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Archive for Iran

Newsline: Russian embassy says Iran frees detained journalist

Iran has freed a Russian journalist, Yulia Yuzik, who had been detained last week, the Russian embassy in Tehran said on social media on Thursday. “As a result of joint efforts of the Russian Foreign Ministry and the Russian Embassy in Tehran, the Iranian side made a decision on the release of Russian citizen Yulia Yuzik,” it said. (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-russia-journalist/iran-frees-detained-russian-journalist-russian-embassy-idUSKBN1WP0FB) According to the embassy, Yuzik flew back to Moscow on Thursday morning.

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Newsline: Iranian media calls on Iraqis to takeover U.S. embassy amid protests

An Iranian newspaper linked to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called on Iraqis to seize the US embassy in Baghdad, in a move similar to the takeover of the US embassy in Tehran during the Iranian revolution of 1979, according to Radio Farda. “Historical evidence has shown that US embassies in all countries, even in friendly and allied countries, are the focus of conspiracy. The US Embassy in Iran is a clear and exemplary example of this bitter reality,” wrote Hossein Shariatmadari, the editor of the Kayhan newspaper, in reference to the former US embassy that was taken over and held hostage during the revolution in 1979. (https://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Iranian-media-calls-on-Iraqis-to-takeover-US-embassy-amid-protests-603867) Iranian media has blamed the United States and Saudi Arabia for inciting anti-Iranian protests in Iraq. Protests broke out throughout Iraq against the deterioration of living conditions and health services, government corruption, unemployment and Iranian interference in the country.

Newsline: Russia summons Iranian ambassador over journalist’s arrest in Tehran

Russia’s foreign ministry summoned the Iranian ambassador on Friday over the detention of a Russian journalist in Tehran, ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said. Moscow has close economic and political ties with Tehran, and it is unusual for the latter to target Russian citizens. “Due to the detention in Tehran of Russian citizen Yulia Yuzik, Iran’s ambassador has been invited to the foreign ministry to facilitate a quick clarification of the circumstances of the incident and the protection of the rights of the Russian citizen,” Zakharova wrote on her Facebook page. (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-russia-iran-journalist/russia-summons-iranian-ambassador-over-journalists-arrest-in-tehran-idUSKBN1WJ1C7) In a brief phone conversation with her mother late on Thursday, Yuzik said security forces had broken into her hotel room and detained her on suspicion of having ties to Israeli intelligence services, her ex-husband Boris Voitsekhovsky told Reuters. “The representative of Russia’s consulate is now at the Iranian foreign ministry trying to resolve this issue,” he said, adding that Yuzik had been in Iran at least once before, when she spent a few months working for a local media outlet.

Newsline: Iran diplomat warns of ‘all-out war’

Iran’s foreign minister warned Thursday that any attack on his country over a drone-and-missile strike on Saudi Arabia’s oil industry will result in an “all-out war,” further pushing up tensions across the Persian Gulf. (https://www.tampabay.com/news/nation-world/2019/09/19/iran-diplomat-warns-of-all-out-war-if-hit-for-saudi-attack/) The comments by Mohammad Javad Zarif represent the starkest warning offered yet by Iran in a long summer of mysterious attacks and incidents following the collapse of Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers, over a year after President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew America from the accord. Zarif’s comments also appeared to be in response to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who a day earlier while traveling to Saudi Arabia referred to the attack as an “act of war.” Asked by CNN what would be the consequence of a U.S. or Saudi strike, Zarif said: “All-out war.” It would cause “a lot of casualties,” he stressed. “I am making a very serious statement that we don’t want to engage in a military confrontation,” Zarif said. “But we won’t blink to defend our territory.”

Newsline: Czech Ambassador to Iran Resigns Amid Visa Fraud Allegations

The ambassador of the Czech Republic in Iran Svatopluk Čumba, has resigned this week amidst allegations that he sold 400 short-stay visas to Iranian businesspersons that were recommended by the Czech-Slovak-Iranian Chamber of Commerce. The General Inspection of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had previously examined the Czech embassy in Tehran for possible involvement with visa trade with hundreds of Iranians. According to their report, Jan Kavan and Zdeněk Zbytek from the Czech-Slovak-Iranian Chamber of Commerce issued recommendations to the visa beneficiaries, who were soon granted with Schengen visas by the Czech embassy in Tehran, with the ambassador pushing the consular service of the embassy to process their applications with priority. “True, I helped mediate visas for Iranian entrepreneurs,” Čumba confirmed, denying that he received any money for this and giving no more comments on the issue. (https://www.schengenvisainfo.com/news/czech-ambassador-to-iran-resigns-amid-allegations-he-sold-schengen-visas-to-iranian-businesspersons/) According to the Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček, there is no evidence of visa bargaining in the Czech embassy in Tehran. “We have no direct evidence of any trade [with Schengen visas], the audit report focused primarily on those visa processes, we found some failure and we took appropriate steps in this direction,” minister Petříček said. On the other hand, the Former Minister of Foreign Affairs and current chair of the Czech-Slovak-Iranian Chamber of Commerce Jan Kavan, denies that the embassy has committed any wrongdoing in issuing these visas. Still, in an interview for irozhlas.cz, he admits that the Chamber did send out 400 visa recommendations for Iranian entrepreneurs.

Newsline: Oman’s top diplomat in Iran for talks amid mounting Gulf tensions

The foreign minister of Oman has arrived in Tehran for talks with Iranian officials, in a visit that comes amid mounting tensions in the Gulf between the United States and Iran. Iran’s state television said on Saturday that Yusuf bin Alawi would meet his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, and other officials to discuss the latest developments in the region. “The visit was conducted in the framework of bilateral relations and continuous consultations of the two countries with the aim of exchanging views on recent regional developments, bilateral relations … and international issues,” it added. (https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/07/oman-top-diplomat-iran-talks-mounting-gulf-tensions-190727100852017.html) Friction has been rising since Washington unilaterally withdrew from a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, and reimposed punishing sanctions on Tehran. Oman maintains friendly ties with both the US and Iran and has previously been a go-between for the two countries, which severed diplomatic relations after the 1979 Iranian revolution. It was also the country where Iran and the US held secret talks that eventually led to the brokering and signing of the landmark nuclear deal four years ago.

Newsline: Iran summons UK ambassador in tanker seizure row

Iran has summoned the British ambassador in Tehran to complain about what it says is the illegal seizure of an Iranian oil tanker. British Royal Marines helped the authorities in Gibraltar seize the ship because of evidence it was heading to Syria in breach of EU sanctions. Spain’s acting foreign minister said the seizure of the ship – Grace 1 – was at the US’s request. An Iranian foreign ministry spokesman said detaining its tanker was illegal. Gibraltar port and law enforcement agencies detained the super tanker and its cargo on July 4 with the help of the marines. (https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-48871462) The BBC has been told a team of about 30 marines, from 42 Commando, were flown from the UK to Gibraltar to help, at the request of the Gibraltar government.