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Iranian Alert -- September 23, 2003 -- IRAN LIVE THREAD PING LIST
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^
Posted on 09/23/2003 12:01:14 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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IOC working out deals with Iraq, Iran
Singapore, Sept. 23. (UNI):
Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) is working on two major commercial deals with Iraq and Iran to import 200,000 tonnes a month of crude and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).
IOC chairman, M S Ramachandran, said today the company was to sign a 200,000 tonnes a month crude oil import contract with Iraqs State Oil Marketing Organization (SOMO) next month, for October-December.
The contract will be renewed next year at a later date, he said.
IOC is also negotiating with National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) to import LNG under an integrated commercial deal, which would see Indian investment in the upstream and downstream Iranian oil and gas industry.
Ramachandran, however, gave no time-frame for LNG import, but conceded it would likely be in about three to four years.
IOC is Indias largest oil importer, accounting for half of the 1.6 million b/d imports, mostly from the Middle East.
He said IOC would also sign a term contract with BP Plc next month to import Gulf of Suez mixed crude oil during October-November period.
Speaking at the Asia Pacific Petroleum Conference here, he said IOCs recent term contracts included for the first time a 500,000 tonnes a year crude oil import from Brunei, delivery of which would began in August.
These contracts were to diversify IOC's crude oil import from international producers.
Ramachandran said India had also become a major petroleum product exporter, having supplied 10.3 million tonnes to the West Asian markets, which at present faced refining deficits. http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/holnus/06231905.htm
Reform or revolution, Iran's hard choice
By Tomaj Keyvani
Speaking Freely is an Asia Times Online feature that allows guest writers to have their say. Please click here if you are interested in contributing.
There's great uncertainty about the future of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Internal unrest and power struggles combined with external threats from the United States and a neighborhood in disorder make most experts believe that some kind of change is coming. The only question is, how?
The scenarios are many, from peaceful reform to a violent revolution, or even the possibility of a US invasion, although the latter is less likely as the Americans are under constant attack in Iraq and in search of a seemingly uncatchable enemy in Afghanistan. The question is, then, reform or revolution?
To answer this we can search for clues in the 1979 Islamic revolution that threw out the monarchy, and even though many things have changed in Iranian society and politics since then, there exist some pre-revolutionary factors that have remained quite static through history.
One of these is the importance of the economic well-being of the nation and its people. The period close to the 1979 revolution was characterized by economic recession, high inflation and high (and rising) unemployment after the economic boom in the 1960s and early 1970s. Together with the extremely unequal distribution of the wealth from oil, this was one of the major reasons for the civil unrest that developed into a revolution.
The Iranian economy is doing fine at the moment, although I wouldn't call it a boom. The economy has had significant growth since the late 1990s, with an average gross domestic product (GDP) increase of 5.7 percent over the past three years, and a steady diversification away from oil dependence.
But the growth has been possible to a large degree because of a relatively high oil price and increased domestic consumption, something that probably will change as Iraq gets its oil production up and the Iranian domestic market is satisfied. The trade surplus that Iran has had during the past years, with which the government has succeeded in building up the oil stabilization fund (enough for 10 months of imports), is predicted to change to a deficit during 2004 as a result of the fall in the price of oil. And similarly, the surplus of 2.1 percent for 2003's budget is estimated to shift to a 3 percent (of GDP) fall.
Summing up, one can see a change in economic trends to the negative, and adding the unemployment rate of 20-25 percent to this, with a need for about 900,000 new jobs each year, (currently 450,000 new jobs are created each year), this points to further discontent, especially among the youth. And similar to the 1970s, economic gains are going to a small elite and an extreme inequality exists between rich and poor, with the clerics in power standing on top of the ladder, something that is not unnoticed by common people.
This split between the clerical leaders and common people is becoming more and more visible, and besides their economic position, the clerical elite gain from several privileges in today's Iranian society. They are alienated from ordinary people in the same way that the Shah and the elite around him were during his last years in power. The widened gap between social groups was then maybe the most important reason for poor people to join the revolutionary movement, and certainly this can be shown to be true for 2003 as the differences are becoming more visible on the streets of Tehran.
Something else that's becoming more visible is the Western fashion worn by the youth and MTV music played on their stereos. Although this is in complete contrast to the 1970s youth, the struggle is basically the same today, and teenagers born after the revolution are fighting against a cultural dominance in the same way that their parents or older brothers and sisters did back then. In the 1970s it was the Shah's aggressive and untactful introduction of Western ways of living, and now it's against a maybe even more aggressive and untactful conservative Islamic cultural dominance. Both were and are disrespectful intrusions into ordinary people's lives, and as the experience of the 1970s showed us, the youth are likely to change their situation. Whether they do that slowly through reform or a fierce revolution is to be seen.
The trigger point is whether the clerical leadership will allow the people to have real political power or not. The student uprising a few years ago was calmed down to a degree by the belief that the more liberal President Mohammed Khatami would reform the system, and as we know, he was, to put it mildly, not too successful. Public discontent was a direct result, with a sharp decline for the reformists at the municipal elections this year. For example, there was only a 12 percent voter turnout in the capital Tehran. Besides criticizing Khatami's failures, people blame hardcore right-wingers in the government for refusing to allow changes in the system, and a feeling that legal political activity is useless is manifest throughout the populace.
This situation existed in a similar manner during the Shah's rule and was the main reason for otherwise peaceful intellectuals to revert to violent forms of politics, thus creating guerrilla militant actions that in turn resulted in even more oppression from the Shah's side. Even though the creation of guerrillas is unlikely in the present situation, the feeling that political action within the framework of the Islamic Republic is useless will lead to a radicalized opposition.
After the recent clashes between reformists and conservatives, many people believe that political activity is useless as they see their efforts in parliament (majlis) being reduced to nothing by the spiritual leader and the Guardian Council's veto rights, their leaders being arrested by a right-wing judiciary and murdered by conservative militias, their newspapers closed down with the editors facing charges and their demonstrators being beaten up and arrested. All these things have proved to people that the conservative leadership is not ready to give up supreme rule, and further desperation is likely. These same things happened during the 1970s, and back then the people responded by revolting and creating a new order.
But there are as yet no real signs that the same fate awaits the Islamic Republic. There can be several reasons for this. One of the strongest attributes of the Islamic Republic is that, unlike any other ruler or government (with the exception of the 1906 constitutional rule) in Iran's history, it was chosen by the people. In contrast, the Shah was appointed to take over by the British and Russians after his father's forced abdication by the very same. The Islamic Republic was voted for by an enormous majority of the people after the revolution in 1979, and this gives it a certain legitimacy no other Iranian rulers have had before.
Another difference between the Islamic Republic and the Shah is that the Shah was considered a puppet of the West who not only sold out the country to the Americans but also ignored Iranian traditions and culture. The Islamic Republic is not considered to be selling out the country in the same way, rather ruining it, and although people in general despise the conservative form of Shi'ite doctrine the elite stands for, no one can deny that Shi'ism has firm roots in Iranian history.
The third reason a revolution is unlikely, and maybe the most important one, is that the opposition has no answers to what or who will replace the Islamic Republic, and as long as people don't have an alternative to fight for they will have difficulty organizing themselves.
Whatever happens, one can be certain that any US military pressure on Iran will lead to less space for reformists to act on the internal scene, as Iranians are likely to forget internal problems and focus on the external threat in the same way they did during the Iraqi invasion of Iran. This would in turn lead to the conservatives getting the time they need to consolidate their power and purge the internal ranks in the same way they did in the long war of 1980-88.
Tomaj Keyvani is studying for a master's degree in Middle East studies at Uppsala University, Sweden. He can be contacted at email@example.com. http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/EI24Ak01.html
To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
"... the astonishing refusal of school students to chant the regime's anthem and instead to chant the banned Iranian National Anthem "Oh, Iran...!"
"...students turning their backs during the official opening ceremonies of several schools have been reported as well as sporadic slogans against the regime and its leaders."
"..the last year of the Islamic republic rule."
If Iranians unite, their numbers will overwhelm the regime
"The third reason a revolution is unlikely, and maybe the most important one, is that the opposition has no answers to what or who will replace the Islamic Republic, and as long as people don't have an alternative to fight for they will have difficulty organizing themselves."
Yes. Agree. Uniting for change isn't enough. Too vague.
They need to have potential leaders to organize behind, or call for a specific form of government ; something tangible, not just a concept.
To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Defects of regime's officials continue
SMCCDI (Information Service)
Sep 23, 2003
The wave of defections continue among officials and related to the Islamic republic regime.
The last defector is "Massood Sadeghi" who was the Islamic republic's Consul in Romania.
Many of the relatives of the regime are escaping as well from the country and are rushing toward Canada, European countries and the Emirate of Dubai located in the UAE.
Millions of dollars are exiting the country due to these defections stating on the low moral of the regime's supporters. http://www.daneshjoo.org/generalnews/article/publish/article_2518.shtml
Iran to open trial in journalist's killing
UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 23
Canadian Foreign Minister Bill Graham said on Tuesday Iran has given assurances that the trial of an intelligence agent charged in the death of a Canadian journalist will be open to participation by Ottawa and the journalist's family.
Speaking to reporters after meeting his Iranian counterpart, Graham said Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi ''confirmed with me that charges have been laid against an intelligence officer in the Iranian system.''
Canada was also assured there will be a trial under Iranian law ''in which we (Canada) as a government will have access. It will be an open trial in which we will be able to participate and that the family of Madame (Zahra) Kazemi ... will be able to participate with legal representation,'' Graham said.
Kazemi's death in Iranian custody in July led to a diplomatic dispute between Iran and Canada and highlighted rivalries between Iranian hardliners who control the judiciary and the reformist-controlled Intelligence Ministry.
Graham said the case is a political issue in Iran and ''that we wish to, by bringing attention to it and working on it, reinforce the position of reformers in Iran.'' http://famulus.msnbc.com/FamulusIntl/reuters09-23-115632.asp?reg=MIDEAST
Test for powerful security apparatus; Iran agent to face Kazemi murder trial
TEHRAN,(Agencies): An Iranian court is to try an Intelligence Ministry interrogator for the "semi-intentional" murder of a Canadian journalist in a rare test of the accountability of Iran's powerful security apparatus. The death in custody of Zahra Kazemi in July led to a diplomatic dispute between Iran and Canada and highlighted rivalries between Iranian hardliners who control the judiciary and the reformist controlled Intelligence Ministry. "The case is going to court now that it has been approved by the Tehran prosecutor's office," a judiciary official told Reuters on Tuesday without giving further details. The state-run Iran newspaper said earlier on Tuesday a judge had filed charges against the Intelligence Ministry interrogator, but had dismissed the case against a second agent.
Moderate President Mohammad Khatami appointed a new head of the Intelligence Ministry in 1999 and ensured the unprecedented prosecution of a number of "rogue agents" for killing a string of dissidents. Nine agents eventually received prison terms, but the ring-leader died in jail after drinking hair-remover in what court officials said was a suicide. Despite his efforts, Khatami has largely failed to get the upper and over powerful conservatives within the state despite a pair of overwhelming election victories in 1997 and 2001. http://www.arabtimesonline.com/arabtimes/world/Viewdet.asp?ID=1153&cat=b
Iran says accepts British request for help in Iraq
DUBAI, Sept. 23
Iran said on Tuesday it was ready to help rebuild war-torn Iraq despite its opposition to the occupation of its neighbour by U.S. and British forces.
Iran's Economy and Finance Minister Tahmasb Mazaheri told Reuters that Britain had asked his country to play a role in Iraq's reconstruction, although Tehran does not recognise the U.S. administration in Baghdad.
''In our contacts with the British government, they have invited us to play our part and we said we are ready,'' he said during a visit to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
''America and Britain cannot ignore Iran. Iran is a neighbour of Iraq and can offer a lot in the way of resources and services,'' the minister said.
He did not set any conditions for helping.
Tehran, which itself fought a war with Baghdad in 1980-88, denounced the United States' invasion of Iraq in March. Washington for its part has accused Tehran of meddling in Iraq's internal affairs, a charge Iran denies. http://famulus.msnbc.com/FamulusIntl/reuters09-23-095214.asp?reg=MIDEAST
Headline: IAEA team to visit Iran on 26th -- Detail Story
VIENNA: The UN nuclear watchdog is to send its first inspection team to Iran on Friday (Sept 26) since imposing an Oct 31 deadline on Tehran to prove it is not secretly developing nuclear weapons, a spokeswoman said.
"The first mission is leaving on Friday and what will follow will be a lot of talks and inspections," Melissa Fleming said.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had on Sept 12 imposed the deadline on Iran, also urging it to suspend enriching uranium which the United States claims could be used to make nuclear bombs.
Iranian atomic energy agency chief Gholamreza Aghazadeh on Sept 15 told an IAEA conference in Vienna that Iran remained fully committed to cooperating with the agency and honouring the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), despite its objections to being handed a deadline.
But Ali Akbar Salehi, Iran's ambassador to the IAEA, said in a newspaper report in Tehran on Monday that Iran had so far "cooperated beyond the (current nuclear anti-proliferation) accords and allowed the taking of (environmental) samples and inspections of non-nuclear sites".
Mr Salehi said that in the future Iran would go no further than its commitments under the NPT, "while completing what has been embarked upon".
He said Iran would continue talks with the IAEA on signing an additional protocol to allow IAEA inspectors to make surprise visits to suspect sites.
Melissa Fleming said the IAEA had "received nothing officially" from Tehran in the line of Mr Salehi's comments and was "moving forward with a very detailed and intense plan of work."
"This plan has been submitted to Iran so they are fully aware of what is required from their side and also from the work that the IAEA needs to do over this next period until Oct 31," Ms Fleming said. http://www.hipakistan.com/en/detail.php?newsId=en39714&F_catID=&f_type=source
Wesley Clark calls for US Attack on Iran
RadioFarda ^ | 9/23/03 | RadioFarda
Posted on 09/23/2003 4:50 PM PDT by Persia
In his book on terrorism, democrat presidential hopeful General Wesley Clark calls for a US attack on Iran. He argues that Iran, with its mass destruction weapons programs and its support of terrorism, threatens the US national security more than Iraq ever did. (Alireza Taheri)
Former US President Bill Clinton and Senator Hillary Clinton support the candidacy of General Wesley Clark, possibly in the hopes that he would step aside and accept to become a running mate of Ms. Clinton, if they later feel that the state of economy makes President Bush vulnerable, writes William Safire in the New York Times. (Behnam Nateghi, New York) http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/988037/posts
and hopes that Russia will suspend its cooperation with Tehran's nuclear program until Iran fully cooperates with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
I hope Ivan understands that playing with the mullahs might get him killed. Putin's rebel [Reuters, AP, ABC) problems (Islamic terrorist), will only get worse with a nuclear armed theocracy on the Bear's southern border.
posted on 09/23/2003 10:56:36 PM PDT
by M Kehoe
To: M Kehoe
I think Putin is getting the message.
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