Archive | May, 2009

Iran test launches medium-range missile

Iran says it has successfully test launched a mid-range surface-to-surface missile, state media has reported.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the Sajjil-2 missile used “advanced technology” and had “landed exactly” on the unspecified target.

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After Israeli Visit, a Diplomatic Sprint on Iran

WASHINGTON — Now that President Obama has established what he called a “clear timetable” for Iran to halt its nuclear program — progress must be made by the end of the year, he declared on Monday — both American and Israeli officials are beginning to talk about how to accomplish that goal.

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ElBaradei urges Iran to engage with U.S.

BERLIN, May 16 (Reuters) – Iran should engage with the United States and negotiate over its nuclear programme, Mohamed ElBaradei, chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said in a magazine interview released on Saturday.

U.S. President Barack Obama is actively seeking to engage Iran on a series of issues, from its nuclear programme to Afghanistan.

“I advise my Iranian negotiating partners: grasp the hand that Obama is extending to you,” ElBaradei told Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine.

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US firms allowed to invest in Iran oil

There is no barrier for the presence of foreign companies in the Iranian oil industry, says the head of National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC).

“The Islamic Republic has always welcomed the investment by all foreign companies in Iranian oil, gas and petrochemical projects, including US firms,” Seyfollah Jashnsaaz said Tuesday.

He said there would be no legal obstacle if US firms want to negotiate over their investment in the Iranian oil industry, adding that their return would benefit all parties.

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Iran favors a ‘strong Pakistan’

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki has highlighted the importance of ‘a strong Pakistan’ for the Muslim world. “A strong and stable Pakistan will have a high importance to the Muslim world,” Mottaki said in a meeting with Chief Minister of Punjab Province, Shahbaz Sharif, in Tehran on Wednesday. The top Iranian diplomat added that Iran [...]

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Iran oil reserves increase, officials say

TEHRAN, May 12 (UPI) — Iran’s proven oil reserves increased dramatically, bringing in foreign investments of roughly $10 billion in the past year, officials said.

Seifollah Jashnsaz, director of the National Iranian Oil Co., told the Mehr news agency in Iran that oil reserves now stand at more than 138 billion barrels and production has increased substantially.

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Roxana Saberi to be Freed

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cn2HuCu8EjI& 285 234]

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In Turnabout, Iran Releases U.S. Journalist

TEHRAN — An Iranian-American journalist sentenced to eight years in prison on charges of spying for the United States was released Monday, a legal turnabout that removes an obstacle to President Obama’s opening to Iran but illustrates the volatility of the Iranian government.

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Roxana Saberi Freed!

By Borzou Daragahi
7:11 AM PDT, May 11, 2009
Reporting from Beirut — Authorities released Iranian American journalist Roxana Saberi from a Tehran prison today after an Iranian appeals court suspended her sentence on an espionage charge, said an Iranian judiciary official.

Saberi’s sentence was trimmed from eight years in prison to a two-year suspended sentence after a lengthy appeals court hearing today, attorney Abdul-Samad Khorramshahi said in a telephone interview from the Iranian capital.

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Iran to play friendlies against Syria, Vietnam, China

TEHRAN (AFP) — Iran are to prepare for their next World Cup qualifier with friendly games against Syria, Vietnam and China, the ISNA news agency reported quoted in local newspaper on Saturday.

The games against Syria will be played in Tehran on May 23 and Team Melli will face Vietnam and China in China on May 29 and June 1 respectively.

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Reporter’s Hearing in Iran Is Moved to Earlier Date

By NAZILA FATHI
Published: May 9, 2009

TEHRAN — An appeals court hearing for Roxana Saberi, the Iranian-American journalist who was sentenced to eight years in prison on spying charges, is scheduled for Sunday, two days earlier than expected, one of her lawyers said Saturday.

The lawyer, Abdolsamad Khoramshahi, said he had initially been told that the case would be heard Tuesday but was later informed that a mistake had been made.

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Iran reformers face Ahmadinejad

Two leading reformist challengers to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have registered to run against him in 12 June presidential election.

Former PM Mir-Hossein Mousavi, backed by former President Mohammad Khatami, is seen as the leading challenger.

Former parliamentary speaker Mehdi Karroubi has also put down his name – a day before the deadline expires.

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Militia must stay out of election: Iran reformer

By Hossein Jaseb
Reuters

TEHRAN (Reuters) – A reformist challenger to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called on Iran’s Basij militia and armed forces on Saturday not to intervene in June’s presidential election, countering comments from a senior commander.

The comments from cleric Mehdi Karoubi, a former parliamentary speaker, highlighted concern among moderates that the hardline president will win crucial support from the Basij religious militia in his bid for a second four-year term.

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Despite U.S. Outreach, Syria Affirms Iran Ties

U.S. officials ought not to have been surprised by the smiling solidarity between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Iranian President Mahmoud Amadinejad in Damascus on Tuesday — but they may, nonetheless, have been disappointed. Sure, Iran is Syria’s closest ally, and the two countries form the core of what’s sometimes called the “Rejectionist Crescent” — the arc of countries and groups from Tehran to Gaza that stand against American and Israeli power — but the Obama Administration hopes to change that.

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Senators Explore Engagement with Iran

By Carolyn Presutti
Washington
07 May 2009

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is exploring the pros and cons of talks with Iran, proposed by six major world powers including the United States. The talks would discuss Tehran’s nuclear program. US Senator John Kerry says the U.S. is not interested in promoting regime change and instead is focusing on engagement.

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Peres won’t rule out “other options” against Iran

By Claudia Parsons

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Israeli President Shimon Peres said on Wednesday other options remained open if U.S. diplomatic engagement with Iran failed to halt its nuclear program.

“Engagement is an attempt to achieve a goal. If this attempt will succeed, OK, but we don’t have to cross out any other options,” Peres said in a speech to Jewish leaders and diplomats in New York.

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Ukraine live-blog: Russia Steps In

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