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Iran Arrests 80-Year-Old Dad of American Captive

Baquer Namazi arrested Monday in Tehran, wife says

(Newser) - The last confirmed American prisoner held in Iran now has company in the form of his own dad. US-Iranian national Baquer Namazi, 80, was arrested in Tehran on Monday, his wife writes on Facebook , per CNN . He's the father of businessman Siamak Namazi, who was detained in October but... More »

Iran Plane Crashes After Takeoff, 39 Dead

Sepahan Air passenger jet lost engine, went down in residential Tehran

(Newser) - A regional passenger plane assembled in Iran crashed today while taking off from the country's capital, Tehran, killing 39 and injuring another nine onboard, according to a transportation official and state media. Deputy Minister of Transportation Ahmad Majidi provided the latest casualty figures on state TV. The channel earlier... More »

Mystery Surrounds US Plane Spotted in Tehran

The Bank of Utah owns it, sort of, and things get murkier from there

(Newser) - The New York Times today digs into a mystery: What was a private plane with a very small American flag on its tail doing at Tehran's Mehrabad Airport on Tuesday morning? As for who owns the plane, that would be the Bank of Utah—by proxy. The 13-branch community... More »

Iran OKs Broader UN Inspections

Tehran talks lead to 'roadmap,' while Geneva proposal rejected

(Newser) - Talks in Tehran between Iran and the UN's nuclear chief have produced a "roadmap" for boosting inspections—but some of the sites that most interest UN investigators aren't included in the deal as it stands, the AP notes. Still, they'll get access to a planned heavy... More »

Tehran Pollution So Bad That Going Out Is 'Suicide'

City shuts down for days until winds pick up

(Newser) - When the potent mix of cold weather and windless days hits Tehran, so does pollution so thick that it shuts down buildings and stings the eyes and throat, prompting calls to stay indoors. Schools, banks, and government buildings were closed for five days last week in an effort to cut... More »

Tehran Shuttered After Currency Protests

Police seek to keep peace at major bazaar

(Newser) - The effects of yesterday's protests —and clashes—over Iran's sinking currency are still being felt in Tehran, with the shops of the city's Grand Bazaar closed today. Police are patrolling the area, which is set to reopen Saturday. Meanwhile, trade groups are saying Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's... More »

Protests Break Out in Iran Over Plummeting Currency

Riot police with demonstrators in Tehran

(Newser) - Iranian police in riot gear clashed with protesters in Tehran today, firing tear gas to try to get them to disperse, the BBC reports. Protesters took to the streets around a major bazaar to protest the plummeting rial , which has hit record lows against the dollar in recent days. Some... More »

Iran Convicts Reuters Chief in 'Ninja' Row

Sentence to be handed down this week

(Newser) - A special Tehran "media court" has found a Reuters bureau chief guilty of "spreading lies" in a "ninja" video. The film initially included a headline, soon changed, that said female martial arts experts were training to be assassins. They were apparently ninjas, but not assassins . Operations at... More »

Ahmadinejad: In 'New Order,' We'll All Be Equal

And that whole nuclear program thing is a non-issue

(Newser) - Mahmoud Ahmadinejad continued his media blitz yesterday, giving the AP an interview in which he touched on all the usual topics: Israel, Iran's nuclear ambitions, Syria. The subject closest to his heart, however, was the "new order" he envisions—in which, surprise, surprise, the US plays a lesser... More »

Iran Fires Back at Canada, Calls Ottawa 'Racist'

Tehran threatens retaliation after Canada cuts diplomatic relations

(Newser) - Iran is threatening unspecified retaliation against Canada after the latter closed its embassy in Tehran and ordered Iranian diplomats to leave Canadian soil. "The hostile behavior of the current racist government in Canada in reality follows the policies dictated by the Zionists and the British," said a foreign... More »

Canada Closes Embassy in Iran

Diplomatic relations severed after attacks on British embassy

(Newser) - The Canadian government says it is shutting its embassy in Tehran and severing diplomatic relations amid recent attacks on foreign diplomats in Iran. Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said today that the Canadian embassy will close immediately and that Iranian diplomats in Canada have been given five days to leave.... More »

Angered by Egypt, Syrians Storm Out of Summit

Mohamed Morsi praises Syrian uprising at Nonaligned Movement Summit

(Newser) - Egypt's new president arrived in Iran today for a historic visit, the AP reports—and he promptly sparked a walkout at the Nonaligned Movement Summit. Mohamed Morsi, the first Egyptian leader to visit Iran since Tehran cut diplomatic relations with Egypt in 1979 over its peace treaty with Israel,... More »

Iran Calls for Nuclear Ban at Summit

Nation hailed as 'cradle of peace, justice'

(Newser) - Just as the West is accusing Iran of stepping up preparations to develop nuclear weapons, the nation's foreign minister yesterday called for a ban on nuclear arms at a conference of the Non-Aligned Movement in Tehran, reports AP . "We believe that the timetable for ultimate removal of nuclear... More »

This Time, Iran Nuke Talks Might Actually Work

They start Wednesday, amid signs of real hope

(Newser) - Negotiators from Iran sit down with those from the US and five other nations Wednesday, and a rare thing is emerging from much of the advance coverage—a sense that Tehran is genuinely ready to curb its nuclear program. The New York Times says as much today with its top... More »

Kofi Annan Asks Iran for Help With Syria

UN envoy says he still thinks ceasefire will somehow work

(Newser) - Kofi Annan isn't panicking just because the Syrian regime blew off yesterday's ceasefire deadline . Annan says Bashar al-Assad's regime has assured him that it will respect the ceasefire plan and end hostilities tomorrow morning, the BBC reports. "If everyone respects it, I think by six in... More »

UN Arrives in Iran for Tense Talks

Nuclear inspectors hope to meet scientists, visit military complex

(Newser) - UN nuclear inspectors starting a two-day visit to Tehran today sought to meet Iranian nuclear scientists and visit a key military facility as they try to gauge allegations that Iran is pushing toward making an atomic weapon. The trip is the second in less than a month by the International... More »

Admiral: Iran Has Suicide Boats

Mark Fox says Iran threats dangerous, but US Navy has 'very effective' options

(Newser) - Iran has significantly built up its naval arsenal, adding more fast attack boats and some ships that "have been outfitted with a large warhead that could be used as a suicide explosive device," US Vice Admiral Mark Fox told reporters yesterday, according to Reuters . Iran also now has... More »

Iran Sentences American to Death for Spying

Former US Marine Amir Mirzai Hekmati shown 'confessing' on TV

(Newser) - An American has been sentenced to death in Iran for spying for the CIA. Former US Marine Amir Mirzai Hekmati, 28, was convicted of "cooperating with a hostile nation." Hekmati, who also has Iranian citizenship, was shown on state TV last month confessing that he spied for the... More »

Russia Catches Iranian With Radioactive Metal

He was trying to board a plane to Tehran

(Newser) - Russian custom agents have seized 18 pieces of radioactive metal from an Iranian man who was trying to board a flight to Tehran, the customs agency announced today. The incident occurred sometime in the past—the agency didn't specify when—at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport. The man's luggage... More »

Iran Embassy Raiders Stole Invasion Plans—for D-Day

Protesters 68 years too late to thwart Allied invasion

(Newser) - The Iranians who ransacked the British embassy in Tehran last week made off with some documents labeled "Most Secret" that outlined plans for a massive invasion involving the UK and the US. The intel comes nearly 70 years too late, however: The stolen documents dated from 1943 and outlined... More »

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