Foreign Minister of Iraq Fuad Hussein arrived at Tehran on Saturday, on order to hold bilateral talks with senior Iranian officials.
It is the first visit to Iran since the murder of General Qassim Soleimani in January, AP reports quoting Iran’s state run news agency IRNA.
During the visit, Fuad Hussein is likely to meet his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif and President Hassan Rouhani.
Earlier in July, Zarif visited Baghdad and met with Hussein and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi.
It was Zarif's first visit to Iraq since a US airstrike in January killed a top Iranian general, Qassim Soleimani, outside Baghdad's international airport.
The strike catapulted Iraq to the brink of a US-Iran proxy war that could have destabilized the Middle East.
After Zarif's trip, the Iraqi premier visited Iran in July.
The report did not elaborate on the main reasons behind the top Iraqi diplomat's two-day trip to Tehran.
Iran sees neighboring Iraq as a possible route to bypass US sanctions that President Donald Trump re-imposed in 2018 after pulling the US out of the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers.
The Arabian Peninsula is the vast new frontier where newly-formed US Space Force is being deployed.
Space Force now has a squadron of 20 airmen stationed at Qatar's Al-Udeid Air Base in its first foreign deployment.
The force, pushed by President Donald Trump, represents the sixth branch of the US military and the first new military service since the creation of the Air Force in 1947, reports AP.
It has provoked skepticism in Congress, satire on Netflix, and, with its uncannily similar logo, “Star Trek” jokes about intergalactic battles.
Future wars may be waged in outer space, but the Arabian Desert already saw what military experts dub the world's first “space war” — the 1991 Desert Storm operation to drive Iraqi forces from Kuwait. Today, the US faces new threats in the region from Iran's missile programme and efforts to jam, hack and blind satellites.
“We’re starting to see other nations that are extremely aggressive in preparing to extend conflict into space,” Col Todd Benson, director of Space Force troops at Al-Udeid, told The Associated Press. “We have to be able to compete and defend and protect all of our national interests.”
Some American lawmakers view the branch, with its projected force of 16,000 troops and 2021 budget of $15.4 billion, as a vanity project for Trump ahead of the November presidential election.
All for a ‘peaceful space’
Concerns over the weaponisation of outer space are decades old. But as space becomes increasingly contested, military experts have cited the need for a space corps devoted to defending American interests.
Threats from global competitors have grown since the Persian Gulf War in 1991, when the US military first relied on GPS coordinates to tell troops where they were in the desert as they pushed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's forces out of Kuwait.
Benson declined to name the “aggressive” nations his airmen will monitor and potentially combat. But the decision to deploy Space Force personnel at Al-Udeid follows months of escalating tensions between the US and Iran.
Hostilities between the two countries, ignited by Trump’s unilateral withdrawal of the US from Iran’s nuclear accord, came to a head in January when US forces killed a top Iranian general. Iran responded by launching ballistic missiles at American soldiers in Iraq.
This spring, Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard launched its first satellite into space, revealing what experts describe as a secret military space programme. The Trump administration has imposed sanctions on Iran’s space agency, accusing it of developing ballistic missiles under the cover of a civilian program to set satellites into orbit.
“The military is very reliant on satellite communications, navigation and global missile warning,” said Capt Ryan Vickers, a newly inducted Space Force member at Al-Udeid.
Still, American officials insist the new Space Force deployment aims to secure US interests, not set off an extraterrestrial arms race.
“The US military would like to see a peaceful space,” Benson, the director of Space Force troops stationed in Qatar, said. “Other folks’ behaviour is kind of driving us to this point.”
Announces Strategic Alliance With US-Based Operator Dallas Market Center.
The Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD), in partnership with Dubai South, announced today the launch of Dubai Global Connect (DGC), a 1 million square meter B2B wholesale market in Dubai which will bring together buyers and sellers to safely and easily trade great goods from all over the world, all year round in one central location. The initial focus will be on three sectors which have been identified as being large enough in size, growing, and relevant
to the region: Furniture & Living, Food, and Fashion.
On its part, DGC has today announced it has entered into a strategic alliance with US-based Market Center Management Company (MCMC) for the development and management of DGC's state-of-the-art permanent showroom environment which will be open year-round to qualified retail buyers and designers, manufacturers, and industry professionals, and can be fitted out by sellers according to their own style and budget. The showrooms will be closed to the public.
H.E. Mohammed I. Al Shaibani, Managing Director of the Investment Corporation of Dubai, explained: "As part of our mandate to enhance Dubai's position as a global, competitive economy, ICD has embarked on the creation of DGC with the vision to build a unique trade infrastructure that enhances efficiencies in global trade flows through Dubai. We are excited to have MCMC on board to support our teams in realizing this vision, as well as in the development and
management of the market."
MCMC has a legacy of sole, private ownership of the Dallas Market Center (DMC), operating in the US for 65+ years, as well as multinational experience involving both ownership and management of wholesale markeplaces including
Brussels International Trade Mart and ShanghaiMart as well as consultation experience on additional projects in Colombia, Vietnam, and Portugal.
Cindy Morris, CEO of MCMC, commented: "We are pleased to be a part of this truly unique opportunity for Dubai to address industry pain points and create an important global destination for wholesale trade. This multi-year agreement aims to foster team collaboration between our companies and ultimately help create a center of commerce for buyers and sellers from around the world."
DGC is unique as it focuses on a global audience in addition to regional audiences to create a truly origin-neutral marketplace to trade goods from all around the world. Traditionally, wholesale markets have focused on promoting
domestic agendas by bringing together sellers of local products with international buyers or by presenting international products to regional buyer groups.
"DGC has been a long time in the making but is even more relevant and needed in today's changed global trade environment. Establishing a controlled, permanent marketplace environment is perfectly timed as event producers and their attendees cope with reduced travel budgets and the need for smaller, more controlled gatherings. DGC enables traders to meet halfway by offering producers and manufacturers a window to the world in a central, easy to reach location, and by providing buyers with a safe buying environment and place of reference that is open all year round." commented Douraid Zaghouani, COO of ICD and Chairman of Dubai Global Connect.
DGC, the "City of Trade", is already under construction, with a purpose-built visitor centre opening in Q4 of 2020. The market is expected to be delivered in phases, with the first phase comprising of 400,000 square meters of dedicated
trade facilities including on-site storage, boutique offices, an innovation hub, and a Smart Service Centre to house third party service providers.
Located at the crossroads of Dubai's logistics corridor, at Dubai South next to Al Maktoum International Airport with a direct connection to the Jebel Ali Port, DGC's physical infrastructure will be supported by best-in-class services
and optimal business solutions at the Logistics District, including a digital wholesale trading platform which will connect wholesale sellers and buyers online and facilitate hassle-free trade through DGC.
For more information please visit: www.dubaiglobalconnect.com
Press Enquiries: Info@dubaiglobalconnect.com
Dubai Global Connect (DGC) is the world's first wholesale market with a global focus. An initiative of the Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD), the "City of Trade" provides purpose-built facilities and supporting infrastructure in a
year-round, origin-neutral market and expo where global buyers and sellers in furniture & home, food and fashion can connect and trade at scale. DGC is an ecosystem, conveniently located in geographically advantageous Dubai, dedicated to the growth of the industries it promotes and their global traders.
Market Center Management Company (MCMC) is an international market center and tradeshow management company with more than sixty-year history of development, ownership, consulting and/or management of large-scale B2B wholesale trade centers and associated tradeshows around the world.
The company currently has a global portfolio of 7 million square feet of market center trading space under management.
The Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD), the principal investment arm of the Government of Dubai, was established in May 2006 by decree (11) of 2006 under a mandate to consolidate and manage the Government of Dubai's portfolio of commercial companies and investments.
ICD has a rich portfolio of assets, both locally and internationally, across a broad spectrum of the sectors that form the blueprint of Dubai's dynamic economy.
About Dubai South
Dubai South is an emerging 145 sq. km. city situated within the emirate of Dubai that will ultimately sustain a population of one million.
Launched as a Government of Dubai project in 2006, the city is mandated to embody the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashed Al Maktoum by manifesting the urban and societal themes as outlined in the Dubai Plan 2021.
Dubai South's economic platform supports every conceivable kind of business and industry. The city is also home to Al Maktoum International Airport and the Expo 2020.
SOURCE: Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD)
The chief of Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard threatened Saturday to go after everyone who had a role in a top general’s January killing during a U.S. drone strike in Iraq.
The guard’s website quoted Gen. Hossein Salami as saying, “Mr. Trump! Our revenge for martyrdom of our great general is obvious, serious and real.”
U.S. President Donald Trump warned this week that Washington would harshly respond to any Iranian attempts to take revenge for the death of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, tweeting that “if they hit us in any way, any form, written instructions already done we’re going to hit them 1000 times harder.”
The president’s warning came in response to a report that Iran was plotting to assassinate the U.S. ambassador to South Africa in retaliation for Soleimani’s killing at Baghdad’s airport at the beginning of the year, reports AP.
“We took out the world’s number one terrorist and the mass murderer of American troops and many, many troops and many people all over the world,” Trump said. “Qasem Soleimani is dead. He’s dead. Bad guy. Bad guy. Very bad guy.”
Salami rejected the report of an Iranian plot to assassinate Ambassador Lana Marks, but made clear that Iran intends to avenge the general’s death.
“Do you think we hit a female ambassador in return to our martyred brother?’ the general said. “We will hit those who had direct and indirect roles. You should know that everybody who had role in the event will be hit, and this is a serious message. We do prove everything in practice.”
Also read: Iran unveils 2 new missiles
In January, Iran launched a ballistic missile attack targeting U.S. soldiers in Iraq in response to the fatal drone strike.
Trump has stepped up economic pressure on Iran with sanctions since he pulled the United States out of Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers in 2018.
Tehran has continued to expand its stockpile of enriched uranium and pressured other nations to offset the harm of U.S. sanctions, while insisting it does not want to develop a nuclear weapon.
The Israeli military struck Hamas militant sites in the Gaza Strip early Wednesday in response to rocket fire toward Israel the previous night that coincided with the signing of normalization agreements between Israel and two Arab countries at the White House.
The barrage against Israel began Tuesday night just as the ceremony in Washington was getting underway to formalize the new agreements with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. Two Israelis were lightly wounded.
The military said five projectiles landed in open areas with the rest intercepted by Israel’s rocket defense system.
In response, the military said it struck about 10 sites belonging to Gaza’s militant Hamas rulers, including a weapons and explosives manufacturing factory, underground infrastructure and a military training compound.
The renewed exchange offered a stark reminder that the festive events in Washington would likely do little to change Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians.
The bilateral agreements signed by Israel, the UAE and Bahrain, all three signed a document dubbed the “Abraham Accords” after the patriarch of the world’s three major monotheistic religions.
The Palestinians are opposed to the agreements viewing them as a betrayal of their cause by the Arab countries.
Neither President Donald Trump nor Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu mentioned the Palestinians in their remarks at the signing ceremony, but both the UAE and Bahraini foreign ministers spoke of the importance of creating a Palestinian state.
The Islamic militant group Hamas has ruled Gaza since 2007, when it seized power from the internationally-backed Palestinian Authority. Israel and Egypt have imposed a crippling blockade on the coastal territory since then.
Israel and Hamas have fought three wars and several smaller skirmishes since 2007.