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Iran Jams Satellites to Block Transmissions by VOA, BBC

Broadcasters in the United States and Britain say the Iranian government has been jamming international satellite transmissions into the country. Television programs by VOA's Persian News Network and a number of radio broadcasts by U.S.-supported news organizations have been affected by the Iranian jamming.  The interference has been aimed at a communications satellite system used by many countries. Iranian authorities have not responded to inquiries by the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the agency that oversees all U.S.

Iranian Conservatives Hold Mass Pro-Government Rallies

Iranian conservatives are taking part in pro-government rallies in several major cities, in a show of strength against Iran's opposition movement. Tens of thousands of Iranians were expected to attend the demonstrations, organized by the government in response to a recent series of opposition protests.  Many conservatives at Wednesday's rallies chanted pro-government slogans and held pictures of Iran's clerical rulers. Iranian conservatives have reacted angrily to opposition groups holding anti-government protests during last Sunday's observance of Ashura, a solemn Shi'ite festival. I

Iranian Police Arrest 5 Prominent Activists

Iranian opposition groups say authorities have arrested at least five prominent reformists as part of a new crackdown on anti-government protests, following demonstrations in which at least eight people were killed. Opposition Web sites say three advisers to Iran's opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi were detained Monday, including his top aide, Ali Riza Beheshti. They say authorities also arrested human-rights campaigner Emad Baghi and opposition activist Ebrahim Yazdi, who was foreign minister after Iran's Islamic Revolution three decades ago. State-run Press TV says eight people

Iran Test Fires Improved Long-Range Missile

Iran has test-fired what it claims is an improved version of its Sejil 2 medium-range missile, Wednesday, amid ongoing tension with the West over its nuclear program.   State television showed video of the Sejil 2 missile launch Wednesday, calling the test a success. The Sejil 2 has a range of about 2,000 kilometers, making it capable of hitting Israel and U.S.

5 Britons Detained in Iran

The British government says five Britons have been detained in Iran after their racing yacht may have inadvertently strayed into Iranian waters. The Foreign Office in London says Iranian naval vessels stopped the yacht on November 25 in the Persian Gulf.  In a Monday statement, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband says the crew was en route from Bahrain to Dubai when the incident occurred.  The yacht, owned by the Sail Bahrain company, was due to join the 580-kilometer Dubai-Muscat Offshore Sailing Race.  British news reports say the boat may have drifted into Iranian territory after

Brazil's President Welcomes Iranian Leader

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva says Iran should negotiate with the West for a "just" solution to the country's controversial nuclear program. The Brazilian leader made his comments Monday as he welcomed Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Brasilia.  U.S.

Somalia Terrorist Group Suspected in Killing of Puntland Judge

Security forces in Somalia's northern semi-autonomous region of Puntland say three people have been arrested in connection with the fatal shooting of a judge late Wednesday in the commercial port town of Bosasso.  The assassination may be linked to a Puntland cell of al-Shabab, a militant group linked with al-Qaida. According to witnesses, two masked gunmen ambushed the judge, Sheik Mohamed Abdi Aware, as he left a mosque. Aware died after being shot several times in the head and chest.

Turkey-Iran Ties Continue to Worry West

Relations between Turkey and Iran appear to be getting closer and those ties are raising concerns among some of Turkey's Western allies. This past weekend, Turkish President Abdullah Gul said at a meeting in Ankara that his country is keen to bolster relations with neighboring Iran.   Increasing closeness between Turkish leaders and Iran, and Turkey's quest for better ties in the broader Muslim world, have fueled concerns in the West that this key U.S.

Iran nervous since strike on Syrian nuclear site

Haaretz.com has cited reports from Der Spiegel that the relationship between Iran and Syria has become more tense, and that the increased tensions have affected relations between the two rogue countries. Iran has demanded the return of nuclear material sent to Syria prior to the 2007 raid, while Syria has refused unless payment has been rendered.