Afghan security experts fear Iran could exploit their fleeing ex-commandos
27 August 2022 | 7:37 am
A US report suggests Afghan special forces should have been prioritized for evacuation. Many who fled the Taliban ended up in Iran. US-trained soldiers could now be used by Iran in regional conflicts.
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A controversial prisoner swap deal with Iran could go ahead under a Belgian court ruling. But the conditions attached mean the future of a Belgian aid worker remains unclear.
Hundreds of schoolgirls in Iran have been reportedly poisoned. The United Nations and German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock have called for a thorough investigation.
Hundreds of schoolgirls have been hospitalized across Iran, and parents took to the streets in Tehran to protest. Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the perpetrators should be severely punished.
Reports of unexplained poisonings in girls' schools and dorms in Iran have increased since November. Authorities have claimed the victims are experiencing symptoms of "stress," but activists say it's unlikely.
Leaders in Iran announced several arrests amid an ongoing wave of school poisonings. Tehran's Interior Ministry has accused some of those arrested of having ties to "foreign-based dissident media."
Since the Taliban retook power in Afghanistan in August 2021, thousands of Afghan families have found refuge in neighbouring Pakistan. Many Afghans decided to flee their country in order for their daughters to have an education, the Taliban having imposed a ban on secondary and higher education for girls. Pakistan does not offer real prospects of integration or employment to refugees.
Bernard Phelan, 64, has been sentenced to six and a half years in prison by the Iranian authorities, his family says.
The Iranian authorities have promised that whoever is behind the poisoning of Iranian schoolgirls will be mercilessly punished — but the government has lost all credibility with the people.
Iran says "everything is ready" for a prisoner swap with the US. Washington denies Tehran's claim, labeling it a "cruel lie."
The Islamic regime has pardoned 22,000 people arrested during recent nationwide demonstrations. The protests flared up following Mahsa Amini's death in police custody.
The two long-time foes say they will improve their relationship. If they do, the detente could have a major impact on politics in the Middle East.
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