Iran’s top diplomat says the illegal presence of American forces in Syria and Israeli airstrikes there, are hampering efforts for a political solution to the crisis in the Arab country. Hossein Amir-Abdollahian called on the international community to pay attention to that issue. He also said the crisis in Syria cannot be tackled without addressing the issues of the displaced people as well as the existing sanctions on the country. Those sanctions have been imposed by some western states including the United States. The Iranian official was speaking with UN special envoy for Syria, Geir Otto Pedersen in Tehran. Pederson described the situation in Syria as stable. He stressed the importance of preserving the country’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity. Syria has been battling foreign-backed militancy for over ten years now.
UK PM partygate scandals
The chairman of the UK ruling Conservative Party joins the chorus of criticism over the parties that were held at Downing Street during covid lockdowns. Oliver Dowden, however, says the public don’t want a leadership contest and Boris Johnson must remain as prime minister. He says, the premier at the same time, must respond effectively and address the culture within the government once facts are established. The UK government has launched an internal inquiry into revelations about multiple gatherings by Johnson’s staff during covid lockdowns. Johnson, himself, has apologized for attending one of the gatherings that took place in the garden of his residence in May 2020. But, the investigation and the apology have done little to quell the outrage. Johnson now faces resignation calls even from within his own party. The opposition, Labour, has seized the opportunity with both hands.
US democracy 'at risk'
A new poll conducted in the United States shows that a majority of people there, believe democracy in their country is at risk of disappearing. The poll was conducted in December by Schoen Cooperman Research headquartered in Washington DC. 51 percent of respondents said yes to the statement: US democracy is at risk of extinction. That fear was shared evenly by independents as well as advocates of the democratic and republican parties. But, when it comes to who to blame for the waning democracy, divisions emerge, with the Republicans and Democrats pointing the finger at each other. Based on the same poll, 80 percent of respondents want politicians to work together. Another 85 percent are concerned about the rise of political extremism in the US.