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Archive for Sunday, September 19, 2004

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September 19, 2004

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Resolution demands Iran halt nuclear program

Vienna, Austria -- For the first time, 35 nations in the U.N. atomic watchdog agency demanded Saturday that Iran freeze all work on uranium enrichment -- a technology that can be used for nuclear arms -- and said they would judge Tehran's compliance in two months.

The resolution passed by the agency was its toughest yet on Tehran but didn't go as far as the United States had sought -- stopping short of saying Iran will automatically be sent to the U.N. Security Council for possible sanctions if it fails to meet the demands by November.

U.S. officials, however, insisted the 35-member board of the International Atomic Energy Agency must refer Iran to the council when it meets again on Nov. 25 if Tehran doesn't comply.

The United States says Iran's nuclear program is aimed at producing weapons, a claim Tehran denies.

The resolution passed unanimously Saturday said the board "considers it necessary" that Iran suspend all uranium enrichment and related programs. And it expressed alarm at Iranian plans to convert more than 40 tons of raw uranium into uranium hexafluoride, the gas that when spun in centrifuges turns into enriched uranium.

Pakistani prisoners return from Guantanamo

Islamabad, Pakistan -- Thirty-five Pakistani prisoners released from U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba returned home Saturday, a senior interior ministry official said.

Pakistani authorities detained the men for questioning after they arrived at a Pakistani air base near the capital, Islamabad, said Brig. Javed Iqbal Cheema, director-general of the National Crisis Management Cell at the Interior Ministry.

He said the men would be freed and allowed to go home after the interrogations were completed.

The Department of Defense said the 35 Pakistanis were among 191 prisoners to be released from Guantanamo Bay.

"This (Saturday's) transfer included 29 to the control of Pakistan for continued detention, and six to Pakistan for release," said the Department of Defense on its Web site.

Pakistan is a key ally of the United States in it war on terror.

Hundreds of Pakistani Islamic militants went to Afghanistan to fight alongside Taliban after the United States began military operations in October 2001, in response to the Sept. 11 attacks.

The Pakistanis were among some 600 detainees from 44 countries being held at Guantanamo.

Dan Rather critic says he was fired

Seattle -- A radio talk-show host said Saturday he had been fired for criticizing CBS newsman Dan Rather's handling of challenges to the authenticity of memos about President Bush's National Guard service.

"On the talk show that I host, or hosted, I said I felt Rather should either retire or be forced out over this," said Brian Maloney, whose weekly "The Brian Maloney Show" aired for three years on KIRO-AM Radio, a CBS affiliate here.

Maloney says he made that statement on his Sept. 12 program. He was fired Friday, he said.

KIRO Radio's manager, Ken Berry, did not return a call seeking comment. A staff member at the station said Berry would not comment because it was a personnel issue.

KIRO Radio is affiliated with CBS but owned by Entercom, based in Bala Cynwyd, Pa.

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