Russia says ‘no alternative’ to Iran nuclear deal

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a plenary session of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) Summit, in Xiamen, China September 4, 2017. (Reuters)
Updated 25 April 2018
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Russia says ‘no alternative’ to Iran nuclear deal

MOSCOW: Russia said on Wednesday that there was "no alternative" to the current Iran nuclear deal, after US President Donald Trump and French counterpart Emmanuel Macron called for a new agreement with Tehran.
"We believe that no alternative exists so far," President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, adding that Iran's position on the subject was paramount.
"We are in favour of keeping the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in its current form," Peskov added, referring to the nuclear deal hammered out in 2015.
He said the agreement was the product of the efforts of many countries.
"The question is, will it be possible to repeat such successful work in the current situation," Peskov added.
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani rejected the US and French calls, and the EU also insisted the current agreement must stay.
Trump faces a May 12 deadline to decide on the fate of the Iran nuclear accord and is demanding changes that European capitals believe would represent a legal breach.


Cyclone death toll in Oman, Yemen rises to 11: authorities

Updated 36 sec ago
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Cyclone death toll in Oman, Yemen rises to 11: authorities

  • Cyclone Mekunu left a path of distruction, flooding towns and causing extensive damage
  • One of the dead is a 12-year-old girl who was hit in the head with a door that blew open

SALALAH, Oman: The death toll from a cyclone that battered southern Oman and the Yemeni island of Socotra has reached 11, while eight sailors are still missing, authorities said.
Cyclone Mekunu hit Oman’s Dhofar and Al-Wusta provinces on Friday after intensifying from a category one to a category two cyclone, with winds of up to 170 kilometers (over 100 miles) per hour after it made landfall on Socotra on Thursday.
Oman’s civil defense service on Saturday reported two deaths, adding to an earlier toll of a man and a 12-year-old girl.
“The third is an Asian man who was missing but his body was found late Saturday in Dhofar” province, spokesman Lt. Col. Saeed Al-Badaei said at a press conference late Saturday.
“The fourth is a young Omani man who was swept away in his car by flooding,” he added.
Socotra’s governor Ramzy Mahrous said on Sunday that the death toll on the island remained seven — five Yemenis and two Indian sailors. A further eight Indian sailors remain missing.
The southeastern part of the island remains cut off, but authorities are working to access the area and assess damage, Mahrous told AFP.
Around 1,000 families on Socotra, with a population of around 60,000, were evacuated after their homes were damaged.
The main road linking the airport to Hadibo, the island’s main city, has been reopened, Mahrous said.
Oman’s meteorology directorate announced late Saturday that “the direct effects of the tropical system are over.”
Cyclone Mekunu has now been downgraded to the category of “deep depression.”
Late Saturday it struck Saudi Arabia’s Empty Quarter, one of the world’s most arid deserts, with ongoing heavy rains and strong winds.
The Saudi meteorological authority said on Twitter Sunday that winds blew at 60 kilometers (over 35 miles) per hour, kicking up blinding dust storms.
Rains are expected to continue for two more days, drenching the area with more than 100 millimeters (four inches) of rain, almost six times its annual average, Amman-based weather experts WASM said on Twitter.