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Iran flotilla back home

An official ceremony has been held in the southern Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas to welcome the arrival of a naval flotilla back home, after its successful journey around the world. The ceremony was attended by top military commanders including the chief of general staff of the Iranian armed forces. Major General Mohammad Bagheri said at the ceremony that the expedition marks the beginning of a new chapter in the growth of Iran’s naval power. The general added that the mission is a unique achievement for a navy subject to sanctions and other propaganda and pressure. The flotilla comprised the domestically-manufactured Dena destroyer and Makran forward base ship. They entered Iranian waters on May 17. The flotilla completed its 63,000-kilometer journey around the world in eight months. It marked the first time an Iranian naval group entered the Pacific. The vessels sailed to South America and visited South Africa before returning home. 

Russia slams G7 stance

Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, says decisions taken by the Group of Seven countries at their summit in Japan are aimed at containing Moscow and Beijing. Addressing a televised conference, Lavrov said the West is using Ukraine as a tool to inflict a strategic defeat on Russia. This came after the G7 agreed to tighten sanctions against Moscow. They also urged China to press Russia to halt its operation in Ukraine. During the meeting, the US also told its allies it supports a joint international effort to train Ukrainian pilots to fly advanced American warplanes including F16 fighter jets. Later, Russia warned that Western countries will suffer colossal risks if they offer warplanes to Kiev. 

Greece elections

In Greece, polling stations have opened in general elections overshadowed by a cost of living crisis. The ruling New Democracy party, headed by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, is leading the opinion polls. However, a cost of living crisis and a train disaster in February have made it hard for the party to garner the needed votes. The left-wing Syriza party, chaired by former premier Alexis Tsipras, is the main rival to the ruling party. Nearly 10 million people are eligible to vote. Meanwhile, changes to the electoral rules have reduced the parties’ chances to obtain the absolute majority. The party ranking first needs over 45 percent of the electorate to secure the majority in the 300-seat parliament.

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