From: Berhan Sium (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Fri Jun 26 2009 - 12:53:31 EDT
G8 'deplores' post-vote violence in Iran
Fri, 26 Jun 2009 12:11:57 GMT
The group of eight industrialized nations (G8) has 'deplored' post-election violence in Iran, calling for 'democratic dialogue' to end the turmoil.
"We deplore post-electoral violence which led to the loss of lives of Iranian civilians," the G8 foreign ministers said in a draft statement, AFP reported on Friday.
They also urged Iran "to respect fundamental human rights including freedom of expression" and said that the crisis should be settled through "democratic dialogue and peaceful means."
Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini, who presented the declaration, however, maintained that the group did not want to interfere with Iran's internal affairs.
Following the victory of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on June 12, Iran became the scene of rallies with defeated presidential hopefuls Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi rejecting the election result as fraudulent and demanding a re-run.
Tehran has summoned ambassadors from Britain, France, Switzerland, the Czech Republic and Canada to warn them against "interfering" in the internal affairs of the country.
The meeting of the G8 foreign ministers, which convened in Trieste in northeastern Italy, was held to discuss the means to restore security to Afghanistan.
While Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki had been invited to the meeting, he did not participate.
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hassan Qashqavi explained on Wednesday that Iran would be absent from the meeting as 'certain preparations had not been made to ensure the optimum level of achievement in the conference'.
Swedish PM against new Iran sanctions
Fri, 26 Jun 2009 16:10:56 GMT
Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, who will take over the European Union presidency next week, warns against new EU sanctions against Iran.
"My worry is that talk of sanctions, talk of a tougher line might just be the start of an excuse for the Iranian leadership not to listen in to what is now being said by the Iranian people," Reinfeldt told Reuters on Thursday.
Iranian authorities have accused the West of being behind much of the protests that erupted following the announcement of the June 12 election results, which gave incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a second term in office.
Defeated candidates Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi have rejected the election result as fraudulent and demand a re-run -- a request which has been dismissed by Iran's electoral watchdog, the Guardian Council.
Having taken such allegations into consideration, the Swedish premier said that any new sanctions against Iran would be "counterproductive."
"I think it is quite clear that the call is for freedom and reforms in Iran and it is coming from the people," he said.
The European Union has a rotating presidency, whereby each member state takes the helm for six months.
Iran tells Europe to avoid double standards
Fri, 26 Jun 2009 15:07:50 GMT
The Iranian Ambassador to Berlin has called on Germany and other European countries to avoid 'double standards' regarding Iran's post-election developments.
“Alireza Sheikh-Attar called on the European countries to avoid double standards and said they should take a realistic approach toward Iran's issues,” said a Thursday statement issued by the Iranian Embassy in Berlin.
The statement came two days after a meeting between Sheikh-Attar and Andreas Michaelis, director general for Near and Middle Eastern Affairs at the German Foreign Ministry.
The European Union has severely criticized the Iranian government's response to the street protests held every day of the past week in objection to the results of the 10th presidential election, which declared Mahmoud Ahmadinejad winner with almost two-thirds of votes.
Iran has lashed at the West's 'interference' in Iran's internal affairs, saying the 'biased' attitude of European countries and their media has incited unrest following the June 12 election.
At least 20 people were killed and many others injured when some protests turned violent. Tehran blames 'saboteurs' for the deaths of the Iranian protesters.
The statement further criticizes European countries for 'their ignorance about the massacre of people in Palestine, Afghanistan and Iraq and the torture of prisoners in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo'.
“They also did not condemn the killing of thousands of Iranians along with the country's president, prime minister, judiciary chief and lawmakers by the MKO [Mujahedin Khalq Organization] in 1981 and 1982,” it added.
Several European countries have summoned the Iranian envoys to protest at Tehran's refusal to legalize street rallies.
Tensions have especially been high between Iran and Britain, which expelled two Iranian diplomats on Tuesday after Tehran ordered two British diplomats to leave the country.
Iran judiciary urged to firmly deal with riots
Fri, 26 Jun 2009 12:29:28 GMT
Tehran's Friday prayers leader has called on the country's judiciary to 'firmly deal ' with the instigators of the post-election riots aimed at nullifying the vote results.
Reaffirming the stance of the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, Ayatollah Seyyed Ahmad Khatami said, "Rioters and those who mastermind the unrest must know the Iranian nation will not give in to pressure and accept the nullification of the election results.”
“I ask the Judiciary to firmly deal with these people and set an example for everyone,” he added.
Iran became the scene of opposition rallies last week after the announcement of the results of the 10th presidential election, which declared incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the winner with nearly two-thirds of the votes.
Ayatollah Khatami, a member of the Assembly of Experts, said according to Islamic law, the saboteurs are considered as 'mohareb' (one who wages war against God), adding that Islam has the severest punishments for such parties.
Defeated candidates Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi have rejected the election result as fraudulent and demand a re-run -- a request which has been dismissed by Iran's electoral watchdog, the Guardian Council..
Ayatollah Khatami went on to say that 'the current conduct of some defeated presidential candidates' would 'in fact serve the interests of the enemies'.
Earlier on Wednesday in a meeting with high-ranking parliamentarians in Tehran, Ayatollah Khamenei stressed that the country's affairs must be handled based on the laws of the land as well as the principles of the Islamic Revolution.
Tehran's Friday prayers leader blamed saboteurs and foreign media for the death of Neda Aqa-Soltan - the young woman killed last week in street protests.
He said Neda's death had been 'planned' by saboteurs, adding that the 'evil' media of the US and Europe had used her death for propaganda purposes.