in Iraq


Europe Ready to Reimpose Sanctions if Iran Breaches Nuclear Deal, French Official Says

Voice of America - Tue, 05/07/2019 - 20:46
Europe would have to reimpose sanctions on Iran if Tehran reneged on parts of the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, a French presidency source said on Tuesday. Iran's state-run IRIB news agency reported on Monday that Tehran would restart part of its halted nuclear program in response to the U.S. withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal, but added Tehran does not plan to pull out of the agreement. Iran's president is due to speak on Wednesday. "We do not want Tehran to...
Categories: Iraq

US-Iran Tensions Rise Ahead of Anniversary of Deal Pullout

Voice of America - Tue, 05/07/2019 - 19:51
A sudden White House announcement that a U.S. aircraft carrier and a bomber wing would be deployed in the Persian Gulf to counter Iran comes just days ahead of the anniversary of President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw America from Tehran's nuclear deal. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is said to be planning a speech Wednesday on the anniversary to discuss the next steps Tehran will take in confronting the U.S. Officials in the Islamic Republic previously warned that Iran...
Categories: Iraq

Qatar to Send Money for West Bank, Gaza after Israel truce

Voice of America - Tue, 05/07/2019 - 19:15
Qatar on Tuesday said it is sending $480 million to Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip after a cease-fire deal ended the deadliest fighting between Israel and Palestinian militants since a 2014 war. Qatar's Foreign Ministry said $300 million would support health and education programs of the Palestinian Authority, while $180 million would go toward “urgent humanitarian relief” in U.N. programs and toward electricity. The Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip suffers from chronic...
Categories: Iraq

Runaway Saudi Sisters Leave Georgia to Start New Life

Voice of America - Tue, 05/07/2019 - 19:03
Two runaway Saudi sisters who won global attention for fleeing to Georgia and pleading online for protection said on Tuesday they were preparing to start new lives in a country where their family could not find them. Maha, 28, and Wafa al-Subaie, 25, started an online campaign to find a safe haven in April after arriving in Georgia to escape relatives they said abused them, in the latest case to highlight Saudi Arabia's strict social control over women. "We are thrilled to...
Categories: Iraq

Pompeo Makes Unscheduled Trip to Iraq to Press U.S. Concerns About Iran

NY Times Iraq - Tue, 05/07/2019 - 15:31
The secretary of state canceled a meeting with Germany’s chancellor for a quick trip to Iraq, where the Trump administration says U.S. forces face a new Iranian threat.
Categories: Iraq

Mixed Mideast Reaction Over US Carrier, Bomber Task Force Deployment

Voice of America - Tue, 05/07/2019 - 07:20
An announcement by U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton that Washington is sending an aircraft carrier group and bomber task force to the Middle East is drawing mixed reactions from countries in the region. Iran has condemned the move, while some U.S. allies nod in agreement.  Arab media announced the U.S. deployment of the aircraft carrier group USS Abraham Lincoln and an air strike force, amid reports of possible tensions with Iran and threats by Iranian officials to...
Categories: Iraq

Trump Pardons Ex-Army Soldier Convicted of Killing Iraqi Man

NY Times Iraq - Tue, 05/07/2019 - 06:15
Former First Lt. Michael Behenna shot the Iraqi man in the head and chest while interrogating him about suspected terrorists during a deployment in 2008.
Categories: Iraq

Iraqi Fishermen Still Use Method Passed Down Over the Centuries

Voice of America - Tue, 05/07/2019 - 06:02
Fishermen in Iraqi Kurdistan are still using an ancient fishing technique that has been passed down over the centuries. While some fish as a hobby, others in the northern city of Ranya, do it for living. They say the ancient method comes with a lot of challenges and requires patience, but is effective. VOA’s Rebaz Majeed spent a few hours with the fishermen of Ranya and filed this report narrated by Bezhan Hamdard.
Categories: Iraq

Lebanon Central Bank Workers Strike, PM Demands Budgetary 'Realism'

Voice of America - Tue, 05/07/2019 - 05:00
Lebanese central bank employees went on strike on Monday over state budget proposals that would cut their benefits but Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri said failure to pass a "realistic" budget would be like a "suicide operation" against the economy. Hariri said he expected a resolution of the row at the central bank on Tuesday but criticized a wave of "preemptive" strike action over the draft austerity budget, adding that the government was taking measures to...
Categories: Iraq

Syrian Troops Captured Village, Strategic Hill from Insurgents

Voice of America - Tue, 05/07/2019 - 04:10
Syrian troops captured a village and a strategic hill from insurgents Monday in the country's northwest, pro-government media said, amid the heaviest fighting to hit the region in eight months. A nearby Russian air base was also targeted by a missile attack from militants. The Syrian government's advance was the deepest push so far this year into Syria's last major rebel stronghold. The latest wave of violence, which began April 30, has raised fears the government may launch a...
Categories: Iraq

Startup Brews Change for Lebanon's Special Needs Workers

Voice of America - Tue, 05/07/2019 - 02:35
Farah Ballout's big, infectious smile is the first thing that greets you at her workplace, a cafe in Lebanon with a mission to do more than just brew coffee. Before she was hired, the 29-year-old — who has Angelman Syndrome, a genetic disorder that means she has developmental disabilities — had struggled to find work in a country with high unemployment. "I feel like it is a dream that I started here," Ballout said as tears rolled down her face. "It feels like you are...
Categories: Iraq

Israel's Gaza Blockade Under Scrutiny After Latest Violence

Voice of America - Tue, 05/07/2019 - 02:17
For 12 years, Israel has maintained a blockade over the Gaza Strip, seeking to weaken the territory's militant Hamas rulers. And for 12 years, Hamas has remained firmly in power, developing a thriving homegrown weapons industry along the way. This weekend's violence, the worst in a string of flare-ups since a 2014 war, provided the latest illustration of the limitations of the blockade and fueled calls Monday in Israel for a rethinking of the longstanding policy, which many see as...
Categories: Iraq

Istanbul Revote Sparks Fears of Political, Economic Chaos

Voice of America - Tue, 05/07/2019 - 01:00
Turkey is set for a revote in the aftermath of the hotly contested mayoral elections in Istanbul.  The country's Supreme Electoral Council (YSK) upheld President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Justice and Development Party's (AKP) petition to annul the March 31 result, which ended the AKP's 25 years of rule.  A revote threatens to plunge the country into political and economic chaos. Turkey's state news agency reported the new vote would be held June 23. The...
Categories: Iraq

Beans or Brioche: Breakfast Divisive in Libyan Conflict

Voice of America - Tue, 05/07/2019 - 00:29
Coffee and a pastry covered in chocolate, honey and almonds or a savory bean stew sandwich with juice or a fizzy drink. What you have for breakfast has come to symbolize the divisions in Libya where regions, tribes, armed groups and towns with different traditions have been vying for power since Moammar Gadhafi was toppled in 2011. An assault by eastern forces allied to Khalifa Haftar on Tripoli last month has all but wrecked U.N.-backed efforts for a peace deal between the rival...
Categories: Iraq

New Iran Air Director on US Sanctions List

Voice of America - Tue, 05/07/2019 - 00:15
The newly appointed managing director of the Islamic Republic of Iran Airline (Iran Air) is on the U.S. sanctions list. Touraj Dehghani Zanganeh replaced state-owned Iran Air’s first female director Farzaneh Sharafbafi on Sunday. Previously, Zanganeh was the CEO of Meraj Airline, which was established in 2010. The airline and its manager were sanctioned by the United States in 2018. According to U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin٫ those sanctioned had helped IRGC Quds Force...
Categories: Iraq

Turkish Kurd Leader Ocalan Meets Lawyers for First Time Since 2011

Voice of America - Mon, 05/06/2019 - 21:25
The leader of Turkey's militant Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), Abdullah Ocalan, has met his lawyers for the first time in eight years, one of them said on Monday. "This is the first meeting with the lawyers since 2011. The meeting lasted approximately one hour" on May 2, Rezan Sarica told an Istanbul press conference. Some 3,000 Kurdish prisoners have been holding hunger strikes since November to protest his isolation, and eight have killed themselves over the issue,...
Categories: Iraq

New Tensions With Iran Threaten Nuclear Deal and, White House Says, U.S. Troops

NY Times Iraq - Mon, 05/06/2019 - 17:12
The mutual threats escalated action from both the U.S., which warned against attacks, and Iran, which said it would not fully comply with a deal President Trump already abandoned.
Categories: Iraq

In time for Ramadan, Iraqi TV Drama Returns after 7 Years

Voice of America - Sun, 05/05/2019 - 15:44
Every evening at the Muntada al-Masrah theater on Baghdad's Rashid street, the cast and crew of the first TV drama filmed in Iraq in seven years take their places among the rooms and courtyard of this 19th-century building and shoot new scenes of their highly-anticipated series. The arts are coming to life again in Baghdad, bringing with it a touch of hope and comfort as the country works to rebuild after 16 years of war. And after two decades abroad, two of Iraq's leading...
Categories: Iraq

UN Races to Process Rotting Yemeni Grain After Reaching Hodeidah Store

Voice of America - Sun, 05/05/2019 - 13:55
The United Nations regained access to donated grain stored in the Yemeni port city of Hodeidah on Sunday, and began the task of salvaging food that could stave off starvation for millions of citizens before it rots. Hodeidah, which has become the focus of a four-year war between Saudi-backed government forces and the Iran-aligned Houthis, is the entry point for most of Yemen's humanitarian aid and commercial imports. But World Food Program (WFP) grain stores there have been cut off...
Categories: Iraq

Gaza, Israel Trade Fire; Netanyahu Vows 'Massive Strikes'

Voice of America - Sun, 05/05/2019 - 09:27
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday he ordered the military to continue “massive strikes” against militants in Gaza as a surge in cross-border hostilities ran into a third day. A rocket fired from Gaza killed an Israeli civilian Sunday and two Palestinian gunmen were killed in an Israeli strike, with no sign of any impending cease-fire in the most serious border flare-up since November. Israel’s military said more than 450 rockets, many of them intercepted by its Iron...
Categories: Iraq