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Trump: US to demand restoration of UN sanctions on Iran | USA News

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The United States will demand Thursday that all United Nations sanctions be reimposed against Iran, President Donald Trump announced, a move that follows the US’s embarrassing failure to extend an arms embargo against Tehran.

The administration’s insistence on snapping back international sanctions against Iran sets the stage for a contentious dispute. It is possible that the US call will be ignored by other UN members – an outcome that could call into question the UN Security Council’s ability to enforce its own legally binding decisions.

“It’s a snapback,” Trump said at a news conference on Wednesday.

Trump said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will travel to New York on Thursday to present the US demand to reimpose the sanctions, accusing Iran of significant non-compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal.

The Trump administration wants to reimpose all international sanctions that had been eased under that deal. Other nations claim the US has no standing to make the demand because the Trump administration pulled the US out of the Iran nuclear deal two years ago.

“Iran will never have a nuclear weapon,” Trump said.

Pompeo defended the US decision to invoke the snapback provision [Petr David Josek/Pool via Reuters]

Pompeo and Trump have made no secret of their intention to invoke the rare and controversial diplomatic move in the wake of its defeat at the United Nations last week on extending the arms embargo. The US won just one other “yes” vote, with China and Russia opposed and the 11 other members abstaining.

As with the arms embargo, Russia and China bitterly oppose reimposing sanctions on Iran. So do other Security Council members, including US allies, the UK and France, a dispute that could result in a battle over the legitimacy of the UN’s most powerful body.

“Iran’s support for its proxies in Syria only helps to bolster the Assad regime and undermine the UN process,” said US Ambassador Kelly Craft in remarks at Wednesday’s council meeting on Syria. “How will giving Iran access to more weapons serve the interests of international peace and security?”

The Trump administration seeks to reimpose all UN sanctions against Iran under the so-called “snapback” mechanism that was approved with the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and six major powers. Under the deal, Tehran received billions of dollars in sanctions relief in exchange for curbs on its nuclear programme.

The “snapback” mechanism was created in the event Tehran was proven to be in violation of the accord.
Trump called the 2015 Iran nuclear accord a “ridiculous” deal and noted that sanctions have crippled Iran’s economy.

“When I win the election, within the first month, Iran will come to us” and seek a deal, Trump said, noting how sanctions have crippled Iran’s economy.

UNSC members doubtful

While other members of the UN Security Council said the US no longer has any say regarding the Iran deal, the Trump administration argues that it retains its standing as an original participant in the accord and as a permanent member of the Security Council that endorsed the agreement.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that, since the US is no longer a party to the nuclear deal, it “has no right to demand the Security Council to activate the rapid reinstatement of sanctions mechanism.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov accused the Trump administration of unleashing a politically motivated campaign against Iran and called for “universal condemnation” of the US attempt to impose a permanent arms embargo on Iran.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Pompeo defended the US decision to invoke the snapback provision. It’s unclear whether other members of the council can stop it through technical procedural means.

“This will be a fully valid enforceable Security Council resolution and we have every expectation that it will be enforced just like every other Security Council resolution that is in place,” said Pompeo, who is to meet on Thursday with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at his residence. “We will be in full compliance with that and we have every expectation that every country in the world will live up to its obligations.”

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks during a meeting with Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow, Russia June 16, 2020. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted his agreement with former US National Security Adviser John Bolton, who says the US has lost its snapback standing [Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation/Handout via Reuters]

Contentious position

The US argument is highly controversial. Not only has it been ridiculed by the Chinese, Russians and Europeans, not even the biggest Iran hawks in the United States all agree with it.

Former Trump National Security Adviser John Bolton, who has long held anti-Iran positions, has said the US lost its snapback standing when it withdrew from the deal and that moving ahead is not worth the damage it could do to US veto power in the council.

In a rare moment of agreement, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif praised Bolton this week. “At least he is consistent – a trait notably absent in this US administration,” Zarif tweeted.

And, former US Under-secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman, a lead negotiator of the nuclear deal during the Obama administration, said: “It was never expected that someone who withdrew from the (deal) would have standing to, in fact, bring the snapback provision.”

Whether any other council member will respond to the US move by introducing a resolution to extend sanctions relief is an open question. Some UN experts believe the others will just ignore the Americans, leaving the Trump administration in the possible position of having to introduce its own resolution to extend sanctions relief for the sole purpose of vetoing it.

“We don’t know if any country will do that,” said Richard Gowan, the UN director of the International Crisis Group. “If the general view of the council is that the US doesn’t have standing, it’s quite possible that no council member will even engage at that level.”

“The US could actually table a resolution of its own and then veto it, just to show that it is going through the procedural motions, although that would look a little bit farcical,” Gowan said.



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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