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Iran to continue scaling back commitments to nuclear deal: Rouhani

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said on Monday Tehran would continue to scale back its commitments to the 2015 nuclear agreement until the European Union fulfils promises it made under the deal.

Iran has gradually scaled back its nuclear commitments since May after the U.S. pulled out of the deal and has called on European parties to the pact to salvage the deal by shielding Iran’s economy from U.S. penalties.

Rouhani, speaking on state television, also said Iran would start working on more advance uranium enrichment centrifuges.

Iran says it captures exiled journalist who supported 2018 unrest

DUBAI (Reuters) - Agents of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have captured and returned to Iran an exiled journalist who allegedly fueled anti-government street unrest across the country early last year using social media, Iranian state television reported on Monday.

Ruhollah Zam, a journalist-turned-activist who headed Amadnews with more 1 million followers on social media, was based in France and other parts of Europe.

Zam’s capture was a “complex operation using intelligence deception”, the Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) said in a statement carried by the television.

Russia will support any deal that will reconcile Palestine and Israel - Putin

DUBAI, October 13. /TASS/: Russia is ready to back any deal that will iron out the long-running Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview with RT Arabic, Al Arabiya and Sky News Arabia TV channels on Sunday.

"We will support any deal that will bring peace," Putin said.

Speaking on the US-proposed "deal of the century," Putin said Washington has been pretty vague about the details of the deal. "Washington has kept in the dark the global and domestic public, the Middle East, and Palestine."

Khamenei tells Iran's Guards to develop more advanced, modern weapons

DUBAI (Reuters) - Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards on Sunday to develop more advanced and modern weapons, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported, amid rising regional tensions.

“The Guards should have advanced and modern weapons ... Your weapons should be modern and updated. It should be developed at home. You need to develop and produce your weapons,” Khamenei said in a speech at Imam Hussein Military University in Tehran.

Putin says a new Syrian constitution should guarantee all groups' rights: Arabiya

DUBAI (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin said any new constitution that is drawn up for Syria should guarantee the rights of all ethnic and religions groups. Putin was speaking in an interview with Arab broadcasters, including Saudi-owned Al Arabiya TV, on his first visit to Saudi Arabia in over a decade.

Putin says Russia has 'very friendly' relations with Saudi crown prince

DUBAI (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin said Russia has “very friendly personal relations” with Saudi Crown Prince and de facto ruler Mohammed bin Salman.

Putin was speaking in an interview with Arab broadcasters, including Saudi-owned Al Arabiya TV, ahead of his first visit to Saudi Arabia in over a decade.

He also said Russia was studying new investments in Saudi Arabia. Russian company Sibur Holding was looking at building a petrochemical complex in Saudi with investment worth more than $1 billion, Putin told Al Arabiya.

Saudi Arabia says it received distress message from damaged Iranian tanker: SPA

DUBAI (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia said it received a distress message on Friday from a damaged Iranian tanker in the Red Sea but the vessel kept moving and switched off its transponder before it could provide assistance, state news agency SPA reported on Saturday.

SPA said the Sabiti tanker did not respond to many communications from the Saudi authorities. Saudi Arabia was committed to the security and safety of navigation and international laws, it said.

Iran decries 'cowardly attack' on oil tanker

DUBAI (Reuters) - An Iranian government spokesman on Saturday described as a “cowardly attack” an incident that Iranian media have called the apparent targeting by missiles of an Iranian-owned oil tanker, and said Iran would respond after the facts had been studied.

The tanker Sabiti was hit in Red Sea waters off Saudi Arabia on Friday, Iranian media have reported, an incident that could stoke friction in a region rattled by attacks on tankers and oil installations since May.

Iran will use every means possible to export its oil: SHANA

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran will not succumb to U.S. pressure and will use every possible way to export its oil, Iranian Oil Ministry’s website SHANA quoted Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh as saying on Sunday.

Iran’s crude oil exports were reduced by more than 80% when the United States re-imposed sanctions on the country last November after President Donald Trump pulled out of Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

“We will use every possible way to export our oil and we will not succumb to America’s pressure because exporting oil is Iran’s legitimate right,” Zanganeh said.

Ahead of pilgrimage, Iran border crossing closed due to Iraq unrest

DUBAI (Reuters) - A border crossing between Iran and Iraq, which is due to be used by hundreds of thousands of Shi’ite Muslim worshippers at an annual pilgrimage this month, has been closed because of unrest in Iraq, Iranian state television reported on Thursday.

A senior Iranian pilgrimage official told state television that the Khosravi border crossing was closed, but other crossings were open ahead of the pilgrimage in the southern Iraqi city of Kerbala.

The state news agency IRNA said the Chazabeh crossing, which had been closed late on Wednesday, had reopened.

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