Saturday, August 07, 2004

Yemen criticizes extremism in mosques - (United Press International)

Yemen criticizes extremism in mosques - (United Press International): "Yemen criticizes extremism in mosques

Sanaa, Yemen, Aug. 7 (UPI) -- Yemeni Prime Minister Abdul Qader Bajmal Saturday urged Muslim clerics to avoid extremist sermons in the country's mosques.

He said resorting to extremist sermons could "have negative effects on the minds of the youth, who are the responsibility of all, starting with the religious guides."

The Yemeni prime minister was addressing more than 300 clerics and mosque speakers gathered for a workshop entitled "Towards an ideal method for religious and guidance speech."

Bajmal insisted young people "should hear moderate speech that would develop within them the proper Islamic behavior, away from extremism that has nothing to do with Islam."

The official's comment comes amid a power struggle between the government and the opposition Islamic Reform Party over control of the mosques. The government manages 27,000 of the 100,000 mosques in Yemen."

U.S. Prods Japan To Quit Iran Oil For Libya

Description of Selected News: "U.S. Prods Japan To Quit Iran Oil For Libya

Tehran Times Energy Desk
TEHRAN (MNA) -- The United States is pressuring Japan to invest in Libya's oil industry instead of a project to tap Iran's giant Azadegan oilfield that has provoked the wrath of Washington, a Bush administration official said, Reuters reported on Friday.

The United States, which has sanctions against U.S. companies doing business in Iran, has persistently expressed its disappointment that its close ally, resource-poor Japan, would invest in the Islamic Republic in a $2 billion project.

"We understand their energy needs. But there is no question that we are emphasizing that Libya is an alternative that is going to come online soon," the administration official, who asked not to be named, said.

The Japanese Embassy in Washington said it had no comment.

The administration official said Japan was sensitive to increasing U.S. concerns about Iran although it did not indicate it would withdraw from an oilfield which is about the size of Tokyo.

Azadegan's estimated 26 billion barrels of reserves is one of the world's largest untapped finds and one of Tehran's biggest international deals since the 1979 Islamic revolution. Japan signed on 18 February a landmark agreement with Iran to develop one of the world's largest oilfields in a move that could rekindle tensions with the U.S.

Japan signed a $2 billion deal with Tehran to jointly develop the massive Azadegan oilfield in southwestern Iran, which holds some of the largest oil reserves in the world.

A consortium of Japanese firms will hold a 75 percent stake in the project to develop the oilfield with estimated reserves of 26 billion barrels while a unit of Iran's state oil company, NIOC, will own the remaining 25 percent."

U.S. ORDERS TURKEY NOT TO MAKE IRAN DEAL

Middle East Newsline -: "U.S. WARNS TURKEY AGAINST IRAN DEAL


ANKARA [MENL] -- The United States has warned Turkey against transporting Iranian natural gas to Western Europe.

Turkish sources said the Bush administration has warned Ankara that any energy deal with Teheran worth more than $20 million would trigger U.S. sanctions against Ankara. The sources said the administration was careful not to make its warning public.

The U.S. warning was said to have been relayed in July on the eve of a summit between Prime Minister Recep Erdogan and Iranian leaders in Teheran. The sources said Washington did not disapprove of Iranian gas supplies to Turkey under a 1996 accord, which took place before the formal launch of Iran-Libya Sanctions Act.

Erdogan defended his efforts to forge an energy pact with Teheran, saying this was required for Turkish and regional stability. In the end, Ankara and Teheran could not agree over the price for the Turkish transport of Iranian gas to Europe."

President Khatami: Iran can by no means tolerate attack on Najaf

President Khatami: Iran can by no means tolerate attack on Najaf: "President Khatami: Iran can by no means tolerate attack on Najaf
Tehran, Aug 7, IRNA -- President Mohammad Khatami said on Saturday that under no circumstances Iran can tolerate any attack on holy cities such as Najaf.
Speaking to reporters at Mehrabad International Airport upon his arrival from Azerbaijan, he referred to US military attack on the holy city of Najaf in Iraq and said "I do not think that the occupiers will be able to solve their problems through aggressive means and this will only widen the gap between them and Iraqi nation."

All freedom-seeking Muslims respect Imam Ali (AS), he said adding that the assault is considered as violation of the faith and beliefs of Shi'ite Muslims around the globe.

He expressed the hope that security and stability would be restored to the war-shattered Iraq as soon as possible.

Pointing to his recent visit to Republic of Azerbaijan, he said signing of ten MoU's on political, economic, security, cultural and commercial affairs were among the achievements of the visit.

The Number and diversity of signed documents indicated the success of his visit, he said.

The two sides have created a peaceful atmosphere to help broaden mutual cooperation, he said.

Expansion of ties between Tehran and Baku would be to the benefit of both countries as well as all other countries of the region, he said.

Khatami described his negotiations with his Azeri counterpart as very fruitful.

Khatami, who headed a high-ranking economic and political delegation, met with senior Azeri officials and discussed ways to bolster cultural, economic and political ties.

The president delivered speeches at Azerbaijan's Academy of Science and Parliament and hold a meeting with the country's ulema and Muslim intellectuals.

Iran and Azerbaijan signed 10 documents for cooperation in various security, economic, transportation and cultural fields.

Khatami arrived in the historical city of Ganjeh on the last leg of his official visit to the Republic of Azerbaijan. While in Ganjeh, he visited the mausoleum of the 12th-century prominent Iranian poet Nezami Ganjavi as well as the Shah Abbas Mosque.

President Khatami and his entourage arrived in the Azeri capital of Baku on Thursday for a three-day visit at the official invitation of his Azeri counterpart, Ilham Aliyev.

The Azerbaijan Republic is one of the five littoral states of the oil-rich Caspian Sea. To the south, it is bounded by Iran, to the west by Armenia, to the northwest by Georgia, and to the north by the Russian Republic of Daghestan."

Iran To Test-fire Advanced Shahab 3 Missile Soon

Description of Selected News: "Iran To Test-fire Advanced Shahab 3 Missile Soon


TEHRAN (MNA) – Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani announced on Saturday that Iran would soon test-fire the more advanced version of the Shahab-3 missile.

“We will prove the effectiveness of the advanced Shahab-3 missile in the near future,” Shamkhani said at a ceremony commemorating defense correspondents.

He said that Iran should be prepared for the worst case scenario.

The Defense Minister stated that a country can emerge victorious when it prepares itself for the most threatening situation and such a society is definitely safe from threats.

A society which does not prepare itself for threats will meet the fate of Saddam Hussein, he argued.

He stated that there is no country in the world which does not feel threatened and every country faces threats.

Shamkhani also dismissed rumors spread by Israel that Iran’s missile capability is a threat to Europe.

“We have repeatedly announced that Iran is not a threat to any country,” the defense minister asserted.

He said Iran has good relations with the Europeans.

The Europeans also do not consider Iran a threat, but it is the Zionist regime which raises such issues in order to prevent Iran from becoming more powerful, he added.

On the possibility of a U.S. military attack on Iran, Shamkhani said the Islamic Republic will become another Vietnam for the United States if it attacks Iran.

Iran’s strategy is oriented toward defense and meant to provide an effective deterrent, he added.

Shamkhani said that Iran considers the unwelcome foreign forces in the region to be a threat, continually assesses the weight of the threat, and develops its defense capabilities based on that threat, adding that this is the natural right of Iran and its people. Even Sharon Will Not Be Safe If Israel Attacks Iran: Defense Minister

Iran will definitely leave no safe place for Israel and its Premier Ariel Sharon if it attacks Iran, the defense minister added.

“Certainly we will leave no safe place for this regime and Sharon,” Shamkhani told reporters.

The minister said Iran is convinced that Israel is an evil state but this regime faces many serious problems within itself.

These problems have strangulated this regime and its threats against Iran are only meant to divert attention from internal problems.

Shamkhani rejected a speculation by some Arab circles that Iran and Israel have launched a sham war against each other, saying Arabic is much closer to Hebrew than Persian and if there is any sham war, it is between Arabic and Hebrew rather than Persian.

The minister said Israel is so foul that Iran does not even condescend to demand the repayment of some money that this regime is owed to Iran from before the Islamic revolution."

Iranian Diplomat Calls Iran's Nuclear Program Peaceful

Description of Selected News: "Iranian Diplomat Calls Iran's Nuclear Program Peaceful

MOSCOW (IRNA) -- Iran's nuclear program is peaceful and nuclear cooperation between Tehran and Moscow is concentrated on its peaceful application, said Iran's Ambassador to Russia Gholam-Reza Shafei on Saturday.

In an exclusive interview with k.m.ru website, Shafei said that Iran-Russia close cooperation began after the disintegration of former Soviet Union and is restricted to construction of an atomic power plant in Bushehr. He underlined that the military doctrine of the Islamic Republic of Iran is against making use of atomic weapons, adding "we are not after using atomic weapons."

A country's security is not protected by atomic weapons, rather cooperation among countries play a significant role in this regard, said the Iranian diplomat. Elsewhere, in response to a question as to a possible U.S. military invasion of Iran, Shafei stressed, "we are ready to defend our country if America attacks us."

Pointing to world security, the diplomat reiterated that besides the Islamic countries, all countries across the globe should cooperate in restoring world security and stability. Shafei highlighted Iran's determination to combat any type of international terrorism, saying "Iran is a victim of terrorism and a number of Iranian authorities including a president and prime minister were martyred by terrorists."

The U.S. has adopted the double-standard policy in its so called combat against terrorism, he said, adding that it is of no use categorizing terrorism into 'bad and good ones'. In response to a question as to the differences between Iran and the Zionist regime, Shafei underlined “the Israeli regime has occupied others' lands and has also imposed its government upon the people in the occupied lands.”

He went on to say that the Zionist regime has also overlooked the resolutions issued by the United Nations. Besides, it has produced atomic weapons and has not signed up to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Meanwhile, Shafei underlined "the Jews, Christians and Muslims, in our opinion, should enjoy the same share in the government," a reference to the government in the occupied Palestinian lands.

Elsewhere, he referred to Iran's 7,000 year old ancient civilization and termed Iran as a historical country that is appealing to foreign tourists."

AzerTAj | STATE INFORMATION AGENCY OF AZERBAIJAN REPUBLIC

AzerTAj | STATE INFORMATION AGENCY OF AZERBAIJAN REPUBLIC: "COOPERATION OF LAW ENFORCERS OF IRAN AND AZERBAIJAN SERVE MUTUAL INTERESTS
[August 06, 2004, 22:43:10]

Minister of Interior, colonel-general Ramil Usubov on 6 August met the delegation headed by internal minister of Iran Seyed Abdulwahid Lari and his entourage.

As was informed by AzerTAj, Minister Ramil Usubov reminded the centuries-old relations between the two peoples, noted that the after regaining state independence, Azerbaijan and Iran have acquired a new level of relations founded by the national leader of Azerbaijan people Heydar Aliyev who has visited the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1992, and since the friendly and fraternal relations between the two states are expanding. It was also marked that the results of process of integration between the two countries give fruits in all fields � in economy, education, culture and others. In this conditions the law enforcement bodies bear great responsibility.

Minister Ramil Usubov noted that cooperation between the law enforcers should meet the integration process. Such meetings create great opportunities to strengthen the efforts in combat against transnational, organized crime and inter national terrorism. As a result, the Minister stressed the importance of the recently signed memorandum on cooperation of internal ministries of Iran and Azerbaijan.

Colonel-general R. Usubov highly assessed potential opportunity of cooperation between the relevant ministries, underlined that the mutual beneficial relations would promote ensuring the interests of both peoples.

Interior minister of Iran Musavi Lari thanked for sincere reception and assured the colleague that su"

Iran To Lay Track To Link Kerman With Zahedan

Iran To Lay Track To Link Kerman With Zahedan

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Iran To Lay Track To Link Kerman With Zahedan


LAHORE (Daily Times) — Iran Railways has decided to lay a railway track to connect Kerman with Zahedan to improve the freight business between Pakistan and Iran.

This was said in a meeting between senior Iran Railways officials, including Yar Mantay, Hussein Tahami and Seyyed Jalil Winth, and Pakistan Railways (PR) General Manager of Operations Aurangzeb Khan and other senior PR freight officials at PR headquarters on Thursday.

Presently, no railway link exists between these two cities and Iranian track ends at Kerman while the track from Pakistan ends at Zahedan. Businessmen from both sides use other means to transport goods between the two cities. The Iranian delegation told the PR officials that the 18-month project would start after formal approval of the authorities concerned. The PR general manager told the delegation that business between the two countries would grow after the completion of the project.

The PR additional general managers for passenger and freight wings also met Mr Khan and informed him that the PR earned Rs 1.40 billion during July 2004, Rs 260 million more than it earned in July 2003."

Iran denounces Najaf violence

Iran denounces Najaf violence: "Saturday 7th August, 2004

Iran denounces Najaf violence

Iran expressed deep concern Saturday over escalating violence in Iraq between U.S. forces and Shiite gunmen led by radical cleric Moqtada Sadr.

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hamid Reza Asasfi denounced excessive violence he claims has been used by the U.S.-led multinational forces against the Iraqi people.

The excessive violence further exacerbates tensions in Iraq and the region, Asafi was quoted as saying by the Iranian News Agency, IRNA.

He called for safeguarding the Shiite holy shrines in the cities of Najaf and nearby Karbala in central Iraq, both of which were the scene of fierce battles during the past two days.

At least 300 gunmen belonging to Sadr's al-Mehdi Army were reportedly killed Thursday and Friday."