Iran Focus: Tehran, Feb. 27 A middle-aged man and his teenage son are facing imminent execution after Iran's Supreme Court upheld the death sentences handed down to them. Moussa Ali, 45 years old, and his son Rasoul, 16 years old, were accused of robbery, rape, and kidnapping, according to the state-run daily Hamshahri.
The Washington Times: A federal grand jury in the District on Friday returned a five-count indictment against a British man, charging him with attempting to send restricted electrical parts and other equipment, including an experimental airplane, to Iran. Department of Homeland Security Assistant Secretary Michael J. Garcia, who heads U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), said the indictment accuses Ali Asghar Manzarpour, 43, of violating federal export laws.
Washington Post: International investigators have uncovered evidence of a secret meeting 18 years ago between Iranian officials and associates of Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan that resulted in a written offer to supply Tehran with the makings of a nuclear weapons program, foreign diplomats and U.S. officials familiar with the new findings said.
Reuters: Russia and Iran have signed a key deal for Russia to supply Iran with nuclear fuel to the Bushehr nuclear plant, Russia's Itar-Tass news agency has reported. The deal, which also provides for Iran to return spent nuclear fuel to Russia, had been expected to be signed on Saturday but was delayed by 24 hours as talks continued.
AFP: Iran's capacity to enrich uranium is "not negotiable", a top national security official said Sunday in a fresh rejection of European efforts to persuade Tehran to give up its sensitive nuclear technology. "There is a belief among the European negotiators that if they give Iran political, security and economic incentives, Iran will give up enrichment," nuclear negotiator and top cleric Hassan Rowhani told state media.
AFP: The UN atomic agency begins a meeting Monday with just about everybody from Washington to Tehran wanting to reach a decision about whether Iran is secretly developing nuclear weapons but no one expecting it to come this week.
Iran Focus: Tehran, Feb. 26 Workers from Iran's Pars Textiles yesterday protested outside the governor's office in Gilan (Iran's Caspian coastal province) after having gone more than 10 months without pay. At least 180 workers took part in the protest demanding that the government take action against their employer.
AP: Iran, through the black market network, had accumulated all the knowledge it needed by the late 1980s to set up technology that can be used to make atomic weapons, diplomats familiar with the work of the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency said Saturday.
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.