EU backs off from new sanctions against Iran — for now

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European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini speaks with the media as she arrives for a meeting of EU foreign ministers at the EU Council building in Luxembourg on April 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)
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France's Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian (C), UK's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson (R), EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini (L) and Germany's Foreign Minister Heiko Maas attend an EU foreign affairs council in Luxembourg on April 16, 2018. (AFP / Emmanuel Dunand)
Updated 17 April 2018
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EU backs off from new sanctions against Iran — for now

  • Irish FM stressed need to send a strong signal to Iran about its activities
  • Targets for new sanctions could include both Iranians and non-Iranian militias in Syria

JEDDAH: EU foreign ministers met on Monday for talks on how they could persuade the US not to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal, but stopped short of imposing new sanctions on Tehran.
Britain, France and Germany used a meeting of the EU’s 28 foreign ministers to try to build support for expanding sanctions against Iran to punish it for its regional expansionism and its role in the conflict in Syria.
They hope that by doing so they will persuade US President Donald Trump not to follow through on his threat to abandon the 2015 deal to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelson said there was “a very broad majority” in favor of expanding sanctions, as the clock ticks down to a May 12 deadline imposed by Trump to “fix” the agreement.
Simon Coveney, the Irish foreign minister, said there was a need to “send a strong signal to Iran that we’re concerned in relation to some of their activity, particularly in Syria.
“But also to send a message to Washington that we share their concerns in some of those areas,” Coveney said after the talks in Luxembourg.
Targets for new sanctions could include both Iranians and non-Iranian militias in Syria. But any decision would have to have unanimous support, and countries such as Italy and Sweden are not convinced.
“There is no consensus at the moment,” EU diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini said.
“I don’t exclude that this will happen in the future but it’s not the case today.”


Iranian media: 79 injured in earthquake in southern Iran

Updated 23 July 2018
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Iranian media: 79 injured in earthquake in southern Iran

TEHRAN: Iran's state TV says a magnitude 5.8 earthquake has injured at least 79 people in the country's south. The United States Geological Survey put the quake's magnitude at 5.9.
There were no immediate reports of fatalities. The earthquake struck in the early morning on Monday near the village of Sirch in the province of Kerman. That's about 1,100 kilometers or 683 miles south of the capital, Tehran.
The USGS says the quake was followed by several smaller aftershocks and also a 4.8 magnitude temblor to the northeast, and came after a series of quakes the day before that injured nearly 300 people.
Iran sits on major fault lines and is prone to regular earthquakes. A magnitude 7.2 quake hit western Iran in November, killing more than 600.