Chavez Seeks OPEC To Back Iran And Maintain Higher Oil Rates
Saturday, November 17, 2007, 01:31 PM - South America
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez will be a very busy man this weekend as he tries to persuade the members of OPEC on several issues including maintaining oil prices at the current level during the third summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
On Saturday, President Chavez was on a diplomatic mission to persuade the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to implement stricter rules on the consumer nations.
Chaves has insisted on using "political and geopolitical" measures by the international organization. He has been defending Iran's nuclear program as well as trying to force Colombian rebels to release hostages. - See Chavez Seeks OPEC To Back Iran And Maintain Higher Oil Rates for the full article.
Musharraf stands up to pressure from U.S.
Saturday, November 17, 2007, 01:27 PM - Eurasia
Facing pressure to end the emergency measures he imposed two weeks ago, President Pervez Musharraf said Friday that he would tell U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte that "realities on the ground" in Pakistan prompted him to suspend civil liberties, place restrictions on the news media and arrest political opponents.
Negroponte, who is expected to meet Musharraf today, landed in Islamabad on Friday carrying what diplomats have said - and what many Pakistanis hope - is a stern message from the Bush administration. U.S. officials have said they want Musharraf to lift the emergency laws, release detainees and follow through on his promise to step down as head of the army.
On Friday, Musharraf said that he had released hundreds of Pakistanis who had been detained under the emergency rule, including former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, but he insisted that the threat from "suicide bombers and terrorists" has made the crackdown necessary. - See Musharraf stands up to pressure from U.S. for the complete article.
Germany could consider separate EU steps on Iran
Friday, November 16, 2007, 06:19 PM - Europe
Germany would consider the possibility of separate EU measures against Iran if the U.N. Security Council fails to agree on a new sanctions resolution, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Friday.
Reacting to the latest report on Iran's nuclear programme by the U.N. nuclear watchdog, the United States said on Thursday it would work with its allies for a third round of U.N. sanctions against Tehran for refusing to suspend nuclear enrichment.
But Russia and China, permanent veto-wielding members of the Security Council, are opposed to more sanctions. As a result, France has been pushing for the European Union to impose its own separate U.S.-style sanctions against the Islamic Republic. - See Germany could consider separate EU steps on Iran for the complete article.
Pakistan lifts Bhutto house arrest order
Thursday, November 15, 2007, 05:44 PM - Eurasia
Pakistan freed opposition leader Benazir Bhutto from house arrest early on Friday, hours after a caretaker prime minister was appointed in a first step towards a national election.
Jail officials left the residence in the eastern city of Lahore where Bhutto has been held to prevent her from leading a pro-democracy rally against President Pervez Musharraf's emergency rule.
But dozens of police with batons and riot vests remained manning blockades on the road outside.
"The government has withdrawn Bhutto's detention order, and from now, she is free to move wherever she likes," Aftab Cheema, police chief of the eastern city of Lahore, told Reuters.
"Police will remain (outside) for her security, but there will be no restriction on her movement." - See
Pakistan lifts Bhutto house arrest order for the complete report.
Musharraf Names Prime Minister in Step to Elections
Thursday, November 15, 2007, 05:39 PM - Eurasia
President Pervez Musharraf named an interim prime minister to prepare Pakistan for national elections that opposition parties and the U.S. say will be flawed unless emergency rule is lifted.
Mohammedmian Soomro, chairman of the Senate since 2003, is set to take the oath today as prime minister, state-run Pakistan Television said. Soomro, 57, will replace Shaukat Aziz. The 342- member National Assembly dissolved as scheduled at midnight, becoming the first civilian government to complete a five-year term, Radio Pakistan reported.
Parliamentary elections, set to be held before Jan. 9, may be boycotted by detained opposition leaders Benazir Bhutto and Imran Khan and former premier Nawaz Sharif, who is in exile. President George W. Bush's spokeswoman said this week that all parties should be allowed to campaign. - See Musharraf Names Prime Minister in Step to Elections for the full report.
US Criticizes Iran 'Partial Answers' on Nuclear Program
Thursday, November 15, 2007, 05:34 PM - Middle East
The State Department says that while Iran has apparently been forthcoming with the IAEA about some past nuclear efforts, its current activities are becoming more opaque and Tehran should not be given "partial credit" for work with the U.N. agency.
In a long-awaited report on the Iranian nuclear program Thursday, the IAEA credited Iran with substantial progress in revealing the extent of its program, but said its cooperation has been reactive rather than pro-active, and that full transparency is needed.
The United States and some European allies believe Iran's nominally-peaceful nuclear program has a covert weapons component. Briefing reporters, State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack said the IAEA report shows that Iran, when cornered, is prepared to make only superficial concessions about its activities. - See US Criticizes Iran 'Partial Answers' on Nuclear Program for the complete report.