Iran has ‘expected and unexpected’ reactions if US leaves deal: Rouhani

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani delivers a speech during a parade on the occasion of the country’s Army Day on April 18, 2018, in Tehran. (AFP)
Updated 21 April 2018

Iran has ‘expected and unexpected’ reactions if US leaves deal: Rouhani

DUBAI: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday Iran’s atomic agency was ready with “expected and unexpected” reactions if the United States pulls out of a multinational nuclear deal, as US President Donald Trump has threatened to do.
“Our Atomic Energy Organization is fully prepared ... for actions that they expect and actions they do not expect,” Rouhani said without elaborating in a speech carried by state television, referring to a possible decision by Trump to leave the accord next month.
The deal reached between Iran, the United States and five other world powers put curbs on Iran’s nuclear programme in exchange for sanctions relief.
Trump has called the agreement one of the worst deals ever negotiated. In January he sent an ultimatum to Britain, France and Germany, saying they must agree to fix what the United States sees as the deal’s flaws or he would refuse to extend the critical US sanctions relief that it entails.
US disarmament ambassador Robert Wood said on Thursday Washington had been having “intense” discussions with European allies ahead of the May 12 deadline, when US sanctions against Iran will resume unless Trump issues new waivers to suspend them.
Iran has said it will stick to the accord as long as the other parties respect it, but will “shred” the deal if Washington pulls out.
“Iran has several options if the United States leaves the nuclear deal. Tehran’s reaction to America’s withdrawal of the deal will be unpleasant,” Iranian state TV quoted Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif as saying in New York.
Foreign exchange controls “preventive” in case US exits
Rouhani said his government intended to prevent instability in the foreign exchange market after a possible Washington exit from the nuclear accord when the central bank this month slapped controls on markets in an attempt to unify the Iranian rial.
“This was a preventative blow against any American decision on May 12. They fully hoped to ... cause chaos in the (foreign exchange) market. I promise to the people that the plot of the enemy has been thwarted, and whether or not the nuclear deal remains in effect, we will have no problem,” Rouhani said.
On April 9, Iran moved to formally unify the country’s official and open market exchange rates and banned money changing outside of banks, after its currency, the rial, plunged to an all-time low on concerns over a return of crippling sanctions. 


Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak dies

Updated 27 min 11 sec ago

Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak dies

  • Hosni Mubarak stood down as President on Feb. 11, 2011 after 30 years in office
  • State TV said Mubarak died at a Cairo hospital where he had undergone an unspecified surgery

CAIRO: Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian leader who for nearly 30 years was the resolute face of stability in the Mideast before being forces by the military to resign after 18-day nationwide protests that were part of the Arab world’s 2011 pro-democracy upheaval, died on Tuesday. He was 91.
Throughout his rule, he was a stalwart US ally, a bulwark against Islamic militancy and guardian of Egypt’s peace with Israel. But to the tens of thousands of young Egyptians who rallied for 18 days of unprecedented street protests in Cairo’s central Tahrir Square and elsewhere in 2011, Mubarak was a relic, a latter-day pharaoh.
They were inspired by the Tunisian revolt, and harnessed the power of social media to muster tumultuous throngs, unleashing popular anger over the graft and brutality that shadowed his rule. In the end, with millions massed in Cairo’s Tahrir Square and city centers around the country and even marching to the doorstep of Mubarak’s palace, the military that long nurtured him pushed him aside on Feb. 11, 2011. The generals took power, hoping to preserve what they could of the system he headed.
The state TV said Mubarak died at a Cairo hospital where he had undergone an unspecified surgery. The report said he had health complications but offered no other details.
Though Tunisia’s president fell before him, the ouster of Mubarak was the more stunning collapse in the face of the Arab Spring shaking regimes across the Arab world.
He became the only leader so far ousted in the protest wave to be imprisoned. He was convicted along with his former security chief on June 2012 and sentenced to life in prison for failing to prevent the killing of some 900 protesters during the 18-day who rose up against his autocratic regime in 2011. Both appealed the verdict and a higher court later cleared them in 2014.
The acquittal stunned many Egyptians, thousands of whom poured into central Cairo to show their anger against the court.
The following year, Mubarak and his two sons — wealthy businessman Alaa and Mubarak’s one-time heir apparent Gamal — sentenced to three years in prison on corruption charges during a retrial. The sons were released in 2015 for time served, while Mubarak walked free in 2017.
Since his arrest in April 2011, Mubarak spent the nearly six years in jail in hospitals. Following his release, he was taken to an apartment in Cairo’s Heliopolis district.
For the man who was long untouchable — even a word of criticism against him in the media was forbidden for much of his rule — prison was a shock. When he was flown from the court to Torah Prison in Cairo in 2011, he cried in protest and refused to get out of the helicopter.