‘Negative consequences’ if Trump quits Iran deal: Kremlin

In this photo, pedestrians and motorcycles share a road in downtown Tehran, Iran. As U.S. President Donald Trump threatens the Iran nuclear deal, those living in Tehran feel that an accord they have yet to benefit from may already be doomed, hardening their skepticism about America. Trump is set to deliver a speech on Iran this week in which he is expected to decline to certify Iran's compliance in the landmark 2015 agreement. (AP)
Updated 09 October 2017
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‘Negative consequences’ if Trump quits Iran deal: Kremlin

MOSCOW: Moscow warned on Monday there would be “negative consequences” if US President Donald Trump fails to uphold the landmark Iran nuclear deal negotiated by his predecessor.
Trump has said Tehran is living up to the “spirit” of the agreement.
He is a fierce critic of the 2015 accord, which he has called “the worst deal ever,” and US officials say he intends to tell Congress next week that Tehran is not honoring its side of the bargain.
“Obviously if one country leaves the deal, especially such a key country as the US, then that will have negative consequences,” Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman said.
“We can only try to predict the nature of these consequences, which we are doing now,” Dmitry Peskov told journalists.
Putin has repeatedly hailed the importance of the existing deal, he added.
Speaking in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the nuclear deal was a good example of how to solve something peacefully through talks.
The agreement had played a positive and important role in ensuring nuclear non-proliferation and protecting peace and stability in the Middle East, she added.
“We hope that the comprehensive Iran nuclear agreement can continue to be earnestly implemented,” Hua told a daily news briefing.
The Chinese remarks came as UN atomic agency chief affirmed Iran’s commitment to the nuclear deal.
“I can state that the nuclear-related commitments undertaken by Iran under the (nuclear agreement) are being implemented,” International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Yukiya Amano said in prepared remarks during a conference in Rome.
An IAEA report released last month had also affirmed Iran’s compliance with the program, which froze some of Tehran’s nuclear activities.
Iran’s stock of low-enriched uranium — used for peaceful purposes, but when further processed for a weapon — did not exceed the agreed limit of 300 kg, the report said.
It added that Iran “has not pursued the construction of the Arak... reactor” — which could give it weapons-grade plutonium — and has not enriched uranium above low purity levels.
The EU’s diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini said Iran’s compliance with the accord had been verified on at least eight separate occasions.
It is time to “invest in international cooperation” and “open new channels and not destroy the ones we already have,” she said by video conference.
It is “certainly not the time to dismantle them.”
Faced with the growing threat from North Korea, “we cannot afford to open a new front,” Mogherini added.
Trump is expected to announce that he is “decertifying” Iran’s compliance with the agreement it signed to limit its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.
US officials insist this will not sink the deal itself but open the way for Congress to possibly develop new measures to punish other aspects of Iran’s behavior.
Resumed sanctions could derail the accord negotiated with Tehran by former president Barack Obama and other major world powers.
Congress requires the president to certify Iranian compliance with the deal every 90 days. The next certification date is Oct. 15.
Under the law, Congress would then have 60 days to decide whether to reimpose sanctions lifted by the deal.
The landmark deal was signed in July 2015 by Iran and five permanent members of the UN Security Council (Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States) plus Germany — establishing controls to prevent Tehran from developing an atomic bomb.


‘No-deal’ Brexit would hit trucks, airlines and pet owners — govt papers

Updated 25 September 2018
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‘No-deal’ Brexit would hit trucks, airlines and pet owners — govt papers

  • Many business chiefs and investors fear politics could scupper an agreement
  • Without a deal, the UK would move to customs arrangements set by the WTO for external states with no preferential deals

LONDON: Leaving the European Union without a proper divorce deal could ground airlines, stop hauliers from lugging goods to the world’s biggest trading bloc and even make headaches for pet owners who want to take their dogs on holiday, according to government documents.
With just six months to go until the United Kingdom is due to leave the EU on March 29, Prime Minister Theresa May has warned that negotiations are at an impasse and that the EU must come up with new proposals on how to craft a divorce settlement.
Many business chiefs and investors fear politics could scupper an agreement, thrusting the world’s fifth largest economy into a “no-deal” Brexit that they say would spook financial markets and silt up the arteries of trade.
Britain, which has warned it could leave without a deal, published 25 technical notices on Monday covering everything from commercial road haulage and buying timber to airline regulations and taking pets abroad.
“If the UK leaves the EU in March 2019 with no agreement in place, UK and EU licensed airlines would lose the automatic right to operate air services between the UK and the EU without seeking advance permission,” the government said.
Overall, the government has published more than 65 such notices giving a glimpse of what a no-deal Brexit — the nightmare scenario for chief executives of most multinationals operating in Britain — would look like.
Amid warnings that trucks could stack up on both sides of the English Channel in the confusion of a no deal, Britain said it would seek to strike bilateral agreements with European countries to ensure hauliers would retain access.
The notices covered a vast swathe of the British economy, warning, for example, that labels on packaged food would have to be changed.
“Use of the term ‘EU’ in origin labelling would no longer be correct for food or ingredients from the UK,” the government said.
Honey producers would have to change their labels while EU countries might not accept British mineral water, the government said.
In the worse case scenario for pet owners, dogs, cats and even ferrets might need health certificates and rabies jabs. Travel plans would have to be discussed with a vet at least four months in advance before traveling to the EU.
That would mean someone wanting to take their pet to the EU on March 30, 2019, the day after Britain leaves the bloc, would have to discuss the trip with a vet before the end of November.
Without a deal, the UK would move from seamless trade with the rest of the EU to customs arrangements set by the World Trade Organization for external states with no preferential deals.
Brexiteers accept there is likely to be some short-term economic pain but say the government is trying to scare voters about the impact of a no-deal Brexit.
Britain, many Brexiteers say, will thrive in the longer term if cut loose from what they see as a doomed experiment in German-dominated unity and excessive debt-funded welfare spending.