Iran says US nuclear policy brings world ‘closer to annihilation’

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani has said the US is "shamelessly threatening Russia with a new atomic weapon." (REUTERS)
Updated 04 February 2018
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Iran says US nuclear policy brings world ‘closer to annihilation’

TEHRAN: The US’ new nuclear policy brings humanity “closer to annihilation,” Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said.
His comments late Saturday came a day after the Pentagon revealed plans to revamp its nuclear arsenal, largely in response to a perceived renewed threat from Russia.
Zarif said the new policy was “in violation” of the international Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
“The US Nuclear Posture Review reflects greater reliance on nukes in violation of the #NPT, bringing humankind closer to annihilation,” Zarif said on Twitter.
Zarif said the same impulse was driving the United States to undermine the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, which President Donald Trump has demanded be renegotiated.
Iran also accused the US on Sunday of threatening Russia with new atomic weapons.
“The Americans are shamelessly threatening Russia with a new atomic weapon,” Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, a pragmatist who opened the way to Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers including longtime adversary Washington, said in a speech.
“The same people who supposedly believe that using weapons of mass destruction is a crime against humanity ... are talking about new weapons to threaten or use against rivals,” he said in his televised address.
Meanwhile, Zarif wrote: “Trump’s obduracy in killing the #JCPOA stems from the same dangerous imprudence,” using the technical name for the nuclear deal.
The latest Nuclear Posture Review published by the Pentagon called for a larger arsenal of smaller, low-yield nuclear weapons to act as a more “credible” deterrent to threats, particularly from Russia.
The NPT, which came into force in 1970 and has been signed by almost all countries including the United States, calls on nations “to achieve at the earliest possible date the cessation of the nuclear arms race and to undertake measures in the direction of nuclear disarmament.”
President Hassan Rouhani took a similar line in a speech on Sunday, saying it showed US hypocrisy in opposing Iran’s missile program.
“You see the kind of insolent language Americans are using with Russia, threatening them with new nuclear weapons,” Rouhani said in the televised speech.
“How can they then say this is a time of peace, brotherhood and coexistence, and we don’t need defensive power? We will always be in need of a defensive power.”
Iran’s nuclear deal, reached with six world powers, lifted some international sanctions in exchange for curbs to its nuclear program.
But Trump has consistently attacked the accord and said in January he would not continue to waive sanctions unless new restrictions were placed on Iran’s missile program and wider actions in the Middle East.
The other parties — Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China — as well as the European Union have strongly defended the deal, saying it has achieved its aim of limiting Iran’s ability to build a nuclear weapon.


Pompeo pledges close cooperation with India but trade, defense issues unresolved

Updated 26 June 2019
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Pompeo pledges close cooperation with India but trade, defense issues unresolved

  • But US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave few specifics of how they would overcome disputes on issues
  • The disputes have led to higher trade tariffs by the two countries and created unease over the depth of their security alliance

NEW DELHI: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sought to reduce heightened trade tension with India on Wednesday, promising a renewed focus on negotiating improved trade and investment ties between the two nations.
But Pompeo, on a visit to India, gave few specifics of how they would overcome disputes on issues ranging from access to Indian markets for leading American companies to New Delhi’s demands for foreign firms to store Indian data in the country, and exports of steel and aluminum to the United States.
The two nations are “friends who can help each other all around the world,” Pompeo told a joint news conference with Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar after they met.
The current differences were expressed “in the spirit of friendship,” he added.
The disputes have led to higher trade tariffs by the two countries and created unease over the depth of their security alliance.
In particular, the sudden introduction of new e-commerce rules for foreign investors in February angered the Americans because it showed New Delhi was prepared to move the goalposts to hurt two of the largest US companies, discount retailer Walmart, and Amazon.com Inc.
Walmart last year invested $16 billion to buy control of Indian e-commerce firm Flipkart.
Just days before Pompeo’s visit, India slapped higher retaliatory tariffs on 28 US products following Washington’s withdrawal of key trade privileges for New Delhi.
Jaishankar, a former Indian ambassador to the United States, played down the spat on Wednesday.
“If you trade with someone and they are your biggest trading partner, it is impossible you don’t have trade issues,” he said.
India’s ties with Russia and Iran, both now subject to US sanctions, are also a sore point.
US pressure has led India to stop buying oil from Iran, a top energy supplier. The United States has also stepped up pressure on India not to proceed with its purchase of S-400 surface-to-air missile systems from Russia.
The missile deal and Iranian oil were both discussed during their meeting, Jaishankar and Pompeo said, but mentioned no resolution of either at the news conference.
Earlier, Pompeo met Prime Minister Narendra Modi for talks at his official residence in the capital, New Delhi, and they exchanged handshakes in images broadcast on television.
“The Prime Minister expressed his strong commitment to achieve the full potential of bilateral relations in trade and economy, energy, defense, counterterrorism and people-to-people contacts,” the foreign ministry said in a statement, without elaborating.
Pompeo is expected to round off the trip with a policy speech hosted by the US embassy, before departing on Thursday for a summit of leaders of the Group of 20 nations in Japan.