Iran indicates talks with US on nuclear program unlikely

US President Donald Trump, pictured here after signing the document reinstating sanctions against Iran, had said the Iranians would ‘would come back to the table,’ the Iranians say that won’t happen. (Saul Loeb/AFP)
Updated 19 July 2018
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Iran indicates talks with US on nuclear program unlikely

  • Trump earlier this year pulled America out of the international deal meant to prevent Tehran from developing a nuclear weapon
  • Hassan Rouhani’s chief of staff claims the president rejected eight requests from President Donald Trump last year for one-on-one talks

TEHRAN, Iran: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s chief of staff claims the president rejected eight requests from President Donald Trump last year for one-on-one talks.
It’s the latest comment from Tehran suggesting Iran isn’t prepared to embark on bilateral negotiations with Washington.
Trump earlier this year pulled America out of the international deal meant to prevent Tehran from developing a nuclear weapon. He said last week that with increased American sanctions, “at a certain point they’re going to call me and say ‘let’s make a deal.’“
State-owned IRAN newspaper quoted Rouhani’s chief of staff Mahmoud Vaezi saying Thursday that “it’s been the reverse, so far,” with Trump seeking to initiate talks.
He says Iran rejected the requests from the US for the two presidents to meet at last year’s UN General Assembly meeting.


Israel closes people crossing with Gaza: official

Updated 56 min 52 sec ago
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Israel closes people crossing with Gaza: official

  • Border protests and clashes on Friday left two Palestinians dead by Israeli gunfire
  • Israel’s army said firebombs and IEDs were also hurled at the border fence

JERUSALEM: Israel closed its only crossing for people with the Gaza Strip on Sunday except for humanitarian cases over border incidents that saw protests and clashes at the weekend, an Israeli official said.
A spokeswoman for the Israeli defense ministry unit that oversees the passage confirmed that the Erez crossing had been closed.
Border protests and clashes on Friday left two Palestinians dead by Israeli gunfire.
Israel’s army said firebombs and IEDs were also hurled at the border fence, while a number of Palestinians briefly crossed into Israeli territory.
The closure and border incidents occurred despite attempts by Egypt and UN officials to reach a long-term truce between Israel and Hamas, the Islamist movement that runs the blockaded Gaza Strip.
The spokeswoman for the defense ministry unit, known as COGAT, did not say how long the crossing would be closed.
The Palestinian Authority civilian affairs office in Gaza also confirmed the closure except for medical cases and Palestinians seeking to cross back into the enclave.
Israel has enforced an air, land and sea blockade on the Gaza Strip for more than a decade, but grants permission to a limited number of people to cross for various reasons.
Israel had just last week reopened its only goods crossing with Gaza after closing it to most deliveries for more than a month over border tensions.
Protests and clashes began on the Gaza border on March 30 and have continued at varying levels since then.
At least 171 Gazans have been killed by Israeli fire during that time. One Israeli soldier was shot dead by a Palestinian sniper in July.
There have also been several severe military flare-ups, including three since July.
UN officials and Egypt have been seeking to secure a long-term truce between Hamas and Israel to allow for humanitarian issues in the impoverished enclave of two million people to be addressed.
Israel is demanding calm and a return of the remains of two soldiers Hamas is believed to be holding.
Israel and Hamas have fought three wars since 2008.