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.
AFP: US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will caution Russia during a visit here this week that its close work on Iran's nuclear program could come at a heavy price, the liberal business daily Kommersant reported Tuesday. Rice, who was due to arrive here later Tuesday for a two-day visit to include talks with President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, "will try to persuade Russia not to hinder US moves" should tensions with Iran increase, the daily commented, ...
New York Times: As it faces the threat of global sanctions from the United States and Europe because of suspicions that it is turning its nuclear program to weapons production, Iran is fighting back with a powerful weapon of its own: its vast oil and gas resources.
Iran's ruling clerics are meticulously arranging energy sales and building partnerships with influential countries, including China and India, as a way to win stronger friendships around the world.
Reuters: Tehran is not cooperating fully with a probe by the U.N. nuclear watchdog into Iranian officials' meetings with smugglers who had links to Pakistani atom bomb-maker Abdul Qadeer Khan, diplomats said on Monday.
The diplomats said the meetings in 1987 and 1994 were key to help determine whether Iran's programme was originally intended to produce electricity, as Tehran insists, or to make bombs, as Washington maintains.
AFP: Some 10,265 people in Iran are infected with the HIV virus and another 390 have full-blown AIDS, according to health ministry figures reported in the press on Monday. According to the statistics, intravenous drug use is still the main cause of infection, narrowly followed by sexual contact.
AFP: Iran on Monday ordered the Arabic satellite television Al-Jazeera to "temporarily close" its Tehran bureau after controversy over its coverage of ethnic clashes, officials said. "We have ordered the temporary closure of the Al-Jazeera bureau," Mohammad Hossein Khoshvaght, director general of the culture and Islamic guidance ministry, told AFP.
AFP: Iran will never recognise Israel even if there is a peace deal with the Palestinians and they have their own state, Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said on Sunday. "Even if you envisage this impossible hypothesis, (and) to recognise a state is part of Iran's diplomatic right, in absolutely no case will Iran recognise the Zionist regime," he told journalists.
AFP: The United States should remain a "spectator" in ongoing negotiations with Europe on Iran's nuclear programme, the Islamic republic's foreign ministry said on Sunday. "For the moment, it's best for the Americans to follow the process from the grandstand as spectators, and leave negotiators to do their job," said spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi.
Iran Focus: Baghdad, Apr. 17 Leaders and representatives of 11 Iraqi political parties and groups unveiled a petition signed by 2.8 million Iraqis, sharply criticising neighbouring Irans rising meddling in Iraq and warning of the spectre of Islamic fundamentalisms stealthy domination of their country. The announcement came in a conference yesterday in Baghdads Palestine Hotel in the presence of about 500 Iraqis representing political, social and cultural groups.