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
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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


Saudi Arabia rejects Israel’s policies discriminating against Palestinians

Updated 35 min 28 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia rejects Israel’s policies discriminating against Palestinians

Saudi Arabia rejected all Israeli policies, practices and plans that attempt to perpetuate racial discrimination against the Palestinian people and obliterate their national identity and to undermine their legitimate rights, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Addressing the UN Security Council, the Kingdom’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Abdullah bin Yahya Al-Maalami called on the international community to intervene and stop settlement projects by Israel.

“The Palestinian people continue to witness further tragedies,” he said.

 “70 years ago, Palestinians suffered the greatest human tragedy the world has ever seen. The tragedy of the displacement of the landowners, the tragedy of giving the right to those who do not have the right, and the denial of the right of its owners,” he continued.

The Israeli occupation must be committed to implement international resolutions, lift the siege on the Gaza Strip and open the crossings immediately and permanently, he said. The humanitarian and economic crisis affecting the Palestinian people.

“My country stresses the importance of a comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East as a strategic option to end the Arab-Israeli conflict,” he said.