Middle East
Latest stories
Yemen Regime, Opposition to Ink GCC-Brokered Accord Sunday

A Gulf-sponsored accord to end a bloody political dispute between President Ali Abdullah Saleh and Yemen's opposition will be signed on Sunday, opposition and ruling party officials said.

"The signing will take place on Sunday in Sanaa," Sultan al-Barakani, the assistant secretary general of the ruling General People's Congress, said of an accord sponsored by the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

W140 Full Story
Ahmadinejad Accuses West of 'causing drought' in Iran

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Thursday accused Western countries of devising plans to "cause drought" in the Islamic republic, as he inaugurated a dam in a central province.

"Western countries have designed plans to cause drought in certain areas of the world, including Iran," the official IRNA news agency quoted Ahmadinejad as saying in the central city of Arak in Markazi province.

W140 Full Story
Syria Slams U.S. Sanctions on Assad amid Calls for Friday Protests

Syria denounced Thursday U.S. sanctions imposed on President Bashar al-Assad and top aides, saying they were part of long-time efforts by Washington to impose its will in the region to Israel's benefit.

The Syrian Revolution 2011, a Facebook group spurring anti-regime protests, meanwhile called for fresh demonstrations on Friday for "liberty and national unity."

W140 Full Story
Bahrain Jails 9 for 20 Years for Policeman Kidnap

A special security court in Bahrain has sentenced nine people to 20 years in prison each after it convicted them of abducting a policeman, state news agency BNA reported Thursday.

"The Lower National Safety Court sentenced nine defendants accused of kidnapping one policeman to 20 years in prison," according to an English-language statement on BNA that did not give further details.

W140 Full Story
Series of Attacks on North Iraq Police kill 27

A spate of bomb attacks against police in the disputed northern oil-rich city of Kirkuk on Thursday killed at least 27 people, the worst violence to hit Iraq in nearly two months.

A further 89 people were wounded in the three attacks; with just months to go before U.S. forces must withdraw from the country.

W140 Full Story
Bin Laden in Posthumous Message: Winds of Change Will Blow Over Muslim World

Al-Qaida has released a message from slain leader Osama bin Laden praising the revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia and urging Muslims to take advantage of a "rare historic opportunity" to rise up, U.S. monitors said.

The message posted on jihadist forums on Wednesday by al-Qaida's media arm As-Sahab addresses Muslims on the revolutions sweeping the Middle East and North Africa, SITE Intelligence said.

W140 Full Story
Ban Urges Israeli 'Incentives' for New Peace Talks

U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday urged Israel to be more flexible in dealings with the Palestinian leadership and offer "incentives" to get deadlocked talks started again.

Ban told Agence France Presse in an interview that he was also pressing Palestinians to get Hamas to recognize Israel and renounce violence. But the new Hamas-Fatah unity must be given a chance, Ban said.

W140 Full Story
U.S. Sanctions Assad, Tells Him to Lead Transition or Leave

U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday sanctioned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and six top aides over their crackdown on popular protests, telling Assad to launch a transition to democracy or step down.

Obama signed the executive order to "increase pressure on the government of Syria to end its use of violence and begin transitioning to a democratic system that ensures the universal rights of the Syrian people," the document said.

W140 Full Story
Iran FM from Kuwait: We’ve Agreed to Return Ambassadors

Kuwait and Iran have agreed to return their ambassadors, Iran's Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said Wednesday, signaling an end to tensions that have soured ties between both countries.

"It has been decided for the ambassadors of both countries to quickly return to their missions," Salehi told reporters in Kuwait.

W140 Full Story
Medvedev Won't Back Use of Force against Syria, Assad Confident Unrest Over

Syria's embattled President Bashar al-Assad has said he believes the unrest roiling his country is coming to an end while acknowledging that security services had made mistakes in trying to tame a two-month revolt.

The international community, meanwhile, appeared divided Wednesday on how to tackle the Syrian crisis. Switzerland joined an EU-led sanctions regime, while Russia warned it would oppose any proposed U.N. resolution to intervene with force in Syria.

W140 Full Story