Los Angeles Times: In a major concession to European allies and a blow to the administration's most conservative supporters, the United States has agreed to abandon its objections to Iranian membership in the World Trade Organization, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said today.
Reuters: Britain, France and Germany told their European Union partners on Friday they would support referring Iran to the U.N. Security Council if it resumes uranium enrichment or breaches nuclear commitments. The three European powers said in a letter to EU president Luxembourg that "progress is not as fast as we would wish" in talks launched last December to persuade Tehran to end its most sensitive nuclear work in return for economic and political benefits.
AP: The European Union will support U.S. calls to bring Tehran before the U.N. Security Council for possible sanctions unless it agrees to scrap the technology that can be used to make nuclear arms, according to a document obtained Friday by The Associated Press. If Iran does not agree, ``We shall have no choice but to support referring Iran's nuclear program to the U.N. Security Council,'' said the confidential EU document on the state of negotiations on uranium enrichment between Iran, Germany, France and Britain.
Washington Times: As Washington considers backing the European Union's proposal for trade benefits for Iran, troubling revelations emerged this week about Tehran's continued mislead-and-cheat tactics to hide the extent of its nuclear weapons program. The International Atomic Energy Agency revealed earlier that the clerical regime had refused the inspection of the Parchin military site near Tehran. It also reported that Iran has started building a heavy-water reactor near the central city of Arak.
Reuters: The Bush administration, in a major shift, will adopt a European proposal to offer Iran economic incentives to abandon its nuclear ambitions, U.S. and European officials say. The United States is expected to allow Iran to join the World Trade Organisation and buy aircraft spare parts and, in return, Britain, France and Germany have agreed to refer Iran to the U.N. Security Council if it fails to give up its suspected nuclear weapons program, the officials said.
Washington Post: President Bush has decided to back European allies in their plan to offer economic incentives to persuade Iran to abandon any effort to build nuclear weapons, a sharp shift in policy for a government that had long refused to bargain for Tehran's cooperation, senior administration officials said yesterday.
New York Times: A Pakistani official said Thursday that his country's disgraced nuclear scientist, Abdul Qadeer Khan, had given centrifuges to Iran, but not with the government's consent. It was Pakistan's first specific public declaration of the nuclear technology that had been sold to Iran, though it stopped short of saying what else had been supplied by Dr. Khan's black-market network. The official, Information Minister Sheik Rashid Ahmed, did not discuss sales to other nations and he reiterated Pakistan's refusal to let foreign investigators interview Dr. Khan.
Reuters: Pakistan acknowledged on Thursday for the first time that a disgraced Pakistani scientist at the centre of a nuclear black market gave Iran centrifuges which can be used to make atomic weapons.
Centrifuges purify uranium for use as fuel in atomic power plants or bombs. Washington believes Iran's centrifuge programme, which it concealed from U.N. inspectors for nearly two decades, is at the heart of clandestine atom bomb plans.
Reuters: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Thursday U.S. and European views on how to deal with Iran's nuclear program are converging, a sign Washington may be closer to backing incentives for Tehran. "I think we are really coming to a common view of how to proceed," Rice said when asked about European diplomatic efforts to persuade Iran to give up its suspected nuclear arms program.
AFP: Iran's hardline Revolutionary Guards are to put on public display three boats seized from British troops last year, state media reported on Thursday. In a move likely to revive British anger over the incident, the report said the captured boats -- which Britain has been trying to get back -- would be shown off to the public near where they were captured.
AFP: An Iranian opposition group said Thursday Pakistan's admission its disgraced nuclear hero Abdul Qadeer Khan had sold centrifuges to Iran proved the Iranian regime lied about its nuclear intentions. "Todays acknowledgement by the government of Pakistan once again reveals the clerical regimes pattern of lies and deception to the world community and as the Iranian resistance had reiterated earlier, leaves no doubt that the mullahs are in pursuit of nuclear weapons," the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) said in a statement.
AFP: European lawmakers Thursday urged Iran to stop making "confusing and contradictory" statements about its nuclear programme and reaffirm its commitment to suspend uranium enrichment. The motion was approved at the European Parliament as Iranian and officials from three key EU countries were deadlocked in talks pressing Tehran to give up uranium enrichment, a fuel process that can also be used in making nuclear bombs.
AFP: Pakistan's disgraced nuclear hero Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan provided Iran with centrifuges but the government was in no way involved in the deal, a cabinet minister said Thursday. "Dr Qadeer has provided Iran with centrifuges but the government of Pakistan had nothing to do with it. He gave them from the black market. Pakistan government was not involved," Information Minister Sheikh Rashid told AFP.
Financial Times: Iranian state radio reported on Thursday that three gun-boats seized from British forces in June were to be put on public display. The radio said the boats - which were being delivered to the Iraqi river police - would go on show in Arvand-Kenar, in Khuzestan province.
Reuters: The United States has reminded India about its concerns over Iran, as New Delhi prepares for talks on a $4 billion pipeline to bring Iranian natural gas to South Asia, a newspaper said on Thursday. U.S. ambassador to New Delhi David Mulford told the Oil Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar that Washington faced serious difficulties with Iran because of its nuclear programme, and there appeared no immediate solution, the Indian Express said.
Iran Focus: Tehran, Mar. 09 - On the event of International Women's Day, 1,000 women staged a demonstration at central Tehrans Laleh Park yesterday afternoon.
Clashes erupted between the protesters and State Security Forces (SSF) as local residents reported tight security in the vicinity of the park since daybreak.
Iran Focus: Tehran, Mar. 07 The ending ceremony of the sixth national student newspaper festival turned into a demonstration yesterday as over 1,000 students from universities across the city of Mashad (northeast Iran) heckled the regime's Minister of Health, forcing him to flee the event. Students took the podium and jeered the government minister, shouting slogans and demanding the release of political prisoners and an end to the crackdown on students in Iran's universities.