News ID : 159449
Publish Date : 12/21/2023 9:25:39 AM
Newspaper headlines of Iranian English-language dailies on December 21

Newspaper headlines of Iranian English-language dailies on December 21

The following headlines appeared in English-language newspapers in the Iranian capital on Thursday, December 21, 2023.

NOURNEWS- The following headlines appeared in English-language newspapers in the Iranian capital on Thursday, December 21, 2023.


- Nouri verdict ‘unacceptable’

Iran has condemned as “unacceptable” a Swedish court’s verdict against a former Iranian judiciary official, Hamid Nouri, who has been illegally incarcerated in Sweden.
A Swedish court on Tuesday upheld a controversial life sentence for 62-year-old Nouri, who was arrested in 2019 under unfounded allegations of rights abuse and for what was claimed to be his alleged role in the deaths of prisoners in Iran in the 1980s.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday vehemently condemned as “fundamentally unacceptable” the verdict issued by the Stockholm Court of Appeals.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran regards the primary and appeals court’s verdict concerning Iranian citizen Hamid Nouri to be fundamentally unacceptable and strongly condemns it,” said Nasser Kanaani, the Iranian Foreign Ministry’s spokesman, Press TV reported.
“It is regrettable that the Swedish court, disregarding the standards of a fair trial, has moved to issue such a destructive verdict.”
He underlined that Sweden had sided with anti-Iran terrorist groups by such a ruling and has jeopardized Tehran-Stockholm relations.
“Unfortunately, Sweden’s judicial system, by siding with the terrorist groups that have been engaged in the most heinous terrorist and inhumane acts against the people of Iran, Iraq, and even Europe for decades, has endangered the interests of the two nations as well as the old, historical and deep-rooted relations between the two countries,” Kanaani said.
“In light of its inherent duties in defending the rights of its citizens, the Islamic Republic of Iran has used all legal capacities and facilities to free the said citizen from the grip of injustice and will continue its efforts until the fulfillment of the rights of its citizens,” he added.
The Foreign Ministry’s spokesman also stressed that the Islamic Republic reserves the right to take “appropriate” steps in that regard.
The former Iranian judiciary official has been placed in solitary confinement since his illegal arrest.

‘Unfair’ verdict
Also, Iran’s judiciary said the Swedish court’s verdict is unfair and that no ruling but the exoneration of the 62-year-old will be acceptable.
“The verdict against Hamid Nouri was unfair but predictable,” Massoud Setayeshi, the judiciary spokesman was quoted as saying by ISNA.
“We will not recognize any verdict except the acquittal verdict regarding Hamid Nouri’s innocence.”
Nouri was arrested upon arrival at Stockholm Airport in November 2019 and was immediately imprisoned.
He was put on trial on unfounded allegations staged against him by elements representing the Mujahedin-e-Khalq Organization (MKO) terrorist group that has openly boasted about carrying out terrorist operations against Iranian officials and civilians perceived to be supporters of the government.
The terrorist group had falsely claimed that Nouri was involved in the execution and torture of MKO members in 1988, baseless charges he has vehemently rejected.
In July last year, a Swedish court sentenced Nouri to life imprisonment. The court, which was described by Iran as illegitimate in the first place, convicted Nouri of “war crimes and crimes against humanity” entirely based on claims made by MKO terrorists living in exile across Europe.
The former Iranian judiciary official has been placed in solitary confinement since his illegal arrest.
As Nouri’s lower court trial was underway in Stockholm in April 2022, Iran arrested Johan Floderus, a Swede working for the EU’s diplomatic service on espionage charges, as he was returning from a trip to Iran with friends.
The Iranian judiciary spokesman also said that the case of Johan Floderus was being investigated at an official
On Wednesday, a court session dealing with the charges against the Swedish national was held at the Islamic Revolutionary Court in the presence of the Swedish Embassy official in Tehran, IRNA reported.
The third session of hearings was held on December 18, according to the judiciary spokesman.
“The legal proceedings for the case are underway in a court,” he said.
He has been in temporary detention since last year.
Iran’s Intelligence Ministry announced in March last year that it had arrested the Swedish national, who had been visiting the country, on espionage charges after having him under surveillance for some time.
The Intelligence Ministry stressed that the Swedish suspect had re-entered Iran several months earlier following the arrest of “another European spy” in order to acquire information about the identity of the detained European person and how he had been arrested by the ministry.
The suspect had had a history of traveling to the Israeli-occupied territories before leaving for Iran.

- Israel, Hamas working toward new truce, prisoner deal

Hopes rose Wednesday that Israel and Hamas may be inching toward another truce and prisoner release deal in the Gaza war, following secret talks as the head of the Palestinian resistance group visited Egypt.
The leader of Hamas made his first visit to Egypt for over a month on Wednesday, a rare personal intervention in diplomacy amid what a source described as intensive talks on a new cease-fire to let aid reach Gaza and get prisoners freed.
Ismail Haniyeh, who normally resides in Qatar, typically intervenes in diplomacy publicly only when progress seems likely. He last traveled to Egypt in early November before the announcement of the only agreement on a cease-fire in the war so far, a week-long pause during which more than 100 prisoners were released.
A source briefed on negotiations said envoys were discussing which of the prisoners still held by Hamas in Gaza could be freed under a new truce agreement, and what prisoners Israel might release in return.
Israel was insisting that all remaining women and infirm men among captives be released, the source said, declining to be identified. Palestinians convicted of serious offences could be on the list of prisoners to be freed.
President Isaac Herzog also said Israel was “ready for another humanitarian pause and additional humanitarian aid in order to enable the release of hostages”.
The bloodiest ever Gaza war began when Hamas attacked on October 7, killing around 1,140 people in Israel, and abducting about 250, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli figures.
Israel launched a military campaign that Gaza’s Hamas-run Health Ministry says has killed 19,667 people, mostly women and children, while also cutting off most water, food and power supplies.

Firm on battlefield
Ahead of the Egypt visit, Haniyeh held talks with Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in the Qatari capital Doha.
During the meeting, he said the Palestinian resistance stands “firm on the battlefield” despite two and a half months of Israeli war crimes in the besieged Gaza Strip.
Haniyeh said the volume of the Israeli military’s aerial, naval, and ground attacks on the besieged Gaza has been unprecedented.
“The resistance has still stood firm and steadfast on the battlefield and inflicted heavy damage on the Zionist regime after 75 days of Israeli crimes and mass murders as part of its scorched-earth policy.”
Haniyeh also hailed the Palestinian nation for showing unique resilience and standing by the resistance while paying a heavy price for their position.
Amir-Abdollahian, for his part, stressed that Iran will continue its diplomatic efforts to support “the oppressed but powerful and patient Palestinian nation” in an attempt to end Israel’s criminal aggression and siege on Gaza and counter imposed pro-Israeli political schemes.

UN vote delayed
The UN Security Council was set to vote later Wednesday on a resolution calling for a pause in the conflict, diplomatic sources told AFP, after two previous votes were delayed as members wrangled over wording.
The latest version of the text calls for the “suspension” of hostilities, the sources said.
The US vetoed a previous cease-fire resolution, sparking condemnation by aid groups which urged more action to help civilians caught in the conflict.
The UN estimates 1.9 million of Gaza’s 2.3 million residents have been forced to flee their homes, many sheltering in tents amid dire shortages and the biting winter cold.
“Amid displacement at an unimaginable scale and active hostilities, the humanitarian response system is on the brink,” said Tor Wennesland, the UN’s special coordinator for the Middle East peace process.
Israel, which declared a total siege on Gaza at the start of the war, has since allowed in aid trucks through the Rafah border crossing with Egypt and, as of this week, its own Kerem Shalom crossing.
The UN’s World Food Progamme said Wednesday it had delivered food through the crossing in a first direct aid convoy from Jordan. Aid groups have warned the humanitarian goods fall far short of the dire need, and the UN children’s agency said that “child deaths due to disease could surpass those killed in bombardments”.
Inside Gaza, Reuters saw wounded victims of Israeli bombing, including at least two small children covered in blood and dust, carried into the Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis. At the hospital morgue, women wearing black abaya robes wailed by bodies laid out in black bags and white shrouds.

- Tehran’s air pollution equals smoking 7 cigarettes a day

Inhaling Tehran’s extremely polluted air is equivalent to smoking at least seven cigarettes for the entire population exposed to pollution, including children, announced Abbas Shahsavani, the head of the air health and climate change group at the Ministry of Health.
Constant coughing, redness and burning of the eyes have troubled many BRT passengers in Tehran, and everyone seems to have their own way of coping with this situation, Fars News Agency reported.
In the face of air pollution, it is recommended that individuals with respiratory conditions, lung and heart problems, vascular issues, pregnant women, children (especially those with respiratory diseases), immunodeficiency problems, and the elderly, among others, avoid being outdoors. These individuals belong to the sensitive groups who are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of air pollution.
The primary causes of air pollution in the country are motorcycles and old cars, which are responsible for 88 percent of the air pollution in Iran. The remaining 12 percent is attributed to fixed sources and industries. Shockingly, the Ministry of Health has reported that 20,000 deaths in Iran can be attributed to air pollution. In Tehran alone, more than 3,700 people die every year due to this issue.
Mohammadreza Masjedi, the Secretary General of the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases, reveals recent research indicating that air pollution claims the lives of nine million people worldwide each year. While deaths caused by strokes outnumber those caused by air pollution, it is worth noting that one-third of stroke-related deaths are still linked to air pollution.
Mehdi Kamari, a health expert from Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, emphasizes that a person’s genetics, underlying diseases, and diet can influence their sensitivity to air pollution.
“Staying at home is the best solution for those who can avoid going outside during periods of high air pollution,” says Kamari.
Health experts also highlight the risks faced by the elderly in relation to air pollution. With weaker immune systems and potential underlying health conditions, the elderly are less capable of coping with suspended particles and air pollution. These particles can exacerbate heart diseases and even lead to strokes and other cardiac issues. It is advisable for the elderly to stay hydrated, use masks suitable for air pollution such as N95, KN95, and FFP2, and take necessary precautions to protect their health.


- IRGC Navy Equipped With Long-Lange Cruise Missiles

The commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Navy said Wednesday his force has furnished its vessels with long-range homegrown naval cruise missiles that use artificial intelligence (AI) and enjoy high controllability after launch. Speaking at a ceremony in the southern Iranian port city of Bushehr on Wednesday, Rear Admiral Alireza Tangsiri stated that introduction of the new military achievement to the IRGC Navy has dramatically boosted its deterrent power. “Among the most distinguishing features of the new vessels are their ability to cruise at a higher velocity, and 

outstanding qualities which outshine their predecessors,” he added.
The IRGC Navy commander further noted that missiles guided by artificial intelligence which enjoy remote controllability after launch have been fitted into the equipment.
“The design and manufacture of such vessels by Iranian experts at the IRGC Navy exhibit the country’s strong resolve to attain self-sufficiency in the production of essential combat equipment and systems,” Tangsiri pointed out.
The senior Iranian military commander said a number of IRGC naval units have already taken delivery of the sophisticated vessels, emphasizing that the entire combat units of the force will receive them in the near future.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Tangsiri stated that Shahid Hassan Bagheri patrol combat vessel and Shahid Sayyad Shirazi warship have already been manufactured in a class that has been named after the country’s top anti-terror commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, who was assassinated in a US drone strike near Baghdad airport in January 2020.
He expressed hope that domestically designed and manufactured Abu Mahdi and Rais Ali Delvari vessels will soon join the IRGC naval fleet.
Tangsiri also noted that tremendous and commendable strides have also been made as regards development of various types of unmanned aerial vehicles, improvement of their flight endurance and increase in their payload capacity, as well as production of naval subsurface vessels.
The top general said the Iranian armed forces are closely and constantly monitoring the enemies’ moves across the Persian Gulf region by means of ground, aerial, sea-surface and underwater surveillance systems.

- 29 Zionist Soldiers Injured in 24 Hours in Gaza

The Israeli military said Wednesday 29 of its soldiers have been injured in battles in the Gaza Strip over the past 24 hours.
The announcement came as the Zionist regime said it has communicated to Qatari mediation its willingness to agree to a one-week truce in exchange for the release of 40 captives in Gaza, according to reports from Tel Aviv officials and a foreign source.

- Yemen Will Strike U.S. Warships If Attacked

The leader of the Yemeni Ansarullah resistance movement said on Wednesday the country’s armed forces will not hesitate to target U.S. military warships in the Red Sea if Washington and its allies carry out military strikes against Yemen.
Abdul-Malik al-Houthi made the remarks in a televised speech broadcast live, in which he pledged that Yemeni forces will start firing cruise missiles at U.S. military vessels should the newly formed maritime task force in the Red Sea take a hostile action or strike Yemen.
The Ansarullah chief also advised member countries of the coalition not to sacrifice their own security at the expense of the Israeli regime’s interests.
“If the United States opts to raise the ante, Yemeni Armed Forces will not stand idly by. They will promptly target American warships, and barrages of missiles will rain down on U.S. military forces and their sensitive sites,” Houthi said.
He said Yemeni forces will continue to target Israeli-owned and Israel-bound ships in support of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, but added that they will pose no threat to other merchant vessels cruising in the waterway.
“The U.S. is seeking to militarize the Red Sea in order to safeguard the interests of the Zionist enemy. Washington’s measures in support of Zionists will definitely endanger security and stability in the region,” the Ansarullah leader said.
Houthi warned U.S. leaders against fiendish attempts to test the resolve of the Yemeni nation in defense of their sovereignty.
The Ansarullah chief sharply criticized the U.S. for aiding and abetting the Zionist regime in its atrocities against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, saying Washington is complicit in the massacre of Palestinian children and women.
“The Zionist enemy takes pride in its ongoing criminal campaign and [genocidal] war against civilians. The Tel Aviv regime resorts to assaults on unarmed ordinary people anytime it suffers defeats in ground battles.
“Over the past 75 days of Israel’s war on Gaza, the regime has perpetrated the most heinous types of crimes. It is targeting Palestinians through all means of genocide, brutally using starvation as a weapon, laying siege to the territory, preventing entry of foodstuff and medicines, and clearly targeting hospitals,” he said.
While armies usually designate strategic and military installation as their targets in case of a war, Houthi added, the occupying regime of Israel has brazenly declared Gaza hospitals as the prime target of its attacks.

- Mosques, Houses Targeted as Zionist Barbarism Intensifies

A mosque and a number of residential homes were destroyed in an Israeli strike on the city of Rafah on Wednesday, leaving an unknown number of casualties have been left under the rubble, according to local media.
The buildings were hit near the Kuwaiti Hospital in the city, in southern Gaza, with dramatic footage of attacked captured by Al Jazeera live.
The broadcaster said dozens of people had been killed and wounded and that the hospital was not prepared to cope with the numbers of people coming in.
Rafah governorate has become the most densely populated part of Gaza, with 12,000 people per square kilometer, the UN warned on Wednesday.
“Population density is assessed to now exceed 12,000 people per square kilometer, a fourfold increase prior to the escalation,” said the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
“Thousands of people line up before aid distribution centers in need of food, water, shelter, and protection, amid the absence of latrines and adequate water and sanitation facilities in informal displacement sites and makeshift shelters.”
Earlier, the bodies of at least 46 Palestinians were brought to Jabalia Medical Centre in northern Gaza following Israeli bombardment at dawn, the Palestinian health ministry said.
At least 110 people were also wounded, with dozens more still believed to be trapped under the rubble.
The Jabalia refugee camp has been the site of some of the most intense Israeli attacks since October 7 and just Tuesday dozens had been martyred in an Israeli attack.
The Palestine Red Crescent Society said in a post on X that the Zionist military had “surrounded and besieged” the Palestine Red Crescent Society ambulance centre in Jabalia.
Eyewitnesses told Middle East Eye that Zionist forces have encircled the camp, deploying forces on multiple fronts including Abu Sharakh, Safatawi, Sheikh Radwan, and Jabalia town.
“They took over my family’s house as their base. We observed a sniper on the roof of the house,” said Saleh, a resident of the camp.
“We live day by day. We evacuate our homes when the bombing intensifies, returning only once the forces withdraw. However, returning now seems impossible as the house is no longer habitable.”
He said that three hours before Israeli forces stormed his house, the army bombed two adjacent houses.
“From our window, we witnessed the area being carpet-bombed for their tanks. We sought refuge in three houses, hoping for safety, but in the north, there was no secure place. We are enduring punishment for simply staying in our homes.”
Sameer, a 27-year-old from the camp, said he had witnessed “massacres” in the north that had gone uncovered by the media.
“On December 18 in Jabalia, specifically Alnazla, an entire square was obliterated, resulting in 100 civilians being killed,” said Sameer.
“The gravity of what we are experiencing remains unknown to the world. What is happening amounts to indiscriminate bombardment, a concerted effort to erase the entire area.”
Communications and internet services were completely cut off Wednesday in wide areas of the Gaza Strip amid ongoing Israeli airstrikes in various parts of the enclave.
It marked the seventh outage in the Palestinian territory since the start
of the Zionist invasion of Gaza, Jawwal and Paltel telecom providers said in a statement.
A prominent Israeli journalist said the Zionist regime should have killed 100,000 Palestinians in Gaza.
Zvi Yehezkeli, Channel 13’s Arab affairs correspondent, was speaking on the channel on Tuesday when he made the suggestion.
“In my opinion the IDF should have launched a more fatal attack with 100,000 killed in the beginning, yes, there are Hamas members, there are 20,000 Hamas members,” he told the presenter.
“But I know those 100,000 will not all be Hamas members. I don’t know who was involved and wasn’t involved and who is or isn’t innocent.”
In the occupied West Bank, Zionist forces shot dead Basil Wajiya Abd al-Afo al-Muhtaseb, 28, in Beit Ainun north of Al-Khalil, the Palestinian news agency Wafa reported.
The region was declared a closed military zone, and the Israeli military prevented Palestinians from entering or leaving.

- Swedish Regime Should Immediately Release  Innocent Iranian Citizen

The current regime in Sweden has a sinister record concerning human rights, peace, respect for the sanctity of religious texts (e.g. of Islam), and safety of visitors from other countries, especially those safeguarding their nations’ security and stability – factors which are of paramount importance for preventing spread of terrorism and treason to other parts of the world as well.
These are crimes-against-humanity, and unfortunately, have become a normal practice for the Swedish regime, as is evident by its profanity of the sacred, its violation of diplomatic norms, its politicizing of cultural issues, its siding with the Zionist genocide of the Palestinians, and its attempts to slavishly serve the ‘Great Satan’ in geographical areas far removed from Europe, such as the Red Sea.    
The intention is not to castigate the authorities in Stockholm for proliferation of promiscuity in the name of ill-defined freedom that has resulted in trashing of the laws of Christianity and birth of a generation of illegitimate children, many of whom might be part of the government apparatus itself.
Neither are we intent upon sermonizing Sweden for its steep descent (like all other western countries) into legalizing the satanic ways of sodomy and lesbianism to destroy the natural healthy gender relationships of the family unit and the entire society.
Nor is it our duty to pick up sides in inter-European political issues such as Sweden’s serious tensions with Russia or Turkey.
The Islamic Republic of Iran, however, has every right to confront the Swedish regime’s unpardonable crimes, such as desecration of Islamic sanctities, meddling in the affairs of West Asia, sending spies to Iran to gather information for Israel, illegally imprisoning a law-abiding Iranian official on trumped up charges leveled at a kangaroo court, and distorting the concept of peace and the spirit of Alfred Nobel by awarding the ‘Peace Prize’ to a fugitive family of a lawfully jailed person notorious for obstructing the course of justice against hardcore criminals.
To be brief, it is nothing but a mockery of international justice for the so-called Appeal Court in Stockholm to uphold the life sentence for the illegally imprisoned former Iranian judicial official, Hamid Nouri, who was visiting Sweden on a valid visa and had not broken any Swedish law.
It is now over two years since he is languishing in solitary confinement, while all diplomatic efforts by the government of Iran and judicial procedures through lawyers by his family, have failed to procure his release.
Tehran categorically repeats that the regime in Stockholm which in violation of international laws has given asylum to terrorists whose hands are dipped in the blood of thousands of Iranian citizens, including senior officials, should release the 62-year Nouri immediately, or face justified consequences.


- Accusations against Tehran baseless: nuclear chief

Mohammad Eslami, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), has rebuffed accusations leveled against Iran, calling them “baseless.” Speaking on the sidelines of the cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Eslami emphasized that the AEOI is operating in accordance with the strategic action approved by the Iranian Parliament, which aims to pave the way for the lifting of sanctions on the country. He pointed to the recent report of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which expressed concerns over unresolved nuclear issues in Iran, asserting that the report is politically biased and does not reflect the actual state of Iran’s nuclear program. “The relations between the IAEA and Iran are based on the framework of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and safeguards, and the IAEA is fully inspecting Iran’s nuclear program,” Eslami clarified. He urged the remaining parties to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the nuclear deal with Iran, to abide by their commitments, just as Iran has fully implemented its obligations. 

- Hollywood continues turning a blind eye to Israeli crimes

The strong ties between Hollywood and Israel are rooted in a long history at least partially engineered by the Israeli government and American Zionist groups. Israel has historically enjoyed staunch support in Hollywood. Its birth in 1948, in the aftermath of the Holocaust, was celebrated by a capacity crowd at the Hollywood Bowl who listened to a recorded message from founding prime minister David Ben-Gurion. Over the course of 75 years, a staggering number of Hollywood stars have supported Israel. From Kirk Douglas, Sammy Davis Jr., Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, and Barbra Streisand to Gal Gadot, Jerry Seinfeld, Jamie Lee Curtis, Chris Pine, Liev Schreiber, Amy Schumer, and Michael Douglas, the Zionist state has been fully embraced, backed, and promoted by Hollywood, a treatment no other country has received in Tinseltown. Hollywood has long enjoyed a special relationship with Israel, both on and off the screen. Hollywood’s involvement with Israel has been driven by ideology.

- Israel under pressure to accept a ceasefire

The Israeli regime is under increasing pressure to accept another ceasefire. According to the Washington Post, citing Israeli and American sources, the regime is mulling a two-week ceasefire to free Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Israeli captives. There are three main reasons for this. Firstly, the Palestinian resistance is inflicting heavy losses on the regime’s ground forces. Both Israeli troops are being killed, and tanks are being bombed. On an almost daily basis now, the Israeli army is announcing the fatalities of its ground soldiers. On Wednesday, it said that at least two Israeli troops had been killed. At least three others had been killed on Tuesday, according to the Israeli military. It brings the number of occupation troops killed in the Gaza Strip to more than 135 since the regime waged a ground offensive.


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