Iran’s foreign minister: US sanctions ‘unacceptable’

Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif told Japanese officials on Thursday in Tokyo that his country’s response to the US actions is within the frameworks of the current nuclear deal and Iran’s rights. (File/AFP)
Updated 16 May 2019

Iran’s foreign minister: US sanctions ‘unacceptable’

  • Zarif’s said Iran’s actions are within the country’s rights under the current deal
  • Iran threatened to return to higher enrichment if a no new nuclear deal is set

TOKYO: Iran’s foreign minister says his country is committed to an international nuclear deal but that the escalating US sanctions are “unacceptable.”
The remarks come amid rising tensions in the Mideast, with allegations of sabotage targeting oil tankers near the Arabian Gulf, a drone attack by Yemen’s Iranian-allied rebels and the dispatch of US warships and bombers to the region.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif told Japanese officials on Thursday in Tokyo that his country’s response to the US actions is within the frameworks of the current nuclear deal and Iran’s rights.
Iran recently threatened to resume higher enrichment in 60 days if no new nuclear deal is in place, beyond the level permitted by the current one between Tehran and world powers. The US pulled out of the deal last year.


UN resumes Sanaa aid distribution halted after Houthi thefts

Updated 12 min 20 sec ago

UN resumes Sanaa aid distribution halted after Houthi thefts

  • The halt in aid came after UN officials found the Houthis were diverting food away from those who desperately needed it
  • But UN says 22 'life saving' programs may close due to $1bn funding shortfall

SANAA: The World Food Programme (WFP) on Wednesday resumed distributing food in Yemen's capital Sanaa after a two-month stoppage.

The halt in aid came after UN officials found the Houthis were diverting food away from those who desperately needed it. 

Dozens of people gathered at a distribution centre in Sanaa to be given flour, vegetable oil, pulses, salt and sugar.

"We are relieved. Thank God. All we can do is praise God," said one recipient, Um Ahmed.

Food distribution for 850,000 people had resumed after the WFP was allowed to "introduce the key accountability measures", its spokeswoman Annabel Symington told Reuters.

When the agreement with Houthi authorities was reached in early August, the WFP said a biometric registration process would be introduced for 9 million people living in areas under Houthi control.

The system - using iris scanning, fingerprints or facial recognition - is already used in areas controlled by the Saudi-backed government that holds the southern port city of Aden and some western coastal towns.

Meanwhile, the UN Wednesday warned that 22 "life-saving" aid programs will be forced to close in Yemen in the next two months if countries do not pay more than $1 billion in funding that they pledged earlier this year.

In February countries pledged $2.6 billion to help, but UN humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, Lise Grande, said less than half that had been paid.

The UN said that of 34 key aid programs only three were funded for the year and 22 "life-saving" programs will need to close in the next two months.