News ID : 154504
Publish Date : 11/4/2023 9:06:40 AM
Newspaper headlines of Iranian English-language dailies on November 4

Newspaper headlines of Iranian English-language dailies on November 4

The following headlines appeared in English-language newspapers in the Iranian capital on Saturday, November 4, 2023.

NOURNEWS- The following headlines appeared in English-language newspapers in the Iranian capital on Saturday, November 4, 2023.


-- Sepahan appealing to CAS after AFC hands 3-0 loss

Persian Gulf Pro League club Sepahan said it will lodge an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) after being handed a 3-0 loss against Saudi side Al Ittihad by the Asian Football Confederation.
Thursday’s ruling came after Sepahan’s home game against Al Ittihad in Group C of the AFC Champions League had been called off minutes before the kickoff on October 3.
The Iranian top-flight side was also fined $200,000 by the AFC Disciplinary and Ethics Committee, while being banned from playing its next three home fixtures in the AFC competitions in Isfahan’s Naqsh-e Jahan Stadium.
According the committee’s verdict, Sepahan “persisted in displaying a military and/or political statue in the area surrounding the field of play, and religious, military and/or political banner(s) in the stadium” which led to the cancelation of the match because of “an unsafe and unstable security environment within the stadium.”
Sepahan “did not act in a politically neutral manner, and caused reputational damage to the AFC, the AFC Champions League competition and the Asian football generally,” the committee’s statement read, adding the Iranian club “failed to comply with and implement existing safety rules,” as required in the AFC Disciplinary and Ethics Code, while its acts “provoked the general public during the match.”
Al Ittihad players refused to take to the pitch against Sepahan and flew back to Saudi Arabia right after departing the Naqsh-e Jahan Stadium, with the club writing on X later that they were informed by the AFC’s organizing official that “the game would not take place on the scheduled date and the team is allowed to leave the venue.”
In a statement on Oct. 2, the Asian football governing body said the match was cancelled “due to unanticipated and unforeseen circumstances,” adding: “The AFC reiterates its commitment towards ensuring the safety and security of the players, match officials, spectators, and all stakeholders involved.”
Several sources, including the Iranian Fars and Tasnim new agencies, reported that the decision to cancel the game was made because of a bust of Iranian Quds Force General Qassem Soleimani, who was assassinated in a US drone strike near the Baghdad airport in January 2020, being placed at the entrance to the pitch.
The result leaves Sepahan third in the group at the Asian elite clubs’ competition – equal on four points with second-placed Iraqi side Air Force Club and five adrift of Al Ittihad.
Back-to-back home fixtures will see Sepahan play Uzbekistan’s AGMK FC and Air Force Club – likely at Tehran’s Azadi Stadium – on Monday and November 27 respectively, before a final-day away game against Al Ittihad on December 4.
The five group winners in the West Zone of the competition will be joined by the best three runners-up in the round of 16, starting February next year.

-- Iranians bag five Asian junior boxing medals

The Iranian junior team collected five medals – including one gold – at the ASBC Asian Youth & Junior Boxing Championships in Astana, Kazakhstan.
The final showdowns across 13 junior weight classes took place on Thursday, where Iran’s Mohammad-Saleh Mesbahi came out on top against the host’s Bekarys Nurmukhan to walk away with the ultimate prize of the men’s welterweight (66kg) contests.
A second final featuring Iranian and Kazakhstani boxers saw Abdolrahman Dara fall to a 3-2 defeat against home-favorite Zhandos Alpysbayev and settle for the middleweight (75kg) silver.
Ashkan Hashemi (60kg), Amir-Mohammad Rostampour (63kg), and Abbas Garshasbi (+80kg) were the other Iranian medalists in Astana, finishing their campaigns with three bronzes after last-four losses in their respective weight classes.
Hashemi was beaten by Uzbekistan’s Sardorbek Saidakbarov in the lightweight semifinal, while Rostmpour’s run came to an end against Akhmadi Arvaz of Kyrgyzstan.
Garshasbi, meanwhile, left the Kazakhstani capital with a consolation bronze following a setback against Indian Hemant Sangwan in the heavyweight class.

-- Afghanistan to move up in Iran’s trading partners: Official

The economic advisor to the Iranian president’s special envoy on Afghanistan affairs said that Afghanistan is set to return to the top of Iran’s list of trading partners.
Mohammad-Mehdi Javanmard Ghassab also announced the upcoming visit of an Afghan political-economic delegation to Iran.
Looking at the statistics released by the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration (IRICA), it can be observed that in recent years, China, Iraq, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Afghanistan have consistently been the largest customers of Iran’s non-oil products.
However, since the Iranian year 1401 (started March 21, 2022) and the establishment of the Taliban interim government, Afghanistan was removed from Iran’s list of the top five export destinations.
IRICA statistics indicate that in the Iranian year 1397 (started March 21, 2018), Afghanistan accounted for 6.6% of Iran’s non-oil exports with total imports of $6.6 billion.
The trend continued in the following years with some notable changes, except in 1398, and Afghanistan remained one of the top five destinations for Iranian goods.
In the year 1401, after the Taliban came to power, this figure almost halved, as the country’s imports from Iran reached the lowest level in recent years at $1.634 billion. As a result, in the list of non-oil product importers from Iran, other countries including India replaced Afghanistan.
The trend changed in 1402 when the Taliban interim government, after overcoming post-establishment crises in Kabul, showed a commitment to strengthen its ties with traditional trading partners, especially its neighbors like Iran.
This change in the economic relations between the two countries is the result of a special focus by Iran’s incumbent government on its neighbors, on one hand, and the attention given by the interim Taliban government to developing its relations with neighboring countries such as Iran, on the other hand.
These efforts have been strengthened by the exchange of economic delegations between Tehran and Kabul.
Exploring new opportunities for cooperation between Iran and Afghanistan and addressing some of the existing obstacles, alongside holding discussions on topics such as transit and mining cooperation, will be on the agenda of the economic delegations in the upcoming meetings.

-- Protocol signed on transport corridor to Europe through Iran

The protocol of China’s transport corridor to Europe through Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran and Turkey has been signed by the ministers and representatives of the member countries of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO).
The signing took place on the sidelines of the first Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) International Transport Forum in Tashkent on Thursday.
The first transport forum of the SCO was held in Uzbekistan, bringing together representatives from the transportation authorities of member countries and over 60 major companies from 15 countries.
Under the protocol, unification of tariffs and transportation procedures and border processes will be implemented among the countries, on the basis of which it is expected that a significant share of China’s transit to Europe will shift to Iran’s East-West transit route.
The financing of infrastructure projects by the Asian Development Bank, completing missing rail and road links, as well as commercializing and strengthening regional corridors, including Islamabad-Tehran-Istanbul, Almaty-Tehran-Istanbul and East-West corridors to connect China to Europe and the Caspian Sea were among the other topics discussed at the forum.
Participants underlined the excellent transport and logistics potentials of the SCO member states in the construction and use of Eurasian transit corridors.
“East-West multimodal transport connectivity can play an important role in the future, as transport becomes increasingly multimodal and new opportunities arise to improve existing and develop new Eurasian transport networks,” Kazakh Deputy Minister of Transport Talgat Lastayev told the forum.
“Our region is a key region connecting Europe and East Asia, as well as an important region for China’s Belt and Road Initiative and Europe’s Global Gateway Initiative,” Lastayev added.
Iran’s Deputy Roads and Urban Development Minister for Transportation Affairs Shahriar Afandizadeh outlined the Islamic Republic’s “Iran-Rah” transportation initiative, saying its implementation will enable all countries in the region to find safe and cheap access to their surrounding geographical areas.
Iran’s special geographical location, being situated along the international corridors of North-South and East-West, which connect West Asia to East Asia and Europe, has provided a special transit status for the country.
Iran’s railway network in the west links with Turkey and Europe; in the northwest, to Azerbaijan; in the north, to the Caspian Sea and Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Russia; in the northeast, to Turkmenistan and Central Asia, Russia and China; in the southeast, to Pakistan, and in the south, to the Persian Gulf and the open waters of the world.
The potential income of Iran’s rail transit from trade exchanges between East Asian countries and Europe through the East-West corridor is estimated at about $1.8 billion, and through the International North-South Transit Corridor, at about $90 million per year.
According to the Islamic Parliament Research Center of Iran, the country’s annual transit capacity is at least 80 million tons, but only 5.3 million tons of goods went through the country in 2020.
Emerging economic powers such as China and India, which are the main parties pursuing the completion of corridors in the region, are trying to arrange multiple routes for their trade.
Even though none of the trade routes in the region can replace those through Iran, parallel routes can reduce the transit benefits of the country.
Therefore, Iran’s delay in securing its share of transit in the region would benefit its competitors and seriously undermine the country’s national interests.

-- Iran to construct wind farms to produce 3,000 MW of electricity

The economic council of the Iranian government approved the construction of 3,000 megawatts of wind power, announced head of Iran’s Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Organization (SATBA) Mahmoud Kamani.
For the past year and a half, models for the construction of wind power plants along with solar power plants have been presented and discussed by the council, Press TV reported.
The electricity generated by the wind parks will be purchased by the Ministry of Energy at a rate of 9.5 cents for each kilowatt of electricity, for a period of four and a half years, after which the owners of the power plants can trade it on the Iran Energy Exchange (IRENEX).
The statute of the self-regulatory commodity exchange stipulates that all energy carriers and energy-based derivatives including oil, gas and electricity shall be listed and traded on one of the IRENEX markets.
The company says its mission is to develop a market in which trade is done under transparency, efficiency and liquidity.
According to Kamani, sites for constructing 40,000 MW of renewable capacity have been identified. In the first phase, tenders will be held for four sites in Khorasan Razavi, South Khorasan, Sistan and Baluchestan, and Zanjan provinces to build wind farms.
In the next phase, tenders will be held in ten other provinces, including Kerman and Semnan, where the necessary appraisals have been completed.
The initial 3,000 MW capacity is estimated to join the national grid in five years since wind power usually takes more time to build than solar power, Kamani said.  
In the past, Iranian officials have said there is a potential to install 30,000 MW of wind power and 10,000 MW of solar power capacity across the country.
Currently, Iran has about 450 MW of wind power installed. It has also a capacity of about 440 MW, represented by solar installations.
Iran is a signatory of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, committing 195 nations to limit their carbon emissions. In its intended nationally determined contribution (INDC) in 2015, Iran committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 4% (unconditional pledge), and up to 12% (conditional on international financial and technical assistance) by 2030, compared to a business-as-usual (BAU) scenario.

-- Major development projects come on stream in Kurdestan

Several major civil and water projects were put into operation on Friday during Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s visit to Kurdestan Province in western Iran.
During the official trip, Saqqez Martyrs Airport, as the largest construction project in Kurdestan Province, and ten major water projects, including two dams were officially inaugurated.
Emphasizing the significance of completing the projects of water and power infrastructure for the country’s development, Raisi highlighted Kurdestan Province’s potential in fields of production, agriculture, tourism, and industry, saying, “completing the necessary infrastructure for the province is among the government’s priorities”.
After 27 years of waiting, the 180-hectare Saqqez Martyrs Airport, as the largest construction project in Kurdestan, officially opened with the landing of the president’s plane on Friday.
The airport will play a crucial role in the puzzle of Kurdestan’s development and increasing its accessibility in various sectors.
The presence of the Baneh Special Economic Zone, the Baneh-Marivan Free Trade Zone, the official recognition of the Siranband cross-border, and finally the proximity of the airport to the Iran-Iraq border are among the reasons for the importance of this major civil project in the province.
During Raisi’s visit to Kurdestan, approximately $4 million were allocated to complete the project, the construction studies of which began in 1996.
The airport has a runway of 2,600 meters and a 450-meter taxiway, a 2,500-square-meter parking area, 1,300 square meters of street lighting, a control tower, inspection assistance devices, and a police building.
Also, with the inauguration of various water and sewage projects in Kurdestan, President Raisi said, “With the opening of these projects, the water supply situation in the cities and villages in Kurdestan has improved, and 50 percent of the water crisis has been resolved. During the inauguration ceremony of the permanent pump station in Boyin, Baneh County, Raisi said that 10 major water projects in Kurdestan have become operational, including two dams that were put into operation, as well as works that were carried out in the field of water purification plants, Zarivar Lake in Marivan, and wastewater management.
Referring to the reduction in rainfall in some areas of the country, Raisi said that the government is pursuing proper and efficient water resource management. Through planning, the government aims to provide the required water to the shareholders and water applicants, despite water resource shortages and reduced precipitation.
The government’s initial goal, as announced by the president, is to alleviate water stress in 10,000 villages from the beginning of his term (in August, 2021). He said that today, through dedicated efforts, the government is addressing water issues in 3,500 villages in the country, and by the end of this government’s term, they plan to resolve water-related problems in 10,000 villages.

-- Nasrallah: Hezbollah entered war on October 8

Lebanon’s Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said his movement entered the ongoing battle between Israel and Hamas on October 8, the day after the Palestinian resistance group launched its surprise attack in southern occupied territories.
Delivering his first public speech since the start of the conflict, he said the daily exchange of fire with Israeli forces along the Lebanese border might seem modest but it is very important, calling it unprecedented since 1948.
Nasrallah said Hezbollah has been escalating its operations by the day and forcing Israel to keep its forces near the Lebanese border instead of Gaza or the occupied West Bank.
‘All options open’
Nasrallah noted that all options in the Lebanese front are open, saying that Hezbollah is ready for all possibilities.
Nasrallah also confirmed that 57 Hezbollah fighters have been killed so far.
He added that “the enemy” is threatening Lebanon and the Lebanese while it sinks in the sands of the Gaza Strip.
He said that the Operation Al-Aqsa Storm led to an earthquake in Israel, noting that it has strategic and existential repercussions and will leave its effects on the present and future of Israel.
He called the Palestinian group’s decision to launch the October 7 operation right, wise and courageous, adding that it was carried out with the right timing.
He added that what is happening in Gaza shows Israel’s foolishness and inability because what it is doing is killing children and women.
The Hezbollah leader called Israel “frail” and said that for a whole month, it has been unable to record a single military achievement.
‘US responsible for conflict’
Addressing the US deployment of warships in the region, Nasrallah said Hezbollah is not intimidated.
He accused the US of being entirely responsible for the war in Gaza and calls Israel merely an executive tool.
The Hezbollah chief warned that whoever wants to prevent a regional war must quickly stop the war on the Gaza Strip.
Israel has relentlessly bombarded the Palestinian territory and sent in ground troops, with the Health Ministry in Gaza saying 9,227 people have been killed, two-thirds of them women and children.
Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar on Friday described Israel’s actions in Gaza as “something approaching revenge”, in some of the strongest criticism of Israel by a leader of a European Union member state.
Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi said on Friday that if the US and a number of European countries had been fairly tried for their crimes against Iranians during Iraq’s imposed war on Iran, as well as 75 years of oppression of Palestinians by Israel, the world would not have been witnessing today the repetition of such crimes in the Palestinian territories.
‘Crimes against humanity’
Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan said “crimes against humanity” were being committed in Gaza, and that Ankara was pushing for an international peace conference.
“There is no concept that could explain or excuse the brutality that we have witnessed since October 7,” Erdogan said during a summit of Turkic States in the Kazakh capital Astana.
United Nations experts called on Thursday for a humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza, saying time was running out for Palestinian people there who find themselves at “grave risk of genocide.”
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Israel on Friday at the start of a new regional tour.
“Israel has not only the right but the obligation to defend itself... to make sure that this October 7 never happens again,” Blinken told journalists as he met Israeli President Isaac Herzog in Tel Aviv.
He claimed he would seek “concrete steps” from Israel to minimize harm to Palestinian civilians in Gaza.
The US House of Representatives on Thursday passed a Republican plan to provide $14.3 billion in aid to Israel and cut funding of the Internal Revenue Service, despite Democrats’ insistence it has no future in the Senate and the White House’s promise of a veto.
Battles on the ground
Fresh Israeli strikes hit northern Gaza on Friday, with the Health Ministry reporting at least 15 deaths in Gaza City’s Zeitun neighborhood and seven in the Jabalia refugee camp.
Late on Thursday, the army said troops had encircled Gaza City, with Hamas fighters warning Gaza would be a "curse" for Israel whose soldiers would go home "in black bags".
On Friday morning, the Hamas fighters said they were engaged in close combat with troops northwest of Beit Lahia and had fired missiles at Israeli military vehicles.
Israel on Friday also sent back thousands of Gazans who had been working in Israel when the war erupted.
The UN human rights office said it was "deeply concerned" about the move.


-- Cuban Ambassador: Israel is Real Terrorist

The occupying regime of Israel is the real terrorist despite calling the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas a terrorist group, says Cuba’s ambassador to Tehran. Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Latin America Cartoon and Caricature Exhibition in Tehran, Alberto Gonzalez Casals condemned the Zionist regime’s ongoing crimes in the Gaza Strip. “Israel calls Hamas a terrorist organization, and the West, led by the United States, considers Hamas a terrorist organization, but they themselves are real terrorists,” he said.

-- Fire at Rehab Clinic in Langrud Kills 26 People

A fire broke out at a rehabilitation center in Langrud in northern Iran on Friday, leaving 26 people dead and 14 others injured.
Muhammad Jalaei, the political, security, and social deputy of the Gilan governor, told IRNA that the fire broke out in the clinic at 5:45 a.m. He explained that 40 people were in the rehab clinic for drug addiction when the incident occurred. The cause of the incident is still unknown, he said.

-- Three Gaza Hospitals, Convoy Carrying Injured Targeted

The occupying regime of Israel targeted three Gaza hospitals within a few hours on Friday, martyring and wounding several patients and people seeking shelter from airstrikes, the Palestinian health ministry said.
At least 15 people were martyred in the bombing on Al-Shifa, Gaza’s largest hospital, according to Al Jazeera. Video footage circulating online showed bloody and chaotic scenes.
Meanwhile, the courtyards of the Indonesian hospital and Al-Quds hospital were also hit. All three hospitals have been places Palestinians have sought shelter from Israeli attacks.
Ashraf al-Qedra, the spokesman for the Palestinian health ministry, said jets struck a convoy of critically wounded people at the gates of Al-Shifa hospital, who were in ambulances on their way to the south of Gaza.
He said he asked the Red Cross to accompany the convoy to ensure its safety earlier in the day.
As Zionist ground forces surrounded Gaza City and moved deeper into the coastal enclave’s north, Palestinians leaving the city were martyred on the Al-Rasheed road, Gaza’s coastal artery. Dead bodies were seen strewn across the tarmac.
At least 9,227 people, including 3,826 children, have been martyred in the four-week-long Israeli invasion of Gaza, according to local health officials.
Among the targets hit in Gaza on Friday was a cemetery, with local media reporting at least Palestinian seven workers there martyred.
Israeli tanks and troops have met fierce resistance from Hamas fighters using mortars and hit-and-run attacks from tunnels to fight off Tel Aviv’s ground invasion of Gaza City after nearly four weeks of bombardments.
Fighters of Hamas and its ally Islamic Jihad were emerging from tunnels to fire at tanks, then disappearing back into the network, residents said and videos from both groups showed, in guerrilla-style operations against Israeli troops.
“They never stopped bombing Gaza City all night, the house never stopped shaking,” Reuters quoted an unnamed man living there. “But in the morning we discover the Israeli forces are still outside the city, in the outskirts and that means the resistance is heavier than they expected.”
“This is certainly terrain that is more heavily sown than in the past with minefields and booby-traps. Hamas has learned and prepared itself well,” said Brigadier General Iddo Mizrahi, chief of Israel’s military engineers.
The Zionist army said Palestinian fighters killed a commander of an armored brigade’s battalion in Gaza. Lt Col Salman Habaka is the most senior Israeli soldier to be killed since the ground invasion escalated on Tuesday.
The Israeli army confirmed at least 24 soldiers have been killed in the clashes since Tuesday, but Gaza fighters the death toll among the Zionist troops is much higher. At least 260 Israeli soldiers have been wounded in the Gaza clashes, according to the Israeli army radio.
An Iraqi resistance group said it “targeted” Israeli positions in the city of Eilat on the Dead Sea.
The Islamic Resistance in Iraq, an armed faction formed in the wake of Israel’s atrocities in Gaza, claimed the attack in a statement on Friday.
“In support of our people in Gaza, and in response to the massacres committed by the usurping entity against Palestinian civilians, including children, women and the elderly, the Mujahideen of the Islamic Resistance in Iraq targeted this morning a target in the occupied Umm al-Rashash,” the group said, using the Arabic name for Eilat.

Hezbollah said in a statement its fighters launched 19 simultaneous strikes on Israeli army positions on Thursday using guided missiles, artillery and other weapons.
It said two drones packed with explosives struck an army command position in the Israeli-occupied Shebaa Farms area at the border.
The armed wing of Hamas called the Qassam Brigades in Lebanon said it had fired 12 missile towards the Israeli town of Kiryat Shmona and its vicinity. The group said the attack was a response to the massacre of Palestinians in Gaza.
Since Israel cut off all water, electricity, fuel and food supplies off for Gaza on October 9, Palestinians have been going to the sea to wash and clean their belongings, according to Reuters. The seawater is causing Palestinians skin irritations in the absence of any clean water.
A lack of fuel and the damage on roads has meant medical staff are being forced to travel around on bikes to reach the overwhelming number of patients, the agency added.
Meanwhile, U.S. drones have been spotted in the sky purportedly trying to locate the 240 captives taken by Palestinian fighters on October 7.
The United Nations’ agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, said that 72 of its staff have been killed in Gaza by Israel since the start of the war. The French Institute in Gaza was hit by an airstrike on Friday, the French foreign ministry said.
Israeli raids and drone also strikes intensified in the West Bank, with nine Palestinians martyred overnight, according to the Palestinian health ministry. The raids took place in Jenin, Al-Khalil, Nablus and Qalandia.
West of Ramallah, a 33-year-old was shot dead by an Israeli soldier, while he was on his way home from Friday prayers. Eyewitnesses said the worshippers didn’t pose any danger to the soldiers.
According to local media, Israeli forces have also cut off the water supply in the occupied West Bank village of Beit Lid, leaving 8,000 people without water.
Israeli forces and settlers have martyred at least 141 Palestinians in the West Bank since the start of the war.
In occupied East Al-Quds, meanwhile, Israeli forces restricted worshippers from entering Al-Aqsa Mosque for Friday prayers, and used tear gas to disperse Palestinians in the Wadi al-Joz neighborhood.
When hostilities began, Israel detained an estimated 4,500 laborers from Gaza who were in the country on work permits.
On Friday, some of them had finally been released and were made to walk on foot for about 6km into the enclave, despite the bombardment and ground offensive.
Several of them said they had been tortured and subjected to various forms of abuse by the Israeli military, including being stripped naked and having boiling water thrown on them.
The Zionist regime has received the staunch support of Western governments during the war. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken returned to Occupied Palestine for the second time in less than a month on Friday morning.
He reiterated “and made clear Israel’s right to defend itself,” and said that steps must be taken to prevent regional escalation.
However, Ireland’s Prime Minister Leo Varadkar described Israel’s war on Gaza as “something approaching revenge”, in what seems to be some of the strongest criticism against the Zionist regime used by a European leader.
The United Arab Emirates also weighed in, warning about the war expanding into a broader regional crisis, and saying it was working “relentlessly” to facilitate a ceasefire for humanitarian purposes.

-- President Inaugurates Hamadan-Sanandaj Railway

President Ebrahim Raisi has inaugurated several major infrastructure and development projects in western Kordestan province, including the Hamadan-Sanandaj railway which has a total length of 151 kilometers.
The railway will ultimately stretch to Bashmagh border crossing with Iraq, putting the region in the map of an evolving international transit route.
Launched 18 years ago, the project to build a rail line between Hamedan and Sanandaj had been put on hold due to funding problems. Last year, President Raisi allowed about $275.5 million for its completion when he visited the region.
The operation of the railway will create direct employment, facilitate passenger and cargo transportation from the west to the center of the country, reduce the cost of cargo transportation, boost tourism and improve the regional economy.
On Friday, President Raisi inaugurated Saqqez airport as he flew to the city. Launched in 1996, the construction of the airport had also restarted after the president visited Kordestan last year.
Raisi also inaugurated 10 major water and electricity projects worth over 120 trillion rials in the province.
They included two major water supply projects, two water treatment facilities, and irrigation and drainage networks for more than 2,700 hectares of farmlands.

-- Nasrallah: Lebanese Front Open to All Possibilities

Hezbollah’s Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah on Friday warned that all options are on the table against Israel, urging the Zionist regime to immediately stop its aggression against Palestinians in Gaza.
Speaking in a televised speech, Nasrallah said Hezbollah is ready for all possibilities as thousands of people waving Hezbollah and Palestinian flags gathered in south and east Lebanon for his first public speech since the beginning of the Hamas-Israel war broke out on Oct. 7.
“Our Lebanese front is open to all possibilities,” he said, adding, “We should all be ready and prepared for all possibilities and scenarios to come.”
His speech came as U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Occupied Palestine for a third visit since the war started.
Nasrallah warned the United States over its involvement in the conflict, and said the U.S. threats do not intimidate Hezbollah.
“We received messages that the U.S. will bomb Lebanon and even Iran if we continue our operations in southern Lebanon. We tell them, ’Your warships in the Eastern Mediterranean do not scare us and never scared us before,’” he said.
Commenting on the Lebanese situation, Nasrallah said the movement entered the battle on Oct. 8, one day after Hamas’ attack.
He addressed those expecting an all-out war with Israel, saying, “For those who are asking Hezbollah to engage in open warfare, what is happening on the border may appear moderate, but that is not the case. And we will not be content with this.”
He added, “The operations on the border have led to a state of fear and panic among the [Israeli] and American leaderships that the front will head toward further escalation or lead to a large-scale war. This is a realistic possibility that could happen, and the enemy must take it into serious consideration.”
Nasrallah said that Hezbollah’s actions had forced Israel to deploy forces along the Lebanese border instead of Gaza.
Nasrallah said the United States is directly involved in the war in Gaza and responsible for the “massacres” being carried out in the Palestinian territory and elsewhere in the region over the past years. This is why, he continued, the Iraqi “Islamic resistance” made the “wise” decision to attack U.S. bases in Iraq and Syria.
He accused global institutions including the UN Security Council, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the Arab League and the European Union of not “moving a finger” to help the Palestinians despite the historic occupation of the Palestinian territories by Israel and the violence that has come with it.
Nasrallah said the situation in the Palestinian territories has been extremely difficult in light of the actions taken by the current Israeli regime, which he described as “extremist.”
The Hezbollah chief said whoever wants to prevent a regional war, must quickly stop the Israeli aggression against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
He warned the United States that preventing a regional war depended on stopping Israeli atrocities, saying there was a real possibility of fighting on the Lebanese front turning into a “wider war”.
“You, the Americans, can stop the aggression against Gaza because it is your aggression. Whoever wants to prevent a regional war, and I am talking to the Americans, must quickly halt the aggression on Gaza,” Nasrallah said.
“You, the Americans, know very well that if war breaks out in the region, your fleets will be of no use, nor will fighting from the air be of any benefit,

and the one who will pay the price will be... your interests, your soldiers and your fleets,” he said.
Nasrallah also said Hezbollah’s operations against Israel are significant and unprecedented in history. So far, 57 Hezbollah fighters have been martyred, he added.
The Hezbollah chief denied that Hezbollah had no knowledge of the Oct. 7 operation by Hamas that killed 1,400 Zionists.
It was “100% Palestinian in terms of decision and execution,” Nasrallah said, responding to claims that the Lebanese movement had a hand in the operation.
“Even the Palestinians had kept it secret even from their fellow Palestinian resistance factions in Gaza, let alone other resistance factions across the resistance axis,” Nasrallah added.
He said the events in Gaza and the scenes of women and children being pulled from under rubble are exposing the false claims circulated by international media that Israel is a democratic state and a state of law, hiding the reality of “this barbaric Israeli entity.”

-- Russia Dismisses New U.S. Sanctions

Russia on Friday dismissed new U.S. sanctions over the war in Ukraine, saying that the United States would never defeat Moscow, while the boss of Russia’s fastest growing natural gas company quipped the sanctions were a badge of success.
The United States on Thursday targeted Russia’s future energy capabilities, sanctions evasion and a suicide drone that has been a menace to Ukrainian troops and equipment, among others, in sanctions on hundreds of people and entities.
“This is a continuation of the policy of inflicting as they call it - a strategic defeat on us,” Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for the Russian foreign ministry, told Russian state television when asked about the new sanctions.
“They will have to wait in vain forever before that happens.”
Western leaders and Ukraine have repeatedly said they seek to defeat Russia on the battlefield, though some Western leaders have denied what President Vladimir Putin says is a Western plot to carve up Russia and steal its natural resources.
Putin is girding the $2.1 trillion economy for a long war and Western hopes of stoking a swift Russian economic crisis with some of the toughest sanctions ever imposed have not been realized.
The International Monetary Fund forecasts Russian growth of 2.2% this year - faster than either the United States or the Euro area - though the Fund last month lowered its forecast for 2024 growth to 1.1%.
The West has frozen hundreds of billions of dollars of Russian money, but Putin has joked that the sanctions have not stopped the import of Western goods such as luxury Mercedes to Russia and that Moscow will work to undermine the sanctions by buying what it wants on global markets.
The U.S., itself a large LNG producer that exports to Europe, is also trying to reduce Russia’s LNG shipments to Europe, which has only banned Russian gas sent via pipeline.
The Arctic-2 LNG project - targeted by the new sanctions - had been expecting to start exporting soon and it is uncertain how much Russian LNG will now be blocked.
On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law revoking the country’s ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), according to an officially published document.
The Kremlin had stated earlier that Russia’s withdrawal from the treaty would not imply the restoration of nuclear tests.
Chairman of the State Duma Vyacheslav Volodin said Moscow had been waiting for Washington to ratify the treaty for 23 years, but the United States had demonstrated its irresponsible approach towards global security issues.
The CTBT is a multilateral agreement that bans all nuclear explosion tests conducted for peaceful or military purposes.
Early on Friday, Russia launched a massive drone attack, hitting critical infrastructure in the west and south of Ukraine and destroying private houses and commercial buildings in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, officials said.
The air force said it shot down 24 drones out of 40 launched by Russia, the biggest drone attack in weeks to target Kharkiv in the northeast, Odesa and Kherson in the south and the region of Lviv on Ukraine’s border with Poland in the west.
One X-59 missile was also shot down, the air force said.

-- Iran Chairs UN Rights Council Forum for First Time

Iran has chaired the United Nations Human Rights Council 2023 Social Forum for the first time.
Iran’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva Ali Bahreini was named the chair of the two-day meeting following a submission from the Asia-Pacific group.
More than 60 participants, including high-ranking officials, diplomats and non-governmental organizations, held expert meetings and discussed issues, including the role of science, technology and innovation in the promotion of human rights, especially after the coronovirus pandemic.
Back in May, Iran was appointed by the president of the UN Human Rights Council.
European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said Iran’s appointment was a matter of regional rotation, “in consistency with established UN procedures.”
The two-day meeting called the “social forum” is an annual meeting that aims to improve dialogue between governments and civil society groups, with this year’s theme devoted to technology and human rights.
One of the key goals of the forum is to promote social cohesion based on the principles of social justice, equity and solidarity as well as addressing the social dimension and challenges of the ongoing globalization process.
In an apparent swipe at Western sanctions on Iran, Bahreini opened the session by referring to “colonial policies” that he said deprive countries of revenues and hinder technology transfers and knowledge sharing. Several countries spoke at the session including China, Cuba and Venezuela.


-- Is the Israeli army advancing in Gaza City?

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has claimed that the regime’s troops have pushed through the outskirts of Gaza City. A statement released by his office alleges: “We’re at the height of the battle. We’ve had impressive successes and have passed the outskirts of Gaza City. We are advancing.” In a separate post on social media, the Israeli PM wrote: “Today with our fighters in the field. We have very impressive successes; we are already more than the outskirts of Gaza City. We are making progress. Nothing will stop us. We will move forward. We will advance and win.” The chief of staff of the Israeli military has claimed that troops are operating inside Gaza City and are surrounding it from several directions. In a statement from an air force base, reported by Israeli media.

-- Gaza crisis will accelerate America’s decline

The latest round of tensions between Israel and Palestine will continue for some time. Despite uncertainties of the endgame, the implications at both regional and global levels are already visible. One of the most evident could be the further decline of the U.S. in the region and in the world as the U.S. had been demonstrating its own hypocrisy in full manners, which will further expand the divide between the U.S. and the world as dissatisfactions grow. Firstly, the crisis would increase the divide between the American public and politicians. There have long been divisions in the United States regarding its policy toward Israel and the Palestine-Israel conflict in general. While the White House and the Congress would resolutely stand with Israel, intellectuals, scholars and middle classes are very clear that American governments are spending their revenues on issues irrelevant with its own national interests. John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt in their famous book titled as The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy.

-- More than 9,000 dead in Gaza

More than 9,000 people have been killed by the Israeli military in the Gaza Strip, according to the enclave’s health ministry. Doctors Without Borders (MSF) announced that there are still over 20,000 injured people in the Gaza Strip after the first batch of patients was allowed Wednesday to cross the Egyptian border via the Rafah Crossing. Air strikes destroyed another Palestinian residential block on Thursday, this time in the crowded Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip. The civil defence spokesman in Gaza told Al Jazeera they had recorded the bodies of 15 people, while dozens more are feared dead and wounded under the rubble. An Israeli air strike also killed a Palestinian journalist along with several members of his family in southern Gaza, according to local media. Mohammad Abu Hattab, a reporter for Palestine TV, was killed by a strike on his home in Khan Younis on Thursday, Wafa news agency reported. Eleven members of Abu Hattab’s family were killed too, including his wife, son and brother, the report added.

-- Iran FM discusses Gaza developments with Hamas chief

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian discussed in a phone call on Friday the latest developments in Gaza and the West Bank with Ismail Haniyeh, the chief of the political bureau of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas. The two have had extensive communication during the past few weeks while Israel is continuing its relentless heavy bombardments of the besieged Gaza Strip. The regime has also been targeting Palestinians in the occupied West Bank. Amir Abdollahian and Haniyeh have met twice since October 7. Their last meeting came on Tuesday, when Iran’s senior diplomat held talks with the Hamas leader in Doha, Qatar. During the meeting, Haniyeh underlined that the Israeli regime has resorted to the massacre of civilians, as it knows that it stands no chance against the fighters of resistance forces. Amir Abdollahian, for his part, stressed the independence of resistance groups in West Asia and said they do not necessarily need to wait for a political decision.

-- ECO members sign MOU on establishing EU-China transport corridor via Iran

The transport ministers and representatives of the member states of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the creation of a new transport corridor from China to Europe via Iran, Turkey, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan in Tashkent on Thursday. The MOU was signed on the sidelines of the 12th meeting of ECO transport ministers which was held in the capital of Uzbekistan with the participation of Iran’s Deputy Transport Minister Shahriar Afandizadeh, IRIB reported. The unification of tariffs on transportation procedures and border processes will be implemented within the framework.



first name & last name