01202017Fri
Last update: Fri, 20 Jan 2017 12pm

Middle East

World - Middle East

Former Iran president Rafsanjani dies of heart attack-state media DUBAI: Former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani died in hospital in Tehran where he was taken after suffering a heart attack on Sunday, state media reported. State-run Press TV said Rafsanjani, 82, died despite efforts by doctors to save him. Residents said a crowd gathered outside the hospital where Rafsanjani was taken in the Tajrish neighbourhood in northern Tehran. Rafsanjani was an influential figure in Iran, and headed the Expediency Council, a body which is intended to resolve disputes between the parliament and the Guardian Council. He was also a member of the Assembly of Experts, the clerical body that selects the supreme leader, Iran's most powerful figure. Rafsanjani has been described as "a pillar of the Islamic revolution." His pragmatic policies - economic liberalization, better relations with the West and empowering Iran's elected bodies - appealed to many Iranians but was despised by hardliners. His death is a big ...

World - Middle East

Iran's Rouhani clashes with judiciary in run-up to vote TEHRAN: Iran's President Hassan Rouhani has clashed with the country's powerful and conservative judiciary, in a rare public row as tensions rise ahead of this year's presidential election.The moderate Rouhani, who is expected to stand for a second four-year term in the May vote, has targeted the judiciary in a series of public statements over the case of a billionaire businessman on death row for corruption.Judiciary chief Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani has hit back with accusations ...

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Iraq PM says Turkish troop problem solved soon BAGHDAD: Iraq and Turkey's prime ministers held talks Saturday in Baghdad which both said reflected progress in resolving a bitter row over the presence of Turkish troops in northern Iraq.Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said at a joint press conference after meeting Turkey's Binali Yildirim that the issue would be solved soon."The prime minister and the delegation accompanying him confirmed that this issue will be solved in a satisfactory manner soon," he said.Turkey has for ...

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Iraqi PM says Kurds exporting more oil than allocated BAGHDAD: Iraq Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said the autonomous Kurdish region was exporting more than its allocated share of oil as the country seeks to comply with an OPEC output cut.In November, OPEC agreed to cut output by 1.2 million barrels per day from January 2017 to support prices. Iraq, OPEC's second largest producer, agreed to reduce output by 200,000 bpd to 4.351 million bpd."The region is exporting more than its share, more than the ...

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Rouhani pledges to reverse slide of Iran's currency DUBAI: President Hassan Rouhani sought to reassure Iranians on Sunday that the government would work to protect market stability after the country's currency fell to a record low last week."I am optimistic about the country's economic situation and ... I want to reassure our people that foreign currencies will not keep going up," Rouhani said in a live interview with state television.Iran's rial hit a record low against the U.S. dollar last Monday in a ...

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Baghdad suicide car bomb blast kills 17 BAGHDAD: A suicide car bomb attack in a densely-populated neighbourhood of Baghdad Monday killed at least 17 people and left dozens wounded, police and hospital officials said.Many of the victims were daily labourers waiting for jobs at an intersection in Sadr City.Pictures posted on social media shortly after the explosion showed a huge plume of black smoke billowing into the sky and seriously injured people being evacuated.According to a police colonel, at least 17 people ...

World - Middle East

Syria clashes test fragile truce BEIRUT: Fighting in parts of Syria on Sunday threatened a shaky ceasefire brokered by Russia and Turkey, whose efforts to kickstart talks towards ending the conflict won backing from world powers.The nationwide truce between the regime and non-militant rebels aims to smooth the way for peace talks in Kazakhstan later this month orchestrated by Damascus's allies Moscow and Tehran and rebel backer Ankara.The UN Security Council on Saturday unanimously approved a resolution supporting the Russian ...