Iranian people will punch US Secretary of State in the mouth: Iranian commander

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at the Heritage Foundation May 21, 2018 in Washington, DC. Pompeo spoke on the topic of "After the Deal: A New Iran Strategy." (AFP)
Updated 22 May 2018
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Iranian people will punch US Secretary of State in the mouth: Iranian commander

BEIRUT: A senior Iranian military commander poured scorn on US threats to tighten sanctions on Tuesday, saying the Islamic Republic's people would respond by punching US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in the mouth.
Pompeo on Monday demanded Iran make sweeping changes that would effectively force it to reverse the recent spread of its military and political influence through the Middle East to the shores of the Mediterranean Sea.
"The people of Iran should stand united in the face of this and they will deliver a strong punch to the mouth of the American Secretary of State and anyone who backs them," Ismail Kowsari, the deputy commander of the Sarollah Revolutionary Guards base in Tehran said, according to the Iranian Labour News Agency.
Limiting Iran's missile capabilities was one of the main aims highlighted by Pompeo.
"Who are you and America to tell us to limit the range of ballistic missiles?" Kowsari said, according to ILNA. "History has shown that with the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki America is the top criminal with regard to missiles," he added.
Qassem Soleimani, the head of the branch of the Revolutionary Guards that carries out operations outside Iran's borders, was singled out by Pompeo as a top troublemaker in the Middle East.
Kowsari said that the Iranian people back Soleimani.
"Soleimani is not a single person. The great people of Iran support him," Kowsari said. 


French officials urge help for migrant rescue ship

Updated 14 August 2018
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French officials urge help for migrant rescue ship

PARIS: Officials in southern France made impassioned pleas Tuesday to a so-far-silent French government to allow docking access to a ship carrying 141 migrants that it rescued last week in the Mediterranean Sea, stressing humanitarian concerns.
Officials in the French island of Corsica said the Aquarius should be allowed to dock there after Italy’s new anti-migrant government and Malta both refused to take it.
The vessel, currently between Malta and the Italian island of Lampedusa, is operated by French aid groups who say the health of those rescued in two operations Friday is stable but that many are weak and malnourished.
“Simply, there’s a necessity today to get help to this ship,” Jean-Guy Talamoni, president of Corsica’s local assembly, told BFM-TV.
“It’s time (Europe) wakes up and that everyone takes their share of responsibility. In the meantime, there are emergency situations, and you have to deal with them,” he added.
Corsica’s executive council head, Gilles Simeoni increased the pressure on Tuesday with a tweet: “Corsica and its ports remain available for emergency humanitarian aid.”
Simeoni added that Europe needs a real European policy on the migrant issue in the Mediterranean Sea.
In the coastal town of Sete near Montpellier in southern France, the port director also said he was ready to accept the Aquarius.
“My proposition, I’m insistent on this, it has only a humanitarian dimension in respect of international maritime law. It’s an obligation of help to people in danger,” Jean-Claude Gayssot, a non-elected official, told Europe-1.
“There have already been 800 deaths since the beginning of the year. The Mediterranean (sea) has become a graveyard,” Gayssot said.
The comments serve to raise the pressure on the French government and on President Emmanuel Macron — who ultimately decides if the vessel will be accepted by France
Macron has not yet commented.