Iran Focus: Tehran, Jan. 11 - Two foreigners were deported from Iran for practicing the Bahai faith according to an Iranian official. These individuals, one a European and the other a Latin American, travelled to and from Iran over the past five years posing as traders and tourists, secretly attracting youths to their sect through economic activities, the official said.
Iran Focus: Baghdad, Jan. 11 - Twelve Iranians were arrested by Iraqi police yesterday in the city of al-Kut, south of Baghdad. The individuals who crossed the Iran-Iraq border travelled without valid visas.
Iraqi authorities had demanded in recent weeks that Tehran shut down illegal crossings between the 1500km border.
Los Angeles Times: As Iraq lurches toward elections this month, its neighbor Iran is emerging as one of the hottest campaign issues. Iraq's outspoken defense minister fired one of the first salvos last month, charging that the front-running slate, the Shiite Muslim-dominated United Iraqi Alliance, was controlled by Tehran and was determined to "build an Islamic dictatorship and have turbaned clerics rule in Iraq." The minister, Hazem Shaalan, is a Shiite, but is running on a rival, more secular slate.
Iran Focus: Tehran, Jan. 10 - Irans Friday Prayers Leader for the city of Urumiyeh (northwest Iran) demanded a harsher crackdown on mal-veiling in the Islamic republic.
Hojatolislam Gholamreza Hassani speaking to a state-run news agency accused security forces of acting too softly on women who do not fully cover their hair, calling the issue the root of Irans social problems.
CBC News: Supporters of an Iranian man scheduled for deportation from Canada continued their hunger strike outside a government immigration office Saturday. Ali Reza Monemi, 28, says he will face further danger if he's sent back to Iran, but last March, an Immigration Canada ruling concluded he would not face unusual treatment or punishment if returned to Iran, and ordered him deported.
Iran Focus: Tehran, Jan. 10 Angry residents from the town of Baneh in Kurdistan province (Western Iran) attacked the governors office with stones and sticks at the start of the New Year after hearing of the murder of an individual by State Security Forces (SSF). Eyewitnesses reported seeing shattered glass from the windows of the governors office scattered nearby.
UPI: As soon as President George W. Bush brushes the confetti off his lapels and returns to the Oval Office from his second inaugural parade on Jan. 20, he will find a series of "presidential papers" on Iran, requiring his immediate attention, waiting for him. Well-informed Washington insiders say the nation's top think tanks have been scurrying over the last several weeks to put the finishing touches on comprehensive policy papers, or presidential directives that would help the Bush administration formulate a policy on Iran for the next four years.
Reuters: Iran may resume uranium enrichment -- which can be used to make atomic bombs -- in March if talks with the European Union fail to yield satisfactory progress, a senior Iranian security official said on Monday. Even if the talks go well, Hossein Mousavian told Reuters Tehran was only prepared to extend until June the enrichment freeze it began in late November in an effort to disprove U.S. accusations it is seeking nuclear weapons.
Los Angeles Times: Confined to the Terminal Island immigration jail for more than three years, the Mirmehdi brothers cannot help wondering whether they are somehow beyond the law. The federal government considers the four Iranians, outspoken opponents of Iran's Islamic regime, security threats with links to terrorism and wants them deported.
Iran Focus: Tehran, Jan. 10 - An Iranian man is to be hanged in Tehran on January 19, charged with murder.
The man only identified by his first name Ali-Reza was originally sentenced to be publicly hanged by Judge Javad Esmaeili for the murder of five members of a family some two years ago.
Iran Focus: Tehran, Jan. 09 A Tehran court put a young woman on trial for keeping six kittens in her apartment, the state television reported yesterday. The state television aired the court proceedings in which the judge in branch 19 of Tehrans court questioned the woman about why she was keeping the kittens in her apartment and how she was feeding them.
AP: Iran will allow U.N. nuclear experts to take environmental samples at a military site the United States links to an alleged nuclear weapons program but won't allow them to inspect military equipment, the foreign ministry spokesman said Sunday. The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed ElBaradei, said last week that Iran had agreed to grant access to the site at Parchin, just southeast of Tehran, and that his inspectors could arrive soon.
AFP: Iran's hardline judiciary has threatened legal action against those who alleged that detained journalists and Internet writers were abused to extract confessions and apologies, official media reported Saturday. "We will legally deal with those who have published unrealistic material that corresponds with that of the enemy media and that tries to tarnish the work of the police," said a statement from Tehran's prosecutor.
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.