- The Washington Times - Friday, September 5, 2003


U.S. softens nuke charge against Iran

VIENNA — Washington has abandoned plans to report Iran to the U.N. Security Council for what it says are breaches of U.N. nuclear rules, despite worries that Tehran is secretly developing nuclear weapons, diplomats said yesterday.

Diplomats said Thursday that Washington had circulated a draft resolution among members of the governing board of the International Atomic Energy Agency declaring Iran in “noncompliance” with U.N. nuclear obligations.

But diplomats said Washington realized there was little support for its draft resolution, and dropped “noncompliance” from the draft as the case for declaring Iran in breach is far from clear-cut.

The United States will instead agree to present a less strongly worded resolution at next week’s meeting of the IAEA board urging Iran to open up its nuclear programs to unfettered access.


Peace force to deploy in countryside

MONROVIA — West African peacekeeping forces said they would send troops to north-central Liberia as early as today, moving into the countryside for the first time to quell unrest that has forced tens of thousands of civilians to flee.

Col. Theophilus Tawiah, the force’s chief of staff, yesterday urged those displaced by the war to return to refugee camps and their homes in the north, saying troops would be there soon to protect them.

The commanding officer for Guinea-Bissau, which has 500 troops in the peace force, traveled to the north-central town of Kakata yesterday to prepare for deployment there, Col. Tawiah said.


Belgian F-16s sought to counter India

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan, worried by nuclear rival India’s plans to acquire a strategic radar system from Israel, said yesterday it is seeking about 20 secondhand F-16 fighters from Belgium and will also request a similar U.S. radar system.

Air Cmdr. Sarfraz Ahmed Khan, the spokesman for the Pakistani air force said an airborne early-warning system would be on Pakistan’s shopping list when the U.S.-Pakistani Defense Consultative Group meets in Washington later this month.

He said Pakistan would also repeat its request for the supply of an initial 28 F-16 aircraft the United States refused to deliver in the 1990s owing to concerns about Islamabad’s nuclear program.


Hindus, Muslims clash in Gujarat

AHMEDABAD — Seven persons were injured yesterday when Hindus and Muslims clashed in the western Indian state of Gujarat, scene of bloody religious riots last year, police said.

Police in the town of Godhra, where last year’s bloodshed erupted, fired four rounds into the air to break up the clash.

The violence began when Muslims threw stones at a Hindu religious procession after some of the Hindus shouted provocative slogans against Muslims, he said.


Italy’s Hitler wine draws protests

BERLIN — Germany has complained to Italy about a winery that labels its bottles with portraits of Adolf Hitler, the Justice Ministry said yesterday.

The so-called “Fuehrerwein” bottles, part of vintner Alessandro Lunardelli’s “historic line,” features 14 different labels portraying Hitler with slogans like “Sieg Heil” and other Nazis.

The line also includes labels with portraits of other infamous characters of history, such as Italy’s fascist dictator Benito Mussolini and Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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