Monday, July 05, 2004

Scoop: Wolfowitz: Iraq Was Not Involved In 9-11 Attacks

Scoop: Wolfowitz: Iraq Was Not Involved In 9-11 Attacks: "Wolfowitz: Iraq Was Not Involved In 9-11 Attacks
Article: Jason Leopold

Wolfowitz: Iraq Was Not Involved In 9-11 Terrorist Attacks, No Ties To Al-Qaeda
By Jason Leopold
Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, one of the main architects for the war in Iraq, admitted for the first time that Iraq had nothing to do with the September 11 terrorist attacks, contradicting public statements made by senior White House and Pentagon officials whose attempt to link Saddam Hussein and the terrorist organization al-Qaeda was cited by the Bush administration as one of the main reasons for launching a preemptive strike in March against Iraq.
In an interview with conservative radio personality Laura Ingraham, Wolfowitz was asked when he first came to believe that Iraq was behind the 9-11 terrorist attacks.
�I�m not sure even now that I would say Iraq had something to do with it,� Wolfowitz said in the interview, aired Friday, a transcript of which can be found at http://www.defenselink.mil/transcripts/2003/tr20030801-depsecdef0526.html> http://www.defenselink.mil/transcripts/2003/tr20030801-depsecdef0526.html
Wolfowitz�s answer confirms doubts long held by critics of the Iraq war that the Bush administration had no evidence linking Iraq to 9-11 or al-Qaeda, but simply used the horrific terrorist attacks as a reason to overthrow Saddam Hussein and his Baathist regime."

Daily Times - REGION: Iran, Syria united against America

Daily Times - Site Edition: "REGION: Iran, Syria united against America
Assad and Khatami calls for departure of US troops from Iraq

TEHRAN: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Monday ended a two-day surprise visit to Iran, after the two sides gave a show of unity against the presence of US troops in their common neighbour Iraq.

Assad, on his third visit to the Islamic republic, had met with a string of top regime officials here including supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

After meeting with President Mohammad Khatami, the two called for the rapid departure of foreign troops from Iraq.

�This crisis was predictable, and its source was the aggression and occupation of Iraq by the United States,� Khatami said"

United Press International: Analysis: Iran ignored at Saddam's trial?

United Press International: Analysis: Iran ignored at Saddam's trial?: "Analysis: Iran ignored at Saddam's trial?
By Modher Amin
Published 7/5/2004 6:48 PM

TEHRAN, Iran, July 5 (UPI) -- Iranians are indignant at the Iraqi court's failure to include the 1980 attack on Iran and the use of chemical weapons on its fighters as the charges read out during Saddam's Hussein's court appearance last Thursday.
Tehran said Sunday it was drawing its own list of charges against the ousted leader for crimes relating to the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war, during which close to a million people -- mostly Iranians -- were killed.
'One of the crimes of Saddam Hussein is the attack of Iran, the death of Iranians, and the use of chemical weapons in Halabja (within Iraq) and other places (in Iran) during the war,' Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman, Hamid Reza Asefi, told reporters. 'Iran will definitely file a complaint with the Iraqi court.'
Preliminary charges against Saddam Hussein cover invasion of Kuwait in 1990, crushing Kurdish and Shiite revolts after the 1991 Persian Gulf war, ethnic cleansing of Kurds in 1987-1988, gassing Kurds in Halabja in 1988, killing religious leaders in 1974 and killing of political activists over three decades. "

Music, dancing but no religious police on sun-splashed Kish

Forum: "Music, dancing but no religious police on sun-splashed Kish



KISH ISLAND, Iran, March 12 - Iranian women ride bikes, roar atop the waves on jet skis or just soak in the warm rays of the beach without the requisite head covering. There is even a roped-off stretch of sand where male and female foreigners can mingle.

WHAT'S FROWNED upon on the Iranian mainland is tolerated on Kish, a sun-splashed island in the Persian Gulf that has become an experiment into how far the country's Islamic rulers are willing to go to attract foreign investment.
The island was initially developed under the reign of the last shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, who built hotels and a casino to lure rich Arabs to Kish. Iranians were barred without special authorization.

Now the island has been established as a free-trade zone, providing a respite for well-heeled Tehran residents who are weary of the restrictions imposed by the Islamic Republic through religious police who scour the city for signs of deviance.
Religious police are non-existent on Kish and the regular police are rarely seen. Meantime, retail outlets are plentiful.

"I told my boss in Tehran that if you want to attract tourists here you still have to lift some restrictions. Why not somebody having a beer on the beach or during his meal," said one local official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Such ideas would be heresy on the Iranian mainland, but on Kish, it's indicative of the sentiment on this island paradise which wants to become the tourist and business center of the gulf. Partly, of course, its distance from the capital makes it easier to experiment on Kish. It's also a matter of income level. Unlike most other Iranian cities, Kish has the air of prosperity. The taxis are all new model Mercedez Benz and Toyotas. Vehicles are air conditioned and drivers wear their seat belts, again a rarity in other cities. GUCCI AND GAP Kish promotes itself as an island getaway. The hotels and other services are similar to other European countries and the 55-square-mile island is dotted with brand-name outlets such as Timberland, Gucci and Gap.

There are 30 flights daily to Kish and many Iranians visit to acquire home appliances and electronic goods, which are much cheaper than the mainland because of the zero tax. There are limits to what each person can bring home, but smugglers are willing to help those who want to exceed their allotment. Loud rock music blares from all the malls and live bands play regularly in the island's restaurants. You are as likely to hear Frank Sinatra croon "New York, New York" as you are to hear the Persian pop enjoyed by Iranian expatriates in the United States, especially in southern California, known as Tehrangeles. The management of some cafes and restaurants are even willing to tolerate dancing. In Tehran, an owner would be shut down simply for having live music - dancing would never even be contemplated. WOOING EXPATRIATES Hotel owner Hossein Sabet hopes that the incentives offered on Kish will draw other Iranians to invest in the country. "I am an entrepreneur and I have 11 hotels in Europe, but being an Iranian I felt I had to do something," he said. "I have been back for six years ago, and I want to encourage other Iranian business men and artists to come back and build Persia again, " he said.

Sabet recently opened the Dariush Grand Hotel on Kish, named after the Achaemenian kings who built the legendary palace of Persepolis in the southern Iranian province of Fars. The palace is the model for his hotel, Sabet said. Persepolis was built in 518 BC by Dariush I and looted by Alexander the Great not long after the death of the last Achaemenian king, Dariush III, about 200 years later. Sabet has also constructed an acquarium that he insisted will rival Seaworld in Orlando, Fla. But while Kish tests the limits of the nation's religious curbs, it must await action by the parliament in Tehran to push ahead with its main ambition, establishing a base for foreign companies. The Iranian parliament, dominated by supporters of President Khatami, recently approved legislation on foreign investment, seen by economists as the answer to the nation's economic ills. But the bill, which would offer security to foreign investors, was rejected by the Council of Guardians, charged with ensuring that all legislation conforms to Islamic law. Parliamentarians have vowed to press again for action, and Kish's leaders believe the island could be the first to benefit.

"

Mathaba News Service - Did one woman's obsession take America to war?

Mathaba News Service - News: "Iraq/Comment
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Did one woman's obsession take America to war?
Posted: 07/05
From: Guardian

Peter Bergen
July 5, 2004

Americans supported the war in Iraq not because Saddam Hussein was an evil dictator - they knew that - but because President Bush made the case that Saddam might hand weapons of mass destruction to his terrorist allies to wreak havoc on the United States. In the absence of any evidence for that theory, it's fair to ask: where did the administration's conviction come from? It was at the American Enterprise Institute - a conservative Washington DC thinktank - that the idea took shape that overthrowing Saddam should be a goal. Among those associated with AEI is Richard Perle, a key architect of the president's get-tough-on-Iraq policy, and Paul Wolfowitz, now the number-two official at the Pentagon. But none of the thinkers at AEI was in any real way an expert on Iraq. For that they relied on someone you probably have never heard of: a woman named Laurie Mylroie.

Mylroie has credentials as an expert on the Middle East, national security and, above all, Iraq, having held faculty positions at Harvard and the US Naval War College. During the 1980s she was an apologist for Saddam's regime, but became anti-Saddam around the time of his invasion of Kuwait in 1990. In the run-up to that Gulf war, with New York Times reporter Judith Miller, Mylroie wrote Saddam Hussein and the Crisis in the Gulf, a well-reviewed bestseller.

It was the first bombing of the World Trade Centre in 1993 that launched Mylroie's quixotic quest to prove that Saddam's regime was the chief source of anti-US terrorism. She laid out her case in a 2000 book called Study of Revenge: Saddam Hussein's Unfinished War Against America. Perle glowingly blurbed the book as "splendid and wholly convincing". Wolfowitz and his then wife, according to Mylroie, "provided crucial support".

Mylroie believes that Saddam was behind every anti-American terrorist incident of note in the past decade, from the levelling of the federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995 to September 11 itself. She is, in short, a cranky conspiracist - but her neoconservative friends believed her theories, bringing her on as a terrorism consultant at the Pentagon.

The extent of Mylroie's influence is shown in the new book Against All Enemies, by the veteran counterterrorism official Richard Clarke, in which he recounts a senior-level meeting on terrorism months before September 11. During that meeting Clarke quotes Wolfowitz as saying: "You give Bin Laden too much credit. He could not do all these things like the 1993 attack on New York, not without a state sponsor. Just because FBI and CIA have failed to find the linkages does not mean they don't exist." Clarke writes: "I could hardly believe it, but Wolfowitz was spouting the Laurie Mylroie theory that Iraq was behind the 1993 truck bomb at the World Trade Centre, a theory that had been investigated for years and found to be totally untrue."

Mylroie's influence can also be seen in the Bush cabinet's reaction to the September 11 attacks. According to Bob Woodward's recent book, Plan of Attack, Wolfowitz told the cabinet immediately after the attacks that there was a 10 to 50% chance that Saddam was implicated. Around the same time, Bush told his aides: "I believe that Iraq was involved, but I'm not going to strike them now."

The most comprehensive criminal investigation in history - pursuing 500,000 leads and interviewing 175,000 people - has turned up no evidence of Iraqi involvement.

How is it that key members of the Bush administration believed otherwise? Mylroie, in Study of Revenge, claims to have discovered what everyone missed: that the plot's mastermind, a man generally known by one of his many aliases, "Ramzi Yousef", was actually an Iraqi intelligence agent. Some time after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990, Mylroie argues, Yousef was given access to the passport of a Pakistani named Abdul Basit whose family lived in Kuwait, and assumed his identity. She reached this deduction following an examination of Basit's passport records that indicated Yousef and Basit were four inches different in height. But US investigators say that "Yousef" and Basit are the same person, and that he is a Pakistani with ties to al-Qaida, not to Iraq. Yousef's uncle, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, was al-Qaida's military commander until his capture in Pakistan in 2003.

The reality is that by the mid-90s, the FBI, the CIA and the State Department had found no evidence implicating the Iraqi government in the first Trade Centre attack. Vincent Cannistraro, who headed the CIA's counterterrorist centre in the early 90s, told me, "My view is that Laurie has an obsession with trying to link Saddam to global terrorism. Years of strenuous effort to prove the case have been unavailing." Ken Pollack, a former CIA analyst and author of The Threatening Storm: The Case for Invading Iraq, dismissed Mylroie's theories: "[The National Security Council] had the intelligence community look very hard at the allegations that the Iraqis were behind the 1993 Trade Centre attack ... The intelligence community said there were no such links."

Neil Herman, the FBI official who headed the Trade Centre investigation, explained that one of the lower-level conspirators, Abdul Rahman Yasin, did flee New York to live with a family member in Baghdad: "The one glaring connection that can't be overlooked is Yasin. We looked at that rather extensively. There were no ties to the Iraqi government."

In July last year, Mylroie published a new book, Bush v the Beltway: How the CIA and the State Department Tried to Stop the War on Terror. The book charges that the US government suppressed information about Iraq's role in anti-American terrorism, including the investigation of 9/11. It claims that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the now captured mastermind of 9/11, is an Iraqi intelligence agent who, like his nephew Ramzi Yousef, adopted the identity of a Pakistani living in Kuwait.

The US government doesn't seem to have explored this theory. Why not? Mylroie explained to the commission investigating the 9/11 attacks: "A senior administration official told me in specific that the question of the identities of the terrorist masterminds could not be pursued because of bureaucratic obstructionism." We are expected to believe that the Bush administration could not find anyone to investigate supposed Iraqi links to 9/11, at the same time as 150,000 American soldiers were sent to fight a war in Iraq.

Mylroie had only this comment when I asked about her research: "This issue [of Iraq's involvement in anti-US terrorism] has become enormously politicised. When I first wrote about it in 1995, major magazines and newspapers and the Israeli ambassador commented positively on my research." The only other chance I have had to talk with Mylroie came last February, when we both appeared on Canadian television to discuss the impending war. "Listen," she declared, "we're going to war because President Bush believes Saddam was involved in 9/11. Al-Qaida is a front for Iraqi intelligence."

Towards the end of the interview, Mylroie became agitated, jabbing her finger at the camera: "There is a very acute chance as we go to war that Saddam will use biological agents against Americans, that there will be anthrax in the US and smallpox in the US. Are you in Canada prepared for Americans who have smallpox and do not know it crossing the border?"

Such hyperbole is emblematic of Mylroie's method. She has said that Terry Nichols, one of the Oklahoma City plotters, was in league with Ramzi Yousef, the supposed Iraqi agent. The federal judge who presided over the Oklahoma case ruled this theory inadmissible. Mylroie implicates Iraq in the 1996 bombing of a US military facility in Saudi Arabia that killed 19 servicemen. In 2001, a grand jury indicted members of Saudi Hezbollah, a group with ties to Iran. Mylroie suggests that the attacks on US embassies in Africa in 1998 were "the work of Bin Laden and Iraq". An investigation uncovered no connection. Mylroie has written that the crash of TWA flight 800 in 1996 was probably an Iraqi plot; a two-year investigation found it was an accident. Saddam is guilty of many crimes, but there is no evidence linking him to any act of anti-US terrorism for a decade, while there is a mountain of evidence against al-Qaida.

Mylroie has also recently taken on the role of defender of Ahmed Chalabi, the head of the Iraqi National Congress, who is accused of providing fraudulent information about Iraq's WMD programme and passing intelligence to Iran. In May, in the conservative newspaper the New York Sun, Mylroie described Chalabi as the victim of a "longstanding grudge" by the CIA.

Mylroie's theories have bolstered the argument that led us into a costly war in Iraq, and swayed key opinion-makers in the Bush administration, who in turn persuaded Americans that the Iraqi dictator had a role in the 9/11 attacks. In November Mylroie told Newsweek: "I take satisfaction that we went to war with Iraq and got rid of Saddam Hussein. The rest is details." Now she tells us.

· Peter Bergen is a fellow of the New America Foundation in Washington DC and adjunct professor, school of advanced international studies, at Johns Hopkins University. He is the author of "Holy War, Inc.: inside the Secret World of Osama bin Laden".

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Supreme leader says 'If anyone invades our nation, we will jeopardize their interests around the world,

Oriental Carpets: 07/04/2004 - 07/10/2004: "Supreme leader says 'If anyone invades our nation, we will jeopardize their interests around the world,'
albawaba.com: Supreme leader says Iran can damage interests of ''any invader'': 'Supreme leader says Iran can damage interests of ''any invader''
05-07-2004, 12:12


In comments directed at Washington, Iran's supreme leader warned Monday that his country can damage the interests of any invader, state-run Tehran television reported.

'The United States says that we have endangered their interests,' Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told a crowd of thousands on a visit to the city of Hamedan in western Iran. 'If anyone invades our nation, we will jeopardize their interests around the world,' Khamenei warned.

Khamenei arrived Monday morning in Hamedan, which is located 337 km west of the capital Tehran, for the first time in his present capacity as Supreme Leader. According to IRNA, the Iranian leader was scheduled to inaugurate a number of infrastructure projects in the province. (albawaba.com) ' "

DefenseLINK News: Peter Flory A Man of Character

DefenseLINK News: U.S. Wary Of Iran's Nuclear Program, House Panel Told:

Peter Flory is a man to watch. He is known as a "A Man of Character". However he certainly was off base on his recent testimony to a House Panel. Maybe he needs to ask his sources why Shia Iran is backing Sunni Ansar al-Islam? Flory does not seem like the sort of fellow who would buy into the Likudnik Paranoia that his boss Wolfowitz thrieves upon. Maybe he just relied on bad sources. Still, he should know better. JBOC

"Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Peter Flory, who accompanied Bolton at the hearing, noted that Iranian procurement of nuclear weapons would 'mark a dramatic change for the worse in the security landscape of the Persian Gulf and the broader Middle East.'
A nuclear-armed Iran, Flory pointed out, would threaten American allies in the Persian Gulf-Middle East region as well as U.S. forces.
In the post-9/11 world, 'nothing is unthinkable,' Flory emphasized, including the possibility of a nuclear-armed Iran exporting nuclear technology to other enemies of the United States. 'Flory pointed out that Iran is supporting the Sunni Muslim extremist group Ansar al-Islam in Iraq. "

Rafsanjani: Iraqi interim gov`t should pave way for free elections

Oriental Carpets: 07/04/2004 - 07/10/2004: "Monday, July 05, 2004
Rafsanjani: Iraqi interim gov`t should pave way for free elections
Rafsanjani:Iraqi interim gov`t should pave way for free elections: 'Rafsanjani: Iraqi interim gov`t should pave way for free elections

Tehran, July 5, IRNA-- Chairman of the Expediency Council Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said here Sunday evening that the Iraqi interim government should prepare the necessary arrangements for a free and broad-based elections in that country.

Rafsanjani made the remark in a meeting with the visiting UN special envoy to Iraq, Lakhdar Brahimi, who is currently here to discuss the latest regional developments. Describing Saddam`s trial as a put-up job, Rafsanjani said the process of this court and ignoring the legitimate rights of Iran in Saddam`s indictment regarding the crimes committed by his regime against the Iranian nation do not correspond with the spirit of the Iraqi people`s sovereignty over their fate.

This is an indication of 'direct and practical US interference', he said. 'It is the duty of the United Nations not to let the rights of the Iranian nation be trampled on,' he said. Earlier, Rafsanjani said in his Friday Prayer s"

Israel News : Jerusalem Post Internet Edition

Israel News : Jerusalem Post Internet Edition: "Russia: Fighter sent to intercept Pakistani plane
By ASSOCIATED PRESS

The Russian military scrambled a fighter jet to intercept a Pakistani passenger airliner that had illegally entered Russia, the Air Force said Monday.
The Pakistani Airlines B-763 airplane entered Russian airspace Sunday on a flight from Lahore, Pakistan, to Manchester, England, the Air Force said.
'The airplane did not ask for permission to enter Russian airspace,' Air Force spokesman Col. Alexander Drobyshevsky was quoted as telling the Interfax-Military News Agency. 'A MiG-29 fighter was sent up to intercept this airplane and make it leave Russia's airspace.'
Interfax reported that two civilian air controllers had been instructed by the military air traffic control center to turn back the plane, but when they failed to follow the order, the fighter jet was scrambled.
Interfax said both civilian air traffic controllers have been suspended, and a special commission has been set up to investigate. "

Rafsanjani: Iraqi interim gov`t should pave way for free elections

Rafsanjani:Iraqi interim gov`t should pave way for free elections: "Rafsanjani: Iraqi interim gov`t should pave way for free elections

Tehran, July 5, IRNA-- Chairman of the Expediency Council Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said here Sunday evening that the Iraqi interim government should prepare the necessary arrangements for a free and broad-based elections in that country.

Rafsanjani made the remark in a meeting with the visiting UN special envoy to Iraq, Lakhdar Brahimi, who is currently here to discuss the latest regional developments. Describing Saddam`s trial as a put-up job, Rafsanjani said the process of this court and ignoring the legitimate rights of Iran in Saddam`s indictment regarding the crimes committed by his regime against the Iranian nation do not correspond with the spirit of the Iraqi people`s sovereignty over their fate.

This is an indication of "direct and practical US interference", he said. "It is the duty of the United Nations not to let the rights of the Iranian nation be trampled on," he said. Earlier, Rafsanjani said in his Friday Prayer sermons that the weakest point in Saddam`s trial is that his crimes against Iran have not been included in his indictment. "Is the fact that there are currently 100,000 Iranians suffering from chemical wounds ... not the result of Saddam`s crimes?," he asked.

If the Iraqi court refuses to deal with this issue, then this shows that the US has ordered the case to be so. This is because Saddam`s war on Kuwait has been raised while his war on Iran has not been included in his indictment, he noted. Meanwhile, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi said here Sunday Iran will file a complaint with the court trying Saddam Hussein on the crimes he committed against the Iranian nation. Referring to the future elections in Iraq, the Expediency Council chairman said holding free elections should be given top priority in the trend of activities in the country. Any move to postpone the elections in Iraq would create more problems, Rafsanjani stressed.

He also laid emphasis on reinforcing the UN role in Iraq and preparing grounds for speeding up withdrawal of the occupying forces from that country. Rafsanjani went on to say that Iran will support holding broad-based elections in Iraq and accelerating transfer of power in the country so that it would enable the Iraqi people to obtain full sovereignty over their country and its natural resources. Any decision made for the Iraqi people without considering the realities of that country would bear no positive results, the chairman warned.

He stressed the importance of an active role played by Iraq`s neighboring countries to restore security and stability in that country. The UN envoy described as very complicated the situation in Iraq and briefed Rafsanjani on UN plans for Baghdad. Iraqi people have suffered great hardships as a result of two wars waged against Iran and Kuwait and the US invasion under Saddam`s dictatorial rule, he said adding it can be said for short that Iraq has been really demolished.

Criticizing the occupiers` policies in Iraq and the contradictory policy they have been following in that country, Brahimi noted that anarchy and absence of organization is clearly visible in Iraq. The UN special envoy added that Iraq`s neighboring countries should find a united approach so that it would give assurance to the Iraqi nation.

People of Iraq are pessimistic toward the policies adopted and slogans given by the occupying forces and believe that they (the occupying forces) are after their own interests and not after liberalization of the Iraqi people or destroying weapons of mass destruction.

Brahimi described Tehran`s stands toward Baghdad as positive and praised Iran`s efforts aimed at helping to restore peace and stability in the country.

FM Appears Before Iran Majlis Commission

Persian Journal Iran News - Latest Iran News, news Tehran Iranian News persian news web site sport irani news iranians site farsi women sport woman, newspaper football: "FM Appears Before Iran Majlis Commission
Jul 5, 2004, 10:07
IRNA
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Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi appeared before the Majlis National Security Commission to respond to the queries raised by six lawmakers on the issue of Iran's nuclear program, Iran-EU ties and payment of war reparation by Iraq.

Deputy Head of Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Mahmoud Mohammadi told IRNA that the questions about the United Nations nuclear watchdog and Iran-EU ties are on this week's agenda of the commission. "The MPs asked Kharrazi to brief them on the role of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the process of Iran's negotiations with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Meanwhile, Iran's policy towards Europe has not been so successful as expected," he added. Mohammadi added that as a result, despite Iran's full cooperation with IAEA, Europe did not take a just and proper approach towards the issue. The MP from Ardebil, Noureddin Piramoun, submitted a copy of the questions raised by him to IRNA reporter.

The procedure selected by the Foreign Ministry for restoration of the violated rights of the Iranian nation during the Iraqi-imposed war was one of the questions listed by Piramoun. The MP also questioned the reason the Foreign Ministry did not ask for war reparation immediately after the end of Iran-Iraq war and during Saddam Hussein's rule. He further expressed his surprise that the claim for war reparation has been brought up at this point of time when the former President Saddam Hussein is just a miserable prisoner. "

Haddad-Adel on UN in Iraq and Elections in Afghanistan

Description of Selected News: "UN Should Play Greater Role In Region: Haddad-Adel


TEHRAN (IRNA) -- Majlis Speaker Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel said on Sunday that the role being played by the UN should be strengthened to solve the current tension in the region.

In a meeting with UN special envoy on Iraq Lakhdar Brahimi, he stressed that Iran's principled policy is based on expanding cooperation with neighboring countries in order to restore peace and stability.

"The bitter experiences of the past prove that if the UN is marginalized, the world will face more problems," added the Majlis speaker.

On the trial of former Iraqi President Saddam Hossein, he expressed concern that the crimes committed by Saddam against Iran during the eight-year imposed war might be overlooked.

Haddad Adel went on to say that the Iranian nation follows up the current Iraq developments closely.

The Iranian official underscored that Saddam's trial is a test to prove the honesty of claims made by those who have occupied Iraq.

Saddam appeared in court on Thursday to hear the charges on which he will stand trial.

Regarding the rights of the Shi'ites in Iraq, Haddad Adel said hat their rights should be respected in Iraq's future structure of power.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Haddad Adel pointed to the developments in Afghanistan and stressed the need for holding elections in the country at earliest possible time. He expressed hope "we will witness an Afghanistan free from the threats of Al-Qaeda and Taliban very soon."

He recalled Iran's effective role in combating illicit drugs and expressed concern about puppy cultivation in Afghanistan.

The UN special envoy also appreciated Iran's positive role in the developments in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Brahimi said that the United Nations attaches importance to consultations with Iran on regional developments. He recalled Iran-UN constructive cooperation in resolving Afghan crisis, saying "we call for the continuation of cooperation by Iran to resolve the existing crisis in Afghanistan."

The UN official appreciated the Iranian nation's hospitality to Afghan refugees in recent years as well as Iran's serious attention to combat illicit drugs."

Pravda.RU Russian Security Council Secretary visits Iran

Pravda.RU Russian Security Council Secretary visits Iran: "Russian Security Council Secretary visits Iran

11:31 2004-07-05
Russian Security Council Secretary Igor Ivanov who arrived in Iran yesterday and Hasan Rowhani, Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, met to discuss issues of regional and international security.

"The conferees focused on issues of regional and international security. They discussed efforts against terrorism, drug production and trafficking," a diplomatic source said on Monday.

The conferees also discussed guidelines for the development of Russian-Iranian relations in different areas.

On Monday, Mr Ivanov is expected to meet in talks with Kamal Kharazi, the host country's Foreign Minister, and Hoddad Adel, Chairman of Mejlis, Iranian parliament.

Russian-Iranian cooperation in the nuclear sphere will also be touched on at Teheran meetings. It gained momentum after the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) adopted a resolution, in June, on the report delivered by IAEA General Director Mohamed ElBaradei on the Iranian "nuclear dossier." Teheran qualified the resolution as anti-Iranian and the one adopted under pressure from Washington, its dire foe. Teheran also accused Great Britain, France and Germany of non-compliance with available agreements and announced an intention to resume uranium enrichment that had been reportedly suspended under the agreements. Although the agency criticised Iran in the resolution for the insufficient transparency and openness of its nuclear programmes, particularly for failing to provide full information on the scale of the country's activities in enriching uranium in laser centrifuges, which is most dangerous international analysts believe, the "Iranian dossier" was not handed over to the United Nations Security Council for consideration and no relevant sanctions were imposed on Iran.

The IAEA does not seem to worry much about Russian-Iranian cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear power. Mr ElBaradei said in Moscow recently that the problem did not stand high on the agency's priority list, furthermore so as Iran had signed the Additional Protocol to the Non-proliferation Treaty and agreed to return spent nuclear fuel to Russia. (Russian specialists have been building a nuclear power plant in Bushehr, southern Iran, since the mid 1990s)."

Bashar al-Assad Arrives - Tehran-Damascus Talks Start

Description of Selected News: "Iran and Syria Hold Fateful Discussions

By Hassan Hanizadeh
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad arrived in Tehran heading a high-ranking delegation on Sunday to meet and hold talks with Iranian officials.

Assad’s trip to Iran is very important at this critical juncture.

After the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran the two countries established extensive relations due to their common geopolitical interests. Iran and Syria have been exchanging views on significant regional affairs ever since.

At the time, Syria’s former president, the late Hafiz Assad, who was a prominent figure in the Arab world, was the first Arab leader to realize the significance of the Islamic Revolution of Iran and referred to it as the Arabs’ strategic depth.

During the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war, Assad defended Iran’s justified stance. At all the gatherings and summits of Arab leaders he attended, Assad always said that Iraq’s invasion of Iran was in line with the objectives of the Zionist regime.

Due to their similar stances, the two important regional countries of Iran and Syria established a united front against the expansionist policies of the Zionist regime.

In response, Israel, with the support of the United States, attempted to undermine Tehran-Damascus relations. However, during the 1980s and 1990s, Iranian and Syrian leaders held frequent consultations due to the imposed Iran-Iraq war, Israel’s invasion of southern Lebanon in 1982, and the infamous Oslo Accords, and the vigilance and insight of the two countries’ officials neutralized the plots.

Now that the region is going through a difficult time, it is essential that Iran, Syria, and Lebanon hold intense consultations in order to thwart the threats against the region.

The U.S. economic sanctions on Syria, Israel’s extensive attacks against the Palestinian nation, the Zionist regime’s threats against Lebanon and Syria, the situation in Iraq, and the U.S. Greater Middle East Initiative are some of the issues that were discussed by Iranian and Syrian officials.

Since Syria is still on the frontline of the anti-Zionist struggle, Iran should strengthen its ties with the country in order to help limit the Zionist regime’s influence in the region and prevent the implementation of plans that oppress regional Muslims and Palestinians."

Iran fires Prison Guard over torture [July 05, 2004]

The Australian: Iran fires guard over torture [July 05, 2004]: "Iran fires guard over torture
From correspondents in Tehran
July 05, 2004
THE director of a prison in southern Iran has been dismissed after an inmate was hung from the ceiling for hours and had to have his hands amputated as a result.

According to Shargh newspaper, a 21-year-old man detained for drug dealing in the town of Dezful was handcuffed to the ceiling with only his toes touching the floor. Prison guards then 'forgot' about him.
After being taken down, the prisoner was rushed to hospital suffering from numb hands and torn nerves. Doctors were forced to amputate both hands on June 15.
The newspaper said one prison staff member had been detained, while the Dezful prison confirmed that its director had also been dismissed.
Officials said members of the Iranian parliament's national security and foreign affairs commission would visit the prison. "

Gholam shire'i: Saddam's Trial Also a Trial of Bush's Administration

Persian Journal Iran News - Latest Iran News, news Tehran Iranian News persian news web site sport irani news iranians site farsi women sport woman, newspaper football: "Gholam shire'i: Saddam's Trial Also a Trial of Bush's Administration
Jul 5, 2004, 09:56

Majlis Speaker Gholamali Haddad-Adel known as Gholam shire'i in Majlis said here yesterday that the trial of Saddam Hussein will also be a trial of the Bush administration.

Addressing an open session of Majlis, he stressed that if the trial turns out to be anything other than fair, the world will judge Washington instead for its deception.

Saddam has long been condemned by all freedom-loving peoples of the world, particularly those whom he has victimized -- the Iranians, Iraqis and Kuwaitis, he added. The 1980-88 war he imposed on Iran and the tremendous suffering caused to the Iranian nation constitute one of the most serious crimes for which the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein should be held accountable, the Iranian Majlis speaker contended.

All freedom-loving peoples of the world, particularly the families of martyrs of the imposed war and all deputies to the seventh Majlis, now expect Saddam's trial to be fair and not a farce because they are waiting for the outcome of this trial, Gholam shire'i said. "

Iran to Become Regional Telecom Center

Persian Journal Iran News - Latest Iran News, news Tehran Iranian News persian news web site sport irani news iranians site farsi women sport woman, newspaper football: "Iran to Become Regional Telecom Center
Jul 5, 2004, 10:09

Iran is determined to become the regional center for telecommunications development after it holds an international seminar later this month.

Secretary-General of the International Telecommunications Union Yoshio Otsumi will also attend the seminar. Senior managers from telecom companies will come to Tehran to participate in the seminar - Tehran Telecoms. The international event is held every year in the world and this time Tehran hosts it. The event can help Iran boost its cooperation with the international telecommunication centers. "

top Russian official due in Iran to Nuclear Project back on track

Persian Journal Iran News - Latest Iran News, news Tehran Iranian News persian news web site sport irani news iranians site farsi women sport woman, newspaper football: "Russian top official due to Iran
Jul 5, 2004, 15:28

Russia Security Council Secretary Igor Ivanov will visit Teheran Sunday for talks with his Iranian counterpart that Russian media sources said were aimed at defusing ongoing tensions between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).


Ivanov will meet with chief Iranian nuclear negotiator and supreme national security council head mullah Rowhani and try to persuade Teheran to cooperate with the Vienna-based United Nations nuclear watchdog.

Central to the talks is the issue of a joint Iran-Russia nuclear power plant project in the southern Persian Gulf port of Bushehr, currently stalled due to the continuing Iran-IAEA spat. "