Iranian Students Demand Resignation Of Varsity Officials After Campus Crash

Iran on the map. Credit: Google Map


Hundreds of Iranian students held protests for a second day on Sunday, calling for university officials to resign over a bus crash that killed 10, state news agency IRNA said.

The demonstrating students reportedly carried photos of victims of Tuesday’s crash at a square leading to the university, in a rare display of dissent at Tehran’s Islamic Azad University.

They demanded the university’s chairman of the board of trustees Ali-Akbar Velayati resign, the sports and youth ministry’s news agency Borna reported.

The bus was carrying 30 students along a mountainous road within the university’s science and research campus in northwestern Tehran when it veered off the road and hit a concrete column.

Seven were killed instantly, state TV said, while an updated death toll of 10 was reported by the conservative Tasnim news agency the day after the crash.

The university initially blamed Tuesday’s crash on the driver having a stroke, which was later denied by the coroner’s office.

On social media, the public and students have pointed to the university’s aging bus fleet and poor maintenance.

Several mid-tier managers were fired in the wake of the accident and some arrested, the university told semi-official news agency ISNA on Wednesday.

Students have called for the university’s bus fleet to be replaced.

They want an emergency centre to be set up on-campus and for guard rails to be erected along the entire mountainous road where the accident happened.

Iran’s prosecutor general Mohammad-Jafar Montazeri visited the protesting students and called for calm.

He promised them he would follow up on the case personally and punish wrongdoers “if they were found guilty.”

Iran is the world’s seventh deadliest country per capita for road accidents, according to 2013 data — the latest available — published by the World Health Organisation.

Efforts to modernise Iran’s ageing and highly polluting vehicle fleet have been hampered by a lack of investment.

Foreign companies Peugeot and Renault were forced to withdraw this year due to the return of US sanctions.


Five Iranian Migrants Found Drifting Off French Coast

A general view shows migrants’ tents at a makeshift camp along the Canal Saint-Martin in Paris on May 25, 2018. / AFP


Five Iranian migrants attempting to reach Britain aboard a makeshift boat were rescued Saturday morning off the northern coast of France, officials said.

They were found around at 8:00 am (0600 GMT) in a state of hypothermia and were treated by emergency services when brought back to land in Boulogne-sur-Mer, according to the maritime authorities.

“These crossings are extremely risky and dangerous, despite the apparent proximity of the English coast from the French coast,” the prefecture of the Channel and the North Sea said in a statement.

The five Iranians set off in a non-powered inflatable boat and lost their oars in calm seas but with poor visibility due to the haze.

They were found after five hours of searching by a Navy aircraft 8.5 nautical miles (16 km) north of Cape Gris-Nez, halfway to England, and then rescued by the National Society of Sea Rescue (SNSM).

On May 19, a Colombian national was found suffering from hypothermia by sea rescuers in the same area while trying to reach England illegally.

Iranian President Rouhani Takes Oath Of Office

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani took the oath of office before parliament in Tehran on Saturday (August 5) in the presence of dignitaries including European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini.

Rouhani, who was decisively re-elected in May after promising to open Iran to the world and create more jobs, has accused the United States of trying to undermine Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers and urged European countries not to side with Washington.

In a meeting with Mogherini earlier on Saturday in Tehran, Rouhani said the presence of senior European dignitaries at his swearing-in ceremony showed that Europe was determined to expand ties with Tehran despite U.S. pressures.

Rouhani has intensified efforts to protect the nuclear deal – the biggest achievement of his first term – against Washington’s return to an aggressive Iran policy since U.S. President Donald Trump took office.

Turkey Blames Islamic State For Bombing

 Islamic StateTurkey’s interior ministry has placed responsibility for Saturday’s bombing in Istanbul, squarely on the shoulders of the Islamic State.

Three Israelis and one Iranian were killed while 36 people were injured when a suicide bomber, detonated his device in the city’s main shopping street.

The Turkish government has identified the attacker as Mehmet Ozturk, born in Gaziantep, in 1992.

Ever since Turkey joined the coalition against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, it has come under attack by terrorists.

Iraqi Troops Expected To Drive ISIS From Ramadi In Days- State TV

iraqi -soldiers-mass gravesIraq’s Army Chief says he needs only days to drive Islamic State from the city of Ramadi, whose fall in May exposed the weakness of the Baghdad government and dampened hopes of restoring control in the north and west.

Iraqi troops began advancing on Tuesday in an offensive complicated by rivalries and suspicions harbored by local Sunni tribes and by Shia militia backed by Iran. U.S. officials, concerned also by militant operations over the border in Syria, have expressed frustration at delays in seizing back the city.

“In the coming days will be announced the good news of the complete liberation of Ramadi,” Iraqia TV cited Army Chief of Staff, Lt. General Othman al-Ghanemi, as saying.

Government troops are now concentrating on the last district held by the militants in the centre of Ramadi, a Sunni Muslim city on the River Euphrates some 100 km (60 miles) west of Baghdad and capital of Anbar province.

If it is captured, it will be the second major city after Tikrit to be retaken from Islamic State in Iraq.

It would provide a major psychological boost to Iraqi security forces after the militant group seized a third of Iraq, a major OPEC oil producer and U.S ally, in a sweeping advance last year.

Progress has been slow because the government wants to rely entirely on its own troops and not use Shi’ite militias in order to avoid rights abuses such as occurred after the recapture of Tikrit from the militants in April.

Iraqi officials say Shi’ite militias are reluctant to yield power amassed with Iranian backing, making it hard to forge a unified strategy. Operations are also complicated by competition for influence in Baghdad between Washington and Tehran.

Iran: Rouhani To Abide By Nuclear Deal

iranIran President, Hassan Rouhani, has vowed to abide by the terms of the preliminary nuclear agreement it signed with six world powers, if they do same.

Hassan Rouhani said, “The world must know that we do not intend to cheat.”

The Iranian leader warned that Iran would have other options, if world powers “one day decide to follow a different path”.

The framework deal signed on Thursday was to see Iran curb nuclear activities in return for relief from sanctions.

Earlier, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, warned that the deal posed a grave danger to the region, his own country in particular.

Mr Netanyahu said that any compressive accord due before June 30 had to include a “clear and unambiguous Iranian recognition of Israel’s right to exist”.

“Israel will not accept an agreement which allows a country that vows to annihilate us to develop nuclear weapons,” Mr Netanyahu asserted.

French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius, said, “We are not completely at the end of the road and the end of the road should be in June, adding that nothing is signed until everything is signed, but things are going in the right direction.”

US President, Barack Obama, also said that the framework agreement would make the world a safer place, as it would “cut off every pathway that Iran could take to develop a nuclear weapon”.