US officially designates Iran’s Revolutionary Guards a terrorist group

Members of the Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guards attend a rally against the U.S.'s decision to designate the guard as a foreign terrorist organization, after the Friday prayers at the Enqelab-e-Eslami (Islamic Revolution) street in Tehran, Iran, Friday, April 12, 2019. (AP)
Updated 15 April 2019

US officially designates Iran’s Revolutionary Guards a terrorist group

WASHINGTON: The United States officially designated Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a foreign terrorist organization, according to a notice published in the US Federal Register on Monday.
US President Donald Trump said last week he would make the symbolic but unprecedented move, which immediately was condemned by Iran and created concerns about reprisal attacks on US forces.
The IRGC is in charge of Iran’s ballistic missile and nuclear programs. It also is involved with the country’s banking and shipping industries. The new designation makes it easier to prosecute companies or people in the European Union that do business with Iran.
US law already punishes US persons who deal with the IRGC with up to 20 years in prison because of the group’s designation under the US Specially Designated Global Terrorist list, a different US sanctions program.


South Sudan says will host peace talks between Sudan and rebels

Updated 28 min 17 sec ago

South Sudan says will host peace talks between Sudan and rebels

  • Hamdok will meet rebel leaders from the Sudanese states of Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile

JUBA: Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok will attend peace talks in the South Sudan capital Monday with rebel leaders from several Sudanese states, said official sources in Juba.
“Tomorrow’s meeting is to mark the launching of Sudan’s peace talks,” Ateny Wek Ateny, spokesman for South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir, told AFP Sunday.
Hamdok, who was only appointed in August in a deal between the army and the opposition, will meet rebel leaders from the Sudanese states of Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile.
Kiir, who just a few weeks ago signed his own peace deal with rebel leader Riek Machar, offered to mediate between Sudan and the rebels back in November 2018.
This new set of talks follow a first round in September when both sides agreed on a road map for the negotiations.
This week’s meeting is intended to tackle the main issues, said Ateny.
Also attending will be Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who last week won the Nobel Peace Prize, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Their presence, said Ateny, was to give the talks more weight.
A senior Sudanese delegation arrived in Juba on Sunday.
The Sudanese delegation will meet Abdulaziz Al-Hilu, leader of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), which is active in Bule Nile and South Kordofan states. Al-Hilu will lead the rebel delegation.
This new peace initiative comes after the fall of longtime Sudanese autocrat Omar Al-Bashir, who was toppled from power by the Sudanese military in April.
Prime Minister Hamdok has been tasked with leading Sudan back to civilian rule, but he has said he also wants to end the conflicts with the rebels.
Over the years, the rebels’ conflict with Khartoum have killed hundreds of thousands of people and forced millions to flee their homes.