USA TODAY: Of all the foreign policy challenges facing President Bush in his second term, none apart from Iraq looms larger than Iran. Twenty-five years after Iranian students seized U.S. diplomats as hostages, Iran and the United States are at the brink of a potentially more serious confrontation over Iran's apparent determination to develop a nuclear bomb.
AFP: The European Union's Dutch presidency dismissed Thursday speculation about a US military strike on Iran to force the Islamic republic to abandon its nuclear drive.
Referring to suggestions that some in the United States wanted to attack Iran, labelled part of an "axis of evil" by the re-elected President George W. Bush, Dutch Foreign Minister Bernard Bot said "not all people in Washington" endorsed this.
The New York Times: James Billington, the librarian of Congress, is in Iran this week on the first visit by a notable U.S. government official to that country in 18 years, administration officials said. The unannounced visit was confirmed by the Library of Congress on Wednesday after it was disclosed by the Federation of American Scientists, an independent policy group in Washington.
Reuters: Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing, deeply involved in efforts to end the North Korean nuclear standoff, will visit Iran later this week and discuss the Islamic republic's own nuclear crisis.
The United States accuses Iran of seeking to build nuclear bombs. It wants the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to report it at a Nov. 25 meeting to the U.N. Security Council for defying the watchdog's demands to halt uranium enrichment.
AFP: Iran and the EU continue last-chance talks in Paris Friday with both sides seeking compromise over Europe's call for the Islamic Republic to suspend uranium enrichment in order to allay US-led concerns it is secretly developing nuclear weapons. The European Union is no longer explicitly calling for an indefinite suspension of Iran's uranium enrichment ...
AFP: British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said on Thursday it was "inconceivable" that the United States would attack Iran over its nuclear programme and that the world would back such action. "I don't see any circumstances in which military action would be justified against Iran full stop," Straw told BBC radio.
Washington Post: George Bush may have triumphed at home, but he was burned in effigy again and again in Iran Wednesday. Officially, the angry street demonstration marked the 25th anniversary of the student takeover of the old U.S. Embassy, when 52 Americans were held hostage for 444 days. But unlike past commemorations, this one focused just as much on the future -- and the potential for another showdown with the United States during Bush's second term.
Associated Press: Students burned American flags and effigies of President George W. Bush on Wednesday to mark the 25th anniversary of the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, while a top Iranian official accused Washington of undermining his country's goodwill gestures.
AFP: Iran has the capacity to produce nuclear weapons but does not intend doing so, a senior Iranian official said here Wednesday. "We do not intend making nuclear weapons," said Ali Akbar Soltan, deputy director-general of Iran's foreign ministry political department.
AFP: Leading state-run refiner Indian Oil Corp (IOC) said Wednesday it has signed an agreement to put forward a joint proposal to develop a gasfield in Iran, a project estimated to cost three billion dollars. The memorandum of understanding was signed Monday with Petropars, a unit of the National Iranian Oil Co (NIOC), said an IOC spokesman. The two firms will draw up a joint proposal for exploiting the gasfield and setting up liquefied natural gas liquefaction facilities.
The Jerusalem Post: While the world is busy contemplating the appropriate response to the looming Iranian nuclear threat be it a European grand bargain, a covert operation, or a sophisticated military assault life in Teheran appears to be running its normal course: celebrating uranium enrichment, developing a longer-range Shihab-3 missile and, of course, promoting the rule of law.
AFP: The European Union is no longer explicitly calling for an indefinite suspension of Iran's uranium enrichment, diplomats said here Tuesday, outlining a compromise proposal ahead of a crucial meeting with the Iranians on their nuclear programme. The diplomats said ambassadors from Britain, France and Germany were Tuesday to hand over in Tehran the EU's written offer, ahead of a scheduled meeting with Iran in Paris on Friday on Europe's request for Iran to halt uranium enrichment, which can be used to make nuclear weapons.
AFP: French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier called Tuesday for Iran to produce a "lasting" halt to its uranium enrichment activities, as signs emerged of a compromise deal between Iran and the EU. "We are in an extremely intensive phase of discussions with the Tehran government and we are entering into this final phase of discussions with a certain optimism," Barnier told reporters at a European Union meeting here.
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AFP: Iran is prepared to suspend uranium enrichment for a maximum of six months during negotiations with European countries, but will never agree to permanently halt the practice, one of its top nuclear negotiators said on Tuesday.
"We have told them (the Europeans) that an indefinite suspension is unacceptable," Hossein Mousavian told AFP.
Xinhuanet: Iranian Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani said Tuesday that Iran was to upgrade its deterrent defense capability to ward off foreign threats, the official IRNA news agency reported. Shamkhani made the comments in a message on the sixth anniversary of the founding of Iran's Organization of Aerospace Industries due on Wednesday.