Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the US must return to a 2015 multilateral nuclear agreement and end its economic terrorism against the Islamic Republic as a prerequisite for negotiations. “The United States is engaged in an economic war against the Iranian people and it won’t be possible for us to engage with the United States unless they stop imposing a war and engaging in economic terrorism against the Iranian people,” Javad Zarif told reporters in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, on Thursday. “So if they want to come back into the room there is a ticket that they need to purchase and that ticket is to observe the agreement,” he added. Zarif also stressed that Iran does not want to meet for the sake of meeting, saying, “We need to meet if there is a result.” He made the remarks days after French President Emmanuel Macron expressed hopes for a meeting between President Hassan Rouhani of Iran and his American counterpart, Donald Trump, “in the next few weeks.” Rouhani, however, rejected any such talks under pressure, urging the US to lift all its “cruel” bans and begin respecting the nation’s rights as a “first step” towards dialog. The nuclear deal — officially named the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) — was signed between Iran and six world states — namely the US, Germany, France, Britain, Russia and China. Washington, however, left the accord last May, leaving the future of the historic deal in limbo. Critical of Washington’s
Kenya is urging the UN to list Al-Shabaab under the same sanctions as Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State, but foreign donors say the move could leave millions in drought-stricken Somalia without aid. The proposed listing — which could take effect as soon as Thursday — comes at a critical time in Somalia, where 2.2 million people, or nearly 18 percent of the population, face the risk of severe hunger. Al-Shabaab is already targeted under broader sanctions imposed by the United Nations on Somalia, which is heavily aid-dependent after three decades of conflict and economic ruin. Right now, UN agencies and humanitarian organisations are exempt from these sanctions, which enables them to deliver urgent aid without prosecution when they venture into territory controlled by Al-Shabaab. But Kenya wants to tighten the screws on the jihadist group after several deadly attacks on its soil, and the sanctions regime it proposes would remove that safeguard. “A measure like this will have the effect of criminalising humanitarian aid,” Eric Schwartz, president of Refugees International, told AFP. “Any measure that would impact the current provision of aid would have extremely serious and substantial implications.” If no member state objects before August 29 the Al-Shabaab listing under Security Council resolution 1267 will take immediate effect. Hundreds of millions of aid dollars for Somalia will then be thrown into doubt. In some cases, foreign donors said they may need to freeze payments for up to a year as they consider how to comply with the new sanctions,
Three days after the U.S. and North Korean leaders held their historic third meeting, North Korea’s U.N. Mission accused the Trump administration Wednesday of talking about dialogue but being “more and more hell-bent” on hostile acts. A press statement from the mission pointed a finger at U.S. efforts to exert “overt pressure” and have the world’s nations implement U.N. sanctions. First, it said, the U.S. and 23 other countries sent a letter to the U.N. Security Council committee monitoring sanctions on North Korea demanding urgent action “under the absurd pretext of ‘excess in the amount of refined petroleum imported.’” The United States and the other countries accused the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea, or DPRK, of violating U.N. sanctions by importing far more than the annual limit of 500,000 barrels of refined petroleum products, which are key for its economy. But last month Russia and China blocked the sanctions committee from declaring that Pyongyang breached the annual import limit. The mission said the United States, Britain, France and Germany then circulated a joint letter to all U.N. member states on June 29 “calling for repatriation of the DPRK workers abroad, thus inciting an atmosphere of sanctions and pressure against the DPRK.” It added that not only does this speak “to the reality that the United States is practically more and more hell-bent on the hostile acts against the DPRK, though talking about the DPRK-U.S. dialogue,” but the letter was sent by the U.S. Mission “under the instruction of the
Turkey and the United States have been at odds on several fronts including Ankara’s decision to buy the S-400s, which cannot be integrated into NATO systems. Washington says it would jeopardise Turkey’s role in building Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jets, which it says would be compromised by S-400s.
The U.S. said Thursday that it has seized a North Korean cargo ship that was used to violate international sanctions, a first-of-its kind enforcement action that comes amid a tense moment in relations between the two countries.
The "Wise Honest," North Korea's second largest cargo ship, was detained in April 2018 as it traveled toward Indonesia. It's now in the process of being moved to American Samoa, Justice Department officials said.
Officials made the announcement hours after North Korea fired two suspected short-range missiles toward the sea, the second weapons launch in five days and a possible signal that stalled talks over its nuclear weapons program are in trouble. The public disclosure that the vessel is now in U.S. custody may further inflame tensions, though U.S. officials said the timing of their complaint was not a response to the missile launch.
“We do not believe any result can be reached with sanctions. I think meaningful dialogue and talks are more useful than sanctions. Not only neighboring countries but many countries from many regions of the world are being impacted by these unilateral sanctions,” Turkey foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said.
Barbara Slavin, an Iran expert at the Washington-based Atlantic Council said: “This is not 2012 when the world was united behind sanctions against Iran. The US has had some success in terms of frightening away major corporations. The sanctions hurt a lot. But Iran is still going to be able to sell oil.”
In a victory for Tehran against Washington, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has ordered the United States to halt the unilateral sanctions it recently re-imposed on “humanitarian” supplies to Iran. The Hague-based court, which is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, announced its ruling on Wednesday regarding the July lawsuit brought by Tehran against Washington’s decision to re-impose unilateral sanctions following the US exit from the the 2015 nuclear deal.