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Islamic World News ( 29 Sept 2009, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Jammu housewife kills jihadi with axe

On Dashami, Jammu housewife kills jihadi with axe by Sanjay Khajuria

A Central Java Sheikh to Face Trial for Marrying 12-Year-Old

Muslim Model's Father Wants Caning to be Carried Out Correctly

Saudi youths lashed after clash

Malaysia bans Baron Cohen's film 'Bruno'

Breaking apart: Hamas and Jordan's Muslim Brotherhood bBy Oraib Al-Rantawi

America called 'Judeo-Christian-Muslim society'

Israel's Cease-Fire with Hamas: Close to Snapping? By Abigail Hauslohner

Muslim Politics, Across The Street in Washington by Chris Good

Al-Qaida No. 2 calls Obama a 'fraud' by SARAH EL DEEB

UN investigator defends Gaza report

Goldstone: Middle East has 'culture of impunity'

Dubai-Qaeda leader calls Obama a criminal

30 Afghan Civilians Killed in Roadside Bomb Blast by NOOR KHAN

Message praises dead Taliban leader

Iran Insists on Its ‘Rights’ to Nuclear Program by ALAN COWELL and NAZILA FATHI

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau




On Dashami, Jammu housewife kills jihadi with axe

Sanjay Khajuria, TNN 29 September 2009

JAMMU: As the country bid farewell to goddess Durga, the demon-slayer, on Dashami and witnessed the evil king Ravana being vanquished on Dussehra, a humble Muslim woman in a remote Jammu village slew a dreaded Lashkar terrorist single-handedly.

Exhibiting astonishing, raw courage, Rashida Begum took on the two terrorists who had barged into her home late Sunday night in Thana Mandi village in Rajouri district. The woman, in her early forties, grabbed an axe and swung it wildly, killing one of the armed terrorists and injuring the other. Seeing his partner meet a bloody end, the other terrorist fled in sheer dread.


A Rajouri-based police officer said the two terrorists of Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Pakistan-based group that carried out the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, had entered Noor Ahmad's home around 9pm with the intention of holding the family hostage.

Police said the two also wanted information on some local targets that Noor and his family members refused to provide. Angered by the resistance, the two began beating them up, threatening to eliminate the family, when Noor's wife, Rashida, took them by surprise, pouncing on one of them from behind. She brought down an axe in powerful blows, killing the terrorist on the spot.


She then charged at his partner who, nonplussed, was trying to gather his wits. Rashida and the rest of the family members soon overpowered him and snatched his weapon. However, the terrorist escaped under the cover of darkness, but not before receiving sharp cuts in the face-off with the furious housewife.

Rajouri's additional superintendent of police Shabir Ahmed said investigations were on establish to identity of the duo but the slain terrorist was believed to be Osama, a Pakistan-based LeT commander, wanted in many cases of extortion and terror related activities. ``We are awaiting more details from the spot where a police team is carrying out further investigation,'' Ahmed said. Security forces are combing the area for the escaped terrorist.



A Central Java Sheikh to Face Trial for Marrying 12-Year-Old

September 29, 2009

The trial of Sheikh Puji, a Central Java religious figure accused of marrying a 12-year-old girl, is scheduled to begin Thursday in Semarang.

Pujiantocahyo Widianto is accused of violating at least two articles of Child Protection Law, including "persuading a child to have sex and/or taking advantage of a person's economic condition for his own benefit."

Puji married the girl, Lutfiana Ufla, in August last year.

One of Puji's lawyers, Novel Al Bakri, hinted that the girl's father, Suroso, would not be able to testify due to an alleged mental breakdown. Suroso was arrested by the police more than a month ago under suspicion of essentially selling his daughter into marriage.

"Suroso couldn't take the pressure. His testimony can't be held accountable for trial," said Novel, who represents both Suroso and Syekh Puji. He added that Suroso had been hospitalized.

"He says he's just a good muslim who married off his daughter. Ulfa had reached puberty so when a man asked for her hand in marriage, he married his daughter to Puji. Besides, it was consensual. Ulfa loves Puji," Novel argued.

Puji, a wealthy handicraft exporter and founder of a religious boarding school, has a substantial following. Hundreds of supporters rallied to his defense in July when he was arrested for violating an order to report weekly to the police.

Some 50 local clerics have condemned his actions and questioned his religious qualifications, however. The clerics met with provincial police in July to urge them to pursue the case.

Puji has beefed up his legal team by hiring prominent lawyer OC Kaligis. Kaligis has represented Tommy Suharto, the son of former Indonesian autocrat Suharto, as well as Prita Mulyasari, the Tangerang woman accused of defaming a hospital on the internet in a widely-publicized case earlier this year.



Muslim Model's Father Wants Caning to be Carried Out Correctly

Kuala Lumpur | Sep 29, 2009

A Muslim model, who will become first woman to be caned under Islamic law in Malaysia, wants authorities "to carry out the punishment correctly and not in Taliban style".

Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno, 32, has been sentenced to be caned for drinking beer in public by a religious court and her controversial sentence has been upheld by the appeals court yesterday.

Her father today said that Kartika Sari was ready for her punishment but wants authorities "to do it correctly and not the Taliban way".

"We accept the caning sentence. My daughter is ready to be caned. She has been reading Holy Koran to give us strength," her 60-year-old father Shukarno Mutalib said.

In Malaysia, a moderate Islamic state, the punishment is carried out using a light cane and Mutalib hinted that he wanted the punishment to be carried out lightly.

The upholding of the caning sentence by the appeals court came after the punishment sparked off a wave of criticism including appeals to the government by women's organisation that the sentence was "too harsh".

No date has been set to carry out the caning by the Pahang High Court which upheld the Sharia Court's judgement.

"We obey the sentence", Mutalib said, adding, "its a challenge...But a way of life."

Kartika Sari, pleaded guilty before the Sharia Court and refused to appeal her sentence in the higher court, instead the government asked the High Court to review the punishment. Justice Abdul Hamid who headed the bench ruled that the sentence was correct.

According to legal sources, the caning would be done with a thin stick and would largely be symbolic, unlike in cases of hard criminals or rapists where a thick rattan stick is used on bare buttocks.

Malaysia has a dual track justice system, with Muslims coming under the purview of Sharia Courts in all personal matters, while Chinese, Indians and others who form 28 per cent of the population are covered by civil laws, and allowed to drink.

Only three states in Malaysia -- Pahang, Perlis and Kelatan -- impose caning for drinking alcohol, while in ten other states, the offence is punishable by fine.



Saudi youths lashed after clash

Twenty Saudi youths have been given 30 lashes each following disturbances on the country's national day, local reports say.

The Saudi press reported that gangs of hooligans had smashed shops in the eastern city of Khobar.

Other reports say clashes broke out when religious conservatives tried to stop the celebrations which they regard as blasphemous.

The public punishment allegedly took place in Khobar and nearby Dammam.

The original incident took place on the country's national day on 23 September.

Saudi newspapers have accused the youths of going on the rampage, claiming that shops and restaurants were smashed and in some cases looted.

The BBC's Sebastian Usher says the media have voiced serious concern over what would be a rare incident of unrest on the streets of the tightly-controlled kingdom.

Full Article at:


Malaysia bans Baron Cohen's film 'Bruno'


Kuala Lumpur, Sept 29 (PTI) Muslim-majority Malaysia has banned Hollywood hit film 'Bruno', starring Sacha Baron Cohen acting as a gay Austrian fashionista, a senior official said today.

The Malaysia Film Censorship Board did not give any reason for the ban, the online Star quoted a spokesman for the film distributor as saying.

The film reportedly contains sexually explicit scenes and vulgar language. The Universal Pictures production was released in July.

According to MSN Entertainment, the movie has also been banned in Ukraine, Lebanon and Bahamas while in Hong Kong, posters of Bruno have been banned in subway stations.

The movie was allowed in Singapore but with cuts.

Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim, when contacted, said the censorship board should relook its decision to ban the movie and provide strong reasons on why it should not be on Malaysian screens.



Breaking apart: Hamas and Jordan's Muslim Brotherhood

By Oraib Al-Rantawi, September 29, 2009

The relationship between Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan is a high-priority issue for the Islamic movement in Jordan and Palestine as well as for the Jordanian authorities. This is due to the large public space and high position the two movements occupy in both countries. In fact, the Islamic movement in Jordan and Palestine is the object of controversy, questions and inquiries related to the Jordanian-Palestinian relationship in much the same way leftist and national trends were seen in recent years and even decades. It is very difficult to demarcate and delineate between Jordanian and Palestinian issues in the Jordanian context. There are registered and licensed Jordanian political parties that in origin are but an extension of nationalist and leftist Palestinian groups. Even organizational and financial relations among these groups are intricate.

The controversy between Hamas and the Brotherhood demands government and popular attention for two reasons. First, both movements maintain a political approach that contradicts central directives of the regime in Jordan. Second, both movements enjoy widespread and dominant influence in both countries that parties and groups of more limited representation lack.

From the historical point of view, Hamas emerged from the “mother” Muslim Brotherhood. But it has grown rapidly and become a primary actor in the Palestinian arena, thereby yielding it a distinct popularity and influence at the Jordanian and regional levels. This means that the “daughter” is now leading the “mother” in terms of its political, moral, physical, financial and media position.

The current controversy within the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood has revealed the extent of Hamas’ influence among Brotherhood members. Accusations exchanged among them have revealed that many members of the Political Bureau and the Shura (Advisory) Council of the Islamic Action Front (the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood) are members of Hamas and follow its directives.

Controversy related to four “administrative offices” that embrace members of both Hamas and the Brotherhood working in the rich Arab Gulf countries has brought to the surface this issue of intertwined “membership.” Attempts to dissolve these bonds between Hamas and the Brotherhood and resolve the controversy have failed. Brotherhood “doves” accuse Hamas of insisting that its representatives in these offices maintain their membership in the Shura Council of the Jordan Brotherhood.

The disagreement between the Brotherhood and Hamas is seen as an extension of a wider controversy that emerged in Jordan at the national level in the aftermath of the “disengagement decision” from the West Bank in 1988. The Islamic movement opposed that decision as “unconstitutional.” This is the rationale for Muslim Brotherhood “hawks” refusing to break with Hamas.

Brotherhood doves who support “disengagement” with Hamas tend to give priority to the “Jordanian agenda” over the Muslim Brotherhood platform. They call for increased Brotherhood participation in local Jordanian affairs and accuse their colleagues, the hawks, of giving priority to the Palestinian agenda over the local Jordanian agenda. The hawks downplay these accusations and insist that the Jordanian-Palestinian relationship is a fait accompli dictated by factors such as geography, history and religion. They see no conflict between the Jordanian and Palestinian agendas.

Full Article at:


America called 'Judeo-Christian-Muslim society'

September 28, 2009

Some 3,000 Muslims attended a Juma prayer service on the grounds of the Capitol last week, The Washington Times reports, a gathering that participants called historic.

"Islam is part of America," Amina Haqq said. "It is not a Judeo-Christian society; it is a Judeo-Christian-Muslim society."

Rally organizer Abdul Malik praised American freedom.

"What we've done today, you couldn't do in any Muslim country," the Brooklyn imam said. "If you prayed on the palace lawn there, they'd lock you up."

The Washington Times story refers to "the taunts of Christian evangelists on the surrounding sidewalks" but provides no details; the comments section, though, has plenty.



Israel's Cease-Fire with Hamas: Close to Snapping?

By Abigail Hauslohner, Sep. 28, 2009

On Sunday, as Israel prepared for the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, clashes erupted between Palestinians and Israeli security at the al-Haram al-Sharif compound, which houses the holy al-Aqsa Mosque, in East Jerusalem, reportedly after "immodestly dressed" tourists entered the compound, the third holiest site in Islam. The outrage had repercussions in the Gaza Strip, where the Islamist Hamas government called for fresh demonstrations against Israel.

The incident is the latest of many ominous signs for a peace process that is already on the rocks. On the same holiday in 2000, a highly controversial visit paid to the mosque by then opposition leader Ariel Sharon proved to be the move that many here say launched the second intifadeh. Indeed, it was a bad weekend for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict all around. On Sept. 25, the Israeli Defense Forces killed three members of the Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad in an air strike — the first one inside densely populated Gaza City since a loose cease-fire was implemented following Israel's devastating three-week offensive in January. Some warn that the cease-fire is looking increasingly shaky. (See pictures of Gaza digging out from the 2009 Israeli invasion.)

"We've had a number of months now of a cessation of rocket fire, proactive action by the government here in Gaza to stop the rocket fire. And yet we have no positive development in terms of the siege and other actions that have been taken, which are crippling the whole society here," John Ging, head of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency in Gaza, told TIME on Sunday. "It's a tinderbox, this place, ready to explode at any time." After a cross-border attack on the recent Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah, the Israeli army released a statement warning that it would "respond harshly to any attempt to break the calm in Israel's southern communities." (See a video of Gazans celebrating the end of Ramadan.)

Full Article at:,8816,1926473,00.html


Muslim Politics, Across The Street in Washington

By Chris Good, 28 Sep

A mixed blessing of working in Washington is that politics are all around--particularly foreign politics. Wandering around, it's not uncommon to find a group of 50 or so protesting the Chinese or Russian embassies, or, a perennial favourite, the World Bank.

Today, a few hundred protesters marched around the Saudi embassy, which happens to be across the street from the Atlantic's offices in the Watergate, chanting "al-Baqee, al-Baqee, rebuild al-Baqee!" and waving signs that read "Stop Wahhabi Terrorism": men, women and children bussed in from other cities and mostly wearing black, the women with their heads covered.

The protest was organized by The Al-Baqee Organization, a Shi'a group (though not all present today were Shi'a) dedicated to protesting the Saudi government and the destruction of holy sites in the 1930s.

In that regard, the protesters actually shared something in common with conservative U.S. think-tankers: al-Baqee's sworn enemy is Wahhabism--the reformist movement that sprung up in Arabia in the 1800s and would become the ideology of the Saudi elite, practiced today by the ruling family--the same enemy of some conservative American foreign-policy types who see the country at war with extremist Islam...with Wahhabism, some might say.

 (Al-Baqee, an organizer from Chicago told me, is the name of a cemetery destroyed 84 years ago today by the Saudi government in a rash of Wahhabist impulse--aversion to idol worship is a facet of Wahhabism--where the son and grandsons of Mohammed were buried.)

"They claim to be Muslims, and they do so many things which are against Islamic laws, Islamic Sharia, and Islamic creed," said Molana Mehboob Mehdi, an Imam at an Islamic education centre in Chicago and one of the organizers of the event.

"Like you see nowadays, the terrorism and the violence committed by them is in the name if Islam...and in this way they defame Islam. So we came here to first denounce any terrorism which is committed and supported by the Wahhabis, and Wahhabis are of course supported by Saudi Arabia, the government, and originally today...about 84 years ago, they destroyed and demolished all those sacred sites, just because they don't agree with that," Mehdi said.

Full Article at:


Al-Qaida No. 2 calls Obama a 'fraud'

By SARAH EL DEEB, Sep 28 2009

CAIRO – Al-Qaida's deputy leader on Monday seized upon President Barack Obama's failure to bring about a freeze in Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank and called him a "fraud" in a new audio message.

Ayman al-Zawahri's 28-minute audio message was mainly a eulogy for slain Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud, but he also took the opportunity to slam NATO member states operating in Afghanistan, including Germany, which he criticized for keeping troops there.

The recording comes after a series of al-Qaida videos this past month, including several attacking Germany and threatening strikes against Berlin's military mission in Afghanistan. Those releases raised concerns among German authorities ahead of parliamentary elections which ended Sunday.

Al-Zawahri reserved special scorn for Obama, whom he has insulted in nearly every one of his messages since the latter's historic election as U.S. president.

Many experts believe that Al-Qaida is struggling in the face of Obama's popularity in the Muslim world, especially compared to his predecessor George W. Bush.

Obama publicly called for an Israeli freeze in settlement construction in order to restart the peace talks, but was rebuffed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week.

"Here is Obama, the fraud, who pretended to be affected by the suffering of the Palestinians and then allows the settlements to flourish in the West Bank and in Jerusalem ... while pressing the weak (Arab) leaders to offer more concessions," al-Zawahri said.

Full Article at:;_ylt=AjoX9gVsqgtTEXP5aeVt_Zx0fNdF


UN investigator defends Gaza report

29 September 2009

United Nations, September 29: Addressing the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Tuesday, Richard Goldstone said a lack of accountability for war crimes committed in the Middle East had reached "crisis point", undermining any hope for peace in the region.

The former South African judge rejected criticism by Israel that the 575-page report was politically motivated.

He said his team was led by a belief in the rule of law, human rights and the need to protect civilians during war.

'Lack of justice'

Goldstone said the report had investigated 36 incidents surrounding Israel's military operation.

He said: "A culture of impunity in the region has existed for too long, the lack of accountability for war crimes and possible war crimes against humanity has reached a crisis point.

"The ongoing lack of justice is undermining any hope for a successful peace process and reinforcing an environment that fosters violence."

Goldstone said his four-member panel had been hit with a "barrage of criticism" on its findings and it was important not to ascribe collective guilt to a people.

"People of the region should not be demonised," he said.

Goldstone urged the 47-member state forum to adopt the report which would mean it is referred to the UN Security Council for further action.

An Arab-backed resolution to accept the findings is opposed by European countries and the United States because of concerns about how the report was compiled.

'Civilians targeted'

In his report, the judge said that he had found evidence that Israel had targeted civilians and used excessive force in the assault which took place from December 27, 2008 to January 18, 2009.

"The mission concluded that actions amounting to war crimes, and possibly in some respects crimes against humanity, were committed by the Israel Defence Force," Goldstone said.

While the report was more sharply critical of Israel, it also said that there was evidence "that Palestinian armed groups committed war crimes, as well as possibly crimes against humanity", by firing rockets into southern Israel.

More than 1,400 Palestinians - about a third of them women and children - were killed in the offensive.

Thirteen Israeli died during the same period, mostly due to rocket fire from the Gaza Strip.



Goldstone: Middle East has 'culture of impunity'


Geneva - Israel and the Palestinian territories suffer from a "culture of impunity" that does not demand accountability for alleged war crimes committed during the last war in the Gaza Strip, Justice Richard Goldstone said Tuesday. The South African war crimes prosecutor was addressing the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, where he presented his UN-mandated report on the war between Israel and militant Palestinian groups at the turn of the year.

Both sides in the three-week conflict failed to adequately investigate their actions and deal with violations of international law, Goldstone said.

The lack of justice for victims was "undermining" chances for peace in the region, he said.

Goldstone, who was being accompanied in Geneva by security guards, rejected criticism leveled against his mission, saying the report was written without political motivation.

Israel's ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Aharon Leshno-Yaar, however, said the report was "shameful," as Israel had carried out its air and ground offensive in self-defence. The Jewish state did not cooperate with the mission.

The United States, represented by Michael Posner, an undersecretary of state, also called the report "deeply flawed."

Also responding to Goldstone, the European Union, in a statement read out by Sweden which holds the rotating presidency of the group, said it was a "serious report" which should remain on the council's agenda.

Full Article at:


Dubai-Qaeda leader calls Obama a criminal

September 29, 2009

Al-Qaeda's second-in-command slams US President Barack Obama as a criminal who turns a blind eye to the expansion of Israeli settlements, in an audio tape broadcast by Al-Jazeera news channel yesterday.

"Have we realised the truth of Obama the criminal, or do we still need more crimes to be carried out in Kabul, Baghdad, Mogadishu and Gaza to be sure of his criminality?" Ayman al-Zawahiri asked.

"Have we realised the lowliness of America under the leadership of the smiling and wooing Obama?" he asked in the recording, which could not be independently authenticated.

Zawahiri accused the US president of showing little interest in curbing the growth of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, while at the same time forcing Arab leaders to make further concessions to Israel.

"Obama leaves the settlements spread in the West Bank and around Jerusalem, showing little remorse, while he presses the surrendering (Arab) rulers to give in further," he charged.

Full Article at:


30 Afghan Civilians Killed in Roadside Bomb Blast

29 Sep, 2009

30 Afghan civilians killed after bus hits roadside bomb near Kandahar


A bus packed with Afghan civilians hit a roadside bomb near the southern city of Kandahar Tuesday, killing 30 people and wounding 39, underscoring the dangers civilians face as the eight-year war turns increasingly violent.

Nine women and seven children were among the dead, said provincial police chief, Sardar Mohammad Zazai.

Militants are planting more roadside bombs than ever in Afghanistan. The explosives are intended to kill U.S., NATO and Afghan troops but kill far more Afghan civilians than they do soldiers.

"The enemies of Afghanistan are planting mines on the main highway and killing innocent women and children," Zazai said.

The bus hit the bomb on the western outskirts of Kandahar city, in a militant-controlled district called Maiwand.

Among the 39 wounded, some severely injured passengers were taken to a NATO base for treatment, said Bismullah Khan, the police chief in Maiwand. Others were taken to the main hospital in Kandahar.

"An explosion hit the bus. I don't know what happened. When I came to, I got out of the bus and saw that the bus was totally wrecked," Lal Jan, a survivor, said while in Kandahar's hospital.

Full Article at:


Message praises dead Taliban leader

Sept. 28, 2009

NEW YORK, Sept. 28 (UPI) -- An audio message, claiming to be from al-Qaida's No. 2 leader, praised Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud, who died in August in a drone attack.

"Baitullah managed to create a massive Jihadi movement that launched wars, ambushes and battles against the crusaders and their agents in Afghanistan," said the speaker in the message, claiming to be Ayman al-Zawahiri, CNN reported.

The 28-minute long message, appearing on Islamist Web site, said Baitullah Mehsud "also managed to clearly show that the Pakistani government is not Islamic but instead an infidel treacherous government working as a servant to the crusaders."

It was not clear why the message appeared two months after the death of the Taliban leader. CNN reported it obtained the message from IntelCenter, a think tank that tracks terror groups, adding it could not independently authenticate the contents of the message.

Zawahiri was shown dressed in white, seated in front of bookshelves.

"To the Americans I say, you killed Mehsud, but you will not kill Islam or the Jihad," the speaker in the message said. "Islam doesn't end by the death of one man."



Iran Insists on Its ‘Rights’ to Nuclear Program


September 29, 2009

PARIS — One day after it said it test-fired missiles capable of striking targets 1,250 miles from its soil, Iran said Tuesday that it would soon offer a timetable for international inspectors to visit a hitherto secret nuclear enrichment facility, but that it was not prepared to renounce its nuclear program or debate its “rights” to operate the previously undeclared plant.

The existence of the facility near the holy city of Qum was revealed last Friday by President Obama and the leaders of France and Britain, about the same time as the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency’s announcement that Tehran had informed it of the plant’s existence earlier in the week.

Coming only days before the first direct contact between the United States and Iran at international talks in Geneva on Thursday, the disclosure sharply raised tensions between Tehran and Washington, fueling suspicions that Iran is secretly seeking a nuclear weapons capacity — a charge it has long denied.

Alluding to the talks on Thursday, Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, told reporters in Tehran on Tuesday, “We are not going to discuss anything related to our nuclear rights, but we can discuss about disarmament, we can discuss about nonproliferation and other general issues.”

He added, “The new site is part of our rights and there is no need to discuss it.” He said Iran would not abandon its nuclear activities “even for a second,” Reuters reported. Western concerns over the nuclear program and its potential for hostility deepened on Monday when Iran said that its Revolutionary Guards had test-fired missiles with sufficient range to strike Israel, parts of Europe and American bases in the Persian Gulf.

“Iranian missiles are able to target any place that threatens Iran,” a senior Revolutionary Guards official, Abdullah Araqi, was quoted as saying by the semiofficial Fars news agency.

The reported tests were of the liquid-fueled Shahab-3 and the solid-fueled Sejil-2 missiles, which can travel up to 1,250 miles. The test-firings recalled a debate among spy agencies in the United States, Germany and Israel over whether Iran planned to build not only a nuclear weapon but also the means to launch it.

Press TV, Iran’s English-language satellite broadcaster, also quoted Mr. Salehi on Tuesday as saying the government was preparing a “timetable for inspection of its recently-announced nuclear facility.” Mr. Salehi was speaking in an interview late Monday, Press TV said. It did not say when the international weapons inspectors would be permitted to view the plant, which is not yet in operation, according to Iranian accounts.

Mr. Salehi repeated Iranian assurances that the new plant will “produce enriched uranium of up to 5 percent, consistent with its nuclear energy program.” That level of enrichment is far less than required for nuclear weapons.

“Salehi noted that the plant is under construction within the framework of the I.A.E.A. regulations,” Press TV said. It quoted the official as saying, “Iran has taken all the precautionary steps to safeguard its nuclear facilities.”

Mr. Salehi accused Western leaders of politicizing Iran’s nuclear activities but promised that Iran would seek to resolve the dispute over the newly disclosed plant “both politically and technically” with the I.A.E.A. and with the outside powers that deal with the issue — the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany.

Mr. Salehi described as “baseless” accusations that Iran was planning to use the hitherto secret plant to make weapons-grade material. According to Press TV, he said it was “against our ethics and religion” to build nuclear weapons.

“It is against our tenets, it is against our religion to produce, use, hold or have nuclear weapons or arsenal, how can we more clearly state our position? Since 1974 we have been saying this,” Mr. Salehi was quoted as saying.

Full Article at: