Sunday, August 07, 2005

Ahwazi Arabs in Solidarity with Iran's Kurds

Ahwaz Arabs have backed Kurdish protests against the Iranian regime after dozens of Kurds were killed in uprisings in Mahabad, Baneh and Saqqez.

The Iranian security forces used heavy weapons, including helicopter-mounted machine guns, to kill Kurdish demonstrators during nearly a month of unrest.

The Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan, a centre-left opposition group outlawed in Iran, has urged "international organisations, human-rights supporters and the international community to make efforts to stop the bloodshed of the Iranian Kurdish people by the Islamic republic regime of Iran".

The unrest in Iranian Kurdistan began in Mahabad after a Kurdish opposition activist Shivan Qaderi and two other Kurdish men were murdered in cold blood by Iranian forces on 9 July. The security forces then tied his body to a Toyata jeep and dragged him in the streets.

Iran rejects EU nuclear compromise

"Iran rejected on Saturday the European Union's offer of incentives in return for a suspension of its nuclear fuel work, paving the way for a confrontation that could lead to U.N. sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

The EU said its proposals aimed to allow Iran access to nuclear technology, but block work that could help make an atomic bomb. If Tehran resumed nuclear work, the EU said it would back U.S. calls to refer Iran to the U.N. for sanctions.

'The proposals are unacceptable and we reject them,' senior Iranian nuclear negotiator Hossein Mousavian told Reuters.
Washington accuses Iran of secretly trying to develop a nuclear arsenal, but Tehran denies the charge and says its right to convert and enrich uranium for nuclear power stations is recognised by the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

New Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad did not specifically mention the nuclear issue as he was sworn in on Saturday, but said: 'We are logical and respect international rules, but will not give in to those who want to violate our rights ... The Iranian nation cannot be intimidated.'

The EU -- represented by the 'EU3' of Britain, France and Germany -- has been working to find a compromise between Iran and the United States since Tehran's nuclear programme was exposed in late 2002 after 18 years of work carried out in secrecy."

US may deny visa for Iran leader's UN address

The Bush administration is considering taking the unprecedented step of preventing a visting head of state from addressing the United Nations in New York by denying a visa to Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad, Iran's new elected conservative president.

Officials said a decision rested on investigations into whether Mr Ahmadi-Nejad was involved in the 1979 US embassy hostage crisis and the killing of an Iranian-Kurdish dissident leader in Vienna in 1989. Iran denies his involvement in either event.

US's Bolton warns Iran, Syria over Iraqi border

U.S. Ambassador John Bolton, in his debut in the U.N. Security Council, pressed Syria and Iran on Thursday to do more to stem the flow of terrorists, arms and funding into neighboring Iraq.

His comments came as the 15-nation council unanimously adopted a U.S.-drafted resolution condemning a recent surge in violence in Iraq that has killed hundreds, including Algerian diplomats, U.S. Marines and a Sunni Arab helping to draft a new Iraqi constitution.

Russia used the vote to criticize the media for glorifying terrorists after Moscow said it would bar ABC News from working in Russia when the U.S. television network aired an interview with Chechen rebel leader Shamil Basayev.

Bolton urged all nations "to meet their obligations to stop the flow of terrorist financing and weapons, and particularly on Iran and Syria."

"We think this is very important, obviously, to help bring stability and security to the people of Iraq and to permit the constitutional process to go forward. It's the highest priority for the people and government of Iraq, and for the United States as well," he said, speaking after the council vote.

Syrian Ambassador Fayssal Mekdad attacked Bolton's statement and similar comments by British Ambassador Emyr Jones Parry, saying they showed "a determined campaign against Syria" by Washington and London.

Review Finds Iran Far From Nuclear Bomb

A major U.S. intelligence review has projected that Iran is about a decade away from manufacturing the key ingredient for a nuclear weapon, roughly doubling the previous estimate of five years, according to government sources with firsthand knowledge of the new analysis.

The carefully hedged assessments, which represent consensus among U.S. intelligence agencies, contrast with forceful public statements by the White House. Administration officials have asserted, but have not offered proof, that Tehran is moving determinedly toward a nuclear arsenal. The new estimate could provide more time for diplomacy with Iran over its nuclear ambitions. President Bush has said that he wants the crisis resolved diplomatically but that "all options are on the table."

The new National Intelligence Estimate includes what the intelligence community views as credible indicators that Iran's military is conducting clandestine work. But the sources said there is no information linking those projects directly to a nuclear weapons program. What is clear is that Iran, mostly through its energy program, is acquiring and mastering technologies that could be diverted to bombmaking.

The estimate expresses uncertainty about whether Iran's ruling clerics have made a decision to build a nuclear arsenal, three U.S. sources said. Still, a senior intelligence official familiar with the findings said that "it is the judgment of the intelligence community that, left to its own devices, Iran is determined to build nuclear weapons."

At no time in the past three years has the White House attributed its assertions about Iran to U.S. intelligence, as it did about Iraq in the run-up to the March 2003 invasion. Instead, it has pointed to years of Iranian concealment and questioned why a country with as much oil as Iran would require a large-scale nuclear energy program.

Judge in key dissident case shot dead in Teheran

A gunman on a motorcycle shot dead the judge trying the case of Iranian dissident Akbar Ganji, judiciary spokesman Jamal Karimirad said on Tuesday.

Massoud Moghaddas...was shot and martyred leaving the court building,? he told Reuters. ?We do not know anything about the identity of the assassin?.

State television said Moghaddas was Teheran?s deputy prosecutor.

Blast Rocks British Airways Office In Iran

A bomb has exploded near the British Airways office in the Iranian capital Tehran.

No-one was hurt in the blast, which was caused by a small device left in a rubbish bin.

An Interior Ministry spokesman confirmed that bomb disposal teams had been sent to the scene.

A witness said that the building, which also houses a BP office, was damaged in the blast.

The witness said of the device: "It was hidden in a rubbish bin.