Iran and world powers agree on ‘historic’ framework nuclear deal

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Updated 30 April 2015
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Iran and world powers agree on ‘historic’ framework nuclear deal

LUSANNE: Iran and world powers agreed Thursday on the framework of a potentially historic deal aimed at curbing Tehran’s nuclear drive after marathon talks in Switzerland. It marks a major breakthrough in a 12-year standoff between Iran and the West. US President Barack Obama welcomed the “historic understanding” with Iran but cautioned more work needed to be done. “If Iran cheats, the world will know it,” he said in a televised address from the White House. After eight days of talks that sometimes went through the night, Iran agreed to curtail its nuclear program in return for the lifting of punishing sanctions, said EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini. The main outlines agreed at the negotiations in the Swiss city of Lausanne now have to be finalized in a highly complex agreement by June 30. US Secretary of State John Kerry hailed a “big day,” saying on Twitter that the global powers and Iran “now have parameters to resolve major issues on nuclear program.


Libya’s Haftar says to fight until Tripoli ‘militias’ defeated

Updated 28 min 56 sec ago
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Libya’s Haftar says to fight until Tripoli ‘militias’ defeated

  • Haftar had justified the offensive last month by saying he was fighting against “private militias and extremist groups”
  • 100,000 people are feared trapped by the clashes raging on the outskirts of Tripoli

PARIS: Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar, who is leading a military offensive against the UN-recognized government in Tripoli, said in an interview published Sunday he will continue fighting until militias in the city laid down their arms.
Haftar had justified the offensive last month by saying he was fighting against “private militias and extremist groups” who he said were gaining influence in the capital under Prime Minister Fayez Al-Sarraj.
“Of course a political solution is the objective,” Haftar told the Journal de Dimanche newspaper in France. “But to return to politics, we need to finish with the militias.
“The problem in Tripoli is a security one.”
He offered an amnesty to fighters in Tripoli who laid down their arms, saying they would be allowed to “return home safe and sound.”
He also took aim at UN mediator Ghassan Salame, who has warned the country is “committing suicide” due to a conflict that 6-10 foreign states are involved in.
“Salame is making irresponsible statements,” Haftar said. “He wasn’t like that before, he has changed. From an impartial and honest mediator, he has become a biased one.”
Salame has warned that Haftar’s offensive is “just the start of a long and bloody war.”
More than 75,000 people have been driven from their homes in the latest fighting and 510 have been killed, according to the World Health Organization.
More than 2,400 have also been wounded, while 100,000 people are feared trapped by the clashes raging on the outskirts of Tripoli.