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Iranian Affairs

Gripen9

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BATMAN

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His last public appearance was recorded on 24th November, wearing a mask.
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BATMAN

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I read in news, Houthis declared by US as FTO foreign terrorist organization.
can any one confirm it?
 

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Iran rejects ending 20% enrichment before U.S. lifts sanctions-state TV

By Reuters Staff
March 27, 2021
3:16 AM
Updated 2 hours ago

(Reuters) -Iran will not stop its 20% uranium enrichment before the United States lifts all sanctions, Iranian state TV quoted an unnamed official as saying on Tuesday, after a U.S. media report said Washington would offer a new proposal to jump-start talks.

The Biden administration has been seeking to engage Iran in talks about both sides resuming compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal. The agreement removed economic sanctions on Tehran in return for curbs on Iran’s nuclear programme to make it harder to develop a nuclear weapon - an ambition Tehran denies.

“A senior Iranian official tells Press TV that Tehran will stop its 20-percent uranium enrichment only if the U.S. lifts ALL its sanctions on Iran first,” state-run Press TV said on its website.

“The official said Tehran will further reduce its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal if the U.S. does not lift all sanctions, warning that Washington is rapidly running out of time,” it added.

Separately, Iran’s United Nations mission tweeted: “No proposal is needed for the U.S. to rejoin the JCPOA (nuclear agreement). It only requires a political decision by the U.S. to fully and immediately implement all of its obligations under the accord...”

Politico earlier reported a U.S. proposal, the details of which it said are still being worked out, would ask Iran to halt some of its nuclear activities, such as work on advanced centrifuges and the enrichment of uranium to 20% purity, in exchange for some relief from U.S. economic sanctions.

U.S. President Joe Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, withdrew from the deal in 2018 and reimposed U.S. sanctions.

Iran, after waiting more than a year, retaliated by violating some of the pact’s nuclear restrictions, including a 3.67% limit on the purity to which it can enrich uranium.

The odds any progress to revive the deal before Iran holds a presidential election in June have dwindled after Tehran opted to take a tougher stance before returning to talks, officials have said.
 

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U.S. open to discussing wider nuclear deal road map if Iran wishes

By John Irish, Arshad Mohammed
March 31, 2021

PARIS (Reuters) - Efforts to sketch out initial U.S. and Iranian steps to resume compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal have stalled and Western officials believe Iran may now wish to discuss a wider road map to revive the pact, something Washington is willing to do.

U.S. President Joe Biden’s aides initially believed Iran, with which they have not had direct discussions, wanted to talk about first steps toward a revival of the agreement that Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, abandoned in 2018.

The agreement eased economic sanctions on Tehran in return for curbs to the Iranian nuclear program designed to make it harder to develop an atomic weapon - an ambition Tehran denies.

Three Western officials said the Biden administration and Iran had mainly communicated indirectly via European parties to the deal - Britain, France and Germany - and that they believe Iran now wants to discuss a broader plan to return to the pact.

“What we had heard was that they were interested first in a series of initial steps, and so we were exchanging ideas on a series of initial steps” said a U.S. official who, like others cited in this story, spoke on condition of anonymity.

“It sounds from what we are hearing publicly now, and through other means, that they may be ... not interested in (discussing) initial steps but in a road map for return to full compliance,” he said.

“If that’s what Iran wants to talk about, we are happy to talk about it,” the U.S. official added.


It is not clear, however, whether that is Iran’s stance.

Iran’s nuclear policy is ultimately determined by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who said flatly on March 21 that “the Americans must lift all sanctions” before Tehran would resume compliance.

“If sanctions are ... really canceled, we will return to our obligations without any problems,” Khamenei said. “We have a lot of patience and we are not in a hurry.”

‘NOT IN A RUSH’

Biden aides originally said that if Iran resumed compliance, the United States would too - a stance taken to mean Washington wanted Tehran to resume compliance first - but have since made clear that who goes first is not an issue.

While the Biden administration has also sought to project that it is in no hurry, it faces the reality that if there is no progress in April toward reviving the deal, Iranian officials in May will begin intense politicking for the June 18 presidential election.

“They are going to get into election period in about a month or so, but that’s not the end of the world for us,” said one Western diplomat. “We are making offers and they are making offers. It’s a slow process, but that’s OK. We’re not in a rush.”

Tehran rejected a report in the U.S. publication Politico saying Washington planned this week to put forth a new proposal that would ask Iran to halt work on advanced centrifuges and the enrichment of uranium to 20% purity in return for undefined U.S. sanctions relief.

“No proposal is needed for the US to rejoin the JCPOA,” the Iranian mission to the United Nations said on Twitter, referring to the deal formally named the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. “It only requires a political decision by the US to fully and immediately implement all of its obligations.”

It remains unclear whether Iran actually wants to engage, albeit indirectly, with the United States now or whether the supreme leader prefers to wait until after the election.

“I think there’s a fair bit of ambivalence from the supreme leader about rushing things,” said Henry Rome of the Eurasia Group.

Reporting by John Irish in Paris and Arshad Mohammed in St. Paul, Minnesota; Writing by Arshad Mohammed; Editing by Mary Milliken and Peter Cooney
 

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U.S. open to discussing wider nuclear deal road map if Iran wishes

By John Irish, Arshad Mohammed
March 31, 2021

PARIS (Reuters) - Efforts to sketch out initial U.S. and Iranian steps to resume compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal have stalled and Western officials believe Iran may now wish to discuss a wider road map to revive the pact, something Washington is willing to do.

U.S. President Joe Biden’s aides initially believed Iran, with which they have not had direct discussions, wanted to talk about first steps toward a revival of the agreement that Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, abandoned in 2018.

The agreement eased economic sanctions on Tehran in return for curbs to the Iranian nuclear program designed to make it harder to develop an atomic weapon - an ambition Tehran denies.

Three Western officials said the Biden administration and Iran had mainly communicated indirectly via European parties to the deal - Britain, France and Germany - and that they believe Iran now wants to discuss a broader plan to return to the pact.

“What we had heard was that they were interested first in a series of initial steps, and so we were exchanging ideas on a series of initial steps” said a U.S. official who, like others cited in this story, spoke on condition of anonymity.

“It sounds from what we are hearing publicly now, and through other means, that they may be ... not interested in (discussing) initial steps but in a road map for return to full compliance,” he said.

“If that’s what Iran wants to talk about, we are happy to talk about it,” the U.S. official added.


It is not clear, however, whether that is Iran’s stance.

Iran’s nuclear policy is ultimately determined by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who said flatly on March 21 that “the Americans must lift all sanctions” before Tehran would resume compliance.

“If sanctions are ... really canceled, we will return to our obligations without any problems,” Khamenei said. “We have a lot of patience and we are not in a hurry.”

‘NOT IN A RUSH’

Biden aides originally said that if Iran resumed compliance, the United States would too - a stance taken to mean Washington wanted Tehran to resume compliance first - but have since made clear that who goes first is not an issue.

While the Biden administration has also sought to project that it is in no hurry, it faces the reality that if there is no progress in April toward reviving the deal, Iranian officials in May will begin intense politicking for the June 18 presidential election.

“They are going to get into election period in about a month or so, but that’s not the end of the world for us,” said one Western diplomat. “We are making offers and they are making offers. It’s a slow process, but that’s OK. We’re not in a rush.”

Tehran rejected a report in the U.S. publication Politico saying Washington planned this week to put forth a new proposal that would ask Iran to halt work on advanced centrifuges and the enrichment of uranium to 20% purity in return for undefined U.S. sanctions relief.

“No proposal is needed for the US to rejoin the JCPOA,” the Iranian mission to the United Nations said on Twitter, referring to the deal formally named the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. “It only requires a political decision by the US to fully and immediately implement all of its obligations.”

It remains unclear whether Iran actually wants to engage, albeit indirectly, with the United States now or whether the supreme leader prefers to wait until after the election.

“I think there’s a fair bit of ambivalence from the supreme leader about rushing things,” said Henry Rome of the Eurasia Group.

Reporting by John Irish in Paris and Arshad Mohammed in St. Paul, Minnesota; Writing by Arshad Mohammed; Editing by Mary Milliken and Peter Cooney
This highlights one of the prime failings of democracy concerning international relations.

You have 5 years to deliver something that your successor can undo in a matter of weeks. While your foreign proponents can simply wait things out.
 

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US ‘remains open’ to direct talks with Iran next week: State Department

Updated: 02 April ,2021

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Next week’s talks in Vienna to discuss the now-defunct Iran nuclear deal will not see direct meetings between officials from the US and Tehran, but a State Department official said Friday that Washington remained “open to them.”

“We do not anticipate presently that there will be direct talks between the United States and Iran through this process, though the United States remains open to them,” State Department Spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.

Shortly after news broke that the US had agreed to an Iranian proposal to look at ways of a “mutual return” to compliance with the JCPOA, an acronym for the Iran nuclear deal, the State Department confirmed its agreement to participate in talks.

The talks will involve European countries, Russia and China.

“These remain early days, and we don’t anticipate an immediate breakthrough as there will be difficult discussions ahead. But we believe this is a healthy step forward,” Price said.

Price revealed that the talks set to begin in Austria on April 6 would focus on the “nuclear steps that Iran would need to take in order to return to compliance with the terms of the JCPOA, and the sanctions relief steps that the United States would need to take in order to return to compliance as well.”

Since President Joe Biden took office, Washington has said that it would lift sanctions imposed by the Trump administration only after Iran returned to full compliance with the JCPOA.

But Iran has refused and said that the US withdrew from the deal, so it must act first.

The Biden administration has floated multiple proposals to Iran through intermediaries, only to have them all rejected.

Now, reports indicate that Iran has suggested a coordinated plan where both sides take simultaneous steps to return to the deal gradually.

One of those proposals involves Iran not producing 20 percent enriched uranium and halting work on its advanced centrifuges, according to media reports.

In return, the US would release at least $1 billion in frozen funds held up by sanctions. The US would also ease sanctions to allow for Iran to export more oil across the globe.

No mention was made of Iran’s ballistic missile program or its proxies, despite Biden administration officials saying they wanted “a longer, stronger deal.”

Later Friday, US Special Envoy for Iran Rob Malley tweeted about the talks.


Talks next week with European, Russian, and Chinese partners to discuss what Iran and the US need to do to resume compliance with the #JCPOA. This is a first step. Difficult discussions ahead but on the right path.
— Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley (@USEnvoyIran) April 2, 2021
“This is a first step. Difficult discussions ahead but on the right path,” he said.
 

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US, Iran to hold indirect nuclear deal talks in Vienna

Updated: 02 April ,2021

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Iran and the United States said on Friday they would hold indirect talks in Vienna from Tuesday as part of broader negotiations to revive the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and global powers.

Tehran has ruled out face-to-face bilateral discussions, but the presence of both Iran and the United States in the Austrian capital - welcomed by Washington as a "healthy step forward" - will help to focus efforts to bring all sides back into compliance with the accord.

The aim is to reach an agreement within two months, said a senior official with the European Union, the coordinator of the deal. Iran holds elections in June.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of the nuclear pact in 2018 and reimposed sanctions on Iran, prompting it to violate some of the accord's nuclear restrictions. His successor Joe Biden wants to revive the agreement but Washington and Tehran have been at odds over who should take the first step.

"Iran and the U.S. will be in the same town, but not the same room," a European diplomatic source said.

A Western diplomat said a shuttle diplomacy approach would be adopted.

U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said the talks would be structured around working groups that the EU is going to form with remaining participants, including Iran.

"We don't anticipate an immediate breakthrough as there will be difficult discussions ahead. But we believe this is a healthy step forward," he said in a statement, adding that Washington remained open to direct talks with Tehran.

White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the United States saw the indirect talks as potentially constructive but was clear-eyed about the diplomacy. She said the United States did not currently expect direct talks to take place, but remained open to them.

State Department spokeswoman Jalina Porter reiterated past calls for Iran to release all detained U.S. citizens, saying their safe return was a "top priority" for the United States.

The EU official said negotiating lists of sanctions that the United States could lift and nuclear obligations that Iran should meet, the EU official said "should marry at some point".

"In the end, we are approaching this in a parallel way. I do think we can do it in less than two months," the official said.

Iran, China, Russia, France, Germany and Britain - all parties to the 2015 deal - held virtual talks on Friday to see how to progress.

"Aim: Rapidly finalize sanction-lifting & nuclear measures for choreographed removal of all sanctions, followed by Iran ceasing remedial measures," Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Twitter. "No Iran-US meeting. Unnecessary."

Two diplomats said the first round of talks could last several days, followed by two or three subsequent rounds in the following weeks to tackle tricky issues.

Under the 2015 accord, U.S. and other economic sanctions on Tehran were removed in return for curbs on Iran's nuclear programme to make it harder to develop a nuclear weapon - an ambition Tehran denies.

Diplomats said last month that the odds of Washington and Tehran making progress to revive the deal before Iran's election had dwindled after Iran toughened its stance.

"If we don’t get there in two months ...it will be definitely bad news," the EU official said.
 

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Mine Blast Damages Iranian Ship In Red Sea Linked To IRGC

April 07, 2021
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A satellite photo shows the Iranian cargo ship Iran Saviz or MV Saviz in the Red Sea off the coast of Yemen on October 1, 2020.

An Iranian ship long anchored off Yemen and used by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has reportedly been damaged by an explosion in the Red Sea.

The hard-line Tasnim news agency, which is affiliated with the IRGC, reported late on April 6 that the vessel, a cargo-category ship identified as Iran Saviz or MV Saviz, was targeted on April 6 by a mine that was attached to it.

It said the ship “has been stationed in the Red Sea for the past few years to support Iranian commandos sent on commercial vessel [anti-piracy] escort missions."

A spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry on April 7 confirmed what it called an "attack" on the Saviz.

"The explosion occurred on Tuesday morning near the Djibouti coast and caused minor damage with no casualties. The vessel was a civilian ship stationed there to secure the region against pirates," Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said.

He added that the incident is "under investigation."
Earlier, Saudi broadcaster Al Arabiya quoted unidentified sources as saying the vessel was attacked off the coast of Eritrea and was affiliated with the IRGC.

Iranian officials did not immediately comment on the reports, which followed a reported series of attacks on Israeli- and Iranian-owned cargo ships since late February in which the two archenemies accused each other of responsibility.

But Iranian state television later tacitly acknowledged the incident, citing foreign media.

The New York Times cited IRGC-linked social-media accounts alleging that Israel had carried out the attack. The newspaper noted that Israel had not confirmed that information.

But it quoted an unidentified U.S. official as saying that Israel had informed the United States of its role after the early morning attack on April 6.
The incident comes amid years of naval skirmishes between Iranian, Israeli, and Western forces. But it also coincided with the start in Vienna hours later of tense international talks involving the United States, Iran, and other countries intended to revive the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal that Washington withdrew from nearly three years ago.

U.S. President Joe Biden took office in January with a commitment to revive that deal if Tehran returned to full compliance.

Iran has responded to the reimposition of crippling U.S. economic sanctions by gradually reducing its commitments under the accord.
Israel has been a strident critic of the JCPOA, which aimed to ease economic sanctions on Iran in return for curbs on Tehran’s disputed nuclear program.

"We must not go back to the dangerous nuclear deal with Iran, because a nuclear Iran is an existential threat to the state of Israel and a great threat to the security of the entire world,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told party colleagues on April 6 after being picked to form a government following inconclusive elections.

The Saviz was placed back under U.S. sanctions by Donald Trump's administration following the JCPOA withdrawal in 2018.

The U.S. military’s Central Command said it was “aware of media reporting of an incident involving the Saviz in the Red Sea," adding, “We can confirm that no U.S. forces were involved in the incident."

Representatives from Britain, China, France, Germany, and Russia met with Iranian officials in Vienna on April 6 in an effort to revive the deal.
Iranian and U.S. officials called the meetings "constructive."

With reporting by The New York Times, Tasnim, AP, and Reuters

 
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