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World has been witnessed of several important political events in 2017. Re-election of Hassan Rohani as the president of Iran, referendum on the constitutional amendments in Turkey and the presidential election in the United States of America which took Donald Trump to the White House, starting the Astana negotiations and political crisis in Gulf region, were among them.
Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Head of the Expediency Council of Iran, died in January 8. at the age of 83. Thousands of people including Iranian officials, politicians and his followers had participated in the funeral. With his death, Hassan Rohani lost one of the main supporters.
On Thursday, 19th of January, the famous 17 story Palasko building caught fire and collapsed in Tehran killing 16 firefighters and 4 citizens.
US President Donald Trump was sworn as the 45th president of America on January 20.
The first round of Astana negotiations were held in the capital of Kazakhstan in 23th of January. Two man sides in the civil war of Syria (representatives of Syria regime and armed opposition parties) had participated in the two-days negotiations.
Iran, Turkey and Russia were also present in the meeting as the guarantor countries. Eight round of the negotiations were held until the end of 2017. In 13-14th of May, The countries reached a deal that recognized some parts of Syria as de-escalation zones.
Turkey intensified the military operations against terrorist groups in 2017. Turkish security forces hit the strongholds of terrorists linked with the Islamic States, PKK and FETO. Turkish armed forces cleared areas in northern Syria from ISIL and PND / PKK terrorist groups.
February: US President Donald Trump warned Iran officially for the firing two ballistic missiles . on February 2. President Trump Tweeted that Iran should have been pleased for the nuclear agreement which was signed by the US, warning that the country is beaching the agreement instead of using this as a great chance.
Iran’s President Hassan Rohani called President Trump a junior politician reacting to the comments by him. He said everyone should speak with respect about Iran and should know that the country will response decisively to the threats.
On February 7. Iran’s former president Muhamad Khatami urged political parties to be united against the threats coming from outside, pointing to the comments by the U.S. President. He asked the rejoining of the reformists to the government after they were kick out from the government after the 2009 election.
Iran faced environmental problems such as drought and air pollution in 2017 as the previous years. Large parts of the Urmia Lake dried up and the pollution of the Aras border was continued due to the dumping of industrial and nuclear waste in Armenia and the drought in different parts of the country.
Water and electric were cut off and schools were closed down in most parts of the Khuzestan due to the heavy air pollution which was started on Saturday, 11th of February. Dr. Afshar Soleimani, a diplomat and political expert in the Caucasus region, told Anadolu agency in October 2017 about the threat posed by the Armenian Metzamor nuclear power plant to the northern provinces of Iran, and especially the water of the Aras River.
The aging and environmental risks of the Matsamor nuclear power plant in Armenia have been confirmed by regional and international experts and the European Union. It is therefore clear that this plant should be shut down as soon as possible, he said.
Ahead of constitutional amendment referendum in Turkey in April, political relations between Turkey and some European countries were soured. Some members of the Turkish parliament were banned to have speeches in Germany, Holland, Belgium and some other countries. The relations were back to normal after the referendum was held on April 16.
Millions of Turkish citizens took part in constitutional amendment referendum on April 16. The outcome showed a 51.41 percent of the voters voted in favor of the changes in the constitution. 18 articles of the constitution were amended after the referendum.
Changing the regime from the parliament to the presidency, the removal of the post of prime minister and the change in the structure of the Supreme Council of Judges and Prosecutors are among the most significant changes in the constitution of Turkey.
12th round of presidential election coincided with the 5th round of Islamic and villages council election was held in Iran on May 18. Hassan Rohani elected as the president of Iran for the second time with 57 percent of the votes. The candidates close to the reformist parties also wins the fifth election of the Islamic councils of the city and villages in Iran.
The bankruptcy of monetary and financial institutions such as the Caspian Institute, Samen al-Hajj, Arman and other institutions that had the license from the Central Bank of Iran was another 2017 event. The people who were financially affected by the event staged protests in front of the Iranian parliament, central bank and Judiciary building.
Islamic State’s terrorists attacked Iran’s parliament and shrine of Ayatollah Khomeini simultaneously on June 7. killing 17 and wounding at least 52 people. Five terrorists of Islamic State also were killed in clashes with the Iran’s security forces. This was the first attack by Islamic State’s terrorists inside Iran and the attackers were all Iranian citizens.
Another important political event of 2017 happened in Gulf region after four Arabian countries on the 5th of June cut off ties with Qatar, the small but rich country in the Gulf. The countries led by the Saudi Arabia accused Qatar of supporting terrorism and having close relation with Iran.
The countries sent a 13 article list to Qatar as precondition for returning the ties to normal. Closing the al-Jazeera television, shutting down the Turkish military bases in Qatar and cutting off political ties with Iran was mentioned in the list. Qatar denied to accept the preconditions saying the list is violating the international and regional laws.
Iraq’s security forces succeeded to hit strongholds of Islamic State’s terrorists in 2017 and on 24th of July they pushed back the terrorists from north of Mosul which was occupied by the terrorists. Iraq declared the end of IS in 29th of June.
Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said the IS terrorist group is defeated completely in a speech on July 10. Mosul, Iraq’s second large city was occupied by IS terrorists in June of 2014. The military operation against the terrorists by Iraq’s army and militant groups of Hashd al- Saabi and Peshmerga, was launched on 17th October, 2016
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