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Disputed fossils
Disputed fossils

In another possible sign of thaw after decades of chilly relations between the United States and Iran, the U.S. is set to return 1,500 fossil pieces to Iran that it has kept since the 1979 revolution, the reformist paper Shargh reported this week, citing comments by Iran's chief environmental official Masoumeh Ebtekar.

Ebtekar confirmed the report on her English-language Twitter account, stating the remains were "on their way back" after a 40-year dispute. Shargh reported that these were fossils from Maragheh, an area in northwestern Iran that is described as "one of the most unique fossil sites" in the world.

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Geopolitics

NATO Entry For Sweden And Finland? Erdogan May Not Be Bluffing

When the two Nordic countries confirmed their intention to join NATO this week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan repeated his plans to block the application. Accusing Sweden and Finland of' "harboring" some of his worst enemies may not allow room for him to climb down.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared opposition to Finland and Sweden entering NATO

Meike Eijsberg

-Analysis-

LONDON — When Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared his opposition to Finland and Sweden entering NATO, it took most of the West's top diplomatic experts by surprise — with the focus squarely on how Russia would react to having two new NATO members in the neighborhood. (So far, that's been a surprise too)

But now Western oversight on Turkey's stance has morphed into a belief in some quarters that Erdogan is just bluffing, trying to get concessions from the negotiations over such a key geopolitical issue.

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To be clear, any prospective NATO member requires the consent of all 30 member states and their parliaments. So Erdogan does indeed have a card to play, which is amplified by the sense of urgency: NATO, Sweden and Finland are keen to complete the accession process with the war in Ukraine raging and the prospect of strengthening the military alliance's position around the Baltic Sea.

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