'Jaish-ul-Adl' Publishes Images of Abducted Iranian Soldiers

Jaish-ul-Adl carried out a spate of attacks on Iranian security forces in recent years. (File Photo: AFP)
Jaish-ul-Adl carried out a spate of attacks on Iranian security forces in recent years. (File Photo: AFP)
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'Jaish-ul-Adl' Publishes Images of Abducted Iranian Soldiers

Jaish-ul-Adl carried out a spate of attacks on Iranian security forces in recent years. (File Photo: AFP)
Jaish-ul-Adl carried out a spate of attacks on Iranian security forces in recent years. (File Photo: AFP)

A militant group claimed responsibility for the abduction of 12 Iranian security personnel and soldiers southeast the border with Pakistan, Iran’s semi-official news agency ISNA reported Monday.

"The terrorist group Jaish-ul-Adl has posted two photos... claiming that those in it are the forces abducted" on October 16, AFP reported. The photo shows seven members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and 15 security personnel in their military garb.

Jaish-ul-Adl, formed in 2012, is a successor to the extremist group Jundallah which led the bloody rebellion between 2005 and 2010.

Poor Sistan-Baluchestan province, bordering Pakistan and Afghanistan, where a majority of Sunnis are ethnic Baluchis, has been battling clashes between regime forces and Baloch separatists or militant groups, according to AFP. The Sunni Baloch minority accounts for about 2 percent of Iran's population.

The photos also show a haul of automatic weapons and sniper rifles, rocket launchers, machine-guns, grenades and ammunition, apparently seized from the Iranian forces.

IRGC Ground Force Commander, Brigadier General Mohammad Pakpour, left for Pakistan on Monday to pursue the case of the kidnapped Iranians, according to an IRGC statement.

Meanwhile, Iranian Oil Ministry quoted Minister Bijan Zanganeh as saying that Iranian oil output cannot be replaced by other oil-producing countries if Tehran is hit by US sanctions in November, Reuters published in a report from Dubai.

“As I have repeatedly said there is no replacement for Iranian oil in the market,” said Zanganeh.

In May, US President Donald Trump pulled out of an international nuclear deal with Iran and announced sanctions against OPEC’s third-largest producer. Washington is pushing allies to cut imports of Iranian oil to zero and will reimpose sanctions on Iranian oil and financial sectors in November.

In June, OPEC agreed to boost supply to make up for the expected disruption to Iranian exports. But Iran has repeatedly said that its oil exports cannot be reduced to zero because of high demand levels in the market.

“The market’s knowledge of this inability has raised the prices as the average price (of crude) ... Rising oil prices have slowed down the economic growth of most of the consumer countries, which is affecting the global economy,” Oil Minister noted.

Zanganeh advised Trump “to forgo imposition of sanctions on Iran’s oil exports”, saying that the non-OPEC producers of oil were also unable “to offset disruptions in the market”.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, in an interview with Reuters on Sunday, dismissed concerns that oil prices could rise, saying the market had already factored in the losses.

Iran warned that if it cannot sell its oil due to US pressure, then no other regional country will be allowed to do so either, threatening to block the Strait of Hormuz, as referred by Reuters.

Under the 2015 nuclear deal, most international sanctions against Tehran were lifted in 2016 in exchange for Iran curbing its nuclear program.



Ukraine Summit Attracts World Leaders, Fails to Isolate Russia

This photograph shows a sign representing Ukraine on the bank of Lake Lucerne in Lucerne, on June 14, 2024, ahead of a Ukraine peace summit on June 15-16, 2024.
This photograph shows a sign representing Ukraine on the bank of Lake Lucerne in Lucerne, on June 14, 2024, ahead of a Ukraine peace summit on June 15-16, 2024.
TT

Ukraine Summit Attracts World Leaders, Fails to Isolate Russia

This photograph shows a sign representing Ukraine on the bank of Lake Lucerne in Lucerne, on June 14, 2024, ahead of a Ukraine peace summit on June 15-16, 2024.
This photograph shows a sign representing Ukraine on the bank of Lake Lucerne in Lucerne, on June 14, 2024, ahead of a Ukraine peace summit on June 15-16, 2024.

World leaders will join Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy at a summit this weekend to explore ways of ending the deadliest conflict in Europe since World War Two, but Russia isn't invited and the event will fall short of Kyiv's aim of isolating Moscow.

US Vice President Kamala Harris, French President Emmanuel Macron and the leaders of Germany, Italy, Britain, Canada and Japan are among those set to attend the June 15-16 meeting at the Swiss mountaintop resort of Buergenstock.

India, which has helped Moscow survive the shock of economic sanctions, is expected to send a delegation. Turkey and Hungary, which similarly maintain cordial ties with Russia, will be represented by their foreign ministers.

But despite months of intense Ukrainian and Swiss lobbying, some others will not be there, most notably China, a key consumer of Russian oil and supplier of goods that help Moscow maintain its manufacturing base.

"This meeting is already a result," Zelenskiy said in Berlin on Tuesday, while acknowledging the challenge of maintaining international support as the war, now well into its third year, grinds on.

Ninety-two countries and eight organizations will attend, Switzerland said. Organizers preparing a joint statement have battled to strike a balance between condemning Russia's actions and securing as many participants as possible, diplomats say.

A final draft of the summit declaration refers to Russia's "war" against Ukraine, and also underlines commitment to the UN charter and respect for international law, according to two people familiar with the document.

Participants not in agreement with the declaration have until the end of Friday to opt out, the sources said.

The Swiss foreign ministry declined to comment.

Switzerland wants the summit to pave the way for a "future peace process" in which Russia takes part - and to determine which country could take on the next phase.

'FUTILE'

The idea of a summit was originally floated after Zelenskiy presented a 10-point peace plan in late 2022.

Ulrich Schmid, a political scientist and Eastern Europe expert at the University of St. Gallen, said the summit appeared to be "a mixed bag" so far, given the show of support from some quarters and China's absence.

"Then the question arises: is peace actually doable?" Schmid added. "As long as (Russian President Vladimir) Putin is in power... it will be difficult."

Putin said on Friday that Russia would cease fire and enter peace talks if Ukraine dropped its NATO ambitions and withdrew its forces from four Ukrainian regions claimed by Moscow. Kyiv has repeatedly said its territorial integrity is non-negotiable.

Russia, which sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022, has described the idea of a summit to which it is not invited as "futile".

Moscow casts its "special military operation" in Ukraine as part of a broader struggle with the West, which it says wants to bring Russia to its knees. Kyiv and the West say this is nonsense and accuse Russia of waging an illegal war of conquest.

Given such entrenched differences, the summit will focus on parts of Zelenskiy's plan broad enough to be palatable to most, if not all, participants. These include the need to guarantee food security, nuclear safety, freedom of navigation, prisoner exchanges, and the return of children, officials said.

Meanwhile, China, along with Brazil, is pushing a separate peace plan for Ukraine that calls for the participation of both warring parties. Moscow has voiced its support for Beijing's efforts to end the conflict.

Kyiv has not hidden its frustration at China's decision to skip the Swiss summit. Zelenskiy even accused Beijing of helping Russia to disrupt it, an extraordinary outburst against a global superpower with unrivalled influence over Moscow.

On the battlefield, the gathering comes at a difficult time for Ukraine. Russian troops, who control around 18% of Ukrainian territory, are advancing in the east in a war that has killed tens of thousands of soldiers and civilians, left villages, towns and cities in ruins and uprooted millions.