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Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Iranian bloggers celebrate their fourth Birthday

GlobalVoices:
I would like to share with you some important issues about our blogging history. Of course it is a personal way to look to Iranian blogistory:

1- Genesis: On 7 September 2001 Salman become first blogger in Farsi. A few days later Derakhshan wrote simple instructions on “How to make a blog in Persian” using Blogger.com’s free service. This instruction help many (thousands maybe) to start their weblogs in Iran. It is said that now more than 75000 blogs exist in Farsi!
2- Blogging & Prison: Many Iranian bloggers have gone beyond personal diaries. They inform and share with others political news and events. Several of these courageous bloggers faced prison such as Motalebi and Samininejad
3- Old Wine in new Bottle: Several writers journalists and politicians have become DIEHARD webloggers. Abtahi, former vice President, was first politician to publish his personal weblog: webnameh. Moin, reformist candidate in Presidential election, started a weblog to make contact with young people. Among writers and journalist we can name Maroufi from Germany and Behnoud from England.
4- A valuable information source: Sometimes bloggers provide photos and news before mainstream media. Recently Webnameh and Kosoof published photos of Ganji’s supporters in front of hospital and his house before any other news site or journal.
5- Hezbollah & blogging: Iranian Hezbollah bloggers are present too. In their blogs such as Mohamad Masih they do a lot of anti-Israel propaganda!

3 weblogs of my choice

Kira a freelance journalist from USA

Sword & Pen Journalist from USA

Projet d'internet de rue
internet project to reduce digital gap in France

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Oil, Kurds and Iraq!Iran is Big ABSENT!!

According to following writing Kurds are doing good business with Turkey.But where
is Iran? Why it is so absent?

George Gause:
One was signed on 14 January 2003, by the Sulaymaniyya regionalgovernment with a Turkish firm PetOil Petroleum. This agreement cited as its
enabling authority a 17 September 1998 "Final Statement" between the KDP,
the PUK and the US State Department which apparently established the
principle that the provincial government was the responsible body for
negotiating oil deals.
The second was signed on January 20, 2004 between the Kurdish regional
government and the Turkish firm Genel Energi A.S.
It relied for its
enabling authority the popularly elected Kurdish assembly, which formed
the Kurdish regional government. Since the Kurdish people own the
resources of the region, their elected government is empowered to develop
investment in these resources. This contract also referred to the 17
September "Final Statement" signed by the US State Department.

The third was signed in July 2004 between the Norweigian company DNO and
the Kurdish regional authority
. No text on this one, but an official
source in the company told the International Oil Daily (August 12, 2005)
the details of the agreement. The source reports that the company has
already conducted seismic tests around Zakho and is preparing to drill its
first exploratory well.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

A gunman has shot an Iranian judge in the eye and hand

Yahoo:
TEHRAN (Reuters) - A gunman has shot an Iranian judge in the eye and hand outside his Tehran home, seriously wounding him, the justice minister said on Sunday.

The official IRNA news agency said Mohammad Reza Aghazadeh had been handling cases involving large land transactions near Karaj, an industrial satellite city to the west of Tehran.

"He is now in surgery," Justice Minister Jamal Karimirad told reporters. "I hope God helps us keep him alive".

Aghazadeh is the second judge to be shot this month.
Hassan Moghaddas, a judge who sentenced several reformist dissidents to jail, was shot dead in his car on August 2.

Homeless but Wired in France!

A French blogger , internet project for street, writes that he/she has met a homeless in Paris.He told weblogger that he used internet to get a job and HAVING AN EMAIL MAKES THINGS EASIER. Companies make contact with him through email, no address is needed.
Internet project for street tries to reduce digital gap in french society.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Iran: America's disastrous 'military option'

Herald Tribune:By Amin Saikal International Herald Tribune

CANBERRA Iran and the United States are now on a collision course. Despite warnings from America and Europe, who fear that Iran is developing nuclear weapons, Iran has resumed enriching uranium, with its new hard-line president, Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, insisting it has a right to do so under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty for peaceful purposes.

President George W. Bush has reacted by declaring all options open, including military action, which has drawn a stiff rebuke not only from Tehran, but also from Chancellor Gerhard Schröder of Germany, one of America's allies. Israel is also reported to have plans for targeting Iran's nuclear facilities. But the use of force against Iran could prove to be very costly for all sides. Iran has the capacity to respond in several nonmilitary and military ways in the event of a confrontation.

Iran could block the highly strategic Strait of Hormuz, through which the bulk of oil from the Gulf countries is exported to the outside world. Iran has a considerable military and naval power deployed to the north, with a preparedness to carry out commando actions to mine or sink a number of ships to block the strait.

The best way for the United States to keep the strait open would be to land troops on the Iranian side, which would mean a ground war - something that the Iranians would welcome, but America would want to avoid, especially in the light of its bitter experiences in Iraq.

Tehran can also flex its oil muscle. A substantial reduction or a complete halt in Iran's oil output about four million barrels a day would push up oil prices dramatically, with devastating economic and political consequences for the United States and its allies. Such a development would also be extremely harmful to Iran itself, but several Iranian policy makers have indicated in private that when it comes to the survival of the Islamic regime, no means will be spared.

Further, Tehran is capable of making life a lot more difficult for American forces and its allies in Iraq. Iran has so far acted with much restraint in Iraq, in the belief that the U.S. push for democracy will ultimately deliver political power to Iran's Shiite allies there. But in the event of an American or Israeli attack on Iran, all the gloves would come off.

Tehran could be expected not only to encourage its Iraqi allies to fight U.S. forces, but also to send thousands of commandos and suicide bombers to support them. It could also count on the support of many Shiite activist groups within its regional Islamic networks to target Americans and Israelis and their interests throughout the region. Given Iran's extensive cross-border ties with Afghanistan, it could even stir up trouble to undermine that country's fragile stability.

Tehran also has the capacity to take retaliatory military actions. It has a formidable military machine, equipped with both medium- and long-range Shihab missiles capable of carrying heavy payloads to hit American and Israeli targets as far as 2,000 kilometers away. While unable to match American firepower, Iranian forces could make up for this to some extent by their Islamist and nationalist fanaticism.

Given the costs of a confrontation, it is essential that Iran and its three European negotiating partners, Britain, France and Germany, work out a mutually acceptable agreement. Yet for this agreement to materialize, the parties involved may need to go beyond the nuclear issue to address the conditions that have led the Iranians to live in constant fear of the United States and Israel, and the latter two to become increasingly suspicious of Iran's nuclear intentions.

A viable resolution of the nuclear row depends very much on how the parties can come to terms with each other politically. If Washington recognized Tehran's Islamic regime, stopped constantly threatening Iran, and agreed to controls on weapons of mass destruction across the region - including Israel's - it would make considerable progress in dealing with the nuclear issue. But Washington has never wished Israel to become subject to the same constraints as the Arabs and Iranians.

(Amin Saikal is a professor of political science at the Australian National University in Canberra, where he directs the Center for Arab and Islamic Studies.)
CANBERRA Iran and the United States are now on a collision course. Despite warnings from America and Europe, who fear that Iran is developing nuclear weapons, Iran has resumed enriching uranium, with its new hard-line president, Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, insisting it has a right to do so under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty for peaceful purposes.

President George W. Bush has reacted by declaring all options open, including military action, which has drawn a stiff rebuke not only from Tehran, but also from Chancellor Gerhard Schröder of Germany, one of America's allies. Israel is also reported to have plans for targeting Iran's nuclear facilities. But the use of force against Iran could prove to be very costly for all sides. Iran has the capacity to respond in several nonmilitary and military ways in the event of a confrontation.

Iran could block the highly strategic Strait of Hormuz, through which the bulk of oil from the Gulf countries is exported to the outside world. Iran has a considerable military and naval power deployed to the north, with a preparedness to carry out commando actions to mine or sink a number of ships to block the strait.

The best way for the United States to keep the strait open would be to land troops on the Iranian side, which would mean a ground war - something that the Iranians would welcome, but America would want to avoid, especially in the light of its bitter experiences in Iraq.

Tehran can also flex its oil muscle. A substantial reduction or a complete halt in Iran's oil output about four million barrels a day would push up oil prices dramatically, with devastating economic and political consequences for the United States and its allies. Such a development would also be extremely harmful to Iran itself, but several Iranian policy makers have indicated in private that when it comes to the survival of the Islamic regime, no means will be spared.

Further, Tehran is capable of making life a lot more difficult for American forces and its allies in Iraq. Iran has so far acted with much restraint in Iraq, in the belief that the U.S. push for democracy will ultimately deliver political power to Iran's Shiite allies there. But in the event of an American or Israeli attack on Iran, all the gloves would come off.

Tehran could be expected not only to encourage its Iraqi allies to fight U.S. forces, but also to send thousands of commandos and suicide bombers to support them. It could also count on the support of many Shiite activist groups within its regional Islamic networks to target Americans and Israelis and their interests throughout the region. Given Iran's extensive cross-border ties with Afghanistan, it could even stir up trouble to undermine that country's fragile stability.

Tehran also has the capacity to take retaliatory military actions. It has a formidable military machine, equipped with both medium- and long-range Shihab missiles capable of carrying heavy payloads to hit American and Israeli targets as far as 2,000 kilometers away. While unable to match American firepower, Iranian forces could make up for this to some extent by their Islamist and nationalist fanaticism.

Given the costs of a confrontation, it is essential that Iran and its three European negotiating partners, Britain, France and Germany, work out a mutually acceptable agreement. Yet for this agreement to materialize, the parties involved may need to go beyond the nuclear issue to address the conditions that have led the Iranians to live in constant fear of the United States and Israel, and the latter two to become increasingly suspicious of Iran's nuclear intentions.

A viable resolution of the nuclear row depends very much on how the parties can come to terms with each other politically. If Washington recognized Tehran's Islamic regime, stopped constantly threatening Iran, and agreed to controls on weapons of mass destruction across the region - including Israel's - it would make considerable progress in dealing with the nuclear issue. But Washington has never wished Israel to become subject to the same constraints as the Arabs and Iranians.

(Amin Saikal is a professor of political science at the Australian National University in Canberra, where he directs the Center for Arab and Islamic Studies.)
CANBERRA Iran and the United States are now on a collision course. Despite warnings from America and Europe, who fear that Iran is developing nuclear weapons, Iran has resumed enriching uranium, with its new hard-line president, Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, insisting it has a right to do so under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty for peaceful purposes.

President George W. Bush has reacted by declaring all options open, including military action, which has drawn a stiff rebuke not only from Tehran, but also from Chancellor Gerhard Schröder of Germany, one of America's allies. Israel is also reported to have plans for targeting Iran's nuclear facilities. But the use of force against Iran could prove to be very costly for all sides. Iran has the capacity to respond in several nonmilitary and military ways in the event of a confrontation.

Iran could block the highly strategic Strait of Hormuz, through which the bulk of oil from the Gulf countries is exported to the outside world. Iran has a considerable military and naval power deployed to the north, with a preparedness to carry out commando actions to mine or sink a number of ships to block the strait.

The best way for the United States to keep the strait open would be to land troops on the Iranian side, which would mean a ground war - something that the Iranians would welcome, but America would want to avoid, especially in the light of its bitter experiences in Iraq.

Tehran can also flex its oil muscle. A substantial reduction or a complete halt in Iran's oil output about four million barrels a day would push up oil prices dramatically, with devastating economic and political consequences for the United States and its allies. Such a development would also be extremely harmful to Iran itself, but several Iranian policy makers have indicated in private that when it comes to the survival of the Islamic regime, no means will be spared.

Further, Tehran is capable of making life a lot more difficult for American forces and its allies in Iraq. Iran has so far acted with much restraint in Iraq, in the belief that the U.S. push for democracy will ultimately deliver political power to Iran's Shiite allies there. But in the event of an American or Israeli attack on Iran, all the gloves would come off.

Tehran could be expected not only to encourage its Iraqi allies to fight U.S. forces, but also to send thousands of commandos and suicide bombers to support them. It could also count on the support of many Shiite activist groups within its regional Islamic networks to target Americans and Israelis and their interests throughout the region. Given Iran's extensive cross-border ties with Afghanistan, it could even stir up trouble to undermine that country's fragile stability.

Tehran also has the capacity to take retaliatory military actions. It has a formidable military machine, equipped with both medium- and long-range Shihab missiles capable of carrying heavy payloads to hit American and Israeli targets as far as 2,000 kilometers away. While unable to match American firepower, Iranian forces could make up for this to some extent by their Islamist and nationalist fanaticism.

Given the costs of a confrontation, it is essential that Iran and its three European negotiating partners, Britain, France and Germany, work out a mutually acceptable agreement. Yet for this agreement to materialize, the parties involved may need to go beyond the nuclear issue to address the conditions that have led the Iranians to live in constant fear of the United States and Israel, and the latter two to become increasingly suspicious of Iran's nuclear intentions.

A viable resolution of the nuclear row depends very much on how the parties can come to terms with each other politically. If Washington recognized Tehran's Islamic regime, stopped constantly threatening Iran, and agreed to controls on weapons of mass destruction across the region - including Israel's - it would make considerable progress in dealing with the nuclear issue. But Washington has never wished Israel to become subject to the same constraints as the Arabs and Iranians.

(Amin Saikal is a professor of political science at the Australian National University in Canberra, where he directs the Center for Arab and Islamic Studies.)

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Farshad Labaf: An Iranian Painter with Style


Iranian.com:FARSHAD LABAF an original artist

Denmark Hails Iran´s New Proposals For EU Nuclear Talks

COPENHAGEN (AP)--Denmark´s Foreign Minister Per Stig Moeller Thursday welcomed a promise by Iran´s ultraconservative president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to offer new proposals soon for negotiations with Europe over Iran´s right to enrich uranium.

"I see this as a sign that they don´t want that door closed," Moeller said.

Ahmadinejad said Wednesday his country wanted to continue talks in the hope of persuading the European Union to recognize Iran´s right to enrich uranium. The Iranian president didn´t specify what the proposals would be.
The E.U. "will now look into the new proposal when it comes," Moeller told The Associated Press.
The E.U. has been trying to persuade Iran to give up its uranium enrichment program in return for economic incentives as a way to lessen suspicions that its nuclear operations are geared to developing nuclear weapons. Iran, which denies seeking atomic arms, rejected the proposal.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Happy Birthday Iranian Weblog!!

An iranian blogger,Parsa Saebi,has launched this great idea to celebrate 7th September as a Birthday for Iranian Webloggers(Weblogestan)! On 7 the September of
2001 Salman launched first weblog in Farsi.

Manoucher Mohammadi Broke his Hunger Strike

AsreNou:Manoucher Mohammadi, jailed student leader since 1999,broke his hunger strike after 40 days.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Iranian bloggers worried about New President’s Cabinet

Global Voices: S’can-Iranic writes that most of President Ahmadinejad’s nominees for his cabinet have been members of Islamic Revolutionary Corps or closely worked with it. Revolutionary Guards is considered main faithful force to hardliners. In recent years member of this army have been more and more involved in business and trading.
It is clear sign that country is going to be militarised and Revloutionary army has their word to say on any decision in goverment. Majid Tehranian, a US based Communication Professor, in his interview with WashingtonPrism said this kind of militarization has already happened in country centuries ago. Ancient dynasty Abbasid Khalifa brought at its service Turkish slave soldiers. But after a while these slave soldiers started to control country and become more powerful than Kalifa!!

Dokhtarak
from Shiraz reports that in streets there are much more control to check women’s makeup or their cloths. In many cases people got arrested and spend a night or two in prison. There are signs that we go back to pre reform period and people will understand that there was (is) a DIFFERENCE between reformers and conservatives!! By the way good news is that Ganji, jailed journalist, broke his hunger strike after 70 days. Bad news is he is still in jail and other political prisoners such as Manoucher Mohamdai, jailed student leader since 1999, continues his hunger strike after 40 days.

DJ: Scientists Find No Proof Of Iran Arms Program

DowJones:Traces of bomb-grade uranium found two years ago in Iran came from contaminated Pakistani equipment and are not evidence of a clandestine nuclear weapons program, a group of U.S. government experts and other international scientists has determined, The Washington Post reports in its Tuesday edition.

"The biggest smoking gun that everyone was waving is now eliminated with these conclusions," said a senior official who discussed the still-confidential findings on the condition of anonymity, the Post said.

Scientists from the United States, France, Japan, Britain and Russia met in secret during the past nine months to pore over data collected by inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency, according to U.S. and foreign officials. Recently, the group, whose existence had not been previously reported, definitively matched samples of the highly enriched uranium - a key ingredient for a nuclear weapon - with centrifuge equipment turned over by the government of Pakistan, the Post reported.

Iran has long contended that the uranium traces were the result of contaminated equipment bought years ago from Pakistan. But the Bush administration had pointed to the material as evidence that Iran was making bomb-grade ingredients, the Post said.

Ganji Broke his hunger Strike

FarsNews: Masome Shafi,Ganji's wife, confirmed that Akbar Ganji after 70 days of hunger strike,started to eat. His wife declared Ganji is in good conditions.

Iran's Leader Raps Europeans Over Nuke Talks

Yahoo:
TEHRAN, Iran - Iran's hard-line president scolded Europeans on Sunday, accusing them of being willing to sell their goods to Iranians while at the same time trying to strangle Tehran's nuclear program.

Some legislators, meanwhile, criticized Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's Cabinet nominees, with one lawmaker asserting that the new president's proposed government had autocratic leanings.

In a speech to parliament, Ahmadinejad did not name any European country but was clearly alluding to Britain, France and Germany — Iran's largest European trading partners. They referred Iran to the U.N. nuclear watchdog this month after Tehran announced it was resuming uranium processing.

Manoucher Mohammadi continues his Hunger Strike

According to RadioFardaManoucher Mohammadi,
jailed student movement leader, is on hunger strike for 40 days. According to same source he was transfered to another prison. Nobody knows exactly where. Mohammadi has been in prison for 6 years.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Improvement reported in Akbar Ganji's condition

RSF:Reporters Without Borders today hailed a report received from a reliable local source of an improvement in the health of imprisoned journalist Akbar Ganji. The source quoted Milad hospital spokesperson, Dr. Sirous Tabesh, as saying Ganji, who began a hunger strike on 11 June, has agreed to take medicine and to eat foods recommended by the hospital's doctors.

"This is positive news after more than 65 days of anxiety," the press freedom organisation said. "We hope it will be confirmed by Ganji's family and lawyers, who are still waiting to be granted the right to visit him. Only a visit would allow us to definitively confirm that he has called off his hunger strike."

Reporters Without Borders added that it also supported the start of talks with judicial officials. Reached by telephone, Ganji's wife, Massoumeh Shafii, confirmed to the organisation that "a dialogue with the Iranian judicial authorities has begun."

Friday, August 19, 2005

Republican senator calls for talks with Iran

Yahoo:WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican Party foreign policy expert Sen. Chuck Hagel (news, bio, voting record) is calling for the United States to open talks with Iran's new president and has dismissed President George W. Bush's talk of a military option against Tehran as an empty and foolish threat.
In an interview with Reuters during a trip across his home state on Wednesday, Hagel said the United States should greet the new Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with a bold diplomatic stroke.
"You've got a new president, a new opportunity to do something bold here. Why not take that opportunity and do something bold? Iran is going to be a major influence in the future of Iraq. It already is. Who are we kidding when we think that they're not? They are.
"I would start engaging with American face-to-face dialogue. We're not at negotiations yet, but opening that dialogue. This is a process. This needs to work. Every side has to give something here," said Hagel, who is a member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee and is seen as a possible Republican presidential candidate in 2008.

German-Iranian Economic Relations

Qantara:German economic circles are increasingly concerned that the ongoing conflict over Iran's nuclear policy, coupled with American threats of sanctions or even military intervention, could damage the close economic relations between Germany and Iran.

The economic exchange between the two countries has been a true success story: Germany is Iran's economic partner number one. And even though Iran comes only thirty-fifth on the list of Germany's economic partners abroad, it is an up-and-coming market with a significant growth potential.

A large pool of educated workforce
With its 70 million inhabitants, Iran is the largest market in the region. Additionally, Iran has a large pool of educated workforce and a relatively good infrastructure for production and commerce.

Thanks to its central position, Iran could become an important commercial hub for the entire region and an ideal starting point for German businesses in that part of the world.

Exports to Iran support German growth
The German economic engagement in Iran itself is also very promising: around twelve percent of international joint ventures in Iran are German, with a turnover of half a billion euros ($620 million). Even more importantly, German exports to Iran have doubled since 2000 to almost 3,6 billion euros.
Last year alone, German exports rose by one third, and in the first months of this year, by additional 40 percent. Particularly striking was the development in mechanical engineering: here, German exports have quadrupled within a year to 1.2 billion euros.
Some German businesses have invested directly in Iran. Linde AG, for instance, has invested almost half a billion euros in the Iranian oil industry. German carmakers such as Volkswagen and Audi have made their entries onto the Iranian business market with their assembly facilities.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

More political prisoners continue hunger strike

According to RadioFardaManoucher Mohammadi,
a jailed student movement leader,continues his hunger strike after 38 days.Mohammadi was send to prison 6 years ago after students protest in Tehran. Other sources report
that two kurdish journalists who were arrested a few days ago started their own hunger strike in Kurdistan's prison too. Ganji,jailed jounalist,continues his hunger strike after 68 days and nobody has any news of him for last two weeks.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

How Bush would gain from war with Iran

Guardian:President Bush has reminded us that he is prepared to take military action to prevent Iran acquiring nuclear weapons. On Israeli television this weekend, he declared that "all options are on the table" if Tehran doesn't comply with international demands.
In private his officials deride EU and UN diplomacy with Iran. US officials have been preparing pre-emptive war since Bush marked Iran out as a member of the "axis of evil" back in 2002. Once again, this war is likely to have British support.
America's devastating air power is not committed in Iraq. Just 120 B52, B1 and B2 bombers could hit 5,000 targets in a single mission. Thousands of other warplanes and missiles are available. The army and marines are heavily committed in Iraq, but enough forces could be found to secure coastal oilfields and to conduct raids into Iran.
A US attack is unlikely to be confined to the suspected WMD locations or to involve a ground invasion to occupy the country. The strikes would probably be intended to destroy military, political and (oil excepted) economic infrastructure. A disabled Iran could be further paralysed by civil war. Tehran alleges US support for separatists in the large Azeri population of the north-west, and fighting is increasing in Iranian Kurdistan.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Professor Assadi in interview with LeMonde: Hardliners would like to establish A pure Islamic Khalifa

Le Monde: Paris based Economics Professor,Djamshid Assadi,in an interview with LeMonde said European propositions to Iran were whatever Iran was looking for in nuclear technology but ultra conservators refused that. It is a question of idealogy.
They want to create a pure and tough Islamic khalifa in Iran. For ultra conseravators even Mr.Rafsanjani who was not a real reformator had no place.They think Europe talks but never will act against Iran. For Dr.Assadi who writes regulary in opposition sites such as Gooya, european economic proposal were great opportunities for Iran but ultra conservatives did not care.

What Webloggers say about new CABINET:President Ahmadinejad’s cabinet looks more like a pizza cabinet

S'Can-Iranic:President Ahmadinejad’s cabinet looks more like a pizza cabinet

The first group are the gate-keepers. They are hardliners with reputable intelligence credentials. Mohseni-Ejehyi (the Clerical and Revolutionary Court brutal Judge who persecuted enlightened clergies like Eshkevari and Kadiver, and was Intelligence Ministry's Public Prosecutor), Pourmohadmmadi (a high-ranking and ruthless intelligence/security official), Karimi-rad (Judiciary’s Spokesperson and a former revolutionary/common-courts public prosecutor), with Safar Harandi (the Kayhan Press Institute’s Director; the flagship of hardliner press media with provocative reports against freedom of speech for secular intellectuals and Khatami-type reformists), and Motaki (parliament’s national security and foreign affairs committee chair) will form the Cabinet’s core.

The gate-keepers will ensure that the Cabinet poses as a cohesive group of servants with an unwavering focus on implementing Supreme Leader’s vision of regimes’ general policies, the nominations are self-explanatory: Mohseni Ejehyi (Intelligence), Pourmohammadi (Interior).

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Blogosphere attacked

Blogosphere attacked
Editor:Myself reports according to Shargh newspaper reports that Iran's Telecom company has ordered all ISPs to filter blogrolling.com:Blogrolling, owned by Canada-based Tucows, provides a popular free service for bloggers who want to track their favorites weblogs and automatically be informed when they get updated.

Akbar Ganji in intensive care

Rsf:The press freedom group Reporters Without Borders would like someone to be able to visit Iranian journalist and political prisoner Akbar Ganji, its secretary-general, Robert Ménard, told AFP Tuesday.
"We are asking that one of Akbar Ganji's lawyers or a member of his family should be allowed to see him at the hospital [where he has been since 17 July] in order to verify his state of health and find out whether or not he has called off his hunger strike," Ménard said.
"There were contradictory statements Tuesday" as to the status of the dissident's hunger strike, Ménard said. "The justice ministry announced that he had stopped the hunger strike but the hospital spokesperson said he was still refusing to eat," he said. "Since it began, the Iranian authorities have announced the end of Akbar Ganji's protest several times," Ménard said.
Reporters Without Borders urged Ganji to call off his hunger strike on Monday and is worried about "the gravity of his state of health," Ménard said. "None of his lawyers have seen him since 17 July when he arrived at the hospital, and his family has not seen him since 1 August," he added.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Kurdistan & Webloggers

Iranscan-Zaneirani writes:Dr. Roya Toloui, a champion of the rights of Iran's Kurdish minority and of women was detained from her home in Sanandaj on August 2. She is reported to be facing charges of “disturbing the peace“ and “acting against national security.” Human Rights First is calling for her immediate and unconditional release from detention.
Toloui‘s detention is consistent with a pattern of harassment and persecution that she and other human rights activists in Iran‘s Kurdish region have suffered in recent months in reprisal for their legitimate, peaceful activities in support of basic rights and freedoms.

Iran's Hardliners against Opening up the Economy

No financial control

Qantara:.....This enormous economic potential is neither under public control nor does it face the scrutiny of the tax authorities. The foundations are under the exclusive and direct control of the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution. The proceeds from the bonyads are funneled to the conservative network surrounding Khamenei, who also maintains close personal ties to the foundations through family connections.

The funds serve as a shadow budget, which can be used to bypass the government to make policy as the need arises. They cover costs ranging from the transport of loyal demonstrators to Tehran for mass rallies to the financing of the Lebanese Hezbollah – by-passing any form of control by the government or Parliament, or even providing them with information on such activities. Well-financed through the proceeds of the foundations, the advocates of a hard line maintain a parallel power structure under their exclusive control.

The second economic pillar of the system is the bazaar. The cooperation between traders and the mullahs arose during the reign of the Shah, when he attempted to force the country to modernize and open up to foreign companies. The bazaar traders regarded this as a threat to their trading monopoly and, as a result, threw their support behind Shiite clergymen in opposing the Shah.

Iranian.com: Dying for democracy

Iranian.com,Jahanshahe Javid:
Akbar Ganji is dying in a hospital in Tehran. He is not a prophet. He is not calling for a revolution. He is not doing George Bush a favor. He is a man who speaks his mind and is willing to die for it. But he must not die. We must do everything we can to force the authorities to let him go home.
Ganji is not everyone's favorite dissident. He quotes Khomeini, he looks up to Ayatollah Montazeri, and his circle of friends and allies includes leading religious reformists such as Saeed Hajjarian and Abdolkarim Soroush. Because of his solid religious foundation and credentials as a keen supporter of the Islamic Republic in earlier years, some doubt his transformation into a democrat.
Also there's the issue of timing. Naturally some are worried that the Ganji affair may weaken Iran's position in this sensitive stage in negotiations with Europe over nuclear technology. Another concern is that the adverse publicity created by Ganji's hunger strike will not only fail to do anything for the pro-democracy movement but will give another excuse for the Bush Administration and the neo-cons to portray the IRI as a vicious police state with deadly nuclear ambitions.

Ganji's words and, more importantly his actions, leave little doubt in my mind that his belief in democracy and the separation of church and state are genuine. His forward ideas are an important part of the continuing evolution of the religious establishment.

Bush warns Iran on nuclear plans

BBC:US President George W Bush says he still has not ruled out the option of using force against Iran, after it resumed work on its nuclear programme.
He said he was working on a diplomatic solution, but was sceptical that one could be found.

Iranian Bloggers speaking out on jailed journalist and Kurdistan

Global Voices:1- Hundreds support Akbar Ganji, the jailed Iranian journalist now on 62nd day of hunger strike: A couple of days ago more than 150 people including former Parliament’s deputies, writers, student movement leaders wrote a letter and announced on Thursday at 14h they will go to hospital to meet Ganji who continues his hunger strike. Webnameh reported until 15h30 there were hundreds of students and young people but the number of personalities who signed the letter was less than ten!According to RadioFarda a delegation of protesters wanted to meet Ganji but they were prevented by security forces. Protesters read their requests: They urged that Ganji must have right to meet with his family, friends and lawyers. Now about 10 days that nobody has any news of this jailed journalist. They also asked that he be treated well in hospital without any pressure from Prosecutor’s agents. Protesters wanted also Ganji’s release from jail and asked him to break his hunger. They added people in power apparently enjoy creating crisis.

2-Iranian Bloggers speaking out on political prisoners and Kurdistan: several bloggers based in different countries such as Billy & me from Danemark, writer Abas Marofi from Germany, journalist FMSokhan from Iran signed a letter concerning Iran’s present situation. In two words it is a call that Iranian intellectuals including bloggers, journalists, writers, and political groups take responsibility to save country from current situation, political repression at home and nuclear crisis abroad. Writers consider that defensive actions such as writing petitions…lead us no where and we must find new ways. After criticizing Iranian regime including President and Leader they suggest hope must be created for Iranians. For writers cultural activity reporting news can bring light to the life. They concluded Iran needs to be saved and for that reason unity and new thoughts are needed. According to them supporting Kurdistan’s people and politcial prisoners are priorities now.

Friday, August 12, 2005

IAEA Urges Iran to Freeze Nuke Activities

Yahoo:By WILLIAM J. KOLE, Associated Press Writer

VIENNA, Austria -Iran bristled at a warning from the U.N. nuclear watchdog to suspend activities that could lead to an atomic weapon, but the agency's restrained response made clear that the West wants to give diplomacy more time to ease the standoff.
The International Atomic Energy Agency's 35-nation board of governors expressed "serious concern" Thursday over Tehran's decision to resume uranium conversion, stopping well short of reporting the regime to the U.N. Security Council.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Iranian Bloggers Write a Letter to Iranian People

Iranian bloggers letter to Iranian people: several bloggers based in different countries wrote a letter concerning Iran’s present situation. In two words it is a call that Iranian intellectuals including bloggers journalists writers political groups take responsibility to save country from current situation. Writers consider that defensive actions such as writing petitions…lead us no where and we must find new ways. After criticizing Iranian regime including President and Leader they suggest hope must be created for Iranians. For writers cultural activity reporting news can bring light to the life. They concluded Iran needs to be saved and for that reason unity and new thoughts are needed.Read More:Billy & Me

Hundreds of Ganji supporters held a peaceful protest


A couple of days ago more than 150 people including former Parliament’s deputies, writers, student movement leaders wrote a letter and announced on Thursday at 14h they will go to hospital to meet Ganji who continues his hunger strike. Webnameh reported until 15h30 there were hundreds of students and young people but the number of personalities who signed the letter was less than ten! According to RadioFarda a delegation of protesters wanted to meet Ganji but they were prevented by security forces. Protesters read their requests: They urged that Ganji must have right to meet with his family, friends and lawyers. Now about 10 days that nobody has any news of this jailed journalist. They also asked that he be treated well in hospital without any pressure from Prosecutor’s agents. Protesters wanted also Ganji’s release from jail and asked him to break his hunger .They added people in power apparently enjoy creating crisis or crisises.ZeydAbadi;political journalist, wrote in BBC that Iranian state considers if it accepts to release Ganji everybody in country or outside Iran think regime has become weak and fragile. He concludes any real harm to Ganji can create a wave of protests which will be repressed with violence.

Webnameh reports about "Meeting with Ganji"


Webnameh:Iranian blogger reports that the number of personalities who signed a letter and told today will come to hospital meeting Ganji is less than ten! But there is a great number of students & young people who came in front of hospital.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Richard N. Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations:Two words on Iran

Taqrir Washington :
.....To me, it is more important to get a consensus on sanctions, whether in the Security Council or not. I don't think we are quite there with Iran in terms of the policy. A successful policy will require three things: clear articulation of what Iran must do; incentives in the form of explicit assurances to Iran of the benefits that would accrue to it if it meets these requirements; and the clear articulation of the penalties or sanctions that would come its way if it doesn't.
I don't believe the United States and the other major nations of the world have reached a consensus on either the whole range of incentives or sanctions. So rather than leaving it vague and people talking about "going to the Security Council," I believe that the United States needs to be much more explicit now, as do the Europeans, the Russians, and the Chinese, about the incentives and disincentives that should be offered to Iran.

Nuclear Crisis: China backs Iran !

According to Libre Belgique,a leader journal in Belgium,there will be no meeting in Security Council in UN to discuss Iran's nuclear crisis.According To Libre Belgique China was agaist such a meeting and has backed iranian position.Apparently Oil is major issue here.Chine has become a real commercial partenar of Iran.First importer of iranian oil and its firms are actively in Iran looking for new oil sources.

Iran in nuclear sanctions warning

BBC:Iran has warned it would be a "grave miscalculation" for the US and EU to refer Tehran to the UN Security Council over its nuclear programme. The warning came after Iran broke UN seals at its nuclear plant at Isfahan, making it fully operational. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has called on European Union countries to continue dialogue with Iran.

US condemns Iran's breaking of UN seals on nuclear plant

Yahoo:AFP
VIENNA - The United States condemned Iran's breaking of UN seals to bring online a key nuclear fuel plant, calling it a sign of Tehran's disregard for the international community. "Today's breaking of seals is yet another sign of Iran's disregard for international concerns," Matt Boland, spokesman for the US mission to international organizations in Vienna, told AFP.

Ganji continues his hunger strike

BBC Persian: Masome Shafi,Ganji's wife,denied that Ganji has broken his hunger strike.She said now is about 10 days that she can not meet him in hospital.Several Nobel prize laureates asked Ganji to break his hunger strike.Tommorow about 164 people including former parliment's deputies,journalistes,writers and student movement leaders will go to hospital in order to convince Ganji to stop his hunger strike

Darvish Fakhar:UK based Artist


BBC Persian:Darvish Fakhar iranian UK based artist during his recent trip in Iran,created a mixture of Modern-Tradition paintings.

Iran: Nuclear Decision Making Undergoes

RadioFarda/RadioLibertyby Bill Samii....Where To Now?
Ali Larijani has been openly critical of his country's diplomatic contacts with European negotiators, saying they have given away too much in exchange for very little. President Ahmadinejad struck a similar tone in his 6 August inaugural address. He accused "some governments" of "trying to deprive our nation of its inalienable rights," state television reported. "I don't know why some [governments] don't want to understand the fact that the Iranian nation will not be bullied."

The prospective foreign minister, Ali Akbar Salehi, has accused the United States of trying to deprive Iran of its perceived right to use nuclear energy. He told the IAEA's board of governors in September 2003 that, "If cooperation has been slow at times...if there have been [a] few incidents of discrepancies...it is all out of one and only one concern: The U.S. intention behind this saga is nothing but to make this deprivation final and eternal," "The Wall Street Journal" reported on 18 March 2005. And when the legislature passed a nonbinding resolution calling on the government to resume developing nuclear fuel, Salehi was quoted as saying, "We need security of supply," "The New York Times" reported on 16 May. "We would like to get energy from all possible sources."

These new players in the policy process -- particularly Ahmadinejad -- are likely to be more nationalistically driven than individuals with more longstanding involvement. The discrete nature of policy setting and decision making in Iran suggests that if any dramatic changes do occur, they will not be revealed to the public in the near future. Furthermore, the existence of disagreements is not likely to see the light of day, given restrictions on the media. Therefore, tracking public statements by top officials could be the only way to discern possible changes in Iran's nuclear stance.

Majid Mohamadi:Iran a Media Graveyard

Gooyanews:US based academician Majid Mohamadi wrote in gooya that there is no free journal or magazine in Iran.The only journal which doesn't look like completely like
conservative Keyhan or Resalat is Sharagh.Mohamadi added Shargh in its turn depends on Rafsanjani's financial support.Mohamadi reminded us about Karnameh magazine which was closed recently at the end of Khatami's rule.Karnameh just reflected iranian writers association point of view and it didn't have to do anything with politics.At present according to Mohamadi all media is under control of Khamenei.

Rafsanjani's son got a new job!

FardaNews:Mehdi,Rafsanjani's son,who resigned from his key post related to Oil Ministry found a new job.He will work in Azad Universityas a kind ofadministrator.He will launch a news site in future.
Webgardian:.
Azad University is a private run university by one of Rafsanjani's family cercle.Many believe Rafsanjani is one of main shareholders of university.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Rumsfeld:Some weapons come to Iraq through Iran

CNN:Rumsfeld said to journalists we have found weapons that come to Iraq through Iran.He added it is a problem for Iraq's goverment coalition and ultimately for Iran.
Rumsfeld said we don't know who send it or let them send to Iraq.All countries in region want stability except Iran and Syria.

Iran says has new nuclear proposal

Aug 9, 2005 — By Louis Charbonneau and Francois Murphy
ABCnews:VIENNA (Reuters) - The U.N. nuclear watchdog held a crisis meeting on Tuesday to try to stop Iran pursuing a nuclear program after Tehran resumed work at a uranium plant, stoking Western fears it was bent on developing atomic weapons.

As the governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) met in Vienna, Iran's new President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said he had new ideas to resolve the nuclear standoff with the West and was ready to continue nuclear talks with the EU.

"I have new initiatives and proposals which I will present after my government takes office," he said in a telephone conversation with U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, the semi-official ISNA students news agency reported.

He added that Iran — which says it is only seeking nuclear power — had done nothing unlawful by resuming uranium conversion at a nuclear facility near Isfahan on Monday

What iranian weblogs say about Nuclear CRISIS!

Mr.Behi:Do we really need the Nucs?
Everything is going on a badly irrational way. Iran has started the enrichment of Uranium and it is booming in the media and I am wondering why EU/US and Iran itself are acting so irrational on this. The new radical government behaves as if it does not care about all the pressures that it might bring to the people as a result of possible sanctions against Iran and it's people. Is this the way they claim in their campaign that they want to serve people economically? From the corner of which swamp they are bringing such rotten idea? If the intention is peaceful energy producing nuclear activity, why not using the options provided by Europe to both get nuclear technology and get ride of all this clashes that might get us into another period of sanctions? Iran is insisting that it want to be independent in the cycle but in what price? we are not independent in many aspects of technology why not going to for independence in enhancing oil recovery for not waisting so much precious oil in our reserves? I guess Iran is behaving that way because it hopes that in the security council China and Russia would vote against sanctions. This high price of oil can be another reason.

Europe/US are also irrational. I think they should first go for those nations who have not signed even the NPT. Pakistan regime came to power in a cope and has a nuclear weapon, it came under US sanctions but as soon as it became a must to shoot cruise missile from it's sky to Afghanistan, it became a good friend and the fact that it has a nuclear bomb is becoming accepted to everyone! That is a shame that US as the only country that actually used a nuclear bomb and has many already, talkes about a Nuc free world! When they accept India as a nuclear power after many years of demand for NPT endorsement and it refuses, what sign they think its is sending to Iranian government?

I do not want a nuclear electricity. Not in my name! (who cares?)

DJ Iran Dissident: 4,000 Nuclear Centrifuges Produced

Dow Jones Newswires :Alireza Jafarzadeh told The Associated Press the centrifuges - which he said are unknown to the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency - are ready to be installed at Iran´s nuclear facility in Natanz.

Jafarzadeh, who runs Strategic Policy Consulting, a Washington-based think tank focusing on Iran and Iraq, said the information - which he described as "very recent" - came from sources within the Tehran regime who have proven accurate in the past.
The Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency, which was convening an emergency meeting on Iran later Tuesday, did not immediately comment on the centrifuge allegations. The agency previously had said it was aware of the existence of 164 centrifuges at Natanz.
Under an agreement with the IAEA, Iran had pledged to stop building centrifuges, which can be used to enrich uranium to levels high enough to fuel a nuclear weapon.
Centrifuges also can be used for the peaceful generation of nuclear energy, which Iran insists is its only intention. The U.S. contends it is running a covert effort to produce nuclear weapons.
"These 4,000 centrifuge machines have not been declared to the IAEA, and the regime has kept the production of these machines hidden from the inspectors while the negotiations with the E.U. have been going on over the past 21 months," he said in a telephone interview.

Press freedom group asks Ganji to call off hunger strike

RSF:Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Robert Ménard appealed to imprisoned journalist Akbar Ganji to call off his hunger strike today, as dozens of plain-clothes agents of the Tehran state prosecutor raided his home, insulted and roughed up his wife and daughter, and threatened to arrest them for "spying."

Ganji's wife begged him to stop hunger strike

GooyaNews: Ganji's wife in an interview with VOA said I begged my husband to stop hunger strike.She said if you can hear me please stop it!She was in tears and told VOA that now it is about 8 days that she has no news from Ganji.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Paris, a new capital of Mujahedines?

Baztab:According to Baztab more and more Mujahedines have become active in Paris.For this news site after Baghdad now it is Paris turn to be Rajavi's wife and members host.In 12 July a conference was organised in Paris"Election's outcome and its influence on iranian nuclear program".In this conference former chief of french intelligence said France owed Mujahedine too much.A former socialist Prime minister said I back Maryam Rajavi's efforts to establish democracy in Iran. Baztab is astonished why Iranian Foreign Minister has not reacted yet.

Iran defies Europe by resuming nuclear work

Independent:Britain, France and Germany called today's meeting of the board of governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna after Iran threatened to reopen the Isfahan site. The three countries had warned Iran if it did so it would breach an agreement to suspend activities during negotiations with the EU, and risk referral to the Security Council.
But an analyst with the independent nuclear think-tank Basic (British American Security Information Council) said the European strategy was flawed and risked being counter-productive. Although US pressure at today's meeting could lead to Iran being referred to the Security Council, a Basic analyst, Paul Ingram, said that China, which holds a veto, was unlikely to back sanctions against Iran, which has become a major trading partner.

Hard-liner to lead Iran's team negotiating the nuclear dispute

Herald Tribune:He is Ali Larijani, a conservative with close ties to the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.He takes over as chief nuclear negotiator from Hassan Rohani, a man considered more moderate, Reuters reported, citing the official IRNA news agency.

IAEA set for key talks on Iran

BBC:The IAEA confirmed on Monday that work had begun at the plant near the city of Isfahan, after it was suspended in 2004 to allow for negotiations with the EU.
The US and EU had warned any resumption could lead to Iran being referred to the UN Security Council for sanctions.
The EU and Washington have condemned Iran's latest move.
The British government - the current holder of the rotating EU presidency - said it was deeply concerned, and described Tehran's action as damaging.

New Book:Pursuit of Pleasure


Amazon.com:
From ancient times to the present day, Iranian social, political, and economic life has been dramatically influenced by psychoactive agents. This book looks at the stimulants that, as put by a longtime resident of seventeenth-century Iran, Raphaël du Mans, provided Iranians with damagh, gave them a "kick," got them into a good mood. By tracing their historical trajectory and the role they played in early modern Iranian society (1500–1900), Rudi Matthee takes a major step in extending contemporary debates on the role of drugs and stimulants in shaping the modern West.
At once panoramic and richly detailed, The Pursuit of Pleasure examines both the intoxicants known since ancient times—wine and opiates—and the stimulants introduced later—tobacco, coffee, and tea—from multiple angles. It brings together production, commerce, and consumption to reveal the forces behind the spread and popularity of these consumables, showing how Iranians adapted them to their own needs and tastes and integrated them into their everyday lives.

Matthee further employs psychoactive substances as a portal for a set of broader issues in Iranian history—most notably, the tension between religious and secular leadership. Faced with reality, Iran’s Shi`i ulama turned a blind eye to drug use as long as it stayed indoors and did not threaten the social order. Much of this flexibility remains visible underneath the uncompromising exterior of the current Islamic Republic.

About the Author
RUDI MATTHEE is Professor of History at the University of Delaware. He is the author of The Politics of Trade in Safavid Iran: Silk for Silver, 1600–1730.

Iran Resumes Uranium Conversion Efforts

Yahoo:AP
TEHRAN, Iran - Iran resumed uranium conversion activities at its Isfahan nuclear facility Monday, a step that Europeans and the United States warned would prompt them to seek U.N. sanctions against Tehran. Work resumed at the conversion facility quickly after inspectors from the U.N. nuclear watchdog finished installing surveillance equipment there and seals on equipment were removed.

Security forces raid Ganji's house

Gooya:According to Emrouz site security forces raid Ganji's house and started to search whole house.Maybe they try to find elements to accuse Ganji's wife too.Conservative journal Keyhan has accused Ganji's wife,friends and lawyers the people who encourage Ganji to continue his hunger strike.According to Gooya News there is a report that Masome Shafi,Ganji's wife,was beaten by agents.There is no news about Ganji in last 6 days and Proseutor's agents let nobody to meet Ganji.Molai
and Ebadi,Ganji's lawyers,wrote a letter to Ganji and asked him to stop hunger strike.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

HadadAdel:Europe should not be influenced by USA

IRNA:HadadAdel speaker of iranian parliment in Isfahan's airport said " concerning Iran's nuclear activity Europe should not be influenced by USA".He added "we try to rebuild confidence between Iran and Europe".

IAEA rushed in Isfahan

According to Liberation IAEA has send to Isfahan its inspectors to put in place their
cameras and other equipments.Iran may break the seals of its" uranium conversion" factory in Isfahan.

Crackdown on Kurdish press following clashes in Kurdistan

RSF:
Reporters Without Borders today condemned a wave of harassment of Kurdish journalists by local authorities in Iranian Kurdistan, which has been hit by clashes in recent weeks, and the closure of the daily Achti and the weekly Asou at the behest of the ministry of culture and Islamic guidance.

"We condemn this crackdown on the Kurdish press because Iranian Kurdistan has more need than ever of its journalists in these times of great tension," the press freedom organisation said. "We call on the authorities to stop the harassment of Kurdish journalists and to lift the suspension of Achti and Asou."

Asou, which is published in both Kurdish and Farsi, was closed by judicial officials in Sanandaj (the capital of Kurdistan) on 3 August, probably because of its editorial line and its coverage of the events shaking the region.

Rafsanjani's sons resigned!

Dariche:According to Arya news agency Rafsanjani's sons resigned from their govermental jobs.One was at head of Tehran's metro and other one had a key position in Oil ministry.Rafsanjani's family was accused indirectly by Ahmadinejad to control Iran's oil.During election Ahmadinejad said all our oil money is under control of one family.

Commentary: Iran's Nuclear Program

Qantara/Peter Philipp:
Iranian technicians are expected to remove the UN seals to a nuclear power plant. The EU is unhappy but Mideast expert Peter Philipp doesn't think that the move should change negotiation strategies.

Despite the apparent external motives of the resumption of uranium processing, the mullahs are quite clearly playing a domestic game of politics, says Peter Philipp | The announcement by the Iranian government that it would resume uranium ore conversion, just when an agreement with the EU seemed so close, seems irrational and counterproductive. Nine months ago, Tehran had stopped work on its nuclear program in an effort to improve the negotiating atmosphere with the EU.

Despite the apparent external motives of the resumption of uranium processing, the mullahs are quite clearly playing a domestic game of politics.

The current president, Mohamed Khatami, will be vacating his post by the middle of this week and is handing over the reins to his conservative successor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. In such an important matter in Iran, Khatami didn't want to leave an impression that he had succumbed to external pressure.

Not only does Khatami look strong, but he prevents Ahmadinejad from having to announce that Iran would resume uranium conversion, and hence, only confirm to the West that the new president is a hardcore conservative.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Canada:MINISTER PETTIGREW CALLS ON NEW IRANIAN GOVERNMENT TO BREAK WITH PAST OFFENCES

Department Of Foreign Affairs:Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew today expressed concern over Iran’s human rights situation and its intention to resume uranium conversion at its facility in Isfahan as the country’s new president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, assumes office:

“As Mr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad assumes the office of President of the Islamic Republic of Iran and appoints his new government, we call on Iran to turn words into action and honour its commitments to both its people and the international community.

Iran: Tehran Struggles To Push Ahead With India Pipeline

RADIOFREEEUROPE:By Bill Samii
.....Potential Blow To Iran

The collapse of the Indian natural-gas deal would be a sharp blow to Iran. Such a development could have an impact in three areas. One possibility is that Iran could try to salvage the deal by offering India a lower price for its gas. Pricing disagreements were one of the main sticking points in March.

Another possibility is that Iran's efforts to diversify beyond oil might collapse. That being said, Armenia and Turkey are already customers for Iranian gas; Tehran has signed agreements with Oman and Kuwait; and it has signed gas-related memorandums -- or at least discussed the topic -- with Austria, Bulgaria, China, Greece, Italy, South Korea, and Taiwan.

The third possibility, probably much more remote, is that Iran would renounce activities that concern the international community, including support for terrorism, interference in neighboring states' affairs, and the pursuit of weapons of mass destruction.

Failing that, Iran would find it very difficult to compete with the United States in terms of bargaining power. If the Indian model -- even without nuclear concessions -- were applied successfully in more cases where Iran was trying to do business with other countries, then Iran would find itself increasingly isolated.

US backs Iran civilian nuke program for first time

By Saul Hudson Yahoo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States on Friday explicitly accepted for the first time that Iran can develop civilian nuclear programs, backing an EU proposal to allow Tehran to pursue atomic power in exchange for giving up fuel work.

In a compromise that completed a gradual shift in U.S. policy, Washington acquiesced because it believes the EU offer has enough safeguards to prevent Iran from diverting its civilian work into making nuclear bombs.

"We support the (Europeans') effort and the proposal they have put forward to find a diplomatic solution to this problem and to seek an end to Iran's nuclear weapons program," State Department spokesman Tom Casey told reporters.

Chomsky:Two words on Iran

Taqrir Washington
Iran and several other countries have been branded as “rogue states.” Do you think these countries really pose a threat or were they called this to invent enemies for political ends?
Chomsky
They are rogue states, alright. Rogue states means you don’t follow orders. That is a rogue state. The most striking case in modern history is Cuba. Is Cuba a threat to the United States? Has it ever been a threat? The only time it became a threat to the United States is when the U.S. essentially manufactured the threat. Kennedy was carrying out a major terrorist war against Cuba, and Khrushchev put in missiles, partly in defense; it was a crazy, lunatic act that could have led to a global war, but it was basically defensive against a U.S. attack. Apart from that, Cuba has never been a threat and couldn’t possibly be a threat. How could it be? But for forty years now the United States has been trying to strangle and destroy Cuba, including major terrorist attacks back to the Kennedy administration, economic warfare and so on. In fact, the U.S. Treasury Department has an office that monitors suspicious international funding transfers. That’s a core part of the so-called war on terror. They recently reported to Congress that they have five times as many people monitoring attempts to evade the illegal U.S. embargo on Cuba, five times as many than they have monitoring the financing of al-Qaida and Saddam Hussein. That tells you what their priorities are. Is that because Cuba is a threat? We know what this is about. This is a very free country. We are unique in the world and have more access to internal government documents than any other country. We don’t have a hundred-year law like Britain does. We have documents from the early sixties, from the Kennedy and Johnson administrations and they explain it. What they say is the very existence of the Castro regime is successful defiance of U.S. policies that go back to the Monroe Doctrine in 1823. No Russians, no threat; they are just defying the master of the hemisphere. That can’t be tolerated. So they are a rogue state. They are not on the list of states sponsoring terrorism. Actually, only one state has been removed from that list, namely Iraq under Saddam Hussein. He was removed because the Reagan administration, basically the people who are now in office, wanted to supply him with arms and aid. So he was taken off the list of states responsible for terrorism, and Cuba was put in to fill the gap. Because they were sponsoring terrorism? No, they were the leading target of terrorism at that time. This is just propaganda. You are a rogue state if you don’t follow orders.

Ahmadinejad:Iran will stand up Foreign Threats

According to CNN's journalist in Tehran;Ahmadinejad in Parliment annouced He will promote islamic values,creating jobs,protecting Iranian culture from foreign cultures
and protecting iranian borders.Asefi,Foreign Affairs speaker,announced european proposition is rejected by Iran.

Sweden:No deportation for Gay Iranians

Guardian:Swedish rethink on Iran gays:
Sweden is reviewing its asylum policy for gay Iranians after two teenagers were executed in Iran on charges of involvement in homosexual acts. The decision means a freeze on deportations of gay Iranians who have been denied asylum in Sweden, immigration officials said.
AP, Stockholm

what Iranian webloggers say about Ganji

ZaneIrani:They say the world doesn't know who Ganji is and why he is dying, the world doesn't know! Well the world is my all American neighbor with three cars and two kids and an engineer husband. The world is my Swiss friend vacationing in her country with her husband and children; the world is my Chinese university professor standing in the Home Depot line waiting for his turn. The world may never know of the Mandelas and the Ganjis but I know and you know.
Sheema Kalbasi
The group benefiting from Ganji's death is the wave surfers also known as the Iranian Reformists.

Khatami's interview with AlHAYAT

Secular Canuck-Iranic: In response to the question: “Why have mediations for the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between Iran and the US failed?

“If mediations are based on improving the relations, then they may be effective, however, from the beginning there have been two sides, both in Iran and in the US, that have been of the view that the relations would (I think a proper more non-literary translation can be "should" instead of "would") not improve. There are certain 'views' (I think he means there are certain factions with such views) in both Iran and the US whose politics is somehow a politics of destruction and are of the opinion that any rapprochement in the relations between the two countries is against the national interests, and this is because of the outcomes of the Americans [actions] and their wrong policies about Iran. In the US, of course, there are some who believe Iran is a revolutionary country that wants to establish an Islamic democracy, and if Iran can successfully implement this plan, the foreign [powers’ military] bases in the region will be destroyed. The same feeling exists in the Islamic countries, and so the basic policy of both sides is to avoid rapprochement. As long as such a strategic principle exists, mediation and conciliation has no meaning. Naturally, several good actions were taken under my administration and President Clinton’s administration.”

Friday, August 05, 2005

Iranian Official Calls EU Offer ´Worthless´

NEW YORK (Dow Jones)--Iranian officials Friday dismissed as "worthless" European proposals designed to persuade the Islamic republic to give up its development of the nuclear fuel cycle, the Financial Times reports in an article on its Web site, citing an Iranian news agency.

Hossein Mousavian, spokesman for the Iranian negotiation team, told Iran´s Mehr news agency the proposal was "worthless" because guarantees given on economic and political incentives were "very weak," while the "objective guarantees" that would ensure no diversion to a weapons program "violate" the 2004 Paris suspension agreement as well as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, according to the FT report.

What American bloggers think about Iran-Nuclear story

Weblogger is Kira Zalan a freelance journalist

Is there an Iran crisis?
August 4th, 2005
Iran has declared that it will resume nuclear conversion at Esfahan within one or two days. Europe has requested an emergency meeting of the IAEA to pressure Iran not to resume nuclear fuel cycle work. Israel is pressuring Ukraine to demand from Iran the 12 nuclear-capable X-55 cruise missiles that were smuggled there four years ago.

All of this is happening as the talks with North Korea are drawing to a crucial, and so far unpredictable, end.

So is World War III imminent? Hardly.

Over reaction is exactly what these unlikely allies are fishing for. The coincidence of declared threats by both countries is a bit too convenient. By cranking the nuclear threat pressure simultaneously, both North Korea and Iran are hoping to walk away with the most handouts.

Of course the stories are different – North Korea has never denied pursuing WMDs and couldn’t care less about international law, while Iran continues to insist that their enrichment program is for peaceful purposes and consistent with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). This is because North Korea has little to lose from increased sanctions, while Iran has plenty. Still both are standing firm and talking big, finding strength in each other.

The worst thing we can do is get scared and give away the farm. Lets cut through the tough talk and look at the facts. US and Israeli intelligence analysts estimate that Iran is years away from a nuclear weapons capability. North Korea is very likely to be overstating its nuclear capabilities, and will not cease its program no matter what we give them.

What we have today is a crisis in diplomacy. It is impossible to reach a compromise when the intentions of the negotiating parties are mutually exclusive. But despite another failed relationship therapy session, nothing has changed in the capabilities reality.

This time, we must stand firm with the realization that the more we give, the more we fuel the fire.

Iran: What Does Ahmadi-Nejad's Victory Mean?

Middle East Briefing N°18
Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad's presidency may aggravate tensions between Iran and the West, and the U.S. in particular. But it would be unwise to act upon hasty conclusions about the new leader. The new president won with populist economic appeals and conservative establishment support and is indifferent at best to improved U.S. relations, but major foreign policy decisions are not made by the president. Iran is governed by complex institutions and competing power centres that favour continuity over change. Bottom line positions on the nuclear program, Iraq policy and other regional interests likely will not vary. Ahmadi-Nejad may diminish Washington's slim appetite for engagement, but with the Iraq situation bad and the Baghdad government reaching out to Tehran, need for direct or indirect coordination will only become greater. If nuclear talks with Europe break down, absence of U.S. engagement would make chances for real nuclear resolution -- remote as they may be -- nil.

Europe-Iran-Nuclear:Voice of Reason?

BBC Persian:Europe proposed that Iran becomes the main road for transporting Central Asia's oil and gas to Europe.To be able to profit this advantage Iran must STOP URANIUM enrichement.An european responsible called this offer very generous and he hoped Iran listens to the VOICE of REASON.

Ganji's family can not meet him!

Gooya:Masome Shafie,Ganji's wife, in an interview with RadioFarda said "they don't let us meet Ganji".She said she can not understand according to which ideology or belief they(Proseutor agents)treat them like that.

Prof Abrahamian: A few words on NeoCons & Iran

In my interview with Prof Abrahamian for WashingtonPrism,I asked him:In an interview you said for the first time in US Foreign Policy regarding Iran,WhiteHouse started to support ethnic groups in Iran.Do you think Neocons are planning to fortify speratist groups in Iran? Abrahamian:NeoCons desire is to destroy Islamic Republic!If they can replace it with a liberal proUs state it will be ideal for them.But in reality they know it is very difficult then they use other groups such as Mujahedin or speratists groups.The Azari seperatist group has an office in Washington and get support from US.During Cold War US accused Soviet Union for helping iranian sepratist groups.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Belgium:No acid phosphoric for IRAN

According to Libre Belgique,a leading journal in Belgium,Brussel's regional goverment did'nt give exportation permission to Lavalin Europe enterprise to export
acid phosphoric to Iran.According to journal this product can be used in Uranium enrichement.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

UNREST IN KURDISTAN GOES ON

BBC:Several govermental buildings were attacked in Sagez in Kurdistan.According to BBC report three people were killed and several got injured.After a young man had been killed in Mehabad by govermental forces unrest spread in many cities including Mehabad,Piranshahr,Sanandaj and Bane.

A US military Base in Azerbaijan

Le Monde: After Uzbekistan asked US military forces to leave,Azerbaijan is becoming a new home for US soldiers.Decision has not been announced yet but according to a Russian journal US and Azerbaijan are close to make a deal.

Statement Attributable to Melissa Fleming, IAEA Spokesperson on Iran

IAEA 3 August 2005 | "We have made it clear that we need until the middle of next week to get our surveillance equipment in place before any seals could be cut and nuclear activities started. The Agency calls on Iran again not to start any activities in Isfahan before the IAEA inspection system is in place."

Iran says it hopes for nuclear restart on Wednesday

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Yahoo
Iran said it hoped to restart work at a uranium conversion plant on Wednesday, rejecting as unacceptable a proposal by the U.N. nuclear watchdog that it wait a week for surveillance equipment to be installed.
The European Union has warned Iran that any resumption of nuclear fuel activities would mean an end to two years of negotiations over Iran's atomic ambitions, which Tehran says are peaceful but which the West suspects are aimed at making a bomb.The EU would then back U.S. calls to start a process that could end in the Islamic Republic being referred to theU.N. Security Council for possible sanctions.

Parliment -Ahmadinejad:Face to Face

Farda:Iranian conseravative dominated parliment send back to Ahmadinejad his list of Ministers.One conservative deputy told Fardanews that many deputies think the most of Ahmadinejad's candidates don't have ability to run Ministries. They,the deputies,are also upset that President didn't ask them to take part in choosing candidates.

Khamenei:Democracy emerges from Faith

BBC:Mr Ahmadinejad was endorsed as head of state by Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Khamenei,in reaction to US critisim regarding election,said we don't accept US democracy either.Real democracy emerges from faith and religion.

China asks Iran & Europe to be Patient

Farsnews:China asks Iran & Europe follow diplomatic path to resolve iranian nuclear activities.For China both sides have come a long way and diplomatic way is the only way to find a solution to this problem

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Amidst Anxieties and Speculations, Americans Discuss Iran-China Energy Relations

WashingtonPrism:Iran and China enjoy a long history of economic ties, as the two countries have actively cooperated since the beginning of the 1970s. However, with an eye on China’s global ambitions and the uncertainties about the Islamic Republic’s intentions in the Middle East, Washington has increased its scrutiny of Sino-Iranian relations. In a just released report to the Congress, the Pentagon has estimated that China’s energy consumption will reach 12.8 million barrels by 2025. China, the world’s third largest importer of oil, currently consumes over 6 million barrels per day.
In analyzing growing economic cooperation between China and Iran, many observers have stressed the political dimension of this relationship. According to conventional wisdom in Washington, the two countries are moving closer together, in response to the Bush administration’s efforts to keep Tehran and Beijing restrained. “Iran and China need each other,” said Gal Luft, in an interview with Washington Prism.

Angelika Beer from European Parliment:We want to meet Ganji

BBC, Gooya: Angelika Beer a German Green Party member in European Parliment asks Iranian goverment to let her and a European delegation to meet Ganji. She said that Ganji is in very critical situation and his life in a real danger.In her letter to Iranian goverment she hoped that new President move country towards democracy.Beer in European Parliment is in charge with iranian affairs.

Hans Blix asks Iran not to restart nuclear activities

Farsnews:Hans Blix, former UN top weapons inspector, asks Iran not to restart its nuclear activities.According to Blix region is already in a deep crisis and any iranian nuclear activities will make things worse.

Why presidential elections surprised us

In Iran 8 years ago Khatami's victory in presidential election surprised everybody.
Last month Ahmadinejad's victory and Karoubi's third place in election surprised us again.But what explains it? Are iranian people change their mind overnight?I don't think that. Problem is simple. In Iran candidates don't hire qualified people to do statistics:Quantative research,trying to find reliable samples...It was amazing that Dr.Moin's group,reformists,who were supposed to be an intellectual group didn't do this "scientific" research.

Ganji's judge murdered

Farsnews:According to Farsnews the judge who was responsible of Ganji's case was assassinated today.Killers ran away on a motorbike.His name was Masoud Ahmadi Moghadas.

West warns Iran over uranium processing

BBC:Iran has announced that the uranium enrichement will be restaretd in Isfahan.US asked Iran to stay faithful to its promises to Europen countries. US and France threated that Iran will face UN security council's sanctions.

Ganji's wife crying for HELP

Gooya:Masome Shafi,Ganji's wife, in an interview with RadioFarda said yesterday security agents during her visit in hospital acted with violence. They dropped Ganji from bed to floor and threated to torture him. Ganji's wife who was in tears asked to bring back her husband to jail because hospital's conditions are worse than prison.

Journals: No word on Attacks Please

Gooya: Sousan Mohamdi wrote that iranian journals received an order from Ministry of Culture and Guidance not to inform any news about attacks on iranian borders! If the journals don't follow this order they will face punishment! Writer thinks that iranian goverment takes in consideration an attack to Iran if the Islamic State restart nuclear activities. For Sousan Mohamdi probably Larijani, Ahmadinejad's foreign minister, and other islamist strategists speculate that any unrest in Persian Gulf will make oil price around 100 dollars per baril. Then for them the loser will be the western countries.

US intelligence says Iran 10 years away from nuclear bomb: report

Yahoo: WASHINGTON (AFP) - Ordered by the National Intelligence Council in January, the National Intelligence Estimate on Iran doubles the amount of time the White House believes Iran is away from building a nuclear weapon from five years in the previous estimate in 2001, the daily said.
The estimate, designed to alert the US president to national security developments, said there were credible indicators that Iran's military was conducting clandestine work, but nothing to indicate they were related to a nuclear weapons program, according to sources familiar with the report.The report also expresses uncertainty about whether Iran's ruling clerics have made a decision to build a nuclear arsenal, although it agrees that, left to its own devices, Iran would pursue the nuclear weapons path.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Tajik journalists are worried about Ganji

BBC: Three different Tajik media organizations declared they are worried about Ganji's situation. Tajik journalists ask Islamic Republic to release Ganji. They added during civil war Tajik journalists faced very difficult time at thier turn and now they are united with others to ask freedom for Ganji.

New estimates on Iranian nukes

Jerusalem Post - Israel has adjusted its estimates of when it believes Iran will have nuclear bombs due to the belief that that Iran no longer runs independent military and civilian nuclear development programs. According to the new estimates, Iran will probably have a nuclear bomb by 2012, but could have the capability as early as 2008 "if all goes well for it," a high ranking IDF commander told The Jerusalem Post yesterday. We no longer think that a secret military track runs independent of the civilian one," said the officer in an interview at IDF Headquarters in Tel-Aviv. "If it were then they could acquire weapons in 2007... We have changed our estimation. Now we think the military track is dependent on the civilian one. However, from a certain point it will be able to run independently. But not earlier than 2008." READ MORE

WILLEM FLOOR: A Qajar Specialist

WILLEM FLOOR studied development economics, nonwesternsociology, as well as Persian, Arabic, and Islamologyfrom 1963-1967 at the University of Utrecht (the Netherlands).He received his doctoral degree from the Universityof Leiden in 1971. Since 1983, Dr. Floor has been employedby the World Bank as an energy specialist. Throughout thistime, he has published extensively on the socio-economichistory of Iran. His most recent books include Safavid GovernmentInstitutions (2001), The Traditional Crafts of Qajar Iran(2002), Agriculture in Qajar Iran (2003), and Public Health in Qajar Iran (2004).
He also wrote the History of Theater in Iran. Mage

Iran Gives EU new nuclear deadline

Guardian: Iran has given the EU until this afternoon to submit a list of incentives aimed at persuading it to delay its nuclear activities.
Gholam Ali Hadad Adel, Iran's parliamentary speaker, presented EU negotiators with the deadline to submit their proposals before Tehran would restart parts of its uranium processing programme.
Iran says the EU - represented by Britain, France and Germany - failed to meet a previous, Sunday deadline. However, the EU says it never agreed to a deadline and had told Iran "full and detailed proposals" would be delivered in a week.