Iran, UNICEF Sign Cooperation Deal

The Iranian Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) office in Tehran have signed a cooperation agreement covering issues related to the youth and children, filmmaking and book reading. The cooperation agreement has been signed by Advisor to the Iranian Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance and General Director of Ministerial Affairs, Mohammad Mahdi Ahmadi, and the UNICEF representative in Iran, Mandeep O’Brien. Ahmadi said the agreement entails mutual cooperation and partnership in improving the ethical representation of children in the mass media, as in the virtual space and among the media professionals. The agreement also includes plans to improve child dignity and self-esteem in the motion pictures and photography industries and promote book reading, he noted. The Iranian official also noted that the new cooperation agreement, signed as part of the second round of collaboration between Tehran and the UNICEF, would provide opportunities to help the teenagers and young people hone their filmmaking skills. In July, the Iranian Ministry of Cooperatives, Labour and Social Welfare launched a joint cooperation program with the UNICEF in preventing and treating the COVID-19 pandemic. Subscribe Facebook Twitter ReddIt Pinterest WhatsApp Viber VK Email Telegram Print LINE The IFP Editorial Staff is composed of dozens of skilled journalists, news-writers, and analysts whose works are edited and published by experienced editors specialized in Iran News. The editor of each IFP Service is responsible for the report published by the Iran Front Page (IFP) news website, and can be contacted through the ways mentioned in the "IFP Editorial Staff" section.

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Iran Calls for IAEA’s Impartial Verification of Saudi Nuclear Activities

Ali-Akbar Salehi, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), has urges the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to guarantee the independent, impartial and professional nature of its work by verifying Saudi Arabia’s non-transparent nuclear activities. In an online address to the 64th General Conference of held in Vienna International Centre, Iran’s nuclear chief said the professional, impartial, and independent nature of the IAEA’s work would only be guaranteed if the Agency also considers unequivocally and impartially the available information on the nuclear activities of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. “If Saudi Arabia is seeking a peaceful nuclear program, it should act in a very transparent manner and allow the Agency’s inspectors to verify its activities,” Salehi noted. He also lashed out at “the regime of Israel as a non-party to the NPT” for “continually and adamantly refusing to adhere to the IAEA safeguards”, and said the issue requires an “unbiased and professional approach by the Agency”. “This regime which is the main source of instability and insecurity in the region as well as a threat to international peace and security, should abandon its Weapons of Mass Destruction program and accede to the NPT without further delay and precondition. Needless to say that, clarifications on the nuclear activities and programs in this regard would certainly strengthen the credibility and professionalism of the Agency,” he added. He also said the only way to protect multilateralism in the world is to get united and put an end to the destructive behaviour of the current United States administration for the interests of all in the international community. What follows is the full text of his Monday statement: The world is enduring very serious and unique circumstances caused by the pandemic COVID-19, which has practically required many fora and organizations, including the Agency, to change their modus-operandi. In view of this, it is a distinct pleasure for me to virtually join the 64th session of the General Conference of the Agency. Amidst such a unique gloomy and painful environment wherein almost all Members of the Agency have suffered one way or another from the COVID-19, the international community could not witness the tattering of another thread of multilateralism, namely the architecture of the United Nations. It is no secret that international organizations are under political pressures from certain States, and the IAEA is of no exception. At this critical point in time for multilateralism, on the one hand, the raison d’être of the United Nations System has come under serious question; and on the other hand, the International Atomic Energy Agency is facing a very serious challenge of its kind since its inception. I am proud to say that the international community has successfully passed the first phase of this dire ordeal; the UN Security Council members in New York have rightly shown that they are not willing to compromise on the achievements simply because of the intimidation approach of one specific Member State. 13 out of 15 members of the Security Council not only unanimously rejected the US Resolution on the extension of the arms embargo against Iran but also didn’t recognize the US as a JCPOA participant to use specific mechanisms of the Deal to bring back Council’s already terminated sanctions. That is a real asset that should be preserved. Also, here in Vienna, the Agency and the Islamic Republic of Iran have shown utmost vigilance in relation to their long term interests with the view that it will be materialized only through mutual cooperation avoiding any outside influence. Thus, within the framework of the safeguards obligations of States under the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement (CSA) and Additional Protocol (AP), the Agency should show its determination that it will not compromise its impartiality, independence, and professionalism for the sake of short-sighted comforts. It is worthy to know that Iran, alone, receives 22 percent of the total inspections of the IAEA at the global level, 432 inspections, and 33 complimentary accesses that have also been conducted in Iran in 2019. Furthermore, the Agency has also been able to carry out its verification activities in Iran even during the difficult situation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. With this transparent and extensive cooperation, Iran and the Agency agreed to work in good faith to resolve three safeguards related questions with an understanding that based on the analysis of information available to the Agency, there will be no other questions or requests for access. Such approaches taken in New York and in Vienna are the real silver-linings in this gloomy political environment for multilateralism and deserve genuine compliments. On the current status of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), I would like to say that, while there is still a broad agreement among the international community that the JCPOA should be preserved as the real turning point in the history of multilateralism and as an important achievement of diplomacy, the JCPOA is caught in a quasi-stalemate situation due to the illegal withdrawal of the US from the deal. Therefore, preservation of the JCPOA is also a common responsibility of all members of the international community. In this context, the responsibility of the EU specifically E3 as members of the JCPOA is of utmost importance, i.e. they must implement their obligations fully and effectively. Thus, the Deal is preserved only when its provisions are implemented in a balanced manner by all parties involved. As a result, Iran has and had no other option rather adopt a step-by-step approach in implementing paragraphs 26 and 36 of the JCPOA to restore the lost balance to the Deal. Nuclear safety is among Iran’s highest priorities. In doing so, progress has been made in establishing an advanced Nuclear Safety Centre (NSC). While the responsibility for nuclear safety and security rests entirely with the Member States, Iran strongly believes that these areas need to be strengthened and enhanced through cooperation between States. New threats by malicious sides have been observed recently by way of cyber and other technological instruments. In this regard, let me point to the recent explosion at Shahid Ahmadi Roshan (Natanz) Nuclear Facility which was the result of sabotage as already declared. These malicious acts need to be condemned by the Agency and the Member States. Iran reserves its rights to protect its facilities and make necessary reactions to any threat as appropriate. The Islamic Republic of Iran persists in its path towards the peaceful application of nuclear science and technology in various fields including agriculture, health, and industry while continuing to generate electricity. Here, we reiterate that one of the main missions of the IAEA is “to foster the exchange of scientific and technical cooperation on the peaceful uses of atomic energy” and “to encourage the exchange and training of scientists and experts in the field of peaceful uses of atomic energy” among member states. One last word of wisdom, the professional, impartial, and independent nature of the work of the Agency would only be guaranteed if the Agency also considers unequivocally and impartially the available information on the nuclear activities of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. If Saudi Arabia is seeking for a peaceful nuclear program, it should act in a very transparent manner and allow the Agency’s inspectors to verify its activities. In this context, the regime of Israel as a non-party to the NPT which has continually and adamantly refused to adhere to the IAEA safeguards requires an unbiased and professional approach by the Agency. This regime which is the main source of instability and insecurity in the region as well as a threat to international peace and security, should abandon its Weapons of Mass Destruction program and accede to the NPT without further delay and precondition. Needless to say that, clarifications on the nuclear activities and programs in this regard would certainly strengthen the credibility and professionalism of the Agency. To conclude, the Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to continue its efforts and cooperation with others in the International Community to bring back multilateralism and diplomacy at the centre of international relations. To this end, there is no way but to get united and put an end to the destructive behaviour of the current United States administration for the interests of all of us in the international community. Subscribe

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Iran Can Set Fire to All US Interests in Region: IRGC Chief

A senior Iranian military commander says the country is capable of setting fire to all US interests in the region. Speaking in a televised interview on Saturday night, Major General Hossein Salami underlined the Iranian military is strong enough to confront the US. “We have thousands of military brigades on the ground which, if they move, will wreck all US interests,” said General Salami, the commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC). “We are capable of capturing and sweeping all US bases simultaneously,” he noted. “The Iranian nation shouldn’t worry about Trump’s bluffs [about waging a war against Iran],” the top general underlined. “We won’t trigger wars, but we have developed the capability to chase and destroy the enemy both under the ground and in the skies,” he added. He then noted that the US political system should pay the price for Washington’s assassination of top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, and Iran will definitely take revenge. Subscribe

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E3 Says US Claim about Iran Sanctions Has No Legal Effect

The foreign ministers of France, Germany, and the UK, known as the E3, have reaffirmed their full commitment to UN Security Council Resolution 2231 in a joint statement in response to US claims of returning the UN sanctions on Iran. “Today marks 30 days since the US sought to initiate the ‘snapback mechanism’, which allows a participant to the JCPOA to seek the re-imposition of the multilateral sanctions against Iran lifted in 2015 in accordance with resolution 2231, adopted by the UN Security Council,” they said in the statement. “France, Germany and the United Kingdom (“the E3”) note that the US ceased to be a participant to the JCPoA following their withdrawal from the deal on 8 May, 2018. Consequently, the purported notification under paragraph 11 of UNSCR 2231 (2015), received from the United States of America and circulated to the UN Security Council Members, is incapable of having legal effect,” it added. “It flows from this that any decisions and actions which would be taken based on this procedure or on its possible outcome would also be incapable of having any legal effect,” the statement noted. “We remain guided by the objective of upholding the authority and integrity of the United Nations Security Council. The E3 remains committed to fully implementing UNSCR 2231 (2015) by which the JCPOA was endorsed in 2015. We have worked tirelessly to preserve the nuclear agreement and remain committed to do so,” the foreign ministers added. In a separate statement, EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell said the “US unilaterally ceased participation in JCPOA on 8 May, 2018, and has subsequently not participated in any JCPOA-related activities.” “It cannot therefore be considered to be a JCPOA participant State and cannot initiate the process of reinstating UN sanctions under the UN Security Council Resolution 2231,” he added in a tweet, which included a link to his statement. The UK embassy in Tehran also tweeted on Sunday that the E3 remains committed to fully implementing UNSCR 2231 (2015) by which the JCPOA was endorsed in 2015. Subscribe

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Iran Issues Statement on US Bid to Reinstate UN Sanctions

Iran has rejected the United States’ claim that international sanctions against the Islamic Republic are back in force, warning that it will show a serious reaction if Washington or its regional cronies make any move in line with its anti-Iran threats. What follows is the full text of the statement released on Sunday, September 20, 2020. The United States falsely claims that the UN Security Council sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran are back in effect at a time when the Council has basically rejected a demand by the US, as a non-signatory to the JCPOA, to trigger the trend of reinstating the sanctions. Moreover, such a trend never got started in the first place to produce a result today. The US secretary of state himself knows well that his claim regarding the reinstatement of UN Security Council sanctions is groundless and invalid and lacks any legal effect. Therefore, he, using his own notorious method, tries to intimidate other countries by threatening to slap international sanctions on them, which is the best testament to the United States’ admission of failure in its effort at the UN Security Council. As the Islamic Republic of Iran has reiterated time and again, the US regime is the biggest threat to world peace and security. This reality had never been exposed as much it has today when the US is overtly threatening and intimidating the world and ignores UN Security Council resolutions. In 2018, when the United States unilaterally withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in breach of clearly stipulated international regulations, and waived any right to use the mechanisms inserted in the accord and in Resolution 2231, it (the US) hoped it would bring Iran to the dilemma of submission or collapse by using the so-called ‘maximum pressure’ strategy. However, two years on since then, the US is now more isolated than ever in advancing the project of portraying Iran as a security threat. Frustrated at having failed to build a consensus against Iran, the US has turned to bullying and holding the international community to ransom. At a time when almost all members of the UN Security Council have straightforwardly rejected the United States’ ludicrous approach vis-à-vis UN Security Council Resolution 2231, the US regime is, in line with its unilateral and force-oriented policy, threatening to impose sanctions against world countries for their compliance with international regulations. The Islamic Republic of Iran regards the US secretary of state’s wrathful statements as measures which are only good for domestic political use and which are the result of weakness and disappointment and hearing repeated “No’s” from the international community in recent months as well as back-to-back defeats against Iran’s active diplomacy. Iran recommends the US president not isolate himself and his country at the international level any further by consulting people who are unfamiliar with the global situation. The approach adopted by the current US regime amounts to a big danger to international peace and security as well as an unprecedented threat to the UN and the Security Council. This time, the US secretary of state has not only ridiculed all principles of international law and the UN Charter, but also challenges the international community officially and openly, and converts his government’s bullying and recalcitrance from behind-the-scenes actions into an openly flagrant move. The Islamic Republic of Iran emphasizes that if the US makes any move in line with these threats, whether alone or in cahoots with the few cronies of its own, it will be met with serious reaction and will be responsible for all the dangerous consequences of its move. Subscribe

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Iran’s President Voices Concern over Relative Rise in COVID-19 Infections

The Iranian president has expressed concern over a drop in the percentage of people who abide by health protocols amid a surge in the coronavirus outbreak. President Hassan Rouhani said the extent to which people comply with health directives has decreased from 82% to 62% over the past week. “This issue is very alarming,” he said. He made the comments after a report was released by the National Coronavirus Headquarters suggesting there has been a relative rise in the number of those infected and hospitalized due to coronavirus. He touched upon the opening of schools and universities, saying either educational centres may hold their classes online or students may physically attend classes depending on the circumstances. “The top priority is to protect students and university students’ health,” he noted.He said educational centres opened just recently, and hence, there are no precise statistics about the number of those infected in educational settings. The president urged the health ministry to monitor the proper implementation of health protocols, saying all school authorities are obliged to enforce health directives. Subscribe Facebook Twitter ReddIt Pinterest WhatsApp Viber VK Email Telegram Print LINE The IFP Editorial Staff is composed of dozens of skilled journalists, news-writers, and analysts whose works are edited and published by experienced editors specialized in Iran News. The editor of each IFP Service is responsible for the report published by the Iran Front Page (IFP) news website, and can be contacted through the ways mentioned in the "IFP Editorial Staff" section.

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Blast in Eastern Tehran Related to Drill; No Damage Reported: Official

An Iranian authority says the explosion heard in the east of the capital city of Tehran early Friday was related to a drill conducted near Parchin area. Deputy Governor General of Tehran Province Hamidreza Goodarzi said no damage has been reported so far. “The drill had started on Thursday near this area and continued till Friday noon,” he added.The same official had already said some foreign media had aggrandized a minor incident or one which had not happened at all and launched a propaganda campaign and “piggybacked” on the incident. The governor of the town of Pakdasht also said that no incident had happened in Parchin area over the past 24 hours, adding the situation is normal. “Such propaganda moves are made by foreign media in a bid to stir up public opinion,” the Hadi Tamhidi said. The Parchin military zone is located in the southeast of Tehran adjacent to Pakdasht town. Subscribe Facebook Twitter ReddIt Pinterest WhatsApp Viber VK Email Telegram Print LINE The IFP Editorial Staff is composed of dozens of skilled journalists, news-writers, and analysts whose works are edited and published by experienced editors specialized in Iran News. The editor of each IFP Service is responsible for the report published by the Iran Front Page (IFP) news website, and can be contacted through the ways mentioned in the "IFP Editorial Staff" section.

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Iran to Buy COVID-19 Vaccine from India: Health Minister

Iran’s health minister says an Indian company is to sell the coronavirus vaccine to the Islamic Republic. Saeed Namaki said Iran is to purchase 20 million doses of the vaccine from the Indian firm under a forward sale contract. “This Indian company, which has already sold 100 million doses of the vaccine to the US under a forward sale agreement, has got the US permission to sell 20 percent of its products to other countries as well,” said the minister. Namaki said the Indian company is owned by a Zoroastrian of Iranian descent. “Based on what this Indian company has promised us, we are going to receive the vaccine at a lower and more reasonable price,” he said. Meanwhile, the minister underlined that Iranian research centres keep working to develop a homegrown vaccine for COVID-19. Subscribe Facebook Twitter ReddIt Pinterest WhatsApp Viber VK Email Telegram Print LINE The IFP Editorial Staff is composed of dozens of skilled journalists, news-writers, and analysts whose works are edited and published by experienced editors specialized in Iran News. The editor of each IFP Service is responsible for the report published by the Iran Front Page (IFP) news website, and can be contacted through the ways mentioned in the "IFP Editorial Staff" section.

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Tehran, Moscow Discuss Closer Scientific Cooperation

Iranian Vice-President for Science and Technology Sorena Sattari and head of the Russian Academy of Sciences Alexander Sergeev have agreed to expand Tehran-Moscow collaborations in science and technology. Areas of further sci-tech cooperation, including cutting-edge pharmaceutical technologies, were discussed in an online meeting between the Iranian and Russian officials. “The two countries enjoy wide-ranging and deep-rooted relations on the diplomatic front, and they need to have similar ties in the areas of science and technology as well,” said the Iranian official. He noted Tehran-Moscow scientific and technological cooperation has gained momentum in recent years, and that the two sides are also running joint ventures as well. Sattari then touched upon the potentialities of Iranian knowledge-based companies and research centres in the area of vaccine development and production of medications, adding the two sides can also launch joint projects to produce a vaccine for coronavirus. The head of the Russian Academy of Sciences, in turn, underscored that the academy stands ready to work closely with Iran in the area of science and technology. He said the two sides can cooperate in the domains of biotechnology, minerals and the ecology of the Caspian Sea as well as the production of medicines. He suggested the two countries set up a working group to sort out priorities and define projects accordingly. Sergeev also invited Sattari to attend a meeting of scientists of five Caspian Sea littoral states in a bid to set the stage for closer scientific cooperation between Iran and Russia. Subscribe

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Iran Condemns Attack on British Diplomatic Mission in Iraq

Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran Saeed Khatibzadeh has condemned any attack on diplomatic missions after a roadside bombing reportedly targeted a British diplomatic convoy in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad. Khatibzadeh made the remarks on Thursday in reaction to reports that a roadside bombing has targeted a convoy of diplomatic vehicles in Baghdad. The Iranian spokesman condemned any attack or assault against diplomatic missions. He pointed to cases of attacks on Iran’s diplomats and diplomatic sites in Iraq, calling on the Iraqi government to intensify and step up the protection of diplomatic places and guarantee the normal activity of diplomatic missions in that country. His remarks came after the British embassy in Baghdad and Iraqi officials reported a bombing attack on British diplomatic vehicles on Tuesday. The attack has reportedly targeted an embassy convoy on a Baghdad highway close to the Umm al-Tabool Mosque, but has left no injuries. Subscribe Facebook Twitter ReddIt Pinterest WhatsApp Viber VK Email Telegram Print LINE The IFP Editorial Staff is composed of dozens of skilled journalists, news-writers, and analysts whose works are edited and published by experienced editors specialized in Iran News. The editor of each IFP Service is responsible for the report published by the Iran Front Page (IFP) news website, and can be contacted through the ways mentioned in the "IFP Editorial Staff" section.

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Iran Berates Israel for Rehashing Groundless Accusations at IAEA

Iran has once again lashed out at the Israeli regime for making unsubstantiated allegations about the Islamic Republic’s nuclear activities. In his speech, Iran’s delegate to a meeting of the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Mohsen Baharvand gave a harshly-worded response to the Israeli representative to the meeting. The Israeli delegate had rehashed baseless claims about Tehran’s nuclear program and accused Iran of conducting undeclared nuclear activities in Turquzabad, a village in Ray County near the Iranian capital, Tehran. The Iranian delegate dismissed the Israeli representative’s comments as a “childish story” which was “soporific and humiliating.” Baharvand said the Israeli delegate was making the remarks while “maintaining the posture of a philosopher with those glasses on his nose.” The Iranian representative blasted Tel Aviv for possessing hundreds of nuclear warheads, not joining the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and not allowing IAEA inspectors to monitor its nuclear work. He said Israel has not undertaken any international commitments. “Such effrontery is shameful,” said the Iranian delegate, according to a report by Etemad newspaper. Subscribe Facebook Twitter ReddIt Pinterest WhatsApp Viber VK Email Telegram Print LINE The IFP Editorial Staff is composed of dozens of skilled journalists, news-writers, and analysts whose works are edited and published by experienced editors specialized in Iran News. The editor of each IFP Service is responsible for the report published by the Iran Front Page (IFP) news website, and can be contacted through the ways mentioned in the "IFP Editorial Staff" section.

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UAE, Bahrain Rulers Accessories to All Israeli Crimes: Iran Speaker

The Iranian parliament speaker says betraying rulers in the region are accomplices to all crimes committed by the Israeli regime. The comment by Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf came in a statement issued in reaction to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain normalizing relations with Tel Aviv. “Many regional governments have, for years, been lovingly kissing the hands of despotic Zionists who have blood on their hands, and clawing at the haggard faces of oppressed Palestinian people,” read part of the statement. He said the recent peace agreements with Israel were simply putting on paper the UAE and Bahrain’s shameful years-long animosity with Palestinians. “They have had cordial relations with the hostile Zionist enemy at all times,” the statement added. The top parliamentarian added the normalization agreements with Tel Aviv have brought humiliation upon the UAE and Bahrain. Subscribe Facebook Twitter ReddIt Pinterest WhatsApp Viber VK Email Telegram Print LINE The IFP Editorial Staff is composed of dozens of skilled journalists, news-writers, and analysts whose works are edited and published by experienced editors specialized in Iran News. The editor of each IFP Service is responsible for the report published by the Iran Front Page (IFP) news website, and can be contacted through the ways mentioned in the "IFP Editorial Staff" section.

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US Objection to ICJ’s Jurisdiction Aimed at Buying Time: Iran

Iran’s representative in the International Court of Justice has rejected what he calls “inadmissible” reasons the US government has given to challenge the ICJ’s jurisdiction to consider a complaint lodged by Tehran against the re-imposition of American sanctions. In remarks on Wednesday, director of the Iranian Presidency’s Centre for International Legal Affairs and the country’s representative in the International Court of Justice, Hamidreza Olumi Yazdi, said the US has questioned the ICJ’s jurisdiction with the purpose of delaying the legal procedure for hearing Iran’s complaint and the strong evidence for the US violation of the 1955 Treaty of Amity. The US’ reasons to object to the ICJ’s competence to rule in the case either lack legal basis or are based on groundless allegations against Iran, he added. Denouncing the “illegal” re-imposition of US sanctions after its withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, Olumi Yazdi said the “cruel” sanctions have already targeted all sectors of Iran’s economy, including the oil and gas industries, financial and banking sector, automobile and shipping industries, metal production and construction. The US sanctions have inflicted widespread financial and non-financial damages on the Iranian people and companies, he deplored. The Iranian official finally reminded the ICJ president and judges that the international court has now a “historic opportunity” to stand against the US government’s unilateralism and law-breaking, to dismiss Washington’s baseless objection, and begin to hear the case. The International Court of Justice has begun weeklong sessions on the issue of its jurisdiction to consider the complaint filed by Iran against the re-imposition of US sanctions. Iran began a legal battle before the International Court of Justice in July 2018, after US President Donald Trump re-imposed harsh unilateral sanctions on Tehran, which were suspended under the international agreement on Iran’s nuclear program. In May 2018, Trump announced the withdrawal of the United States from the nuclear agreement. Later in October, the US faced its first setback in the highest judicial body of the United Nations after the International Court of Justice ordered the suspension of some of the sanctions that were re-imposed on Iran, including goods used for “humanitarian purposes.” Washington responded immediately by canceling a friendship agreement signed between the two countries in 1955, which the court had relied on to justify its decision. Iran had asked the International Court of Justice to suspend the sanctions temporarily until the judges decide on the content of the case, which could take years. The court will consider these sessions within its competence to rule in the case, which Washington strongly opposes, Right Now Times reported. The International Court of Justice was established after the Second World War and examines disputes between states, but it does not have the binding means to implement its decisions. Subscribe

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Iranian Diplomat, UN Envoy for Syria Hold Phone Talks

Ali-Asghar Khaji, a senior assistant to the Iranian foreign minister in special political affairs, has held phone talks with UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir O. Pedersen. During the Wednesday talks, the two sides exchanged views on the issues related to the Syrian Constitutional Committee, Idlib, and humanitarian situation in the Arab country. They also reiterated their support for the political process and the continued work of the Constitutional Committee, and called on the international community to assist the Syrian people considering the difficult humanitarian situation in the country, especially amid the Coronavirus outbreak. Khaji finally underlined the necessity of implementing the Idlib agreements in a bid to maintain calm in the region and prevent an escalation of tensions. Subscribe Facebook Twitter ReddIt Pinterest WhatsApp Viber VK Email Telegram Print LINE The IFP Editorial Staff is composed of dozens of skilled journalists, news-writers, and analysts whose works are edited and published by experienced editors specialized in Iran News. The editor of each IFP Service is responsible for the report published by the Iran Front Page (IFP) news website, and can be contacted through the ways mentioned in the "IFP Editorial Staff" section.

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Iran’s New COVID-19 Cases, Fatalities Rise to Record-High

Iran has confirmed 179 new fatalities caused by the novel Coronavirus, the biggest one-day record since August 14, and 2,981 new cases of infection, the highest since June 6. In her press briefing on Wednesday, Health Ministry spokeswoman Sima-Sadat Lari said the new deaths increase the overall death toll to 23,632. The new cases also raise the total number of infections to 371,816, she added.So far, she added, 352,019 patients have recovered from the disease or been discharged from the hospital. Lari said 3,827 patients are also in critical conditions caused by more severe infection.The spokeswoman noted that 3,641,581 COVID-19 tests have been taken across the country so far. She said the high-risk “red” zones include Tehran, Qom, Mazandaran, East Azarbaijan, Isfahan, Yazd, Khorasan Razavi, North Khorasan, Semnan, Gilan, Zanjan, Qazvin, and Kerman provinces. The “orange” zones also include Lorestan, Ardabil, Golestan, Markazi, Alborz, Hormozgan, Ilam, Fars, Bushehr, West Azarbaijan, Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari, Kermanshah, South Khorasan, Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad, and Khuzestan provinces, she added. Subscribe

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Iran to Hold Forum on Promotion of Trade with Africa

The Trade Promotion Organization of Iran is going to hold a forum in early October to weigh plans for boosting Iranian exports to the African nations, an official has announced. Director General of the Arab and African Bureau of the Trade Promotion Organization of Iran, Farzad Piltan, said the forum will be held on October 3 to discuss plans to boost the export of Iranian construction materials and equipment to the African countries. The event is part of the plans devised by the Trade Promotion Organization to help the Iranian producers and exporters find new markets given the African nations’ needs and Iran’s capacity for the export of construction materials and equipment, he noted. Piltan said the forum would be attended by the Iranian private companies and representatives of government organizations, such as the Foreign Ministry, the Ministry of Road and Urban Development, the chambers of commerce, the unions, and the freight transport companies. He finally expressed hope that close interaction with the embassies of Iran in the African countries would help the Iranian and African business people and markets to get acquainted with each other and would raise the trade ties with Africa to the pre-coronavirus levels. Subscribe Facebook Twitter ReddIt Pinterest WhatsApp Viber VK Email Telegram Print LINE The IFP Editorial Staff is composed of dozens of skilled journalists, news-writers, and analysts whose works are edited and published by experienced editors specialized in Iran News. The editor of each IFP Service is responsible for the report published by the Iran Front Page (IFP) news website, and can be contacted through the ways mentioned in the "IFP Editorial Staff" section.

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Iran Warns Regional Arab States against Normalizing Ties with Israel

A senior Iranian official has warned rulers of countries which have compromised the interests of the Muslim world as well the cause of Palestine for the sake of their own transient desires. Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani dismissed normalization deals between certain regional Arab rulers and the Israeli regime as an act of betrayal and dangerous. “The Muslim world will never allow the plan [to set the stage for Israeli presence in the region] to materialize,” said Shamkhani in a meeting with former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki. Shamkhani said the struggles of the resistance front will “root out the US and the Zionist regime [of Israel] in the region.” The Iranian official also elaborated on the US strategy aimed at creating divisions and insecurity in the region, urging regional countries to band together and cooperate to tackle such plots. Shamkhani further urged Iraqi people and groups to remain vigilant and united against enemy conspiracies. “The enemies of unity and progress of Iraq seek to turn the country’s future elections into an arena for differences, conflict and finally insecurity,” said Shamkhani. He also touched upon Washington’s all-out efforts to undermine regional countries and maintain the security of the Israeli regime. “With the so-called ‘peace’ plan, the Israeli regime is trying to secure its domination on the territory between the Nile and the Euphrates,” he noted. Iran Warns Bahrain, UAE over Any Israeli-Instigated Tension in Persian Gulf Maliki, in turn, praised Iran’s outstanding role in fighting terrorism and establishing stability and security in the region, urging Tehran and Baghdad to work together on key regional and international issues. He emphasized the necessity of boosting solidarity in the Muslim world and preventing measures that would deal a blow to the identity of Islamic countries. “As we turned away the evil spectre of terrorism from Iraq and the region, we will be able to tackle threats to holy Quds and the Palestinian existence through the cooperation of Islamic countries,” he said. Subscribe

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Iran, Azerbaijan to Boost Transportation, Rail Cooperation

Iran and the Azerbaijan Republic are to work together closely to further enhance mutual trade, transportation and rail cooperation. That was discussed in a videoconference meeting between Iranian Minister of Roads and Urban Development Ahmad Eslami and Minister of Roads, Communications and Advanced Technologies of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ramin Gholizadeh. During the discussions, the two sides underlined the need to further develop infrastructure and rail links in the region. The two sides recalled the determination of both presidents to increase transit and transportation cooperation, expressing hope the two countries will expand their cooperation by implementing joint ventures. The also underlined the need to construct a joint bridge for cars on the Astarachai river in Astara as well as to complete and put into service the Astara-Astara rail terminal. Subscribe Facebook Twitter ReddIt Pinterest WhatsApp Viber VK Email Telegram Print LINE The IFP Editorial Staff is composed of dozens of skilled journalists, news-writers, and analysts whose works are edited and published by experienced editors specialized in Iran News. The editor of each IFP Service is responsible for the report published by the Iran Front Page (IFP) news website, and can be contacted through the ways mentioned in the "IFP Editorial Staff" section.

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350,000 Iranians Recover from COVID-19: Ministry

Iran’s Health Ministry spokeswoman says 349,984 COVID-19 patients have recovered from the disease or been discharged from the hospital. In a press briefing on Tuesday, Sima-Sadat Lari said the virus has killed 140 patients since Monday noon, increasing the overall death toll to 23,453. She said 407,353 patients have contracted the novel coronavirus so far, including 2,705 new cases identified in the past 24 hours. Lari said 3,811 patients are also in critical conditions caused by more severe infection. The spokeswoman noted that 3,613,891 COVID-19 tests have been taken across the country so far. She said the high-risk “red” zones include Tehran, Qom, Mazandaran, East Azarbaijan, Isfahan, Yazd, Khorasan Razavi, North Khorasan, Semnan, Gilan, Zanjan, Qazvin, and Kerman provinces. The “orange” zones also include Lorestan, Ardabil, Golestan, Markazi, Alborz, Hormozgan, Ilam, Fars, Bushehr, West Azarbaijan, Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari, Kermanshah, South Khorasan, Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad, and Khuzestan provinces, she added. Subscribe

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‘Iran Must Praise Kuwait, Saudi for Rejecting Peace with Israel’

Kuwait's emir Sheik Sabah Al Ahmed Al Sabah, right, shakes hands with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, left, during an official reception ceremony at the Saadabad Palace in Tehran, Iran, June 1, 2014. / Photo by AP An Iranian political analyst and author believes that Tehran must stop adopting a negative approach towards Arab states and hail Saudi Arabia and Kuwait for refusing to normalize their relations with Israel. Seyyed Hadi Borhani, a professor of Israel Studies at Tehran University, says the always-negative approach adopted by Iran so far has led Israel to introduce Tehran as an enemy of the Arabs. It’s time for Iran to praise Kuwait and even Saudi Arabia for not joining the trend of making peace with Israel, which is considered a joint enemy of the Muslim world. What follows are highlights of the remarks he made in a recent interview with Iranian news website Entekhab: Kuwait is a small country on the shores of the Persian Gulf, surrounded by several major countries in the region including Iran, Saudi Arabia and Iraq. The total area of this Arab country is about 17,000 square kilometres, which is a small figure compared to the 1.5 and 2 million square kilometre areas of Iran and Saudi Arabia. The population of Kuwait, in proportion to its area, is not comparable to the population of its neighbouring countries. The power of the neighbours has always been a concern for this small country and has led Kuwait to make an alliance with great world powers and a security and military coalition with them. In fact, if there was no such alliance, Iraq (which occupied Kuwait in 1990) would have swallowed and digested it by now. Despite Kuwait’s small size and limited power and its vulnerability to pressure from major powers (especially the United States), it pursues an independent policy towards Palestine, which is admired by observers and analysts. The latest example of this courageous and principled policy is Kuwait’s stance on the UAE-Israel compromise. At this point, Kuwait opposed the policy of normalisation of ties with Israel and the passage of Israeli planes over the country, declaring that it would be the last Arab country to establish relations with Israel. The Kuwaiti parliament also criticised the UAE-Israel agreement. Kuwait’s position on the UAE agreement can be considered the best position adopted in the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council and probably the most independent position in the entire Arab world. Kuwait’s position on this issue is even stronger and more serious than the positions of Iran’s allies and members of the Axis of Resistance, including Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. The independent and free positions of Kuwait on the Palestinian issue are not limited to this and are rooted in the history of this country. The positions of the Kuwaiti government and its parliament have always been considered as free positions on this issue during the past years. Shortly after Donald Trump’s move to propose the deal of the century, Speaker of the Kuwaiti parliament, Marzouq al-Ghanim, said at a meeting of Arab Parliaments in Jordan that “In the name of the Arab nation, I declare that the deal of the century is born dead and its real place is the dustbin of history.” The anti-Israel stance of the Speaker of the Kuwaiti Parliament is not limited to this and has a long history. Marzouq al-Ghanim is perhaps the most active and serious speaker of the world parliament against Israel’s policies. The importance of this Kuwaiti policy becomes clear when we consider the country’s inability to provide security using its own limited domestic resources, as well as its dependence on US and Western powers for its security.  Also, consider the relatively bad behaviour of some Palestinian organisations towards Kuwait during the occupation of this country by Iraq. Unfortunately, these organisations committed a shameful mistake by supporting Saddam’s regime during the occupation. That came as, throughout its history Kuwait has always supported the Palestinian liberation and has hosted about half a million Palestinian refugees and displaced persons. Given these facts, Kuwait’s resistance to the US pressure, as well as its move to forgive Palestinian organisations and the continuation of an independent policy based on support for the Palestinian cause and people, can be considered a historic move. A fundamental question regarding Kuwait’s policy towards Palestine is why and how Kuwait is supporting their cause. What are the reasons or factors that differentiate Kuwaiti policies from the policies of other countries in the region, especially the UAE, Bahrain, Oman and Saudi Arabia? Answering this question requires independent research, but it seems that the influence of several factors in this case is clear. In addition to the experience, foresight and maturity of the Emir of Kuwait, who has always been praised by many leaders in the region, including Hezbollah leader, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, two important factors seem to be effective in this regard: First, Kuwait is superior to all Persian Gulf Cooperation Council countries in terms of democracy and democratic governance. Kuwait’s parliament is a serious, old and deep-rooted assembly that can represent a significant part of the Kuwaiti people and their demands and opinions. The history of the Arab Middle East clearly shows that wherever the views of the people and their will have been the focus of attention, respect and influence, any interaction with Israel has been opposed. Kuwait’s emir Sheik Sabah Al Ahmed Al Sabah, left, meets with Iran’s Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei in June 2014. The second factor is probably the high level of education in Kuwait. Kuwait is a country that has been paying serious attention to the issue of education and culture for many years, and therefore its benefit from science, art, and expertise is commendable and undeniable. Therefore, one can expect the people of Kuwait and its elites to know the history of the region, the history of Palestine and the policies of Israel more deeply and accurately than other nations in the region do. For this reason, Kuwait has nurtured numerous writers and elites who have been prolific and influential in various fields, including the study of Palestine. In comparison, the UAE does not have these two factors. It does not have a serious democracy, nor does it benefit from Kuwait’s public knowledge of the Palestinian issue. Iran’s Stance on Arabs’ Normalisation of Ties with Israel After the ill-fated move of the United Arab Emirate in establishing relations with Israel, The Islamic Republic of Iran adopted a decisive and calculated policy to put pressure on the UAE and condemn it for making such a decision. This action by Iran is necessary, but may be insufficient. Iran has a long history of condemning such acts and putting pressure on Arab countries. Almost all of Iran’s interaction with the subject has been a negative one. The positive dimension of this policy does not seem to resonate much in Iranian policies of dealing with Arab countries. This has made Iran’s official policy to seem like an anti-Arab one. It is as if Iran is looking for an excuse to denounce the Arab countries and their positions. This has helped Iran’s regional enemies or rivals to abuse the situation and portray Iran’s regional policy as an anti-Arab one. Israel is trying hard to convince the Arab countries that Iran is the enemy of the Arab states and unfortunately (to some extent) it has succeeded in doing this. Iran’s positive interaction with positive and constructive positions of Arab countries, such as Kuwait’ policy regarding Palestine, can neutralise these efforts and put Iran’s regional policy in a reasonable and balanced direction. This policy could encourage other Arab countries to follow the Kuwaiti-Qatari model of relations with Iran and take a stand against Israel. At present, there seems to be some kind of inattention to such a policy, and the Islamic Republic’s regional policy is pursued more through pressure and coercion. For example, in the wake of the UAE-Israel compromise, Saudi Arabia has shown considerable resistance to the US and Israeli pressure to join Abu Dhabi and the peace agreement. Perhaps this policy should have been met with limited encouragement or a specific reward. Contrary to this expectation, the attacks of the allied forces of Iran (the Ansarullah of Yemen) against the Saudi positions increased during this period and a heavy attack was carried out against the Abha airport in Saudi Arabia. Due to Riyadh’s resistance against the US pressures, Iran-backed forces could wait until the Arab League summit. This patience, along with sending the necessary messages, could have encouraged Saudi Arabia to resist more (against US pressure) and play a positive role in the Arab League summit. Had such a move taken place, the possibility of taking a tougher stance against US pressure and taking a softer stance against Iran at the summit would have increased. This problem (tendency to deal negatively with Arab countries) in Iran, of course, is not limited to the government and official bodies. It has been seen many times that as soon as a mistake is made by an Arab country, it is severely attacked by the public and media. Arab embassies in Tehran have been attacked, flags set on fire, or rallies have been held against Arab rulers. However, a rally in praise of a right action or an admirable stance of an Arab country has never been held in Tehran. Hoping for such a day, the author of this text offers a wreath on the occasion of Kuwait’s independent and courageous stance on the Palestinian issue. Subscribe

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Iran Summons German Envoy to Protest ‘Meddlesome’ Tweets

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran has summoned Germany’s Ambassador to Tehran in protest at the embassy’s undiplomatic move to interfere in Iran’s domestic judicial affairs by sending a series of tweets. The German ambassador to Tehran was summoned by the Director General of Europe Affairs at the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday, September 14, over the German Embassy’s recent tweets. In the meeting, the Director General of Europe Affairs of the Iranian Foreign Ministry strongly condemned the German embassy’s move as a violation of the diplomatic norms and an interference in the internal affairs of Iran. The Iranian diplomat underlined that meddling in Iran’s laws, regulations and independent judicial procedures is by no means acceptable or tolerable, saying the German Embassy is expected to know the limits of its diplomatic mission and not to go beyond them. The German ambassador said he would convey the issue to his government. The envoy was summoned after the German Embassy criticized the execution of Navid Afkari, an Iranian wrestler convicted of murder, in a series of tweets. Subscribe Facebook Twitter ReddIt Pinterest WhatsApp Viber VK Email Telegram Print LINE The IFP Editorial Staff is composed of dozens of skilled journalists, news-writers, and analysts whose works are edited and published by experienced editors specialized in Iran News. The editor of each IFP Service is responsible for the report published by the Iran Front Page (IFP) news website, and can be contacted through the ways mentioned in the "IFP Editorial Staff" section.

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Iran Reports Highest Daily Rise in COVID-19 Fatalities Since August 19

Iran’s Health Ministry spokeswoman says the novel coronavirus has killed 156 patients since Saturday noon, the highest daily rise in COVID-19 fatalities in nearly one month. Speaking at a Sunday press briefing, Sima-Sadat Lari said the new deaths increase the overall death toll to 23,313. She said 404,648 patients have contracted the virus so far, including 2,619 new cases identified in the past 24 hours. So far, she added, 348,013 patients have recovered from the disease or been discharged from the hospital. Lari said 3,798 patients are also in critical conditions caused by more severe infection.The spokeswoman noted that 3,586,848 COVID-19 tests have been taken across the country so far. She said the high-risk “red” zones include Tehran, Qom, Mazandaran, East Azarbaijan, Isfahan, Yazd, Khorasan Razavi, North Khorasan, Semnan, Gilan, Zanjan, Qazvin, and Kerman provinces. The “orange” zones also include Lorestan, Ardabil, Golestan, Markazi, Alborz, Hormozgan, Ilam, Fars, Bushehr, West Azarbaijan, Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari, Kermanshah, South Khorasan, Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad, and Khuzestan provinces, she added. Subscribe

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Tehran an ‘Innovative’ City with Innovative Ideas: VP

A senior Iranian official says the idea of an “innovative city” can help tap into the existing potentialities to further boost innovative practices. Sorena Sattari, the vice president for science and technology, has referred to Tehran as an innovative city, adding the innovation network in Tehran has been established in a bid to increase synergy among those contributing to the innovation and technology ecosystem of the capital. “Enjoying extraordinary potential in the domain of innovative ideas, Tehran is a breeding ground for the creation of innovation networks,” he said. “An innovative city is a city where the municipality acts as a great business accelerator and sets the stage for maturity and commercialization of innovative ideas,” he said. “The Tehran Municipality has a large market that can be a basis for creating opportunities and added value from urban needs by startup ecosystem activists,” he said. He emphasized that urban services should be provided by the private sector and combined with innovation. “The government should lay the groundwork for the private sector to provide ,” he noted.“The municipality can have a managerial and supervisory role and receive a part of urban revenues from this activity,” he said. Subscribe Facebook Twitter ReddIt Pinterest WhatsApp Viber VK Email Telegram Print LINE The IFP Editorial Staff is composed of dozens of skilled journalists, news-writers, and analysts whose works are edited and published by experienced editors specialized in Iran News. The editor of each IFP Service is responsible for the report published by the Iran Front Page (IFP) news website, and can be contacted through the ways mentioned in the "IFP Editorial Staff" section.

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Iran to Boost Range of Homegrown Missiles: Defence Minister

The Iranian defence minister says the country seeks to increase its missile capability. Brigadier General Amir Hatami made the comment while elaborating on the latest achievements as well as priorities of the nation’s defence industry. “Missile capability and preparedness has always been among the important priorities of the country and the Defence Ministry, and we have always focused on the strengthening and development of this domain,” said the defence chief. “We have achieved considerable and extraordinary progress in terms of missile capability in recent years,” he added. The top general underlined that significant developments have taken place in the missile domain in terms of both quality and quantity. He added the range of some missiles will be increased three-fold compared to their previous generation. “This capability is very important to us,” he noted. Subscribe Facebook Twitter ReddIt Pinterest WhatsApp Viber VK Email Telegram Print LINE The IFP Editorial Staff is composed of dozens of skilled journalists, news-writers, and analysts whose works are edited and published by experienced editors specialized in Iran News. The editor of each IFP Service is responsible for the report published by the Iran Front Page (IFP) news website, and can be contacted through the ways mentioned in the "IFP Editorial Staff" section.

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Shiite Muslims to Observe Arbaeen Remotely over Pandemic: Iran

Iran’s health minister says this year’s Arbaeen march, which is to mark the fortieth day after the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (AS), will be held remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic. Saeed Namaki said in a phone conversation with Iraqi Health Minister Hassan al-Tamimi that in the year of the Coronavirus pandemic, perhaps the best way to express devoutness to Imam Hussein (AS) is new methods not experienced before. The Radio and Television of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the ulema as well as cultural figures in Iran and Iraq must come together to make a more detailed plan for the Arbaeen mourning ceremony this year, noted Namaki. “It is necessary to form a joint committee between the Ministries of Health of the two countries to hold the glorious mourning ceremony of Arbaeen remotely. With the cooperation of the two countries, we are trying to seriously fight COVID-19 in order to contain the disease as soon as possible,” added Namaki. Iran’s minister of health emphasized that the country’s relationship with the honourable people and the land of Iraq is historic and will never be broken. “This year in Iran, with the support of the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, a very glorious but protocol-based Muharram ceremony was held. We were able to follow health protocols in such a way that the least harm from the corona virus was recorded.” For his part, the Iraqi health minister said it is very nice to hear good news from Iran about the control of COVID-19 and the reduction of the number of deaths. “We continuously follow the actions of the Islamic Republic of Iran regarding the control of this disease and we have learned lessons in this regard,” underlined Tamimi. Subscribe

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Iran’s COVID-19 Cases Hit 400,000: Ministry

Iran’s Health Ministry spokeswoman says 402,029 patients have contracted the novel coronavirus so far, including 2,089 new cases identified in the past 24 hours. In a press briefing on Sunday, Sima-Sadat Lari said the virus has killed 128 patients since Saturday noon, increasing the overall death toll to 23,157. So far, she added, 346,242 patients have recovered from the disease or been discharged from the hospital. Lari said 3,791 patients are also in critical conditions caused by more severe infection. The spokeswoman noted that 3,559,565 COVID-19 tests have been taken across the country so far. She said the high-risk “red” zones include Tehran, Qom, Mazandaran, East Azarbaijan, Isfahan, Yazd, Khorasan Razavi, North Khorasan, Semnan, Gilan, Zanjan, Qazvin, and Kerman provinces. The “orange” zones also include Lorestan, Ardabil, Golestan, Markazi, Alborz, Hormozgan, Ilam, Fars, Bushehr, West Azarbaijan, Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari, Kermanshah, South Khorasan, Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad, and Khuzestan provinces, she added. Subscribe

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Severe Vengeance Awaiting Bahrain King after Deal with Israel: IRGC

Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has roundly condemned the establishment of diplomatic relations between Bahrain and the Israeli regime. The IRGC warned that severe vengeance is awaiting Bahraini King Hamad bin Salman al-Khalifa. “The ruthless ruler of Bahrain should be awaiting tough revenge by those fighting for the liberation of Quds and the country’s Muslim and zealous nation,” read an IRGC statement.“The shameful move by the Al Khalifa [ruler] and the Bahrain ruling regime to establish relations with the Zionist regime [of Israel], which is against the will and desire of the Muslim people of this country, amounts to sheer folly and lacks any legitimacy and they will receive proportionate responses,” the statement added. “The domino of the normalization of the Israeli regime’s ties with rulers of some Arab countries engineered by the White House and the hated and unwise president of the US following the imposition of humiliation on Muslim nations and looting their resources and wealth is aimed at creating security for the occupiers of Palestine and usurpers of the holy Quds; however, the vicious objective will never come true,” read the statement. “Rather, the move will ironically further boost the power and determination of the Muslim community to unleash the hidden potential of the anti-Zionist resistance front to eliminate the cancerous tumour of Israel from the geography of the Muslim world,” the statement read. The statement warned the Al Khalifa ruling regime as well as other rulers who commit acts of betrayal and are in the pay of the global hegemony against paving the way for the Israeli regime to gain a foothold in the strategic region of the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman. “Like other wicked and traitorous reconciliation deals, the Bahraini ruling regime’s diabolical and disgraceful move will have no achievement for the US and supporters of child-killing Zionists; rather, the move will expose those committing these acts of betrayal and wicked moves to the wrath and revenge of the Islamic community, especially the Shia people of Bahrain,” read the statement. Subscribe

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Iran Welcomes Beginning of Intra-Afghan Talks in Doha

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran has, in a statement on Saturday, welcomed the beginning of negotiations between the Kabul government, Afghan political groups and the Taliban in the Qatari capital of Doha. “The Islamic Republic of Iran welcomes the beginning of intra-Afghan talks between the Kabul government, Afghan political groups and the Taliban, and hopes that the talks will be held within a context of comprehensive understanding among Afghans and without any foreign interference. It also hopes that the negotiations will lead to the desired results, including the establishment of lasting peace and stability in Afghanistan as well as security in the region,” the Foreign Ministry said in the statement. “The Islamic Republic of Iran has always emphasized that there is no military solution to the problems in Afghanistan and the continued presence of foreign forces is one of the main reasons for the continuation of war in the country. All issues and problems in Afghanistan can be resolved only through dialogue and negotiation, and the responsible withdrawal of foreign troops is an inevitable prerequisite for achieving peace and security in that country,” it added. “The Islamic Republic of Iran hopes that the Afghan government, political groups and the Taliban could reach a lasting agreement while preserving the valuable achievements of the Afghan people, including the Constitution, democratic structures, inclusive political participation, the rights and dignity of women, and the rights of ethnic and religious minorities. Iran also hopes that the agreement will ensure peace, tranquillity, well-being and prosperity for the Afghan people and in turn enable Afghan refugees to return to their country and play their part in the reconstruction, growth and development of Afghanistan.” “The Islamic Republic of Iran once again expresses its readiness to assist in advancing the peace process in Afghanistan as in the past and to provide its facilities and capabilities to the Afghan brothers and sisters for this purpose. Iran also strongly condemns any political opportunism and profiteering from the intra-Afghan talks, especially by the US government for electoral purposes and considers such moves to be disruptive to the talks,” it concluded. Subscribe

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Iran’s COVID-19 Fatalities Hit 23,000: Ministry

Iran’s Health Ministry spokeswoman says 116 people have died of the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours, increasing the total number of deaths to 23,029. In a press briefing on Saturday, Sima-Sadat Lari confirmed 2,139 new cases of COVID-19 infection, raising the total number of infections to 399,940. The spokeswoman said 334,516 patients have so far recovered from COVID-19 or been discharged from hospital, but 3,768 are still in critical conditions of the disease. Lari added that so far 3,532,874 COVID-19 tests have been taken across the country.She said the high-risk “red” zones include Tehran, Qom, Mazandaran, East Azarbaijan, Isfahan, Yazd, Khorasan Razavi, North Khorasan, Semnan, Gilan, Zanjan, Qazvin, and Kerman provinces. The “orange” zones also include Lorestan, Ardabil, Golestan, Markazi, Alborz, Hormozgan, Ilam, Fars, Bushehr, West Azarbaijan, Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari, Kermanshah, South Khorasan, Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad, and Khuzestan provinces, she added. Subscribe

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