Monday, 19 November, 2018

Iran snubs offer of a meeting by Trump

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi shake hands at a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Singapore Iran's parliament to question president over economic woes
Ebony Burgess | 06 August, 2018, 10:14

Global sanctions were lifted under the agreement between world powers and Tehran in return for its curbs on the nuclear program.

In his first public comments after the Trump remarks, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani avoided mentioning Trump's comments, instead stressing the need for the other nations involved in the nuclear deal to forge ahead with their pledges of trying to salvage it.

Trump had announced on July 30 that he would be willing to meet Iran's leader without preconditions to discuss how to improve ties after he pulled the United States out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

Officials have urged Iranian citizens to remain calm and to hold out through the rough times promised by Washington, noting that the country will weather the latest storm wrought by Trump and his apparently "regime change"-focused administration of pro-Israeli, pro-Saudi hawks".

Sporadic protests were taking place in cities in Iran for a fourth day, with demonstrators attacking a Shi'ite seminary west of Tehran, according to Iranian news agencies and social media on Saturday, as Iranians brace for a return of USA sanctions.

And John Bolton, the president's national security adviser, is a well-known Iran hawk who has advocated for regime change.

Record Iranian oil imports for India in July
The US administration has vowed to impose sanctions on any company continuing to buy oil from Iran after the November 4 deadline. Iran says the sanctions are endangering lives by blocking the sale of new planes and spare parts for its ageing fleets.

Earlier, Iranian protesters had clashed with police outside parliament as the plunging rial triggered three days of protests last month in Tehran.

Even the temptation of President Trump's offer of unconditional negotiations with Tehran was officially left unanswered, as the two major factions in the regime struggle for power.

The United States has told third countries they must halt imports of Iranian oil from early November or face USA financial measures. It will also face crippling restrictions by US financial authorities on its ability to buy gold and other precious metals, be prevented from selling Iranian debt, and banned from trading industrial metals. As such, with hefty United States sanctions on the Iranian oil and financial markets looming in November, time is running out for the European Union and Iran to save the pact.

The U.S. military's Central Command on Wednesday confirmed it has seen an increase in Iranian naval activity, including in the Strait of Hormuz, a strategic waterway that Iran's Revolutionary Guards have threatened to block.

On Saturday, a man taking part in a protest in Karaj in the northern province of Alborz was fatally shot, according to the semi-official Fars news agency.

He was responding to a July 22 warning from Rouhani that the US should not "play with the lion's tail" and warned that any conflict with Iran would be the "mother of all wars".

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