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Monday, February 24, 2020

US-Iran tensions Highlights: Iran cooperating in plane crash probe, says Ukraine

US-Iran tensions Highlights: US President Donald Trump on Thursday had expressed his suspiscion that the deadly crash of a Ukrainian plane could have been a mistake, but offered no evidence.

By: Express Web Desk | Updated: January 11, 2020 5:36:02 am
The ‘Whimpering’ terrorist only Trump seems to have heard US President Donald Trump will address the media shortly on the US-Iran tensions. (Photo: REUTERS)

US-Iran tensions Highlights: Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko said Friday that Iran was cooperating with an investigation into the crash of a Ukrainian passenger plane, and that Kiev was not ruling out any version yet of what might have happened. Ukraine did not want to come to conclusions yet about what caused the crash, said Prystaiko.

However, the country’s state security chief, Ivan Bakanov, said he was prioritising two versions of what might have caused the crash – a missile or terrorism.

Earlier, Iran invited the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to be a part of its investigation into the crash of a Ukrainian jetliner which the US agency has acepted, an Iranian official said on Thursday. “The NTSB has replied to our chief investigator and has announced an accredited representative,” Farhad Parvaresh, Iran’s representative at the International Civil Aviation Organisation, part of the United Nations, told Reuters.

This comes hours after US President Donald Trump expressed his suspicion that the deadly crash of a Ukrainian plane could have been a mistake, but offered no evidence. He had added that he had a terrible feeling about the downed airliner. “Somebody could have made a mistake… I have my suspicions,” Trump said, adding,  “It was flying in a pretty rough neighbourhood and somebody could have made a mistake.”

After a video appeared showing an Iranian missile hitting a plane near Tehran’s airport, the area where a Ukrainian jetliner crashed on Wednesday, killing all 176 people on board, Canadian, British and Australian officals too echoed the same concern and said it is “highly likely” that Iran shot down the civilian plane. They said the missile strike could well have been a mistake amid rocket launches and high tension throughout the region.

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Iran-US tensions: Iran has invited the US National Transportation Safety Board to be a part of its investigation. US agency assigns an accredited representative. Follow live updates below. Read in Malayalam.

Highlights

    23:59 (IST)10 Jan 2020
    US imposes new sanctions on Iran

    Two days after United States President Donald Trump hinted that his administration might come up with fresh sanctions agaainst Iran, Associated Press reported Friday that US has imposed new wave of sanctions on the Islamic Republic owing to the recent missile attacks on American troops stationed in Iraq.

    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin were quoted as saying that the new sanctions will target eight senior Iranian officials involved in “destabilising” activities in the Middle East as well as Tuesday’s missile strike, which itself was a retaliation for the US killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike.

    10:14 (IST)10 Jan 2020
    Iranians shot down airliner, Western leaders declare

    It is "highly likely" that Iran shot down the civilian Ukrainian jetliner that crashed near Tehran late Tuesday, killing all 176 people on board, US, Canadian and British officials declared Thursday. They said the fiery missile strike could well have been a mistake amid rocket launches and high tension throughout the region. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison added it appeared to be a mistake. "All of the intelligence as presented to us today does not suggest an intentional act," he said. 

    09:17 (IST)10 Jan 2020
    Video shows Ukrainian plane being hit over Iran

    Video verified by The New York Times appears to show an Iranian missile hitting a plane near Tehran’s airport, the area where a Ukrainian jet crashed on Wednesday, killing all 176 people on board. As investigators work to determine an official cause of the accident, the video offered new clues about the crash, which came hours after a violent confrontation between Iran and the United States. American and allied officials on Thursday said they believed an Iranian missile had accidentally brought the plane down | Watch here

    09:13 (IST)10 Jan 2020
    Trump cites plot to ‘blow up’ US embassy as element in decision to kill Soleimani

    US President Donald Trump said on Thursday the United States killed Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani shortly after he landed in Iraq last week in part because “they were looking to blow up our embassy.” The remarks could shed more light on what so far has been largely vague descriptions of the intelligence that drove Trump’s administration to conclude that killing Soleimani and disrupting his plots would justify any fallout Washington may face. Read more...

    08:35 (IST)10 Jan 2020
    Trump boasts Iranian general's death was 'American justice'

    President Donald Trump used his first campaign rally for 2020  presidential elections to argue that he served up “American justice" by ordering a drone strike to eliminate Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, while jeering Democratic leaders for questioning his decision to carry out the attack without first consulting Congress. Trump's remarks on Thursday careened from mockery of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Representative Adam Schiff, who heads the House Intelligence Committee, to a suggestion that he should have won the Nobel Prize, a preview of the sharp-edged reelection campaign that he will wage.

    08:22 (IST)10 Jan 2020
    US to join probe of jet disaster, no missile link, says Iran official

    Iran has invited the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board to take part in its investigation into the crash of a Ukrainian jetliner and the U.S. agency has agreed to assign an investigator, an Iranian official said on Thursday. "The NTSB has replied to our chief investigator and has announced an accredited representative," Farhad Parvaresh, Iran's representative at the International Civil Aviation Organization, part of the United Nations, told Reuters.

    05:15 (IST)10 Jan 2020
    U.S. House passes measure to limit Trump's ability to wage war on Iran

    The U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution on Thursday to stop President Donald Trump from further military action against Iran, rebuking the president days after he ordered a drone strike that killed a top Iranian commander and raised fears of war.

    The Democratic-controlled House voted 224 to 194, mostly along party lines, sending the war powers resolution to the Senate. The partisan vote reflected the deep divide in Congress over Trump's Iran policy and how much of a say lawmakers should have over the use of the military. Democrats accused Trump of acting recklessly and backed the resolution, while Trump's fellow Republicans, who rarely vote against the president, opposed it. (Reuters)

    03:02 (IST)10 Jan 2020
    UK's Johnson says there is evidence Ukrainian plane was shot down by Iran missile

    British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Thursday there was a body of evidence that a Ukrainian airliner that crashed in Iran was downed by a surface to air missile that might well have been fired unintentionally. Echoing the conclusion of the United States and Canada, Johnson called for a full and transparent investigation into the crash which killed all 176 people on board including four Britons.

    "There is now a body of information that the flight was shot down by an Iranian Surface to Air Missile. This may well have been unintentional," Johnson said in a statement. "The UK continues to call on all sides urgently to deescalate to reduce tensions in the region." (Reuters)

    02:10 (IST)10 Jan 2020
    Iraq summons Iranian ambassador over missile attack on Iraqi lands

    Iraq's ministry of foreign affairs said in a statement on Thursday that it has summoned the Iranian ambassador to inform him of Iraq's objection to attacks on military bases on Iraqi territories and that Iraq considers this action as a violation of sovereignty. The statement called on all parties to exercise self restraint and affirmed Iraq's independence.

    00:36 (IST)10 Jan 2020
    Ukraine asks UN for 'unconditional support' in plane crash probe

    Ukraine asks UN for 'unconditional support' in Iran plane crash probe, minister says: AFP

    00:36 (IST)10 Jan 2020
    Ukraine asks UN for 'unconditional support' in plane crash probe

    Ukraine asks UN for 'unconditional support' in Iran plane crash probe, minister says: AFP

    23:19 (IST)09 Jan 2020
    US officials: 'Highly likely' Iran downed Ukrainian jetliner killing 176 onboard

    Two US officials said Thursday it is “highly likely” that an Iranian anti-aircraft missile brought down a Ukrainian passenger plane, killing all 176 onboard.

    21:07 (IST)09 Jan 2020
    Mike Pence says Trump to ask European allies to scrap Iran deal

    Following the US drone strike that killed a top Iranian general, President Donald Trump will ask allies to scrap the Iran nuclear deal, Vice President Mike Pence said Thursday. The agreement has been unravelling since Trump pulled the United States from it.

    “The president is going to call on our allies, in the days ahead, to join the United States to withdraw from the disastrous Iran nuclear deal and demand that Iran abandon its long history of sowing terrorist violence, abandon its nuclear ambitions and join the family of nations,” Pence said in an interview on ''Fox & Friends.'' (AP)

    17:30 (IST)09 Jan 2020
    Pope appeals to US and Iran to pursue dialogue, self-restraint

    Pope Francis on Thursday urged the United States and Iran to avoid escalation and pursue “dialogue and self-restraint” to avert wider conflict in the Middle East.

    The pope made his appeal, his first direct comment on the current crisis, in a yearly speech that has come to be known as his “State of the World” address to ambassadors accredited to the Vatican. Click here to read more.

    Pope Francis US Iran tension, US Iran news, Iran US news, Vatican on US Iran tensions, Donald Trump Iran, world news indian express
    (Reuters)
    17:11 (IST)09 Jan 2020
    EU's Michel urges Iran's Rouhani to comply with nuclear deal

    European Council President Charles Michel said on Thursday he had spoken to Iran's President Hassan Rouhani and urged Tehran to comply with the 2015 arms control agreement that prevents it from developing nuclear weapons.

    "Just spoke with @HassanRouhani about recent developments. JCPOA remains crucial for global security. I called Iran not to pose irreversible acts," Michel, who coordinates EU government positions in Brussels, said in a tweet.

    Iran had earlier said that it was stepping back from its commitments under the deal, known as the JCPOA.

    15:57 (IST)09 Jan 2020
    Iran missiles 'intended' to kill: US general

    General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, says he believes Iran's missile strikes on two Iraqi bases were intended to kill Americans.

    Milley and Defence Secretary Mark Esper told reporters that 11 ballistic missiles that landed at al-Asad airbase in western Iraq inflicted moderate damage, such as destroying or damaging tents and a helicopter, but no Americans were killed or injured.

    “I believe based on what I saw and what I know is that they were intended to cause structural damage, destroy vehicles and equipment and aircraft and to kill personnel,” he said.

    15:21 (IST)09 Jan 2020
    Iran's Guards warn of 'harsher revenge'

    A Revolutionary Guards commander said Iran would take "harsher revenge soon" after Tehran launched missile attacks on U.S. targets in Iraq in retaliation for last week's US killing of an Iranian general, news agency Reuters reported.

    The agency was quoting senior commander Abdollah Araghi, speaking after US President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that Iran appeared to be "standing down" after the missile strikes that did not harm any US troops in Iraq.

    12:30 (IST)09 Jan 2020
    UN chief warns world cannot afford another war amid US-Iran tensions

    In the wake of an Iranian ballistic missile attack on air bases which house US forces in Iraq, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said he would continue his active engagement to de-escalate tensions and avert full-scale war, which the "world cannot afford." In a statement released by his spokesperson Stephane Dujarric on Wednesday, Guterres re-iterated the "passionate appeal for peace" he made on Monday, after tensions rose dramatically across the whole Gulf region, following the killing of top Iranian general, Qasem Soleimani, in a US drone strike.

    11:56 (IST)09 Jan 2020
    Donald Trump backs away from further military conflict with Iran

    President Trump backed away from further military action against Iran and called for renewed diplomacy on Wednesday as the bristling confrontation of the past six days eased in the aftermath of an Iranian missile strike that seemed intended to save face rather than inflict casualties. “Iran appears to be standing down, which is a good thing for all parties concerned and a very good thing for the world,” Mr. Trump said in a televised statement from the Grand Foyer of the White House, flanked by his vice president, cabinet secretaries and senior military officers in their uniforms. “The United States,” he added, “is ready to embrace peace with all who seek it.”

    11:51 (IST)09 Jan 2020
    Germany partially withdraws troops from Iraq

    Germany has reduced the number of its troops stationed in Iraq due to growing regional security concerns, the Bundeswehr confirmed via a press release on Monday. Overnight, 35 German soldiers were brought to either Kuwait or Jordan, the military said. “These forces can be brought back at any time if training in Iraq is to resume.” Read More

    The transfer mainly applied to soldiers stationed in Iraq’s capital, Baghdad, and Taji to the north. (Image source: picture-alliance/dpa/M. Kappeler)
    11:12 (IST)09 Jan 2020
    Little clarity and many theories after Ukrainian plane crash near Tehran

    The mood in Tehran was tense Wednesday morning when Ukraine International Flight 752 took off, bound for Kyiv. Just hours earlier, Iran had fired missiles at two bases in Iraq that house U.S. troops, and Iranian forces were on alert for an American counterstrike. Nothing was unusual about the plane’s takeoff and ascent, according to preliminary satellite data. But minutes into the flight, the Boeing 737 was engulfed in flames as it plunged to the ground, killing at least 176 people on board. Read More

    11:01 (IST)09 Jan 2020
    Democrats, and some in GOP, seek more info on Iran decision

    The Trump administration made its case on Capitol Hill for killing a powerful Iranian general, but Democrats _ and a handful of Republicans _ said Wednesday's classified briefings were short on details and left them wondering about the president's next steps in the volatile Mideast. Democrats said that by not disclosing many details of the threat that prompted the U.S. to kill Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, President Donald Trump is asking the American public to trust the very intelligence reports he has often disparaged.

    10:55 (IST)09 Jan 2020
    At UN, US justifies killing Iranian commander as self-defense

    The United States told the United Nations on Wednesday that the killing of Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani last week was self-defense and vowed to take additional action "as necessary" in the Middle East to protect U.S. personnel and interests. Iran retaliated on Wednesday for Soleimani's death by firing missiles at military facilities housing U.S. troops in Iraq. U.S. President Donald Trump said no Americans were hurt, soothing fears that Soleimani's death and the Iranian response could spark a wider conflict in the Middle East.

    10:48 (IST)09 Jan 2020
    Rupee strengthens 22 paise as US, Iran seek to defuse crisis

    The Indian rupee advanced 22 paise to 71.48 per US dollar in opening trade on Thursday as global markets stabilised after the US and Iran toned down their war rhetoric. At the interbank foreign exchange market, the rupee opened strong at 71.44 against the greenback. The domestic unit had settled at 71.70 per dollar on Wednesday.

    10:46 (IST)09 Jan 2020
    SE Asia Stocks-Markets rally as Middle East conflict worries ease

    Southeast Asian markets rose on Thursday, recovering from sharp declines in the previous session, after remarks from the United States and Iran soothed concerns of a larger Middle East conflict. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday the United States did not have to respond militarily to Iran's attack, while Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the strikes "concluded" Tehran's retaliation.

    10:44 (IST)09 Jan 2020
    Indian shares surge as easing Middle East tensions steady crude prices

    Indian shares rose on Thursday, as crude prices steadied after US-Iran tensions appeared to ebb, bringing relief to the world's No. 3 oil consumer. Global markets have closely tracked any escalations in the conflict over the U.S. killing of an Iranian general last week, due to fears of disruption to oil supplies, which sent crude prices soaring this week, and the rupee and Indian equities lower.

    10:42 (IST)09 Jan 2020
    China, Hong Kong stocks rebound as Middle East tensions subside

    China and Hong Kong stocks tracked broader Asian markets in a relief rally on Thursday as the United States and Iran backed away from the brink of further conflict in the Middle East. Investors also drew optimism from data showing China's December factory-gate price deflation eased, adding to signs of modest improvement in manufacturing activity and factory profitability.

    10:27 (IST)09 Jan 2020
    Rupee strengthens 22 paise as US, Iran seek to defuse crisis

    In other news,  the Indian rupee advanced 22 paise to 71.48 per US dollar in opening trade on Thursday as global markets stabilised after the US and Iran toned down their war rhetoric. At the interbank foreign exchange market, the rupee opened strong at 71.44 against the greenback.

    10:01 (IST)09 Jan 2020
    As US and Iran take a step back Brent crude price softens to $65.85 per barrel

    As US and Iran take a step back Brent crude price softens to $65.85 per barrel after hitting $70 yesterday. Sensex climbs 450 points to trade at 41,270 and Rupee gains 22 paise to trade at 71.46 to a US dollar.

    09:40 (IST)09 Jan 2020
    Its Missiles did little damage, but Iran has more potent weapons

    US military and intelligence officials were stunned at the precision, scale and sheer boldness of what they later concluded was an Iranian attack. The Iranian attack on U.S. military posts in Iraq early Wednesday, local time — the only direct attack on the United States or its allies claimed by Iran since the seizure of the U.S. Embassy in 1979 — relied on ballistic missiles and inflicted little damage.

    08:49 (IST)09 Jan 2020
    After missile launch Iran says it respects Iraqi sovereignty

    Iran said Wednesday it respects Iraq's territorial integrity, after firing missiles at Iraqi bases housing US troops. The early Wednesday strike led Iraq to say it would summon the Iranian ambassador.

    08:47 (IST)09 Jan 2020
    No Americans were hurt in the overnight attacks: Trump

    Trump said no Americans were hurt in the overnight attacks. The Pentagon said Iran had launched 16 short-range ballistic missiles, at least 11 of which hit Iraq's al-Asad air base and one that hit a facility in Erbil but caused no major damage. "The fact that we have this great military and equipment, however, does not mean we have to use it. We do not want to use it. American strength, both military and economic, is the best deterrent," Trump said.

    08:27 (IST)09 Jan 2020
    US, Iran appear to signal desire to avoid further conflict

    President Donald Trump on Wednesday tempered days of angry rhetoric and suggested Iran was "standing down" after it fired missiles at US forces in Iraq overnight, as both sides looked to defuse a crisis over the US killing of an Iranian general Trump said the United States did not necessarily have to hit back at Iran's attack on military bases housing US troops in Iraq, itself an act of retaliation for the January 3 US strike that killed Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani.

    07:34 (IST)09 Jan 2020
    After Tehran missile strikes, US & Iran take a step back, Trump says all safe

    US President Donald Trump said on Wednesday Iranian missile strikes on bases in Iraq had not harmed any US troops stationed there and damage was minimal, an outcome, he said, showed Tehran wanted to prevent an escalation into conflict. Iranian forces fired missiles at military bases housing US troops in Iraq early on Wednesday, saying it was in retaliation for the killing in a US drone strike of powerful Iranian commander General Qassem Soleimani on January 3. “All of our soldiers are safe and only minimal damage was sustained at our military bases,” Trump said. Read More

    Celebrations in Tehran after Iran launched missile strikes on Wednesday. (Reuters)
    07:32 (IST)09 Jan 2020
    House to vote today on curbing Trump actions against Iran

    Speaker Nancy Pelosi set a House vote for Thursday on limiting President Donald Trump's ability to take military action against Iran as Democratic criticism of the U.S. killing of a top Iranian general intensified.

    Pelosi, D-Calif., announced the plan in a one-page statement that said last week's drone strike that killed Gen. Qassem Soleimani was “provocative and disproportionate." The Democratic measure seems certain to pass over solid Republican opposition. A similar proposal by Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., faces an uphill fight in the GOP-run Senate.

    05:28 (IST)09 Jan 2020
    Iran sending messages to militias not to attack US targets -Pence

    U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said on Wednesday the United States has received intelligence that Iran has asked its allied militias not to attack U.S. targets.

    "We're receiving some encouraging intelligence that Iran is sending messages to those very same militias not to move against American targets or civilians, and we hope that that message continues to echo," Pence told CBS News in an interview.

    03:08 (IST)09 Jan 2020
    Pelosi: House to vote to prevent Trump from Iran war

    Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi says House to vote Thursday to prevent President Donald Trump from Iran war

    03:07 (IST)09 Jan 2020
    Two rockets hit Iraqi capital’s Green Zone

    Two loud blasts followed by sirens were heard on Wednesday night in the Iraqi capital, Reuters witnesses said. The cause was not immediately clear.

    The attack comes hours after Iran launched at least a dozen ballistic missiles on US bases in Iraq. US President Donald Trump, in a national address Wednesday, stated that ‘no Americans were hurt’ in last night’s attack’.

    23:33 (IST)08 Jan 2020
    Will welcome any Indian peace initiative for de-escalating tensions with US: Iran

    Iran will welcome any peace initiative by India to de-escalate tensions with the US following the killing of Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani, the Iranian envoy here said on Wednesday while asserting that his country wants peace not war.

    Iran's Ambassador to India Ali Chegeni also expressed the hope there would be no further escalation in hostilities between his country and the US.
    The ambassador's comments came hours after Iran launched over a dozen ballistic missiles targeting at least two bases where US military and coalition forces' are stationed in Iraq. Tehran said it was a "slap in the face" of America.

    "India usually plays a very good role in (maintaining) peace in the world. India belongs to this region. We welcome all initiatives from all countries, especially India as a good friend for us, to not allow escalation (of tensions)," Chegeni told reporters after a condolence meeting for Soleimani at the Iranian Embassy here.

    22:39 (IST)08 Jan 2020
    Will impose sanctions on Iran: US President Trump

    Donald Trump: "US will impose powerful economic sanctions on Iran. For too long nations have tolerated Iran's behavior, those days are over."

    "Europe, China, Russia and other countries must break away from Iran nuclear deal."

    US-Iran tensions LIVE UPDATES: Iran attacks two US bases in Iraq; Trump says 'all is well' A banner bearing the likeness of Maj. Gen. Qassem Suleimani is carried during a funeral procession in Tehran on Monday, Jan. 6, 2019. Suleimani was killed by the United States on Friday in Baghdad in a drone strike. (Arash Khamooshi/The New York Times)

    Iran attacks US air bases in Iraq LIVE UPDATES:

    A day after Iranian forces fired missiles at military bases housing US troops in Iraq in retaliation to the killing of powerful Iranian commander General Qassem Soleimani on January 3, Tehran and Washington Wednesday took a step back. Trump said he would back away from any military escalation against Tehran. He also claimed the missile strikes had not harmed any US personnel stationed in Iraq, and that the damage was minimal.

    Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, on the other hand, said Iran’s attacks were a “slap on the face” of the US and said US troops should leave the region.

    Despite signs of de-escalation, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the House would vote Thursday to force President Donald Trump to quickly wind down military action against Iran unless he is given explicit authorisation from Congress, opening what promised to be a searing debate over presidential war powers.

    Iran's attack on the US comes hours after the Soleimani’s remains were returned to his hometown for burial. White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said US officials were aware of the attack on US facilities in Iraq, and that President Donald Trump was "monitoring the situation closely."

    Donald Trump tweeted: "All is well! Missiles launched from Iran at two military bases located in Iraq. Assessment of casualties & damages taking place now. So far, so good! We have the most powerful and well-equipped military anywhere in the world, by far! I will be making a statement tomorrow morning."

    The US had justified the killing of Solemani, claiming he was planning attacks on America and its allies within days.

    Meanwhile, amid rising tensions between US and Iran, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Trump to discuss the situation, sources told The Indian Express. In a statement, the White House had said the leaders reviewed “regional security matters”. According to the Ministry of External Affairs, Modi told Trump that “India-US relations, which are built on trust, mutual respect and understanding, have grown from strength to strength”.

    Watch | Iran launches missile strikes against the US in Iraq

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