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House of Representatives rushes towards Trump impeachment over Capitol attack

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The US House of Representatives is rushing ahead towards impeaching Donald Trump for the deadly Capitol attack, taking time only to try to persuade his vice president to push him out first.

Already scheduled to leave office next week, Mr Trump is on the verge of becoming the only president in history to be impeached twice.

His incendiary rhetoric at a rally ahead of the Capitol uprising is now in the impeachment charge against him — to be taken up on Wednesday — even as the falsehoods he spread about election fraud are still being championed by some Republicans.

Mike Pence (J Scott Applewhite/AP)

The House on Tuesday night approved a resolution urging Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to the Constitution to remove Mr Trump with a cabinet vote, although the vice president had already said he would not do so.

The resolution, passed 223-205 almost entirely along party lines, urged him to “declare what is obvious to a horrified nation: That the president is unable to successfully discharge the duties and powers of his office”.

Mr Pence had told House speaker Nancy Pelosi it would not be in the best interest of the nation and it was “time to unite our country as we prepare to inaugurate president-elect Joe Biden”.

But five Republican legislators, including third-ranking House GOP leader Liz Cheney, announced they would vote to impeach on Wednesday, cleaving the Republican leadership and the party itself.

Liz Cheney (J Scott Applewhite/AP)

“The president of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack,” said Ms Cheney in a statement. “There has never been a greater betrayal by a president of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.”

Mr Trump showed no remorse, warning legislators off impeachment and suggesting it was the drive to oust him that was dividing the country.

“To continue on this path, I think it’s causing tremendous danger to our country,” he said.

In his first remarks to reporters since last week’s violence, the outgoing president offered no condolences for those dead or injured, only saying: “I want no violence.”

Mr Trump faces a single charge — “incitement of insurrection” — in the impeachment resolution after the most serious and deadly domestic incursion at the Capitol in the nation’s history.

Republican representatives John Katko, Adam Kinzinger, Fred Upton and Jaime Herrera Beutler announced they would vote to impeach.

More ominously for a president clinging to his final week in office, the New York Times reported that influential Senate majority Leader Mitch McConnell thinks Mr Trump committed an impeachable offence and is glad Democrats are moving against him.

Though a handful of House Republicans will join the impeachment vote it is far from clear if there would then be the two-thirds vote needed to convict from the narrowly divided Senate.

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Iran

Some regional countries lost four years depending on Trump

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Some regional countries lost four years depending on Trump

Mohammad Javad Zarif made the remarks on Friday, noting that the Islamic Republic of Iran has always sought to have friendly relations with Persian Gulf littoral states.

“This region belongs to all of us and its security is in the interest of all of us,” he added.

He expressed the readiness of the Islamic Republic to hold talks with regional countries, underlining that Iranian officials have repeatedly suggested holding dialogue with Persian Gulf countries.

He went on to say that a number of regional countries lost four years depending on the former US President Donald Trump.

“Countries of the Persian Gulf must know that they and Iran will stay in this region and Trump will be gone,” he maintained.

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Iran

Iranian Army’s Air Force enjoying unique UAV capabilities

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Iranian Army's Air Force enjoying unique UAV capabilities

“The Army’s Air Force has conducted all its missions perfectly so far, and today, it has turned into a unique power in the filed of UAVs and drones,” The top commander said during a visit to Air Force units in the southern city of Bandar Abbas on Thursday.

“The force has been developing its capabilities in all areas, including commanding and overhauls and building shelters,” Major General Mousavi said.

The Iranian Army’s Air Force has been following a series of plans to promote its combat capabilities, including employing drones, in addition to the regular manned jets.

Earlier in January, Admiral Mahmoud Mousavi, a high-ranking Army commander, said Iranian Army experts have dramatically increased the flight endurance of suicide UAVs, manufacturing drones with an operational range of 4,000 kilometers.

Iranian military technicians have in recent years made great headways in manufacturing a broad range of indigenous equipment, making the armed forces self-sufficient in the arms sphere.

Tehran has always assured other nations that its military might poses no threat to regional countries, saying that the Islamic Republic’s defense doctrine is entirely based on deterrence.

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Iran

Iran gas flaring zero by March 2023: Zanganeh

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Iran gas flaring zero by March 2023: Zanganeh

Addressing a ceremony to launch Persian Gulf Bidboland Gas Refinery on Thursday, Zangeneh said the country would generate $1.5 billion/year by the project.

This is the 11th petrochemical project which has come online in Iran since last March.

Plans were underway to launch 17 petrochemical projects with 11.4 billion dollars of investment in the country during the current Iranian calendar year which began on March 21 of which 11 have so far come on stream.

Once fully operational, the 17 projects will add 25 million tons to the country’s annual production capacity.

He said the first Bidboland gas refinery is the source of Iran’s gas industry. “With the commissioning of this refinery and the daily refining capacity of about 25 million cubic meters and the operation of the first national pipeline in 1971, the gas industry in Iran was formed and born.”

The Minister of Petroleum stated that by March 2023, no gas will be flared in Iran and more than 95% of the collected associated gases will be consumed.

Zangeneh announced that the 3200 NGL project would come online next calendar year and by exploiting it, all the gases of the West Karun region will be sent to Bandar Imam after collection and processing.

He added that NGL 3100 plant would come online the following year along with a petrochemical plant with 1 million tons of annual production capacity in Dehloran.

Noting that the Persian Gulf Bidboland refinery has the capacity to produce 3.5 million tons of ethane, butane, propane and pentane plus, he said, adding the Persian Gulf Petrochemical Industries Company (PGPIC) has been entrusted with another project to collect associated gases with $1.1b of investment.

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