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Iran Looks to Boost Asia Ties as N.Korea FM Visits

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Tuesday he wants to boost diplomatic relations with Asian countries, as North Korea's foreign minister visited Tehran, the government's official website said.

"Iran puts great importance on strengthening its ties with countries in Asia, and Iran and North Korea can use their capabilities to boost their relations," Rouhani said.

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Iran Congratulates Iraq's PM Pick, Snubs Maliki

Iran officially ended its long-time allegiance to Iraq's sidelined Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki on Tuesday, swinging its support behind newly designated premier Haidar al-Abadi in a congratulatory message.

The statement confirmed that Maliki had lost the crucial backing of fellow Shiite leaders and politicians in Tehran, making it much harder to credibly fight on and remain head of government in Baghdad.

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Iran Airliner Crashes, at Least 38 Dead

An Iranian passenger plane crashed Sunday moments after takeoff from Tehran, killing at least 38 on board and narrowly avoiding many more deaths when it plummeted near a busy market.

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Bassil Urges International Support for Army, Says Region Fell in Hands of ISIL and Israel

Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil called on Monday on the international community to support Lebanon and offer aid to the Lebanese army to confront terrorism, considering the region to be stuck between Islamist groups and Israel.

“Terrorism is moving from an area to another but it will surely be buried on Lebanese territories,” Bassil said during a meeting for the Palestine Committee of the Non-Aligned Movement held in Tehran.

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Iran's Supreme Leader Accuses Israel of Gaza 'Genocide'

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei Tuesday accused Israel of committing "genocide" in Gaza and called on the Islamic world to arm Palestinians fighting "the Zionist regime".

In a speech marking the Muslim festival of Eid al-Fitr, Khamenei said Israel was acting like a "rabid dog" and "a wild wolf" in acts that are causing a human catastrophe and which must be resisted.

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Iran, Germany to Hold Nuclear Talks in Tehran Sunday

German officials will visit Tehran on Sunday for talks on Iran's nuclear drive, top Iranian negotiator and deputy foreign minister Abbas Araqchi said on Tuesday.

The meeting will follow similar discussions with American, Russian and French negotiators this week ahead of the resumption of political talks between Iran and the main P5+1 group of world powers on Monday in Vienna.

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Report: Paris Asks for Copy of Nasrallah Speech on 'Power Triangle'

The French embassy in Beirut has reportedly asked for a copy of a speech made last week by Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, who accused Paris of suggesting a “power triangle” in Lebanon.

An Nahar newspaper said Monday that the mission contacted Hizbullah official Ammar al-Moussawi to ask for the copy of the official document after Nasrallah mentioned the division of power among Sunnis, Shiites and Christians.

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Exiled Opposition Says Iran Execution a Reprisal for Prison Unrest

Iran on Sunday executed a political prisoner because authorities thought he was behind recent unrest in a Tehran prison, an exiled opposition group said.

Gholamreza Khosravi Savadjani was convicted of "waging war against God" (moharebeh) by helping the People's Mujahedeen Organization of Iran (PMOI) and then hanged, state media reported.

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Iran Executes Man Despite International Pressure

Iran on Sunday hanged a man said to be affiliated to an exiled opposition group, state media reported, despite international pressure on the Islamic republic to halt the execution.

According to the official IRNA news agency, Gholamreza Khosravi Savadjani was convicted of "waging war against God" (moharebeh) by helping the People's Mujahedeen Organisation of Iran (PMOI).

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Official: Israel Unsuccessful in Preventing Hizbullah Rockets Buildup

An Israeli defense official said the Jewish state has not been able to stop the build up of Hizbullah's rocket arsenal.

Head of political-military affairs at Defense Ministry, Maj.-Gen Amos Gilad, told a security conference in Tel Aviv that Iran has overseen the construction of Hizbullah's arsenal of 100,000 rockets.

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