Desperate US attempt to weaken Iran’s defense futile: Minister
Iran’s Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami said the recent US endeavors to undermine the Islamic Republic’s defense are desperate attempts doomed to failure.
Hatami said the US has spared no chance since the victory of Islamic Revolution in 1979 to undermine Iran’s defense power, trying all available options including sanctions, but to no avail.
Hatami said the Islamic Republic has managed to overcome obstacles and bolster its defense might.
“That’s why Americans have gone crazy and struggle hardly to weaken components of Iran’s defense power”, he said, according to ISNA.
The defense minister was apparently responding to recent threats by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that the US will impose “strongest sanctions in history” on Iran unless it meets 12 US demands.
The list asks Tehran to halt its missile development, stop what the US believes are Iran’s interventions in the affairs of Iraq, Syria and Yemen and cease support for groups which the US considers as terrorist but Iran sees as legitimate resistance forces, IFP reported.
“If we had held today’s defense power when Americans shot down Iran’s airliner over the Persian Gulf […] we would have not allowed the criminal captain of the warship to be rewarded and would have certainly drowned that ship,” Hatami said.
Hatami was referring to the downing of an Iranian civilian plane carrying 290 passengers by the USS Vincennes over Persian Gulf waters in July 1988.
Washington claimed the ship mistook the large Iranian passenger plane for a relatively small fighter jet that intended to target the Vincennes.
However, former US president Ronald Reagan praised the unforgivable crime of the commander of the USS Vincennes and also decorated him with a medal.
Iranians mark July 3 each year by showering the site of the disaster in the Persian Gulf with flowers.
Iranian taekwondokas clinch four medals in Asian championship
On Saturday, Iranian taekwondokas collected three silvers and a bronze at the end of the first day of the 23rd Asian Taekwondo Championships currently underway in Ho Chi Minh City in southern Vietnam.
A total of 267 taekwondokas from 34 countries have taken part in the competitions, which will continue until Monday, varzesh3.com reported.
Nahid Kiani, in the women’s -49kg weight category, earned Iran’s first silver after conceding a narrow 27-29 defeat to a rival from South Korea. She had earlier outpowered taekwondokas from Lebanon (25-4), the Philippines (22-8) and Indonesia (7-5).
Iran’s other silver medal was won by Mehdi Jalali (men’s -74kg). En route to the final of his weight class, he first defeated an opponent from Saudi Arabia 24-4, then, outmuscled a Qatari rival and next outscored a South Korean taekwondoka 8-7. Jalali, however, failed to continue his winning streak in the final and was defeated by an Uzbek rival 7-15.
In the men’s -58kg weight division, Farzan Ashourzadeh received Iran’s third silver after failing to emerge victorious in the final showdown against his South Korean rival, lacking two points to lose 4-5. Prior to his final match, he had powered past opponents from Indonesia (19-5), Uzbekistan and Thailand (13-11).
Iran’s sole bronze on the first day of the tournament was clinched by Armin Hadipour in the men’s -54kg division. He defeated taekwondokas from India (30-10) and Saudi Arabia (21-11) and failed to pull off a victory in his match with a South Korean rival to lose 24-12 and settle for a bronze.
IMF urges Trump to review sanction policy on Iran, Russia
Putin: US withdrawal from Iran deal counterproductive
Macron: What is signed must be followed
Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde urged US President Donald Trump to review his policies regarding imposing sanctions on Iran and Russia.
Lagarde made the remarks while addressing St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
US has to change its policies regarding Iran and Russia since its aim is not clear, she said.
The IMF chief also noted that the loopholes in US laws, including in what concerns the policy of sanctions, have adversely impacted many companies, even American ones, as the judicial and court systems are non-transparent. She stressed that this problem of trust needs to be addressed.
The Russian President Vladimir Putin also raised similar concerns.
“The situation in the world is such that it is as though everyone is playing football, but at the same time, they are applying judo rules to it [the match].
So, we end up with this interesting game, it’s neither football, nor judo. It’s just chaos,” Putin said.
US President Donald Trump on May 8 pulled the United States out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and reinstated nuclear sanctions on Iran.
This is while most world powers including Russia, China, and European Union have repeatedly stressed that keeping the deal is in the interest of world peace and security.
The Iran nuclear deal headlined the key topics at the St. Petersburg meeting.
“The Iran nuclear deal has been fixed in a relevant resolution of the United Nations Security Council. It is a multilateral legal document. And if we want our actions to be predictable, we must stick to commonly recognized rules. Unilateral actions lead to a dead-end and are always counterproductive,” said the Russian president and called on all participants in this process to “speak to each other openly to find a solution.”
He once again spoke categorically against any unilateral sanctions and restrictions.
He recalled his speech at a Munich Security Conference several years ago when he had warned about the inadmissibility of a state using its legal norms extraterritorially. “And now, here we are. I think if we thoroughly analyze what is going on and react to it timely, we will have less problems like these,” he added.
Putin underlined that the US withdrawal was damaging and counterproductive.
He also railed against the United States applying its laws beyond its borders to punish foreign companies. “This is unacceptable and it has to end,” he said.
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Iran FM: Reports of missile talks with EU ‘sheer lie’
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif dismissed as “a sheer lie” claims that the European parties to the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), plan to hold talks with the Islamic Republic on its missile program.
Speaking to Tasnim News Agency, Zarif rejected a report claiming that the European Union plans to put forward a proposal to Iran outside of the framework of the JCPOA and start talks about the country’s missile power and regional influence.
Continued on Page 2
Leaders of two Koreas hold surprise meeting
South Korean President Moon Jae-in held a surprise meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Saturday to ensure the upcoming high-stakes summit between Kim and US President Donald Trump is a success, South Korean officials said.
The unannounced meeting is the latest dramatic turn in a week of diplomatic flip-flops surrounding an unprecedented summit between the United States and North Korea, and the strongest sign yet that the two Korean leaders are trying to keep the on-again off-again summit on track, Reuters reported.
Their two-hour talks at the Panmunjom border village came a month after they held the first inter-Korean summit in more than a decade at the same venue on April 27 and declared they would work toward a nuclear-free Korean peninsula and formally ending the 1950-53 Korean War.
“The two leaders candidly exchanged views about making the North Korea-US summit a successful one and about implementing the Panmunjom Declaration,” South Korea’s presidential spokesman said in a statement. He did not confirm how the secret meeting was arranged or which side asked for it.
Moon, who returned to Seoul on Thursday morning after meeting Trump in Washington earlier this week in a bid to keep the summit on track as initially planned, for June 12 in Singapore, was due to announce details of the meeting with Kim early on Sunday.
One of the photos released by the presidential Blue House on Saturday showed Moon and Kim hugging each other after their meeting at Tongilgak, the North’s building in the truce village. The previous summit was held at the southern side of the border.
They were accompanied by South Korean intelligence chief Suh Hoon and his North Korean counterpart Kim Yong Chol, who is in charge of inter-Korean affairs.
Trump said on Friday that Washington was having “productive talks” with Pyongyang about reinstating the June 12 meeting, just a day after cancelling it.
Politico magazine reported that an advance team of 30 White House and State Department officials was preparing to leave for Singapore later this weekend.
Trump said in a Twitter post late on Friday: “We are having very productive talks about reinstating the Summit which, if it does happen, will likely remain in Singapore on the same date, June 12th, and, if necessary, will be extended beyond that date.”
Trump had earlier indicated the summit could be salvaged after welcoming a conciliatory statement from North Korea saying it remained open to talks.
“It was a very nice statement they put out,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “We’ll see what happens - it could even be the 12th.”
“We’re talking to them now. They very much want to do it. We’d like to do it,” he said.
The comments came just a day after Trump cited Pyongyang’s “open hostility” in canceling the meeting.
After years of tension over Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program, Kim and Trump agreed this month to hold what would be the first meeting between a serving US president and a North Korean leader. The plan followed months of war threats and insults between the leaders over North Korea’s development of missiles capable of reaching the United States.
Trump scrapped the meeting in a letter to Kim on Thursday after repeated threats by North Korea to pull out over what it saw as confrontational remarks by US officials demanding unilateral disarmament. Trump cited North Korean hostility in cancelling the summit.
In Pyongyang, North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan said North Korea’s criticisms had been a reaction to American rhetoric and that current antagonism showed “the urgent necessity” for the summit. North Korea also went ahead with a plan to destroy its only known nuclear site on Thursday, the most concrete action yet since pledging to cease all nuclear and long-range missile tests last month.
US warns Syria ahead of operation to retake Dara’a
The US threatened Syria with “firm and appropriate measures” as the Syrian Army reportedly prepares to retake a strategic province on the border with Jordan and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.
In a statement released on Friday, US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert expressed concerns about the upcoming operation in southwestern Dara’a Province, claiming that it falls within a de-escalation zone in Syria, Press TV reported.
“As a guarantor of this de-escalation area with Russia and Jordan, the United States will take firm and appropriate measures in response to Assad regime violations,” she said.
The warning came two days after the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported that the Syrian troops were moving into Dara’a after liberating all remaining militant-held areas near the capital, Damascus.
On Friday, Syrian state-run media reported that government aircraft had dropped leaflets in terrorist-controlled areas of Dara’a, urging foreign-backed militants to disarm.
One of the leaflets declares “the arrival of the Syrian Arab Army’s soldiers,” according to SOHR, which is sympathetic to foreign-backed militants.
The UK-based monitor also said the Syrian government had sent reinforcements to Dara’a following the completion of operations near Damascus.
“These forces are now stationed on the edges of Dara’a province,” SOHR head Rami Abdel Rahman said. “The goal is a broad offensive, should the rebels reject a negotiated pullout as was the case in Eastern Ghouta.”
The recapture of Dara’a is highly important because it borders the occupied Golan Heights which Israel has used to treat wounded militants for years.
The territory’s return to the Syrian government control would cut the much-reported collaboration between Israel and militants and deal a blow to Tel Aviv’s plans to annex the Golan Heights.
Syrian Army advances are also upsetting to US plans in the Arab country where it has deployed about 2,000 troops to carve out a statelet in the country’s north with the help of Kurdish militants.
With Syria’s military gains gathering momentum, the US has stepped up its attacks on army positions under numerous pretexts.
On Thursday, Syrian state media reported that the US struck Syrian Army positions in eastern Syria, but the US military denied knowledge of it.
“Some of our military sites between Albu Kamal and Humeima were exposed at dawn today to aggression launched by US coalition jets,” state news agency SANA reported, citing a military source.
SANA said the strikes came within 24 hours of a Daesh attack on Syrian army positions in the same region, where the terrorists are fighting government forces to the west of the Euphrates.
The Syrian Army managed to retake the Eastern Ghouta region, on the outskirts of the capital Damascus, late in March.
On Monday, the General Command of the Syrian Army and Armed Forces said complete security had been restored to Damascus and its countryside after Al-Hajar al-Aswad district and Al-Yarmouk camp were totally purged of Daesh terrorists.
Colombia to be NATO’s first Latin American global partner
Colombia will next week formally join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, making it the only Latin American nation in the alliance, President Juan Manuel Santos said late on Friday.
Colombia will join as a “global partner”, Santos said, which means it will not necessarily have to take part in military action, and will be fully accredited in Brussels, Reuters reported.
The 29-nation NATO alliance reached a partnership agreement with Colombia back in May 2017, just after peace was signed with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, an agreement that earned Santos a Nobel Peace Prize.
“Colombia benefits a lot from being an active part of the international community, many of the problems we face are increasingly global and need the support and collaboration of other countries for their solution,” Santos said in a televised address.
Other global partners include Afghanistan, Australia, Iraq, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mongolia, New Zealand and Pakistan.
The partnership with Colombia will cooperate on global security areas like cyber and maritime security, terrorism and links to organized crime, according to NATO’s website.
The announcement came just hours after the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) approved Colombia as a new member.
“Being part of the OECD and NATO improves the image of Colombia and allows us to have much more play on the international stage,” Santos said.
The neighboring government of Venezuela rejected the announcement as an “attempt to introduce external factors with nuclear capacity” in the region.
At the beginning of 2017, the then Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodríguez had denounced that with that entry Colombia could violate the Tlatelolco agreement, put into effect in 1969 with the purpose of establishing the denuclearization of Latin America and the Caribbean.
In addition, Colombia is part of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries (NAM) and one of the essential principles of the bloc states that its members “cannot be part of any type of military and warlike organization such as the North Atlantic Treaty.”
60% of diabetics suffer from urologic diseases
By Sadeq Dehqan & Zahra A’rabi
Sixty percent of diabetic patients suffer from urologic diseases caused by disorders in function of nervous and vascular systems, according to the head of the super-specialized research center for diabetics in Tehran.
Dr. Hossein Adibi told Iran Daily that blood sugar problems in diabetics can cause reduction in function of peripheral nerves, in such a way that patients are sometimes unaware of the wounds in different parts of their bodies.
The reduction in nervous system function can effect bladder function of patients in a way that they are unable to feel the pressure on their bladder, he said. As a result, they don’t empty their bladder in proper time, he added.
Blood vessels disorder can cause sexual dysfunction in diabetics, since the reproductive system relies heavily on the function of vessels and blood circulation, Adibi said.
He mentioned that diabetes is one of the most important noninfectious diseases in the world.
Adibi added that they have controlled the disease in developed nations during the years by checking the danger elements. However, the developing nations were not successful in preventing the spread of diabetes, he said.
In future, the disease will occur particularly in developing nations, he said, attributing it to improper diet, cigarette, tobacco products and inactive lifestyle.
The faculty member of Tehran University of Medical Sciences said that the minimum number of diabetics are five million in the country, but according to some statistics, they are about 10 percent of the population, which means between eight and 10 million diabetics live in Iran.
Adibi put the global average of diabetes affliction at five to 10 percent in different parts of the world.
On various types of diabetes, Adibi mentioned that those with type 1 diabetes are in low
percentage compared with the others. And due to immunologic disorders and hereditary factors, their insulin producer cells can’t function properly so they basically require insulin injection for controlling the blood sugar level.
He also gave some explanation about type 2 diabetes: “Insulin is secreted in their body but the level of that insulin is not enough, or maybe there is a resistance to insulin in their body, or due to excess weight, their body needs more insulin. Therefore, they can cause blood sugar problems, leading to diabetes.
Adibi further said that diabetes is not a curable disease.
If a patient is successful in controlling the level of blood sugar, he/she still has the potential of the disease, he said. If one stops monitoring himself/herself, the disease can return to its pre-crisis level, he added. So the process of controlling should be permanent to prevent the side effects of the disease, he concluded.
Veteran Iranian actor Malek-Motiei dies
Art & Culture Desk
Iranian actor, director and producer Nasser Malek-Motiei passed away at the age of 88.
Born in Tehran in 1930, he was hospitalized a few days ago due to kidney and respiratory disorders. IRNA wrote.
Iranian painter and graphic designer Behzad Shishegaran released a poster in praise of the veteran actor.
He starred in films and television shows including ‘Vagabond’, ‘Qaysar’, ‘The Enchanter’, ‘The Crossroad of Events’, ‘Accusation’, ‘Seventeen Days to Execution’, ‘Broken Spell’, ‘The Runaway Bride’, ‘The Twins’, ‘Woman’s Enemy’, ‘The Calm Before the Storm’, ‘The Stars Glitter’, ‘The Strong Man’ and ‘Bitter Honey’.
Afghanistan registers candidates for long-delayed elections
Afghanistan launched the registration of candidates for parliamentary and district elections on Saturday, taking another step toward a long-delayed ballot that has been threatened by deadly attacks on voter registration centers.
Gula Jan Badi Sayad, head of the Independent Election Commission, told a news conference registration would be open for the next 12 days, Reuters reported.
Hundreds of candidates are expected to come forward.
The elections for the national parliament and district councils are due to be held on Oct. 20, more than three years after parliament’s original five-year term ended in 2015.
As well as giving the assembly a legal mandate to sit, they are seen as a dry run for a presidential election expected in 2019.
The elections have been strongly backed by Afghanistan’s international partners, which see them as a key test of democratic legitimacy, but they have faced a series of hurdles including technical problems, worries over voter fraud and major security concerns.
About 60 people were killed last month when a suicide bomber attacked a voter registration center in the capital Kabul and there have been a string of smaller incidents elsewhere.
Sayad said on Saturday that some 3.2 million people had registered to vote so far, still well short of the potential electorate of 14 million but exceeding some forecasts that the violence would halt the registration process entirely.