Monday, February 27, 2006

Iran: Alarming Increase in Executions

Human Rights Watch:
Iran: Alarming Increase in Executions
Outlawed Opposition Member Put to Death

(New York, February 27, 2006) – Hojat Zamani, a member
of the opposition Mojadehin Khalq Organization
outlawed in Iran, was executed on February 7 at Karaj’s
Gohardasht prison, Human Rights Watch said today, after a
trial that did not meet international standards.

Human Rights Watch also expressed grave concern for
the safety of other members of the Mojahedin Khalq
Organization imprisoned in Iran, including Saeed Masouri,
Gholamhussein Kalbi, and Valiollah Feyz Mahdavi.

Following the election of President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad last year, the number of executions in Iran has
increased sharply. According to news articles in the
Iranian media, between January 20 and February 20 alone,
the judicial authorities executed 10 prisoners and
condemned another 21 to the death sentence.

The Iranian judiciary accused Zamani of involvement in
a bomb explosion in Tehran in 1988 which killed three
people and injured 22. He was condemned to death in
2004, after a court hearing that did not meet
international standards for a fair trial, because Zamani was not
allowed access to his lawyers.

Zamani was taken from his cell by the prison
authorities and hanged inside the Gohardasht prison on February
7, but his execution was not confirmed until a week
later, after mounting international protests, by
Minister of Justice Jamal Karimirad.

In addition, Human Rights Watch fears the imminent
execution of three persons accused of involvement in
hijacking an airplane in 2001. They are Khaled Hardani,
Farhang Pour Mansouri and Shahram Pour Mansouri. At the
time of the alleged hijacking, Shahram Pour Mansouri
was only 17 years old.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child and the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
prohibit the imposition of the death penalty for crimes
committed before the age of 18. These treaties also
prohibit the use of torture and cruel, inhuman, or
degrading punishments. Iran is a party to both treaties.

Human Rights Watch called on the Iranian judiciary to
stop applying the death penalty and to abide by its
obligations under international treaties, including
abolition of death penalty for juveniles and
implementation of fair trial standards.

Iranian human rights activists have repeatedly
expressed serious concerns that under President Ahmadinejad
the government will increasingly resort to violent
means to suppress dissent. These worries are accentuated
by the presence of several ministers in the cabinet who
are suspected of grave human rights violations. The
Interior Minister, Mustafa Pour-Mohammadi, for example,
is suspected of crimes against humanity for his
involvement in summary and arbitrary execution of thousands
of political prisoners in 1988.  

Monday, February 20, 2006

EU-IRAN: NUCLEAR DISPUTE MUST NOT OVERSHADOW HUMAN RIGHTS

Amnesty International:
(Brussels, 20 February 2006) The EU must address
Iran’s widespread human rights violations, says Amnesty
International, as Iranian Foreign Minister Manoucher
Mottaki meets with EU high officials Javier Solana, Benita
Ferrero-Waldner and the European Parliament’s Foreign
Affairs Committee.

Amnesty International has just released a report, "New
government fails to address dire human rights
situation" (available here

describing the failure of the new President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad and his government to address the serious
ongoing human rights violations.

This report illustrates an apparent intensification of
repression over the past six months since the
President took office, which includes frequent use of the
death penalty and torture, persecution of ethnic and
religious minorities and limitations on freedom of speech.

Amnesty International regularly receives new reports
of torture and ill treatment of detainees where the
denial of medical treatment is increasingly common. The
human rights organization is extremely concerned for
the safety of journalist Elham Afroutan who has been
held incommunicado since 29 January 2006 amid unconfirmed
reports that she may be in a coma or may have died
while in custody (see also "Concern for Journalist Elham
Afroutan"
http://amnesty-news.c.topica.com/maaevWpabor4fciVlBNb/

Between July 2005 and January 2006, Amnesty
International recorded 69 executions including those of two
alleged minors. Death sentences continue to be imposed for
charges such as drinking alcohol or consensual adult
sexual relations.

"The EU must not be distracted by the current
stand-off surrounding Iran’s nuclear programme," said Dick
Oosting, director of Amnesty International’s EU Office
"Iran is one of the few countries in the world that
continues to execute child offenders. The EU must take
this opportunity to demand that Iran introduces a
moratorium on the executions of minors."


Amnesty International urges the EU high officials
meeting with Mr Manoucher Mottaki to:

Ø  demand that child offenders currently awaiting
execution have their death sentences commuted;

Ø  raise the individual cases described in Amnesty
International’s report and demand the immediate release
of all prisoners of conscience and a fair and free
trial for all political prisoners;

Ø  demand that detainees have prompt and regular
access to lawyers of their own choosing and to appropriate
medical care, if necessary.

The full report "New government fails to address dire
human rights situation", is available at:
http://amnesty-news.c.topica.com/maaevWpabor4gciVlBNb/



Saturday, February 18, 2006

Two more executions in Iran

SMCCDI:

Two more executed in Iran

Two more Iranians were executed, on Friday, by the Islamic republic regime in the southern City of Shiraz. The two victims, identified as Ayat Kh. and Mehdi A., were accused of "Murder". The Islamic republic regime is known for using false labels, such as, "Kidnapping", "Armed Robbery", "Murder", "Drug Trafficking", "Spying" or "Banditism" in order to qualify some of its exasperated opponents. Such policy helps its European, Asian and S. American partners to justify the continuation of their economic relations with a repressive regime vis-ΰ-vis their public opinions.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Iran: New government fails to address human rights

Amnesty International:

News Release Issued by the International Secretariat of Amnesty International

16 February 2006

Iran: New government fails to address human rights

Six months after Iran's new president came to power human rights violations remain widespread and the new government has failed to take any action to address the situation, Amnesty International revealed in a report published today.

"The Iranian government should take concrete steps to improve the human rights situation in the country," said Amnesty International. "The current standoff regarding the country's nuclear programme must not distract either the government or the international community from addressing the country's long-standing human rights problems."

The report Iran: New Government Fails to Address Dire Human Rights Situation describes ongoing violations and expresses concern about what appears to be intensifying repression since the new government took office in August 2005. The report focuses on the long-standing repression of ethnic minorities and the limitations on the freedom of expression. It also addresses the death penalty and the frequent use of torture.

Despite constitutional guarantees of equality, the report establishes that since President Ahmadinejad's election, members of Iran's ethnic and religious minorities have been killed, detained or harassed solely in connection with their ethnicity or faith.

In one incident, several members of the Ahwazi Arab community were killed and scores injured by security forces using excessive force during ongoing violent unrest in Khuzestan Province. In a different incident, Iranian security forces were reported to have used live ammunition, tear gas and beatings with batons to suppress stone-throwing demonstrators in mid-September 2005. At least two people were reported killed and many injured.

Iranian legislation severely restricts freedom of expression and association and human rights activists often face reprisals for their work. Harassment, intimidation, attacks, detention, imprisonment and torture of activists and journalists have continued under the new government.

In October 2005, Press Courts were reintroduced to try alleged breaches of the Press Code, which contains vaguely-worded provisions that can be used to punish people for the peaceful expression of their opinions. Dozens of journalists and newspapers began to be examined with some journalists receiving suspended prison sentences.

"We urge the Iranian authorities to review law and practice to ensure that no one is imprisoned as a prisoner of conscience or discriminated against solely on account of their political opinions, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality or language," said Amnesty International.

Amnesty International has continued to receive new reports of torture and ill-treatment of detainees which remain routine in many prisons and detention centres. Denial of medical treatment as a method to exerting pressure on political prisoners has also emerged as an increasingly common occurrence, as in the case of investigative reporter Akbar Ganji.

Akbar Ganji was arrested in April 2000 and sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment, which was reduced on appeal to six months, for "taking part in an offence against national security" and "propaganda against the Islamic system". In July 2001 he was again brought to trial on charges of "collecting confidential state documents to jeopardize state security" and "spreading propaganda", and was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment. Following a hunger strike in protest at being denied independent medical treatment outside prison, he was temporarily released for medical treatment in July 2005. He was returned to prison in September 2005 and placed in solitary confinement. A month later he told his wife that he had been beaten by security forces while in hospital prior to his return to prison.

"The Iranian authorities must conduct investigations into all allegations of torture or ill-treatment, and take effective measures to bring anyone implicated in human rights violations to justice," said Amnesty International. "Urgent and effective measures are also needed to ensure that the use of torture is eradicated once and for all."

Amnesty International recorded 69 executions between July 2005 and the end of January 2006, including two of youths reportedly under 18 at the time of their execution. Death sentences continue to be imposed for vaguely worded charges such as "corruption on earth", for consensual private adult sexual relations and for other offences such as drinking alcohol, as well as for crimes such as rape, murder and drug-trafficking.

The organization is asking the authorities to demonstrate their respect for the inherent right to life by ordering a moratorium on executions, and by taking immediate steps to prevent further executions of minors or persons who were under 18 at the time of their alleged crimes."

President Ahmadinejad and the Iranian govenrment need to take urgent, concrete measures to ensure that the fundamental human rights of all persons in Iran are protected irrespective of their gender, ethnicity and faith."

Read the full report.

New Iranian Fatwa: Religious Law Does Not Forbid Use of Nuclear Weapons

MEMRI:

Special Dispatch - Iran/ Jihad & Terrorism Studies Project

February 17, 2006

No. 1096

Reformist Iranian Internet Daily: A New Fatwa States That Religious Law Does Not Forbid Use of Nuclear Weapons

To view this Special Dispatch in HTML, visit here .

On February 16, 2006, the reformist Internet daily Rooz (www.roozonline.com) reported for the first time that extremist clerics from Qom had issued what the daily called "a new fatwa," which states that "shari'a does not forbid the use of nuclear weapons."

The following are excerpts from the Rooz report by Shahram Rafizadeh:(1)

"When the Entire World is Armed With Nuclear Weapons, it is Permissible to Use These Weapons as a Counter-[Measure]"

"The spiritual leaders of the ultra-conservatives [in Iran] have accepted the use of nuclear weapons as lawful in the eyes of shari'a. Mohsen Gharavian, a disciple of [Ayatollah] Mesbah Yazdi [who is Iranian President Ahmadinejad's spiritual mentor], has spoken for the first time of using nuclear weapons as a counter-measure. He stated that 'in terms of shari'a, it all depends on the goal.'

"The religious leadership of the Islamic Republic [of Iran], which has until now regarded the use of nuclear weapons as opposed to shari'a, and has repeated this point again and again, has so far kept silent about this. In spite of the fact that, in the last few weeks, some of the senior [leaders] of the Islamic Republic have tried to reduce the pressure [exerted by] the radical [conservatives], the radicals nevertheless seem to have complete control over the [political] arena.

"[Iranian National Security Council Secretary] Ali Larijani, who is in charge of the nuclear dossier, has spoken to reporters only once since the [IAEA] Board of Governors approved its resolution - and his silence is significant.(2) But yesterday, the IraNews news agency published recent remarks by Mohsen Gharavian regarding the nuclear issue. Gharavian is a lecturer at the religious schools of Qom, and is a disciple of [Ayatollah] Mesbah Yazdi. In his recent remarks, he said for the first time that the use of nuclear weapons may not constitute a problem according to shari'a. He further said that 'when the entire world is armed with nuclear weapons, it is permissible to use these weapons as a counter-[measure]. According to shari'a, too, only the goal is important...'

"[Gharavian] said that he sees no problem with the military use of nuclear weapons [sic]: 'One must say that when the entire world is armed with nuclear weapons, it is only natural that, as a counter-measure, it is necessary to be able to use these weapons. However, what is important is what goal they may be used for."

"The Ultra-[Conservatives] in Iran Have Launched a New Effort to Prepare the Religious Grounds for Use of These Weapons"

"This cleric, who is close to the government, also referred to the nuclear talks and to the future phases of the negotiations. He called the 'reporting' - rather than 'referring' - of the Iranian nuclear dossier [to the Security Council] playing with semantics, and said: 'The main goal of the West has been to put pressure on the Islamic Republic regime of Iran in order to generate fear. However, we will wait [to see] the future behavior of Europe and America, and then make the best decision.'

"Gharavian's statement is the first public statement by the Mesbah Yazdi group on the nuclear issue. Until now, none of the top-ranking religious [leaders] have authorized, on religious grounds, the use of nuclear weapons. But now it seems that the ultra-[conservatives] in Iran have launched a new effort to prepare the religious grounds for use of these weapons..."

"Mr. Ahmadinejad Has Managed to Take the Place of Bin Laden"

"Within the six months [of Ahmadinejad's presidency], all the achievements of former president Khatami in the international arena have been lost. Through strange proposals and radical approaches, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad managed, in a very short time, to get the world to forget all about bin Laden. Now all eyes are on the Islamic Republic, and everyone is talking about the danger it [poses]. Two weeks ago, the strategy of assaulting [foreign] embassies was formed as well. America regards Iran and Syria as being behind the recent violent incidents, including the setting fire to embassies in Islamic countries. Mr. Ahmadinejad has managed to take the place of bin Laden..."

Endnotes:(1) http://r0ozonline.com/01newsstory/014094.shtml . It should be noted that the daily is posted from outside Iran, and is available in Internet format only. (2) MEMRI TV Clip No.1029 .

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Ahmadinejad's Message to "Aggressive European Governments...& the Great Satan"

MEMRI:

Special Report - Iran/Antisemitism Documentation

Project

February 14, 2006

No. 1091

Iranian President Ahmadinejad on the "Myth of the Holocaust" & Message to "Aggressive European Governments...and the Great Satan": "You Should Be Grateful That Our People has Acted Nobly Towards You so Far, and has Been Patient... Don't Make Us Lose Our Patience..."

To view this Special Dispatch in HTML, click here.

The following are excerpts from an address by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, which aired on Jaam-e Jam 2 TV on February 11, 2006.

TO VIEW THIS CLIP, VISIT click here .

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: "The affront to the honor of the Prophet of Islam is in fact an affront to the worship of God, and to the seeking of truth and justice, and an affront to all the prophets of God. Obviously, all those who harm the honor of the prophet of Islam..."

Crowd: "Death to Denmark.

"Death to Denmark.

"Death to Denmark.

"Death to Denmark."

[...]

Ahmadinejad: "As the representative of the great Iranian people, I call upon all free people of the world - Christians and Jews - to rise together with the Muslims and not to let a handful of shameless Zionists, who have been defeated in Palestine, to harm the sanctity of the prophets.

"I call upon them not to let a few weak governments - which owe their rise to power to the support of the Zionists - support them in this ugly manner.

"As I have said before, as far as several aggressive European governments are concerned, and as far as the Great Satan [the U.S.] is concerned, it is permissible to harm the honor of the divine prophets, but it is a crime to ask questions about the myth of the Holocaust, and about how the false regime occupying Palestine came into being.

"On the basis of this myth, the pillaging Zionist regime has managed, for 60 years, to extort all Western governments and to justify its crimes in the occupied lands - killing women and children, demolishing homes, and turning defenseless people into refugees.

"When we protest to the [Europeans], they say: 'There is freedom in our country.' They are lying when they claim they have freedom. They are hostages in the hands of the Zionists. The people of Europe and America are the ones that should be paying the heavy price of this hostage-taking.

"How come it is allowed to harm the honor of the prophets in your country, but it is forbidden to research the myth of the Holocaust? You are a bunch of tyrants, who are dependent upon the Zionists and who are held hostage by them.

"We proposed the following: If you are not lying, allow a group of neutral, honest researchers to come to Europe, and to talk to people, examine documents, and let people know the findings of their research about the Holocaust myth. You have even prevented your own scholars from researching this issue. They are allowed to study anything except for the Holocaust myth. Are these not medieval methods?"

[...]

"Even today, a group of people convene and declare: 'We rule that the Holocaust happened, and everybody must think the same.' This is a medieval way of thinking. On the face of it, the technology has changed, but the culture and the way of thinking remain medieval. If you are looking for the real Holocaust, you should look for it in Palestine. Over there, the pillaging Zionists are massacring the Palestinian people every day. If you are looking for the crimes of the Holocaust, you should find them among the oppressed people of Iraq. Today, all the people throughout the world are familiar with your methods and your way of thinking. Your behavior is the essence of Western liberalism."

[...]

"Until now, the Islamic Republic of Iran has been operating, on nuclear affairs, within the framework of the IAEA and the NPT. But if we see that you are trying, on the basis of these regulations, to deny the Iranian people of its right, you should know that the Iranian people will reconsider its policies."

[...]

"You have destroyed the prestige of the NPT. You should know that the Iranian people will not give up its indisputable right. Hear this: This is the voice of the Iranian people. It is expressing its opinion about nuclear energy clearly. Hear this:"

Crowd: "Nuclear energy is our indisputable right.

"Nuclear energy is our indisputable right.

"Nuclear energy is our indisputable right.

"Nuclear energy is our indisputable right."

[...]

Ahmadinejad: "You should be grateful that our people has acted nobly towards you so far, and has been patient. We want to remain patient. Don't make us lose our patience. The peoples have awakened. The world of Islam has awakened. Do not make us reconsider our policies."

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Uzbakestan Zoroastrians at Gatha Class

Free Pars News
The Uzbekistan Zoroastrian Anjuman has been officially registered with a membership of 7,000 Zoroastrians. The President of the Uzbekistan Zoroastrian Anjuman has officially announced the inauguration of this Anjuman with a Membership of 7,000 Zoroastrians. The Amordad Newspaper with reference to the internet site of this Anjuman has reported that Mr. Rostam Abido Komiolof the President of this Anjuman has announced that 400 members of this Anjuman are students who know to read, write and speak the Avestan Language. The Majority of the Uzbek Zoroastrians medium of instruction is Russian & Tajik version of Persian. Mr. Rostam Abido Komiolof is hopeful that the Zoroastrians of Uzbekistan will pursue the Avestan Language and one day makes it the medium of instruction in Uzbekistan . One of the Zoroastrian Student Member of this Anjuman by the name of Ms. Anna Chankui is a first class student of the Avestan Language & Mathematics in her school. Another Zoroastrian Student Member of this Anjuman is the best student of the Avestan Language and also a first prize winner in the Uzbek language Olympiad. Mr. Rostam Abido Komiolof also said that Uzbekistan has the Zoroastrian cultural roots since thousands of years and this culture is alive and active till to date. He said that after the Arab invasion of ancient Iran which included Uzbekistan , Islam was forced upon the people of Uzbekistan for 4 times. The people of Uzbekistan resisted the imposed religion of Islam and have kept these Zoroastrian cultural roots alive in them. Famous Mathematicians, Astronomers & Physicians like Kharazmi, Birooni & others have safeguarded the Zoroastrian Principles and based on these principles have made important inventions and discoveries. Famous poets like Roodaki, Daghighi & Ferdowsi have based their poems on the Bright Vision of Asho Zarathushtra. He further stated that the people of Uzbekistan basically have great faith in the Zoroastrian Religion and they have their firm love & devotion in this religion. The Festival of Norooz & Sadeh is the two very important official festivals of the people of Uzbekistan . During these Festivals people visit the ancient Fire Temples and offer their Avestan prayers. Now Norooz has been officially declared as an important National Holiday. In Uzbekistan ’s capital city of Tashkent reading of the Shahnameh has gained importance among the people. The Avestan Gathas and Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh have been translated in the Uzbek, Russian & Tajik version of Persian languages. Mr. Rostam Abido Komiolof is the professor of Avesta & Avestan language in the Institute of Eastern Research and also an Avestan Scholar in the Uzbekistan Science Academy . He has spoken about the teachings of Zarathushtra & Avesta on a number of occasions on Uzbekistan ’s national television & radio network and has gained the attention of the people of Uzbekistan . He has written a number of articles on the teachings of Zarathushtra & Avesta in various publications of Uzbekistan . He has also published an Avestan Dictionary. A number of seminars pertaining to Zarathushtra’s teachings, the Gathas and the Avesta have been organized by him in Uzbekistan . The Ministry of Education of Uzbekistan has chalked out a plan for teaching 6 Million Uzbek students the Avestan Culture and for this purpose it will recruit 800,000 teachers to implement this project. Quelle: http://www.oshihan.org/Pages/UzbakistanClasse.htm

Friday, February 10, 2006

Massive rejection of the Islamic regime shown again

SMCCDI:

Millions of Iranians inflicted another heavy slap to the face of the shaky and unpopular Islamic regime by boycotting its "27th anniversary revolution celebration" by staying home, or far from the official gatherings.

The regime's desperate leadership was hoping to bring millions in the streets by playing their nationalistic or religious feelings. But in Tehran, which was supposed to become a show room, the regime was unable to muster more than 70 or 80 thousand professional demonstrators and government employees and schools' students. Many of them, such as most governmental employees, are known to be forced to participate in official gatherings and others are fanatics or paid demonstrators.

Hundreds of buses had transferred thousands of such demonstrators to the Capital. For reference purposes, there are more than 12-million inhabitants in Tehran, the capital of Iran.

The SMCCDI Coordinator, who was interviewed by the Persian service of "Voice of America" (VOA) Satellite TV, slammed the Islamic regime for its dark records and the threats posed to the People of Iran and the world.

In part of the live interview from Washington DC, Aryo B. Pirouznia, who was speaking at the occasion of the Islamic revolution's anniversary, stated: "The dark event plunged Iran in the situation which we're now and has more in its package due to its fanatical and backwarded ideology... Without doubt, millions of young Iranians are wondering how this happened and why the elder generation facilitated the take of power of a group which took from Iranians all their social and economic liberties and plunged the country into the barbarian age..."

"The younger generation of Iran, which is composed by millions of individuals, has long turned its back to the Islamic regime and it’s looking toward modernity, secularity and nationalism... This claim can be easily backed due to the lack of popular participation in the today's official rallies, as well as, the refusal of Iranians to participate in those anti-cartoons' violent demos..." Pirouznia added.

On the question of the prospect of a unified Iranian opposition, he stated:" You have more and more Iranians that are breaking their silence and protesting openly against the regime.. The problem till now has been the negative influence exerted by some of those so-called opposition leaders that are not even able to reach the minds and souls of millions of young Iranians who are fed up with the same usual slogans... A clear National and Secular program, along with persistency and consistency is needed and hoped by millions of Iranians.. They don't want just talks or those looking simply to seize the power by making controversial deals...The road should be open now for active and trusted opponents as Iranians have clearly shown the rejection of the same usual faces and their old methods..."

Massive rejection of the Islamic regime shown again

SMCCDI:

Millions of Iranians inflicted another heavy slap to the face of the shaky and unpopular Islamic regime by boycotting its "27th anniversary revolution celebration" by staying home, or far from the official gatherings.

The regime's desperate leadership was hoping to bring millions in the streets by playing their nationalistic or religious feelings. But in Tehran, which was supposed to become a show room, the regime was unable to muster more than 70 or 80 thousand professional demonstrators and government employees and schools' students. Many of them, such as most governmental employees, are known to be forced to participate in official gatherings and others are fanatics or paid demonstrators.

Hundreds of buses had transferred thousands of such demonstrators to the Capital. For reference purposes, there are more than 12-million inhabitants in Tehran, the capital of Iran.

The SMCCDI Coordinator, who was interviewed by the Persian service of "Voice of America" (VOA) Satellite TV, slammed the Islamic regime for its dark records and the threats posed to the People of Iran and the world.

In part of the live interview from Washington DC, Aryo B. Pirouznia, who was speaking at the occasion of the Islamic revolution's anniversary, stated: "The dark event plunged Iran in the situation which we're now and has more in its package due to its fanatical and backwarded ideology... Without doubt, millions of young Iranians are wondering how this happened and why the elder generation facilitated the take of power of a group which took from Iranians all their social and economic liberties and plunged the country into the barbarian age..."

"The younger generation of Iran, which is composed by millions of individuals, has long turned its back to the Islamic regime and it’s looking toward modernity, secularity and nationalism... This claim can be easily backed due to the lack of popular participation in the today's official rallies, as well as, the refusal of Iranians to participate in those anti-cartoons' violent demos..." Pirouznia added.

On the question of the prospect of a unified Iranian opposition, he stated:" You have more and more Iranians that are breaking their silence and protesting openly against the regime.. The problem till now has been the negative influence exerted by some of those so-called opposition leaders that are not even able to reach the minds and souls of millions of young Iranians who are fed up with the same usual slogans... A clear National and Secular program, along with persistency and consistency is needed and hoped by millions of Iranians.. They don't want just talks or those looking simply to seize the power by making controversial deals...The road should be open now for active and trusted opponents as Iranians have clearly shown the rejection of the same usual faces and their old methods..."

Undeniable

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Militiamen's brutality leads to clashes in N. Tehran

SMCCDI:

The brutal manners of militiamen resulted, yesterday night, in some sporadic but violent clashes in the North Tehran Madar (former Mohseni) square Zealous militiamen who were angered, by the lack of attention of tens of young Iranians for the Shia ritual of Moharam, started to harass them, but their brutality sparkled several hours of street fights.

Stones and home made incendiary devices responded, soon, the security agents’ use of clubs.

The street fights in the area continued till early morning of today with many elder residents shouting slogans, from their roofs, in support of the maverick youth who was defying the regime forces.

Several were injured or arrested following the intervention of elite forces of the Moosabn-e-Jafar division of the Islamist Militia.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Cox and Forkum cartoon

Western Dhimmitude

NOTE: The Danish cartoons and caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed can be seen at MohammedCartoons.com. Our other related cartoons are: Image Problem and A Right to Blasphemy. CNN continues to add a caveat to its coverage of the Cartoon Jihad: "CNN has chosen to not show the cartoons out of respect for Islam." You can see the admission at the end of this story: More deaths as anti-cartoon riots spread. Some on the left appear to be taking a "blame the victims" approach best exemplified by Antonia Zerbisias in Hate behind right-wing blogburst.

In issuing their fatwa on the Muslims who are calling for the heads of people whose mightiest weapon is the pen, the North American pyjamahadeen have gone too far, using the incident as another reason to bash Muslims and sow further divisions between what are already "clashing civilizations."

In other words, let's not go "too far" and openly criticize those who would kill us for exercising our freedom to criticize Islam -- we'll only make it worse! Yeah, right. And let's make western woman wear burqas so they won't provoke rapists. This is not about "bashing Muslims" -- it's about highlighting why we're in a war. Zerbisias seems to have forgotten that thousands of us have already been murdered by Islamic fundamentalists. We're way past "further divisions." As Glenn Reynolds noted: "You'd expect lefties like Zerbisias to side with people like [Instapundit commenter] McDowell, and [Iraqi Muslim blogger] Zeyad, over a bunch of sexist, homophobic theocrats -- but that would require that they side with America, too. Which is right out." (Michelle Malkin also responded.)

Daniel Pipes has a must-read editorial on the subject: Cartoons and Islamic Imperialism. The key issue at stake in the battle over the twelve Danish cartoons of the Muslim prophet Muhammad is this: Will the West stand up for its customs and mores, including freedom of speech, or will Muslims impose their way of life on the West? Ultimately, there is no compromise: Westerners will either retain their civilization, including the right to insult and blaspheme, or not.

Pipes rightly notes where America shamefully forfeited the first battles for our freedom to criticize Islam:

In 1989, Salman Rushdie came under a death edict from Ayatollah Khomeini for satirizing Muhammad in his magical-realist novel, The Satanic Verses. Rather than stand up for the novelist's life, President George H.W. Bush equated The Satanic Verses and the death edict, calling both "offensive." The then secretary of state, James A. Baker III, termed the edict merely "regrettable."

Even worse, in 1997 when an Israeli woman distributed a poster of Muhammad as a pig, the American government shamefully abandoned its protection of free speech. On behalf of President Bill Clinton, State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns called the woman in question "either sick or … evil" and stated that "She deserves to be put on trial for these outrageous attacks on Islam." The State Department endorses a criminal trial for protected speech?

Meanwhile, AP reported yesterday that Danish Companies Hurt by Muslim Boycott. The boycott of Danish goods called by Islamic countries to protest the publication of Prophet Muhammad caricatures is costing Danish businesses millions of kroner (more than a million euros, dollars) a day, analysts and companies said.

You can still help to counter the boycott by buying Danish products. A list of products and information available at the Buy Danish Web site.

Also yesterday, Jeff Jacoby noted that We are all Danes now.

That anything so mild could trigger a reaction so crazed -- riots, death threats, kidnappings, flag-burnings -- speaks volumes about the chasm that separates the values of the civilized world from those in too much of the Islamic world. Freedom of the press, the marketplace of ideas, the right to skewer sacred cows, the ability to disagree with what you say while firmly defending your right to say it: Militant Islam knows none of this. And if the jihadis get their way, it will be swept aside everywhere by the censorship and intolerance of sharia. ...

Across the continent, nearly two dozen other newspapers have joined in defending that principle. While Islamist clerics proclaim an "international day of anger" or declare that "the war has begun," leading publications in Norway, France, Italy, Spain, Holland, Germany, Switzerland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic have reprinted the Danish cartoons. But there has been no comparable show of backbone in America, where (as of Friday [Feb. 3]) only the New York Sun has had the fortitude to the run some of the drawings.

Malkin notes that a couple of additional U.S. newspapers have since reprinted some of the cartoons.

We added this to an update yesterday, but it deserves reposting. From Speigel magazine: 'Everyone Is Afraid to Criticize Islam', an interview with Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Dutch politician forced to go into hiding after the murder of filmmaker Theo van Gogh. (via Free Thoughts) SPIEGEL: But Muslims, like any religious community, should also be able to protect themselves against slander and insult.

HIRSI ALI: That's exactly the reflex I was just talking about: offering the other cheek. Not a day passes, in Europe and elsewhere, when radical imams aren't preaching hatred in their mosques. They call Jews and Christians inferior, and we say they're just exercising their freedom of speech. When will the Europeans realize that the Islamists don't allow their critics the same right? After the West prostrates itself, they'll be more than happy to say that Allah has made the infidels spineless.

For more coverage, check out Small Wars Journal.

UPDATE I: Some anti-dhimmitude in NYC: NY Press Kills Cartoons; Staff Walks Out. (via InstaPundit and Tom Pechinski) New York Press Editor-in-Chief Harry Siegel emails, on behalf of the editorial staff: New York Press, like so many other publications, has suborned its own professed principles. For all the talk of freedom of speech, only the New York Sun locally and two other papers nationally have mustered the minimal courage needed to print simple and not especially offensive editorial cartoons that have been used as a pretext for great and greatly menacing violence directed against journalists, cartoonists, humanitarian aid workers, diplomats and others who represent the basic values and obligations of Western civilization. Having been ordered at the 11th hour to pull the now-infamous Danish cartoons from an issue dedicated to them, the editorial group—consisting of myself, managing editor Tim Marchman, arts editorJonathan Leaf and one-man city hall bureau Azi Paybarah, chose instead to resign our positions.

We have no desire to be free speech martyrs, but it would have been nakedly hypocritical to avoid the same cartoons we'd criticized others for not running, cartoons that however absurdly have inspired arson, kidnapping and murder and forced cartoonists in at least two continents to go into hiding.

Our hats are off to them.

And, I forgot to mention earlier that one of three cartoons added to the orginal twelve has been exposed as a fraud. See NeanderNews (who credits "The Celtic Semite" for the lead): Danish Imams Busted!

UPDATE II: Why is it important to publish the Danish cartoons? Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff, a bureau chief of the German newsweekly Die Zeit, explains why in The Washington Post: Tolerance Toward Intolerance. (via TIA Daily)

News people make judgments about taste all the time. We do not show sexually explicit pictures or body parts after a terrorist attack. We try to keep racism and anti-Semitism out of the paper. Freedom of the press comes with a responsibility.

But the criteria change when material that is seen as offensive becomes newsworthy. That's why we saw bodies falling out of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. That's why we saw the pictures from Abu Ghraib. On such issues we print what we usually wouldn't. The very nature of the discourse is to find parameters of what is culturally acceptable. How many times have we seen Janet Jackson's breast in the course of a discussion of the limits of family entertainment? How many times have we printed material that Jews might consider offensive in an attempt to define the extent of anti-Semitism? It seems odd that most U.S. papers patronize their readers by withholding cartoons that the whole world talks about. To publish does not mean to endorse. Context matters. ...

In this jihad over humor, tolerance is disdained by people who demand it of others. The authoritarian governments that claim to speak on behalf of Europe's supposedly oppressed Muslim minorities practice systematic repression against their own religious minorities. They have radicalized what was at first a difficult question. Now they are asking not for respect but for submission. They want non-Muslims in Europe to live by Muslim rules.

UPDATE III -- Feb. 7:Editor & Publisher: Publish or Not? Muhammed Cartoons Still Vexing U.S. EditorsMichell Malkin: CNN's New Stupid Excuse and Video: Alan Dershowitz Gets It.

Transcript excerpt:

DERSHOWITZ: ..I was informed yesterday that Time magazine was seriously considering publishing the cartoons. That would take an act of courage.

CNN has shown no courage. It claims it won't publish the cartoons because they're offensive. But they have published previous cartoons that are offensive. The fact is, they're frightened. The fact is, that this kind of religious and intellectual terrorism is working. It is persuading journalists who would otherwise cover this story with the cartoons to back away--not on ideological reasons or not for reasons of protecting or preserving integrity or anything of that kind, but out of physical and economic fear. This is economic, physical terrorism directed at journalists and it is working. They have succeeded in the United States. They have failed in parts of Europe, but they have succeeded in the United States.

...When the burning down of embassies and the fear of fatwas and physical and economic retaliation are what determines the policy, it means that the terrorists have won. And the United States and other European countries have a policy: Never give in to terrorism. Well, they're now giving in to terrorism by not publishing these cartoons--not because they're offensive, they publish plenty of offensive cartoons, but because they are frightened and because they lack the courage to confront this kind of terrorist threat.

UPDATE IV: Under the headline "Publish or Perish," TIA Daily's Robert Tracinski recommended a Washington Times editorial by Tony Blankley: Cartoons, but not the funnies. As Tracinski put it: "Blankley explains why it is vital to republish those cartoons, as a form of defiance against the fear and submission demanded by Muslims."

Excerpt: Those who argue for republication of the Danish cartoons are not 'instigating' a clash of civilization. Nor are they pouring gasoline on a fire. Rather, they are defending against the already declared and engaged radical Islamist clash against the Christian, secular, Jewish, Hindu, Chinese world, by expressing solidarity with the firemen. In this case the firemen, perhaps surprisingly to some, are the European press. French socialist newspapers, the BBC, and other major secular European media stand shoulder-to-shoulder with a right-wing Danish newspaper against what they correctly see is an unyielding demand by radical Islam that Europe begin to start living under sharia law. The American media is proud of its alleged tradition of speaking truth to power and reporting without fear or favor.... But in truth, it doesn't take much courage to criticize a president or corporation or Catholic priest or labor-union boss in America.

Posted by Forkum at February 7, 2006 04:48 PM

Islamists attack Danish and Norwegian embassies in Tehran

SMCCDI:

An angry crowd, composed by 300 Bassij Para-military force's members and fanatic Islamists, threw Molotov cocktails and pieces of rocks at the Danish embassy in Tehran for the second consecutive day.

Earlier, the Norwegian embassy was attacked with pieces of stones.

These new fanatical actions took place following the yesterday attacks, made by the same small and organized crowd, against the Danish and Austrian embassies in the Iranian capital.

These organized rallies are targeting to shift the focus of the world's attention from the struggle of Iranians who are seeking freedom and of the social movements which are endangering the future of the Islamic republic regime. They're also intending to show the 'deep' believes of Iranians in the Islamic religion and of what is supposed to be, their 'collective indignation', over the publication of cartoons depicting the Islamic Prophet Mohammad. But despite all hidden supports from governmental circles and advertisements made by Mosques related to the theocratic regime, which are calling for a massive participation, the demonstrators have stayed under 400 individuals while the Iranian Capital has over 12 millions of inhabitants.

The regime's regular Law Enforcement Forces are offering, each time, a show of resistance in facing the regime's sponsored Islamists. The scenario is to fill the lack of Iranians "collective indignation" while showing, as well, some aspect of challenges for foreign journalists reporting from Iran.

The Islamic regime's leadership seems to be more lucky in mobilizing fanatics, in countries, such as, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Pakistan or Indonesia, where it has hundreds of 'cultural' and 'religious' centers with a vast net of 'charity' institutions.

A desperate supreme leader of the Islamic regime declared, today, that the publication of the cartoons are part of a "Zionist Conspiracy" and pushed the demagogy to the point of declaring that they have been published in retaliation to Hamas' Electoral victory. In reality these cartoons were published weeks before the elections in Palestine which led to the victory of the terrorist movement.

The lack of Iranians' support, of fanatical ways of _expression and some of the political goals of the Islamic regime has become much more significant, as; it's coinciding with the Shia ritual of Moharam month and the Ashura mourning. By Islamists believe, Iranians should have been more sensible to any parameter which might affect their religion, but the today's event showed that this is not the case, contrary to many other majoritary Muslim nations.

The Islamic regime is intending to organize, on Wednesday, a massive rally in the Capital at the occasion of Ashura in order to avoid more mockery. Thousands of immigrants from Islamic countries and fanatic Iranians are to be transferred by full buses to Tehran, in order to avoid more sham for a regime which is declaring to represent the world's Muslims.

These desperate measures mark the unpopularity of the ideological pillars of the Islamic republic regime and shows better the increasing secular aspiration of Iranians.

It also proves Iranians sense of respect for the freedom of _expression, while many of them might have their objection to the published cartoons. In addition, it underlines how Iranians are rejecting any notion of attacking a diplomatic mission, contrary to a terrorist regime which its leaders saw, in the seizure of the US Embassy and the hostage taking of American diplomats, a "second revolution".

Iranian Security Official Warns West Its Interests in the Region Will Be Harmed

MEMRI:

Special Dispatch - IranFebruary 9, 2006

No. 1090

Iranian Supreme National Security Council Secretary-General Larijani at Press Conference: "We Recommend That You [the West] Learn a Lesson From History... The Iranian People is Zealous and Brave; Do Not Toy With the National Pride of the Iranians... Your Interests in the Region Will Be Harmed"

To view this Special Dispatch in HTML, visit: http://www.memri.org/bin/opener_latest.cgi?ID=SD109006 .

The following are excerpts from a press conference held by Iranian Supreme National Security Council Secretary-General Ali Larijani. The conference aired on the Iranian News Channel (IRINN) on February 1, 2006.

TO VIEW THIS CLIP, VISIT: http://www.memritv.org/search.asp?ACT=S9&P1=1029 .

Ali Larijani: "Some leaders, like the leader of America, often use the term 'atomic bomb' in their propaganda about Iran. He considers Iran's nuclear technology and research to be synonymous with a bomb. I don't know why Mr. Bush tells such a big lie. It is inappropriate for world leaders to tell such obvious lies.

"All Iran's nuclear activity is subject to the supervision of the IAEA and its inspectors, and no reasonable person would say that it is possible to manufacture nuclear weapons under such inspection. The problem is that some European countries believe that the Iranian people should not have nuclear knowledge. They do not say so in their propaganda, but they tell us this in closed meetings. They say: 'You must not have nuclear know-how and knowledge.' I ask them to say publicly what they say in closed meetings. They should say that they want to classify nations into two groups: One that should have nuclear knowledge and one that should not.

"They want to form a modern world order of masters and subjects. This is the truth. They do not want nuclear knowledge to improve the Iranian people's status. The rest is propaganda. They know that Iran is not pursuing [nuclear] weapons."

[...]

"Sanctions are the kind of thing they fear more than us. As soon as some European countries mentioned sanctions at the meeting in Germany, oil prices began to rise. If they do this, we will not be the only ones to be harmed. They will be harmed more than us. For Iran, there are still ways to deal with this. We do not recommend that they use such methods, but if they do, they should expect a response."

[...]

"We recommend that you learn a lesson from history. Do not repeat what you have done in the past and regretted. The Iranian people is zealous and brave. Do not toy with the national pride of the Iranians, because you will face a firm response. Things will change for you. Your interests in the region will be harmed."

[...]

Saketi, Dubai TV: "We recently heard that a company called Hara is building tunnels, 50 meters deep, for nuclear purposes. Do you have any comment? Thank you.

"Ali Larijani: "It seems that in the world of politics, lying is not such a big deal. When Mr. Bush himself tells such big lies, don't be surprised when reports like this are published. We don't need tunnels. We conduct our nuclear research in full view of the IAEA, not in tunnels. But even if we have tunnels, this should not be a problem."

[...]

Barbara Slavin, USA Today: "I'd like to ask you first about the IAEA report that there were 15 pages of documents showing how to turn uranium metal into a weapon. If Iran says that its program is for peaceful purposes, what were you doing in possession of 15 pages of documents, showing how to make a weapon?"

[...]

Ali Larijani: "I think there was a mistake in these figures. It was not 15 pages but a page and a half. If anyone here can make a bomb with a page and a half, I will coat him in gold. How can anyone build a bomb with a page and a half of information?"

I said to Mr. ElBaradei: You yourself know what this page and a half is worth. Others are using this as a pretext. This document is in the hands of the IAEA. It is just a page and a half long. Endless data like this can be found on the Internet."

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Iranian activists at the UAC rally

California: San Fernando Valley

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Campaign to Stop Poligamy

Petition OnLine:
To: Public, Medias and Governments
Polygamy (one man having multiple wives) has expanded greatly in the last decade in countries where governments aggressively suppress freedom and secularism and where religious and regional cultures that legitimize polygamy were able to gain dominance. The expansion of polygamy in the west is due to the increased dominance of right wing parties with a large fundamentalist religious support base, coupled with misdirected multiculturalism that encourages cultural ghettos.Although polygamy in these countries is illegal,it is met with little opposition. In places such as England, the government has even given tax breaks to men with second wives. In Norway, France, Germany and the Netherlands there are reports indicating an increasing number of men with multiple wives. After nine women from Bountiful filed charges of sexual abuse of girls as young as 13 involved in polygamous relationships, shamefully, Canada funded a $150 000 study, that recommended that Canada legalize and decriminalize polygamy. For more information please read the full report at http://www.swc-cfc.gc.ca/pubs/pubspr/0662420683/index_e.html It is clear that the movement of equality for women is under serious attack. It is critical that immediate action be taken to protect the erosion of our social and cultural norms. Polygamy belongs to a prehistoric time. Legalizing it would only put us back in that same place. Polygamy generally occurs in marginalized communities and countries where women have not gained equality with men and are considered second class. Legalizing polygamy would cause further inequality between men and women. Legalizing polygamy means legalizing degrading, male-chauvinism, and the patriarchal treatment of women in marginalized communities. Polygamy must not only be illegal, it must also be recognized as a crime. All men involve in polygamous relationships must face serious consequences. There should be no exceptions made for immigrants coming from so called Islamic countries. If you believe women's Rights are Universal, If you believe The rights of the child take precedence over any national, racial, economic, political,ideological, and religious consideration or interest. Please join us to put an end to polygamy http://new.petitiononline.com/campolyg/petition.html

Saturday, February 04, 2006

WG: Iran reported to Security Council

Free Pars News:
Saturday, February 4, 2006; Posted: 7:58 a.m. EST (12:58 GMT) VIENNA, Austria (CNN) -- The United Nations' nuclear watchdog agency passed a resolution Saturday reporting Iran to the U.N. Security Council over its nuclear program. In response, Iran said it would resume its full nuclear-related activities, without restriction, and will no longer allow snap inspections of its nuclear facilities. Twenty-seven of the International Atomic Energy Agency's 35-nation board voted during an emergency session in favor of the resolution. Syria, Venezuela and Cuba were the sole countries in opposition. Five countries abstained: Algeria, Belarus, Indonesia, Libya and South Africa. "This resolution is politically motivated, since it is not based on any legal or technical grounds," Iran's representative to the IAEA, Javad Vaeedi, said. Iran has said it is pursuing nuclear research for peaceful purposes; the United States and other countries suspect Iran is trying to build a nuclear bomb. In a statement, the British representative said that, should Iran fail to comply with the board's wishes, the Security Council will be expected to bring additional pressure to bear on Iran. The referral to the U.N. Security Council came one day after Vaeedi warned such a move would mean an end to diplomacy, according to Iran's state-run news agency, IRNA. The IAEA resolution includes a clause, inserted at the insistence of Egypt, that says, "Recognizing that a solution to the Iranian issue would contribute to global nonproliferation efforts and to realizing the objective of a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction, including their means of delivery." That clause is considered to be a reference to Israel's undeclared possession of nuclear weapons. The resolution called on Iran to take steps to build confidence and resolve questions about whether its nuclear program is indeed peaceful. Those steps include re-establishing "full and sustained suspension of nuclear-related activities;" reconsidering the construction of a heavy-water research reactor, ratifying an additional protocol allowing inspections of nuclear facilities and, pending ratification of the draft, continuing to act in accordance with the provisions of the additional protocol. Finally, the resolution called for Iran to allow "access to individuals and documents." The IAEA board began the emergency session on Iran's nuclear issue Thursday. It was requested by the EU3 -- Britain, France and Germany -- after reaching an impasse in negotiations with Iran when the Islamic state announced last month it had broken IAEA seals on its nuclear facilities. The EU3 submitted the draft resolution, with the backing of all five permanent members of the Security Council: Russia, China, Britain, France and the United States. To get approval from Russia and China, the draft resolution was amended to request to delay any action by the Security Council against Iran until IAEA Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei presents a report on Iran's nuclear activities to the board next month. But China's ambassador to the United Nations signaled that another diplomatic quagmire could emerge if the Security Council considers sanctions against the Islamic state. "We're not in favor of sanctions," said Wang Guangya at the U.N. headquarters in New York. "We still have time to be flexible, to work diplomatic solutions." Konstantin Dolgov, Russia's deputy ambassador to the United Nations, echoed Wang's comments, saying he "We want only a diplomatic solution." ElBaradei said the resolution would create a "window of opportunity" by giving Iran 30 days to consider proposals that would prove its nuclear intentions are peaceful, as the Islamic state insists. The IAEA has asked Iran to return to its full suspension of "enrichment-related activities until the agency has come to a conclusion on the scope of the program," ElBaradei said. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denounced that request in a speech Thursday, IRNA reported. "They are determined to deprive us of our legal rights to access nuclear technology so that they would sell the same to us at a very high price," he said. Over the next month, meetings will take place to consider issues such as a proposal under which Russia would enrich uranium for Iran, ElBaradei said. U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, in a prepared statement, said, "The world does not want -- and must work together to prevent -- a nuclear Iran." CNN's Matthew Chance, Elise Labott and Richard Roth contributed to this report.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Iranians participate in anti Islamo-Fascism rallies in the US

SMCCDI:

Dozens of Iranians responded positively to the SMCCDI and "Iran National Secular Party" (INSP) calls by participating, yesterday, in some of the anti Islamo-Fascism rallies organized by the "United American Committee" (UAC).

SMCCDI and INSP's members and supporters participated in the New York, Dallas and Los Angeles' UAC rallies in order to show the deep rejection of Islamism, Jihadism and tyranny which have plunged Iran into a deepening catastrophic situation.

A floral crown was deposed "On behalf of the People of Iran", by SMCCDI and INSP, under the Memorial erected, at Ground Zero in New York, in the memory of thousands of victims of the Tragedy of September 11th. It was formed by several Green, Red and White with Gold contour flowers. These colors represent the Iranian People's only legitimate flag which is composed by a Green, a White and a Red color strips with a Gold color Lion & Sun emblem on the White strip.

The floral crown, which was initially carried by Cyrus Sanati - a SMCCDI and INSP member -, created a deep emotion among many New Yorkers and especially between members of the NYPD present at the event. Two of the city's police force members, who had lost many colleagues on September 11th, raised the floral crown in order to mark the existing solidarity among two nations which have been both victimized by Islamo-Fascists.

In Dallas, tens of members and supporters, including Aryo B. Pirouznia and Ali Salehi, joined several American protesters in order to condemn terrorism and the Human Rights Abuses in Iran. They called for the world's moral support of Iranians who are seeking to free themselves from the yoke of the terrorist and tyrannical Islamic republic regime.

Pirouznia, the SMCCDI Coordinator and INSP's Chairman, called also for a strict control of the financial activities of Islamist centers located in the US and especially in Irving and Richardson. He denounced the existence of the picture of Rooh-Ollah Khomeini -the founder of Islamic republic - in the office of the Irving Mosque's Imam. The latter is suspected to have close contacts with some influential clerics in Iran.

Salehi, the INSP President, asked from the US Administration to keep the pressure on the Islamic regime and its economic allies.

In Los Angeles, several members, such as, Bahram Shaygan and Mona Etemadi carried the "Lion & Sun" flag, which is banned by the Islamic republic regime, and called for a closure of some US based centers and PACs which are trying to legitimize the Islamic republic regime.

Slogans calling for "Human Rights in Iran", "Democracy for Iran" and "Down with Islamic Republic" were shouted by members and many participants.

SMCCDI and INSP co-sponsored the UAC rallies, of February 1st, due to the fact that Iranians have been among the first and oldest victims of Islamist terror and tyranny and that they feel a deep solidarity with the victimized American People and understand their concerns.

Brownback: U.S. must fund Iran groups

UPI:

WASHINGTON, Feb. 2 (UPI) -- A top Republican lawmaker Thursday called for a tenfold increase in U.S. aid to support democratic change and human rights inside Iran.

In a speech at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., called for U.S. aid to be increased from $10 million to $100 million this year.

"This is a pittance compared to the problem," said Brownback, "This Iranian government, even without nuclear weapons, is a viscous tyrant."

The comments come as the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna looks likely to refer Iran to the U.N. Security Council for its nuclear program. The West fears Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons, Tehran denies the charge. In his State of the Union address Tuesday night, President Bush called on Iranians to "win your own freedom."

On Thursday, Brownback called the idea of U.S. military intervention not feasible and emphasized the importance of supporting Iranians willing to stand up to their leadership.

"Regime change can happen from within in Iran and I am confident that the Iranian people can champion their own future if given half a chance," he said.

Brownback said the United States must support independent human rights groups in Iran who have denounced terrorism and the regime. He said Washington - with U.N. and European Union help -- should send a special envoy to Iran to discuss human rights. He also said the World Bank should stop lending money to Iran.

"There is a two-track solution to the crisis in Iran -- external and internal -- and we have a strong role to play in both," he said.

Brownback said the United States would have to work creatively to fund Iranians while minimizing the danger of those working to promote democratic change in Iran.

Lorne Craner, president of the International Republican Institute, told United Press International getting money into Iran would require the assistance of the Iranian expatriates the world over.

"There is no shortage of people who want to see things move forward in Iran and there is no lack of means," he said.

Two more Italian newspapers reprint Mohammed cartoons

L'Opinione and Libero L'Opinione

Libero. The title: "Here Mohammed gives orders-What a shame. Europe caves in to Islam and apologizes for satire about Allah - Here are the 12 satanic cartoons nobody dares to publish"

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Iran says it will resist 'bully' nations

USA Today:
Posted 2/1/2006 5:56 PM Updated 2/1/2006 5:57 PM TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's president lashed out Wednesday at the United States and vowed to resist the pressure of "bully countries" as European nations circulated a draft resolution urging that Tehran be brought before the U.N. Security Council for its nuclear activities.

In a speech to thousands of supporters hours after President Bush's State of the Union address, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad derided the United States as a "hollow superpower" that is "tainted with the blood of nations" and said Tehran would continue its nuclear program.

"Nuclear energy is our right, and we will resist until this right is fully realized," Ahmadinejad told the crowd in the southern Iran city of Bushehr, the site of Iran's only nuclear power plant.

"Our nation can't give in to the coercion of some bully countries who imagine they are the whole world and see themselves equal to the entire globe," he added.

The crowd responded with chants of "Nuclear energy is our right!"

Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, said at a news conference that the Islamic republic would halt intrusive U.N. inspections of its nuclear facilities and resume large-scale enrichment of uranium if it is taken before the U.N. Security Council, which could impose sanctions.

Larijani also said Iran remains committed to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, despite calls from hard-line newspapers to withdraw from the agreement if the International Atomic Energy Agency reports Iran to the Security Council on Thursday, as expected.

Iran's main enrichment plant at Natanz "is ready for work," he said.

"We only need to notify the IAEA that we are resuming enrichment. When we do that is our call," Larijani said. If Iran is reported to the Security Council, we will do it quickly," he added.

Referring to the IAEA meeting, he added: "In case the issue is reported or referred to the Security Council, we will have to stop implementation of the Additional Protocol" — a procedure that allows IAEA inspectors to carry out intrusive searches of a country's nuclear facilities without warning.

"The result would be Iran's cooperating with the IAEA at a low level, which is against our wishes. All our suspensions on nuclear activities would be lifted," he said, meaning that Iran would feel free to enrich uranium without hindrance.

Iran insists its nuclear program is civilian only and has no other purpose than to generate power. Enrichment can produce either fuel for a nuclear reactor or the material needed to build a warhead.

In Vienna, a draft IAEA resolution requests agency director general Mohamed ElBaradei "to report to the Security Council" on steps Iran needs to take to dispel fears that it might want to make nuclear arms. It was being circulated among the 35-member IAEA board for comments before being submitted for approval at Thursday's board meeting, and a copy was made available to The Associated Press.

The development was a boost to Washington, the main proponent of bringing Iran before the Security Council.

The draft calls on Iran to:

• Re-establish a freeze on uranium enrichment and related activities.

• Consider whether to stop construction of a heavy water reactor that could be the source of plutonium for weapons.

• Formally ratify an agreement it has so far honored as if it were in force allowing the IAEA greater inspecting authority.

• Give the IAEA more power in its probe of Iran's nuclear program, including "access to individuals" for interviews, as well as to documentation on its black market nuclear purchases, equipment that could be used for nuclear and non-nuclear purposes and "certain military-owned workshops" where nuclear activities might be going on.

The draft also asks ElBaradei to "convey to the Security Council" his report to the next board session in March along with any resolution that meeting might approve.

"Iran's many failures of its obligations ... constitute non-compliance" with the non-proliferation treaty, the document said. Although the text is likely to undergo some changes before it is submitted for approval, the countries that authored the draft — Britain, France and Germany — were unlikely to agree to substantive modifications, according to a European diplomat who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was discussing confidential strategy on Iran.

Ahmadinejad referred to Bush directly and the U.S.-led war in neighboring Iraq.

"Those whose hands are tainted with blood of nations and are involved in wars and oppression in any part of the world ... we, hopefully, in the near future will put you on trial in courts that will be set up by nations."

Defense Minister Gen. Mostafa Mohammad Najjar also warned all countries against considering an attack on Iran's nuclear installations. "Any attack against Iran's peaceful nuclear facilities will meet a swift and crushing response from the armed forces," Najjar said, according to the official Islamic Republic News Agency.

The comments came after Bush increased the pressure on Iran over its nuclear program, saying in his address Tuesday night that "the nations of the world must not permit the Iranian regime to gain nuclear weapons." He said the United States "will continue to rally the world to confront these threats."

Bush also said Iran was "held hostage by a small clerical elite that is isolating and repressing its people" and must stop sponsoring terrorists in the Palestinian territories and Lebanon.

In Moscow, President Vladimir Putin spoke with Bush by telephone about Iran, the Kremlin said in a statement.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair told the House of Commons on Wednesday it was crucial for the international community to "send a signal of strength" to Iran in the dispute.

"It is important that they understand ... that we are united in determining that they should not be able to carry on flouting their international obligations," he said.

The five permanent members of the Security Council agreed Tuesday that Iran should be hauled before the powerful body.

The top U.N. body has the power to impose economic and political sanctions, but none of those measures is immediately likely. Under the deal agreed to by Moscow and Beijing, the Security Council will likely await a new IAEA report at the next board meeting in March before deciding on substantive action, leaving more time for talks with Iran.

On Tuesday, the IAEA said Iran obtained documents and drawings on the black market that serve no other purpose than to make an atomic warhead. The findings were contained in a confidential report for presentation to the IAEA board and provided in full to AP.

A three-year IAEA inquiry has not found firm evidence to back assertions by the United States and others that Iran's nuclear activities are a cover for an arms program but has not been able to dismiss such suspicions either.

First mention of the documents linked to constructing a nuclear warhead was made last year in a longer IAEA report. At that time, the agency said only that they showed how to cast "enriched, natural and depleted uranium metal into hemispherical forms."

In the brief report obtained Tuesday, however, the agency said bluntly the 15 pages of text and drawings showing how to cast fissile uranium into metal were "related to the fabrication of nuclear weapon components."

The report said the documents were under agency seal, meaning that IAEA experts should be able to re-examine them, but Iran has declined to give the agency a copy.

Iran has claimed it did not ask for the documents but received them anyway as part of other black market purchases.

World Nuclear Panel Meets Today on Iran; Possible Concession Is in the Works

The New York Times:

VIENNA, Feb. 1 — Britain, France and Germany introduced a draft resolution on Wednesday asking the 35-nation board of the International Atomic Energy Agency to refer Iran's nuclear case to the United Nations Security Council.

The proposed resolution can be modified when it is discussed by the decision-making board in an emergency session here on Thursday.

In its current form, the resolution recalls Iran's "many failures and breaches of its obligations" under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and "the absence of confidence that Iran's nuclear program is exclusively for peaceful purposes resulting from the history of concealment of Iran's nuclear activities."

It asks the agency's director, Mohamed ElBaradei, to report to the Security Council "on the steps required from Iran" and asks the board to submit all agency reports and resolutions about the nature of Iran's nuclear activities to the Council.

But in an important concession to Russia and China, which initially resisted any Security Council involvement, the resolution delayed for another month any action in the Council concerning Iran.

The Russians also succeeded in making sure that the resolution did not include the word noncompliance, which they argued had important legal consequences that would automatically require Iran's case to be referred to the Security Council under the agency's statutes.

But a senior State Department official maintained that the question was academic. With or without the word, the proposed measure would require the nuclear agency to report to the Security Council all relevant resolutions and findings previously approved, which would include a resolution passed last fall holding Iran in noncompliance.

The leading powers closed ranks, seemingly in intentionally public fashion. President Bush spoke to President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia by telephone, thanking him for his offer to enrich uranium for Iran on Russian soil, and the two leaders agreed that it was "important to stay in close contact" on the Iran nuclear issue, said the White House spokesman, Scott McLellan.

Russia's deputy foreign minister, Sergei I. Kislyak, said that "our friendly advice to our Iranian colleagues" is that they must cooperate.

In London, Jack Straw, the British foreign secretary, said he had told the Iranian foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, that Iran should end its defiance. "He really needs to see this agreed position by the leaders of the international community not as a threat but as an opportunity for Iran to put itself back on track" for meeting obligations "which it entered in to," Mr. Straw said on BBC radio.

Sometimes the Europeans seem to be talking tougher than the Americans. In an interview published Wednesday in Le Parisien, for example, France's foreign minister, Philippe Douste-Blazy, said, "The complete range of sanctions is conceivable."

In Washington on Wednesday evening, one of the chief architects of the Bush administration's Iran strategy, Robert G. Joseph, the under secretary of state for arms control and international security, detailed the administration's case against Iran, charging that it was seeking to combine its nuclear ambitions with a fleet of missiles that "can hold hostage cities of our friends in the Middle East and Europe."

Mr. Joseph used a speech to the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee to focus attention on documents discovered by the nuclear agency's inspectors in Iran that show how to machine-cut enriched uranium into hemispheres, a shape suitable for detonation. Dismissing Iran's claim that the documents were not part of its nuclear program, Mr. Joseph said, "We know of no application for such hemispheres other than nuclear weapons."

He also described "why we cannot accept a nuclear-armed Iran," in terms that had echoes of the speeches administration officials gave three years ago when they were building a case against Saddam Hussein's Iraq. "A nuclear-armed Iran could embolden the leadership in Tehran to advance its aggressive ambitions in and outside the region, both directly and through the terrorists it supports," he said.

He said the country, once armed, "would represent a direct threat to U.S. forces and allies in the region," and "could provide the fuse for further proliferation." He also said that it "would represent an existential threat to the state of Israel."

"Finally, Iran is at the nexus of weapons of mass destruction and terrorism," he argued. "If Iran has fissile material or nuclear weapons, the likelihood of their transfer to a third party would increase."

Bush administration officials have said repeatedly that they want a go-slow approach, avoiding sanctions that might enrage the Iranian people, like banning Iran from playing in the World Cup soccer championships, for example.

The United States, Russia and China did not co-sponsor the resolution, although Gregory L. Schulte, the American ambassador to the nuclear agency, told reporters that the resolution "has the support" of the three big nuclear powers. A Russian diplomat said his country would reluctantly accept the draft resolution.

The three European countries sponsoring the resolution made an agreement with Iran in November 2004 that froze most of its nuclear activities. It was Iran's violation of that voluntary accord last month by reopening its uranium enrichment plant at Natanz that prompted the call for the emergency session here.

The United States and the Europeans expressed confidence that they would receive the majority vote needed to pass the resolution. Unlike the Security Council, the atomic energy agency allows no vetoes, and abstentions are not counted.

With a monthlong reprieve from Security Council action, the official Iranian position is that Tehran wants to keep talking with the Europeans and the Russians to resolve the mounting nuclear crisis.

But Iranian officials inside and outside the country have insisted that they have no intention of closing the Natanz plant again, as demanded by the agency, the five permanent members of the Security Council, Germany and other countries.

In what might be called megaphone diplomacy, Iranian officials in various capitals repeated the threat that any action involving the Security Council would force Iran to carry out a law suspending all "voluntary measures" with the agency.

That would bar the agency from conducting inspections on short notice and would block it from certain sites, like Iran's uranium mines and heavy water reactor program, Ali Asghar Soltaniyeh, Iran's ambassador to the agency, said here.

Mr. Soltaniyeh, whose experience in nuclear matters predates the Islamic Revolution of 1979 in Iran, also confirmed that his country would resume its program to build 50,000 centrifuges eventually at Natanz and begin full-scale production of "tons" of enriched uranium there.

In Tehran, Ali Larijani, the chief Iranian nuclear negotiator, echoed Mr. Soltaniyeh's threats. "They should expect us to take reciprocal action," he said. "There is no winning for them this game."

Mr. Larijani emphasized that Iran would honor its commitments under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, but not those made outside the pact.

His most animated comments concerned reports that the nuclear agency's inspectors had identified a secretive Green Salt Project, which worked on uranium processing, high explosives and missile warhead design. The agency based its findings at least in part on a document that it said provided information on the design of a missile "re-entry vehicle."

"One point five is really the number of pages," he said, referring to the document. "If any of you could make a bomb out of one and a half pages, I will make gold out of you. Is this reasonable?"

Wednesday was the 27th anniversary of the return to Iran of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini after the fall of the country's monarchy and the triumph of his revolution, a day devoted to emotional speeches on the greatness of the Islamic Republic.

In a speech to thousands of people at the nuclear plant at Bushehr on the Persian Gulf, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad branded President Bush a criminal stained with "the blood of other nations" who should be put on trial.

Iran correctly proclaims its right under its treaty obligations to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes, and Mr. Ahmadinejad, addressing what he called "the fake superpowers," said, "The Iranian people will continue until they master nuclear energy, which is their right."

Reporting for this article was contributed by Sarah Lyall from London, Michael Slackman from Tehran, and David E. Sanger and Steven R. Weisman from Washington.