Morocco navy finds 15 migrants dead in stranded boat

Migrants on a wooden boat react as they wait to be rescued by SOS Mediterranee organisation and Doctors Without Borders during a search and rescue (SAR) operation with the MV Aquarius rescue ship in the Mediterranean Sea, off the Libyan Coast, August 10, 2018. (Reuters)
Updated 25 November 2018

Morocco navy finds 15 migrants dead in stranded boat

  • Coast Guards recovered “15 lifeless corpses” from the vessel in the Mediterranean Sea after it was left drifting for four days
  • The 53 other survivors on board, including eight women, were taken to the port of Nador

RABAT: Morocco’s navy on Saturday found the bodies of 15 migrants from sub-Saharan Africa on board a boat stranded at sea for days and rescued 53 survivors, a military source said.
Coast Guards recovered “15 lifeless corpses” from the vessel in the Mediterranean Sea after it was left drifting for four days following engine failure on its way to Spain, the source said.
The 53 other survivors on board, including eight women, were taken to the port of Nador.
Increasing numbers of Moroccans and sub-Saharan migrants are seeking to enter Spain, either by sea or by smuggling themselves into the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, which are in Morocco and are the only European territories in Africa.
The International Organization for Migration says that some 51,000 migrants have arrived in Spain by sea this year, and that over 630 have died or gone missing trying.
On Friday the Moroccan navy said it rescued 289 migrants, mostly from sub-Saharan African off Nador.
Moroccan authorities say that between January and the end of September they stopped some 68,000 illegal attempts to cross into Europe and took down 122 people smuggling gangs.


Iran says US talks ‘futile’, denounces black American’s death

Iranian parliament Speaker Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf chairing a parliament session in the capital Tehran on Sunday. (AFP)
Updated 01 June 2020

Iran says US talks ‘futile’, denounces black American’s death

  • Ghalibaf called for ties to be improved with neighbors and with “great powers who were friends with us in hard times and share significant strategic relations,” without naming them

TEHRAN: Iran’s new parliament speaker said on Sunday any negotiations with Washington would be “futile” as he denounced the death of a black American that has led to violent protests across the US.
Mohammad-Bagher Ghalibaf, a former commander of the Revolutionary Guards’ air force, was elected speaker on Thursday of a chamber dominated by ultra-conservatives following February elections.
The newly formed parliament “considers negotiations with and appeasement of America, as the axis of global arrogance, to be futile and harmful,” he said in his first major speech to the chamber.
Ghalibaf also vowed revenge for the US drone attack in January that killed Qasem Soleimani, the commander of the Guards’ foreign operations arm.
“Our strategy in confronting the terrorist America is to finish the revenge for martyr Soleimani’s blood,” he told lawmakers, pledging “the total expulsion of America’s terrorist army from the region.”
Ghalibaf has also slammed the US over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, during an arrest in Minneapolis which has led to widespread protests across the country.
Tens of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets from New York to Seattle demanding tougher, first-degree murder charges and more arrests over the death of Floyd, who stopped breathing after Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
Decades-old tensions between Tehran and Washington have soared in the past year, with the sworn arch enemies twice appearing to come to the brink of a direct confrontation.
The tensions have been rising since 2018, when President Donald Trump withdrew the US from a landmark nuclear accord and began reimposing crippling sanctions on Iran’s economy.
That was followed by the US drone strike near Baghdad airport in January that killed Soleimani, a hugely popular figure in the Islamic republic.

FASTFACT

Iran’s parliament speaker Mohammad-Bagher Ghalibaf vowed revenge for the US drone attack in January that killed Qasem Soleimani, the commander of the Guards’ foreign operations arm.

Days later, Iran fired a barrage of missiles at US troops stationed in Iraq in retaliation, but Trump opted against taking any military action in response.
Ghalibaf called for ties to be improved with neighbors and with “great powers who were friends with us in hard times and share significant strategic relations,” without naming them.
The 58-year-old Ghalibaf is a three-time presidential candidate who lost out to the incumbent Hassan Rouhani at the last election in 2017.
The newly elected speaker had also served as Tehran mayor and the Islamic republic’s police chief before taking up his latest post.
In a tweet on Saturday, he slammed what he called the US’ “unjust political, judicial, and economic structure.”
This had been “pumping war, coups, poverty, indiscrimination, torture, fratricide and moral corruption to the world, and racism, hunger, humiliation, and ‘choking by knee’ in its own country for hundreds of years,” Ghalibaf said.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif echoed his remarks on Twitter.
“Some don’t think #BlackLivesMatter. To those of us who do: It is long overdue for the entire world to wage war against racism. Time for a #WorldAgainstRacism,” he said. The post was accompanied by an image of a 2018 statement by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in which the text was changed to be critical of the US States instead of Iran.
The altered text read: “The US government is squandering its citizens’ resources.
“The people of America are tired of the racism, corruption, injustice, and incompetence from their leaders. The world hears their voice.” Pompeo responded to Zarif by tweeting that “you hang homosexuals, stone women and exterminate Jews,” without elaborating further.