Friday, April 29, 2016

Iran complains to UN about US ruling on assets

United Nations, Apr 29 - Iran has told the United Nations that it reserves the right to take "counter-measures" in response to a US court decision to use Tehran's frozen assets to compensate US victims of terror attacks.

    In a letter to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Iran said yesterday the Supreme Court ruling last week was "outrageous robbery disguised under a court order."
"It is in fact the United States that must pay long overdue reparations to the Iranian people for its persistent hostile policies," wrote Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

    Iran "reserves the right to take appropriate lawful action, including necessary and proportionate counter-measures, to restore and protect the rights of Iranian people against such persistent unlawful conduct by the United States," he said.

    The Supreme Court ruled on April 20 that Iran must hand over nearly USD 2 billion in frozen assets to the more than 1,000 survivors and relatives of those killed in attacks blamed on Tehran.

    The attacks included the 1983 bombing of US Marine barracks in Beirut and the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia.

    Zarif described the court ruling as "fake and phony and a travesty of justice in every sense of law, jurisdiction, merit, fact and process."

    The foreign minister cited US involvement in the 1953 Iran coup, US backing for Baghdad in the Iran-Iraq war and the shooting down of an Iranian airliner by a US missile in 1988 as grounds for US compensation to Iranian nationals.

    He urged Ban to press the United States to release all frozen Iranian assets in US banks in line with the nuclear agreement reached last year.

    The Supreme Court ruling came after a New York tribunal in March ordered Tehran to pay USD 7.5 billion to victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon -- and USD 3 billion to insurers over related claims -- after ruling that Iran had failed to prove that it did not help the bombers.

    Zarif called the claim of Iranian involvement in the 9/11 attacks "absurd," saying it contradicts "even public statements as well as findings -- open or sealed -- of investigations by the US government and US Congress."

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Iran Not to Send Pilgrims to Hajj if Conditions Not Met

Iran’s Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Ali Jannati said on Thursday that Saudi Arabia should accept the conditions Tehran has set for the upcoming Hajj pilgrimage, otherwise Iranian pilgrims will not be sent to this year’s annual religious ceremony.

Jannati said plans for the presence of Iranians in the upcoming Hajj pilgrimage have not been still scrapped, but made it clear that Tehran will not agree to the conditions set by Riyadh.

Negotiations between two sides are still underway, he explained, adding, “We have informed Saudis of our conditions for ensuring the (Iranian) pilgrims’ safety, (and treating them with) respect and dignity, in addition to some other issues.”

The minister emphasized that Iran will boycott this year’s Hajj if Saudi Arabia does not agree to the Islamic Republic’s conditions.

Last month, Head of Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organization Saeed Ohadi took a swipe at Saudi officials for a delay in holding negotiations in preparation for the upcoming Hajj rituals.

Tehran has been trying to contact Saudi Hajj authorities for arranging a meeting for talks about Iranians’ possible religious visit to the kingdom for this year’s Hajj season, irrespective of political disputes, he said at the time.

Iran insists that the safety of travelers to Saudi Arabia must be ensured, given the disaster in Mina that killed many Iranian pilgrims in the previous Hajj pilgrimage.

More than 460 Iranians were among the thousands of pilgrims who died on September 24, 2015, in a crush in Mina, near Mecca, during the Hajj pilgrimage.

The incident marked the worst ever tragedy during Hajj.

There have been doubts about participation of Iranian pilgrims in the 2016 Hajj since tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia ran high following Riyadh’s execution of prominent Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, and a subsequent attack by outraged Iranian protesters on the Saudi embassy in Tehran, which resulted in the Arab country’s decision to sever its ties with the Islamic Republic.

Although Iranian officials criticized the embassy attack and those involved in the attack have been brought to justice, Saudi Arabia has cut off all diplomatic relations with Iran.

Another Shia Scholar Martyred in Pakistan

A religious scholar of Shia school of thought named Allama Imdad Hussan Jafri was slaughtered, on Wednesday.


According to the details, tortured body of a man resident of Latifabad # 9 Sadaat colony was found killed by unknown motorcyclist outside his door. The armed terrorists entered in the house of martyr Imdad Jafri in and slaughtered him.
As per details deceased person’s name was Imdad Husain Jafri, Secretary Welfare of Majlis-e-Wahdat-e-Muslmeen (MWM), he was rushed to hospital but succumb to death. Police handed over dead body to the family.

whereas resident of Latifabad was chanting slogans against administration and poor law and order situation in the city.

The police has started the initial inquiry, however, it was not clear that whether this was a sectarian killing or there was any other motive.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Ayatollah Khamenei says US lifted sanctions only on paper

Tehran, Apr 27 - Iran's supreme leader and president accused the United States of hostility and bad faith today saying the implementation of its nuclear deal with world powers was not being honoured.
 Ayatollah Ali Khamenei echoed other officials in Tehran who allege that Washington is creating hurdles for European financial institutions, more than three months after the agreement came into force.

    With nuclear-related sanctions lifted, US and European diplomats have said there is no bar on non-American banks doing business with Iran. But it is not happening in reality, Khamenei said.

    "On paper they say that foreign banks can do business with Iran but, in practice, they are fomenting Iranophobia to prevent relations.

    "The United States creates disruptions and then asks us afterwards: 'Why are you suspicious'?" Khamenei told workers in the capital.

    European officials have told AFP their bankers fear they could face fines or even criminal cases against their US subsidiaries if they rush back to Tehran.

    At a separate event, President Hassan Rouhani criticised a decision by the US Supreme Court last week to make $2 billion of frozen Iranian assets available to American victims of terror attacks.
    US officials blame Tehran for attacks including the bombing of a US Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983 and the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia.

    Tehran threatened on Monday to take action in the International Court of Justice against the US if the $2 billion belonging to Iran's Central Bank is "diverted" to 1,000 Americans affected by the ruling.

    "This is a totally illegal action and contrary to international rules and immunity of central banks," Rouhani said, calling it "a violation and open hostility by the United States against the Iranian people".

    The US court verdict comes despite hopes for better relations between Tehran and Washington, foes since the Islamic revolution of 1979 ended the rule of the US-backed Shah.

    That tumult was followed by students' storming the US embassy and a 444-day hostage crisis.
    More than two years of talks led to the nuclear agreement between Iran and major powers led by the United States and it involved the first open direct negotiations between Washington and Tehran since the revolution.

    But it has not heralded a thaw on other issues.
    US sanctions still exist to punish Tehran for its ballistic missile programme and what Washington says is its sponsorship of "terrorist groups" in the Middle East.

Iran seeks interest on $6.5 bn due from Indian oil refiners

 New Delhi, Apr 27 - Iran has asked Indian refiners like Essar Oil and MRPL to pay interest rate of Libor-plus 0.75 per cent on the USD 6.5 billion they owe it in past oil dues, to make up for the foreign exchange losses.

     The demand was made when Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan met Iranian Central Bank Governor Valiollah Seif in Tehran earlier this month.

     "They are seeking interest rate on past oil dues. They mentioned a rate of Libor (London Inter-Bank Offered Rate)- plus 0.75 per cent in the meeting," a senior official said.

     Iran is insisting on interest being paid after differences cropped up over foreign exchange rate.
     Iran sold oil to refiners like Essar Oil and Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL) in US dollar per barrel. 45 per cent of the oil bill was paid in rupees in a UCO Bank account while the rest 55 per cent was to be cleared whenever banking channels open.

     Now with lifting of sanctions, Iran has presented its unpaid bill. But Essar Oil and other refiners want to pay Iran at the exchange rate prevalent at the time of buying crude oil in the last three years.
     Rupee to a US dollar was under 55 in February 2013 when the 45:55 payment system became operational. Rupee to a US dollar is nearing 67 now.

     "They (Iran) say they are losing a lot of money due to exchange rate variation and now want to make it up through interest rate," the official said.
     India is agreeable to paying some interest rate even though the 'Bilateral Payment Agreement' entered into in August 2012 does not provide for payment of interest.
     The official said Iranian Central Bank officials will shortly visit India to further discuss the modalities.

     Ideally, if refiners had kept dollar equivalent to their purchase in separate account over the years they could have readily paid Iran now. But for a barrel of oil they bought in February 2013 at say USD 80, they would now have to pay Rs 5,360 instead of Rs 4,400 then.

     He said Iran wants its dollar dues in full without factoring in the exchange rate. Refiners like Essar Oil on the other hand want to pay rupee equivalent of the purchase at current rate.
     Iran, he said, wants dollar equivalent of the dues in Euros.

     Tehran has told India that the three-year old mechanism of paying 45 per cent of oil import bill in rupees and keeping the remaining 55 per cent pending for payment channels to clear, has come to an end.

     It will be opening or re-activating euro accounts with Indian banks and would like to have the past money transferred from refiners into these accounts.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Christian Converts to Shia Islam

Shiraz (Iran) - A young Dutch Christian has converted to Islam and became Shia Muslim in presence of Ayatollah Seyed Ali Asghar Dastgheib, the grand custodian of the Holy Shrine of Ahmadi and Muhammadi. 

Ayatollah Dastgheib said Islam is an ever lasting and permanent religion and Quran is a book superior to the Gospel and Torah. 

He said Torah and Gospel have been distorted throughout history but Holy Quran is the original divine words and ever lasting despite passage of centuries. 

'So we believe that Islam is the most complete religion and the word of God in Quran is a permanent principle.' 

Noting that any person claiming Islam might be or not to be Islam. 

'Today, instances of true Islam can be observed in Iran and certain Muslim countries. But, certain people like Takfiri and Daesh terrorist groups claim to hold belief in Islam, while they are not close to Islam.' 

He added that Takfiri and Daesh terrorist groups claim that their acts and crimes are inspired by Islam, the truth is that are telling lie. The reality of Islam should be found in its main patterns, including the school of thought of the Great Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and his infallible household as well as his followers. 

Meanwhile, the Dutch Muslim said he had been encouraged by Muslims in his country to travel to Muslim countries like Iran to find out realities and truth of Islam. 

He said two years ago he visited Iran and since then his ideas on Islam and Muslims changed, realizing that Shia Muslims are kinder than followers of other Islamic schools of thought. 
'Eventually, studying and making research, I converted to holy religion of Islam.' 

Asked why he preferred Islam, he said when he was a Christian he was not a committed individual but having seen unity among Muslims and having visited Iran and seeing lifestyle of of Muslims, especially Shia Muslims, he felt peace of mind and interested in Islam. 

Since start of the new year of 1395, three people have converted to Islam in Shahcheragh and in presence of Ayatollah Dastgheib. 

Based on a related report, visiting Imam Reza Holy Shrine (AS), an Ethiopian lady converted to Islam and became a Shia Muslim. 

Getting familiar with principles of Islam, accepting the oneness of God, prophecy of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), as well as confessing to the Velayat of Ali (AS), Almaz Mardas converted to Islam and became a Shia Muslim. 

Director of Non-Iranian Pilgrims' Affairs of Imam Reza (AS) Holy Shrine Javad Hasheminejad quoted Mrs. Mardas as saying that she converted to Islam because it is based on reasonable principles. 

Hasheminejad told IRNA that various non-Iranian pilgrims including 10 European and American citizens have been converted to Islam in the Holy shrine in the past Iranian year (ended March 19, 2016). 

Several non-Muslims converted to Islam in recent days. For instance, a German and a Swiss student converted to Islam from Christianity in separate ceremonies held in Shahcheragh Holy Shrine in Shiraz. 

Sheikh Zakzaky Still Remains in Jail, His Health Improving: Nigerian Cleric

Top Shiite cleric and leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) Sheikh Ibrahim al-Zakzaky still remains in custody following his arrest in a December raid against Shiite Muslims, but his health is improving, a Nigerian cleric in Iran said. 

Mohammad al-Shuaib, who studies in Iran’s Al-Mustafa International University, said a number of Sheikh Zakzaky’s supporters have visited him in prison over the past two weeks, noting that his health is improving. 

On December 12, 2015, Nigerian soldiers attacked Shiite Muslims attending a ceremony at a religious center in Zaria, north of the country, accusing them of blocking the convoy of the army’s chief of staff and attempting to assassinate him. The Shiites have categorically denied the allegations. 

The following day, Nigerian forces also raided Zakzaky’s home and arrested him after reportedly killing those attempting to protect him, including one of the IMN’s senior leaders and its spokesman. 

The two attacks led to the deaths of hundreds of members of the religious community, including three of Zakzaky’s sons. 

The cleric suffered wounds during the raid. 

Elsewhere in his comments, Shuaib noted that Amnesty International is conducting an investigation into the deadly attacks. 

The UK-based Amnesty International said in a Friday report that the Nigerian army killed over 350 supporters of Sheikh Zakzaky and tried to destroy evidence of the crime by burying the victims in mass graves and limiting access to conflict sites in the city of Zaria, according to Press TV. 

“The Nigerian military burned people alive, razed buildings and dumped victims’ bodies in mass graves,” said the report, adding, “Bodies were taken away, sites were razed to the ground, the rubble removed, bloodstains washed off, and bullets and spent cartridges removed from the streets.” 

International Quran Reciters Assembly for first time

Seven nations will compete for the first time in Malaysia’s International Quran Reciters' Assembly and Quran Memorizing Assembly (MTHQA) which will be held at the Putra World Trade Center in Kuala Lumpur from May 2 to 7.

Director-General of the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (JAKIM) Datuk Othman Mustapha said these countries were Australia, Netherlands, Hong Kong, Belgium, Spain, United Kingdom and Sweden which will each be represented by a male and female reciter.

Sixty-nine nations will compete in the MTHQA this year.

"Of the competing nations, 21 have been invited to participate in tilawah (reciter) while 22 more in hafazan (memorizing) categories and 26 for the open category and can choose to participate in either," he said in a press conference on the MTHQA here Monday.

He said in the tilawah category, Malaysia will be represented by the winners of the 59th National Quran Recital Assembly, Wan Ainuddin Hilmi Abdullah from Kelantan and Nor Azrah Ayob from Johor.

In the memorizing category, Malaysia will be represented by winners of the 37th National Quran Memorizing Assembly, Mohamad Omar Mansu from Selangor and Farihah Zulkifli from Federal Territory.

Othman said the reciters of the assembly, with its theme of "Unity the Pulse of National Transformation" will be assessed by 15 professional judges including from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Lebanon, Jordan, Indonesia, Brunei, Thailand and Malaysia.

The Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah is scheduled to attend the opening and closing ceremonies.

He said the winners in the recital category will win gold bars worth RM70,000 from Yayasan Pembangunan Ekonomi Islam Malaysia (YaPEIM), a trophy and RM40,000 in cash.

In the memorizing category, the winners will take home gold bars worth RM20,000 from YaPEIM, a trophy, certificate of participation and cash of RM20,000, he said.

(Source: ABNA)

Monday, April 25, 2016

Car bomb kills five near shrine of Sayyida Zeinab

Damascus - A car bomb killed at least five people near the revered Shiite shrine of Sayyida Zeinab, south of the Syrian capital Damascus today, state news agency reported.

The bomb struck Al-Diyabiyah, a town that serves as one of the gateways for the many pilgrims from around the world who visit the Shiite holy site.

Another 20 people were also wounded, a news agency reported.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights put the death toll at eight. It had no immediate word on whether there were civilians among the dead.

The shrine contains the grave of Zeinab, a venerated granddaughter of the Prophet Mohammed, and is known for its glistening golden onion-shaped dome.

An AFP correspondent said he heard ambulance sirens wailing through the streets of Damascus on their way to Sayyida Zeinab.

The area around the shrine, which is heavily secured with regime checkpoints hundreds of metres (yards) away to prevent vehicles from approaching, has been hit by Sunni extremists of the Islamic State group several times this year.

A string of IS bombings near the shrine in February left 134 people dead, most of them civilians, according to the Observatory.

And in January, another attack claimed by IS killed 70 people.

Lebanese Shiite militant group Hezbollah cited the threat to Sayyida Zeinab as a principal reason for its intervention in the civil war on the side of President Bashar al-Assad.

More than 270,000 people have been killed and millions more been forced to flee their homes since the conflict erupted in 2011.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Mass Grave of the Zaria Massacre Found

The Kaduna state SSG told d JCI in his testimony that they collected 191 dead bodies of Shia_Muslims from NA_Depot & 156 bodies from ABUTH.
After killing Shiites in Zaria, the Nigerian Army brought the dead bodies to Kaduna (80KM) & buried them in mass graves. 

This mass grave of the Zaria_Massacre is located at Mando Kaduna cemetery which is along Birnin Gwari road just after Hajj camp.

One of the mass graves that the Nigerian_Army buried the 1000+ Nigerian Shia_Muslims killed in d Zaria_Massacre.