Iran

US official: Navy aircraft threatened with shoot down by Iran

The aircraft were flying in international airspace but "near Iranian airspace."

The Iranians made a radio call to both planes warning them not to enter Iranian airspace and risk being shot down, the official said. The US aircraft never entered Iranian airspace and proceeded without incident.

The Iranians threatened to launch missiles to shoot down the aircraft as part of the threat.

British Airways to resume direct flights to Iran

It will be the first direct flight by a UK carrier to Iran since 2012, when the route became commercially unviable because relations had broken down.

It follows the lifting of some sanctions against Iran in January and the re-opening of the British embassy in the Iranian capital in 2015.

BA said it will run flights six days a week from London Heathrow.

The Boeing 777 will depart just after 21:00 BST on Thursday.

Sanctions

US Navy ship fires warning shots towards Iranian vessel

The official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said three warning shots were fired from a .50 calibre gun on Wednesday (local time) after warning flares did not work.

The incident started with three Iranian vessels, but there was only one Iranian vessel around by the time the warning shots were fired, the official said.

The official added that at one point an Iranian vessel came within 200 metres of a US ship.

US: Iran cash linked to prisoner release

Spokesman John Kirby maintained the payment was negotiated separately from the release, but said it was withheld until the Americans had left Iran.

Five Americans held in Iran were released in January in exchange for seven detained Iranians.

The US airlifted $400m (£300.8m) worth of cash to Iran on the same day.

The exchange came as the US lifted international sanctions against Iran as part of the country's historic nuclear deal.

The timing of both incidents has prompted an outcry from Republicans, who accused the Obama administration of quid pro quo.

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Iran's ex-president writes Obama urging return of assets

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran's president from 2005-2013, demanded in a letter that Obama overturn an April US Supreme Court ruling that allowed the seizure of $2 billion worth of Iranian assets to compensate victims of a 1983 terror attack.

In his entreaty, Ahmadinejad suggested Obama had failed to deliver on a promise to improve ties to Iran by allowing the court decision to stand.

Iran: Nuclear scientist executed for spying

Shahram Amiri had been in custody in Iran since 2010.

"Shahram Amiri had access to the system's top secrets and had gotten connected with our number one enemy the Great Satan," Iranian judicial spokesman Hojjat al-Eslam Mehdi Mohseni-Ejehei told reporters Sunday, according to state news agency IRNA.

Amiri's case had been reviewed by the Iranian high court, which upheld the conviction, according to Mohseni-Ejehei. "The Iranian High Court reviewed this decision with extreme care given the allegations of espionage," he said.

Iran 'foils plot by Sunni militants to bomb Tehran'

The ministry said members of an "anti-Islamic terrorist takfiri group" had been arrested and explosives seized.

The intelligence ministry gave no further details about the suspects.

"Takfiri" is a term used by officials in Shia Iran to describe Sunni extremists who declare other Muslims as apostates deserving of death.

Iran is currently helping both the Syrian and Iraqi governments battle the jihadist group, Islamic State (IS), which considers Shia to be infidels for their veneration of the Prophet Muhammad's family and other beliefs and practices.

Iran MPs want US to pay damages for 'hostile action' Posted 9 minutes ago

"The Government has the duty to take the necessary measures seeking compensation for material and moral damages caused by the United States" to the country and Iranians over the past 63 years, the text reads.

It cites "material or moral damage" caused by the US during the coup against nationalist leader Mohammad Mossadegh in 1953, in the Iran-Iraq war between 1980 and 1988, in the destruction of oil platforms in the Gulf and in espionage against the Islamic republic.

Iran lobbied for Russian campaign in Syria , officials say

The statement was made to the Associated Press by Iraqi government officials. 

Yemen government denies cutting ties with Iran

"Cutting ties with Iran does not align with Yemen's supreme interests," said Rageh Badie.

The internationally recognized government has long been accusing Iran of arming and training the country's Shiite rebels known as Houthis. Tehran admits to supporting and advising the rebels, but denies any military aid.