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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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U.N. committee condemns Iranian intervention in Syria war

The Levant News– The U.N. General Assembly’s human rights committee on Thursday adopted a Saudi-drafted resolution condemning Iranian and Russian intervention in Syria, a decision that the Syrian and Iranian delegations rejected as unhelpful and unjustified. The non-binding resolution, authored by Saudi Arabia and co-sponsored by Qatar and other Arab …

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Iran starts dismantling nuclear equipment, U.N. report says.

The Levant News– Iran has disconnected almost a quarter of its uranium-enriching centrifuges in less than a month, the U.N. nuclear watchdog said on Wednesday, suggesting it is racing to implement an agreement restricting its nuclear activities. Under the July deal, sanctions against Iran will be lifted in exchange for …

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Iran Reaffirms a Role for Assad

THE LEVANT NEWS — An Iranian official said that President Bashar al-Assad of Syria should remain in power and be included in elections as part of any diplomatic negotiation aimed at ending the civil war. The statement, by Hossein Amir Abdollahian, a deputy foreign minister, was not a new position …

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Russia’s Putin to visit Iran in late November

The Levant News– Russian President Vladimir Putin plans to pay an official one-day visit to Iran later this month, the Kremlin says. President Putin will set off for Tehran on November 23 to attend a meeting of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF), the Kremlin’s top foreign policy aide Yury …

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As ties thaw, Rouhani in historic visit to Europe

The Levant News– Hassan Rouhani heads to Italy and France from Saturday for the first visit of an Iranian leader to Europe in a decade, as ties thaw after Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers. In Rome Saturday and Sunday, Rouhani will meet Italian officials and Pope Francis, while Monday …

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Iran renews push for Lebanon presidential election

THE LEVANT NEWS– Iran Wednesday reiterated its support for the election of a new president as hope faded for Lebanon after 18 months of a power vacuum. “We strongly support the continuation of the political process and the election of a president,” Iran’s deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian told …

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Is Saudi Arabia on a hazardous adventure?

The Levant News — by Ghassan Michel Rubeiz, Washington — At great risk, Saudi Arabia confronts Iran in rhetoric and on the battlefield in Syria and Yemen. The National Council on US-Arab Relations, NCUSAR, is an established Washington intercultural agency focused on Arab Gulf interests. This year’s Iran meeting (October 14-15) was the 24th …

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Iran troops to join Syria war, Russia bombs group

The Levant News — Hundreds of Iranian troops have arrived in Syria to join a major ground attack. Russian warplanes, in a second day of strikes, bombed a camp run by rebels trained by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, the group’s commander said, putting Moscow and Washington on opposing sides in …

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Rouhani: Iran Expects IAEA Monitoring JCPOA Implementation Fairly

The Levant – -Tehran expects the UN nuclear monitoring agency to be “fair” in overseeing the implementation of the Islamic Republic’s nuclear agreement with the P5+1 group of world countries, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani says. “In implementing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, we will voluntarily execute the Additional Protocol and …

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Israel: The Case Against Attacking Iran

The Levant News — By George Friedman On Aug. 21, Israeli Channel 2 Television aired a recording of Ehud Barak, Israel’s former defense minister and former prime minister, saying that on three separate occasions, Israel had planned to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities but canceled the attacks. According to Barak, in …

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Hamas caught between Tehran and Riyadh

by Ali Hashem  – THE LEVANT NEWS — Who wants to be in Hamas’ shoes? Probably no one in the greater Middle East, where the Palestinian group is trapped between two major blocs who used to have much in common prior to the Arab Spring.  On one side there’s the ideological …

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Iran nuke deal good for Lebanon, region: Berri

THE LEVANT NEWS — BEIRUT: Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri expressed his belief that an Iranian nuclear deal could help pave the way to ending major conflicts in the Middle East, and the presidential vacuum in Lebanon. “I expect the first fruits to be a relief to the Yemen crisis as …

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Swiss Prosecutors Conduct Spying Investigation Over Iran Talks

BERLIN – Swiss prosecutors say they are conducting an espionage investigation amid suspicions that Swiss hotels hosting talks on Iran’s nuclear program have been targeted in a cyber-spying campaign. Kaspersky, a cybersecurity firm, said this week it uncovered the campaign and that the malware was so sophisticated it must have …

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Does Iran Control Iraq?

By Graham E. Fuller – Source: grahamefuller.com– Saudi, Israeli and US neoconservative voices warn us tirelessly that Iran’s imperial sway has now come to dominate the governments of Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and now Yemen, and still threatens Bahrain. Analytically speaking such views are not just exaggerated, but misleading and dangerous, …

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Iran and al Qaeda: More Enemies Than Allies

BY Barbara Slavin FOR AL-MONITOR — Newly released correspondence from Osama bin Laden’s hideout in Pakistan contradicts U.S. assertions that al-Qaeda has a close relationship with Iran. According to a U.S. analysis of letters found in the Abbottabad compound when U.S. Special Forces killed bin Laden a year ago, “the …

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