Compromise Reported

On Iran Atomic Program

VIENNA -- The United States and Europe have agreed on a compromise plan to accept expanded nuclear activities by Iran, but only if the uranium enrichment process -- a possible pathway to nuclear arms -- is moved to Russia, senior officials and diplomats said Thursday.

If accepted by Iran, the proposal could end a dispute over whether to refer Iran to the U.N. Security Council for possible sanctions. Depending on its level, enrichment can be used to generate energy, as Iran says it wants to do, or to make weapons.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice expressed hope that a deal could be reached, but she would not confirm that the United States would back the deal as described by the officials and diplomats, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "There is no U.S.-European proposal to the Iranians," Rice said.


* BEIJING -- The fifth round of six-nation talks aimed at ending North Korea's nuclear program recessed on Friday with no word of progress. Host China issued a statement saying diplomats had agreed to meet again soon but set no date.

* BATU, Indonesia -- Indonesian police confirmed Thursday that Azahari Husin, one of Southeast Asia's most wanted extremists, was killed during a gun battle with police, saying he tried to blow himself up but failed to detonate a bomb in time.

The national police chief, Gen. Sutanto, said fingerprint tests proved that Azahari, a leading bombmaker for the Jemaah Islamiah organization, was one of two men killed Wednesday in Batu in East Java province. Sutanto said police found 30 bombs inside the house where Azahari had holed up.


* CAIRO -- Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's party ousted the opposition leader, Ayman Nour, from parliament and took a strong early lead in legislative elections, according to initial results.

The election commission said Nour, leader of the Tomorrow Party and Mubarak's main rival in the September presidential election, lost in the Cairo district he has represented for 10 years. Nour, 41, complained of irregularities.


* LIMA, Peru -- Peru recalled its ambassador to Japan and warned Tokyo not to interfere in its efforts to have former president Alberto Fujimori extradited from Chile, where he is under arrest. Japanese diplomats visited Fujimori on Wednesday.


A polio epidemic that has paralyzed nearly 200 children in 10 African countries over the past two years has been stopped in those countries but continues to spread in Nigeria, where the outbreak started, a U.N. agency said. UNICEF said no new cases have been reported since June in Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Mali and Togo.

-- From News Services