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Other News: Iran Vows ‘Crushing Response’ to Bombing

October 19, 2009 at 12:00 AM EDT
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In other news, Iraq's Revolutionary Guard promised a "crushing response" after a suicide bomb killed five commanders, and nuclear talks with Iran convened in Vienna.

JIM LEHRER: In other news today, the head of Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard served a notice. He promised a crushing response after a bombing that killed five top commanders. Thirty-seven others died in that suicide attack on Sunday. It hit the commanders as they visited a district near the Pakistani border.

A Sunni Muslim group opposed to Iran’s Shiite rulers claimed responsibility. The Revolutionary Guards’ commanding general said the group had the help of the U.S. and others.

GEN. MOHAMMAD ALI JAFARI, chief of Revolutionary Guards (through translator): Today, evidence was submitted by one of the country’s intelligence organizations showing that the malicious group of Jundallah is directly linked to the intelligence agencies of America and Britain and, unfortunately, the intelligence agency of Pakistan.

The bomber is under their support and, undoubtedly, operations he carries out are under their order and planning.

JIM LEHRER: The U.S., Britain, and Pakistan all condemned the bombing and they denied any involvement.

Nuclear talks with Iran convened in Vienna, Austria, today. The head of the U.N. nuclear agency, Mohamed ElBaradei, said the initial meeting went well and would continue tomorrow. Officials from Iran, the U.S., France, and Russia were in attendance. Earlier, Iran’s state-run TV said the Islamic republic would not give up its stock of enriched uranium.

Federal prosecutors in the U.S. will no longer go after people who comply with state laws on medical use of marijuana. The Obama administration formally spelled out the new policy today. It’s a break with a Bush-era policy of enforcing federal laws against pot, regardless of state statutes. Fourteen states currently permit some use of marijuana for medical purposes.

Authorities in Colorado gathered evidence today for possible criminal charges in the balloon boy hoax. It involved the flight of a runaway balloon last week and the false reports that a 6-year-old was on board. The local sheriff said Sunday the boy’s parents concocted the whole thing to promote a possible reality television show.

On Wall Street today, stocks hit new highs for the year, after the latest reports on corporate profits raised hopes. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 96 points, to close at 10092. The Nasdaq rose 19 points, to close at 2176.