Bogdanov, Haddad Discuss Situation in Syria, Fight against Terrorism

MOSCOW, (ST)-Russian President Special Representative for Middle East and Africa, Deputy Foreign Minister Michael Bogdanov and Syria's Ambassador in Moscow Riad Haddad on Monday  discussed developments in Syria and the fight against terrorism.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Bogdanov and Haddad discussed some key issues mainly enhancing Syrian-Russian economic and trade cooperation within the framework of reconstruction in Syria and creating suitable conditions for the return of the displaced Syrian home.

China Blames US Pressure for Iranian Nuclear Crisis

China has slammed the United States for its “unilateral bullying” of Iran, and for being a catalyst in the nuclear crisis after Tehran announced plans to breach a uranium enrichment limit set in 2015.

 “The maximum pressure exerted by the US on Iran is the root cause of the Iranian nuclear crisis,” Geng Shuang, spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry, told a press briefing in Beijing on Monday, RT reported.

He likened Washington’s reintroduced sanctions to “bullying” and said they’ve become a “worsening tumor” for the global community.The spokesman reiterated that the current discord over the country’s nuclear program should be resolved diplomatically.

Ireland to Step up Plans for 'Significant' Risk of No-Deal Brexit

DUBLIN - Ireland will step up its preparations for a disorderly Brexit this week given the chances of Britain leaving the European Union without a deal have never been higher, foreign minister Simon Coveney said on Monday.

With close trade links and a shared land border, Ireland is considered the most vulnerable among remaining EU members to Brexit and lawmakers passed one of the largest-ever pieces of legislation in March to prepare as best it could for a no deal.

Coveney said the updated contingency plan will “refine and improve” on the actions already in place for March 29 and April 12, the original Brexit deadlines before Britain was given an extension until the end of October.

Iran won’t Tolerate Britain’s Maritime Piracy, Says Defense Chief

Iran’s Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami has slammed as an act of “piracy” Britain's seizure of an Iranian oil tanker in the Strait of Gibraltar, saying Tehran will not tolerate such actions, Press T.V reported.

 “The action runs counter to international regulations and is a kind of maritime piracy,” Hatami told a ceremony in the southern Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas on Monday.

Referring to the Islamic Republic long record in combating piracy, he said: “Definitely this maritime piracy will not be tolerated by us”.

Region's peace and stability depends on Iran: Russian MP

Moscow - A senior Russian lawmaker says the Middle East peace and stability depends on Iran.

"Under the condition that the US is putting too much pressure on Iran, still the country will remain a big player and the regional peace and stability is dependent on its policies,” Leonid Slutski, head of the Russian Duma (parliament) Foreign Relations Committee told the media on Sunday, IRNA reported.