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Iran shows off new ballistic, cruise missiles as US tensions rise | News

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Iran displayed locally made ballistic and cruise missiles – a move certain to anger the United States as it prepares to demand that all UN sanctions be reimposed on the country.

State-run TV said officials unveiled the two new missiles on Thursday – National Defence Industry Day in Iran. They are named after top Iranian General Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who were killed outside Baghdad’s international airport in a US strike in January.

Defence Minister Amir Hatami said the ballistic missile had a range of 1,400km (600 miles) and the new cruise missile had 1,000km (400 miles), ignoring US demands that Tehran halt its missile programme.

Images of the missiles were shown on state-run TV, which it said was “the newest Iranian cruise missile that will further strengthen Iran’s deterrence power”.

“Missiles and particularly cruise missiles are very important for us… The fact that we have increased the range from 300km to 1,000km in less than two years is a great achievement,” said Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. “Our military might and missile programmes are defensive.”

Also on Thursday, Iran unveiled a fourth-generation light turbo-fan engine for its advanced drones.

Iran also inaugurated the production line of its domestically produced Owj engine for the Iranian-made twin-seat Kowsar fighter jet. 

Iran routinely unveils technological achievements for its armed forces, its space programme, and its nuclear efforts.

Snapback sanctions

The announcement comes as Washington is pushing to extend a UN-imposed arms embargo against Iran, which is due to expire in October under Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

Tensions have been high between Tehran and Washington since 2018, when President Donald Trump pulled the US out of the deal and reimposed crippling sanctions on Iran.

Washington says its aim is to force Tehran to agree to a broader deal that puts stricter limits on its nuclear work, curbs its ballistic missile programme and ends its regional proxy wars. Iran has rejected talks as long as US sanctions remain in place.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday Trump has directed him to trigger a “snapback” – a return of all sanctions on Iran – at the UN Security Council in New York on Thursday, after the council rejected Washington’s bid to extend Tehran’s arms embargo.

Pompeo warned Russia and China not to disregard the reimposition of all UN sanctions on Iran.

Pompeo will meet with Indonesia’s UN Ambassador Dian Triansyah Djani – council president for August – to submit a complaint about Iran’s non-compliance with a 2015 nuclear deal, even though Washington quit the accord in 2018.

‘Held accountable’ 

The nuclear deal between Iran, Russia, China, Germany, Britain, France and the US aimed to prevent Tehran from developing nuclear weapons in return for sanctions relief. That accord is enshrined in a 2015 Security Council resolution.

Russia, China and other countries are likely to simply ignore it and not reimpose the sanctions on Iran.

When asked if the US would target Russia and China with sanctions if they refuse to reimpose the UN measures on Iran, Pompeo told Fox News on Wednesday: “Absolutely.”

“We have already done that where we have seen any country violate … the current American sanctions, we’ve held every nation accountable for that. We’ll do the same thing with respect to the broader UN Security Council sanctions as well,” he said.

Russia described statements by the US on reimposing UN sanctions against Iran as “absurd”, adding Washington has no legal or political grounds to do so, the RIA news agency cited Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov as saying on Thursday.

Ryabkov added that such a step would result in crisis at the UN Security Council, the Interfax news agency cited him as saying.

Diplomats say the so-called sanctions snapback process will be messy as Russia, China and other countries question the legality of the US move given that Washington itself is no longer complying with what Trump called the “worst deal ever”.

Pompeo said it was unfortunate that European members of the council abstained on the US attempt to extend the arms embargo and the move “makes the European people less safe”.

“They just are wedded to this crazy nuclear deal, they’re trying to hang on to it,” he said.

Once Pompeo submits the complaint about Iran to the Security Council, the body has 30 days to adopt a resolution to extend sanctions relief for Tehran, or else the measures will automatically snap back. Any attempt to extend the sanctions relief would be vetoed by the US.

Pompeo will also meet with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday.

In response to what the US calls its “maximum pressure” campaign of unilateral sanctions – a bid to get Iran to negotiate a new deal – Tehran has breached central limits of the 2015 pact, including on its stock of enriched uranium.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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Another blow as Judge throws out Kiggundu’s lawyer Muwema

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When court sat on Friday to hear the Kiggundu’s application to stop independent audit, he did not have a written application, and Justice Henry Adonyo instead ordered the plaintiff’s lawyer Fred Muwema to go make a written application seeking court to dismiss the audit and return to court on September 30 for a hearing of the application. But this adds more pressure on Kiggundu who is choking with the loans.

On 31 August, the judge ordered the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (ICPAU) to carry out and independent audit into the accounts of the businessman and financial statements exchanged between the two parties, and present a report to court.

When asked by journalists why he has filed for an application seeking dismissal of the audit, Fred Muwema had this to say. “We are saying that let the validity and legality of those credit facilities (loans) be decided first before you can audit” He said.

The ruling on the application of the main suit to determine whether the businessman owes loan arrears to the bank is set for 5th October 2020, after which a date for hearing of the case will be set.

Background

Hamis Kiggundu through his companies Ham enterprises and Kiggs International (U) ltd sued DTB branches in Kenya and Uganda for deducting money from his accounts something which the bank contends and said they only acted as per the loan agreement of deducting 30% from Kiggundu’s accounts to recover the credit facilities rendered to him between February 2011 and September 2016

But Court documents filed by the bank in their defense shows that Kiggundu, between February 2011 and September 2016, was granted various credit facilities by the said DTB Banks.

First, via Ham Enterprises Limited, Kiggundu obtained a loan of $6,663,453 and another Sh2.5bn from the DTB (U) to finance his projects in the real estate business.

Later, according to New Vision, he got a facility worth $4.5m through Kiggs International (U) Limited from DTB (K) and mortgaged his properties, which include Plot 328 located at Kawuku on Block 248 Kyadondo, three plots that include 36, 37 and 38 on Folio 1533 Victoria Crescent II situated in Kyadondo and land on Makerere Hill Road on LRV 3716 Folio 10 Plot 923 Block 9.

Documents show that as of January 21, 2020, Kiggundu was in default on payment obligations of $6.298m on the loan facility of $6.663m, as well as sh2.885b on the demand overdraft facility of sh1.5b and the temporary demand overdraft facility of sh1b.

The banks say that Kiggundu was in default on the payment of another $3.662m out of a total loan facility of $4m and another $458,604 on a loan facility of $500,000, as of January 21, 2020.

The DTB consequently served him with a demand notice to either pay up or lose the assets that he submitted as collateral security. The bank threatened to attach a plot on Makerere Hill Road and other prime commercial properties.

Analysts says that Kiggundu’s lawyer is playing delaying tactics aimed at stopping the independent audit as ordered by the court earlier. Kiggundu had wanted court to believe his own audit of loan transactions, but that would amount to injustice to the banks that gave him money-DTB Uganda and DTB Kenya.

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Minister Rukutana charged with attempted murder, remanded

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The state minister for Labour, Gender and Economic Development Mwesigwa Rukutana has been remanded to Kyamugorani prison in Mbarara district.

Rukutana appeared before Ntungamo Grade One magistrate Nazifah Namayanja this afternoon from where he was charged with seven offences related to attempted murder, assault, malicious damage, and threatening violence.

Rukutana was captured in a video that went viral on social media showing him grabbing a gun from one of his bodyguards and started shooting at a vehicle belonging to supporters of his political rival Naome Kabasharira. At the time of the incident, Rukutana had just lost the Rushenyi country NRM flag to Kabasharira.

The prosecution alleges that on September 5, 2020, at Kagugu village in Ntungamo district, Rukutana and others still at large assaulted Julius Niwamanya and threatened to kill or injure him together with three others. The others are Stuart Kamukama, Dan Rwibirungi, and Moses Kamukama. 

It is also alleged that Rukutana also willfully and unlawfully damaged a motor vehicle registration number UAR 840X Toyota Rav 4 type which belongs to Moses Muhumuza.

According to the Judiciary public relations officer, Jameson Karemani, Rukutana has not taken a plea of these charges against him since they can only be tried by the chief magistrate who was not in court today.

As a result, the magistrate decided to send him to Kyamugorani, awaiting his return to court on Tuesday.      





Source – observer.ug

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Lira district headquarters closed over COVID-19

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Lira district headquarters have been closed after one staff tested positive for COVID-19 last week. 

On Monday morning, district staff were blocked at the gate with only the deputy chief administrative officer, his secretary and the receptionist allowed access to their offices. 

Paul Samuel Mbiiwa, the deputy chief administrative officer says that only heads of department will be allowed at the headquarters while the rest will work from home. He adds that the restriction will help to curb the spread of the virus.

“You see corona is not a joke. We have taken a step at fighting it and that is why you are seeing the staff outside. Even in my office here I do not want people to come if there is anything we can discuss on the phone.”

Francis Okello Olwa, a senior community development officer who doubles as the district spokesperson says that the entire district offices will be fumigated and closed for two days.

Health authorities in the district are planning to take samples from all the staff because they could have interacted with the one who tested positive. Currently, there are 19 COVID-19 patients under treatment at Lira regional referral hospital.     

On Sunday four health workers at the hospital tested positive for COVID-19. Dr Patrick Odongo, a senior medical officer at the hospital also succumbed to the virus.  





Source – observer.ug

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