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PJAK: Again Iran and Turkey jointly launch a campaign of misinformation and fabricated news against PJAK and the Kurds
2. Turkey, Iran Shell Kurdish Rebels In Iraq – PKK Rebels
3. Kurdistan National Congress-KNK: The mothers of peace and their children want to speak their own Kurdish language
4. A Political activist’s suspicious death in Mahabad, Eastern Kurdistan
5. Biden promises responsible pullout
6. From Gaza to Tehran: Looking toward the Obama Administration and the Middle East
7. Iran using fronts to get bomb parts from U.S.
1. PJAK: Again Iran and Turkey jointly launch a campaign of misinformation and fabricated news against PJAK and the Kurds

Free Life Party of Kurdistan (PJAK)

15 January 2008

Press Release:

Again the Iranian and Turkish media reports and the Iranian state Press TV on January 12, 2009, launched a campaign of psychological warfare, misinformation and fabricated news stating that the Free Life Party of Kurdistan-PJAK has laid down its arm and halted its operations.

We declare to our people and the public opinion that this news coming out from Turkey and Iran that PJAK had laid its arms are false and total fabrication. These fabricated news are part of the joint psychological warfare campaign launched by both regimes of Turkey and Iran to cover up their atrocities and inability to face the Kurdish people and PJAK.

We warn the Islamic Republic of Iran and Turkey to stop their aggressive attacks against the Kurdish and Iranian people and to stop their joint aerial bombardment and arterially shilling of southern Kurdistan borders and of Kandil Mountains. We will respond in time to these attacks and will stop these unjustified aggressive oppressive attacks against our people. The Kurdish nation will shield and protect itself and will obtain its democratic rights. Victory and freedom for the Kurdish and Iranian people.

We clarify that PJAK is in self-defense and not in a state of war with the Iranian regime. It does not carry any military cross border attacks. All of the operations inside Iran are in self-defense and to protect our people from the Iranian security and revolutionary Guards forces continues atrocities and forced assimilation.

PJAK is not a rebel’s organization. It is a political massive national democratic movement of the Kurds in Iran. PJAK strategy is to use all form of struggle: political, social, economic, nonviolence civil disobedience, human rights, NGOS and to carry arms in self-defense. It is always continuing the work and struggle needed to achieve its objectives of freedom, democracy and peace.

PJAK is based mainly inside Eastern Kurdistan and Iran, not in Iraq. It depends on the support of the Kurdish and Iranian people. Its aim’s are to unite the Kurdish and Iranian opposition, to change the oppressive Islamic regime in Iran and to establish a free democratic confederate system for the Kurds and the Iranian peoples.

We call upon the international community to help the Kurds and the peoples of Iran in their struggle for democracy, freedom and peace.

Free life Party of Kurdistan – PJAK
Political and Diplomacy Committee
2. Turkey, Iran Shell Kurdish Rebels In Iraq – PKK Rebels


QANDIL, Iraq (AFP)–Turkish and Iranian artillery have pounded Kurdish rebel positions in Iraq’s northern mountains for the past two days, a spokesman for the rebel Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK. said Wednesday.
“Yesterday and today, the villages of Rizka, Maradu and Kanira – close to the Iranian border – were periodically bombarded by the Iranians,” the spokesman Ahmed Denis told AFP.
“Turkish artillery shelled the Sidikan district, near where the Iraqi, Iranian and Turkish borders meet, but inside Iraq,” he added.
He had no immediate word on casualties.
PKK rear-bases in border districts of northern Iraq have been the target of repeated attack by the Turkish and Iranian militaries in recent weeks.
The PKK, which is listed as a terrorist group by the European Union and the U.S., took up arms for self-rule in Turkey’s Kurdish-majority southeast in 1984, triggering a conflict that has claimed some 44,000 lives.
An Iranian rebel group, the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan, or PJAK, operates out of bases in the same area and is close to the PKK.
3. Kurdistan National Congress-KNK: The mothers of peace and their children want to speak their own Kurdish language

Kurdistan National Congress-KNK


12 January

Within the last few days, the mothers of peace started many activities in support of the Kurdish language and these activities are still ongoing.

The mothers want their own language, their children to learn the Kurdish language and call upon the colonialist States to end this injustice against the Kurdish language. Also it is important that the Kurdish students learn how to deal scientifically with their language and to be thought in universities and institutes.

The Kurdish language is one of the oldest languages and spoken by an estimated 40 million people. Prevention of the language and culture of 40 million is a great sin, without doubt, a shame on the conscience of humanity.

The colonial Powers and the Turkish state in the forefront continue the implementation of these policies against the Kurdish language and try to prevent and assimilate it, as well as to ignore it permanently.

This time, the Turkish state “under the slogan of the opening of a new Kurdish television” started a propaganda campaign; it did not recognize the Kurdish language in over hundreds of years and has always been pursuing this approach to wipe out the language. But the strange thing, which calls for the rejection and condemnation, that the “AkP” party starts broadcasting in Kurdish on its networks.
This situation brings the condemnation and indignation of the Kurdish people and the Kurdish liberation movement.

Without a doubt, the goal of “AKP” is to deceive the Kurds and get their support in the coming elections.

Minister of the Interior, “Kader Akso” says that the mother tongue is a legitimate right like the mother’s milk. This is the same person who fought and killed large number people in the past years. That is in itself a clear contradiction and disrespect.

Channel, “T. R. T. 6” did not come for the development of the Kurdish culture and language. The Kurdish people cannot be deceived. The Turkish Republic must change all of these tactics of deception, they must know and be aware of the will the Kurdish people and therefore must put into action effective plans and projects.

We want freedom for our language if the language is free then it is developed. But the most important is that the people are to be free so they can develop and free their language.

For this reason, the activities and demonstrations of our mothers have benefits and real meaning. We, too, salute our mothers on this struggle.

Once again, we condemn this injustice imposed against the Kurdish language and culture.

We say: our language is our dignity and our dignity is our freedom.

The Executive Committee of the “KNK”

12 January 2009
4. A Political activist’s suspicious death in Mahabad, Eastern Kurdistan

By Kamal Soleimani

London (KurdishMedia.com) 14 January 2009: A few days after of his arrest by the Iranian government forces, a Mahabad resident’s dead body was retuned to his family.
Last week, Hashim Ramazani, a Kurd originally from the villages around Bukan, lived in Mahabad, was arrested for alleged security reasons and then was transferred to one of the Itlaat (Iranian inelegant) Offices based in Urumia.
Four days after Mr. Ramazani’s arrest, his family was summoned up by the Itlaat Office in Urumia to retain their son’s corpse.
The regime’s forces claim that Mr. Ramazani has committed suicide in the prison. However, not only they had opposed the dispatch of the victim’s body to Tehran for an autopsy, they had forced Mr. Ramazani family to sign a promissory note stating they will keep the matter secret.
This Kurdish citizen was a married father whose body was buried nightly, at the presence of the secret police dressed in civilian clothing, in Mahabad.
It should be noted that this is not first case of the kind; there have been a number of other prisoners such as Lutfulah Ibrahimi, Zahra Bani Ya‘qub, Zahra Kazimi, Akber Muhammadi, ‘Abd al-Reza Rajabi who died in prison in suspicious ways. So far, there has been no investigation done by the officials to explain the reasons behind these suspicious deaths.
Source: www.vokradio.com; Voice of Kurdish-American Radio for Democracy, Peace and Freedom
5. Biden promises responsible pullout

Kirkuk residents asked to settle their dispute peacefully

January 14, 2009
By Robert H. Reid
Associated Press

BAGHDAD – Vice President-elect Joe Biden assured Iraq’s prime minister yesterday that the new administration won’t withdraw U.S. troops in a way that threatens stability, an Iraqi spokesman said.
Biden later traveled to one of the major threats to that stability — the northern city of Kirkuk. He urged rival Arabs, Kurds and Turkomen to resolve peacefully their competing claims to the oil-rich city.
U.S. officials issued no statement about Biden’s meeting with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, which happened on the second and final day of his visit to Iraq.
However, Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh quoted Biden as saying that President-elect Barack Obama is committed to withdrawing from Iraq in a manner that does not endanger the security gains of last year.
Obama pledged during his election campaign to remove all American combat troops from Iraq within 16 months of taking office, shifting the focus to Afghanistan to combat a resurgent Taliban and al-Qaida-linked militants.
Since the November election, however, the U.S. and Iraq have signed a new security agreement that provides for all of the more than 140,000 U.S. troops to leave by 2012.
Although violence has declined sharply in Iraq, the U.S. military has warned that security gains are fragile and that extremists are likely to step up attacks ahead of this month’s provincial elections.
Yesterday, Iraqi officials acknowledged problems in determining how winners will be chosen in regional elections, raising concerns that electoral challenges could tarnish the key Jan. 31 vote.
Voters in 14 of the country’s 18 provinces will choose members of ruling councils, which wield considerable power at the regional level. The vote is seen as a dress rehearsal for national parliamentary elections expected this year.
One of the most contentious issues is how to ensure the fair representation of women — a law requires a quota system that sets aside seats for them on the councils.
During his visit, Biden also urged cooperation among the country’s religious and ethnic groups, the Iraqi spokesman said. He repeated those themes during a meeting in Kirkuk with representatives of the rival ethnic communities there.
Kurdish representatives repeated their demand that Kirkuk be incorporated into their self-ruled region, and the Arabs insisted that the city remain under central government control. Turkomen suggested that Kirkuk become its own self-governing region, said Ribwar Faiq Talabani, who attended the meeting.
Iraq’s parliament decided to postpone provincial elections in Kirkuk because the ethnic groups could not agree on a power-sharing arrangement.
6. From Gaza to Tehran: Looking toward the Obama Administration and the Middle East

Featuring Robert Satloff

January 12, 2008

On January 9, 2009, David Brooks, Peter Beinart, and Robert Satloff addressed a Policy Forum luncheon at The Washington Institute to discuss the Obama administration and its likely approach to the Middle East. Dr. Satloff is executive director of the Washington Institute; the following is a summary of his remarks.
Timing of a Gaza Conclusion
The Gaza Strip crisis will be the first issue addressed by the Obama-Clinton foreign policy team. The necessary elements for a cessation of hostilities are well known: an effective system to curtail arms smuggling into Gaza, a total halt to rocket attacks emanating from the Strip, and a mechanism to secure border crossings that expands the humanitarian supplies into Gaza while denying Hamas any claim to sovereignty or legitimacy. Most observers believe this should come into being before January 20 so the new team has a clean slate on which to define U.S. foreign policy. In fact, it would be far better for this to occur after January 20. Only then would the Obama-Clinton team own the endgame, rather than just inherit it. If they own it, chances are much better that they would take full responsibility for ensuring the execution and implementation of its terms.

The Centrality of Egypt
Lost in the fog of war is the “Gaza Great Game” — and it is all about Egypt. This conflict is, in reality, a fight for the soul of the waning days of the Hosni Mubarak presidency and the direction of Egypt in the early post-Mubarak era. Hamas and its allies are whipping up public pressure on Egypt to open the border crossings and to give Hamas an outlet to the world, much like Hizballah has via Syria. Israel is using military pressure on Hamas to pressure Egypt to finally take the issue of smuggling with appropriate seriousness. Israel’s strategy seemingly is to raise fears in Cairo of an all-out offensive against Gazan cities that could trigger a wave of Palestinian refugees surpassing the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who came streaming into northern Sinai a year ago. So far, Mubarak has hedged; he has kept the borders closed to keep the Hamas virus from infecting his own country, thumbing his nose at Arab popular criticism in the process, but still has not begun to do what is necessary about the smuggling. Which way will he turn? Or will Egypt remain firmly on the fence until it is too late?

It bears noting that this is a moment of great opportunity for Egypt. After years of being eclipsed by Saudi Arabia and even Qatar for leadership of moderate Arab states, as well as years of strained relations with Washington, Egypt could use the current crisis to change the regional calculus firmly in its favor. Cairo could reassert its role as the leading moderate force in the region, strike a severe blow against an agent of Iran, prevent the spread of radical Islamism on its border, and in the process turn a new page with Washington with the arrival of a new U.S. president. And given that Mubarak is facing the most important issue of his presidency — succession — restoring health and vibrancy to the U.S.-Egyptian relationship is critical. The Gaza crisis presents an opportunity that Egypt should not miss, and if Egypt pursues a wise course in this crisis, it is a win-win for Cairo, Jerusalem, Ramallah, and Washington.

When the Gaza Dust Settles
Once the immediate crisis comes to an end, the Obama-Clinton team will face a choice in how to fulfill the new president’s commitment to invest heavily and early in the Arab-Israeli peace process. Although there are glimmers of hope on the Israel-Syria front, given current events, , the peace process refers — for all intents and purposes — specifically to the Israeli-Palestinian track. On this track, there are two principal schools of thought, reflected in two sets of studies produced in Washington in the last few weeks: The Washington Institute studies Prevent Breakdown, Prepare for Breakthrough: How President Obama Can Promote Israeli-Palestinian Peace and Security First: U.S. Priorities in Israeli-Palestinian Peacemaking on the one hand and, on the other, an impressive report produced jointly by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and the Brookings Institution Restoring the Balance. On Israeli-Palestinian issues, the difference is clear: the Washington Institute studies call for a combined top-down/bottom up approach toward strengthening the Palestinian Authority (PA) and enhancing prospects for Israeli-PA negotiations; the relevant chapter in the CFR/Brookings study calls for findings ways the United States can engage Hamas.

Each approach has a certain logic, but it is important to recognize that these are “either/or” options. It is not possible to engage Hamas and build up the PA at the same time. Engaging Hamas would undermine whatever popular support remains for the Mahmoud Abbas-Salam Fayad government, bring an abrupt end to the Dayton (U.S. security coordinator, Lt. Gen. Keith Dayton) effort to “train and equip” PA security forces, compel Egypt and Jordan to change course in terms of their own approach toward the PA, and buoy radical actors from Gaza to Beirut to Tehran.

Given both personnel choices and strategic imperatives, it is unlikely that the Obama-Clinton team will choose to engage Hamas. Indeed, even tactically, if the new administration is committed to a wholly new approach toward Iran, it makes little sense to waste capital and credibility — both here and abroad — on an early tilting at Hamas’s windmills.

Iran: the Bigger Picture
If Gaza is a fight for the soul of Egypt, the Obama team cannot let Gaza distract from the even bigger test confronting them: the challenge of Iran. On Iran, the new administration faces a near-term policy decision of when to launch an international initiative to build leverage vis-a-vis Iran and open a direct engagement with Tehran. Some argue that Washington should wait several months, lest U.S. diplomacy itself become an issue in Iran’s June presidential election and somehow help the incumbent win a second term by letting him boast that his hardline policies compelled America to talk on his terms. Even Israeli president Shimon Peres has reportedly made this case. But in view of key players in the new administration, this argument is unlikely to carry the day. The reason is simple: as Washington dithers, centrifuges spin. If Washington waits until after Iran’s election to launch an engagement strategy with Iran, the Iranians will be close to — if not already at — the point where they have amassed enough low-enriched uranium to convert into weapons-grade material. So, timing is at the top of the agenda.

Expecting the Unexpected
Middle East officials in the Bush administration expected to coast to a quiet end, but because of Gaza, they will now be burning the midnight oil until inauguration day. The unexpected could very well occur in the early days of the Obama presidency, too. There are many possibilities: the passing of a key regional leader like Egypt’s Mubarak or Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah; a spectacular Hamas terrorist attack inside Israel or against the PA, changing the dynamics of the current conflict; a decision by Hizballah and its Iranian patron to truly open a second front; terrorism against U.S. interests or installations; an unexpected outcome to the Israeli election; or a declaration by Iran that it had passed a nuclear threshold months before U.S. intelligence thought it was possible. The list goes on. These are just a few of the “what ifs” that, in the Middle East, are more often “whens” than “whethers.”
7. Iran using fronts to get bomb parts from U.S.

By Joby Warrick
Washington Post Staff Writer
January 11, 2009; A01

The Iranian businessman was looking for high-quality American electronics, but he had to act stealthily: The special parts he coveted were denied to Iranians, especially those seeking to make roadside bombs to kill U.S. troops in Iraq.
With a few e-mails, the problem was solved. A friendly Malaysian importer would buy the parts from a company in Linden, N.J., and forward them to Iran. All that was left was coming up with a fake name for the invoice. Perhaps a Malaysian engineering school? “Of course, you can use any other company as end-user that you think is better than this,” the Iranian businessman, Ahmad Rahzad, wrote in an e-mail dated March 8, 2007.
The ruse succeeded in delivering nine sensors called inclinometers to Iran, the first of several such shipments that year and the latest example of what U.S. officials and weapons experts describe as Iran’s skillful flouting of export laws intended to stop lethal technology from reaching the Islamic republic.
Despite multiple attempts by the Bush administration to halt illegal imports — including sanctions against several Dubai-based Iranian front companies in 2006 — the technology pipeline to Tehran is flowing at an even faster pace. In some cases, Iran simply opened new front companies and shifted its operations from Dubai to farther east in Asia, the officials said.
Iran in the past two years has acquired numerous banned items — including circuit boards, software and Global Positioning System devices — that are used to make sophisticated versions of the improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, that continue to kill U.S. troops in Iraq, according to documents released by the Justice Department and a new study by a Washington research institute. The deadly trade was briefly disrupted after the moves against Dubai companies in 2006, but it quickly resumed with a few changes in shipping routes and company names, the officials said.
“Without doubt, it is still going on,” said one former U.S. intelligence official who investigated Iran’s networks.
Bomb circuitry is only a small part of the global clandestine trade that continues to flourish, despite U.S. efforts to end it. A federal investigation in New York into whether banks helped customers skirt U.S. rules forbidding business with Iran and other countries turned up evidence of Iranian interests trying to buy tungsten and other materials used in the guidance systems of long-range missiles. As part of the investigation, a British bank agreed to forfeit $350 million.
While illegal trafficking in weapons technology has occurred for decades — most notably in the case of the nuclear smuggling ring operated by Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan — the new documents suggest that recent trading is nearly all Internet-based and increasingly sophisticated.
Many of the schemes unknowingly involve U.S. companies that typically have no clue where their products are actually going, the records show.
“The schemes are so elaborate, even the most scrupulous companies can be deceived,” said David Albright, president of the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) and co-author of a forthcoming study of black markets for weapons components.
Albright said the deceptions can be even more elaborate when the target is nuclear technology. “That’s where the stakes are the highest,” he said. “If Iran is successful, it ends up not with an IED but with a nuclear weapon.”
Rare details about the illicit markets emerge in court records from the Justice Department’s investigation of Iran’s Dubai network, as well as in the ISIS study, which tracks four years of secret trading by Iranian and Pakistani front groups. The study includes copies of invoices and the contents of e-mails from companies looking to buy Western technology.
Iran, a veteran of such schemes, appears in the documents to be increasingly adept at using front companies, which pose as schools or private laboratories conducting business through seemingly legitimate Web sites, the Justice Department records show. If discovered — as happened with the Dubai-based Mayrow General Trading in 2006 — the businesses frequently reopen under different names in other locations.
According to the records, Mayrow was the hub of a procurement network that operated from early this decade until about 2006, chiefly in Dubai, which is part of the United Arab Emirates and a close U.S. ally. U.S. intelligence officials have long identified the small Persian Gulf kingdom as a center for shell companies seeking to buy weapons parts and technology for countries that cannot import them legally. Since 2006, Dubai has moved to close Mayrow and toughen export regulations.
Mayrow worked in tandem with three other companies that alternated placing orders with U.S. firms for electronic parts. All four companies had the same business address and same principal managers, yet on paper they appeared to be separate and legitimate trading companies seeking parts for a variety of industrial uses, Albright said in the ISIS report, titled “Iranian Entities Illicit Military Procurement Networks.” The report is due for release this week.
“The trading companies effectively created a wall between the Iranian entities and the U.S. suppliers, making it difficult for the U.S. suppliers to identify the true end-user of an item,” the report says.
The Mayrow network resulted in the acquisition of hundreds of sensitive parts from U.S. manufacturers in California, Florida, Georgia and New Jersey during a four-year period, according to a federal indictment returned by a Florida grand jury in September.
All the items were shipped from Dubai to Iran, where most appear to have been distributed among several manufacturers of IEDs. These bombs account for the majority of U.S. troop casualties in Iraq, as well as the deaths of thousands of civilians, police and troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Examinations of unexploded bombs have confirmed the presence of circuit boards, timers and other parts of U.S. origin, federal officials confirm.
Mayrow’s ability to trade with Americans essentially ended in 2006 when the Commerce Department imposed extensive trade restrictions on the company and its known partners. Yet months after the sanctions went into effect, a similar network based in Malaysia began asking U.S. companies for the same kinds of technology, the Justice Department documents show. The orders were primarily from a firm that called itself Vast Solution and was headed by Majid Seif, an Iranian national. Seif was named in the federal indictment as a co-conspirator in an international plot to acquire components for Iranian-made IEDs.
By 2007, the Dubai-based operation had been almost entirely replaced by the Malaysian networks, the ISIS study found. Yet, while perhaps less conspicuous than before, the Dubai network probably continues to exist, though in a different form. Typically, the new front companies will not be discovered until long after crucial technology has left American shores aboard ships ultimately bound for Iran, Albright said.
“The current system of export controls doesn’t do enough to stop illicit trade before the item is shipped,” he said. “Having a law on the books is not the same as having a law enforced.”