US ambassador urges Britain to ditch support for Iran nuclear deal

US Ambassador to Britain Woody Johnson criticized Tehran for funding “proxy wars and malign activities.” (AFP)
Updated 15 August 2018
0

US ambassador urges Britain to ditch support for Iran nuclear deal

  • US Ambassador to Britain Woody Johnson criticized Tehran for funding “proxy wars and malign activities” instead of investing in its economy
  • Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said last week that Trump’s repudiation of the nuclear deal was illegal

LONDON: The United States urged Britain on Sunday to ditch its support for a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and instead join forces with Washington to counter the global threat it says Tehran poses.
Despite opposition from European allies, US President Trump in May pulled the United States out of a deal between world powers and Tehran under which international sanctions were lifted in return for curbs on Iran’s nuclear program.
Since then, Britain, France and Germany have sought to keep the deal alive, while Trump has prepared new sanctions, saying a broader and more balanced deal is needed. Iran has denounced the sanctions as “US unilateralism.”
US Ambassador to Britain Woody Johnson criticized Tehran for funding “proxy wars and malign activities” instead of investing in its economy. He said Iran needed to make tangible and sustained changes to behave like a normal country.
“Until then, America is turning up the pressure and we want the UK by our side,” Johnson wrote in the Sunday Telegraph newspaper.
“It is time to move on from the flawed 2015 deal. We are asking global Britain to use its considerable diplomatic power and influence and join us as we lead a concerted global effort toward a genuinely comprehensive agreement.”
Asked about Johnson’s article, the British foreign office pointed to comments from Middle East minister Alistair Burt, who last week ruled out Britain going along with the United States.
Burt said the deal was an important part of regional security and that, with the European Union, the government was trying to protect British companies from the US sanctions when dealing with Iran. Britain remained open to talks with the United States on how to address concerns about Iran.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said last week that Trump’s repudiation of the nuclear deal was illegal and Iran would not yield to Washington’s renewed campaign to strangle Iran’s vital oil exports.
But protests have broken out in Iran as its currency has collapsed in value and inflation has soared. The protests have often begun with slogans against the high cost of living and alleged financial corruption, but quickly turned into anti-government rallies.


Hong Kong police demand better protection ahead of more protests

Updated 15 July 2019
0

Hong Kong police demand better protection ahead of more protests

  • Hong Kong has been rocked by large and sometimes violent street protests over the now-suspended extradition bill
  • Critics of the bill say it threatens Hong Kong’s rule of law and want it completely withdrawn and Lam to step down

HONG KONG: A Hong Kong police officers’ union has urged police chiefs to better protect rank-and-file staff as the city braces for rolling protests in coming weeks over a controversial planned extradition treaty to mainland China.
In a letter to force management seen by Reuters, the Junior Police Officers’ Association said it wanted guarantees that police chief Stephen Lo and his senior managers could ensure their “safety and mental health.”
Three police officers were being treated in hospital on Monday for injuries sustained in skirmishes on Sunday.
Hong Kong has been rocked by large and sometimes violent street protests over the now-suspended extradition bill that would have allowed criminal suspects in Hong Kong to be sent to China to face trial in courts controlled by the Communist Party.
Critics of the bill say it threatens Hong Kong’s rule of law and want it completely withdrawn and Lam to step down.