The Battle for Qusayr: What Victory in Syria’s Latest Front Means for the War
Fighting continued for a fifth straight day in the strategic Syrian city of Qusayr, as opposition forces fighting the regime of President Bashar Assad sought desperately to maintain their slipping grip in a battle that could dictate the direction of the war. As government tanks, artillery and warplanes pounded rebel positions throughout the city, fighters engaged in sniper attacks and small forays against government ground troops seeking to take terrain. Rebel fighters are calling it one of the worst ground battles of the war.
Israel says Iran unaffected by world pressure
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's prime minister says a new report by the U.N. atomic agency shows that international pressure is having no effect on halting Iran's suspect nuclear program.
Iran's Rafsanjani blasts clerics, says report
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Banned from upcoming elections, Iran's former president has leveled harsh criticism at the Islamic Republic's clerical rulers, saying they are doing a poor job running the country, an Iranian pro-reform website reported late on Wednesday.
US, Israel raise hopes for Mideast peace restart
JERUSALEM (AP) — The United States and Israel raised hopes Thursday for a restart of the Middle East peace process, despite little tangible progress so far from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's two-month-old effort to get Israelis and Palestinians back to the negotiating table.
Iran denies its drone violated Bahrain's airspace
DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran denied on Thursday that one of its drones had violated the airspace of Bahrain, home to the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet, Iranian media reported. Bahrain's Information Minister Samira Rajab told Reuters on Thursday that an unmanned spy drone was found in the Gulf waters between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. The incident could further inflame tensions between the two countries. In a report carried by Iran's official IRNA news agency, an unnamed official at the Foreign Ministry denied an Iranian drone had violated the Gulf kingdom's airspace, without giving further details. ...
Report: Rafsanjani blasts Iran's rulers
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has blasted the Islamic Republic's clerical rulers, declaring it impossible for them to do a worse job running the country, an Iranian pro-reform website reported Wednesday.
Iran denies its drone entered Bahrain's airspace
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — An Iranian semi-official news agency reports the country is denying that an unmanned drone violated the airspace of Bahrain, the strategic Gulf kingdom that hosts the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet.
Iran seeks to speed up nuclear activity: IAEA
By Fredrik Dahl VIENNA (Reuters) - Iran is trying to accelerate its uranium enrichment program, a U.N. nuclear report showed, but experts said it was unclear when Tehran's new machines could start operating and how efficiently they would work. The Islamic state's progress in introducing next-generation centrifuges is closely watched in the West and Israel as it would enable Tehran to speed up accumulation of material that could be used to build atomic bombs. Iran denies any such aim. ...
U.N. report stokes concern over Iran's nuclear program: EU
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Iran's expansion of sensitive nuclear activity breaks United Nations resolutions and increases concerns about whether its nuclear program is entirely peaceful, the European Union said on Thursday. A U.N. nuclear agency report released on Wednesday showed Iran was expanding nuclear activities, in clear violation of resolutions of both the U.N. Security Council and of the board of the world body's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the EU said. ...
Barred from poll, Rafsanjani calls Iranian leaders ignorant
By Marcus George and Yeganeh Torbati DUBAI (Reuters) - Former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani has accused Iran's leadership of incompetence and ignorance just days after he was barred from standing in an election next month, the opposition Kaleme website reported on Thursday. Rafsanjani's comments appeared to add to the political conflict between those loyal to the leadership and opposition groups who have been marginalized since post-election unrest in 2009. ...