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Call for Comprehensive Sanctions Against Iranian Regime

Support for Democratic Change in Iran BERKELEY, Calif., Feb. 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Following is a release from the Iranian- American Community of Northern California (IACNC): Iran's 60-day grace period for it to stop enriching uranium expired on Wednesday, February 22, 2007. The Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in addressing the people of Gilan (Northern Province of Iran) insisted on enrichment and ridiculously said, "If we are supposed to suspend (our nuclear activities) for the sake of negotiations, then you should suspend your nuclear activities as well." On the same day, Iran's negotiator with the IAEA, Ali Larijani was dispatched to Vienna to buy time through talks with the IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei. Press reports today confirm that Iran has expanded its uranium enrichment program instead of complying with a UN Security Council ultimatum to freeze it. IACNC, in echoing the view of the majority of the Iranian, reiterates that giving the leaders of the Iranian regime a chance to maneuver would be a dangerous game and it will only give the religious fascism enough time to pursue its nuclear weapons program. Negotiating with the fascists in Tehran has been tried in past many times and proved to be ineffective. The international community has only one way to stop the Iranian regime form obtaining an atomic bomb and that is the imposition of comprehensive sanctions against it. This will limit Tehran's ability to meddle in Iraqi affairs and will also send a clear signal to the people of Iran to rise against the dictatorial regime and bring about democracy in their country. This is the only way to avoid another war in the Middle East.

Iran: Britain must admit navy trespassed
By Jeffrey Stinson, USA TODAY

LONDON — Britain froze the country's relations with Iran on Wednesday and reacted angrily to Iranian TV pictures of 15 British sailors and marines taken captive last week in the Persian Gulf.

The footage on Iranian state TV showed some of the troops eating. It was the first sighting of the seven marines and eight sailors since they were captured Friday while conducting anti-smuggling operations off the Iraqi coast.Iran's embassy in London said in a statement that the crew was captured just inside Iranian waters.The embassy released a letter allegedly from Turner addressed to her parents in which she wrote that the British crew had "apparently" entered Iran's territorial waters."We were out in the boats when we were arrested by Iranian forces as we had apparently gone into Iranian waters," said the letter, a copy of which was sent to the Associated Press. "I wish we hadn't because then I'd be home with you all right now."

The Iranian TV footage showed Turner, 26, in a headscarf talking with someone off camera and, later, smoking a cigarette.Britain strongly denied Iran's assertions that the crew had entered its waters. British military officials released satellite coordinates that they said showed the crew was 1.7 nautical miles inside Iraqi waters when it was surrounded by six Iranian gunboats.Vice Adm. Charles Style said the crew was "ambushed" after conducting "an entirely routine" inspection of a merchant ship. He said the coordinates were confirmed by the Iraqi government and the merchant ship's captain.

Style said the Iranian government had given British officials two different locations for where the incident occurred. Iran's initial account Saturday placed it in Iraqi waters; Iran revised the location Monday, giving another position that placed it 2 nautical miles inside Iranian waters, Style said. Wednesday's statement from the embassy said only that it occurred one-quarter of a nautical mile inside Iranian waters.Admissions similar to Turner's were made by British naval personnel taken captive by Iran in June 2004 and freed after three days. They recanted after their release.British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett said Britain was freezing all official business with Iran until the crew is released. That includes suspending any government support for trade missions to Iran and halting visits between the two nations by government officials, with the exception of those needed to resolve the situation with the captive crew.

She said she was concerned about the TV footage of the crew "and any indication of pressure on, or coercion of, our personnel."

Ali Ansari, director of Iranian studies at St. Andrews University in Scotland, said British Prime Minister Tony Blair was right to step up pressure on Iran. "You do have to send a very, very strong signal that they can't carry on in this way," Ansari said. "If you fudge, you simply could prolong the agony."Iran seized the crew right before the U.N. Security Council voted unanimously for new economic sanctions against Iran for its refusal to halt its uranium enrichment program. The United States and its European allies say Iran is trying to development nuclear weapons. Iran says it wants to use nuclear power for energy alone.The capture damages Iran's credibility and recalls the 1979-81 hostage crisis in Tehran, when militants held dozens of Americans at the U.S. Embassy, Ansari said. "This is not helping anything," he said. "This is really the wrong time for Iran to portray itself to the world as having another hostage crisis."

Iran's foreign minister said Wednesday that Britain must admit that its 15 sailors and marines entered Iranian waters in order to resolve a standoff over their capture by the Mideast nation.Manouchehr Mottaki also said Iran would allow British consular officials to visit the troops, but he didn't say when.

IAEA: Iran continues uranium enrichment
TEHRAN (AFP) -

Iran on Wednesday ordered the country's Atomic Energy Organisation to limit cooperation with the UN atomic watchdog in response to new UN sanctions on its disputed nuclear programme.

"The decision to reduce cooperation will be effective today. The Atomic Energy Organisation will inform the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) today," deputy government spokesman Mohammad Paryab told AFP.Iran had announced on Sunday that it would limit its cooperation and would no longer inform the IAEA of new nuclear installations until six months before they are brought into service

The move came after the UN Security Council imposed tougher sanctions on Tehran for its continued refusal to freeze uranium enrichment,a process at the centre of Western concerns it may be seeking to build atomic weapons.The resolution, agreed after days of behind-the-scenes bargaining, blocks all Iranian arms exports and freezes the overseas assets of 28 additional officials and institutions linked to Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.

It also restricts financial aid or loans to Tehran, and sets a fresh 60-day deadline for Iran to comply with UN demands or face "further appropriate measures."Government spokesman Gholamhossein Elham said Iran had four years ago agreed to an arrangement whereby it would inform the IAEA of any decision to construct a new nuclear installation.It was not immediately clear how this would affect attempts to monitor work on a plant at Natanz, where Iran is building an industrial-scale plant to make enriched uranium, which can be used for nuclear fuel or as atom bomb material.

Iran says it only wants to enrich uranium to make nuclear fuel, denying allegations that it seeks to secretly develop atomic weapons.

EU unfreezes Iran group's funds
By Alex Kroeger
BBC News, Strasbourg

The EU's second highest court has overturned a freeze on the funds of an Iranian group which was on the EU's list of banned terrorist organisations. The People's Mujahideen of Iran was added to the list four years ago, and its funds were frozen.
On Tuesday the European Court of First Instance ruled that the EU did not sufficiently justify its decision on freezing the funds. The People's Mujahideen has always protested at its inclusion on the list. The opposition group says it has renounced violence since 2001. The People's Mujahideen, which is in exile from Iran, is also on the British and American lists of banned organisations. The European Court of First Instance ruled in favour of the People's Mujahideen and ordered the money to be unblocked.
The EU is still studying the ruling and has not yet decided whether to appeal.
But a spokesman admitted it would have serious implications for the way the banned list is established.

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We don't agree with all the rhetoric, as we know that the regime just can't be trusted, but we bring you all the news nonetheless, just so that you are up to date on all rhetoric being thrown up and back by all sides.

 

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