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posted on 09/26/2003 12:18:53 AM PDT
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posted on 09/26/2003 12:19:40 AM PDT
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. 
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."  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. 
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. 
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. 
"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. 
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." 
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. 
*Ayelet Savyon is Director of the Iranian Media Project
 Associated Press, September 22, 2003.
 Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), July 17, 2003.
 Aftab-e Yazd (Iran), July 21, 2003.
 Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), July 17, 2003.
 Al-Hayat (London), July 17, 2003.
 Al-Quds Al-Arabi (London), July 17, 2003. http://www.memri.org/bin/latestnews.cgi?ID=IA14803
posted on 09/26/2003 12:26:14 AM PDT
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. http://c.moreover.com/click/here.pl?l91856809
posted on 09/26/2003 1:18:39 AM PDT
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. http://www.spacewar.com/2003/030924223143.givyrsya.html
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." http://edition.cnn.com/2003/US/09/26/bush.putin/index.html
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. http://money.iwon.com/jsp/nw/nwdt_rt_top.jsp?cat=TOPBIZ&src=201&feed=reu§ion=news&news_id=reu-l26610111-u1&date=20030926&alias=/alias/money/cm/nw
Iran Postpones Nuclear Regulatory Agency's Visit
September 26, 2003
The International Atomic Energy Agency said its planned visit to Iran next week has been postponed at the request of Tehran. Western diplomats say the delay raises questions about Tehran's credibility.
Two senior IAEA experts were to leave for Tehran Sunday, and a follow-up team was to join them next week.
But the Iranians said they want more time to prepare for the inspections, and have asked the IAEA for at least another week. Iran has until the end of October to answer all the agency's questions on its nuclear program, which it claims is purely peaceful.
The IAEA said its scientists want to discuss inconsistencies in Iran's account of tests on gas centrifuges that could be used for a nuclear weapons program.
The delay follows media reports that international inspectors have found more traces of highly enriched uranium at locations in Iran.
Western diplomats say Iran could provide all the information the agency is seeking relatively quickly, and see the delay as adding to an already big "confidence deficit."
IAEA spokesman Mark Gwozdecky said this is not the first time Tehran has delayed a visit from the agency. "A year ago, almost exactly, we had the first revelations of these new facilities in Iran, and a year later, we're still proceeding in a very unsatisfactory manner. First, they brought us there in February - after a long delay, they finally allowed [IAEA chief Mohamed] ElBaradei to go in February," he said.
The IAEA is hoping this new delay will still give its experts enough time to analyze material, and make a report for the next Board of Governors meeting at the end of November.
Iran has just lost its seat on the board, due to a normal rotation in membership. So, it will have no vote, if the IAEA decides to refer its nuclear program to the U.N. Security Council. http://www.voanews.com/article.cfm?objectID=93B95B53-647E-4355-B30552E64A1F7ECF&title=Iran%20Postpones%20Nuclear%20Regulatory%20Agency%27s%20Visit&catOID=45C9C78D-88AD-11D4-A57200A0CC5EE46C&categoryname=Mideast
Bremer: U.S. Holding 19 al-Qaida Suspects
September 26, 2003
The Associated Press
WASHINGTON -- U.S. forces in Iraq are holding 19 suspected members of the al-Qaida terrorist network, the American civilian administrator said Friday.
The suspected al-Qaida members are among 248 non-Iraqi fighters being held by the Americans in Iraq, L. Paul Bremer said in a Pentagon news conference.
Bremer said authorities determined the suspects' al-Qaida links through interrogations and documents the suspects were carrying. He said he did not know what countries they came from.
The largest number of foreign fighters - 123 of the 248 - came from Syria, Bremer said. The next-highest numbers came from Iran and Yemen, he said, adding he did not have precise figures for those countries.
The flow of terrorist fighters into Iraq is the biggest obstacle to the peaceful reconstruction of the country, Bremer said. The fighting between anti-American elements and U.S. forces hasn't hampered the reconstruction effort so far, though, he said.
Reconstruction of Iraq is critical to the global war on terrorism, he added.
``We don't want Iraq to become a breeding ground for terrorism in the future,'' Bremer said.
Most of the foreign fighters are coming into Iraq via ``ratlines'' from Syria, he said.
Bremer and other Bush administration officials have repeatedly accused Syria of being an obstacle in the Iraq conflict, first by allowing shipments of military goods to Saddam Hussein before and during the war and now by allowing terrorists to cross the same border.
Syrian officials deny interfering with U.S. efforts in Iraq.
Some terrorists are members of Ansar al-Islam, a militant group linked to al-Qaida whose base in northern Iraq was wiped out by coalition forces early in the war, Bremer indicated.
Ansar has regrouped and re-entered Iraq with perhaps several hundred members, he said.
``They're a very dangerous group,'' he said.
Bremer spent most of this week testifying in Congress in favor of President Bush's $87 billion request for spending on Iraq. About $20 billion of that request would pay for reconstruction projects overseen by Bremer's Coalition Provisional Authority, the civilian administration in Iraq. http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,1280,-3196417,00.html
Khomeini Kin Assails Fundamentalist Rule
September 26, 2003
The Associated Press
WASHINGTON -- The grandson of the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, symbol of Iran's Islamic revolution, said Friday his countrymen live in a depressed state that will persist until they are freed from strict fundamentalist rule.
Hossein Khomeini, who bears some resemblance to the man who launched the uprising against the pro-American shah's government 24 years ago, said the lack of organized resistance to the mullah-led system makes him pessimistic about the prospects for change in his homeland.
"The Iranian people want democracy," Khomeini said. "Religion and government cannot be one and the same."
Dressed in traditional Iranian garb, Khomeini spoke through a translator to a large gathering of Iranian exiles and American experts on Iran at the conservative American Enterprise Institute.
His grandfather's revolution overthrew a pro-Western monarchy and made Iran one of the world's most vigorously anti-American countries. "Death to America" rallies in Tehran and elsewhere were commonplace.
Ayatollah Khomeini died in 1989, but his revolution lives, with like-minded clerics making virtually all key decisions. Iranians elected a moderate president in 1997, but his powers have remained limited.
Hossein Khomeini, 45, spent time this past summer in Iraq, where he praised the U.S. ouster of Saddam Hussein's government and said he believes the Iranian people would accept American military intervention if no other way existed to achieve freedom.
"The U.S. invasion is really a blessing for the people of Iraq," he said. In contrast, he said, "Iranians are frustrated, not hopeful but lacking a movement to bring about their yearning to be free."
"The regime stifles the psyche and the soul, creating hateful individuals," he said. http://www.kentucky.com/mld/kentucky/news/breaking_news/6870666.htm
NEW ENRICHING URANIUM PLANT FOUND NEAR TEHRAN
VIENNA, 26 Sept. (IPS)
The Islamic Republic requested the International Atomic energy Agency to report the visit of the Agencys inspectors one day after it was announced that experts had found new traces of weapons-grade enriched uranium at a second site in Iran.
"The Iranian government requested the delay to allow them more time to prepare for the visit", IAEA spokeswoman Melissa Fleming said Friday, explaining that Iran had made the demand in order to prepare itself ahead of an October 31 deadline to prove it has no secret atomic weapons program.
The team of U.N. nuclear inspectors were to fly to Tehran on Sunday, but Ms. Fleming said they would leave for Iran sometime late next week.
In a resolution adopted on 12 September, the Board of Governors of the Vienna-based IAEA gave the Islamic Republic until the end of October to sign "immediately and unconditionally" the additional protocol to the Non Proliferation Treaty and stop "at once" all its uranium enriching programs.
So far, and under pressures from the ruling hard liners, the Iranian government that is led by the powerless president Mohammad Khatami has not said if it would comply with the Resolution or not.
Singing the Protocol means United Nations would have the right to inspect all Iranian nuclear facilities and sites without restriction or prior announcement. In case Tehran rejects the Resolution, it might face international sanctions by the United Nations Security Council.
On Monday, Irans ambassador at the IAEA confirmed for the first time that Iran had started enriching uranium at plants it has built secretly near the central city of Natanz, using contaminated centrifuges it had bought years ago on the black market.
The inspectors visit was necessary to insure that Iranian claims that its nuclear programs are for civilian use are correct.
But the united States, Israel and the European Union believes that Iran's atomic activities, including the nuclear-powered electricity plant it is building in the Persian gulf city of Booshehr with the help of Russia are a "cover" for dvelopping atomic bomb aimed at destroying the Jewish state.
In an interview with "The USA Today" newspaper, French President Jacques Chirac called on Tehran to fully cooperate with the United Nations nuclear inspectors to make sure that its atomic activities are for peaceful purposes and warned that if not, it could face international sanctions.
In a speech at the UNs General Assembly, President George W. Bush who has declared the Islamic Republic an "evil State" alongside North Korea and the former government of Saddam Hoseyn also warned that Tehran would face global condemnation.
Speaking to reporters in Washington today, President Bush said, "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."
He said today that he intended to raise the Iranian nuclear issue at his planned Camp David meeting with the Russian President, Vladimir Putin.
But like Tehran, Moscow also insists that the 1000 megawatts, 800 million US Dollars plant is to produce electricity only.
According to diplomats who talked to reporters on condition of anonymity, the discovery of new enriching uranium site could support Tehran's explanation that the highly enriched uranium found by IAEA inspectors during previous visit 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. The new finding, the result of environmental sampling at the Kalaye Electric Company plant near the Capital, further ratcheted up pressure on Iran, sources said.
The White House spokesman, Scott McClellan, said on Friday that the finding at the electric plant was "part of a longstanding pattern of evasions and deception to disguise the true nature and purpose of Iran's nuclear activities", the British news agency "Reuters" reported.
The news of the electric plant finding came as Iran's Foreign Affairs Minister, Kamal Kharrazi, told reporters in New York that his government was resisting domestic pressure to drop out of the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty.
He said that in principle Iran had no problem acceding to the atomic energy agency's request to allow surprise inspections at nuclear facilities.
Conservatives-controlled media that usually reflects the views of Ayatollah ali Khameneh'i, the orthodox leader of the Islamic Republic have unanimously urged the government to emulate the Stalinist regime of North Korea and get out of the NPT.
The call was also reiterated by Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, the hard line Secretary of the powerful Guardians Council, asking "what is wrong with adopting North Koreas policy in dealing with pressures from the IAEA?"
Pyongyang expelled all international experts last December, left the NPT and revived its atomic programs.
But Dr. Mohammad el-Bradehi, the Egyptian Director of the UNs nuclear watchdog warned Iran against such a decision, telling reporters that in this case, Iran "would only make its situation more difficult, as it would to face the international community".
"If Iran fails to prove until the end of October that its nuclear activities are not for military use, it must be prepared for harsh punishments and sanctions by the Security Council", Mr. El-Bardei said, adding that in case Iran fails to sign the additional Protocol and stop enriching uranium, the whole question would be referred to the Security Council.
Asked about the enriched uranium particles found in Natanz, Mr. Kharrazi, who was in New York for the United Nations General Assembly session, said that that enrichment itself was "not illegal" and had been begun there before the atomic energy agency had formally asked Tehran to stop any enrichment activities.
He also said that Ayatollah Khamenehi has said that nuclear weapons are forbidden under Islamic law.
On Sunday, Iran held a military parade to honour the 23rd anniversary of the start of the eight years War with Iraq and prominently displayed its most modern missile, the Shahab-3 that a military announcer said it has a range of 1.700 kilometres, "capable of hitting the heart of the enemy", which means Israel. ENDS IAEA IRAN URANIUM 26903 http://www.iran-press-service.com/articles_2003/Sept-2003/iaea_iran_uranium_26903.htm
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