Iran tightens restrictions on ex-President Khatami

Mohammed Khatami
Updated 07 October 2017
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Iran tightens restrictions on ex-President Khatami

TEHRAN: Iran’s opposition said Friday that restrictions have been tightened on reformist former President Mohammed Khatami, barring him from all public meetings for three months.
Khatami has been banned from appearing in the media since mass protests against the government in 2009-2010, but continues to wield considerable power behind the scenes.
The opposition Kalemeh website said the Special Clerical Court had sent Khatami a letter asking him “not to take part in any political ceremonies and publicity for three months.”
This was said to include any meetings, theater performances and concerts, and barred individuals, government and seminary officials and student union members from meeting with him.
The new restrictions were first revealed by Khatami’s nephew Mohammed Reza Tabesh, a member of Parliament, earlier this week.
The letter was said to have been signed by the head of the Special Clerical Court, Ebrahim Raisi, the hard-line runner-up in this May’s presidential election.
The conservative Fars and Mehr news agencies said on Thursday that unnamed officials had denied the existence of the letter or the new restrictions.
But outspoken member of Parliament Ali Motahari — considered a political moderate — criticized the new measures, saying they were illegal without proper consultation with Khatami or his lawyers.
“We have a good constitution and the Parliament has also devised good laws but some councils and institutions such as the Special Clerical Court bypass the constitution and the Parliament and drag the country toward autocracy,” he said in comments carried by the semi-official ISNA news agency.
“Imposing more restrictions, at a time when public opinion is opposed to the continuation of the house arrest is regrettable,” Motahari added.


Libyan airstrikes target group attacking oil ports

Smoke and flames rise from an oil storage tank that was set on fire amid fighting between rival factions at Ras Lanuf terminal, Libya. Reuters
Updated 19 June 2018
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Libyan airstrikes target group attacking oil ports

  • The country is now split between rival governments in the east and west, each backed by an array of militias
  • The UN Support Mission in Libya condemned the assault on the ports of Ras Lanuf and Al-Sidr

CAIRO: Libyan forces carried out airstrikes against a militia attacking key oil ports in the east, a spokesman said as Libya’s national oil firm warned on Monday of further damage to oil infrastructure as well as environmental contamination in the north African country.
A militia, led by Ibrahim Jadhran who opposes Libya’s self-styled national army commanded by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, attacked the oil ports of Ras Lanuf and Al-Sidr on Thursday forcing the National Oil Corporation to suspend exports and evacuate its employees.
The airstrikes late Sunday targeted fighters loyal to Jadhran, who are trying to seize the oil terminals, said Ahmed Al-Mesmari, a spokesman for the LNA.
He said warplanes carried out airstrikes against “terrorist positions and gatherings in the operational military zone stretching from Ras Lanuf to the edge of the city of Sirte.”
Al-Mesmari called on residents in the oil crescent area to stay away from “areas where the enemy gathers, munition storages and sites with military vehicles.”
Jadhran said in a video circulated on social media on Thursday that he had formed an alliance to retake oil terminals. “Our aim is to overturn the injustice for our people over the past two years,” he said.
The attack by Jadhran’s militia caused “significant” damage to at least two storage tanks, the NOC said Monday in a statement. It warned of further damage to oil infrastructure as well as environmental contamination.
The firm called for an unconditional and immediate withdrawal of Jadhran’s forces, adding that the closure meant the loss of 240,000 barrels per day in oil production. It advised two tankers scheduled to arrive at the ports to remain at sea until the situation was under control.
The UN Support Mission in Libya condemned the assault on the ports of Ras Lanuf and Al-Sidr. “This dangerous escalation in Oil Crescent area puts Libya’s economy in jeopardy and risks igniting a widespread confrontation,” UNSMIL tweeted on Thursday.
Jadhran is a rebel commander who took part in the 2011 uprising that toppled and later killed dictator Moammar Qaddafi. In 2013, he proclaimed himself the guardian of Libya’s oil crescent including the ports of Al-Sidr, Ras Lanuf and Brega, which represent about 60 percent of Libya’s oil resources. His actions cost the oil-rich country billions of dollars.
He lost control of the oil crescent to Haftar’s forces in 2016.
Libya descended into chaos following the 2011 uprising. The country is now split between rival governments in the east and west, each backed by an array of militias. Haftar is allied with the east-based administration that is at odds with the UN-backed government based in the capital, Tripoli.