Xinhuanet: The European Union (EU) and Iran will resume nuclear talks in Paris on Nov. 5, diplomats said Thursday.
A second round of discussions between Iran and the EU trio -- Britain, Germany and France -- in Vienna on Wednesday failed to reach agreement but both sides described the meeting constructive.
Xinhuanet: The World Bank approved a 220-million-dollar loan Thursday to the Government of Iran for a project to help restore the living conditions of communities in the southeastern city of Bam which was struck by a powerful earthquake nearly a year ago. The four-year project, the Bam Earthquake Emergency Reconstruction Project, was prepared in response to the Government of Iran's request to support its reconstruction efforts after the December 28, 2003 earthquake, the World Bank said in a press release.
AFP: The European Parliament expressed alarm Thursday at the deterioration in the area of human rights in Iran, in particular those relating to press freedom and the death penalty. "The situation in Iran with regard to the exercise of key civil rights and political freedom has deteriorated since the parliamentary elections of February this year despite commitments on the part of the government of Iran to promoting these universal values," according to a motion passed by the parliament.
BBC: Top Iranian nuclear negotiator Hossein Mousavian has ruled out a long-term suspension of uranium enrichment.
Mr Mousavian told the BBC it was completely illogical for the international community to ask Iran to stop its enrichment activities. What was being considered was a suspension for a few months, he said.
The Independent: Iran yesterday stepped up its confrontation with European countries as its Supreme Leader threatened to break off negotiations over its suspect nuclear weapons programme.
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Associated Press: Iran ruled out a total suspension of uranium enrichment Wednesday as a second round of talks with European negotiators failed to produce an agreement aimed at avoiding a showdown and the possible threat of U.N. sanctions.
Reuters: France, Britain and Germany failed to reach a deal with Iran on Wednesday under which Tehran would scrap its uranium enrichment program in exchange for nuclear power technology, but the two sides agreed to meet again.
Talks in Vienna on the European proposal ended without agreement, but Britain and Iran said the talks had been constructive.
AFP: Iran said Wednesday a heavy water plant will go online within a month near the central city of Arak, despite international pressure for Tehran to suspend such nuclear-related activities.
"With two out of three units already operational, we are currently able to produce heavy water with 15 percent," said the plant's research and development chief, Manoushehr Madadi, the state news agency IRNA reported.
UPI: An Iranian opposition group claims Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has ordered the secret continuation of nuclear weapons development.
Speaking to reporters in Paris, Mohammad Mohaddessin, chairman of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, said the Iranian regime is "playing a double game" with Europe as the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency keeps an uneasy eye on the country's nuclear possessions.
AFP: Iran returned to talks here Wednesday with Europe's three heavyweight countries aimed at resolving a long-running dispute over its nuclear program, although diplomats were sceptical of a breakthrough.
The meeting started behind closed doors at the French embassy in Vienna, a French diplomat said shortly after midday (1000 GMT).
AFP: Iran's supreme guide Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned Wednesday that Tehran could break off nuclear talks with the international community if "illogical demands" were made such as long-term suspension of uranium enrichment.
The Washington Times: The Iranian opposition group that exposed the nation's covert nuclear weapons program two years ago said yesterday that supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has ordered the effort to continue in secret.
The opposition group, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), also disclosed the existence of what it said is a new uranium enrichment facility in central Iran that is nearing completion.
Christian Science Monitor: I asked a visiting editor from Azerbaijan a few days ago what his countrymen's principal concerns were. One of the most significant, he said, was that the US might use Azerbaijan as a base for the US to invade neighboring Iran.
While that might seem fanciful, given that the US military is already overextended in Iraq, Iran certainly seems likely to be high on the foreign policy agenda of whoever is the next US president.
Associated Press: European negotiators resume talks with Iran on Wednesday on a last-chance offer of incentives aimed at getting Tehran to stop enriching uranium and avoid the threat of possible UN sanctions.
The new round of talks comes as Iran hints it may voluntarily suspend some unspecified nuclear activities in an attempt to reach a compromise with the Europeans.