News – USA – Missiles target US Embassy in Iraqi capital Baghdad

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BAGDAD: At least two missiles hit Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone on Monday without causing any casualties, the Iraqi army said in a statement, with security officials saying the U.S. embassy was the target

Two Iraqi security officials said three missiles had hit the Green Zone and one fell within the perimeter of the huge US embassy complex. They spoke on condition of anonymity in accordance with regulations

A military statement said there were no casualties and that an investigation was ongoing.There was minor property damage, including a damaged vehicle. The Green Zone is home to foreign embassies and is the seat of the Iraqi government

It was the third attack in a week that targeted the American presence in Iraq.A US-led coalition entrepreneur was killed and other civilians were wounded in a missile attack outside Irbil International Airport last Tuesday US defense companies at Balad Air Force Base in Salahaddin Province were working

The U.S. Embassy was a frequent target of rocket attacks during the Trump administration The pace of attacks slowed in the weeks leading up to Biden’s inauguration and has recently resumed

CAIRO: Egypt receives 6, 8 million doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine have been given, according to Minister of Health and Population, Hala Zayed
Online registration for vaccinations will begin next week, primarily for the elderly and people with chronic diseases, she added
Egypt has commissioned 100 million cans of COVID-19 jabs, 40 million of which are from Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, Zayed said
“We know there is a global shortage, but we were the first African country to receive vaccines and start a vaccination campaign,” she added
Hossam Hosni, head of the scientific committee to fight the coronavirus in Egypt, said vaccination of doctors would be done within weeks, followed by citizens

GENEVA: The United States is ready to revert to the Iranian nuclear deal if Tehran shows “strict compliance,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Monday. This is a new sign of Washington’s ambition to revive the deal, even if it was rejected by former President Donald Trump Tehran is evidently moving further away from it
Speaking to the United Nations-backed Disarmament Conference, Blinken tabled a US wish list on many topics, including future proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and threats from space. He expressed concerns about a Russian anti-satellite weapons test last year and China’s “provocative.” and dangerous weapons development programs “in addition to the message on Iran
Blinken’s comments on video signaled another move by the Biden administration to revisit many international institutions and agreements that Trump avoided, rejected, or largely ignored.It is the first time in years that a leading US diplomat has spoken to the Disarmament Body, which is mainly a place where countries can raise concerns about disarmament because it hasn’t ushered in any agreements
The comments on Iran were perhaps Blinking’s latest message as new signs came over the weekend that Tehran is moving away from a compromise with Western governments over the nuclear deal – not a compromise
Blinken said the United States is ready to revert to the agreement “if Iran strictly adheres to it again”
On Sunday, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Grossi, told reporters after an emergency trip to Tehran that the Iranian government would offer “less access” to UN weapons inspectors – with unspecified changes to the types of activities the agency can conduct
Grossi said the surveillance was continuing in a “satisfactory” manner, citing three months of “technical understanding” to ensure that any type of inspection would continue. He stressed that European and US leaders are aware of the situation would have to save through negotiations
Blinken stressed that the United States remains committed to ensuring that Iran “never acquires a nuclear weapon,” adding, “Diplomacy is the best way to achieve this goal”
Working with allies and partners, he said the US would aim to “extend and strengthen” the Iranian nuclear deal signed in 2015 between Iran and Germany, France, Britain, Russia, China and the US Trump pulled the US back three years later
Iran has slowly moved away from all nuclear deal restrictions on its uranium stocks and started enriching 20%, a technical step away from weapons quality
With regard to Russia, Blinken welcomed the US government’s swift move to extend the new start contract by five years. He also accused Moscow of “using chemical weapons to try to murder its own people,” including opposition leader Alexei Navalny , and led a split between Moscow’s “public stance against the weapon of space” and its ground-based anti-satellite test in December
“We should reduce tensions in space, not worsen them,” he said
“The United States is ready to involve Russia in strategic stability discussions on arms control and emerging security issues,” said Blinken. “We will clearly see the major challenges Russia brings with it and how our respective nuclear arsenals pose existential threats to one another”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has regularly attended high-level disarmament conferences and is expected to speak about them on Wednesday

LONDON: A bipartisan group of British MPs has written to the government urging it to have the “courage” to downgrade diplomatic relations with Tehran in response to the threat of Iranian state terrorism

The letter from the British Committee on Iranian Freedom (BCFIF) states that the Assadollah Assadi case – an Iranian diplomat convicted of terrorism for attempting to bomb an opposition rally in Paris in 2018 – is evidence that Tehran used its diplomatic missions abroad as a cover for terrorism

“Iran’s decision to act as a pariah state and use its diplomats to endanger the security of Europe and the lives of its citizens must be taken by the EU and Great Britain with maximum pressure and not with maximum diplomacy,” said the MEPs and Lord Alton of Liverpool said in the letter

In a separate statement, Lord Alton said that the Assadi ruling and investigation “show beyond any doubt that this was an act of state terrorism by the Iranian regime against the country’s organized pro-democracy opposition, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) by targeting their conference, leaders and supporters on European soil ”

Lord Alton denounced the invitation to Foreign Secretary Mohammad Javad Zarif to speak at the Europe-Iran virtual economic forum in March and urged the UK to downgrade relations with Tehran and investigate its diplomatic mission in London for evidence of terrorist activity

“A global UK must have the courage to take the lead in Europe to face the serious threats posed by Iranian state terrorism,” said the BCFIF

It added that the UK should ban the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization and sanction high-level Iranian leaders such as Zarif and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei until it encounters the Iranian threat within the county

Ali Safavi, an official on the NCRI’s foreign affairs committee, told Arab News that “concerns about the Iranian regime’s illegal and dangerous nuclear weapons program should not overshadow other aspects of its malicious and sinister behavior,” including “its renewed ones Collection of information and”Terrorist plans on European soil”

He said Tehran’s terrorism in Europe, its pursuit of nuclear weapons, its domestic human rights abuses and its expansionism in the Middle East are “part of the same policy and must be treated as such. A step-by-step approach to all of these nefarious acts will be unsuccessful” / P>

He added, “It is time for the EU to revise its policy towards the ruling theocracy and to join the Iranian people, not their oppressors”

LONDON: One of Syria’s top chemical weapons scientists worked for the CIA for 14 years, giving out details of the country’s secret program to develop deadly weapons such as sarin gas, according to a new book

Called a “chemist” by the CIA, he worked undercover from 1988 to 2001 – until an unfortunate turn of fate caused him to be executed by the regime. The story was told by Washington Post reporter Joby Warrick in his book “Red Line”

It explains that “the chemist” was recruited by the CIA after offering his services during a conference in Europe months later, he was approached and recruited by a CIA officer in Damascus

The book describes how he found the location of a top-secret chemical weapons laboratory in Damascus – Institute 3000 – Revealed and reported details of the Syrian plan to mount deadly chemical weapons on missile-ready warheads

However, after 14 years of espionage for the CIA, “the chemist” came to a grave end. A senior Syrian intelligence officer told him he had been betrayed. Assuming that this meant his role as a CIA spy was revealed, he confessed and was fired by a firing squad executed

According to Warrick, “the chemist” was only questioned on corruption charges when he launched Institute 3’s chemical weapons program000 headed

The name of the book refers to the promise made in 2012 by former US President Barack Obama to take military retaliation against the Assad regime if it used chemical weapons in the Syrian conflict. Obama claimed at the time that the use of such weapons was “red.” Line “”

Despite this, Syrian regime troops killed hundreds of civilians in the infamous chemical attack on the suburb of Damout in Ghouta in August 2013

The US failed to respond, and according to the Berlin-based Global Public Policy Institute, the regime used chemical weapons at least 300 more times during the war

In early February, the United Nations High Representative for Disarmament Affairs condemned the use of chemical weapons in Syria and said those responsible should be held accountable

“Without such an action, we will allow the use of chemical weapons with impunity,” said Izumi Nakamitsu

“It is imperative that (the UN Security Council) show leadership that impunity in the use of these weapons will not be tolerated”

WASHINGTON: Iran has overturned the verdict of a stricken 84-year-old Iranian-American but has banned him from leaving, his son said Monday, calling on President Joe Biden to prioritize the case
Baquer Namazi, a former UNICEF official, was arrested in February 2016 when he was returning to Iran after the arrest of his son Siamak Namazi, a businessman, in Tehran
Siamak’s brother Babak announced that the Iranian judiciary had changed the sentence to the period served a year ago due to serious medical problems
“As you can imagine, we were overjoyed that my father’s nightmare could finally be over and he can leave Iran to receive much-needed medical care and procedures and the little time he has left with his Grandchildren to spend, “Babak Namazi told an online press conference
Babak said his father went on a “wild goose hunt” despite illness to get a new passport to leave Iran, but it turned out that Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guards had banned him from traveling
“It is absolutely outrageous that Iran continues to play with my father’s life,” he said
“My family expects that President Biden and his administration will not make concessions or deals with Iran that do not include the release of my father and Siamak – and indeed require a requirement,” he said
Baquer Namazi needs a stent for the main artery of his brain that is 80 percent blocked, putting him at serious risk of stroke, said family lawyer Jared Genser
The government of Biden last week offered to meet with Iran under the auspices of the European Union to advance diplomacy to revive a denuclearization deal
Biden’s national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Sunday that the release of Americans was a “major priority” ”
“We intend to communicate very directly with the Iranians about the total and utter indignation, the humanitarian catastrophe that represents the unjust, illegal detention of American citizens in Iran,” Sullivan told CBS News ”

Iraq, Baghdad, US Embassy Baghdad, Green Zone, Embassy

News – USA – Missiles target US Embassy in Iraqi capital Baghdad

Source: https://www.arabnews.com/node/1813831/middle-east