Somali President Accuses Iran of Implementing ‘Subversive Agenda’ Through Humanitarian Efforts

 A photo distributed by the extremist Al-Shabaab movement on Tuesday.
A photo distributed by the extremist Al-Shabaab movement on Tuesday.
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Somali President Accuses Iran of Implementing ‘Subversive Agenda’ Through Humanitarian Efforts

 A photo distributed by the extremist Al-Shabaab movement on Tuesday.
A photo distributed by the extremist Al-Shabaab movement on Tuesday.

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mahmoud accused Iran of interfering in his country, at a time when the US military announced that it had killed two members of the extremist Al-Shabaab movement, in an airstrike on a remote area near Haratiri, 396 km northeast of Mogadishu.

Somali media quoted Sheikh Mahmoud as telling the Somali Scholars Conference on Tuesday that the country’s intelligence service monitored Iranian moves to spread Shiite ideologies during his first presidential term that ended in 2017.

The Somali president added that Iran was implementing a “subversive agenda” through relief efforts, pointing to the involvement of Iranian diplomats and officials of humanitarian organizations in the case.

Referring to “compelling evidence”, Sheikh Mahmoud said that he decided at the time to prohibit any Iranian presence in the country, by closing the Iranian embassy, and banning the activities of the Iranian Red Crescent and the Khomeini Charitable Foundation.

Meanwhile, at least one person was killed when a car exploded at the Sinai intersection in Mogadishu, on Tuesday morning. Several mortar shells fell near the headquarters of the Somali Presidency and the Ministry of Information.

According to local sources, one of the shells hit a primary school near the headquarters of Hamarween district in Mogadishu, injuring three people. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Also on Tuesday, the United States reported conducting a new airstrike against Al-Shabaab in Somalia, killing two militants.

In a statement, the US military’s Africa Command (AFRICOM) said it carried out a “collective self-defense” strike against al-Shabaab following a request from the Somalian government.

The strike was in support of Somali National Army engagements against Al-Shabaab, AFRICOM said.

“At the request of the Federal Government of Somalia and in support of Somali National Army engagements against al-Shabaab, US Africa Command conducted a collective self-defense strike on Jan. 23, 2023. The strike occurred in a remote area near Xaradheere, Somalia, approximately 396 km northeast of Mogadishu where Somali forces were conducting operations,” the statement read.

It added: “The initial assessment is the strike killed two al-Shabaab terrorists. Given the remote location of the operation, the initial assessment is that no civilians were injured or killed.”



Azerbaijan Proposes Document on Principles of Peace before Full Deal with Armenia

FILE PHOTO: Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev delivers a speech at the 10th Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council Ministerial Meeting and the 2nd Green Energy Advisory Council Ministerial Meeting in Baku, Azerbaijan, March 1, 2024. REUTERS/Aziz Karimov/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev delivers a speech at the 10th Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council Ministerial Meeting and the 2nd Green Energy Advisory Council Ministerial Meeting in Baku, Azerbaijan, March 1, 2024. REUTERS/Aziz Karimov/File Photo
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Azerbaijan Proposes Document on Principles of Peace before Full Deal with Armenia

FILE PHOTO: Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev delivers a speech at the 10th Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council Ministerial Meeting and the 2nd Green Energy Advisory Council Ministerial Meeting in Baku, Azerbaijan, March 1, 2024. REUTERS/Aziz Karimov/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev delivers a speech at the 10th Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council Ministerial Meeting and the 2nd Green Energy Advisory Council Ministerial Meeting in Baku, Azerbaijan, March 1, 2024. REUTERS/Aziz Karimov/File Photo

Azerbaijan is proposing to sign a document with Armenia on the basic principles of a future peace treaty as an interim measure as they wrangle over a broader deal, a senior Azerbaijani official said on Sunday.
Both Armenia and Azerbaijan have repeatedly said they want to sign a peace treaty to end the conflict over the former breakaway Azerbaijani region of Nagorno-Karabakh, reported Reuters.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said on Saturday a text of a treaty was 80%-90% ready but repeated it was impossible to sign it before Armenia amended its constitution to remove an indirect reference to Karabakh independence, which Armenia has rejected.
Karabakh's ethnic Armenian inhabitants enjoyed de facto independence from Azerbaijan for more than three decades until September 2023, when a lightning Azerbaijani offensive retook the territory and prompted around 100,000 Armenians to flee.
Both countries have in recent months sought to make progress on the peace treaty, including the demarcation of borders, with Armenia agreeing to hand over to Azerbaijan four contested border villages.
A document on the basic principles could be considered as a temporary measure and form the basis of the bilateral ties and ensure neighborly relations between the two countries, Hikmet Hajiyev, foreign policy adviser to the president, told Reuters.
It can be signed until Azerbaijan holds COP29 climate summit in November, Hajiyev added.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said in June that a peace treaty with Azerbaijan was close to completion but that his country would not accept its demands that it change its constitution.
After he made those comments, clashes broke out between police and demonstrators, the latest in a series of protests denouncing his policies, including the handing back of ruined villages to Azerbaijan, and demanding his resignation.
On July 5, Constitution Day in Armenia, Pashinyan said the country needed a new constitution "which the people will consider to be what they created, what they accepted, what is written in it is their idea of the state they created and the relations between people and citizens in that state".