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Iranian Alert -- September 22, 2003 -- IRAN LIVE THREAD PING LIST
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 9.22.2003 | DoctorZin

Posted on 09/22/2003 12:07:29 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 09/22/2003 12:07:29 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 09/22/2003 12:08:33 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn

PARIS, 21 Sept. (IPS)

As ruling Iranian ayatollahs still undecided how to respond to the resolution passed on 12 September by the International Atomic Energy Agency urging them to sign "immediately and unconditionally" the additional Protocols to the Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the conservatives-controlled press continue to press for adopting North Korea as example.

On Friday, Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, the Secretary of the powerful Guardians Council (GC) called on the authorities to consider withdrawing from the NPT and reject the Resolution that was presented to the Agency’s Board of Directors by Australia, Japan and Canada, raising fears that Iran will ignore the 31 October deadline to declare all its nuclear projects and facilities and stop its programs for enriching uranium.

Speaking during the traditional Friday Prayers, Mr. Jannati said Iran should not sign the Protocol that would allow international atomic experts from the United Nations to inspect Iranian nuclear facilities at will to ensure they are not used for developing weapons, as alleged by Washington and Tel Aviv, now joined also by the European Union.

"What is wrong with considering this treaty on nuclear energy and pulling out of it? North Korea withdrew. Many countries have never entered it", he asked, adding that such inspections would be "an extra humiliation" for the Islamic Republic and the Muslim Iranian people.

In a rebuff to IAEA, the Stalinist regime of Pyongyang expelled all the Vienna-based nuclear watchdog’s experts last December, get out of the NPT and revived its nuclear programs.

The hermit regime of North Korea, alongside neighbouring Pakistan -- the first Muslim nation that has developed atomic power and which hard liners believe Iran should emulate --, is Islamic Republic’s major source of technology for building ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons, according to some Iranian and western sources.

The remarks by the hard line cleric who is close to Ayatollah Ali Khameneh'i, the leader of the Islamic Republic, heightened alarm among Western diplomats that the conservatives who controls the regime would take Iran in the same direction.

The idea of taking North Korea as model for dealing with IAEA and describing the Resolution as a "humiliation" for the Iranians were advanced by two newspapers that usually reflects the views of Mr. Khameneh'i, observers noted.

In a new commentary published on Saturday by the hard line evening daily "Keyhan", Mr. Hoseyn Shari’atmadari, a high-ranking intelligence officer specialising in interrogating intellectual and political dissidents appointed by Mr. Khameneh’i as Editor of the paper said accepting the Protocol not only signify that the authorities have "bowed to a humiliating injunction, but also pave themselves the ground for the collapse of the sacred regime of Islamic Republic and placing the noble Iranian Muslim people under the yoke of savage Americans".

After a lengthy explanation on why signing the Protocol and even the NPT is not compulsory, Mr. Shari’atmadari goes on reiterating that Tehran should leave the NPT and not accept the diktat of the arrogant America and its European allies.

"Even if the officials accept the "ignominious" Protocol, the people that has dealt with much more difficulties and international crisis in the past 25 years would impose it on them Mr. Shari’atmadari concluded, noting that announcing Iran’s withdrawal from the NPT and deceiving the United States and its allies in Europe and in the region is the least the authorities can do in preventing the disintegration and the collapse of the sacred regime".

In an earlier editorial, the newspaper had urged the government to expel the ambassadors of the three countries that had initiated the Resolution.

Asked about Iran’s decision about it, the Foreign Affairs Ministry’s senior spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi repeated that since the Resolution was "politically motivated and dictated by the United States", Iranian decision-makers are still studying the case.

However, the Islamic Iran Participation Front, the largest political organisation of Iran that controls the Majles and backs the embattled President Mohammad Khatami suggested the government to sign the controversial Protocol in order to prevent the formation of an international front against the Islamic Republic.

According to "Yas No", the IIPF’s newspaper, if the world’s major nations have coalesced against Iran it is because of the ruling conservatives "wrong policies taken at wrong moments". ENDS IAEA IRAN NUCLEAR 21903
3 posted on 09/22/2003 12:13:47 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran's Bomb

Monday, September 22, 2003; Page A22
Washington Post Editorial

IRAN NOW FACES an Oct. 31 deadline from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to give inspectors full access to its nuclear facilities and programs. If it does not meet a series of conditions intended to ensure that it is not developing nuclear weapons, it will risk being declared in violation of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and referred to the U.N. Security Council for possible sanctions. It's not clear how Tehran will respond. Its representatives angrily walked out of the IAEA meeting where the deadline was set, and some hard-liners have called for an open break with the treaty. On the other hand, Jordan's King Abdullah said last week that senior officials had told him that they are eager to reach an agreement.

What is clear is that the world faces its own Iranian deadline. If work at the extensive nuclear facilities uncovered around the country during the past year is not frozen, the fundamentalist Islamic regime will soon have the capacity to manufacture the key elements of nuclear weapons. Israeli officials say this "point of no return" could be reached by the middle of next year. U.S. analysts are more cautious but still project an Iranian bomb by the latter part of this decade. Time is running out for the Iranian program to be stopped by diplomatic or political means. The Iranians understand this: They have been stalling the IAEA and its inspectors for months and likely will continue to do so even if they formally agree to the agency's demands. Their strategy has a good chance of working unless the United States, Europe and Russia quickly start doing a better job of coordinating a common response.

The transatlantic differences over Iran are not as great as those on Iraq. The United States and the European Union have agreed that the Iranian nuclear program is a serious threat and that Tehran's acquisition of a bomb should not be allowed. Russian President Vladimir Putin, too, seems to have grudgingly accepted the idea that recently disclosed Iranian activities, such as the construction of a massive facility for enriching uranium, are problematic. Yet Russia's atomic energy agency has insisted on continuing work on a large nuclear power plant at Bushehr that would give Iran a potential source of plutonium. And European governments persist in a failed policy of "critical dialogue" with the Iranian regime; according to one report, the governments of Britain, France and Germany recently dangled an offer of technological cooperation before Tehran in exchange for its acceptance of stepped-up inspections, ignoring objections from the White House.

European governments make the point that the Bush administration's policy of shunning the Iranian government while encouraging a pro-democracy opposition movement also has failed to get results. Russia's atomic bureaucrats ludicrously claim there is no proof that Iran seeks nuclear weapons. Such arguments miss or dodge the main point: Unless Iran's rulers are confronted with a broad and coherent international coalition that is prepared to apply painful sanctions -- through the United Nations or, if necessary, independently -- they will not stop pursuing a bomb. An opportunity -- maybe the last one -- to begin forging such a common front will open with Mr. Putin's visit to Washington and Camp David this week. Mr. Bush should press Mr. Putin to state clearly that further Russian cooperation with Iran, including supply of fuel to the Bushehr plant, will depend on full and unambiguous Iranian cooperation with the IAEA. Mr. Putin and European leaders should also join the United States in planning a strong and immediate response in the event of noncompliance, on Oct. 31 or afterward -- one based on sanctions, not bribes. The time to address Iran by multilateral and nonmilitary means is now; those governments that want the Bush administration to embrace such an approach must step forward.

© 2003 The Washington Post Company
4 posted on 09/22/2003 12:16:19 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Iran's Bomb

Monday, September 22, 2003; Page A22
Washington Post Editorial

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail me”
5 posted on 09/22/2003 12:17:25 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran doesn't believe nuclear standoff to lead to sanctions

Reuters - World News
Sep 21, 2003

TEHRAN -- Iran does not believe a standoff with the United Nations nuclear watchdog over its nuclear programme will lead to sanctions, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Sunday.

The governing board of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), following intense U.S. lobbying, passed a resolution earlier this month that could pave the way for sanctions if Tehran failed to prove by November that its nuclear ambitions were entirely peaceful.

''I do not believe Iran will reach a dead end which could lead to sanctions,'' Hamid Reza Asefi told reporters in Tehran, adding that Iran's nuclear activities were ''totally transparent'' and for peaceful ends.

''We welcome any country that wants to cooperate with us,'' he said.

The IAEA has accused Tehran of failing to provide full and accurate information about its nuclear programme and demanded that Tehran suspend all uranium enrichment activities.

If Tehran were declared in non-compliance with its IAEA obligations and reported to the Security Council, it could lose the right to any foreign nuclear assistance.

Russia is helping Iran build its first nuclear power station in the southern port of Bushehr, a deal worth $800 million.

Asefi reiterated Iran's suggestion that arch-foe the United States would do well to get involved in Iran's nuclear programme.

''Americans could participate in building nuclear power plants if they are worried about our activities,'' he said.

He said Iran had given its reply to a letter sent by Germany, France and Britain last month offering the prospect of sharing technology with the Islamic Republic if it opened its nuclear programme up to close scrutiny.

But Asefi declined to say what Iran's response had been. Diplomats have said they have found the lack of a clear response from Iran disappointing.
6 posted on 09/22/2003 12:23:15 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
What will the corrupt party say when regime change happens in Iran, Iraq gets better and GDP increases to 4% growth in 2004?
7 posted on 09/22/2003 12:28:25 AM PDT by gipper81
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To: gipper81; DoctorZIn; McGavin999; Eala; AdmSmith; dixiechick2000; nuconvert; onyx; Pro-Bush; ...
Leader Praises IRGC and Basij Forces

September 22, 2003

TEHRAN – The Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said that strong faith, fortitude, and unity are the principles that have contributed to the nation's perseverance in confronting and thwarting the enemies' plots.

He called the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) and Basij (volunteer forces) the manifestation of the nation's strength and resistance, IRNA reported.

Speaking at a large gathering of Basij and IRGC forces from the northern provinces of Mazandaran and Golestan, he also praised the efforts made by the armed forces during the eight years of the sacred defense.

Ayatollah Khamenei referred to the enemies’ massive propaganda campaign directed against Iranians and targeting young people, saying that the youth must use wisdom and prudence to confront and resist this sophisticated propaganda.

Elsewhere in his remarks, the Leader said the hypocritical nature of the so-called human rights campaign waged by the global arrogance has been revealed.

Now they have changed their strategy and are voicing concern over Iran's peaceful nuclear program, Ayatollah Khamenei said. He added that through a pernicious media campaign they have tried to make it appear that Iran is a threat to the region, "but there is no hiding behind the fact that the U.S. and Israel are the real antagonists who have often in the past half century fanned the flames of war and destruction in many parts of the globe."

He also urged the people to be cognizant of the many threats facing the country and to resist the enemies' many sinister plots.

He praised the significant role the Basij and IRGC play in determining the future of the country. Prior to the Leader's remarks, the commander of the IRGC, Major General Rahim Safavi, said the IRGC forces "are prepared to defend the nation more than ever before."
8 posted on 09/22/2003 12:41:00 AM PDT by F14 Pilot
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To: DoctorZIn
I just heard on FOX that Iran is recognizing today as the 23rd (I think they said) anniversary of the Iran/Iraq war.

9 posted on 09/22/2003 6:34:09 AM PDT by prairiebreeze (Brought to you by The American Democratic Party, also known as Al Qaeda, Western Division.)
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To: prairiebreeze; DoctorZIn; nuconvert; onyx; AdmSmith; Valin; McGavin999; Eala; RaceBannon
Khatami-Military-Speech / POL / Khatami : Iran against WMD proliferation Tehran,

Sept 22, IRNA

President Mohammad Khatami said here on Monday that Iran is against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, but stressed that the Islamic Republic will persist on its legitimate right to become strong based on science, technology and a capable economy. Khatami, speaking before an annual military parade to mark the beginning of Iran's Sacred Defense Week, said Iran will never be misled from its path by the ballyhoos of other states and that Iran will strongly continue to pursue the policy of peace, justice, freedom and progress for all nations.
10 posted on 09/22/2003 8:19:57 AM PDT by F14 Pilot
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To: All
IRGC commander: Iran will not allow big powers to bully it
Shahr-e Rey, Tehran province.

Sept 22, IRNA -- Commander of the Islamic
Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Brigadier General Yahya Rahim-Safavi
said here Monday that Iran will not let any power to bully it or
launch an aggression against it.
Rahim Safavi, talking to IRNA on the sideline of a special
ceremony involving the parade of military units, said the Shahab-3
missile displayed during the ceremony along with other modern
equipment on Monday showed Iran`s deterrence capability.
"Undoubtedly, world powers have came to understanding that Iran
with its high military potentials attaches importance to peace in
the region and the world and will never tolerate bullying," he added.
"New security situation in the Persian Gulf created by the US
and British forces as well as pressures exerted on Iran over the
NPT issue have caused the Iranian Armed Forces to show their readiness
to defend national sovereignty with more vigor and sensitivity,"
Rahim Safavi said.
11 posted on 09/22/2003 8:22:32 AM PDT by F14 Pilot
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To: DoctorZIn
Statoil Chairman Quits Amid Iran Scandal

September 22, 2003

OSLO -- The chairman of Norwegian oil and gas group Statoil said on Sunday that he was quitting amid criticisms of the board's handling of a scandal over a consultancy deal for Iran.

Statoil said that Leif Terje Loeddesoel considered that "the way in which the debate about Statoil has developed recently has caused him to take the view that his possibility for efficiently leading the board has been weakened."

"He believes that in the best interests of Statoil, a new chair should be elected," it added in a statement issued at around midnight.
12 posted on 09/22/2003 8:44:53 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran Shows Off Missile Might Amid Nuclear Concerns

September 22, 2003
The Washington Post

TEHRAN -- Iran, under mounting pressure to dispel fears it is developing nuclear arms, on Monday paraded six of its newly-deployed medium-range missiles which military analysts say could reach Israel or U.S. bases in the Gulf.

It was the largest number of Shahab-3 ballistic missiles put on public display since Iran announced in July that it had finished testing the weapon and deployed it to the Revolutionary Guards. Iran denies seeking nuclear weapons or having aggressive military intentions and says the Shahab-3 is meant solely as a deterrent to the Islamic Republic's enemies.

Based on the North Korean Nodong-1 and modified with Russian technology, the Shahab-3 is thought to have a range of 810 miles.

But the announcer at a military parade in southwestern Tehran attended by senior political figures and military top brass on Monday said the missiles had a range of 1,700 km.

It was not immediately possible to verify whether the announcer was mistaken or whether the missiles had been further modified to increase their range.

The sand-colored, long-bodied weapons were towed past dignitaries, including President Mohammad Khatami, as well as local and foreign media at the end of a lengthy parade to mark the anniversary of the start of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war.

Iran has not declared how many Shahab-3 it has been able to manufacture. Military analysts say questions remain about its reliability and accuracy.

The Governing Board of the United Nations nuclear watchdog earlier this month gave Iran until the end of October to dispel doubts that its stated policy of developing nuclear energy was not a cover for building atomic arms.

Iran's government blames Israel and the United States for creating doubts about its nuclear ambitions and has said it has no intention of following North Korea's example of pulling out of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
13 posted on 09/22/2003 8:49:07 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Iraq's Simmering South

September 22, 2003
The Christian Science Monitor
Ann Scott Tyson

KARBALA, IRAQ - Night was falling swiftly over the golden domes of this Shiite holy city when US soldiers manning the main police station received an urgent call: A robbery and stabbing had stirred trouble outside the Imam Hussein Mosque, and the newly trained Iraqi police needed backup.

The Americans knew the mosque area was off-limits to their troops - so did the thieves, arms merchants, and drug dealers who frequented the surrounding marketplace. Still, the situation sounded dire, so they dispatched a dozen US military police in four Humvees.

As the American MPs neared the mosque, which was thronged with evening worshipers, some Iraqis began shouting at them to leave. Rumors spread that the soldiers would violate the holy shrine. A hostile crowd of hundreds began pelting the Americans with rocks and bricks, denting the Humvees and smashing their windshields. Meanwhile, the 70 Iraqi police fled the scene on foot.

Surrounded in their vehicles, the MPs attempted to back down the street. They were still inching backwards, the soldiers say, when two Iraqis from the crowd opened fire and hit one MP, Staff Sgt. Carlos Lopez, in his right middle finger. Sergeant Lopez managed to shoot back with his pistol, killing the gunman. Firing into the air with a machine gun to keep the crowd at bay, the soldiers finally turned the Humvees and withdrew. At least one other Iraqi was wounded in the fray.

"It could have been a real bloodbath," says Capt. Leo Merck of the Army National Guard's 870th Military Police Company, which responded to the call in late July. Days of violent anti-US protests followed. Men slashing themselves with swords and wearing black suicide bomber vests marched through Karbala, long considered one of the most peaceful cities in postwar Iraq.

The Karbala incident is one of many that demonstrate the fragility of the US-led occupation in Iraq. Five months after the fall of Baghdad, American and other foreign troops, along with the fledgling Iraqi security forces and local leadership they installed, are struggling to restore order in the swirling power void left by Saddam Hussein's collapsed dictatorship.

Indeed, the relative quiet of the south, dominated by Shiite Muslims who make up 60 percent of Iraq's population, belies stubborn challenges for coalition forces trying to promote self-governance. Here, powerful yet rivalrous Shiite clerics are divided whether to support the coalition and the interim Iraqi authorities it has installed. The clerics, some linked to Shiite Iran, have tense relations with the Sunni sects of Iraq, a division that further complicates the road to self-rule. A recent spate of assassinations and attempted killings of Shiite leaders has intensified frustration here and prompted calls for revenge.

As one drives down Highway 8 past date palms and overgrown canals toward Karbala in south-central Iraq, the tension of Baghdad 60 miles north seems to evaporate in a dry, hot breeze.

US troops wearing caps instead of helmets appear relaxed as they stand in clear view of roads with passing traffic. With attacks on coalition forces here unusual, sandbags are not stacked as high or deep as they are at the gates of military camps further north. Iraqi women cloaked in black abayas and men in long tunics fill the squares and markets.

A glance around the streets explains one reason for the surface calm in this city of 500,000, home to predominantly Shiite Muslims. Whole walls are covered with death notices - large, black cloths that billow in the breeze. "The Americans took the nightmare from us," says Abdul Kadem Dhem Sahib Al Jubouri, a Karbala city councilman.

The war ended years of persecution by the Baath Party here, allowing an immediate resurgence of Shiite religious authority. Pilgrims flocked to long-banned festivals. Clerics spoke their minds. Shiite security forces sprung up to enforce Islamic law in Karbala, the holy city of Najaf 50 miles further south, and other cities.

"The city was inherently stable when we got here due to the presence of the Hawza [Shiite authority], which dictates the rules of daily living. It has a calming influence," says Marine Lt. Col. Chris Conlin. Stationed in Najaf, a city of 800,000, and Karbala since April, the Marines have helped create city councils, and trained hundreds of policemen.

Yet if Iraq's conservative Shiites share with US forces a common enemy in Mr. Hussein, much about their respective cultures divides them. Indeed, as Shiite clerics flex their newfound muscle, compete for power, and seek to broaden the reach of their strict religious doctrine, conflicts with Americans are flaring over issues large and small.

US Marines in Karbala and Najaf outraged the local population, for instance, by stepping on the heads of Iraqis they were restraining. "Anyplace else that's not an issue. Here, it's a horrible insult," says Colonel Conlin, who retrained his marines not to use the martial arts move.

In Najaf, US-sponsored TV broadcasts raised eyebrows because they showed women's bare shoulders. Programs acceptable in Baghdad proved too risqué further south. "At first we took the Hugh Hefner approach: 'If you don't like it, don't watch it.' That didn't go over very well," says Conlin, who is trying to secure a separate channel for Najaf.

In Karbala, the city council balked when US forces pressured it to include two female members. "That was too much for us, and we didn't agree," says Abdul Azzez, deputy governor of Karbala Province.

By far the worst conflicts, however, have involved US forces in proximity to mosques or religious figures in Karbala and Najaf, holy cities where famous Shiite imams are buried. Such incidents - real or perceived - have sparked massive protests against the US presence, creating opportunities for anticoalition forces.

"American soldiers transgressed our holy soil!" shouts Iraq's most vehemently anti-US Shiite cleric, Muqtada al-Sadr, at a Friday sermon in Kufa, neighboring Najaf, in August. "Fight the American Army" and gain rewards in heaven, he urges.

"No to the invaders!" chant thousands of Iraqi followers, sitting on prayer rugs in the mosque's dusty inner courtyard. After the sermon, Mr. Sadr speeds away in a Mercedes Benz, accompanied by a phalanx of bodyguards carrying AK-47s. Outside the mosque, his supporters sell newspapers calling on Iraqis to expel US forces.

"The US should hand Iraq over to the Hawza and leave peacefully," said Hussein al-Sabaly, holding Sadr's photograph over his chest. Like Sadr, he rejects the US-appointed Iraqi Governing Council as illegitimate.

Ignoring such demands, US commanders have moved to marginalize Sadr and limit the extrajudicial power of religious militia to impose conservative Shiite dictates. Meanwhile, they have worked to shore up local civilian governments and reach out to more moderate Shiites who reject Sadr's extremist tactics and accept the US presence.

This summer, for example, marines in Karbala officially disbanded the Hawza's 200-strong Karbala Protective Force (KPF) after it began beating and arresting people - including couples caught holding hands outside the mosque - without turning them over to the city police. Some of the mosque militia resisted and remains active.

"The Hawza beat me with a wooden stick," says Nidhal Bader, a tear running down her sallow cheek onto her black robe. "They called me a pimp bringing prostitutes to the Americans," says Ms. Bader, who works at the Karbala police station searching detained females.

Yet even moderate Shiites disagreed with US efforts to ban forces such as the KPF. "The KPF was keeping security but the Americans didn't allow it, so the lack of control started," says Mr. Azzez, complaining that drugs, arms dealing, and pornography are infesting Karbala.

The upsurge of crime around mosques revealed a clear security gap, posing a dilemma for Shiite clerics, US forces, and local police. In a breakthrough in Karbala in early August, all three groups agreed on a joint operation to sweep out criminals. Hundreds of city police armed with AK-47s and mosque enforcers carrying sticks flooded the plaza around the Imam Abbas Mosque before the market opened, tearing down illegal stalls. US troops stayed at the perimeter, searching incoming vehicles for guns and other contraband.

The Karbala operation was at least a temporary success, but the vulnerabilities at other mosques persisted - culminating in the massive car bombing that rocked the Imam Ali Mosque in Najaf on August 29. The Najaf attack came despite US intelligence warnings that Hussein loyalists or Sunni extremists were planning a terrorist strike at a Najaf shrine. For weeks before the blast, Marines searched hundreds of busloads of worshipers heading to Friday prayers at Najaf.

The explosion killed more than 100 people, including a moderate Shiite cleric supporting the coalition, Ayatollah Mohammed Bakr al-Hakim. Immediately, the black-uniformed Badr Brigade militia linked to Hakim started patrolling shrines in Najaf, but again the marines ordered them to disband. Stepping into the dispute, Iraq's interim governing council this month called on local authorities to create regional security forces to protect the mosques.

US commanders say unless Shiite clerics denounce all violence, including any against coalition forces, instability will persist. "This will continue as long as the people of Iraq tolerate it - it will be a long- term problem and will hurt the progress they've made so far," says Lt. Col. Matt Lopez, a marine based in Karbala.

Today, friction remains high. Indeed, the arrival in the south of a 9,000-strong Polish-led multinational division to replace US marines is complicating the security picture by worsening language barriers and chain-of-command problems.

Earlier this month, hundreds of Iraqis, some brandishing swords, surrounded US MPs at the Karbala station after the soldiers disarmed the guards of a local cleric. Iraqi police stood aside. Polish-led Bulgarian troops arrived late. By the end of the seven-hour protest, three Iraqis had been shot to death by the Americans.

"Unfortunately, it turned for the worse," says Lt. Joseph La Jeunesse of the 870th Military Police.
14 posted on 09/22/2003 8:52:29 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Military Gap Between Israel, Arab States Widens - Analyst

September 22, 2003
Dow Jones Newswires
The Associated Press

JERUSALEM -- The U.S. victory in Iraq has significantly widened the military gap between Israel and its Middle East neighbors by eliminating one of the few real conventional threats in the region, an Israeli military analyst said Monday.

With Iraq neutralized, it is unlikely Israel will have to defend itself from an invading army of troops and tanks -the threat Israel has prepared to fend off for more than half a century, said Ephraim Kam of the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University.

Instead, Israel now needs to concentrate on combating unconventional weapons - chemical, biological, nuclear - and terrorism, said Kam, a co-author of "The Middle East Strategic Balance," an annual report released by the Jaffee Center.

"We have to shift the focus of our resources from investing in conventional threats to investing in measures that counter the unconventional," such as missiles that shoot down incoming ballistic missiles, Kam said.

The speed and scope of the initial U.S. victory in Iraq proved "the superiority that comes with having modern military capabilities ...highly accurate munitions, control of information on the battlefield," he said.

Like the U.S military, Israel's army is among the world's most technologically advanced - other Middle Eastern forces "are quite clearly not," Kam said.

To compensate, Israel's main rivals, Iran and Syria, have turned to unconventional weapons and terrorism, he said.

Iran's large army is weak, but the country has ballistic missiles that can reach Israel. Western intelligence agencies believe Iran has chemical and biological weapons, and Kam said Tehran is "probably closer than everyone thought to acquiring nuclear weapons."

Syria is also believed to be developing nuclear weapons, though it is years away from having them, Kam said.

International terrorism poses a different threat.

Al-Qaida "has identified Israelis as a main target," Kam said, citing the November 2002 car bombing of a hotel north of Mombasa, Kenya, in which three Israelis and at least 10 Kenyans died.

The hotel bombing took place minutes after assailants unsuccessfully tried to shoot down an Israeli charter jet with shoulder fired missiles.

"There are too many Israeli targets abroad and we can't defend them all," he said.

But, he said, Israel is doing what it can, developing an anti-missile system for commercial aircraft and warning citizens away from potential trouble spots abroad.
15 posted on 09/22/2003 8:54:44 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
16 posted on 09/22/2003 8:54:51 AM PDT by GOPJ
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To: DoctorZIn
Assad Tries - and Fails - to Snap Tehran-Palestinian Terrorist Funding Link

September 22, 2003

Syrian Vice President Khalim Haddam Saturday, September 20, dismissed any suggestion of Damascus bowing to pressure from Washington – or being scared by economic sanctions. American threats are futile, he said. Syria does little business with the US; its main trading partners are European. The Syrian leader was responding to US demands for a halt to the passage of terrorists and Islamic fighters pouring into Iraq and an end to Syrian-based terrorist activity.

One of top anti-US officials left in place in the latest government reshuffle in Damascus, Haddam made this speech while preparing to receive a delegation of angry Arab-Sunni tribal leaders from the Syrian-Iraq borderlands. The purpose of that meeting was kept secret because its exposure would have belied Haddam’s declaration.

Whatever the Syrian leader may say to the contrary, there are two main issues preying on the minds of his government: One is the quiet US military action to shut down the tribal umbrella protecting smuggled anti-US fighting elements streaming across the porous Syrian-Iraqi border; the other is Washington’s refusal to re-activate the Kirkuk-Syrian oil pipeline which in Saddam Hussein’s day netted the Syrian exchequer a cool one billion dollars a year.

DEBKA-Net-Weekly first revealed that troops of the US 101st Airborne Division had embarked on a cleansing operation against the Arab nomadic tribes ranging through the Iraqi-Syrian and Iraqi-Saudi border regions, who abet and shield the influx of fighters from Syria.

The operation began after US secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld wound up his Baghdad visit on September 14. This week, the sheikhs sent a delegation post haste to Damascus to demand that Bashar Assad obtain the immediate release of the paramount chief of the Anaza, Sheikh Ibrahim Hanjari, who was captured by 101st troops with his entire court.

In his encampment, the troops discovered a large arsenal of weapons, ammunition, landmines, rocket-propelled grenades and explosives, packed ready for shipment into Iraq, as well as dozens of Saudi suitcases crammed with millions of dollars. In one hideout, US troops turned up $1.6 million in $100 bills. Eighty Saudi fighters, along with 48 armed Syrians, Yemenis, Egyptians, Pakistanis, Sudanese and Palestinians, were rounded up, together with documents and mail proving that the Anaza – from chiefs down to the lowliest Bedouin – run the pipeline smuggling Arab and Al Qaeda fighters of various nationalities through Syria into Iraq.

Since the Saudi royal family traces its origins to the Anaza, the US action has touched an extremely sensitive regional chord that may well provoke broad guerrilla action and reprisals in the form of the abductions of American personnel to obtain the sheikh’s release.

On the other hand, such kidnappings are already threatened by Iraqi guerrilla forces and their allies. Furthermore, the US authorities were shocked into action when they realized the scale of the incoming traffic in the last few weeks, estimated now in tens of thousands.

From Saudi Arabia alone, US intelligence has put together a list of 15,000 armed Wahhabist fundamentalists with military training and al Qaeda terrorists, who are either in Iraq or on their way there to join the campaign against the Americans.

As they were gathered, the names were forwarded to Riyadh with a request to detain potential guerrillas and terrorists or otherwise prevent them from reaching the Iraqi border.

The Saudis have so far made no response, according to DEBKA-Net-Weekly’s sources in the Gulf.

US troops also came up with evidence that Syrian President Bashar Assad had not acted in good faith when he promised Washington to direct the three Syrian divisions deployed along the Iraqi frontier to block the outflow of men and arms. Instead, he ordered them to afford every assistance to Hanjani’s men in speeding the traffic on its way.

In view of these discoveries, 101st Airborne troops have broadened their area of operation in western Iraq to include the Iraqi city of Anah on the banks of the Tigris River between the Syrian border city of Abu Kamal, and the key Iraqi city of al Hadithah. After Anah was placed under curfew for house-to-house searches, the town was found to be the Anaza’s primary base and hideout for intruders. Anti-American gunmen and smuggled weapons were turned up in hiding places around the city, in the dense undergrowth lining both banks of the Tigris and in other places in the al-Qaim region. The operation is still under way and is destined to move south to al Hadithah.

As for the threat of sanctions, the Syria Accountability Act and Lebanon Sovereignty Restoration Act – if enacted by the US Congress - could impose a virtual trade embargo on Syria. However, no legislation is necessary for the most painful measure already in motion. The American civil administration in Baghdad is withholding instructions to reactivate the Kirkuk-Banias oil pipeline which before the war carried 300,000 barrels a day of Saddam Hussein’s smuggled oil exports to Syria’s Mediterranean terminal, earning Syria $1bn per annum.

Last April, the Americans severed the pipeline when at a high point in the war they caught Assad opening the door wide for Arab fighters, including Palestinian and Hizballah terrorists, to cross over and fight alongside Saddam Hussein’s army.

In recent weeks, attempts to revive Iraqi oil exports through the main Kirkuk pipeline to Turkey have been frustrated by sabotage attacks every few days. DEBKAfile’s sources report that, while disregarding the American grievances against him, the Syrian president has been bombarding Washington with demands to restore the flow of oil through the Syrian pipeline under joint American-Syrian military protection.

So pressing is this issue, that Assad appealed to Tehran for help. At his invitation, the Iranian foreign minister Kamal Kharrazi arrived in Damascus on September 8. According to DEBKAfile’s Middle East sources, the Syrian ruler made no mention of the pipeline. Instead, he complained bitterly about the embarrassments caused him by the way Iranian Revolutionary Guards officers in Damascus and based in Lebanon flaunt their relations with Palestinian and other Arab terrorist elements from his turf.

He cited the case of the Palestinian suicide attack at Neve Afek north of Tel Aviv on August 12 that led Israeli intelligence to uncover an Iranian Revolutionary Guards money pipeline to Palestinian al Aqsa Suicide Brigades cells in the West Bank town of Nablus.

DEBKAfile’s counter-terror sources reveal that, in the wake of that suicide attack, Israel Israeli caught an al Aqsa operative called Osman Younes, who takes his orders from Col. Tawfiq Tirawi. The captive revealed under interrogation that Tirawi’s men were drawing wages from two sources, Yasser Arafat and Iranian Revolutionary Guards bank accounts in Beirut and Damascus.

Assad counted on Tehran being sympathetic to his complaint. He would then have been able to demonstrate to the Americans his success in cutting off Iranian ties and feed-lines to Palestinian terrorists. In return for this service, Washington would have revived the flow of Kirkuk oil to the Banias terminal. But he miscalculated. Tehran shows no sign of lowering the profile of its collaboration with Palestinian terrorists in Syria and Lebanon.
17 posted on 09/22/2003 8:56:34 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran Vows to Increase Military Strength

September 22, 2003
BBC News

Iran has vowed to increase its military strength at a public display of some of its most advanced weaponry. Iranian President Mohammed Khatami issued the pledge at the show of military prowess near Tehran to commemorate the start of the Iran-Iraq war in 1980.

Half a dozen of Iran's Shahab-3 missiles, whose range has caused concern in Israel and the United States, were exhibited for the first time since the missiles were deployed to the armed forces in July.

The show of strength came days after the United Nations nuclear watchdog imposed a 31 October deadline on Iran to prove it is not pursuing a nuclear weapons programme.

President Khatami said that Iran was against weapons of mass destruction and nuclear arms in particular, but he insisted on its right to develop peaceful technology.

'Destroy Israel'

The sand-coloured Shahab-3s, towed on mobile launchers to rousing military music during the parade, have a range of about 1,300 kilometres (800 miles) - capable of reaching Israel, Iran's sworn enemy.

It is also believe that the missile is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.

The missiles were daubed with slogans including "We will crush America under our feet" and "Israel must be wiped off the map".

President Khatami said it was Israel, not Iran, which threatened the region.

"It is the Zionist regime which possesses a considerable atomic arsenal and uses the worst forms of terrorism in Palestine while we are partisans of peace, stability and a region free of atomic weapons," he said.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran's policy is based on detente," he added, "but we also insist on strengthening our military."

Nuclear response

President Khatami did not refer to the deadline set by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), but he said that "even if we don't give a pretext to the enemy, they will find one".

The BBC's Jim Muir in Tehran says many hardliners have argued publicly in favour of Iran rejecting the deadline and pulling out of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) altogether, as North Korea has done.

Reformists generally prefer the route of compliance, though that is a road that has not been made easy because of overt American pressure, he says.

Our correspondent adds that government officials say that formulating a response to the IAEA deadline is a complex and very delicate business that could still take some time.
18 posted on 09/22/2003 8:57:22 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran's aL-Qaeda Problem Won't Go Away

September 22, 2003
Radio Free Europe
Bill Samii

Assistant Secretary of State for Verification and Compliance Paula DeSutter told a 17 September hearing of a joint U.S.-Israeli legislative panel that the United States believes Al Qaeda leaders have been given safe haven in Iran, according to a Bloomberg News dispatch cited by the "Salt Lake Tribune."

"We believe that some elements within the Iranian regime have helped Al-Qaeda terrorists transit or find safe haven inside Iran," DeSutter said.

Tehran has been less than forthcoming on this issue, beyond its eventual admission after frequent denials that some Al-Qaeda members are in Iran. It has since claimed to have imprisoned some of them and extradited others, while simultaneously hinting that it would like to trade Al-Qaeda members for Mujahedin Khalq Organization terrorists.

This issue concerns not only the United States but Iran's more immediate neighbors as well.

In Jordan, the General Intelligence Department (GID) identified a 15-member terrorist group affiliated with Al-Qaeda and Ansar al-Islam that included 13 Jordanians living in Iran, Amman's "Al-Ray" newspaper reported on 13 September. According to the GID, this group did its planning in Kabul, Tehran, Iraqi Kurdistan, and Norway (where Ansar al-Islam's Mullah Krekar lives). Abu-Musab Zarqawi, whose extradition from Iran Amman reportedly is seeking, provided the funding for this network.

Colonel Fawwaz al-Baqur, chief of the Jordanian State Security Court, has given the defendants 10 days to turn themselves in to be tried for conspiring to conduct terrorism, "Al-Ray" reported on 16 September. Public security personnel have been ordered to arrest these individuals.

Jordan's King Abdullah refused to say if he discussed the Al-Qaeda issue with Iranian officials during his early September trip to Tehran, in an interview that appeared in "The Washington Post" on 18 September.

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faysal bin Abd al-Aziz al-Saud met with his Iranian counterpart, Kamal Kharrazi, during the latter's visit to Saudi Arabia on 16-17 September. The foreign ministers discussed the possibility of extraditing Saudi Al-Qaeda suspects from Tehran to Riyadh, London's "Al-Hayah" reported on 17 September. Kharrazi, on the other hand, said on his return to Tehran's Mehrabad Airport that Iraq, Palestine, the Persian Gulf, bilateral trade, and the upcoming Organization of the Islamic Conference meeting were among the issues he discussed with his hosts, the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported. Kharrazi also conveyed a letter from President Mohammad Khatami to Deputy Premier and National Guard Commander Crown Prince Abdallah bin Abd al-Aziz Al-Saud, the SPA news agency reported on 16 September.

Iran extradited a number of Al-Qaeda associates to Saudi Arabia in 2002, but more recently Saudi sources said that these were nearly all women and children with no terrorist ties (see "RFE/RL Iran Report," 15 September 2003). This absence of serious cooperation has displeased and frustrated Riyadh.

The Saudi ambassador to the United States, Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abd al-Aziz, said in an interview that appeared in the 20 September "San Francisco Chronicle" that his government suspects that there could be up to 400 Al-Qaeda members in Iran, but the hardliners in the government do not want to extradite them. "But those people [Al-Qaeda] are there [in Iran], and somebody must be helping them. The question is who? And this is the problem with Iran. The people who we can deal with can't deliver, they can't lead eight ducks across the street." Prince Bandar went on, "And the guys who can deliver, they're not interested."
19 posted on 09/22/2003 8:58:08 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
US uses Iran nuke plan to politicize Moscow confab

Sunday, September 21, 2003 - ©2003

Moscow, Sept 20, IRNA -- A Foreign Ministry official said that the US tried to politicize the Moscow conference on Non-Proliferation of nuclear weapons and shift its theme from defense-related issues to one of a political farce.

Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Asqar Soltani told IRNA that American officials tried to sway the issues on non-proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) to their repeated allegation of Iran`s nuclear program.

Such accusations on Iran nuclear program are levied at the time when "the only nuclear country that threatens peace in region is Israel," he added.

Israel posesses nuclear weapons and since the 1950`s and 60`s has a had a vast chemical and biological program. Iran has bore the brunt of the Iraq`s chemical attack during the reign of Saddam Hossein, Soltani said, adding that it has signed all international conventions on prevention of production of chemical armament and has received international certificates to that effect.

Iran had the choice to opt out of the NPT following the Islamic solution in 1979 "but, has remained true to it," the foreign Ministry official stated.

"The country`s religious tenets prevent production and stockpiling of WMD and its nuclear program is fully peaceful." We will promptly announce our decision on the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) governing board`s resolution of September 12, Soltani underlined. Furthermore Iran has abided by the provisions of the IAEA, "but also reserve the right to have a peaceful nuclear program."

Some countries voiced condemnation of the nuclear watchdog body`s resolution including the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) which, in a declaration, have pointed to shortcomings in the text.

Soltani also called for steps to prevent bias and unilateralism at international organizations. An Iranian official in Vienna said last Monday that Iran is fully committed to its NPT responsibilities, not because of its contractual obligation, but also because of its religious and ethical considerations, and it is to officially respond to the resolution in a matter of few days after its study.

Iran`s Vice-President and Head of Iran`s Atomic Energy Organization (IAEO) Gholam-Reza Aghazadeh told the 47th regular session of the General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that Tehran`s cooperation with the IAEA within the framework of the comprehensive safeguards will continue as before.

Aghazadeh said that being a signatory to the NPT, Iran`s right to the peaceful nuclear technology is an established and recognized fact. The IAEA Board of Governors on September 12 passed a resolution giving Iran an October 31 deadline to prove it had no secret atomic weapons program. Following growing US pressure for action against Iran, the 35-nation IAEA board passed a resolution setting the deadline.

"The resolution was adopted without a vote, a procedure very unusual in the IAEA," said the agency`s spokeswoman Melissa Fleming. The resolution, submitted by Australia, Canada and Japan, calls on Iran to `provide accelerated cooperation` with agency efforts to clear up Tehran`s nuclear question marks.

It also urges Tehran to suspend all further uranium enrichment-related activities. Iran`s delegation walked out of the board of governors meeting in protest. Iran has repeatedly warned that imposing a deadline would aggravate nuclear tensions.
20 posted on 09/22/2003 9:01:48 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran Oil Firms to Tap Bond Markets

September 22, 2003
Mona Megalli

DUBAI -- Iran's state oil company and its petrochemical company are planning to launch eurobonds worth around $300 million each in the current fiscal year ending on March 20, a senior central bank official said on Monday.

Central bank vice governor Mohammad Mojarrad told Reuters in an interview that the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) and the National Petrochemical Company would not need to get parliamentary approval to launch international bonds.

"These two companies are working on this issue and we expect they could go to market if conditions are right," he said.

He said the bond issues were planned by the end of the current fiscal year ending March 20, but did not say in what currency they would be denominated.

"They are going to start with a small size...probably each would be around $300 million," Mojarrad said on the sidelines of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund meetings here.

But Mojarrad saw no issuance of sovereign bonds in the current fiscal year. The government of Iran, which tapped capital markets last year for the first time since its 1979 revolution, has no permission from parliament to launch new eurobonds in 2003/04.

"Parliament decided to use the local market (to raise money) and to also use the Oil Stabilisation Fund," Mojarrad said, referring to a fund created to absorb surplus oil revenues.

Iran's oil is selling at around $25 per barrel, above the level assumed in its 2003/04 budget and would generate an expected surplus of $4-$5 billion that could go into the oil stabilisation fund, he said.

The fund, now containing around $8 billion, is, however, only likely to grow by about $2.5 billion because the government intends to draw out money to fund its expenditure.

Mojarrad said Iran's central bank is studying the possible use of Islamic bonds if it decides to raise money on the international markets next year, adding the bonds would have longer terms than Iran's current four- and five-year eurobonds.

Bahrain and Malaysia have already launched Islamic bonds on world markets.

"A lot of banks are now getting familiar with this Islamic paper and we have been holding meetings and consultations and we want to understand this from a technical point," Mojarrad said.

Iran sold 625 million euros of 2007-maturity international bonds at a price of 99.23 percent of face value in July last year.

In December it followed this up by borrowing 375 million euros of debt maturing in 2008 .

The 2007 bond traded at 108.5 percent of face value on Monday, up 9.3 percent in value since launch, compared with a 2.6 gain for the underlying euro-zone benchmark during the same period.

"Because of the success of last year's launching and the good appetite, and given the fact that our yield curve has improved, I think we are in a good position to go for longer terms," Mojarrad said.
21 posted on 09/22/2003 9:03:40 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Full Transcript of Interview With Jacques Chirac

September 22, 2003
The New York Times

Following is a transcript of an interview with President Jacques Chirac of France. The interview was conducted in French and translated by The New York Times.

Q: Mr. President, once again, thank you for receiving us. We saw each other a year ago. Since then, relations between France and the United States have deteriorated because of the war in Iraq. Now, with a new resolution introduced at the U.N. by the United States. There is perhaps an opportunity to put things on a better footing. Do you have the impression that this period of tension and difficulty is about to end and turn into something more positive?

A: I’ll tell you what I feel. To be frank, I never understood why there was tension in the first place; I observed but didn’t understand it. We had differing views on the solution to the problem posed by Iraq. We gave our opinion. It’s true, it wasn’t the same as the one held by the American administration. But as far as I know, we we were not aggressive about it. We were operating within the context of a debate between long-time friends. . (U.S. Secretary of State) Colin Powell said not long ago, “The United States and France have been friends for 225 years.” That is not going to change for purely circumstantial reasons.

As far am I concerned, and I’ll say it very clearly, I know the U.S rather well and I have always had respect for the American people, and continue to feel esteem, gratititude and friendship for them. My feelings haven’t changed one bit. I have always had these feelings, even during what you call the time of “tension” and I still have them today. So to tell you the truth, I have not really understood this business, I feel that all this is rather overblown and in a certain way somewhat media-driven. Well, that’s how it is.

Today we are in a difficult situation. In any case, we share a unanimous conviction that we must move ahead towards a solution for a stabilized Iraq, democratized I hope, and capable of managing its affairs normally within the framework of the international community, while respecting the laws of the international community. This is all the more necessary since we are watching with sorrow and distress the attacks that have beeing taking place, often against American soldiers. And frankly, it hurts US whenever. It hurts us to hear about the attacks against American soldiers or to see images on television; the attacks against others as well, of course, but particularly American soldiers. It hurts us.

Of course we have our culture, our knowledge of the region, our own judgments. We believe that there will be no concrete solution unless sovereignty is transferred to Iraq as quickly as possible. We must give this ancient people the chance to assume its own responsibilities. I beleive it is psychologically and politically essential.

Q: As quickly as possible?

A: Very quickly.

Q: In a month? As your Minister of Foreign Affairs (Dominique de Villepin) proposed?

A: Let me come back to this process. So in our opinion that’s what will calm things down and get us back on the road to stability in Iraq. How can this be done? Right now, we must show the way, that is, the transfer of sovereignty. This should be done through discussions at the U.N., which will take responsibility for transferring sovereignty.

Q: From the occupying authority to Iraq?

A: The transfer of sovereignty to Iraq. Now, what is Iraq? It is its currently existing bodies, that is, the Council of Ministers and the current Governing Council. Yes, because they do exist. Once that decision is made, we must then proceed concretely with its implementation, that is to say the transfer of responsibility, which will take a little time.

Q: The current government?

A: Yes, of course, because there is one. Once the decision is taken, we must then move concretely towards implementation in other words the transfer of responsibility. Obviously that will take time.

Q: Sovereignty first and then responsibility?

A: Sovereignty is a question of principle. We must tell the Iraqis: you are a sovereign people. And you are in charge of your own future.

Q: As soon as possible?

A: Right now. But it naturally, concretely, it is hard to imagine that they have the means to do all this right now. So the transfer of responsibility related to the principle of sovereignty must be carried out little by little. For me this means, I don’t know, six months, nine months, something along those lines. And meanwhile, of course, we must provide Iraq with the aid it needs financial (and this is the objective of the donors’ conference which will be held soon), technical aid and security related aid. I think that security aid should be provided by the U.N., and managed by the United States since it is making the largest contribution in terms of troops. Naturally, little by little, when the situation permits, responsibility will be transferred to an Iraqi army and police force, which must also be trained. With regard to the training of the army and the police, all countries with particular skills in this area should participate. In such a context, France is ready to join in the training effort, as is Germany, with whom we discussed this yesterday in Berlin, and Russia probably as well.

Q: Would you train Iraqi police here in France?

A: We are ready to study every possibility in France and elsewhere. We do not have any detailed solutions, but we are prepared to help with training. We are thinking specifically in this respect of setting up training programs for the Iraqi army and police. It is something we are considering in close coordination with Germany. As I said, we discussed this yesterday. The kind of training we envision could take various forms, which would depend on the resolution itself. Naturally, we will examine this resolution very concretely and in a positive spirit. And as soon as there is a transfer of sovereignty to the Iraqis, as soon as that principle is clearly reaffirmed and there is thus a political approach to the current problem of Iraq, to the future of Iraq, thenas we are doing in Afghanistan, and in appropriate formats that will have to be discussed with everyonewe could strongly commit ourselves to the reconstruction of Iraq’s military capabilities and the training of Iraq’s military officers and police. What I propose resembles to some degree what we’re doing in Afghanistan. I’m not inventing anything extraordinary, as I have read somewhere, simply to annoy the United States. That is extraordinary.

Q:That is not your purpose?

A: I know, but I’ve read this somewhere. Of course it isn’t my aim. . My contribution is based on my thinking and my knowledge of things, which is what it is. It is no better than anyone else’s, but it’s mine. I try to contribute what I can towards a good solution. That is what is happening in Afghanistan. Let me remind you that President (Hamid) Karzai is the custodian of the Afghan people’s sovereignty. Sovereignty was transferred to the Afghan people immediately. The UN is playing a key role in Afghanistan, notably through its special representative, (Lakhdar) Brahimi. Operation Enduring Freedom and NATO, under a mandate from the UN, are responsible for security. A long-range political vision has been laid out and should lead to elections in 2004. I’m not saying that things are very easy in Afghanistan…

Q: No that is what I was going to say. There are many problems in Afghanistan.

A: Yes, of course, but it is a difficult region with people who aren’t easy to deal with either. We are seeing the re-emergence of a certain number of the Taliban. In any case, there is a process in place to which the majority of responsible people in Afghanistan consent.

Q: Mr. President, if the principle of the immediate transfer of sovereignty to the Iraqi people is not included in the resolution, will France oppose the resolution?

A: That is not at all my intent. We don’t have the intention to oppose. If we oppose it, that would mean voting no, that is to say, to use the veto. I am not in that mindset at all. The resolution would have to be a provocation and that is not what we are talking about at the moment. We shall see, and we shall discuss things. We can either abstain or vote yes. To vote yes, we need a clear long-range political vision and a key role for the U.N. We think this is the only way to achieve peace and it is in the interests of the United States. A clear long-range political vision is one that sets out first, a precise deadline for the transfer of sovereignty, and second, a timetable for transferring responsibility, and a key role for the U.N. which seems to me essential.

Q: When you speak of transferring sovereignty, does this mean a symbolic transfer, since in Iraq there is no loya jirga, no way to crown an Iraqi Karzai. So what does it mean for you, when you talk about a transfer?

A: Today, sovereignty is in the hands of Mr. (L. Paul) Bremer, the United States governor. This is a fact. I believe this is a very difficult situation for any people to accept in the 21st century, especially an ancient people, with a rich culture, great traditions and a long history, whose religion is different than that of the occupying forces, to call them by their rightful name. And it is very difficult to accept.. So I think that the most important thing to do, and it is up to the international community and the U.N. to decide, is to say to the Iraqi people: “We will transfer your sovereignty to you.” It is up to the international community to tell them. It is up to the U.N. to make that decision. Then we will see how, but that’s the principle. No more foreign sovereignty. Naturally, that presumes a certain number of things. It presumes, as I said before, that sovereignty will be transferred to a governmental body that already exists. It is what it is. It may not be ideal, but it exists. Sovereignty must be transferred to that body. That is the principle. From then on, the Iraqis will be sovereign. They will be free to choose their own destiny. Psychologically and politically, it’s essential.

Q: And these 25 people have no leader at the moment.

A: I believe this doesn’t matter. It is extremely important to say to the Iraqis: “You are responsible for your own country. Now you may not be able to take responsibility right now, but we are going to help you, and you are responsible. It is you who decide, politically, administratively and economically.” From then on, we must transfer responsibility as I have already said, in as short a timeframe as possible. But you need the time to do this in economic, cultural, political, administrative and military areas among others. And at the same time, of course, we must initiate a process to solidify the organs of sovereignty, in other words, preparations must be made for a constitution and elections. The constitution as you know can be drafted very, very quickly; since the Iraqis have plenty of highly qualified jurists who are eminent citizens and who also know their culture and their people well. In fact, they already had a constitution in the past. So if we give them the responsibility of writing a constitution, they will be able to do it very rapidly. It is not our job to draw up a constitution for Iraq. In the name of what, and on the basis of what knowledge of the country and its culture could we do this? So drafting a constitution is something that is up to the Iraqis and is very easy to do. Then elections must be prepared. They should be held as soon as possible to create rather as we did in Afghanistan a loya jirga or its equivalent, that is, an assembly that can adopt, or amend and then adopt, the constitution and initiate a process of concrete sovereignty.

Q: The United States government says that France wants to go too quickly. This will lead to chaos. There are Shiites and Sunnis and Kurds and a country that has been under a dictator for 30 years and there is no democratic tradition and France insists on going quickly and the result will be a disaster.

A: History will show who is right. I want you to understand that I’m not saying ‘white’ because the Americans say ‘black.’ On the contrary, I’m simply giving my view of how things are. One, it is a complicated business, two it is a dangerous business, and is becoming more dangerous by the day. Three, we must try and get out of it. It is my conviction that the current system-- let’s be clear, I mean a system of occupation-- will not allow us to find a solution to this situation. It will generate more and more reaction against this system, which will grow even more complicated, as you say, due to the difficulties hat already exist among the Shiites, Kurds, Sunnis and so on. All of this is true, but I do not see any other way out. I only see the probablity of the situation getting worse. We shall have to find something else. With an ancient people, if we start by saying we respect you, we can change something. I know quite a few Iraqis who were not at all pro-Saddam but who do not accept the situation today, who want to be respected, and who tell us, “We already had a rich culture when you were still living in the trees.”

Q: Was it a mistake to overthrow Saddam?

A: No, absolutely not. I did not approve of the way he was overthrown. I felt it could have happened in another way.

Q: Without a war?

A: I think he could have been overthrown without a war. I think that political pressure would have led to Saddam’s disappearance. But here too we can’t rewrite history. I may be mistaken, but everyone has his own opinion. But I believe that war is always the worst solution; it usually causes so many deaths, and it is not good to kill people when it is not absolutely necessary. I think that war is always the worst solution. So yes, I believe it could have been avoided and said so at the time, but I didn’t do it to annoy anyone, as people have commented here and there. I said it because I believe it was the wisest course of action.

Q: Are you sometimes tempted, Mr. President, to say: “President Bush, you were wrong.”

A: I don’t believe one can say such a thing. I didn’t say either you were right or that you were wrong. I was in contact with President Bush many times before, during and after the war. I have always told him what I thought. I have not changed my opinion. But I’ve always spoken out of respect and friendship, but I never tried to persuade him that I was right and he was wrong. On subjects as complex as this, it is always wrong to think you are right and the other person is always automatically wrong. This is a serious mistake and you always pay the consequences. President Bush chose his course of action. I said it wasn’t mine. Was he right or wrong? History will tell.

Q: Does the Algerian experience influence your opinions?

A: Certainly, certainly.

Q: From your personal experience?

A: Certainly. We know from experience that imposing a law on people from the outside hasn’t worked for a long time. In Algeria we began with a sizeable army and huge resources and the fellaga [independence fighter] were only a handful of people, but they won. That’s how it is. So you have to be careful about that. When the Germans invaded France, 95% of the French were… But there were people who said no. They came from different cultural and political backgrounds, from the extreme left wing, the left, the right, the extreme right, and they said no. There weren’t many of them. You have to be very careful of that. History doesn’t repeat itself. You cannot judge by imitation. The Algerian war was one thing and the Iraq war another. You cannot compare them. The more you give people full respect, the better things are. The more you respect ‘respectable’ people, I mean. I am not talking about Saddam Hussein.

Q: Mr. President, in Iraq if there is a transfer of sovereignty, what does this mean for Mr. Bremer. Do you have to say “Hasta la vista, Baby?” Farewell Mr. Bremer? Does he stay or go?

A: This is really for the Americans to decide. I repeat that as long as there is a foreign governor in a country like Iraq, this is an idea that doesn’t seem to me very modern, and is dangerous. That said, I have nothing against Mr. Bremer, of course, whom I don’t know. I don’t think he corresponds to a need at this moment in the region’s history.

Q: To be quite clear about ‘immediate transfer of sovereignty,’ does this mean that after the resolution, we can envisage a period of a month or so?

A: Let’s not talk about a deadline because this is very difficult.

Q: But as soon as possible?

A: I repeat, sovereignty must be transferred to the Iraqis. Today this means the existing governmental institutions. They are not very good but they are there. That’s the principle. From there, we shall discuss a transfer of responsibilities. You take over the government, or this or that ministry, and do what you like. If you need assistance, we shall provide it.

Q: But there is no reason to wait for the immediate symbolic transfer?

A: No. It’s psychological; it is a political act, to tell the Iraqis. “Your destiny” is in your hands. Now we shall help, but you are responsible. You are not under the authority of a governor who is Christian and foreign. That’s a lot, isn’t it.”

Q: Mr. President, there is a resolution already drafted now being discussed at the U.N. If by chance the United States says that this resolution is to be voted tomorrow, is France ready to vote yes?

A: I told you just now that we are going there in a constructive open state of mind. I said we don’t intend to vote “no” unless the resolution is provocative, and this isn’t the case as far as I know. I also said that we shall decide on our vote when we have learned the final resolution and that for us to vote “yes” there must be a clear political vision which expresses a precise deadline for the transfer of sovereignty and also a timetable for transferring responsibilities and that there is a key role for the U.N. If the resolution goes in that direction, we shall vote yes. If it goes against this direction, we’ll see what we will when that time comes. But we have no reason to vote “no” in the current situation.

Q: Before the war, Mr. Bush and (Vice President Richard) Cheney spoke a lot about nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. Since the war, none have been found. What do you think about this?

A: I have just said that I don’t think anything about it.

Q: You don’t think anything?

A: No because we don’t have the necessary information. When we were asked if we had information on WMD we answered that we had no information of that nature, but that it didn’t mean that there weren’t any. We had no information that there were any. That’s all. So for the moment none have been found.

Q: Were you surprised that none were found?

A: I followed very closely the procedure carried out by the inspectors, which seemed to me to be by far the best way to go.The inspectors were both competent and independent. They were doing a very good job. And the more they inspected, the more they said there were no weapons. So I felt that probably they were right. But I had no way of making a judgment on this point. I had no information. I couldn’t say that “there were weapons” or “there were no weapons.” Moreover I have never used that argument. I never said, “There are almost certainly no weapons.” I had no information.

Q: At the time of the attacks of 9-11, Le Monde declared “we are all Americans.” Since then, there has been a wave of anti-Americanism and hostility towards the United States throughout the world. What do you think of this phenomenon? Is it inevitable for such a dominant power as the United States today? Or is it due to the errors made by the U.S.?

A: There certainly is a wave of hostility, but I wouldn’t say it is anti-American, because it is increasingly against the West in general. That is the difference. It is a worrying development, because it is growing and could lead to a significant increase in terrorism. Why is that? You know that when people get angry, there is always a responsibility somewhere, generally a shared responsibility. I believe that the Western world is demonstrating a selfishness that borders on irresponsibility, with our inability to humanize globalization, to provide for people who are in need, which is necessary.

We regularly make grand declarations about the Millennium etc. but in fact there is not much real solidarity. We have a system in which, well, I wouldn’t say the poor are growing poorer, because it’s not true, except for a number of African countries, but that globally things are stagnating. We are in a cycle in which rich countries are becoming richer and so the gap between rich and poor is growing wider. This is not acceptable for any given country and it is not acceptable for the world as a whole. Western nations have an image today of mobilizing everything to serve their own interests. Look at (the meeting of the World Trade Organization) in Cancun. It was a mistake. And who was the main victim of Cancun? The poor countries. They are the victims of Cancun, not the Americans or the Europeans, but the poor countries. And this has created a global reaction from poor and emerging countries, which in the end goes against their interests. And we are responsible for this.

Q: Mr. President, you said that if there is an Iraqi administration, France would be ready to contribute. Would France send troops to Iraq and if so, under what circumstances?

A: I have already replied clearly to this question; but I’ll repeat it. We’re considering a training scheme for the Iraqi army and police. That is the contribution we are planning. And we are considering this together with our German friends. This training could take various forms, depending naturally on the resolution itself, and I repeat that we are talking about training, and not sending troops to Iraq, or course. Once sovereignty has been transferred to the Iraqis, and once there is a political approach to the problem in Iraq, we could as we are doing in Afghanistan, depending on ways that could be discussed with others, make a firmer commitment to training military and police forces in Iraq. That’s what we envision about, and this will naturally also depend on the resolution.

Q: Could this training take place in Iraq, with French officers?

A: We haven’t yet examined that. It could be in Iraq or in the region or elsewhere. It’s a problem we’ve not addressed yet. We shall first see if the issue arises and then we shall see about the practical response. We’re not ruling anything out. We shall see in practical terms how to proceed if the question arises. This is also the position taken by our German friends.

Q: In Afghanistan, for example, there are French troops. There are, I believe, about 200 special force French troops under U.S. command. Is it possible to envision French troops in Iraq?

A: The situations in Iraq and in Afghanistan are completely different. In Afghanistan there is a strong French presence. We also take part in ISAF (International Security Assistance Force.) And we also are sharing responsibility for training the army with the Americans. We are the two countries that are training the Afghan army, and we also have Special Forces under U.S. command. Although we did not request it, but the United States commander of these Special Forces has asked a Frenchman to be one of his adjutants, for purely personal reasons not because he is French, because he is competent.

So we are involved in a system. Iraq is a completely different system. I repeat. This is our current thinking and I have no intention of going further, things being what they are today.

Q: There are columnists in the United States who say that France is no longer an ally of the United States or even that France has become an enemy of the United States. What is your reaction to this?

A: First, I am completely immune to things I read in the press in general and in the French press, naturally, where for a long time, I have read everything and its opposite expressed with great authority. So I keep my distance. Second, it saddens me, since it shows great incompetence thinking, and a failure to grasp realities.

I think that the world is gradually moving towards major blocs, but I think that among these blocs, there are at least two such blocs - Europe and the U.S - that should show solidarity for each other, vis à vis the others, which have a different culture. This is because these two have the same overall culture, the same values and the same overall interests. So even if we are irritated by this or that, it can only be superficial, and the fact is we do share the same values, and as the world changes, it will be even more important tomorrow than today that there should be a strong degree of solidarity between Europe and the United States. Hence the importance I attach to trans-Atlantic ties.

And when I hear the opinions you refer to, I tell myself that they are people who need to think a bit more before they write. Or they are people, who have an ax to grind. Well that’s their responsibility, but it enters the polemical. At that point it ceases to be a debate.

For my part, I want to say this right away, I don’t feel the least contradiction with the United States even if I don’t approve of everything it does. The U.S.doesn’t want to ratify the Kyoto Protocol whereas I’m in favor. We don’t agree. It wanted to make war in Iraq, I was against that solution in the situation we all know. So I didn’t agree. You don’t become enemies just because you don’t agree. It’s truly an extraordinary primitive reaction you’re referring to in columnists who write such things.

Q: Mr. President, if there’s no agreement on the political and symbolic transfer of sovereignty to Iraq, if France ends up abstaining in this resolution because its opinions aren’t approved by the others, people (and I’m thinking of the U.S.) are going to say again, there’s France again not supporting us. It’s going to set off all those kinds of comments again, you’re aware of this I imagine?

A: I hope this won’t happen. I am ready to assume responsibility for it. You can’t ask a country to take decisions under media and psychological pressure from a group. And to tell you the truth, I don’t think it’s natural for a friend to be a ‘yes man’.

Q: Mr. President, excuse me for asking this question a third time about French troops.

A: I have nothing more to add on that…

Q: I remember well 20 years ago when I was in Lebanon, there were French troop alongside Americans.

A: There are still French troops in Lebanon.

Q: Yes exactly. Both armies did well in Lebanon.

A: I’m not sure they did well.

Q: I know that the French military made contingency plans in case France decided politically to send troops.

A: Dear lady, you have got it absolutely wrong. First of all we’re not talking about an operation in Lebanon. It wasn’t really a success for either the American or the French. We left with our tails between our legs; so don’t bring up bad memories.

Q: Especially on Sunday morning.

A: That is not a good example. I said that as things are now, there is no situation where I can imagine that France would send troops to Iraq. I already told you that. I told you what we were prepared to do. Of course, everything could change. I don’t have a crystal ball. But for the moment this is the position of France and the position of a number of countries. As you see, we are not alone. I think we are even in the majority.

Q: Can we speak about Europe a moment? Sweden has just voted no to the Euro, your statements of a few years ago didn’t go down very well over there, and there are certain feelings against the German-French project for a rather federal-style centralized Europe. With the arrival of new countries, do you foresee a divided Europe or do you think a method will be found of managing a Europe of highly divergent countries?

A: I have had a long experience of Europe, and I have sat at the Council of Ministers when there were only six of us. Let me give you an example of Europe. It is not a freeway on which everyone can move fast. It is a steep and difficult mountain path, and the participants, who started with just 6 and are now 25, regularly set out on a walk. Some walk a bit faster, some more slowly because they are tired, others twist their ankles in a hole. But you will have noticed that we have never turned back. We have always gone forward it’s that way for a simple reason it is inevitable, and deep down Europeans know there is no alternative. We cannot return to our divisions, which cost us so dearly in terms of war, loss of democracy and progress. So it will go on. There is no way it can stop. There will always be crises. Ever since it has existed, Europe has been a story of crises that have been resolved. There isn’t one example of a crisis Europe couldn’t get through. So Europe will end up as a coherent whole of 30 to 35 countries in 20, 30 or 40 years that will have accepted and assumed all the requirements.

Q: Where does all this lead? To a United States of Europe?

A: We’ll see. I have never been a Euro-militant. I am Euro-pragmatist. I observe that Europe is inevitable, and I have no theory about what it should be. I simply say it will come to be. And we must see to it that it’s the best possible Europe.

Q: Will Turkey join Europe?

A: Turkey’s entry into Europe is inevitable provided Turkey makes the effort to meet the conditions that we call the Copenhagen criteria. These cover political conditions linked basically to human rights and economic conditions linked basically to the market economy. For the time being, Turkey does not meet these conditions. The Turkish authorities are very determined to meet the conditions. If this is the case, it will join Europe.

Q: But in terms of basic principles, is Turkey part of Europe?

A: Which principles? There is one piece of Turkey in Europe, and the rest outside, but we have said to the Turks for 34 years that they are Europeans. They are in NATO. So it’s not a problem of whether they are in Europe. They want to join. If they meet the conditions, Europe is ready to receive them. The question of whether it’s in Europe or not is a historical and geographical one, a matter for the experts, but it’s not the determining factor.

Q: The creation of a common defense policy in Europe - Has it been wrongly understood in the U.S because it is outside NATO, and creating a common defense system is not very effective or very responsible?

A: As you know, a political group must have the means to defend itself. We have two problems. The first is that the way the world evolves makes it more and more necessary for cultural reasons, as I have said, to ensure the cohesion and consistency between the United States and Europe. This is the first demand, and so we should not do anything that might call into question this trans-Atlantic link or the existence of NATO, etc. This much is obvious. Also, France itself has shifted a lot in this area, including by agreeing to NATO intervention in Afghanistan and perhaps in future in Iraq. In other words by bringing into question again the principle of geographic responsibility. Similarly we agreed to join NATO’s rapid reaction force (NRF). Everyone is shifting position. So that’s the first requirement.

At the same time, it is perfectly clear that there may be cases where we have to act but where our NATO friends do not wish to. So what do we do? There must be a capacity for command, planning and intervention.

We have seen this recently in Macedonia. Our American friends have told us that we should take responsibility for the Balkans from now on. We can do this, but how? With a flute? We have seen it in Africa; we need a system, a European defense policy.

This is the process we are committed to. And it is one of the topics we discussed in earnest yesterday with (British Prime Minister) Tony Blair and (Germany’s Chancellor) Gerhard Schroeder. We are almost in agreement on everything. And this European defense system will come to be whatever happens. You know that four or five years ago, Tony Blair and I decided in Saint-Malo to launch the European defense system. I remember all the articles in the French press that said: “It’s pointless, and anyway other countries don’t want it.” Now everyone agrees.

Once again, it is inevitable. One should never fight against the inevitable. There is nothing unpleasant about it for the Americans. It suggests ignorance of the way things are to imagine that it would be against them, what with the transatlantic link and transatlantic solidarity. Some Americans and luckily I think they are a minority think that when we do something, it is against them. This is very odd. After all, they are strong enough not to always be afraid that someone will do something unpleasant to them. It is a very curious reaction.

Every time someone reacts negatively to France, I don’t get frightened.

Q: But Europeans, the citizens of Europe, don’t want to spend any more money on defense. And they are not convinced that there is any real threat.

A: But they will get there. For the time being, only England has. Our spending dropped a lot. But it’s going up again, and the Germans substantially cut their defense spending and it’s going up again. And one of the hopes we have in the necessary arrangements on rules for managing Europe is to try and encourage them. This is squarely in NATO’s interests, and also in the interests of the U.S., since there is no point in having a weak partner. There is value in having a strong partner.

Q: The British foreign secretary (Jack Straw) had some very negative comments about France, and about you personally.

A: Let me tell you that when friends express themselves in an unpleasant tone, first I make a rule of not paying attention, and second I excuse them, since I frequently say more than I want to or more than I should, so I don’t in the least hold it against the British minister, and I didn’t pay any attention.

Q: Really?

A: No, really. I don’t read the papers much.

Q: Do you have any scars?

A: No, I don’t read the papers much, and that protects my peace of mind.

Q: Do you regret having told the Poles that they had missed a good opportunity to keep quiet?

A: No, I don’t regret it; I should regret it, but I don’t. When you decide to get together as a family, then at least when you take a different position from the rest of the family, you discuss it first. You warn people ahead of time. I learned about their position from the press. It was Catherine Colonna (Mr. Chirac’s spokesperson) who told me. That’s just not acceptable. The Poles are joining Europe, so they should accept a minimum of rules, at least advise us by telephone. If I have something to say, I call (Polish President Aleksander) Kwasniewski who is an old friend I have known for a very long time. I say this and that, and ask him what was all this about, not telling anyone about it first.

Q: You read about it the paper?

A: Yes of course. I didn’t read it myself because I don’t read the papers much. But I learned about it from Catherine Colonna. I called him and I told him that it wasn’t acceptable. That’s not the way that Europe is made. That’s not in the rules of the game. It’s not polite. You can take your own position if you want to-- that’s not the problem - but at least warn us first so we don’t look ridiculous. It just causes controversy. That’s why I have no regrets about what I said, even if I should have had.

Q: One question on Iran, and its nuclear program?

A: I personally believe that the consensus reached inside the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) a few days ago is very important. It will be possible to demand that Iran open its doors and accept all the inspections. I think this consensus is the right way. We cannot allow countries, and especially those countries whose future directions we don’t really know, to equip themselves with nuclear weapons. And we should do this with all the respect that we owe to an age-old people, but with all the suspicion that Iran requires. So I am absolutely in favor to the IAEA position. Gerhard Schroeder, Tony Blair and myself sent a joint message to the Iranians, telling them, “We are not trying to bully you, but we cannot accept that you tell us that everything’s perfectly all right while we are not sure that there isn’t a nuclear weapons manufacturing process behind it all. So we want inspections and we also want you to ratify what we call the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CNTBT).”

Iran is a real problem. Just as there is a problem with North Korea, and there could be others too. It is a real problem. We are worried.

On all these points, there are no differences of opinion with the Americans.

Q: Is it true that you, Tony Blair and Gerhard Schroeder agree if Iran signs the additional protocol?

A: That it can produce civilian nuclear power?

Q: Yes, precisely.

A: Yes. We agree on the fact that there is no reason to prevent a country from producing nuclear energy for civilian use, naturally if all the safeguards are there, particularly if all the IAEA inspections are completely unrestricted.

Q: The American administration thinks that the action in Iraq could be a catalyst for change in the Middle East and make it into a more open, more democratic region and even …

A: More peaceful…

Q: And even help to eventually resolve the Israel-Palestine conflict. Do you share this vision of the invasion of Iraq as a new dynamic for this region, something positive and peaceful?

A: I’d like to think so, but frankly, I don’t believe so. I think it’s…

Q: Perhaps you think the opposite?

A: In fact, yes. This has been traumatic for this region and culture. And I think it could have negative consequences. Let me use an example I often give to President Bush. We are told that Iraq will become democratic. Very well. This is a huge ambition. This democracy will take the form of elections. This is usually the case in other democracies. So naturally elections will as a rule give power to the majority. In Iraq the majority is Shiite. But are the Shiites in this analysis the real symbol of tomorrow’s democracy? It is not so obvious. So is possibly something a little shaky about this argument?

Q: I believe that (German Foreign Minister Joschka) Fischer has spoken about the ‘jihadization’ of the region. In other words, that this intervention can be seen as a provocation that leads to more terrorism, to more people ready to sacrifice themselves for what they see as the final battle between Islam and America?

A: That seems probable.

Q: Yes.

A: I think Joschka Fischer is saying something sensible.

Q: So what should be done? Withdraw?

A: I say to you that we should tell the Iraqis, and we could end our interview on this, that it is up to them to be responsible for their own destiny, that it is up to them to recover their full sovereignty, and once that has been achieved, it is up to us to help them by a process of transferring responsibilities, drafting a constitution, and holding elections, so that they take their own destiny in hand. That is my political vision of things. I don’t say I’m right, but that’s what it is.

Q: And what can be done about the Israel-Palestinian crisis?

A: It fills me with sadness. But I’m afraid I must go since I have a plane to catch …

Q: Thank you very much Mr. le President.

A: Let me thank you. I was particularly happy to receive you. You are always welcome.

Q: Thank you, Mr. President.

A: It’s for me to thank you. It’s been a special pleasure to meet with you. You are always welcome. Thank you for coming from New York. I appreciate it. I’m saddened about some of the comments being made about France in the U.S.which strike me as entirely unwarranted and excessive so I was pleased to have this opportunity to tell you very simply what I thought.
22 posted on 09/22/2003 12:31:33 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran: Murder Charge in Journalist's Death

September 22, 2003
The Associated Press
Canadian Press

A judge investigating the killing of an Iranian-Canadian photojournalist in custody charged an Intelligence Ministry agent over the woman's death, Tehran's prosecutor's office said Monday.

Veteran judge Javad Esmaeili, who has been heading an inquiry into the July 10 death of Zahra Kazemi, charged the agent with "semi-premeditated murder."

The exact nature of the charge or the identify of the accused were not revealed.

The agent was one of two Intelligence Ministry officials charged earlier over Kazemi's death. But the prosecutor's office rejected the charges Sept. 1 and called for further investigations.

The judge ruled that the second agent - who was originally one of the co-accused in relation to Kazemi's killing - would not face any charges, according to a statement released Monday by the prosecutor's office.

"The crime is attributed to one of the (Intelligence Ministry) interrogators and the reasons have been presented in the lawsuit against the accused," according to the statement issued by the prosecutor's office that detailed the charges laid down by the judge.

The statement said the judge, Esmaeili, concluded that no government body was behind the crime.

Initially, the hardline Tehran prosecutor, Saeed Mortazavi, was quoted as saying Kazemi, 54, had died of a stroke. But a presidential-appointed committee discredited this version and found that she died of head injuries sustained while in custody.

Her death came nearly three weeks after she was detained for taking photographs outside a prison during student-led protests. After 77 hours of interrogation, she was rushed to a hospital's intensive-care unit where she died 14 days later.

Canada has complained to Iran over the earlier handling of Kazemi's case, threatened sanctions and withdrew its ambassador after the photojournalist's body was buried in her birthplace, the southern Iranian city of Shiraz, against the wishes of Canadian authorities and her son, Stephan Hachemi, who lives in Montreal.

Kazemi was born in Iran but held dual Canadian-Iranian citizenship.

Tehran's deputy prosecutor general, Jafar Reshadati, had previously returned the indictments issued against the agents and called for a reinvestigation, describing the original probe into the crime as incomplete.

Earlier this month, several journalism and human-rights groups, joined by Kazemi's son, criticized Ottawa for not doing enough to pursue all legal avenues, in Canada and abroad, to bring justice in the case.

The coalition released a letter, sent to Prime Minister Jean Chretien, Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Graham, Justice Minister Martin Cauchon and Immigration Minister Denis Coderre, asking the Canadian government to "act promptly to ensure those responsible for Ms. Kazemi's death do not benefit from impunity."

Other groups which signed the letter include Amnesty International, Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, Reporters Without Borders and the Canadian Association of Journalists.

They are part of a growing political and non-governmental response to Kazemi's violent death.

Ottawa has been asking the UN Human Rights Commission to take up the Kazemi case, and is considering the possibility of collaborating with European countries in bringing a broader resolution on human rights in Iran before the General Assembly.

Kazemi's death has also attracted the attention of United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, who said recently he was "highly concerned" and promised to raise the issue with Iran.
23 posted on 09/22/2003 12:32:29 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Leaning on Iran not to make nukes

International Herald Tribune - By Brenda Shaffer
Sep 22, 2003

A test for the world

CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts - A recent report by the UN International Atomic Energy Agency about the Iranian nuclear program stated that Tehran had not been forthcoming in its reports to the agency, and that the IAEA had uncovered evidence of the existence of unreported nuclear facilities, covert imports of nuclear materials and - most serious of all - clandestine uranium-enrichment activities.

Despite the well-documented and extensive evidence, the IAEA refrained from turning to the UN Security Council for action and offered Tehran one month to provide convincing explanations for its infractions.
The Iranian nuclear program is a crucial test for the existing nuclear nonproliferation regimes that the atomic energy agency is responsible for monitoring. Failure to prevent Iran from crossing the nuclear threshold can significantly undermine the credibility of these regimes.
The international community can succeed in this important test. There is broad international support for addressing the Iranian nuclear program - especially from Europe, Russia and Japan. In addition, many people within Iran itself have reservations about letting the government have weapons of mass destruction.

So far, international organizations have not been successful in finding an effective response to states that decide to go nuclear. Iran has signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which ensures that signatories will receive assistance in developing civilian nuclear programs in exchange for their commitment not to develop nuclear weapons. But the treaty has an inherent flaw - states that decide to develop nuclear weapons can simply withdraw.

Tehran can still be dissuaded from developing nuclear weapons by applying a number of measures.

First, if the IAEA finds Iran in serious violation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, the agency should refer the Iranian infractions to the UN Security Council. The Council could then impose comprehensive sanctions on Iran.

Second, a crucial instrument in braking the Iranian nuclear program is continued Russian pressure on Iran to honor their agreement that all spent fuel from the Bushehr reactor must be returned to Russia for storage. Spent reactor fuel can be an important element in a nuclear-weapons program and Tehran's request to retain it is conspicuous.

An additional tool is international economic pressure on Iran. In response to recent atomic energy agency reports, the European Union froze negotiations with Iran on a trade agreement, and Japan has slowed its investments. These measures can be highly effective, especially in showing the wider public in Iran the price to be paid for acquiring nuclear weapons.

A further nuclear preclusion mechanism is domestic pressure. Agency representatives should weigh in on the debate in Iran over going nuclear by raising awareness of the security consequences and risks inherent in significantly changing the state's military arsenal. On the eve of the release of the IAEA report, the Iranian Parliament conducted a special closed discussion on the state of its nuclear program, and demanded that President Muhammad Khatami report on it at its next session. Iranian reformists want to get a handle on the nuclear issue in part to pre-empt a deal among the United States and other Western powers that would allow the current leadership to remain in power in exchange for it relinquishing its nuclear weapons program.

In the event that Iran decides to withdraw from the Non-Proliferation Treaty, concerned states, the IAEA and the UN Security Council should have a contingency plan. They should clearly articulate to Iran that it would face a serious response.

Iran is close to having the technical ability to produce nuclear weapons, but it can still be deterred from making the decision to test and deploy these weapons. Failure to do this will lead many in the United States and elsewhere to call into question the utility of existing mechanisms, and perhaps to seek alternatives.

The writer is the Research Director at the Caspian Studies Program at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government. She is the author of the forthcoming book, "Limits of Culture: Foreign Policy, Islam and the Caspian."
24 posted on 09/22/2003 12:42:52 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Leaning on Iran not to make nukes

International Herald Tribune - By Brenda Shaffer
Sep 22, 2003

A test for the world
25 posted on 09/22/2003 12:48:32 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran at Watershed: Clerics Survival Depends on Taking the Offensive

Defense & Foreign Affairs
Analysis. By Gregory R . Copley, Editor, GIS.

The Iranian clerical Government is now at a strategic watershed, because of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) insistence on comprehensive inspections and disclosure. The clerics must either go fully public with their nuclear weapons programs and existing capability, or initiate a major diversion operation, taking the strategic offensive against their international opponents. Inaction would lead to further international isolation and a resurgence of the domestic opposition which could, as with the case of the Shah in 1978-79, reach the tipping point at which the clerics would be overthrown by popular action.

Their only option lies in taking aggressive action against international and domestic opponents, including strategic diversion operations and direct political and psychological operations. The two overwhelming realities facing the clerics are (i) the need to stave off the growing domestic opposition which threatens, with international support, to remove them, and (ii) the need to ensure security from international pressure by achieving the kind of strategic power which they believe will be available to them with demonstrable military nuclear capability and the means to deliver it.

There is no evidence to suggest that the clerical leadership around Supreme Leader Ali Hoseini-Khamenei, Pres. (Ali) Mohammad Khatami-Ardakani, and former Pres. Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani in any way understands that the changing global strategic reality has made the question of nuclear weapons ownership less viable than it was, say, during the Cold War. On the other hand, they have witnessed the fact that nuclear weapons ownership has given India, Pakistan and North Korea (DPRK) special status which both holds the US at bay while elevating their prestige elsewhere in the world.

In any event, the Iranian clerical leadership has only two strategic assets: nuclear weapons and control of terrorism. Equally, to support these capabilities, Irans clerics depend absolutely on the DPRK for strategic missile capabilities and to help distract the US from focusing on Iran; and on a web of alliances with a range of radical Islamist terrorist organizations and governments which fall outside the mainstream modern trading nations.

The clerics on July 9, 2003, successfully capped the growing momentum of opposition in the cities, and have demonstrated their capability to forcefully suppress future rebellion. However, they are equally aware that a failure to take the initiative internationally would result in their increasing isolation from the world community. This would lead, axiomatically, to a rise  perhaps an uncontrollable rise in domestic opposition. Offensive operations abroad, therefore, are mandatory.

See also, Defense & Foreign Affairs Daily reports:

October 31, 2002: Iran's Ballistic Missile and WMD Programs: The Links to the DPRK.
November 19, 2002: DPRK Acknowledges Possession of Nuclear Weapons, Confirming Consistent GIS/DFA Reporting. Possibility of Link to Saddams Surprise Weapon.
December 12, 2002: Special Reports: Iran's Military Nuclear Capability, Highlighted by Exclusive 1992 Report, Now Critical Part of Persian Gulf Strategic Planning.
January 9, 2003: Iraq, Iran, North Korea and WMD: Threat Activated.
February 11, 2003: Iran, as Predicted by GIS, Announces its Nuclear Poison Pill: Acknowledges Domestic Nuclear Self-Sufficiency.
April 28, 2003: DPRK Declaration of Nuclear Weapons Capability and Will to Use Highlight Deliberate Cover-Up by US Clinton Administration and Also Directly Impacts Current Iran Situation.

The Iranian clerics options include:

1. Declaring Military Nuclear Status: The Iranian leadership could well order a nuclear weapons test or demonstration, even using one of the seven or so externally-acquired, ex-Soviet nuclear weapons, but more likely as soon as a local device is ready using an indigenous device. The clerical leadership is aware that their possession of former Soviet nuclear weapons has been an increasingly open secret since the early 1990s, and that Iranian nuclear facilities have been working toward indigenous weaponization. The IAEA ultimatums now mean that the clerics could make a virtue of either acquiescing to the IAEA or demonstrating overt nuclear power. Acquiescing to the IAEA would, or could, lead to the same fate for the clerics as suffered by Iraqi Pres. Saddam Hussein. Saddam attempted to toy with the UN and IAEA and ended up dispersing his nuclear (and other WMD) programs outside Iraq, in most cases clearly disrupting his weapons programs. The Iranian clerics will wish to avoid this fate, of wasting decades of nuclear weapons research. At the same time, Iran will need to demonstrate an ability to deliver the nuclear weapons. In this regard, the Shahab-3 IRBM remains its best option, demonstrating a viable capability to deliver a nuclear (or other WMD) warhead to Israel and other targets which could be construed as holding the US hostage. There is strong evidence that Iran is actively working with the DPRK and Libya on continuing and expanding this program. [See Defense & Foreign Affairs Daily, September 4, 2003: Libya , Iran, DPRK Discuss New Strategic Missile Procurement .]

2. Initiating Strategic Diversion Operations, Including Terrorism: The clerical leadership in Iran must keep Iraq destabilized if it is to keep the US from focusing on Iran from a stable position inside the Iraqi borders. As well, it must undertake strategic diversion operations elsewhere in the world, including initially-deniable terrorist operations using its asset base in Bosnia, Kosovo and elsewhere, and supporting DPRK actions to preoccupy the US in Asia. Close to home for the clerics, the US must be denied credibility and support within Iraq, and as well, the US must not be allowed to build the credibility of a neutral or anti-Iranian Shia leadership and shrines in Iraq. [See Defense & Foreign Affairs Daily, September 2, 2003: The Najaf Bombing: Iran's Clerics Prosper; Threat of Iraqi Civil War Becomes Real.] Iranian activities inside Iraq are extremely cost-effective for the Iranian clerics: they tie down and distract US forces and strategic thinking, while at the same time undermining the credibility of US Pres. George W. Bush at home and US ability to build coalitions internationally. Iranian sources had, just after the end of formal hostilities in the Coalition war against Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, indicated that they would put an initial fund of US$50-million in cash into destabilizing Iraq, along with considerable Iranian intelligence and special forces manpower, backed by Iranian radio propaganda. [See Defense & Foreign Affairs Daily, May 28, 2003: Coalition-sponsored Media Face Major Challenges in Post-War Influence Operations in Iraq, and May 30, 2003: Iranian Clerics Meet With Iraqi Baathists to Form New Terrorist Operation; Bin Laden/Islamists Team With Baathists.]
The move to re-ignite terrorism from the Balkans bases is well underway, as recent GIS/Defense & Foreign Affairs intelligence material has demonstrated. It remains to be seen to what extent the death of Bosnian Islamist leader Alija Izetbegovic in September 2003 might have on the cohesiveness and leadership of the Bosnia-based Islamists, although the Iranian and al-Qaida linked terrorist cause was substantially assisted and legitimized on September 20, 2002, when former US Pres. Bill Clinton unveiled the new Islamist shrine in Srebrenica. Significantly, Mr Clinton and US Democratic Party presidential aspirant Gen. (rtd.) Wesley Clark, who was also in the region, used the opportunity to rebuild alliances with Islamist and Albanian supporters, and sought funds from them to help Gen. Clark's election bid. Much of this funding would funnel through from Albanian terrorist and narco-trafficking bases, which work in concert with al-Qaida and the Iranians. [See Defense & Foreign Affairs Daily, June 12, 2003: Terrorism in the Balkans and the Wider Ramifications for the Global War on Terror.]

3. Moving Politically to Contain the US Bush Administration: In the short-term, the Iranian clerics, according to reliable sources in Tehran, see their most urgent task as being the distraction of the US Bush Administration in its war on terror, the stabilization of Iraq, and in undermining support for the US in the UN and such agencies as the IAEA. However, in the medium-term, over the coming months, the clerics have committed themselves, according to very reliable sources, to supporting any political or strategic action which would see US Pres. Bush defeated at the November 2004 presidential elections. To this end, as GIS reported earlier, the clerics had reportedly in April 2003 earmarked some $200-million for political operations in the US. Given the linkages between the Albanian/Bosnian movements and former US Pres. Clinton and Democratic presidential aspirant Clark, it seems logical that much of that funding would go through a variety of Albanian expatriates in the US (as was the pattern in earlier elections) to the clerics favored candidate. At present, given Clark's potential strength in the US polls, his earlier support (with Clinton) for the Albanians who were directly linked to al-Qaida and the Iranians, and Clark's opposition to the US rtle in Iraq, there is little question but that they will do all in their power to support Clark. Removing Bush from the White House, and putting in a Clinton-style leadership is the most significant undertaking the Iranian clerics could attempt in order to remove the threat to their own political survival and to end their international political isolation.

It is readily apparent that all of the clerics options are interrelated and will almost certainly be considered together, not as an either/or situation. But within all of this, the option of a credible Iranian nuclear military deterrent is paramount, with terrorist operations emerging in a grey mode. That is to say, US and Western officials must be aware that Iran can, with its bin Ladenist allies, instigate terrorist unrest at will while being sufficiently deniable in this to avoid a direct and powerful US military response against the clerics themselves.

Adding pressure and urgency to the clerics situation was the fact that, in an unexpected development, a strong US-backed ultimatum was tabled and carried by the International Atomic Energy Agency board in Vienna on September 12, 2003. Iran was given until October 31, 2003, to reveal full details of its nuclear activities program and prove it was not engaged in nuclear weapons production. If this deadline was not met, the IAEA would declare Iran in violation of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT), opening the door to a UN Security Council debate in December 2003 or January 2004 and economic sanctions, one of which would prohibit UN members from purchasing oil and energy products from Iran, a measure which would severely damage Iran's already failing economy.

The clerics were surprised when both Russia and India supported the US at the IAEA board meeting. Russia, in particular, has been the major beneficiary from the construction of Iran's nuclear reactor at Bushehr and other defense and infrastructural sales to Iran. India's trade with Iran has been worth some $2.5-billion a year. It is not insignificant that this is roughly the amount of the India-Israel trade, and the Indo-Israeli strategic alliance is strengthening to become a pivotal aspect of Indian security. This does not mean that either India or Russia can ignore and neglect Iran, but the move demonstrated that both India and Russia had now begun to hedge their bets, perhaps indicating their unstated belief that the clerics might now be facing an inevitable collapse.

The clerics, however, have consistently demonstrated that they have learned from the Shah's mistakes. They will not readily relinquish power, and would (as has already been demonstrated) suppress their population to ensure absolute compliance at home. The question remains, however, whether they would in the near term risk an obvious link with their terrorist assets in the Balkans. Any such link, if demonstrable, would encourage the US to escalate the US-Iranian confrontation and would legitimize US Pres. Bush, something which the clerics would be most reluctant to do. As a result, there would likely be an attempt to allow the al-Qaida Islamists to be blamed for any terrorism emanating from the Balkans in the near future, and would perhaps even prefer to have a renewal of the Bosnian civil war and the Kosovo and Sanzack separatist wars against Serbia appear to be merely a domestic (Bosnian, Serbian or Kosovo) Muslim reaction against Serbs. A revived war in the Balkans, then, with no initial or overt links to Iran, would be very much in Tehran's interest, significantly tying down US peacekeeping forces in Bosnia and Serbia.

As a result, the visit by former US Pres. Clinton to Srebrenica on September 20, 2003, was very much in support of the Iranian clerics requirements, while at the same time helping Clark's presidential bid.

A variety of sources, including the web information service, DEBKAfile, which has strong links to Israeli intelligence sources, have said that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon played an decisive rtle in swinging the Russian and Indian votes at the IAEA. Mr Sharon reportedly called Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin about the subject, and certainly talked about it with Indian Prime Minister Atali Bihar Vajpayee when they met in New Delhi on September 9, 2003.

Iran had carefully delayed any IAEA pressures over the nuclear weapons program, and had, to an extent, counted on the fact that the IAEA leadership had been at odds with the US over questions relating to the Iraqi nuclear weapons programs. The clerics clearly felt that they could win enough time for the weapons program to produce at least an initial one or more indigenous nuclear weapons.

Supreme Leader Khamenei reportedly recently asked the 37 top nuclear experts heading the different projects at Natanz, Arak, Esfahan and Kashan, together with Iran's atomic energy commission director, Gholam-reza Aghazadeh when they could deliver the matiriel to produce the first weapons. He was reportedly told, according to DEBKAfile, that the testing of the centrifuges in Natanz could be completed within months and uranium enrichment could begin as soon as December 2003. An enrichment level of 70 percent or more would then be only months away, enabling Iran to build its first basic weapons by, say, mid-2004.

This timetable would mean, then, that while working as rapidly as possible toward a demonstration detonation of a nuclear weapon the clerics would need to (a) demonstrate that they had a delivery system in place and discreetly advise Washington that they did, in fact, have the seven or so ex-Soviet weapons, in order to forestall any possible direct US military action, and (b) initiate diversionary political and terrorist actions as soon as possible while simultaneously working to pin down US Pres. Bush politically until the November 2004 elections. The fact that the US supported by Israel and India cut across the Iranian plans and forced an IAEA confrontation means that the US Bush Administration has become aware of the Iranian nuclear gameplan.

However, there was no immediate recognition in Washington that the Bush Administration had made the connection with the Iranian-backed diversionary plans in the US political arena and presidential elections, nor in the matter of the proposed escalation plans in the Balkans.

On May 13, 2003, GIS/Defense & Foreign Affairs Daily carried a report, Iran, Libya Embarked on Massive Political Influence Campaigns in US, Elsewhere, which noted:

The clerics were ... believed to have allocated as much as $200-million to be spent on psychological or influence operations within the United States itself to achieve indirect access to, and influence over, US policy officials.

Bearing in mind that a US Presidential campaign in 2004 was expected to cost each candidate some $250-million, the Iranian budget would be of a decisive size.

Meanwhile, before the IAEA issue came to a head, Iranian sources were quoted by the London-based Arabic newspaper, Al-Hayat, on September 11, 2003, that Iran had bought nuclear equipment, installations and technology from British companies. The sources did not reveal the names of these companies but pointed out that the purchase took place with the knowledge of British Government. According to the information received by Al-Hayat, the nuclear cooperation between Iran and British companies consisted of building the Natanz and Arak plants which specialize in uranium after Iran recently acquired this technology. The Al-Hayat report came at a time when the escalation between Iran and the United States had expanded to include Iranian relations with members of the European Union. Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi strongly criticized Western countries and accused them of extremism and impudence and trying to wreck the course of cooperation between Iran and the IAEA.

At that time, enriching ith the extent and meaning of the IAEA confrontation becoming apparent, Foreign Minister Kharrazi threatened to rethink Iranian cooperation with the IAEA after it specified a time limit for Iran to reveal all aspects of its nuclear program and sign a protocol to allow stricter international inspection of Iranian [nuclear] plants. This accompanied Tehran's decision to suspend talks with Europe regarding human rights which were scheduled for the end of September 2003.

Significantly, the headlong rush by the Iranian clerics to force the completion of the nuclear weapons development program has caused increasing concern in Saudi Arabia. There has been growing evidence of a revived Saudi attempt to push Pakistan into providing nuclear weapons to the Kingdom, largely as a defensive measure against Iran.

On September 16, 2003, Iranian Pres. Hojjat ol-Eslam (Ali) Mohammad Khatami-Ardakani, faced with the fait accompli of the IAEA-US confrontation, reiterated to a group of Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC: Pasdaran) his Government's determination to acquire nuclear technology for military purposes, saying: It is integral part of the fundamental duties of the Islamic Republic, and one of its most basic principles, to become more and more equipped with science and technology, including nuclear technology. Having made that comment, he then hedged, saying: We don't want nuclear arms, no, no, no, this is against our policy and our faith, but we want to be strong and being strong means to have technology and nuclear technology is the most advanced, one that we would master thanks to the intelligence and the will of our children.

The comments highlighted the uncertainty as to which way the Islamist leadership should move, tactically, in handling the situation, although it has been clear from all ongoing intelligence that the commitment to building nuclear weapons as rapidly as possible was now an absolute priority for the Government. Pres. Khatami did not make any direct comment concerning the resolution adopted on September 12, 2003, by the Board of Governors of the IAEA in Vienna, which called on the Islamic Republic to adhere immediately and unconditionally to the additional Protocols of the Non Proliferation Treaty. The resolution had been formulated by Canada, Japan and Australia and adopted without vote.

One report noted that Hoseyn Shariatmadari, a high-ranking officer of Iranian intelligence services who had been appointed as Chief Editor of the evening daily Keyhan by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, warned the clerical leadership that if they failed to expel Canadian, Australian and Japanese ambassadors from Iran as a result of the IAEA vote, then the Muslim people of Iran would do it themselves. The daily Jomhoori Eslami (Islamic Republic) newspaper, which belongs to Khamenei, noted: [O]ne must accept that North Korean dealing with IAEA and NPT is the correct one.
The DPRK expelled all IAEA experts and left the NPT altogether in December 2002.

Meanwhile, on September 11, 2003, in an action which has not yet been completely explained, four armed men attacked the house of an Iranian nuclear physicist and took all the information stored on his computer. The four men, who wore masks, forcibly entered the home of Dr Ramin, the ex-assistant of the late Dr Mahmoud Hesabi, a noted US- and French-educated physicist. They downloaded the information from his computer, stole the hard-disk and fled. Following Dr Ramin's complaint, the police started an investigation as to the reasons behind the theft of this information and the hard drive. The timing and significance of this incident may, or may not, be relevant.

In summary, however, it is now clear that the Iranian clerical leadership is under considerable time pressure to act on the nuclear question. It remains highly unlikely that the clerics would at this stage abandon what they perceive to be their only strategic umbrella. They have seen what the lack of this capability achieved for Iraqi Pres. Saddam; he was removed quickly and efficiently. The adoption of the DPRK's approach to the nuclear question seems most likely, especially given the close strategic alliance between the two leaderships.

At the same time, the necessity for strategic diversionary action becomes urgent in (a) Iraq, (b) the Balkans, (c) East Asia, with the DPRKs continued cooperation, and (c) in the US political arena. In this regard, the Iranian clerics, along with their al-Qaida-linked allies (particularly those assets in Bosnia) must work strenuously to contain and discredit the US Bush Administration. This will entail a variety of international actions, and support for domestic US political leaders who will attack Pres. Bush. The Clinton and Clark actions during September 2003 in Bosnia and Serbia were, therefore, extremely supportive of the Iranian strategic objectives.

26 posted on 09/22/2003 12:52:56 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn; Grampa Dave; BOBTHENAILER; SAMWolf

Meanwhile France suggested more dialogue, and Russia promised stricter language.

In other news BenLo's wedding will require thousands of UN troops according to the blah blah blah. . . .

27 posted on 09/22/2003 6:55:50 PM PDT by PhilDragoo (Hitlery: das Butch von Buchenvald)
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To: PhilDragoo
Sounds like a plan to me PhilDragoo.
28 posted on 09/22/2003 7:00:55 PM PDT by SAMWolf (, out of taglines!)
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To: F14 Pilot
"...Iran will strongly continue to pursue the policy of peace, justice, freedom and progress for all nations."

All the things the mullahs prevent in Iran.
29 posted on 09/22/2003 8:20:06 PM PDT by nuconvert
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran to scale back cooperation with U.N.

Japan Today
Tuesday, September 23, 2003 at 07:00 JST

TEHRAN — Iran will scale back its cooperation with the U.N. nuclear watchdog in response to the agency's Oct 31 deadline for Tehran to prove its atomic programs are peaceful, Iran's representative to the agency said Monday.

Ali Akbar Salehi said on state television that Iran had been allowing the International Atomic Energy Agency more oversight than required under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty "to show our good will and transparency. On the strict orders of President Mohammad Khatami we allowed IAEA inspectors to take environmental samples and visit non-nuclear sites.

"This has been beyond our obligations, but from now on we will act according to the current regulations," Salehi said.

The United States has accused Iran of running a clandestine nuclear weapons program and wants the IAEA to declare Tehran in violation of the treaty.

A recent IAEA report to its board noted that traces of highly enriched, weapons-grade uranium were found at an Iranian nuclear facility, and said tests run by Iran make little sense unless the country is pursuing nuclear weaponry.

Tehran insists its nuclear programs are designed to generate electricity and that its equipment was "contaminated" with enriched uranium by a previous owner.

The IAEA has pressed Iran to detail its nuclear program and sign an additional protocol letting agency inspectors conduct in-depth checks of nuclear facilities.

Iran has said repeatedly it would agree to unfettered inspections if it is granted access to advanced nuclear technology as provided for under the nonproliferation treaty. Tehran says Washington is keeping Iran from getting that technology.

The IAEA's board of governors set the deadline on Sept 12. The deadline was agreed to on the basis of IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei's report.

On Monday, Salehi criticized the decision to set a deadline but did not say whether Iran would try to meet it.

"Many members of IAEA were surprised that despite Iran's very good cooperation with the agency, some countries were pushing for a deadline," he said. "Irrespective of whether we oppose or agree to the deadline, setting a deadline from the logical point of view is unacceptable. Mr ElBaradei was also opposed to the deadline." (Wire reports)
30 posted on 09/22/2003 8:39:01 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Iran to scale back cooperation with U.N.

Japan Today
Tuesday, September 23, 2003 at 07:00 JST
31 posted on 09/22/2003 8:39:48 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
iran, russia, united states: A warning to Washington

Monday Morning

Russia warned the United States last week not to pressure it over its nuclear links with Iran as the top US arms control official arrived in Moscow to discuss fresh US charges of Russian arms deliveries to Teheran.
“I think our American colleagues understand very well that it is pointless to put pressure on us”, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Kislyak said in an interview published in the Vremya Novostei daily.

“We have our points of view. To the extent that they coincide with that of the Americans, we are ready to work and we are working together to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction”.

The Russian official’s comments came ahead of his meeting with John Bolton, the under-secretary of state for arms control and international security.

Washington, which has repeatedly urged Moscow to halt its construction of Iran’s first nuclear reactor, Bushehr, accused it of arms deliveries to Iran although it waived sanctions against Russia in the US national interest.
At the same time, the State Department imposed penalties on a Russian government-owned company that it said had sold laser-guided artillery shells to Iran, a country Washington considers a “state sponsor of terrorism”.

The United States has made similar charges against Russia in the past and has expressed deep and growing concerns about Russian cooperation with Iran’s nuclear program, which Washington believes is a cover for atomic weapons development.

The Russian government and the companies have repeatedly denied the charges.

Iran and other proliferation issues were expected to top Bolton’s agenda during his trip to Russia.

Moscow has recently hardened its non-proliferation stance, endorsing an October 31 deadline by the UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) monitoring group for Teheran to address concerns about its atomic program.

But Russia’s powerful nuclear industry lobby is determined to press ahead with the 800-million-dollar construction at Bushehr, regardless of concerns that Teheran may be seeking to develop nuclear weapons.

Iran may be seeking to dampen fears it could follow the path of North Korea and pull out of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, but officials in Teheran have yet to swallow their anger over what they see as an unfair ultimatum issued by the IAEA.

“Iran is fully committed to its NPT responsibilities, not only because of its contractual obligation but also because of its religious and ethical considerations”, Iranian vice-president and atomic energy agency chief Gholamreza Aghazadeh said.

His comments, in Vienna to a general conference of the IEAE’s 136 member states, came after widespread anger in Iran over a resolution that gives the Islamic republic until October 31 to clear up widespread suspicions it is using an atomic energy program as a cover for nuclear weapons development.
32 posted on 09/22/2003 8:42:35 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran Seeks Improved Ties

Riyadh Daily

President Mohammad Khatami asserted Monday that the country remained intent on improving relations with the outside world, but needed nevertheless to boost its military technology. “Despite all the pressure from our enemies, we will pursue our policy of détente, but we also insist on becoming stronger-militarily, politically and economically,” the reformist president said in a speech at a military parade marking the anniversary of the outbreak of the 1980-88 war with Iraq. .......
33 posted on 09/22/2003 8:43:45 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran defies ultimatum by nuclear watchdog

By Anton La Guardia, Diplomatic Editor
(Filed: 23/09/2003)

Iran defied international pressure over its nuclear programme last night when it announced it would scale back its co-operation with United Nations inspectors.

The announcement came hours after Iranian forces paraded six of the newly deployed Shahab-3 missiles, with a range of around 800 miles, able to reach most parts of the Middle East.

The belligerent moves are a reaction to an ultimatum by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN nuclear watchdog, which demanded that Iran come clean about its nuclear programme by the end of October, or face the possibility of UN sanctions.

Ali Akbar Salehi, the Iranian envoy to the IAEA, said on state television that Iran had been allowing the inspectors greater access than allowed under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) "to show our good will and transparency".

"This has been beyond our obligations, but from now on we will act according to the current regulations."

Mr Salehi did not give details of what, if any, inspections would be allowed or blocked. He stopped short of threatening to withdraw from the Non-Proliferation Treaty, and said Iran would continue talks with the IAEA on signing up to intrusive inspections known as the Additional Protocol.

Nevertheless, Iran could put itself on a collision course with the West if it carries through the threat to reduce co-operation. The IAEA still wants to carry out a battery of tests and inspections.

Iran's reformist president, Mohammad Khatami, said the large military parade in Teheran, at which the sand-coloured Shahab-3 missiles were shown off, should not be read as sabre-rattling.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran's policy is based on detente," he said. "We are opposed to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and nuclear weapons but we insist on our absolute right to be powerful in the scientific and technological arena."
34 posted on 09/22/2003 8:44:54 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran Response to IAEA Ultimatum When Necessary

Al Jazeerah
Agencies, Arab News

TEHRAN, 22 September 2003 — Iran reserves the right to respond to an ultimatum from the UN’s nuclear watchdog “before or after” an Oct. 31 deadline for Tehran to come clean on its atomic program, the Foreign Ministry said yesterday.

“We still have time before the 31st of October. We will respond when it will be necessary, before or after the 31st of October,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told reporters here.

“The resolution is being examined by the concerned officials and this examination is not yet finished,” he said.

“When it is complete, we will say so and give our response to the agency, and we will give our clear and definitive position,” he said, adding that formulating a response to the agency was “complex and very delicate”.

A week ago, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) gave Iran until the end of October to clear up widespread suspicions that it is using an atomic energy program as a cover for nuclear weapons development.

The resolution, passed by the IAEA’s board of governors after intensive US lobbying, demands Iran answer all the agency’s questions regarding its enrichment activities, provide unrestricted access to UN inspectors and a detailed list of its nuclear-related imports.

Iran fiercely denies it is seeking to acquire nuclear weapons, but its failure to comply could lead to Iran being declared in non-compliance with the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), with the matter being passed to the UN Security Council.

But despite a string of top officials here already blasting the ultimatum and with little sign that increased IAEA inspections will be allowed, Asefi said it was too early to talk of Iran’s increased isolation or the prospect of sanctions.

“But what I can say, generally, is that the Islamic Republic of Iran is sufficiently powerful to continue on its path by drawing on its own capacities,” he said.

But he also asserted his belief that the issue had not come to an impasse, and emphasized that the Foreign Ministry had yet to call for Iran to pull out of the NPT.

A number of hard-liners here have already urged Iran’s leaders to follow or consider following the path of North Korea, which pulled out of the treaty. Asefi also confirmed Iran had received a letter from Britain, France and Germany aimed at resolving the stalemate over inspections.

But he dismissed media reports suggesting that the European trio had offered a deal to Tehran in exchange for a “confidence building gesture” from Iran.

Asefi refused to divulge the content of the letter — sent before the IAEA resolution was passed on Sept. 12 — but said that the European and US position vis-a-vis Iran appeared to be “identical”.

“We were expecting the Europeans to be independent and take the realities into account,” he complained.

Meanwhile, Iran kicks off “Sacred Defense Week” today, with a timely show of national unity and military might to mark the outbreak of its 1980-88 war against Iraq.

The week will see a drive-by of ballistic missiles, tanks and troops today, followed by a series of events including photo exhibitions, film screenings and recitations of poetry.

The week is dedicated to the hundreds of thousands of Iranians killed after the forces of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein invaded in 1980.

State television has already begun drumming up memories of the bloody conflict by the intermittent carrying of historical footage from the trenches. For the military parade, the hard-line Kayhan newspaper declared yesterday that the new Shahab-3 missile — only recently handed over for operation to Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards — would be also put on show.

With a range of some 1,500 kilometers, the missile has already set alarm bells ringing in Israel.

Supreme leader Ali Khamenei, who wields absolute power in the country, has also declared that Iran’s “armed forces are dynamic and capable, and by relying on people’s affections, will resolutely carry out their tough responsibilities.”

“The enemies of humanity,” he was quoted as telling members of the armed forces Saturday, “are now using malicious propaganda to say that the Iranian people are seeking to acquire the atomic bomb in order to present the Islamic republic as a threat to regional and world peace."
35 posted on 09/22/2003 8:46:21 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran says it expects no sanctions, no deadlock over its nuclear program

Tehran, Iran-AP -- Iran says it's still studying an October deadline set by the U-N atomic agency for Tehran to disclose its nuclear secrets but doesn't expect there will be U-N sanctions.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi says Iran will respond to the deadline "when it's necessary."

The U-N atomic agency told Iran earlier this month to prove by October 31st that its nuclear aims are peaceful.

Iran insists its nuclear program is for generating electricity but the United States suspects the country is secretly trying to build nuclear weapons.

Asefi renewed Iran's offer to the United States and other Western nations to join projects for the construction of nuclear power plants to ease their concerns over Iran's intentions.

Asefi also called on the European Union not to pursue Washington's hard-line approach on Iran's nuclear program.
36 posted on 09/22/2003 8:50:14 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
"necessity for strategic diversionary action becomes urgent in
(a) Iraq, (b) the Balkans, (c) East Asia, with the DPRK

All of the above

Keeping the regime busy.
37 posted on 09/22/2003 9:00:07 PM PDT by nuconvert
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To: DoctorZIn; Grampa Dave; BOBTHENAILER
a deal among the United States and other Western powers that would allow the current leadership to remain in power

A nonstarter. No deals with terrorists. W is not Peanut Carter nor traitorrapist42.

Appeasing nuclear wannabes is so last administration.

Atomic or emetic?

38 posted on 09/22/2003 9:34:29 PM PDT by PhilDragoo (Hitlery: das Butch von Buchenvald)
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
US plans to attack seven Muslim states

AlJazeera ^ | 9/22/03 | staff
Posted on 09/22/2003 8:53 PM PDT by Mark Felton

Monday 22 September 2003, 23:08 Makka Time, 20:08 GMT
Wesley Clark slams plot to attack seven Muslim states after 9/11

Presidential hopeful General Wesley Clark says the White House devised a five-year plan after the 9/11 strikes to attack seven majority-Muslim countries.

A former commander of NATO's forces in Europe, Clark claims he met a senior military officer in Washington in November 2001 who told him the Bush administration was planning to attack Iraq first before taking action against Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia and Sudan....
39 posted on 09/22/2003 9:35:07 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
U.S., Turkey Reach Agreement on Hefty Loan

Reuters ^ | Sep 22, 2003 | Glenn Somerville and Anna Willard
Posted on 09/22/2003 9:19 AM PDT by optimistically_conservative

DUBAI (Reuters) - The United States and Turkey on Monday finalized an $8.5 billion loan pact to bolster the Turkish economy and offset costs incurred during the U.S.-led war against Iraq (news - web sites).

U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow, who negotiated with Turkish officials in the early hours of Monday morning to seal the deal, said the pact would not compel Turkey to send peacekeeping troops to Iraq.

"This assistance package offered by the U.S. to Turkey and the deployment of Turkish troops in Iraq are two separate issues," Snow said.

The agreement does, however, require the country to cooperate with the United States in Iraq....
40 posted on 09/22/2003 9:38:18 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn; Grampa Dave; BOBTHENAILER
A former commander of NATO's forces in Europe, Clark claims he met a senior military officer in Washington in November 2001 who told him the Bush administration was planning to attack Iraq first before taking action against Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia and Sudan....

Weasel Clark Lying Zone

41 posted on 09/22/2003 9:42:48 PM PDT by PhilDragoo (Hitlery: das Butch von Buchenvald)
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To: DoctorZIn
A former commander of NATO's forces in Europe, Clark claims he met a senior military officer in Washington in November 2001 who told him the Bush administration was planning to attack Iraq first before taking action against Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia and Sudan....


What will we use for troops to occupy all these places?

42 posted on 09/22/2003 10:13:00 PM PDT by RLK
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To: DoctorZIn
This thread is now closed.

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”

43 posted on 09/23/2003 12:01:21 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: PhilDragoo
44 posted on 09/23/2003 6:16:06 AM PDT by nuconvert
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To: DoctorZIn
A former commander of NATO's forces in Europe, Clark claims he met a senior military officer in Washington in November 2001 who told him the Bush administration was planning to attack Iraq first before taking action against Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia and Sudan....

Yup. Right after he got the call presuring him to lie, and and just before he called Karl Rove.


45 posted on 09/23/2003 6:20:36 AM PDT by Becki (Pray continually for our leaders and our troops!)
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