Iran

“Break the war alliance” is one of the key messages anti-war groups will send to US President Barack Obama when he visits Australia in June. Protesters plan to focus on the stepped-up US war drive in Afghanistan and Pakistan. They will also demand of Obama and Prime Minister Kevin Rudd that the occupying troops leave. Compared to the Bush administration, total US defence spending is projected to rise from US$534.5 billion in 2006 to $663.7 billion in 2010 according to Congressional budget papers.
Members of the Iranian community and their supporters protested outside the NSW state parliament on May 13 after the executions of five union activists in Evin prison in Tehran on May 9. Shirin Alam-Houli, Ali Heydarian, Mahdi Islamian, Farzad Kamangar and Farhad Vakili were hanged after being convicted of Moharebeh — “waging war on God”. Four of the activists were members of Kurdish opposition groups.
Workers in Iran face massive repression when attempting to organise to defend their rights.
From the Iranian Workers’ Solidarity Network, http://iwsn.org.
Despite a new report by the UN’s nuclear “watchdog” agency stating that Iran is in compliance with its legal obligations to the agency under the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT), the UN Security Council voted on March 3 to punish Iran with a third round of financial sanctions.
The Reuters news agency reported on February 22 that the “UN nuclear watchdog said on Friday it confronted Iran for the first time with Western intelligence reports showing work linked to making atomic bombs and that Tehran had failed to provide satisfactory answers”.
A new US intelligence report released on December 3 “not only undercut the administration’s alarming rhetoric over Iran’s nuclear ambitions but could also throttle Bush’s effort to ratchet up international sanctions and take off the table the possibility of preemptive military action before the end of his presidency”, the December 4 Washington Post reported.
“Iran has provided sufficient access to individuals and has responded in a timely manner to questions, and provided clarifications and amplifications” about its past nuclear activities that “are consistent with … information available to the agency”, Mohamed ElBaradei, director-general of the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency, stated in a 10-page report distributed to the IAEA’s 35-member governing board on November 15.
“America’s hostile policy to the Iranian people and the country’s legal institutions are against international law. They are worthless and ineffective, and doomed to failure”, Iranian foreign ministry spokesperson Mohammad Ali Hosseini told a media conference in Tehran on October 25.
“In a setback for the United States, Iran won a two-month reprieve from new UN sanctions over its nuclear program on Friday. The Bush administration and its European allies ceded to Russian and Chinese demands to give Tehran more time to address international concerns”, Associated Press reported on September 29.

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