UK, France, Germany ‘regret’ latest US move on Iran

Iranians shop for vegetables in the capital city of Tehran, on May 26, 2020. Iran on May 25, reopened major Shiite shrines across the Islamic republic, more than two months after they were closed, as it reported its lowest deaths from coronavirus since March. (AFP)
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Updated 31 May 2020

UK, France, Germany ‘regret’ latest US move on Iran

  • Iranian Atomic Energy Organization spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi said Thursday Washington’s “desperate” decision was aimed at distracting attention from its “continued defeats at the hands of Iran”

LONDON: Britain, France and Germany on Saturday strongly condemned a US decision to end sanctions waivers for companies from nations that remain in a nuclear accord with Iran.
The waivers were part of the landmark agreement signed with Tehran in 2015 that sought to limit Iran’s nuclear ambitions in return for lifting crippling economic sanctions.
They allowed European, Chinese and Russian companies to work on the conversion of a heavy water reactor in Arak, a major industrial city in western Iran.
“We deeply regret the US decision to end the three waivers covering key JCPOA nuclear projects in Iran,” read a joint statement from the three European powers.
“These projects, endorsed by UN Security Council Resolution 2231, serve the non-proliferation interests of all and provide the international community with assurances of the exclusively peaceful and safe nature of Iranian nuclear activities.”
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the decision to end the waivers earlier this week.
The nuclear deal, known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was signed by the US, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia as well as Iran.

HIGHLIGHT

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the decision to end the waivers earlier this week.

However, the US pulled out in 2018 and the latest decision on waivers, following further sanctions, raises the prospect that the agreement could collapse.
Russia has also attacked the decision by Pompeo, with Moscow claiming US foreign policy was becoming “more dangerous and unpredictable.”
In Tehran, Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi condemned the US decision as a “flagrant violation of Resolution 2231 and the Charter of the United Nations.”
He said Iran was ready to “take legal action and act appropriately” if the move harms its nuclear rights, without elaborating.
Iranian Atomic Energy Organization spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi said Thursday Washington’s “desperate” decision was aimed at distracting attention from its “continued defeats at the hands of Iran.”


UK sees rise in Islamist extremist cases referred to counter radicalization program

Updated 27 November 2020

UK sees rise in Islamist extremist cases referred to counter radicalization program

  • Cases involving Islamist extremism increase for first time in four years
  • Program aims to spot people who could go on to commit terrorist acts

LONDON: The number of people referred to the UK government’s counter extremism program has jumped amid concerns over increased radicalization among young people.
Cases involving Islamist extremism increased by 6 percent from 1,404 to 1,487. The numbers, which represent individuals of concern referred to the Prevent scheme between April 2019 and March 2020, mark the first year-on-year increase for Islamist cases since 2016.
While far-right cases remained steady compared to the previous year at 1,388, overall the number of people referred to the program rose 10 percent.
The rise in Islamist cases comes after a recent surge of attacks across Europe. Last month a school teacher was beheaded by an extremist after he had shown his class cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in a freedom of speech discussion. Days later, three people were killed in a terrorist attack at a church in Nice.
In the UK, three people were killed in a knife attack on London Bridge almost a year ago.
The UK’s Prevent program is part of its wider counter-terrorism strategy and aims to safeguard people from becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism.
The most serious cases are referred to a panel known as “Channel,” which then decides what further action to take. Of the 697 cases that reached the panel, most were related to the far-right (302), while 210 were linked to Islamist extremism. 
More than half of all referrals were aged under 20.
Security Minister James Brokenshire said the Prevent strategy was an essential strand to the UK’s counter-terror strategy.
“It is about supporting vulnerable individuals, steering them away from terrorism, and protecting our communities,” he told the Royal United Services Institute on Thursday.
Last week the head of counter-terror policing in the UK, Neil Basu, said that while Islamist terrorists remained the greatest threat to Britain, the far right is growing faster.
He said COVID-19 had created a “perfect storm” with young and vulnerable people spending more time alone and online.