ISNA

Iran’s smog, blackouts made worse by power-sapping crypto mining

Outages have been compounded by cryptocurrency mining, which uses banks of high-powered computers. Cities across Iran have been cloaked in thick layers of toxic smog and darkened by blackouts, as the alleged use of low-quality fuel and power-sucking cryptocurrency mining deepen the country’s hardships. Tehran’s Hamshahri newspaper, the country’s most-read daily, ran the headline, “20 Days Living in Smoke,” on Wednesday over a photo of the capital covered in smog. Power plants have been forced to switch to burning low-grade fuel oils to generate electricity because high levels of domestic consumption have led to natural-gas shortages, the semi-official Iranian Students’ News Agency reported. Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh denied earlier this week that any of Iran’s power stations are us...

19 dead as Iran warship hit by ‘friendly fire’ in tense Gulf

An Iranian warship was hit by a friendly fire missile during naval exercises, killing 19 sailors, state media and the army said Monday, amid tensions with the US in Gulf waters. The incident involving the Konarak vessel occurred on Sunday afternoon near Bandar-e Jask, off the southern coast of the Islamic republic, state television said on its website. “The vessel was hit after moving a practice target to its destination and not creating enough distance between itself and the target,” said the channel. The armed forces said in a statement that 19 crewmen were killed and 15 injured. It said the Konarak had been involved in an “accident” during the exercises, without elaborating. The vessel had been towed ashore for “technical investigations”, it added, calling on people to “avoid speculatio...