Middle East


Iran president warns of a region ‘on the edge of collapse’ Wednesday, September 25th, 2019

By AYA BATRAWY, UNITED NATIONS (AP): Iran’s president used the world’s stage on Wednesday to warn that security in the Persian Gulf could unravel with a “single blunder” and its fragile peace be guaranteed only by the region’s countries, not through U.S. intervention or Washington’s..

Read Full Story »

Iran accuses foreign forces of raising Gulf ‘insecurity’ Sunday, September 22nd, 2019

TEHRAN, (AFP): President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday denounced the presence of foreign forces in the Gulf and said Iran will put forward a peace plan, after arch-foe the United States ordered reinforcements to the tinderbox region. "Foreign forces can cause problems and insecurity for our people and..

Read Full Story »

Saudi Arabia says Iranian missiles, drone hit oil facilities Wednesday, September 18th, 2019

By JON GAMBRELL, AYA BATRAWY and FAY ABUELGASIM, RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP): Saudi Arabia alleged Wednesday that Iranian cruise missiles and drones attacked the heart of the kingdom’s oil industry, showing journalists the remains of the weapons while stopping short of directly accusing Iran of..

Read Full Story »

Saudi Arabia joins US-led maritime coalition after attack Tuesday, September 17th, 2019

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP): Saudi Arabia says it is joining a U.S.-led coalition to secure the Mideast’s waterways after an attack targeting its crucial oil industry. The state-run Saudi Press Agency carried a statement Wednesday morning quoting an unnamed official saying the kingdom had..

Read Full Story »

US singles out Iran, readies response to Saudi oil attacks Monday, September 16th, 2019

WASHINGTON, (AFP): The United States readied its response Monday to the "unprecedented" attack on Saudi oil facilities as President Donald Trump said Iran was likely to blame, fanning new fears of conflict in the Gulf region. Trump said he was ready to help key ally Saudi Arabia after the weekend..

Read Full Story »

UAE says 6 troops killed in ‘collision,’ without elaborating Friday, September 13th, 2019

By JON GAMBRELL, DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP): Six Emirati troops have been killed in a “collision,” the United Arab Emirates said Friday, without elaborating or offering a location or time for the incident that comes after the federation of sheikhdoms began pulling out of a Saudi-led war..

Read Full Story »

Iran fires up advanced centrifuges in latest nuclear step Saturday, September 7th, 2019

TEHRAN, (AFP): Iran said Saturday it had fired up advanced centrifuges to boost its enriched uranium stockpiles, its latest scaling-back of commitments under a crumbling 2015 nuclear deal. The Islamic republic was acting on a threat to further abandon its nuclear commitments based on a deadline it..

Read Full Story »

Iran to unveil details on cuts to nuclear commitments Thursday, September 5th, 2019

TEHRAN, (AFP): Iran is set to detail its latest cut to commitments under a 2015 nuclear deal on Saturday, in response to US sanctions and perceived inaction by other parties to save the accord. Iran's atomic energy organisation spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi will hold a news conference to detail..

Read Full Story »

New US-led patrols in Persian Gulf raise stakes with Iran Tuesday, September 3rd, 2019

By JON GAMBRELL, DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP): As the U.S. tries a new way to protect shipping across the Persian Gulf amid tensions with Iran, it finds itself sailing into uncertain waters. For decades, the U.S. has considered the waters of the Persian Gulf as critical to its national..

Read Full Story »

Iran official tweets at Trump after apparent rocket failure Friday, August 30th, 2019

TEHRAN, Iran (AP): An Iranian official has tweeted at President Donald Trump over an apparent rocket failure, showing an image of him standing next to a satellite that was supposed to be launched. Iran’s Information and Communications Technology Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi tweeted the..

Read Full Story »

Satellite photos show burning Iran space center launch pad Thursday, August 29th, 2019

By JON GAMBRELL, DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP): A rocket at an Iranian space center that was to conduct a satellite launch criticized by the U.S. apparently exploded on its launch pad Thursday, satellite images show, suggesting the Islamic Republic suffered its third failed launch this year..

Read Full Story »

Iran dampens down prospect of Trump-Rouhani meeting Tuesday, August 27th, 2019

TEHRAN, (AFP): President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday told the United States to "take the first step" by lifting all sanctions against Iran, dampening down the likelihood of meeting US counterpart Donald Trump. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the prospects for such a meeting were..

Read Full Story »

US Taliban negotiator returning to Doha amid peace deal hopes Tuesday, August 20th, 2019

DOHA, (AFP): The top US negotiator on Afghanistan said Tuesday he was ready to conclude peace talks with the Taliban as he headed back to Qatar on a mission to end America's longest war. With President Donald Trump believed to be pushing for a pullout of the more than 13,000 US troops in..

Read Full Story »

Iran warns US against seizing tanker Monday, August 19th, 2019

TEHRAN, (AFP): Tehran said it had warned its arch-foe Washington against attempting to seize an Iranian tanker, which sailed into international waters Monday after being released from Gibraltar. Iran had been locked in a six-week standoff with US ally Britain since Royal Marines seized the tanker..

Read Full Story »

Iran tanker departs after Gibraltar rejects US demand Sunday, August 18th, 2019

GIBRALTAR, (AFP): The Iranian oil tanker at the centre of a diplomatic dispute has departed from Gibraltar after the British overseas territory rejected a US demand to seize the vessel. According to the monitoring website Marine Traffic, the supertanker -- which had been detained since July 4 off..

Read Full Story »

63 killed, 182 wounded in Kabul wedding blast: official Saturday, August 17th, 2019

KABUL, (AFP): More than 60 people were killed and scores wounded in an explosion targeting a wedding in the Afghan capital, authorities said Sunday, the deadliest attack in Kabul in recent months. The blast, which took place late Saturday in the city's west, came as Washington and the Taliban are..

Read Full Story »

Gibraltar frees held Iran oil tanker that US sought to seize Thursday, August 15th, 2019

By ARITZ PARRA and JON GAMBRELL, MADRID (AP): Gibraltar on Thursday allowed a detained Iranian supertanker to leave the British overseas territory after a last-minute U.S. attempt to seize the vessel, potentially defusing tensions between London and Tehran as a British-flagged tanker remains held..

Read Full Story »

Iran seizes third foreign ship in less than month Sunday, August 4th, 2019

TEHRAN, (AFP): Iran has seized a foreign tanker in the Gulf, state media said Sunday, in what would be the third such seizure in a month amid heightened tensions with its foe the United States. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps "seized this ship around Farsi Island which was carrying around..

Read Full Story »