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.
Press Association: Twelve United Kingdom parliamentarians today supported a call for the main Iranian opposition group, the Peoples Mojahedin, to be removed from the international list of terrorist groups.
Reporters Without Borders: Reporters Without Borders expressed outrage after journalist and weblogger Arash Sigarchi was sentenced to 14 years in prison on 22 February by a revolutionary tribunal in Gilan, northern Iran.
The worldwide press freedom organisation called on President Mohammad Khatami to intervene on behalf of 28-year-old Sigarchi, who has been in custody since his arrest on 17 January.
AP: President Bush and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder agreed Wednesday to turn down the volume on arguments about Iraq and Iran, demanding in unison that Tehran abandon its nuclear ambitions. Nearing the end of a five-day reconciliation visit to Europe, Bush also prepared for a showdown Thursday with Russia's Vladimir Putin in Bratislava, the snow-covered capital of Slovakia.
Iran Focus: Brussels, Feb. 23 As U.S. President George W. Bush made his first tour of Europe after winning his second term in office, dozens of European parliamentarians called on Europe and the United States to develop a unified strategy to stop the Islamic Republic in its pursuit of nuclear weapons.
Los Angeles Times: Two years ago, as the U.S. planned to march into Baghdad, many in the Bush administration had a vision for Iraq's first freely elected government in decades. It would be a pro-U.S. regime that would support American military bases, embrace U.S. businesses and serve as a model for democracy in the region. Now as Ibrahim Jafari seems certain to become Iraq's new prime minister, the U.S. faces the prospect of dealing with a government whose views may be closer to Tehran's than to Washington's. And U.S. officials are left wondering how many of their assumptions will prove true.
Reuters: Tired and cold survivors of a powerful earthquake in southeastern Iran begged authorities for food and shelter on Wednesday, complaining aid was slow to reach the worst-hit mountain villages. Iran has so far declined offers of foreign assistance to deal with the aftermath of Tuesday's tremor which had a magnitude of 6.4 and killed at least 420 people.
Reuters: An Iranian journalist has been jailed for 14 years on charges ranging from espionage to insulting the country's leaders in an unusually heavy sentence in Iran, where tens of journalists have been tried in recent years. Rights activists said on Tuesday that Arash Sigarchi, 28, was convicted by the Revolutionary Court in the Caspian province of Gilan in northern Iran.
Reuters: French President Jacques Chirac said Tuesday he had urged President Bush to help European negotiations to curb Iran's nuclear program by offering incentives on trade and aviation. "It seems to me legitimate to make a gesture in the area of Iran's bid for WTO membership and wish to buy civil aircraft engines," Chirac told a news conference after talks with Bush on Monday night.
Iran Focus: Tehran, Feb. 22 More than 50 percent of Iran's street-children return to living on the streets after attending rehabilitation centres, according to the head of the Office for Victim Support in the Ministry of Social Affairs. Dr. Seyyed Hadi Motamadi said, "A considerable number of such children, are secretly rented from their parents, at hardly any cost, to work illegally in the black-market despite it being illegal, and they earn inadequate salaries.