Egypt opens Gaza crossing for hajj pilgrims

Egypt reopened its border with the Gaza Strip Monday for the first time in months to allow Muslims from the blockaded Palestinian enclave to travel to Mecca for the hajj pilgrimage, authorities said."The crossing was reopened this morning for four days...

More than 600,000 Syrians return home, mainly to Aleppo: UN

More than 600,000 displaced Syrians have returned to their homes since the beginning of the year, with most of them heading to Aleppo, according to figures from the International Organization for Migration.Between January and the end of July, 602,759 d...

Yemeni man executed for rape, murder of 4-year-old

Yemenis gathered Monday in the rebel-held capital to witness the putting to death of a man convicted of raping and killing a child, in the second such public execution in weeks.Hussein al-Saket, 22, was found guilty of abducting, raping and murdering a...

Iran conservatives tighten grip on top oversight body

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei announced a new hardline head of one of the country's top oversight bodies on Monday, while former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad kept his seat despite a string of controversies.The appointment of former judi...

Iraqi Shiite cleric visits United Arab Emirates

Influential Iraqi Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has visited the United Arab Emirates, its official news agency said Monday, his second trip in weeks to a Sunni-ruled Gulf country after Saudi Arabia.Late Sunday, Sadr met Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mo...

US-backed Syria forces battle IS in Raqa Old City

US-backed fighters fought pitched battles Sunday with Islamic State group jihadists inside their Syria bastion Raqa, an AFP correspondent said.The Syrian Democratic Forces, the Arab-Kurd alliance, first entered Raqa two months ago and have since captur...

US ‘horrified’ by killing of Syrian rescuers

The United States expressed sadness and horror Sunday over the killing of seven members of Syria's White Helmets rescue service in a jihadist-held town near Idlib.The seven were killed Saturday by unidentified assailants in a raid on their base in Sarm...

Israeli ex-president’s request to lift parole terms denied

Israeli ex-president Moshe Katsav, jailed for rape and released in December, has been denied his request to have the conditions of his parole lifted, an official said on Sunday.Katsav had appealed to current President Reuven Rivlin to have the terms sc...

Kuwait says most of Gulf oil spill cleaned up

Emergency workers have managed to clean up "the major part" of an oil spill near the joint Kuwaiti-Saudi Al-Khafji oilfield in the Gulf, an official said on Sunday."The major portion of the main oil spill has been removed," Kuwait Petroleum Corporation...

Israel moves to curb strike at nuclear plant

Israel's government approved Sunday emergency measures to end a "disruptive" months-long strike over pay by scientists working at the country's top secret nuclear research centre.Scientists at the Dimona Nuclear Research Centre have been on a slowdown ...

Emergency teams battle oil spill off Kuwait

Emergency workers are battling to contain an oil spill near a joint Kuwaiti-Saudi oilfield in the Gulf, an official said Sunday."Emergency oil teams are still struggling to put an oil spill near Kuwait's southern Ras Al-Zour area under control," said K...

Much-loved Kuwaiti actor Abdulrida dies at 78

Kuwaiti actor, playwright and comedian Abdulhussain Abdulrida has died at the age of 78 after a career spanning decades that made him a household name across the Gulf. State news agency KUNA said Abdulrida, who had heart surgery in 2015, died of natura...

Palestinian woman stabs, wounds Israeli in Jerusalem: police

A Palestinian woman stabbed and wounded an Israeli man near an east Jerusalem flashpoint on Saturday, before she was arrested, police said.They said in an English-language statement that the incident occurred next to the Old City's Damascus Gate, site ...

US urges Iraq Kurds to postpone independence vote

Washington has urged Iraqi Kurdish leader Massud Barzani to postpone an independence referendum scheduled for next month but he requested something in return, his office said Saturday.The timing of the September 25 vote has drawn criticism from both th...

Seven rescue workers killed in jihadist-held Syria town

Unidentified assailants shot dead seven members of Syria's White Helmets rescue service early Saturday during a raid on their base in a jihadist-held northwestern town, the group said.The attackers struck in the town of Sarmin, nine kilometres (six mil...

Saudi-led alliance helicopter in Yemen ‘forced landing’

A helicopter from a Saudi-led Arab coalition had to make an emergency landing in Yemen Friday, a spokesman said, amid reports of a crash in the southern district of Shabwa.Colonel Turki al-Maliki, a spokesman for the coalition backing the government ag...

Iran accuses Trump of ‘bad faith’ on nuclear deal

Iran hit back Friday at Donald Trump's warnings on Tehran's ballistic missiles programme, accusing the US president of showing "bad faith" over the 2015 nuclear accord.

"POTUS (president of the United States) always wanted to kill" the deal, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted. "To avoid isolation, he's trying to blame it on Iran."

He charged that Trump was showing "bad faith on top of US violating the letter & spirit" of the deal.

On Thursday, the president accused Iran of not "living up to the spirit" of the deal it struck with major powers including Washington, reiterating that he viewed it as a "horrible agreement".

"I don't think Iran is in compliance," Trump said. "I don't think they're living up to the spirit of the agreement."

The accord gave Iran relief from sanctions in exchange for accepting curbs on its ability to make material for nuclear weapons.

Last month, Trump was forced to back down from a key campaign promise to withdraw from the agreement.

Trump had described it as "the worst deal ever" and accused Tehran of continuing to back extremist groups in the Middle East.

But on July 17, the White House certified that the Islamic republic was in fact sticking to the nuclear agreement.

Still, a day later, the United States imposed new sanctions on Iran -- targeting 18 individuals and entities -- over its missile programme.

The US Treasury punished Iran again later in July after Tehran tested a satellite launch rocket. The department singled out six companies Washington said were involved in the missile programme.

Iran was also slapped with a sanctions bill targeting its missile programme and alleged human rights violations, which Trump signed into law last week.

Tehran protested that the new sanctions violated the nuclear accord.

Iran says its missile programme is for defensive purposes only. It has vowed to reciprocate US sanctions.

Parliament is due to vote next week on a bill that increases funding for Tehran's missile programme and its Quds Force, the foreign operations wing of the elite Revolutionary Guards.

Tunisian beachside town fights industrial pollution

Next to a palm grove, a blackish mud flows into the sea. After years of living with industrial pollution, residents of Tunisia's Gabes are fighting back.Close to the Chott Essalem beach and in front of a rare coastal oasis, the state-owned Tunisian Che...

UN envoy calls for urgent reopening of Yemen airport

The UN Yemen envoy called on Friday for the urgent reopening of the airport in the rebel-held capital Sanaa, which has been closed to all but limited UN flights for a year.A Saudi-led coalition supporting the government imposed an air and sea blockade ...