Sunday, April 06, 2008

Iran to Announce Progress on National Day of Nuclear Technology

According to the Tehran Times, Iranian government spokesman Gholam-Hossein Elham told reporters in a news conference that the country will announce progress on the nuclear program on April 8, Iran's national day of nuclear technology, which coincides with the break of official relations between Iran and the United States in 1979. On April 4, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad rejected any new package of incentives from the Permanent 5 members of the Security Council and Germany in exchange for suspending enrichment.

At the same news conference, Elham strongly dismissed reports that the Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr is in Iran. However, Associated Press correspondent Ali Akbar Dareini writes that an Iranian governtment official who deals with Iraq confirmed on April 5 that his government helped end the clashes between Iraqi government troops and al-Sadr's Mahdi Army militia for the sake of Shiite unity. An Iraqi official also confirmed Iran's role saying, "Iran played a mediating role and helped ease things a lot. Given its influence over al-Sadr, Iran convinced the Sadrists to stop fighting."

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