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Iranian Alert - October 13, 2004 [EST]- IRAN LIVE THREAD - "Americans for Regime Change in Iran"
Regime Change Iran ^ | 10.13.2004 | DoctorZin

Posted on 10/12/2004 9:31:38 PM PDT by DoctorZIn

The US media still largely 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.” As a result, 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. In fact they were one of the first countries to have spontaneous candlelight vigils after the 911 tragedy (see photo).

There is a popular revolt against the Iranian regime brewing in Iran today. I began these daily threads June 10th 2003. On that date Iranians once again began taking to the streets to express their desire for a regime change. Today in Iran, most want to replace the regime with a secular democracy.

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.


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: armyofmahdi; ayatollah; cleric; humanrights; iaea; insurgency; iran; iranianalert; iranquake; iraq; islamicrepublic; jayshalmahdi; journalist; kazemi; khamenei; khatami; khatemi; lsadr; moqtadaalsadr; mullahs; persecution; persia; persian; politicalprisoners; protests; rafsanjani; revolutionaryguard; rumsfeld; satellitetelephones; shiite; southasia; southwestasia; studentmovement; studentprotest; terrorism; terrorists; wot
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Join Us At Today's Iranian Alert Thread – The Most Underreported Story Of The Year!

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

1 posted on 10/12/2004 9:31:39 PM 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 – The Most Underreported Story Of The Year!

2 posted on 10/12/2004 9:34:39 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

"Intense Debate by Islamist Movements and Sponsoring States on New Terrorist Attacks on the West"

October 12, 2004
Global Information System
Jason Fuchs

A variety of sources have confirmed that the Iranian and Syrian governments, plus major Islamist groups, are continuing to debate whether to proceed with a major new terrorist attack in the West, and specifically the US, before the US elections on November 2, 2004.

GIS sources reported that the Islamist movement was engaged in intense strategic discussions about a new “spectacular” offensive against Western, specifically US targets. Critically, GIS sources added that these discussions involved the Islamist-jihadist movement’s chief state sponsors, including Iran and Syria. On the question of the proposed forthcoming Islamist offensive, GIS sources detailed: “[Government officials in] Damascus and Tehran, and [Islamist leaders in] Islamabad are in on the debate and are having major input.”

This internal debate, although couched in theological terms, was described by GIS sources as “extremely pragmatic”. The debate appeared to be attempting to discern the probable reaction by the US electorate to a pre-election strike, as well as what Washington’s response could be, and the degree to which such a strike would threaten the security of the sponsoring states. It also attempted to discern the anticipated reaction from the Muslim world to the extreme violence and bloodshed being proposed. As a routine, tactical matter, the preparedness and durability of the operational and support cells necessary to facilitate such a strike were also under review, although it appeared as though the debate focused much less on capability — about which many in the Islamist-jihadist community seemed to exude an air of confidence — but the review also considered the strategic ramifications of a new mass-casualty “spectacular”.

On this point, GIS sources stressed that it remained within the power of the sponsoring states to prevent the anticipated strikes. As one source noted: “If the sponsoring states really want to stop the attacks, they can do so on their own in more than one way.” Of particular concern to the Government of Pakistan was the possibility that a “spectacular” attack — which would inevitably involve Islamist networks operating from Pakistan — might push Washington into a position where it would stake US-Pakistani relations on the Pakistani ability to secure Osama bin Laden, as opposed to the current more general counter-terrorism cooperation. The US Bush Administration had repeatedly articulated its perception of Pakistan as a key ally ever since Pres. Pervez Musharraf’s decision to help US military efforts to remove the Taliban administration in Afghanistan following the September 11, 2001, attacks in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania.

Regional reports, notably a leaked Iraqi intelligence report published in the Iraqi daily al-Watan on September 22, 2004, stating that Abu Musab al- Zarqawi was preparing cells for attacks in Western Europe, were somewhat misleading. GIS sources revealed that Zarqawi does not directly control significant assets in Western Europe, but that non-Iraqi or non-resident Islamist fighters who had fought under his command in Iraq, some under the general banner of Jamaat al-Tawhid wa’l-Jihad (Unity and Jihad Group), had been reintegrated into Islamist units upon return to their home countries. These operatives answered to their local commanders in Western Europe and, on major strategic decisions, to the Islamist-jihadist leadership — specifically Dr Ayman al-Zawahiri — and their associated state sponsors. These cadres awaited directions from the above noted high command structure on future strategically significant operations.

Also of concern to the US Bush Administration were the late September 2004 maneuverings of a former “ally”, Iraqi National Congress (INC) President Ahmad Chalabi. GIS sources claimed on October 11, 2004, that Chalabi had assumed the rôle of foreign affairs and national security advisor to Moqtada Sadr. GIS sources explained that this move was, in many ways, a direct result of the resolution of the Najaf crisis and the subsequent US backed negotiations between Baghdad and Sadr’s Jaish al-Mahdi which saw the October 10, 2004, opening of a five-day “grace period” during which fighters in Baghdad’s Sadr City turned in heavy and medium weapons to the interim Government in exchange for promised amnesty arrangements and an accepted political rôle for Moqtada Sadr in the “new Iraq”.

The Najaf resolution had virtually excluded involvement by the Administration of Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi and elevated the Qom-based Ayatollah Al- Sayyid Kadhem al-Haeri into a theological position equal to that of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, legitimizing Iranian influence in Iraqi Shi’ite affairs.

Further, the subsequent deal with Moqtada Sadr had convinced many in the region that, as one GIS source put it, “Moqtada — not the US — is so far the winner. Chalabi knows that Iran is winning and he’s using Moqtada as the gateway.”

That argument that Ahmad Chalabi saw Moqtada Sadr as a conduit to legitimacy and relevance emphasized the degree to which Sadr and his sponsors in Tehran had consolidated their victory in Najaf, in spite of devastating US operations against the Jaish al-Mahdi in the Shiite holy city which had seriously degraded the militia’s fighting capability and operational readiness and, tactically, threatened to render the group an irrelevant military force. The political failure which had followed Washington’s measurable military success had paved the way for Chalabi’s alleged “defection”. As well, the aggressive campaign which had been waged against him by Washington through press leaks which accused the INC leader of providing Iran with intelligence on Coalition forces and the August 8, 2004. Arrest warrants were issued against both Ahmad Chalabi and his cousin, Salem, by the Iraqi Central Criminal Court of Zuhair al-Maliky. These actions followed the late April 2004 “options memo” drafted by the US National Security Council (NSC), and presented at the White House, entitled “Marginalizing Chalabi”.1

Washington’s posture toward issues in central Iraq also continued to vary. By early October 2004, it had become increasingly evident not only that US negotiations with Sunni tribal leaders in Iraq had secured few of Washington’s apparent aims, and that the US Bush Administration was now increasingly aware of this fact. The immediate result of this perceived failure appeared to have been the US decision on September 31, 2004, to deploy a force of some 5,000 Coalition forces (3,000 US, 2,000 Iraqi) to “re-take” the Sunni triangle town of Samarra. While some had anticipated the Samarra operation as a precursor to further action in insurgent-controlled Iraqi population centers, particularly Fallujah, there now appeared to be significant hesitancy to conduct such operations until after the November 2004 elections, in spite of the US Bush Administration’s apparent reading of the situation on the ground.

The Bush Administration had long ago abandoned any hope for success from the ex-Ba’athist composed “Fallujah Brigade”, initially organized and deployed in April 2004 to manage the security situation in Fallujah without the need for a US military intervention. The Fallujah Brigade almost immediately began cooperating with the armed insurgents controlling the city, including, in some instances, turning over weapons and divulging the limited intelligence they had been provided by Coalition Forces.

A second US attempt to pacify Fallujah without an “invasion” had been less well publicized, but equally instructive. Following the perceived success in Najaf, the US attempted to impose a similarly organized settlement with the Sunni leadership of Fallujah. To this end, GIS sources reported, Washington sought to open a channel to a prominent Fallujah-based Ikwhani known as Abu Abdullah. Abu Abdullah, Washington appeared to believe, was in control of a number of armed networks operating both inside Fallujah and throughout the so-called Sunni Triangle. Regional reports indicated that Abu Abdullah’s forces were comprised mostly of former Ba’athists, potentially former Saddam Fedayeen. Based on the “good work” which Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani had done in resolving the August 2004 Najaf crisis, the US Bush Administration sought to open at least one channel to Abu Abdullah through Ayatollah Sistani. These talks continued through at least early September 2004.

Yet, the situation in Fallujah remained unchanged and the Abu Abdallah channel gained the Coalition absolutely no ground, largely because the Sunni cleric had been fundamentally misunderstood by his interlocutors. As GIS sources noted in late September 2004, Abu Abdallah — while extremely influential in Fallujah and, to an extent, throughout al-Anbar province — did not control significant military forces, at all, much less forces comprised of former Ba’athists. The latter expectation, that the forces were Ba’athist, appeared to have given Washington and particularly the CIA false hope; that because his forces were not committed “foreign fighters”, they might be swayed. In fact, while Abu Abdullah’s “forces” — if they could be called that — were negligible, his status as an Ikwhani cleric precluded him from reaching a deal with Coalition forces regardless of the terms offered. Abu Abdullah, and the circles he influenced, were committed Islamists who continued to view the Iraqi intifada in terms of it being a single component of a global jihad and not, as the CIA appeared perceive their position, a nationalist struggle. Thus, the talks had been virtually doomed from the start and further evidenced to many Iraqis that Washington continued to fail to understand the complex situation on the ground.

Moreover, the US decision to use Ayatollah Sistani as an intermediary had reinforced a growing sense among Iraqis that Washington would continue to overestimate the influence and centrality of the Grand Ayatollah. The Sunnis of Fallujah and its surrounding environs paid virtually no heed to Ayatollah Sistani and attempts to interpose the senior Shi’ite spiritual authority into perceived Sunni “internal affairs” had been met with what should have been expected resistance.

Iraqi confidence in the US had been further eroded by concern that a potential US Kerry Administration and (in light of comments by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld on October 10, 2004, during a surprise visit to Iraq) perhaps even a second Bush Administration might attempt to quickly reduce US troop strength in Iraq following the January 2004 Iraqi elections.

The goal, apparently, continued to be to reduce the “footprint” of the Coalition occupation force.

Yet, as former consultant to the Strategy Unit of UK Prime Minister Tony Blair’s cabinet, Christopher Catherwood, noted to GIS: “It is not the size of the ‘footprint’ that matters. Just look at the small number of US forces that had been present in Saudi Arabia throughout the 1990s. Yet, even largely constrained to a single base, the reaction by many Saudis and Islamists was the same as though a full-scale occupying force had been deployed to Saudi soil.” Catherwood, the author of a new history entitled Churchill’s Folly: How Winston Churchill Created Modern Iraq, based on his research of the Chartwell Papers at Churchill College, Cambridge, added that he saw distinct similarities between Churchill’s to effectively “garrison” British ground forces to reduce the British military footprint — and, more importantly, expenditure — and the current discussion about “drawing down” troop levels to affect Iraqi perception of the Coalition presence. Even the US resort to airpower to combat the Islamist forces of Fallujah further mirrored Churchill’s efforts in the “Mesopotamian rebellion” of 1920 to rely on the Royal Air Force to subdue the insurgent threat.

While Washington had secured significant victories in both Iraq and Afghanistan, Tehran and its Islamist allies appeared cognizant that they had entered a critical period during which they apparently believed they retained the ability to affect the US November 2004 election and, potentially, reshape the strategic playing field of the region by decisively striking out against the US and the West. The question remained as to how the Islamist-jihadist movement would decide to act on this perceived capability and whether the West would confront the state sponsors of the planned offensive before it was too late.


1. Inside the Takedown, Brian Bennett & Michael Weisskop;
Time, June 7, 2004.

3 posted on 10/12/2004 9:35:11 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Important Press Conference Scheduled for Thursday Morning at the National Press Club.

Despite Threats, Iranian Expatriots Allege Kerry Campaign Welcomed Terrorist Money & Influence; Press Conference Oct. 14 in Washington

10/12/2004 4:01:00 PM

To: Assignment and National desks, Daybook Editor

Contact: Aryo Pirouznia of Student Movement Coordinating Committee for Democracy in Iran, or 972-504-6864 or Fax: 972-491-9866

News Advisory:

When the Student Movement Coordinating Committee for Democracy in Iran (SMCCDI) -- -- and its coordinator, Aryo Pirouznia, uncovered evidence that totalitarian Iran's American propagandists were channeling hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Kerry campaign, SMCCDI shouted it from the cyber mountain tops. The Kerry Campaign is now desperately trying to distance itself from one of its Iranian-American "Trustees" and his highly questionable lawsuit against SMCCDI.

These propagandists know that the best defense is a good offense, and Hassan Nemazee filed a $10 million suit against SMCCDI and Pirouznia in Texas in March and immediately adopted a strategy of delay until after the presidential elections. Perhaps because it knows the suit would embarrass the Democrat nominee, Nemazee has sought to postpone if not avoid answering questions about his suit in a deposition. Thanks to a counter-suit, faith in democracy, and a clear-headed judge in Texas who refused the delay, SMCCDI is going public with the evidence.

Joining SMCCDI are two journalists: Insight Magazine's Kenneth Timmerman and the author of the bestselling "Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry," Dr. Jerome Corsi -- -- who is writing a book based on the Kerry-Namazee nexus.

Corsi, Timmerman, SMCCDI, and their legal counsel will hold a press conference, "The current Iranian Regime's Influence on Senator John Kerry's Presidential Campaign," -- -- at the National Press Club on Thursday, October 14, 9:15 AM, in the First Amendment Room on the 13th floor.

The event is scheduled to be satellite uplinked for US-based TV and radio networks. Those interested must call 214-906-8181, on Wednesday, in order to obtain the downlink references or to check the SMCCDI's Website -- ("Public Statements" section).

Key statements by the Kerry Campaign on Iran

Before the Council on Foreign Relations in December 2003, Kerry announced "As president, I will be prepared early on to explore areas of mutual interest with Iran, just as I was prepared to normalize relations with Vietnam a decade ago."

Then the Kerry Campaign sent out an email that somehow made its way to the government-controlled Mehr News Agency in Tehran, where it was trumpeted as evidence of his resolve to patch things up with the mullahs. "It is in the urgent interests of the people of the United States," the message read, "to restore our country's credibility in the eyes of the world. America needs the kind of leadership that will repair alliances with countries on every continent that have been so damaged in the past few years, as well as build new friendships and overcome tensions with others."

Kerry's senior foreign affairs advisor, Rand Beers, confirmed the message was genuine, saying: "I have no idea how they got hold of that letter, which was prepared for Democrats Abroad. I scratched my head when I saw that. The only way they could have gotten it was if someone in Iran was with Democrats Abroad." (R. Beers' statement was made in an interview with K. Timmerman which was published by Insight Magazine on March 1, 2004.)

Then in the first Presidential Debate Kerry said, "I think the United States should have offered the opportunity to provide the nuclear fuel, test them, see whether or not they were actually looking for it for peaceful purposes."

Statement by Hassan Nemazee at AIC Fundraiser

Hassan Nemazee spoke at an American Iranian Council (see page 6) dinner declaring that the AIC "does not attempt to explain or rationalize the position of the government of Iran, nor does it attempt to do so for the government of the United States. Its mission is to educate both sides and to attempt to establish the basis and the vehicle for a dialogue which will ultimately lead to a resumption of relations." (Nemazee's statement was made on June 1, 2002, at the San Francisco Ritz-Carlton Hotel in presence of Sen. Kerry during an AIC event organized for boosting relations with the Mullahs' regime).

If Kerry registered any protest against this assertion that the United States should normalize relations with one of the worlds bloodiest dictatorships, it was not recorded.


/© 2004 U.S. Newswire 202-347-2770/

4 posted on 10/12/2004 9:35:39 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

West ponders a last chance for Tehran
VIENNA: Western nations are considering making one last try to get Iran to suspend uranium enrichment activities that could be used to make nuclear weapons, although the US has its hands tied until the November 2 presidential election, diplomats said yesterday.

"There is indeed the idea from the G8 to make a last try on Iran," ahead of a November 25 meeting of the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency at which a deadline falls for Iran to suspend enrichment and answer all questions about its nuclear ambitions, a diplomat close to the IAEA said.

The diplomat said there could be "a package" offer, which might include giving Iran access to imported nuclear fuel, but that Iran would in return have to totally suspend its own work on the nuclear fuel cycle.

In Iran, Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi called on the European Union yesterday to come up with proposals that could end the stand-off between Tehran and IAEA but repeated the country's refusal to give up sensitive fuel cycle work.

"The Europeans have not respected their commitment, and it is time that they took a step and presented proposals that respect our legitimate right to use civilian nuclear technology."

5 posted on 10/12/2004 9:36:03 PM PDT by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn


By Safa Haeri
Posted Tuesday, October 12, 2004

TEHRAN, 12 Oct. (IPS) Russia joined Britain, France and Germany, known as the European Union’s “Big 3” demanding the Islamic Republic to heed the international community for suspending enriching uranium, a vital process in the chain of producing nuclear weapons.

Moscow made the call during the just concluded visit to Tehran by Russia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Sergei Lavrov who, according to well-informed diplomatic sources, had “very openly and clearly” warned his Iranian interlocutors of the dangers it would face if it did not stop nuclear activities.

Iran looks upon trust-building measures as positive, but only on the condition that Iran’s legitimate and legal rights are respected.

In private talks with Iranian officials, Lavrov made it clear that if Iran did not satisfy what the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) would ask Iran to do at its forthcoming meeting, Iran’s issue would be “most probably” sent to the United Nations Security Council for decision, sources told Iran Press Service in Tehran.

But according to the official news agency IRNA, Hojjatoleslam Hasan Rohani, the influential Secretary of Iran’s Supreme Council on National Security (SCNS) and senior negotiator with both IAEA and the European Trio told Lavrov that Iran would remain committed to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and its additional protocol “only if Iran’s use of peaceful technology is recognised”.

“Iran looks upon trust-building measures as positive, but only on the condition that Iran’s legitimate and legal rights are respected internationally”, the cleric, tipped as being one of the conservatives candidates as the next Iranian president added.

The Board of Directors of the international nuclear watchdog on 18 September had urged Tehran to abandon enriching uranium or it might face sanctions by the United Nations Security Council, a measure Moscow, like Berlin, London or Paris, is opposed, but might drop its opposition in case the Islamic Republic continue with the enriching process.

But in a total disdain to the Resolution, Mr. Qolamreza Aqazadeh, the Head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation revealed on 20 September in Vienna that Tehran had enriched 37 tonnes of yellow cake into hexafluroide gas.

The process continues unabated.

Foreign affairs ministers of Britain, France and Germany who initiated on 20 October last year an agreement with Tehran over suspension of uranium enriching against transfer to nuclear technologies for peaceful means became more and more menacing in recent months against Iran and have gone closer to the harsher line suggested to them by the United States.

Under the agreement signed by Mr. Rohani, who is also Europe’s and IAEA’s senior negotiator on Iranian controversial nuclear issue, Iran also agreed to sign the Additional Protocol to the Non Proliferation Treaty, a clause that allows international nuclear inspectors full and unconditional access to all Iranian nuclear-related sites and projects.

Iran's conservative-dominated Majles, or parliament is menacing of not ratifying the Additional Protocol if the international community goes ahead forcing Iran to stop all enriching activities.

In a statement last week, Mr. Fischer told Iran of “not committing any mistake” thinking Europe and IAEA were not serious in their warnings over Iranian nuclear activities.

But on the surface, Lavrov adopted a more conciliatory attitude towards his hosts, indicating that he also was not in favour of seeing Iran’s case at the IAEA going to New York for consideration, as pushed by Washington, but opposed by the so-called Big 3.

"To start thinking of any scenario which is not constructive to our point of view is premature and could be counter-productive", Lavrov said at a joint press conference with his Iranian counterpart Kamal Kharrazi in Tehran on Sunday 10 October, referring to the possibility of Iran’s case with the IAEA being transferred to the UN’s Security Council.

"We will be expecting the cooperation between Iran and the IAEA to continue", Lavrov said, adding that enjoying the benefits from nuclear technologies for peaceful purposes was Iran’s full right.

But a defiant Kharrazi corrected him, pointing out that, "It is Iran's legitimate right to master nuclear technology including uranium enrichment".

If Iran continue rejecting IAEA’s demands, then it would be difficult for Moscow to support Tehran at the UN.

At this point, Lavrov urged him to reconsider, saying "As (Russian President Vladimir) Putin has suggested before, it is better if Iran listens to the agency's call. This is better for everyone".

"There is no talk of stopping it. It's not something Iran can accept", Mr. Kharrazi replied, stressing however that Iran was ready to give whatever assurances were required to show that it will not use nuclear technology to make atomic weapons.

While Iran insists that its ongoing nuclear projects are for generating electricity, the United States and Israel accuses it of wanting the technology for military aims.

According to press reports from Tel Aviv, the Jewish State, -- which the ruling Iranian ayatollahs do not recognise the existence to the point that never mention it by its name of Israel, using “the Zionist Entity” instead in their official language – is seriously considering the option of attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities in a repeat of what it did with Iraq in 1981, profiting from the war the now imprisoned Iraqi dictator Saddam Hoseyn had started with its neighbour, then in full revolutionary turmoil due to the unexpected quick victory of Islamic Revolution of 1979 led by the late Ayatollah Rouhollah Khomeini against the late Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

Western diplomatic sources say if the Security Council decides of harsh measures against the Islamic Republic, it would face a Russia veto, adding however that in case Tehran continue pushing with its enriching uranium activities, Moscow would have no other choice but abstaining, an attitude China, another nation suspected of nuclear cooperation with Iran, might also take.

“If Iran continue rejecting IAEA’s demands, then it would be difficult for Moscow to support Tehran at the UN”, one Iranian analyst told Iran Press Service, adding that a Security Council sanction would “very seriously” harm Russia’s financial interest in Iran, where it is building the country’s first nuclear reactor in the Persian Gulf port of Booshehr at a cost of some 800 million US Dollars.

The light-water 1,000-megawatt project was originally due to come on stream in 1998, but now experts say it would not be finished before late 2006.

Foreign affairs ministers of the 25-members European Union during their last meeting held on Monday in Luxembourg, offered the Islamic Republic “carrots and sticks”, stating that while they would not accept the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran, which could destabilise the Middle East, but at the same time are ready for joint diplomatic efforts with Russia and the United States to avert that risk.

“We want to continue the process as the EU and to formulate a package. We rejected the option of Iran becoming a nuclear power as dangerous,” German Foreign Affairs Minister Joschka Fischer said as the ministers instructed EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana to prepare the package to encourage Tehran to cooperate with the UN nuclear watchdog.

And to thwart the bloc’s other nations that accuse the “Big 3” of monopolising the talks with Iran, the ministers agreed that Solana would join the Britain, France and Germany in diplomacy towards Iran to ensure that the whole bloc was better associated with the negotiations.

The incentives could include assistance with Iran’s peaceful energy programme, sources said.

In an interview with the Hong Kong and Bangkok-based “The Asia Times Online”, Mr. Hoseyn Moussavian, Head of the SCNS’s Foreign Policy Department considered as Mr. Rohani’s “mouth piece” had called on France and Germany, but also Britain and “why not” the United States to invest in the multi-billions project.

According to some Iranian analysts, the “package” might as well hint to the West’s readiness to participate in Iran’s plans for building six other nuclear-powered electricity plants.

Citing unnamed U.S. and European diplomats, “The New York Times” reported on Tuesday that the Bush Administration is holding talks with European allies on a possible package of economic incentives for Iran as part of efforts to persuade Tehran to suspend uranium enrichment, offers that could include access to imported nuclear fuel.

Diplomats told the Times that while the Bush Administration had not endorsed any incentives for Iran, it was not discouraging the EU from assembling a package that the administration would consider after the U.S. presidential election on 2 November for likely presentation to Tehran later in the month.

According to the newspaper, the incentives under discussion would allow Iran to import fuel for the civilian reactor it is building at the Persian Gulf port of Bushehr with assistance from Russia and may lift curbs that are blocking Iran from importing spare parts for its ailing civilian airline, consisting partly by ageing American-made Boeings.

“Iran will only remain committed to international nuclear safeguards if it is allowed to master the entire nuclear fuel cycle and enrich uranium” Mr. Rohani was quoted as saying on Monday, rejecting rejected demands to stop all other activities related to uranium enrichment, like building centrifuges and converting raw uranium.

In an interview with the British news agency “Reuters” on Saturday 9 October 2004, Mr. Moussavian, who also is the spokesman of Iran’s delegation at IAEA talks said Tehran was even willing to listen to ideas from the United States, such as one put forward by Senator John Kerry to resolve the dispute over Iran's nuclear ambitions.

"Iran welcomes any constructive proposal from any American candidate", Mr. Moussavian said, asked about suggestions that a Kerry government would be willing to supply Iran with nuclear fuel for power generation if Tehran abandons its own fuel-making capability.

In their last debate, both Mr. Kerry and President George W. Bush described as “very dangerous” Iran’s efforts to become a nuclear power and wowed to use “every ways and means” to prevent it.

“If it become necessary to address Iran in a very strong way, one can be sure that we (democrats) would go for the harshest of ways”, Sen. Kerry assured, accusing Mr. Bush of having indirectly allowed Iran to continue its nuclear projects while the (Bush) Administration was busy with Iraq.

Earlier, the Democrat’s nominee for the top job had said that in case Iran abandons its plans for nuclearisation, he could consider offering the country atomic technologies for civilian uses, including producing much needed electricity.

However, Mr. Moussavian latter denied the declaration attributed to him by Reuters, saying Iran had no negotiations with the United States.

On the controversial issue of nuclear fuel for Bushehr station, held up for several months amid a dispute over pricing and the return of spent material, Lavrov hinted that Moscow and Tehran were in the final stages of reaching an agreement on the supply and return of nuclear fuel for Iran's first nuclear reactor "in the near future".

Iran says it doesn't have facilities to store the spent fuel. Moscow wants to pay in order to take back the fuel to Russia.

As Lavrov was leaving Iran, a high-ranking delegation from the IAEA arrived in Tehran for fresh talks aimed at resolving the dispute over Iran's nuclear activities; Iran’s state television reported Tuesday.

The six-member delegation, headed by the Agency’s deputy director general Pierre Goldschmidt, is expected to stay in Iran for the whole week and would again be raising the issues of traces of highly enriched uranium found here as well as Iran's work on advanced P2 centrifuges, the hard liner’s controlled television added, quoting Goldschmidt as saying he hoped to carry out site visits, as well as discuss a possible visit to the Parchin military zone near Tehran that has been cited as a possible site of covert nuclear activities.


6 posted on 10/12/2004 9:36:09 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn
October 13, 2004

Israel 'should attack nuclear sites in Iran if diplomacy fails'

From Ian MacKinnon in Jerusalem
A PRE-EMPTIVE Israeli strike against Iran’s nuclear installations would be fraught with risks and difficulties, but it would set back significantly Tehran’s development programme, a respected think-tank in Tel Aviv said yesterday.

However, the bombing of Iran’s facilities — a possibility that appeared to increase with the revelation last month that the United States had agreed to sell Israel “bunker buster” bombs — should be the last resort, said researchers from the Jaffee Centre for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University.

After news that Israel would take delivery of the precision-guided bombs capable of destroying underground targets, some analysts argued that the diversity of Iran’s facilities and poor intelligence would make a raid impossible.

Yet despite the problems of such an operation, Ephraim Kam, the Jaffee Centre’s deputy head, said that it would put the programme back for a year or more and should not be ruled out if diplomatic pressure failed to halt Iran’s research.

Israel regards Iran as its biggest strategic worry. Intelligence sources estimate that Tehran will acquire nuclear weapons by 2007 and defence chiefs have hinted at a first strike similar to the one on the Osirak facility in Iraq 23 years ago, which thwarted Saddam Hussein’s atomic designs.

Israel’s alarm has acquired new urgency after Major-General Giora Eiland, its National Security Adviser, said that Iran would reach the “point of no return” by late November, rather than next year, when it would require no further outside aid to bring the programme to fruition.

Meanwhile, Iran must decide whether to co-operate with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and suspend the work or face sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council for failing to comply.

Last month Iran revealed that it had defied the IAEA’s demands to end all uranium enrichment activities. Among the nuclear facilities that it has declared are uranium mines near Yazd and a uranium-enrichment plant at Natanz, incorporating large underground bunkers. Another facility at Parchin, near Tehran, was revealed by the United States, although its exact purpose remains unclear.

If Iran succeeds in putting its nuclear programme to military use, the Jaffee Centre says that it could dramatically destabilise the balance in the region, leading other countries, such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Syria, to develop their own atomic installations.

Because of the threat that a nuclear Iran would pose, Dr Kam argues that if the IAEA and the international community fail to halt Tehran’s nuclear ambitions, Washington should intervene militarily, a prospect that seems to be growing. However, if the US shirked the challenge, Israel might have no choice but to act.

Iran has learnt from Iraq. It has buried facilities underground, spread them around and may have kept some secret. “There is a logic to operating against Iran,” Dr Kam said. “Just taking out the facilities that are known would create a serious degradation of the Iranian potential.”

  • Mohammad Ali Abtahi, the Iranian Vice-President, had his resignation accepted yesterday, after saying that he could not work with the conservative-dominated parliament. A close ally of the reformist President Khatami, he first tendered his resignation in February.

7 posted on 10/12/2004 9:36:42 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

G8 diplomats to mull Iran nuclear incentives in Washington this week

AFP - World News (via Yahoo)
Oct 12, 2004

WASHINGTON  - Envoys from the Group of Eight industrialized nations are to meet this week to discuss offering incentives to Iran in a last-ditch effort to get the Islamic republic to suspend its uranium enrichment activities that could be used to make nuclear weapons, State Department officials said.



The department will host talks on Friday between mid-to-senior ranking G8 diplomats to go over options for dealing with suspicions that Iran is secretly developing nuclear weapons under cover of a civilian atomic power program, the officials said.

The meeting is part of the G8's consideration of ways to get Iran to suspend its uranium enrichment work as a deadline for Tehran to comply with demands from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to suspend enrichment and answer all questions about its nuclear ambitions looms next month, the officials said.

The G8, which comprises Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States, is looking at a package deal for Iran in which it would be given access to imported nuclear fuel but would totally suspend its own work on the nuclear fuel cycle in return, according to diplomats close to the IAEA.

Friday's meeting will gather "political directors" from G8 foreign ministries who get together frequently to discuss nuclear non-proliferation issues, the State Department officials said.

However, neither US Secretary of State Colin Powell nor his deputy, Richard Armitage, would attend, they said. US Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security John Bolton is likely to be the highest-ranking diplomat in the talks, they said.

Iran's nuclear ambitions have become a major topic in the US presidential campaign with Democratic challenger John Kerry berating President George W. Bush for failing to deal with Tehran while going to war with Iraq on faulty intelligence.

Diplomats in Vienna, where the IAEA is headquartered, say the Bush administration has not yet signed off on any package and had thus far been reluctant to be involved in defining any possible incentives.

One diplomat said Washington was unlikely to commit until after the November 2 election.

"The day after the election, things will be clearer," the diplomat said.

The New York Times reported Tuesday that the United States is holding talks with European allies on a possible deal with Iran that would give Tehran access to imported nuclear fuel in return for suspension of uranium enrichment activities.

The New York Times reported earlier Tuesday that while the Bush administration had not endorsed any incentives for Iran, it was not discouraging Britain, France and Germany from assembling a package which might also lift certain economic sanctions on Iran, in particular allowing it to import spare parts for its ailing civilian airline.

Any US support for incentives, even if offered by the Europeans, would mark a significant shift in the administration's policy toward Iran's nuclear program, which it has said should be sent to the UN Security Council for possible sanctions.

Powell, Bolton and others have been saying publicly for the past month that it is past time for Iran to be referred to the Security Council.

8 posted on 10/12/2004 9:37:08 PM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

White House Sounds Out Europeans on Iran

Tuesday October 12, 2004 11:16 PM


AP Diplomatic Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Bush administration will talk with European allies later this week about possible economic incentives to Iran if it agrees to suspend the enrichment of uranium, a key step in the production of nuclear weapons, U.S. officials said Tuesday.

While the Bush administration has not yet taken a stand on whether to dangle such incentives before Tehran, a high-profile meeting with allies on the issue would mark a significant shift in U.S. strategy and could have implications in the presidential race.

In the meantime, the administration continues to insist that Iran must stop developing nuclear weapons or face sanctions from the United Nations.

On several occasions, the administration has tried to take the dispute to the U.N. Security Council. Another attempt is virtually certain after a meeting in late November of the United Nations' nuclear watchdog agency if Iran has not complied by then.

Working with European allies to resolve a major security problem is the sort of multilateral diplomacy that Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry has charged is lacking in the administration. President Bush disputes that charge.

``They are going to come and tell us what kind of package and discussions they have been having, and we will hear them out,'' State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said of the meeting Friday with European allies.

Britain, France and Germany are inclined to try to work out some sort of agreement with Iran and are not inclined at this point to impose economic sanctions.

A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the proposed European package included providing fuel to Iran for civilian nuclear projects. That official and another, also speaking anonymously, said that while the administration was interested in the idea of proposing a package of incentives, none of Europe's specific proposals had received U.S. endorsement.

European diplomats said the talks with the Bush administration were in an initial stage. They also said the United States was holding on to its option of pushing for U.N. Security Council action against Iran if it is found in defiance of international demands to stop all activities related to uranium enrichment.

A European government official said Russia was skeptical of any Security Council move to punish Iran because of concerns that Russia's $800 million deal to build a nuclear reactor in Bushehr, in southern Iran, could be jeopardized.

Also Tuesday, Iran's foreign minister offered European governments assurances that his government would never produce nuclear bombs if Iran's right to enrich uranium was recognized.

``The time has come for Europe to take a step forward and suggest that our legitimate right for complete use of nuclear energy is recognized,'' Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said in a speech to an energy conference in Tehran.

White House spokesman Sean McCormack said the package the Europeans were touting was not ``different materially'' from proposal that have already been discussed with Tehran.

Invited to the meeting on Iran, along with the three European allies, were the other members of the G-8 group of leading industrialized countries - Russia, Japan, Italy and Canada. The meeting grows out of talks Secretary of State Colin Powell held last month with G-8 foreign ministers at the United Nations in New York.

President Bush condemned Iran in his 2001 State of the Union address as part of an ``axis of evil'' along with Iraq and North Korea.

Negotiations to end North Korea's nuclear program are sputtering. Talks have been suspended, and while Bush defends his strategy of a joint approach with South Korea, Japan, Russia and China, Kerry is calling for one-on-one talks.

In 1994 North Korea promised to freeze its plutonium program and put it under international inspection in exchange for civilian energy assistance from South Korea and Japan.

The Europeans' proposal that civilian nuclear fuel might be provided to Iran to stop enriching uranium is somewhat parallel to the Clinton administration's deal with North Korea.,1282,-4546602,00.html

9 posted on 10/12/2004 9:37:13 PM PDT by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn

Moderate cleric appointed Iran's new vice president 2004-10-13 03:14:52

TEHRAN, Oct. 12 (Xinhuanet) -- Majid Ansari, former head of Majlis'(parliament) plan and budget commission and a politically moderate cleric, was named Tuesday as Iran's new vice president for legal and parliamentary affairs, the official IRNA news agency reported.

Ansari will replace Mohammad Ali Abtahi, who resigned early thismonth in protest against the parliament's impeachment of former Transportation Minister Ahmad Khorram.

Abtahi also protested to the Guardian Council against the disqualification in the seventh Majlis election, which took place in February. He slammed it as "an undemocratic election."

Ansari, a mid-ranking cleric, is member of two powerful political bodies, namely, the Assembly of Experts and the Expediency Council. The former holds the power to choose Supreme Leader and make decision on other important affairs; the latter serves as an arbitration body.

Ansari is also known as a vocal critic of the Guardian Council, and he criticized it for ignoring Supreme Leader Seyyed Ali Khamenei's demand not to disqualify reform-minded lawmakers of the former parliament from running in the seventh Majlis election.

The hardliner-dominated Guardian Council in early January disqualified nearly 3,605 reform-minded candidates competing for posts in the seventh Majlis. After the interference of Supreme Leader Khamenei, more than 1,400 were restored to be qualified eventually. Enditem

10 posted on 10/12/2004 9:38:14 PM PDT by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn

If there comes a large-scale open civil war in Iran I would hope the US would supply the opposition with weapons, food and medical stuff.

11 posted on 10/12/2004 9:38:50 PM PDT by GeronL (I was gone for about 2 months. I was depressed and sad. I am back now and am trying to get my wings)
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To: DoctorZIn

12 posted on 10/12/2004 9:42:30 PM PDT by freedom44
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To: DoctorZIn

I e-mailed Major Garrett about the Hassan Nemazee press conference. I hope he covers it.

13 posted on 10/12/2004 10:10:58 PM PDT by nonkultur
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To: DoctorZIn

The Elder posted a link to us today.

Couldn't Get Away

Check out Doctor Zinn's site at Free Republic, Americans for Regime Change in Iran, where you can find daily updates on news out of Iran and the rest of the Middle East.

Don't miss the latest on connections between the Kerry campaign and the Iranian regime, which will be expanded upon tomorrow at a news conference featuring reps from the Student Movement Coordinating Committee for Democracy in Iran (SMCCDI), journalist Kenneth Timmerman, and the author of the bestselling "Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry," Dr. Jerome Corsi.

14 posted on 10/13/2004 8:12:25 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

The Choice: Preemptive Attack or a "Grand Bargain"

October 13, 2004
Mark Levey

The Bush Administration urged the members of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to approve an October 31 deadline on Iran for compliance or face sanctions at the UN Security Council. Bush lost that vote. Had the motion passed, that would have started the countdown to an Israel-Iran war just days before the November 2nd elections.

Restrained by western nations on the IAEA, neoconservatives in Washington and their allies in Ariel Sharon's Likud government have had to forego the "October surprise", an attack on Iranian nuclear installations on the eve of the U.S. presidential election. Nevertheless, events already in motion indicate that a pause before World War IV could last only weeks, if George W. Bush gains a second term.

Iran's nuclear program has long been in the crosshairs. In a February 5, 2002 interview with Sharon, The Times of London wrote that according to Sharon, "Iran is the center of 'world terror,' and as soon as an Iraq conflict is concluded, [Sharon] will push for Iran to be at the top of the 'to do list' . . . He sees Iran as 'behind terror all around the world' and a direct threat to Israel."

Two-and-a-half years later, political and military preparations for an attack are complete, and the operation is reportedly ready to go. The July 18, 2004 issue of The Jerusalem Post reported, "Israel has completed military rehearsals for a pre-emptive strike against Iran's nuclear power facility at Bushehr, Israeli officials told the London-based Sunday Times." [JP, 07/18/04, Douglas Davis, "Report: Israel's 'First-Strike' Plan Against Iran Ready"]

Training by the Israeli military for a combined commando and air strike against Iran has been ongoing for more than a year. In early 2004, planning papers were approved by Sharon. A classified document on the Iranian threat, entitled "The Strategic Future of Israel," advocates military action against "countries which develop nuclear weapons" and describes Iran as a "suicide nation" and recommends "targeted killings" of members of the country's elite, including its leading nuclear scientists. The Jerusalem Post article on July 18 seemingly laid out the specific conditions that would trigger an attack:

"Such a strike is likely if Russia supplies Iran with fuel rods for enriching uranium. The rods, currently stored at a Russian port, are expected to be delivered late next year after a dispute over financial terms is resolved.

"An Israeli defense source in Tel Aviv, who confirmed that the military rehearsals had taken place, told the paper: 'Israel will on no account permit Iranian reactors - especially the one being built in Bushehr with Russian help - to go critical.'"

That scenario now appears to have been superceded by a plan to launch attacks even if Russia does not deliver fuel rods for the Bushehr reactor, where nuclear fuel rods can reportedly be enriched into weapons grade plutonium. Russian President Valdimir Putin has recently stated that his country will not allow Iran to proceed with such a weapons program "at any cost", and has continued to withhold delivery.

However, Iran possesses an alternative means of producing enriched uranium by the centrifuge method using abundant domestic uranium ore and technology provided by Pakistani scientists. While the production of an atomic bomb is still years away, even according to the Israelis, this capability to produce nuclear fuel now provides the rationale for a preemptive attack that can come at any time.

It now appears that military action will occur long before the Behsher reactor goes critical. Ironically, just a year ago it seemed that a diplomatic solution brokered by the Europeans had defused the crisis. In October 2003, a delegation of the foreign ministers of Great Britain, France and Germany, managed to convince Tehran's leadership to sign the supplementary protocol to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. This would have given IAEA inspectors access to nuclear facilities without advance notice. Iran also agreed at that time to temporarily suspend enrichment activities as a gesture of good will.

The Iranian record of cooperation with inspectors has been mixed. Nonetheless, IAEA Director Mohammed al-Baradei has repeatedly said that there is no "smoking gun" to prove that Tehran is engaged in a prohibited nuclear weapons program: "We are not God. We cannot read minds." [Der Spiegel, 13 sept 2004, "Dancing Around the Bomb"]

It is not a violation of the accords for any signatory to produce its own nuclear fuel or operate reactors for non-military purposes such as power production and research.

Negotiators had worked to avoid Iran following the October 2002 North Korean example of complete withdrawal from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, thereby exempting itself from all international inspections. Last week, after the U.S. applied pressure on the IAEA at its Vienna meeting to immediately refer alleged violations to the UN Security Counsel for sanctions, Iran indeed dug in its heals. On, September 21, Iranian President Khatami announced that Iran is converting 40 tons of uranium oxide ("yellowcake") into uranium hexafluoride gas, the feedstock for enriched uranium. Meanwhile, it has not yet resumed enrichment of the gas by spinning it in centrifuges.

The issue of an apparent double-standard applied to Israel and Iran on the nuclear issue has been divisive for IAEA. Israel is currently the sole country in the Middle East which is known to possess nuclear weapons. With several hundred nuclear warheads, it is not a signatory to the Treaty, and has never permitted outside inspections.

The IAEA will meet again on November 25 to review Iran's case and decide on follow-up action. That decision is overshadowed by the threat that Israel now seems likely to take some action following the November elections. This raises serious questions about the legality of sanctions against Iran and any unilateral action Israel might take thereafter. The NYT observes:

"Concerns about a double standard delayed an agency resolution on Iran last week. The agency's board finally passed a resolution censuring Iran on Saturday. But several European and developing countries read statements making clear that the resolution, which called on Iran to suspend its nuclear fuel activities, was neither legally binding nor could be used as a precedent for similar actions against other members, according to a Western diplomat who attended the meeting." [NYT, 09/23/04, "Iran's Plans for Nuclear Fuel Widen Global Rift Over Technology"]

Further reinforcing the impression of unfairness and lawlessness is the fact that the U.S. itself has backed out of its commitment to an international weapons inspection regime that it has long advocated. In a little noticed announcement, reported by The Washington Post (July 31, 2004) and Sydney Morning Herald (August 2, 2004), the Bush Administration proclaimed its opposition to provisions for inspections and verification as part of an international treaty to ban production of nuclear weapons materials. This announcement came at the United Nations Conference on Disarmament on a discussion about a treaty designed to reinforce the 1975 Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT).

In October 2001, President Bush removed the U.S. from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty - activation of the initial part of an operational ABM system is expected in October. During his Administration, the US has also altered its nuclear posture from that of deterrence to the development of "usable" tactical bombs that can be targeted against underground installations. Michael R. Gordon observed in The New York Times, "The targets might be situated in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya or North Korea . . ." ["Nuclear Arms for Deterrence or Fighting?" (March 11, 2002)]

Recent planning has envisioned Israeli or American air strikes in Iran to occur after a vote on the matter by the UN Security Council. The timing of that vote once created a window during which the UN might vote to sanction Iran and an attack might be launched before the U.S. elections. Zero-hour now appears to have been pushed back at least two months after European countries refused to impose an October 31 deadline urged by the Bush Administration for the IAEA to sanction Iran over its alleged nuclear weapons program. That deadline, which would have occurred in the final 72 hours before the U.S. Presidential elections, was sharply rejected by key European allies. [NYT, 09/21/02, " Bush Aides Divided on Confronting Iran Over A-Bomb", Steven R. Weisman]


If Iran is attacked, and the country's surviving leaders conclude the U.S. was working hand-in-hand with Israel to bomb its facilities and kill Iranian scientists and officials, the consequences could be extremely grave. Iran shares a 1,500-mile border with Iraq, along with a majority Shi'a Muslim faith. Militarily, Iran is a far more formidable adversary than Iraq, which suffered an eight-year regime of punitive sanctions and dismantlement under UN inspection of its previous WMD capabilities.

The Monterrey Institute, Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) reports that Iran possesses an undepleted chemical warfare stockpile, and a new generation of medium-range guided missiles that can reach targets in Israel, as well as US military installations in Iraq, Kuwait and Qatar. A recent CNS report, "A Preemptive Attack on Iran's Nuclear Facilities: Possible Consequences", warns that a preemptive attack is likely to result in the end with Iran redoubling its nuclear weapons program, creating an even more formidable opponent: "As the target of an unprovoked attack, Iran gains by pointing to justifications for escaping the constraints of the NPT, therefore becoming a much greater proliferation threat. Unrestrained, the Iranians will have the means and technology to eventually manufacture gas centrifuges and mine, mill, convert, and enrich uranium. Even under IAEA intrusive inspections, Iran has assembled more than 920 gas centrifuges, 120 of which were assembled in just two and a half months, between November 2003 and mid-January 2004. To enrich enough HEU to make one nuclear bomb requires running 750 gas centrifuges for one year. If Iran seceded from the NPT, and increased the size of its nuclear program, it would be able to manufacture and assemble many more gas centrifuges, and therefore rapidly enrich uranium. Once sufficient fissile material is obtained, designing a basic nuclear warhead can be easily accomplished. In the absence of intrusive inspections or threat of UN Security Council (UNSC) sanctions, the only way to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapons capability would be to occupy Iran, a very unlikely occurrence given the serious challenges already faced by the United States in a smaller, weaker Iraq." Iran already has a substantial stockpile of chemical and biological weapons upon which it could draw in the event of a conflict. See, CNS report "Chemical and Biological Weapons: Possession and Programs Past and Present", Ibid., that cites unclassified CIA reports indicating Iran has one of the largest Chemical Weapons (CW) programs in the developing world, including "stockpiled chemical weapons - including blister, blood, choking, and probably nerve agents, and the bombs and artillery shells to deliver them."

For further information on Iran's WMD programs and capabilities, see the CNS country profile on the "Weapons of Mass Destruction in the Middle East" web page at

Even in a conventional conflict, Iran is a formidable opponent, particularly in a ground war in an area where the Tehran regime would command the loyalty of the vast majority of the population. According to the CIA World Factbook, Iran today can call up 12 million men fit for military service. U.S. troops in Iraq presently number less than 150,000, a force that is overstretched and exhausted after 15 months of ongoing guerilla war. More than 1,000 American soldiers have already been killed and over 16,000 casualties have thus far been evacuated from Iraq.

U.S. military planners have long feared the regional expansion of the conflict in Iraq risks a repeat of the hell endured by U.S. troops during the Korean War. In 1950, China intervened on the side of North Korea with more than a million troops, forcing a stalemate that half a century later remains unresolved. To deal with casualties in an Iraq war that has lasted far longer than it anticipated, the White House recently announced that it was reorganizing U.S. forces worldwide. The expectation is that if he is reelected, Bush will move to commit a further 80,000 troops to a renewed offensive against the Iraqi resistance, many of them borrowed from U.S. forces in South Korea.

The ratcheting up of pressures has been reflected in recent statements made in Tehran. On Monday, August 23, Le Monde reported the remarks of Iranian Defense Minister Ali Chamkhani, who is quoted as warning:

"We will not sit with our arms folded waiting for others to act against us (...) Some Iranian military officials feel that preventive operations are neither an American invention nor a prerogative of the United States." [Mouna Naim, Le Monde, "Iran Raises the Stakes" translated version.]

The Le Monde story goes on to report growing tensions between Iran and Israel. Over the summer, fears have risen that the Israelis may make a preemptive strike on a Russian-built Iranian nuclear reactor, as they did in 1981 against a similar nuclear installation in Iraq. The Iranians have vowed to retaliate against Israel, should such a strike take place:

"Israel, in any case, has been warned since August 11. That day Iran announced it had made a successful test of the last version of its medium range missile, Chahab-3, capable, according to the minister's explanations, of reaching Israeli territory. Four days later, the commander of the Pasdarans Corps, the army's auxiliary militia, exulted: "All of Israeli territory, including its military installations and nuclear stocks, are now within reach of Iranian missiles and advanced technology."

The nightmare scenario of a regional nuclear war following an attack on Iran is laid out in by UPI editor, Claud Salhani in, "THE FOUR DAY WAR: The Iran/Israel conflagration"

Writing for a general audience, Salhani presents a compelling picture that Iranian Revolutionar Guards would retaliate, as the CNS report predicts, by a bloody assault on US forces in Iraq. The resulting slaughter of Muslims, he writes, would cause a general uprising against U.S. allied regimes in the region, the overthrow of Gen. Musharraf, and the intervention of nuclear-armed Pakistan with the consequence of a nuclear exchange with Israel that kills millions. [LINK]


Even if a preemptive attack does not indeed touch off a wider war, threats of a U.S.-sponsored preemptive attack cast further doubts on the ability of Washington to play a stabilizing role in the region. The Bush Administration's invasion of Iraq, and the "catastrophic success" of its occupation, many believe has greatly undermined the global influence and prestige of U.S. institutions. In an effort to forestall a further slide into foreign policy disaster, powerful pressure has been applied on the White House to hold off a decision on authorizing a preemptive attack. On September 21, The Washington Post reported, "Some experts call for a "grand bargain" that would involve an across-the-board agreement in which changed behavior by Tehran on all fronts would be negotiated in return for normal relations and investment from the West.

"Still other experts say that such an approach is overly ambitious and that "selective engagement" on a few crucial issues, including steps to stabilize Iraq, should be tried first. That view is advocated by a Council on Foreign Relations committee led by Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter's national security adviser, and Robert M. Gates, a director of central intelligence in the early 1990's." [NYT, Sept. 21, "Bush Aides Divided on Confronting Iran Over A-Bomb"]

The Democratic candidates have voiced similar concerns and solutions. On August 30, The Washington Post reported John Edwards, the Democratic Vice President nominee, offered Tehran an alternative to preemptive attack. In an interview, The Post reports that Edwards offered Iran what he calls a "great bargain":

"A John F. Kerry administration would propose to Iran that the Islamic state be allowed to keep its nuclear power plants in exchange for giving up the right to retain the nuclear fuel that could be used for bomb-making, Democratic vice presidential nominee John Edwards said in an interview yesterday." [LINK]

Such an accommodation with Iran could certainly be a bipartisan affair. Indeed the term, "grand bargain" seems to have appeared in this context in a 1998 article by Geoffrey Kemp writing for the Nixon Center:

"[A]n unexpected breakthrough in the Arab-Israeli peace process could make it much easier for Iran to trim its anti-Israeli rhetoric and, at the same time, reduce its support for Hizbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad. In event of such positive breakthroughs, the United States and Iran should consider a "grand bargain" that would seek to limit Iran's nuclear and missile programs and open the door for U.S. -Iran cooperation on energy projects, including oil and gas pipelines from the Caspian through Iran. ["America and Iran: Roadmaps and Realism", Washington, DC (March 1998)]

The longer-term prospects for a constructive resolution of this crisis are grim, particularly if the radicals in the Bush and Sharon governments remain in power. "I'm frankly very pessimistic about the future," said Patrick Clawson, deputy director of the Washington Institute for Near Eastern Policy. Speaking to a New York Times reporter, Clawson added, "I don't think very much is going to happen until after the American election."

The NYT and the WP report that the current crisis is related to an internal struggle within the Administration between hard-line supporters of "regime change", efforts to force the overthrow of the Tehran government, and relative moderates who have urged diplomatic efforts and trade as means of change. The hardliners suffered a blow when faulty estimates of Iraqi WMD and resistance to the occupation led the failure of the Bush Administration's war plans for Iraq. This brought unwanted attention to the role of the Pentagon Office of Special Plans (OSP), headed by Douglas Feith, and fellow neo-conservatives, many of whom have close ties to the Israeli Right. These same figures, their estimates on Iran, and their foreign intelligence sources, now face critical scrutiny from U.S. intelligence and military officers whose Iraq advice was ignored by the White House in the run-up to invasion of Iraq, and who feel they have been unfairly vilified for many failings of Bush policy.

In a related development, on August 23, Lawrence A. Franklin, a senior OSP Iran analyst, was arrested by the FBI for allegedly passing classified documents to representatives of the American-Israel Political Action Committee (AIPAC). It has been widely reported that this is part of a wider investigation of the relationship of the neocons and their relationship with Likud and its international intelligence network. [For more on this incident see, Levey, August 30, 2004, "Bush Drops the Iran Card: The OSP-AIPAC Scandal"]

Despite mounting charges of improper intelligence activities and divided loyalties, the NYT reports that the neocons appear for now to have won the struggle within the Bush Administration over control of Iran policy going into a possible second term: "

According to a Washington Post report, Administration officials say that there was an internal debate last year but that the idea of giving aid to dissidents who might try to overthrow the Iranian government had been dropped for lack of any credible groups to support. Yet the cause of regime change in Iran is expected to be revived if President Bush is re-elected, administration officials say. Leading the charge is John R. Bolton, the under secretary of state for nonproliferation, who gave a speech last month saying that Iran's conduct did not 'bode well for the success of a negotiated approach to dealing with this issue.'" [NYT, Sept. 21, Ibidl.]

From the beginning of his presidency, Mr. Bush set the pattern for his subordinates. He may have been among the most truly gullible to agents of influence. Mr. Sharon met with Bush on five occasions since January 2000. At each meeting, Sharon has progressively increased his personal influence, as well as his sway over US policy through the neocons. In April 2002, TIME Magazine named Sharon its Man of the Week, remarking that the Israeli Prime Minister "appeared to hold in his hands the fate of the entire region - and perhaps the fate of the U.S. war on terrorism, too." [LINK]

After 9/11, Sharon was able to persuade Bush to effectively abandon the Palestinian side - a precondition that had been the prevailing American policy of backing a land-for-peace swap with Israel. Much of the case for invading Iraq to remove WMD made by the Administration was based on evidence cherry picked by Likud-linked figures in the Pentagon that are now driving Iran policy. Bolstered by his successes, Sharon then moved to lobby Bush to act against the slated next target, Israel's arch-nemesis, the Islamic Republic of Iran.

In October 2001, an Israeli delegation came to Washington with a mission to persuade the Bush Administration to authorize preparations for a strike against Iran. Initially, that task was well received but had to wait while the White House dealt with Afghanistan and then Iraq. [LINK]

Even before September 11, the Israelis had reportedly been trying to convince Russian President Putin to look the other way while action was taken against Iranian missile and nuclear programs, much of the technology for which had been acquired from Russia.

On August 13 2003, The Washington Post reported a full-court press on Bush to support Sharon's plans for a preemptive strike against Iranian nuclear installations. Post writer Jim Hoagland described a "grim warning from Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to President Bush that Iran is much closer to producing nuclear weapons than U.S. intelligence believes . . ." U.S. intelligence had estimated Iran would need four years to process sufficient weapons grade material. Hoagland wrote:

"Sharon dramatized his forecast by bringing Maj. Gen. Yoav Galant, a three-star army officer who serves as his military secretary, to a meeting with Bush in the Oval Office two weeks ago, U.S. and Israeli sources tell me. Galant showered a worried-looking Bush with photographs and charts from a thick dossier on Iran's covert program."

At that time of their last meeting in Washington on April 14, the two are reported to have again discussed the Iranian nuclear program, and Israeli plans to eliminate it through a preemptive strike on Iranian infrastructure and key personnel. [Haaretz, "Iran is top worry, Sharon to tell Bush"]

On April 22, "Bush told Republican congressional leaders during a meeting at the White House that it was all but certain that terrorists would attempt a major attack on the United States before the election, according to a congressional aide. The leaders were struck by Bush's definitiveness and gravity, the aide said..." (Washington Post, April 22, 2004).

Sharon's war counsel with Bush had its intended effect. On May 6, 2004, the U.S. House of Representatives passed Resolution 398 in a 376-3 vote, calling on the U.S. government "to use all appropriate means to deter, dissuade, and prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons." A similar resolution, if passed by the Senate, would hand the launch button to Bush.

On June 1, the U.S. Dept. of Defense announced plans to approve sales of $319 million worth of guided munitions to Israel. Most of this will be covered by U.S. foreign aid to Israel. On September 21, the Israelis acknowledged that shipment would include 500 "bunker buster" bombs, suitable for use against Iranian underground nuclear facilities and command centers. According to Reuters, Israel already possesses a more limited stockpile of F-15 launched GBU-27 or GBU-28 bombs, guided by lasers or satellites that can penetrate up to 30 feet of earth and concrete. [Reuters, 09/21/2004 08:32:09 "Eyeing Iran Reactors, Israel Seeks U.S. Bunker Bombs"]

On Wednesday, June 2, Sharon told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that he and President George Bush agreed to a series of "strategic understandings" concerning Israel's posture in the Middle East. Sharon said the understandings offered by the Bush administration called for the prime minister to pledge to withdraw from the Gaza Strip and the northern West Bank. Reports state that the committees understood that Israel received a green light to finalize preparations for a preemptive attack on Iranian nuclear targets. [, June 3, 2004] There is, of course, the possibility that reports of U.S. support for Israeli assault preparations are disinformation. Regardless, as Claude Salhani observes, the Bush-Sharon strategy of tension against Iran has completely failed if it is intended to persuade Tehran to give up its weapons program:

"Iraq's invasion served as the poster child for nuclear deterrence against unilateral military action from the world's remaining superpower. Repeated threats of regime change by the Bush administration have only increased Iran's fears that they could be next in line. President George W. Bush's campaign promise about "finishing the job," if re-elected in November, is a slogan that must keep more than one ayatollah awake at night-and pushing for nuclear deterrence."

Instead of providing real security, the Bush Administration's simple-minded strategy of preemptive attack has demonstrated the dangers of provocation, while showing the very real limitations of American power in the Middle East. It has served, above all else, to demonstrate the equally real danger of allowing the United States to be manipulated into actions that are contrary to the national interest.


Source: Sharon's Green Light To Attack Iran

Mark Levey

October 02, 2004


15 posted on 10/13/2004 8:16:46 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

U.S. not yet seeking sanctions on Iran

Wed 13 October, 2004 08:22

TOKYO (Reuters) - Iran should be "brought to account" on its nuclear programme, but Washington is open to ideas other than taking it to the U.N. Security Council for sanctions, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage says.

Diplomats have said that the European Union had agreed on Monday to prepare a package of "carrots and sticks" to get Iran to comply with demands by the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to suspend its uranium enrichment activities -- a process that can be used to make material for atomic bombs.

Washington is working with the EU on the plan in a final effort to get Iran to cooperate with the IAEA, but has been said unlikely to offer an new incentives of its own.

"The Iranians ... have made a decision apparently to hide, to continue to hide their programme and indeed, in addition to that, they have made some very scurrilous statements publicly," Armitage told a news conference in Tokyo on Wednesday.

"We hold the view that Iran needs to be brought to account and we would like to move to the U.N. Security Council after the November (IAEA) board of governors' meeting," Armitage said.

"But we're open to all ideas that people have because one thing has become clear and that is that we all share -- the G8 (Group of Eight) -- the same end, the desire, and that is that Iran should be free of nuclear weapons and be transparent and let the international community have sufficient confidence that that is the case," he added.

Armitage and Undersecretary of State John Bolton will meet officials from the Group of Eight industrial countries to discuss the issue on Friday in Washington.

Armitage is in Tokyo for bilateral security talks with Japanese officials and to attend an international donors conference on Iraqi reconstruction.

Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said on Tuesday that the EU could not force Tehran to give up its right to enrich uranium, dealing a blow to Europe's efforts to halt the process.

"It is wrong for them (the EU) to think they can, through negotiations, force Iran to stop enrichment," Kharrazi said.

Iran says its nuclear programme is for electricity generation and says it wants to master the full fuel cycle, including enrichment, so that it does not have to rely on imported fuel.

Washington believes the programme is aimed at developing atomic weapons.

Officials in Washington have said the United States wanted a commitment from the Europeans that they would back sanctions if Iran insists on continuing its nuclear activities.

Iran is preparing a large batch of raw uranium ready for enriching and has resumed building enrichment centrifuges in defiance of a previous deal with Britain, Germany and France.

The IAEA last month called on Tehran to halt such activities and said it might be sent to the Security Council if it failed to do so by the next IAEA board meeting on November 25.

16 posted on 10/13/2004 8:20:51 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

U.S. bid to resolve Iran standoff


From CNN State Department correspondent Andrea Koppel
Wednesday, October 13, 2004 Posted: 3:06 AM EDT (0706 GMT)

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Bush administration says it will host a meeting of G8 diplomats this week in Washington in a bid to resolve a nuclear impasse with Iran.

Iran has until November 25 to comply with U.N. demands that it suspend uranium enrichment activities.

At the meeting, to be held on Friday, European officials told CNN they would offer Tehran "bigger sticks and bigger carrots."

They expect to present a package of possible incentives to Iran as an inducement in exchange for abandoning its nuclear ambitions.

The details of the package are still being negotiated within European capitals but incentives could include, for example, the resumption of negotiations for a trade and cooperation agreement between the European Union and Iran.

The meeting is set to take place at the U.S. State Department, and its expanded format brings major industrialized nations such as Canada, Italy, Russia and Japan into the talks.

But even before the meeting, U.S. and European officials were lowering expectations that any breakthrough would be achieved.

U.S. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said Tuesday the meeting would focus on how to bring Iran into compliance with the requirements of the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog, as well as how the Security Council might take up the issue should it be referred to them.

Another U.S. official described the meeting as nothing more than "kabuki theater" -- an opportunity to give the appearance of action, when in fact little substance was expected to be discussed.

The Bush administration has accused Iran of secretly developing a nuclear weapons program and is pushing for the matter to be referred to the U.N. Security Council where additional sanctions might be considered.

The IAEA's 35-member board of governors is expected to meet again at the end of November to discuss the issue.

To date, the Bush administration has resisted the so-called "carrot and stick" approach with Iran -- a point underscored Tuesday by the State Department.

"I think you'll have to check with the Europeans as far as what their package will involve; whether it's anything new or whether it's just what they've always made clear, that there were certain benefits in the relationship that wouldn't happen without action by Iran on nuclear and other matters," Boucher said.

In September, the head of the IAEA concluded there was concrete evidence Iran was deceiving the international community about its nuclear energy program and moving ahead with a clandestine program to develop nuclear weapons.

The U.S. has been unable to win international support for an automatic trigger to refer Iran's case to the United Nations for possible economic sanction if it does not halt its uranium enrichment program in coming weeks.

17 posted on 10/13/2004 8:24:45 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

Iraq accuses Iran of sabotaging its intelligence 2004-10-13 19:49:09

    BAGHDAD, Oct. 13 (xinhuanet) -- A senior Iraqi intelligence official has accused Iran and some political parties of cooperating in an attempt to work against Iraqi new intelligence forces, local newspaper Azzaman reported Wednesday.

    Lieutenant Colonel Mohamed Abdullah al Shahwani, head of the Iraqi intelligence, said in an interview with the newspaper published on Wednesday that "the Iraqi intelligence is facing a lotof challenges that reached the degree of unannounced call toeliminate its members and killing them by some of the parties."But he didn't give the names of the parties.

    He pointed out that such calls caused the killing and the injury of a large number of intelligence officers.

    He emphasized that they have evidence and documents that would be presented in time, and that the information and the documents were analyzed to help them in searching some suspicious places and headquarters.

    Al Shahwani revealed that Iran is financing TV and radio channels, as well as allocating 45 million US dollars for armed groups in Iraq, which it hired to serve the Iranian policies in Iraq and to carry out the assassination or acts of sabotaged by Iranians.

    Hazim Al Shaalan, the Iraqi defense minister, has accused Iran several times of interfering in the internal affairs of Iraq, and standing behind many of the explosions and acts of sabotage in Iraq. Enditem

18 posted on 10/13/2004 8:27:52 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

U.S. May Shift Stance to Halt Iran's Nuclear Plans

[Excerpt] October 13, 2004
The Wall Street Journal
Carla Anne Robbins

WASHINGTON -- After shunning Iran for much of his term, President Bush may be willing to offer some limited incentives to try to persuade Tehran to abandon its nuclear ambitions, U.S. officials said.

The British, French and Germans -- who have been taking the lead in trying to wean Iran from its nuclear efforts -- are expected to outline a package of carrots and sticks at a meeting of European and Japanese officials here Friday.

U.S. officials said they are ready to listen to arguments that Washington needs to join in offering incentives to Tehran. But they will use the meeting to press the others to agree to tough sanctions if Iran doesn't quickly drop its efforts to produce nuclear material usable for generating power or building nuclear weapons.

Officials said the White House isn't close to deciding what incentives it might be willing to agree to. "It will be a battle" eventually inside the administration, predicted one official, but for now "we're in listening mode." Officials said one of the administration's hard liners, Undersecretary of State John Bolton, will be at the table Friday -- a likely sign that Washington isn't ready to give away very much.

But a willingness even to discuss U.S. incentives for Iran is a shift for the administration that appears to be driven by two events next month: the U.S. presidential election and the next board meeting of the nuclear watchdog International Atomic Energy Agency three weeks later. The Bush administration is still hoping to win a referral of Iran's actions to the United Nations Security Council, and even a hint of flexibility could strengthen its hand at the IAEA meeting in Vienna.

Even if the U.S. manages to win a referral, officials admit that there is little hope of persuading Russia or China to sign on to international sanctions against Iran. So Washington is now hoping to persuade the Europeans in particular to agree to tough bilateral sanctions if Iran doesn't abandon its nuclear efforts.

The Iranians insist their goal is to produce nuclear energy. Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said yesterday that "Iran will never give up its right" to enrich uranium. Teheran has promised the Europeans that it would freeze its program, but has backtracked repeatedly.

Sen. John Kerry has accused President Bush of allowing the Iraq war to divert attention from more immediate nuclear threats in North Korea and Iran. Mr. Kerry also criticized Mr. Bush for delegating the Iran problem to the Europeans. Under Mr. Kerry's attack, Mr. Bush embraced the efforts of Britain, France and Germany with more enthusiasm than his aides, who have said Tehran is stringing the Europeans along.

Write to Carla Anne Robbins at

19 posted on 10/13/2004 8:42:58 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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To: DoctorZIn

West ponders a last chance for Tehran

AFP - World News
Oct 13, 2004

VIENNA: Western nations are considering making one last try to get Iran to suspend uranium enrichment activities that could be used to make nuclear weapons, although the US has its hands tied until the November 2 presidential election, diplomats said yesterday.

"There is indeed the idea from the G8 to make a last try on Iran," ahead of a November 25 meeting of the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency at which a deadline falls for Iran to suspend enrichment and answer all questions about its nuclear ambitions, a diplomat close to the IAEA said.

The diplomat said there could be "a package" offer, which might include giving Iran access to imported nuclear fuel, but that Iran would in return have to totally suspend its own work on the nuclear fuel cycle.

In Iran, Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi called on the European Union yesterday to come up with proposals that could end the stand-off between Tehran and IAEA but repeated the country's refusal to give up sensitive fuel cycle work.

"The Europeans have not respected their commitment, and it is time that they took a step and presented proposals that respect our legitimate right to use civilian nuclear technology."

20 posted on 10/13/2004 8:46:27 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (Until they are Free, "We shall all be Iranians!")
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