Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Montazeri and his supporters betrayed Iran

Special Report: "The decline of Montazeri's power began when his associates leaked news of the secret arms deal with the Reagan administration to a pro-Iranian Lebanese newspaper. The revelation of secret deals with the US and Israel not only embarrassed Rafsanjani, who had organized the negotiations, but also Khomeini, who had personally approved them.

Since the leak that set off such embarrassing international repercussions for Iran (and the Reagan administration), Rafsanjani's faction has carried out a systematic campaign to discredit Montazeri and his supporters. The execution of at least 15 religious figures connected to Montazeri dearly demonstrates that Montazeri's faction continues to be under harsh attack, and also helps explain why Montazeri has personally and publicly criticized the policy of executing political prisoners.

Rafsanjani, "the moderate:' with support from the ultra-right faction, has countered Montazeri's criticism by asserting that any relaxation in the government's current reign of terror will send the wrong signal to the people and that anti-Khomeini opposition forces "will use the opportunity to bring down the regime.""

Maj. Gen. Ray Odierono linked to Ultra-Violent Iranian Terrorist Group

Iranians defend resistance group - The Washington Times: Metropolitan: "Iranians defend resistance group

By Denise Barnes
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
A small but vocal group of Iranian-Americans demanded yesterday that an Iranian resistance group be removed from the State Department's list of foreign terrorist organizations.
Demonstrating outside the Cannon House Office Building, 60 supporters of the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI) hoisted placards reading "Remove the 'Terror' Tag from Iranian Mojahedin Now" and "PMOI [means] Legitimate Resistance Movement."
Others waved the green, white and red flag of Iran and chanted, "Down with terrorist mullahs of Iran. Long live mojahedin of Iran."
The International Committee in Support of the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran organized yesterday's rally and a sit-in, which began May 11.
PMOI supporter noted yesterday that Maj. Gen. Ray Odierono, commander of the U.S. Army's 4th Infantry Division in Iraq, met with leaders of the Iraqi-based PMOI on May 11 and said the group's status as a terrorist organization should be reviewed.
The People's Mojahedin, or Mojahedin e-Khalq (MEK), was ordered to lay down its weapons and cease its operations in northeast Baghdad. It had operated in prewar Iraq under Saddam Hussein to undermine the Islamic rule of Iran.
The group's terrorist designation dates to the Clinton administration, which put it in the same category as Hamas, Hezbollah and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. During the 1970s, the group was accused in attacks that killed several U.S. military personnel and civilians working on defense projects in Iran, although the group denies targeting Americans, the Associated Press has reported. The group is reported to have backed the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979 but later broke with Iran's government.
Dozens of the group's supporters on Capitol Hill have suggested that its terrorist designation is a political gesture to Iran that could be reversed.
"The PMOI have been fighting against this regime since its inception in 1980, and 150 members of Congress support removing the group from the terrorist list," said PMOI supporter David Johnson of Vienna. "The U.S. Congress considers the PMOI a legitimate resistance movement."
who lives in Reston, said supporters will not budge until the State Department removes the PMOI from its list of terrorist groups. She said Iranian Americans are traveling from around the country to meet with their representatives.
"One hundred twenty thousand people have already been executed by the current regime of Iran. And there are currently 150,000 political prisoners facing torture and harassment by the Iranian regime. The Iranian people deserve democracy and freedom, and PMOI is the fruit of the 24 years of struggle against theocracy,"

:: Xinhuanet - English ::

:: Xinhuanet - English ::: "Moderate cleric appointed Iran's new vice president

www.chinaview.cn 2004-10-13 03:14:52

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jerusalem Post | Iran offers Europe deal to produce nuclear energy - No Bombs Ever

Jerusalem Post | Breaking News from Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World: "Iran offers Europe deal to produce nuclear energy

By ASSOCIATED PRESS: TEHRAN, Iran
Iran's foreign minister made Europe an offer Tuesday: recognize our right to enrich uranium and we will guarantee never to produce nuclear bombs.

Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi put the offer in a speech to an energy conference in Tehran about six weeks before his government has to show the UN nuclear watchdog that it has ceased enrichment and all related activities. Iran has already rejected the demand of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

"The time has come for Europe to take a step forward and suggest that our legitimate right for complete use of nuclear energy is recognized (in return for) assurances that our program will not be diverted toward weapons," Kharrazi said.

The United States and the big three European powers are discussing offering Iran a package of economic incentives to abandon enrichment, The New York Times reported Tuesday. The report, sourced to US and European diplomats, said that while Washington had not endorsed incentives for Iran, it was not discouraging Britain, France and Germany from putting together a package that the White House would consider after the presidential elections.

The United States accuses Iran of pursuing a secret program to build nuclear bombs. Iran denies, saying its nuclear program is limited to the production of electricity.

Iran has denounced as "illegal" last month's demand by the International Atomic Energy Agency that it freeze enrichment as well as the reprocessing of uranium and the building of centrifuges that are used to enrich uranium.

Last week Iran said it has converted a few tons of raw uranium into a gas, a key step toward enrichment. It has also risked confrontation with the IAEA by continuing to assemble centrifuges.

The Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, which Iran has signed, does not prohibit uranium enrichment, but Tehran has come under heavy pressure to suspend such activities because of international concern over its nuclear program.

Iran has said it may offer some concessions through "dialogue," but it will not give up its right to enrichment.

In October last year, Iran reached a deal with Europe's three key powers, Britain, Germany and France, in which it agreed to suspend enrichment temporarily and allow unfettered inspection of its facilities by IAEA inspectors. But Tehran rejected the demand that it suspend the related activities and that it cease enrichment permanently.

Meanwhile, six senior UN inspectors, led by IAEA Deputy Director-General Pierre Goldschmidt, arrived in Tehran on Tuesday for talks with Iranian officials, state radio reported. It gave no details.

In a separate report, the radio said about 1,400 university teachers had signed a letter to President Mohammad Khatami, calling on the government to continue enrichment and related activities.

Iran's conservative-dominated parliament is already considering legislation that would mandate the government to resume the actual enrichment of uranium.

Iran's nuclear program has become a matter of national pride. It is one of the few issues on which hard-liners and reformists agree."

Terrorist Spokesman Claims "Iran plots Ramadan infiltration in Iraq"

Iran plots Ramadan infiltration in Iraq - The Washington Times: World - October 12, 2004: "Iran plots Ramadan infiltration in Iraq

By Jennifer Joan Lee
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
PARIS — A top Iranian dissident living in Paris says up to 800 clerics and theology students from Iran are in the process of infiltrating cities in neighboring Iraq in time for the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which begins Friday.
Ayatollah Jalal Ganje'i, a prominent critic of the Iranian regime, said in an interview with The Washington Times that the influx is part of continuing efforts by Tehran's power brokers to exploit the crisis in Iraq in order to set up a sister fundamentalist Islamic republic.

The religious leaders, dispatched by the Islamic Propaganda Organization, plan to use the holy month to propagate militant Islamic views, he said, with the goal of strengthening Iraqi political groups whose philosophy and aims coincide with those of Iran's theocratic regime.
The cleric said the religious leaders will take their message into Kut, Nasariyah, Amarra, Najaf, Basra and Baghdad, joining a massive network of other Iranian agents already in Iraq, many in armed underground cells.
"I expect the violence to increase, and this will also set the stage for further meddling in upcoming Iraqi elections," said Ayatollah Ganje'i, who is affiliated with the National Council of Resistance, a State Department-designated terrorist group.
Also known as the People's Mujahideen Organization of Iran, the group was the first to reveal details of Iran's nuclear activities.
"Iran is hoping to use the January elections to bring its own Islamic fundamentalists to power," the cleric said. He did not specify which leaders Tehran was working with in Iraq.
Speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York last week, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld similarly said there has been "a lot of meddling" by Iranians in Iraq.
"They clearly want to affect the outcome of the election, and they are aggressively trying to do that," he said. "They're sending money in, they're sending weapons in, and they're notably unhelpful."
Mr. Rumsfeld said millions of refugees and pilgrims regularly travel between the porous border separating Iran and Iraq, adding, "There's no way we could stop the flow of these pilgrims."
An official at the Iranian Interests Section in Washington referred a request for comment to a telephone number in New York, which was out of service.
Ayatollah Ganje'i is a former student of Iran's revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who fled the country in 1982 after being sentenced to death for his anti-fundamentalist views. He cited his network of contacts among Iran's clergy as the source of his information.
He said four Iranian institutions — the Revolutionary Guards, the Ministry of Intelligence and Security, the state radio and television and the clergy — are coordinating the activities in Iraq. He also charged that Tehran has spent $70 million sending weapons and manpower, including suicide bombers, into Iraq.
Since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in April 2003, thousands of Iranian clerics have crossed into Iraq, bringing books, compact discs and audiotapes promoting their version of Islam.
Ayatollah Ganje'i said they had devised a two-pronged strategy to take over the country: first, by opening charities, clinics and health care centers to win the hearts of the local people, and second, by spreading armed underground cells that would conduct strikes against coalition forces.
In an interview with the Arabic newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat in July, Iraqi Defense Minister Hazem Shaalan declared that the Iranian intrusion had been "vast and unprecedented since the establishment of the new Iraqi state." He said Iranians had "penetrated the country's sensitive centers and set up many intelligence and security centers."
"In the last year and a half, there has been a concerted effort to intervene in Iraqi affairs. This is something that has been widely underestimated by the West," Ayatollah Ganje'i said.
•Sharon Behn contributed to this report in Washington."