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Iran-Iraq relations

Tehran says the presence of terrorists in Iraq’s Kurdistan region and their threat to Iran’s security go against the Iraqi constitution as well as friendly bilateral relations. The Iranian foreign minister said no side should be allowed to undermine the security of Iraq’s neighbors. Hossein Amir-Abdollahian made the remarks in a meeting in Tehran with Bafel Talabani, the leader of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. Amir-Abdollahian pointed to the solid Tehran-Baghdad ties and called for the speedy implementation of a security agreement between the two sides. For his part, Talabani highlighted his party’s measures to boost security along the borders of the Kurdistan region, saying that Iraq will not allow any harm to come from its territory to regional countries, particularly Iran. Under the security deal with Iran, Iraq has vowed to disarm and relocate terror groups based in its Kurdistan region by September 19. Iran says the deadline will not be extended.

US cluster bombs in Ukraine

The US reportedly plans to give Ukraine longer-range missiles packed with cluster bombs despite widespread concerns that such munitions can cause civilian casualties. US officials say the administration of President Joe Biden is close to approving the shipment of the weapons. The US delivered cluster munitions in 155-mm artillery rounds to Kiev earlier this year. Cluster munitions are prohibited by more than 100 countries. They typically release large numbers of smaller bomblets that can kill indiscriminately over a wide area. Those that fail to explode pose a danger for decades after a conflict ends. The US military believes these bombs will help Ukraine push back against Russian forces. Russia has frequently warned against the influx of Western weapons to Ukraine. It says the move will prolong the Moscow-Kiev conflict that erupted in February last year.

Libya deadly storm

Over the past two days, Libya has been hit by devastating winds and heavy floods with estimates of fatalities ranging from hundreds to thousands. This, according to the spokesperson for the Libyan National Army that controls the African country’s east. The head of the Red Crescent aid group in the region, however, said the death toll in the eastern city of Derna is expected to hit 250. Storm Daniel swept in over the Mediterranean on Sunday. It swamped roads and destroyed buildings in Derna, and hit other settlements along the coast, including Libya's second biggest city of Benghazi. The precise number of the dead is hard to determine because communications have been cut off and a decade-long battle for power between two rival governments has hampered administration.

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