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The Shias in Lebanon: A Short History

THE LEVANT NEWS EXCLUSIVE – By Dr. Haytham Mouzahem* — The Shias of Lebanon gained global reputation in the early 1980s of the 20th century with the emergence of Hezbollah and its military operations against the Israeli occupation in Lebanon. Hence; their destiny came to be synonymous with that of …

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A nuclear deal with Iran is the best option

By Fareed Zakaria for THE WASHINGTON POST — When making up their minds about the nuclear deal with Iran, people are properly focused on its details. But to figure out whether an agreement that limits and inspects Iran’s nuclear program is acceptable, one has to consider seriously the alternatives to …

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The Fruits of Diplomacy With Iran

By William J. Burns for The NEW YORK TIMES SUMMARY The prospect of a comprehensive nuclear agreement with Iran in the next few months, if executed rigorously and embedded in wider strategies for regional order and global nuclear order, can be a significant turning point. In a perfect world, there …

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Iran talks stretch into another day; deal seen close but elusive

LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND | BY JOHN IRISH, PARISA HAFEZI AND LOUIS CHARBONNEAU for REUTERS – Major powers and Iran negotiated into the early hours of Thursday on Tehran’s nuclear program two days past their deadline, with diplomats saying prospects for a preliminary agreement were finely balanced between success and collapse. The …

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Iran insists on lifting all sanctions in any nuclear deal: IRNA

Source: Reuters — Any deal over Iran’s nuclear program must involve the immediate lifting of all sanctions, Iran’s foreign minister said on Wednesday, showing no sign of compromise on a major hurdle in world power negotiations. “This is the position that the government has insisted on from the start,” Mohammad …

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Iran Seeks to Avoid Specifics In Nuclear Talks

By DAVID E. SANGER and MICHAEL R. GORDON FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES —  If an agreement to limit Iran’s nuclear capability is reached by deadline in the next seven days, one thing may be missing: an actual written accord, signed by the Iranians. Over the past few weeks, Iran has increasingly …

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Netanyahu’s Iran bomb claim contradicted by Mossad

Gulf between Israeli secret service and PM revealed in documents shared with the Guardian along with other secrets including CIA bids to contact Hamas By: Seumas Milne, Ewen MacAskill and Clayton Swisher || Source: The Guardian – Binyamin Netanyahu’s dramatic declaration to world leaders in 2012 that Iran was about a year …

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Israel warns a new of action against Iran

Agence France Press – OCCUPIED JERUSALEM: Intelligence Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz warned Thursday that Israel could act unilaterally against Iran over its nuclear drive, saying Tehran has failed to make concessions in talks with world powers. “I won’t be too specific but all options are still on the table,” Steinitz …

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Rouhani moves space program back to ministry

By Arash Karami for Al-MONITOR – On Jan. 11, a number of conservative media outlets reported that President Hassan Rouhani had closed down a significant part of Iran’s high profile and much publicized space program. However, after Iran’s successful satellite launch on Feb. 3 and Rouhani’s televised statement that the …

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Iran to let foreign women watch men’s volleyball tournament

Source: Reuters – Iran will allow foreign women watch men play volleyball when it hosts an international championship this year, but Iranian women will still be banned, the state news agency said Wednesday. Iran’s Islamic law bars women from watching men playing sports such as volleyball and football and an …

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Iran Frees Activist Blogger Hossein Derakhshan

THE LEVANT – An activist known as the “blogfather” of Iran has finally been released from prison in his homeland after six years. Iranian-Canadian blogger Hossein Derakhshan has been pardoned by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. He was arrested in 2008 on suspicion of spying for Israel, then sentenced to …

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Iran: Ruling on Official Linked to Protester Deaths

THE LEVANT – An Iranian Supreme Court ruling barring from government positions a former judiciary figure linked to protester deaths after the disputed 2009 presidential election is a step toward justice, but far from adequate. In 2010 a parliamentary committee had found Mortazavi responsible for the deaths of three persons due …

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Iraqi PM in Tehran for crisis talks on IS

THE LEVANT – Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi arrived in Tehran late Monday on his first visit to Iran since taking office after the crisis triggered by the advance of Islamic State militants. Iraqi state television said Abadi, whose country remains beset by IS, arrived shortly before midnight for talks …

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Iran warns Turkey against aggravating regional tensions

THE LEVANT – Iran warned neighbouring Turkey Thursday against doing anything that might aggravate tensions in the region, after the parliament in Ankara voted to authorise military intervention in Syria and Iraq. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif spoke by telephone with his Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu, and “criticised the method …

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Iran to help Lebanon fight extremism

THE LEVANT – Iran will supply the Lebanese army with military equipment to be used in fighting Muslim extremist groups, a visiting senior Iranian official said on Tuesday. The announcement marks the first time that Iran has said it would give Lebanon military assistance. Tehran has offered help in the …

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Lives of detained Sufi journalists in the balance

THE LEVANT – Reporters Without Borders – Reporters Without Borders is very worried about the many journalists and netizens who continue to be detained despite suffering serious ailments, and condemns the lack of adequate medical treatment in the prisons where they are held. There is currently a great deal of concern …

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Iran’s supreme leader undergoes prostate surgery

THE LEVANT – Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei successfully underwent prostate surgery it was announced Monday, in an unprecedented public statement about his health, which has long been the subject of speculation. The 75-year-old cleric, who has ruled since the death in 1989 of the Islamic republic’s founder Ayatollah …

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Iran downs Israeli drone near nuclear site

THE LEVANT – Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards said Sunday its forces shot down an Israeli drone as it approached an Iranian nuclear site, without offering further details. Israeli officials could not be immediately reached for comment. The statement comes as Iran negotiates with world powers over its nuclear program and hard-liners …

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US worries about Iran alleged military activities

THE LEVANT – A classified assessment by the US Pentagon has claimed that Iran is increasing its military capabilities, exercisesand buildup of weapons in and near the Strait of Hormuz According to the summary, a copy of which was obtained by Bloomberg News, the Iranian government “has adjusted some of its …

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Earthquake in Iran claims lives

THE LEVANT – A strong 6.1 magnitude earthquake struck the province of Ilam in western Iran on Monday, causing injuries and damage, Iranian state television said, but there were no immediate reports of fatalities. The US Geological Survey reported the magnitude of the quake at 6.3 and said its epicentre …

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War of the Shia – Iran gags Shia scholars in Iran –

THE LEVANT – By Catherine Shakdam – While western media, or rather corporate media have faced harsh criticism over the past weeks on their bias coverage of Gaza in keeping with their network’s political discourse and affiliations, it so happens that Iran has conducted a comprehensive media repression campaign against …

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