AFP: Iran has accused the European Union countries of committing "blatant human rights violations" in a response to fresh EU criticism of the Islamic republic's own record, press reports said Wednesday.
"The issue of violating the rights of Muslims, as well as other discriminatory laws regarding minorities, worries the Islamic republic of Iran," foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi was quoted as saying.
Reuters: Iran should be "brought to account" on its nuclear program, but Washington is open to ideas other than taking it to the U.N. Security Council for sanctions, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage said Wednesday.
Iran Focus: Tehran, Oct. 12 - Students from Lorestan University resumed a hunger strike in protest to lack of rights of expression. The students had originally started their hunger strike last Saturday but then suspended it when local government officials promised to resolve outstanding issues.
AP: A year after her Nobel Peace Prize was announced in Oslo, human rights activist Shirin Ebadi said today that the honor had helped her cause everywhere except at home in Iran.
"The Nobel Peace Prize has given me more international possibilities. It has opened a lot of doors," said the Iranian lawyer, writer and activist. "But the prize has not made my work any easier in Iran."
Reuters: The EU cannot force Iran to give up its right to enrich uranium, Iran's foreign minister says, apparently slamming the door on European Union efforts to halt the process and ease fears Tehran is seeking a nuclear bomb. "It is wrong for them (the EU) to think they can, through negotiations, force Iran to stop enrichment," Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi told a conference in Tehran on Tuesday. "Iran will never give up its right to enrichment."
BBC: The trial has started in Iran of two men accused of murdering 17 children, two men and a woman in the desert outside the country's capital, Tehran. Iranian state media said seven others would go on trial later, accused of sexually abusing the children. At least 16 police are being reprimanded or referred to the judiciary for incompetent handling of the investigation into the killings.
DPA: Iran on Tuesday said it would not negotiate with the European Union over a halt to uranium enrichment, just as an inspection team from the United Nations nuclear watchdog arrived in the country.
"We welcome negotiations with the EU but the talks should just be focused on Irans legitimate right to have peaceful nuclear technology and not on stopping uranium enrichment," Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi told state-run television.
AP: An Iranian vice president, who was a close ally of reformist President Mohammad Khatami, resigned Tuesday, saying he could not work with the conservative-dominated parliament.
Mohammad Ali Abtahi first tendered his resignation in February, but it was not accepted. He said Tuesday that the president had accepted his resignation after he insisted ...
Reuters: Russia urged Iran on Sunday to heed the U.N. nuclear watchdog's call for it to suspend sensitive nuclear work that could be used to make atomic bomb material.
Iran, in turn, said it was ready to give whatever assurances were required to show that it will not use nuclear technology to make atomic weapons.
AP: Iran's foreign minister made Europe an offer Tuesday: recognize our right to enrich uranium and we will guarantee never to produce nuclear bombs.
Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi put the offer in a speech to an energy conference in Tehran about six weeks before his government has to show the UN nuclear watchdog that it has ceased enrichment and all related activities. Iran has already rejected the demand of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
BBC: Russia has urged Iran to suspend its uranium enrichment programme in order to avoid possible sanctions from the UN Security Council. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow would continue nuclear co-operation with Tehran if it complies with the UN nuclear agency (IAEA). In its meeting last month, the IAEA called on Iran to suspend its nuclear fuel cycle.
Reuters: Iraq on Monday released 130 Iranians arrested for crossing the border illegally, but another 270 remain behind bars, Iran's top diplomat in Baghdad told state television.
Washington and some officials in Iraq's interim government have accused Iran of meddling in Iraq's affairs and allowing weapons and fighters to cross their long border. Iran denies this accusation.
Washington Times: A top Iranian dissident living in Paris says up to 800 clerics and theology students from Iran are in the process of infiltrating cities in neighboring Iraq in time for the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which begins Friday.
Ayatollah Jalal Ganje'i, a prominent critic of the Iranian regime, said in an interview with The Washington Times that the influx is part of continuing efforts by Tehran's power brokers to exploit the crisis in Iraq in order to set up a sister fundamentalist Islamic republic.
AFP: The European Union reiterated Monday its willingness to renew dialogue with Iran on a host of issues, including trade, if it suspends uranium enrichment activities.
"If Iran on its side is willing to suspend all activities in the field of enrichment for peaceful purposes, we are willing to continue with the dialogue," said Dutch Foreign Minister Bernard Bot.
Reuters: Iranian political heavyweight and former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has said he is considering standing for the presidency in polls next year, according to a newspaper.
Rafsanjani, a business-minded, mid-ranking cleric would be a strong candidate for president with the likely support of Iran's resurgent conservatives. He is also a top advisor to Iran's most powerful figure Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
HEO: Shadow War, a just-released Regnery book by New York Times best-selling author Richard Miniter, claims the mullahs in Iran are harboring Osama Bin Laden. The claim is based on the testimony of two Iranian intelligence officials who say they saw bin Laden alive and well -- in Iran!
"According to these two sources, bin Laden no longer resembles the picture that the FBI has put on its wanted posters. He has trimmed his beard to fit the more traditional look of a Shiite cleric and he seemed to have put on weight, according to intelligence officials .
Reuters: The United States said on Friday it is concerned Iran has arrested a journalist and stopped him picking up a rights award in New York in a sign of what it called worsening violations in the Islamic republic. Emadeddin Baghi was due to receive next Monday a Civil Courage Award from the Northcote Parkinson Fund, which said he had previously been imprisoned for exposing the killings of intellectuals.