Tehran Has Sovereign Right to Develop Missile Program - Moscow

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Moscow believes that the development of the Iranian missile program is Tehran's sovereign right, and all the issues arising in this regard should be resolved without pressure, especially military, at the negotiating table, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told Sputnik.

"We have always supported resolving any problems that arise in interstate relations and in the dialogue on acute issues through negotiations and through relevant agreements," Ryabkov said on Wednesday.

‘The Era of No War Has Started:’ Koreas Reach New Agreements

The two Koreas have agreed to take further steps toward peace following a one-on-one meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who is on his first ever visit to Pyongyang, Press TV reported.

The two leaders issued a joint statement at the end of the second day of their summit in the North Korean capital on Wednesday, agreeing to take a step closer to peace by turning the Korean Peninsula into a “land of peace without nuclear weapons and nuclear threats.”

 “The era of no war has started,” Moon said at a joint press conference with Kim after issuing the statement. “Today, the North and South decided to remove all threats from the entire Korean Peninsula.”

Russia Won't Leave Israeli Actions That Caused Downing of Il-20 Plane Unanswered

Chain of Tragic Circumstances Led to IL-20 Downing: Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin has addressed the downing of the Russian IL-20, saying that a chain of tragic circumstances has led to the incident which killed 15 Russian military personnel.

Earlier Moscow blamed Israeli jets for having provoked the downing of the plane.

Russian President Vladimir Putin offered condolences over the death of the crew of the aircraft Il-20 downed in Syria.

"When people die, especially in such tragic circumstances, this is always a tragedy, a tragedy for us all, for the whole country and for the families of our dead friends. In this connection, I certainly offer my condolences to the relatives of those who got killed in the crash,' Putin said at a press conference with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

Putin stated that the Russian side is set to thoroughly investigate the case, according to Sputnik.

"Most certainly, we have to sort the case out most seriously. And our attitude to the tragedy is outlined in the Russian Defense Ministry's statement," he noted, adding he approved it.

"Russian retaliatory measures with regard to the Il-20 downing will be directed primarily at stepping up security of Russian military officers in Syria, our military facilities in the Syrian Arab Republic," he said. "These will be the steps everyone will notice" he stressed, Sputnik said.

Russia Blames Israel for Downing Its Il-20 Palne and Death of Crew

Russia formally complained to Israel about its air raid on Monday, which led to the downing of a Russian Il-20 plane off Syria coast. Russia laid the blame for the loss of live “squarely on the Israeli side”.

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu spoke to his Israeli counterpart Avigdor Lieberman on the phone about the downing of the Russian Il-20 plane on Monday night. He relayed Moscow’s position on the incident, which blames the Israeli military for setting up the Russian plane to be shot down by Syrian air defenses responding to an Israeli air raid, an official statement from the Russian military said, according to RT.

Russia Says UN Commission’s Allegations about Damascus’ Use of Chemical Weapons Groundless

GENEVA - A report recently released by the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria contains groundless allegations about Damascus’ use of chemical weapons, Russian delegation spokesperson Anastasia Bagdatyeva said at the 39th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on Thursday.

"We have once again taken note of information about the alleged use of chemical weapons," Bagdatyeva said. She added that the Commission unequivocally puts the blame on government forces and supporting forces though no official investigations have been conducted, commenting on the report based on investigations conducted from January 16 to July10, 2018.

Iran Complying with Nuclear Deal Commitments, Says IAEA's Amano

Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Yukiya Amano has reaffirmed that Iran is in compliance with the nuclear agreement reached between the Islamic Republic and the P5+1 group of countries in 2015.

In his opening address to the IAEA’s 62nd General Conference in Vienna, Austria, on Monday, Amano said the UN nuclear agency continues to verify and monitor Iran's implementation of its nuclear-related commitments under the nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

 “Iran is implementing its nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA," the IAEA chief added.

Iran’s Velayati Clarifies Eastern Orientation Policy

TEHRAN - Senior Iranian official Ali Akbar Velayati provided an analysis of the Islamic Republic’s policy of orientation towards the East, saying Russia and China are Iran’s major political and economic partners in countering the US plans.

Velayati, a senior adviser to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, addressed a press conference in Tehran on September 15, held to discuss Iran’s foreign policy strategies, Tasnim News reported.

In the session, he said the contemporary East is no more like the ideological East that used to exist decades ago, noting that the communist Kremlin has collapsed and a democratic Russia has emerged.

Storm Florence: Disaster in Carolinas as Deaths Rise

US President Donald Trump has declared a disaster in North Carolina where a tropical storm has killed seven amid warnings the worst is far from over.

Florence's top sustained winds have weakened to 50mph (80km/h), but it is projected to bring further catastrophic flash flooding.

Some towns have already had over 2ft (60cm) of rain, and forecasters warn that totals could hit 3.5ft (1m).

Nearly a million householders have no electricity in the Carolinas.