Inside the Middle East
June 29, 2010
Posted: 752 GMT

Tehran, Iran (CNN) - Iran is prepared to resume talks over its nuclear program but will wait until late August as punishment for recently imposed U.N. sanctions, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Monday.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says Monday that Western powers should put 'their bullying policies aside.'
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says Monday that Western powers should put 'their bullying policies aside.'

The outcome of the talks will depend on whether Western powers hold Israel to the same standards over its nuclear program, Ahmadinejad said at a news conference.

"Western countries have no problems with Israel's nuclear bombs," Ahmadinejad said.

The U.N. Security Council imposed additional sanctions on Iran in early June, expanding an arms embargo and tightening restrictions on financial and shipping enterprises related to "proliferation-sensitive activities."

The 12-2 vote with one abstention came after the United States and other Security Council members expressed their concern over Iran's lack of compliance with previous U.N. resolutions on ensuring the peaceful nature of the nation's nuclear program.

The resolution on further sanctions was introduced by France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States. Brazil and Turkey voted against the measure and Lebanon abstained.

The United States pressured some nations to vote against Iran, Ahmadinejad said at Monday's news conference.

The Security Council also asked the U.N. secretary-general to create a panel of experts to monitor implementation of the sanctions.

Iran has disavowed any intentions of developing nuclear weapons and says its program is for peaceful purposes.

"Western countries should put their bullying policies aside," Ahmadinejad said Monday.

The Iranian president questioned the motives of the United States and others who want negotiations. And he discounted that concerns over Iran's nuclear ambitions are the sole reason for the sanctions.

"They would have found another pretext if it wasn't for the nuclear pretext," he said.

Filed under: Iran

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June 24, 2010
Posted: 1314 GMT

See full article in the UAE newspaper The National.

ABU DHABI // Visitors to websites that promote terrorist activities – many of which are accessible in this country – can now be charged with supporting terrorism, though strong evidence of criminal intent is required for conviction, a top state security judge says.

Chief Justice Shehab al Hammadi, who presides over all state security cases at the Federal Supreme Court, said a legal precedent had been set with the conviction of six people in April for operating a terror organisation, meaning that viewing such sites could now be considered a crime. As the first case to include charges of visiting jihadi websites it paved the way for other courts to approve charges against visitors to such sites.

Mr al Hammadi said that even if a website was not blocked, convictions could still be obtained if prosecutors showed a defendant had “criminal intentions” in visiting them. Examples, he saidd, included downloading extremist content from the websites or forwarding links to friends.

“These websites are available for everyone and it is almost impossible to block them, just like it is difficult to monitor all satellite channels. But when a person visits them and spreads their news or content among his or her acquaintance, that is considered like a crime they witnessed or committed,” Chief Justice al Hammadi said in an interview with The National.

Filed under: Media •Science & Technology •UAE

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June 15, 2010
Posted: 1008 GMT

Iraqi officials admit that the number of child brides in the war-torn country is growing. CNN's Isha Sesay reports.

Filed under: Iraq •Video

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Posted: 1005 GMT

CNN's Fareed Zakaria looks at the new HBO documentary on the life and death of Neda, who was killed last year in Iran.

Filed under: Iran •Video

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Posted: 1002 GMT

An interview with Daniel Oren, who's conducting Nabucco.

Filed under: Israel •Video

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June 2, 2010
Posted: 1105 GMT
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June 1, 2010
Posted: 926 GMT

By the CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) - A day after Israeli forces stormed a flotilla carrying humanitarian supplies in a fatal raid, independent information on what transpired remained scant Tuesday.

The death toll of nine killed came from the Israelis, who did not release the names of those who died.

The Free Gaza Movement, one of the groups that organized the convoy of ships, said the fatalities numbered higher, but did not offer an exact number.

The surviving passengers themselves were being held incommunicado by Israeli authorities.

Of the foreigners who were taken into custody, none have been placed under arrest, the Israeli police said Tuesday.

The foreigners who have identified themselves were being taken to Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv to be flown back to their native countries, police said.

Those who have refused to identify themselves to Israeli immigration authorities have been transferred to a prison in Beer Sheva in southern Israel where they are being temporarily held as they undergo security checks, police said.

A police spokesman said that the process involved in deporting these latter protesters is more complicated as it requires the involvement of foreign diplomats.

Early Tuesday morning, the U.N. Security Council said it regretted the loss of lives on the humanitarian flotilla bound for Gaza and condemned the actions that led to the deaths.

"The Security Council deeply regrets the loss of life and injuries resulting from the use of force during the Israeli military operation in international waters against the convoy sailing to Gaza," the council said in a statement. "The council in this context condemns those acts which resulted in the loss of at least 10 civilians and expresses condolences to the families."

The 15 member-nations of the council requested the immediate release of the seized ships that made up the flotilla, as well as the civilians who were taken into custody following the raid.

And it called for a "prompt, impartial, credible and transparent" investigation into the incident. Read full story and Q&A on Israel's Gaza blockade.

Filed under: Gaza •Human Rights •Israel •Palestinians •Turkey •United Nations

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