Tuesday, February 24, 2004 Posted: 1028 GMT ( 6:28 PM HKT)
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (CNN) -- A tape recording attributed to Osama bin Laden's top deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, criticized France's decision to ban Islamic headscarves in schools, and described it as "part of the West's campaign of hatred against Islam."
"The decision of the French president to issue a law to prevent Muslim girls from covering their heads in schools is another example of the Crusader and envy that the Westerners have against Muslims," said the voice in the audiotape broadcast Tuesday on the Dubai-based Al-Arabiya satellite TV channel.
"Banning the headscarves in France is in line with burning villages with its inhabitants in Afghanistan, bringing houses down on the heads of sleeping Palestinians, with killing children in Iraq and robbing their oil using false pretexts ... (and) torturing [Muslims] in the cells of Guantanamo," the tape said.
Al-Arabiya would not disclose how it acquired the tape from al Qaeda's No. 2 man.
Sources at the station said the tape -- received a few minutes before it was aired -- was not played in its entirety.
The last tape believed to have come from the Egyptian-born doctor was released in December. In it, he warned that his fighters are chasing Americans in their homeland.
-- CNN.com Arabic's Caroline Faraj contributed to this story.
WASHINGTON, Feb 24 (Reuters) - U.N inspectors in Iran have discovered more nuclear experiments not previously disclosed by Tehran, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday, citing sources familiar with an account inspectors were expected to submit to the United Nations this week.
According to the newspaper, the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) found that Iran produced and experimented with polonium, an element useful in initiating the chain reaction that produces a nuclear explosion.
In the article from Tehran, the newspaper said Iran reportedly acknowledged the experiments but offered an explanation involving another of polonium's other possible uses, which include power generation.
Experts said research on polonium would be done early in a weapons program, the Post reported.
"It's quite clear they were trying to make an explosive device," one person with knowledge of the polonium discovery was quoted as saying. "But they hadn't gotten far enough. No one will find a smoking gun, because they weren't able to make a gun."
Last week, diplomats on the nuclear agency's governing board and a U.S. official said that U.N. inspectors in Iran had discovered components which were usable in advanced centrifuges for extracting enriched uranium.
Tehran maintains that it had no such equipment and denies that it had any intention of developing a nuclear weapons program.
"There was a report that they found (advanced P2 enrichment centrifuge) parts in some military base, which was not true," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told Reuters on Friday.
"What we have is a research project that hasn't been implemented yet. There are no (P2 centrifuge) parts in any place in Iran. They are just trying to create a fuss about this."
Iran admitted late last year to an 18-year cover-up of sensitive nuclear research and signed up to snap inspections of its nuclear facilities.