News ID : 159525
Publish Date : 12/23/2023 9:30:07 AM
Newspaper headlines of Iranian English-language dailies on December 23

Newspaper headlines of Iranian English-language dailies on December 23

The following headlines appeared in English-language newspapers in the Iranian capital on Saturday, December 23, 2023.

NOURNEWS- The following headlines appeared in English-language newspapers in the Iranian capital on Saturday, December 23, 2023.


- Raisi: Fiber optics key infrastructure for smart services development

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said on Friday that fiber optics are an important infrastructure for the development of smart services.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of a national plan to bring a fiber optics network to homes, businesses, and schools in the northern province of Golestan, he added, “Today, we witness the development of one of the most important communications and information technology infrastructures in this province,” according to
The president stated, “All aspects of human life are reliant on the Internet, in economic, educational, personal and social life, businesses, banking communications and other services depend on the Internet, as without it life would be disrupted.”
Considering the problems that copper cables suffer and its limitations, fiber optics can guarantee Internet communications and services, said Raisi, adding, “This important infrastructure should not be neglected.”
During his two-day visit to Golestan Province, which ended on Friday, the president was accompanied by ministers, who discussed problems and issues.
Inaugurating a 600-bed hospital, several water supply projects, and a project for the dredging of Gorgan Bay were among the major projects inaugurated during president Raisi’s visit to Gorgan.

- Annual exports to Iraq to hit $12b: Official

Iran’s exports to neighboring Iraq will reach $12 billion by the end of the current Iranian year (March 19, 2024), said a member of the Iran-Iraq Joint Chamber of Commerce.
Talking to Fars news agency, Hamid Hosseini said Iran’s exports of products to Iraq in the first eight months of the current Iranian year showed a 35 percent growth compared to the same period last year.  
Iran and Iraq enjoy high potential to boost the level of bilateral trade, he said, adding that Iran has been the third exporting country to Iraq, after China and Turkey, over the past three years.
Iran’s Trade Promotion Organization (TPO) has embarked on setting up an office in Iraq to boost bilateral trade.
According to the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration (IRICA), Iran exported more than $32 billion worth of products from March 21 to November 22, 2023, over $6 billion of which was destined to neighboring Iraq.

- Iran to turn into major trade partner for EAEU: Minister

Iran will become one of the most important trade partners of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) with the inking of a free trade agreement (FTA) between the two sides, said the union’s minister in charge of trade.
Andrey Slepnev made the remarks in a meeting with the Iranian Ambassador to Russia Kazem Jalali, IRNA reported.
He also called the agreement the most important cooperation document between the two sides.
Jalali, for his part, said the FTA is the result of intensive negotiations and the will of the two sides to develop bilateral relations.
In 2018, Iran and the EAEU inked a preferential trade agreement (PTA), which came into effect on October 27, 2019. The two sides later began negotiations to upgrade the PTA to FTA, after the success of the former.
The EAEU was established in 2015 at the initiative taken by the Russian Federation, Kazakhstan, and Belarus. Afterward, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan joined the union.

- Excavations at 8,000-year-old site in Iran’s Ardebil Province

Iranian historians shed light on the enigmatic origins of Ardebil, revealing a 1,500-year-old history that traces back to the reign of the Sassanid ruler, Firouz.
Situated as the administrative hub of its province, Ardebil’s historical tapestry intertwines with pivotal eras, flourishing notably during the Sassanians, Abbasids, Great Seljuks and Safavids. Despite the veil of uncertainty shrouding its exact founding date, the city’s rich heritage unravels a story that transcends time and civilizations, inviting exploration into its profound historical roots, Daily Sabah wrote.
While information about the exact founding date of the ancient city Ardebil is not certain, there are many resources suggesting that Zarathustra, the founder of Zoroastrianism, lived there.
It is believed that Zarathustra wrote the Avesta on Mount Sabalan, located between Ardebil and Meshginshahr. Therefore, Mount Sabalan is considered sacred by Zoroastrians.
In this case, it is possible to trace the history of Ardebil, formerly known as Artavil, back to 2,500 years.
The city settlement of Shahar Yeri, located near Ardebil in Meshginshahr and dating back to approximately 8,000 years ago, is known as the oldest settlement in the region.
The large stone structures in this historical area, reminiscent of tombstones, feature prominent owl figures.
In general, some of the stones depicting an owl landing on a tree branch also use the sign of a cross instead of a tree branch.
Although the cross symbol on some of the stones seems to have been made later in terms of structure and shape, a closer examination reveals that some of them were originally like this.
When viewed from above, the stones that initially seem randomly arranged follow a systematic order and are not randomly placed.
While the main outlines remain in the original form as discovered in excavations, stones found in the vicinity and transported to the area for preservation purposes are also displayed in the same area.
Excavation work is being conducted in the historical area. Archaeology expert Mesud Nakıli, who spoke to an Anadolu Agency (AA) reporter about the historical site, stated that the Shahar Yeri archaeological site consists of 400 hectares.
Nakıli explained that excavations began in 2003 when this area was discovered by a foreign archaeologist, and they have been conducting excavation work on an area of approximately 1,000 square meters (10,760 square feet).
He explained: “We concluded that these stones were used for sacred and religious rituals due to their shapes and postures. We found about 500 stones with human figures on them and in front of these stones there are stones for placing offerings.”
Nakıli mentioned that they found pottery, jewelry and bones during the excavation and concluded that this location was a temple or a sacred area.
Regarding the absence of mouth structures in the human figures on the stones, Nakıli said: “This signifies silence as an expression of respect. Therefore, it is an indication that this place is sacred.”
Pointing out that some figures on the stones hold swords and that some of these swords lack scabbards, Nakıli suggested that these figures may represent warriors.
Nakıli mentioned the presence of a cave-like area just below the historical site and commented, “They would first cleanse themselves by performing ablutions in this area, then enter the temple to perform their rituals.”
Nakıli mentioned that there are two similar sites based on the positioning of the stones, located in France and Türkiye. However, he noted that the stones in those places are relatively few.
Assessing the arrangement of the stones and the shapes of the corridors, Nakıli said: “If we look at this, we see that they benefited from astronomy, and we understand that the movements of the large stone served as a sundial.”
Nakıli highlighted that approximately 500 similar sites exist in the region; however, unauthorized excavations have led to the destruction of the majority of them.
He also noted that their findings from the excavations led them to conclude that this region dates back to the Iron Age.
He mentioned that some of the historical artifacts found in the excavation area date back to the Chalcolithic period, around 4,000 to 5,000 years before the Common Era, and these artifacts are preserved in the Meshginshahr museum.
Historian Hadi Pejuhan, visiting the site, also stated that the oldest name for this historical area is “Pirazmiyan,” indicating its ancient origins dating back to pre-Christian times.


- Amir-Abdollahian Notifies Lavrov of Iran’s Position

Foreign Minister Hussein Amir-Abdollahian said Friday Iran will never compromise on its national sovereignty and territorial integrity.
His remarks during a phone call with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov came after a joint statement issued by several Arab countries and Russia made flagrant claims to Iran’s three Persian Gulf islands of Abu Musa, the Greater Tunb and the Lesser Tunb.
Pointing to the final statement of the 6th Arab-Russian Cooperation Forum in Morocco issued on Thursday, the

foreign minister once again reiterated that the islands in the Persian Gulf are an “inseparable” part of the Iranian territorial integrity.
He said Tehran and Moscow enjoy expanding relations and “respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states are among the fundamental principles in relations among countries.”
Lavrov said Moscow always respects Iran’s territorial integrity and national sovereignty, emphasizing that such a policy should never be questioned.

- All Options on the Table

Tens of thousands of Yemenis took to the streets across the country on Friday to express their solidarity with Palestinians in the face of the relentless Israeli air and ground onslaught on the Gaza Strip.
Protests were held in the capital Sa’ada, northern provinces of Hajjah and Al-Jawf, western provinces of Hudaydah and Dhamar, central provinces of Al-Bayda, and Ma’rib and the southwestern province of Ta’izz.
The participants held up pictures of leader of Ansarullah leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, and carried banners in condemnation of Israeli crimes against Gazans.
They also chanted slogans against the occupying regime of Israel and its staunchest military and diplomatic backer, the United States.
The Yemeni demonstrators also pledged to confront any act of aggression against their homeland.
Muhammad Ali al-Houthi, a member of Yemen’s Supreme Political Council, said that Yemeni armed forces will not hesitate to strike any country opening up its airspace for U.S.-led military strikes against the Arab nation.
“Any country that would clear its airspace for enemy fighter jets to bomb Yemen will be dealt with properly. Yemeni armed forces are working to overcome challenges as they launch missile strikes against the occupying Zionist entity,” Houthi told Lebanon’s Al-Mayadeen television news network.
He said the planned U.S.-led coalition in the Red Sea primarily aims to protect the best interests of Tel Aviv, and has nothing to do with protecting international sea navigation as claimed by Washington and its allies.
Houthi stressed that Yemeni forces will continue to target Israeli-owned and Israel-bound ships in support of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, but will not pose any threat to other merchant vessels cruising in the waterway.
The senior Yemeni official said the U.S. supports the Israeli genocidal war in Gaza, demanding all parties who feel insecure in the Red Sea and seek security to work together to stop the Israeli atrocities.
“The United States is militarizing the Red Sea, and adversely affecting international maritime traffic. Yemenis won’t ever stand idly by if Yemen comes under strikes by the U.S. or any other country.
“All options are on the table to respond to any possible American act of aggression,” Houthi pointed out.
He also advised Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates not to side with Israel against those who support Palestinian people, terming it as “morally unacceptable” for Riyadh to stay neutral in the face of the calamities unfolding in Gaza.
Yemenis would not like Saudi Arabia to participate in any coalition formed to support Israel, Houthi said.
The senior Yemeni official also said the Zionist regime poses serious threats to the future of Saudi Arabia, commending Egypt’s decision not to take part in the U.S.-led coalition in the Red Sea.
Ansarullah spokesman Muhammad Abdul Salam called on members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to follow Malaysia’s example by banning Israeli cargo ships from docking in their ports in rejection of Israel’s genocidal bombing campaign in Gaza.
“Yemen’s naval operations are not a source of concern for anyone except the Zionist entity to push it to stop its aggression and lift its siege of Gaza, and the whole world must take this position and not allow this entity to exceed all limits, violating all values and sanctities,” Abdul Salam posted on X.
He warned the world of the Israeli plans to implicate it in expanding the conflict in the region and giving extremist prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu a lifeline, in reference to the U.S.-led coalition in the Red Sea.
The U.S.-led coalition includes Britain, Bahrain, Canada, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Seychelles and Spain. With Greece set to join.
Abdul Salam praised Malaysia’s announcement of its intention not to receive Israeli ships in protest against the war in Gaza, saying the Zionist regime is violating international law through the “massacre and brutality against Palestinians”.
On Wednesday, Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim announced the decision to impose a maritime ban on Israel-affiliated vessels – singling out ZIM, Israel’s largest shipping firm.
Yemen has imposed a total ban on Israel-bound ships travelling through the Red Sea and onto the Israeli port of Eilat, causing shipping giants to change course and avoid the waterway altogether.
Yemeni attacks have crippled operations at Eilat which has suffered a whopping drop in activity since Ansarullah began targeting the vessels that would use the key Bab al-Mandab Strait in the Red Sea to reach the port, Reuters reported on Thursday, citing the port’s chief executive.
The strait hosts 40 percent of the international trade transit.
Without Bab al-Mandab, “you close the main shipping artery to Eilat Port. And therefore we lost 85% of total activity,” CEO Gideon Golber told Reuters.
Several international shipping giants have been canceling sending their ships through Bab al-Mandab.
“Some vessels are now re-routing to a much longer East-West route via the southern tip of Africa,” Reuters reported.
The Yemeni forces say they would stop targeting the vessels only if the Zionist regime ended its ongoing war on Gaza and siege of the territory.
On Thursday, the Norwegian shipping company Gram Car Carriers, which specializes in pure car truck carriers, said its vessels were restricted from passing through the Red Sea.
German container shipping line Hapag-Lloyd also said it would reroute 25 ships by the end of the year to avoid the Suez Canal and the Red Sea. The firm also vowed to take further decisions at the end of the year.
Earlier, the French shipping group CMA CGM, the Belgia n oil tanker firm EURONAV, the Taiwanese container shipping line Evergreen, the Norway-based oil tanker group Frontline, the South Korean container shipper HMM, and Hong Kong’s Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) have decided to pause shipping via the Red Sea.
Other companies include Norwegian shipping company Hoegh Autoliners, Danish shipping company Maersk, the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), Norwegian shipping group Wallenius Wilhelmsen, Taiwanese container shipping company Yang Ming Marine Transport and Ocean Network Express (ONE), a joint venture of Japan’s Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Nippon Yusen and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha.
Some of those firms also temporarily stopped accepting Israel-linked cargo.

- Resistance Operations Against Israel Intensify

Hezbollah on Friday announced that it had targeted a military site in the Israeli-occupied Palestine in a missile and artillery attack.
The site just outside the occupied Shomera village was carried out to support the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip in their resistance against the Israeli attacks, the Lebanese group said.
Hezbollah emphasized that in the operation was carried out accurately, in which enemy forces were directly hit.
On Thursday, Hezbollah targeted seven Israeli bases and settlements in the north of the occupied Palestine.
A Hezbollah statement said the group fired salvos of artillery rounds and rockets toward the Israeli town of Kiryat Shmona.
Later in the day, the group said its fighters launched rockets at the Biranit Woodlands in response to an earlier Israeli strike.
On Friday, the Islamic resistance in Iraq said it has struck a target in the city of Umm Rashrash, also known as Eilat, in the southern part of Occupied Palestine in retaliation for Israel’s genocidal war in the besieged Gaza Strip.
“The fighters of Islamic Resistance in Iraq targeted a target in the occupied Umm Rashrash (Eilat) using the appropriate weapons,” the movement said in a statement.
The operation was carried out “in support of our people in Gaza and in response to the massacres committed by the usurping entity against the civilian Palestinians.”
Iraq’s resistance forces have also targeted major U.S. military bases in Syria and Iraq, where forces and trainers are stationed, warning the United States against funding and supporting Israeli war crimes against the Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip.

- U.S., Europe Eye Russian Assets to Aid Ukraine as Funding Dries Up

The Biden administration is gearing up plans to seize $300 billion in frozen Russian Central Bank assets to fund Ukraine’s fight against Russia, reports say.
Administration officials told The New York Times that talks had been held in recent weeks between government officials, diplomats, and finance ministers to use the assets, which were frozen in 2022 as part of sanctions levied on Russia.
The move comes amid signs that support for Ukraine in some Western countries may be waning, with billions in Ukraine aid blocked by Republicans in the House of Representatives.
According to reports, plans are being formed to announce the move on the second anniversary of Russia’s invasion in February, and U.S. officials are in discussions with allies, including France and the UK.
But the plan has its pitfalls, critics say, and there are concerns the move could undermine the global financial system.
“A powerful concern is that doing so could harm international financial stability — and the dollar and euro’s status as reserve currencies — by undermining the essential trust involved in depositing reserves with other nations,” the board of The Financial Times said in an editorial.
Critics say that countries could hesitate to keep funds in dollars if they believe they could be seized, accelerating plans by some nations to move away from the currency.
On Friday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that Moscow may cut diplomatic ties with the United States if Washington confiscates his country’s assets frozen over the Ukrainian war.
Russia has described relations with the United States as “below zero” because of U.S. military and financial aid for Ukraine in the war now approaching the end of its second year.
Ryabkov said Russia, which sent forces into Ukraine in February 2022 in what it called a “special military operation”, would not be the one to initiate a break in diplomatic ties, but such a rupture could be prompted by a variety of factors.
“The trigger could be asset confiscation, further military escalation, many other things. I would not go into negative forecasts here,” he said, adding that Moscow was “ready for any scenario”.
Some Western politicians are urging that frozen Russian assets worth some $300 billion be handed to Ukraine to help rebuild its war-shattered economy.
Russia has hit back in a variety of ways against Western sanctions aimed at punishing it for the Ukraine war and hindering its ability to finance it.
The Dutch government said on Friday that the Netherlands will deliver 18 F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine to help its battle against Russia.
“Today I informed President Zelenskiy of our government’s decision to prepare an initial 18 F-16 fighter aircraft for delivery to Ukraine,” caretaker Prime Minister Mark Rutte said in a post on social media platform X.
“The delivery of F-16s is one of the most important elements of the agreements made on military support for Ukraine.”
The delivery of the fighter jets is still pending on an export permit by the Dutch ministry of Foreign Affairs and the fulfillment of criteria for staff and infrastructure in Ukraine, Rutte added without giving a timeline for these decisions.
But the announcement made it possible to reserve funds and people to prepare the planes for delivery, the government said.
The Netherlands sent its first U.S. made F-16s to a new training facility for Ukrainian pilots and staff in Romania last month.


- New Delhi abandons proIsrael stance as war in Gaza takes global stage

India is a country deeply wounded by colonialism. Apart from millions of people losing their lives during Britain’s centuries-long rule over India, the repercussions of the dark days continue to reverberate in the country’s societal fabric to this day. Challenges such as unemployment, famine, inadequate access to sanitation, education, and healthcare, as well as pervasive violence across caste, religious, and gender lines serve as poignant reminders that the impacts of the British colonial era are still alive and kicking in the Indian society. This is why individuals within India and around the globe were astonished when Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi emerged as one of the only world leaders to join Western officials and condemn the October 7 Hamas operation against Israel, an entity that undeniably evokes parallels to the British Raj.

- How real is the threat of Yemen’s Ansarullah in the Red Sea?

“Peace with the (Zionist) Jews is in Confrontation, Not in Shaking Hands with Them”. This is the title of an article featured on Yemen’s Almaseera website on October 6, just a day before Hamas launched an attack on the southern occupied territories. This title serves as a window into Yemen’s stance, the ongoing actions of the Ansarullah Movement, and their reaction to Israel’s bloodshed in the Gaza Strip. On October 31, merely three days following Israel’s ground offensive in northern Gaza, Yemen directed a barrage of missiles and drones at the southernmost point of the Israeli-occupied territories, specifically targeting Eilat port. Following this incident, Yemen made a bold announcement, vowing not to permit Israeli and Israeli-bound vessels safe passage through the Bab el-Mandeb Strait and the Red Sea. On November 19, Yemenis reported the seizure of the commercial ship Galaxy Leader, diverting its course towards Yemeni shores.

- Palestinian resistance strikes Tel Aviv

77 days after Israel’s slaughter of innocent women and children in the Gaza Strip and amid Israeli propaganda that Hamas and other Gaza-based militant groups may have run out of rockets, Tel Aviv witnessed one of the most powerful missile salvos to date. The Palestinian resistance, however, did not limit their rocket and missile attacks to Tel Aviv but targeted multiple Israeli-occupied cities and settlements, taking the Israeli regime and its media outlets by complete surprise. The regime’s Iron Dome missile system has been filmed trying to intercept rockets and long-range missiles from the coastal enclave. The footage that has gone viral on social media and Western news outlets shows a rocket barrage from the Gaza Strip at central Israeli-occupied territories. While Palestinian rockets and missiles have been fired from Gaza on an almost daily basis, Thursday was by far one of the largest attacks so far.

- Tehran condemns Arab-Russian communiqué on three islands as meddlesome

Tehran has stressed that it will not hesitate to protect its territorial integrity and has denounced as an intrusion in its domestic affairs the joint statement issued by a number of Arab nations and Russia over Iran’s three Persian Gulf islands, Abu Musa, the Greater Tunb, and the Lesser Tunb. Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei’s top advisor, Ali Akbar Velayati, stated on Thursday that he believed the concluding remarks of the 6th Arab-Russian Cooperation Forum in Morocco about the three Iranian islands amounted to meddling in Iran’s domestic affairs. Decrying the communiqué, he continued, “The meeting was held in the presence of some Arabs, who are indifferent to the fate of the Palestinians, and Russian experts in Morocco and issued a statement that has various flaws, the most important of which is interference in Iran’s affairs.” Instead of taking effective action to halt Israel’s attack in Gaza, the UAE —which has adopted a “regrettable”.

- Omani delegation visits National Museum of Islamic Revolution and Holy Defense

A delegation from Oman, led by the head of the Sultanate of Oman’s National Defence University, Ahmed Salim Mohamed Baomar, visited the National Museum of the Islamic Revolution and Holy Defense in Tehran on Thursday. During the visit, the Omani delegation was accompanied by General Ali Asghar Mohsen-Sheikhi, deputy of the National Museum of the Islamic Revolution and Holy Defense. They toured seven halls of the museum and learned about the events that led to the victory of the Islamic Revolution. At the end of the visit, Baomar thanked the Iranian officials in charge of the museum for their hospitality and warm welcome, saying that since the 1970s, the Sultanate of Oman has played a key role in keeping peace in the region. He also stressed that during the Iran-Iraq war, Oman kept inviting both sides to peace. “Today, unlike the previous regime, the Islamic Republic of Iran has achieved complete independence in various fields,” Baomar added. General Sheikhi, in his welcoming remarks, said that the Iran-Iraq war, though devastating, had also brought positive outcomes for the Islamic Republic, including greater self-reliance in science, military, and medicine. He expressed hope for continued friendship between Iran and Oman.


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