Germany Bans Iran's Opposite Group, MKO, Rally
February 12, 2005 - IranMania.com
LONDON, Feb 12 (IranMania) - German police banned Thursday's rally by Mujahideen Khalq Organization (MKO) in Berlin, fearing possible violent acts by the Iraq-based terrorist group, a police spokeswoman told IRNA.
"The demonstration was cancelled by police because they had doubts about the peaceful slogans of the rally which was supposed to be about Iran's human rights situation and its nuclear program," she said.
The MKO organizers wanted to begin the gathering at noon in downtown Berlin.
She pointed out that MKO supporters were told via police loudspeakers that the rally has been banned and that they should leave the area.
They were threatened with arrests in the face of refusal.
The organizers, who have lodged a complaint against the police action, said the ban was announced as some 40,000 MKO agents from across Europe were converging on Berlin.
The figure could not be independently verified.
An AFP photographer said around 400 to 500 people had gathered peacefully on a square in western Berlin away from the Brandenburg Gate and were being carefully monitored by police.
The MKO is on the official terrorist list of the German government, apart from the terrorist lists of the United States and the European Union.
Iran refuses to Give up Heavy-Water Nuke Reactor
February 13, 2005 - IranMania.com
LONDON, Feb 13 (IranMania) - Iran said Sunday it would not give up its programmes to build a heavy-water reactor, which can be used to make atomic arms material, in exchange for a light-water research reactor proposed by the Europeans.
"We welcome such proposals but we will not under any circumstances replace our heavy-water research reactor," Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said.
"We will continue working on our heavy-water reactor," Asefi added.
He said Iran was determined to continue its nuclear energy programme despite pressure from Washington, which accuses Tehran of pursuing atomic weapons and has refused to rule out any option, including force, to stop it acquiring them,
The US government believes Iran is using its nuclear energy programme to conceal an effort to manufacture nuclear weapons and is relying, for the time being, on France, Britain and Germany to negotiate curbs on any such efforts, according to The Post.
EU negotiators in talks with Iran over its nuclear activities have offered to send a mission to help Tehran obtain a light-water research reactor in what would be the first concrete move towards rewarding Tehran for abandoning uranium enrichment, AFP reported.
Iran is engaged in diplomacy with France, Britain and Germany, on behalf of the European Union, aimed at ending a 2 1/2-year crisis over Tehran's nuclear ambitions that began when Iranian defectors exposed a large uranium enrichment facility in August 2002. Inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have been in and out of the country since then investigating nuclear facilities, according to The Washington Post.
Iran denies US accusations it is building bombs under cover of a civilian nuclear energy program. But Asefi said it would never permanently end its disputed nuclear activities, according to Reuters.
"Iran strongly insists on its views and we will not give up our people's legitimate right," he declared.
I heard Florida congresswoman, Ilina Lehtinen will meet other congressmen and women to support the MKO on wednesday.