Los Angeles Times: More than 2,000 Iranian exiles from across Europe rallied in Berlin today to protest against Tehran's conservative Islamic government and criticize its nuclear ambitions as a dangerous ploy that could lead to U.S. military intervention. The demonstration quickly spun into a tale of legal maneuverings and conspiracy theories. Before it was to begin at the Brandenburg Gate, Berlin authorities canceled the rally, claiming it was partly organized by an Iranian opposition group linked to terrorism. A German court overturned the ban, and protesters, detained for hours at airports and train stations, streamed through rainy streets.
Iran Focus: Berlin, Feb. 10 Thousands of Iranian exiles braved cold and rain, and defied bans by two European governments, to hold a rally in the heart of the German capital on the twenty-sixth anniversary of the revolution that ended monarchy in Iran.
The Scotsman: A SCOTS Conservative MEP is to address a gathering of 40,000 exiled Iranians in Germany at a demonstration against the fundamentalist regime in Tehran.
Struan Stevenson will tell the crowd at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin today that "the days of the brutal fascist regime are numbered".
The demonstration has been organised by the National Council for Resistance in Iran.
DPA: Police in the German capital on Thursday banned a demonstration called by an Iranian opposition group, the National Council of Resistance of Iran. Officials said the group - which seeks the ouster of the Teheran government - planned to use the rally to build support for the Iranian People's Mujahedin-e Khalq which has been declared a terrorist organisation by the European Union.
AFP: The Austrian government authorised the sale of 800 rifles classified as war weapons to Iran for use by that country's police, the Austrian interior ministry said Wednesday after a local newspaper reported that Washington had tried to stop the deal.
Reuters: President George W. Bush said on Wednesday Iran with a nuclear weapon would be a "very destabilizing" force and that it was important for the world to speak with one voice against Tehran's program. "The Iranians just need to know that the free world is working together to send a very clear message: Don't develop a nuclear weapon," Bush said.
Reuters: No Iranian government, present or future, will give up the country's drive to master peaceful nuclear technology, including uranium enrichment, President Mohammad Khatami said on Wednesday.
In a toughly worded speech to foreign ambassadors in Tehran, Khatami also warned Iran could adopt "a new policy" which would have "massive consequences" if Iran's nuclear talks with the European Union did not prosper.
AFP: US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Wednesday took a swipe at European countries negotiating to halt Iran's nuclear drive, saying they had failed to make sufficiently clear the threat of UN sanctions. Rice made her remarks concerning the negotiations led by Britain, France and Germany in an interview with Fox News to be broadcast a day after she made a major appeal for transatlantic unity following the divisions over the Iraq war.
Human Rights Watch: The confinement of political prisoners in Iran together with violent criminals endangers their lives, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch called for the immediate release of all prisoners held for the peaceful expression of political opinions. Six prisoners in Rajaii Shahr prison near Karaj, a suburb of Tehran, launched a hunger strike on January 25 to protest their confinement with dangerous and belligerent criminals who have assaulted and intimidated them.
Reuters: Iran cannot be permitted to set its own conditions for carrying out a pledge not to develop nuclear weapons, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Tuesday.
"We should not let the Iranians continue to create new conditions that have to be fulfilled somehow before they are prepared to live up to their international obligations," she said after talks with French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier.
AFP: Officials from European heavyweights Britain, France and Germany were warning Iran about activities that verge on breaches of a deal to freeze nuclear fuel cycle work in talks that opened Tuesday in Geneva, diplomats said. Britain, France and Germany were "to read the riot act to the Iranians," a diplomat close to the talks, which is aimed at getting Iran to guarantee that it is not developing nuclear weapons, told AFP.
AFP: US President George W. Bush has been actively behind "regime change" for Iran, but the route to that end has yet to be defined and the perils are great, US experts said. Bush and his top aides have turned up the volume in their verbal attacks on the Islamic republic, calling it an "outpost of tyranny" and one of the principal backers of international terror, on its way to developing a nuclear weapon.
Reuters: European and Iranian officials began fresh talks on Tuesday on Western demands Tehran abandon plans to make nuclear fuel because of fears it could be used for weapons, but neither side expected a breakthrough. "This is a meeting of experts and it is an ongoing process. You should not expect too much," said one diplomat from a European country involved in the negotiations.
AFP: British Prime Minister Tony Blair called Iran a state sponsor of terrorism on Tuesday, and urged the Islamic republic to meet EU demands to renounce its suspected pursuit of nuclear weapons. "It certainly does sponsor terrorism. There's no doubt about that at all," Blair told a parliamentary committee, agreeing with US President George W. Bush's view of Iran as a leading backer of terrorists.
CNN: British Prime Minister Tony Blair has called Iran a state sponsor of terrorism, and urged the Islamic republic to bow to EU demands to renounce its suspected pursuit of nuclear weapons. He also called on Tehran not to hamper peace efforts in the Middle East. Giving evidence to a UK parliamentary committee, Blair was asked if he shared U.S. President George W. Bush's assessment of Tehran as the "world's primary state sponsor of terror."
AFP: Iran and the EU go into talks on Iran's nuclear program in Geneva Tuesday in flat disagreement over the most crucial point -- Tehran's abandoning uranium enrichment in order to guarantee it is not trying to make atomic weapons. And time is pressing. A European diplomat told AFP that both sides are "complaining about a lack of speed" in reaching an accord. Iran is waiting for incentive rewards, such as entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Iran Focus: Baghdad, Feb. 7 Iran's notorious Ministry of Intelligence and Security has been using a spy ring in Baghdad's main souq (bazaar) to carry out a range of covert activities, informed sources in the Iraqi capital told Iran Focus. The ring was led by a senior agent code-named Hamdi, an Iraqi of Iranian extraction who owned a shop in Baghdad's Shurja souq, said the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.