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Syria peace talks in Astana close with no sign of rebels

The Levant News — Syrian peace talks in Kazakhstan closed on Wednesday without any substantive negotiations taking place, after rebels boycotted the meeting that took place as a deadly double suicide bombing marked the start of the civil war’s seventh year. The only concrete outcome from the third round of …

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Iran will reduce its heavy water exports

TEHRAN – Iran’s atomic agency says it will begin exporting less heavy water because of an oversupply in the international market. State TV quotes agency spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi as saying Tuesday that Iran will export some 20 tons of the material annually from now on. That’s much less that the …

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RUMI’S UNTOLD STORY

by Shahram Shiva from near 30 years of research on Rumi http://www.rumi.net/about_rumi_main.htm Rumi is now one of the most widely read poets in America. I began translating Rumi in 1988, and performing his poetry in 1992. In all of these years I never thought that he would become so popular …

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Netanyahu to discuss ‘bad’ Iran deal with Trump

By Jeffrey Heller and Arshad Mohammed for Reuters | Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday he would discuss with Donald Trump the West’s “bad” nuclear deal with Iran after the U.S. president-elect enters the White House. Speaking separately to a conference in Washington, Netanyahu and U.S. Secretary of …

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US Iran deal foes sharpen their knives

THE LEVANT NEWS – Advocates of the nuclear deal with Iran are convinced the pact is in mortal danger following Republican Donald Trump’s upset victory in the presidential election. Deal skeptics on Capitol Hill have already prepared a raft of bills that have a far better chance of making it …

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Iraqi troops on southern front battle for last town before Mosul

By Babak Dehghanpisheh for Reuters | NEAR HAMMAM AL-ALIL, IRAQ — Iraqi troops advancing towards Mosul battled on Saturday for the last town left between them and the Islamic State stronghold to the north, which is already under assault from special forces fighting inside the city’s eastern districts. Saturday’s attack on Hammam …

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Ashura rituals stir controversy among Shiites

THE LEVANT EXCLUSIVE – By Dr. Haytham Mouzahem* — Each year, as they commemorate Ashura, the Shiites debate whether certain rituals are permissible. Some of those rituals are violent, such as Tatbir and hitting oneself with chains practices that harm one’s body and distort the revolution and objectives of Imam …

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Saudi Troops into Syria: The “Gates of Hell” Will Be Open in the Coming Months.. Three Possible Scenarios

By Elijah J. Magnier for Global Research — There are three possible scenarios in Syria Participation of [Saudi] Arab troops  in Syria is not excluded. A high-ranking officer within the joint operations room in Damascus, which includes Russia, Iran and Syria and Hezbollah said, “ there are three possible scenarios in Syria: …

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Arabs accuse Iran of undermining regional security

THE LEVANT NEWS — CAIRO/RIYADH: Arab foreign ministers condemned attacks on Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran and warned Sunday that the country would face wider opposition if it continued its “interference” in the internal affairs of Arab states. “Iran has to decide what kind of neighbor it wants to be: …

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Iran won’t let Saudi fuel Syria crisis: Zarif

THE LEVANT NEWS — Iran says it will not allow Saudi Arabia’s provocations to adversely affect ongoing efforts aimed at resolving the crisis in Syria. “What we are [currently] witnessing in the arena of regional developments is Saudi Arabia’s agitating approach,” Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told the visiting …

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Royal Pain

The setback in relations with Iran is just one of Saudi Arabia’s many problems. By Matthew Philips for BLOOMBERG — THE LEVANT NEWS — The collapse in Saudi relations with Iran after the execution of a prominent Shiite cleric marks a grim start to the new year for Saudi Arabia’s …

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Khamenei calls for ‘communal unity’ in Afghanistan

THE LEVANT NEWS — Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says “communal unity” is the key to resolving problems in Afghanistan, adding the Americans continue to harm the country. The Leader hailed Afghan political groups for agreeing to a national unity government as he met Afghanistan’s Chief Executive …

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Iran will keep backing Assad government

THE LEVANT NEWS — TEHRAN: Iran will maintain its backing for the Syrian government, a senior Iranian official said, after the U.N. Security Council unanimously endorsed a plan to end the war. “We will continue to give our support to Syria,” said Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian. Iran will …

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Rouhani: Jets are not toys to shoot down

THE LEVANT NEWS — Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani criticized Turkey for shooting down a Russian military aircraft Nov. 24 on the Syrian-Turkish border. While Rouhani was diplomatic in his criticism, conservative Iranian media lashed out against Turkey and its policies in Syria. Rouhani said on Nov. 25 that the Russian Su-24 was …

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Terrorist crimes have nothing to do with Islam: Khamenei

THE LEVANT NEWS– Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says the atrocities committed by Takfiri terrorists have nothing to do with Islam. The Leader made the remarks in a meeting with visiting Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow in the Iranian capital Tehran on Sunday. Ayatollah Khamenei said the terrorist groups’ savage crimes, …

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