Iran Focus: Washington, DC, May 26 - A press briefing is being held today in the National Press Building in the United States capital on a recent report by Human Rights Watch on the Iranian opposition which has so far been met with international criticism. Human Rights Watchs 28-page report on alleged human rights violations by the main Iranian opposition group, the Peoples Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI, ...
Iran Focus: London, May 26 The London-based international human rights watchdog, Amnesty International, in its 2005 annual report, released this week, strongly criticised Irans theocratic regime for its continuing gross violation of human rights. Scores of political prisoners, including prisoners of conscience, continued to serve prison sentences imposed following unfair trials in previous years, the report noted.
Los Angeles Times: The International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed that Pakistan turned over uranium enrichment components Wednesday that could help solve one of the biggest mysteries in the inquiry on Iran's disputed nuclear program. Centrifuge components and uranium samples were flown from Pakistan to Vienna and handed over to the IAEA at its main laboratory, where they will be compared with suspicious traces of enriched uranium discovered in 2003 in Iran.
Reuters: The United States will not block Iran's application to join the World Trade Organization when the issue comes before the WTO General Council on Thursday, as part of a nuclear-related deal between Tehran and key European states, a senior U.S. official said on Wednesday.
AFP: The European Union and Iran gave themselves breathing space in their talks on Tehran's controversial nuclear programme on Wednesday by agreeing to return to the table in August -- after Iran's presidential elections next month. Following a three-hour meeting in Geneva with Iran's chief negotiator Hassan Rowhani, the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany, representing the 25-member EU, pledged to come up with concrete proposals on cooperation by the end of July.
AFP: US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice reacted coolly Wednesday to reports of a possible compromise on Iran's nuclear program, insisting that Tehran must completely halt its suspect activities. In an interview with AFP as European and Iranian negotiators held crucial talks in Geneva, Rice also left up in the air a US promise to lift objections to Tehran's applying for membership in the World Trade Organization.
Iran Focus: Tehran, May 25 A young man was hanged in public in the southern Iranian city of Ahwaz, accused of armed robbery and disturbing the peace.
The original sentence of the man, only identified as Akbar M., had been upheld by the State Supreme Court.
Washington Times: The main Iranian opposition group, in exile and based in France, yesterday condemned the European Union's "betrayal" for negotiations with Tehran on its nuclear program. "Negotiating with the mullahs' regime constitutes a betrayal," Mohammed Mohaddessin, an official of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, said at a press conference. He accused Tehran of human rights violations.
Washington Post: European officials who met with Iranian negotiators yesterday to discuss the country's nuclear program went further than the Bush administration had wanted by leaving open the possibility that Tehran could conduct preliminary work with uranium in the future, said diplomats from several countries involved in the talks in Brussels.
New York Times: It is an election as contradictory as Iran itself: the front-runner is a pillar of the Islamic Revolution now cast as the man who can curb the excesses of hard-line clerics and improve relations with the country's bogeyman, the United States.
Indeed, this politician, Ali Akhbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a former president and self-styled free-marketer, cloaks himself in the trappings of a reformist as carefully as he wears his tailored blue-gray clerical robes.
AFP: The world community must "do everything" to stop Iran from one day gaining access to nuclear weapons, Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn, whose country currently holds the EU presidency, said on Wednesday. "Everything must be done to avoid having a new country in this very precarious region of the world acquiring a nuclear bomb," Asselborn told reporters on the sidelines of a Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council Security Forum meeting in the central Swedish town of Aare.
Financial Times: The US warned European ministers on Tuesday to stand firm in negotiations with Iran and reject any proposal that could allow the partial resumption of Tehran's controversial nuclear programme.
The warning, given as the foreign ministers of France, Germany and the UK prepared to meet Iranian negotiators in Geneva on Wednesday, underlines the risk that the talks might break up or lead to increased transatlantic tension.
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.