A partial recount of votes in four cities was ordered after Iran's presidential election set up a runoff between the top two finishers. Last week's voting produced what analysts said was a surprisingly strong result for Tehran Mayor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a hard-liner who will face off against former President Hashemi Rafsanjani. Iranians who seek political reform alleged that the vote for Ahmad-inejad had been rigged.
Iraq's prime minister and his foreign affairs chief were to tell an international conference in Brussels that their six-week-old government can't establish security without more help from Europe and from other Middle Eastern nations. The conference, under European Union, US, and UN auspices, was seen as an opportunity to heal the international rift caused by the Iraq war while pressuring Syria and Iran to stop the flow of terrorists across their borders. It also was expected to result in offers to forgive the massive debt accumulated by ousted dictator Saddam Hussein.
From ambush, Palestinian gunmen killed a Jewish settler in the West Bank and Israeli guards caught a woman trying to detonate explosives hidden under her clothes at a Gaza Strip checkpoint as the leaders of the two sides prepared to meet Tuesday for the second time. Ariel Sharon and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas are expected to focus on details of the planned Israeli pullout from Gaza two months hence. When they first met, in February, they agreed to a cease-fire, but violence has not stopped. A senior Israeli source said Sharon would offer no additional "gestures" until Abbas cracks down on militancy.
Three suspects under arrest in Afghanistan "admitted" being part of a plot to kill US Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad as he presided over the opening of a new road. The suspects were identified as Pakistani, and authorities said they are "pretty sure" the men are linked to Al Qaeda or the Taliban. Khalilzad and Afghanistan's interior minister canceled their participation at the last minute, but the discovery of the plot raised disturbing questions about how the plotters knew of their intended appearance. Pakistani officials angrily rejected suggestions that their government might have sanctioned the plot.
On a surge of votes in northern Lebanon, a political alliance led by the son of assassinated ex-Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri won control of parliament in Sunday's elections. Saad al-Hariri's coalition took 21 of 28 seats Sunday in the final round of balloting. Coupled with seats won in earlier rounds, it now has a majority in the legislature - a first for opponents of Syria since Lebanon's civil war began in 1975. Saad Hariri said the results "show that the people have voted for change."