Iran fighting claims 22 lives

An Iranian policeman takes cover during an attack on the Iranian parliament in central Tehran, Iran, in this photo taken on June 7, 2017. ((REUTERS)
Updated 11 June 2017
0

Iran fighting claims 22 lives

JEDDAH/LONDON: Fighting between rival tribesmen in southern Iran left 22 people dead Friday night, an Iranian lawmaker was quoted by the ILNA news agency as saying Saturday.
“The incident… in Ramhormoz county (in Khuzestan province) is rooted in an old tribal conflict,” lawmaker Hedayatollah Khademi said. “Unfortunately… advanced military weapons were used and 22 people were killed.”
But Harvard scholar and Iranian affairs expert Majid Rafizadeh said it was inaccurate to describe the fighting as tribal.
“Although the government claims the conflict is tribal, the root of the issue is anchored in other critical underlying reasons,” he told Arab News Saturday.
“Ramhormorz is located near Masjad Soleiman and east of the Arab region Ahvaz in Khuzestan province, which provides roughly 90 percent of Iran’s oil exports,” he said.
“Although the province is the wealthiest when it comes to natural resources, it is ranked at the bottom of Iran’s 31 provinces regarding health, standard of living, life expectancy, poverty, air pollution, employment and housing.”
Ramhormorz, like many other counties in Khuzestan, has long been neglected, Rafizadeh added.
“This region is one of the most deprived economically, and it is discriminated against socially, ethnically, religiously and politically,” he said. “Many habitants are from the religious and ethnic minorities of Arabs and Bakhtiaris.”
Rafizadeh said there have been protests recently in Ramhormorz because the government-backed Caspian Credit Institute did not return depositors’ and investors’ money. “These underlying issues have created deep grievances among people.”
— With input from Reuters


Damaged Japanese tanker arrives at UAE anchorage

Updated 47 min 40 sec ago
0

Damaged Japanese tanker arrives at UAE anchorage

  • “Kokuka Courageous has arrived safely at the designated anchorage at Sharjah,” according to a statement
  • The other ship, the Front Altair, has left Iran’s territorial waters, multiple sources said Saturday

DUBAI: A Japanese tanker, attacked in the Gulf in an incident that sparked a new standoff between Washington and Tehran, “arrived safely” Sunday at an anchorage off the UAE, its management said.
The Kokuka Courageous was carrying highly flammable methanol through the Gulf of Oman on Thursday when it and the Norwegian-operated Front Altair were rocked by explosions.
The US and Saudi Arabia have accused Iran of responsibility.
“Kokuka Courageous has arrived safely at the designated anchorage at Sharjah,” an emirate neighboring Dubai, the vessel’s Singapore-based BSM Ship Management said in a statement Sunday.
The crew, who remained on board, were “safe and well,” it said, adding that a damage assessment and preparations for transferring the ship’s cargo would start “once the port authorities have completed their standard security checks and formalities.”
BSM Ship Management had said earlier Kokuka Courageous was heading toward an anchorage on the eastern coast of the United Arab Emirates, facing the Gulf of Oman.
The other ship, the Front Altair, has left Iran’s territorial waters, multiple sources said Saturday.
It was “heading toward the Fujairah-Khor Fakkan area in the United Arab Emirates,” the ports chief of Iran’s southern province of Hormozgan told the semi-official news agency ISNA.
A spokeswoman for Frontline Management, the Norwegian company which owns the ship, said “all 23 crew members of the tanker departed Iran” and flew to Dubai on Saturday.
The US military on Friday released grainy footage it said showed an Iranian patrol boat removing an “unexploded limpet mine” from the Japanese vessel.
Tehran has vehemently denied any involvement.
Iran has repeatedly warned in the past that it could block the strategic Hormuz Strait in a relatively low-tech, high-impact countermeasure to any attack by the United States.
Doing so would disrupt oil tankers traveling out of the Gulf region to the Indian Ocean and global export routes.