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A Russian Sukhoi Su-34 fighter-bomber based at Hamedan airbase in Iran releasing its payload while carrying out airstrikes in the Deir ez-Zor province of Syria. Until last week Russia and Iran were the military mainstays of the overstretched and undermanned Syrian army. Photograph: EPA

China, Russia and Iran have come together in a tripartite alliance supporting the Syrian government in the war against radical fundamentalist insurgen(...)

Russia’s TU-22M3  long-range bomber drops bombs during an air strike in the Aleppo region of Syria on Tuesday. Photograph: Russian defence ministry press service photo via AP

Russia used Iran as a base from which to launch air strikes against Syrian militants for the first time on Tuesday, widening its air campaign in Syria(...)

Iranian scientist Shahram Amiri in 2010. Photograph: Raheb Homavandi/Reuters/File Photo

Iran has executed a nuclear scientist who gave the US intelligence about the country’s nuclear capacity. Shahram Amiri was convicted of spying charge(...)

Ten people appeared in court on Monday over the Saudi embassy attack in Tehran, Iran, this year in January. Photograph: Mehdi Ghasemi/Reuters

More than 10 people accused of storming Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran in January appeared in a Tehran court on Monday, Iranian news agencies repor(...)

Ottoman-era ruin  in northeast Anatolia: According to government figures, net migration from the region has reached 46,000 people, or 21 per cent of the population, in the past two years alone – the highest anywhere in Turkey. Photograph: DeAgostini/Getty Images

While Turkey’s major cities and the Anatolian heartland have reaped the fruits of more than a decade of major government investment, the predominantly(...)

The Republic of Ireland’s Ray Houghton (C) is mobbed by his teammates after scoring in  the World Cup match between Italy and Ireland in East Rutherford New Jersey on June 19th, 1994. Irish super fan Jim Ryan, who has followed the team around the world, says Houghton’s goals in 1994 and against England in 1988 are some of his most memorable moments.  Photograph: Ray Stubblebine/Reuters.

It’s just as well Jim Ryan isn’t fitted with an odometer because if he was, the clock would be well around a second if not a third time. The football(...)

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 (...)

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