More sanctions likely on Iranian regime, says US national security adviser

US National Security Adviser John Bolton vows no letup in punitive measures against Iran. (AFP file photo)
Updated 10 November 2018
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More sanctions likely on Iranian regime, says US national security adviser

  • Bolton says two rounds of unilateral US sanctions had had a “quite significant” effect on the Iranian economy and the country’s actions abroad
  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasts that the sanctions will cause Iran’s economy to contract 1.5 percent this year and 3.6 percent next year

PARIS: US National Security Adviser John Bolton said that more sanctions were possible on Iran just days after a new round of measures touted as the most punishing ever on Tehran entered into force.

Bolton said two rounds of unilateral US sanctions introduced by President Donald Trump in August and most recently on Monday had had a “quite significant” effect on the Iranian economy and the country’s actions abroad.

“I think that you’re going to see even more sanctions coming into play over time and much tighter enforcement of the sanctions,” Bolton said in Paris.

Asked what would be the target of the sanctions, he replied: “There are other things we can do in the terrorism and counterterrorism area.”

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasts that the sanctions will cause Iran’s economy to contract 1.5 percent this year and 3.6 percent next year — pain that Trump has boasted about.

“We’ve seen indications that it has affected their belligerent activity in Iraq, Syria and Yemen. Not enough yet, but it’s beginning to have that effect,” Bolton said.

“We’ve seen a continuation and exacerbation of political discontent inside Iran. That opposition continues to manifest itself. Economically the Iranian currency is going through the floor, inflation has quadrupled and the country is clearly in recession.”

He said “the objective is still to drive Iranians exports of oil to zero” despite waivers given to the biggest buyers of Iranian oil, including China, India and South Korea.

“It’s with some satisfaction that I noticed today the price of oil is down. We have worked with the Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and other producers to make sure production is up so that historic buyers of Iranian oil are not disadvantaged,” he added.

Bolton spoke as Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that US sanctions have had no effect on Iran’s economy because Washington had already practically reimposed them earlier.

“The sanctions have had no impact on our economy because America had already used all the weapons at its disposal and there was nothing new to use against us,” Rouhani said in remarks carried live on state television on Saturday.

“They just issued a long list of banks, their branches ... and airlines and their planes. And this shows that they are merely trying to affect the Iranian nation psychologically,” Rouhani said.

The US said it would temporarily allow eight importers to keep buying Iranian oil when it reimposed sanctions last Monday aimed at forcing Tehran to curb its nuclear, missile and regional activities.

“It has now become clear that America cannot cut Iran’s oil exports to zero,” Rouhani added, speaking after a weekly meeting with the heads of the parliament and the judiciary.


Detainee allegedly tortured in Sudan dies

Updated 9 min 44 sec ago
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Detainee allegedly tortured in Sudan dies

  • The man died on Saturday in the town of Dilling in the state of South Kordofan after he was detained by agents of the feared National Intelligence and Security Service
  • It was NISS that led a sweeping crackdown on protests against Bashir’s rule that first erupted in December

KHARTOUM: A Sudanese civilian detained and allegedly tortured by security agents in a central town has died in custody, a doctors committee linked to the country’s protest movement said Sunday.
The man died on Saturday in the town of Dilling in the state of South Kordofan after he was detained by agents of the feared National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), the doctors committee said in a statement.
The detainee “passed away on July 20, 2019 from torture while in detention at the NISS office in Dilling,” the statement said without elaborating on the circumstances of his arrest.
“NISS continues to torture and claim innocent civilian lives illegally without facing any consequences.”
Officers of NISS were not immediately available for comment.
Rights groups and activists had regularly accused NISS agents of cracking down on dissidents and restricting freedoms during the regime of veteran leader Omar Al-Bashir who was ousted in April.
It was NISS that led a sweeping crackdown on protests against Bashir’s rule that first erupted in December.
Dozens were killed and hundreds of protesters, activists and opposition leaders were arrested during the months-long campaign that led to Bashir’s overthrow and subsequent demonstrations calling for civilian rule.
Last week a power-sharing deal was inked between the protest leaders and the ruling generals who seized power after ousting Bashir.
More talks between the two sides to thrash out some pending issues have been suspended following differences within the protest movement itself over the power-sharing deal.