Assassination of Aden University dean sparks outcry in Yemen

An image of Dr. Naja Ali Moqbel, the dean of the Faculty of Sciences shared by Yemeni activists on Twitter.
Updated 17 May 2018
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Assassination of Aden University dean sparks outcry in Yemen

  • The nation was shocked by the assassination of Dr. Naja Ali Moqbel, the dean of the Faculty of Sciences, and her son Sameh and granddaughter, after a gunman stormed her home
  • The university president had convened an emergency meeting in the wake of the killings, appointing a task force mandated to press for a timely and transparent investigation of the case

ADEN: The University of Aden has condemned the murder of its dean of sciences and her son and granddaughter, who were killed in her apartment in the de facto government capital of Yemen.
“The academic community, the city of Aden, and all of Yemen were shocked by the assassination of Dr. Naja Ali Moqbel, the dean of the Faculty of Sciences, and her son Sameh and granddaughter, after a gunman stormed her home,” a statement said Wednesday.
Neighbours of Dr. Moqbel in the western Inma residential district managed to catch the gunman and the security services arrived soon after, according to the statement.
It said the university president had convened an emergency meeting in the wake of the killings, appointing a task force mandated to press for a timely and transparent investigation of the case.
Yemen’s prime minister, Ahmad bin Dagher, condemned the “despicable” killings of Dr. Moqbel, her son Sameh and granddaughter Lian, in a statement carried by the state-run Saba news agency.
He said President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi had issued directives for security agencies to merge under the umbrella of the Interior Ministry to facilitate information sharing.
Abdelaziz bin Habtour, the prime minister of the so-called Houthi government and the former governor of Aden, also condemned the assassination.
“The academic community has lost a distinguished colleague, one of the best members of the Faculty of Science at the University of Aden,” he said, highlighting her scholarly contributions and books in a statement carried by the Houthi-controlled Saba news agency.

Several others took to social media condemning the killings and paying tribute to the family. 




The southern port city has also seen a string of assassinations against religious figures in recent weeks.
Aden has served as the base of Yemen’s internationally recognized government since Iran-backed Houthi militia overran the capital Sanaa in 2014.
And in January, southern separatists backed by the UAE attacked government loyalist forces in Aden, overrunning the city. The government was forced to hunker down until Saudi and Emirati envoys arrived to quell the infighting.


Iran faces ‘strongest sanctions in history’

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Updated 22 May 2018
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Iran faces ‘strongest sanctions in history’

  • US Secretary of State laid out Trump administration’s strategy for constraining Iran’s nuclear program
  • US threatens "strongest sanctions in history" if Iranian government does not change course

WASHINGTON: The US told Iran on Monday to drop its nuclear ambitions and pull out of the Syrian civil war in a list of demands that marked a new hard-line against Tehran and prompted an Iranian official to warn that Washington seeks regime change.

Weeks after US President Donald Trump pulled out of an international nuclear deal with Iran, his administration threatened to impose “the strongest sanctions in history,” setting Washington and Tehran on a deeper course of confrontation.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo demanded sweeping changes that would force Iran effectively to reverse years of its foreign policies.

“The sting of sanctions will only grow more painful if the regime does not change course from the unacceptable and unproductive path it has chosen for itself and the people of Iran,” Pompeo said in his first major speech since becoming secretary of state.

“These will be the strongest sanctions in history by the time we are done,” he added.

Pompeo took aim at Iran’s policy of expanding its influence in the Middle East through support for proxy armed groups in countries such as Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.

He warned that the US would “crush” Iranian operatives and allies abroad and told Tehran to pull out forces under its command from the Syrian civil war where they back President Bashar Assad.

Iran is unlikely to accede to the US demands. Tension between the two countries has grown notably since Trump this month withdrew from the 2015 nuclear agreement aimed at preventing Tehran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

Pompeo warned that if Iran fully resumed its nuclear program Washington would be ready to respond and said the administration would hold companies doing prohibited business in Iran to account.

“Our demands on Iran are not unreasonable: Give up your program,” Pompeo said, “Should they choose to go back, should they begin to enrich, we are fully prepared to respond to that as well,” he said, declining to elaborate.

Pompeo said if Iran made major changes, the US was prepared to ease sanctions, re-establish full diplomatic and commercial relations and support the country’s re-integration into the international economic system.

The speech did not explicitly call for regime change but Pompeo repeatedly urged the Iranian people not to put up with their leaders, specifically naming President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

“At the end of the day the Iranian people will get to make a choice about their leadership. If they make the decision quickly, that would be wonderful, if they choose not to do so we will stay hard at this until we achieve the outcomes I set forward,” said Pompeo.