Macron urges IAEA to ensure strict compliance of Iran nuclear deal

French President Emmanuel Macron delivers a speech at the Elysee Palace in Paris on Wednesday. (Reuters)
Updated 19 October 2017

Macron urges IAEA to ensure strict compliance of Iran nuclear deal

PARIS: French President Emmanuel Macron has called on the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to ensure the strict compliance of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
“He urged the IAEA to ensure strict compliance with the provisions of the agreement in all its dimensions,” Macron’s office said in a statement, after Macron met Yukiya Amano, director general of IAEA.
The EU has reaffirmed its full commitment to the nuclear deal, regardless of whether the US pulls out.
But the bloc, reluctant to isolate itself completely from Washington, is also looking at whether it should as a next move step up criticism of Iran’s ballistic missile program and its role in what the West sees as fomenting instability in the Middle East, a senior EU official said.
President Donald Trump last week adopted a harsh new approach to Iran by refusing to certify its compliance with the nuclear deal, struck with the US and five other powers including Britain, France and Germany after more than a decade of diplomacy.
EU leaders were expected to “reaffirm (their) full commitment to the Iran nuclear deal,” after talks in Brussels on Thursday, according to a draft statement seen by Reuters.
The EU has been stepping up efforts to save the deal, saying it was crucial to regional and global security, and has appealed to the US Congress not to let it fall.
Trump has given Congress 60 days to see whether to reimpose economic sanctions on Iran, lifted under the pact in exchange for the scaling down of a program the West fears was aimed at building a nuclear bomb, something Tehran denies.
Should Trump walk away from the deal, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Wednesday that Iran would “shred” it.
The bloc sees the agreement as a chief international success of recent years, and fears tearing it apart would hurt its credibility as well as harming diplomatic efforts to defuse tensions around another nuclear stand-off, with North Korea.
In outlining his tougher stance, Trump said Tehran must also be held accountable for advancing its ballistic program and its regional political role.
The EU is at early stages of considering intensifying its criticism of Iran on those issues, something France has been calling for.
“We will defend the nuclear deal and stand by the nuclear deal and implement the nuclear deal. But we also don’t want to be standing on a completely opposing side to the US,” the EU official said.
“If they withdraw, we would be left in a rather interesting company with China and Russia. So there may be an issue of separating the nuclear deal from the ballistic program and Iran’s regional role, sending signals on the latter two.”
The EU has stepped up contacts with the US Congress.
“They were never very fond of the nuclear deal in the first place but now the situation has changed a lot, both many Democrats as well as some Republicans feel like they need to play a more active role on foreign policy to restrain the president,” the official added.
IRGC threat
Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) said on Thursday the ballistic missile program would accelerate despite US and EU pressure to suspend it, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported.
“Iran’s ballistic missile program will expand and it will continue with more speed in reaction to Trump’s hostile approach toward this revolutionary organization (the Guards),” the IRGC said in a statement published by Tasnim.
“Imposing cruel sanctions against the Guards and hostile approach of the rogue and brute (US president shows the failure of America and the Zionist regime’s (Israel) wicked policies in the region,” the Guards statement said.


Hague hearing offers ray of hope to Bangladesh’s Rohingya

Updated 10 December 2019

Hague hearing offers ray of hope to Bangladesh’s Rohingya

  • International Court of Justice seeks to address atrocities committed by Myanmar

DHAKA: Several members of the Rohingya community in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar expressed optimism on Monday that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) would rule in their favor once it began its three-day hearing against Myanmar on Tuesday.

The case was filed by Gambia on behalf of all Muslim nations from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) with the ICJ over the alleged persecution of the Rohingya by the Myanmar military.

On Nov. 18, the court decided to hold the hearings from Dec.10 to 12. Gambia’s justice minister will lead his country during the hearings.

Both Canada and Bangladesh have been supporting Gambia by providing different data and information regarding the atrocities against the Rohingya.

Myanmar’s state councillor and its de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, has already reached  the Netherlands to lead the defense lawyers on behalf of her country at the ICJ.

Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque will remain present at the courtroom to witness the process.

He will lead a 20-member team, comprising government officials and civil society representatives.

Rohingya at Cox’s Bazar are highly optimistic of securing justice at the ICJ.

“We think justice will be ensured because all international human rights groups, different UN organizations and the international community have got evidence of the persecution on the Rohingya. All of them have visited the refugee camps many times and listened to the plight of the Rohingya,” Sawyed Ullah, a community leader from Jamtoli, told Arab News.

“Also, we have strong evidences of atrocities committed by the Myanmar government to root out the Rohingya from their birth place, Rakhine,” Ullah added.

“Without ensuring accountability, there will not be any safety and justice in Rakhine. Once the accountability is restored,  all of us will be able to go back home.”

Ramjan Ali, another refugee from the Kutupalang camp, said: “Myanmar’s government has forcibly displaced the Rohingya from their own land and that compelled us to shelter here at the refugee camps. Isn’t it enough evidence to justify our allegations against the Myanmar government?”

Ramjan Ali added: “Still the situation in Rakhine is very bad as we receive information from our relatives over there. We need protection from the international forces before any repatriation, and the ICJ’s decision will be helpful for us in this regard.”

Rohingya human rights activist Nay San Lwin, co-founder of the German-based Free Rohingya Coalition described the ICJ’s move as historic.

“It is first ever since we are persecuted. We have been seeking for justice since very long time,” Lwin told Arab News, adding that “finally the case is now at the world court and although it will take several years we are now excited for provisional measures from the court.”

Lwin, along with some 200 Rohingya rights activists from around the world, is set to hold a protest rally at the Hague from Dec. 11 during the ICJ’s hearing.

“We are expecting very much from the ICJ. Regardless whether Myanmar follows the decisions of the court this will have a huge impact. There won’t be any other justice mechanisms if this international court of justice can’t ensure the justice for us,” added Lwin.

Expressing his frustration on the repatriation process, Lwin said that the Myanmar government still had a “genocidal policy” on the Rohingya.

“I don’t think repatriation of the Rohingya will take place soon unless the government is considering to fulfill our demands,” he said.

The ICJ’s final decision will hold strong significance as any decisions taken by the ICJ are binding on member states.

Both Gambia and Myanmar are signatories of the Genocide Convention.