Brigadier General Massoud Jazayeri, who is a senior spokesman for the Iranian Armed Forces, said on Saturday that the Islamic Republic’s defensive power was non-negotiable, given the threats posed by Western states. Keep Reading
Suicide bombers struck two mosques in Afghanistan during Friday prayers, a Shiite mosque in Kabul and a Sunni mosque in western Ghor province, killing at least 63 people at the end of a particularly deadly week for the troubled nation.
Daesh (also known as ISIS or ISIL) terrorist group later claimed responsibility for the attack.
In a statement late on Friday, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi offered condolences to the Afghan government and nation and sympathized with the bereaved families of victims.
He noted that the ignorant, bloodthirsty, Takfiri terrorists’ blind attacks “have no goal but to ignite sectarian conflict and insecurity in the neighboring country, Afghanistan.”
Iran will side with the Afghan nation and government regardless of certain trans-regional powers’ will, the spokesman said, adding that Tehran will support Afghans “until complete elimination of violence, crime and insecurity”.
All sides should be committed to their obligations enshrined in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Sebastian Kurz said in a phone conversation with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Friday. Keep Reading
In a Friday joint statement, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, the number two House Republican, and Representative Ed Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, stressed Congress’ resolve to work with US President Donald Trump’s administration to iron out a strategy against Iran. Keep Reading
Speaking on Tuesday, Ayatollah Khamenei urged practical measures by Islamic governments to end the crisis in Myanmar. Keep Reading
“An emergency, food, life support and hygiene package has been prepared by the Red Crescent to be sent to Myanmar,” said the head of the organisation, Morteza Salimi, according to the ISNA news agency. Keep Reading
During the rallies, held after the Friday prayers, the protesters chanted slogans such as “Death to Israel” and “Death to the US” and “Death to Zionists” and “Allahu Akbar” – God is the greatest in Arabic. Keep Reading
The trucks carrying milk, fruits, vegetables, grains and other food products made the journey from the Turkish city of Mardin to the Iranian port of Bushehr in the Persian Gulf from where they were carried by Ro-Ro ships to the Qatari port of Ruwais.
Qatar is under a blockade by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt which cut trade and transport links with Doha in June in a diplomatic dispute which has exposed serious fissures in the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
Turkey and Iran were quick to ease the economic stranglehold on the tiny Arab nation, flying food and other commodities as the diplomatic fallout escalated, and then agreeing on a land route to export goods to Qatar.
The Doha-based Al Sharq newspaper quoted prominent Qatari businessman Ahmed al-Khalaf as saying that the new land trade line between Turkey and Qatar via Iran was reducing the cost of transportation drastically.
Meanwhile, the sea route between Turkey and Qatar initially took 11 days, while a separate land route took 14 days. The new commercial land line via Iran has shortened the duration to less than two days.
The distance between Mardin and Bushehr is about 1,700 km, which can be traveled by trucks in about 22 hours. The route by sea between Bushehr and Qatar’s Hamad Port takes just 8 hours to cover, where the wheeled cargo is carried by roll on/roll off ships.
This means a truck with Turkish goods can reach Doha via Iran in less than two days.
The Iran trade route is “a significant step in tackling the illegal blockade as less transportation time means perishable goods can be transported quickly without damage,” the Qatari daily The Peninsula wrote.
According to board member of Qatar Chamber Mohammed bin Mahdi Al Ahbabi, the new route via Iran has been reducing the cost of transportation by about 80 percent compared to air cargo.
“The cost of air freight is ranging between $1.2 and $1.5 per kilogram, while the cost of road transport (via Iran) is approximately 15 cents,” he said.
Iran’s network of road and rail lines
Chairman of Qatar Consume Ali Hassan Al Khalaf, who runs a chain of retail outlets across the country, said the new land route is going to be more sustainable and economically viable in the days to come.
“As more and more importers start using the route, the economies of scale will come into play, which will help further reduce the transportation cost,” he told the Qatari paper.
The businessmen touched on a wide network of road and rail lines which Iran has developed, saying other neighbors of the Islamic Republic such as Russia and Pakistan can also benefit from the new land route to export their goods to Qatar.
Before the diplomatic crisis, Qatar relied almost entirely on Saudi Arabia for imports. Ali Hassan Al Khalaf said unlike the Saudi land route, the Iran trade line will have lesser number of checkpoints, which will ensure a faster movement of trucks.
“This will not only save a lot of time and money, but goods will reach without losing much of their nutritional value.”
The Russian Center for Reconciliation of Opposing sides in Syria is urgently sending humanitarian aid to Syria after Deir ez-Zor was finally liberated from a three-year siege by IS, bringing relief to thousands of civilians. Keep Reading
In one of the biggest public outpourings of joy in the Syrian capital since war broke out six years ago, residents of Damascus danced in the streets, hugged each other and honked their horns as their football team kept its hopes alive of qualifying for its first-ever World Cup. Keep Reading