Iran reportedly tests new missile
TEHRAN — Iran yesterday successfully tested a new surface-to-surface missile and said it would begin mass producing the weapon soon, the official news agency IRNA reported.
No details on the range or size of the Fateh A-110 (Conqueror) were given, but Ahmad Hamidi, the head of the Aerospace Industrial Organization, said the missile was “one of the most precise in the world.”
He said the missile would be used for the “defense of the country, stability and regional peace.”
The test comes amid a U.S. threat to strike Iraq, Iran’s neighbor, over purported attempts to develop weapons of mass destruction. President Bush has called Iraq and Iran, along with North Korea, an “axis of evil.”
Al Jazeera to air al Qaeda confessions
DOHA, Qatar — Qatar’s Al Jazeera satellite channel said yesterday it will air “the first direct confession” by the al Qaeda terror network of its responsibility for the September 11 attacks.
The television network’s reporter, Yusri Fuda, said in his show “Top Secret” that he met with Khaled Sheik Mohammad and Ramzi bin Shaiba, both wanted by the FBI on suspicion of links to the attacks in the Pakistani city of Karachi.
Mr. Fuda said he met the pair for two days after he was approached to interview them at an unspecified date and that “the first direct confessions on the planning and execution” of the September 11 attacks would be broadcast in a second installment of the show on Thursday.
Mexico quits Rio pact, cites passe coverage
MEXICO CITY — Mexico said yesterday that it is withdrawing from a treaty designed to protect the Americas against communism, one year after President Vicente Fox called the agreement obsolete.
The U.S. government said it was disappointed by Mexico’s withdrawal from the agreement, known as the Rio treaty. The Organization of American States is the coordinator of the treaty.
“President Fox has pointed out the necessity of creating a modern and multidimensional [security] structure that would meet the needs of the Americas,” the Foreign Relations Department said in a statement.
The Fox administration wants a security pact that would take into account other threats, including natural disasters, public health problems, poverty, terrorism and organized crime.
Germany to pay $3 million to Munich victims’ kin
MUNICH — Interior Minister Otto Schily said yesterday the families of Israelis slain by Palestinian gunmen during the 1972 Olympics have accepted $2.98 million in compensation from the German government.
The payment is far less than the $29 million previously demanded by the families and the gesture did not include the apology they long have sought. Mr. Schily was speaking after a ceremony marking the 30th anniversary of the massacre, in which 11 Israelis were killed A Munich court in 1996 dismissed the final two claims by victims’ relatives who asserted that Munich police bore some of the blame for the Israeli deaths.