Iran’s Leader raps Saudi Arabia over Hajj management
Leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei on Monday blasted Saudi Arabia over its management of Hajj and called for a fresh investigation into a deadly stampede in September 2015.
“A fact-finding committee, with Iran’s presence, should be formed to investigate these tragedies. Relevant Iranian authorities should mobilize all legal resources to follow up the incident,” the Leader told a group of officials in charge of the annual Hajj pilgrimage.
Saudi Arabia says nearly 800 pilgrims died when two big groups of pilgrims collided at a crossroads in Mina, a few kilometers east of Mecca, on their way to performing the “Stoning of the Devil” ritual at Jamarat. But counts by countries of repatriated bodies showed over 2,000 people died. Iran said 465 of its nationals lost their lives in the incident.
Ayatollah Khamenei said the holy sites in Mecca and Medina “belong to all Muslims” and they do not belong to the rulers of Saudi Arabia.
Iran boycotted the Hajj in 2016 amid tensions with Saudi Arabia over the deadly crush.
“Hajj is the best opportunity to display that religion and politics cannot be separated ... the real Hajj is a combination of demonstrating unity and disavowal of disbelievers,” the Leader said.
Approximately 85,000 Iranians are expected to attend the Hajj pilgrimage this year in Islam’s holiest city Mecca.
Riyadh severed diplomatic relations in 2016 after Iranian protesters stormed the Saudi Embassy in Tehran following the execution of a Shia cleric in Saudi Arabia in January 2016.
Ayatollah Khamenei also called US President Donald Trump’s “deal of the century” for the Palestinian territories a “satanic plan”, saying it is a nonstarter.
“The Americans have named their satanic policy on Palestine ‘the deal of the century’ but they should know that, by divine grace, this ‘deal of the century’ will never materialize,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.
According to an Israeli intelligence website, Trump has proposed to establish a Palestinian state with limited sovereignty over around half of the West Bank and Abu Dis village as its capital.
Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt, his special adviser for international negotiations, are reportedly the main architects of the plan.
Sources with access to Trump’s plan have told Israeli intelligence website DEBKAfile that a Palestinian state would be established with limited sovereignty across about half of the West Bank and all the Gaza Strip. The besieged sliver of land, they said, would be integrated in the new state provided the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas agreed to give up its arms.
“To the dismay of the enemies, the Palestinian issue will not be forgotten and Al-Quds will remain the Palestinian capital,” the Leader said.
Ayatollah Khamenei said the Palestinian people will stand against this “conspiracy,” and Muslim nations will support them.
“Of course, some Islamic governments, which have no belief in Islam, have become ready-to-die followers of the Americans out of foolishness, ignorance and temporal vanity,” he said.
“But by the grace of God, the Islamic Ummah and the Palestinian people will win over their enemies and will see the day when the roots of the illegitimate Zionist regime will be ripped out of the Palestinian land,” he added.
Reuters and Press TV contributed to this story.
Specialist: 30% of middle-aged suffer from blood pressure
By Sadeq Dehqan
Thirty percent of the people aged over 40 suffer from blood pressure, disclosed the head of Iranian Society of Clinical Pharmacists while warning of the side effects of inability to control the disease.
Kheirollah Gholami told Iran Daily that 60 percent of those suffering from blood pressure are unaware of their ailment.
Based on a research, only 50 percent of those who are aware, control their blood pressure by taking medicine, he said.
On the side effect of blood pressure, he described it as a chronic disease that should be brought under control, otherwise it can lead to cardiovascular disease, heart attack, stroke, cardiac and kidney dysfunctions and blindness.
He further said that no symptoms of the disease are evident and it can be controlled by using blood
pressure medicines. However the patients should fully follow-up the process of their treatment and keep using medicines under doctor’s
supervision, he added.
Gholami continued: “Drug interactions occur in the consumption of antibiotics, due to the excessive use of
antibiotics in our country.”
He said overconsumption of antibiotics has negative effect on organs such as the kidneys. In addition, it creates
microbial resistance in patient, pushing him/her to take more powerful antibiotics, he added.
He also said overconsumption of antibiotics creates problem in diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases.
Drug interactions occur in cardiovascular diseases and mental illnesses, because patient has to take more medicines, he added.
If the medicines taken for one disease exceed four, the side effects of medicines will increase significantly, he said. Therefore, it is recommended that one or two medicines are prescribed for every disease, he added.
One of duties of clinical pharmacists is to study drug interactions and guide the patients to prevent side effects of medicines, he said.
Clinical pharmacy in Iran is on par with developed nations, he said, adding, “Out of European countries, only the UK, the Netherlands and France are ahead of Iran in this respect.”
EU Foreign Affairs Council approves amendment on ‘blocking statute’ to save JCPOA
The European Union Foreign Affairs Council on Monday approved the amendment on the 1996 regulation in order to block in Europe the extraterritorial effects of American sanctions against European companies doing business with Iran.
The law bans European companies from complying with US sanctions against Iran and does not recognize any court rulings that enforce American penalties, euractiv.com reported.
The extension of the 1996 regulation to cover the US would allow stop enforcing any US court decision against companies on EU soil. It would also permit EU businesses to seek compensation to damages coming from US sanctions.
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Iran ends drought, China wushu dominance
Iran claimed the top spot at the 2018 World Junior Wushu Championships in Brazil with 26 medals, including 11 golds, putting an end to China’s historic dominance in the championships.
Having won 17 medals before the final day of the competitions, Iranian sanda practitioners stole the show on Sunday and collected nine golds.
Hassan Lotfi (80kg), Mohammad Hajizadeh (70kg), Hamid Kianian (65kg), Mohammad Farhadi (60kg), Shoja’ Panahi (56kg), Ebrahim Aslani (56kg) and Mohammad Rezaei (52kg), representing Iran in different boys’ age categories, all came out victorious and won the gold.
In girls’ competitions, Kimia Shoushtari (60kg) and Ayda Heidari (48kg) also finished their campaign on high notes and added two more golds to Iran’s tally.
A total of 11 golds, eight silvers and seven bronzes gave Iran a first-ever top-finish at the end of the tournament.
Hong Kong grabbed 10 golds, four silvers and eight bronzes to claim the second spot with USA finishing third with a total of 15 medals (eight golds).
Some 400 athletes – representing 45 countries – took part in the seventh edition of the competitions at the Nilson Nelson Gymnasium in the Brazilian capital of Brasilia from July 9-16.
Malaysia and China took the fourth and fifth places respectively.
Iran warns OPEC deal does not allow output hike above targets
Iran’s oil minister told his Saudi Arabian counterpart that last month’s OPEC supply pact does not give member countries the right to raise oil production above their targets,.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed with Russia and other oil-producing allies last month to raise output from July, with Saudi Arabia pledging a “measurable” supply boost but giving no specific numbers.
“Member countries committed themselves to reach a production adjustment conformity level of 100 percent, as of July 1, 2018,” Bijan Namdar Zanganeh wrote in a letter sent to Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih, Reuters reported.
“However, the aforesaid decision neither warrants member countries the right to exceed their production level above the allocated production level decided... nor the right to redistribute the unfulfilled production adjustment commitments among member countries.”
Zanganeh’s letter comes after Falih, who chairs a joint-OPEC, non-OPEC committee that monitors production compliance, wrote to OPEC last week saying that individual conformity levels will no longer be reported.
“The shift from reporting individual country conformity to reporting overall conformity will be adopted.... countries will strive to adhere to the overall conformity level, voluntarily adjusted to 100 percent as of July 2018,” Falih wrote in his letter.
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EU rejects Trump’s ‘foe’ claim as ‘fake news’
France: Trump’s enemy is ‘whole world’
EU leaders and top diplomats urged dismissed US President Donald Trump’s assertion that Europe was a trade enemy of the United States.
Trump branded the EU as a “foe” of the United States for “what they do to us in trade,” adding “that doesn’t mean they are bad,” in an interview aired on Sunday by CBS. He also called Russia and China foes in some respects before his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.
“America and the EU are best friends. Whoever says we are foes is spreading fake news,” European Council President Donald Tusk tweeted late Sunday from Beijing, AFP reported.
Trump often uses the term “fake news” when he disagrees with news reports.
“Europe and China, America and Russia, today in Beijing and in Helsinki, are jointly responsible for improving the world order, not for destroying it,” Tusk said in a separate tweet.
Tusk echoed broader fears that Trump is tearing down the post World War II order in which the United States built a system of alliances and rules to advance peace and prosperity.
The Trump administration has slapped tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Europe as well as on products from Mexico, Canada and China, sparking retaliation and fears of a global trade war.
Tusk warned in Beijing that trade tensions could spiral into a “hot conflict.”
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini repeated remarks that a change in US administration does not mean a change in friendship, adding Europe will always “be close friends and partners” with Washington.
But Mogherini, speaking to reporters upon arriving for talks with EU foreign ministers, said Europe has many other friends in the world, citing in particular Japan, with which it is signing a massive trade deal on Tuesday.
“It seems the whole world is his enemy,” French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves le Drian told reporters, adding Trump’s remarks should be taken with a grain of salt.
During last week’s summit in Brussels, Trump fuelled fears again about his commitment to NATO when he denounced European allies for falling short on spending pledges for the alliance.
In the run-up to the NATO summit, Tusk delivered a blunt message to Trump to appreciate his European allies, adding Washington does not have many others.
Trump hails ‘very good start’ with Putin at first summit
Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin held a historic summit on Monday vowing their determination to forge a reset of troubled relations between the world’s greatest nuclear powers.
Trump, bent on forging a personal bond with the Kremlin chief despite allegations of Russian meddling in US politics, went into the summit blaming the “stupidity” of his predecessors for plunging ties to their present low, AFP reported.
“I think it’s a good start: very, very good start for everybody,” the US president told reporters after meeting Putin for more than two hours with just their interpreters present, and just before they were joined by their national security teams.
Some domestic critics wanted the Helsinki summit called off entirely after 12 Russian military agents were indicted under a long-running probe into Moscow’s alleged manipulation of the 2016 US elections.
But Trump, convinced his unique brand of diplomacy can make inroads with Putin, pressed ahead and looked forward to “having an extraordinary relationship” as the pair sat down to discuss everything from Syria, Ukraine and China to trade tariffs and the size of their nuclear arsenals.
Putin, basking in congratulations from Trump and other world leaders for the successful staging of the World Cup in Russia, said: “The time has come to talk in a substantive way about our relations and problem areas of the world.”
Trump added: “Frankly, we have not been getting along for the last number of years. And I really think the world wants to see us get along. We are the two great nuclear powers.”
Shortly before the summit opened, Trump was asked if he would press Putin over Russia’s alleged manipulation of the election that brought the mercurial property tycoon to power 18 months ago. He said only: “We’ll do just fine.”
Trump began the day by firing a Twitter broadside at his domestic opponents, blaming the diplomatic chill on the investigation into alleged Russian election meddling.
“Our relationship with Russia has NEVER been worse thanks to many years of U.S. foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt!” Trump tweeted.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry tweeted in response: “We agree.”
Iran files complaint at ICJ over US sanctions
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Monday that Tehran had filed a complaint at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) over the US reimposition of sanctions against Iran.
“Today Iran filed a complaint @CIJ_ICJ to hold US accountable for its unlawful reimposition of unilateral sanctions,” Zarif said in a post on his official Twitter account on Monday, Press TV reported.
US President Donald Trump announced on May 8 that Washington was walking away from a nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) signed between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries in 2015.
The US president also said that he planned to reinstate US nuclear sanctions on Iran and impose “the highest level” of economic bans on the Islamic Republic.
Under the JCPOA, Iran undertook to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions imposed against Tehran.
Since the JCPOA implementation on January 16, 2016, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has been monitoring Iran’s compliance with its nuclear-related commitments under the nuclear deal and has consistently verified the Islamic Republic’s compliance.
The head of the UN nuclear agency in June reaffirmed the IAEA’s accesses to all the required nuclear sites in Iran, calling on Tehran to ensure “timely and proactive cooperation” with inspections under the deal.
“As stated in my latest report to the Board [of Governors], the agency has conducted complementary accesses under the Additional Protocol to all the sites and locations in Iran which we needed to visit,” Amano said in his introductory statement to the Board of Governors on June 4.
As one of the architects of the JCPOA, Zarif once again reaffirmed the Islamic Republic’s commitment to its legal obligations.
“Iran is committed to the rule of law in the face of US contempt for diplomacy and legal obligations. It’s imperative to counter its habit of violating int’l law,” the top Iranian diplomat said.
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said on Sunday that European signatories to the nuclear deal with Iran must provide Tehran with the necessary guarantees about the continued implementation of the deal.
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