Trump faces deadlines over Iran deal

US President Donald Trump speaks during an event in Maryland on Saturday. (AFP)
Updated 08 January 2018

Trump faces deadlines over Iran deal

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump faces deadlines related to the deal starting late this week, including deciding whether to reimpose oil sanctions lifted under the 2015 agreement.
Meanwhile, retired US military officers, members of Congress and former US ambassadors were among 52 US national security experts who signed a letter released on Monday urging Trump not to take any step that might undermine peace in the Middle East.
Signers of the letter, organized by the National Coalition to Prevent an Iranian Nuclear Weapon, included Richard Lugar, a former Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; Paul O’Neill, who served as Treasury secretary under Republican President George W. Bush; Michael Hayden, former director of the National Security Agency and Central Intelligence Agency, and Admiral Eric Olson, former commander of Special Forces.
“We support the rights of Iranian citizens to free speech and peaceful protest and we condemn the use of force against peaceful demonstrations,” the letter said.
“In responding to developments in Iran, now and in the future, the US should be careful not to take any steps that might undermine the JCPOA (nuclear agreement) which remains vital to US national security,” it said.


Turkish police arrest journalist Altan a week after his release

Updated 33 min 25 sec ago

Turkish police arrest journalist Altan a week after his release

  • Altan and the others deny the charges against them
  • On Tuesday a higher court overruled the decision to release Altan, ordering his arrest on grounds that there was a risk of him fleeing

ISTANBUL: Turkish police detained prominent journalist and author Ahmet Altan late on Tuesday, a week after he was released from prison in his retrial on coup-related charges, Istanbul police said.

Before his release last Monday, the 69-year-old had been in jail since his arrest in 2016, two months after an attempted coup which Ankara says was orchestrated by the network of US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen.

The journalist’s case has drawn criticism from human rights groups and Turkey’s Western allies. They are concerned by the scale of a post-coup crackdown against suspected Gulen supporters under President Tayyip Erdogan.

Altan smiled and waved as he was driven away by counter-terror squad police officers after being taken from his home in Istanbul, video and photos published by Turkish media showed.

He was taken to Istanbul police headquarters after a hospital check-up, state-owned Anadolu news agency reported.

Altan, his brother and other journalists were previously sentenced to life in jail for aiding Gulen’s network. Last week he was convicted again in a retrial, but released from jail given the time served.

Altan and the others deny the charges against them.

On Tuesday a higher court overruled the decision to release Altan, ordering his arrest on grounds that there was a risk of him fleeing, Anadolu reported.

Under last week’s verdict, Altan was sentenced to 10 years and six months in jail. Turkey’s high court had overruled the previous life sentences against him in July, sending the file back for re-trial.

Erdogan’s government has jailed more than 77,000 people pending trial since the failed putsch. Widespread arrests are still routine in a crackdown critics say demonstrates growing autocracy in Turkey.

Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1999, and his followers deny any involvement in the coup. Turkey has repeatedly called on the United States to extradite the cleric.