SOURCE: AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES
An explosive device exploded Saturday north-west of Kirkuk, injuring two brothers, Iraqi news sources said.
A roadside bomb exploded on Saturday in the area of Sargaran in Dobbs north-west of the city of Kirkuk, injuring two brothers who had stopped their car near the scene, a security source in Kirkuk told Alsumaria News.
The injured were taken to the hospital for treatment, the source added.
Spokesman of the Kurdistan Regional Government announced that the Iraqi government must meet the demands of the Iraqi demonstrators, the statement of a spokesman for the Kurdistan Regional Government comes at a time the Kurdistan Regional Government did not respond any demands of citizens in the Kurdistan Region in spite of demonstrations and sit-ins of different groups in the region.
Safin Dizayi said in a statement to the Rudaw channel that the Iraqi government is necessary to respond to the demands of the demonstrators.
He criticized the statements of Muqtada al-Sadr, who called for the suspension of the negotiations of the Iraqi government formation, saying that the government should not be paralyzed, adding that in parallel with the continuation of negotiations must respond to the demands.
The headquarters of the Kurdistan Democratic Party in Chamchamal is subjected to shooting without casualties.
Kurdiu correspondent reported that two unidentified cars were shooted towards the headquarters of the Democratic Party of Kurdistan in the town of Chamchamal.
According to the information, the incident did not cause any casualties.
A group of citizens and civil society activists gathered Saturday in front of the UN building in Erbil to denounce the arrest of an activist.
A group of citizens and civil society activists gathered Saturday in front of the UN building demanding the release of civil activist Afrist Shiwan, who was arrested by the Asayish forces.
Activists participating in the rally said that Asayish was arrested him for sharing a post on the social networking site.
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has supported a suggestion by President Hassan Rouhani who hinted earlier this month that Tehran may block regional oil exports if its own sales are stopped following the US' withdrawal from a 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.
Rouhani's apparent warning on July 3 to disrupt oil shipments from neighbouring countries came in reaction to looming US sanctions and efforts by the administration of President Donald Trump to force all countries to halt purchases of Iranian oil.
Even though Rouhani did not mention the Strait of Hormuz, his comments were nonetheless seen as a threat to the narrow strategic passageway located between Iran and Oman, where at least 18.5m barrels of oil were transported every day in 2016, according to a US energy department report.
The strait is not only used by Iranian ships, but also by Gulf countries who rely on safe passage through the narrow chokepoint to export their oil and gas.
"Remarks by the president ... that 'if Iran's oil is not exported, no regional country's oil will be exported,' were important remarks that reflect the policy and the approach of [Iran's] system," Khamenei's official website quoted him as saying on Saturday.
The comments come as the US demands all countries end imports of Iranian oil by November 4 as part of its new policy towards Tehran after Washington unilaterally pulled out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), known colloquially as the Iran nuclear deal.
Under the landmark deal signed in Vienna, six world powers - the US, UK, France, Germany, Russia, China and the European Union - offered Iran more than $110bn a year in sanctions relief and a return to the global economy in exchange for halting its drive for nuclear weapons.
Iran was also allowed to sell its oil and gas worldwide. However, secondary US sanctions remained. That allowed Tehran to earn an estimated $41bn in oil revenues in the 2016 fiscal year ending in March 2017, and $50bn more the following fiscal year that ended in March 2018.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has repeatedly confirmed that Tehran has been meeting its nuclear commitments fully.
Khamenei said on Saturday it was an "obvious" mistake to negotiate with the US because it does not abide by agreements.
"I have previously pointed out that Americans' words or even signatures cannot be relied on; thus negotiations with the US are useless.
"The assumption that negotiations or establishing ties with the US would solve the country's problems is an obvious error."
"Negotiations with the Europeans must continue, but we must not wait for their offer indefinitely," said Khamenei.
Having withdrawn from the landmark 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers, Washington is determined to isolate Iran and pile on economic pressure with a full reimposition of sanctions, starting in August.
Europe opposes the move and has vowed to find ways of maintaining its trade ties with Iran, which under the deal curbed its nuclear programme in exchange for a lifting of sanctions.
An Iraqi soldier was injured when security forces dismantled a protest camp in the southern city of Basra amid demonstrations against high unemployment and poor public utilities, according to an army officer on Saturday.
“Security forces intervened to dismantled dozen of tents set up by protesters in northern Basra,” Lieutenant Mohamed Khalaf told Anadolu Agency.
He said the process of evacuating and arresting the protesters has caused to trigger an exchange of fire between security forces and angry tribesmen, in which an army soldier was injured.
On Friday, hundreds of Iraqis demonstrated in Basra to call for the sacking of local officials and provision of basic services.
For the second week in a row, Iraq’s southern provinces have witnessed angry protests which in some cases have included acts of violence that have left at least eight dead.
The protests first erupted in Basra, where demonstrators decried poor public services, high unemployment and chronic power shortages.
The main reasons for Iraq’s ongoing financial crisis, which appear to have triggered the protests, are the high costs of perpetual conflict and falling oil revenues.
While Baghdad has been largely unable to fulfill its development plans, it is also struggling to provide basic public utilities, including electricity and water.
Recent days have seen the protests spread from southern Iraq to a number of other cities and provinces, including the nation’s capital, where the government has cut internet access and banned several social media platforms in hopes of preventing the protests from escalating further.
The Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government, Nechirvan Barzani on Thursday, called political parties of Kurdistan to participate with the delegation of the two main parties scheduled to go to Baghdad to negotiate in the formation of the next federal government.
"I call upon the political parties in the Kurdistan Region to unite and to participate in the dialogues to form the Iraqi government," Barzani said in a speech during a ceremony at the opening ceremony of a training and rehabilitation center for the employees of the Ministry of Electricity. "Our main objective is to achieve real partnership with Iraq".
He added that his government is ready for any cooperation and coordination with Baghdad in the face of terrorism, calling on the international coalition to continue cooperation, and to provide assistance to the Kurdistan region and Iraq.
The leader of the Sadrist movement Moqtada al-Sadr on Thursday, called the blocs and political parties winning in the legislative elections held recently to suspend dialogues on the formation of the new government until respond the demands of the demonstrators.
Sadr wrote in a tweet on "Twitter" "on the political blocs winning in the current election to suspend all political dialogues for alliances, and others until the completion of meeting the legitimate demands of demonstrators."
He called for the formation of a serious working cell with the government, in coordination with the demonstrators for its implementation.
14 people wounded by a series of simultaneous explosions in different parts of downtown Kirkuk, northern Iraq.
Director of Al-Jazeera office in Baghdad Walid Ibrahim said that eight explosions occurred in different locations of the city at the same time, some of which resulted from the dropping of bombs and sound bombs from cars speeding, and quoted sources in the city that two rockets fell in two separate places, wounding seven civilians.
The security information center said the attackers detonated three explosive devices near a fuel station on Baghdad Road, while another explosion occurred near the children's hospital in the city.
Media sources quoted police officials as saying that one of the improvised explosive devices was placed on the side of Baghdad Road in central Kirkuk and exploded yesterday evening, wounding three people.
The Iraqi presidency announced the agreement of the political blocs in Iraq to accept the results of manual counting of the votes of the parliamentary elections held on May 12 last.
This came in a statement on Wednesday evening after a meeting called by Iraqi President Fuad Masum, "the meeting focused and comprehensive discussion on recent demonstrations and the latest developments in the political process."
The Presidency explained in its statement that all political entities and parliamentary blocs approved the acceptance of the final results of the elections of the House of Representatives (parliament) for its fourth session in the event of ratification by the Federal Court officially, with the call to expedite the completion of counting and sorting.
The Independent Electoral Commission announced Yesterday the end of the process of manual counting the votes at polling stations in Nineveh.