US blames Iran for helping Houthis shoot down drone in Yemen

US blames Iran for helping Houthis shoot down drone in Yemen
The Houthis in Yemen recently shot down a US government-operated drone with assistance from Iran, the US military said in a statement on Sunday.(File/AFP)
Updated 16 June 2019

US blames Iran for helping Houthis shoot down drone in Yemen

US blames Iran for helping Houthis shoot down drone in Yemen
  • Lt. Col. Earl Brown said the altitude at which the MQ-9 drone was shot down on June 6 marked “an improvement over previous Houthi capability,” a fact that led the military to conclude the group had help from Iran
  • Brown also noted that on June 13, Iran separately tried to shoot down yet another US drone over the Gulf of Oman in an effort to disrupt surveillance of Iran’s attack on Kokuka Courageous

WASHINGTON: The Houthis in Yemen recently shot down a US government-operated drone with assistance from Iran, the US military said in a statement on Sunday.
Lt. Col. Earl Brown, a spokesman for the US Central Command, said the altitude at which the MQ-9 drone was shot down on June 6 marked “an improvement over previous Houthi capability,” a fact that led the military to conclude the group had help from Iran.
Brown also noted that on June 13, Iran separately tried to shoot down yet another US drone over the Gulf of Oman in an effort to disrupt surveillance of Iran’s attack on Kokuka Courageous, one of two oil tankers attacked on Thursday.
US officials have blamed Tehran for those attacks, raising fears about a potential confrontation between the United States and Iran.


Iran to begin vaccination in coming weeks, says Rouhani

Iran to begin vaccination in coming weeks, says Rouhani
A handout picture provided by the Iranian presidency on January 20, 2021, shows Iranian President Hassan Rouhani charing a cabinet meeting in the capital Tehran. (AFP)
Updated 24 January 2021

Iran to begin vaccination in coming weeks, says Rouhani

Iran to begin vaccination in coming weeks, says Rouhani
  • Tehran and Havana are under tough US sanctions that while they exempt medicine often deter foreign pharmaceutical companies from trading with them

DUBAI: President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday that COVID-19 vaccinations will begin in the coming weeks in Iran, the Middle East’s worst-hit country.
“Foreign vaccines are a necessity until local vaccines are available,” Rouhani said in televised remarks, without giving details of what foreign vaccines would be used.
Earlier this month Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s highest authority, banned the government from importing vaccines from the US and Britain, which he said were possibly seeking to spread the infection to other countries.
Rouhani himself, in compliance with Khamenei’s ban, said at the time that his government would purchase “safe foreign vaccines.”
Iran launched human trials of its first domestic vaccine candidate late last month, saying this could help it defeat the pandemic despite US sanctions that affect its ability to import vaccines.
“There have been good movements in the field of local and foreign vaccines,” Rouhani said, adding that three domestic vaccines — Barekat, Pasteur and Razi, some of which have been developed with foreign collaboration — could begin in the spring and summer.

BACKGROUND

The country has recorded 1,150,000 cases and 57,000 deaths. There has been a decline in recent weeks of new infections and deaths.

Cuba said earlier this month that it had signed an accord with Tehran to transfer the technology for its most advanced coronavirus vaccine candidate and carry out last-stage clinical trials of the shot in Iran.
Tehran and Havana are under tough US sanctions that while they exempt medicine often deter foreign pharmaceutical companies from trading with them.
In addition to developing its own vaccine, Iran is participating in the COVAX scheme which aims to secure fair access to COVID-19 vaccines for poorer countries.