The Washington Times: The Iranian government is fast-tracking an atomic-weapons program and has allocated $2.5 billion to either buy three nuclear warheads or produce them at home, an organization of Iranian exiles claimed yesterday. The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), an umbrella body of exiled opposition groups, said Tehran is speeding up efforts to build a plutonium bomb by 2007.
Bloomberg: Iran this year will complete a plant that can produce heavy water, another step in its efforts to defy international commitments and build atomic weapons, an exiled Iranian resistance group said. Iran is also speeding up construction of a nuclear reactor, and by 2007 will have enough enriched plutonium to make a nuclear weapon, Mohammad Mohaddessin, chairman of the National Council for Resistance in Iran's foreign affairs committee, said at a news conference in Paris today.
Reuters: A female Canadian photographer who died in Tehran two years ago after being arrested had been badly tortured and quite possibly raped, an Iranian refugee to Canada said on Thursday.
The account by Shahram Azam, who said he was an emergency room doctor in Tehran's Revolutionary Guard Hospital at the time, contradicts the official Iranian line that 54-year-old Zahra Kazemi died after she fainted and hit her head.
The Globe and Mail: The Conservative and New Democratic parties joined forces yesterday to demand Ottawa dramatically ratchet up diplomatic pressure on Iran after revelations that Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi was brutally raped and tortured while in Iranian custody in 2003.
"We want the government to do what they should have done almost two years ago, which is to drop the failed approach of soft-peddling and soft diplomacy, and make tough demands," Tory foreign affairs critic Stockwell Day said.
The Globe and Mail: Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew said Thursday Ottawa will continue pressing Iran for justice in the wake of shocking new details about the condition of a Montreal photographer days before her death in a jail in that country. Iran is continuing to not respect the most fundamental human rights, and this must stop, Mr. Pettigrew told reporters in Toronto.
The Times: A CANADIAN woman photographer who died in Iranian custody after taking pictures of a protest outside the notorious Evin prison in Tehran, was beaten, tortured and raped, an Iranian doctor who fled to Canada said yesterday. Zahra Kazemi, 54, a Canadian citizen born in Iran, was arrested by secret police in June 2003.
The Globe and Mail: Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi was savagely beaten, tortured and raped while in Iranian custody in 2003, according to an emergency-room doctor who examined her before she died. The doctor has recently received political asylum in Canada. Shahram Azam, formerly a physician on the staff of the Iranian Ministry of Defence, says he examined Ms. Kazemi, a 54-year-old Iranian-born dual citizen, at Tehran's Baghiattulah hospital early on the morning of June 27, 2003 -- four days after she was arrested while photographing a demonstration outside Tehran's Evin prison.
AP: A heavy water reactor in central Iran should be able to produce up to 10 kilograms (22 pounds) of plutonium by 2007, enough for a nuclear bomb, an exiled Iranian opposition group claimed on Thursday.
The National Council of Resistance said the main unit of the reactor near Arak was already producing heavy water and work on a third unit is «near an end.»
The Wall Street Journal: An Iranian opposition group claims Iran has accelerated construction of a heavy-water nuclear reactor in the western part of the country that, when completed, could be used to make fuel for atomic weapons. If true, yesterday's charge by the National Council of Resistance of Iran could further complicate talks between Iran and the so-called EU-3 -- France, Britain and Germany -- to secure "objective guarantees" Iran isn't pursuing nuclear weapons.
AFP: The United States on Wednesday challenged Iran to prove it was serious in talks on its suspected nuclear weapons program and rejected Tehran's offer to conduct only limited uranium enrichment activities. Deputy State Department spokesman Adam Ereli refused to discuss whether the European-led talks were making progress in reining in Iran's nuclear ambitions. But the tenor of his remarks was far from upbeat.
CBC News: Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi showed signs of being savagely beaten when she was brought to a Tehran hospital in 2003, said an emergency room doctor on duty at the time. Shahram Azam, a former staff physician in Iran's defence ministry, said he examined Kazemi, 54, early on June 27, 2003, according to reports published in the Globe and Mail and Montreal's La Presse.
Reuters: Iran allocated $2.5 billion to obtain three nuclear warheads last year, an exiled opposition group said Thursday, without saying whether Iran had secured any of the warheads.
The group, which has given accurate information in the past on some of Iran's nuclear facilities, also said Iran was speeding up work on a reactor south of Tehran which could produce enough plutonium for an atomic bomb by 2007.
AFP: The main Iranian opposition group charged here Thursday that Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had allocated 2.5 billion dollars to acquire three nuclear warheads. Khamenei decided in mid-2004 that Tehran would "acquire the warheads by their own means or buy them abroad," said Mohammed Mohaddessin, an official in the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).
Iran Focus: Paris, Mar. 31 The Iranian regime is on a fast-track to obtain nuclear weapons, according to the National Council of Resistance of Iran, the main opposition coalition, who made new revelations at a press conference in Paris today. Mohammad Mohaddessin, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the NCRI, told reporters that Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had allocated 2.5 billion dollars to acquire three nuclear warheads.
Iran Focus: Tehran, Mar. 30 Widespread clashes erupted between people and State Security Forces in the north-western Iranian town of Baneh (Kurdistan province) yesterday following two separate shootings by government agents which left at two people dead. Scores of people were injured or arrested, according to eye-witnesses who reported also that two security vehicles were set alight and government buildings ransacked during the outbreak.
Reuters: France, Britain and Germany are considering letting Iran keep nuclear technology that could be used to make bombs, an apparent move towards a compromise with Tehran, diplomats said on Wednesday. However, they said such a step would lead to a clash with Washington, which has backed European Union talks with Iran on condition Tehran permanently renounce all activities that could produce nuclear fuel.
Reuters: Iran coach Branko Ivankovic claimed his players' lives were in danger after their 2-0 World Cup qualifying win in North Korea on Wednesday.
Iran's victory meant they took the outright lead in their Asian World Cup qualifying group but their joy was soured by a rare outbreak of crowd violence in Pyongyang.