US is still open to talking to Iran about Islamic State
PARIS — Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday that the Obama administration would keep the door open to confidential communications with Iran on the security crisis in Iraq, despite sarcastic criticism from Iran’s supreme leader, who said the American plan for bombing Islamic militants, their common enemy, was absurd.
Netanyahu ridiculed after an appeal to Iranian youths
TEHRAN, Iran — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel tried to take his campaign against the Iranian leadership to Iran’s young population last week, saying that if they were truly free, they would be able to wear jeans, listen to Western music and participate in free elections.
Iran’s pick for nuclear talks carries hope of eased tensions
TEHRAN, Iran — Until this summer, Mohammad Javad Zarif, one of Iran’s most accomplished diplomats, was an outcast, exiled from the government by ultraconservatives for working too closely with the West. Rather than presenting the Iranian case to the world, as he had done so effectively throughout a 35-year diplomatic career, he was spending his days teaching at the Foreign Ministry’s training center on a quiet, leafy campus in North Tehran.
Iran warns Syrian rebels after report of shrine desecration
TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s Shiite leaders warned of regional sectarian conflict after reports that Syrian rebels raided a Shiite shrine in a suburb of Damascus last week, destroying the site and making off with the remains of the revered Shiite figure buried there.
Iran blocks way to bypass Internet filtering system
TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s powerful Ministry of Information and Communications Technology has blocked the most popular software used by millions of Iranians to bypass an elaborate official Internet filtering system, stepping up a campaign to gain more control over the way Iranians use the Internet.
Anxiety rises as Iranian currency falls by 40 percent
TEHRAN, Iran — For months, since the imposition of harsh, U.S.-led sanctions over Iran’s nuclear program, the country’s leaders have sworn they would never succumb to Western pressures, and they scoffed at the idea that the measures were having any serious impact. But after a week in which the Iranian currency, the rial, fell by a shocking 40 percent and protests began to rumble through the capital, no one is making light of the mounting costs of confrontation.
As Iranians watch, Egyptian and UN leaders rebuke Syria
TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s triumphal stewardship of the Nonaligned Movement summit meeting here veered off script on Thursday when the two most prominently featured guest speakers, President Mohammed Morsi of Egypt and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, denounced the repression of the armed uprising in Syria, a close Iranian ally.
Iran sees success in stalling on nuclear issue
TEHRAN, Iran — As Iran starts a critical round of talks over its nuclear program, its negotiating team may be less interested in reaching a comprehensive settlement than in buying time to further establish its enrichment program, Iranian officials and analysts said.
Dispute over tiny island in Persian Gulf unites Iran
TEHRAN — For Iranians, whose country’s borders have shrunk in the past 200 years after wars and unfavorable deals by corrupt shahs, territorial issues are a delicate matter. So a renewed claim by the United Arab Emirates to the tiny island of Abu Musa in the Persian Gulf has touched a raw nerve.