Tehrān

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Tens of thousands of Muslim pilgrims praying inside the Grand Mosque, during the Hajj in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, in 2010. The absence of Iranian Shias during the pilgrimage will further widen the rift with Sunnis. Photograph: Hassan Ammar/AP

In a sign of further tension between regional rivals, Iran will not allow its citizens to travel to Saudi Arabia for the annual Muslim pilgrimage to (...)

Parsa Ghaffari at the Aylien office on Ormond Quay, Dublin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Parsa Ghaffari was born in the final months of the eight-year war between Iran and Iraq, in the late 1980s. He grew up in a country struggling in the(...)

US secretary of state John Kerry meeting Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud in Jeddah on Sunday for consultation ahead of another week of high-stakes diplomacy on the Syria conflict. Photograph: AFP/US State Department

Prospects for reaching a new cessation of hostilities and a political settlement in Syria are poor ahead of today’s meeting in Vienna of the 17-membe(...)

Migrants sleep near the entrance to a “transit zone” on the Hungary-Serbia border. Photograph: Daniel McLaughlin

Amin Sharifi had spent 15 days in a “transit zone” on Hungary’s southern border before the country rejected his asylum request. He had been sent back (...)

Setayesh Ghoreishi (6), whose death provoked a social media storm

Setayesh Ghoreishi was just six when she died. The Afghan girl was allegedly raped and killed by a 17-year-old, who then destroyed her body with acid.(...)

Bord Bia chief executive Aidan Cotter: “The lifting of international sanctions on Iran opens the way for Irish food exporters to explore trading opportunities in the second largest economy in the Middle East.”

Ireland’s two main banks still refuse to facilitate financial transactions with Iran – the Middle East’s second largest economy – despite the lifting(...)

US president Barack Obama  stands next to Saudi Arabia’s King Salman during the summit of the Gulf Co-operation Council  in Riyadh on Thursday. Photograph: Faisal Al Nasser/Reuters

The United States will deter and confront aggression against Gulf Arab monarchies, which continue to have concerns about threats from Iran, President (...)

Saudi Arabia’s minister of oil and mineral resources Ali al-Naimi (centre) arrives for the Opec meeting in the Qatari capital Doha. Photograph: Karim Jaafar/AFP/Getty Images

A deal to freeze oil output by Opec and non-Opec producers fell apart yesterday after Saudi Arabia demanded that Iran join in despite calls on Riyadh(...)

Israeli soldiers pray close to the border between Israel and Syria on the Golan Heights. File photograph: Baz Ratner/Reuters

Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu declared on Sunday that Israel would never relinquish the Golan Heights, in a signal to Russia and the Unite(...)

Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and wife Asma after casting their votes in Damascus, Syria: Voting was extended until midnight, but is unlikely to produce any surprises in the 250-seat assembly or challenge the dominance of the Baath party. Photograph: Sana/Reuters

Syrian peace talks resumed in Geneva yesterday, while residents living in government- held areas went to the polls in parliamentary elections dismiss(...)

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