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Iran judge condemns American to death for spying

A judge in Iran has sentenced a US-Iranian man to death for spying for the CIA, officials and media said on Monday, exacerbating Tehran-Washington tensions already high in the face of Western sanctions on the Islamic republic’s nuclear programme. Amir Mirzai Hekmati, a 28-year-old former Marine born in the United States to an Iranian family,…

Panetta: U.S. will respond if Iran blocks Strait

WASHINGTON — The United States will respond if Iran tries to close the strategic Strait of Hormuz at the entrance to the Gulf, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta warned Sunday, saying such a move would cross a “red line.” “We made very clear that the United States will not tolerate…

Iran welcomes U.S. rescue of nationals from pirates

The Iranian government on Saturday welcomed a US navy rescue of 13 of its nationals from pirates near the entrance to the Gulf, in a rare respite from months of rising tensions between Tehran and Washington. But one Iranian media outlet, the Fars news agency, which is close to the hardline Revolutionary…

UK sends new warship to Gulf amid Iran tensions

Britain’s newest warship is heading to the Gulf for its first mission at a time of tensions over Iran’s threat to close the strategic Strait of Hormuz, a key transport route for oil. The Royal Navy’s Type 45 destroyer HMS Daring, which has a “stealth” design to help avoid detection…

Iran shrugs at looming EU ban on its oil

Iran on Thursday played down the impact of new Western sanctions targeting its vital oil sector, after European diplomats said they have reached preliminary agreement on an EU oil ban from the Islamic republic. The National Iranian Oil Company said demand was so high for Iranian oil that it would…

Iran warning to U.S. warship sends tensions soaring

Iran’s military on Tuesday warned one of the US navy’s biggest aircraft carriers to keep away from the Gulf, in an escalating showdown over Tehran’s nuclear drive that could pitch into armed confrontation. “We advise and insist that this warship not return to its former base in the Persian Gulf,” said Brigadier…

Russia says Iran has no long-range missiles

Iran has no long-range missiles, a Russian defence official said Tuesday in Moscow’s first response to a series of tests conducted by Tehran near the vital Strait of Hormuz oil supply route. “Iran does not have the technology to create intermediate or long-range inter-continental ballistic missiles,” defence ministry spokesman Vadim…

Verdict awaited in trial of ‘CIA spy’: Iran official

TEHRAN — A trial in Iran of an American-Iranian man accused of being a CIA spy has finished and he is now awaiting the verdict, the country’s chief prosecutor said Monday, according to the Mehr news agency. The prosecutor, Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejeie, also rejected a US government call for…

Bachmann urges missile alert, blockade against Iran

Republican White House hopeful Michele Bachmann said Monday that if elected she would erect a blockade against Tehran and put US missiles on alert “to let Iran know that we mean business” over its nuclear program. One day before Republican voters in the midwestern state of Iowa officially make their…

Iran tests missiles near key oil strait

Iran on Monday tested missiles near the Strait of Hormuz, underlining its threats to close the vital oil-transit waterway as the West prepares to impose more economic sanctions. The launch of two missiles took place on the final day of war games in waters east of the strait at the entrance to the…

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