Aug 12, 2021, 9:23 AM
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Headlines in Iranian English-language dailies on August 12

Tehran, IRNA - The following headlines appeared in English-language newspapers in the Iranian capital on Thursday, August 12, 2021:

*** IRAN DAILY

-- Leader: Foreign providers agreed to sell Iran vaccines only after domestic jab production

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said foreign providers of COVID-19 vaccines initially reneged on their promises and refused sales to Iran, but changed course and started providing the Islamic Republic only after the country successfully managed to produce jabs against the deadly virus at home.

Delivering a televised speech on Wednesday, Ayatollah Khamenei described the coronavirus outbreak as the country’s first and foremost issue, Press TV reported.

-- President Raeisi presents list of proposed ministers to Parliament

Iran’s President Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi on Wednesday submitted the list of his proposed ministerial picks to the Parliament for a vote of confidence, six days after his swearing-in ceremony.

Speaking to Tasnim New Agency, MP Vali Esmaeili confirmed that the president has submitted the list of the proposed ministers to the Parliament’s Presiding Board.

-- Europe turns to Iran, Pakistan to duck responsibility of Afghan refugees

Europe, which followed the US and NATO lead and sent troops to Afghanistan in 2001 invasion of the country, is avoiding its post-occupation responsibilities towed by Washington’s military withdrawal.

It has called on Iran and Pakistan to shoulder the burden of, among other things, accommodating Afghan refugees.

Six EU member states have warned the bloc’s executive against halting deportations of rejected Afghan asylum seekers arriving in Europe despite major advances of Taliban militants in their country, according to Reuters.

*** KAYHAN INTERNATIONAL

-- Leader: Coronavirus Disease Is the Primary Issue

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said on Wednesday that halting COVID-19 is an “urgent” priority and called for more vaccine imports and production, after record deaths and infections.

Iran’s COVID cases and fatalities have surged in recent weeks, in what officials have said is a “fifth wave” caused by the highly infectious Delta variant.

“Today, the issue of the coronavirus disease is the country’s primary and urgent issue,” Ayatollah Khamenei said in a televised address focused on the health issue.

-- President Raisi Unveils Cabinet

Iran’s new president Ebrahim Raisi on Wednesday picked a Foreign Ministry veteran to replace Muhammad Javad Zarif as the nation’s top diplomat.

Hossein Amirabdollahian, a fluent Arabic speaker and previously deputy foreign minister for Arab and African affairs, was proposed for the role in a list of cabinet ministers presented to lawmakers.

-- Taliban Complete Blitz Across Afghan Northeast

The Taliban seized three more provincial capitals in Afghanistan and a local army headquarters completing their blitz across the country’s northeast and pressing their offensive elsewhere, officials said Wednesday. The insurgents now control some two-thirds of the nation as the US and NATO finalize their withdrawal after a decades-long war there.

The fall of the capitals of Badakhshan and Baghlan provinces to the northeast and Farah province to the west put increasing pressure on the country’s central government to stem the tide of the advance, even as it lost a major base in Kunduz. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani rushed to Balkh province, already surrounded by Taliban-held territory, to seek help in pushing back the insurgents from warlords linked to allegations of atrocities and corruption. He also replaced his army chief of staff.

*** TEHRAN TIMES

-- Leader urges officials to do whatever necessary to contain new wave of Covid-19

In a televised message delivered on Wednesday, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei suggested that containing the rapidly increasing wave of the Coronavirus is the first and foremost issue of the country.

Placing great emphasis on the fulfillment of duties and the implementation of decisions regarding the Coronavirus pandemic, Ayatollah Khamenei issued important pieces of advice to officials and the people.

-- President forwards budget bill amendments for execution

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has announced the current Iranian calendar year’s (started on March 20) amended national budget bill to be implemented by the Planning and Budget Organization (PBO), IRNA reported.

President Raisi sent the approved amendments to PBO on Wednesday, according to Article 123 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Majlis (Iranian parliament) had approved the amended national budget bill for the current calendar year in mid-March.

-- US influence in West Asia has declined: Oxford professor

TEHRAN - A professor of international relations at the University of Oxford says that the US has yielded the initiative in West Asia.

“US influence in the Middle East (West Asia) has declined. Having failed to lead on Syria, it has yielded the initiative there to Russia, Iran and Turkey,” Richard Caplan tells the Tehran Times.

As the United States is completely withdrawing its troops from Afghanistan on the eve of the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, it is important to reflect on the broader and longer-term reverberations of that withdrawal.

9416**2050

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