EU countries agree Iran deal ‘not perfect’: Merkel

Photo showing French President Emmanuel Macron, British Prime Minister Theresa May, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel following a trilateral meeting on the sidelines of an EU-Western Balkans Summit in Sofia on May 17, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 17 May 2018
0

EU countries agree Iran deal ‘not perfect’: Merkel

  • Tehran has warned it is prepared to resume unrestricted uranium enrichment unless Europe can provide solid guarantees that it can maintain the economic benefits it gained from the nuclear agreement.
  • EU experts have begun work drawing up measures to shield the deal from US sanctions.

SOFIA: German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday that EU countries agreed the Iran nuclear deal was “not perfect” but insisted it should be preserved, after the US withdrawal threw the accord into doubt.
EU leaders meeting in Sofia have backed a “united” approach to keeping the deal alive after US President Donald Trump pulled out and reimposed sanctions, complaining the accord did nothing to stop Iran’s ballistic missile program or interference in Middle East conflicts.
“Everyone in the European Union shares the view that the agreement is not perfect, but that we should remain in this agreement and conduct further negotiations with Iran on the basis of other issues such as the ballistic missile program,” Merkel said as she arrived for the summit.
French President Emmanuel Macron said the bloc was working to keep the existing agreement alive “so that our businesses can remain” in Iran.
This effort would run alongside work to “pursue negotiations on a vital broader agreement,” Macron said.
“The 2015 agreement needs to be completed by a nuclear agreement beyond 2025, an agreement on ballistic activities and (Iran’s) regional presence,” Macron said.
Tehran has warned it is prepared to resume “industrial-scale” uranium enrichment “without any restrictions” unless Europe can provide solid guarantees that it can maintain the economic benefits it gained from the nuclear agreement despite Washington reimposing sanctions.
EU experts have begun work drawing up measures to shield the deal from US sanctions, focusing on nine key issues including ensuring Iran can sell its oil and gas products and have access to international finance.
But given the global reach of US government sanctions it is not clear how effective these measures can be, or whether the EU will try to leverage them as a bargaining chip with Washington.


Pakistan heatwave kills 65 people in Karachi — welfare organization

Updated 11 min 55 sec ago
0

Pakistan heatwave kills 65 people in Karachi — welfare organization

  • Temperatures hit 44 degrees Celsius (111 Fahrenheit) on Monday
  • Most of the dead were low wage factory workers who work around heaters and boilers in textile factories and there is eight to nine hours of scheduled power outages in these areas, says Faisal Edhi, who runs the Edhi Foundation

ISLAMABAD: A heatwave has killed 65 people in Pakistan’s southern city of Karachi over the past three days, a social welfare organization said on Tuesday, amid fears the death toll could climb as the high temperatures persist.
The heatwave has coincided with power outages and the holy month of Ramadan, when most Muslims do not eat or drink during daylight hours. Temperatures hit 44 degrees Celsius (111 Fahrenheit) on Monday, local media reported.
Faisal Edhi, who runs the Edhi Foundation that operates morgues and an ambulance service in Pakistan’s biggest city, said the deaths occurred mostly in the poor areas of Karachi.
“Sixty-five people have died over the last three days,” Edhi told Reuters. “We have the bodies in our cold storage facilities and their neighborhood doctors have said they died of heat-stroke.”
A government spokesperson could not be reached for comment.
But Sindh province’s Health Secretary Fazlullah Pechuho told the English-language Dawn newspaper that no one has died from heat-stroke.
“Only doctors and hospitals can decide whether the cause of death was heat-stroke or not. I categorically reject that people have died due to heat-stroke in Karachi,” Pechuho was quoted as saying.
Nonetheless, reports of heat stroke deaths in Karachi will stir unease amid fears of a repeat of a heatwave in of 2015, when morgues and hospitals were overwhelmed and at least 1,300 mostly elderly and sick people died from the searing heat.
In 2015, the Edhi morgue ran out of freezer space after about 650 bodies were brought in the space of a few days. Ambulances left decaying corpses outside in sweltering heat.
The provincial government has assured residents that there would be no repeat of 2015 and was working on ensuring those in need of care receive rapid treatment.
Edhi said most of the dead brought to the morgue were working class factory workers who came from the low-income Landhi and Qur’angi areas of Karachi.
“They work around heaters and boilers in textile factories and there is eight to nine hours of (scheduled power outages) in these areas,” he said.
Temperatures are expected to stay above 40C until Thursday, local media reported.