Iran vows 'devastating, unified' revenge on enemy for any act of aggression

April 15, 2024

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The Iranian Army Chief Commander Major General Abdolrahim Mousavi says the country will not hesitate to give a “stormy and unified” response to any act of aggression against it.

In a Monday message marking the National Army Day, Mousavi said great defensive measures of the country’s Army and Armed Forces have resulted in strong deterrent power.

Iran has conveyed its message of power to the world in a way that the world has realized that the Iranian Armed Forces will give a “stormy and unified” response to any aggression against the country’s national interests, borders and security, he added.

The top commander noted that Iran’s firm response to an act of aggression by the usurping Israeli enemy against its diplomatic premises in the Syrian capital of Damascus brought joy to oppressed nations, especially the resilient people of Palestine and Gaza.

Mousavi emphasized that the retaliatory strikes, dubbed Operation True Promise, revealed only a part of the capacity and strong will of the Iranian Armed Forces and were carried out in cooperation among the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Aerospace Division, the Army, and the Defense Ministry.

He said the Army has played a key role in strengthening the country’s defense power, independence and lasting security by implementing various measures.

It has constructed strategic drone and underground tactical bases and made hundreds of modern defense achievements in the land, air, sea and space sectors in addition to advancing in the fields of science and technology, he explained.

Now the enemies lack the courage to carry out any act of aggression against the Islamic establishment and the noble Iranian nation, the top commander said.

He added that Iran has staged several joint military drills to enhance national security and dignity.

The Israeli airstrikes on Iran’s embassy compound in Damascus killed two generals of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Zahedi and General Mohammad Hadi Haji Rahimi, as well as five of their accompanying officers.

In response, on Saturday night, the IRGC targeted the Israeli-occupied territories with a barrage of drones and missiles. The extent of the damage on Israeli military bases across the occupied territories is yet to be specified.

Following the reprisal, Iran warned Israel against taking any retaliatory actions and also urged the US to try not to involve itself in the conflict and signaled that it viewed the matter as “concluded.”

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News Network
May 20,2024

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Hopes are fading that Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and his foreign minister have survived a helicopter crash in mountainous terrain and icy weather, an Iranian official said on Monday after search teams located the wreckage.

"President Raisi's helicopter was completely burned in the crash ... unfortunately, all passengers are feared dead," the official told Reuters.

Rescue teams fought blizzards and difficult terrain through the night to reach the wreckage in East Azerbaijan province in the early hours of Monday.

“We can see the wreckage and the situation does not look good,” the head of Iran’s Red Crescent, Pirhossein Kolivand, told state TV.

Raisi, 63, was elected president in 2021, and since taking office has ordered a tightening of morality laws, overseen a crackdown US-Israel backed anti-government protests and pushed hard in nuclear talks with world powers.

A Turkish drone identified a source of heat suspected to be the helicopter's wreckage and had shared the coordinates of the possible crash site with Iranian authorities, Anadolu news agency said earlier on X.

State news agency IRNA said Raisi was flying in a US-made Bell 212 helicopter.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who holds ultimate power with a final say on foreign policy and Iran's nuclear programme, sought to reassure Iranians, saying there would be no disruption to state affairs.

The chief of staff of Iran's army ordered all resources of the army and the elite Revolutionary Guards to be put to use in search and rescue operations.

Earlier, the national broadcaster had stopped all regular programming to show prayers being held for Raisi across the country.

In the early hours of Monday, it showed a rescue team, wearing bright jackets and head torches, huddled around a GPS device as they searched a pitch-black mountainside on foot in a blizzard.

“We are thoroughly searching every inch of the general area of the crash," state media quoted a regional army commander as saying. "The area has very cold, rainy, and foggy weather conditions. The rain is gradually turning into snow."

Several countries expressed concern and offered assistance in any rescue.

The White House said U.S. President Joe Biden had been briefed on reports about the crash. China said it was deeply concerned. The European Union offered emergency satellite mapping technology.

Possible successor to Khamenei

The crash comes at a time of growing dissent within Iran over an array of political, social and economic crises. Iran's clerical rulers face international pressure over Tehran's disputed nuclear programme and its deepening military ties with Russia during the war in Ukraine.

Since Iran’s open support to Hamas’ resistance against Israeli aggression, US and Israel have harshly criticised the President Raisi. 

In Iran's dual political system, split between the clerical establishment and the government, it is Raisi's 85-year-old mentor Khamenei, supreme leader since 1989, who holds decision-making power on all major policies.

For years many have seen Raisi as a strong contender to succeed Khamenei, who has endorsed Raisi's main policies. Raisi's victory in 2021 elections brought all branches of power under the control of revolutionaries, after eight years when the presidency had been held by pragmatist Hassan Rouhani and a nuclear deal negotiated with powers including Washington.

Raisi had been at the Azerbaijani border on Sunday to inaugurate the Qiz-Qalasi Dam, a joint project. Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev, who said he had bid a "friendly farewell" to Raisi earlier in the day, offered assistance in the rescue.

The chopper that was transporting President Raeisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and their companions encountered some difficulties and was forced to make a "hard landing".

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News Network
May 17,2024

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The United Arab Emirates has announced a 10-year Blue residency visa for individuals who have made exceptional efforts and contributions to protecting the environment.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, who chaired the Cabinet meeting at Qasr Al Watan in Abu Dhabi formally approved this. 

He said the move comes in line with implementing the directives of President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who had announced 2024 as the Year of Sustainability.

The Blue visa will be granted to individuals championing sustainability and the use of modern technologies in promoting the circular economy, and other relevant fields.

Sheikh Mohammed said the sustainability of our economy has become linked to the sustainability of our environment, and our national directions in this area are clear and consistent.

He also approved the National Youth Agenda, among several initiatives, instructing the Minister of Youth to prioritise five key areas: empowering youth economically, developing their scientific skills, reinforcing their national identity, enhancing their community contributions, and activating their role in representing their country on the international stage.

CEO of Artificial Intelligence

The Cabinet has approved the introduction of the post of CEO of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in all major federal entities, in line with the UAE's strategy to strengthen its position in AI.

“Today, we approved the introduction of the CEO of Artificial Intelligence role in all major federal entities, as part of the UAE’s strategy to solidify its position in the field of artificial intelligence,” the Vice President said.

The initiative aims to facilitate the integration of AI tools within these institutions, further advancing the transition toward a new era driven by cutting-edge technologies across federal entities.

University rankings

The Cabinet also endorsed a new framework for categorising higher education institutions across the nation. The forthcoming national rankings will assess over 70 higher education establishments based on the quality of their education, the employability of their graduates, the strength of their scientific research, and their collaborations with international scientific institutions.

The unveiling of these university rankings marks a significant stride in elevating the calibre of our higher education system and fostering transparency. It empowers families to make informed decisions, selecting the most suitable and exemplary educational pathways for their children,” Sheikh Mohammed said.

“During the meeting, we were updated on recent advancements in our national space sector, with our national cadres now comprising 38 per cent of personnel engaged in global space projects. Additionally, expenditure on space research has seen a 14 per cent increase."

"Our commitment remains steadfast in guiding our youth towards promising and pioneering sectors while safeguarding our environment and adopting leading international technologies within our government. Concurrently, we are dedicated to enhancing our higher education systems, ensuring a brighter future for our youth,” Sheikh Mohammed added.

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News Network
May 17,2024

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Bengaluru: The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Friday forecast heavy rainfall and thunderstorms in a few districts of Karnataka and said Bengaluru is likely to witness light to moderate rain and thunderstorms, with temperatures ranging from 30 degree Celsius to 22 degree Celsius in the next 24 hours.

Shivamogga, Chikkamagaluru, Kodagu, Hassan, Mysuru, Mandya, Chamrajanagara, Udupi and Dakshina Kannada districts are likely to experience heavy to very heavy rainfalls between May 17 and 21, said C S Patil, Director of Meteorological Centre, India Meteorological Department, Bengaluru.

According to India Meteorological Department, some places in Kodagu, Hassan, Mysuru, Mandya and Tumukuru districts will also witness, gusty winds (40-50 kmph) on May 18.

Moderate rain and thundershowers are also likely in Chikkaballapura, Chitradurga, Davangere, Kolar, Ramanagara and Vijayanagara districts.

IMD also predicts light to moderate rain very likely at some places over Bagalkote, Belagavi, Bidar, Dharwad, Gadag, Haveri, Kalaburgi, Koppal, Raichur and Yadgir districts.

On May 16, Channagiri in Davanagere district received the highest rainfall of 6 cm. 

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