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UK speedboat floats into Iran’s arms

April 5, 2010 Leave a comment

By Guy Dinmore in Rome

Published: April 4 2010 22:02

British powerboat

Has a record-breaking British powerboat become the “ultimate toy” for an Iranian playboy or – as US investigators fear – is it now equipped with the world’s fastest torpedoes aimed at sinking an aircraft carrier in the Gulf?

In spite of efforts by the Obama administration to stop it falling into the hands of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, the Bradstone Challenger – a high-performance powerboat built with support from a US defence contractor – is believed to be under new and dangerous ownership. Read more…

G8 cautious on Iran amid hopes for talks

July 9, 2009 Leave a comment

By Guy Dinmore in L’Aquila, July 9, 2009

G8 leaders on Wednesday night agreed to give Iran more time to accept negotiations over its nuclear ambitions after Russia reiterated it would not support further sanctions at this point.

A statement issued after the dinner meeting in L’Aquila, Italy, expressed “serious concern” over events in Iran, deplored violence against peaceful demonstrators and, in a reference to the detention of Iranians working for the UK embassy in Tehran, called on the Iranian authorities to stop the intimidation of foreign missions. Read more…

Questions about Iran dominate G8 discussions

June 27, 2009 Leave a comment

By Guy Dinmore in Trieste, Italy

Published on FT on June 27 2009

Iran’s nuclear programme and its post-election crisis dominated talks this weekend among Group of Eight foreign ministers meeting in Italy, with a sense that time was running out for the international community to respond, diplomats said.

The ministerial discussions, preparing a wide range of global issues for next month’s G8 summit, also revealed how little they understood of what was happening inside Iran and within the regime, participants told the Financial Times. Read more…

Russia in G8 rebuke to Tehran

June 27, 2009 Leave a comment

published on FT on June 27 2009

Russia on Friday joined growing international condemnation of the Iranian crackdown on demonstrators, signing up to a statement by Group of Eight foreign ministers which also kept open the possibility of direct engagement with Tehran over its nuclear programme.

“We express our solidarity with those who have suffered repression while peacefully demonstrating, and urge Iran to respect fundamental human rights, including freedom of expression,” G8 ministers, meeting in Trieste, northern Italy, declared.

“We call on the Iranian government to guarantee that the will of the Iranian people is reflected in the electoral process,” the statement said, dedicating three paragraphs to Iran out of eight pages dealing with a wide range of
international issues. Read more…

UK says time is running out

June 8, 2009 Leave a comment

By Guy Dinmore in Rome, June 8, 2009

David Miliband, UK foreign secretary, has warned Iran that “time is running out” for it to halt its uranium enrichment programme or face “increasingly tough sanctions” from the Group of Eight leading industrialised nations.

But Mr Miliband adds, in an article to be published on Monday in Rome, that the sanctions are not aimed at regime change and that the G8 is committed to a diplomatic solution of Iran’s suspected nuclear weapons programme. Read more…

Italy cancels minister’s Iran visit

May 20, 2009 Leave a comment

By Guy Dinmore in Rome

Published on FT: May 20 2009
Italy on Wednesday cancelled at the last minute a flight to Iran by Franco Frattini, foreign minister, following strong objections from European capitals and Washington and a bid by Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad, Iran’s hardline president, to make election propaganda out of his visit. Read more…

Italy to break EU ranks with Iran visit

May 19, 2009 Leave a comment

By Guy Dinmore in Rome

Published on the Financial Times:  May 19 2009

Franco Frattini, Italy’s foreign minister, plans to break with European Union policy of shunning high-level contact with Iran by flying to Tehran on Wednesday for talks on the Islamic republic’s strategic role in the region and possible openings for direct engagement with the US.

Because of strong opposition from European allies, diplomats said Mr Frattini had wanted to keep his visit a “surprise” by announcing it only on his arrival. Read more…