The iran project News related to Iran, specially political, military and regional news! Sat, 20 Sep 2014 21:19:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Lack of trust keeps Iran, U.S. away from coalition Sat, 20 Sep 2014 21:03:24 +0000 monire@Iran Iran and the United States share a common enemy in the ISIS militant group, but a deep-seated lack of trust has so far kept the longtime foes from publicly joining hands in a coalition to defeat the extremists.

Their inability to work together complicates efforts to beat back the extremists that both Washington and Tehran see as a threat, and has left Iraq’s new government – which considers both countries allies – scratching its head as it tries to tackle the most serious threat to its stability since American troops left in 2011.

Iraq’s new prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, made his frustration clear in a recent interview with The Associated Press, saying U.S. pressure to keep Iran away from talks in Paris aimed at combatting the militant threat had left him “in a very difficult position.”

“I actually find it puzzling that we hold a conference in Paris to help Iraq and to fight terrorism and … the biggest neighbor of Iraq – Iran – is excluded,” he said.

Iran is convinced the United States wants to use the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group as a pretext to strike Tehran’s ally, Syrian President Bashar Assad. Rejecting any cooperation with Assad, Washington is planning airstrikes against the ISIS group in Syria and says it will beef up Syrian rebels to fill the void as it drives out the extremists.


Iranian officials are even skeptical the U.S. really opposes the ISIS group, since it is fighting Assad, whom the U.S. wants removed from power. On Tuesday, the top commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard dismissed the anti-ISIS group coalition as “a show.”

“There is not much hope in this coalition since they’ve set it up for their own objectives,” Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari said. “We have serious doubts that this coalition seeks to destroy the ISIS.”

Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, also has ruled out cooperating with the United States in helping Iraq fight ISIS militants. Speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations on Wednesday in New York, he expressed doubts about Washington’s willingness and ability to fight the group “across the board.”

Wary of alienation

The United States is wary of furthering Iranian influence in Iraq by bringing it into the fight. It also does not want to alienate key Sunni countries it is trying to rally behind its coalition, like Saudi Arabia, which is Iran’s top rival in the region.

Nevertheless, Iran has already been closely involved in the fight. Iranian-backed Iraqi Shiite militias have been leading some of the fighting against the group on the ground. Iranian Revolutionary Guard advisers in Iraq have helped coordinate between militias and the Iraqi military against the extremists, according to Iraqi officials.

Iran has publicly confirmed that it has provided military advice to Iraqis including Kurds to fight the ISIS militants but has denied sending forces or shipping weapons.

Zarif says Iran’s assistance – without any troops – helped Iraq prevent the ISIS group from taking over Baghdad and the Kurdish capital Irbil.

Washington and Tehran have been in back-room contacts about cooperation for weeks, and leaders of the two countries – who talked a year ago – are arriving next week for the annual ministerial meeting of the U.N. General Assembly. Within Iran’s diplomatic circles, some moderate voices supported an alliance with the U.S. against the militants.

Final say

But on Monday, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final say on all state matters, decisively ruled out an alliance. He said Iran had rejected an invitation by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to discuss cooperation.

Khamenei said the U.S. was “seeking a pretext” for military intervention in Iraq and Syria and warned that if the Americans go ahead with it “they will suffer the same problems they faced in Iraq in the past 10 years.”

Speaking later the same day, Kerry did not address whether the U.S. had made any such invitation. He said that while the U.S. has ruled out any military coordination with Iran, it is open to communications “to find out if they will come on board, or under what circumstances, or whether there is the possibility of a change.”

Despite their long decades of enmity, Iran and the United States have been united by a common enemy before: Afghanistan’s Taliban. When the U.S. invaded Afghanistan in 2001, Iran coordinated with it, especially on operations in the western part of the country near its border. The cooperation ended badly, however, when then-President George W. Bush branded Iran part of an “axis of evil,” infuriating Tehran.

Saeed Leilaz, an Iranian political analyst, says Iran has not completely shut the door to talks with the U.S. on the crisis.

“Nowadays, Iranian and American officials privately talk for 10 hours a day. Definitely, they also talk about the ISIS group,” Leilaz said. But Iran wants the U.S. to clarify its intentions in the region before any cooperation, he said.

But for the moment, Tehran and Washington are likely to operate separately against the group.

Iran’s deputy foreign minister, Amir Abdollahian, said his country won’t wait for a coalition to act against extremists. He said the best way to fight the group is “to assist Iraqi and Syrian governments, which are actively involved in the fight against terrorism.”

By Al Arabiya


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Israeli official: Talks with Hamas for Gaza truce to resume Tuesday Sat, 20 Sep 2014 20:41:25 +0000 monire@Iran

A Palestinian teacher looks out of a window of a damaged classroom, during the first day of school, in Gaza City’s Shijaiyah neighborhood, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014. Photo by AP

Representatives of Palestinian factions to participate in Egyptian-mediated talks for a long-term cease-fire; Egypt to also host talks between rival Palestinian factions, state news agency MENA says.

Israel and Palestinian factions, including Hamas, will meet in Cairo on Tuesday to commence negotiations for a long-term cease-fire in the Gaza Strip, an Israeli official told Haaretz on Saturday.

According to the senior Israeli official, the talks were originally scheduled for Wednesday, but were moved forward so as not to clash with the start of the Jewish New Year that evening.

The sides agreed to commence negotiations for a long-term cease-fire in an Egyptian-mediated deal that brought an end to 50 days of fighting between Israel and militants in the Gaza Strip last month. Those talks did not involve direct meetings between the sides. Israel considers Hamas a terrorist organization while Hamas refuses to recognize Israel’s right to exist. Egyptian officials served as mediators in those talks, shuttling between the delegations of Israel and various Palestinian factions.

Egypt will also host talks between rival Palestinian factions within days, the state news agency MENA was cited by Reuters as saying on Saturday. The report quoted an Egyptian official as saying that delegations from Fatah and Hamas would meet on Monday “to complete the Palestinian reconciliation.”

Azzam Ahmed, a Fatah official and head of the Palestinian delegation to last month’s talks, confirmed the plan for reconciliation talks to begin this week, according to the Palestinian WAFA news agency.

By Haaretz

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Ebola worst-case scenario has more than 500,000 cases Sat, 20 Sep 2014 20:37:48 +0000 monire@Iran

Photo shows Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) medical workers wearing protective clothing work at the MSF facility in Kailahun, Sierra Leone, on August 14, 2014.

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa could spread to hundreds of thousands more people by the end of January, according to an estimate under development by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that puts one worst-case scenario at 550,000 or more infections.

The report, scheduled to be released next week, was described by two people familiar with its contents who asked to remain anonymous because it isn’t yet public.

The projection, which vastly outstrips previous estimates, is under review by researchers and may change. It assumes no additional aid or intervention by governments and relief agencies, which are mobilizing to contain the Ebola outbreak before it spirals further out of control in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

“CDC is working on a dynamic modeling tool that allows for recalculations of projected Ebola cases over time,” Barbara Reynolds, a spokeswoman for the agency, said in an e-mail. “CDC expects to release this interactive tool and a description of its use soon.”

The World Health Organization said last month that the outbreak could reach 20,000 cases before being brought under control. That projection is already outdated, WHO spokesman Dan Epstein said yesterday in a phone interview.

Steep Curve

“In the three weeks since then, the numbers have doubled so all three countries are still reporting cases on a steep upward curve,” Epstein said. “We don’t have a good idea of how big this epidemic will become.”

If the response is not increased, there may be as many as 5,000 new cases a week, he said.

A nationwide three-day curfew in Sierra Leone entered its second day today as part of a government effort to stop the virus from spreading. During the lockdown, almost 30,000 volunteers go door to door to distribute soap and explain Ebola prevention measures.

Volunteers removed seven corpses yesterday from houses in the capital Freetown, Mohamed Bangura, a supervisor of the public awareness campaign, said by phone. Health authorities registered 33 new cases and six deaths yesterday, bringing the total number of confirmed Ebola cases to 1,618, according to the Emergency Operations Center.

The WHO’s estimates are meant to help assess international relief needs, such as how many hospital beds to build and the amount of medical supplies needed. The U.S. is currently adding personnel and money to the effort.

‘Not Nearly Enough’

“It’s already the worst outbreak in history,” Tim Shenk, a spokesman for the humanitarian groupDoctors Without Borders, said in a phone interview. He said the actions of the U.S. government will determine whether the growing epidemic can be contained.

“What we’ve been clear about is that we are doing everything we can do and it’s not nearly enough,” Shenk said.

Since the start of the outbreak this year, the virus has infected 5,357 people, killing 2,630,according to a Sept. 18 WHO report. The disease has spread through five West African countries, accelerating in cities including Monrovia, the capital of Liberia.

The United Nations yesterday announced the creation of a special emergency mission to respond to the crisis, saying the effort needs to increase greatly.

‘Exponential’ Increase

“This is a disease outbreak that is advancing in an exponential fashion,” said David Nabarro, named special envoy to West Africa by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon. “I estimate that to get ahead of outbreak, the level of response needs to be about 20 times greater than it is at the moment.”

The U.S. is intensifying its effort, planning to deploy about 3,000 U.S. military personnel to the region to assist with shipping and distributing medical supplies and building treatment centers.

Major General Darryl Williams, U.S. Army-Africa commander, arrived in Monrovia on Sept. 17 with a 12-person team to assess the situation there, Rear Admiral John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman, said yesterday at a news conference. That includes deciding where to build treatment sites and what else will be needed from the U.S. military.

One C-17 transport plane has already arrived, and two more are scheduled for next week, bringing 45 personnel and helping to set up a command headquarters, Kirby said.

‘Sense of Urgency’

Asked about the CDC projection, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said the U.S. commitment of $1 billion for the response to Ebola will have the effect of spurring other nations to increase their assistance.

“The projections you’re citing are long-term projections,” Earnest said yesterday. “That’s why the president was demonstrating a sense of urgency” when he spoke about the outbreak earlier this week.

Predictive models have varied as researchers struggle to estimate an outbreak on a size and scale never seen before with Ebola.

A separate worst-case scenario modeled last month by researchers at the University of Tokyo andArizona State University predicted there would be as many as 277,124 new cases by the year’s end.

That was the high end of their estimate though the researchers warned that “uncontrolled cross-border transmission could fuel a major epidemic to take off in new geographical areas.”

Ebola ‘Transmission Dynamics’

Columbia University researchers predicted 18,755 cases by Oct. 26 if the situation didn’t change, and 49,129 if intervention and containment efforts degraded.

“Our understanding of Ebola transmission dynamics is incomplete and data on the present outbreak are limited,” the researchers said.

Curbing the outbreak will require investments of $988 million over the next six months, according to an overview of needs and requirements published by the UN. About 30 percent of what’s needed has come in so far, Nabarro said this week at a briefing in Geneva.

There is no cure for Ebola, which is spread by contact with the blood and bodily fluids of those infected. The disease normally is treated by keeping patients hydrated, replacing lost blood and using antibiotics to fight infections. The hope is that a patient’s immune system will fight off the aggressive attack of the virus.

Several companies and government health authorities are testing experimental treatments and vaccines against the disease.

By Bloomberg


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Cameron vows new U.K. settlement after Scottish vote Sat, 20 Sep 2014 20:36:22 +0000 monire@Iran

British Prime Minister David Cameron addresses a press conference in Aberdeen, Scotland, on September 15, 2014 (AFP Photo/Ben Stansall)

Prime Minister David Cameron vowed to redraw the U.K.’s constitutional architecture after winning Scotland’s independence referendum, setting the stage for political wrangling that may dominate the run-up to next year’s general election.

Cameron said yesterday enhanced powers for the Scottish Parliament will be matched with more powers for English representatives in the national legislature in Westminster. The previous day, Scots voted against breaking away from the U.K. by 55.3 percent to 44.7 percent. The result prompted Alex Salmond, the Scottish first minister who led the independence campaign, to resign.

The Scottish Independence Vote: Breakdown of Results

Today, former Prime Minister Gordon Brown pledged that the promises for additional powers for Scotland would be kept. The Labour lawmaker, who took a leading role in the closing stages of the campaign against Scottish independence, said “the eyes of the world have been upon us and now I think the eyes of the world are on the leaders of the major parties of the United Kingdom.”

SLIDESHOW: Scotland Votes to Stay in U.K.

“These are men who have been promise-makers and they will not be promise-breakers,” Brown said in a speech in Fife, Scotland. “We will lock in today the promises that we have made.”

Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Alex Salmond, Scotland’s first minister, arrives to deliver his final address to… Read More

‘Come Together’

Now’s the “time for our United Kingdom to come together and move forward,” Cameron said outside Downing Street yesterday. “A vital part of that will be a balanced settlement, fair to people in Scotland and importantly to everyone in England, Wales and Northern Ireland as well.”

Cameron’s pledge, made less than eight months before a general election, sets the stage for a debate over how the U.K. will be governed for decades, beginning at the annual party-political conferences over the next three weeks. While Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have their own assemblies, England does not, and some politicians there are pushing for a new parliament of their own.

Cameron said he wants agreement on the new measures by the election in May.

“This is definitely better for Cameron than a vote for independence but imposing this timetable means there’s really no breathing space,” Tim Bale, professor of politics at Queen Mary University in London, said in an interview. “The idea they can have some major constitutional settlement sorted out by the election is incredibly ambitious.”

Energized Debate

The Scottish referendum has energized a debate about how to rebalance power within a parliamentary system that traces its roots to the 13th century.

Photographer: Leon Neal/AFP via Getty Images

Journalists listen to a televised address by British Prime Minister David Cameron… Read More

Cameron’s announcement sought to answer lawmakers in his Conservative Party angry that Scotland will be handed powers to control taxes, spending and social policy while its lawmakers in Westminster would still be able to influence English laws.

Shutting Scottish lawmakers out of England-only decisions would also hurt the opposition Labour Party if it returns to power because Labour traditionally has more Scottish and Welsh lawmakers in parliament than Cameron’s Conservatives.

“It’s very possible that increased devolution to Scotland could have the side effect of making it harder for Labour to govern the U.K.,” Philip Cowley, professor of politics at Nottingham University, said in an interview. “They could have a parliamentary majority but a minority on English health and education policy.”

Scottish Seats

Labour won 41 of the 59 Scottish House of Commons districts in the 2010 election versus the Tories’ one. Without the Scottish seats, Cameron would have won a majority in 2010.

The most recent YouGov Plc poll, published yesterday, put Labour support across the U.K. at 35 percent, and the Tories at 33 percent. Standard calculations suggest that might give Labour about 333 seats in the Commons — a majority of 16 — an advantage that would be wiped out if 40 or so Scottish Labour lawmakers are barred from voting on some issues.

Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

An official pins the results of the Fife local authority declaration to a wall… Read More

“The millions of voices of England must also be heard,” Cameron said as he announced a commission, headed by the leader of the House of Commons William Hague, to oversee the necessary constitutional changes.

Salmond, the Scottish National Party leader who initiated the push for independence, told a news conference in Edinburgh that a new leader was needed to further efforts to gain more power for Scotland.

‘Never Die’

“For me as leader, my time is nearly over but for Scotland the campaign continues and the dream will never die,” he said.

Cameron said he’s seeking agreement on the Scottish measures by November, with draft legislation published by January to be enacted in the next Parliament following the May 7 general election. He said he hopes for cooperation from Labour, the Liberal Democrats and other parties on the arrangements.

Labour leader Ed Miliband responded to Cameron with a proposal for a constitutional convention to meet in late 2015 to look at proposal from the regions for a redistribution of powers.

London Mayor Boris Johnson, the favorite with bookmakers to become the next Tory leader, was dismissive of Miliband’s plan.

“Labour’s now trying to kick this off into the long grass,” Johnson told Sky News television. “They’re terrified of any change to the arrangements which allow them this large number of Scottish MPs, which you can’t have sitting at Westminster if you’re going to devolve further powers.”

Queen Speaks

Hague said he doesn’t expect his commission to propose the setting up of a separate English Parliament.

“I don’t think our work will lead to a new layer of government,” he told BBC television.

In a rare statement on politics, Queen Elizabeth II said all of the U.K. will respect the outcome of the referendum.

“As we move forward, we should remember that despite the range of views that have been expressed, we have in common an enduring love of Scotland, which is one of the things that helps to unite us all,” the monarch said in the statement distributed by Buckingham Palace.

“Knowing the people of Scotland as I do, I have no doubt that Scots, like others throughout the United Kingdom, are able to express strongly held opinions before coming together again in a spirit of mutual respect and support, to work constructively for the future of Scotland and indeed all parts of this country,” she said.

‘Rule Britannia’

In Glasgow, Scotland’s biggest city, hundreds of opponents of independence marched up Buchanan Street in the central shopping district last night singing “God Save The Queen” and “Rule Britannia” and waving Union Jack flags. Police on foot and horseback flanked the marchers, who mingled with the evening crowds before halting in a thick mass of people. Scuffles broke out, with some marchers thrown to the ground.

The fallout from the Scottish referendum adds a layer of complexity to a constitutional debate that until now had been dominated by the U.K.’s relationship with the European Union.

Cameron has vowed, if re-elected next year, to renegotiate Britain’s EU membership terms and put them to a referendum by the end of 2017. He’ll come under increased pressure from rank-and-file Conservative lawmakers to deliver on that pledge should the anti-EU U.K. Independence Party gain its first-ever elected member of Parliament in a special election on Oct. 9.

Labour, Tories

Labour’s conference starts tomorrow in Manchester, northwest England, a week before the Tories meet in the central city of Birmingham.

“The promises to Scotland ensure that the English question will dominate May’s general election,” Labour lawmaker Frank Field said in an e-mail. “Voters will demand from all English candidates whether they support English home rule and if they support giving an additional 1,500 pounds a year, forever, for every person living in Scotland, over and above what they will vote for their own constituents.”

By Bloomberg


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Turkey celebrates return of hostages and opens border to Kurds fleeing Isis Sat, 20 Sep 2014 20:29:43 +0000 monire@Iran

Turkey’s prime minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, kisses the daughter of the country’s consul after her release. Photograph: Adem Altan/AFP

Government refuses to reveal how 46 captives seized at Turkish consulate in Mosul in June were released

Turkey has welcomed home 46 hostages freed by Islamic State (Isis) in mysterious circumstances, hours after opening its borders to tens of thousands of Syrian Kurds fleeing another advance by the extremist group.

The captives were seized at Turkey’s consulate in Mosul in early June, when the city fell during a lightning Isis advance across the area. They included diplomats and their children, special forces soldiers and the consul general, as well as three Iraqis who stayed in their country after their release.

Concerns about their safety were one of the main reasons cited by Ankara for staying out of a US-led coalition against Isis. Turkey has also refused to let American drones and fighter planes use Turkish airbases for bombing raids on the group.

Read more here


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Iran’s Arak reactor issue of concern in nuclear talks: Russia Sat, 20 Sep 2014 20:26:12 +0000 monire@Iran TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The future of the Arak heavy water nuclear reactor remains one of the main issues that has to be resolved in the nuclear talks between Iran and six world powers.
 “The issue of the Arak reactor is among the main stumbling blocks,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told RIA Novosti.

The problem of Iran’s nuclear centrifuges also remains an issue of concern, according to Ryabkov. The Russian diplomat noted that during the previous rounds of nuclear talks the negotiators agreed that Iran has to limit its uranium enrichment to five percent.

The Russian deputy foreign minister said that he had a number of bilateral meetings with members of the sextet and the Iranian side.

“It feels like there is a common understanding that every effort has to be made to reach an agreement,” the diplomat said.

“Flexibility is needed to form a framework, a carcass of agreement. As of the Russian delegation, we have this flexibility, but also our red lines, which is normal,” Ryabkov added.

Nuclear negotiators representing Iran and the six world powers (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany) have started a fresh round of talks on Tehran’s civilian nuclear work in New York.

The negotiations are expected to run until at least September 26 on the sidelines of the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly.

In November 2013, Iran and world powers signed an interim deal in Geneva, which took effect on January 20 and expired six months later on July 20.

In July, Tehran and the six countries agreed to extend negotiations until November 24 in the hope of clinching a final deal.

By Tasnim News Agency


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ISIL designated Emir for Iran arrested Sat, 20 Sep 2014 20:22:33 +0000 monire@Iran TEHRAN (FNA)- The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)’s designated Emir (ringleader) for Iran and several of his aides were arrested by security bodies.

Iran’s Jomhouri Islami newspaper quoted Hadana news website as reporting that the ISIL Amir was selected by the key ringleaders of the terrorist group to recruit forces in Iran.

The report did not say if the ISIL Emir and his aides had been able to sneak into Iran or arrested abroad. Neither did it mention the security bodies of which country have made the arrest.

Several research works and polls recently conducted by a security body in Iran have shown that the Sunnis in Iran are not interested in membership in the ISIL and the security services completely control the situation.

Iranian Judiciary Spokesman Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejeie had announced earlier that security forces had arrested a number of Takfiri terrorists who were trying to sneak into the country.

“The necessary orders have been given to the security bodies to prevent these people’s (Takfiris’) infiltration into the country and a number of them have, of course, been arrested for the same charge,” Ejeie told reporters in his weekly press conference in Tehran in early May.

Iran’s Judiciary Chief Sadeq Amoli Larijani had warned the country’s security and intelligence forces in January to safeguard the country’s borders against the possible penetration attempts by Takfiri groups.

“The Takfiri and Salafi streams are not at all related to Islam or our Sunni brothers’ beliefs, but they are a cult which have been created by the West to weaken the Islamic societies,” Larijani said, addressing a number of Judiciary officials.

“We ask the intelligence ministry and the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) to keep vigilant against the danger of the infiltration of Takfiri streams into the country and never think that the Takfiri viewpoints are related to the different thinking of Islamic sects; rather they should encounter them in a manner appropriate to the anti-security nature of the streams,” he added.

By Fars News Agency


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Iranian film to vie at Hamburg International Film Festival Sat, 20 Sep 2014 20:20:23 +0000 monire@Iran Iranian film Neurasthenia directed by Omid Toutounchi has been selected to contend for awards at the 2014 Hamburg International Film Festival in Germany.

Neurasthenia will be displayed at the main competition section as well as the competition section for first and second films of the event.

Toutounchi’s debut feature film chronicles the story of a 25-year-old man who is suffering from a psychological disorder known as ‘Neurasthenia’.

The film is also scheduled to be screened at the 30th Warsaw International Film Festival in October.

The Turkish award-winning movie Winter Sleep directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan has been selected to open this year’s Hamburg film festival. The film won the 2014 Golden Palm at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

Hamburg international film festival is the third largest film festival in Germany, after the Berlin International Film Festival and Filmfest München.

The 2014 edition of the festival is programmed to take place from September 25 to October 4.

By Press TV


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Over 1 ton of opium seized in Saravan Sat, 20 Sep 2014 20:15:10 +0000 monire@Iran Tehran, Sept 20, IRNA – Commander of Sistan-Baluchestan province police said on Saturday that some 1,342 kilograms of opium were confiscated from smugglers during two separate operations in southeastern city of Saravan.
Brigadier-General Hossein Rahimi said that after the anti-narcotic squad received tip-off that armed smugglers are carrying drugs in a Toyota, they initiated the operation.

Saravan police managed to identify the smugglers’ automobile on Kouhak-Saravan Road, he said, adding that the officers tried to stop the vehicle but the driver refused to pay attention to the police call and attempted to escape the scene.

The police forces tracked them down until they left behind their vehicle and fled in the dark, Rahimi said, noting that police discovered some 786.980 kilograms of opium hidden in the car.

In another successful operation in Saravan, police confiscated some 555.200 kilograms of opium, the commander said.



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Iran not to join US-led fight on ISIL: Zarif Sat, 20 Sep 2014 20:14:46 +0000 monire@Iran

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says Tehran will not team up with the US in its so-called coalition against Takfiri ISIL militants.

Iran will not team up with the US against the ISIL because “we were not convinced that the United States government was serious” in its claim to fight terrorism, Zarif said in an interview with PBS NewsHour in New York on Friday.

He also criticized the US Congress plan to finance “moderate Syrian militants” in the fight against the extremists, saying the decision does not correspond with the so-called efforts to fight terrorism.

“You do not fight terrorism by weakening the central government which is the most important element in rejecting and opposing these terrorists. If you undermine the central government in Syria, that would enable the IS (ISIL) terrorists to gain even more territory,” he added.

Touching on the situation in Iraq, Zarif said that the Iraqis themselves are capable of defending their territory.

In a nationally televised address on September 10, US President Barack Obama said the United States will join “our friends and allies to degrade, and ultimately destroy, the terrorist group known as ISIL.”

On Friday, Obama also signed into law a piece of legislation authorizing the military to arm and train anti-Syria militants.

Earlier this week, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei described as “absurd, hollow and biased” remarks made by US officials regarding the formation of the US-led so-called international coalition to battle the ISIL terrorist group.

The ISIL terrorists control large parts of Syria’s east and north. ISIL also sent its Takfiri militants into Iraq in June, seizing large swathes of land straddling the border between Syria and Iraq.

By Press TV


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