BBC: Iran is becoming an increasingly dangerous place to keep an online diary. Web logs have become a popular forum for dissent. And the Iranian government has responded by arresting dozens of bloggers. Some of those detained are reportedly being held in solitary confinement and tortured.
AP: Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Ukraine are likely to dominate this week's summit between President Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin, Slovakia's prime minister said. Bush arrives in Slovakia late Wednesday after visiting Belgium and Germany. He will meet with Slovak officials on Thursday before his talks with Putin - Bush's first meeting with the Russian leader since he began his second term.
Iran Focus: Baghdad, Feb. 21 The governor of the Iraqi province of Wasit accused Tehran of meddling in Iraqi affairs, disrupting the peace, and creating instability and havoc in his province, which shares a common border with the Islamic Republic. "The Iranian ambassador in Baghdad came to meet me and called for friendly relations. I told him, the people of Al-Kut (Wasits capital) are suffering from Iranian agents who are involved in acts of theft, narcotics distribution, smuggling, and assassination of personalities", he said, in an interview with the Baghdad journal Al-Shahid Al-Mostaqel on Friday.
International Herald Tribune: During the run-up to the U.S.-led war against Iraq in early 2003, Javier Solana retreated from public view, more content to keep a very low profile out of character with his role as Europe's top foreign policy chief than to engage in the bitter diplomatic exchanges over the pending war.
AFP: There are grounds for concern if Iraqi interim Vice President Ibrahim al-Jaafari is picked as Iraq's new prime minister, Senator Hillary Clinton said Sunday, pointing to his ties to neighboring Iran. Clinton was interviewed from Iraq alongside Republican Senator John McCain, who said Jaafari appeared likely to become the next premier.
Newsweek: Fresh intel suggests that Tehran is trying to expand its influence over whatever government emerges in postelection Iraq. According to U.S. officials familiar with the latest intelligence, the Iranian government has been secretly directing its agents inside Iraq to plant themselves in influential positions throughout the Iraqi governmentinto agencies ...
AFP: Iran's foreign minister is to begin a three-day visit to India Sunday for talks following New Delhi's decision to launch discussions on securing gas to fuel its energy-hungry economy.
Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazzi will address the India-Iran Joint Business Council Meeting Monday before holding talks with his Indian counterpart Natwar Singh, the Indian foreign ministry said in a statement Saturday.
AFP: President Vladimir Putin said Friday Russia was convinced Iran has no intention of making nuclear weapons, but warned Tehran must "strictly respect" rules to make sure it does not do so in exchange for Russian help in developing its civilian nuclear power program. "The latest steps on Iran's behalf persuade us that Iran has no intention of building an atomic weapon," Putin said as he greeted Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Hassan Rowhani, at the Kremlin.
Reuters: President George W. Bush said on Friday that Iran is trying to use the United States' refusal to join European talks over Tehran's nuclear program as an excuse for not giving up uranium enrichment. He stressed that the United States preferred diplomacy and did not want to use military action against Iran over the nuclear question.
Iran Focus: Tehran, Feb. 18 A senior Iranian official today shrugged off the threat of referral to the United Nations Security Council for its perceived nuclear weapons program, saying that Iran did not fear the implications of such an action.
Iran Focus: Tehran, Feb. 17 - A hunger strike by seven political prisoners in Iran's Rajaii Shahr prison near Karaj (west of Tehran) has entered its third week. The hunger strike by the prisoners started on January 25 in protest to their confinement in the "dangerous criminals" section. Reports have surfaced that the political prisoners have been faced with assault and intimidation from murderers and other dangerous criminals. The seven prisoners are Hojjat Zamani, Bina Darab-Zand, Arzhang Davoodi, Valiollah-Feyz Mahdavi, Mehrdad Lohrasbi, Dr. Farzad Hamidi, and Jaafar Iqdami.
UPI: Iran is already under attack. The opposition is at work both within and beyond its borders, restless, coordinating and sharing intelligence. Its ranks number in the tens of thousands, most of whom are young and savvy with experience in clandestine activity. Their arsenal, however, includes neither guns nor grenades, but keyboards and flat-screen monitors.
AFP: Iran warned Thursday that it would respond immediately to any military strike after a roadworks blast near a nuclear site sparked fears of an attack, the state news agency IRNA reported Thursday.
"An attack, whatever it is, against any site, whether it be nuclear or not, would produce a very rapid response," Defence Minister Ali Shamkhani said.
Reuters: Russia will sign a deal with Iran next week to start nuclear fuel shipments for the Russian-built reactor there, an Iranian official said on Thursday. The United States, which accuses Iran of secretly working to develop nuclear weapons, has long called on Russia to avoid supplying the Islamic state with nuclear fuel.
Combined dispatches: Washington, Feb. 17 - United State President George W. Bush today called on Iran to adhere to its international obligations and called Iran's possession of nuclear weapons "unacceptable". At a White House press conference to introduce John Negroponte as the new national intelligence chief, Bush said Iran had kept its program secret over the past two decades until it was exposed by an Iranian group.
Voice of America: Experts and other witnesses appearing before a congressional committee say Iran continues to support terrorist groups and is encouraging instability in Iraq. A hearing also included emotional testimony by individuals affected by Iranian-backed terrorism. From Israel and the Palestinian territories to Iraq and elsewhere, witnesses at Wednesday's hearing said Iran's ongoing sponsorship of terrorism is indisputable, and poses a direct and continuing threat to U.S. interests.
AFP: When US President George W. Bush comes to town next week, Washington's European allies will be hoping to extinguish the heat of transatlantic rancour over Iraq. But just as one issue gets switched to the backburner for Bush's participation next Tuesday in EU and NATO summits, another in the form of Iran's nuclear ambitions threatens a fresh flare-up.