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World powers want ‘serious dialogue’ with Iran

By Simon Sturdee / AFP VIENNA: World powers said Thursday that mooted talks with Iran must be “serious” and urged Tehran to allow UN inspectors access to a military base thought to be central to its suspected nuclear weapons drive. “We call on Iran to enter, without preconditions, into a sustained process of serious dialogue, which …


Iran’s talking point: ‘Dignity’ in nuclear work

By Brian Murphy / AP DUBAI: Days before Iran’s just-completed parliamentary elections, the country’s supreme leader gave what amounted to a pep rally on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear views. Atomic technology is a pillar of “national dignity,” boasted Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and Iran must stand firm against the “bullying” pressures from the West. It showed how …


No Israeli decision on Iran attack, Netanyahu tells Obama

By Jeffrey Heller and Matt Spetalnick / Reuters WASHINGTON: Benjamin Netanyahu assured President Barack Obama on Monday that Israel has not made any decision on attacking Iran’s nuclear sites, sources close to the talks said, but the Israeli prime minister gave no sign of backing away from possible military action. With Obama appealing for more time …


Obama seeks to calm Israeli fears over nuclear Iran

By Steve Weizman / AFP WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama and Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu go into key talks on the Iranian nuclear stand-off on Monday, with each publicly seeking to stake out some common ground. While Obama in an address to the powerful pro-Israel lobby on Sunday criticized “loose talk of war” he also gave …


Anti-Ahmadinejad MPs hold sway in Iran’s new parliament

By AFP TEHRAN: Iran’s parliament looks certain to be dominated by MPs critical of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, according to preliminary election results that also showed a big turnover in lawmakers. The partial results, from elections held last Friday, accounted for two-thirds of the 290 seats in parliament. However the composition, given by Iranian media, remained …


Obama, Netanyahu set to confront divisions over Iran

By Matt Spetalnick and Jeffrey Heller / Reuters WASHINGTON/JERUSALEM: Just days before what could be the most consequential meeting of US and Israeli leaders in years, aides to President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are scrambling to bridge stark differences over what Washington fears could be an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear sites. Further …


Iran to elect MPs amid tensions with West

By AFP TEHRAN: Iran is to vote on Friday in parliamentary elections that leaders are keen to show as a sign of defiance to the West, which is imposing tough sanctions over Tehran’s controversial nuclear program. Some 3,400 candidates are vying for the 290 seats in Iran’s legislature, known as the Majlis. Iran has an …


Iran: two worlds meet, over tea

By Parisa Hafezi and Zahra Hosseinian / Reuters TEHRAN: Mina and Mohammad stood on opposite sides of the political barricades when protests against Iran’s rulers erupted into mass street violence; she, a student demanding democratic reform, he a member of the hardline Basij militia that helped crush the greatest challenge ever to the Islamic Republic. Now …


Campaigning begins for Iran parliamentary poll

By Siavosh Ghazi / AFP TEHRAN: Campaigning began in Iran on Thursday for parliamentary elections to take place on March 2, with officials and state media calling for a big turnout to counter “enemies’ threats” against the regime. It will be the Islamic republic’s first national poll since the controversial 2009 re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. …


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