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There are 7 messages totalling 933 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

1. Fwd: Amnesty International UA 30/98 on Iran
2. Germany urged to adopt low-key approach to death sentence
3. U.S. Congressman Introduces Anti-Torture Bill
4. US contemplating nukes against Iraq
5. Edward Said on the Iraq crisis
6. US "mininukes" target non-nuclear states
7. Iran Blasts Nuclear Threats against Iraq


Date: Thu, 5 Feb 1998 08:57:39 EST
Subject: Fwd: Amnesty International UA 30/98 on Iran

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The following information is from Amnesty International's research
headquarters in London, England. A.I. is an independent worldwide
movement working for the international protection of human rights. It
seeks the release of people detained because of their beliefs, color,
sex, ethnic origin, language or religious creed, provided they have not
used nor advocated violence. These are termed prisoners of
conscience. It works for fair and prompt trials for all political
and works on behalf of such people detained without charge or trial. It
opposes the death penalty, extra-judicial executions (political
'disappearances' and torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading
treatment or punishment of all prisoners without reservation.Please do
not repost the information below to any part of the Internet without
prior permission from Amnesty International. Thank you for your help
with this appeal.

Please read the monthly Urgent Action Network Newsletter posted on
the web at:

Urgent Action Network
Amnesty International USA
PO Box 1270
Nederland CO 80466-1270
Phone: 303 440 0913
Fax:303 258 7881

UA 30/98 Death Penalty/ Possible Prisoner of Conscience 29 January
Morteza Firouzi, editor

Amnesty International is alarmed at reports that Morteza Firouzi,
editor of the English-language daily newspaper, Iran News, has been
sentenced to death on charges of spying for 'a foreign country'. A
report by the official Iranian news agency, IRNA, on 28 January 1998
contained no information about when or where Morteza Firouzi may
have been tried or the country for which he has allegedly spied. It did
reportedly, however, cite a judiciary official as saying that the
sentence would soon go before the Supreme Court for approval.

Morteza Firouzi 'disappeared' for over 10 weeks following his arrest in
June 1997. In October it was reported that he was being detained on
charges of espionage. Amnesty International subsequently wrote to
the authorities seeking urgent clarification of the reasons for his
and detention and any charges brought against him. The organization
again raised his case with the authorities in January 1998 but no
response has been received.

A pattern of human rights violations has existed for some years in Iran
relating to the non-violent activities of journalists and writers. Faraj

Sarkouhi, editor of Adineh magazine and former prisoner of
conscience, was released on 28 January 1998 having 'disappeared'
more than a year earlier. Other writers targeted include Ali Akbar
Saidi-Sirjani, who died in custody in November 1994, Mohammad
Sadeq Javadi Hessari, Abbas Maroufi and Heshmatollah Tabarzadi
(UA 269/96 issued 20 November 1996 and follow-ups).

Amnesty International is currently following up the case of Akbar
Ghanji, publisher of the literary monthly magazine Rah-e Now (New
Way), who has reportedly been detained since 6 December 1997. No
explanation has been given by the authorities concerning the reason
for his arrest.

telegrams/faxes/express/airmail letters:
- urging that the death sentence against Morteza Firouzi be lifted
- asking for his immediate and unconditional release if he is being
held solely for his non-violent activities;
- seeking urgent clarification of the charges against Morteza Firouzi
and details of any court proceedings that may have been held
resulting in his death sentence;
- seeking assurances that he be granted immediate and regular
access to a lawyer of his choice.

Please note that fax numbers provided work very erratically and tones
can therefore be difficult to obtain.
1) Leader of the Islamic Republic:
Ayatollah Sayed 'Ali Khamenei
The Presidency, Palestine Avenue
Azerbaijan Intersection
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Your Excellency:

Telegrams: Ayatollah Khamanei, Tehran, Iran
Faxes: 011 98 21 650203 (via Interior Ministry, ask for fax to be

2) President:
Hojjatoleslam val Moslemin Sayed Mohammad Khatami
The Presidency, Palestine Avenue
Azerbaijan Intersection
Tehran, The Islamic Republic of Iran

Your Excellency:

Telegrams: President Khatami, Tehran, Iran
Faxes: 011 98 21 674790 (via Foreign Affairs, ask for fax to be

3) Head of the Judiciary:
Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi
Ministry of Justice
Park-e Shahr
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Your Excellency:

Telegrams: Head of Judiciary, Tehran, Iran

4) Minister of Information:
His Excellency Qorbanali Dorri Najafabadi
Ministry of Information
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Your Excellency:

Telegrams: Information Minister, Tehran, Iran

5) Minister of the Interior:
Abdollah Nouri
Ministry of the Interior
Dr Fatemi Avenue
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Your Excellency:

Telegrams: Interior Minister, Tehran, Iran
Faxes: 011 98 21 899547/650203

Minister of Foreign Affairs:
His Excellency Kamal Kharrazi
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Sheikh Abdolmajid Keshk-e Mesri Avenue
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Faxes: 011 98 21 674790

Chairman of the Islamic Consultative
Assembly's Human Rights Committee
Imam Khomeini Avenue
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Mr Mohammad Hassan Zia'i-Far,
Secretary, Islamic Human Rights Commission
PO Box 13165-137
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Faxes: 011 98 21 204 0541

Please send appeals immediately. Check with the Colorado office
between 9:00 am and 6:00 pm, Mountain Time, weekdays only, if
sending appeals after March 16, 1998.



Date: Thu, 5 Feb 1998 16:41:13 -0600
From: Arash Alavi <aalavi0@HOTMAIL.COM>
Subject: Germany urged to adopt low-key approach to death sentence

[This is a courtesy copy of an article posted to Usenet via Deja News]

Former Minister Urges Bonn to Step up Iran Ties

Reuters 05-FEB-98 By Andrew Gray

BONN, Feb 5 (Reuters) - A former German cabinet minister
urged Bonn on Thursday to step up political and trade ties
with Tehran despite a death sentence imposed in Iran last
month on a German businessman.

Juergen Moellemann, a former economics minister just back
from a four-day trip to Iran, said it was important that
the case of Helmut Hofer, who was found guilty of having
sex out of wedlock with a Moslem woman, did not become a
burden to bilateral relations.

Moellemann, who met members of the Iranian government
including deputy foreign minister Morteza Sarmadi, said
relations between the two countries and Hofer's own
interests would be best served by a low-key approach to the

"I had the feeling that many of the people I spoke to in
Iran hope that a single case will not harm the attempt to
revive the traditionally good relations between Iran and
Germany," he told a news conference in Bonn.

Hofer, 56, of Hamburg was sentenced to death in January by
an Iranian court. Under Iran's Islamic laws, a non-Moslem
man having sex with a Moslem woman outside of wedlock faces
the death penalty.

Moellemann, who headed a small German trade delegation,
said he had not gone to Tehran to negotiate on Bonn's
behalf in the Hofer case. He declined to say if Iranian
officials had asked him to convey a message to the German
government on the issue.

He said he hoped to meet Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel soon
to discuss his visit.

Relations between Bonn and Tehran were plunged into crisis
last April, when a German court ruled that Iranian leaders
had ordered the 1992 murder of Kurdish dissidents in
Berlin. But ties had been improving over the past few

Before the April crisis, Bonn was one of the strongest
advocates of the European Union's policy of critical
dialogue with Tehran -- a stance viewed with suspicion in
Washington, which favours complete international isolation
of Iran.

Moellemann said Germany should now resume high-level
dialogue with Tehran as this would boost the reform course
adopted by President Mohammad Khatami, who was elected last
May. There were also substantial economic opportunities for
German companies in Iran, he added.

"There is a great interest in intensive political and
economic cooperation." he said.

German trade with Iran was worth 3.3 billion marks ($1.8
billion) in 1996, according to government statistics. That
figure is down substantially from a peak of 9.1 billion
marks in 1992.

The EU suspended ministerial contact with Iran in the wake
of the Berlin verdict last year.

Kinkel has said, however, he hopes 1998 will mark a new
beginning in ties with Tehran and that Bonn is considering
ways to extend export credits for projects in Iran. ($ =
1.791 German Marks) REUTERSReut 11:13 02-05-98


Copyright 1998 Reuters Limited.All rights reserved

-------------------==== Posted via Deja News ====----------------------- Search, Read, Post to Usenet


Date: Thu, 5 Feb 1998 16:51:10 -0600
From: Arash Alavi <aalavi0@HOTMAIL.COM>
Subject: U.S. Congressman Introduces Anti-Torture Bill

[This is a courtesy copy of an article posted to Usenet via Deja News]

U.S. Congressman Introduces Anti-Torture Bill

Reuters 05-FEB-98

WASHINGTON, Feb 4 (Reuters) - A U.S. congressman on
Wednesday introduced legislation to speed up the process
for torture victims seeking asylum in the United States.

``Here are people who have endured unbelievable
brutality,'' Rep. Chris Smith, the bill's sponsor, said.
The measure aims ``to promote an anti-torture policy
throughout the world,'' the New Jersey Republican added.

Smith said there were about 400,000 torture survivors
living in the United States and that countries which
practiced torture included China, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia,
Sudan, Iran and Turkey.

The legislation would authorize doubling the current U.S.
contribution to the U.N. Voluntary Fund for Victims of
Torture to $3 million for each of fiscal years 1999 and

It would prohibit the involuntary return of anyone to a
country in which that person would be in danger of being
tortured. That would ensure a victim who ``finally gets to
a point of escape isn't sent back,'' Smith said.

The bill would expedite processing for people applying for
asylum who presented credible claims they were tortured.

In the legislation, torture was defined as ``the deliberate
mental and physical damage caused by governments to
individuals to destroy individual personality and terrorize

Training would be required for immigration and asylum
personnel to identify evidence of torture and in techniques
for interviewing torture victims.

The bill would create grants for rehabilitation services
for victims of torture in foreign and domestic treatment

Smith introduced similar legislation in the last Congress,
where it foundered, but said he was optimistic it would
make more headway this time.

He said there were currently 15 sponsors and a similar bill
would be introduced in the Senate. ^REUTERS@ Reut03:11

Copyright 1998 Reuters Limited.All rights reserved.

-------------------==== Posted via Deja News ====----------------------- Search, Read, Post to Usenet


Date: Thu, 5 Feb 1998 16:51:25 -0600
From: Arash Alavi <aalavi0@HOTMAIL.COM>
Subject: US contemplating nukes against Iraq

[This is a courtesy copy of an article posted to Usenet via Deja News]

Pentagon contemplating nukes against Iraq

South News Jan 29

The Pentagon refused to rule out using nuclear weapons
against Iraq. But has said that air strikes against Iraq
would be massive and sustained. Cohen, warned recently that
any military strike against Iraq as a result of the crisis
would not be "pinpricks"

Asked whether that might include the use of nuclear
weapons, Pentagon's chief spokesman said Tuesday. Bacon
replied: "I don't think we've ruled anything in or out in
this regard.''

But NBC News reported Wednesday that,"So-called
bunker-buster bombs would be used to penetrate deep
underground to take out hidden weapons, supplies and
possibly his (Iraqi) top military commanders."

President Clinton's new nuclear-war guidelines expand the
criteria for using nuclear weapons and adding new targets.
Chief among the new targets are the rogue states. The
directive orders the Pentagon to plan for attacks against
countries that use weapons of mass destruction. It even
identifies specific nuclear contingencies involving
non-nuclear countries such as Iran, Iraq, Libya and North

The Pentagon's vision is that planning for nuclear war with
the Third World is necessary to deter rogue states from
using chemical and biological weapons. Threatening nuclear
destruction, the argument goes, is the only language
regional troublemakers understand.

Defense officials have said repeatedly, if anonymously,
that they were concerned that the U.S. conventional arsenal
would be incapable of penetrating some of Iraq's most
hardened targets, such as deeply buried bunkers that may
house biological or chemical weapons labs. The Pentagon has
pointedly not ruled out the use of tactical nuclear weapons
to attack these targets.

In an article "Allies ready to hammer Iraq Days of
`pinprick' strikes over" in The Washington Times , Nov 27
1997 detailed possible targets.

"Among the Pentagon's top targets for future attacks are
command bunkers located at Talill and Nasiriyah, within the
U.N.-mandated no-fly zone in southern Iraq, military
sources said."

"Other primary targets include scores of sites in Iraq
where the United Nations suspects nuclear, chemical and
biological weapons are being developed. Additional targets
would include the air defense missile batteries that
surround many of them."

"The main purpose of a future large-scale attack on Iraq
would be to "deny {Saddam} the capability to continue to
threaten his neighbors and his own people, and to threaten
the world with his capability" for using weapons of mass
destruction, Gen. Zinni said."

US intelligence officials yesterday accused The Washington
Times of leaking sensive information that quote from secret
or top-secret reports. CIA Director George Tenet said
Wednesday, asserting that their disclosures harm national

"The executive branch leaks like a sieve. I'm here to tell
you that right now,'' Tenet said Wednesday in testimony
before the Senate Intelligence Committee. "There's guilt
everywhere, but the executive branch and everybody sitting
behind me knows it all too well and it's a major
frustration there are people all over this executive branch
who have violated a trust.''

-------------------==== Posted via Deja News ====----------------------- Search, Read, Post to Usenet


Date: Thu, 5 Feb 1998 16:51:21 -0600
From: Arash Alavi <aalavi0@HOTMAIL.COM>
Subject: Edward Said on the Iraq crisis

[This is a courtesy copy of an article posted to Usenet via Deja News]

Apocalypse Now

by Edward Said

It would be a mistake, I think, to reduce what is happening
between Iraq and the United States simply to an assertion
of Arab will and sovereignty on the one hand versus
American imperialism, which undoubtedly plays a central
role in all this. However misguided, Saddam Hussein's
cleverness is not that he is splitting America from its
allies (which he has not really succeeded in doing for any
practical purpose) but that he is exploiting the
astonishing clumsiness and failures of US foreign policy.
Very few people, least of all Saddam himself, can be fooled
into believing him to be the innocent victim of American
bullying; most of what is happening to his unfortunate
people who are undergoing the most dreadful and
unacknowledged suffering is due in considerable degree to
his callous cynicism -- first of all, his indefensible and
ruinous invasion of Kuwait, his persecution of the Kurds,
his cruel egoism and pompous self-regard which persists in
aggrandizing himself and his regime at exorbitant and, in
my opinion, totally unwarranted cost. It is impossible for
him to plead the case for national security and sovereignty
now given his abysmal disregard of it in the case of Kuwait
and Iran.

Be that as it may, US vindictiveness, whose sources I shall
look at in a moment, has exacerbated the situation by
imposing a regime of sanctions which, as Sandy Berger, the
American National Security adviser has just said proudly,
is unprecedented for its severity in the whole of world
history. 567,000 Iraqi civilians have died since the Gulf
War, mostly as a result of disease, malnutrition and
deplorably poor medical care. Agriculture and industry are
at a total standstill. This is unconscionable of course,
and for this the brazen inhumanity of American
policy-makers is also very largely to blame. But we must
not forget that Saddam is feeding that inhumanity quite
deliberately in order to dramatize the opposition between
the US and the rest of the Arab world; having provoked a
crisis with the US (or the UN dominated by the US) he at
first dramatised the unfairness of the sanctions. But by
continuing it as he is now doing, the issue has changed and
has become his non-compliance, and the terrible effects of
the sanctions have been marginalised. Still the underlying
causes of an Arab/US crisis remain.

A careful analysis of that crisis is imperative. The US has
always opposed any sign of Arab nationalism or
independence, partly for its own imperial reasons and
partly because its unconditional support for Israel
requires it to do so. Since the l973 war, and despite the
brief oil embargo, Arab policy up to and including the
peace process has tried to circumvent or mitigate that
hostility by appealing to the US for help, by "good"
behavior, by willingness to make peace with Israel. Yet
mere compliance with the US's wishes can produce nothing
except occasional words of American approbation for leaders
who appear "moderate": Arab policy was never backed up with
coordination, or collective pressure, or fully agreed upon
goals. Instead each leader tried to make separate
arrangements both with the US and with Israel, none of
which produced very much except escalating demands and a
constant refusal by the US to exert any meaningful pressure
on Israel. The more extreme Israeli policy becomes the more
likely the US has been to support it. And the less respect
it has for the large mass of Arab peoples whose future and
well-being are mortgaged to illusory hopes embodied, for
instance, in the Oslo accords.

Moreover, a deep gulf separates Arab culture and
civilization on the one hand, from the United States on the
other, and in the absence of any collective Arab
information and cultural policy, the notion of an Arab
people with traditions, cultures and identities of their
own is simply inadmissible in the US. Arabs are
dehumanized, they are seen as violent irrational terrorists
always on the lookout for murder and bombing outrages. The
only Arabs worth doing business with for the US are
compliant leaders, businessmen, military people whose arms
purchases (the highest per capita in the world) are helping
the American economy keep afloat. Beyond that there is no
feeling at all, for instance, for the dreadful suffering of
the Iraqi people whose identity and existence have simply
been lost sight of in the present situation.

This morbid, obsessional fear and hatred of the Arabs has
been a constant theme in US foreign policy since World War
Two. In some way also, anything positive about the Arabs is
seen in the US as a threat to Israel. In this respect
pro-Israeli American Jews, traditional Orientalists, and
military hawks have played a devastating role. Moral
opprobrium is heaped on Arab states as it is on no others.
Turkey, for example, has been conducting a campaign against
the Kurds for several years, yet nothing is heard about
this in the US. Israel occupies territory illegally for
thirty years, it violates the Geneva conventions at will,
conducts invasions, terrorist attacks and assassinations
against Arabs, and still, the US vetoes every sanction
against it in the UN. Syria, Sudan, Libya, Iraq are
classified as "rogue" states. Sanctions against them are
far harsher than against any other countries in the history
of US foreign policy. And still the US expects that its own
foreign policy agenda ought to prevail (eg., the woefully
misguided Doha economic summit) despite its hostility to
the collective Arab agenda.

In the case of Iraq a number of further extenuations make
the US even more repressive. Burning in the collective
American unconscious is a puritanical zeal decreeing the
sternest possible attitude towards anyone deemed to be an
unregenerate sinner. This clearly guided American policy
towards the native American Indians, who were first
demonized, then portrayed as wasteful savages, then
exterminated, their tiny remnant confined to reservations
and concentration camps. This almost religious anger fuels
a judgemental attitude that has no place at all in
international politics, but for the United States it is a
central tenet of its worldwide behavior. Second, punishment
is conceived in apocalyptic terms. During the Vietnam war a
leading general advocated -- and almost achieved -- the
goal of bombing the enemy into the stone age. The same view
prevailed during the Gulf War in l99l. Sinners are meant to
be condemned terminally, with the utmost cruelty regardless
of whether or not they suffer the cruelest agonies. The
notion of "justified" punishment for Iraq is now uppermost
in the minds of most American consumers of news, and with
that goes an almost orgiastic delight in the gathering
power being summoned to confront Iraq in the Gulf.

Pictures of four (or is now five?) immense aircraft
carriers steaming virtuously away punctuate breathless news
bulletins about Saddam's defiance, and the impending
crisis. The President announces that he is thinking not
about the Gulf but about the 21st century: how can we
tolerate Iraq's threat to use biological warfare even
though (this is unmentioned) it is clear from the UNSCOM
reports that he neither has the missile capacity, nor the
chemical arms, nor the nuclear arsenal, nor in fact the
anthrax bombs that he is alleged to be brandishing?
Forgotten in all this is that the US has all the terror
weapons known to humankind, is the only country to have
used a nuclear bomb on civilians, and as recently as seven
years ago dropped 66,000 tons of bombs on Iraq. As the only
country involved in this crisis that has never had to fight
a war on its own soil, it is easy for the US and its mostly
brain-washed citizens to speak in apocalyptic terms. A
report out of Australia on Sunday, November l6 suggests
that Israel and the US are thinking about a neutron bomb on

Unfortunately the dictates of raw power are very severe
and, for a weak state like Iraq, overwhelming. Certainly US
misuse of the sanctions to strip Iraq of everything,
including any possibility for security is monstrously
sadistic. The so-called UN 661 Committee created to oversee
the sanctions is composed of fifteen member states
(including the US) each of which has a veto. Every time
Iraq passes this committee a request to sell oil for
medicines, trucks, meat, etc., any member of the committee
can block these requests by saying that a given item may
have military purposes (tires, for example, or ambulances).
In addition the US and its clients -- eg., the unpleasant
and racist Richard Butler, who says openly that Arabs have
a different notion of truth than the rest of the world --
have made it clear that even if Iraq is completely reduced
militarily to the point where it is no longer a threat to
its neighbors (which is now the case) the real goal of the
sanctions is to topple Saddam Hussein's government. In
other words according to the Americans, very little that
Iraq can do short of Saddam's resignation or death will
produce a lifting of sanctions. Finally, we should not for
a moment forget that quite apart from its foreign policy
interest, Iraq has now become a domestic American issue
whose repercussions on issues unrelated to oil or the Gulf
are very important.

Bill Clinton's personal crises -- the campaign-funding
scandals, an impending trial for sexual harassment, his
various legislative and domestic failures -- require him to
look strong, determined and "presidential" somewhere else,
and where but in the Gulf against Iraq has he so ready-made
a foreign devil to set off his blue-eyed strength to full
advantage. Moreover, the increase in military expenditure
for new investments in electronic "smart" weaponry, more
sophisticated aircraft, mobile forces for the world-wide
projection of American power are perfectly suited for
display and use in the Gulf, where the likelihood of
visible casualties (actually suffering Iraqi civilians) is
extremely small, and where the new military technology can
be put through its paces most attractively. For reasons
that need restating here, the media is particularly happy
to go along with the government in bringing home to
domestic customers the wonderful excitement of American
self- righteousness, the proud flag-waving, the "feel-good"
sense that "we" are facing down a monstrous dictator. Far
from analysis and calm reflection the media exists mainly
to derive its mission from the government, not to produce a
corrective or any dissent. The media, in short, is an
extension of the war against Iraq.

The saddest aspect of the whole thing is that Iraqi
civilians seem condemned to additional suffering and
protracted agony. Neither their government nor that of the
US is inclined to ease the daily pressure on them, and the
probability that only they will pay for the crisis is
extremely high. At least -- and it isn't very much -- there
seems to be no enthusiasm among Arab governments for
American military action, but beyond that there is no
coordinated Arab position, not even on the extremely grave
humanitarian question. It is unfortunate that, according to
the news, there is rising popular support for Saddam in the
Arab world, as if the old lessons of defiance without real
power have still not been learned.

Undoubtedly the US has manipulated the UN to its own ends,
a rather shameful exercise given at the same time that the
Congress once again struck down a motion to pay a billion
dollars in arrears to the world organization. The major
priority for Arabs, Europeans, Muslims and Americans is to
push to the fore the issue of sanctions and the terrible
suffering imposed on innocent Iraqi civilians. Taking the
case to the International Court in the Hague strikes me as
a perfectly viable possibility, but what is needed is a
concerted will on behalf of Arabs who have suffered the
US's egregious blows for too long without an adequate

This article was first published in Arabic in Al-Hayat,
London, and in English in Al Ahram Weekly, Cairo.

-------------------==== Posted via Deja News ====----------------------- Search, Read, Post to Usenet


Date: Thu, 5 Feb 1998 17:01:20 -0600
From: Arash Alavi <aalavi0@HOTMAIL.COM>
Subject: US "mininukes" target non-nuclear states

[This is a courtesy copy of an article posted to Usenet via Deja News]


by David Muller

While it preaches global arms control, the US Clinton
Administration is stepping up the technological and nuclear
arms race against the third world. In early April 6
radar-evading B-2 "stealth" bomber were officially
commissioned into the U.S. nuclear strike force with a new
generation of Penetrator N-bombs. The weapons are the
biggest enhancement of U.S. nuclear capability since the
cold war's end. The Pentagon. can now launch precision
raids from its own soil against command bunkers in Iraq or
the kind of chemical-weapons factory the US says Libya is
building inside a mountain.

The 12-foot-long B61-11 drills deep into the earth before
exploding in a small blast whose shockwaves can crush
targets hundreds of feet below, according to information
from the Los Alamos Study Group and Greenpeace. The
organizations charge that this new deployment is a
dangerous attempt to expand the traditional role of nuclear
weapons from the deterrence of rival superpowers to
pre-emptive weapons for potential use against non-nuclear,
Third World countries.The B61-11 is an earth-penetrating
nuclear bomb that can be delivered by variety of U.S.
aircraft including F-16 fighter planes, B-1 and B-2
bombers, and possibly the B-52 bomber. As a low yield
earth-penetrating "mininuke," it could provide the United
States with a weapon that some say could be more
realistically used than larger nuclear bombs in regional

"This new nuclear capability makes it obvious that
decision-makers in the Clinton Administration are expanding
the post-Cold War role of nuclear weapons," said Greg
Mello, Director of Los Alamos Study Group, a New Mexico lab
watchdog group."You have to ask, who are the targets: the
Russians? or Third-World countries?"

This earth-penetrating capability is intended for
deeply-buried targets such as command and control bunkers.
Senior Pentagon officials ignited controversy last April by
suggesting that the earth-penetrating weapon would soon be
available for possible use against a suspected underground
chemical factory being built by Libya at Tarhunah. This
thinly- veiled threat came just eleven days after the
United States signed the African Nuclear Weapons Free Zone
Treaty, designed to prohibit signatories from using or
threatening to use nuclear weapons against any other
signatory, including Libya.

New technology or new modification?

The deep-earth Penetrator N-bomb, reignites debate over
what constitutes a "new" nuclear weapon -- a pointed issue,
as U.S. policy since 1992 has forbidden development of new
weapons. US Congress passed a 1993 law restricting the
development of any nuclear weapons with yields less than 5
kilotons. But the Department of Energy classifies the
B61-11 is outside this law as a "modification" of an
existing weapon. The "11th modification" dropped from a
plane to slam into the earth at the speed of a .45-caliber
bullet. the B61 is engineered to explode after shallowly
impacting the ground.

While weapons designers struggle against the definition of
a new weapon, the weapon represents a wholly new military
capability or employs substantially new technology in its
nuclear package."This weapon is a new military capability.
For all intents and purposes it is a new nuclear weapon,"
countered Mello. "Those who are newly targeted will not
care if the weapon is 'new' or merely 'modified.'"

The earth-penetrating weapon was designed at Los Alamos and
Sandia National Laboratories. LANL scientists designed and
tested the original B61 in the 1980s and so had to certify
that the changes and the stresses of earth penetration
would not impair the bomb's performance. Sandia National
Laboratories shipped 10 dummy versions of the modified B61
bomb to the U.S. Air Force last month as training devices,
plus nine sets of customized bomb-handling gear.

The New Mexico labs and the Defense Department conducted
drop tests of bomb prototypes in Alaska and Nevada. New
parts for the B61-11 are being manufactured at Tennessee's
Oak Ridge Reservation and at the Kansas City Plant in
Missouri. Assembly is taking place at an undisclosed

New impediments to global disarmament.

William Arkin, columnist for the Bulletin of the Atomic
Scientist, says the project suggests the weapons labs'
thirst for new work still has a role in driving the arms
race at a time when former senior U.S. generals joined in
December with counterparts from Russia and elsewhere to
call for the elimination of atomic weapons.

Joe Cirincione of the Henry L. Stimson Center, a Washington
think tank that specializes in conflict resolution says,
"This does seem to be a sort of 'in your face' policy at a
time when the U.S. is trying to convince the rest of the
world not to develop nuclear weapons and to decrease their
arsenals,". "For those who think that these are problems
that disappeared with the end of the cold war, this is a
wake-up call."

Enhancing the US atomic arsenal flies in the face of
popular domestic sentiments in America. A recent survey by
the Abolition 2000 anti-nuclear coalition found that a
majority of Americans support the elimination of all atomic
arms. "Countering the proliferation of weapons of mass
destruction has become the latest rationale for building
and using nuclear weapons," said Greenpeace Nuclear
Disarmament Campaigner Bruce Hall. "But efforts in the
Pentagon and the national labs to expand the roles for
nuclear weapons undercut the work of other Clinton
administration officials to stem nuclear proliferation."

David Muller is President of the South Movement, Australia

International Action Center; 39 W. 14th St., #206; New
York, N.Y. 10011.

Snailmail--New York: 39 West 14th St., #206; New York, N.Y.
10011. Tax deductible donations (over $50.00) should be
made payable to IAC/Peoples Rights Fund. For more
information, call 212-633-6646, fax 212-633-2889 or e-mail

Snailmail--San Francisco: 289 Mission St., #28; San
Francisco, CA 94110. For more information, call
415-821-6545, fax 415-921-5782

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Date: Thu, 5 Feb 1998 17:01:23 -0600
From: Arash Alavi <aalavi0@HOTMAIL.COM>
Subject: Iran Blasts Nuclear Threats against Iraq

[This is a courtesy copy of an article posted to Usenet via Deja News]

Iran Blasts Nuclear Threats against Iraq

Xinhua 05-FEB-98

TEHRAN (Feb. 5) XINHUA - Iran Thursday strongly blasted
threatening statements to use nuclear weapons against Iraq,
Tehran radio reported.

"Such statements are against the whole region (of Middle
East) and none of the regional countries will remain
indifferent to such ill-considered statements," Iran's
Foreign Ministry spokesman Mahmoud Mohammadi said.

But the spokesman did not mention who have made the
threats. And no reports were available here about the

Stressing that Iran is opposed to any military strike
against Iraq, he said military operations would only
escalate tensions in the region and worsen its situations,
according to the radio.

Meanwhile, Iran is also gearing up efforts to seek a
peaceful solution to the crisis of arms inspection between
Iraq and the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) in
charge of eliminating Iraq's nuclear, chemical and
biological weapons.

Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi Thursday met
visiting Secretary General of the Organization of the
Islamic Conference (OIC) Ezeddine Laraki, exploring ways to
prevent military actions against Iraq.

Both sides stressed that political efforts should continue
in a bid to solve the Iraq crisis, Tehran radio said.

Laraki arrived here Wednesday to exchange views with
Iranian officials after OIC chairman, Iranian President
Mohammad Khatami asked him to coordinate with regional
leaders for a peaceful solution to the Iraq crisis.

The United States, staunchly supported by Britain, has
threatened to take military actions to force Iraq to grant
free access to the UNSCOM to any sites, including
presidential palaces, suspected of hiding the banned

In response to the U.S. threat to Iraq, the local daily
Tehran Times Thursday strongly condemned U.S. policies
towards Iraq.

It said the U.S. has no justification to launch a military
attack against a country which has been subjected to harsh
international sanctions for more than seven years.

It added that the U.S. should act within the framework of
the U.N. Security Council.

The U.N. imposed economic sanctions on Iraq, banning the
export of oil, Iraq's main revenue earner, in 1990 after
its invasion of Kuwait.

The sanctions can only be lifted when the UNSCOM certifies
that Iraq has dismantled all the weapons of mass

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End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 5 Feb 1998