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Russian FM presses US’s Tillerson over Syria probe

MOSCOW: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov voiced “regret” in a phone call with his US counterpart Friday at Washington’s opposition to a Moscow-backed plan to investigate an alleged chemical attack in Syria.

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Iran FM mocks US claims it is violating nuclear deal

Iran’s foreign minister mocked US President Donald Trump’s claim Tehran was “not living up to the spirit” of the nuclear deal on Friday, saying Washington was flouting the accord. “We’ll see if US prepared to live up to letter of #JCPOA (nuclear deal) let alone spirit,” Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted. “So far, it…

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Rouhani among 6 candidates selected for Iran election

TEHRAN: President Hassan Rouhani was among six candidates approved Thursday by Iran’s conservative-dominated Guardian Council to run in next month’s election while former leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was barred, state media reported.

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Live election debates banned

Iran’s interior ministry said Thursday there would be no live debates in the run-up to next month’s presidential election.  “Based on a decision by the Election Campaign Monitoring Commission, the election debates of the candidates will be broadcast pre-recorded,” interior ministry spokesman Seyed Salman Samani said. President Hassan Rouhani, who has registered to run for…

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Iran FM slams ‘worn-out’ US nuclear accusations

TEHRAN: Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Thursday criticised “worn-out” US accusations that it was seeking a nuclear weapon to threaten the region and the world. “Worn-out US accusations can’t mask its admission of Iran’s compliance” with a 2015 nuclear deal, Zarif wrote on Twitter. Iran says its nuclear programme is purely for peaceful…

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Iran blocks Telegram voice calls

Tehran: Iran’s judiciary has blocked newly introduced voice calls on Telegram, the most popular messaging app in the country, state media reported on Wednesday. The blockage follows the arrest last month of 12 people who ran popular reformist channels on Telegram, ahead of a presidential election next month. It was not clear if the blockage…

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Monitor says Syria drops barrel bombs despite U.S. warning; Syria denies

DAMASCUS: The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Syrian government warplanes dropped barrel bombs on rebel-held areas of Hama province on Tuesday, a day after the United States said their use could lead to further U.S. strikes in Syria. A Syrian military source denied the Observatory report and said the army did not use barrel…

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Pakistan not to be part of alliance against any Muslim state: Asif

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Defence Khawaja Muhammad Asif on Tuesday reiterated Pakistan’s resolve of not becoming part of any alliance against another Muslim state. “Pakistan will not become part of any agreement which is against another Muslim state. We are bound to parliamentary dictate adopted in a resolution during the Yemen crisis,” he said in…

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Tillerson faces tough talks in Moscow amid increased tensions

WASHINGTON: U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s visit to Moscow this week will be an early test of whether the Trump administration can use any momentum generated by a missile attack on a Syrian air base to craft and execute a strategy to end the Syrian war.

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Russia, Iran army chiefs vow to continue Syria fight

TEHRAN: The army chiefs of Russia and Iran discussed the US strikes in Syria by phone Saturday, and vowed to continue the fight against “terrorists” and their supporters, Iranian media reported. The two chiefs of staff, Major General Mohammad Bagheri and General Valery Gerasimov, “condemned the American operation against a Syrian air base which is…

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Iran’s Rouhani lashes out at Trump, says ‘terrorists’ are applauding US attack

TEHRAN: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday that “terrorists” were applauding his US counterpart Donald Trump for launching a missile strike on an airbase of his Syrian government ally. But he backed calls for an independent inquiry into a suspected chemical weapons attack on a rebel-held town in northwestern Syria on Tuesday that Trump…

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Raheel Sharif enjoys cordial relationship with Iran: Janjua

ISLAMABAD: National Security Adviser (NSA) Lt General Nasser Janjua Friday said extremism in Pakistan was an outcome of the Afghan war. Dispelling the impression about Pakistan, he said while addressing Leaders in Islamabad Business Summit held here, it was a wrong and baseless propaganda that its nukes could go in hands of extremists. “Pakistan is…

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Raheel Sharif not to act against Iran: Foreign Secretary

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua has said that Islamabad is committed to its policy of non-interference in the conflicts of Muslim countries. She clarified that Saudi-led military alliance is not against any country. According to our correspondent, the Foreign Secretary has assured the National Assembly Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs that General Raheel Sharif…

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Iran expresses reservations about Pakistan’s role in Saudi-led alliance

ISLAMABAD: Iranian ambassador to Pakistan has expressed reservations on issuance of No Objection Certificate (NOC) by the Pakistani government for appointing former army chief General (retd) Raheel Sharif as the head of Saudi-led military alliance, IRNA news agency reported.

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Iran to ban 15 US companies for Israel ties

Tehran: Iran said Sunday it will impose sanctions on 15 US companies for supporting Israel’s “terrorist actions” as part of reprisals for the increasing pressure being announced by Washington lawmakers. The decision, which is largely symbolic since the firms do not do business with Iran, come two days after the US announced new sanctions against…

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Iran denies harassing US warships in Gulf, warns of clashes

TEHRAN: Iran denied on Saturday U.S. accusations that its fast-attack boats were “harassing” warships at the mouth of the Gulf, and said Washington would be responsible for any clashes in the key oil shipping route.

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Iran pilgrims to join this year’s Hajj: Saudi

RIYADH: Iranian pilgrims will participate in this year’s annual hajj, Saudi Arabia said on Friday, after an absence last year. “The ministry of hajj and the Iranian organisation have completed all the necessary measures to ensure Iranian pilgrims perform hajj 1438 according to the procedures followed by all Muslim countries,” the official Saudi Press Agency…

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UN praises Iran’s ‘exemplary’ refugee efforts

While Iranians would bear the brunt of Donald Trump’s visa ban, if it ever comes into force, international officials say the country has quietly emerged as one of the most generous towards refugees. “The leadership demonstrated by the Iranian government has been exemplary in hosting refugees and keeping borders open,” said Sivanka Dhanapala, who heads…

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Ambassador of Iran meets General Bajwa

Rawalpindi: Mehdi Honardoost, the Ambassador of Iran to Pakistan, called on Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Qamar Javed Bajwa today (Saturday). Matters of regional security and mutual interest were discussed, according to ISPR. The visiting dignitary acknowledged and appreciated Pak Army’s contributions towards regional peace and stability. He also expressed his appreciation for ongoing…

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ECO summit: Red carpet rolled out for Iran’s Rouhani

ISLAMABAD: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani Tuesday was accorded a very warm welcome on his arrival here to participate in the 13th Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) summit’s meeting. Federal Minister Abdul Qadir Baloch received the visiting dignitary at the Nur Khan Air Base. The Iranian foreign minister, ambassadors of Pakistan and Iran and senior officials were…

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US State Department tweets, then deletes congratulations for Iran Oscar win

The U.S. State Department on Monday issued and then deleted a congratulatory message for an Oscar win by a prominent Iranian director who criticized President Donald Trump’s travel ban as “inhumane.” The State Department’s official Persian-language Twitter account, @USAdarFarsi, tweeted congratulations to the Iranian people and Asghar Farhadi, director of “The Salesman,” after the movie…

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