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As talks between the Syrian regime and rebels continue in Switzerland, the "Iranian Question" isn't going away. Though Tehran, which is a key supporter of President Bashar al-Assad's regime, was barred from attending the Geneva 2 talks for refusing several pre-conditions, it has made its voice heard from back home.

Ali Akbar Velayati, a former foreign minister who is still a key adviser to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said Western powers were disrespecting Syrian sovereignty by forcing its government to talk with "supporters of terrorism, subordinates of foreign powers and extremists," referring to rebel representatives, the reformist daily Arman reported on Monday. "We think the Syrians should decide their own fate, and this should not be done by foreign states and parties that interfere in Syria's internal affairs without legal justification."

Another conservative politician Mohammad Nabi Habibi was even more direct, saying certain participants in talks in Geneva had "stained their hands with the blood of Syrians," the daily Kar va Kargar reported.

Habibi, who heads the conservative Islamic Coalition Party, said the United States' "bluff on a military option is ridiculous," as the Americans had already tasted "heavy defeat" with their interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

-Ahmad Shayegan

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Future

Benjamin Button For Real? Scientists Are Close To Cracking The Code To Reverse Aging

The discovery that earned Japan's Shinya Yamanaka the 2012 Nobel Prize in Medicine has paved the way for new research proving that aging is a reversible process. Currently just being tested on lab mice, will the cellular reprogramming soon offer eternal youth?

A discovery about cellular reprogramming could help reverse aging.

Yann Verdo

PARIS — Barbra Streisand loved her dog Samantha, aka Sammy. The white and fluffy purebred Coton of Tulear was even present on the steps of the Elysée Palace, the French President’s official residence, when Streisand received the Legion of Honor in 2007.

As the singer and actress explained inThe New York Times in 2018, she loved Sammy so much that, unable to bring herself to see her pass away, she had the dog cloned by a Texas firm for the modest sum of 50,000 dollars just before she died in 2017, at the age of 14. And that's how Barbra Streisand became the happy owner of Miss Violet and Miss Scarlet, two puppies who are the spitting image of the deceased Samantha.

This may sound like a joke, but there is one deeply disturbing fact that Harvard Medical School genetics professor David A. Sinclair points out in his book Why We Age – And Why We Don’t Have To. It is that the cloning of an old dog has led to two young puppies.

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