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Europe Pledges to Defend Interests in Wake of US Pull-out From Iran Nuclear Deal

Voice of America - Wed, 05/09/2018 - 20:08
A transatlantic diplomatic tussle appears to be looming after European leaders pledged to defend their countries’ commercial interests in Iran, following U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran. Fellow signatories Russia and China also said they would stick with the accord. Henry Ridgwell reports.
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Oscar-Winning Iranian Urges Tehran: Let Banned Director Go to Cannes

Voice of America - Wed, 05/09/2018 - 19:30
The double-Oscar winning filmmaker who opened the Cannes Film Festival has made a last-minute plea to Iran to let a fellow Iranian director – who is officially banned from working and traveling - come to the premiere of his own film. Seated alongside Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz, the stars of his new movie, Asghar Farhadi said Iran should allow acclaimed director Jafar Panahi to attend the festival where they both have movies competing for the Palme d'Or. "I think...
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All Eyes on Israel as Mideast Tensions Spike

Voice of America - Wed, 05/09/2018 - 19:18
Right up until until the final hours, America’s European allies held out hope they could dissuade President Donald Trump from withdrawing the U.S. from the Iran nuclear accord. As the announcement deadline loomed, however, their hopes appeared ever more forlorn and desperate. Now in the wake of Trump’s decision Tuesday to pull the U.S. out of a deal alongside America’s main European partners that was signed by Barack Obama in 2015 — in which Tehran agreed to nuclear curbs in return for...
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Israel Welcomes Trump's 'Bold' Decision to Leave Iran Deal

Voice of America - Wed, 05/09/2018 - 19:08
Israel has welcomed U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, but the move is raising tensions in the region. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been one of the world's most vocal critics of the Iran deal, saying it clears the way for the Islamic Republic to acquire a nuclear bomb. He described Trump's decision to pull out of the agreement as "historic." "Israel thanks President Trump for his courageous...
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Yemen's Iran-Aligned Houthis Fire Missiles at Saudi Capital

Voice of America - Wed, 05/09/2018 - 19:00
Yemen's Houthis fired a salvo of ballistic missiles at Saudi Arabia's capital on Wednesday — an attack Saudi authorities said they intercepted in the skies over Riyadh. The assault took place a day after Saudi Arabia's top Western ally the United States pulled out of a deal with Iran over its disputed nuclear program and could signal an uptick in tensions between Riyadh and regional rival Tehran. The Houthis said the missiles were launched at economic targets in Riyadh, the...
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Gulf Allies Applaud Trump Decision to Scrap Iran Nuclear Deal

Voice of America - Wed, 05/09/2018 - 18:58
Saudi Arabia gives support, Iran's leaders fulminate and Egypt is expressing reservations, after U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to pull the United States out of the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement, also known as the JCPOA. Members of Iran's parliament set fire to a U.S. flag Wednesday, following the decision Tuesday by Trump to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal known as the JCPOA. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani claimed in a speech Tuesday the United States has a...
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Erdogan Challengers Decry Media Blackout Before Election

Voice of America - Wed, 05/09/2018 - 16:30
Challengers to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in June’s presidential election are crying foul, claiming that media — influenced by Erdogan — is imposing a blackout on their campaigns. Both of the main challengers' campaign launches were largely ignored by mainstream television channels. "We had a rally in [the Turkish city of] Yalova. I have not seen such a thing in Yalova in the last 40 years . But TRT didn’t broadcast it. This is my final warning. I will not...
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Migrants Sue Italy Over Collaboration with Libyan Coast Guard

Voice of America - Wed, 05/09/2018 - 16:04
Italy’s collaboration with Libya to stop migrants from crossing the Mediterranean is facing a legal challenge.  A lawsuit filed in the European Court of Human Rights asserts that Italy’s work with the Libyan coast guard has forced thousands of people to return to Libya against their will, exposing them to inhumane conditions.  Sabina Castelfranco has more for VOA from Rome.
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Iran Deal Signatories Still Committed After US Exit

Voice of America - Wed, 05/09/2018 - 15:06
Five world powers that are signatories to the international pact to restrain Iran's nuclear weapons development all voiced support for the deal Wednesday, a day after U.S. President Donald Trump assailed it and withdrew the United States. German Chancellor Angela Merkel called the U.S. withdrawal from the 2015 accord regrettable and said Berlin would "try to do everything so that Iran also fulfills its commitments in the future." She said Trump's abandonment of...
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Egyptian Woman Launches Online Radio Show to Help Divorcees

Voice of America - Wed, 05/09/2018 - 12:29
Facing social and legal hardships when she tried to end her marriage, an Egyptian woman decided to launch an online radio program to help others going through the same experience. Eight years later, the program continues to generate good advice, and as VOA Correspondent Mariama Diallo reports, its share of criticism.
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Iran Deal Exit Complicates But Shouldn't Derail Korea Talks

Voice of America - Wed, 05/09/2018 - 12:10
U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear agreement is not expected to derail diplomatic momentum to reach a deal to end North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, but it could complicate the negotiation process, analysts say. Trump on Tuesday announced that the United States is ending its participation in the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that lifted sanctions on Iran in exchange for Tehran limiting its nuclear program, and would re-impose...
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Trump Withdraws US from Iran Nuclear Deal

Voice of America - Wed, 05/09/2018 - 10:54
After years of calling the Iran nuclear deal "insane," disastrous," and "the dumbest deal ever," President Donald Trump on Tuesday pulled the U.S. out of the agreement. Trump's decision is a major blow to the Iran nuclear accord, reached in 2015 among Iran, the U.S., and five other world powers. The main question now is whether the rest of the deal may fall apart, reports VOA's Bill Gallo.
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US Naval Strike Force Joins Coalition Attacking Islamic State Militants in Syria

Voice of America - Wed, 05/09/2018 - 10:30
A U.S. naval strike force recently began air attacks against the Islamic State in Syria. The force joined a U.S.-led coalition in mid-April targeting what Western powers said were Syrian chemical weapons installations. The coalition continues its support of a years-long mission against IS-militants in the civil war-torn country. Arash Arabasadi reports.
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Israeli Intel Sources Detect Unusual Iranian Military Activity in Lebanon

Voice of America - Wed, 05/09/2018 - 07:55
A prominent Iranian-Israeli journalist says Israeli intelligence sources have reported unusual activities by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps forces in Lebanon. Speaking to VOA Persian’s special program about President Donald Trump’s decision on the Iran nuclear deal, Menashe Amir said his intelligence sources detected the IRGC activities in Lebanon on Tuesday. Amir, who is based near Jerusalem, said the nature of those activities was not specified but he believed they could involve IRGC...
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Israel Expels Human Rights Watch Official

Voice of America - Wed, 05/09/2018 - 05:05
Human Rights Watch is suing Israel for ordering the deportation of the group's Israel and Palestine director for allegedly supporting a boycott of the Jewish state. The Israeli Interior Ministry has revoked Omar Shakir's work permit and has given him 14 days to leave the country. Human Rights Watch said it would challenge the order in court. "This is not about Shakir but rather about muzzling Human Rights Watch and shutting down criticism of Israel's rights...
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Muslim Minority Communities Meet in UAE to Talk Challenges

Voice of America - Wed, 05/09/2018 - 04:45
The United Arab Emirates hosted the start of a two-day forum on Tuesday for Islamic community leaders from countries around the world where Muslims are minorities.   Several hundred people attended the forum in the UAE's capital of Abu Dhabi to network and discuss challenges around issues of Islamophobia, integration and extremism.   Muslim community leaders attending the summit came from countries as far as Venezuela and Vietnam, where Muslims are minorities. The forum...
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Mnuchin: US Revoking Boeing, Airbus Licenses to Sell Jets to Iran

Voice of America - Wed, 05/09/2018 - 04:34
Licenses for Boeing and Airbus to sell passenger jets to Iran will be revoked, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said Tuesday after President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement. Trump said he would reimpose U.S. economic sanctions on Iran, which were lifted under the agreement he had harshly criticized. The pact, worked out by the United States, five other world powers and Iran, lifted sanctions in exchange for Tehran limiting its nuclear...
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Mideast Facing Week of Milestone Events

Voice of America - Wed, 05/09/2018 - 04:32
The Middle East is bracing for milestone events packed into one week that could reverberate in unforeseen ways and change the trajectory of a region shaped by growing conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia, leaders of the Shiite and Sunni Muslim camps. On Tuesday, President Donald Trump announced the U.S. was withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal. Early next week, the U.S. will move its embassy in Israel to contested Jerusalem, provoking Palestinians at a time when many thousands plan to...
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New US Ambassador to Berlin Warns German Businesses to Leave Iran

Voice of America - Wed, 05/09/2018 - 02:55
Soon after presenting his credentials to the German president, the new U.S. ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, told German companies to start leaving Iran. "As Donald Trump said, U.S. sanctions will target critical sectors of Iran's economy. German companies doing business in Iran should wind down operations immediately," Grenell tweeted Tuesday. His tweet came as U.S. President Donald Trump announced he is pulling the United States out of the nuclear deal with Iran...
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Yemeni Car Traders Cash In on Japan Connection

Voice of America - Wed, 05/09/2018 - 01:46
Wooden dhows crammed with secondhand Japanese cars have been sailing unhindered into Yemeni ports for the past three years despite rigid wartime controls on imports of aid and other vital supplies. Like many Yemeni traders, Ali al-Mahry jumped at this chance to turn a profit by supplying customers at home with cars bought cheaply at auction in the United Arab Emirates. A Saudi-led military coalition, of which the UAE is part, has been battling Houthi rebels since 2015 with the aim of...
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