News in Brief ❑❑❑
Iranian religious leader dies:
Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency on Saturday reported that a proreform religious leader, who sided with an opposition presidential candidate during the turmoil following the controversial 2009 elections, has died. He was 83.
Ayatollah Yousef Saanei died in a hospital in the holy city of Qom after being hospitalized for two days with a broken hip and wrist, IRNA said. Qom is known for its Shiite seminaries that attract students from across Iran and other countries.
In 2009, Saanei had supported opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi and criticized hard-liner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who beat Mousavi in that year’s disputed elections. Mousavi’s electoral defeat led to the widespread Green Movement protests, which were put down by Iranian security forces. (AP)
France urges E3 unity: The French Foreign Ministry on Thursday stressed the need for France, Britain and Germany (E3) to take a joint approach to preserve the 2015 Vienna nuclear accords with Iran and avoid efforts and torpedoing those agreements.
Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian attended a meeting with his E3 counterparts in London Thursday afternoon to discuss the Iranian situation, a meeting senior EU officials took part in by video-conference, the Foreign Ministry revealed.
Le Drian stressed to his European partners that it was particularly important to take joint approaches and positions on the Iranian file, “notably in the context of the invalid attempt of the United States to re-establish multi-lateral sanctions against Iran.” (KUNA)