Iran Releases Captured U.S. Sailors
Iran has released 10 U.S. sailors who were captured yesterday when their navigational equipment failed and they drifted near Farsi Island, the location of an Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps base. The U.S. Navy personnel were held for several hours and questioned about their intentions, but this morning they were allowed to board their ships and ...
Iran has released 10 U.S. sailors who were captured yesterday when their navigational equipment failed and they drifted near Farsi Island, the location of an Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps base. The U.S. Navy personnel were held for several hours and questioned about their intentions, but this morning they were allowed to board their ships and were escorted by Iranian navy vessels to international waters. “The evidence suggests that they unintentionally entered the Iranian waters because of the failure of their navigational system,” a spokesman for the IRGC told Iran’s PressTV.
Iranian officials walked back reports that the plutonium reactor at its Arak nuclear facility had been decommissioned. The country’s deputy nuclear chief said that destroying the reactor is on hold while talks with China about the Arak reactor are pending.
Turkey Releases Information about Suicide Bomber
Turkey has identified the suicide bomber in yesterday’s attack on a group of tourists in Istanbul as a 27-year-old Syrian man with ties to the Islamic State who had recently entered Turkey and was not on a list of terrorism suspects. Turkey has also arrested someone else involved in the attack, Interior Minister Efkan Ala said. Ten people were killed in the attack, at least eight of whom were German tourists, and 15 others were wounded.
- Two Iraqi journalists were pulled from their car by masked gunmen and killed in Abu Saida while returning to Baghdad after reporting on the bomb attack in Muqdadiyah; reports suggest that Shia militiamen may have been responsible.
- Assad regime forces, supported by militiamen and Russian airstrikes, have made gains against rebels in Latakia Province, seizing the towns of Salma and Marouniyat.
- The Israeli Air Force carried out an airstrike along the northern border of Gaza, reportedly killing one man and wounding three others who Israeli officials believe were planning to attack Israeli forces with a bomb.
- Samar Badawi, the sister of imprisoned Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, has reportedly been arrested for advocating on Twitter for the release of her ex-husband from prison.
- A group of Islamic State fighters who made it to Mosul after fleeing the fighting in Ramadi were burned to death in a public square for retreating from the fight, according to residents in Mosul.
Arguments and Analysis
“Judging the Iran Nuclear Deal, Six Months In” (Ilan Goldenberg, National Interest)
“An evaluation of the agreement must begin with how it is being implemented. On this front, the JCPOA has exceeded expectations, as the Iranians have moved more quickly than experts expected to dismantle the nuclear program. Still, the United States will have to continue to hold Iran accountable and watch for efforts by the Iranians to extract concessions and benefits that go far beyond the scope of the agreement. A secondary measure of the agreement’s success is its impact on the struggle inside Iran between hardliners and pragmatists. While next month’s Iranian parliamentary elections may be a useful early indicator, it will take years before we can assess the consequences on Iran’s political system. Early returns on the regional implications of the agreement have not fared as well, considering the increasing Saudi-Iranian tensions and Russia’s intervention in Syria. The United States should take a more assertive role by doing more to reassure our Arab partners and pushing back on bad Iranian behavior, while keeping the door open for cooperation with Iran on issues where we share common interests.”
“What Happened During Egypt’s Inaugural Parliamentary Session?” (Nancy Messieh and Elissa Miller, EgyptSource)
“‘The preamble of this constitution says that it reflects the principles of the January 25 revolution and the June 30 revolution, and I only believe in the second revolution,’ [MP Mortada] Mansour said, referring to the protests that that led to the ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi. He had indicated his intention to change the wording of the oath to Al Masry al Youm earlier on Sunday. Mansour’s recitation of the oath led to shouting among some MPs. Acting Parliamentary Speaker Bahaa Abu-Shoqa threatened to suspend the first session of parliament after Mansour refused to repeat the official text of the oath. Mansour eventually hurriedly repeated the oath in its correct form, adding, ‘It is the first oath that I took which comes from the heart.’ MP Tawfik Okasha also spoke out against the January 25 revolution. In his bid for candidacy for speaker of parliament, Okasha said, ‘It is a big honor for me to be one of those who urged people to revolt on June 30 and as a result the new parliament should represent the June 30 revolution only.’ Mansour, Okasha, and other MPs also attempted to silence MPs who praised the January 25 revolution. MP Mohamed al-Etmani was silenced by his peers when he attempted to defend January 25 during his announcement of his candidacy for speaker of parliament. However, in his address to parliament on Sunday, newly elected speaker Ali Abdel Aal promised to defend the principles of both the January 25 and June 30 revolutions.”
-J. Dana Stuster
ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images