* Khomeini’s grandson: “Iran needs democracy, not the bomb”
* In a ground-breaking interview, the grandson of Ayatollah Khomeini tells al-Arabiya TV: The West must free Iran from the “dictatorship of clerics who control every aspect of life. My grandfather’s revolution has devoured its children”
1. “Iran will gain power if freedom and democracy develop there”
2. “If you were a prisoner, what would you do?”
3. “Strength will not be obtained through weapons and the bomb”
4. “Jews are the source for the plague and typhus”
5. “Article 51 of the U.N. Charter would allow Israel to act”
6. Iranian exiles and German Jews demonstrate together
7. “Grandfather’s revolution devoured its children” (MEMRI, June 13, 2006)
8. “Iran leader’s aide: Jews are filthy” (Yediot Ahronot, June 8, 2006)
9. “A legal case against Iran” (Washington Post, June 6, 2006)
10. “Iran accused of hiding secret nuclear weapons site” (Daily Telegraph, June 12, 2006)
[Note by Tom Gross]
“IRAN WILL GAIN POWER IF FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY DEVELOP THERE”
Hussein Khomeini has made a sweeping attack on the Iranian regime in an interview on al-Arabiya TV’s website to mark the 17th anniversary of the death of his grandfather, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Hussein Khomeini, who is also an ayatollah, described the current regime as “a dictatorship of clerics who control every aspect of life.”
He told al-Arabiya: “My grandfather’s revolution has devoured its children and has strayed from its original course.”
Hussein Khomeini also points out that “Iran will gain [real] power if freedom and democracy develop there. Strength will not be obtained through weapons and the bomb.”
“IF YOU WERE A PRISONER, WHAT WOULD YOU DO?”
He also called for foreign intervention to topple the regime, saying that “freedom must come to Iran in any possible way, whether through internal or external developments. If you were a prisoner, what would you do?”
Ayatollah Hussein Khomeini, who for the last three years has been under surveillance and been banned from giving interviews to the Iranian media, criticizes the issue of the “hijab” (veil): “The Iranian regime shackles women by forcing [them to wear] the hijab in its ugliest form The hijab is a personal issue. If a woman wants, she may [wear it], and if she doesn’t [want it], she may [refuse it].”
Describing himself as a “liberal religious person,” he argues that Iranian law is not now based on Shi’ite religious principle, but developed for historical reasons having to do with persecution of clerics in pre-revolutionary Iran.
“STRENGTH WILL NOT BE OBTAINED THROUGH WEAPONS AND THE BOMB”
Whilst Ayatollah Hussein Khomeini argues that “strength will not be obtained through weapons and the bomb...” the (London) Daily Telegraph reported yesterday (article attached below) that “fresh evidence has emerged that Iran is working on a secret military project to develop nuclear weapons that has not been declared to United Nations inspectors responsible for monitoring Iran’s nuclear programme.”
The network of research laboratories is thought to be based at a secret military base outside Teheran. The project is named “Zirzamin 27.” Zirzamin means “basement” in Farsi, and 27 refers to the 27-year-old Iranian revolution.
“JEWS ARE THE SOURCE FOR THE PLAGUE AND TYPHUS”
Mohammad Ali Ramin, who is one of the most senior advisors to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has told students in the town of Rasht that Jews are “filthy people,” and that is why they have been accused throughout history of spreading deadly disease and plagues.
Ramin is believed to be one of the key figures in the regime who has encouraged the president to make recent statements denying the Holocaust.
Ramin told the impressionable young Iranians: “Historically, there are many accusations against the Jews. For example it was said that they were the source for such deadly disease as the plague and typhus. This is because the Jews are very filthy people. For a time people also said that they poisoned water wells belonging to Christians and thus killed them.”
He added “So long as Israel exists in the region there will never be peace and security in the Middle East so the resolution of the Holocaust issue will end in the destruction of Israel.”
“ARTICLE 51 OF THE U.N. CHARTER WOULD ALLOW ISRAEL TO ACT”
David B. Rivkin Jr. and Lee A. Casey, Washington lawyers who served in the Justice Department during the administrations of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, argue that the comments by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for Israel to be “wiped off the map” should have been followed up “by a concerted diplomatic and legal effort in the U.N. Security Council.”
Rivkin and Casey write in the Washington Post (article attached below) that “Ahmadinejad’s words clearly violate Article 2.4 of the U.N. Charter. This provision, to which Iran has agreed, requires all U.N. member states to ‘refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state.’”
Ahmadinejad’s comments also “entails a threat of committing genocide, which member nations are obliged, under the Genocide Convention, to prevent.”
They constitute “a direct and unequivocal threat, and it gives Israel a valid casus belli under both Article 51 (self-defense) of the U.N. Charter and customary international law to use preemptive force as a means of ensuring that Iran cannot make good on its stated intentions.”
The writers conclude that “this is how the U.N. system was, and is, supposed to work. When a clear threat to peace arises, it is incumbent upon the Security Council to act in defense of the threatened party to head off the unilateral use of force and to advance ‘collective security.’ This imperative is particularly compelling when the very legitimacy of the threatened party and its right to independent national existence have been challenged.”
IRANIAN EXILES AND GERMAN JEWS DEMONSTRATE TOGETHER
Before Sunday’s World Cup soccer match between Iran and Mexico in Nuremberg, German Jewish groups and Muslim Iranians-in-exile held a joint demonstration against the Iranian regime. About 300 people attended. Iran lost the match 3-1. Iran’s next game is against Portugal on Saturday.
I attach four articles on Iran below.
-- Tom Gross
“THE JEWS ARE VERY FILTHY PEOPLE”
Iran leader’s aide: Jews are filthy
Senior aide to Iranian president says Jews have been accused of spreading deadly plagues throughout history because they are filthy; states that as long as Israel exists, “there will never be peace and security in Middle East”
June 8, 2006
Jews are filthy people, and that is why they have been accused throughout history of spreading deadly disease and plagues, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s advisor Mohammad Ali Ramin told students during a visit at the town of Rasht, the Iranian news site Rooz Online reported Thursday.
Ramin, a historian who serves as the president’s most senior aide, is believed to be the man behind the regime’s recent statements that the Holocaust is a myth.
“Historically, there are many accusations against the Jews. For example it was said that they were the source for such deadly disease as the plague and typhus. This is because the Jews are very filthy people. For a time people also said that they poisoned water wells belonging to Christians and thus killed them,” the site quoted Ramin as saying.
“I only know that Jews have been accused of such conspiracies and sabotage throughout history and have not performed well,” he added.
Ramin reiterated past statements made by President Ahamadinejad regarding the Holocaust, saying it was the cause for the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories, and claimed that Israel is responsible for Middle East crisis.
“So long as Israel exists in the region there will never be peace and security in the Middle East,” he said adding, “so the resolution of the Holocaust issue will end in the destruction of Israel.”
A LEGAL CASE AGAINST IRAN
A legal case against Iran
By David B. Rivkin Jr. and Lee A. Casey
The Washington Post
June 6, 2006
Speaking last October at a Tehran conference on “The World Without Zionism,” Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, referred to Israel as a “disgraceful blot” and called for it to be “wiped off the map.” This was not an isolated or idle threat. In the same speech, he defended Iran’s determination to press ahead with its nuclear program which would give it the practical ability to achieve this result.
Although Ahmadinejad’s bellicose statements were condemned by the United States and a number of its European allies, the condemnation was not followed up by a concerted diplomatic and legal effort in the U.N. Security Council. It ought to be, especially given the uncertain prospects of the council’s current consideration of Iran’s nuclear activities, further complicated by the just-announced offer of direct negotiations between Tehran and Washington.
There is a good legal basis for such action. Ahmadinejad’s words clearly violate Article 2.4 of the U.N. Charter. This provision, to which Iran has agreed, requires all U.N. member states to “refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state.” Ahmadinejad’s specific formulation wiping Israel off the map and prophesying a coming nuclear conflagration in which much of humanity would expire also clearly entails a threat of committing genocide, which member nations are obliged, under the Genocide Convention, to prevent.
Both the nature and context of Ahmadinejad’s manifesto set it apart from such harsh but legally permissible rhetoric as President Bush’s talk of an “axis of evil” or President Ronald Reagan’s reference to the Soviet Union as an “evil empire.” Such statements do not threaten the existence of a sovereign member of the international community. Likewise, expressing a view that a particular undemocratic regime or an otherwise odious government would not survive the rising anger of its people, or will fall prey to certain forces of history, does not amount to a legally proscribed challenge.
But Ahmadinejad’s rant features a direct and unequivocal threat, and it gives Israel a valid casus belli under both Article 51 (self-defense) of the U.N. Charter and customary international law to use preemptive force as a means of ensuring that Iran cannot make good on its stated intentions.
Indeed, the International Court of Justice, in a 1996 opinion analyzing the legality of the threat or use of nuclear weapons, found that use-of-force threats that violated Article 2.4 and were not otherwise justified under Article 51 also posed a threat to international peace and security, thereby further infringing the U.N. Charter. Since Israel has not committed aggression against Iran, Ahmadinejad’s statements cannot be justified as self-defense. They have, in fact, created a legally cognizable threat that can, and should, be addressed by the Security Council under its Chapter VII powers, which are concerned with threats to peace.
So far U.S.-led efforts to have the Security Council directly condemn and impose sanctions on Iran under Chapter VII for its nuclear ambitions have not succeeded. That’s why seeking the council’s intervention on Iran’s illegal threats to use force makes excellent diplomatic sense. Such an approach would provide multiple and reinforcing benefits.
First, it would broaden the international dialogue beyond Tehran’s breach of nonproliferation obligations, focusing on the real underlying problem: the bellicose nature of the Iranian regime and the use it might make of nuclear weapons. And since Tehran’s violations of the U.N. Charter are, by their nature, issues that can be handled only by the Security Council, bringing them to the council would counter Iran’s efforts to displace the U.N. framework in favor of direct negotiations with the European Union and the United States. Indeed, a serious debate on Ahmadinejad’s illegal threat would give the United States a unique opportunity to focus the Security Council on the shrill anti-Israeli rhetoric emanating not just from Iran but also from numerous other Islamic countries. This rhetoric fosters regional tensions and nurtures the dangerous “jihadist” sentiments.
Second, demands that Iran withdraw its threat and acknowledge its obligation to peacefully resolve any dispute it may have with Israel would be firmly grounded in international law so much so that Security Council members Russia and China would be hard-pressed to oppose the effort. Both of those countries have routinely cloaked their objections to E.U.-U.S. policy toward Iran in the language of international law, arguing, for example, that Iran has a legal right to pursue civilian nuclear activities. No country, of course, is entitled to violate the U.N. Charter.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but this is how the U.N. system was, and is, supposed to work. When a clear threat to peace arises, it is incumbent upon the Security Council to act in defense of the threatened party to head off the unilateral use of force and to advance “collective security.” This imperative is particularly compelling when the very legitimacy of the threatened party and its right to independent national existence have been challenged. Such a challenge goes beyond the violation of Article 2.4 and raises the specter of the most heinous international crimes, including genocide.
If Iran genuinely desires the peaceful atom as an energy source, then it should have no problem retracting its threats against Israel and reaffirming its commitment to resolve any differences it may have with Jerusalem through peaceful means. If it refuses, it will provide compelling evidence that Iran’s current government cannot be expected to act as a responsible member of the international community. Then the world can take stock of its true intentions and act accordingly.
“THIS IS A TRULY ALARMING DEVELOPMENT”
Iran accused of hiding secret nuclear weapons site
By Con Coughlin
The Daily Telegraph
June 12, 2006
Fresh evidence has emerged that Iran is working on a secret military project to develop nuclear weapons that has not been declared to United Nations inspectors responsible for monitoring Iran’s nuclear programme.
Nuclear experts working for the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna are pressing the Iranians to make a full disclosure about a network of research laboratories at a secret military base outside the capital Teheran.
The project is codenamed Zirzamin 27, and its purpose is to enable the Iranians to undertake uranium enrichment to military standard. Zirzamin means “basement” in Farsi, which suggests the laboratories are underground and 27 refers to the 27-year-old Iranian revolution.
Concerns over activity at Zirzamin 27 will be raised at this week’s meeting of the IAEA’s Board of Governors in Vienna, which starts today.
Suspicions have been growing that Iran has a secret military nuclear research programme since UN inspectors discovered particles of enriched uranium at a research complex at Lavizan, a military base on the outskirts of Teheran, in 2003.
The Iranians agreed to allow IAEA inspectors to visit the Lavizan complex but then razed it to the ground before the inspectors arrived.
Iranian nuclear officials have ignored repeated requests by IAEA officials for a detailed explanation of the Lavizan project. Now the IAEA officials are studying new intelligence indicating that the Lavizan research project has been moved to a secret military location outside Teheran.
Although IAEA officials do not know the precise location of Zirzamin 27, they have comprehensive details of its activities.
“This is a truly alarming development,” said a senior western diplomat working with the IAEA. “This evidence indicates that the Iranians remain committed to developing nuclear weapons, despite their claims to the contrary that their nuclear ambitions are entirely peaceful.”
Teheran has consistently argued that its nuclear programme is aimed at developing an indigenous nuclear power industry. But Iran’s insistence on developing its own uranium enrichment facilities has raised concerns that it has a well-advanced programme to develop nuclear weapons.
The Zirzamin 27 operation is thought to be being supervised by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards under the direction of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the head of Iran’s Modern Defensive Readiness and Technology Centre, a top-secret military research site.
According to reports being studied by IAEA officials, scientists working at Zirzamin are required to wear standard military uniforms when entering and leaving the complex to give the impression they are involved in normal military activity. They are only allowed to change into protective clothing once inside the site.
Special attention has also been given to developing specialised ventilation systems to make sure no incriminating particles of radioactive material are allowed to escape.