US to sanction entities linked to Iran's missile program

US to sanction entities linked to Iran's missile program
An Iranian missile being fired during air defence exercises last month. (AFP)
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Updated 25 November 2020

US to sanction entities linked to Iran's missile program

US to sanction entities linked to Iran's missile program
  • Envoy Elliott Abrams warns Abrams warns that Washington would continue to apply pressure on Iran
  • Entities in China and Russia accused of promoting Iran's missile program

WASHINGTON: The United States on Wednesday will impose Iran-related sanctions on four entities, US Special Envoy for Iran Elliott Abrams said, accusing the entities in China and Russia of activities promoting Iran's missile program.
Abrams warned that Washington would continue to apply pressure on Iran, with sanctions expected over the coming weeks and through December and January related to arms, weapons of mass destruction and human rights.
"We will have next week, and the week after, and the week after - all through December and January, there will be sanctions that deal with arms, that deal with weapons of mass destruction, that deal with human rights. ... So this will continue on for another couple of months, right until the end," Abrams said during a virtual Beirut Institute event.
Tensions between Washington and Tehran have risen since Trump two years ago abandoned the 2015 Iran nuclear deal struck by his predecessor, Barack Obama, and restored harsh economic sanctions designed to force Tehran into a wider negotiation on curbing its nuclear program, development of ballistic missiles and support for regional proxy forces.
President-elect Joe Biden, set to take office on Jan. 20, has said he will return the United States to the nuclear deal, if Iran resumes compliance.
Abrams on Wednesday said it would be wrong to assume that a new administration could reverse Iran policy like switching a light and that negotiations to return to the Iran nuclear deal would take many months. 


Israel extradites woman wanted for sex crimes to Australia

Israel extradites woman wanted for sex crimes to Australia
Updated 19 min 21 sec ago

Israel extradites woman wanted for sex crimes to Australia

Israel extradites woman wanted for sex crimes to Australia
  • Malka Leifer had been fighting extradition from Israel since 2014
  • She faces 74 charges of child sex abuse that she allegedly committed while teaching in Melbourne

JERUSALEM: Israeli authorities on Monday extradited a woman wanted on 74 charges of child sex abuse in Australia, following a six-year legal battle that had strained relations between the two governments.
Malka Leifer, a former teacher accused of sexually abusing several former students at a Jewish school in Melbourne, had been fighting extradition from Israel since 2014. Leifer maintains her innocence and the protracted court case and repeated delays over her extradition drew criticism from Australian officials as well as the country’s Jewish leaders.
Israeli media photographed Leifer boarding a plane at Ben Gurion Airport early Monday, her ankles and wrists shackled. Her lawyer, Nick Kaufman, confirmed the extradition.
The Hebrew-language news site Ynet reported that she boarded a flight to Frankfurt, where she would transfer to another flight bound for Australia.
Her departure was timed so that she left the country before Israel’s shutdown of the airport at midnight due to the country’s coronavirus outbreak.
In December, the Supreme Court rejected a final appeal against her extradition, and Israel’s justice minister signed the order to send her to Australia.
Leifer faces 74 charges of child sex abuse that she allegedly committed while teaching in Melbourne.
As accusations against her began surfacing in 2008, Israeli-born Leifer left the school and returned to Israel, where she has lived since.
Critics, including Leifer’s alleged victims, had accused Israeli authorities of dragging out the case for far too long, while Leifer claimed she was mentally unfit to stand trial.
Last year, an Israeli psychiatric panel determined Leifer was lying about her mental condition, setting in motion the extradition.
Avi Nissenkorn, Israel’s former justice minister who had signed the extradition order, wrote on Twitter: “I promised that I would not hinder the extradition order, and that’s what I have done. Malka Leifer’s victims will finally earn an act of justice.”
Manny Waks, head of Voice against Child Sex Abuse, an organization representing Leifer’s victims, said in a statement that “this is an incredible day for justice!”
“We can now truly look forward to Leifer facing justice in Australia on the 74 charges she is facing,” he said.