Middle East News

by: Faith, Haley, Sage

Iran

Happening today in the news, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehman-Parast made a brief remark saying "These baseless and unfounded remarks are aimed at leveling accusations at our country are creating a rift among regional countries." Ahmad Shosani also commented on how "the U.S. tries to make Iraniphobia among regional countries by accusations at Iran." He also added that "Washington has, over the past year made the allegation of Iran's interference in Yemen by provoking Yemeni officials."

Also happening today in Iran space officials have announced that they will attempt to launch a live monkey into space. "Testing phase of these living capsules has ended and monkeys to be sent to space are now in quarantine," head of the Iranian Space Agency, Hamid Fazeli quoted on January 15th. Apparently in 2011 Iran failed to launch a live monkey to space. If Iran somehow has a successful mission sometime around now it would advance the goal of sending a human to space around 2020 and sending an astronaut to the moon around 2025. The first monkey ever sent to space was a rhesus monkey named Albert 1, in June 1948 but it died while in space.

Finally in Iran after being freed by Syrian rebels, almost 50 Iranians headed home on Thursday,but only to be caught by bad weather that hit the Middle East. In exchange for more than 2,000 prisoners, 48 Iranian captives were freed on Wednesday. The plane that was supposed to take them home was put off because of strong winds from a very bad winter storm that had happened only a few days ago. In the past weeks along Syria's border, Turkey and towns around Damascus rebels have captured those areas. For weeks rebels have been fighting army troops for control of Taftanaz base.

Afghanistan

Currently in Afghanistan, Afghan elders are going to decide if any U.S soldiers after the year 2014 will get protection or prosecuted. A Loya Jirga is a group of elders and representatives, and the Afghan president Hamid Karzai quoted, "The issue of granting immunity to American soldiers is not a decision that could be made by Afghan government. This is a decision that the Afghan people in the Loya Jirga should make." Barack Obama told Hamid Karzai that only some U.S troops will stay, but it will only be granted to the troops by Afghanistan court.

Also happening in Afghanistan, suicide bomber attacked a building where Afghanistan's spy agency was located. During the attack, there was at least one guard killed, and thirty three injured by standers. Mohammad Hadi, a stationary store owner near the spy agency said that the bomb attack was the second time the national security director was targeted in two months.

Lastly, in Afghanistan Taj Mohammad had no time to grief for his son. Mohammad's son Janan passed away from lack of clothing in cold weather. Mohammad's son had passed like the 100 some kids that died the previous winter. The high death rate would decrease if the kids had more clothes in the winter, and had more food to eat, so they wont starve.

Iraq

Happening today, the U.S. army sends three Bell 407 Scout helicopter to Iraq. This is the sixth completed delivery for these kinds of helicopters since it began in 2010. The delivery included spare parts, ground support equipment and tools, and logistical aircraft maintenance.

Next, today, there has been a wave of attacks in northern Iraq and bagdad that killed 29 people on Wednesday. Hundreds attacked the funeral of a Sunni MP who died in a suicide a day earlier. No on immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

Now in Iraq, high winds are preventing loaded ships from leaving the port in the Gulf. Lower oil shipments also pushed down total exports." Exports from the south have risen steadily, bring Iraq to its highest export level in decades." says Reuters.