‘U.S. govt. behind release of classified Iraq war documents’
Tehran Times - The U.S. government is behind the disclosure of numerous classified documents on the war in Iraq, political analyst Hossein Alaii said on Friday.
The WikiLeaks website recently released approximately 400,000 secret U.S. military documents about the conflict in Iraq.
These documents show that inappropriate decisions about Iraq were made during the term in office of former U.S. president George W. Bush and that the U.S. military callously committed many crimes, Alaei, who was formerly a senior commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, told the Mehr News Agency.
Thus, the release of such information can be effective in the U.S. midterm election, which is being held on November 2, since the United States is facing economic problems and some political issues have arisen that are problematic for the Republicans, he noted.
The documents show that the U.S. military is an occupying army, and whenever it occupies a country it faces many problems, he stated.
The documents reflect the realities on the ground, including the massacre of many people in Iraq, the fact that no stable government has been established so far, the fact that the country’s sovereignty has been weakened, and the fact that Iraq is not making progress, since the occupation of Iraq started over seven years ago, he added.
Iran to replace Tupolev-154M with MD aircrafts
ISNA-Chairman of Iranian national air carrier, Iran Air, Farhad Parvaresh said the country is to replace Tupolev-154M with MD aircrafts by mid March.
"Some aircrafts are to replace Tupolev-154M and we have made a couple of replacements so far," he said.
"Entire Tupolev-154M aircrafts will be removed from Iran’s air fleet by mid March during several phases to be replaced with MD crafts," Parvaresh said.
Iran’s measure came following several aviation accidents by Russian-built Tupolev passenger planes in Iran.
Iran has suffered several aviation disasters over the past decade by Russian-made planes, the worst of which came by a Tupolev-154M, which crashed shortly after take-off from Tehran en route to Yerevan on July 15, 2009.
The aviation accident claimed the lives of all 168 passengers onboard.
Iran, Vatican stress closer cooperation
Press TV--Iran and the Vatican stress the need to forge closer cooperation to help establish peace and justice across the globe.
A top Iranian official told Vatican Foreign Minister Monsignor Dominique Francois Joseph Mamberti that societies, especially Western ones, are facing grave problems because of turning away from divine and human values, reported IRNA.
"Such circumstances make it all the more necessary for closer bonds and consultations between Islam and Christianity," Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for European Affairs Ali Ahani underlined.
The visiting Iranian official said divine faiths attach great importance to human dignity, and added, "Unfortunately, the West is using human rights as a political tool."
"As two religions which are messengers of peace and friendship, Islam and Christianity can work together to counter anti-religious trends," the Iranian diplomat underscored.
The Vatican foreign minister, in turn, touched upon centuries of peaceful coexistence of followers of divine faiths in the Middle East, adding cultural and religious diversity is an "invaluable heritage."
He said constructive dialog can stave off tension and promote peace and friendship among Muslims and Christians.
"Extremists should not be allowed to tarnish the image and status of religion in the world," the senior Vatican official noted.
Ahani also sat down with a host of other Vatican officials, stressing the need for Muslims and Christians to build up a close rapport and work together closely to counter anti-religious moves.
Iran: Expansion of atomic arsenals contradictory with powers slogans
IRNA– Iran permanent representative at the United Nations said that allocating billions of dollars for expansion of atomic arsenals by big powers is contradictory with their slogans.
Speaking in disarmament committee of the UN General Assembly, Mohammad Khazaei said that thousands of existing nuclear warheads in some countries arsenals have caused continuation of shadow of fear on human life.
The committee, in its Friday session, considered signed agreement between the United States of America and Russia on decreasing their own nuclear weapons dubbed as “New Start”.
Considering proposed criticisms related to the aforementioned agreement by non-nuclear states, especially Non-Aligned Movement member states, the group presented a strong statement on its critical views on the issue.
In the statement, which was the first joint stance of the NAM member states concerning the agreement, measures in “New Start” were considered “inadequate”.
It also underlined necessity of the US and Russia obligations on Non-Proliferation Treaty to destroy all nuclear weapons.
It said that decreasing nuclear weapons cannot substitute their destruction.
The NAM member countries also expressed their deep concern about atomic states strategic policies, including strategic doctrine of NATO, which justifies using nuclear weapons.
Khazaei said that development program and modernization of atomic weapons by the aim of increasing life time of the nuclear warheads by the USA with a budget more than one billion dollars is contradictory with US slogans concerning a world free of nuclear weapons.
Iran ready to restart nuclear talks
Associated Press--Iran has offered to negotiate with Britain and five other world powers over its disputed nuclear program in a new bid to end growing concern that it could be used to produce weapons.
The move, following a hiatus of more than a year, was anticipated in the wake of an invitation to the Iranian leadership last month by chief EU envoy Catherine Ashton and following repeated statements by Tehran officials that they were ready for talks.
Baroness Ashton called the Iranian offer "a very important" development, but after eight years of Tehran refusing to halt uranium enrichment despite United Nations Security Council sanctions, other countries trying to engage Iran expressed little hope of a breakthrough.
German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle said the readiness to talk should be viewed positively, "but out of the signals ... must come really concrete talks".
Tehran has said its uranium enrichment is designed only to generate nuclear power. But it also could be used to manufacture weapons-grade uranium.
While Tehran argues that it has a right to enrich for peaceful purposes, international concern is building over its nuclear secrecy and its refusal to allow the International Atomic Energy Agency to follow up on US and other intelligence detailing alleged Iranian experiments geared at making nuclear arms.
Iran’s Supreme National Security Council said in a letter to the EU’s foreign policy chief that Iran was ready to hold talks after November 10 "in a place and on a date convenient to both sides", the country’s news agency reported.
Baroness Ashton had suggested Vienna, but the venue remained undetermined. According to a UN diplomat familiar with the talks, the two sides were exchanging letters on the date and place of the November meeting.
With expectations modest, Washington appears keen to use the talks to demonstrate unity among the six powers - the US, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany - in trying to bring Tehran to a nuclear compromise.
But unity has been strained by disagreement over Iran’s earlier offer to resume talks that are separate from the six-nation negotiations. Those talks involving the US, Russia, France and Iran stalled last year after Tehran refused an offer to ship out most of its low-enriched uranium and have it turned into fuel rods for its isotope-making research reactor.
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