Shiite

Al Sadr Followers Begin Anti-Corruption Sit-in in Baghdad

BAGHDAD, March 18 – Supporters of Iraq’s powerful Shi’ite Muslim cleric Moqtada al-Sadr began a sit-in outside the walls of Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone on Friday to press the government to see through a move to stem endemic corruption. Leveraging his ability to mobilise grassroots pressure on the government, Sadr wants Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi

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Gulf Arab States Label Hezbollah a Terrorist Organization

DUBAI, March 2 – The six-member Gulf Cooperation Council has designated Hezbollah a terrorist organization, it said on Wednesday, ratcheting up pressure on the Iran-allied group that wields influence in Lebanon and plays a key role in the Syrian crisis. Gulf Arab states imposed sanctions on Hezbollah members in 2013 in retaliation for the group’s

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Hezbollah Sees New Struggle In Lebanon, Denounces Saudi Arabia

By Tom Perry and Laila Bassam BEIRUT, March 2 – Hezbollah said on Tuesday that Lebanon had been pushed into a new phase of political conflict by Saudi Arabia but was not on the brink of civil war and its government of national unity should survive. Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, head of the Iranian-backed group, also

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Iranians Vote in Contest Likely To Shape Post-Sanctions Era

By Samia Nakhoul TEHRAN, Feb 26 – Iranians voted in two crucial elections on Friday, with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei urging a big turnout in order to frustrate Tehran’s foes, a remark reflecting the Islamic Republic’s traditionally anti-Western policies. The vote, Iran‘s first since last year’s nuclear deal with world powers, could determine whether the Islamic

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Saudi Arabia Says War Games Will Boost Military Ties With Muslim Allies

RIYADH, Feb 22  – The Middle East’s largest ever war games are now underway and will boost military cooperation between the 20 Muslim nations taking part, host country Saudi Arabia said on Monday, as it seeks to check the growing influence of arch rival Iran. The Northern Thunder exercises, which began on Feb. 14 and

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Saudi Arabia Puts Shiites On Trial For Spying For Iran

RIYADH, Feb 22  – Saudi Arabia has put 32 people on trial, including 30 members of its own Shiite Muslim minority, accused of spying for Iran, several local newspapers and television reported on Monday. The 32, including an Iranian and an Afghan, were detained in 2013 sparking expressions of concern among Saudi Shiites who said

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Iraq’s Abadi Keeps Iran at Arm’s Length in War On Daesh

By Maher Chmaytelli BAGHDAD, Feb 21 – As fighting in Iraq raged last summer, Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani came across unexpected opposition to his plans to defeat Daesh. Soleimani is the commander of Iran’s Al Quds brigade and has been a key figure in the fight against the Sunni Islamist group in Iraq. That fight

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Iran’s Zarif Tells European Lawmakers Islamist Militancy Also Their Problem

By Gabriela Baczynska BRUSSELS, Feb 16 – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told European Union lawmakers on Tuesday militant Islam was also a European problem as he defended Iran’s involvement in Syria’s civil war on the side of President Bashar Al Assad. European parliamentarians quizzed Zarif about alleged human rights violations in Iran, Iranian defence

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Four Americans Held in Bahrain as Island Marks Uprising Anniversary

DUBAI, Feb 15 – Bahraini police have detained four U.S. citizens, including one who was masked and taking part in a riot, a senior police official said on Monday, and local media reported they were journalists covering a protest. The other three were detained at a checkpoint in the same area outside Manama, the director

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Iraq’s Sadr Calls For Technocratic Government, Swift Reform

BAGHDAD, Feb 13 – Powerful Iraqi Shiite Muslim cleric Moqtada Al Sadr said on Saturday the country needed a technocratic government, threatening to quit politics if Prime Minister Haider Al Abadi failed to carry out promised reforms. The remarks by Sadr, whose Al Ahrar bloc holds 34 seats in parliament and three cabinet posts, were the first

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