Iran’s volleyball coach Ma’dani passes away
Iran volleyball coach Hossein Ma’dani died of liver disease in Tehran’s Laleh Hospital on Friday.
Ma’dani, 43, was diagnosed with lung and liver disease ahead of the 2014 FIVB World League and failed to accompany the team in the competitions, where the Iranian team finished fourth behind the US, Brazil and Italy.
Ma’dani, who was head coach of Iranian volleyball team from 2008 to 2010, was appointed Slobodan Kovac’s assistant in March. Ma’dani also guided a number of Iranian volleyball clubs including Damash Gilan, Paykan, Baridje Essence and Shahrdari Tabriz.
Iranians create antibacterial nanocoating
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Since medical services are more affordable in Iran compared to Western and regional countries, foreign patients are keen on taking advantage of this facility.
Many private travel companies are bringing health tourists from European and American states, as well as neighboring nations to Iran to undergo treatment.
Some of the provinces with potential for health tourism are listed below:
Delavar Bozorgnia, director general of Mazandaran Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Department, said Mazandaran province, in light of its spectacular verdant and coastal landscape, is one of the provinces with high health tourism potential.
The department has launched the Secretariat of Health Tourism to utilize its treatment capacities in the hospitals and medical centers of the province.
“The secretariat has taken measures to attract investors for launching tourist sites,” he said.
Hossein Baqeri, the deputy head of Mazandaran Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Department, said the province lacks sufficient infrastructures for health tourism.
He said 100 billion rials ($3.3 million) have been invested in Mazandaran’s spring and mineral waters in the past seven years.
Baqeri pointed to warm water springs in Ramsar, Lavij rural district in Nour, Larijan and Ab Ask. “Accommodation sites and special mineral water pools have been established in these regions for patients,” he said.
Tourists favor sand therapy and mud treatment as well as summer quarters with favorable climatic conditions.
The northwestern province of East Azarbaijan could be considered one of the health tourism hubs of Iran.
It boasts specialized treatment facilities and borders Armenia, Nakhichevan, Turkey and Iraq.
Numerous medical centers in Tabriz and other provincial cities host health tourists everyday.
Esmaeil Jabbarzadeh, governor general of East Azarbaijan province, said health tourists arriving in the province should receive proper services.
“We should take advantage of health tourism as soon as possible,” he said.
Saeed Shabestari Khiabani, deputy governor general of the province, said the difference in health tariffs in border provinces have reduced the arrival of health tourists to East Azarbaijan province.
“Turks account for 95 percent of health tourists entering East Azarbaijan province, while Iraqis and other nationalities make constitute the remaining 5 percent,” he said.
Mohammad Hossein Soumi, the head of Tabriz Medical University, said due to its high medical potential, Tabriz is the top destination of health tourists from Azerbaijan Republic.
Tabriz Medical University renders inpatient and outpatient services to foreign health tourists in the cities of Tabriz, Ahar, Marand, Hadishahr and Sarab.
Soumi noted that some 1.2 million Turks travel to Iran, of whom 1.3 percent arrive in Tabriz.
“Tariffs for foreign patients have been specified with the coordination of the Governor General’s Office,” he said, adding that clinics, hospitals and medical centers should comply with these tariffs.
“A hotline has been considered to address the complaints of foreign nations.”
Soumi noted that all pharmacies and medical treatment centers have been obliged to give a bill in Turkish language to Azerbaijan patients.
Ahmad Hamzehzadeh, the deputy head of East Azarbaijan Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Department, said East Azarbaijan ranks second in terms of admitting foreign patients nationwide.
Qader Taqizadeh, the deputy head of Ardebil Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Department, said health tourism has created an opportunity for promoting Ardebil tourism industry.
Ardebil has hosted thousands of foreign tourists, particularly from Azerbaijan Republic in recent years.
Based on surveys conducted by University Jihad, close to 49.4 percent of travelers arrive in Ardebil province for medical treatment, 9.7 percent for business and 4.7 percent travel for visiting their relatives.
Arvand Free Zone
Seyyed Morteza Nematzadeh, the deputy head of Arvand Free Zone Organization, said Health Tourism Plan would be implemented in the zone for attracting Iraqi tourists in the near future.
“Due to the absence of health infrastructures in Iraq, a large number of Iraqis travel to neighboring or Western states for medical treatment,” he said.
“Since Arvand Free Zone is near Basra, the second largest province of Iraq, Iran can draw Iraqi tourists through proper planning.”
Iran has a highly educated workforce and is a regional leader in scientific and health sectors. It is one of the top five countries in the world in biotech and produces nine out of 15 high-use biotech products.
The country has a great opportunity to attract health tourists from Muslim countries. For instance, the existence of mineral springs in many parts of the country makes it an ideal health tourism market.
Other potential areas include fertility treatment, stem cell treatment, dialysis, heart surgery, cosmetic surgery and eye surgery. It also produces unique medicines such as the anti-AIDS drug IMOD, and other high-tech drugs.
Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization provides travel agencies active in the health tourism sector with special facilities for participation in overseas fairs.
It has also designated the following provinces for health tourism in cooperation with Health Ministry:
– Tehran province for treating tuberculosis and lung disorders
– Khorasan Razavi for ophthalmology, skin care, heart surgery and orthopedics
– Fars for liver, kidney and marrow transplants
– Yazd for treating infertility
– Qom for its sun and desert potential
– Hamedan, Ilam and Zanjan as centers of herbal medicine.
Medical treatment in Iran is safer, more knowledge-based and inexpensive. Until eight years ago, many Iranians travelled abroad to receive medical treatment, while Iran is currently hosting health tourists.
Iran has made great strides in science and technology, particularly in medical and medicinal fields, in recent years.
Iran's Leader raps Israel for Gaza massacre
Israeli sniper: “I killed 13 children today”
Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei condemned Israel for committing massacre in Gaza and called on the Islamic world to arm the Palestinians fighting the Zionist regime.
In a speech to mark the Muslim celebration of Eid al-Fitr, Ayatollah Khamenei said Israel was acting like a ‘rabid dog’ and ‘a wild wolf’ in acts that are causing a human catastrophe and this must be resisted, IRNA reported.
“The people surrounded in a small place with closed borders, unsure of having water and electricity, this population faces an armed enemy,” he said of over three weeks of offensive in the Gaza Strip that has killed more than 1,500 Palestinians.
“The people resist unabated. This is a lesson for all.”
Ayatollah Khamenei dismissed talk of a cease-fire in Gaza, saying it was a ploy by the United States and European states to save Israel and said Hamas should be re-armed, rather than disarmed as otherwise they will be “unable to defend themselves”.
Meanwhile, in a Tuesday meeting with a large group of people, government officials and envoys from Muslim countries in Tehran, Ayatollah Khamenei said the Muslim world should tap into all its potential to meet the needs of the people in Gaza.
He also said Muslim nations must set aside their differences and stand united in providing the Gazans with their basic needs.
Ayatollah Khamenei underlined the need for the Islamic world to first provide Gazans with their vital necessities and then give a firm and appropriate response to the crimes perpetrated by the ‘murderous’ regime in Israel and its backers.
“Our clear message to the Islamic governments is that let us stand up to help the oppressed and show that the Muslim world will not remain calm in the face of cruelty and oppression,” the Leader stated.
The Leader further maintained that the governments and international bodies which support Tel Aviv are ‘accomplices’ in the regime’s brutal crimes.
50 more Gazans killed
The Leader’s remarks came as Israeli crimes continued in Gaza as its brutal attacks killed 50 more Palestinians on Friday.
Hamas accused Israel of breaching a cease-fire just hours after it began on Friday, after Tel Aviv held Palestinian fighters responsible for renewed fighting.
“It is the occupation which violated the cease-fire. The Palestinian resistance acted based on... the right to self-defense (and) to stop the massacres of our people,” Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhum said in a statement.
Israeli soldier captured
The Israeli army said on Friday one of its soldiers is ‘feared’ captured by Palestinian fighters.
There was no immediate word from Palestinian groups on whether any were holding the soldier, identified by the military as Second Lieutenant Hadar Goldin, 23.
The soldier went missing shortly after a Gaza official said at least 50 Palestinians were killed in Israeli shelling in and around the southern Gaza town of Rafah on Friday. The fighting broke out just hours after the cease-fire came into force. Some 200 others were wounded in the Rafah shelling, said Palestinian health official Ashraf al-Kidra.
Lieutenant-Colonel Peter Lerner, an Israeli military spokesman said Israeli troops are continuing their activities on the ground. He said Israeli forces were mounting an ‘extensive effort’ to locate the missing soldier.
Meanwhile, the Gaza Health Ministry said more than 50 people were killed and 220 wounded by Israeli shelling after the incident near the southern town of Rafah.
Israel launched its offensive in Gaza on July 8, unleashing air and naval bombardments in response to what it claims a surge of cross-border rocket attacks.
Tanks and infantry pushed into the territory of 1.8 million on July 17. Gaza officials say at least 1,509 Palestinians, including more than 300 children have been killed and 7,000 wounded so far.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had faced intense pressure from abroad to end the operations.
International calls for an end to the bloodshed intensified after shelling on Wednesday that killed 15 people sheltering in a UN-run school in Gaza’s Jabalya refugee camp.
An Israeli sniper admitted to killing 13 children in the Gaza Strip in one day.
Posting on an Instagram account, David Ovadia released a photo of himself holding a sniper rifle, middleeastmonitor.com reported.
“I killed 13 children today”, Israeli sniper posted on his Instagram account.
The image with his post, however, was deleted entirely by hackers from an anonymous group. The group has launched hundreds of attacks on Israeli websites over the past two years.
The move was reportedly followed by the group’s cyber attacks on Israel’s Mossad and Ministry of Military Affairs.
The development comes as Tel Aviv claims that its military has been targeting Palestinian fighters from resistance group Hamas and described the growing death toll in the enclave as collateral damage.
Tel Aviv also mobilized 16,000 reservists for the ground military operations in Gaza, putting the total number at 86,000.
Tel Aviv has targeted hospitals, clinics and shelters over the past 24 days.
Sixty-three Israeli soldiers have been killed and more than 400 hurt. Three civilians have been killed in Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel.
Araqchi: Early nuclear deal possible if Iran rights respected
A top Iranian nuclear negotiator said Iran and the P5+1 can reach a final nuclear deal before the expiry of the four-month extension of talks between the two sides if the six countries acknowledge Tehran’s rights.
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Abbas Araqchi said on Friday that Iran and its opposite side have made ‘good progress’ in their negotiations over the past six months, adding that an agreement is possible before the November 24 deadline.
He, however, admitted that major differences still remain. “There is always the possibility of reaching an agreement on the condition that the opposite side recognizes the Iranian nation’s nuclear rights,” he said.
Araqchi said that safeguarding Iran’s rights is the main priority in the negotiations.
Both sides have demonstrated the political will to reach an agreement, he said, adding that the P5+1 has come to the conclusion that there is no solution except talks to end the dispute over Iran’s nuclear energy program.
The six countries have exhausted all other options over Tehran’s nuclear program and now they are serious to settle the dispute through negotiations, the diplomat said.
He also dismissed allegations about Iran’s consent to scale down its uranium enrichment program.
“Any agreement about Arak or Fordo [nuclear facilities] is denied. No agreement has so far been reached on the issues under discussion [with six world powers],including the two sites, and differences still remain,” ISNA quoted Araqchi as saying.
He was reacting to July 29 remarks by the US lead nuclear negotiator Wendy Sherman to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about “tangible progress in key areas, including Fordo, Arak and IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) access”.
“It [Iran] promised not to fuel or install remaining components at the research reactor in Arak…. It allowed inspectors to have daily access to Natanz enrichment facility and the underground plant at Fordow,” said Sherman who is the deputy US secretary of state.
Araqchi said, “The only criterion for the Islamic Republic of Iran is the country’s needs and throughout negotiations [with the world powers], decisions will be made only based on the country’s needs.”
Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council—the United States, France, Britain, Russia and China—plus Germany are to resume their negotiations to discuss ways to reach a final agreement over Tehran’s nuclear energy program in September.
Iran’s right to enrich uranium is among the bones of contention between the two sides.
They had reached a landmark interim deal in Geneva, Switzerland, on November 23, 2013. The agreement went into effect on January 20 and expired six months later on July 20.
In July, the two sides agreed on an extension until November 24 in an effort to reach a permanent nuclear deal.
Asians buy 25% more Iran oil
Iran’s biggest clients took in a quarter more oil in the first six months of 2014 than in the same period of last year, with China and India holding to the higher volumes they started after the agreement that relaxed Western sanctions on Tehran.
Iran’s exports to its top four oil buyers—China, India, Japan and South Korea—may keep rising even though a deadline for a final deal on its disputed nuclear program had to be extended, Reuters reported.
Iran last week received the final installment of the $4.2 billion in oil payments released as part of the earlier agreement, although another $2.8 billion was released as part of the extension.
“From this point forward, we expect more upside than down with respect to Iranian crude exports to Asia with the caveat that talks don’t collapse,” said James Davis, a consultant at Facts Global Energy.
“We see an extra 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude production from Iran by end-2015 as very possible,” he said.
The four Asian buyers imported 1.2 million bpd in the first half of 2014 versus 961,236 bpd in the same period of a year ago, according to official customs data and tanker arrival schedules.
China, Iran’s biggest customer, raised its imports by almost 50 percent in the first half, while India increased its purchases by a third.
Iran and six world powers agreed to extend nuclear talks by four months after they failed to reach a July 20 deadline for a permanent resolution. Under the interim agreement, Iran’s crude exports were supposed to be held just above 1 million bpd.
World oil giants, including Royal Dutch Shell, BP, Malaysia’s Petronas, Spain’s Repsol, Russia’s second-largest oil producer, Lukoil, France’s Total and Italy’s ENI, have shown interest in returning to the Iranian market following the easing of sanctions against Iran in light of the implementation of the Geneva deal.
Austrian president due in Tehran in Nov.
Austrian President Heinz Fischer will pay an official visit to Iran in November, the Austrian Press Agency (APA) reported on Thursday.
Fischer was scheduled to visit Tehran in early August after the six-month nuclear talks between Iran and the six world nations—known as the P5+1—was ended.
However, the visit was postponed when the negotiating parties (Iran and P5+1) failed to reach a comprehensive deal by the July 20 deadline and their talks were extended for another four months, APA said.
Vienna and Tehran are still consulting on timing of the visit, but it seems that it will be made after Iran-G5+1 nuclear talks in November, APA reported quoting Fischer’s spokesman as saying.
Strategy of talks; new way for international cooperation
By Seyyed Mohammad Ali Hosseini
Undoubtedly, Iran’s nuclear achievements, especially uranium enrichment, can be seen as one of the touchstones of the country’s development. That’s why the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty recognizes the right to peaceful nuclear activities for all countries as they help nations in the route of development.
This reality is a clear indication that the controversy over Iran’s right to have a uranium enrichment program is not a legal dispute, rather a politically-motivated one.
Iran has managed to acquire nuclear know-how independently. The country only seeks to retain its legal and internationally recognized right and will not wait for other countries to grant it its own right.
What Iran’s Foreign Ministry has put on the agenda is to clarify the logical reasons that have convinced the nation to valiantly fight for its nuclear rights.
If fact, Iran is trying to thwart efforts that demonize the country as a nuclear threat to international peace by invalidating ‘non-legal arguments’ that certain countries are making against its peaceful nuclear energy program. For that reason, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, gave the go-ahead for talks with world powers to the government of President Hassan Rouhani so that realities are revealed to the world public.
The ‘strategy of talks’ does not seek to negotiate the nation’s inalienable right with anyone, rather it aims to present a law-abiding image of Iran to the world and remind world powers of the country’s rights.
It also seeks to challenge all anti-Iran measures adopted by the United Nations Security Council and unilateral sanctions imposed by certain countries against the Islamic Republic by elucidating the legal foundations of Iran’s peaceful nuclear activities.
The strategy can be regarded as an effective and necessary step in the process of confidence-building and easing reasonable concerns of the international community and could eventually lead to restoration of the nation’s right.
The diplomatic apparatus, which is tasked with implementing the macro policies of the Islamic Republic within a framework of redlines set by the Leader, strives to put forward its legitimate demands through a compelling logic and foil ill-wishers’ evil plots targeting the country’s security as well as political and economic arenas.
Therefore, the latest round of nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 in Vienna can be considered as a valuable achievement, for the negotiating team proved firstly that it has a strong will to reach a fair, comprehensive and logical deal that settles the dispute over Iran’s nuclear activities, and secondly it will not negotiate an agreement at any cost.
The gist of the all above-mentioned is reflected in what the Leader said during a speech in February. Ayatollah Khamenei stressed: “The task the Foreign Ministry and government officials have begun with regards to nuclear negotiations will continue. Iran will not break what it has promised.”
*Hosseini serves as an advisor to Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif
UN: Over 1,700 killed in Iraq in July
United Nations said that 1,737 people were killed in Iraq in July, making it one of the deadliest months of the year but marking a decline from the previous month, when the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorists swept across much of the country. The death toll in June stood at 2,400.
Still, July’s toll––which included an increase in killings in areas now under the control of the ISIL––was considerably higher than May’s, when about 800 people were killed, AP reported.
Iraq’s large, U.S.-trained and equipped military melted away in the face of the initial militant onslaught, but has since regrouped - though it has not managed to retake lost ground.
In announcing the latest casualty figures, the UN mission also reiterated its own calls on Iraq’ feuding politicians to set aside their differences and form an inclusive government.
“It is time that they move forward on the creation of a new government that can address the root causes of violence in Iraq and ensure equitable development for all communities,” Nickolay Mladenov, the UN special representative for Iraq, said in the statement Friday.
The ISIL terrorists have also destroyed ancient shrines and mosques in Iraq’s second-largest city, Mosul, claiming they stray from hardliners. Iraq’s most influential Shia cleric Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani denounced the targeting of holy sites on Friday, saying ISIL terrorists are “alienating themselves from the humane, Islamic standards.”
In Baghdad, a car bomb tore through a busy commercial street in the eastern Habibiya neighborhood, killing seven people and wounding 16. And in the nearby al-Khulani Square in central Baghdad, three bombs exploded almost simultaneously, killing four people and wounding 12, according to police and hospital officials.
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