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France wants 'concrete gestures' from Iran on nuclear plans

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Ahead of a meeting with Iran's president, French President Francois Hollande said on Tuesday he expects "concrete gestures" by Iran to show it will give up a military nuclear program. Hollande is due to meet with President Hassan Rouhani later on Tuesday on the sidelines of the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations.

Iran breakthrough possible with new president, former ambassador Taylor says

BANFF, Alta. - A diplomatic breakthrough between the West and Iran could be in sight, says the man who served as Canada's ambassador in Tehran during the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Ken Taylor called Iran's new president, Hassan Rouhani, a "remarkable man" who is both familiar with the West and has the trust of his country's top Islamic clerics. "At this moment — I think without sounding too naive or forgetting about the Iranian performance up to now — we could be on the brink of a breakthrough," the former diplomat told the Global Business Forum in Banff, Alta., Friday.

Freed Iranian lawyer Sotoudeh expects government to release others

By Yeganeh Torbati DUBAI (Reuters) - Newly-released Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh said on Thursday she expected President Hassan Rouhani's government to free hundreds of other people jailed for their political beliefs to show it is serious about reform. In a tentative sign that hardline policies are being eased in the Islamic Republic following Rouhani's inauguration last month, authorities freed Sotoudeh and at least 10 other prominent prisoners on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to reports on opposition websites.

Iran parliament approves big Rouhani cabinet nominees, rejects three

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran's parliament on Thursday approved all President Hassan Rouhani's big-name nominees for a cabinet of technocrats, which will have the task of implementing his plans to patch up relations with the world and ease international sanctions. The parliament debated each of the 18 nominees over the course of four days, rejecting three minor candidates.

Iran's Ahmadinejad steps aside, divisive to the end

By Marcus George DUBAI (Reuters) - Vilified abroad for his blistering attacks against the West, blamed at home for Iran's economic woes and isolated from the supreme leader who groomed him for power, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad leaves the presidency with few friends and an uncertain future. Iranians elected his opposite - a mild-mannered, moderate member of the clerical establishment - to replace him, doubtless hoping for better times than they endured for eight years under the caustic hardline outsider.

Iran's new president to return Zanganeh to oil ministry: source

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iranian President-elect Hassan Rouhani is expected to return respected former oil minister Bijan Zanganeh to the post he held for eight years until hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad came to office in 2005, an Iranian industry source said on Sunday.

Iran, Iraq have 'exceptional' security role

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in Iraq on Thursday that Tehran and Baghdad have an "exceptional" role to play in the region's security. "The role of the two countries in the security of the region is exceptional," Ahmadinejad told reporters in Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone, but without elaborating. "We carry a joint message, which is a message of progress and stability and security, and also a message of peace," Ahmadinejad said after talks with Iraqi Vice President Khudayr al-Khuzaie.

Iran devalues official rial rate by more than half

Iran's central bank on Saturday drastically devalued the national currency's fixed subsidised rate against the dollar, as the Islamic republic struggles to shore up its faltering economy. The rial has lost more than two thirds of its value on the open market since early 2012, when the United States and the European Union imposed harsh economic sanctions curbing Iran's ability to export oil and conduct financial transactions.

Iran's Ahmadinejad defends rights record

Iran's outgoing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Wednesday defended his government's rights record, saying he was not responsible for other branches of the Islamic regime. "The highest level of respecting freedoms was (recorded) during my government," Ahmadinejad said on state television in a late night address. "No one was reprimanded or prosecuted for criticising the government," he said, stressing that his office was not responsible for the conduct of the other branches of the regime.

Iran court summonses Ahmadinejad over Larijani complaint

Outgoing Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was on Monday summonsed to appear before the criminal court following a complaint lodged by parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani, the government website announced. The summons orders Ahmadinejad to appear before the court on November 26, website Dolat.ir said. It said the case arises from "a complaint lodged by Mr Ali Larijani" as well as by a parliamentary commission. "The charge is not specified in the notice," the statement said, without elaborating.
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