New European sanctions would affect nuclear deal: Iran official

A display featuring missiles and a portrait of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is seen at Baharestan Square in Tehran, Iran September 27, 2017. (AFP)
Updated 17 March 2018
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New European sanctions would affect nuclear deal: Iran official

BEIRUT: Any new European sanctions against Iran will have a direct effect on the nuclear deal struck between world powers and Tehran, Iran’s deputy foreign minister said Friday, according to state media.
“In case some European countries are following steps to put non-nuclear sanctions against Iran in order to please the American president, they will be making a big mistake and they will see the direct result of that on the nuclear deal,” Abbas Araqchi said, according to state media.
“It’s better that European countries continue their current action to persuade America to keep its promises in the nuclear deal and for that country to effectively execute the deal in all its parts with good will and in a productive atmosphere.”
Araqchi’s comments were in reaction to a Reuters report that Britain, France and Germany have proposed fresh EU sanctions on Iran over its ballistic missiles and its role in Syria’s war to try to persuade Washington to preserve the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran.
Iran agreed to curbs on its nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of a number of sanctions as part of the deal. Senior Iranian officials have repeatedly said their missile program is not up for negotiation.
The proposal is part of an EU strategy to save the accord signed by world powers that curbs Tehran’s ability to develop nuclear weapons, namely by showing US President Donald Trump that there are other ways to counter Iranian power abroad.
Trump delivered an ultimatum to the European signatories on Jan. 12. It said they must agree to “fix the terrible flaws of the Iran nuclear deal” — which was sealed under his predecessor Barack Obama — or he would refuse to extend US sanctions relief on Iran. US sanctions will resume unless Trump issues fresh “waivers” to suspend them on May 12.
If America pulls out of the agreement then the nuclear deal will be finished, Araqchi said, according to a report published by the Mehr News agency on Saturday.
“If America exits the deal and unilateral sanctions return, we will definitely not continue the deal because it will not serve our interests,” Araqchi was quoted as saying.


Pentagon plans to send 5,000 more troops to Middle East amid Iran threat: US officials

Updated 23 May 2019
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Pentagon plans to send 5,000 more troops to Middle East amid Iran threat: US officials

  • Tehran and Washington have this month been escalating rhetoric against each other
  • The US military deployed a carrier strike group, bombers and Patriot missiles to the Middle East earlier this month

WASHINGTON: The US Department of Defense is considering a US military request to send about 5,000 additional troops to the Middle East amid increasing tensions with Iran, two US officials told Reuters on Wednesday.
Tehran and Washington have this month been escalating rhetoric against each other, following US President Donald Trump’s decision to try to cut Iran’s oil exports to zero and beef up the US military presence in the Gulf in response to what he said were Iranian threats.
The officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the request had been made by US Central Command, but added that it was not clear whether the Pentagon would approve the request.
The Pentagon regularly receives — and declines — requests for additional resources from US combatant commands throughout the world.
One of the officials said the requested troops would be defensive in nature.
This appeared to be the latest request for additional resources in the face of what US officials have said are credible threats from Iran against US forces and American interests in the Middle East.
The Pentagon declined to comment on future plans.
“As a matter of longstanding policy, we are not going to discuss or speculate on potential future plans and requests for forces,” Commander Rebecca Rebarich, a Pentagon spokeswoman, said on Wednesday.
Acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said on Tuesday that while threats from Iran in the Middle East remained high, deterrence measures taken by the Pentagon had “put on hold” the potential for attacks on Americans.
The US military deployed a carrier strike group, bombers and Patriot missiles to the Middle East earlier this month in response to what Washington said were troubling indications of possible preparations for an attack by Iran.
Trump had warned on Monday that Iran would be met with “great force” if it attacked US interests in the Middle East.