Human Rights Watch: The confinement of political prisoners in Iran together with violent criminals endangers their lives, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch called for the immediate release of all prisoners held for the peaceful expression of political opinions. Six prisoners in Rajaii Shahr prison near Karaj, a suburb of Tehran, launched a hunger strike on January 25 to protest their confinement with dangerous and belligerent criminals who have assaulted and intimidated them.
Reuters: Iran cannot be permitted to set its own conditions for carrying out a pledge not to develop nuclear weapons, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Tuesday.
"We should not let the Iranians continue to create new conditions that have to be fulfilled somehow before they are prepared to live up to their international obligations," she said after talks with French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier.
AFP: Officials from European heavyweights Britain, France and Germany were warning Iran about activities that verge on breaches of a deal to freeze nuclear fuel cycle work in talks that opened Tuesday in Geneva, diplomats said. Britain, France and Germany were "to read the riot act to the Iranians," a diplomat close to the talks, which is aimed at getting Iran to guarantee that it is not developing nuclear weapons, told AFP.
AFP: US President George W. Bush has been actively behind "regime change" for Iran, but the route to that end has yet to be defined and the perils are great, US experts said. Bush and his top aides have turned up the volume in their verbal attacks on the Islamic republic, calling it an "outpost of tyranny" and one of the principal backers of international terror, on its way to developing a nuclear weapon.
Reuters: European and Iranian officials began fresh talks on Tuesday on Western demands Tehran abandon plans to make nuclear fuel because of fears it could be used for weapons, but neither side expected a breakthrough. "This is a meeting of experts and it is an ongoing process. You should not expect too much," said one diplomat from a European country involved in the negotiations.
AFP: British Prime Minister Tony Blair called Iran a state sponsor of terrorism on Tuesday, and urged the Islamic republic to meet EU demands to renounce its suspected pursuit of nuclear weapons. "It certainly does sponsor terrorism. There's no doubt about that at all," Blair told a parliamentary committee, agreeing with US President George W. Bush's view of Iran as a leading backer of terrorists.
CNN: British Prime Minister Tony Blair has called Iran a state sponsor of terrorism, and urged the Islamic republic to bow to EU demands to renounce its suspected pursuit of nuclear weapons. He also called on Tehran not to hamper peace efforts in the Middle East. Giving evidence to a UK parliamentary committee, Blair was asked if he shared U.S. President George W. Bush's assessment of Tehran as the "world's primary state sponsor of terror."
AFP: Iran and the EU go into talks on Iran's nuclear program in Geneva Tuesday in flat disagreement over the most crucial point -- Tehran's abandoning uranium enrichment in order to guarantee it is not trying to make atomic weapons. And time is pressing. A European diplomat told AFP that both sides are "complaining about a lack of speed" in reaching an accord. Iran is waiting for incentive rewards, such as entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Iran Focus: Baghdad, Feb. 7 Iran's notorious Ministry of Intelligence and Security has been using a spy ring in Baghdad's main souq (bazaar) to carry out a range of covert activities, informed sources in the Iraqi capital told Iran Focus. The ring was led by a senior agent code-named Hamdi, an Iraqi of Iranian extraction who owned a shop in Baghdad's Shurja souq, said the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
U.S. Newswire - News Advisory: Iran Policy Committee (IPC) is holding a press conference on Thursday, Feb. 10, 2005 at 10 a.m. in the West Room of the National Press Club of Washington, to release its report on U.S. policy options on Iran. IPC is comprised of former officials from the White House, State Department, Pentagon, intelligence agencies, the Congress, and experts from think tanks and universities.
Iran Focus: Berlin, Feb. 07 Iranians are planning a massive rally in Berlin on the twenty-sixth anniversary of the 1979 Iranian revolution to call for an end to theocratic rule in their country. The announcement comes after the barring of a similar rally on Iran which was scheduled for the same day in Paris. Organisers are expecting a huge turnout in the event scheduled for February 10 at the Brandenburger-Tor in central Berlin, despite the original Paris demonstration having been barred by French authorities, days before the event.
Iran Focus: Tehran, Feb. 07 One out of every ten people living in the streets in Iran are university-educated, according to the head of Social Affairs in the Tehran Governor's Office. Zahra Nejadbahram said, "9.4 percent of street-sleepers attending Tehran's four day-care centres are university graduates".
Washington Post: Top U.S. officials expressed confidence yesterday that no Iran-style Islamic government would take hold in Iraq despite the expected rise to power there of religious Shiite parties following last week's elections. With the Shiites widely predicted to dominate a new constitutional assembly, Vice President Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld played down reports that leading Shiite clerics ...
The Guardian: Condoleezza Rice turned Washington's rhetoric on Iran up another notch yesterday, telling Iranians they would have to "live up to their international obligations" to avoid a conflict with Israel. But back in Washington, the secretary of defence, Donald Rumsfeld, struck a more dovish note, saying the estimates he had seen said Iran was "years away" from building a nuclear bomb, and that the White House had meanwhile opted for diplomacy.
Daily Telegraph: Iran dared America to attack it yesterday as the senior hawks in President George W Bush's administration all but admitted that Washington faced a dilemma in trying to prevent Teheran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
AFP: Iran's judiciary has shut down a cosmetics and personal hygiene exhibition in the northeastern holy city of Mashhad after a judge apparently decided that only women should operate the stalls. "This judge came to the exhibition and grabbed some posters from the stalls and said that only women could run the booths," an informed official was quoted as saying by the official IRNA news agency on Sunday.
AFP: Diplomacy and unity among the world's "great democracies" are key to ensuring Iran meets its international obligations, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said in an interview broadcast on Sunday. The Islamic Republic had become a major obstacle to peace and stability in the Middle East and must be prevented from developing nuclear weapons, she told BBC television.