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Iranian President Defiant Despite New UN Nuclear Sanctions


Iran Nuclear: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says Iran will not halt its nuclear program "even for a second," despite the new sanctions imposed on Tehran by the U.N. Security Council.
Iranian state media quoted Mr. Ahmadinejad as saying the Iranian people will not forget the countries that backed the resolution.
He called Iran's atomic program peaceful and legal.
Iran also said Sunday it is partially suspending cooperation with the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency. A spokesman said Tehran will reconsider when its case is referred back to the IAEA from the U.N. Security Council.
The sanctions approved Saturday ban all Iranian arms exports and freeze the assets abroad of 28 Iranian people and institutions believed to have ties to nuclear weapons.

Iran – Britain: Iran says it is considering charging 15 detained British sailors and marines with illegally entering Iranian waters.
Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki made that remark Sunday in New York.
Mottaki also spoke by phone Sunday with British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett, who reiterated London's position that the British Navy personnel were operating in Iraqi waters when they were captured on Friday.
The British Foreign Office also said Beckett called for the safe return of the 15 detainees and asked that British diplomats be allowed to meet with them.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair said Sunday that Iran's detention of the British sailors and marines is "unjustified and wrong." Mr. Blair said the quicker the issue is resolved, the easier it will be for everyone.

Mideast Diplomacy: Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert says he "would not hesitate" to take part in a regional Arab summit, if he was invited.
Mr. Olmert said today (Monday) that he would look at an invitation to an Arab summit in "a positive way." The Israeli prime minister made his remarks during a news conference in Jerusalem with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
In a separate development, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is in Amman, Jordan today for meetings with King Abdullah and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Afterward, she plans to travel to Jerusalem for follow-up talks with Prime Minister Olmert. Rice is expected to announce a program for more substantial talks on the most difficult issues between Israel and the Palestinians.

Congo Violence: Aid workers in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) say at least 120 people were killed during two days of fighting in the capital, Kinshasa.
An official of the Catholic charity, Caritas, also said that at least 80 people were seriously injured in the clashes that broke out Thursday between government forces and soldiers loyal to former vice president Jean-Pierre Bemba.
The fighting began after Bemba's soldiers refused a deadline to return to regular army service, saying their withdrawal would leave Bemba without sufficient protection.
During the fighting, Bemba took refuge in the South African embassy, where officials say he remains. DRC authorities have issued an arrest warrant for Bemba, accusing him of treason.
Many of Bemba's fighters fled the city and some turned themselves in to authorities.

Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka's Tamil rebels have carried out their first-ever air strike, killing three airmen and wounding 16 others in an attack on a government air base north of Colombo.
Military officials say a single light aircraft dropped explosives on the base before dawn today (Monday). Sri Lankan Air Force spokesman Ajantha Silva said the bombing caused minor damage.
A rebel spokesman (Rasiah Ilanthiraiyan) says two aircraft carried out what he called a pre-emptive attack to protect Tamil civilians from military air strikes. He warned that more attacks would follow, although he did not say where or when.
Officials say the adjacent international airport was not hit in the attack, but temporarily closed the facility and diverted some flights as a precautionary measure.

China - Russia: Chinese President Hu Jintao has arrived in Russia on a three-day visit intended to bolster cooperation between the one-time rivals.
The state-run China Daily newspaper says the two nations are expected to sign nearly four billion dollars worth of trade agreements during Mr. Hu's visit.

Listen to our World News for details.

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