Macron to offer solutions to French yellow vest grievances

Macron initially planned to make his announcements last week, but postponed them because of the Notre Dame fire. (File/AFP)
Updated 25 April 2019

Macron to offer solutions to French yellow vest grievances

  • His speech will be based on three months of national debate aimed at addressing the protesters’ concerns
  • The protesters see the centrist Macron as favoring the rich and want more income equality

PARIS: French President Emmanuel Macron is set to unveil long-awaited plans to quell five months of yellow vest protests that have damaged his presidency.
Macron will make a speech Thursday at the Elysee presidential palace based on three months of national debate aimed at addressing the protesters’ concerns through town hall meetings and collecting complaints online.
He is expected to respond to concerns over sinking purchasing power with tax cuts for lower-income households and measures to boost pensions and help single parents. He may also make it easier for ordinary people to initiate local referendums.
The protesters see the centrist Macron as favoring the rich and want more income equality.
Macron initially planned to make his announcements last week, but postponed them when the fire at Notre Dame Cathedral broke out.


Iran dismisses ‘desperate’ US move to end nuclear waivers

Updated 28 May 2020

Iran dismisses ‘desperate’ US move to end nuclear waivers

  • ‘Ending waivers for nuclear cooperation with Iran ... has effectively no impact on Iran’s continued work’

TEHRAN: Tehran on Thursday dismissed the impact of what it called Washington’s “desperate attempt” to end sanction waivers for nations that remain in the Iran nuclear accord.
The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran said the United States had made the move in a bid “to distract public opinion from its continued defeats at the hands of Iran.”
“Ending waivers for nuclear cooperation with Iran... has effectively no impact on Iran’s continued work” on what the Islamic republic insists is a purely civilian nuclear energy program, its spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi added in a statement published on the agency’s website.
The US decision, he said, was in response to Iranian fuel shipments to Venezuela — which is also under US sanctions — and the “significant advancements of Iran’s nuclear industry.”
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday that the United States was responding to Iran’s “brinksmanship” — its scrapping of certain nuclear commitments aimed at pressuring Washington to remove sanctions as called for by the 2015 accord.
“These escalatory actions are unacceptable and I cannot justify renewing the waiver,” Pompeo said in a statement.
President Donald Trump withdrew the US from the landmark agreement — also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA — and reimposed sanctions on Iran in 2018.
The remaining parties to the deal include Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia.
In May 2019, Iran announced it was suspending nuclear commitments to the deal, starting with removing limits on its heavy water and enriched uranium stockpiles.
It was in retaliation for US sanctions and what Iran deemed Europe’s inaction to provide it with the JCPOA’s economic benefits.
Washington had until now issued waivers to allow companies, primarily from Russia, to keep carrying out the nuclear work of the agreement without risking legal ramifications in the US economy.
It will end waivers that allowed the modification of the heavy water reactor in Arak, which prevented it from using plutonium for military use, as well as the export of spent and scrap research reactor fuel.
Kamalvandi said ending the waivers would not impact Iran’s continued work on the Arak reactor and “other equipment” by Iranian experts.