EU supports Iran nuclear deal, wants to avoid further escalation

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said the EU fully supports the international nuclear accord with Iran and wants rival powers to avoid any further escalation over the issue. (AFP)
Updated 13 May 2019
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EU supports Iran nuclear deal, wants to avoid further escalation

  • United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is also expected to meet EU officials in Brussels on Monday to talk about Iran
  • European countries said last week they wanted to preserve Iran’s nuclear deal and rejected “ultimatums” from Tehran

BRUSSELS: The European Union fully supports the international nuclear accord with Iran and wants rival powers to avoid any further escalation over the issue, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said on Monday.
“We will continue to support it as much as we can with all our instruments and all our political will,” Mogherini told reporters before a meeting with the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany, who are signatories to the deal.

Britain’s Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt also warned of the risks of an unintended conflict between the US and Iran over the unraveling nuclear deal.
“We are very worried about the risk of a conflict happening by accident with an escalation that is unintended,” Hunt told reporters in Brussels, adding that it was crucial not to put Iran back on the path of re-nuclearisation.

United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is also expected to meet EU officials in Brussels on Monday to talk about Iran.
Mogherini said she was informed during the night of Pompeo’s arrival to Brussels where EU foreign ministers are gathered for a regular monthly meeting.

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“We will be here all day with a busy agenda. So we will see during the day how and if will manage to arrange a meeting. He’s always welcome obviously, but there are no precise plans at the moment,” Mogherini said.
Pompeo is on his way to the Black Sea resort of Sochi where he plans to meet Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday to discuss Iran.
European countries said last week they wanted to preserve Iran’s nuclear deal and rejected “ultimatums” from Tehran, after Iran relaxed restrictions on its nuclear program and threatened moves that might breach the 2015 international pact.

“We in Europe agree that this treaty is necessary for our security,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told reporters in Brussels. “Nobody wants Iran to get possession of an atomic bomb and that’s been achieved so far.”
Iran’s move was in response to US sanctions imposed following Donald Trump’s withdrawal of the United States from the accord with Tehran a year ago.


India seizes one ton of ketamine on boat, arrests six Myanmar crew

Updated 22 September 2019

India seizes one ton of ketamine on boat, arrests six Myanmar crew

  • India’s coast guard seized $42 million worth of ketamine

NEW DELHI: India’s coast guard has arrested six Myanmar men and seized $42 million worth of ketamine after spotting a suspicious vessel in the Indian Ocean near the Nicobar Islands.
The 1,160-kilogram drug haul came after coast guard aircraft spotted the boat, which had its lights off, on Wednesday in India’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the defense ministry said in a statement.
The boat’s crew did not respond to radio calls and the coast guard eventually boarded it, with officials finding “57 gunny bundles of suspicious substance” on Friday.
“Preliminary analysis ... revealed that the suspicious substance was ketamine and there were 1,160 packets of 1kg each onboard the vessel,” the ministry added.
The six Myanmar men and cargo were taken to Port Blair, the capital of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, where they were questioned by investigators.
They claimed they left Myanmar on September 14 and were due to rendezvous with another boat “operating near the Thailand-Malaysia maritime border line” on Saturday, the statement said.
The Nicobar Islands are located near Southeast Asia, off Myanmar’s coast.
Parts of Myanmar, Laos and Thailand are in the lawless “Golden Triangle” zone, the world’s second-largest drug-producing region after Latin America.
Large amounts drugs such as heroin and methamphetamine are churned out in remote jungle labs each year and smuggled across Asia and beyond.