in Iraq


Hundreds Protest Currency Slump in Central Iran's Isfahan

Voice of America - Wed, 08/01/2018 - 01:55
Hundreds of Iranians joined a street protest Tuesday in the central city of Isfahan to denounce the government's handling of economic problems, including the record low value of Iran's currency. Images verified by VOA Persian and sent by Isfahan residents showed protesters marching and chanting anti-government slogans in the city's New Shapur district. Residents said they were protesting the rial's slump to a record low against the U.S. dollar in unofficial trading this...
Categories: Iraq

Yemen's Houthis Halt Red Sea Attacks for Two Weeks

Voice of America - Wed, 08/01/2018 - 01:07
Yemen's Houthi group said Tuesday that it would unilaterally halt attacks in the Red Sea for two weeks to support peace efforts, days after Saudi Arabia suspended oil exports through a strategic Red Sea channel following attacks on crude tankers last week. Yemen — where a Saudi-led coalition has been battling the Iranian-aligned Houthi movement in a three-year-old war — lies on one of the world's most important trade routes for oil tankers, the Bab al-Mandeb...
Categories: Iraq

Flurry of Syrian Death Notices Shows Fate of Government Detainees

Voice of America - Wed, 08/01/2018 - 00:53
For six years Amina al-Khoulani hoped her brothers Majd and Abdelsattar were alive, albeit cut off in a Syrian government prison after their arrest early in Syria’s war. But last week, newly published state records obtained by relatives told her the men died back in 2013, just weeks after the family last saw them through a metal fence during a visit to the Sednaya military jail near Damascus. “We used to hear a lot of reports that they had been executed. We know that the regime is...
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Amal Clooney Scholarship Winner Aims to Fight Child Marriage and Rape

Voice of America - Tue, 07/31/2018 - 22:58
The 16-year-old winner of the annual Amal Clooney Scholarship said on Tuesday that she wants to combat child marriage and marital rape in Lebanon, where there is no minimum age to wed. Kamar Omary will head to Armenia's UWC Dilijan College in August to enroll in its two-year international baccalaureate program — the fourth Lebanese teenager to receive the award set up by the prominent Lebanese-British human rights lawyer. "We need a minimum age for marriage and marital rape...
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World Bank Warns Some Lebanon Projects Might Be Cancelled

Voice of America - Tue, 07/31/2018 - 22:46
A senior World Bank official said Tuesday that the Lebanese economy is “not doing great” and urged the country’s leaders to approve some $1.1 billion worth of projects put forward by the international lender, saying otherwise they could be cancelled.  Ferid Belhaj, the bank’s vice president for the Middle East and North Africa, told reporters in Beirut that the economy is “in a state of fragility.” Lebanon’s economy has suffered from the seven-year civil war in neighboring Syria,...
Categories: Iraq

Syrian Envoy Rails Against Turkish Presence in North 

Voice of America - Tue, 07/31/2018 - 22:06
Syria’s envoy to the United Nations on Tuesday railed against Turkey’s growing influence in the north, calling it an “occupation” and vowing to “expel” its troops.  Turkey, a main backer of Syria’s opposition, has sent troops into northern Syria to battle the Islamic State group and Kurdish militants. It has also deployed troops in the opposition stronghold of Idlib as part of a de-escalation agreement with Iran and Russia, both of which are close allies of the...
Categories: Iraq

No Plans for US-Iran Talks at Asian Meeting

Voice of America - Tue, 07/31/2018 - 19:54
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has no intention of meeting his Iranian counterpart at an international gathering this weekend in Singapore, even as President Donald Trump says he is willing to talk with Tehran about its nuclear weapons development program. The top U.S. diplomat and Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif are both attending Saturday's meeting of the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations. But a senior U.S. State Department official said Tuesday...
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UN Condemns Civilian Hostage Taking by Islamic State in Syria

Voice of America - Tue, 07/31/2018 - 16:40
The U.N. human rights office is condemning multiple attacks by Islamic State militants against civilians last week, which reportedly killed and injured more than 200 people in the city of Sweida in southwest Syria. The U.N. agency reports scores of Islamic State militants went on a rampage, raiding homes in at least eight villages in rural Sweida, shooting and killing civilians and abducting women and children in their homes. Human rights spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani says her agency...
Categories: Iraq

Israel Jails Arab Poet for Online 'Incitement to Terrorism'

Voice of America - Tue, 07/31/2018 - 16:06
An Israeli court jailed an Israeli Arab poet for five months on Tuesday after convicting her of incitement to terrorism for a poem and remarks she posted on social media during a wave of Palestinian street attacks. Dareen Tatour, 36, posted on Facebook and YouTube a video of herself reading out her poem “Resist, My People, Resist”, as a soundtrack to footage of masked Palestinian youths throwing stones and firebombs at Israeli soldiers. Tatour published her poem in October 2015 during...
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Tehran: Trump Wrong to Expect Saudis to Cover Loss of Iran Oil Supply

Voice of America - Tue, 07/31/2018 - 14:13
Iran said on Tuesday U.S. President Donald Trump was mistaken to expect Saudi Arabia and other oil producers to compensate for supply losses caused by U.S. sanctions on Iran, after OPEC production rose only modestly in July. The comments, from Iran's OPEC governor, came a day after a Reuters survey showed OPEC production rose by 70,000 barrels per day in July. Saudi production increased but was offset by a decline in Iranian supply due to the restart of U.S. sanctions, the survey...
Categories: Iraq

Iran Wary of Trump Offer for Talks, But Not Ruling Them Out

Voice of America - Tue, 07/31/2018 - 11:40
Iran reacted skeptically Tuesday to President Donald Trump saying that he's willing to negotiate with his Iranian counterpart "anytime," but top officials did not reject a sit-down out of hand.   Ali Akbar Nategh Nouri, a senior cleric and member of the influential Expediency Council, said Trump's suggestion Monday that he would be willing to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani should not be categorically rejected.   "It should be discussed in the...
Categories: Iraq

Trump: Would Meet Iran's Leaders With 'No Preconditions'

Voice of America - Tue, 07/31/2018 - 08:53
President Donald Trump says he is willing to meet with Iran's leaders with "no preconditions" and "any time they want." But at a news conference Monday, he also said Iran's "brutal regime" must never be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons. Last week, Trump exchanged heated rhetoric with Tehran, warning the Iranian president to "never, ever" threaten the United States again. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports.
Categories: Iraq

Iran's Protesting Railway Workers Get Pledges of Help But No Salaries  

Voice of America - Tue, 07/31/2018 - 02:15
An Iranian news agency says railway workers protesting unpaid salaries in northwestern Iran have received pledges of assistance from local authorities but no apparent timeline for getting their wages.  The state-run Iranian Labor News Agency (ILNA) said the governor of the city of Tabriz met with the protesting railway workers at his office on Monday and promised to address their concerns. ILNA said a group of contractors for a railway development company had spent the previous night...
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Italy's PM Plans to Organize Conference on Stabilizing Libya

Voice of America - Tue, 07/31/2018 - 01:55
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Monday he was organizing a conference to look for ways to stabilize Libya, a main departure point for migrants from North Africa trying to reach Europe. "In agreement with President (Donald) Trump, I'm going to organize a conference on Libya," Conte told reporters at the White House after meeting with the U.S. president. "We would like to deal (with) and discuss all of the issues related to the Libyan people, involving...
Categories: Iraq

Syrian Government Forces and Allies Close to Capturing Entire Southwest

Voice of America - Tue, 07/31/2018 - 01:14
Government forces are on the brink of seizing the last part of southwestern Syria still in rebel hands, having taken control of the border with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, a war monitor and a media outlet close to Damascus said Monday. A military media unit run by Iran-backed Hezbollah, which fights alongside Damascus, said the Syrian army had secured the entire border with the Golan Heights. Advancing government forces have seized all but a few villages held by an Islamic...
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Trump Says Ready to Talk Directly with Iran’s President

Voice of America - Tue, 07/31/2018 - 00:50
U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday made his most explicit statement yet that he is open to direct talks with Iran. Trump, in the White House East Room during a joint news conference with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, was asked by a reporter if he would be willing to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. “I believe in meeting,” Trump responded. “Speaking to other people, especially when you’re talking about potentials of war and death and famine and lots of other...
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Lawyer: US Pastor Appeals for Release, Lifting of Travel Ban

Voice of America - Mon, 07/30/2018 - 19:05
A Christian American pastor standing trial in Turkey on terrorism charges has appealed to a Turkish court to release him from house arrest and lift his travel ban, his lawyer told Reuters on Monday. Relations between Turkey and the United States have spiraled into a full-blown crisis over the trial of pastor Andrew Brunson, who was in custody for 21 months in a Turkish prison until he was transferred to house arrest last week. President Donald Trump last week threatened to impose...
Categories: Iraq

Iran Currency Hits New Lows Before New US Sanctions Take Effect

Voice of America - Mon, 07/30/2018 - 18:42
Iran's currency hit new lows with just less than a week before new U.S. economic sanctions are due to take effect on August 4, despite the appointment of a new central bank governor and a new economic team. Arab and Iranian media reported the Iranian rial hit a new low of 111,000 to the U.S. dollar on Sunday in unofficial trading, a bad omen for newly appointed Central Bank head Abdolnasser Hemmati. Vice President Ishaq Jahangiri announced the new economic team Sunday as the newly...
Categories: Iraq

Syrian Forces Press Offensive Despite IS Threats to Hostages

Voice of America - Mon, 07/30/2018 - 16:35
 Syrian government forces pressed ahead with their offensive in the country's south on Monday despite threats by the Islamic State group to kill civilians it recently captured there.   Syrian state TV and the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition-linked war monitoring group, both reported government attacks on the Yarmouk basin region in southern Syria.   The area is controlled by a group linked to IS that has been in retreat in recent weeks...
Categories: Iraq

Meet Trump’s Envoy-at-Large: Benjamin Netanyahu

Voice of America - Mon, 07/30/2018 - 11:53
A couple of years ago Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was shunned by the White House. During a conversation believed to be off-record with French President Nicolas Sarkozy at the 2011 G-20 summit, President Barack Obama didn't disagree when Sarkozy called Netanyahu a "liar." And on the occasions Obama and Netanyahu did meet, the strained body language paid testimony to the mutual hostility. The two clashed over the peace process, Netanyahu’s Jewish settlements...
Categories: Iraq