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Iran bans new reformist daily, arrests chief

Iranian authorities on Thursday banned a newly launched reformist daily and arrested its managing director over an article seen as insulting to Islamic law, official sources said. "Aseman newspaper has been banned for publishing an article that insults Islam's sacred beliefs and articles against Islamic regulations," the office of Tehran's prosecutor said on its website. "In an article run by the newspaper on Tuesday, it called 'qesas' inhumane," it added in reference to the Islamic law of vengeance.

Iran arrests spy for Britain's MI6: Fars news agency

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iranian intelligence authorities have arrested a man on charges of spying for Britain's MI6, the semi-official Fars news agency reported on Saturday. The head of the Kerman region's revolutionary court, Dadkhoda Salari, told the agency the suspect made contact with British agents 11 times in recent months, inside and outside the country. According to Salari, the suspect has admitted his guilt and he is currently on trial.

Iran border guards killed fighting bandits near Pakistan: report

DUBAI (Reuters) - About 20 Iranian border guards were killed in clashes with "bandits" on the southeastern frontier with Pakistan overnight and several others were seized, Iranian media said on Saturday. The reports gave no more details on the identity of the armed group but security forces have fought drug traffickers before in the border region with Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Iran documentary maker killed in Syria

Esmail Heydari, an Iranian documentary maker, has been killed in Syria in an ambush by the jihadist Al-Nusra Front, Iranian news agency ISNA said Friday, without giving further details. On Wednesday, the Fars news agency said another Iranian film maker, Hadi Baghbani, was killed as he accompanied Syrian troops on an operation against rebels. It was not known for what media the two men worked. Iran is one of Syria's major allies. Last September, a journalist working for Iran's English-language Press TV was shot dead by a sniper in Damascus. sgh/al

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UPDATE 3-Iran nuclear talks set for Feb. 26; signals from Tehran mixed

* Citing "arrogance," official signals mistrust of West * Mixed message may reflect fragmented Iran political system (Adds Ashton, U.S. State Department comment, paragraphs 5-7) By Yeganeh Torbati DUBAI, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Iran and world powers announced new talks on Tehran's nuclear program on Feb. 26, but hopes of progress after Tuesday's announcement were tempered when an Iranian official said the West's goal in talking was to undermine the Islamic republic.

UPDATE 1-Iran launches monkey into space -state news agency

(Adds details) DUBAI, Jan 28 (Reuters) - Iran has successfully launched a live monkey into space, the state news agency IRNA said on Monday, touting it as an advance in a missile and space programme that has alarmed the West and Israel. There was no independent confirmation of the report, which quoted a defence ministry statement. It said the launch coincided "with the days of" the Prophet Mohammad's birthday last week but gave no date.

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Iran hangs two men for attack posted on YouTube

DUBAI, Jan 20 (Reuters) - Iran hanged two men on Sunday for their role in an assault that was filmed and posted on YouTube, the Iranian Students' News Agency (ISNA) reported. A 37-second video posted on YouTube in December and later shown on Iranian state television showed four masked men approaching the victim on motorcycles, and then two of them assaulting him, taking his bag and jacket. One of the attackers appeared to be wielding a long knife or machete.

IRAN and IAEA end talks, will hold next round in February - ISNA

DUBAI, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Iran and the U.N. atomic agency ended talks on Thursday evening and will hold a further round of talks on Feb. 12 in Tehran, the Iranian Students' News Agency (ISNA) reported on Thursday. Senior U.N. nuclear inspectors are hoping to reach a long-sought agreement to unblock an investigation into suspected weapons research in the Islamic state.
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