Tag Archives: Iran

Iran calls for calm after water protests, clashes

Iran calls for calm after water protests, clashesIran called for calm on Sunday after protests in a southern city over water shortages turned violent overnight with reports of police shooting at demonstrators who attacked banks and public buildings. “No one has been killed in the unrest and just one person has been wounded in a shooting,” said Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli, quoted by the state news agency IRNA. “Our effort is to bring these protests to an end as soon as possible with restraint from police and the cooperation of authorities, but if the opposite happens, the judiciary and law enforcement forces will carry out their duties,” Rahmani Fazli was quoted as saying.



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John Kerry talks Trump-Putin meeting, Iran, North Korea

John Kerry talks Trump-Putin meeting, Iran, North KoreaAndrea Mitchell joins Former Secretary of State John Kerry to discuss the planned summit between President Trump and Vladimir Putin.



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U.S. pushes allies to halt Iran oil imports, waivers unlikely

U.S. pushes allies to halt Iran oil imports, waivers unlikelyBy Lesley Wroughton and Doina Chiacu WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States has told countries to cut all imports of Iranian oil from November and is unlikely to offer any exemptions, a senior State Department official said on Tuesday as the Trump administration ramps up pressure on allies to cut off funding to Iran. U.S. President Donald Trump in May said his administration was withdrawing from the “defective” nuclear deal agreed between Iran and six world powers in July 2015, aimed at curbing Tehran’s nuclear capabilities in exchange for the lifting of some sanctions, and ordered the reimposition of U.S. sanctions against Tehran that were suspended under the accord. “Yes, we are asking them to go to zero,” the official said when asked if the United States was pushing allies, including China and India, to cut oil imports to zero by November.



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Iran says it can handle fresh sanctions amid national strike

Iran says it can handle fresh sanctions amid national strikePresident Hassan Rouhani promised Iranians on Tuesday the government would be able to handle the economic pressure of new U.S. sanctions amid a second day of demonstrations in protest at financial hardship and a weakening rial. Parts of Tehran’s Grand Bazaar were on strike for the second day running, state media reported, after traders massed outside parliament on Monday to complain about a sharp fall in the value of the national currency. Video footage posted on social media showed protesters setting fire to garbage dumpsters in Tehran streets to block riot police from attacking them.



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Former Israeli government minister charged with spying for Iran

Former Israeli government minister charged with spying for IranA former Israeli government minister, once imprisoned for trying to smuggle drugs, is back behind bars after being charged with spying for archenemy Iran, the country's internal security agency said Monday. The Shin Bet, the Israeli security agency, said Gonen Segev was extradited from Guinea and arrested upon arrival in Israel last month on suspicion of "committing offenses of assisting the enemy in war and spying against the state of Israel." It said Mr Segev, a former energy minister, acted as an agent for Iranian intelligence and relayed information "connected to the energy market and security sites in Israel including buildings and officials in political and security organizations." Lawyers representing Mr Segev issued a statement that did not reject or accept the accusations, only saying that the indictment "portrays a different picture" than what the Shin Bet says. Mr Segev, who served in the Cabinet under Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in the mid-1990s, was arrested in 2004 for attempting to smuggle 32,000 Ecstasy tablets from the Netherlands to Israel using an expired diplomatic passport.  Former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin speaks with former energy minister Gonen Segev Credit: REUTERS/GPO A former doctor whose medical license was revoked, Mr Segev was released from prison in 2007 and had been living in Africa in recent years. The Shin Bet said Mr Segev met with his operators twice in Iran, and also met with Iranian agents in hotels and apartments around the world. Mr Segev was given a "secret communications system to encrypt messages" with his operators. The statement said that Mr Segev maintained connections with Israeli civilians who had ties to the country's security and foreign relations. It said he acted to connect them with Iranian agents who posed as businessmen. Israel and Iran are bitter enemies, and the allegations against Mr Segev are extremely grave. Israel considers Iran to be its biggest threat, citing Iranian calls for Israel's destruction, Iran's support for hostile militant groups like Hezbollah and its development of long-range missiles.



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An Economist’s Fix to the Iran Deal

An Economist’s Fix to the Iran DealThe new sanctions regime would give much less leeway for Iran to act like a rogue state. In his speech at the Heritage Foundation, the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo set out clear conditions under which the United States would lift its sanctions against Iran. After the withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the thrust of U.S. strategy seems to consist of building up the pressure of re-imposed sanctions to change Iran’s behavior.



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Iran could unleash new refugee wave, Netanyahu tells Berlin

Iran could unleash new refugee wave, Netanyahu tells BerlinIran’s activities across the Middle East threaten to drive another wave of refugees to Europe, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said after talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday. Netanyahu, on a tour to persuade European countries to follow the U.S. administration of Donald Trump in tearing up a nuclear non-proliferation deal with Iran, said the country was using proceeds from eased sanctions to finance conflict. Iran wanted to expand and deploy Shi’ite militias it commanded to convert Muslims from the Sunni branch of Islam, he said at a joint news conference with Merkel.



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Iran tells UN of plan to enrich uranium in response to US withdrawal from nuclear deal

Iran tells UN of plan to enrich uranium in response to US withdrawal from nuclear dealA war of words between Israel and Iran escalated on Tuesday after Tehran informed the UN’s nuclear watchdog it was beginning the process of increasing its capacity to enrich uranium. Yisrael Katz, Israel's intelligence minister, called for a military coalition against Iran if the Islamic Republic was to defy the world powers who signed a nuclear deal with Iran. "If the Iranians don't surrender now, and try to return" to unsupervised uranium enrichment, "there should be a clear statement by the President of the United States and all of the Western coalition," he said. The message should be that "if the Iranians return" to enriching uranium that could enable them to build a nuclear bomb, "a military coalition will be formed against them," Mr Katz told Israeli public radio. Technicians of Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation in a control room supervise resumption of activities at the Uranium Conversion Facility in Isfahan, Iran Credit: Reuters Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's ultimate authority, said on Monday he had ordered preparations to increase uranium enrichment capacity if a 2015 nuclear deal falls apart after the US withdrawal from it last month. Under the agreement with the US, France, Germany, Britain, Russia and China, Iran strictly limited uranium enrichment capacity to satisfy the powers that it could not be used to develop atomic bombs. In return the Islamic Republic saw a partial lifting of US and international sanctions. Tehran is permitted to increase its enrichment efficiency by the end of the next decade just before the deal is set to expire. But speeding up preparations now could allow Iran to ramp up production more quickly after that date.  Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of Iran’s atomic energy organisation, said work had begun on the infrastructure for building advanced centrifuges at Natanz facility. Mr Salehi said they would remain within the framework of the 2015 accord but that it marked an increase in the pace of the nuclear programme. Diplomats told the Telegraph they viewed it as a “warning shot” to Europe. “Following a first assessment, the announced steps per se are not a violation of the JCPOA (the acronym for the accord),” said a spokesman for Federica Mogherini, European Union policy chief. “However, at this particularly critical juncture, they will not contribute to build confidence in the nature of the Iranian nuclear programme.” German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu joint press conference in Berlin Credit: Getty Iranian authorities have said that if the European countries failed to keep the pact alive, Tehran had several options, including resuming its 20 percent uranium enrichment.  Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's prime minister, yesterday began a three-tour of Europe with the aim of convincing the signoratories to back out of the accord and support his push for tighter measures on Tehran. During a meeting with Angela Merkel, Germany's chancellor, in Berlin she said that while she had concerns about the 2015 deal it remained the best option available to prevent an arms race in the region.  Mr Netanyahu is to meet Emmanuel Macron, France's president, in Paris, later today and Theresa May tomorrow. 



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Israel calls for 'military coalition' if Iran boosts enrichment

Israel calls for 'military coalition' if Iran boosts enrichmentIsrael’s intelligence minister called Tuesday for a military coalition against Iran if the Islamic Republic were to defy world powers by enriching military-grade uranium. Yisrael Katz’s remarks came as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu began visiting European leaders to discuss Iran’s regional involvement and nuclear programme, both seen by the Jewish state as grave threats. European powers have been scrambling to preserve a landmark deal over Tehran’s nuclear programme since US President Donald Trump announced Washington’s withdrawal from the treaty in May.



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Netanyahu heads to Europe with Iran on his mind

Netanyahu heads to Europe with Iran on his mindJERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu heads to Europe this week in a bid to rally support from key allies for amending the international nuclear deal with Iran and for pushing Iranian forces out of neighboring Syria.



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