Escalation of violence in the Middle East: more pressure for Arab partners | The World | DW

When the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and other states, such as Bahrain, Morocco, or Sudan signed agreements to normalize relations with Israel last August, both Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Iran’s spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, criticized them harshly. While many political leaders in the Arab world remained silent, Turkey and Iran called the accords treason against the Islamic world.

In view of the recent clashes in East Jerusalem, they are now again criticizing the decision. Khamenei described any normalization with Israel as a “stab in the back of Palestine,” according to the Iranian news agency INSA. Erdogan’s spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin, wrote on Twitter that this is “endless Israeli aggression.” They are statements with which, in the midst of a crisis like the current one, points can be added in the Arab streets

Political scientist Cinzia Bianco, who researches the politics of the Gulf States at the European Council on Foreign Relations, thinks that “both Turkey and Iran will try to take political advantage of the events in Palestine to attack their regional rivals who establish relations with Israel.” .

Turkey and Iran look for an opportunity

While Erdogan and Khamenei are trying to establish their countries as new leaders in the Middle East, for the United Arab Emirates and the other three states, the situation has become even more difficult. These countries seek a new peaceful relationship with Israel, after decades of hostility; also to benefit financially.

The new relations were not welcomed by its own population, nor by many citizens of other Arab states. The Arab rulers who signed the accords officially justified themselves by claiming that they expected the Middle East conflict to subside. On the occasion of the signing of the agreement in the summer of last year, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan, said that he had allegedly agreed, in a telephone conversation with then-US President Donald Trump, and the first Israeli president, Benjamin Netanyahu, the arrest of the Israeli annexation of Palestinian territories.

The current situation in the Middle East puts pressure on certain Arab countries, such as Barein or the United Arab Emirates.

New partners under pressure

The rulers of Israel’s new partner states are aware of the effects that recent tensions could have on their countries, in light of the overwhelmingly pro-Palestinian mood.

Not only the numerous anti-Israel posts on social media should be taken into account, but also the comments from the mainstream media targeting the entire Arab world. The pan-Arab newspaper “Al araby al-jadeed”, promoted by Qatari financiers, for example, indirectly branded all those “who make normalizing relations with the enemy a duty” as traitors.

Consequently, those countries reacted quickly last weekend. The UAE Foreign Ministry “emphatically” condemned the assault on the Al-Aqsa mosque by Israeli security forces. Sudan’s Foreign Ministry described the Israeli actions as “repression”, and the Moroccan authorities also expressed “deep concern” about the violence.

The Israeli government should now try to calm the situation in East Jerusalem, says Kerstin Müller, a former undersecretary of the German Foreign Ministry. If tensions persist, other Israeli interests would also be compromised.

(rmr/ers)

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Young man is beheaded by his stepbrother and cousins ​​for being gay in Iran

Ali Fazeli Monfared He planned to sell his cell phone to, with that money, leave Iran, travel to Turkey and request asylum in Europe. But his half brother and two cousins, after learning he was gay, kidnapped and beheaded him.

According to the Iranian lesbian and transgender network 6Rang, Monfared, whom her friends called Alireza, 20, lived in Ahvaz, Iran. His sentimental partner lives in Turkey and Alireza wanted to meet him.

Aghil Bayat, an LGBTQI activist, told 6Rang that Ali Fazeli’s stepbrother opened a letter from the Conscription Office exempting the young man from mandatory two-year military service due to his sexual orientation. In Iran, military service is not compulsory for homosexuals or transsexuals.

But when the stepbrother found out, he planned with his cousins ​​to attack Alireza, considering it “a disgrace, a disgrace” for the family. According to various media, they tricked him by telling him that his father wanted to see him to force him to get into a car. He was kidnapped and brutally murdered on May 4.

A day later, the stepbrother himself called Alireza’s mother to tell her that he could find her son’s body under a palm tree in the nearby town of Borumi.

The mother, according to 6Rang, was so affected by the news of the murder of her only son that she had to be hospitalized. Alireza’s partner informed the network that the three men linked to the murder were arrested and are charged with first degree murder.

In Iran, homosexual relations are prohibited and the punishment is the death penalty.

afcl/rcr

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Corona injuries are declining in Britain and India, as former army doctors seek refuge

India’s Ministry of Defense said Sunday that the authorities will seek the help of hundreds of former military doctors to support the healthcare system as the country faces record numbers of COVID-19 injuries and deaths amid angry calls for a comprehensive lockdown in the country.

About 400 medical officers are expected to work under an 11-month contract, the ministry said in a press statement, adding that other military doctors from the army will provide online consultations.

Coronavirus cases and deaths in India are registering unprecedented levels every two or three days. The deaths jumped by more than 4,000 cases for the second day in a row on Sunday.

Many states imposed strict lockdown measures over the past month to curb the spread of the virus, while other states announced restrictions on movement and closed movie theaters, restaurants, bars and shopping centers.

Calls to close

But pressure is mounting on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to declare a nationwide lockdown similar to that imposed during the first wave last year.

The Medical Association of India, the umbrella under which all doctors and surgeons fall, called for the imposition of a “comprehensive, well-planned and pre-announced” general isolation throughout the country instead of the “intermittent” night curfews and state restrictions for a few days each time.

The association said in a statement on Saturday that it was “amazed at the extreme indifference and inappropriate measures taken by the Ministry of Health to combat the dire crisis resulting from the deadly second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Anthony Fauci, a senior White House adviser on the Coronavirus, said Sunday that he had advised Indian authorities to impose a lockdown.

“You have to impose a lockdown. I think many Indian states have already done that, but you have to stop the chain of transmission. One of the ways to do that is to lock down,” he said in an interview on ABC.

Modi has been criticized for allowing massive gatherings at a religious festival and holding large election rallies over the past two months, even with the rise in coronavirus cases.

The Indian Ministry of Health recorded 4,092 deaths during the past twenty-four hours, which brought the total deaths to 242,362. Injuries rose by 403,738 cases, a number close to the record peak, bringing the total since the start of the pandemic to 22.3 million.

On Saturday, India recorded its highest daily death toll, which amounted to 4,187 deaths. The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation expects the country to record 1 million Covid-19 deaths by August.

The decline in injuries and deaths in Britain

Britain announced that the new infections recorded in the country amounted to 1770 cases on Sunday, with the total number of cases recorded within seven days declining to 14659, a decrease of 4.3 percent compared to the previous seven days.

Two new deaths were recorded within 28 days of testing positive for the virus. The total deaths during the seven days reached 67 cases, a decrease of 39.1 percent compared to the previous seven days.

The data shows that 35.37 million people, or 67 percent of the adult population, received the first dose of the vaccine. Of these, 17.67 million people, or 33.5 percent of adults, got the two recommended doses of the vaccine.

Since the start of the epidemic, the total number of deaths in the UK has reached 127,605 people within 28 days of testing positive for COVID-19.

The country witnessed a devastating second wave, which reached its peak in late January, but the numbers of new infections, deaths and those who were transferred to hospitals decreased after that.

The death toll in the United States is higher than the advertised

For his part, Fauchi considered that the number of Corona virus victims in the United States is “undoubtedly” higher than the official toll, which has reached 581 thousand deaths since the beginning of 2020.

In response to a question about a new study published by the University of Washington this week, Fauci did not confirm its outcome, which exceeded 900,000 deaths. However, he told NBC that the health authorities “said from the start that the low estimate” of the number of deaths “was very likely.

Commenting on the study’s methodology, he added that “this model concluded with a large number of deaths” amounting to 900,000, which makes the estimate slightly lower than I imagined, but sometimes the models are correct and sometimes they are less correct.

He corrected, “But I think that the estimate was undoubtedly low and still is,” and he justified the inaccuracy of the census by saying that the pandemic is “historical.” The United States recorded the highest toll in the world in absolute numbers, with more than 32 million injuries and 581,000 deaths officially recorded.

But since January, cases and deaths have decreased as the vaccination campaign accelerates. After a slight boom with the spring break, numbers have fallen back since mid-April.

turning point

For his part, Geoffrey Zentz, the White House Anti-Virus Coordinator, told CNN that we are at a turning point.

He pointed to vaccination numbers, as 58 percent of adults received at least one vaccine dose in the United States, and more than 110 million people (a third of the total population) were fully vaccinated.

President Joe Biden has set a goal of vaccinating 70 percent of adults with at least one dose by July 4, but the vaccination campaign is slowing down due to the reluctance of citizens who doubt the safety of the vaccine. “Our mission is to make vaccines easier to make available, and to win people’s trust,” Zentz added.

Cyprus lifts lockdown and adopts “safety permit” system

On Monday, Cyprus graduated from the third partial lockdown imposed by the Coronavirus “safety permit” system, to give residents more freedom of movement. On Sunday, Health Minister Konstantinos Ioanno declared, “From tomorrow, Cyprus will take a step towards a more natural path of social and economic activities.”

“By implementing health protocols, conducting checks on the population and expanding the vaccination program, Cyprus is taking an important step towards emerging from the state of uncertainty,” he added.

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The government decided to abandon the system for obtaining formal approval by text messages to allow residents to leave their homes. Island residents wishing to enter hospitality places (bars, restaurants, cafes, hotels …) will be required to present a certificate of Covid-19, which the government has called a “safety permit”.

Any person who received at least one dose of a vaccine against Covid-19 in the past three weeks or more, as well as anyone who has been infected with the virus in the past six months, benefits from this permit, as well as anyone holding a document proving the negative result of a test for detection of infection with COVID-19 valid for 72 1 hour, either through the “polymerase chain reaction” (PCR) test or the rapid test.

The authorities stressed that the permit is a temporary measure that will remain in effect until May 31, in order to accelerate the pace of vaccination on the island seeking to reach group immunity by vaccinating 65 percent of its adult population with at least one vaccine dose by the end of June.

Although the decision to lift the closure allowed non-closed guesthouses and retail stores to reopen their doors, it maintained a night-time curfew that reduced its hours to start from 23:00 instead of 21:00.

On April 26, Cyprus entered a closure for two weeks, after hospitals began to suffer under the weight of the increasing number of injuries. Cyprus witnessed a third epidemic wave, attributed to the most widespread British mutant, during which daily infections peaked with 941 infections.

Since then, the daily number of new infections has fallen below 400, as has the rate of positive results relative to the total number of examinations.

Jordan eases the evening curfew

On Sunday, the Jordanian government decided to reduce the night curfew hours, starting from the first day of Eid Al-Fitr, after the decrease in the number of Coronavirus cases.

A government statement said, “Prime Minister Bishr Al-Khasawneh on Sunday issued a communiqué according to which the nighttime ban hours were reduced, starting from the first day of Eid Al-Fitr.”

According to the statement, the curfew hours will be from eleven in the evening until six in the morning for all days of the week instead of seven in the evening until six in the morning in force now.

The statement pointed out that “reducing the hours of the night ban comes within the framework of the safe, gradual mitigation measures that the government takes in accordance with the developments of the epidemiological situation.”

The number of Coronavirus infections in Jordan decreased during the past few weeks, and on Sunday, 743 cases and 16 deaths were recorded, after it reached record numbers last March and reached more than 9,000 cases and more than 100 deaths on 22 March.

In total, Jordan recorded about 720,000 cases of Coronavirus and 9,092 deaths.

Qatar gradually lifts the Corona restrictions

The Qatar News Agency quoted a statement of the Ministry of Health saying that Qatar decided on Sunday to gradually lift the restrictions related to the Coronavirus in four phases, with the first phase beginning on May 28 and the fourth phase on July 30.

The duration of each phase will be at least three weeks, with a continuous evaluation of indicators nationwide to decide on the transition from one phase to another.

The first phase will allow a maximum of five vaccinated people to gather in a closed space, while the mosques will reopen for daily congregational prayers with some restrictions.

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Parties in favor of the independence of Scotland from Britain win a majority in Parliament

Parties in favor of Scottish independence won a majority of seats in Parliament, giving them a boost to a second referendum on Brexit.

Results announced today, Saturday, showed that the National and Green parties won 65 of the 87 seats, the results of which have been announced so far, out of the total 129 seats in Parliament.

SNP leader Nicola Sturgen said she would press ahead with plans for a new independence referendum.

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The election results mean that the nationalist, along with the Greens, will win a large majority in Parliament.

“In a normal democratic process, the parties that promise something and are elected must act to fulfill those obligations,” she told BBC television.

“It is absurd that there are other parties in Scotland insisting on blocking the path to the party or parties that have received the mandate,” she added.

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Iran and Turkey criticize Israel for repression of Palestinians | The World | DW

The governments of Iran and Turkey condemned this Saturday (05/08/2021) the repression by the Israeli security forces against the Palestinians who were praying on Friday in the Esplanade of the Mosques, in occupied Jerusalem, while the European Union called on the authorities to avoid new days of violence, which last night alone left at least 208 Palestinians injured.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Said Jatibzade said that “this war crime once again demonstrated to the entire world the criminal nature of the illegitimate Zionist regime and the need for urgent international action, to stop the violation of the most fundamental principles. fundamental principles of international humanitarian law “. Iran “urges the United Nations and other institutions linked to it to react … to confront this war crime,” he added.

The government of Turkey, meanwhile, accused Israel of violating freedom of worship and acting provocatively after the intervention during prayer. “We strongly condemn the attack by the Israeli security forces against the Palestinians who were praying in the Al Aqsa mosque and which left many Palestinians injured,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement, where it accused Israel of causing the incidents.

EU: Israel’s “Illegal Actions”

The intervention of the Israeli Police, which used rubber balls and stun grenades, occurred in the context of tension over protests against the eviction of Palestinian families from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in favor of Jewish settler organizations. Even the United States, a close ally of Israel, questioned the violence unleashed on the Esplanade of the Mosques and also the evictions.

A similar position was taken by the European Union, which called on the Israeli authorities to act “urgently” to reduce tensions in Jerusalem. “Violence and incitement are unacceptable and everyone involved must be held accountable … The European Union urges the (Israeli) authorities to act urgently in a de-escalation of tensions in Jerusalem,” said Peter Stano, spokesman for the head of European diplomacy in the statement. Specifically, Brussels demanded an end to the provocations on the aforementioned Esplanade.

The EU also criticized the expulsions of families. “These actions are illegal under international humanitarian law and only fuel tensions,” warned the European spokesman.

DZC (EFE, AFP)

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Brexit could reduce Britain’s chances of a trade deal with India

Generally speaking, it is reasonable to say that the bigger you are, the higher your chances of getting a beneficial business deal. To be sure, this appears to be true of the attempts by the United Kingdom and the (much larger) European Union to establish stronger economic ties with the United States and with the emerging global industrial powers of India and China. Britain may find it fairly easy to adapt to deals the European Union has already concluded with countries such as Jordan and Kenya. The discussions with New Zealand also seem to be going well. However, with respect, these deals will not suffice in supplying the British economy with the fuel it needs to grow at a time when it is losing its former advantages in the rest of the European continent. Britain should connect itself with larger and more dynamic power plants. It is stumbling at the moment.

So far, the European Union is far ahead of the UK in the race to reach a deal with China, partly due to political reasons. Given that Joe Biden pursues almost the same protectionist agenda as his predecessor, with his $ 1.9 trillion stimulus package focused heavily on American jobs, it is unlikely that the British or Europeans will make much progress in their bid to win trade deals with the states. United. In fact, India is the “available” prize. In this context, the British are a few months behind the Europeans. By the end of the week, European Union negotiators will be engaged in their work related to the desired deal, while the British side must wait for its turn to start talks until next fall. No wonder, given that the European Union market is almost ten times the size of the British market. Perhaps this will awaken some from their slumber, and lead to correcting dreams of a “global Britain” adventure that they seem to still cling to.

In that regard, Liz Truss, the British Trade Secretary, is of course proud that she has secured more than £ 1 billion in Indian investments, in addition to the potential 6,000 jobs that are already being created (all of which will be available in the next world, according to government allegations). . Nevertheless, two hypothetical but important questions arise: How much of this investment would have been possible had Mrs. Truss and her ministry never been there; And how much of these investments would have been prevented or delayed if the United Kingdom was still a member state of the European Union and went to trade talks with confidence, relying on its negotiating weight? It is possible, at least, that Indian companies would have preferred, as did Japanese companies before them, to base themselves in Britain in the single European Union market, and if this were still the case, they would have invested more.

The truth is that it is absolutely impossible to answer these two questions. However, Britain’s agreement on free trade with Japan, which has an economy larger than that of the United Kingdom, gives some indications, especially that the additional marginal advantage that Britain won was not present in the old agreement between Japan. And the European Union, came rather modest (in any case, the importance of this new advantage has diminished due to the continuing loss of markets and investments as a result of Britain’s exit from the European Union). Honda and Toyoda Gozi shut down their factories [في بريطانيا]At least partially, because of this Brexit, it will cost the country more jobs than the new trade deal creates. And people are already feeling some of these repercussions in the auto industry, food and beverage, agriculture and fishing sectors.

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The closure of these factories, and the jobs that will be lost because of them, will reach the fore in the news, which will cause political troubles, but delaying or converting future investment does not result in problems and difficulties of this kind. Consequently, the other damage that “Brexit” did to the economy would take longer to deal with, and until it became “invisible” in the sense of a lack of attention to factories and offices that were not built and jobs that were not being created, which would have flowed into the UK as a relatively liberal part. From the thriving European single market. For example, Sweden is a larger market for the United Kingdom, and it will take a long time before growth in the dynamic economies of the East can compensate for the loss in the European Union markets that follows. [الخسارة] Higher prices and more bureaucracy.

The Indian adventure also raises other questions about the post-Brexit era. British trade missions to India had faltered in the past because the British, especially Theresa May, had shown that they viewed in a hostile and unsympathetic view the Indian requests to facilitate the arrival of their youth to Britain with the intention of studying and working. The phobia surrounding the issue of immigration has reached such an extent that easing the strictness of the visa rules is considered impossible, and it is worth noting that this matter has a limited direct relationship with the freedom of movement of workers in Europe. Now that the UK is of course pursuing its immigration policy on the basis of the points system, all that could change. On the other hand, the implementation phase of the new system has not witnessed a rapid increase in the number of entry visas granted to Indian students and professionals so far, and if it did, the right wing of the Conservative Party would clearly express its discomfort with this development.

There is an encouraging noise in the Westminster Parliament about the two parties exchanging their best and smartest things, and that is beneficial for both sides. On the other hand, there is very little available about the size of this exchange. Given the potential for the arrival of the business and professional classes in Hong Kong, some in the pro-Brexit community may wonder if this is really the low-immigration Brexit for which they voted.

As a result, trade with India is closely linked to a more free movement of people between the United Kingdom and that country, just as trade with the European Union is associated with freedom of movement with its countries. And if the British had already “regained control” from Brussels on their borders, they had taken it just to deliver it directly to Delhi, it seemed to some.

As a reminder, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a nationalist leader like any other in the world, and no matter how passionate he is for cricket and tea, he will put India’s interests first. Also, just as well knows that Truss and Johnson desperately needs a major trade deal with a “big” country. And given that the United States and China are currently not ready to conclude a deal of this kind, the trade agreement with India represents the only realistic option available to them. [جونسون وتروس]. It can be expected that Modi’s negotiators will be determined to get what they want from Little Britain, even more than Michel Barnier was. [مفوض الاتحاد الأوروبي الذي ترأس فريق العمل للتفاوض مع بريطانيا بشأن تنفيذ بريكست].

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Johnson leads Britain toward cautious easing of travel restrictions

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Monday, May 3, that Britain is on its way to easing restrictions imposed on foreign travel due to the outbreak of the Corona virus. “There will be some opening for travel on May 17th, but it remains important to be as careful as we can,” Johnson said.
While the travel restrictions will not be lifted completely, the British Prime Minister stated, “We want to go through some openness on May 17th, but I don’t think people in this country want to see an influx of disease anywhere. I definitely don’t want that. We have to be very strong and we have to be as careful as possible. “
Speaking of the upcoming June 21 deadline set by the British government to end social distancing, Johnson said, “We feel we will be able to move forward with the easing of restrictions.”

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“Excess unit meter”

Johnson also mentioned that Britain is on its way to abandoning the rule of social distancing known as “plus one meter”, which requires people to stay at least one meter from each other, near the end of next month, according to a road map drawn up by the British government to end restrictions The closure is phased, after widespread vaccination campaigns helped quell the spread of infection.
In response to a question about the way forward in implementing this, Johnson said during a campaign visit in the north of England, “I think we have a good chance of being able to do without (the rule) one meter plus.” This rule has come under heavy criticism, particularly from the restaurant and hospitality sectors.
In the midst of a campaign to win one seat in Parliament and local government, Johnson also faced questions about the costs of renovating his apartment and the expenses of caring for his young child.

Europe eases travel restrictions

On Monday, the European Commission proposed that travelers who have received full doses of COVID-19 vaccines approved by the European Union be allowed to enter the bloc’s countries.

The Commission stated, “It proposes to allow entry into the European Union not only for people coming from countries where the epidemiological situation is good, but also for those who received the last recommended dose of vaccines approved by the European Union.”

On Sunday, the second of May, international aid continues to arrive in India, which is facing a massive outbreak of the Corona virus, and a new record number of deaths has been recorded within 24 hours, and India comes alongside Brazil in the first front line with the “Covid-19” epidemic. It counted nearly 400,000 new infections over the last 24 hours.

The country also counted 3,689 additional deaths, on Sunday, in the highest recorded daily toll, which brings the total number to 215,000 deaths, and the promised international aid continues to arrive from more than 40 countries, and New Delhi received a French cargo plane carrying 28 tons of medical equipment, including eight generators. Oxygen Qadir provides each of them with the needs of an Indian hospital of 250 beds, according to the French authorities.

“Last year India helped us in French hospitals, when the need for medicines was enormous, the French people remember,” said the French ambassador to India, Emmanuel Lenin.

On Friday, a US military plane landed in New Delhi carrying medical equipment, followed by a German plane, Saturday, and Britain announced, for its part, that it would send 1,000 additional respirators to this country of 1.3 billion people.

On Saturday, India opened the field of vaccination to its entire adult population, which is about 600 million people, but several states, including Maharashtra and New Delhi, which are among the most affected states, warned of a shortage of vaccines.

In an effort to relieve pressure on health services, the Indian authorities decided to extend the closure for a week in New Delhi, which has 20 million people, and the end of the closure was expected on Monday, and the overcrowded hospitals in the city lacked beds, medicines and oxygen, and there are patients who spend at the doors of hospitals without any treatment.

Like other countries, Nigeria announced the restriction of entry to its territory for travelers from India, as well as from Brazil and Turkey, which were severely affected by the outbreak of the epidemic, and other countries in South Asia sounded the alarm, as was Nepal, where “the number of infections recorded a leap beyond the capacity of the health system. According to what the Minister of Health said, and this country counted, on Sunday, 7,137 new infections, in a record number, and the government imposed full or partial closure measures in about half of the states.

As for the rest of the world, the epidemic crisis also weighs in Latin America, starting with Brazil, which has not yet started vaccination campaigns, and the Brazilian Ministry of Health data showed that 1,202 deaths from the Coronavirus and 28,935 new infections were recorded, Sunday, and the country recorded 407,639 deaths and 14.7 million infections in Overall, the virus deaths in Brazil are second in the world, after the United States.

On Sunday, the Mexican Ministry of Health recorded 1093 new confirmed cases of Coronavirus and 65 deaths, which brought the total number of infections in the country to two million and 348873, and deaths to 217,233.

And the cases of Coronavirus in Argentina have reached three million since the outbreak of the pandemic, despite the strict measures taken by the government to limit the spread of infection, while medics said that hospitals have become full, and the Ministry of Health said, on Sunday, that it had recorded 11,394. A new infection, which raises the cases to a new level, exceeded three million. The ministry also recorded 156 new deaths, bringing the total deaths to 64,252.

A few days ago, the government of President Alberto Fernandez unveiled new measures that included the imposition of more stringent restrictions after the country was exposed to a second wave of infection and the overcrowding of intensive care units with patients and the setting of daily records of injuries and deaths.

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White House denies prisoner exchange with Iran

Iranian media reports that the US wants to exchange four prisoners with the country and release blocked accounts. But the White House doesn’t want to know about it.

The US has rejected a media report that it has agreed to an exchange of prisoners with Iran. “The report is not true,” said Ron Klain, White House chief of staff, on Sunday at CBS. The US would raise the issue of prisoners against Iran on a regular basis. Iranian state television had previously reported that it had been agreed that the Islamic Republic would release four US citizens accused of espionage back home. In return, the US would release four Iranians and unblock Iranian assets worth $ 7 billion.

In addition, the state TV reported that it had been agreed that Iran would release the British-Iranian development aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe. In return, the UK will settle a debt of £ 400 million with Iran. The Thomson Reuters Foundation project manager was arrested in 2016 after visiting her parents in southern Iran. The 42-year-old British woman was accused of espionage, among other things. After serving a five-year prison sentence, she was convicted again last month for allegedly participating in a demonstration twelve years ago and for interviewing the Persian-language edition of the BBC, which is banned in Iran.

Great Britain: No new state of affairs

The UK government downplayed the report of their impending liberation on Sunday. “The legal discussions continue,” said the British Foreign Office briefly. The detainees’ family initially had no information about a possible release. “We haven’t heard anything,” her husband Richard Ratcliffe told the UK news agency.

Talks are currently under way in Vienna to revive the nuclear deal with Iran. Great Britain, Iran and, indirectly, the USA are also involved. European diplomats are said to be apparently dissatisfied with the negotiations so far. “We still have a lot to do, but little time. Against this background, we would have hoped for more progress this week,” said high-ranking diplomatic circles on Saturday. There is still no agreement on key points, said representatives of Germany, Great Britain and France at the end of a third round of negotiations in Vienna. The aim of the talks is to develop a roadmap according to which Washington would lift sanctions against Iran and Tehran would again restrict its nuclear program.

The negotiators are under time pressure. In Iran, a new president will be elected in June. The pragmatic incumbent Hassan Ruhani is no longer allowed to run after two terms. The election campaign, a new president or a new negotiating team after the election could make it more difficult to resolve the nuclear conflict.

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London calls British-Iranian treatment in Iran ‘torture’

London (AFP) –

The treatment reserved for the British-Iranian Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe in Iran, where she has recently been sentenced to one more year in prison, amounts to ‘torture’, British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab estimated on Sunday.

“I think the way she is being treated amounts to torture and the Iranians have a clear and unequivocal obligation to release her,” Raab told the BBC.

Prosecuted for ‘propaganda’ against the Islamic Republic, Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 42, was sentenced on April 26 to one year in prison and one year without being able to leave the country, one month after serving a five-year prison sentence. .

The British Chancellor considered that Tehran uses Zaghari-Ratcliffe to put pressure on the United Kingdom, as well as other citizens with dual nationality arrested or in the hands of the Iranian justice.

Project manager for the Thomson Reuters Foundation – a subsidiary of the British-Canadian press agency of the same name – she was arrested in April 2016 in Iran, where she had traveled to visit her family.

Accused of having tried to overthrow the Iranian regime, which she denies, she was sentenced to five years in prison and was detained in Evin prison.

He finished serving his sentence, under house arrest, on March 7, but his passport was confiscated and he was forbidden to leave the country.

This issue fuels tensions between London and Tehran.

Although London wants to solve it, according to Raab, the difficulty lies in the current context: presidential election in Iran and negotiations to save the agreement on the Iranian nuclear program.

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