Slamming EU, UK sanctions
Tehran strongly condemns the European Union and the U-K for imposing sanctions on dozens of Iranian individuals and entities, including officials of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps. Foreign Ministry Spokesman Nasser Kan’ani says the sanctions by Brussels and London show that they don’t have a proper understanding of the realities in Iran. He says the sanctions also demonstrate the desperation and anger in Brussels and London over what he called their humiliating failure to create instability in Iran. He noted that Tehran will soon reciprocate and slap sanctions against the violators of human rights and promoters of terrorism in the EU and the UK. On Monday, Brussels approved restrictions against 37 Iranian individuals and organizations over the country’s response to the recent riots. On the same day, Washington and London also blacklisted a number of Iranian officials and entities.
Beirut blast probe row
A Lebanese judge investigating the 20-20 deadly Beirut blast has charged several current and former senior officials with probable intent to murder and other crimes. A judicial official says, prosecutor-general Ghassan Oueidat, former Prime Minister Hassan Diab and ex-army commander Jean Kahwaji are among those who have been charged. Judge Tarek Bitar unexpectedly reopened the blast case on Monday after a 13-month suspension. Bitar plans to question 13 suspects next month. Meanwhile, the public prosecutor's office rejected the new charges, saying Bitar is not allowed to return to work. The 20-20 explosion destroyed most of Beirut port and its surrounding areas, killing over two-hundred people and injuring thousands more. The catastrophe is believed to have been caused by fire in a warehouse where a vast stockpile of industrial chemicals had been stored. So far, no senior official has been held to account.
Several senior Ukrainian officials announce their resignation as government moves to crack down on corruption amid a string of high-level cases. The defense ministry has announced the resignation of a deputy minister, who was in charge of the army's logistical support. It comes after the ministry was accused of signing food contracts at inflated prices. The deputy head of the presidential office was also among the officials who stepped down. On Monday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky banned all foreign travels by government officials, except for work. Zelensky’s government also removed a deputy minister over the weekend after his arrest on suspicion of embezzlement.