in Iraq


Finance Minister: Lebanon's New Government to Agree to Economic Reforms 

Voice of America - Wed, 02/06/2019 - 05:02
Lebanon's new government will agree to implement all the economic reforms the country promised at an international donor meeting last year, its finance minister said on Tuesday after talks to set policy. Rival parties formed a new unity government on Thursday after nearly nine months of wrangling. Like the previous coalition, it is headed by Western-backed Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri and includes most major factions. Since the government was formed, a cabinet committee has...
Categories: Iraq

Iranian Lawyers Condemn Tehran's Jailing of Colleague, Demand Release

Voice of America - Wed, 02/06/2019 - 04:45
A group of Iranian lawyers has condemned Iran's government for imprisoning a fellow lawyer convicted of slandering a former official and demanded that their colleague be released. In an open letter to the Iranian people dated Monday and shared with VOA Persian by lawyer Hossein Ahmadiniaz, he and 18 other lawyers said Sunday's jailing of their counterpart, Mostafa Tork Hamedani, at Tehran's Evin Prison violates Iran's international commitments to the principles of a fair...
Categories: Iraq

Top US General 'Not Consulted' About Syria Troop Withdrawal

Voice of America - Wed, 02/06/2019 - 01:45
The commanding general of U.S. forces in the Middle East was not told before President Donald Trump initially declared victory over the Islamic State terror group and announced his decision to withdraw troops from Syria. "I was not aware of the specific announcement," Gen. Joseph Votel told U.S. lawmakers Tuesday of the president's announcement this past December. "I was not consulted," he added. Since the announcement, Pentagon officials have confirmed some...
Categories: Iraq

Iran Criticizes Greece, Italy for Not Buying Its Oil Despite US Waivers

Voice of America - Wed, 02/06/2019 - 01:43
Iran's oil minister on Tuesday criticized Greece and Italy for not buying its oil despite U.S. waivers and said they had not offered Tehran any explanation for their decision. The United States granted the two countries exemptions along with six others — Turkey, China, India, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan — allowing them to temporarily continue buying Iranian oil as Washington reimposed sanctions on Iran's banking and energy sectors. "No European country is buying oil from...
Categories: Iraq

U.S. Military Commander Warns That Islamic State May Quickly Regroup

NY Times Iraq - Wed, 02/06/2019 - 01:16
Gen. Joseph L. Votel was another voice in a national security establishment out of alignment with President Trump on a range of issues, including Afghanistan, Russia and Syria.
Categories: Iraq

Tehran Bats Away EU Criticism of Iranian Missile Tests

Voice of America - Wed, 02/06/2019 - 00:54
Iran dismissed European Union criticism of its missile program, regional policies and rights record on Tuesday, highlighting their increasingly testy relationship as both sides seek to salvage a troubled nuclear deal. Iran’s comments came a day after the bloc criticized the Islamic Republic's ballistic missile tests and expressed concern at Iran's role in growing Middle East tensions. The EU has promised to abide by a 2015 nuclear deal under which Iran agreed to limit its...
Categories: Iraq

Report: Briton Held in UAE After Wearing Qatar Shirt

Voice of America - Wed, 02/06/2019 - 00:33
Britain is assisting a British national arrested in the United Arab Emirates, the Foreign Office said Tuesday following reports that a man was being detained for having worn a Qatar football shirt there. The UAE, along with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt, cut all ties with Qatar in June 2017 over allegations that the tiny, energy-rich state supports Islamic extremists. The Foreign Office warns in its advice for visitors to the UAE of subsequent new laws. "Showing sympathy for...
Categories: Iraq

Iran Warns Israel Against Further Airstrikes in Syria

Voice of America - Wed, 02/06/2019 - 00:15
Iran warned Israel on Tuesday of a "firm and appropriate" response if it continued attacking targets in Syria, where Tehran has backed President Bashar al-Assad and his forces in their nearly eight-year war against rebels and militants. Without responding directly, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu nevertheless said it was important to block Iranian influence in Syria. Israel, which views Tehran as its biggest security threat, has repeatedly attacked Iranian targets...
Categories: Iraq

UN Appeals for $200M to Assist 550,000 Vulnerable People in Libya

Voice of America - Tue, 02/05/2019 - 22:41
The United Nations, together with the internationally recognized Government of National Accord in Libya, are appealing for more than $200 million to provide lifesaving assistance to 550,000 vulnerable people, nearly half of them children. The United Nations reports more than 823,000 people across Libya, including a quarter of a million children, are in need of humanitarian assistance.  After seven years of instability, it says thousands of families are unable to afford food, water...
Categories: Iraq

Pope Says He Found 'Good Will' From UAE to Seek Peace in Yemen

Voice of America - Tue, 02/05/2019 - 21:23
Pope Francis said on Tuesday he had found "good will" to start peace processes to end the conflict in Yemen, during private meetings with leaders of the United Arab Emirates, which is playing a leading role in a Saudi-led coalition against Houthis in Yemen. Francis, who in the past has condemned the war in Yemen several times, made the comment in response to a question on the plane returning from Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. "I spoke about it, but...
Categories: Iraq

US Commander: IS Hold in Syria, Iraq on Verge of Collapse

Voice of America - Tue, 02/05/2019 - 20:50
President Donald Trump is expected to declare near-total triumph over the Islamic State group in Syria in his State of the Union address Tuesday, but U.S. defense officials are increasingly fearful that the militants are simply biding their time until the Americans leave the battlefield as planned. IS militants have lost territory since Trump's surprise announcement in December that he was pulling U.S. forces out, but military officials warn the fighters could regroup within six...
Categories: Iraq

Turkey's Erdogan Steps Up Pressure on US as Key Syria Talks Begin

Voice of America - Tue, 02/05/2019 - 17:41
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he has not yet seen an acceptable plan for the creation in Syria of a safe zone aimed at protecting Turkey's border from attack.   Erdogan spoke Tuesday at a parliamentary meeting of his ruling AKP, saying, "There is no satisfactory plan that is put before us concretely yet. He also said, "Of course we are loyal to our agreements, our promise is a promise. However, our patience is not limitless.” Erdogan spoke as his foreign...
Categories: Iraq

Egypt Debates Motion to Extend Presidential Term Limits

Voice of America - Tue, 02/05/2019 - 17:32
Egypt’s parliament advanced a proposal on Tuesday to amend the constitution in a way that could allow President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi to stay in office well beyond the end of his current term in 2022. El-Sissi led the 2013 military overthrow of an elected but divisive Islamist president and was elected the following year. He has presided over an unprecedented crackdown on dissent, and was re-elected last year after all potentially serious challengers were jailed or pressured to exit the...
Categories: Iraq

Pope Francis Delivers First Mass on Arabian Peninsula

Voice of America - Tue, 02/05/2019 - 10:05
Pope Francis celebrated Mass in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday as he closed a brief, but historic visit to the United Arab Emirates. The Mass drew an estimated 135,000 people to Zayed Sports City stadium for what some people said was the largest show of public Christian worship on the Arabian Peninsula. Before Mass, the leader of the world's Catholics circled the stadium in his popemobile, waving to the crowd as it responded it cheers and chants of support. On Monday, Pope Francis...
Categories: Iraq

Iran Detains Conservationist as 8 Others Tried in Court

Voice of America - Tue, 02/05/2019 - 07:45
Iran has detained another environmentalist who worked for the same Iranian conservation organization as eight activists who went on trial in Tehran last week after spending a year in detention.  A reliable source in Iran told VOA Persian that Iranian authorities detained Pouria Sepahvand of the Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation on Saturday. The New York-based Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) confirmed Sepahvand's arrest in a Monday tweet  and said he had been taken...
Categories: Iraq

Trump’s Plan for U.S. Forces in Iraq Met With Unified Rejection in Baghdad

NY Times Iraq - Tue, 02/05/2019 - 06:32
President Trump’s plan for American troops in Iraq to “watch Iran” was roundly rejected by Iraq’s political establishment, with some calling on Parliament to act quickly to push out the Americans.
Categories: Iraq

US-Led Coalition Denies Confrontation With Iran-Backed Militia in Iraq    

Voice of America - Tue, 02/05/2019 - 04:50
The U.S.-led coalition fighting against the Islamic State (IS) in Syria and Iraq Monday denied it faced a head-to-head encounter with the Iran-backed militia known as the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) in the Nineveh province of Iraq.  The Shiite militia in Iraq alleged its fighters Friday prevented the American troops within the anti-IS coalition from conducting a field operation inside the city of Mosul.  "The patrol referenced was routine and there was no...
Categories: Iraq

UN Council Pushes Yemen's Warring Parties to Withdraw Hodeidah Troops

Voice of America - Tue, 02/05/2019 - 04:45
The United Nations Security Council urged the warring parties in Yemen on Monday to withdraw forces from the country's main port of Hodeida and two other ports "without further delays." Representatives from both parties met for a second day on a ship on the Red Sea on Monday, U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said, in a U.N.-led push to implement the stalled troop withdrawal which was agreed at December talks in Sweden. "Both parties have reiterated their commitment...
Categories: Iraq

EU Concerned by Iran Missile Work, Regional Security Role

Voice of America - Tue, 02/05/2019 - 03:50
The European Union said on Monday it was gravely concerned by Iran's ballistic missile launches and tests and called on Tehran to stop activity that deepened mistrust and destabilized the region. Iran has expanded its missile program, particularly its ballistic missiles, in defiance of opposition from the United States and expressions of concern by European countries. Tehran says the program is purely defensive. "The Council is ... gravely concerned by Iran's ballistic...
Categories: Iraq

First Wave of New Ethiopian Immigrants Arrives in Israel

Voice of America - Tue, 02/05/2019 - 01:39
Nearly 100 Ethiopian Jews landed in Israel on Monday in the first wave of new immigration since the government said last year that it would let some of the 8,000 remaining community members join relatives in Israel. Local Ethiopian community members welcomed the newcomers after years of delays. Israel recognizes the community's Jewish roots but does not consider them fully Jewish, so they require special approval to immigrate that has not always been forthcoming. Atersau Baiye, 61,...
Categories: Iraq