US urges Europe to impose sanctions on Iran over missiles

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks to reporters at the US Capitol after briefing senators in Washington, DC on November 28, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 03 December 2018
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US urges Europe to impose sanctions on Iran over missiles

  • Pompeo is urging Europe to impose tough new sanctions on Iran over its nuclear activities
  • The US and several European countries condemned an Iranian missile launch over the weekend

BRUSSELS: The Trump administration is urging Europe to impose tough new sanctions on Iran over its ballistic missile program.
The call comes as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is to meet European officials in Brussels this week and after the US and others condemned an Iranian missile launch over the weekend.
Iran is expected to be a major topic of conversation when Pompeo meets Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Brussels on Monday night. Pompeo also plans to talk about Iran when he meets his counterparts from Britain, France and Germany on Tuesday while he is in Belgium for a meeting of NATO counterparts.
US special envoy for Iran Brian Hook rejected Iran’s insistence that its missile program is defensive.
He told reporters traveling with Pompeo that Iran’s continued missile development and testing is a threat to the region and beyond and in defiance of UN Security Council demands.
Hook said US discussions with the Europeans about missile sanctions are gaining traction. Those talks center on slapping penalties on companies and people involved in Iran’s program.
“It is a grave and escalating threat, and nations around the world, not just Europe, need to do everything they can to be targeting Iran’s missile program,” Hook said.
Hook’s comments on Monday were the latest salvo in an escalating US campaign against Iran since President Donald Trump pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal in May.
“Iran is on the wrong track, and our campaign of maximum economic pressure is designed to starve the regime of revenue it needs,” he said.
On Thursday, Hook accused Iran of violating a UN ban on Iranian arms exports by sending weapons to its proxies in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen.
On Saturday, Pompeo denounced Iran for test-firing a medium-range ballistic missile capable of carrying multiple warheads that could reach parts of Europe.
“We are accumulating risk of escalation in the region if we fail to restore deterrence,” Pompeo said.


UN envoy to Yemen says agreement on de-escalation in Taiz and Hodeidah ‘not there yet’

Updated 33 min 39 sec ago
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UN envoy to Yemen says agreement on de-escalation in Taiz and Hodeidah ‘not there yet’

LONDON: United Nations Envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, said on Monday that agreement on the de-escalation in Taiz and Hodeidah are ‘not there yet’.
Speaking at a press conference in Stockholm, following the first round of the UN sponsored peace talks between the legitimate Yemeni government and the Iranian-backed Houthi militia, Griffiths told reporters that they will continue to discuss Hodeidah and Taiz.
He also said they are still working to find a common ground for the reopening of Sanaa airport.
During the talks, the two sides discussed a broad prisoner swap, however, Griffiths said the numbers of prisoners to be released by the warring parties will be announced soon.
The UN envoy said he expects to present a detailed plan for the next round of talks and hopes for an agreement from warring factions to hold the next round of talks early next year.