US, Zionist Leaders' New Claims 'Worthless', Says Qassemi

 Iran says Israel's atomic weapons arsenal represents the biggest threat to the world peace, dismissing new allegations by Zionist and US leaders against Iran's nuclear program as "hollow" and "worthless".

The reaction on Thursday came a day after US President Donald Trump called Iran's nuclear program a threat to Israel during a news conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House.

"The statements did not contain any new point except being a repetition of hollow and worthless allegations against Iran's peaceful nuclear program," Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said.

Lavrov: Russia, US Confirm Common Interest on Fight against Terrorism, Stress Support for Astana Talks on Syria

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is ready to support Syrian talks in Astana aiming at political settlement to crisis in Syria.

"Tillerson expressed willingness to support this process [peace negotiations on Syria in Astana]," Lavrov said, Sputnik reported.

Speaking to journalists after a meeting with his US counterpart in the German city of Bonn, Sergei Lavrov said that Russia and the US confirmed common interest on fight against terrorism.

"We have confirmed the existence of common interests… especially regarding the uncompromising fight against terrorism, in this context and in the context of a political settlement, and in what relates to cooperation on the Syrian crisis, on other regional countries where terrorism has taken its roots," Lavrov said.

The Russian top diplomat also said that the meeting with Rex Tillerson was productive.

Ex-Czech PM: Syrian Army Proceeding towards Victory after Six Years of Terrorist War on Syria

PRAGUE, (ST)-Ex-Czech Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek on Thursday stressed that the West has taken part in the destruction in Syria, Iraq and Libya and ensured suitable environment for the creation of Daesh terrorist organization.

In a statement to the "Parliamentary Papers" website, Paroubek said because of its hostile stance towards the secular state in Syria, the West has spared in no effort to support the different terrorist organizations fighting the Syrian government, however, its efforts in this regard have failed.

Russia Not to Discuss Crimea’s Return to Ukraine with Foreign Partners

MOSCOW-Russia is not going to discuss the issue of Crimea’s return to Ukraine with foreign partners, including the US, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday.

"As for Crimea’s return, this issue will not be discussed as it cannot be discussed. Russia does not discuss its territorial issues with foreign partners," Peskov said, commenting on the White House statement that US President Donald Trump made it clear he expects Russia to return Crimea to Ukraine.

Peskov also said that issue of Crimea’s status was not discussed during the phone conversation between Russian and US Presidents Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump in late January.

US Admits It Used Depleted Uranium Shells in Syria

WASHINGTON- A US official confirmed on Tuesday that American armed forces used depleted uranium rounds on at least two occasions while allegedly raiding Daesh in Syria in 2015. The US has promised not to deploy depleted uranium munitions after severe community backlash following their use during the 2003 Iraq invasion.

Airstrikes allegedly intended for oil cargo trucks in Daesh-held areas of Syria featured depleted uranium (DU) weaponry, Foreign Policy reports. The Air Force unleashed more than 5,200 ‘steel-penetrating arrows’ 30 mm rounds from A-10 Thunderbolts on missions that took place November 16 and November 22, 2015, US Central Command spokesman Maj. Josh Jacques told Airwars and Foreign Policy, according to Sputnik.

The United States is leading an illegal coalition allegedly against Daesh terrorist organization in Syria. Media and intelligence reports affirm that the coalition’s activities, which are being carried out without coordination with the Syrian government, have proved to be of no effect on ground.

Zakharova: Moscow Hopes Astana Talks to Give Fresh Impetus to Syrian Settlement

MOSCOW-Russia hopes that talks in Astana due on February 15-16 will give an impetus to the Syrian settlement process, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a news briefing on Wednesday.

"A second international meeting on Syria is due in Astana these days," Zakharova said. "I do hope that in the capital of Kazakhstan, where the Russian delegation has already arrived for working consultations due later today, an extra impetus will be given to an inclusive intra-Syrian dialog under the UN auspices in Geneva, which, we hope will be resumed in the last days of February."

Defense Ministry: Astana meeting on Syria to be held on Feb. 15-16, no delays

According to the Russian Itar Tass News Agency, a high-ranking official of Russia’s Defense Ministry said talks on Syria in Kazakhstan's Astana will be held on Wednesday and Thursday as scheduled, with no pauses or delays.

Turkey Runs Informer Network in Austria to Target Critics: MP

A senior Austrian lawmaker has accused Turkey of running an informer network via its embassy in Vienna aimed at targeting the critics of President of the Turkish regime Recep Tayyip Erdogan and promoting his policies.

On Tuesday, Peter Pilz, from the Austrian Greens party, said at a news conference that he had sent documents regarding the activities of the network, run by the umbrella group ATIB, to the police, according to Press TV.

The ATIB is headed by the religion attaché at Turkey's embassy, Fatih Mehmet Karadas, and oversees the activities of dozens of mosques across Austria.

HRW Damages Reputation with Report on Chemical Weapons in Syria: Russian Defense ministry

MOSCOW- A report by Human Rights Watch (HRW) alleging that the Syrian army used chemical weapons in Aleppo in 2016 is damaging further the organization's reputation, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major-General Igor Konashenkov said.

"Such reports prepared by laymen with reference to the data of social networks and stories by unknown anonymous witnesses over the phone are destroying further the already ambiguous reputation of Human Rights Watch," the general said, Itar Tass reported.