Number 2347
Thu, Aug 11, 2005
Mordad 20 1384
Rajab 5 1426

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Published by the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA)
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Leader’s Fatwa Forbids Nukes
ElBaradei: Members Entitled to Produce Fuel
IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei opens the board meeting at the IAEA headquarters in Vienna, Austria, Aug. 10. (AFP Photo)
VIENNA, Austria, Aug. 10--Iran is a nuclear fuel cycle technology holder, a capability which is exclusively for peaceful purposes, read a statement issued by the Islamic Republic at the emergency meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Board of Governors here Tuesday evening.
The Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, has issued the fatwa that the production, stockpiling and use of nuclear weapons are forbidden under Islam and that Iran shall never acquire these weapons, IRNA quoted from the statement.
Meanwhile, IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei said on Tuesday Uranium enrichment and setting up fuel cycle by respecting safeguard agreement of IAEA is the right of every member-state, including Iran.
ElBaradei told reporters in a brief interview ahead of the emergency meeting that the member-states are not expected to necessarily go ahead with nuclear program because of threat of proliferation.
A reporter asked about relations between Iran and Western states, ElBaradei said Iran and the Western states, especially the United States, have had difficulty in their relations with Iran in the past 25 years and that it will take a long time to remedy their ties in future.
Meanwhile, reports indicate diplomats at the watchdog UN atomic agency argued in closed-door talks Wednesday over an EU call for Iran to stop nuclear fuel work, as Tehran raised the stakes by removing seals placed at a key atomic plant.
The move at the uranium conversion facility in Isfahan allows the plant to operate at full capacity, AFP reported.
“We have started,“ Iran’s atomic energy agency vice president, Mohammad Saidi, told AFP. “It is happening under the supervision of the agency.“
In Vienna, the IAEA’s Board of Governors cancelled a planned formal meeting Wednesday, with non-aligned states on the 35-nation body opposing a draft EU resolution calling on Iran to reverse its decision to push ahead with nuclear fuel work, diplomats said.
The board, which began meeting Tuesday, is expected to hold its next session Thursday, IAEA spokesman Peter Rickwood said.
A diplomat close to the IAEA said that non-aligned nations “do not want a resolution on Iran“, fearing it could isolate Tehran and cause a backlash.
The non-aligned, led by Malaysia, prefer the option of a simple statement from the board’s chairman. Iran is not on the board but is an IAEA member and non-aligned country.
A diplomat said EU negotiators Britain, France and Germany, as well as the United States, want to see the resolution adopted this week.
Iran on Monday began lifting the suspension of nuclear work it had honored since November in order to get talks with the EU started.

Kalaleh Flood Hits 70 Villages, Kills 18
A woman carrying her child walks next to a tent erected by Iran's Red Crescent Society in the flood-stricken village of Kalaleh, Golestan province, Aug. 10. (IRNA Photo)
KALALEH, Golestan, Aug. 10--Flood on Tuesday night hit 70 villages of Kalaleh and claimed the lives of 18 people, an official said on Wednesday.
Deputy Golestan Governor-General Ebrahim Karimi made the remarks after touring the flood-stricken areas.
Speaking to IRNA, he added, “The damage inflicted by this flood are six times the damage inflicted by the flood of 10 days ago. Two days ago, especially in the flood-stricken villages of Gelidagh, the Natural Disasters Headquarters did a good job which helped reduce the damage.“
Karimi noted that all the people affected by the flood of 10 days ago living in tents, except for a 60-year-old woman, have been rescued.
“So far, the dead bodies of 18 residents of Kalaleh have been found and 12 people are still missing,“ he said.
The official stressed that relief facilities have been dispatched to the flood-stricken villages.
“Based on preliminary estimates, 300 residential units were completely destroyed by the flood. Some 1,500 hectares of farmland have been destroyed while all connecting roads have been damaged. A large number of agricultural machineries have also been ruined,“ he said.

ICT Observed the Law In Filtering Websites
TEHRAN, Aug. 10--Information and Communication Technology Minister Ahmad Motamedi said on Tuesday his ministry only upheld the law regarding filtering of websites.
Motamedi also told reporters that during the tenure of President Mohammad Khatami, it was decided that we should not pursue radical measures in terms of filtering websites and only domestic unethical and political websites should be filtered.
“Perhaps if I or the government was responsible for this, many websites would not have been filtered. At any rate, we had to implement the rule of law. Overall, I can say that we have not adopted excessive measures in this regard and the rise in the number of Internet users is good proof of this claim,“ he said.
The ICT minister noted that the culture of using ICT is not comparable with the past and journalists have helped a great deal to promote this culture.
Commenting on the future price of Sim-cards, he said, “We have not yet taken a decision in this respect. However, like in advanced countries, different types of Sim-cards with different prices will be offered and people can choose by considering the pulse rate and type of application.“
Motamedi stressed that the Second Mobile Phone Operator is the biggest plan for attracting foreign investments after oil and gas projects.
“When the fiber-optic network becomes operational, the installed equipment will meet telecommunication demands till the end of the fourth development plan (2005-10). The network’s capacity can be doubled by spending 40 to 50 million dollars,“ he said.

Rightists AgainstFMI Alliance
TEHRAN, Aug. 10--Head of the Islamic Coalition Society’S Political Committee Hamid Reza Taraqqi said on Wednesday that political midgets are not people who are short, but those who lack political experience.
Speaking to reporters, Taraqqi said, “Of course, we do not consider President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as a political dwarf. He was active on the political scene in the early days of the Islamic Revolution and also the Iraq-imposed war (1980-88).“
According to ILNA, Taraqqi said, “The FMI does not accept the constitution. Including the FMI in a front (proposed between rightists and reformers) is indeed our biggest dispute. We do not consider the FMI analogous to the May 23rd Front, because the commonality of all political parties is the constitution of the republic. In fact, we have no differences other than this. We think reformers can also be viewed as fundamentalists. All the people who attach credence to Islam, the Islamic Revolution, the Imam, the leadership of supreme jurisprudent and the constitution are fundamentalists.“
Meanwhile, in response to the recent communiquĊ½ issued by Ansar-e Hezbollah, Taraqqi told Fars News Agency on Wednesday that pursuit of violence and radical measures in the name of Islam and in support of the new government can affect the society negatively.
“Under the current circumstances, political groups should pursue moderation on the basis of wisdom and political maturity, and refrain from radical moves.“

America’s Saudi Missions Reopen
UK, Australia Expect Attacks
By Militants
WASHINGTON, Aug. 10--US diplomatic missions in Saudi Arabia reopened on Wednesday after closing for two days because of a threat of militant attacks, the US embassy said.
An embassy spokesman said the embassy in Riyadh and the consulates in the Red Sea city of Jeddah and the eastern city of Dhahran had resumed operations on Wednesday based on “further assessment of available threat information“, Reuters reported.
The missions were closed on Monday and Tuesday because of a threat against US government buildings in the kingdom. But Saudi Arabia, battling a two-year campaign of Al-Qaeda violence, said it had no solid information about any imminent attacks.
Britain also warned this week that militants were in the final stages of planning attacks in the kingdom, and Australia said it had received “credible reports“ that militants were planning strikes in the near future.
Suicide bombers have hit several residential compounds housing foreigners, and militants also staged a daylight raid on the US Consulate in Jeddah. At least 91 foreign nationals and Saudi civilians have been killed in the violence.
Oil hit a record high just above $64 a barrel on Tuesday, partly on fears of a militant attack in the kingdom, the world’s largest oil exporter.
Last month, the US told its citizens in Saudi Arabia that militants were plotting fresh attacks and later banned military personnel from traveling around the kingdom.
Saudi security consultant Nawaf Obaid said the latest US embassy warning was ’counterproductive’, causing undue alarm and triggering a chain reaction among other Western embassies to follow suit.
Saudi authorities have killed or arrested all but three men on a list of 26 most wanted suspects published in 2003.
In June, officials listed another 36 wanted men they are still seeking.

US Casualties Mount in Iraq
Aug. 10--US casualties in Iraq mounted with the killing of four soldiers in an insurgent attack as Iraqi leaders on Wednesday met separately to thrash out differences ahead of an August 15 deadline for drafting a constitution.
The four soldiers were killed and six wounded when rebels attacked their patrol near the northern oil town of Baiji on Tuesday night, the US military announced Wednesday, AFP reported. This followed the killing of another US soldier by a suicide car bomber in the capital Tuesday afternoon.
The latest deaths bring the total US military casualties in Iraq since the March 2003 invasion to 1,834, according to an AFP tally based on Pentagon figures.
The last three weeks have proved one of the bloodiest periods for US forces in Iraq with some 50 US soldiers killed across the war-torn country.
A US military spokesman said the four who died were in a patrol of several vehicles ambushed by rebels who set off a mine and opened fire with guns.
Meanwhile, top Iraqi leaders met in groups to work out their differences over the constitution.
“There was no joint meeting of the leaders today,“ said Mahmud Othman, a member of the constitution-drafting panel.
Despite the absence of Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani, substantive talks were held Tuesday evening over some of the unresolved questions dogging the draft charter, Kamaran Garadaji, a spokesman for Jaafari, had said Tuesday.
Issues holding up the constitution include the scope of federalism, with Kurds insisting on maximum autonomy for their northern region, while Shiites and Sunni Arabs remain divided over whether other provinces should also get autonomy.
Iraq’s interim law stipulates holding a referendum on the draft constitution on October 15, to be followed by mid-December national elections.
At least 14 Iraqis were killed in a series of attacks Wednesday, including four civilians and two policemen in a car bomb in the west of the capital.
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By Ali Taheri
The global norm is that when the president of a country changes, the administrative system and policies also change.
With the coming to power of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the country will witness similar changes within the government. But what we do expect are necessary and positive changes--and not change for the sake of change. Certain changes may at the outset have negative implications, but since the objective is to improve the state of affairs these changes can produce favorable results in the long run.
At any rate, the people have voted for an administrative overhaul, constructive changes in the modus operandi and the resolution of problems remaining from previous governments. These are legitimate expectations and the government is duty-bound to procure people’s basic needs, facilitate healthy living conditions and create tranquility.
Although in 1997 the people voted for Seyyed Mohammad Khatami to achieve greater sociopolitical liberties and reforms, in 2005 they cast votes for Ahmadinejad’s motto of socioeconomic justice. Hence, the new government should do everything possible to fulfill this demand.
The Iranian society has come a long way since 1997. They not only expect a further improvement of conditions, but also a share of the windfall generated by high oil prices.
Amid all this, the foremost duty of the new government is to pay special attention to the needy and deprived social strata, implement equitable wealth distribution programs and end corruption and discrimination. This cannot materialize unless the president uses the services of qualified, dedicated and young forces, without ignoring lessons from the past. This is what the leader also stressed during Ahmadinejad’s investiture ceremony.
The leader noted that fulfillment of certain targets requires years of hard work and the people expect officials to be diligent in this respect.
The new administration can breathe fresh life into the administrative system. In this regard, the legislature can play an important role while scrutinizing cabinet nominees before giving them the vote of confidence.
People are optimistic that the changes incorporated by the new government will deliver social justice and economic benefits. Let’s hope that at the end of Ahmadinejad’s four years in office, the people do not remain discontent and resentful.