Sunday Telegraph: As one young woman awaits sentence and another faces death this week, Alasdair Palmer reveals the Iranian legal system's shocking barbarity towards children. "My mother doesn't visit me in prison. If you see her, tell her she promised to bring me cheese curls and chocolate. And she shouldn't forget to bring my red dress." Those pathetic words may be among the last utterances of a 19-year-old girl, identified only as Leila M, who has been condemned to death in Iran for "acts incompatible with chastity".
Sunday Telegraph: Teheran had assured European leaders that it would suspend uranium enrichment activities, but new information suggests otherwise. Iran has drawn up secret plans to make large quantities of a gas that can be used to produce highly enriched uranium, despite promises to suspend enrichment activities.
AP: Iraqi police detained 45 men who illegally entered the country from neighboring Iran, and American troops said Sunday they captured eight Iraqis fleeing the scene of a roadside bombing. Also, insurgents claiming to represent three Iraqi militant groups issued a videotape saying they had abducted 10 Iraqis working for an American security and reconstruction company.
Iran Focus: Tehran, Dec. 18 - There are at least 600,000 children officially in employment in Iran at present, according to newly released figures. An Iranian official said that the figure comprises of children under the age of 15, according to the Iranian regimes news agency. Unfortunately we are witnessing an increase in the number of children forced to work, said Arash Faraz.
Reuters: An Iranian official says he is waiting for orders on whether to stone or hang a woman convicted of adultery, the latest in a chain of death sentences passed against young women for "fornication". The official from Iran's conservative judiciary said on Saturday that Hajieh Esmailvand's prison sentence, that began in January 2000, would end in less ...
REUTERS: A leading hardline cleric in Shi'ite Muslim Iran warned on Friday of possible vote-rigging in next month's Iraqi elections in the latest of a series of barbed exchanges between the two neighbours. Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, speaking after U.S. President George W. Bush this week told Iran and Syria not to meddle in the forthcoming Iraqi vote, proposed that Iraqi clerics should supervise the Jan. 30 vote to ensure it is fair.
Financial Times: In public, Arab governments have little to say about international concerns over Iran's nuclear programme. Even Arab members of the International Atomic Energy Agency board try to keep out of discussions on Iran, rarely expressing an opinion. When pressed to react, Arab officials bring up Israel's undeclared nuclear arsenal and ask why no one is interested in disarming the Jewish state.
Gulf Daily News: Russian and Iranian officials yesterday discussed trade and economic co-operation, including a possible purchase of Russian passenger jets by Iran. The contract for the delivery of five Russian Tu-204-100 aircraft to Iran could be signed next year, Russia's Industry and Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko said after talks with Iranian Economy Minister Safdar Hosseini.
Washington Post: If you had asked an intelligence analyst two years ago to describe the worst possible political outcome following an American invasion of Iraq, he might well have answered that it would be a regime dominated by conservative Shiite Muslim clerics with links to neighboring Iran. But just such a regime now seems likely to emerge after Iraq's Jan. 30 elections.
Atlanta Journal Constitution: On Nov. 15, Iran signed an agreement with France, Britain and Germany to suspend its uranium enrichment program. In return, Europe would provide Iran with a deuterium reactor, help Iran join the World Trade Organization, close Iran's nuclear investigation by the International Atomic Energy Association and, above all, treat Iran's main opposition as a terrorist organization and ...
Amnesty International: An Iranian woman charged with adultery faces death by stoning in the next five days after her death sentence was upheld by the Supreme Court last month. Her unnamed co-defendant is at risk of imminent execution by hanging. Amnesty International members are now writing urgent appeals to the Iranian authorities, calling for the execution to be stopped.
AFP: EU leaders are ready to intensify their political and economic ties with Iran if Tehran allays concerns over terrorism and human rights, they said in a draft text Friday at a summit in Brussels. Hailing a deal last month when Iran agreed to suspend uranium enrichment, a key part of the nuclear fuel cycle, the leaders confirmed their aim to sign a trade and cooperation agreement.
Kyodo News: The United States wants Japan to take Iran's suspected nuclear arms program as seriously as North Korea's nuclear activities, a senior U.S. administration official said Thursday. "As North Korea is testing the boundary of international norm against developing nuclear weapons and deliberate capability, so is Iran," said Lincoln Bloomfield, assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs.
Reuters: Iran on Thursday accused the European Parliament of "supporting terrorism" by hosting a speech by the leader of an exiled opposition group dedicated to overthrowing the Islamic state's clerical leadership.
The Scotsman: Iraq's national election campaign kicked off yesterday with angry accusations that Iran was masterminding the continuing insurgency in an effort to undermine democracy and bring about clerical rule. The Iraqi interim prime minister, Ayad Allawi, had earlier declared his candidacy in conciliatory fashion, saying he would work to unify the country and bring an end to the multinational occupation.
AP: The leader of an Iranian exile group on Wednesday criticized the European Union's decision to negotiate a long-term agreement with Tehran on stopping its alleged nuclear weapons program, saying it would not deter Iranian authorities. Speaking to EU lawmakers at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, Maryam Rajavi, co-leader of the exile ...