- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 16, 2004

IRAN

Hard-liners decry deal with Europeans

TEHRAN — Pragmatists in Iran’s clerical regime were under pressure yesterday from hard-liners who lined up to condemn an agreement to suspend sensitive nuclear activities in line with international demands.

At a noisy session in the parliament, one lawmaker likened Iran’s deal with Britain, France and Germany to the 1993 Oslo accords between Israel and the Palestinians, considered by the Islamic republic to have been an act of treason.

“We agreed to make 13 precise commitments, while the Europeans only made four vague ones,” said Ahmad Tavakoli.

Iran agreed with Germany, Britain and France on Sunday to suspend all uranium-enrichment activities as of Nov. 22 pending negotiation of a longer-term accord.

ISRAEL

Soldiers find debris from two rockets

TEL AVIV — Israeli soldiers yesterday found debris from one of two Katyusha rockets fired from Lebanon the night before. One rocket hit shrubbery near the northern town of Shlomi on Monday night and the other landed in the sea.

It was the second incident in that area in about a week. The militant group Hezbollah flew a drone over Israeli territory on Nov. 7 that crashed into the Mediterranean. Lebanese fishermen retrieved the debris.

A little-known Lebanese organization, the Martyr Ghaleb Awali Group, took responsibility for the latest attack.

SAUDI ARABIA

Gunbattle flares north of capital

RIYADH — Saudi security forces said early today that they had been engaged in a shootout with suspected militants in the northern town of Unayzah since late yesterday, eyewitnesses told Agence France-Presse.

“The shootout started around 11:45 p.m. as security forces raided a house suspected of housing militants in the Ashrafyah quarter of Unayzah,” in the Al-Qassim region 230 miles north of the capital, Riyadh, the witnesses said.

The gunbattle, in which machine guns and grenades were being used, was continuing, they said.

Weekly notes

Ahmed Samy Mubarak, younger brother of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, has died, the official Middle East News Agency said yesterday. It said a condolence ceremony for the businessman and former politician would be held today in a Cairo suburb, but gave no other information about the death. … Al Qaeda militants have defied a crackdown and the loss of senior leaders in Saudi Arabia by using the Internet to win over new recruits in Osama bin Laden’s birthplace. “It’s testament to the strength of al Qaeda in Saudi Arabia that they’ve been able to bring out the magazines twice a month for a whole year despite very heavy losses,” said Paul Eedle, a London-based analyst. “Before the days of the Internet, a group would pretty much fade from view” if they suffered such losses, he said.

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