Iran’s foreign ministry rejects U.S. accusations of Saudi oil attack
Jeck Deocampo • September 16, 2019 • 323
Iran’s foreign ministry on Monday (September 16) rejected U.S. accusations that Iran was behind an attack on Saudi oil plants and said the allegations were part of a “maximum falsehood policy”.
It comes as the United States said it was “locked and loaded” for a potential response. The strikes were claimed by Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi rebels.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi made the remarks during a weekly news conference in Tehran.
Mousavi also said President Hassan Rouhani would not meet with U.S. President Donald Trump at the United Nations, a day after the White House left open the possibility of talks between them.
Tensions between Washington and Tehran were already running high because of a long-running dispute between the two nations over Iran’s nuclear program that led the United States to impose sweeping sanctions. (REUTERS)
More than 20,000 National Guard members have been deployed to patrol a dozen major U.S. states as of Tuesday amid the ongoing protests against racism and police violence over George Floyd’s death, which have sent shock waves through the country.
Eight days into the nationwide protests, incidents of arson, vandalism and looting happened in various places, along with civilian deaths and injuries of journalists related to alleged abusive use of force by the police.
According to U.S. officials with the Department of Defense, the national guard soldiers have been deployed in 29 states and would assist law enforcement officers in the face of riots.
As protests have spread to more than 140 cities across the United States, at least 40 of them have imposed curfews to curb acts of violence in extensive demonstrations against police brutality and racism, which usually erupted at night.
In D.C. on Monday evening, protesters gathered outside the White House, chanting “No justice, no peace.”
Due to the 17:10 curfew imposed in the capital, the number of protesters saw a drop compared to the previous days.
Pleading in vain for his life, George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American, died on May 25 after Derek Chauvin, a white officer, was captured on video pinning Floyd down by his neck for eight minutes in Minneapolis.
All four police officers involved have been fired, and Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter
Protests erupted in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in the following day, and quickly spread across the United States. (Reuters)
A nationwide ceasefire in response to the global coronavirus outbreak went into effect in Yemen on Thursday (April 9), raising hope for an end to the five-year-old war that has pushed millions to the brink of famine.
A Saudi-led coalition fighting against Yemen’s Houthi movement said it would halt military operations from 0900 GMT for two weeks in support of United Nations efforts to end the conflict that has killed more than 100,000 people.
The Iran-aligned movement, which controls the capital Sanaa and most big urban centres, has yet to announce whether it will follow suit in what would be the first major breakthrough in peace efforts since late 2018.
The United Nations and Western allies have pointed to the threat of the coronavirus to push the combatants to restart talks to end the war, which has shattered Yemen’s health system.
The U.N. humanitarian coordinator in Yemen, Lise Grande, told Reuters at least half of Yemen’s population was in a “very degraded health status” while three quarters require some form of humanitarian assistance or protection.
The conflict, widely seen in the region as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran, has been in military stalemate for years and brought Yemen’s economy to its knees. (Reuters)
Iran may face a second outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, a government spokesman said on Wednesday (March 25), as the Islamic Republic banned internal travel and traditional gatherings in parks during the Persian New Year holiday period.
According to state TV, spokesman Ali Rabiei said people ignoring advice from health ministry officials travelled for the New Year holiday, which began on March 20, and could cause a second wave.
President Hassan Rouhani has banned any new trips between cities, Rabiei said, and warned of legal steps against people ignoring the ban.
The escalating outbreak in Iran has killed 2,077 people so far the health ministry said on Wednesday, with 143 deaths recorded in the past 24 hours.
At a meeting telecast live, Rouhani said more restrictions would be introduced to contain the coronavirus that has infected 27,017 people nationwide. The government has so far stopped short of imposing a lockdown on Iranian cities.
Authorities have called on Iranians to avoid public places and stay at home, while schools, universities, cultural and sports centres have been temporarily closed across the country.
Rouhani said the new measures would be implemented for 15 days until April 4, when under normal circumstances schools open in Iran after the New Year holidays. (Reuters)
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