Coronavirus infections rise above 250,000 in Iran

People wearing protective face masks to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus sit inside a train in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, July 8, 2020. (AP)
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Updated 09 July 2020

Coronavirus infections rise above 250,000 in Iran

  • Iran has suffered a new spike in the number of daily infections and deaths in recent weeks
  • Iranians who do not wear masks will be denied state services, Rouhani said

DUBAI: Iran’s total number of coronavirus cases has reached 250,458 and a record 221 people died of the disease over the past 24 hours, raising the overall death toll to 12,305, the Health Ministry said on Thursday.
Iran, the Middle East country hardest hit by the pandemic, has suffered a new spike in the number of daily infections and deaths in recent weeks as lockdown measures have been relaxed to help the economy revive.
President Hassan Rouhani launched new measures on Saturday to try to curb the renewed spread. He said Iranians who do not wear masks will be denied state services and workplaces that fail to comply with health protocols — including social distancing — will be shut for a week.
Rouhani and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the highest authority in the Islamic Republic, have been shown wearing masks on state media websites in recent days.


Turkey: EU sanctions on Turkish firm over Libya embargo show bias

Updated 22 September 2020

Turkey: EU sanctions on Turkish firm over Libya embargo show bias

  • The EU on Monday froze the assets of Avrasya Shipping
  • ‘EU’s Irini Operation is rewarding Haftar, and punishing the UN-recognized Libyan Government’

ISTANBUL: Turkey said on Tuesday the European Union sanctions on a Turkish firm accused of breaking a UN arms embargo on Libya displayed the EU’s double standard and biased stance.
The EU on Monday froze the assets of Avrasya Shipping, whose cargo vessel Cirkin was involved in a naval incident between NATO members France and Turkey in June.
The EU has accused the company of using the ship to smuggle weapons to Libya. Ankara denies the arms-trafficking claim and says the ship was carrying humanitarian aid.
“The EU’s Irini Operation is rewarding Haftar, and punishing the UN-recognized Libyan Government,” Turkey’s foreign ministry said on Wednesday, referring to the EU’s military mission in the Mediterranean to stop arms from reaching warring factions in Libya.
Ankara has supported Libya’s internationally recognized Government of National Accord based in Tripoli. Eastern Libya and much of the south, however, is controlled by Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA), which is backed by Egypt and Russia.
“Overlooking those countries and companies, starting with the UAE, that send weapons from land and air to the putschist Haftar in violation of the (United Nations Security Council) decisions, while the support provided to the legitimate government ... is deemed an embargo violation, is a clear signal that the EU is ... biased,” Turkey’s foreign ministry said.
In addition to sanctions on the Turkish company, the EU also imposed sanctions on two Libyan men, and two other companies – Kazakhstan’s Sigma Airlines and Jordan’s Med Wave Shipping.
Turkey may also face EU sanctions due to a dispute with Greece and Cyprus over ownership of natural resources in the eastern Mediterranean, although tensions between Ankara and Athens have declined in recent days.
“When effort is being made to decrease the tensions in the eastern Mediterranean, taking such a wrong decision is unfortunate,” Turkey’s foreign ministry said, referring to the sanctions on Avrasya Shipping.