Heaviest snowstorm in 50 years hits Iran

Updated 15 May 2014

Heaviest snowstorm in 50 years hits Iran

TEHRAN: The heaviest snowstorm in five decades has blanketed provinces in northern Iran, cutting power supplies and trapping villagers, Iranian media reported Monday.
The storm is “unprecedented for the past 50 years, with two meters (almost seven feet) of snow falling since Friday,” a Mazandaran provincial official said, quoted by the media.
“Our main problems are (the provision of) power and water, which have been cut off due to the heavy snow,” he said.
According to officials, around 500,000 people in northern Iran have been left without electricity and gas since Saturday.
Iran’s Red Crescent head, Pir Hossein Kolivand, said teams have in the past four days rescued around 11,000 people caught in the heavy snow. Seven-nine people have been hospitalized, official IRNA news agency reported.
“Some 3800 people have also been settled in emergency shelters,” he added.
In Tehran, temperatures plunged to -7 C on Saturday, making it the capital’s coldest night of the year, while other provinces experienced temperatures as low as -18 C.
Some schools in northern Tehran were closed Monday because of the weather.
New snowstorms are expected from Monday night in the southwest of the country.


Afghan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani tenders his resignation

Updated 23 October 2019

Afghan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani tenders his resignation

  • Rabbani’s departure may not affect Ashraf’s already weak government because Rabbani was disqualified from office by Parliament three years ago
  • Part of Rabbani’s differences with Ghani surfaced openly earlier this month when Rabbani’s office welcomed Pakistani efforts regarding the Afghan peace process

KABUL: Afghan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani tendered his resignation on Wednesday following differences with President Ashraf Ghani, who Rabbani accused of sidelining him.
His departure may not affect Ashraf’s already weak government because Rabbani was disqualified from office by Parliament three years ago, and served as acting minister on the basis of an order by the president.
Rabbani is an ally of Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, who shares power with Ghani and is the president’s election rival.
Rabbani’s resignation comes weeks ahead of the possible formation of a new government if an election winner is announced.
“During my time, the working environment in the National Unity Government was not good from the start,” he wrote in his resignation letter.
“I witnessed parallel structures being created and have seen essential institutions — key pillars of the system — pushed to the side.”
The presidential palace had no immediate comment about Rabbani’s resignation or his allegations, which according to his supporters include being barred from attending conferences and events overseas that fall under his remit.
Part of Rabbani’s differences with Ghani surfaced openly earlier this month when Rabbani’s office welcomed Pakistani efforts regarding the Afghan peace process, which included a warm reception in Islamabad to a visiting Taliban delegation. The Afghan presidential palace openly opposed Pakistan’s warm welcome of the delegation.