US does not want to harm friends, allies with Iran sanctions, says Bolton

US government understands that a number of countries “may not be able to go all the way, all the way to zero immediately,” Bolton said. . (AP)
Updated 02 November 2018
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US does not want to harm friends, allies with Iran sanctions, says Bolton

  • The US is preparing to impose the new sanctions on Iran’s oil industry after Washington withdrew from a nuclear deal between Tehran and other global powers
  • Bolton said that consequences can already be seen in Iran including the collapse of the rial

WASHINGTON: US National Security Adviser John Bolton said the administration of President Donald Trump wants sanctions on Iran’s crude exports to strain Tehran, but does not want to harm countries that depend on the oil.

The US is preparing to impose the new sanctions on Iran’s oil industry after Washington withdrew from a nuclear deal between Tehran and other global powers earlier this year, but is also considering offering waivers to some allies that rely on Iranian supplies.

“We want to achieve maximum pressure but we don’t want to harm friends and allies either,” Bolton said in a talk at the Hamilton Society.

Bolton said the administration understands that a number of countries, some close geographically to Iran which he visited last week, and others “may not be able to go all the way, all the way to zero immediately.” 

It was a more conciliatory tone about the sanctions from Bolton, a proponent of being tough on Iran and winding down its crude exports to zero.

Still, Bolton said that consequences can already be seen in Iran including the collapse of the rial, its currency. 

“I think it’s important that we not relax in the effort,” he said.

In a presidential memorandum addressed to secretaries of State, Treasury and Energy, Trump said he determined there was sufficient supply of petroleum and petroleum products elsewhere than Iran to permit a reduction in purchases from Iran.

Under the law, the US president must periodically issue a “determination” on whether there is sufficient supply in the market from non-Iranian sources for countries to significantly cut their Iranian purchases.

The administration’s renewed sanctions are set to come into effect on Nov. 5.

Under US law, Washington can sanction the financial institutions of foreign countries that fail to significantly reduce their purchases of Iranian oil and petroleum products.

The purpose of the law, which came into effect during the Obama administration, was to put pressure on Iran to curtail its nuclear program by forcing its major oil customers to reduce their purchases.

Three of Iran’s five largest buyers of crude — China, India and Turkey — have resisted calls by Washington to end their oil purchases outright.

This week South Korea asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for “maximum flexibility” on its request for a waiver to prevent companies there from being hit by the sanctions. 


Erdogan calls for fight on Islamophobia as on anti-Semitism

Updated 22 min 47 sec ago
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Erdogan calls for fight on Islamophobia as on anti-Semitism

  • The Turkish leader believes the New Zealand attack was part of a wider assault on Islam
  • He demands the West do more against anti-Muslim sentiment

ISTANBUL: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday called for a global fight against rising Islamophobia like “anti-Semitism after the Holocaust” following the deadly attacks on two New Zealand mosques.
The Turkish leader has presented the mosque attacks by a self-avowed white supremacist who killed 50 people as part of a wider assault on Islam and demands the West do more against anti-Muslim sentiment.
“Just as humanity fought against anti-Semitism after the Holocaust disaster, it should fight against rising Islamophobia in the same determined fashion,” Erdogan told a meeting of ministers from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Istanbul.
“Right now we are facing Islamophobia and Muslim hatred,” he said.
Erdogan said far-right neo-nazi groups should be treated as terrorists in the same way as Daesh terrorists.
On 15 March, alleged shooter Brenton Tarrant killed 50 men, women and children — the victims aged between three and 77 years old — and left dozens injured in an attack that sparked global revulsion.
He livestreamed much of the attack and spread a manifesto on social media claiming it was a strike against Muslim “invaders.”
New Zealand’s government on Friday reassured Muslims living in the country they would be “safe and secure” despite the deadly attacks in Christchurch.
“Ensuring Muslim communities in New Zealand feel safe and secure is a particular focus,” New Zealand Foreign Minister Winston Peters told the OIC meeting.
Peters said New Zealand authorities would make sure “no stone stays unturned” in the prosecution of the attacker.
“This person will face ... the New Zealand law and spend the rest of his life in isolation in a New Zealand prison,” he said.


Erdogan, campaigning for local elections this month, has angered New Zealand by repeatedly showing the video made by the alleged gunman, an Australian who was arrested.
He has also angered Australia with comments about anti-Muslim Australians being sent back in “coffins” like their grandfathers at Gallipoli, a WWI battle.
On Friday, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu praised New Zealand authorities and their “sincere solidarity messages.”
“We are here to show we are one body against Islamophobic actions across the world,” he said.
The Muslim call to prayer rang out across New Zealand on Friday followed by two minutes of silence nationwide to mark a week since the attack.
Thousands of people — including Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern — stood silently in a park opposite the mosque where the killing began.