Sunday, October 10, 2004

Iran denies to have welcomed Kerry's nuke offer

IranMania News: "Iran denies to have welcomed Kerry's nuke offer

Sunday, October 10, 2004 - ©2004

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LONDON, Oct 10 (IranMania) - A senior Iranian official Sunday denied a report which said Tehran would welcome Senator John Kerry`s proposal for a 'great bargain' to solve dispute over Iran's nuclear program, Iran's State News Agency (IRNA) reported.

"US presidential candidate John Kerry`s proposal is part of his electoral campaigning and we are not interested in being drawn into such issues," head of the foreign policy committee at Iran`s Supreme National Security Council Hossein Mousavian said.

Reuters news agency had quoted him as having welcomed the proposal, virtually made by vice presidential candidate Senator John Edwards.

Edwards had said that Kerry would be willing to supply Iran with nuclear fuel for power generation if Tehran abandons its own fuel-making capability and if Iran did not accept this offer, it would confirm Iran wanted to make an atom bomb.

In a fax sent to IRNA, Mousavian said, "Reuters news agency has filed a news as if I had welcomed Kerry`s proposal. "But we are rejecting direct negotiations with Washington about Iran`s nuclear program due to the United States` antagonistic policies.""

Russian Foreign Minister arrives in Iran to discuss international security

Russian Foreign Minister arrives in Iran to discuss international security: "Russian Foreign Minister arrives in Iran to discuss international security
Tehran, Oct 10, Itar-Tass/ACSNA/IRNA -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov arrived in Iran on Sunday to discuss 'issues of international security with an accent on the development of Russian-Iranian cooperation in struggle against terrorism'.
According to Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Alexeyev, Moscow and Tehran 'are guided by the need for honest (without double standards) cooperation in countering this evil'.

Iran's nuclear program will occupy a place of prominence at the talks in Iran. Russia stands out for 'active cooperation and transparency in relations between Tehran and IAEA'.

The Moscow position of principle is that Iran 'should develop the nuclear program within the regime of IAEA and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty'.

"We shall continue cooperation with Iran on this basis," the high- ranking Russian diplomat said.

Setting dates for an Iranian visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin will be one of aims of Lavrov's meetings. "There is an understanding that it will take place, but there is no exact date," Alexeyev noted.

The Russian minister will discuss prospects for economic cooperation between Iran and Russia in the Iranian capital.

"Efficient use of available opportunities will help to hurdle the last year's level of trade of 1.37 billion US dollars," the diplomat claimed.

In the opinion of the deputy minister, it will be necessary to single out bilateral documents for signing in this sphere.

Meetings in Iran will also discuss cooperation in the Caspian within the Five (Russia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan). A summit of Caspian states is planned to be called in Tehran in the near future.

The sides will examine a post-conflict setup in Afghanistan, restoration of Iraq and confidence-building measures in the Middle East and Asia.

Lavrov's visit program in Iran also includes talks with Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi, Secretary of the Supreme Council of National Security Hassan Rowhani and Parliament Speaker Haddad Adel.

The Russian minister plans to visit the former Persian capital and the present cultural center of Iran -- the unique city of Isfahan. It is famous not only for its historical monuments, but also for the fact that the Iranian center of nuclear technologies is situated in its suburbs."

Russia, Iran interested in stability in Transcaucasia

ITAR-TASS: "Russia, Iran interested in stability in Transcaucasia

10.10.2004, 15.21

TEHERAN, October 10 (Itar-Tass) - Russia and Iran are interested in stability in Transcaucasia, said on Sunday Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on his arrival in Teheran.

“Both Russia and Iran are equally interested in preventing the use of this region by terrorists and extremists of various hues,” the Russian minister emphasized. “Our positions are very close on this point.” According to the minister, this topic will prevail at the talks with his Iranian counterpart Kamal Kharrazi. The sides will also examine the situation in the Middle East, the Persian Gulf and Central Asia. Lavrov pointed to “a high intensity of the political dialogue between Moscow and Teheran”." How our neocon leaders got conned into fighting Iran's war How our neocon leaders got conned into fighting Iran's war: "How our neocon leaders got conned into fighting Iran's war

Oct. 9, 2004 3:24 p.m.
Judging from the latest opinion polls, few Americans seem to be aware that we have just witnessed the greatest scam ever perpetrated on a sovereign nation, in this case their own country.

The history of this scam was given thorough coverage in the European press. It received practically no coverage in American media.

This whole tragic episode began with Dick Cheney and his cohorts who wrote the "Project for The New American Century" in 1997, an 87-page document advocating the unilateral pre- emptive employment of overwhelming American military power as the primary instrument in exerting U.S. influence and control of events in the 21st century.

The first situation where employment of this doctrine was advocated was in Iraq, to put a regime in place favorable to U.S. policies in the Middle East.

In 1998 they presented this thesis to the Clinton administration as the basis for projection of U.S. power in that unstable region. It was rejected, much to the chagrin of Cheney and his associates.

When Cheney became vice president he saw to it that many of the principal authors of that document along with their disciples were given positions of responsibility within the Department of Defense, State Department, and the White House, whereby the "Project for the New American Century" could be implemented.

Donald Rumsfeld became secretary of defense; Paul Wolfowitz, deputy secretary of defense; Richard Perle, chairman, Defense Policy Board; Douglas Fieth, under secretary of defense; William Luti, under secretary of defense; Richard Armitage, deputy secretary of state; John Bolton, under secretary of State; Lewis "Scooter" Libby, chief of staff for the vice president; as well as others were put into policy positions.

In the wake of Sept. 11, 2001, these neoconservatives (neocons) engineered the opportunity they were previously denied through manipulation of intelligence.

One of the first questions reportedly asked in the Situation Room on Sept. 12, 2001, was whether an Iraq connection to the attacks could be established.

Eventually the ranking neocons came to rely upon Ahmed Chalabi as their principal source of intelligence on Iraq. Remember Chalabi?

He was guest of honor at the State of the Union address, the distinguished, impeccably tailored gent seated behind first lady Laura Bush.

Recent discoveries of the damage he has done to the state of our union will preclude any further invitations from the White House.

How did Chalabi arrive at his place among history's greatest con men? He left Iraq in 1958 at the age of 13 when his aristocratic family was forced to flee following a coup overthrowing the last king. He received all of his formal education in the United States.

He became head of the Petra Bank in Jordan, where in 1992 he was convicted in absentia of a massive bank fraud and sentenced to 22 years at hard labor.

Fortuitously, that same year President George H.W. Bush established a covert $100 million fund for the overthrow of Saddam.

Chalabi immediately presented himself to the CIA and the Department of Defense as the next leader of Iraq to replace Saddam, establishing himself as the head of a dissident group called the Iraqi National Congress (I.N.C.).

When President George W. Bush took office, Chalabi and the I.N.C. were embraced by Cheney and the crew of senior policy makers he had placed in the Pentagon who accepted his intelligence assessments at face value. Once the neocons took over word went out that questions about the veracity of Chalabi and the I.N.C. were no longer appreciated.

As one Pentagon official said, "The view was that if you weren't a total I.N.C. guy, then you're on the wrong side."

When CIA and State Department questioned Chalabi's popular support in Iraq and accused him of misappropriating U.S. government funds, he forged an alliance with major conservative Republicans in Washington.

He went overboard to ingratiate himself with the neocons in the Department of Defense, especially those in the Office of Special Plans, an intelligence unit to plan the war on Iraq created by Under Secretary Feith as soon as the Bush administration came into office.

Chalabi targeted his pitch to his audience. Knowing of the neocon's predisposition to invade Iraq, he fed them everything they wanted to hear.

Their nave belief that the invasion of Iraq would be a short-term diversion from the principal conflict on terrorism in Afghanistan was based upon Chalabi's fantasies.

As Robert Baur, a former CIA official who worked in Iraq put it, "Chalabi was scamming the U.S. because the U.S. wanted to be scammed."

At the insistence of the neocons, Chalabi was flown into southern Iraq in the first weeks of the war.

Rather than the tumultuous welcome with flowers that he predicted, the crowds proved to so hostile that he had to be rescued by U.S. forces.

According to national polls published on the Provisional Authority Web site, Iraqis distrusted Chalabi more than Saddam. The self-appointed leader of the I.N.F. was not about to be the self-anointed leader of the new Iraq.

This should have given Wolfowitz, Feith, Perle, et al. some inkling that they had been duped, but ideologues never admit mistakes.

When confronted with the fact that all of the I.N.C. information submitted to the DOD Office of Special Plans was bogus, Chalabi boasted with remarkable frankness: "We are heroes in error. What was said before does not matter. American troops are now in Baghdad!"

Indeed they are, being fired at from all sides by Sunni, Shia and whoever else seeks such an opportunity. They have been put in a virtual shooting gallery.

Prior to American occupation there were no al- Quaida in Iraq, Bin Laden having despised Saddam as the secular leader of a Muslim state.

Now there are members of al-Quaida and others pouring across the porous borders of Iraq for the opportunity to do battle with the latest Western occupiers of an Arab nation.

The American occupation of Iraq has allowed bin Laden to transform the U.S. campaign against terrorism as a Western crusade against Islam in the eyes of the Muslim world.

Egyptian President Mubarek was right in the prediction he made to Secretary of State Powell two months before this U.S. military action: "If you invade Iraq you will create another 100 bin Ladens."

Contrary to the daily Bush/Cheney mantra that the world is now a safer place, the intelligence services of every major nation now conclude that in the wake of the American occupation of Iraq the world is a much more dangerous place.

The London-based International Institute of Strategic Studies estimates that since the war in Iraq began al-Quaida cells have expanded from 60 to 90 countries, with some 18,000 members.

And these latest recruits are for the most part younger, savvier, and computer-literate.

Retired Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni, former commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East, describes the U.S. incursion into Iraq as, "The wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time." It was not only needless, but also self-defeating within the context of a global strategy against terrorism.

It has strengthened the fundamentalist, radical Islamic movement worldwide, alienated our traditional allies and diverted resources which should have been concentrated and utilized in the still ongoing war in Afghanistan.

Our opportunity to have captured bin Laden at Tora Bora was thwarted by lack of sufficient forces to seal off escape routes. The stalled campaign in Afghanistan has that country reverting to its traditional warlord fiefdoms which, collectively, have now made it the world's largest exporter of opium.

Chalabi's close relationship with the U.S. came to an abrupt end in May when it was found that senior members of his Iraqi National Front had been spying for Iran all of this time, a fact which became apparent when the Iranians were tipped off that the U.S. had broken their code.

Chalabi's offices in Baghdad were raided under U.S. forces' oversight. President Bush terminated his $340,000 monthly stipend.

Like an embittered rejected suitor, Chalabi did a 180- degree about face. He became allied with the radical Shia clergyman, Moqtada al-Sadr, in calling for the end of American occupation.

As an astute politician, Chalabi recognizes the extent to which we have antagonized the majority Shia population of Iraq, whose clergy always maintained close ties with their fundamentalist counterparts in Iran.

In the wake of the current unrest and possible civil war, the embittered Iraqi Shia clergy will probably form a theocratic alliance between the 60 percent Shia population of Iraq and the 90 percent Shia population of Iran.

The last thing the U.S. wanted to see evolve was the fundamentalist Shia clergy of Iran having dominant influence through their Iraqi counterparts over that country's foreign and domestic policies.

Many intelligence officials now believe that Iran used the neocons in the Pentagon and the White House to get rid of a hostile neighboring government, thereby paving the way for a fundamentalist Shia-ruled Iraq.

Harry Petrequin was a former faculty member, Department of National Security Policy Studies at the National War College. As a Coast Guard officer he served in the Korean theater and in Vietnam during those conflicts. He lives in Black Mountain."

840,000 Afghans in Pakistan and Iran voted in Afghan election: IOM - PakTribune

840,000 Afghans in Pakistan and Iran voted in Afghan election: IOM - PakTribune: "840,000 Afghans in Pakistan and Iran voted in Afghan election: IOM
Sunday October 10, 2004 (1430 PST)

ISLAMABAD, October 11 (Online): More than 840,000 Afghans living in Pakistan and Iran voted in Afghanistan's first democratic election for the Presidential Election held on October 9.
Mr. Peter Erben, the Director of IOM's Out of Country Registration and Voting program, which organized the polls in Iran and Pakistan on behalf of the Afghan JEMB and UNAMA, said that the election had been a great success in both Pakistan and Iran.

In Pakistan, the total number of Afghan voters attending the polling stations was 590,0001, representing 80% of the 738,000 who had registered. In Iran, where there was no pre-registration of voters, 260,000 Afghans voted. This represents around half of the Afghans, which were estimated to be eligible to vote; a very satisfactory turnout given that it was a normal working day in Iran, as opposed to Afghanistan and Pakistan where it was a day off.

"IOM believes the turn-out was very satisfactory; the election process ran smoothly, with no major technical or procedural difficulties, and we were able to accommodate all those voters who were eligible and interested in voting," Mr Erben said.

He also praised the Governments of Pakistan and Iran for their assistance, especially for providing security for the process.

"Hundreds of thousands of people were involved in this process and there had been some threats to disrupt the elections," Mr Erben said. "The excellent security provided by both governments was the main reason that we had no major security incidents, and in this regard, we are extremely pleased."

Ballot boxes are now being collected to central secure locations from which they will be flown to Kabul, under tight security, where the ballots will be counted."

Rafsanjani candidacy unlikely: IES official

Description of Selected News: "Rafsanjani candidacy unlikely: IES official

Tehran Times Political Desk
TEHRAN (MNA) -- The secretary general of the Islamic Engineers Society (IES), Mohammad Reza Bahonar, said on Sunday that it does not seem very likely that all political groups will reach a consensus on nominating Expediency Council Chairman Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani to be a candidate for the upcoming presidential election.

Referring to Rafsanjani’s announcement that he would accept the nomination if all political groups reached an agreement on his candidacy, Bahonar noted that the creation of a scenario with such dimensions, in which all political groups unanimously agreed on one candidate, does not seem plausible, and even if it did happen it would not be beneficial.

Bahonar, who is also a member of the Expediency Council, said that political groups must announce their programs as well as their candidates, adding that this is Iran’s first presidential election since the Islamic Republic’s Twenty-Year Outlook Plan was formulated and the candidates and the media should focus on the Fourth Five-Year Development Plan and the Twenty-Year Outlook Plan.

He went on to say that the appropriate time has arrived for the media to ask candidates about the strategies they would implement if they won the presidential election.

It is still a long time till the presidential election and since Iran has an election every year, the people cannot quickly leave the atmosphere of the previous election and enter the new atmosphere in a short period of time, Bahonar said.

Under the current circumstances, political circles should gather and discuss different candidates and evaluate their programs, he added.

On his recent meeting with Rafsanjani, Bahonar said that if there were more candidates there would be more supporters and therefore the race would be closer, but the number of candidates in the presidential election is limited.

On the possible candidacy of former prime minister Mir-Hossein Musavi, Bahonar said that Mousavi has not yet explicitly accepted or rejected the suggestion of some political parties and groups, but since he is the only preferred candidate of some political parties, he would certainly be under more pressure.

He stated that if Musavi agreed to become a presidential candidate, it would then be logical to discuss his nomination, but added that according to unconfirmed reports he has rejected the suggestion.

On the presidential candidate of the Islamic Engineers Society, Bahonar said that the IES is considering and examining different people, but its efforts are focused on coming to an agreement with the other groups on one particular candidate.

Meanwhile, Jamileh Kadivar, a member of the Central Council of the Islamic Iran Participation Party (IIPP), said on Sunday that the 2nd of Khordad Front has so far not fielded any candidate for the presidential election under the current circumstances, adding that Mir-Hossein Musavi has not yet made his decision and therefore there is no need to talk about other candidates.

On the meeting of President Mohammad Khatami and members of the Assembly of Combatant Clerics scheduled for Thursday, Kadivar said that everyone must patiently await the results of the meeting, but IIPP members are very optimistic that there will be a positive outcome."