UAE issues operating licence for first section of nuclear plant

18 Feb 2020; MEMO: The UAE’s Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) has issued an operating licence for the first section of the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant.

The permanent representative of the UAE to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Hamad Al-Kaabi, said that the Board of Directors of FANR granted the licence to the Nawah Power Company in what is a “historic moment” for the UAE.

'From bad to worse' - Dashed hopes may deter many Iranians from polls

DUBAI (Reuters) - Confrontation with America, economic hardship and an airline tragedy have battered Iranians’ confidence in their leaders, posing a potential problem for the authorities in a parliamentary election this week.

As the Feb. 21 vote nears, Iranians are in a gloomy mood, exhausted by a succession of crises that have helped to shred the hopes for a better life they harbored only four years ago.

Coronavirus could damage global growth in 2020: IMF

17 February 2020; AFP: The coronavirus epidemic could damage global economic growth this year, the IMF head said Sunday, but a sharp and rapid economic rebound could follow.

"There may be a cut that we are still hoping would be in the 0.1-0.2 percentage space," the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, Kristalina Georgieva, told the Global Women's Forum in Dubai.

She said the full impact of the spreading disease that has already killed more than 1,600 people would depend on how quickly it was contained.

Iranian accused of violating U.S. sanctions returns home from Germany

DUBAI (Reuters) - An Iranian man accused of violating U.S. sanctions and detained in Germany has been freed and has returned to Iran after diplomatic efforts by Tehran, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman said on Monday.

The man, Ahmad Khalili flew home with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who had been in Germany to attend the Munich Security Conference, Iranian state TV quoted spokesman Abbas Mousavi as saying.

German authorities declined to comment on the case.

Khamenei says U.S. sanctions against Tehran are 'criminal act'

DUBAI (Reuters) - The sanctions imposed on Iran by the United States are a “criminal act” against the country, Iranian’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Saturday, according to state TV.

“These sanctions are criminal act ... but we can turn it to an opportunity by distancing Iran’s economy from being dependent on oil exports,” said Khamenei.

Iran's leader Khamenei says Tehran is not a threat to any country: TV

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran is not posing any threat to other countries, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Saturday, according to State TV, adding that Tehran was determined to guarantee its own security.

“Iran poses no threat to any other country ... Our only aim is to make sure our security is guaranteed,” Khamenei told a group of commanders and staff of Iran’s Air Force.

Leader Khamenei says Iran has a strong Air Force despite U.S. pressure

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran has a very strong Air Force despite limitations imposed on the country by the United States since the country’s 1979 Islamic revolution, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told a gathering of Air Force commanders and staff on Saturday.

“Since the revolution their aim was to stop us from having a strong air force ... but look at us now. We even build planes. We have transformed their pressure to opportunity,” said Khamenei according to state news agency IRNA.

UAE: Emirates crew failed to monitor settings in 2016 crash, probe finds

(Reuters) - Investigators on Thursday said pilots failed to monitor engine settings ahead of the crash of an Emirates jet at Dubai airport more than three years ago, in which all 300 passengers and crew safely evacuated but a firefighter died.

The plane caught fire after skidding along the airport runway on its fuselage while trying to abort a landing.

Pilots on the flight from India in August 2016 did not notice that the Boeing 777-300’s engine thrust settings remained too low and also missed out part of a cockpit procedure, investigators said.

UAE’s to sell 38 aircrafts for $1bn

06 Feb 2020; MEMO: Abu Dhabi based Etihad Airways has decided to sell 38 aircrafts for $1 billion in a bid to reduce losses incurred by the national carrier.

The company said in a statement on Tuesday that the aircrafts include 16 Boeing 777-300ERs and 22 Airbus A330s which have been sold to KKR investment firm and commercial aviation finance company Altavair AirFinance.

Iran to launch satellite in program that U.S. links to missiles

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran will launch a satellite into orbit by the end of this week, a government minister said on Monday, as part of a fledging program that the United States says is a cover for ballistic missile development.

“We are not afraid of failure and we will not lose hope. With your prayers and trust in God, the Zafar satellite by the end of this week ... will be heading toward an orbit of 530 km from Earth,” Iranian Minister of Information and Communications Technology Mohammad Javad Azari-Jahromi tweeted.

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