Iran Focus: Rome, May 11 - Romes Criminal Court started this morning the trial in absentia of an official of the Iranian government accused of taking part in the killing of the representative of the opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) in Italy. Mohammad Hossein Naghdi, who defected to the NCRI when he was the Iranian charge d'affaires in Italy in 1981, was murdered by a gunmen allegedly working for Iran's notorious Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS), on March 16, 1993.
Iran Focus: Washington, May 11 A briefing was held in the United States Congress yesterday entitled Iraq's Future: The Iranian Impact on the initiative of the Iran Human Rights and Democracy Caucus in the House of Representatives, co-chaired by Congressman Thomas Tancredo (R-Col) and Congressman Bob Filner (D-Cal). The panel included, Dr. Sa'd Abdullah Al-Jabouri, the former governor of Iraqs Diyala province, which borders Iran and is where the main Iranian opposition Peoples Mojahedin (PMOI) are based.
The Guardian: The Iranian government threatened to provoke a full-blown international crisis yesterday by confirming that it is to resume its suspended nuclear programme. A British Foreign Office spokesman said such a move would automatically halt two years of negotiations between Tehran and the European trio - Britain, France and Germany - and see immediate referral to the United Nations security council.
Washington Times - Op-Ed, By Ali Safavi: Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi's defiant proclamation at the United Nations that Iran will press on with its nuclear-enrichment program is yet another ominous sign that ruling mullacracy is hellbent on obtaining the A-bomb. In early April, the Iranian National Council of Resistance revealed Tehran had been digging tunnels close to the Parchin military facility, a suspected nuclear site northeast of the capital, to disguise its nuclear-enrichment activities.
Finanacial Times: Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani announced on Tuesday he would stand in the June 17 Iranian presidential election for the post he previously held between 1989 and 1997. In a written statement, Mr Rafsanjani called the decision "one of the most difficult of all my years of political activity", ...
Human Rights Watch: The Iranian government should immediately release Yusuf Azizi Banitaraf, an Iranian journalist of Arab descent, and allow independent journalists and human rights monitors to report on a government crackdown on protests in the southern province of Khuzistan, Human Rights Watch said today. Plainclothes agents arrested Banitaraf, who has written 20 books on ethnic minorities in Iran, in Tehran on April 25 during a press conference held by the nongovernmental Center for the Defense of Human Rights.
Reuters: France urged Iran on Tuesday not to carry out a threat to resume uranium enrichment-related activities, which the European Union and the United States fear could be a step towards developing nuclear weapons. Fellow EU member Britain said that any resumption would spell an end to European negotiations with Tehran over the long-term future of its nuclear programme.
AFP: Students from one of the Iranian capital's main universities staged a sit-in on Tuesday for the first time in months to protest at human rights violations and the jailing of political activists, witnesses said. The gathering in Amir Kabir university, one of the most active centres of political dissent in the Islamic republic in recent years, totalled some 200 peaceful demonstrators amid tight security and there was no sign of violence.
AFP: The Iranian ambassador to the Netherlands was summoned to the foreign ministry here Tuesday after a Dutch member of parliament of Iranian descent charged that she had been harassed while on a trip to Teheran. "The minister has summoned the Iranian ambassador to the ministry and he will write a letter to his Iranian counterpart to demand information about what happend," Foreign Minister Ben Bot's spokesman Bart Jochems said.
AFP: The international nuclear energy watchdog fears that a resumption by Iran of sensitive nuclear activity is inevitable, diplomats in Vienna said Tuesday. Earlier Tehran said it would decide within days whether to resume some such activities, despite fresh warnings that the move could bring talks with the European Union to an end and result in possible UN sanctions.
Reuters: Iran shrugged off U.S. and EU warnings that it could be hauled before the U.N. Security Council and confirmed on Tuesday it would resume some sensitive nuclear work very soon. "The decision to resume some activities has been taken and now we are discussing the timing for resuming. But this decision is imminent as well," Mohammad Saeedi, deputy head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation, told Reuters.
Financial Times: European governments intend to call a crisis meeting of the United Nations nuclear watchdog's governing board next week if Iran carries out its threat to resume sensitive nuclear processes, western diplomats in Vienna said on Tuesday. The meeting at the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency would discuss the prospects of a referral of the Iran nuclear dispute to the UN Security Council, where the US would lobby for sanctions.
AFP: European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana said he favors transferring the case of Iran's nuclear activities to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) if talks break down between Iran and the EU, the Russian news agency Interfax reported Tuesday.
Reuters: Schoolgirls, factory workers and wizened clerics flowed into Iran's Interior Ministry on Tuesday to register to stand for president in an election next month, annoying officials who said they were time-wasters.
The Interior Ministry has flung open its doors for five days of registration for the June 17 poll.
AFP: An Iranian man convicted of murder has been hanged in prison in the Caspian Sea town of Noshahr, the Jomhuri Eslami newspaper reported on Tuesday.
Quoted by the paper, a judiciary official in the port city said 23-year-old Majid Alghosi was executed for killing Siavosh Abassian in a family feud some four years ago. No further details were given.
AFP: Iran will decide within the next few days on whether to resume some sensitive nuclear activities that were suspended as part of a deal with the European Union, a senior official told AFP on Tuesday. "It (the decision) will come at the end of the week (Friday), at the latest," said Ali Agha Mohammadi, a spokesman for the Islamic republic's Supreme National Security Council.
Financial Times: Senior British officials warned last night that talks with Iran over its nuclear ambitions were on the point of collapse and that it risked referral to the United Nations Security Council.