American Journalist Charged in Iran, Another Forced from Iraq
Jason Rezaian, an American reporter for the Washington Post who has been imprisoned in Iran for the past eight months, will face trial for “espionage and acting against national security,” according to the Iranian press. Rezaian was arrested on July 22, 2014, in Tehran and has been held without charge since. The Iranian media report ...
Jason Rezaian, an American reporter for the Washington Post who has been imprisoned in Iran for the past eight months, will face trial for “espionage and acting against national security,” according to the Iranian press. Rezaian was arrested on July 22, 2014, in Tehran and has been held without charge since. The Iranian media report alleges that Rezaian was selling “economic and industrial information” about Iran, which it describes as “exactly like selling food to the enemy at a time of war.” The report also links Rezaian to Omid Memarian, an Iranian opposition journalist working in the United States. Rezaian is expected to be tried in Iran’s revolutionary courts which focus on security offenses.
Separately, Reuters’ Baghdad bureau chief, Ned Parker, left Iraq this week after credible threats were made against his life. The threats followed a Reuters investigation into human rights abuses in the battle to retake Tikrit from the Islamic State and its aftermath. Parker was threatened on Facebook by people believed to be affiliated with Shia militias operating in Iraq and a television program funded by one of the militias “accused the reporter and Reuters of denigrating Iraq and its government-backed forces, and called on viewers to demand Parker be expelled.” The State Department has reportedly raised the issue of press intimidation with the Iraqi government, but a spokesperson for Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said that the safety of the press “has improved significantly since this prime minister took over” and encouraged members of the press to reach out to police if they are threatened.
U.N. Calls for Diplomacy in Yemen, Search for Definitive Iranian Role Continues
Yemeni President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who fled the country last month, wrote in the New York Times today to ask for for “continued international support to ensure military might on the battlefield” and “assistance for our civil institutions once the fighting has stopped, to return my government to leadership.” Yesterday, he appointed his former prime minister, Khaled Bahah, as vice president, a position that has not been filled since 2012. Yemenis fighting in Aden claimed that they had captured two Iranian advisors working with Houthi forces, but the Iranian government promptly denied that it has any troops operating in Yemen. The United States has further expanded its role in the Saudi-led coalition to include vetting targets for airstrikes and boarding vessels in the Gulf of Aden suspected of carrying Iranian shipments of arms to the Houthis. An Emirati official lashed out at Pakistan and Turkey on Twitter on Friday, writing “This moment of truth distinguishes true allies from media and rhetorical allies.” Pakistani officials defended their parliamentary vote to abstain from the Saudi intervention and said the criticisms of its decision are “offensive to the self-respect of Pakistan and its people.” Speaking in Qatar yesterday, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for immediate negotiations to end the conflict, stating “We urgently need a deescalation and return to peaceful negotiation. I firmly believe that … negotiations remain the best chance to prevent a long, drawn out conflict.”
- Militants affiliated with the Islamic State claimed responsibility for detonating a bomb in front of the Moroccan embassy in Tripoli, Libya, though no one was injured; two security guards were shot in a separate attack at the South Korean embassy on Sunday.
- The Sinai affiliate of the Islamic State attacked several targets on Sunday, including a fuel tanker, an armored vehicle, and a police station, killing at least 12 people.
- The Turkish government recalled its representative to the Vatican after Pope Francis used the word “genocide” during a mass in Rome to describe the systematic murder of Armenians 100 years ago.
- The United States will triple its $60 million contribution of military aid to Tunisia this year.
- The murder trial of 45 people connected to the Soma Komur group, which operated a mine where 301 people were killed last year, began today at a special venue in Akhisar, Turkey.
-J. Dana Stuster
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