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Iranian Alert -- October 10, 2003 -- IRAN LIVE THREAD PING LIST
The Iranian Student Movement Up To The Minute Reports ^ | 10.10.2003 | DoctorZin

Posted on 10/10/2003 12:13:20 AM PDT by DoctorZIn

The US media almost entirely ignores news regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran. As Tony Snow of the Fox News Network has put it, “this is probably the most under-reported news story of the year.”

But most American’s are unaware that the Islamic Republic of Iran is NOT supported by the masses of Iranians today. Modern Iranians are among the most pro-American in the Middle East.

There is a popular revolt against the Iranian regime brewing in Iran today. Starting June 10th of this year, Iranians have begun taking to the streets to express their desire for a regime change. Most want to replace the regime with a secular democracy. Many even want the US to over throw their government.

The regime is working hard to keep the news about the protest movement in Iran from being reported. Unfortunately, the regime has successfully prohibited western news reporters from covering the demonstrations.

The voices of discontent within Iran are sometime murdered, more often imprisoned. Still the people continue to take to the streets to demonstrate against the regime.

In support of this revolt, Iranians in America have been broadcasting news stories by satellite into Iran. This 21st century news link has greatly encouraged these protests. The regime has been attempting to jam the signals, and locate the satellite dishes. Still the people violate the law and listen to these broadcasts.

Iranians also use the Internet and the regime attempts to block their access to news against the regime. In spite of this, many Iranians inside of Iran read these posts daily to keep informed of the events in their own country.

This daily thread contains nearly all of the English news reports on Iran. It is thorough.

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. The news stories and commentary will from time to time include material from the regime itself. But if you read the post you will discover for yourself, the real story of what is occurring in Iran and its effects on the war on terror.

I am not of Iranian heritage. I am an American committed to supporting the efforts of those in Iran seeking to replace their government with a secular democracy. I am in contact with leaders of the Iranian community here in the United States and in Iran itself.

If you read the daily posts you will gain a better understanding of the US war on terrorism, the Middle East and why we need to support a change of regime in Iran. Feel free to ask your questions and post news stories you discover in the weeks to come.

If all goes well Iran will be free soon and I am convinced become a major ally in the war on terrorism. The regime will fall. Iran will be free. It is just a matter of time.

DoctorZIn

PS I have a daily ping list and a breaking news ping list. If you would like to receive alerts to these stories please let me know which list you would like to join.


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: iaea; iran; iranianalert; protests; southasia; studentmovement; studentprotest
Discover all the news since the protests began on June 10th, go to:

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail DoctorZin”

1 posted on 10/10/2003 12:13:20 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 | DoctorZin

Click on the link above!

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail DoctorZin”


2 posted on 10/10/2003 12:14:36 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: All

GOD BLESS OUR MILITARY
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3 posted on 10/10/2003 12:14:56 AM PDT by Support Free Republic (Your support keeps Free Republic going strong!)
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To: DoctorZIn
U.N. says still waiting for Iran nuclear data

Fri 10 October, 2003 04:00 BST

LONDON (Reuters) - Chief United Nations nuclear inspector Mohamed ElBaradei says he is still waiting for Iran to provide satisfactory information to show its atomic programme is entirely non-military, the Financial Times has reported.

ElBaradei told the paper's Friday edition that teams of inspectors sent to Iran last week had been given access to sites they had requested and had received fresh information from Iranian authorities.

Iranian President Mohammad Khatami has insisted that Tehran will provide whatever cooperation is needed by an October 31 deadline set by the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to prove its nuclear programme is solely geared for peaceful purposes.

But ElBaradei said the amount and flow of information remained inadequate.

"They've promised information will be forthcoming but it has not yet been provided," he told the paper in an interview.

"The central question is whether Iran has any (uranium) enrichment activities that we have not yet been informed about. On that question I haven't got satisfactory information."

U.S. Undersecretary of State John Bolton predicted on Thursday that Iran would show some cooperation to prevent a showdown over the deadline but not enough to dispel international suspicion of its nuclear ambitions.

"They will try and throw sand in our eyes and use a modest level of cooperation to hide some level of obfuscation and lack of cooperation, to conceal as much as they can, to delay, to fight for time, and to avoid having the issue referred to the (U.N.) Security Council," he told reporters in London.

ElBaradei has warned Tehran that if it fails to cooperate fully with his agency Iran's case may be sent to the Security Council for possible sanctions.

Iran insists its nuclear programme is solely geared to producing electricity and not for building an atomic arms capability, as Washington alleges.

http://www.reuters.co.uk/newsPackageArticle.jhtml?type=worldNews&storyID=386027&section=news
4 posted on 10/10/2003 12:17:31 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
A Must Read Article By Amir Taheri -- DoctorZin

ISLAMIC EXTREMISTS RECANT

By AMIR TAHERI

October 10, 2003 -- ENOUGH is enough! This is the message of a new book selling like hotcakes in Egypt. The authors are eight senior sheiks (leaders) of Gamaa al-Islamiyah (Islamic Society), a terrorist organization that waged a bloody campaign against the Egyptian state for 20 years. The campaign claimed thousands of lives, including hundreds of Western tourists.
The book's purpose is better explained by its subtitle "Theological Revisions by the Islamic Society," rather than its almost romantic title, "River of Memories." It is a summary of discussions held by the movement's leaders and militants over a period of 10 months, while serving prison terms of between five and 22 years.

Egypt's government has released 1,000 of the group's members in recent days - in good part because of the sentiments expressed in the book.

The sheiks write: "Egyptians should not shed the blood of Egyptians . . . What happened was wrong and should not happen again." They add, "Women and children should not be killed, even in war."

They sheikcall for "a complete and unconditional end to any act of violence, including verbal violence, against the Egyptian authorities inside or outside the country."

The book contains a discussion about the attack organized by the terror movement against tourists in Luxour in 1997, in which almost 60 Westerners, mostly Germans, were blown to pieces.

"In Luxour we killed men, women and children, young and old - innocent travelers who had come to visit our land," the book says. "It was wrong, wrong, wrong. Islam does not permit the murder of innocent civilians for any reason."

The sheiks attribute the 9/11 attacks to the Israeli secret service Mossad, and claim that no Muslim would have planned and carried out an operation that claimed the lives of "thousands of innocent people." To back their claim, they recall the Islamic rule that identified suicide as a grave sin on par with the denial of the oneness of God. Thus Mohamed Atta and his gang could not have been Muslims.

The sheiks also condemn the recent terrorist attack in Riyadh, the Saudi capital, which killed almost 50 people - but, this time, do not blame it on Mossad.

The sheiks claim that they had misunderstood and misused the concept of jihad in Islam. They enumerate the classical rules concerning jihad, which has been wrongly interpreted by many commentators to mean "holy war." They admit that they had ignored those rules, but do not express regret. "What is past is past," they insist. They assert that the issue of jihad is "too delicate, too complex" to be handled by "unqualified individuals acting on the basis of raw emotions."

They add that jihad could be interpreted as an order to war only if it is based on theological consensus, something almost impossible to achieve, and even then only in self-defense.

The sheiks call for an end to armed struggle and a new strategy of "re-Islamicizing" Egyptian society through example and preaching.

Leading the discussions was Karam Muhammad Zohdi, who spent 22 years in prison after being found guilty of participation in the assassination of President Anwar Sadat in October 1980. The authorities released Zohdi from jail last month and allowed him to promote the new book.

The movement's most senior leader, Zohdi was joined by other sheiks, notably Najih Abdallah, the movement's ideologue, and Hamdi Abdel-Azim. Missing from the group is Ayman al-Zawahiri - now al Qaeda's No. 2, and hiding either in Iran or in Pakistan.

The sheiks describe the Taliban regime in Afghanistan as weird and its leader, Mullah Muhammad Omar, as "a warlord," and not a theologian. They shed no tears for the deposed Iraqi tyrant Saddam Hussein and say that "not anyone who bears arms is a fighter for Islam."

What should one make of this strange turnabout? Here are eight men who have blood on their hands and whose organization is responsible for countless tragedies, and yet they seek reintegration into a society that they terrorized for a generation.

Some of them describe themselves as tawwabin - "the repenting ones" - and refer to classical Islamic rules that allow forgiveness for those who confess their sins and dedicate their lives to repairing the effects.

There are, nevertheless, several troubling points.

* The sheiks claim that Egyptian society needs to be "re-Islamicized." This presupposes the existence of an ideal Islamic model, known only to the ex-terrorist leadership.

* They call for a campaign of "persuasion and encouragement" aimed at promoting "Islamic values." This means intimidating women into wearing the type of hijab (headgear) that has become the symbol of Islamist terrorism since the mid '70s. It also means ostracizing men who do not grow their beards in the form mandated by the terrorist leaders.

Beyond these outwards symbols, it also means an atmosphere in which people who do not wish to live their lives the way the sheiks deem fit would constantly feel threatened.

* Finally, the sheiks are careful not to abandon such goals as making Islam the sole religion of all mankind, wiping Israel off the map and destroying "deviant" Muslims - such as Shiites, a majority in Iran, Iraq, Yemen and Lebanon - like "evil weeds."

In military terms, the Egyptian terrorist movement has lost the war it unleashed against the state. But it intends to pursue a political, social and cultural war in which psychological terror is the prime weapon.

The Gamaa's new strategy is, in a sense, not new at all. It has been practiced by the Ikhwan al-Moslemeen (The Muslim Brotherhood) in Egypt and half a dozen other Arab countries for years.

Allied to the despotic regimes in place, the Brotherhood promises not to challenge the political authority of the state. In exchange, it gets a free hand in "Islamicizing" society the way it likes.

In some countries, including Egypt, the strategy has worked. Today, many Egyptians feel less free than 25 years ago. Also compared to 25 years ago, Egypt is becoming a cultural desert upon which blows the murderous wind of bedouinisation.

Amir Taheri is an Iranian author of 10 books on the Middle East and Islam. He's reachable through www.benadorassociates.com.

http://www.nypost.com/postopinion/opedcolumnists/7721.htm
5 posted on 10/10/2003 12:25:22 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; McGavin999; Hinoki Cypress; ...
A Must Read Article By Amir Taheri -- DoctorZin

ISLAMIC EXTREMISTS RECANT

By AMIR TAHERI

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/998638/posts?page=5#5
6 posted on 10/10/2003 12:29:55 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
BUMP!
7 posted on 10/10/2003 12:30:00 AM PDT by Pro-Bush (Homeland Security + Tom Ridge = Open Borders --> Demand Change!)
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To: DoctorZIn
PM Visit To Iran To Deepen Bilateral Relations: FM

Updated on 2003-10-10 10:43:12
PakNews.Com

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Oct 10 (PNS) - Upcoming visit of Pakistan’s Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali to Iran will deepen the existing relations between Tehran and Islamabad, Pakistan’s top diplomat said here Wednesday.

In a meeting with Iran`s Ambassador Mohammad-Ebrahim Taherian at Foreign Office, Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri called for expansion of Iran-Pakistan cooperation and interaction vis-a-vis the regional and international developments.

According to a press release by Iran’s Embassy in Islamabad, the Iranian envoy expressed satisfaction over the opportunity for cementing the ties between the two brotherly neighboring countries of Pakistan and Iran.

"Stability and security in the region notably in Afghanistan is in the best interests of its neighboring countries as well as the whole region," Taherian was quoted as saying.

Both the minister and the visiting ambassador hailed the splendid history of friendly and deeply-rooted relations between their respective countries stressing for expansion of ties in all fields, the embassy reported.

Pakistan’s premier is expected to visit the Islamic Republic of Iran on Oct 22 heading a top-level delegation.

http://www.paknews.com/main.php?id=1&date1=2003-10-10
8 posted on 10/10/2003 12:42:10 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Shirin Ebadi wins Nobel Peace Prize

Iranian lawyer and human rights activist Shirin Ebadi has won the Nobel Peace Prize for 2003. Ebadi is Iran's first female judge and a leading figure in the struggle for women's and children's rights in Iran. She is known for representing the interests of persecuted individuals and has braved reprisals for her beliefs.




The Norwegian Nobel Committee was founded in compliance with Alfred Nobel's will, made public in January 1897, a month after his death. The Committee is composed of five members appointed by Norway's parliament, the Storting.

The current committee is led by Ole Danbolt Mjoes, and includes Berge Ragnar Furre, Sissel Marie Rønbeck, Inger-Marie Ytterhorn, and Kaci Kullmann Five. Geir Lundestad is secretary and director of the Nobel Institute.

The peace prize is worth SEK 10 million (USD 1.3 million).



At 11:00 am local time, the head of the Norwegian Nobel committee, Ole Danholt Mjoes, announced that the prize would be going to a Muslim woman for the first time.

"I am very happy, and hope that the prize can contribute to the struggle for human rights in Iran," Ebadi said in a telephone interview with Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) after the announcement.

Ebaid also said that she hoped the prize would encourage other Muslim woman around the world, and for their fight for equal rights.

In 2001 Ebadi won the Rafto Prize for her long battle for human rights and democracy in Iran. He has also been recognized by Human Rights Watch for her efforts.

In 1997 Ebadi told Norwegian news agency NTB that Iran's existing system had to change.

"After the revolution many things went wrong. For example, we received a series of discriminatory laws. Now an increasing number of people want changes, and this is seen in the election of Mohammad Khatami as president. The time has come for reforms," Ebadi said.
9 posted on 10/10/2003 2:53:38 AM PDT by Eurotwit
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To: Eurotwit
Let this be a message to all Iranians around the world. We will always be with you till the day of your destiny is here. Then we will roar you on. Let this also be a reminder to the incompentent British governement who still have relations with the bastards in Tehran. We should be in Iran and helping a popular revolt against the mad mullahs.

Forza Shirin

Forza Iran
10 posted on 10/10/2003 3:27:29 AM PDT by Big Bad Bob (England For The Terminator!!!)
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Comment #11 Removed by Moderator

To: DoctorZIn
The sheiks attribute the 9/11 attacks to the Israeli secret service Mossad, and claim that no Muslim would have planned and carried out an operation that claimed the lives of "thousands of innocent people." To back their claim, they recall the Islamic rule that identified suicide as a grave sin on par with the denial of the oneness of God. Thus Mohamed Atta and his gang could not have been Muslims.

They admit that Luxor and Riyadh were wrong, against Islam and terrible events. But, Septembr 11th, which happens between the murders in Luxor and Riyadh, is not their doing... only Mossad would do this? THEY NEED A NEW EDITOR!

12 posted on 10/10/2003 4:28:30 AM PDT by Pan_Yans Wife ("Life isn't fair. It's fairer than death, is all.")
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To: Big Bad Bob
Thank you, BBB

And I wish the British government would decide who's side they're really on. Apparently business between Blair and the pro-terrorist regime in Iran is not about to end for morality's sake. And the money's too good to give up.
13 posted on 10/10/2003 5:55:43 AM PDT by nuconvert
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To: DoctorZIn
Today: October 10, 2003 at 3:24:14 PDT
Excerpts From Nobel Peace Prize Citation
By The Associated Press
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Excerpts from the citation of the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize, awarded Friday to Shirin Ebadi of Iran for her human rights activism:
---

Ebadi is a conscious Muslim. She sees no conflict between Islam and fundamental human rights. It is important to her that the dialogue between the different cultures and religions of the world should take as its point of departure their shared values. It is a pleasure for the Norwegian Nobel Committee to award the Peace Prize to a woman who is part of the Muslim world, and of whom that world can be proud - along with all who fight for human rights wherever they live. During recent decades, democracy and human rights have advanced in various parts of the world. By its awards of the Nobel Peace Prize, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has attempted to speed up this process.
---

As a lawyer, judge, lecturer, writer and activist, she has spoken out clearly and strongly in her country, Iran, and far beyond its borders. She has stood up as a sound professional, a courageous person, and has never heeded the threats to her own safety. Her principal arena is the struggle for basic human rights, and no society deserves to be labeled civilized unless the rights of women and children are respected. In an era of violence, she has consistently supported nonviolence. It is fundamental to her view that the supreme political power in a community must be built on democratic elections. She favors enlightenment and dialogue as the best path to changing attitudes and resolving conflict.
---

We hope that the people of Iran will feel joyous that for the first time in history one of their citizens has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, and we hope the Prize will be an inspiration for all those who struggle for human rights and democracy in her country, in the Muslim world, and in all countries where the fight for human rights needs inspiration and support.

http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/w-eur/2003/oct/10/101002177.html
14 posted on 10/10/2003 6:31:47 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
Shirin Ebadi, human rights defender who enraged Iran's hardliners

TEHRAN (AFP) Oct 10, 2003
Shirin Ebadi, 56, is one of Iran's most prominent human rights defenders, whose campaigning on behalf of women, children and outspoken dissidents has earned her the wrath of the Islamic republic's religious hardliners.
Prior to the 1979 Islamic revolution, she made headlines when she became the country's first female judge. But she was stripped of her post when the new ruling clerics decided that women were unsuitable for such responsibilities.

Rather than retire to a life of obscurity, Ebadi continued to lecture in law at Tehran university and emerged as a vocal activist and lawyer dedicted to women's and children's rights.

She was a major driving force between the reform of Iran's family laws, notably on divorce and inheritance -- and also against a system where the "blood money" -- compensation for an injury -- for women is half that for a man.

Ebadi also emerged as something of an unofficial spokesperson for Iranian women, who demonstrated their political clout in 1997 by rallying around the mild-mannered reformist cleric Mohammad Khatami and electing him president.

But it was involvement in investigating one of Islamic Iran's most controversial cases -- the 1999 serial murders of writers, intellectuals and dissidents -- that put her on a collision course with Iran's hardliners.

She served as lawyer for Dariush and Parvaneh Foruhar, a couple who were among several dissidents who died in a spate of grisly murders that were eventually pinned on "rogue" agents from Iran's intelligence ministry.

In June 2000, she was arrested along with another reformist lawyer, for allegedly distributing a taped confession of a hardline vigilante militia member involved in anti-reformist violence. She was held in jail for three weeks, and then recieved a suspended prison sentence of five years and was barred from practising law in a closed-door trial.

Her work has won her accolades from Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and in 2001 she was awarded the human rights Rafto prize. She is married and has two daughters, aged 20 and 23.

The profile released by the Nobel Committee following Friday's announcement said, "Both in her research and as an activist, she is known for promoting peaceful, democratic solutions to serious problems in society. She takes an active part in the public debate and is well-known and admired by the general public in her country for her defence in court of victims of the conservative faction's attack on freedom of speech and political freedom.

"Ebadi represents Reformed Islam, and argues for a new interpretation of Islamic law which is in harmony with vital human rights such as democracy, equality before the law, religious freedom and freedom of speech.

"As for religious freedom, it should be noted that Ebadi also includes the rights of members of the Bahai community, which has had problems in Iran ever since its foundation.

"Ebadi is an activist for refugee rights, as well as those of women and children. She is the founder and leader of the Association for Support of Children's Rights in Iran. Ebadi has written a number of academic books and articles focused on human rights."

"With Islam as her starting point, Ebadi campaigns for peaceful solutions to social problems, and promotes new thinking on Islamic terms. She has displayed great personal courage as a lawyer defending individuals and groups who have fallen victim to a powerful political and legal system that is legitimized through an inhumane interpretation of Islam.

"Ebadi has shown her willingness and ability to cooperate with representatives of secular as well as religious views."
http://www.spacewar.com/2003/031010092015.x896w7j9.html
15 posted on 10/10/2003 7:07:00 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
Nobel prize winner calls for release of Iranian political prisoners

PARIS (AFP) Oct 10, 2003
Iranian lawyer and human rights activist Shirin Ebadi called Friday for the release of political prisoners in Iran, just hours after being awarded the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize.

"Today many people who fight for liberty and democracy (in Iran) are in prison. I hope for their release as soon as possible," she told a news conference in Paris.

"I call on the Iranian government to respect human rights and I hope in the future things will move positively ... What is most urgent is respect for freedom of expression and the release of prisoners of conscience," she said.

Ebadi, 56, is one of Iran's most prominent human rights defenders, and her campaigning on behalf of women, children and outspoken dissidents has earned her the wrath of the Islamic republic's religious hardliners.

She is the 11th woman to win the coveted Nobel peace prize and the first ever Muslim woman.

Ebadi also defended her religion -- Islam -- against charges that it is incompatible with the western concept of human rights, and came out against any foreign intervention in her country.

"Islam is not incompatible with human rights and all Muslims should be glad of this prize. If you read the Koran you will see there is nothing in it that is against human rights.

"For 20 years I have been putting out the message that it is possible to be Muslim and have laws that respect human rights," she said.

"The fight for human rights is conducted in Iran by the Iranian people and we are against any foreign intervention in Iran," she said.

"It is not easy to be a woman in Iran because of Iranian law. But the beauty of life in Iran is to fight in difficult circumstances as a woman and as a jurist. If I lived in another country I would not be as proud as I am today," she said.

"The prize gives me more energy to continue the fight for a better future .... This day does not belong to me, but to all militants for human rights in the world," she said.

http://www.spacewar.com/2003/031010130618.cg4lrh3t.html
16 posted on 10/10/2003 7:28:18 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
Nobel peace laureate against foreign intervention in Iran

PARIS (AFP) Oct 10, 2003
Nobel peace laureate Shirin Ebadi told a news conference Friday that she opposed any foreign intervention in Iran.
"The fight for human rights is conducted in Iran by the Iranian people and we are against any foreign intervention in Iran," she said.

The 56-year-old lawyer and human rights activist was speaking after earlier being awarded the Nobel peace prize, becoming the first ever Muslim woman to get the honour.

Nobel peace laureate against foreign intervention in Iran

PARIS (AFP) Oct 10, 2003
Nobel peace laureate Shirin Ebadi told a news conference Friday that she opposed any foreign intervention in Iran.
"The fight for human rights is conducted in Iran by the Iranian people and we are against any foreign intervention in Iran," she said.

The 56-year-old lawyer and human rights activist was speaking after earlier being awarded the Nobel peace prize, becoming the first ever Muslim woman to get the honour.
http://www.spacewar.com/2003/031010124933.z7r23vtz.html
17 posted on 10/10/2003 7:30:02 AM PDT by Pan_Yans Wife ("Life isn't fair. It's fairer than death, is all.")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran's Ebadi Thorn in Side of Clerics

October 10, 2003
Reuters
Paul Huges

Iran's first woman judge before the 1979 Islamic revolution, Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi's work as a human rights activist has landed her in jail and seen her branded a threat to the Islamic system.

A vocal campaigner for women's and children's rights, Ebadi, 56, has acted as defence lawyer for a wide range of political activists, earning a reputation for taking on cases others were too afraid to touch.

"Any person who pursues human rights in Iran must live with fear from birth to death," she told the Christian Science Monitor in a 1999 interview.

"But I have learned to overcome my fear," she said.

The country's first woman judge, Ebadi was prevented from continuing in that role after the Islamic revolution when Sharia law was enforced. Women were too emotional and irrational to pass judgment in the courtroom, Iran's new leaders said.

Now a lawyer, writer and part-time lecturer at Tehran University, Ebadi has spent much of her time since the revolution campaigning for better rights for women and children in her native country.

She argued passionately that Sharia law could be adapted to modern times without undermining religion in the officially Shi'ite Islamic Republic.

"The legal keys that Shia religion has given us enable us to transform and act according to the times," she wrote in a recent article.

Ebadi found herself on the wrong side of the law in 2000, when she was accused of disseminating a politically explosive videotape of a violent Islamic vigilante group member who confessed to links with conservative politicians in Iran.

That incident landed Ebadi in Tehran's notorious Evin prison where scores of political dissidents are held.

In solitary confinement there, she wrote: "Angrily I am trying to write on the cement wall with the bottom of my spoon that we are born to suffer because we are born in the Third World. Time and place are imposed upon us. So let's be patient as there is no other choice."

Reformist political analyst Saeed Leylaz said Ebadi had "provided a lot of legal help to political prisoners and those who had activities supporting reforms."

"I'm very excited as an Iranian and I congratulate her," Leylaz said. "I hope it helps to push reforms forward in Iran."

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/031010/325/earrl.html
18 posted on 10/10/2003 7:51:25 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: All

19 posted on 10/10/2003 7:52:02 AM PDT by F14 Pilot
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To: DoctorZIn
Peace Award Divides Iran

October 10, 2003
BBC
Jim Muir

The news that the Iranian human rights lawyer Shirin Ebadi has won the Nobel Peace Prize has met with mixed feelings in her own country.

While her supporters in the reform movement were clearly delighted, hardliners who don't share her liberal views were not pleased to see the outside world honouring someone they regard as a dissident.

Ebadi has fought in the corner of high-profile Iranian dissidents

Hours after the news was making headlines around the world, it still had not been reported by Iran's state-run TV, radio or news agency.

Most of the official media are regarded as strongholds of the conservative hardliners.

Shirin Ebadi made her mark in the field of women's rights here even before the 1979 Islamic revolution, being appointed Iran's first woman judge.

Pioneering role

That distinction was removed after the revolution, and she took to teaching law at university. But she soon went beyond that to become an activist pioneer of women's and children's rights, seeking changes particularly in the way the divorce and inheritance laws work in Iran.

She also took up the cases of liberal and dissident figures who fell foul of the judiciary, one of the bastions of hardline power here.


Two of her clients, liberal intellectuals Daryoush and Parvaneh Forouhar, were stabbed to death in a series of killings in 1998 which turned out to be the work of "rogue elements" in the Intelligence Ministry.

Shirin Ebadi found herself in the dock in 2000, accused of distributing the video-taped confession of a hardline hooligan who claimed that prominent conservative leaders were instigating physical attacks on pro-reform gatherings and figures.

That won her a suspended jail sentence and a professional ban, but it also brought increasing outside recognition from human rights groups abroad.

Since then, she has continued her pioneering role, setting up a new non-governmental organisation, the Centre for the Defence of Human Rights.

Award's message

Fellow human rights campaigners, and the reform movement in general, were clearly delighted by the prestigious award, seeing it as validation of their own cause.

"I hope the people who do not approve of her will now reconsider their position," Sharbanou Amani, one of 13 women MPs in the Iranian parliament, told the French news agency AFP. "It is a source of pride for Iran's intellectuals."

Elaheh Koulaie, another female reformist MP, said the prize "shows the world community that the democracy process in Iran is going forward."

Other reformists pointed to the huge discrepancy between the international recognition conferred on Ms Ebadi and the causes she is struggling for, and the dire situation she and her colleagues face at home.

In addition to feeling discomfited by the award, some conservatives saw it as a further attempt by outsiders to intervene in Iranian politics. The Nobel committee said it hoped the prize would encourage those inside Iran struggling for human rights and democracy.

"This prize carried the message that Europe intends to put further pressure on human rights issues in Iran as a political move to achieve its particular objectives," said Amir Mohebian, a commentator at the hardline newspaper Resalat.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3180758.stm
20 posted on 10/10/2003 7:53:14 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: All
US hawk warns Iran threat must be eliminated

Richard Norton-Taylor
Friday October 10, 2003
The Guardian

An American official warned yesterday that the potential threat posed by Iran's nuclear programme had to be "eliminated" and predicted Tehran would try to "throw sand" in the eyes of the world to avoid a confrontation at the UN.
John Bolton, deputy under secretary of state for arms control, who is regarded as the state department's chief hawk, was speaking to journalists in London where he reaffirmed the Bush administration's notion of "rogue states" which threatened US interests.

Top of the list were Iran and North Korea, he said. "There is awareness of the threat posed by Iran and consensus that threat has to be eliminated," he said referring to the Iranian nuclear reactor at Bushehr.

Iran "will try and throw sand in our eyes" mixing cooperation and obfuscation "to conceal as much as they can, to delay and to avoid having the issue referred to the security council," said Mr Bolton.

The UN international atomic energy agency has given Iran until October 31 to prove it does not have a nuclear weapons programme. Mohammad Khatami, the Iranian president, said on Wednesday that Tehran would offer whatever cooperation was needed to show its nuclear programme was to produce electricity.

Mr Bolton yesterday questioned the need for Iran to produce nuclear power, given the size of its natural gas and oil reserves. He said the existing non-proliferation treaty needed to be strengthened to deal with Iran which, he speculated, could have a nuclear weapons capability "probably towards the end of the decade".

He said North Korea was being dealt with by multilateral talks conducted by China, and that Pakistan had denied trading in nuclear materials with North Korea. "We take them at their word," he said. Asked about Israel's nuclear weapons capability, he replied: "The issue for the US is what poses a threat to the US."

On Iraq, Mr Bolton said "the purpose of military action was to eliminate the regime ... The real security risk was the regime". He implied it was not weapons of mass destruction that was the issue but whose hands they were in.

Mr Bolton described the "level of cooperation" from Syria - which Washington accuses of manufacturing chemical weapons and harbouring terrorists - as "not satisfactory".

He did not specify what action the US might take against Iran and Syria beyond pointing out that the US already imposes sanctions against Iran and that Congress was poised to adopt a law applying them to Syria.

He said Libya, a country with which Britain is now developing closer ties, had "increased efforts to acquire biological, chemical, and nuclear, weapons".

Mr Bolton was in London for meetings on US plans to intercept ships and aircraft suspected of trafficking weapons of mass destruction.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/iran/story/0,12858,1060030,00.html
21 posted on 10/10/2003 8:09:54 AM PDT by F14 Pilot
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To: DoctorZIn
U.N. nuclear agency warns Iran 'time is running out'
By Roula Khalaf in Vienna
Published: October 9, 2003

The chief United Nations nuclear inspector on Thursday called on Iran to accelerate its co-operation with his agency. He warned that time was running out for Tehran to comply with an end of October deadline and provide full transparency to allay international concerns over its nuclear programme.

Tehran insists its nuclear programme is aimed at peaceful energy production, but the US maintains it is a front for developing nuclear weapons.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency, said teams of inspectors sent last week were given access to sites they had requested and received fresh information from the Iranian authorities.

But he stressed that the amount and flow of information remained inadequate.

The IAEA's governing board last month set a deadline of the end of October for Iran to provide inspectors with assurances that it had not diverted nuclear material to weapons use. Failure to meet the deadline would escalate the dispute by sending it to the UN Security Council, where the US would seek a statement that increased diplomatic pressure on Iran and countries that had assisted its nuclear programme.

The IAEA board's pressure on Iran appears to have intensified the debate between hardliners and reformists within the Tehran regime over the merits of co-operation.

Mohamed Khatami, the president, this week said Iran would provide all necessary co-operation to prove it was not developing nuclear weapons.

"They've promised information will be forthcoming but it has not yet been provided," Mr ElBaradei said. "The central question is whether Iran has any [uranium] enrichment activities that we have not been informed about. On that question I haven't got satisfactory information."

Iran has also said it would provide a list of all imported components to address an important sticking point with the IAEA and convince inspectors that traces of weapons-grade uranium found at two sites were the result of contaminated equipment purchased from abroad.

Mr ElBaradei, however, stressed that he needed to know the origin of the components to verify Iranian assertions.

Iran has insisted that it would continue enriching uranium despite the IAEA governing board's call for it to suspend such activities. Mr ElBaradei said the suspension of uranium enrichment was demanded as a confidence-building measure and failure to comply with the request would not constitute a violation of Iran's Safeguards Agreement.

Iran has also given conflicting signals as to whether it would sign an agreement, known as the additional protocol, to allow more intrusive inspections of nuclear sites. Mr ElBaradei said the agreement was essential for the future, but was not his immediate priority.

Speaking in London on Thursday, John Bolton, US undersecretary of state for arms control, predicted Iran would "co-operate a little" with the IAEA, to buy time.

He said Iran would be capable of producing nuclear weapons "towards the end of the decade".

http://www.nytimes.com/financialtimes/business/FT1059480478752.html
22 posted on 10/10/2003 9:32:39 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
Missing Israeli navigator alive and held in prison near Tehran
JERUSALEM (AFP)

Israeli navigator Ron Arad, missing since his plane came down over Lebanon in 1986, is alive and being detained in a prison near Tehran, three exiled Iranian officials revealed.

Top-selling Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot stressed however that it was unable to check the reports, which come at a sensitive time in negotiations for a prisoner exchange between Israel and the Tehran-backed Lebanese militia Hezbollah.

The newspaper's sources were two intelligence officers and a diplomat who fled Iran in recent years.

"He was very thin, weighing about 60 kilograms (130 pounds). He was in a wheelchair. He had quite a thin beard. His face was wrinkled, he was staring into space and had a sad look," said one of them, who reportedly saw Arad three years ago.

"One source said that when Ron Arad was imprisoned in Tehran in 1998, he was hospitalized twice for heart trouble," the newspaper wrote Friday.

According to the Yediot, Arad tried to escape his captors while still in Lebanon, was transferred to Syria in 1994 and later to Iran.

"Before Ron Arad's transfer to Iran, it was decided to operate on his knees in order to paralyze the lower part of his legs, with the purpose of preventing him from having any possibility of attempting to escape," the paper said.

Arad's family has been leading a campaign to ensure the fate of the navigator, widely believed dead, is not separated from that of other Israelis involved in a possible prisoner swap.

According to Israeli public radio, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon held a special cabinet meeting Friday to define his government's position on the issue.

Health Minister Danny Naveh was expected to travel to Egypt early next week to meet Azzam Azzam, an Israeli serving a life sentence of hard labour there for spying and who could also be included in an exchange, the radio added.

In October 2000, Hezbollah captured three Israeli soldiers -- whom Israel believes dead -- in a disputed border area. They also seized businessman Elhanan Tannenbaum, a reserve colonel who the guerrilla group alleges was a spy.

The Israeli judiciary has authorised publication of the circumstances of Tannenbaum's capture, court sources said, but the radio said his family would appeal the ruling, arguing the information could affect his chances of being released.

Israel holds around 20 Lebanese detainees, including Shiite Muslim fundamentalist leaders Abdel Karim Obeid and Mustafa Dirani, who were captured to be used as a bargaining chip in a prisoner swap with Hezbollah.

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=1312&ncid=1312&e=1&u=/afp/20031010/wl_mideast_afp/israel_lebanon_hezbollah_iran_031010135556



23 posted on 10/10/2003 9:49:00 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
Tehran "happy" with Ebadi's Nobel Peace Prize award
Fri Oct 10, 7:20 AM ET

TEHRAN (AFP) - Iran's reformist government said it was "happy" over the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Iranian rights activist Shirin Ebadi.

"We are happy that an Iranian Muslim woman was qualified to be noticed by the world community for her activities in bringing about peace," official government spokesman Abdollah Ramazanzadeh told AFP.

"We hope that we could use her expert views more in Iran," he added Friday.

For his part, Vice President Ali Abtahi said the award highlighted the active role of Iranian women in trying to shape how the Islamic republic is run.

"I am very happy that an Iranian and above all a woman has won the Nobel Peace Prize," he told AFP. "It is a sign of the very active presence of Iranian women on the social and political scene.

"The fact that a lawyer has won this prize gives us hope that the judicial system will change its methods," he added, referring to the conservative-controlled judiciary in Iran.

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/afp/20031010/wl_mideast_afp/nobel_peace_iran_ebadi_031010112008




24 posted on 10/10/2003 9:52:00 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
Iran and Israel: best of enemies?

The prospective Israel-Hizbullah prisoner swap that has been discussed in recent weeks is perhaps more than a bilateral deal that also happens to involve Iran and Germany. Given the close relationship between Tehran and Hizbullah, Iranian involvement was not entirely unexpected. This leads one to reflect on the prospects for an improvement in Iranian-Israeli relations ­ Iranian interests cannot rule this out ­ even if such an option is highly improbable at present.

According to press reports, Israel seeks information on the whereabouts of air force navigator Ron Arad, the remains of three Israeli soldiers and the release of Israeli reservist and businessman Elhanan Tennenbaum. In return, Hizbullah wants the release of all Lebanese prisoners, including two officials directly or indirectly affiliated with the party, Abdul Karim Obeid and Mustafa Dirani, as well as that of Palestinian and Arab detainees.

The Iranian angle was hinted at in early August in the Tel Aviv Russian-language daily Novosti Nedeli. Citing anonymous Israeli government sources, the daily said that during Iranian-American negotiations over the possible exchange of Al-Qaeda suspects in Iran for members of the Iranian Mujahideen Khalq opposition group in Iraq, an Iranian representative raised the possibility of releasing Tennenbaum and repatriating the dead soldiers’ remains. Washington reportedly rejected the proposal, but according to Novosti Nedeli the Iranian and Israeli sides pursued their talks. Added to the mix was Tehran’s demand that four Iranian diplomats who disappeared in Lebanon in 1982 be released. Iran believes Israel is holding them.

Confirmation of an Iranian angle appeared in late September, when Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said that Iranians imprisoned in Europe might be part of a deal with Hizbullah. This appeared to be a reference to Iranian intelligence officer Kazem Darabi, who along with several Lebanese men was convicted by a Berlin court in April 1997 for the 1992 killings of Kurdish dissidents. The role of German mediator Ernst Urlau in the negotiations is not unprecedented. In 1996, for example, Berlin brokered the exchange of two dead Israeli soldiers for 45 prisoners and the remains of 123 Lebanese combatants. In late-1999, five Hizbullah members held by Israel were released following negotiations also involving Iran and Germany. As of Oct. 9, the status of the Hizbullah-Israeli negotiations remained undetermined, with questions being raised about Tennenbaum’s physical state and with Arad’s family trying to block Dirani’s release through a court injunction. Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz asserted on Oct. 3 that Arad was alive and that Iran was responsible for returning him to Israel. Arad’s family repeated the charge a few days later. However, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Assefi reaffirmed that Tehran had no information on the airman.

Less obscure is the current state of Iranian-Israeli relations. It seems unlikely that any deal, whether it involves Iranians or not, will have a positive impact on a very hostile relationship. During a military parade in Tehran on Sept. 22, for example, Iran’s new 1,300-kilometer-range Shihab-3 missiles bore the slogan “Israel must be wiped off the map.” At an August conference at Tehran University organized by the student committee for the Support for the Palestinian Intifada, a group headed by Hojatoleslam Ali Akbar Mohtashami-Pur, the final resolution called for “annihilation of the Zionist regime.” Speakers praised Palestinian suicide bombings in Israel, referring to them as “martyrdom operations.” Iran also hosted Support for the Palestinian Intifada conferences in April 2001 and June 2002. At the latter event representatives of Hamas, Hizbullah, Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command heard Mohtashami-Pur refer to Israel as a “cancerous tumor.”

It is too simplistic to dismiss such statements as rhetoric meant only for internal consumption. Words have an impact on perceptions and can strengthen preconceptions. In an August interview with the French daily Le Figaro, Sharon referred specifically to the Shihab missiles and Tehran’s relationship with Hamas, Hizbullah and Islamic Jihad, adding: “In the Middle East, Iran is now (Israel’s) greatest threat.” During a September trip to India, he tried to dissuade New Delhi from transferring technology to Iran.

Iranian officials are masters of realpolitik. Tehran criticized the US attack on Taleban-led Afghanistan, but cooperated with the US military and with the post-war negotiations in Bonn. Even though it has criticized the US-led war in Iraq and the subsequent occupation, Tehran has tacitly recognized the interim Iraqi Governing Council and will participate in a multilateral donors conference in Madrid later this month. For all the Iranian chanting of “death to America,” Iran and the US hold intermittent bilateral discussions on matters of mutual concern.

Can this lead to expectations of a similar trend in Iranian-Israeli relations? Iran’s hostility to Israel has religious roots and is also a welcome source of agreement with Iran’s predominantly Arab and Sunni neighbors. These factors, plus the negligible direct benefits of relations with Israel, suggest that Iran will see little advantage in changing the status quo. Nor is Israel keen to improve its relations with Tehran. After the bombing in Haifa last Saturday that killed 19 people and wounded 60 others, Sharon’s adviser, Dore Gold, described an “axis of terror that begins in Iran.”

Such mutual perceptions play strongly against bilateral, government-to-government contacts in the near future. This could change, however, as the current generation of Iranian leaders dies off. Approximately two-thirds of the Iranian population is under the age of 30, and has no memory of such formative experiences as life under the pro-Israel monarchy, activism during the 1978-1979 revolution, or fighting in the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq War. They will undoubtedly sympathize with the Palestinians, but are unlikely to support the activities of groups like Hamas. Until, indeed if, such a change occurs, Iranian-Israeli contacts will continue to take place through intermediaries, even when they are of direct concern to both sides.

William Samii, a regional analyst at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Inc., writes the RFE/RL Iran Report (www.rferl.org/iran-report). The views expressed here are his own. He wrote this commentary for THE DAILY STAR

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/opinion/10_10_03_c.asp

25 posted on 10/10/2003 10:09:15 AM PDT by Pan_Yans Wife ("Life isn't fair. It's fairer than death, is all.")
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To: F14 Pilot
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

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/opinion/07_10_03_c.asp

26 posted on 10/10/2003 10:30:15 AM PDT by Pan_Yans Wife ("Life isn't fair. It's fairer than death, is all.")
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To: DoctorZIn
Iranian Exiles Say Ron Arad is Jailed Near Tehran

October 10, 2003
Ha'aretz
Ha'aretz Service

Missing Air Force navigator Ron Arad is alive and held by the Iranian intelligence in a small, secret jail near Tehran, the Yedioth Ahronoth daily reported Friday, quoting three Iranian exiles.

One of the sources is a diplomat and the two others former intelligence officials, all whom are currently in Europe.

Arad has been missing since his plane was downed over Lebanon in 1986.

The paper said that it could not establish or refute the testimonies of the three men in Israel, and says that the claims must be treated with caution and suspicion.

The paper said that the three have given testimonies in the west on other Iranian issues and that it is reasonable to assume that they have no reason to lie or fabricate the information on Arad.

According to the one of sources, Arad was transferred from Lebanon via Syria to Iran in mid 1994. Before the trip he underwent an operation to paralyze his legs in order to prevent him from escaping. The source said Arad had attempted to escape while he was in Lebanon, and was then shot and wounded by his guards.

The source said he worked in the prison Arad was taken to, which is near Tehran, not far from a missile factory, and that he had access to Arad’s files. He said that he saw Arad several times and even exchanged words with him.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=348654&contrassID=1&subContrassID=1&sbSubContrassID=0&listSrc=Y
27 posted on 10/10/2003 9:08:54 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Ebadi Hopes Nobel Will Help Iran Democracy

October 10, 2003
Middle East Online
middle-east-online.com

OSLO - Iranian human rights activist and feminist lawyer, Shirin Ebadi, was awarded the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo Friday, becoming the first Muslim woman to win the honour in the prize's 102-year history.

Ebadi, 56, was given the prize "for her efforts for democracy and human rights," particularly for women and children in her country, which has been under Islamic rule since its 1979 revolution, the Nobel Committee said.

In 1974 she became Iran's first woman judge, but lost that post in the revolution five years later when Islamic clerics took over and decreed that women could not preside over courts.

In a reaction broadcast on Norwegian radio, Ebadi said her win was "very good for me, very good for human rights and very good for democracy in Iran."

She added that she was "very glad and proud" and hoped the fame the prize brought would help her work in her country.

In 1974 Ebadi became Iran's first woman judge, but lost that post in the revolution when Islamic clerics took over and decreed that women were too emotional to preside over courts.

"My problem is not with Islam, it's with the culture of patriarchy," Ebadi told Britain's Guardian newspaper in June. "Practices such as stoning have no foundation in the Koran."

Ebadi spent time in jail for attending a 2001 conference on Iranian form in Berlin. She has maintained a high profile in her feminist struggle, also by writing many books and articles.

"Any person who pursues human rights in Iran must live with fear from birth to death, but I have learned to overcome my fear," she told the Christian Science Monitor newspaper in 1999.

The Nobel Peace Prize, which carries a purse of 10 million Swedish kroner (1.1 million euros, 1.3 million dollars), is decided by an Oslo-based Nobel Committee which counts two men and three women.

Ebadi was selected from a field of 165 candidates for the prize, among them Pope John Paul II and former Czech president Vaclav Havel.

http://www.middle-east-online.com/english/?id=7345
28 posted on 10/10/2003 9:10:45 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Shirin Ebadi - Biography

October 10, 2003
The Norwegian Nobel Committee
Aftenposten

The Iranian lawyer and human rights activist Shirin Ebadi was born in 1947.

She received a law degree from the University of Tehran. In the years 1975-79 she served as president of the city court of Tehran, one the first female judges in Iran. After the revolution in 1979 she was forced to resign. She now works as a lawyer and also teaches at the University of Tehran.

Both in her research and as an activist, she is known for promoting peaceful, democratic solutions to serious problems in society. She takes an active part in the public debate and is well-known and admired by the general public in her country for her defence in court of victims of the conservative faction's attack on freedom of speech and political freedom.

Ebadi represents Reformed Islam, and argues for a new interpretation of Islamic law which is in harmony with vital human rights such as democracy, equality before the law, religious freedom and freedom of speech. As for religious freedom, it should be noted that Ebadi also includes the rights of members of the bahai community, which has had problems in Iran ever since its foundation.

Ebadi is an activist for refugee rights, as well as those of women and children. She is the founder and leader of the Association for Support of Children's Rights in Iran. Ebadi has written a number of academic books and articles focused on human rights. Among her books translated into English are The Rights of the Child. A Study of Legal Aspects of Children's Rights in Iran (Tehran, 1994), published with support from UNICEF, and History and Documentation of Human Rights in Iran (New York, 2000).

As a lawyer, she has been involved in a number of controversial political cases. She was the attorney of the families of the writers and intellectuals who were victims of the serial murders in 1999-2000. She has worked actively - and successfully - to reveal the principals behind the attack on the students at Tehran University in 1999 where several students died. As a consequence, Ebadi has been imprisoned on numerous occasions.

With Islam as her starting point, Ebadi campaigns for peaceful solutions to social problems, and promotes new thinking on Islamic terms. She has displayed great personal courage as a lawyer defending individuals and groups who have fallen victim to a powerful political and legal system that is legitimized through an inhumane interpretation of Islam. Ebadi has shown her willingness and ability to cooperate with representatives of secular as well as religious views.

http://www.aftenposten.no/english/local/article.jhtml?articleID=644606
29 posted on 10/10/2003 9:11:52 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
The Nobel Peace Prize 2003 - Press Release

October 10, 2003
The Norwegian Nobel Committee
Aftenposten

The official press release from The Norwegian Nobel Committee:

"The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2003 to Shirin Ebadi for her efforts for democracy and human rights. She has focused especially on the struggle for the rights of women and children.

As a lawyer, judge, lecturer, writer and activist, she has spoken out clearly and strongly in her country, Iran, and far beyond its borders. She has stood up as a sound professional, a courageous person, and has never heeded the threats to her own safety.

Her principal arena is the struggle for basic human rights, and no society deserves to be labelled civilized unless the rights of women and children are respected. In an era of violence, she has consistently supported non-violence. It is fundamental to her view that the supreme political power in a community must be built on democratic elections. She favours enlightenment and dialogue as the best path to changing attitudes and resolving conflict.

Ebadi is a conscious Moslem. She sees no conflict between Islam and fundamental human rights. It is important to her that the dialogue between the different cultures and religions of the world should take as its point of departure their shared values. It is a pleasure for the Norwegian Nobel Committee to award the Peace Prize to a woman who is part of the Moslem world, and of whom that world can be proud - along with all who fight for human rights wherever they live.

During recent decades, democracy and human rights have advanced in various parts of the world. By its awards of the Nobel Peace Prize, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has attempted to speed up this process.

We hope that the people of Iran will feel joyous that for the first time in history one of their citizens has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, and we hope the Prize will be an inspiration for all those who struggle for human rights and democracy in her country, in the Moslem world, and in all countries where the fight for human rights needs inspiration and support. "

http://www.aftenposten.no/english/local/article.jhtml?articleID=644598
30 posted on 10/10/2003 9:13:08 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Groups Hail Ebadi for Pro-Democracy Work Back

October 10, 2003
620KTAR
NewsRadio

Human rights groups hailed Friday's awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to female Iranian activist Shirin Ebadi, saying the move would strengthen the fight for democracy in Iran and equal rights everywhere.

Karim Lahidji, president-in-exile of the Iranian League for Human Rights and vice president of the Paris-based International Federation of Human Rights Leagues, said the prize was a "great victory" for democrats and rights groups in Iran, which is dominated by conservative Muslim clerics.

"I'm happy that the modern world ... recognizes this struggle and gives her this recognition," said Lahidji, who has known Ebadi for 40 years.

Ebadi, 56, the first Muslim woman to win the prize, was the first female judge in Iran. She was cited by the Nobel Committee for her focus on human rights, especially the struggles for the rights of women and children.

Last year's Nobel Peace Prize winner, former President Carter, said Ebadi's work was "an inspiration to people in Iran and around the world."

"She proves that one person, standing on principle, can make a positive difference in the lives of many," Carter said.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who shared the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize with the United Nations itself, said he hopes Ebadi's award will encourage women "to speak out and insist on their rights."

Amnesty International, the London-based rights group, said the Nobel Committee recognized the critical importance of human rights and those who defend them.

"Coming at a time when human rights principles are increasingly under threat, this award will bring renewed hope to those engaged in the daily fight to uphold human rights," a group statement said.

Ebadi received Human Rights Watch's highest award in 1996, and its associate director, Carroll Bogert, called her "a brave advocate for human rights in a very hostile environment."

"We hope that the Nobel prize gives her a measure of protection as she returns to Iran," Bogert said. "We hope it sends a message to the Iranian government that the very serious human rights violations in Iran will not be tolerated by the human rights community."

Jakub Hladik, spokesman for former Czech President Vaclav Havel _ himself a Nobel hopeful, said Havel was delighted. German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's spokesman, Bela Anda, called Ebadi "a courageous woman."

Friday's award had wider political implications, with some interpreting it as a show of support for democratic _ and pro-Western _ impulses in the Muslim world. Those impulses have assumed greater importance as the West confronts radical forces in Islam in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the United States.

"I profoundly admire her courage and commitment, as well as that of other Iranian human rights lawyers and activists. Miss Ebadi is an inspiration for her region more than ever and for the rest of the world," EU foreign affairs chief Javier Solana said.

Hisham Kassem, head of the Egyptian Organization of Human Rights, said the award was overdue recognition of the work by women activists in the Middle East.

"It is obvious that the wheel is beginning to turn for the region when it comes to democratization and human rights," he said. "The world is beginning to take notice of the human rights crisis in the region."

However, the award was not welcomed by all.

Egypt's first female judge, Tahany el-Gebaly, said there were more deserving activists in the Middle East, but Ebadi was chosen because her views were acceptable to the West.

"There are many fiery Muslims whose actions and positions are a lot more outspoken, but because they are anti-West, or anti-American or Western policy in the region, they get no attention," she said.

In Poland, Solidarity founder Lech Walesa, the 1983 Nobel Peace Prize winner, expressed disappointment that Pope John Paul II did not receive the award.

"I bear nothing against this lady, but if anyone among the living deserves it, then it is the holy father," Walesa told TVN24.

http://www.620ktar.com/news/article.aspx?article_id=233001&cc=012345
31 posted on 10/10/2003 9:17:46 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Nobel Winner's Plea to Iran: Free All Political Prisoners

October 10, 2003
BBC News
BBCi

The Iranian human rights activist who won this year's Nobel Peace Prize has called on the government in Tehran to free all political prisoners.

Shirin Ebadi told a news conference the most urgent issues for Iran to deal with were freedom of speech and the release of those imprisoned for expressing their opinions.

Ms Ebadi, 56, is a well-known lawyer noted especially for promoting the rights of women and children by seeking changes in Iran's divorce and inheritance laws.

She is the first Muslim woman to be awarded the prize, beating other nominees who included Pope John Paul II and former Czech President Vaclav Havel.

The Norwegian award committee said it chose her because of her focus on promoting human rights and democracy in her country.

In Tehran, a foreign ministry spokesman said her award was a cause for happiness and reflected the improved situation of women in Iran.

The BBC's Jim Muir in Tehran says that while Iran's reformists will be delighted, the conservative authorities see the award as a political move by Europe to increase pressure on Iran.

Tribute to courage

Ms Ebadi was the first female judge in her country, but was forced to resign following the Islamic Revolution in 1979.

She said the award, which comes with prize money of $1.3m, had been a surprise but that she was "very happy and glad" about it.

"I hope it will have an effect in Iran.

"As a person who has actively been involved in human rights, I am against war and conflict, and countries and nations do not need war," she said speaking at a news conference in Paris - where she is visiting - hours after the award was announced.

The chairman of the five-member selection committee, Ole Danbolt Mjoes, paid tribute to Ms Ebadi's work at home and abroad, saying she understood that "No society can be seen as democratic without women being represented".

She was also praised as a "courageous person" who "has never heeded the threat to her own safety".

The Nobel committee emphasised that its choice should be seen as a statement about human rights.

"This is a message to the Iranian people, to the Muslim world, to the whole world, that human value, the fight for freedom, the fight for rights of women and children should be at the centre," Mr Mjoes said.

"I hope the award of the peace prize to Ebadi can help strengthen and lend support to the cause of human rights in Iran," he added.

Dark horse

Iranian state media reported the Nobel committee's decision without comment.

The BBC's correspondent in Tehran says that for the Iranian to win is an enormous boost for human rights campaigners there and a source of great delight to her supporters - but also something of an embarrassment.

"Hardliners who run the judiciary will see it as outsiders now trying to intervene in Iranian politics.

"It is an embarrassment to them to see someone they have vilified held up as a shining example," he said

The choice of Ms Ebadi - the 11th woman and third Muslim to net the prize - surprised observers worldwide. Pope John Paul II was the bookies' favourite to scoop the prestigious award this year amid speculation that he is nearing death.

Official reactions outside Iran have been overwhelmingly positive, and even the Vatican is, reportedly, sending a message of congratulations.

However fellow Pole Lech Walesa - a former president and Nobel laureate - did not seek to hide his disappointment, calling the decision a "big mistake".

"I have nothing against this woman, but if there is someone alive in the world who deserves this distinction it is certainly the Holy Father", he told Polish television.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3181428.stm
32 posted on 10/10/2003 9:19:13 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: nuconvert
Another informative Amir Taheri article.
33 posted on 10/10/2003 9:19:49 PM PDT by nuconvert
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To: DoctorZIn
Conservatives React Angrily to the Nobel Committee's Decision

October 10, 2003
Reuters
Parinoosh Arami and Parisa Hafezi

TEHRAN -- The Iranian government Friday congratulated lawyer Shirin Ebadi, the country's first Nobel Peace Prize winner, and reformers said it was a victory for women's rights and political change in the Islamic Republic.

"In the name of the Islamic Republic of Iran's government I congratulate Dr. Ebadi and we see this (award) as the result of her qualifications," Abdollah Ramazanzadeh, spokesman for Iran's reformist government said in the first official reaction.

He said her views on human rights, especially women's rights, had been noted internationally and "this is an honor for Iranian women and shows that Iranian Muslim women have gained a positive atmosphere for their activities and we hope that her views will be noticed inside and outside of Iran."

In a show of support by the reform government of President Mohammad Khatami, Ramazanzadeh said a government representative would attend a welcoming ceremony for Ebadi at Tehran airport on her return to the country Tuesday.

Conservative-controlled state television and radio took several hours to announce Ebadi's award, then did so without comment, reflecting the struggle with reformists over Iran's political destiny.

Vice President Mohammad Ali Abtahi, a close aide to Khatami, said the announcement was "very good news for every Iranian" and a sign of the active role played by Iranian women in politics.

He stressed the comments reflected his personal view.

But individual conservatives, who have long viewed Ebadi's activities as a defender of women's rights and lawyer for political dissidents as a threat to the Islamic system, reacted angrily to the Nobel Committee's decision.

CONSERVATIVES CRITICIZE

"Although we may be happy that an Iranian has won the prize we believe the Nobel Peace Prize is being used to suit political objectives," said Amir Mohebian, an editor of the hard-line conservative Resalat newspaper.

"This prize carries the message that Europe intends to put further pressure on human rights issues in Iran as a political move to achieve its particular objectives," he said.

Since coming to office in a 1997 landslide, Khatami's government has struggled to break the stranglehold on power enjoyed by unelected conservatives opposed to any watering down of what they say are Islamic principles.

Over the past four years scores of liberal newspapers have been shut down and dozens of pro-reform activists jailed by the hard-line judiciary. Ebadi herself has been briefly jailed and was banned from practicing law for five years in 2000.

International criticism of Iran's human rights record -- including the legal discrimination against women and the use of public executions and stonings -- has met with stern rebukes for other nations not to interfere in Iran's internal affairs.

Leading reformist parliamentarian Elahe Koulaei said Ebadi's award was a sign the Nobel Committee had recognized the importance of the struggle for greater democracy in Iran.

"We have to congratulate the Iranian nation, particularly women, on her success and consider it a success for all of those who are attempting to improve human rights and remove oppression throughout the world," she said.

http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=worldNews&storyID=3595428
34 posted on 10/10/2003 9:20:32 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
U.S., U.N. Congratulate Iran's Shirin Ebadi for Nobel Peace Prize

October 10, 2003
Washington File
Phillip Kurata

Washington -- The U.S. government and the United Nations have welcomed the decision of the Norwegian Nobel Committee to award the Nobel Peace Prize to Iranian human rights activist Shirin Ebadi, the first Iranian and the first Muslim woman to receive the prize.

"We congratulate Shirin Ebadi for the Nobel Peace Prize," said White House spokesman Scott McClellan.

"The prize is well-deserved recognition of a lifetime champion of the cause of human dignity and democracy. She has worked tirelessly, and suffered at the hands of the clerical regime, including imprisonment for promoting democracy and human rights in her country," he added.

"We are very pleased to see the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to this very, very dedicated and committed woman who has spent so much of her life in the cause of justice and freedom," said Secretary of State Colin Powell.

State Department spokesman Richard Boucher issued a statement noting that Ebadi "has tirelessly worked on behalf of all Iranians, with a focus on the rights of women and children."

"We fully support the aspirations of the Iranian people to live in freedom, and hope their call for democracy will be heard and transform Iran into a force for stability in the region," Boucher's statement said.

When informed that she had been awarded the prize, the 56-year-old lawyer and human rights activist, who was in Paris, said, "this prize doesn't belong to me only. It belongs to all people who work for human rights and democracy in Iran."

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan added his voice to the chorus of praise. In a statement issued through his spokesman, Annan noted that Ebadi served as Iran's first woman judge and is noted for her work on behalf of women, children and refugees.

Ebadi is known for her conviction that human rights are fully compatible with Islam, and her interpretation of Islamic law in a way that recognizes the harmony between human rights, democracy and equality before the law, Annan's statement said.

Her work is a fine example of the very principles the United Nations stands for, and this award should serve as an inspiration to women and men, Annan's statement added.

In a statement issued in Geneva, acting U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Bertrand Ramcharan congratulated Ebadi and commented that peace and development depend on the faithful observance of international human rights norms globally.

(The Washington File is a product of the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)

http://usinfo.state.gov/xarchives/display.html?p=washfile-english&y=2003&m=October&x=20031010172344atarukp0.2574427&t=usinfo/wf-latest.html
35 posted on 10/10/2003 9:22:00 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
A Nobel Prize for A Noble Cause

October 10, 2003
Iran va Jahan
Shaheen Fatemi

Last week, we endorsed the Iranian dissident Hachem Aghajari, for this year's Nobel Peace Prize. At that time no one (including Shirin Ebadi herself!) knew that she also had been nominated. After hearing the good news this morning and listening to parts of her news conference, we feel proud, exhilarated, and hopeful for the future of human rights in Iran. Had we known, our endorsement would have been different. What was most essential for us was focusing world attention on the situation of human rights in Iran. Because we believe the issue of human rights is not an internal issue. Today violation of human rights anywhere is an international issue. On this point we may have a disagreement with the latest Nobel laureate's position at her news conference today but we can leave that for later.

No single event, short of Iran's total liberation from the bloody tentacles of the Mullahs, could have brought so much joy and happiness to the Iranian people. This joy is not limited just to the Iranians; decent and humane people everywhere should feel vindicated and proud today. Pope John Paul and former Czech President Vaclav Havel who themselves were among those named as possible recipients of this year's Nobel Peace Prize have enthusiastically welcomed the selection of Shirin Ebadi. It is indeed significant that the very first Nobel Prize ever given to any Iranian is a Peace Prize awarded to an Iranian lawyer for her courageous defense of human rights victims of the Islamic Republic.

Shirin Ebadi has long record of engagement with the police state in Iran. According to just one of the files of the Amnesty International, Shirin Ebadi and Mohsen Rahami - along with several other lawyers - were tried on 15 July 2000 in a closed hearing by Branch 16 of the General Court in Teheran. On 28 September 2000 they were sentenced to 18 month suspended prison sentences and both were banned from practising law for five years; others received prison sentences for their involvement in the alleged offence. Both were tried by a General Court in connection with their activities as lawyers. The two had met at Shirin Ebadi's office to conduct an interview with a witness who appeared to have relevant testimony for cases on which the two lawyers were working. Shirin Ebadi was one of a team of lawyers whose clients were family members of four individuals murdered in 1998 and 1999. The alleged murderers were then on trial and Shirin Ebadi was representing them. Hojjatoleslam Mohsen Rahami was the defense lawyer of students pursuing damages in connection with injuries they sustained during a security forces' raid on student dormitories in July 1999.

Videotape was made of the witness' testimony, in which he reportedly discussed his activities as a member of a militant group, Ansar-e Hezbollah, or Partisans of the Party of God. He allegedly implicated senior establishment figures in allegations about the activities of the group, which include a failed attempt to murder Hojjatoleslam Abdollah Nouri, former Vice President and Interior Minister.

The tape was later found to be in circulation in public and the two lawyers were arrested, along with several others. They were charged with "disturbing public opinion", "disseminating false information" and other offences.

On 27 June 2000, the two were arrested, separately. Shirin Ebadi has reportedly stated that at one o'clock in the afternoon on the day she was arrested, she heard in a news broadcast that one woman and one cleric had been arrested in connection with the tape. She then received a telephone call from a friend, but she reassured her friend that she had not been arrested. Six hours later two plain-clothes officers appeared at her office and she went to court for initial interrogations. She spent 25 days in temporary custody prior to being released on bail.

The trial took place in camera but the judiciary permitted two observers from the Tehran Bar Association to attend the trial; a similar request from parliament was denied. Both lawyers have appealed the verdict, against which the Tehran Bar Association publicly protested, and continue to practice law.

As a lawyer, judge, lecturer, writer, activist and professor, Shirin Ebadi has spoken out clearly and strongly during the past difficult 25 years. Prior to the revolution, she was of the first female judges in Iran.

The victory and recognition of Shirin Ebadi is indeed the vindication of the heroic struggle of all Iranian women and men struggling for their rights and dignity.

http://iranvajahan.net/cgi-bin/news.pl?l=en&y=2003&m=10&d=10&a=12
36 posted on 10/10/2003 9:23:06 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: DoctorZIn
Iran and North Korea: the next targets?

Paul Rogers
9 - 10 - 2003
Opendemocracy.net

Despite its problems in Iraq, the United States continues to focus on the nuclear ambitions of the other two ‘axis of evil’ states, North Korea and Iran. In the context of its doctrine of pre-emption, and the reluctance of the eight existing nuclear weapons states to disarm, can another dangerous conflict be averted?

Although the United States continues to face major difficulties in Iraq, the Bush administration’s attitude to the proliferation of nuclear weapons remains firm: if it considers a country to be a threat to the US or its interests, and if that country is developing nuclear weapons, then pre-emptive military action is one option that will be actively considered and even implemented.

Last week, the North Korean authorities announced that they had completed reprocessing 6,000 spent reactor fuel rods, a process that could provide them with enough plutonium to produce perhaps six nuclear bombs. There is no confirmation of this; indeed, it contrasts with the view of independent analysts that North Korea may possibly have produced just one or two nuclear weapons.

It may well be that North Korea is exaggerating its capabilities to provide some kind of deterrent against US action, just as the Saddam Hussein regime may have done to an even greater extent, but it is certainly the case that the North Korean government will use such a statement as a diplomatic bargaining chip.

Its move comes at a time of claims in Washington that the third part of the “axis of evil”, Iran, is actively pursuing a nuclear weapons programme. Whatever their truth, it is necessary to put the possible nuclear ambitions of North Korea and Iran in a wider context, especially as these developments come at a time when the United States has all but given up on most forms of traditional nuclear arms control.

The world’s nuclear inventory

During the cold war, the United States and the Soviet Union developed extraordinarily large nuclear arsenals. The collective total of bombs and warheads - ranging from mines, torpedoes, artillery shells and anti-aircraft missiles through to massive multi-megaton warheads on intercontinental ballistic missiles – was as high as 70,000.

Many of the long-range missiles built in the latter stages of the cold war were astonishingly accurate and gave rise to fears of “disarming first strike” policies that could make crises extremely dangerous; it is now clear that there were several occasions when the superpowers came close to using nuclear weapons.

At the same time, there were some progressive developments. A nuclear arms race between Argentina and Brazil was averted in the mid-1980s; Taiwan and South Korea were persuaded to limit their nuclear ambitions; and in the immediate aftermath of the cold war nuclear weapons were withdrawn by Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan, while South Africa dismantled its small nuclear arsenal.

Even so, the world’s nuclear arsenals remain large, and none of the eight nuclear powers (the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain, Israel, India and Pakistan) show any sign whatsoever of renouncing their nuclear arsenals. Moreover, they are all engaged in modernising them, not least in ways that may make some of them more useable in crises that fall far short of worldwide nuclear war.

The United States, for example, currently has some 7,650 nuclear warheads actively deployed, with a further 3,000 in reserve or awaiting dismantling. Most of these weapons are strategic - and far more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb - but there are substantial numbers of tactical bombs of the B-61 group, including the B61-11 earth-penetrating bomb developed in the 1990s. The US retains a facility at Los Alamos for producing new nuclear weapons although no new designs are currently in production.

There have, however, recently been clear moves towards the development of new designs, especially of small nuclear weapons for specific uses in counter-proliferation activities such as destruction of deeply-buried targets. There are also proposals for investing in the refurbishment of the Nevada nuclear test site to make it easier to resume nuclear testing should that be considered necessary.

Such planning takes place in the context of an acknowledged commitment to pre-emptive action against potential nuclear weapons states, and also comes at a time when the United States is developing missile defences. If these could be made to work, then the United States would be the only country in the world that could offer some kind of defence against nuclear attack while retaining very powerful offensive nuclear forces. This possibility is of real concern to Russia and China in particular.

Meanwhile, much of Russia’s nuclear infrastructure – including its submarine fleet - is in a severely decayed condition. There are reported to be over 8,000 warheads in active deployment and 10,000 in reserve or more awaiting disassembly, but the actual number of “active” warheads may be very much lower.

Russian nuclear policy appears now to concentrate on retaining a relatively small core of nuclear forces, including a process of progressive modernisation such as the enhancement of the Tu-160 strategic bomber. While the United States and Russia have agreed to cut their nuclear forces to around 2,000 active strategic warheads by 2012, the agreement does not include tactical systems, nor does it involve dismantling existing warheads which can therefore be maintained in reserve.

Meanwhile, the British, French and Chinese nuclear forces have all undergone a transition since the end of the cold war but, in all cases, withdrawal of obsolete weapons has been accompanied by a modernisation of key systems. Furthermore, all three states aim to sustain their nuclear status for the foreseeable future, with an emphasis on versatile forces appropriate for tactical and strategic uses.

Britain has withdrawn its tactical nuclear bombs but now fields the Trident submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) in both strategic and “sub-strategic” (that is, tactical) modes, with the latter involving a much smaller warhead yield while retaining full-range capabilities. Total warhead numbers are under 200.

France has withdrawn land-based tactical and theatre missiles but maintains aircraft-delivered nuclear weapons and is modernising its SLBM fleet with the deployment of the Triomphant-class boats, two of which are in service with two more under construction. It maintains a warhead total of about 350.

China has diverse nuclear forces totalling about 400 warheads, primarily configured for regional purposes but with a small intercontinental capability. This last component would be capable of rapid enlargement and enhancement should the United States develop a comprehensive national missile defence system, and there are indications that the future Chinese nuclear posture may move in this direction, although with some reluctance on grounds of cost.

Israel is a country that is often quietly forgotten when nuclear weapons are discussed. It first developed these in the 1960s with French help, and had a limited capability by the time of the Yom Kippur/Ramadan war of October 1973. It has since built up substantial nuclear forces including aircraft-delivered free-fall bombs and up to 100 warheads carried by variants of the Jericho land-based ballistic missile with a range of up to 1,800 kilometres. The total arsenal is likely to by around 200 warheads, including fusion (H-bomb) weapons. Israel may also have tactical artillery shells and may be developing a warhead for use on a submarine-launched cruise missile.

India first tested a nuclear device in 1974 but developed a nuclear arsenal more recently and may have tested fusion as well as fission devices. Its warhead inventory may be slightly smaller than that of Pakistan but is currently being expanded. India has a mix of aircraft and missile delivery systems, including the 2,000-km range Agni II missile, first tested in January 2001.

Pakistan has short- and medium-range aircraft and missile delivery systems for a small but developing nuclear arsenal based on enriched uranium implosion devices. The number of its warheads is difficult to estimate but is likely to be less then fifty.

From Tehran, the world looks different

Beyond these eight established nuclear powers, the capabilities and intentions of two of the three states characterised as part of an “axis of evil” by President Bush present a complex picture.

North Korea is believed to have produced a very limited number of nuclear warheads - perhaps only two and of low yield - from supplies of reprocessed plutonium; it may also have a limited capability for uranium enrichment to weapons-grade levels. Its leadership is intensely secretive and has something of a fortress mentality, but it is certainly reasonable now to conclude that North Korea has become the world’s ninth nuclear weapons state.

In Iran, there is certainly the potential to develop nuclear weapons, though their production and deployment may still be several years away.

The aggressive assessments of US intelligence sources tend to make sound judgments about Iran difficult, and the Iranian political and power system is hugely more complex than that of North Korea.

But one key aspect is a perception from Tehran that the attitude of the US and other western nuclear states is frankly hypocritical. Iran sees itself as a major and historic state of the region facing a heavily-armed United States which now has forces to its east (Afghanistan), west (Iraq) and south (the Gulf). Its leadership’s sense of vulnerability is increased by the fact that Israel shares the US’s hardline sentiments towards it. Indeed, Israel has made veiled threats of action against Iran if the United States itself refrains from military action against Iranian nuclear facilities, whether or not the latter’s purpose is energy supply alone.

Iran also sees Britain and France content to pursue their own nuclear ambitions while ignoring the powerful Israeli nuclear forces, and having little to say about those of India and Pakistan. The end result of this is a degree of cynicism even among the more moderate opinion-formers in Iran; and a reinforced determination among conservative elements that Iranians must unite in the face of a stated threat from the United States and Israel.

Any room for countries like Britain and France to ameliorate the excesses of Washington’s war on the “axis of evil” is limited by their own nuclear status and what is widely seen across the Middle East as a two-faced attitude. The tensions inherent in this situation would be eased substantially if these countries were more clearly willing to embrace multilateral progress towards nuclear disarmament as covered by the non-proliferation treaty.

In the absence of such a move, there is a persistent perception in the Middle East that these two countries also operate according to a principle of “do as I say, not as I do”. This perception really does limit the ability of Britain, for example, to have much impact on Iranian policy. For the moment, there is not much prospect of change, but it is worth noting that one effect of the US tendency towards pre-emption may have been to propel North Korea down the very nuclear weapons path that it sought to avoid.

Even though Iranian society and power politics are more complex than North Korean, a similar effect is possible there. This would make some form of military action by the United States or Israel against Iran an increasingly likely prospect. The dangerous consequences of such an outcome could greatly exceed even those now being experienced in Iraq.

http://www.opendemocracy.net/themes/article-2-1531.jsp
37 posted on 10/10/2003 9:29:31 PM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: Pan_Yans Wife
"We hope that we could use her expert views more in Iran,"

LOL!!

He means when they're not arresting her and putting her in prison.!
38 posted on 10/10/2003 9:45:48 PM PDT by nuconvert
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To: nuconvert
SHIRIN EBADI WINS NOBEL PEACE PRIZE

"No single event, short of Iran's total liberation from the bloody tentacles of the Mullahs, could have brought so much joy and happiness to the Iranian people. This joy is not limited just to the Iranians; decent and humane people everywhere should feel vindicated and proud today."

Congratulations!!!
39 posted on 10/10/2003 10:05:25 PM PDT by nuconvert
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To: DoctorZIn; McGavin999; Eala; AdmSmith; dixiechick2000; nuconvert; onyx; Pro-Bush; Valin; ...
(( Another story about another Iranian woman who is a Film Director and a political Activist ))----- Pilot


'Under the Skin of the City' explores life in Iran

By James Ward
Friday, October 10, 2003
Tulare Advance Register

The most striking thing about the Iranian film "Under the Skin of the City," the latest installment in Signature Theatres' Independent Film Series, is what you won't see.

There are no shots of mosques, religious rallies or mobs burning American presidents in effigy. In fact, there's almost no hint of religion -- unless you count the ever-present burqa and veils worn by women -- in the brisk drama.

What you will see in "Under the Skin of the City" is a bleak depiction of urban life in Tehran, the country's biggest city. The family at the center of the film doesn't have much time to worry about America, terrorism or any other geopolitical concerns. They're too busy scratching out a living and keeping a roof over their heads.

"Skin" concentrates on a hard-nosed matriarch named Tuba (Golab Adineh), a mother of four children who struggles to keep her family together in the face of mounting problems. Chief among her concerns: Her youngest son is a political activist and university student who keeps on getting arrested at pro-Democracy rallies and her oldest daughter -- pregnant with her second child -- is married to an abusive husband.

It doesn't help that Tuba doesn't get much support from her disabled husband, Mahmoud (Mohsen Ghazi Moradi).

The only person she can turn to is Abbas (Mohammad Reza Forutan), who works as a delivery man for a shady businessman. His plan is to earn enough to pay for a visa that would allow him to work in Japan, where a good construction job would earn enough money to let his sister move back into the family home.

Things don't go as planned, of course, as the movie marches to its inevitable, tragic conclusion. Director Rakhshan Bani-Etemad, Iran's leading feminist filmmaker and advocate of democratic reform, gives the movie a one-note feel, making it more of a political polemic than a movie.

Aside from one charming moment when the entire family goes out for a "fancy" meal -- pizza at what looks like a fast-food eatery -- the movie is a cold, humorless affair.

Still, there's a lot to admire about "Skin," especially the central performance by Adineh as the matriarch of the family. She may be forced to take a subservient role in public, but as soon as she enters the family home, you have no doubt who runs things.

But what really makes "Under the Skin of the City" worthwhile is its frank depiction of Iran, a country that most Americans know only as one part of President Bush's "Axis of Evil." If this movie is any evidence, Iran has much more important things -- economic survival, the struggle for political reform and the basic human rights of women -- on its mind than threatening the United States.

http://www.tulareadvanceregister.com/news/stories/20031010/localnews/429328.html
40 posted on 10/10/2003 10:23:24 PM PDT by F14 Pilot
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To: DoctorZIn
Letter to EU Delegates Regarding the EU-Iran Human Rights Dialogue

9 October 2003


Minister Franco Frattini,
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Republic of Italy

Chris Patten
Commissioner for External Relations
European Union

Pat Cox
President of the European Parliament


Your Excellencies,

Human Rights Watch is writing to express grave concern about the status of persons currently detained in Iran for exercising their right to peaceful criticism of government policies or practices.

In the past week, while the European Union sat with Iranian officials for a dialogue on freedom of expression, there have been several serious developments that highlight the continued dangers of expressing one's views in Iran:


Mohsen Sazgara, an outspoken critic of the government and a prominent journalist and publisher, nearly died over the weekend after being held since June 15 for writing an open letter strongly criticizing the government.

The families of three political prisoners held for the peaceful expression of their views since June have pleaded that their relatives be released from solitary confinement and receive medical care.

On October 6, the editors of three newspapers, Yas-e-Nau, Sharq, Kar o Kargar, were called before a Tehran prosecutor to answer questions.

Also on October 6, a member of parliament from Ahvaz was reportedly called to court to respond to charges of "spreading lies" and "endangering national security" after giving a speech supporting Prof. Hashem Aghajari. Aghajari, the writer and professor who was sentenced to death in November 2002 after openly criticizing some aspects of clerical rule. (While the sentence has since been commuted, Aghajari's fate remains unclear).
These cases show the limitations of the dialogue process if it is not backed up with sustained pressure from the E.U. and insistence on concrete results from Tehran. The E.U. must raise these specific cases and insist that the Iranian government respect its obligations under international human rights law. The E.U. should seek information regarding the names and condition of persons in detention for exercising their right to peaceful dissent. It should call for those persons currently in prison solely for peaceful expression of their views to be released, or to be charged with an internationally recognizable criminal offense and accorded a trial that meets international fair trial standards.

The E.U.'s intervention on these cases will lend support to those officials and members of parliament who are struggling within the Iranian system to end systematic human rights violations of this kind. In this regard, it is most regrettable that the Iranian delegation to this week's dialogue included no representatives from the Office of the Supreme Leader or the Guardian Council, as it is these officials who control the branches of the government leading the aggressive assault on freedom of expression.

In its Conclusions of July 21, 2003, the E.U. General Affairs and External Relations Council called for "rapid progress" relating to the "arrests of students, journalists and others." It further "reaffirmed the need for concrete results in the framework of the current E.U.-Iran human rights dialogue." Many of those in jail then remain in today. Many arrested for peacefully expressing their views have been held in solitary confinement, are on hunger strike, do not know the charges against them, and do not have trial dates. It is time for the E.U. to press for the concrete results urged by the Council.

The E.U. Guidelines on Human Rights Dialogues, agreed upon by the Council in 2001, state that the dialogues may serve the objective of "registering the concern felt by the E.U. at the human rights situation, information gathering and endeavoring to improve the human rights situation in that country."

Information on the status of persons detained for attempting to exercise their right to peaceful dissent, the duration of their detention, their mental and physical health, and the legal cases against them, is virtually nonexistent. Further, the boundaries between legal and illegal expression - the rules that control what Iranian journalists, writers, and activists are and are not allowed to say - are constantly fluctuating.

The Guidelines also observe that "dialogues can identify at an early stage problems likely to lead to conflict in the future." We are concerned that Iran's systematic and often violent suppression of freedom of expression poses just such a threat. The last-minute release from prison this week of Mohsen Sazgara, appears to reflect the government's realization that his death in custody might provoke even greater disturbances among students and other activists, because student activists see him as a champion of greater freedom of expression.

It is also critical that the E.U. use the issue of freedom of expression to highlight the broader problems of arbitrary detention and torture in Iran. In its recent report, the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention led by jurist Louis Joinet notes that "situations of arbitrary detention [in Iran] were essentially related to infringements of freedom of opinion and expression and many malfunctions in the administration of justice, in particular concerning due process of law, [and] abuse of 'solitary confinement'."

Hardliners in the government have recently turned to other tactics to limit freedom of expression. Human Rights Watch recently criticized the use of university disciplinary committees in universities around the country to punish and intimidate student activists who allegedly participated in the November and June protests. We have received reports that additional hearings of student activists are scheduled for this week.

We urge the E.U. to make clear to the Iranian government that failure to address these serious and systematic violations of basic human rights will have negative consequences for other areas of potential E.U.-Iranian cooperation, and to call on the government of Iran to take the following steps as matters of urgency:


Release Reza Alijani, Taqi Rahmani, Hoda Saber, Akbar Ganji, Hassan Yousefi-Eshkevari, all journalists and writers who have been imprisoned solely for exercising their right to freedom of expression. Some are being held in solitary confinement and their families have expressed great concern for their health.

Provide the names, locations, and condition of detention of those activists and protesters arrested in June 2003 who remain unaccounted for.

Call a moratorium on any further hearings of student activists by university disciplinary committees, and allow for review of existing judgments by the Ministry of Science, Research, and Technology. This ministry is responsible for overseeing Iran's university system.

Release immediately all persons being held solely for exercising their right to freedom of expression. For all persons not released immediately file internationally recognizable criminal charges and provide them with a judicial hearing that meets all international fair trial standards.
Finally, the E.U. Guidelines state "the fact there is a human rights dialogue between the E.U. and a third country will not prevent the E.U. either from submitting a Resolution on the human rights situation in that country or from providing support for an initiative by a third country." Over the past year the E.U has given Iran the benefit of the doubt regarding its human rights record. But the human rights dialogue with Iran has not achieved any significant positive change, and very serious human rights violations continue unabated. We therefore call on the E.U. to sponsor a resolution on Iran at the upcoming Third Committee of the U.N. General Assembly in New York. Iranian pro-democracy and human rights activists, students, and journalists deserve to hear that the international community has not forgotten them and stands ready to confront the Iranian government with its abusive conduct.

We thank you for your attention to these important matters.

Sincerely,

Lotte Leicht
Brussels Director


http://www.hrw.org/press/2003/10/eu-iran100903.htm
41 posted on 10/10/2003 10:30:25 PM PDT by F14 Pilot
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To: DoctorZIn
This thread is now closed.

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”

42 posted on 10/11/2003 12:45:57 AM PDT by DoctorZIn
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To: F14 Pilot
Thanks for the heads up!
43 posted on 10/11/2003 7:59:27 AM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: DoctorZIn
Dunno why this (ISLAMIC EXTREMISTS RECANT By AMIR TAHERI) got pulled as an independent thread, Doc. But I was glad that during its brief existence, I was able to come here and see it. I agree that it is a must read.

The Iranians are hard-working, intelligent, and mostly decent people. They will be free, and soon.

The US will never attack Iran. The Iranian people can free themselves of oppression -- and they will. Freedom-loving Americans, and people of all nations, stand with freedom-loving Iranians, now and in their hour of need.

d.o.l.

Criminal Number 18F
44 posted on 10/11/2003 10:17:21 PM PDT by Criminal Number 18F (Support Billybob! >>==> http://www.ArmorForCongress.com/)
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