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Netanyahu heads to America to challenge Iranian charm blitz

Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu left for New York early Sunday in a bid to challenge perceptions that Iran under its new president poses less of a nuclear threat than before. “I intend to tell the truth in the face of the sweet talk and charm offensive of Iran” Israeli public…

China and U.S. call on Iran to accept nuclear offer

US Secretary of State John Kerry and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi agreed Thursday on the need for a positive response by Iran in renewed nuclear talks, a US official said. “Both the US and China believe that Iran should cooperate and should respond positively to the offer on the…

Iran’s new president tells CNN: the Holocaust was ‘reprehensible and contemptible’

Iranian President Hassan Rowhani on Tuesday condemned the Holocaust as “reprehensible” in a new sign of a radical change by the Tehran government. “Any crime that happens in history against humanity, including the crime the Nazis created toward the Jews, is reprehensible and condemnable,” the newly elected leader told CNN…

Obama: The ‘diplomatic path must be tested’ with Iran

US President Barack Obama on Tuesday pushed for pursuing diplomacy with Iran’s new government, but called on Tehran to be transparent about its nuclear program. “The roadblocks may prove to be too great, but I firmly believe the diplomatic path must be tested,” Obama told the UN General Assembly, speaking…

U.S. welcomes new rhetoric from Iran but demands real action

The United States welcomed what it said was constructive rhetoric from Iran Friday, following a report that its leaders want a swift deal on their nuclear program to end crippling sanctions. But the White House stressed that despite signs of a rare opening between the two enemies, it needed to…

Iran looks to put Persian cat into space

Iran has settled on a Persian cat as the best candidate for its latest trial for a manned space mission it hopes to make by 2020, state media reported Monday. The feline would be following in the footsteps of a menagerie of dogs and monkeys who were among the early…

Iran says U.S. no longer has pretext to attack Syria

Iran’s deputy foreign minister said Saturday the United States no longer has a pretext to attack Syria, following a deal struck to eliminate that country’s chemical weapons. “The new situation means in fact that any pretext for the United States and certain countries to engage in military action against Syria…

Jailed American in Iran says he’s being held for a prisoner swap

A US citizen jailed in Iran said in a letter released Wednesday that his captors were keeping him in harsh conditions in hopes of obtaining a prisoner swap. Amir Mirzai Hekmati, a former Marine who holds dual citizenship, said he was kept in “miserable prison conditions” with “prolonged periods of…

Iran’s new U.N. nuclear envoy gets harsh reception

Western envoys gave Iran’s new ambassador to the UN atomic agency a frosty welcome Wednesday, saying Tehran’s new government should waste no time proving to the world it does not want the bomb. Speaking at a meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s board of governors, US envoy Joseph Macmanus…

Iran plans to ‘remove any ambiguity regarding our country’s nuclear program’

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Friday Iran wants to allay concerns over its nuclear programme, suspected of hiding efforts to build an atomic bomb, and resolve the impasse with world powers. Perhaps most significantly, the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation, Ali Akbar Salehi, said separately Tehran could conceivably…

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