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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "fox-news/world/conflicts/iran" (Page 13)

Iran’s coronavirus task force head contracts illness as country’s death toll reaches 15

Iran’s deputy health minister said he has tested positive for the novel coronavirus and is in self-quarantine at his home just a day after he appeared at a news conference in Tehran where he sought to quell fears about the outbreak. Iraj Harirchi, the head of Iran’s counter-coronavirus task force, announced the illness in a video online while vowing that authorities would continue working to control the spread.

The news comes as the country’s COVID-19 death toll was raised from a dozen to 15, with an additional 95 cases of the illness reported. The uptick in cases has spurred the UAE to cut off flights from the country for one week out of precaution while schools across Iran were shuttered and public events canceled. Afghanistan and Iraq have closed their borders with Iran in an effort to stop the spread.

AUSTRIA, CROATIA CONFIRM FIRST CORONAVIRUS CASES

Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, gave a speech on Tuesday in an effort to downplay the virus’ threat.

Westlake Legal Group Iraj_Harirchi Iran's coronavirus task force head contracts illness as country's death toll reaches 15 fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/health/infectious-disease/coronavirus fox news fnc/health fnc article Alexandria Hein 57e145f2-98b8-541e-850f-e4999685a47d

Iraj Harirchi, left, speaks at a press briefing on Monday with government spokesman Ali Rabiei, in Tehran, a day before he released a video saying that he tested positive for the virus.  (AP)

“We will get through corona,” he said, according to The Associated Press. “We will get through the virus.”

Questions surrounding the true depth of the virus’ impact in Iran began to mount after the semiofficial ILNA news agency first reported that the country’s death toll was 50, citing a lawmaker from Qom. Ahmad Amirabadi Farahani reportedly told ILNA that up to 250 people are under quarantine in Qom, and said that none of the health care workers are properly equipped to deal with the outbreak.

CDC ISSUES CORONAVIRUS WARNING AGAINST NONESSENTIAL SOUTH KOREA TRAVEL 

“I think the performance of the administration in controlling the virus has not been successful,” he reportedly said. “None of the nurses have access to proper protective gear. So far, I have not seen any particular action to confront corona by the administration.”

And while Iran’s health ministry was quick to refute Farahani’s claims, five neighboring countries with recently confirmed cases all said patients had a recent travel history to areas of Iran, some of which have not reported any illnesses.

On Monday, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Iran’s spread of the virus is “deeply concerning” but added that there’s no concrete evidence for how long the virus had been in the country before it was first reported. Conflicting accounts say the first confirmed case occurred on Feb. 13, while Iranian officials didn’t report the first illness and death until Feb. 19.

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“Sometimes, when you see an acceleration of cases and a spread from that, it doesn’t necessarily represent the transmission of the virus,” Dr. Mike Ryan, WHO’s executive director of emergency operations, said in a press conference on Monday. “We need to understand the exact dynamics of what has happened in Iran.”

Ryan also said an expert team was due to fly to Iran on Tuesday, but that has reportedly been delayed. A WHO spokeswoman said the agency was finalizing the dates of a separate visit to Iran and was planning to send medical supplies and testing kits to the country within the coming days, BBC reported.

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In the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) raised the travel alert for Iran to level 2, which recommends that older adults or those with chronic medical conditions consider postponing nonessential travel and that travelers should avoid contact with sick people and clean their hands often.

The virus has sickened more than 80,000 worldwide and killed at least 2,700.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Iraj_Harirchi Iran's coronavirus task force head contracts illness as country's death toll reaches 15 fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/health/infectious-disease/coronavirus fox news fnc/health fnc article Alexandria Hein 57e145f2-98b8-541e-850f-e4999685a47d  Westlake Legal Group Iraj_Harirchi Iran's coronavirus task force head contracts illness as country's death toll reaches 15 fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/health/infectious-disease/coronavirus fox news fnc/health fnc article Alexandria Hein 57e145f2-98b8-541e-850f-e4999685a47d

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Who is Ayatollah Khamenei? What to know about Iran’s supreme leader

Westlake Legal Group AP20036461364275 Who is Ayatollah Khamenei? What to know about Iran's supreme leader Vandana Rambaran fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world fox news fnc/world fnc f8583ac3-c0b4-5cf8-8708-808dce8f2dba article

Iran‘s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has emerged as one of the most powerful Iranian leaders of the last century and wields control over all aspects of the country’s government, military and media.

Khamenei was born on July 16, 1939, to a traditional family. His father was a cleric, and Khamenei began a religious education at a young age.

WHO ARE THE PEOPLE’S MUJAHEDEEN OF IRAN?

He rose to power after Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi was ousted in 1979, an initiative that Khamenei championed for many years. He served as minister of defense and then supervisor of the Revolutionary Guards.

After surviving an assassination attempt that paralyzed his right arm, Khamenei was asked by revolutionary elites to run for president. He successfully did so and was elected in 1981.

He served the maximum two terms and has been Iran’s supreme leader since 1989, making him the second-longest-serving autocrat in the Middle East as well as the second-longest-serving Iranian leader of the last century.

The majority of his presidency was enveloped in turmoil, as the Iran-Iraq War brewed, which killed an estimated half a million Iranian and Iraqi soldiers. After serving out his term, he later became the country’s supreme leader, despite pushback from some senior clerics that felt he was unqualified for the position.

During the 1979 revolution in Iran, Khamenei preached about overthrowing the shah and resisting the United States and the western world in an effort to reaffirm Islamic values in the Iranian government and avoid any influences that threaten to undermine his autocratic rule and the self-sufficiency of his country.

Despite being skeptical of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, Khamenei reluctantly gave both President Rouhani and the deal — brokered under the Obama administration — his approval. Since President Trump pulled out of the deal and exerted hefty sanctions on Iran in an effort to curb their nuclear proliferation, Khamenei has grown increasingly angered and disdainful at the U.S., which he has described as “deceitful, untrustworthy and backstabbing.”

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The economic nosedive Iran has faced in recent years has further escalated tensions between Washington and Tehran and encouraged Khamenei to preach resistance of the U.S. In a recent speech he uttered the word “resistance” 70 times and said that it, “unlike surrender, leads to the retreat of the enemy.”

Westlake Legal Group AP20036461364275 Who is Ayatollah Khamenei? What to know about Iran's supreme leader Vandana Rambaran fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world fox news fnc/world fnc f8583ac3-c0b4-5cf8-8708-808dce8f2dba article  Westlake Legal Group AP20036461364275 Who is Ayatollah Khamenei? What to know about Iran's supreme leader Vandana Rambaran fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world fox news fnc/world fnc f8583ac3-c0b4-5cf8-8708-808dce8f2dba article

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Who are the People’s Mujahedeen of Iran?

Derided by some as a terrorist group, dismissed by others as a cult, the People’s Mujahedin is a secretive organization that has existed on the fringes of Iranian politics for decades.

The Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, or MEK, has received strong support from prominent U.S. figures, including President Trump’s former personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, and former National Security Adviser John R. Bolton.

Westlake Legal Group mek-getty Who are the People’s Mujahedeen of Iran? fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-regions/iraq fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox news fnc/world fnc Bradford Betz article 6fc11652-bf03-5297-8b47-2da245b93b57

Mujahedin-e Khalq members wave Iranian flags during the conference “120 Years of Struggle for Freedom Iran” at the Ashraf-3 camp, which is a base for the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI, MEK) in Manza, on July 13, 2019.  (AFP via Getty Images)

Inspired by Marxist ideology, it began in the mid-1960s in opposition to the highly unpopular U.S.-backed Shah of Iran. But the MEK soon came to reject the theocratic regime that replaced him after the 1979 revolution.

The group became increasingly violent, carrying out a series of bombings and assassinations against the Iranian government — actions that caused its popularity to plummet.

By the mid-1980s the group had relocated its headquarters to Iraq, where it received protection under Saddam Hussein.

Despite the U.S. State Department designating the MEK as a foreign terrorist group in the late 1990s, it nonetheless received American protection during the Iraq War.

After American troops began winding down operations in Iraq, the MEK suffered violent recriminations from the Shiite-dominated Iraqi government.

In 2012, the U.S. removed the MEK from its terrorist list and worked with the United Nations to find an alternative host country. The following year, Albania welcomed the group, hoping to gain favor with Washington.

TRUMP TAKES AIM AT DEM SENATOR OVER IRAN METTING, SUGGESTS HE SHOULD BE PROSECUTED

Attempts by journalists to gain access to the MEK have remained elusive. Though the group has renounced violence, advocating for the peaceful overthrow of Iran’s theocratic government, some former members have said they were brainwashed.

A New York Times reporter recently gained rare access into the group’s headquarters outside the capital of Albania. He also interviewed former members living in the country who claimed they were forced to renounce romantic relationships and that all sexual thoughts were banned.

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Insiders have denied these claims, arguing that any discipline of thought was necessary to battle the despotic Iranian regime.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group mek-getty Who are the People’s Mujahedeen of Iran? fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-regions/iraq fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox news fnc/world fnc Bradford Betz article 6fc11652-bf03-5297-8b47-2da245b93b57  Westlake Legal Group mek-getty Who are the People’s Mujahedeen of Iran? fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-regions/iraq fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox news fnc/world fnc Bradford Betz article 6fc11652-bf03-5297-8b47-2da245b93b57

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Trump takes aim at Dem senator over Iran meeting, suggests he should be prosecuted

Westlake Legal Group GettyImages-540682798 Trump takes aim at Dem senator over Iran meeting, suggests he should be prosecuted Marisa Schultz fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/senate/democrats fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc article a4d5101e-f538-5dd8-a2e8-e5e704f0acf1

President Trump lashed out Wednesday at Sen. Chris Murphy for meeting with Iran’s foreign minister and accused the Democratic senator of “illegally” violating the Logan Act.

The Logan Act, enacted in 1799, bars Americans from conducting rogue negotiations with foreign governments in disputes with the U.S.

SENATE DEMOCRAT MURPHY ACKNOWLEDGES MEETING WITH IRAN’S FOREIGN MINISTER

No one has ever been successfully prosecuted under this obscure federal law, but some critics suggested in 2017 that Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn ran afoul of the law in his dealings with Russia before Trump took office. Murphy himself called for investigations at the time. Trump on Wednesday argued the Connecticut senator is now the one in breach of that law, suggesting he face consequences.

“Kerry & Murphy illegally violated the Logan Act,” Trump tweeted Wednesday, in reference to former Secretary of State John Kerry as well. “This is why Iran is not making a deal. Must be dealt with strongly!”

Murphy met with Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif while at the Munich Security conference declaring, “if Trump isn’t going to talk to Iran, then someone should.”

Once hearing the news of Murphy’s visit, Trump previewed his line of attack to reporters.

“I saw that Senator Murphy met with the Iranians, is that a fact?” Trump said Tuesday before boarding Air Force One.  “I just saw that on the way over. Is there anything I should know? Because that sounds like, to me, a violation of the Logan Act.”

Trump has previously accused Kerry of meeting the Iranians and trying to undermine his foreign policy.

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A spokesperson for Kerry responded Wednesday: “We’ve addressed this many times before. The president is still tweeting, is still wrong, and is still trying to distract from his diplomatic malpractice on Iran.”

Flynn wasn’t prosecuted for Logan Act violations, but in 2017 he pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI in relation to the Russia probe.

Fox News’ Rich Edson contributed to this report. 

Westlake Legal Group GettyImages-540682798 Trump takes aim at Dem senator over Iran meeting, suggests he should be prosecuted Marisa Schultz fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/senate/democrats fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc article a4d5101e-f538-5dd8-a2e8-e5e704f0acf1  Westlake Legal Group GettyImages-540682798 Trump takes aim at Dem senator over Iran meeting, suggests he should be prosecuted Marisa Schultz fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/senate/democrats fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc article a4d5101e-f538-5dd8-a2e8-e5e704f0acf1

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Reporter’s Notebook: How the war-powers fight has stretched back decades

Westlake Legal Group AP20047543357989 Reporter's Notebook: How the war-powers fight has stretched back decades fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/politics/defense/wars fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc Chad Pergram article 8ee7ce3e-c136-545e-8629-2098884c3411

Let’s start with Operation Ajax.

It was 1953. The United States, working with British intelligence, overthrew democratically-elected Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh in favor of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the “Shah of Iran.”

The CIA-engineered coupe d’état marked the first time the U.S. used covert means to undercut the leadership of another country. U.S. intelligence services dubbed the mission “Operation Ajax.”

It should surprise no one that the American encroachment had a lot to do with oil.

Toppling Pahlavi came back to bite the U.S. during the 1979 Revolution in Iran. Iranians ran the Shah off, seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and took 52 Americans hostage for 444 days. Things haven’t gone well for the U.S. with Iran since.

IRANIAN DISSIDENTS CALL FOR ELECTION BOYCOTT AFTER REGIME DISQUALIFIES THOUSANDS OF CANDIDATES

The expression “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” comes to mind as the U.S. backed Iraq in a lengthy war it waged with Iran in the 1980s. The U.S. and other western nations sent significant monetary support to Baghdad to fuel the fight against Iran. The west also dispatched guns, helicopters and missiles. U.S. intelligence services helped bolster Iraq track Iranian troops.

President Reagan boasted that the U.S. “would do whatever was necessary to prevent Iraq from losing” to Iran.

Tensions between the U.S. and Iran escalated in 1987 and 1988. The U.S. began reflagging Kuwaiti tankers navigating the Persian Gulf and Straits of Hormuz. The U.S. Navy escorted the ships to protect them from attacks by Iranian forces. The U.S. skirmished with the Iranian military on several occasions – leading to the deployment of the U.S.S. Vincennes in the spring of 1988. That July, the Vincennes mistook the flight of a passenger jet for an Iranian F-14 Tomcat. As a result, the Vincennes fired two missiles at the airliner, killing nearly 300 passengers and crew on board.

The U.S. has been involved in formal wars in the Persian Gulf and nearby neighborhoods since 1991. It started with Congressional authorization for the Gulf War. Congress approved a broader “Authorization for Use of Military Force” (AUMF) in 2001, shortly after 9/11. That measure greenlighted the deployment of U.S. military personnel to Afghanistan and elsewhere to wage “the war on terror.” Then came a 2002 Congressional blessing for the 2003 war in Iraq. The U.S. is still fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan – and all over the world – as a result of the 2001 and 2002 AUMFs. But Congress has never specifically authorized any attack against Iran. Things got murkier earlier this winter when President Trump ordered a strike to kill Iranian General Qassem Soleimani – in Iraq.

Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., has tried for years to revamp the 2001 and 2002 authorizations which the administrations of Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump used to rationalize military intervention in a host of locales. Kaine and lawmakers from both parties contend the old authorizations are outmoded. Concern about the calcified authorizations grew after Trump called in the Soleimani strike. After that operation, Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, trashed the administration for delivering what he characterized as the “worst” briefing he’d witnessed since coming to Washington.

SENATE APPROVES RESOLUTION RESTRAINING THE PRESIDENT’S ABILITY TO USE MILITARY ACTION WITHOUT CONGRESSIONAL APPROVAL

“They were in the process of telling us that we need to be good little boys and girls and run along and not debate this in public,” excoriated Lee. “I find that absolutely insane. I think it’s unacceptable.”

Lee pressed Trump Administration officials for what they would see as a circumstance where they would have to ask Congress for a war declaration or an AUMF for Iran.

“’I’m sure we can think of something,’” one of the briefers told inquisitive lawmakers, according to Lee.

Over time, various administration officials and President Trump said the U.S. was justified in killing Soleimani because he posed an imminent threat. Late last week, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., blasted the administration for sending a report to Congress accounting for the legal justifications for knocking off Soleimani. But Engel said “the administration’s explanation in this report makes no mention of any imminent threat.” Engel called the Trump Administration’s accounting of the episode “spurious” and asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to testify on Feb. 28 “about war powers.”

As this unfolded, Kaine and others prepared a war powers resolution regarding Iran. Kaine’s measure would specifically limit potential U.S. military engagement in Iran to a month – unless Congress expressly signs off on additional fighting. The Senate approved the package late last week 55-45. All 47 Senate Democrats voted aye, joined by eight GOP senators: Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, Rand Paul, R-Ky., Jerry Moran, R-Kan., Lisa Murkowski, R-Ark., Bill Cassidy, R-La., Todd Young, R-Ind., Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Lee.

“Clearly the resolution is not ready for prime time,” chastised Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., describing it as “deeply flawed on a number of levels.”

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said proponents of Kaine’s plan hoped to curb a war scenario with Iran. But Rubio believed adoption of the measure “potentially increases the chances of war.”

SENATE APPROVES RESOLUTION RESTRAINING THE PRESIDENT’S ABILITY TO USE MILITARY ACTION WITHOUT CONGRESSIONAL APPROVAL

Rubio said he didn’t question the motives of Kaine and other senators who supported the resolution.

“The problem is that their intentions and how this will be perceived,” said Rubio. He said that Iran would interpret the resolution as hemming in President Trump at a time of anxiety in the region. Florida’s senior senator worried about the Senate undercutting the chief executive.

Still, the Senate adopted Kaine’s resolution, which some characterized as a bipartisan rebuke of the president. The measure now goes to the House. Lawmakers there likely will approve the package as well.

“Congress has a role to play,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., when it comes to war and peace. “We want to do it in a way that does not eliminate the power of declaring war from the Congress of the United States.”

But neither the House nor Senate have two-thirds to override a potential veto by the president.

Even so, supporters of the plan note that President Trump has said repeatedly he wants to end U.S. involvement in “endless wars.”

Shortly after the Senate closed the war powers vote, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said the resolution showed that “no president can sidestep Congress.” He added that presidents “cannot plunge the United States into an endless conflict in the Middle East.”

The U.S. is technically not engaged in hostilities with Iran. But the United States and Iran have waged a sort of “cold” war against one another since Operation Ajax. By the same token, the U.S. has fought in the Middle East, Iraq and Afghanistan for decades. It’s unfurled Congressional justifications for doing so which date back years. The circumvention of Congress continues. And, despite the vote, presidents can still plunge “the United States into an endless conflict in the Middle East.” The U.S. is already there. Things aren’t changing any time soon.

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This is ironic. At the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787, the Founders ultimately decided to award the power “to declare war” to Congress. The thinking was that it should be hard to get into war – but easier to make peace.

But here, the opposite appears to be true.

Westlake Legal Group AP20047543357989 Reporter's Notebook: How the war-powers fight has stretched back decades fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/politics/defense/wars fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc Chad Pergram article 8ee7ce3e-c136-545e-8629-2098884c3411  Westlake Legal Group AP20047543357989 Reporter's Notebook: How the war-powers fight has stretched back decades fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/politics/defense/wars fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc Chad Pergram article 8ee7ce3e-c136-545e-8629-2098884c3411

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Iran’s Rouhani says US ‘maximum pressure’ campaign ‘has failed,’ Trump doesn’t want war

Westlake Legal Group rouhani-cropped-1242am Iran's Rouhani says US 'maximum pressure' campaign 'has failed,' Trump doesn't want war Jack Durschlag fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/world fnc article 61002037-63b2-57e1-b5c7-95046c8988cc

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said Sunday that the U.S.’s “maximum pressure” policy aimed at isolating Iran has “failed,” and he claimed President Trump doesn’t want a war with Iran because it would “ruin” his reelection chances.

Rouhani said the regime would be willing to negotiate with the Trump administration if the U.S. were to reinstate the Iranian nuclear deal — negotiated by the Obama administration — and drop crippling economic sanctions, USA Today reported.

Last week, eight Senate Republicans sided with Democrats to support legislation restricting Trump’s ability to wage war with Iran in a rare bipartisan effort.

“Of course, sanctions naturally create some problems, but they will not yield any results for the enemies. Maximum pressure has failed. We are in a better situation in the region now.”

— Iranian President Hassan Rouhani

The measure, which headed to the House, reflected lawmakers’ concerns that U.S. tensions with Iran could escalate into a full-fledged war.

IRANIAN DISSIDENTS CALL FOR ELECTION BOYCOTT AFTER REGIME DISQUALIFIES THOUSANDS OF CANDIDATES

“I think the Americans aren’t after war since they know what harm it could do them,” the Iranian leader said.

Talks could take place if the U.S. were to scrap damaging economic sanctions and reinstate commitments made in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action negotiated by the Obama administration between Iran and global powers, Rouhani said. Trump repeatedly railed against the deal on the election trail and, as president, pulled the U.S. out of the agreement, which saw Iran giving up nuclear capabilities for relief from previously imposed economic sanctions, USA Today reported.

SENATE APPROVES RESOLUTION RESTRAINING THE PRESIDENT’S ABILITY TO USE MILITARY ACTION WITHOUT CONGRESSIONAL APPROVAL

U.S.-Iranian relations have been strained, culminating in the early-January U.S. drone strike that killed Iran’s shadowy general, Qassem Soleimani. Iran responded with airstrikes on Iraqi bases housing U.S. troops which left more than 100 of those soldiers with brain injuries.

Trump, however, repeatedly has expressed interest in holding talks with Iran, the report said. The State Department did not immediately respond to the newspaper’s request for comment on Rouhani’s statements.

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Asked about whom he favored in November’s U.S. elections, Rouhani expressed little interest, saying there was no difference for Iran between the Democrats and Republicans. Tehran, he said, cared only about its national interests.

“We will never sit at the negotiating table with a weak position,” Rouhani said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group rouhani-cropped-1242am Iran's Rouhani says US 'maximum pressure' campaign 'has failed,' Trump doesn't want war Jack Durschlag fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/world fnc article 61002037-63b2-57e1-b5c7-95046c8988cc  Westlake Legal Group rouhani-cropped-1242am Iran's Rouhani says US 'maximum pressure' campaign 'has failed,' Trump doesn't want war Jack Durschlag fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/world fnc article 61002037-63b2-57e1-b5c7-95046c8988cc

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Iranian dissidents call for election boycott after regime disqualifies thousands of candidates

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6124765525001_6124778489001-vs Iranian dissidents call for election boycott after regime disqualifies thousands of candidates fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox news fnc/world fnc article Adam Shaw 870b4bdc-8dd7-5f27-8be2-e42b69fc3242

Iranian dissidents opposed to the hardline regime in Tehran are urging their fellow citizens not to vote in next week’s elections, which they describe as a “sham” — calling on them to instead work to overthrow the struggling regime.

“The boycott of the sham elections is a patriotic duty and the bond of the Iranian people with their martyrs, especially the over 1,500 martyrs of the November uprising,” National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) President-elect Maryam Rajavi said in a speech, referring to protests last year. “This boycott sides with the demands of the arisen people and students in January for the overthrow of the entirety of the illegitimate regime of the [absolute clerical rule].”

IRANIAN DISSIDENTS HAIL SOLEIMANI’S DEATH AS ‘MAJOR, MAJOR BLOW’ FOR REGIME IN TEHRAN

“Indeed, the vote of the Iranian people is ‘overthrow,’” she said.

Iranians go to the polls on Friday to elect members of the 290-seat Iranian parliament, less than two months since the killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani in a U.S. strike, which shook the regime and boosted dissidents. That strike was followed by a new wave of sanctions by the Trump administration.

AFP reported that The Guardian Council, responsible for vetting candidates, has disqualified more than half of the 14,444 who looked to stand in the elections — including many reformist and more moderate candidates. The outlet reported that many voters are consequently being faced with the choice of voting for hardliners or not voting at all, and that the election could even result in Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s conservative rivals gaining seats

The BBC reported that any candidates from groups opposed to the Islamic Republic, or who want to change the system, are disqualified from running by the Council.

Activists on the ground say that Iranians are not apathetic, but will be boycotting the election. One activist in Tehran, who identified himself to Fox News as Kaveh, said that the Iranian people want to overthrow what he described as a “corrupt and criminal regime.”

US SANCTIONS AGAINST IRAN: A TIMELINE

“Basically, public participation in elections in a democratic government is the product of the public’s confidence in its democratic structure,” he said via text message. “But because we have a fascist government in Iran, people not only have no confidence in the structure of the regime, but they hate it.”

“In fact, what the regime calls the election is just a hoax to declare to the world that it has social legitimacy,” he added.

There are signs of increasing activism and public anger at the theocratic regime, particularly amid an economy buckling under waves of U.S. sanctions imposed by the Trump administration as part of a “maximum pressure” campaign since the U.S. left the Iran nuclear deal in 2018.

Tensions exploded in November when thousands of Iranians took to the streets to protest against the regime, leading to a brutal crackdown from Tehran that saw at least 1,000 and as many as 1,500 killed and thousands more imprisoned. There were further protests in January, fueled in part by the regime admitting that it was responsible for the shooting down of a passenger jet amid heightened tensions with the U.S. after Soleimani’s death.

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As the regime appears to weaken, even despite the crackdown on who can participate in the elections, opponents are seeing it as proof that the end is in sight.

“Today, [Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei] is trying to fill the reactionary parliament with absolute loyalists. This is because he sees closing ranks as the solution to dealing with the current crisis,” Rajavi said. “But, whether he succeeds or fails in this endeavor, in the end, the clerical regime has no way out and cannot forestall its overthrow.”

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6124765525001_6124778489001-vs Iranian dissidents call for election boycott after regime disqualifies thousands of candidates fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox news fnc/world fnc article Adam Shaw 870b4bdc-8dd7-5f27-8be2-e42b69fc3242  Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6124765525001_6124778489001-vs Iranian dissidents call for election boycott after regime disqualifies thousands of candidates fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox news fnc/world fnc article Adam Shaw 870b4bdc-8dd7-5f27-8be2-e42b69fc3242

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Tom Cotton on War Powers resolution passed by Senate: ‘Not every military action leads to war’

Westlake Legal Group HemmerCotton522 Tom Cotton on War Powers resolution passed by Senate: 'Not every military action leads to war' fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/shows/bill-hemmer-reports fox-news/politics/senate fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 390adead-2ae8-568d-8084-a255e1c56c66

Senate Armed Services Committee member Tom Cotton, R-Ark., criticized a measure liming President Trump’s authority to order military action against Iran that passed the Senate in a bipartisan vote Thursday.

“Not every military action leads to war with 150,000 troops deployed. We killed one of the world’s worst terrorist leaders last month,” Cotton told “Bill Hemmer Reports,” referring to Iranian Revolutionary Guard commander Qassem Soleimani. “We are not currently invading Iran or occupying a capital,” Cotton said. “There is a range of military action that our commander-in-chief can order to protect our interests.”

TRUMP TELLS GERALDO THAT ‘MANY PEOPLE’ IN WH APPLAUDED VINDMAN DEPARTURE

Eight Senate Republicans joined all 45 Democrats and both independents to pass the measure, which would require the Trump administration to end all military action targeting Iran within a month after the start of potential hostilities unless Congress expressly approves other measures. The bill must still be approved by the House and is expected to be vetoed by the president.

The Republicans who voted for the measure were Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Susan Collins of Maine, Michael Lee of Utah, Jerry Moran of Kansas, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Todd Young of Indiana.

“As far as Congress’ role, I agree that Congress plays an important role in keeping this country safe,” said Cotton. “The president is the commander-in-chief under Article Two of our Constitution. Congress has the spending power though and if that Congress doesn’t like that, we can always limit their ability to spend taxpayer funds.”

Cotton added that Democrats are offering “paper resolutions” while actions against people like Soleimani require “iron resolution.”

Hemmer said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., — speaking for the other Republicans who voted against the measure — argued the bill sends the wrong signal to America’s allies and that the entire exercise is a political swipe at Trump.

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“The president will veto it and the Ayatollah [of Iran] should take notice,” Cotton warned. “This president is ready to defend the United States. They should not take the risk that [Soleimani] did and learned the hard way last month…not to cross this president.”

Democrats and some Republicans, have argued that the Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) passed in the wake of the 9/11 attacks is outdated and a new authorization must be passed to outline actions against new threats.

Westlake Legal Group HemmerCotton522 Tom Cotton on War Powers resolution passed by Senate: 'Not every military action leads to war' fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/shows/bill-hemmer-reports fox-news/politics/senate fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 390adead-2ae8-568d-8084-a255e1c56c66  Westlake Legal Group HemmerCotton522 Tom Cotton on War Powers resolution passed by Senate: 'Not every military action leads to war' fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/shows/bill-hemmer-reports fox-news/politics/senate fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 390adead-2ae8-568d-8084-a255e1c56c66

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Senate passes measure to curb Trump’s war powers in rare bipartisan vote

Westlake Legal Group Kaine Senate passes measure to curb Trump's war powers in rare bipartisan vote Marisa Schultz fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/elections/senate fox-news/person/mitch-mcconnell fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/chuck-schumer fox news fnc/politics fnc article 46e99551-f286-51a2-ab65-d70d4b0cb8fd

The Senate on Thursday passed a bipartisan resolution to curb President Trump’s ability to wage war against Iran in rare defiance of the White House and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Eight GOP senators joined all Democrats in a 55-45 vote to pass a war powers resolution that says Trump must win approval from Congress before engaging in further military action against Iran.

“It’s a rare day here in the Senate,” said Democratic Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer, fresh off the bitterly partisan impeachment fight. “I wish we didn’t have to say that, but it is. But the Senate just sent a clear shot across the bow: a bipartisan majority of senators don’t want the president waging war without congressional approval.”

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The measure now heads to the House. While it is expected to pass there, it’s unlikely there’s the two-thirds supermajority in both the House and Senate needed to override the expected Trump veto.

The eight Republicans who broke with Trump were Sens. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins of Maine, Mike Lee of Utah, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Jerry Moran of Kansas, Todd Young of Indiana and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana.

The measure was authored by Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., who said the resolution was not about Trump or even the presidency, but instead was an important reassertion of congressional power to declare war.

“After years of Congress avoiding its constitutional duty on matters of war, I’m grateful that a bipartisan majority of Senators affirmed that the president cannot send our troops into conflict without authorization,” Kaine said.

McConnell called the measure “deeply flawed” in a floor speech Wednesday. “It is too blunt and too broad,” the Kentucky Republican said.

Trump argued in two tweets Wednesday that a vote against Kaine’s proposal was important for national security and pointed to the Jan. 3 drone strike that killed Iran’s top general, Qassem Soleimani.

GOP SEN. MIKE LEE FURIOUSLY SLAMS ‘WORST MILITARY BRIEFING’ EVER ON IRAN, AS MEETING DIVIDES LAWMAKERS

“We are doing very well with Iran and this is not the time to show weakness. Americans overwhelmingly support our attack on terrorist Soleimani,” Trump said. “If my hands were tied, Iran would have a field day. Sends a very bad signal. The Democrats are only doing this as an attempt to embarrass the Republican Party. Don’t let it happen!”

Tehran responded to the U.S. attack on Soleimani by launching missiles at two military bases in Iraq that house American and Coalition troops. The attack caused traumatic brain injuries in at least 64 U.S. soldiers, the Pentagon has said.

Democrats and Republicans alike criticized a briefing by the Trump administration shortly after the drone strike, saying U.S. officials offered vague information about a possible attack being planned by Iran but no substantial details.

Lee, who called it the “worst military briefing” he’s ever had, said Congress cannot escape its constitutional responsibility to act on matters of war and peace.

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“We want to make sure that any military action that needs to be authorized is in fact properly authorized by Congress,” said Lee, noting he agrees with Trump’s foreign policy. “That doesn’t show weakness. That shows strength.”

The Associated Press and Fox News’ Chad Pergram contributed to this report. 

Westlake Legal Group Kaine Senate passes measure to curb Trump's war powers in rare bipartisan vote Marisa Schultz fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/elections/senate fox-news/person/mitch-mcconnell fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/chuck-schumer fox news fnc/politics fnc article 46e99551-f286-51a2-ab65-d70d4b0cb8fd  Westlake Legal Group Kaine Senate passes measure to curb Trump's war powers in rare bipartisan vote Marisa Schultz fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/elections/senate fox-news/person/mitch-mcconnell fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/chuck-schumer fox news fnc/politics fnc article 46e99551-f286-51a2-ab65-d70d4b0cb8fd

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US warship seizes Iranian weapons, including surface-to-air missiles, Navy says

U.S. officials have confirmed to Fox News Thursday that a U.S. Navy warship intercepted Iranian-made weapons from a vessel in the Arabian Sea earlier this week.

Crew members from the USS Normandy seized a huge cache of weapons from a dhow – a small vessel with lateen sails – on Sunday while conducting maritime security operations in the U.S. Central area of operations.

The weapons and weapon components were intended for the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen, according to officials.

Westlake Legal Group US-Warship-DVIDS-1 US warship seizes Iranian weapons, including surface-to-air missiles, Navy says fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/us/military/navy fox news fnc/world fnc Bradford Betz article 20ce96d4-99a7-5e07-b0ba-69e2cf363f0a

The crew of the USS Normandy seized an illicit shipment of advanced weapons and weapon components intended for the Houthis in Yemen, aboard a dhow during a maritime interdiction operation in the U.S. Fifth Fleet area of operations, Feb. 9, 2020. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael H. Lehman)

Among the weapons seized were 150 “Dehlavieh” anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM), which are Iranian-manufactured copies of Russian Kornet ATGMs.

Other weapons were also Iranian design and manufacture, including three surface-to-air missiles, thermal imaging weapon scopes, components for unmanned aerial and surface vessels, as well as other munitions and advanced weapons parts.

Many of the weapons were identical to those seized by the USS Forest Sherman in the Arabian Sea in November. Those weapons were also determined to be of Iranian origin and assessed to be destined for the Houthis in Yemen – a violation of UN Security Council Resolution that prohibits direct or indict supply, sale, or transfer of weapons to the Houthis.

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The weapons seized Sunday are now in U.S. custody awaiting final disposition. The assessment of the material will be an interagency and international effort. International partner nations and organizations have also been invited to inspect the cache.

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The operation is ongoing, and further information will be shared as it becomes available.

Fox News’ Lucas Tomlinson contributed to this report.

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