Iran Focus: Baghdad, Feb. 14 An agent from Iran's Ministry of Intelligence and Security was caught carrying dozens of fake passports in the central Iraqi city of Al-Amara.
The Iranian agent was arrest along with a Saudi national who was also in possession of counterfeit passports.
Washington Post: When the Bush administration decided to invade Iraq two years ago, it envisioned a quick handover to handpicked allies in a secular government that would be the antithesis of Iran's theocracy -- potentially even a foil to Tehran's regional ambitions. But, in one of the greatest ironies of the U.S. intervention, Iraqis instead went to the polls and elected a government with a strong religious base -- and very close ties to the Islamic republic next door.
Financial Times: The victory by Shia clerics in Iraq's elections is likely to complicate US efforts to press Iran to dismantle its nuclear programme.
The United Iraqi Alliance is dominated by two political parties formerly based in Iran, and many members of the bloc still have close ties with their Shia neighbour.
Iran Focus: Washington, Feb. 13 In a conference on Thursday, coinciding with the 26th anniversary of the revolution that toppled the Shah, a leading Iran-policy group in Washington discussed U.S. policy options towards the clerical state. The Iran Policy Committee, comprised of former officials from the White House, State Department, Pentagon, ...
Iran Focus: Tehran, Feb. 13 Iran will resume enriching uranium as part of its suspected nuclear weapons program's once ordered to do so by the Majlis (parliament), according to a senior official from Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation (IAEO). Mohammad Saeedi, the IAEO's deputy head of International Affairs and Planning, said that parliament will present a bill to "task Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation with meeting part of the fuel (demand) for the country's atomic plants".
Iran Focus: Tehran, Feb. 13 - Thousands of people flooded the streets of Mahabad (northwest Kurdistan province in Iran) this morning, clashing violently with State Security Forces after days of gas, water, and electricity interruptions. According to local residents, household gas has been cut off in the town for the past four days, electricity has been out for more than 24 hours, and water was repeatedly cut off for several hours at a time over the past day.
AFP: German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer warned on Sunday that Iran would be referred to the UN Security Council if it resumed nuclear enrichment which could be used for weapons. "If Iran behaves in an unreasonable way, if for example it restarts enrichment... then that would lead to the Security Council," Fischer told an international security conference in the German city of Munich.
Washington Post: The Bush administration has been flying surveillance drones over Iran for nearly a year to seek evidence of nuclear weapons programs and detect weaknesses in air defenses, according to three U.S. officials with detailed knowledge of the secret effort. The small, pilotless planes, penetrating Iranian airspace from U.S. military facilities in Iraq, use radar, video, still photography and air filters designed to ...
AFP: Iran on Sunday rejected a European offer aimed at limiting its nuclear fuel activities and warned the United States against "playing with fire" in an increasingly bellicose standoff between Tehran and the international community. Foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi insisted Iran would not give up construction of a heavy-water reactor, which can be used to make nuclear weapons material, in exchange for a light-water reactor offered by the Europeans.
Sunday Telegraph: America's spy network in Iran was exposed more than 10 years ago and about 50 of its local agents were executed or jailed in a devastating setback for United States intelligence operations in the Islamic state, former CIA officials have disclosed. The Iranian agents, who included senior military officers, had been relaying information to their handlers at the CIA's office in Frankfurt, using messages written in invisible ink on the back of letters posted from Iran.
Sunday Telegraph: Pakistan has conceded for the first time that Dr A Q Khan, the rogue nuclear scientist who is under house arrest in Islamabad, passed secrets and equipment to Iranian officials and is now considered the "brain" behind the programme that has put Teheran on the brink of acquiring nuclear weapons. An investigation by Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency, details of which have been disclosed to The Telegraph, confirmed that Khan, a hero in Pakistan as the ...
Reuters: Germany urged the United States on Saturday to back EU diplomacy on Iran to stop it acquiring nuclear weapons, while Tehran expressed optimism about reaching a deal with the Europeans. "I expressly encourage the U.S. government to actively support the diplomatic efforts of the Europeans," German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said in a speech delivered by his defence minister to the Munich Security Conference.
Reuters: Iran on Saturday started churning out a production line of torpedoes as pressure mounts against the Islamic Republic, which Washington accuses of seeking to acquire nuclear weapons, state media reported. Defence Minister Ali Shamkhani, in naval uniform, was shown on state television inspecting some 20 torpedoes, mainly painted red with black tips.
Financial Times: Candidates linked to an Islamist party with close ties to Iran won out over rivals in elections for Iraq's provincial councils announced on Friday. The results provide an early glimpse of the balance of electoral strength within the Shia political movement, which is expected to dominate once the final results of the January 30 election - expected in the next two days - are announced.
U-TV: European Union chiefs were today urged to adopt a tougher stance with Iran over any move to acquire nuclear weapons.
Democratic Unionist Jim Allister issued the call after MEPs were briefed by a critic of the Tehran regime, the President elect of the National Council of Resistance in Iran, Maryam Rajavi. In a hard hitting statement Mr Allister said: "Iran is a dictatorial theocracy, in which freedom of speech and human rights are trampled over on a daily basis.
Reuters: Iran's 2003 Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi on Saturday complained that the conservative judiciary had summoned her to court again without saying why. "I have received another summons to appear before a public court, this time as an accused on the fifth of Esfand (Feb. 23)," the human rights lawyer told Reuters by telephone.