EU must speed up efforts to save nuclear deal — Iran state TV

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, center, during a ceremony to mark National Nuclear Technology Day in Tehran on April 9. (Iranian Presidency / AFP)
Updated 20 August 2018
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EU must speed up efforts to save nuclear deal — Iran state TV

  • ‘Iran relies mainly on its own capabilities to overcome America’s new sanctions’
  • The United States has imposed sanctions on Iran in August

ANKARA: Iran said on Monday that Europe should accelerate its efforts to salvage a 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and major powers that was abandoned by US President Donald Trump in May, Iranian state TV reported.
“Europeans and other signatories of the deal (China and Russia) have been trying to save the deal ... but the process has been slow. It should be accelerated,” foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi told a weekly news conference broadcast live on state TV.
“Iran relies mainly on its own capabilities to overcome America’s new sanctions.”
European states have been scrambling to ensure Iran gets enough economic benefits to persuade it to stay in the deal since US withdrawal from the deal, which Trump said was “deeply flawed.”
The United States has imposed sanctions on Iran in August, targeting Iran’s trade in gold and other precious metals, its purchases of US dollars and its car industry.


Houthis mobilize to fight ahead of UN envoy’s visit

Pro-government drive in an industrial district in the eastern outskirts of the port city Hodeidah. (AFP)
Updated 19 November 2018
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Houthis mobilize to fight ahead of UN envoy’s visit

  • Dozens of Houthis put on a show of strength on the outskirts of Sanaa on Saturday
  • UN special envoy Martin Griffiths said on Friday that he plans to travel to Sanaa in the coming week

SANAA: Iran-backed Houthi militias have said they are ready to mobilize more fighters to the frontline despite a lull in battleground Hodeidah, as the UN envoy prepares to visit the country to boost peace efforts.

Dozens of Houthis put on a show of strength on the outskirts of Sanaa on Saturday, apparently getting ready to head toward Hodeidah, a Red Sea city home to a vital port.

Men, some of whom looked very young, were lining up with bandoliers around their shoulders and rifles in their hands, chanting Houthi slogans.

Residents said on Sunday that relative calm had held in Hodeidah city since pro-government forces announced a pause in their offensive last week amid international calls for a cease-fire and UN-led peace efforts.  They added, however, that they remain on edge.

Meanwhile, coalition fighter jets on Sunday carried out a series of strikes targeting Houthi positions west of Marib. The strikes, which were accompanied by shelling, came after the Iranian-supported militia launched ballistic missiles toward the city of Marib. Coalition forces successfully intercepted the missiles, Yemeni army media said.

UN special envoy Martin Griffiths said on Friday that he plans to travel to Sanaa in the coming week to finalize arrangements for peace talks to take place in Sweden soon.

Hameed Assem, a member of the militia delegation expected to take part in the negotiations, said that Houthis will continue to mobilize if UN efforts for peace fail to materialize.

Pro-government forces on Wednesday suspended their 12-day offensive in Hodeidah.

Griffiths said on Friday that both the government and the Houthis have shown a “renewed commitment” to work on a political solution and have given “firm assurances” that they will attend the talks. No date has yet been set.

(AFP)