Sunday, October 24, 2004

ABC News: Iran Says Uranium Facility Almost Complete

ABC News: Iran Says Uranium Facility Almost Complete: "Iran Says Uranium Facility Almost CompleteIran Says Uranium Conversion Facility 70 Percent Complete Just Days After Offer From EuropeThe Associated Press

TEHRAN, Iran Oct 24, 2004 — A uranium conversion facility in Iran is nearing completion, a top official said Sunday, only days after European countries offered a deal in which Iran would reportedly have to give up all nuclear activities.

State-run radio quoted Mohammed Ghannadi, second in charge of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, as saying the Isfahan uranium conversion facility in central Iran was nearing completion.

"The Isfahan UCF facility is operational by 70 percent right now," Ghannadi told 21 lawmakers during a visit to the plant, which Iranian officials said was inaugurated in March.

Ghannadi was quoted as saying 21 of 24 workshops have been commissioned at the facility, which converts uranium powder called yellow cake into hexafluoride gas, a stage prior to enrichment. He did not elaborate.


Zarqawi Group Claims Killing of 50 Iraqis
Iran Says Uranium Facility Almost Complete
Children Bear Emotional Scars from School Siege
In talks Thursday in Austria, envoys from Britain, France and Germany offered civilian nuclear technology and a trade deal to the Iranians reportedly in return for Iran permanently giving up all uranium enrichment activities technology that can be used to produce nuclear fuel or nuclear weapons.

"The proposal by the Europeans is unbalanced," Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told a news conference on Sunday. "However, the Europeans have chosen the correct path of dialogue."

Iran's nuclear program is now a matter of national pride, and is one of the few issues on which hard-liners and reformists agree. The conservative-dominated parliament is drawing up a bill requiring the government to resume uranium enrichment, the only stage in the nuclear fuel cycle that Iran says it is not yet carrying out.

Britain, Germany and France have warned that most European countries will back Washington's call to refer Iran's nuclear dossier to the U.N. Security Council for possible economic sanctions if Iran doesn't give up all uranium enrichment activities by the Nov. 25 meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Iran, Asefi said, was still studying the European proposal.

"We think we have to reach a solution acceptable to both sides so that European concerns are eased and, at the same time, our rights under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty are recognized and met," Asefi added.

The spokesman said Iran had its own proposals but refused to discuss details.

Detailed talks with the three key European powers would resume Wednesday, he said.

Asefi said Iran would not accept a permanent suspension of its nuclear activities, and maintained that the Europeans didn't want that either.

"The discussion is not about permanent suspension of enrichment. The Europeans have proposed indefinite suspension until an agreement is reached. They didn't call for a permanent suspension," he said.

Iran insists its nuclear activities are peaceful and geared solely toward generating electric power. The United States contends it is running a covert atomic weapons program.

Last month, the IAEA unanimously passed a resolution demanding Iran freeze all work on uranium enrichment and related activities, such as uranium reprocessing and the building of centrifuges used for enrichment. The U.N. nuclear watchdog is to judge Iran's compliance at the Nov. 25 meeting.

Iran already has defied the IAEA resolution by continuing to build centrifuges and by converting a few tons of raw uranium into hexafluoride gas, a stage before enrichment.

Iran has said the agency has no authority to ban it from enriching uranium, a right granted under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. However, while not prohibited from enrichment activities under that treaty, Iran faces growing international pressure to suspend them."

Description of Selected News

Description of Selected News: "Acknowledging illegal maneuvers endangers world: Rafsanjani

Tehran Times Political Desk
TEHRAN (MNA) -– In a meeting with the new South African ambassador to Iran, Yusuf Saloojee, here on Sunday, Expediency Council Chairman Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said that depriving Iran of the right to produce nuclear fuel would be a dark point in contemporary history.

Acknowledging illegal maneuvers, depriving countries of their natural rights, and restricting the use of high technology in the field of new energy to a few countries will endanger the future of the world, he added.

Rafsanjani referred to the recent efforts by the United States and the European Union to prevent Iran from conducting legitimate activities as a serious issue for all developing countries and called on the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) countries to oppose the move.

He stated that logical and unbiased strategies should be formulated to prevent countries from establishing nuclear weapons programs and added that the Islamic Republic of Iran would do its best to allay the international community’s concerns about its peaceful nuclear activities.

He noted that discrimination is the main reason for insecurity in the world and added that depriving nations of their rights would only make the people dissatisfied and would have dangerous consequences.

Rafsanjani praised South Africa for its positive approach toward Iran during the recent meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors.

He also announced that the Islamic Republic of Iran is interested in expanding political, economic, cultural, energy, and defense cooperation with South Africa.

For his part, the South African ambassador voiced satisfaction with the expansion of ties between the two countries and said that the people and government of South Africa welcome active cooperation with the Islamic Republic of Iran to develop their country.

He announced that South Africa supports Iran’s peaceful nuclear activities and said that the IAEA Board of Governors should observe Iran’s inalienable rights, close Iran’s nuclear dossier, and thus solve the problem.

Saloojee also stated that there are some technical problems with the demands European countries have imposed on Iran and expressed concern that such actions would become standard practice at the IAEA and other international organizations affiliated to the United Nations."

Daily Times - US has no plans to attack Iran, says Powell

Daily Times - Site Edition: "US has no plans to attack Iran, says Powell

NEW YORK: The United States has no plans to attack Iran to thwart what it claims is the Islamic republic’s pursuit of nuclear weapons, but has not formally ruled out any options to deal with the matter, US Secretary of State Colin Powell said on Wednesday.

Instead, Powell told reporters that Washington and its allies were concentrating on a diplomatic and political route to force Iran to abandon the alleged program within the auspices of the UN system.

“I’m not aware of any plans to attack Iran,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the annual session of the UN General Assembly.

“I think we’re working in the world of diplomacy and politics,” Mr Powell said, adding that he had found in conversations with foreign officials a consensus that Iran had to meet demands from the UN nuclear watchdog by November or face possible sanctions from the UN Security Council.

“If it doesn’t do that by the time of the November IAEA meeting, I think there will be every reason at that point to send the matter on to the Security Council,” he said.

“We’re talking about diplomacy and political efforts to stop this movement on the part of the Iranians toward a nuclear weapon,” he said. “We’re not talking about strikes. But every option always, of course, remains on the table.” afp"

On Iran gas pipe via Pak, it's full steam ahead - Newindpress.com

On Iran gas pipe via Pak, it's full steam ahead - Newindpress.com: "On Iran gas pipe via Pak, it's full steam ahead
Monday October 25 2004 00:00 IST
NEW DELHI: External Affairs Minister K Natwar Singh has asked Petroleum Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar to start talks with his Pakistani counterpart on the proposed Iran-India natural gas pipeline.

The rider is that a dialogue on an onland gas pipeline through Pakistan would be contingent on Islamabad agreeing to an oil product pipeline from India to Pakistan.

“We could recommend to Pakistan that we discuss the setting up of the pipeline from Panipat to Pakistan in the context of our discussions on the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline since this would conform to the agreement by both sides to look at these issues in the larger context of expanding trade and economic relations between India and Pakistan,” Natwar Singh advised Aiyar last week.

Singh said that in the interim, Islamabad would have to agree to buy diesel from India supplied through tankers. In the MEA's view, the product pipeline between India and Pakistan could be taken up once the quantum of diesel export reaches a substantial volume.

On his part, Aiyar has initiated the process with a letter to Pakistan's Petroleum and Natural Resources Minister Amanullah Khan Jadoon, seeking time for bilateral discussions on the gas pipeline.

Khan has been asked to select the venue in India or Pakistan and the dates in the hope that the two “might meet before the end of the year”.

The flurry of activity follows a meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Musharraf on September 24 in New York where the two agreed to look at the possibility of a gas pipeline via Pakistan in the larger context of expanding trade relations between the two rivals.

New Delhi is convinced that Pakistan is tempted by the large and recurrent economic benefits - transit fees of $600-800 mn per annum, royalty and cheap gas - that would accrue from the onland pipeline apart from bringing in massive investment, which may help revive the economy and provide employment opportunities to local people.

South Block mandarins insist that any headway in the pipeline talks would be contingent on “complementary progress” on reciprocal transit facilities from India to Afghanistan and beyond, and prior grant of MFN status and normal trade and economic relations by Pakistan.

At a meeting with Singh in Qingdao, China, on June 21, Pakistan's Foreign Minister Kurshid Mehmood Kasuri had suggested delinking the progress and discussion on the pipeline from talks on MFN status and business relations.

The pipeline proposal has been in the freeze for more than a decade as the first initiative for studying its feasibility was launched in 1993 following a pact between India and Iran.

But the study on the sub-sea pipeline could not start and the issue was closed in early 1997 after Pakistan refused permission for offshore marine surveys. Islamabad had insisted that an onland pipeline option be considered, which India did not accept.

It was restarted in May 2000 at the 11th Joint Commission meeting between India and Iran where the two agreed to examine three options for the transfer of Iranian gas to India: overland pipeline via Pakistan, deepwater offshore gas pipeline and LNG.

EXPECT PROGRESS ON PIPELINE: AZIZ

ISLAMABAD: Admitting there are “some problems” in starting the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus service, Pakistan Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz has told Daily Times that he expects progress to be made in talks on the Indo-Iran gas pipeline via Pakistan.

“I am not saying the pipeline will be installed overnight, but a dialogue should start at least. And it will be of benefit to the provider, whether it is Iran or Qatar.”"

Quotes from Muslims around the world during Friday prayers

FOX23 -- NEWS: "Quotes from Muslims around the world during Friday prayers


"Muslims learn in Ramadan how to struggle against the forces of evil in their own selves, in the society around them, and in the world at large." - Mohammed Najam, delivering the sermon at Al Omari mosque in Gaza City, Gaza Strip.

---

"We came from the city of mosques to thank you for standing by our side and to convey a letter from Fallujah residents that they will fight the infidels until the last drop of blood." - Sheik Faisal Hussein, a cleric from Fallujah, Iraq, addressing a Baghdad mosque.

---

"I want a strong Muslim community and Islamic unity. ... I pray one day there will be Islamic rule in the countries now under occupation of non-Muslims. But we don't want explosions and terrorism. Islam condemns anybody doing these things." - Juma Khan, a 34-year-old truck driver after praying in Kabul, Afghanistan.

---

"Every Friday we hear nice words, but what happens on the ground is completely different. Muslims don't stick to the teachings of their religion, even in trade, which has turned into cheating and forgery." - Ahmed al-Saleh, a 23-year-old law student in San'a, Yemen.

---

"The sermon was very good, but there was something missing in it. The sermon was not enflaming as it should be. The sheik wanted to cool us down, while we need somebody to enflame our feelings, to feed our enthusiasm and patriotism." - Shaima Al-Nuaimy, a 24-year-old government employee at the Mother of All Battles Mosque in Baghdad.

---

"The month of Ramadan is the month people can get closer to God, provided they appeal to God honestly. We have to control our tongues and avoid harming others, close our eyes to what we should not see, avoid disturbing others in any way we can and be kind to people under our order." - Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, the head of Iran's Guardian Council, in a sermon beneath a giant tent at Tehran University.
"

Saudi Arabia to set up power plant in Iran

Description of Selected News: "Saudi Arabia to set up power plant in Iran

Tehran Times Economic Desk
TEHRAN (MNA) — Head of Iran Power Development Organization said here Saturday that a combined cycle power plant will be established by Saudi Arabia in Tabriz, capital city of East Azarbaijan Province. Hossein Mahmudzadeh added, “On the basis of a BOT (build-operate-transfer) agreement reached between the country’s Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs and a Saudi company, the Arab party will construct a 1,000MW power plant.”

The plant will cost some 500 million euros, said the official, expressing hope the agreement will be finalized by March 20, 2005.

Iran’s private sector has already started building three power plants of Southern Isfahan, Rudshur, and Parehsar, noted Mahmudzadeh, adding that Tabriz power plant is the fourth."

Description of Selected News

Description of Selected News: "Bush asking Iran to eliminate all access to nuclear technology: Gary Sick

Tehran Times Political Desk
TEHRAN (MNA)— The Columbia University Professor Gary Sick took part in a telephone interview with the Mehr News Agency on the Bush Administration policy toward Iran, the relations between U.S. and Europe and the U.S. presidential election. The text of the interview follows: Q: What is your assessment of President George W. Bush’s policy toward Iran?

A: I think it is extremely unlikely that the Bush administration will take any preemptive military action against Iran, at least under the present circumstances. As you very well know the United States is very heavily occupied in Iraq and Afghanistan and I think the Bush administration knows very well that any attempt to intervene in Iran would in fact be a much bigger problem and probably much more difficult than the operation in Iraq and for that reason I think that is not likely to happen.

There is a real possibility of an accidental escalation either because of Iranian activities or U.S. activities in the region. Whether there’s a clash of some sort accidentally in Iraq or along the Iran-Iraq border or at some point in the Persian Gulf. I think an example of that is the Iranian arrest of those British on the river some time ago. Incidents like that which probably are not regarded as aggressive on either sides can escalate into a conflict and I think accidental confrontation is in some ways a danger but clearly the United States is going to keep up its pressure as much as possible on Iran to try to get it to accept a less threatening version of its nuclear program, particularly focusing on enrichment and reprocessing as very dangerous and trying to persuade Iran to give up both of those in ways that would in fact give Iran the capacity to build a nuclear weapon not necessarily to try to stop Iran from building nuclear power plants. Q: What is the role of Iran in establishing stability in Iraq?

A: Yes, I think events in Iraq are going to be very important and particularly as we come up to the elections supposedly in January, if there are outbreaks of fighting, if there is a Shia opposition to the election and if Iran supports the Shia opposition, I think that could in fact lead to very serious differences of views between Iraq and Iran and also between the Unites States and Iran.

Q: The unilateral policy of the U.S. has hurt the relations between the United States and its European allies. Europe has a different approach than that of the current Bush administration but, Mr. Kerry has said his policy is different from that of Bush and he has sought the support of the former allies of the United States. So the Europeans prefer Kerry rather than Bush. What is your opinion in this regard? A: There has been some difference of opinions in the past between Europe and the United States. The Bush administration has taken a very hard line position asking Iran to eliminate all access to nuclear technology. The Europeans were more willing to compromise and to negotiate based on limited Iranian access to nuclear technology particularly peaceful access, nuclear technology that did not immediately threaten the possibility of building a nuclear weapon.

Those differences I think have in fact narrowed very much. The European position and the American position are still different but they are not as different as they used to be. The Europeans are in fact taking a much tougher line with regard to Iran because of this difference of opinion about enrichment of uranium and reprocessing of plutonium.

The Europeans, especially the three countries that have been negotiating with Iran have begun to take a much more demanding view about Iran’s program so the differences are not that great. The big difference it seems to me between Mr. Kerry and Mr. Bush is that Mr. Kerry says quite clearly that he would favor a direct dialogue with Iran and he does not say that because he intends to praise Iran or that he has any illusion about differences of views but he does believe that the way to deal with those differences is to address them directly. Mr. Bush does not say that.

The real issue in my mind if Mr. Kerry becomes president is whether Iran itself is preparing for a direct dialogue and that is not clear to me. In the past the United States has proposed talking to Iran, has proposed an opening for discussions and Iran has rejected it. So, I never make any predictions about this because I can’t predict who will win in the election, but if Kerry should win the election I think he will in fact propose direct conservation with Iran in some point next year.

I cannot also predict how Iran may respond because in the past some people in Iran said they would like to have direct conservations with United States but others said no, only at very extreme circumstances where pre-conditions were made that the United States has to lift all the sanctions, that the U.S. has to do a whole series of things first then they would be prepared to talk.

To me at this stage it’s not really predictable, but I do believe that the Unites States and the Europeans will continue to cooperate at some level in terms of their policies which they have been doing up until now. Each takes a different position but they have been in fact coordinating their policies and talking about them and I would expect that to continue not with Europe breaking away from the United States but rather Europe taking a more collaborative view with Iran wanting to talk and the U.S. resisting such operations but both sides talking to each other and collaborating about their view with regard to Iran.

Professor Gary Sick is Adjunct Professor of International Affairs and Acting Director of the Middle East Institute at the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) at Columbia University. Gary Sick served in the National Security Council under presidents Ford, Carter and Reagan and is the author of two books on U.S.-Iranian relations. He is also the executive director of Gulf 2000, an international research project on political, economic and security developments in the Persian Gulf."

Expediency Council passes new decisions on privatization drive of Iran's economy

Expediency Council passes new decisions on privatization drive of Iran's economy: "Expediency Council passes new decisions on privatization drive of Iran's economy
Tehran, Oct 23, IRNA -- The Expediency Council on Saturday passed new decisions to privatize national economy and help rid it of stagnation.
"The new decisions will help speed up growth of national economy, boost efficiency and productivity of material and human resources and prepare the ground for competition in the economic sector," said a statement from the Expediency Council.

The Management and Planning Organization (MPO) has drawn up a 20-year economic, social and cultural development plan (2005-2025) which requires privatization of major enterprises now being run by the government.

The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei forwarded the long-term vision plan to the heads of the three branches of government in order to be put into effect and assigned the Expediency Council to remove any obstacle that the strategic plan may find with the articles 43 and 44 of the Constitution.

The Constitution drawn up after victory of the Islamic Revolution has envisaged monopoly of government over national economy.

But, experience of the past 25 years proved that the state monopoly has brought stagnation to the economy sector.

The Expediency Council said that the government officials in charge of the economic affairs were present in the meeting and offered expert views about the topics being examined."

Reuters | Iran's classic cars come out of hiding

Reuters | Latest Financial News / Full News Coverage: "Iran's classic cars come out of hiding
Sun 24 October, 2004 05:12

By Christian Oliver

KARAJ, Iran (Reuters) - Before Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution, some of the world's finest cars cruised the Tehran traffic, many of them the playthings of friends and close associates of the Shah.

When the Shah, a self-confessed car fanatic, was toppled, his allies ran for cover and their property was confiscated. The Mercedes, Ferraris and Bentleys were hidden away in suburban garages. One Lamborghini Miura was buried beneath a shed.

Now the weathered classic cars are slipping out of their hiding places and enthusiasts are hoping to put together what they are confident will be one of the world's foremost museum collections.

"These are national treasures, the crown jewels," said Ramin Salehkhoo, who heads the classic car section of Iran's Automobile Federation. "We have new discoveries every week."

Some of the finest specimens of Iran's automobile history have been spruced up and put on display in a tiny museum in the industrial town of Karaj, just west of Tehran.

Behind the museum is a cavernous warehouse, holding about 150 classic cars awaiting renovation.

Caked in dust and bird droppings, they are spectres of another age, redolent of the royal jet-set.

Hidden among the Buicks, Oldsmobiles, Dodges and Rolls-Royces is the sprightly, olive-green Ferrari 512 BB boxer that King Hussein of Jordan picked up for the Shah on his visit to the Ferrari factory.

Up against the wall is the enormous bullet-proof burgundy Rolls-Royce Phantom IV that carried crown prince Reza from hospital after his birth in 1960.

Down the steps is the feline Porsche 911 that was confiscated by traffic police keen to give speeding motorists a taste of their own medicine.

The headlights are still coated with thick blue paint so they would not catch the eye of Iraqi jets on night patrols when the two countries were at war from 1980 to 1988.

A MORE OPULENT AGE

The registration plate on the red and cream Mercedes 220 hails from Abadan, deep in the oil heartlands of Iran's southwest.

It dates from the time when Iran was producing six million barrels of crude a day. It produces four million a day now.

Museum director Majid Jafari said this gloomy warehouse had attracted chief engineers from Porsche and Mercedes to see some of their companies' masterpieces.

The museum's Mercedes 500K is the world's last, rumoured to have carried Hitler to troop inspections in Russia, and has fetched offers of $3 million.

It is not for sale. "The Shah used the treasury to buy these cars, so they belong to the people," said Salehkhoo.

Jafari said visitors were nostalgic.

"Some come out of curiosity to see what it was like in that time, others like to see custom-built cars for their uniqueness," he added.

Visitors can inspect the royal beach-buggy and the refrigerator and record-player in the C30 Chrysler coupe that belonged to the Shah's second wife, Soraya Esfandiary.

Still locked in the dusty warehouse is an exceedingly rare silver sportscar hand-crafted by Giotto Bizzarrini, who later joined Lamborghini.

Funds available for restoring the dilapidated cars to their former glory are meagre but Salehkhoo said Iran's fast-growing car industry had showed an interest in helping.

Car makers such as Iran Khodro and Saipa are now looking abroad for loans and bond issues. Investment from Peugeot and Renault is turning Iran into a regional car making centre.

One car missing is the Shah's favourite, a Lamborghini Miura SVJ that was smuggled out of the country and briefly ended up as the run-around of U.S. film star Nicolas Cage.

When the Shah's nephew graduated from military academy, his uncle said his reward would be any of the 3,000-strong royal car collection.

"Apart from the SVJ," the Shah added hastily."

US to refer Iran to UNSC: Powell

Hi Pakistan: "US to refer Iran to UNSC: Powell

TOKYO: The United States has seen no sign Iran will comply with international demands on its suspect nuclear programme and will push next month for the matter to be sent to the UN Security Council unless Tehran reverses its course, US Secretary of State Colin Powell said on Saturday.

Powell said Washington believed it could get support from the International Atomic Energy Agency to refer Iran to the Security Council in the event it fails to comply with its IAEA obligations and commitments to European nations.

"I think everybody left the September meeting believing that if there was not a significant response, and a very clear significant response that met all of the IAEA requirements and was totally consistent with the agreement they had with the EU, that there should be a referral in November," Powell said.

"We’re approaching November and it is our position that we should continue to march toward action by the IAEA ... that would refer it to the Security Council if there is no complete satisfaction on the part of the Iranians toward the international obligations and commitments that they have made," he said.

Powell made the comments to reporters aboard his plane en route to Japan, the first leg of a three-nation Asian tour during which another nuclear dilemma-North Korea’s atomic weapons programmes-will be the chief focus.

He said the United States was looking forward to hearing Iran’s formal response to a proposal from Europe’s three key states for it to avoid possible UN sanctions and receive nuclear technology by indefinitely suspending uranium enrichment.

The United States has frowned on the incentives offered by Britain, France and Germany but made no move to stop the offer from being made and Powell held out little hope that Tehran would respond positively.

Meanwhile, conservative MPs in Iran on Saturday denounced Europe’s call for Iran to halt all uranium enrichment activities if it wants to avoid the threat of UN sanctions over its nuclear activities. "The European proposal is an excessive demand that is contrary to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and unacceptable," Alaeddin Brujerdi, the influential head of parliament’s national security and foreign policy committee, told the conservative newspaper Ressalat.

Britain, France and Germany presented Iran with a deal on Thursday aimed at avoiding possible sanctions under which Tehran would receive valuable nuclear technology if it indefinitely suspended all uranium enrichment activities, according to a document prepared by the Europeans.

But Brujerdi also raised the possibility that the conservative-controlled parliament could pass a bill forcing Iran to halt its suspension of uranium enrichment in defiance of the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency.

"The European offer is a denial of the Iranian nation’s legal rights bestowed under the NPT," Brujerdi said. "The Islamic republic of Iran will not accept a (Western) monopoly on nuclear technology and will pursue its activities with determination."

Under the European deal, Iran would receive technology, including a light-water reactor which would produce less fissionable material than the heavy-water reactor Tehran is planning to build with Russian help in Bushehr.

"The enrichment of uranium is a question of national dignity and no-one can force the leaders of the country to renounce it, said Hamid Reza Hadji-Babaie, an MP and member of the speaker’s office. "The negotiations were positive but the Europeans must take account of our red lines, that is Iran’s refusal to renounce the nuclear fuel cycle."

The official state news agency IRNA quoted an anonymous diplomat in Vienna saying that the next round of talks between Iran and the European Three would start on Wednesday. A report published this week by the International Institute for Strategic Studies, a military and defence think tank, said that assuming Iran lifts the suspension on its enrichment programme, "it is still probably a few years away from full scale production of enough enriched uranium for a small nuclear arsenal".

Iran’s former representative to the IAEA, Ali-Akbar Salehi, said the European proposals contained both positive and negative points, and urged the country’s leaders to examine them without hesitation. "I believe the two sides do not want to reach a deadlock. So the Europeans must move some way towards our position," Salehi told AFP.

But another conservative MP dismissed the European offer. "A light-water reactor is useable only for medical and agricultural needs but a heavy-water reactor can also produce plutonium for use in nuclear power plants," another MP Heshmatollah Falahat-Pisheh said, quoted by the conservative Kayhan newspaper."

Mullah Rafsanjani: Iran insists on fuel production

Mullah Rafsanjani: Iran insists on fuel production Persian Journal Latest Iran News, news Tehran Iranian News persian news web site sport irani news iranians site farsi women sport woman, newspaper football: "Mullah Rafsanjani: Iran insists on fuel production
Oct 24, 2004, 12:26

Mullah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani here Sunday stressed the need for production of nuclear fuel by Iran. In a meeting with South African Ambassador to Tehran Yusuf Saloojee, Mullah said preventing Iran from producing its needed nuclear fuel can serve as a black point in modern history.

"Recognizing illegal approaches and depriving countries of their absolute rights as well as limiting use of modern technologies, particularly in the fields of modern energies, to certain colonial countries will endanger the future of the world," Mullah added.

He assessed recent decisions adopted by the European Union and the United States to prevent Iran's legal activities as a serious issue for all developing states and called on all countries particularly member states of the Non-Aligned Movement to confront such flagrant act of cruelty.

The EC chairman said efforts by intellectuals at international circles and offering wise solutions without any discrimination among countries are among proper measures to stop improper use of nuclear power.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran will do its utmost to win the world's confidence regarding use of nuclear energy," Mullah stated. "

Bulgaria Denies Plans for "Iran Attack"

Bulgaria Denies Plans for "Iran Attack": "Bulgaria Denies Plans for "Iran Attack"

Bulgaria's Defense Minister Nikolay Svinarov refuted reports that during his October 9 meeting with US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld they have discussed possible attack on Iran. Photo by novinite.com archive
| buy photo |

Politics: 24 October 2004, Sunday.

Bulgaria's Defense Minister Nikolay Svinarov refuted reports that during his October 9 meeting with US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld they have discussed possible attack on Iran.

He commented on a report of the Quebecs center for alternative media claiming that at the October meeting the defense ministers from the coalition forces and the US administration have discussed a possible attack on Iran.

I can firmly say that we have not discusses such issues, Svinarov said. He pointed out that he is not aware of the plans of the US administration, saying that such plans would be illogical. What I know for sure is that we haven't discussed such issues, he underlined once again.

In an article of the Center for alternative media called "Bush Pre-Election Strike On Iran "Imminent" it was reported that the administration of the current Us president fears that he might lose the presidential battle to Democratic challenger Kerry. That was pointed as a reason for Bush to execute several attacks on Iran nuclear reactor in Bushehr and other nuclear spots.

The article claims that the operation was to take place two weeks before the November 2 elections in the US. The author of the article also says that US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and the coalition allies, including Bulgaria, have discussed the attack at their October 9 meeting."

IranMania News

IranMania News: "Persian carpets lose appeal

Sunday, October 24, 2004 - ©2004 IranMania.com
LONDON, Oct 24 (IranMania) - An Iran Small Industries Organization official said that fine Persian carpet has lost some of its international markets due to state negligence, stressing that the share of Persian carpet industry in national employment has also declined in recent years.

Ali Zafarzadeh, deputy head of the organization for economic and international affairs, told ISNA that the government must allocate more funds to hire prominent carpet design masters, if the national carpet industry is to regain its high international status.

He stressed that Iran Small Industries Organization has suffered major financial losses in recent years from state monopoly, adding that the government must allocate subsidies to private sector to help them have a greater presence in the international markets.

Iran's Customs Administration reported earlier that handicrafts exports stood at $236.8 mln in the first half of the current Iranian year (started March 20).

It added that this shows a 30.9% and a 10.1% decline in terms of weight and value, respectively, compared to the figures for the same period last year.

Carpets and handicrafts accounted for 16% and 8% in terms of weight and value, respectively, of the total non-oil exports.

Carpet exports toped 8,040 tons in weight and $209 mln in value, which are 4.1% and 10.8% lower than the figure for the same period last year."

IRIB PERSIAN NEWS PAGE

IRIB PERSIAN NEWS PAGE: "Hakim slams Iraqi information agency


10:38:44 Þ.Ù
Tehran, Oct 24 - Abdol Aziz Hakim slammed the accusations against some Badr organization memebers of involving in the assasination of the Iraqi Information Agency joints and termed it as ridiculous.

The head of Supreme Assembly of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq said some wicked persons and former Iraqi regime agents are in the Iraqi Information agency and operating on the basis of former Iraqi regime policies.

"These operations are in contrry to the Iraqi regulations" SAIRI head added.

He reiterated that the main duty of the Information agency is to collect necessary informations but they arrest and torture Iraqi people.

Hakim underlined 'if the Iraqi information agency continue this trend, we will reveal these criminals to the world."

IRIB PERSIAN NEWS PAGE

IRIB PERSIAN NEWS PAGE: "Zionists unaware of Hezbollah weapon


10:07:01 Þ.Ù
Tehran, Oct 24 - Secretary General of Lebenese Hezbollah, Seyyed Hassan Nasrollah, stressed on Saturday that the Zionist regime had no information on the kind, power and range of weapons of Lebenese Hezbollah.

He said that Lebenese Hezbollah's weapons would remain .... (technical) to support territorial integrity of Lebanon.

He added that Lebenese Hezbollah would not use the weapons for election objectives and had no intention to have any position in the cabinet.

He underlined that the Hezbollah's stance in front of the Lebenese cabinet had not been changed, and if the stances and policies of the cabinet were in contrary to national interests, Hezbollah would object it."

IRIB PERSIAN NEWS PAGE

IRIB PERSIAN NEWS PAGE: "Iran unemployment dropped to 10.4 pc

03:05:50 È.Ù
Tehran, Oct 24 - President Mohammad Khatami here Sunday said that the current rate of unemployment in the country has dropped to 10.4, thanks to government efforts at improving the national economic structure.

His remarks were made at a ceremony honoring outstanding figures in the field of statistics and planning.

He also said the reduction in the rate of unemployment was the result of government measures aimed at creating more jobs and eliminating unemployment as a whole.

Referring to the country's 10.4 rate of unemployment as still far from desirable, the president said he hoped more can be done to reduce unemployment in the future.

He also stressed the importance of having clear objectives in any planning activity, and expressed his belief that the country's precious experiences, experts and strong communication structure would all help create a sound statistical system for the country."

Europeans' proposals unbalanced

IRIB PERSIAN NEWS PAGE: "2004/10/24

Europeans' proposals unbalanced
11:43:03 Þ.Ù
Tehran, Oct 24 - Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi here Sunday termed the proposals suggested by the European countries to Iran on the country's nuclear activities as "unbalanced".

Talking to domestic and foreign reporters during his weekly press briefing, he urged the European countries to give assurances that they are able to fulfill their commitments and act upon their promises.

Asefi expressed the hope that bilateral talks would not lead to further complication of the issues.

The first round of talks between Iran and the European trio was held Thursday afternoon in Vienna, Austria.

Senior officials from the European trio of France, Britain and Germany and their Iranian counterparts, after three hours of talks behind the closed doors, agreed to continue their dialogue on Tehran's nuclear programs.

The unlimited suspension of Uranium enrichment was not discussed by representatives of the three European states and Iran during the Thursday meeting, Asefi said, adding "temporary suspension pending an agreement" was mentioned by the two sides.

He further reiterated that an unlimited suspension of Uranium enrichment is not the topic of discussion between Iran and the European trio.

Announcing that Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi is to start a trip to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia on Monday, Asefi said the latest developments in bilateral cooperation as well as Iran's stands regarding its cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency will be top on the agenda of talks to be held between Kharrazi and senior officials of the two Arab states."