News ID : 156549
Publish Date : 12/6/2023 9:03:28 AM
Newspaper headlines of Iranian English-language dailies on December 6

Newspaper headlines of Iranian English-language dailies on December 6

The following headlines appeared in English-language newspapers in the Iranian capital on Wednesday, December 6, 2023.

NOURNEWS- The following headlines appeared in English-language newspapers in the Iranian capital on Wednesday, December 6, 2023.


- Bill eyes 8% economic growth for next year

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi submitted the national budget bill for the next Iranian year (to start March 20, 2024) to Parliament on Tuesday.
The proposed budget for next year amounts to about 54.18 quadrillion rials (about $108.36 billion at the free market rate of 500,000 rials per dollar), with an 18 percent rise from the current year’s budget, IRNA reported.
The president said that in the budget bill of next Iranian year, based on the emphasis of the Leader and macro-policies, an eight-percent economic growth has been targeted.
The bill has put the government’s budget at 24.29 quadrillion rials (about $48.5 billion), as public resources are estimated at 14.95 quadrillion rials (about $29.9 billion).
The crude oil income is predicted to be 5.54 quadrillion rials (about $11.08 billion), and oil sales are estimated at 1.35 million barrels per day at an average price of €65 (about $71) per barrel.
Like the current year’s budget, the next year’s proposed budget requires the government to pay 40 percent of its oil, gas, and gas condensate revenues to the National Development Fund (NDF).
Tax revenues are predicted to be 11.22 quadrillion rials (about $22.44 billion), which is 49.8 percent more than the figure for the current year’s budget.
The data provided in next year’s budget bill indicate that the government is taking major steps to distance the economy from oil, as a big portion of the income is set to be gained from sources other than oil and gas.
Oil incomes in the next year’s budget bill are estimated to be 6.2 percent less than the ceiling allowed in the budget law, accounting for only 22.8 percent of the total revenues.
On the other hand, the share of tax revenues is twice the revenues from oil and gas sales, which means changing the budget approach from oil revenues to sustainable revenues.

- Iranian firms seek new markets at Eurasia Expo

The second edition of the Eurasia Expo which is underway in Tehran, December 4-7, is an opportunity for Iranian firms to showcase their potentials including techno-engineering services and products for being exported to a 180-million market.
Specialized seminars and conferences in the fields of transport, banking and monetary issues, trade, scientific, tourism and new technology-based sectors are scheduled to be held on the sidelines of the exhibition.
The Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), which is comprised of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia is one of the most important groupings in Iran’s region, which has common cultural, political and geopolitical points with Iran and is of special importance for the country.
The first edition of Eurasia Expo was held in Tehran in July 2021, with the participation of high-ranking officials of EAEU’s member states.
Talking to Iran Daily, Mohsen Mohaqeqian, a consultant to the CEO of the Isfahan Kafriz Company, said his company exports tram wheels to Russia, which are produced using a modern technology.
“Russia is one of the main producers of tram wheels and axles in the world, but our company has succeeded in providing a special attraction for Russian clients by manufacturing high-quality and relatively cheap products,” he said.
Iran can take more benefits from extending trade ties with EAEU member states due to its capabilities in all fields, Mohaqeqian concluded.
The Esfarayen Industrial Complex, which is showcasing its products at the exposition, is the largest producer of alloy steel parts in Iran, said Mehdi Eslami, the director of foreign trade of the company in an interview with Iran Daily.
“The company exports its products to India, Turkey, Germany and Italy, as well as Eastern European countries through our Russian and Turkish trade partners,” he noted, adding that we export approximately 8,000-10,000 tons of steel to Russia annually.
We are making efforts to expand our market in Russia, as the value of our exports to Russia is about 10 million euros per annum, Eslami noted.
He proposed the development of banking cooperation between Iran and EAEU states to lift export barriers.
Eslami said the Eurasia Expo of Tehran helps countries to come to know each other’s culture of trade.
Also talking to Iran Daily, the engineering director of Iran Kontor Sazi Company said that his firm had attended the 2nd Eurasia Expo for getting new markets in EAEU states.
The company is the first and biggest manufacturer of electricity meters in the Middle East region, Masoud Qane’ explained.

- Gaza reaching ‘humanity’s darkest hour’: WHO

The situation in the Gaza Strip is getting worse all the time and approaching humanity’s “darkest hour”, the World Health Organization said Tuesday.
Richard Peeperkorn, the WHO’s representative in the occupied Palestinian territories, told reporters in Geneva Tuesday, via video link from Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, that the number of people on the move from central and southern Gaza was “vastly increasing”.
Israeli forces launched attacks on southern Gaza on Tuesday, with attacks pushing civilians into a steadily shrinking area of the besieged Palestinian territory.
After initially focusing on northern Gaza, the Israeli Army has now sent ground forces into the south and urged Palestinians to evacuate.
“The situation is getting worse by the hour. There is intensified bombing going on all around, including here in the southern areas,” said Peeperkorn.
“A lot of people are desperate and almost in a permanent state of shock”.
“We are close by humanity’s darkest hour,” Peeperkorn said.
“These bombings and the senseless loss of life must stop now, and we need a sustained ceasefire.”
James Elder, spokesman for the UN children’s agency UNICEF, said that with the population on the move, in two hours “there are 5,000 people where there was no-one previously. Critically in these places, there’s no sanitation.”
Speaking from Cairo after returning from Gaza, he said that in one shelter in Gaza, where 30,000 people were seeking refuge, there was one toilet for roughly every 400 people, meaning queues of up to five hours.
Israel directing civilians towards zones it has designated as safe – but which have no toilets or clean water – is creating “the perfect storm for disease outbreak”, said Elder.
“Israel is the occupying power: it’s they who have to provide food, water, medicine,” he added.
‘Shameful’ inaction
Qatar’s ruler hit out at “shameful” international inaction over the Israel’s onslaught on Gaza as he opened a Persian Gulf Cooperation Council meeting in Doha on Tuesday.
“It is shameful for the international community to allow this heinous crime to continue for nearly two months, during which the systematic and deliberate killing of innocent civilians continues, including women and children,” Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani said.
Qatar was a key mediator in negotiations that resulted in a seven-day truce, which saw scores of Israeli captives exchanged for Palestinians prisoners and humanitarian aid, until it ended on Friday.
Qatar’s ruler said his country was “constantly working to renew” the truce, but added this was “not an alternative to a permanent cease-fire”.
He called for “an international investigation into the massacres committed by Israel” and for the Security Council “to assume its legal responsibility and act to end this barbaric war, and compel Israel to return to credible negotiations to achieve a just solution to the Palestinian issue”.
In a joint statement, the [P] GCC expressed “deep concern” with “blatant Israeli aggression” in Gaza.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attended the session and accused Israel of “war crimes” and “crimes against humanity in Gaza”, which he said “should not be left unanswered”.
Both Turkey and Qatar have been vocal supporters of the Palestinian cause and have opened channels of communication with Hamas.
Storming southern Gaza
Israeli forces launched their storm of the main city in the southern Gaza Strip on Tuesday, where hospitals were overrun with scores of Palestinian wounded and dead.
In what appeared to be the biggest ground assault since the truce collapsed last week, residents said Israeli tanks had entered the eastern parts of Khan Younis for the first time.
The Israelis, who seized the northern half of Gaza last month before pausing for the week-long truce, say they are now extending their ground campaign to the rest of the Palestinian territory.
“We’re moving ahead with the second stage now. A second stage that is going to be difficult militarily,” regime’s spokesperson Eylon Levy told reporters in a briefing.
At Khan Younis’ main Nasser hospital, the wounded arrived by ambulance, car, flatbed truck and donkey cart after what survivors described as a strike that hit a school being used as a shelter for the displaced.
“We are in the heart of Jabalia, in the heart of Shejaiya (in northern Gaza), and now also in the heart of Khan Yunis,” Southern Command chief Major General Yaron Finkelman was quoted as saying in an army statement, describing “the most intense day since the beginning of the ground operation.”
The Israeli army has so far lost 80 soldiers since the start of its ground offensive in the Gaza Strip on October 27.

- Israel’s nuclear capabilities out in open

Israel’s nuclear denial policy, often referred to as nuclear ambiguity or the Samson Option, was designed to deter potential adversaries by avoiding the complications and scrutiny that would arise from an open declaration of nuclear capabilities. However, Hamas’s Operation Al-Aqsa Storm has provided Israel with the opportunity to admit to having a nuclear weapon.
One of the thousands of rockets fired by Hamas on October 7 fell on the Asdat Macha military base in central Israel, where nuclear missiles were stored. The rocket did not directly hit the missiles but sparked a fire that spread to missile storage facilities and other sensitive weapons.
The Israeli government has not yet released any information about the damage caused to the military base and the surrounding population by the radiation from the nuclear material, but the military base has been evacuated.
According to Hans Christensen, director of the Nuclear Information Project of the Federation of American Scientists, an Israeli military base hit by rockets fired by Hamas contained between 25 and 50 nuclear-capable Jericho missile launchers. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which considers it its primary responsibility to keep a close eye on the nuclear programs of Iran, North Korea, and Pakistan, has not yet started a formal inspection of the site despite clear reports.
It is certain that the IAEA, under the United Nations, will not impose sanctions against Israel, nor will it bring this issue to the Security Council, as any resolution against Israel will be vetoed by the United States, Great Britain, and France.
In early November, the Israeli Minister of Cultural Heritage, Amihai Eliyahu, said during a radio interview that the nuclear option would be a way to deal with the Palestinians in Gaza. This clearly means that Israel not only has nuclear weapons but is also ready to use them. Israel has never officially stated its position on the possession and number of its nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons experts and international organizations say that Israel has more than 200 nuclear warheads.
During the 1973 Arab-Israeli war, when Arab forces were bombing Israel from the Golan Heights and Israel’s military was being destroyed, then Israeli prime minister Golda Meir informed the Arab rulers of her determination to drop nuclear bombs on the Arab capitals. After that, the tide of the war changed, and Israel very deftly and cunningly occupied the strategically important hillocks of the Golan Heights, which it holds to this day.
The IAEA has always ignored Israel’s nuclear weapons program, and the justification is that Israel has not signed the NPT, so the agency cannot monitor Israel’s nuclear program.
Here is revealed the hypocrisy of the world powers, especially the United States, which allows a usurper state to make nuclear weapons. Yet, the United States and European countries pressure Pakistan to sign the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty (NPT) and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).
The US does not pressure Israel and India to sign the CTBT and NPT, but it imposes sanctions on Pakistan and freezes the financial assets of an already poor country. This double standard has put the world in greater nuclear danger.
The Israeli government’s ambivalent stance on nuclear weapons has persisted for decades. This ambivalence ended with Operation Al-Aqsa Storm. An Israeli minister even suggested the nuclear option against Palestinians. It proved that Israel not only has nuclear weapons but is also ready to use them.
Israel’s aggression against the Palestinians in Gaza is having a negative impact on American politics. President Biden’s support for Israeli aggression has reduced his popularity among Democratic voters. The Biden administration is causing growing outrage among the American public, who claim that their country is essentially aiding and abetting war crimes on a massive scale.
Political experts say that if a US presidential election were held today, Biden would fail to defeat Trump because he has lost the support of key constituencies, including progressive voters and American Muslims.

- Iran stresses need to preserve Caspian Sea for future generations

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian emphasized the need to preserve the environment and resources of the “strategic” Caspian Sea for the next generations.
Addressing a meeting of foreign ministers of the Caspian Sea littoral states in Moscow, Russia, on Tuesday, the Iranian top diplomat said that the sea is a common heritage, a center of friendship, and a source of blessings for more than 270 million people of the Caspian Sea countries.
Amir-Abdollahian said the Caspian Sea is considered as a strategic region due its geographical location which links the North-South and East-West corridors.
He also said that the coastal countries are responsible for maintaining stability, security, and sustainable development in the sea. The Iranian foreign minister said that any decision about Caspian Sea issues should be agreed by all five littoral states, stressing the need for the establishment of a secretariat to manage and monitor cooperation among the coastal countries.
He said that using the capacities of the Caspian Sea without taking into account the interests of other coastal countries would violate the rights of others.
To turn the sea into the symbol of friendship and development, the countries need to strengthen their interaction and cooperation, Amir-Abdollahian said.
Before departing Tehran, Amir-Abdollahian took to his X social media account and stressed the importance of regional cooperation in addressing shared challenges.
“Cooperation and collective participation is of paramount importance considering the diverse economic opportunities and environmental challenges in this region,” he said.

Boosting cooperation
Moscow expects cooperation between the Caspian Sea countries to get a boost following the Third Caspian Economic Forum to be held in Tehran, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov
“It is important to note that the Caspian issue is a priority for all of us, as it is regularly discussed by the presidents and heads of government of the Caspian Five.
A serious impetus for cooperation in this format was given during the Sixth Caspian Summit in Ashgabat last June and the Second Caspian Economic Forum in Moscow last October,” he said. “We expect further strengthening of this course on the basis of the results of the Third Caspian Economic Forum to be held in Tehran,” the top Russian diplomat pointed out. The Caspian Sea is the world’s largest closed inland reservoir surrounded by Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan. Iran has attached high priority to the consolidation of relations with neighboring countries in the region, clinching landmark agreements and entering international economic coalitions as part of the Islamic Republic’s policy of confronting Western unilateralism.
Tehran-Moscow deal
After the Caspian Sea meeting, the Iranian foreign minister held a separate meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, during which the two countries signed an agreement to make joint efforts to counter unilateral sanctions.
“We have just signed a declaration on ways and means to counteract, mitigate and compensate for the negative consequences of unilateral coercive measures,” Lavrov said. The Russian minister said this was an important step to “overcome the illegal sanctions that the United States and its allies have made as a substitute for
The agreement has officially been titled the Declaration of the Russian Federation and the Islamic Republic of Iran on ways and means of countering, softening and compensating for the negative consequences of unilateral coercion measures, according to a report by Russia’s state-run TASS news agency.
Iran and Russia have already made joint efforts to reduce the impacts of Western sanctions on their economies.
The cooperation increased in early 2022, when the United States and its allies imposed a raft of sanctions on Russia for its war in Ukraine.
Iran has been under US sanctions since 2018, when the then administration in Washington withdrew from a deal on Iran’s nuclear program.


- Kissinger’s Wretchedness Still Haunts Latin America

In Chile, leftists were tortured, tossed from helicopters and forced to watch relatives be raped. In Argentina, many were “disappeared” by members of the brutal military dictatorship that held detainees in concentration camps.
It all happened with the endorsement of Henry Kissinger, the former U.S. secretary of state who died Wednesday at age 100.
As tributes poured in for the towering figure who was the top U.S. diplomat under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, the mood was decidedly different in South America, where many countries were scarred deeply during the Cold War by human rights abuses inflicted in the name of anti-communism and where many continue to harbor a deep distrust of their powerful neighbor to the north.
“I don’t know of any U.S. citizen who is more deplored, more disliked in Latin America than Henry Kissinger,” said Stephen Rabe, a retired University of Texas at Dallas history professor who wrote a book about Kissinger’s relationship with Latin America. “You know, the reality is, if he had traveled once democracy returned to Argentina, to Brazil, to Uruguay — if he had traveled to any of those countries he would have been immediately arrested.”
There is likely no starker example of Kissinger’s meddling with democracy in the region and then supporting brutality in the name of anti-communism than Chile.
In Chile, Kissinger played a key role in the efforts to do everything in the United States’ power to undermine and weaken the socialist government of Salvador Allende, who was elected president in 1970. Kissinger then used his sway to prop up the military dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet, who rose to power in a 1973 coup, repeatedly refusing to call attention to the numerous human rights violations of Pinochet’s regime, which murdered opponents, canceled elections, restricted the media, suppressed labor unions and disbanded political parties.
Kissinger long alleged that he wasn’t aware of the human rights abuses that were committed in the region, but records show that this wasn’t the case, said Peter Kornbluh, a senior analyst at the National Security Archive that is in charge of its Chile project.
“The declassified historical record, the documents that Kissinger wrote, read and said, leave no doubt that he was the chief architect of the U.S. policy to destabilize the Allende government and that he was also the chief enabler of helping the Pinochet regime consolidate what became a bloody, 17-year infamous dictatorship,” Kornbluh said.
Kissinger was “somewhat obsessed” with Allende’s government, fearing that the rise of a socialist government through democratic means could have a contagion effect in the region, said Chilean Sen. José Miguel Insulza, a former secretary general of the Organization of American States who served as a foreign policy adviser in Allende’s government.
“For him, any action that meant defending the national interest of the United States seemed justifiable,” Insulza said.
Kissinger feared what Allende’s government could mean for the world.
“In geopolitical terms, Kissinger considered the rise of a left-wing coalition to power through democratic means even more dangerous than the example set by Cuba. Indeed, this could be replicated in Western countries with powerful communist parties in terms of electoral influence, such as in Italy,” said Rolando Álvarez, a history professor at the University of Santiago, Chile.
Kissinger was seemingly unaffected by tales of suffering at the hands of military officers, even though his own family arrived in the U.S. as refugees who had to flee Nazi Germany in his teens.
“By the end of 1976, State Department aides were telling Henry Kissinger, a Jew, that Jews were being targeted in Argentina,” Rabe said. “And Kissinger just didn’t do anything.”
In Chile’s neighbor, Argentina, a military junta rose to power in 1976 vowing to combat leftist “subversives.” Kissinger made clear he had no objections to their brutal tactics and repeatedly ignored calls from other State Department officials to raise more concerns about human rights violations.
In a June 1976 meeting, Kissinger had a message for Argentina’s foreign minister, Admiral César Augusto Guzzetti: “If there are things that have to be done, you should do them quickly.” He later reiterated that support during a meeting in October 1976 — a time when Argentine officials were worried the U.S. would raise human rights concerns amid increasing reports of torture and disappearances.
Guzzetti was “overjoyed” at the meetings, and “had felt that Kissinger had given him the signal that the United States had no objection to wholesale slaughter,” Rabe said.
Kissinger had a similar attitude toward other military dictatorships
 in the region, including in Uruguay and Brazil, and never raised objections to what was known as Operation Condor, a clandestine program that allowed military regimes in that part of the world to illegally pursue, detain, torture and assassinate political dissidents who fled their countries.
That attitude made a lasting imprint on Latin Americans’ psyche.
“At least here in Latin America, what I perceived in Henry Kissinger’s vision is very negative because it’s a kind of anything goes mentality. No matter how brutal the dictatorship is that must be supported, it doesn’t matter,” said Francisco Bustos, a human rights lawyer and professor at the University of Chile.
Decades later, the effects of that policy are still being felt in a region that feels the U.S. would go to any lengths to support its interests.
“There is a segment of political parties and movements in Latin America, including Chile, where the relationship with the United States is essentially marked by anti-imperialism. This perspective essentially sees any U.S. administration, whether Democratic or Republican, liberal, progressive, or ultraconservative, as more or less the same,” said Gilberto Aranda, an international relations professor at the University of Chile.
Although U.S. intervention in a region that was often referred to as “America’s backyard” has a long history, Kissinger seemed to take that into overdrive.
It’s no surprise then that one of the harshest reactions to Kissinger’s death came from a Chilean official.
“A man has died whose historical brilliance never managed to conceal his profound moral misery,” Chile’s ambassador to the United States, Juan Gabriel Valdes, posted on the social media platform X. Chile’s leftist President Gabriel Boric then retweeted the message.

- Norwegian NGO: Gaza ‘a Stein on Israel, Allies’

Jan Egeland, the secretary general of the Norwegian Refugee Council, said on Tuesday that civilian deaths in Gaza “are a stain on Israel and its allies”.
In a statement, he said: “The pulverizing of Gaza now ranks amongst the worst assaults on any civilian population in our time and age. Each day we see more dead children and new depths of suffering for the innocent people enduring this hell.”
Egeland added that many NRC staff members now live on the streets. One of them does so with her two-month-old baby.
“Countries supporting Israel with arms must understand that these civilian deaths will be a permanent stain on their reputation. They must demand an immediate ceasefire in Israel and Gaza. Only a cessation of hostilities will allow us to ensure effective relief to the two million who now require it,” he added.
His remarks came as Zionist forces stormed southern Gaza’s main city on Tuesday in what they called the most intense day of combat in five weeks of ground invasion, and hospitals struggled to cope with scores of Palestinian dead and wounded.
The commander of the Zionist military’s Southern Command, General Yaron Finkelman, said Israeli forces were fighting in Jabalia, a large urban refugee camp and in northern Gaza next to Gaza City, in Shuja’iyya, east of the city and in Khan Younis.
Khan Younis residents said Israeli troops and tanks had crossed through the Israeli fence enclosing the coastal Gaza Strip and closed in on the city from the east.
The Zionists, who largely seized Gaza’s northern half last month before pausing for the week-long truce, say they are now extending their ground invasion to the south.
Palestinian health officials said large numbers of people had been martyred in a strike on houses in Deir al-Balah, north of Khan Younis. Dr Eyad Al-Jabri, head of the Shuhada Al-Aqsa Hospital there, told Reuters at least 45 people had been martyred.
Israeli bombardments have driven 80% of Gaza’s 2.3 million residents from their homes, most fleeing south. Crowded southern areas are now sheltering triple their usual population.
Palestinian Health Minister Mai Alkalia called for an immediate ceasefire and an end to Israeli aggression in the Gaza Strip, West Bank and Al-Quds, as the Palestinian death toll since the Israeli onslaught began on October 7 reached 16,160.
In a press conference in Ramallah on Tuesday, Alkalia also called for international pressure on the Zionist regime to allow medical
 teams, aid trucks and medical supplies to enter the besieged Gaza Strip.
At Khan Younis’ main Nasser hospital, the wounded arrived by ambulance, car, flatbed truck and donkey cart after what survivors described as a strike on a school being used as a shelter for the displaced.
Inside a ward, almost every inch of floor space was taken up by the wounded, medics hurrying from patient to patient while relatives wailed.
A doctor carried the small limp body of a dead boy in a tracksuit and placed him in a corner, arms splayed across the blood-smeared tile. On the floor nearby, surrounded by discarded bandages and rubber gloves, lay a wounded boy and girl, their limbs tangled with the stands holding IV drips in their arms.
Two young girls were being treated, still covered in dust from the collapse of the house that had buried their family.
“My parents are under the rubble,” sobbed one. “I want my mum, I want my mum, I want my family.”
Gaza health ministry spokesperson Ashra al-Qidra said at least 43 corpses had already reached Nasser hospital that morning and that hospitals in southern Gaza Strip were “totally collapsing”.
Gazans say there is no safe place, with remaining towns and shelters already overwhelmed, and Israel continuing to bomb the areas where it is telling people to go.
James Elder, spokesperson for UN children’s agency UNICEF, said the few small areas designated “safe” by Israel were merely “tiny patches of barren land”, street corners, sidewalks or half-built buildings unsuitable for the hundreds of thousands of people in desperate need of shelter.

- White House: U.S. Out of Money for Ukraine War

The United States is running out of time and money to help Ukraine fight its war against Russia, White House officials warned on Monday.
Democratic President Joe Biden’s administration in October asked Congress for nearly $106 billion to fund ambitious plans for Ukraine, Israel and U.S. border security but Republicans who control the House with a slim majority rejected the package.
White House budget director Shalanda Young, in a letter to Mike Johnson, the Republican speaker of the House of Representatives, and other congressional leaders, said cutting off funding and a flow of weapons would “kneecap Ukraine on the battlefield” and increase the likelihood of Russian victories.
“I want to be clear: without congressional action, by the end of the year we will run out of resources to procure more weapons and equipment for Ukraine and to provide equipment from U.S. military stocks,” Young wrote in the letter released by the White House. “There is no magical pot of funding available to meet this moment. We are out of money - and nearly out of time.”
Congress has approved more than $110 billion for Ukraine since Russia’s February 2022 operation but it has not approved any funds since Republicans took over the House from Democrats in January.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Monday night that Ukraine President Volodomyr Zelensky had been invited to address senators via secure video on Tuesday as part of a classified briefing to hear what is at stake.
The House and Senate last approved $45 billion in military, financial and humanitarian aid for Ukraine as part of a broader annual spending bill passed in December 2022.
Bipartisan talks about U.S. border security funding, which Republicans want to link to Ukraine funding, have sputtered in the Democrat-controlled Senate, several sources said on Monday.
Republicans have proposed significant changes as large numbers of immigrants arrive at the southern border with Mexico that Democrats argue would virtually shut down any asylum possibilities for migrants.
Johnson on social media said that Biden’s administration has “failed to substantively address” Republican concerns about Ukraine strategy and said that any national security spending package must address U.S. border policies.
“We believe both issues can be agreed upon if Senate Democrats and the White House will negotiate reasonably,” Johnson wrote on X, formerly called Twitter.
The House’s failure to consider the White House request has raised concerns that funding for Kyiv might never be approved, especially after it passed a bill in November with funding for Israel but not Ukraine. The Senate’s Democratic leaders rejected that bill.
Biden administration officials were expected to hold classified briefings for the House and Senate on Tuesday. The White House letter also went to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell and House Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries.
Biden, who is running for re-election in 2024, has rallied NATO allies to back Ukraine and said repeatedly that Russian President Vladimir Putin underestimated the West’s resolve in supporting its neighbor against Russian aggression.
“Now it’s up to Congress. Congress has to decide whether to continue to support the fight for freedom in Ukraine ... or whether Congress will ignore the lessons we’ve learned from history and let Putin prevail. It is that simple,” Biden’s national security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters.
McConnell rejected the White House’s strategy.
“Instead of engaging actively in the border security discussions required to complete a viable national security supplemental, the Biden administration has chosen to lecture - lecture - Congress with a brag reel of its supposed leadership in countering Putin in Europe,” he said in remarks on the Senate floor.
Young said U.S. allies had stepped up their support for Ukraine, but that Washington’s support could not be replaced.
By mid-November, the U.S. Defense Department had used 97% of $62.3 billion in supplemental funding it had received and the State Department had used all of the $4.7 billion in military assistance fund it had been allocated, she wrote.
Around $27.2 billion in economic aid money had been used up, as had $10 billion in humanitarian assistance.


- Raisi submits national budget bill to Majlis

President Ebrahim Raisi submitted the national budget bill for the next Iranian calendar year (March 2024-March 2025) to the Majlis (parliament) on Tuesday. The proposed budget for the next year amounts to about 54.18 quadrillion rials (about $108.36 billion at the free market rate of 500,000 rials), with an 18 percent rise from the current year’s budget. The bill has estimated the government’s budget at 24.29 quadrillion rials (about $48.58 billion). Public resources are estimated at 14.95 quadrillion rials (about $29.9 billion). The crude oil income is predicted to be 5.54 quadrillion rials (about $11.08 billion), and oil sales are estimated at 1.35 million barrels per day at an average price of €65. Like the current year’s budget, the next year’s proposed budget requires the government to pay 40 percent of its oil, gas, and gas condensate revenues to the National Development Fund (NDF). Tax revenues are predicted to be 11.22 quadrillion rials (about $22.44 billion) which is 49.8 percent more than the figure for the current year’s budget bill.

- Iran rejects involvement in Yemeni attacks on Israeli ships

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman has rejected British accusations that Iran was involved in a spate of attacks targeting Israeli vessels in the Red Sea, calling the claims baseless and politically motivated. “These claims are raised with specific political motives and indicate the efforts of the British authorities to distort the realities of the region and their susceptibility to the preferences of third parties, including the child-killing Zionist regime,” Nasser Kanaani said on Tuesday He added that such provocative statements by London pose a threat to regional and international stability. “As we have stated clearly before, the resistance groups in the region do not take orders from the Islamic Republic of Iran to confront and respond to the war crimes and genocide of the Zionist regime. These groups make their own decisions based on their principles, priorities, and interests of their country and people.” Kanaani also advised the British authorities to focus their energy on bringing an end to the Israeli war crimes in Gaza, instead of coming up with “baseless” accusations. London has shown steadfast support for Israel since the beginning of the regime’s deadly bombing campaign on Gaza.

- Iran’s thinking focused on a peaceful solution to the Palestine issue

The Foreign Policy, in an article on December 4, shed light on “The 7 reasons why Iran won’t fight for Hamas”. Truly, Tehran has been insisting and promoting the idea of a referendum as a peaceful solution to the Palestinian wound that self-proclaimed defenders of democracy have no justification to reject it. Since Hamas’s Operation Al-Aqsa Storm on October 7, Iranian officials have been emphasizing that the operation was planned and carried out by the resistance groups, calling it a “purely Palestinian initiative.” The Israeli and Western officials, faced with the unforgettable defeat, have clung to every straw to link the operation to Tehran. By portraying Tehran as the main backer of the Hamas operation, the Zionists have been seeking to downgrade the scope of their failure and find an excuse to distort the ongoing realities in Palestine. The Tel Aviv officials have been launching relentless efforts, especially by launching political and media campaigns, to attribute their intelligence and military failure to Iran, saying such an operation could not have been carried out merely by Hamas fighters.

- Over 130 Iranian women among world’s top 1% most-cited researchers

Some 135 out of 938 Iranian researchers who have been recognized among the world’s top one percent mostcited researchers in 2023 are female scholars. In 2023, 938 top researchers affiliated with Iranian organizations have been identified, which shows a 12 percent increase compared to the previous year. Over the past decade, the number of highly-cited researchers in the country has been growing. Women are an important part of society, playing an important role in the development of human societies, IRNA quoted Ahmad Fazelzadeh, the head of the Islamic World Science and Technology Monitoring and Citation (ISC) Institute, as saying.


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