By Parisa Hafezi ANKARA (Reuters) - European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said on Sunday it would be "difficult and challenging" to reach a long-term nuclear deal with Iran, as diplomacy intensifies before talks between Tehran and world powers on March 18. Ashton arrived in Tehran on Saturday for a two-day visit -the first by an EU foreign policy chief since 2008 - during which she said a wide range of issues, including bilateral ties and regional conflicts, will be discussed. A long-lasting nuclear deal with Iran would help put an end to years of hostility between Iran and the West, ease the danger of a new war in the Middle East, and open up vast new possibilities for Western businesses. "The interim deal is really important but not as important as a comprehensive nuclear agreement ... which is difficult and challenging," Ashton told a joint news conference with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, broadcast on state TV.
By Suadad al-Salhy BAGHDAD (Reuters) - About two dozen Iraqi women demonstrated on Saturday in Baghdad against a draft law approved by the Iraqi cabinet that would permit the marriage of nine-year-old girls and automatically give child custody to fathers. The group's protest was on International Women's Day and a week after the cabinet voted for the legislation, based on Shi'ite Islamic jurisprudence, allowing clergy to preside over marriages, divorces and inheritances. "On this day of women, women of Iraq are in mourning," the protesters shouted. "We believe that this is a crime against humanity," said Hanaa Eduar, a prominent Iraqi human rights activist.