AFP: A senior Iranian cleric accused Europeans of killing time in their negotiations over Iran's nuclear programme and pledged on Friday that Iran will resume uranium enrichment if negotiations break down. "Europeans are killing time; Negotiations are going on but the achievement we expected has not been reached yet." said Ayatollah Ahmad Janati, a hardline cleric who heads the powerful watchdog body that vets all legislation and candidates for public office.
AP: Last-minute disputes Saturday forced Iran and Russia to postpone the signing of an agreement to supply Iran with fuel for its first nuclear reactor, a deal strongly opposed by the United States. The countries' top nuclear officials had been set to sign the agreement on Saturday morning, a day after a summit between the U.S. and Russian presidents.
Iran Focus: Paris, Feb. 26 An international conference entitled, "United against Fundamentalism and for Equality," was held in Paris yesterday on the initiative of several women's rights organisations to discuss the threat posed by fundamentalists to women's rights and status. Over 1,000 political and human rights personalities and equality movement activists from Europe, the United States and the Middle East attended the conference.
Reuters: In its drive to stop Iran gaining any ability to make nuclear weapons, the United States is ready to give European allies only until June to cajole Tehran before Washington seeks U.N. sanctions, U.S. diplomatic documents show. There were mixed signals from Iran on Friday over how its talks with Germany, France and Britain were going.
Washington Post: A British national once convicted of smuggling into Iran steel used to make nuclear weapons has been indicted in Washington on charges of illegally exporting new materials to Iran. A grand jury indicted Ali Asghar Manzarpour, 43, on Thursday on charges of violating the U.S. Iranian export embargo, charges that were unsealed by a federal judge yesterday.
Iran Focus: Brussels, Feb. 25 The European Parliament yesterday passed a resolution condemning Iran's human rights violations and called on the European Union to sponsor a separate resolution, censuring Iran in the United Nations and demanding that a special representative be re-appointed to monitor the human rights situation in Iran.
Reporters Without Borders: Reporters Without Borders today strongly condemned the Iranian authorities for confirming a six-month prison sentence and one million rials (85 euros) fine on Mohamad Reza Nasab Abdolahi, editor of the weblog Webnegar (Web Writer), for supposedly insulting the country's leaders and making anti-government propaganda. He was sentenced on appeal on 23 February and is still free but risks arrest at any moment. The day before, another blogger, Arash Sigarchi, was jailed for 14 years on similar charges.
Washington Times: The hard-line ayatollahs ruling Iran reacted enthusiastically to the election results in neighboring Iraq. "Certainly it is promotion of democracy, and in that respect we welcome that," said Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi.
The ayatollahs' fervent calls for democratic elections in Iraq, while denying the very same choice to their own people, is the latest irony in the convoluted labyrinth of Middle Eastern politics.
BBC: A teenage girl and two young men in Iran have been sentenced to lashes for having sex.
The court dismissed the girl's claim that we was raped. It said she had sex of her own free will, the official Iran Daily newspaper reported.
Iran Focus: Tehran, Feb. 24 Comments from Iran's Oil Minister this morning raised suspicions that some $54 billion was being fraudulently used by agencies within the Iranian government, a state-run news agency reported. "I refuse to answer", was the reply Bijan Namdar-Zangeneh gave as he was questioned by reporters after a cabinet meeting regarding four affiliate oil ministry accounts currently holding $54 billion cash.
Bloomberg: U.S. President George W. Bush said he and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed that Iran and North Korea shouldn't develop nuclear weapons, in talks he described as ``open and candid.'' ``We agreed that Iran should not have a nuclear weapon,'' Bush said at a joint press conference with Putin in the Slovak capital, Bratislava. ``We agreed that North Korea should not have a nuclear weapon.''
Reuters: Forlorn villagers picked through the ruins of their broken homes on Thursday, looking for belongings to salvage from the wreckage of Tuesday's earthquake in southeastern Iran in which at least 549 people died. Officials said the death toll would climb as more corpses were uncovered. Some 220 of the roughly 900 injured were in a critical condition.
Iran Focus: Tehran, Feb. 24 In a recent secret report to the Iranian regime's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps pointed out that were a demonstration or rebellion to last more than six hours in Tehran, the security apparatus would no longer be able to control the situation.
DPA: US President George Bush focused his European tour on Thursday on new NATO member Slovakia, saying that Washington's allies, including Germany, agreed with the White House's stance on Iran. At a news conference after talks with Slovakian Prime Minister Mikulas Dzurinda, Bush said his current European tour was partly aimed at discerning whether European allies "view the Iranian problem the same way" as the Americans.
NBC: As President Bush pressures European allies to get tougher with Iran, NBC News got a rare glimpse inside the country at an Iranian air show attended by some of the world's leading military contractors eager to do business with America's adversary. On the island of Kish, mullahs mixed with Ukrainian generals amid photos of the Ayatollah Khomeini. Iran's contempt for the United States was clear emblazoned underneath a helicopter, in Farsi: "Death to America."
Reuters: Iran said on Thursday it did not want the United States to become more involved in negotiations Tehran is holding with the European Union over its nuclear program. European leaders, including French President Jacques Chirac and German Chancellor Gerhard Shroeder, urged President Bush this week to join the EU approach of offering incentives to Iran in return for scrapping some atomic work.