AP: Iran toughened its position over its nuclear program Sunday, vowing to maintain its demand to exempt 20 centrifuges it says it wants for research despite international efforts to save a deal committing Tehran to freeze uranium enrichment and all related activities. Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi also said Tehran was not worried about being referred to the U.N. Security Council for possible sanctions.
New York Times: Iran's foreign minister said Saturday that Iran had every right to keep, for research purposes, some centrifuges that could be used to enrich uranium, an indication that a standoff on the country's nuclear program may not be easily resolved. "Iran's demand to keep 20 centrifuges is not against its commitments," said the minister, Kamal Kharrazi, the IRNA news agency reported.
New York Times: When Friday Prayer here finishes at about two o'clock in the afternoon, hundreds of worshipers parade toward waiting buses east of Tehran University, shouting canned rhetoric against America and Israel, defining themselves by their animosity toward others. Watching this ritual, one cannot help but ask a soul-searching question: "How can such a small minority of vocal people - totally orchestrated worshipers and their security guards - set the agenda for a nation of 70 million people?"
Reuters: France, Britain and Germany told Iran on Saturday if they had not reached a final agreement to freeze key parts of its atomic program by Monday, they would not stop moves to seek sanctions against Tehran, diplomats said. "The Iranians were told that if there's no deal by Monday, they (the EU) would no longer block a referral to the U.N. Security Council when the (U.N. nuclear watchdog) reconvenes," a Western diplomat told Reuters.
Reuters: Iran is working on a secret nuclear programme for military purposes despite promising the European Union it would halt all activities related to uranium enrichment, the news magazine Der Spiegel said on Saturday.
AFP: Informal Iran-EU talks to rescue an agreement on a promised Iranian freeze of key nuclear fuel-making activities broke off Saturday, opening the door to possible UN sanctions against Tehran, diplomats said. "We have no progress. It is up to the Iranians now to ponder what they will do," a European diplomat close to the talks told AFP. "They have a very serious decision to make.".
AFP: A top US commander has warned Iran and other countries to never underestimate US air and naval power, discounting concerns that US forces are too tied down in Iraq to respond to challenges elsewhere.
Associated Press: A top Iraqi official has been briefing Iranian officials on his country's ongoing problems with militants and demanding help from Tehran in curbing the infiltration of terrorists over the border into Iraq.
CNN: Iran's Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi said the new draft resolution put forward by three European powers at a key meeting of the U.N. nuclear watchdog is still unacceptable despite recent changes, Iran's state-run news agency reported Saturday.
AFP: The standoff between Iran and the international community over its nuclear programme is headed towards "normalisation", a top cleric said on Friday, despite a row over whether Tehran has fully suspend uranium enrichment. "It is excluded that the issue will come before the UN Security Council. The affair is heading towards normalisation," Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati said in a Friday sermon in Tehran.
New York Times: Iran and its European partners struggled Friday to salvage their agreement committing Tehran to freeze an important part of its nuclear program, European and Iranian officials said. But the two sides were so far apart that their talks were put off until Monday.
Washington Post: Despite intense pressure from other nations, Iran failed to provide written assurances yesterday that it was fully suspending its nuclear program, though Tehran's negotiators promised a commitment would be forthcoming, U.S. and European diplomats said.
The Guardian: Iran agreed to freeze all its nuclear programme last night, dropping its insistence that some uranium enrichment activities be exempted from a deal with the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Associated Press: As President Bush sees it, "the only good deal is one that's verifiable."
He's applauding the efforts of some European countries to get Iran to honor its commitment to refrain from developing nuclear weapons.
Los Angeles Times: The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed Thursday that Iran had stopped short of meeting its pledge to halt all nuclear enrichment by insisting on a last-minute exemption for some activities. The European-brokered deal for Iran to halt all enrichment threatened to founder when the U.N. atomic watchdog agency's governing board met here to review Iran's nuclear program.
New York Times: Iran refused Thursday to abandon plans to operate uranium enrichment equipment that could be used either for energy purposes or in a nuclear bomb-making project, European and Iranian officials said. The refusal threatened to scuttle a nuclear agreement Iran reached 10 days ago with France, Britain and Germany to freeze all of Iran's uranium enrichment activities, the European officials added.
Washington Post: The director of the International Atomic Energy Agency was unable to confirm that Iran had completely suspended its nuclear programs yesterday, as it had committed to doing, because the Islamic republic said it wanted to continue working with some of its equipment.
#Iran - April 10 - Bojnurd, North Khorasan Province, Northeast