UN Security Council to meet on Iran missile test

A display featuring missiles and a portrait of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is seen at Baharestan Square in Tehran, Iran on September 27, 2017. Iran has vowed to continue its offensive missile program. (Nazanin Tabatabaee Yazdi/TIMA via REUTERS/file photo)
Updated 04 December 2018
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UN Security Council to meet on Iran missile test

  • France and Britain requested the meeting after they accused Iran of test-firing a medium-range missile at the weekend
  • The United States said the missile launch on Saturday was a violation of a UN resolution that endorsed the 2015 Iran nuclear deal

UNITED NATIONS: The UN Security Council will meet behind closed doors on Tuesday at the request of France and Britain after they accused Iran of test-firing a medium-range missile at the weekend, diplomats said.
The United States said the missile launch on Saturday was a violation of a UN resolution that endorsed the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, from which Washington has withdrawn.
That resolution calls on Iran to refrain from testing missiles capable of carrying a nuclear weapon.
France said it was concerned by the test-firing with the foreign ministry describing it as “provocative and destabilising” and “does not conform” with UN resolution 2231 on the Iran deal.
British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt called the missile test “provocative, threatening and inconsistent” with the resolution and said Britain was determined “that it should cease.”
Iran has long maintained that its missile program is defensive in nature and not aimed at ensuring the delivery of a nuclear weapon, a stance supported by Russia at the Security Council.
Washington’s Iran envoy Brian Hook urged the European Union to slap sanctions that target Tehran’s missile program as US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo traveled to Brussels for talks with European partners.

Pompeo held talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Brussels on Monday to discuss Iran and other regional issues. Pompeo, like Netanyahu, is an outspoken critic of Iran’s nuclear program and he condemned on Saturday the latest missile test by the Islamic republic. Netanyahu often uses meetings with international officials to push his agenda of halting what he describes as Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Israel also sees Tehran’s moves to set up bases in neighboring Syria as a regional threat, along with the heavily armed Iran-backed militia Hezbollah in Lebanon. 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. Pompeo mounted a staunch defense of US foreign policy, arguing that Washington is building a world order to fight cynical abuses by Russia, China and Iran. On a visit to Brussels, the former CIA chief took aim at European critics who accuse the US of undermining global institutions, insisting that President Donald Trump is restoring America’s traditional leadership role. He urged US allies to join Trump’s efforts and to assess honestly whether bodies like the World Trade Organization, the International Criminal Court and the International Monetary Fund are serving their citizens. “Bad actors have exploited our lack of leadership for their own gain,” Pompeo told a gathering of diplomats in the European capital, ahead of talks at NATO. “This is the poisoned fruit of American retreat. President Trump is determined to reverse that.” 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. The United States decided in May to withdraw from the 2015 nuclear deal and reimpose sanctions on Iran, to the dismay of its Europeans allies.
The nuclear deal provides for a lifting of sanctions against Iran in return for curbs on its nuclear activities.
The remaining five signatories to the nuclear deal — Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia — have backed an EU effort to set up a special payment system in a bid to maintain trade and business ties with Iran.


Former Egyptian president Morsi buried in Cairo: lawyer

Updated 18 June 2019
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Former Egyptian president Morsi buried in Cairo: lawyer

  • Morsi, was suffering from a benign tumor, had continuous medical attention, says state TV
  • The former president died aged 67

CAIRO: Egypt’s first democratically elected president Mohammed Morsi was buried on Tuesday in eastern Cairo, one of his lawyers said, a day after he collapsed in court and died.

“He was buried in Medinat Nasr, in eastern Cairo, with his family present. The funeral prayer was said in Tora prison hospital” where he was declared dead on Monday, his lawyer Abdel Moneim Abdel Maksoud said.

Egyptian state television announced that Morsi, 67, who was ousted by the military on July 3, 2013, had been attending a court session at his trial on charges of espionage and links with the Palestinian militant group Hamas.

It was reported that he collapsed in the courtroom inside a glass cage he and others had been sharing, before his body was transferred to a local hospital.

Morsi died from a sudden heart attack, state television reported early on Tuesday, citing a medical source. The source said the former president, who was suffering from a benign tumor, had continuous medical attention.

Attorney-General Nabil Sadiq issued a statement saying: “The accused, Mohammed Morsi, in the presence of the other defendants inside the cage, fell unconscious, where he was immediately transferred to the hospital.

“The preliminary medical report stated that by external medical examination they found no pulse, no breathing, and his eyes were unresponsive to light. He died at 4:50 p.m. and no apparent injuries to the body were found.”

Sadiq added he had ordered the transfer of teams from the Supreme State Security Prosecution Office and the Southern Cairo Prosecution Office to conduct an investigation into Morsi’s death, and to examine surveillance footage from the courtroom and collect witness testimonies.

He also ordered that a senior forensic committee headed by the chief medical officer and the director of forensic medicine to prepare a forensic report on the cause of death.

Various outlets say that a state of high alert has been issued by the military and the Ministry of the Interior throughout the country following the news, for fear of riots or activity by the Muslim Brotherhood, in which Morsi was a prominent figure.

Morsi became president in June 2012 after the first democratic elections in the country following the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak on Jan. 25, 2011. He was Egypt’s fifth president.

He was born to a family of farmers on Aug. 20, 1951, in the village of Al-Adwa in Sharkia province. He married in 1978 and leaves behind his wife, five children and three grandchildren.

Following his deposition and arrest, Morsi was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment on Oct. 22, 2016, over bloody clashes that took place on Dec. 5, 2012 in front of the presidential palace in Cairo, between supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and opponents of Morsi rejecting a constitutional declaration issued in November of that year.

Other sentences meant his total incarceration could have been up to 48 years, with the ongoing espionage case potentially carrying a further maximum sentence of 25 years.

In Istanbul on Tuesday, hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood supporters took to the streets, mourning former Egyptian president Mohamed Mursi and some chanting slogans blaming Cairo authorities for his death.

* With AFP