Voices In today's relaxed Tehran, headscarves are being worn back from the face

Ex-home secretary Jack Straw returns from a visit to Tehran convinced that it’s time for the West to rethink its relationship with the regime

Sharon warns Gaza settlers not to resist evacuation

Ariel Sharon, the Israeli Prime Minister, yesterday issued his strongest warning yet that the state would use "all our power" against settlers resisting evacuation from Gaza. Mr Sharon offered maximum political to support to the army and police as they prepare to cope with possible violence and civil disobedience when 21 Gaza settlements are evacuated under the Prime Minister's Knesset-endorsed disengagement plan.

Abbas pitches for hardliners with talk of 'Zionist enemy'

Mahmoud Abbas made an unabashed pitch to a boisterous rally of the Fatah faithful last night after angering Ariel Sharon's ministers by referring to Israel as the "Zionist enemy" for the killing of seven young Palestinians in Gaza.

Sharon apologises for killings of Egyptian police on Gaza border

Ariel Sharon, the Israeli Prime Minister, yesterday personally expressed his "deep sorrow" to the Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak, after an Israeli tank crew killed three Egyptian policemen on the southern Gaza border.

Sharon puts Israel back on path that could yet end in peace

Rejuvenated, perhaps, by his pivotal role as opposition leader in guaranteeing Ariel Sharon the parliamentary majority the Prime Minister's own deeply divided Likud party would otherwise deny him, Shimon Peres was optimistic when he met foreign journalists this week.

Ex-ally calls Sharon 'disloyal' and warns of Israeli civil war

The political instability triggered by Ariel Sharon's decision to withdraw 8,000 settlers from the Gaza Strip deepened yesterday when one of his closest erstwhile allies told activists in the ruling Likud Party that Mr Sharon was "not loyal to the land of Israel" and warned of a potential "civil war".

Sharon loses majority as far-right ministers quit

Two extreme right-wing ministers deprived Ariel Sharon of his guaranteed parliamentary majority yesterday when they resigned in the first political backlash against this week's cabinet acceptance of his plan to disengage from Gaza.

Sharon praises assassination and vows to stick with policy

Ariel Sharon, Israel's premier,vowed yesterday to continue targeted killings of militant leaders after he praised the successful assassination of Hamas leader Abdel Aziz Rantissi.

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