Iran to US: ‘Not the time to build walls’

A handout picture provided by the office of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani shows him speaking at a conference in the capital Tehran, on Saturday. (AFP)
Updated 28 January 2017
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Iran to US: ‘Not the time to build walls’

TEHRAN: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani criticized his US counterpart Donald Trump on Saturday, saying now was “not the time to build walls between nations.”
“They have forgotten that the Berlin Wall collapsed many years ago. Even if there are walls between nations, they must be removed,” Rouhani said at a tourism convention in Tehran.
His remarks came after Trump ordered construction of a wall along the US-Mexico border and imposed tough new controls on travelers from seven Muslim countries, among them Iran.
Rouhani did not comment directly on the visa ban, but said Iran had “opened its doors” to foreign tourists since the signing of a nuclear agreement with world powers in 2015.
With more than a million Iranians living in the United States, many families are deeply concerned about the implications of Trump’s visa ban, which also affects citizens from Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
On Thursday, one of Iran’s most popular actresses said she would boycott next month’s Academy Awards in protest at the ban.
“Trump’s visa ban for Iranians is racist. Whether this will include a cultural event or not, I won’t attend the #AcademyAwards 2017,” tweeted Taraneh Alidoosti, who stars in the Oscar-nominated “The Salesman.”
No visas will be issued for migrants or visitors from the seven countries for at least 90 days, a restriction which can be extended if the countries in question do not provide extensive information on individuals seeking to enter the US.
Quizzed on the street, many Iranians said they were baffled by the move.
“Americans themselves are mostly immigrants. To pick out a few countries and call them terrorist is not logical,” said Mohsen Najari, a 33-year-old resident of the Iranian capital.
Tehran and Washington have not had diplomatic ties since students stormed the US Embassy in 1980 following an Islamic upsurge that toppled the US-backed shah.
“It’s got nothing to do with terrorism. Iran and the US just don’t have good ties. The US has good relations with Saudi Arabia so it doesn’t matter how many terrorists come from Saudi Arabia,” said Sima, a 27-year-old.


Yemeni troops stop Houthi advances, inflict further casualties

Updated 56 min 42 sec ago
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Yemeni troops stop Houthi advances, inflict further casualties

  • The Yemeni army halted Houthi advances in a strategic district in Taiz
  • The army also liberated an important range of mountains in Saada

DUBAI: Eight Houthis were killed Tuesday during clashes with the Yemeni national forces in Taiz, Saudi Press Agency reported.

The militants were killed while trying to infiltrate sites in Tabab, a strategic route into Taiz, southwestern Yemen, the Yemeni military website 26 September News reported.

But the Houthi’s advance was halted by the army, which killed eight of the militia, the source added.

Al-Shaqb front is the main route to Sabr Al-Mawadem district in Taiz province.

Meanwhile members of the army took control of the route connecting the northern city of Saada with Kitaf and Albuqa districts after heavy clashes with Houthis, SPA reported.

The army took full control of the strategic mountain range in Kitaf and advanced towards Saada, inflicting heavy casualties on the Houthis.

Army units found and destroyed a large cache of weapons, 26 September News added.