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Iran to attend next international meeting on Syria

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Tehran: Iran will attend the upcoming international talks on the future of Syria to be held in the Austrian capital of Vienna on November 12, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said on Monday.

Amir-Abdollahian made the remarks in a telephone conversation with Mikhail Bogdanov, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s special representative for the Middle East and Africa, Press TV reported.

The Iranian foreign ministry official asked the participants in the talks to adopt a “realistic” approach to help resolve the Syrian crisis.

Political means and national dialogue will help the people of Syria to decide their own future democratically, he said.

On November 2, Amir-Abdollahian criticized what he called Saudi Arabia’s ‘unconstructive’ role in the October international talks on Syria, threatening to walk out of the talks should the next meeting be ‘unproductive’.

At the meeting in Vienna, “some countries, particularly Saudi Arabia, played negative and unconstructive roles, as they could not provide a logic for their positions vis-a-vis Syria’s conflicts,” Amir-Abdollahian said.

“If our assessment of the next talks is positive, we will continue to attend the next meetings,” he said. Otherwise, if the negotiations will be “a show” and if the rights of the Syrian people to decide on the future of their own country are ignored, Iran would pull out of the talks, he added.

Iran, who participated for the first time in the talks on Syria, said that it would not accept pressure for the ouster of President Al-Assad under the pretext of solving the Syria crisis.

On Monday, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif said that the international community should unite against terrorism in the region, particularly in Syria.

The task of the international community is to fight terrorism in Syria and to leave the future of the Arab State to the Syrian people, he said.

Tehran has emerged as a staunch regional ally of the Assad government in Syria’s long-lasting conflict, saying it would keep its “military advisers” in Syria to help the Syrian government in its struggle against militants.

(IANS)

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Facebook Removes Pages, Fake Accounts Linked to Iran

Facebook said about 1.02 million accounts followed at least one of these Pages, about 25,000 accounts joined at least one of these Groups, and more than 28,000 accounts followed at least one of these Instagram accounts

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This photo shows the logo for Facebook on screens at the Nasdaq MarketSite, in New York's Times Square. VOA

Facebook has removed 82 Pages, Groups and accounts for what it calls “coordinated inauthentic behaviour” that originated in Iran and targeted people in the US and Britain.

“While we have found no ties to the Iranian government, we can’t say for sure who is responsible,” Nathaniel Gleicher, Head of Cybersecurity Policy at Facebook said in a statement on Friday.

The people behind these Pages and accounts represented themselves as US citizens, or in a few cases UK citizens — and they posted about politically charged topics such as race relations, opposition to the US President, and immigration on Facebook and Instagram.

Facebook said its threat intelligence team first detected this activity one week ago and conducted an internal investigation.

“Despite attempts to hide their true identities, a manual review of these accounts linked their activity to Iran,” Gleicher said.

Facebook
Facebook removes dozens of Iran-linked fake accounts, Pages.. Pixabay

The activities on Facebook were revealed just weeks before the midterm election in the US and while a heated Brexit debate continues in Britain.

“Given the elections, we took action as soon as we’d completed our initial investigation and shared the information with US and UK government officials, US law enforcement, Congress, other technology companies and the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab,” Gleicher said.

Also Read- Actress Swara Bhaskar Says “Sexual Harassment Cases at Workplace Are Like an Epidemic”

Facebook said about 1.02 million accounts followed at least one of these Pages, about 25,000 accounts joined at least one of these Groups, and more than 28,000 accounts followed at least one of these Instagram accounts.

This is not the first time Facebook has removed Pages and accounts linked to Iran. In August, the social network removed 600 Pages and accounts originating from Russia and Iran for engaging in “inauthentic behaviour”. (IANS)