Thursday, November 10, 2005

New offer to Iran on atomic work reported

The Boston Globe:

November 10, 2005

WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration and three European allies have approved a new offer that will be made to Iran to head off a confrontation over its suspected nuclear weapons program, The New York Times reported today. The proposal would permit Iran to conduct very limited nuclear activities on its own soil but would move the process of enriching uranium to Russia, American and European officials told the Times. The proposal was discussed Tuesday at a meeting between Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Mohamed ElBaradei, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations' nuclear monitoring agency, according to the newspaper. ElBaradei will take the proposal to Iran on behalf of Britain, Germany, France, and the United States, officials told the Times. But one senior official described by the Times as ''deeply involved" in creating the proposal was skeptical that Iran would accept it.


Governors fired amid vote fraud allegations

BAKU -- President Ilham Aliev fired two regional governors for interfering with the count from last weekend's parliamentary elections, his office said yesterday after thousands of angry demonstrators crammed a square in Baku to protest alleged vote fraud. The governors of the Surakhani and Sabirabad regions were ousted amid international criticism of the balloting. Thousands of people rallied in the capital to demand free elections, answering a call by the opposition movement following Sunday's parliamentary balloting, which international observers said did not meet democratic standards. (AP)


UN is asked to join talks on Hariri probes

DAMASCUS -- Syria's top prosecutor has invited the chief UN investigator in the assassination of a former Lebanese prime minister for talks on coordinating the UN probe with Syria's newly opened one, the official news agency reported yesterday. Prosecutor-General Ghada Murad, who heads the Syrian probe into Rafik Hariri's slaying, has asked UN investigator Detlev Mehlis to come to Damascus ''to search for the best means and mechanisms of cooperating between the two commissions," the Syrian Arab News Agency said. In a letter to Mehlis, Murad said her commission ''highly appreciates your mission and is keen to unveil the full truth, and expresses its readiness to cooperate and coordinate fully with you," SANA reported. (AP)


Hezbollah blamed in 1994 bomb blast

BUENOS AIRES -- The bomber who detonated a van packed with explosives outside a Jewish community center in 1994, killing 85 people in Argentina's worst terrorist attack, has been identified as a Hezbollah militant, a prosecutor said yesterday. Prosecutor Alberto Nisman said in a statement that Ibrahim Hussein Berro, a Lebanese citizen and member of the Iranian-backed Hezbollah, carried out the attack, which leveled the community center in downtown Buenos Aires. Leaders of Argentina's Jewish community have alleged that Iran had organized the attack. Iran has repeatedly denied the accusation. (AP)


Union members held after demonstration

HARARE -- Police charged more than 100 trade unionists with public disorder yesterday, one day after arresting them as they tried to march against worsening poverty in a country crippled by shortages, their lawyer said. Lawyer Alec Muchadehama said police had charged the 119 members of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions under security laws critics say are aimed at stifling opposition to President Robert Mugabe's government. The group was being held in Chitungwiza, some 19 miles southwest of the capital Harare, he added. (Reuters)


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