Zarif’s impassioned speech energises reformist campaign in Iran’s presidential contest

bne Tehran bureau June 18, 2024

Iran’s former foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif made an impassioned speech on June 18 on state television that is expected to significantly strengthen the position of the reformist front in the upcoming snap presidential elections.

Iran’s presidential candidates shape two fronts in first debate

bne Tehran bureau June 18, 2024

In the first debate between Iranian presidential candidates on the subject of the economy on June 17, candidates shaped two fronts for and against the need to normalise international relations.

Dozens of pilgrims die during Hajj pilgrimage from extreme heat

bne Gulf bureau June 17, 2024

Several dozen adults and one baby have died from heatstroke during this year’s Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia as temperatures surpassed 48 degrees Celsius.

Record number of Russians undertake Hajj pilgrimage amid challenges

bne Tehran bureau June 17, 2024

More than 25,000 Russians have embarked on the annual Hajj pilgrimage to the holy sites in Mecca and Medina, Saudi Arabia, setting a new record following increased quotas and the easing of pandemic restrictions.

Iran's sole reformist presidential candidate shifts stance to appeal to voters

bne Tehran bureau June 16, 2024

Masoud Pezeshkian, the only Iranian presidential candidate from the reformist political faction, made liberal remarks on June 16 after his initial positions failed to attract voters opposed to the basic principles of the Islamic Republic.

Biblical plague of locusts hit northern Iraq devastating farms

bne Gulf bureau June 14, 2024

A massive locusts infestation in Iraq’s Sulaymaniyah has left farmers grappling with unprecedented crop damage, particularly watermelons and tomatoes, a staple of the country’s food production.

Iran's northern Kandovan area hit with heavy showers and floods, three missing

bne Tehran bureau June 14, 2024

Heavy rainfall triggered a devastating flood in the Kandovan area of Iran, causing significant damage and sweeping away at least four vehicles. Three people are reported missing, and search efforts are ongoing.

Iran deploys firefighting aircraft to combat western provinces' fires

bne Tehran bureau June 13, 2024

Iran has deployed firefighting aircraft to combat increasing wildfires that have broken out in the western provinces of the country.

French banker released from Iranian prison, reunites with family in Paris

bne Tehran bureau June 13, 2024

Louis Arnaud, a French banking consultant in his 30s, has been released from Iranian custody after nearly two years of detention.

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Kuwait set to offer Russians visa-free entry

bne Gulf bureau June 13, 2024

Several Gulf states are preparing to allow Russian citizens to enter without visas, Russian Economy Minister Maxim Reshetnikov announced on June 12, as part of efforts to boost tourism ties.

Saudi Arabia inaugurates self-driving aerial taxi for Hajj pilgrims

bne Gulf bureau June 12, 2024

Saudi Arabia has launched a self-driving aerial taxi service for pilgrims during this year’s Hajj season

Iran's reformists rally behind Pezeshkian as sole candidate in presidential election

bne Tehran bureau June 12, 2024

Iran's reformist parties and figures are coalescing behind their sole approved candidate, Masoud Pezeshkian, in the upcoming presidential election scheduled for June 28, viewing his candidacy as an opportunity to halt the country's hardline shift.

PODCAST: Emerging Global with Bruce Pannier on Turkmenistan's troubles

Daniel Rad in Dublin June 11, 2024

A country with the fourth largest gas reserves in the world is struggling to sell its natural bounty. Daniel Rad interviewed regional expert Bruce Pannier on its plight.

Kurdish militants knocking Turkish drones out of sky with Iranian “loitering” missiles, footage suggests

bne IntelliNews June 10, 2024

If it misses, jet-propelled munition tries to turn around for another attempt at hitting the target.

Hamster Kombat tapping into Iranians’ mobile screens

bne Tehran bureau June 10, 2024

A new type of foreign rodent has invaded Iran. This rodent, however, is not physical but virtual, causing alarm among authorities across the republic. It is now a common sight to see people tapping away frantically.

Iraq eyes joining China's Belt and Road initiative

bne Gulf bureau June 10, 2024

Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani confirmed on June 9 the possibility of linking China's Belt and Road Initiative with Iraq's strategic Development Road project.

Iran’s clerical body may push for Larijani’s inclusion in the presidential race

bne Tehran bureau June 9, 2024

There is speculation in the Iranian media that the country’s clerical body intends to push for the inclusion of Ali Larijani in the upcoming presidential race by government decree, after he was disqualified by the Guardian Council on June 9.

Iran announces final list of approved presidential candidates

bne Tehran bureau June 9, 2024

Iran's election headquarters spokesman, Mohsen Islami, announced on the final list of six candidates approved to run in the country's upcoming 14th presidential election on June 28.

Russia and Iran face long waits for McDonald's due to international disputes

bne Tehran bureau June 7, 2024

In today's globalised food industry, the golden arches of McDonald's have become as recognisable as the stars and stripes of the American flag.

COMMENT: Five important questions ahead of the 2024 Iranian presidential election

Farzan Sabet June 7, 2024

The Islamic Republic of Iran is set to hold a snap presidential election following the death of President Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash on May 19. With registrations now in, who will make the cut?