New laser-guided bombs to be tested by Iran

New laser-guided bombs to be tested by IranPlans to test a new laser-guided bomb has been announced by Iran.

The country's air force commander Brig. Gen Hassan Shahsafi was reported by Iran's Fars News Agency as saying that a prototype of the 2,000-pound smart bomb would be tested "in the near future."

The smart bomb, dubbed Qassed-2, had a longer range and better vision than its earlier version, the Qassed-1. That weapon made its debut four years ago and has since then been in mass production. Qassed is interpreted as "messenger," he added further.

Enrichment of Uranium for peaceful purposes only, says Iran

Enrichment of Uranium for peaceful purposes only, says IranIranian officials have said that western pressure to enact strict sanctions on Iran for its controversial nuclear program is tantamount to a psychological war.

According to the Tehran Times reports, Hassan Rohani, director of the strategic research center at the Expediency Council, said he thought it was unlikely sanctions on Iran would pass through the U. N. Security Council.

He further said," Despite Americans' claims, I see it a remote possibility that the Security Council approves a resolution against Iran."

"Tremendous progress" been made on Iran sanctions, claims Clinton

Progress was being made in lining up further support for U. N. Security Council sanctions against Iran, U. S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday.

"Tremendous progress" has been made in efforts to persuade Russia to accept further sanctions in response, Clinton said during a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing in Washington Voice of America reported that she also said progress has been made in convincing China further sanctions are in Beijing's interest.

VOA further said that Russia and China have been the most reluctant Security Council members to go along with further sanctions.

Gmail permanently suspended in Iran by the national e-mail service

Gmail permanently suspended in Iran by the national e-mail serviceIran's telecommunications agency has announced that it has permanently suspended Google's e-mail services and plans to roll out a national e-mail service for Iranian citizens.

The announcement of suspension comes as Iranian authorities have deployed force across Tehran to conduct last-minute security sweeps and warn residents to refrain from joining anti-government protests planned for Thursday, the 31st anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, as reported by Fox news.

Situation in Iran may tarnish Gulf’s prospectus

Iran-MapAt a time when the Gulf region has been showing rapid signs of recovery leaving behind recessionary impacts, things are taking new shapes in Iran, currently autocratically ruled by the ayatollahs. The Gulf nations are concerned over their troubled neighborhood which can mitigate their chances to glitter further by achieving new trajectories of growth.

Iran to screen all US tourists

Iran to screen all US touristsTehran, Jan 11 : Iran has decided to screen all American citizens seeking entry to the country on tourist visas, in response to a similar decision taken by the US.

Iran will screen all Americans applying for tourist visas to enter the country, in response to similar treatment being given by the US to Iranian travellers, MP Alaeddin Boroujerdi said Sunday.

The decision comes days after the US government issued instructions to all its airport authorities to screen visitors from certain countries, including Iran, Mehr News reported.

US has plan to deal with Iran's nuclear programme: Petraeus

Washington, Jan 11 - The US has contingency plans to deal with Iran's nuclear programmes, the top US military commander told CNN Sunday, in addition to diplomacy and sanctions.

While General David Petraeus, head of US Central Command, did not elaborate on the plans, he said the military has considered the impact of any action taken there.

"It would be almost literally irresponsible if Centcom were not to have been thinking about the various 'what ifs' and to make plans for a whole variety of different contingencies," Petraeus told CNN.

However, he declined to comment when asked about rumours that Israel could attack Iran's facilities. Israel has repeatedly said that Iran's nuclear programme was a major threat to it.

Iranian opposition leader's car hit by gunfire

Mehdi KarroubiTehran, Jan 8 : The car of one of Iran's opposition leaders, Mehdi Karroubi, was hit by gunfire but the cleric was unharmed, opposition websites reported Friday.

Karroubi is believed to have attended a mourning ceremony Friday in the city of Qazvin, west of the capital Tehran, when some 500 government supporters attacked the ceremony. The pro-government protesters were believed to have been armed.

Police eventually succeeded to move Karroubi, a former speaker of parliament, from the venue but when the cleric's car was leaving the area, it was hit by gunfire.

Iran, Syria to create new world order: Ahmadinejad

Iran, Syria to create new world order: AhmadinejadTehran, Jan 7 : Iran and Syria plan to create a new world order, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Thursday.

"Iran and Syria have a joint mission to create a new world order on the basis of justice, humanity and belief in God," Ahmadinejad told visiting Syrian Parliament Speaker Mahmoud al-Abrash.

Syria is Iran's main ally in the Middle East and both countries consider Israel to be their political arch-foe.

N-programmes no threat to neighbours: Iran

N-programmes no threat to neighbours: IranTehran, Jan 7 : Iran has assured its neighbours that its nuclear activities are solely for defensive purposes and pose no threat to any country in the region.

The Islamic Republic's military capabilities are only based on preventive and defensive purposes, Majlis speaker Ali Larijani said Wednesday in a meeting with his visiting Bahraini counterpart Khalifa al-Dhahrani.

Voicing Majlis support for promotion of all-out bilateral cooperation with Bahrain, he said the enemies could not damage the existing friendly ties between the two states.

China urges fresh nuclear talks with Iran

China urges fresh nuclear talks with IranNew York, Jan 6 - China's UN Ambassador Zhang Yesui called Tuesday for more negotiations and diplomacy to resolve the dispute over Iran's nuclear programme.

Zhang, speaking as president of the UN Security Council in January, said diplomatic efforts are underway to work out a settlement.

"This is not the right time for sanctions," Zhang said in reply to reporters' questions whether the 15-nation council under his presidency would consider additional sanctions on Iran for rejecting repeated UN demands to end its uranium enrichment programmes.

China urges more talks on Iran nuclear programme

China urges more talks on Iran nuclear programme Beijing, Jan 5 : China Tuesday said it still favoured more international talks on Iran's nuclear programme, one day after the US said it had discussed possible new sanctions against Tehran.

"Dialogue and negotiation are the right way of properly solving the Iran nuclear issue, and there is still room for diplomatic efforts," foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu told reporters.

"We hope the relevant parties take more flexible and pragmatic measures and step up diplomatic efforts in a bid to resume talks as soon as possible," Jiang said.

Iran bans contact with foreign organisations

Iran bans contact with foreign organisations Tehran, Jan 5 : Accusing European and US-based organisations of inciting post-poll violence in the country, Iran has restricted its citizens from having ties with such foreign groups, media reports said Tuesday.

Iran's deputy intelligence minister for foreign affairs said that 60 European and US institutions played a role in inciting post-election violence in the Islamic Republic.

Ancient child’s coffin unearthed in southwestern Iran

Tehran, January 4 : A team of archaeologists has unearthed an ancient coffin bearing a skeleton of a child buried in a Parthian mound in Khuzestan Province, southwestern Iran.

The team, which had previously been assigned to demarcate the site, found the coffin in mid December after the recent heavy rainfall removed the earth from the coffin, Khuzestan Cultural Heritage Enthusiasts Society (Taryana) spokesman Mojtaba Gahestuni told the Persian service of the Mehr News Agency.

According to a report in Tehran Times, an intact pottery jar and several other artifacts were also buried along with the child in the coffin.

Iranian parliament may decide against granting visa to Kerry

Iranian parliament may decide against granting visa to KerryTehran, Jan. 4 : The Iranian parliament might decide against granting a visa to US Senator John Kerry as his visit “is not in the country’s interests at the present time.”

“The Majlis Foreign Relations Committee is scheduled to discuss the issue on Tuesday morning and then the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee will make a decision on Tuesday afternoon," Politico quoted Iranian MP Hossen Ebrahimi, as saying.

Saudi Arabia asks Iran to free Osama's daughter

Saudi Arabia asks Iran to free Osama's daughterLondon, Jan 3 - Saudi Arabia has asked Iran to repatriate one of the daughters of Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden to the kingdom after she fled house arrest and sought refuge at its embassy in Tehran.

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said Saturday his government was in talks with Iran over freeing the fugitive leader's 17-year-old daughter Iman, the BBC reported.

Iran''''s Ayatollah Khamenei ‘fond of vulgar jokes’, defector claims

London, Dec 31 : A defector from Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s private guard has revealed that the Supreme Leader of Iran is fond of vulgar jokes.

The account of the defector, believed to be hiding in France, paints a comprehensive picture of the private life led by Khamenei, 70, who has held the top position in the Islamic nation since 20 years.

Iran’s opposition Green Movement has now compiled the defector’s description of Khamenei.

He discloses that Khamenei loves trout and caviar; is passionate about collecting bejewelled pipe and fine horses; and that he suffers regular attacks of depression, which are treated partly by a mid-ranking mullah who cracks vulgar jokes.

Iran again rejects deadline on uranium enrichment exchange

uranium-enrichmentTehran, Dec 30 : Iran Tuesday again rejected a deadline for the end of this year set by the world powers on a uranium enrichment deal.

"Actually we have a deadline and our deadline is that if no proper response is received (from the world powers) on the deal, then we will go on with further uranium enrichment for our Tehran medical reactor," Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki told reporters.

Ahmadinejad links unrest to US, 'Zionists'

mahmoud-ahmadinejadTehran, Dec 30 : Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Tuesday blamed the latest unrest in his country on the US and Israel, the ISNA news agency reported.

"This is a play staged by the US and Zionists (Israel) which just makes us puke," said Ahmadinejad in his first reaction to Sunday's protests against him and his government.

"Both those who staged and those who acted in this play are making a mistake, as the Iranian nation has seen many such plays and will not be affected," the president added.

Police use tear gas to disperse protests in Tehran

tehran-running-tear-gasTehran, Dec 26 : There were renewed political protests on Saturday in Tehran and police fired tear gas shells to disperse the crowds, an Iranian opposition website reported.

The Jaras website, which is close to the Green Movement led by former prime minister Mir-Hossein Moussavi, said clashes between an unspecified number of protesters and police broke out in a public square in eastern Tehran.

The official news agency IRNA confirmed the protests in eastern Tehran but said there were at most 150 people.

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