Tag Archives: Iran

Russians are fighting the war of words against the U.S. with American words

So much divides the United States and Russia right now, and the list seems to get longer every day: Ukraine, Iran, Syria, North Korea.

But there’s one way in which Russia and the United States are getting closer. It’s how Russian officials are waging a war of words. They’re using the language of American politics to do it.

Continue reading Russians are fighting the war of words against the U.S. with American words

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Here’s how the world reacted to the US’ missile strike on Syria

While several countries have admonished the US’ missile strike against Syria’s airfield on Thursday, there has also been an overwhelming response in support of President Donald Trump’s answer against the Syrian government’s use of nerve agents that killed more than 80 people earlier this week.

Continue reading Here’s how the world reacted to the US’ missile strike on Syria

Hungary, Iran to cooperate in joint mini nuclear plant project

Hungary will cooperate with Iran on setting up a small nuclear reactor for scientific-educational purposes, Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s chief of staff told a news conference on Thursday.

Continue reading Hungary, Iran to cooperate in joint mini nuclear plant project

In Rare Video In Persian, IS Threatens To Conquer Iran

The militant group Islamic State (IS) has vowed in a rare video message in Persian that includes the apparent beheading of four captured soldiers that it will conquer Iran.

In an appeal to sectarian divides, the group also calls on Iran’s Sunni minority to rise up against the Shi’a-dominated Iranian establishment.

Continue reading In Rare Video In Persian, IS Threatens To Conquer Iran

Rebels Launch Aleppo Offensive to Break Government Siege

This is the second attempt by rebels to break Assad’s siege. They opened a corridor to the east for the month of August after pro-government forces first applied a blockade in July.

Fierce fighting broke out around the Syrian city of Aleppo Friday as rebels announced a large-scale offensive to break the government’s siege of opposition-held areas.

A reporter inside the city on the pro-government Mayadeen TV channel reported attacks on “all sides” of the city, “from the furthest points north to furthest south.”

Continue reading Rebels Launch Aleppo Offensive to Break Government Siege

Iran President Rouhani Offers Help to Russia

President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani at the welcoming ceremony during a summit of Caspian Sea regional leaders in the city of Astrakhan, Sept. 29.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani criticized Western sanctions against Moscow as “the wrong tool” Monday and said his country was ready to provide Russia with any assistance it might require.

“There are different ways of taking countermeasures,” Rouhani told state-run television channel Rossia-24. “You can strengthen relations between neighbors, and in the current circumstances, we are ready to provide assistance of any kind to the people and government of Russia.”

Rouhani announced during last week’s United Nations General Assembly that Iran and Russia were discussing nuclear energy projects. In early August, the countries signed a memorandum of understanding on increasing economic and trade ties in a number of areas, including the energy sector.

Rouhani was in the southern Russian city of Astrakhan on Monday to take part in the Caspian Sea Summit, along with President Vladimir Putin and the leaders of Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan. The five littoral states were to conduct negotiations on the legal status of the sea and its vast natural resources.

Iran and the Soviet Union signed treaties on the status of the Caspian Sea in 1921 and 1940, legal documents that remain valid to this day. Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan — whose borders emerged after the collapse of the Soviet Union — have not considered themselves bound by these agreements.

Acid attacks on women spread fear in Iran

The failure of Iranian authorities to identify those responsible for a spate of acid attacks against women has raised fears of further attacks and prompted questions about the adequacy of the government’s response.

Up to eight women in the central city of Isfahan have been injured in acid attacks this month, according to local media. While no new incidents have been reported in Isfahan this week, rumours are rife on social media of similar incidents in other Iranian cities, fanning concerns among women that they could be doused with a chemical agent by attackers on motorcycles.

One of the first incidents, according to domestic media citing eye witnesses, took place on October 15, when a young woman driving her car was hit by acid thrown by men who sped away on a motorbike. Local media reports of the other incidents paint a picture of apparently random targeting of young women in different parts of the city on different days.

Setareh, a university student in Isfahan, says: “I tremble with fear as soon as I hear a motorist nearing me.”

According to locals, security measures in Isfahan have been tightened and police patrols increased outside girls’ schools. Some schools in the capital, Tehran, have told parents to accompany their daughters to and from home, while other women say they go out only for necessary shopping and avoid outdoor socialising.

Minoo Mortaazi-Langaroudi, an Iranian women’s rights activist, says: “The acid attacks have jeopardised the psychological, physical and social security not only of women but of all people.”

No individual or group has claimed responsibility and the authorities have failed to offer any leads on who they believe are responsible. In the absence of official explanation, some commentators have pointed the finger at rogue Islamist vigilantes with grievances against women, while others have suggested violent foreign radical groups such as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant could be behind the attacks.

The slow response from the government of reformist president Hassan Rouhani and of Iran’s judiciary helped fuel suspicions initially that groups affiliated to hardliners in the regime were behind the attacks, in an attempt to undermine Mr Rouhani and his ability to provide security.

But Mohammad-Ali Abtahi, a reform-minded former vice-president, says the acid attacks “could not have been organised by known domestic groups because there is no benefit in it for them”.

The incidents have also been linked to comments from hardliners in parliament and at Friday prayers exerting pressure on the government to force women to further observe obligatory Islamic covering.

However, many hardliners have condemned the attacks in the face of accusations that their comments about women failing to cover themselves in accordance with Islamic traditions could have provoked their followers.

Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei, Iran’s fundamentalist prosecutor-general, who travelled to Isfahan this week, called the attacks “savage” and insisted they could not have been inspired by Islamic teachings.

Members of Mr Rouhani’s cabinet have visited some of the victims in hospital, while the president has urged people not to “question the country’s whole security because of one incident” which he said was “the most heinous act a vicious person can do”.

Thousands of protesters took to the streets of Isfahan to protest against the attacks, while others have used social media to put pressure on the authorities to catch the perpetrators, and to criticise the arrest of a photojournalist, Arya Jafari, who took pictures of the protests in Isfahan.

Previous incidents of acid attacks in Iran were for personal reasons against both women and men and usually by former lovers. The Isfahan incidents are thought to be the first time acid has been used in Iran in apparently random attacks.

Although assaults with acid are a worldwide phenomenon, it is a particular problem in countries including Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Cambodia, Uganda and Colombia. Acid attacks have also been reported in western countries such as the UK and Australia.

According to the Acid Survivors Trust International, a London-based charity, there are about 1,500 acid attacks per year, although the true figure is likely to be far higher. ASTI has estimated that 80 per cent of victims of such attacks are women, while one study in Bangladesh found that nearly 60 per cent were 10-19 years old.

 

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