Major powers, Iran meet to salvage nuclear deal without US

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European Union Foreign Affairs and Security Policy High Representative Federica Mogherini is seen at the start of a meeting on Libya hosted by France's Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York on September 24, 2018. (AFP)
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European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini arrives at a European Union leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium, March 22, 2018. (REUTERS)
Updated 25 September 2018
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Major powers, Iran meet to salvage nuclear deal without US

  • Highlighting just how difficult it will be for the Europeans to come up with concrete solutions, French state-owned bank Bpifrance on Monday abandoned its plan to set up a financial mechanism to aid French companies trading with Iran

UNITED NATIONS: Iran has ample reason to stay in the 2015 nuclear deal despite the US withdrawal and the remaining parties on Monday will discuss ways to blunt the effect of impending US sanctions on Tehran, the European Union’s foreign policy chief said.
Speaking before a gathering of senior officials from Britain, China, Germany, Russia and Iran, the EU’s Federica Mogherini made the case for Iran remaining in the deal that US President Donald Trump abandoned on May 8.
“An essential part of the agreement and its implementation regards Iran having the possibility of benefiting from the lifting of sanctions, and this is exactly why we are discussing tonight, operational concrete steps that we can put in place,” Mogherini told reporters before the talks at the United Nations.
“Iran has good arguments and good reasons to remain in the agreement. ... the more operational decisions we will manage to take and ... implement, I believe the more Iran will have reasons to do,” she added.
The European Union, however, has so far failed to devise a workable legal framework to shield its companies from US sanctions that go into effect in November and that, among other things, seek to choke off Iran’s oil sales, diplomats said.
Highlighting just how difficult it will be for the Europeans to come up with concrete solutions, French state-owned bank Bpifrance on Monday abandoned its plan to set up a financial mechanism to aid French companies trading with Iran.
The crux of the deal, negotiated over almost two years by the administration of former US President Barack Obama, was that Iran would restrain its nuclear program in return for the relaxation of sanctions that had crippled its economy.
Trump considered it flawed because it did not include curbs on Iran’s ballistic missiles program or its support for proxies in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and Iraq.
The United States began reimposing economic sanctions this summer and the most draconian measures, which seek to force Iran’s major customers to stop buying its oil, resume Nov. 5.
Their impending return has contributed to a slide in Iran’s currency. The rial has lost about two-thirds of its value this year, hitting a record low against the US dollar this month.
There are limits to what the EU can do to counter the oil sanctions, under which Washington can cut off from the US financial system any bank that facilitates an oil transaction with Iran.


US charges Chicago man with online recruiting for Daesh

Updated 1 min 40 sec ago
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US charges Chicago man with online recruiting for Daesh

  • The 34-year-old made an initial court appearance Friday and was ordered held in federal custody
  • The naturalized US citizen is allegedly a member of Khattab Media Foundation, an online group aligned with Daesh

CHICAGO: A US citizen of Iraqi descent has been charged in Chicago with online coordination with Daesh to recruit and encourage attacks, federal authorities said Friday.
Ashraf Al-Safoo was arrested Wednesday in the Midwestern city and charged with one count of conspiracy to provide material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization.
The 34-year-old made an initial court appearance Friday and was ordered held in federal custody.
Safoo is accused of disseminating “online propaganda promoting violence in support of (Daesh),” Assistant Attorney General John Demers said in a statement.
The naturalized US citizen is allegedly a member of Khattab Media Foundation, an online group aligned with Daesh, authorities said.
He is accused of posting pro-Daesh “videos, articles, essays and infographics across multiple social media platforms, at the direction and in coordination with” the extremist group, the Department of Justice said in a statement.
Much of the propaganda allegedly promoted violent jihad.
The government’s complaint made public Friday included posts Safoo is alleged to have written online calling on others to “roll up your sleeves” to create online content in support of Daesh.
“Participate in the war, and spread fear,” Safoo is accused of writing.