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Iranian Alert -- September 26, 2003 -- IRAN LIVE THREAD PING LIST
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 9.26.2003 | DoctorZin

Posted on 09/26/2003 12:18:51 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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1 posted on 09/26/2003 12:18:53 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 09/26/2003 12:19:40 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
How to stop Iran's radical clerics from adopting the nuclear option

By Dr. Assad Homayoun
Thursday, September 25, 2003
Dr. Assad Homayoun is president of the Azadegan Foundation, which advocates a secular democratic government in Iran and contributes to the formulation of U.S. foreign policy.

Geopolitically, Iran's quest for nuclear power is not out of the question.

Iran is located in a critical area, between two zones of energy, the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea, which contains 70 percent of the world’s known oil reserve and 60 percent of its natural gas. It has a 1,570-mile coastline on the Persian Gulf and Sea of Oman, with command of the strategic Strait of Hormuz. It rightly sees itself as a regional power.

Iran has borders with 15 countries, with no single strategic friend on its long borders. It has been invaded many times. Iraq invaded Iran in the 1990s, and used chemical and biological weapons, killing tens of thousands of Iranians. Iran has been also subjected to more missile attacks than any country in the past 50 years.

Iran already has one nuclear power on its border: Pakistan, which has half of Iran’s territory and twice its population. Pakistan could pose a grave danger to Iran if, for example, Pakistan President Gen. Pervez Musharraf was removed from power and Islamists gained control of the nuclear installations. Also Israel, India, Russia and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in the vicinity of Iran possess nuclear capabilities.

Iran is indeed an important force that can contribute immensely, for peace or for the destabilization of the region. Unfortunately the present Administration in Iran has chosen the latter.

Since the nuclear policy of Iran is becoming a significant international issue, an important question arises as to whether or not Iran should acquire military nuclear capabilities. Given the fact that Iran is located in pivotal strategic area with five nuclear powers in the immediate vicinity, we must understand Iran ’s defense deeds and consider what kind of defense policy Iran should adopt.

Iran can choose four roads for its national security and defense:

1. It can do nothing. This is not going to be an option. No government in Iran could agree to leave the country defenseless in light of the many historical invasions. As U.S. Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet stated in his recent testimony to the U.S. Congress, no Iranian Government, regardless of its ideological leanings, was likely to abandon a program to develop weapons of mass destruction.

2. Follow a nuclear-free zone policy. Several countries in the Middle East in the past several decades proposed regional non-proliferation agreements or a “nuclear weapons-free zone”. This notion has been discussed and was proposed and followed in the United Nations many time by Iran and Egypt in 1974, and in 1981, and by Egypt again in 1990, but did not go anywhere. A weapons of mass destruction-free zone (WMFZ) initiative is not possible in the region, and therefore it is not going to be an option. Israel will never give up its nuclear ambition, because it thinks it serves as deterrence for its survival against its hostile neighbors. [The same can be said for Pakistan and India.]

3. U.S. or NATO agreement/protection. There could be some agreement with the United States or NATO for Iran to come under some sort of defensive umbrella to guarantee its security in case of a possible threat. This option is neither possible nor practical, especially with a regime in power which has committed itself to support of international terrorism and the promotion of radical Islam. If Iran was controlled by a moderate democratic government, then this option could be a possibility, but never under the present administration.

4. The last option is that Iran becomes a military nuclear state. Presently, it seems that this is the policy of the administration in Tehran, and it is a policy which may be now coming close to reality. Iran has invested too much money, scientific, technological talent and pride in building its nuclear infrastructure, and it is unlikely to abandon completely its desire of acquiring nuclear technology.
The most likely promoter of nuclear policy is Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsansani, the former President, who is, more than anybody else, behind the broad spectrum of international terrorism. On several occasions in the past, he openly pronounced and spoke on nuclear weapon-related issues. Mr Rafsanjani, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamene’i, and other top leaders of the Islamic republic see nuclear weapons as a source of national power.

Significantly, however, they primarily think of nuclear weapons as an instrument to advance their radical fundamentalist and terrorist cause rather than for the national security and defense of Iran.

The problem is that, on one hand Iran needs to secure its defense in this pivotal strategic region which is volatile with many ethnic cultural and religious rivalries; while on the other hand neither the people of Iran nor the world could tolerate a nuclear theocracy which was the fountainhead of international terrorism and has based its rule on force, repression and the terror of its people.

What should be done?

Iran is close to the point of no return. Diplomatic and economic pressure will not be effective. Even the UN Security Council’s resolution will not change the decision of the clerical leadership of Iran to become a nuclear power.

In fact, it is possible that the [ruling clerics] have already secured or created some dirty bombs for terrorist purposes and have even secured a few existing nuclear warheads from the former Soviet Union, to be mounted on their Shihab-3 missiles.

Some observers believe that it would be height of folly if the Iranian clerical Administration did not sign and ratify the IAEA's "New Safeguards Measures" known as “program 93 + 2”. I believe that even if the clerics decided to sign the New Safeguards Measures of IAEA, their regime would not ratify it. There would be many ways and means to escape from the watchful eyes of IAEA. Moreover, the new Protocols System is not foolproof, and even by signing the Safeguard Measures, the regime could avoid ratification. On September 12, 2003 , the Board of Governors of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) issued a strongly-worded resolution which gave the clerics a deadline of October 31, 2003 , to dispel all doubt about their nuclear ambition. We have to wait to see the reaction of the clerics. Knowing the nature of the theocratic rulers, they may resort to dissimulation, which is allowed in Shi’a religious philosophy as a “pious fraud” to deceive and mislead, in order to buy time to reach a goal.

The best and most feasible way to solve the problems of WMD, terrorism and anti-peace activities of the Iranian clerical leadership is to support, openly and enthusiastically, the people of Iran who are ready and resolved to change the national leadership of Iran. I believe that the policies of U.S. President George W. Bush are in the right direction, but those policies should be implemented and followed in a unified way, openly and without wavering. This is the safest and the best option for the U.S. and Europe to achieve peace in the region and to help the Iranian people. I am sure that after the downfall of the clerical regime, a responsible government could come to some sort of arrangement with U.S. and NATO to guarantee the security of Iran and help remove the reasons for Iran’s drive to become nuclear. This would prevent the volatile region from entering into a nuclear arms race.

I firmly believe that it is time, and indeed the acme of patriotism, for the Iranian Armed Forces and the Revolutionary Guards, who are guarantors of integrity of Iran, to discontinue their support for the clerics' regime. They must help the people to establish a representative democratic government. They must come to their senses and prevent conflict with U.S. and possible attacks on Iranian military, technological and economic, installations.

Iran must be a perpetrator of peace, not terrorism.

3 posted on 09/26/2003 12:23:19 AM PDT by Pro-Bush (If a stealth bomber crashes in a forest, will it make a sound?)
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To: DoctorZIn
The Torture and Death of Canadian Photojournalist Zahra Kazemi At The Hands of Iran's Judicial Authority

By: Ayelet Savyon

On September 22, 2003, an agent of Iran's Intelligence Ministry was charged with the murder of Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi. Commenting on the arrest, a spokesman from the prosecutor's office said "The crime is attributed to one of the [Intelligence Ministry] interrogators," and added that no government body was involved. [1]

Kazemi, of Iranian origin, was arrested on June 23, 2003 after photographing and interviewing relatives of detainees arrested during riots in Tehran. Subsequently, she was beaten to death by members of the Judiciary, Iran's judicial authority. According to the London-based Arabic daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, top Judiciary officials, as well as officials close to Iran's Supreme Leader 'Ali Khamenei, had knowledge of Kazemi's torture.

Cause of Death: Torture by Judiciary Personnel
Following Kazemi's death, Al-Sharq Al-Awsat published a report from a knowledgeable Iranian source who said that a high-ranking official in the Judiciary knew the details of the "cruel torture" endured by Kazemi and that when they became known to him, he tried to shift culpability to the Intelligence Ministry.

The source also said that when the Judiciary official realized that Kazemi was dying at Evin prison because of the torture she endured after 48 hours of detainment, he ordered an aide to inform Deputy Intelligence Minister Mohammad Shafe'i that the Judiciary's intelligence unit had arrested an American spy and that "[the Intelligence Ministry] should come and take her away for further investigation."

According to the report, when Intelligence Ministry personnel reached Evin prison, they discovered that "the American spy was none other than a comatose Canadian journalist. One of the employees at the Judiciary official's office told Intelligence Ministry personnel that Kazemi had suffered a stroke during her interrogation. The source added that Intelligence Ministry personnel had called Deputy [Intelligence] Minister Shafe'i to report the situation to him, and he had told them to take her immediately to the hospital, where she underwent emergency surgery. The doctors who treated her found that her coma was the result of a direct blow at close range with a steel pipe or club. Burns and signs of blows were also found on her body, as was a spinal fracture."

One of the doctors told Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, "Kazemi was subjected to cruel torture which caused her coma, following a tear in the artery carrying blood to the head that was caused by a blow or blows to the head, and which caused a brief cessation of the flow of blood to her brain." [2] Kazemi's mother said that she noticed wounds on her daughter's body, but Iranian Health Minister Mas'ood Pezeshkian denied the mother's statements. He maintained that a wound under Kazemi's eye was caused by an injection in the hospital and that there were no other signs of wounds except for a wound to her head. [3]

The paper continued, "President Mohammad Khatami ordered the establishment of a special investigative committee, with the participation of the ministers of intelligence, Islamic guidance, and the interior, in addition to his deputy for parliamentary and judicial affairs, Mohammad Ali Abtahi, and his advisor for national security affairs, 'Ali Rabi'i, in order to investigate the circumstances of Kazemi's death, thus contradicting the claims of [Saeed] Mortazavi [now Iran's prosecutor-general and responsible for the closure of over 80 newspapers over the past three years] that she had died as a result of a stroke.

"On July 16, Abtahi announced, based on the report of the health minister and the forensic medicine department director, [the latter of whom] supervised the comprehensive autopsy of the body, that Kazemi had died as the result of a sharp blow to the head. Thus Abtahi exposed the crime committed by Iran's Judiciary."

Al-Sharq Al-Awsat added that the resignation of Judiciary head Mahmoud Hashemi (Shahroudi), formerly president of the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, and of other Judiciary officials such as Saeed Mortazavi, Abbas 'Ali 'Alizadeh, and Judge Haddad, had long been called for. The slogan "Purge the Judiciary of the Hashemi Mafia!" was predominant during the recent unrest. [4]

Prosecutor-General 'Knew Nothing' As Kazemi Was Being Tortured
In a special interview, a top Ministry of Islamic Guidance official told Al-Sharq Al-Awsat that Zahra Kazemi was known to them. "She visited Iran a number of times as a Canadian journalist, and went to Afghanistan and Iraq through Iran. When she arrived in Iran last June, she was issued a special journalist's permit after the Ministry of Islamic Guidance consulted with the Intelligence Ministry's journalism section." The official added, "Following last month's demonstrations, which Kazemi covered, we were informed one day that she was interviewing families of the detainees arrested during the recent events, who had organized a quiet demonstration in front of Evin prison."

The paper reported, "She knew the danger involved in photographing inside the prison, and so did not approach the prison walls, but only photographed relatives of the detainees and also interviewed some of them. The Ministry of Islamic Guidance source said that word of Kazemi's arrest by Judiciary intelligence officials reached the Ministry of Islamic Guidance hours after it occurred; Islamic Guidance Minister Ahmad Masjed Jameie informed President Khatami of what had happened to Kazemi, and Khatami ordered his aide Abtahi to monitor the matter. However, in the investigation, [Prosecutor-General Saeed] Mortazavi denied that he had had information on Kazemi's fate, even though Kazemi was at that time being tortured in the solitary confinement wing of Evin prison. After the comatose Kazemi was handed over to the Intelligence Ministry, the Judiciary official tried to absolve himself of responsibility by forcing the Ministry of Islamic Guidance's director of foreign broadcasts, Khoshvaqt, to issue a report that Kazemi had a stroke while being interrogated at the Intelligence Ministry. [5]

"The Iranian [Ministry of Islamic Guidance] official added that several hours after Kazemi's death was announced, the head of the Tehran Justice [Department] ordered that [her] body be buried in the Zahra Gardens cemetery in order to hush up the affair, after Kazemi's mother threatened to come to the prison to demonstrate her refusal to have her daughter buried in Iran. It is known that Kazemi's son Stephan Hachemi, who lives in Canada, asked that his mother's body be returned to Canada, where she had lived for the past 25 years."

Al-Sharq Al-Awsat further reported that Canada's ambassador to Iran threatened to suspend Canadian aid to Tehran and halt economic cooperation between the two countries as long as the mystery surrounding the circumstances of Kazemi's death remained. Canada has since recalled its ambassador.

Al-Sharq Al-Awsat also noted that Iranian Intelligence Minister Ali Younesi had ordered Kazemi's body exhumed and brought to the religious medical center. According to an eyewitness, Intelligence Ministry officials arrived at the Zahra Gardens cemetery a few minutes before Kazemi's burial by Judiciary intelligence officials. Intelligence and Judiciary officials then argued over who was entitled to determine what would happen to the body. Ultimately, Intelligence Ministry personnel took Kazemi's body by ambulance to the religious medical center, where an autopsy was performed. [6]

President Khatami's Government Responds
The London-based Arabic daily Al-Hayatreported that Iranian Health Minister Mas'ood Pezeshkian rejected Canada's demand that Kazemi's body be returned for an autopsy, claiming that Iran "has sufficient [capability] to examine the body and to determine the cause of death. We will not let any foreign entity investigate [the affair]." Interior Minister Musavi-Lari added that since Kazemi was an Iranian citizen, "Canada has no connection to the matter." [7]

The London-based Arabic daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi reported that the Khatami government cautioned conservatives regarding the ramifications of Kazemi's death and warned them against continuing actions such as arresting reformist journalists, authors, and liberal figures as well as closing newspapers and cultural centers. Khatami's deputy Abtahi said that the measures employed by conservatives were contributing to the U.S. effort to harm Iran's image internationally. [8]

*Ayelet Savyon is Director of the Iranian Media Project

[1] Associated Press, September 22, 2003.

[2] Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), July 17, 2003.

[3] Aftab-e Yazd (Iran), July 21, 2003.

[4] Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), July 17, 2003.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Al-Hayat (London), July 17, 2003.

[8] Al-Quds Al-Arabi (London), July 17, 2003.
4 posted on 09/26/2003 12:26:14 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Germany ready to swap Iranian prisoner for info on Ron Arad

By Moshe Reinfeld and Aluf Benn, Haaretz Correspondents

Germany is ready to release an Iranian and two Lebanese, serving time for the murder of an Iranian dissident more than a decade ago in Berlin, in exchange for information about the fate of missing Air Force navigator Ron Arad, sources in Jerusalem said Thursday night.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said Thursday night that Iranian
prisoners held in Europe might be part of a swap between
Israel and Hezbollah, but he gave few details and did not
name the prisoners.

In Rosh Hashanah interviews with news programs from all three Israeli channels, Sharon said the prisoner exchange deal with Hezbollah is "moving toward a solution" but has not been completed.

The emerging exchange has Israel freeing Lebanese prisoners - including two guerrilla leaders kidnapped in 1986 and 1994 - along with detainees from other Arab countries and about 200 Palestinians. Hezbollah would return
businessman Elhanan Tannenbaum, who was abducted in October 2000, along with the bodies of three soldiers captured earlier that month in the Mount Dov area on the northern border and later declared dead by the military rabbinate.

Kurdish-Iranian dissident Sadek Sarafkindi and three of his associates were murdered in a Berlin restaurant on September 17, 1992, and a Berlin court ruled that the murders were political assassinations ordered by the Tehran
regime, and with the approval of the spiritual leader of Iran, Ali Khamani and the Iranian president at the time, Hashemi Rafsanjani.

The affair created a crisis in relations between Germany and Iran, especially after the German prosecution issued warrants for the arrest of the former Iranian intelligence minister, Ali Falakhiyan. A German court convicted four
defendants in April 1997 for the murders, including an Iranian, who worked as a grocery owner in Berlin, and a Lebanese who were sentenced to live in prison and two other
Lebanese were sentenced to lesser sentences as accomplices.

Mentioning the possibility for the first time that Iranians held in Europe might be involved, Sharon told Channel Two, "We have good bargaining chips, in which the Iranians are interested, and in which Hezbollah is very, very, very interested." He added: "They are in a European country, and this is part of the deal... They carried out terror attacks."

He did not explain further, and officials would not add details. Britain is holding the former Iranian ambassador to Argentina, who has been implicated by Argentina as being involved in the bombings of the Jewish community center and
the Israeli embassy there in the 1990s.

Earlier in the day, the High Court of Justice instructed Sharon and Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz to reply by this morning to a petition filed by the family of missing Air Force navigator Ron Arad asking the government to hand over to the family a copy of a government report on Arad's case.

The court required Sharon and Mofaz to give the court a copy of the Vinograd commission report and said they must reply by 10 A.M. Friday to explain why the report has not been released to the public and why its conclusions haven't been released to the family.

The committee was appointed last year to review Arad's case and it determined that there is no available information that refutes the defense establishment's working assumption that Arad is still alive.

The committee, headed by retired judge Eliahu Vinograd, recommended implementing actions that will assist in resolving Arad's fate. The team, appointed by Mofaz when he was chief of staff, reviewed thousands of documents collected in the 17 years since Arad's plane went down over
Lebanon. Three weeks ago, it presented its report to Chief of Staff Moshe Ya'alon, and it is currently being studied by intelligence experts.

The team concluded its investigation as the prisoner exchange deal was being negotiated between Israel and Hezbollah. On Wednesday, three of Arad's relatives filed a NIS 100 million suit against Mustafa Dirani, one of the
Lebanese captives whom Israel is reportedly planning to release as part of the prisoner exchange now being negotiated with Hezbollah.

Arad's family said this is the first step in its campaign to prevent Dirani from being included in the prisoner swap, and it is widely expected to seek an injunction barring the state from freeing him.

The family has been outraged by the fact that the emerging deal with Hezbollah is not slated to include any information about Arad's fate. Arad has been missing since his plane was downed in 1986, and Israel believes that for
some time after his capture, he was held by a Lebanese militia that Dirani headed.

In 1994, Israel captured Dirani in the hopes he could either be traded for Arad or at least provide information about the navigator's fate, but both hopes proved to be in vain. Though the Arad family - along with a significant portion of the cabinet - opposes the emerging deal with
Hezbollah, most of the General Staff supports it.

The notable exception is the commander of the Air Force, Major General Dan Halutz, who wrote an angry letter to Ya'alon this week arguing that the army has no right to abandon Arad by leaving him out of the deal.

Other senior officers, however, have said that, despite their sympathy for the Arads, it would be wrong to miss a chance to recover the bodies of the three soldiers.
5 posted on 09/26/2003 1:18:39 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
6 posted on 09/26/2003 4:17:51 AM PDT by windchime
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To: DoctorZIn
U.N. Nuclear Inspectors Delay Trip as Iran Prepares
Friday, September 26, 2003
U.N. nuclear inspectors on Friday delayed a trip to Iran after Tehran requested more time to prepare ahead of an October 31 deadline to prove it has no secret atomic weapons program.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said a team of inspectors who had been set to fly to Iran on Sunday would now leave sometime late next week.

"The Iranian government requested the delay to allow them more time to prepare for the visit," IAEA spokeswoman Melissa Fleming told Reuters.

The inspectors were headed to Iran as part of stepped up scrutiny by the IAEA ahead of an October 31 deadline for Tehran to enable the United Nations to verify it has no secret atomic weapons program.

After strong lobbying by the United States for action, the IAEA governing board on September 12 set the deadline and called on Tehran to suspend all uranium-enrichment activities.

Washington, which branded Iran a member of an "axis of evil" with North Korea and pre-war Iraq, believes Iran's enrichment plants may be used to purify uranium for use in a nuclear bomb.

Iran denies the allegation and insists its nuclear ambitions are limited to generating electricity.

Reuters reported this week that IAEA inspectors had found traces of weapons-grade enriched uranium at a second site in Iran, and President Bush warned Tehran it faced global condemnation.

One diplomat told Reuters the discovery could support Tehran's explanation that the discovery of highly enriched uranium at a previous site in Iran was due to contamination from imported components.

But several other diplomats said it could support the U.S. theory that Iran has been secretly purifying uranium for use in a nuclear explosive device.

A senior Iranian cleric on Friday dismissed the accusations. "The claim of foreign powers that Iran is trying to develop atomic arms is our enemies' pretext for putting more pressure on us," Ayatollah Mohammad Emami Kashani told worshippers in Tehran in a sermon broadcast live on state radio.

He added that the United States could not "tolerate our scientific power."

7 posted on 09/26/2003 5:47:22 AM PDT by Pan_Yans Wife ("Life isn't fair. It's fairer than death, is all.")
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To: Pan_Yans Wife
"The Iranian government requested the delay to allow them more time to prepare for the visit,"

Yeah. "Quick, everyone grab a mop and start cleaning up this uranium stuff!"

They're preparing, alright.
8 posted on 09/26/2003 6:04:24 AM PDT by nuconvert
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To: nuconvert; DoctorZIn
Israel mulls Iran attack to stop nukes

TEL AVIV, Israel, Sept. 26 (UPI) -- Israeli military leaders are considering an assault operation to destroy Iran's suspected nuclear weapons program, a report said Friday.

Israel's chief of staff, alarmed by the failure of the international community to move against Iran, has warned that Israel would consider unilateral action to stop the "nightmare scenario" of Teheran's development of nuclear weapons.

Earlier, Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom demanded that the international community stop the program, reported.

Israel's Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Moshe Ya'alon took the rhetoric up a notch.

"At the moment there is continuing international diplomatic activity to deal with this threat, and it would be good if it succeeds," Ya'alon said. "But if that is not the case we would consider our options."

Israel has never specified what action it might take to stop Iran's nuclear weapons program, which Teheran has denied having. But Israeli officials assert that the nation's deep-strike air capability has been vastly upgraded since Israeli F-16 multi-role fighters destroyed the Iraqi reactor at Osirak in 1981.

9 posted on 09/26/2003 6:27:34 AM PDT by Pan_Yans Wife ("Life isn't fair. It's fairer than death, is all.")
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To: DoctorZIn
Kharazi: Iran Will Not Give Up Uranium Enrichment

September 25, 2003

NEW YORK -- Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi said on Wednesday that his country would not give up its uranium enrichment programme, insisting it was purely for civilian purposes.

"It's a matter of national pride to have this capability, this technology, especially when it's produced domestically. This does not mean that producing (nuclear) weapons will be on our agenda," he told a business and security forum in New York.

"The capability is the important thing, that we can produce enriched uranium," Kharazi added.
10 posted on 09/26/2003 7:56:53 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Iraq and Iran Top Camp David Talks

September 26, 2003

WASHINGTON -- Iraq is expected to dominate talks between U.S. President George W. Bush and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin when they meet at Camp David, while Iran is expected to cast a shadow.

The fight against terrorism and Russia's oil exports also are expected to be discussed during the two-day talks beginning Friday at the presidential retreat.

Differences between the two leaders over Iraq are set to top the agenda.

Putin opposed the U.S.-led war on Iraq, preferring to go through the United Nations. He repeated this position shortly ahead of his visit, saying, "The situation that is developing in Iraq is the best confirmation that Russia was right."

Coalition forces are coming under attack almost daily, with other organizations such as the United Nations also being targeted. (Full story)

Putin appeared before the U.N. General Assembly Thursday, saying the United Nations alone could bring democracy and stability to the country. (Full story)

"The direct participation by the United Nations alone in the rebuilding of Iraq will enable its people themselves to decide on their future," Putin said.

"Only with the active, practical assistance by the United Nations in its economic and civil transformation, only thus will Iraq take a new, worthy place in the world community."

Stefan Wagstyl, east European editor for the Financial Times newspaper, told CNN: "Putin comes to meet Bush in a fairly strong position.

"He has come out of the Iraq crisis quite well. For one, he does not have soldiers engaged on the ground, which is very popular in Russia because Russians are dead against sending their soldiers to the Mideast in this way," Wagstyl said.

On the other hand, Putin did not annoy Bush and his White House team in the same way the leaders of France and Germany did with their outspoken opposition to the war, Wagstyl added.

"So both externally and internally, his position is not bad at all considering how difficult the past few months have been for diplomacy," he said.

'You bet we'll talk Iran'
Alarmed by Tehran's developing nuclear program, Bush says he will bring up subject of Iran with Putin.

"You bet I'll talk to President Putin about it this weekend," Bush said Thursday.

Russia is helping Tehran in an $800 million project to build a nuclear energy reactor. But the Bush administration says Russian technology is helping Iran develop a nuclear weapons program -- something which Moscow denies.

"It is very important for the world to come together to make it very clear to Iran that there will be universal condemnation if they continue with a nuclear weapons program," Bush said.

The meeting comes as diplomats say U.N. atomic experts have found traces of weapons-grade uranium at a second site in Iran. (Full story)

North Korea also is suspected of using Russian nuclear technology in its developing program. Pyongyang's policy is causing alarm in Washington, but Moscow, while expressing opposition, says it does not see the issue with the same degree of urgency.

"It is not in Russia's interest that Iran becomes a nuclear power. Iran is in Russia's geographic zone," Wagstyl said. "On the other hand, Russia has a large nuclear industry that needs and wants customers."

Oil also is likely to be a factor in the Bush-Putin talks, with Russia possibly becoming a key source of oil and gas supplies for U.S. markets.

"This is important -- one which both sides can agree," Wagstyl said.

"It is important and prudent for Putin's position that oil is developed and exported. And it is important for the U.S. interest that world supplies are stabilized and diverted away from Saudi Arabia."
11 posted on 09/26/2003 7:58:28 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
Iraq and Iran Top Camp David Talks

September 26, 2003
12 posted on 09/26/2003 7:59:27 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl
Iraq ping.
13 posted on 09/26/2003 8:00:45 AM PDT by Pan_Yans Wife ("Life isn't fair. It's fairer than death, is all.")
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To: DoctorZIn
Statoil Under SEC Probe for Iran Deal

September 26, 2003

OSLO -- Norway's biggest company, oil and gas group Statoil, said on Friday that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission had begun an "informal inquiry" into a consultancy deal linked to Iran.

"It has issued a request for Statoil to produce certain documents in connection with this, and the group intends to cooperate fully with the inquiry," Statoil said in a statement.

The news follows a scandal over a $15.2 million consultancy deal with London-based advisers which the Norwegian police are investigating as possible bribes to obtain contracts in Iran, where Statoil is developing a huge gas field.

The scandal already toppled Statoil's chief executive Olav Fjell and chairman Leif Terje Loeddesoel earlier this week in the biggest crisis since Statoil was partly privatised in 2001.

"The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has informed Statoil that it is conducting an informal inquiry into matters relating to the consultancy contract for business development in Iran which has been the subject of media coverage," Statoil said.

By 1058 GMT Statoil's shares traded down 1.2 percent at 62.75 Norwegian crowns, slipping further after the announcement but roughly in line with the trend of the Oslo benchmark index (OSEBX) and outperforming its peers (SXEP).

The news followed remarks by Oil and Energy Minister Einar Steensnaes who said that the Iran scandal had hurt but not caused irreparable damage to Statoil's reputation.

"There has been no doubt that the reputation and the credibility of the company have been affected, not least in Norway," Steensnaes told Reuters.

Steensnaes also called for new leaders to be appointed soon to restore trust.

"There has not been any irreparable damage to the company's reputation. The quicker we get a new leadership into place the easier it will be to restore trust," he said.
14 posted on 09/26/2003 8:00:56 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: AdmSmith

Iran's Economy minister: Market determines hard currency rate

Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance Tahmasb Mazaheri said in Dubai on Thursday that the hard currency rate depends on the prevailing market conditions and is determined by the supply and demand, IRNA reported.

Putting the rate of dollar at the fixed rate of rls 9,000, he noted that it should neither exceed nor be less than the indicated figure.

Addressing a gathering of 200 members of Iran`s commercial council in the Iranian club in Dubai, he reiterated that the market supply-and-demand is mainly responsible for the hard currency rate, adding that the government doesn`t interfere in it.

The minister noted that the government just presents the hard currency to the market or buys it.

Turning to the boost in inflation rate from 12 percent in 2001 to 15.8 percent in 2002, he said that the government is determined to reduce the inflation rate.

He reiterated that bank interest rates should also be reduced to adjust them to that of inflation.

Concerning the government`s privatization plan, Mazaheri said that assigning the private sector with the current affairs is growing.

He pointed to the banking, insurance and aviation sectors as examples, which were earlier out of the authorization limit of the private sector.

Mazaheri who arrived in Dubai on September 22 to attend the 58th annual IMF-WTO meeting left for Tehran this morning. The conferences of the two international economic bodies ended on Wednesday.
15 posted on 09/26/2003 10:48:42 AM PDT by F14 Pilot
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To: DoctorZIn; McGavin999; nuconvert; AdmSmith; Persia; RaceBannon; Pro-Bush; Alamo-Girl; ...
Iran Frees Student Leader After 9 Weeks

Associated Press Writer

September 26, 2003, 1:34 PM EDT

TEHRAN, Iran -- Iran released a prominent student leader Thursday after detaining him for nine weeks for his alleged role in massive demonstrations in June.

Saeed Razavi Faqih walked out of Evin prison in north Tehran on Thursday evening, his friend Saeed Shariati told The Associated Press in a phone call. Faqih was receiving friends and well-wishers who had come to congratulate him, Shariati said, who was with Faqih as he spoke.

"Faqih had been kept in solitary confinement without trial throughout the period of his detention," said Shariati, who is a senior member of the Islamic Iran Participation Front, the country's largest reformist party.

Faqih was detained in mid-July as police cracked down on those who were suspected of instigating the country's largest protests in months.

The demonstrations began with students objecting to plans to privatize universities, entailing a substantial increase in fees. The demonstrations quickly snowballed into displays of opposition to the hard-line clerical establishment, with protesters daring to shout slogans against supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Some demonstrators also denounced President Mohammad Khatami, accusing him of failing to fulfill his promises of democratic reform.

The demonstrations faded after the proposal to raise fees was withdrawn and the government deployed hundreds of police in the streets. Hard-liners deployed vigilantes and thugs who attacked protesters with knives and sticks.

It was not immediately clear if Faqih will still be charged. Judicial authorities could not be reached Thursday. They do not normally comment on the release of a political detainee.,0,5537714.story?coll=sns-ap-world-headlines
16 posted on 09/26/2003 10:53:45 AM PDT by F14 Pilot
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To: F14 Pilot
Thank you. Good news.
17 posted on 09/26/2003 10:55:52 AM PDT by Pan_Yans Wife ("Life isn't fair. It's fairer than death, is all.")
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To: F14 Pilot
18 posted on 09/26/2003 10:56:17 AM PDT by nuconvert
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To: F14 Pilot
Revolution ~ Now!
19 posted on 09/26/2003 11:04:41 AM PDT by blackie
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To: F14 Pilot
Thanks for the heads up!
20 posted on 09/26/2003 11:08:49 AM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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