- Iran lashes out at Sarkozy’s nuclear remarks
TEHRAN – Iran’s foreign ministry has lashed out at French President Nicolas Sarkozy for saying his intelligence services are certain Tehran is working on a nuclear weapons programme.
- Iran not an existential threat to Israel: Barak
Defence Minister Ehud Barak said in an interview that Iran was not an existential threat to Israel, remarks toned down to ones usually used in regard to arch-foe Tehran.
- U.S. military shuts largest detainee camp in Iraq
BAGHDAD (Reuters) – The U.S. military Thursday closed down its largest detention center in Iraq as it continued to release or hand to Iraqi authorities the thousands of people it has held since the 2003 U.S. invasion.
- Pakistan: Al-Qaeda commanders killed in US strikes
ISLAMABAD (AP) – An Al-Qaeda operations chief in Pakistan and an Uzbek militant commander were believed killed in U.S. missile strikes in the northwest of the country earlier this month, Pakistani officials said Thursday.
- Car bomb in Kabul kills 6 Italians, 10 Afghans
KABUL (AP) – A suicide car bomber attacked an Italian military convoy on a road in Afghanistan’s capital Thursday, killing six Italian soldiers and 10 Afghan civilians, officials said.
- Indonesia’s most wanted man killed in police raid
JAKARTA, (Reuters) – Indonesia’s most wanted Islamist militant, Noordin Mohammad Top, was killed in a police shoot-out in Central Java, police said on Thursday, lifting a major security threat ahead of a planned visit by U.S. President Barack Obama.
- Saudi Arabia: “Peace Built on Confidence-Building Measures Will Not Succeed”
London, Asharq Al-Awsat- In a response to a letter from the United States Congress to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud urging the kingdom to make a dramatic gesture towards Israel as a confidence building measure to promote peace, Saudi Ambassador to the United States Adel A. Al-Jubeir reiterated Saudi Arabia’s position that an incremental approach to peace, or one built on confidence-building measures, will not succeed. “It has not succeeded over the past three decades and, we believe, will not succeed today.”
- Al-Sistani Warns Against Politicizing Islam
Najaf, Asharq Al-Awsat- Not far from the Imam Ali Mosque in Najaf, through a number of old and narrow alleyways, one comes upon the house of the highest ranking Shiite marja in the world, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani.
- Iraqi Shoe-Thrower Fears CIA Hit
Baghdad, Asharq Al-Awsat- In a press conference following his release from prison on Tuesday, Muntazer al-Zaidi, the Iraqi journalist who infamously threw his shoes at former President George W. Bush during a press conference in Baghdad, has demanded that Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki apologize to him, and accused the Iraqi authorities of torture.
- Karzai denies major electoral fraud
The Afghan president denies that major electoral fraud has taken place during recent elections in the country, saying the reports are exaggerated.