• Bank account closures of Iranians in UK continue
    26 Apr 2017 15:36 Bank account closures of Iranians in UK continue

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    British banks are continuing to close down the accounts of Iranian expatriates despite the West’s pledges to lift sanctions on Iran. A British legal firm which represents some 60 Iranian clients says it is pursuing the case of racial discrimination to force the banks pay them compensation.

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  • Yemeni bread marchers reach seaport of al-Hudaydah
    26 Apr 2017 15:36 Yemeni bread marchers reach seaport of al-Hudaydah

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    A march for bread which was launched last week in front of the UN headquarters in the Yemeni capital of Sana’a has arrived in the coastal city of Al-Hudaydah. The marchers say they want to make their voice heard and that the world community would step in and help them end Saudi unlawful blockade that has crippled their lives.

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  • Iran-P5+1 Joint Commission meeting held in Vienna
    26 Apr 2017 15:35 Iran-P5+1 Joint Commission meeting held in Vienna

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    The seventh meeting of the Iran-P5+1 Joint Commission, which monitors the implementation of the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries, has been convened in the Austrian capital of Vienna.

    Iranian Deputy Foreign Ministers Abbas Araqchi and Majid Takht-e-Ravanchi, along with the Secretary General of the European External Action Service (EEAS) Helga Schmid, as well as senior diplomats from other P5+1 group of countries attended the meeting of the commission tasked with monitoring the implementation of the nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

    One of the key issues that the participants were scheduled to discuss was Iran’s request to purchase 950 tonnes of concentrated uranium, also known as yellowcake, from Kazakhstan in a three-year period.

     

    This is the first meeting of the commission since the inauguration of US President Donald Trump on January 20. The commission’s sixth meeting was held in Vienna on January 10 to discuss Washington’s extension of an anti-Iran sanctions law.

     

    Last December, the US Congress voted to extend Iran Sanctions Act (ISA) for another 10 years. The law, which authorizes the US president to re-impose the bans, was first adopted in 1996 to punish investments in the Islamic Republic over its nuclear program and its support for anti-Israeli resistance groups.


    EU senior diplomat, Helga Schmid (C-L), Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Abbas Araqchi (C-R), and senior diplomats from other six members of the P5+1 group meet in Vienna, Austria, on April 25, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

    ISA’s extension came despite numerous reports by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirming Iran’s commitment to the JCPOA.

    Speaking after a meeting with IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano in Vienna on Monday, Araqchi said the Islamic Republic had lived up to its commitments under the JCPOA.

    “As the entire world knows and repeated reports by the agency have confirmed, Iran has always been committed to its obligations and carefully implemented the JCPOA,” Araqchi, who is the Iranian head of the Joint Commission, said.

    He, however, emphasized that the other side had not fully complied with its obligations under the JCPOA.

     

    Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Friday slammed the United States for violating both the spirit and the letter of the nuclear deal.

    “We’ll see if US is prepared to live up to letter of the JCPOA let alone [its] spirit. So far, it has defied both,” Zarif said on his official Twitter account.

    Iran’s foreign minister made the comments after Trump accused Iran of “not living up to the spirit” of the 2015 nuclear agreement.

     

    Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council — the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia — plus Germany signed the JCPOA on July 14, 2015 and started implementing it on January 16, 2016.

    Under the agreement, limits were put on Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for, among other things, the removal of all nuclear-related bans against the Islamic Republic.

    The UN Security Council later unanimously endorsed a resolution that effectively turned the JCPOA into international law.

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  • China, Russia slam installment of US missile system in South Korea
    26 Apr 2017 15:34 China, Russia slam installment of US missile system in South Korea

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    China and Russia have voiced serious concern about the controversial transportation of an advanced US missile system to South Korea, drawing attention to the destabilizing effect of the deployment on an already fraught situation on the Korean Peninsula.

    According to South Korean media, the long-planned deployment of the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) to South Korea began on Wednesday with the arrival of radar equipment and other hardware.

    Reacting at a daily news briefing in Beijing on Wednesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang called on the US and South Korea to halt the deployment operations.

    The spokesman said Beijing had conveyed its serious concern to the US and South Korea over the matter.

    Tensions on the Korean Peninsula have significantly spiked in recent weeks. The US, concerned by North Korea’s rapidly-developing missile and military nuclear programs, has sent a strike force and submarine to the peninsula. Pyongyang has said it is ready for war. The two sides have been increasingly trading threats of military action against one another.


    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov delivers a speech during the annual Moscow Conference on International Security (MCIS), in Moscow, Russia, April 26, 2017. (Photo by Reuters)

    Referring to those tensions on Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned against “heavy-handed approaches,” which he said would have many “catastrophic consequences” for the region.

    “It is obvious that heavy-handed approaches that are beginning to be mentioned publicly are fraught with catastrophic consequences for the Korean Peninsula and the whole of Northeast Asia,” he told the annual Moscow Conference on International Security (MCIS).

    Specifically referring to the deployment of the THAAD, the Russian foreign minister said, “An extremely destabilizing factor remains the forced deployment of US THAAD systems, a component of the US global missile defense, in the south of the peninsula.”


    Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan (2nd-R) attends the annual Moscow Conference on International Security (MCIS), in Moscow, Russia, April 26, 2017. (Photo by Reuters)

    Also present at the MCIS was Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan, who delivered a speech at the event.

    Dehqan used his speech to warn against the escalation of tensions on the Korean Peninsula. “We are of the opinion that if the Korean Peninsula crisis slides toward war, it would have destructive and global consequences,” he said.


    This photo taken on March 18, 2017 shows an aerial view of a former golf course that is now to be used as a base for the installation of the US THAAD system, in Seongju, South Korea. (By AFP)

    The start of the operations to deploy the THAAD at a time of increased tensions specifically serves to complicate the situation.

    The US missile system is being installed in Seongju in South Korea’s North Gyeongsang Province.

    Ten protesters injured in South Korea

    The plans to install THAAD have long faced opposition from South Korean people, as well.

    Scuffles broke out between police and protesters in Seongju on Wednesday as pieces of equipment from the THAAD missile system began arriving at the designated site.

    An organizer of local protests against THAAD in Seongju told Reuters that more than 10 protesters were injured during the clashes with police.

    The protesters threw water bottles as military trailers carrying large units, including what appeared to be launch canisters, drove into the planned battery site.

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  • Iranians can vote in presidential election in 103 states: Foreign Ministry
    26 Apr 2017 15:33 Iranians can vote in presidential election in 103 states: Foreign Ministry

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    Iran’s Foreign Ministry says expatriates can cast their ballots in the country’s upcoming presidential elections in as many as 103 foreign countries.

    Hassan Qashqavi, the Ministry’s deputy for consular, parliamentary, and expatriates’ affairs, said Wednesday that there will be 279 polling stations in Iranian missions abroad, including embassies and consulate generals, where the foreign-based Iranian nationals would be able to vote.

    He said the number includes 12 stations in the United Kingdom and 19 in the United Arab Emirates, while 30 ballot boxes will be available in various US cities, adding that there are some 2.5 eligible Iranian voters residing in foreign countries.

    Qashqavi reminded that the lack of diplomatic relations between Iran and Canada, which hosts at least 400,000 Iranians, has hindered their electoral participation.

    The Islamic Republic has submitted a formal note through its mission to the United Nations to the Canadian Embassy in New York, urging Ottawa to enable the process by respecting democracy and civil rights, he said.

    The official said the Canada-based Iranians can also reach US-based ballot boxes during the elections.

    The elections are to be held on May 19. Some 55 million Iranians are eligible to vote to choose a new president as well as new members of the city and village councils.

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  • China launches its first domestically-built aircraft carrier, its second overall
    26 Apr 2017 15:32 China launches its first domestically-built aircraft carrier, its second overall

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    China launched its first domestically-built aircraft carrier on Wednesday, with analysts pointing to Beijing’s rising capability to degrade the United States’ perceived military prominence in the region.

    Chinese state media quoted military experts as saying the carrier, China’s second and built in the northeastern port of Dalian, is not expected to enter service until 2020, once it has been kitted out and armed.

    Foreign military analysts and Chinese media have for months published satellite images, photographs, and news stories about the second carrier’s development. China officially confirmed its existence in late 2015.

    The launch “shows our country’s indigenous aircraft carrier design and construction has achieved major step-by-step results,” the Xinhua news agency said in a report.

    State television showed the carrier, its deck lined in red flags, being pushed by tug boats into its berth.


    Type 001A, China’s second aircraft carrier, is seen during a launch ceremony at Dalian shipyard, in Dalian, in northeast China’s Liaoning Province, April 26, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

    The launch follows China’s celebration on Sunday of the 68th birthday of the founding of the Chinese navy and comes amid renewed tensions between North Korea and the United States over Pyongyang’s missile and military nuclear programs.

    Little is known about China’s aircraft carrier program, which is a state secret. But the government has said the new carrier’s design draws on experiences from the country’s first carrier, the Liaoning, bought second-hand from Ukraine in 1998 and refitted in China.

    The new conventionally-powered carrier will be able to operate China’s Shenyang J-15 fighter jets.

    Unlike the US Navy’s longer-range nuclear carriers, both of China’s feature Soviet-design ski-jump bows, intended to give fighter jets enough lift to take off from their shorter decks. But they lack the powerful catapult technology for launching aircraft of their US counterparts.

    ‘No need’ to overtake the US

    China’s navy has been taking an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan, and new Chinese warships sailing far from mainland.

    The Liaoning has taken part in military exercises, including in the South China Sea, but is expected to serve more as a training vessel. State media have said the new carrier will be more dedicated to military and humanitarian operations.

    Chinese state media have quoted experts as saying that the country needs at least six carriers. The United States operates 10 and plans to build two more.

    Major General Chen Zhou, a researcher at the Academy of Military Science, told reporters in March that China would not exceed the United States in carrier groups. “China has no need for this,” he said.

    (Source: Agencies)

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  • Iran calls for united front against terror
    26 Apr 2017 15:32 Iran calls for united front against terror

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    Iran has once again decried a recent US missile attack against a Syrian army airbase, stressing that such acts block the formation of a united front against terrorism.

    Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan and Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov both commented on the attack during their speeches made at the Conference on International Security, which opened in Moscow on Wednesday.

    The US attack in early April saw a barrage of 59 Tomahawk missiles launched against the Shayrat Airfield in the western Syrian province of Homs, causing some 15 fatalities, including civilians.

    Washington staged the offensive under the pretext of responding to an earlier purported gas attack against a northwestern Syrian village. The attack, which the US blames on Damascus, was carried out without a UN approval or a fact-finding probe.

    Dehqan said the missile raid was against all international regulations.

    He further highlighted Washington’s unconstructive role in the Middle East, saying the US is trying to stage a new form of “international fascism” by implementing a new doctrine and by “commercializing security.”


    Iran’s Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan addressing the Conference on International Security in Moscow, April 26, 2017 (Photo by AFP)

    Pointing out to factors contributing to the current local and international imbalance and violence, Dehqan cited American President Donald Trump’s volatility in word, attitude and decision-making as well as the US, Israel, Britain, and Saudi Arabia supporting and reinforcing Takfiri terrorist groups against regional governments.

    He also warned that neither the US nor any other country can attain its “political and expansionist” goals by backing war and terrorism.

    Unless terrorism is vanquished in Syria and Iraq — which hold the largest concentrations of Takfiris — the terrorists would soon be targeting all their backers, including the US, Europe, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey “with the most violent acts,” he further cautioned.

    Highlighting that the global security woes had emanated from the US efforts to impose “a unilateral order,” Dehqan said the only way out of the situation was to bring about a multipolar international establishment, which negated both imperialism and any type of regional or global hegemony.

    “Iran will continue to cooperate with powerful Russia against terrorist movements until the end. The Islamic Republic is of the belief that the front formed in Syria by Russia, Iran and the Arab country’s legitimate government and its resistant people will eventually conquer the terrorists,” he said.

    The Russian senior diplomat also blasted the US attack on Syria, saying Washington’s violence against the Arab country undermines the chances of creating a broad anti-terror coalition, while constituting “a flagrant violation of international law and an act of aggression against a sovereign state.”


    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov gives a speech at the 6th Moscow Conference on International Security (MCIS) in Moscow on April 26, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

    The Russian foreign minister also called for a professional and transparent investigation into the Idlib chemical incident.

    “Provocations like those that occurred in Khan Shaykhoun on April 4 require a professional investigation under the auspices of the OPCW, on a geographically balanced basis, and such an investigation should be open and transparent,” Lavrov said.

    Meanwhile, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told the Moscow conference that the US missile strike was a gross violation of international law.

    “In addition, Washington’s actions have created a threat to the lives of our soldiers, who are in Syria fighting terrorism,” Shoigu said.

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  • Imam Ali Khamenei urges candidates to rely on domestic capabilities
    26 Apr 2017 15:31 Imam Ali Khamenei urges candidates to rely on domestic capabilities

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    Leader of Islamic Ummah and Oppressed People Sayyed Imam Ali Khamenei has urged presidential candidate not to count on foreigners for development of the country and economic prosperity.

    Addressing a meeting of Iranian officials and ambassadors of Islamic countries on Tuesday morning, The Leader also congratulated the auspicious occasion of Eid al-Mab’ath as the anniversary of the appointment of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) to prophethood. “The mission of Muhammad began in a world immersed in darkness, ignorance, oppression and arrogance and the Prophet formed a government based on justice and unity which was applicable to all societies in all times and can mark fundamental infrastructure of the greatest human civilization.

    Leader of Islamic Ummah and Oppressed People Sayyed Imam Ali Khamenei asserted “as previously stated, candidates need to make the promise to the people that, for development of the country, economic prosperity and resolving issues, they will restrain from looking outside borders and will mainly rely on the nation.”

    At another part of their remarks, the Supreme Leader recalled that when the Islamic Republic emerged, a branch of divine ruling emerged which is still persisting. “Enemies of human societies began to fight against Islam which is the main source of development in society while Islam is capable of putting an end to the injustice against humanity.”

    Leader of Islamic Ummah and Oppressed People Sayyed Imam Ali Khamenei later underscored that today, US and Zionists are leading these hostilities adding “they are taking up the most violent struggle against the Islamic Republic of Iran due to the fact that Islam is more outstanding here and ground are further prepared for practical adherence to it.”

    Supreme Leader reiterated that enemies are against Islamic Revolution, as an offspring of Islam, for a number of reasons including the unmatched ability of Islam in development of human societies, capacity to shape both material and spiritual civilization and power of Islam in the face of oppression.
    “Formation of terrorist groups in the name of Islam and causing strife among Islamic countries like Iraq, Syria, Bahrain and Yemen are conspiracies plotted against Islam by the evil Zionist regime and the cruel US,” he continued.
    Leader of Islamic Ummah and Oppressed People Sayyed Imam Ali Khameneiurged authorities of Islamic countries to develop a clear understanding as to the main reason behind hostility of arrogant powers against Islam. “Islamic states need to understand that the America gets along with one Islamic country and fights against another mainly to prevent unity of the Islamic world and create obstacles to common understanding of Muslims of interests of Islamic societies.”
    Leader of the Islamic Revolution expressed regret towards success of America’s divisive policies in the region and added “marauders work hand in hand with some regional countries and, in order to succeed in their plots, they try represent the Islamic Republic, Iran or Shi’ism as their enemies though we should be aware that unity and standing up against bullies will lead to progress of the Muslim world.”
    He said the Iranian nation had serious determination in the fights against outsiders underlining that all revolutionary people have stood against arrogance.
    “Faith, unity and presence in the scene by the nation are the main source of courage held by the Islamic Republic,” noted the Supreme Leader stressing that massive poll in the upcoming presidential elections will mark an excellent venue for vibrant presence of people at the scene. “Participation in elections in the Islamic structure is the task of the people and manifestation of their dignity, right and power in shaping their executive head of government as well as that unity of the nation will take away the enemy’s mobility and boldness.
    Leader of Islamic Revolution said intimidating policies of the US against the Iranian people at all times was a sign of evil intention of its officials adding “Americans have taken all measures against Iran but they need to be aware that their actions will harm themselves for Iranians are standing firmly against their plots.”
    Leader of Islamic Ummah and Oppressed People Sayyed Imam Ali Khameneicalled for faith, unity, perseverance and presence in the scene adding “by using domestic capabilities and wise planning the internal structure of the country needs to become so strong that all plots of enemies are thwarted.”
    “Muslim world is plagued by violence, terrorism, instability and insecurity highlighted the Supreme Leader concluding “today more than ever, we need to hear the message of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and make efforts to save Islamic countries from ongoing problems.”

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  • Iraq liberates 12 villages near Mosul in offensive against ISIL
    26 Apr 2017 15:30 Iraq liberates 12 villages near Mosul in offensive against ISIL

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    The Iraqi-backed People’s Mobilization Forces (PMF) have liberated 12 villages near the Iraqi city of Mosul in an offensive operation against ISIL terrorist group, which is outlawed in Russia and many other countries, local media reported, citing Iraqi Defense Ministry.

    The PMF have liberated the villages in a joint operation with the Iraqi Army Aviation on Tuesday, in the al-Hadher district, south of the city of Mosul, the  Defense Ministry of Iraq said, according to the Iraqi News media outlet.

    On April 20, the Iraqi forces have liberated Al-Thawra district of western Mosul from Daesh, Iraqi Army’s Lt. Gen. Abdul Amir Yaarallah said.

    ISIL took over Mosul in June 2014, and the operation aimed at liberating the city from the terrorists started in October 2016. The eastern part of the city was liberated by Iraqi and US-led coalition forces in late January, and in February, Iraqi forces began their operation to liberate the western Mosul from ISIL.

    On April 1, Brig. Gen. Shaker Alwan Khafaji, one of the Iraqi Federal Police heads, told Sputnik that only 25-30 percent of western Mosul’s territory was under the terrorists’ control, and that Iraqi government forces are continuing in their efforts to liberate the city’s districts.

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  • Syrian army bombed terrorists’ tunnel in NE Damascus: 17 terrorist killed
    26 Apr 2017 15:30 Syrian army bombed terrorists’ tunnel in NE Damascus: 17 terrorist killed

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    At least 17 terrorists were literally buried under rubble as the Syrian Army detonated a tunnel in the northeastern neighborhood of al-Qaboun.

    According to a military source, Army units were capable of spotting a huge tunnel connecting the north and south of the terrorist-controlled neighborhood, used by the Islamist militants for safe deployment between battlefronts and transfer of ammunition and equipment.

    The government troops blew up the tunnel with 17 rebels inside – of which 11 of them are from the Syrian al-Qaeda Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham, 6 from Faylaq al-Sham.

    All of the terrorists were immediately killed in the blast while the Army managed to pull out 2 corpses so far.

    The Syrian troops have been making a steady advance inside the key terrorist bastion, eliminating scores of rebels in the process and capturing many alive.

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  • Lebanese clerics warns against escape of Takfiri terrorists
    26 Apr 2017 15:29 Lebanese clerics warns against escape of Takfiri terrorists

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    The Association of Muslim Scholars of Lebanon praised the successful operations carried out by the Lebanese army against the Takfiri terrorists in the region of Arsal and said, “Terrorism in Arsal must be destroyed because it the only region in which the Lebanese government doesn’t have complete control over and has become a base for conspiracies against this country,” Taqrib News Agency (TNA) quoted Rasa as saying.

    The group of Shi’ah and Sunni scholars pointed out that the terrorists target all groups, regardless of religion or ethnic origin, and said, “The hand of the security agencies must be open in order to fight terrorism and no one is allowed to stand against the actions of these agencies under religious and ethnic excuses.”

    They added that the activities of the security agencies have faced the opposition of some groups which receive orders from foreign sponsors of terrorism.

    The Association of Muslim Scholars added, “The Lebanese army was able to target a terrorist group whose leader had issued a fatwa calling for the murder of Lebanese military hero. We call on the security forces to arrest the other members of this group based on the confession made by one of its members.”

    They announced that they are hiding terrorists in one of the houses in Arsal and noted, “This issue indicates that the region of Arsal has become a base of the terrorists and the government must cleanse and purify the homes of the filth of the terrorists and criminals who use the people as shields and they must be punished for their actions.”

    At the end of the statement, the Association of Muslim Scholars said, “After the end of military operations in al-Zabadani, Syria, the Takfiris were surrounded and they departed toward the border with Lebanon and for this reason, the security forces must be at the peak of consciousness and take away any opportunity for the terrorists.”

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  • Hezbollah, Lebanese & Syrian Armies Squeeze Terrorists in Northeastern Barrens
    26 Apr 2017 15:27 Hezbollah, Lebanese & Syrian Armies Squeeze Terrorists in Northeastern Barrens

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    Hezbollah soldiers managed on Monday to kill and injure a number of ISIL terrorists in the barrens of northeastern Ras Baalbek after striking their command center in Shoabet Al-Khabiye area.

    Al-Manar TV Channel revealed some of the operation’s details, explaining that Hezbollah drones monitored and observed the terrorists’ posts for several days before carrying out the attack.

    Al-Manar report added that the Hezbollah infantry advanced towards the terrorists’ posts and launched anti-armor missiles onto the residence of ISIL  commander in the area, Mowafaq Al-Jarban, killing scores of the group’s militants.

    The Lebanese army helicopters also targeted on Monday night 3 ISIL posts in Ras Baalbek, inflicting heavy losses upon the terrorists.

    The Syrian warplanes, in turn, struck Nusra Front terrorists in Flia barrens in Qalamoun in Damascus countryside, killing or injuring a number of them.

    These operations pressed on the terrorists as the sources reported that ISIL and Nusra terrorists clashed in order to control their last possible exit towards the Lebanese town of Arsal.

    Source: Al-Manar Website

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  • Syrian Army captures six kilometers of ISIS territory east of Damascus Airport
    26 Apr 2017 15:27 Syrian Army captures six kilometers of ISIS territory east of Damascus Airport

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    On Tuesday, shock units of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) sliced through ISIS-held desert territory, seizing 20 square kilometers from the hardline jihadist group.

    The surprise government advance, some six kilometers in depth, was conducted east of the Tishreen Power Plant in a region not far from Damascus International Airport.

    Islamic State contingents largely withdrew from the sparsely populated area over the past week amid a tactical retreat through the Syrian Desert towards Palmyra. US vetted Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters have also advanced in the area recently.

    Strategically, this operation secures an important bufferzone around the East Ghouta pocket which speculations suggest that Jordanian-backed and US-trained Syrian rebels will try to reach in a bid to break its long-standing siege.

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  • Photos- Iraqi Popular Forces Begin New Operations South of Mosul
    26 Apr 2017 15:26 Photos- Iraqi Popular Forces Begin New Operations South of Mosul

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    Iraqi Popular Forces (Hashd al-Shaabi) have started a new round of military operations, codenamed named ‘Mohammad Rasull Allah’, to liberate the regions South of Mosul.

     

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  • Photos- Aleppo on Track to Recovery after Terrorists Defeated
    26 Apr 2017 15:26 Photos- Aleppo on Track to Recovery after Terrorists Defeated

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    The people of Aleppo are revamping their city after terrorists caused great destruction and damage before experiencing defeat in an epoch-making battle against the Syrian army in the Northern city.

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  • Araqchi: US still complying with commitments under JCPOA
    26 Apr 2017 15:24 Araqchi: US still complying with commitments under JCPOA

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    Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Seyyed Abbas Araqchi said on Tuesday although the US has officially announced that it is reviewing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), it is still complying with its JCPOA commitments during the procedure.

    He made the remarks at the end of the Seventh Joint Meeting on JCPOA in Vienna in response to a question on his evaluation of US stance regarding the landmark nuclear deal which was signed between Iran and the G5+1 (US, Britain, Russia, France and China plus Germany) in July 2015.

    The deal official implementation started on January 20, 2016.

    Noting that that the session of the joint commission was good, Araqchi said the significant message of the session was the fact that all participants stressed they would fulfill their commitments based on the nuclear deal.

    So far, the US position regarding the JCPOA is to remain committed to the deal, however, there are some “negative statements” off and then which are far from the positive ambience required for implementation of the international nuclear deal, Araqchi said noting that participants of the session discussed those negative statements during the meeting.

    The 7th Iran-G5+1 Joint Commission session ended in Vienna after three hours of discussion on controversial issues, including disloyalty of the US and Iran’s purchase of 950 tons of yellow cake.

    Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Abbas Araqchi and Deputy Foreign Minister for Euro-American Affairs Majid Takht-Ravanchi as well as Helga Schmid, the Secretary General of the European External Action Service (EEAS), were present in the Tuesday meeting.

    That was the first session of the commission since the new US administration assumed office.

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  • Judge blocks Trump’s ‘sanctuary city’ decree
    26 Apr 2017 15:24 Judge blocks Trump’s ‘sanctuary city’ decree

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    A US judge has blocked an executive order by President Donald Trump that could withhold federal funds from “sanctuary cities.”

    Trump issued the order on January 25, seeking to deny billions of dollars to cities that harbor undocumented immigrants.

    However, US District Judge William Orrick III (pictured below) in San Francisco blocked the order on Tuesday, striking a fresh blow to the president’s pledged clampdown on illegal immigration.

    “Federal funding that bears no meaningful relationship to immigration enforcement cannot be threatened merely because a jurisdiction chooses an immigration enforcement strategy of which the president disapproves,” Orrick said.

    He said the intent of the Trump administration was to use this issue as a “weapon” against cities that resist his policies, calling the move unconstitutional.

    “The constitution vests the spending powers in Congress, not the president, so the order cannot constitutionally place new conditions on federal funds,” he said.

    White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said the Trump administration was taking action to appeal the ruling.

    “The idea that an agency can’t put in some reasonable restrictions on how some of these monies are spent is something that will be overturned eventually,” Priebus said.

    Trump’s order could impact over 300 cities and counties that have lamented his immigration policy.

    The decision threatened the transfer of around $1.7 billion to Santa Clara County and $1.2 billion to San Francisco in California.

    The government’s lawyers challenged the right of the two places to fight the order because neither of them had been formally declared “sanctuary jurisdictions.”


    Protesters march around the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office at the US federal building during a Solidarity Rally Against Deportation, March 9, 2017, in New York City. (Photo by AFP)

     

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  • Satanic US begins moving THAAD parts to S Korea
    26 Apr 2017 15:23 Satanic US begins moving THAAD parts to S Korea

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    United States military has begun transporting parts of the controversial Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile system to a planned deployment site in South Korea, media reports say.

    According to South Korea’s Yonhap news agency, six trailer trucks, carrying the radar and other equipment for the THAAD missile defense battery, arrived at the deployment site, located on what had been a golf course in the southeastern region of Seongju in early hours of Wednesday.

    It added that the transportation had triggered a clash between police and protesting villagers. The finalization of plans for the system’s deployment has so far sparked numerous protests within South Korea.

    Seoul and Washington reached an agreement over the THAAD’s deployment in July last year, declaring that the objective is to protect South Korea against North Korea’s alleged missile threats. THAAD has been designed to intercept ballistic missiles inside or just outside the atmosphere during their final phase of flight.

    Russia and China has already expressed their deep concerns in a number of occasions over the deployment of the controversial system in the Korean Peninsula, with Chinese officials arguing that the US system would interfere with their radars and could pose a threat to Chinese security.

    Pyongyang, whose nuclear and missile tests have provided the pretext for the THAAD’s deployment, has expressed its strong opposition to the move, saying the US advanced missile system in the South would destabilize the region’s security by upsetting the military status quo.

    North Korea, already under a raft of sanctions for its missile and nuclear programs, also says it is developing arms as deterrence against the US. It says it will not abandon the missile and nuclear programs unless the US ends its hostility toward Pyongyang.


    This screen grab taken from North Korean broadcaster KCTV on March 7, 2017 shows ballistic missiles being launched during a military drill from an undisclosed location in North Korea.

     

    The reclusive country has so far conducted five confirmed nuclear tests and numerous missile test-launches, and it is believed to be preparing for a sixth nuclear weapons test. While Pyongyang has not fired missiles against other countries, it has vowed strong action — including missile attacks against South Korea — if it is invaded by the South and the US.

    On Tuesday, Yonhap, citing the South’s Defense Acquisition Program Agency (DAPA), reported that Seoul was planning to purchase a pair of advanced early warning radars on possible incoming ballistic missiles as the tension is rising in the peninsula between Pyongyang and Washington, and the two sides have been issuing increasingly gruff threats against one another in recent weeks.

    The South’s army has already two Israeli-made Green Pine land-based radars in operation, but it is striving to secure radars with the maximum range of more than 800 kilometers to boost its detecting of ballistic missiles fired by Pyongyang. Seoul is in the process of making the so-called Korea Air and Missile Defense system.

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