Iran

Iran's deputy health minister tests positive as coronavirus outbreak worsens

The country is one of three hot-spots outside China causing concern that the virus could be becoming a pandemic.

The deputy minister, Iraj Harirchi, on Monday denied covering up the scale of the outbreak. He appeared in physical discomfort as he spoke to reporters.

Iran has reported 95 cases, but the actual number is thought to be higher.

The director general of the World Health Organization (WHO) has said the sudden increase in cases in countries outside China is "deeply concerning".

Tehran ends co-operation with Ukraine over downed jet

It comes after leaked remarks suggested Iran knew immediately that it had struck the plane.

Ukrainian TV aired an exchange between air traffic control and a pilot who was landing as the jet crashed.

The Iranian pilot allegedly states he saw a flash like missile fire in the sky, and then an explosion.

Iran initially denied responsibility for the downing on 8 January that killed 176, but Ukraine's president said the conversation proved the country knew the flight had been hit by a missile.

'Several people detained' over airliner loss

Spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili said investigations into the incident were continuing, but provided no details.

President Hassan Rouhani said the probe would be overseen by a "special court".

Ukrainian International Airlines flight PS752 was brought down shortly it took off from Tehran on Wednesday, killing all 176 people on board.

Most of the victims were Iranian and Canadian citizens.

For the first three days after the crash, Iran denied that its armed forces had shot down the Boeing 737-800 and suggested there had been a technical failure.

Iran says it 'unintentionally' shot down plane

The statement, released on Saturday morning, said it had done so due to "human error".

Those responsible would be held accountable, the statement read on state TV said.

Iran had previously rejected suggestions that one of its missiles brought down the plane near the capital, Tehran, on Wednesday.

The crash of Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 with the loss of 176 lives came just hours after Iran carried out missile strikes on two airbases housing US forces in Iraq.

Evidence suggests missile downed jet - Trudeau

Mr Trudeau called for a full and thorough investigation into the crash, which killed all 176 people on board.

Iran has ruled out a missile strike by its air defences.

The crash came just hours after Iran carried out missile strikes on two airbases housing US forces in Iraq.

CBS News quoted US intelligence sources as saying a satellite detected infrared "blips" of two missile launches, followed by another blip of an explosion.

Trump's White House address: Iran 'standing down' after missile strikes

The US Department of Defense confirmed that yesterday, Iran launched more than a dozen rockets against the US military facilities of al-Asad base in western Iraq and Erbil in the north.

Introducing his statement at the White House, Trump said: "As long as I'm president of the United States Iran will never be allowed to have a nuclear weapon."

He went on to say US forces are "prepared for anything," but for now, "Iran appears to be standing down".

Stampede kills 50 mourners at Soleimani’s burial in Iran

The deaths in Qasem Soleimani's hometown of Kerman led to the ceremony being delayed.

The burial is the last in a series of funeral events that have brought millions on to the streets in Iran.

Soleimani's killing has raised fears of a conflict between the US and Iran.

The head of the Quds force was tasked with defending and projecting Iranian interests abroad, and was hailed as a hero by many in his home country. Immediately after his death, Iran threatened retaliation.

Huge crowds pack Tehran for commander's funeral

Soleimani was assassinated in a US drone strike in Iraq on Friday on the orders of President Donald Trump.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei led prayers and at one point was seen weeping.

Iran has vowed "severe revenge" for the death of Soleimani and on Sunday pulled back from the 2015 nuclear accord.

Soleimani, 62, headed Iran's elite Quds Force, and was tasked with protecting and boosting Iran's influence in the Middle East.

Fears for safety of NZ troops amid rising Iran-US hostility

Today Iran has announced it will roll back its commitments to the 2015 nuclear accord amid heightened tensions over the assassination of Soleimani at Baghdad Airport last Friday. The killing was ordered by US President Donald Trump.

As well, Iraqi MPs have voted in favour of all foreign military leaving their country.

New Zealand has up to 45 military personnel in a non-combat training role at Taji Military Complex in Iraq, and had already planned to withdraw all troops by June this year.

Iran curbs internet before possible new protests: reports

Social media posts, along with some relatives of people killed in unrest last month, have called for renewed protests and for ceremonies to commemorate the dead to be held on Thursday.

State media, meanwhile, said intelligence ministry agents had seized a cache of 126 mostly U.S.-made guns smuggled to the central city of Isfahan from abroad.

The protests were initially sparked in November by hikes in gasoline prices but demonstrators quickly expanded their demands to cover calls for more political freedom and other issues.