Sunday, June 20, 2021



Germany brush aside holders Portugal to resurrect Euro 2020 hopes

MUNICH: Germany got their Euro 2020 campaign back on track — and blew Group F wide open — with a 4-2 romp against Portugal in Munich on Saturday.France’s 1-1 draw with Hungary earlier in Budapest and Germany’s win mean there is all to play for in Wednesday’s final group games when the Germans host Hungary and the French meet holders Portugal.“Overall, it was a great performance: great attitude and great morale,” said Germany coach Joachim Loew.“We rightly won by that amount and created many chances.”After Cristiano Ronaldo claimed his 107th international goal, leaving him two short of Ali Daei’s all-time record, to give Portugal an early lead, the Germans roared back with four unanswered goals.German pressure forced own goals by Ruben Dias and Raphael Guerreiro to put the hosts 2-1 up at half-time.A Kai Havertz goal underlined Germany’s dominance before left-back Robin Gosens capped his man-of-the-match display by heading in Germany’s fourth to add to his two assists.Portugal hit back when Diogo Jota tapped in Ronaldo’s hooked volley to make it 4-2 with 23 minutes left.Germany continued their domination of Portugal, who they have now beaten five consecutive times at World Cup or European Championship finals since Euro 2000.“Germany were the better team and I take responsibility for this (defeat), but whether we progress now is up to us and how we respond,” said Portugal coach Fernando Santos.Germany created a huge amount of chances compared to Tuesday’s 1-0 defeat by France, while Portugal lacked the composure of their 3-0 win over Hungary the same day.The match began at a frantic pace amid sweltering conditions in the Bavarian capital.The Germans had a goal disallowed after five minutes when VAR spotted Serge Gnabry was offside as Gosens hit a spectacular volley.However, sloppy Germany defending saw Portugal take the lead.With only Gosens and Havertz defending at a German corner, Bernardo Silva started a counter-attack, then picked out Jota in the area with a world-class pass.The Liverpool forward squared to Ronaldo, who sprinted into the box to slot the ball past Germany captain Manuel Neuer with less than 15 minutes gone.It was Ronaldo’s first goal against Germany to extend his record tally to 12 goals at five European Championship finals.However, two own goals inside four minutes turned the game.Germany drew level when another Gosens volley was flicked toward the net by Havertz, with Dias getting the final touch as the ball flew past Rui Patricio on 35 minutes.The second goal soon followed when Guerreiro turned Kimmich’s cross into his own net while trying to stop the ball reaching the on-rushing German forward.Gosens caused Portugal problems all afternoon on the left flank.His low cross was tapped in by Havertz six minutes after the break.The Atalanta player then capped a superb display by powering in a close-range header from Kimmich’s cross on the hour mark.German fans sang their approval, with “Oh, wie ist das schoen” (oh, is that beautiful) echoing around the Allianz Arena.Gosens was substituted soon after with his name being chanted.Portugal pulled a goal back when Guerreiro’s free-kick was hooked back by Ronaldo and turned in by Jota.Germany nearly claimed a late fifth goal when Havertz’s replacement Leon Goretzka fired over after another surging attack by the hosts.This is the first time Portugal have conceded four goals since losing 4-0 to Germany at the 2014 World Cup.

‘Butcher of Tehran’ Raisi wins Iran election amid low turnout

Ebrahim Raisi, a hardline judge under US sanctions for human rights abuses, secured victory as expected on Saturday in Iran's presidential election after a contest marked by voter apathy over economic hardships and political restrictions.With all 28.9 million ballots counted, Raisi was elected with a tally of 17.9 million, Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli said on state TV.Turnout in Friday's four-man race was a record low of around 48.8% and there were 3.7 million invalid ballots that were likely to have been mostly blank or protest votes. Foreign Minister Yair Lapid called Raisi the “Butcher of Tehran” and “an extremist responsible for the deaths of thousands of Iranians.”“His election should prompt renewed determination to immediately halt Iran’s nuclear program and put an end to its destructive regional ambitions,” Lapid tweeted.The Foreign Ministry said Raisi has “been rightly denounced by the international community for his direct role in the extrajudicial executions of over 30,000 people.”“An extremist figure, committed to Iran’s rapidly advancing military nuclear program, his election makes clear Iran's true malign intentions, and should prompt grave concern among the international community,” the Foreign Ministry stated. cnxps.cmd.push(function () { cnxps({ playerId: '36af7c51-0caf-4741-9824-2c941fc6c17b' }).render('4c4d856e0e6f4e3d808bbc1715e132f6'); });if(window.location.pathname.indexOf("656089") != -1){console.log("hedva connatix");document.getElementsByClassName("divConnatix")[0].style.display ="none";}Raisi's election comes as Iran and six major powers are in talks to revive their 2015 nuclear deal. Donald Trump, US president at the time, abandoned the deal in 2018 and reimposed crippling sanctions that have squeezed Iran's oil income.However, with Iran's ruling clerics aware their political fortunes rely on tackling worsening economic hardships, Raisi's win is considered unlikely to disrupt Iran's effort to revive the pact and break free of tough US oil and financial sanctions.Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, not the president, has the last say on all issue of state such as Iran's foreign and nuclear policies.Discussing the negotiations to return to the JCPOA nuclear deal following the Saturday election result, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said that an agreement could be reached before Iranian President Hassan Rouhani leaves office between August 3 and mid-August.In an interview published in Iranian media on the sidelines of the Antalya Diplomacy Forum, Zarif said, “There is a good chance that an agreement will be reached before the end of our tenure. We will hand over the power to the new administration in mid-August and I think we will probably be able to reach an agreement long before that date," Zarif said."I have seen the latest edited draft of the agreement. The draft has become purer. The parentheses [the issues of the dispute] are being removed," he added.Appointed by Khamenei to the high-profile job of judiciary chief in 2019, Raisi was placed under US sanctions a few months later over human rights violations.Those included the role that human rights group say Raisi played in the executions of thousands of political prisoners in the 1988 and in the violent suppression of unrest in 2009.Iran has never acknowledged the mass executions, and Raisi himself has never publicly addressed allegations about his role.Seen by analysts and insiders as representing the security establishment at its most fearsome, Raisi, 60, had been widely tipped to win the contest, thanks to Khamenei's endorsement.Iran's regional allies, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and militant Islamist group Hamas, welcomed Raisi's election. Amnesty International’s Secretary General Agnès Callamard said his victory was "a grim reminder that impunity reigns supreme in Iran.""We continue to call for Ebrahim Raisi to be investigated for his involvement in past and ongoing crimes under international law, including by states that exercise universal jurisdiction," she said in a statement.Outgoing President Hassan Rouhani, barred by the constitution from seeking a third term, visited Raisi at his office to congratulate him, and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said he would lead Iran well."Backed by your high vote and exceptional confidence, I will form a hard-working, revolutionary and anti-corruption government," state media quoted Raisi as saying in a statement.Raisi, who takes office in early August, said he will be a president for all Iranians - whether they voted for him or for the other candidates, or did not vote at all.Hoping to boost their legitimacy, the country's clerical rulers had urged people to turn out and vote on Friday, but simmering anger over economic hardships and curbs on freedoms kept many Iranians at home.Khamenei said the turnout displayed the clerical establishment's popularity. But more than half of eligible voters were too dissatisfied to vote or appeared to have heeded calls by hundreds of dissidents, at home and abroad, to boycott the vote.Another deterrent for many pro-reform voters was a lack of choice, after a hardline election body barred heavyweight moderates and conservatives from standing.The only real reformist-pragmatist camp candidate, Abdolnaser Hemamti, gained 3,412,712 compared to Rouhani’s 23 million in 2017, with most voters in that camp staying home.A US State Department spokesperson said on Friday: "Iranians were denied their right to choose their own leaders in a free and fair electoral process" - a likely reference to the disqualification of candidates.Analysts say the election win could increase Raisi's chances of succeeding Khamenei, who himself served two terms as president before becoming supreme leader in 1989.Yonah Jeremy Bob contributed to this report.

Israel says Iran’s Raisi extreme, committed to nuclear program

JERUSALEM: Israel on Saturday condemned Iran’s newly-elected president Ebrahim Raisi, saying he was its most extreme president yet and committed to quickly advancing Tehran’s nuclear program.“Iran’s new president, known as the Butcher of Tehran, is an extremist responsible for the deaths of thousands of Iranians. He is committed to the regime’s nuclear ambitions and to its campaign of global terror,” Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said on Twitter.A separate statement from the Israeli Foreign Ministry said Raisi’s election should “prompt grave concern among the international community.”Israel’s new government, sworn in on Sunday, has said it would object to the revival of a 2015 nuclear deal between world powers and its arch-foe, Iran.Israel sees a nuclear-armed Iran as an existential threat. Tehran denies seeking nuclear weapons.Toeing the policy line set by the administration of Israel’s former prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, the foreign ministry said: “More than ever, Iran’s nuclear program must be halted immediately, rolled back entirely and stopped indefinitely.”“Iran’s ballistic missile program must be dismantled and its global terror campaign vigorously countered by a broad international coalition.”Raisi, a hard-line judge who is under US sanctions for human rights abuses, secured victory as expected on Saturday in Iran’s presidential election after a contest marked by voter apathy over economic hardships and political restrictions.

Iraq and Egypt eye enhanced IT cooperation

CAIRO: Iraq and Egypt discussed improved cooperation in the fields of communications and IT at a meeting between Amr Talaat, the Egyptian minister of communications and information technology, and his Iraqi counterpart, Arkan Shihab, on Thursday. Shihab was leading a high-level delegation to Egypt that included government officials and representatives of the Iraqi private sector. The two ministers chaired a meeting that included executive leaders from both sides, where they discussed mechanisms to boost cooperation, exchange experiences and stimulate joint initiatives in related fields, which were included in an MoU signed between the two countries. The MoU covered the areas of infrastructure, digital transformation, capacity building, postal services, Arab digital content, innovation and entrepreneurship, cybersecurity research and development and investment in the field of communications, IT and satellites. Talaat underlined the depth of Egyptian and Iraqi relations and stressed the directives from the political leaders of the two countries to intensify joint cooperation. There was agreement on a proposal submitted by the Iraqi minister to establish an Egyptian-Iraqi company to start digital transformation projects and the digitization of services in Iraq. A joint team will develop the idea and implement it, Talaat said. He said a joint committee will be formed to oversee cooperation plans and added that he has accepted the invitation to visit Iraq. He highlighted Egyptian companies’ aspiration to work in the Iraqi market. Talaat said he and his Iraqi counterpart reviewed the areas of cooperation that had been agreed upon during their meeting with the Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli. Madbouli hailed Egyptian-Iraqi cooperation in the communication sphere, highlighting President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi’s directives to the government to offer required support to enhance relations with Iraq. Shihab said there is a political will to establish real partnerships and open horizons for cooperation between Cairo and Baghdad, given the strategic importance of the two countries.

Parties to Iran nuclear deal to hold formal meeting on Sunday: EU

PARIS: Parties negotiating a revival of the Iran nuclear deal will hold a formal meeting in Vienna on Sunday, the European Union said on Saturday.Iran and six world powers have been negotiating in Vienna since April to work out steps for Washington and Tehran to take. The United States withdrew in 2018 from the pact, under which Iran accepted curbs on its nuclear programme in exchange for a lifting of many foreign sanctions against it.Sunday's formal meeting comes more than a week after this round of talks resumed and is an indication that the talks are likely to be adjourned.Officials over the week have indicated that differences remain on key issues."The Joint Commission of #JCPOA will meet on Sunday, June 20," Mikhail Ulyanov Russia's envoy to the talks said on Twitter."It will decide on the way ahead at the #ViennaTalks. An agreement on restoration of the nuclear deal is within reach but is not finalised yet."The remaining parties to the deal - Iran, Russia, China, France, Britain, Germany and the European Union - meet in the basement of a luxury hotel.The US delegation to the talks is based in a hotel across the street as Iran refuses face-to-face meetings, leaving the other delegations and EU to work as go-betweens.Since former US President Donald Trump pulled out of the deal and reimposed sanctions on Iran, Tehran has embarked on counter measures, including rebuilding stockpiles of enriched uranium, a potential pathway to nuclear bombs.

U.S. Has Imported over 4,000 Minors from Central America

The U.S. allowed over 4,000 kids and teenagers to enter the country legally under the Central American Minors (CAM) program before the Biden administration expanded it this week. Under President Joe Biden, the State Department, which administers CAM, restarted the Obama-era program on March 10 after Donald Trump ended it in August 2017. On Tuesday, the Biden administration announced steps to expand CAM, a move that the State Department believes could make tens of thousands of new applicants eligible. The Wall Street Journal’s Michelle Hackman reported that day: Before the program was terminated,1,450 children entered the U.S. under humanitarian parole, and another 2,700 had been conditionally approved [for a total of 4,150], according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services [USCIS], the agency that handles legal immigration. When disseminating her report on Twitter, Hackman provided a slightly larger total from the State Department of migrants under 21 admitted as refugees or on humanitarian parole, which could be subject to renewal but does not provide legal immigration status. “Got new Central American Minors program numbers: Since the program’s inception [in 2014], more than 2,600 applicants have been resettled to the U.S. as refugees, and more than 2,200 have been admitted under parole [for a total of 4,800], per State Dept.,” she tweeted, without adding those figures to her article. Got new Central American Minors program numbers: Since the program’s inception, more than 2,600 applicants have been resettled to the U.S. as refugees, and more than 2,200 have been admitted under parole, per State Dept. — Michelle Hackman (@MHackman) June 16, 2021 Hackman did not explain the discrepancy between the figures provided by USCIS and State. The 650 additional minors that the State Department said were allowed into the U.S. may stem from the Biden administration reopening cases after they were closed when Trump terminated CAM. Breitbart News reached out to the State Department for comment but it had received no response by the time this report was submitted for publication. In a joint statement issued Tuesday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Alejandro Mayorkas noted, “We continue to reopen cases that were closed when CAM was terminated.” The Journal learned that as of Tuesday, the Biden administration had not begun accepting applications to the program, which affects minors from the Central American countries of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, since it was restarted on March 10. Last week, Ricardo Zuniga, the U.S. special envoy for the so-called Northern Triangle countries, blamed logistical challenges for the delay in processing new applications. The Northern Triangle region, a name denounced by some Central American leaders, refers to Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. Zuniga told reporters last week: There was a pretty sizable backlog, still from the gaps that were left in that period. So, especially in this period where we are organizing ourselves at a time where we have our own issues related to logistics around the pandemic, there are challenges with getting ourselves up and running. When the Obama-Biden administration launched CAM in 2014, it allowed parents living legally in the U.S. to petition to have their children join them to diminish the number of kids traveling alone. It also permitted minors attempting to go to the U.S. to apply for refugee status and await the processing of their applications in their home countries. The expansion now allows Central American economic migrant parents and legal guardians with pending asylum cases — not just approved claims — to petition the feds to bring their minors to live with them in the U.S. Under the expansion, the feds could fly children and teenagers into America on the U.S. taxpayer’s dime, as migrants crossing the southern border illegally remain record high. It appears that if authorities deny the asylum claims to the U.S.-based migrants who are now allowed to petition for their kids and teenagers, they may be able to apply for a plethora of other qualifying categories, including “deferred enforced departure or withholding of removal.” Blinken and Mayorkas added in their statement: Eligibility to petition will now be extended to include legal guardians (in addition to parents) who are in the United States pursuant to any of the following qualifying categories: lawful permanent residence; temporary protected status; parole; deferred action; deferred enforced departure; or withholding of removal. In addition, this expansion of eligibility will now include certain U.S.-based parents or legal guardians who have a pending asylum application or a pending U visa petition filed before May 15, 2021. The Journal cited State Department deputy spokeswoman Jalina Porter as indicating that “the expansion, part of the administration’s effort to find more pathways for Central Americans to migrate legally, could make tens of thousands of children newly eligible to participate in the program.” Since Biden became president, there has been a record-setting surge of migrants in recent months, fueled largely by unaccompanied children. In 2014, the Obama-Biden administration launched CAM to offer Central American migrants under 21 a safer and legal alternative to enter the U.S. in response to the first large wave of unaccompanied alien children crossing the border illegally.

Community divisions being stoked by outsiders in Batley by-election, says Jo Cox’s sister and Labour candidate

Community divisions are being sown into the Batley by-election by people from outside the area, the sister of murdered MP Jo Cox – and Labour’s contender for the seat – has suggested.Kim Leadbeater hit out at candidates who she said would only “cause problems for our community” in what appeared to be a swipe at rival George Galloway.The firebrand Scot, who lives in London but is contesting the West Yorkshire seat, has been accused of weaponising local anger over Israel’s bombing of Palestine to suggest that, under Sir Keir Starmer, Labour does not care about supposed Muslim priorities.One poster outside his campaign headquarters also insinuates that Batley receives less investment from the local authority, Kirklees Council, than neighbouring towns, a suggestion which appears baseless. Speaking to The Independent while on the campaign trail, Ms Leadbeater said: “I think sadly there are a number of people who are going to come here and try and sow division and cause problems for our community, and actually this area needs an MP who can bring people together. “And on the back of the work I’ve done over the last few years, I think I’m that person. We need to build bridges, not cause division.”The 45-year-old, who is the only one of the 16 runners who actually lives in the constituency, added: “Lots of people are going to come here in the next couple of weeks and they will have their own agendas and own egos but this isn’t about them. It’s about local people and who they think the best person to represent them in parliament is.”Her words come five years to the week after her sister, Ms Cox, was stabbed and shot to death by a right-wing terrorist on the streets of the town.“I think about Jo every day and have done for the past five years so, of course, this [running in her old seat] is emotional and it’s difficult,” she added. “I’m incredibly proud to be Jo Cox’s sister but it’s also important I get in on the merits of being Kim Leadbeater.”The by-election was called after former Labour MP Tracy Brabin had to stand down from the seat in May when she was elected to the new post of mayor of West Yorkshire.Although the constituency is not exactly part of the so-called “red wall” – it was Tory for 14 years up until 1997 – losing it would be seen as a massive blow to Sir Keir’s leadership, coming less than two months after the humiliating defeat in the Hartlepool by-election and on the back of Labour racking up just 1.6 per cent of the vote in this week’s Chesham and Amersham by-election.While it is thought Mr Galloway is unlikely to win the seat, it looks increasingly plausible that he could take enough votes – most likely from Labour – to make a significant difference in the 1 July vote.Neither Mr Galloway, standing for his own Workers Party of Britain, nor Conservative candidate Ryan Stephenson responded to The Independent’s request for an interview.

UK’s Queen Elizabeth II beams as she returns to Ascot after COVID-19 hiatus

LONDON: Queen Elizabeth II was smiling broadly as she attended the final day of the Ascot races on Saturday, where environmental protesters urged the monarch to press politicians to act faster against climate change.The 95-year-old queen, a keen racing fan and racehorse owner, has attended Ascot almost every year of her seven-decade reign. She was absent last year, when the event was held without spectators because of the coronavirus pandemic. Her return came two months after the death of her husband, Prince Philip, at 99. Dressed in a mint-green outfit and matching hat, the queen was applauded by the crowd as she arrived to cheer on four horses she owns that were racing on Saturday. She smiled broadly as she inspected one of her horses, Reach for the Moon, after it finished a close second.The annual racing meeting west of London is a heady mix of horses, extravagant headwear, fancy dress, champagne and strawberries with cream.Protesters from environmental group Extinction Rebellion unfurled a banner reading “Racing to Extinction” at the racecourse on Saturday. The group said four women glued themselves to their banner and chained themselves to the fence in a protest intended to be seen by the queen. She was not nearby at the time.

Is the 'hardliner' talking point about Iran’s Raisi a whitewash?

 A global narrative among major media uses the term “hardliner” to describe Ebrahim Raisi, the winner of Iran’s recent elections. The term “hardliner” was invented by major media to describe the far-right in Iran. It is generally not used to describe any other form of politics in the world. For instance, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Japan, Spain or the Congo don’t have “hardliners.” Only Iran.  Is the term accurately a descriptive for Iran’s far-right extremist theocratic leaders, or is it used to whitewash and excuse Iran’s politics, the way the term “blast” is used to hide the horror or hate crime terror attacks, or the way “militants” is used to describe extremist groups that mass murder civilians? Major media that use the term “hardliner” also explain to the readers what it means, sometimes. The BBC notes “Iran's hardliners will seek to reinforce a puritanical system of Islamic government, possibly meaning more controls on social activities, fewer freedoms and jobs for women, and tighter control of social media and the press. The hardliners are suspicious of the West, but both Mr Raisi and Supreme Leader Khamenei favor a return to an international deal on Iran's nuclear activity.” BBC’s headline on June 19 was that “hardliner Raisi will become president.”  CNN also says that Raisi is the “hardliner” who will be the next president. However, CNN’s headline also calls him “ultraconservative.” The article notes that “From 2018 onwards, Trump unleashed a torrent of sanctions that crippled Iran's economy and emboldened hardliners. The tiny window of opportunity granted by the clerical class to the moderate government of President Rouhani to engage with the US and Europe began to quickly close. Trump had proven the hardliners' skepticism about the West correct, Iran's conservatives repeatedly said.” According to France24, Raisi is an “ultra-conservative” who is replacing a “reformist” in the current president Hassan Rouhani. Under Rouhani people were persecuted for not covering their hair, for protesting, and for other minor offenses. A well-known wrestler was murdered under Rouhani’s supposed “reform” leadership. Foreign tourists were kidnapped and kept in prison. Journalists and dissidents were hunted down abroad. CBS also calls Raisi a hardliner, as does Turkey’s TRT. With the term “hardliner” cemented as the only normative term that can be used to describe Raisi, it is worth wondering what else is going on. Is there any substantial difference between the regime under the “hardliners” than under the “reformers”? Women are persecuted and forced to cover their hair. Dissidents are murdered. Journalists crushed. Minorities crushed. Yet Iran allows some diversity of thought, its media has more interesting stories than the totally totalitarian media in Turkey where only pro-AKP views are aired on state media and where criticism of the president can land people in prison. Turkey’s media is so extreme that a far-right extremist recently murdered a peaceful 20-year old female volunteer of an opposition party. Iran’s regime is more open than the regimes Iran supports in Damascus and the thugs it supports among Hezbollah and the Houthis, as well as militias in Iraq.   cnxps.cmd.push(function () { cnxps({ playerId: '36af7c51-0caf-4741-9824-2c941fc6c17b' }).render('4c4d856e0e6f4e3d808bbc1715e132f6'); });if(window.location.pathname.indexOf("656089") != -1){console.log("hedva connatix");document.getElementsByClassName("divConnatix")[0].style.display ="none";}However, Raisi may be even worse than what Iran has seen in the past. On June 19 Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch “said Ebrahim Raisi's election as Iran's new president was a blow for human rights and called for him to be investigated over his role in what Washington and rights groups have called the extrajudicial executions of thousands of political prisoners in 1988,” according to Reuters. It looks like Raisi is not just a “hardliner” or “conservative” but was responsible for mass murder. That would put him on par with other murderous regime leaders. Accusations of crimes against humanity are not usual for a ruler of a country.  Amnesty noted “in 2018, our organization documented how Ebrahim Raisi had been a member of the ‘death commission’ which forcibly disappeared and extrajudicially executed in secret thousands of political dissidents in Evin and Gohardasht prisons near Tehran in 1988.” This sounds a lot more than just “hardliner.”  The reason the term “hardliner” was invented was largely as a foil for narratives in the West. The western countries needed the far-right extremist Iranian regime that hangs innocent people to have a good side and so “reformers” were conjured up. Then “hardliners” were said to oppose them. But the reality was that Iran’s regime, run by Ayatollah Khamanei and the IRGC, was already one of the most extremist regimes in the world. But western governments wanted to make a deal with it in the run-up to the 2015 JCPOA. To do this a narrative was created, through focus groups and various lobbying groups that were close to governments and media, to push narratives about the so-called “Iran Deal” and the need to “empower moderates.” This created a narrative whereby anyone opposing the Iran deal was “empowering hardliners” by not giving Iran’s regime everything it wanted.It didn’t matter if Iran’s regime was imprisoning people and giving them “lashes” for music videos, or kidnapping western tourists and accusing them of spying for no reason than to use them as hostages, the regime had “moderates” and “hardliners.” During the Trump era the narrative worked to portray Trump as “empowering hardliners.” When the Biden administration came into office there were attempts to argue that the administration should rush back to the Iran deal or the “hardliners” might win the June elections. Now we have seen the “elections” in which basically only “hardliners” were allowed to run.It stands to reason that Iran has “hardliners” the way other countries do. Iran doesn’t exist on the moon. It’s politics are linked to those in Iraq, Lebanon, and the rest of the region. It may be the only Shi’ite theocracy, but its version of political Islam not that different than the supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood who run Turkey’s AKP. It is a “revolutionary” power, but largely in a reactionary revolutionary way. This leaves many questions why it has “hardliners” while other countries often do not, at least consistently the way Iran’s politics is said to be divided. This brings to mind how western countries are often said to have a “far right,” much as Israel has a “far right” while in Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq, Pakistan or Malaysia references to the “far right” tend to be less. This is because western media often lacks a lexicon to discuss non-western political systems. In such cases arbitrary terms like “hardliner” are used. This is in place of local terms. When it comes to Raisi it’s not clear if the term “hardliner” is enough to describe a man now potentially wanted for crimes against humanity.  

UAE to suspend entry of travelers on flights from Liberia, Sierra Leone, Namibia

CAIRO: The United Arab Emirates will suspend travelers from entering the country from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Namibia on national and foreign flights from Monday, June 21, Emirates News Agency (WAM) said on Saturday.WAM said the restrictions would also include transit passengers, with the exception of transit flights traveling to the UAE and bound for those countries.

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