BlueHummingbird, News

Bush v. Iran

From The BBC: Monday, 23 September, 2002, 10:05 GMT 11:05 UK
UK 'sells' bomb material to Iran
British officials have approved the export of key components needed to make nuclear weapons to Iran and other countries known to be developing such weapons. ...

From Reuters: Dec 12, 2002 7:21 pm ET
U.S. Has New Evidence of Iran Nuclear Program
By Steve Holland
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States believes Iran's nuclear weapons program has taken a disquieting move forward with the building of two large nuclear facilities, U.S. officials said on Thursday. ... The facilities are of a type that suggest Iran could be using them to build a nuclear weapon, the officials said. ... The U.S. government considers Iran the most active state sponsor of terrorism. Iran, Iraq and North Korea make up what Bush has called an "axis of evil" bent on acquiring weapons of mass destruction and supporting terrorism. ...

From Reuters: Fri Dec 13, 3:15 PM ET
Iran Was Burying Nuclear Facilities, U.S. Says
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Iran was trying to hide parts of the nuclear facility it is building near the central town of Natanz by burying some of the buildings underground, the State Department said Friday. The United States says the Natanz complex and another facility in nearby Arak were part of a secret project to make nuclear weapons in violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Iran said Friday they were for non-military uses. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said the plan to hide them was evident from commercial satellite imagery which came to light this week and which cast some doubt on Iran's position that they are for civilian purposes. ...

From CNN: Friday, December 13, 2002 Posted: 4:50 PM EST (2150 GMT)
U.S.: Iran working on nuclear weapons
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The United States accused Iran Friday of "actively working" on a nuclear weapons program and said that recent satellite photographs of a massive nuclear power construction project "reinforce" that belief. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said two facilities seen in the photographs "are not justified by the needs of Iran's civilian nuclear program." "There is no economic gain for a state that's rich in oil and gas like Iran to build costly nuclear fuel cycle facilities," he said. "I point out that Iran flares more gas annually than the equivalent energy its desired reactors would produce." Boucher added: "We've reached the conclusion that Iran is actively working to develop nuclear weapons capability."
But International Atomic Energy Agency Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei, in an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour, said the chief of Iran's atomic energy program had told him in September that the construction was for a 6,000-megawatt nuclear power facility. Gholamreza Aghazadeh also said that Iran planned to declare the facilities to the IAEA and would welcome IAEA safeguards, according to ElBaradei. ...
"The circumstances are fairly interesting and lead to the conclusion ... that this nuclear program in Iran is not peaceful and certainly is not transparent," Boucher said. Iranian officials disputed the charge. "I can categorically tell you that Iran does not have a nuclear weapons program," said Mohammed Javad Zarif, Iran's ambassador to the United Nations. ...

From Reuters: Monday, March 10, 2003 12:18 p.m. ET
Iran Says U.S. Sabotaging Its Cooperation with IAEA
By Parinoosh Arami
TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran accused Washington on Monday of sabotaging its cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) by continuing to raise question marks about the Islamic Republic's nuclear ambitions. Senior U.S. officials, including Secretary of State Colin Powell, urged the U.N. nuclear watchdog on Sunday to take a closer look at Iran's nuclear program which they said was more advanced than previously thought.
Iran insists its nuclear plans are merely aimed at meeting booming electricity demand from its 65 million population and are being supervised by the IAEA. "We believe that the U.S. is sabotaging the close and constructive cooperation between Iran and the IAEA," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told the official IRNA news agency. "Iran's nuclear activities are transparent, peaceful, and are according to the international regulations," he said.
Iran, which Washington has branded an "axis of evil" member along with Iraq and North Korea, last month revealed that it had begun mining uranium and was constructing several other plants to process and enrich the fuel. While enriched uranium is used in nuclear power reactors it can also be used to make atomic weapons. ...
Asefi reacted angrily to the U.S. comments. "The arrogant U.S. officials are about to weaken the international organizations by distorting facts," he said. "The world has been facing the threat of war since the extremist Bush administration came to power in America. The illogical policies of U.S. officials has increased insecurity, instability, pessimism, and hatred throughout the world," Asefi said.

From the Pak Tribune: Monday March 24, 2003 (0214 PST)
Iran to be US next target: CIA Report
LAHORE, March 24 (Online): The next target of US after capturing Iraq will be replacement of religious government in Iran with a secular government as the US forces in Afghanistan have already started implementation on action plan in this regard. ...

Iran tells U.S. to curb militant group
U.S. signed pact with anti-Tehran opposition based in Iraq
TEHRAN, Iran, May 5 — Iran urged the United States on Monday not to allow an Iranian opposition group to attack the country from Iraq. The People’s Mujahedeen is on the U.S. State Department’s terrorist list, yet it still signed a truce with the United States on April 15 that allowed it to keep weapons to defend itself against Iranian-backed attacks. ... “It is unacceptable that the United States uses the terrorist hypocrites as a partner,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said, referring to the Mujahedeen. Asefi cited reports the group was operating in Iraq close to the border and planning armed attacks against Iran. ... Iran’s top leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, last week accused America of ridiculing democracy and the fight against terror by agreeing on a cease-fire with the People’s Mujahedeen. Asefi said the United States should fulfill its obligations to fight terror. “Categorizing terrorists into good and bad is a violation of international conventions. If the U.S. is sincere about fighting terrorism, it would fight all forms of terror,” he said. ...

From The NYT: May 8, 2003
New U.S. Concerns on Iran's Pursuit of Nuclear Arms

From The Guardian (UK): Thursday May 8, 2003
US seeks UN action over Iranian 'weapons'
Staff and agencies
Washington is pressing the UN to take action against Iran over its alleged nuclear weapons development programme, it was reported today. ... IAEA officials said it was too early to comment on the Iranian nuclear programme and whether Tehran had violated its non-proliferation treaty commitments. "We are at the moment in the process of conducting inspections in Iran and of doing analysis at IAEA headquarters, and at this point we are reserving judgment about the nature of Iran's nuclear programme," said an IAEA spokeswoman, Melissa Fleming. ...

From Reuters: Fri May 9, 2003 10:36 AM ET
Iran Vows to Work with IAEA on Nuclear Program
GENEVA (Reuters) - Iran vowed on Friday to work closely with the U.N. atomic watchdog IAEA to show its nuclear program was solely for peaceful purposes. Saying Iran did 'not have anything to hide,' senior foreign ministry official Amir Zamaninia also accused the United States of trying to create a 'quasi-crisis' over Iran during international arms talks in Geneva. ... President Bush expressed concern on Thursday Iran might be developing nuclear arms and said he would take the lead in preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction. ...

From The Guardian: Friday May 16, 2003
US accuses Iran of stockpiling chemical arms
Dan De Luce in Tehran and Oliver Burkeman in Washington
Iran, already accused by the Bush administration of hiding attempts to build a nuclear bomb, faces fresh allegations about its chemical and biological weapons programmes. Washington is now accusing Tehran of stockpiling nerve agents and pursuing a chemical weapons programme, while an Iranian resistance group yesterday alleged that Iran has an aggressive bio-weapons effort under way. ...

From The Hindu: Sunday, May 18, 2003
Iran asks Gulf nations to cooperate for security
By Atul Aneja
MANAMA May 17. Signalling Iran's opposition to the presence of the U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf, the Iranian President, Mohammd Khatami, today said that countries of the region must work together to guarantee their own security. "The security of regional countries will be guaranteed only under their close cooperation and the future of the region has to be decided according to common interests of their nations,'' he said during a meeting with the Bahraini Prime Minister, Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman. ... The Iranian President specifically seemed to rebuff the U.S. demand that Tehran should terminate its support to the Hizbollah group operating in Lebanon. ... In a joint statement in Lebanon, the Iranian side had made it clear that it would continue to support the Hizobollah until Israel vacated the Shebba farms. ... On Iraq, Mr. Khatami has maintained Teheran was seeking a U.S. withdrawal from Baghdad. ...

From The Washington Post: Sunday, May 25, 2003; Page A01
U.S. Eyes Pressing Uprising In Iran
Officials Cite Al Qaeda Links, Nuclear Program
By Glenn Kessler, Washington Post Staff Writer
The Bush administration, alarmed by intelligence suggesting that al Qaeda operatives in Iran had a role in the May 12 suicide bombings in Saudi Arabia, has suspended once-promising contacts with Iran and appears ready to embrace an aggressive policy of trying to destabilize the Iranian government, administration officials said. ...

From The Daily Star (Lebanon): 05/29/03
Khatami takes aim at America, Al-Qaeda
Iranian president denounces ‘violent dogmatists and arrogant powers’
Compiled by Daily Star staff
TEHRAN: Iranian President Mohammad Khatami called on Muslim states Wednesday to show clear support for Palestinian resistance and Iraqi sovereignty in a speech to foreign ministers of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). The secretary-general of the pan-Islamic body, Abdelwahid Belkeziz, also urged delegates to stand by fellow OIC members that were under threat -­ an implicit reference to mounting US warnings directed against Iran and Syria. ...

From Newsday: May 29, 2003
Iranians Deny U.S. Al-Qaida Charges
Angrily vow to defy 'superpower will'
Beirut - Iran's conservative and reformist leaders went on the offensive yesterday against the Bush administration's charges that Tehran is harboring al-Qaida terrorists, seeking to develop nuclear weapons and interfering in Iraq. Both reformist President Mohammad Khatami and the country's hard-line supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, made forceful speeches rejecting Washington's stepped-up charges in recent days that the Islamic republic is not doing enough to crack down on al-Qaida members believed to be operating within its territory and that it is secretly pursuing nuclear weapons. ...

From UPI: 5/30/2003 2:35 PM
Judge rules against Iran in 1983 bombing
By Michael Kirkland, UPI Legal Affairs Correspondent
From the Washington Politics & Policy Desk
WASHINGTON, May 30 (UPI) -- A federal judge in Washington Friday ruled for the families of U.S. service members killed or injured in a 1983 suicide bombing of their Marine barracks in Beirut, and ordered special masters to determine damages against the Islamic Republic of Iran. ... The family members' suits were filed in October and December 2001. Although the Iranian government was served with the complaints, it failed to respond to either case, and Lamberth ruled Iran in default. Nevertheless, Lamberth ordered an inquiry before passing judgment. The judge said he was convinced of Iran's guilt by evidence presented during a March trial. ... Iran spent between $50 million and $150 million "financing terrorist organizations in the Near East" between 1983 and 1988, Lamberth said. ...

From UPI: 5/30/2003 2:45 PM
Bush dismisses reports of Iran attack
From the International Desk
MOSCOW, May 30 (UPI) -- President George W. Bush, speaking to a Russian television reporter in an interview aired Friday, dismissed media reports that the United States may launch an attack on Iran as "pure speculation." ...

From Reuters: Fri May 30, 2003 04:18 PM ET
US Rules Out Russian Idea on Iran's Nuclear Program
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States on Friday ruled out any nuclear cooperation with Iran, as proposed by Russia, until Tehran implements stronger safeguards recommended by the International Atomic Energy Agency. Russia's atomic energy minister suggested on Friday that the United States join it in building a nuclear power plant in Iran, calling it a way to ease Washington's concern that Tehran could use the Russian reactor to develop atomic weapons. ...

From The BBC (UK): Wednesday, 4 June, 2003, 12:15 GMT 13:15 UK
Iran warns US against attack
Iran's supreme leader has warned the United States that any attack against his country would be "suicide for the aggressor". ...

From The Financial Times (UK): Published: June 13 2003 5:00 | Last Updated: June 13 2003 5:00
Washington 'applauds' protests in Tehran
By Najmeh Bozorgmehr in Tehran, Guy Dinmore in Washington and Roula Khalaf in London
The US on Thursday congratulated Iranians for holding anti-government protests in Tehran, saying it supported their "aspirations to live in freedom". ... Earlier Ayatollah Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, blamed the US for attempting to provoke chaos. He said: "The US wants to create trouble in Iran, divide the people and create a chasm between the system and populace." ... Some of the protesters said they had responded to calls by exiled opposition activists broadcasting programmes from the US that are picked up in Tehran with banned satellite dishes. ... US pressure has been mounting amid rising international concerns over Tehran's alleged pursuit of nuclear weapons, and accusations by the Pentagon that Iran is harbouring activists of the al-Qaeda organisation. ...

From the Evening Standard (UK): 17 June 2003
Special forces 'prepare for Iran attack'
By Robert Fox
British and American intelligence and special forces have been put on alert for a conflict with Iran within the next 12 months, as fears grow that Tehran is building a nuclear weapons programme. ...

From Reuters: Wed, Jun 18, 2003
Bush: World Must Not Let Iran Have Nuclear Weapons
By Steve Holland
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush said on Wednesday the international community must make clear to Iran that "we will not tolerate" construction of a nuclear weapon by Tehran. ... "The international community must come together to make it very clear to Iran that we will not tolerate construction of a nuclear weapon," Bush said. "Iran would be dangerous if they have a nuclear weapon." With the situation in Iraq still unsettled after the U.S.-led war there, Bush offered strong support for Iranians protesting their government's lack of progress on promised reforms and the hardline clerics who have blocked reform in the Islamic republic. ... "I appreciate those courageous souls who speak out for freedom in Iran. They need to know that America stands squarely by their side, and I would urge the Iranian administration to treat them with the utmost of respect," Bush said. ...

From Reuters: Sunday, June 22, 2003 3:01 p.m. ET
Powell Denies U.S. Preparing for Conflict with Iran
DEAD SEA, Jordan (Reuters) - Secretary of State Colin Powell on Sunday dismissed as "absolutely wrong" any suggestion that the United States was preparing to attack Iran. ...

From The NYT: July 8, 2003
Iran Confirms Test of Missile That Is Able to Hit Israel
TEHRAN, July 7 — Iran has successfully conducted the final test of a midrange missile, a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry here confirmed today. The missile, called Shahab-3, was first tested in 1998 and has a range of 806 to 930 miles, which means it can reach Israel and American troops stationed in Saudi Arabia and Iraq. ...

From The Guardian (UK): Tuesday July 22, 2003
Bush in new threat to Iran and Syria
by Duncan Campbell in Los Angeles
President George Bush issued a strident new warning to Iran and Syria yesterday, accusing them of harbouring terrorists and hinting at the consequences. "This behaviour is completely unacceptable," he said during a joint press conference at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, with the Italian prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi. "And states that continue to harbour terrorists will be held completely accountable." ...

From The BBC: Tuesday, 22 July, 2003, 16:40 GMT 17:40 UK
Iran and Syria dismiss Bush claims
Iran and Syria have dismissed allegations by United States President George W Bush that both countries were harbouring terrorists. ... Mr Bush on Monday accused Iran and Syria of continuing to support terrorism and warned that the US may take action. He also said Iran and Syria were undermining peace efforts in the Middle East and betraying the true interests of the Palestinian people. ...

From Reuters: Wed July 23, 2003 12:21 PM ET
Iran Says Has Many Al Qaeda in Custody, Some Senior
TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran's intelligence minister said on Wednesday Tehran was holding many al Qaeda members, including some senior figures from Osama bin Laden's network. "Since the collapse of the Taliban regime we have arrested a large number of them (al Qaeda members)," Ali Yunesi told reporters after a weekly cabinet meeting. "Many of them have been expelled and a large number of them are in our custody -- a mixture of big and small members." ...
Interior Minister Abdolvahed Mousavi Lari said on Wednesday some al Qaeda members would be tried in Iran, some extradited to their countries of origin and others deported back to the country they entered Iran from. "We are ready to hand over those al Qaeda members with whose countries we have friendly ties," the official IRNA news agency quoted him as saying.

From AFP at SpaceWar: Aug 14, 2003
Iran speeds up nuclear programme despite world criticism

At Ananova: Story filed: 15:52 Friday 29th August 2003
Israel 'would bomb Iran nuclear plant'
Israel has made plans to bomb an Iranian nuclear power plant if it begins producing weapons grade material, it was reported today. ...

From Reuters: Wed September 10, 2003 06:17 AM ET
Iran Faces Deadline to Prove It Not Making N-Bomb
By Louis Charbonneau
VIENNA (Reuters) - The United States and four allies were pushing the U.N. nuclear watchdog to approve a resolution Wednesday that would give Tehran until October 31 to prove it has no covert nuclear weapons program. Japan, Britain, France and Germany joined forces with Washington by co-sponsoring a draft that demanded Iran demonstrate full compliance with the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which the United States says Tehran has violated. The toughly-worded draft resolution, circulated at a closed-door meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) 35-nation Board of Governors, also called on Iran to "suspend all further uranium enrichment activities." ...
Washington, which last year listed Iran, North Korea and pre-war Iraq as members of an "axis of evil" whose weapons projects threatened world peace, says Tehran's nuclear program is a front for developing an atomic bomb. ...

From AFP at SpaceWar: Sep 10, 2003
Iran toughens stance towards UN nuclear watchdog as pressure mounts
TEHRAN (AFP) - Iran toughened its stand Wednesday over demands it agree to snap inspections of its atomic energy program, saying it may review its cooperation with the UN's nuclear watchdog as Western countries turn up the heat. ...

From Reuters: Fri September 12, 2003 03:05 PM ET
UN Sets Iran Nuclear Deadline, Draws Tehran Anger By Louis Charbonneau

From AFP at SpaceWar: Sep 13, 2003
Iran threatens pullout from nuclear pact after IAEA deadline

From Reuters: 16 Sep 2003 17:34:41 GMT
Russia says no proof Iran could build atom bomb
By Louis Charbonneau

From Reuters: 16 Sep 2003 22:04:09 GMT
US sanctions Russian firm for selling arms to Iran
WASHINGTON, Sept 16 (Reuters) - The United States said on Tuesday it imposed sanctions on a Russian company for transferring laser-guided artillery shells to Iran and it imposed, and immediately waived, broader sanctions on Russia. "The United States government has determined that the government of Russia transferred lethal military equipment to countries determined ... to be state sponsors of terrorism," the State Department said in the U.S. Federal Register. ...

From Reuters: Thu September 25, 2003 04:43 PM ET
Bush Warns Iran After UN Finds Arms-Grade Uranium
By Louis Charbonneau
VIENNA (Reuters) - The U.N. nuclear watchdog has found traces of weapons-grade enriched uranium at a second site in Iran, diplomats said on Thursday, and President Bush warned Tehran it faces global condemnation. ...

From The Financial Times: Published: October 9 2003 22:06
UN nuclear agency warns Iran 'time is running out'
By Roula Khalaf in Vienna
The chief United Nations nuclear inspector on Thursday called on Iran to accelerate its co-operation with his agency. He warned that time was running out for Tehran to comply with an end of October deadline and provide full transparency to allay international concerns over its nuclear programme. Tehran insists its nuclear programme is aimed at peaceful energy production, but the US maintains it is a front for developing nuclear weapons. In an interview with the Financial Times, Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency, said teams of inspectors sent last week were given access to sites they had requested and received fresh information from the Iranian authorities. But he stressed that the amount and flow of information remained inadequate. ...

From The Guardian: Friday October 10, 2003
US hawk warns Iran threat must be eliminated
Richard Norton-Taylor
An American official warned yesterday that the potential threat posed by Iran's nuclear programme had to be "eliminated" and predicted Tehran would try to "throw sand" in the eyes of the world to avoid a confrontation at the UN. John Bolton, deputy under secretary of state for arms control, who is regarded as the state department's chief hawk, was speaking to journalists in London where he reaffirmed the Bush administration's notion of "rogue states" which threatened US interests. Top of the list were Iran and North Korea, he said. "There is awareness of the threat posed by Iran and consensus that threat has to be eliminated," he said referring to the Iranian nuclear reactor at Bushehr. ...
The UN international atomic energy agency has given Iran until October 31 to prove it does not have a nuclear weapons programme. Mohammad Khatami, the Iranian president, said on Wednesday that Tehran would offer whatever cooperation was needed to show its nuclear programme was to produce electricity. ...

From AFP: (21/10/2003)
Iran bows to nuclear demands as Europeans make diplomatic breakthrough
TEHRAN (AFP) Iran yielded to international demands for it to prove it is not developing nuclear weapons, promising Britain, France and Germany it would show "full transparency" to the UN's nuclear watchdog and allow an intrusive inspections regime. ... In a joint declaration, Iran pledged to show "full transparency" to the IAEA, reiterated its commitment to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and vowed atomic weapons had "no place" in its defence doctrine. "The Iran goverment has decided to engage in full cooperation with the IAEA ... and clarify and correct any possible failures," the declaration said. It also said the "Iranian government has decided to sign the additional protocol" to the NPT, with the terms of the accord applied immediately while signature and ratification are pending. This will allow the IAEA to carry out surprise visits to suspect facilities -- a key tool if Iran can ever be given the nuclear all-clear by watchdog. Iran also "decided voluntarily to suspend all uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities", bowing to another key IAEA demand. ...

Russia Ready to Vaporize the Jewish State
And then kick America out of the Eastern Hemisphere’s oilfields
Copyright Joe Vialls, 28 October 2003
" ... About one month ago, Russia discreetly invoked MAD again, but this time in the Middle East in direct response to hysterical Israeli threats to nuke Iran with submarine-launched American Harpoon missiles. Quietly and with the minimum of fuss, Russia deployed its most advanced tactical nuclear missiles and crews to both Syria and Iran, thereby sending an unmistakable diplomatic signal that if Israel attacked Tehran or Damascus with nuclear weapons, Russia would in return instantly and anonymously vaporize the Jewish State. ... "

From Reuters: Fri October 31, 2003 11:40 AM ET
Iran Stands by Nukes List; Said to Sign IAEA Deal
TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran's declaration of nuclear activities to a U.N. watchdog body should clarify the country's peaceful nuclear intentions, an Iranian official said on Friday as a key deadline for the Islamic Republic expired. Iran's ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Ali Akbar Salehi, told an Iranian news agency the IAEA had all the information it needed to produce a report showing Iran was pursuing a purely civilian nuclear energy program. Iran submitted the declaration to the IAEA on October 23, detailing its nuclear activities which Washington suspects are a smokescreen for building atomic weapons. ...
The announcement of when Iran will sign the Additional Protocol to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which allows the snap inspections, is expected when Iranian National Security Council Chief Hassan Rohani visits Moscow next week. ...
On Thursday, IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei said Iran's declaration of October 23 seemed to be comprehensive at first glance but the agency had to verify the report. ...
On October 21 Iran agreed to freeze uranium enrichment and allow the snap inspections, saying the decision had the blessing of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. ...

From Xinhuanet: 11/10/03
Iran accepts enhanced nuclear inspections 2003-11-11 07:33:05
UNITED NATIONS, Nov. 10 (Xinhuanet) -- Iran acceded Monday to demands by the United Nations nuclear watchdog agency to sign an additional protocol allowing enhanced, unannounced and on-the-spot inspections and to suspend all uranium enrichment-related and reprocessing activities following concerns over its possible development of nuclear weapons. ...

From Pravda: 17:52 2003-11-10
Moscow and Tehran are partners in the struggle against terrorism
"Russia welcomes Iran's intention to intensify the struggle against terrorism, announced RF Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov after the meeting with Secretary of Iran's National Security Council Hasan Rohani. ... "We are willing to intensify our cooperation with Russia in order to strengthen stability and security in Afghanistan," added Mr Rohani. ... "We are ready to combine our efforts for the sake of establishing security and order in Iraq and forming a legitimate government in that country, recognized by the entire world community," Iran's National Security Council Secretary said. Mr. Rohani also underlined that during the meeting the sides discussed some issues related to the status of the Caspian Sea. Mr. Ivanov and Mr. Rohani expressed their interest in expanding future bilateral cooperation in all spheres."

From Pravda: 17:48 2003-11-10
Putin is ready to visit Iran
Russian President Vladimir Putin has accepted the invitation of the Iranian leader to visit Iran. ... The head of the Russian state expressed the wish that during his visit to Teheran the sides would "do comprehensive work also with regard to the solution of the problem of the Caspian Sea." He reminded the Secretary that the sides agreed on this score in Ashkhabad. ...

From The Washington Post: Monday, November 10, 2003; 7:56 PM
Iran Concealed Its Nuclear Program, U.N. Report Finds
Small Amounts of Enriched Uranium and Plutonium Manufactured
By Joby Warrick and Glenn Kessler, Washington Post Staff Writers
Iran manufactured small amounts of enriched uranium and plutonium as part of a clandestine nuclear program that operated in secret for 18 years, according to a confidential United Nations report. The report harshly criticizes Iran for deliberately hiding evidence of its nuclear program from international inspectors and committing numerous "breaches" in its nuclear treaty obligations. The 29-page report by the International Atomic Energy Agency said so far there is "no evidence" that Iran had sought to build a nuclear weapon, as asserted by the Bush administration, but the U.N. nuclear watchdog said it would keep investigating this claim. Given Iran's "past pattern of concealment, it will take some time before the agency is able to conclude that Iran's nuclear program is exclusively for peaceful purposes," the report said. Indeed, the report's catalog of Iran's nuclear activities shows that the Islamic Republic had made significant strides in a nuclear program that was barely understood by the outside world until last year. ...

From AP at The Guardian: Wednesday November 12, 2003 11:16 PM
Bolton Discredits Iran Weapons Report By BARRY SCHWEID, AP Diplomatic Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) - A report by U.N. investigators that they have found no evidence of an Iranian nuclear weapons program ``is simply impossible to believe,'' Undersecretary of State John R. Bolton said Wednesday. ...

From The Scotsman: Sun 23 Nov 2003
Israel threatens strikes on Iranian nuclear targets By ROSS DUNN in JERUSALEM

From The NYT: November 26, 2003
Atomic Agency Warns Iran for Secrecy on Nuclear Activities By MARK LANDLER
VIENNA, Nov. 24 — The International Atomic Energy Agency passed a much-debated resolution today that condemns Iran for covering up its nuclear program for nearly two decades. But the resolution, which stopped short of urging action by the United Nations Security Council, sets the stage for a verification process that could be every bit as contentious as the talks here over the last week. The resolution, drafted by Britain, France and Germany, warns that Iran would face unspecified action if the agency's inspectors uncover "further serious failures" in its disclosures about nuclear activities. While the United States and Britain say further deception by Iran would trigger a referral to the Security Council, the wording in the resolution is vague. What constitutes a serious failure is also open to debate, though the agency said it planned to hold Iran to a strict standard. "The board is sending a very serious and ominous message that failure in the future will not be tolerated," said Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, the director general of the agency, after the measure was adopted by consensus. "Our work in the next few weeks will be very intensive." ...

From The BBC: Wednesday, 26 November, 2003, 20:25 GMT
US welcomes Iran nuclear report
The United States has voiced its support for a resolution by the United Nations nuclear watchdog censuring Iran for concealing its nuclear programme. But Iran also welcomed the resolution, saying the decision not to refer its nuclear programme to the UN Security Council represented a victory. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) resolution stops short of recommending sanctions against Iran. It follows a compromise deal between the US and Europe. Britain, France and Germany had opposed a move by Washington to have Tehran face possible sanctions over its nuclear programme. The US accuses Iran of trying secretly to develop nuclear weapons - an allegation strongly denied by Tehran. White House spokeswoman Claire Buchan told reporters: "We welcome that resolution and believe that it underscores the international community's serious concerns with Iran's nuclear activities and the urgent requirement of Iran to come into full compliance with nuclear non-proliferation obligations". ...
The head of the IAEA, Mohamed ElBaradei, warned that any further Iranian failure to co-operate would not be tolerated. ... Mr ElBaradei said he would report early next year on Iran's compliance. ... "It's a good day for peace, a good day for multilateralism and a good day for non-proliferation," he told a news conference after the vote. ... Although the IAEA says Tehran has breached nuclear safeguards for almost two decades, it also said there was no evidence of an Iranian nuclear weapons programme.

From Reuters: Tue December 2, 2003 01:21 PM ET
U.S. Warns Iran, N. Korea on Nuclear Ambitions
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Undersecretary of State John Bolton said on Tuesday the United States would act decisively to impede any transfers of nuclear and missile technology to Iran. ... "For our part, the United States will continue its efforts to prevent the transfer of sensitive nuclear and ballistic missile technology to Iran, from whatever source, and will monitor the situation there with great care," he said. ...

From Monday, December 08, 2003
Iran decries foreign military presence in Caspian
IRANMANIA, Dec 7 -- According to Iran's State News Agency (IRNA) the Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi condemned presence of extraterritorial forces in the Caspian Sea and stressed that the security of the region should be provided by the littoral states themselves. ... As to the visit to the region by the US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Asefi said the visit is in line with the US warmongering policy. ...

From Reuters: Wed December 10, 2003 01:26 PM ET
Iran's Ebadi Receives Peace Nobel, Swipes at West By Inger Sethov
OSLO (Reuters) - Iran's Shirin Ebadi became the first Muslim woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize Wednesday and accused the West of using the September 11 attacks as a smokescreen to cover up human rights violations. Reformist lawyer Ebadi was handed the $1.4 million prize and gold medal by the head of the Norwegian Nobel Committee at a glittering ceremony at Oslo City Hall. A tireless campaigner for women's and children's rights, Ebadi has challenged fundamental articles of Iranian law which maintain that a woman's life is worth half that of a man's or that a woman needs her husband's permission to leave the country. Hailed as a hero among Iranian reformists and shunned by Tehran's hard-line clerics, Ebadi accused the U.S. administration of ignoring U.N. resolutions in the Middle East yet using them as a pretext to go to war in Iraq. ... "Regulations restricting human rights and basic freedoms...have been justified and given legitimacy under the cloak of the war on terrorism," Ebadi told the ceremony. ...

From Radio Free Europe: 18 December 2003
Iran: Tehran Signs Protocol To Non-Proliferation Treaty By Golnaz Esfandiari
In a ceremony today at the Vienna headquarters of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Iran signed the additional protocol to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty allowing snap inspections of its nuclear facilities. ... U.S. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said Tehran's signing of the pact is "only one step toward increasing international confidence that Iran's nuclear program will be limited to peaceful activities and that they will truly suspend all uranium-enrichment-related and reprocessing activities." ... A Tehran government spokesman recently told reporters that Iranian law requires several steps be taken before the agreement can be fully implemented. The government first needs to approve the protocol and submit it as a bill to parliament. After parliamentary approval, the document is sent on to the conservative Guardians Council to determine whether the legislation is in line with Islamic laws and Iran's constitution. ... analysts say it is highly unlikely the Guardians Council will reject the protocol, as Iran's Supreme Leader -- who has the final say on all matters related to the Islamic Republic -- has already given his blessing. ... "The broader inspection rights that we get under the protocol have already begun. In fact, Iran has told us going back several months that they would operate as if the protocol were already in force today. And so they've been allowing our inspectors to go where they have asked to go already going back several months," Gwozdecky (IAEA Spokesman Mark Gwozdecky) said. ...

From The Washington Post: Sunday, December 21, 2003; Page A01
Nuclear Program in Iran Tied To Pakistan Complex Network Acquired Technology and Blueprints
By Joby Warrick, Washington Post Staff Writer
VIENNA -- Evidence discovered in a probe of Iran's secret nuclear program points overwhelmingly to Pakistan as the source of crucial technology that put Iran on a fast track toward becoming a nuclear weapons power, according to U.S. and European officials familiar with the investigation. ...

From The BBC: Monday, 22 December, 2003, 18:26 GMT
Iran warns against Israeli strike By Miranda Eeles, BBC News, Tehran
President Mohammad Khatami of Iran has said Israel would be making a mistake if it carried out its threat to destroy Tehran's nuclear capabilities. He was reacting to comments made last week by the Israeli defence minister. The minister, Shaul Mofaz, had implied that Israel was making plans to destroy Tehran's nuclear sites. Mr Mofaz's comments were the latest in a series of threats by Israel on the danger they believe Iran poses in the Middle East. ...

From AFP at SpaceWar: Dec 24, 2003
Iran threatens to riposte with missiles in event of Israeli strike
TEHRAN (AFP) - Iranian Defence Minister Ali Shamkhani warned Wednesday that the Islamic regime would use all means at its disposal including medium-range Shahab-3 missiles if Israel struck its nuclear facilities. ...

From VOA News: Sunday, 28 Dec 2003, 12:03 UTC
Aid Pours into Iran After 20,000 Die in Bam Earthquake
International aid is pouring into Iran to help victims of a powerful earthquake that flattened the ancient city of Bam on Friday, killing an estimated 20,000 people and injuring 30,000 others. The first American aid shipment to Iran arrived early Sunday aboard two U.S. military transport planes that landed in the city of Kerman, about 200 kilometers from Bam. Four other such flights are planned, and the United States is also sending medical and disaster-coordination teams and search-and-rescue experts to the earthquake zone. ...

NEXT - Iran, 2004

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