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  • COVID-19 Presents Additional Obstacle to Afghan Peace Process

    04/01/2020 2:14:48 PM PDT · by Retain Mike · 6 replies
    US Nanal Institute ^ | March 31, 2020 | John Grady
    At the same time, the spread of COVID-19, especially along Afghanistan’s western border with Iran, is further destabilizing the peace effort. In Herat Province, “thousands of Afghans are returning from Iran” to escape the outbreak, Mahdi said. Their arrival puts more stress on a woefully inadequate health care system. Instead of Afghan government action, “the Taliban has established their own set of groups fighting COVID-19,” including enforcing quarantines, while also but relying on non-governmental organizations to deliver care, Mahdi said. “If the Taliban really wanted” to cooperate with Ghani’s government, “they should stop fighting” and contain the pandemic as best...
  • Very important update on the Middle East from Amir Tsarfati

    03/30/2020 12:28:02 PM PDT · by firebrand · 11 replies
    Behold Israel YouTube Channel ^ | 3/29/20 | Amir Tsarfati
    I am posting this on the News Forum because it seemed very newsworthy to me. The first few minutes are about Netanyahu and events in Israel. The important part follows, about U.S. troop movements, the virus in Iran, and what is happening in Syria. There may be some military action there, and it is possible our embassy in Baghdad will be destroyed. Only the last 10 minutes have a religious point of view, so the mods may choose to move this to the Religion Forum. I hope not. Everyone who chooses not to see religious content can just turn it...
  • Rouhani: US Has Lost Opportunity to Lift Iran Sanctions Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

    04/01/2020 10:23:17 AM PDT · by SJackson · 32 replies
    Algemeiner ^ | 4-1-20
    Iran’s president said on Wednesday that, with the advent of the coronavirus, the United States had missed a historic opportunity to lift sanctions on his country, though the penalties had not hampered its fight against the infection. On Tuesday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo raised the possibility that Washington might consider easing sanctions on Iran and other nations to help fight the epidemic, but gave no concrete sign it plans to do so. “The United States lost the best opportunity to lift sanctions,” Hassan Rouhani said in a televised cabinet meeting. “It was a great opportunity for Americans to...
  • Trump Says Iran Planning 'Sneak Attack' On US Troops, Assets In Iraq

    04/01/2020 10:29:25 AM PDT · by blam · 69 replies
    Fox News ^ | 4-1-2020
    President Trump said Wednesday that Iran is planning a "sneak attack" on U.S. troops or "assets" in Iraq, warning the country will pay a "heavy price" if this happens. The president made the abrupt announcement in a tweet Wednesday afternoon, coming amid lingering tensions between the two countries over past confrontations as well as the coronavirus pandemic. "Upon information and belief, Iran or its proxies are planning a sneak attack on U.S. troops and/or assets in Iraq.(snip)
  • Saudi-led coalition intercepts missiles fired by Yemen's Houthis - spokesman

    03/30/2020 7:03:05 AM PDT · by ConservativeInPA · 11 replies
    Thompson Reuters Foundation News ^ | March 29, 2020 | Nayera Abdallah
    CAIRO, March 29 (Reuters) - The Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen said early on Sunday that the kingdom's air defences intercepted two ballistic missiles on Saturday night launched by Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi group towards Riyadh and the city of Jizan, Saudi state news agency (SPA) said citing the coalition's spokesman. The coalition's spokesman, Colonel Turki al-Malki, said in a statement that no fatalities had been recorded so far. He said destroying the missiles caused some shrapnel to fall on residential neighbourhoods in the two cities, SPA reported. The spokesman added that firing missiles at this time by the Houthis and...
  • Coronavirus Reportedly Kills Founding Member of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps

    03/27/2020 6:10:23 AM PDT · by CheshireTheCat · 27 replies
    Legal Insurrection ^ | March 27, 2020 | Vijeta Uniyal
    The founding member of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Habib Barzegari, has died of the Wuhan coronavirus, Saudi TV network Al Arabiya reported Tuesday citing Iranian state media. Barzegari was also among the advisers to the Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, news reports say. With this latest high-profile death, the outbreak has claimed several senior members of the Iranian regime, including several IRGC commanders, Khamenei’s top aides, and senior regime officials.
  • Hundreds dead in Iran after consuming methanol thinking it was coronavirus protection

    03/27/2020 6:53:18 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 50 replies
    Fox News ^ | 03/27/2020 | Peter Aitken
    More than 300 people have died and a further 1,000 have fallen ill in Iran after consuming methanol in the belief that it will protect them against the coronavirus, according to local media. Fake remedies have spread across Iranian social media, with methanol simply the latest supposed cure. As an Islamic nation, the consumption of alcohol is banned, but bootleggers have distributed industrial alcohol. “Other countries have only one problem, which is the new coronavirus pandemic,” said Dr. Hossein Hassanian, an adviser to Iran’s Health Ministry who claimed that the problem could be more severe than reported. “We have to...
  • Coronavirus appears to be spreading among Iranian elite: report

    02/27/2020 7:37:55 PM PST · by DeathBeforeDishonor1 · 36 replies
    Kurdistan24 ^ | 2/27/25 | Laurie Myolrie
    WASHINGTON DC (Kurdistan 24) On Thursday, Iranian media reported that the country’s Vice President for Women and Family Affairs, Masoumeh Ebtekar, had tested positive for the coronavirus, and The Washington Post suggested “infections appear to be rapidly spreading among the Iranian political elite.” In addition, the head of the national security and policy committee of the Iranian parliament, Mojtaba Zolnour, also announced on Thursday that he, too, had the virus. The 56 year old parliamentarian is from Qom, one of Shi’a Islam’s two holiest cities and the epicenter of the virus in Iran. Another parliamentarian from Qom, Ahmad Amirabadi Farahani,...
  • Iranian Officials Stole More Than $1 Billion in Humanitarian Coronavirus Funds, Pompeo Says

    03/25/2020 5:44:38 PM PDT · by CheshireTheCat · 28 replies
    True Pundit ^ | March 24, 2020 | Thomas Paine
    Iranian regime officials stole more than $1 billion in humanitarian funds meant to be used to help the country’s people fight the spread of coronavirus, according to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. European countries intended for more than $1 billion cash for medical supplies to go to the Iranian people, who have been ravaged by the virus. But American officials say regime leaders instead pocketed the money and are now using it to protect themselves from the virus as it spreads throughout the population. This includes hoarding medical supplies that were meant to aid Iranian citizens...

    03/22/2020 5:25:29 PM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 50 replies
    Newsweek ^ | 03/22/2020 | Jason Lemon
    Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei pushed a conspiracy theory on Sunday, rejecting the possibility of any U.S. aid amid the coronavirus outbreak and suggesting the novel virus was a "poison" designed specifically to kill Iranians. Already suffering under the weight of stringent sanctions imposed by the order of President Donald Trump, Iran has become one of the worst-hit countries in the world in the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. On Wednesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompoe announced that more sanctions would be added for Iran, despite reports that the Persian Gulf nation was already struggling to obtain much needed medical supplies...
  • Terrorist groups 'on the march' in West Africa and the Sahel, US general warns

    03/11/2020 9:03:00 PM PDT · by RomanSoldier19 · 11 replies
    abcnews ^ | March 10, 2020 | By Conor Finnegan and Elizabeth McLaughlin
    Terrorist organizations are "on the march" in West Africa and the Sahel with international efforts failing to curb the increase in violence, a four-star American general in charge of U.S. troops in Africa warned on Tuesday.
  • Iran: Mullahs' spit in water bottles to bless against Coronavirus

    03/01/2020 11:32:46 AM PST · by kevcol · 44 replies
    Twitter ^ | February 29, 2020 | Heshmat Alavi
    Mullahs' solution for the #coronavirus -Take a bottle of water to a mullah -Ask him to spit inside it for "blessings" -Drink (Apologies in advance for the disturbing footage.)
  • In Greeting to Iranian People, Trump Leaves Out Their Government

    03/25/2017 9:00:23 PM PDT · by freedom44 · 21 replies
    Ny Times ^ | 3/25/17 | Mark Lander
    WASHINGTON — When President Trump sent greetings to the Iranian people on Wednesday for the Persian New Year, or Nowruz, it offered a glimpse into an administration that is still debating how to deal with a country that Mr. Trump has painted as an implacable foe. The five-paragraph statement went through multiple drafts, according to two people involved in the process. Hard-liners in the White House first tried to kill the message, and when that failed, stripped it of references to engaging with the Iranian government or a future in which Iran and the United States might peacefully coexist. Instead,...
  • Presidential Message on Nowruz, 2020

    03/20/2020 12:03:56 PM PDT · by ransomnote · 9 replies ^ | March 20, 2020 | President Donald J Trump
    I send my best wishes to those here in America and around the globe celebrating Nowruz. Marking the first day of spring, Nowruz commences the Persian New Year and is celebrated by Iranians and many others across the Middle East, Central Asia, the United States, and around the world. The past year has been historic for the people of Iran. We saw brave and courageous Iranians stand up in massive numbers across the entire country to protest their government’s corruption and demand accountability. The people of Iran have made it clear that they want leadership that represents them, not the...
  • Iran And Italy Are Paying A Hefty Price For Close Ties With Communist China

    03/19/2020 4:11:35 PM PDT · by MtnClimber · 24 replies
    The Federalist ^ | 17 Mar, 2020 | Helen Raleigh
    Iran and Italy's economies are worsening, and their people are suffering most in this Wuhan virus outbreak — all because of their leaders’ short-sighted and foolish decisions. The coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China, has now swept through 126 countries, infected close to 170,000 people worldwide, and is responsible for more than 6,400 deaths as of March 15. China is leading the world in the number of confirmed cases and deaths. What many people find shocking is that Italy and Iran are the second- and third-hardest hit nations in this outbreak. By any common-sense measure, both countries should have much...
  • Iran Backs China, Calls to Investigate U.S. 'Creation and Spread' of Coronavirus

    03/18/2020 4:45:06 PM PDT · by Steely Tom · 50 replies
    Newsweek ^ | 18 March 2020 | Tom O'Connor
    ran has backed China's calls to investigate yet unfounded claims of the United States being the origin of the new coronavirus as an international blame game worsened over a pandemic that has infected more than 200,000 people across the globe. Iranian Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Shamkhani lashed out on Twitter Wednesday against what he called the "typical way" in which some U.S. officials have emphasized China and its central Hubei province city of Wuhan as the likely place where the COVID-19 disease began and have blamed both Beijing and Tehran's governments for failing to stop its spread. Shamkhani...
  • Iran warns coronavirus could kill 'millions' inside its borders

    03/18/2020 9:58:12 AM PDT · by kevcol · 69 replies
    Fox News ^ | March 17, 2020 | Bradford Betz
    In announcing the new warning, Iranian state TV journalist Dr. Afruz Eslami warned that if people fail to follow any guidance, it could collapse Iran's already-strained medical system. If the "medical facilities are not sufficient, there will be 4 million cases, and 3.5 million people will die," she said. . . Late Monday night, angry crowds stormed the courtyards of the Imam Reza shrine in Mashhad and the Fatima Masumeh shrine in Qom. Many people visit the shrine in Qom 24 hours a day, seven days a week, touching and kissing the shrine.
  • Iranian national extradited to Texas after allegedly exporting 'military sensitive items' to Iran

    03/17/2020 9:28:53 AM PDT · by yesthatjallen · 4 replies
    The Hill ^ | 03 17 2020 | Justine Coleman
    An Iranian national was extradited to Texas after allegedly exporting “military sensitive items” to Iran between 2007 and 2011, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced. Merdad Ansari, an Iranian citizen and a resident of the United Arab Emirates, was arrived in San Antonio Saturday evening, the DOJ said in a statement. Ansari, 38, faces federal charges in connection with an alleged scheme to give “military sensitive items” to Iran in violation of the Iranian trade embargo. Ansari and his co-defendant, Mehrdad Foomanie, who remains a fugitive, were charged in June 2012 with conspiracy to violate the Iranian Transactions Regulations (ITR),...
  • Pakistan Builds Border Fence, Limiting Militants and Families Alike. A 1,600-mile barrier, set to be finished this year, has improved security in Pakistan. But Afghanistan is angry, and cross-border families are suffering.

    03/15/2020 11:51:33 AM PDT · by karpov · 11 replies
    New York Times ^ | March 15, 2020 | Ben Farmer and Ihsanullah Tipu Mehsud
    TORKHAM, Pakistan — Above the trucks and travelers lining up at the main eastern gateway between Afghanistan and Pakistan, a glinting new landmark scales the dun-colored mountains: Parallel mesh fences, a couple of feet apart and topped with coils of razor wire, climb from the border crossing up over the dizzying crags. The section of fence overlooking Torkham is just a glimpse of a 1,600-mile barrier begun four years ago by Pakistan’s military and set to be completed this year. Nearly 9,000 miles from President Trump’s border wall with Mexico, Pakistan has quietly been building its own version to try...
  • Coronavirus Spread Echoes Iran’s Destructive Influence in the Region and the World

    03/15/2020 6:02:03 AM PDT · by Kaslin · 11 replies ^ | March 15, 2020 | Ken Blackwell
    In Iran, official estimates of the infection rate and death toll from coronavirus keep accelerating. But even after recording 54 deaths on Tuesday alone, the regime's narrative of the local epidemic is still nowhere near reality. According to the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) – a coalition leading the push for a democratic alternative to the clerical regime – more than 3,000 deaths can already be attributed to an outbreak that has encompassed 139 cities across every Iranian province.This information comes from intelligence-gathering by the NCRI’s main constituent group, the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK). The MEK maintains an elaborate network...