Iran arrests MI6 spy

Updated 07 December 2014
0

Iran arrests MI6 spy

DUBAI: Iranian intelligence authorities have arrested a man on charges of spying for Britain’s MI6, the semi-official Fars news agency reported on Saturday.
The head of the Kerman region’s revolutionary court, Dadkhoda Salari, told the agency the suspect made contact with British agents 11 times in recent months, inside and outside the country.
According to Salari, the suspect has admitted his guilt and he is currently on trial.
A spokeswoman for the Foreign Office in London said: “We don’t comment on intelligence matters.”
The report, which Reuters could not verify, comes at a time when London and Tehran have been taking steps toward restoring diplomatic relations that were broken off after activists stormed the British embassy in Tehran in November 2011.
London announced the appointment of Ajay Sharma as non-resident charge d’affaires in Iran in November, and Sharma made his first visit to Iran in that role this month.
In November, six world powers made a breakthrough deal for Tehran to curb its nuclear program in return for limited sanctions easing.
Iran pulled out of expert-level talks with six world powers Friday to protest the expansion of US sanctions, saying the blacklisting of more entities violates the spirit of a groundbreaking agreement over Tehran’s atomic program.
In the first major hurdle to the interim deal reached last month in Geneva, the United States targeted more than a dozen companies and people on Thursday for evading sanctions against Iran.
It was an effort by the Obama administration to show it will enforce existing law even as it presses Congress to hold off on additional measures while world powers pursue a comprehensive nuclear deal with Tehran.
But the Iranians called the move “unconstructive and against good intentions,” and accused the US of sending mixed signals.
“This is a game of double standards,” an Irani official said.


Syria state media says US-led coalition hits regime position in east

Updated 9 min 14 sec ago
0

Syria state media says US-led coalition hits regime position in east

  • In the oil-rich province of Deir Ezzor, the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces and Syrian government forces have carried out parallel but separate offensives against Daesh
  • Regime forces control land west of the Euphrates River that runs through the province

DAMASCUS: Syrian state media said overnight Sunday to Monday that US-led coalition aircraft had carried out a deadly strike on a regime position in the country’s east near the Iraqi border.
Both US-backed Kurdish-led fighters and Russia-supported regime forces are separately fighting the Islamic State jihadist group in Syria’s eastern province of Deir Ezzor.
“Aircraft of the American coalition bombarded one of our military positions in the area of Al-Hari southeast of Albu Kamal” town in Deir Ezzor, state news agency SANA reported a military source as saying, adding a number of people had been killed.
IS overran large swathes of Syria and neighboring Iraq in 2014, declaring a “caliphate” in areas they controlled.
But the jihadists have since lost most of that territory, in Syria seeing their presence largely reduced to the country’s vast desert and a few villages near the frontier with Iraq.
In the oil-rich province of Deir Ezzor, the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces and Syrian government forces have carried out parallel but separate offensives against Daesh.
Regime forces control land west of the Euphrates River that runs through the province, while the SDF are battling to expel IS from a string of villages on the river’s eastern banks near the Iraqi border.
Both sides have mostly avoided running into each other and a deconfliction line exists to avoid such incidents.
But there have been exceptions.
In April, rare clashes broke out between both sides, killing more than a dozen combatants.
In February, the US-led coalition backing the SDF carried out air strikes in Deir Ezzor province that killed at least 100 pro-regime fighters.
Washington said the strikes were in retaliation for an attack on its own personnel and SDF forces.