Iranian authorities hanged three men in public in the northern city of Babol on Thursday halfway through the holy Muslim month of Ramadan, state media reported.The three men identified as Hadi Jafartabar, Mirhadi Mirtaghi and Seyyed Shoja Moussavizadeh were hanged in a sports complex, the state broadcasting corporation IRIB said in a report on its website.The government-owned news agency Fars said that the three men were convicted of rape.Iran has sharply increased the number of public executions carried out in recent months.Under customary Islamic practice, executions are not to take place during the holy month of Ramadan, but this year authorities have heightened repression and ignored this rule.
The Australian reported on Friday: Iran is building a new bomb-proof underground site for developing nuclear weapons, linked by tunnel to its complex at Natanz, the main exiled Iranian opposition group said yesterday. "Information we have from inside the regime indicates the site is destined for military nuclear activity, mainly for the further enrichment of uranium," Mehdi Abrichamtchi, of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, said in Paris. The new site in central Iran consists of a "vast underground area beneath the Karkass mountains linked to the surface by two tunnels and connecting with a third tunnel" to the Natanz nuclear complex 5km away, Mr Abrichamtchi said. "The site is protected against aerial attack. If Natanz is bombed, it won't be touched," he said. "To maintain secrecy, the area has been declared a military zone, and the regime has bought up all the local land." The Australian added: The NCRI is the political arm of the People's Mujahideen of Iran, which has been declared a terrorist organization by the US and the EU. According to the NCRI, plans for the new complex were drawn up two years ago and it will be operational in six months. In 2002, the NCRI revealed secret nuclear facilities at the towns of Arak and Natanz. The group's new allegations come at a time of rising international tension over Iran's nuclear program.