Jordan science facility to promote research ties between Mideast countries

The vast white building is home to a synchrotron, a particle accelerator that acts as a powerful microscope. (Photo courtesy: sesame.org.jo)
Updated 16 May 2017
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Jordan science facility to promote research ties between Mideast countries

DUBAI: An advanced research center to be shared by scientists from countries with politically tense relations is set to open in Jordan today.
The facility is called Sesame — Synchrotron-light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East – and will be used by researchers from across the region, including Iranians, Israelis and Palestinians.
The facility’s name is a play on the famous phrase “Open Sesame” and implies the beginning of a new era of collaborative scientific research, the BBC reported Tuesday.
The vast white building is home to a synchrotron, a particle accelerator that acts as a powerful microscope by generating intense beams of light
There are about 60 synchrotrons in the world but this will be the first in the Middle East.
Located 35 kilometers north of the capital Amman, the facility is geared toward establishing advanced science in the region, according to Egyptian Dr. Gihan Kamel.
“We are not building a paradise, it’s not an ideal place… But we are creating something, we are giving hope for other people for other generations,” she told the BBC.
The opening ceremony is being attended by Jordanian, Cypriot, Egyptian, Iranian, Pakistani, Palestinian and Turkish delegations and by the heads of UNESCO, CERN and the International Atomic Energy Agency.
However, an Israeli Cabinet minister called off the long-planned visit to attend the ceremony following a spat between the countries over a deadly shooting in Jerusalem.
Science and Technology Minister Ofir Akunis said he was skipping the because of Jordan’s reaction to the killing of a Jordanian who stabbed an Israeli police officer.


Human rights violations by Iran regime condemned by UN committee

Vahid Mazloumin appears in court for the first time on charges of manipulating the currency market. (Tasnim News Agency/Reuters)
Updated 17 November 2018
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Human rights violations by Iran regime condemned by UN committee

  • The resolution “strongly urges” Iran to eliminate discrimination against women
  • It singles out violations including harassment, intimidation and persecution against religious minorities including Christians, Gonabadi Dervishes, Jews, Sufi Muslims, Sunni Muslims, Yarsanis, Zoroastrians and members of the Baha’i faith

NEW YORK: A UN committee on human rights has approved a resolution urging Iran to stop its widespread use of arbitrary detention and expressing serious concern at its “alarmingly high” use of the death penalty.

The General Assembly’s Human Rights Committee adopted the resolution by a vote of 85-30, with 68 abstentions. It is virtually certain to be approved by the 193-member world body next month.

The resolution “strongly urges” Iran to eliminate discrimination against women in law and practice and expresses “serious concern about ongoing severe limitations and restrictions on the right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief.”

It singles out violations including harassment, intimidation and persecution against religious minorities including Christians, Gonabadi Dervishes, Jews, Sufi Muslims, Sunni Muslims, Yarsanis, Zoroastrians and members of the Baha’i faith — and urges the release of religious practitioners including Baha’i leaders.

Ambassador Abdallah Al-Mouallimi of Saudi Arabia said: “The Iranian people continue to suffer under a regime that does not respect human rights, that denies freedoms, that persecutes religious and racial minorities.” He called on Iran not “give shelter to terrorists.”

The resolution, sponsored by Canada, also calls on Iran to end “widespread and serious restrictions” including on freedom of assembly of political opponents, human rights defenders, labor leaders, environmentalists, academics, filmmakers, journalists, bloggers, social media users and others.