The Globe and Mail: Top U.S. officials have accused Iran of secretly modifying its new longer-range missiles so they can be fitted with nuclear warheads, a sharp escalation in the war of words that threatens to scuttle a fragile diplomatic deal worked out between Tehran and three leading members of the European Union.
The Independent: Iran loomed as the second Bush administration's most urgent foreign policy challenge yesterday, as Colin Powell, the outgoing Secretary of State, warned that the country was working on a missile capable of delivering a nuclear bomb.
The Guardian: The Bush administration yesterday accused Iran of attempting to develop missiles with nuclear warheads - a charge that could derail the European arms-control agreement struck earlier this week. The accusation was made by the outgoing secretary of state, Colin Powell, while on an official visit to Chile for an Asia-Pacific economic summit.
AP: The Bush administration is not considering talks with Iran on developing nuclear weapons even though Secretary of State Colin Powell will attend a conference next week with diplomats from Iran and other countries. Already suspicious that Iran is developing such weapons, the administration now has intelligence provided by a resistance group that Iran is trying to adapt missiles to deliver the weapons, Powell said Wednesday.
Daily Telegraph - Leader Article: There has always been something suspect about European mediation over Iran's nuclear programme. This is not to deny that the EU trio (Britain, France and Germany) is sincere in wishing to prevent Teheran from acquiring nuclear arms. It lies, rather, in its ineffectiveness.
AFP: An Iranian operating a news website from the central clerical city of Qom has received a 15-month suspended jail term amid a jusicial crackdown on Internet writing, the state news agency IRNA reported Thursday. An appeals court in Qom handed Hamed Motaghi the sentence for publishing "false information" and "disturbing public order" with his Naghshineh website, which was also closed down.
Reuters: Iran has denied an exiled opposition group's allegations that it is secretly seeking material to build an atomic bomb, says a senior official. The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) said on Wednesday Iran obtained weapons-grade uranium and a nuclear bomb design from Abdul Qadeer Khan, the father of Pakistan's atomic bomb.
AFP: Four Iranians accused of spying on the Islamic republic's nuclear programme for foreign governments have gone on trial in Tehran, a judicial official was quoted as saying Thursday. "These individuals, who infiltrated nuclear facilities and managed to win the confidence of the officials, were spying for foreign countries," Ali Mobacheri, the head of Tehran's revolutionary courts, told the government newspaper Iran.
AFP: A senior Iranian official on Thursday angrily denied allegations by an exiled opposition group that the clerical regime was running a secret nuclear bomb facility near Tehran, and indicated that UN inspectors would be allowed to visit the site. "I totally deny these allegations. This site is not a nuclear site and has nothing to do with our nuclear activities. Iran has no undeclared nuclear activities," top diplomat and nuclear negotiator Hossein Moussavian told AFP.
Washington Times: Zolal Habibi carried a book the size of a telephone directory with page after page of photographs of dissidents killed by the Iranian regime. Her father is in this book of the dead that she showed to reporters yesterday at The Washington Times, as she discussed plans for a massive protest in Washington tomorrow. "My father was killed when I was 7," said the 23-year-old Iranian American. "That was hard for me. I was daddy's little girl," she said. "I cried for days, then I promised myself I would never cry again. ... I didn't cry for years."
Washington Post: The United States has intelligence that Iran is working to adapt missiles to deliver a nuclear weapon, further evidence that the Islamic republic is determined to acquire a nuclear bomb, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell said Wednesday. Separately, an Iranian opposition exile group charged in Paris that Iran is enriching uranium at a secret military facility unknown to U.N. weapons inspectors. Iran has denied seeking to build nuclear weapons.
AFP: A UN committee on Wednesday sharply criticised human rights in Iran, citing the use of torture and a widespread crackdown on the country's media and political opposition. The UN General Assembly's social and humanitarian committee adopted the resolution, which carries symbolic value but no legal weight, for the second straight year in a 69-55 vote with 51 abstentions.
International Herald Tribune: An Iranian opposition group said Wednesday that Tehran bought blueprints of a nuclear bomb and weapons-grade uranium from the same Pakistani scientist who admitted selling atomic secrets to Libya and other countries a decade ago.
Washington Times: Secretary of State Colin L. Powell said yesterday the United States has seen signs that Iran is developing technology to mount a nuclear warhead on a missile. He spoke just hours after an Iranian opposition group charged that Tehran has a secret, military-run uranium-enrichment plant and has bought the blueprints for a nuclear bomb.
Daily Telegraph: Iran is secretly producing enriched uranium for nuclear weapons at a military site in Teheran in direct breach of an agreement signed earlier this week, according to Iran's most prominent opposition group. The site is said to be in the Lavizan district in north-east Teheran, three miles from a former suspected secret nuclear development facility that the regime razed earlier this year after its existence was revealed by the opposition group.
New York Times: An Iranian opposition group leveled startling but unconfirmed charges on Wednesday that Iran had bought blueprints for a nuclear bomb and obtained weapons-grade uranium on the black market. The group also charged that Iran was still secretly enriching uranium at an undisclosed Defense Ministry site in Tehran, despite an agreement with the Europeans two days ago to suspend all enrichment activities.
AFP: Iran's hardline judiciary has said it will uphold jail terms handed out to former pro-reform MPs who sat in the last parliament, press reports said Wednesday. The decision affects Mohsen Armin, Fatemeh Hagheghatjou, Mohsen Mirdamadi, Hossein Loghmanian and Mohammad Dadfar, all of whom are on the left of the embattled reform movement, local papers said.