Iran opposition complains of election ‘infractions’

Iranian people arrive to cast their vote during the presidential election in Tehran, Iran. (REUTERS)
Updated 19 May 2017
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Iran opposition complains of election ‘infractions’

TEHRAN: Before voting had even concluded in Iran’s presidential election on Friday, the head of the opposition campaign complained of multiple “infractions” and called for an intervention by authorities.
The campaign chief for hard-line cleric Ebrahim Raisi said there had been “propaganda actions by certain officials and supporters of the government” in favor of President Hassan Rouhani, who is seeking re-election.
“Such infractions are immoral actions that violate people’s rights,” said Ali Nikzad.
Iranian election rules state that no one can seek to influence voters once the campaign finishes 24 hours before the polls open.
Another official in Raisi’s campaign said there had been 219 infractions so far and that not enough ballot papers had been distributed in areas thought to favor Raisi, including his home city of Mashhad. There was no immediate comment from Rouhani’s team. The conservative-dominated Guardian Council must validate the results of election.
Earlier on Friday, Iranians poured into polling stations to deliver their verdict on President Rouhani and his troubled efforts to rebuild ties with the world and kickstart the struggling economy.
There was a festive atmosphere in Tehran where Rouhani, a 68-year-old moderate cleric who spearheaded a 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, was mobbed by cheering supporters as he cast his ballot in a mosque in the city center.
“The enthusiastic participation of Iranians in the election reinforces our national power and security,” he said, as polling stations reported queues were far bigger than in last year’s parliamentary election.
Meanwhile, officials announced they would keep polling stations open for an extra two hours on Friday evening after many people queued for hours to cast their ballots.


Firefighters tackle blaze in high-rise tower in Dubai

Updated 22 April 2018
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Firefighters tackle blaze in high-rise tower in Dubai

DUBAI: A fire broke out Sunday at a prominent skyscraper in Dubai, sending smoke billowing from its roof and those inside fleeing into the streets.
Firefighters and police on the scene of the blaze at the Almas Tower in Dubai’s Jumeirah Lake Towers neighborhood.
The government’s Dubai Media Office described the blaze as a “minor fire.”
“All employees and visitors are being evacuated and no injuries have been reported so far,” the Dubai Media Office wrote on Twitter.


The Almas Tower, over 60 stories tall, is home to the Dubai Multi Commodities Center, which is also an economic free zone. The DMCC had hosted a conference earlier Sunday in partnership with Asia House called “The New Global Trade Order.”
The DMCC did not immediately answer a request for comment.

It was the tallest building in Dubai, until 2009, when it was surpassed by Burj Khalifa. It is primarily an office building and remains the tallest building at the Jumeirah Lakes Towers cluster off Dubai’s Shaikh Zayed Road.
Dubai, a skyscraper-studded city in the United Arab Emirates, has suffered a spate of fires in its high-rises.
Dubai passed new fire safety rules last year requiring that quick-burning side paneling on buildings be replaced with more fire-resistant cladding. Authorities have previously acknowledged that at least 30,000 buildings across the UAE have cladding or paneling that safety experts have said accelerates the rapid spread of fires.