US president trying to ‘kill’ nuclear deal, says Iranian foreign minister

Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif. (AFP)
Updated 12 August 2017
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US president trying to ‘kill’ nuclear deal, says Iranian foreign minister

TEHRAN: Iran’s foreign minister has accused US President Donald Trump of trying to “kill” the nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers.
Mohammed Javad Zarif said on his Twitter account on Friday that the US president “always wanted to kill” the deal that curbed Iran’s controversial nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions.
Zarif says Trump is the one to blame and that the US “violated the letter and the spirit” of the nuclear agreement.
Trump has repeatedly described the nuclear deal as “bad” and has signed a bill imposing mandatory penalties on people involved in Iran’s ballistic missile program and anyone who does business with them.
Zarif earlier said the Trump administration is trying to “poison the international atmosphere” with the sanctions, which Zarif deemed illegal.
Iran to buy 48 helicopters
Iran is holding talks with European planemaker Airbus to buy 48 helicopters for civilian use, an Iranian official was on Saturday quoted as saying, as Iran continues its shopping spree of Western aircraft after the lifting of sanctions.
“The Health Ministry is planning to order 45 HEMS (Helicopter Emergency Medical Service) helicopters and the purchase is being negotiated by the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development,” Iran’s Financial Tribune daily quoted Deputy Minister Asghar Fakhrieh-Kashan as saying.
“Ports and Maritime Organization is also planning to hold a tender to purchase three search-and-rescue helicopters,” he added.
An Airbus Helicopters spokesman said: “We don’t comment on discussions we may or may not be having with potential customers.”
Iran has ordered more than 200 planes since international sanctions against the country were lifted last year in return for curbs on the country’s nuclear activities.
Flag-carrier IranAir has ordered 100 planes from Airbus, 80 from US rival Boeing (BA.N) and 20 ATR turboprops, but implementing the deals has been hampered by uncertainty over financing.
In June, Airbus said two other Iranian airlines had committed to buying 73 planes in a last-minute flurry of deals for the aircraft manufacturer at the Paris Airshow.
Fakhrieh-Kashan said Iran was holding negotiations to merge the helicopter order into the IranAir-Airbus contract signed in December, Financial Tribune reported.


Egypt says Israel’s Jewish nation-state law undermines Middle East peace

Updated 21 July 2018
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Egypt says Israel’s Jewish nation-state law undermines Middle East peace

  • Egypt on Saturday said a new Israeli law giving Jews the exclusive right to self-determination in the country undermined the chances for peace
  • The law, which was passed on Thursday, has drawn rebuke from the EU and was denounced by the Palestinian Authority

CAIRO: Egypt on Saturday said a new Israeli law giving Jews the exclusive right to self-determination in the country undermined the chances for peace in the Middle East and the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes.
The law, which was passed on Thursday, has drawn rebuke from the EU and was denounced by the Palestinian Authority and Arab citizens of Israel as racist legislation.
“The Arab Republic of Egypt announces...its rejection of the law passed by the Israeli Knesset on the “national state for the Jewish people” law ... for its ramifications that consecrate the concept of occupation and racial segregation,” the Egyptian foreign ministry said in a statement.
“It undermines the chances for achieving peace and reaching a just and comprehensive solution for the Palestinian issue,” it said.
It said the law would also have a potential impact on the right of Palestinians displaced from their homes in 1948 when Israel was founded, and their descendants, to return to their homes under United Nations resolutions.
Egypt in 1979 became the first Arab country to forge a peace treaty with Israel under the US-sponsored Camp David accord that provided for the Jewish state to withdraw from the Sinai Peninsula.
But relations between two countries remained lukewarm, with Egypt demanding that Israel quit other lands it occupied in the 1967 Middle East war, including the Syrian Golan Heights, the West Bank and Gaza Strip and Arab East Jerusalem.
On Friday, Egypt’s Al-Azhar Mosque, the most prestigious Sunni Muslim institution, denounced the Israeli law calling it “a step that reflects repugnant racism“