Enemies Not to Benefit from Creating Obstacles for Iran - Ahmadinejad

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said enemies will not benefit from their attempts to create obstacles for Iran, according to IRNA.

He made the remarks here Saturday morning while inaugurating the longest underground tunnel on Tehran-Tabriz railroad.

Outlining the achievements of his government in executing targeted subsidiary plan, he said the program has now become a role-model for world countries.


Thousands of Turks join ongoing protests defying Erdogan

 Thousands of infuriated Turks took to the streets on Saturday to join mass anti-government protests, defying Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s call to end the worst civil unrest of his decade-long rule, Al-Manar reported.

From the early morning, protesters began arriving in Istanbul's Taksim Square with food and blankets to settle in for a weekend of protests, adding to the growing tent city in nearby Gezi Park.

Fresh demonstrations were also planned in the capital Ankara as the unrest entered its ninth day.

Turkish police have been criticized strongly for using excessive force against peaceful protests. Police have used tear gas and water cannon to disperse demonstrators, injuring thousands and leaving three dead.

Turkey's trouble began when police cracked down heavily on a small campaign to save Gezi Park from demolition, spiraling into nationwide demos against Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP), seen as increasingly authoritarian.


Iranian Envoy Calls for Political Solution to Syrian Crisis

TEHRAN - A senior Iranian diplomat stressed the necessity of an immediate halt to the ongoing bloodsheds in Syria, and renewed Tehran's call for finding a political solution to the crisis in Syria and preventing foreign military intervention, according to FNA.

Iran's New Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office in Geneva, Switzerland, Mohsen Naziri Asl made the remarks addressing the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Wednesday.

Naziri Asl also rejected any military intervention in Syria, voicing Iran's support for the legitimate rights of the Syrian nation.

Iran hosted the international 'Friends of Syria' conference on May 29 to find a peaceful solution to the ongoing crisis in the Muslim country.

High-ranking officials and representatives of over 40 world countries and regional and international organizations are present in the daylong meeting being held under the motto of 'Political Solution, Regional Stability'.

Iranian officials have repeatedly underlined that Tehran is in favor of negotiations between the Syrian government and opposition groups to create stability in the Middle Eastern country.

Last November, Iran hosted a meeting between the representatives of the Syrian government and opposition to encourage them to start talks to find a political solution to their problems. The National Dialogue Conference kicked off work in Tehran mid-November with the motto of 'No to Violence, Yes to Democracy".

The meeting brought together almost 200 representatives of various Syrian ethnicities, political groups, minorities, the opposition, and state officials.


Elimination Ordeal is through Inter-Syrian Dialogue– Mansour

CAIRO,(ST)_ Lebanese Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Adnan Mansour, stressed that  ridding  Syria off  its  ordeal can be  made by political dialogue between the Syrians to achieve its interests and serve its  present and future.

Mansour added  in a speech on Wednesday before the  extraordinary ministerial-level meeting  of the Arab League AL Council, "the fire of the crisis in Syria will extend to all of us, and Lebanon suffers its consequences," wondering  about who instigated ,fueled , armed , funded and recruited huge number of  foreign fighters from 40 Arab and foreign countries and who used sarin gas and brought it to Syria.

"Extremist groups in Syria sought to hit the deeply rooted demographic and  historical mix  between the Syrians and the Lebanese in mixed areas in the Syrian  al-Qusair city  and its   villages adjacent to Lebanon, where the armed terrorist groups  carried out  acts of killings, harassment, displacement, abductions, destruction of homes, mosques and churches and confiscation of land and agricultural crops . " Mansour emphasized. 

He stressed that Hezbollah did not fight in Aleppo Daraa, Deir ezz Zur, Idleb  or Qamishli  and that having a handful of its groups in al-Qusair  is a preventive action to protect their  Lebanese families ,relatives and children against  armed terrorist groups, who wanted to make them prey to kidnapping and murder, as happened to the unarmed Lebanese visitors  who were  kidnapped by armed groups in Azaz, north of Aleppo, since more than one year. 

Mansour  also questioned who are the 12 terrorists arrested by  Turkey while smuggling  sarin gas from Adana to Syria, who tricked Arab youth and pushed them by inciting fatwas  to fight in Syria, who killed the Syrian scholar Sheikh Mohammed Saeed Ramadan Al Bouti and kidnapped bishops  Paul Yazigi and John Ibrahim, destroyed entire Christian villages , demolished  religious shrines and historical places and who promoted for Jihad marriage , digging up graves and beheadings , eating  livers and hearts and offended the true religion of Islam . 

The  Lebanese foreign minister cited what was stated by  President of the UN Inquiry Commission on Syria Paulo Pinheiro before the French National Assembly  Foreign Affairs Committee that the Syrian armed opposition is today very far from thinking  of democracy. 

T. Fateh 

Turkey protests resume

Police in the Turkish city of Istanbul have used tear gas and water cannon against protesters in a fifth night of anti-government demonstrations.

Protests over the demolition of a park in Istanbul have grown into days of unrest across the country,according to BBC.

Ahead of a proposed meeting in Istanbul, activists issued a list of demands, including the end of plans to demolish the park, a ban on tear gas, the release of arrested protesters and the resignation of top officials blamed for the protest crackdown, the BBC's Mark Lowen in Athens reports.

The atmosphere on Istanbul's Taksim Square on Tuesday evening was almost celebratory as a huge crowd of people ranging from football fans to well-heeled professionals gathered, the BBC's Paul Mason reported.

People have been chanting "Have you heard us?" in the hope the government is listening to their demands.

But later, police fired tear gas, water cannon and smoke grenades as they tried to disperse protesters.

In the city of Izmir, there was a festive atmosphere and police kept their distance, though some young protesters earlier smashed security cameras and threw bricks, the BBC's Quentin Sommerville reports.

Also in Izmir, state-run Anatolia news agency reported that police had arrested 25 people for tweeting "misinformation".

An official from the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), Ali Engin, told Anatolia they were being held for "calling on people to protest".

Meanwhile Turkish television station NTV has apologised for failing to cover the initial protests.

The chief executive of the conglomerate that owns NTV, Cem Aydin of Dogus, said criticism of the channel was "fair to a large extent".

"Our audience feels like they were betrayed," he said after a meeting with staff, some of whom resigned in protest at the lack of coverage.

Many believe the government blocked internet access in order to prevent news of the protests spreading”

Protesters have turned to social media to spread their message and coordinate demonstrations, the BBC's Sophie Hutchinson reports from Istanbul.

Earlier on Tuesday the left-wing Kesk trade union confederation, representing some 240,000 public sector workers, began a two-day strike in support of the protests and accused the government of committing "state terror".

Another trade union confederation, Disk, has said it will join the strike on Wednesday.

The protests began on 28 May over plans to redevelop Gezi Park near Taksim Square in Istanbul.