Iran Focus: Tehran, Jan. 08 An Iranian man who took part in human rights protests in front of the United Nations office in Iran in October has been sentenced to five years and three months in prison and 60 lashes. Bina Darabvand took part in protests organised by family members of political prisoners outside the UN building in Tehran calling on the world body to condemn torture being carried out on their relatives.
AP: A militant leader suspected of involvement in beheadings and bloody attacks in Iraq confessed to Iraqi authorities his group's links with Iran and Syria, according to footage aired by the US-based and funded Alhurra television.
Iran Focus: Tehran, Jan. 07 - Irans vice-President in the Headquarters to Combat Narcotics announced drug abuse is affecting 11 million Iranians across the country. Dr. Ali Hashemi said that this staggeringly high figure represented people from all walks of life, including families whose lives had been totally destroyed due to drug abuse by family members.
Iran Focus: Tehran, Jan. 07 - Iran announced there are at least half a million Iraqis presently in the country eligible to vote in the upcoming January 30th election in Iraq. More than 500,000 Iraqis residing in Iran can take part in (Iraqs) January elections, Ahmad Hosseini, the head of Foreign Citizens Office of the Interior Ministry, said on Wednesday.
Human Rights Watch: After testifying to a presidential commission about their torture during detention, a group of Iranian journalists have received death threats from judicial officials under Tehran chief prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch is extremely concerned about the safety of the journalists, whose testimony to a presidential commission, tasked with investigating mistreatment of detainees, provided detailed ...
AFP: French President Jacques Chirac warned Iran to stick to its pledge to European powers to suspend nuclear activities, saying that adherence would give it access to legitimate technology. "In terms of the fight against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, Iran's case show the path to take," he told an annual New Year's meeting of foreign ambassadors in Paris.
AFP: Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari urged Iran and other neighbouring countries Thursday to refrain from interfering in his country's elections, as representatives met on this month's landmark vote. "The message we're going to give them in this meeting is to refrain from any interference ... that would affect the outcome of this election," Zebari told reporters in Amman.
AFP: Deputies in Iran's conservative-run parliament have begun preparing designs for what will be a new national costume aimed at stemming the encroachment of Western fashion, a top MP said Thursday. Emad Afroogh, head of the Majlis cultural commission, said MPs have been "meeting with designers to come up with an interesting variety of affordable, nationally inspired designs that will also respond to modern needs."
Reporters Without Border: Reporters Without Borders has condemned the mistreatment in prison of cyberdissidents and webloggers after an Iranian committee report concluded that public confessions of two of them, (photo left), were obtained under duress. "We fear that the authorities are succeeding in purging the web of all critical content through brutality, intimidation and censorship," the worldwide press freedom organisation said.
Iran Focus: Baghdad, Jan. 06 - Iraqs Defence Minister Hazem Shaalan scolded Iran on the eve of the meeting by the Foreign Ministers of Iraqs neighbouring countries in Amman and said that over a million Iranians had entered the country to pose as Iraqis in the upcoming January 30th elections. In an interview with the Kuwaiti daily Al-Qabas yesterday, Shaalan repeated his previous assertions and accused the Iranian regime of, interfering (in Iraq) with money, guns, and intelligence.
AFP: Jordan's King Abdullah II said in comments published here Thursday that his declarations about a Shiite "crescent" were "blown out of proportion" by certain quarters in Iran.
"My statements on the Shiite crescent were blown out of proportion by some in Iran and interpreted to the contrary of my intentions," said the monarch in an interview with Al-Rai Al-Aam newspaper.
New York Times: Iran has agreed to allow nuclear inspectors from the United Nations into a major military complex that the United States has long suspected of being a secret site for nuclear weapons development, officials from the International Atomic Energy Agency said Wednesday.
Iran Focus: Paris, Jan. 06 An Iranian human rights exhibition was opened for the second time in Paris yesterday depicting human rights violations in Iran since the 1979 revolution.
The event was sponsored by some 34 European human rights organisations and will be open to the general public until next week.
Iran Focus: Tehran, Jan. 05 There are more than 600,000 illiterate people in East Azerbaijan province (northwest Iran), according to the head of Literacy Front of East Azerbaijan.
This figure represents seventeen percent of the provinces population, Mokhtar Mohammadian said.
AFP: The UN atomic agency will visit "within the next few weeks" the Parchin military facility in Iran where the US charges that Tehran is carrying out simulation testing of atomic weapons, the agency's chief Mohamed ElBaradei told AFP Wednesday.
"We expect to visit Parchin within the next few weeks," ElBaradei said.
ElBaradei's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has been seeking to visit Parchin since July.