Iran Focus: Washington, Apr. 07 A leading Iran-policy group in Washington discussed U.S. policy options towards the clerical state, in a conference on Capitol Hill yesterday, at the invitation of the Iran Human Rights and Democracy Caucus of the U.S. House of Representative.
AFP: Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi has rebuffed calls from Ottawa for an independent inquiry into the death in custody here of an Iranian-Canadian journalist, Tehran newspapers said Thursday. Kharazi insisted the case was a matter for Iran's hardline judiciary and not his government, and dismissed testimony advanced by Canada to support its charge that journalist Zahra Kazemi had been tortured, saying the doctor cited was an imposter.
AFP: A gunmen took teachers and young children hostage in a school in Tehran on Thursday has given himself up and his captives have been freed, an AFP journalist at the scene said. Iranian special forces had surrounded the Raz boys' primary school in the upmarket north of the Iranian capital after the man armed with a Kalashnikov assault rifle seized the hostages at about 0830 am (0400 GMT).
Canadian Press: The federal government has pulled out of a coming conference called "Doing Business with Iran" amid Ottawa's stepped-up calls for justice in the brutal death of Zahra Kazemi. The Iranian-born Canadian citizen died in July 2003, several days after being arrested for taking photos of a demonstration outside a Tehran prison.
Xinhua: Iranian Supreme Leader Seyed Ali Khamenei here Wednesday criticized the Greater Middle East plan proposed by the United States, calling on all Muslims to resist it. Khamenei made the call in a meeting with representatives of central banks of the Islamic states, reported the official IRNA news agency.
AFP: Iran's hardline judiciary has barred the head of the journalist's association from travelling to an international conference in the Netherlands, the student news agency ISNA reported Wednesday. Rajab-Ali Mazroui, who is also a reformist former MP, had his passport confiscated, the news agency said.
AFP: Iranian security forces have been blamed for the deaths of seven people in a post-match crush following last month's World Cup qualifier with Japan, the judiciary was reported as saying Wednesday. "The lack of unified management in the security forces, positioning a (helicopter) in front of the main 60-metre (yard) wide gate... and diverting the spectators to a secondary seven-metre wide gate... are the main reasons for the incident," Tehran newspapers quoted spokesman Jamal Karimi Rad as saying.
Christian Post: An Assemblies of God lay pastor arrested seven months ago with more than 80 other Christian leaders must appear before the Islamic court of Iran within nine days, agencies reported Tuesday.
Iranian Christian Hamid Pourmand, who was arrested last Sept. 9, will be brought up before the Islamic court between Apr. 11 and 14.
The Washington Times: Members of Ukraine's intelligence service and two Russians took part in an elaborate plan to sell 20 long-range cruise missiles to China and Iran, according to a Ukrainian government official. Details of the transfer are outlined in a letter from Hrihory Omelchenko, deputy chairman of the Ukrainian parliamentary committee on organized crime and corruption, to the country's new president, Viktor Yushchenko.
American Thinker: Last month, an anti-government riot erupted in Tehran following a soccer match between Iran and Japan. Eye-witnesses reported that the regime used special anti-riot units to crackdown on the 100,000-strong crowd. Young people set tires alight in nearby squares after the match.
The Globe and Mail: Stung by opposition charges that it has been too soft on Iran, the Martin government launched an aggressive diplomatic push yesterday for a new investigation into the torture, rape and murder of Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi by Iranian security forces in 2003.
AP: The world might never know precise details about nuclear programs in Iran and North Korea but must not "under-react" because of incomplete intelligence, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said in an interview yesterday. Speaking about last week's scathing report by a presidential commission studying U.S. spy agencies, Rice said she could not guarantee that U.S. intelligence was on the mark now, as the Bush ...
Reuters: Iran and EU powers have made progress in talks on ensuring Tehran's nuclear program cannot be used for weapons, Iran's president said Tuesday, singling out France for special praise.
"I am sure that today we are closer to a settlement, to a solution, than a while ago," President Mohammad Khatami said after 90 minutes of talks with French President Jacques Chirac.
BBC: The conservative-controlled parliament in Iran has barred an investigative journalist from its premises after revealing MPs' huge pay and bonuses. Iran's independent press association accused the chamber of censorship. The journalist, Massih Ali-Nejad, works for an Iranian news agency, ILNA, and a reformist paper, Hambastaghi.
AFP: Canadian Foreign Minister Pierre Pettigrew on Tuesday telephoned his Iranian counterpart to demand the return of the remains of photojournalist Zahra Kazemi who died in Iranian custody. "This morning, I phoned the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iran," Pettigrew told the House of Commons, a day after lambasting Tehran over its denial that the 54-year-old dual Iranian-Canadian citizen had been tortured and murdered.
Iran Focus: Paris, Apr. 05 Thousands of Iranians marched in downtown Paris today to protest the visit to France by the Iranian regimes President Mohammad Khatami. The demonstration was organised by the French anti-racist movement, MRAP, and the Movement for Peace, two of the largest non-governmental organisations in France.
Reuters: Iran will not abandon nuclear activities, despite its negotiations with the EU about ensuring its nuclear programme cannot be used for weapons, President Mohammad Khatami has said in an interview. But it will continue for now to discuss the issue with Europe and the United Nations' nuclear watchdog, Khatami told Tuesday's edition of French newspaper Le Figaro.