The United Arab Emirates didn't need peace with Israel to counter Iran, a top UAE official said Friday, but he said Iran's aggressive policies over three decades alarmed many Arab countries and made them look at their relationship with Israel "with fresh eyes." Anwar Gargash, the UAE's minister of state for foreign affairs, acknowledged at a virtual briefing on the sidelines of the equally virtual U.N. General Assembly's annual meeting of world leaders that this may not have been Iran's intention.
It was the highest single-day death toll since the ministry registered 216 deaths on August 1. Ministry spokeSwoman Sima Sadat Lari told state TV that 3,563 new cases were identified in the last 24 hours in Iran, the hardest-hit by the pandemic in the Middle East. Iran's health officials have voiced alarm over a surge in infections, urging the nation to respect health protocols to control the spread of the disease.
The Trump administration on Thursday hit an Iranian revolutionary court and several judges with sanctions in part for their role in the conviction and execution of a young wrestler. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo imposed the sanctions on two judges with Branch 1 of the Revolutionary Court of Shiraz as well as three prisons where he said human rights abuses were rampant. Pompeo said Judge Seyyed Mahmoud Sadati was being hit for his involvement in the case of 27-year-old wrestler Navid Afkari who was executed earlier this month despite worldwide appeals for clemency, including from President Donald Trump.
The US negotiator on Afghanistan said Thursday he would welcome talks with Iran on ending the Afghan conflict, accusing Tehran of seeking to bog down its arch-enemy in its longest war.
The United States has extended a sanctions waiver that enables Iraq to continue importing gas from Iran but this time granting a significantly shorter waiver period, Iraqi officials and the U.S. State Department said Thursday. The development is a sign of unease in U.S.-Iraq relations amid near-daily attacks targeting American presence in the Mideast country and underscores the standing U.S. demand that Baghdad wean itself off dependence on Iranian oil.