AP: Iran will never scrap its nuclear program, and talks with Europeans are intended to protect the country's nuclear achievements, not negotiate an end to them, an Iranian official said Wednesday. The remarks by Ali Agha Mohammadi, spokesman of Iran's powerful Supreme National Security Council, are the latest in a hardening of his country's stance amid ongoing talks with European negotiators.
Reuters: Faced with political pressure over its business ties in Iran, General Electric Co. said on Wednesday it would not accept any new business there, citing "uncertain conditions" in the country. "Senior management and the board decided in mid-December to discontinue taking new orders because of uncertain conditions relating to Iran," said Gary Sheffer, executive director of communications and public affairs at GE.
AFP: US President George W. Bush will make clear in his annual State of the Union address that he wants a peaceful solution to the dispute over Iran's nuclear program, a senior aide said Tuesday. The official, speaking at a briefing organized by the White House on condition that he not be named, scoffed at concerns that Washington might use force against Iran after invading Iraq 22 months ago.
AFP: Iran is under growing international pressure to renounce its suspected nuclear arms programs, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Tuesday, but she refused to rule out seeking UN action. Rice said in an interview that Washington "greatly appreciates" the efforts by Britain, France and Germany to try to persuade Tehran to give up its nuclear weapons ambitions.
Voice of America: No part of President Bush's State of the Union address in 2002, a few months after the September 2001 terrorist attacks, was more controversial than his use of the term axis of evil to describe an Iraq then still ruled by Saddam Hussein, North Korea and Iran. On Iran he said this: "Iran aggressively pursues these weapons and exports terror, while an unelected few repress the Iranian people's hope for freedom."
AP: A senior Ukrainian legislator alleges the country sold nuclear-capable cruise missiles to Iran and China in violation of international non-proliferation treaties and is demanding the new government launch a full investigation. The allegations were made in a letter -- made available to The Associated Press on Tuesday -- by legislator Hrihory Omelchenko and addressed to President Viktor Yushchenko, who took office last week.
Reuters: Iran, accused by Washington of developing nuclear weapons, is determined to become one of the world's suppliers of nuclear fuel, a senior Iranian official said on Tuesday. The head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog, Mohamed ElBaradei, last year proposed a five-year moratorium on the creation of new nuclear fuel production facilities around the world, which would include Iran's uranium enrichment facilities.
Reuters: The European Union rejected on Tuesday a call by Iran to speed up talks on its disputed nuclear program, insisting the pace of negotiations was right and that the dialogue was on track. Iran, which denies U.S. accusations that it is seeking nuclear weapons, has agreed to freeze potentially arms-related uranium enrichment activities while ...
Iran Focus: Tehran, Feb. 01 Iranian State Security Forces raided a home in Karaj (central Iran), host to a coed party, arresting nine young men and women yesterday.
Music tapes, two video-cameras and alcoholic beverages were among the items confiscated during the raid.
New York Sun: The new chairman of the Helsinki Commission says he plans to use the Cold War institution to highlight Iranian human rights issues with Europe.
The plan by Senator Brownback, a Republican from Kansas, is in keeping with the president's commitment to spread freedom throughout the world, a theme that is likely to be reiterated in his State of the Union speech tomorrow.
Iran Focus: Tehran, Feb. 01 Two teenagers aged 15 and 18 separately committed suicide in desperation, by jumping off the top of their houses.
On Saturday, the 15-year-old boy only identified by his first name, Arshya committed suicide by throwing himself from the roof of his house. His parents said that Arshya was under extreme social pressures.
Associated Press: An American envoy repeated US allegations Monday about an Iranian nuclear weapons program and said Israel might attack Iran's nuclear sites because the Jewish state has "a history" of such actions. John Bolton, the State Department's top international security official, was referring to Israel's 1981 bombing raid on Iraq's Osirak nuclear reactor.
AP: The head of the advisory National Intelligence Council says he is not optimistic the United States and its allies can change Iran's intention of building a nuclear capacity. "I am somewhat more optimistic - somewhat, I emphasize - that we can, through diplomacy and a combination of pressure and inducements, keep them on track," council Chairman Robert Hutchings said in an interview Monday, his last day on the job.
South Florida Sun-Sentinel: On Dec. 20, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution condemning human rights abuses in Iran, citing the crackdown on media, use of torture and discrimination against women. The resolution further demonstrates the international community's awareness of the Iranian regime's atrocities. This fundamentalist government's violations of human rights have been well-documented over 50 times by the United Nations and other groups.
Al-Jazeera: Irans senior nuclear negotiator, Hassan Rowhani, said that Tehran will continue uranium enrichment and that its freeze on the process will not last long. The Hamshari newspaper quoted Rowhani as saying that "The length of the suspension will not be very long and will be valid for the duration of the negotiations and only on the condition that the negotiations make progress."
Reuters: Three British naval boats confiscated by Iran's military last June must go to Iran's war museum, rather than be returned as London has demanded, a senior military official has said. Iran's Revolutionary Guards seized the three boats last June and arrested eight British crewmen, accusing them of straying into Iranian waters in the Shatt al-Arab waterway which divides southwestern Iran from Iraq.
Iran Focus: Tehran, Jan. 31 A worker from Iran's "Foumanat Textiles" factory attempted to commit suicide by hanging himself inside the factory but was prevented when a fellow worker cut the rope around his neck.
Ahmad Agahi, the spokesperson for workers in the factory based in the town of Fouman (northern Gilan province), told a state-run news agency yesterday that poverty and social pressures were what brought the man to commit suicide.