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Iran Slams 'Mischievous' WikiLeaks Disclosures on Iraq Role

Iran hit out on Tuesday at whistleblower website WikiLeaks describing as "mischievous" the disclosure of classified U.S. military documents detailing assessments of its role in neighboring Iraq.

Foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said the timing of the leaks raised questions about the website's independence and Iran's ISNA news agency quoted him as saying it was aimed at influencing protracted coalition talks in Baghdad.

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With Eye on Investment, Emir of Qatar Begins Britain Visit

Queen Elizabeth II formally welcomed the emir of Qatar to Britain on Tuesday for a trip aimed at boosting growing trade links and both countries' bids for the football World Cup.

Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani shook hands with the British monarch upon their meeting in Windsor, west of London, as the military sounded a gun salute.

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Iraq Court Sentences Tareq Aziz to Death

Iraq's supreme criminal court sentenced former deputy prime minister Tareq Aziz to death on Tuesday, state television reported, the first death sentence handed down against the longtime international face of the Saddam Hussein regime.

"The supreme criminal court issued an execution order against Tareq Aziz for his role in eliminating religious parties," the television reported.(AFP)

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Bahrain Shiite Opposition Wins 18 of 40 Parliament Seats

Bahrain's main Shiite opposition group, the Islamic National Accord Association, won 18 of parliament's 40 seats in a weekend poll, the electoral commission said on Sunday.

The 18 candidates of INAA, which won 17 parliamentary seats at the last election in 2006, were elected in the first round of the legislative poll held on Saturday, electoral commission chairman Abdullah al-Buainain told AFP.(AFP)

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Settlers Start 600 New Homes since Freeze End

Jewish settlers have started building at least 600 homes since the end of a building ban on September 26, Peace Now said on Thursday.

"In our estimation, building has started on between 600 and 700 new housing units in less than one month, which is four times the pace of construction since before the freeze," Peace Now's Hagit Ofran told AFP, referring to the moratorium that began at the end of November 2009.

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Ahmadinejad, King Abdullah Discuss Politics Again

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Saudi King Abdullah have had telephonic discussions on regional affairs for a second time within a fortnight, Iran's state news agency IRNA reported Thursday.

The Wednesday evening conversation comes at a time when the two regional arch-rivals are at odds over what is perceived as rising Iranian influence in Lebanese politics and protracted efforts to form a government in Iraq.

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Provincial Official Killed in Baghdad Bombing

A bomb attack Monday in central Baghdad on a government convoy killed a provincial councilor and wounded eight other people, including three bodyguards, an interior ministry official said.

"Jassem Ali Mahmud was killed and three of his bodyguards and five passersby were wounded when a bomb exploded as their convoy passed through Khulani neighborhood," the official said.

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New Qaida Threat Targets Europe, France in Particular: Official

Saudi security services warned several days ago about an al-Qaida threat to Europe and in particular France, French Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux said Sunday.

Several days ago European intelligence agencies received "a new message from the Saudi services which indicated that al-Qaida's branch on the Arabian Peninsula was possibly active or planned to be active" and was targeting "the European continent and in particular France", Hortefeux said in a radio and television interview.

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Yemen Sentences Convicted Qaida Bombmaker to Death

A Yemeni court sentenced to death convicted Al-Qaida bombmaker Saleh al-Shawsh on Monday amid a mounting battle between the security forces and the local branch of the jihadist network.

"God willing, your end will come at our hands and the start will be from Abyan," Shawsh shouted from the dock as the judge handed down the sentence.

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Maliki in Iran to Garner Support for Premiership Bid

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki was in Tehran on Monday to garner support for his premiership bid, as his chief rival Iyad Allawi accused Iran of meddling in Baghdad's political affairs.

Maliki on arriving in Tehran Monday morning went straight into a series of meetings, including with Iran's first vice president Mohammad Reza Rahimi and with supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, according to local media.

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