British foreign minister visits Iran for nuclear talks

Britain's Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt leaves 10 Downing Street in London on November 14, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 19 November 2018
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British foreign minister visits Iran for nuclear talks

  • Jeremy Hunt: “The Iran nuclear deal remains a vital component of stability in the Middle East by eliminating the threat of a nuclearised Iran. It needs 100 percent compliance though to survive”

LONDON: British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt will visit Iran for the first time on Monday for talks with the Iranian government on issues including the future of the 2015 nuclear deal, his office said in a statement.
In May, US President Donald Trump abandoned the deal, negotiated with five other world powers during Democratic President Barack Obama’s administration, and earlier this month the United States restored sanctions targeting Iran’s oil, banking and transportation sectors.
Hunt’s office said he would meet Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and would stress that the UK is committed to the nuclear deal as long as Iran sticks to its terms. He will also discuss European efforts to maintain nuclear-related sanctions relief.
“The Iran nuclear deal remains a vital component of stability in the Middle East by eliminating the threat of a nuclearised Iran. It needs 100 percent compliance though to survive,” Hunt said in a statement ahead of the visit.
“We will stick to our side of the bargain as long as Iran does. But we also need to see an end to destabilising activity by Iran in the rest of the region if we are going to tackle the root causes of the challenges the region faces.”
Hunt will also discuss Iran’s role in the conflicts in Syria and Yemen, his office said, and press Iran on its human rights record, calling for the immediate release of detained British-Iranian dual nationals where there are humanitarian grounds to do so.
“I arrive in Iran with a clear message for the country’s leaders: putting innocent people in prison cannot and must not be used as a tool of diplomatic leverage,” he said.


Thousands attend funeral of 'youngest' rebel killed in Kashmir

Updated 52 min 6 sec ago
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Thousands attend funeral of 'youngest' rebel killed in Kashmir

  • Mudasir Ahmad Parrey was killed alongside two other militants
  • A funeral procession Monday for the slain teenagers turned violent as mourners clashed with police

SRINAGAR, India: Thousands of mourners thronged the funeral on Monday of a 14-year-old rebel shot dead by Indian troops in Kashmir, the youngest-ever fighter killed in the decades-long insurgency, police said.
Mudasir Ahmad Parrey was killed alongside two other militants, one a 17-year-old, outside the city of Srinagar on Sunday.
Parrey, a ninth-grade student, went missing in August before emerging in a photograph on social media brandishing an automatic assault rifle and military knife.
The young militants' deaths sparked angry protests in the restive Himalayan region administered by India but also claimed in full by Pakistan.
A funeral procession Monday for the slain teenagers turned violent as mourners clashed with police, who used tear gas to drive them back.
Rebels fighting for Kashmiri independence or a merger with Pakistan have been warring with Indian troops in the disputed territory since the late 1980s.
The violence has left tens of thousands dead, mostly civilians.
But this year has been the deadliest in a decade in Kashmir, with rights monitors saying more than 500 people have been killed from armed conflict.
Many young men die fighting Indian troops but Parrey's death shocked even a region weary from years of bloodshed.
At 14, police said he was the youngest known fighter to have died in the insurgency.
He was killed in an 18-hour siege by Indian troops in Hajin, outside Srinagar. The home Parrey and the two other militants were holed up in was blasted to rubble.
"He had never failed in school exams," mourned his father, Rashid. The teenager also sometimes worked as a labourer to help out with family expenses, he added.
Many Kashmiris sympathise with the rebels fighting half a million Indian troops stationed in the heavily-militarised Muslim-majority region.
Civilians often pelt soldiers with stones while they are conducting search operations for militants, and funerals for slain fighters draw thousands of mourners and see shops closed.
New Delhi has long accused Islamabad of stoking anti-India sentiment in the region and funding militant groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba fighting in Kashmir.
Police believe the teenagers killed in Sunday's fighting joined the militant group around August. The third dead fighter is a Pakistani national, police say.
Pakistan says it only provides diplomatic support to the Kashmiri struggle for right to self-determination.