Iran official calls for ‘lobbying anti-Trump movements’

Iran's top foreign policy official said anti-Trump movements in the US would help alleviate pressure caused by US sanctions. (File/AFP)
Updated 13 October 2018
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Iran official calls for ‘lobbying anti-Trump movements’

  • The “anti-Trump movements” would help alleviate pressure caused by Washington’s “extensive sanction-focused force.”
  • The US is due to complete the reimposition of sanctions on November 5, targeting Iran’s oil sector and central bank

TEHRAN: One of Iran’s top foreign policy officials has called for negotiations with “anti-Trump movements” in the US to dampen the impact of sanctions, local media reported Saturday.
“America is not Trump,” said Heshmatollah Falahat-Pisheh, a conservative lawmaker who heads parliament’s influential national security and foreign policy commission, according to reformist newspaper Arman.
“There is a new diplomatic atmosphere for deescalation with America and it is fitting that Iran follows negotiation diplomacy and lobbying anti-Trump movements in America,” he added.
He said this would help alleviate pressure caused by Washington’s “extensive sanction-focused force.”
The US pulled out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal in May and reimposed punishing sanctions on the country, hoping to pressure Tehran into what President Donald Trump calls a “better deal.”
The US is due to complete the reimposition of sanctions on November 5, targeting Iran’s oil sector and central bank.
Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has dismissed Trump’s offers to talk as “a dangerous game.”
But Mehdi Motaharnia, a Tehran-based political analyst, described Falahat-Pisheh’s proposal as “very meaningful” since it signifies a potential shift in conservatives’ stance on talking with the US.
“This comes from a conservative whose party members called (Foreign Minister Mohammad) Javad Zarif a traitor for negotiating with the US,” Motaharnia told reformist daily Hamdeli.
“But now we do not see such reactions when the head of national security and foreign policy commission proposes talks,” he added.


Field fires in Syria's Hasakeh kill 10: monitor

Updated 16 June 2019
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Field fires in Syria's Hasakeh kill 10: monitor

  • Civilians and SDF forces are among the dead
  • Some people are claiming the fires were set on purpose

]QAMISHLI: Fires engulfing vital wheat fields across Syria’s northeast have killed at least 10 people, a war monitor said Sunday, as Kurdish authorities claim the blazes were set deliberately.
Kurdish authorities and the Damascus regime are competing to buy up this year’s harvest as fires — some claimed by the Daesh group — continue to scorch crops in the country’s breadbasket.
The victims included civilians and members of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces who died while trying to extinguish the blazes since Saturday, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
The fires in the Kurdish-majority province of Hasakah also wounded another five people, according to a spokesman for the Kurdish Red Crescent.
“The victims were trying to douse the blaze but they were trapped by the fire,” Kamal Derbas said.
Kurdish officials have called on the US-led coalition to help extinguish blazes in the cereal and oil-rich region under their control.
“The largest fires have ravaged up to 350,000 hectares of land,” head of the Kurdish agriculture authority Salman Baroudo told AFP.
He claimed the fires were “deliberate,” saying they serve to “stir up strife between area residents and undermine the Kurdish administration” in the country’s northeast.
He did not specify who he believed was behind the blazes.
The official state news agency SANA on Saturday blamed the field fires in Hasakah on Kurdish-led forces.
It said they deliberately sparked a blaze to prevent local farmers from selling their crops to the government.
Analysts say wheat will be key to ensuring affordable bread prices and keeping the peace in various parts of the country in the coming period.
Farmers have separately blamed the fires on revenge attacks, sparks from low-quality fuel, and even carelessness.
SANA said Saturday that other field fires in the northwestern countryside of Hama province were sparked by jihadist artillery attacks.
Clashes in the area on Saturday between government forces and militants left dozens of combatants dead, including 26 pro-regime fighters, the Observatory said.
More than 370,000 people have been killed in Syria’s war since it erupted in 2011 with a violent crackdown on anti-government protests.