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U.S. is studying military strike options on Iran
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2006 10:53 am    Post subject: Group warns of WMD attack on Israel, calls for 'new Iran' Reply with quote



Group warns of WMD attack on Israel, calls for 'new Iran'

http://www.worldtribune.com/worldtribune/06/front2453936.1479166667.html

SPECIAL TO WORLD TRIBUNE.COM
Wednesday, July 19, 2006

A Washington-based group said Hizbullah's ongoing rocket and missile attack is intended to "swamp regional defenses" so that Iran's strategic missiles can "deliver WMD against Israel."

In a full-page advertisement in today's Washington Times, the Azadegan Foundation, an exile group headed by former Iranian diplomat Assad Homayoun, urged "an end to clerical rule, and the introduction of representative government for all of Iran."



The current war between Israel and Hizbullah comes as no surprise, the statement said.
"We have know for some four years that Iran's clerical leadership has, mostly through Syrian and with active participation from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, been pouring thousands of Zalzal-2 and Fajr rockets and missiles into HizbAllah and Iranian Revolutionary Guard (Pasdaran) units in Lebanon's Beqa'a Valley, for use against Israel. Now they are being used. And, clearly, this is only the beginning. They are the mass barrages meant to swamp regional defenses so that Iran's strategic Shahab-3 ballistic missiles and other weapons can deliver WMD against Israel and other targets in the region."

The statement, titled "War in the Middle East will continue to escalate . . .", emphasized that "the small number of clerics who dominate Iran do not represent the Iranian population, or even Persian or Muslim traditions."

The advertisement charged that war is the key to the mullahs' ability to maintain their power (such as in the 1982 Iran-Iraq War), but offered "options." There is, it continued, "a viable, experienced team of leaders capable of re-shaping Iran." The only name mentioned in the statement was that of Dr. Assad Homayoun.

The statement emphasized what was not needed from the United States:


"No need for covert action";

"No need for U.S. funding or direct U.S. military action";

What is needed "from the international community is its enthusiastic, open and direct support of the Iranian people to establish democracy."

A separate vision statement released by Homayoun said the Azadegan Foundation "believes that the clerical rulers of Iran have lost the last vestiges of political, moral, and religious legitimacy."

Homayoun outlined a strategy for the "liberation of Iran" which included influencing world public opinion, forming a government-in-exile, cultivating sympathetic segments of the military and security forces, and culminating in a general uprising.

Among the bedrock principles for a new system of government in Iran, Homayoun's statement included the following:


"Separation of religion and state must be enshrined in the laws of the land so that the possibility of a recurrence of another episode of theocracy will be prevented forever."

"It is in the national interest of Iran for the transition of power to take effect in a peaceful manner. Bloodshed and vengeance must be prevented."

"Women must have their natural rights of full and equal participation in the political process and economic progress."

"Azadegan supports a free market economy compatible with he needs and realities of Iranian society, dedicated to the expeditious economic reform and rebuilding of the shattered economic infrastructure as well as the industrial and agrarian sectors."

"The foreign policy based on ideology promoting revolutionary Islam is against the national interest of Iran and its regional stability and world peace. Iran must pursue and independent foreign policy based on its national interests."

"Iran must denounce, repudiate and sever all relations with terrorist organizations and groups."


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2006 11:34 am    Post subject: Let Israel Take off the Gloves Reply with quote

Let Israel Take off the Gloves

By Max Boot

A lot has been written in recent years about stateless terrorism. The events of the last few weeks show, to the contrary, that some of the world's most malignant terrorist groups continue to rely on state support. Hamas runs its own quasi-state — the Palestinian Authority. Hezbollah is a state-within-a-state in Lebanon. And lurking behind both are the real troublemakers: Iran and Syria.

The current crisis exposes the inadequacy of American policy toward this new axis of evil. The problem is not, as so many have it, that President Bush's "cowboy diplomacy" has unsettled the region's vaunted stability. It is that Bush hasn't been enough of a cowboy.


Working with France, the U.S. succeeded last year in forcing Syrian troops out of Lebanon, thus allowing free elections to be held. But Lebanese democracy will remain hollow until Hezbollah disarms in accordance with U.N. Security Council Resolution 1559, something that no one has been willing to enforce — until now.


The U.S. should have done more to stop Syria from supporting not only the terrorists targeting Israel but those targeting U.S. troops in Iraq. Syrian strongman Bashar Assad appeared to be down for the count when a U.N. investigation found evidence linking his regime to the murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. But Bush let him get up off the mat. Senior U.S. officials keep proclaiming that Syria's support for terrorism is unacceptable, but by not doing more to stop it, they have tacitly accepted it.


The same is true of Iran. The mullahs continue to develop nuclear weapons and smuggle explosives into Iraq, and our only response has been talk and more talk. Perhaps this is a prelude to eventual military action, but in the meantime the administration should have done more to aid internal foes of the mullahocracy. It has taken until now — five years into the Bush presidency — for the U.S. to commit any serious money ($66 million) for Iranian democracy promotion, and the State Department has blocked efforts on Capitol Hill to spend even more.


The Jewish state is now paying the price for American inaction. The Katyusha, Kassam and Fajr rockets raining down on Israel are either made by Iran or with Iranian assistance. The same is true of the C-802 cruise missile that hit an Israeli warship. Syria facilitates the delivery of these weapons and provides a haven for Hamas political head Khaled Meshaal. The Iranians and Syrians are as culpable for the aggression against Israel as if they had been pulling the triggers themselves — which, for all we know, they may have been.


And world leaders such as Vladimir V. Putin (he of the scorched-earth policy in Chechnya) have the chutzpah to criticize Israel for its "disproportionate" response? What would a proportionate Israeli response to the snatching of its soldiers and the bombardment of its soil look like? Should Israel kidnap low-level Hamas and Hezbollah operatives? Those organizations wouldn't mind in the slightest; they want as many martyrs as possible.


The real problem is that Israel's response has been all too proportional. So far it has only gone after Hamas and Hezbollah. (Some collateral damage is inevitable because these groups hide among civilians.) Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is showing superhuman restraint by not, at the very least, "accidentally" bombing the Syrian and Iranian embassies in Beirut, which serve as Hezbollah liaison offices.


It's hard to know what accounts for this Israeli restraint, for which, of course, it gets no thanks. It may just be a matter of time before the gloves come off. Or Olmert may be afraid of upsetting the regional status quo. The American neocon agenda of regime change is not one that finds favor with most Israelis (ironic, considering how often the rest of the world has denounced neocons as Mossad agents). The Israeli attitude toward neighboring dictators is "better the devil you know." That may make sense with Jordan and Egypt, which have made peace with Israel, but not with Syria, which serves as a vital conduit between Tehran and Hamas and Hezbollah.


Iran may be too far away for much Israeli retaliation beyond a single strike on its nuclear weapons complex. (Now wouldn't be a bad time.) But Syria is weak and next door. To secure its borders, Israel needs to hit the Assad regime. Hard. If it does, it will be doing Washington's dirty work. Our best response is exactly what Bush has done so far, reject premature calls for a cease-fire and let Israel finish the job.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2006 11:50 am    Post subject: Global Sanctions on Tehran Sought Reply with quote

Global Sanctions on Tehran Sought
July 20, 2006
The Washington Times
Katie Stuhldreher

http://www.washingtontimes.com/world/20060719-111500-3948r.htm

Former senior U.S. and Israeli officials called yesterday for the United States to rally the international community to impose sanctions on Iran and push Arab allies to work against Hezbollah and Hamas.

Dennis Ross, a former U.S. Middle East envoy who brokered cease-fires in Lebanon in 1993 and 1996, said at a Washington Institute press briefing, "I've done this before, and I know what it takes. America is key to ending this conflict."

Mr. Ross blamed Iran for recent Hamas and Hezbollah attacks and said encouraging political and economic sanctions against Iran and Syria "should be our objective right now."

Moshe Yaalon, chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces from 2002 to 2005, said, "These attacks were masterminded by Iran and facilitated by Syria."

He pointed out that Hezbollah's initial attack on Israeli forces coincided with a deadline for Iran to respond to a U.S.-led coalition offer regarding its nuclear program.

"Iran guaranteed that the world's attention would be directed elsewhere," Mr. Ross said, noting that the nuclear issue was pushed off center stage at the weekend Group of Eight summit in Russia.

Gen. Yaalon also said Iranian officials "prodded" Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal in Damascus shortly before the Hamas kidnapping that triggered Israel's offensive in Gaza in June.

He added that Israel "strongly suspected" that members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard in Lebanon fired an Iranian C-802 radar-guided missile that hit an Israeli vessel Friday, killing four seamen.

Mr. Ross said, "The Iranians already transported things to Hezbollah that we didn't know about. They clearly can't be trusted. And if they're acting this confidently without nukes, do we want to know what they'll do if they have them?"

The United States suspects Iran is secretly trying to develop nuclear weapons.

Gen. Yaalon said Iran had escaped the consequences of orchestrating other terrorist attacks and could not be allowed to emerge from this conflict without paying a price.

Mr. Ross urged the United States to "work intensely behind the scenes" with Iran's enemies in the Arab world to broker a peace deal.

"I watch for changes in behavior. And one thing that makes this situation different from past ones is that some Arab states are acting very uncharacteristically by criticizing Hezbollah and not letting up, especially Saudi Arabia," he said.

Mr. Ross suggested that the United States encourage the development of an "Arab plan," which would include Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and others interested in undermining Iran's regional influence.

He said the plan would include political, economic and military support for the Lebanese government and military, which is still relatively weak and unable to rein in Hezbollah.

"For the first time, Arab states may be interested in developing alternatives to Hezbollah and Hamas. We can move this forward with Arab financial backing to help the Palestinian Authority and Lebanese government finally provide the social and economic support for its people that Hezbollah and Hamas usually get credit for," Mr. Ross said.

David Schenker, former Lebanese military contact for the Pentagon and a Washington Institute fellow, said the conflict exposed the true loyalties of Hamas and Hezbollah.

"It's very clear now to Palestinians and Lebanese that Hezbollah is not a Lebanese group, but serves the interests of others. They really don't care about the Palestinians or the Lebanese people," he said.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2006 10:33 am    Post subject: Iran Regime Must Change, Santorum Says Reply with quote

Iran Regime Must Change, Santorum Says

July 21, 2006
The Patriot-News
Brett Lieberman

http://iranvajahan.net/cgi-bin/news.pl?l=en&y=2006&m=07&d=21&a=3

WASHINGTON -- The United States has failed to effectively define the enemy it is fighting, Sen. Rick Santorum said yesterday as he warned of Islamic fascists who seeks to bring about the end of the free world by first destroying Israel and then the U.S.

In what was billed as a major policy address, Santorum, R-Pa., painted a bleak picture of the challenge facing Western nations as he invoked images of the Nazi and Soviet threats of the 19th century.

"Now, as then, we face fanatics who will stop at nothing to dominate us," Santorum said during a National Press Club luncheon that will be re-played on C-Span. "Now, as then, there is no way out; we will either win or lose."

Santorum called for a more aggressive U.S. strategy to force a regime change in Iran, which along with Syria and other countries, he called the lynchpin of an Islamic mosaic that seeks to "destroy the West and its leader, America."

"Iran is at the center of this war," he said.

"We have seen that clearly in Lebanon and Gaza, where Hezbollah and Hamas, Iran's proxies, gratuitously attacked Israel," he said.

Santorum acknowledged the Bush administration's failure to effectively communicate what the war is about. He attributed this in part to the administration's describing the fight as a "war on terror" instead of a fight against Islamic fascists.

He also criticized Democrats in Congress for raising objections instead of contributing to victory.

"My opponent says that a senator should ask tough questions," Santorum said of Democratic challenger Robert P. Casey Jr., the state treasurer. "But I don't think, 'How soon can we quit?' is a tough question. I believe a senator has a responsibility to lead with positive solutions."

Larry Smar, a spokesman for Casey, said the Democratic challenger has never supported a timetable for withdrawing troops from Iraq, but has called for a better plan from the administration.

"We need a watchdog, not a lapdog," Smar said.

Santorum's speech, planned before fighting broke out between Israel and Hezbollah fighters last week, took on added significance, said Zainab Al-Suwaij, executive director of the American Islamic Congress, a nonprofit group that promotes interfaith understanding.

Santorum, in his 30-minute speech followed by a dozen questions from the audience of 120, said he doubts negotiations with Iran will prove fruitful. He warned that tougher actions are needed to create a strong Lebanon, Israel and Iraq.

"The longer we wait, the more people will be blown up, tortured, incarcerated, intimidated and assassinated," Santorum said.

While Santorum said sooner or later the U.S. will have to confront Iran, he said he wasn't proposing a military solution now.

James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute, called Santorum's comments irresponsible and ill-informed, and he warned that Santorum's remarks are likely to fan hatred of Americans in parts of the Middle East.

"One can read this stuff on any number of extremist Web sites," said Zogby, whose cousin, Charles, was former Gov. Tom Ridge's education secretary.

"It's a lot of recycled rhetoric from a number of groups that have been, I think, dangerously close to preaching a clash of civilizations, and I don't think it displays a real understanding of all of the ways that we interact with the region," said Zogby.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2006 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Special Briefing on Travel to the Middle East and Europe


Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Washington, DC
July 21, 2006

video: high speed connection video: dial-up speed connection m3u

1:34 p.m. EDT

SECRETARY RICE: Good afternoon. This Sunday, I will travel to Israel and the
Palestinian territories where I will meet with Prime Minister Olmert and his
leadership and with President Abbas and his team. I will also travel to Rome
where I will meet with the Lebanon Core Group. The countries of the Lebanon
Core Group form a key Contact Group that can help the Lebanese Government to
address the political, economic and security challenges that it faces.

Today I want to speak briefly about what I seek to accomplish on this trip and
then I'd happy to take your questions, of course. It is important to remember
that the cause of the current violence with Hezbollah's illegal attack from
Lebanese territory. It is unacceptable to have a situation where the decision
of a terrorist group can drag an entire country, even an entire region, into
violence.

In response to Hezbollah's outrageous provocation in an already tense region,
the United States joined with the G-8 countries in an important declaration in
St. Petersburg. Arab nations, led by Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan have been
critical of this provocation as well. The United Nations and the European Union
have, of course, sent missions to the region. Today the United States renews
its call for the immediate release of the abducted Israeli soldiers. And as
Israel exercises the right of any sovereign nation to defend itself, we urge
Israel's leaders do so with the greatest possible care to avoid harming
innocent civilians and with care to protect civilian infrastructure.

We are working tirelessly to help ease the plight of all innocent people who
are suffering from violence: Lebanese, Israeli and Palestinian. I was pleased
to hear that the Israeli Government has responded positively to the proposal of
the United States and other countries to open humanitarian corridors into
Lebanon which will allow the international community to deliver much needed
assistance to the Lebanese people.

At next week's meeting of the Core Group and in the weeks that follow, we will
continue working with our partners to provide immediate humanitarian relief to
the people of Lebanon that will be a focus of our efforts and the United States
plans to contribute direct humanitarian assistance to Lebanon. We do seek an
end to the current violence and we seek it urgently. More than that, we also
seek to address the root causes of that violence so that a real and endurable
peace can be established.

A ceasefire would be a false promise if it simply returns us to the status quo,
allowing terrorists to launch attacks at the time and terms of their choosing
and to threaten innocent people, Arab and Israeli, throughout the region. That
would be a guarantee of future violence. Instead we must be more effective and
more ambitious than that. We must work urgently to create the conditions for
stability and lasting peace.

I have just come from New York where I met with Kofi Annan and received an
assessment from the UN team that has just returned from the Middle East. The
G-8 statement of July 16 and the UN Security Council Resolutions 425, 1559 and
1680 represent an international consensus that guides our diplomatic efforts to
help Lebanon's young democracy make progress along three tracks: political,
economic and security. The broad framework includes, of course, the deployment
of the Lebanese armed forces to all parts of country and full international
support for the efforts of the Lebanese Government to exhort its sovereign
authority over all of its territory.


Lebanon will have a delegation, we expect, at the Core Group meeting and I am
in constant consultations with Prime Minister Siniora about how best the
international community can support his government. The goal of my trip is to
work with our partners to help create conditions that can lead to a lasting and
sustainable end to the violence. Yet as I prepare to depart for the Middle
East, I know that there are no answers that are easy, nor are there any quick
fixes. I fully expect that the diplomatic work for peace will be difficult, but
President Bush and I are committed to that work.


Before I take your questions, let me say one more thing, I would like to thank
and commend the personnel of the State Department, the Defense Department and
other U.S. Government agencies who are helping to lead the successful and
ongoing departure of our citizens from Lebanon. Despite the difficulty of
moving people by sea and despite the need to take extensive security
preparations, we have mounted in one week the largest operation of any one
country. By tomorrow we expect to have helped more than 10,000 Americans to
reach safety. This is one of the largest and most complex operations of its
kind since World War II. Of course, more work remains to be done. But I am
confident that the men and women of the U.S. Government are more than equal to
that challenge. And now I'll take your questions.

Anne.

QUESTION: Madame Secretary, you said the United States and the world need to be
more effective and ambitious than to seek a quick ceasefire. Can you be
effective and ambitious in helping to guide a solution here if you're not
talking to either Syria or Hezbollah?

SECRETARY RICE: First of all, Syria knows what it needs to do and Hezbollah is
the source of the problem. The issue here is that in Resolution 1559 and ever
since, the world has spoken to the need of Lebanon to be able to function as a
sovereign government without the interference of foreign powers -- that's why
Syrian forces were told to leave Lebanon -- the resolutions have insisted that
Lebanon needs to be able -- the Government of Lebanon needs to be able to
extend its authority over all of its territory. And you can't have a situation
in which the south of Lebanon is a haven for unauthorized, armed groups that
sit and fire rockets into Israel, plunging the entire country into chaos, when
the Lebanese Government did not even know that this was going to be done.

Now the Lebanese Government has disavowed what happened. The Government of
Siniora is a good and young democratic government, but the extremists of
Hezbollah have put that government at risk and have brought misery to the
region. Any ceasefire cannot allow that condition to remain, because I can
guarantee you, if you simply look for a ceasefire that acknowledges and freezes
the status quo ante, we will be back here in six months again or in five months
or in nine months or in a year, trying to get another ceasefire because
Hezbollah will have decided yet again to try and to use southern Lebanon as a
sanctuary to fire against Israel.

So when I say that we really must have this time a commitment to what was
understood in 1559 to be a need to get Lebanese forces south, to get control of
that territory that -- so it couldn't be used in this way, that is, I think,
the core of a political framework that would permit a sustainable ceasefire.

Yes.

QUESTION: Madame Secretary, are you concerned that it looks like Israel is
going to be launching a ground invasion, a larger, perhaps, ground operation
than we might have expected?

SECRETARY RICE: Well, I'm clearly not going to speculate on something that is
just speculation. The Israelis have said that they have no desire to widen this
conflict and I take them at their word that they have no desire to widen this
conflict. There is a political framework and a political solution that could
both stop the violence and leave Lebanon and the region in a much better place
so that this doesn't happen again. And I think that's what we have to pursue.

And let me just say, when I say that an immediate ceasefire without political
conditions does not make sense, I don't mean that this isn't urgent. It is
indeed urgent.

Yes, Elise.

QUESTION: When you talk about supporting the Lebanese Government but also
eliminating the threat posed by Hezbollah, Hezbollah is not only a security
threat in the region. It's also a political party and it has ministers in the
cabinet, members of parliament. How do you suppose that the political track
will be worked out? Is this the end of Hezbollah in the country or do you see a
future political role for Hezbollah when this is all worked out on the security
front?

SECRETARY RICE: Clearly, Hezbollah in its political role did not act very
responsibly. If indeed Hezbollah went without the authority of the Lebanese
Government, violated every conceivable international law not to mention a
number of international UN Security Council resolutions and didn't bother to
tell the members of the Lebanese Government. So obviously they didn't act in a
responsible way in their political cloak and I think that has to be said and it
points to the problem that 1559 anticipated of having groups within the
political process that have one foot in terror and one foot in politics. It's
not sustainable over the long run. But I think the immediate problem is to get
back into a political framework that can allow Lebanon to start to reassert its
sovereignty.

Yes, John.

QUESTION: Madame Secretary, you've heard the voices saying you should have --
the last several days saying you should go to the region and why you chose now
to announce this trip and to go? And secondly, would the United States be
willing to contribute troops, that is, boots on the ground to an international
peacekeeping force on the Lebanese border?

SECRETARY RICE: We are looking at what kind of international assistance force
makes sense, but I do not think that it is anticipated that U.S. ground forces
are expected for that force.

As to the timing of this, John, after all I could have gotten on a plane and
rushed over and started shuttling and it wouldn't have been clear what I was
shuttling to do. We have now had a series of discussions with our -- first at
the G-8. I've been in constant contact with others, including with the
Egyptians here a couple of days ago. We have been in contact with the Siniora
Government. Of course I have been in constant contact with the Israeli
Government and then I was just at the UN. I think we are beginning to see the
outlines of a political framework that might allow the cessation of violence in
a more sustainable way tied to 1559, tied to -- what is there in the G-8
statement. The elements are becoming quite clear. But I have no interest in
diplomacy for the sake of returning Lebanon and Israel to the status quo ante.
I think it would be a mistake.

What we're seeing here, in a sense, is the growing -- the birth pangs of a new
Middle East and whatever we do we have to be certain that we're pushing forward
to the new Middle East not going back to the old one.

James.

QUESTION: Madame Secretary, as you mentioned, a key element of Resolution 1559
calls for the dismantling of terrorist militia groups inside Lebanon by the
sovereign authority of that government. What have you heard from your
discussions with the Lebanese that would explain why they have made so little
progress on that up to now and what do you think would change in the next week
or two in the political framework that would suddenly allow them to make
progress on that?

SECRETARY RICE: Well, clearly this is a young government that is -- that does
not have the capacity to do everything that was anticipated in 1559; it's just
the case. What we have to do is to help create a framework in which, first of
all, the end to the violence would push forward the sovereignty of the Lebanese
Government and the deployment of Lebanese forces southward with some kind of
international assistance, perhaps significant international assistance. And
then we have to continue to work with this government on the political front.

But what I said, James, is that -- in answer to Elise's question -- is that it
is now clear why 1559 anticipates a circumstance in which you cannot have
people with one foot in politics and one foot in terror, because that Hezbollah
sitting within the Lebanese Government, as ministers within the Lebanese
Government, would launch an attack without the knowledge of the Lebanese
Government, that then plunged the Lebanese people into the circumstances that
they are, unfortunately, now in, says why 1559 has wisdom. But we will work on
a political framework to help the Lebanese to fulfill those terms.

Charlie.

QUESTION: Can you just characterize your discussions with the Lebanese, similar
to the way you've done, say, with the Iraqis when you say this is a determined
government that knows what it needs to do? Can you speak to what the Lebanese
feel their mission is here vis-à-vis Hezbollah?

SECRETARY RICE: I believe that this is a very good government. This is a fine
prime minister and he is in circumstances that are enormously difficult right
now and he's showing great leadership of his people and great courage in
leading his people in these very difficult times. It is a complicated political
situation in Lebanon; that will surprise no one. And I'm not going to
characterize my conversations with the prime minister about how we get out of
these complex situations. I think he has a very strong interest in the
humanitarian situation. We've been talking about that and indeed, we've been
working with the Israelis to first get air and sea corridors opened, now to
talk about further humanitarian corridors that might be open to get assistance
to the Lebanese people and to begin to discuss a political framework that would
allow the fulfillment of Resolution 1559. But I'm not going to characterize
those discussions.

Yes, Charles -- Charlie.

QUESTION: Madame Secretary, can you talk about -- since you don't talk to
Hezbollah or Syria, can you talk about any of your allies that you have been
talking with and either have already met with or will meet with? Have there
been any direct contacts with Hezbollah? Is there any indication to believe
there's any diplomatic daylight there?

SECRETARY RICE: Well, first of all, with Syria, there have been all kinds of
contacts. Obviously, any number of governments have been talking to the Syrians
for quite a long time. The Syrians have to make a choice. Do they really wish
to be associated with the circumstances that help extremism to grow in the
region or are they going to be a part of what is clearly a consensus of the
major Arab states in the region, that extremism is one of the problems here?

In this sense, I would just ask you to look back on what is being said by some
of these Arab states. Everybody wants the violence to stop. There is no
difference there. But this is different than times in the past, when there has
been a reflexive response from the Arab states. This time, I think you're
getting a very clear indication of where people think the problem is and Syria
has to determine whether it's going to be a part of that consensus or not.

As to Hezbollah, as I said, Hezbollah is the source of the problem and this
should be an arrangement between the Lebanese Government and the international
community and Israel, because it is the Lebanese Government that is sovereign,
not Hezbollah. This is not an arrangement -- and I want to just underscore
that. 1559 is an obligation of the Lebanese Government, the international
community, and its neighbors. Hezbollah, in this form, is a terrorist
organization and I don't think we're talking about an arrangement between
Hezbollah and the international community.

Robin.

QUESTION: The United States has deployed a force -- or there was an
international force separating the Palestinians and the Israelis in 1982.

SECRETARY RICE: Lebanese .

QUESTION: No, the Palestinians were --

SECRETARY RICE: Oh, you mean the Palestinian camps in Lebanon?

QUESTION: Yes, yes.

SECRETARY RICE: I just wanted to make sure we were talking about Lebanon.

QUESTION: I was there then.

SECRETARY RICE: Yes.

QUESTION: Can you describe how the stabilization force might be different from
what it was before. Would it have more muscle? There's talk about a Kosovo
model. Can you give us any more meat on the bones of what's being discussed?

SECRETARY RICE: I discussed some of this in New York with Secretary General
Annan. We are in discussions with our allies as well. Look, I think everybody
understands that it has to be a force robust enough to do the job, to make sure
that the conditions are -- in Southern Lebanon are such that the reason for the
violence has been dealt with and that is that southern Lebanon is used as a
platform by Hezbollah to attack Israel. That's going to take a robust force.

The questions about what kind of force it is, what its command structure is, is
it a UN force, is it an international assistance force, those are the
discussions that are going on and I think are going to go on over the next few
days.

QUESTION: Can I just follow up?

SECRETARY RICE: Yeah.

QUESTION: Is there -- will Hezbollah have to be disarmed before the force is in
place or will it have a mandate that includes disarming Hezbollah?

SECRETARY RICE: I think we have to discuss the mandate, first and foremost,
with the Lebanese and with the Israelis, who have most stake here, and then
with the international community. I'm not going to try to prejudge what the
mandate's going to look like, but it's got to be robust and it's got to be
capable of helping the Lebanese forces make certain that southern Lebanon is
not a haven for these kinds of attacks.

Yeah, Sylvie.

QUESTION: Madame Secretary, aren't you concerned that the delay in halting the
fighting and the loss of many civilian lives in Lebanon will hamper your
efforts to win the heart and minds of the Arab world?

SECRETARY RICE: I'm concerned about civilian casualties because I'm concerned
about civilian casualties. Nobody wants to see innocent civilians caught up in
this kind of fighting. And it's why we are very determined to do more about the
humanitarian situation. It's why we have talked so determinedly and so
frequently with the Israelis about restraint in their operations. It's why
we've worked to get the humanitarian corridors opened. This is a terrible thing
for the Lebanese people. The unfortunate fact is that if we don't do this
right, if we don't create political conditions that allow an end to the
violence to also deal with the root cause, deal with the circumstances that
produced this violence, then we're going to be back here in several months
more.

Because what is different now than when Robin was there in 1982 is that you
have a circumstance in which a young, democratic government, free now of Syrian
forces, is trying to assert its authority over Lebanese territory and trying to
be there for a good neighbor and a good contributor to international peace and
stability. And those extremists want to strangle it in its crib. They are
frightened by the prospect of a Lebanon that is no longer a source of
instability, no longer so weak that people use its territory in this way, much
as these extremists want to strangle other new governments, new democratic
governments in the region.

So this is a different Middle East and it's a new Middle East and it's hard and
we're going through a very violent time. I want the violence against civilians
to stop because the violence against civilians needs to stop, but I know that
unless the circumstances are dealt with, it's not going to last, any end to the
violence isn't going to last.

You've got the last question.

QUESTION: Madame Secretary, can you tell us why you're not actually visiting
any Arab countries? And is it true, as some of us have been told, that some of
the Arab states didn't want to host you while the Israeli offensive was going
on?

SECRETARY RICE: Look, I am going to go to a place where we can all meet and
talk about what needs to move forward. What I won't do is go someplace and try
to get a ceasefire that I know isn't going to last. We're just in a different
circumstance and I think, frankly, people in the region understand that as well
as people in Lebanon. Everybody is concerned about the toll on civilians and
everybody is concerned about the toll on the young Lebanese Government. There
is no doubt about that.

But everybody also needs to unite. Everybody -- people need to stand strong
now, because the time has come not to just take a temporary solution that is
going to fall apart within -- I can't tell you whether it will be hours or days
or weeks or months of its having come into place. And so when I arranged my
travel and arranged the decision to go now, I felt it was important to have
done a lot of the consultations, I felt it was important to have the right
group of people together. But I also felt that it was important to have come to
a meeting of the minds of some of the elements that might actually provide a
political framework for a stable peace.

Thank you very much. See you on the plane. Thank you.

(The briefing was concluded at 1:58 p.m.)

2006/705


Released on July 21, 2006

************************************************************
See http://www.state.gov/secretary/ for all remarks by the Secretary of State.
************************************************************
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2006 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

USUN PRESS RELEASE # 179(06)
July 21, 2006

CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY


Statement by Ambassador John R. Bolton, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, on the Situation in the Middle East, in the Security Council, July 21, 2006

http://www.usunnewyork.usmission.gov/

Mr. President,

Thank you for convening this important meeting. This month's meeting takes on far greater salience in light of the rapidly changing events unfolding in the Middle East. The United States remains unequivocal in its commitment to working with others to build the foundations for a lasting peace in the region. It would be a disservice and only bring increased hardship to the peoples of Israel and Lebanon if the Security Council adopted stopgap measures, which did nothing to address the violence.

But let us be clear. If we are to identify lasting solutions to bring about a permanent peace in the Middle East, we must have a shared understanding of the root cause of the problem. Let there be no misunderstanding, all of us in this Chamber face a common and shared enemy -- an enemy that is solely and directly responsible for the situation we find ourselves in today. That enemy is terrorism, not only the organizations like Hezbollah and Hamas which kidnap Israeli citizens or fire rockets into Israeli territory, but their sponsors in Tehran and Damascus.

As we speak, Hezbollah continues to operate in Southern Lebanon with impunity, defying the will of the Security Council as established in Resolution 1559. We take special note of the important statement from the Arab League for having the courage and conviction to condemn Hezbollah for their role in instigating this latest round of violence. The United States reiterates its call for the full implementation of Resolution 1559 and the full extension of its authority by the government of Lebanon over all of Lebanese territory. If that were done, then Israel would not be subject to terrorist attacks, nor would the people of Lebanon would not be subject to the reign of terror that Hezbollah inflicts.

The United States is studying several of the ideas proposed on how best to secure the implementation of Resolution 1559, including the insertion of an international stabilization force. In considering these proposals, we must always keep at the forefront that the key goal should be to disarm and “defang” Hezbollah, to quote Secretary Rice. We take note that some Member States have called for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire between Israel and Hezbollah - but must ask our colleagues: how do you negotiate and maintain a ceasefire with a terrorist organization, one which does not even recognize the right of Israel to exist? The United States has no confidence that an unconditional "cease-fire" by itself would be honored by Hezbollah. It would only allow them time to regroup and plan their next wave of kidnappings and attacks against Israel. The United States seeks an end to the violence that afflicts innocent civilians, and for that very reason we are working for the conditions that will make a real cease fire possible and permanent. Our aim is to address the underlying causes of the violence in southern Lebanon. This is the purpose of the Secretary’s upcoming trip to the region.

In considering a stabilization force we should consider three broad questions. The first deals with whether or not it would be empowered to deal with the real problem, namely Hezbollah. How would such a force deal with Hezbollah armed components, and would it be empowered to deal with arms shipments from countries like Syria and Iran that support Hezbollah? What exactly would be the extent of the mandate to deal with the military threat posed by Hezbollah?

The second set of questions concerns how any new force would relate to the UN Interim Force in Lebanon, or UNIFIL, which has been there for already 28 years. And while hardly an interim force, it is reasonable and responsible to ask how a new force would differ from and be more effective than UNIFIL.

Third, we need to keep in mind that a key prerequisite for the complete implementation of Resolution 1559 would call for the extension of full sovereign by the Lebanese government over its own territory. Would the addition of a new multilateral force help strengthen Lebanese institutions or just create new multilateral institutions? Would such a force contribute to the institutional strength to the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF)? Would it help fully implement Resolution 1559?

As I noted earlier, we cannot defanging Hezbollah and Hamas while ignoring those who back them with weapons, financing and political support. The nexus of terror between Hezbollah and Hamas and their principle backers Iran and Syria can no longer be ignored. The United States calls upon Tehran and Damascus to stop acting through their terrorist proxies in the region and to work toward a lasting peace with Israel. And again, for the 4th time in 22 days, we call upon Syria to arrest Khaled Meshal, the leader of Hamas who has received safe harbor in Damascus.

Mr. President, there is no moral equivalence between acts of terrorism and Israel's exercise of its legitimate right to self-defense. Of course it is a matter of great concern to us, as President Bush has stressed, that civilian deaths are occurring. It is a tragedy, and I would not attempt to describe it any other way. We have urged the government of Israel to exercise the greatest possible care in its use of force. But it is a mistake to ascribe a moral equivalence to civilians who die as the direct result of malicious terrorist acts, the very purpose of which are to kill civilians, and the tragic and unfortunate consequence of civilian deaths as a result of military action taken in self-defense.

Mr. President, the United States remains firmly committed to working through the Security Council, indeed through all diplomatic channels, to finding a lasting end to the violence, which has plagued the region for too long. We hope that from this current crisis we can seize the opportunity to once and forever dismantle Hezbollah, restore democratic control by Lebanon over all of its territory, and lay the foundations that would allow Israel to live in peace with its neighbors.



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2006 1:27 pm    Post subject: Iranian Opposition Divisions Mar Visit to White House Reply with quote

Iranian Opposition Divisions Mar Visit to White House


BY ELI LAKE - Staff Reporter of the Sun
July 21, 2006
URL: http://www.nysun.com/article/36528

CAIRO, Egypt — A planned meeting in the White House of Iran's opposition fell short of expectations yesterday as a rift among the factions emerged.

While two senior Bush administration officials met with 30 Iranian activists and academics to discuss the future of Iran, the son of the late shah, Reza Pahlavi, and Iran's leading dissident, Akbar Ganji, who is touring America this month, did not attend.

The meeting with the Iranian opposition groups — hosted by a senior National Security Council aid, Elliot Abrams, and Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns — is significant in light of Iran's role in the recent war between Israel and Hezbollah. Following the militia's cross-border raid of July 12, President Bush blamed Iran and Syria, suggesting that the two states, which have supported terrorists in Iraq, were conspiring to plunge the region into a wider war.

Nonetheless, one attendee of the meeting said the senior officials made clear that America did not support a policy of regime change for Iran. "The administration's line was that this was not the policy of the United States to engage in regime change in different countries, even if they did not like the policies of that country. They said they hoped the people of Iran would achieve their goal of a democratic Iran,"said Sam Kermanian, who attended the meeting as a board member of the Center for the Promotion of Democracy and Human Rights.

As The New York Sun reported Tuesday, there have been credible reports that Iranian soldiers are fighting alongside Hezbollah in southern Lebanon. This week a few Iranian Web sites and news outlets reported seeing American and Israeli planes cross into Iran's airspace. American officials would not confirm the Iranian reports.

Yesterday, Iran's Foreign Ministry said it would give a formal response to an offer by the permanent members of the U.N.Security Council for negotiations on its uranium enrichment program.

A unified Iranian opposition would pose an existential threat to Iran's ruling mullahs in a way that limited air strikes on the country's nuclear facilities would not. But White House efforts to organize such an opposition may be doomed to fail. Mr. Ganji — who has drafted a two-part manifesto outlining a theory and plan for Iranian civil disobedience — told the Sun before he landed in America that he has no plans to meet with American officials unless they give him the opportunity to plead for America not to bomb Iran's nuclear installations.

"The quality of the people invited differed widely. I am not referring to the political affiliation, but their gravitas. Many people were invited at the last minute and were not told what the meeting was about and who else was there," the main organizer of this spring's London conference for a constitutional referendum in Iran, Fred Saberi, said in an interview from Stockholm, Sweden.

Mr. Saberi, who has been an intermediary between Iran's student opposition movement and Western governments, said one of the main concerns of some of those who declined the invitation, such as the Revolutionary Guard founder and former political prisoner, Mohsen Sazegara, was working with supporters of the former shah's son. Mr. Ganji has said in Persian interviews that he would avoid working with Mr. Pahlavi. Messrs. Pahlavi and Ganji have been two of the loudest voices calling for nonviolent means to achieve regime change in Iran.

"Those that have refused to work with monarchists made a mistake by not showing up," Mr. Saberi said.

One former student leader and political prisoner, Amir Abbas Fakhravar, did not make the meeting because of a scheduling difficulty. Yesterday at 1:30 p.m., he testified before the Senate Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Government Information, and International Security. The meeting at the White House began at 3 p.m., and he arrived 10 minutes late.

In his testimony before the Senate committee, Mr. Fakhravar formally apologized on behalf of free Iranians for the 1979 hostage crisis."Iranians do not believe in this," he said in an interview yesterday. "For 440 days it was advertised internationally that Iranians are terrorists. We are not terrorists."

Mr. Fakhravar, who was met upon his escape from Iran by a former senior Pentagon official, Richard Perle, has been criticized in some quarters of Iran's opposition for being too close to the Bush administration and particularly neoconservatives. On some Web sites, Iranians have accused Mr. Fakhravar of seeking a war between America and Iran, a claim he denies.

This week in New York, Mr. Fakhravar reunited with his old comrade Mr. Ganji, who asked him about his position on an American invasion of Iran. "He was under the impression that I was pushing for war. I informed Mr.Ganji that I never said I was pro-war. I said there is movement in Iran and that America needs to support it. We are not supporting a war," he said. He said he told Mr. Ganji, "The reformists who have surrounded you are putting me down. You are a smart man. Don't listen to these people. You should do your own research and decide on your own."
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2006 7:36 pm    Post subject: Outcry as Border Guards Seize British 'Dirty Bomb' Lorry Hea Reply with quote

Outcry as Border Guards Seize British 'Dirty Bomb' Lorry Heading for Iran

July 22, 2006
Daily Mail
Jason Lewis
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=397124&in_page_id=1770


Border guards seized a British lorry on its way to make a delivery to the Iranian military - after discovering it was packed with radioactive material that could be used to build a dirty bomb.

The lorry set off from Kent on its way to Tehran but was stopped by officials at a checkpoint on Bulgaria's northernborder with Romania after a scanner indicated radiation levels 200 times above normal.

The lorry was impounded and the Bulgarian Nuclear Regulatory Agency (NPA) was called out.

On board they found ten lead-lined boxes addressed to the Iranian Ministry of Defence. Inside each box was a soil-testing device, containing highly dangerous quantities of radioactive caesium 137 and americium-beryllium.

The soil testers had been sent to Iran by a British firm with the apparent export approval of the Department of Trade and Industry.

Last night, the head of the Bulgarian NRA, Nikolai Todorov, said he was shocked that devices containing so much nuclear material could be sold so easily.

He said: "The devices are highly radioactive - if you had another 90 of them you would be able to make an effective dirty bomb."

And a spokesman for the Bulgarian customs office, said: "The documentation listed the shipment as destined for the Ministry of Transport in Tehran, although the final delivery address was the Iranian Ministry of Defence.

"According to the documentation they are hand-held soil-testing devices which were sent from a firm in the United Kingdom."

A leading British expert last night said the radioactive material could easily be removed and used to construct a dirty bomb.

Dr Frank Barnaby from the Oxford Research Group, said: "You would need a few of these devices to harvest sufficient material for a dirty bomb. Americium-beryllium is an extremely effective element for the construction of a dirty bomb as it has a very long half-life, but I would be amazed to find it out on the street.

"I don't know how you would come by it as it is mainly found in spent reactor-fuel elements and is not at all easy to get hold of. I find it very hard to believe it is so easily available in this device."

Senior Labour MP Andrew MacKinlay called for the Government to tighten up export controls to prevent the Iranian military getting its hands on nuclear material.

He said: "The Prime Minister has accused the Iranian Government of sponsoring international terrorism, yet his officials are doing nothing to prevent radioactive material which has an obvious dual use being sold to their military."

Little control

The discovery will add to fears about the lack of control over the sale of nuclear material to so-called 'rogue states' which the Government claims sponsor international terrorism, particularly as it comes at a time when Iran is ignoring international calls to halt its nuclear programme.

The case has echoes of the arms-to-Iraq affair during which the DTI approved exports of apparently innocent civilian equipment to Saddam Hussein that was then used to build weapons.

Mr MacKinlay added: "Our export controls are a mess.

"The Iranians are resourceful and sophisticated and, just as we saw with Saddam Hussein in the past, this is just the sort of method they would use to get their hands on the equipment they need for their supposedly banned weapons programmes."

Andrew Maclean, a director of Kent-based Orient Transport Services, which was paid by another unnamed British firm to transport the radioactive devices to Iran, said the shipment was perfectly legal.

He said: "We had a letter from the DTI confirming that no export licence was needed to send these items to the Iranians.

"We also alerted customs officials about the goods we were transporting before they left the UK and the truck carried all the appropriate warning symbols to alert officials and the emergency services of what it was carrying."

Last night a DTI spokesman confirmed: "Exporters do not need a licence to transport this sort of material to Iran. It is not covered by our export controls."

In August last year there was a similar incident when a Turkish truck carrying a ton of zirconium silicate supplied by a British firm was stopped by Bulgarian customs at the Turkish border on its way to Tehran, after travelling from Britain, through Germany and Romania, without being stopped.

Zirconium is used in nuclear reactors to stop fuel rods corroding and can also be used as part of a nuclear warhead. The metal can be extracted from zirconium silicate and its trade is usually tightly controlled.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2006 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Iran's Nuclear Impasse: Next Steps


http://coburn.senate.gov/ffm/index.cfm?FuseAction=Files.View&FileStore_id=ae5edcd2-bba9-49b7-b04d-b3c1ea41e527


1
PREPARED TESTIMONY OF MR. AMIR ABBAS FAKHRAVAR TO THE SENATE HOMELAND SECURITY AND GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS SUBCOMMITTEE ON FEDERAL FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT, GOVERNMENT INFORMATION, AND INTERNATIONAL SECURITY Thank you very much for giving me the honor of testifying in the United States Senate, one of the world’s oldest and most distinguished democratic institutions. I promise you that the very thought of being able to be with you fills me with awe. You are, as your ancestors promised, a beacon light to the nations. I am a young Iranian man, a student, who has been in Iranian prisons many times for many years. I have frequently been tortured by the Iranian regime and held in solitary confinement. I am living evidence of Iranian government brutalities. You can see the impact of torture on my face, wrist and left knee. With the help of friends I escaped from Iran. Four years of my eight year sentence remains. I spent 8 months in solitary confinement under torture. I have come here, standing in front of you to tell the truth about the Iranian nation and students in particular. The youth of Iran constitute more than 70% of the Iranian society. I have come here to ask, one of the greatest nations of the world, the people of the United States and everyone else on the face of our earth to help their Iranian brothers and sisters. I ask your help to free my homeland and the Iranian people from a small group of zealot Mullahs who have taken my country and people hostage. For the past 27 years, we have heard plenty of rhetoric and pleas for help. But, what can you do to help and what can Iranian students do to help? What can we and the young generation of Iranians do to help? First: We have to understand that negotiations with the Islamic regime, considering their idiotic, bizarre strategies and mesh of thinking, are a waste of time and a dangerous game. Dangerous, because, the Islamic regime will benefit from this political game to buy more time and use it to empower its position in Iran and its national and international image. Giving time to the Iranian regime is placing not just Iranians at risk but the entire world. The danger that exists behind Shiite mentality is the fairy tale story, the mentality that believes in destruction and disappearance of people and international relations. The story says that some day, after the entire world has been soaked in blood and war, the 12th Imam of Shiite, who is believed to have disappeared from the face of earth over 1300 years ago, will come back. Ahmadinejad, Khameni and Mesbaheh Yazdi consider themselves friends of the 12th Imam. They are waiting to see their Imam, and working hard to facilitate his arrival which means creating chaos and death in Iran and in the world. We, the Iranian youth and students, have shown that we have great power. In particular, seven years ago on July 9th, 1999, the regime, found itself in the midst of a large mass of powerful and intelligent
2
students who wanted to uproot the government. The Mullahs found themselves under a surprise attack unlike anything they had experienced before. But, we didn’t have organization. We didn’t have unity or facilities. If we had that, we would already have gotten rid of them. Today, we can use that experience. We can use the confidence the leaders of the free world have in us. We can use means of education and democracy to organize the youth, to educate students, women, and other groups who can take part in the future of Iran and have a social, political impact in our society. This requires investing in the future generation by providing facilities, tools and, in particular, media. We need means of communication within Iran and with the free world. We need cell phones, cameras, printers to print our books, fliers, and magazines, we need web pages. Helping Iranians uproot this regime is a much cheaper and less bloody alternative to a military confrontation with Iran. Most importantly, we need proper, effective radio and television communications to empower us, to help us to speak to the Iranian nation and the rest of the world. Radio Farda and VOA can help but instead they are increasingly helping the Iranian regime more than the United States. I don’t believe Americans want to support a radio with their tax payer’s money that will cause more harm for the United States than good. More and more, VOA and Radio Farda and some of the political groups in United States and Europe emphasize reform rather than regime change. The reform theory is nothing but a dead end for the Iranian nation. The reform theory is suspicious and unacceptable. It allows the Iranian regime to hide behind a mask, buying more time, and thereby growing stronger every day. To help us, the VOA and Radio Farda programming must support regime change. The people of Iran were very confused by the reform project. Their confusion became stronger as a result of the analysis presented by these two official, authoritative media, which still give the preponderance of their air time to reformists, and very little to those who see the need for regime change. The Iranian people have been in isolation for many years and they only rarely receive correct information. In Iran, there is no such thing as Free Press. If the regime doesn’t like it, it is closed. Even web pages are censored and no accurate news of any significance makes it into people’s hands. Unfortunately, neither VOA nor Farda has taken up this challenge, and demonstrated to the Iranian people that America fully supports their freedom, and not just phony reforms. We need to explain the basis of changes we intend to make. Also, our efforts must be directed toward creating a vast “Confederation of Iranian Students” to use the youth, their strength and aggressive existing forces inside and outside Iran to push for a regime change. We have recently taken the first steps to create this organization, and we are hard at work to make it effective. The people of Iran need to know that the world supports them and their plight for freedom. I support very tough sanctions, because that will prove to the Iranians that the United States wants to punish this evil regime. At the same time, we need to reassure the Iranian people that sanctions are designed to hurt the regime, and the regime alone. Once Iran is free, there will be a flood of investments, and the Iranians need to hear this as well.
3
Currently, the Iranian nation’s wealth does not reach the people. It is stolen before it ever reaches them. All the vast resources flow to the pockets of the Mullahs. Everything has been stolen by the Mullahs, their children and other cohorts. Despite the enormous wealth coming from the sale of oil, most Iranians live and exist under the worst type of economic conditions, and they know why: the regime is not only oppressive, it is also incompetent. They know well that economic sanctions may pressure them in the short term but, in the end, only freedom offers them hope for real improvement. About Military efforts: No one wants war, neither we nor you. Our greatest efforts have been focused on using our own people and forces within our boundaries, without war, to uproot the zealot Mullahs governing our country and replace them with a secular, democratic government which respects human rights and freedom. We all know that if we don’t succeed, the Iranian regime will lead our world toward another World War. We have seen their lust for war in recent days in Lebanon and Gaza. Will the United States wait until the next Iranian attack? My instincts and my sincere beliefs tell me that such a war would be very damaging to everyone, and many people would lose their lives. Please give us a chance to free Iran without waging war. I have just two further comments: 1- Twenty six years ago, a few Iranian students climbed the walls of the US embassy in Tehran and for 444 days held hostage American sons and daughters, and thereby destroyed the reputation of Iranian students in the world. On behalf of all my friends in the Confederation of Independent Iranian Students, I formally apologize to the United States nation for this massive insult and crime. I stand before you to let you know that today’s Iranian students are not terrorists. They love the people of our world and in particular they love Americans and love freedom. 2. We all know the Iranian Nuclear program has been keeping the world preoccupied. But the real problem with the Iranian regime is not about its nuclear program. The real problem is the Iranian regime itself, which, with primitive and violent methods, has been trying for years to brainwash Iranian children and make them ready to sacrifice themselves for the regime and turn them into martyrs. The real problem with Iran is the Iranian prisons, which are overflowing with political prisoners, destroying Iranian lives, torturing and killing democratic people, and making a mockery of freedom. We all know that a secure Middle East is necessary for the security of United States of America. This can not be achieved without a secular democratic government in Tehran. Every major terrorist group is linked to the government of Iran. Some, such as Hezbollah in Lebanon, don’t even deny their close relationship as an ally of the Iranian regime. And today everyone sees, and finally understands, the chaotic state created by Hezbollah in Lebanon. Help us to uproot the Iranian regime. Believe in us. Believe that a secular democratic government in Iran will be the United States’ best ally and friend and a great and good neighbor in the global village.

--------------

To view transcripts of the entire hearing:

http://coburn.senate.gov/ffm/index.cfm?FuseAction=Hearings.Home&ContentRecord_id=585e121f-802a-23ad-4051-5c2265c955b9&Issue_id=
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 23, 2006 12:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Iranian Opposition Divisions Mar Visit to White House


BY ELI LAKE - Staff Reporter of the Sun
July 21, 2006
URL: http://www.nysun.com/article/36528


Dear Cyrus,

I'm hoping to get some kind of readout on this meeting from the US gov perspective this coming week, and I'll post it when it gets released.

It's critical that the opposition not get mired down in personality conflicts at the expense of process and progress towards the common goal we all share, including the US gov, which is a safer and more secure world for our children to grow up in.

I guess I've said this so many times in so many ways regarding "inclusiveness" that I probably sound like a broken record by now....but now you understand why.

In any case, it seems my efforts have not been in vain, nor I suspect will this be the last meeting of this type. Voice in the matter has been given to the opposition, and will no doubt continue to be heard.

As will mine:

http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/ask/69001.htm

Eric from Sante Fe, New Mexico writes:
Dear Under Secretary Joseph,

General Omar Bradley once said, "Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants, we know more about war than we do about peace, more about killing than about living."

Mine is a philosophical question:

At what point does the international community determine that the ethical infant's diapers need changing, as the smell of ill intent has become all too overwhelming and noxious to Humanity? Or will ethical infants like the leaders of Iran and North Korea be allowed to remain in power to "dump" on civilization at a time of their choosing?

I've noted that the diplomatic attempts at "behavior change" have only resulted in temper-tantrums, at the expense of global peace and security. But as my granddad worked with Oppenhiemer on the Manhattan project, and these issues are thus quite personal to me, I'd like to personally thank everyone involved globally seeking solutions to these problems, as well as the building of consensus among nations to address these issues in concrete terms.

Under Secretary Joseph:

As in Omar Bradley’s time, the United States continues to offer the world ethical leadership, dedicated to partnerships that lead to lasting international peace and security, as well as to the development of democratic governments and the rule of law. The Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism will build on Secretary Rice’s vision of transformational diplomacy by building consensus among partner nations regarding our most serious international security threat, and galvanize them to take concrete and sustained steps to defeat it.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 23, 2006 2:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Posted: Sun Apr 02, 2006 12:16 pm Post subject: Atomic pride and human rights

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

After years of ignoring human rights and oppression of Iranian people by ruling clergies in Tehran, a representative of Islamic republic in UNSC claims that nuclear activities of the regime in Iran is a matter of national pride. Even though story of national pride by officials of Islamic government in Iran may sound very credible to outsiders but it is a very familiar tale for Iranians. To understand how credible this claim can be, one should have a glance at the behaviors and positions taken by ruling clergymen towards Iranian’s national interests and issues during the past 27 years.

After Islamic revolution, it did not take very long for rulers of Islamic regime to issue statements indicating how they felt towards Iranians cultural, social and historical values which they considered in contradiction with Islamic identity that they preferred for the nation. In their view, anything that linked Iranians to their non-Islamic past or was a reminder of previous system in the country was unworthy of respect. In the beginning days of Islamic regime, they volunteered to change the historical name of Persian Gulf to Islamic gulf in order to display disrespect towards historical heritage of Iranian nation. The attack on symbols of Iranians national pride or history did not stop there and during the days and months after declaring the new name for Persian Gulf, different high ranking members of Islamic revolutionary leadership spoke with utmost disrespect about ancient Iranians cultural traditions and national festivals and the people who valued them. This issue enraged Iranians so much that celebrating national festivals like Chahar-shanbeh-soori, in a more serious fashion, became a symbol of resistance against the attacks on Iranian culture.

In exchange for Iranian traditional festivals, oratories to promote martyrdom, dedication to Islamic revolution and expansionism of Islamic revolutionary ideology became the order of the day. After break out of the war with Iraq, Islamic regime’s supreme leader at that time found it a gift from Allah and the war was used to prepare the grounds for brutal repression of any opposing movement in the name of Islam. After pushing Iraqis forces out of Iranian territory, mullahs refused to accept a peace deal in which pre-war borders would be respected and war damages would be paid to Iran. Instead, they decided to drain all national resources to continue an aimless war while justifying it to reach Beyt-ol-moghadas through Karbala! Hundreds of billions of dollars were spent to feed the war machine and satisfy all kinds of big and small mullahs who had become very active as deal brokers in the field of military supplies.

In continuation of anti Iranian policies of Islamic regime, it was not very long ago that one of their representatives in a visit to Egypt, made insulting remarks about Cyrus the Great who is a widely respected historical figure of Iran. Less than a year ago another issue came to light that Islamic regime had given approval to a dam project in Pasargad region without considering the effects on historical sites dating back to Achamenid era of Persian Empire in that area. This matter caused a lot of concerns and still is being monitored by many observers who have interest in Iranian and the world historical heritage.

There are ample amount of issues that could be raised to indicate how leaders of Islamic regime have treated their own people and manipulated religious and nationalist sentiments of Iranians in order to achieve what they had in their own minds. It is no mystery to Iranians that national interests have always been the least important on the agendas of Islamic republic rulers during the past 27 years. After compromising security of the nation in continuing unwanted and unnecessary war with Iraq and sending hundreds of thousands of Iranians to be killed and maimed in the battle fields, Islamic rulers, with absolute disregard for territorial integrity of Iran and with full incompetence, gave away a huge portion of Iran’s share in Caspean Sea to northern neighbors.

The policies of Islamic regime in Iran has been full of dishonesty and deceit regarding national issues while they are committed to serve special interest groups of people who have a hand in different sectors of this regime. Stirring up ethnic and religious differences has always been used by Islamic leaders in Iran to justify their anti nationalistic policies and suppress any democratic movement in the name of protecting the religion which is considered their domain. In this direction, Islamic regime has contributed in many atrocities against Iranians through mobs of extremists and even their own notorious ministry of information. Islamic regime although successful in rallying people behind itself in the beginning by taking advantage of their religious feelings, has lost all credibility among big majority of Iranians since a long time ago. They have been resorting lies and dishonesty to conceal their anti nationalist agendas and to buy support from foreign extremist groups with generous payments while keeping at least 40% of the nation below poverty in a country that is considered one of the major crude oil exporters in the world.

These days, leaders of Islamic regime in Iran need to link the Iranian national pride with their nuclear ambitions to rally the people in support of their nuclear cause. These leaders who never paid respect to Iranians and their national pride, and have used any opportunity to insult them and disregard their national interests, are now trying to treat the world community in the same way. After hiding the true intentions behind their nuclear activities for more than twenty years, and against their commitment to international treaties, Islamic rulers recently made astonishing remarks about wiping out another member state of United Nations from the face of the earth. A combination of unorthodox behaviors by Islamic regime has resulted in taking the matter to UN Security Council to face the reaction of the world. The outcome of process in Security Council is not going to be pleasant for Iranian people whose national interests have been ignored by ruling clerics for decades.

Speaking of national pride in this situation by representatives of a regime which its leaders carry a symbol of other nations on their attire and during their daily public appearances, like many other claims of Islamic regime, holds no truth to it. Iranian people who have been partly pushed and partly deceived by their Islamic leaders with war mongering slogans during Iran-Iraq war to get to Ghods through Karbala, have paid a heavy price for it and now their national pride is being invoked for nuclear satisfaction of the same leaders. Unusual nuclear activities by Islamic regime has convinced many that they are trying to achieve the ability to make nuclear bombs so they could use it as a bargaining chip if their anti human right policies become an issue in their relations with free world. Islamic regime has strong links with terrorist groups which will give them a big leverage in their final battle with the rest of the world at least in short term. This may not affect the outcome of the conflict ultimately but will certainly increase the cost of it for Iranian people. One day Iranians religious belief and another day their national pride becomes an excuse for engagement in hostility with other nations. In fact, it has always been Islamic regime itself which needs a crisis for its continuity and nothing else.


Sohrab Ferdows
sohrab@excite.com



This above post by Toofan should have, in my opinion been part of the testimony given before the Senate in the hearing posted above.

If the author permits, I will attempt to forward it to the Senate sub-committee for due consideration.

It is one of the finest works of analysis I have seen on this site to date.

-Oppie
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ViaHHakimi



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PostPosted: Sun Jul 23, 2006 11:56 pm    Post subject: Interview Dr. Asad Homayoun - Meibody July 20-06 Reply with quote

Interview With Dr. Asad Homayoun - Meibody July 20-06

http://afdii.org/azadegannew/AudioVideo/AsadHJuly20-06.mp3
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cyrus
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2006 10:53 am    Post subject: Iran Gaining Influence, Power in Iraq Through Militia Reply with quote



Taazi Mullahs In Iran Gaining Influence, Power in Iraq Through Militia

July 26, 2006
Knight Ridder Newspapers
Tom Lasseter

http://www.realcities.com/mld/krwashington/13391616.htm

The Iranian-backed militia the Badr Organization has taken over many of the Iraqi Interior Ministry's intelligence activities and infiltrated its elite commando units, U.S. and Iraqi officials said.

That's enabled the Shiite Muslim militia to use Interior Ministry vehicles and equipment - much of it bought with American money - to carry out revenge attacks against the minority Sunni Muslims, who persecuted the Shiites under Sunni dictator Saddam Hussein, current and former Ministry of Interior employees told Knight Ridder.

The officials, some of whom agreed to speak only on the condition of anonymity for fear of violent reprisals, said the Interior Ministry had become what amounted to an Iranian fifth column inside the U.S.-backed Iraqi government, running death squads and operating a network of secret prisons.

The militia's secret activities threaten to derail U.S.-backed efforts to persuade Sunnis to abandon the violent insurgency and join Shiites and Kurds in Iraq's fledgling political process. And by supporting Badr and other Shiite groups, Iran - a member of President Bush's "axis of evil" that sponsors international terrorism, is thought to be seeking nuclear weapons and calls for the destruction of Israel - has used the American-led invasion to gain influence in Iraq.

"They're putting millions of dollars into the south to influence the elections ... it's funded primarily through their charity organizations and also Badr and some of these political parties," said Gen. George W. Casey, the top U.S. general in Iraq. "A lot of their guys (Badr) are going into the police and military."

Current and former ministry officials said the American military hadn't interfered with Badr's infiltration of the ministry, either because U.S. officials weren't fully aware of what was happening or because they didn't want to risk arresting militia leaders who had powerful political positions and tens of thousands of followers.

Interior Ministry and Badr officials have denied any involvement in the prisons or death squads, but Gen. Muntadhar Muhi al-Samaraee, a former head of special forces at the Interior Ministry, said the prisons were run by Badr operatives.

"All prisons in the south and most of those in Baghdad are run by the Badr militia," al-Samaraee, a Sunni, said in an interview in Amman, Jordan. Al-Samaraee said he left the country for medical treatment and decided not to return because of death threats. He's denied Interior Ministry accusations that he fled to Jordan after stealing a car.

Badr's leader, Hadi al-Amari, has denied maintaining ties to Iran, but in a fit of anger during a recent interview with Knight Ridder he admitted as much while striking out against U.S.-backed secular Shiite politician Ayad Allawi.

"Allawi receives money from America, from the CIA, but nobody talks about that. All they talk about is our funding from Iran," he said, raising his voice. "We are funded by some (Persian) Gulf countries and the Islamic Republic of Iran. We don't hide it."

Badr was formed and trained in Iran in cooperation with the Iranian government, and its members staged raids into Iraq during the war between the neighboring countries in the 1980s.

"The Americans use the Interior Ministry commandos as tools to fight the insurgency. They know what Badr is doing and they don't care," charged Omar al-Jabouri, a top official with the Iraqi Islamic Party, an influential Sunni group. "The interests of the Americans are the same as Badr."

Sunni groups, including the Iraqi Islamic Party and the Muslim Scholars Association, have cataloged hundreds of instances this year in which men wearing Interior Ministry uniforms arrived in Sunni neighborhoods at night and took men who later were found dead.

Last Thursday, a raid on a detention center near the Interior Ministry building found 13 men who apparently had been tortured and needed medical treatment.

Last month, 169 men, most of them Sunnis, were found in an Interior Ministry bunker in Baghdad's Jadriyah neighborhood. Many of them had been beaten with leather belts and steel rods and made to sit in their own excrement, according to a U.S. military official and an Iraqi who was held at the center. Police officers with knowledge of the jail said Badr ran it.

A Human Rights Ministry official who spoke only on the condition of anonymity said both places were home to clandestine operations run by the Interior Ministry's intelligence units.

"We monitor the prisons, but there are so many secret centers that we know nothing about," the official said.

A senior U.S. military official in Baghdad, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject, acknowledged that the torture at the Jadriyah site was carried out by a rogue Interior Ministry intelligence group.

"It's not clear this was an official MOI (Ministry of Interior) organization," the official said. "If you look at the MOI organizational charts, you will not find the Jadriyah bunker."

After Iraq's national elections last January, the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, a political party that's tied to Badr, took power and installed an official with strong ties to Badr, Bayan Jabr, as the head of the Interior Ministry. The ministry's ranks, particularly intelligence and commando units, were quickly stocked with Badr militia members, according to interviews with current and former ministry officials.

"Everybody says you have a Badr guy in the MOI. Well ... he was elected," said the senior U.S. military official in Baghdad. "And they say he's appointed a bunch of Badr guys. We have a Republican administration in America, and guess what? They've appointed a lot of Republicans. You elected SCIRI, and SCIRI is Badr."

The American officer said it would be up to the Iraqi government to deal with the Badr organization and other militias.

Sunni leaders say the Shiite-controlled government will never police Shiite militias.

There also have been allegations that the militia that's loyal to radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who also has Iranian support, is responsible for some of the killings. Many of the details of the incidents, however, point more to Badr. For instance, the killers often are reported as traveling in white Toyota Land Cruisers and carrying Glock pistols. Both are common at the Badr headquarters in Baghdad, but not with al-Sadr's Mahdi Army fighters, most of whom are poor and travel in beat-up vans and cars.

Asked who was behind the rounding up and killing of Sunnis, Casey said, "I don't know that it's the quote Badr corps that's doing it or the ... Mahdi (Army) that's doing it, but I have no doubt that people who are associated with those groups are involved."

Although militias are illegal under Iraqi law, Badr has flourished as U.S. forces have declined to crack down.

"It's not infiltration. They're upfront about it (their militia affiliation) and day to day things are OK, but then there's a crisis," Casey said. "What you see happening is that people are ... signing up (for the security forces) but their loyalties lie more to a militia leader than a chief of police."

A document obtained by Knight Ridder appears to reveal the existence of an Interior Ministry death squad.

A memo written by an Iraqi general in the ministry operations room and addressed to the minister's office says on its subject line: "Names of detainees." It lists 14 men who were taken from Iskan, a Sunni neighborhood in western Baghdad, during the early morning hours of Aug. 18. It also marks the time of their detention: 5:15 a.m.

The bodies of the same 14 men were found in the town of Badrah near the Iranian border in early October. Hussein Sayhoud, a doctor at Baghdad's main morgue who examined the bodies and signed one of the death certificates, said that most of the men had been killed by single gunshots to their heads.

"I remember when they brought in the whole group," Sayhoud said. "They were so badly decomposed we couldn't identify any marks of torture."

The general who signed the Interior Ministry memo, Brig. Gen. Abdul Kareem Khalaf, confirmed its authenticity. But despite a heading that reads "Names of the detainees in the Iskan District," Khalaf maintained that insurgents, not Interior Ministry police, had abducted the men.

It's unclear, however, why an Interior Ministry general would refer to men who'd been kidnapped by Sunni insurgents as "detainees" in an official government document, or how the general knew the exact time of the abduction.

Pressed for more details, Khalaf said: "The minister is very upset. He wants to know how such a document slipped out of the ministry."

Col. Joseph DiSalvo, who commands a brigade of the U.S. Army's 3rd Infantry Division in eastern Baghdad, where there's a heavy Shiite militia presence, said it would be all but impossible for the American military to defeat the militias.

The largest neighborhood in DiSalvo's area of operations is Sadr City, home to 2.5 million to 3 million people. It was the site of fierce clashes last year between al-Sadr's militia and U.S. forces.

"Sadr City is probably our most secure zone because of the de facto militia presence ... the Mahdi militias doing their neighborhood patrols," DiSalvo said. "And you also have Badr patrols where you have SCIRI enclaves."

There've been reports of several instances in DiSalvo's area of Sunni men being rounded up by vehicles with Interior Ministry markings, then found murdered.

"The coalition forces cannot enforce it (the law forbidding militias). We cannot negate the militias. It would be like having a 2 million-man tribe, and all of a sudden saying, `Tribe, you do not exist,'" DiSalvo said. "You'd have to have more manpower than is feasible."

Knight Ridder Newspapers correspondent Leila Fadel of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram contributed to this report from Baghdad, as did Iraqi special correspondents in Baghdad and Jordan who can't be named for security reasons.
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Oppenheimer



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2006 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The following reminded me a lot of SMCCDI's Jan. 2005 letter to President Bush in many ways.

-----------------------------------



Iraqi PM Addresses Congress
CQ Transcripts Wire
Wednesday, July 26, 2006; 12:14 PM

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/07/26/AR2006072600872.html


JULY 26, 2006

SPEAKER: NOURI AL-MALIKI, PRIME MINISTER OF IRAQ






AL-MALIKI (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): Thank you. Thank you.

In the name of God, the most gracious, the most merciful, Your Excellency, the Speaker of the House, Mr. Vice President, honorable ladies and gentlemen, members of Congress. it is with great pleasure that I am able to take this opportunity to be the first democratically and constitutionally elected prime minister of Iraq to address you, the elected representatives of the American people. And I thank you for affording me this unique chance to speak at this respected assembly.

Let me begin by thanking the American people, through you, on behalf of the Iraqi people, for supporting our people and ousting dictatorship. Iraq will not forget those who stood with her and who continues to stand with her in times of need.

(APPLAUSE)

AL-MALIKI (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): Thank you for your continued resolve in helping us fight the terrorists plaguing Iraq, which is a struggle to defend our nation's democracy and our people who aspire to liberty, democracy, human rights and the rule of law. All of those are not Western values; they are universal values for humanity.

(APPLAUSE)

They are as much for me the pinnacle embodiment of my faith and religion, and they are for all free spirits.

The war on terror is a real war against those who wish to burn out the flame of freedom. And we are in this vanguard for defending the values of humanity.

(APPLAUSE)

I know that some of you here question whether Iraq is part of the war on terror. Let me be very clear: This is a battle between true Islam, for which a person's liberty and rights constitute essential cornerstones, and terrorism, which wraps itself in a fake Islamic cloak; in reality, waging a war on Islam and Muslims and values.

(APPLAUSE)

AL-MALIKI (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): And spreads hatred between humanity, contrary to what come in our Koran, which says, "We have created you of male and female and made you tribes and families that you know each other." Surely (inaudible) of you in the sight of God is the best concept.

The truth is that terrorism has no religion. Our faith says that who kills an innocent, as if they have killed all mankind.

Thousands of lives were tragically lost on September 11th when these impostors of Islam reared their ugly head. Thousands more continue to die in Iraq today at the hands of the same terrorists who show complete disregard for human life.

Your loss on that day was the loss of all mankind, and our loss today is lost for all free people.

(APPLAUSE)

And wherever humankind suffers a loss at the hands of terrorists, it is a loss of all of humanity.

It is your duty and our duty to defeat this terror. Iraq is the front line in this struggle, and history will prove that the sacrifices of Iraqis for freedom will not be in vain. Iraqis are your allies in the war on terror.

(APPLAUSE)

AL-MALIKI (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): History will record their bravery and humanity.

The fate of our country and yours is tied. Should democracy be allowed to fail in Iraq and terror permitted to triumph, then the war on terror will never be won elsewhere.

Mr. Speaker, we are building the new Iraq on the foundation of democracy and are erecting it through our belief in the rights of every individual -- just as Saddam has destroyed it through his abuse of all those rights -- so that future Iraqi generations can live in peace, prosperity and hope.

Iraqis have tasted freedom and we will defend it absolutely.

(APPLAUSE)

Every human possesses inalienable rights which transcend religion. As it is taken in the International Convention of Human Rights, they transcend religion, race and gender.

And God says in the Koran, "And surely we have honored all children of Adam."

AL-MALIKI (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): I believe these human rights are not an artifact construct reserved for the few. They are the divine entitlement for all.

(APPLAUSE)

It is on this unwavering belief that we are determined to build our nation, a land whose people are free, whose air (ph) is liberty, and where the rule of law is supreme.

This is the new Iraq, which is emerging from the ashes of dictatorship and despite the carnage of extremists, a country which respects international conventions and practices noninterference in the internal affairs of others, relies on dialogue to resolve differences, and strives to develop strong relations with every country that espouses freedom and peace.

(APPLAUSE)

We are working diligently so that Iraq returns to take the position it deserves and it plays a positive role in its regional and international environment as a key, active player in spreading security and stability, to give an example of positive relationship between countries through denouncement of violence and resorting to constructive dialogue, solving problems between nations and peoples.

AL-MALIKI (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): And we have made progress. And we are correcting the damage inflicted by politics of the previous regime, in particular with our neighbors.

My presence here is a testament of the new politics of a democratic Iraq.

AL-MALIKI (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): Ladies and gentlemen, in a short space of time, Iraq has gone from a dictatorship to a transitional administration, and now to a fully fledged democratic government.

This has happened despite the best efforts of the terrorists who are bent on either destroying democracy or Iraq, but by the courage of our people who defied the terrorists every time they were called upon to make a choice, by risking their lives for the ballot box. They have stated over and over again, with their ink-stained fingers waving in pride, that they will always make the same choice.

(APPLAUSE)

Over fear...

PROTESTER: Iraqis want the troops to leave! Bring them home now! Iraqis want the troops to leave! Bring them home now!

HASTERT: If our honored guest will suspend for the moment, the chair notes disturbance in the gallery. The sergeant at arms will secure order by removing those engaging in disruption.

(APPLAUSE)

PROTESTER: Bring them home now!

HASTERT: The gentleman may resume.

AL-MALIKI (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): Hope over fear; liberty over oppression; dignity over submission; democracy over dictatorship; federalism over a centralist state.

Let there be no doubt: Today Iraq is a democracy which stands firm because of the sacrifices of its people and the sacrifices of all those who stood with us in this crisis from nations and countries.

(APPLAUSE)

AL-MALIKI (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): And that's why -- thank you -- I would like to thank them very much for all their sacrifices.

Iraqis of all persuasions took part in the unanimously democratic election for the first parliament formed under the country's first permanent constitution after eight decades of temporary constitutions and dictatorship, a constitution written by the elected representatives of the people and ratified by the people.

Iraqis succeeded in forming a government of national unity based on an elected parliamentary foundation, and includes all of Iraq's religions, ethnicities and political groupings.

The journey has been perilous, and the future is not guaranteed. Yet many around the world who underestimated the resolve of Iraq's people and were sure that we would never reach this stage. Few believed in us. But you, the American people, did, and we are grateful for this.

(APPLAUSE)

AL-MALIKI (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): The transformation in Iraq can sometimes be forgotten in the daily, futile violence.

Since liberation, we have witnessed great accomplishments in politics, the economy and civil society. We have gone from a one- party state, ruled by a small elite, to a multi-party system where politics is the domain of every citizen and parties compete at all levels.

(APPLAUSE)

What used to be a state-controlled media is now completely free and uncensored, something Iraq had never witnessed since its establishment as a modern state and something which remains alien to most of the region.

What used to be a command economy in Iraq, we are rapidly transforming into a free market economy.

In the past three years, our GDP per capita has more than doubled. And it is expected that our economy will continue to grow. Standards of living have been raised for most Iraqis as the markets witness an unprecedented level of prosperity. Many individuals are buying products and appliances which they would never have hoped to afford in the past.

And, in keeping with our economic vision of creating a free market economy, we will be presenting to parliament legislation which will lift current restrictions on foreign companies and investors who wish to come to Iraq.

(APPLAUSE)

AL-MALIKI (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): While we are making great economic strides, the greatest transformation has been on Iraqi society.

We have gone from mass graves and torture chambers and chemical weapons to a flourishing -- to the rule of law and human rights.

The human rights and freedoms embodied in the new Iraq and consolidated in the constitution have provided a fertile environment for the ever-growing number of civil society institutions...

(APPLAUSE)

... which are increasing in scope and complexity and provide a healthy reflection of what is developing beneath the violence.

AL-MALIKI (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): The rights chartered in the constitution will also help consolidate the role of women in public life as equals to men.

(APPLAUSE)

And help them to play a greater role in political life.

(APPLAUSE)

I am proud to say that a quarter of Iraq's Council of Representatives is made up of women, but we still have much to accomplish.

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, our nascent democracy faces numerous challenges and impediments, but our resolve is unbreakable and we will overcome them.

The greatest threat Iraq's people face is terror: terror inflicted by extremists who value no life and who depend on the fear their wanton murder and destruction creates.

They have poured acid into Iraq's dictatorial wounds and created many of their own.

AL-MALIKI (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): Iraq is free, and the terrorists cannot stand this.

They hope to undermine our democratically elected government through the random killing of civilians. They want to destroy Iraq's future by assassinating our leading scientific, political and community leaders. Above all, they wish to spread fear.

Do not think that this is an Iraqi problem. This terrorist front is a threat to every free country in the world and their citizens. What is at stake is nothing less than our freedom and liberty.

Confronting and dealing with this challenge is the responsibility of every liberal democracy that values its freedom. Iraq is the battle that will determine the war. If, in continued partnership, we have the strength of mind and commitment to defeat the terrorists and their ideology in Iraq, they will never be able to recover.

(APPLAUSE)

For the sake of success of the political process, I launched the National Reconciliation Initiative, which aims to draw in groups willing to accept the logic of dialogue and participation. This olive branch has received the backing of Iraq's parliamentary blocs and support further afield from large segments of the population.

AL-MALIKI (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): I remain determined to see this initiative succeed.

But let our enemies not mistake our outstretched hand for forgiveness as a sign of weakness. Whoever chooses violence against the people of Iraq, then the fate that awaits them will be the same that of the terrorist Zarqawi.

(APPLAUSE)

While political and economic efforts are essential, defeating terror in Iraqi relies fundamentally on the building of sound Iraqi force, both in quantity and capability. The completion of Iraq's forces form the necessary basis for the withdrawal of multinational forces. But it's only then, only when Iraq's forces are fully capable, will the job of the multinational forces be complete.

Our Iraqi forces have accomplished much and have gained a great deal of field experience to eventually enable them to triumph over the terrorists and to take over the security portfolio and extend peace through the country.

The other impediment to Iraq's stability are the armed militias. I have on many occasions stated my determination to disband all militias without exception...

(APPLAUSE)

... and re-establish a state monopoly on arms and to guarantee citizens security so that they do not need others to provide it.

AL-MALIKI (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): It is imperative that the reconstruction starts now.

While small sections of central Iraq are unstable, large sections have remained peaceful, but ignored. For far too long, these were most deprived areas of Iraq under the previous regime and have been the most valiant in Iraq's struggle for freedom. We need to make an example out of these stable areas as models for the rest of the country.

(APPLAUSE)

Reconstruction projects in these areas will tackle unemployment, which will weaken the terrorists. They will become prototypes for other, more volatile regions aspire to. Undoubtedly, reconstruction in these areas will fuel economic growth and show what a prosperous, stable, democratic and federal Iraq would look like.

AL-MALIKI (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): Members of the Congress, in this effort, we need your help. We need the help of the international community.

Much of the budget you had allocated for Iraq's reconstruction ended up paying for security firms and foreign companies, whose operating costs were vast. Instead, there needs to be a greater reliance on Iraqis and Iraqi companies, with foreign aid and assistance to help us rebuild Iraq.

(APPLAUSE)

We are rebuilding Iraq on a new, solid foundation: that of liberty, hope and equality. Iraq's democracy is young, but the will of its people is strong. It is because of this spirit and desire to be free that Iraq has taken the opportunity you gave us and we chose democracy.

We faced tyranny and oppression under the former regime. And we now face a different kind of terror. We did not bow then and we will not bow now.

(APPLAUSE)

I will not allow Iraq to become a launch pad for Al Qaida and other terrorist organizations.

AL-MALIKI (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): I will not allow terror to rob Iraqis of their hopes and dreams. I will not allow terrorists to dictate to us our future.

(APPLAUSE)

For decades, we struggled alone for our freedom. In 1991, when Iraqis tried to capitalize on the regime's momentary weakness and rose up, we were alone again.

The people of Iraq will not forget your continued support as we establish a secure, liberal democracy. Let 1991 never be repeated, for history will be most unforgiving.

(APPLAUSE)

The coming few days are difficult and the challenges are considerable. Iraq and America both need each other to defeat the terror engulfing the free world.

In partnership, we will be triumphant because we will never be slaves to terror, for God has made us free.

Trust that Iraq will be a grave for terrorism and terrorists.

(APPLAUSE)

Trust that Iraq will be the graveyard for terrorism and terrorists for the good of all humanity.

Thank you very much.

(APPLAUSE)

END
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cyrus
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2006 12:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

AL-MALIKI wrote:
I know that some of you here question whether Iraq is part of the war on terror. Let me be very clear: This is a battle between true Islam, for which a person's liberty and rights constitute essential cornerstones, and terrorism, which wraps itself in a fake Islamic cloak; in reality, waging a war on Islam and Muslims and values.

(APPLAUSE)

AL-MALIKI (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): And spreads hatred between humanity, contrary to what come in our Koran, which says, "We have created you of male and female and made you tribes and families that you know each other." Surely (inaudible) of you in the sight of God is the best concept.

The truth is that terrorism has no religion. Our faith says that who kills an innocent, as if they have killed all mankind.



This is the a feel good speech with no basis in truth and historical facts.
Islam expansion is based on Terror and creating Fear Society. Iraq will not be stable as long as secular democracy and Free society is not established ...
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