AFP: Iran has warned of the danger of deadlock in decisive talks over its controversial nuclear programme, as the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany prepare to meet in Geneva on Wednesday with Iran's top negotiator Hassan Rowhani. "The negotiations are so far not entirely satisfactory, but I don't think they have been negative either," Iranian President Mohammad Khatami said in Tehran.
Daily Telegraph: Make-or-break talks between Europe and Iran are doomed to failure and US military action will only delay, not halt, Teheran's suspected nuclear weapons programme, a leading think-tank predicted yesterday. In a gloomy assessment, the London-based International Institute of Strategic Studies said America had no simple military way of stopping Iran going nuclear.
AFP: The United States on Tuesday shrugged off Iran's move to allow two reformists to run in the upcoming presidential election, saying the poll remained fundamentally undemocratic. The State Department said the decision by the hardline Guardians Council, under pressure by supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, raised the field in next month's vote from six to eight but did little else.
AFP: Iranian human rights lawyer and Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi has said she won't be voting in next month's presidential election because of the disqualification of large numbers of candidates. "I do not see these elections as free. It is not a free one because not all the candidates get approved and a number of them are disqualified.
BBC: French carmaker Renault is to build its Megane saloon model in Iran from 2006. The firm's joint venture with Iran's Industrial Development and Renovation Organisation and two leading carmakers will make about 15,000 Meganes a year. The car is the second to be introduced by Renault to Iran following the Logan, a stripped-down version of the Clio Supermini, also due for a 2006 release.
U.S. Newswire: On May 18, Human Rights Watch (HRW) released a report; "No exit: human rights violations in People's Mojahedin Organization's camps", accusing an Iranian opposition group, Mojahedin e-Khalq (MEK), of mistreatment of its members. This unprecedented report raises serious questions for the public, thus, Association of Iranian-Americans in New York (AIA) will hold a press conference at 1 UN Plaza Hotel on Wednesday, May 25, at 11 a.m. to Noon to discuss the validity of Human Right Watch's report.
AFP: The main Iranian opposition group, in exile and based in France, on Tuesday condemned the European Union for its so-called "betrayal" for negotiating with Tehran on its controversial nuclear program. "Negotiating with the mullahs' regime constitutes a betrayal," Mohammed Mohaddessin, an official in the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), told a news conference, accusing Tehran of massive human rights violations.
Iran Focus: London, May 24 More than a dozen British parliamentarians today called on the government to support the Iranian opposition, while denouncing a recent report by U.S.-based Human Rights Watch on the most active Iranian opposition group, the Peoples Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI), during a conference in the House of Commons.
Reuters: Negotiations between Iran and the European Union on the Iranian nuclear programme are more difficult than ever and the chances of averting a breakdown are only 50-50, a senior Iranian negotiator said on Tuesday. The foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany and EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana will meet top Iranian negotiator ...
AFP: Negotiations this week between Iran and Europe on Tehran's nuclear programmes have a "50-50" chance of success, a top Iranian official said Tuesday after initial discussions among senior officials. "We are at the most difficult part of the negotiation," said Hossein Moussavian, top nuclear negotiator and member of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, after the closed-door talks in Brussels.
AFP: The United States said Monday it was "deeply troubled" by the disqualification of reformist presidential candidates in Iran, and vowed to stand by the Iranian people in fighting for democracy. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice led a strong attack on Tehran after the its hardline clergy barred more than 1,000 would-be contenders from the June 17 poll, leaving the field open to a handful of conservatives.
Iran Focus: Tehran, May 23 Hundreds of students demonstrated in and around Tehran University this evening, setting tyres alight and protesting what they said was an upcoming sham presidential election. Chants of down with dictatorship, down with tyranny, and referendum, referendum, this is what the people demand could be heard all around the university campus.
Iran Focus: Washington, May 23 - Colorado's Iranian-American Society will tomorrow hold a press conference on the implications of a recent report issued by New York-based Human Rights Watch on the Iranian opposition group People's Mujahedeen of Iran (MEK). The conference scheduled to take place at 11:00 a.m. in downtown Denver is expected to criticise HRW for the 28-page document which the Society says is based on a series of lies from the Iranian Information Ministry agents.
AFP: Senior deputies in Iran's conservative-controlled parliament have called for a review of diplomatic and commercial ties with Canada amid a continuing dispute over the murder here of Iranian-Canadian photographer Zahra Kazemi, a report said Monday. A statement from the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee said that in response to Ottawa's decision to "constrain" relations with ...
AFP: The European Union voiced deep disappointment Monday over the decision by Iran's election watchdog to eliminate many pro-reform candidates for June presidential polls. Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn, whose country currently holds the EU's rotating presidency, also presses Tehran to abide by its nuclear commitments ahead of crunch talks with European negotiators this week.
AFP: Iran must meet basic "commitments" -- including an international ban on nuclear weapons development and transparency in its upcoming presidential election, before it can be admitted to the World Trade Organization, White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Monday. McClellan said the White House in March gave its support to a European offer to help Iran gain admittance to the WTO, in exchange for assurances it would abandon its nuclear efforts.
AFP: British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw on Monday pressed Iran to stick by commitments to freeze its nuclear activities, ahead of what he said will be "tough" talks with the European Union this week. Arriving for a regular ministerial talks in Brussels, he confirmed that the talks -- between Iran and the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany, plus EU foreign policy head Javier Solana - will take place in Geneva on Wednesday.