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Iran slams interference

Iran has summoned the Italian ambassador to Tehran over Rome’s "meddlesome" remarks about the recent riots in the country. The foreign ministry said it conveyed Tehran’s strongest protest to the envoy about the comments made by some Italian politicians. It reaffirmed that selective approaches and double standards toward the issue of human rights are unacceptable and rejected. The ministry said it is Italy which has violated the rights of Iranians by imposing illegal sanctions. For his part, the Italian envoy said he would convey Tehran’s message to relevant Italian authorities. Rome had called for more effective actions against Tehran in response to the recent riots. Iran saw a wave of disturbances following the September death of Mahsa Amini.

Al-Aqsa violation

The number of Israeli settlers storming the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the occupied West Bank hit a record in 2022. This is according to the Islamic Waqf Department that runs the holy site. The department’s director said nearly 50,000 fanatic settlers stormed the compound and violated its sanctity during 2022. Azzam Khatib said the figure represents the highest ever number of violations of the mosque's compound in the occupied East al-Quds. He added that Israeli settlers hurt Muslims’ sentiments by performing Jewish rituals and raising the Israeli flag inside the compound during their holidays. The official also warned that the regime’s new right-wing cabinet might make moves that could trigger a religious war in the region and the world.

Russia-Ukraine war

Belarus has summoned Ukraine’s ambassador after its military said it had shot down a Ukrainian air defense missile in its territory. The foreign ministry conveyed its formal protest to the Ukrainian envoy. It described the event as extremely serious, urging Kiev to hold those responsible to account and prevent the recurrence of such incidents. On Thursday, Belarus’ military downed an S-300 missile in a field some 15 kilometers from the border with Ukraine. Kiev acknowledged the incident, but said it did not rule out a deliberate provocation by Moscow to bring Minsk into the war. Belarus allowed Moscow to use its territory in February to start its offensive on Ukraine. Minsk, however, announced that it would not participate in the war, unless its own security is threatened.

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