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#1341 amor de cosmos

amor de cosmos


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Posted 09 July 2019 - 08:53 AM

TEHRAN (FNA)- A prominent Iraqi security expert warned that members of the dissolved Ba'ath party are collecting intel for the US in Western Iraq, mainly through spying on Hashd al-Shaabi forces.

The Arabic-language al-Ma'aloumeh news website quoted Moa'ayed al-Ali as saying on Tuesday that members of Ba'ath party have infiltrated into the Iraqi security bodies in Western Iraq.

He added that they collect intelligence on security units and Hashd al-Shaabi in Iraq and relay the intel to the US forces.


TEHRAN (FNA)- A large number of civilians have been killed in explosions of mines left behind from the ISIL in the city of Raqqa despite the US claims that it has demined the region and restored security to the region over the past two years, media reports said.

The pro-militant Arabic-language Baladi News Website reported that over 300,000 people are exposed to the risk of losing their lives due to the negligence of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the US-led coalition towards presence of thousands of military mines remaining from the ISIL’s presence in the city.

Local sources said that Raqqa city is the scene of explosion of mines left behind by the ISIL, adding that a large number of civilians, including children, are killed in mine blasts.


TEHRAN (FNA)- The Syrian Army is preparing to cleanse the border regions with Iraq as Iraqi Army troops started a joint military operation, codenamed Eradeh al-Nasr, in an area stretching among the Salahuddin, Nineveh and al-Anbar provinces towards the border with Syria, media reports said Tuesday.

The Arabic-language al-Watan newspaper reported that the Iraqi popular forces (Hashd al-Sha’abi) who have recently supported the Syrian Army have been deployed to Badiyeh (desert) region in Deir Ezzur along Iraq-Syria borders from al-Jami’at and al-Ketf in the city of Bu Kamal in Southeastern Deir Ezzur.

The newspaper noted that the main purpose for dispatching Hashd al-Sha’abi forces to border regions is to get rid of the remnants of the terrorists from the border regions.

Meantime, battlefield sources said that massive military convoys of the Syrian Army comprising hundreds of Syrian Army troops together with military equipment have been dispatched to al-Shoula region along Deir Ezzur-Sukhna road to cleanse the ISIL from the region.

Meantime, the Syrian Army’s artillery and missile units pounded the ISIL’s movements in al-Koum, near T3 Station in Syria’s Eastern Badiyeh, destroying several military positions of the terrorists and killing a number of them.

In a relevant development on Monday, the Iraqi Army troops cleaned up over 40 towns and villages and destroyed about 20 hideouts of the ISIL terrorists in major military operations in the Western provinces along the border with Syria, Iraqi sources said.


The top official in Iran’s tourism sector has said that the country welcomed record number of tourists in the last Iranian calendar year which ended in March.

Ali Asghar Mounessan, who heads the Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization of Iran (ICHTO), said on Tuesday that tourism in Iran has been experiencing a boom despite tough sanctions imposed on the country by the United States.

Mounessan told the official IRNA agency that the number of foreign tourists visiting Iran in the 12-month period ending in March 2019 had topped 7.8 million, an increase of 52 percent compared to the previous year.


The statistics recently released about Iran’s trade during spring, which corresponds to the first quarter of Iranian calendar year, indicate that the country’s value of non-oil exports to Turkey has risen five folds compared to the same period of time in the previous year.

Iran exported $2.235 billion of non-oil products to Turkey in spring of this year, rising 430 percent from $421 million in spring of the previous year.

And it is while the Islamic Republic has imported just $1.26 billion of non-oil commodities from its neighbor, Turkey, in the mentioned time span.

For the expansion of trade with the neighboring countries, Iran has also put boosting trade via border areas on agenda.

In this due, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) has been recently made between Iran and Turkey for the expansion of bilateral border trade.


War-battered Yemen has been hit with more than 460,000 suspected cholera cases so far this year -- a sharp rise from the 380,000 cases for all of 2018, the United Nations said Monday.

UN deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said the increased number of cases has led to 705 apparent cholera deaths since January, dramatically higher than the 75 deaths in the same period last year.

Haq said the spread of cholera across the country has been accelerated by recent flash flooding, poor maintenance of waste management systems and a lack of access to clean water for drinking or irrigation.

The United Nations and its partners are operating nearly 1,200 cholera treatment facilities across Yemen, but Haq said that "funding remains an urgent issue." The UN humanitarian appeal for $4.2 billion to help more than 20 million Yemenis this year is only 32 per cent funded.

The conflict in Yemen began with the 2014 takeover of the capital, Sanaa, by Iranian-backed Houthi Shiite rebels, who toppled the government of Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi. A Saudi-led coalition allied with Hadi's internationally recognized government has been fighting the Houthis since 2015.


Why the U.S. Plan to Protect Tankers in the Persian Gulf Won't Deter Iran


  • Following a series of attacks on crude-bearing ships, the United States is looking to initiate a new program to enhance security in the Persian Gulf region with significant involvement from its allies and partners.
  • The effort is reminiscent of a similar operation in the region during the Iran-Iraq War, though some key differences point to a shifting U.S. approach to the region.
  • The White House, however, will struggle to find allies willing to lend their support out of fear of being drawn into a potential conflict between the United States and Iran.
  • Regardless, Washington's program will ultimately prove unsuccessful in deterring future attacks because it fails to address the underlying issue propelling Iran's actions — namely, the crushing economic pressure the United States has brought to bear over the past year.
In response to the recent spat of Iran-linked attacks in the Persian Gulf, the United States has laid out on an initiative to secure oil tanker traffic in the area, while providing better visibility and attribution for any future incidents. Coined the Sentinel program, the operation would involve deploying additional warships and maritime patrol aircraft, as well as placing cameras and other surveillance devices on crude-bearing vessels transiting through the region.

To help lessen the strain on U.S. resources, the White House is attempting to corral the support of both regional and global allies who also risk having their oil supplies disrupted by Iranian attacks. But doing so will be no easy feat, as Washington's sanctions-heavy approach to Iran in the past year has alienated even its closest partners. However, even if the United States can successfully establish such a coalition, it still won't be enough to mitigate the risk of future tanker attacks and the subsequent threat to the world's energy flows.


LONDON, United Kingdom – Looted ancient artefacts from Iraq and Afghanistan seized in Britain will be returned to their country of origin after appraisal by the British Museum, the institution said on Monday.

The London-based museum revealed it has been working with law enforcement agencies including the UK Border Force and the capital’s Metropolitan Police to return the works smuggled out during recent periods of conflict.

“Sadly, this work is more essential now than ever,” said Hartwig Fischer, its director.

Among the artefacts to be sent back to Afghanistan are Gandharan sculptures illegally exported to Britain in 2002.

Another important haul to be returned to Iraq features 154 Mesopotamian texts written on clay in cuneiform script – one of the earliest systems of writing – seized on entry in 2011.

They were created between the 6th and 4th centuries BC, with many belonging to the administrative archives from a place called Irisagrig, which was unknown until artefacts referring to it first surfaced in 2003.

“The British Museum has worked extensively with... law enforcement agencies to identify and return items looted from Iraq and Afghanistan during recent conflicts and these are just wonderful examples,” Fischer said of the rare tablets.


egypt has seized a ukranian tanker carrying iranian oil & sentenced 6 people to life in prison for allegedly engaging with iran

كشفت مصادر مصرية رسمية عن احتجاز السلطات المصرية ناقلة نفط عملاقة ترفع العلم الأوكراني، كانت تحمل نفطاً إيرانياً، لدى مرورها من قناة السويس منذ نحو 10 أيام، في وقت أصدرت فيه محكمة مصرية أحكاماً بالمؤبد بحق 6 متهمين بدعوى تخابرهم مع إيران.

وأوضحت المصادر التي تحدثت لـ"العربي الجديد"، أنّ الإجراء المصري جاء تنفيذاً للعقوبات الأميركية على إيران، وفي وقت تمرّ فيه العلاقات المصرية الأميركية بمرحلة تطور كبير. وقالت المصادر إنّ اتصالات رسمية جرت بين القاهرة وطهران، استفسرت فيها الأخيرة عن توقيت الإجراء المصري، في وقت كانت العلاقات بين الطرفين تشهد تواصلاً غير معلن بشأن عدد من ملفات المنطقة، في مقدمتها الأوضاع في اليمن وسورية، وتحركات طهران بما يتعلّق بالقضية الفلسطينية عبر علاقتها بحركتي "حماس" و"الجهاد الإسلامي".


threefold increase in foreign investment in iran's east azerbaijan province in the last year

UN confirms its support for iraq in implementing the 2020 census

MOSCOW, July 8. /TASS/. Iran is fulfilling all of its legal liabilities before the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, the Russian foreign ministry said on Monday.

"Iran’s voluntary commitments, as a matter of fact, have nothing to do with either nuclear non-proliferation or the provisions of the Safeguards Agreement and the Additional Protocol to it Teheran signed with the IAEA," the ministry stressed. "Iran is fully committed to its legal liabilities before the agency and under the non-proliferation treaty."

"The facility at Nataz, like all other elements of the Iranian nuclear program, is under close control of IAEA inspectors and the Iranian side is doing its best to help the agency and ensure utter transparency of all its activities," the ministry noted.

Iran’s statements about gradual scaling down of its commitments under the nuclear deal should not cause such a stir, the Russian foreign ministry said.

"The statements about a firm intention to make another step towards gradual scaling down of commitments under the nuclear deal made by representatives of Iran’s foreign ministry and the Atomic Energy Organization at a news conference in Teheran on July 7 should not cause such a stir," the ministry said. "It is solely about Iran’s voluntary liabilities undertaken in the spirit of compromise and for the sake of signing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)."

"In the meantime, the terms of the deal were flagrantly violated long ago. And, as we all know, it was not done by Iran," the ministry stressed. "A possibility to thoroughly discuss that matter will present itself at an extraordinary meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors on July 10 that, by ironic quirk, will be convened at the request of the United States which waived all of its liabilities under the JCPOA a year ago and violated United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231 but nevertheless demands Iran continue to implement its commitments."

Russia, according to the ministry, expects the IAEA to officially verify that the Iranian side has exceeded the uranium enrichment levels at the Natanz facility set by the JCPOA. It insists that the only source of reliable information about that is only the IAEA, which enjoys exclusive rights to conduct monitoring and verification activities under United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231.


Edited by amor de cosmos, 09 July 2019 - 08:57 AM.

#1342 amor de cosmos

amor de cosmos


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Posted 10 July 2019 - 02:23 PM

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Iraq is “fearful” of tensions in Strait of Hormuz because much of its oil exports travel through the strategic sea route, Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi says, and his government is working to diversify export routes.

“Of course we are fearful. What I laid out concerning a pipeline through Jordan, or through Fishkhabur, as related to our inflexibility, is part of our fear because Iraq’s oil is exported from southern outlets, particularly through the Hormuz strait,” Abdul-Mahdi said on Tuesday.

Iraqi oil is primarily sent to the ports in Basra and to domestic refineries. The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) also exports oil through a pipeline that terminates at Ceyhan Port in Turkey.

In the his Council of Ministers also on Tuesday, a number of “recommendations” were made concerning pipeline exports to Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia’s Yanbu Port, and via Fishkhabur in the Kurdistan Region, the PM revealed. The Iraq-Jordan crude oil pipeline was approved for recommendation and sent to the Ministerial Council for Energy.

“We believe these are strategic plans. When it comes to flexibility in oil exports, Iraq frankly has a weakness,” the PM lamented, adding that Iraq had multiple oil export outlets in the past compared to today.

An industrial city for oil exports was also discussed, although its location wasn’t revealed.

“Now the main export outlet for the essential oil exports is the south, in addition to the Kurdistan line Fishkhabur-Ceyhan,” added the PM.

Currently, there is a pipeline under the authority of the KRG that goes through Fishkhabur to Turkey’s Ceyhan. Another Iraqi pipeline along the same path is out of commission and requires renewal, something Turkey has showed a readiness for. The pipeline faced multiple attacks post-2003.

Two more pipelines, the Syrian pipeline, and the Iraqi Pipeline in Saudi Arabia (IPSA) are in “disrepair” and are obsolete.


TEHRAN - Iran’s permanent representative to the United Nations said on Tuesday that the U.S. has close cooperation with the Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO or MEK) in order to harm Iran.

“The MKO which is supported by certain regional and European countries has close cooperation with the U.S. intelligent forces to cause harms to Iran,” Majid Takht Ravanchi said at a UN Security Council meeting entitled “Threats to International Peace and Security: Linkage between International Terrorism and Organized Crime”.

“Even though terrorists and organized criminals differ in their motives and methods, they are similar to one another concerning the repercussions of their acts, which are total disruption and comprehensive destruction,” Press TV quoted Takhtravanchi as saying.

He added that Iran has been a victim of terrorists and international organized criminals, and has been a pioneer in the fight against them.

He highlighted that 17,161 Iranian citizens, including President Mohammad Ali Rajaei, Prime Minister Mohammad Javad Bahonar, Supreme Judicial Council chief Ayatollah Mohammad Beheshti, Deputy Chief of the Armed Forces General Staff Ali Sayyad Shirazi, 27 legislators as well as four nuclear scientists have been killed by terrorists.

“The MKO terrorist group, which bears responsibility for the death of more than 12,000 Iranian civilians, is currently being sponsored by a number of regional counties and several states in Europe. The U.S. has provided its members refuge after removed the group from its list of designated terrorist organizations. The U.S. intelligence service is working closely with them in order to hatch conspiracies of destruction in Iran,” Takht Ravanchi noted.

The MKO did numerous terrorist acts in Iran, especially in the early years of the 1979 Islamic Revolution. It also sided with Saddam Hussein’s army in the war against Iran in the 1980s.

Saddam also used the extremist group in violent crackdown on the Iraqi Kurds in the north and the Shiites in the south.

In 2012, the U.S. State Department removed the MKO from its list of designated terrorist organizations under intense lobbying by groups associated to Saudi Arabia and other regimes adversarial to Iran.


Rudy Giuliani, a personal lawyer of U.S. President Donald Trump, spoke at a rally in Warsaw organized by the MKO in February. He has acknowledged receiving payments from the group in the past.

In April 2017, the late U.S. Senator John McCain lauded the MKO, describing it as “an example to everyone in the world that is struggling for freedom.”


TEHRAN (FNA)- Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority Mohab Mamish dismissed Arab media reports claiming that a Ukrainian oil tanker carrying Iran's oil to Syria has been seized in the Canal.

"The Suez Canal Authority is bound to the freedom of international shipping in the Canal and permits all ships to cross the Canal except in special conditions," Mamish was quoted as saying by the Arabic-language Sad al-Balad news website on Wednesday.

"No ship can be prevented from crossing the Suez Canal; oil and weapons trade are both legitimate," he added.

Mamish said that Egypt will prevent passage of vessels if it receives an order by the UN to do so; or the ship carries illegal materials.


ERBIL, Iraq (Reuters) - Two years after a failed independence bid plunged Iraq’s Kurdistan Region into months of instability, the new regional prime minister said his priority was strengthening ties with Baghdad, signaling dreams of self-rule should be put on hold.

Masrour Barzani, sworn in as regional prime minister on Wednesday, told Reuters in an exclusive interview that under his leadership, the Kurdistan Regional Government’s focus would be to establish a “strong and constructive” relationship with Baghdad, leaving the question of independence aside for now.

“This (independence referendum) happened in the past and it’s a reflection of the enduring aspiration of a nation,” said Barzani, speaking at his palace in the hillside village of Salaheddine, near regional capital Erbil.

“However, the focus of my government will be how to build a stronger relationship and partnership with Baghdad,” he said, adding he would look to fix “those issues that were actually keeping us apart.”

The independence bid was led by Barzani’s father Masoud, who stepped down as Kurdish president in 2017 after the referendum backfired and prompted a military offensive from Baghdad.

At stake for the new premier are long-running disputes over independent oil exports, revenue sharing, security, and territory which have plagued ties between Erbil and Baghdad since a U.S.-led invasion toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003.


ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Ano Jawhar Abdulmasih Abdoka was sworn in as the minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government's (KRG) Transportation and Communications using a Bible that was burned by Islamic State (ISIS) militants in Nineveh Plains, wanting to demonstrate that Christians will remain an essential component in the Kurdistan Region.

The new KRG cabinet was sworn in on Wednesday during a session that began at 11 a.m. Abdoka will be the only minister who is a Christian in KRG Prime Minister Masrour Barzani’s new cabinet.

"For me, as a Christian, as the only Christian minister in the new cabinet of the KRG, the Kurdistan Regional Government, I decided to swear on a biblical manuscript, part of which was burnt by ISIS members in the Nineveh Plains," Abdoka told Rudaw on Tuesday.


TEHRAN (FNA)- Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement called for the full withdrawal of the Saudi-led military coalition from the conflict-ridden Arab country, after the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a key part of that alliance, said it was going ahead with plans to reduce the number of troops in Yemen.

“We call on the countries of aggression to declare withdrawal from Yemen. The Republic of Yemen rejects the aggression, siege and aerial embargo,” Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, the chairman of the Supreme Revolutionary Committee of Yemen, wrote in a post published on his official Twitter page on Tuesday, Yemeni News reported.

He added, “Withdrawal from Yemen is the ideal decision that must be taken at this particular time. It is just good enough for the countries of aggression to use Yemen a test field for European and American weapons for five years, and prove the ugliness of their crimes to the world.”

The United Arab Emirates has announced it is reducing the number of its troops fighting as part of a Saudi-led military coalition which presses ahead with a years-long atrocious military aggression against the impoverished Yemen.

A senior Emirati official during a press briefing in Dubai on Monday claimed that the withdrawal took place because Abu Dhabi was shifting from a military strategy to a peace plan in Yemen.


Iraq's security & defence committee discovered that former baathists are plotting with the US to assassinate members of al-hashd ash-shaabi, perhaps directly, or by contrived accident such as a friendly-fire-type bombing

Beijing, July 10, IRNA – Former President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai described Iran as a partner of his country's peace, security and success as well as a contributor to Afghanistan.

Karazai who was visiting Beijing to participate in the 8th World Peace Forum, told Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) on Wednesday that Tehran and Kabul are enjoying good relations and broad cooperation.

He also said that there are numerous fields for Iran and Afghanistan to cooperate with each other.


TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian First Vice-President Eshaq Jahangiri said that Tehran is ready to offer oil futures contracts for certain international buyers to offset the impacts of the US sanctions on its supply to the global markets, vowing that the country will not reduce its production at three to four million barrels per day.

Jahangiri said on Tuesday that contracts for buying Iran’s oil at pre-determined prices with maturity of up to three years would be available for “powerful economies”.

“Any powerful country that wishes to work with Iran can pre-order Iran’s oil for the next two to three years,” he added.

The second top government official said the measure was part of Iran’s efforts to minimize the impacts of US sanctions on the Iranian economy and its oil revenues.

Iran has seen a decline in oil income since the US restored a series of economic sanctions on the country that had been lifted as part of a nuclear agreement in 2015.

Iran has denied US claims that sanctions would be able to cut the country’s oil exports to zero, saying it will exhaust any channel to ship its oil to customers around the world.

Offering future oil contracts is a first of its kind for Iran, a major global supplier which used to earn around $150 billion a year from oil exports before the sanctions started in November. That would create an opportunity for buyers who believe oil prices would increase as a result of protectionist policies adopted by the US government.


Late in last month, Governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Abdolnasser Hemmati said that the US has run out of moves to pose further pressures on Tehran, adding that his country is restoring its position in the global oil market with increasing supply to its international customers through new methods.

“I said it before and I’ll say it again, they [US] have done all they could [against Iran]. We have climbed past the peak of sanctions. Our oil exports are on the rise,” Hemmati told reporters on the sidelines of a cabinet meeting on June 26.


Iran has returned a car assembly line in Syria to production, which makes an affordable model named the Sham after the country’s denomination during the seventh century Umayyad period.

The joint venture to produce the Sham – a mid-range family saloon based on Iran Khodro’s Samand car – started before the outbreak of the war in Syria in 2011.

The war seriously damaged many car plants in Syria, putting a temporary damper on the two allies’ plans to bring their economies closer together.

Other than the Sham, Iran Khodro used to assemble Peugeot cars in Syria, while Saipa – the second largest Iranian car manufacturer – produced its own models.

“Although car factories in Syria suffered damage, we tried to return them to the production line after the war,” Iran’s Labor, Cooperatives and Social Affairs Minister Mohammad Shariatmadari said on Tuesday.

“Our efforts are to help the car industry continue (its life) in Syria. Currently, the production line of the Sham is back up and running,” he added.


The CEO of the National Petrochemical Company (NPC) said final decisions regarding the construction of a new petrochemical hub in the southwestern region of Mahshahr would be taken soon.

According to NPC, speaking in Mahshahr on Monday, Behzad Mohammadi said Mahshahr was an oil petrochemical hub and a key player in Iran’s petrochemical industry, adding that maintaining the status quo in the region and developing a new hub were the main goals sought in Mahshahr.

According to Mohammadi, developing downstream projects in the hub was top on NPC’s agenda, Shana reported. He also added that plans were being considered at NPC and final decisions would be made about feedstock allocation to the future plants in the hub soon.

The official further said that an output of 5 to 6 million tons per year of petrochemical items was envisaged in designing the new hub which will be developed in a matter of 5 to 15 years.


Uk & france agree to US request to increase their troops in syria by 10-15%

the iraqi & kurdish regional governments agree on deal regarding security of disputed areas totalling 500km^2 along the borders with iran & syria

experts warn of potential locust outbreak in yemen due to government not taking action to prevent it, despite loss of crops

Edited by amor de cosmos, 10 July 2019 - 05:59 PM.

#1343 amor de cosmos

amor de cosmos


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Posted 11 July 2019 - 09:53 AM

At the end of June, Canadian Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan announced that his country will continue to command NATO Mission Iraq (NMI) until November 2020, rather than handing off leadership to another country in November of this year, as had been previously planned. NMI began its work on October 31, 2018, after NATO leaders announced the formation of the mission at a July 2018 summit in Brussels. NMI is a “non-combat training and capacity building mission” and is designed to “train the trainers”—under NMI, NATO personnel train Iraqi military instructors in various areas such as countering improvised explosive devices and civil-military relations. The mission comprises 580 NATO personnel, including some 250 Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members, and is based in Baghdad. NATO personnel also advise officials within the Iraqi Ministry of Defense and the Office of the National Security Adviser.


An Iranian official has expressed Tehran’s preparedness to establish a joint fund with the Russian Federation in order to finance mutual scientific and technological cooperation.

The Russia city of Yekaterinburg on Thursday, July 7, 2019, hosted Iranian Vice President for Science and Technology Sorena Sattari heading a scientific-technological delegation from Iran.

During his trip, the top Iranian official visited the International Industrial Trade Fair INNOPROM 2019 and saw for himself the latest accomplishments displayed by different companies at the event.

During the visit, he was accompanied by Ali Vahdat, the head of Iran’s Innovation and Prosperity Fund.


TEHRAN, Jul. 10 (MNA) – The Iraqi industry minister says that his ministry is ready to give 190 investment projects to Iranian economic agents and investors.

Iraqi industry minister Saleh Abdullah al-Jubouri made the remarks in a meeting with the members of the Isfahan Chamber of Commerce in Isfahan on Wednesday.

Saying that the Iraqi government will guarantee the implementation of the projects, the Iraqi minister said the two neighboring countries should take steps to carry out the projects and expand economic relations instead of forming joint committees and discuss cooperation agreements.


WASHINGTON – A majority of veterans say they believe the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the military engagement in Syria were not worth it, a new Pew survey found.

The Iraq War “was not worth fighting,” according to 64% of the veterans surveyed, compared with 33% who say it was worth fighting. Fifty-eight percent say the war in Afghanistan wasn't worth it compared with 38% who say it was, according to the Pew Research Center survey released Wednesday.

“Veterans who served in either Iraq or Afghanistan are no more supportive of those engagements than those who did not serve in these wars,” Pew researchers Ruth Igielnik and Kim Parker wrote in their survey analysis. “And views do not differ based on rank or combat experience.”

A smaller percentage of veterans, 55%, say the military campaign in Syria was not worth it compared with 42% who say it was worth it.

The survey was taken before President Donald Trump pulled back on a planned strike in Iran last month, but the findings buttress the president’s general reluctance to use military force.


A full database of the Iranian prisoners of war martyred in the Ba’athist Iraqi jails is at the Pentagon’s disposal, which refuses to share the information with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), an Iranian commander has said.

In comments on Thursday, commander of the missing in action (MIA) search committee of Iran’s Armed Forces General Staff said the detailed information about the Iranian soldiers martyred in captivity in the Iraqi prisons under Ba’athist rule is not made available to Tehran, while the Pentagon holds that database.

When the US occupied Iraq in 2003, it stole the whole files of Iraq’s Defence Ministry related to the war that Saddam Hussein had imposed on Iran in the 1980s, General Seyyed Mohammad Baqerzadeh added.

The commander said the stolen database has been given to the American universities for research, while the US refuses to share it with the ICRC for the identification of martyrs.


iran will participate in rebuilding syria's railways

كشف المدير العام لمؤسسة الخط الحديدي السوري الحجازي حسنين محمد علي عن تركز الاجتماع الذي عقد مؤخراً في مدينة العقبة في الأردن للجمعية الإقليمية للسكك الحديدية في الشرق الأوسط بمشاركة من الاتحاد الأوروبي والدول الأعضاء على دراسة الإنجازات التي حققتها كل شبكة من شبكات السكك الحديدية في الشرق الأوسط.

وأشار المدير العام أنه عقد اجتماع مهم بين الجانبين السوري والإيراني الذي شارك في هذا الاجتماع بوفد مهم وكبير على رأسه معاون وزير النقل الإيراني، حيث أبدى الجانب الإيراني استعداده لإجراء عمليات الصيانة لشبكات الخطوط الحديدية السورية وتأمين المواد المحركة والمتحركة وإجراء التدريب للكوادر الفنية السورية في إيران أو من خلال إيفاد خبراء للتدريب في سوريا، إضافة إلى طلبهم إضبارة مشروع نقل الضواحي لدراسة إمكانية تمويله واستثمار هذا المشروع.حسبما ذكرت صحيفة الوطن السورية.


ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Iraqi forces have cleared several villages in Nineveh, Anbar, and Saladin of explosive remnants left by the Islamic State (ISIS) group and shut down workshops used to manufacture improvised explosive devices (IEDs), the Iraqi defense ministry said Wednesday.

Dozens of IEDs were retrieved and destroyed on Wednesday as “Will of Victory” – a combined operation of the Iraqi Army and Hashd al-Shaabi paramilitias – enters its fourth day, paving the way for displaced civilians to return to their homes.

The Iraqi Army’s brigade 60, supported by the Iraqi Air Force, destroyed seven suspected ISIS hideouts in Nineveh, according a Ministry of Defense statement released Wednesday.

Nine IEDs were destroyed in a controlled demolition and 33 Katyusha rockets seized.

Brigade 43 also destroyed 12 suspected ISIS hideouts in Nineveh, and disposed of six IEDs, according to the statement.

Hashd al-Shaabi, with the assistance of Iraqi jets, destroyed an ISIS vehicle in Nineveh and killed four ISIS suspects. Eleven IEDs were also recovered and destroyed.

This follows the killing of three ISIS suspects in the same province on Monday.

Meanwhile in Saladin province, the Iraqi Army destroyed several more suspected ISIS hideouts and eleven IEDs. It also seized four Katyusha rockets and machinery used to produce IEDs.

In the Anbar village of al-Shwilly, the Iraqi Army destroyed three IEDs.


high-ranking meeting between iraqi & saudi intelligence & military ends with preliminary agreement to do joint exercises on their border

أنهى رئيس أركان الجيش العراقي الفريق أول عثمان الغانمي زيارة إلى السعودية على رأس وفد عسكري واستخباري رفيع، في زيارة استمرت يومين، فيما كشف مصدر لـ"العربي الجديد" عن "اتفاق مبدئي" على إجراء مناورات عسكرية مشتركة على الحدود في الفترة المقبلة.

ووفقا لبيان صدر عن وزارة الدفاع العراقية، فإنّ رئيس أركان الجيش العراقي بحث خلال زيارته إلى الرياض "تطوير العلاقات التي تربط الجيش العراقي والسعودي".

وأشار البيان، الذي نقلته وسائل إعلام عراقية محلية، إلى أن الزيارة جرى خلالها "بحث التنسيق المشترك في مكافحة الإرهاب، وإجراء عدد من التمارين العسكرية المشتركة بين البلدين".


French President Emmanuel Macron's top diplomatic adviser has held talks in Iran to ease the crisis over Iran's nuclear deal with world powers, prompting Tehran's praise for French efforts to save the 2015 accord.

Emmanuel Bonne met Rear-Admiral Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, on Wednesday, two days after Tehran announced it had exceeded the 3.67 percent uranium enrichment limit under the agreement.

The French presidency's office said Bonne was in Tehran "to piece together a de-escalation" strategy after Iran on Monday threatened to restart deactivated centrifuges and ramp up the enrichment of uranium to 20 percent purity.

Iran's state news agency IRNA reported that Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi "welcomed France's role in reducing tension and implementing the accord".

"The French are part of efforts ... to keep the nuclear deal alive," Mousavi was quoted as saying.


#1344 amor de cosmos

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Posted 12 July 2019 - 09:02 AM

KABUL: A trilateral meeting is set to be held today (Thursday) in the Chinese capital city of Beijing with the participation of representatives from China, Russia and the United States, where they are supposed to discuss peace efforts in Afghanistan and progresses gained recently in this regard.

The US special envoy for Afghanistan peace, Zalmay Khalilzad left Qatar on Tuesday for Beijing to represent Washington in this meeting, after ending the seventh round of negotiations with the Taliban representatives in Doha.

Both the US and Taliban have said of substantial progresses over the US withdrawal, guarantee from Taliban side that international terrorist organizations would not be allowed to use Afghanistan as a safe haven to carry out attacks in the world community and other issues.


A top Daesh terrorist reportedly responsible for media outreach was killed while working with Khalifa Haftar-affiliated forces in Libya

ISIL's "emir" killed in diyala province, eastern iraq

ISIL's "mother", umm-al-muhajideen, is arrested in mosul

During a tour of the southern town of Ashkelon, PM Binyamin Netanyahu said on Thursday that Israel would much prefer to reach an understanding with Hamas for a truce in the Gaza Strip, but is at the same preparing a broad campaign “that will surprise everyone.” Public Security Minister Gilead Erdan said earlier that the security cabinet had recently discussed various plans of action for resolving the threats from Gaza, including a wide-scale invasion.


ANKARA, Turkey — The first shipment of a Russian missile defense system has arrived in Turkey, the Turkish Defense Ministry said Friday, moving the country closer to possible U.S. sanctions and a new standoff with Washington.

A Defense Ministry statement said "the first group of equipment" of the S-400 air defense systems has reached the Murted Air Base near the capital, Ankara. The delivery of parts of the system will continue in the coming days and authorities will decide "how it will be used" once the system is made operational, Turkey's defense industry authority said in a statement.

The U.S. has strongly urged NATO member Turkey to pull back from the deal — reportedly costing more than $2 billion — warning the country that it will face economic sanctions under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act if it goes ahead with the purchase. It has also said Turkey won't be allowed to participate in the program to produce high-tech F-35 fighter jets.


Syrian President Bashar al-Assad conducted a major reshuffle of his security apparatus this week, signaling that the conflict as Syrians knew it since 2011 is coming to a close and a new, Russian-led era has begun.

With the notable exception of Hussam Luka, the new head of political security, all of the newcomers are senior Alawite officers hailing from Assad’s clan. All are products of the post-2011 order, well-versed in warfare, and backed and trained by the Russians.

It is also noteworthy that all of them have very little room left in their careers, as they approach the age of 60. Meaning, they will collectively be retired by 2021.


TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian First Vice-President Eshaq Jahangiri said that Iran’s petrochemical production capacity is expected to reach 90 million tons per year in 2020, saying that the industry’s annual output will witness an almost 50% rise from the current yearly production of 64 million tons.

While addressing a nationwide governors’ conference in Tehran on Thursday, Jahangiri said that the boost would be made possible once 18 new petrochemical projects came online by 2022.

Jahangiri, who was speaking in the Southern province of Fars, said that such growth in the petrochemical sector of the country would be unprecedented.

ALst month it was announced that Iran is building 14 petrochemical projects in Phase I of Parsian Energy Intensive Industrial Special Economic Zone (PEIISEZ) which will increase the country’s petrochemical output by 15 million tons per year.


TEHRAN –Secretary of Iran-Brazil Chamber of Commerce said the two countries are seeking to establish bartering systems in order to keep their trade afloat during the sanctions era, ILNA reported.

“Currently, Brazil is one of the main providers of agricultural commodities to the country, however we are facing some banking issues in our trade and that is why the two sides are looking at bartering as a solution to this problem,” Farhad Taherian told ILNA.

According to the official, Iranian imports from the Latin American country are limited to 12 major commodities.
Of the total imports, 48 percent is corn, 24 percent is soy, while soybean oil, tobacco, and ethanol are other imported goods.

Petrochemical products such as urea, bitumen and petroleum are the main exported goods from Iran to Brazil, according to Taherian.


For four years, the United Arab Emirates have been the military linchpin of the Saudi-led war in Yemen, providing weapons, money and thousands of ground troops to a campaign to drive out Yemen’s Houthi rebels. Emirati forces led almost every major advance the coalition made.

Now they have decided they can go no further.

The Emiratis are withdrawing their forces at a scale and speed that all but rules out further ground advances, a belated recognition that a grinding war that has killed thousands of civilians and turned Yemen into a humanitarian disaster is no longer winnable.

Emirati officials have been saying for several weeks that they have begun a phased and partial withdrawal of forces estimated at 5,000 troops a few years ago.

But Western and Arab diplomats briefed on the drawdown say a significant reduction has already occurred, and that the Emiratis are driven mostly by their desire to exit a war whose cost has become too high, even if it means angering their Saudi allies.

In the past month, the Emiratis have cut their deployment around Hudaydah, the Red Sea port that was the war’s main battleground last year, by 80 percent to fewer than 150 men, according to four people briefed on the drawdown. They have pulled out their attack helicopters and heavy guns, effectively precluding a military advance on the city.

A senior Emirati official, speaking on the condition of anonymity in accordance with his government’s policy, said the drawdown was intended to support a shaky United Nations-brokered cease-fire in Hudaydah that came into effect in December.


syrian tourism minister says tourist numbers are up 76% in the first 5 months of 2019 vs 2018

President Donald Trump's "incoherent and ill-planned" Iran policy openly targets civilians and is breeding regional resentment against the US, Time magazine and CNN's Fareed Zakaria says.

"When President Trump announced last month that he had called off military strikes against Iran, he said it was because he learned that an estimated 150 Iranians would have died in those attacks. Instead he has further tightened economic sanctions against Iran," Zakaria wrote in the Washington Post Thursday.

The widely-respected journalist was referring to Trump's recent claims after Iran shot down a sophisticated US spy drone near the Strait of Hormuz for intruding into the Iranian airspace.

Zakaria cited Jeffrey Sachs, an economist who has studied the effects of sanctions, as saying that the measures are having a “massive and crippling” effect on Iran.

“Sanctions like these are known to cause a significant rise in mortality. Given the size of Iran’s population, around 81 million, this is sure to be far larger than 150 deaths,” Zakaria quoted him as saying.

"And keep in mind, the people who would have died in the military strikes probably would have been Iranian soldiers. Those who are now dying because of sanctions are newborn babies, mothers, the elderly and sick," he added.


qatar is considering building military ties with iraq & morocco

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States has decided not to impose sanctions on Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif for now, two sources familiar with the matter said on Thursday, in a sign Washington may be holding a door open for diplomacy.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on June 24 had said Zarif would be blacklisted that week, an unusual public stance because the United States typically does not preview such decisions to keep its targets from moving assets out of U.S. jurisdiction.

Blacklisting Iran’s chief negotiator would also be unusual because it could impede any U.S. effort to use diplomacy to resolve its disagreements with Tehran over Iran’s nuclear program, regional activities and missile testing.

The sources did not give specific reasons for the decision, which came after two months in which U.S.-Iranian tensions have soared because of attacks on tankers in the Gulf that the United States blames on Iran, despite its denials, and Iran’s downing of a U.S. drone that prompted preparations for a U.S. retaliatory air strike that was called off minutes before it was due to hit.

“Cooler heads prevailed. We ... saw it as not necessarily helpful,” said one source familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity, saying U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had opposed designating Zarif “for the time being.”


the US is planning a military coup in iraq, according to security chief sabah al-ukali, by working with military leaders such as the commander of anbar operations mahmoud al-falahi. the US has expanded the ayn al-assad base and moved 100 trucks there from jordan through the trebil border crossing, which raise many questions. the government has the evidence and legal authority to remove the americans, especially since the need for the US to be there has disappeared. the investigation into the farmer in anbar who was working for the CIA continues

حذر الخبير الامني صباح العكيلي، الجمعة، من مخطط اميركي لاحداث انقلاب في العراق عبر التآمر مع بعض القادة الامنيين على غرار ماقام به قائد عمليات الانبار محمود الفلاحي، مبيناً ان نتائج التحقيق مع الفلاحي ستفتح الباب امام التحقيق بمكالمات اخرى قد تكشف مؤامرات اخرى.

وقال العكيلي في تصريح لـ "المعلومة"، ان “قيام الجانب الاميركي بادخال اكثر من 100 آلية جديدة الى قاعدة عين الاسد بالانبار عبر منفذ طريبيل الحدودي قادمة من الاردن اضافة الى توسيع تلك القاعدة، امر يثير الكثير من التساؤلات”.

واضاف ان “الحكومة تمتلك جميع الادلة والصلاحيات القانونية لاخراج القوات الاميركية من البلاد، خاصة بعد انتفاء الحاجة لوجود الاميركان داخل الاراضي العراقية”.

وحذر العكيلي من “تحضير الجانب الاميركي لانقلاب في العراق عبر التخابر والتآمر مع بعض القادة الامنيين في مختلف مناطق البلاد، على غرار ماقام به قائد عمليات الانبار محمود الفلاحي من تسريب معلومات الى اميركا”.

واوضح ان “اثبات صحة التسجيل المسرب للفلاحي يقود الى التحقيق بمكالمات وتسجيلات اخرى، تثبت تورط بعض القادة السياسيين والامنيين في التآمر على العراق مع الجانب الاميركي”.


saudi arabia to secure yemeni ports on the red sea after UAE withdrawal

#1345 amor de cosmos

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Posted 13 July 2019 - 09:24 AM

On Friday, Turkey received its first components of the S-400 Triumf air defense systems purchased from Russia amid much controversy. A defense expert told Sputnik that Ankara is acquiring the systems as independent insurance against a coup d’etat by its own air force and has no intention of integrating them with other systems, as the US fears.

“Turkey received the first batch of S-400 air defense systems components. The deliveries are sent to the Murted air base in Ankara province," the Turkish Defense Ministry said in a Friday tweet. Delivery of the advanced air defense equipment will also trigger economic sanctions by the United States, which has sought to deter Turkish purchasing of the S-400s. Pentagon officials have expressed concern that having the S-400 operating on the same network as the US-made F-35 Lightning II will expose weaknesses in the stealth aircraft to other S-400 operators like Russia and China, who might find themselves on the receiving end of an F-35 airstrike one day.


However, the integration Washington fears is likely impossible, Mark Sleboda, an international affairs and security analyst based in Moscow, told Radio Sputnik’s Loud and Clear Friday, and Erdogan’s true motivation behind acquiring the missile systems is to serve as an insurance policy against either NATO or his own military turning against him.


Sleboda asserted that the Pentagon’s fretting is for naught: “It shouldn’t be normally possible to integrate the S-400 with NATO’s standard integrated air defense systems,” Sleboda said, noting Ankara has also sought French SAMP-T medium-range air defense systems. “And of course, the S-400 were a very complicated piece of gear, considered by many experts the best air defense system in the world. It works best when comprised as part of a layered, integrated air defense system, with short-range point systems and larger radars, and internet connections integrating an entire network. This isn’t going to be the case; this is going to be an independent system, and Turkey has even indicated it may still take up the US offer of the [MIM-104] Patriot to integrate with their already-existing NATO systems.”


The Democratic-controlled House voted Friday to put a liberalized stamp on Pentagon policy, including a bipartisan proposal to limit U.S. President Donald Trump‘s authority to make war against Iran.

The measure passed along party lines after a series of votes that pushed it further to the left. Among them was a 251-170 tally to require Trump get authorization from Congress to conduct military strikes against Iran, along with a repeal of a 2002 law authorizing the war in Iraq.

More than two dozen Republicans joined with Democrats on the Iran vote. Trump last month came within minutes of launching a missile strike against Iran in retaliation for Iran’s downing of a U.S. drone.

The broader measure passed by a 220-197 vote after several other provisions were tacked on by the Democratic Party’s progressive wing, which had been upset by leadership’s handling of a border bill last month.

“On the floor, the bill has taken a radical left turn,” said Texas Rep. Mac Thornberry, the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee. “There’s good and bad in this bill … but it’s moving in a direction that does make America less safe.”


A 2,400-ton superstructure platform was installed in Phase 14-B of South Pars Gas Field with reliance upon expertise and high potentials of domestic engineers.

The third offshore platform of Phase 14-B of South Pars Gas Field, which was designed and manufactured at the initiation of domestic engineers and experts and launched to water on June 11, installed in Bandar Abbas on Saturday.

Upon the installation of this giant offshore platform, 500 million cubic feet of gas, equivalent to 14.2 million cubic meters/day, will be added to the gas production capacity of South Pars Joint Gas Field.

In this regard, two gas platforms, each with the daily production capacity of 500 million cubic meters (equivalent to 14.2 million cubic meters), became operational last year (ended March 20, 2019), so that the gas produced from these two platforms is transferred to the national gas grid in one of refineries in Kangan area.


TEHRAN, Jul. 13 (MNA) – India's UCO Bank tripled its branches with the aim of enhancing and boosting trade with the Islamic Republic of Iran. UCO Bank is making all efforts to ensure that exporters who do business with Iran can approach its designated branches for help.

The bank has increased the number of such designated branches (for doing business with Iran) from 22 to 67. It is now contemplating to set up an apex processing center across its branch network (comprising 3,000+ branches) to help exporters. “This could take another six-seven months,” a top bank official said, Hindu Business Line reported.


TEHRAN (FNA)- Omani Minister of Transport and Communication Ahmed bin Mohamed al Fatisi said that his country is resolute to invest in Iran’s Southeastern port city of Chabahar to further expand maritime cooperation between Tehran and Oman.

In his Friday meeting with Rahmani, al Fatisi voiced readiness of his country for investing in Chabahar development projects, and emphasized the importance of being active in the maritime field.

The Omani side pointed to the brotherly and friendly relationship between Iran and Oman and emphasized on the need to strengthen transportation and infrastructural cooperation as well as presenting facilities in line with promoting bilateral trade volume.


Late in October, Tehran and Masqat announced that they are eager to boost their trade ties up to $1bln.

"The volume of trade exchanges between the two countries are expected raise to $1bln by the end of this year," Head of Iran-Oman joint chamber of commerce Mohsen Zarrabi told FNA on October 28.

He also added that the volume of Iran's exports to Oman had increased by 57% in the first six months of the Iranian year of 1397 (March 21, 2018- August 20, 2019) compared with the corresponding period in 2017.

Zarrabi said that imports of goods from Oman to Iran have also shown a 264% increase in the past six months of the current year.


New York, July 13, IRNA – Head of an American Arms Control Organization Daryl G. Kimball said on Saturday that the UN nuclear watchdog is not responsible for addressing differences among signatories to Iran's Deal and that is why the meeting failed to bear fruits.

Iran in the second phased of its reaction to the inaction of European signatories to the nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), announced that it would not observe the enrichment limits it had voluntarily accepted under the deal.

The European parties—UK, France and Germany—had pledged to cover the loss inflicted on Iran as a result of the US withdrawal from the deal. But Tehran criticizes the European approach toward the issue as unacceptable, arguing that the economic sanctions the US re-imposed on Iran prevents international companies from doing business with the country, he said.

Speaking to the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), Daryl G. Kimball, the executive director of the arms control association, said that the US went to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in order "to put pressure on other countries to take a tougher, harder line vis-a-vis Iran".

"But it's important to recognize that it is not IAEA Board of Governors that makes determination regarding how to deal with violations of the JCPOA," he said, adding that it was the point that the Joint Commission of the JCPOA should address.

Washington withdrew from the nuclear deal last year, he said, and it is not able anymore to ask the commission to deal with such issues.


TEHRAN, Jul. 13 (MNA) – Washington is waterboarding Iran then asks for talks, said former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency Mohamed ElBaradei, adding that no country will cooperate under such ‘humiliating conditions’.

“They are applying a waterboarding method to Iran, drowning Iran and then looking and then asking them: let’s have a dialogue without any preconditions … No country is going to cooperate under these humiliating conditions,” he told BBC Radio 4, The Telegraph reported on Friday.

“If they (the US) want to go to war they are doing a perfect job,” he also added.


ElBaradei went on to say that Iran’s actions are a ‘cry for help’ noting that ‘they are not an imminent threat’. He said that Iran is too far from 90% uranium enrichment needed for a nuclear bomb while Iran has always reiterated that nukes have no place in its defense doctrine and that uranium enrichment is solely done for peaceful purposes.

“It’s a symbolic reaction from a country that can’t even import medicines because of sanctions imposed by the US,” he said, also describing President Donald Trump's decision to back out of the nuclear accord when it was “working” as “lacking rationale, legal basis and any common sense”.


President Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani has joined buckraking forces with former Senator Joe Lieberman (D-CT), speaking at an event in Albania for a bizarre, cultish Iranian group that fashions itself as a government-in-exile for the Islamic Republic.

Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) — once designated as a foreign terrorist group — hosted the conference at a compound that MEK operates in Albania.

In addition to Giuliani and Lieberman, former Colombian Senator and longtime FARC hostage Ingrid Betancourt appeared at the event, along with former Marine Corps Commandant James Conway.

Billed as “The 120 Year Struggle Of The Iranian People For Freedom,” the conference appears to focus in part on extolling the virtues of MEK leader Maryam Rajavi. Rajavi styles herself as the “leader of the Iranian resistance,” but has faced criticism for alleged brainwashing by the group.

In a video posted to Twitter, Giuliani says that “an alternative exists to the theocracy in Iran. It’s our responsibility to support it.”


In May, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo ordered a partial evacuation of diplomats from the U.S. Embassy in Iraq amid escalating tensions with Iran. Now, several State Department officials say they are being told the drawdown in embassy staff will effectively become permanent, a move that could leave the U.S. Embassy short-staffed to undertake important tasks like countering Iran on the diplomatic front—and in the short-term has marooned hundreds of diplomats in the Washington area without an embassy to go back to.

A State Department spokesman said this characterization of the drawdown is “inaccurate.” He said: “No decision on permanent staffing levels have been made, but a review of staffing is in process.”

But three other State Department officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the staffing levels at the Baghdad embassy reached after the evacuation in May are being treated as a de facto permanent cap on State Department personnel in Iraq.

“They’ve already quietly made the policy decision that they’re not sending these people back,” a senior State Department official familiar with internal deliberations told Foreign Policy. “But they’re not actually calling it a drawdown, they’re just saying they’re reviewing the ordered departure,” the official said.

The embassy still has an estimated thousands of personnel in place, but only a small portion of staff at the embassy work directly on core diplomatic functions, including political officers, economic officers, and public diplomacy officers. The majority are contractors, security personnel, or officials from other federal agencies, including the intelligence community. After the partial evacuation, two officials told Foreign Policy, the embassy has less than 15 State Department officials left working directly on core diplomatic functions.

“We took a powerful functioning embassy that was keeping Iranian influence at bay, and created space for the U.S. to exert influence, and we gutted it,” said the senior State Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Another State Department official, who has been impacted by the decision, said it felt like the State Department was “abandoning Iraq.”


Iraq is emerging from more than a decade of intermittent conflict. People are rebuilding their cities and institutions. At the same time, they are also pursuing reconciliation and trying to reconstruct their national identity.

Women hope they will be given more of an expanded role in the political sphere and that they will be given greater rights. But it has been an uphill battle.

Iraq's penal code allows husbands to discipline their wives, and there is currently no law criminalising domestic violence. For almost a decade, women's rights groups have been pushing parliament to pass a law that would change that - but it has always stalled.

"The law in Iraq doesn't give women their rights," says Lena, a domestic violence survivor whose abuse left her with physical and psychological ailments.

"I tried so many times to leave [my ex-husband] ... At the end of the day, I felt that I was going to die," she says.

But the abuse was just the beginning of her ordeal. After she left her husband and filed a police report, he turned the tables against Lena and her family, accusing them of kidnapping him.

At the end of the day, Lena was found guilty and spent 16 months in prison.

Lena blames the wide-reaching corruption in the judicial system, "from the lowest clerk to the highest judge."

She says Iraqi women who are unemployed or not well educated, especially those who have children, are forced to "bear everything".

"We don't have laws in our society to prevent men from hurting women, and to protect women, and to put red lines for men not to cross," she says.

There are no updated national figures for domestic violence in Iraq; the most recent data available, from 2012, estimated that one in five women were victims.


Edited by amor de cosmos, 13 July 2019 - 09:35 AM.

#1346 amor de cosmos

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 08:37 AM

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said he held a “constructive call” with Iran Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif. He offered to facilitate release of the seized Iranian tanker if Tehran guarantees to respect EU sanctions against delivering oil to Syria. Hunt said, “Our concern is with the destination, not the origin of the oil.” On Friday, Iran warned that London was playing “a dangerous game” and threaten retribution.


The eastern Deir Ezzor countryside witnessed a security operation on this July 11, that resulted in the killing of one of the Daesh’s most dangerous financiers in the region.

Sources on the ground indicated that “the SDF” surrounded a house in Al-Suwar town where the so-called “Sheikh Thabet” was hiding, and called up on him several times to surrender but he refused and chose to resist, which led to a clash between him and the SDF, resulting in the killing of Sheikh Thabet.

Individual weapons, ammunition and explosives in addition to a number of phones and laptops were found at the place where he was hiding.

Sheikh Thabet played a major role in financing Daesh over the past years, he had the task of selling oil and providing funds to Daesh through a network of agents and collaborators who spread in different areas.

Sheikh Thabet also played a major role in financing Daesh sleeper cells, who spread mainly in Raqqa and Deir Ezzor provinces, in addition to other areas.


TEHRAN (FNA)- The National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) announced on Sunday that it is due to offer 2 million barrels of gas condensates in the international ring of the Iran Energy Exchange (IRENEX) on Tuesday in a move to bypass Washington’s unilateral sanctions against Tehran.

The NIOC’s representative in the IRENEX announced that during the 8th round of offering gas condensate at IRENEX two million barrels of gas condensate at the base price of $60.40 per barrel will be offered on Tuesday.

"The least possible amount for loading a cargo for land transportation is 110 tons," he said, "the purchasers can receive their cargoes for at most three months after the purchasing date."

Iranian Deputy Oil Minister Amir Hossein Zamaninia declared in May that Tehran was fully prepared to sell oil in a “grey market”, vowing to circumvent the US unilateral sanctions against the energy-rich country.


iran wants to develop more rail connections to jordan, indicating the importance of connecting jordan to the rest of asia's rail network

western diplomats at the UN say that the EU is not eager to return to sanctions against iran

TEHRAN (FNA)- A senior Iraqi lawmaker warned of the US embassy's suspicious activities in the country, adding that the mission hosts Mossad agents and ISIL terrorists.

"The US embassy in Baghdad has turned into a center for Israel's Mossad and ISIL terrorists," Hassan Salem was quoted as saying by the Arabic-language al-Soumeriyeh news website on Saturday.

He added that the US mission has forgotten its diplomatic responsibility and protection of the American nationals in Iraq and is interfering in the country's internal affairs by spying, spreading rumors and hatching plots.

"The US embassy's violation of laws and forgetting its responsibilities based on the international laws mean that the center could not be called an embassy and therefore, its closure is legally necessary," Salem said.

In relevant remarks in March, a prominent Iraqi security expert had also revealed that the American embassy in Iraq is acting as the US-Israeli operations room against the region.

Abbas al-Ardawi was quoted by the Arabic-language al-Ma'alomeh news website as saying that the US administration was exerting pressures on Baghdad and killing time to prolong its deployment in Iraq.

He added that relocation of terrorists from the town of Baqouz in Eastern Syria to the US bases in Iraq is aimed at security tensions in the country and finding a pretext for continued deployment of American forces, noting that the Iraqi parliamentarians certainly want expulsion of all US forces from the country as soon as possible given the fact that the Iraqi army is fully prepared to fight against the terrorist groups.

Al-Ardawi said that the US embassy in Baghdad was carrying out suspicious measures, adding that it has turned into a large operations room for implementation of plots and operations in Iraq and the region under the supervision of Israeli agents.


Speaking to Tasnim, Riffat Masood pointed to a recent visit to Tehran by Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and said since the visit, she has been seeking to provide grounds for the implementation of agreements reached between the two countries.

The Pakistani envoy further said the signing of a free trade agreement between the two countries is on the agenda.

She added that in the near future, a delegation from Iran will travel to Pakistan to examine the existing technical problems facing the free trade agreement between the two countries.

Masood went on to say that Iran and Pakistan will sign the FTA after the elimination of those problems.


Donald Trump abandoned the Iran nuclear deal to spite Barack Obama, according to a leaked memo written by the UK's former ambassador in the US.

Sir Kim Darroch described the move as an act of "diplomatic vandalism", according to the Mail on Sunday.

The paper says the memo was written after the then Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson appealed to the US in 2018 to stick with the deal.

The latest leak came despite the Met Police warning against publication.

The first memos criticising President Trump's administration, which emerged a week ago, prompted a furious reaction from the US president and resulted in Sir Kim resigning from his role.


AhlulBayt News Agency (ABNA): Iraq’s Ambassador to Iran Sa’ad Jawad Qandil said some 9 million pilgrimage trips are expected annually following the abolition of visas between the two countries.

Speaking in a meeting with the governor of Tehran Province on Sunday, Qandil said some 4 million Iraqis are predicted to visit Iran’s pilgrimage sites and around 5 million pilgrims from Iran will visit Iraq’s holy cities following the decision.

He also predicted the participation of 3 million Iranians in this year’s Arbaeen pilgrimage in Iraq.

Qandil added that one of the priorities of the Iraqi embassy in Tehran is making efforts to serve Iranian pilgrims in the Arbaeen season.

Earlier this week, it was announced that Iranian pilgrims wishing to travel to Iraq for Arbaeen pilgrimage will no longer need to obtain a visa.

Arbaeen comes 40 days after Ashura, the martyrdom anniversary of the third Shia Imam, Imam Hussein (AS).

Each year, a huge crowd of Shias flock to Karbala, where the holy shrine of Imam Hussein (AS) is located, to perform mourning rites.


a number of the National Defense Militia elements in Al-Mayadeen city in the eastern Deir Ezzor countryside defect to the iranian revolutionary guard militia

Mosul, Iraq - Two years after Iraqi forces captured Mosul from ISIL, locals say neighbourhoods along the riverfront of its Old City risk losing their historical identity due to a plan by local authorities to transform the area into a "modern city".


The proposal, put together by Mosul Governor Mansour al-Mar'eed and unidentified investors, seeks to create a "new city" with gleaming high rises, and large supermarket and restaurant chains.

According to Mar'eed, Mosul's local government already owns some of the areas along the riverfront and hopes to begin the redevelopment plan once private owners are convinced to sell their destroyed properties and plots of land. While still a vision for now, local authorities have already begun talks with residents to convince them of the proposal, which, they say, is the only way to redevelop Mosul in the face of limited support from the central government in Baghdad.

Analysts say the plan is reminiscent of former Lebanese President Rafik Hariri's redevelopment of Beirut following a devastating 15-year civil war ending in 1990 that ravaged Lebanon's capital. That project transformed central Beirut into a sanitised and glossy version of its former self, displacing many local residents along the way.


Iran and Russia have officially started the joint production of the surgical robot named Sina based on an agreement signed in Moscow.

The deal was signed in a ceremony attended by the head of the Centre for Knowledge-based Enterprises and Companies at the Iranian Vice Presidency of Science and Technology, and the head of the Russian Centre for Research and Development.

Based on the agreement between Iranian knowledge-based companies and their counterparts in Russia, the robot will be constructed as SKD (semi-complete parts) in the Russian Federation.

The mass production of this robot is being carried out in collaboration with the Institute for Advanced Medical Technology, No Avaran Robotic Knowledge-based Company, the Sina Institute of Robotics and Medicine, and the Russian Research and Development Centre.

iran & sri lanka have come up with a deal to trade oil for tea for the next two years

President Donald Trump’s team has settled on a sanctions package to punish Turkey for receiving parts of a Russian missile defense system and plans to announce it in the coming days, said people familiar with the matter.

The administration chose one of three sets of actions devised to inflict varying degrees of pain under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, the people said, without identifying which set had been chosen. The plan needs Trump’s approval.

One of the people said the intention is to announce the sanctions late next week. The administration wants to wait until after Monday’s anniversary of a 2016 coup attempt against Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to avoid fueling further speculation that the U.S. was responsible for the uprising, as Erdogan’s loyalists have claimed.

The plan was developed after days of discussions between officials at the State and Defense departments and the National Security Council. It awaits a sign-off by Trump and his top advisers, the people said, requesting anonymity to discuss a sensitive matter. A State Department spokeswoman declined to comment.


yemen's government warns of environmental disaster in the red sea. a tanker at ras isa port has has a bad spill

joint industrial city to be constructed in sandanaj, in iran's kurdistan province

russia is preparing to replace bashar al-assad?!

#1347 amor de cosmos

amor de cosmos


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Posted Yesterday, 11:26 AM

KABUL: Kabul police on Sunday said they have arrested Islamic State Khorasan (IS-K) facilitator and logistic supplier in a fresh crackdown in the capital city—Daesh is foreign extremist groups, and the Afghan government has strong resolve to eliminate it.

Police Special Unit succeeded to arrest Daesh or so-called IS-K‘s facilitator and logistic supplier during an operation conducted in 16th PD in Kabul, Kabul Police Press Department said in a statement sent to Afghanistan Times.

According to the statement, the detained indict identified as Juma Khan, however, no further details has given.

Afghan security forces have recently intensified attacking Daesh militants across the country in general, but in Kabul in particular.


TEHRAN (FNA)- The US-led coalition dispatched nearly 300 trucks carrying new military equipment to areas under the control of the Kurdish militias months after it declared an end to the fight against ISIL, sources said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported that the US-led forces sent a sum of 280 packed with military and logistic aids as well as military equipment to areas under the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in Eastern Euphrates through Simalka crossing from Northern Iraq.

The SOHR noted that over 1,730 truck carrying US military aid have been sent to Eastern Syria by the US for SDF.

In a relevant development on Saturday, the US Army forwarded hundreds of trucks containing logistics and military equipment to the Syrian province of Hasaka.

The Kurdish-language Xeber24 reported that the 200 US trucks carrying military equipment, logistics, military vehicles, oil tankers and covered trucks arrived in US-backed forces’ military base in Hasaka province through Simalka crossing from US bases in Iraq.

It noted that the US military convoys have arrived in a military base controlled by the US-backed forces in Tal al-Bidar region of Hasaka province.

The Xeber24, meantime, reported that about 250 US military trucks carrying military and logistical support had arrived in Tal al-Bidar Military Base last week.


TEHRAN (FNA)- Governor of the Central Bank of Iran Abdolnasser Hemmati said that Tehran is serious to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), adding that the government will fund SMEs with more than $2.4 billion by March 2020.

“The amount of credit paid to the manufacturing sector would increase this year while up to 300 trillion rials worth of credit would be earmarked to the SMEs,” Hemmati said on Sunday.

Another Iranian official said earlier in the day that the government would use resources from the country’s sovereign wealth fund to finance the SMEs.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Chief Executive of Iran Small Industries and Industrial Parks Organization (ISIPO) Mohsen Salehinia said that SMEs active in the manufacturing sector would receive up to $1.6 billion from the government in the form of loans.

The official said half of the budget would be financed through the Iranian banking system and the rest would come from the National Development Fund of Iran, a mechanism which is independent of the government budget and seeks to channel oil and gas revenues to the productive industries.

Reports have shown that SMEs accounted for around 10 percent of Iran’s non-oil exports last year as they managed to export $400 million worth of goods and services in the 12-month period ending on March 20.


deal reached to increase steel production capacity in hormozgan province's gulf special economic zone to 10 million tons

The Iran Khodro Company (IKCO) has officially inaugurated a production line for Peugeot 301 more than three years after the French owner of the car pulled out of a partnership with the Iranian company citing the threat of American sanctions.

CEO Hashem Yekke Zareh kicked off the test production of the sedan early on Monday in a ceremony inside the IKCO compound west of Tehran.

Yekkeh Zareh said IKCO plans to begin the mass production of Peugeot 301 after the end of the current Iranian calendar year in March, adding that Iran’s largest carmaker had put some €60 million worth of investment in the project.

“Some 100,000 units of this car will be produced in phase one and (the annual production) will increase to 250,000 units in the next four years without any support from Peugeot,” he said.


Fariba Adelkhah, an academic with dual French and Iranian nationality from Paris’s prestigious Sciences Po university, has been arrested in Iran and denied contact with French consular staff, France's foreign ministry said Monday.

"France calls on the Iranian authorities to shed full light on Mrs [Fariba] Adelkhah's situation and repeats its demands, particularly with regard to an immediate authorisation for consular access," the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Adelkhah, an academic at Sciences Po university in Paris, has been denied contact with French consular officials in Iran.

"French authorities in this difficult context have taken steps with Iranian authorities to get information from them on her situation and the conditions of her arrest and asked for consular access," said foreign ministry spokeswoman Agnes von der Muhll in the statement.

"No satisfactory response has been given to these requests. France calls on the Iranian authorities to bring to light Mrs Adelkhah's situation and reiterates its requests, in particular the authorisation of consular access without delay," she added.


hezbollah-affiliated paper al-akhbar says US-israeli businessman moti kahane wants to sell oil from SDF-occupied areas of syria to israel

Iranian vessel ‘Arvand Tide 1000’ has been released after 10 months of seizure in Kuwaiti Port of Shuaiba.

The vessel has started its journey back to Iranian waters after 10 months of seizure in Port of Shuaiba and due to unfounded allegations.

The vessel has a 1000-tonne crane, which is one of the key offshore marine equipment in the Iranian offshore industry.

It belongs to an Iranian company, Tide Water Middle East Co., a major port operator in Iran.


sabotaged gas pipeline near homs was repaired in less than 24 hours

Speaking at a regional working group meeting on prevention of industrial drug precursors, Head of Iranian Anti-Narcotics Police, Brigadier General Masoud Zahedian said that “despite unjust sanctions, the Islamic Republic of Iran has managed to take remarkable measures in countering drug trafficking, the results of which are enjoyed by all countries in the world.”

He went on to add that “Iran is responsible for over 70 percent of illicit drug busts in the world. In the past seven months, the Iranian police has busted 364 tons of various types of narcotics during operations that left 3,814 of its forces martyred and 12,000 wounded.”

“Production of crystal in Afghanistan is a serious threat,” said Zahedian, adding “since its revenues are in the hands of smuggling networks which then inject a part of these revenues into the countries’ economies.”


Yemen's warring parties have agreed to new measures to enforce a ceasefire and facilitate a troop pullback from the flashpoint port of Hodeidah, the United Nations said on Monday.

Representatives of the Iran-aligned Houthi movement and the Saudi-backed Yemeni government met on a UN ship in the Red Sea for talks on Sunday and Monday, the organisation said in a statement.

The UN is trying to broker a withdrawal from Hodeidah - the main entry point for food and humanitarian aid - so UN-supervised management can take over.

Yemen's four-year war has killed tens of thousands of people and left millions on the brink of famine.

The statement said both sides want to reduce hostilities after a rise in ceasefire violations at Hodeidah.

"They agreed on a mechanism and new measures to reinforce the ceasefire and de-escalation, to be put in place as soon as possible," it said, without giving more details.


TEHRAN, Jul. 15 (MNA) – A documentary published by Aljazeera reveals the support of Bahrain’s Al Khalifa for al-Qaeda and a terrorist group in southeast Iran.

The Arabic documentary, titled ‘Players with Fire’, includes a classified videotape of Hosham Baluchi who was killed in 2015 in southeast Iran. Baluchi, leader of a terrorist group, says in the tape that Bahrain had hired him in 2006 to do espionage and other operations in Iran.

Elsewhere in the documentary, he voices concern that Al Khalifa may kill him because of the secrets he knew.

The documentary also shows Mohammad Saleh, head of al-Qaeda in Bahrain confessing that the security officials of Bahrain wanted him in 2003 to assassinate the Shia dissidents of the rulers, including Abdulwahab Hussain. It also adds that Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa had personally wanted Saudi Arabia to release the al-Qaeda leader of Bahrain, Mohammad Saleh, who was then imprisoned in Saudi Arabia.


individual in baghdad arrested with 253 books promoting ISIL

announcement of free-trade area between iran and eurasian economic union
Iranian lawmaker and Shiite cleric, Ahmad Salek, has escaped assassination on Sunday when bikers attacked his car in Tehran, shooting his bodyguard.

Doha, Qatar - Qatar has inaugurated a new naval base in the country's northeast that will function as the headquarters of its coastguard and play a part in Doha's strategic vision of development and security.

The base, spread over 640,000 square metres, was inaugurated by Qatar's Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani on Sunday.

"Through this base, we will now be better equipped to address maritime security, combat illegal immigration, carry out search and rescue, and provide protection to the nation's strategic offshore assets such as oil and gas facilities," General Abdel Aziz Abdullah al Ansari, the head of the Department of International Cooperation at Qatar's Interior Ministry, told Al Jazeera.

"The coastguards operate several stations and substations patrolling the entire Qatar coast and the new base will house their command and control operations as well as training."

In increasing Qatar's maritime capabilities, the base will also be a key element in regional cooperation between Qatar and other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations, especially Oman and Kuwait, whose commanding naval and coastguard officers also attend the inauguration.


Edited by amor de cosmos, Yesterday, 11:29 AM.

#1348 amor de cosmos

amor de cosmos


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Posted Today, 09:27 AM

KABUL: Kabul administration on Tuesday welcomed Pakistan’s decision to reopen its airspace to civilian flights, nearly five months after it was closed following a standoff with India.

According to a so-called notice to Airmen (NOTAM) by Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority, the Pakistan airspace reopened to Afghanistan and region civil flights.

The airspace restriction was adopted by Pakistan following increased tensions with the India.

Tensions between New Delhi and Islamabad reached peak after Jaish-e-Mohammad claimed responsibility for an attack on February 2019 that killed 40 Indian paramilitary police in Indian controlled Kashmir.


The EU foreign ministers’ refusal on Monday, July 15, to find Tehran in significant breach of the nuclear pact put US plans for more sanctions on hold. EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said after their meeting that since the remaining parties to the Iran nuclear deal do not see Tehran’s breaches as significant, they have decided for now not to trigger the pact’s dispute mechanism, preferring more diplomacy to ease the crisis.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu retorted in a short video clip: “The European Union’s response to Iranian violations reminds me of European appeasement in the 30s. Then too they preferred to bury their heads in the sand; they will only wake up when Iran’s nuclear missiles fall on European soil. But then it will be too late.” Netanyahu went on to say: “We at all events will continue to do what needs to be done to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.”

Netanyahu’s message was addressed more to his domestic audience than Brussels. He too is aware that President Trump in Washington and Hassan Rouhani in Tehran are secretly feeling their way towards conditions for resuming US-Iranian nuclear talks. The Europeans are therefore keeping a light hand on the pressure button.


TEHRAN (FNA)- Tehran will raise $5 billion revenues for its gas and electricity exports to neighboring Iraq by the end of the current local calendar year on March 20, 2020, said Secretary General of Iran-Iraq Joint Chamber of Commerce Seyed Hamid Hosseini on Tuesday.

Hosseini said today that Iran will earn $5 billion revenues for its gas and electricity sales to neighboring Iraq this year.

Iran’s technical and engineering projects, which had been stopped in Iraq due to terrorist activities, have resumed, Hosseini added.

“In the wake of expert-level sessions held between Iraqi Housing Ministry and Iran Small Industries and Industrial Parks Organization (ISIPO), it is stipulated that Iranian projects halted in Iraq will resume," he said.


TEHRAN (FNA)- A leading Arab newspaper referred to Riyadh's failures in its internal and foreign policies, stressing that the Saudi-led coalition in war on Yemen is collapsing after the UAE left the Yemen war.

"After the gap created in the Saudi-UAE coalition, imminent changes are waiting for the region and considerable changes will be made in the regional power balance to the detriment of the Saudi-led coalition," the Arabic-language al-Quds al-Arabi paper wrote on Tuesday.

It added that after the Saudi-led coalition persuaded the US to launch a war against Iran, its difficulties and destructive impacts were revealed and therefore the Americans avoided such a war which would annihilate all sides, noting that the Yemeni forces' advances and reinvigorating their side of the military balance also made it difficult for Riyadh to end the war militarily and therefore, Riyadh is after a political solution with unclear results.

"The UAE may retrieve a part of its balance after withdrawing forces from Yemen and decreasing tensions with Iran but Saudi Arabia will lead the region and itself to a catastrophe by continuing its current policies," the paper underlined.


Iran has brought online its first alumina refinery, marking a milestone in its production of the strategic metal and cushioning blows from unilateral US sanctions.

The first phase of the Jajarm refinery commenced operation with a capacity to produce 40,000 tonnes per year of alumina which is the key metallic input derived from bauxite used to smelt aluminum.

Jajarm in North Khorasan province holds Iran’s largest deposit of bauxite - the raw material used to make aluminum.

President Hassan Rouhani, who is touring the northeastern province, watched the inauguration via a video conference. “The government is honored to press ahead on the path of development in the face of sanctions,” he said.


president of kurdistan's regional government, masrur barzani, visits baghdad for the first time

The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan appears to be looking for new allies in Qatar, Turkey, and the Islamic Republic of Iran, as it faces declining subsidies and support by long-time strategic sponsors such as Saudi Arabia, the US, and the Israeli regime.

The still-brewing development also comes as Jordanian King Abdullah II has angered Riyadh, Washington, and Tel Aviv with his growing reservations about joining the Trump administration’s so-called “deal of the century” plan for Palestinians, overwhelmingly rejected by the Palestinian populations and leaders within and outside of the occupied territories.

Jordan’s refusal to join the Saudi-led military coalition against Yemen has also contributed to the disappointment with Amman by the despotic Saudi rulers.

Threatened by persisting protests at home — on top of the declining Saudi cash subsidies that have kept Jordan afloat for decades — King Abdullah has reportedly opened talks in recent months with the longstanding rivals of Saudi Arabia: Turkey and Qatar. Amman has even made subtle overtures to Iran.

“Our relations depend on our interests,” said a source close to the government in Amman, speaking on condition of anonymity, adding, “Jordan doesn’t have any conflict with Turkey or Qatar, or even Iran. What distance we have depends on the benefits to us.”


Tehran July 16, IRNA – A five-member delegation of Iranian Members of Parliament arrived in Ashgabat to hold talks with their Turkmen counterparts and other officials on ways to develop bilateral ties.

The friendship group is to meet with Gülşat Mämmedowa, the chairman of the People's Council of Turkmenistan, and Raşit Öwezgeldiýewiç Meredow, the first vice-president of Turkmenistan.

Iran and Turkmenistan have about 1,000 km of border. Though not densely populated, Turkmenistan enjoys a special geopolitical and geo-strategic location, which makes it important for Iran, and its regional and extra regional rivals. The country is also the gate of Iran to Central Asia.

A large amount of Iranians are Turkmens, most of whom live near the border with Turkmenistan, which makes it extra important for the two countries to have cultural and social ties.


fire at basra's oil port

Tehran, July 16, IRNA – Iran's Minister of Industry, Mines and Trade Reza Rahmani said on Monday that Iran's manufacturing sector is making headway to thwart the US unilateral sanctions and achieve advanced technology.

Rahmani said, "Strengthening the country's manufacturing capacity is the main focus of the ministry this year, and the exhibition is a golden opportunity for presenting the capacities and needs."

The first exhibition of domestic Iranian products will be held on July 18-21 in Tehran.

"Iran's Supreme Leader over the past years has always emphasized the importance of strengthening the domestic potential of manufacturing and supporting the Iranian-made products. This year is designated as the year of 'manufacturing boom' by him and therefore, the ministry of industry is making efforts to protect the capacity and jobs," he said.


DAMASCUS (Sputnik) - France has come up with a phased approach to the US-Iranian standoff, with Washington being asked to drop sanctions in return for Tehran scaling back its presence in the region, Lebanese channel al-Mayadeen reported, citing French diplomatic sources.

The multistep reconciliation process includes the United States reintroducing waivers on eight countries buying Iranian oil, the channel has reported.

It was also told by its source that the rivals had not taken steps so far to soften their stance but a French presidential adviser had been given the green light to continue efforts to "revitalize" the nuclear pact.


Iran’s battered currency is starting to recover in the unregulated market as government policies to defend it against U.S. sanctions take effect.

The rial has stabilized, Abdolnaser Hemmati, the head of Iran’s central bank, was cited as saying by the semi-official Iranian Students’ News Agency. It strengthened about 8% in the open market over the past month to 125,450 per dollar, according to prices compiled by Bloomberg from foreign-exchange websites and traders in Tehran.

The advance is a relief for Iranians who watched the currency plummet more than 50% after U.S. President Donald Trump scrapped the 2015 nuclear accord and reimposed sanctions on the nation. The central bank sought ways to protect the currency with measures that include setting up a government-run foreign-exchange platform known as Nima to quell the black market and controlling interest rates offered by lenders.

The rial on the open market is now close to the Nima rate, Hemmati said.

“The central bank’s policies of controlling currency markets and bank interest rates appear to be helping,” said Massoud Gholampour, an analyst at Novin Investment Bank in Tehran. “Demand for foreign currency has dropped compared to last year,” he said, adding that bans on a raft of luxury imports helped as much as $2 billion from being spent on imports.


more about the farmer in anbar province who was working with the cia


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