Iran: US will regret actions

Editor's note: Iranian authorities have barred journalists for international news organizations from reporting on the streets and ordered them to stay in their offices. This report is based on the accounts of witnesses reached in Iran and official statements carried on Iranian media.


President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad vowed Saturday to make the U.S. regret its criticism of Iran's postelection crackdown and said the 'mask has been removed' from the Obama administration's efforts to improve relations.

Ahmadinejad - with his internal opponents virtually silenced - all but dared Obama to keep calling for an end to repression of demonstrators who claim the hardline leader stole re-election through massive fraud.

'You should know that if you continue the response of the Iranian nation will be strong,' Ahmadinejad said in a speech to members of Iran's judiciary, which is directly controlled by the ruling clerics. 'The response of the Iranian nation will be crushing. The response will cause remorse.'

Ahmadinejad has no authority to direct major policy decisions on his own - a power that rests with the non-elected theocracy. But his comments often reflect the thinking of the ruling establishment.

NATO, Russia resume ties

CORFU, Greece - NATO and Russia agreed to resume military ties Saturday in their first high-level meeting since Russia's war with Georgia disrupted their relations 10 months ago.

NATO's outgoing Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer announced that the so-called NATO-Russia Council, a panel set up in 2002 to improve ties between the former Cold War rivals, was operational again.

Iraqi PM: We're ready to take over security

BAGHDAD - Iraq's prime minister said Saturday that the full withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from cities and towns was a message that his country was ready to take over its own security, even as he appealed for national unity after a week of attacks left more than 250 people dead.

Both of Iraq's vice presidents joined in the call, with one of them warning Iraqis to stay away from crowded places favored by bombers.