Tag: iran


Global markets rally as US-Iran conflict avoids escalation, ASX follows


Australia

Global markets have rallied overnight, as fears of further escalation in the US-Iran conflict subsided for now. Wall Street rose and the Australian share market followed that positive lead.

Key points:

  • The ASX 200 closed 0.8 per cent higher at 6,874
  • Most major banks and mining stocks rose
  • The energy sector and gold miners lost ground

At the close of trade, the benchmark ASX 200 index was 0.8 per cent higher at 6,874.

Most blue chip stocks — such as three of the big four banks, BHP and Telstra — rose, while energy stocks lagged following a retreat in oil prices, with Brent crude falling as much as 4 per cent overnight.

During Australian and Asian trade yesterday, US stock market futures fell sharply, as Iran launched missile strikes on Iraqi bases housing US troops.

Stocks across the region fell, before recovering some of the losses after US President Donald Trump did not deliver an immediate response and tweeted “all is well”.

US futures recovered and Wall Street rose strongly during the session, with the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq hitting fresh record highs, before paring gains into the close.

Market snapshot at 8:20am (AEDT):

  • ASX SPI futures +0.7pc at 6,798, ASX 200 (Wednesday’s close) -0.1pc at 6,817
  • AUD: 68.70 US cents, 52.45 British pence, 61.84 Euro cents, 74.98 Japanese yen, $NZ1.03
  • US: Dow Jones +0.6pc at 28,745, S&P 500 +0.5pc at 3,253, Nasdaq +0.7pc at 9,129
  • Europe: FTSE 100 flat at 7,574, DAX +0.7pc at 13,320, CAC +0.3pc at 6,031, Euro Stoxx 50 +0.1pc at 3,424
  • Commodities: Brent crude -3pc at $US66.20/barrel, spot gold -1.1pc at $US1,556.35/ounce

Shares in Boeing lost more than 1 per cent, after one of its planes crashed shortly after take-off from Tehran, killing all 176 people on board.

In European trade, stocks rebounded from early losses.

Airlines reroute flights in Middle East

The oil price pullback will be good news for the fuel costs of global airlines, if it lasts, however, higher fuel bills may still be in store.

Qantas, along with international airlines including Germany’s Lufthansa, Air France, Singapore Airlines and Malaysia Airlines have rerouted flights to avoid airspace over Iran and Iraq, due to the tensions with the US.

Airline analysts have told Reuters the longer journey times will increase fuel usage, throw off schedules and add to operating costs.

On Wednesday, Qantas said its Perth to London flight would have an increased flying time of 40 to 50 minutes due to its redirected flight path, and passenger numbers would need to be reduced in order to carry more fuel.

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news


Iran has retaliated against the US. Here’s what you need to know


Iraq

Iran has launched strikes against US troops in Iraq.

If you’re not sure exactly what’s going on, or why this is happening, this is the perfect place to start.

Let’s get you up to speed and answer five quick questions about the situation.

1. What has happened?

Iran has confirmed it launched “tens” of surface-to-surface missiles at two military bases — Al Asad and Irbil in Iraq — that house US troops.

The Pentagon says the bases came under fire from “at least a dozen ballistic missiles” and it was clear the missiles were launched from Iran.

The US and Iraq both confirmed their forces did not suffer casualties from the strikes. Germany, Denmark, Norway and Poland also said none of their troops in Iraq were hurt.



Photo:

The Erbil and Al Asad airbases were hit in the attacks. (ABC News)

2. Why has this happened?

On January 4, the United States killed Iran’s most powerful military general, Qassem Soleimani, by firing three missiles at Baghdad airport.

General Soleimani was the leader of Iran’s elite Quds Force and responsible for many of the nation’s proxy wars in the Middle East.



Photo:

The death of Major-General Qassem Soleimani sent shockwaves around the world. (News Video)

In a statement after the attack, the Pentagon said the strike was aimed at “deterring future Iranian attack plans” and it carried out the attack to “protect US personnel abroad”.

For context, academic Ranj Alaaldin described the attack as “bigger than taking out Osama bin Laden”.

On Tuesday millions of people attended funerals for General Soleimani, the first time Iran honoured a single person with a multi-city ceremony.

Go deeper: The ABC’s Matt Brown has a long look at the importance of General Soleimani, and the “watershed moment” of his death, in this piece here.

3. Is this actually the start of World War III?

It’s far too early to tell what might happen next, despite #WorldWarThree trending on social media in the days since the US killed General Soleimani.

Journalist with Al Jazeera based in Doha, and a former global affairs and Indigenous affairs analyst for the ABC, Stan Grant, wrote that Iran was dwarfed by the United States by any measure.

“Its population is a quarter the size of America’s, its economy is barely 2 per cent as large. Its outdated weapons are no match for the most powerful military force the world has ever known,” he wrote.

There are many moving parts to this story that are yet to play out, but Grant writes that World War III will look vastly different to World War I and II.

“A look around the world tells us we may already be in it,” he writes.

Get the full picture: You can read his full analysis of the situation here.

4. Are any Australians involved?

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said all Australian Defence Force and diplomatic personnel in Iraq were safe.

Mr Morrison said the Australian Government was monitoring the situation as it unfolds.

Australia’s National Security Committee is scheduled to meet on Thursday, but Mr Morrison said it would meet earlier if needed.

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese said he had received a briefing on the situation from the Prime Minister, and said Australians were “located very close to where the Americans are located in the area”.

“They’re just next door,” Mr Albanese said.

5. What will happen next?

The frustrating answer is — we just don’t know. And we can’t do much but wait.

All eyes now turn back to the United States.


Video: President Donald Trump said he would ask NATO to become more involved in the Middle East

(ABC News)

At a news conference, President Donald Trump said Iran appeared to be “standing down” and declared the US would impose further economic sanctions on the Iranian regime.

“The fact that we have this great military and equipment, however, does not mean we have to use it. We do not want to use it. American strength, both military and economic, is the best deterrent,” he said.

He added that Americans should be “extremely grateful and happy” with the outcome.

Crucially, Mr Trump stopped short of making any more threats of military actions.

Read more about the tensions between the US and Iran:

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news


Iraqi protesters withdraw from Baghdad US embassy after violent protests


Iraq

Supporters of Iran-backed Iraqi paramilitary groups that stormed the US embassy’s perimeter and hurled rocks during two days of protests have withdrawn after Washington dispatched extra troops and threatened reprisals against Iran.

Key points:

  • Protesters obeyed a call to withdraw, issued by the Popular Mobilization Forces
  • US President Donald Trump threatened to retaliate against Iran but said later he did not want to go to war
  • Demonstrations began after US air strikes targeting an Iran-backed group killed at least 25 people

“All protesters have withdrawn, tents dismantled and other forms of demonstrating that accompanied these protests have ended, and the Iraqi security forces have completely secured the embassy perimeter,” The Iraqi military said in a statement on Wednesday (local time).

The demonstrators, angered over US air strikes against the Tehran-backed Kataib Hezbollah group that killed at least 25 people, threw stones at the building while US forces stationed on the rooftops fired tear gas to disperse them on Wednesday (local time).

But by mid-afternoon, most appeared to have obeyed a call to withdraw issued by the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) umbrella group of mainly Shiite militia, which said the demonstrators’ message had been heard.



Photo:

Protests were first prompted over air raids launched by the United States earlier this week. (Reuters: Khalid al-Mousily)

Young men used palm tree branches to sweep the street in front of the embassy compound, while others packed up equipment and used vans to take people away.

US President Donald Trump — who faces re-election in 2020 — threatened on Tuesday to retaliate against Iran but said later he did not want war.

The unrest followed US air raids on Sunday against Kataib Hezbollah bases in retaliation for missile attacks last week that killed a US contractor in northern Iraq.

US sends extra troops

On Tuesday, crowds chanted “death to America!”, lit fires and smashed surveillance cameras.

They breached an outer perimeter of the embassy but did not enter the main compound.

The huge embassy, built on the banks of the Tigris River in central Baghdad’s fortified “green zone”, used during American occupation following the 2003 invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein, is the biggest US diplomatic mission in the world.

Washington said its diplomats were safe and that it was rushing hundreds of extra troops to the region.

US officials said 750 extra troops would initially be based out of Kuwait and as many as 4,000 troops could be sent to the region in coming days.

The embassy said all public consular operations were suspended and all future appointments cancelled.



Photo:

During the two-day protests, crowds chanted “death to America”, setting fires, threw rocks and smashed surveillance cameras. (Reuters: Thaier al-Sudani)

The anti-American action comes after months of protests in Iraq against the Government and the Iran-backed militias that support it.

Many Iraqis have complained their country has become a battlefield for a proxy war for influence between Washington and Tehran, and that their leaders are too beholden to outside powers.

Iraq’s Government has long faced frictions in its close relations with the two foes. Mr Trump spoke to Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi on Tuesday and demanded that Iraq protect the embassy.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Wednesday condemned the US attacks.

Iran summoned a Swiss envoy, who represents US interests in Tehran, to complain about what it described as “warmongering” words from Washington.

Mr Trump accused Iran of orchestrating the violence.

‘Devil’s den’

How likely is a US-Iran conflict? US-Iran tensions are on the rise. Here’s what that could mean for Australia, the region and world oil prices.

Overnight, demonstrators had pitched tents and camped outside the embassy walls, then brought food, cooking equipment and mattresses during the morning, indicating plans to stay before the withdrawal call.

“Our sit-in is eternal, until this devil’s den is closed off forever, but don’t give anyone an excuse to make your protest violent. Don’t clash with security,” one protest leader told the crowd.

Young men, some in fatigues, waved militia flags and chanted “death to America” as Apache helicopters circled above.

The embassy’s outer walls bore scorch marks and graffiti.

Despite decades of enmity between Iran and the US, Iran-backed militias and US forces found themselves on the same side during Iraq’s 2014-2017 war against Islamic State fighters, with both powers helping the government recapture territory from militants who had overrun a third of Iraq.

Since then, US troops have yet to leave, while the Iran-backed militias have been incorporated into the security forces.

Mr Adel Abdul-Mahdi, who has announced plans to step down in the face of anti-Government protests in which more than 450 people were killed, is backed by Iran and its allies.

The militia may have decided to pull back from the embassy to avoid making him look weak or to avert clashes with Government forces.

Reuters/AP

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news


Jeanette – Paroles Porque Te Vas


Hoy en mi ventana brilla el sol
Y el corazon
Se pone triste contemplando la ciudad
Porque te vas

Como cada noche desperté
Pensando en ti
Y en mi reloj todas las horas vi pasar
Porque te vas

Todas las promesas de mi amor se iran contigo
Me olvidaras
Me olvidaras

Junto a la estacion lloraré igual que un nino
Porque te vas
Porque te vas

Bajo la penumbra de un farol
Se dormiran
Todas las cosas que quedaron por decir
Se dormiran

Junto a las manillas de un reloj
Esperaran
Todas las horas que quedaron por vivir
Esperaran

Todas las promesas de mi amor se iran contigo
Me olvidaras
Me olvidaras

Junto a la estacion yo lloraré igual que un nino
Porque te vas
Porque te vas
Porque te vas

Junto a la estacion yo lloraré igual que un nino
Porque te vas
Porque te vas
Porque te vas




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