- - Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Kurdish lawmakers end boycott of parliament

ANKARA — A pro-Kurdish party on Wednesday said it is ending its 4-month-old boycott of Turkey’s parliament even as tensions grow over a surge in attacks by Kurdish separatist rebels.

The lawmakers of the Peace and Democracy Party have been refusing to take an oath of office following their election in June as they press for the release of five pro-Kurdish legislators held on charges of rebel ties.

They also wanted another Kurdish politician, Hatip Dicle, whose election was canceled because of a conviction for rebel links, to be allowed to take office.

Selahattin Demirtas, chairman of the party, however, said Wednesday that it decided to end the boycott to be able to work for peace more effectively.

The party has 29 lawmakers, and those who remain free will take their oath when the 550-seat parliamentary session opens Saturday, he said.


New cruise missiles delivered to navy

TEHRAN — Iran said Wednesday it has begun large-scale production of a domestically developed cruise missile designed for sea-based targets and capable of destroying warships.

Defense Minister Gen. Ahmad Vahidi said an unspecified number of the missiles, called “Ghader,” or “Capable” in Farsi, were delivered to the Iranian military and the powerful Revolutionary Guard’s naval division, which is assigned to protect Iran’s sea borders.

Gen. Vahidi said the missile, which has a range of 124 miles, can travel at low altitudes and “can sink giant warships.” The comments appeared to suggest that the new missile potentially could counter the U.S. naval presence in the Persian Gulf.

The West already is concerned about Iran’s military capabilities, especially the implications of the country’s disputed nuclear program. The West fears Iran is trying to produce a nuclear weapon. Tehran denies the charges.

Iran’s growing arsenal includes short- and medium-range ballistic missiles that are capable of hitting targets in the region such as Israel and U.S. military bases in the Gulf.


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