On Wednesday, Israeli officials confirmed that their government was responsible for the 2007 strike that destroyed a suspected Syrian nuclear facility. NBC News quoted Intelligence Minister Israel Katz as saying via Twitter, “The operation and its success made it clear that Israel would never allow nuclear weapons to those who threaten its existence.” He added that whereas Syria filled that role and qualified as a justified target in 2007, Iran fills the same role now. The long-delayed admission of Israeli responsibility for the strike was thus viewed as an explicit warning to Iran in the wake of increased tensions between the two Middle Eastern rivals and increased uncertainty about the future of the nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers.

Despite the Iranian government claiming a 4.4 percent growth for the country’s economy, a member of parliament’s Economic Committee says that 80 percent of the country’s population live below poverty line. Meanwhile, an advisor to Iran’s president has also warned rivals, saying “we’re all aboard the same ship, and all of us will be hurt if this ship is going to sink.”

While Iran’s Statistics Center claims a 4.4 percent economic growth in the first nine month of the current Iranian year, there are more and more disturbing reports on the situation of people living below poverty line.

In addition to deteriorating the country’s air quality, Iran’s road transport industry has also been severely hit by a dilapidated truck fleet over the past few years.

Ranging from 127,000 to 202,000, different figures have been given by state official on the numbers of Iran’s dilapidated trucks.

While, according to state-run ISNA news agency, state’s head of Industrial Development and Renovation Organization (IDRO) ‘Mansour Moazami’ has spoken of replacing 202,000 outdated heavy vehicles in the next three years through a fleet renovation program that is going to need $10 billion in investment, Iran’s Minister of Roads and Urban Development has stated that 127,000 dilapidated trucks aged 25 and higher are currently traveling across Iran as part of the country’s road transport fleet.

Iran’s environment is subject to destruction, in such a way that it’s deadly, irreparable consequences for future generations could be predicted right now, emerging in the form of dried up lakes, rivers, wetlands and groundwater resources.

The latest instance of such environmental crises is the one related to Qom’s wetlands.

In a report titled “Qom’s drying wetlands, an alarm bell for the capital”, state-run ISNA news agency on February 28, 2018, acknowledges severe shortage of financial as well as human assets to protect natural resources and quotes the province’s director of Natural Resources Conservation Department as saying “with Qom’s wetlands drying up, the amount of dust in the country’s central parts will sharply increase, which rings a real alarm bell for the capital and other provinces alike.”

It has been reported that a protest will take place in Geneva in front of the United Nations headquarters because the Human Rights Council is allowing Iranian Justice Minister Alireza Avaie to attend the its annual meeting in Geneva this week.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley is also slamming the organisation for allowing him to attend later this week too. At the weekend she released a statement saying that she is astounded that a minister with such a reputation would be allowed to speak at the meeting. She said that it should be “ashamed” that someone who has been called out for participating in violations of human rights will be present at such an event.


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