- - Tuesday, July 31, 2012

NORWAY

OSLO — The U.S. Embassy and an area of central Oslo were evacuated Tuesday when a fake explosive device was mistakenly left beneath a vehicle trying to enter the compound, police said.

The discovery of the device by security guards also led to the evacuation of the royal palace, the halting of subway traffic in the area, and the cancellation of an international children’s soccer game at nearby Voldslokka Stadium so police could use the field for helicopters.

The bomb scare and police search closed the entire area for several hours.

“The Oslo police bomb squad has removed the object and can confirm that it was a dummy bomb,” police said in a statement. “The car has been used for an internal drill at the embassy, and the find can be connected to this.”

Norway’s monarch was not at the palace at the time, but people visiting it were evacuated during the security check.

The U.S. Embassy did not immediately comment about how the mistake had been made.

IRAN

Iran vows to resist sanctions ‘warfare’

TEHRAN — Iranian officials unleashed sharper attacks against tightening Western sanctions Tuesday, equating the financial pressure to “warfare” and vowing to counter by retooling the country’s oil-dependent economy.

The defensive remarks from President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the head of Iran’s central bank appear to reflect two sides of the economic squeeze on the country: growing anxiety about the drain from sanctions and high-level efforts to find ways to ride them out.

Mr. Ahmadinejad’s remarks came after Congress pressed ahead late Monday with a new package of sanctions on Iran, expanding financial penalties and further targeting Tehran’s energy and shipping sectors in the hope that economic pressure will undercut the country’s suspected nuclear weapons program.

Iran denies it seeks atomic weapons, saying its nuclear activities have aimed at power generation and cancer treatment.

Iran has managed to overcome U.S.-led embargoes and other attempts at economic isolation with self-sufficiency moves such as developing domestic industries and emphasizing high-tech advances including an aerospace program.

But the current sanctions are hitting Iran in its most vulnerable spot — its vital oil exports — and are forcing major reassessments within a nation that was recently OPEC’s No. 2 exporter.

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