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Iran’s Mahan Air cancels Paris flights over ‘sanctions’

A plane from the Iranian private airline, Mahan Air. (AP) March 21, 2019 Iran’s Mahan Air has been forced to cancel its Paris flights over “sanctions”, its customer services team said Tuesday weeks after Germany banned the airline. “We have been told that (flights to France) have been cancelled... as of the first [...]

By |March 21st, 2019|Europe|

Tehran launches STFI mechanism to dodge US sanctions

A general view of the Central Bank of Iran building in Tehran, Iran. (REUTERS) March 20, 2019 Tehran announced this week that the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) has launched a mechanism similar to the EU’s Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX) trade channel, to be called the Special Trade and Finance Institute (STFI), to circumvent US [...]

By |March 20th, 2019|Europe, North America, USA|

Pompeo on Middle East tour to counter Iran, boost Netanyahu

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. (AP) March 20, 2019 Top US diplomat Mike Pompeo sought Wednesday to bolster a united front against Iran during a Middle East tour that will include talks with key ally Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ahead of Israeli elections. The US secretary of state kicked off his regional [...]

By |March 20th, 2019|Middle East, North America, USA|

Rouhani promises wage increases as high inflation persists

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. (Reuters) March 20, 2019 Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has promised a 20 percent increase in public sector employee salaries beginning in the new year, which starts March 21, according to the Persian calendar. The announcement comes as a surprise, since earlier in the month Rouhani’s government had said it [...]

By |March 20th, 2019|Iran|

Iran’s woes briefly go up in smoke during fire festival

Iranians light fireworks during a celebration, known as "Chaharshanbe Souri," or Wednesday Feast, marking the eve of the last Wednesday of the solar Persian year, Tuesday, March 19, 2019. (AP) March 20, 2019 Iran's many woes briefly went up in smoke as Iranians observed a nearly 4,000-year-old Persian tradition known as the Festival [...]

By |March 20th, 2019|Iran, Uncategorised|

U.S. extends waiver to allow Iraq to buy Iranian energy supplies

Washington is continuing to work with Iraq to end its dependence on Iranian gas and electricity and to achieve energy independence. (Supplied) March 20, 2019 The United States is extending a waiver to allow Iraq to continue to buy electricity from Iran, despite sanctions imposed by Washington targeting Tehran’s energy sector. The original [...]

By |March 20th, 2019|Iraq|

Iran and the future of the Afghanistan peace process

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, second left, walks with Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani, left, during his official welcoming ceremony in Tehran, Iran, April 19, 2015. (AP) March 20, 2019 US officials are currently engaged in peace talks aimed at reaching a political settlement with the Taliban, driven by a desire for peace and security [...]

By |March 20th, 2019|Afghanistan|

Iranian media pushes Dutch, Jewish spy conspiracy

Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok. (AFP) March 20, 2019 Iran expelled two Dutch diplomats earlier this month after the Netherlands accused Tehran of involvement in assassinations in the northwestern European nation. Amsterdam also recalled its ambassador for consultations. Now, Iranian media have pushed a complex conspiracy alleging that the Dutch diplomats were spies [...]

By |March 20th, 2019|Europe, Isreal|

Iran BBC reprisals trigger media ouctry

A BBC sign is displayed outside Broadcasting House in London, Britain July 19, 2017. (REUTERS) March 20, 2019 Iran this week faced a media industry outcry over its alleged systematic targeting of BBC Persian Service journalists including the “sexual defamation” of female staff. It follows a move by the European Parliament to back [...]

By |March 20th, 2019|Europe|

U.S. pressures Iraq over embrace of militias linked to Iran

Iraqi Popular Mobilisation Forces militants backed by Iran. (Supplied) By Edward Wong and Eric Schmitt March 20, 2019 The United States’ attempts to isolate Iran, including by punishing Iraqi militias and politicians who are supported by Iranian officials, has deepened tensions not only between Washington and Baghdad but also within the Trump administration. [...]

By |March 20th, 2019|Iraq|