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US Iranophobia campaign

The Leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolution says one of the reasons behind the enmity of arrogant powers toward Iran is that it encourages other nations to stand up against bullying tactics. Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said the United States is at the helm of a system of global arrogance. He said, neutralizing America's criminal plots in different countries, such as the defeat of Daesh, led to widespread Irano-phobia and Shia-phobia campaigns as well as accusations that Iran is interfering in other countries' affairs. The Leader emphasized that Iran does not interfere in other countries' internal affairs, noting that they make such accusations because they have failed in preventing the progress of the Islamic establishment. Ayatollah Khamenei said arrogant powers mean to draw unrealistic lines in the Islamic world. The Leader added that the US policy is to instigate conflicts between Shias and Sunnis, Arabs and non-Arabs or even provoke infighting within Shia and Sunni communities. Ayatollah Khamenei was addressing the participants at the seventh congress of the Ahl al-Bayt World Assembly in Tehran.

Germany gas supply woes

Germany bracing for further energy crunch as Russia extends the outage of gas supplies via the Nord Stream One pipeline. Germany’s network regulator says the country’s gas supply is guaranteed for now but the situation is tense and could worsen. On Friday, Moscow said it scrapped a 72-hour deadline to resume flows via the pipeline, just hours before it was due to recommence deliveries. Moscow has cited a leakage of oil in one of the turbines for slashing the flow. Germany, however, says the defects alleged by the Russian side are not a technical reason. Meantime, the EU Economy Commissioner has noted that the bloc is ready for a full stop in gas deliveries from Russia. Paolo Gentiloni says the EU is well prepared to resist Russia's extreme use of the gas weapon.

US-Russia tensions

Moscow says the US has so far refrained from issuing visas for the Russian delegation to attend a UN General Assembly session later this month. Russia's UN Ambassador says none of the 56 Russian representatives have received entry visas to the US as of Thursday. That includes Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov who is set to lead the delegation to the 77th session of the UNGA. In a letter to UN Secretary-General, Vasily Nebenzia called the US move alarming. He said visa issuance is Washington’s legal duty and not a right or a privilege. According to a 1947 agreement, the US is not allowed to prevent representatives of member states from traveling to the UN headquarters in New York. A US State Department spokesperson has blamed the delay on forced termination of local and third country national staff at the US embassy in Russia.

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