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Ebrahim Raisi, Iran’s president,  at the United Nations General Assembly in New York. Photograph: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

The protracted process of mending troubled regional relations and ending risky rivalries appears to have been given impetus by two key Middle Eastern (...)

 Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi (R) talks to Iraqi prime minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi (L) at the presidential palace in Tehran. Photograph: Iranian presidential office handout/EPA

Iraqi prime minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi on Sunday became the first foreign leader to meet Iran’s hardline president Ebrahim Raisi since the latter beg(...)

 The head of the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran, Mohammad Eslami, delivering a speech next to the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency,  Rafael Grossi, following their meeting in Tehran. Photograph:  AFP via Getty Images

Iran is to allow the UN nuclear watchdog to service monitoring cameras at Iranian nuclear sites after talks on Sunday with IAEA head Rafael Grossi, ac(...)

 Lahur  Talabani: accused of smuggling, extortion and spying. Photograph: Feriq Ferec/Anadolu Agency/Getty

It was a great story. Lahur Talabani was the south London boy who brought the fight to Islamic State in his native Kurdistan, playing a leading role i(...)

A roadside vendor selling dry fruits waits for customers at a market area in Kabul. Photograph:  Hoshang Hashimi/AFP via Getty Images

Prices of everyday essentials such as flour, cooking oil and fuel have surged. Salaries have stopped being paid. Residents in pursuit of cash queue ou(...)

North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un: Yongbyon, the country’s  main nuclear complex, was the critical bargaining chip offered in exchange for sanctions relief from Donald Trump. Photograph: Brendan Smialowski/AFP

The UN’s nuclear watchdog has warned that North Korea appears to have restarted a critical reactor at its biggest nuclear materials complex, raising a(...)

Taliban official Maulvi Shir Ahmad presents the cup after the Herat football premier league final  in Herat on August 20th, eight days after the militant Islamist group took control of the city. Photograph:  Mir Ahmad Firooz Mashoof/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The text message filled Saeed with dread. Widely shared in the civil service department where he works, it said all male staff must wear traditional c(...)

Outgoing Iranian  president Hassan Rouhani and Iran’s newly inaugurated president Ebrahim Raisi during a handover ceremony in Tehran. Photograph: Iranian Presidency/AFP via Getty Images

Iran’s eighth president, Ebrahim Raisi, faces the most daunting domestic, regional and international challenges confronting the Islamic republic since(...)

President Ebrahim Raisi speaks during his swearing-in ceremony at the Iranian parliament in Tehran on Thursday. Photograph:  Atta Kenare/AFP via Getty Images

Iran’s new hardline president Ebrahim Raisi took the oath of office before parliament on Thursday, with the Islamic Republic’s clerical rulers facing (...)

The  tanker  Mercer Street off the port of the Gulf Emirate of Fujairah in the UAE. On July 29th two of its crew members   were killed off Oman in what appears to be a drone attack. Photograph:   Karim Sahib/AFP via Getty Images

Iranian-backed forces are believed to have seized an oil tanker in the Gulf off the coast of the United Arab Emirates, three maritime security source(...)

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