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Iran Super Thread- Merged

In the absence of an expert....... I will rush in.

As I understand it current thinking is starting to see the entire Iranian Plateau from Susa on the Persian Gulf to the Indus Valley as one contiguous cultural group that evolved back in the bad old days when the world was cold and the deserts were green.  These four sites show signs of early settlement and urbanization.

Genetically these people are somewhat different to the Dravidians of southern India although in Baluchistan there are still "remnant" populations of Dravidians

The Hindu religion appears to be the oldest religion still extant.

Over the years various other influences have washed over the Area including, but not limited to, the Altai Chariot Cultures, Zoroastrianism and most recently Mohameddanism.

It would appear that over the millenia a "native" northern population has morphed into different nationalities based on various cultural impacts and geography with the latest impact being the Moghul Mohammedans.

The Punjab, the valley of the Indus, then becomes the battle ground between the invading Mohammedans and the Hindus that chose to fight back, fought on the turf of locals that have been there for millenia.  And interestingly gave rise to another warrior culture, that decided they didn't want to have anything to do with either of them: The Sikhs.

Pakistan can thus lay claim to be the home of the "Indians", the eastern bastion of the "Mohammedans", and the heirs of the "Aryans". 

Poor buggers, like the rest of us, they are a nation of mongrels convinced by their leaders that they are exceptional.

Susa (Western Iran) 4000 BC

Marvelous painted pottery from Susa I the earliest Phase -was discovered here and can be seen in the castle storerooms to the Mission (and possibly more conveniently in the Louvre). Pottery dating back to the fourth millennium BC proves that Susa was one of the oldest cities in the world.
In fact a prehistoric settlement from at least the forth millennium BC, and an important Elamite city from about the middle of the third millennium, Susa reached its first peak under the reign of Untash Gal, who built Shush as his administrative capital and founded Chogha Zanbil as his religious center. Shush was burnt around 640 BC by the AssYrian A, at about the same time he destroyed Zanbil, but it came back to prominence and its Golden Age began with the advent of Cyrus the Great, the founder of the Achaemenian Empire of Iran.
Standing as it did between the Aryans of the east and the Semites of the west, Susa was a far more convenient administrative center for the new and rapidly growing Empire than was Pasargadae.

Shahr-i-Sokhta aka Burnt City (Baluchistan (Eastern Iran - Western Afghanistan - Western Pakistan) 3200 BC

Located 57 kilometers from the city of Zabol in Sistan va Baluchestan province, southeast Iran, the Burnt City covers an area of 150 hectares and was one of the world’s largest cities at the dawn of the urban era. It was built around 3200 BC and was destroyed some time around 2100 BC. The city had four stages of civilization and was burnt down three times, which is why it is called Burnt City (Shahr-e Sukhteh in Persian).

Mehrgarh (Baluchistan, Pakistan - just east of Spin Boldak) 7000-2600 BC

Mehrgarh is a Neolithic (7000-3200 BC) site on the Kachi plain of Baluchistan, Pakistan, and one of the earliest sites with evidence of farming (wheat and barley) and herding (cattle, sheep and goats) in south Asia. The site is located on the principal route between what is now Afghanistan and the Indus Valley.

The earliest settled portion of Mehrgarh was in an area called MR.3, in the northeast corner of the 495-acre occupation. It is a small farming and pastoralist village dated between 7000-5500 BC, with mud brick houses and granaries. The early Mehrgarh residents used local copper ore, basket containers lined with bitumen, and an array of bone tools. They grew six-row barley, einkorn and emmer wheat, jujubes and dates. Sheep, goats and cattle were herded at Mehrgarh beginning during this early period. The most recent studies at Mehrgarh showed they even had a pretty good grasp of evidence of dentistry, and a good thing, too: caries are a direct outgrowth of a reliance on agriculture.

Later periods included craft activities such as flint knapping, tanning, and bead production; also, a significant level of metal working. The site was occupied continuously until about 2600 BC, when it was abandoned.

Mohenjo Daro (Sindh, Pakistan) 2600 BC-1900 BC

Mohenjo Daro, or "Mound of the Dead" is an ancient Indus Valley Civilization city that flourished between 2600 and 1900 BCE. It was one of the first world and ancient Indian cities. The site was discovered in the 1920s and lies in Pakistan's Sindh province.

Andronovan Culture
The Andronovo culture is an Old World sedentary pastoralist society of the Late Bronze Age. It dates to the latter part of the 2nd millennium BC of central Asia, and covers a wide region, especially in the Altai Region of the former USSR. Preceded by the Afanasievo culture

Financial action vs Iran:


Cut Them Off At The Bank

November 16, 2008: Economic problems are getting worse. In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where much of Iran's foreign trade is handled, local banks are refusing to do business with the 10,000 Iranian trading firms based there. This has caused delays and cancellations of Iranian imports (over $9 billion worth from the UAE last year) and exports. This is being felt by the rule elite in Iran. There, the large extended families of the clerical leadership live the good life, and the goodies come in via the UAE. The sudden shortages of iPods, flat screen TVs, automobiles and bling in general, has been noticed in Iran, and is not appreciated.

The falling price of oil is producing another problem, national bankruptcy. The government admits that if the price of oil falls below $60 a barrel (which it has) and stays there (which it may, at least until the current recession is over), the nation will not be able to finance foreign trade (which is already having problems with increasingly effective U.S. moves to deny Iran access to the international banking system), or even the Iranian economy itself. The latter problem is largely self-inflicted, as president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad desperately borrows money to placate his few (heavily armed and fanatical) followers (about 20 percent of the population). The rest of the population has been in recession for years, and is getting increasingly angry over Ahmadinejad's mismanagement. Some 80 percent of Iran's exports are oil.
Waiting for the horse to bolt before closing the door.....


Iran said to have enough nuclear fuel for one weapon
By William J. Broad and David E. Sanger

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Iran has now produced roughly enough nuclear material to make, with added purification, a single atom bomb, according to nuclear experts analyzing the latest report from global atomic inspectors.

The figures detailing Iran's progress were contained in a routine update on Wednesday from the International Atomic Energy Agency, which has been conducting inspections of the country's main nuclear plant at Natanz. The report concluded that as of early this month, Iran had made 630 kilograms, or about 1,390 pounds, of low-enriched uranium.

Several experts said that was enough for a bomb, but they cautioned that the milestone was mostly symbolic, because Iran would have to take additional steps. Not only would it have to breach its international agreements and kick out the inspectors, but it would also have to further purify the fuel and put it into a warhead design — a technical advance that Western experts are unsure Iran has yet achieved.

"They clearly have enough material for a bomb," said Richard Garwin, a top nuclear physicist who helped invent the hydrogen bomb and has advised Washington for decades. "They know how to do the enrichment. Whether they know how to design a bomb, well, that's another matter."

Iran insists that it wants only to fuel reactors for nuclear power. But many Western nations, led by the United States, suspect that its real goal is to gain the ability to make nuclear weapons.

While some Iranian officials have threatened to bar inspectors in the past, the country has made no such moves, and many experts inside the Bush administration and the IAEA believe it will avoid the risk of attempting "nuclear breakout" until it possessed a larger uranium supply.

Even so, for President-elect Barack Obama, the report underscores the magnitude of the problem that he will inherit Jan. 20: an Iranian nuclear program that has not only solved many technical problems of uranium enrichment, but that can also now credibly claim to possess enough material to make a weapon if negotiations with Europe and the United States break down.

American intelligence agencies have said Iran could make a bomb between 2009 and 2015. A national intelligence estimate made public late last year concluded that around the end of 2003, after long effort, Iran had halted work on an actual weapon. But enriching uranium, and obtaining enough material to build a weapon, is considered the most difficult part of the process.

Siegfried Hecker of Stanford University and a former director of the Los Alamos weapons laboratory said the growing size of the Iranian stockpile "underscored that they are marching down the path to developing the nuclear weapons option."

In the report to its board, the atomic agency said Iran's main enrichment plant was now feeding uranium into about 3,800 centrifuges — machines that spin incredibly fast to enrich the element into nuclear fuel. That count is the same as in the agency's last quarterly report, in September. Iran began installing the centrifuges in early 2007. But the new report's total of 630 kilograms — an increase of about 150 — shows that Iran has been making progress in accumulating material to make nuclear fuel.

That uranium has been enriched to the low levels needed to fuel a nuclear reactor. To further purify it to the highly enriched state needed to fuel a nuclear warhead, Iran would have to reconfigure its centrifuges and do a couple months of additional processing, nuclear experts said.

"They have a weapon's worth," Thomas Cochran, a senior scientist in the nuclear program of the Natural Resources Defense Council, a private group in Washington that tracks atomic arsenals, said in an interview.

He said the amount was suitable for a relatively advanced implosion-type weapon like the one dropped on Nagasaki. Its core, he added, would be about the size of a grapefruit. He said a cruder design would require about twice as much weapon-grade fuel.

"It's a virtual milestone," Cochran said of Iran's stockpile. It is not an imminent threat, he added, because the further technical work to make fuel for a bomb would tip off inspectors, the United States and other powers about "where they're going."

The agency's report made no mention of the possible military implications of the size of Iran's stockpile. And some experts said the milestone was still months away. In an analysis of the IAEA report, the Institute for Science and International Security, a private group in Washington, estimated that Iran had not yet reached the mark but would "within a few months." It added that other analysts estimated it might take as much as a year.

Whatever the exact date, it added, "Iran is progressing" toward the ability to quickly make enough weapon-grade uranium for a warhead.

Peter Zimmerman, a physicist and former United States government arms scientist, cautioned that the Iranian stockpile fell slightly short of what international officials conservatively estimate as the minimum threatening amount of nuclear fuel. "They're very close," he said of the Iranians in an interview. "If it isn't tomorrow, it's soon," probably a matter of months.

In its report, the IAEA, which is based in Vienna, said Iran was working hard to roughly double its number of operating centrifuges.

A senior European diplomat close to the agency said Iran might have 6,000 centrifuges enriching uranium by the end of the year. The report also said Iran had said it intended to start installing another group of 3,000 centrifuges early next year.

The atomic energy agency said Iran was continuing to evade questions about its suspected work on nuclear warheads. In a separate report released Wednesday, the agency said, as expected, that it had found ambiguous traces of uranium at a suspected Syrian reactor site bombed by Israel last year.

"While it cannot be excluded that the building in question was intended for non-nuclear use," the report said, the building's features "along with the connectivity of the site to adequate pumping capacity of cooling water, are similar to what may be found in connection with a reactor site." Syria has said the uranium came from Israeli bombs.

Just a little update on the naval front for Iran.

TEHRAN, Iran (CNN) -- Iran's navy is planning to launch two new ships and a submarine later this week, the commander of the navy announced Sunday.

All three vessels were made in Iran, the semi-official Fars News Agency quoted Cmdr. Habibolalh Sayyari as saying.

"On the occasion of Navy Day [November 27], two missile-carrying ships named Kalat and Derafsh, as well as a light submarine, will be launched," he said.

Sayyari repeated a long-standing Iranian threat to close the Strait of Hormuz, a critical waterway, if Iran is threatened.

"We have never said that we will close the Strait of Hormuz. What we did say was that we do have the capability to do so in the event of any aggression or attack," he said.

The United States has said it will not let Iran close the waterway, a vital link in shipping Middle Eastern oil to the world.

Sayyari told reporters that the Iranian navy is monitoring all the movements of foreign ships in the Sea of Oman, the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz.

He also said that Iran is not planning on expanding its military presence in the Caspian Sea, but: "We have identified 20 percent of the Caspian as our area and will fully protect that area."

Sayyari added that the Iranian navy planned to hold naval maneuvers called "Unity 87" in early December in the Sea of Oman and the Strait of Hormuz.

Iranian and U.S. vessels have occasionally come in close contact in the region, escalating tensions between Tehran and Washington
And here are updates that focus on the S300 SAMs that T6 mentioned earlier in the thread, IIRC:

US warns Russia against selling missiles to Iran
12/23/2008 | 06:24 AM

WASHINGTON — US officials say they want answers from Russia on whether it is selling advanced surface-to-air missiles to Iran. The US insists such a move could threaten American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

A senior military intelligence official said Monday the US believes the sale of Russian long-range S-300 missiles is taking place. However, the official said it appears that no equipment has yet been delivered to Iran. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.

Russia's state arms export agency said Monday it is supplying Iran with defensive weapons, including surface-to-air missiles.

State Department spokesman Robert Wood said the US is seeking clarification from Russia.

Russia Denies Delivering S-300 Missiles to Iran

Published: 22 Dec 14:15 EST (19:15 GMT)

MOSCOW - Russia on Dec. 22 denied that it was delivering sophisticated S-300 surface-to-air missiles to Iran, following reports it was about to supply the weapons to the U.S. arch-foe.

"The information on the delivery of S-300 air-defense systems to Iran, which has appeared in certain media outlets, does not correspond to reality," Russia's military-technical cooperation agency said in a statement.

Any arms sales to Iran would be carried out "abiding by all international obligations," the agency added.

There have been contradictory reports about whether Russia was to supply S-300s which Iran could use to defend against an airstrike on its nuclear facilities.

Russia's state-owned arms export firm, Rosoboronexport, said in a statement that it was delivering "defensive" anti-aircraft systems to Iran while not commenting on reports it was sending S-300s.

"At present, only systems of a defensive nature are being delivered to Iran, including means of air defense," Rosoboronexport said. "Previously Tor-M1 systems were delivered to Iran."

Tor-M1 air-defence systems, which Iran has acquired, have a shorter range than the sophisticated S-300s.

However the Interfax news agency quoted an unnamed military source as saying the Russian defense ministry was preparing to hand the S-300s over to Rosoboronexport for delivery to Iran.

"The delivery of the S-300s to Iran is expected to be carried out from Defense Ministry storage sites. Currently the S-300s are being prepared for transfer to Rosoboronexport and then their shipment to the customer," he said.

The source said Russia was planning to deliver S-300PMU1 systems, which have a longer range than older versions of the S-300.

"This is a purely defensive weapon, intended to protect especially important sites from aerial attack," he was quoted as saying.

Last week RIA-Novosti news agency reported that Russia was selling S-300s to Iran, citing anonymous sources. Moscow had previously denied such a deal.

Also the deputy head of the Iranian parliament's foreign affairs commission, Esmaeel Kossari, said last week that Russia was in the process of delivering the S-300 systems to Iran.

The reports come amid persistent tension between Iran and the West over Tehran's disputed nuclear program, which the West fears could be used to develop nuclear weapons.

The United States and its ally Israel have never ruled out an aerial attack against Iran to thwart its nuclear ambitions.
66 pages long? Man we could talk forever about this 'situation' the press will surely not stop and everyone got their opinions on the matter....Here's a Persian's p.o.v:

Everyone freaking out because Iran is trying to build up their army. whoopdi doo, did Canada not have a chance to build ours up?
Don't the USA have the biggest baddest weapons this side of the Atlantic?
Why is everyone questioning Iran's motives for wanting modern 'WMD'? Doesn't anyone remember FAT MAN and LITTLE BOY?
that's right, USA, a bomb, first ones and and no ones saying sweet f.a. about that.
If Iran wants to build up their DEFENCE I say let them!
Iran is highly unlikely to attack, they aren't interested in being the Big Bad Boss (like say..Russia, China...the United States..)
Iran is not interested in invading a country and try to 'Muslimize' everything like westerners like to do.
Every country has the right to denend their own land it's waters.
The trade or selling of weapons happens in every country and some countries even produce their own and yet everyone's shaking in
their panties over Iran following suit...throw me a kit kat..
Some criticize Iran's relations with Russia, they share the Caspian Sea they understand the need to get along.
Some criticize President Ahmadinejad's quotes...alot gets lost in translation and don't get me wrong, there are plenty of Iranians who don't agree with his blunt opinions of other countries or what he's doing in Iran but every country has had to deal with a less than stellar Leader.
And on the topic of Leadership the Commander in Chief is Khameni NOT the President, and I don't see him declaring war anytime soon..

There's an old saying we like to go by: keep your friends close and your enemies even closer.
Iranians are not one to bully but don't get it twisted, if threatened we're not gonna sit there and take it.

Peace in the Middle East!

SeaGully said:
66 pages long? Man we could talk forever about this 'situation' the press will surely not stop and everyone got their opinions on the matter....Here's a Persian's p.o.v:
Iranians are not one to bully but don't get it twisted, if threatened we're not gonna sit there and take it ...

I notice that your profile lists your 'rank' as applicant. If you are applying to enroll in the Canadian Forces then I wonder at who you think of as "we."

The CF is a pretty tolerant organization but in my experience, a bit dated now, to be sure, the one thing they demanded was that "we" meant our mates in our Canadian ships, regiments, squadrons and bases, all serving together in our Canadian Forces in the service of our Canadian Queen and our Canadian people.

If that's going to be a problem for you then perhaps a career change is in order. 
ER....It's hard to get good logical ideas across when they are crouched under peaceloving bridges
Thanks for the reply.
I did not in any way mean to speak on Iran's behalf, I was just stating an opinion and understand that
by applying to the CF it's Canada I'm defending that is in no way a problem as I was born and raised in this country
That's the beauty of this country I can identify myself as Canadian and Iranian.
The use of 'we' was meant to be used in general terms, I used  "we're not going to sit there and take it"
pulling from personal experiences  how a person can be threatened and defend themselves against it.
Perhaps I should have watched my words.

If I have offended anyone, that was not my intention.
Oh, don't worry about that. No matter what you say around here, someone will skew it and accuse you of offending them.
SeaGully said:

Here's a Persian's p.o.v:

Why is everyone questioning Iran's motives for wanting modern 'WMD'? Doesn't anyone remember FAT MAN and LITTLE BOY?
that's right, USA, a bomb, first ones and and no ones saying sweet f.a. about that.

If Iran wants to build up their DEFENCE I say let them!

Iran is not interested in invading a country and try to 'Muslimize' everything like westerners like to do.

The trade or selling of weapons happens in every country and some countries even produce their own and yet everyone's shaking in their panties over Iran following suit...throw me a kit kat.

Some criticize President Ahmadinejad's quotes...alot gets lost in translation...

Iranians are not one to bully but don't get it twisted, if threatened we're not gonna sit there and take it.

Dear Seagully,

Firstly, I highlighted some of your quotes above which drew some of my immediate attention.

Iran has a radicalised extremist Islamic governent which openly supports terrorism, and has directly threatened Israel's existance.

Development of nuclear weapons by this terrorist state is outright dangerous. If they did not use these weapons themselves, they would ensure another radical group was given one (or sold) and thats what scares me.

I had seen first hand at times a rather heavy Iranian influence in Iraq's Sunni militias, with tandem warheaded RPG 25's, and a host of other large and small weapons and ammunition (and Iranian insurgents to go with them) coming in, along with EFP's made in Iran and smuggled in. These weapons endangered the lives of all Allied soldiers throughout Iraq, including my own.

I consider the current government of Iran the enemy and a terrorist state, along with anyone who supports the government and it's ideals. Should a war begin against the west and Iran, would not the people overthrough the current regime, or would they stand by it? I reckon they'd stand behind it. I guess time will tell. Your last sentance pretty much sums it up, its in your own words.

The development of nuclear weapons would also increase an arms war in the region. I don't think the KSA would be very happy at all.

I look at it this way, you don't give a crazy person a loaded weapon and let him loose in a shopping centre, do you?

As for The Great Satan using their two bombs in August 1945, the Japanese public were in fact warned in advance, and quite frankly, those two bombs saved 100's of thousands of Allied lives, and in the long run perhaps even a million Japanese casualties as they would have either fought to the end or suicided, many civilans even suicided in Okinawa, as they were told the US would kill and eat them.

To compare a dangerous extreme radical islamic state to the USA is ridiculous.

You mention you are Canadian born, yet refer to yourself's POV in the above post as Persian, and use the term 'we' (as in Iranian) if threatened are not 'going to sit there and take it'. You also refer to 'us' as westerners. What are you? You're born in 'the west', grew up and currently live in the 'west'. Hummmm, I would say that makes you a westerner. What am I? Just a simple immigrant, now an Australian citizen of Canadian extraction with Irish heritage. I would call you a Canadian citizen of Persian heritage. How you can come up with an 'us' and 'them', when you are an 'us' baffles me.

If/when this war comes, and if Canada supported this in any way, shape or form, what will you do?

Your words, political stance, and train of thought not only confuse me, but causes me some concern. With this said, IMHO, I do not think you would be a suitable applicant to the CF. I am not slamming you, just stating a valid opinion. As far as I am concerned being a member of the CF is also being a patriot, and with your heart, openly supporting a terrorist regime as so stated, I find that very wrong.

Please explain yourself further if you wish, if not thats okay.

Anyways, thanking you in advance,


Iraq Vet

EDITed for clarity and spelling
Nauticus said:
Oh, don't worry about that. No matter what you say around here, someone will skew it and accuse you of offending them.

You could always find another site if your not happy here and disagree with how things are run.
Oh the Iran topic always a good read. In my opinion Iran already has nuclear weapons. Russia has been no stranger to selling them all kinds of high tech weapons systems why not throw in a few black market stuff too. Thats why I think Israel has waited for so long to attack them personally. They've been at the war of words even before 9/11. Now that their nuclear deadline is approaching though I wonder if whats going on in Gaza now is part of a bigger picture. I feel it's a clear line that can't be undone now.

Anyways I'm not going to get into the fist to cuffs about the issue but here's the latest with the issue. and interesting little read there. http://thinkprogress.org/2008/12/30/bolton-iran-israel/
www.debka.com is a good site to be checking with the situation going on.

Iran either has or wants to build nuclear weapons.  It has spent billions of dollars trying to build missiles that have ranges over the 7000km range, ie the Ashoura missile program.  Why go to all this trouble to deliver 2000kg HE warheads?  It would haven better to build a medium range bomber.  At least a bomber would have the chance to return to base and be rearmed where a missile is a one shot deal.  The Sahab-6 will have a range of over 10,000 km(according to global security) with a 2500kg warhead Why is it needed if not to deliver a nuclear payload?  Either way I don't think there will be an attack on Iran unless the UN can prove that they are supporting the taliban in Afghanistan or get mixed up in Iraq after the U.S. pulls out.  Even if they do detonate a test atomic weapon Or attack Israel...It would mean Iran would be bomber back to the stone age or worse by what's left of Israel's arsenal.
thunderchild said:
  Why go to all this trouble to deliver 2000kg HE warheads?  It would haven better to build a medium range bomber.  At least a bomber would have the chance to return to base and be rearmed where a missile is a one shot deal. 

It is considerably easier for a ballistic missile to penetrate modern IADS that it is for a bomber. Why do you think so much effort has gone into giving the B-52 a standoff capability and that the B-1 has lost its freefall nuclear weapons role. I would even go as far as to say that the development costs for their missiles are considerably lower than those of a maned bomber.

Why is it needed if not to deliver a nuclear payload? 

The risk, IMHO, is the same now as it was during GW1. Hit Israel with missiles, Israel retaliates and then you have another  Pan-Arab / Israeli conflict and everything that comes with it.

Either way I don't think there will be an attack on Iran unless the UN can prove that they are supporting the taliban in Afghanistan or get mixed up in Iraq after the U.S. pulls out. 

You are making the assumption that the US would not act unilateraly.

Even if they do detonate a test atomic weapon Or attack Israel...It would mean Iran would be bomber back to the stone age or worse by what's left of Israel's arsenal.

You are ignoring the wider regional issues that come with any Arab - Israeli conflict. You are mistaken if you think a conflict would be limited to Israel and Iran. IMHO.
thunderchild said:
............. Either way I don't think there will be an attack on Iran unless the UN can prove that they are supporting the taliban in Afghanistan or get mixed up in Iraq after the U.S. pulls out. 

Too me, this says that you really don't know what you are talking about.  What does the UN have to do with proving that the Iranians are supporting the Taliban?  The UN has nothing to do with proving this.  It is already a proven fact, with Iranian produced 'Arms' being found in Afghanistan by NATO forces. 

Iranian Nobel Peace winner Shirin Ebadi threatened in her home

Young men with ties to a hardline political group shout slogans and vandalize the building where the human rights lawyer lives and works.
By Ramin Mostaghim and Borzou Daragahi
January 2, 2009
LA TIMES - http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-iran-ebadi3-2009jan03,0,7406858.story

Reporting from Tehran and Beirut -- Scores of young men gathered around the Tehran home-office of Iranian Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi, shouted slogans against her and vandalized her home Thursday in the latest episode by hardline political groups close to the government to intimidate the human rights lawyer.

Ebadi, 61, said in an interview today that the two police officers finally dispatched after her frantic phone calls to the authorities "just watched" as the vandals ripped the sign bearing her name off the front of her house, screamed that she was a supporter of Israel's Gaza offensive and spray-painted slogans on the front of her building.

In Iran, all demonstrations must have government permission.

"If any demonstration must be permitted by the interior ministry, where were the authorities? Why did police not disperse them?" a distraught Ebadi said in a telephone interview from an unspecified location in Tehran. "While the mobs were shouting slogans against me, the police were watching."

She added, "I am scared to go back to my home."

The apparently unarmed young men, chanting "death to the pen-pushing mercenary," did not identify themselves, though one told Iran's Iranian Students News Agency he was a member of the Basiji militia, a hardline militia that answers to the elite Revolutionary Guards, a parallel branch of the military, and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, the country's highest political and religious authority.

Ebadi won the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize for her years of legal work advocating on behalf of Iranian political activists, religious and ethnic minorities, women and children.

Thursday's demonstration marks the third time in 11 days that authorities or forces close to the authorities have moved against Ebadi, whose small Center for the Defense of Human Rights compiled a report cited by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon that led to a nonbinding Dec. 18 U.N. resolution calling on Iran improve its human rights record.

Three days later authorities shut down the center, accusing it of operating without a permit. On Dec. 29, authorities seized Ebadi's computer and confidential records, accusing her of tax evasion even though she has not accepted payment for her work in 15 years.

France, in its now-lapsed role as rotating president of the European Union, summoned Iran's envoy to Paris on Wednesday to protest against the "unacceptable nature of the threats" against Ebadi and her colleagues.

The demonstrators Thursday accused the human rights lawyer of not being sufficiently outspoken against the Israeli offensive into Gaza.

"Considering that Shirin Ebadi received her Nobel Peace Prize for the defense of children, we gathered in front of her office to ask whether the children of Gaza are not children," Ali-Reza Keighobadi, a Basiji activist, told the ISNA news agency.

In a Dec. 27 interview with the semiofficial Fars News Agency, Ebadi condemned the Israeli offensive into Gaza.

"In my view, the only way to resolve the disputes and ending this dire condition is to continue the peace negotiation based on mutually satisfactory terms and conditions and establishing an independent Palestinian state," she told the news outlet.

Human rights advocates say Iranian authorities are using the tumult over Gaza as an excuse to punish dissidents.

"The events in Gaza have brought about an opportunity to suppress and crack down on any human rights activities," said Khalil Bahramian, another Iranian human rights lawyer. "Gaza has provided them the chance to wash away human rights issues."
I don't think that an attack by the U.S. unilaterally is likely without real unmistakable proof, not if they want any kind of support from anybody.  This is due to the botch up in Iraq. I could see the U.S. attack Iran in retaliation but not without as you said causing the whole middle east  to burst into a war that nobody can win.  The U.S. would destroy Their military equipment without breaking a sweat, but they'd go broke doing it. Then what? Would there be peace, or would we have a post 1st gulf war scenario were we would control the air and occasionally drop a few cruise missiles on them when they step out of line.
thunderchild said:
This is due to the botch up in Iraq.

TC, I don't think the US 'botched' anything with the info of the time in the planning for the 2003 invasion. Sooner or later something had to be done militarily. If we sat back and did noting, then something significant happend (and it would have), then the Bush administration would be criticised for no action.

From a rogue terrorist state ran by a ruthless regime which thrived on torture and fear to run it, to a now fledgling democratic country with a birth of new rights and freedoms once only dreamed of by its citizens, and all not that long ago.

In the past almost six years, there has been many difficulties and barriers, but overall the nation has come a long way, and is one step closer to being on their own, with the HO/TO of the IZ to Iraqi Forces in Baghdad the past 24 hrs.

All Allied soldiers KIA'd have not died in vain, or for an unjust cause.

I'll be direct by saying it really turns me off (in a big way) when someone tends to cheapen the overall cause by making such a poor choice of words like you have (IMHO), but thats your opinion, isn't it, and the sacrifice of others, has earned you that right.

Sorry, but thats how I see it, and I have earned my opinion by being there.



Iraq Vet

EDITed for clarity