Iran to meet nuclear deal parties on Sunday

Iran said it would follow the limits of the nuclear deal if remaining parties, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia, help Iran mitigate US sanctions. (File/AFP)
Updated 23 July 2019

Iran to meet nuclear deal parties on Sunday

  • The meeting was requested by the European parties of the nuclear deal
  • Iran threatened to continue increasing their enriched uranium production limits

TEHRAN: Iran said it will attend a meeting in Vienna on Sunday of diplomats from countries still party to the 2015 nuclear deal, as they try to salvage the landmark agreement.
The hard-won deal has been threatened with collapse since the United States withdrew from it last year and reimposed biting sanctions against Iran as part of a “maximum pressure” campaign.
“It was agreed to convene an extraordinary meeting of the JCPOA joint commission in Vienna on July 28,” Iran’s foreign ministry said on Tuesday, using the acronym for the deal’s formal name, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
The meeting would be held at the level of deputy ministers and political directors, it said in an English-language statement.
It was requested by the European parties to discuss the “new situation,” the statement added, referring to Iran’s reduced nuclear commitments under the deal in response to the US withdrawal.
Iran said on May 8 it would disregard certain limits of the deal as long as the remaining parties — Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia — fail to do more to mitigate the impact of the US sanctions, especially to sell its oil.
Tehran has also threatened to take further measures.
It has since exceeded limits the deal had set on its enriched uranium and heavy water stockpiles, as well as passing a cap the deal had imposed on its uranium enrichment.
The 4.5 percent enrichment level it reached is well below the more than 90 percent required for a nuclear warhead.
Iran has yet to specify what further steps it may take, and has repeatedly emphasised that its actions can be reversed “within hours” if European partners deliver on their commitments.


Saudi Arabia, UAE form joint panel to enforce Yemen cease-fire

Updated 26 August 2019

Saudi Arabia, UAE form joint panel to enforce Yemen cease-fire

  • The panel is tasked to ensure that all the ceasefire procedures are followed

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates had formed a joint panel to help enforce a cease-fire between government and separatist forces in the Yemeni provinces of Shabwah and Abyan, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said on Monday.

Colonel Turki Al-Maliki, spokesman of the coalition supporting Yemen's legitimate government, said the panel is tasked to ensure that all the ceasefire procedures are followed.

A joint statement issued early Monday by the Saudi and UAE foreign ministries stressed the urgency of enforcing a cease-fire and for the return of the civilian headquarters in Aden to the legitimate government under the supervision of coalition forces.

"The governments of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, in line with their responsibility to support the legitimacy of Yemen in order to save Yemen and its people from the coup of the Iranian-backed Houthi militia, emphasize the continuation of all their political, military, relief and development efforts with the participation of the coalition countries that rose to support the Yemeni people," the statement said.

The separatist forces of the so-called Southern Transitional Council (STC) declared last month that it was breaking away from the UN-recognized legitimate government of Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, which is based in the southern city of Aden.

The Hadi government made Aden its temporary capital in 2015 after being pushed out of the capital, Sanaa, jointly by the Houthi militia and forces of ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh. 

The Hadi government was restored to power by the Saudi-led Arab Coalition and together with the STC forces they fought the combined forces of Saleh and the Houthis. The Houthis and Saleh's forces eventually fought each other, culminating in the killing of Saleh in December 2017.

Last month, STC forces seized key government installations and military camps in Aden as well as in Shabwa and Abyan.

The STC partially withdrew last week from key sites it occupied in Aden under pressure from Saudi Arabia and the UAE, but it retains control of key military sites. The STC has since driven government troops out of two military camps in Abyan province.

On Saturday, government troops took control of the city of Ataq, capital of Shabwa province, after two days heavy fighting with the separatists.