Category Archives: Iran

UN Agency: Iran Abiding With Terms of Nuke Deal

(AP) - The U.N. nuclear agency says that Iran is keeping commitments it agreed to with six world powers in a pact that temporarily caps its nuclear activities and eliminates material that could be most easily used to make nuclear weapons.

The finding is contained in a restricted International Atomic Energy Agency report released Wednesday and obtained by The Associated Press. Read more »

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Rouhani: Iran To Continue Aid To Hamas, Palestinians

rouhaniIran’s President Hassan Rouhani renewed Tehran’s support for Iraqis, Palestinians and Syrians, strongly criticizing Israel for the Gaza operation, FARS News agency reports.

“Today the people of Iraq, Palestine, Syria and many other Muslim nations are waiting help from the Iranians and we should aid our brothers,” Rouhani told a crowd in the Northwestern city of Ardebil on Wednesday.

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Iran’s Parliament Votes Out Moderate Minister

Rouhani(AP). Iranian lawmakers dismissed the country’s science minister on Wednesday over his alleged support for pro-Western voices at universities, dealing a blow to moderate President Hassan Rouhani.

The no-confidence vote against Science, Research and Technology Minister Reza Faraji Dana is a sharp rebuke of Rouhani, who was elected last year on promises of greater openness and diplomatic engagement with the West. Read more »

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Iran: We Want Nuclear Deal, But Not “At Any Price”

As reported by AFP, negotiators for Iran stated Monday that their country is committed to securing a nuclear agreement with world powers but will not sign such a deal “at any price,” as an important deadline for Tehran nears. Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, as well as Germany — known as P5+1 — signed an interim deal last November and are engaged in conversations to secure a more permanent accord. The target date for a final deal has been rescheduled for November 24.

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Report: UN Nuclear Watchdog Chief Arrives in Iran

(AP) - Iranian state television is reporting that the head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog organization has arrived in Iran for talks with President Hassan Rouhani.

The state TV report Sunday said Yukiya Amano, the director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, landed in Tehran late Saturday. It said Amano also will visit with Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and the head of its own nuclear agency. Read more »

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Switzerland to Continue Suspension of Some Iranian Sanctions

According to a report by Reuters, Switzerland announced on Wednesday that it would maintain a suspension of sanctions against Iran in the realms of trade in precious metals and petrochemical products until Dec. 12, in the wake of an agreement between world powers and Tehran to extend negotiations over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear activities. Switzerland’s cabinet stated that it was following the lead of the European Union, which agreed on July 21 to maintain a suspension of sanctions until Nov. 24.

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Iran’s Khamenei: Not Interested in Closer Relations with US

A news item published by the tower.org quotes Al Monitor as reporting that Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has publicly rejected the idea that engagement with the West in negotiations over Tehran’s nuclear development might lead to closer relations with the United States. Addressing foreign diplomats and officials form Iran’s foreign ministry, Khamenei remarked that engagement with the United States outside of the nuclear issue could cause “harm.”

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Oy! Iran Voices Support For New Iraqi PM al-Abadi

al-abadi(AP). A senior Iranian official offered his congratulations Tuesday to the Iraqi politician nominated to replace incumbent Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, suggesting key Iranian support for a new leader in Baghdad.

As the Iraqi premier fights to keep his job, Ali Shamkhani, secretary of the powerful Supreme National Security Council, was quoted as congratulating the Iraqi people and their leaders for choosing Haider al-Abadi to be the new premier in a report on the official IRNA news agency. Read more »

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Iran Prez Rouhani to Critics: We Will Work Toward Nuke Deal With West

Rouhan iranAs reported by Agence France-Presse, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani launched a verbal volley Monday at critics of his efforts to engage with the West and arrive at a deal over his country’s nuclear program, accusing them of political cowardice and mischief. In a speech that was broadcast live, Rouhani attacked the hard-line factions within Iran’s parliament which have consistently opposed him since he took office a year ago after an unexpected electoral victory.  Read more »

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US Nuclear Negotiator To Resume Talks with Iran

Photo/AP

Photo/AP

(AP). The Obama administration’s chief nuclear negotiator is meeting Thursday with Iranian officials in Geneva as negotiations resume on a deal to prevent the Islamic republic from developing nuclear weapons.

The State Department says Undersecretary Wendy Sherman will be part of a U.S. delegation that also includes Deputy Secretary of State William Burns. Read more »

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Iran Says It Gave Missile Technology To Hamas

Rouhan iran(AP). Hamas is able to fire missiles into Israel because Tehran provided weapons technology to the militant group to defend itself against Israeli attacks, a senior Iranian official said Monday.

The Secretary of the Expediency Discernment Council, Mohsen Rezaei, was quoted by Al-Alam, the Arabic channel of Iran’s state TV, as also saying Hamas should also dig tunnels to be used as shelter to protect Gaza’s population from Israeli assaults. Read more »

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U.S. Negotiator Refuses To Give Hard Deadline On Nuclear Talks with Iran

Photo/AP

Photo/AP

(AP). The Obama administration’s nuclear negotiator is refusing to impose a hard deadline for a deal with Iran to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons.

World powers and Iran recently committed to a four-month negotiating extension through Nov. 24. Read more »

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Rogers Warns Against Easing Iran Sanctions: ‘Money is Used to Aid Hamas’

Mike RogersHouse Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, criticized the Obama administration for extending the nuclear talks with Iran, which freed up $2.8 billion in frozen oil export revenues for Tehran, which is aiding Hamas in its war against Israel.

“Iran is publicly, in their own newspapers, touting the fact that they’re helping militarize Hamas in the Gaza Strip,” the Michigan Republican said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday. Read more »

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Iran Nuclear Talks Extended By 4 Months; Bibi: Better Than Bad Deal

Photo/AP

Photo/AP

Iran, the United States and the five other countries negotiating the future of the Iranian nuclear program have agreed to a four-month extension of the nuclear talks, giving them more time to try to bridge major differences over Tehran’s  nuclear infrastructure, according to a statement released early Saturday in Vienna by the P5+1. Read more »

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Not The Onion! Putin, Rouhani Call For Gaza Ceasefire

PutinThe presidents of Iran and Russia discussed by telephone on Friday the need for an end to the conflict in Gaza and renewed Israeli-Palestinian talks, Reuters quoted a Kremlin statement.

The conversation between Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Iran’s Hassan Rouhani was initiated by Tehran and was prompted by concerns over the “sharp escalation of the crisis” since Israel began its land offensive in Gaza, the statement said. Read more »

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Kerry Open For New Iran Sanctions, Jewish Lawmakers Say Following Meeting

Sec. Kerry speaking at AIPAC

Sec. Kerry speaking at AIPAC

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told a group of Jewish lawmakers that he would raise with President Obama the possibility of imposing new sanctions on Iran as leverage in nuclear talks with Iran, AL-Monitor first reported.

Kerry met Thursday with about a dozen Jewish congressmen to discuss a range of issues, including the situation in Israel and the negotiations with Iran. Lawmakers said Kerry told them the administration is weighing a variable mix of sanctions relief and further “defanging” of Iran’s nuclear program as it works out the details of a possible extension of up to four months. Read more »

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28 Republican Senators Send Letter To President Obama Regarding Iran’s ICBM Program

rubio-waterU.S. Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) led a partisan letter to President Obama on Tuesday expressing serious concerns regarding Iran’s development of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM).

“An Iran with a nuclear weapons capability represents a grave threat to the United States and our allies, and an effective delivery system is a key element of a Read more »

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Gaps Remain, Talks Continues As P5+1 and Iran Rush to Meet Sunday Deadline

Photo/AP

Photo/AP

(AP). World powers and Iran still face significant gaps in their negotiations to curb Tehran’s nuclear program, foreign ministers said Tuesday while forging ahead with efforts to secure a deal that could finally bridge a decades-long diplomatic chasm between the Islamic republic and the West.

Sunday’s deadline for an agreement could be extended, but that issue is controversial, too. And without an accord on the nuclear talks, the U.S. risks losing opportunities to negotiate with Iran on other pressing regional issues, including sectarian fighting in Syria and Iraq that is threatening to rip apart the Mideast. Read more »

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Kerry Meets Iran’s Foreign Minister Zarif In Attempt To Soften Tehran’s Stance

Photo/AP

Photo/AP

(AP). Secretary of State John Kerry will hold in-depth discussions Monday with Iran’s top diplomat in a bid to advance faltering nuclear negotiations, with a deadline just days away for a comprehensive agreement.

The scheduled talks come a day after Kerry and the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany failed to reach a breakthrough on uranium enrichment and other issues standing in the way of a deal that would curb Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for the end of nuclear-related sanctions on Tehran. Read more »

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Iran’s Zarif on MTP: ‘We Don’t See Any Benefit In Developing A Nuclear Weapon’

Iran ZarifTehran’s top international charmer, Mohammad Javad Zarif claims the ayatollahs have no interest in developing a nuclear bomb, despite Western powers’ claim.

“I will commit to everything and anything that would provide credible assurances for the international community that Iran is not seeking nuclear weapons, because we are not,” Zarif told NBC’s ‘Meet the Press’ SUnday talk show. “We don’t see any benefit in Iran developing a nuclear weapon.” Read more »

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4 Foreign Ministers Join Last Phase of Iran Nuclear Talks

Photo/AP

Photo/AP

(AP). Three European powers and the U.S. have confirmed that their foreign ministers will join Iran nuclear talks this weekend in an effort to advance the stalled negotiations.

But the Itar-Tass news agency reported Friday that their Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, isn’t coming. That could lessen chances of success, because Moscow often acts as a bridge between Washington and Tehran at the talks. Read more »

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Iran Claims ‘Substantial Differences’ At Last Minute Nuclear Talks

Photo/AP

Photo/AP

(AP). An Iranian official says some progress is being made at nuclear talks with six world powers ahead of a July 20 target date for a deal, but “substantial differences” remain.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Marzieh Afkham spoke Wednesday as negotiators worked on a draft agreement meant to curb Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for an end to sanctions. Read more »

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Iran’s Supreme Leader Khamenei: We Need More Centrifuges

Grand Ayatollah Khamenei IranIran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Monday his country needs to significantly increase its number of centrifuges, not the opposite, ahead of the July 20 deadline of the P5+1 talks in Geneva.

“Their aim is that we accept a capacity of 10,000 separative work units (SWUs), which is equivalent to 10,000 centrifuges of the older type that we already have. Our officials say we need 190,000 centrifuges. Perhaps this is not a need this year or in two years or five years, but this is the country’s absolute need,” Khamenei said in a statement published on his website late on Monday. Read more »

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Iran Says It Won’t Kneel to West in Nuclear Deal

Iran ZarifIn a video posted on Wednesday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that his country is ready to take steps to ensure its nuclear program remains peaceful but would not “kneel in submission” to do a deal with major powers.

In the video message posted on YouTube, Zarif added Tehran was committed to resolving a dispute over its nuclear work before a deadline of July 20 but cautioned against seeking last minute concessions from the Islamic Republic at the Vienna talks. Read more »

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Activist Seeks To Rename New York Street Outside Iran’s Mission To UN After Political Prisoner

majd iranThe human rights activist who started an attention-grabbing campaign to rename the street outside the Chinese embassy after a jailed dissident is about to do the same thing to Iran.

David Keyes, the executive director of the group Advancing Human Rights, is going to attempt to rename the street outside Iran’s mission to the United Nations in New York after Majid Tavakoli, an Iranian student leader and political prisoner. Keyes also wants to have the streets outside Iranian missions and ambassador’s residences in Vienna, Geneva, and other European capitals renamed. Read more »

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