Iran’s Sunni leader endorses Rouhani for re-election

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani. (President.ir/Handout/File Photo via Reuters)
Updated 13 May 2017

Iran’s Sunni leader endorses Rouhani for re-election

TEHRAN: A leading figure of Iran’s minority Sunnis endorsed moderate President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday ahead of this week’s election, despite the government’s “shortcomings.”
Sunnis make up around five to 10 percent of Iran’s 80 million population, which is overwhelmingly Shiite.
Religious leader Molavi Abdol Hamid said “the atmosphere for Sunnis has been a little more relaxed” since Rouhani took power in 2013, and that most would support him in Friday’s election.
Abdol Hamid repeated calls for greater Sunni representation in local and national government, and more action on discrimination.
“The Sunni community believes that this government, despite its problems and weaknesses, has had more strong points, and we hope if the current government takes office again, it will do more to resolve those problems and shortcomings,” he said in comments carried by his website.
He was speaking in Sistan Baluchistan province, a Sunni-majority region in southeastern Iran bordering Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Rouhani is leading in official polls, but faces a tough fight for re-election against conservative rivals who accuse him of failing to boost the struggling economy.


Jordan fund for response plan to Syrian crisis now at $644 million

Updated 51 min 44 sec ago

Jordan fund for response plan to Syrian crisis now at $644 million

  • The total aid set undet the scheme stood at $2.49 billion
  • The US topped the response plan donor list, with a grant of around $372 million

DUBAI: Funds for the Jordan Response Plan to the Syrian Crisis have reached at $644 million, the country’s Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation said.

The figure was only 28 percent of the total aid – $2.49 billion – showing a $1.6 billion deficit since the beginning of 2020, according to state news agency Petra.

About $155 million was allocated to support Syrian refugees in Jordan, $139 million to host communities, and $350 million to treasury.

The allocation did not include institution capacity building, government data has showed.

The figures revealed the US as the top donor for the response plan, donating around $372 million, followed by Germany whose grant reached $83.8 million.