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WORLD
January 2, 2010 | By Borzou Daragahi
Defiant amid demands for his execution, Iran's leading opposition figure on Friday issued a scathing denunciation of the government's violent crackdown against his supporters, calling for a restoration of civil liberties to end what he called a "serious crisis" that has destabilized the nation. Mir-Hossein Mousavi's statement, posted to reformist websites, was his first public comments since a violent weekend of protests coinciding with an important religious holiday. Mousavi's 43-year-old nephew, Ali Habibi-Mousavi, was shot to death Sunday.
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WORLD
January 1, 2010 | By Borzou Daragahi and Ramin Mostaghim
During the dark years of the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, the teenage Ali Habibi-Mousavi returned home from the front for weeklong visits. Amid the gloom, the young Iranian militiaman was full of good cheer for his mother, who couldn't stop showering him with tears of relief and worry. " 'Mom, I am healthy and back home!' he would say," his mother recalled this week. " 'This is my head. This is my leg. This is my hand. All work perfectly! I do not deserve to be a martyr. I am made of metal!
WORLD
December 31, 2009 | By Ned Parker and Janet Stobart
A British hostage held for 2 1/2 years by a militant Iraqi Shiite Muslim group was freed Wednesday in a move his family hailed as "the best Christmas present ever." Computer consultant Peter Moore was freed as the United States handed over to Iraqi authorities Qais Khazali, the leader of the group suspected of kidnapping him and four British security guards, and an undetermined number of Khazali's followers. The U.S. had blamed the group Asaib al Haq, or League of the Righteous, for the killings of five American soldiers.
WORLD
December 29, 2009 | By Edmund Sanders
An Israeli government plan to build nearly 700 homes for Jewish families in Palestinian-dominated East Jerusalem drew fire Monday from the Obama administration, which called the plan a hindrance to relaunching peace talks. "The United States opposes new Israeli construction in East Jerusalem," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said, calling on Israelis and Palestinians to return to U.S.-brokered talks. "Neither party should engage in efforts or take actions that could unilaterally preempt, or appear to preempt, negotiations."
WORLD
December 29, 2009 | By Borzou Daragahi
Iranian authorities dramatically intensified a crackdown on the country's burgeoning opposition movement Monday, rounding up political activists and seizing the corpse of one leading dissident's nephew, along with the bodies of other victims of weekend violence, in an apparent effort to stem further protests. Authorities positioned swarms of police at main squares in Tehran, dispatched helicopters and shut down some subway stations and telephone service to prevent demonstrators from arriving as protests broke out Monday afternoon in the capital, news websites said.
WORLD
December 27, 2009 | By Edmund Sanders
In a deadly spurt of violence, six Palestinians were killed by Israeli security forces Saturday, three of them suspects in the slaying of an Israeli West Bank settler two days earlier. The bloodshed in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, after a relative lull in violence since spring, marked a setback for U.S. and international efforts to restart peace talks that collapsed a year ago. Israeli security forces killed three Palestinians in the West Bank city of Nablus during an early-morning raid Saturday.
WORLD
December 27, 2009 | By Ned Parker and Nawaf Jabbar
A tribal leader and a security official were killed in explosions Saturday, the latest in a string of assassinations in and around the western Iraqi city of Fallouja. The deaths capped a violent week in the Fallouja area, where a candidate for parliament has survived two attempts on his life, and only last month, 13 people were executed by men dressed in army uniforms. That mass killing remains unsolved. The assassinations have cast a pall over Anbar province, which was the center of the Sunni Arab insurgency until late 2006, when tribesmen revolted against the militant group Al Qaeda in Iraq.
WORLD
December 24, 2009 | By Ramin Mostaghim and Borzou Daragahi
Large-scale protests spread in central Iranian cities Wednesday, offering the starkest evidence yet that the opposition movement that emerged from the disputed June presidential election has expanded beyond its base of mostly young, educated Tehran residents to at least some segments of the country's pious heartland. Demonstrations took place in Esfahan, a provincial capital and Iran's cultural center, and nearby Najafabad, the birthplace and hometown of Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, whose death Saturday triggered the latest round of confrontations between the opposition movement and the government.
WORLD
December 19, 2009 | By Ramin Mostaghim
A top Iranian nuclear official sought Friday to ease international worries about his nation's nuclear program days after Tehran test-fired an upgraded medium-range missile that alarmed the West. Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the country's Atomic Energy Organization, said Iran won't have a new generation of more efficient centrifuges for the production of nuclear fuel until 2011 and won't have its heavy-water plant in Arak operational for "three or four years." His statement was a possible attempt at reassuring world powers that there was no hurry to place new sanctions on Iran.
WORLD
December 17, 2009 | By Ramin Mostaghim
Iranian authorities confronted their international and domestic rivals Wednesday, angering the West by testing a high-speed missile and raising political tensions at home by warning reformist opposition leaders they could be arrested. Brig. Gen. Ahmad Vahidi, Iran's defense minister, lauded the latest test-firing of the Sejil-2 surface-to-surface missile, which was broadcast on television in Iran. He praised the upgraded version of the missile for "its remarkable speed in entering the atmosphere, its strong impact and its radar-evading covers," and for its quick blastoff time, state television reported.
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