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Today's Iran News (September 2, 2008)

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Uploaded on Sep 2, 2008

EU countries postpone Russia cooperation talks

In an emergency meeting yesterday, European Union countries yesterday agreed to suspend talks over expanded trade ties with Russia until it pulls back its troops to pre-crisis positions. A statement released by EU leaders in Brussels yesterday read: "Until troops have withdrawn to the positions held prior to 7 August, meetings on the negotiation of the Partnership Agreement will be postponed."

Russia called the freeze on talks a "cause for regret", and noted that Moscow was "ready for constructive, fair cooperation" with the EU.

The 27-country bloc also condemned as "unacceptable" Russia's decision to recognize Georgia's breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states, and called on other countries not to follow suit.

The representatives from the 27 EU member-countries were unable to reach a consensus on whether to punish Russia with sanctions. Russia's Foreign Ministry praised the EU for taking a "responsible approach" by not imposing sanctions or cutting ties with Moscow.

Ahmadinejad: Iran and Bolivia are "natural allies"

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at a joint news conference with Bolivia's president Evo Morales in Tehran said today that Iran and Bolivia were "natural allies" and that they would "remain supportive of one another under any circumstances."

Morales called his two-day visit to Tehran a "symbol of unity and solidarity" between the two countries and added: "No country and no force can affect our relationship with revolutionary Iran."

The two men also said that the United Nations Security Council should not interfere in Iran's nuclear program.

The two men signed agreements on the expansion of cooperation in oil, gas and other fields, but gave no details.

Iran sentences two to death for "hooliganism"

A court in Iran has sentenced to death two individuals imprisoned on charges of "hooliganism",

Throughout his detention and during court proceedings against him, Khandar was denied outside contact and was not represented by an attorney at his trial. After spending 17 months in solitary confinement, he has been transferred to a different prison in Tehran. Authorities informed Khandar's mother that an appeals court was to examine his case.

They were both arrested in April 2007 by Iran's Law Enforcement Force [LEF]. More than 1,300 individuals were arrested at the time as part of a "plan for establishing public security and combating hooligans". Within three months, however, more than 781 detainees were found to be innocent and released, 27 were sentenced to death.


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