Saturday, March 6

Tag: Tehran

Iran’s Top Nuclear Scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh Assassinated Near Tehran
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Iran’s Top Nuclear Scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh Assassinated Near Tehran

Iran's most senior nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh has been assassinated near the capital Tehran, the country's defence ministry has confirmed. Fakhrizadeh died in hospital after an attack in Absard, in Damavand county. Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, has condemned the killing "as an act of state terror". Western intelligence agencies view Fakhrizadeh as being behind Iran's secret nuclear weapons programme. He was reportedly described as the "father of the Iranian bomb" by diplomats. News of the killing comes amid fresh concern about the increased amount of enriched uranium that Iran is producing. Enriched uranium is a vital component for both civil nuclear power generation and military nuclear weapons. Iran insists its nuclear programme is exclusiv...
Manchester United Scrap Middle East Training Camp Amid Security Concerns
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Manchester United Scrap Middle East Training Camp Amid Security Concerns

Manchester United have scrapped plans for a training camp in the Gulf region during next month's winter break because of security concerns. United do not play for 16 days between Premier League ties against Wolves on 1 February and at Chelsea on 17 February. Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer plans to give his squad a few days off before going away for a training camp. While the destination had not been decided, Qatar and Dubai would have been near the top of United's list. In January last year, Solskjaer took his squad to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates and sent some of his players there again in November during an international break. United have also previously used the Aspire Academy in Qatar's capital Doha for a winter training camp. There has been a rise in tensions in...
Iran Announces First Arrests In Downing Of Ukrainian Airliner
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Iran Announces First Arrests In Downing Of Ukrainian Airliner

Iran's judiciary has announced the arrests of an unspecified number of suspects in the accidental downing of a commercial passenger jet during a major confrontation with the United States last week. In comments carried by state media, spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili said on Tuesday that "extensive investigations have taken place and some individuals are arrested". He did not offer additional details. Wednesday's downing of the Ukrainian airliner, en route to Kyiv from Tehran, killed all 176 passengers and crew on board. It happened just hours after Iran launched missile attacks on US targets in Iraq in retaliation for the US assassination of top Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad on January 3. After days of denials, Iran on Saturday admitted that its Islamic Revolut...
Britain’s Ambassador To Iran Arrested After Photographing Protesters Who Demanded The Resignation Of Supreme Leader, Ayatollah
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Britain’s Ambassador To Iran Arrested After Photographing Protesters Who Demanded The Resignation Of Supreme Leader, Ayatollah

The UK ambassador to Iran has been arrested during violent protests in Tehran as reported by Iran's semi-official news agency, Tasnim.   Rob Macaire was present during demonstrations in front of Tehran’s Amir Kabir University and was arrested after allegedly 'inciting' a crowd. Following a more than an hour in detention, he was then released.   The senior Foreign Office figure was appointed to the Ambassador role in April 2018, replacing Nicholas Hopton. Iranians have gathered in the streets of Tehran to demand the resignation of Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei after the regime admitted it had mistakenly shot down a civilian passenger plane.   Angry crowds gathered in at least four locations in Tehran, chanting 'death to liars' and calling for the country'...
Iran mistakenly shot down Ukrainian passenger plane that crashed on Wednesday near Tehran, US media report
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Iran mistakenly shot down Ukrainian passenger plane that crashed on Wednesday near Tehran, US media report

US officials say they believe the Ukrainian International Airlines Boeing 737-800 was hit by a missile, CBS says. Ukraine earlier said it was examining whether a missile strike brought down the aircraft - but Iran ruled this out. The crash came just hours after Iran carried out missile strikes on two airbases housing US forces in Iraq. The plane, which was initially headed west to leave the airport zone, turned right following a problem and was headed back to the airport at the moment of the crash." CBS News quoted US intelligence sources as saying a satellite detected infrared "blips" of two missile launches, followed by another blip of an explosion.
Iran Will Not Give Black Box From Crashed Ukrainian Airliner To Boeing
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Iran Will Not Give Black Box From Crashed Ukrainian Airliner To Boeing

Iran will not give the black box of the crashed Ukrainian airliner to planemaker Boeing, the head of Tehran's civil aviation organization was quoted as saying on Wednesday. Ali Abedzadeh also said it was not clear which country Iran would send the box to so that its data could be analyzed, semi-official Mehr news agency reported. A Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737 crashed earlier on Wednesday, killing all 176 people aboard shortly after taking off from Tehran's Imam Khomeini airport.
Ukrainian plane with 180 on board crashes near Tehran: Iranian state TV
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Ukrainian plane with 180 on board crashes near Tehran: Iranian state TV

A Ukrainian airplane carrying 180 passengers and crew crashed Wednesday near an airport in the capital, Tehran, state TV reported. There was no immediate word on casualties. The plane had taken off from Imam Khomeini International Airport, the report said. The crash is suspected to have been caused by mechanical issues, it added, without elaborating. An investigation team was at the site of the crash in southwestern outskirts of Tehran, civil aviation spokesman Reza Jafarzadeh said. Flight data from the airport showed a Ukrainian 737-800 flown by Ukraine International Airlines took off Wednesday morning, then stopped sending data almost immediately afterward, according to website FlightRadar24. The airline did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The crash came hours aft...
9 Countries With The Highest Number Of Nuclear Warheads In The World
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9 Countries With The Highest Number Of Nuclear Warheads In The World

Tensions between the US and Iran were at their highest level in years after Tehran shot down a $220m ( or ₦79 billion) high-altitude U.S. drone with a surface-to-air missile last-week Thursday. Despite the last minute pull back by the United States to lunch military strikes in retaliation for downing the supposed US "stealth" drone, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, has again labelled the White House as "mentally disabled" after the US president announced fresh sanctions against the Middle Eastern nation. The ongoing confrontations has raised fears that a conflict between the two Nuclear-armed countries would quickly turn into wider war that could consume the entire region and beyond. According to a report published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIP...
Iran Shoots Down US Drone Aircraft
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Iran Shoots Down US Drone Aircraft

Iran shot down a United States military drone on Thursday, further escalating the already volatile situation playing out between Washington and Tehran in the Middle East. Iran's Revolutionary Guard said it had shot down an "intruding American spy drone" after it entered into the country's territory Thursday. A US official confirmed to CNN a drone had been shot down, but said the incident occurred in international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz, one of the world's most vital shipping routes. The location of the drone has become a key point of contention since the incident. Iran maintains that the US aircraft was downed in Iranian territory, with Foreign Minister Javad Zarif tweeting a timeline of the incident later on Thursday. "At 00:14 US drone took off from UAE in stealt...
Donald Trump Issues Stern Warning To Iranian President
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Donald Trump Issues Stern Warning To Iranian President

Yesterday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned the United States that it could shut down international oil shipments in the strategic Strait of Hormuz if Washington continued to provoke Tehran. "We have always guaranteed the security of this strait. Do not play with the lion's tail; you will regret it forever" Rouhani told diplomats in the Iranian capital. The Iranian president has previously threatened to close the strait in response to US President Donald Trump's threat to stop Iranian oil exports through the waterway. The strait is one of the world's most important maritime trade routes and connects the oil-rich Persian Gulf to the Indian Ocean. However, President Trump wasn't going to be threatened and he responded with a very stern warning to Iran never to threaten the...
Outside Iranian Prisons, Families Are Desperate For News
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Outside Iranian Prisons, Families Are Desperate For News

The crowd outside Iran’s most notorious prison, Evin Prison in Tehran, grew in early January as family members and friends waited for news about their loved ones — people who had been arrested and detained by authorities after participating in anti-government protests. “The shroud of secrecy and lack of transparency over what happened to these detainees is alarming,” Magdalena Mughrabi of Amnesty International said. “We have long documented the nightmarish conditions in detention facilities in Iran, including the use of torture.” Her group is calling for an “independent, impartial and transparent investigation,” she said. At least three detainees in Evin prison have died under suspicious circumstances, according to Amnesty International, including Sina Ghanbari, who the Iranian gover...
New Nigerian Envoy, Deputy Armenian FM Vow To Boost Ties
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New Nigerian Envoy, Deputy Armenian FM Vow To Boost Ties

The newly-appointed ambassador of Nigeria to Armenia, Hamzat Ibrahim, met deputy foreign minister Armen Papikyan ahead of the start of his mission in the country (with the seat in Tehran). At the meeting in Yerevan on Wednesday, January 17, the deputy minister expressed hope that the envoy will work for strengthening bilateral cooperation. Hamzat said, in turn, that Nigeria is interested in deepening ties with Armenia and vowed to do his best to this end. Besides, issues concerning the enhancement of cooperation in the framework of foreign ministries and international organizations, formation of legal framework, promotion of trade and economic ties were discussed. The two also weighed in on questions of regional and international importance.
Hassan Rouhani Speaks Out: Donald Trump Cannot Cause Collapse Of Nuclear Deal
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Hassan Rouhani Speaks Out: Donald Trump Cannot Cause Collapse Of Nuclear Deal

Iran said on Tuesday U.S. President Donald Trump cannot cause its nuclear deal with six major powers to collapse. “The nuclear deal will not collapse… Those who hope that Trump will cause its collapse, are wrong,” Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in a speech broadcast live on State TV. In October, Trump declined to certify that Iran was complying with the nuclear agreement reached among Tehran, the U.S. and other powers in 2015. His decision triggered a 60-day window for Congress to decide whether to bring back sanctions on Iran. Congress passed the ball back to Trump by letting the deadline on reimposing sanctions on Iran passed on Dec. 12. Trump must decide in mid-January if he wants to continue to waive energy sanctions on Iran. Under the deal, nuclear-r...
Trump Lays Out New Iran Strategy Friday, Complicating European Ties
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Trump Lays Out New Iran Strategy Friday, Complicating European Ties

President Donald Trump will lay out a more confrontational strategy toward Iran by the United States on Friday in a speech in which he is likely to strike a blow at an international Iran nuclear deal, complicating U.S. relations with European allies. U.S. officials said Trump was expected to announce that he will not certify the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, believing the agreement is not in the national interests of the United States. He had certified it twice before but aides said he was reluctant to do so a third time. Trump could have a last minute change of heart before he outlines his administration's new approach toward Iran in speech at the White House at 12:45 p.m. EDT (1645 GMT) on Friday. The step would not withdraw the United States from the deal but would give the U.S. Congress 6...
World Will Condemn US If It Quits Nuclear Deal – Iran’s Hassan Rouhani
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World Will Condemn US If It Quits Nuclear Deal – Iran’s Hassan Rouhani

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has defended a landmark nuclear deal with Western powers and said that US President Donald Trump could not undermine it. Under the 2015 agreement, Tehran agreed to limit its disputed nuclear programme in return for the easing of economic sanctions. Trump has repeatedly criticised the accord, which was negotiated by the Obama administration and enshrined under United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231, as “the worst deal ever” and “an “embarrassment”. He has to review it by October 15 and decide if Iran is keeping to its end of the bargain, and whether it serves US interests. On Thursday, he said Iran had not lived up to the spirit of the deal, and reports have suggested he may decertify it – a step that potentially could cause the agreemen...
Islamic State Driven Out Of Last Stronghold In Northern Iraq
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Islamic State Driven Out Of Last Stronghold In Northern Iraq

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraqi forces announced on Thursday they had captured Islamic State's last stronghold in northern Iraq, leaving the militant group holed up near the Syrian border as its self-proclaimed "caliphate" shrinks further. The town of Hawija and the surrounding areas fell in an offensive by U.S.-backed Iraqi government troops and Iranian-trained and armed Shi'ite paramilitary groups known as Popular Mobilisation. Some fighting took place to the north and east of the town where the militants were surrounded. With the fall of Hawija, which lies near the Kurdish-held oil city of Kirkuk, the only area that remains under control of Islamic State in Iraq is a stretch alongside the western border with Syria, where the militant group is also in retreat. The capture of Hawija was a b...
Lagos Third Most Stressful City In The World – Study
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Lagos Third Most Stressful City In The World – Study

A new study has said Lagos, Nigeria is one of the most stressful cities in the world. 500 locations were taken into cognizance in the study conducted by UK-based drycleaning and laundry service Zipjet. Lagos was ranked third in a research that revealed the world’s most and least stressful cities of 2017. Baghdad was ranked the most stressful city overall, followed by Kabul in the second place. Cairo and Dakar were two other African cities on the most stressful cities list, while there was no African representation on the least stressful cities list. In assigning the ranking, some of the factors considered were traffic levels, infrastructure, pollution levels, finance, citizens’ wellbeing, public transport, percentage of green spaces, financial status of citizens including de...
Iran Says Can Quit Nuclear Deal If US Keeps Adding Sanctions
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Iran Says Can Quit Nuclear Deal If US Keeps Adding Sanctions

President Hassan Rouhani warned Tuesday that Iran could abandon its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers within hours if the United States keeps on imposing new sanctions. In a speech to parliament outlining plans for his new term, Rouhani also hit out at US counterpart Donald Trump, saying he had shown the world that Washington was “not a good partner.” Rouhani’s comments come with the nuclear deal under mounting pressure after Tehran carried out missile tests and strikes, and Washington imposed new sanctions — with each accusing the other of violating the spirit of the agreement. Rouhani warned that Iran was ready to walk out of the deal — which saw the lifting of most international sanctions in return for curbs on its nuclear programme — if Washington persisted. “Those who tr...
Rouhani Vows To End Isolation Amid Fresh US Sanctions
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Rouhani Vows To End Isolation Amid Fresh US Sanctions

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani vowed to continue his efforts to end the country's isolation as he was sworn in for a second term, a day after US President Donald Trump signed a bill increasing sanctions against the Islamic Republic. "We will never accept isolation," Rouhani told a packed audience of Iranian political and military officials in Tehran on Thursday. "The nuclear deal is a sign of Iran's goodwill on the international stage," he said, referring to the 2015 agreement to curb its atomic programme in exchange for an easing of sanctions. The US agreed the deal with world powers including  Russia, Britain, France, China and Germany. Rouhani, a 68-year-old moderate who has faced fierce criticism from conservatives for his efforts to rebuild ties with the West, issued a c...
Iran Rocket Test: Space Program Boon Or Nuclear Handwringer
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Iran Rocket Test: Space Program Boon Or Nuclear Handwringer

TEHRAN, IRAN—Iran successfully launched its most advanced satellite-carrying rocket into space, the country's state media reported on Thursday, in what is likely the most significant step yet for the launch vehicle. A confirmed launch of the "Simorgh" rocket would mark another step forward for the Islamic Republic's young space program, but is likely to raise alarm among its adversaries, who fear the same technology could be used to produce long-range missiles. Iranian state television said the rocket, whose name means "phoenix" in Persian, is capable of carrying a satellite weighing 550 pounds. The report did not elaborate on the rocket's payload. Other state-linked agencies including the semi-official Fars news agency also described the launch as successful. Media reports did no...
Amnesty: Saudi Should Stop ‘Bloody Execution Spree’
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Amnesty: Saudi Should Stop ‘Bloody Execution Spree’

Amnesty International has urged Saudi Arabia to abandon what it termed a "bloody execution spree", after reports that 14 more men are set to be executed. The kingdom has already beheaded at least 66 people this year, the rights group said on Monday, as it decried the Saudi Arabian supreme court's decision to uphold death sentences against the group convicted of crimes related to their involvement in protests. Amnesty also said it learned on Sunday that the Specialised Criminal Court (SCC) in Riyadh upheld the death sentences for 15 other men accused of spying for Iran. In June 2016, the SCC sentenced to death the 14 men charged with crimes relating to protesting in what Amnesty says was a "grossly unfair mass trial". They were convicted of a wide array of crimes that include bo...
Qatar Lashes Out At UAE Over QNA Hacking
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Qatar Lashes Out At UAE Over QNA Hacking

Qatar accused the United Arab Emirates on Monday of violating international law after reports suggested Abu Dhabi orchestrated the hacking of the Qatari official news agency and social media sites. “The information published in the Washington Post … revealed the involvement of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and senior Emirati officials in the hacking of Qatar News Agency,” Qatar’s government communication office said in a statement on Monday. The report “unequivocally proves that this hacking crime took place”, the statement quoted Sheikh Saif bin Ahmed Al Thani, director of the government communication office, as saying. “This criminal act represents a clear violation and breach of international law and of the bilateral and collective agreements signed between the member states o...
Mastermind behind Tehran Attacks Killed – Iran
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Mastermind behind Tehran Attacks Killed – Iran

Iran’s intelligence minister said on Saturday the mastermind behind Wednesday’s attacks in Tehran, which killed 17 people, had been killed by security forces. “The mastermind and main commander of terrorist attacks on the parliament and Mausoleum of Ayatollah Khomeini was killed today by the security forces,” Mahmoud Alavi, minister of intelligence, was quoted as saying by Tasnim news agency. Four armed assailants attacked parliament office buildings on Wednesday morning, while the shrine of revolutionary founder Ruhollah Khomeini was struck by a suicide bomber, state media reported. One of the attackers on Iran’s parliament complex blew himself up on the fourth floor, while under siege by security forces, state broadcaster IRIB reported. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levan...
Trump’s Reaction To Deadly Attacks Is ‘Repugnant’ – Iran
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Trump’s Reaction To Deadly Attacks Is ‘Repugnant’ – Iran

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said that US President Donald Trump’s reaction to deadly attacks in Tehran was “repugnant”. At least 13 people were killed on Wednesday in attacks claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group, as suicide bombers and gunmen targeted the Iranian parliament and the mauoleum of Ayatollah Khomeini – leader of the 1979 revolution. “Repugnant [White House] statement & Senate sanctions as Iranians counter terror backed by US clients. Iranian people reject such US claims of friendship,” Zarif tweeted on Thursday. He was responding to a statement released by Trump’s press secretary’s office, which took the opportunity of an attack to make a point that “states that sponsor terrorism risk falling vic...
Trump Tweets ‘Iran Is Playing With Fire’
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Trump Tweets ‘Iran Is Playing With Fire’

US President Donald Trump has tweeted that "Iran is playing with fire" and "they don't appreciate how kind President Obama was to them. Not me!" Trump plans to impose sanctions on several Iranian entities, seeking to ratchet up pressure on Tehran while crafting a broader strategy to counter what he sees as its destabilising behaviour, sources familiar with the matter said. Iran's decision to test-fire a ballistic missile on Sunday helped trigger Trump's decision, which could be announced as early as Friday, they said. Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted that the Islamic Republic is unmoved by US threats following its missile test launch and Tehran will never initiate war. "Iran unmoved by threats as we derive security from our people. Will never initiate ...
25 Missing After Tehran Building Collapse
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25 Missing After Tehran Building Collapse

Iranian officials said on Friday that 25 people were still unaccounted for after the collapse of a 17-storey commercial building in Tehran, in addition to 20 firefighters who were killed in the disaster, state TV reported. Iranian media carried photos of weeping relatives and dozens of people lined up to donate blood and the government declared Saturday a day of national mourning. "Police have received missing reports of 25 people. We urge people to report if any of their family members that worked in the Plasco building is missing," a police official told TV. Thick smoke and fire were hampering the search for the bodies of at least 20 firefighters under the rubble more than a day after the blaze began. Twenty firemen were killed as they evacuated people on Thursday from ...
Saudi Court Sentences 15 To Death For Spying
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Saudi Court Sentences 15 To Death For Spying

A Saudi Court on Tuesday sentenced 15 people to death for spying for the kingdom’s arch-enemy, Iran, Saudi-owned media reported, in a ruling that could further stoke tension between the two rival powers. The Specialised Criminal Court in Riyadh sentenced 15 other suspects to prison terms ranging from six months to 25 years, and acquitted two. It said the suspects, comprising 30 Saudi Shi’ite Muslims, one Iranian and an Afghan, was detained in 2013 on charges of spying for Iran and went on trial in February. Report says the rulings are subject to appeal, and death sentences must go to the king for ratification. “The trial is the first in recent memory in which Saudi citizens have been accused of spying. “It comes at a time of high tension between Saudi Arabia, the regional Sunni powerh...