Khaama Press (KP) | Afghan News Agency » Middle East http://www.khaama.com The largest news and information source in Afghanistan Thu, 17 Apr 2014 11:32:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9 Mid-East Talks Losing Its Steam http://www.khaama.com/mid-east-talks-losing-its-steam-3538 http://www.khaama.com/mid-east-talks-losing-its-steam-3538#comments Tue, 08 Apr 2014 05:10:15 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=33383 Mid-East Talks Losing Its Steam
Manish Rai Israel and the Palestinians angrily accused each other of undermining United States led peace efforts in the region. Palestinians said they took retaliatory step in response to Israel’s failure to fulfill its pledge to free some two dozen Palestinian prisoners. Israel said it first wanted a Palestinian commitment to keep talks going beyond Read the full article...]]>
Mid-East Talks Losing Its Steam

Manish Rai

Israel and the Palestinians angrily accused each other of undermining United States led peace efforts in the region. Palestinians said they took retaliatory step in response to Israel’s failure to fulfill its pledge to free some two dozen Palestinian prisoners. Israel said it first wanted a Palestinian commitment to keep talks going beyond the end of the month. The talks have struggled since they began in July, stalling over Palestinian opposition to Israel’s demand that it be recognised as a Jewish state, and over Israeli settlements, internationally deemed illegal, in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. Now because of behaviour of both the parties it seems that there is no common platform remaining for Israel and Palestine to sit and talk. Israel officials indicated that it would not go through with the release of Palestinian prisoners and, the PLO requested that the US administration ensure that Israel fulfil its commitment. And in retaliation Palestinian president, Mahmud Abbas signed 15 international conventions that could pave the way for a renewed attempt to gain United Nation statehood. This move of Palestinian really upset Israelis. In reaction to this Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatened that Israel would take its own unilateral steps in response to the Palestinians’ move to join international conventions and reiterated that a Palestinian state could be created only through direct negotiations, not through empty statements and not by unilateral moves.

In this environment, whatever slim hopes there ever were of a peace deal have receded even further. Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas is also showing an adamant attitude by rejecting a plea from John Kerry US Secretary of state to withdraw the treaty applications. On the other hand Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu ignored US appeals to refrain from tit-for-tat moves, asking for a range of options to be drawn up for retaliation. This adamant attitude of both the parties has even made the patience of Secretary of State John Kerry’s exhausted. Speaking in Morocco, his frustration was palpable. He said there are limits to the amount of time and effort the United States can spend if the parties themselves are unwilling to take constructive steps in order to be able to move forward. But we’re not going to sit here indefinitely. Israel’s retaliatory measures could include withholding transfers of millions of dollars in taxes and fees that Israel collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority. It seems like that this peace process will also meet the fate of previous one like- The Oslo peace process which launched in 1993 whose a large part initially conducted in secret brought the Palestine Liberation Organisation and Israel face to face for the first time, establishing bilateral agreements that saw the creation of the Palestinian Authority as an interim government in Gaza and portions of the West Bank. The toughest issues of disagreement between the two parties such as Israeli settlements and the question of the right of return of Palestinian refugees were deliberately left to be dealt with later. That later at first envisaged as a period of five years has dragged on through initiatives and presidents, through military operations and an intifada, for more than two decades.

Although many experts does not believe a third intifada (uprising) will break out on 1 May after the deadline of peace talks that is April 29 if the talks fail, the situation might turn out to be very serious, although more likely to result in a period of extended international lawfare than in actual warfare between the two sides if the Palestinian leadership follows up on its threat to go to the international criminal court and international court of justice. Palestinians complain that nothing has been achieved in eight months of negotiations and that the Israelis have refused to discuss specifics of the conflict, such as the status of East Jerusalem and the borders of a new Palestinian state. “Israel wants never-ending ­negotiations, negotiations for the sake of negotiating, while it buys time to build more settlements,” a top Palestinian official, Yasser Abed Rabbo, told Voice of Palestine radio. And on their hand Mr Netanyahu said “Unilateral actions from the Palestinians will be answered with unilateral actions from our side”. He blamed the Palestinians for the current impasse over the US-sponsored peace talks. So a kind of blame game is going on between Israel and Palestine where each side is trying hard to shift the onus of failure of talks which is very much expected on other.

Moreover the hostiles are growing between the two sides even before the talks are formally ended. In East Jerusalem, Israel’s ethnic cleansing policies are at their most intense. As the EU notes, Palestinians have been starved of municipal funds, deprived of schools and blocked from commercial activity, and are leaving, heading for the greater security of West Bank cities. In recent weeks, Palestinians in sections of East Jerusalem have even discovered that, despite its claims to treat Jerusalem as its “unified capital”, Israel has stopped supplying them with water. Israeli dispossession policies are not limited to the occupied territories. Foreign minister Avigodor Lieberman’s plan to redraw the borders to strip part of Israel’s large Palestinian minority of its citizenship received a major fillip last month. For the first time government lawyers rejected the opinion of international law experts and gave their blessing to what the liberal Haaretz daily called Lieberman’s programme of “ethnic cleansing” of its own citizens. Just few days before Palestinians fired rockets at Israel, which responded with warplanes attacking military targets in the Gaza Strip. It’s highly doubtful the two sides will broker a final peace agreement, given years of bitterness and sharp differences over borders, claims to Jerusalem and recognition of Israel as a Jewish state. But the talks should continue if only to ward off a new Palestinian uprising against Israelis that would surely lead to a surge in violence. So both the sides should give it a last try for talks to be success otherwise no one knows when again they will sit on table to negotiate.

(Author is freelance columnist based in New Delhi and Editor of a geo-political website www.viewsaround.com can be reached at manishraiva@gmail.com)

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Shifting Al Qaeda operation base from Pakistan tribal agencies to Syria http://www.khaama.com/shifting-al-qaeda-operation-base-from-pakistan-tribal-agencies-to-syria-3496 http://www.khaama.com/shifting-al-qaeda-operation-base-from-pakistan-tribal-agencies-to-syria-3496#comments Sun, 30 Mar 2014 05:11:15 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=33071 Shifting Al Qaeda operation base from Pakistan tribal agencies to Syria
By Manish Rai  Al-Qaeda the world most notorious terrorist organization is shifting its base of operation from Pakistan’s lawless tribal agencies to the Syrian areas controlled by the hardcore Islamist militants fighting President Bashar-Al-Assad. Recently dozens of seasoned militant fighters, including some mid-level planners, and strategist have traveled to Syria from Pakistan in few months in what American intelligence Read the full article...]]>
Shifting Al Qaeda operation base from Pakistan tribal agencies to Syria

By Manish Rai

 Al-Qaeda the world most notorious terrorist organization is shifting its base of operation from Pakistan’s lawless tribal agencies to the Syrian areas controlled by the hardcore Islamist militants fighting President Bashar-Al-Assad.

Recently dozens of seasoned militant fighters, including some mid-level planners, and strategist have traveled to Syria from Pakistan in few months in what American intelligence and counter-terrorism official’s fear is an effort to lay the foundation for future strikes against Europe and the United States.

Syria is an appealing base for these operatives because it offers them the relative sanctuary of extremist-held havens away from drone strikes in Afghanistan and Pakistan as well as ready access to about more than 1,000 American and European Muslims radicals who have gone there to fight and could be potential recruits to carry out attacks when they return home.

Senior counter-terrorism officials of US have voiced fears in recent months that these Western fighters could be radicalized by the country’s civil war. New classified intelligence assessments based on information from electronic intercepts, informers and social media posts conclude that Al-Qaeda’s senior leadership in Pakistan, including Ayman al-Zawahri, is developing a much more systematic, long-term plan than was previously known to create specific cells in Syria that would identify, recruit and train these Westerners.

Recently Abu Khalid al-Suri, a Syrian-born veteran of Al Qaeda, were sent by the terrorist group’s central command in Pakistan first to fight Mr. Assad, but also to begin laying the groundwork to use enclaves in Syria to launch attacks against the West, American officials said.

Mr. Suri, who is believed to have been close to Osama bin Laden and to have fought against American forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, was sent to mediate conflicts between Al Qaeda’s main affiliate in Syria, the Jabhat al-Nusra Front, and another extremist faction, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, which Al Qaeda has disowned.

He was killed in a suicide attack in February by the rival group. Sending of Mr Suri as Al-Qaeda’s envoy for reconciliation between the Islamist insurgents clearly depicts that Syria is gaining importance for Al-Qaeda which sees it as a future operational base. Many of the Al-Qaeda planners and operatives from Afghanistan and Pakistan have clustered in the east and northwest sections of Syria, in territory controlled or heavily influenced by the Nusra Front, intelligence officials said.

The large majority of Al Qaeda-linked commanders now in Syria are there due to the potential for Syria to be the next jihadist safe haven. Syria is an attractive region for the organisation since there is no fear of any attack by US and NATO forces and also because of its access to recruits and human resources which have either mobilised to Syria for fighting or are in close proximity in Iraq.

Al-Qaeda is also strengthening its position in neighbouring countries of Syria as well like- Lebanon where it is steadily building its support networks and capacity where fears are growing that a new influx of militants from the Syrian border region could bolster the terror group’s ranks and stokes instability.

The two main al-Qaeda affiliates in Lebanon, Jabhat al-Nusra and the Abdullah Azzam Brigades, claimed a string of suicide bombings against Shiite targets during the first six weeks of the year. Just after a nearly month-long hiatus from those attacks, the fall of the rebel-held Syrian town of Yabround to the Syrian army and fighters from the Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah sparked a new deterioration in the country’s security as supporters of Nusra Front and Azzam brigade clashed with Hezbollah frequently now.

This will lead to escalated instability by significantly boosting the operational capability of the Lebanese branch of Jabhat al-Nusra, which is already gaining a foothold. But other terror groups, particularly the Abdullah Azzam Brigades, a Lebanese Al-Qaeda affiliate, pose the most immediate threat, said a senior army officer of Lebanon who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject.

The group has asserted responsibility for double suicide bombings on the Iranian cultural centre in Beirut and the Embassy of Iran, a country that backs Hezbollah and the Syrian government. With a vacuum in mainstream Sunni political leadership in Lebanon, Sunni youth in areas such as the northern port city of Tripoli are increasingly expressing support for extremist groups.

This all is happening just because Al- Qaeda has a good presence in Syria these all are just signs of trickle down effect of Al-Qaeda in Syria. Al-Qaeda-linked militants are currently focused on attacking Syrian government forces and occasionally rival militant groups. But gradually their attention will be again on the west.

The concentration of Al-Qaida and other terror groups in Syria is in fact also strengthening Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s viewpoint that people struggling against his regime are not Syrians, rather they are terrorists. The president has even said in a number of his statements that people struggling to bring down his regime are terrorists and operating on behest of the West.

It will be the first time Al-Qaeda’s central command has set up a branch dedicating to planning and conducting attacks against the West outside of Pakistan since 2001. Al-Qaeda affiliates organizations has send a large number of foreign fighters based in Pakistan’s northern Waziristan area, which shares border with Afghanistan to fight in Syria.

The Pakistani Taliban which is a close ally of Al- Qaeda has even actually established a cell to monitor the Syrian situation. Even Al Qaeda’s head, Aymen al-Zawahiri sent out a message to Pakistani militants to move to Syria. It can be concluded that Syria is becoming a top priority for Al- Qaeda now.

So international community especially the West should rework on its strategy to tackle the menace of Al-Qaeda and rather than just focusing on removing Mr Assad from power a serious thought should be given to how to save Syria from growing influence of Al-Qaeda. As we all know that if we give Al-Qaeda an another opportunity to establishing a new operational base it will be able to plan and execute some new devastating attacks against the West and United States which are Al-Qaeda’s traditional enemies.

(Author is freelance columnist based in New Delhi and Editor of a geo-political website www.viewsaround.com can be reached at manishraiva@gmail.com)

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Al Qaeda a Terrorist and Hezbollah a Freedom Fighter: Syrian envoy http://www.khaama.com/al-qaeda-a-terrorist-and-hezbollah-a-freedom-fighter-syrian-envoy-2911 http://www.khaama.com/al-qaeda-a-terrorist-and-hezbollah-a-freedom-fighter-syrian-envoy-2911#comments Fri, 21 Mar 2014 18:51:02 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=32846 Al Qaeda a Terrorist and Hezbollah a Freedom Fighter: Syrian envoy
Hemant Kumar Sharma – Viewsaround New Delhi, March 20, 2014, Syrian Ambassador to India Dr Raid Kamel Abbas today while speaking to Viewsaround Sub-Editor Mr Hemant Sharma said that Al-Qaeda is the terrorist organization and threat to civilized world. It has carried out attacks against almost all the countries of world and it can’t be Read the full article...]]>
Al Qaeda a Terrorist and Hezbollah a Freedom Fighter: Syrian envoy

Hemant Kumar Sharma – Viewsaround

New Delhi, March 20, 2014, Syrian Ambassador to India Dr Raid Kamel Abbas today while speaking to Viewsaround Sub-Editor Mr Hemant Sharma said that Al-Qaeda is the terrorist organization and threat to civilized world. It has carried out attacks against almost all the countries of world and it can’t be compared with Lebanese organization Hezbollah which is according to Dr Abbas is fighting a war for its people freedom.

He added that Hezbollah is dedicated towards serving its people and ensuring peace and stability in its country. Moreover Syrian envoy said that fight of Hezbollah against Israel is just and lawful.

Giving detail about the recent Israeli airstrikes against the Syrian military forward positions in Golan Heights Dr Abbas said that in strikes one soldier of Syrian armed forces was killed.

He further added that if Syria again attacked will exercise its right of self defence and fight till end and. Viewsaround desk tried to contact the Israel embassy for knowing their reaction about the recent accelerated tension between the two countries because of the Air Strikes. But Israeli diplomats denied giving any reaction.

It should be known that Four Israeli paratroopers were injured Tuesday when the bomb suspected to be planted by Syrian rebels exploded under their patrol jeep in the Golan Heights, near the frontier between Israel and Syria.

In reaction to this incident Israel carried out Airstrikes against several Syrian Army positions across the decades-old cease-fire line in the Golan Heights without any provocation by Syria.

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Islamic Jihad A Growing Concern For Hamas http://www.khaama.com/islamic-jihad-a-growing-concern-for-hamas-2895 http://www.khaama.com/islamic-jihad-a-growing-concern-for-hamas-2895#comments Tue, 18 Mar 2014 13:56:06 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=32750 Islamic Jihad A Growing Concern For Hamas
By Manish Rai Harakat al-Muqawamah al-Islamiyyah popularly known as Hamas, the longtime front runner in the internal jockeying of organizations fighting Israel is in its struggling days, while the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) is gaining strength day by day. In recent years Hamas had a calming effect on the populace, but as the Gaza economy fails Read the full article...]]>
Islamic Jihad A Growing Concern For Hamas

By Manish Rai

Harakat al-Muqawamah al-Islamiyyah popularly known as Hamas, the longtime front runner in the internal jockeying of organizations fighting Israel is in its struggling days, while the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) is gaining strength day by day. In recent years Hamas had a calming effect on the populace, but as the Gaza economy fails and Hamas struggles to find funding more radical elements are gaining support. The PIJ is receiving financial support from Iran and has adopted a militant stance towards peace and disarmament. The United Nation is facing a $65 million dollar deficit in its food relief mission in Palestine, making cuts to food relief imminent. With UN food shipments drying up, the PIJ can offer food for loved ones in exchange for military service and bolster its number of active combatants. The poor and the hungry are ripe for recruitment in Palestine, and the economic situation is expected to worsen. People who are relying on international assistance for food items will easily convert their desperation for food into hatred of Israel with a slight push from PIJ recruiters who will be more than happy to discuss politics with their starving neighbours over a hearty meal.

Islamic Jihad is behaving more militantly with each passing day which is of course creating problem for Gaza controller Hamas. One day after the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) attacked a squad of Islamic Jihad militants, killing three Palestinian militants while they were firing a mortar right next to the border fence. Islamic Jihad fired some 60 rockets at Israel, which responded by attacking dozens of targets in the Gaza Strip.  The PIJ has “succeeded” in dragging Hamas into an adventure that it hardly wants, and at the worst possible time it is interesting that Hamas has been unable to prevent Islamic Jihad militants from operating along the border with Israel in an area that is supposed to be off limits to them. This, despite having recently stationed its Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades in the area to ensure that no rockets are fired from it. But what is actually stopping Hamas, a group that even Israel recognizes as the sovereign authority in the Gaza Strip, from disarming the Al-Quds Brigades military wing of PIJ? Who or what is preventing fighters from the al-Qassam Brigades, whose military strength is several orders of magnitude greater than Islamic Jihad’s military wing, the Al-Quds Brigades, to enforce their authority? And what made the Hamas slogan of “concentrating military power in one hand” so hollow and meaningless?

Its increased support of Iran for PIJ which is making them more flamboyant. Shortly after Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip in July 2007 and expelled the Fatah leadership, the al-Qassam Brigades launched an extensive military operation to disarm the other organizations operating there. Only two groups were entitled to extensive “relief” from this campaign the Popular Resistance Committees and Islamic Jihad. Both of them benefited and continue to benefit from generous aid from Iran, both financial and military. But of these two groups, Tehran’s favourite child is Islamic Jihad. Iran commended the PIJ on the rocket attacks that struck deep into Israel in recent days which is unsurprising because the rockets were most likely from a shipment supplied by Iran. Israel intercepted an Iranian shipment of rockets earlier this month bound for Gaza. According to Israel, the weapons seized from shipment were intended for Islamic Jihad and not for Hamas. It’s not that Hamas has not ever enjoyed Iranian patronage even once with Iranian aid it was able to defeat Fatah, exile it from Gaza and take over all the centres of power and authority. But that generous aid and strong backing, which provided Hamas’s leaders with a considerable (and sometimes exaggerated) sense of security, was suddenly cut off when Hamas decided to side with the rebels in the Syrian civil war. The deterioration of the relationship between Iran and Hamas happened very quickly and the romance ended with a bitter feud.

In just a short time, Hamas lost all of its supporters, including Iran and Syria, and became an enemy of the new Egyptian regime. Now Hamas would rather not exacerbate the rift with Iran. On the other hand, attacking Islamic Jihad could put an end to the some little relationship between Hamas and Iran which they still have and ensure that the movement continues its drawn-out demise without any future prospects and without hope. The relationship between Hamas and Islamic Jihad changes a lot depending on the developments on the ground and their relations with outside entities, which might affect their decisions. From time to time armed clashes erupts between members of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military wing, and the Al-Quds Brigades, Islamic Jihad’s military wing, in various areas of the Gaza Strip. This leaves the leaders of Hamas caught between a rock and a hard place. On one side they have Israel, which threatens them with a large scale military attack if the rocket fire doesn’t stop. On the other side is Iran, which will not stand silently by if Hamas causes any harm to the members of Islamic Jihad or to Iranian interests in Gaza. Right now, the leaders of Hamas are looking at Islamic Jihad and coming to the conclusion that the Al-Quds Brigades are capable of doing to them exactly what Hamas did to Fatah seven years earlier. They can achieve military superiority obviously with Iranian support thereby posing a threat to them and especially to its position of seniority in the Gaza Strip. So keeping all this in mind Hamas gamble to allow Islamic Jihad to fire rockets on Israel instead Hamas opted to absorb a single Israeli military assault in Gaza, which will be over in a few days rather than confronting PIJ or its sponsor Iran.

(Author is freelance columnist based in New Delhi and Editor of a geo-political website www.viewsaround.com can be reached at manishraiva@gmail.com)

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Iran a Rising Star of Middle East http://www.khaama.com/iran-a-rising-star-of-middle-east-4027 http://www.khaama.com/iran-a-rising-star-of-middle-east-4027#comments Mon, 10 Mar 2014 14:24:05 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=32567 Iran a Rising Star of Middle East
Iran commonly known as Persia in the Western world is intertwined with the history of a larger region, comprising the area from Anataloi and Egypt in the west to Ancient India and Syr Darya in the east, and from the caucasus and the Eurasian Steppe in the north to the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman Read the full article...]]>
Iran a Rising Star of Middle East

Iran commonly known as Persia in the Western world is intertwined with the history of a larger region, comprising the area from Anataloi and Egypt in the west to Ancient India and Syr Darya in the east, and from the caucasus and the Eurasian Steppe in the north to the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman in the south. Once a major empire of superpower proportions Iran has endured invasions by Greeks, Arabs, Turks, and Mongols. Iran has continually reasserted its national identity throughout the centuries and has developed as a distinct political and cultural entity. Iran is home to one of the world’s oldest continuous major civilizations, with historical and urban settlements dating back to 4000 BCE. Nearly some time ago, Iran was the leader of a powerful arc of Shiite influence that stretched from Tehran to Baghdad to Damascus to Beirut. But with Al Qaeda franchises cropping up in almost every nook and corner of Middle East and sectarian divisions tearing throughout the region, that is no longer the case. Now Iran is eagerly trying to re-establish it’s dominate position on the world stage and throughout the region.

In 1978, the year before the Islamic revolution, oil-rich Iran’s GDP was doubles that of Turkey. Today it is half that of Turkey but the Iran’s human capital, civilizational heft (some 5,000 years of Persian history), and natural resources means it can be a major global player and, like Turkey, be a member of the G20. But now equations are changing constantly for Iran on global and regional both fronts.  A new relationship between Iran and the West takes another step this weekend with the first visit of Europe’s foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, to the Islamic Republic. The visit comes as relations between Iran and the West warm up following last year’s election of Rouhani, who vowed to “constructively engage” with Western nations. Iran wants Western and UN sanctions that are severely hurting its oil-dependent economy lifted, having won limited relief in exchange for curbing its most sensitive nuclear work under the six-month Geneva deal. If the so-called “interim deal” between Iran and Western powers evolves into a steady normalization of relations between them, it could potentially bolster Iran’s geopolitical and geo-economic status in the region, which holds dramatic implications for U.S. allies such as Israel and Saudi Arabia. While Israel is afraid of Iran’s emerging economic and political powers as a major challenge to the former’s hegemony, Saudi Arabia deems the rapprochement between Iran and the West crucial not only to Iran’s rising political stature but also to the resurgence of sectarian competition in the region with Iran leading the Shiite camp.

Just a while ago, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in its first regular assessment of Iran after more than two years predicted a positive growth in country’s economy before the end of 2015. Iran is pro actively trying to change regional equations in its favour as well. Let’s see few example- Iran and the UAE are close to reaching an agreement on three long-disputed islands near the Strait of Hormuz, perhaps the world’s most important oil chokepoint. The strait carried roughly 35% of all seaborne traded oil in 2013. According to a high level UAE source, “Iran will retain sea bed rights around the three islands while the UAE will hold sovereignty over the land.” Omani officials mediated the talks. The deal with the UAE is just the latest sting to Saudi Arabia from its fellow GCC members and Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) nations. Oman is planning to build a pipeline connecting it with Iran’s natural gas fields as part of a $60 billion deal to increase cooperation and trade between the two countries. Iraq recently announced its plans to collaborate with Iran to increase its oil production capacity to 9 million barrels per day (bpd), challenging Saudi Arabia’s domination of OPEC. The Saudi Kingdom produced 9.8 million bpd in December 2013. Since the overthrow of Hussein in 2003 and the emergence of a new political regime in Iraq, the two neighbours have developed unique relations. No one could have predicted that these former enemies would forge such a close political, cultural and economic relationship. Bilateral trade stood at $12 billion in 2013 making Iraq one of Iran’s top five trading partners. In Iran’s non-oil trade, Iraq is the most significant export market.

Iranian influence in Afghanistan’s Herat province is already tremendous, with several million dollars’ worth investment and robust cross-border trade and Tehran definitely wants to make more inroads although they are not the most favoured, if not disapproved of, by the Afghans. Afghanistan is Iran’s gateway to the larger Central Asian region and China. It is already working towards instituting a North-South corridor between the Central Asian States, Afghanistan, China, and the greater West Asia and North Africa, using Chabahar Port on its southern border thereby luring these countries away from their dependence on Pakistan’s restive South for their access to sea lanes. On the home front also Iran is working very hard it has been racketing up its domestic military production. Last month the regime marked 35 years since the 1979 Islamic Revolution by holding a special display of the nation’s domestic military industry advances in the last decade, bragging that it has the “biggest army in the region”. The fruits of the Islamic regime’s military industry included domestically produced submarines, fighter jets, missiles, drones, and advanced radar system, Iranian semi-official news agency Fars reported that two new missiles were tested on the eve of the anniversary. One is a laser-guided missile, and the other is a long-range ballistic missile that can carry multiple warheads and reportedly evade anti-missile defence systems.

Moreover now United States is realizing the utility of Iran in the Middle East which is reflected in its changed approach towards the Islamic republic.  America has dropped its “axis of evil” rhetoric long ago, and now talks about complex manoeuvring among the many rival camps in the Middle East. Washington sees rational partners among the new Iranian leadership, notably Rohani, with whom cooperation will be possible if necessary. The United States can draw on the Iranians’ help in a large number of regional issues on which Tehran can wield influence. Iran might, for example, be able to help stabilize the situation in Afghanistan after the departure of the American forces from that country at the end of this year. Tehran also wields the greatest influence on the Shi’ite government in neighbouring Iraq. Above all, Iran is a player to be reckoned with in Syria. Without the support of both Tehran and Moscow for President Bashar Assad, the Syrian president would long since have surrendered to the hundreds of rebel groups that are now actively trying to topple him. For the first time since 2006, the American public does not view Iran as the country’s “greatest enemy,” according to a recent Gallup poll. Instead, that (dis)honor is reserved for China. So, all this indicates a US policy shift towards Iran.

The regional upheaval of the last few years has changed the balance of power, and Middle East is going through a “strategic recalculation” with Iran emerging as the new game changer. Iran is the much coveted prize in any future gamble in the Middle East. With its well-established institutions, Iran is a rock compared to the sand dunes the rest of the Middle Eastern countries are built on. The Iranian economy has the potential to move from its current below-average performance to becoming a developed economy. It has all the resources (natural, human and geostrategic) that an economy would need to play a much more significant role on the international stage. So it won’t be an exaggerated statement to make that Iran is a rising star of Middle East.

(Author is freelance columnist based in New Delhi and Editor of a geo-political website www.viewsaround.com can be reached at manishraiva@gmail.com)

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Syria Conflict: Geneva II Just A Eyewash http://www.khaama.com/syria-conflict-geneva-ii-just-a-eyewash-2785 http://www.khaama.com/syria-conflict-geneva-ii-just-a-eyewash-2785#comments Thu, 13 Feb 2014 16:56:44 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=32080 Syria Conflict: Geneva II Just A Eyewash
By Manish Rai It is hard to imagine that representatives of the 30 countries that assembled in Geneva actually believed that they could find a political solution to the ongoing three year old Syrian civil war. Given the differing strategic interests in Syria of the powers within and outside the region, reaching a consensus to Read the full article...]]>
Syria Conflict: Geneva II Just A Eyewash

By Manish Rai

It is hard to imagine that representatives of the 30 countries that assembled in Geneva actually believed that they could find a political solution to the ongoing three year old Syrian civil war. Given the differing strategic interests in Syria of the powers within and outside the region, reaching a consensus to end the crisis at this juncture is beyond the realm of possibility. After the first round of Geneva II negotiations between the warring sides mediated by Lakhdar Brahimi adjourned some ten days ago without concrete results achieved, the second round resumed but saw little rift healed so far.  The Syrian opposition coalition has no unity. A big part of its components withdrew from the coalition protesting the Geneva talks and the rest does not fully represent the Syrian people. And most armed rebel groups now are Islamist in character. They are fighting for Sharia law, not democracy, the objective of the peace process sponsored by the US and Britain.  What then can be achieved by these talks? No-one really expects a peace deal in Switzerland through these talks. But then a valid question arises that why then these talks were organized at first place. Talks might have been conveyed because some optimists hope that a durable ceasefire might eventually emerge. There has never been a prospect of that in almost three years of Syria’s civil war.

The two sides did not budge from their main positions, with the government side insists on stopping violence and terrorism as top priority, while the opposition focusing on the establishment of a transitional governing body. The Syrian deputy foreign minister, Faisal Mekdad, said the issue of Bashar Al Assad stepping down was not on the agenda. He said that “Please tell those who dream of wasting our time here in such a discussion to stop it,” while talking to a press reporter. Moreover both the sides accuse each other of being responsible for escalating violence in Syria and disruption of aid for civilians. It was clearly visible in case Homs for which a deal was clinched last week for a three-day truce in rebel-held parts of Homs to secure the evacuation of hundreds of trapped civilians and the entry of humanitarian aid convoys. That effort was disrupted as lorries carrying supplies into Homs came under heavy fire. Both sides traded accusations over who was responsible. So it is clear that there is no common objective between the two sides to achieve. Even the role of big two players United States and Russia is also not proving to be very constructive. President Obama may strongly embrace the agreement to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons or seek a political solution by holding the Geneva II conference. Unfortunately and predictably, the chemical deal worked only to strengthen Assad as it prevented an American attack and gave him more time to consolidate his gains.

Obama, who is determined not to engage America in another conflict in the Middle East, has left Syria to the whims of Russia’s President Putin, who was more than eager to fill in the gap and usurp the political agenda to ensure Russia’s long-term interests in Syria. There are many factors that complicate the prospect of any political solution, which seem to have escaped the Obama administration or were treated with ambivalence. First, in addition to Russia and Iran, many of the players, including the Gulf States led by Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and scores of jihadist groups in and outside the region, have different political agendas and will do everything in their power to thwart any solution that does not serve their interests. Second, the civil war has now also evolved into a proxy war between Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shiite Iran. Iraq and now Syria are seen as the battlegrounds of a long-simmering conflict between them and it is unlikely to end in the foreseeable future. Third, the convenient “political cooperation” between the US and Russia does not obscure the fact that they have fundamental disagreements not only about Assad’s fate but also the kind of political order that will follow. Fourth, the war has provided a historic opportunity for scores of Muslim extremists, including the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, Jabhat al-Nusra and other al-Qaeda-affiliated jihadist groups. They are determined to exploit the chaos in Syria regardless of the price they pay and how high the Syrian death toll rises.

Speculation abounds as to how to end this tragedy when no power wants to end it only for the sake of the Syrian people. Geneva II could not even deliver an enforceable agreement to provide food and medicine to children, many who are sick and starving to death. Instead, the leaders in attendance found comfort in the fact that the rebels and Assad’s representatives sat face-to-face and talked. Given this gloomy reality, one wonders from where a political solution can come to end Syria’s unfolding human tragedy. The fact that scores of jihadists have converged on the country and are committed to fight against any agreement and each other to promote their political agenda further prolongs the war as the fighting no longer has a single purpose. This is what often happens in a civil war when the combatants are engaged in a protracted fight and neither side can win without gaining a decisive advantage. This situation is further complicated when outside powers continue to support different sides, but not enough to tilt the balance decisively one way or the other. Under these circumstances, the civil war in Syria could last 10 to 15 years or more. The civil war in Lebanon that lasted from 1975 to 1990 is a case in point other examples of long and debilitating civil wars include Afghanistan and Sudan. If this scenario unfolds, Syria as a state will disintegrate, hundreds of thousands more Syrians will die, starvation and diseases will run rampant, and much of the country will lie in ruin. No one can tell how this catastrophe will impact other states in the region, but one thing is certain not a single country will be spared and the potential for regional conflagration will be omnipresent.

(Author is freelance columnist based in New Delhi and Editor of www.viewsaround.com. He can be reached at manishraiva@gmail.com)

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Amnesty: Iran hangs 40 people in two weeks amid surge in execuctions http://www.khaama.com/amnesty-iran-hangs-40-people-in-two-weeks-amid-surge-in-exeuctions-3309 http://www.khaama.com/amnesty-iran-hangs-40-people-in-two-weeks-amid-surge-in-exeuctions-3309#comments Sat, 18 Jan 2014 08:37:07 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=31413 Amnesty: Iran hangs 40 people in two weeks amid surge in execuctions
The Amnesty International has recently announced that Iran has executed 40 people since the beginning of 2014, with at least 33 carried out in the past week. Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa quoted in a statement published on Amnesty International’s website, said, “The spike in the Read the full article...]]>
Amnesty: Iran hangs 40 people in two weeks amid surge in execuctions

The Amnesty International has recently announced that Iran has executed 40 people since the beginning of 2014, with at least 33 carried out in the past week.

Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa quoted in a statement published on Amnesty International’s website, said, “The spike in the number of executions carried out so far this month in Iran is alarming. The Iranian authorities’ attempts to change their international image are meaningless if at the same time executions continue to increase.”

Sahraoui further added, “The Iranian authorities must urgently take steps to abolish the death penalty, which has been shown again and again not to have any special deterrent effect on crime.”

The statement also added, death penalty is a violation of every human being’s right to life and is a cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment.

According to Amnesty Internationa, the Iranian authorities have officially acknowledged 21 executions, which were recorded by the organization since the beginning of 2014.

Amnesty International in its statement also added that 19 additional executions were reported through reliable sources in the week since 9 January 2014.

This comes as the Iranian preisdent Hassan Rouhani had promised to follow a “path of moderation’ in international affairs and to ease restrictions on civil liberties, after he won the national election in June 2013.

But the Iranian Human Rights Documentation Centre (IHRDC) said more than 300 people have been executed since the time of Rouhani’s inauguration in August to the end of 2013.

According to IHRDC, the majority of those who were executed since January 5, were convicted of drug trafficking.

However, the Amnesty International said under the international standards, non-lethal crimes such as drugs offences do not meet the threshold of “most serious crimes” to which the death penalty must be restricted.

“In Iran drug-related offences are tried in Revolutionary Courts which routinely fall far short of international fair trial standards. The reality in Iran is that people are being ruthlessly sentenced to death after unfair trials, and this is unacceptable,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui.

But the Iranian authorities in the past have insisted that death penalty is essential to maintain law and order, and that it is applied only after exhaustive judicial proceedings.

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Iran to implement interim nuclear agreement on 20 January http://www.khaama.com/iran-to-implement-interim-nuclear-agreement-on-20-january-2687 http://www.khaama.com/iran-to-implement-interim-nuclear-agreement-on-20-january-2687#comments Sun, 12 Jan 2014 18:11:55 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=31270 Iran to implement interim nuclear agreement on 20 January
Iran and six world powers have agreed to begin implementation later this month of the interim nuclear deal struck in November. The terms of the interim deal is expected to start from January 20, the official state news agency of Islamic Republic of Iran announced Sunday. Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi quoted by IRNA Read the full article...]]>
Iran to implement interim nuclear agreement on 20 January

Iran and six world powers have agreed to begin implementation later this month of the interim nuclear deal struck in November.

The terms of the interim deal is expected to start from January 20, the official state news agency of Islamic Republic of Iran announced Sunday.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi quoted by IRNA confirmed the news, without offering any other details.

The European Union’s foreing policy chief Catherin eAshton following a statement on Sunday said IAEA will be asked to undertake the necessary nuclear-related monitoring and verification activities.

This comes as Araghchi said Friday that an initial agreement had been reached and all sides would respond to it by Sunday.

Iran agreed to limit its uranium enrichment to 5 percent, the grade commonly used to power reactors, in return for some relief from western economic sanctions, under the 24 November agreement.

The US president Barack Obama welcomed the deal and epeated his intention to prevent any futher sanctions being imposed on Iran that may threaten the breakthrough.

Obama in his statement said, for the first time Iran will will start eliminating its stockpile of higher levels of enriched uranian, beginning 20 January.

He said Iran will be dismantling some of the infrastructure that makes such enrichment possible, and in return the US and the other five powers would begin to implement “modest relief” so long as Iran fulfilled its obligations.

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Israel’s iconic leader Ariel Sharon dies after 8 years in coma http://www.khaama.com/israels-iconic-leader-ariel-sharon-dies-after-8-years-in-coma-3284 http://www.khaama.com/israels-iconic-leader-ariel-sharon-dies-after-8-years-in-coma-3284#comments Sun, 12 Jan 2014 05:51:30 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=31241 Israel’s iconic leader Ariel Sharon dies after 8 years in coma
Israelis are beginning a short period of mourning as the nation’s most controversial and iconic leader and former prime minister Ariel Sharon died Saturday. Sharon died of complications from a stroke at the age of 85. His death was snnounced by his son Gilad Sharon on Saturday afternoon. Israeli and world figures including president Barack Read the full article...]]>
Israel’s iconic leader Ariel Sharon dies after 8 years in coma

Israelis are beginning a short period of mourning as the nation’s most controversial and iconic leader and former prime minister Ariel Sharon died Saturday.

Sharon died of complications from a stroke at the age of 85. His death was snnounced by his son Gilad Sharon on Saturday afternoon.

Israeli and world figures including president Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, British prime minister David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have paid tribute to a man who fought in four major wars before taking to the political stage.

However, the Palestinians, who loathed Sharon as their most bitter enemy, distributed candy, prayed for divine punishment and said they regretted he was never held accountable for his actions

He led Israeli troops against Arab armies in every war from independence in 1948 until his stroke 58 years later.

Sharon’s coffin will be transferred to the parliament building on Sunday where Knesset — Israeli Parliament — members and the public will have a chance to pay their respects.

Sharon died eight years after a debilitating stroke put him into a coma. He will be buried next to his wife after a private ceremony at their farm on Monday.

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Saudi prince faces death penalty over murder charges http://www.khaama.com/saudi-prince-faces-death-penalty-over-murder-charges-3229 http://www.khaama.com/saudi-prince-faces-death-penalty-over-murder-charges-3229#comments Mon, 30 Dec 2013 08:34:54 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=30898 Saudi prince faces death penalty over murder charges
A Saudi prince who murdered a Saudi citizen, faces execution after the victim’s father refused to pardon him, local media have reported. The possible execution of the anonymous Saudi prince was cleared by a member of the faily and government, Crown Prince Salman. Crown Prince Salman, in a letter to the Interior Minister Muhammad bin Read the full article...]]>
Saudi prince faces death penalty over murder charges

A Saudi prince who murdered a Saudi citizen, faces execution after the victim’s father refused to pardon him, local media have reported.

The possible execution of the anonymous Saudi prince was cleared by a member of the faily and government, Crown Prince Salman.

Crown Prince Salman, in a letter to the Interior Minister Muhammad bin Naif, has reportedly said that the prince would not be given special treatment despite his royal position.

“Shariah [law] shall be applied to all without exception,” Crown Prince Salman quoted by Arab News said.

He said, There is no difference between big and small, rich and poor. The powerful are weak before God’s law until others get their rights from them while the weak are powerful until their rights are protected.”

“Nobody is allowed to interfere with the judiciary’s decision. This is the tradition of this state. We are committed to following the Shariah,” said Crown Prince Salman.

His letter to the Interior Minister was followed after the father of the victim refused to pardon the killer, and said he was not happy with the amount offered as blood money.

The strict implementation of Sharia law by Saudi Arabi, which has resulted in a high number of executions, has been widely criticized.

According to Amnesty International, some 47 people were executed in the Gulf State from the beginning of 2013 to May. While 82 executions took place in 2011 and around 80 in 2012.

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Egyptian government declares Muslim Brotherhood ‘terrorist group’ http://www.khaama.com/egyptian-government-declares-muslim-brotherhood-terrorist-group-2640 http://www.khaama.com/egyptian-government-declares-muslim-brotherhood-terrorist-group-2640#comments Wed, 25 Dec 2013 17:17:01 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=30788 Egyptian government declares Muslim Brotherhood ‘terrorist group’
The Muslim Brotherhood group was declared a terrorist organization by the interim government of Egypt on Wednesday. The decision was announced by Hossam Eisa, a deputy prime minister late Wednesday, following a lengthy cabinet meet. The move gives authorities great freedom to crack down on the group after criminalizing all its activities and its financing. Read the full article...]]>
Egyptian government declares Muslim Brotherhood ‘terrorist group’

The Muslim Brotherhood group was declared a terrorist organization by the interim government of Egypt on Wednesday.

The decision was announced by Hossam Eisa, a deputy prime minister late Wednesday, following a lengthy cabinet meet.

The move gives authorities great freedom to crack down on the group after criminalizing all its activities and its financing.

Muslim Brotherhood, who candidate Mohammad Morsi won the presidential poll last year before being deposed by the military, was blamed for a deadly attack on a police HQ earlier this week.

At least fourteen people mostly police officers were killed in the blast outside the police headquarters in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura, and more than 150 others were wounded.

Eissa said, the decision was in response to Tuesday’s deadly bombing targeting a police headquarters in a Nile Delta city. Egypt was horrified from north to south by the hideous crime committed by the Muslim Brotherhood group,” Eissa quoted by Associated Presss said.

He also added, “This was in context of dangerous escalation to violence against Egypt and Egyptians (and) a clear declaration by the Muslim Brotherhood group that it is still knows nothing but violence.”

The Muslim Brotherhood group has staged near-daily protests since President Mohamed Morsi was ousted by the army in July following widespread popular protests.

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Syrian Refugees: Biggest Sufferers Of The Conflict http://www.khaama.com/syrian-refugees-biggest-sufferers-of-the-conflict-9876 http://www.khaama.com/syrian-refugees-biggest-sufferers-of-the-conflict-9876#comments Mon, 16 Dec 2013 13:36:10 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=30606 Syrian Refugees: Biggest Sufferers Of The Conflict
By Manish Rai Nearly three years of bloody civil war in Syria have created what the United Nations, governments and international humanitarian organizations describe as the most challenging refugee crisis in a generation bigger than the one unleashed by the Rwandan genocide and laden with the sectarianism of the Balkan wars. With no end in Read the full article...]]>
Syrian Refugees: Biggest Sufferers Of The Conflict

By Manish Rai

Nearly three years of bloody civil war in Syria have created what the United Nations, governments and international humanitarian organizations describe as the most challenging refugee crisis in a generation bigger than the one unleashed by the Rwandan genocide and laden with the sectarianism of the Balkan wars. With no end in sight in the conflict and with large parts of Syria already destroyed, governments and organizations are quietly preparing for the refugee crisis to last years. Governments and humanitarian groups are increasingly working under the assumption that the crisis will be a long-lasting one. This is the crisis that has been called the greatest humanitarian catastrophe of this century and condemned by the UN as a “disgraceful humanitarian calamity with suffering and displacement unparalleled in recent history”. The United Nations has asked for more than $5 billion in humanitarian aid this year for Syria, its biggest financial appeal ever for a single crisis. But amidst politically-charged debates on the use of chemical weapons, military drone strikes and UN intervention, the real victims of the Syrian civil war, its refugees and its children, are slowly being relegated to the background. It is becoming a political issue, rather than a human one.

The number of refugees fleeing over the Syrian borders to Turkey, Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon and Iraq to escape the violent conflict reached 2 million. Currently, it is estimated that over 2.5 million persons have fled the conflict, more than half of whom are believed to be children. The UN confirmed that thousands of new refugees had fled to Lebanon to escape fighting in the Qalamoun mountains on the Lebanese border. Many of these refugees are families, arriving with only the clothes on their back. The Syrian conflict is the greatest humanitarian crisis of our time in terms of brutality, numbers affected and the impact on children. With no resolution in sight, there is the potential for an entire generation of Syrian children to be deprived of access to a permanent home, formal education and basic health needs. The impact of this will reverberate not only for generations of Syrians to come, but will also be felt in those neighbouring countries who have openly accepted victims of war seeking refuge, and whose own services now face severe stress. For many children however, after having already missed two years of schooling in Syria, attending school is simply too difficult. Some are set to work in order to sustain their families, and girls in particular often stay in the makeshift settlements to care for younger children. The gains made in female education in Syria in the past are regressing as a result of the refugee crisis.

It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the magnitude of the Syrian refugee crisis. It is, after all, the biggest humanitarian crisis in modern history with nearly 4 million Syrians one million of them children forced out of their country by the civil war. But, with the conflict and its impact expected to drag on for years, the aid agencies must also plan for the longer term. This includes building capacity in neighbouring states, as the World Bank is doing in Jordan and Lebanon, to provide services for refugees. The life of internally displaced persons (IDPs) is not better then the refugees who have crossed into the neighbouring countries they often find refuge in the poorest and most marginalized regions of the country, which frequently lack proper infrastructure to deal with the population influx. But they are often even harder to reach, as many remain in conflict areas. Staying with relatives or in abandoned properties moving through fields and along roads. And always they are stalked by the bitter war that has torn this country apart the past three years claiming about 126,000 lives, laying waste to infrastructure, and threatening to ignite a broader, regional confrontation. The UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) estimates that some 4.5 million Syrians have been displaced within Syria’s borders as the country’s internecine conflict grinds on, exacting its brutal toll. IDPs have often been the invisible and forgotten victims of this brutal conflict and are largely sidelined by the political wrangling between all parties to the conflict and their international backers. Fears continue to mount that Syria’s internally displaced will go hungry with aid agencies unable to reach many in need because of security risks. Moreover measles and acute diarrhea cases are increasing, and WHO has warned the likelihood of outbreaks of water-borne diseases typhoid, cholera and hepatitis among IDP.

The United Nation estimates that 2.5 million civilians lack food, water, and medicines, because some towns and villages are too hard to reach, with an estimated 250,000 people completely cut off from outside help. Only 60% of aid pledges have come in, with only a fraction actually reaching the intended beneficiaries. Although some agencies have been able to get aid supplies across national borders, they cannot get through the front lines of the fighting to reach those caught in the crossfire. In a nutshell we can just say that humanity is dying in Syria and the whole world community should do something to save it. International diplomatic efforts must therefore focus on achieving temporary ceasefires to bring in the most urgently needed help, such as polio vaccines for children as new cases of polio is being registered among the refugees. Aid should not be a mere side show to the seemingly endless peace talks taking place in Geneva. In order to ensure that an entire generation of Syrian children is not lost to history, we must pay attention to the issues before us for longer than the headlines. We must continue to support these victims of war for longer than a cake stall. We must keep giving, until the light at the end of the tunnel finally appears. Acting now, rather than waiting for a political solution, is a must. Resettlement of more Syrian refugees through a greater humanitarian intake, combined with a continued public giving program is the only way forward.

Author is freelance columnist based in New Delhi and Editor of www.viewsaround.com can be reached at manishraiva@gmail.com

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Iran claims to capture British intelligence agency MI6 spy http://www.khaama.com/iran-claims-to-capture-british-intelligence-agency-mi6-spy-3186 http://www.khaama.com/iran-claims-to-capture-british-intelligence-agency-mi6-spy-3186#comments Sat, 14 Dec 2013 10:31:28 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=30553 Iran claims to capture British intelligence agency MI6 spy
The Iranian government officials announced Saturday that a spy working for British intelligence agency MI6 was captured in south-eastern city of Kerman. Head of the Revolutionary court in Kereman city said that the detained spy had confessed that he was in contact with the British intelligence, and met with the British intelligence officers 11 times, Read the full article...]]>
Iran claims to capture British intelligence agency MI6 spy

The Iranian government officials announced Saturday that a spy working for British intelligence agency MI6 was captured in south-eastern city of Kerman.

Head of the Revolutionary court in Kereman city said that the detained spy had confessed that he was in contact with the British intelligence, and met with the British intelligence officers 11 times, both inside and outside the country.

According to the head of the Kerman’s revolutionary court, a trial was under way after the supect confessed to his crime.

British government officials have not commented regarding the Iranian claims so far, which comes amid efforts by Iranian and British officials to re-establish diplomatic relations.

Britain had pulled out its diplomatic staff out of Iran following an attack on British embassy buildings in Tehran back in 2011.

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Dubai customs seize 28 tonnes of tobacco derivative Naswar http://www.khaama.com/dubai-customs-seize-28-tonnes-of-tobacco-derivative-naswar-3158 http://www.khaama.com/dubai-customs-seize-28-tonnes-of-tobacco-derivative-naswar-3158#comments Sun, 08 Dec 2013 06:18:31 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=30394 Dubai customs seize 28 tonnes of tobacco derivative Naswar
At least 28 tonnes of tobacco derivative – Naswar, were discovered and seized by authorities in United Arab Emirates, before the smugglers manage to smuggle the banned toxic to UAE. Ahmad Mahboub Musabbah, the Executive Director of Customers Management at Dubai Customs, quoted by Gulf News said the shipment came from an Asian country and Read the full article...]]>
Dubai customs seize 28 tonnes of tobacco derivative Naswar

At least 28 tonnes of tobacco derivative – Naswar, were discovered and seized by authorities in United Arab Emirates, before the smugglers manage to smuggle the banned toxic to UAE.

Ahmad Mahboub Musabbah, the Executive Director of Customers Management at Dubai Customs, quoted by Gulf News said the shipment came from an Asian country and was hidden in 375 bags to mislead customs officials.

Mr. Musabbah further added that the smuggling attempt was foiled in Jebel Ali and called it a great achievement for Dubai Customs.

He said the owner of the cargo was an Asian national who tried to deceive authorities by hiding his container behind other companies’ in Jebel Ali.

Naswar is highly addictive as it contains infused tobacco powder. The production and sale of Naswar is banned in United Arab Emirates.

Naswar is largely consumed in Afghanistan and Pakistan and preliminary reports suggest that the product was first invented by certain tribes in northern Pakistan and Afghanistan.

A study conducted by Department of pharmacy at the University of Peshawar in Pakistan revealed that fifty per cent of the total oral cancer cases reported in Pakistan was attributable to neswar usage, which could increase the risks of oral, oesophageal, and peptic cancer.

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Foreign Jihadists use safe houses in Turkey to fight in Syria http://www.khaama.com/foreign-jihadists-use-safe-houses-in-turkey-to-fight-in-syria-3154 http://www.khaama.com/foreign-jihadists-use-safe-houses-in-turkey-to-fight-in-syria-3154#comments Sat, 07 Dec 2013 10:48:00 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=30376 Foreign Jihadists use safe houses in Turkey to fight in Syria
According to reports, Al Qaeda fighters from various countries are being provided with safe houses in Turkish border towns when crossing into Syria to join the Syrian rebels fighting the Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad. The foreign fighters which also included British and French nationals used the safe house in southern Turkey to cross into Syria Read the full article...]]>
Foreign Jihadists use safe houses in Turkey to fight in Syria

According to reports, Al Qaeda fighters from various countries are being provided with safe houses in Turkish border towns when crossing into Syria to join the Syrian rebels fighting the Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.

The foreign fighters which also included British and French nationals used the safe house in southern Turkey to cross into Syria and return back to their homes during the past three months, BBC reported Saturday.

The houses were said to be located in border towns such as Reyhanli, with the route passing through them becoming more and more organized.

“There are thousands of us, literally from every corner of the world,” a French fighter – a former student – told the BBC.

The student who is part of a brigade consiting of 8,000 men said that all the fighters belong to Al Qaeda network.

Thousands of foreign fighters including about 300 British nationals have poured into Syria over the past one year to fight president Bashar Al-Assad forces.

Around 100,000 rebels are fighting the regime of Bashar Assad, which includes approximately 10,000 jihadists linked to al-Qaeda, and another 30,000-35,000 hardline Islamists focusing exclusively on the Syrian civil war, a recent study by IHS Jane’s defense consultancy, cited by The Telegraph found.

The Syrian conflict which started earlier in 2011, has left more than 100,000 people dead and millions of Syrians have been forced to flee their homes.

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Al Qaeda claim attack in Yemen that left 52 dead, 167 injured http://www.khaama.com/al-qaeda-claim-attack-in-yemen-that-left-52-dead-167-injured-2600 http://www.khaama.com/al-qaeda-claim-attack-in-yemen-that-left-52-dead-167-injured-2600#comments Fri, 06 Dec 2013 09:42:20 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=30358 Al Qaeda claim attack in Yemen that left 52 dead, 167 injured
An al Qaeda-linked group has claimed responsibility for Thursday’s attack on Yemen’s defense ministry that left at least 52 dead and 167 others injured. Ansar al-Sharia (Partisans of Islamic Law) following a Twitter said early Friday, “As part of the policy of targeting the operation rooms of pilotless planes, the mujahideen (holy fighters) have heavily Read the full article...]]>
Al Qaeda claim attack in Yemen that left 52 dead, 167 injured

An al Qaeda-linked group has claimed responsibility for Thursday’s attack on Yemen’s defense ministry that left at least 52 dead and 167 others injured.

Ansar al-Sharia (Partisans of Islamic Law) following a Twitter said early Friday, “As part of the policy of targeting the operation rooms of pilotless planes, the mujahideen (holy fighters) have heavily struck one of these rooms in the Ministry of Defence headquarters.”

The group in a separate Twitter message said, “Such joint military locations which participate with the Americans in their war against this Muslim nation are a legitimate target for our operations.”

The attack was carried out by a suicide bomber and gunmen wearing army uniforms, Reuters repoted. A number of foreign medics, including German, Vietnamese, Indian, Filipino nationals were also among those killed in the attack.

The U.S. military raised its alert status in the region after the coordinated strikes on Yemen, which is also home to what Washington has called the most active arm of al Qaeda.

It was the deadliest attack in Sanaa since May 2012. Over 90 people rehearsing for a military parade in the capital were killed in July last year by a suicide bomber wearing a Yemeni army uniform.

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Iran reach deal on its nuclear program with world powers http://www.khaama.com/iran-reach-deal-on-its-nuclear-program-with-world-powers-2463 http://www.khaama.com/iran-reach-deal-on-its-nuclear-program-with-world-powers-2463#comments Sun, 24 Nov 2013 05:24:35 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=30070 Iran reach deal on its nuclear program with world powers
Iran has reached to an agreement with six world powers on its nuclear program, during a meeting in Geneva on Sunday. European Union policy chief Catherine Ashton said they have reached a “first step” towards a comprehensive solution to curb Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for limited sanctions relief. US President Barack Obama also welcomed Read the full article...]]>
Iran reach deal on its nuclear program with world powers

Iran has reached to an agreement with six world powers on its nuclear program, during a meeting in Geneva on Sunday.

European Union policy chief Catherine Ashton said they have reached a “first step” towards a comprehensive solution to curb Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for limited sanctions relief.

US President Barack Obama also welcomed the developments and said the deal included substantial limitations which will help prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon.

The deal was reached between Iran and six world powers including United States, France, Germany, Britain, China and Russia, after more than four days of negotiations.

Iran’s foreign minister Mohammad Jawad Zarif said Tehran has reached an agreement regarding its nuclear program, however, he insisted that ran retains its right to enrich uranium.

The deal is considered to be one of the most significant agreement between Iran and the six world powers over Iran’s nuclear program during the past one decade.

The deal will allow Iran to gain access to billions of dollars of revenues from limited sales of oil and petrochemicals and trade in gold and other precious metals, after some sanctions are suspended.

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Iran unveils biggest missile-equipped drone with 2000 km range http://www.khaama.com/iran-unveils-biggest-missile-equipped-drone-with-2000-km-range-3092 http://www.khaama.com/iran-unveils-biggest-missile-equipped-drone-with-2000-km-range-3092#comments Tue, 19 Nov 2013 05:41:26 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=29967 Iran unveils biggest missile-equipped drone with 2000 km range
The Iranian defense officials unveiled the biggest missile-equipped drone yet to be developed in the Islamic republic. Iran’s Defence Minister Hossein Dehghan said the drone is capable of staying aloft for up to 30 hours, with a range of 2,000km (1,200 miles), which would enable it to cover much of the Middle East. Mr. Dehghan Read the full article...]]>
Iran unveils biggest missile-equipped drone with 2000 km range

The Iranian defense officials unveiled the biggest missile-equipped drone yet to be developed in the Islamic republic.

Iran’s Defence Minister Hossein Dehghan said the drone is capable of staying aloft for up to 30 hours, with a range of 2,000km (1,200 miles), which would enable it to cover much of the Middle East.

Mr. Dehghan also added that the Fotros drone can fluy at an altitude of 25,000 feet, and is able to carry out reconnaissance mission and air-to-surface rockets for combat operations.

He said scientists at Iranian Aircraft Manufacturing Industries, affiliated to Iran’s Defence Ministry, have designed and developed the drone.

The aircraft was tested “successfully” and “shows that sanctions imposed by the enemies are not an obstacle to the progress of the defence industry,” Dehghan quoted by official IRNA news agency said.

The earlier Shahed-129 (Witness-129) drone is reported to have a similar range, but can only stay aloft 24 hours.

Iran frequently announces technological breakthroughs including the building of jet fighters, tanks, missile, submarines, torpedoes and drones, since 1980s, after it pursued a military self-sufficiency.

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Syrian rebel mistakenly beheaded by Jihadists http://www.khaama.com/syrian-rebel-mistakenly-beheaded-by-jihadists-2543 http://www.khaama.com/syrian-rebel-mistakenly-beheaded-by-jihadists-2543#comments Fri, 15 Nov 2013 12:51:00 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=29881 Syrian rebel mistakenly beheaded by Jihadists
An al-Qaeda affiliated rebel group in Syria has asked for “understanding and forgiveness” for cutting off and putting on display the wrong man’s head. Al Qaeda-linked jihadists in Syria have admitted beheading a rebel fighter by mistake, apparently believing he was an Iraqi Shiite fighting alongside President Bashar al Assad’s forces. A video reportedly posted Read the full article...]]>
Syrian rebel mistakenly beheaded by Jihadists

An al-Qaeda affiliated rebel group in Syria has asked for “understanding and forgiveness” for cutting off and putting on display the wrong man’s head.

Al Qaeda-linked jihadists in Syria have admitted beheading a rebel fighter by mistake, apparently believing he was an Iraqi Shiite fighting alongside President Bashar al Assad’s forces.

A video reportedly posted on the internet allegedly shows members of Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), one brandishing a knife, held up a bearded head before a crowd in Aleppo.

However, the head was recognised from the video as originally belonging to a member of Ahrar al-Sham, a Sunni Islamist rebel group that often fights alongside ISIS, though it does not share its al-Qaeda ideology.

The fighter recognized as Mohammad Fares had been wounded in fighting at a regime military base east of Aleppo, Syria’s second city and former commercial hub.

He was reportedly repeating the names of Ali and Hussein, two revered Shia imams, during his drugged state which made him seem a shia rather than Sunni, and was then subjected to his savage fate.

A spokesman for ISIS, Omar al-Qahtani, confirmed Mr Fares had been injured and and was apparently beheaded in mistake.

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Clashes leave 14 Iranian guards dead on border with Pakistan http://www.khaama.com/clashes-leave-14-iranian-guards-dead-on-border-with-pakistan-3011 http://www.khaama.com/clashes-leave-14-iranian-guards-dead-on-border-with-pakistan-3011#comments Sat, 26 Oct 2013 06:52:57 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=29521 Clashes leave 14 Iranian guards dead on border with Pakistan
At least 14 Iranian border guards were killed following clashes with the unknown gunmen near the frontier with Pakistan. Iranian officials quoted by IRNA news agency said that the clashes took place late Friday ngiht in a mountainous region outside Saravan, a town in southeast Iran on the border with Pakistan. The officials further added Read the full article...]]>
Clashes leave 14 Iranian guards dead on border with Pakistan

At least 14 Iranian border guards were killed following clashes with the unknown gunmen near the frontier with Pakistan.

Iranian officials quoted by IRNA news agency said that the clashes took place late Friday ngiht in a mountainous region outside Saravan, a town in southeast Iran on the border with Pakistan.

The officials further added that authorities have launched an investigation to find out whether the attackers were drug smugglers or armed opposition groups.

Officials also added that the clashes left at least five other Iranian guards wounded. No group has so far claimed responsibility behind the attack.

Baluch armed groups are operating in the area, besides drug smugglers occasionally attack the Iranian border guards.

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Top Syrian military intelligence officer shot dead by rebels http://www.khaama.com/top-syrian-military-intelligence-officer-shot-dead-by-rebels-2483 http://www.khaama.com/top-syrian-military-intelligence-officer-shot-dead-by-rebels-2483#comments Fri, 18 Oct 2013 10:26:02 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=29322 Top Syrian military intelligence officer shot dead by rebels
Syrian government officials on Thursday said that a senior military intelligence officer was shot dead by rebels in eastern Syria. The senior military intelligence, Ge. Jamaa Jamaa had died while “carrying out his national duties” and “pursuing terrorists” in Deir al-Zour, the State television reported. Jamaa was close to President Bashar al-Assad and in charge Read the full article...]]>
Top Syrian military intelligence officer shot dead by rebels

Syrian government officials on Thursday said that a senior military intelligence officer was shot dead by rebels in eastern Syria.

The senior military intelligence, Ge. Jamaa Jamaa had died while “carrying out his national duties” and “pursuing terrorists” in Deir al-Zour, the State television reported.

Jamaa was close to President Bashar al-Assad and in charge of military intelligence in the eastern province. The jihadist forums confirmed he was killed in clashes with radical Islamist fighters in the city.

He was one of Syria’s top security officers in Lebanon during Damascus’s military deployment in the country between 1976 and 2005.

Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights NGO, said initial reports suggested Jamaa had been shot by a sniper in the Rashdiya district of Deir Ezzor city, but there was no confirmation.

The group also reported fierce fighting between regime troops and rebels in several parts of the province, including the city, which is the largest in eastern Syria.

Anti-Syrian regime activists also broadcasted a video showing some people in Dier al-Zour firing celebratory gunfire after hearing of Jamaa’s killing.

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Fatwa allow Syrians to eat cats, dogs to survive starvation http://www.khaama.com/fatwa-allow-syrians-to-eat-cats-dogs-to-survive-starvation-2470 http://www.khaama.com/fatwa-allow-syrians-to-eat-cats-dogs-to-survive-starvation-2470#comments Tue, 15 Oct 2013 17:06:40 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=29272 Fatwa allow Syrians to eat cats, dogs to survive starvation
Religious clerics in Syria have issued a new ruling (Fatwa) which allows tens of thousands of Syrians suffering from starvation, to eat meat that is normally forbidden. The besieged Syrians were allowed in the new ruling (Fatwa) to eat cats, dogs and donkeys in a bid to survive from starvation. The evidence of starvation of Read the full article...]]>
Fatwa allow Syrians to eat cats, dogs to survive starvation

Religious clerics in Syria have issued a new ruling (Fatwa) which allows tens of thousands of Syrians suffering from starvation, to eat meat that is normally forbidden.

The besieged Syrians were allowed in the new ruling (Fatwa) to eat cats, dogs and donkeys in a bid to survive from starvation.

The evidence of starvation of tens of thousands of people emerged after Syrian Arab Red Crescent evacuated women, children and elderly men from the rebel-held area of Moaddamiyah, where they had been surrounded for nearly 10 months.

In the meantime the syrian oppposition released video footage purporting to be from Moaddamiyah which shows besieged Syrians starving to death.

Moaddamiyah is one of at least five areas in Syria that are besieged either by regime forces or by rebels trying to overthrow Assad.

The religious ruling (Fatwa) was issued on the ocassion of Eid al-Adha, which authorizes the besieged Syrians in the Ghouta agricultural belt around Damascus to eat animals usually considered unfit for human consumption in Islam.

The clerics also warned that the living would have to eat the dead, if the situation continued to deteriorate.

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Saudi preacher jailed for raping, killing his 5-year-old daughter http://www.khaama.com/saudi-preacher-jailed-for-raping-killing-his-5-year-old-daughter-1956 http://www.khaama.com/saudi-preacher-jailed-for-raping-killing-his-5-year-old-daughter-1956#comments Wed, 09 Oct 2013 04:39:08 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=29089 Saudi preacher jailed for raping, killing his 5-year-old daughter
A Saudi preacher, Fayhan al-Ghamdi was jailed for eight years and 800 lashes for raping his five-year-old daughter and torturing here to death. A lawyer on Tuesday said that the court ordered Fayhan al-Ghamdi to pay the victim’s mother, his ex-wife one million riyals ($270,000) in “blood money.” Lawyer Turki al-Rasheed said the convict’s second Read the full article...]]>
Saudi preacher jailed for raping, killing his 5-year-old daughter

A Saudi preacher, Fayhan al-Ghamdi was jailed for eight years and 800 lashes for raping his five-year-old daughter and torturing here to death.

A lawyer on Tuesday said that the court ordered Fayhan al-Ghamdi to pay the victim’s mother, his ex-wife one million riyals ($270,000) in “blood money.”

Lawyer Turki al-Rasheed said the convict’s second wife who also convicted of the crime, was sentenced to 10 months in prison and 150 lashes.

The victim’s mother had had demanded 10 million riyals ($2.7 million). The incident took place late in December 2011, and the girl was admitted to hospital on December 25, 2011 with multiple injuries, including a crushed skull, broken ribs and left arm, extensive bruising and burns.

The activists in Saudi Arabia said, the girl’s back was broken and she had been raped “everywhere”, and urged for harsher punishment of Ghamdi.

According to reports, Ghamdi had tortured and raped his daughter after he had doubted her virginity. He had confessed to having used cables and a cane to inflict the injuries.

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Russia and U.S. reach agreement on Syria chemical weapons http://www.khaama.com/russia-and-u-s-reach-agreement-on-syria-chemical-weapons-1849 http://www.khaama.com/russia-and-u-s-reach-agreement-on-syria-chemical-weapons-1849#comments Sat, 14 Sep 2013 11:26:10 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=28497 Russia and U.S. reach agreement on Syria chemical weapons
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov following their meeting in Geneva agreed on Syria arms deal to destroy or remove Syria’s chemical weapons. Syria must handover a full list of stockpile of chemical weapons within a week, US Secretary of State John Kerry outlined a six-point framework after the Read the full article...]]>
Russia and U.S. reach agreement on Syria chemical weapons

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov following their meeting in Geneva agreed on Syria arms deal to destroy or remove Syria’s chemical weapons.

Syria must handover a full list of stockpile of chemical weapons within a week, US Secretary of State John Kerry outlined a six-point framework after the third day of intense negotiations in Geneva.

A UN resolution bakced by the threat of sanctionsor military could be enforced if Syria fails to comply.

At a news conference Saturday, Kerry said the pair and their teams of experts had reached “a shared assessment” of the existing stockpile and that Syria must destroy all of its weapons.

Kerry quoted by Associated Press said “we have committed to a standard that says, verify and verify.”

The negotiations between the United States and Russia on securing Syria’s chemical weapons also are considered key to a resumption of peace talks to end the 2 ½-year Syrian civil war.

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Poison-gas attack leaves over 650 dead in Syria, opposition claims http://www.khaama.com/poison-gas-attack-leaves-over-650-dead-in-syria-opposition-claims-1784 http://www.khaama.com/poison-gas-attack-leaves-over-650-dead-in-syria-opposition-claims-1784#comments Wed, 21 Aug 2013 10:46:28 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=28123 Poison-gas attack leaves over 650 dead in Syria, opposition claims
Syrian opposition groups claimed over 650 people were killed Wednesday when the government used chemical agents in rebel strongholds in the Damascus countryside. However, the official Syrian news agency called the reports “untrue” and designed to derail a United Nations inquiry into charges of chemical weapons in the conflict. The opposition Local Coordination Committees in Read the full article...]]>
Poison-gas attack leaves over 650 dead in Syria, opposition claims

Syrian opposition groups claimed over 650 people were killed Wednesday when the government used chemical agents in rebel strongholds in the Damascus countryside.

However, the official Syrian news agency called the reports “untrue” and designed to derail a United Nations inquiry into charges of chemical weapons in the conflict.

The opposition Local Coordination Committees in Syria posted a video online which shows lifeless bodies, most with no visible signs of injury. Many of the injured appeared to be convulsing.

There was no independent confirmation of the allegations, if chemical agents are being used. This comes as a U.N. group is in the county to determine whether either side in the bloody civil war is using such chemicals.

Both the opposition and government have accused each other of massacres, however, a lack of access for journalists and human rights investigators has hampered independent investigations.

The attack which took place on Wednesday, if confirmed, would be the most serious since the March 19 incident in Khan al-Assal when at least 30 people were killed.

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Egypt declares national emergency as clashes leaves over 270 dead http://www.khaama.com/egypt-declares-national-emergency-as-clashes-leaves-over-270-dead-1757 http://www.khaama.com/egypt-declares-national-emergency-as-clashes-leaves-over-270-dead-1757#comments Thu, 15 Aug 2013 04:21:35 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=27961 Egypt declares national emergency as clashes leaves over 270 dead
According to reports, over 270 people have been killed in violence across the country, after Egyptian security forces opened fire as they tried to clear two protest camps loyal to deposed president Mohamed Morsi in Cairo. The violence has reportedly spread from the capital to other parts of the country including the Mediterranean city of Read the full article...]]>
Egypt declares national emergency as clashes leaves over 270 dead

According to reports, over 270 people have been killed in violence across the country, after Egyptian security forces opened fire as they tried to clear two protest camps loyal to deposed president Mohamed Morsi in Cairo.

The violence has reportedly spread from the capital to other parts of the country including the Mediterranean city of Alexandria.

State of emergency has been declared for at least a month, with a curfew from 7pm to 6am in Cairo, according to reports, as well as ten other provinces including Alexandria and Suez.

Egypt’s health ministry confirmed at least 278 people including 43 police officers were killed and hundreds of others were injured. However, the Muslim Brotherhood says more than 2,000 people died in Wednesday’s violence.

In the meantime, the prime minister of Egypt, Hazem Al Beblawi said that he remains committed to the democratic process under a civilian state. However, he said that the force was used after the loyalists of Mohammad Morsi had been involved in spreading chaos around the country.

He said the state had to intervene to restore security and peace for Egyptians, as the Morsi loyalists had been sowing chaos incluidng terrorising citizens, attacking public and private property.

Mohammed ElBaradei, the Vice-President of Egypt has announced his resignation from the interim government in the wake of the violence.

Mr. ElBaradei following a statemetn said, “I cannot continue in shouldering the responsibility for decisions I do not agree with and I fear their consequences. I cannot shoulder the responsibility for a single drop of blood.”

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Raped Norwegian woman jailed in Dubai over extramarital sex charges http://www.khaama.com/raped-norwegian-woman-jailed-in-dubai-over-extramarital-sex-charges-1673 http://www.khaama.com/raped-norwegian-woman-jailed-in-dubai-over-extramarital-sex-charges-1673#comments Sat, 20 Jul 2013 05:02:55 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=27286 Raped Norwegian woman jailed in Dubai over extramarital sex charges
A Norwegian woman sentenced to 16 months in jail in Dubai for having sex outside marriage after she reported an alleged rape. Marte Deborah Dalelv, 24, said she remained hopeful that she would succeed in an appeal against the ruling by a Dubai court that convicted her this week of extramarital sex, perjury and consuming Read the full article...]]>
Raped Norwegian woman jailed in Dubai over extramarital sex charges

A Norwegian woman sentenced to 16 months in jail in Dubai for having sex outside marriage after she reported an alleged rape.

Marte Deborah Dalelv, 24, said she remained hopeful that she would succeed in an appeal against the ruling by a Dubai court that convicted her this week of extramarital sex, perjury and consuming alcohol without a licence.

“I just want to get fair treatment,” Marte Deborah Dalelv, 24, told the AFP news agency Friday. She called her 16-month sentence Tuesday — for extramarital sex, perjury and illegal alcohol consumption — “very harsh,” saying she had appealed immediately. A hearing is set for Sept. 5.

Marte Dalelv was visiting Dubai on a business trip from Qatar, where she worked as a decorator, when she was raped. The 25-year-old reported the March attack to the police but found herself charged with having extra-marital sex, consuming alcohol without a licence and perjury.

She said her alleged attacker received a 13-month sentence for extra-marital sex and alcohol consumption. she has been living under the protection of the Norwegian Seamens’ Center, a church in Dubai.

The case has drawn outrage from rights groups and others in the West since the 24-year-old interior designer was sentenced Wednesday. In London, a spokesman for the Emirates Center for Human Rights, a group monitoring UAE affairs, said the Dalelv case points out the need for the UAE to expand its legal protections for alleged rape victims.

Under United Arab Emirates law, sex outside of marriage is illegal, and a rape conviction requires either a confession or four adult male witnesses to the attack.

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Clashes in Egypt leave at least 30 dead, nearly 300 injured http://www.khaama.com/clashes-in-egypt-leave-at-least-30-dead-nearly-300-injured-1629 http://www.khaama.com/clashes-in-egypt-leave-at-least-30-dead-nearly-300-injured-1629#comments Sat, 06 Jul 2013 05:17:10 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=26966 Clashes in Egypt leave at least 30 dead, nearly 300 injured
According to reports at least 30 people have been killed and over 300 others have been injured in clashes between opponents and supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi in Egypt. Tens of thousands took to the streets which erupted batles between those supporting the overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammed Morsi and those demanding Read the full article...]]>
Clashes in Egypt leave at least 30 dead, nearly 300 injured

According to reports at least 30 people have been killed and over 300 others have been injured in clashes between opponents and supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi in Egypt.

Tens of thousands took to the streets which erupted batles between those supporting the overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammed Morsi and those demanding his reinstatement.

Leader of the Muslim Brotherhood Mohammed Badie addressed a mass rally in the capital and called for troops to defy their generals and restore Mohamed Moris to power.

Fierce clashes erupted between rival protesters in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria after Friday prayers, killing at least 12 people and injuring around 200 others.

At least 3 pro-Moris demonstrators were shot dead by security forces in the capital Cairo outside of the Republican Guard on Friday, which also sparked deadly clashes between the protesters and the security forces.

In separate clahes among the pro- and anti-Morsi protesters in the capital several people were killed and dozens of others were reportedly injured. In Cairo’s Tahrir Square violent clashes were reported near a birdge after demonstrators huled fireworks and stones at each other.

One more person was reported to be killed of gunshot wounds in the southern city of Assiut, while five policement were reported to be killed in North Sinai town of El Arish.

As the day progressed, attack helicopters flew low over both pro- and anti-Morsi rallies in a show of strength. However, there was little security in front of some of the most sensitive areas, including Tahrir Square where anti-Morsi crowds continued to celebrate his downfall.

The U.S. State Department condemned the violence and called on all Egyptian leaders to denounce the use of force and prevent further bloodshed among their supporters.

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Egyptian army ousts first democratically elected president http://www.khaama.com/egyptian-army-ousts-first-democratically-elected-president-1623 http://www.khaama.com/egyptian-army-ousts-first-democratically-elected-president-1623#comments Thu, 04 Jul 2013 04:15:29 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=26932 Egyptian army ousts first democratically elected president
The Egyptian military on Wednesday ousted the country’s first democratically elected president Mohammad Morsi by suspending the Islamist-drafted constitution and called for new elections. US president Barack Obama expressed deep concerns and called for a quick return to civilian leadership and ordering a review of U.S. law regarding aid to the vital Middle East ally. Read the full article...]]>
Egyptian army ousts first democratically elected president

The Egyptian military on Wednesday ousted the country’s first democratically elected president Mohammad Morsi by suspending the Islamist-drafted constitution and called for new elections.

US president Barack Obama expressed deep concerns and called for a quick return to civilian leadership and ordering a review of U.S. law regarding aid to the vital Middle East ally.

President Barack Obama in a statement said, “The United States continues to believe firmly that the best foundation for lasting stability in Egypt is a democratic political order with participation from all sides and all political parties.”

Obama in the statement further added that the United States expects the military to “ensure the rights” of Egyptian citizens “during this uncertain period.”

However Egyptian military officials assured the United States that the generals would not take long-term control of the government.

The Egyptian military also announced it would install a temporary civilian government to replace Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, who denounced the action as a “full coup” by the generals.

The move was preceded by the mass mobilization of armed vehicles around Cairo, particularly to areas of high concentration of people.

Egypt’s first democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi, hasn’t made an appearance on Wednesday. Morsi had responded defiantly on Tuesday to the military, urging them to remove a 48-hour ultimatum that had been placed for achieving national reconciliation, in his last public appearance.

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Iran to deploy 4000 troops in Syria to support Assad forces http://www.khaama.com/iran-to-deploy-4000-troops-in-syria-to-support-assad-forces-1575 http://www.khaama.com/iran-to-deploy-4000-troops-in-syria-to-support-assad-forces-1575#comments Sun, 16 Jun 2013 10:01:22 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=26676 Iran to deploy 4000 troops in Syria to support Assad forces
According to reports Iran has decided to deploy around 4,000 troops to Syria in a bid to support government troops in war against the rebels. The Independent on Sunday reported that 4,000 Revolutionary Guard troops will be send to fight alongside Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces. The decision was reportedly taken last week prior to Read the full article...]]>
Iran to deploy 4000 troops in Syria to support Assad forces

According to reports Iran has decided to deploy around 4,000 troops to Syria in a bid to support government troops in war against the rebels.

The Independent on Sunday reported that 4,000 Revolutionary Guard troops will be send to fight alongside Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces.

The decision was reportedly taken last week prior to presidential election in Iran.

Pro-Iranian sources quoted by The Independent said Iran has proposed to open up a front against Israel on the Golan Heights as part of efforts to preserve Assad’s regime in Syria.

This comes as United States on Thursday announced it will begin to arm the Syrian opposition in the face of evidence that Assad used chemical weapons against rebels on multiple occasions.

Iran is considered to be one of the main support of President Bashar Assad’s government, and Tehran in the past admitted that Revolutionary Guard forces were active in Syria, helping the regime in its fight against rebels.

In the meantime the opposition Syrian National Coalition upon the victory of Hassan Rowhani in presidential election urged him to drop Tehran’s support for Assad.

The opposition in a statement carried by AFP said, “For more than two years of the Syrian revolution, the Iranian authorities have stood against the aspirations of the Syrian people by continuing to support the criminal Assad regime politically, militarily and economically.”

The statement released by Syrian opposition coalition also called on Rowhani to “reform Iran’s position… before it is too late.”

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US respect Iran presidential election results, White House http://www.khaama.com/us-respect-iran-presidential-election-results-white-house-1572 http://www.khaama.com/us-respect-iran-presidential-election-results-white-house-1572#comments Sun, 16 Jun 2013 04:58:21 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=26667 US respect Iran presidential election results, White House
The Obama administration on Saturday praised Iranians for reapproaching their government and said it respected the results of a presidential election conducted under restrictive conditions White House spokesman Jay Carney shortly after moderate cleric Hassan Rowhani was declared the winner said the U.S. congratulated Iranians for their courage in voting. Carney in a statement said Read the full article...]]>
US respect Iran presidential election results, White House

The Obama administration on Saturday praised Iranians for reapproaching their government and said it respected the results of a presidential election conducted under restrictive conditions

White House spokesman Jay Carney shortly after moderate cleric Hassan Rowhani was declared the winner said the U.S. congratulated Iranians for their courage in voting.

Carney in a statement said despite the limitations that the ruling government imposed on the political process, but the Iranians remained determined to make their voices heard.

He said, the lection “took place against the backdrop of a lack of transparency, censorship of the media, Internet, and text messages, and an intimidating security environment that limited freedom of expression and assembly.”

US Secretary of State John Kerry also priased the Iranian people and said, “President-elect Rowhani pledged repeatedly during his campaign to restore and expand freedoms for all Iranians. In the months ahead, he has the opportunity to keep his promises to the Iranian people.”

The Iranian Interior Minister has announced that Hassan Rowhani a moderate cleric has been elected president of Iran.

Rowhani won with 50.7 per cent of the more than 36 million votes cast, the interior ministry reported, well ahead of Tehran Mayor Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf with about 16.5 per cent. Hard-line nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili — who said he was “100 per cent” against detente with Iran’s foes — came in third with 11.3 per cent followed by conservative Mohsen Rezaei with 10.6 per cent.

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Hassan Rowhani takes early lead in Iran presidential election http://www.khaama.com/hassan-rowhani-takes-early-lead-in-iran-presidential-election-1568 http://www.khaama.com/hassan-rowhani-takes-early-lead-in-iran-presidential-election-1568#comments Sat, 15 Jun 2013 08:38:25 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=26652 Hassan Rowhani takes early lead in Iran presidential election
Iran’s interior ministry on Saturday announced that moderate candidate and a former top nuclear negotiator Hassan Rowhani has a clear lead with 49.87 per cent of the vote in Iran’s presidential election. With results in from 10 per cent of the polling stations, has collected nearly 1,460,000 votes of the some 3,024,000 ballots counted by Read the full article...]]>
Hassan Rowhani takes early lead in Iran presidential election

Iran’s interior ministry on Saturday announced that moderate candidate and a former top nuclear negotiator Hassan Rowhani has a clear lead with 49.87 per cent of the vote in Iran’s presidential election.

With results in from 10 per cent of the polling stations, has collected nearly 1,460,000 votes of the some 3,024,000 ballots counted by 8am (1330 AEST).

More than 50.5 million Iranians were eligible to vote and elections officials said they were expecting a high turnout.

Rowhani is followed by Tehran mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf with 1,341,947, 16.7 percent of the votes.

In third place was Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, with 1,056,327 votes, followed closely by Mohsen Rezaei, a former head of the elite Revolutionary Guard, with 902,121 votes.

The presidential election is the first since the disputed poll in 2009 that triggered angry protests and resulted in more than 100 deaths after the pro-reform Green Movement alleged that the result had been massively rigged.

However Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar said his electoral staff would not “compromise accuracy for speed”.

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UN: 93,000 people killed since the start of Syria conflict http://www.khaama.com/un-93000-people-killed-since-the-start-of-syria-conflict-1564 http://www.khaama.com/un-93000-people-killed-since-the-start-of-syria-conflict-1564#comments Thu, 13 Jun 2013 10:25:33 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=26619 UN: 93,000 people killed since the start of Syria conflict
The United Nations human rights office on Thursday announced, almost 93,000 people were killed in Syria’s conflict by the end of April this year. This comes as United Nations earlier in January said at least 59,000 people were killed in Syria conflict. UN released the exact figure on Thursday which shows at least 92,901 people Read the full article...]]>
UN: 93,000 people killed since the start of Syria conflict

The United Nations human rights office on Thursday announced, almost 93,000 people were killed in Syria’s conflict by the end of April this year.

This comes as United Nations earlier in January said at least 59,000 people were killed in Syria conflict.

UN released the exact figure on Thursday which shows at least 92,901 people were killed, however the true number could be potentially much higher, as an average of 5,000 people have been killed every month since last July.

According to a statistical survey by UN, over 80% of those killed were men, but UN says it has also documented the deaths of over 1,700 children under the age of 10.

UN Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay in a statement said, there were “cases of individual children being tortured and executed, and entire families, including babies, being massacred.

In the meantime a separate global UN report on Wednesday called the number of deaths among Syrian children unbearable.

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Google detects Iranian spy campaign as election looms http://www.khaama.com/google-detects-iranian-spy-campaign-as-election-looms-1563 http://www.khaama.com/google-detects-iranian-spy-campaign-as-election-looms-1563#comments Thu, 13 Jun 2013 09:53:08 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=26616 Google detects Iranian spy campaign as election looms
Google said Wednesday that it has detected what appears to be a spike in politically-motivated phishing attacks targeting Gmail accounts belonging to thousands of Iranians just days before a presidential election in the country. The US internet company said it has a policy to alert users to “state-sponsored attacks and other suspicious activity,” but did Read the full article...]]>
Google detects Iranian spy campaign as election looms

Google said Wednesday that it has detected what appears to be a spike in politically-motivated phishing attacks targeting Gmail accounts belonging to thousands of Iranians just days before a presidential election in the country.

The US internet company said it has a policy to alert users to “state-sponsored attacks and other suspicious activity,” but did not identify the perpetrators beyond saying that it appeared to be the same group behind a Gmail hacking campaign in 2011 involving fraudulent digital certificates.

Google Inc in a blog post said, “These campaigns, which originate from within Iran, represent a significant jump in the overall volume of phishing activity in the region.”

“The timing and targeting of the campaigns suggest that the attacks are politically motivated in connection with the Iranian presidential election on Friday,” Google said.

This comes as Iran is preparing for its first presidential election following a controversial polling in 2009 which resulted in the re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for his second term as the Iranian president.

Ahmadinejad was accused of rigging the results in his favour which triggered angry protests.

In the meantime Eric Grosse, Google’s vice-president of security engineering said the phishing attempts to obtain passwords and othre private computing information by directing the users to face websites.

He said victims targeted in the attacks had received an email containing a link to a web page purporting to perform account maintenance.

To prevent phishing attacks, Grosse encouraged users in Iran to use a modern browser and enable two-step authentication. He also reminded users to verify that the URL in the address bar of their browser is before entering their Gmail password.

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Deadly explosions rock Baghdad, 70 killed nearly 200 injured http://www.khaama.com/deadly-explosions-rock-baghdad-70-killed-nearly-200-injured-1503 http://www.khaama.com/deadly-explosions-rock-baghdad-70-killed-nearly-200-injured-1503#comments Tue, 28 May 2013 05:34:41 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=26249 Deadly explosions rock Baghdad, 70 killed nearly 200 injured
At least 70 people were killed and nearly 200 others were injured following coordinated explosions in mainly Shia neighbourhoods across Baghdad on Monday. There are fears that Iraq risks sliding back into broad sectarian conflict as is struggling to contain a wave of violence that has killed more than 350 people so far this month. Read the full article...]]>
Deadly explosions rock Baghdad, 70 killed nearly 200 injured

At least 70 people were killed and nearly 200 others were injured following coordinated explosions in mainly Shia neighbourhoods across Baghdad on Monday.

There are fears that Iraq risks sliding back into broad sectarian conflict as is struggling to contain a wave of violence that has killed more than 350 people so far this month.

More than 700 people were killed in attacks in April, according to a UN count, the highest monthly toll in almost five years.

Tensions between the Shi’ite leadership and the Sunni Muslim minority are at their worst since U.S. troops left in December 2011, and the conflict in Syria is straining Iraq’s fragile communal balance.

The explosions on Monday took place commercial area of Sadoun Street in central Baghdad, Habibiya, on the edge of the sprawling Shia area of Sadr City, al-Maalif, eastern New Baghdad area, Sabi al-Boor, Shaab, Hurriya, Bayaa, Sadria, Jisr Diyala, Baladiyat and Madain, about 20km (12 miles) south of the city centre.

No group has so far claimed responsibility for the blasts. Sunni militants linked to al-Qaeda have previously used co-ordinated explosions to target Shia Muslims, whom they regard as apostates.

The latest surge in violence began in April after a raid by the Iraqi army on a Sunni Muslim protest camp in the town of Hawija led to clashes with the security forces that left dozens dead.

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Canadian foreign minister warns of possibel civil war in Iraq http://www.khaama.com/canadian-foreign-minister-warns-of-possibel-civil-war-in-iraq-1479 http://www.khaama.com/canadian-foreign-minister-warns-of-possibel-civil-war-in-iraq-1479#comments Wed, 22 May 2013 05:33:13 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=26083 Canadian foreign minister warns of possibel civil war in Iraq
Canada’s top diplomat warned that Iraq was at risk of entering into a sectarian civil war following a spate of deadly violence which recently soared across the country. Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said in a statement said, “The security situation in Iraq has been fragile for many years.” John Baird added, “But the type Read the full article...]]>
Canadian foreign minister warns of possibel civil war in Iraq

Canada’s top diplomat warned that Iraq was at risk of entering into a sectarian civil war following a spate of deadly violence which recently soared across the country.

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said in a statement said, “The security situation in Iraq has been fragile for many years.”

John Baird added, “But the type of violence we have seen increase in recent days is particularly troubling and risks returning the country to a sectarian civil war.”

A string of attacks in the Mideast country has killed more than 270 people including a Canadian citizen in just the past week.

Baird says consular officials are in touch with the Canadian’s family and are offering assistance.

He says Canada will be monitoring the situation carefully and is urging Iraqi authorities to do all they can to increase security.

Rising violence between Sunnis and Shias has raised fears that the country is sliding back to the brink of civil war amid rising Sunni anger over perceived mistreatment at the hands of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s government.

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Syrian troops launch major offensive to seize strategic town http://www.khaama.com/syrian-troops-launch-major-offensive-to-seize-strategic-town-1467 http://www.khaama.com/syrian-troops-launch-major-offensive-to-seize-strategic-town-1467#comments Mon, 20 May 2013 05:51:31 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=26037 Syrian troops launch major offensive to seize strategic town
According to reports over 50 people have been killed after Syrian government troops launched a major operation in town of Qusair to seize the strategic rebel stronghold. The offensive was reportedly launched with the support of Hezbollah fighters and state media reports that the army “restored security and stability” to most of the town. Activists Read the full article...]]>
Syrian troops launch major offensive to seize strategic town

According to reports over 50 people have been killed after Syrian government troops launched a major operation in town of Qusair to seize the strategic rebel stronghold.

The offensive was reportedly launched with the support of Hezbollah fighters and state media reports that the army “restored security and stability” to most of the town.

Activists said it was the fiercest fighting in Syria’s two year-old civil war involving Hezbollah, a Shi’ite group backed by Iran which they said appeared to be helping President Bashar al-Assad secure a vital corridor in case Syria fragments.

The fighting has also spilled into Lebanon with several mortar rounds fired from Syria struck Lebanon’s north-eastern town of Hermel, Lebanon’s National News Agency reported.

Syrian State-run news agency reproted that the government troops managed to secure most of Qusair town on Sunday and eliminated large numbers of terrorists.

A Syrian military source quoted by Sana news agency said, ozens of rebels had surrendered and the army was now “pursuing the armed terrorist groups in some areas” of the town.

Qusair twon has a strategic value both for the government and rebel forces. The control of the town would give government access from the capital to the coast while rebels can come and go from Lebanon by having control over the town.

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Iran hangs two men over espionage charges to Isreal and US http://www.khaama.com/iran-hangs-two-men-over-espionage-charges-to-isreal-and-us-1465 http://www.khaama.com/iran-hangs-two-men-over-espionage-charges-to-isreal-and-us-1465#comments Sun, 19 May 2013 10:41:36 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=26026 Iran hangs two men over espionage charges to Isreal and US
According to reports Iran executed two men convicted of spying for Israel’s Mossad and the American CIA spy agency. Tehran’s prosecutor office following a statement announced, the two men, Mohammad Heydari and Koroush Ahmadi were found guilty of working for Isreal and United States. The statement further added, Mohammad Heydari was convicted of “receiving payment Read the full article...]]>
Iran hangs two men over espionage charges to Isreal and US

According to reports Iran executed two men convicted of spying for Israel’s Mossad and the American CIA spy agency.

Tehran’s prosecutor office following a statement announced, the two men, Mohammad Heydari and Koroush Ahmadi were found guilty of working for Isreal and United States.

The statement further added, Mohammad Heydari was convicted of “receiving payment to provide intelligence on various security issues and national secrets in repeated meetings with the Mossad,” Israel’s intelligence agency.

Koroush Ahmadi was found guilty of “providing intelligence on various issues to the CIA,” the statement added, without elaborating further details.

Iran occasionally says it has dismantled Western spying networks in the country and announces arrests of individuals on espionage charges.

The execution of the two men comes amid continuing tension over Iran’s nuclear programme.

Tehran accuses Israel and the U.S. of spying on its vital interests, particularly its nuclear program, which the West suspects is aimed at producing an atomic weapon.

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Syria ‘heart-eating video’ creates outrage http://www.khaama.com/syria-heart-eating-video-creates-outrage-2389 http://www.khaama.com/syria-heart-eating-video-creates-outrage-2389#comments Tue, 14 May 2013 17:08:39 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=25915 Syria ‘heart-eating video’ creates outrage
A graphic video has emerged of a Syrian rebel commander cutting the heart out of a government soldier’s chest and biting into it. Human Right Watch on Monday said, the disturbing video which shows a Syrian rebel commander cutting the heart out of a soldier and biting into it shows that the country’s civil war Read the full article...]]>
Syria ‘heart-eating video’ creates outrage

A graphic video has emerged of a Syrian rebel commander cutting the heart out of a government soldier’s chest and biting into it.

Human Right Watch on Monday said, the disturbing video which shows a Syrian rebel commander cutting the heart out of a soldier and biting into it shows that the country’s civil war has rapidly descended into sectarian violence and revenge killings.

The graphic video was posted on YouTube on Sunday by supporters of the Syrgian government, which shows the commander threatening members of the country’s Alawite religious minority.

According to Human Rights Watch, the clip shows Abu Sakkar, a founder of the rebel Omar al-Farouq Brigade carrying out the bloody act.

He says: “I swear to God we will eat your hearts and your livers, you soldiers of Bashar the dog,” to offscreen cheering.

Syrian rebel groups have distanced themselves from the gruesome act of a rebel commander depicted in a video cutting the heart out of a soldier’s body and biting into it.

National Coalition following a statement said, “The Syrian Coalition strongly condemns this act – if it is revealed to be true. The coalition stresses that such an act contradicts the morals of the Syrian people, as well as the values and principles of the Free Syrian Army [FSA].”

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Coordinated blasts kill 40, injure 100 in Turkey near Syrian border http://www.khaama.com/coordinated-blasts-kill-40-injure-100-in-turkey-near-syrian-border-2384 http://www.khaama.com/coordinated-blasts-kill-40-injure-100-in-turkey-near-syrian-border-2384#comments Sat, 11 May 2013 16:56:21 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=25828 Coordinated blasts kill 40, injure 100 in Turkey near Syrian border
The interior ministry of Turkey on Saturday announced, at least 40 people were killed and around 100 others were injured following coordinated car bomb explosions in Turkish town of Reyhanli, near the Syrian border. Turkish Interior Minister Muammer Guler said, at least 29 people among 100 injured are in critical health condition. He said the Read the full article...]]>
Coordinated blasts kill 40, injure 100 in Turkey near Syrian border

The interior ministry of Turkey on Saturday announced, at least 40 people were killed and around 100 others were injured following coordinated car bomb explosions in Turkish town of Reyhanli, near the Syrian border.

Turkish Interior Minister Muammer Guler said, at least 29 people among 100 injured are in critical health condition.

He said the first first blast occurred at about 1:55 p.m. at the municipality building, which houses city government offices, which was followed by the second, more powerful, blast that occurred in front of the post office.

The bombing increased fears that Syria’s civil war was dragging in neighboring states despite renewed diplomatic moves towards ending fighting in which more than 70,000 people have been killed.

Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said, “Our thoughts are that their Mukhabarat [the Syrian intelligence agency] and armed organisations are the usual suspects in planning and the carrying out of such devilish plans.”

He said Syrian refugees were a frequent target of the Syrian regime however Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, earlier had raised the possibility that the bombings may be related to Turkey’s peace talks with Kurdish rebels meant to end a nearly 30-year-old conflict.

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Iran Hegemonic Ambition – The Neo-Islamic Revolutionary Movement http://www.khaama.com/iran-hegemonic-ambition-the-neo-islamic-revolutionary-movement-6541 http://www.khaama.com/iran-hegemonic-ambition-the-neo-islamic-revolutionary-movement-6541#comments Tue, 07 May 2013 06:02:06 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=25699 Iran Hegemonic Ambition – The Neo-Islamic Revolutionary Movement
By: Hatef Mukhtar As Tunisia’s revolt against the autocratic rule of now deposed President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali enlighten the region with a revolutionary fire which no western or Arab powers could have foreseen, Iran immediately understood that the wind of history could play in its favor, bringing about the opportunities Iran Ayatollahs had Read the full article...]]>
Iran Hegemonic Ambition – The Neo-Islamic Revolutionary Movement

By: Hatef Mukhtar

As Tunisia’s revolt against the autocratic rule of now deposed President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali enlighten the region with a revolutionary fire which no western or Arab powers could have foreseen, Iran immediately understood that the wind of history could play in its favor, bringing about the opportunities Iran Ayatollahs had long awaited.

As Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain and Yemen all rose against their respective dictators, clamoring for their right to self-determination; religiously-driven factions rose through the trenches, given budding revolutionary movements the structure they were lacking.

While the Arab Spring Movement was born of an organic cry-out for freedom and social justice, it was groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt – Sunni political faction – or al-Wefaq in Bahrain – Shia political faction – which gave the people a sense of direction and for the most part purpose.

From Tehran, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Hosseini Khamenei predicted in 2011 that the MENA region – Middle East and North Africa – would come to remember the Arab Spring Movement as the cornerstone of the region’s Islamic Revolution.

Rising to the challenge, Iran saw in widespread calls for democracy its window of opportunity. Tehran decided it would shine forth its influence, confident it would appear the natural political winner of this regional power chasm. No longer in control, Saudi Arabia was bound to lose its hold over the region, hence the inception of Tehran as the Arab world’s new super-power; such was Tehran’s view-point in 2011.

However, Iran’s ability to project power in the region has been challenged significantly by several factors — Saudi rivalry, unrest in Syria, domestic political discord, international ostracism –

An antagonistic friendship

A long-standing ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a man Tehran knew it could trust in maintaining Iran’s hold over the Levant, through his sponsoring of factions and militias which cause and goals were in line with its own — the Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Hamas in the Palestinian Territories –  Iran lacked oversight when it decided to publicly throw its weight behind Assad’s regime, shouldering the crimes of his brutal dictatorship, therefore tarnishing its image as a benevolent force and regional power-broker.

It is important to note that while Iran political stance is symbiotic with its religious beliefs – Shia Islam – it does not based its friendships and alliances along a sectarian line as often assume, Tehran has a very clear understanding of the MENA region’s power dynamic and the role which Islam plays in it.

On the wake of Iran 1979 Islamic revolution, Iran set out to organize the next stage of its political agenda – spreading its ideology through the creation of sister-cells across the region, starting with countries with a strong Shia community such as Lebanon, Syria and Iraq -

Iran’s hegemonic claims on the MENA region stretch back decades and are at the core of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s governance vision – as stated in his book: “Islamic Government: Governance of the Jurist” -

With Iran clearly militarily engaged in Syria as it seeks to consolidate its positions in the Levant region and create a buffer zone against Israel and to some extent Turkey’s growing influence, Tehran is being dragged into a lengthy and bloody conflict; forced to support President Assad, as the alternative would mean to surrender Syria to its nemesis, the United States of America and by association, Israel.

Tactical Alliances and Foreign Policy

Iran Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi asserted in Februrary 2011 Iran’s desire that: “Egyptians’ high aims, national demands, and resurrection of glory could be achieved in the very near future.” Lest all this is dismissed as Persian gloating, Iran reemphasized its foreign policy includes: “Supporting the ‘Resistance’ in the Middle East.”

The remark perfectly synthesized Tehran’s political stand in terms of its foreign policy and governance ambitions – Iran’s leaders hope events in Arab countries will converge as to create a unified Muslim Middle East, beyond the Shia-Sunni divide, that looks to Tehran for guidance against the West -

Under President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Iran poured millions of dollars into Egypt Muslim Brotherhood’s coffers, almost singlehandedly bank-rolling the Sunni organization’s political and social endeavors. It was Iran funds which enabled the Muslim Brotherhood to grow its political base among poor and middle class Egypt and promote the somewhat political radicalization of an entire segment of the population.

“You can call this an Islamic revolution,” predicted Essam el-Erian, a prominent Brotherhood leader.

The scheme has been emulated throughout the region.

From Lebanon to Bahrain and Yemen, Iran’s footprints are ever increasingly visible.

The U.S. government and private sources engaged in aid distribution have witnessed Iran’s financial and ideological reach into the Arab world. One senior official in Washington with experience in many of the countries undergoing political flux commented, “By the time American and Saudi aid reached those areas, the Iranians’ cash and presence had gained local people’s empathy and loyalty.”

In Yemen, Iran found an expected friend and ally in the Southern Secessionist Movement – al-Harak – stifled for almost two decades under the autocratic rule of deposed President Ali Abdullah Saleh, Harak leaders used Yemen 2011 popular uprising to reinstate their calls for independence and self-governance.

As Saudi Arabia backed up Sana’a central government, Iran offered al-Harak its unwavering support.

With an ally in Yemen southern provinces and the Houthis – Shia rebel group which originally sought to return to the ancestral rule of the Imams – in the north, Iran literally pulled the carpet from under Saudi Arabia’s feet.

With the Houthis growing ever bolder as their influence is spreading to more northern provinces in Yemen – Hajjah, al-Jawf, Sa’ada and parts of Amran – al-Saud are nervously looking at their southern borders, foreboding a Shia-led insurrection which could ignite old border disputes.

Despite an intensive anti-Tehran campaign led by the Yemeni coalition government – under the careful guidance of Washington and the Gulf Cooperation Council – Iran’s hold over the impoverished nation is exponentially increasing both in the north and the south, with countless officials having already pledged their alliance to Tehran.

Islamic Renaissance or Neo-Islamic Revolutionary Movement

As surely as Washington has been warning against the rise of Islamic fundamentalists to power, Iran has been sponsoring religious-political figures such as Rashid Ghannouchi in Tunisia.

After two decades in exile Ghannouchi returned a hero to Tunisia, very much the Sunni parallel of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

Having established ties with Ghannouchi during his years in London, Iran’s mullahs anticipated he could propel Harakat al-Nahda al-Islamiya or Islamic Renaissance Movement to the forefront of Tunisia political landscape. Essentially, Tehran sought to turn Ghannouchi into the emblem of Tunisia’s  revolution, a man who embodied political Islam.

Kingmaker in Lebanon, Iran wants to become a regional political and religious beacon.

The transformation of Hezbollah from an anti-Israeli militia into an Iranian-guided, street-savvy, Shiite political party, becoming the kingmaker in Lebanese politics has been a major triumph for the Islamic Republic’s foreign policy, which success it now seeks to replicate throughout a clever network of regional alliances against Saudi Arabia, its main contender in the region.

Mullahs trumpet the Iran-Hezbollah alliance as a fundamentalist, Islamist counterthrust against moderate Sunni Arabs.

In Yemen, Iran did not hesitate to support al-Qaeda – a Sunni fundamentalist group which aims to re-create Islam Caliphates ruling system -

Although Tehran is wary of the terror group, knowing it religious stance is not compatible with its own, it nevertheless utilizes its political reach to further its regional vision – Iran, it appears, wants to reign over the Arabian Peninsula on both ideological and political fronts.

Thirty-three years ago, when Iranians came together for freedom, hoping that the ouster of their monarch – the self-proclaimed Shah of Iran, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi – would herald the birth of democracy, Ayatollah Khomeini and his cohorts seized control, imposing an internally tyrannical, externally anti-Western, Islamic state.

Khomeini outsmarted Iranian politicians seeking plurality; first by claiming he would fulfill their expectations and then, once  his supreme leadership was uncontested, by brutally removing all  political contenders from the scene. His governmental heirs are now following the same political maneuvering.

Even as the U.S. and the EU remain transfixed by demonstrations in Tunis, Cairo, Amman, Manama and Sana‘a, and by the inception of a new order in Beirut, always reacting never preempting; Iran has been on what it holds to be its “sacro-saint” mission – bringing theocracy to the Muslim world.

The evidences of Iran’s reshaping of the region are accumulating:

Interferences in Bahrain have intensified. An increasing number of Bahrainis are of Iranian origin, and Shiite religious authorities are strengthening links to the Jaafari jurisprudence schools in Qom, Mash’had and Tehran.

In Kuwait, Iran efforts have been focused on reviving the Husseiniyahs – places used by Shiites to commemorate the assassination of Imam Hussein – and supporting relevant Kuwaiti figures. Kuwaiti Shiites have been also assisted in forming political and popular movements to stand guard against any official anti-Iranian decisions taken by the government.

In Yemen, Iran’s involvement in providing political and material support to the rebellious Houthis in the North and al-Harak in the south is now common knowledge.

In Syria, Iran continues to support Assad’s regime, putting in jeopardy the very social fabric of the Sham region — Lebanon, Palestine and Syria –

In Lebanon, Tehran continues to hold the country’s ability to self-govern hostage through its support of the Hezbollah and sponsorship of prominent political figures. Very much the meddling relative, Iran has been Lebanon kingmaker through Syria.

An examination of the Shia and Kurdish efforts to build legislative and political pillars in a post-Saddam Iraq indicates a major Iranian role. All plans undertaken by the American administration in Iraq were carried out in tandem with the Iranians, or at least through Tehran-affiliated forces.

In the Arab Maghreb, Iran is relentless in its efforts to spread its sectarian ideals through continued diplomatic presence and its privileged relationship with Algeria. It is also spreading its Shia doctrine in the Moroccan society, especially among university students. It has done so by building on the sympathy the Hezbollah is generating among Arab citizens in that it stands against Israel and for the Palestinian people.

These movements and their undisclosed objectives – such as exporting the Islamic revolution to Arab and Muslim countries – have stirred fears in the rest of Arab Maghreb.

In  reaction to Iran’s hegemonic ambitions in North Africa,  the Kingdom of Morocco decided to sever all diplomatic ties with Iran in March 6, 2009, after the Iranian diplomatic mission in Rabat was charged with meddling with Moroccan identity, essential religious values and the unity of its royal Sunni doctrine.

Between Theocracy and Democracy

As the Arab Spring is evolving and morphing, it is increasingly clear that Iran has much to overcome before it can claim to rule the Middle East and an extent the Arab World as a whole.

Even Iran’s natural ally in Bahrain – al-Wefaq – is not as keen on living under Tehran over-bearing shadow as western powers are making out. Instead political factions and civil societies across the region are more inclined to follow the democratic route.

Having lived under dictatorship or monarchies for decades, Arabs are now talking and breathing political renaissance and democracy.

And indeed if Iran cannot become the single spiritual and political beacon to the Arab Shia community, it stands little chance of leading the Sunni Arab majority.

The Arab awakening against authoritarian pro-Western governments marks the beginning of a new struggle between secular democracy and Iranian theocracy.

It is yet difficult to foretell which influences, that of the West or Ian’s will ultimately prevail as anti-American sentiments and the Europe imperialistic policies are challenged by a new class of politicians, one which legitimacy is rooted in demagogy.

About Author

Hatef Mokhtar (born 11 May 1962) is an Afghan author currently living in Norway and is a Norwegian citizen. He is the founder and chief editor of The Oslo Times and a human-rights activist. He writes for several newspapers and magazines such as KL-Today, Daily Sun, Malaysia Today, Haama Daily, groruddalen.no, Malaysia Today, and Burma Digest. He works towards the freedom of press and speech, and for the promotion of peace. He is a public speaker and a political analyst. Although a political analyst on Afghanistan, he also specializes in global human rights issues and the freedom of expression in particular. Mokhtar belongs to the Durrani clan of the Pashtun. He is the founder and chairman of Armed for the Quill (AFTQ) and the organization Global Peace. Read more about him at: 

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Israel launched airstrike into Syria, says US officials http://www.khaama.com/israel-launched-airstrike-into-syria-says-us-officials-1397 http://www.khaama.com/israel-launched-airstrike-into-syria-says-us-officials-1397#comments Sat, 04 May 2013 05:54:17 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=25618 Israel launched airstrike into Syria, says US officials
According to U.S. officials, Israel launched an airstrike into Syria, apparently targeting a suspected weapons site. The strike occurred overnight Thursday into Friday, the officials quoted by The Associated Presssaid. It did not appear that a chemical weapons site was targeted, they said, and one official said the strike appeared to have hit a warehouse. Read the full article...]]>
Israel launched airstrike into Syria, says US officials

According to U.S. officials, Israel launched an airstrike into Syria, apparently targeting a suspected weapons site.

The strike occurred overnight Thursday into Friday, the officials quoted by The Associated Presssaid. It did not appear that a chemical weapons site was targeted, they said, and one official said the strike appeared to have hit a warehouse.

This comes as United States officials said they were considering military options, including carrying out their own airstrikes.

The officials did not disclose further information regarding the exact target of the Isreali strike however in late January, Israel carried out airstrikes against SA-17 antiaircraft weapons, which the Israelis feared were about to be moved to the Hezbollah Shiite militia in Lebanon.

In the meantime a spokesman for the Israeli Embassy in Washington said, “We cannot comment on these reports, but what we can say is that Israel is determined to prevent the transfer of chemical weapons or other game-changing weaponry by the Syrian regime to terrorists, especially to Hezbollah in Lebanon.”

The Israeli strike follows days of renewed concerns that Syria might be using chemical weapons against opposition forces. Obama has characterized evidence of the use of chemical weapons as a “game-changer” that would have “enormous consequences.”

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Powerful earthquake struck Iran, dozens killed or injured http://www.khaama.com/powerful-earthquake-struck-iran-dozens-killed-or-injured-2341 http://www.khaama.com/powerful-earthquake-struck-iran-dozens-killed-or-injured-2341#comments Tue, 16 Apr 2013 17:25:55 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=25203 Powerful earthquake struck Iran, dozens killed or injured
According reports a powerful earthquake centred on a border area of southeast Iran has killed at least 34 people and injured 80 others in neighbouring Pakistan. The authorities in Iran had initially feared hundreds of deaths from the 7.8-magnitude earthquake, but scaled back their assessment as it became clear that its depth, initially reported to Read the full article...]]>
Powerful earthquake struck Iran, dozens killed or injured

According reports a powerful earthquake centred on a border area of southeast Iran has killed at least 34 people and injured 80 others in neighbouring Pakistan.

The authorities in Iran had initially feared hundreds of deaths from the 7.8-magnitude earthquake, but scaled back their assessment as it became clear that its depth, initially reported to be only about 10 miles beneath the surface, was more than 56 miles beneath.

The epicentre of the earthquake was in Sistan-Baluchistan province in south-eastern Iran, near the frontier with Pakistan, a sparsely populated area of desert and mountain.

In the meantime a lawmaker who represents Saravan, told Iranian state television, at least 40 people have been reported dead in a 7.8-magnitude earthquake in Iran, Hedayatollah Mir-Moradzehi.

On the other hand Akbar Hussain Durrani, provincial home minister of Pakistan’s Balochistan province, told CNN that six people had been killed by the quake and more than a dozen injured in the province’s Washuk district.

The earthquake also shook buildings in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, across the waters of the Gulf in the United Arab Emirates.

It was also felt in the Saudi capital Riyadh and in Oman.

Iran is vulnerable to earthquakes, some of which have taken tens of thousands of lives. In 2003, a 6.6-magnitude earthquake near the city of Bam killed at least 26,000 people, and in 1990 at least 30,000 people died in an earthquake along the Caspian Sea.

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Earthquake near Iran’s nuclear plant leaves at least 30 dead http://www.khaama.com/earthquake-near-irans-nuclear-plant-leaves-at-least-30-dead-2333 http://www.khaama.com/earthquake-near-irans-nuclear-plant-leaves-at-least-30-dead-2333#comments Tue, 09 Apr 2013 16:14:52 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=25031 Earthquake near Iran’s nuclear plant leaves at least 30 dead
At least 30 people were killed and around 800 others were injured after a powerful earthquake struck close to Iran’s only nuclear power station on Tuesday. The 6.3 magnitude quake totally destroyed one village, a Red Crescent official told the Iranian Students’ News Agency (ISNA). In the meantime officials said that work at the Bushehr Read the full article...]]>
Earthquake near Iran’s nuclear plant leaves at least 30 dead

At least 30 people were killed and around 800 others were injured after a powerful earthquake struck close to Iran’s only nuclear power station on Tuesday.

The 6.3 magnitude quake totally destroyed one village, a Red Crescent official told the Iranian Students’ News Agency (ISNA).

In the meantime officials said that work at the Bushehr site was unaffected by the quake which was felt as far away as Dubai, across the Strait of Hormuz, and in Qatar.

Russian state news agency RIA following a statement also announced, “The earthquake in no way affected the normal situation at the reactor. Personnel continue to work in the normal regime and radiation levels are fully within the norm.”

The earthquake was much smaller than the one that struck in 2011 in Japan with disastrous consequences, when three nuclear reactors melted down after the cooling system and back-up generators were damaged in the resulting tsunami.

Abdulkarim Jomeiri, a member of parliament for Bushehr, told IRNA that “the distance between the earthquake focal point and the Bushehr nuclear power plant was about 80 km and, on the basis of the latest information, there has been no damage to the power plant.”

The nuclear station in Bushehr is the only one in the world that is not part of the Convention on Nuclear Safety, which was organised after the Chernobyl disaster.

However Tehran has repeatedly rejected safety concerns about Bushehr – built in a highly seismic area – that began operations in September 2011 after decades of delays.

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Coordinated car blasts kill 57, injure over 200 in Baghdad http://www.khaama.com/coordinated-car-blasts-kill-57-injure-over-200-in-baghdad-2286 http://www.khaama.com/coordinated-car-blasts-kill-57-injure-over-200-in-baghdad-2286#comments Tue, 19 Mar 2013 16:01:51 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=24395 Coordinated car blasts kill 57, injure over 200 in Baghdad
At least 57 people were killed in a spasm of violence on the even of the 10th anniversary of the US-led invasion through Baghdad on Tuesday morning. Police officials say the attacks, mostly car bombings, targeted mainly small restaurants, groups of labourers and bus stops in the Iraqi capital, all within a one-hour period. Along Read the full article...]]>
Coordinated car blasts kill 57, injure over 200 in Baghdad

At least 57 people were killed in a spasm of violence on the even of the 10th anniversary of the US-led invasion through Baghdad on Tuesday morning.

Police officials say the attacks, mostly car bombings, targeted mainly small restaurants, groups of labourers and bus stops in the Iraqi capital, all within a one-hour period.

Along with 56 killed, over 200 people were wounded in the attacks, officials said.

The bombings came 10 years to the day that Washington announced the start of the invasion on March 19, 2003 — though by that time it was already the following morning in Iraq.

No group has so far claimed responsibility behind the attacks.

According to police officials the first attack took place near a small restaurant in Baghdad’s Mashtal district, killing four people and wounding 15. Minutes later, two labourers were killed and eight wounded when a roadside bomb went off where they gather each day in partof New Baghdad.

At least three people were killed and seven others were wounded in the neighbourhood of Sadr city after a sticky bomb attached to the underside of a minibus went off. Another car bomb exploded in a commercial street in the same Shia area, killing two people and wounding 11.

In the meantime a car bomb went off near a small restaurant in Hussainiyah in the north-eastern suburbs of Baghdad killing four people and injuring 11 othrs. Two car bombs exploded near a police station, killing five people, including a policeman and wounding 27 in Zafaraniyah.

While in northern Baghdad, a car bomb went off near a bus stop, killing three people and wounding 13.

At least six other people were killed including two soldiers and wounded more than 15 others in central Baghdad after a car packed with explosives went off near a restaurant.

Bombings are still common in Iraq despite the violence has decreased since the peak of the insurgey in 2006 and 2007.

In an attempt to provoke sectarian conflict and weaken the shia-led government, Sunni Islamist militants linked to al-Qaeda have vowed to step up attacks on Shia targets and state officials this year.

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Iranian forces claim to capture another spy drone http://www.khaama.com/iranian-forces-claim-to-capture-another-spy-drone-1411 http://www.khaama.com/iranian-forces-claim-to-capture-another-spy-drone-1411#comments Sun, 24 Feb 2013 07:13:58 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=23551 Iranian forces claim to capture another spy drone
According to Iranian security officials  a foreign surveillance drone was brought down by the Iranian security forces during a military exercise in the country’s southern region. Iran’s Revolutionary Guard spokesman for the military exercise Gen. Hamid Sarkheili said he Guard’s electronic warfare unit spotted signals indicating that foreign drones were trying to enter Iranian airspace. Mr. Read the full article...]]>
Iranian forces claim to capture another spy drone

According to Iranian security officials  a foreign surveillance drone was brought down by the Iranian security forces during a military exercise in the country’s southern region.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard spokesman for the military exercise Gen. Hamid Sarkheili said he Guard’s electronic warfare unit spotted signals indicating that foreign drones were trying to enter Iranian airspace.

Mr. Sarkheili further added the unmanned aircraft was brought down near the city of Sirjan after taking its control.

The general quoted by the official IRNA news agency said, “While probing signals in the area, we spotted foreign and enemy drones which attempted to enter the area of the war game. We were able to get one enemy drone to land.”

He did not disclose further information regarding the drone and to which country it belonged to.

This comes as Iranian Revolutionary Guard officials earlier in December claimed to capture an advanced RQ-170 Sentinel CIA spy drone and three ScanEagle aircrafts.

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Military plane crash kill or injure dozens in Yemen http://www.khaama.com/military-plane-crash-kill-or-injure-dozens-in-yemen-1404 http://www.khaama.com/military-plane-crash-kill-or-injure-dozens-in-yemen-1404#comments Tue, 19 Feb 2013 11:53:59 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=23454 Military plane crash kill or injure dozens in Yemen
According to Yemeni government officials at least ten people were reported killed and several others were injured after a military helicopter went down in a residential section of Yemen’s capital Tuesday. It is the second deadly air crash in Sanaa in three months. A spokesman for the Interior Ministry, Mohammed al-Mawry, says the plane crashed Read the full article...]]>
Military plane crash kill or injure dozens in Yemen

According to Yemeni government officials at least ten people were reported killed and several others were injured after a military helicopter went down in a residential section of Yemen’s capital Tuesday. It is the second deadly air crash in Sanaa in three months.

A spokesman for the Interior Ministry, Mohammed al-Mawry, says the plane crashed into two houses in the al-Qadissiya district on Tuesday.

He did not give a reason for the crash but said military experts are investigating the incident.

In the meantime a senior defense official said at least six civilians died on the ground, two of them children, and the crash injured 21 more people.

The source further added that members of the military who were aboard the copter also died in the crash.

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Suicide blast kill Iraq intelligence academy chief Ali Aouni http://www.khaama.com/suicide-blast-kill-iraq-intelligence-academy-chief-ali-aouni-1382 http://www.khaama.com/suicide-blast-kill-iraq-intelligence-academy-chief-ali-aouni-1382#comments Sat, 16 Feb 2013 10:15:05 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=23346 Suicide blast kill Iraq intelligence academy chief Ali Aouni
According to Iraqi police officials, a senior army intelligence officer along with three of his bodyguards were killed in a suicide attack in the north of the country. The officials further added that the attacker is believed to have detonated his explosives belt near the officer’s home. The incident reportedly took place near the house Read the full article...]]>
Suicide blast kill Iraq intelligence academy chief Ali Aouni

According to Iraqi police officials, a senior army intelligence officer along with three of his bodyguards were killed in a suicide attack in the north of the country.

The officials further added that the attacker is believed to have detonated his explosives belt near the officer’s home. The incident reportedly took place near the house of Iraq intelligence academy chief Ali Aouni in Tal Afar.

Violence in Iraq has been rampant during the recent months where a a series of deadly attacks in Iraqi cities have left scores of people dead since the beginning of the year.

No group has so far claimed responsibility behind the incident however Sunni insurgents linked to al-Qaeda have been blamed for much of the recent violence.

Attacks are still common in Iraq despite sectarian violence has decreased in the country since the height of the insurgency in 2006 and 2007.

At least 33 people were killed and around 100 others were injured following a series of car bomb blasts in mainly Shia areas of Iraq earlier this month.

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Egypt hangs 21 people over deadly soccer riot http://www.khaama.com/egypt-hangs-21-people-over-deadly-soccer-riot-1287 http://www.khaama.com/egypt-hangs-21-people-over-deadly-soccer-riot-1287#comments Sat, 26 Jan 2013 09:35:49 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=22578 Egypt hangs 21 people over deadly soccer riot
An Egyptian court has handed down death sentences for 21 people accused of taking part in soccer violence in Feb. 2011 that killed 74. The death sentences still await approval by Egypt’s Grand Mufti, Al Jazeera reports, and the other defendants will not get their verdicts until March. The verdict comes after a day of Read the full article...]]>
Egypt hangs 21 people over deadly soccer riot

An Egyptian court has handed down death sentences for 21 people accused of taking part in soccer violence in Feb. 2011 that killed 74.

The death sentences still await approval by Egypt’s Grand Mufti, Al Jazeera reports, and the other defendants will not get their verdicts until March.

The verdict comes after a day of clashes between security forces and protesters opposed to Egypt’s Islamist President Mohammed Morsi that left seven dead.

The judge said in his statement read live on state TV that he would announce the verdict for the remaining 52 defendants on March 9.

Among those on trial are nine security officials. The soccer melee on Feb. 1, 2011 between Port Said’s Al-Masry fans and Cairo’s Al-Ahly fans was the world’s deadliest soccer violence in 15 years.

Families of the victims shouted “Allahu Akbar!,” or God is great, after the judge read out his verdict. One man fainted, while others wailed and cried in disbelief as they carried pictures of the young men killed in the soccer riot.

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Two hanged in Iran over attack video posted on YouTube http://www.khaama.com/two-hanged-in-iran-over-attack-video-posted-on-youtube-1269 http://www.khaama.com/two-hanged-in-iran-over-attack-video-posted-on-youtube-1269#comments Mon, 21 Jan 2013 11:13:46 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=22412 Two hanged in Iran over attack video posted on YouTube
Two men have been publicly hanged after posting a video on YouTube showing them attacking a man with a machete on a Tehran street. A 37-second video posted on YouTube in December and later shown on Iranian state television showed four masked men approaching the victim on motorcycles, and then two of them assaulting him, Read the full article...]]>
Two hanged in Iran over attack video posted on YouTube

Two men have been publicly hanged after posting a video on YouTube showing them attacking a man with a machete on a Tehran street.

A 37-second video posted on YouTube in December and later shown on Iranian state television showed four masked men approaching the
victim on motorcycles, and then two of them assaulting him, taking his bag and jacket. One of the attackers appeared to be wielding a long knife or machete.

The execution was carried out today after officials called for a speedy investigation and trial because of public outrage. The video emerged in early December and was later shown on state TV.

Their sentence was widely viewed as a get-tough message from Iranian authorities alarmed about reports of escalating street thuggery amid an economic downturn driven by escalating international sanctions. Concern about street crime has risen in the capital as the economy has plummeted.

Iran carries out one of the world’s highest number of annual executions, according to rights group Amnesty International, which has called on the Islamic Republic to commute death sentences.

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Iran opens new Naval Base near disputed islands http://www.khaama.com/iran-opens-new-naval-base-near-disputed-islands-411 http://www.khaama.com/iran-opens-new-naval-base-near-disputed-islands-411#comments Mon, 05 Nov 2012 07:30:40 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=20139 Iran opens new Naval Base near disputed islands
Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy inaugurated its fifth naval base in the Persian Gulf on Sunday in the southern port city of Bandar Lengeh on the Persian Gulf coast. It lies north of the Iranian-controlled islands of Abu Musa, Greater Tunb and Lesser Tunb that dominate the approach to the strategic Strait of Hormuz, a Read the full article...]]>
Iran opens new Naval Base near disputed islands

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy inaugurated its fifth naval base in the Persian Gulf on Sunday in the southern port city of Bandar Lengeh on the Persian Gulf coast.

It lies north of the Iranian-controlled islands of Abu Musa, Greater Tunb and Lesser Tunb that dominate the approach to the strategic Strait of Hormuz, a key waterway through which about one-fifth of the world’s oil supply passes.

IRGC Navy Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi said that the new naval zone, named Imam Mohammed Baqer, will cover a region in the strategically important Strait of Hormuz encompassing several Persian Gulf islands, from Qeshm Island to the waters west of Kish Island, according to Fars News, which is closely affiliated to the IRGC.

Fadavi said the IRGC has deployed missile and marine units within the new zone, which will provide “operational coverage” for the islands within its operational range.

In the meantime Revolutionary Guards Commander Mohammad Ali Jafari addressing the ceremony said the new base covered the waters that were playing an extremely important role in Iran’s strategic defense. The base is likely to host the biggest unit of the Revolutionary Guards Navy in future, he added.

This comes as Iranian leaders had in the past threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz due to deepening international tensions over its disputed nuclear program which the West suspected was aimed at developing atomic weapons, a charge Iran consistently denied.

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The OIC Condemns Violent Acts at American Missions in Cairo and Benghazi http://www.khaama.com/the-oic-condemns-violent-acts-at-american-missions-in-cairo-and-benghazi-135 http://www.khaama.com/the-oic-condemns-violent-acts-at-american-missions-in-cairo-and-benghazi-135#comments Fri, 14 Sep 2012 02:55:19 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=18810 The OIC Condemns Violent Acts at American Missions in Cairo and Benghazi
The Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu strongly condemned the tragic killing of the US Ambassador to Libya along with three other Consulate officials in Benghazi. In a statement issued in Jeddah today, the OIC Secretary General said that he was shocked by the reprehensible act which could not be condoned Read the full article...]]>
The OIC Condemns Violent Acts at American Missions in Cairo and Benghazi

The Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu strongly condemned the tragic killing of the US Ambassador to Libya along with three other Consulate officials in Benghazi.

In a statement issued in Jeddah today, the OIC Secretary General said that he was shocked by the reprehensible act which could not be condoned on any grounds.

He also expressed grave concern attack at the US Embassy in Cairo. He said the violence that had emanated from emotions aroused by a production of a film had hurt the religious sentiments of Muslims.

The two incidents demonstrated serious repercussions of abuse of freedom of expression that OIC had consistently been warning against. The OIC Secretary General added that while the film was a deplorable act of incitement, resorting to violence resulting in loss of innocent lives could not be condoned.

The OIC Secretary General called for restraint and urged the concerned law enforcing officials to take all necessary measures to bring the situation under control. He added that the international community could not be held hostage to the acts of extremists on either side.

The Secretary General believed that the solution could only be found by addressing the issues pertaining to the freedom of religion and freedom of expression through structured international engagement and referred to the OIC initiative embodied in UN Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18 and the Istanbul Process for its consensual implementation which provide with the avenues for such engagement.

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Non-Aligned Movement Summit opens in Tehran http://www.khaama.com/non-aligned-movement-summit-opens-in-tehran-165 http://www.khaama.com/non-aligned-movement-summit-opens-in-tehran-165#comments Thu, 30 Aug 2012 10:37:45 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=18414 Non-Aligned Movement Summit opens in Tehran
Iran on Thursday lifted the curtain on a summit of non-aligned states it presented as a diplomatic triumph, but the event was held under the cloud of intensified UN scrutiny of the Islamic republic’s nuclear programme. Supreme Leader of Iran Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in an address at the opening ceremony that “The Islamic republic Read the full article...]]>
Non-Aligned Movement Summit opens in Tehran

Iran on Thursday lifted the curtain on a summit of non-aligned states it presented as a diplomatic triumph, but the event was held under the cloud of intensified UN scrutiny of the Islamic republic’s nuclear programme.

Supreme Leader of Iran Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in an address at the opening ceremony that “The Islamic republic is not after nuclear weapons” and will never slacken off its right to the “peaceful” use of nuclear energy.

State television showed the summit venue, located in a heavily secured district in northern Tehran, packed with representatives from much of the developing world.

Leaders included the presidents of Afghanistan, Lebanon, Pakistan, Sudan, Zimbabwe and the Palestinian Authority, and the emir of Qatar.

The prime ministers of India, Iraq and Syria were also present.

Afghan president Hamid Karzai arrived at Tehran’s Mehrabad Airport on Wednesday and was welcomed by Iranian vice president Hojjatoleslam Mohammad Reza Mirtajeddini and Minister of Communication and Information Technology Reza Taghipour.

United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon also arrived in Tehran as an invited observer to the summit. The United States and Israel have criticised his presence in Iran.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon, in Tehran, spent the eve of the summit telling Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad they needed to provide “concrete” steps to ease the showdown over their country’s disputed atomic activities.

Iran, hosting a summit of the 120-nation Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), is hoping the high-profile event will prove that Western efforts to isolate it and punish it economically for its disputed nuclear program have failed.

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Deadly earthquakes leave at least 250 dead in Iran http://www.khaama.com/deadly-earthquakes-leave-at-least-250-dead-in-iran-093 http://www.khaama.com/deadly-earthquakes-leave-at-least-250-dead-in-iran-093#comments Sun, 12 Aug 2012 06:13:53 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=17957 Deadly earthquakes leave at least 250 dead in Iran
Two strong earthquakes have killed 220 people and injured another 1,500 in north-west Iran where rescuers frantically combed through the rubble of dozens of villages on Saturday night. Thousands fled their homes and remained outdoors after the quakes as at least 40 aftershocks hit the area. Casualty figures are expected to rise, Iranian officials said, Read the full article...]]>
Deadly earthquakes leave at least 250 dead in Iran

Two strong earthquakes have killed 220 people and injured another 1,500 in north-west Iran where rescuers frantically combed through the rubble of dozens of villages on Saturday night.

Thousands fled their homes and remained outdoors after the quakes as at least 40 aftershocks hit the area.

Casualty figures are expected to rise, Iranian officials said, as some of the injured were in critical condition while others were still trapped under the rubble inaccessible to rescue workers hampered by darkness in the first hours after the quakes.

Six villages were destroyed and about 60 sustained more than 50 percent damage, Iranian media reported. About 110 villages were damaged in the quakes, Deputy Interior Minister Hassan Ghadami was quoted by Fars as saying.

According to the official IRNA news agency, 66 rescue teams were at work, using 40 devices and seven dog squads to detect buried survivors.

“Unfortunately there are still a number of people trapped in the rubble but finding them is very difficult because of the darkness,” the Fars news agency quoted the national emergency head Gholam Reza Masoumi as saying.

IRNA quoted Bahram Samadirad, a provincial official from the coroner’s office, as saying: “Since some people are in a critical condition … it is possible for the number of casualties to rise.”

The U.S. Geological Survey measured Saturday’s first quake at 6.4 magnitude and said it struck 60 km (37 miles) northeast of the city of Tabriz at a depth of 9.9 km (6.2 miles). A second quake measuring 6.3 struck 49 km (30 miles) northeast of Tabriz 11 minutes later at a similar depth.

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Iran test-fires upgraded missile with new guidance system http://www.khaama.com/iran-test-fires-upgraded-missile-with-new-guidance-system-065 http://www.khaama.com/iran-test-fires-upgraded-missile-with-new-guidance-system-065#comments Sun, 05 Aug 2012 06:08:30 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=17721 Iran test-fires upgraded missile with new guidance system
Iran has “successfully” test fired its newest version of the Fateh-110 missile, state media reported Saturday, touting the accomplishment despite international concerns about Tehran’s growing military capabilities. Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi announced on Saturday that the domestically manufactured missile, which is equipped with an enhanced guidance system, is able to hit land and naval targets Read the full article...]]>
Iran test-fires upgraded missile with new guidance system

Iran has “successfully” test fired its newest version of the Fateh-110 missile, state media reported Saturday, touting the accomplishment despite international concerns about Tehran’s growing military capabilities.

Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi announced on Saturday that the domestically manufactured missile, which is equipped with an enhanced guidance system, is able to hit land and naval targets with pinpoint accuracy.

Ahmad Vahidi quoted by Tehran Times said, “In line with the policy to promote innovation and increase the accuracy of surface-to-surface missiles manufactured by the Defense Ministry, committed and dedicated experts at Iran’s Aerospace Industries Organization achieved this success through reliance on domestic capability and the use of indigenous technologies.”

He also said, “The armed forces will be able to hit and destroy land and naval targets, the gathering points of enemy (forces), command posts, missile sites, munitions depots, radar systems, and other targets with pinpoint precision using fourth-generation Fateh 110 missiles.”

Iran’s military leaders have said they believe future wars will be air- and sea-based, and the country has sought to upgrade its air defense systems and naval power in anticipation of such a possibility.

Iran has also been pushing to upgrade its missiles, which already can target Israel and US bases in the Middle East. The Pentagon released a report in June noting significant advances in Iranian missile technology, acknowledging that the Islamic Republic has improved the accuracy and firing capabilities of its missiles.

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Syria confirm it shot down Turkish air force jet http://www.khaama.com/syria-confirm-it-shot-down-turkish-air-force-jet-929 http://www.khaama.com/syria-confirm-it-shot-down-turkish-air-force-jet-929#comments Sat, 23 Jun 2012 07:10:18 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=16693 Syria confirm it shot down Turkish air force jet
Turkey has promised to take the “necessary steps” in response to Syria’s admission that it downed a Turkish air force jet that had flown into Syrian airspace. A statement following a two-hour security meeting led by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the warplane that went missing near Syria was downed by Syrian forces Read the full article...]]>
Syria confirm it shot down Turkish air force jet

Turkey has promised to take the “necessary steps” in response to Syria’s admission that it downed a Turkish air force jet that had flown into Syrian airspace.

A statement following a two-hour security meeting led by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the warplane that went missing near Syria was downed by Syrian forces and that the two Turkish pilots remain missing. It said Turkey “will determinedly take necessary steps” in response, without saying what they would be.

“Following the evaluation of data provided by our related institutions and the findings of the joint search and rescue efforts with Syria, it is understood that our plane was downed by Syria,” the statement said, without providing other details.

Syria’s official news agency confirmed that Damascus had downed the jet in a report earlier Saturday.

“An unidentified aerial target violated Syrian airspace, coming from the west at a very low altitude and at high speed over territorial waters” in the eastern Mediterranean, a military spokesman told SANA.

It was the most clear and dramatic escalation in tensions between the two countries, which used to be allies before the Syrian revolt began in March 2011. Turkey has become one of the strongest critics of the Syrian regime’s brutal response to the country’s uprising.

Turkey has joined nations such as the U.S. in saying that Syrian President Bashar Assad should step down because of the regime’s brutal suppression of the uprising in his country. Turkey also has set up refugee camps on its border for more than 32,000 Syrians who have fled the fighting.

Syria and Turkey have expelled each other’s ambassadors and Syria has accused Turkey of supporting Syrian opposition and even allowing Syrian rebels to operate out of Turkish soil. Turkey strongly denies the allegations.

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Egyptians vote on the final day of presidential election http://www.khaama.com/egyptians-vote-on-the-final-day-of-presidential-election-145 http://www.khaama.com/egyptians-vote-on-the-final-day-of-presidential-election-145#comments Sun, 17 Jun 2012 16:10:23 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=16546 Egyptians vote on the final day of presidential election
The Egypt presidential election went to second round after Ahmad Shafiq the ex-prime minister and Mohammad Morsi the leader of Justice and Freedom Party linking to Muslim Brotherhood Group were known as the leading candidates. The two conflicting groups are competing for the Egypt presidential election are serious opponents. Many Egyptians expressed dismay about the Read the full article...]]>
Egyptians vote on the final day of presidential election

The Egypt presidential election went to second round after Ahmad Shafiq the ex-prime minister and Mohammad Morsi the leader of Justice and Freedom Party linking to Muslim Brotherhood Group were known as the leading candidates.

The two conflicting groups are competing for the Egypt presidential election are serious opponents.

Many Egyptians expressed dismay about the choice of candidates and are dissatisfied with both.

 “I’m feeling bad because this is a very hard choice,” one man queuing to cast his vote in Cairo said.

“This is the worst situation for the country, we don’t want either of them,” another man said.

The election is taking place against a backdrop of mistrust and confusion and in the absence of a new constitution that is meant to define the new president’s powers.

On Thursday, a court ruled that part of the parliamentary election was unconstitutional and ordered the dissolution of the legislative body that is dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood.

The move led to accusations that the military was seeking to frustrate the transition to democracy by staging a “soft coup”.

A military council has been ruling the country since Mubarak’s resignation and is meant to transfer power to civilian rule by the end of the month.

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Coordinated blasts kill at least 62 in Hilla and Baghdad http://www.khaama.com/coordinated-blasts-kill-at-least-62-in-hilla-and-baghdad-596 http://www.khaama.com/coordinated-blasts-kill-at-least-62-in-hilla-and-baghdad-596#comments Wed, 13 Jun 2012 05:47:14 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=16328 Coordinated blasts kill at least 62 in Hilla and Baghdad
A wave of bombings in six Iraqi provinces, including 10 locations in Baghdad, has killed 62 people and wounded dozens more, Iraqi police say. The attacks are the deadliest to hit Iraq since 50 people were killed in Baghdad on March 20 and come during commemorations for the death of Imam Musa Kadhim, the seventh Read the full article...]]>
Coordinated blasts kill at least 62 in Hilla and Baghdad

A wave of bombings in six Iraqi provinces, including 10 locations in Baghdad, has killed 62 people and wounded dozens more, Iraqi police say.

The attacks are the deadliest to hit Iraq since 50 people were killed in Baghdad on March 20 and come during commemorations for the death of Imam Musa Kadhim, the seventh of 12 revered imams in Shiite Islam, which peak late June.

The deadliest attacks occurred in the central Iraq city of Hilla, where two car bombs killed 19 people and wounded 48 others, according to a police captain and doctor Ali al-Khafaji in the city’s hospital.

The bombs went off as the pilgrims started to make their way to Baghdad for the commemorations marking the death of al-Kadhim, one of the 12 principal Shiite saints, who is said to be buried in a shrine there. The attacks were launched against the backdrop of a prolonged sectarian-based political crisis that some fear is opening the door to renewed violence.

The death toll was expected to rise in the attacks, which included car bombs that tore into Shiite religious processions at four different locations across Baghdad.

Violence in Iraq has eased since the height of the war, but Islamist insurgents tied to al Qaeda are still potent, often targeting Shi’ite pilgrims to try to reignite the sectarian tensions that drove Iraq close to civil war in 2006-2007.

 

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Egypt’s president Hosni Mubarak sentenced to life in prison‎ http://www.khaama.com/egypts-president-hosni-mubarak-sentenced-to-life-in-prison%e2%80%8e-874 http://www.khaama.com/egypts-president-hosni-mubarak-sentenced-to-life-in-prison%e2%80%8e-874#comments Sat, 02 Jun 2012 08:45:09 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=15906 Egypt’s president Hosni Mubarak sentenced to life in prison‎
The deposed Egyptian president Mubarak given life jail term for mass murder. Hosni Mubarak was wheeled into court on Saturday to hear the verdict in the case against him on charges of corruption and ordering the killing of protesters last year. Mubarak is the first Arab leader to be tried by his own people in Read the full article...]]>
Egypt’s president Hosni Mubarak sentenced to life in prison‎

The deposed Egyptian president Mubarak given life jail term for mass murder. Hosni Mubarak was wheeled into court on Saturday to hear the verdict in the case against him on charges of corruption and ordering the killing of protesters last year.

Mubarak is the first Arab leader to be tried by his own people in the country. The sentence was handed down Saturday in a Cairo court.

The young Egyptians who risked their lives in Tahrir Square and saw their friends shot down around them could hardly believe it was true when Hosni Mubarak, the former president they had toppled from power, was put on trial last August.

Hundreds of police with riot shields and batons surrounded the police academy where the 10-month trial has been held.

Mubarak, who also faces corruption charges, is on trial with his two sons Alaa and Gamal, his former interior minister and six other senior officers, however, both his sons were cleared of corruption charges. His co-defendants have been held in a Cairo jail.

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Deadly suicide blast rock Yemen, more than 60 killed http://www.khaama.com/deadly-suicide-blast-rock-yemen-more-than-60-killed-996 http://www.khaama.com/deadly-suicide-blast-rock-yemen-more-than-60-killed-996#comments Mon, 21 May 2012 11:03:53 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=15435 Deadly suicide blast rock Yemen, more than 60 killed
According to Yemeni medical officials, a Yemeni soldier dressed in uniform blew himself up in the middle of an army battalion in Sanaa, killing more than 60 troops and wounding more than 300 others. The military officials say the Monday’s bombing near Sanaa’s presidential palace is one of the deadliest attacks in the city in Read the full article...]]>
Deadly suicide blast rock Yemen, more than 60 killed

According to Yemeni medical officials, a Yemeni soldier dressed in uniform blew himself up in the middle of an army battalion in Sanaa, killing more than 60 troops and wounding more than 300 others.

The military officials say the Monday’s bombing near Sanaa’s presidential palace is one of the deadliest attacks in the city in months.

Unconfirmed reports said as many as 96 people might have been killed. Yemen’s defence minister chief of staff was present at the event but was not hurt in the blast, a military source said.

Witnesses said human remains were scattered across the site of the blast at Sanaa’s Sabeen Square, where the Yemeni government often holds large military parades.

An AFP correspondent said dozens of ambulances rushed to evacuate the dead and wounded, as security forces cordoned off the area.

The attack coincided with a U.S.-backed Yemeni army offensive against al Qaeda-linked militants in the south of the country, where they control several towns. Troops closed in on one of their strongholds on Sunday in heavy fighting.

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United States ready to attack Iran, says US Israel envoy http://www.khaama.com/united-states-ready-to-attack-iran-says-us-israel-envoy-262 http://www.khaama.com/united-states-ready-to-attack-iran-says-us-israel-envoy-262#comments Thu, 17 May 2012 17:26:00 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=15280 United States ready to attack Iran, says US Israel envoy
The United States is militarily ready to carry out a strike on Iran to stop it from obtaining a nuclear weapon if international pressure fails, American ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro said to an Israeli audience this week. Western countries and Israel are exerting pressure on Iran to stop uranium enrichment, saying that Tehran is Read the full article...]]>
United States ready to attack Iran, says US Israel envoy

The United States is militarily ready to carry out a strike on Iran to stop it from obtaining a nuclear weapon if international pressure fails, American ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro said to an Israeli audience this week.

Western countries and Israel are exerting pressure on Iran to stop uranium enrichment, saying that Tehran is secretly trying to build a nuclear bomb. Iran insists that its nuclear program is strictly civil.

Shapiro told the Israel Bar Association the U.S. hopes it will not have to resort to military force.

“But that doesn’t mean that option is not fully available. Not just available, but it’s ready,” he said. “The necessary planning has been done to ensure that it’s ready.”

The comments come just days before nuclear talks are due to take place in Baghdad between Iran and the so-called P 5+1 countries: the U.S., United Kingdom, France, Russia, China and Germany.

Earlier there were numerous reports that Iran may face a pre-emptive strike either by Israel alone or by Israel and its NATO allies, if they see no other option to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear capabilities. However, intelligence communities both in Israel and the US believe that Iran has not taken a political decision to build the bomb yet.

In Tehran on Thursday, top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili warned against Western pressure at next week’s talks, which are a follow-up to negotiations in Istanbul last month that all sides praised as positive.

“Cooperation is what we can talk about in Baghdad,” Jalili said in comments broadcast on Iranian state TV.

“Some say time is running out for the talks,” he added. “I say time for the (West’s) pressure strategy is running out.”

Israel and the United States agree that Iran is working towards a nuclear bomb but hasn’t yet entered the “breakout” phase of development. Israel’s Defense Minister Ehud Barak often warns of a “zone of immunity” he believes is rapidly approaching, after which Iran could not be prevented from developing a nuclear weapon.

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Iran hangs Isreal spy for killing nuclear scientist http://www.khaama.com/iran-hangs-isreal-spy-for-killing-nuclear-scientist-943 http://www.khaama.com/iran-hangs-isreal-spy-for-killing-nuclear-scientist-943#comments Tue, 15 May 2012 07:35:08 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=15113 Iran hangs Isreal spy for killing nuclear scientist
The man convicted of espionage for the Israeli spy agency, Mossad, and assassinating a top Iranian nuclear physicist has been executed in Tehran’s Evin Prison. Twenty-four year old Majid Jamali Fashi was hanged at Tehran’s Evin Prison after being sentenced to death in August last year for the murder of Massoud Ali-Mohammadi, Iran’s state news Read the full article...]]>
Iran hangs Isreal spy for killing nuclear scientist

The man convicted of espionage for the Israeli spy agency, Mossad, and assassinating a top Iranian nuclear physicist has been executed in Tehran’s Evin Prison.

Twenty-four year old Majid Jamali Fashi was hanged at Tehran’s Evin Prison after being sentenced to death in August last year for the murder of Massoud Ali-Mohammadi, Iran’s state news agency quoted the central prosecutor’s office as saying. It said he had confessed to the crime.

Tehran University physics professor Masoud Ali Mohammadi was killed by a bomb-rigged motorcycle that exploded outside his house as he was leaving for work in January 2010. He had no publicly disclosed links to Iran’s nuclear program.

Iran claims that Israel and the U.S. are trying to disrupt its nuclear program through covert operations. Israel, which is widely believed to have nuclear weapons but has neither confirmed nor denied it, accuses Iran of seeking to develop an atomic bomb.

Last month, Iranian intelligence officials said they had arrested 15 people they called a “major terror and sabotage network with links to the Zionist regime”. The group had plotted to assassinate an Iranian scientist in February, the authorities said.

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Senior al Qaeda leader killed following airstrike in Yemen http://www.khaama.com/senior-al-qaeda-leader-killed-following-airstrike-in-yemen-887 http://www.khaama.com/senior-al-qaeda-leader-killed-following-airstrike-in-yemen-887#comments Mon, 07 May 2012 04:55:51 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=14726 Senior al Qaeda leader killed following airstrike in Yemen
An airstrike Sunday killed a top al-Qaida leader on the FBI’s most wanted list for his role in the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole warship, Yemeni officials said. The drone attack was carried out by the CIA, U.S. officials said. Yemini officials also confirmed the reports and said an air strike carried out by Read the full article...]]>
Senior al Qaeda leader killed following airstrike in Yemen

An airstrike Sunday killed a top al-Qaida leader on the FBI’s most wanted list for his role in the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole warship, Yemeni officials said. The drone attack was carried out by the CIA, U.S. officials said.

Yemini officials also confirmed the reports and said an air strike carried out by the CIA has killed a top al Qaeda leader, wanted for his role in the bombing of a US warship.

Speaking on a condition of anonymity the military officials said Fahd al-Quso was hit by a missile as he stepped out of his vehicle. At least one other al-Qaida operative died in the attack. Al Qaeda members confirmed the death in text messages to local media, saying al Quso died along with a companion identified as Fahd Lakdum.

Al-Quso, 37, was on the FBI’s most wanted list, with a $5 million reward for information leading to his capture. He was indicted in the U.S. for his role in the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole in the harbor of Aden, Yemen, in which 17 American sailors were killed and 39 injured.

A US government official described al-Quso as a “senior terrorist operative,” who had been actively planning further attacks against the United States and Yemen. Speaking on a condition of anonymity the official said he had been involved in numerous attacks over many years that murdered Americans as well as Yemeni men, women and children.

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Deadly suicide blasts rock northern Syrian city of Idib http://www.khaama.com/deadly-suicide-blasts-rock-northern-syrian-city-of-idib-842 http://www.khaama.com/deadly-suicide-blasts-rock-northern-syrian-city-of-idib-842#comments Mon, 30 Apr 2012 10:08:10 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=14447 Deadly suicide blasts rock northern Syrian city of Idib
Syria TV said there had been “two terrorist suicide bombs” in Idlib on Monday, killing eight and wounding dozens – both civilians and security personnel. The state news agency, SANA, said Monday’s blasts wounded nearly 100 people. The explosions were near a military compound, but it’s not clear what the target was. In the meantime Read the full article...]]>
Deadly suicide blasts rock northern Syrian city of Idib

Syria TV said there had been “two terrorist suicide bombs” in Idlib on Monday, killing eight and wounding dozens – both civilians and security personnel.

The state news agency, SANA, said Monday’s blasts wounded nearly 100 people. The explosions were near a military compound, but it’s not clear what the target was.

In the meantime Syrian activists said at least 20 people were killed Monday by two suicide bomb explosions in the northern Syrian city of Idib.

The explosions targeted state security forces, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights opposition group.

Monday’s attacks come hours after the newly appointed head of the U.N. observer mission in Syria called on President Bashar al-Assad’s troops and the opposition to stop fighting so that the tenuous cease-fire can take hold.

Major General Robert Mood arrived Sunday in Damascus to lead an advance team of 30 unarmed U.N. observers tasked with monitoring an April 12 truce that has been plagued by continued fighting.

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Iran says it recovered data from downed US spy drone http://www.khaama.com/iran-says-it-recovered-data-from-downed-us-spy-drone-776-2 http://www.khaama.com/iran-says-it-recovered-data-from-downed-us-spy-drone-776-2#comments Mon, 23 Apr 2012 05:53:26 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=14076 Iran says it recovered data from downed US spy drone
Iran claimed on Sunday that it had recovered data from an American spy drone that went down in Iran last year, including information that the aircraft was used to spy on Osama bin Laden weeks before he was killed. Iran also said it was building a copy of the drone. Commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Read the full article...]]>
Iran says it recovered data from downed US spy drone

Iran claimed on Sunday that it had recovered data from an American spy drone that went down in Iran last year, including information that the aircraft was used to spy on Osama bin Laden weeks before he was killed. Iran also said it was building a copy of the drone.

Commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Brig General Amir Ali Hajizadeh gave details of the aircraft’s operational history as proof that their engineers had successfully probed its records.

“Had we not accessed the plane’s soft wares and hard discs, we wouldn’t have been able to achieve these facts. We have decoded all this [information] and we now have an infinite amount of intelligence,” the Iranian state-media quoted Hajizadeh, as saying.

Similar unmanned surveillance planes have been used in Afghanistan for years and kept watch on bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan. But US officials have said little about the history of the particular aircraft now in Iran’s possession.

Tehran, which has also been known to exaggerate its military and technological prowess, says it brought down the RQ-170 Sentinel, a top-secret drone equipped with stealth technology, and has flaunted the capture as a victory for Iran and a defeat for the United States.

The US says the drone malfunctioned and downplayed any suggestion that Iran could mine the aircraft for sensitive information because of measures taken to limit the intelligence value of drones operating over hostile territory.

According to The Telegraph, he said the drone had flown over Osama bin Laden’s hideout in Pakistan a fortnight before the Al-Qaeda leader was killed in a CIA raid.
The state media report also said that Iran had ‘started manufacturing models of the captured US spy plane’.
The unarmed drone was shown on Iranian state television, apparently looking intact, after coming down 140 miles inside Iranian territory in December.

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Coordinated explosions hit Baghdad and Kirkuk in Iraq http://www.khaama.com/coordinated-explosions-hit-baghdad-and-kirkuk-in-iraq-758 http://www.khaama.com/coordinated-explosions-hit-baghdad-and-kirkuk-in-iraq-758#comments Thu, 19 Apr 2012 07:01:03 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=13974 Coordinated explosions hit Baghdad and Kirkuk in Iraq
At least six explosions hit four northern Iraqi cities on Thursday, killing around 35 people and wounding more than 100 others, police and hospital sources said. Police Brig. Gen. Sarhad Qadir says nine people died in three rapid-fire explosions across the ethnically-mixed Kirkuk on Thursday. The city is located 180 miles (290 kilometers) north of Read the full article...]]>
Coordinated explosions hit Baghdad and Kirkuk in Iraq

At least six explosions hit four northern Iraqi cities on Thursday, killing around 35 people and wounding more than 100 others, police and hospital sources said.

Police Brig. Gen. Sarhad Qadir says nine people died in three rapid-fire explosions across the ethnically-mixed Kirkuk on Thursday. The city is located 180 miles (290 kilometers) north of Baghdad.

At almost the same time, attacks rocked three Shiite neighborhoods in Baghdad, killing six people.

No group has so far claimed responsibility behind the attacks however attacks in Iraq are mostly blamed on Sunni Arab insurgents who have refused to lay down arms after the withdrawal of U.S. forces in December.

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Iran Nuclear Talks ‘Constructive’ says EU envoy http://www.khaama.com/iran-nuclear-talks-constructive-says-eu-envoy-712 http://www.khaama.com/iran-nuclear-talks-constructive-says-eu-envoy-712#comments Sat, 14 Apr 2012 19:31:01 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=13698 Iran Nuclear Talks ‘Constructive’ says EU envoy
Catherine Ashton Chief of the European Union foreign policy said he was optimistic over nuclear talks between Iran and six world powers and the two sides will meet again in Baghdad on May 23. She described the talks over Iran nuclear program as constructive. Catherine Ashton said, future talks will be guided by the “principle Read the full article...]]>
Iran Nuclear Talks ‘Constructive’ says EU envoy

Catherine Ashton Chief of the European Union foreign policy said he was optimistic over nuclear talks between Iran and six world powers and the two sides will meet again in Baghdad on May 23. She described the talks over Iran nuclear program as constructive.

Catherine Ashton said, future talks will be guided by the “principle of a step-by-step approach and reciprocity.” That indicates the international community is ready to reward Iran if it reduces fears that it may use its atomic program to make weapons.

“There is a positive atmosphere … contrasting with the last time” in January 2011, Michael Mann, spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, told reporters at the meeting in Istanbul, saying they were “totally different.”

“The principles for future talks seem to be there,” she said, adding that the venue and date for the next round of more detailed discussions — possibly in four to six weeks in Baghdad — would “probably be decided later today.”

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton also emphasized that Iran has a right to a peaceful nuclear program. At the same time, she says the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty must be the “key basis” for future talks.

However Other delegations in Istanbul were tight-lipped on progress. They were expected to hold a series of bilateral meetings before coming back for what they hope will be a final joint session later on Saturday.

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Iran begins nuclear talks with 6 nations after 15 months http://www.khaama.com/iran-begins-nuclear-talks-with-6-nations-after-15-months-705 http://www.khaama.com/iran-begins-nuclear-talks-with-6-nations-after-15-months-705#comments Sat, 14 Apr 2012 09:07:51 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=13666 Iran begins nuclear talks with 6 nations after 15 months
World powers and Iran launched a new round of negotiations in Istanbul on Saturday, aiming to resolve a long-standing dispute over Tehran’s nuclear program that threatens to spark a new war in the Middle East. Officials from the US, UK, France, China, Russia and Germany hope the talks, in the Turkish city of Istanbul, halt Read the full article...]]>
Iran begins nuclear talks with 6 nations after 15 months

World powers and Iran launched a new round of negotiations in Istanbul on Saturday, aiming to resolve a long-standing dispute over Tehran’s nuclear program that threatens to spark a new war in the Middle East.

Officials from the US, UK, France, China, Russia and Germany hope the talks, in the Turkish city of Istanbul, halt rising tensions in the region.

Iran agreed to resume these talks with six major world powers — the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, plus Germany — after more than a year without any negotiations, raising hopes in the West that Tehran might be ready to strike a deal over its nuclear program, which it denies has any military intent.

The negotiations in Istanbul, the first between Iran and the six powers in 15 months, are unlikely to yield any major breakthrough but Western diplomats hope at last to see readiness from Tehran to start to discuss issues of substance.

The P5+1 hope eventually to persuade Iran to reduce its enrichment of uranium and fully open up its nuclear facilities to inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The West accuses Iran of seeking to develop a nuclear weapons capability. Israel – believed to be the only Middle East state with an atomic arsenal – sees Iran’s atomic plans as a threat to its existence. Iran has threatened to retaliate for any attack by closing a major oil shipping route.

Turkey helped negotiate Iran’s return to the nuclear conversation yet deteriorating bilateral relations over issues such as Syria, left the venue for talks up in the air. Istanbul was finally confirmed after the P5 members rejected Tehran’s alternatives.

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Iran cuts off access to internet by August http://www.khaama.com/iran-cuts-off-access-to-internet-by-august http://www.khaama.com/iran-cuts-off-access-to-internet-by-august#comments Tue, 10 Apr 2012 08:21:06 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=13483 Iran cuts off access to internet by August
According to reports Iran shuts down access to internet and cuts off access to many popular websites and email services by August 2012. Reza Taghipour, Minister of Information and Technology of Iran said in a statement that they will introduce a local Intranet in order to provide clean and filtered internet services to the country. Read the full article...]]>
Iran cuts off access to internet by August

According to reports Iran shuts down access to internet and cuts off access to many popular websites and email services by August 2012.

Reza Taghipour, Minister of Information and Technology of Iran said in a statement that they will introduce a local Intranet in order to provide clean and filtered internet services to the country.

The new project is set to start next month and it will block the popular websites like Google, Yahoo and Hotmail and will replace them with government Intranet alternatives like Iran Mail and Iran Search Engines.

Other services will remain online until August 2012 when Iran government introduce a full blocking system of the worldwide web, confirmed by Reza Taghipour in a statement.

“All internet service providers must only provide national internet by August 2012”, said Reza Taghipour, the Communication Minister.

He further added that the open internet promotes disunity, crimes, unsound moral contents and atheism in Iran.

This comes as Iran’s government announced its intention to take the country off the grid last July, and this year saw ominous signs of that threat developing as it began monitoring Internet cafe usage and blocking VPN (virtual private network) systems during what were said to be tests of an intranet system.

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Coordinated bomb blasts kill at least 45 across Iraq http://www.khaama.com/coordinated-bomb-blasts-kill-at-least-45-across-iraq-884 http://www.khaama.com/coordinated-bomb-blasts-kill-at-least-45-across-iraq-884#comments Tue, 20 Mar 2012 18:08:06 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=12673 Coordinated bomb blasts kill at least 45 across Iraq
According to Iraqi security officials, at least 45 people were killed following a series of co-ordinated bomb blasts in various regions of Iraq on Tuesday. The officials further added, at least 13 people were killed after two cars packed with explosives went off in the predominantly Shia city of Kerbala. The second bomb went off Read the full article...]]>
Coordinated bomb blasts kill at least 45 across Iraq

According to Iraqi security officials, at least 45 people were killed following a series of co-ordinated bomb blasts in various regions of Iraq on Tuesday.

The officials further added, at least 13 people were killed after two cars packed with explosives went off in the predominantly Shia city of Kerbala.

The second bomb went off in the northern city of Kirkuk near a police station killing at least 13 people, the officials said.

At least 7 others were killed in two separate bomb explosions in Baghdad while numerous others were killed in a number of other attacks in Hillah, Mahmudiya and Latifiya to the south of Baghdad, as well as in Ramadi, Baiji, Daquq, al-Dhuluiya and Samarra.

The explosions take place in a sensitive situation where Iraq is going to host a summit of the Arab league next week.

Iraq is due to host the meeting for the first time in 20 years and the government is anxious to show it can maintain security following the withdrawal of U.S. troops in December.

Parliament speaker Osama al-Nujaifi said the “brutal, criminal” attacks were part of efforts by al-Qaeda to “derail the Arab summit, and keep Iraq feeling the effects of violence and destruction”.

Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari told Al Arabiya television that “all Arab states plan to participate” in the summit. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon plans to attend. The last meeting of Arab leaders in Baghdad took place in 1990.

Iraq is spending about $500 million on the meeting, for extensive security plus everything from hotel renovations and overtime to catering, stationery and new sod and palm trees on the road from the airport. Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari called the price tag “an investment for the country.”

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Iran Nuclear Talks-No Result http://www.khaama.com/iran-nuclear-talks-no-result http://www.khaama.com/iran-nuclear-talks-no-result#comments Sat, 25 Feb 2012 04:37:58 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=11729 Iran Nuclear Talks-No Result
Tehran has not cleared up questions with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) pertaining to its possible military aspects of its nuclear program. UN officials had two sets of talks in Tehran over the past month but in vain. Iran’s extensive enrichment of uranium in recent months has put the West in suspicion that Iran Read the full article...]]>
Iran Nuclear Talks-No Result

Tehran has not cleared up questions with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) pertaining to its possible military aspects of its nuclear program. UN officials had two sets of talks in Tehran over the past month but in vain.

Iran’s extensive enrichment of uranium in recent months has put the West in suspicion that Iran is going to build nuclear bomb. Iran claims that its nuclear program is merely for civil purposes.

An IAEA report on the findings of UN teams who visited IRAN at the end of the January and in mid-February was leaked. The report said Iran has increased the number of centrifuges used to enrich uranium and has stepped up production of uranium enriched to the higher level of 20%.

“As Iran is not providing the necessary co-operation… the agency is unable to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran,” the report said.

“The agency continues to have serious concerns regarding possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear program.”

The international community has already imposed sanctions on Iran. The White House had issued a statement calling on Iran to halt its uranium enrichment. However, Iran continued to pursue its uranium enrichment program in violation of multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions without demonstrating any credible purpose for doing so.

Iran will be further isolated from the international community, if it refuses to shift course.

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Iraq Attacks Claim 48 Lives in Baghdad and Baquba http://www.khaama.com/iraq-attacks-claim-48-lives-in-baghdad-and-baquba http://www.khaama.com/iraq-attacks-claim-48-lives-in-baghdad-and-baquba#comments Thu, 23 Feb 2012 10:09:27 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=11671 Iraq Attacks Claim 48 Lives in Baghdad and Baquba
At least 48 people have been killed and dozens injured in a wave of bombings and shootings across Iraq, police say. The violence targeted predominantly Shia areas, in particular police officers and checkpoints.           No group has yet said it was behind the violence. Attacks in Iraq have increased since the US troops withdrew in Read the full article...]]>
Iraq Attacks Claim 48 Lives in Baghdad and Baquba

At least 48 people have been killed and dozens injured in a wave of bombings and shootings across Iraq, police say.

The violence targeted predominantly Shia areas, in particular police officers and checkpoints.

          No group has yet said it was behind the violence. Attacks in Iraq have increased since the US troops withdrew in December.

Tolls from other attacks around Baghdad include:

  • six dead after a car bomb in Shia-dominated Kadhimiya, norht of Baghdad
  • six killed by gunmen at a police checkpoint in the Sarafiya district of the capital
  • two dead and five injured in an explosion in the western al-Mansour district
  • two killed and 10 injured in two explosions in Dorat Abo Sheer, southern Baghdad
  • two killed and nine wounded in an attack by gunmen using weapons with silencers, targeting a police patrol in Saidiya, southern Baghdad
  • seven injured, most of them policemen, in a blast in al-Madaen, south of Baghdad
  • five civilians injured in a bomb explosion in Taji, north of Baghdad

Bombings in the province of Salahuddin have also been reported. The capital of Salahuddin, Tikrit, was home town of former leader Saddam Hussein, who was executed in 2006.

Shia targets have come under increasing attack since the government of Shia Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki moved against senior members of the predominantly Sunni Iraqiya political bloc.

The day after US troops withdrew, a warrant was issued for the arrest of Vice-President Tariq al-Hashemi, who is accused of financing death squads.

Mr Hashemi, who denies the charges, is currently in Iraqi Kurdistan, under the protection of the regional government.

The BBC’s Rafid Jabbouri, in Baghdad, says al-Qaeda in Iraq said it carried out previous waves of attacks in December and January.

However, he says he spoke to a senior government official, who said the upsurge in violence since the withdrawal of US troops was politically motivated. The official blamed Mr Hashemi for planning and co-ordinating the attacks.

 

 

 

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Iran Boosting its Nuclear Program http://www.khaama.com/iran-boosting-its-nuclear-prog-987ram http://www.khaama.com/iran-boosting-its-nuclear-prog-987ram#comments Sun, 19 Feb 2012 06:23:51 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=11498 Iran Boosting its Nuclear Program
There is a rising concern in the West about regarding Iran’s expansion of its nuclear program, which is believed to be based at an underground site near the city of Qom. Iran has speeded up its production of enriched uranium—required for both power generation and nuclear weapons. Iran claims its nuclear work is for purely Read the full article...]]>
Iran Boosting its Nuclear Program

There is a rising concern in the West about regarding Iran’s expansion of its nuclear program, which is believed to be based at an underground site near the city of Qom. Iran has speeded up its production of enriched uranium—required for both power generation and nuclear weapons.

Iran claims its nuclear work is for purely peaceful purpose, but Western countries express fears that Iran is surreptitiously creating a nuclear bomb. Iran’s nuclear program development may trigger a nuclear arms race in the Middle East region, where at the moment only Israel possesses such weapons. William Hague, UK foreign secretary, fears that Iran’s nuclear ambitions could plunge the Middle East into “a new Cold War”.

Tensions are already rising between Israel and Iran. Israel accuses Iran of planning attacks on its embassies in India, Thailand and Georgia. Iran denies these allegations. On the other hand, Iran blamed Israel and the US for the assassination of several of its nuclear scientists in recent years, allegations Israel and US deny.

There is rising media speculation that Israel is planning a military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities. US President Barack Obama emphasized earlier this month that Israel and the US were working in “unison” to counter Iran. Mr. Hague told the Telegraph that Britain has urged Israel not to strike: “We support a twin-track strategy of sanctions and pressure and negotiations on the other hand.”  This diplomatic approach of UK was complicated by the expulsion of Iranian diplomats from the UK last December, and the withdrawal of Britain’s embassy staff from Tehran.

In recent months, Western countries have stepped up pressure on Iran over the nuclear issue, with the EU and US both introducing wide-ranging sanctions on the country.

Author: Samadi. Kabul, Afghanistan

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Iran to unveil great nuclear achievements: Ahmadinejad http://www.khaama.com/iran-to-unveil-great-nuclear-achievements-617 http://www.khaama.com/iran-to-unveil-great-nuclear-achievements-617#comments Sun, 12 Feb 2012 05:12:01 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=11218 Iran to unveil great nuclear achievements: Ahmadinejad
Iran’s President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, says “great” nuclear achievements will be announced in the next few days reiterating Tehran’s readiness to revive talks with the West over the country’s controversial nuclear program. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad did not elaborate on the announcement – but insisted Iran would never give up its uranium enrichment process. Mr Ahmadinejad was Read the full article...]]>
Iran to unveil great nuclear achievements: Ahmadinejad

Iran’s President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, says “great” nuclear achievements will be announced in the next few days
reiterating Tehran’s readiness to revive talks with the West over the country’s controversial nuclear program.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad did not elaborate on the announcement – but insisted Iran would never give up its uranium enrichment process.

Mr Ahmadinejad was speaking at a rally in Tehran as Iranians marked the 33rd anniversary of the Islamic revolution.

He also promised that Iran would never yield to the West if it continued to use “the language of force and insult”.

The West suspects Iran’s nuclear program is aimed at producing atomic weapons, a charge Tehran denies, insisting it’s geared for peaceful purposes only, such as energy production.

Last week, President Barack Obama said the United States would work in “lockstep” with Israel to prevent Iran developing nuclear weapons.

He said Israel’s government was “rightly” very concerned about Iran’s nuclear programme but added that he did not believe it had decided whether to launch a military strike.

But Iran insists it is designed for peaceful purposes only, such as energy production.

Addressing a rally of tens of thousands of Iranians in Tehran yesterday, Ahmadinejad said: ‘Within the next few days the world will witness the inauguration of several big new achievements in the nuclear field.’

He said Iran was prepared to stage fresh talks over its nuclear programme, but added that Tehran ‘will never enter talks if enemies behave arrogantly’.

Four rounds of U.N. sanctions and recent tough financial penalties by the United States and the European Union have failed to get Iran to halt aspects of its atomic work that could provide a possible pathway to weapons production.

Iran refuses to negotiate over its uranium enrichment programme, but Western countries say there is no point in talking unless it is on the agenda.

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Pakistan al Qaeda chief killed in US drone strike http://www.khaama.com/pakistan-al-qaeda-chief-killed-in-us-drone-strike-599 http://www.khaama.com/pakistan-al-qaeda-chief-killed-in-us-drone-strike-599#comments Thu, 09 Feb 2012 11:29:10 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=11127 Pakistan al Qaeda chief killed in US drone strike
According to Pakistani government officials, al Qaeda’s chief in Paksitan was killed on Thursday following a US drone strike in North Waziristan. The officials further added, Badar Mansoor, who reputedly sent fighters to Afghanistan was killed during the strike. A senior Pakistani official quoted by AFP said, “He died in the missile attacks overnight in Read the full article...]]>
Pakistan al Qaeda chief killed in US drone strike

According to Pakistani government officials, al Qaeda’s chief in Paksitan was killed on Thursday following a US drone strike in
North Waziristan.

The officials further added, Badar Mansoor, who reputedly sent fighters to Afghanistan was killed during the strike.

A senior Pakistani official quoted by AFP said, “He died in the missile attacks overnight in Miranshah. His death is a major blow to Al-Qaeda’s abilities to strike in Pakistan.”

His death was also confirmed by a Pakistan Taliban commander.

Reuters News Agency quoting the Taliban commander said, “He was living in a small rented house with his wife and children in Miranshah. He, his wife and two other members of his family died on the spot.”

Intelligence officials in Miranshah, the main town of North Waziristan, said Mansoor whose first name is also sometimes spelled Badr had been killed, but other Pakistani officials were divided.

At least 3 other militants were also killed during the drone strike in Miranshah Market.

This comes as at least 0 people were killed and several others injured in the drone strike in North Waziristan.

The back-to-back strikes could be an indication the drone program is picking up steam again after a slowdown caused by tensions with Pakistan over accidental American airstrikes that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers last year.

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At least 74 killed in deadly Egypt soccer riot http://www.khaama.com/at-least-74-killed-in-deadly-egypt-soccer-riot-549 http://www.khaama.com/at-least-74-killed-in-deadly-egypt-soccer-riot-549#comments Thu, 02 Feb 2012 04:50:05 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=10892 At least 74 killed in deadly Egypt soccer riot
According to Egyptian officials, at least 74 people have been killed in clashes between rival fans following a football match in the Egyptian city of Port Said. The officials further added, scores were injured as fans – reportedly armed with knives – invaded the pitch after a match between top-tier clubs al-Masry and al-Ahly. Egypian Read the full article...]]>
At least 74 killed in deadly Egypt soccer riot

According to Egyptian officials, at least 74 people have been killed in clashes between rival fans following a football match in the Egyptian city of Port Said.

The officials further added, scores were injured as fans – reportedly armed with knives – invaded the pitch after a match between top-tier clubs al-Masry and al-Ahly.

Egypian officials fear the death toll could rise further.

Authorities said some of those killed were stabbed but apparently most of the victims were crushed in the stampede as people rushed to leave the stadium after the violence started.

The violence flared seconds after al-Masri, a team based in Port Said, won a rare 3-1 victory against the Cairo-based team al-Ahli, one of Egypt’s most successful clubs.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom & Justice party, which holds the largest bloc in parliament, condemned the violence in a statement, saying the riot “aims to block the peaceful democratic transition of power through internal parties who still have strong relations with the former regime.”

Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim said 47 people were arrested.

In the meantime Egypt’s football federation said it was indefinitely delaying matches for the Egyptian premier league.

Al Ahli club said in a statement it was suspending all sports activities and was mourning for three days after the pitch invasion.

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At least 13 people killed in Iraq bomb explosions http://www.khaama.com/at-least-13-people-killed-in-iraq-bomb-explosions-441 http://www.khaama.com/at-least-13-people-killed-in-iraq-bomb-explosions-441#comments Thu, 26 Jan 2012 10:53:07 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=10619 At least 13 people killed in Iraq bomb explosions
According to Iraqi security officials, at least 13 people were killed following two separate bomb explosions in Musayyib and Kirkuk cities of Iraq. The officials further added, two brothers working for the Iraqi police and eight of their relatives were killed after insurgents stormed their house in Musayyib in the south of Baghdad. At least Read the full article...]]>
At least 13 people killed in Iraq bomb explosions

According to Iraqi security officials, at least 13 people were killed following two separate bomb explosions in Musayyib and Kirkuk cities of Iraq.

The officials further added, two brothers working for the Iraqi police and eight of their relatives were killed after insurgents stormed their house in Musayyib in the south of Baghdad.

At least three others were killed in a separate explosion in Kirkuk, officials said.

The wave of insurgency has been rampant in Iraq since US troops left the country last month.

In the deadliest attack, a 4:00 am (0100 GMT) bombing in Mussayib, 60 kilometres (37 miles) south of Baghdad, struck the home of policemen Ahmed and Jihad Zuwaiyin as they and their families slept.

A police officer in the Babil provincial capital Hilla and a doctor at Mussayib hospital quoted by AFP said, the explosion killed 10 members of the family — the two officers, their wives, and six children aged 10 or younger.

Police Brigadier General Adil Zain al-Abidine told AFP the attack in the northern city of Kirkuk was caused by a motorcycle bomb parked near a primary school in the city centre.

As well as the three fatalities, five others were also injured.

Violence is down from its peak in 2006 and 2007, but attacks remain common.

According to an AFP tally, more than 200 people have been killed in attacks since American forces completed their pullout from Iraq on December 18.

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Explosions kills at least 10 in Baghdad’s Sadr city http://www.khaama.com/explosions-kills-at-least-10-in-baghdads-sadr-city-509 http://www.khaama.com/explosions-kills-at-least-10-in-baghdads-sadr-city-509#comments Tue, 24 Jan 2012 08:51:30 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=10486 Explosions kills at least 10 in Baghdad’s Sadr city
According to Iraqi police officials, at least 10 people have been killed and 33 wounded in two separate car bomb attacks in an eastern Shia district of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad. The officials further added, at least eight people were killed and 21 others were injured after the first bomb targeted day labourers waiting for Read the full article...]]>
Explosions kills at least 10 in Baghdad’s Sadr city

According to Iraqi police officials, at least 10 people have been killed and 33 wounded in two separate car bomb attacks in an eastern Shia district of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.

The officials further added, at least eight people were killed and 21 others were injured after the first bomb targeted day labourers waiting for jobs in Sadr City.

Two more people were killed and 11 others were injured when a car packed with explosives went off around 3km away from the site of the first explosion, officials said.

Officials also said a roadside bomb later exploded on the Muthanna airport road in central Baghdad, wounding at least six people.

According to officials, there has been a rise in attacks in Iraq since US troops left last month, leaving as many as 170 people dead.

Hospital officials Baghdad confirmed the death toll. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media.

Violence in Iraq has dropped sharply from the height of sectarian killing in 2006-2007, but insurgents and militias still carry out daily attacks and assassinations in an attempt to undermine the government.

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Iran warns Arab neighbours for boosting oil productions http://www.khaama.com/iran-warns-gulf-nations-for-backing-oil-sanctions-433 http://www.khaama.com/iran-warns-gulf-nations-for-backing-oil-sanctions-433#comments Mon, 16 Jan 2012 05:00:21 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=10139 Iran warns Arab neighbours for boosting oil productions
Iran warned Gulf Arab neighbours on Sunday they would suffer consequences if they raised oil output to replace Iranian crude facing an international ban. The warning by Iran comes amid growing efforts by US and European Union to curb Iran’s oil exports. In a bid to seek extra supplies to offset any shortfalls leaders from Read the full article...]]>
Iran warns Arab neighbours for boosting oil productions

Iran warned Gulf Arab neighbours on Sunday they would suffer consequences if they raised oil output to replace Iranian crude
facing an international ban.

The warning by Iran comes amid growing efforts by US and European Union to curb Iran’s oil exports.

In a bid to seek extra supplies to offset any shortfalls leaders from various nations are travelling to the region to discuss
the issue.

But Iran has warned to retaliate against any output increase.

According to the Sharq daily newspaper, Mohammad Ali Khatibi, Iran’s OPEC Governor said that “our Arab neighbour countries should not cooperate” with the US and European countries.

Mr. Khatibi further added, any measures taken by the countries would not be perceived as friendly.

He said, if they give “the green light to replacing Iran’s oil these countries would be the main culprits for whatever happens in the region – including the Strait of Hormuz”.

He also said, uur Arab neighbour countries should not cooperate with these (U.S. and European) adventurers.

In the meantime Iran’s navy commander Habibollah Sayyari said Tehran could exert control over the Strait of Hormuz. The United States, whose warships patrol the region, says it will not tolerate any attempt to disrupt shipping through the strait.

Military experts say Iran could not challenge the huge U.S.-led fleet that guards the strait for long, but its threats raise the risk of miscalculation that could flare into a clash.

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Gunmen storm police building in western Iraq http://www.khaama.com/gunmen-storm-police-building-in-western-iraq-428 http://www.khaama.com/gunmen-storm-police-building-in-western-iraq-428#comments Sun, 15 Jan 2012 10:51:57 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=10113 Gunmen storm police building in western Iraq
According to Iraqi police officials, A series of heavy explosions and gunfires rocked the Iraqi city of Ramadi on Sunday. The officials further added, a mosque and a police building in the city was hit by at least four car bombs followed by two suicide bomb blasts inside the police building. An Iraqi police officer Read the full article...]]>
Gunmen storm police building in western Iraq

According to Iraqi police officials, A series of heavy explosions and gunfires rocked the Iraqi city of Ramadi on Sunday.

The officials further added, a mosque and a police building in the city was hit by at least four car bombs followed by two suicide bomb blasts inside the police building.

An Iraqi police officer speaking on the condition of anonymity said, the first two car bombs went off near Dawlah Kabir Mosque in central Ramadi around 11:30 am local time, while the third car bomb exploded in the city centre.

The fourth car bomb went off neare a police building in Ramadi city a short while later, which was followed by at least wto suicide bomb blasts inside the building.

The building is currently surrounded by security forces.

In the meantime Iraq Interior Ministry officials said, at least three people were killed and 22 others wounded in bombings targeting police stations in Iraq on Sunday.

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Suicide Blast kills at least 50 in Iraqi city of Basra http://www.khaama.com/suicide-blast-kills-at-least-15-in-basra-417 http://www.khaama.com/suicide-blast-kills-at-least-15-in-basra-417#comments Sat, 14 Jan 2012 07:45:35 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=10061 Suicide Blast kills at least 50 in Iraqi city of Basra
At least 50 people were killed and more than 130 others were wounded following suicie bomb blast at Iraq’s southern city of Basra on Tuesday targeting Shia pilgrims. According to Iraqi police officials, the incident took place after a suicide bomber disguised as a policeman targeted Shi’ite Muslim pilgrims passing through a checkpoint and hit Read the full article...]]>
Suicide Blast kills at least 50 in Iraqi city of Basra

At least 50 people were killed and more than 130 others were wounded following suicie bomb blast at Iraq’s southern city of Basra on Tuesday targeting Shia pilgrims.

According to Iraqi police officials, the incident took place after a suicide bomber disguised as a policeman targeted Shi’ite Muslim pilgrims passing through a checkpoint and hit a tent where pilgrims were being fed around 8:30 am local time.

The incident takes place one of the main holy days of the Shi’ite calendar where pilgrims are marking the festival of Arbain.

The pilgrims were traveling to a mosque in the city of Zubayr, just west of Basra, for the last day of Arbaeen, the solemn holiday at the end of the 40-day mourning period for the death of Imam Hussein ibn Ali, a grandson of the Prophet Muhammad.

In the meantime, Iraq is threatended byShiite Muslims from across Iraq and the world thronged the shrine city of Karbala on Saturday for the conclusion of Arbaeen mourning rituals amid tight security for fear of insurgent attacks.

According to Officials, some 15 million pilgrims will have passed through Karbala by the end of the commemorations, braving the threat of deadly violence targeting the Shiite community that has killed dozens in recent weeks. sectarian violence as a result of political crisis in Iraq’s Shi’ite-led government.

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Iranian Nuclear Scientist killed in car bomb blast http://www.khaama.com/iranian-nuclear-scientist-killed-in-car-bomb-blast-401 http://www.khaama.com/iranian-nuclear-scientist-killed-in-car-bomb-blast-401#comments Wed, 11 Jan 2012 19:10:53 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=9979 Iranian Nuclear Scientist killed in car bomb blast
An Iranian Nuclear Scientist Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan was killed following a car bomb explosion in north of Tehran. According to reports, the incident took place after two assailants on a motorcycle attached a magnetic bomb to the car of the nuclear scientist, killing him and his driver on Wednesday. Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, 32 was a deputy Read the full article...]]>
Iranian Nuclear Scientist killed in car bomb blast

An Iranian Nuclear Scientist Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan was killed following a car bomb explosion in north of Tehran.

According to reports, the incident took place after two assailants on a motorcycle attached a magnetic bomb to the car of the nuclear scientist, killing him and his driver on Wednesday.

Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, 32 was a deputy director at Iran’s Natanz uranium enrichment facility. He was specialised in making polymeric membranes to separate gas.

The attack in Tehran bore a strong resemblance to earlier killings of scientists working on the Iranian nuclear program. It is certain to amplify authorities’ claims of clandestine operations by Western powers and their allies to halt Iran’s nuclear advances.

Several Iranian nuclear scientists have been assassinated in recent years, with Iran blaming Israel and the US. Both countries deny the accusations.

Three other Iranian scientists were killed in 2010 and 2011 when their cars blew up in similar circumstances. At least two of the scientists had also been working on nuclear activities.

Iranian official immediately blamed “the Zionist regime” for the explosion, saying the method ~ two men on a motorbike attaching a magnetic bomb to the target’s vehicle ~ was similar to those used in the assassinations of three other scientists over the past two years.

Safar Ali Baratloo, a senior security official, was quoted by Fars as also saying the attack was the work of Israelis. “The magnetic bomb is of the same types already used to assassinate our scientists.”

However US state department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters she did not have “any information to share one way or the other” on the latest attack.

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Iran sentences Iranian-US man to death for espionage http://www.khaama.com/iran-sentences-amir-mirzai-hekmati-to-death-381 http://www.khaama.com/iran-sentences-amir-mirzai-hekmati-to-death-381#comments Mon, 09 Jan 2012 08:59:08 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=9895 Iran sentences Iranian-US man to death for espionage
According to Iranian state media, An Iranian court has convicted an American man of working for the CIA and sentenced him to death. Fars News Agency on Monday reported, a court convicted Hekmati of “working for an enemy country … for membership in the CIA and also for his efforts to accuse Iran of involvement Read the full article...]]>
Iran sentences Iranian-US man to death for espionage

According to Iranian state media, An Iranian court has convicted an American man of working for the CIA and sentenced him to death.

Fars News Agency on Monday reported, a court convicted Hekmati of “working for an enemy country … for membership in the CIA and also for his efforts to accuse Iran of involvement in terrorism.
Amir Mirzai Hekmati, 28 was born in the United States to an Iranian immigrant family, was shown on Iranian state television in mid-December saying in fluent Farsi and English that he was a Central Intelligence Agency operative sent to infiltrate the Iranian intelligence ministry.

But Mr Hekmati’s US-based family say he was in Iran visiting his grandmothers.

The US has said he has been falsely accused and has called for his release.

Mr. Hekmati’s family in a statement last week said, “We are deeply concerned that Amir is not receiving a fair trial and has not been afforded due process. We have struggled to provide Amir with an attorney in Iran. We have sought to hire at least 10 different attorneys in Tehran to no avail.”

Iran charges that as a former U.S. Marine, Amir Mirzaei Hekmati received special training and served at U.S. military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan before heading to Iran for his alleged intelligence mission.

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Deadly bomb blasts in Baghdad kills at least 22 http://www.khaama.com/twin-bomb-blasts-kills-at-least-9-in-capital-baghdad-344 http://www.khaama.com/twin-bomb-blasts-kills-at-least-9-in-capital-baghdad-344#comments Thu, 05 Jan 2012 06:55:53 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=9750 Deadly bomb blasts in Baghdad kills at least 22
According to Iraqi officials, at least 22 people were killed following a series of explosions at a Shiite neighborhood of eastern Baghdad on Thursday. Iraqi police officials said, a motorcycle packed with explosives went off near a bus stop where day laborers gather looking for work in the Sadr city neighborhood, killing eight people. The Read the full article...]]>
Deadly bomb blasts in Baghdad kills at least 22

According to Iraqi officials, at least 22 people were killed following a series of explosions at a Shiite neighborhood of eastern Baghdad on Thursday.

Iraqi police officials said, a motorcycle packed with explosives went off near a bus stop where day laborers gather looking for work in the Sadr city neighborhood, killing eight people.

The second explosion was followed about half an hour later after a roadside bomb exploded near a small tea shop in the same neighborhood, killing one.

According to Iraqi security officials as much as 60 others have been injured following the twin explosions.

In the meantime Iraqi security forces defused another roadside bomb about 100 yards from the site of the first explosion, officials said.

The attack comes amid a rise in sectarian tensions following the withdrawal of the last US combat troops in December.

Iraq’s power-sharing government has been in crisis since an arrest warrant was issued for Vice-President Tariq al-Hashemi on terror charges two weeks ago.

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EU member states to ban imports of Iran crude oil http://www.khaama.com/eu-member-states-to-ban-imports-of-iran-crude-oil-339 http://www.khaama.com/eu-member-states-to-ban-imports-of-iran-crude-oil-339#comments Thu, 05 Jan 2012 04:28:03 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=9727 EU member states to ban imports of Iran crude oil
European countries have taken their boldest step so far and have agreed in principle to ban imports of Iranian crude oil to put pressure on the country over its nuclear programme. A final decision by the European Union will not come before the end of January and would be carried out in stages to avoid Read the full article...]]>
EU member states to ban imports of Iran crude oil

European countries have taken their boldest step so far and have agreed in principle to ban imports of Iranian crude oil to put pressure on the country over its nuclear programme.

A final decision by the European Union will not come before the end of January and would be carried out in stages to avoid major disruptions in global oil supplies.

The move is expected to be announced formally at an EU foreign ministers’ meeting at the end of January.

The embargo would hit Iran much harder than the current round of sanctions against it imposed by mostly the U.S. and Europe. The EU currently accounts for around 17 percent of Iranian oil exports, according to the BBC, and the Iranian state gets more than half of its revenue through the export of crude oil.

However experts said, European officials who had been discussing the move for some time, still need to reach a formal agreement, a step expected to be taken at the end of the month. They are expected to impose the embargo in stages, in an effort to ease the impact on world oil markets, and to provide special exemptions to ease the impact on certain countries.

The U.S. and its European allies suspect Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons. Western countries say a November UN report shows it has sought to build an atomic bomb. Talks between Tehran and major powers broke down a year ago.

But Iran denies US and Western allegations saying that the program is strictly non-military.

Iran has also said that it wants to reopen talks with the West on the nuclear issue, which was interpreted in Paris as an effort by Iran to buy time to continue its program.

Meanwhile Iran in response to the threat of new American and European sanctions with a series of military and diplomatic threats.

Iran recently test-fired new missiles, announced the production of its first nuclear-fuel rod, warned an American aircraft carrier not to return to the Persian Gulf, and threatened to shut the Strait of Hormuz to shipping, which analysts said could drive oil prices up by at least 50 percent.

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France urges for strict sanctions against Iran http://www.khaama.com/france-urges-for-strict-sanctions-against-iran-327 http://www.khaama.com/france-urges-for-strict-sanctions-against-iran-327#comments Tue, 03 Jan 2012 09:19:39 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=9654 France urges for strict sanctions against Iran
France urged its European partners on Tuesday to follow the U.S. lead and agree by the end of this month to impose an embargo on Iranian oil exports and freeze Iranian central bank assets, as tension with Tehran escalates. French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said on Tuesday that Iran was continuing to develop nuclear weapons Read the full article...]]>
France urges for strict sanctions against Iran

France urged its European partners on Tuesday to follow the U.S. lead and agree by the end of this month to impose an embargo on Iranian oil exports and freeze Iranian central bank assets, as tension with Tehran escalates.

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said on Tuesday that Iran was continuing to develop nuclear weapons and called for stronger sanctions against Tehran.

But Iran has dismissed the threat of sanctions. On Tuesday, it denied that a record low of its currency was linked to US punitive measures.

It also denies Western charges that it is trying to develop nuclear weapons.

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe told French television I-Tele, “Iran is pursuing the development of its nuclear arms, I have no doubt about it. The last report by the International Atomic Energy Agency is quite explicit on this point.”

Mr. Juppe added, “This is why France, without closing the path of negotiation and dialogue with Iran, wants stricter sanctions.”

Tehran says its programme is peaceful – it needs nuclear technology to generate electricity to meet growing domestic demand.

This comes as US, Canada and the UK earlier in November announced new sanctions against Iran in the wake of the report from the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), that said Iran had carried out tests related to “development of a nuclear device”.

In the meantime, Iran reported testing three missiles close to the Gulf oil-transit waterway on Monday amid preparations by Western powers to impose more economic sanctions over Tehran’s nuclear drive.

Two of the missiles can fly a maximum 200 kilometres (120 miles), generally considered short-range weapons, although the Iranian media and a navy spokesman described one of them as “long-range”.

The other, a Nasr anti-ship missile, had a shorter range of 35 kilometres.

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Iran tests long-range cruise missile in Gulf drill http://www.khaama.com/iran-says-successfully-fires-long-range-missile-in-gulf-drill-315 http://www.khaama.com/iran-says-successfully-fires-long-range-missile-in-gulf-drill-315#comments Mon, 02 Jan 2012 09:46:42 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=9604 Iran tests long-range cruise missile in Gulf drill
Iran said on Monday it had successfully test fired a long-range missile during its naval exercise in the Gulf, flexing its military muscle to show it could hit Israel and U.S. bases in the region if attacked. The official IRNA news agency said the missile, called “Ghader” or “Capable” in Farsi, is an upgraded version Read the full article...]]>
Iran tests long-range cruise missile in Gulf drill

Iran said on Monday it had successfully test fired a long-range missile during its naval exercise in the Gulf, flexing its military muscle to show it could hit Israel and U.S. bases in the region if attacked.

The official IRNA news agency said the missile, called “Ghader” or “Capable” in Farsi, is an upgraded version of one that has been in service before.

Spokesman for the drills Admiral Mahmoud Mousavi said the missile managed to hit the desired targets with precision and totally destroy them.

He said it was “the first time” a Ghader missile had been tested.

He also said the ultra-advanced and self-relying missile system has remarkably improved in radar, satellite, precision, range and navigation terms compared to its predecessors.

The Ghader missile, also known as the Qader, is said to have a range of 200 kilometres (120 miles), which is generally considered medium-range or even short-range for a cruise missile, even though IRNA described it as “long-range.”

Mousavi said the navy was to test two other types of missiles later on Monday, a surface-to-surface Nour missile also with a range of 200 kilometres, and a Nasr anti-ship missile with a shorter range.

The Ghader is said to be entirely built by Iran while Nour and Nasr missiles are based on Chinese designs.

Mousavi said observers from the country’s closest Arab ally, Syria, would attend the last day of its 10-day naval exercise.

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Iran test fires long range missiles in Gulf exercise http://www.khaama.com/iran-tests-long-range-missiles-in-gulf-exercise-287 http://www.khaama.com/iran-tests-long-range-missiles-in-gulf-exercise-287#comments Sat, 31 Dec 2011 06:52:26 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=9475 Iran test fires long range missiles in Gulf exercise
Saturday, December 31, 2011 – According to reports, Iran test-fired long range missiles on Saturday during a naval exercise in the Gulf amid a threat by Iran to close shipping lanes if the West imposes sanctions on its oil exports. Fars news agency reported, The Iranian Navy launched the live missile during exercises in the Read the full article...]]>
Iran test fires long range missiles in Gulf exercise

Saturday, December 31, 2011 – According to reports, Iran test-fired long range missiles on Saturday during a naval exercise in the Gulf amid a threat by Iran to close shipping lanes if the West imposes sanctions on its oil exports.

Fars news agency reported, The Iranian Navy launched the live missile during exercises in the Persian Gulf in a zone of some 2,000 square kilometers in international waters between the Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman.

The report further added, several long-range missiles were tested during the final phase of navy manoeuvres.

However, the types of the missiles which were tested during the drills have not been disclosed so far.

Iran has been holding naval excersies in the area since December 24.

The exercise had been overshadowed by threats and counter-threats regarding the Strait of Hormuz, through which 40 per cent of the world’s ship-borne crude oil passes.

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US warns Iran for blocking the strait of Hormuz http://www.khaama.com/us-warns-iran-for-blocking-the-strait-of-hormuz-263 http://www.khaama.com/us-warns-iran-for-blocking-the-strait-of-hormuz-263#comments Thu, 29 Dec 2011 05:01:00 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=9364 US warns Iran for blocking the strait of Hormuz
Thursday, December 29, 2011 – The U.S. warned Iran Wednesday that it will not tolerate any disruption of naval traffic through the Strait of Hormuz, after Iran’s navy chief said the Islamic Republic is capable of closing the vital oil route if the West imposes new sanctions targeting Tehran’s oil exports. The US Navy has Read the full article...]]>
US warns Iran for blocking the strait of Hormuz

Thursday, December 29, 2011 – The U.S. warned Iran Wednesday that it will not tolerate any disruption of naval traffic through the Strait of Hormuz, after Iran’s navy chief said the Islamic Republic is capable of closing the vital oil route if the West imposes new sanctions targeting Tehran’s oil exports.

The US Navy has said it will not tolerate disruption to a vital oil-trade route, following an Iranian threat to close it.

Iran’s Adm. Habibollah Sayyari told state-run Press TV that closing the strait, which is the only sea outlet for the crucial oil fields in and around the Persian Gulf, “is very easy” for his country’s naval forces.

A US fifth Fleet spokeswoman in reaction to Iran’s warning said, it was always ready to counter malevolent actions”.

Around 40% of the world’s tanker-borne oil passes through the strait of Hormuz which links the Gulf – and the oil-producing states of Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) – to the Indian Ocean.

To ensure the momentum of oil transport from the region, the United States of America as well has maintained a naval presence in the Gulf.

A spokesman for the Pentagon George Little said, the strait “is not only important for security and stability in the region, but also is an economic lifeline for countries in the Gulf, including Iran.

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Egypt resumes trial for ousted leader Hosni Mubarak http://www.khaama.com/egypts-ousted-leader-hosni-mubarak-260 http://www.khaama.com/egypts-ousted-leader-hosni-mubarak-260#comments Wed, 28 Dec 2011 10:38:09 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=9346 Egypt resumes trial for ousted leader Hosni Mubarak
Wednesday, December 28, 2011 – The trial of the former Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak, has resumed after a delay of almost two months. Egypt’s ousted leader Hosni Mubarak was brought back to a Cairo’s courtroom on Wednesday. Mubarak has been under arrest in a hospital since April. Mubarak, his two sons, the former interior minister Read the full article...]]>
Egypt resumes trial for ousted leader Hosni Mubarak

Wednesday, December 28, 2011 – The trial of the former Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak, has resumed after a delay of almost two months.

Egypt’s ousted leader Hosni Mubarak was brought back to a Cairo’s courtroom on Wednesday.

Mubarak has been under arrest in a hospital since April.

Mubarak, his two sons, the former interior minister and senior police officers face a range of charges including involvement in the deaths of hundreds of protesters and corruption during his three decades in office.

Egyptian State TV carried live footage of Mr. Mubarak’s arrival at the court on Wednesday. Wearing a black tracksuit and covered with a blanket, he was taken on a stretcher from an ambulance to a waiting room.

The trial started in August, with many in the country riveted by the sight of their ailing former ruler of nearly 30 years lying in a hospital bed inside the courtroom’s cage, where defendants traditionally sit during trials in Egypt.

More than 5,000 policemen will be deployed on Wednesday to secure the police academy, according to the interior ministry. Riot police have often had to separate anti- and pro-Mubarak crowds, who have fought outside.

Several pro-Mubarak supporters held banners of the former president, while families of the victims that died in protests carried pictures of their deceased relatives.

Around 850 people were killed in the 18-day uprising that overthrew Mubarak in February.

Previous sessions were marred by clashes outside the Cairo court building between Mubarak supporters and Egyptians demanding the death penalty for their former leader, but there were no scuffles as Mubarak arrived on Wednesday.

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Iran warns to block strait of Hormuz if sanctions applied http://www.khaama.com/iran-warns-to-block-hormuz-strait-if-sanctions-applied-253 http://www.khaama.com/iran-warns-to-block-hormuz-strait-if-sanctions-applied-253#comments Tue, 27 Dec 2011 18:01:19 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=9311 Iran warns to block strait of Hormuz if sanctions applied
Tuesday, December 27, 2011 – The first deputy president of the Islamic Republic of Iran on Tuesday warned to close the strait of Hormuz if the western states applies sanctions on Iran’s oil export. Mohammad Reza Rahimi Iran’s first deputy president quoted by the official news agency of Iran said, the government of Iran is Read the full article...]]>
Iran warns to block strait of Hormuz if sanctions applied

Tuesday, December 27, 2011 – The first deputy president of the Islamic Republic of Iran on Tuesday warned to close the strait of Hormuz if the western states applies sanctions on Iran’s oil export.

Mohammad Reza Rahimi Iran’s first deputy president quoted by the official news agency of Iran said, the government of Iran is not having any issues with any other country and any country plotting conspiracies against the Islamic Republic of Iran will face seriously reactions.

This comes as the European Union members along with United States, Japan, South Korea and a number of the Middle East Arabic Countries in the Gulf region recently announced to halt oil deal with Iran in a bid to incur more economic sanctions against the state of Iran.

Iran’s Navy launched the massive 10-day “Velayat 90″ naval exercise on December 24,2011.

Commander of the Iranian Naval forces announced that they are able to close the strait of Hormuz but the decision to do so belongs to the senior governmental officials.

In the meantime, the statistics by US officials indicates that 1/3 of the global oil exports crossed from the strait of Hormuz in 2009.

This is not the first time Iran has threatened to disrupt world oil supplies in response to the sanctions. Iranian officials have also predicted that oil prices would double if their own exports are constricted.

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Car suicide bombing kills at least 4 in Iraq http://www.khaama.com/car-bomb-attack-kills-at-least-4-in-iraq-232 http://www.khaama.com/car-bomb-attack-kills-at-least-4-in-iraq-232#comments Mon, 26 Dec 2011 06:40:27 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=9210 Car suicide bombing kills at least 4 in Iraq
Monday, December 26, 2011 – According to Iraqi officials, an explosion rocked Baghdad the capital city of Iraq early Monday. The explosion took place after a suicide detonated a car packed with explosives outside the interior ministry of Iraq killing at least four people. Medical officials in Iraq said, at least 27 others were wounded Read the full article...]]>
Car suicide bombing kills at least 4 in Iraq

Monday, December 26, 2011 – According to Iraqi officials, an explosion rocked Baghdad the capital city of Iraq early Monday.

The explosion took place after a suicide detonated a car packed with explosives outside the interior ministry of Iraq killing at least four people.

Medical officials in Iraq said, at least 27 others were wounded in the attack in the Bab Al Sharji neighbourhood.

A ministry official speaking on the condition of anonymity said, the attacker took advantage of interior ministry guards opening the compound’s main gates to allow in electrical maintenance workers to ram his explosives-packed car through and set it off.

The attacks follow the withdrawal of the last US combat troops from the country after nearly nine years of military engagement.

The attacks came amid heightened sectarian tensions, raising fears that the political turmoil in Iraq could spark a return of sectarian bloodshed that nearly ripped the country apart during the height of the war.

At least 60 people were killed during the fresh wave of violence across Baghdad on Thursday.

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Sakineh Mohd. Ashtiani might be hanged: Iranian officials http://www.khaama.com/sakineh-moh-ashtiani-might-be-hanged-iranian-officials-229 http://www.khaama.com/sakineh-moh-ashtiani-might-be-hanged-iranian-officials-229#comments Sun, 25 Dec 2011 17:35:39 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=9195 Sakineh Mohd. Ashtiani might be hanged: Iranian officials
Sunday, December 25, 2011 – A senior Iranian Judiciary official on Sunday said, the execution of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani is pending with the chief of the state judiciary. Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani was sentenced to death by stonning but the execution was halted due to enormous international condemnation and protests. Malik Ashdar Sharifi chief of the Read the full article...]]>
Sakineh Mohd. Ashtiani might be hanged: Iranian officials

Sunday, December 25, 2011 – A senior Iranian Judiciary official on Sunday said, the execution of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani is pending with the chief of the state judiciary.

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani was sentenced to death by stonning but the execution was halted due to enormous international condemnation and protests.

Malik Ashdar Sharifi chief of the judiciary for eastern Azerbhaijan province on Sunday said, we are waiting to receive instructions to carry out the execution, the method of the execution either by hanging or stonning to death will be instructed by chief of the state judiciary.

Sakineh Mohammad Ashtiani is accused of being involved in assassination of her husband in 2006, she was sentenced to jail for at least ten years in connection to the murder charges and was sentenced to death by stonning in connection to adultery charges.

The execution of the Sakineh Mohammad Ashtiani by stonning to death was suspended by the Iranian Judiciary officials following international pressures.

Mr. Sharifi while speaking among the university students in Azerbhaijan state University said, the execution issue of Sakineh Mohammad Ashtani was forwarded to chief of the state judiciary at that time due to lack of facilities to carry out the execution by stonning to death.

Mr. Sharifi further added, the execution method was then changed and proposed to be hanged to death by the new state judiciary chief Sadi Larijani.

He also said, the state judiciary chief has instructed to temporarily suspend the execution of Sakineh Mohammad Ashtiani in order to study and elect exact jurisprudence to implement the execution.

Sakineh Mohammad Ashtiani was sentenced to death by stonning for having illecit relations with two men who were believed behind the assassination of Sakineh’s husband.

The Iranian supreme court issued the execution order for sakineh Mohammad Ashtiani to be stonned to death on 27 May 2007.

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Iran launches navy maneuvers in Strait of Hormuz http://www.khaama.com/iran-launches-navy-maneuvers-in-strait-of-hormuz-211 http://www.khaama.com/iran-launches-navy-maneuvers-in-strait-of-hormuz-211#comments Sat, 24 Dec 2011 07:21:35 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=9107 Iran launches navy maneuvers in Strait of Hormuz
Saturday, December 24, 2011 – Iranian Navy officials announced to start 10-day war games on Saturday, which will cover a span of about 2,000 square kilometers from the Strait of Hormuz to the Gulf of Aden. While speaking during a press conference Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said, the maneuver, entitled Velayat-90, differs from Read the full article...]]>
Iran launches navy maneuvers in Strait of Hormuz

Saturday, December 24, 2011 – Iranian Navy officials announced to start 10-day war games on Saturday, which will cover a span of about 2,000 square kilometers from the Strait of Hormuz to the Gulf of Aden.

While speaking during a press conference Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said, the maneuver, entitled Velayat-90, differs from previous ones in terms of the vastness of the area of action and military equipment and tactics that would be employed.

Sayyari further added, Military war games will be staged in a large area from the east side of the Strait of Hormuz in the Gulf of Oman to the northern Indian Ocean, he said, adding that in terms of intelligence, the maneuver will cover a vast area stretching from the northern Indian Ocean to the Gulf of Aden.

He also said, the war games will be conducted in the vicinity of Oman, Yemen, Pakistan, India, and the northern Somalia and based on international regulations.

The main purpose of the maneuvers according to Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari is to will display the prowess of the country’s armed forces as well as the Navy’s defensive and deterrent power and its capability to provide security for vessels in the open seas.

He also added, war games will also convey the message of “peace and friendship” to regional countries.

In response to an enquiry to close the Strait of Hormuz, one of the world’s most strategically important chokepoints which accounts for about 30% of the world’s seaborne oil shipments Sayyari said that the strait is under the control of the Navy and no decision has been made in this regard yet.

This comes as Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ramin Mehmanparast on December 14 said that Iran’s threat of closing the Strait of Hormuz is a response to the United States’ threats against the Islamic Republic.

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Deadly suicide bomb blast kills at least 44 in Syria http://www.khaama.com/deadly-suicide-bomb-blast-kills-at-least-44-in-syria-206 http://www.khaama.com/deadly-suicide-bomb-blast-kills-at-least-44-in-syria-206#comments Sat, 24 Dec 2011 05:14:34 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=9088 Deadly suicide bomb blast kills at least 44 in Syria
Saturday, December 24, 2011 – According to Syrian officials, at least 44 people have been killed and more than 150 injured in two suicide car bombings in the heart of Syria’s capital. The officials further added, at least two suicide car bombers detonated hundreds of pounds of explosives in front of buildings used by intelligence Read the full article...]]>
Deadly suicide bomb blast kills at least 44 in Syria

Saturday, December 24, 2011 – According to Syrian officials, at least 44 people have been killed and more than 150 injured in two suicide car bombings in the heart of Syria’s capital.

The officials further added, at least two suicide car bombers detonated hundreds of pounds of explosives in front of buildings used by intelligence agencies in the heart of Damascus, the capital on Friday.

Officials quickly pointed the finger at Al Qaeda, saying the dramatic escalation in violence confirms their contention that armed terrorists are behind the unrest.

The suicide bomb attacks take place a day after Arab League observers arrived to monitor the growing violence in the country.

Human rights and opposition activists said the killings continued on Friday, with security forces shooting dead at least 12 civilians.

According to UN officials, more than 5,000 eople have been killed and thousands more detained since anti-government protests erupted in March.

The UN Security Council also condemned suicide car bombings in Syria’s capital Damascus, which officials say killed 44 people and injured more than 150.

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Deadly explosions kills at least 63 in Iraq http://www.khaama.com/deadly-explosions-kills-at-least-4-in-iraq-195 http://www.khaama.com/deadly-explosions-kills-at-least-4-in-iraq-195#comments Thu, 22 Dec 2011 06:09:50 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=9032 Deadly explosions kills at least 63 in Iraq
Thursday, December 22, 2011 – According to Iraqi police officials, deadly explosions killed and injured more than 248 in Iraq’s capital Baghdad on Thursday. Officials in Baghdad said, at least 63 people were killed and more than 185 others were injured in two separate roadside bomb explosions in Halawi district. Another car bomb went off Read the full article...]]>
Deadly explosions kills at least 63 in Iraq

Thursday, December 22, 2011 – According to Iraqi police officials, deadly explosions killed and injured more than 248 in Iraq’s capital Baghdad on Thursday.

Officials in Baghdad said, at least 63 people were killed and more than 185 others were injured in two separate roadside bomb explosions in Halawi district.

Another car bomb went off in the eastern Karrada district.

According to officials in the ministry of interior affairs of Iraq, separate explosions have also been reported in the Bab al-Moadam district in the north, injuring at least three people.

The officials in the interior ministry of Iraq further added, at least 14 locations were attacked during the Thursday bombings.

This comes as Iraq is already facing the threats of sectarian violence and issues related to arrest warrant of Iraqi vice-president Tariq al-Hashimi.

Iraq’s Prime Minister Nouri Maliki on Wednesday urged the local Kurdish authorities in northern Iraq Tariq al-Hashimi the vice president of Iraq, who has been blamed for the terrorism charges.

Iraqi television on Monday showed purported confession from the bodyguards of Iraqi vice-president Tariq al-Hashimi. The men said they had been paid by Mr Hashemi’s office to carry out attacks on officials and police officers.

But Tariq al-Hashimi denies charges against him for being involved in any terrorism acitivities.

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Iraq PM urge Kurds to hand over fugitive Tariq al-Hashimi http://www.khaama.com/iraq-pm-urge-kurds-to-hand-over-fugitive-tariq-al-hashimi-193 http://www.khaama.com/iraq-pm-urge-kurds-to-hand-over-fugitive-tariq-al-hashimi-193#comments Wed, 21 Dec 2011 16:51:39 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=9023 Iraq PM urge Kurds to hand over fugitive Tariq al-Hashimi
Iraq’s prime minister Nouri Maliki on Wednesday urged the local Kurdish authorities in northern Iraq Tariq al-Hashimi the vice president of Iraq, who has been blamed for the terrorism charges. This comes as Iraqi interior affairs officials on Monday released an arrest warrant to detain fugitive Iraqi vice-president Tariq al-Hashimi. But Tariq al-Hashimi denies charges Read the full article...]]>
Iraq PM urge Kurds to hand over fugitive Tariq al-Hashimi

Iraq’s prime minister Nouri Maliki on Wednesday urged the local Kurdish authorities in northern Iraq Tariq al-Hashimi the vice president of Iraq, who has been blamed for the terrorism charges.

This comes as Iraqi interior affairs officials on Monday released an arrest warrant to detain fugitive Iraqi vice-president Tariq al-Hashimi.

But Tariq al-Hashimi denies charges against that he was involved any terrorism activities.

This comes as Iraqi television on Monday showed purported confession from the bodyguards of Iraqi vice-president Tariq al-Hashimi. The men said they had been paid by Mr Hashemi’s office to carry out attacks on officials and police officers.

The men also said they killed officials working in Health and Foreign Ministries as well as Baghdad police officers, and that they received USD 3,000 from al-Hashemi for each attack.

In the meantime, the political party of Iraqi vice-president Tariq al-Hashimi condemned the charges against him and boycott parliament and cabinet.

The sectarian violence tensions between the majority Shias and Sunnies have been a major concern in this country as the US troops end their combat mission in Iraq besides, the issue of Iraqi vice-president Tariq al-Hashimi is believed to further escalate sectarian tensions.

US Vice-President Joe Biden has urged Iraqi leaders to work together to avert renewed sectarian strife.

Kurdistan regional government is currently protecting the Iraqi vice president Tariq al-Hashimi in Irbil.

On the other hand, Iraqi prime minister Nouri Maliki in a television adress vowed to dismiss ministers belonging to al-Hashimi’s political party if they stood on their decision to boycott the parliament and cabinet.

He also urged the political parties to closely work in order to resolve the issue.

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Dozens reported killed in Syria as violence grows http://www.khaama.com/dozens-reported-killed-in-syria-as-violence-grows-182 http://www.khaama.com/dozens-reported-killed-in-syria-as-violence-grows-182#comments Wed, 21 Dec 2011 04:22:18 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=8977 Dozens reported killed in Syria as violence grows
Wednesday, December 21, 2011 – According to opposition activists in Syria, Security forces pursuing anti-government activists and army defectors shot dead at least 47 people in Syria on Tuesday, pushing the toll for two days of violence to nearly 150. The deaths were among the highest in a single day since the start of an Read the full article...]]>
Dozens reported killed in Syria as violence grows

Wednesday, December 21, 2011 – According to opposition activists in Syria, Security forces pursuing anti-government activists and army defectors shot dead at least 47 people in Syria on Tuesday, pushing the toll for two days of violence to nearly 150.

The deaths were among the highest in a single day since the start of an uprising nine months ago against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights announced the death toll at 47, while the Local Co-ordination committees said as many as 78 people were killed.

An activist with the rights group Avaaz Wisam Tarif said, the fighting has centered on villages near the northwestern city of Idlib.

He said that he had spoken to local activists and medical groups who put the death toll in that area Tuesday at 269 — 97 security forces and nine civilians, with the rest defected soldiers who had staged ambushes against the army.

Syrian state television showed pictures of military maneuvers and said they were meant to show its forces are ready to “repulse any aggression the enemies of our nations might think about.”

Damascus says it is fighting “armed terrorist gangs”, who want to destabilise the country.

In the meantime, the Arab League plan calls for removing Syrian forces and heavy weapons from city streets, starting talks with opposition leaders and allowing human rights workers and journalists into the country, along with observers from member countries.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said the country’s sovereignty would be protected because the Arab League had agreed to amendments to the deal, which also calls for all violence to be halted, for the withdrawal of troops from the streets, and the release of detainees.

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Iraq issues arrest warrant for Sunni VP Tariq al-Hashemi http://www.khaama.com/iraq-issues-arrest-warrant-for-sunni-vp-tariq-al-hashemi-177 http://www.khaama.com/iraq-issues-arrest-warrant-for-sunni-vp-tariq-al-hashemi-177#comments Tue, 20 Dec 2011 07:50:50 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=8956 Iraq issues arrest warrant for Sunni VP Tariq al-Hashemi
Tuesday, December 20, 2011 – Iraq’s Shiite-led government has issued an arrest warrant for the mainly Shia country’s Sunni vice-president, leading to fears of the government’s collapse and an increase in sectarian tensions. According to officials in Iraq’s ministry of interior affairs, the warrant for Tariq al-Hashemi was issued under anti-terrorism laws. The sensational charges Read the full article...]]>
Iraq issues arrest warrant for Sunni VP Tariq al-Hashemi

Tuesday, December 20, 2011 – Iraq’s Shiite-led government has issued an arrest warrant for the mainly Shia country’s Sunni vice-president, leading to fears of the government’s collapse and an increase in sectarian tensions.

According to officials in Iraq’s ministry of interior affairs, the warrant for Tariq al-Hashemi was issued under anti-terrorism laws.

The sensational charges against Tariq al-Hashimi, one of the country’s most prominent Sunni leaders, threatened to inflame widening sectarian and political conflicts in Iraq just one day after the last convoy of U.S. troops rolled out of the country into Kuwait.

On Monday, Iraq’s state-run television aired what it said were confessions by alleged terrorists linked to Mr Hashemi. The men said they had been paid by Mr Hashemi’s office to carry out attacks on officials and police officers.

The men said they killed officials working in Health and Foreign Ministries as well as Baghdad police officers, and that they received USD 3,000 from al-Hashemi for each attack.

An aide in al-Hashimi’s office said the three men had indeed worked for the vice president, but he denied all of the allegations. The aide said al-Hashimi was in the northern region of Kurdistan, meeting with Kurdish officials to defuse the worsening political standoff with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

In the meantime, US officials on Tuesday expressed concerns after Iraq issued an arrest warrant for its Sunni vice president on anti-terror charges, just days after the last U.S. troops left the country.

White House spokesman Jay Carney quoted by AFP said, “We’re monitoring reports that an arrest warrant has been issued for vice-president Tareq al-Hashimi in Iraq. We’re urging all sides to work to resolve differences peacefully through dialogue, in a manner consistent with the rule of law and the democratic political process.”

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US urge Iran to free citizen arrested for espionage charges http://www.khaama.com/us-urge-iran-to-free-citizen-arrested-for-espionage-charges-174 http://www.khaama.com/us-urge-iran-to-free-citizen-arrested-for-espionage-charges-174#comments Tue, 20 Dec 2011 04:39:23 +0000 http://www.khaama.com/?p=8945 US urge Iran to free citizen arrested for espionage charges
Tuesday, December 20, 2011 – Officials in US Department of State urged the Islamic Republic of Iran to free the detained US citizen of Iranian origin Amir Mirzai Hekmati, who has been described as a CIA agent by Iranian intelligence officials. A spokesman for the US Department of State Victoria Nuland said, access has been Read the full article...]]>
US urge Iran to free citizen arrested for espionage charges

Tuesday, December 20, 2011 – Officials in US Department of State urged the Islamic Republic of Iran to free the detained US citizen of Iranian origin Amir Mirzai Hekmati, who has been described as a CIA agent by Iranian intelligence officials.

A spokesman for the US Department of State Victoria Nuland said, access has been sought to the detained US citizen Amir Mirzai Hekmati through embassy of Switzerland in Iran.

She said, we urge the government of Iran to provide immediate access to Amir Mirzai Hekmati and release him without any delay.

In the meantime, Iranian Fars News Agency on Sunday broadcast video showing what it called the confessions of an alleged U.S. spy.

In the video, a young man, who says his name is Amir Mirzai Hekmati, speaks fluent Farsi and English. He said he joined the U.S. Marine Corps and had worked with Iraqi officers.

Iranian media also said, the two Kuwais detained in Iran for spying last month have been cleared of their charges and released.

But the family of Amir Mirzai Hekmati deny allegations of espionage against him.

Ali Hekmati father of Amir Mirzai Hekmati quoted by the The Associated Press on Monday said, his son was visiting his grandmothers in Tehran when he was detained and never worked for the CIA.

He said, “He is not a spy. It’s a whole bunch of lies on my good son. They have lied about any American … captured in Iran for visiting or tourism, or for any other reason.”

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