Khamenei urges armed forces to increase their power to ‘scare off’ enemies

Khamenei spoke at a graduation ceremony for cadets of Iran’s regular armed forces. (File/AFP)
Updated 09 September 2018
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Khamenei urges armed forces to increase their power to ‘scare off’ enemies

  • The urging comes as the country faces increased tension with the United States
  • Khamenei spoke at a graduation ceremony for cadets of Iran’s regular armed forces

DUBAI: Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Sunday urged Iran’s armed forces to increase their power to “scare off” the enemy, according to his official website, as the country faces increased tension with the United States.
US President Donald Trump in May withdrew from Iran’s nuclear agreement with world powers -- a deal aimed at stalling Tehran’s nuclear capabilities in return for lifting some sanctions -- and ordered the reimposition of US sanctions that had been suspended under the deal.
“Increase your power as much as you can, because your power scares off the enemy and forces it to retreat,” the website quoted Khamenei as saying at a graduation ceremony for cadets of Iran’s regular armed forces.
“Iran and the Iranian nation have resisted America and proven that, if a nation is not afraid of threats by bullies and relies on its own capabilities, it can force the superpowers to retreat and defeat them,” Khamenei said.


Ports deal is chance for Yemen peace talks, says UN envoy

Updated 21 February 2019
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Ports deal is chance for Yemen peace talks, says UN envoy

  • Forces will initially be withdrawn from the smaller ports of Salif and Ras Issa
  • The second phase a withdrawal of 18 to 30 kilometers, depending on the location and fighters

NEW YORK: The expected pullout of forces from three key ports in Yemen provides an opportunity to move to the major goal of ending the four-year conflict that has created the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, the UN envoy for the war-battered country said on Tuesday.

Martin Griffiths told the UN Security Council that Yemen’s government and Houthi militias demonstrated that they are able to deliver on commitments they made in December in Stockholm by agreeing on the first phase of redeployment from the ports.

He said forces will initially be withdrawn from the smaller ports of Salif and Ras Issa, beginning “possibly” on Tuesday or Wednesday. This will be followed by a pullout from the major port of Hodeidah and critical parts of the city that will allow access to the Red Sea Mills, a major UN storage facility holding enough grain to feed 3.7 million people for a month, he said.

Griffiths called on the parties to fully implement the first phase and to agree on details of the second phase of the redeployment of forces, “which we hope will lead to the demilitarization” of Hodeidah, whose port handles about 70 percent of Yemen’s commercial and humanitarian imports.

A UN official said the first phase involves pulling back several kilometers, and the second phase a withdrawal of 18 to 30 kilometers, depending on the location and fighters. In some places in Hodeidah city, the opposing forces are facing each other about 100 meters apart, the official said.

The UN is appealing for more than $4 billion to assist 15 million Yemenis this year and UN Under-Secretary-General and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock implored donors to pledge generously at a conference next week in Geneva.