Beijing-Tehran Economic Ties Durable, Growing

Beijing - China and Iran are great economic partners, and the two nations enjoy growing and durable economic relations, the spokesman for the Chinese ministry of commerce said on Saturday.

The two countries remain to be important trade partners and, based on the figures, relations between Beijing and Tehran are satisfactory, Gao Feng said in an exclusive interview with the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).
China-Iran economic cooperation is on a positive path, and the two nations are expected to witness growing cooperation, Feng said.

Thousands March in London to Protest PM May's Deal, Brexit Chaos

Thousands of British demonstrators took to the streets of London on 12 January, seemingly inspired by the French Yellow Vests protests, according to the Daily Express.

The Saturday rally comes ahead of a looming vote on PM May's Brexit deal in the House of Commons; the agreement has already been branded a failure and lost cause by cross-party politicians.

The People's Assembly Against Austerity organised the protest in an attempt to express Brits' indignation towards the situation in parliament, sparked by UK Prime Minister Theresa May' Brexit deal.

Four People Killed as Gas Leak Causes Huge Explosion in Central Paris amid Continuous "Yellow Vests" Protests

A huge explosion has rocked the central part of the French capital, Paris, killing four people as the city braces itself for the next round of anti-government protests.

The blast took place in the 9th district of Paris on Saturday morning.

France's Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said four people had been killed as a result of the blast. Two of those killed were firefighters.

Zarif Slams Upcoming International Summit on Middle East as 'Anti-Iran Circus'

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif slammed on Friday the upcoming international summit on the Middle East, set to be held in Poland in February, as an "anti-Iran circus."

"Reminder to host/participants of anti-Iran conference: those who attended last US anti-Iran show are either dead, disgraced or marginalized. And Iran is stronger than ever. Polish Govt [government] can't wash the shame: while Iran saved Poles in WWII [World War II], it now hosts desperate anti-Iran circus," Zarif posted on Twitter, according to Sputnik.

Russia Vows Response as UK Defence Chief Issues Warning to Moscow

UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson boasted that Britain's new fleet of F-35s served as a message to the country's "enemies", including Russia, not to "mess with" Britain, according to Sputnik.

Moscow is perplexed by the militaristic tone taken by the UK Ministry of Defence, and will respond appropriately if Russia's security is threatened, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has said.

"The statements of the Minister of Defence of Great Britain in favour of the further militarisation of British politics bring forth, at the very least, bewilderment," Zakharova said, speaking at a press conference on Friday.

"Naturally, in the event of the implementation of any measures which pose a threat to the security of Russia or that of our allies, our country reserves the right to take adequate measures in response," the spokeswoman added.

US Claims Syria Withdrawal has Begun; Russia Doubtful

The US claims it has begun the process of withdrawing from Syria but Russia cast doubt on the claim Friday, saying it thinks Washington wants to stay in the Arab country.

President Donald Trump last month unexpectedly announced a US troop withdrawal from Syria, with US military spokesman Colonel Sean Ryan announcing Friday that the pullout had begun.

The US "has begun the process of our deliberate withdrawal from Syria. Out of concern for operational security, we will not discuss specific timelines, locations or troop movements," he said, according to Press TV.

Russia, Iran Discuss Situation in Syria

MOSCOW- The situation in Syria was the main point of discussion during a meeting between Senior Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Verchinen and  Assistant to Iranian Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Hussein Jaberi Ansari in Moscow on Thursday.

During the meeting, Verchinen said “We pay a special attention to the situation in Syria and the objective reality in it and to the possibility of moving the political process there.”

He indicated that Russia and Iran seek to solve the crisis in Syria in framework of the bilateral interaction and the interaction as participants in Astana process, according to SANA.

Despite US Interventionism, Venezuela's Maduro Sworn In for 2nd Presidential Term

Nicolas Maduro was sworn in at Venezuela's Supreme Court for a second six-year term after winning the election of May 2018 with 67 percent of the vote.

Venezuela President Maduro began his second term in office Thursday after he was sworn in at the country's supreme court as leaders and delegations from 94 nations from around the globe attended the event along with representatives from OPEC, the African Union. UNASUR, Caricom and CELAC attended the swearing-in ceremony.
Maduro assumes a new term for which he has committed to "promote the changes that are needed in Venezuela, to defend the right to peace and respect for the Constitution."

On May 20 last year, Nicolás Maduro was re-elected president of Venezuela with 67.7 percent of the vote.

Maduro began his inauguration speech by thanking world leaders and representatives of over 94 countries who have attended his inauguration today, defying U.S. attempts to isolate the country. "Our Bolivarian constitution is an expression of peace and of the people," Maduro told world leaders and representatives as well as Venezuelan senior officials attending the event.