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There are 9 messages totalling 961 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

3. Support for Saddam against Iran a "mistake", says U.S.
4. U.S. propaganda war backfires
5. How can this arrogance be allowed?
6. Noam Chomsky on the Iraq crisis
7. Will the U.S. Use Nukes against Iraq?
8. Legal case against US bombing of Iraq
9. The PEN open letter on behalf of Akbar Ganji


Date: Fri, 20 Feb 1998 12:41:05 EST

The following letter to the editor regarding stoning in Iran, and written by
Hassan Varash, the International Federation of Iranian Refugees (IFIR) -
Toronto Branch representative, was published in the Toronto Star (circulation:
1.9 millions) on February 18, 1998:


Nicolas Van Rijn in an article in The Toronto Star, Feb. 10, 1998, quotes the
Rogers Cablesystem executive, Charles Wechsler, that the Iranian TV channel,
which showed about 6 minutes the scenes of the actual stoning to death of two
people in Iran by the Islamic regime, shouldn’t have shown it. Why? Because,
according to him, it was shown at the wrong time and was too much. Wechsler
also said that dozens of people called in and complained about it, without
mentioning the fact that hundreds also called to support the show for they
thought the reality should be uncovered, rather than disguised.

In our opinion, “the wrong time” is a pretext for the Rogers to conceal the
real reason behind its dissatisfaction. When its executive asserts it was too
much what he really means is that even if had it been shown at the late night
it would have been a problem for it. Besides, the stoning film was constantly
coupled with a written as well as oral warning that the scenes consisted of
extreme violence and brutality and that viewer’s discretion was advised.

The assertion that it was shown at the wrong time is beside the point. The
real issue is that the people in Iran are stoned to death, and that it should
be stopped immediately. It is too much not because the video tape displayed it
as only one example amongst thousands of atrocities imposed on the people for
almost two decades, it is too much because it is a reality in Iran and it is
taking place every day and every moment, and who knows how many are being
stoned right now when the readers are reading these lines. If the Rogers
Cablesystem thinks it was shown at the wrong time, we ask it to show the film
at the right time, at nighttime, and let the people see it and judge it for
themselves. Let people in Canada see it and discuss it, and do something about
it. To escape from the reality is not the solution. The fact of the matter,
however, is that many people in the Canadian government and mainstream media
believe that Iran is now a safe country and that after the presidency of the
clergy Khatami Iran has become a democratic country or is moving toward that
direction. That is why the Immigration Canada is now deporting hundreds of
Iranian refugee claimants back to Iran, without giving a damn to the fact that
these deportees might face torture, long term imprisonment, execution, and

To say the least, the stoning of the people in Iran shows that Iran is no safe
country, where women face sexual apartheid, opponents are repressed and
brutally killed and tortured, children have no right, workers have no right to
strike and unionization, and no freedom of expression and association exist.
As a result, the deportation of the Iranian refugees must be halted
immediately without hesitation. It is inhuman to deport people when they lose
their lives if they are returned to their country of origin.

If one thing is too much, that is not the showing of 6 minutes of what is
happening to the people in Iran. It is the reality in Iran that is too much,
and that reality must be changed with the help of the people in Canada. Let
the people be informed, instead of keeping them in dark. Humans are humans
regardless of where they live, and if they are treated inhumanly in Iran,
let’s stop it.

The International Federation of Iranian Refugees-Canada
Feb. 13, 1998
Hassan Varash
Tel. (416) 269- 1662
P.O.Box 193 STN. Q
Toronto, ON, M4T 2M1

For more information, you may also contact Maryam Namazie, CHAIR/IFIR
E-mail: Tel:12-747-1046. Fax: 212-425-7240.
Mailing Address: GPO, P. O. Box 7051, New York, NY 10116.


Date: Fri, 20 Feb 1998 15:37:05 EST


The Islamic Republic of Iran, a regime which has gained global notoriety for
its systematic persecution of women and gross violations of women's human
rights, is a member of the UN Commission on the Status of Women which will
meet during March 2-13, 1998 to consider violence against women, women's human
rights, the status of girls, and women and armed conflict.



* defend the human rights of Iranian women and girls, and
* condemn the Islamic regime of Iran for its brutal system of gender-apartheid

On MARCH 2, 1998
During 12:00p.m. - 5:00p.m.
At United Nations, Ralph Bunch Park
1st Avenue Between 41st and 42nd Streets

Sponsoring Organizations: The Committee for Humanitarian Assistance to
Iranian Refugees (CHAIR), the International Federation of Iranian Refugees
(IFIR) and the International Campaign in Defense of Women's Rights in Iran -
U.S. Committee.

For more information: contact Maryam Namazie or Ramesh Ahmadi, GPO, PO Box
7051, New York, NY 10116. E-Mail: Tel: (212) 747-1046. Fax:


Date: Fri, 20 Feb 1998 17:29:42 -0600
From: aalavi0@HOTMAIL.COM
Subject: Support for Saddam against Iran a "mistake", says U.S.

Richardson Interrupted by Minnesota Protest

Reuters 20-FEB-98

MINNEAPOLIS (Reuters) - U.S. ambassador to the United
Nations Bill Richardson was interrupted by demonstrators
protesting the Clinton administration's stance on Iraq
during a speech Friday, and he responded that the
demonstrators ``are wrong.''

About 50 protesters drowned out Richardson with chants
during his breakfast speech to a foreign policy forum at
the Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota.

The demonstrators, who had been allowed into the hall after
marching outside with about 50 other protesters, chanted:
''One, two, three, four, we don't want your racist war,''
``No blood for oil'', and ``Clinton, Richardson you can't
hide, sanctions are genocide.''

Before leaving the auditorium one-half hour into a
scheduled 45-minute address, Richardson attempted to debate
with the demonstrators but ended up saluting them for
expressing their opinions and cutting short his speech.

``What you are doing is very important,'' he said. ``But I
have to tell you on the Iraq policy, you are wrong.''

The protests came two days after Secretary of State
Madeleine Albright, Defense Secretary William Cohen and
President Clinton's national security adviser Sandy Berger
were heckled and grilled at an international town meeting
at a university gymnasium in Columbus, Ohio.

U.S. forces are poised to launch attacks against Baghdad
unless Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein relents and allows U.N.
weapons inspectors to search anywhere in the country for
chemical, biological and other weapons.

Richardson outlined U.S. policy toward Iraq and neighboring
Iran, and expressed the Clinton administration's hope for a
diplomatic solution to the Iraqi crisis.

``The U.S. favors a diplomatic solution in Iraq and wants
(U.N. Secretary-General) Kofi Annan to succeed'' in his
last-chance peace mission to Iraq.

In response to a question about U.S. support for Saddam
during the Iraq-Iran war, Richardson admitted the United
States had made ``mistakes'' in the past.

Richardson also praised Annan's management of the United
Nations and called on Americans to pressure Congress to pay
U.S. arrears of $1 billion owed the international body,
which he called ``an unacceptable situation.''

Copyright 1998 Reuters Limited.All rights reserved.

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Date: Fri, 20 Feb 1998 17:31:37 -0600
From: aalavi0@HOTMAIL.COM
Subject: U.S. propaganda war backfires

The Independent
20 February 1998

America's PR drive for war backfires

Kofi Annan travels to Baghdad for last ditch peace mission
as US is forced to sell prospect of air strikes to
sceptical public

AS THE United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, headed
to Baghdad on his last-ditch effort to preserve peace in
the Gulf, the United States administration was forced to
embark on a last-ditch mission of its own: "selling" the
prospect of air strikes to a hesitant and sceptical
American public all over again.

The all-out campaign to restore the credibility of the US
military option followed the spectacular failure of a
televised "town-hall" style debate on Wednesday, at Ohio
State University, when US policy was repeatedly, and
noisily, challenged.

Vietnam-style anti-war protesters disrupted proceedings
with heckling and chants of "One, two, three, four, we
don't want your racist war", and participants questioning
the reasons for US belligerence towards Iraq came close to
flooring some of the most senior members of President Bill
Clinton's administration: the Secretary of State, Madeleine
Albright, the Defense Secretary, William Cohen, and the
national security adviser, Sandy Berger.

President Clinton delayed a visit to Baltimore to restate
on television the reasons and objectives of any US military
action against Iraq and insist that he had popular support.
"I believe strongly that most Americans support our
policy," he said. "They support our resolve."

Stressing yet again the US bottom line for a settlement, he
said Iraq had to agree to "free and unfettered access to
all suspected weapons sites anywhere in Iraq". Saddam
Hussein had agreed to these terms at the end of the Gulf
War and "he simply must adhere to that standard".

Vice-President Al Gore delayed a trip to South Africa to be
"on hand" in Washington for meetings of the national
security team "at this critical time".

Ms Albright travelled to Nashville, Tennessee, to address a
university audience on the need to keep air strikes as an
option against Iraq. Both she and the US ambassador to the
UN, Bill Richardson, did the rounds of the breakfast
television shows, defending US policy and the virtues of
democracy and free speech.

Back in Washington, the White House made known plans for a
blitz by administration officials on the Sunday television
talkshows and held open the possibility of a televised
presidential address from the Oval office.

The Ohio debate, planned as an exercise in popular
diplomacy for the US "heartland" and televised around the
world by CNN - the cable and satellite channel known to be
watched by Iraqi leaders - only showed how divided US
public opinion was about the prospect of military action.
Asked yesterday whether President Saddam would be
"emboldened" by this demonstration, Mr Clinton retorted:
"Not if he understands the first thing about America.' He
described it as "a good old-fashioned American debate".

The failure of the Ohio State meeting, however, was widely
acknowledged, with one White House official saying that it
had been "like watching a car crash take place before your

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Date: Fri, 20 Feb 1998 17:32:56 -0600
From: aalavi0@HOTMAIL.COM
Subject: How can this arrogance be allowed?

The Independent
20 February 1998


It has finally come out in the open. The US may decide to
attack Iraq if that suits its "national interests"
("Go-ahead for peace mission", 18 February), regardless of
whether this is consistent with what has been decided by UN
resolutions, or in fact with international laws of
engagement, not to speak of more general laws of

How can this arrogance be allowed? If the US has discarded
even the semblance of an international justification to its
policy of commercial and military preponderance in the
region, regardless of the fact that none of the countries
directly involved support its aggressive stance, it must
feel totally secure in its dominant position. A sad
thought, indeed, for any who would like to think that there
is something more to life than the American Dream.

Brandino Rangoni, London SW4

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Date: Fri, 20 Feb 1998 17:36:46 -0600
From: aalavi0@HOTMAIL.COM
Subject: Noam Chomsky on the Iraq crisis

An interview with Noam Chomsky

From the Italian journal "La Repubblica"

Interviewer: Giampaolo Cadalanu

Q: The intervention of the U.S. in Iraq seems at the moment
unavoidable. Do you think the real reason of this
intervention is to impose respect of U.N. resolutions?

A: To evaluate the proposal, we can ask how the US itself
respects UN resolutions. There are simple ways to check.
For the past 30 years, the US is far in the lead in vetoing
Security Council Resolutions (Britain second, France a
distant third). In the General Assembly, the US regularly
votes against resolutions in virtual isolation -- hence in
effect vetoing them --on a wide range of issues. The
pattern extends to the World Court, international
conventions on human rights, and much else. Furthermore the
US freely disregards violation of UN resolutions that it
has formally endorsed, and often contributes materially
tosuch violation. The case of Israel is notorious (for
example, the 1978 Security Council resolution calling on
Israel to withdraw immediately from Lebanon). To select
another example that is quite relevant here, in December
1975 the Security Council unanimously ordered Indonesia to
withdraw its invading forces from East Timor "without
delay" and called upon "all States to respect the
territorial integrity of East Timor as well as the
inalienable right of its people to self- determination."

The US responded by (secretly) increasing its shipments of
arms to the aggressors, accelerating the arms flow once
again as the attack reached near-genocidal levels in 1978.
In his memoirs, UN Ambassador Daniel Patrick Moynihan takes
pride in his success in rendering the UN "utterly
ineffective in whatever measures it undertook," following
the instructions of the State Department, which "wished
things to turn out as they did and worked to bring this
about." The US also cheerfully accepts the robbery of East
Timor's oil (with participation of US-based companies), in
violation of any reasonable interpretation of international
agreements. The analogy to Iraq/Kuwait is close, though
there are differences: to mention only the most obvious,
US-backed atrocities in East Timor were vastly beyond
anything attributed to Saddam Hussein in Kuwait.

It is easy to extend the record. Like other great powers,
the US is committed to the rule of force, not law, in
international affairs. UN resolutions, World Court
Judgments, International Conventions, etc., are acceptable
if they accord with policy; otherwise they are mere words.

Q: Which difference do you see between this intervention
and Operation "Desert Storm", with the Bush administration?

A: There are many differences. "Desert Storm" was
allegedly intended to drive Iraq from Kuwait; today the
alleged goal is to compel Iraq to permit UN inspection of
Saddam's weapons programs. In both cases, a closer look
reveals a more complex story. After Iraq invaded Kuwait,
the US feared that in "the next few days Iraq will
withdraw" leaving in place a puppet government and
"everyone in the Arab world will be happy" (Chairman of the
Joint Chiefs Colin Powell). The concern, in brief, was that
Iraq would act much as the US had done a few months earlier
when it invaded Panama (vetoing two Security Council
resolutions condemning its actions). What followed also
does not quite conform to standard versions. Today, it is
widely expected that a military strike will leave Iraq's
murderous tyrant in power, continuing to pursue his weapons
programs, while undermining such international inspection
as exists.

It may also be recalled that Saddam's worst crimes were
committed when he was a favored US ally and trading
partner, and that immediately after he was driven from
Kuwait, the US watched quietly while he turned to the
slaughter of rebelling Iraqis, even refusing to allow them
access to captured Iraqi arms. Official stories rarely
yield an accurate picture of what is happening.
Nonetheless, the differences between 1990 and today are

Q: Do you believe that the so-called "Sexgate", the scandal
about sexual behaviour of president Clinton, had a role in
the decision to attack Iraq?

A: I doubt that it is much of a factor.

Q: Do you see an alternative to the "new world order" of
the U.S.?

A: "World order," like "domestic order," is based on
decisions made within institutions that reflect existing
power structures. The decisions can be changed; the
institutions can bemodified or replaced. It is natural that
those who benefit from the organization of state and
private power will portray it as inevitable, so that the
victims will feel helpless to act. There is no reason to
believe that. Particularly in the rich countries that
dominate world affairs, citizens can easily act to create
alternatives even within existing formal arrangements, and
these are not graven in stone, any more than in the past.

Q: Do you see in Iraq an alternative to Saddam Hussein?

A: The rebelling forces in March 1991 were an
alternative, but the US preferred Saddam. There was an
Iraqi democratic opposition in exile. Washington refused to
have anything to do with them before, during, or after the
Gulf War, and they were virtually excluded from the US
media, apart from marginal dissident journals. "Political
meetings with them would not be appropriate for our policy
at this time," State Department spokesman Richard Boucher
stated on March 14, 1991, while Saddam was decimating the
opposition under the eyes of Stormin' Norman Schwartzkopf.
They still exist. How realistic their programs are, I
cannot judge, and I do not think we can know as long as the
US remains committed -- as apparently it still is -- to the
Bush adminstration policy that preferred "an iron-fisted
Iraqi junta," without Saddam Hussein if possible, a return
to the days when Saddam's "iron fist... held Iraq together,
much to the satisfaction of the American allies Turkey and
Saudi Arabia," not to speak of Washington (NY Times chief
diplomatic correspondent Thomas Friedman, July 1991).

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Date: Fri, 20 Feb 1998 17:40:33 -0600
From: aalavi0@HOTMAIL.COM
Subject: Will the U.S. Use Nukes against Iraq?

Will the U.S. Use Tactical Nuclear Weapons in Iraq?

by Felicity Arbuthnot

With the U.S. and Britain poised to begin an intense aerial
bombardment of Iraq, there has been little mention of the
consequences it would have for the health and environment
of the Iraqi people and for the region as a whole.

Recently, Russian President Boris Yeltsin expressed concern
that an overly aggressive US posture at a time of high
tensions is extremely dangerous, with possible wider
ramifications beyond the region.

Once again, we are seeing a vast buildup of weaponry in the
region, with some new additions that set a dangerous
precedent. There has been mention in recent media reports
of 'bunker busting' weapons and 'deep-penetration' bombs
that the US has spent huge sums in perfecting.

The US tested new weapons in warfare before, and
specifically against Iraq in 1991 when hundreds of tons of
U-238 so-called depleted uranium bullets and shells were
fired from A-10 aircraft, attack helicopters and tanks,
littering the landscape with radioactive debris.

There exists the possibility that the US forces will once
again test their latest military technologies on Iraq.

On November 15, 1995, at a meeting of the Nuclear Weapons
Council Standing Safety Committee in the US, a request was
made to accelerate the completion date of the B61-11 to
December 1996.

The B 61-11 is the nuclear version of the deep-penetrating
bomb, destroying its intended target underground by means
of a nuclear explosion. it was developed and deployed
without congressional approval despite assurances that no
new nuclear weapons were being developed in the US.

There are other tactical nuclear weapons in the B-61 seies,
for example, the B-61 models 3,4,and 10 that are already
deployed in NATO countries and at bases in Turkey, the
country of closest proximity to Iraq.

According to Professor Paul Rogers of Bradford University,
the B61-11 was specifically designed to destroy the deepest
and most hardened of underground bunkers, which the
conventional bunker-busting bombs mentioned recently in the
press are incapable of destroying.

The dangers of such a weapon include shock waves leading to
seismic activity and the release of high level radioactive

There is a tradition of covering up the use of radioactive
weapons. The public did not find out about the use of U-238
'depleted uranium' weapons until after the Gulf War. Their
use was discovered because of 'friendly fire' incidents,
when allied tanks mistakenly fired U-238 projectiles at
other allied tanks.

Presently, the US military is monitoring the radioactive
breakdown of depleted uranium shrapnel lodged inside the
bodies of US troops. Depleted uranium has a half-life of
4.5 billion years. There is now a fivefold increase of
cancers in Iraq.

Depleted uranium weaponry have been condemned as weapons of
mass destruction by the United Nations Sub-Commission for
the Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of
Minorities. (SC 1997-36).

The US has not ruled out the possibility of using the new
earth penetrating B61-11 bomb that can be attached to a B2
bomber or is light enough to be carried on F16 aircraft.

Recent history has shown that previously unheard-of weapon
systems have been used, and in the confusion and immediacy
of warfare, circumstances lead to uncontrolled excalation
and accidents.


It is not the right of powerful countries to test their new
weapons systems on Third World Countries, or on those
countries that are considered 'rogue' states today, but
that were economic and strategic partners in the recent

And it is clear that civilians - men, women, and children -
will be killed, despite claims of new, 'accurate' weapons
being used.

It is not the right of powerful countries to use their
military might to apply pressure on the timetable of
negotiations when so much is at stake. The Iraqi people are
desperate; 1.2 million children, according to UNICEF, have
died as a result of sanctions.

Daniel Robicheau and Philippa Winkler are editors of HIDDEN
London, 1994.

Disseminated on behalf of Gulf War II Information Network
by Scientists for Global Responsibility (SGR)


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Date: Fri, 20 Feb 1998 17:44:52 -0600
From: aalavi0@HOTMAIL.COM
Subject: Legal case against US bombing of Iraq

/** mideast.gulf: 229.0 **/
** Topic: IRAQ/USA: Illegality of US planned attack on Iraq **
** Written 12:12 PM Feb 14, 1998 by in cdp:mideast.gulf **

*The illegality of the US planned aggression against Iraq*

Elias Davidsson, 14. Febr. 1998

The illegality under the UN Charter and UN resolutions

The United States is openly preparing unilateral military
measures against the Republic of Iraq. The US government
claims that it is entitled to resort to such measures on
the base of Security Council resolution 687 (1991). This
resolution makes a series of drastic unconditional demands
from Iraq regarding the borders of Kuwait, disarmament,
etc. The US government maintains that Iraq did not totally
fulfill these demands and that accordingly, no alternative
exists to the use of military force against Iraq in order
to force compliance. However Resolution 687 (1991) does not
include any provisions permitting the use of force in order
to enforce the terms of the resolution. Only the Security
Council can, on the base of its own formal finding,
determine that Iraq's refusal to fulfill in their entirety
the terms of the resolution constitutes by itself a threat
to the peace requiring the use of military force. Such
determination was not done nor is there any likelihood in
the present that the Security Council will make such a
determination in view of the opposition of three permanent
members of the council to the use of force against Iraq
(Russia, China, France) and most probably other council
members. For the Council to determine Iraqi lukewarm
cooperation with the Council with regards to the
elimination of banned weapons as a threat to the peace
would create a precedent which most Council members would
not be willing to create.

The threat by the United States to resort to force against
the Republic of Iraq without the explicit authorization of
the Security Council constitutes therefore a threat to the
peace, that is a breach of Article 2(4) of the Charter. If
the United States will attack Iraq, without explicit S.C.
endorsement, it will commit the "aggression", a crime under
international law. Under normal circumstances, it is the
prerogative of the Security Council to determine, in
accordance with Article 39 of the Charter, the "existence
of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of
aggression and shall make recommandations, or decide what
measures shall be taken in accordance with Articles 41
(sanctions) and 42 (military action), to maintain or
restore international peace and security." In this case the
Security Council could not make such a determination as the
United States is a veto-wielding permanent member of the
Council and would block any such resolution. In such a case
the General Assembly of the United Nations can under a
United for Peace resolution, decide upon measures against
the offending member, in this case the United States,
including its expulsion from the United Nations (under
Article 6 of the Charter), as a member which has
"persistently violated the Principles" of the Charter [A
list of US violations of the Charter can be obtained from
me upon request].

The illegality under the Draft Code of Crimes and the Peace
and Security of Mankind (International Law Commission
established under General Assembly resolution 174 (II) of
21 November 1947)

In its 1988 annual report, the International Law Commission
(ILC) considers the definition of a set of international
crimes including 'aggression' and the 'threat of
aggression'. The following definition of these crimes was
provided by the Commission under the heading: Crimes
against Peace

Article 12: Aggression ----------------------

"1. Any individual to whom responsibility for acts
constituting aggression is attributed under this Code shall
be liable to be tried and punished for a crime against

2. Aggression is the use of armed force by a State against
the sovereignty, territorial integrity or political
independence of another State, or in any other manner
inconsistent with the Charter of the United Nations.


4. Any of the following acts, regardles of a declaration of
war, constitutes an act of aggression, due regard being
paid to paragraphs 2 and 3 of this article:

(a) the invasion or attack by the armed forces of a state
of the territory of another state, or any military
occupation, however temporary, resulting from such invasion
or attack, or any annexation by the use of force of the
territory of another State or part thereof;

(b) bombardment by the armed forces of a State against the
territory of another State or the use of any weapons by a
State against the territory of another State;

(c) the blockade of the ports or coasts of a State by ther
armed forces of another State;

(d) an attack by the armed forces of a State on the land,
sea or air forces or marine and air fleets of another


(f) the action of a State in allowing its territory, which
it has placed at the disposal of another State, to be used
by that other State for perpetrating an act of aggression
against a third State;


(h) any other acts determined by the Security Council as
constituting acts of aggression under the provisions of the


6. Nothing in this article shall be interpreted as in any
way enlarging or diminishing the score of the Charter of
the United Nations, including its provisions concerning
cases in which the use of force is lawful.

7. Nothing in this article could in any way prejudice the
right to self-determination, freedom and independence, as
derived from the Charter, of peoples forcibly deprived of
that right and referred to in the Declaration on Principles
of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and
Co-operation among States in accordance with the Charter of
the United Nations, particularly peoples under colonial and
racist r‰gimes or other forms of alien domination; nor the
right of these peoples to struggle to that end and to seek
and receive support, in accordance with the principles of
the Charter and in conformity with the above-mentioned

Threat of aggression --------------------

"In draft article 11, paragraph 2, the Special Rapporteur
[of the ILC] included a separate provision on the threat of
aggression as a crime against peace.

Some members of the Commission expressed doubts about the
threat of aggression as a crime against the peace. They
asked how individuals could be punished for having
committed a threat of aggression and what would happen if
the threat was not carried out. In their view, a threat
which was not followed by some specific action should not
be regarded as a criminal act.

Many members nevertheless stated that they were in favour
of including the threat of aggression as a separate crime.
It was pointed out in that regard that the threat of
aggression, which had been covered by the 1954 draft code
(art. 2, para. (2)), was referred to in Article 2, paragr.
4, of the Charter of the United Nations, on the prohibition
of the use of force, and that the General Assembly, in the
Declaration on the Enhancement of the Effectiveness of the
Principle of Refraining from the Threat or Use of Force in
International Relations [G.A. resolution 42/22 of 18
November 1987], referred to it seven times as an act
constituting a violation of international law and of the
Charter and entailing State responsibility.

As to its concrete manifestations, the threat of aggression
could take the form of intimidation, troop concentrations,
or military manoeuvres near another State's borders, or
mobilization for the purpose of exerting pressure on a
State to make it yield to demands. In some circumstances,
the result of the threat of aggression was the same as that
of aggression. Its inclusion as a separate crime against
peace in the draft code was thus fully justified and would,
at the same time, help to deter would-be aggressors from
perparing aggression.

As to the wording of the provision on the threat of
aggression, some members indicated that it was important
not to allow any confusion between an actual threat of
aggression and mere verbal excesses. There was also the
delicate problem of proof, as in the case of preparation of
aggression. It was essential to avoid a loosely drafted
definition that would enable a State to use the pretext of
an alleged threat in order to justify aggression. In that
connection, one member pointed out that useful guidance
could be derived from the judgment of the ICJ in the
Nicarague case [Military and Paramilitary Activities in and
against Nicaragua (Nicarague v. United States of America),
Merits, Judgment of 27 June 1986, ICJ Reports 1986, p.14],
in which the Court had dwelt on the distinction between
aggression and the threat of aggression and between the
latter and intervention."

Preparation of aggression -------------------------

"The Special Rapporteur [ of the International Law
Commission] did not include in the 1988 draft article 11a a
provision on the preparation or planning of aggression. In
his sixth report (A/CN.4/ 411, para 7), he pointed out that
the preparation of aggression had been covered by the
Charter of the Nurnberg International Military Tribunal
(art. 6(a)) and the Charter of the International Military
Tribunal for the Far East (Tokyo Tribunal) (art 5(a)), as
well as by the Commission in the Nurnberg Principles
(Principle VI (a) (i))). He nevertheless questioned whether
preparation of aggression should be retained as an offense
separate from aggression, since it was very difficult to
make a clear-cut distinction between preparation and
aggression and preparation for defence. He also questioned
how criminal intent could be established if aggression had
not occurred and whether a perpetrator who had deliberately
decided not to carry out his plans of preparations - which
remained unexecuted - should be prosecuted.

Many members of the Commission were of the opinion that
preparation of aggression should be dealt with a crime
distinct from aggression itself. The concept would
nevertheless have to be precisely defined. The fact that
the concept was elusive was not a valid argument for not
including it in the code. It was pointed out that a
distinction could be drawn between preparation of
aggression and defensive measures on the basis of existing
military, technical, legal and political criteria. It was
noted that the inclusion of preparation of aggression would
be of vital importance for deterrence and prevention,
particularly of nuclear war. Nowadays, aggression involved
far more complicated techniques than formerly, and hence
more sophisticated planning, which would be carried out by
the entire State apparatus.(...) "

Conclusions by Elias Davidsson (Reykjavik, ICELAND):

1. The US is both planning and threatening to commit
aggression against Iraq (as of 14. Febr. 1998) 2. Should
aggression against Iraq be committed, US leaders would be
individually liable to prosecution under the terms of the
Draft Code above as well as under the terms of the Nurnberg
Charter of 1945. 3. States which allow their territory to
be used in furthering or facilitating US aggression are
participating in the crime of aggression (Draft Code Art.
4(f). Although the Draft Code has not yet been ratified in
the form of a binding International Convention, it is
indicative of the current position of the international
community of States on matters of international law. It
represents an important legal document regarding the
subject matter.

I therefore urge all those who oppose the planned US
aggression against Iraq and who wish to uphold the Purposes
and Principles of the United Nations Charter, to avail
themselves of the above information and conclusions in
order to warn all those public leaders and opinion makers
of the gravity of the crimes they are preparing. Public
opinion makers, such as editors and journalists, should be
warned that their endorsement of or incitement to
aggression is a criminal offense for which they may be
liable to prosecution.

Further clarifications may be obtained from me. Any
critical comments are welcome. The above text may be freely
distributed and quoted.

Elias Davidsson, email:

Elias Davidsson - Post Box 1760 - 121 Reykjavik - Iceland
Tel. (354)-552-6444 Fax: (354)-552-6579
Email: URL:

>> Further Informations about Iraq and Palestine: >>,88843

* * * * *

** End of text from cdp:mideast.gulf **

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Date: Fri, 20 Feb 1998 22:55:22 -0500
From: Rahim Bajoghli <rbajoghli@JUNO.COM>
Subject: The PEN open letter on behalf of Akbar Ganji

The PEN open letter on behalf of Akbar Ganji

February 18, 1998

His Excellency Hojjatoleslam val-moslemin Sayed Mohammad Khatemi
President of the Islamic Republic of Iran
The Presidency
Palestine Avenue
Azerbaiijan Intersection
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Via Foreign Affairs: please forward

His Excellency Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi
Head of the Judiciary
Ministry of Justice
Park-e Shahr
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Your Excellency

On behalf of the 2,700 writers who are members of PEN American Center, we
write to express our concern at the arrest of Akbar Ganji, publisher of
the literary monthly magazine Rah-e No. We understand that in the absence
of due process, Mr. Ganji was arrested and remains in detention.

According to our information, Mr. Ganji, who is both a writer of the
monthly Kiyan, and the publisher of Rah-e No, has spent more than two
months incarcerated with no formal charges. Sources report that his
arrest follows his speech titled Shariati and Fascism given at Shiraz
University, in which he blamed the right wing in various systems of
government for fascism and explained that the concept of "leader" in
Velayat-e-faghih is fascistic and
has no relevance to Islam. In a letter from Evin Prison to the Judges
Disciplinary Justice Office, Mr. Ganji explains that charges claiming his
speech insulted the Iranian leadership are unfounded.

Mr. Ganji's wife published an open letter in a Tehran newspaper earlier
this month reiterating that no reasons were given for her husband's
arrest and the refusal of authorities to allow family visits. We
respectfully ask that in line with your pledge to reinforce the rule of
law in Iran, Your Excellency personally secures the release of Mr. Ganji
pending a fair and open trial. This would confirm your promise to allow
more cultural and
political liberties for Iranian civil society.

We believe that you trust in the benefits reaped from an open society
which celebrates free expression. We are hopeful that under your
leadership, Iranian civil society will prosper and Mr. Ganji along with
all writers in Iran will be free to pursue literary endeavour without
threat or fear of repression.

We look forward to your response by fax or telephone.


Anthony Appiah
Chair, PEN Freedom-to-Write Committee

Karen Kennerly
Executive Director, PEN American Center

Diana Ayton-Shenker
Director, PEN Freedom-to-Write Program

PEN American Center
568 Broadway, Suite 401
New York, NY 10012
Phone: 212/334-1660; FAX: 212/334-2181

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End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 19 Feb 1998 to 20 Feb 1998