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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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Charles Mbire gains $1.2 million as stake in MTN Uganda rises above $51 million

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Ugandan businessman and MTN Uganda Chairman Charles Mbire has seen the market value of his stake in MTN Uganda surge above $51 million in just two days, as the share price in the leading teleco company increased by a single digit.

The single-digit bump in the share price caused the market value of Mbire’s stake to gain UGX4.42 billion ($1.24 million) in less than two days.

The million-dollar increase in the value of his stake came after Uganda’s largest telecom company delivered the country’s largest-ever IPO through the listing of 22.4 billion ordinary shares on the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE).

Upon completing the largest IPO in Uganda’s history, MTN Uganda raised a record UGX535 billion ($150.4 million) from the applications that it received for a total of 2.9 billion shares, including incentive shares.

As of press time, Dec. 7, shares in the company were trading at UGX204.95 ($0.0574), down six basis points from their opening price this morning.

Data gathered by Billionaires.Africa revealed that since the telecom company registered its shares on the Ugandan bourse on Mon., Dec. 6, its share price has increased by 2.5 percent from UGX200 ($0.056) to UGX204.95 ($0.0574) as of the time of writing, as retail investors sustained buying interest long after the public offering.

The increase in the company’s share price caused the market value of Mbire’s 3.98-percent stake to rise from UGX178.45 billion ($49.96 million) to UGX182.86 billion ($51.2 million).

In less than two days, his stake gained more than UGX4.42 billion ($1.24 million).

In a statement after the successful listing of MTN Uganda’s shares, Mbire said the IPO shows the confidence that Ugandans and other investors have in the company, its brand and strategic intent.

“We commend all the regulators for their support in our work to become a USE-listed company and to comply in a timely manner with the listing provisions of the national telecommunications operators’ license,” he said.

Steady but sure-MBIRE who is the biggest investor on Ugandas Stock exchange with stocks valued at more than $55 million is laughing all the way to the bank after MTN declared the latest dividend payout.He has steadily grown his business empire which is believed to be more that $350 million (debt free).

Steady but sure-MBIRE who is the biggest investor on Ugandas Stock exchange with stocks valued at more than $55 million is laughing all the way to the bank after MTN declared the latest dividend payout.He has steadily grown his business empire which is believed to be more that $350. ( debt free).

He is into communications-revenue assurance-cement-distribution-oil services-real estate-oil exploration and logistics.

Source: Billionaires Africa

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2-year-old dies at Arua hospital as nurse demands Shs 210,000 bribe

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A two-year-old child died at Arua Regional Referral hospital after a nurse, Paul Wamala demanded a bribe amounting to Shs 210,000 before carrying out an operation. 

The incident happened on Saturday, after Aron Nabil, a two-year-old child was referred to the hospital for an operation after he was diagnosed with intestinal obstruction, a medical emergency caused by a blockage that keeps food or liquid from passing through the small intestine or large intestine.

According to the relatives of the child, Wamala allegedly asked them to initially give him Shs 30,000 to buy medicines to commence the procedure. He however returned shortly asking for an additional Shs 180,000 from the relatives.

Emily Adiru, a resident of Osu cell, in Bazar Ward, Central Division, and a relative of the child says although they paid money to Wamala, he abandoned the child without carrying out the operation. According to Adiru, Wamala later refunded Shs 200,000 through mobile money, after she threatened to report him to the police.

“They told us this boy needs an operation which was supposed to be done in the morning on Sunday at around 7 am. They took him inside there, some doctor came from the theatre, he called one of us and said, we should pay Shs 70,000 for buying medicine to start the operation. We paid the Shs 30,000 [but] after paying the Shs 30,000, after some minutes, the same man came and opened the door and called us again, and told us we should pay another Shs 100,000. We also paid the Shs 100,000 and we thought it is finished. We were outside there waiting for our patient to come out [but] then this man came back again and said we should pay another Shs 80,000,” said Adiru.

Although the operation was later carried out after a 7-hour delay, the child didn’t make it, and relatives attribute the death to negligence. Miria Ahmed, a concerned resident wonders why such incidents have persisted at the facility which is supposed to service the citizens.

“Is the problem the hospital, is it the management or it is the human resource that is the problem in the hospital? A small child like this you demand Shs 210,000 for the operation? Well, if the money was taken and the operation is done, I would say anything bad but this money was taken and the small boy was abandoned in the theatre,” she said. 

When contacted Wamala refused to comment on the allegations. Dr Gilbert Aniku, the acting hospital director says that the hospital will issue an official statement later since consultations about the matter are ongoing.

Arua City resident district commissioner, Alice Akello has condemned the actions of the nurse saying she has ordered his arrest so as to set an example to the rest. The case has been reported to Arua regional referral hospital police post under SD reference No:05/30/05/2022.



Source – observer.ug

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Mexican president’s Mayan Train dealt new legal setback | Tourism News

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Activists say the planned tourist train will harm the wildlife and natural features of the Yucatan Peninsula.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has been dealt the latest setback to an ambitious plan to create a tourist train to connect the country’s southern Yucatan Peninsula.

On Monday, a judge indefinitely suspended construction on a portion of the project, known as the Mayan Train, saying the plans currently do not comply “with the proceedings of the environmental impact evaluation”.

The ruling follows a legal challenge by activists who said they were concerned the 60km (37 mile) portion of the train that would connect the resorts of Playa del Carmen and Tulum would adversely affect the area’s wildlife, as well as its caves and water-filled sinkholes known as cenotes.

The original plan for the disputed section was for an overpass over a highway, but the route was modified early this year to go through jungle at ground level.

The federal judge cited the “imminent danger” of causing “irreversible damage” to ecosystems, according to one of the plaintiffs, the non-governmental group Defending the Right to a Healthy Environment. In a statement, the group said that authorities had failed to carry out the necessary environmental impact studies before starting construction of the section.

Lopez Obrador had announced the ambitious project in 2018, with construction beginning in 2020. The roughly 1,500km (930 mile) cargo and passenger rail loop was presented as a cornerstone of a wider plan to develop the poorer states and remote towns throughout the about 181,000sq km (70,000sq mile) Yucatan Peninsula.

The railway is set to connect Caribbean beach resorts with Mayan archaeological ruins, with authorities aiming to complete the project by the end of 2023. The plan is estimated to cost about $16bn.

The project has split communities across the region, with some welcoming the economic development and connectivity it would bring. Others, including some local Indigenous communities, have challenged the project, saying it could not only disrupt the migratory routes of endangered species, including jaguars, tapirs and ocelots, but could also potentially damage centuries-old Mayan archaeological sites.

The National Fund for the Promotion of Tourism, the government agency overseeing the project, has said that it expects to “overcome” the latest challenge and that work should continue after an environmental impact statement is finalised. It said the Environment Ministry was currently reviewing its environmental application for the project.

For his part, Lopez Obrador has insisted the railway will not have a significant environmental effect and has accused activists of being infiltrated by “impostors”.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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