onsdag, maj 31, 2006
Säger regimen ja, så förlorar den ”cred” i fundamentalist kretsar och Khamenei lär få det hett om öronen från de konservativa mullorna. Det finns inte en chans att Ahamdinejad och Khamenei kommer att vilja förhandla med den ”store satan”. Om regimen skulle gå med på att förhandla med USA så förlorar den lite av sin möjlighet att använda USA som slagträ i den inhemska politiken också. Det är svårt att prata om den ”stora satan” om man själv sitter och förhandlar och fått göra eftergifter för att förhandla med USA. Sen så är Khamenei och regimens högsta önskan att få anrika uran och tillverka A-bomber och därmed göra Iran till en regional stormakt.
Säger regimen nej, så förlorar den mark i propaganda kriget. USA: s utspel visar att den är villig att förhandla och resonera, när regimen säger nej så visar den att man har nåt att dölja. Man bevisar sin egen fundamentalism.
Såhär kommer det att gå:
Just nu i skrivande stund sitter Khamenei och Larijani och funderar på hur man ska bemöta Rice utspel, och så här kommer man att göra. Khamenei låter Ahamdinejad eller någon ur hans kabinett gå ut för att håna och säga nej till Rice erbjudande. Argumenten kommer att vara typ, ”anrikning är den Iranska nationens rättighet” m.m. Därefter får Larijani eller någon annan diplomat i en intervju eller liknande få en fråga om förhandlingar med USA, svaret kommer att bli fylld med ord som ”kanske”, ”eventuellt” och ”om”.
Då är vi tillbaka på ruta ett, USA och EU har ingen aning om det finns någon förhandlingsvillig part och regimen har fördrivit lite mer tid medan USA och EU famlar lite mer i mörkret ovetande om vilken linje den ska ta. Frågan om regimen vill eller inte vill förhandla kommer att debatteras ganska friskt hos Rice och de andra i EU-3.
Men samtidigt är läget lite kaotiskt i Iran, ingen vet riktigt vad som väntar. Det är val till det viktiga ”expertrådet” i höst. Expertrådet har mandat på åtta år och är den instans som bestämmer vem som blir Irans nästa ”andlige ledare”, alltså diktator. Medtanke på att Khamenei är över 70 år gammal så är detta ett oerhört viktigt val, redan i höst bestäms vilken fraktion som nästa ”andlige ledare” kommer att komma ifrån.
Det är också just det här valet och dess speciella karaktär som gör att regimen i Iran inte vill ha sanktioner eller verka allt för hårdföra. Inte ens de konservativa och fundamentalisterna vill gå för långt i rädsla att befolkningen kommer att mobilisera och röstar bort deras chans att tillsätta Mesbah-Yazdi som nästa ”andlige ledare”. I samma osäkra situation sitter de mer ”reforminriktade pragmatikerna”, man vill inte förarga de konservativa genom att framstå som ”USA vänliga” och därmed riskera att få sina kandidater bort sållade av väktarrådet.
Jag gissa på att hela den här såpan kommer att dra ut fram till oktober och eventuellt fram till nästa år tills styrkeförhållandena i Iran är klara.
Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, declaring that the United States was too tied down in Iraq and Afghanistan to be able to mount an attack on Iran, said Tuesday that "there is no such country" as Israel.
The comments were made at a ministerial meeting of the Nonaligned Movement held in the city of Putrajaya. The group appears set to support Tehran's right to develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
Asked to comment on Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni's call for imposing economic sanctions on Iran, Mottaki replied sarcastically: "What country is that? There is no such country." Iran refuses to recognize Israel.
The Iranian foreign minister also accused Washington of following "a double standard policy" over the nuclear issue, and engaging in "a unilateral approach that is not acceptable."
He said Iran was not afraid of a U.S. military attack on his country. "They can't. The United States is not in a position to impose another crisis on taxpayers," he said.
"They are in a lot of difficulties in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are not in a position to create a new crisis in the region," he added.
Mottaki made the comments as NAM, a 114-nation group of mostly developing countries, was set to issue a statement on the Iranian nuclear crisis, reaffirming the "basic and inalienable right" of all countries to develop, research, produce and use atomic energy for peaceful purposes, as long as they conform to their legal obligations.
The statement made no mention of accusations by the U.S. and some of its allies that Iran is using its civilian nuclear program as a cover to produce nuclear weapons. Tehran has denied this, claiming its nuclear program is merely to generate electricity.
Iran has also said it will not give up its right to enrich uranium and produce nuclear fuel as allowed by the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, to which it is a signatory.
In a bid to avert the crisis over the issue, the five Security Council members and Germany are in the process of formulating a package of rewards to give Iran if it gives up uranium enrichment, or punish it with sanctions if it does not.
Mottaki reiterated that for Iran to accept the package, the international community must fulfill two preconditions: recognition of its essential right to have nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, and the strengthening of the NPT.
"Under such circumstances we are in a position to cooperate. Otherwise if they ignore the right of Iran to have nuclear technology, how can we accept?"
tisdag, maj 30, 2006
1) Innerst inne tror Ahmadinejad att han kan vinna över folket och ledare i Europa till sin sida. Om hans brev till president Bush var för hemmaopinionen så är den här och liknande intervjuer till för den Europeiska opinionen. Han vill ge sken av att han inte alls är så radikal och fundamentalistisk som han egentligen är, utan mer ge intrycket av att vara en resonlig, filosofisk och principfast politiker. Men allt det här går ju åt skogen så fort han öppnar munnen.
Ahmadinejad tror nog att han kan spela på samma ”anti-amerikansim” som han gör på hemmaplan och i mellanöstern. Förebilden här är kanske Kubas Fidel Castro, som trots sin diktatur har en ganska stor ”fan-club” i Europa, främst bland vänstern. Men han missbedömer två saker;
i) anti-amerikanismen på hemmaplan, som är allt mer döende och irrelevant för befolkningen i Iran.
ii) Hur villiga folket och ledare i Europa är att på grund av anti-amerikanism ta ställning för en diktatur som vill utveckla kärnvapen.
2) Men regimen hoppas att Ahmadinejad kan ”charma” Europa till den grad att den motsätter sig kommande FN sanktioner och bombningar av regimens anrikningsanläggningar. För man är medveten om att USA förmodligen inte ensam kan slå ut regimens anrikningsanläggningar utan hjälp av allierade i Europa.
3) Regimen och Ahmadinejad försöker och just nu lyckas att på ett skickligt sätt spela på EU och USA:s önskan om att ha en förhandlingsvillig part i Iran. Detta verkar vara regimen senaste trick, genom att göra som man gjort så många gånger förut, låtsas vara intresserad av direkta samtal med USA så har man lyckats fördröja och utmanövrera västvärlden. Av någon anledning så verkar det som att USA och EU inte har någon annan plan än att förhandla med en regim som inte vill förhandla. Då kan ett par citat från en f.d. chefsförhandlare som Rowhani, ett dravelfyllt brev eller någon intervju i en tysktidning med Ahmadinejad få EU och USA att hoppas och lätta på trycket.
SPIEGEL: Are you still saying that the Holocaust is just "a myth?"
Ahmadinejad: I will only accept something as truth if I am actually convinced of it.
SPIEGEL: All questions are allowed in our country. But of course there are right-wing radicals in Germany who are not only anti-Semitic, but xenophobic as well, and we do indeed consider them a threat.
Ahmadinejad: Let me ask you one thing: How much longer can this go on? How much longer do you think the German people have to accept being taken hostage by the Zionists? When will that end - in 20, 50, 1,000 years?
SPIEGEL: If this were so, shouldn't you be making an effort to ensure that no one need fear your producing nuclear weapons that you might use against Israel, thus possibly unleashing a world war? You're sitting on a tinderbox, Mr. President.
Ahmadinejad: Allow me to say two things. No people in the region are afraid of us. And no one should instill fear in these peoples. We believe that if the United States and these two or three European countries did not interfere, the peoples in this region would live peacefully together as they did in the thousands of years before. In 1980, it was also the nations of Europe and the United States that encouraged Saddam Hussein to attack us.
Our stance with respect to Palestine is clear. We say: Allow those to whom this country belongs to express their opinion. Let Jews, Christians and Muslims say what they think. The opponents of this proposal prefer war and threaten the region. Why are the United States and these two or three European nations opposed to this? I believe that those who imprison Holocaust researchers prefer war to peace. Our stance is democratic and peaceful.
SPIEGEL: In this letter you also write that Western liberalism has failed. What makes you say that?
Ahmadinejad: You see, for example you have a thousand definitions of the Palestian problem and you offer all sorts of different definitions of democracy in its various forms. It does not make sense that a phenomenon depends on the opinions of many individuals who are free to interpret the phenomenon as they wish. You can't solve the problems of the world that way. We need a new approach. Of course we want the free will of the people to reign, but we need sustainable principles that enjoy universal acceptance - such as justice. Iran and the West agree on this.
Det här handlar självklart om Bitte Hammargrens framfart i Iran, efter att igår ha revanscherat sig för den katastrofala artikel som med rubriken ”Presidenten har Iraniernas stöd”. Där Hammargren raljerade över Iranska intellektuella och rakt igenom artikeln drev en ogenomtänkt, inställsam och okritisk tes om att ”Iranierna stödjer Ahmadinejad”. Idag intervjuar hon Irans chefsförhandlare Ali Larijani, en man som man kan ställa många frågor till.
Larijani har tidigare haft en tung ministerpost, som kulturminister hade han det yttersta ansvaret för censuren i landet, som chef för den Iranska statstelevisionen drog han på sig kritik från regimen egna män för att innehållet i statstelevisionen blivit FÖR islamisk och propaganda fokuserat under hans tid. Larijani har också starka band till übermullan Khamenei och betecknades som Khameneis knähund under presidentvalet förra året. Så det här är en man med inflytande och förmåga att svara på tunga frågor.
Men vilken väg tar Hammargren? Jo, hon låter Ali Larijani raljera och svara på okritiska frågor som får regimens egen nyhetsbyrå IRNA att verka regimfientlig. Så till nästa intervju har jag sammanställt en rad frågor som Bitte Hammargren kan använda sig.
1) I februari månad utfärdade en av Irans mer inflytelserika mullor en Fatwa om att det var okej att använda sig av kärnvapen, betyder det här att den Iranska regimen gör sig redo för kärnvapen innehav?
2) Varför har regimen under 18 år ljugit om sitt atomprogram?
3) Hur kommer det sig att regimen försöker massproducera höganrikat uran som inte behövs för de lätt vattenreaktorer som regimen påstår sig bygga för civil och fredlig energi?
4) Varför vägrar regimen godta Ryssland erbjudande om att Iran ska få anrika den uran som behövs för fredlig energi på ryskmark? Varför är det så viktigt att regimen anrikar sitt eget uran?
5) Hur passar president Ahmadinejads ständiga och hatiska uttalanden om att ”Israel ska utplånas” med regimen budskap om att atomprogrammet bara ska användas till fredliga syften?
6) Under helgen så arresterade och misshandlade regimen ett hundratal studentdemonstranter, när kommer regimen att tillåta yttrande och demonstrationsfrihet.
7) Amnesty international riktade häromdagen hård kritik mot regimen för dess behandling av främst etniska och religiösa minoriteter i landet, varför förföljer regimen dessa minoriteter? När kommer regimen att tillåta religionsfrihet?
8) Människorättsorganisationer kritiserar regimen i Iran för dess brist på respekt av de mänskliga rättigheterna. Oppositionella, dissidenter och människorättsaktivister som Akbar Ganji, Mansour Osanlu och nu senast Ramin Jahanbegloo har gripits och torterats. Varför tål inte regimen kritik, varför får inte fackföreningar, organisationer och partier som är kritiska till regimen bildas? När kommer Jahanbegloo att släppas?
9) Under din tid som chef för statstelevisionen har Iran blivit världens största fängelse för journalister, vad är ditt ansvar för den obefintliga pressfriheten?
10) Den Iranska regimen spenderar årligen miljontals dollar på att stödja organisationer som utför terrordåd utanför landets gränser och regimen anses idag vara den största sponsorn av terrorism. Om regimen är så pass fredlig varför då stödja terrorism?
Så nu väntar på Hammargrens nästa intevju...
måndag, maj 29, 2006
torsdag, maj 25, 2006
Demonstrationer ägde även rum vid Amir Kabir University, där studenterna demonstrerade mot Khamenei och Ahmadinejads paramilitära grupp, Bassijs och deras inblandning i presidentvalet förra året.
Den här bilden tillägnas Bitte Hammargren. Studenten till höger håller upp ett plakat där det står: "Ge upp atomprogrammet och tänk lite på oss".
”Atomenergifrågan i Iran är ofta förstasidesnyhet i iranska tidningar. Men inte på samma sätt som i väst. Här är budskapet att Irans anrikning av uran är en fråga om att modernisera landet och att ge Iran ökat nationellt oberoende – allt med fredliga syften.”
Jaha! Kan det bero på regimen kontrollerar all media? Att kulturministern varnat journalister och medier som väljer att ta en annan väg och argumentera för en annan linje. Av det finns inte nåt i artikeln.
Sen är det också intressant vilka Hammargren valt att prata med, att Basarägarna och överklassen stödjer Ahmadinejad är väl ganska klart. Basarägarna är ju som hon själv skriver ryggraden och de konservativas främsta väljargrupp. Hammargren avfärdar däremot snabbt Irans intellektuella, genom att säga att de blir ”tysta” när frågan om regimen atomprogram kommer på tal. Varför dem blir tysta resonerar hon inte kring, kan det bero på att de är rädda för repressalier från regimen?
Därefter intervjuar Bitte Hammargren en rad andra människor som ungefär verifierar hennes ”tes” om att Iranierna stödjer Ahmadinejad. Sen ska man också komma ihåg att Bitte Hammargren knappast själv fritt fått gått ut på gatorna och intervjua folk. Antingen har hon haft med sig en ”guide” utsedd av regimen eller så har hon bara fått tillträde att vistas på ställen där regimen vet att den har ett stort stöd. Vidare så är Basarer knappast rätt ställe att fråga människor om de är regimkritiker eller ej, eftersom det där kryllar av människor från underrättelsetjänsten eller just basarägare som är lojala mot regimen. Hade Hammargren intervjuat mig på en basar så hade jag också säkerligen sagt sammas sak som de hon intervjuade. Det nämner hon inte heller.
En annan detalj som kanske visar på Hammargrens okunnighet är när hon skriver: "Vanliga iranier som SvD stöter på i Teheran nämner ofta spontant USA, den gamla ärkefienden. Men däremot tar de sällan eller aldrig upp Israel, trots den hotfulla tonen mellan israeliska och iranska ledare.”
Kan det bero på att Iranier inte ens får nämna Israel, eftersom det skulle vara någon form av erkännande av staten Israel. Kan det bero på att Israel inte finns i Iranska kartor och att barn i Iranska skolor inte får veta om att staten Israel existerar. Inget av det heller är med i artikeln.
onsdag, maj 24, 2006
Amnesty riktar hård kritik mot regimen för dess brott mot de mänskliga rättigheterna. Amnesty's rapport i år belyser speciellt de övergrepp och brott som regimen begår mot de etniska och religiösa minoriteterna i landet. Rapporten går att hitta här.
Scores of political prisoners, including prisoners of conscience, continued to serve prison sentences imposed following unfair trials in previous years. Hundreds more were arrested in 2005, mostly in connection with civil unrest in areas with large minority populations. Internet journalists and human rights defenders were among those detained arbitrarily without access to family or legal representation, often initially in secret detention centres. Intimidation of the families of those arrested persisted. Torture remained commonplace. At least 94 people were executed, including at least eight who were under 18 at the time of their alleged offence. Many sentences of flogging were imposed. The true number of those executed or subjected to corporal punishment was believed to be considerably higher than the cases reported.
The political stalemate of the previous year continued until the election of a new president in June. Over 1,000 presidential candidates were excluded from the election by the Council of Guardians, which reviews laws and policies to ensure that they uphold Islamic tenets and the Constitution. All 89 women candidates were excluded on the basis of their gender under discriminatory selection procedures known as gozinesh. There were reports of arrests of people demonstrating against the elections. Up to 10 people were killed in separate pre-election bomb attacks in Ahvaz and Tehran, and six others were killed in a bomb attack in Ahvaz in October.
The authorities faced armed opposition from Kurdish and other groups.The election as President of former Revolutionary Guard Special Forces member Dr Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who took office in August, completed the marginalization of pro-reform supporters from the political process and led to a concentration of power in the Office of the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei. In October, the Supreme Leader delegated some of his supervisory powers over the government to the Expediency Council, headed by defeated presidential candidate Hojjatoleslam AliAkbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.
Relations with the international community remained strained over human rights and Iran’s nuclear programme, particularly after Iran announced in August that it was resuming uranium enrichment for civilian purposes. Iran accused foreign governments, particularly those of the USA and UK, of instigating unrest in border areas; the UK accused Iran of aiding anti-UK insurgency activities in Iraq. The European Union-Iran human rights dialogue was suspended because of diplomatic tensions.
In December, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution condemning the human rights situation in Iran.
Repression of minorities
Discriminatory laws and practices remained a source of social and political unrest and of human rights violations, particularly against Iran’s ethnic and religious minorities. In July the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing visited Iran. He found discrimination in the distribution of resources, and in access to and quality of housing, water and sanitation in areas populated by minorities.
In April, at least 31 Arabs were killed and hundreds injured during clashes with the police following demonstrations in Ahvaz and elsewhere in Khuzestan province. Hundreds of other people were detained. The demonstrators were protesting against a letter allegedly written by a presidential adviser, who denied its authenticity, which set out policies for the reduction of the Arab population of Khuzestan. Waves of arrests continued throughout the year, particularly following bomb explosions in Ahvaz in June and October and attacks on oil installations in September and October.
At least 81 people were arrested in November while attending an Arab cultural gathering called Mahabis. Those arrested included Zahra Nasser-Torfi, director of the Ahwaz al-Amjad cultural centre, who was reportedly tortured in detention, including with beatings and threats of execution, rape and other sexual abuse, before being released on bail to await trial.
At the end of June, scores of ethnic Azeris participating in an annual cultural gathering at Babek Castle in Kalayber were arrested. At least 21 were later sentenced to prison terms of between three months and one year, some of which were suspended. Some were also banned from entering Kalayber for 10 years.
Abbas Lisani, an Azeri butcher, was arrested during the Babek Castle event. He was released on bail in July and was sentenced in August to one year’s imprisonment to be spent in internal exile after conviction of “spreading propaganda” and “disturbing public opinion”. He was believed to have appealed against his sentence.
In June, clashes between security forces and Kurds celebrating events in Iraq led to injuries to police officers and the arrest of dozens of demonstrators. In July, after Iranian security forces shot dead a Kurdish opposition activist, Showaneh Qaderi, and reportedly dragged his body through the streets behind a jeep, thousands of Kurds took to the streets to protest. Security forces reportedly killed up to 21 people, injured scores more and arrested at least 190. In further clashes in October and November, at least one person, Shoresh Amiri, was killed, several people were injured and others were arrested.
Dr Roya Toloui, a women’s rights activist, and two journalists, Ajlal Qavami and Sa’id Sa’edi, were among the Kurds arrested in August. All were released on bail in October and were reported to be facing political charges that can carry the death penalty.
Members of Iran’s religious minorities were detained solely in connection with their faith.
Hamid Pourmand, who had converted to Christianity from Islam over 25 years previously, was sentenced in February by a military court to three years’ imprisonment on charges of deceiving the Iranian armed forces about his religion and “acts against national security”. In May he was acquitted of apostasy.
At least 66 Baha’is were detained and two remained held at the end of the year. Mehran Kawsari and Bahram Mashhadi were sentenced to three years and one year in prison respectively in connection with an open letter sent to President Khatami in November 2004.
Human rights defenders
The registration process for independent non-governmental organizations remained a barrier to their effective operation, and individual human rights defenders remained at risk of reprisal for their work.
In July, Abdolfattah Soltani, a lawyer and co-founder of the Centre for Defenders of Human Rights, was detained. He was reportedly accused of releasing “secret and classified national intelligence” in connection with his work defending an espionage case. He remained in detention at the end of the year with limited access to his family and no access to his lawyer.
Prisoner of conscience Akbar Ganji, an investigative reporter who uncovered the involvement of government officials in the murder of intellectuals and journalists in the 1990s, continued to serve a six-year prison sentence imposed after he was convicted of vaguely worded charges including “acting against national security”. Following a hunger strike in protest at being denied independent medical treatment outside prison, accompanied by considerable domestic and international protests, he was temporarily released for medical treatment in July. He was returned to prison in September and placed in solitary confinement for over six weeks. His wife said he had been beaten by security forces in hospital.
Torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading punishments
Torture continued to be routine in many prisons and detention centres. At least five people died in custody. In several cases, torture or ill-treatment may have been a factor. Denial of medical treatment to put pressure on political prisoners emerged as an increasingly common practice.In July a report by the judiciary detailed human rights violations, including torture, of prisoners and detainees. It stated that measures had been taken to address the problems, but gave no details.
In September, Arezoo Siabi Shahrivar, a photographer, was arrested along with up to 14 other women, at a ceremony commemorating the 1988 “prison massacre” in Evin prison, Tehran, in which thousands of political prisoners were executed. In detention she was suspended from the ceiling, beaten with a wire cable and sexually abused.
A man from Shiraz sentenced to 100 lashes in 2004 for homosexual activities alleged that he had been tortured and threatened with death by security forces.
At least three amputations were carried out. It remained common for courts to hand down sentences of flogging.
Update: Zahra Kazemi
In November the Appeals Court upheld the acquittal of an Intelligence Ministry official accused of killing Canadian-Iranian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi in custody in July 2003. A new investigation into the killing was announced.
At least 94 people were executed in 2005, including at least eight aged under 18 at the time of the crime. Scores more were reported to have been sentenced to death, including at least 11 who were under 18 at the time of the offence. The true figures were probably much higher. Death sentences continued to be imposed for vaguely worded offences such as “corruption on earth”.
In October, a woman was reportedly sentenced to death by stoning, despite a moratorium on the use of this punishment introduced in 2002.In January, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child urged Iran to suspend immediately the execution of people aged under 18 at the time of the crime, and to abolish the death penalty for people who commit crimes before they are 18. Despite Iran’s statement that there was a moratorium on the use of the death penalty against juvenile offenders, Iman Farrokhi was executed on the very day that Iran’s report was considered by the Committee. He was 17 when he allegedly killed a soldier in a fight.
Following domestic and international protests, the death sentences of some women and of men aged under 18 at the time of their alleged offence were suspended or lifted.
Freedom of expression and association
Freedom of expression and association remained severely curtailed. Journalists and webloggers were detained and imprisoned and some newspapers were closed down. Relatives of detainees or those sought by the authorities remained at risk of harassment or intimidation.
Press Courts were reintroduced in October comprising a panel of three judges and a jury selected by the judiciary. Some journalists’ organizations criticized the composition of the juries.
Mohammad Reza Nasab Abdolahi, a student campaigner for human rights and a newspaper editor, was sentenced in January to six months’ imprisonment and a fine for “insulting the country’s leader and making anti-government propaganda”. He was released in August. His pregnant wife, Najameh Oumidparvar, was detained in March for 24 days after posting a message on her weblog that her husband apparently wrote before his arrest.
The UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women visited Iran in January and February. She criticized the arbitrary arrest, torture and ill-treatment of women, including women human rights defenders, and called on Iran to adopt a national action plan to promote and protect human rights that would eliminate violence against women. She also expressed particular concern at discriminatory laws and failures in the administration of justice which result in impunity for perpetrators and perpetuate discrimination and violence against women.
The UN Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing noted discrimination against women in relation to housing and a lack of safe houses for women who are victims of violence.
Iraq cemented the widely held estimation that for the Bush administration, the only way to satisfactorily deal with a hostile regime's weapons-of-mass-destruction aspirations was to change the regime.
But now, recent developments involving Libya and North Korea suggest that a new tack is at least under consideration - one that could have profound impact on the crisis with Iran over its nuclear ambitions.
In the White House, on Capitol Hill, and among influential deans of US foreign policy, this new rival to the doctrine of regime change appears to be: The international security priority is such that we are prepared to hold our noses and accept your existence, if you forgo nuclear armament.
Policy analysts emphasize that nothing says the regime-change forces have lost the battle yet. But the hints of fierce debate, they say, suggest those forces are no longer as dominant as they once were.
"The days of 'regime change' and the days of being tough with regard to Iran and North Korea are waning, and they are waning because the influence of the people who championed those positions - [Vice President Dick] Cheney, [Defense Secretary Donald] Rumsfeld, and [UN Ambassador John] Bolton - is not as great as it once was," says Henry Sokolski, executive director of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center in Washington.
Regime change has not necessarily been strictly defined as the US removing leaders from power. Indeed, it has included other means - for example, empowering the people to organize an overthrow themselves. But in each case, the rationale was the same: The regimes were such an international threat that their removal - one way or the other - was the only option.
But an initial hint of some evolution in this policy came last week. The announcement of a restoration of full diplomatic relations with Muammar Qaddafi's Libya set off wide speculation about the timing of the move - especially when State Department officials, beginning with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, framed the decision as a message to Iran and North Korea.
Discussion also spread that the United States is considering giving new priority to formal security assurances for Pyongyang as a way to reinvigorate six-country talks on the regime's nuclear program.
The next key window into the Bush administration's handling of rogue regimes could come as early as Wednesday, when the US is scheduled to meet in London to discuss Iran with the other four permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, plus Germany. The six countries are to discuss a new package of incentives and negative consequences to be presented to Iran for either agreeing or refusing to give up its uranium enrichment program.
European officials say they understand the difficulty for the US of either signing on to security assurances for Tehran or entering into direct talks with the Iranian regime. But they note that the US did both to get Libya to abandon its WMD programs - and they worry that the goal of curtailing Iran's nuclear ambitions could be doomed unless the US eventually takes those steps with Tehran.
"Qaddafi wanted to be certain that [the US] goal was not to kill him or to end his regime," notes one European diplomat, drawing a parallel between the Libyan and Iranian cases. "Until the day [the US] says that, we may be in a stalemate," says the diplomat, who asked not to be named because of the ongoing nature of the talks.
But nonproliferation experts say the recent steps on Libya and renewed debate on North Korea may mean the Bush administration is moving toward separating its political ideology from one of its top national-security goals, which has been to stop the spread of WMD to troublesome countries - especially those supporting international terrorism.
"If the US is signaling it is no longer mixing regime change and its nuclear nonproliferation objectives, that would be very useful," says Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association in Washington. The US approach to North Korea is "not working," Mr. Kimball says, as evidenced by Pyongyang's continued buildup of its nuclear arsenal since talks in September. He says that fact and the lack of options on Iran may be pushing the administration to consider new options.
"They may have learned their own lesson from Libya," Kimball says, "that the most effective way to persuade a rogue state to dismantle its WMD program is to assure that state that its government won't be overthrown."
Of course, not everyone agrees that's the lesson of Libya. Mr. Sokolski of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center says the Libyans gave up WMD because "they were convinced they were next on the list" after Iraq. "If you don't have something to hold over these regimes," he adds, "it can be seen as weakness."
Indeed, in part because of the prevailing support for that argument, other experts discount suggestions that the Bush administration is turning its back on regime change. Robert Einhorn, a former diplomat in nonproliferation affairs now at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, says he sees no sign the White House is heeding building pressures to engage with WMD foes.
He cites a recent Washington Post column in which Henry Kissinger recommends the US enter into talks with Iran - or face a destabilizing expansion of the world's nuclear club. "But I don't see the administration buying into that perspective," he says, "any more than I see them giving the nuclear problem parity with their other concerns about these regimes."
But others place the North Korea and Iran issues in the context of an ongoing foreign-policy debate in the administration - and they see the rise of those in the Kissinger vein as having an impact. "We're seeing the ascendency of the pragmatists over the ideologues, but we don't know yet if that rise is anything definitive," says Joseph Cirincione, an analyst at the Center for American Progress in Washington.
Pointing to the administration's internal debate over extending an olive branch to North Korea, he says, "It may be about more than North Korea: It may be the first step in a reorientation of US proliferation policy."
For that to be the case, however, Mr. Cirincione says it would take acknowledgment that regime change is off the table - something not all White House quarters appear ready to do. "The day Vice President Cheney gives a speech about negotiating with the North Koreans," he says, "then it will be a done deal."
tisdag, maj 23, 2006
måndag, maj 22, 2006
Ett fall handlar om en student som kritiserade Ahamdienjads beslut att begrava ”martyrer” och begick självmord efter att han kastats ut från universitetet på grund av sin protest. Studenten själv var son till en ”krigsmartyr”. Historierna radas upp om studenter som begått självmord då de antingen kastats ut eller förhindrats att avancera på grund av de haft ”fel ideologi”.
Some are unpersuaded. The Simon Wiesenthal Center's Rabbi Marvin Hier, for instance, is adamant "that the national uniform law was passed and that certain colors were selected for Jews and other minorities." But Teheran is adamant and scandalized. The reports of such Nazi-echoed branding "are slanderous accusations… a smear campaign," according to an outraged Iranian government spokesman.
So that's all right then? We can all relax? Hardly.
Whether or not President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his Islamist regime are yet publicly marking out their non-Muslim second-class citizens is not the point. Iran has moved much further already. It is deep into a relentless campaign to delegitimize Jews and other infidels everywhere. It has leapt over a first step of denigrating its own minorities to the second step of denigrating them the world over.
In Ahmadinejad's world view, and in his vicious daily rhetoric, Israel has no right to exist, and will be wiped out, because the Jews have no right to a country of their own. And if a world without the United States seems unrealistic now, then it is a dream, he tells his followers, that must not be abandoned.
Some world leaders, with a misplaced sense of what their own self-interest requires, persist in discounting Ahmadinejad as an immature leader who talks a good war but wouldn't dare get into one. Such willful self-delusion unfortunately ignores the facts of Iran's well-developed missile program, its global terror network and, most troubling of course, its self-hyped progress toward a nuclear capability.
In the Nazi-era 60 and more years ago, mass killing required a veritable industry and a great deal of time - and thus the creation of a wide environment that would tolerate if not participate in it. Man's fiendish capacity for improving its ability to kill itself has ensured a series of terrible advances since then. Today, when the will for genocide is there, the way is easier and swifter.
This weekend's news reports, true or false, should not be shocking anyone into action. The shock should long since have registered. Israel may be on the front line, but the whole world is facing a regime that threatens all of our most basic freedoms, and that is dangerously far down the road to obtaining the means to realize the threat.
It may not be too late to stop Iran without a resort to military intervention. But it will certainly be too late if concerted international action is not initiated very soon.
But it seems otherwise impossible to convince Western leaders that we are confronting a monstrous evil, that seeks to destroy or dominate us by all possible means. The sort of horror you see on this video is repeated every day, sometimes leading to execution, sometimes to further sadism.
Secretary Rice: do you really believe you can negotiate with such people? Can it be right to curry favor with the European appeasers for the price of the systematic torture and murder of those Iranians who seek freedom?
President Bush: why have you not instructed your people to give vigorous support to the Iranian democratic opposition? what on earth are you waiting for?
One thing is for sure. If we wait for the Department of State or the craven officials at the National Security Council to lead the Iran revolution, it is not going to happen.
söndag, maj 21, 2006
lördag, maj 20, 2006
Men en nationell uniform är ändå på väg, just nu har kulturdepartementet fått till uppgift att ta fram och designa hur denna ”uniform” ska se ut. Målet är att försöka konkurrera ut den ”västerländska modet” med en islamisk klädsel. Den nationella uniformen är en del av det hela, en annan är att man kommer att börja beskatta importerade kläder hårdare och stödja lokala ”skräddare” och textil företag som jobbar på att ta fram traditionella islamiska kläder.
Denna nya uniform kommer att presenteras på en rad regionala, nationella och internationella festivaler i förhoppningen att kunna exportera resultatet.
fredag, maj 19, 2006
Lagen har ännu inte presenterats i sin helhet och just nu har en rad olika departement fått till uppgift att designa en ny uniform. Lagen presenterades redan för två år sen men bifölls inte då.
Enligt regimen är det egentliga målet att utrota ”västerländsk klädsel” och promota islamiska traditioner.
Först ut att kommentera detta i Sverige är Fredrik Malm som säger:
På fredagskvällen nåddes världen av beskedet att Irans president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad vill införa en lag där judar i Iran ska tvingas bära gula armbindlar. Skälet påstås vara att muslimer inte av misstag ska behöva skaka hand med eller vidröra en jude. Även kristna och anhängare till ursprungsreligionen Zoroastrism ska omfattas av lagförslaget.
- Om detta lagförslag genomförs bör Irans ambassadör per omgående lämna Sverige och ambassaden stängas igen till dess att regimen i Iran har ersatts av ett demokratiskt styre, kommenterar Fredrik Malm, ordförande i Liberala ungdomsförbundet.
- Irans president tar nya steg för att efterlikna Hitlertyskland, fast i fanatisk religiös tappning. Det är dags att omvärlden slutar vara naiv och på allvar inser vilket hot regimen i Iran utgör mot minoriteter, mot Israel, mot judar och mot oliktänkande, avslutar Fredrik Malm
Till slut, här är beviset att vi på den här bloggen ligger ljusår före alla andra, när det kommer till Iran rapporteringen..
Ze'evi, speaking at a Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies conference in Tel Aviv University, said that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinijad has been overheard promising the "end of history in two or three years."
Ze'evi recommended that the Iranian threats be taken seriously, saying that Tehran will soon have nuclear warhead compatible surface-to-surface missiles with a range of 5,000 kilometers, putting Europe within striking distance.
Ze'evi also warned that Israel should not rule out the possibility of a conventional war against Islamic militants. Ze'evi said he foresees this war breaking out on Israel's northern frontier, against Syria and Hezbollah. Emphasizing the radicalization of Islamic militancy, Ze'evi cited recent changes in the objectives of major militant organizations, which have recently begun targeting sites in Arab countries. "We are seeing attacks carried out in Amman, Dahab and Sharm el-Sheikh," said Ze'evi.
He cited the increased accessibility of Internet in the Arab world as facilitating the process, saying, "Today, anyone who is interested can learn how to blow up a bomb." Major General (Res.) Ze'evi stepped down as chief of Military Intelligence about four months ago, and was replaced by Major General Amos Yadlin.
torsdag, maj 18, 2006
Håller just nu på att flytta så uppdateringarna kommer lite mer sällan.
Men på måndag ska jag vara tillbaka i normal tempo...
May 16, 2006 -- ALTHOUGH "silly season" is still several weeks away, the media are al ready in frenzy about a new war in the Middle East - this time involving the Islamic Republic of Iran.
A few American "investigative reporters," quoting anonymous sources, even insist that the war has already started, with U.S. Special Forces operating "deep inside Iran" since last summer. One "expert" who had fixed the date for a U.S. invasion of Iran for June of last year has just provided a new date: June of this year.
Well, there is not going to be a war involving Iran. As for The New Yorker's report of U.S. Special Forces operating in Iran, it is unlikely that the Islamic Republic has not found any of them after nearly 14 months.
And the Iran-U.S. war is not going to start in June - because it started on Nov. 4, 1979, when a group of "students" raided the American embassy compound in Tehran and seized its diplomats hostage. By any standards, that was a clear causus belli. It did not lead to a straightforward war because the American side chose not to treat the embassy raid as an act of war.
Apart from a brief moment in which the Reagan administration tried to wage a low-intensity war against the Islamic Republic, successive administrations in Washington adopted President Jimmy Carter's policy of "patience and forbearance" vis-à-vis Tehran.
The Islamic Republic, however, consistently maintained its war posture vis-à-vis the United States all along. In 1984, Muhammad Khatami, then minister of Islamic Orientation, wrote that the Islamic Republic was waging war "against Global Arrogance led by the United States" on behalf of mankind as a whole. In 1986, Hashemi Rafsanjani, then speaker of the parliament, went further: "We are at war with the United States - a war which must end with the victory of Islam over the Infidel led by America."
Perhaps Khatami and Rafsanjani were merely repeating the regime's mantra and did not really seek full-scale war against the United States. But anyone familiar with the history of the last two decades would know, whenever and wherever possible, that the Islamic Republic has waged a low-intensity war against the U.S. since 1979.
All along, the Iranian regime was content with small and incremental successes, taking care not to provoke a major confrontation that might force the Americans to hit back with any degree of determination. The idea was to wear the United States down with an endless campaign of small-scale violence and terror aimed against its citizens and allies.
The American policy of absorbing the small shocks administered by the Islamic Republic allowed Tehran to maintain its anti-U.S. posture at minimal cost to itself. But the policy was not cost free. Washington's refusal to recognize the Khomeinist regime as a legitimate member of the international community has cost Tehran dearly. For almost three decades, Iran has been shut out of the global capital market and prevented from normal access to the fruits of scientific and technological progress. The Islamic Republic's persistent economic failure must, at least in part, be imputed to the U.S. boycott.
Nowhere is the cost of the so-called "War against the Infidel" more apparent than in Iran's oil industry. Projections made in 1977 envisaged the Iranian oil off-take to reach a daily capacity of 6.5 million barrels, with another 1.5 million available as emergency reserves. The capacity of the Kharg terminal, the chief export facility for Iranian oil, was increased from 5.5 million barrels a day to 8 million.
But lack of investment, and the virtual impossibility of accessing highly complex technology, has meant a steady decline. Today, the Islamic Republic produces something like 3.8 million barrels a day - a level Iran had surpassed in 1973.
Worse still, Iran has become an importer of petroleum products. Because the Islamic Republic failed to build enough refining capacity, it is now forced to secure nearly half of the nation's needs in gasoline and special fuels through imports. So nearly 30 percent of Iran's income from oil exports is spent on imports of petroleum products.
Iran's gas industry is in even poorer shape. Projections made in 1977 saw Iran emerging as the world's largest exporter of liquefied natural gas by the year 2000. Iran owns the second-largest deposits of natural gas in the world, after Russia, almost 20 percent of the global reserves. Yet it is importing natural gas from Turkmenistan to feed the country's only gas-turbine power station (at Neka on the Caspian Sea).
And Oil Ministry officials say much worse is yet to come. Last month, the ministry unveiled invitations for investments worth more than $100 billion in Iran's oil and gas industries. Part of those investments is needed to prevent the total collapse of some of the country's largest oilfields (including Bibi Hakimeh, Maroun and Ahvaz), which now produce 25 to 30 percent less than in 1971.
Against that background, it would not be hard to see that the Islamic Republic has been the bigger loser in the low-intensity war it has waged against the United States. The U.S. is now four times richer, in constant dollars, than it was in 1979. Iran, however, is almost 50 percent poorer.
The Islamic Republic has succeeded in securing a foothold in Lebanon, through the Hezballah, and in the Palestinian territories through Hamas and Islamic Jihad. It also has allies in Iraq, Afghanistan and among the Shiite communities in the Gulf. Politically and diplomatically, however, the Islamic Republic today is more isolated than in 1979.
The United States, on the other hand, has made a spectacular incursion in what could be regarded as Iran's geopolitical habitat in West and Central Asia, the Caspian Basin, Transcaucasia and the Middle East. The Americans are now militarily present in all but two of Iran's 15 neighboring countries.
In a sense, the war that the Islamic Republic says it is waging against the United States has hurt it more than its designated enemy. The recent rise in tension has helped put that issue at the center of the debate inside the Islamic Republic. This is why people like Rafsanjani and Khatami, who once took pride in describing themselves as "jihadists" against the Americans, are now publicly critical of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's more militant anti-Americanism.
In other words, the real problem is an Iranian one, not an Irano-American one. At some point, the Islamic Republic must decide whether it is in its own interest to review a policy that has produced nothing but disaster over the last three decades. Ahmadinejad may well turn out to be the man who pushed such a review into the agenda of the leadership in Tehran.
måndag, maj 15, 2006
Diplomats close to the IAEA in Vienna said yesterday that they want to establish whether the Physics Research Centre at Lavizan, northeast of Tehran, could have been involved in an illicit weapons programme.
The IAEA request follows a preliminary finding that one piece of equipment from the site does have traces of highly enriched uranium.
The latest development is bound to intensify suspicions in America and other western countries that Iran may be closer to a nuclear bomb than the IAEA realises. But the traces of uranium could be the result of inadvertent contamination of hardware obtained by Iran from abroad.
The government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has called for Israel to be wiped from the map, continues to insist that all its nuclear equipment is destined only for peaceful power-generation purposes.
An IAEA team negotiating with Iranian officials wants to inspect specified machines and equipment from Lavizan.
“It’s painstaking work and we’ve got to get these things right,” said a Vienna-based official. “You’re looking at parts per trillion in some of these tests — it’s very hard to know the significance and we’re requesting further sampling.”
Similar IAEA tests in the past had proved that the highly enriched uranium-235 isotope on other equipment had originated in Pakistan, he said. This was believed to have come to Iran through the proliferation network of the disgraced A Q Khan, the “father” of Pakistan’s nuclear bomb.
As negotiators from Britain, France, Germany, the United States, Russia and China prepare for talks at the Foreign Office in London tomorrow about offering new incentives to persuade Iran to abandon its enrichment programme, a retired Pakistani army general revealed evidence of the mullahs’ long-held desire to procure a nuclear bomb.
General Mirza Aslam Beg described an Iranian visit to Islamabad in 1990, when he was chief of staff. “They didn’t want the technology,” he said. “They asked: ‘Can we have a bomb?’ My answer was by all means you can have it but you must make it yourself. Nobody gave it to us.”
He said that last January Iranian officers asked him what they could do to head off a military strike on their nuclear facilities and he advised them to make it clear that Iran’s response would be to attack Israel.
Ahmadinejad continued to seek international support on his nuclear stance yesterday at an Islamic summit in Indonesia. He lobbied fellow leaders and claimed he was willing to negotiate with anyone except Israel, but not under threat of force.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s letter contained not a word about Iran’s nuclear program, the concern of all the world’s major countries and most of Iran’s neighbors - a concern that Ahmadinejad later waved away as a “big lie” on the part of the United States.
Instead, the letter seemed aimed at an internal Iranian audience, to which Ahmadinejad can play by appearing to confront the Great Satan one-on-one.
A one-on-one engagement with Iran would, of course, be exactly the wrong tactic. This regime has been making war on our country since it held the 52 embassy hostages for 444 days in 1979-1980. Today it supplies weapons to Shiite militias in the south of Iraq, weapons that often end up being used against American troops. “Engaging” the mullahs solo just encourages them to think they have the United States on the run.
Unfortunately, some people don’t understand this. Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has called for direct talks, as have German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, President Carter and Sandy Berger, President Clinton’s national security adviser.
Right now, the United Nations Security Council is exactly the place for the Iran problem, disappointing though it is that the five permanent members of the council cannot agree on what to demand of Iran and are cooking up a new package of “carrots” and “sticks.” That approach got nowhere for Britain, France and Germany in their effort to talk Iran out of trying to build a bomb. Now the council has given Iran another two weeks to ponder whether it really, really wants to develop its own nuclear enrichment capabilities. Yep, two weeks should make a real difference!
What is needed is the “good cop/bad cop” approach. Iran must fear an unrestrained “bad cop” - Uncle Sam. That’s how the hostage issue was resolved: Iran waited literally until the last minute of Carter’s presidency because it feared what the incoming Reagan administration would do (a lesson apparently lost on President Reagan himself in the mid-1980s when he started shipping arms to Iran in an attempt to free hostages grabbed by Iran’s terrorist clients).
For “good cop,” we nominate German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has been notably blunt with Iran - that is, if she can get that foreign minister from the opposition party to keep quiet.
fredag, maj 12, 2006
Fyndet gjordes när inspektörerna granskade vakuumpumpar vid en anläggning där Iran förnekat att det skulle pågå utveckling av denna typ av kärnteknologi.Uppgifterna kom fram på fredagen via diplomater som nyhetsbyrån AFP samtalat med.
Eee.. sa inte regimen och dess hantlangare (= läs Ung Vänster) att atomprogrammet skulle bara vara civil och fredligt, vad gör man då med högt anrikat uran? Får se nu om Ung Vänster väljer att kommentera det här, kanske kritisera dem regimen för att fört dem "bakom ljuset" om sina "fredliga" ambitioner...
Khatami och Rafsanjani använde sig av samma taktik, genom att göra försiktiga (och egentligen intetsägande) uttalanden om ”dialog” så fick man fått USA och västvärlden att lätta på trycket och pressen mot regimen. Längst gick man med Khatami, då man bland annat lättade sanktioner mot regimen i förhoppningen att den nu var redo att förhandla och att återuppta diplomatiska relationer med USA. Men resultatet har alltid blivit detsamma i slutändan, de hårdföra mullorna har segrat och västvärlden har stått där med byxorna nere och missat chansen att göra nåt meningsfullt.
Nu använder sig Ahmadinejad av samma teknik och västvärlden har redan börjat lossa på byxknapparna. Jag tror inte ett ögonblick på att regimen och Ahmadinejad är intresserade av att förhandla om något, men Ahmadinejad och regimen är inte dummare än att man tar till alla sätt för att lätta på trycket och skaffa sig andrum.
För samtidigt som Bush administrationen fått Ahmadinejads brev (och officiellt avfärdade det) så valde ”USF” att annonsera att man nu kommer att ändra strategi mot Iran. Man ger upp tanken på FN sanktioner inom den närmaste framtiden och kommer att ta fram ett förslag fylld av ”morötter och piskor” till regimen. Det kan tänkas vara så att USA och Co ändrar strategi för att det är svårt att få med sig Ryssland och Kina på sanktioner. Men då ställer jag mig frågan om varför man väljer att annonsera denna kursändring så offentligt och i samband med att man får Ahmadinejads brev.
Konspirationsteoretikern i mig fick ännu mer vatten på kvarnen idag när regimens före detta chefsförhandlare Hassan Rowhani i ett brev till tidningen TIME (alltså inte direkt kontakt med någon diplomat) sagt att regimen kan tänka sig oannonserade inspektioner. Men Rowhanis förslag och utspel är egentligen fullständigt meningslöst (även som SR Ekot inte verkar inse det). Det dels för att Rowhani direkt uttrycker att hans förslag inte blivit godkänt av Khamenei och dessutom så är inte Rowhani längre regimens chefsförhandlare, utan han fick kicken och ersattes av Ali Larijani.
Så regimen skickar fram en person som lägger fram ett vagt och intetsägande förslag och det i sin tur får västvärldens ledare att hoppas på förhandlingar och västmedia att propagera för förhandlingar. Samtidigt vinner regimen andrum och tid för att lugna ner båten..
torsdag, maj 11, 2006
Yet, in assessing these risks, insufficient attention is paid to the fundamental weaknesses of the opponent. The first is ideological. In the 27 years since the Islamic Revolution, Iran has come full circle. The religious fervour of Khomeini gave way to Rafsanjani's economic pragmatism, which was in turn succeeded by mild liberalisation under Khatami.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who became president last August, is attempting to turn the clock back to 1979 at a time when the ayatollah's fanaticism is discredited and the population, two thirds of which was born since the revolution, hates its leaders for their oppression, corruption and incompetence.
The second weakness has to do with political legitimacy. Loss of faith in the revolution calls into question the system of velayat-e faqih, or guardianship of the religious jurist, by which ultimate power lies not with elected representatives, but with the clergy. The mullahs' dominance seriously compromises Iran's democracy. For example, in parliamentary elections in 2004, the Council of Guardians, a clerically appointed body, barred about 2,500 reformist candidates from participating. A year later, the second round of the presidential poll was marred by widespread accusations of fraud.
The third weakness, veiled by the near-doubling of oil revenues over the past two years, is economic. The revolution has failed to provide work for an overwhelmingly youthful population; unemployment is running at about 30 per cent. The regime clings to an outmoded model of import substitution through industrialisation, and things are likely to get worse under Ahmadinejad. Members of a supposedly pliant parliament have criticised the current budget as likely to bring higher inflation and joblessness and slower growth.
The defiant rhetoric of Iran's leaders thus belies manifold fragility. Patrick Clawson, of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, has likened the regime to a vase balanced on a mantelpiece. How best, then, to tip it off?
The obvious answer is from within, and here it is worth listening to a brave opposition voice recently forced to leave the country. Speaking to me by phone before his exile, Amir Abbas Fakhravar said the referral of Iran's nuclear dossier to the UN Security Council had been a cause of street celebrations in the capital and other major cities. And the riot police had not dared intervene. Such was the hatred of the regime, Mr Fakhravar said, that people were prepared to put up with economic sanctions, including an oil embargo, and even military strikes, if they led to its overthrow.
Asked how this might be brought about, he said there was as yet no dissident leader within the country. However, he spoke of a well-organised underground student movement and of the increase in strikes and demos against the government.
Mr Abbas, 30, was sentenced to eight years in prison in 2002 for defaming the supreme clerical leadership in a book, This Place is Not a Ditch. Last year, he was allowed out of Evin jail to take a university exam. He went on the run and has recently escaped to a neighbouring Arab country.
His assessment of the internal situation in Iran points to the wisdom of increasing foreign funding for propaganda. He said the extra $75 million requested by the Bush Administration from Congress for this purpose could best be spent on setting up a television station in a neighbouring country. It could also be used on scholarships for overseas study to help young Iranians understand the principles of democracy.
That would target the mullocracy's ideological and political weaknesses. As for the economy, Ahmadinejad's call last October for the destruction of Israel has already led to a flight of private investors from the Teheran stock market, and foreign capital will be deterred while the political situation remains so unstable. Even if Russia and China block sanctions at the UN, Iran would be hurt were the EU and Japan to join America in applying them; this vulnerability explains the vehemence of its reaction.
Military strikes, by contrast, would be likely to rally people to the leadership, which would play on the long-held Iranian belief that all the country's misfortunes are the result of foreign conspiracy.
America and its allies face a long and difficult struggle in preventing the emergence of a nuclear-armed, Islamist Iran. But in pursuing it they need to look behind the aggressively nationalistic rhetoric of the regime to the rocky foundations on which it rests.
Removing the threat that Iran poses to the Gulf and beyond requires the scalpel rather than the bludgeon, a graduated set of responses that would take us beyond 2008 into a new American presidency.
In planning them, it is essential to work as far as possible with the internal opposition; that much Iraq should have taught us. As Mr Fakhravar reminds us, the ground is fertile. The revolution is bankrupt. Dr Clawson's vase is wobbling.
"Wiping Israel off the map is just one step in Iran's attempt to create a new world order," said Brig.-Gen Yosef Kuperwasser, head of the IDF Military Intelligence's research division.
"Iran is interested not only in turning into a superpower, but also in changing the world order," Kuperwasser said at a conference on power projection at the Fisher Institute of Strategic Studies in Herzliya.
"Iran is at the forefront of global terrorism, and aids Hizbullah in Lebanon, al Qaida, and Palestinian terror organizations, and is behind attacks on US armed forces in Iraq," the general asserted.
Obtaining nuclear power, Kuperwasser said, would not only establish Iran as a superpower on a global level, but would also assist the country in establishing its domestic regime.
"Nuclear capabilities would ensure that regime returns to its former glory and revives the Islamic revolution there," he explained, adding that there were elements in Iran who believe that the race to achieve a nuclear bomb, plus the government's support of terror, was having an adverse effect on reviving the revolution.
"Power projection", the subject of the conference, addresses challenges originating from terror organizations in distant countries.
Just hours before the UNSC votes on sanctions against Iran, Maj-Gen. (res.) Amos Gilad said that he believed Iran was vulnerable to sanctions. "Iran is Not North Korea," Gilad said. "It's a country of intelligent, intellectual people."
Earlier Tuesday, Gilad had told Army Radio that Israel should place itself at the forefront of the Iran conflict, as the crisis over the country's nuclear program was "international."
Gilad said, referring to Vice Premier Shimon Peres' remarks Monday that "Iran can also be wiped off the map," that any threats Israel made should be "big" but not pointed.
onsdag, maj 10, 2006
Filmen finns här, och varning för en del väldigt starka scener..
tisdag, maj 09, 2006
Ahmadinejads utspel togs välemot bland kvinnor i Iran men de fanatiska mullorna riktade skarpkritik mot förslaget och ser nu ut att ha vunnit.
Förresten, så finns det inte ett ord av de utlovade förslagen till lösningar på den nuvarande krisen, utan bara 4000 ord dravel!
Brevet i sin helhet:
Mr. George Bush, President of the United States of America
For sometime now I have been thinking, how one can justify the undeniable contradictions that exist in the international arena -- which are being constantly debated, especially in political forums and amongst university students. Many questions remain unanswered. These have prompted me to discuss some of the contradictions and questions, in the hopes that it might bring about an opportunity to redress them.
Can one be a follower of Jesus Christ (PBUH), the great messenger of God, Feel obliged to respect human rights, present liberalism as a civilization model, announce one's opposition to the proliferation of nuclear weapons and WMDs, make "war and terror" his slogan, and finally, work towards the establishment of a unified international community -- a community which christ and the virtuous of the earth will one day govern, but at the same time, have countries attacked.
The lives, reputations and possessions of people destroyed and on the slight chance of the presence of a few criminals in a village, city or convoy for example, the entire village, city or convoy set ablaze. Or because of the possibility of the existence of WMDs in one country, it is occupied, around one hundred thousand people killed, its water sources, agriculture and industry destroyed, close to 180,000 foreign troops put on the ground, sanctity of privat e homes of citizens broken, and the country pushed back perhaps fifty years. At what price?
Hundreds of billions of dollars spent from the treasury of one country and certain other countries and tens of thousands of young men and women -- as occupation t roops -- put in harms way, taken away from family and loved ones, their hands stained with the blood of others, subjected to so much psychological pressure that everyday some commit suicide and those returning home suffer depression, become sickly and gr apple with all sorts of aliments; while some are killed and their bodies handed to their families.On the pretext of the existence of WMDs, this great tragedy came to engulf both the peoples of the occupied and the occupying country.
Later it was revealed that no wmds existed to begin with. Of course Saddam was a murderous dictator. But the war was not waged to topple him, the announced goal of the war was to find and destroy Weapons of Mass Destruction. He was toppled along the way towards another goal; nevertheless the people of the reg ion are happy about it. I point out that throughout the many years of the imposed war on Iran Saddam was supported by the West.
Mr. President,You might know that I am a teacher. My students ask me how can theses actions be reconciled with the values outlined at the beginning of this letter and duty to the tradition of Jesus Christ (PBUH), the messenger of peace and forgiveness? There are prisoners in Guantanamo Bay that have not been tried, have no legal representation, their families cannot see them and are obviously kept in a strange land outside their own country. There is no international monitoring of their conditions and fate. No one knows whether they are prisoners, POWs, accused or criminals. European investigators have confirmed the existence of secret prisons in europe too. I could not correlate the abduction of a person, and him or her being kept in secret prisons, with the provisions of any judicial system. For that matter, I fail to understand how such actions correspond to the values outlined in the beginning of this letter, I.E. the teachings of Jesus Christ (PBUH), human rights and liberal values.
Young people, university students, and ordinary people have many questions about the phenomenon of Israel. I am sure you are familiar with some of them. Throughout history many countries have been occupied, but I think the establishment of a new country with a new people, is a new phenomenon that is exclusive to our times. Students are saying that sixty years ago such a country did not exist. They show old documents and globes and say try as we have, we have not been able to find a country named Israel.
I tell them to study the history of WWI and II. One of my students told me that during WWII, which more than tens of millions of people perished in, news about the war, was quickly disseminated by the warring parties. Each touted their victories and the most recent battlefront defeat of the other party. After the war they claimed that six million Jews had been killed. Six million people that were surely related to at least two million families. Again let us assume that these events are true. Does that logically translate into the establishment of the state of Israel in the Middle East or support for such a state? How can this phenomenon be rationalized or explained?
Mr. President,I am sure you know how -- and at what cost -- Israel was established:- Many thousands were killed in the process.- Millions of indigenous people were made refugees.- Hundreds of thousands of hectares of farmland, olive plantations, towns and villages were destroyed.
This tragedy is not exclusive to the time of establishment; unfortunately it has been ongoing for sixty years now. A regime has been established which does not show mercy even to kids, destroys houses while the occupants are still in them, announces befo rehand its list and plans to assassinate Palestinian figures, and keeps thousands of Palestinians in prison. Such a phenomenon is unique -- or at the very least extremely rare -- in recent memory.
Another big question asked by the people is "why is this regime being supported?" Is support for this regime in line with the teachings of Jesus Christ (PBUH) or Moses (PBUH) or liberal values? Or are we to understand that allowing the original inhabita nts of these lands -- inside and outside Palestine -- whether they are Christian, Muslim or Jew, to determine their fate, runs contrary to principles of democracy, human rights and the teachings of prophets? If not, why is there so much opposition to a r eferendum?
The newly elected Palestinian administration recently took office.All independent (observers) have confirmed that this government represents the electorate. Unbelievingly, they have put the elected government under pressure and have advised it to recognize the Israeli regime, abandon the struggle and follow the progra ms of the previous government. If the current Palestinian government had run on the above platform, would the Palestinian people have voted for it? Again, can such position taken in opposition to the Palestinian government be reconciled with the values outlined earlier? The people are also saying "why are all UNSC (UN Security Council) resolutions in condemnation of Israel vetoed?"
As you are well aware, I live amongst the people and am in constant contact with them -- many people from around the Middle East manage to contact me as well. They do not have faith in these dubious policies either. There is evidence that the people of t he region are becoming increasingly angry with such policies. It is not my intention to pose too many questions, but I need to refer to other points as well. Why is it that any technological and scientific achievement reached in the Middle East region is translated into and portrayed as a threat to the Zionist regime? Is not scientific R and D one of the basic rights of nations? You are familiar with history. Aside from the Middle Ages, in what other point in history has scientific and technical progress been a crime? Can the possibility of scientific achievements being utilized for military purposes be reason enough to oppose s cience and technology altogether? If such a supposition is true, then all scientific disciplines, including physics, chemistry, mathematics, medicine, engineering, etc. must be opposed.
Lies were told in the Iraqi matter. What was the result? I have no doubt that telling lies is reprehensible in any culture, and you do not like to be lied to. Mr. President, Don't Latin Americans have the right to ask why their elected governments are being opposed and coup leaders supported? Or, why must they constantly be threatened and live in fear? The people of Africa are hardworking, creative and talented. They can play an important and valuable role in providing for the needs of humanity and contribute to its material and spiritual progress. Poverty and hardship in large parts of Africa are prev enting this from happening. Don't they have the right to ask why their enormous wealth -- including minerals -- is being looted, despite the fact that they need it more than others?
Again, do such actions correspond to the teachings of Christ and the tenets of human rights?The brave and faithful people of Iran too have many questions and grievances, including: the coup d'etat of 1953 and the subsequent toppling of the legal government of the day, opposition to the Islamic Revolution, transformation of an embassy into a hea dquarters supporting the activities of those opposing the Islamic Republic (many thousands of pages of documents corroborate this claim), support for Saddam in the war waged against Iran, the shooting down of the Iranian passenger plane, freezing the ass ets of the Iranian nation, increasing threats, anger and displeasure vis-a-vis the scientific and nuclear progress of the Iranian nation (just when all Iranians are jubilant and celebrating their country's progress), and many other grievances that I will not refer to in this letter.Mr. President, September eleven was a horrendous incident.
The killing of innocents is deplorable and appalling in any part of the world. Our government immediately declared its disgust with the perpetrators and offered its condolences to the bereaved and expressed its sympathies. All governments have a duty to protect the lives, property and good standing of their citizens. Reportedly your government employs extensive security, protection and intelligence systems -- and even hunts its opponents abroad.
September eleven was not a simple operation. Could it be planned and executed without coordination with intelligence and security services -- or their extensive infiltration? Of course this is just an educated guess. Why have the various aspects of the attacks been kept secret? Why are we not told who botched their responsibilities? And, why aren't those responsible and the guilty parties identified and put on trial?
All governments have a duty to provide security and peace of mind for their citizens. For some years now, the people of your country and neighbors of world trouble spots do not have peace of mind. After 9/11, instead of healing and tending to the emoti onal wounds of the survivors and the American people -- who had been immensely traumatized by the attacks -- some Western media only intensified the climates of fear and insecurity -- some constantly talked about the possibility of new terror attacks and kept the people in fear. Is that service to the american people? Is it possible to calculate the damages incurred from fear and panic? American citizens lived in constant fear of fresh attacks that could come at any moment and in any place. They felt insecure in the streets, in their place of work and at home. Who would be happy with this situation? Why was the media, instead of conveying a feeling of security and providing peace of mind, giving rise to a feeling of insecurity?
Some believe that the hype paved the way -- and was the justification -- for an attack on Afghanistan. Again I need to refer to the role of media. In media charters, correct dissemination of information and honest reporting of a story are established te nets. I express my deep regret about the disregard shown by certain Western media for these principles. The main pretext for an attack on Iraq was the existence of WMDs. This was repeated incessantly -- for the public to finally believe -- and the ground set for an attack on Iraq.Will the truth not be lost in a contrived and deceptive climate? Again, if the truth is allowed to be lost, how can that be reconciled with the earlier mentioned values? Is the truth known to the Almighty lost as well?Mr. President,In countries around the world, citizens provide for the expenses of governments so that their governments in turn are able to serve them.
The question here is "what has the hundreds of billions of dollars, spent every year to pay for the Iraqi campaign, produced for the citizens?"As your excellency is aware, in some states of your country, people are living in poverty. Many thousands are homeless and unemployment is a huge problem. Of course these problems exist -- to a larger or lesser extent -- in other countries as well. With these conditions in mind, can the gar gantuan expenses of the campaign -- paid from the public treasury -- be explained and be consistent with the aforementioned principles?What has been said are some of the grievances of the people around the world, in our region and in your country. But my main contention -- which I am hoping you will agree to some of it -- is:
Those in power have a specific time in office and do not rule indefinitely, but their names will be recorded in history and will be constantly judged in the immediate and distant futures. The people will scrutinize our presidencies. Did we (manage) to bring peace, security and prosperity for the people or insecurity and unemployment? Did we intend to establish justice or just supported (special) interest groups, and by forcing many people to live in poverty and hardship, made a few people rich and powerful -- thus trading the approval of the people and the almighty with theirs? Did we defend the rights of the underprivileged or ignore them? Did we defend the rights of all people around t he world or imposed wars on them, interfered illegally in their affairs, established hellish prisons and incarcerated some of them? Did we bring the world peace and security or raised the specter of intimidation and threats? Did we tell the truth to our nation and others around the world or presented an inverted version of it? Were we on the side of people or the occupiers and oppressors? Did our administrations set out to promote rational behavior, logic, ethics, peace, fulfilling obligations, justice, service to the people, prosperity, progress and respect for human dignity or the force of guns, intimidation, insecurity, disregard for the people, delaying the progress and excellence of other nations, and trample on people's rights?
And finally, they will judge us on whether we remained true to our oath of office -- to serve the people, which is our main task, and the traditions of the prophets -- or not? Mr. President, How much longer can the world tolerate this situation? Where will this trend lead the world to? How long must the people of the world pay for the incorrect decisions of some rulers? How much longer will the specter of insecurity -- raised from the stockp iles of weapons of mass destruction -- hunt the people of the world? How much longer will the blood of the innocent men, women and children be spilled on the streets, and people's houses destroyed over their heads? Are you pleased with the current condit ion of the world? Do you think present policies can continue?
If billions of dollars spent on security, military campaigns and troop movement were instead spent on investment and assistance for poor countries, promotion of health, combating different diseases, education and improvement of mental and physical fitness, assistance to the victims of natural disasters, creation of employment opportunities and production, development projects and poverty alleviation, establishment of peace, mediation between disputing states, and distinguishing the flames of racia l, ethnic and other conflicts, (where) would the world be today?
Would not your government and people be justifiably proud? Would not your administration's political and economic standing have been stronger? And I am most sorry to say, would there have been an ever increasing global hatred of the American government? Mr. President, it is not my intention to distress anyone. If prophet Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Ishmael, Joseph, or Jesus Christ (PBUH) were with us today, how would they have judged such behavior? Will we be given a role to play in the promised world, where justice will become universal and Jesus Christ (PBUH) will be present? Will they even accept us?
My basic question is this: Is there no better way to interact with the rest of the world? Today there are hundreds of millions of Christians, hundreds of millions of Moslems and millions of people who follow the teachings of Moses (PBUH). All Divine reli gions share and respect one word and that is "monotheism" or belief in a single God and no other in the world.The Holy Koran stresses this common word and calls on all followers of Divine religions and says: (3.64) say: o followers of the book! Come to an equitable proposition between us and you that we shall not serve any but Allah and (that) we shall not assoc iate aught with him and (that) some of us shall not take others for lords besides Allah; but if they turn back, then say: bear witness that we are Muslims. (The family of Imran)
According to divine verses, we have all been called upon to worship one God and follow the teachings of divine prophets. "To worship a god which is above all powers in the world and can do all he pleases." "The Lord which knows that which is hidden and v isible, the past and the future, knows what goes on in the hearts of his servants and records their deeds." "The lord who is the possessor of the heavens and the earth and all universe is his court" "planning for the universe is done by his hands, and gi ves his servants the glad tidings of mercy and forgiveness of sins" "he is the companion of the oppressed and the enemy of oppressors" "he is the compassionate, the merciful" "he is the recourse of the faithful and guides them towards the light from dark ness" "he is witness to the actions of his servants" "he calls on servants to be faithful and do good deeds, and asks them to stay on the path of righteousness and remain steadfast" "calls on servants to heed his prophets and he is a witness to their dee ds" "a bad ending belongs only to those who have chosen the life of this world and disobey him and oppress his servants" and "a good end and eternal paradise belong to those servants who fear his majesty and do not follow their lascivious selves."
We believe a return to the teachings of the divine prophets is the only road leading to salvation. I have been told that your excellency follows the teachings of Jesus (PBUH) and believes in the Divine promise of the rule of the righteous on earth.We also believe that Jesus Christ (PBUH) was one of the great prophets of the Almighty. He has been repeatedly praised in the Koran. Jesus (PBUH) has been quoted in Koran as well: (19.36) and surely Allah is my lord and your lord, therefore serve him; th is is the right path. MariumService to and obedience of the Almighty is the credo of all Divine messengers.The God of all people in Europe, Asia, Africa, America, the Pacific and the rest of the world is one. He is the Almighty who wants to guide and give dignity to all his servants. He has given greatness to humans.We again read in the holy book: "The Almighty god sent his prophets with miracles and clear signs to guide the people and show them Divine signs and purify them from sins and pollutions. And he sent the book and the balance so that the people display jus tice and avoid the rebellious."
All of the above verses can be seen, one way or the other, in the good book as well. Divine prophets have promised: The day will come when all humans will congregate before the court of the Almighty, so that their deeds are examined. The good will be dir ected towards (heaven) and evildoers will meet divine retribution. I trust both of us believe in such a day, but it will not be easy to calculate the actions of rulers, because we must be answerable to our nations and all others whose lives have been dir ectly or indirectly affected by our actions. All prophets speak of peace and tranquility for man -- based on monotheism, justice and respect for human dignity.
Do you not think that if all of us come to believe in and abide by these principles, that is, monotheism, worship of God, justice, respect for the dignity of man, belief in the last day, we can overcome the present problems of the world -- that are the result of disobedience to the Almighty an d the teachings of prophets -- and improve our performance? Do you not think that belief in these principles promotes and guarantees peace, friendship and justice? Do you not think that the aforementioned written or unwritten principles are universally respected? Will you not accept this invitation? That is, a genuine return to the teachings of prophets, to monotheism and justice, to preserve human dignity and obedience to the Almighty and his prophets? Mr. President, History tells us that repressive and cruel governments do not survive. God has entrusted the fate of men to them. The Almighty has not left the universe and humanity to their own devices. Many things have happened contrary to the wishes and plans of gove rnments. These tell us that there is a higher power at work and all events are determined by him. Can one deny the signs of change in the world today? Is the situation of the world today comparable to that of ten years ago? Changes happen fast and come at a furious pace.
The people of the world are not happy with the status quo and pay little heed to the promises and comments made by a number of influential world leaders. Many people around the world feel insecure and oppose the spreading of insecurity and war and do no t approve of and accept dubious policies. The people are protesting the increasing gap between the haves and the have-nots and the rich and poor countries.The people are disgusted with increasing corruption.The people of many countries are angry about the attacks on their cultural foundations and the disintegration of families. They are equally dismayed with the fading of care and compassion. The people of the world have no faith in international organizati ons, because their rights are not advocated by these organizations.Liberalism and western style democracy have not been able to help realize the ideals of humanity. Today these two concepts have failed. Those with insight can already hear the sounds of the shattering and fall of the ideology and thoughts of the liberal democratic systems. We increasingly see that people around the world are flocking towards a main focal point -- that is the Almighty God. Undoubtedly through faith in God and the teachings of the prophets, the people will conquer their problems.
My question for you is: "Do you not want to join them?"Mr. President, Whether we like it or not, the world is gravitating towards faith in the Almighty and justice and the will of God will prevail over all things.
Vasalam Ala Man Ataba'al Hoda
President of the Islamic Republic of Iran