Iran militias assassinated Lebanon’s Rafik Hariri: Saudi Deputy Defense Minister

The deputy defense minister accused, in a series of tweets, Iranian militia of assassinating Hariri with the aim of destroying his Renaissance project. (File/AFP)
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Updated 16 February 2020

Iran militias assassinated Lebanon’s Rafik Hariri: Saudi Deputy Defense Minister

Saudi Arabia’s Vice Minister of Defense, Prince Khalid bin Salman, said on Sunday that the late Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri had been assassinated by Iranian militia.

The deputy defense minister accused, in a series of tweets, Iranian militia of assassinating Hariri with the aim of destroying his "Renaissance project."

“Hariri’s vision and national project that aspires to achieve stability, prosperity and coexistence will remain despite his departure and will live on to combat the plans of sectarian militias who do not believe in the homeland or the dignity of the citizens,” he added.

 Friday marked 15 years since Hariri was killed in an explosion in Lebanon’s capital Beirut.


So-called honor killing of teen girl brings outcry in Iran

Updated 25 min 19 sec ago

So-called honor killing of teen girl brings outcry in Iran

  • Iranian president Rouhani has urged his cabinet to speed up the introduction of harsher laws against such killings

TEHRAN: The so-called honor killing of a 14-year-old Iranian girl by her father, who reportedly used a farming sickle to behead her as she slept, has prompted a nationwide outcry.
Reza Ashrafi, now in custody, was apparently enraged when he killed his daughter Romina on Thursday after she ran away with 34-year-old Bahamn Khavari in Talesh, some 320 kilometers (198 miles) northwest of the capital, Tehran.
In traditional societies in the Middle East, including Iran, blame would typically fall on a runaway girl for purportedly having sullied her family’s honor, rather than on an adult male luring away a child.
Romina was found five days after leaving home and taken to a police station, from where her father brought her back home. The girl reportedly told the police she feared a violent reaction from her father.
On Wednesday, a number of national newspapers featured the story prominently and the social media hashtag #RominaAshrafi reportedly has been used thousands times on social media, with most users condemning the killing.
Proposed legislation against honor killings has apparently shuttled for years among various decision-making bodies in Iran.
On Wednesday, Romina Ashrafi’s case led Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to urge his Cabinet to speed up harsher laws against such killings and he pushed for speedy adoption of relevant legislation.
There is little data on honor killings in Iran, where local media occasionally report on such cases. Under the law, girls can marry after the age of 13, though the average age of marriage for Iranian women is 23. It is not known how many women and young girls are killed by family members or close relatives because of their actions, perceived as violating conservative Islamic norms on love and marriage.
Iran’s judiciary said Romina’s case will be tried in a special court. Under the current law, her father faces a prison sentence of up to 10 years.
Iran’s vice president in charge of family affairs, Masoumeh Ebtekar, expressed hope that a bill with harsher punishments will soon be in the final stages of approval.
Shahnaz Sajjadi, special assistant to citizens’ rights in the presidential directorate on women and family affairs, on Wednesday told the khabaronline.ir news website “We should revise the idea that home is a safe place for children and women. Crimes that happen against women in the society are less than those that happen in the homes.”