News ID: 136131
Published: 0624 GMT February 02, 2016

Iran bids farewell to former army commander

Iran bids farewell to former army commander

Senior military and government officials on Tuesday joined a funeral ceremony held in Tehran for the former commander-in-chief of the Iranian Army Major General Mohammad Salimi.

The ceremony was attended by representatives of the Leader and the government as well as Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani, Press TV reported.

Army Commander-in-Chief Major General Ataollah Salehi and Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Mohammad Ali Ja’fari were also in attendance.

General Salimi passed away on Saturday at the age of 78 after years of illness.  

Salimi was appointed the defense minister in 1981, when the country was a year into Iraq’s imposed war on Iran, and remained in the position for three years. He took the position of the commander-in-chief of the Iranian Army in May 2000 and kept the tenure for five years before being named as the Leader’s military adviser.


Official rejects claims over sending Afghans to Syria


An official with Iran’s Foreign Ministry on Tuesday rejected claims that Tehran has sent Afghan refugees to fight for the Syrian government against terrorist groups operating in the Arab country.

In an interview with ISNA, the unnamed official described the claims as “fabricated” and “propaganda campaign”.

The official noted that there are reports about the presence of Afghan nationals in both sides of the conflict, but Iran has no role in recruiting them.

The remarks came after the Human Rights Watch has claimed that Iran has “offered Afghan refugees and migrants incentives to fight in Syria”.


Iran: No verdict on gas dispute with Turkey


The National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) on Tuesday rejected a report that the International Court of Arbitration has issued its final verdict on Turkey's gas dispute with Iran.

The NIGC announced on its official website that the final decision would be announced in the future over Turkey's gas complaint against Iran.

This came after Tasnim News Agency quoted Iranian Deputy Oil Minister Hamid-Reza Araqi as saying that Turkey won the arbitration case against Iran.

The deputy minister reportedly said, "Although the court's [the International Court of Arbitration] ruling is final, the money which Iran should pay out to Turkey has not yet been determined," while estimating the compensation to be around $1 billion.
Turkey currently imports about 10 billion cubic meters of gas per year from Iran (the country's second supplier after Russia) under a 25-year deal that was signed in 1996. However, stating that the price charged by Iran was too high, Turkey in 2012 approached the International Court of Arbitration, demanding that the price be lowered by 25 percent.


American judge challenges Iran prisoner deal


A federal judge has challenged the US government's move to drop charges against an Iranian man accused of sanctions violations as part of a US prisoner trade agreed with Iran last month.

Federal prosecutors filed a motion on January 16 to drop the case against Alireza Moazzami Goudarzi, an Iranian man accused in 2012 of trying to buy aircraft parts for Iran, including those for military aircraft engines, Reuters reported on Tuesday.

The dismissal was part of a wider deal which also saw US officials move to drop international arrest orders and any charges against 13 other Iranians outside America. The administration also offered clemency deals to seven Iranians in the United States, mostly imprisoned for or charged with sanctions violations. In return, Iran released five Americans it had been holding.

US District Judge P. Kevin Castel in New York threatened in a court order last week to deny the government's dismissal of charges against Goudarzi unless prosecutors could justify "significant foreign policy interests" they had cited as a reason to drop the case.

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