By Etienne Fontaine
PARIS (AFP) — A French court on Tuesday freed an Iranian agent jailed for the murder of an exiled prime minister as controversy raged over whether the decision was tied to Iran's release of a young French academic.
Ali Vakili Rad had completed a life sentence for stabbing and strangling to death the shah's last prime minister, Shapour Bakhtiar, at his home outside Paris in August 1991. He became eligible for parole last year.
WASHINGTON (AFP) — The United States said Monday it would not halt or slow its drive for toughened sanctions on Iran, despite Tehran's new nuclear swap deal with Turkey and Brazil."It does not change the steps that we are taking to hold Iran responsible for its obligations, including sanctions," said White House spokesman Robert Gibbs.
Tehran, May 18 – From the Grapevine...
Activists in the south of the capital have filled walls lining the streets with political graffiti urging people to participate in anti-government protests next month to mark last June’s uprising.
Tehran, May 17 – From the Grapevine...
Political activists on Sunday wrote graffiti on walls in the eastern district of Tehran, Farrah-Abbad, urging residents to participate in demonstrations marking the anniversary of last June’s uprising. They wrote graffiti in Afrasiyabi, Kian and Nabard streets as well as in Abuzar Boulevard and Torenj Park.
"You desperate Khamenei, June uprising is on the way, don't forget about June 20-30", they wrote, referring to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
Activists also distributed leaflets in homes, urging residents of the capital's Sa'adat-Abad to join the planned 10-day protests.
A number of residents who read the leaflets gave the activists the home addresses of local regime agents and promised to take part in the demonstrations.
British Parliamentarians have condemned the wave of death sentences handed out to Iranian opposition activists, and called on the Government to impose sanctions on the mullah regime in Tehran.Labour peer Lord Corbett, chairman of the 120-strong British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom, said in a statement: "How many more corpses will the mullahs need to prop up their unpopular regime?
EditorialFor the past 30 years, executions have defined the state’s systematic reaction to political dissent in Iran. But, after a series of nationwide protests following last year’s presidential elections, the use of hangings has taken on a vital significance for the regime. Opponents are not merely executed for physical annihilation but also to spread fear among the rest of the population. How the Iranian people and the international community choose to react could serve as a defining moment for dealing with the regime’s persistent threats.
WASHINGTON (AFP) — The United States does not expect Iran to provide any "serious response" to concerns about its nuclear program until the United Nations acts on sanctions, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Friday.
"I believe we will not get any serious response out of the Iranians until after the Security Council acts," the top US diplomat said during a press conference with Britain's new Foreign Secretary William Hague.
On Sunday, Iran executed five Kurdish activists in the Evin prison in Teheran. The executions were carried out at a critical point prior to the anniversary of the 2009 election.
State Secretary in the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Gry Larsen commented, “Norway condemns the execution of the five Kurdish activists in Iran last Sunday morning.”
By Thomas Erdbrink
Washington Post Foreign Service
Friday, May 14, 2010; A09
TEHRAN -- Iranian authorities are taking increasingly harsh measures to prevent protests marking the one-year anniversary of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's disputed reelection, opposition leaders and analysts say, exacerbating political tensions.