Tag: Iran

Global watchdog blacklisted Iran after it failed to follow FATF norms
Middle East & Africa

Global watchdog blacklisted Iran after it failed to follow FATF norms

On Friday, The global watchdog put Iran on its blacklist after it failed to follow the global anti-terrorism funding norms, a step that will advance the nation’s disengagement from the financial market.

The decision came after over three years of forewarning from the Paris-based Financial Action Taskforce (FATF), pressing the Islamic Republic to either order militant financing conventions or see its pardon from the blacklist lifted and some forced counter-measures.

The group’s 39 members stated in an announcement following a week-long meeting, “Given Iran’s inability to authorize the Palermo and Terrorist Financing Conventions following the FATF Standards, the FATF completely lifts the suspension of counter-measures and approaches its individuals and urges all jurisdictions to apply successful counter-steps,” The Reuters revealed.

These would involve more scrutiny of dealings with Iran, harder external evaluating of financing firms working in the nation, and additional stress on foreign banks and organizations continuing business with Iran.

The United States recognized the team’s action after what it said was Tehran’s inability to follow FATF’s norms.

Iran “must face ramifications for its continued failure to submit to global standards,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in an announcement.

Iran’s central bank chief rejected FATF’s decision as “politically driven and not a professional decision,” the state news agency IRNA cited Abdolnasser Hemmati as stating.

“I can guarantee our country that it will not affect Iran’s stability and foreign trade,” Hemmati added.

US sanctions have disabled Iran’s economy, wrecking its oil exports and, to a great extent, closing it from the global financial system. Washington has since long forced a policy of “maximum pressure” on Iran, The National reported.

Article Credit: The National

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Iran’s preparation for elections could test the popularity of the ruling party.
Middle East & Africa

Iran’s preparation for elections could test the popularity of the ruling party.

On Thursday, Iran’s parliamentary election campaigns officially ended a day before the vote, which is seen as a crucial test of the popularity of the ruling religious establishment.

Workers went out early in the morning to clean the streets from posters and banners in preparation for the first Iranian elections after US President Donald Trump announced withdrawal from the nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions in 2018.

Analysts said that the turnout in the elections would be a referendum on the Islamic Republic’s leaders dealing with political and economic crises, while Iran faces increasing isolation on the international stage and resentment at home from economic difficulties.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the vote was a “religious duty” but some prominent politicians of the reformist movement in Iran and activists abroad have called for a boycott of the elections. “We need to launch a strong boycott campaign to respond to the regime’s oppressive policies,” said imprisoned human rights activist Narges Mohammadi from her cell in the city of Zanjan in a message posted on her husband’s Facebook page this week.

Iranian activists, opposition groups, and two advocates of boycotting the elections are posting heavily on social media.
The vote to choose the 290 members of parliament will have little impact on Iran’s foreign policy or nuclear policy, which Khamenei sets, and his supporters are likely to dominate parliament.

The Guardians Council, which is responsible for reviewing applications for those who want to run, refused 6850 moderates and conservatives from among the 14,000 applicants who qualified.

“We expect that 50 percent of citizens will participate in the elections,” Council spokesman Abbas Ali Kadkhadai told a televised news conference on Wednesday.

The turnout was 62 percent in the 2016 parliamentary elections and 66 percent in the 2012 elections. There are about 58 million Iranians who are eligible to vote.

While supporters of the foundation will vote for hard-line candidates, many Iranian reformists are outraged by the authorities’ handling of protests in November over high fuel prices, which quickly turned into political protests in which protesters demanded “regime change”.

Human rights groups said a campaign led by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards to quell the protests had killed hundreds and arrested thousands. Iranian authorities have accused the opponents of the Islamic Republic and foreign enemies of fomenting the unrest.

Many are also angry that a Ukrainian passenger plane was downed in January, killing all 176 people on board, mostly Iranians. After days of denial, the Revolutionary Guards claimed responsibility for the downing of the plane.

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Trump Control Comes Through Congressional Vote On Iran
Americas, Middle East & Africa

Trump Control Comes Through Congressional Vote On Iran

A Republican controlled senate has finally passed a resolution to control President Donald Trump’s military moves against Iran. Now, Trump cannot make a move towards Iran with a congressional authorization.

This development has come through after a vote fell short of the two-thirds majority necessary to overcome a promised veto by the White House.

This reiterates that there is lack of faith in Trump’s administration that does not speak for the betterment of the United States as a whole. The vote shows that some Republicans have no qualms about break away from Trump on foreign policy, even if they largely remained aligned with the administration on most other issues.

While being a Republican leader, he has not received thumps up for his obtuse point of view when it comes to trade and foreign policy. His various decisions in Syria, China and Iran, have done nothing but created sense of unrest and disturbed inter-government dynamics.
In 2019, Republicans had joined Democrats to challenge the Trump administration on several foreign-policy measures. Nearly 130 House Republicans voted to oppose Mr. Trump’s decision to withdraw troops from Syria last year.

Bipartisan majorities in the House and Senate also have approved resolutions that aimed to withdraw U.S. support for a Saudi-led coalition in Yemen and block arms sales to Saudi Arabia. Mr. Trump vetoed both of them.
Sen. Tim Kaine is a democrat from Vermouth and the author of the resolution. According to Kaine, “While the President does and must always have the ability to defend the United States from imminent attack, the executive power to initiate war stops there,” Mr. Kaine said. “An offensive war requires a congressional debate and vote. This should not be a controversial proposition.”

In America, most such strategic decisions that can affect the national security of the country cannot be taken by the President without running it through the congressional approval. This is done merely to ensure the onus of a major decision does not lie with one person only. Read more Latest news on africa .

Franco-Iranian researcher imprisoned in Iran stopped her hunger strike
Europe, Middle East & Africa

Franco-Iranian researcher imprisoned in Iran stopped her hunger strike

Franco-Iranian researcher Fariba Adelakha, who has been imprisoned in Iran since last June, suspended her hunger strike that started six weeks ago. The researcher’s lawyer, Saeed Dahqan, told Agence France Presse that “Adelkha has responded to a written request from civil and political activists and has stopped her hunger strike Wednesday afternoon”.

Last January, the French newspaper “Le Figaro” quoted a research fellow saying that Adelakha had entered a hunger strike since December 24 and that her health condition had deteriorated, while that of her colleague arrested with her, Ronald Marshall, was completely unstable.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian urged Iran earlier to release the French citizen and her colleague, saying that their health had deteriorated.

According to AFP, on January 7 Fariba Adelakha’s lawyer said that the authorities had dropped her charges of espionage but was still holding her for other security-related charges, adding that Marshall was being held on suspicion of acts harmful to Iranian national security. Read all the Latest news on africa visit us.

Iraq dismisses MP’s request that Germany, France, and Australia proposed to pull back soldiers
Middle East & Africa

Iraq dismisses MP’s request that Germany, France, and Australia proposed to pull back soldiers

Questions regarding the presence of foreign troops in Iraq come during a period of high pressure amid the US and Iran, following the death of the leader of Quds Force Qassem Suleimani, who was killed at Baghdad International Airport via a US drone strike.

The killing incited mass protests in Iran and retribution assaults against US bases in Iraq, The National report.

Iraq’s Joint Operations Command has dismissed a claim by a member from its security and defense board that France, Germany, and Australia approached Baghdad to prepare to remove their forces.

On Monday, Badr Al Ziyadi Member of Parliament’s Office disclosed to The National that Canberra and Berlin had officially offered a letter to set a timetable for the exit of their soldiers.

“Their solicitation has been to set up a timetable for the withdrawal of their soldiers. The next government will take charge of setting the timetable and the exit plan for foreign soldiers.”

However, Major General Tahsin Al Khafaji, the representative of the Joint Operations Command, denied that the three countries had presented any such solicitation.

According to The National, when they reached Al Ziyadi’s office, they stated that the solicitation was just made verbally by commandants from the three nations to the Iraqi Joint Operations Command, and not conveyed by official letter.

“It is an unsubstantiated rumor,” a foreign ministry representative told The National.

Al Sadr’s Mahdi Army battled the US and British armies in Baghdad and the city of Najaf following the US-led attack in 2003. A month ago, his supporters organized a march in Baghdad to request that US troops leave Iraq alongside other foreign powers. They likewise wanted Iraq’s security alliances with the US to be dropped, and the closing of Iraqi airspace to the US military.

Due to the growing tensions Iraqi legislature voted last month to ask for the withdrawal of US forces from the nation.To read more Middle East Latest news

Iranian opposition meets in Sweden .. to discuss change.
Middle East & Africa

Iranian opposition meets in Sweden .. to discuss change.

Dozens of Iranian opposition parties, organizations and personalities under the umbrella of the “Council of Democratic Forces in Iran” met in an expanded conference in Stockholm, the capital of the Kingdom of Sweden, on Saturday afternoon, to discuss ways to unify efforts and possibilities to overthrow the regime in Tehran.

The organizers stated to that delegates from the Swedish parliament, Iranian and international figures, activists and members of Iranian society organizations in the Diaspora will participate in the conference that will present how to support the protests of the Iranian interior and the role of the opposition abroad in communicating with the international community to communicate the demands and aspirations of the Iranian people in salvation From the system of Wilayat al-Faqih, and the formation of a pluralistic democratic system that represents all components of society with a national, cultural, religious and political diversity.

The Council of Democratic Forces in Iran, made up of 13 parties and organizations, is the broadest alliance of all Iranian opposition factions that includes the Persian Nationalist parties represented by the Iranian Democratic Front and the Union of People’s Fedayes and the Liberal Republicans, in addition to the parties and organizations of non-Persian nationalities, which are each of the “Kurdistan Democratic Party, The Ahwazi Democratic Solidarity Party, the Azerbaijani Political and Cultural Center, the Baloch People’s Party, the Iranian Kurdistan Alliance Party, the Turkmen Political Cultural Center, the United Front of Baluchistan, the Bakhtiari and Lorestan Union party, in addition to a number of Syndicates Workers, civil society activists, and independent political figures.

The council has issued invitations to the rest of the opposition parties and organizations whose representatives will attend – according to the organizers – to discuss uniting all opposition forces under a comprehensive umbrella to harness efforts and capabilities to overthrow the Iranian regime.

The meeting will offer to form a broad coalition and a joint program and win sympathy and support for nations, peoples and free and progressive countries in cooperation with international institutions to change the Iranian regime with peaceful popular protests and a smooth transition to democracy.

It is noteworthy that the convening of the conference comes in light of the suffocating international isolation experienced by the Iranian regime because of the nuclear program and the crisis of shooting down the Ukrainian plane with a missile for the Revolutionary Guard and the consequences of the bloody repression of the popular protests in November and January.

The European position, after activating the “trigger mechanism” to settle the nuclear dispute with Iran, is approaching more than the American position on concluding a comprehensive agreement that includes freezing the nuclear and missile programs, stopping the regional regime’s interference and continuing its support for terrorism. See more Latest news on africa .

To contain the nuclear crisis: the European Union foreign minister visits Iran
Middle East & Africa

To contain the nuclear crisis: the European Union foreign minister visits Iran

By Amina Souafi.

European Union Foreign Minister Josep Borrell arrived in the Iranian capital, Tehran, according to what Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi announced, in light of renewed tension between the West and Tehran over its nuclear file.

Moussaoui said in a press statement that Borrell “will arrive in Iran for the first time since he took office (early December). Foreign Minister Muhammad Javad Zarif is scheduled to meet with other prominent officials in our country for consultations.”

Moussaoui did not provide further details about Borel’s arrival time or the duration of his visit.

This visit comes amid new tension between Iran and Western countries, against the background of the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program.

On January 24, Borrell invited the signatories of the 2015 nuclear agreement in Vienna to a meeting in February, in order to preserve the agreement that has been at risk of collapse since the United States unilaterally withdrew from it in 2018.

He stated at the time that all parties “confirmed their determination to preserve the agreement that is in everyone’s interest.”

In Vienna, Iran agreed to limit its nuclear program in exchange for a partial lifting of international sanctions that stifle its economy.

But the U.S. exit from the agreement, and its reimposition of sanctions against Iran since 2018, deprived Tehran of the economic benefits it had been awaiting from the agreement.

With sanctions re-imposed, in May 2019, an economy in recession, Iran declared its non-compliance with the restrictions agreed in Vienna.

In an attempt to force Tehran to return to compliance with the terms of the agreement, the Europeans launched a mechanism in January to resolve the dispute.

In a related context, a Japanese destroyer sailed to the Gulf of Oman, amid increasing tension in the Middle East, in order to protect the shipping lines that supply the third largest economy in the world with almost all of their oil needs.

“Thousands of Japanese ships sail in these waters every year, including ships carrying nine-tenths of our oil. They are the lifeblood of Japan,” Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told the crew of the destroyer Takanami, at the Yokosuka naval base near Tokyo, before sailing.

The ship, which will be escorted by two maritime patrol aircraft, will not join a U.S.-led naval force or any other naval alliances in the region.

Japan opted to act independently in the region’s conflicts. The Tokyo government has friendly relations with Iran and other Middle Eastern countries, and Abe traveled to the region in January to brief Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Oman on the mission after having held talks with Iranian leaders.

Tension has increased in the Middle East since the rift between Iran and the United States intensified following the decision of US President Donald Trump to withdraw from the international nuclear agreement that Tehran concluded with world powers in 2015, and the subsequent re-imposition of US sanctions on Iran.To read all the latest news on africa.

EU Top Diplomat To Discuss Way Out With Iran
Middle East & Africa

EU Top Diplomat To Discuss Way Out With Iran

Top EU diplomat Josep Borrell has plans to visit Iran according to confirmed news from Tehran and Brussels. This will be his first visit since taking office where he aims to reduce rising tensions over the Islamic republic’s nuclear programme.

On his two day trip, Borrell will be meeting up with all top level Iranian officials. This includes President Hassan Rouhani, Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani. Borrell intends to de-escalate the tension that has been mounting between the US and Iran, after the US retracted itself from the 2015 Nuclear Deal. His visit also aims to come out with a viable political solution.

Washington took to imposing sanctions over Tehran something that has crippled the latter’s economy.  It has been the EU sentiment that Borrell’s visit will convey, of that of ‘preservation’ of the nuclear deal  known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, and to discuss cooperation between the EU and Iran.

The nuclear deal was landmark movement by then president of US, Barack Obama, under which Iran had received partial reprieve from crippling international sanctions. In return, Tehran had agreed to drastically reduce its nuclear activities and to submit to a tailor-made inspection regime by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Donald Trump has undone everything good that had been done by his predecessor, pushing Iran to move to take drastic measures in order to retaliate to the mounting economical pressure brought forth by the US. All participating nations in the 2015 Nuclear deal are against any kind of violent outcome. This includes France, Germany, Britain, China, and Russia as well, though Moscow is known to dance to its own tune. Watch more news about Middle East Latest news, Latest news on africa .

America Sanctions and Waives Off Together
Americas

America Sanctions and Waives Off Together

The United States has yet again imposed sanctions on Iran’s nuclear entity as per the Treasury Department. However, it has been stated that the US will not interfere in Russian, Chinese and European firms continuing to work at Iranian nuclear sites. This might make it harder for that country to develop a nuclear weapon.

Further, the US will now issue waivers to sanctions that that initially barred non-US firms from dealing with the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran. According to the same sources, the waivers’ renewal will allow nonproliferation work to continue for 60 days. This will be done at the Arak heavy-water research reactor, the Bushehr nuclear power plant, the Tehran Research Reactor and other nuclear cooperation initiatives.

Waivers have had to be given in order to prevent non-proliferation, a decision that has come after a debate between the US Treasury and State Department. In November 2019, Washington had terminated the sanctions waiver related to Iran’s Fordow nuclear plant after Tehran resumed uranium enrichment at the underground site. The US retracted itself from the 2015 Nuclear Deal completely misbalancing world economy. Under the 2015 deal that was a great peace keeping effort made by Barac Obama, it was joint agreement between Iran and six world powers. These include Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States. Under the agreement, Tehran promised to limit its nuclear program in return for the lifting of economic sanctions that had crippled its economy. However, Trump’s retracement has left the rest of the partners in an extremely tough spot.

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