Israeli minister: Iran could face military answer to nukes

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discusses with his advisor as he attends the weekly cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem on September 12, 2018. (File/AFP)
Updated 12 September 2018
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Israeli minister: Iran could face military answer to nukes

JERUSALEM: An Israeli Cabinet minister says if Iran chooses to continue pursuing a nuclear program it will face a “military” answer.
Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz was responding Wednesday to the Iranian nuclear chief’s warning that the Islamic Republic’s program stands ready to build advanced centrifuges and further enrich uranium.
In an exclusive interview with The Associated Press, Ali Akbar Salehi says Iran won’t be deterred by President Donald Trump’s sanctions and withdrawal from the global nuclear deal.
Katz says if Iran presses forth it will face a “direct threat from the United States and its allies.”
The US withdrawal from the deal has already badly shaken Iran’s economy, crashing its currency, the rial. Katz says Iran can either succumb to Trump or watch its economy collapse.
Israel and Iran are arch enemies.


Amnesty decries Houthi prosecution of Bahais in Yemen

Updated 18 September 2018
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Amnesty decries Houthi prosecution of Bahais in Yemen

CAIRO: An international rights group on Tuesday decried the prosecution of 24 Yemeni Bahais, including women and a teenager, by a Houthi rebel court on espionage charges.
Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International’s Middle East director of research, said the group fears the Bahais could receive the death penalty amid “flagrantly unfair proceedings.”
The trial opened on Saturday and has been adjourned until Sept. 29. A lawyer following the case said the process was swift and most of the defendants were tried in absentia because only five were in custody. He spoke on condition of anonymity because of fear of retribution.
Iran banned the Baha’i religion, which was founded in 1844 by a Persian nobleman.
The Iranian-backed Houthis have occupied northern Yemen since 2014, after which the legitimate government fled the country and sought military intervention by a Saudi Arabian-led coalition. Houthis have waged an all-out campaign against all political and religious opponents and held thousands in detention, where torture is rampant.
The Houthi group’s leader has targeted Bahais in public speeches describing them as “satanic” and several Bahais have been detained, tortured and held incommunicado, according to the community’s UN representative.
A top figure was sentenced to death over charges of collaboration with Israel. In 2016, over 60 women, men and children participating in an educational gathering organized by Bahais were arrested as part of a mass crackdown on the religious community.
Bani Dugal, principal representative of the Baha’i International Community to the United Nations, expressed concern in a statement and said the charges were “extremely alarming and mark a severe intensification of pressure.”
He also said that the Houthi targeting of Bahais is “eerily reminiscent of the persecution of Baha’is in Iran in the 1980s during which leaders of the Baha’i community were rounded up and killed.”