Rouhani vows to defeat ‘anti-Iranian’ officials in the White House

Iran will overcome newly reimposed US measures against Tehran, sanctions that will only serve to unify the nation, President Hassan Rouhani said. (File photo: Reuters)
Updated 28 August 2018
0

Rouhani vows to defeat ‘anti-Iranian’ officials in the White House

  • “We are not afraid of America or the economic problems,” he said. “We will overcome the troubles”
  • Rouhani said his government would overcome the economic challenges and show “the anti-Iranian officials in the White House” that the sanctions would fail

LONDON: Iran will overcome newly reimposed U.S. measures against Tehran, President Hassan Rouhani told a parliamentary session on Tuesday, vowing that his government would defeat any Western plot against the Islamic Republic.
The parliament summoned Rouhani for the first time to answer questions on weak economic growth and rising unemployment, but Rouhani said the troubles only began when Washington reimposed sanctions on Tehran.
U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew in May from a deal that had lifted sanctions on Tehran in return for curbs on its nuclear programme.
Washington imposed a new round of sanctions in August targeting Iran’s trade in gold and other precious metals, its purchases of U.S. dollars and its car industry. A new round of sanctions to be imposed in November targets Iranian oil sales.
"I want to assure the Iranian nation that we will not allow the U.S. plot against the Islamic Republic to succeed," Rouhani said in a live broadcast on state television.
"We will not let this bunch of anti-Iranians in the White House be able to plot against us."
He added, "We are not afraid of America or the economic problems. We will overcome the troubles."
Rouhani, a pragmatist who reduced tension with the West by striking a nuclear deal with world powers in 2015, now faces a backlash from hardliners over Washington’s pullout from the pact.
Hardline elements in the parliament have pressed Rouhani to reshuffle his economic team to better shield the economy from Trump’s moves and tamp down public discontent.
Rouhani said the troubles began with anti-government protests in early January when many Iranians, angered by rising prices took to the streets, chanting slogans against the government and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
"The protests tempted Trump to withdraw from the nuclear deal," he said, asking lawmakers to support his cabinet and not add to anti-government sentiment.
Although the economic problems were critical, Rouhani said, "More important than that is that many people have lost their faith in the future of the Islamic Republic and are in doubt about its power."
Lawmakers asked why the government had not adopted reforms in the financial sector and foreign exchange market, and sought an explanation why, more than two years after the nuclear deal, Iranian banks still had only limited access to global financial services.
Rouhani appointed a new central bank governor and accepted the government spokesman’s resignation, suggesting that he accepts the need to reshuffle his economic team.


Camel dung fuels cement production in northern UAE

Updated 13 min 39 sec ago
0

Camel dung fuels cement production in northern UAE

  • Farmers in the emirate of Ras Al-Khaimah drop off camel excrement at collection stations

RAS AL-KHAIMAH: Thousands of tons of camel dung are being used to fuel cement production in the northern United Arab Emirates, cutting emissions and keeping animal waste out of landfill.
Under a government-run scheme, farmers in the emirate of Ras Al-Khaimah drop off camel excrement at collection stations. It is then blended with coal to power the boiler at a large cement factory.
“People started to laugh, believe me,” said the general manager of Gulf Cement Company, Mohamed Ahmed Ali Ebrahim, describing the moment the waste management agency proposed the idea.
But after running tests, the company found two tons of camel waste could replace one ton of coal.
“We heard from our grandfathers that they used cow dung for heating. But nobody had thought about the camel waste itself,” said Ebrahim, whose factory now uses 50 tons of camel dung a day.
Cow dung has been tapped as a resource to generate energy from the United States, to Zimbabwe to China. Camel dung is a rarer fuel but one well suited to Ras Al-Khaimah, one of the seven emirates that make up the UAE, home to around 9,000 camels used in milk production, racing and beauty contests.
Each camel produces some 8kg of faeces daily — far more than farmers use as fertilizer.
A blend of one part dung to nine parts coal burns steadily — essential for cement ovens that work continuously at up to 1,400 degrees Celsius.
The main aim of the project is to prevent camel waste from ending up in the dump, with the government seeking to divert 75% of all waste from landfill by 2021.
“We don’t make use of it. The most important thing is for the area to be clean, for the camels to be clean,” said farm owner Ahmed Al-Khatri, stroking camel calves in the afternoon sun as a farm worker sifted dung for collection.
Authorities want more cement plants to adopt the practice and start using chicken and industrial waste, as well as sludge from water treatment, said Sonia Ytaurte Nasser, executive director of the waste management agency.
“Waste is just a resource in the wrong place,” she said.