|To: Brumar89 who wrote (1730)||8/30/2002 10:33:42 PM|
|Iran's President Trying to Limit Power of Clergy|
The New York Times
By NAZILA FATHI
TEHRAN, Aug. 28 — Iran's president, Mohammad Khatami, said today that hard-line clerics had made it all but impossible for him to do his job and that he would propose legislation to adjust the balance of power so that he could pursue reforms.
President Khatami's statement amounted to a clear expression of frustration with the clerics who hold most real levers of power and have thwarted a president elected twice on promises to open the economy and usher in greater civil liberties.
"I am announcing today that the president must have the power to perform his duties within the framework of the Constitution," he said at a news conference.
"We cannot speak of democracy if we are not ready to play by its rules," he added. "The main aspect of democracy is the right of people to change a government if they do not like it."
Full story >>>
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|To: GUSTAVE JAEGER who wrote (1723)||8/30/2002 10:35:26 PM|
|Brain drain in Iran....Gees that can't be good. :o)|
Iran's '79 revolution has gone awry
By Borzou Daragahi
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
August 28, 2002
TEHRAN — The sprawling bazaar in the southern part of this city is where opposition to Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, the last Iranian monarch, sparked the Islamic revolution in 1979. The bazaar merchants opposed the shah's permissive culture and favored a government of religious clerics or mullahs. But it was the shah's economic policies that ignited the revolution. Merchants were outraged by his attempts to open Iran's economy to the global market and foreign competition.
Now, some of those same people who toppled the shah are desperately trying to pull Iran's economy into the 21st century.
That's because many of the major policies the mullahs initiated since the 1979 revolution have failed. But the government may not be able to improve its economy without dismantling the revolution that put it in power.
The country's economic problems are broad, deep and numerous. Everyone complains about not being able to make ends meet. According to government statistics, the average family earns $3,125 a year; but spends $600 more than that.
More palpably, Iranians eat 20 percent less food and 30 percent less meat than they did 10 years ago.
Hassan Fallahi, a taxi driver from southern Tehran with five children. says times have gotten tougher and tougher.
"A kilogram of meat that cost $2 last year costs $3 this year," he said. "Foodstuffs have gotten more expensive, clothes have gotten more expensive. But your salary stays the same."
After the revolution, the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini urged Iranians to bear many children. Go forth, he said, and breed a new Islamic order.
Well, they did. Now Iran faces a huge demographic crisis: 800,000 to 1.2 million new jobs are needed every year for people entering the job market.
But the country can only create 400,000 jobs in a good year. The official unemployment rate is at 13 percent, but most independent analysts peg it at 20 percent. One minister recently called unemployment a national threat.
Mohammed Hussein Adib, an Iranian economist, predicts unemployment could rise to 30 percent in the next four years. "The biggest challenge for Iran might be finding enough sidewalks for aimless young men to mill about upon," he joked.
The mullahs taught illiterate people to read and put universities in every small town. The result has been an educated youth with high ambitions but few opportunities. Unless they go abroad. Since the mullahs took charge of Iran, they have tried to impose seventh-century religious values on the population. They banned pop music, alcohol, discos and many forms of modern entertainment.
So the modern-minded are leaving. Late last year the International Monetary Fund named Iran the world's No. 1 victim of brain drain, with 150,000 to 180,000 of the country's best educated moving out each year to contribute their talents to the West.
In managing the private sector, the government has fared even worse. When the clerics wrested control from the shah, they grabbed all his properties and those of his friends and put them in the hands of the government and various religious foundations.
Those organizations — with names like the Foundation for the Oppressed and the Foundation for War Orphans — now control vast tracts of the Iranian economy, stifling the growth of the private sector and scaring off foreign investors. Few entrepreneurs dare risk facing a fatwa for underselling Iranian sofas or cereals.
Iran's former president, Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, started a move to privatize state-owned industries bur that just made the problem worse, said Nasser Hadian, a Tehran University political scientist now teaching at Columbia University.
"Many of those corporations were given to many of the friends and relatives of the politically important people," he said. "After they assumed ownership of the corporations and organizations, many of them in fact dismantled, disorganized these corporations and sold [the pieces] in the market for a higher price."
In the big cities, the mullahs decided to invest in mosques rather than subways. As a result, Iran has grown into a car-dependent country. Iran's increasing domestic consumption is eating into sales of its primary export: oil.
Most economists agree that foreign investment and a general opening up of the economy would do much to alleviate Iran's troubles.
But because the clerical regime tried to export its revolution to other countries, supporting militant movements in Lebanon and the Israeli-occupied Palestinian Territories — U.S. sanctions remain in place.
Other potential trade partners remain suspicious. Egypt, for example, won't restore full relations with Iran until it renames a Tehran street now dedicated to the assassin of President Anwar Sadat.
Because of the U.S. sanctions, the country made a series of rotten business deals with European companies. They agreed to develop Iran's oil fields in exchange for free oil. The bills have come due, and Iran has to fork over millions of barrels a day to the Europeans.
The clerical government in Iran is now stuck economically. But economists say that unless it takes drastic measures, Iran's government could follow in the steps of the Soviet Union and collapse under the weight of its own economic mismanagement.
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|To: swiveled-eyed loon who wrote (1735)||8/31/2002 6:08:49 AM|
|From: GUSTAVE JAEGER|
|Behind the hoopla on Iraq lies the US's REAL target: Iran. (after all, these two have an old score to settle, eh?)|
Iran: threat or victim?
A US strike against Iraq seems imminent, but who's next? Galal Nassar argues it will be Iran
Indeed, confidential reports reveal that Israeli pilots are currently in central Anatolia training in case plans to bombard Iranian nuclear reactors and missiles bases are implemented. Increased flights over the Turkish-Iranian border have also been reported. The reports suggest that one of Israel's objectives in its military cooperation with Turkey is to obtain permission to use Turkish air bases for assaults against Iranian targets. Already the Israeli-Turkish agreement allows for eight Israeli war planes to be stationed permanently on Turkish territory.
Operation Babel-2, the code name for the Israeli offensive to destroy Iranian missile plants and storehouses, will go into effect if the US 'diplomatic deterrent' fails, according to the report. Iranian military authorities are currently studying two scenarios, the first is a possible Israeli bombardment of missile plants in Shiraz, Khorramabad, Farahin and Shahman, the second involves targeting foreign experts working on the missile and nuclear development programmes.
The authorities believe that Israel procured 45 F-15s, capable of flying distances of over 1,500 kilometres and returning to base without refueling, expressly to carry out raids against Iran. Consequently, Iranian authorities have been taking precautions to ensure that their facilities are protected. Measures include, dispersing laboratories and facilities to diverse parts of the country. Iranian officials also fear that a traditional war in the region could easily escalate into a nuclear war in which the US and Israel would seek to use small tactical atomic bombs.
Tehran is contemplating a possible counter strike. Iran has obtained highly detailed Russian satellite pictures pinpointing the locations of Israeli missile silos. Apparently, Israel's main silo is located 20 km west of Jerusalem near the Tel Nouf air base. The silo, which is surrounded by caves and fortified bunkers, is located to the south of missile manufacturing plants at Bir Ya'qub. Tehran has also deployed Shahab missiles to target other Israeli installations, such as the Zakheriya base southeast of Tel Aviv, which houses long-range missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads. The satellite photographs indicate that the missiles are not stored in fortified shelters that could withstand a nuclear attack. Unlike their Israeli counterparts the Iranian missile shelters are fortified against attacks.
Tehran has further warned Israel and the US that, in the event of an attack, it would counter, using suicide bombers in speed-boats, to attack US ships stationed in the Gulf. It also threatened to mine the Hormuz Straits, halting international shipping in the Persian Gulf, and to mount terrorist strikes against US interests in the Middle East and elsewhere.
The common feeling among Iranians is that they are surrounded on all sides, with NATO-allied Turkey to the northwest, US bases in Uzbekistan to the northeast, US forces in Afghanistan, US bases in Pakistan, and the US navy in the Gulf and Indian Ocean. All that remains is for Washington to succeed in toppling Saddam Hussein, install a pro-US regime in Iraq, and the encirclement will be complete.
© Copyright Al-Ahram Weekly. All rights reserved
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|To: GUSTAVE JAEGER who wrote (1741)||8/31/2002 10:42:44 AM|
|Iran is (unlike Iraq) is on the path of self-liberation from grip of Ayatollah's....(whose days just like Communism was are numbered....Remember, Iran is not like Arab Regimes...anything like it, and probably will be a natural ally of US once Ayatollah's are gone|
The Iranian proletariat in 1979 was far stronger than the Russian working class in 1917. It could easily have taken power into its hands. But it lacked the necessary instrument in the form of a genuinely revolutionary party and leadership, like the Bolshevik party under the leadership of Lenin and Trotsky. The Iranian workers set up the shuras, which were the equivalent of the Russian soviets in 1917—democratically elected committees composed of workers, students, shopkeepers, peasants and soldiers. All that was necessary was to have linked up these committees on a local, regional and national scale, and broaden them to include the representatives of the poor peasants, the soldiers, the women, the youth and the oppressed nationalities, and the problem would have been very quickly solved. The overthrow of the Shah could have led directly to the establishment of workers’ power. But the so-called Communist Party, the Tudeh, had no perspective of taking power. The Moscow Bureaucracy dreaded the prospect of a workers’ revolution in Iran. The Iranian Stalinist leaders blindly subordinated themselves to, first to the Liberals and so-called progressives, and ultimately to Khomeini. Thus in the movement of truth, the Iranian working class found itself paralysed and incapable of playing an independent role. The revolution was aborted and the people of Iran delivered into the hands of clerical reaction.
But now the wheel has turned a full circle. The regime of the Ayatollahs has exhausted itself and now faces revolution, just as the Shah did. This idea is already present in the minds of the students who at this moment are in the vanguard. The real revolutionary significance of the student movement has not been lost on the most serious commentators in the West. The movement has gone far beyond the limits prescribed by the "moderate" leaders. The Boston Globe Online (7 December 1999) commented:
"It has already become evident that students are not risking beatings and death merely to show support for the marginal reforms of Iran’s elected president. Mohammad Khatami. He has issued a statement saying that the protesters have made their point and ‘now students should co-operate with the government and allow law and order to be established in society’."
These are the first confused stirrings of revolutionary consciousness. The actions of the students are far more advanced than their political understanding. But under these conditions people learn fast. Consciousness lags behind, but it is the essence of a revolution that consciousness catches up with reality with a bang. A whole generation of youth have had little or no knowledge of Marxism. Their sole point of reference was the so-called Islamic revolution of 1979. It was natural that some of the students refer to Islam. But serious commentators are able to distinguish between form and content. The reference to religion are only "the outer shell of an immature Bolshevism".
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|To: Thomas M. who wrote (1704)||9/1/2002 10:57:10 AM|
|On the issue of Jews being barred from the Wailing Wall, that was indeed an injustice. But, given the hostile manner in which the Zionists treated the indigenous Moslems, it is understandable>>> |
I think that Israelis have little problem with Jordanians even now, after they terminated Jordanian rule in Jerusalem...
On May 28, 1948 the Arab Legion completed the capture of the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, the site of numerous ancient synagogues and the Western Wall of the Temple, destroyed by the Romans in the year 70 AD. These were and remain the holiest sites in the Jewish religion.
After the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem was captured, the destruction, desecration and systematic looting of Jewish sites began and continued. 57 ancient synagogues (the oldest dated to the 13th century), libraries and centers of religious study were ransacked and 12 were totally and deliberately destroyed. Those that remained standing were defaced, used for housing of both people and animals. The city's foremost Jewish shrine, the Western Wall, became a slum. Appeals were made to the United Nations and in the international community to declare the Old City to be an 'open city' and stop this destruction, but there was no response. This condition continued until Jordan lost control of Jerusalem in June 1967.
The Jordanian "occupation" of the West Bank was very abusive of the rights of Jews and Christians, or any resident of Israel. Jewish and Moslem residents of Israel were not permitted to visit their Holy Places in East Jerusalem. Christians, too, were discriminated against. In 1958, Jordanian legislation required all members of the Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulchre to adopt Jordanian citizenship. In 1965, Christian institutions were forbidden to acquire any land or rights in or near Jerusalem. In 1966, Christian schools were compelled to close on Fridays instead of Sundays, customs privileges of Christian religious institutions were abolished. Jerusalem was bisected by barbed wire, concrete barriers and walls. On a number of occasions Jordanian soldiers opened fire on Jewish Jerusalem. In May 1967, the Temple Mount became a military base for the Jordanian National Guard.
During the Jordanian occupation of Hebron from 1948 to 1967, Jews were not permitted to live in the city, nor -- despite the term of the 1948 Armistice Agreement -- to visit or pray at the Jewish holy sites in the city. Additionally, the Jordanian authorities and local residents undertook a systematic campaign to eliminate any evidence of the Jewish presence in the city. They razed the Jewish Quarter, desecrated the Jewish cemetery and built an animal pen on the ruins of the Avraham Avinu synagogue
Although there were numerous discussions of this issue, and Israeli complaints, the Jordanians refused to honor the agreement, and the UN did not pass any resolutions against this treatment of Jewish religious institutions
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|To: GUSTAVE JAEGER who wrote (1741)||9/1/2002 11:07:55 AM|
|May Allahiah read your message and in his infinite wisdom inbliment the beace brocess, (but with Bush, that is!) But why the f..k did He wait so long ?|
BTW you never thanked the USA for saving your parents ass during WWII.
Now if you could link us to pictures that show the Israelis "non fortified silos" as compared to Iranian "fortifies silos"... I could start to give it some reality.
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