Tag Archives: Rouhani

United Nation’s consent on Iran reinstated – United States claims.

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Washington isolated as global allies and adversaries say its unilateral move targeting Tehran has no legal standing.

The United States has broken with all other permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and unilaterally declared the re-imposition of all UN sanctions against Iran – a claim rejected by Iran and the international community, including Washington’s close allies, as having no legal basis.

In a statement on Sunday following the expiration of a deadline set by the US, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo threatened “consequences” for any UN member state that does not comply with the punitive measures, which were lifted under a landmark nuclear deal that was signed between six world powers and Iran in 2015 but was abandoned by the US more than two years ago.

In addition to adhering to a conventional arms embargo that is due to expire next month, Pompeo said member states must comply with restrictions such as the ban on Iran engaging in nuclear enrichment and reprocessing-related activities; the prohibition on ballistic missile testing and development; and sanctions on transfer of nuclear and missile-related technologies.

“If UN Member States fail to fulfil their obligations to implement these sanctions, the United States is prepared to use our domestic authorities to impose consequences for those failures and ensure that Iran does not reap the benefits of UN-prohibited activity,” Pompeo said.

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His statement came a month after the US officially triggered the process aimed at restoring all UN sanctions on Iran, claiming significant Iranian violations of the Joint Comprehensive Plan for Action (JCPOA), the formal name for the 2015 deal that was endorsed by the Security Council.

Despite the US in May 2018 pulling out of the deal and reimposing crippling sanctions on Iran, Washington argues it is still technically a “participant” and could trigger the so-called “snapback”. This was a mechanism devised by the US negotiating team before the signing of the JCPOA that stipulated that if Iran breached its commitments, all international sanctions could snap back into place.

However, the international community, including the four other permanent Security Council members, insist the US no longer has the legal ability to force through any changes since it announced its exit from what Trump has branded “the worst deal ever” with a presidential memorandum titled Ceasing US Participation in the JCPOA.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani addressed the nation directly in a live televised cabinet meeting on Sunday. He congratulated world powers since US pressure to reinstate UN sanctions “has reached its definitive point of failure”.

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Today, he said, “will be a memorable day in the history of our country’s diplomacy”.

Rouhani added should the US try to “bully” others into adhering to its declaration of reinstating UN sanctions, Iran will have a “decisive response” to match.

Pointing out how the US tried to garner the support of other nuclear deal signatories following its unilateral withdrawal from the nuclear deal, Rouhani said the United States expected Iran to act irrationally, giving it an excuse to form an international coalition against the Islamic Republic.

“Today we can say the ‘maximum pressure’ of US against the Iranian nation, politically and legally, has turned to ‘maximum isolation’ for the US.”

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The president also addressed the five remaining signatories of the nuclear deal, reiterating the promise that if they fully adhere to their commitments under the accord, Iran will also fully implement its commitments.

Exactly one year after the US abandoned the nuclear deal, Iran started gradually scaling down its commitments, including those concerning its stockpile of enriched uranium. Iran still continues to grant access to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

In a letter to the Security Council, the European signatories to the deal – Britain, France and Germany, or E3 – stressed UN sanctions relief for Iran would continue, adding any decision or action to reimpose them “would be incapable of legal effect”.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also told the council he would not take any action on the US declaration because “there would appear to be uncertainty whether or not any process … was indeed initiated”.

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On Sunday morning, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh told reporters the US is experiencing some of its “most bitter” times as it has chosen to stand “on the wrong side of history”.

“The message of Tehran for Washington is clear: Return to the international community. Return to your commitments. Stop this rogue and unruly behaviour. The international community will accept you,” Khatibzadeh said.

Transatlantic rift
According to Hamidreza Azizi, a visiting fellow at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), there are clear reasons why the European powers, as well as Russia and China, oppose the US demand.

“First, it would pave the way for further arbitrary interpretation of international treaties by Washington, that may one day come back to haunt the Europeans themselves,” Azizi said

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“Second, Iran’s reaction to sanctions return would be to leave the JCPOA or even NPT,” he added, referring to the international nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty that pursues nuclear disarmament.

As to why the US would engage in such a move based on shaky legal arguments, Azizi says its goal is political.

“It wants to keep Iran under the international spotlight, continuing to introduce the Islamic Republic as a threat to international peace and security,” he said, adding that the US also wants to make Europeans more cautious in dealing with Iran.

According to Azizi, the snapback showdown is the latest and most evident sign of a rift in transatlantic relations.

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“Especially if Trump gets re-elected as the US president, this will work as fuel for further disagreements between the EU and the US,” he said, pointing out that Russia and China could use the opportunity to expand their influence in Iran and the wider region.

Arms embargo
The US attempt to trigger the snapback mechanism came on the heels of another demand it made at the Security Council that left it isolated.

In mid-August, the council resoundingly rejected a US bid to extend a global arms embargo on Iran that expires on October 18 under the JCPOA.

Washington only managed to secure the support of the Dominican Republic for its proposed resolution to indefinitely extend the embargo, leaving it far short of the minimum nine “Yes” votes required for adoption. Eleven members abstained while China and Russia opposed the resolution.

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Last week, Pompeo reiterated during a briefing with UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab that the US will move to reinstate UN sanctions to make the arms embargo permanent.

The US will “do its share as part of its responsibilities to enable peace, this time in the Middle East”, he said.

Zarif fired off a tweet on Thursday, saying “nothing new happens on 9/20”. He also alluded to two recent opinion pieces by John Bolton, Trump’s former national security adviser, who had pointed out that the nuclear deal’s dispute resolution clauses are “complex and potentially lengthy” to avoid UNSC confrontations.

Citing unnamed sources, Reuters news agency reported on Friday that Trump is planning to issue an executive order in the coming days to impose secondary sanctions on anyone who would buy or sell arms to Iran, depriving them of access to the US market.

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Rising tensions
The culmination of the snapback showdown comes shortly after a fresh round of threatening rhetoric being exchanged between longtime foes, the US and Iran.

On September 13, US-based media outlet Politico published a report, citing unnamed officials, that the Iranian government is weighing an assassination attempt against Lana Marks, the US ambassador to South Africa.

The plot, the report claimed, would be executed in retaliation for Washington’s assassination of top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in Iraq in early January.

In a tweet, Trump, who is seeking re-election on November 3, said the US will retaliate with “1,000 times greater” force against any Iranian attack on its interests.

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In response, Iran cautioned the US against making “a new strategic mistake” by believing false reports and warned of a “decisive response”.

On Saturday, the head of Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps issued a stern warning directly addressing Trump, saying the killing of Soleimani will be avenged but Marks is not a proportionate target.

“We will target those who were directly or indirectly involved in the martyrdom of this great man,” Major-General Hossein Salami said.

On Friday, South Africa’s State Security Agency said in a statement there is insufficient evidence to sustain the allegation of a plot to assassinate Marks.


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: 35 million Iranians may be infected – Rouhani

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Iran struggles with a resurgence of COVID-19 as new cases and deaths increase since a two-month low in May.


Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has said 35 million Iranians may contract the coronavirus as the country still did not have herd immunity although a quarter of the population may be infected.

“Our estimate is that up to now, 25 million Iranians have been infected with this virus,” Rouhani said during a televised meeting of the country’s virus-fighting task force on Saturday.

“We have to consider the possibility that 30 to 35 million more may face infection.”

It appears to be the first time a senior Iranian official has indicated the country is seeking to defeat COVID-19 via herd immunity.

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“We have not yet achieved herd immunity and we have no choice but to be united and break the chain of transmission of the coronavirus,” he said, citing the results of a study by the Iranian health ministry.

Iran has been battling a resurgence of COVID-19, with figures showing a rise in both new infections and deaths since a two-month low in May.

It appears to be the first time a senior Iranian official has indicated the country is seeking to defeat COVID-19 via herd immunity [File: Reuters]

Officially, the virus has so far killed close to 14,000 people and infected more than 269,400 in the country with a population of more than 80 million.

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The rising toll has prompted authorities to reimpose restrictions in worst-hit provinces after being lifted countrywide in April, with Tehran extending them for an extra week on Friday.

Rouhani’s deputy head of communications, Alireza Moezi, said on Twitter hours later that the 25 million in fact refers to “those who have encountered the virus and achieved complete immunity”.

Rouhani also said Iran may have to prepare itself for double the number of hospitalisations it has had in the past five months, according to the health ministry’s study.

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The ministry does not report the overall number of hospitalisations over COVID-19.

Iran has been struggling to contain the Middle East’s worst virus outbreak since announcing its first cases in mid-February.

The country has refrained from imposing full lockdowns but closed schools, cancelled public gatherings and banned travel between provinces in March, before lifting the restrictions the next month to reopen its sanctions-hit economy.

The virus has killed more than 602,000 people and infected nearly 14 million around the world as of Friday since first being detected in China late last year.


#Newsworthy…

U.S vs Iran: Iraqi Shia Cleric, al-Sadr stage million-man march


Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has asked Iraqis stage a “million-man march” against the continued US military presence in the country, days after the parliament voted to expel the American troops following an assassination operation by Washington on Iraqi soil.

The march was needed “to condemn the American presence and its violations”, Sadr, who leads the largest parliamentary bloc, Sairoon, said in a tweet on Tuesday.

“The skies, land, and sovereignty of Iraq are being violated every day by occupying forces,” he added.


The cleric, however, cautioned that such a show of popular disapproval should be a “peaceful, unified demonstration”, without giving any location or date for the rally, Fars News agency reported.

Sadr in a meeting with leaders of the country’s popular forces on Monday conferred on ways to end the US occupation of Iraq.


On January 5, the parliament voted overwhelmingly in favour of a resolution calling for the expulsion of all US-led forces, days after the US assassinated Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Qods Force Commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), or Hashad al-Shabi, five Iranian, and five Iraqi soldiers near the Baghdad airport.

Sadr condemned parliament’s resolution as a “weak response”, stating that the move fell short of an appropriate reaction to recent developments in Iraq and calling on armed groups in Iraq to unite.


Following the parliamentary vote, the office of Iraq’s caretaker Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi asked Washington to dispatch a delegation to Baghdad to initiate preparations for the withdrawal of 5200 American troops.

In response, President Donald Trump threatened to sanction Iraq “like they’ve never seen before ever” if Baghdad were to expel US troops.

Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr


Also on Tuesday, the Iraqi military announced that Katyusha rockets have hit an airbase North of the capital Baghdad, which houses the US-led coalition forces. The statement from Iraq’s military added that Camp Taji had been targeted by Katyusha rockets but reported that there were no casualties, with no group claiming responsibility for the attack.

On Sunday, four people were wounded after eight Katyusha rockets were fired at Balad airbase, which houses US personnel about 80 kilometers North of Baghdad.


#Newsworthy…

U.S vs Iran: Iran dismiss Trump’s new deal


Iranian President Hassan Rouhani dismissed a proposal for a new “Trump deal” aimed at resolving a nuclear row.

Rouhani said the new dealt was a “strange” offer and he criticized U.S. President Donald Trump for always breaking promises.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has praised Trump as a great dealmaker, called on Tuesday for the president to replace Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with major powers with his new pact to ensure Tehran does not get an atomic weapon.


Trump said he agreed with Johnson that a “Trump deal” should replace the Iran nuclear deal. In a televised speech, Rouhani told Washington to return to the nuclear pact, which Washington abandoned in 2018.

However, President Rouhani of Iran replied “This Mr. Prime Minister in London, I don’t know how he thinks. He says let’s put aside the nuclear deal and put the Trump plan in action, If you take the wrong step, it will be to your detriment. Pick the right path. The right path is to return to the nuclear deal.”

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani


Rouhani said Iran could reverse steps that exceeded restrictions in the agreement as soon as sanctions are lifted.

“What we have done is reversible. Whatever we do on the nuclear issue is under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency(IAEA),” said Rouhani.


#Newsworthy…

You have brought war, discord to this region – Rouhani tells Trump


Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani sent a chilling note to US President Donald Trump today that Washington might have “cut off the arm” of General Qassem Soleimani but America’s “leg” in the region would be cut off in response.

Rouhani made the comments after Iran launched missile strikes on U.S. targets in Iraq, an action that Tehran said was in retaliation to a U.S. drone strike that killed Soleimani last week.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei also said today that his country gave US a slap in the face on Wednesday morning and called for an end to the presence of American forces in the region, which he said only causes corruption.


In an address to a gathering of people in Tehran, Ayatollah Khamenei said the US “received a slap in the face last night” after the IRGC launched missile attacks on American military bases in Iraq in retaliation for the assassination of Lt. General Qassem Soleimani.

Apart from the revenge for the assassination of General Soleimani, what matters now in the confrontation with the US is that military action would not suffice, the Leader underlined, in a report by Tasnim news agency.


“What is important is that the corruptive presence of the US in this region must end.”

“They (Americans) have brought war, discord, sedition and destruction to this region; they brought about destruction of infrastructures,” the Leader deplored.


Ayatollah Khamenei emphasized that regional nations would not approve of the US presence in the region.

The Leader also paid tribute to General Soleimani for his assistance to regional nations in foiling the US’ illegitimate plots against West Asia, saying the revered commander helped thwart the American plots in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.

The Leader’s comments came a few hours after the IRGC fired a volley of missiles at US bases in Iraq, making good on its promise of harsh revenge for the martyrdom of General Soleimani.

The IRGC targeted two US airbases in Iraq, including the US airbase of Ain al-Assad in teh western province of Anbar.


#Newsworthy…

U.S vs Iran: Americans will blame themselves for killing Soleimani – Rouhani


Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has promised members of the dead commander’s family that Americans will “feel the impact” of their “criminal act… for years ahead”.

A huge crowd in Iraq’s capital Baghdad has followed the coffin of Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani, who was killed in a US airstrike on Thursday.

Soleimani was the architect of Iran’s Middle East operations and the country has vowed to take “severe revenge”.


The funeral procession in Iraq marked the beginning of days of mourning for Soleimani.

His body is to be returned to Iran for a funeral and burial in his home town.


Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (2nd left) offers his condolences to family members of killed Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander Qasem Soleimani in the capital Tehran

The crowds in Baghdad were also there to mourn the death of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, an Iraqi who commanded the Iranian-backed Kataib Hezbollah group and effectively led the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) – an umbrella of militias in Iraq dominated by groups aligned with Iran.


Mourners gathered in Baghdad from the early hours, waving Iraqi and militia flags and chanting “death to America”.

The funeral began at the city’s Al Muthana Airport, then moved to the gate of the heavily fortified Green Zone, where the US embassy is located.


As the procession snaked through the streets, some mourners carried portraits of Soleimani while others held portraits of Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Later, the procession left for the Shia Muslim holy cities of Karbala and Najaf.

Reports say the bodies of Soleimani and four other Iranians killed in the airstrike will be flown on Saturday evening to Iran, which has declared three days of mourning for the assassinated general. His funeral in Iran is to be held on Tuesday.

Some Iraqis, conversely, celebrated in Baghdad’s streets at the news of Soleimani’s death. He was accused of orchestrating violent crackdowns on peaceful pro-democracy protests there in recent months.


#Newsworthy…

Iran president, Hasan Rouhani vexed, says vengeance must be done.


Iranian President, Hasan Rouhani has announced that they will be avenging the death of its Revolutionary Guards commander Qasem Soleiman, who was killed in a US air strike ordered by President Donald Trump.

In a statement posted on the Iranian government website, Rouhani said Soleimani’s death redoubled the determination of the nation of Iran and other free nations to stand against ”America’s bullying and upholding of Islamic values.”


The statement partly reads;

“There is no doubt that the great nation of Iran and the other free nations of the region (Iran’s allies across the Middle East) will take revenge for this gruesome crime from criminal America.

“Soleimani’s martyrdom … by the aggressor and criminal America has saddened the heart of the nation of Iran and all the nations of the region.

“His death has redoubled the determination of the nation of Iran and other free nations to stand against America’s bullying and defend Islamic values

“This vile and cowardly act is another sign of America’s desperation and weakness in the region.”


#Newsworthy…