Friday, August 06, 2004

Iran Cultural Attaches to Convene in Tehran

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 Cultural Attaches to Convene in Tehran
Aug 6, 2004, 17:45

Iranian cultural Attaches abroad are to convene in Tehran this week. The fifth Conference of Cultural Attaches abroad is to be held in Tehran on August 7. The Islamic Culture and Communication Organization (ICCO) has sponsored the conference. Majlis Speaker Gholam Ali Haddad Adel is due to deliver a speech in the inaugural ceremony, reported IRNA.

The Secretary of the conference Ali Mohammad Helmi said on Thursday that Iranian cultural representatives from 60 countries are to attend the eight-day conference. On top of the agenda is the 20-year strategy plan for economic development, by which the Economy is to be liberated and financial institutes are to be privatized in the next 20 years, gradual terminating the monopoly the government has had upon the economic sector since the Islamic revolution. The conference will also study the performance of Iran's cultural in the past two years along with the latest regional and international culture developments and technical potentials of cultural planning. Iranian cultural attaches are due to meet Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei and President Mohammad Khatami and visit economic, scientific and cultural projects during their stay. "

Gulf Daily News

Gulf Daily News: "Rafsanjani warns over Najaf offensive
TEHRAN: Influential former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani warned the United States yesterday that its two-day offensive in the Iraqi Shi'ite Muslim holy city of Najaf might prompt suicide bombings.
'Every day you bomb, kill, jail, torture and destroy the homes of people in Palestine and in Iraq,' Rafsanjani told worshippers at the main weekly Muslim prayers in Tehran.
'Just the other day for the second time, you bombed the city of Najaf and targeted the mausoleum of Imam Ali,' he said, referring to the city's holiest shrine.
'There are angry, hurt and faithful people who are ready to sacrifice and blow themselves up to fight against tyrants,' Rafsanjani warned, to the customary chants of 'Death to America' from the congregation. 'Millions of hearts are bleeding,' he said.
Rafsanjani, who now chairs the Expediency Council - Iran's final arbiter of legislation - again mocked the rationale for last year's US-led invasion of Iraq.
'They came to become the king of oil and take as much cheap crude as they want from wells in the Persian Gulf but they ended up doubling the oil price from $23 (BD8.7) a barrel to $44 (BD16.6) to $45 (BD17),' he said.
Iran has provided no support to the Shi'ite radical militiamen who have battled US-led troops across central and southern Iraq since Thursday, favouring instead the mainstream Shi'ite religious parties, which have so far co-operated with the US-backed interim government." - US Support of MKO Proves its Dishonesty - US Support of MKO Proves its Dishonesty: "US Support of MKO Proves its Dishonesty

Abdul Aziz Al-Hakim, the head of SCIRI (supreme council for Islamic Revolution of Iraq), in an interview with Al-Hurra TV channel, said recent US support of Mojahedin-e Khalq is an example of this country's untruth in handing power to Iraqi people.

Al-Hurra correspondent: what's your opinion about Washington's recent decision on supporting Mojahedin-e Khalq?

Abdul Aziz Al-Hakim: in the conference of anti-Saddam groups in London, we decided to disband all terrorist groups in Iraq. Saddam regime had turned Iraq to safe haven for terrorists, particularly for MKO and PKK.

Mojahedin treated Iraqi people violently. We have several mass graves in Iraq made by Mojahedin-e Khalq but the policy of the US- which is responsible for many current problems- toward this group is wrong. The US should take the responsibility for supporting this group. I stress once again that this is not a good act and shows that Americans were not honest in handing the power and sovereignty to Iraqis.

Correspondent: what's the stance of SCIRI toward the neighboring countries' concerns about political situation in Iraq?

Hakim: I had warned a few months ago that if terrorist groups remain in Iraq, they will get to the neighboring countries. So, neighbors are always concerned about the political future of Iraq. This concern is not related to the people of Iraq or people in those countries, it is about the fear of Iraq's turning to a big haven for terrorists and murderers."

Farah Stockman and the Boston Globe support Terrorism / News / World / Unease builds with rise of Iran:

Farah Stockman wrote an article "Unease builds with rise of Iran" and cited a representative of an organization which US State Department has listed as a Terrorist organization. I wrote to her and she knew of his terrorist ties and she does not feel this is important. When a staff reporter of a major newspaper cites a terrorist group and does not mention the terrorist ties then she is lending aid and comfort to the enemy. Terrorists are the enemies of every moral person. National Council of Resistance of Iran is part of the MKO an ultra-violent Marxist/Islamic group. Farah Stockman and the Boston Globe have placed themselves in union with Terrorists.

Farah Stockman wrote:
"Members of the Iranian opposition warned repeatedly of the dangers of fundamentalists coming from Iran,' said Ali Safavi, a former member of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, an opposition group with strong ties to militants"

Former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani on latest ''US terror threats'' Former Iranian president mocks latest ''US terror threats'': "Former Iranian president mocks latest ''US terror threats''
06-08-2004, 14:51

Former Iranian president and Expediency Council Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani on Friday urged the West to revise its current policy, given that it will not lead to tranquility.

Speaking at the weekly Friday prayers gathering in Tehran University campus, he called on the West to think about the actual reasons for the current situation.

"The crimes committed in Palestine make the human conscience suffer and what is going on in Iraq, such as Thursday attack on the holy city of Najaf harboring Imam Ali's (as) shrine breaks the human hearts."

Meanwhile, Israel which threatens the entire region is authorized to have nuclear weapons and kill the innocent people because of the double standards in the West's behaviour, the former leader added.

He added that the world powers themselves expect to be secure in their "glass houses" while the world people are insecure, and they wish to promote security in Israel, but not in Palestine.

"Both the Democrats and Republicans in the US have launched propaganda on such issues to their benefit when it comes to presidential elections, he conveyed.

According to IRNA, he said that a Pakistani guerrilla possessing some maps dating back to before the September 11 attacks disturbed the US and led to switching their security status from yellow to orange, a situation which brought shame on them.

Rafsanjani further noted that the US-led troops attacked Iraq with the intention of having full access to the Persian Gulf oil reserves and become the "king of oil."

However, against their will, the oil price almost doubled from its former rate of 24 dollars per barrel, he added. ("

Rafsanjani Says U.S. Paying for Wrong Policies in Mideast

Top News Article | "Iran Says U.S. Paying for Wrong Policies in Mideast

TEHRAN (Reuters) - The United States is paying the price for its mistaken Middle East policies with high oil prices and security scares at home, an influential Iranian cleric said on Friday.
Former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the head a top advisory body to Iran's most powerful figure, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said Washington only had itself to blame.
'With what you do in Palestine and Iraq ... how do you expect those who can, not to hit back at you?' he said in a Friday prayers sermon broadcast live on state radio.
'Eventually there will be dissatisfied, angry, righteous people as a result of such oppression, people who will use every opportunity to retaliate,' Rafsanjani said.
He said record high oil prices had also been caused by U.S. policies in the region.
'They came to the Persian Gulf to become the king of oil and control it, but contrary to their expectations, oil prices doubled,' Rafsanjani said. 'Calm cannot be restored to the world like this, they must revise their policies.'
Washington accuses Tehran of supporting terrorism and trying to build a nuclear arsenal. Iran denies the charges.
Washington severed relations with Iran after radical Iranian students seized the U.S. embassy in Tehran in 1979 and took dozens of diplomats hostage. "

Worker-communist view of Regime change in Iran, Maryam Namazie

THE IRANIA: Regime change in Iran?, Maryam Namazie: "Taming the turban
U.S. policy does not call for regime change in Iran

August 6, 2004

Transcript of a program on TV International English which aired July 26, 2004.

Maryam Namazie: George Bush has pledged that if re-elected he will bring regime change in Iran. He has labelled Iran as one of three in an axis of evil. I want to ask the question that is on everyone's mind - Is Iran Next? Noam Chomsky has pointed out Iraq is merely a footnote in the USA's colonial adventure, while Iran is the "grand prize". What's your analysis?

Hamid Taghvaee: I don't think this is the case, not because the USA's foreign policy is different towards Iran versus Iraq but because the political situation in Iran is completely different from its neighbouring countries such as Afghanistan or Iraq. I don't think that they can do in Iran what they have done in Iraq, mainly because in Iran people are on the streets.

There is a mass movement against the Islamic Republic of Iran, which is leftist, radical and against what the USA plans to maintain in the region. All their talk is just part of the game of diplomacy and a piece in the USA's foreign policy in the Middle East; it has nothing to do with toppling the Islamic regime of Iran.

Namazie: So when we hear the 9/11 Commission has reported links between Iran and Al Qaeda for example, are these part of this game like the issue of WMD in Iraq?

Taghvaee: The diplomatic tango between the USA and the Islamic regime in Iran has been going on for years. The USA's main problems in the region are Iraq first and then Palestine; Iran is somehow involved in both of them. Therefore, they are aiming to tame the Islamic regime by giving it a place in their foreign policy. This is the reason behind the pressure they are exerting on Iran; it is not an effort to change the whole political situation in Iran.

I don't think that the USA can afford another country like Afghanistan and Iraq in the region especially in a country like Iran. They want to keep the 'peace' there while simultaneously ensuring that the Islamic regime stays in line with their foreign policy. When they raise issues like human rights, nuclear weapons, WMD, or relations with Al Qaeda, these are merely pieces in the puzzle of their foreign policy towards Iran with the goal of taming the regime not changing it.

Namazie: You have said that they can't do in Iran what they have done in Iraq. But we see Republican Senator Sam Brownback plans to introduce an Iran liberation act in the northern autumn, modelled on the Iraq Liberation Act that mandated regime change in Baghdad. Why can't they do the same? You said the difference is that people are in the streets. Can you explain that?

Taghvaee: To do the same in Iran would begin a chain of events in Iran that will be out of the USA's control. In that chain of events, the people will play a very important role. This has not been the case in Iraq before the start of the war. In Iran, they know it's the opposite. A few days after their attack on Iraq, they mentioned regime change in Iran but had to stop saying so soon after because of the strong opposition in Iran against that regime.

The USA administration understood that they couldn't follow this line in Iran. As I said, they know there is a radical Left movement in Iran against religion, against the Islamic regime, for democratic rights, and for demands that the USA cannot afford in the region. If such a movement comes forth and gains momentum, then the USA wouldn't be able to control Iraq, Afghanistan or any country for that matter. Effectively, they don't want this to happen in Iran. Any such talk is therefore in my opinion a game of diplomacy.

Namazie: A USA official, speaking on condition of anonymity, has said that their intervention will be different that that in Iraq. It won't be a military action, but rather that the US would work to stir revolts in the country and hope to topple it. You're saying there is a movement on the streets to overthrow the regime so how would this be explained then?

Taghvaee: They are not referring to the movement I am. I am referring to a people's movement and intervention from below whilst there are speaking of intervention from above such as a military coup or some form of toppling of the regime that will bring the right wing opposition to power. But they are not even serious about this. If they organise a coup, they will still not be able to control the chain of events that follow, including a mass movement against the resulting government.

Namazie: If it's a question of control, they have no control in Afghanistan or Iraq but they go ahead and intervene anyway. Isn't that so?

Taghvaee: They might make mistakes but we are talking about the logic of their policy as far as the interests of the USA government are concerned, i.e. what is strategic to their interests. It doesn't mean they will always follow logic. If they are realistic, if they analyse Iran as it is, they will then understand that it is different from Iraq and Afghanistan. There is a section in the USA government that refers to this. The main difference in the situation in Iran is the role of the people in any future intervention.

Namazie: We're seeing two perspectives in the USA administration - one calling for regime change and another for relations with Iran e.g. the Council of Foreign Relations task force, led by Zbigniew Brzezinski, and saying that there is no chance for the regime to be toppled. What's your analysis on this? What side will or should win, if any?

Taghvaee: It proves my point; that this is all part of their foreign policy and a game of diplomacy. It's all about the balance of power between the USA and the Islamic regime of Iran. They have been playing this game for a long time. There are many other views on Iran and depending on the situation, they will adopt one of them. Which of these positions are better for the Iranian people? Clearly, none. None of them have anything to do with what people want and what they are fighting for and have been fighting for years now. The Islamic regime should not be recognised by other states, especially Western ones. It should be condemned as a criminal regime.

Namazie: Where should progressive forces stand?

Taghvaee: People should be on our side, the side of the Worker-communist Party of Iran. We represent the Left in that country, which is very powerful. Leftist ideas and goals are popular and the movement to overthrow the regime has been leaning towards the Left. Today, we have a mass movement fighting for a modern and civilised life, women's liberation, against religion. Those goals and ideas are very different than we see is happening in Iraq or Afghanistan. This must be supported.

Maryam Namazie is the host of TV International English, Executive Director of the International Federation of Iranian Refugees and Director of the International Relations Committee of the Worker-communist Party of Iran."


New York Post Online Edition: postopinion: "IN SEARCH OF AN IRAN POLICY

August 6, 2004 -- AS if trying to add a last- minute item to a banquet menu, the Bush adminis tration is busy concocting an "Iran policy" for this month's Republican Party convention.
In recent weeks, the administration has solicited input from many experts and Iranian-Americans. There are no signs, however, that the end product will amount to a blueprint for dealing with a problem set to dominate America's Middle East policy for years.

To some, it may be news that the first Bush administration is drawing to a close without having worked out a policy outline on Iran. Many will be surprised that National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and her team have produced National Security Directives (the standard guidelines on policy) on more than 70 countries, but none on Iran.

The reason for this paralysis is the Bush administration's divisions over an analysis of the problem, not to mention possible solutions.

Early in his presidency, Bush included Iran in an "Axis of Evil," and came close to committing himself to regime change there.

The Pentagon supported that position. The State Department, however, retained the analysis made in the final year of the Clinton administration, which saw Iran as "something of a democracy" with which the United States must seek "positive engagement." The National Security Council avoided taking sides by refusing even to commission a paper on Iran.

The policy vacuum has encouraged some Republicans to try to commit the United States to regime change in Iran through legislation, as happened with Iraq during the Clinton administration. Meanwhile, some Democrats have tried to exploit the Bush administration's lack of policy by promoting rapprochement with Tehran.

This is in sync with Sen. John Kerry's long-held views. In a conversation on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, almost two years ago, Kerry spoke of his desire to "engage Iran in a constructive dialogue." Last December, in an address to the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in New York, Kerry promised to adopt "a realistic, non-confrontational policy with Iran," ultimately leading to normalization "just as I was prepared to normalize relations with Vietnam, a decade ago."

Last month, the CFR endorsed Kerry's position in a report on Iran produced by a Task Force led by President Jimmy Carter's National Security Adviser Zbigniew Bzrezinski and former CIA Director Robert Gates. The report amounts to an attempt at reopening Iran to U.S. oil, aircraft, and construction companies.

Yet both sets of advocates — of regime change and of détente — base their different strategies on a fundamental misunderstanding of the situation in Iran.

Advocates of "regime change" claim that the Islamic Republic is on the verge of collapse and that what is needed is an extra push from America.. The promoters of détente insist that the Khomeinist regime is "solidly entrenched" and that Iran is "not on the brink of revolutionary upheaval."

Both are mistaken because they see Iran as a frame-freeze, ignoring the realities of a dynamic political life. The "overthrow" party underestimates the resilience of a regime that is prepared to kill in large numbers while buying support thanks to rising oil revenues. The détente party, on the other hand, underestimates the growing power of the movement for change in Iran.

Both camps also ignore the dialectics of the Irano-American relations. The "overthrow" party ignores the fact that improving relations with Washington could help the regime solve many of its economic and diplomatic problems, thus strengthening its position. The détente camp fails to acknowledge that a U.S. commitment to help the pro-reform movement win power in Iran could alter "the solidly entrenched" position of the Khomeinists and encourage "revolutionary upheaval."

In other words, any U.S. action, or inaction, could help alter the picture in Iran.

Both the "overthrow" and the détente camps in Washington see Iran through the prism that was used for determining policy on Iraq under Saddam Hussein. But the Iranian system is not dependent on an individual and his clan. There are internal mechanisms for change — mechanisms which, if helped to function properly, could produce the changes desired both by the people of Iran and the major democracies led by the United States.

Iraq was a tete-à-tete between Saddam and Washington. Iran is a triangle in which the Iranian people, the Khomeinist regime and the United States have different, at time complementary and at others contradictory, interests and aspirations.

Whatever the outcome of the coming U.S. presidential election, Washington cannot equivocate on Iran much longer.

Anyone with knowledge of Iran would know that a majority of the Iranian people are unhappy with the status quo. America shares that discontented, albeit for different reasons. The reasons for U.S. discontent cannot be eliminated by endorsing the status quo in the name of détente: Instead, that would help consolidate the regime, and policies, that caused the discontent in the first place.

The Iranian people and the United States share an interest in promoting change in Tehran. But that shared interest does not mean that the people of Iran would give Washington carte blanche for regime change.

Iran is passing through a phase experienced by virtually all nations that have emerged from a major political revolution. In such a phase, the divergent interests of the state and the revolution come into conflict.

Any student of Iranian politics would know that today there are two Irans. One embodies the Khomeinist revolution that controls the instruments of power; the other represents the Iranian nation-state as shaped over the past 400 years.

In some cases the interests of the two coincide; in many more they diverge.

Today, Iran is one of only two countries in the Middle East (the other is Israel) where the United States enjoys popular support. The reason is that the U.S. is seen as the only major power not yet prepared to appease the Khomeinist regime.

Those who preach détente are, unwittingly perhaps, trying to appease the Khomeinists — an ultimately self-defeating task. If implemented, their policy could turn the people of Iran against the United States, thus, paradoxically, underpinning the regime's anti-American message.

Yet the "overthrow" scenario could also alienate the Iranian people by confirming the Khomeinist claim that the U.S. "imperialism" is out to impose its will, regardless of domestic popular movements.

Rather than hastily endorsing half-baked ideas to fill the vacuum on Iran, President Bush and Sen. Kerry should use the campaign for debating the issue at some depth, thus allowing a more realistic understanding of Iran to emerge as the basis of a serious policy. E-mail:"

Digital Chosunilbo (English Edition) : Daily News in English About Korea

Digital Chosunilbo (English Edition) : Daily News in English About Korea: Iran Tests Missiles for North Korea: U.S. Official
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A U.S. official said Friday that North Korea is developing a new ballistic missiles that could be armed with nuclear warheads, and Iran is conducting the technical experiments for North Korea.
The offical, requesting anonymity, said that after North Korea announced a freeze on missile testing, the nation has been sharing technology with Iran and testing it through proxy. He added that while North Korea is not conducting missile experiments on its own, it's nonsense for it to claim that it has frozen missile tests.

The official also said North Korea's missile development plan is based on Russian technology and there was a possibility that the North was still getting support from Russian scientists.

The U.S. has yet to get a detailed grasp of the North's missile development plans, however, and is placing much importance on finding out whether the missile are exactly patterned on Russian models and whether they could reach the United States.

On the other hand, the official insisted that there is no doubt North Korea is improving existing missile designs or making new missiles onto which it could place nuclear warheads.

He said North Korea may have secured technology for submarine-launched ballistic missiles, but it seems the nation does not yet possess the necessary missile platforms.

The man added that despite North Korea's lack of a missile platform, it may get one from another country, and it is pouring a huge amount of money into developing missiles, especially ballistic missiles."

10 Agreements Signed Between Azerbaijan and Iran "10 Agreements Signed Between Azerbaijan and Iran

Baku Today 06/08/2004 14:38

On Thursday Iranian President, Mohammad Khatami had a face-to-face meeting with Ilham Aliyev, President of Azerbaijan.

After the meeting behind closed doors, the two Presidents held a board meeting with the participation of governmental delegations, Assa-Irada reported on Friday.

The parties discussed opening of an Azerbaijani consulate in Tabriz, legal status of the Caspian and transportation of Iranian gas to Nakhchivan.

After the board meeting the parties signed several bilateral agreements on cooperation in different fields.

According to the agreement between Azerenergy and Iranian Export Development Bank, the latter will finance the Astara � Alibayramli - Imishli electricity transmission lines. Azerbaijani Gas Company (AzeriGaz) and Iranian National Gas Export Company signed bilateral agreement on exchange of gas fuels.

The parties also signed agreements on mutual understanding and cooperation in the fields of transportation, culture, ecology and borderline trade.

They also signed documents on cooperation between security and law enforcement bodies.

After the meeting the Presidents hold a press briefing for journalists.

Ilham Aliyev told journalists that they discussed several regional and international issues at the face-to-face meeting with Iranian President, ANS reported on Thursday.

Khatami said that the signed agreements prove the development of bilateral relations between Azerbaijan and Iran. Iranian President noted that soon Azerbaijan�s consulate will open in Tabriz, Assa Irada reported on Friday. "