AFP: Iran must respect the spirit as well as the letter of an agreed nuclear fuel cycle freeze, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said ahead of EU-Iran talks Monday on confidence measures to show Tehran is not making atomic weapons. But Tehran hinted it was ready to reintroduce a demand, already refused by the European Union, for some nuclear equipment to be exempted from the freeze.
Washington Post: The Bush administration has dozens of intercepts of Mohamed ElBaradei's phone calls with Iranian diplomats and is scrutinizing them in search of ammunition to oust him as director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, according to three U.S. government officials.
AFP: The European Union and Iran begin talks Monday towards giving Tehran trade, technology and security rewards for suspending crucial nuclear activities that could be used to make nuclear weapons. The process is fraught with difficulties since Iran says its suspension of uranium enrichment, a key step in making nuclear fuel, is a temporary measure designed to show its intentions are peaceful while EU negotiators ...
AFP: Iran's judiciary has arrested 18 people, most of them customs officials, for involvement in a smuggling racket that brought in millions of dollars of televisions, DVD players and hi-fi systems, the state news agency IRNA said Sunday.
AFP: Iran on Sunday accused the United States of selfishly "pursuing its own interests" by pushing for reforms in the Arab and Muslim world, saying the initiative was of no benefit to the Middle East. "America is only pursuing its own interests, and we believe plans imposed from the outside will not be of any benefit to the region," Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told reporters.
Reuters: Iran intends to use Monday's talks with France, Britain and Germany to ensure it has the right to go on carrying out research with equipment that could be used to develop nuclear weapons, Western diplomats said. Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Hassan Rohani, will meet foreign ministers of the EU's "big three" in Brussels on Monday for talks on details of a deal that would reward Iran for taking steps to assure the world it is not developing an atom bomb.
AFP: Iran's top nuclear negotiator Hassan Rowhani warned Sunday that the Islamic republic would abandon key talks with the European Union on its nuclear programme if it was clear no progress was being made. The talks, set to begin in Brussels on Monday, are aimed at building on Iran's agreement to suspend sensitive uranium enrichment ...
AFP: Iran said on the eve of crucial talks with Britain, France and Germany that it was not prepared to accept a permanent freeze of its controversial nuclear fuel work. "The permanent suspension of enrichment is not on our agenda. A short-term freeze is what we are stressing," foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told reporters.
Washington Times - Editorials: In just the latest move that calls into question the seriousness of its efforts to learn the truth about Iran's nuclear weapons program, the International Atomic Energy Agency apparently withheld information suggesting that Iran had attempted to purchase large quantitities of dual-use material (items with civilian and military uses) which can be used to detonate an atomic weapon.
Iran Focus: Paris, Dec. 11 A three-day exhibition of a quarter-century of human rights violations in Iran, sponsored by over 30 European human rights organizations, began with a conference in Paris on Friday and is drawing large crowds of French and Iranian visitors.
New York Times: Despite a renewed American effort to repair relations with Europe, a disagreement between the Bush administration and European leaders over how best to persuade Iran to abandon its suspected nuclear weapons program has deepened in recent weeks, diplomats on both sides say.
New York Times: The Bush administration says the prospect of Iran's obtaining a nuclear weapon is "intolerable," and from the White House to the State Department, officials express considerable skepticism that Europe's efforts to negotiate quietly an end to Iran's nuclear activities will succeed.
AFP: An Iranian woman arrested in a judicial crackdown on reformist journalists was freed on bail but needed hospital treatment due to her detention, her husband told AFP on Saturday. According to Ahmad Beigloo, journalist Fereshteh Ghazi "was kept in solitary confinement for 38 days and had to be checked into hospital as she was not in a good physical or mental shape".
AFP: German investigators probing the possible illegal sale of lorries to Iran have searched offices at giant automaker DaimlerChrysler, the company said on Saturday. A DaimlerChrysler spokeswoman confirmed a report set to be published on Monday in German weekly Focus.
AFP: Iran goes into crucial nuclear talks with the EU Monday under a new cloud of suspicion that it is bent on developing an atomic bomb, after diplomats said it was conducting secret high-energy neutron experiments that could have a dual use. The diplomats told AFP there was concern since the experiments are allegedly taking place under military supervision, in a country which claims its nuclear program is a strictly civilian peaceful endeavor.
AFP: Iran will be looking for concrete EU support and a slight softening of United States policy when the World Trade Organisation (WTO) meets Monday to consider the Islamic republic's membership application. The question has been raised at the WTO's General Council meetings since May 2001 and repeatedly rejected by Washington, which broke off diplomatic ties with Tehran after the 1979 seizure of US ...