Senior Colonel In Iran's Elite Quds Force Assassinated In Heart of Capital Tehran
Good day from REEDNEWSARABWORLD for Monday, May 23, 2022!
The style of the assassination of a ranking Iranian military officer echoed previous attacks in Iran by Israel, but there was no immediate claim of responsibility for the killing of Col. Hassan Sayyad Khodaei, shot five times in a bold attack in Iran's capital in broad daylight. Iran denies reports it will compromise on nuclear talks in Vienna. Saudi Arabia's deputy defense minister meets in Washington with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and the Saudis ban travel to 26 countries with Covid 19.
A Saudi airline flies with an all-female crew, the Houthis in Yemen say they're not opposed to continuing the current ceasefire agreement, and Saudi Arabia's billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal sells a piece of his Kingdom Holding Company to Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund for $1.5 billion.
And news from Kuwait, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Tunisia, Sudan, and More.
A senior member of Iran's powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) was shot down outside his home in broad daylight in an attack near Iran's parliament. Two assailants on a motorbike shot Col. Hassan Sayyad Khodaei five times as he was in his car outside his home in a highly-secure area. He was identified as a member of the Quds Force, the Revolutionary Guard Corps' unit that oversees foreign operations. Iran blamed the killing on "global arrogance," referring to Israel and the United States, with indications the killing was similar to other motorbike attacks attributed to Israel.
Iran denied reports that it is willing to compromise at the nuclear negotiations in Vienna. Foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, did not mention compromise in talks with Qatar's emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani when they met in Tehran. "We have always said the negotiations must yield results, not waste time," Khamenei said.
Saudi Arabia will continue its oil partnership with Russia in the face of western pressure. Comments by the Saudi energy minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, appeared to send a message to the United States and Europe that Saudi Arabia won't take part in western attempts to isolate Russia or its oil exports because of Russia's attack on Ukraine The minister said Saudi Arabia hopes to work out an agreement with OPEC+ that "the world should appreciate the value" of the oil-producing countries' alliance.
Saudi Arabia's deputy defense minister met with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. The two sides affirmed confronting Iran's policies in the Middle East and discussed Yemen, where the Saudi official, Prince Khalid bin Salman, said Saudi Arabia continues to work for a "comprehensive political solution that would move Yemen to peace and development."
Saudi Arabia announced a fresh travel ban on its citizens, keeping them from going to 16 countries because of Covid 19. The list of countries with Covid included Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, India, Yemen, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Libya, Indonesia, Vietnam, Armenia, Belarus, and Venezuela.
Saudi Arabia's first flight with an all-female crew took off. The flight was operated by Flyadeal, budget subsidiary of the kingdom's flag carrier Saudi, and completed a short domestic journey. The airline tweeted: "For the first time in Saudi aviation history, Flyadeal operated the first flight with an all female crew, the majority of which are Saudis.”
A Houthi leader said the Yemen rebel group is not opposed to extending a truce. Although he described the current United Nations-brokered agreement as "not encouraging enough," the head of the Houthi supreme political council, Mahdi al-Mashat, said the group was not against a truce extension. In a televised speech, he called for "a genuine and encouraging cooperation."
Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal is selling 16.87% of his Kingdom Holding Company to Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund for $1.5 billion. The Public Investment Fund will buy 625 million shares of the company at $2.42 a share for a total of s$1.51 billion, the company said in a stock exchange filing.
Kuwait held municipal elections, with a low turnout. Security was tight as both male and female voters went to the polls to elect eight members of the Municipal Council. Thirty-eight candidates competed in eight constituencies. Two districts had only one candidate, who were automatically elected. The election was the 13th held for the municipal posts.
An Iraqi court postponed the trial of two European tourists who have been charged with smuggling antiquities. Volker Waldman, a German, and James Fitton, a British geologist, were arrested after officials found shards, some as small as a fingernail, that had been collected at Eridu, an ancient Mesopotamian city in southern Iraq. The government claimed the items could be classified as archaeological pieces because they dated back more than 200 years. Lawyers for Volker Waldman said more information is needed about the value of the pieces.
Iran is trying to revive a shared gas field project with Oman that's been stalled for 20 years. Iran's oil minister Javad Owji was reported meeting with Oman's foreign minister and energy minister and agreeing to revisit a 2004 agreement that would develop the gas layer of the Hengam field in the Gulf.
Wealthy Lebanese living in Gulf or African nations are buying passports from Caribbean and other countries for easier travel as Lebanon's passports are ranked among the world's worst. In Lebanon, passports are almost impossible to renew because the cash-strapped state is running out of stocks. A Lebanese executive working in Dubai spent $135,000 on new citizenships for himself and his wife, receiving passports from the Caribbean island nation of Saint Kitts and Nevis, enabling visa-free access to more than 150 countries.
Tunisia's main opposition party rejected formation of an advisory committee for a new constitution sought by President Kais Saied. The Islamist Ennahda party said Saied's plan was "a complete deviation from constitutional legitimacy." Saied has named a law professor to head the advisory committee that will draft a new constitution.
Algeria denied reports that it is conducting mediation with Morocco about restoring diplomatic relations. Algerian foreign minister Ramtane Lamamra said the ongoing crisis between the two countries "does not tolerate mediation. There is no mediation, not yesterday, not today, not tomorrow." Moroccan media had suggested that Saudi Arabian discussions might result in mediation.
An Israeli orchestra played in Egypt for the first time in 40 years. The group, Firqat Al Noor, is an Israeli orchestra established in 2013 that plays classical Arabic music to encourage the revival of a shared Jewish-Arab culture. The Israeli embassy in Cairo hosted the event, inviting Egyptian and foreign dignitaries.
Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi signed a law increasing the state budget by $329 million. The amount adds to the country's budget for the 2021-2022 fiscal year that ends in June.
Sudan is facing a deteriorating food shortage that may cause acute hunger for 18 million of the country's 45 million population. Factors causing the shortage are the Russian war in Ukraine, internal economic policies, and weak agricultural production.
MORE: Egypt's el Sisi defends his government's spending priorities, The National... Egypt aims to reclaim 2.2 million acres of agricultural land, minister, Egypt Independent... Four drug smugglers shot dead on Jordan's border with Syria, The National... National Academy of Military Industries to be set up in Saudi Arabia, TradeArabia... Saudi Arabia to participate in World Economic Forum 2022, Argaam.
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