Iran Focus: London, Apr. 21 At least 62 people have been killed and over 1,000 arrested in the week-long clashes between people and security forces in Irans southern Khuzestan province, according to the main Iranian opposition group, the Peoples Mojahedin Organisation of Iran. Fierce fighting has brought the province to a complete stand-still since Friday, when State Security Forces (SSF) opened fire on a 3,000-strong anti-government demonstration in the city of Ahwaz.
Iran Focus: Paris, Apr. 21 Irans Supreme Court upheld an execution sentence for a 38-year-old political prisoner from the western Iranian town of Boukan. Esmaeil Mohammadi was informed of the decision through a letter from the authorities, which indicated that his execution would be carried out within the next few days. Mohammadi, a father of five, has been imprisoned for the past two years in the city of Urumiya (northwest Iran), accused of being a supporter of the Kurdish Komala organisation.
Daily Telegraph: Senior British ministers held a series of meetings with the Iranian government before the collapse of MG Rover, hoping to clear the way for a deal that could have doubled Rover's worldwide production and perhaps saved the company.
AFP: An Iranian convicted of murdering a soldier during an armed robbery has been hanged in Saravan, in the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchestan, Jam-e-Jam daily reported Thursday.
The man, identified only as Khodabakhsh M., had a record of carrying out armed robberies in the region, the report said without specifying if Wednesday's execution was carried out in public or in prison.
AFP: One child was killed and several other passengers were injured late Wednesday when a plane caught fire upon landing at Tehran airport, state television and the official IRNA news agency reported. The Boeing 707 plane operated by Saha Airlines, which belongs to the Iranian military, had 157 passengers and crew members on board, state television reported.
UPI: Iran warned Wednesday it would pull out of European talks on its nuclear program if they appear to be a "waste" of time. Hassan Rohani, head of Iran's Higher National Security Council, was quoted by the Iranian News Agency, IRNA, saying: "We will stop all discussions" with Germany, France and Britain "in case they did not show credibility."
Iran Focus: Rome, Apr. 20 Italian lawmakers from both Houses of the Italian Parliament and legal experts today called for the removal of the Peoples Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI) from the European Unions list of terrorist organisations and support for the Third Option, during a seminar in parliament.
AFP: Around 400 Iranian men and women met in Tehran on Wednesday to declare their readiness to carry out suicide operations against Israel.
Some 250 men and 150 women, all members of Islamist militias, responded to an appeal by two non-governmental organisations urging them to support Palestinian suicide bombers and declare their own readiness to become "martyrs".
Iran Focus: Tehran, Apr. 20 Irans southern Khuzestan province was the scene of further chaos today as another round of fierce fighting erupted between people and government forces, following severe clashes several days ago which left dozens dead and hundreds wounded or arrested. The latest clashes broke out this morning between Irans State Security Forces (SSF) and local residents in several districts of the city of Ahwaz, including Kut Abdullah, Kian and Khashayar.
Reuters: Five people were killed and 21 others injured when a cluster-bomb left over from the 1980-1988 Iraq-Iran war exploded in the western city of Ilam, the official IRNA news agency reported on Wednesday. The bomb exploded on Tuesday night when a group of young boys playing soccer were using it as a goal post, IRNA said.
Reporters Without Borders: Reporters Without Borders has protested against the unfair closure of satellite TV al-Jazeera's Tehran bureau for "incitement to disorder" after it reported on clashes in Khuzistan in south west Iran. It urged the authorities to review its 18 April decision. "We condemn the decision of the Culture and Islamic Guidance Ministry to suspend al-Jazeera's operations in Iran," it said.
Reuters : Iran will end nuclear talks with three European powers unless its ideas for a compromise are accepted as the basis for future negotiations, a senior Iranian official said in remarks published on Wednesday. Hassan Rowhani, head of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, said Iran would walk away from the negotiations with Britain, France and Germany if no "tangible progress" was made soon.
AP: The Bush administration accused Iran on Tuesday of violating the rights of Arabs and other minority groups and urged restraint in dealing with them. "It is not the first time that Iran has practiced this kind of human rights violations," spokesman Adam Ereli said of a recent crackdown against Arab protesters.
AFP: Iran expects Europe to respond at a meeting Tuesday to its proposal to allow uranium enrichment, despite Western demands that it abandon such nuclear fuel work to guarantee it will not make atomic weapons, a senior Iranian diplomat said. "We are waiting to hear what the Europeans have to say about our ideas on our fuel production program," senior Iranian negotiator Cyrus Nasseri told AFP ahead of the EU-Iran talks in Geneva.
AFP: Eight students have been handed suspended prison terms for insulting President Mohammad Khatami and acting against Iran's national security, a leading reformist student union member said Tuesday. "Four students from Sistan-Baluchistan (in southeast Iran) received suspended prison terms of a year each," said Abdollah Momeni, head of the Office of Consolidating Unity (OCU), told AFP.
AFP: Tehran police chief Brigadier General Morteza Talaie has announced a new campaign to ensure women keep covered up in public in keeping with the rules of the Islamic republic, newspapers reported Tuesday. "The press will take firm action against those who disturb security and moral order with their behaviour and their clothing," he was quoted as warning.