle with leader Yasser Arafat.

"The resignation of Mahmud Abbas happened because of Israel's obstacles and impediments," Asefi argued.

"The Zionist regime is moving against the will of the world community. It is oppressing the Palestinians, and given this kind of behaviour we cannot be hopeful for the future," he added.

The spokesman also hit out at a decision by EU foreign ministers to blacklist the political wing of Hamas and freeze its assets, saying that "labelling the populist struggle of the Palestinians as terrorist is a sign of discrimination."

Iran does not recognise Israel's right to exist, and is a vocal supporter of Palestinian resistance groups such as Hamas.
10 posted on 09/07/2003 5:26:32 AM PDT by F14 Pilot
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran Envoy Returns to London After Row

September 07, 2003

TEHRAN -- Iran's ambassador to Britain has returned to his post after consultations in Tehran amid a row over Britain's arrest of a former Iranian diplomat, an Iranian Foreign Ministry official said.

Ambassador Morteza Sarmadi was recalled to Iran last week amid tensions over Britain's arrest, at Argentina's request, of former Iranian envoy Hadi Soleimanpour in connection with the 1994 bombing of a Jewish centre in Buenos Aires that killed 85.

"Sarmadi came to Iran for consultations and he returned to Britain today (Sunday)," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told reporters.

Iran has said the case is politically motivated and Soleimanpour, who was envoy in Buenos Aires at the time of the bombing, has protested his innocence.

Britain has dismissed any political motivation, saying its courts are independent.

The tense atmosphere became further charged when shots were fired at the British embassy building in Tehran on Wednesday. No one was hurt. Iran called the shooting an "irresponsible act" and said it was investigating.

Iran has called for the swift release of Soleimanpour and warned of "strong action". It has already cut economic and cultural ties with Argentina.

Analysts say Iran may be wary of downgrading ties with Britain in case it prompts a response from other European Union states at a time when Iran is already under mounting pressure to allow tougher inspections of its nuclear programme.
11 posted on 09/07/2003 8:29:12 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
It's Prime Time For Persians

September 07, 2003
US News
Ramin Setoodeh

`I haven't felt so oppressed since the ayatollah blew up my beach house," jokes Nasim, the handyman on the NBC series Whoopi. Played by stand-up comic Omid Djalili, Nasim is the quintessential sitcom sidekick: round, lovable, full of contagious energy. Only Nasim's not so quintessential. He's Iranian, and he's not afraid to admit it.

"How did you come to the States?" a character asks in the pilot, airing this week. "I ran," Nasim snorts.

Twenty years ago, it would have been impossible to imagine a benevolent Iranian character on network TV. In 1979, when a group of revolutionaries seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, taking 66 American hostages, Iran became a national bad guy. Americans bought "Iranians: Go Home" bumper stickers; President Carter ordered the deportation of illegal Iranian students.

"Americans did not distinguish between Iranians here and the government in Iran," says Hamid Naficy, a professor at Rice University who studies the portrayal of Iranians in the media. "Because of shame and guilt, Iranians didn't really announce themselves. People dyed their hair blond and pretended to be Greek or Mexican or Italian. It was easier that way."

Fast forward a couple of decades--and into the present anti-Iraq era. First-generation Iranian-Americans, having grown up without accents or other cultural barriers, are assimilating into American society, and they are not trying to hide their identity by calling themselves Persian, as their parents might have. "Within 10 years," predicts Firoozeh Dumas, author of Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America, "Iranians are going to be so well integrated . . . people will forget that it wasn't always this way." Her take on life in America as a child immigrant joins two influential memoirs by Iranian women published this year. Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi recounts her attempts to teach books banned by the government in Iran. And Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood uses the graphic novel form to show how the revolution changed one girl's life.

Gotta laugh. Each portrays Iranians as nonviolent, vulnerable, even victimized by the hostage crisis. "Those of us living in the Islamic Republic of Iran grasped both the tragedy and absurdity of the cruelty to which we were subjected," writes Nafisi. "We had to poke fun at our own misery in order to survive." Indeed, humor is central to these books, ranging from sarcastic to subversive, like when Satrapi's young protagonist acts out torture methods. Often, the comedy is surprisingly Western. In Reading Lolita, Nafisi nods to Jane Austen: "It is a truth universally acknowledged that a Muslim man, regardless of his fortune, must be in want of a 9-year-old virgin wife."

Collectively, the memoirs demonstrate how "the world has suddenly legitimized Iranians as contributors to the American melting pot," says Rice professor Naficy. And not just with kebabs and Persian rugs. Iranian film, too, has "caught the world by surprise," says Hamid Dabashi, author of Close Up: Iranian Cinema, Past, Present and Future. While only in limited release, films such as the Oscar-nominated Children of Heaven, Marzieh Meshkini's The Day I Became a Woman, and Babak Payami's Secret Ballot have garnered critical acclaim: "The humanism portrayed is in such sharp contrast with the public image Americans have of Iran," says Dabashi.

As is Nasim's edgy humor: "This TV, I'm telling you," says the handyman, "it's more dead than Saddam's first defense minister."
12 posted on 09/07/2003 8:37:40 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Iran Scientists Already Working on Nuclear Bomb

September 06, 2003

BERLIN -- Up to 90 scientists are working secretly on the construction of a nuclear bomb in Iran under the supervision of the ministry of defense, the weekly Tagesspiegel am Sonntag said in its Sunday edition.

Quoting intelligence sources, it said Iran had bought high-tension switches and high-speed cameras to conduct nuclear tests.

Although Iran has insisted all its it nuclear facilities are for civil purposes and has offered to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it has consistently refused to accept surprise inspections of its plants.

The IAEA was scheduled to meet on the issue on Monday, when sources in Vienna said Iran would come under renewed pressure to lift the secrecy around its nuclear program.
13 posted on 09/07/2003 8:39:44 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran's Influence Grows in Iraqi Holy City

September 07, 2003
Suleiman al-Khalidi

NAJAF -- Seventy-year-old Badria sits at the steps of the gold-domed Imam Ali mosque, crying in disbelief that she has managed to see one of the most revered sites of Shi'ite Islam.

''I thought I would die without seeing it,'' said Badria, one of thousands of Iranians who can now visit Iraq's holy Shi'ite cities freely thanks to the downfall of Saddam Hussein.

Saddam, a Sunni Muslim, waged war against Iran from 1980 to 1988. He imposed strict limits on the number of pilgrims from Shi'ite-dominated Iran allowed to visit sites they revere such as Najaf and Kerbala.

Now age-old ties between the neighbouring countries, both with majority Shi'ite populations, are being revived. That is a source of joy for many such as Badria, and of new business opportunities for others already reaping the rewards of a lucrative cross border trade.

However, some are worried about Iran's growing influence. Iraqi Shi'ites stress they want to take control of their own destiny. That means not being too dependent on Iran, which would have an interest in preventing Iraq's Shi'ite south from becoming too powerful.

Iran's leaders would not want to see the centre of the Shi'ite clerical establishment move from the Iranian city of Qom back to its traditional home of Najaf.

''If the seat of the clerical leadership were to return back to Najaf, it would be a big loss for Iran's leadership,'' said Haidar Tweij, a Najaf resident.


But for many people the warmer relationship is simply good business.

A burgeoning trade has sprung up with Iranians coming across the border in pickup trucks to smuggle back pillaged copper, weapons and other stolen goods freely available in the many open markets of southern Iraq thanks to postwar lawlessness.

''The Iranian traders are coming here because a lot of the goods that were stolen are cheap,'' said Khazem al-Shareefi, a coppersmith in Najaf's Saha Maidan open market.

As Iraqis seek to satisfy pent-up consumer demand after years of sanctions, many competitively priced, smuggled Iranian goods from pistachios to Parsi Cola flood the markets.

But close religious ties cannot surmount long-held prejudices and a history of wars and conflict.

Najaf residents talk of Iranians who take up long stays in the city's hotels. They suspect they are secret service agents sent to keep a close eye on developments on the ground.

While local people say they are glad of the security offered by Islamic militias such as the Badr Brigade, they worry about its links to Tehran, which supported the group during years of exile in Iran.

Security fears after a car bomb attack last month which killed top cleric Mohammed Baqer al-Hakim and more than 80 of his followers brought the Badr militias out of the shadows.

They mounted night patrols and searches and rounded up scores of Saddam supporters.

''The top (clerical) leadership was being killed and no one was providing protection so they took it upon themselves to organise protection for themselves... But I wouldn't allow them to search my car,'' said Ali Sharaa, one Najaf resident.

Still, many Iraqi Shi'ites say Iran's religious establishment has done a lot for them, providing funds to help the poor and shelter for those fleeing persecution by Saddam.

That makes Iran the natural shoulder to lean on for Shi'ites who feel Washington has not fulfilled its promises to bring peace and prosperity to Iraq after Saddam's downfall.

Portraits of Iran's late Ayatollah Khomeini and leaders of its 1979 Islamic revolution are displayed in stores and popular coffee shops alongside those of Iraqi religious leaders.

''To be realistic, when Saddam was around, where did we find refuge? It was in Iran. When they come to us now, we can't say no to them,'' said Saad Sheblawi, a teacher.
14 posted on 09/07/2003 8:41:44 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Iran Scientists Already Working on Nuclear Bomb

September 06, 2003

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail me”
15 posted on 09/07/2003 8:44:03 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
al-Qaeda Tape Pledges Fresh Attacks Against Americans

September 07, 2003
Samia Nakhoul

DUBAI -- A purported audio tape by Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda group on Sunday vowed attacks on Americans "everywhere," so devastating that Washington would forget the horror of the September 11 suicide hijackings.

The tape, dated Sept 3, came a few days before the second anniversary of the September, 2001 attacks on U.S. cities -- blamed on al Qaeda. Washington said last week it was on alert for possible attacks by the militant group.

"We announce there will be new attacks inside and outside which would make America forget the attacks of September 11 (2001)," a Qaeda spokesman said in the tape broadcast by the Arabic television channel Al Arabiya.

He identified himself as Abu Abdel-Rahman al-Najdi, The television showed a still photo of a bearded militant wearing a head-dress as it played the tape. There was no immediate independent verification of the identity of the speaker.

"We assure the Muslims that al Qaeda ranks have doubled... Our casualties are nothing compared to our (good) conditions now. Our coming martyrdom operations will prove to you what we are saying," he added.

Al Qaeda has issued five other audio-tapes this year threatening action against the United States. Bin Laden and his deputies also made several video appearances in 2001.

The speaker denied any links to the killing of leading Shi'ite Muslim cleric Mohammed Baqer al-Hakim in a car bomb attack in the Iraqi holy city of Najaf last month.

Some U.S. and Iraqi reports suggested that al Qaeda was behind the car bomb attack that killed Hakim and 83 others.

"We strongly deny that al Qaeda had any hand in this bombing which killed Mohammed Baqer al-Hakim, violated the sanctity of one of God's houses and killed innocent people."


"Our highest aim is to fight the Americans and kill them everywhere on earth and drive them out of Palestine, the Arabian peninsula and Iraq."

The speaker accused Washington and Israel of orchestrating the killing because, he said, they feared the cleric's links to Iran would boost the Islamic Republic's influence in the area.

"We have no motives. Those who killed Baqer al-Hakim are the Americans and Jews. They wanted to get rid of him because they know that his loyalty is to Iran," he added.

Another motive behind the assassination, he added, was to incite Shi'ite-Sunni strife and turn the Shi'ites, who form 60 percent of Iraq's population, against the austere Sunni-dominated al Qaeda.

He also said U.S. losses in Afghanistan were much higher than that announced by Washington.

Washington says just over 180 soldiers have been killed in fighting since the U.S.-led assault on Iraq began in March, including almost 70 killed since President Bush declared major combat over on May 1.

The al Qaeda spokesman said that ousted Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar and Osama bin Laden were alive and leading the battle against U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

He urged Muslims to fight the Jihad (holy struggle) against U.S. forces. "God has opened the doors of Jihad in Iraq and Palestine so do not close them..."

FBI and Homeland Security officials said last week the United States faces threat of attack from al Qaeda, saying it still targets Americans and has a presence in U.S. cities two years after the Sept. 11 attacks that killed about 3,000 people.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued an advisory saying it remained concerned about al Qaeda's "continued efforts to plan multiple attacks against the U.S. and U.S. interests overseas."

But the advisory, based on a review of intelligence ahead of the two-year anniversary of the attacks, said the department had no specific data on individual targets or dates for any attacks.
16 posted on 09/07/2003 8:45:03 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran, al Qaeda and Iraq

September 06, 2003
The Washington Post
Peter Finn and Susan Schmidt

BERLIN --— Two years after the attacks on the United States, Osama bin Laden’s leadership cadre has been isolated and weakened and is increasingly reliant on the violent actions of local radicals around the world to maintain its profile. But the al Qaeda network is determined to open a new front in Iraq to sustain itself as the vanguard of radical Islamic groups fighting holy war, according to European, American and Arab intelligence sources.

THE TURN toward Iraq was made in February, as U.S. forces were preparing to attack, the sources said. Two seasoned operatives met at a safe house in eastern Iran. One of them was Mohammed Ibrahim Makawi, the military chief of al Qaeda, who is better known as Saif Adel. He welcomed a guest, Abu Musab Zarqawi, who had recently fled Iraq’s Kurdish northern region in anticipation of U.S. targeting of a radical group with which he was affiliated, Arab intelligence sources said.

The encounter resulted in the dispatch of Zarqawi to become al Qaeda’s man in Iraq, opening a new chapter in the history of the group and a serious threat to American forces there.

“The monster is already near you,” said one Arab official who is familiar with the intelligence and who spoke on condition that he not be identified by name or nationality. “I don’t know if you can kill it.”

The official added: “Iraq is the new battleground. It is the perfect place. It will be the perfect place.”

After the fall of the Taliban in Afghanistan, the locus of al Qaeda’s degraded leadership moved to Iran. The Iranian security services, which answer to the country’s powerful Islamic clerics, protected the leadership, including Adel and a bin Laden son, Saad, as well as other senior figures, according to the intelligence officials.

From guesthouses in Iran’s east and south, this al Qaeda group planned the May 12 bombing of residential compounds in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the intelligence sources said. The group might have hoped that a campaign of violence, including the planned assassination of leading members of the Saudi royal family, would lead to the fall of the kingdom’s government, Arab officials said.

After the Riyadh bombing, the Iranians, under pressure from the Saudis, detained the al Qaeda group. One European source said the Iranians had “freeze-dried” the group. Also, Saudi Arabia launched a major crackdown domestically.

But it was too late to snare Zarqawi. He had returned to Iraq. Arab intelligence reports have placed him in Baghdad, although he still retreats to the Iranian side of the border with Iraq when he senses his security is threatened, officials said.


Crossing Iraq’s borders with Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia, and to a lesser extent with Jordan and Turkey, hundreds of foreign fighters have begun to flow into the country, according to both U.S. and Arab officials.

A U.S. military official said in a recent interview that there were already 220 foreign fighters in U.S. custody in Iraq. But American and Arab officials also said that al Qaeda has not yet coalesced in Iraq, and Zarqawi’s mission to form a new network and manage these fighters in the country is still embryonic.

The occupation of Iraq — once the home of the caliph, or universal leader, of Muslims — is a galvanizing symbol for radical Islamic groups. On Internet sites and in mosques across the Islamic world, thousands of potential fighters are hearing — and heeding — calls to go to Iraq to fight the infidel, according to European and Arab intelligence sources who have tracked some of the movements of the recruits.

Egypt, for example, announced last week that it had arrested 23 men and was seeking two more on charges of belonging to a terrorist group. The suspects — 19 Egyptians, three Bangladeshis, a Turk, an Indonesian and a Malaysian — were planning to fight U.S. forces in Iraq, Egypt’s interior minister, Habib Adli, said in an interview with the magazine Al Mussawar.

Kurdish forces in northern Iraq recently arrested a Tunisian carrying an Italian passport and attempting to cross from Iran.

Syria arrested and deported an Algerian national and a German resident who organized a group of radicals to travel to Iraq from the same Hamburg mosque where Mohamed Atta, the lead hijacker in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, once worshiped. German officials said the man, who is currently free but under observation, had ties to Zarqawi and had also recruited in Italy for volunteers to fight in Iraq.

“They are coming,” said an Arab official from a country that borders Iraq. “They are coming from everywhere.”

After the meeting at the safe house in February, Iranian authorities placed Zarqawi, a 42-year-old Jordanian, under house arrest, according to Arab intelligence sources. It is not clear why they did so. Zarqawi was the head of a cluster of Arabs who had attached themselves to Ansar al-Islam, a Kurdish fundamentalist group vowing to establish an Islamic state in northern Iraq. Ansar is believed to be closely allied with al Qaeda, according to the U.S. government. Zarqawi also is believed to have a network of contacts in the Middle East and Europe.

Word that Zarqawi was under house arrest in Iran reached Amman, the Jordanian capital, and officials there sent a detailed extradition request, including nearly a dozen photographs of him, to Tehran, according to American and Arab officials. Zarqawi was wanted in connection with a planned hotel bombing in Amman on the eve of millennium celebrations and with the assassination of U.S. diplomat Laurence M. Foley in the city last October.

The Iranians rebuffed demands to turn over Zarqawi, who became more widely known when Secretary of State Colin L. Powell said at the United Nations in February that he was a key link between the government of Saddam Hussein, then Iraq’s president, and al Qaeda.

Zarqawi had had a leg amputated at an exclusive Baghdad clinic in 2002, suggesting he had connections to government figures in Iraq, but European officials scoffed at the larger allegation. Zarqawi was an independent operator, they said, citing the interrogation of some of his allies in Germany.

Later in the spring, Zarqawi was released from house arrest and allowed safe passage along smuggling routes to Iraq, the sources said. By then, U.S. and British forces were occupying the country. The sources added that Zarqawi then became what the Americans had charged but never proved to the satisfaction of others on the U.N. Security Council: al Qaeda’s man in Iraq.

A recent internal German law-enforcement report on al Qaeda described Zarqawi as someone who has “assumed leadership responsibilities” that have been delegated “from the original center to the regional level.”

Zarqawi “would be a logical person to control things there,” said Matthew Levitt, a Middle East analyst formerly with the FBI counterterrorism section and now at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “He has a fantastic relationship with other groups — the Baathists, radicals in Kurdistan, in Germany. ... They will work with whoever they need to work with. He is a real personification of a global network.”

Firm numbers on foreign fighters in Iraq are impossible to come by, but estimates in the intelligence community in Washington on how many have already entered the country range from 1,000 to several thousand. U.S. military officers in Iraq, and officials with the occupying authority led by L. Paul Bremer, say the figure is much lower but don’t deny the potential threat the fighters represent or the difficulty of policing Iraq’s borders.

The Iraq-Syria border, for instance, is an arid, mostly unmarked frontier, crisscrossed by hard-packed roads. The landscape is intersected by wadis, rocky outcroppings and a scattering of farms irrigated by wells. Much of the traffic in the area is smugglers transporting sheep and other livestock across routes they have used for decades. The territory is ideal for subterfuge. So is the mountainous Iran-Iraq border.

U.S. officials said there was no evidence that al Qaeda or other fighters were behind the recent bombings in Iraq, including the attack on the U.N. headquarters. “Most intelligence agencies think the Baathists are behind the current violence,” said a spokesman for the State Department, referring to Hussein’s party.


But even in the muted language of those attempting to put the best face on the situation in Iraq, the fear of al Qaeda is apparent. “There is a significant concern about the people moving in here,” said a senior U.S. official in Baghdad. “I don’t feel they have the capacity right now where they’re sitting and organizing and being very strategic.” But, he added, it “could be a threat down the line.”

When bin Laden was trapped at Tora Bora in the Afghan mountains in 2001, he and his Egyptian deputy, Ayman Zawahiri, dispatched military chief Adel to Iran to negotiate a safe harbor for some of al Qaeda’s scattering ranks.

Zawahiri had long-standing ties with Ahmad Vahidi, then the commander of the Iranian Qods force, a special operations unit, according to a European intelligence official.

A deal was struck. Iran’s elected leadership, led by President Mohammad Khatami, repeatedly denied that senior al Qaeda figures were in the country, and pointed to the extradition of some fighters to Saudi Arabia as evidence of Iran’s good faith. But Khatami has no control over security organs such as the Revolutionary Guard, which answers to the office of the supreme religious leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Among those who made it to Iran with Adel and bin Laden’s son were Mahfouz Ould Walid, also known as Abu Hafs the Mauritanian and head of the religious committee that issued fatwas justifying attacks, and Abu Mohammed Masri, an Egyptian who is wanted in the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in East Africa and who has been al Qaeda’s chief financial officer, setting up its illicit diamond trade as a way to hide funds.

Others who went to Iran were Zawahiri’s deputy, Abu Khayr, and Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, al Qaeda’s spokesman, who was stripped of his Kuwaiti citizenship after an appearance on al-Jazeera television in which he vowed retaliation for U.S. airstrikes against Afghanistan.

With the capture of other top-tier al Qaeda leaders around the world, the group in Iran — accompanied by numerous low- and mid-ranking Saudis, including some who would later participate in the May 2003 Riyadh bombings — became the core of al Qaeda’s functioning leadership.

Bin Laden and Zawahiri went into hiding in the mountains along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, and their ability to communicate with their followers has been severely constrained, often limited to oral messages or handwritten notes.

Elsewhere, al Qaeda’s leadership structure began unraveling in earnest a year ago, with the capture in Pakistan of self-proclaimed Sept. 11 planner Ramzi Binalshibh. Since then, many of the senior leaders have been caught, with information gleaned from one arrest leading to others. Among those now in custody are the U.S. operations chief, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, another key planner of the Sept. 11 attacks; and two planners of the attack on the USS Cole in Yemen on Oct. 12, 2000, Tawfiq bin Attash and Rahim al-Nashiri.

Last month, Thai police captured Riduan Isamuddin, known as Hambali, leader of the Southeast Asian terrorist organization Jemaah Islamiah, who is accused of orchestrating deadly bombings against Westerners at tourist sites in Bali and Jakarta, Indonesia. The United States and allied governments have rolled up thousands of others — some sworn al Qaeda members, but mostly sympathetic radicals.

According to Arab and U.S. officials who have been briefed on American interrogations, almost all of the senior figures in captivity have been cooperating with the United States, which has employed a variety of stress techniques that stop short of direct physical abuse or torture to disorient the prisoners and break their morale.

In some cases, U.S. officials, who are holding these senior al Qaeda figures at a secret location, have created a parallel universe to hasten their cooperation. Some of the captives, for instance, have been given what appear to be copies of Arab and Western newspapers and magazines that are, in fact, written and printed by the CIA. Stories in these phony publications include reports that bin Laden had been killed or that the Saudi government had fallen in a coup d’etat, the Arab officials said.

“The logic is: ‘Look, it’s over’ or ‘You got what you wanted, so cooperate,’ ” said one Saudi source.

And for some of those arrested, it did appear that they were losing. When Zarqawi met Adel in Iran, al Qaeda was in some disarray.

The operational leadership in Iran, despite some of the swaggering statements issued by bin Laden or Zawahiri, felt that another spectacular attack in the continental United States was operationally impossible, according to the analyses by Arab intelligence agencies. The leadership could only hope that the Taliban could regroup in Afghanistan, as it appears to be doing, and that other radicals would rally to the al Qaeda cause of their own volition and commit atrocities in its name.


Adel — prompted by the large number of Saudis around him, including bin Laden’s son, and with a little cash and some bomb-making expertise at his disposal — decided to focus on toppling the Saudi government and encouraging attacks elsewhere in the Arab world. Moroccan officials, for instance, have linked the bombings in Casablanca on May 16 to the al Qaeda group in Iran.

Law enforcement officials at the same time concluded that Saudi Arabia had become the favored staging area and target for al Qaeda. “Saudi Arabia is a planning center — that’s correct. It’s a hub for the Gulf,” said a U.S. official.

But Adel’s strategy strained the hospitality of the security services in Iran.

The May bombings in Riyadh killed 35 people. The Saudi government unleashed a major crackdown, killing some suspects during gun battles and arresting others. The Saudis obtained a trove of evidence — phones, computer hard drives, documents and cash — that pointed back to Iran and Adel. In addition, one of al Qaeda’s local leaders in Saudi Arabia, Ali Faqasi Ghamdi, turned himself in and confessed that Adel and his associates were behind the bombings.

Furious, the Saudis sent two delegations to Iran. One was led by the interior minister’s son, Prince Mohammad bin Nayef, the assistant interior minister for security affairs, and the other by a general in the intelligence service. They demanded that the Iranians turn over bin Laden’s son and other Saudis, including the cousin of one of the Riyadh bombers, Turki Dandani.

The Saudi delegations also requested that Adel be returned to Egypt.

“They got the runaround,” said a Saudi source.

The Iranians have assured the United States and numerous other countries that Adel and other al Qaeda operatives are now under house arrest and unable to communicate with others in the network, according to an official at the State Department. But the Iranians have refused to relinquish custody of the operatives.

“We are trying to get the Iranians to turn bin Laden’s son over to the Saudis,” said a senior counterterrorism official, adding that several countries have tried to act as intermediaries.

Some U.S. officials say they believe that Iran will never relinquish custody of Adel and the others because they could reveal connections between Iran and al Qaeda going back to the mid-1990s. Moreover, Western and Arab officials say they believe Iran is calculating that they are a useful chip in any future standoff with the United States over Iranian policy toward Iraq or Iran’s alleged efforts to develop a nuclear bomb.

Iranian officials refuse to confirm publicly that Adel is in custody, saying only that they are holding some “big fish” who they allege threatened Iran with terrorist attacks.

Schmidt reported from Washington. Correspondents Anthony Shadid and Theola Labbé in Baghdad, staff writer Doug Farah in Washington and special correspondent Souad Mehkennet in Frankfurt contributed to this report.
17 posted on 09/07/2003 8:47:59 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Iran, al Qaeda and Iraq

September 06, 2003
The Washington Post
Peter Finn and Susan Schmidt

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail me”
18 posted on 09/07/2003 8:49:59 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
" Up to 90 scientists are working secretly on the construction of a nuclear bomb in Iran under the supervision of the ministry of defense"

I don't think it's a secret any more.
19 posted on 09/07/2003 9:46:50 AM PDT by nuconvert
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To: DoctorZIn
20 posted on 09/07/2003 10:11:44 AM PDT by windchime
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To: DoctorZIn; F14 Pilot

21 posted on 09/07/2003 1:12:57 PM PDT by dixiechick2000 (Back up my hard drive? How do I put it in reverse?)
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To: DoctorZIn
Condoleezza Rice: "Turn Them Over"

September 07, 2003
Fox News

Transcript: Condoleezza Rice on 'Fox News Sunday' - (Iran)

SNOW: What about the reports that Al Qaida and much of its key leadership is now hunkered down in Iraq with the protection of the — I'm sorry, in Iran — with the protection of the Iranian government?

RICE: We have said clearly to the Iranians that we believe that there are several key members of Al Qaida who fled to Iran. We don't know their exact status. Sometimes you hear that they've been detained. But we've asked that the Iranian government do what is right here, which is to transfer these people out.

SNOW: But they haven't done it. You surely don't expect them to do it. They haven't...

RICE: Well...

SNOW: ... after the request from the Saudis. They haven't done it after a request from the Egyptians. They haven't done it after a request from their own neighbors. Certainly, they're not going to do it after the great Satan asks.

RICE: Well, we have a lot of people asking, not just the United States.

And Iran is going to have to make some choices. I don't think Iran in the long run will want to be associated with Al Qaida. And they obviously have some work to do to convince the world that they are really fighting terrorism. Iran has been a source for terrorism. This is also unsurprising, but we continue to tell the Iranian government, "Turn them over."

SNOW: And if they don't, what do we do?

RICE: Well, we'll continue to tell the Iranian government to turn them over.

SNOW: The reason I ask that, I get a lot of people who send us e-mails and talk to us and say, "Look, Iran's a big problem, and the administration doesn't seem to place them in the same league as Iraq or even North Korea." Why is that?

RICE: Different circumstances require different solutions. And Iran is a complicated place. It is a place where the Iranian people have repeatedly expressed their desire for freedom. And the president has associated himself with those aspirations.

SNOW: So our administration believes that, in fact, regime change is possible from within, and we don't want to mess it up?

RICE: Well, certainly, this is a place that has had elections, where the people of Iran have expressed themselves, where there continues to be a flow of people back and forth. There is a lot here that could support freedom. We want to be certain that we always use the right tools in the right circumstances.

And with Iran, there's no doubt that this is a regime that poses very difficult problems, not just for the United States, but for the rest of the world.

RICE: If you look at what they're doing in their nuclear program now, where the International Atomic Energy Agency has been, I think, surprised and alarmed at some of the things they found in Iran, people are taking a second look at Iran, and we're encouraging that second look.

SNOW: Would that also include a trip back to the Security Council for some censure for Iran?

RICE: Conceivably. The timing of that will need to be right.

But we are in constant discussion with all of the states that have relations with Iran, as well as the international institutions, about the challenge that Iran poses.


Full Transcript: Condoleezza Rice on 'Fox News Sunday'

The following is a transcribed excerpt from "Fox News Sunday," Sept. 7, 2003.

TONY SNOW, FOX NEWS: The Bush administration has asked the U.N. Security Council to consider a resolution that would give the United Nations a larger role in Iraq's reconstruction.

Key points of the draft reportedly include a multinational force under unified — meaning American — command, assistance from member states for military forces, and financial assistance from banking institutions for the Iraqi Governing Council.

France and Germany say the draft does too little to transfer political authority to Iraqi citizens. They also say the U.N., not the U.S. and the coalition of the willing, should assume primary responsibility for building up Iraq.

For more, we're joined by National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice.

Dr. Rice, first I want to ask about the United Nations resolution. When did the president decide that he wanted to go before the U.N. again?

DR. CONDOLEEZZA RICE, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: Well, Tony, more than two months ago the president asked Secretary Powell to start exploring what would make sense, in terms of bringing resolutions before the United Nations.

And this is one in a series. We had Resolution 1483, which was right for the time, Resolution 1500, and now we believe that this is now the right time to have a resolution that may give to some states that have made it clear to us that they need such a mandate the ability to perhaps contribute more to the effort in Iraq.

But the president's been thinking about this some tent's been thinking about this some time, and it's really several weeks ago that Secretary Powell began exploring this. There was a united, coherent process in place to try and bring about a resolution that we thought would address some of the concerns of others, and we put that forward a few days ago.

SNOW: The primary aim, then, is to permit nations like India, perhaps Turkey, Pakistan, to commit troops, because they say they need the U.N. stamp of approval.

RICE: Well, there are really several elements to it. Yes, we would like to empower nations that would like to contribute to Iraq, but believe that they need some kind of U.N. mandate. Some of the countries that you've mentioned, but there are others.

It's also important...

SNOW: Which others?

RICE: Well, there are other countries that may not be able to contribute troops, but it's important to have financial contributions, for instance. And I would not underestimate the importance to international financial institutions of a next step in work with the United Nations.

But again, this is in a series of resolutions that we've had with the United Nations, and we believe this could enhance the international role in Iraq.

SNOW: This will not be the last resolution, then?

RICE: It will probably not be the last resolution, because events are evolving on the ground in Iraq, and it's important that the U.N. role keep pace with those events as they evolve.

SNOW: Are the German and French going to sign up?

RICE: Well, we will see. But we have had, with the Germans, the French, the Russians, others, very good conversations in which they have said they want to look at the resolution, they want to study it. We expect that they may have ideas that they would like to put forward. Everybody wants to do this in a cooperative spirit.

But we think the important thing here is to recognize that the United Nations, which the president said all the way back when he was with Prime Minister Blair in Ireland, would have a vital role, has been active in Iraq, will be active in Iraq, and the international community, which has been active in Iraq, will perhaps be more active now with a U.N. resolution.

SNOW: The American general in command in Iraq says that they don't need any more troops. So why are we worried about getting more foreign troops?

RICE: The purpose, Tony, is also to increase the participation of the international community. This is something that we all need to do together.

The president is going to tell the American people tonight that we are still in the midst of the war on terrorism, that Iraq is a central battle in the war on terrorism. And the war on terrorism is against people who are against freedom and against civilization.

RICE: That is the task and that is the struggle that every country in the world who values freedom, values security, wants to be a part of and should be a part of. And so that is why this U.N. resolution is important.

I should also say that we're looking not just at numbers of troops — that's, of course, important — but the composition of forces is important. We have been through a period of time in which we fought a big ground battle. We don't need large tank armies. We need forces that can patrol. We need more police forces. And the mix of skills that can come from the international community can be very helpful to the American effort.

SNOW: The following question on this: Isn't it true also the Germans and the French want to make some money off this? They want access to contracts.

RICE: People want to be involved in the future of Iraq, obviously in the future reconstruction of Iraq. But we all need to stay focused on the Iraqi people.

This is a population that has been through the greatest horrors, having this brutal dictator. If we can all stay focused on what it will take to reconstruct Iraq, to create an Iraq that is stable and prosperous and therefore a linchpin for peace in the Middle East, we will come to solutions about how to do that: the role of the U.N., the role of other countries, the role of the coalition authority, and most importantly, the role of the Iraqi people themselves.

SNOW: Let's talk about the Iraqi people. First, we are told in today's Washington Post that Al Qaida had been infiltrating and setting up operations in Iraq. Is that true?

RICE: I think that the evidentiary basis here is not so strong. But we are getting pieces of evidence, certainly, that Al Qaida is interested in Iraq and may be trying to operate there.

There are clearly foreign fighters coming into the country. There's no doubt about that.

But Tony, nobody would be surprised if Al Qaida is trying to set up operations in Iraq. They know that Iraq is the central battle now in the war on terrorism. They know that if Iraq becomes stable and prosperous that they will have been dealt a mortal blow. And it would not be a surprise that Zachawi (ph), who is mentioned here, would be operating in Iraq because as told the American people before the war in Iraq, Zachawi (ph) had been operating in Iraq under Saddam Hussein's regime.

He was the one who got medical treatment in Baghdad. He was the one who left his network in Baghdad to carry out operations. So it would not be at all surprising that Zachawi (ph) is there.

SNOW: Do you believe, because this is continually a subject of debate, that there was a link between Al Qaida and the regime of Saddam Hussein before the war?

RICE: Absolutely. And Zachawi (ph) made the coming back to his old stomping ground. But we know that there was training of Al Qaida in chemical and perhaps biological warfare. We know that the Zachawi (ph) was network out of there, this poisons network that was trying to spread poisons throughout...

SNOW: You're talking about the Ansar al-Islam base in northern...

RICE: Yes. And there was an Ansar al-Islam, which appears also to try to be operating in Iraq. So yes, the Al Qaida link was there. And maybe they're trying to reestablish it.

SNOW: What about the reports that Al Qaida and much of its key leadership is now hunkered down in Iraq with the protection of the — I'm sorry, in Iran — with the protection of the Iranian government?

RICE: We have said clearly to the Iranians that we believe that there are several key members of Al Qaida who fled to Iran. We don't know their exact status. Sometimes you hear that they've been detained. But we've asked that the Iranian government do what is right here, which is to transfer these people out.

SNOW: But they haven't done it. You surely don't expect them to do it. They haven't...

RICE: Well...

SNOW: ... after the request from the Saudis. They haven't done it after a request from the Egyptians. They haven't done it after a request from their own neighbors. Certainly, they're not going to do it after the great Satan asks.

RICE: Well, we have a lot of people asking, not just the United States.

And Iran is going to have to make some choices. I don't think Iran in the long run will want to be associated with Al Qaida. And they obviously have some work to do to convince the world that they are really fighting terrorism. Iran has been a source for terrorism. This is also unsurprising, but we continue to tell the Iranian government, "Turn them over."

SNOW: And if they don't, what do we do?

RICE: Well, we'll continue to tell the Iranian government to turn them over.

SNOW: The reason I ask that, I get a lot of people who send us e-mails and talk to us and say, "Look, Iran's a big problem, and the administration doesn't seem to place them in the same league as Iraq or even North Korea." Why is that?

RICE: Different circumstances require different solutions. And Iran is a complicated place. It is a place where the Iranian people have repeatedly expressed their desire for freedom. And the president has associated himself with those aspirations.

SNOW: So our administration believes that, in fact, regime change is possible from within, and we don't want to mess it up?

RICE: Well, certainly, this is a place that has had elections, where the people of Iran have expressed themselves, where there continues to be a flow of people back and forth. There is a lot here that could support freedom. We want to be certain that we always use the right tools in the right circumstances.

And with Iran, there's no doubt that this is a regime that poses very difficult problems, not just for the United States, but for the rest of the world.

RICE: If you look at what they're doing in their nuclear program now, where the International Atomic Energy Agency has been, I think, surprised and alarmed at some of the things they found in Iran, people are taking a second look at Iran, and we're encouraging that second look.

SNOW: Would that also include a trip back to the Security Council for some censure for Iran?

RICE: Conceivably. The timing of that will need to be right.

But we are in constant discussion with all of the states that have relations with Iran, as well as the international institutions, about the challenge that Iran poses.

SNOW: Middle East: Mahmoud Abbas has resigned. He said he's not coming back.

We have said — that is, the United States has said, "We're not going to deal with Yasser Arafat." Is there any conceivable successor appointed by Yasser Arafat to Mahmoud Abbas with whom we would work?

RICE: The key here is to focus on the institution of the Palestinian prime minister and what it's capable of doing.

Mahmoud Abbas, who is a really fine man, has said very clearly that he was not given the authority and the powers to do what he needed to do on behalf of the Palestinian people. So the next prime minister, whoever that is, is going to have to have the authority to unify the security forces and to fight terror, or it won't be possible for the Palestinian people to move forward.

SNOW: So, unless this next prime minister has independence from Yasser Arafat and has control of all nine of the security apparatuses — the security organizations — no deal?

RICE: The Palestinian Authority has made some progress. For instance, on the financial side, these finances have been cleaned up very effectively by their finance minister. That was causing the flow of aid.

But on the security front, the Palestinian Authority has been hamstrung — the leadership of the Palestinian Authority, the prime minister and his team, have been hamstrung by internal bickering inside the Palestinian Authority.

It is not surprising. Yasser Arafat has been an obstacle to peace before; he's an obstacle to peace now.

People need to say that a Palestinian state is not going to be born of terror. A Palestinian state is only going to be born in circumstances in which the Palestinian leadership fights terror. And they need not just the will, which I'm quite certain this Abbas government had, but also the means.

SNOW: That means Yasser Arafat has to step aside.

RICE: It means that Yasser Arafat should finally recognize that he should no longer be an obstacle to peace for his people.

SNOW: President Bush extracted from Prime Minister Sharon a promise not to, effectively, kidnap Yasser Arafat and take him out of the Palestinian areas. Do we still — is it still the administration's that Israel should do nothing to Yasser Arafat?

RICE: We continue to believe that no good would be served by such a policy if it were pursued. But we do believe that all of those who want peace need to speak clearly with one voice.

There are two obstacles, central obstacles, to — on the Palestinian side to peace. One is the internal politics of the Palestinian Authority. So those who want peace need to tell the Palestinian leadership, "Get an empowered prime minister and let him work."

The other is Hamas and the rejectionists. And it is a good thing that this week the Europeans have made a political decision — the implementation still to follow, but a political decision to declare Hamas a terrorist organization, to freeze their assets. This is extremely important, because the Palestinian people are not going to get to statehood through Hamas, and they're not going to get to statehood through a Palestinian leadership that is not in power.

SNOW: Ariel Sharon has also said members of Hamas are marked for death. Do we support that, the United States?

RICE: We just — we ask Israel to be certain that it's always thinking about the consequences for tomorrow; that it's always thinking about building a Palestinian partner.

We need to keep the focus here on fighting terror. We need to keep the focus here on creating a Palestinian leadership that can get that job done.

SNOW: Does the administration or does it not condemn the attempt to kill the leader of Hamas?

RICE: American policy on this is unchanged.

But again, the focus here has to be on getting a Palestinian leadership that is capable and willing to fight terror. Nobody can ask Israel or any state to live in terror. And the Palestinian people need the Palestinian leadership to fight terror.

The one thing that we are saying quite strongly to the Israelis is that they also have responsibilities. It's important to improve the lives of the Palestinian people. It's important to lift closures, where possible.

We were in a very good period of time, in which the Israelis were turning over cities to the Palestinian Authority. We need to get back to that so that the 200,000 people who apparently went to the beach in Gaza during that period can get back to their daily lives.

SNOW: North Korea. Six-nation talks. Everybody says, "Boy, this is going swell," then North Korea said, "Nope, sorry, we're not going to have any more talks, and by the way, we're going to start testing nuclear devices." Made the Chinese lose face.

Question is whether Chinese opinion and the Chinese attitude has changed toward North Korea, and whether China now is going to step up and place greater pressure on the government in Pyongyang not only to cease and desist, but also to turn over nuclear material and once and for all dismantle its nuclear program.

RICE: The president had an important insight when he said that the United States should not take on this issue with North Korea bilaterally, but rather we needed to get involved all of the states who had both interest in a non-nuclear peninsula, and had instruments that they could use to bring that about.

The six-party talks is a great forum for us, because what you had out of that was five states that were unified in their view that the North Koreans have got to give up their program, their nuclear program, if they ever hope to enter the international community of states.

The North Koreans had to have heard that message, they had to have seen that they are isolated on this front. We will see what they do. But anything that they do that continues to try and escalate this only deepens their isolation.

SNOW: Are you optimistic or pessimistic about the chances that North Korea will, in fact, break down its nuclear program?

RICE: I believe we've got the best chance that we could possible have. Given the six-party format, given the fact that you've got all the relevant states there, and particularly China there, with whom the North Koreans have a lot of interest, I think you've got the best chance now to get an enduring strategy.

It will take a long time, Tony. This is not something that's going to come to fruition overnight. But the president has put in place a fundamentally strong strategy that gives us the best chance to get the North Korean program dismantled, and to do it in a way that cannot be — where it cannot be reinvigorated the way that it was after the agreed framework.

SNOW: Condoleezza Rice, thanks for joining us today.

RICE: Thank you very much.,2933,96651,00.html
22 posted on 09/07/2003 6:43:37 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Iranian Youths Seeking to Escape

September 07, 2003
The Washington Post
Afshin Molavi

TEHRAN -- A freshly minted fake passport in his pocket, forged work papers in his folder and a scribbled Istanbul address in his wallet, Hamid seemed well prepared for his journey: an illegal trip across Europe that would, he hoped, end in Holland with a new job and a better life.

"I'll go by bus to Turkey," said the 25-year-old part-time computer instructor as he sat on a green bench in a tree-filled park in downtown Tehran. "My uncle is a trucker there. We will then go by truck, across many countries, to Holland. He says he can get me the required visas, a job in Amsterdam and the necessary papers."

Hamid, who spoke on condition that only his surname would be used, explained why he chose this journey: "I just want a good job, some basic freedoms and hope for the future. I can't get those things here. I know it won't be easy, but I think it is worth the price."

"Besides," he said, "I don't want to end up like my brother. He is 30 years old, jobless, hooked on drugs and bitter at the world."

To much of the outside world, the anger and frustration that young Iranians feel toward their government is embodied by the dramatic student protests that periodically grab headlines. But in this country of 67 million people -- more than two-thirds of whom are under 30 and more than half under 21 -- Hamid and his brother embody more common responses to the difficulties of life under the Islamic Republic: One is heading for the border, the other collapsing inward.

Frustrated by bleak job prospects, restricted freedoms and a stagnant economy, thousands of young Iranians try to emigrate illegally each year. In addition, more than 200,000 of Iran's most educated professionals left the country legally last year, according to government statistics, plucked by companies and governments in Canada, Australia, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Eastern Europe and the United States -- one of the highest rates of brain drain in the world.

An alarming number of those who stay behind, like Hamid's brother, turn to drugs. Iranian officials estimate that the country has about 2 million addicts, the majority of whom are young people.

"We call ourselves the burnt generation," Hamid said. "We were burned by our parents' revolution and burned by a system that has given us nothing but troubles."

Sociologists and psychiatrists say the fabric of Iranian society is under substantial stresses. Parents spend less time with their children because fathers often must hold two jobs to make ends meet. Depression, drug use and suicide rates among the young are at all-time highs. The number of runaway youths has increased 12 percent since 2000, according to sociology professor Majid Abhari. The majority of the runaways are girls, many of whom are lured into Tehran's growing prostitution rings.

Iranian authorities estimate that nearly 1 million jobs need to be created each year to keep up with the country's youthful population. In each of the last three years, an average of 400,000 jobs -- at most -- have been created, economists estimate.

"The lack of jobs fuels much of the social problems and anguish young Iranians face and poses a serious challenge to the government," said Karim Sadjadpour, a Tehran-based analyst with the International Crisis Group, a Belgian research organization "But it's not just about jobs. Youth also want increased social and political freedoms and possess an angst-ridden sense that the world is moving on without them."

Though Iranian officials often speak about "a social crisis" besetting youth, few venture into specifics.

"Clearly, our youth are frustrated by the lack of jobs and limits on their freedoms," said Mohammad Ali Abtahi, the vice president and a top aide to reformist President Mohammad Khatami. "We have done our best to address these issues, but the right-wing faction does not want us to succeed," he said, referring to the conservatives who control the key levers of power and have blocked most reform proposals.

Iranian youths, most of whom supported Khatami's reform program and were captivated by the charismatic cleric who called for greater democracy and freedom, have been largely frustrated by the reformists' inability to deliver on their promises.

In interviews on college campuses, at movie theaters and in parks where young people congregate, they expressed frustration with the reformists, growing fear of conservative reprisals against dissenters and a widespread desire to leave the country. They also embraced the ideas underpinning secular democracy, exhibited a growing anti-clericalism and an increasing sense that political involvement poses too many dangers.

Last June, student protests against potential tuition hikes broadened into public demonstrations on issues of national discontent, the most serious unrest since the 1999 student protests that rocked the country and left at least five people dead and hundreds in jail.

A severe crackdown that included the detention of about 4,000 people, severe beatings and the jailing of pro-democracy student leaders sent a chill across Iran. A daily barrage of government propaganda describing the protesters as "American mercenaries" and "anti-Islamic hooligans," combined with threats of further crackdowns and the successful jamming of opposition satellite television programs beamed from Los Angeles, slowed the momentum for future protests.

Ali Reza Alavitabar, a leading reformist intellectual and academic who is widely known as a liaison between pro-democracy students and the reformist leadership, said he worries about disillusionment among the young.

"I have noticed a very disturbing trend of hopelessness among our youth," Alavitabar said. "This hopelessness is very dangerous because we need these young people to fuel the movement for change. Without them, nothing will happen."

For Hamid, the heavy crackdown, which put one of his friends in jail, only confirmed his decision to depart.

Compared to what internal dissenters faced, the risks of illegal flight are not severe. If caught and sent back home, Iranians who have yet to complete military service face fines or extended military service terms. Others have reported facing mild interrogation, then being set free. The biggest risks awaited Hamid in Europe, where he could end up in prolonged asylum proceedings, unable to work legally, subsidized by the state and drifting into the underground economy.

Others like Jalal, a 16-year-old playing a video game at the Shahid Chamran Cultural Center here, do their best to ignore politics. "I don't have time for such things," he said. "Of course I want more freedom, but what can I do?"

Besides, he said, he has a plan: "I will study medicine in Iran, work for two years, then go to Canada and join my older brother."
23 posted on 09/07/2003 6:45:38 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
The Mullahs' Shock

September 07, 2003
New York Post
Amir Taheri

Until just a few weeks ago, Iran and Britain, having completed a diplomatic honeymoon, appeared to be destined for a mutually enjoyable partnership.

On Tuesday, however, the British government, having recalled its ambassador Richard Dalton, announced the "temporary closure" of its embassy in Tehran. The decision came hours after shots had been fired at the embassy building in the center of the Iranian capital.

Asked who might have been responsible, the Iranian authorities said they did not know. But this seems hardly credible -since hundreds of people, including more than a dozen policemen, some of them supposed to be guarding the embassy, watched the whole bizarre episode.

It is clear that the Islamic Republic wished to pass a "strong message" to "perfidious Albion," and in the only way it knows best: by threatening violence and murder.

Tony Blair's government has invested a great deal in courting Iran's ruling mullahs. Foreign Secretary Jack Straw visited Tehran four times in less than two years, equaling the record set by his Syrian counterpart, Farouq al-Shara.

Even before Baghdad had been liberated, both Blair and Straw announced that Britain would not join the United States in any "regime change" move against Iran. In all his meetings with President Bush, Blair hammered in the theme of "constructive dialogue" with Iran as alternative to "regime change."

BY last March, Britain had emerged as Iran's most ardent supporter in the European Union, assuming a role that Germany and France had played for more than two decades. The British assumed the leadership of efforts to conclude a trade agreement between the EU and the Islamic Republic.

London also supported Tehran's bid to join the World Trade Organization, despite Washington's reservations. The Blair government allowed Tehran to organize a major economic "roadshow" in London to attract British and other Western investment, especially for Iran's oil industry, which is now in a state of crisis.

Relations got so warm that some of the ruling mullahs began to come to London for medical checkups while others dispatched their offspring to British schools. Some Khomeinist militants received scholarships to study at British universities. It was one such student who became the cause of a sudden end to the Anglo-Iranian courtship.

The man in question is Hadi Suleimanpour, who had enrolled at Durham University to study Islamic civilization. Now in his early 40s, Suleimanpour was no ordinary student. Having joined the Khomeinist revolution in his teens, he had been one of the first to join the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, a paramilitary force created by Khomeini in 1979 to crush his opponents.

Suleimanpour served as a bodyguard for various political mullahs and, eventually ended up as the Islamic Republic's ambassador in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

His tenure as ambassador coincided with the blowing up of the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires - an attack that killed scores of Argentines, many of them Jews. Iran always denied any involvement in the attack, and blamed Argentine pro-Nazi police and army officers. By the mid-1990s, the episode seemed to have been shelved amid reports that then-President Carlos Menem received a fat bribe from Tehran to hush things up. (Menem says this is a slur.)

LAST year, an Argentine court reopened the case and ended up formally pointing the finger at Tehran. It issued arrest warrants for a number of Iranian officials - including the unfortunate Suleimanpour, who had just landed in Britain to start a new life as a middle-aged student.

Contacted by Interpol, the British police picked up Suleimanpour without informing the Foreign Office in London.

That led to what could only be described, if not as "a clash of civilizations," as a clash of political cultures.

TEHRAN'S mullahs simply cannot understand that the British government may well be unable to just order the police to let Suleimanpour loose. They see the episode as part of a sinister "Zionist-Crusader" plot whose aim is to prepare international public opinion for a "regime change" plot against the Islamic Republic.

The mullahs' anger at Britain is partly understandable. After all, on many occasions, EU states have ignored their laws to let Iranian suspects escape police arrest. In 1996, a Berlin court issued an arrest warrant for Ali Fallahian, a mullah who was the Islamic Republic's Minister for intelligence and Security at the time. Fallahian had been charged with participation in the murder of four Kurdish dissidents in Berlin in 1992. At the time the warrant was issued, Fallahian was visiting Germany at the invitation of his counterpart, Brend Schmidbauer. Learning of the warrant, the German authorities arranged for the mullah to fly back to Tehran before the police arrived.

The French have done even better. In 1994, Prime Minister Eduarad Baladur ignored a Swiss demand for the extradition of two Iranians charged with political murders in Switzerland and helped them fly back to Tehran - first class.

Before that, in 1986, President François Mitterrand allowed Tehran's key terror agent in Europe to return home without answering any questions by the French government's own anti-terrorist judges.

Even earlier, the Italian government ignored the fact that Tehran's embassy in the Vatican had become a center of terrorism in Europe. Four Iranians involved in a series of assassinations in Italy were never troubled, although they had been called in for questioning by Italian courts.

Britain's own record wasn't so bright. John Major's government allowed an Iranian agent, convicted by a British court of murdering two Iranian dissidents in London, to return home after serving half of a three-year prison term. The man was received as a hero in Tehran and, when he became a candidate for parliament, based his campaign on his success in "eliminating two evil anti-Islamic elements" in Britain. There are similar cases concerning other European countries.

BETWEEN 1979 and 2000, Tehran's agents murdered 46 Iranians, 17 of them in France, and killed more than 80 non-Iranians in various terrorist operations in the European Union. On each occasion, the European country concerned made some angry noises, and, in some cases, gestures such as closing the embassy and recalling the ambassador. In the end, however, they all ended up eating humble pie at the hand of the triumphant mullahs.

The Islamic Republic exerted pressure on the Europeans in a number of ways. These included kidnapping their citizens on fake charges and releasing them in exchange for Iranian officials arrested in Europe. The Islamic authorities also organized raids on various European embassies, beating up staff, seizing documents and setting parts of the buildings on fire. In one case, the French ambassador, Guy Georgy, was held hostage until France allowed an Iranian terror mastermind to leave Paris before he could be arrested.

In every case, the blame was put on "angry volunteers for martyrdom" who had supposedly acted against the wishes of the Iranian government.

THE biggest showdown, of course, concerned Salman Rushdie, the Anglo-Indian novelist who was sentenced to death in a fatwa issued by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1989.

Having defined the issue as "a matter of fundamental principle," the Europeans withdrew their ambassadors for a while only to send them back later with "apologies" to Tehran. The issue was fudged to cover the cowardice of the Europeans. But the fatwa was never annulled.

The mullahs believe that international politics consist mostly of plots and conspiracies, and that the Western powers, devoid of moral scruples, would sell their mothers to secure profit for their businessmen who, in turn, finance the political parties.

Suleimanpour is not the only senior Iranian official to be subject to an Interpol arrest warrant on charges of terrorism. The latest list of wanted Iranians contains 48 names, including that of the "Supreme Guide" Ali Khamenehi, former President Ali-Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and former Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Velayati.

(On Wednesday, the Islamic Republic decided to forbid, until further notice, all foreign travel by those on the list.)

Will the latest tussle between Tehran and London confirm the mullahs' opinion of the West?

Sadly, one has to say: Yes.

JAVIER Solana, the European Union's "foreign minister," has just completed a visit to Tehran in which he spent more time criticizing the United States and Britain for the "quagmire in Iraq" than telling the mullahs that they cannot send agents around the globe to kill people without, one day, being held accountable.

Almost two decades ago, Khomeini summarized his policy toward the Western powers thus: Kick them in the teeth, and they will kiss your hand!

E-mail: - Benador Associates
24 posted on 09/07/2003 6:48:56 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
The Mullahs' Shock

September 07, 2003
New York Post
Amir Taheri

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail me”
25 posted on 09/07/2003 6:50:12 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: windchime; DoctorZIn; McGavin999; Eala; piasa; Valin; nuconvert; Texas_Dawg; kattracks; ...
Iran urged to allow spot N-checks

By Michael Adler in Vienna

September 8, 2003

THE United Nations' nuclear watchdog is expected to call on Iran to allow tougher, surprise inspections of its nuclear program, at a meeting opening in Vienna today.

The 35-nation Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) opens a four-day meeting, with the United States pushing for action against what it claims is a covert Iranian program to develop atomic weapons.

Iran's foreign minister said in Tehran on Saturday that the Islamic republic might soon agree to tougher inspections if ongoing on the issue with the IAEA removed "ambiguities".

"With explanations and the removal of ambiguities from the IAEA, Iran will in the near future sign the additional protocol", for tougher inspections, Kamal Kharazi was quoted as saying by the state news agency IRNA.

The IAEA is pressing Iran to quickly sign and ratify an additional protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) which would allow unannounced checks of its nuclear facilities by UN inspectors.

Iran, which has dismissed widespread suspicions it is using an atomic energy programme as a cover for nuclear weapons development, has maintained that it needs certain points of the protocol clarified before it can sign.

Iran has secretly put pressure on the IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei to play down the significance of its nuclear program, according to Monday's edition of German newspaper Die Welt.

Quoting western intelligence sources, the newspaper said Ali Akbar Salehi, Iran's top diplomat on the UN nuclear watchdog, met Baradei, who is Egyptian, at the home of a prominent Egyptian businessman.

At the end of their two-hour discussion, the paper said El Baradei declared that his agency could not ignore evidence on Iran's nuclear program.

ElBaradei said last month that UN inspectors had found traces of highly enriched uranium at an Iranian nuclear facility.

He also warned of "terrible consequences" if Iran's claim that its nuclear program was entirely non-military turned out to be false.

The United States is pressing the IAEA board to pass a resolution urging Tehran to open its nuclear plants to full inspections.

Washington believes Iran is violating the NPT by secretly trying to acquire nuclear arms, while France has warned Tehran could do so within a few years.

Britain, already embroiled in a separate row with Tehran over the detention of one of its former diplomats, has also urged Iran to sign an extra protocol to the treaty that would allow surprise inspections to any site chosen by the IAEA.,4057,7200593%255E1702,00.html

26 posted on 09/07/2003 9:44:05 PM PDT by F14 Pilot
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To: DoctorZIn; nuconvert; seamole; AdmSmith; downer911; Persia; Eala; McGavin999; onyx; Ronin; Valin

PARIS, 6 Sept. (IPS) Senior Sunnis Iraqi religious authorities have accused their counterpart from the majority Shi’ite community of "ethnic purification" on order from Iranian ayatollahs, according to the influential French daily "Le Monde".

This is the first time that the Iraqi sunnis, who are in minority, make such accusation, warning that if the policy continue, it might lead to a fratricide war between Iraq’s 20 millions Muslims, 60 per cent Shi’ite who, despite their majority, had no word under the toppled regime of Saddam Hoseyn.

In the Sunnis mirror is the young Shi’ite firebrand Hojjatoleslam Moqtada al-Sadr, the 26 years-old son of Ayatollah al-Sadr, a leading Shi’ite cleric killed by the former dictator.

The turbulent Moqtada is suspected for the assassination of Hojjatoleslam Abdolmajid al-Kho’i, a pro-west cleric killed in the holy city of Najaf days after his return to Iraq from London last April as well as raids on the residences and offices of several leading Iraqi Shi’a dignitaries known for their moderation, including Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, the nation’s highest religious authority but of Iranian blood.

"We used to have a minimum of co-ordination with Moqtada al-Sadr, but he has changed ever since his return from Tehran, some forty days ago, where he met with Ayatollah Ali Khameneh’i (the leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran), Sheykh Abdal Salam al-Kubaisi, the spokesman for the Committee of Sunni Ulemas told the French news agency AFP.

"Iran has entered on the Iraqi scene. It does not like meetings and fraternisation between mosques", he has added, accusing the followers of Moqtada for "ethnic cleansing" of the hawzahs, or religious centers, "Le Monde" said on its Saturday issue dated for Sunday and Monday.

After having created his own army, the young cleric took over the former "Saddam City", a poor suburb of Baghdad inhabited by two millions Shi’ites, now renamed "Sadr City" after his father, Moqtada started a campaign of intimidation against Iraqi religious personalities opposed to the mixing of religion and politics while multiplying strong worded anti-American declarations, urging the Iraqis to boot out "infidels and Zionist occupiers", a rhetoric which is also heard by hard line Iranian ayatollahs.

"One after another, the Shi’ites first took control over the al-Hamza mosque, the only one we have in Najaf, then that of Hasan Ben Ali in Karbala (where is burried Hoseyn, Ali’s second son and the Shi’ites third imam, also a holy city for the Shi’ites) and sixteen others we have in Iraq, twelve of them in the Capital", Sheykh al-Kubaisi informed.

"Emptying Najaf and Karbala from Sunnis presence is not only a very dangerous practice, a reminder of ethnic cleansing, but it would also herald the balkanisation of Iraq", Mr. Kubaisi warned.

According to this cleric, it the Sunnis keep a low profile, it is because of the present situation, where every Iraqi, Sunni or Shi’a, must avoid confrontation and bloodshed, "the very trap laid by the (American) enemy", according to both AFP and Le Monde.

The unprecedented -- though not unexpected – accusations comes nine days after the assassination of Ayatollah Mohammad Baqer al-Hakim, the leader of the Iran-backed Supreme Assembly for the Islamic Revolution of Iraq (SAIRI) and one of Iraq’s senior Shi’ite dignitary in a powerful car bomb explosion that damaged the main entrance of the golden shrine of Ali, world’s Shi’ites first and most revered imam, in Najaf, 150 kilometres south of Baghdad.

So far, there has been no official reaction from Mr. Moqtada al-Sadr. For its part, the SAIRI, now led by Hojjatoleslam Abdelaziz al-Hakim, the younger brother of the assassinated Ayatollah, has expressed its "surprise" over the accusations.

It is in such a climate that attacks on Shi’ite and Sunni mosques as well as their leaders are on the rise. Hojjatoleslam Ali Wadi al-Musavi, a personal representative of Grand Ayatollah Sistani escaped an assassination attempt on his life last week as he was entering a mosque in the Kazemiyah district of Baghdad almost at the same time that a Sunni mosque was attacked by unidentified armed men, wounding three worshippers.

"Some are doing their best to bring a war between Sunnis and Shi’as", Le Monde quoted Sheykh Walid al-Azzaoui, a Sunni cleric, accusing "mercenaries" who have entered Iraq and works hand sin hands with followers of the former tyrant.

"The Americans are more terrorists than Saddam’s regime", claims Moqtada, suspecting "forces of occupation" of being behind all these "terrible tragedies".
27 posted on 09/07/2003 9:46:35 PM PDT by F14 Pilot
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Comment #28 Removed by Moderator

To: seamole
lol, BTW 3 months ago, he went to Iran and Rafsanjani gave him 5 Milion Dollars to kill Iraqis and Americans.
What do you think Mannnnnnnnnn?
29 posted on 09/07/2003 9:55:36 PM PDT by F14 Pilot
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To: DoctorZIn; dixiechick2000; Enemy Of The State; Travis McGee; kattracks; rontorr; nuconvert; ...
Democracy or imperialism? Ask the experts

The US-led operation to introduce democracy to Iraq has suffered severe setbacks since the main conflict ended.
While some Iraqi Muslims have welcomed American-led attempts to introduce Western style pluralism, others view America's efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan with deep suspicion.

Are Muslims right to be suspicious of US motives?

Prominent figures in the Bush administration have pointed to what they see as a lack of participatory democracy in most Muslim states, and argue that America's security post 9/11 is no longer guaranteed through non-democratic regimes.

Should Muslim countries embrace a US-style democracy? Or are they threatened by a form of US imperialism? What does the New World Order mean for Islam?
30 posted on 09/07/2003 10:08:34 PM PDT by F14 Pilot
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To: All
Khatami: Mankind needs peaceful co-existence, consensus

Tehran, Sept 7, IRNA -- President Seyed Mohammad Khatami said here on
Sunday that mankind today is in need of peaceful co-existence and
President Khatami in a meeting with outgoing Swedish Ambassador to
Tehran Steen Hohwe Christensen pointed to Sweden`s efforts to
establish foundations of democracy and international consensus, hoping
for settlement of historical misunderstandings between the World of
Islam and Europe, which certain powers are badly trying to turn into
Khatami condemned all forms of terror and terrorism, while
referring to an assassination attempt on the life of Hamas spiritual
leader Sheikh Ahmad Yassin.
Sheikh Yassin was slightly injured when Israeli F-16 warplanes
fired missiles on an apartment in Gaza on Saturday. Yassin was there
along with Hamas political leader Ismail Hanieh to visit a Palestinian
professor. 17 people, mostly women and children, were injured in the
Khatami said understanding, wisdom and peaceful co-existence are
the sole ways for establishment of calm and stability in the region
and at the international level.
He also pointed to recent pressures on Iran by certain powers on
alleged attempts to development of nuclear technology, and said Iran
is completely against development of weapons of mass destruction.
"Iran has no plan whatsoever to develop such weapons and is only
trying to have at its disposal the fuel and peaceful nuclear
industry," said Khatami.
The president said that if the upcoming session of the
International Atomic Energy Agency`s (IAEA) Governing Council wants to
technically and judicially investigate Iran`s case there would be no
problem but any political approaches and unjustified pretexts would
pose to be problematic.
Christensen, for his part, stressed consolidation of relations
between Tehran and Stockholm in various areas, hoping that through
mutual cooperation, relations among regional states and Europe would
be improved.
31 posted on 09/07/2003 10:16:13 PM PDT by F14 Pilot
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To: All
September 01, 2003

Iranian dissident is war’s first casualty

Although it has been more than 24 centuries since Alexander the Great invaded Persepolis, Iranians still remember two of their heroes of that era: Aryo-Barzan, the brave Persian commander who fought to the death at the head of his Khaledoon Brigade but failed to check Alexander’s advance after 48 days of fighting; and a local village headman who betrayed his homeland by guiding the invading Macedonians through the mountains to the rear of Aryo-Barzan’s lines. That was how Alexander managed to defeat the Iranians and subjugate the Pars Empire.

Iranian history deals extremely harshly with those deemed to have joined the enemy at crucial points in time. Even their names are not mentioned; they are only referred to as traitors.
In other words, while the invaders themselves ­ men like Alexander, Genghis, Hulagu and Teimour ­ have gradually gained acceptance by Iranians, those who aided and abetted them have not. They are still referred to as traitors who helped the foreign invaders gain access to the Iranian heartland.
It has to be said that there were not many traitors in Iranian history. Yet in the years following World War I, and with the advent of the Communist Party and other left-wing and Islamist political movements, the concept of treachery lost its significance under the weight of different ideologies. It was Tudeh, the Iranian communist group, that first introduced the idea that “the party’s interests precede those of the homeland” into the Iranian political lexicon. What this idea meant in practice was that Tudeh leaders and cadres had become a fifth column for Soviet intelligence.
When, under the shah, Iranian military intelligence caught active communist cells in the Iranian armed forces, arrested communist officers testified that they believed giving secret documents to the KGB was a patriotic act, since they were helping the Soviet Union in its struggle against world imperialism. A Soviet victory, the Iranian communist officers believed, would liberate countries like Iran from the shackles of colonialism that were holding them back.
This concept was not abandoned with the fall of the shah; at the height of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war under Iran’s Islamic regime, Captain Bahram Afzali, the Iranian Navy’s commander in chief, and eight other senior officers were arrested for providing the director of the local KGB station with a large number of secret documents over many years.
Before he was shot for treason, Afzali said he had agreed to hand over the secret documents to the KGB after having been convinced by Tudeh first secretary Noureddine Kianuri that the United States was plotting to prolong the war, and that the Soviet Union could bring it to an end if only it had more information about Iranian military plans.
When, after fleeing Iran in 1981, Mujahideen-e-Khalq leader Masoud Rajavi signed a peace agreement with then Iraqi Foreign Minister Tarek Aziz, he justified his action by saying the resistance (i.e. his organization) was the legitimate representative of the Iranian people and was thus authorized to sue for peace with Iraq.
Yet former Iranian President Abolhassan Bani-Sadr (who was Rajavi’s erstwhile ally, besides being his father-in-law), who had fled along with him to Paris in 1981, considered Rajavi’s action to be treasonous. Not only did he break with the Mujahideen leader, but his daughter Firouzeh divorced Rajavi as well.
When Rajavi decided to relocate to Iraq together with his followers, it transpired that Bani-Sadr’s fears that the Mujahideen would become subservient to Iraq were well founded.
Rajavi committed political suicide by choosing Iraq as a base for his organization ­ at a time when Iraqi missiles were raining on Iranian cities, and Iraqi chemical weapons were killing thousands of Iranian soldiers and civilians. Despite the fact that he formed an armed force (called the Army of National Liberation) with hundreds of tanks, guns and modern helicopter gunships (courtesy of the Iraqi Army), and despite having a strong propaganda machine, Rajavi failed to cultivate support for his organization inside Iran. In fact, his insistence on being the sole alternative to the Iranian regime was one of the main reasons why the regime survived.
Domestically, fear of the possibility that Rajavi would seize power should the regime fall was an important reason why widespread disaffection and anger among the Iranian population did not spill over into a mass revolt like it did back in 1979.
It now seems that the association between the Mujahideen-e-Khalq and the Iraqi regime is not a marriage of convenience. Rajavi’s men have been incorporated into the Iraqi Army and intelligence forces. In the Iraqi uprising of 1991, Rajavi’s men played a prominent role in subjugating Shiites and Kurds. They donned Iranian uniforms and infiltrated Shiite towns as liberators but soon initiated a war of genocide against the Shiites. In the north, they fought side by side with the Iraqi Army against the Kurds.
Even though they lacked popular support inside Iran, the Mujahideen nevertheless managed ­ despite Mohammad Khatami’s resounding victory in the presidential election of 1997, in which voters largely ignored Rajavi’s call from Baghdad to boycott the poll ­ to maintain their position as the only credible alternative to the Islamic regime.
President’s Khatami’s victory, however, was bad news for Rajavi’s group. Within two years, the United States (followed by Britain and the European Union) named the Mujahideen-e-Khalq as a pro-Iraq terrorist organization. Its offices in London, Washington and other cities were closed down. Rajavi’s hopes of addressing the United Nations one day (like Nelson Mandela and other Third World leaders of the 1960s did) thus went up in smoke.
The Mujahideen’s fate will not be any better than that of its Iraqi sponsors. In fact, there are already indications that Iraq is prepared to ditch the organization in exchange for better relations with Iran in these critical times.
According to sources in the Iranian presidency, Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein wrote a letter to Khatami (which Foreign Minister Naji Sabri delivered on Feb. 9) offering several concessions, including delineating the border between the two countries, going back to the 1975 Treaty of Algiers and giving the Iraq-based Mujahideen a choice between returning to Iran and relocating to a third country.
It is not unlikely that the autonomous Kurdish area in northern Iraq will witness an influx of fleeing Mujahideen cadres in the next few days. Meanwhile, a Mujahideen delegation is already touring European capitals in a quest for a safe haven for Rajavi, his wife Maryam and other senior cadres.
Rajavi’s place in Iranian history looks secure ­ together with that village headman who betrayed his country to Alexander the Great 2,400 years ago.

Ali Nourizadeh, one-time political editor of the Tehran daily Ettelaat, is an Iranian researcher at the London-based Center for Arab-Iranian Studies and the editor of its Arabic-language newsletter Al-Mujes an-Iran. He wrote this commentary for The Daily Star
32 posted on 09/07/2003 10:22:13 PM PDT by F14 Pilot
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To: DoctorZIn
This thread is now closed.

Join Us At Today's Iranian Alert Thread

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34 posted on 09/08/2003 12:01:35 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: F14 Pilot
35 posted on 09/08/2003 2:20:17 AM PDT by windchime
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