AP: Iraq's defense minister on Wednesday accused neighboring Iran and Syria of supporting terrorists in his war-ravaged country. Hazem Shaalan also accused Iran of backing the al-Qaida in Iraq terrorist group headed by Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and said his country's opponents want ''turbaned clerics to rule in Iraq.''
AFP: Iran's top nuclear official Hassan Rowhani said Wednesday his country would not accept long drawn-out negotiations with the Europeans over a nuclear deal, the state news agency IRNA reported. "I must say that the duration of the negotiations constitutes a red line.
Associated Press: Amnesty International said Tuesday that Iran planned to execute a mentally disabled 19-year-old woman for "acts contrary to chastity,'' referring to alleged crimes stemming from her having been forced into prostitution as a child.
AFP: Iran's former conservative foreign minister Ali Akbar Velayati, now a top advisor to supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has announced he will compete in the presidential elections scheduled for mid-2005, the student news agency ISNA reported on Tuesday. "I believe it is my duty to enter the electoral competition and the voters can evaluate each candidate's capabilities", Velayati said.
Reuters: Iran would not object to Washington joining negotiations with the European Union over its nuclear program provided the United States treated Tehran with respect, Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said Tuesday. Britain, France and Germany began talks in Brussels on Monday with Iran aimed at brokering a long-term agreement over Tehran's nuclear activities, which Washington says are geared to building atomic arms.
AFP: A 26-year-old Iranian man, convicted of murdering a woman, was hanged in prison in the northern city of Semnan, the conservative daily Jomhuri Eslami reported on Tuesday. Quoting local judiciary officials, the paper indentified the man, who was hanged on Monday, as Qadir Zamaemi-Fard and said he had a history of repeated theft.
New York Times: Iran and its European partners pledged Monday to work to overcome their differences and lingering suspicions as they began negotiations for a long-term agreement on nuclear, economic and security cooperation.
The Independent: A teenage girl with a mental age of eight is facing the death penalty for prostitution in Iran. The trial comes only four months after the hanging of another mentally ill girl for sex before marriage in a case that has prompted a human rights lawyer to prepare a charge of wrongful execution against the presiding judge.
Daily Telegraph: A 19-year-old Iranian girl with a mental age of eight who was forced into prostitution by her mother has been sentenced to be flogged and executed for 'morality-related' offences, Amnesty International said yesterday. The human rights pressure group has asked Iran's supreme court to stay the execution. The girl, named only as Leyla M, had suffered a "litany of abuse", it said.
AFP: Iran's Islamic regime remained at the centre of international concerns in 2004 by pressing on with a suspect nuclear programme, testing new ballistic missiles, ousting reformists from office and clamping down on dissent. After an often turbulent experiment with reforms, powerful hardliners marked the Islamic republic's 25th anniversary by barring allies of President Mohammad Khatami from standing in February's parliamentary elections on the grounds of their questionable loyalty to the regime.
Iran Focus: Tehran, Dec. 13 - Workers and local residents in the northern Iranian city of Amol clashed with the security forces, leaving scores injured and a number of security vehicles destroyed. Workers from Amol's Textile Factory demonstrated outside the local governor's office after the factory claimed bankruptcy whilst owing the workers back-pay ...
Reuters: Three European powers and Iran have begun talks on a long-term agreement on nuclear, economic and security cooperation with both sides seeking to build trust amid continuing suspicion over Tehran's atomic programme. The meeting between Iranian negotiator Hassan Rohani, the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany and EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana followed Iran's agreement last month to suspend activities that could help make a nuclear bomb.
Amnesty International: A 19-year old girl, Leyla M, who has a mental age of eight, reportedly faces imminent execution for morality-related offences after being forced into prostitution by her mother as a child. According to a Tehran newspaper report of 28 November, she was sentenced to death by a court in the central Iranian city of Arak and the sentence has now been passed to the Supreme Court for confirmation.
AFP: Iran's conservative-held parliament has decided to investigate the activities of the ministry of culture and Islamic guidance, one of the few institutions still run by reformers, the official news agency IRNA reported Monday. According to the report, deputies in the parliament's culture committee ...
AFP: Iran's reformist government admitted Monday that it was concerned over how the hardline judiciary managed to exact written apologies and confessions from several detained dissident journalists. "People making statements that go against their convictions cannot win the confidence of public opinion and raise questions," government spokesman Abdollah Ramazanzadeh told journalists.