An adviser to Iran’s foreign minister who took part in the 1979 US embassy hostage crisis has died from coronavirus, the official IRNA news agency reported.Hossein Sheikholeslam, “a veteran and revolutionary diplomat” died late Thursday, IRNA said.Iran has been scrambling to contain the rapid spread of coronavirus which so far has infected 3,513 people and killed at least 107 people in the Islamic republic. Topics : Six of those who died from coronavirus are politicians or government officials.Before his death Sheikholeslam was advisor to Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.A former ambassador to Syria, he also served as deputy foreign minister from 1981 to 1997.Sheikholeslam was also one of the students involved in the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. That year, and less than nine months after the toppling of the American-backed shah, Iranian students stormed the US embassy in Tehran and took 52 Americans hostage.This prompted Washington to sever diplomatic ties with Iran in 1980.The hostages were freed in January 1981, after 444 days in captivity.The novel coronavirus has also claimed the lives of other high-profile Iranian officials, including Mohammad Mirmohammadi of the Expediency Council which advises supreme leader Ayatollah Ali KhameneiOther deaths linked to the virus include Mohammad Ali Ramezani, an MP from Gilan, one of the worst-hit provinces in the country.Tehran MP Fatemeh Rahbar is currently in a coma after being infected, according to ISNA news agency.Iran has closed schools and universities, suspended major cultural and sporting events and reduced working hours across the country to halt the rapid spread of coronavirus, which has spread to all of its 31 provinces.
The proposals would be mandatory and not leave Bush wiggle room, said Reid, D-Nev. “There (are) no goals. It’s all definite timelines,” he told reporters. Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Monday he would have agreed to turn his deadline into a nonbinding goal if doing so meant attracting enough votes to pass. Several Republicans have said they are uneasy about Bush’s strategy but do not like the idea of setting a timetable on withdrawals. Reid’s hardline stance, announced after the party’s weekly policy lunch Tuesday, reflects a calculation by Democrats that Levin’s proposal probably would have failed either way. Democrats hold a thin majority in the Senate and similar legislation has repeatedly fallen short of the 60 votes needed to break a GOP filibuster. When asked why Democrats won’t soften the deadline, the majority leader said he doesn’t have confidence Republicans are willing to challenge Bush on the war. Democrats are in a box on the Iraq war debate, lacking the votes to pass legislation ordering troops home but tied to a support base that wants nothing less. Several Democrats, including Sens. Christopher Dodd of Connecticut, Russ Feingold of Wisconsin and Barbara Boxer of California, have said they will not vote for anything short of a firm deadline to end the war. These members say they are responding to polls that show Americans still oppose the war. A poll released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center found that 54 percent of Americans favor bringing troops home as soon as possible. And despite slight improvements in peoples’ views of military progress, more said the U.S. will fail in Iraq than succeed by 47percent to 42 percent. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! By Anne Flaherty THE ASSOCIATED PRESS WASHINGTON – After weeks of suggesting Democrats would temper their approach to Iraq legislation in a bid to attract more Republicans, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid declared abruptly Tuesday that he had no plans to do so. The Democratic leader said he will call for a vote this month on several anti-war proposals, including one by Sen. Carl Levin that would insist President Bush end U.S. combat next summer.