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Iran’s President Accuses U.S. of Trying to Change Clerical Establishment

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(Last Updated On: March 7, 2019)

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani accused the United States on Wednesday of plotting to use economic pressure to overthrow the Islamic republic’s clerical establishment, and ruled out the possibility of talks with Washington.

“Iran is in economic and psychological war with America and its allies. Their aim is to change the regime but their wish will not come true,” Rouhani said in a speech in the northern province of Gilan.

U.S.-Iranian tensions resurged after President Donald Trump pulled Washington out of world powers’ 2015 agreement with Iran that curbed its disputed nuclear activity. Trump said the deal was flawed as it did not curb Iran’s ballistic missile programme or support for proxies in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon, and Iraq.

Washington reimposed sanctions on Iran that were lifted in 2016 under the deal. The renewed U.S. clampdown caused a crash of Iran’s currency, rampant inflation and a flight of foreign investors desperately needed by Tehran to modernize its economy.

The other signatories to the deal – Britain, Germany, France, Russia, and China – oppose the reinstatement of U.S. financial and oil sanctions and have sought to salvage the 2015 deal by finding non-dollar ways to conduct business with Tehran.

Iranian authorities have said that Trump administration has secretly voiced a willingness to enter into talks with Iran.

“There is no possibility of entering negotiations with America,” Rouhani said in a speech in the city of Lahijan, broadcast live on state television. “America wants to take Iran back to 40 years ago … to the era before the (1979 Islamic) Revolution…They want regime change.”

Trump, “very disappointed” if NK reports are true

Analysts say Iran’s clerical Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei guardedly backed the 2015 deal as he knew that Iranians, many of whom have periodically taken to the streets to protest at economic hardships, could not tolerate more pressure.

Iranian leaders have warned that Tehran could drop out of the nuclear deal if the other signatories fail to secure the economic benefits to Tehran accruing from the pact.

“Our nation and the leadership are united against our enemies … We will continue our path of independence and freedom,” said Rouhani, the architect of the nuclear agreement.

But if the deal collapses, Iran’s balance of power could tilt in favor of the pragmatist Rouhani’s hardline rivals who oppose improving ties with the West and are close to Khamenei.

Input form Reuters

COVID-19

People complain of lack of medicine in Afghan-Japan hospital

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(Last Updated On: July 7, 2020)

COVID-19 patient relatives complain of a lack of medical supplies at the Afghan-Japan hospital – one of the isolation wards for COVID-19 patients in Kabul – saying they have to buy medicines from outside the hospital.

According to patients’ relatives, the hospital provides oxygen only that while using balloons the attendants themselves have to set them up.

Ahmad Zahir Sultani, head of Afghan-Japan hospital, however, said that situation is under control, adding the hospital puts efforts to satisfy the patients and their attendants.

It comes as Afghanistan witnesses a decline in confirmed cases while it saw a spike in daily deaths cases. Only 34 COVID-19 patients have died in the past 24 hours.

In a daily update, the Ministry of Public Health recorded 239 new Coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours.

It brings the total affected people to 33190 with 898 deaths and more than 20,000 recoveries.

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Millions of dollars embezzled in Afghan customs: Watchdog

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(Last Updated On: July 6, 2020)

Integrity Watch of Afghanistan says that corrupt employees in Afghan customs, local tyrants, and government figures have embezzled millions of dollars of customs revenues.

Based on the findings of local authorities, ten cargoes are being pulled out of the customs office without paying the customs duty with the same plate number, and about 100 cargoes are not paying their customs duties daily.

Ghulam Hashim, a member of the Herat Provincial Council, said: “Ten trucks are being cleared through customs with one plate number. Extra tonnage vehicles up to 100 trucks a day, extra tonnage fuel tankers were being cleared through customs.”

The head of Islam Qala Customs also confirms the widespread corruption in this customs.

“The threats from the powerful and the mafia are so much that 100 percent of the legal work cannot be done there, the high-level work of the employees is carried out by force, and even some employees, including the human resources manager, have been beaten,” said Mustafa Hakimi, Herat’s customs chief. “

Herat’s governor says only 30,000 afghanis are paid out of the three million AFN from the costums duties of a cargo.

Ahmad Wahid Qatali, the governor of Herat, said: “Seven vehicles have been loaded, seven of which have illegal loads, overloads, warnings and reload.”

Findings of Integrity Watch of Afghanistan from the Customs Office show that millions of dollars’ worth of customs revenue has been lost.

“Millions of dollars of Afghanistan’s customs revenue is wasted every year because there are people infected with corruption in the customs and the intervention of local powerful people and people within the government,” said Naser Timouri, a researcher at Integrity Watch of Afghanistan.

The Ministry of Finance, however, confirmed the existence of corruption in the customs.

“The issue of corruption is not in doubt that it exists, but the figures presented are waiting for the governor to share his findings with us so that we can find out on what basis the governor obtained these figures,” said Shamrooz Khan Masjidi, a spokesman for the Ministry of Finance. It’s found. “

Observers at Integrity Watch of Afghanistan say that non-transparent and non-competitive customs clearance has corrupted the structure.

Farid Ahmad, a spokesman for the Independent Administrative Reform Commission, said: “So far, all recruitment at customs has been done by the Ministry of Finance and the Independent Administrative Reform Commission has played no role. But by presidential decree, customs posts are set to compete freely.” “

Although the Ministry of Finance says that scanners have been set up in customs offices for corruption, sources say that in some customs offices, the scanners are kept inactive due to product exemptions.

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Kabul hosts meeting for strengthening regional consensus on peace

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(Last Updated On: July 6, 2020)

The Afghan government Monday held a meeting in Kabul on the peace process for strengthening regional consensus on the Afghan peace process.

Representatives from 19 countries and international organizations including the United Nations participated in the meeting.

The video session, led by Acting Foreign Minister Mohammad Hanif Atmar, kicked off with a speech by President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani on Monday evening.

Officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the meeting was aimed at strengthening regional consensus and focused on reducing violence, starting Intra-Afghan talks, reaching a ceasefire, and releasing Taliban prisoners.

Meanwhile, the Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation called on all laterals to the war in Afghanistan to reduce violence and increase their efforts to achieve peace.

Speculation to start the talks between the two sides comes as tensions have escalated and the level of violence has risen.

The Taliban have made the release of their prisoners conditional on the start of peace talks between Afghans in which an agreement will be reached on a ceasefire, and the government has made the release of all Taliban prisoners conditional on the release of prisoners.

The Afghan government, however, says it is not possible to release specific figures of Taliban prisoners whose group insists on their release.

The Taliban have carried out 36 offensive attacks on Afghan forces in six provinces in the past 24 hours, according to the latest government figures. In addition to the escalation of attacks, it is to be seen whether the regional consensus and international organizations such as the United Nations and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation will succeed in bringing the two sides to the negotiating table or not.

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