AFP: Spain's leading energy group Repsol YPF has signed a 27-million-dollar (21.6-million-euro) deal with Iran to obtain prospection rights in two fields over the next 30 months, the financial newspaper Expansion reported on Monday. A Repsol YPF statement confirmed the firm would prospect at Mehr and Foruz, near Kish Island off the port of Bushir in the southern Persian Gulf, with the total project covering 14,600 square kilometres (5,000 square miles).
AFP: Iran's hardline Basij militia has written to UN secretary general Kofi Annan to ask if the Islamic republic can send observers to the US presidential election in November, a government newspaper said on Monday.
"By this symbolic request, we want to ridicule the so-called democratic slogans of the American leaders," a Basij official ...
Asia News: Hamid Pourmand is a Protestant minister of the Assemblies of God Church. He converted from Islam several years ago. Since September he has been held in prison at an undisclosed location and under Iranian law he can be put to death for "apostasy against Islam". He was arrested on September 9 in Karaj, a town 30 km west of the capital Tehran during a police raid against the annual General Council of the Assemblies of God Church.
Iran Focus: Tehran, Oct. 18 - The Supreme Court has approved and upheld the execution sentence of 3 teenage boys. The boys who were aged between 15 and 16 years when they were charged are currently in the Center for Reform and Education (Juvenile Prison) until they turn 18 when they shall be executed.
Associated Press: Iran won't permit its diplomats to negotiate with European nations over its nuclear program if the goal of talks is to deprive Iran of the right to enrich uranium, Iran's top nuclear negotiator said Monday.
AFP: Fourteen people were killed and six others injured when a minibus colided with two trucks in southern Iran, the state news agency IRNA reported Monday.
According to a provincial police official, Rasoul Dehghani, the accident occurred Sunday when the minibus veered out of its lane and crashed into two heavy vehicles on a road between the towns of Bandar Abbas and Minab.
Wall Street Journal - PAULO CASACA: Last April, on a tour of Iraq, I spent several days in a camp north-east of Baghdad populated by several thousand Iranians. They were members of Iranian People's Mujahedeen, an organization the regime in Tehran considers as its enemy number one, with America and Israel. Arriving at Camp Ashraf after traveling around Iraq felt like reaching an oasis. Traffic police who imposed fines on speeding; Ashraf was the only place I found in Iraq where traffic rules were respected and enforced.
Financial Times: Iranian officials reacted cautiously to plans by Britain, France and Germany for a new incentive package to win Tehran's agreement to complete suspension of its nuclear programme before a meeting on November 25 of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
South Florida Sun Sentinel: The war in Iraq has developed into what can be viewed as a battle between the free world and Islamic fundamentalism. The mullahs in Iran wish to destroy the hopes of the Iraqi people for freedom and democracy by provoking instability in Iraq and eventually to bring an Islamic fundamentalist government to power. Iraq is the arena where international terrorism demonstrates its real face -- Islamic fundamentalism -- and its actual sponsor, the Islamic Republic of Iran.
AP: Iran reiterated Sunday that it won't accept any proposal depriving it of the right to enrich uranium, saying it can't be bullied into giving up its nuclear energy program, state media reported.
"Tehran will accept only proposals that meet Iran's national interests and its legitimate right to the peaceful use of nuclear technology," state-run television quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi as saying.
TIME Magazine: On one subject, at least, Europe and the U.S. are united: neither wants Iran to get the bomb. But officials on both sides of the Atlantic are pessimistic about a deal with Tehran that could prevent it from developing the capacity to build a nuclear weapon. "We're giving it another try, but there's a lot of skepticism," says one European diplomat.
BBC: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said Iran must take more steps to dispel concern about its nuclear programme, Russian media have reported. He said Iran should ratify a protocol signed last year with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and end its uranium enrichment programme. Iran says it will reject any proposal for a complete halt to such activities.
AFP: An Iranian soldier has been charged with killing a party-goer during a raid on an illegal mixed-sex gathering, the student news agency ISNA reported Saturday.
Security forces raided the party in the town of Karaj, west of Tehran, and one soldier opened fire, shooting dead one of the guests.
AFP: An Iranian man convicted of a series of robberies has had four fingers on his right hand amputated in public, the Jomhuri Eslami newspaper reported Saturday.
The man, who was only identified as Hamid H., was reportedly caught by locals in the southwestern city of Ahvaz while he was out on a burglary in September 2003.
Xinhuanet: Iraqi police have arrested 135 Afghanis and Pakistanis who infiltrated from the Iraqi-Iranian border, the Al Sabah Al Jadid newspaper reported on Saturday. "Border guards forces, a department of the Iraqi police, carriedout a search campaign in villages and border areas with Iran and arrested 135 infiltrators carrying Afghani and Pakistani nationalities," a police source was quoted as saying.
Iran Focus: Tehran, Oct. 16 - A 13-year-old schoolgirl has been sentenced to stoning in the town of Marivan (northwestern Iran). Zhila Izadi was condemned to death by stoning after giving birth to a child in prison 2 weeks ago.
RPS News: In an interview of the Iraqi journalist Mohammed Khalaf on Radio Free Syria, Mr. Khalaf confirmed that democracy in Iraq is contingent upon the taming of Iran and Syria, both destructive forces against a rising Iraqi democracy. In Iraq, Mr. Khalaf was able to obtain intelligence on the ground that confirmed that Iran and Syria are assisting the insurgents for the sole aim to destroy the country.
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