Britain’s top diplomat in Iran as US oil sanctions back on

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The nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, which the US pulled out of earlier this year, will be on the agenda. (AP)
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Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt first met with his Iranian counterpart, Mohammed Javad Zarif, shortly after arriving in Tehran. (AP)
Updated 20 November 2018
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Britain’s top diplomat in Iran as US oil sanctions back on

  • Iran said its still hopeful that Europe can salvage the nuclear deal, which the US withdrew from in May
  • Other signatories of the deal, including France, Germany, Britain, Russia and China, have been searching for ways to save deal

TEHRAN, Iran: Britain’s top diplomat was visiting Iran on Monday, less than two weeks after the United States re-imposed oil sanctions on the country.
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt first met with his Iranian counterpart, Mohammed Javad Zarif, shortly after arriving in Tehran. The two have already held talks in New York in September, on the sideline of the United Nations’ General Assembly.
The nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, which the US pulled out of earlier this year, will be on the agenda, as well as an agreement aimed at facilitating financial transactions with Iran, the official IRNA news agency reported. Europe and Britain still support the nuclear deal and are looking for ways to salvage it.
Hunt is also expected to raise the case of British-Iranian charity worker, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, arrested during a holiday with her toddler daughter in April 2016 and acused by Iran of plotting against the government. Her family denies this, saying she was in Iran to visit family.
Since Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s arrest, British officials have routinely sought her release in talks with Iranian leaders.
Iranian state TV said Hunt would also meet Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, suggesting that talks over the fate of Zaghari-Ratcliffe were likely.
President Donald Trump pulled the US out of the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers in May. United Nations monitors say Iran still abides by the deal, in which it agreed to limit its uranium enrichment in return for the lifting of international sanctions.


Israeli police arrest 19 Palestinians at Jerusalem holy site

Updated 20 February 2019
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Israeli police arrest 19 Palestinians at Jerusalem holy site

JERUSALEM: Israeli police say they have arrested 19 Palestinians as clashes broke out at a contested Jerusalem holy site.
Police say dozens of Palestinians participated in a prayer protest Tuesday, attempting to breach a section of the compound that has been closed by Israeli court order for years.
Palestinian medics reported that several protesters were injured in the standoff.
The incident follows a similar scuffle on Monday in which Palestinians tried to break the gate that Israel placed on the closed area last week.
The compound, revered by Jews as the Temple Mount and by Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary, is considered the holiest place in Judaism and the third holiest in Islam.
Any trace of Israeli security interference in the shrine, home to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, can ignite violence.