Iran’s supreme leader criticizes country’s president and foreign minister over nuclear deal

(Worthy News) – Iran’s supreme leader criticized the country’s president and foreign minister by name for the first time over his concerns about the 2015 nuclear deal, saying Wednesday they didn’t act as he wished in carrying out the agreement with world powers.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has final say on all matters of state, made the statements before hardline students gathered to hear a Ramadan lecture amid heightened tensions with the United States.

The comments were also posted on Khamenei’s official website Wednesday night. [ Source: Fox News (Read More…) ]

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Majority of Americans approve of Trump’s handling of economy, credit his policies: Poll

(Worthy News) – A majority of Americans approve of how President Trump has handled the economy, feel confident about their personal finances, and believe Trump’s policies have had an impact on the country’s economic performance, according to the latest poll by CBS News.

An even 50% of polled citizens said they approved of how Trump was handling economy, with a high split between Republicans who approve, at 88%, and Democrats who do not approve, at 77%. Independents run a much tighter margin, with 52% approving of Trump versus 41% disapproving. When asked the general condition of the economy, 71% polled said the economy was at least “fairly good” and 23% said it was “very good.”

Fifty-one percent of both Democrats and Republicans said the economy is “fairly good,” with Republicans leaning more toward “very good” and Democrats leaning toward the economy being at least “fairly bad.” [ Source: Washington Examiner (Read More…) ]

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Pentagon plan could send 10,000 troops to the Middle East

by Jordan Hilger, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – In a plan that is set to be presented to the White House on Thursday, up to 10,000 more U.S. service members would be deployed to the Middle East as tensions between the U.S. and Iran are high.

The Associated Press reports the Pentagon’s plan was aimed at ensuring the safety of the U.S. and its allies in the region and that the troops would be deployed in a defensive manner, with the possibility to include more Patriot missile batteries and ships.

The State Department announced May 15 they are ordering all nonemergency U.S. government employees to immediately leave Iraq. The evacuation order applied to the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and the U.S. Consulate in Erbil. [ Source: Washington Examiner (Read More…) ]

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US Calls Out Assad Regime for Chemical Weapons Attack While Russia Claims Hoax

by Jordan Hilger, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – The US has called out the Assad regime for another chemical weapons attack alleged to have occurred in the militant-heavy Idlib area of Northwest Syria on Sunday.

State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said yesterday that the attack continues “a violent campaign by the Assad regime that violates a ceasefire that has protected several million civilians in the greater Idlib area,” and accused Russia of trying to “create the false narrative that others are to blame for chemical weapons attacks that the Assad regime itself is conducting.”

The statement refers to a report by journalist Robert Fisk in the Independent last year that claimed local witnesses in Douma, Syria–alleged to be the site of another chemical weapons attack by the Assad regime in April 2018—told him the attack never happened, but had been fabricated as a pretext for the US, France, and others to subsequently bomb key government positions.

The Assad and Russian governments have made much of the report, with Major General Viktor Kupchishin, the head of the Russian military’s Reconciliation Center in Syria, saying Tuesday that rebel groups were planning new “chemical provocations” against Assad and his allies.

370,000 people have been killed and several million displaced in the Syrian Civil War that has raged between the Assad government and jihadist rebel forces since 2011.

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Two Iranian Christians Sentenced for Involvement in ‘Zionist Christianity’

by Jordan Hilger, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – Two Christians in the northern Iranian city of Rasht had their sentences upheld after losing their cases in an Iranian court of appeals.

Zaman Saheb Fadaei and Fatimeh Bakhteri received sentences of eighteen and twelve months in prison in September for “propagating house churches,” “promoting Zionist Christianity,” and “spreading propaganda against the regime,” with Fadei having been dragged to Evin Prison, the Iranian Intelligence Ministry’s notorious torture chamber, last Summer.

According to a 2016 UK Home Office Report, “almost 71 kinds of tortures are reported by political prisoners who were personally victims of these brutal methods” at Evin Prison. What is more, International Christian Concern (ICC) reports that 60% of the Christians arrested in Iran are languishing there.

In a speech in early May, Iran’s Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi acknowledged the spread of Christianity in his country, which celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Islamic revolutionary takeover in February.

“It is not the job of the intelligence community to find the roots of these conversions. But it’s happening right before our eyes,” he said before an assembly of Islamic clerics and seminary students in Qom.

Iran is number nine on Open Door’s USA’s World Watch List 2019 for the worst persecutors of Christians worldwide, yet is reported to have one of the highest rates of conversions to Christianity.

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Abbas aide: U.S. peace plan will fail without Palestinian statehood

(Worthy News) – Any American peace plan that ignores the Palestinian people’s political aspirations for an independent state is doomed to fail, a senior Palestinian official said Monday — boding poorly for a Mideast peace conference in Bahrain, planned next month.

The comments by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ spokesman immediately cast a cloud over the conference, which is expected to take place in late June in the tiny Gulf Arab state of Bahrain.

“Any plan without a political horizon will not lead to peace,” Nabil Abu Rudeineh said. [ Source: Ynet News (Read More…) ]

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Israel Condemns Top UN Official for Meeting With Hezbollah Leader

(Worthy News) – Israel on Tuesday condemned a top UN official for meeting with a Hezbollah leader in Lebanon.

A day earlier, UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon Jan Kubis tweeted, “Grateful for an open and substantive discussion on a broad range of topics with Deputy Secretary-General Naim Qassem of Hizbullah. On top I received a copy of his book — a necessary reading.”

Responding on Tuesday, Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon tweeted, “We are shocked and disappointed by this meeting with a designated terror organization’s leader, threatening Israel, Lebanon and the whole region. One doesn’t need to read the Naim Qassem book, courtesy of #Hezbollah terrorists, in order to understand this!!” [ Source: Algemeiner (Read More…) ]

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Russian bombers fly near Alaska coast, US military says

(Worthy News) – Four nuclear-capable Russian bombers and two Russian fighter jets were intercepted off the west coast of Alaska by U.S. aircraft, American military officials said Monday.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) said in a statement that its early warning system identified the four Tupolev Tu-95 bombers and two Su-35 fighters entering the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone, but noted that the Russian aircraft never entered American or Canadian airspace.

The statement said two of the Russian bombers initially were intercepted by one pair of F-22 fighter jets, while another pair of F-22s intercepted the other two bombers and the Su-35s later on. Further details of the encounter were not provided. [ Source: Fox News (Read More…) ]

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AG Barr blasts federal judges who impose nationwide injunctions

(Worthy News) – Attorney General William Barr blasted federal judges who have issued more than 37 nationwide injunctions during the Trump administration, more than in the entirety of the 20th century.

In a Tuesday speech to the American Law Institute, Barr went after “improper use of nationwide injunctions against policies of all stripes” and said that the use of the injunctions to block policy gives district courts “unprecedented power.”

“One judge can, in effect, cancel the policy with the stroke of the pen,” he said. “No official in the United States government can exercise that kind of nationwide power, with the sole exception of the President. And the Constitution subjects him to nationwide election, among other constitutional checks, as a prerequisite to wielding that power.” [ Source: Washington Examiner (Read More…) ]

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Half of American adults expect war with Iran ‘within next few years’

(Worthy News) – Half of all Americans believe that the United States will go to war with Iran ‘within the next few years,’ according to a Reuters/Ipsos public opinion poll released on Tuesday amid increased tensions between the two countries.

While Americans are more concerned about Iran as a security threat to the United States now than they were last year, few would be in favor of a pre-emptive attack on the Iranian military. But if Iran attacked U.S. military forces first, four out of five believed the United States should respond militarily in a full or limited way, the May 17-20 poll showed.

Historically tense relations between Washington and Tehran worsened in May after U.S. President Donald Trump hardened his anti-Iran stance and restored all sanctions on Iranian oil exports following his decision a year ago to pull the United States out of a 2015 international nuclear accord with Tehran. [ Source:Reuters (Read More…) ]

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