Iran’s vice president and two ministers stricken by coronavirus

Iran’s senior vice president and two other cabinet members have the new coronavirus, the semiofficial Fars news agency reported. The news report on Wednesday comes amid days of speculation about the health of Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri, who has not been seen in images of recent top-level meetings. More: Turkey’s 1st virus case traced to man…

Iran’s Khamenei says US Middle East plan ‘will die before Trump’

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has said Donald Trump’s controversial plan for Israel-Palestine would die before the US president does. “This plan will certainly not work and it will die before Trump,” Khamenei said in his speech that aired on state television. “The Americans negotiated with the Zionists on something that doesn’t belong to them.” Trump…

Iran’s new Quds Force leader vows ‘manly’ revenge for Soleimani

The newly appointed commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force said the United States killed his predecessor, Qassem Soleimani, “in a cowardly way” and promised to “hit his enemy in a manly fashion”. Esmail Qaani made the remarks on Monday at an introduction ceremony held for him by top Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) commanders to mark the formal beginning…

Iran’s Khamenei defends Revolutionary Guard in Friday sermon

In his first Friday sermon delivery since 2012, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has defended the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) amid a growing backlash after it mistakenly shot down a Ukrainian passenger plane, killing all 176 people on board. Khamenei’s address comes as Iran and its rulers face intense pressure at home and abroad after…

Iran’s plane shoot-down protest: Crisis of competency, legitimacy

Student protests erupted in Tehran on Saturday, shortly after General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) aerospace division, publicly acknowledged that Iranian air defence forces “unintentionally” shot down the Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752. The Boeing 737-800 passenger plane, bound for Kyiv, crashed minutes after take-off from the Imam Khomeini International…

Iran’s only female Olympic medallist defects

Image copyright EPA Image caption Kimia Alizadeh won a landmark bronze medal in taekwondo in the 2016 Rio Olympics Iran’s only female Olympic medallist, Kimia Alizadeh, says she has defected.Alizadeh, 21, posted on social media that she had left Iran because she didn’t want to be part of “hypocrisy, lies, injustice and flattery”. She described…

US denies Iran’s Zarif a visa to attend UN – US official

The United States has denied a visa to Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif that would have allowed him to attend a UN Security Council meeting in New York on Thursday, a US official said. Monday’s comments by the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, came as tensions escalate between the two countries after…