Germany wants broader Iran nuclear deal

Germany wants broader Iran nuclear deal
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said that a new broader Iran nuclear accord must be reached.(AFP)
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Updated 04 December 2020

Germany wants broader Iran nuclear deal

Germany wants broader Iran nuclear deal
  • Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has rejected talk of reopening the 2015 deal

BERLIN: Germany said Friday that a new broader Iran nuclear accord must be reached to also rein in Tehran’s ballistic missile program, warning that the 2015 deal was no longer enough.
“A form of ‘nuclear agreement plus’ is needed, which also lies in our interest,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, whose country currently holds the EU presidency, told Spiegel magazine in an interview.
“We have clear expectations for Iran: no nuclear weapons, but also no ballistic rocket program which threatens the whole region. Iran must also play another role in the region.”
“We need this accord because we distrust Iran,” he added.
The 2015 nuclear deal — known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA — gave Iran relief from sanctions in return for curbs on its nuclear program.
The European Union and the United States were key signatories in the deal but US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the accord in 2018 and has reimposed crippling sanctions on Tehran as part of a “maximum pressure” campaign.
President-elect Joe Biden has signalled that Washington could rejoin the deal as a starting point for follow-on negotiations if Iran returned to compliance.
But Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has rejected talk of reopening the 2015 deal, saying on Thursday: “We will not renegotiate a deal which we negotiated.”
He added that Western powers should look to their own behavior before criticizing Iran.
He also complained at what he characterised as a lack of European outrage at the assassination of one of Iran’s leading nuclear scientists, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, outside Tehran last week — an attack Tehran has blamed on Israel.
Decades old US-Iranian tensions dramatically escalated after Trump walked out of the deal.
In recent months, alarm has also grown over Iran’s regional activities through proxies in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and Yemen, which the West says destabilizes the region.


Sudan troops deployed in Darfur after clashes kill 155

Sudan troops deployed in Darfur after clashes kill 155
Updated 30 sec ago

Sudan troops deployed in Darfur after clashes kill 155

Sudan troops deployed in Darfur after clashes kill 155
  • Violence erupted Saturday between Arab nomads and members of the non-Arab Massalit ethnic group in El Geneina, the capital of West Darfur
  • Authorities in West Darfur have imposed a statewide curfew as troops arrived there from Khartoum and other parts of Sudan to restore order
KHARTOUM: A heavy Sudanese troop presence helped restore calm Tuesday in the Darfur region, local sources said, after three days of inter-ethnic violence which claimed at least 155 lives and displaced tens of thousands.
The transitional government in the capital Khartoum has deployed military units to the remote region, where the recent end of a joint United Nation and African Union peacekeeping mission raised fears of more bloodshed.
Violence erupted Saturday between Arab nomads and members of the non-Arab Massalit ethnic group in El Geneina, the capital of West Darfur, killing at least 100 people and wounding more than 130, said state governor Mohamed Abdalla Al-Douma.
The clashes prompted some 50,000 people to flee areas in and around a camp for internally displaced people (IDPs) who were driven from their homes in previous conflicts, said aid group Save the Children.
Authorities in West Darfur have imposed a statewide curfew as troops arrived there from Khartoum and other parts of Sudan to restore order.
“There have been no clashes since Sunday, but there were incidents of looting, especially of houses and farms of people living at the Kerindig IDP camp,” Douma told AFP.
“The situation is calm in the state as security forces have spread in and around the city of El Geneina and Kerindig.”
Douma said houses were burned and farm produce stolen in villages near El Geneina, but added that “we sent security to surround these villages and they are now secure.”
Separate clashes on Monday in South Darfur between members of the Fallata ethnic group and the Arab Rizeigat tribe killed at least 55 people and wounded 37.
A heavy troops presence has also restored order there, the official SUNA news agency reported.
Tribal leader Mohamed Saleh told AFP by phone that “the situation is calm today in our village in South Darfur. There are no clashes.
But he said people were “tense, fearing the renewed outbreak of violence.”
Among those killed in Saturday’s violence in West Darfur was Sayid Ismail Baraka, an American citizen from Georgia whose family fled a conflict that had devastated Darfur in 2003.
His brother, Usumain, told AFP that Sayid had been visiting family when violence broke out.
“He was shot and killed in front of his family by militants who entered his home” in El Geneina, Usumain said.
The 2003 conflict in the vast and impoverished western region of Darfur killed some 300,000 people and displaced 2.5 million, according to the United Nations.
It had flared when ethnic minority rebels rose up against dictator Omar Al-Bashir’s Arab-dominated government. Khartoum responded by unleashing a notorious Arab-dominated militia known as the Janjaweed from among the region’s nomadic tribes.
Bashir was ousted by huge pro-democracy protests in April 2019, and the country has been in a rocky transition ever since, with a stand-in government trying to stabilize Sudan’s conflict-torn south and west.
Bashir himself is on trial over the Islamist-backed 1989 coup that brought him to power, and is also wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of genocide and war crimes in Darfur.
Fighting in the region has subsided over the years, but Darfur still sees occasional ethnic and tribal clashes, usually over land and water disputes between semi-nomadic Arab pastoralists and settled non-Arab farmers.
The latest violence came after the United Nations and African Union peacekeeping mission, UNAMID, ended its 13 years of operations in Darfur on December 31.
Darfuris had protested the blue helmets’ departure citing fears of renewed violence.
UNAMID plans a phased withdrawal of its 8,000 or so armed and civilian personnel within six months.