Sunday, 19 Jan 2020

Middle East

Iran to send black boxes of downed plane to Ukraine

Iran said on Saturday it was sending to Ukraine the black boxes from a Ukrainian passenger plane that the Iranian military shot down this month, an accident that sparked unrest at home and added to pressure on Tehran from abroad. Iran’s Tasnim news agency also reported the authorities were prepared for experts from France, Canada […]

Iran's top leader Ayatollah Khamenei to lead Friday prayers at time of crisis

TEHERAN (AP) – Iran’s supreme leader will deliver a Friday (Jan 17) sermon in Teheran for the first time since 2012, as the Islamic Republic grapples with the fallout from the targeted killing of its top general in a US airstrike and popular anger at its accidental shoot-down of a passenger plane. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei […]

11 US troops wounded in last week's Iran attack on Iraq base

WASHINGTON (AFP) – At least 11 American troops were injured in an Iranian attack on an Iraqi base where American soldiers were deployed, US Central Command said Thursday (Jan 16), although the US military had previously maintained there were no casualties. “While no US service members were killed in the Jan 8 Iranian attack on […]

Iran's president Rouhani says wants dialogue, working to 'prevent war'

TEHERAN (AFP) – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Thursday (Jan 16) he wants to avoid war after Teheran and Washington appeared on the brink of direct military confrontation in early January for the second time in less than a year. Ahead of parliamentary elections on Feb 21 – predicted to be a challenge for […]

Syria air strikes kill 18 in Idlib despite truce

At least 18 civilians are reported to have died in air strikes that hit a market and an industrial zone in the Syrian rebel-held city of Idlib. A monitoring group said Russian and Syrian government planes carried out the attacks. The air strikes happened despite a ceasefire brokered earlier this month by Russia and Turkey. […]

How strong is Iran’s opposition?

There have been anti-government protests in the Iranian capital, Tehran, and other cities after the Iranian authorities admitted they had “unintentionally” shot down a Ukrainian International Airlines plane. Some of the protesters have been heard shouting slogans against the leadership. So how strong is opposition in Iran, and what do the protesters want? Who are […]

With the regime shown up as incompetent liars, moderates have a rare opportunity

It has taken more than 40 years, but finally the rulers responsible for the brutal repression Iran has suffered since its 1979 revolution have revealed themselves to be little more than a bunch of incompetent and corrupt liars. The regime’s woeful attempts to conceal the full extent of its involvement in the shooting down of […]

Iran makes arrests in plane shootdown, police crack down on protests

DUBAI (REUTERS) – Iran said on Tuesday (Jan 14) it had arrested people accused of a role in shooting down a Ukrainian airliner and had also detained 30 people involved in protests that have swept the nation for four days since the military belatedly admitted its error. Wednesday’s downing of Ukraine International Airlines flight 752, […]

Syrian army says Israeli jets attack air base in Homs

AMMAN (REUTERS) – The Syrian army said on Tuesday (Jan 14) Israeli jets attacked the main T4 air base in Homs province and that its air defences downed several missiles in strikes that caused only material damage. An army spokesman told state media that four Israeli missiles did reach the base, but said air defences […]

Iran nuclear crisis in 300 words

A landmark nuclear deal between Iran and world powers has in effect collapsed, almost five years after it was agreed. Here’s how it got to this point. What did the deal do? Iran has always insisted its nuclear programme is peaceful. But suspicions it was being used as a cover to develop a nuclear bomb […]