Coronavirus: Pakistan closes Iranian border | AFP

Security forces stand on alert and trucks wait after the closure of the border between Pakistan and Iran as fears grow over a jump in new coronavirus infections. In Iran, more deaths and new infections are being reported, it is now the country with the highest number of fatalities outside China.

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Quake in Iran kills eight in neighbouring Turkey | AFP

A magnitude 5.7 earthquake in northwestern Iran on Sunday killed at least eight people in neighbouring Turkey and injured dozens more on both sides of the border, authorities say. The epicentre of the quake, which struck at 9:23 am (0553 GMT), was near the Iranian village of Habash-e Olya, less than 10 kilometres (six miles) from the border, according to the US Geological Survey.

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US slaps sanctions on Iranian officials for barring candidates | AFP

The United States slaps sanctions on five Iranian officials in charge of vetting candidates for this week’s parliamentary elections, in which thousands have been barred from running. “The five officials being designated today have denied the Iranian people free and fair parliamentary elections,” says the US special representative for Iran, Brian Hook. SOUNDBITE

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Ukrainians pay respects to the victims of downed plane | AFP

Flag-draped coffins of the 11 Ukrainians who died in a plane mistakenly shot down by Iran are covered with flowers by Ukraine International Airlines staff and close ones. The Kiev-bound UIA Boeing 737 crashed shortly after taking off from Tehran on 8 January, killing all 176 people on board, mostly Iranian and Canadian citizens.

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Sweden holds memorial for victims of Iran plane crash | AFP

Members of Sweden’s government and royal family attend a memorial service for victims of the Ukrainian passenger plane that crashed near Tehran after being hit by an Iranian missile. The Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737, which had been bound for Kiev, slammed into a field shortly after taking off from Tehran last Wednesday, killing all 176 people on board, including 17 Swedish residents. IMAGES of the beginning of the service

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Trump rallies supporters as Dems debate in Iowa

President Donald Trump defended his decision to kill a top Iranian general and slammed Democrats as weak on national security. The president held a rally in Milwaukee as Democratic presidential candidates debated in Iowa. (Jan. 15)

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Trump: Intel on Iran threats ‘totally consistent’

President Donald Trump declined to expand Monday on what the intelligence revealed about Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani’s plans to attack four U.S. embassies, saying only, “it’s been “totally consistent.” (Jan. 13)

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Video: Iran police shoot at protesters in Tehran

Iranian police and security forces fired both live ammunition and tear gas to disperse demonstrators protesting against the Islamic Republic’s initial denial that it shot down a Ukrainian jetliner, online videos purported to show Monday. (Jan. 13)

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For Syrians in Idlib, killing of Soleimani a ‘victory’ | AFP

In parts of the Middle East, Qasem Soleimani is revered as a hero. But in opposition-held Syria, the slain Iranian commander was seen as the man to kill and many see his death as “victory”.

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Pompeo doubles down on intelligence on Soleimani

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo doubles down on the reliability and clarity of the intelligence the U.S. had on Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani and imminent plans of an attack. (Jan. 10)

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US believes it ‘likely’ Ukraine plane shot down by Iranian missile: Pompeo | AFP

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the United States believes it is “likely” that an Iranian missile downed a Ukrainian airliner that crashed near Tehran, killing all 176 on board. SOUNDBITE

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Mnuchin announces US sanctions against Iranian metals industry | AFP

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announces sanctions against more than a dozen leading producers of metals in the Islamic republic, in addition to fresh sanctions against eight top Iranian officials Washington is accusing of working to destabilize the region. SOUNDBITE

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