Iran papers slam MP ‘selfies of humiliation’ with EU diplomat

Former Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hassan Ghashghavi, right, takes a photo of EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, standing together with Iranian MPs, in Parliament on Saturday. (AFP)
Updated 07 August 2017

Iran papers slam MP ‘selfies of humiliation’ with EU diplomat

TEHRAN: Iran’s newspapers were dominated on Monday by accusations lawmakers had embarrassed themselves by clamoring to take selfies with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini during her visit to Parliament.
Mogherini was among dozens of foreign guests in Iran for the inauguration of President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday, but she appeared to capture the most attention as members of Parliament crowded around her to grab a snap with her.
Images of the lawmakers perched on desks and lining up with their smartphones in front of the Italian diplomat triggered a storm of anger and ridicule on Iranian social media under the hashtag “selfies of humiliation.”
“Dear MPs, thank you for disgracing 80 million people,” wrote one Twitter user.
Others drew comparisons with iconic images such as Walt Disney’s seven dwarfs lining up to fawn over Snow White.
At least one lawmaker apologized for his lack of decorum, but the issue still dominated Monday’s front pages.
The reformist Ghanoon daily had a cartoon of Mogherini in the style of Edvard Munch’s famous painting “The Scream,” with Iranian parliamentarians peeping from the corners with their mobile phones snapping away.
The episode “shows the lack of proper education in the country,” it wrote in its editorial.
But the ultra-conservative Kayhan newspaper did not see the funny side.
“Those who are supposed to defend the rights of the nation against the enemy queue up to snap photos in a humiliating way with the violators,” it said.
Mogherini, who held talks with Rouhani as part of the EU’s bid to rebuild trade ties with Iran, did not comment on the controversy.

Afghan, US forces kill Taliban governors, fighters

Updated 16 September 2019

Afghan, US forces kill Taliban governors, fighters

  • Joint operations planned to prevent attacks ahead of polls

KABUL: Afghan forces backed by US forces killed two senior Taliban leaders and at least 38 fighters of the hard-line insurgent group in joint airstrikes conducted in northern and western regions of Afghanistan, officials said on Sunday.

The operations, launched on Saturday night, were aimed at foiling attacks planned by the Taliban on Afghan forces, said a senior security official in capital Kabul, adding that clashes have escalated following the collapse of diplomatic talks between the US and the Taliban.

The Defense Ministry in a statement said that the Taliban’s designate governor for northern Samangan province, Mawlavi Nooruddin, was killed along with four fighters in an airstrike in Dara-e-Soof Payeen district.

But the Taliban denied the governor had been killed.

“He (Nooruddin) is alive,” said Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman said in a statement.


Taliban deny the governor of Samangan province had been killed.

Last week, insurgents killed four Afghan special force members in a car bomb blast.

Afghan officials say around 100,000 members of the country’s security forces are ready for polling day.

In a separate incident, Mullah Sayed Azim, a Taliban designate governor for Anar Dara district in western Farah was killed in a joint Afghan and foreign force raid.

“Sayed Azim was killed along with 34 other insurgents in Anar Dara,” said Mohibullah Mohib, a spokesman for Farah provincial police.

Senior security officials in Kabul said several joint operations will be launched against Taliban and Daesh fighters to prevent attacks on Afghan forces and civilians ahead of the presidential polls on Sept. 28.

Fighting picked up in several parts of Afghanistan last week after US President Donald Trump’s abrupt cancelation of talks with the Taliban aimed at withdrawing US troops and opening the way to end to 18 year-long war in Afghanistan. 


Troops for polling day

Afghan officials say around 100,000 members of the country’s security forces are ready for polling day. Nasrat Rahimi, spokesman for the Interior Ministry said on Sunday that 72,000 security personnel will be on duty around the 4,942 polling centers across Afghanistan while nearly 30,000 additional troops will serve as reserve units.

Defense Ministry spokesman Rohullah Ahmadzai said security forces have recently taken back eight districts from the Taliban and that operations are underway to secure around 20 others.