Region

Iran and Afghanistan

Stories under this heading cover Iran and Afghanistan.

Iran summons senior Ukrainian diplomat over drone strike comments
Iran has summoned the Ukrainian chargé d'affairs in Tehran over comments made by a senior Ukrainian official about a suspected Israeli drone strike on an Iranian military facility late in Isfahan on Saturday (28 January). According to Iran's defence ministry, three drones were involved in the attack about 23:30 local time on Saturday night on what Iran's official Irna news agency called "an ammunition manufacturing plant". Some reports have suggested that the facility in question was connected to the production of missiles, however. The Iranian defence ministry said it had foiled the attack, with the facility suffering only "minor roof damage". The Jerusalem Post on the other hand reported on Sunday morning that the attack had been a "phenomenal success", citing Western and foreign intelligence sources. Although Israel has not publically claimed responsibility for the strike, The Wall Street Journal also claimed on Sunday morning that Israel and Mossad - the national intelligence agency of Israel - were behind it, citing US officials. Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian criticised the drone attack as "cowardly" and aimed at creating "insecurity" in the country.
patrickn97 Mon, 01/30/2023 - 12:54 Terrorist attack against Azerbaijani Embassy in Tehran
At least one security officer was killed and two others injured when a man armed with a Kalashnikov attacked the Azerbaijani Embassy in the Iranian capital, Tehran. The incident happened on Friday morning as the man tried to force his way into the diplomatic mission. Azerbaijan has strongly condemned the attack and criticised Tehran for not protecting its diplomatic mission. The Iranian Ambassador was summoned to the Azerbaijani foreign ministry in Baku and told that the attack was the consequence of a systematic anti-Azerbaijan campaign. There have been outbursts of anti-Azerbaijani sentiment in some sections of the Iranian media which appear to have the blessing of at least some elements of the Iranian regime. There has been widespread condemnation of the attack by the international community, including the EU, the US and many European and Middle East governments.  commonspace.eu political editor said in a comment that the attack on the Azerbaijani embassy in Tehran is the latest in a series of unfriendly or hostile acts towards Azerbaijan originating from Tehran that seem to be encouraged by at least some elements of the Iranian Shia clerical regime.
dennis2020 Fri, 01/27/2023 - 13:27

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Iran summons senior Ukrainian diplomat over drone strike comments
Iran has summoned the Ukrainian chargé d'affairs in Tehran over comments made by a senior Ukrainian official about a suspected Israeli drone strike on an Iranian military facility late in Isfahan on Saturday (28 January). According to Iran's defence ministry, three drones were involved in the attack about 23:30 local time on Saturday night on what Iran's official Irna news agency called "an ammunition manufacturing plant". Some reports have suggested that the facility in question was connected to the production of missiles, however. The Iranian defence ministry said it had foiled the attack, with the facility suffering only "minor roof damage". The Jerusalem Post on the other hand reported on Sunday morning that the attack had been a "phenomenal success", citing Western and foreign intelligence sources. Although Israel has not publically claimed responsibility for the strike, The Wall Street Journal also claimed on Sunday morning that Israel and Mossad - the national intelligence agency of Israel - were behind it, citing US officials. Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian criticised the drone attack as "cowardly" and aimed at creating "insecurity" in the country.
patrickn97 Mon, 01/30/2023 - 12:54
Terrorist attack against Azerbaijani Embassy in Tehran
At least one security officer was killed and two others injured when a man armed with a Kalashnikov attacked the Azerbaijani Embassy in the Iranian capital, Tehran. The incident happened on Friday morning as the man tried to force his way into the diplomatic mission. Azerbaijan has strongly condemned the attack and criticised Tehran for not protecting its diplomatic mission. The Iranian Ambassador was summoned to the Azerbaijani foreign ministry in Baku and told that the attack was the consequence of a systematic anti-Azerbaijan campaign. There have been outbursts of anti-Azerbaijani sentiment in some sections of the Iranian media which appear to have the blessing of at least some elements of the Iranian regime. There has been widespread condemnation of the attack by the international community, including the EU, the US and many European and Middle East governments.  commonspace.eu political editor said in a comment that the attack on the Azerbaijani embassy in Tehran is the latest in a series of unfriendly or hostile acts towards Azerbaijan originating from Tehran that seem to be encouraged by at least some elements of the Iranian Shia clerical regime.
dennis2020 Fri, 01/27/2023 - 13:27
Repression and executions continue in Iran as regime struggles to contain protests
Iran's clerical dictatorship has unleashed another wave of repression and executions in an effort to contain protests that continue unabbetted across the country. Four men, including two on Saturday, have been executed for killing and wounding security force members in connection with the protests. Twenty-six further prisoners are currently awaiting execution. They were sentenced to death in show trials meant to intimidate the population and put an end to the protests. At least 11 people have been sentenced to death, and another 15 have been accused of crimes that are punishable by death in Iran — including waging "war against God". Writer and illustrator Mehdi Bahman is among them. He was sentenced to death by a court in Tehran after giving an interview with Israeli media. Iran’s judiciary announced on Sunday four people had been jailed for up to 10 years for calling for strikes in support of ongoing nationwide protests against the regime. It is the first time the judiciary has announced prison sentences for such an act during demonstrations triggered by the death of Mahsa Amini at the hands of the morality police in September. Activists used social media early last month to call for a three-day nationwide strike in support of the protesters. 
dennis2020 Mon, 01/09/2023 - 08:17
UN Security Council denounces Taliban restrictions on women in Afghanistan
The UN Security Council on Tuesday called for the full, equal and meaningful participation of women and girls in Afghanistan, denouncing a ban by the Taliban-led administration on women attending universities or working for humanitarian aid groups. In the latest blow to women’s rights in Afghanistan since the Taliban reclaimed power last year, on Saturday the hard-line Islamist rulers banned women from working in non-governmental organizations, sparking international outcry. The Taliban have already suspended university education for women and secondary schooling for girls. The 15-member UN Security Council said in a statement agreed by consensus it was “deeply alarmed” by the increasing restrictions on women’s education, calling for “the full, equal, and meaningful participation of women and girls in Afghanistan. It urged the Taliban “to reopen schools and swiftly reverse these policies and practices, which represents an increasing erosion for the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms. In its statement, the Council also condemned the ban on women working for NGOs, adding to warnings of the detrimental impact on aid operations in a country where millions rely on them.
dennis2020 Wed, 12/28/2022 - 09:43
Taliban publicly flog 30 persons in two Afghan provinces
On Monday (19 December), 30 people were publicly flogged in two different provinces in Afghanistan as Taliban's head Hibatullah Akhundzada ordered all Afghan judges to strictly comply with Islamic sharia law. In the province of Jowzjan, 22 people were flogged publicly for drug dealing and theft, according to a report from the Russian news agency Sputnik. The public flogging took place following an order from the chief judge of the Jowzjan province, Abdul Wahab Zahid. Meanwhile, in the province of Kapisa, eight people were flogged for theft and drinking. On 14th December, 20 people were lashed in the Helmand province.  Hibatullah Akhundzada is a senior Taliban leader who was appointed as the group's leader after the death of Mullah Omar in 2015. He is a cleric and a former member of the Taliban's governing council, and is believed to be in his 60s. Akhundzada has been involved with the Taliban for many years and is known for his hardline stance. On 24th November, Taliban conducted its first public flogging in a football stadium since the 90s. “Fourteen people, including three women were lashed in the presence of scholars, authorities and people… for different sins including adultery, robbery and other forms of corruption in a football stadium in Logar [province],” read a statement from Taliban's Supreme Court.
dennis2020 Mon, 12/19/2022 - 16:05
Did Russia give Iran the technology for a hypersonic ballistic missile?
Iran has announced that it has developed a hypersonic ballistic missile Iran’s Fars news agency quoted the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Aerospace Commander Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh as saying on Thursday (10 November) that the country has manufactured a hypersonic ballistic missile with advanced technologies that can penetrate all types of advanced air defence systems. Speaking to reporters Brig. Gen. Hajizadeh said “The missile can target the enemy’s anti-missile systems and is a great generational leap in the missile field”. “I don’t think any technology would be found for tens of years capable of countering it,” the IRGC commander declared. The announcement appears to have taken defence analysts by surprise, and concern has been expressed in different quarters Hypersonic missiles can deliver nuclear weapons in the same way as traditional ballistic missiles, but they can fly at more than five times the speed of sound and are highly maneuverable, making them impossible to track and defend against. Unlike ballistic missiles, hypersonic missiles fly on a low trajectory in the atmosphere, and are able to reach targets more quickly. Several countries have developed systems designed to defend against cruise and ballistic missiles, but the ability to track and take down a hypersonic missile remains elusive. Iran’s claim to have developed such a missile raises the question of where Tehran obtained the technology.
dennis2020 Fri, 11/11/2022 - 07:08
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks out for the first time on Iran protests

As Iran heads into the fourth week of massive nationwide anti-government protests, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has spoken out for the first time since mid-September, blaming the United States and Israel for the unrest.

patrickn97 Tue, 10/04/2022 - 18:57
Iran nuclear deal continues to be elusive

The United States has said it will not be rushed into a nuclear deal with Iran

Iran’s latest moves were a step backwards and Washington would not rush to rejoin the JCPOA agreement at any cost, US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken said on Friday.

EU mediators last month appeared to make progress in restoring the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) after Iran largely agreed to a proposed final text. Diplomats in Brussels sounded moderately optimistic in recent pronouncements.

dennis2020 Sat, 09/10/2022 - 08:11
Albania cuts diplomatic relations with Iran accusing it of a massive cyberattack
Albania broke diplomatic relations with Iran on Wednesday. Announcing the decision, Prime Minister Edi Rama said Iran had launched a massive cyberattack against the country during the summer. “The Council of Ministers has decided on the severance of diplomatic relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran with immediate effect,” he said. The prime minister accused Iran of targeting the computer networks of Albanian institutions on July 15 in an attempt to “paralyze public services and hack data and electronic communications from the government systems.” He said: “The said attack failed its purpose. Damages may be considered minimal compared to the goals of the aggressor. All systems came back fully operational and there was no irreversible wiping of data.” He added that Iranian diplomats and support staff would be given 24 hours to leave the country.
dennis2020 Thu, 09/08/2022 - 06:57