Iran’s Rahman wins Asian para powerlifting gold
Iran’s Siamand Rahman stole the show on the final day of the 2018 Asia-Oceania Open Powerlifting Championships in Japan and won the +107kg gold.
The 30-year-old Iranian overcame the 280kg weight in his second attempt to seal a first-spot finish in the competitions.
Rahman then surprisingly failed in his attempt at 285kg.
However, the world’s strongest Paralympian said he is not worried. His goal was to win the title and achieve qualification for Tokyo 2020, and he did.
“I will put my gold medal together with my others in my room,” Rahman said.
“It is hard to describe my feelings right now, but I can say that I will surprise everyone at the Asian Para Games and, later on, at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.”
Rahman has already vowed to break his own 310kg world record at Indonesia 2018, in October.
Two-time Paralympics gold medalist Rahman was followed by his compatriot Mansour Pour-Mirzaei in the standings who grabbed the silver with the best lift of 245kg.
Iraq’s Faris al-Aqili settled for the bronze with 240kg.
Rahman’s medal took the country’s gold tally to two as Seyyed Hamed Solhipour had won the men’s 97kg gold on Tuesday.
Solhipour lifted 231kg on his third attempt and edged the Emirati Mohammed Khamis Khalaf – who raised 230kg – in a closely-contested tie for the gold. China’s Panpan Yan took the bronze with 216kg.
Some 200 athletes from 35 countries participated in the competitions in the Japanese city of Kitakyushu on September 8-12.
Iran loses a great voice actor, Erfani
Art & Culture Desk
One of the greatest Iranian voice actors Hossein Erfani died on Wednesday due to lung cancer. He was 76.
Erfani was born in 1942 in Tehran. He acted in numerous films and series and for over five decades he dubbed voices of many renowned Iranian and international movie characters, IRNA wrote.
He played in series ‘Excellency’ directed by Sam Qaribian.
The veteran Iranian actor and voice artist is best known for ‘Sim-e Khardar’ (1981), ‘Cinema Nimkat’ (2016) and ‘Hormat-e Rafigh’ (1977).
He lent his voice to the characters of many big names in cinema such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Samuel L. Jackson, Morgan Freeman, Humphrey Bogart, Orson Welles, Marlon Brando, Liam Neeson and Harrison Ford.
Envoy: Nicaragua-Iran relations excellent
Nicaragua, an ‘anti-imperialist’ nation
By Farzam Vanaki
Relations between Nicaragua and Iran are excellent as they are two friendly countries and respect each other, said the Nicaraguan ambassador to Tehran.
Mario Barquero Baltodano noted that in multilateral organizations, such as the UN, we always support each other, adding both nations are anti-imperialist.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Iran Daily, excerpts of which follow, he also commented on the recent conflicts between the opposition groups and government in Nicaragua and latest developments in the Central American country.
IRAN DAILY: Would you please comment on the latest conflicts between the Nicaraguan government and opposition groups in the country?
MARIO BARQUERO BALTODANO: In general, Nicaragua was progressing very well in terms of economic, social and cultural developments. The country’s tourism sector was also growing very rapidly. Tourists from the US, Europe, Canada and other regions of the world visited the country. However the US, at least since 2007 when Daniel Ortega came back into office as Nicaragua’s president by election, has been sponsoring certain NGOs in the Central American country, through the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and other agencies like the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), that opposed the government. When Ortega was elected as the president of Nicaragua in 2007, he had an over 70-percent rate of popularity.
The US sponsorship of these anti-government NGOs is now more than obvious in light of two facts that can be easily proven: (1) The US Congress has allocated $50 million to promote, as claimed, democracy in Nicaragua, Cuba and Venezuela; and (2) Very recently, the US was promoting to declare Nicaragua as a threat to international peace and security in the United Nations Security Council, which is crazy, as Nicaragua is a small and poor country that can never be a danger to international security.
The US has been, through different ways, doing its best to overthrow the Nicaraguan government and stage a coup d’état against the Ortega administration. On April 18, 2018, on the pretext of a law issued by the Nicaraguan government on social security, members of opposition groups went to the streets and staged violent protests. They set up barricades preventing people from moving freely in the streets. At first, President Ortega immediately retreated from this social security law, saying the government would repeal the law. Following that, he invited the protesters to hold a national dialogue. President Ortega’s proposal was accepted by the opposition. However, later, the dialogue turned out to be a reality show for the opposition that sought to be on TV.
Thus, instead of talking about the purpose of their protests and finding a solution to resolve the situation, they came with the idea that the main objective of their protests was to unseat President Ortega.
It was obvious that they wanted to mount a coup against President Ortega. Day by day, their protests became more and more violent and more barricades were put up in the streets. These barricades created lots of problems for the Nicaraguan people and children, as they could not pass through them. Those intending to pass through the barricades were mostly killed. In some cases, they captured people and burned – some alive — and tortured them. They filmed and photographed their barbaric acts, which resembled brutal crimes perpetrated by Daesh and other terrorists, and shared them with the public. These barricades were hubs of criminals and criminal acts. This situation continued for almost three months. The Nicaraguan government was very patient attempting to avoid violence.
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US going through worst period in its history
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday the United States is currently going through one of the darkest periods in its history, both at home and on the international scene, where it has lost even the support of its traditional allies.
Addressing a cabinet meeting, Rouhani said the situation in US domestic politics greatly differs from the past, and that America is currently experiencing one of the worst eras in its history.
“Today, there are few researchers, intellectuals and experts in the US that share the same opinions as those [officials] in the White House, and some of them even explicitly refer to [some officials] as idiots,” he said. “This has rarely happened in US history,” Press TV reported.
“Today, Washington’s allies are not standing by it politically, and even its traditional partners are proudly distancing themselves from the US,” he added.
Rouhani also stressed that only a few “ill-famed” countries are currently supporting Washington.
“The US is today in its worst situation globally, and even international organizations such as UNESCO, the UN, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the International Criminal Court do not approve of American policies.”
Referring to Washington’s stepped-up pressure campaign against Iran following its withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal, Rouhani said the Islamic Republic is facing an “unsolicited” economic war, dealing with parties that have no respect for international law.
The comments came days after US national security adviser John Bolton threatened sanctions against the ICC should The Hague-based court proceed with launching an investigation into alleged war crimes committed by US forces in Afghanistan, or conduct any probe into Israel or other US allies.
Last year, the US quit UNESCO, accusing the UN cultural agency of “anti-Israeli bias.”
Back in May, US President Donald Trump pulled his country out of the 2015 Iran deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), despite objections from the other signatories to the accord.
Trump introduced the first wave of anti-Iran sanctions in August and threatened that the second wave would “ratchet up to yet another level” in November.
Nevertheless, the IAEA has repeatedly confirmed Iran’s full compliance with the JCPOA, which has been endorsed by UN Security Council Resolution 2231.
Brexit rebels in UK PM May’s party discuss ousting her
About 50 Brexit-supporting lawmakers in British Prime Minister Theresa May’s party have met to discuss how and when they could force her out of her job, BBC reported on Wednesday.
Since her botched bet on a snap election in June 2017 lost her party its majority in parliament, May has faced persistent talk of a leadership challenge which has weakened her as she tries to clinch a Brexit deal with the European Union.
Lawmakers from the European Research Group (ERG), a grouping in May’s Conservative Party which wants a sharper break with the EU, met on Tuesday night and openly discussed May’s future. Unattributed comments included “everyone I know says she has to go”, “she’s a disaster” and “this can’t go on,” according to BBC.
One source quoted by BBC said “people feel the leadership is out of touch and has lost the plot” but another said changing the leader “is a stupid idea now”.
A spokesman for May declined to comment on the report.
Publicly, the leading party skeptics pledged their loyalty.
When asked if May should go, Jacob Rees-Mogg, the ERG leader, told reporters: “The policy needs to be changed but I am supporting the person. Theresa May has enormous virtues, she is a fantastically dutiful prime minister and she has my support – I just want her to change one item of policy.”
Former Brexit secretary David Davis, who quit the cabinet in July over May’s EU withdrawal plan, said: “I disagree with her on one issue -- and it’s this issue -- and she should stay in place because we need stability and we need decent government.”
The pound fell against the dollar to as low as $1.2994 but later recovered to trade flat at $1.3028.
The United Kingdom is due to leave the European Union on March 29. The EU and Britain hope to clinch a deal later this year so parliaments on both sides can ratify it before Brexit.
European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker said the EU will not allow Britain to participate only in some parts of the bloc’s single market after Brexit without honoring all of the rules.
May’s proposal for a post-Brexit free trade area with the EU for goods, which would include accepting a “common rulebook” for those goods, have angered committed Brexiteers inside her party.
Even a small rebellion inside her party on a final deal could spell the end of her minority government and throw Britain’s exit into chaos.
Russia says Iran, JCPOA parties work to counter US
Mogherini: EU continues to back Iran deal
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Russia, Iran, Europe and China will intensify work in coming days to counter the United States’ unilateral sanctions and its efforts to undermine the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran.
In an interview with the Rossiiskaya Gazeta, Ryabkov said Russia and the European Union have outlined an action plan to resist US sanctions against Iran.
“We have outlined a set of measures to be discussed with the Europeans,” he said. “Plus, our internal efforts are needed to get prepared to the moment when the Americans proceed to the second phase of reimposing their extraterritorial sanctions against Iran.”
Ryabkov said the working sides must find formulas, means and mechanisms to react to the expected second wave in order to minimize losses from the US sanctions.
They, he said, need to find “elaborate measures to continue economic cooperation in a guaranteed and reliable way so that economic operators could see alternatives to yielding to the American dictation.”
The senior diplomat said the plan is to make international companies “see that there are possibilities to continue lawful and unrestricted business in Iran and with Iranian partners.”
“Our collective will and ability to create conditions for unimpeded exports of Iranian oil to external markets would be of major importance,” he said.
Ryabkov also chided European companies, saying they are wrong in refusing to cooperate with Iran in the face of US pressure.
Most European firms have ignored a “Blocking Statute” reenacted by the EU to protect them against punitive American measures for trading with Iran.
Their withdrawal has undermined Europe’s wish to portray the nuclear deal with Iran as a flagship achievement of their foreign policy and a symbol of their growing strength.
In May, President Donald Trump pulled the US out of the agreement, called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), despite objection from the other signatories, the UK, Russia, Germany, China and France.
Last month, Trump installed a wave of sanctions targeting Iran’s financial, automotive, aviation and metals sectors and threatened that a second wave would “ratchet up to yet another level” in November.
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said on Tuesday the bloc will continue to support the nuclear deal.
“Now, it is no secret that we have one main disagreement that concerns multilateralism and the very idea of a system for global governance. We Europeans continue to see multilateralism as the best way to prevent chaos, conflicts and confrontations in a multi-polar world,” Mogherini said, addressing a plenary session of the European Parliament on EU-US relations.
“This is why we continue and we will continue to support the nuclear deal with Iran,” she added.
The second wave of US sanctions is due to kick in on Nov. 4 and hit Iran’s exports of oil and its derivatives as well as the country’s banking sector.
Trump has pledged to bring Iran’s oil exports to zero, to which Iranian officials have responded that they will try to sell as much oil as they can and protect banking cooperation with foreign countries.
“That the US says it will zero down Iran’s oil sale is baseless, although reduction in the oil sales is possible,” First Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri said in Tehran on Monday.