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Iranian Alert -- September 22, 2003 -- IRAN LIVE THREAD PING LIST
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^
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
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posted on 09/22/2003 12:07:29 AM PDT
To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
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posted on 09/22/2003 12:08:33 AM PDT
TO PREVENT THE COLLAPSE OF THE REGIME, IRAN MUST LEAVE THE NPT.
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 Agencys 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 watchdogs 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 Republics 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 Shariatmadari, a high-ranking intelligence officer specialising in interrogating intellectual and political dissidents appointed by Mr. Khamenehi 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. Shariatmadari 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. Shariatmadari concluded, noting that announcing Irans 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 Irans decision about it, the Foreign Affairs Ministrys 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 IIPFs newspaper, if the worlds major nations have coalesced against Iran it is because of the ruling conservatives "wrong policies taken at wrong moments". ENDS IAEA IRAN NUCLEAR 21903 http://www.iran-press-service.com/articles_2003/Sept-2003/iaea_iran_nuke_21903.htm
posted on 09/22/2003 12:13:47 AM PDT
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 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A44921-2003Sep21.html
posted on 09/22/2003 12:16:19 AM PDT
To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
posted on 09/22/2003 12:17:25 AM PDT
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. http://www.daneshjoo.org/generalnews/article/publish/article_2478.shtml
posted on 09/22/2003 12:23:15 AM PDT
What will the corrupt party say when regime change happens in Iran, Iraq gets better and GDP increases to 4% growth in 2004?
posted on 09/22/2003 12:28:25 AM PDT
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." http://www.tehrantimes.com/Description.asp?Da=9/22/03&Cat=2&Num=023
posted on 09/22/2003 12:41:00 AM PDT
by F14 Pilot
I just heard on FOX that Iran is recognizing today as the 23rd (I think they said) anniversary of the Iran/Iraq war.
posted on 09/22/2003 6:34:09 AM PDT
(Brought to you by The American Democratic Party, also known as Al Qaeda, Western Division.)
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. http://www.irna.ir/
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. http://www.irna.ir/#2003_09_2215_25_141
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. http://money.iwon.com/jsp/nw/nwdt_rt_top.jsp?cat=TOPBIZ&src=201&feed=reu§ion=news&news_id=reu-l21550374&date=20030921&alias=/alias/money/cm/nw
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. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A45696-2003Sep22.html
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. http://www.csmonitor.com/2003/0922/p01s03-woiq.html
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. http://iranvajahan.net/cgi-bin/news.pl?l=en&y=2003&m=09&d=22&a=5
posted on 09/22/2003 8:54:51 AM PDT
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 Haddams 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 Washingtons refusal to re-activate the Kirkuk-Syrian oil pipeline which in Saddam Husseins 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 sheikhs 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-Weeklys 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 Hanjanis 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 Anazas 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 Husseins smuggled oil exports to Syrias 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 Husseins 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. DEBKAfiles 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 DEBKAfiles 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.
DEBKAfiles 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 Tirawis 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. http://www.debka.com/article.php?aid=569
Iran Vows to Increase Military Strength
September 22, 2003
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.
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."
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. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3129138.stm
Iran's aL-Qaeda Problem Won't Go Away
September 22, 2003
Radio Free Europe
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." http://www.rferl.org/iran-report/
US uses Iran nuke plan to politicize Moscow confab
Sunday, September 21, 2003 - ©2003 IranMania.com
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. http://www.iranmania.com/News/ArticleView/Default.asp?NewsCode=18151&NewsKind=Current%20Affairs
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