Iran says it watered down, converted over 200 kg of enriched uranium
Iran said on Saturday it had completed watering down and converting more than 200 kilograms (440 lb) of enriched uranium under a deal reached in Geneva last November with world powers over its disputed nuclear program. "Based on the agreement with the West, we were supposed to have half of our 200 kilogram stock of uranium diluted and the other half converted to uranium oxide," Iran's atomic chief, Ali Akbar Salehi, told the Arabic-language Al Alam television channel. The International Atomic Energy Agency said on Thursday that Iran has acted to cut its most sensitive nuclear stockpile by nearly 75 percent in implementing a landmark pact with world powers, but a planned facility it will need to fulfil the six-month deal has been delayed. Salehi, who heads the country's atomic energy organization, said the fast process of uranium conversion was expected to expedite the release of frozen Iranian assets in the West.
Iran slams U.S. justice verdict on Manhattan skyscraper
Iran on Saturday criticized a U.S. government move to seize a Manhattan skyscraper owned largely by a foundation that promotes its language and Islamic culture, saying this violated the right to religious freedom in the United States. According to a court document filed in New York on Thursday, the U.S. Department of Justice agreed to distribute proceeds from the sale of the Fifth Avenue high-rise to families affected by alleged Iranian-aided attacks, including the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut. The settlement marks the latest turn in a long-running battle over the 36-storey building owned chiefly by Alavi Foundation, a non-profit Persian and Islamic cultural center. Iran's foreign ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said the decision "lacks legal justification and negates America's commitment to protecting its citizens' religious freedom." "Confiscation of the properties of an independent charity organization raises doubt about the credibility of U.S. justice," she was quoted as saying by the official IRNA news agency.
Two killed by bomb inside Bahrain car: ministry
Two people were killed in a car that blew up in a mainly Shi'ite village in Bahrain on Saturday, and the interior ministry said the initial investigation showed that a homemade bomb had detonated inside the vehicle. Sunni-ruled Bahrain has been hit by several small bombings in recent weeks as the kingdom struggles to end simmering unrest among its Shi'ite Muslim majority, which rose up unsuccessfully in an Arab Spring-inspired revolt in 2011. A third person was wounded and was being treated in hospital for second-degree burns, the statement said, citing the health ministry. Bahrain's Shi'ites want political reforms and an end to alleged discrimination against them, which the government denies.
Iran vice president says row over reactor resolved
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran will redesign its Arak heavy water reactor to greatly limit the amount of plutonium it can make, the country's vice president said Saturday, marking a major concession from the Islamic Republic in negotiations with world powers over its contested nuclear program.
Egypt Brotherhood leader jailed for prosecutor insult
An Egyptian court on Saturday sentenced an Islamist leader on trial for murder alongside deposed president Mohamed Morsi to a year in jail for insulting a prosecutor, judicial sources said. Top Muslim Brotherhood member Mohammed al-Beltagui and Morsi were both in court Saturday accused of inciting the killing of opposition protesters outside the presidential palace in Cairo in December 2012. Their trial is part of a relentless crackdown targeting Morsi and the Brotherhood since the military ousted him on July 3, ending a turbulent single year in office. It is the first time a senior member of the Brotherhood has been given a jail sentence since Morsi's ouster.