Iran: Heavy Snow Snarls Traffic, Shuts Schools in Iran Capital

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

 

Heavy Snow Snarls Traffic, Shuts Schools in Iran Capital

Saturday, 16 November, 2019 – 11:30
Tehran spreads up the southern slopes of the Elburz mountains and heavy snowfalls often create challenging driving conditions. (AFP)
Asharq Al-Awsat
Heavy snowfall blanketed the streets of north Tehran on Saturday, causing traffic chaos and forcing the closure of schools, authorities in the Iranian capital said.

Crews of municipal workers were battling to clear roads and pavements in parts of the capital, where snow began falling at the start of the morning rush hour and continued through the day.

“Snow started at a time when there is usually high traffic and now as you can imagine that snow has intensified this traffic,” Hamid Mousavi, mayor of Tehran’s first district, told the ISNA news agency.

The backed-up traffic prevented the use of snow plows and forced the municipality to deploy staff to clear the snow by hand, he said.

One commuter said his journey to work from east Tehran took him twice as long as usual as traffic was backed up on major roads leading to northern districts.

There were only a few accidents, despite the driving conditions and the fact that many vehicles lacked tire chains, a city official said, according to state television’s website.

Schools in some districts were ordered closed in the afternoon.

“Due to the coldness of the weather, snow and forecast of continuing snowfall, all schools will be closed this afternoon in districts one to five and district 22 of Tehran,” deputy governor Mohammad Taghizadeh said, quoted by ISNA.

“Also all schools in Shemiranat county will be closed in the afternoon shift.”

Iran Says to Use Every Mean Possible to Export Its Oil

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

 

Iran Says to Use Every Mean Possible to Export Its Oil

Sunday, 6 October, 2019 – 11:30
FILE PHOTO: Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh listens to journalists at the beginning of an OPEC meeting in Vienna, Austria, July 1, 2019. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger
Asharq Al-Awsat
Iran will not succumb to US pressure and will use every possible way to export its oil, Iranian Oil Ministry’s website SHANA quoted Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh as saying on Sunday.

Iran’s crude oil exports were reduced by more than 80% when the US re-imposed sanctions on the country last November after President Donald Trump pulled out of Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

“We will use every possible way to export our oil and we will not succumb to America’s pressure because exporting oil is Iran’s legitimate right,” Zanganeh said, Reuters reported.

In response, Iran has gradually scaled back its commitments to the 2015 nuclear deal, under which Tehran accepted to curb its nuclear activities in return for lifting most international sanctions.

The increasing US pressure on Iran has scared away foreign investors from doing business in the country.

Meanwhile, Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation (AEOI) reiterated on Sunday that the country would reduce its commitments under the deal further if the European parties to the pact did not meet promises to shield Iran’s economy from US sanctions.

“We will go ahead with our plans to decrease our commitments to the nuclear deal if other parties fail to keep their promises,” the Students News Agency ISNA quoted AEOI’s spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi as saying.

Iran seizes another oil tanker in Strait of Hormuz as Gulf crisis erupts

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE UK EXPRESS NEWS)

 

Iran seizes another oil tanker in Strait of Hormuz as Gulf crisis erupts

IRAN is believed to have seized another oil tanker passing through the Strait of Hormuz.

Iran: ‘Startlingly dangerous moment’ in Middle East says expert

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The Israeli Broadcasting Corporation is reporting another ship has been seized in the gulf. Correspondent Amochai Stein said on Twitter: “Iran has seized another oil vessel in the Strait of Hormuz. Iran’s Revolutionary Guard arrests a vessel and 11 crew on ‘diesel smuggling charges’.”

It comes after Iran said accusations it had a role in the attack on Saudi oil installations were “unacceptable” and “baseless”, after a senior US official said the Islamic Republic was behind it.

“These allegations are condemned as unacceptable and entirely baseless,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said in remarks carried by state TV.

On Sunday, a senior US official told reporters that evidence from the attack, which hit the world’s biggest oil-processing facility on Saturday, indicated Iran was behind it, instead of the Yemeni Houthi group that had claimed responsibility.

Iran news

Iran is believed to have seized another oil tanker passing through the Strait of Hormuz (Image: REUTERS/GETTY)

Donald Trump waded into the row by issuing a fierce warning to Iran that America was “locked and loaded” in a chilling esponse to the oil field attacks.

The US President said on Twitter: “There is reason to believe that we know the culprit, are locked and loaded depending on verification, but are waiting to hear from the Kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of the attack, and under what terms we would proceed.”

He then said the US had ‘PLENTY OF OIL!’ despite the attacks on the fields.

READ MORE: Putin swoops on Iran chaos in crunch talks hours after Saudi strike

Last night the US issued satellite images an intelligence backing the claim that Iran was behind attacks on major Saudi oil facilities.

According to the New York Times, ABC and Reuters US officials pointed 19 points of impact from bombs or missiles and evidence indicated the attacks had come from a west-north-west direction – not Houthi-controlled territory in Yemen, which lies to the south-west of the Saudi oil facilities.

US officials suggested launch sites in the northern Gulf, Iran or Iraq were a more likely source of the missiles. And a close-up image of damaged tanks at the Abqaiq processing plant seemed to show impact points on the western side.

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Donald Trump said the US is “locked and loaded” (Image: GETTY)

Iran’s semi-official Students News agency ISNA reported Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have seized the the vessel for allegedly smuggling 250,000 litres of diesel fuel to the United Arab Emirates.

A reporter for ISNA said: “It was detained near Iran’s Greater Tunb island in the Persian Gulf.

“The crew have been handed over to legal authorities in the southern Hormozgan province.”

Donald Trump would take ‘aggressive’ stance on Iran says expert

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Mr Trump said on Monday the United States would help its allies.

Taking to Twitter he said: “We don’t need Middle Eastern Oil & Gas, & in fact have very few tankers there, but will help our Allies!”

The latest reported ship seizure by Iran follows a series of incidents involving shipping around the Gulf after US sanctions on Iranian oil exports took full effect in May.

Tehran to Continue Enriching Uranium, Rouhani Warns Against Internal Divisions

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

 

Tehran to Continue Enriching Uranium, Rouhani Warns Against Internal Divisions

Sunday, 5 May, 2019 – 08:00
A general view of the Bushehr nuclear power plant, some 1,200 km (746 miles) south of Tehran October 26, 2010. REUTERS/IRNA/Mohammad Babaie
London- Asharq Al-Awsat
As the US intensifies its pressure campaign aimed at curbing Tehran’s ballistic missile program and its regional influence, the Iranian clerical-led regime reaffirmed its plans to resume enriching uranium, heavy (deuterium0-based) water and exporting oil.

Speaker Ali Larijani said Tehran would continue to enrich uranium and produce heavy water, regardless of restrictions on shipping abroad.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, for his part, warned that the recent host of US economic sanctions, a part of Washington strategy to counter Iranian malicious behavior, risks stoking internal tensions. Reformists in Rouhani’s administration and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei loyalists have been at odds on Iran’s response policy to pressure.

“Under the [nuclear accord] Iran can produce heavy water and this is not in violation of the agreement. Therefore, we will carry on with enrichment activity,” the semi official Iranian news agency, ISNA, quoted Parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani as saying on May 4.

“We will enrich Uranium whether you move to buy it or not,” Larijani said.

On May 3, the US President Donald Trump’s administration slapped new restrictions on Iran’s nuclear activities as it looks to force Tehran to stop producing low-enriched uranium and expanding its only nuclear power plant, intensifying a campaign aimed at halting Tehran’s ballistic missile program and curbing its regional power.

Despite increasing pressure on Iran, the United States on May 3 extended five sanction waivers that will allow Russian, China, and European countries to continue to work with Iran’s civilian nuclear program at Bushehr. But it said it may punish any activity that expands the site.

At the same time, the State Department said it was ending two waivers related to Iranian exports of enriched uranium in what it called “the toughest sanctions ever on the Iranian regime.” All of the waivers were due to expire on May 4.

The 45- to 90-day extensions were shorter than the 180 days granted previously but can be renewed.

It was the third punitive action taken against Iran in as many weeks. Last week, it said it would grant no more sanctions waivers for countries buying Iranian oil, accelerating its plan to push Iran’s oil exports to zero. The Trump administration also took the unprecedented step of designating Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard Corps as a foreign terrorist organization.

“The Trump administration continues to hold the Iranian regime accountable for activities that threaten the region’s stability and harm the Iranian people. This includes denying Iran any pathway to a nuclear weapon,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said.

The Trump administration pulled out of the nuclear accord a year ago and vowed “maximum pressure” aimed at curbing the regional role of Iran.”

Iranian general blames water woes on Israeli ‘cloud theft’

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE TIMES OF ISRAEL)

(WHEN YOUR HEART AND SOUL ARE FILLED WITH HATE IT TENDS TO SHOW THAT YOU ONLY HAVE SH-T FOR BRAINS WHEN YOU OPEN YOUR MOUTH) (oped: oldpoet56)

Iranian general blames water woes on Israeli ‘cloud theft’

But country’s chief meteorologist disputes claim, says clouds and snow can’t be stolen

Brigadier General Gholam Reza Jalali of Iran's Civil Defense Organization (Screen capture: YouTube)

Brigadier General Gholam Reza Jalali of Iran’s Civil Defense Organization (Screen capture: YouTube)

An Iranian general on Monday accused Israel of manipulating weather to prevent rain over the Islamic Republic, alleging his country was facing cloud “theft,” before being contradicted by the nation’s weather chief.

“The changing climate in Iran is suspect,” Brigadier General Gholam Reza Jalali, head of Iran’s Civil Defense Organization told a press conference, semi-official ISNA news agency reported.

“Foreign interference is suspected to have played a role in climate change,” Jalali was quoted as saying, insisting results from an Iranian scientific study “confirm” the claim.

“Israel and another country in the region have joint teams which work to ensure clouds entering Iranian skies are unable to release rain,” he said.

“On top of that, we are facing the issue of cloud and snow theft,” Jalali added, citing a survey showing that, above 2,200 meters (7,218 feet), all mountainous areas between Afghanistan and the Mediterranean are covered in snow, except Iran.

An abandoned ship is stuck in the solidified salts of the Oroumieh Lake, Iran, on April 29, 2011. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi, File)

Iran’s own meteorological service struck a skeptical note, however.

General Jalali “probably has documents of which I am not aware, but on the basis of meteorological knowledge, it is not possible for a country to steal snow or clouds,” said the head of Iran’s meteorological service Ahad Vazife, quoted by ISNA.

“Iran has suffered a prolonged drought, and this is a global trend that does not apply only to Iran,” Vazife said.

“Raising such questions not only does not solve any of our problems, but will deter us from finding the right solutions,” he added, in apparent reference to Jalali’s claims.

The general’s allegations of weather pilfering were not the first time an Iranian official has accused the country’s foes of stealing its rain.

Former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2011 accused Western countries of devising plans to “cause drought” in Iran, adding that “European countries used special equipment to force clouds to dump” their water on their continent.

In a video last month addressed to Iranians, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered to share Israel’s water expertise with Iran, saying “the Iranian people are victims of a cruel and tyrannical regime that denies them vital water.”

Netanyahu told the Iranians that Israel faced similar water issues and found ways of dealing with them, adding that Israeli technology can help the Iranians.

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