US weighs designating embassy in Jerusalem as early as 2019

The U.S Embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel can be seen in this file photo.The Trump administration is considering a plan to move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem as early as next year. (Reuters)
Updated 19 January 2018
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US weighs designating embassy in Jerusalem as early as 2019

WASHINGTON: The Trump administration is considering a plan to move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem as early as next year, rather than waiting for several years.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said previously that planning is under way for a new facility in Jerusalem that will take at least three years. In the meantime, three US officials say Tillerson may designate an existing US consular building in West Jerusalem as the interim embassy. The officials say Tillerson hasn’t made a decision.
The officials weren’t authorized to discuss the situation by name and demanded anonymity.
Two of the officials say Vice President Mike Pence is pushing the State Department to accept the proposal quickly so Pence can announce it while in Israel. Pence departs Friday for the Middle East.


German firms end Iran projects amid new US sanctions

Updated 12 min 9 sec ago
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German firms end Iran projects amid new US sanctions

  • New US sanctions against Iran took effect last week and several European companies have suspended plans to invest in Iran in light of the US sanctions

BERLIN: German rail operator Deutsche Bahn and Deutsche Telekom are ending projects in Iran after Washington imposed new sanctions against Tehran and said firms doing business with Iran would be barred from doing business with the United States.
New US sanctions against Iran took effect last week and several European companies have suspended plans to invest in Iran in light of the US sanctions, including oil major Total as well as carmakers PSA, Renault and Daimler.
State-owned Deutsche Bahn is involved in two projects in Iran via its subsidiary DB Engineering&Consulting, a spokeswoman said on Thursday.
“Both projects will be ended in August and September 2018 respectively,” she said. “Due to the altered banking practice we have sought to bring the contract to an amicable and timely conclusion.”
Deutsche Bahn signed a memorandum of understanding with the Iranian rail operator Bonyad Eastern Railways (BonRail) in May 2017 for the first project, which aimed to identify and address potential in rolling stock and organization, she said.
The second project, which started around 1-1/2 years ago, was a consulting contract for Iranian state railway RAI that included restructuring the company, the spokeswoman added.
Separately, Detecon, a subsidiary of T-Systems — Deutsche Telekom’s IT services arm — has terminated its business in Iran, a spokesman said. Detecon offers consulting services to companies in the telecommunications industry.
“Until the decision to stop operations was made, sales in Iran in 2018 amounted to around €300,000,” he said.
“Given the sensitivity in relations with Iran worldwide, Detecon ended its business in Iran with immediate effect in mid-May 2018.”
The ending of Telekom’s involvement in Iran followed soon after the announcement that its US unit, T-Mobile, would buy Sprint Corp. in a $26 billion deal that remains subject to the approval of US regulators.