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3/06/2006 World News: UN Nuclear Agency Opens Crucial Meeeting on Iran


Iran Nuclear: Board members of the International Atomic Energy Agency are holding a meeting today (Monday) in Vienna to discuss referring Iran to the United Nations Security Council over its controversial nuclear program.
The I.A.E.A. board of governors will hear a report from the agency's chief, Mohamed ElBaradei, who says Iran has largely ignored demands that it renounce its controversial uranium-enrichment work. The enrichment process can be used to produce (fissionable) material necessary to build an atomic bomb.
(ElBaradei's report will be forwarded to the Security Council following today's meeting, as mandated by a board vote last month.)
Shortly before the I.A.E.A. meeting, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad issued another warning (in Tehran) today that Western nations would only create further problems if they continue to pressure his government on the nuclear issue.

Iraq: Iraqi President Jalal Talabani says he will call on the country's new parliament to hold its first session on March 12th.
Mr. Talabani told reporters in Baghdad today (Monday) he chose the date because it is the last day the constitution allows for holding the session.
The move by the Iraqi president starts a 60-day period during which the legislature must elect a new head of state and approve a prime minister and Cabinet.

Amnesty-Torture: The human-rights group Amnesty International says Iraqi security forces operating alongside U.S.-led multinational forces are torturing prisoners in Iraq.
In a report today (Monday), the London-based rights group says human-rights situation in Iraq is dire.
Prisoners in facilities run by Iraqi security forces have been subjected to beatings and electric shocks, Amnesty International says, and a number of prisoners have died.

NewsSummary: France/Palestinians: French President Jacques Chirac says he is opposed to any international sanctions against a Palestinian government formed by the militant group Hamas.
Speaking to reporters today (Monday) on the final day of a visit to Saudi Arabia, Mr. Chirac said he was aware of calls for cutting off aid to a Hamas-led government because of the group's refusal to renounce violence against Israel. But he said imposing sanctions would mostly hurt the Palestinian people.

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