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Today’s Notable Headlines from the Middle East

06- Jan- 23

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Iran Warns France Over Ayatollah Khamenei’s Cartoons In Charlie Hebdo Magazine (NDTV). Iran warned France on Wednesday of consequences after satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo published cartoons depicting supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei that Tehran deemed to be insulting. 

Sources Say Basij Commander Killing Was Inside Job By Iran Guards (Exclusive to Iran International).  “Iran International has learned that Ghasem Fathollahi, a member of the Revolutionary Guards who was killed outside his home in Tehran, was assassinated by the IRGC Intelligence Organization…According to our sources, the Intelligence Organization of the IRGC had become suspicious of Fatollahi in the past few weeks and had been monitoring him. The sources said that he refused to confront the demonstrators and suppress them during the protests in the area.”


UAE Foreign Minister Visits Assad in Damascus (Al Sharq Al Awsat). UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad discussed bilateral relations between the UAE and Syria and ways to strengthen and develop them through joint cooperation at all levels.

Houthis Deploy Missile and Drone Bases to Launch Attack on Yemen’s Coast (Al Hadath). Military sources said that the Houthi militia has deployed bases for launching guided missiles and other bases for launching drones in its areas of control in Hodeidah, and is preparing an attack from the sea on the liberated areas of the coast.


Iraq’s Largest Parliamentary Bloc Seeks Death Penalty for 83,000 People (Al Iraqi News). The Coordination Framework called on the President of the Republic to ratify “the death sentences issued against 83,000 terrorists who spilled Iraqi blood.”


U.S. Government Adopts Ankara’s Preferred Spelling of the “Republic of Türkiye” (The Daily Sabah). The State Department has instructed that new official documents refer to Türkiye instead of Turkey, although the pronunciation will not change, officials said. But neither the State Department website nor the Foreign Affairs Manual, which guides U.S. diplomatic practices, had been revised to reflect the change as of midday Thursday.


Hizballah Claims Mossad Is Recruiting Spies Through Sexual Exploitation (Beirut Observer).  Hizballah security forces arrested Mohsen S, a worker in installing solar panels in Naqoura under allegations of having been a Mossad spy. According to the Hizballah media, the subject confessed to having been compromised while on a trip in Africa after he was expelled from the ranks of the organization.


Erdogan Calls on Putin to Take Steps in Two Syrian Files (Enab Baladi). The Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, called on his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, to take action regarding the two files of expelling the “Syrian Democratic Forces” (SDF) from two locations in the Aleppo governorate, northern Syria, and to push the Syrian regime to take “constructive steps” in the file of rapprochement with Ankara.


Egyptian Pound Continues its Decline to 27 Pounds Per Dollar (Sky News Arabia). On Thursday, the exchange rate of the Egyptian pound continued its downward path, retreating to the level of 27 pounds per dollar, which is its lowest level ever in the official market. Exchange rate flexibility was a key demand of the International Monetary Fund, which approved a 46-month bailout package worth $3 billion for Egypt in October. Egypt had been seeking the loan since March, after the economic fallout from the war in Ukraine exacerbated a foreign exchange shortage, causing a sharp slowdown in imports and a backlog of goods at ports.

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