US security chief Bolton vows to ‘squeeze’ Iran

US National Security Adviser John Bolton attended a summit in Singapore. (File/AFP)
Updated 13 November 2018
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US security chief Bolton vows to ‘squeeze’ Iran

  • The latest tranche of measures have been touted as the toughest yet, and aim to significantly reduce Iran’s vital oil exports and cut off its banks from international finance
  • IMF has forecast that the sanctions will cause Iran’s economy to contract 1.5 percent this year and 3.6 percent next year

SINGAPORE: US National Security Adviser John Bolton vowed Tuesday to “squeeze” Iran “until the pips squeak,” a week after a tough new round of sanctions came into force.
President Donald Trump has dramatically increased pressure on Tehran, withdrawing from an international agreement aimed at ending its nuclear program and introducing several rounds of unilateral US sanctions.
The latest tranche of measures have been touted as the toughest yet, and aim to significantly reduce Iran’s vital oil exports and cut off its banks from international finance.
Speaking in Singapore ahead of a summit, Bolton said: “We think the government is under real pressure and it’s our intention to squeeze them very hard.
“As the British say, squeeze them until the pips squeak.”
“We are also going to significantly increase the enforcement of sanctions.”
The sanctions have been opposed by other parties to the deal aimed at ending Iran’s nuclear drive — Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia — who have vowed to keep the accord alive.
UN inspectors say Iran is abiding by the agreement.
Washington is demanding that Iran end policies rooted in the 1979 Islamist revolution, including its support for regional proxies such as the Lebanese militia Hezbollah and its development of missiles.
The only support for the US position has come from Iran’s regional rivals, notably Saudi Arabia and Israel.
The International Monetary Fund has forecast that the sanctions will cause Iran’s economy to contract 1.5 percent this year and 3.6 percent next year.


Egyptian security forces kill 16 suspected militants

Updated 19 February 2019
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Egyptian security forces kill 16 suspected militants

  • Egyptian security forces killed 16 suspected militants in two separate raids in the city of Arish in North Sinai
  • The two sides were involved in exchanges of fire

CAIRO: Egyptian security forces killed 16 suspected militants in two separate raids in the city of Arish in North Sinai, state media said on Tuesday.
The report came the day after an explosion in central Cairo killed three policemen.
Ten suspected militants were killed in the Obeidat district of Arish and another six were killed in the Abu Eita district of the city, state-run Al Ahram said.
An undisclosed quantity of weapons, ammunition and explosives were found with the six in Abu Eita.
The two sides exchanged gunfire, it said without elaborating. It made no mention of any security forces casualties.
The suspected militants’ bodies were taken to several hospitals in the city of Ismailia to be examined and identified, security and medical sources said.
Egypt has been fighting an extremist insurgency since 2013, mostly concentrated in North Sinai.