The Straits Times: Is Iran - with oil-export revenues of more than US$30 billion (S$51 billion) expected this year - on its way to producing nuclear weapons that would threaten not only neighbouring Middle East enemies such as Israel but also European nations?
Indeed, should it be allowed to do so? With growing unemployment among its young, and rising social tensions, can Iran afford to pursue the development of a nuclear arsenal?
AP: President Bush, preparing for this week's much-anticipated campaign debate on foreign policy, is insisting Iran will not develop a nuclear weapon on his watch.
"My hope is that we can solve this diplomatically," Bush said in a TV interview broadcast Monday. "We are working our hearts out so that they don't develop a nuclear weapon, and the best way to do so is to continue to keep international pressure on them."
Iran Focus: Tehran, Sep. 27 - A senior member of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, the highest decision-making body on military and security issues, threatened that Iran might pull out of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) that it had signed. Ali Larijani threatened action if Iran was put under pressure by Europe and the United States to curb its nuclear program.
United Press International: Maj. Gen. Rahim Safawi, commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, said Monday his country is ready to confront U.S. pressure, including military.
In an interview with the London-based Saudi daily al-Hayat, monitored in Beirut, Safawi said although the United States is deeply involved in Iraq, it is expected to increase its political and diplomatic pressure on Iran in the next two months.
Tehran Times: Chairman of the Expediency Council (EC) Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani here on Sunday underlined the need to establish unity and solidarity among all of Iraqs religious and ethnic groups.
In a meeting with the leader of Iraqs Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), Masoud Barzani, he said that the enemies of the Iraqi nation are trying to take advantage of the disputes among different Iraqi groups in order to plunder the country's resources.
AFP: Iran said Monday it was being deliberately ambiguous over its missile capability, currently a topic of intense speculation following fresh tests and the introduction of a "strategic" device.
On Saturday, Defence Minister Ali Shamkhani told state-run television that the Iranian army has taken delivery of a new "strategic missile" and that the weapon, unnamed for security reasons, was successfully tested last week.
AFP: An Iranian diplomat was freed Monday after a 55-day hostage ordeal at the hands of the same Islamic militant group which is holding two French newsmen, as 12 people were killed in fresh Iraq violence.
However there was no word on the fate of British hostage Kenneth Bigley as British Muslim leaders wrapped up a ...
Reuters: TEHRAN - A rare pro-democracy protest in Tehran gained momentum late on Sunday with hundreds of cars pouring onto the streets, blaring horns and provoking an appearance from hardline vigilantes, witnesses said.
UPI: Iran does not need nuclear weapons, Russian President Vladimir Putin said according to a Moscow Times report this weekend.
"Possession of a nuclear bomb will not enhance Iran's security or regional security," the Russian president told the First World Congress of News Agencies ...
AFP: US President George W. Bush says "all options are on the table" for making sure Iran dismantles its nuclear program, and that Washington will never let Tehran acquire atomic weapons.
"My hope is that we can solve this diplomatically," Bush said in a three-part interview with Fox News Channel's "O'Reilly Factor" program, excerpts of which were made public on Sunday.
AFP: Iran appealed Sunday for a negotiated settlement to its standoff with the UN atomic energy watchdog but showed no inclination to abide by a resolution calling for an immediate halt to its sensitive nuclear activities.
"No negotiations with the Americans are on the agenda, but we call on the Europeans to discuss with us," foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told reporters.
Time Magazine: Iran days after the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) approved a resolution demanding that Iran suspend all uranium-enrichment activities, a defiant Tehran announced that it had started the conversion of some 37 tons of uranium oxide (yellowcake) into UF6-gas the feed material for enriched uranium.
Washington Times: By Jalal Ganje'i - Thirty-five years ago, when in a jurisprudence course in Najaf, Ayatollah Khomeini boasted that Khoms (a religious tax equivalent to one-fifth on property or income) from Baghdad's Bazaar was adequate to run the affairs of the Islamic world, he wanted to affirm that assuming power on his part cost very little but benefited the public at large.
However, no one, not even me, attending his course as a student at the time, had any idea that some day Khomeini's covetous design on Baghdad, not to mention Tehran, would emerge as the principle foreign policy objective of the theocracy that he erected a few years later.
AFP: A German businessman under investigation for illegally exporting nuclear technology had planned to sell the material to Iran, Der Spiegel magazine reported in its issue out on Monday.
On Thursday the German federal prosecutors office arrested 53-year-old Helmut R., in Friedrichshafen in southwest Germany, on suspicion of involvement in the delivery of 24 long-distance detonators, a device indispensable to the development of nuclear arms.
AFP: Iranian President Mohammad Khatami has postponed a visit to Turkey after the conservative-controlled parliament threw into doubt two major contracts signed with Turkish companies, an official said.
Boston Globe: The diplomatic showdown over Iran's alleged nuclear ambitions could escalate into a confrontation that changes the political dynamic of the Middle East and further destabilizes the region, Western diplomats, officials, and analysts say.
AP: Iran added a "strategic missile" to its military arsenal after a successful test, and the defense minister said Saturday his country was ready to confront any external threat.
The report by state-run radio did not say whether the test involved the previously announced new version of the Shahab-3 rocket, capable of reaching Israel and U.S. forces stationed in the Middle East, or a different missile.