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FILE PHOTO: Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks at the presidential palace in Baabda, Lebanon August 14, 2020. Dalati Nohra/Handout via REUTERSDUBAI (Reuters) - Iran’s foreign minister said Iran’s arch-enemy Israel was likely to have been involved in the killing of prominent Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh on Friday, although he offered no evidence. “This cowardice - with serious indications of Israeli role -shows desperate warmongering of perpetrators,” Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted. “Iran calls on int’l community - and especially EU - to end their shameful double standards & condemn this act of state terror.”Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office was not commenting on reports of the attack, an official from Netanyahu’s office said. The Pentagon also declined to comment.
Persons: Mohammad Javad Zarif, Dalati, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, ” Mohammad Javad Zarif, Benjamin Netanyahu’s Organizations: REUTERS DUBAI, Reuters, Pentagon Locations: Baabda, Lebanon, Handout, Israel, Iran
Lebanon's president pledges to revive forensic audit of central bank
  + stars: | 2020-11-21 | by ( Reuters Staff | ) www.reuters.com sentiment -1.00   time to read: +1 min
FILE PHOTO: Lebanon's President Michel Aoun speaks during a news conference at the presidential palace in Baabda, Lebanon October 21, 2020. Dalati Nohra/Handout via REUTERSBEIRUT (Reuters) - Lebanese President Michel Aoun said on Saturday that a forensic audit of the central bank was vital to combat corruption, and that he would get it back on track after the consultancy contracted to carry it out withdrew. “Our reality today is not promising,” the president said in a televised speech to mark Independence Day, adding that Lebanon was a prisoner of corruption, political scheming and external dictations. “If we want statehood, then we must fight corruption ... and this begins by imposing the forensic financial audit,” he said, adding he would not “back off” on the issue. Saad al-Hariri, the Sunni prime minister-designate under a sectarian power-sharing agreement, is struggling to form a cabinet amid turf wars.
Persons: Michel Aoun, Dalati, Aoun, , Alvarez, Marsal, Saad al, Hariri Organizations: REUTERS, Independence Locations: Baabda, Lebanon, Handout, REUTERS BEIRUT, Beirut,
Five Lebanese prisoners die in accident following mass prison break-out
  + stars: | 2020-11-21 | by ( Reuters Staff | ) www.reuters.com sentiment -1.00   time to read: +1 min
The ISF statement did not say how the 69 prisoners had escaped from the facility, which a security source said holds pre-trial detainees and is part of Baabda district prison near Beirut. The ISF said 15 prisoners had been caught while four others turned themselves in. The five died when a car they seized crashed into a tree in what the statement described as an accident while one prisoner was injured and taken to hospital. The state news agency NNA earlier said the prisoners had escaped from the prison at dawn after breaking open cell doors. It said that while the Lebanese government had taken several measures, including some releases, the authorities should prioritise releasing prisoners who had served their sentences and expedite a review of pre-trial detainees.
Persons: Michel Aoun, NNA Organizations: Internal Security Forces, ISF, Amnesty Locations: BEIRUT, Beirut, Baabda, COVID
More than 60 prisoners escape Lebanese jail, say security sources
  + stars: | 2020-11-21 | by ( Reuters Staff | ) www.reuters.com sentiment -1.00   time to read: +1 min
Slideshow ( 4 images )BEIRUT (Reuters) - More than 60 prisoners broke out of a Lebanese jail on Saturday and five of them were killed when their car hit a tree while under pursuit, security sources and the state news agency said. They fled from Baabda district prison at dawn after breaking open cell doors, state news agency NNA said, adding security forces had cordoned off surrounding areas. Security forces told Reuters that some 69 prisoners had escaped and that eight had been caught. Five of the prisoners died after a car they seized crashed into a tree, they said. Authorities have launched an investigation into the jail break, NNA said.
Persons: NNA, Organizations: Security, Reuters, Authorities, Amnesty Locations: BEIRUT, Baabda, COVID
Iran's Zarif says Biden can lift sanctions with 'three executive orders'
  + stars: | 2020-11-17 | by ( Reuters Staff | ) www.reuters.com sentiment -0.98   time to read: +2 min
FILE PHOTO: Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks at the presidential palace in Baabda, Lebanon August 14, 2020. Dalati Nohra/Handout via REUTERS/File PhotoDUBAI (Reuters) - Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Iran would fully implement its 2015 nuclear deal if U.S. President-elect Joe Biden lifts sanctions on Tehran, which Zarif said could be done swiftly through “three executive orders”. “We are ready to discuss how the United States can re-enter the accord,” Zarif said. Biden can lift all sanctions with three executive orders.”Joe Biden has pledged to rejoin the 2015 accord, agreed by Washington when he was vice president, if Iran also returns to compliance. It began breaching the nuclear deal after President Donald Trump withdrew in 2018 and started ratcheting up unilateral sanctions on Tehran.
Persons: Mohammad Javad Zarif, Dalati, Joe Biden, Zarif, , Biden, ” Zarif, , ” Joe Biden, Donald Trump, Hassan Rouhani, Washington Organizations: REUTERS, DUBAI, Reuters, United States Locations: Baabda, Lebanon, Handout, Iran, Tehran, United States, Washington, U.S, United
U.S. to sanction leader of Lebanon's Free Patriotic Movement: WSJ
  + stars: | 2020-11-06 | by ( Reuters Staff | ) www.reuters.com sentiment -0.92   time to read: +1 min
FILE PHOTO: Gebran Bassil, head of the Free Patriotic movement, speaks at the presidential palace in Baabda, Lebanon October 22, 2020. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir/File Photo(Reuters) - The United States is planning to sanction prominent Lebanese Christian politician Gebran Bassil, head of the Free Patriotic Movement, which was founded by the president and is allied with Hezbollah, the Wall Street Journal reported late on Thursday. The United States deems Iranian-backed Hezbollah to be a terrorist group. Bassil, the son-in-law of President Michel Aoun and head of FPM, Lebanon’s largest Christian political bloc, is also a former foreign minister. In September, the United States blacklisted two former Lebanese government ministers it accused of enabling Hezbollah.
Persons: Bassil, Mohamed Azakir, Gebran Bassil, Donald Trump's, Michel Aoun, Yusuf Finyanus, Ali Hassan Khalil Organizations: REUTERS, Lebanese, Free Patriotic Movement, Hezbollah, Wall Street Journal, U.S . Department of Treasury, United Locations: Baabda, Lebanon, United States, Lebanese, States
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