Iranian Affairs

Eagle1

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Iran Sends Envoy to 3 Gulf States to Explore Communication Channels with US
Monday, 27 May, 2019


Oman’s minister responsible for foreign affairs, Yousuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah, receives Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi in Muscat. (ONA)

Dammam, London – Merza al-Khuwaldi and Asharq Al-Awsat

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi kicked off on Sunday a tour to three Gulf states in an attempt by Tehran to explore channels of communication with the United States.

His first stop took him to Oman where he met with Yousuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah, the sultanate’s minister responsible for foreign affairs.

The two sides discussed aspects of the bilateral cooperation between the two countries. They also exchanged views on regional issues and developments, said the Oman news agency (ONA).

Bil Alawi had paid a visit to Tehran last week.

Araqchi made his trip amid mounting tensions with the United States, which last year withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal signed between Iran and world powers. Washington has been seeking to tighten sanctions against Iran over its malign regional policies.

Tensions have ratcheted up recently in the Middle East as the White House earlier this month sent an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers to the region over Iranian threats. On Thursday, the Pentagon outlined proposals to the White House to send military reinforcements to the Middle East to beef up defenses against Iran.

Last week, bin Alawi said that Muscat was seeking to ease tensions between Tehran and Washington. He did not confirm or deny mediation efforts by Oman.

Araqchi said there were no direct or indirect negotiations with the US, the Iranian Fars news agency quoted him as saying from Muscat.

He informed bin Alawi that Iran was prepared to establish “balanced and constructive” relations with all Gulf states based on mutual respect and interests.

“We do not want to raise tensions in the region,” he continued. Moreover, he stressed that ensuring regional stability entails ending the sanctions.

Imposing sanctions on Iran is a policy that has failed as demonstrated by past experiences, he added.

Araqchi is set to later visit Kuwait and Qatar as part of his Gulf tour.

Oman, Kuwait and Qatar have expressed their readiness to push forward reconciliation efforts between the US and Iran. They have also said they were ready to exert efforts to ease tensions between them.

On Friday, Kuwaiti Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Al-Jarallah said that he believes that negotiations to calm tensions have indeed started between the US and Iran.

He said Kuwait is "confident" that wisdom and reasoning will prevail in the region without the need for clashes.

This confidence stems from statements made by US and Iranian officials over their reluctance
to go to war, he told reporters.

Kuwait stands ready and is poised to carry out efforts aimed at calming and stabilizing the situation and avoiding confrontation, he added, according to the Kuwait news agency (KUNA).

Qatar, for its part, was the first country to dispatch a senior envoy to Tehran to ease tensions. Its foreign minister reportedly traveled to Iran on the eve of the arrival of the American bombers to the Gulf. Reports at the time said that Doha had offered to mediate between the US and Iran.

Araqchi’s trips coincided with a tour by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif to Pakistan and Iraq. The FM is also set to head to Turkey.


 

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Iran Sees ‘No Prospect of Negotiations’ with US
Tuesday, 28 May, 2019


US aircraft carrier the USS Abraham Lincoln is pictured while it travels through the Suez Canal in Egypt May 9, 2019 in this picture obtained from social media. (Reuters)

Asharq Al-Awsat

Iran ruled out on Tuesday the possibility of holding negotiations with the United States, a day after US President Donald Trump said a deal with Tehran on its nuclear program was possible.

Asked about Trump’s comments in a news conference in Tehran, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi was quoted as saying by the semi-official Fars news agency: “We currently see no prospect of negotiations with America.”

“Iran pays no attention to words; What matters to us is a change of approach and behavior.”

Speaking from Japan on Monday, Trump said: “I really believe that Iran would like to make a deal, and I think that’s very smart of them, and I think that’s a possibility to happen.”

Trump also said that United States was not looking for regime change in Iran, adding that “we are looking for no nuclear weapons.”

Late on Monday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Trump should make his intentions clear about any talks with Iran through actions, not words.

In a late tweet, he said: "Actions—not words—will show whether or not that's @realDonaldTrump's intent.”

Trump said that he would back Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's efforts to open a communication with Iran.

Zarif in his tweet also blamed Trump's economic pressure on Tehran for the regional tensions.

Washington withdrew last year from a 2015 international nuclear deal with Tehran, and is ratcheting up sanctions in efforts to strangle Iran’s economy by ending its international sales of crude oil.

Iranian Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri said on Tuesday the country was not allowed to pursue the development of nuclear weapon as this was banned by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

Tensions have risen between Iran and the United States since Washington deployed a carrier strike group and bombers and announced plans to deploy 1,500 troops to the Middle East, prompting fears of a conflict.


 

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Wife of Iran presidential adviser shot dead at home
AP
May 28, 2019
  • Mitra Najafi the second wife of Mohammad Ali Najafi was killed in northern Tehran
  • The victim was killed in her home
TEHRAN, Iran: A wife of an adviser to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was shot and killed at her home, the semi-official ISNA news agency reported Tuesday.

The report said Mitra Najafi — the second wife of Mohammad Ali Najafi, a former reformist mayor of Tehran and a Rouhani confidant — was killed in northern Tehran. The report did not elaborate.

Such gun violence is incredibly rare in Iran, especially in the tony neighborhoods of northern Tehran, home to the country’s political and economic elite.

Another Iranian semi-official news agency, Tasnim, quoted Tehran prosecutor Mohammad Shahriari as saying she was killed by several gunshots, one of which hit her heart. Her body was found in a bedroom on the seventh floor of a residential high-rise in northern Tehran.

Najafi resigned as mayor in 2018, after hard-liners criticized him over a video showing he attended a dance performance by young girls at a school show.

Polygamy is legal in Iran, though some criticized Najafi on social media after he married Mitra Najafi.


Former Tehran Mayor Confesses to Killing Wife
Wednesday, 29 May, 2019 - 05:00
[IMG]

File photo of Mohammad Ali Najafi and his wife

Asharq Al-Awsat

Police on Tuesday arrested a former Iranian vice president and mayor of Tehran after he confessed to shooting one of his wives dead in her home.

Police detained Mohammad Ali Najafi, 68, after he went to authorities and confessed to killing wife Mitra Najafi, Iran's state news agency IRNA quoted prosecutor Mohammad Shahriari as saying.

Shahriari said Najafi and his wife were having domestic problems.

Earlier on Tuesday, Iranian media reported that Mitra Najafi, who is one of Najafi's two wives, had been killed in northern Tehran.

Najafi resigned as mayor in 2018.

In 2013, Najafi an MIT educated mathematician worked as vice president in charge of cultural heritage and tourism in President Hassan Rouhani's administration for nearly seven months. Najafi has held many ministerial positions in his career.

Gen. Ali Reza Lotfi, head of Tehran police's criminal investigation department, told state TV that Najafi handed the weapon over to police voluntarily and admitted committing the crime.

Lotfi said Najafi fired five times and two bullets hit the victim. He said the case is under investigation by the police and judiciary simultaneously.

Semi-official news agency Tasnim quoted Shahriari as saying Mitra Najafi was shot several times, including once in the heart. Her body was found in a bedroom on the seventh floor of a residential high-rise in northern Tehran.

Former Tehran Mayor Confesses to Killing Wife
 

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Iran's May Crude Exports Reportedly Slide to 400,000 bpd
Wednesday, 29 May, 2019

Iranian crude exports have fallen sharply in May to around 400,000 barrels per day (bpd), tanker data showed and two industry sources told Reuters, after the United States tightened the screws on Tehran's main source of income.

The United States reimposed sanctions on Iran in November after pulling out of a 2015 nuclear accord between Tehran and six world powers. Aiming to cut Iran's sales to zero, Washington this month ended sanctions waivers for importers of Iranian oil. Iran has nonetheless sent abroad about 400,000 bpd so far this month, according to data from Refinitiv Eikon and two industry sources who also track the flows, less than half April's rate. The bulk of the crude is heading to Asia.

The drop in exports has tightened the market, supported prices and deeply reduced Iran's revenue. A dearth of information about the exact rate of shipments is a headache for other OPEC members and allies, which are scheduled to meet to set oil supply policy in June.

"I am expecting exports of about 400,000 bpd," one of the sources said, which would be an increase from around 250,000 bpd in the first two weeks of the month. The second source said May exports could reach as much as 500,000 bpd.

There is no definitive information on the export rate. Iran has welcomed this opacity and stopped reporting its production figures to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Some of Iran's oil exports are already under the radar, making it harder to assess the actual volume.

The latest figure for May exports shows more consensus on how much oil is still reaching the market than an estimate published on May 16, in which shipments were put at between 250,000 bpd and 500,000 bpd.

The oil industry has for some years used tanker-tracking to work out actual supplies in the absence of timely official information. While easier than in the past due to satellite information, tanker tracking is not an exact science.

Tankers loading Iranian crude sometimes switch off their AIS signal, an automatic tracking system used on ships, only to switch it back on at a later stage of their journey, according to oil industry sources, making it harder to see actual volumes.

Still, there is general agreement that crude shipments have dropped from at least 2.5 million bpd in April 2018, the month before President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the nuclear deal.

 

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Iran stays within nuclear deal's main limits while testing another
May 31, 2019
Francois Murphy

VIENNA (Reuters) - Iran has stayed within the main restrictions of its nuclear deal, a quarterly report by the U.N. atomic watchdog indicated on Friday, at a time when Tehran is threatening to break the rules in future in response to new U.S. sanctions.


The report found that Iran was abiding by the main terms of its 2015 deal with world powers, including the most sensitive issues of its stockpile of enriched uranium and level of enrichment.

The report did however flag up questions about the number of advanced centrifuges Iran is allowed, which is loosely defined in the deal.

A year after Washington abandoned the landmark deal, which curbed Tehran’s nuclear program in return for the lifting of sanctions, European powers are trying to keep it in place.

The report by the International Atomic Energy Agency comes at a particularly sensitive time, with Washington having sharply tightened sanctions on Tehran this month, and Iran threatening to take steps in response that could eventually bring it out of compliance with the pact.


The administration of President Donald Trump says the deal negotiated by his predecessor Barack Obama does not go far enough to curb Iran’s nuclear and missile programs.

After reintroducing sanctions last year, the Trump administration has ordered all countries to halt all imports of Iranian oil from this month. Tehran has responded by threatening to increase its enrichment of uranium, although it says it has not violated the agreement so far.

Washington has also raised the prospect of military confrontation in recent weeks, blaming Iran for attacks on oil tankers and announcing the deployment of extra forces to the Gulf. Iran denies any link to attacks on shipping and says the U.S. military moves are “psychological warfare”.

The IAEA report said its staff had access “to all the sites and locations in Iran which it needed to visit”.

Inspectors found that Iran’s stock of enriched uranium was well below the limit set by the deal, as of May 20. That last date covered by the report is also the day Iran said it had increased the rate at which it enriches uranium, meaning any acceleration will appear only in the next report.


The IAEA said Iran had installed 33 advanced IR-6 centrifuges, machines that can enrich uranium, although only 10 had been tested with uranium feedstock so far. The deal allows Iran to test up to 30, but only after 8 1/2 years have passed. The limit before then is a “grey area”, diplomats say.

“Technical discussions in relation to the IR-6 centrifuges are ongoing,” the report said. A senior diplomat, asked about the nature of those discussions, declined to elaborate.

While Iran has stayed within the deal’s main limits over the past three years, it has breached a cap on its heavy water stock within the first year, although this is acknowledged by diplomats as a comparatively minor issue. Diplomats also say it has dragged its feet on allowing access to some sites, without explicitly violating the requirements of the deal.

Reporting by Francois Murphy; Editing by Peter Graff



 

Scorpion

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As of Iran does not have secret underground nuclear facilities. The international community has to wake up and smell the coffee. Iran is a de facto nuclear capable country. Now time for Saudi Arabia to follow suit.
 

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The report did however flag up questions about the number of advanced centrifuges Iran is allowed, which is loosely defined in the deal.

The IAEA said Iran had installed 33 advanced IR-6 centrifuges, machines that can enrich uranium, although only 10 had been tested with uranium feedstock so far. The deal allows Iran to test up to 30, but only after 8 1/2 years have passed. The limit before then is a “grey area”, diplomats say.
This is not mentioned as an issue in the report, but argued to be an inconsistent by the "good ISIS" (pdf of their article on that here: http://isis-online.org/uploads/isis-reports/documents/IAEA_Iran_Report_Analysis_31May2019_Final.pdf).

The "good ISIS" are disliked in the scientific community for having a political bias.

For example the ISIS report says:

"This number of deployed [IR-6] centrifuges [33] is far in excess of what is a reasonable interpretation of the deployment rate implied in Iran’s long-term enrichment plan, which stipulates:

Between years 1 to 8 and a half (of the JCPOA)…[Iran will] continue the testing of the IR6 on single centrifuges and intermediate cascades (testing with uranium of roughly 10 centrifuges and then roughly 20 centrifuges, with each of these groups being tested with uranium for approximately equal time periods.

The IAEA appears unable to state that Iran remains within a reasonable interpretation of the limits of this provision, since it is above even the limit of 30 IR-6 centrifuges that it may operate starting in year 8 or 8.5"
To me, I don't see an inconsistency as only 10 have been tested with uranium, which is exactly what the limit they quote says Iran can do.

The bigger issue is IR-8 centrifuges. Salehi recently said Iran had installed 3 of these (up from 1 - which was accepted to be permitted), but I'm not sure what the relevant limit on that is. IR-8 centrifuges have been tested for over 3 years now, and normally they take 7-10 years to be tested etc and enter mass production. The IR-8 centrifuges are 20x more efficient than the IR-1 centrifuges that Iran currently operates, meaning that in about 5 years time Iran's break-out capability will basically be ensured [Iran is not allowed to install more advanced centrifuges until 2024 under the JCPOA, so that is good timing...).
 

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Iran Sentences Journalist to 2 Years in Jail
Sunday, 2 June, 2019


Iranian Journalist Masoud Kazemi. File photo

Asharq Al-Awsat

Iran’s judiciary on Sunday sentenced a journalist to two years in jail for “spreading misinformation” and “insulting” the country’s supreme leader and authorities, his lawyer told state media.

Masoud Kazemi was also banned from “media activities” for two years, the lawyer Ali Mojtahedzadeh said, quoted by the official news agency IRNA.

The report did not specify the cause of the charges against Kazemi.

State-run Iran newspaper reported on May 23 that he had been arrested the day before.

The journalist was a reporter for the reformist daily Shargh and also the editor-in-chief of Seda-ye Parsi monthly magazine, the semi-official ISNA news agency reported.

Before the trial, the court set bail at 10 billion rials (about $74,000 at the current open market rate) in the case over charges of "conspiring against national security", the lawyer said.

"Fortunately this charge was dropped during the trial... (and) considering the current charges in the indictment we hope the bail is reduced and he can be freed," Mojtahedzadeh added.

Another journalist, Pouyan Khoshhal, was arrested in October over "insults" against Imam Hussein.

And in August journalist Mir Mohammad Mir-Esmaili was sentenced to 10 years in prison over insulting Imam Reza.

 

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Iran Sentences Journalist to 2 Years in Jail
Sunday, 2 June, 2019



Iranian Journalist Masoud Kazemi. File photo

Asharq Al-Awsat

Iran’s judiciary on Sunday sentenced a journalist to two years in jail for “spreading misinformation” and “insulting” the country’s supreme leader and authorities, his lawyer told state media.

Masoud Kazemi was also banned from “media activities” for two years, the lawyer Ali Mojtahedzadeh said, quoted by the official news agency IRNA.

The report did not specify the cause of the charges against Kazemi.

State-run Iran newspaper reported on May 23 that he had been arrested the day before.

The journalist was a reporter for the reformist daily Shargh and also the editor-in-chief of Seda-ye Parsi monthly magazine, the semi-official ISNA news agency reported.

Before the trial, the court set bail at 10 billion rials (about $74,000 at the current open market rate) in the case over charges of "conspiring against national security", the lawyer said.

"Fortunately this charge was dropped during the trial... (and) considering the current charges in the indictment we hope the bail is reduced and he can be freed," Mojtahedzadeh added.

Another journalist, Pouyan Khoshhal, was arrested in October over "insults" against Imam Hussein.

And in August journalist Mir Mohammad Mir-Esmaili was sentenced to 10 years in prison over insulting Imam Reza.

Iran Sentences Journalist to 2 Years in Jail

 

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Iran Agrees to Free Nizar Zakka
Wednesday, 5 June, 2019


File photo of Nizar Zakka

Beirut - Asharq Al-Awsat

Iranian authorities have informed Lebanon that they have agreed to release Nizar Zakka, a Lebanese man who has been imprisoned there since 2015.

In a statement, the Lebanese Foreign Ministry said it has been contacted by the Iranian ambassador in Beirut who said authorities have agreed to set Zakka free, based on a request by President Michel Aoun.

According to the statement, after Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil relayed the news to Aoun, the president requested General Security chief Maj. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim to “carry out the mission (to extradite Zakka) in coordination with the Lebanese embassy in Tehran.”

Zakka, who also has permanent US residency, is accused in Iran of having "deep links" to US intelligence services, a charge the family denies.

The information technology expert was sentenced to 10 years in prison in September 2016 after a security court convicted him of espionage and fined him $4.2 million.

A statement released by Ziad Zakka, Nizar’s brother, confirmed the “imminent liberation of our brother Nizar Zakka after three years and nine months held in Iranian jail.”

 

Scorpion

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They got him brainwashed and sent him over to server Hizbollah.
 

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Ex-CIA chief: Iran won’t change owing to ‘culture of resistance’

TEHRAN – Former CIA director John Brennan has criticized the Trump administration’s policies toward Tehran, saying the Iranians will not change their behavior because of their “culture of resistance”.

In an interview with The Irish Times newspaper published on Saturday, Brennan said the threat of war between Washington and Tehran has appeared to increase in recent weeks amid signs of increased U.S. activity in the region.

John Brennan calls Bolton and Pompeo “Iran zealots”.

“The United States has gone down this cul de sac with Iran, by putting pressure on the regime, in the false belief that they will change. It’s a culture of resistance in Iran,” he said, describing U.S. national security adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as “Iran zealots”.

“By reneging on the Iran nuclear deal, by designating the IRGC (Islamic Revolution Guards Corps) as a terrorist organization, by tightening sanctions on Iran and forcing European parties to the agreement to renege on their obligations, the perception in Iran is that the Trump administration ultimately wants to overthrow the regime.”

 

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German minister upbeat on Iran trade vehicle before Rouhani talks
June 10, 2019
Sabine Siebold

7783


TEHRAN (Reuters) - All the formal requirements for a European payment system for barter-based trade with Iran designed to circumvent U.S. sanctions are now in place and it should be operational soon, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in Tehran on Monday.

Maas is in Iran to meet President Hassan Rouhani and his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, as part of a European effort to salvage Iran’s nuclear pact with world powers and defuse rising U.S.-Iranian tension.

“This is an instrument of a new kind, so it’s not straightforward to operationalize it,” Maas told reporters.

“But all the formal requirements are in place now, and so I’m assuming we’ll be ready to use it in the foreseeable future.”

In an effort to protect at least some of Iran’s economy from sweeping U.S. sanctions and keep alive a nuclear deal after Washington quit, France, Britain and Germany have set up a special-purpose vehicle called Instex.


The three European Union members have been trying to get Iran to keep its commitments under the deal to cut back its nuclear program - which Washington distrusts - by helping it to circumvent the trade sanctions Washington has reimposed.

They want Instex to meet norms for legitimate financing set by the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force, even though Iran as a country is not yet fully compliant with them.

On a weekend stopover in Iraq en route to Tehran, Maas warned of the dangers that conflict with Iran posed for the entire Middle East, saying the Europeans were convinced it was worth trying to keep the nuclear pact with Iran.

A spokesman of the Iranian Foreign Ministry criticized the European signatories of its 2015 nuclear deal for failing to salvage the pact after President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of it last year and reimposed sanctions, state television reported.

“So far, we have not seen practical and tangible steps from the Europeans to guarantee Iran’s interests ... Tehran will not discuss any issue beyond the nuclear deal,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said.


Trump condemned the accord, signed by his predecessor Barack Obama, as flawed for not being permanent and for not covering Iran’s ballistic missile program or its role in conflicts around the Middle East.

The European signatories to the deal - France, Britain and Germany - have been trying to save it but share the same concerns as the United States over Iran’s ballistic missile development and regional activities.

“The EU is not in a position to question Iran’s issues beyond the nuclear deal,” Mousavi said.

Writing by Michael Nienaber in Berlin and Parisa Hafezi in Dubai; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky

 

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German minister upbeat on Iran trade vehicle before Rouhani talks
June 10, 2019
Sabine Siebold

View attachment 7783

TEHRAN (Reuters) - All the formal requirements for a European payment system for barter-based trade with Iran designed to circumvent U.S. sanctions are now in place and it should be operational soon, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in Tehran on Monday.

Maas is in Iran to meet President Hassan Rouhani and his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, as part of a European effort to salvage Iran’s nuclear pact with world powers and defuse rising U.S.-Iranian tension.

“This is an instrument of a new kind, so it’s not straightforward to operationalize it,” Maas told reporters.

“But all the formal requirements are in place now, and so I’m assuming we’ll be ready to use it in the foreseeable future.”

In an effort to protect at least some of Iran’s economy from sweeping U.S. sanctions and keep alive a nuclear deal after Washington quit, France, Britain and Germany have set up a special-purpose vehicle called Instex.


The three European Union members have been trying to get Iran to keep its commitments under the deal to cut back its nuclear program - which Washington distrusts - by helping it to circumvent the trade sanctions Washington has reimposed.

They want Instex to meet norms for legitimate financing set by the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force, even though Iran as a country is not yet fully compliant with them.

On a weekend stopover in Iraq en route to Tehran, Maas warned of the dangers that conflict with Iran posed for the entire Middle East, saying the Europeans were convinced it was worth trying to keep the nuclear pact with Iran.

A spokesman of the Iranian Foreign Ministry criticized the European signatories of its 2015 nuclear deal for failing to salvage the pact after President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of it last year and reimposed sanctions, state television reported.

“So far, we have not seen practical and tangible steps from the Europeans to guarantee Iran’s interests ... Tehran will not discuss any issue beyond the nuclear deal,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said.


Trump condemned the accord, signed by his predecessor Barack Obama, as flawed for not being permanent and for not covering Iran’s ballistic missile program or its role in conflicts around the Middle East.

The European signatories to the deal - France, Britain and Germany - have been trying to save it but share the same concerns as the United States over Iran’s ballistic missile development and regional activities.

“The EU is not in a position to question Iran’s issues beyond the nuclear deal,” Mousavi said.

Writing by Michael Nienaber in Berlin and Parisa Hafezi in Dubai; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky

 

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IAEA chief worried about rising tension over Iran nuclear issue
10 June 2019

View attachment 7787
FILE PHOTO: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Yukiya Amano addresses a news conference during a board of governors meeting at the IAEA headquarters in Vienna, Austria March 4, 2019. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

VIENNA (Reuters) - The U.N. atomic watchdog’s chief said on Monday he was worried about rising tensions over Iran’s nuclear program and called for de-escalation through dialogue, departing from his usual guarded language on the country.

Washington has ratcheted up pressure on Tehran over what it sees as its nefarious role in the region. It has tightened already punishing economic sanctions, and deployed an aircraft carrier and other extra hardware to the Middle East in response to what it said was a threat from Iran.

Tehran has responded by threatening to abandon some of the restrictions on its nuclear activities imposed by its landmark 2015 deal with major powers, which also lifted international sanctions against the country.

“I am worried about increasing tensions over the Iranian nuclear issue,” International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano said in a speech to a meeting of the IAEA’s 35-nation Board of Governors, one of its main decision-making bodies.

The United States pulled out of the 2015 deal - the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action - a year ago and reinstated its sanctions. European powers are scrambling to do what little they can to protect Iranian oil sales and other trade.

Amano said he hoped “that ways can be found to reduce current tensions through dialogue. It is essential that Iran fully implements its nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA.”

Reporting by Francois Murphy; Editing by John Stonestreet and Raissa Kasolowsky

 

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