Iranian Affairs

Eagle1

Senior Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
3,199
Reaction score
2,239
Rouhani's scolding shows that U.S. sanctions are hitting Iran hard
By Struan Stevenson
MAY 10, 2019

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks at the United Nations last September. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo


May 10 (UPI) -- Queen Gertrude, responding to the banal insincerity and over-acting of a character in Shakespeare's play Hamlet, famously says: "The lady doth protest too much, methinks."
Shakespeare's famous quote came to mind when Iran's President Hassan Rouhani took to the international airwaves this week to scold the Americans over their withdrawal from the nuclear deal. Rouhani warned the remaining signatories to the deal -- the United Kingdom, France, Germany, China and Russia -- that Iran will resume enriching uranium in 60 days unless they take action to protect it from U.S. sanctions, a virtually impossible request.

Rouhani's protests reveal two interesting things.

Firstly, that U.S. sanctions are biting hard and threaten to topple the theocratic regime. Despite the Iranian president's previous assurance that his country was "immunized against U.S. sanctions," the plummeting economy and the collapse of the rial, the Iranian currency, combined with the nationwide protests by striking workers that have continued for the past 16 months, are a clear sign of a failed government that is now desperately searching for help.

Secondly, the threat to resume enriching uranium exposes the truth behind Iran's nuclear program and shows clearly that it was never designed for peaceful purposes, but was always aimed at the production of nuclear weapons. The Trump administration's immediate response was to send a U.S. aircraft carrier and a bomber task force to the Middle East in what U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton described as "a clear and unmistakable message" to Iran.

The theocratic regime has long maintained that its nuclear program was benign, legal and authorized by its membership as a non-nuclear weapon state in the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which guarantees its members the right "to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes." However, in 2003, the National Council for Resistance in Iran, the main democratic opposition to the regime, revealed concrete intelligence that proved Iran was enriching uranium to a level compatible with the construction of nuclear weapons. It was also developing advanced missile delivery systems that could be used for this purpose. The revelation sent shock waves around the world.

In a bid to secure his foreign policy presidential legacy, U.S. President Barack Obama pushed through the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or the Iran nuclear deal, which was signed by the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, China and Russia in Vienna on July 14, 2015. It was widely promoted by the United States and EU officials as a foreign policy breakthrough.

In fact, the deal was a flagrant act of appeasement, lifting sanctions and releasing over $150 billion in frozen assets. Ludicrously, Obama even agreed to a demand that military sites inside Iran would be exempted from routine inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency, despite intelligence that indicated much of the nuclear weapons and missile program was being developed in these top-secret military sites.

The JCPOA provided a windfall for the theocratic dictatorship, whose biggest export is terror, enabling it to arm its foreign allies and proxies such as Bashar al-Assad in Syria, the Houthi rebels in Yemen, the brutal Shi'ia militias in Iraq and the terrorist Hezbollah in Lebanon.


Donald Trump decried the nuclear deal with Iran as "the worst deal ever" during his presidential campaign and vowed the United States would withdraw from it. As president, he fulfilled that election pledge, restored tough sanctions and last month even listed Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps as a foreign terrorist organization. The IRGC, which is the equivalent of the regime's Gestapo, controls most of the Iranian economy, so its blacklisting by the Americans makes it virtually impossible for Western businesses to trade with Iran.

But Rouhani's protests also lay bare the lies and duplicity of a regime that pleads for economic help while its embassies in Europe are used as bomb factories and cells for plotting assassinations and terror attacks on European soil. The arrest of Iranian agents in Europe who were planning assassinations and terror attacks on members of the Iranian opposition are evidence of this regime's malign intentions.

The diplomat, Assadollah Assadi, was a leading Ministry of Intelligence and Security agent, posing as a member of the diplomatic staff in the Iranian Embassy in Vienna. He allegedly handed over a bomb to three other Iranian agents with instructions that they should attack the NCRI rally taking place in Paris in June, attended by over 100,000 men, women and children. A similar bomb plot in Albania against the opposition, the People's Mojahedin of Iran (MEK/PMOI), was thwarted by the police and led to the expulsion of the Iranian ambassador and his first secretary from the Iranian Embassy in Tirana.

A regime that sends its diplomatic staff to kill and maim innocent civilians in Europe has removed itself from the norms of civilized behavior.
Rouhani's protests should be treated with the scorn that they deserve. The United Kingdom, France and Germany should follow America's example -- withdraw from the nuclear deal and impose tough sanctions on this rotten dictatorship, hastening its impending demise.

Struan Stevenson is the coordinator of the Campaign for Iran Change. He was a member of the European Parliament representing Scotland (1999-2014), president of the Parliament's Delegation for Relations with Iraq (2009-14) and chairman of the Friends of a Free Iran Intergroup (2004-14). He is an international lecturer on the Middle East and is also president of the European Iraqi Freedom Association.

 

Eagle1

Senior Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
3,199
Reaction score
2,239
Iran President Rouhani: EU failure in INSTEX (oil and Banking trade) after 60 days period will led to cancelling enrichment level, China failure in JCPOA (Iran nuclear deal) start work on Arak reactor IR40 after 60 days period will meet with father action


When posting videos in farsi, please post a translation of it in English as well.

Thanks!
 

Eagle1

Senior Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
3,199
Reaction score
2,239
China calls halt to Iran oil orders
10 May 2019
REUTERS

Beijing has criticized the unilateral US sanctions on Iran, but Chinese refiners are erring on the side of caution in the face of the bans. (Reuters)


  • The US has not renewed any exemptions from sanctions on Iran, taking a tougher line than expected on the expiry of the waivers
  • Sinopec and CNPC have skipped bookings for cargoes loading in May as the companies were worried that taking oil from Iran could invoke US sanctions

SINGAPORE: China Petrochemical Corp. (Sinopec Group) and China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC), the country’s top state-owned refiners, are skipping Iranian oil purchases for loading in May after Washington ended sanction waivers to turn up pressure on Tehran, three people with knowledge of the matter said.

The US has not renewed any exemptions from sanctions on Iran, taking a tougher line than expected on the expiry of the waivers. The waivers were granted last November to buyers of Iranian oil.

China is Iran’s largest oil customer with imports of 475,000 barrels per day (bpd) in the first quarter of this year, according to Chinese customs data.

Two of the sources said Sinopec and CNPC, who together account for over 90% of China's oil imports from Iran have skipped bookings for cargoes loading in May as the companies were worried that taking oil from Iran could invoke US sanctions and cut them out of the global financial system.
A third source said Sinopec, which buys the majority of China’s Iranian oil imports, does not wish to breach a long-term supply contract, but has opted to suspend booking new cargoes for now due to the sanction worries.

All those with knowledge of the matter requested anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the topic.

Of the five supertankers that loaded Iranian crude in April for China, two have discharged, while another two are waiting off Ningbo and Zhoushan in eastern China to discharge, according to Refinitiv data and Refinitiv analyst Emma Li. A fifth tanker is heading to Shuidong in southern Guangdong province.

The sources said they did not know how long the suspensions will last.

Both Sinopec and CNPC declined to comment. The National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) did not immediately respond to an email from Reuters seeking comment.

The two firms took a similar move last October by skipping shipments for November, before Washington reimposed sanctions on Iran’s oil exports to push the Islamic Republic to renegotiate a deal to stop its nuclear and ballistic missile programs and curb its regional influence.

They later resumed bookings after the US granted waivers to China and other seven global clients of Iranian oil, and purchased additional cargoes to make up the delayed shipments, according to the third source and trade flow data.

“There are no nominations so far, but companies are trying to find some solution, such as offering to top up volumes in later months,” said the source.

Sinopec agreed in 2012 to lift an average of about 265,000 bpd oil from Iran in a long-term deal that expires end of 2019.

While Beijing has criticized the unilateral US sanctions on Iran and the end to the exemptions, companies are erring on the side of caution unless they receive a specific government mandate to keep ordering oil from Tehran, the first two sources said.

CNPC, whose Iranian oil comes mostly from its investments at two Iranian oil fields, is also skipping imports for this month, said one of those sources.

“For now it’s just not worth the risks as the volume is very small in (the company’s) overall purchases,” said the source.

China calls halt to Iran oil orders
 

Eagle1

Senior Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
3,199
Reaction score
2,239
Iran's Rouhani calls for unity to face 'unprecedented' U.S. pressure
May 12, 2019

DUBAI (Reuters) - President Hassan Rouhani called on Saturday for unity among Iran’s political factions to overcome conditions which he said may be harder than those during the 1980s war with Iraq, state media reported, as the country faces tightening U.S. sanctions.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday urged Iran’s leaders talk with him about giving up their nuclear program and said he could not rule out a military confrontation.U.S.

Trump made the offer as he increased economic and military pressure on Iran, moving to cut off all Iranian oil exports this month while beefing up the U.S. Navy and Air Force presence in the Gulf. Washington also approved a new deployment of Patriot missiles to the Middle East, a U.S. official said on Friday.

“Today, it cannot be said whether conditions are better or worse than the (1980-88) war period, but during the war we did not have a problem with our banks, oil sales or imports and exports, and there were only sanctions on arms purchases,” Rouhani said, according to the state news agency IRNA.

“The pressures by enemies is a war unprecedented in the history of our Islamic revolution... but I do not despair and have great hope for the future and believe that we can move past these difficult conditions provided that we are united,” Rouhani told activists from various factions.

Hardliners have criticized Rouhani after Trump withdrew from Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, which Rouhani supported, and reimposed sanctions last year. The pragmatic president has also been abandoned by some of his moderate allies.

Separately, a media court on Saturday suspended the weekly Seda (Voice), the semi-official news agency ISNA reported, after the reformist magazine published an issue that included articles warning about the possibility of war with the United States.

“At the Crossroads of War and Peace, have moderates lost or will they again save Iran from war?” the main headline on the front page read against a photograph of U.S. Navy warships.

On social media, hardliners attacked the magazine as “Trump’s voice”, suggesting its warning about the danger of war amounted to a call for talks with the United States, the Islamic Republic’s arch enemy.

“At the height of America’s political, economic and media war against the Iranian nation, an Iranian publication supplements the enemy’s media operations inside the country,” the hardline-led news agency Fars wrote in a comment.

Iran has dismissed the U.S. military build up as “psychological warfare” designed to intimidate it.

Reporting by Dubai newsroom; Editing by Marguerita Choy

 

yavar

MEMBER
Joined
Jan 16, 2019
Messages
50
Reaction score
22
Country
Iran
Location
Iran
When posting videos in farsi, please post a translation of it in English as well.

Thanks!
this is exactly what he said

Iran President Rouhani: EU failure in INSTEX (oil and Banking trade) after 60 days period will led to cancelling enrichment level, China failure in JCPOA (Iran nuclear deal) start work on Arak reactor IR40 after 60 days period will meet with father action
 

Eagle1

Senior Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
3,199
Reaction score
2,239
Iran sentences British Council worker to 10 years for spying for UK
Reuters
May 13, 2019

LONDON: Iran said on Monday it had sentenced an Iranian woman to 10 years prison for spying for Britain, as tension rises between Tehran and some Western countries over its nuclear and missile programs.

“An Iranian who was in charge of Iran desk in the British Council and was cooperating with Britain’s intelligence agency... was sentenced to 10 years in prison after clear confessions,” Gholamhossein Esmaili, a judiciary spokesman, said on the state television.

Esmaili said the woman was in charge of projects for “cultural infiltration” in Iran. He did not identify her, but said she was a student in Britain before being recruited by the British Council.

Esmaili said the woman had been in custody for almost a year. He did not specify whether she held British nationality.

The British Foreign Office did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment. The British Council is Britain’s cultural agency overseas.

The arrest of Iranians accused of espionage has increased since Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said last year there had been “infiltration” of Western agents in the country.

Iran has been increasingly at odds with Western countries since the United States withdrew from a deal Tehran signed with global powers to curb its nuclear program in return for the lifting of sanctions.

Britain is a signatory to the nuclear deal. Like other European signatories, it supports maintaining the deal.

The United States has ratcheted up sanctions against Iran this month, revoking waivers that had permitted some countries to continue buying Iranian oil. Tehran has responded by reducing curbs on its nuclear program, although steps it has taken so far stop short of violating the agreement.

 

Eagle1

Senior Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
3,199
Reaction score
2,239
Iran insists on ramping up oil sales to stay in nuclear pact: sources
May 13, 2019
Bozorgmehr Sharafedin, Robin Emmott, John Irish

LONDON/BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Iran insists on exporting at least 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil, triple May’s expected levels under U.S. sanctions, as a condition for staying in an international nuclear deal, sources with knowledge of Iran-EU talks said.

The figure was communicated in recent meetings between Iranian and Western officials, including Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, but has not been set down in writing, four European diplomatic sources said.

The United States reimposed sanctions in November on exports of Iranian oil after U.S. President Donald Trump last spring unilaterally pulled out of the 2015 accord between Iran and six world powers to curb Tehran’s nuclear program.

In an attempt to reduce Iran’s crude exports to zero, Washington ended at the beginning of May waivers that had allowed the top buyers of Iranian oil to continue their imports for six months.

The sanctions have already more than halved Iranian oil exports to 1 million bpd or less, from a peak of 2.8 million bpd last year. Exports could drop to as low as 500,000 bpd from May, an Iranian official told Reuters this month.

Iran has threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz - a major oil-shipping route - and disrupt crude shipments from neighboring countries if Washington succeeds in forcing all countries to stop buying Iranian oil.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei set out last year a series of conditions for European powers if they wanted Tehran to stay in the nuclear deal, including continued purchases of Iranian oil.

Khamenei did not specify which minimum level of oil sales Iran would accept to stick with the deal, or keep the Strait open.

According to one European Union official, the Iranians have not been specific, but they wanted to ensure production returned to pre-sanctions levels. Other sources said Iran’s demand seemed to be in a general range of 1.5 million to 2 million bpd.

“Zarif said specifically that they want to sell 2 million barrels of oil (per day), basically the level Iran was exporting before Trump withdrew from the deal,” said a source present at the New York meeting in which the minister made the statement.

“But I don’t think it is a serious demand. It isn’t possible and the Iranians know it isn’t possible.”

Zarif also said during the same visit to New York in April that Iran could only sell 500,000 to 700,000 bpd of oil.

An Iranian foreign ministry spokesman was quoted by state news agency IRNA as saying on Tuesday: “Iran’s demands have been clearly stated in our president’s letter on May 8 to the leaders of the remaining countries in the JCPOA (nuclear deal).”

“Paying attention to these reports, which are based on incomplete and imprecise conjectures, is not constructive and can undermine the conditions
needed for serious diplomacy,” spokesman Abbas Mousavi said when asked about this Reuters story.

REVENUES AND EXPENSES
Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said last week that for Tehran to stay in the nuclear deal, Iranian oil sales should reach their pre-sanctions level or at least “start the process of returning” to such a level.

Araqchi also said another Iranian condition was to have full access to oil-export revenues, and to spend them as it pleased, not only on food and medicine as proposed by EU countries.

According to Iran’s budget for this year, one third of the government’s income - 1,425 trillion rials ($33.9 billion) - should come from oil and gas exports.

The budget was based on a forecast crude oil price of $50-$54 per barrel and a U.S. dollar rate of 57,000 rials, meaning the Iranian economy could remain sustainable if exports came to at least 1.5 million bpd.

EU officials also estimate Iran needs to sell 1.5 million bpd to keep its economy afloat. A drop below 1 million bpd could bring hardship and economic crisis.

Portions of Iran’s oil sales go to the country’s sovereign wealth fund and to the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) for production expenses and other costs.

President Hassan Rouhani this year reduced the share of oil revenues allocated to the wealth fund from 30% to 20% due to expectations of lower exports as U.S. sanctions bite.

The government also earns revenues by exporting gas to a number of neighboring countries.

Iran’s oil exports during previous sanctions in 2012 fell to as low as about 1 million bpd, pushing up inflation. Iranian officials have vowed to prevent similar price spikes in future.

The International Monetary Fund, however, expects tighter U.S. sanctions could push inflation in Iran to 37% this year, the highest since 1995.

UNIVERSAL OBLIGATION
Once Europe’s biggest supplier, Iran has seen its exports gradually cut off from European buyers.

China - Iran’s largest oil customer with imports of 475,000 bpd in the first quarter of this year - has also stopped buying from Iran after Washington chose not to renew sanctions waivers.

“The real problem for Iran is oil exports, but that’s a question the Iranians have to ask the Chinese and Indians,” a senior European diplomat said.

“The survival of this accord is a universal obligation and not just a European one as the Iranians keep claiming ... If we want to save the deal, the Chinese have to continue buying the oil.”

While Beijing has criticised the U.S. sanctions, companies are erring on the side of caution. China Petrochemical Corp (Sinopec Group) and China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), the country’s top state-owned refiners, have skipped Iranian oil purchases for loading in May.

Iran has said it will sell oil on a “grey market” to evade U.S. sanctions, without giving details.

One year after Washington quit the deal, Iran announced on Wednesday steps to relax some restrictions on its nuclear program.

In letters to the deal’s remaining signatories - Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China - Rouhani gave them a 60-day ultimatum to protect his country’s interests or face a resumption of high-level Iranian enrichment of uranium.

But the letter did not detail Iran’s economic demands, specifically how much oil it wants to sell, one diplomat said.

“They (Iranians) took a small step away from the deal. I think they would be satisfied with a small, reciprocal step from Europe,” another source said. “The reciprocal step wouldn’t be about oil. I don’t think there is much to do on oil.”

 

Eagle1

Senior Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
3,199
Reaction score
2,239
Iran halts some commitments under nuclear deal
May 15, 2019


LONDON (Reuters) - Iran has officially stopped some commitments under a 2015 nuclear deal with world powers following an order from its national security council, an informed official in the country’s atomic energy body told the ISNA news agency on Wednesday.

Last week, Iran notified China, France, Germany, Russia and the United Kingdom of its decision to halt some commitments under the nuclear deal, a year after the United States unilaterally withdrew from the accord and re-imposed sanctions.

Under the nuclear deal, Tehran was allowed to produce low-enriched uranium with a 300-kg limit, and produce heavy water with a stock capped around 130 tonnes. Tehran could ship the excess amounts out of the country for storage or sale.

The official said Iran has no limit from now for production of enriched uranium and heavy water.


Iran’s initial moves do not appear to violate the nuclear deal yet. But Iran has warned that unless the world powers protect Iran’s economy from U.S. sanctions within 60 days, Iran would start enriching uranium at higher level.

The European Union and the foreign ministers of Germany, France and Britain said they were still committed to the deal but would not accept ultimatums from Tehran.

The deal also caps the level of purity to which Iran can enrich uranium at 3.67 percent, far below the 90 percent of weapons grade. It is also well below the 20 percent level to which Iran enriched uranium before the deal.


Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Tuesday that Tehran does not seek war with the United States despite mounting tensions between the two arch-enemies over Iranian nuclear capabilities and its missile program.

Khamenei also said Tehran would not negotiate with the United States on another nuclear deal.

Reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Michael Perry


 

yavar

MEMBER
Joined
Jan 16, 2019
Messages
50
Reaction score
22
Country
Iran
Location
Iran
Iran President Rouhani publicly announced U.S government diplomatic Phone numbers for compensation with U.S President passed by Swiss embassy

White House passes phone number to Swiss, in case Iran wants to call

 

Eagle1

Senior Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
3,199
Reaction score
2,239
British PM May deeply concerned by jailing of woman in Iran
May 15, 2019

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Wednesday she was deeply concerned about the jailing of a British Council worker in Iran on espionage charges.

Iran said on Monday it had sentenced an Iranian woman to 10 years prison for spying for Britain, as tension rises between Tehran and some Western countries over its nuclear and missile programs.

“It’s utterly shocking. I’m deeply concerned by the turn of events,” May told parliament, adding that the woman was working for a legitimate organization that was trying to foster better relations between countries.

“The Foreign Secretary is taking this issue up, the government will press the case and the concerns that have been raised.”

Reporting by Alistair Smout; editing by Stephen Addison

 

Eagle1

Senior Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
3,199
Reaction score
2,239
U.S. pulls staff from Iraq amid concerns over Iran
May 15, 2019
John Davison, Raya Jalabi

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Washington ordered the departure of non-emergency American employees from its diplomatic missions in Iraq on Wednesday in another show of concern about alleged threats from Iran.

President Donald Trump’s administration is applying new sanctions pressure on Tehran and sending additional forces to the Middle East to counter what it says is a heightened threat from Iran to U.S. soldiers and interests in the region.

Iran calls that “psychological warfare”, and a British commander cast doubt on U.S. military concerns about threats to its roughly 5,000 soldiers in Iraq, who have been helping local security forces fight Islamic State jihadists.

The U.S. State Department said employees at both the U.S. embassy in Baghdad and its consulate in Erbil, capital of semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, were being pulled out immediately due to safety concerns.

It was unclear how many personnel were affected, and there was no word on any specific threat. Visa services were suspended at the heavily-fortified U.S. missions.

“Ensuring the safety of U.S. government personnel and citizens is our highest priority ... and we want to reduce the risk of harm,” a State Department spokesman said.

Also on Wednesday, Germany, which has 160 soldiers in Iraq, suspended military training operations, citing increasing regional tensions. And the Netherlands suspended a mission providing assistance to Iraqi local authorities, Dutch news agency ANP said.

“DANGEROUS SITUATION”
Both the United States and Iran have said they do not want war, and Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi said on Tuesday he had indications “things will end well” despite the rhetoric.

Iraq has said it will keep strong ties with Iran, but also with the United States and regional neighbours, some of whom, like Saudi Arabia, consider Tehran an arch-rival.

“I think we are now in a quite dangerous situation where a miscalculation by either side could lead us into conflict,” U.S. Senator Chris Coons, a Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told CNN in an interview on Wednesday.

“When you project force into a very volatile region and you’ve got real tension between Iran and the Saudis — we have to be careful. We need a strategy,” Coons said, echoing a call by Congress for the government to brief lawmakers.

The State Department reissued travel advisory for Iraq saying U.S. citizens were at high risk of violence and kidnapping. “Anti-U.S. sectarian militias may also threaten U.S. citizens and Western companies throughout Iraq,” it said.

A senior Iranian official said on Wednesday that any conflict in the region will have “unimaginable consequences.”

Reporting by John Davison and Ahmed Rasheed in Baghdad, Raya Jalabi in Erbil; Additional reporting by Susan Heavy and Makini Brice in Washington; Writing by Raya Jalabi and John Davison; Editing by Catherine Evans and Andrew Cawthorne

 

Eagle1

Senior Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
3,199
Reaction score
2,239
Putin Urges Tehran to Stick to Nuclear Deal
16 May, 2019

Moscow - Raed Jaber

Kremlin reduced chances of US-Russia reaching agreements on the Iranian matter and said continued escalation in the region is likely. This came following talks between US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Russian President Vladimir Putin, described as constructive and positive by Moscow.

Meanwhile, Putin warned that Russia is not a "fire brigade" which "rescues everything,” and further urged Tehran to stick to the nuclear deal.

During a joint press conference with Austrian counterpart Alexander Van der Bellen, Putin said: “I have repeatedly said during the talks with our Iranian partners that, to my mind, it would be more expedient for Iran to remain in this agreement at whatever cost.”

"As soon as Iran takes its first reciprocal steps and says that it is leaving, everyone will forget by tomorrow that the US was the initiator of this collapse, Iran will be held responsible, and the global public opinion will be intentionally changed in this direction," he added.

"The Americans withdrew," he continued, " the agreement is being destroyed, and European countries can do nothing to salvage it and cannot really work with Iran to compensate economic losses."

"We cannot rescue everything that does not fully depend on us. We’ve played our part," Putin added as he expressed regret for the latest developments regarding the nuclear deal.

For his part, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “So far we notice the continued escalation of tensions around this subject.”

"We are saddened to see the decisions taken by the Iranian side," Peskov noted while arguing that Washington has been provoking Iran, and that "there were no assurances from Pompeo."

Pompeo held talks in Sochi on Tuesday with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and was hosted by Putin.

 

Eagle1

Senior Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
3,199
Reaction score
2,239
Iran Says Exercising Restraint Despite Escalation of US Sanctions
16 May, 2019


Iran is exercising “maximum restraint in spite of the fact the United States withdrew from (the) JCPOA last May,” Zarif said. (File photo:AP)

Tokyo - Asharq Al-Awsat

Iran is committed to its obligations under an international nuclear deal despite the US withdrawal from the landmark agreement, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Thursday, describing the reimposition of US sanctions "unacceptable".

Zarif made the comments in a meeting with Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono in Tokyo, adding that Tehran is exercising "maximum restraint in spite of the fact the United States withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) signed in 2015 last May.

For his part, Kono said it was essential to maintain the nuclear agreement and urged Iran to keep implementing it, Reuters reported.

US President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the JCPOA and is ratcheting up sanctions on Iran to strangle its economy.


 

Eagle1

Senior Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
3,199
Reaction score
2,239
Iranians react angrily to education minister comments on sending students into war

Arab News
May 16, 2019

LONDON: Iranians have reacted angrily to comments made by the country’s education minister Mohammad Bathaee about the regime’s willingness to send schoolchildren to war.

In a speech on May 10, Bathaie said: “We have 14 million students in school, and they are willing to sacrifice their lives if we need them, such as in the period of the sacred defense,” making a reference to the Iran-Iraq War.

The Iranian Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child condemned the minister's statements.

And Iranians also took to social media to vent their anger at the comments. Prominent singer Zepa Murmalki said: “This is the minister in charge of educating the next generation of Iranians." Others claimed the minister’s own son had not performed military service.

Tensions between Iran and the US, and its Gulf allies, have been rising in recent weeks. The US has sent further military forces to the Middle East, including an aircraft carrier, B-52 bombers and Patriot missiles, in a show of force against what officials say are Iranian threats to its troops and its interests in the region.

It is not the first time Iran has been warned about the use of child soldiers. Human Rights Watch has consistently accused the Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps of sending children of Afghan refugees to fight in Syria.

And a report in UK newspaper the Mirror earlier this week revealed that Iranian-backed Houthi militants in Yemen have been accused of luring child soldiers to fight by giving them keys and promising them it is to “enter paradise” when they die in the country’s ongoing conflict.

In December 2018, a senior Houthi military official acknowledged to Associated Press that they had inducted 18,000 child soldiers into their army — some as young as 10-years-old — since the beginning of the Yemeni conflict in 2014


 

Eagle1

Senior Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
3,199
Reaction score
2,239
Iran’s foreign minister: US sanctions ‘unacceptable’
AP
May 16, 2019
  • Zarif’s said Iran’s actions are within the country’s rights under the current deal
  • Iran threatened to return to higher enrichment if a no new nuclear deal is set
TOKYO: Iran’s foreign minister says his country is committed to an international nuclear deal but that the escalating US sanctions are “unacceptable.”
The remarks come amid rising tensions in the Mideast, with allegations of sabotage targeting oil tankers near the Arabian Gulf, a drone attack by Yemen’s Iranian-allied rebels and the dispatch of US warships and bombers to the region.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif told Japanese officials on Thursday in Tokyo that his country’s response to the US actions is within the frameworks of the current nuclear deal and Iran’s rights.

Iran recently threatened to resume higher enrichment in 60 days if no new nuclear deal is in place, beyond the level permitted by the current one between Tehran and world powers. The US pulled out of the deal last year.

 
Top