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Iran 'harsh response'

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) warns that part of the country's harsh revenge for the assassination of top General Qassem Soleimani in 2020 still awaits the US. IRGC commander, Major General Hossein Salami, on Monday said Iran’s missile strikes on Ain al-Asad military base in Iraq was only part of the response. Salami said Washington should know it cannot launch an act of aggression against a nation and escape its retaliation. He said Iran is not daunted by enemies and will defend its independence. Salami’s comments came days after the second anniversary of Soleimani’s assassination in a US drone strike. Iran responded by hitting the US airbase of Ain al-Asad with over a dozen missiles.

Russia-US negotiations

Senior Russian and US officials are currently sitting at the table for security talks in Geneva amid pessimism about the outcome of the discussions. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov and his US counterpart Wendy Sherman are leading the delegations. The two sides also met on Sunday, with Ryabkov describing the meeting as "businesslike and difficult". Moscow has already ruled out making any concessions under pressure. This is while Washington says no breakthroughs are expected and that progress depends on de-escalation from Moscow. The Russians are also scheduled to hold high-level discussions with NATO and Europeans. The talks are aimed at a wide-ranging new security arrangement between Russia and the West. The Kremlin demands guarantees that NATO will not expand further eastward.

Kazakhstan unrest

The president of Kazakhstan says the unprecedented unrest in recent days rocking his country has been an attempted coup. Tokayev was speaking with the leaders of a Russia-led military alliance in a video conference. His statements were confirmed by his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, who stressed that the alliance would not allow another "color revolution" to take place. Authorities say since the start of large scale demonstrations over a week ago, 164 people have been killed and nearly 8,0000 people arrested. That is in addition to security officers either killed or injured. The demonstrations, sparked by increasing fuel prices, marked the deadliest unrest in Kazakhstan's post-Soviet History. Kazakh officials, however, say order has now been restored. 

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