Washington Times: Britain, France and Germany recently persuaded President Bush to let them offer bigger carrots in their negotiations to coax Iran to abandon its nuclear ambitions. The new carrot ending U.S. objections to Iran's membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO), a long process probably requiring the best part of a decade. Understandably, this has elicited more yawns than yelps among the bearded turbans of Tehran and Qum.
AFP: India's oil minister Mani Shankar Aiyar Monday said he would visit Islamabad in the second half of May to discuss the modalities of a gas pipeline from Iran through Pakistan to India.
"Over the weekend, I received an invite from the Pakistan Prime Minister through their High Commission (embassy) in India to visit Islamabad in April," Aiyar told reporters in New Delhi, the Press Trust of India (PTI) news agency said.
Los Angeles Times: In its scramble to marshal resources for gathering intelligence on Al Qaeda and Iraq, the CIA shut down a spy ring it was operating in South America that was providing a rare glimpse of the activities of Iranian militants and intelligence networks, according to a former agency official involved in the operation.
New York Times - Magazine: Imagine with me a nation's security leaders sitting around the conference table being briefed on the progress of things in Iraq. They celebrate the overwhelming victory of their favorites in the Iraqi elections. They are pleased with the effectiveness of their huge investment in building schools and hospitals in Shiite communities. They are delighted that the thousands of their security forces in Iraq are doing well, with few casualties. The nation? Iran.
AFP: An Egyptian was jailed for 35 years by an emergency tribunal Sunday for spying for Iran and plotting to assassinate Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in a sentence that cannot be appealed. The court also sentenced former Iranian diplomat Mohammed Reza Doust to 25 years' imprisonment in absentia for being Egyptian Mahmud Aid Dabbus's handler.
Reuters: A Cairo court sentenced an Egyptian to 35 years in prison Sunday after finding him guilty of spying for the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and planning to assassinate Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
Iran Focus: London, Mar. 26 The European Union must immediately abandon its failed and counterproductive policy of appeasement" towards Iran and instead support the democratic aspirations of the Iranian people and their resistance, according to a London-based legal expert.
Iran Focus: Tehran, 25. Mar At least five people were killed and dozens left injured outside the Azadi stadium in Tehran after anti-government protests erupted at the end of the IranJapan World Cup qualifier football match this evening. Eye-witnesses reported that the regime used special anti-riot units and hundreds of State Security Forces (SSF) to launch an offensive on the 100,000-strong crowd, after spectators started chanting anti-government slogans.
Boston Globe: A member of an exiled Iranian opposition group said yesterday that Iran's government has just completed a secret underground facility to enrich uranium using laser technology, and began a second, secret construction project at the same site earlier this month.
AP: Iran is quietly building a stockpile of thousands of high-tech small arms and other military equipment - from armor-piercing snipers' rifles to night-vision goggles - through legal weapons deals and a U.N. anti-drug program, according to an internal U.N. document, arms dealers and Western diplomats.
Los Angeles Times: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice criticized Israel in unusually sharp terms Thursday, warning that its plans to expand an Israeli West Bank settlement was "at odds with American policy" and could threaten progress toward peace with the Palestinians at a critical moment.
Washington Post: Halliburton Co., the world's largest oil-field services company, has pledged not to seek new work in Iran, a country accused by the State Department of state-sponsored terrorism, said New York City Comptroller William C. Thompson, a steward of pension funds holding company stock ...
AP: Iranian engineers have built a secret underground storage area for use as a uranium enrichment facility in a restricted military area of interest to the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency, an Iranian exile said Thursday. The exile - Alireza Jafarzadeh - said by telephone from Washington that the ``camouflaged tunnel-like facility'' was completed recently at Parchin, a sprawling Iranian military complex about 20 miles southeast of Tehran.
Reuters: An Iranian exile accused Tehran on Thursday of secretly purifying uranium for use in nuclear weapons at a recently-constructed underground facility at a military complex called Parchin. "Iran has completed an underground tunnel-like facility in Parchin, which is now engaged in laser enrichment," said Alireza Jafarzadeh, an Iranian exile who has reported accurately in the past about hidden atomic facilities in Iran.
New York Times: Iran and its European negotiating partners struggled without success on Wednesday to break an impasse on reaching a long-term agreement on nuclear, economic and security cooperation. But the Iranian side presented new proposals to provide further assurances to the Europeans that Iran's nuclear program is peaceful, and the two sides have agreed to meet again soon, participants said.
Reuters: Iran and the European Union's three biggest powers ended talks on Wednesday with no agreement on how to resolve the standoff over Iran's nuclear programme, officials at the talks said. Sirus Naseri, a senior Iranian negotiator, told reporters that Iran would not consider terminating sensitive atomic work that could be used in weapons, as demanded by France, Britain and Germany, but said all four parties would meet again soon to continue negotiations.
Reuters: The European Union's three biggest powers were holding talks with Iran on Wednesday to try to persuade it to abandon nuclear enrichment technology that could be used to make weapons.
The meeting was the latest step in a diplomatic initiative that began in October 2003 when Iran first promised to suspend all work linked to the enrichment of uranium, a process of purifying uranium for use as fuel in power plants or bombs.