in Iraq


Shi'ite Cleric Al-Sadr's Coalition Leads in Iraq Poll

Voice of America - Sun, 05/13/2018 - 20:36
Hundreds of supporters of Shi’ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr took to the streets of Baghdad Sunday night, celebrating the announcement of partial results of Iraq's parliamentary elections. Iraq's electoral commission announced that al-Sadr’s coalition is the current front-runner in national elections, with official results in from just over half of the country's provinces. Al-Sadr himself did not run in the election, but he holds sway over a coalition ticket that won by a large...
Categories: Iraq

Erdogan Arrives in UK Before Meetings with Queen, PM

Voice of America - Sun, 05/13/2018 - 17:33
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has arrived in Britain two days before meetings with Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Minister Theresa May. Before leaving Istanbul for London on Sunday, Erdogan called the U.K. a "strategic partner and ally" and said he would be discussing bilateral, regional and international issues with May on Tuesday. They include the latest developments in Cyprus, where Turkey and Britain act as guarantors, and a "joint action plan" in the Middle...
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For Palestinians, US Embassy Move A Show of Pro-Israel Bias

Voice of America - Sun, 05/13/2018 - 15:18
Monday's opening of the U.S. Embassy in contested Jerusalem, cheered by Israelis as a historic validation, is seen by Palestinians as an in-your-face affirmation of pro-Israel bias by President Donald Trump and a new blow to dreams of statehood. The festive inauguration helps harden Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' rejection of Washington as a future mediator in the conflict with Israel, likely ushering in a prolonged period of diplomatic vacuum in which other powers are...
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Rouhani Says Iran May Remain Part of Nuclear Accord

Voice of America - Sun, 05/13/2018 - 14:31
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani reiterated on Sunday that Tehran would remain committed to its 2015 nuclear deal if its interests can be protected and said the U.S. withdrawal from the accord was a "violation of morals." "The U.S. withdrawal ... is a violation of morals, the correct way to carry out politics and diplomacy and against international regulations," Rouhani during a meeting with visiting Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena. "If the remaining...
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Iran Sentences 8 to Die for Islamic State Attack

Voice of America - Sun, 05/13/2018 - 11:15
An Iranian court on Sunday sentenced eight men to death over attacks that killed 18 people at the parliament and Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s mausoleum last year, in the first deadly operation by Islamic State in the country. The sentence, issued by a Revolutionary Court after a seven-session hearing, can be appealed in Iran’s Supreme Court, Musa Ghazanfarabadi, head of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court, told state television.  Ghazanfarabadi said courts will hear claims later filed...
Categories: Iraq

Smuggled Iraqi Artifacts Are Returned Home

Voice of America - Sun, 05/13/2018 - 08:50
More than 4,000 ancient Iraqi artifacts that were smuggled into the United States almost a decade ago are going home. They were brought into the country illegally by the arts and crafts store chain Hobby Lobby. In July 2017, the Department of Justice brought a civil complaint against the store, and Hobby Lobby agreed to pay a $3 million fine and to return the artifacts to Iraqi authorities. Sandzhar Khamidov has the story, narrated by Anna Rice.
Categories: Iraq

US Opening Jerusalem Embassy on Territorial Anomaly 

Voice of America - Sun, 05/13/2018 - 08:06
The Jerusalem no man’s land where the U.S. says part of its new embassy to Israel will be located is a territorial quirk of the Arab-Israeli conflict, a quirk that originated at the start of hostilities in 1948. The U.S. will inaugurate the embassy Monday in an existing consular complex at the southwestern corner of a no man’s land that appears as a five-sided box on contemporary U.S. government and Google maps of Jerusalem. That zone first appeared on a map in a much smaller form in...
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21 Fare Hike Protesters Arrested in Egypt

Voice of America - Sun, 05/13/2018 - 02:21
Egyptian police arrested 21 people for taking part in rare protests against the government's surprise decision to hike fares on Cairo's subway as part of austerity measures meant to overhaul the economy, officials said Saturday. The arrests, mostly at Helwan metro station on the southern outskirts of Cairo, took place two days after the government announced the second round of subway fare hikes since March 2017. The hikes were by up to 250 percent, raising fares from 2 to up...
Categories: Iraq

Iraqis Head to Polls

Voice of America - Sat, 05/12/2018 - 22:19
Iraqi citizens voted for members of a new parliament, May 12, 2018. It was the first such election since Islamic State militants were driven out of the cities, towns and villages inhabited by millions of people.
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Israel Closes Border Crossing After Palestinian Protesters Break In

Voice of America - Sat, 05/12/2018 - 19:46
Israel has closed a border crossing with Gaza a day after it was damaged during Palestinian protests. The military said dozens of Palestinians on Friday broke into the Kerem Shalom terminal and set a gas pipeline alight. The blaze damaged the pipeline and a conveyor belt that transfers goods in and out of the territory. Israel said the crossing will remain closed until the damage is repaired and the situation assessed. Meanwhile, it is expected to be open for only humanitarian cases,...
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Iraqis Vote in First Election Since Victory Over IS

Voice of America - Sat, 05/12/2018 - 18:12
Dressed for the occasion in flowing gowns and a traditional suit, Payman Salih, her husband and four of her daughters waited outside a polling station in Iraq for a final family member to cast their ballot. For the first time since Islamic State militants were driven out last year of the cities, towns and villages inhabited by millions of people, citizens are voting for a new parliament — and ultimately a new government. "We want freedom and a peaceful life away from militant...
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Dinner Diplomacy: Netanyahu’s Unusual Run-in With UAE Envoy

Voice of America - Sat, 05/12/2018 - 17:05
Officially, their governments don’t speak. The United Arab Emirates doesn’t even formally recognize that Israel exists. But an impromptu bit of dinner diplomacy between Israel’s prime minister and a prominent Emirati ambassador sheds light on one of the worst kept secrets in the Arab world: the quiet ties between Israel and some of its Arab neighbors that are increasingly coming out in the open as they find common cause against mutual foe Iran. The venue back in March was Cafe Milano,...
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Joy, Outrage as US Embassy Set to Open in Jerusalem

Voice of America - Sat, 05/12/2018 - 12:50
With the opening Monday of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, the region is bracing for both celebrations and unrest. The United States plans to host about 800 guests at an opening ceremony of its embassy. U.S. President Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, will be on hand, while Trump addresses the ceremony via video, reaffirming his December 2017 decision to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv. "I have determined that it is time to officially...
Categories: Iraq

Joy and Outrage as US Embassy Set to Open in Jerusalem

Voice of America - Sat, 05/12/2018 - 12:40
With the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem on Monday, the region is bracing for both celebrations and unrest. Experts say President Donald Trump's decision to relocate the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv amounts to U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, a decision that has drawn praise from Israelis and angered Palestinians. VOA's Diplomatic Correspondent Cindy Saine reports from the State Department on Monday's ceremony.
Categories: Iraq

Low Turnout in First Vote for Iraqis Since Victory Over IS

Voice of America - Sat, 05/12/2018 - 08:59
Low turnout and voting irregularities marked the initial hours of voting Saturday in Iraq’s first elections since the country declared victory over the Islamic State group. Voting began early Saturday morning in a contest that has no clear front-runner after weeks of official campaigning. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is facing stiff competition from political parties with closer ties to Iran. After hours of reports of low turnout in Baghdad, al-Abadi partially lifted a security...
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Iranian Teachers Jailed, Shackled After Peaceful Protest

Voice of America - Sat, 05/12/2018 - 04:12
Iranian human rights activists say several teachers arrested for staging a protest in Tehran have been sent to the city's Evin prison, known for its jailing of political dissidents under harsh conditions. The activists said the teachers were jailed at Evin after participating in a peaceful demonstration Thursday outside the Iranian government's planning and budget office building in Tehran. That rally was one of at least 30 held across Iran by the Coordinating Council of Iranian...
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Israel-Iran Tension Reaches Unprecedented Level

Voice of America - Sat, 05/12/2018 - 03:43
In the escalating confrontation between Israel and Iran, Israel's defense minister called on Syria's President Bashar al-Assad on Friday to rid his country of Iranian forces based there, warning their presence would only cause more trouble for the war-ravaged country.  Avigdor Lieberman's comments were followed by threats from an Iranian cleric that Tel Aviv or Haifa would be in danger if Israel did "anything foolish."  The war of words followed the...
Categories: Iraq

One Dead, 49 Injured as Israel Fires on Palestinian Protesters

Voice of America - Fri, 05/11/2018 - 23:27
The Gaza Health Ministry says one Palestinian was killed and 49 were injured Friday when members of the Israeli army fired on protesters near the border fence with Israel and the Gazan city of Khan Younis. In a statement Friday, the Israeli Defense Forces said about 5,000 Palestinians took part in the protests, most of which it said were peaceful. IDF said it only targets protesters who threaten the border. Protests at the border have been taking place for weeks over the...
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Top Diplomats From Britain, France, Germany to Discuss Iran Deal

Voice of America - Fri, 05/11/2018 - 22:13
European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini is expected to host a meeting Tuesday with the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany in Brussels to discuss the future of the Iran nuclear deal, now that U.S. President Donald Trump has announced the United States is pulling out of the deal. The EU's External Action Service made the statement Friday, adding that Iran's foreign minister Javad Zarif also is expected to meet with the three foreign ministers and...
Categories: Iraq

Rebuilding, Returning, Renegotiating: Iraq's Diverse Election Wishes

Voice of America - Fri, 05/11/2018 - 21:17
Many areas that Islamic State militants once controlled in Iraq look like Mosul's old city. It was once the heart of the militants' de facto capital in Iraq. Now, it is broken and mostly abandoned and bodies still decay where they landed. Voters here say they are disillusioned, as they try to rebuild with whatever money they can scrape together. "Look at how bad things are around here," said Saad Dowed, a taxi driver and father of four in old Mosul. Across the street...
Categories: Iraq