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Posts tagged as US President Donald Trump

Huawei Sues US Government Over Ban on Its Products

Chinese telecoms equipment maker Huawei Technologies on Thursday confirmed it is suing the US government over a section of a defence bill passed into law last year that restricted its business in the United States.
“The US Congress has repeatedly failed to produce any evidence to support its restrictions on Huawei products.We are compelled to take this legal action as a proper and last resort,” Huawei Rotating Chairman Guo Ping said in a statement.”This ban not only is unlawful, but also restricts Huawei from engaging in fair competition, ultimately harming US consumers.We look forward to the court’s verdict, and trust that it will benefit both Huawei and the American people.””Lifting the NDAA ban will give the US Government the flexibility it needs to work with Huawei and solve real security issues,” Guo said.
In its lawsuit, Huawei said its “equipment and services are subject to advanced security procedures, and no backdoors, implants, or other intentional security vulnerabilities have been documented in any of the more than 170 countries in the world where Huawei equipment and services are used.”The privately owned firm has embarked on a public relations and legal offensive as Washington lobbies allies to abandon Huawei when building 5G mobile networks, centring on a 2017 Chinese law requiring companies cooperate with national intelligence work.
Founder and Chief Executive Ren Zhengfei No proof,The NDDA bans the US government from doing business with Huawei or compatriot peer ZTE Corp or from doing business with any company that has equipment from the two firms as a “substantial or essential component” of their system.In its lawsuit, filed in US District Court in the Eastern District of Texas, Huawei argues that the section of the law is illegal because it could sharply limit the company’s ability to do business in the United States despite no proof of wrongdoing.
Separately, the lawsuit also alleges that Huawei has been denied due process and that Congress, by stripping Huawei of US commercial opportunities, has violated the “separation of powers” portion of the constitution by doing the work of the courts.UPHILL BATTLE:Some legal experts, however, said Huawei’s lawsuit is likely to be dismissed because US courts are reluctant to second-guess national security determinations by other branches of government.The lawsuit “will be an uphill battle because Congress has broad authority to protect us from perceived national security threats,” said Franklin Turner, a government contracts lawyer at McCarter English.In November 2018, a federal appeals court rejected a similar lawsuit filed by Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab, which was challenging a ban on the use of the company’s software in US government networks.
The Texas court hearing Huawei’s case will not be bound by that decision, but will likely adopt its reasoning because of the similarities in the two disputes, said Steven Schwinn, a professor at the John Marshall Law School in Chicago.”I don’t see how (Huawei) can really escape that result,” said Schwinn.Retribution:The legal action and public relations outreach compare with a more restrained response in December emphasising “trust in justice” when its chief financial officer, Sabrina Meng Wanzhou, was arrested in Vancouver at US request.The United States has accused Meng – Ren’s daughter – of bank and wire fraud related to breaches of trade sanctions against Iran.
Meng appeared in court on Wednesday during which her lawyer expressed concern that the allegations have a political character, raising US President Donald Trump’s comments on the case.Separately, Meng, who is fighting extradition, is suing Canada’s government for procedural wrongs in her arrest.The case had strained relations with China, which this week accused two arrested Canadians of stealing state secrets in a move widely seen as retribution for Meng’s arrest.While Meng is under house arrest in Vancouver, it is unclear where the two Canadians are being detained in China.Sources previously told Reuters that at least one of the Canadians did not have access to legal representation.Change of tuneRen met international media for the first time in several years in mid-January, calling US President Donald Trump “great” and refraining from commenting directly on Meng’s case.Shifting tone, Ren in mid-February said Meng’s arrest was politically motivated and “not acceptable”.Long before Trump initiated a trade war with China, Huawei’s activities were under scrutiny by US authorities, according to interviews with 10 people familiar with the Huawei probes and documents related to the investigations seen by Reuters.

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Talks with Taliban in Doha productive: US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad

US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad on Thursday said the latest talks with Taliban in Doha were “productive”. Khalilzad met with the Taliban’s top political leader in Doha starting Monday, in what is believed to be the highest level engagement between Khalilzad met with the Taliban’s top political leader in Doha starting Monday, in what is believed to be the highest level engagement between the US and the Taliban since the months-long peace push began.
Khalilzad had on February 25 tweeted that he and Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar had held a “working lunch” ahead of a fresh round of talks with the insurgent group as the US seeks a way out of its longest war.”Both sides will take the next two days for internal deliberations, with plans to regroup on Saturday.
All four key issues remain on the table,” he added.In another tweet, Khalilzad said, “As talks continue in Doha, there is also progress on forming a national team in Kabul ready to engage in intra-Afghan dialogue and talks with the Taliban.
“Marathon talks last month saw the two sides walk away with a “draft framework” that included a Taliban vow to prevent Afghanistan from becoming a haven for international terror groups.There was no accord on a US withdrawal or a ceasefire, however, issues which have derailed attempts at peace talks in the past, while the government in Kabul has voiced increasingly loud fears it was being sidelined from the talks.
The latest negotiations came as violence soars in Afghanistan, with the UN reporting Sunday that more civilians were killed in 2018 than any other year since records began in 2009.US President Donald Trump has signalled his eagerness to end his country´s involvement in Afghanistan, where 14,000 American troops are still deployed.
Afghanistan has suffered nearly constant conflict since the Soviet invasion of 1979, which was followed by civil war, the Taliban regime, and the US invasion in late 2001.

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Civilian deaths in Afghan war hit record in 2018

KABUL: More civilians were killed in the Afghan war in 2018 than during any other year on record after nearly two decades of fighting, according to a UN report released Sunday.
The report’s release comes a day before the US and the Taliban hold their next round of talks aimed at ending the conflict, raising tentative hopes for peace along with fears that an American withdrawal could spark an even bloodier civil war.The talks in Doha follow years of escalating violence in Afghanistan. According to the UN, at least 32,000 civilians have been killed and another 60,000 wounded in the last decade when the organisation began compiling the data.
The uptick in violence in 2018 coincides with a significant increase in the number of deaths caused by the “deliberate targeting of civilians”, according to the report, mostly stemming from suicide attacks by insurgents allied with the Taliban or Islamic State (IS).”It is time to put an end to this human misery and tragedy,” said Tadamichi Yamamoto, the head of the UN mission in Afghanistan.”The best way to halt the killings and maiming of civilians is to stop the fighting,” he said. At least 65 suicide attacks were recorded in 2018 — the majority hitting Kabul — with militants responsible for the death of more than 2,200 civilians across the country.
An increase in air strikes by US and Afghan forces also led to more civilian deaths in 2018, with more than 500 civilians killed by “aerial operations for the first time on record”, the report noted.The US intensified its air campaign against Taliban and IS fighters as Washington seeks to pile pressure on the militants, dropping twice as many munitions on insurgent positions in 2018 compared to the previous year.Yamamoto said the civilian casualties were “wholly unacceptable” and called on all parties to take “immediate and additional concrete steps to stop a further escalation in the number of civilians harmed and lives destroyed”.Afghanistan has suffered nearly constant conflict since the Soviet invasion of 1979, which was followed by civil war, the Taliban regime, and the US invasion in late 2001.
The escalating violence comes as US President Donald Trump has been pushing to end US involvement in Afghanistan, where 14,000 American troops are still deployed.Marathon talks held in Doha in January sparked hopes of a breakthrough after the two sides agreed to a “draft framework” that included a Taliban vow to prevent Afghanistan from once again becoming a safe haven for international terror groups.But US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad — who is leading the American side negotiating with the Taliban — has emphasised that any troop withdrawal would depend on conditions on the ground. Critics remain skeptical of the talks for a number of reasons, primarily because they have not yet included the Afghan government, which the Taliban considers US-backed puppets.
Civilian deaths jumped by 11 percent from 2017 with 3,804 people killed and another 7,189 wounded, according to the UN figures, as suicide attacks and bombings wreaked havoc across the war-torn country.The report’s release comes a day before the US and the Taliban hold their next round of talks aimed at ending the conflict, raising tentative hopes for peace along with fears that an American withdrawal could spark an even bloodier civil war.
The talks in Doha follow years of escalating violence in Afghanistan. According to the UN, at least 32,000 civilians have been killed and another 60,000 wounded in the last decade when the organisation began compiling the data.
The uptick in violence in 2018 coincides with a significant increase in the number of deaths caused by the “deliberate targeting of civilians”, according to the report, mostly stemming from suicide attacks by insurgents allied with the Taliban or Islamic State (IS).”It is time to put an end to this human misery and tragedy,” said Tadamichi Yamamoto, the head of the UN mission in Afghanistan.
“The best way to halt the killings and maiming of civilians is to stop the fighting,” he said. At least 65 suicide attacks were recorded in 2018 — the majority hitting Kabul — with militants responsible for the death of more than 2,200 civilians across the country.An increase in air strikes by US and Afghan forces also led to more civilian deaths in 2018, with more than 500 civilians killed by “aerial operations for the first time on record”, the report noted.The US intensified its air campaign against Taliban and IS fighters as Washington seeks to pile pressure on the militants, dropping twice as many munitions on insurgent positions in 2018 compared to the previous year.
Yamamoto said the civilian casualties were “wholly unacceptable” and called on all parties to take “immediate and additional concrete steps to stop a further escalation in the number of civilians harmed and lives destroyed”.Afghanistan has suffered nearly constant conflict since the Soviet invasion of 1979, which was followed by civil war, the Taliban regime, and the US invasion in late 2001.The escalating violence comes as US President Donald Trump has been pushing to end US involvement in Afghanistan, where 14,000 American troops are still deployed.Marathon talks held in Doha in January sparked hopes of a breakthrough after the two sides agreed to a “draft framework” that included a Taliban vow to prevent Afghanistan from once again becoming a safe haven for international terror groups.But US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad — who is leading the American side negotiating with the Taliban  has emphasised that any troop withdrawal would depend on conditions on the ground. Critics remain skeptical of the talks for a number of reasons, primarily because they have not yet included the Afghan government, which the Taliban considers US-backed puppets.

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Thousands of Venezuela volunteers receive US aid

CARACAS: Thousands of volunteers in Venezuela will begin mobilizing on Sunday to bring American aid into their crisis-hit country despite a blockade by President Nicolas Maduro who claims the assistance could be cover for a US invasion.
But even as the political battle pitting Guaido against Maduro continued to deepen, Caracas confirmed talks had taken place with an envoy for US President Donald Trump’s administration.The oil-rich country’s economic meltdown under Maduro has left millions in poverty facing shortages of medicine and food, with hyperinflation making purchases impossible.US aid that has been piling up in the Colombian border town of Cucuta has become the frontline of the confrontation between Guaido and Maduro.
“Venezuela is preparing for the humanitarian avalanche,” Guaido told about 4,000 supporters clad in white T-shirts and green scarves who gathered Saturday to sign up as volunteers.The throng included doctors, nurses and students.Six hundred thousand people have registered to help bring aid in through border points, Guaido told the Caracas rally, asking the volunteers to meet in town councils on Sunday to get instructions about the process.Without revealing details that could jeopardize the operation, Guaido said volunteer brigades will travel in a bus caravan to entry points for the aid which he wants to come in next Saturday.
Coromoto Crespo, 58, told AFP he volunteered because of the urgent need for supplies. “To find medicines requires a miracle.I need tablets for high blood pressure, and what I find, I cant pay for,” Crespo said.”One of my relatives died because of a lack of antibiotics.” Guaido has targeted February 23 for entry of the aid, more of which arrived for the stockpile on Saturday. Three US military cargo planes delivered several dozen more tons (tonnes) of food assistance to Cucuta.
Another US aircraft is due in the Caribbean island of Curacao from Miami on Tuesday, and a collection center for Brazilian aid will open Monday on the border, Guaido’s team said. The US shipment Saturday was accompanied by a delegation led by Mark Green, head of the US Agency for International Development.
US assistance has been blocked by containers which Maduro loyalists placed on a border bridge to prevent access. On another front, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza confirmed having held two meetings with special US envoy Elliott Abrams.
Arreaza, who traveled to New York on February 13, said he held the talks with Abrams at the request of the State Department. He declined to comment on the substance of their discussions.Guaido repeated his call on Venezuelas military — whose support for Maduro has been crucial — to let the aid pass. “You have, in your hands, the possibility of fighting alongside the people who are suffering the same shortages you are,” Guaido said in a tweet addressed to soldiers.A State Department spokeswoman, Julie Chung, issued a similar plea during a news conference in Cucuta, urging the military to stand aside at a time when Venezuelans are “dying of hunger.”Maduro asserts that aid could be used as a way for the United States to invade.
He called for reinforced border security and dismissed the arriving “crumbs” as “rotten and contaminated food.”On Friday Maduro instructed his army to prepare a “special deployment plan” for the 2,200-kilometer (1,370-mile) border with Colombia.He said he would examine “what new forces” might be needed to keep the frontier “inviolable.”Maduro has assailed the US aid as a “show” but Arreaza said he would be willing to meet with “the devil” if it helped ensure Venezuelan sovereignty.About 2.3 million Venezuelans have fled the country since 2015 as the crisis intensified, according to the United Nations.Guaido accuses Maduro of being a “usurper” over his controversial reelection last year in polls widely branded as fraudulent. Maduro, the hand-picked successor to socialist firebrand Hugo Chavez, blames Venezuelas woes on US sanctions, more of which were added on Friday.He said six million families had benefited from subsidized food boxes and he claimed to have bought 933 tons of medicines and medical supplies from China, Cuba and Russia, his main international allies. “We paid for it with our own money because we’re beggars to no one,” Maduro said.

Once-wealthy Venezuela is gripped by a power struggle between socialist leader Maduro and Juan Guaido, the head of the National Assembly who proclaimed himself interim president last month and now has the backing of more than 50 countries.But even as the political battle pitting Guaido against Maduro continued to deepen, Caracas confirmed talks had taken place with an envoy for US President Donald Trump’s administration.The oil-rich country’s economic meltdown under Maduro has left millions in poverty facing shortages of medicine and food, with hyperinflation making purchases impossible.US aid that has been piling up in the Colombian border town of Cucuta has become the frontline of the confrontation between Guaido and Maduro.
“Venezuela is preparing for the humanitarian avalanche,” Guaido told about 4,000 supporters clad in white T-shirts and green scarves who gathered Saturday to sign up as volunteers.The throng included doctors, nurses and students.Six hundred thousand people have registered to help bring aid in through border points, Guaido told the Caracas rally, asking the volunteers to meet in town councils on Sunday to get instructions about the process.Without revealing details that could jeopardize the operation, Guaido said volunteer brigades will travel in a bus caravan to entry points for the aid which he wants to come in next Saturday.
Coromoto Crespo, 58, told AFP he volunteered because of the urgent need for supplies. “To find medicines requires a miracle.I need tablets for high blood pressure, and what I find, I can´t pay for,” Crespo said.”One of my relatives died because of a lack of antibiotics.” Guaido has targeted February 23 for entry of the aid, more of which arrived for the stockpile on Saturday. Three US military cargo planes delivered several dozen more tons (tonnes) of food assistance to Cucuta.Another US aircraft is due in the Caribbean island of Curacao from Miami on Tuesday, and a collection center for Brazilian aid will open Monday on the border, Guaido’s team said. The US shipment Saturday was accompanied by a delegation led by Mark Green, head of the US Agency for International Development.US assistance has been blocked by containers which Maduro loyalists placed on a border bridge to prevent access. On another front, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza confirmed having held two meetings with special US envoy Elliott Abrams.
Arreaza, who traveled to New York on February 13, said he held the talks with Abrams at the request of the State Department. He declined to comment on the substance of their discussions.Guaido repeated his call on Venezuela´s military  whose support for Maduro has been crucial — to let the aid pass. “You have, in your hands, the possibility of fighting alongside the people who are suffering the same shortages you are,” Guaido said in a tweet addressed to soldiers.A State Department spokeswoman, Julie Chung, issued a similar plea during a news conference in Cucuta, urging the military to stand aside at a time when Venezuelans are “dying of hunger.”Maduro asserts that aid could be used as a way for the United States to invade.He called for reinforced border security and dismissed the arriving “crumbs” as “rotten and contaminated food.”On Friday Maduro instructed his army to prepare a “special deployment plan” for the 2,200-kilometer (1,370-mile) border with Colombia.He said he would examine “what new forces” might be needed to keep the frontier “inviolable.”Maduro has assailed the US aid as a “show” but Arreaza said he would be willing to meet with “the devil” if it helped ensure Venezuelan sovereignty.About 2.3 million Venezuelans have fled the country since 2015 as the crisis intensified, according to the United Nations.Guaido accuses Maduro of being a “usurper” over his controversial reelection last year in polls widely branded as fraudulent. Maduro, the hand-picked successor to socialist firebrand Hugo Chavez, blames Venezuela´s woes on US sanctions, more of which were added on Friday.He said six million families had benefited from subsidized food boxes and he claimed to have bought 933 tons of medicines and medical supplies from China, Cuba and Russia, his main international allies. “We paid for it with our own money because we’re beggars to no one,” Maduro said.

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US-backed Syrian forces battle to take last IS pocket

NEAR BAGHOUZ (AFP) – Syrian fighters backed by artillery fire from a US-led coalition battled a fierce jihadist counteroffensive Monday as they pushed to retake a last morsel of territory from the Islamic State group.
A war monitor said a coalition air strike killed 16 civilians including seven children trying to flee the holdout on Monday, but the US-led alliance was not immediately available for comment.More than four years after the extremists declared a caliphate across large parts of Syria and neighbouring Iraq, several offensives have whittled that down to a tiny holdout.The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces on Saturday announced the final push to expel hundreds of diehard jihadists from that patch in eastern Syria on the Iraq border.The US-led coalition maintained a steady beat of bombings on the last IS pocket on Monday, as the SDF faced fierce resistance.The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, said 12 SDF fighters and 19 jihadists were killed in the fighting Monday.
Heavy clashes are ongoing to pressure IS into surrendering, Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said.SDF spokesman Mustafa Bali said the SDF responded after IS launched a counterattack earlier in the day.

IS launched a counterattack on our forces and we are now responding with rockets, air strikes and direct clashes, Bali told AFP earlier.The sound of bombs echoed dozens of kilometres (miles) away and columns of dark grey smoke could be seen from SDF territory.
Bali said there were dozens of SDF hostages held by IS inside their last foothold, but denied reports of executions.Backed by coalition air strikes, the SDF alliance has been battling to oust the jihadists from the eastern province of Deir Ezzor since September.Since December, tens of thousands of people, most women and children related to IS fighters, have fled the shrinking jihadist holdout into SDF territory.US-backed forces have screened the new arrivals, weeding out potential jihadists for questioning.
On Monday, dozens of coalition and SDF fighters were stationed at a screening point for new arrivals from IS areas.Coalition forces stood over about 20 men who were crouching on the ground.

Two French women told AFP they paid smugglers to take them out of the battered IS-held holdout of Baghouz, but Iraqi jihadists had prevented other foreigners from leaving.They said only the Syrians and Iraqis can be smuggled out, said one of the women, who said her first name was Christelle, from the city of BordeauxThe Observatory said 600 people including around 20 suspected jihadists fled IS areas overnight.The SDF said it advanced inside the pocket on Sunday, seizing 40 positions from IS.
On Saturday, the alliance said up to 600 jihadists as well as hundreds of civilians could remain inside the IS patch of four square kilometres (one square mile).Spokesman Bali said IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the man who pronounced the cross-border caliphate in 2014, was not among them, and likely not in Syria.

At the height of their rule, the jihadists imposed their brutal interpretation of Islamic law on a territory roughly the size of Britain.But military offensives in both countries, including by the SDF, have since retaken the vast bulk of their territory.The jihadists however retain a presence in Syria s vast Badia desert, and have claimed a series of deadly attacks in SDF-held areas.US President Donald Trump in December shocked Washington s allies by announcing a full withdrawal of US troops from Syria as IS had been beaten.
Trump s decision to withdraw US troops has left Syria s Kurds scrambling for safeguards.A US departure makes them more vulnerable to a long threatened attack by neighbouring Turkey, who considers Kurdish fighters to be terrorists, and dashes their dreams of autonomy.The Kurds have largely stayed out of Syria s nearly eight-year civil war, instead building their own semi-autonomous institutions in the northeast of the country.But the expected US pullout has seen them grappling to mend ties with the Damascus regime, which is against Kurdish self-rule.

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Massive crowds mark 40th anniversary of Iran revolution

TEHRAN (AFP)  Iran s president on Monday insisted “enemy” plots against the country would fail as vast crowds marked 40 years since the Islamic revolution at a time of heightened tensions with the United States.

The presence of people today on the streets all over Islamic Iran,means that the enemy will never reach its evil objectives, a defiant President Hassan Rouhani told those thronging Tehran s Azadi (Freedom) Square, decrying a conspiracy involving Washington.Chador-clad women, militia members in camouflage fatigues and ordinary citizens marched through the capital in freezing rain to commemorate the day in February 1979 that Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini ended millennia of royal rule.The routes leading up to the square were packed with people as loudspeakers blared revolutionary anthems and slogans.Life-size replicas of Iranian-made cruise and ballistic missiles stood in a statement of defiance after the US last year reimposed sanctions following its withdrawal from a deal on Tehran s nuclear programme.

Rouhani lambasted calls from the United States and Europe for a fresh agreement to curb Iran s missile programme.We have not, and will not, request permission from anyone for increasing our defensive power and for building all kinds of missiles, he told the crowd.Speaking from a flower-festooned stage overlooking the square, the president warned that Iran was now far stronger than when it faced off against Saddam Hussein s Iraq in a devastating 1980-1988 war.
Today the whole world should know that the Islamic Republic of Iran is considerably more powerful than the days of the war, Rouhani said.Seemingly reaching out to his political critics within the country, the president added: The more we allow different ideas, beliefs and (political) factions the stronger our system will be.A pre-prepared resolution was read out ahead of his speech that proclaimed unquestioning obedience to the supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and called US President Donald Trump an idiot.In a tweet written on the anniversary that he also sent out in Farsi, Trump said the revolution had been a complete failure. 40 years of corruption. 40 years of repression 40 years of terror. The regime in Iran has produced only #40YearsofFailure, he wrote.The long-suffering Iranian people deserve a much brighter future, the American president added.Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Iran that this year could be the last time it celebrates the anniversary if it attacks his country.

If this regime makes the awful mistake of trying to destroy Tel Aviv and Haifa, it will not succeed, he said. However, this would be the last anniversary of the revolution that they celebrate.The events Monday were the culmination of official celebrations called the 10 Day Dawn that marks the period between February 1, 1979 and February 11 when Shiite cleric Khomeini retuned from exile and ousted the shah s last government.The state has played up this year s anniversary as 40 is symbolic of maturity in the Islamic tradition and the age at which Prophet Mohammed received revelations from God.But despite the official festivities today s Islamic republic faces acute economic challenges as it struggles with a mix of domestic hardships and US sanctions.State television offered blanket coverage of the commemorations, showing marches in cities ranging from Abadan in southwestern Iran to Mashhad in the northeast.

Banners held by marchers or hung along the streets bore slogans including Death to America, Death to Israel, we will trample on America, forty yeas of challenge, forty years of US defeats.A number of Israeli and American flags were set on fire by the crowds.An anchor on state television warned of hostile foreign media trying to downsize the participation of Iranians in the march but expressed confidence that they would be confounded by the unprecedented level of attendance.Those who took to the streets were bullish despite the economic problems in the country, made worse by Washington s punitive measures.
Former public servant Saaghi insisted that it remained paramount for Iranians to stick by the revolution.We are here to support the revolution, the 57-year-old pensioner, who refused to give his first name, told AFP at the event in Tehran.He compared the US sanctions and economic hardships to riding a bicycle when someone puts a stick in the wheels but pointed to advances in other fields as more than making up for them.On the revolution s 40th anniversary we are at the top for scientific achievements like nanotechnology or accurate missiles, he said.Cleric Hossein Firouzi told AFP Iran s revolution had achieved everything it set out to in terms of military power, political identity and scientific achievements.Iran has changed from a backwards nation to a world power, said the 50-year-old.

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Afghanistan: 40 years of conflict

KABUL (AFP) – The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan 40 years ago kicked off decades of war that endured long after the Red Army’s retreat, which ended on February 15, 1989.

1979-1989: Soviet occupation In December 1979, at the height of the Soviet-US Cold War, Moscow invades the country — which is poor and mountainous, but also strategically situated  to prop up a communist regime.It faces fierce resistance from Afghan fighters backed by the United States and others.
Moscow eventually withdraws after a decade of fighting.1992-1996: Civil war The fall of Mohammad Najibullah’s communist government in 1992 unleashes a bloody power struggle that kills nearly 100,000 people in two years and partly destroys the capital, Kabul.
1996-2001: Taliban in power The Taliban, led by Mullah Mohammad Omar, seize power in 1996 and install a regime based on their hardline interpretation of Islamic law. They forbid women from working, close girls’ schools, and ban music and other entertainment.
Under severe United Nations sanctions, the regime becomes close to the Al-Qaeda militant network and shelters its leader, Saudi national Osama bin Laden.2001: US-led invasion In October 2001 the United States leads an invasion of Afghanistan in retaliation for the September 11 attacks on Washington and New York blamed on Al-Qaeda.
Washington and its NATO allies drive out the Taliban regime and bring Hamid Karzai to power, funnelling in billions of dollars of aid to rebuild the war-ravaged country.They deploy up to 150,000 soldiers to help the government assert control and bring security.
The Taliban go into hiding or flee to neighboring countries, and then launch an insurgency against Kabul and NATO.2014: NATO withdraws NATO pulls out its International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) combat troops at the end of 2014, with the Taliban insurgency raging.
Some NATO soldiers remain to carry out anti-terrorist operations and train Afghan forces.The Taliban continue to make gains, while carrying out major deadly attacks, as the Islamic State group begins to make inroads in Afghanistan in 2015.
2018-2019: Peace talks In late 2018 US President Donald Trump says he is withdrawing half of the 14,000 US soldiers stationed in Afghanistan, though officials caution they have received no order to begin draw down plans.Washington steps up negotiations with the Taliban to end the conflict, with both the militants and US officials touting progress after talks culminate in a six-day meeting in Qatar in January.Afghan hopes for peace are tempered by fears the US could withdraw before a lasting deal is reached with Kabul, however.Russia and Iran also hold talks with the militants.

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