Officials say UN migration agency employee abducted in Yemen

Yemeni security officials say an employee at the UN migration agency in the capital has been abducted. (File photo: Reuters)
Updated 20 January 2018
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Officials say UN migration agency employee abducted in Yemen

SANAA: Yemeni security officials say unidentified gunmen have abducted an employee at the UN migration agency in the capital, Sanaa.
The officials said late Friday that Hisham Abdel-Rahman Bagash was abducted a day earlier when a masked man led him out of his car and threatened him with a gun.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media.
Bagash’s father, Abdel-Rahman, said in a Facebook post that his son was accompanied by his wife at the time of the abduction but the kidnappers only took him. His whereabouts are unknown.
Yemen has been embroiled in a civil war pitting Iran-backed Houthis against a Saudi-led coalition backing an internationally-recognized government since March 2015.


EU efforts to save nuke deal ‘not sufficient,’ says Iran’s Zarif

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wants the European Union to do more to save the nuclear deal after the exit of the US. (AFP)
Updated 39 min 53 sec ago
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EU efforts to save nuke deal ‘not sufficient,’ says Iran’s Zarif

  • Several foreign firms have already halted their Iranian operations while they wait to see how talks within the EU will play out.
  • Zarif spoke after meeting with EU Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete, who has been on a two-day visit to Tehran.

TEHRAN: Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said on Sunday that European efforts to save the nuclear deal after the exit of the US were not sufficient.

“The cascade of decisions by EU companies to end their activities in Iran makes things much more complicated,” Zarif told reporters.

He spoke after meeting with EU Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete, who has been on a two-day visit to Tehran — the first by a Western official since Washington announced its withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal earlier this month.

“With the exit of the United States from the nuclear deal, the expectations of the Iranian public toward the European Union have increased... and the EU’s political support for the nuclear agreement is not sufficient,” Zarif added in comments carried by state broadcaster IRIB.

Several foreign firms have already halted their Iranian operations while they wait to see how talks within the EU will play out.

French oil major Total said last week it would abandon its $4.8-billion investment project in Iran unless it was granted a waiver from Washington.

Another French energy giant, Engie, said Saturday it would cease engineering work in Iran before November, when US sanctions are due to be reimposed.

“The European Union must take concrete supplementary steps to increase its investments in Iran. The commitments of the EU to apply the nuclear deal are not compatible with the announcement of probable withdrawal by major European companies,” Zarif said.

Canete said he recognized that time was short and that clear measures were needed from Europe to protect investments and oil purchases.

Iran has threatened to resume industrial uranium enrichment “without limit” if its interests are not protected.