Iran ‘will not renegotiate N-deal’

Iran's deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi. (AP file photo)
Updated 16 January 2017
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Iran ‘will not renegotiate N-deal’

DUBAI/TEHRAN: Iran will not renegotiate its nuclear agreement with world powers, even if it faces new US sanctions after Donald Trump becomes president, Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi said on Sunday.
US “hostility” to Iran is growing day by day despite Tehran’s nuclear deal, the senior Iranian official said, ahead of the first anniversary of the historic accord.
“The United States has done whatever it can do (to) slow down Iran’s progress” after the deal, said Araghchi, the chief Iranian negotiator in the agreement that took effect on Jan. 16 last year.
“In the last 12 months, we have witnessed delays and the disrespecting of promises by the US and some countries.
Their hostility increases by the day,” Araghchi told reporters.
Trump, who will take office on Friday, has threatened to either scrap the agreement, which curbs Iran’s nuclear program and lifts sanctions against it, or seek a better deal.
“There will be no renegotiation and the (agreement) will not be reopened,” said Araqchi, Iran’s top nuclear negotiator at the talks that led to the agreement in 2015, quoted by the state news agency IRNA.
“We and many analysts believe that the (agreement) is consolidated. The new US administration will not be able to abandon it,” Araqchi told a news conference in Tehran, held a year after the deal took effect.
“Nuclear talks with America are over and we have nothing else to discuss,” he added.
“It’s quite likely that the US Congress or the next administration will act against Iran and imposes new sanctions.”
Under Iran’s agreement with the US, France, Germany, Britain, Russia and China, most UN sanctions were lifted a year ago. But Iran is still subject to an UN arms embargo and other restrictions, which are not technically part of the nuclear agreement.
The agreement between Tehran and six world powers saw a range of international sanctions lifted in exchange for limits on Iran’s nuclear program.
Iran has seen a rise in oil exports and increased investment in manufacturing since it came into force.
But Iranian officials have accused Washington of failing to abide by the deal, including with a raft of other sanctions related to non-nuclear issues that have helped deter major Western banks from returning to Iran.
The president-elect vowed during last year’s campaign to tear up the agreement, considered a key victory for President Barack Obama.
Araghchi said it made little difference who was in the White House as international law required Washington to implement the deal.
“Whether its Obama or Trump, the US president is committed to canceling laws that are against it,” Araghchi said, adding that there would be no further discussions with US officials.
“Our nuclear negotiations with the Americans are finalized and we have no other political talks with them,” he said. “In our view, everything is over.”


New social deal signed in Morocco, salaries to rise

Updated 26 April 2019
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New social deal signed in Morocco, salaries to rise

  • The minimum wage, currently 2,570 dirhams a month ($266), will be increased by 10 percent over two years from July
  • Last July King Mohammed VI urged the government to take “urgent action” to address social issues

RABAT: The Moroccan government on Thursday announced a “new social deal” with employers and the main labor unions, under which many workers will enjoy a pay rise.
The deal agreed by the General Confederation of Moroccan Businesses (CGEM) and the three main unions — the UMT, UGTM and UNMT — is the fruit of months of negotiations
The minimum wage, currently 2,570 dirhams a month ($266), will be increased by 10 percent over two years from July, except for the agricultural sector.
Government-paid family allowances will also rise.
Meanwhile public sector workers will be given a 300-500 dirham monthly pay increase over three years.
Of Morocco’s main trade unions only the Democratic Labour Confederation has not signed the social deal which, according to the government statement, is aimed at “improving spending power and the social climate.”
Last July King Mohammed VI urged the government to take “urgent action” to address social issues, in particular health and education in the north African country which has been hit by protests over employment and corruption.
Mohammed VI pointed to social support and social protection programs that “overlap each other, suffer from a lack of consistency and fail to effectively target eligible groups.”
After months of stalemate, the dossier was handed to the interior ministry at the beginning of the year and the final rounds of talks were held.
The social unrest began in October 2016 after the death of a fisherman and spiralled into a wave of protests demanding more development in the neglected Rif region and railing against corruption and unemployment.
Morocco is marked by glaring social and territorial inequalities, against a backdrop of high unemployment among young people. In 2018, it was ranked 123rd out of 189 countries and territories on the Human Development Index.