AP FACT CHECK: Trump’s Misfires on Iran, Trade and That Wall

June 16, 2019 by · Comments Off on AP FACT CHECK: Trump’s Misfires on Iran, Trade and That Wall 

WASHINGTON – In President Donald Trump’s reckoning, an Iran tamed by him no longer cries “death to  America,” the border wall with Mexico is proceeding apace, the estate tax has been lifted off the backs of farmers, the remains of U.S. soldiers from North Korea are coming home and China is opening its wallet to the U.S. treasury for the first time in history. These statements range from flatly false to mostly so. Here’s a week of political rhetoric in review: IRAN: TRUMP, speaking about Iranians “screaming ‘death to America’” when Barack Obama was in the White House: “They haven’t screamed ‘death to America’ lately.” — Fox News interview Friday.

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Japan’s Abe Urges Patience in Effort to Ease US-Iran Tensions

June 13, 2019 by · Comments Off on Japan’s Abe Urges Patience in Effort to Ease US-Iran Tensions 

VOA – Asked about Abe’s meeting with Rouhani on Wednesday, State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said she is confident the U.S., Japan, Germany and other European allies are all delivering the same message to Tehran to not develop nuclear weapons or engage in destabilizing activities in the Middle East. “We believe that we are in full agreement and in full alignment with our allies,” Ortagus said, adding, “whatever the Japanese Prime Minister is able to do, we are, of course, supportive of anyone.” She said President Donald Trump met recently with Abe and will meet with him again soon.

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AN Explainer: Iranian Supreme Leader’s Hidden Administration

June 8, 2019 by · Comments Off on AN Explainer: Iranian Supreme Leader’s Hidden Administration 

VOA – Pictures released from Iranian cabinet ministers’ meetings with the nation’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, often show little-known men in the back rows who appear to be watching the ministers as observers, or rivals. These men are Khamenei’s own ministers — a hidden government rooted in his office, with arms extending to almost every government institution. This complex, multilayer network of special advisers and confidants, led by Khamenei’s sons, is part of Khamenei’s security and supervisory network. Here’s a profile of its structure:

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World Bank: Iran Likely to Suffer Worse Recession Than Previously Thought

June 6, 2019 by · Comments Off on World Bank: Iran Likely to Suffer Worse Recession Than Previously Thought 

VOA – WASHINGTON —The World Bank says Iran is likely to experience an even worse recession this year than previously thought, as U.S. sanctions largely choke off oil exports that have been Tehran’s main revenue source. In its latest Global Economic Prospects report published Wednesday, the Washington-based institution that provides loans to countries said it expects Iran’s Gross Domestic Product to shrink by 4.5% this year, a steeper contraction than its earlier estimate of negative 3.6% GDP growth for 2019. “The oil industry is an important part of Iran’s economy, and its oil production is clearly going to drop because of the new U.S. sanctions,” said Patrick Clawson, research director for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, in a VOA Persian interview on Wednesday.

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Iran Sends Journalist to Notorious Prison, Jails Another for 2 Years

June 4, 2019 by · Comments Off on Iran Sends Journalist to Notorious Prison, Jails Another for 2 Years 

VOA – Iran has taken new steps against two detained journalists who covered domestic labor unrest and government corruption, sending one to a notorious women’s prison and sentencing another to a two-year jail term. Two human rights groups said Iranian journalist Sepideh Ghaliyan, who covered labor issues in the southwestern city of Ahvaz, was transferred to Qarchak women’s prison near Tehran on Monday. She previously had been detained in Tehran’s Evin prison and prior to that, in Ahvaz, where authorities arrested her last November as she attended a protest by workers demanding unpaid wages from the Haft Tapeh sugar cane factory, 100 kilometers to the north. She was accused of committing a national security offense in connection with that protest.

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Why Aging of America Poses Huge Risk to US Economy

June 1, 2019 by · Comments Off on Why Aging of America Poses Huge Risk to US Economy 

VOA – Americans are getting older and family size is shrinking, which means the nation will have fewer working-age adults going forward. “I think it is a cause for concern if we are calibrating our expectations of having a strongly growing population,” says David Kelly, chief global strategist for JP Morgan Asset Management. “If you’re investing in things like the housing industry or the auto industry and you need an ever-growing population, then you have to adjust to a world in which the U.S. population is growing more slowly.” By 2030, one in five U.S. residents — ۲۰%— will be older than 65, compared with 13% in 2010 and just under 10% in 1970.

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Murder Puts End to Iranian Politician’s Career

May 30, 2019 by · Comments Off on Murder Puts End to Iranian Politician’s Career 

VOA – The story was bizarre, but yet simple and straightforward by all Iranian standards: The former mayor of Tehran killed his second wife, disappeared for about seven hours and finally turned himself in to the police. This was the simple and straightforward part of the sad story of a well-known Iranian politician, MIT educated Mohamad Ali Najafi, 68, who served briefly as Tehran’s mayor in 2018 before resigning for “personal reasons” in less than 6 months. His career included posts such as the Minister of Education and vice-president in charge of the Planning and Budget Organization. When he stepped down as mayor of Tehran, it was not clear if it was for his “health problems,” as he declared to the media, or if it was under pressure from his political rivals, as the press speculated.

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US ‘Concerned’ Iran’s Intranet Project Will Repress Internet Freedom

May 29, 2019 by · Comments Off on US ‘Concerned’ Iran’s Intranet Project Will Repress Internet Freedom 

VOA – This article originated in VOA’s Persian Service. Nike Ching contributed from the State Department. The Trump administration has expressed concern about reports that Iranian authorities have made progress in developing a domestic intranet and firewall system to shield Iran from the global internet. In a written response to VOA Persian questions, a State Department spokesperson said its concern centered on new measures in Iran to create a “so-called National Information Network” and “repress internet freedom through draconian surveillance.” “Countries that take such desperate actions prove to the world that they are afraid of their own people,” the State Department said in its May 23 statement.

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May 27, 2019 by · Comments Off on  

VOA – President Donald Trump and U.S. lawmakers are away from Washington, but questions about possible impeachment of the president continue to swirl as the White House thwarts multiple investigations led by House Democrats after the conclusion of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe. While the House could impeach, Trump is virtually assured of remaining in office as there is almost zero chance the Republican-led Senate would convict him. Democrats are using their House majority to investigate Trump and his administration on everything from the treatment of migrant children at the U.S.-Mexico border to the president’s foreign business dealings and tax returns. Democrats also want the Justice Department to release the full, unredacted Mueller report. The White House is blocking them at almost every turn, causing tempers to boil over.

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Iranian FM Holds Talks in Pakistan on Tehran’s Tensions With US

May 25, 2019 by · Comments Off on Iranian FM Holds Talks in Pakistan on Tehran’s Tensions With US 

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met Friday with leaders from neighboring Pakistan to discuss bilateral matters and Tehran’s escalating tensions with the United States.vZarif and Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi led their respective delegations in formal talks before the visiting Iranian diplomat went for a meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan. Officials said the discussions focused on bilateral issues and regional developments. Tensions between Tehran and Washington have been escalating since U.S. President Donald Trump announced his decision to try to cut Iran’s oil exports to zero and beef up the American military presence in the Gulf in response to what he said were Iranian threats.

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