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Volume 17 Issue 442 -Ramadan 14, 1438 AH June 9, 2017

 
 
 
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:: Articles & News
::Saudi Arabia, Egypt lead Arab states cutting Qatar ties, Iran blames Trump

•A growing number of Arab nations have cut ties with Qatar.
•The nations pointed to Doha’s alleged terrorism ties and their own national security.
•The coordinated move escalates a dispute over Qatar’s support of the Muslim Brotherhood, and adds accusations that Doha backs the agenda of Iran.
•Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Libya, Bahrain, and Maldives severed their ties with Qatar on Monday, accusing it of supporting terrorism and opening up the worst rift in years among some of the most powerful states in the Arab world.
•Iran — long at odds with Saudi Arabia and a behind-the-scenes target of the move — immediately blamed President Donald Trump for setting the stage during his recent trip to Riyadh.
•Gulf Arab states and Egypt have long resented Qatar’s support for Islamists, especially the Egyptian-based Muslim Brotherhood, which they regard as a dangerous political enemy.
•The coordinated move, with the Maldives and Libya’s eastern-based government joining in later, created a dramatic rift among the Arab nations, many of which are in OPEC.
•Announcing the closure of transport ties with Qatar, the three Gulf states gave Qatari visitors and residents two weeks to leave. Qatar was also expelled from the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen.
•Oil giant Saudi Arabia accused Qatar of backing militant groups — some backed by regional archrival Iran — and broadcasting their ideology, an apparent reference to Qatar’s influential state-owned satellite channel al Jazeera.
•“(Qatar) embraces multiple terrorist and sectarian groups aimed at disturbing stability in the region, including the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS (Islamic State) and al-Qaeda, and promotes the message and schemes of these groups through their media constantly,” Saudi state news agency SPA said.
•It accused Qatar of supporting what it
described as Iranian-backed militants in its restive and largely Shi’ite Muslim-populated eastern region of Qatif and in Bahrain.
•Qatar said it was facing a campaign aimed at weakening it, denying it was interfering in the affairs of other countries.
•The campaign of incitement is based on lies that had reached the level of complete fabrications,” the Qatari foreign ministry said in a statement.
•Iran saw America pulling the strings.
•“What is happening is the preliminary result of the sword dance,” Hamid Aboutalebi, deputy chief of staff of Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani, tweeted in a reference to Trump’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia.
•Trump and other U.S. officials participated in a traditional sword dance during the trip in which he called on Muslim countries to stand united against Islamist extremists and singled out Iran as a key source of funding and support for militant groups.
•U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters in Sydney on Monday that the spat would not affect the fight against Islamist militants and that Washington has encouraged its Gulf allies to resolve their
differences.
•A split between Doha and its closest allies can have repercussions around the Middle East, where Gulf states have used their financial and political power to influence events in Libya, Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Yemen.
•Qatar on Monday asked citizens to leave the United Arab Emirates within 14 days to comply with by Abu Dhabi’s severing of ties, the Qatari embassy in Abu Dhabi said on social media. Those who cannot travel directly to Doha should go through Kuwait or Oman, it said.
•Economic fallout
•The economic fallout loomed immediately, as Abu Dhabi’s state-owned Ethihad Airways, Dubai’s Emirates Airline and budget carrier Flydubai said they would suspend all flights to and from Doha from Tuesday morning until further notice.
•Qatar Airways said on its official website it had suspended all flights to Saudi Arabia.
•Qatar’s stock market index sank 7.5 percent with some of the market’s top blue chips hardest hit.
•The measures are more severe than during a previous eight-month rift in 2014, when Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the UAE withdrew their ambassadors from Doha, again alleging Qatari support for militant groups. At that time, travel links were maintained and Qataris were not expelled.
•The diplomatic broadside threatens the international prestige of Qatar, which hosts a large U.S. military base and is set to host the 2022 World Cup. It has for years presented itself as a mediator and power broker for the region’s many disputes.
•FIFA, international soccer’s governing body, said it remained in regular contact with Qatar, declining to elaborate.
•Kristian Ulrichsen, a Gulf expert at the U.S.-based Baker Institute, said if Qatar’s land borders and airspace were closed for any length of time “it would wreak havoc on the timeline and delivery” of the World Cup.
•“It seems that the Saudis and Emiratis feel emboldened by the alignment of their regional interests — toward Iran and Islamism — with the Trump administration,” Ulrichsen said. “(They) have decided to deal with Qatar’s alternative approach on the assumption that they will have the (Trump) administration’s backing.”
•Qatar used its media and political clout to support long-repressed Islamists during the 2011 pro-democracy “Arab Spring” uprisings in several Arab countries.
•Muslim Brotherhood groups allied to Doha are now mostly on the backfoot in the region, especially after a 2013 military takeover in Egypt ousted the elected Islamist president.
•The former army chief and now president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, along with the new government’s allies in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, blacklist the Brotherhood as a terrorist organization.
•Egypt, the Arab world’s most populous nation, said on its state news agency that Qatar’s policy “threatens Arab national security and sows the seeds of strife and division within Arab societies according to a deliberate plan aimed at the unity and interests of the Arab nation.”
•Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris has called on Egyptian businessmen to withdraw their investments and halt business dealings with the Gulf state, his spokesperson told
•Oil prices rose after the moves against Qatar, which is the biggest supplier of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and a major seller of condensate — a low-density liquid fuel and refining product derived from natural gas.
Source:.cnbc.com

::Brutal revenge: Rare attack in Iran shows how country responds to terrorism

Iran vowed quick revenge after ISIS suicide bombers and gunmen stormed parliament and the mausoleum of the country’s revered spiritual leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, killing 13 people and injuring 41. That revenge is likely to be swift and brutal based on the response to past terror attacks in the country, and won’t be tempered by the fact that all five attackers were killed by security forces. And it might not even be entirely aimed at preventing future terrorist attacks.
Iran’s Powerful Revolutionary Guard stopped short of directly blaming Saudi involvement but called it “meaningful” that the attacks took place a week after President Donald Trump traveled to Riyadh. The Guard statement said that Saudi Arabia “constantly supports takfiri terrorists” and the Islamic State’s claim of responsibility for the Tehran attacks “reveals [Saudi Arabia’s] hand in this barbaric action.”
IRAN ATTACK: ISIS claims responsibility for pair of assaults in Tehran
ISIS claimed responsibility for a pair of Wednesday attacks in Tehran in which suicide bombers and teams of gunmen stormed Iran’s parliament and the nearby shrine of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, killing at least 12 and injuring dozens of others.
This is the first attack orchestrated by ISIS in the Islamic Republic, SITE Intel Group reported. It wasn’t initially clear if the death count, reported by state broadcaster IRIB, included the attackers.
In a rare and stunning move, ISIS released video from inside the parliament building while the attack was under way. The video, circulated online, shows a gunman and a bloody, lifeless body of a man lying on the ground next to a desk. A voice on the video praises God and says in Arabic: “Do you think we will leave? We will remain, God willing.” Another voice repeats the same words. The two appeared to be parroting a slogan used by IS spokesman Abu Mohammad al-Adnani, who was killed in Syria last year.The parliament assault ended Wednesday morning with all four attackers there being killed.
“Iranian nation moves on, today the fumbling with firecrackers in #Tehran, won’t affect the will of our nation,” Ayatollah Kahmenei wrote in a tweet.
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said “the depravity of terrorism has no place in a peaceful, civilized world.”
One of the terrorists blew himself up inside the parliament building, where a session had been in progress, according to a statement carried by Iran state TV. It quoted lawmaker Elias Hazrati as saying the attackers were armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles.
An Associated Press reporter saw several police snipers on the rooftops of buildings around parliament. Shops in the area were shuttered, and gunfire could be heard. Witnesses said the attackers were shooting from the fourth floor of the parliament building down at people in the streets below.
“I was passing by one of the streets. I thought that children were playing with fireworks, but I realized people are hiding and lying down on the streets,” Ebrahim Ghanimi, who was around the parliament building when the assailants stormed in, told The Associated Press. “With the help of a taxi driver, I reached a nearby alley.”
Police helicopters circled over the parliament building and all mobile phone lines from inside were disconnected. The semi-official ISNA news agency said all entrance and exit gates at parliament were closed and that lawmakers and reporters were ordered to remain in place inside the chamber.
State TV reported four attackers were involved in the parliament attack.
Iran’s official state broadcaster said a security guard was killed and four people wounded in the shrine attack. It said one of the attackers at the shrine was killed by security guards and that a woman was arrested. It described the shrine attackers as “terrorists” and said one carried out a suicide bombing, without providing further details.
In addition to being lethal, the attack on the shrine of Khomeini is symbolically stunning. As Iran’s first Supreme Leader, Khomeini is a towering figure in the country and was its revolutionary leader in the 1979 ouster of the shah.
Sourcer:The Associated Press

::Trump on ISIS attack in Iran: ‘States that sponsor terrorism risk falling victim to the evil they promote’
(U.S. President Trump speaks during an event announcing the Air Traffic Control Reform Initiative at the White House in WashingtonThomson Reuters)
President Donald Trump released a statement Wednesday on the terrorist group ISIS’ first attack in Iran, appearing to blame the country for “falling victim to the evil they promote.”
Suicide bombers and gunmen attacked the Iranian parliament and the Mausoleum of Ayatollah Khomeini in Tehran on Wednesday, killing at least 12 people in a twin assault that Iran’s Revolutionary Guards blamed on regional rival Saudi Arabia. ISIS claimed responsibility and released a video purporting to show gunmen inside the parliament building.
“We grieve and pray for the innocent victims of the terrorist attacks in Iran, and for the Iranian people, who are going through such challenging times,” Trump said in the statement. “We underscore that states that sponsor terrorism risk falling victim to the evil they promote.”
The US has designated Iran as a state sponsor of terrorism.
Iran provides arms and funding to some terrorist groups, including the Shia group Hezbollah. Iran has also been expanding its influence throughout the Middle East and has aligned itself with embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who has been accused of war crimes as he fights to maintain control over his country.
Trump has taken a hard line on Iran and often condemns the deal the Obama administration cut with the country to curb its nuclear program.
The ISIS attacks there took place at a particularly charged time after Saudi Arabia and other Sunni powers cut ties with Qatar on Monday, accusing it of backing Tehran and militant groups.
ISIS has regularly threatened Iran, one of the powers leading the fight against the militants’ forces in neighboring Iraq and, beyond that, Syria. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

::Maulana Tariq Jamil Visits at Pakistan High Commission Office Ottawa

Pakistan’s renowned religious scholar Maulana Tariq Jamil, who is currently visiting Canada, met with the High Commissioner Tariq Azim Khan here today at the High Commission. He exchanged views about the progress Pakistani community is making in Canadian society.
He also met with the officers and staff of the High Commission and emphasized on them to deliver their responsibilities honestly and serve the community
Maulana Tariq Jamil offered special prayers for the well-being of the Country.

 

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