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US aiding and abetting Saudi crimes in Yemen: Iran

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Tehran : Addressing the families of Iranian martyrs in a meeting in Tehran , Ayatollah Khamenei pointed out the Saudi regime’s failures in the war it has been waging against Yemen with Washington’s support.

The Leader said the Saudis have extended a hand of friendship to the enemies of Islam.

“They (the Saudis) thought they would gain control [of Yemen] in a matter of days or weeks. [But] the farther they go, the harder they will fall down and the more stinging will be the blow that they will receive,” the Leader noted.

 

Elsewhere in his remarks, Ayatollah Khamenei pointed to Washington’s long-running enmity towards the Iranian nation.

“If you want to know America’s true face, look at its current president and statesmen because they have vividly and openly laid bare the ugly and hateful face that is typical of American statesmen,” the Leader said.

Ayatollah Khamenei urged the Iranian nation and authorities to remember that the US will never stop plotting against the country, emphasizing that the Israeli regime and the reactionary regional states are in cahoots with Washington in its hostile agenda against the Islamic Republic.

The Leader, however, asserted, “Of course, we are stronger. They have not managed to do anything so far, and will never be able to do a damn thing either.”

Over the past years, the Leader said, the US has consistently sought, but failed, to restore the domination it enjoyed over Iran prior to the 1979 Islamic Revolution, and to bring the country under its tutelage similar to certain weak regional states, which Washington has branded as its “milk cows.”

The leader further underlined Washington’s stepped-up campaign against Iran over the past two years, saying the Americans sought to increase pressure on the country through sanctions and measures to disrupt its national security with the aim of creating division and conflict among various groups.

“They were planning to lead some to the streets and had even referred to it as ‘the hot summer.’ To the enemies’ dismay, [however], this past summer was one of the best ever,” the Leader noted.

The Leader dismissed claims by certain US officials that the Islamic Revolution will not get to celebrate its anniversary in 2019, stressing, “The Iranian nation is standing in all strength and will, by divine grace, celebrate the 40th anniversary of the revolution in far greater splendor this year.”

The Leader said by dubbing the US “the Great Satan,” the late founder of the Islamic Republic, Imam Khomeini, united the world’s monotheists and fair-minded nations against Washington.


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Peace talks with Taliban will happen soon: US

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KABUL: The US special envoy for peace in Afghanistan said talks with the Taliban will “happen very soon” but if the insurgents continue to fight, then American forces would support Afghan forces in the war.

Talks between the Taliban and American officials have hit a roadblock after the hardline militants cancelled the fourth round of peace talks last week and rejected the involvement of the Afghan government in the dialogue.

The Taliban threatened to pull out of the peace process with the United States if they diverted from the issue of foreign force withdrawal from Afghanistan, a key demand of the insurgents to end the 17-year war.

 

The Taliban’s warning came hours after Zalmay Khalilzad landed in Afghanistan after meeting officials from India, China and the United Arab Emirates to discuss the peace process. “If the Taliban want to talk, we can talk. If they want to fight, we can fight,” Khalilzad told journalists in Kabul.

The White House has said President Donald Trump had not issued orders to the Pentagon to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, but the White House has not denied reports that the United States plans to pull out some of the 14,000-strong force currently deployed.

Khalilzad said: “We hope that they [Taliban] want to make peace. But if they do not choose to come to the table, if they choose to continue fighting, the United States will stand with the Afghan people and the Afghan government and support them.”

Speaking about the next date for a meeting with the Taliban, he said: “We are hopeful it will happen very soon. That’s what we’re working towards.” “What we want is to see this conflict end through negotiation, to continue our partnership with Afghanistan and to ensure no terrorist threatens either of us,” Khalilzad told reporters.

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UN approves mission to shore up Yemen truce

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UNITED NATIONS: The United Nations Security Council unanimously approved the deployment to Yemen of up to 75 monitors in a new mission to shore up a fragile ceasefire and oversee a pullback of forces from the flashpoint port of Hodeida.

The observer mission was agreed during talks last month in Sweden between the Saudi-backed government and Houthi rebels and an advance team is already on the ground in the rebel-held city.

The unarmed monitors will be sent to Hodeida city and port as well as to the ports of Saleef and Ras Issa for an initial period of six months.

 

The resolution calls on UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to “expeditiously” deploy the United Nations Mission to support the Hodeida Agreement (UNMHA), led by retired Dutch General Patrick Cammaert.

Guterres has described the mission as a “nimble presence” that will report on violations in Hodeida, which for months was the front line in the war after pro-government forces launched an offensive to capture it in June.

Human Rights Watch warned of a tough road ahead and urged the council to keep the pressure on the warring sides.

“The countdown for exchanging prisoners is fast approaching, but the parties have missed deadlines, putting the prisoner swap in jeopardy,” said Louis Charbonneau, HRW’s UN director.

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Lift travel ban on opposition leaders: Pak SC asks Imran Khan govt

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Islamabad: Pakistan’s Supreme Court Thursday ordered the government led by Prime Minister Imran Khan to lift the travel ban imposed on opposition leader Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and the Sindh Chief Minister, and asked the country’s anti-corruption body to probe their involvement in Rs 35 billion ‘fake accounts case’.

As many as 172 suspects were placed on the Exit Control List (ECL) on the recommendations of a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) formed by the apex court.

A person cannot fly abroad if his name is placed on the ECL.

 

The Supreme Court, in a detailed judgement, ordered the government to remove the names of opposition Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal and Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah from the ECL.

It, however, referred the report and material collected by the JIT in the Rs 35 billion ‘fake accounts case’ to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Dawn news reported.

The JIT probe focused on “32 fake accounts” which were allegedly used to give massive financial benefits to former president Asif Ali Zardari, his sister Faryal Talpur and several others.

“Removing of the names will not prevent (the) NAB to probe and in case sufficient material is found connecting these individuals with cognisable offences, it will not be precluded from making an appropriate request to the federal government to place their names on (the) ECL again or take any appropriate action provided by law,” according to the judgement authored by Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan.

The apex court in its earlier instructions asked the government to delete names of Bilawal and Shah from the ECL but the Cabinet waited for the detailed judgment.

After the judgement, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said the government will decide whether it should implement the court orders or file a review petition.

Justice Ahsan was part of the three-judge bench that last year took a suo-motu cognisance after it emerged that several big names were involved in money laundering through fake accounts.

Currently, a Karachi court is hearing the case against Zardari and Talpur for alleged money laundering.

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