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Keyword: mideast

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  • US strikes Iran-backed groups' facilities in Syria after base attacks

    08/24/2022 6:29:28 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 5 replies
    BBC News ^ | August 24, 2022 | By David Gritten
    The US says it has carried out air strikes on facilities in eastern Syria used by groups affiliated with Iran's Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC). President Joe Biden ordered the strikes "to defend and protect US forces" in Syria following several attacks on them blamed on Iran-backed groups. About US 1,000 troops are operating out of the bases, without the permission of the Syrian government, as part of the US-led global coalition against the jihadist group Islamic State (IS). Wednesday's US strikes were conducted by two F-15 and two F-16 jets, military officials told US media. The plan had been...
  • Is Ahmadinejad Making a Political Comeback?

    06/13/2022 4:32:05 PM PDT · by nickcarraway · 10 replies
    Albawaba ^ | Eleanor Beevor
    Outspokenness has always been former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s signature move. Despite having fallen from grace in Iranian political circles he’s still using it, but this time directed against the regime itself. His new status as a de-facto opposition figure has been a long time coming. He began falling out of favour with Ayatollah Ali Khamenei towards the end of his second term as President, over a series of disputes about his cabinet. In 2009, shortly after Ahmadinejad’s election, his Vice President of choice and close friend, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, was forced to resign on Khamenei’s order. Mashei is a curious...
  • Saudi airstrikes hit Yemen’s Houthis after Jiddah attack

    03/26/2022 7:00:31 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 13 replies
    The Associated Press ^ | March 26, 2022 | By AHMED AL-HAJ and SAMY MAGDY
    SANAA, Yemen (AP) — A Saudi-led coalition fighting Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen unleashed a barrage of airstrikes on the capital and a strategic Red Sea city, officials said Saturday. At least seven people were killed. The overnight airstrikes on Sanaa and Hodeida — both held by the Houthis — came a day after the rebels attacked an oil depot in the Saudi city of Jiddah, their highest-profile assault yet on the kingdom. Brig. Gen. Turki al-Malki, a spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition, said the strikes targeted “sources of threat” to Saudi Arabia, according to the state-run Saudi Press Agency...
  • Germany to 'fast-track' gas terminals as part of Qatar deal

    03/20/2022 7:51:45 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 11 replies
    France24 ^ | March 20, 2022
    Doha (AFP) – Germany has committed to "fast track" the construction of two liquefied natural gas terminals as part of a new long-term deal with Qatar as it looks to reduce dependence on Russian gas, the Gulf state said Sunday. Economic Affairs Minister Robert Habeck secured the accord during talks in Doha with its emir and energy minister who have been pressing European nations to strike long-term deals to guarantee their supplies. European states have been forced to turn to Qatar in recent months as they seek an LNG alternative to Russian gas in the wake of Moscow's invasion of...
  • Yemen rebels launch wide strikes on Saudi sites; no one hurt

    03/20/2022 9:01:43 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 2 replies
    The Associated Press ^ | March 20, 2022 | By ISABEL DEBRE
    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Yemen’s Houthi rebels unleashed a barrage of drone and missile strikes on Saudi Arabia that targeted key facilities including natural gas and desalination plants early Sunday, Saudi state-run media reported, temporarily cutting oil production at one site. The pre-dawn salvo marked the latest escalation in the rebels’ attacks on the kingdom as the war in Yemen rages into its eighth year and peace talks stall. The attacks did not cause casualties, the Saudi-led military coalition fighting in Yemen said, but damaged nearby civilian vehicles and homes. In a separate incident, the coalition also said...
  • U.S. Republican senators say they will not back new Iran nuclear deal

    03/14/2022 12:09:08 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 25 replies
    Reuters via Yahoo ^ | March 14, 2022 | by Patricia Zengerle
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Forty-nine of the 50 Republican U.S. senators said on Monday they will not back an emerging new nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, underscoring their party's opposition to attempts to revive a 2015 accord amid fears talks might collapse. They pledged to do everything in their power to reverse an agreement that does not "completely block" Iran's ability to develop a nuclear weapon, constrain its ballistic missile program and "confront Iran's support for terrorism." Tehran denies it has ever sought atomic bombs. Senator Rand Paul was the only Republican member of the Senate who did not sign...
  • Analysis-You still need us, UAE tells U.S. as it flexes Gulf oil muscles

    03/10/2022 11:40:28 AM PST · by Oldeconomybuyer · 11 replies
    Reuters via MSN ^ | March 10, 2022 | By Samia Nakhoul, Ghaida Ghantous and Maha El Dahan
    DUBAI (Reuters) - By single-handedly knocking 13% off rocketing oil prices on one day this week, the United Arab Emirates demonstrated the power Gulf producers wield in the market and sent a wake-up call to Washington to pay closer attention to its longtime allies. OPEC heavyweights Saudi Arabia and the UAE, which both bear grudges against Washington, have snubbed U.S. pleas to use their spare output capacity to tame rampant crude prices which threaten global recession after Russia's invasion of Ukraine. This was deliberate," Gulf Research Center Chairman Abdulaziz Sager said of the conflicting UAE comments, adding that the message...
  • EU nations urge stronger borders to ease migration pressures

    01/21/2022 7:47:11 AM PST · by Oldeconomybuyer · 10 replies
    The Associated Press ^ | January 21, 2022 | By DAVID KEYTON and MONIKA SCISLOWSKA
    VILNIUS, Lithuania (AP) — Ministers from European Union nations under pressure from unauthorized border crossings asked Friday for more action to strengthen and protect the bloc’s external borders as well as for rules to return migrants to their homelands or where they started their journeys. Interior ministers from EU countries including Greece, Poland, Italy, Austria and France — which currently holds the EU’s rotating presidency — as well as nonaligned Switzerland and Norway, attended a border security conference in Lithuania’s capital of Vilnius. European Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson and the heads of European security bodies like Europol and Frontex,...
  • Saudi camel beauty pageant cracks down on cosmetic enhancements

    12/09/2021 5:36:32 AM PST · by Oldeconomybuyer · 24 replies
    BBC News ^ | December 9, 2021
    More than 40 camels have been disqualified from Saudi Arabia's beauty pageant for receiving Botox injections and other cosmetic enhancements. The contest is a highlight of the King Abdulaziz Camel Festival, where $66m (£45m) in prize money is at stake. Key attributes include long, droopy lips, a big nose and a shapely hump. Judges used "advanced" technology to uncover tampering with camels on a scale not seen before, the state-run Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported. All contestants were first led into a hall where their external appearance and movements were examined by specialists, it said. Their heads, necks and torsos...
  • Belarus threatens to cut off gas to EU in border row

    11/11/2021 9:27:06 AM PST · by Oldeconomybuyer · 37 replies
    BBC News ^ | November 11, 2021
    Belarus's leader has threatened to cut off gas supplies to Europe if sanctions are imposed over an escalating migrant crisis at the country's border. Thousands of people are at the border with Poland, enduring freezing conditions in the hope of crossing into the European Union. But on Thursday the country's long-time authoritarian leader Alexander Lukashenko warned: "If they impose additional sanctions on us... we must respond." "We are heating Europe, and they are threatening us," he said, referring to a Russian gas pipeline that runs through Belarus and into the EU. "And what if we halt natural gas supplies? Therefore,...
  • Labor agency chief says Germany needs more immigrants

    08/24/2021 4:53:17 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 28 replies
    The Associated Press ^ | August 24, 2021
    BERLIN — The head of Germany’s national labor agency says the country needs significantly more immigrants to plug gaps in the work force as the population ages. Federal Labor Agency Chairman Detlef Scheele said in Tuesday’s edition of the daily newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung that he expects the number of working-age people in Europe’s biggest economy to decline by nearly 150,000 this year. “In the coming years, it will be much more dramatic,” the paper quoted him as saying. Scheele said that immigrants would be key — “this is not about asylum, but about targeted immigration for the gaps in the...
  • UN watchdog: Access to key Iranian data lacking since Feb 23

    06/01/2021 4:44:35 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 5 replies
    The Associated Press ^ | June 1, 2021 | By KIYOKO METZLER and DAVID RISING
    VIENNA - The United Nations’ atomic watchdog hasn’t been able to access data important to monitoring Iran’s nuclear program since late February when the Islamic Republic started restricting international inspections of its facilities, the agency said Monday. The International Atomic Energy Agency reported in a confidential document distributed to member countries and seen by The Associated Press that it has “not had access to the data from its online enrichment monitors and electronic seals, or had access to the measurement recordings registered by its installed measurement devices” since Feb. 23. While the IAEA and Iran earlier acknowledged the restrictions limited...
  • Israel-Gaza conflict: De-escalate tensions with Hamas today, Biden tells Netanyahu

    05/19/2021 7:24:56 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 33 replies
    SKY News ^ | May 19, 2021
    US President Joe Biden has told Israel's prime minister he expects to see a significant de-escalation in its conflict with Hamas today. In what will be seen as Biden's toughest public pressure on the US ally so far, the White House said the president asked Mr Netanyahu in a telephone call to move toward "the path to a cease-fire". However, there remains little sign of a ceasefire between Israel and Gaza after more than a week of cross-border attacks. After Israeli's N12 TV news channel said fighting could end on Thursday morning, a member of Hamas's political bureau, Ezzat El-Reshiq,...
  • Israeli-Palestinian conflict gives Biden foreign policy headache

    05/15/2021 8:22:48 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 29 replies
    BBC News ^ | May 15, 2021 | By Barbara Plett Usher
    Israel's air strikes on the militant Hamas movement in Gaza have forced the Middle East on to Joe Biden's agenda amid new questions about how his emphasis on human rights applies to Palestinians. It has also laid bare the extent to which the Israeli right has been empowered in occupied East Jerusalem during the presidency of Donald Trump. Unrest there sparked wider battles, and could draw the Biden administration more deeply into the longstanding Israeli-Palestinian conflict even after this latest seismic eruption abates. That's a prospect President Biden and his senior advisers would like to avoid. They've made clear their...
  • Israel hints it may not engage Biden on Iran nuclear strategy

    02/16/2021 4:44:42 AM PST · by Oldeconomybuyer · 19 replies
    Reuters ^ | February 16, 2021 | By Dan Williams
    JERUSALEM - Israel held out the possibility on Tuesday that it would not engage with U.S. President Joe Biden on strategy regarding the Iranian nuclear programme, urging tougher sanctions and a “credible military threat” against its arch-enemy. The remarks by Israel’s envoy to Washington came at a touchy juncture for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Up for re-election next month, he has revived his hard line on Iran while not yet having any direct communication with Biden. The new administration has said it wants a U.S. return to a 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran - which former President Donald Trump quit,...
  • Iran renews pledge against nukes after controversy

    02/15/2021 5:35:30 AM PST · by Oldeconomybuyer · 5 replies
    France24 ^ | February 15, 2021
    Tehran (AFP) - Iran reiterated Monday that its opposition to nuclear weapons was official policy as laid down by its supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in the wake of controversial remarks by a minister. "Iran's position remains unchanged. Iran's nuclear activities have always been peaceful and will remain peaceful," foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh told a news conference. The renewed pledge came a week after Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi said it would not be Tehran's fault if the country was ever "pushed" towards developing a nuclear bomb. "Our nuclear industry is a peaceful industry. The supreme leader explicitly stated (that)...
  • Iran nuclear deal members urge Tehran return to compliance

    12/16/2020 7:41:55 AM PST · by Oldeconomybuyer · 4 replies
    The Associated Press ^ | December 16, 2020 | By DAVID RISING
    BERLIN - World powers that are part of a landmark 2015 nuclear deal with Iran urged Tehran on Wednesday to roll back violations of the accord and return to full compliance during a virtual meeting in Vienna, a German official said. The meeting comes as the signatories to the agreement — Germany, France, Britain, China and Russia — continue to try and keep it from collapsing after the unilateral withdrawal of the United States in 2018. The three European powers have expressed hope that with the change of administrations in Washington, the U.S. could be brought back into the deal,...
  • US B-52H bombers fly to Middle East in mission to deter Iran

    12/10/2020 7:19:53 AM PST · by Oldeconomybuyer · 18 replies
    The Associated Press ^ | December 10, 2020 | By LOLITA C. BALDOR
    WASHINGTON - In a new show of military might, two American bomber aircraft took off from the United States and flew over a swath of the Middle East on Thursday, sending what U.S. officials said was a direct message of deterrence to Iran. The flight of the two massive B-52H Stratofortress bombers over the region, the second such mission in less than a month, was designed to underscore America’s continuing commitment to the Middle East even as President Donald Trump’s administration withdraws thousands of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. The long-range heavy bombers, which are capable of carrying both conventional...
  • U.N. refugee agency for Palestinians pays salaries, but crisis persists

    12/02/2020 7:13:30 AM PST · by Oldeconomybuyer · 7 replies
    Reuters ^ | December 2, 2020 | By Nidal al-Mughrabi
    GAZA - The United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees paid the salaries of 30,000 Palestinian staff across the Middle East for last month, but a funding shortfall may still hinder payment in December, officials said on Wednesday. UNRWA finds itself in limbo after the U.S. election - President Donald Trump ended all U.S. payments, but while Palestinians hope President-elect Joe Biden’s administration will at least partially resume payments, that could take months. The agency said last month it had run out of money to pay salaries after two years of funding cuts by the United States and other donors, including...
  • Iran FM: Indications of Israeli role in scientist’s killing

    11/27/2020 7:54:57 AM PST · by Oldeconomybuyer · 26 replies
    The Associated Press ^ | November 27, 2020 | By JON GAMBRELL
    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - Iran’s foreign minister is alleging the killing of a scientist linked to the country’s disbanded military nuclear program has “serious indications” of an Israeli role. Mohammad Javad Zarif made the statement Friday on Twitter. Israel has declined to comment, though Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu himself has named the scientist slain outside of Tehran. “Terrorists murdered an eminent Iranian scientist today. This cowardice - with serious indications of Israeli role - shows desperate warmongering of perpetrators,” Zarif wrote. An Iranian scientist that Israel alleged led the Islamic Republic’s military nuclear program until its disbanding in the...