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Iranian Alert -- October 7, 2003 -- IRAN LIVE THREAD PING LIST
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 10.7.2003 | DoctorZin

Posted on 10/07/2003 12:01:22 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: iaea; iran; iranianalert; protests; studentmovement; studentprotest
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Discover all the news since the protests began on June 10th, go to:

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1 posted on 10/07/2003 12:01:22 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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2 posted on 10/07/2003 12:01:56 AM PDT by Support Free Republic (Your support keeps Free Republic going strong!)
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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

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3 posted on 10/07/2003 12:06:32 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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Comment #4 Removed by Moderator

To: DoctorZIn
It's natural. The Khomeini revolution was a counter-revolution brought on by the lower classes who felt disenfranchised by the Shah's policy of Westernization. Included in this counter-revolution were of course the mostly liberal educated intelligensia and the Communists. The days of the Communists was shortly brought to a close. The liberal educated intelligensia may've survived the revolution, but I'm quite sure they regretted their support of it. Unfortunately for these fools they never seem to realize they're the "first to go to the wall."
5 posted on 10/07/2003 12:17:22 AM PDT by Coeur de Lion
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To: DoctorZIn
Interview With President Putin

Published: October 6, 2003

MOSCOW, Oct. 5 — Following are remarks by President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia from an interview on Saturday, as transcribed and translated by The New York Times.

I. On the need for an international mandate for the American-led occupation of Iraq:

MR. PUTIN We think that Iraq's problems can be efficiently solved only with involvement of the Iraqi people themselves. This task has to be solved with their participation and by their hands. But so that it would be efficient they have to believe in our serious intentions, in our desire to restore sovereignty. This is why we think that the U.N.'s role has to be increased — not because we would like to diminish the significance of the United States, but in order to change the situation in Iraq itself.

Make it clear for the Iraqi people that the situation is changing qualitatively. As of today, according to international law, the forces of the coalition are called the occupying ones. This corresponds to the fundamental documents of international law. Of course, how would the local population treat forces whose official name is the occupying forces? We need to change the status of these forces. We have to win the sympathies of the Iraqis. We have to get on our side the Muslim and Arab countries, whose mood toward a solution of the problem is very important.

II. On Russia's plans to continue building a civilian nuclear reactor in Iran, despite protests by the Bush administration:

A. We are not only hearing what our U.S. partners are telling us, we are listening to what they have to say, and we are finding that some of their assertions are justified. For example, their professional observation that spent fuel can subsequently be enriched and used as a component of nuclear arms. Our specialists also think so, and confirm this. That is why we have put the question before our Iranian colleagues that spent Russian nuclear fuel must be returned to Russia and now we are seeking to introduce such stipulations in our agreements. We also believe, as our American colleagues and partners believe, that Iran has no justification not to allow the overview of the I.A.E.A. over their nuclear programs, and therefore in this area again our positions fully coincide with that of the Americans. But this does not imply that without agreeing upon the principles of our cooperation in this sphere we're going to suspend all of our programs.

III. On criticisms that the growing role of security services signaled a retreat from reforms:

A. We remember, and we are obligated to remember, everything negative, everything horrible that we encountered in the 20th century. We should draw conclusions from this. We have paid a very great price for this. Millions of people died in the camps. The totalitarian regime brought the country to a national catastrophe and to the collapse of the Soviet Union. And we are fully aware of this, and the people of Russia have drawn conclusions for themselves. We firmly stand on the path of development of democracy, of a market economy. Even if someone wanted it to, it is impossible for the country to make a U-turn.

IV. On elections in Chechnya, which were held on Sunday, and the prospects for a political settlement of the conflict there:

A. We have been talking with you today about a time frame for moving toward a normal situation in Iraq. We think it is necessary to have a transitional period there, to give it some time to prepare all the necessary structures for elections to be held there. It is a different situation in Chechnya. It is an internal problem of Russia.
6 posted on 10/07/2003 12:19:40 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Thoudands of students support teachers by not attending courses

SMCCDI (Information Service)
Oct 6, 2003

Thousands of school students supported their teachers, for the 2nd consecutive day, by not attending their courses.

Many classes, in cities, such as Esfahan, Shiraz, Mashad, Khorram-Abad, Hamedan, Kermanshah and in the Capital were partially empty as the students stayed home despite all official injunctions and threats.

Many teachers didn't attend their courses neither in sign of solidarity with their arrested colleagues and are facing purge sanction for the defyance of the regime.

Most of the organized courses were also scenes of collective protest as students and teachers or kept the silence or discussed about the persistent repression despite the massive presence of the Ministry's Intelligence deployed in the schools and trying to identify the absentees and strikers.

In some cities the strike is planned to continue till next Sunday.
7 posted on 10/07/2003 12:21:53 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Resolute Iranian Pilgrims Meet Awed G.I.'s

NY Times
Published: October 7, 2003

TURSAQ, Iraq, Oct. 3 — The fall of Saddam Hussein has undammed a flood of Shiite Muslims across Iran's rough border here into Iraq, driven not by the desire to fight Americans but by a religious devotion that United States soldiers here are finding hard to contain or even comprehend.

In just over a month, American forces have stopped more than 17,000 people sneaking into Iraq near here with the goal of making a pilgrimage to the holy city of Karbala south of Baghdad.

As many as 1,000 cross on any day — wobbly old men and women, young mothers, babies — into the hands of American soldiers, who are awestruck by the risks the pilgrims are taking. Carrying almost nothing, they can walk for a day or more across minefields, mountain passes and the hot desert.

Soldiers and the Iraqi border guards who help them have found five bodies so far, and Iran's official news agency recently reported more than 100 deaths from mines, banditry and exposure.

"I'm a little bit confused why people are doing this," Specialist June Lee, 25, from Flushing, Queens, said at a holding center in this village near the border where American soldiers feed the spent pilgrims before trying, with only limited success, to truck them back to Iran. "To me, especially for the older ladies and some of them who have kids, they are going through a lot worse than they should be just because of their belief."

For decades, Mr. Hussein, a Sunni Muslim who brutally sought to limit the influence of the majority Shiites, kept tight controls on the number of Iranians, most of whom are Shiite, visiting shrines in Iraq. For the Shiites, Karbala and Najaf are the two most holy sites. Now, with Mr. Hussein gone, the Iranian Shiites' simple but determined desire to make a pilgrimage is complicating the job of the Americans in Iraq, as well as helping define a new era of relations between Iraq, Iran and the United States that no side seems quite sure how to handle.

After Mr. Hussein was pushed from power in April, the official American policy was to permit Iranian pilgrims with valid passports into Iraq. In August, however, that was put on hold after a suicide bomber killed more than 80 people in Najaf, and the border is now officially closed to pilgrims.

But policy seems a small thing against the larger forces at work among Shiites in Iran and Iraq. The spiritual center for Iranian Shiites seems to shifting away from Qum and back to the magnificent mosques and shrines of Najaf and Karbala, where Imam Hussein, grandson of the prophet Muhammad, was slain in 671 in the most significant battle of the Shiite faith.

On a practical level, the influx is big business for Iraqis in Karbala and Najaf who are eager to promote pilgrimages, required of any Shiite who can.

The huge flow of pilgrims has forced the American military into a sizable border patrol, screening for people whose real aim may not be pilgrimage but joining the fight against American soldiers, and a substantial relief operation.

Lt. Col. Reginald Allen of the 10th Cavalry, Fourth Infantry Division, responsible for the border patrols in the area, said that about 100 pilgrims, most of them young men, had been sent off for extensive interrogation but that not one had appeared to be a fighter.

"It's not to say it can't be happening here," Colonel Allen said. "We just don't think that they are coming into this area." American military officials say most of the foreign fighters appear to be coming from Syria to the west.

On a recent morning, with wind pushing sand into small storms, clumps of pilgrims sat by the side of road in exhaustion.

"Water, water!" an old woman begged the soldiers.

"Oh, it was hard," said one man, Abdullah Nazeri, 57. "But my will to make it to Karbala gave me strength."

Army medics care for cuts, bruises, dehydration and exhaustion. After being trucked to the holding center here, the pilgrims are given as much water as they can carry and one package of vegetarian rations to avoid pork, forbidden to observant Muslims. There is little hostility toward the Americans, even when the pilgrims realize that the soldiers intend to truck them back to Iran.

In fact, pilgrims said that some who had returned to Iran told them to look for American soldiers because they would get fed.

"People who made it and came back were very satisfied with the way the Americans treated them," said Jawad Qassimian, 26, who said he had just walked 26 hours across mountains, getting lost near minefields, before being picked up by United States soldiers.

Most of the pilgrims crossing near here are poor people, many of them Iranian laborers and immigrants from Afghanistan, who cannot afford passports to make the legal trip.

"We didn't have money to get passports, so we took the risk," said Abbas Ali, 40, a tile worker accompanied by his 8-month-old son, Muhammad. They were among 43 people from a village in central Iran who had been walking for 12 hours.

Only in late August did American soldiers, hearing reports of people crossing from Iran, come in any numbers to this barren border area. On their first night, Army helicopters spotted several four-wheel-drive vehicles and people in the darkness. Within a few hours, the soldiers had rounded up 100 people. Within the next 24 hours, 1,500 others were detained. "We were expecting something like foreign fighters to get up from that spot and take potshots at us," said Robert Robinson, 28, a sergeant from Columbus, Miss. "We didn't expect pilgrims to come for a better life or just to pray."

Since then the numbers have averaged 400 to 500 a day, with no apparent pattern. Although word is clearly out that the Americans are preventing them from going to Karbala — several are "repeat customers," one soldier said — the numbers do not appear to be dropping.

So the border has become one arena of the cultural divide here, with the Americans watching the treacherous pilgrimage with a mix of bafflement, admiration and anger.

"From a religious standpoint, I don't think Americans can comprehend such an unseen goal," said Specialist Leon O'Connell, 24, a medic from Syracuse who treats the pilgrims. "But we work hard every day for different goals. Of course we're not walking across the desert or over minefields."

The pilgrims have also underscored the tenuous control that American soldiers — for all their numbers, technology, and good will — appear to have in Iraq.

For the last month, the drill has been to take the rounded-up pilgrims from the holding center here to the small and lawless border village of Badrah to the south. On a recent morning, Iraqi border guards, escorted by United States soldiers, drove three trucks there with 239 pilgrims aboard. The scene, by any measure, was chaos.

Iraqi drivers in minivans, looking for customers to Karbala, tracked the trucks like hyenas. Then, on the Iranian side, the guards mysteriously refused to take the pilgrims in. So the pilgrims scattered.

Dozens of them, just rescued and fed by Americans, risked their lives yet again by fleeing through the minefields of no man's land between Iran and Iraq. Iraqi policemen fired shots — ignored — to warn them away.

"Some of them have guides that take them through the minefields," said Lt. Saad Abdul Razzak Abdul Hussein of the Iraqi border police. "Sometimes the guides are not so experienced and that's why we see some of the pilgrims dead."

The Iranians have not taken in the pilgrims for weeks, a problem that is still unresolved. Badrah also falls under the command of multinational forces, led by the Poles, and so the American soldiers here, who operate just to the north, say they have no authority to make the transfer of pilgrims back to Iran actually work.

"That's a frustration," said Capt. John Due, whose unit has spent the last month rounding up the pilgrims.

Some of those rounded up and deposited on the border simply waited on the Iranian side. Later, both Americans and Iraqis acknowledged, they were likely to cross back into Iraq, board a minivan and make it, finally, to Karbala.
8 posted on 10/07/2003 12:24:57 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Israel, Hit Syria Not Hizbollah!

By Ariel Natan Pasko
Oct 7, 2003, 00:46

This column first appeared on on 8/18/03.

The time has finally come for Israel to take the gloves off and start to hit hard, for real. It's time for Israelis to get over their "Syrian Syndrome", that irrational deep-seated fear of Syria, dating back to the Yom Kippur War of 1973. The Syria of today might not be much different than the Syria of 1973, but Israel sure the heck is. Israel's military in 2003 is quite a bit more advanced, Israel's economy - while still a little slow - is exponentially ahead of Syria's economy. In fact by every measure of national power, Israel is well beyond Syria, the gap has grown not shrunk since 1973. So "get over it", Syria is a paper tiger, or more aptly put a "paper bag", or "basket case".

Even after renewed attacks on Israel, why bother with Hizbollah? Why play Syria's and Iran's game? Why pretend that Hizbollah is calling the shots? Why give "immunity" to the real culprits? Put the blame squarely where it belongs, on Syria. One could try to blame the Lebanese government for not doing enough to tone down Hizbollah. The Lebanese military really should take up positions in Southern Lebanon and de-militarize Hizbollah. Israel has left Lebanese soil. Ask the UN; for once they support our position and agree with us. But alas, Lebanon is not an independent state. Lebanon is a puppet regime controlled by Damascus.

So Israel needs to put the blame where it belongs; on the only power capable of reining in Hizbollah, of dis-arming them, of cutting off their flow of weapons from Iran, and of discouraging them from attacking Israel, i.e. Syria. About that last line, Syria uses Hizbollah to keep pressure on Israel. Hizbollah is Syria's proxy army against Israel. Notice the Syrian occupation army in Lebanon never attacks Israel. It's always Hizbollah, so that Syria can't be directly blamed for the attack. Well I'm saying, forget the small fry, BLAME SYRIA!

First, the Israeli government should make it a cornerstone of it's foreign policy to raise the issue of Syria's continuing violation of UN Security Council Resolution 520, that calls on all foreign forces - including Syria - to leave Lebanon, at every diplomatic opportunity. What a joke that Syria sits on the UN Security Council, while it violates a Security Council resolution. No wonder, many people in the United States, Israel, and elsewhere hold the UN in such low esteem. And, Israel should more vigorously lobby Washington to "sit-on" Syria, till Syria gets out of Lebanon. Washington has been wishy-washy in dealing with Damascus.

In the beginning of May, US Secretary of State Colin Powell visited Damascus and Beirut. After leaving Damascus, he said in a Beirut press conference that he and Assad discussed "all of the outstanding issues" that have hindered US-Syrian relations in the past. That included frank talks about Weapons of Mass Destruction; Syria's support for the Lebanese group Hizbollah; and closing the Iraq-Syria border "and keeping it sealed" to technology, fighters and wanted Iraqi authority figures, Powell said. He made it clear to Assad, that the US commitment to Middle East peace "would include Syria and Lebanon, and would include the Golan Heights." But, Powell made no mention of speaking to Assad about getting Syria out of Lebanon.

Later, speaking in Beirut - notice not Damascus - Powell assured Prime Minister Rafik Hariri of US support for "an independent and prosperous Lebanon free of all - all - foreign forces." But the main focus of Powell's visit to Syria, it seems, was to prevent them from helping out Saddam's buddies, to 'give up the goods' i.e. WMD, to stop their support for terrorist groups - which they haven't - and to soften up their rejection of US Middle East Peacemaking efforts between Israel and the Palestinians - the road map - promising the Golan Heights, as a reward for good behavior, despite Syria's opposition to the US war in Iraq and despite their facilitation of 'volunteer fighters' to help Saddam. Little focus was put on getting Syria out of Lebanon and nothing has happened on that front since Powell's visit.

Yet, on May 2nd - the day before Powell's meeting with Assad - in Washington, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) introduced the Senate version of the Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2003 S 982. The bill's purposes are to (1) halt Syrian support for terrorism; (2) end the Syrian occupation of Lebanon; (3) stop Syria's production of Weapons of Mass Destruction; and (4) hold Syria accountable for the illegal Syrian-Iraqi trade, which provided Iraq with the weapons that killed American troops. The House version of the Act was introduced on April 10. Both bills now have a solid majority of support in the US Congress. Sponsors and supporters of the bill claim it will weaken Syria's ability to wage wars, to threaten its neighbors, and to destabilize the region. So, there clearly is support for pushing Syria out of Lebanon emanating from the US Congress. Israel should remind Washington of that.

Today, after the United State's victory in Iraq, and the inclusion of Iraqi Shi'ites in the Iraqi governing council, it would be hard for Hizbollah or Iran to portray the US as out to get the Shi'ites in Lebanon, just because they oppose Hizbollah. Ending the vicious Syrian occupation of Lebanon, and dis-mantling Hizbollah as a military force there, would also serve US and Israeli interests in putting a firm limit to Iran's influence in the area. This no doubt would have a positive effect in weakening Islamic Jihad - and to a lesser extent Hamas - in Damascus and Gaza. Iran is already on the American and Israeli agenda, due to it's closing in on real nuclear capability. Anything that weakens Iran's ability to "export" the revolution is good for the region and the world.

Second, in blaming Syria's dictatorial regime for Hizbollah's attacks on Israel, the Israeli government should announce a new policy, of retaliatory raids against Syrian military positions in Lebanon. As I stated earlier, why should Syria be "immune" from the costs of its policies in support of Hizbollah? After annunciating this change in policy, of holding Syria accountable for Hizbollah attacks, the Israeli government should begin a policy of "graduated escalation" beginning with hitting Syrian positions in Lebanon.

Everyone should remember the beginning of the Lebanon War in 1982, when Israel warned Syria to stay out of its way, but Syria didn't listen. When confronted, Israel shot down over 90 Syrian planes with just one loss. Today, Israel has significantly increased its military superiority over Syria from 1982. If Syria doesn't stop the Hizbollah attacks and prepare to end its occupation of Lebanon, the next phase would include selected targets in Syria itself. This "graduated escalation" would put the issue of the vicious Syrian occupation of Lebanon - since 1976 - and their support for Hizbollah terror against Israel on the top of the American, EU, and UN's agenda.

Israel and the United States have to support a free and independent Lebanon, free of Syrian occupation, free of Hizbollah terrorism, free to return to its former glory. It's in Israel's interest, it's in Lebanon's interest, it's in the United States' interest, and yes, it's even in the Syrian people's interest.

Ariel Natan Pasko is an independent analyst & consultant. He has a Master's Degree in International Relations & Policy Analysis. His articles appear regularly on numerous news/views and think-tank websites, in newspapers, and can be read at:

(c) 2003/5763 Pasko
9 posted on 10/07/2003 12:26:14 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: Coeur de Lion
Every Iranian I met in America before the fall of the Shah, students, and older family members, hated him. They hated his Savak, the secret police that they thought were too brutal. I've wondered sometimes about what they thought of his replacements.
10 posted on 10/07/2003 12:42:28 AM PDT by xJones
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To: DoctorZIn
Against Suicide Bombings

October 07, 2003
Arab News

Israel’s attack on what it said was an Islamic Jihad military training camp in Syria sends two messages to the world. The first, on behalf of the United States, is the clear signal that the Bush administration will do everything it can to keep Syria and Iran in its sights as the so-called war on terror continues. It is a message that has been heard, loud and clear, in the Arab world.

However, the second message, though indirect, should be taken on board with equal concern: That suicide attacks on Israeli civilian targets are politically and militarily counterproductive.

How much reflection has there been in the Arab media on the fact that three Israeli Arabs were among the 19 killed in the restaurant in Haifa on Saturday? How much acknowledgement has there been that the city targeted is one of the few in Israel where Arabs and Jews coexist peacefully? And where are the editorials asking what the three children and the baby who were blown to pieces there did to deserve such a terrible fate? Is there any reflection on the fact that Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat is now as a result of the bombing in a weaker position than ever, and that the sizeable minority of ordinary Americans who support Palestinian calls for a viable state are less likely than ever to raise their voices in support of the cause?

Arab News has said it before, but along with all decent-minded people we must continue to say it loudly and unambiguously: Suicide bombings are morally repugnant, are totally against Islam and all human decency.

The suicide bombings are part and parcel of the impotence and desperation that in so many ways characterizes the Arab condition. Many say that it is precisely because of this impotence that suicide bombers are forced to carry out their attacks. But the opposite is true: Each suicide bombing deals another blow to the already immeasurably weakened Arab position.

Let’s face it: The Palestinians and the wider Arab world have no meaningful strategy for dealing with the Arab-Israeli conflict, and that is why extremism fills the vacuum. If as much planning and effort had been put into forging a strategy for mass civil disobedience, for example, and promoting genuine internal reform and development as has been put into the recruitment, training and encouragement of suicide bombers, the Palestinians would not only be in a much stronger position at the negotiating table but would also have much more vocal and tangible support from the international community.

That Israel was able to attack a camp just a few miles outside Damascus, without having to worry about the risks involved or the possibility of reprisals, is a clear indication of Arab impotence.

Will the Arabs ever see the link between self-defeating act of suicide bombing and their self-destructive activities on the diplomatic level whenever they attempt to address the Middle East conflict?
11 posted on 10/07/2003 1:17:02 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
12 posted on 10/07/2003 6:54:36 AM PDT by windchime
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To: xJones
Re# 10
And Now, People of Iran praise and miss The Shah. They know what a huge mistake they made in 1979.
13 posted on 10/07/2003 8:07:26 AM PDT by F14 Pilot
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To: DoctorZIn; McGavin999; Eala; AdmSmith; dixiechick2000; nuconvert; onyx; Pro-Bush; Valin; ...
Whither reform in Iran?

Student protests prompt predictions of Islamic Republic’s demise

Ten days of raucous student demonstrations across Iran in June prompted fresh predictions of the Iranian regime’s imminent demise. But by July, regime hard-liners had regained the upper hand by arresting some 4,000 people. This summer’s back-and-forth is yet another indication that in Iran a highly contentious but gradual process of political change is more likely than revolution. An increasingly complex and often tense relationship between two leading groups pushing for reform ­ university students and the reformists who dominate Parliament as well as several ministries ­ has profound implications for how such change will unfold in the coming year.
Since 1997 student groups with longstanding ties to leftist forces provided critical support to reformists elected to Parliament and serving in the of Interior, Culture and Islamic Guidance ministries, many of whom themselves had leftist affiliations in the past. For example, the Office for Fostering Unity (OFU), a major student organization active on over 50 campuses across Iran, was one of the most important civil society organizations helping elect Mohammad Khatami to the presidency in 1997. The alliance was further cemented in the July 1999 student riots when reformists in government protested against harsh measures meted out to students.
In the past two years, however, the reformists’ inability or unwillingness to confront the hard-liners’ onslaught against Iranians seeking political change has caused great frustration among many students. The decisive break occurred with the February 2003 local council elections. The OFU withdrew from the main reformist electoral coalition, the Dovom-e Khordad Front, contributing to the reformists’ first electoral defeat since 1997. Student disenchantment has increased with the reformists’ inability to prevent recurring crackdowns on students. Although recent parliamentary mediations led to the release of some student leaders arrested in the June demonstrations, many in the student movement lost confidence in the reformists’ will to defend their rights.
The growing separation between these two groups is having many repercussions. It has brought into sharper focus the divergent objectives of some of their members. Most reformers in Parliament and the ministries seek to reconcile the democratic and theocratic aspects of Iran’s constitution ­ essentially, to reform the existing Islamic system of governance in a democratic direction. By contrast, some students question if the two are fundamentally compatible ­ and would like to steer the Islamic Republic toward what would be a secular democracy.
An increasingly independent student movement has become vulnerable to hard-liners’ charges of links to foreign plots and exiled opposition groups, allegations meant to discredit the movement with the public. A more isolated student movement could become radicalized, giving hard-liners a pretext to start a massive crackdown.
The students’ disenchantment has also led some reformists to acknowledge the need to create a common platform to bring together committed democratic activists from all political persuasions, secular and religious, inside and outside of Iran. Such attention to coalition building is a healthy development, as neither the students nor the reformists in government can change Iran alone. Several recent open letters written by members of Parliament, cultural figures and political activists inside Iran and in exile suggest that a platform is indeed developing with a focus on popular will as the only source of legitimate political authority, equal rights for all citizens, and national reconciliation.
Some reformist politicians also feel new pressure to adopt a bolder strategy vis-a-vis the hard-liners to show the reform movement is not dead. In recent months, Parliament passed legislation to stop candidate screening by the Council of Guardians, a body appointed by the supreme leader that vets candidates for national elections and assesses the constitutionality and religious soundness of all laws, and to enhance the president’s power to enforce the constitution. The Council of Guardians has summarily rejected these bills. But Parliament continues to pass legislation, investigate misconduct on the part of nonelected institutions, and agitate for the release of arrested students, journalists, and activists.
Officials in reformist-dominated ministries have also shown renewed willingness to confront the directives of nonelected institutions. The interior minister recently ordered provincial governments not to cooperate with local committees established by the Council of Guardians to monitor the parliamentary elections.
Time favors reform-minded Iranians. Despite the hard-liners’ ability to obstruct reformist legislation and repress political activists, they lack the resources and popular mandate to halt the drive toward a transparent and accountable government. But establishing an effective coalition of students and reformists in government is essential to substantive change occurring sooner rather than later.

Farideh Farhi is an independent scholar and a member of the graduate faculty of political science at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. This article first appeared in the Arab Reform Bulletin September 2003 edition, published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and is reprinted with permission
14 posted on 10/07/2003 8:09:54 AM PDT by F14 Pilot
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To: All
Minister: Iran Won't Suspend Uranium Enrichment

Tue October 7, 2003 07:55 AM ET
By Christian Oliver

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran said on Tuesday it would continue enriching uranium despite intense pressure from nations worried it could develop its own nuclear arms.

A suspension of uranium enrichment is one of the demands of an October 31 deadline set by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that is calling on the Islamic Republic to prove it is not seeking a nuclear warhead.

"We will not allow anyone to deprive us of our legitimate right to use nuclear technology, particularly (uranium) enrichment for providing fuel for nuclear plants," Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi was quoted as saying by the official IRNA news agency.

Enriched uranium can be used to fuel nuclear power stations but if enriched further can be used in atomic weapons.

Iran says enrichment is key to the country's civilian nuclear energy program because it means the whole project can be home-grown -- from mining uranium ore to fueling reactors -- with no dependence on foreigners at any stage of the process.

"The Iranian nation, by using the abilities and expertise of its own children, has decided to pursue the path of progress," President Mohammad Khatami said in a public speech in Khuzestan province, also carried by IRNA.

Political analyst Hossein Rassam told Reuters Iran was committed to the complete fuel cycle. "Enrichment is not something Iranians will easily give up," he said.

Countries such as the United States fear that allowing Iran to continue its uranium enrichment, even under IAEA supervision, would give Iran a potential "break out" capacity to produce nuclear arms.


The IAEA declined comment but diplomats in Vienna said it was important for Iran to try to patch up what they describe as a serious "confidence deficit."

"Iran is not doing much to inspire confidence at the moment," one diplomat told Reuters. However, diplomats from IAEA board nations acknowledge the demand to put enrichment on hold is not legally binding.

Iran insists weapons-grade uranium found in the country originates from contamination when equipment was bought in from abroad. On Monday Tehran said it would give the IAEA a list of imported components.

A speech from Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the last word on all state issues, also lambasted pressure on Iran's nuclear program and exhorted people to resist the country's enemies.

"The international power centers, by continuing their plots, have aimed to impede this country's progress," he was quoted as saying in the hardline Jomhuri-ye Eslami newspaper. "All people...should stand up against the enemy's demands."

However, Kharrazi said Iran had no plans to quit the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), a course espoused by hard-liners.

"Iran is one of the proponents of the NPT and is determined to remain one of its signatories," he told the conference.

Kharrazi reiterated Iran's stance that the development of nuclear weapons would contravene its religious values.

He also repeated Iran's assertion that it was committed to a Middle East free of nuclear weapons, where the biggest threat to security was Israel's possession of the Bomb.
15 posted on 10/07/2003 8:11:47 AM PDT by F14 Pilot
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To: DoctorZIn
Perhaps the attempt to establish a republic in Iraq is emboldening the students in Iran. Hmmm...
16 posted on 10/07/2003 8:15:44 AM PDT by Aquinasfan (Isaiah 22:22, Rev 3:7, Mat 16:19)
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To: F14 Pilot
Thanks for the heads up!
17 posted on 10/07/2003 8:18:35 AM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: Ragtime Cowgirl
Ping to number eight.
18 posted on 10/07/2003 8:22:15 AM PDT by Pan_Yans Wife ("Life isn't fair. It's fairer than death, is all.")
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To: DoctorZIn
Phony Trial Opens for Murdered Canadian Photojournalist

October 07, 2003
Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting

Tehran -- The Judiciary opened Tuesday the case for the one accused of killing Zahra Kazemi, the Iranian photographer.

Judge Rasoul Ghanimi presided over the two-hour session which docked an intelligence ministry agent on charges of committing quasi-intentional murder of the photojournalist.

The agent pleaded not guilty to the accusations and the defence lawyer called for adjourning the trial.

Canada's ambassador to Iran, Philip Mackinnon, was present in the courthouse.

Some 40 foriegn and local journalists were also present in the court.

Zahra Kazemi, 54, died on July 10 after she was arrested for photographing outside Tehran's Evin prison. An official investigation concluded that her fatal brain haemorrhage due to stroke of a hard object.
19 posted on 10/07/2003 8:38:29 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: All
Cuba to expand industrial cooperation with Iran

Tuesday, October 07, 2003 - ©2003

Tehran, Oct 7, IRNA -- Cuban Minister of Government Ricardo Cabrisas Ruiz voiced here Tuesday his country`s determination to expand industrial cooperation with Iran.

Cabrisas, in a meeting with Iranian Minister of Industries and Mines Es`haq Jahangiri, expressed satisfaction over a credit of 20 million dollars extended by Iran to Cuba to develop its agriculture sector.

"Cuba is currently facing a crisis resulting from US pressures and is under specific political and economic conditions," he said, adding the country faces several problems in international exchanges due to such crisis.

"International crises has led to a reduction in prices of sugar on world markets and in Cuba`s tourism incomes, so Iran`s credit is of special importance to Cuba," the minister noted.

He expressed his country`s willingness to exchange trade delegations with Iran in order to enhance mutual commercial exchanges and called for settlement of legal impediments to both sides` investment.

The Cuban head of Iran-Cuba Joint Commission said his country is ready to reconstruct Iranian sugar companies and exchange information to this effect.

Jahangiri, for his part, said Iran and Cuba have the capacity to expand bilateral cooperation in various industrial fields, adding that Iran can make use of Cuba`s industrial potential.

Comment: (( Cuba to expand cooperations with Iran and help them jam the satellite signals to Iran ))

20 posted on 10/07/2003 8:52:49 AM PDT by F14 Pilot
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