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Tag: iran sanctions

Biden Faces Early Showdown Over Iran Sanctions

President Trump has called the Obama-initiated nuclear agreement for Iran a "horrible one-sided deal" and withdrew from it in 2018. Except he really didn't.

This past summer, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo began a series of appeals to the UN Security Council, saying that the United States was still a member of the deal, based on the council's 2015 favorable vote by former U.S. ambassador to the UN Samantha Power. Therefore, Washington had the right to initiate the "snapback"—a procedure that allows participants of the deal to reverse any easing or lifting of sanctions instituted by the pact.

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Ex-CIA Official Breaks With Iran Hawks Over Covid-19 Aid To Iran

Norman Roule, a senior adviser to the anti-Iran group United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI), which led a multi-year effort pressuring pharmaceutical and medical supply companies to cease legal trade with Iran even during the COVID-19 pandemic, appears to be distancing himself from UANI's work, effectively whitewashing his own role at the organization. "The international community should do everything it can to enable the Iranian people to obtain access to medical supplies and equipment," said Roule in a recent article in the Nation.

While hawks in Washington are calling for more sanctions on Iran amid the COVID-19 crisis, the Nation published a fascinating scoop last week showing that U.S. military intelligence is deeply concerned about the public health implications of U.S. sanctions on Iran's ability to combat COVID-19. A leaked intelligence brief specifically cited the risk of COVID-19 infections, originating in Iran, to U.S. troops based in Qatar.

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Trump Announces Sanctions On Deceased ‘Ayatollah Khomeini’

Trump announced on Monday that the United States will be imposing sanctions affecting Grand Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran, who has been dead for three decades.

“The assets of Ayatollah Khomeini and his office will not be spared from the sanctions,” Trump said in the Oval Office. A clip of the announcement was also sent out, uncorrected, by the official White House Twitter account.

Khomeini died in June of 1989. He was born in September of 1902 and if he were somehow still alive he would be 116 years old and in contention for the oldest person alive.

The current Grand Ayatollah of Iran is Ali Khamenei. He is 80 years old.

The deceased world leader joins 19th century abolitionist Frederick Douglass on the list of figures Trump has ignorantly spoken about as if they are still alive.

In 2017, Trump hailed Douglass, who died in 1895, as “an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more.”

If the Ayatollah mix-up (amidst growing concerns of military action) was about pronunciation, it joins other phrases Trump has mangled.

Trump has repeatedly struggled to pronounce simple words. He said “origins” was “oranges.” He turned “anonymous” into “anonomus.” President Ulysses S. Grant became “Ulucious” in Trump’s mouth. Beyoncé was “Beyoncey” on the campaign trail.

Among Trump’s many duties as president is international diplomacy, which requires basic competency and clarity as major policies are announced and executed.

To deal with Iran, it would help if he knew the name of one of the country’s key leaders.

Published with permission of The American Independent.

IMAGE: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stands under pictures of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (L) and Iran’s late leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini while speaking during a ceremony to mark Khomeini’s death anniversary at his tomb at Tehran’s Behesht-Zahra cemetery June 3, 2011. REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl/File Photo

Iran Vows ‘Firm Response’ Unless Obama Stops Sanctions Renewal

DUBAI (Reuters) – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani demanded on Sunday that Barack Obama block an extension of sanctions passed by the U.S. Congress, saying Tehran would otherwise “firmly respond”.

In a speech to parliament, Rouhani denounced legislation passed by the U.S. Congress to extend the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA) for 10 years as a violation of Tehran’s nuclear deal with six major powers. The deal curbs Tehran’s nuclear program in return for the lifting of international financial sanctions.

“America’s president is obliged to exercise his authority by preventing its approval and particularly its implementation … and if this gross violation is carried out we will firmly respond,” Rouhani said in the speech, carried live by state television.

President Obama is expected to sign the legislation into law, the White House said on Friday.

The U.S. Congress move was a blow to Rouhani, a pragmatist who engineered the diplomatic opening to the West that led to the nuclear deal.

U.S. officials have said the ISA renewal would not infringe the nuclear agreement. U.S. lawmakers have also said the ISA extension would make it easier for sanctions to be quickly reimposed if Iran contravened the nuclear deal.

On Sunday, 264 lawmakers in Iran’s 290-seat parliament issued a statement calling on the government to implement counter measures, including relaunching nuclear enrichment halted under the atomic deal, the official news agency IRNA reported.

The diplomatic thaw between Washington and Tehran over the past two years looks in jeopardy with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump taking office next month. He said during his election campaign that he would scrap the nuclear agreement.

Last month, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned that the extension would be viewed in Tehran as a breach of the nuclear accord and threatened retaliation.

Khamenei and his hardline loyalists have criticized the deal and blamed Rouhani for his government’s failure to deliver swift improvements in living standards since sanctions were lifted in January.

(Reporting by Dubai newsroom; Editing by Susan Fenton)

IMAGE: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani attend a news conference with Swiss President Johann Schneider-Ammann in Tehran February 27, 2016.REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi/