The new Iraqi interim administration won the unanimous support of the world's largest Muslim group, the Organization of the Islamic Conference. Analysts called the move crucial since the OIC had viewed the interim government's predecessor a "US creation." But in another difficult day on the ground as the new administration prepares to assume control of Iraq's affairs in two weeks, terrorists ambushed the second convoy of civilian contractors in 24 hours, killing an unknown number of them. They also cut the flow of crude oil from southern Iraq by more than half via explosions that heavily damaged two pipelines.Skip to next paragraph
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If criticism of Iran's nuclear program doesn't stop, it will "seriously harm cooperation with the international community," President Mohamad Khatami told leaders of Europe's three largest powers. In a letter to Britain, Germany, and France, he accused them of bowing to US pressure for a resolution before the International Atomic Energy Agency that rebukes the Tehran government for failing to come clean on the scope of its program. IAEA delegates, meeting in Austria, are considered almost certain to tone down the language of the resolution, and prospects for referring it to the UN Security Council for sanctions against Iraq appeared dim.
The next round of negotiations on ending the standoff over North Korea's nuclear weapons program will be held in Beijing June 23-26, the host government announced. Its spokeswoman said the six-nation talks offered an opportunity to "go deeper into the issues." But North Korea's Foreign Ministry served notice that it expects "nothing" from the discussions unless the US drops its demand for the "complete, verifiable, and irreversible dismantling" of the nuclear program" - an outcome it said '"can be forced only on a defeated country."
Saying, "The evidence does not bring us anywhere close to a reasonable chance of conviction," Israel's attorney general announced he won't indict Prime Minister Ariel Sharon for allegedly accepting a bribe in a real-estate development case dating back to 1999. But closing the high-profile case may not end Sharon's legal problems, analysts said. An opposition party said it will appeal the decision to the Supreme Court. The prime minister and his family also are under investigation for allegedly receiving an illegal $1.5 million loan from a foreign businessman.
A rocket fired by an Israeli helicopter killed the local leader of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and another Palestinian militant as their car traveled through a refugee camp outside Nablus in the West Bank late Monday. A third man was wounded seriously. An Israeli military spokesman said the chief target, Kahlil Marshoud, was behind many terrorist attacks. The successful airstrike was the second against Al Aqsa leaders in the West Bank in just over a month.