May and Trump determined to stop ‘terrorist supporting’ Iran gaining nuclear weapon

President Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May arrive for a news conference at the Foreign Office on Tuesday. (AP)
Updated 05 June 2019
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May and Trump determined to stop ‘terrorist supporting’ Iran gaining nuclear weapon

  • Trump says US and UK are determined to stop Iran engaging in terrorism
  • Khamenei vows Iran will never give up its missile program

LONDON: Donald Trump and Theresa May discussed tackling “Iran’s destabilizing activity” in the Middle East during the US president’s state visit to the UK.

The two countries will work to ensure “Tehran can not acquire a nuclear weapon,” May said at a joint press conference in London.

The British prime minister, who will leave her job on Friday, acknowledged that the US and the UK had differed in their approaches on how to reach those goals. The UK, along with European nations, has stuck by the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers after Trump withdrew the US from the accord last year.

But the two leaders made sure that their joint concern over the threat from Iran was a key foreign policy issue on the agenda during Trump’s visit.

“The UK continues to stand by the nuclear deal,” May said. “It is clear that we both want to reach the same goal. It is important that Iran meets its obligation and we do everything to prevent escalation, which is in no one's interests.”

Trump last month beefed up America’s military presence in the Middle East, deploying an aircraft carrier, long-range bombers and Patriot missiles to the Arabian Gulf region.

“The United States and the United Kingdom are determined to ensure that Iran never develops nuclear weapons and stops supporting and engaging in terrorism,” Trump said.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei hit back later Tuesday, saying Tehran would not be "deceived" by Trump’s recent offer of negotiations and would not give up its missile program.

"The U.S. president recently said Iran can achieve development with its current leaders. That means they do not seek regime change ... But this political trick will not deceive Iranian officials and the Iranian nation,"  Khamenei said in a televised address.
"In the missile programme, they know we have reached a point of deterrence and stability. They want to deprive us from it, but they will never succeed."

Trump also thanked the UK for the role played in defeating Daesh in Iraq and Syria.

During the press conference Trump also promised Britain a “phenomenal” post-Brexit trade deal and pledged to work out any differences with London on the role of China’s Huawei in building 5G networks.

Speaking on the second day of his visit, he congratulated May for her time as prime minister and singled out two of her potential successors for praise.

Trump mentioned Boris Johnson, who has said the UK should leave the European Union on Oct. 31, deal or no deal, and Jeremy Hunt, Britain’s foreign minister who has warned against leaving without a deal.

Trump’s state visit, promised by May back in January 2017 when she became the first foreign leader to meet him after he took office, has been cast as a chance to celebrate Britain’s “special relationship” with the US, boost trade links and reaffirm security cooperation.

*With Reuters


US puts sanctions on Hezbollah leader suspected of masterminding Buenos Aires 1994 attack

Updated 30 min 34 sec ago
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US puts sanctions on Hezbollah leader suspected of masterminding Buenos Aires 1994 attack

  • US Treasury sanctions freeze any assets of Salman Raouf Salman
  • State Department is offering a $7 million reward for information

WASHINGTON: The US on Friday imposed financial sanctions on a Hezbollah leader suspected of masterminding the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center in Buenos Aires that killed 85 people.

The US Treasury sanctions freeze any assets of Salman Raouf Salman for acting for or on behalf of Hezbollah, while the State Department is offering a $7 million reward for information on his location.

Salman "coordinated a devastating attack in Buenos Aires, Argentina against the largest Jewish center in South America 25 years ago and has directed terrorist operations in the Western Hemisphere for Hezbollah ever since," said Sigal Mandelker, the US Treasury's Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.

The action by the Treasury Department falls on the 25th anniversary of an attack Salman is said to have coordinated on the center in Argentina's capital. The attack killed 85 people and wounded hundreds of others. The Treasury's action freezes all assets that Salman has within U.S. jurisdiction. The Treasury said Salman is also accused of planning other terror attacks abroad from a base in Lebanon.

On Thursday, Argentina's government branded Hezbollah a terrorist organization and froze its assets.