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Violence, poverty and abuse led girl, 16, to gallows

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Iran Focus: Neka (northern Iran), Aug 31 – The orphaned 16-year-old girl hanged in front of residents in this town close to the Caspian Sea on August 15 suffered years of brutal violence, exploitation and torture in the hands of relatives, local officials and plain strangers, and in a country where girls are the most vulnerable members of society, she had no one to go to for help.
The tragic picture emerges from dozens of interviews conducted by an Iran Focus correspondent with Atefeh Rajabi’s classmates, friends, relatives and neighbors in this humid, overcrowded industrial town that sits on a busy highway linking Tehran with the north of the country.

Iran says curvy shop dummies must cover up

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Reuters: Iran’s moral crackdown has widened its focus from stylishly dressed women to curvaceous shop-window mannequins, a newspaper has reported.
Morals police have banned shopkeepers from showing unveiled dummies and lingerie in their windows.
And men were now forbidden to sell women’s underwear, Sharq newspaper said on Tuesday.

Bush: Diplomacy Is Best Option With Iran

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AP: Calling war divisive for the country, President Bush said he will continue pursuing diplomatic rather than military options to try to get Iran to halt its nuclear program.
Earlier this month, Iran confirmed it had resumed building nuclear centrifuges, which can be used to enrich uranium to weapons grade, and declared it should have the right to advanced nuclear technology.

Putin: Iran must not become nuclear power

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Middle East Online: Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed concern about Iran’s atomic programme on Tuesday and said it must not be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons.
“Russia has cooperated with Iran and we will continue to do so, but like our European colleagues France, Germany, Britain, and the US, we are concerned by the fact that questions are being raised about Iran’s nuclear programme,” Putin said.

Pettigrew: Canada hasn’t ruled out sanctions against Iran in Kazemi case

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Associated Press: Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew said Tuesday that Canada has not ruled out sanctions against Iran to protest the death in custody of a Quebec-based photojournalist.
Pettigrew, who was on his first visit to the European Union as Canada’s new foreign affairs minister, said he discussed the case of slain Canadian journalist Zahra Kazemi with EU counterparts during two days of meetings in Brussels.

Iranian influence in Iraq essential – Khamenei

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Iran Focus: In a meeting with university lecturers and students, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei urged young people in Iraq to continue their struggle against U.S. forces in Najaf.
He said that Iran is a “source of hope for the world due to its confrontational position” towards the United States. Khamenei urged Iraqis to follow Iran’s example of achieving an Islamic Republic.

Iran arrests dozens for espionage, nuke leaks

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Iran Focus: Iran has arrested dozens of spies including several who leaked the Islamic Republic’s “nuclear secrets”, Minister of Intelligence and Security Ali Younessi said on Tuesday.
“The Information Ministry has arrested several spies who were carrying Iran’s nuclear information [out of the country”>,” he told reporters during a news conference in the Iranian capital.

Iran says can “deter all enemies”

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Iran Focus: TEHRAN, Aug. 30 – Iranian Defense Minister Rear Admiral Ali Shamkhani told a meeting of senior military officiers at the headquarters of the joint chiefs of staff, on Sunday that the Islamic Republic of Iran is “the undisputable power in the region.”
Shamkhani said Iran has achieved “an effective deterrent power” to confront its “enemies” in the region. He did not elaborate.

Thousands of Iranians to Rally in Brussels to Demand Removal of Terror Tag

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Iran Focus: Thousands of Iranians will be heading to Brussels from across Europe on Monday, September 13, to take part in a huge rally outside the offices of the European Union as EU foreign ministers meet inside, Iranian exiles said.
The rally is being organized by supporters of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, a coalition of democratic opposition groups seeking to topple the theocratic regime in
Iran and establish a democratically-elected government in its place.

German Min: Iran Nuclear Buildup Would Be “Nightmare”

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Associated Press: An Iranian nuclear arms buildup would be a “nightmare,” German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer warned Sunday, saying Europe is looking to head off any dangerous confrontation with Tehran.