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US demands restoration of UN sanctions against Iran | USA News

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The Trump administration on Thursday formally notified the United Nations of its demand for all UN sanctions on Iran to be restored, citing significant Iranian violations of the 2015 nuclear deal.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivered the notification to the president of the UN Security Council, setting the stage for a showdown in the world body that could lead to a crisis of credibility for its most important and powerful institution. Even before Pompeo presented the council president with the notice, other members rejected the step.

None of the other council members believe the United States has the legal right to demand the re-imposition, or “snapback,” of sanctions because President Donald Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal in 2018. As such, the demand is expected to further isolate the US at the UN and test the Security Council’s credibility.

‘Non-performance’ by Iran

In a letter that Pompeo presented to Indonesia’s ambassador to the UN, Dian Triansyah Djani, whose country currently holds the rotating presidency of the council, US Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft said the US was notifying the body of “significant non-performance” by Iran related to the nuclear deal. As a result, Craft said the process leading to the re-imposition of UN sanctions had been initiated.

Could Iran face renewed international sanctions? | Inside Story

The UN’s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, has reported some Iranian violations of the agreement, but Tehran says those are the result of the US violating the accord by withdrawing from it and then re-imposing harsh unilateral sanctions.

Craft noted that the European participants in the deal had attempted to bring Iran back into compliance. But she said “despite extensive efforts and exhaustive diplomacy on the part of those member states, Iran’s significant non-performance persists.

“As a result, the United States is left with no choice but to notify the council that Iran is in significant non-performance of its JCPOA commitments,” she wrote, using the acronym for the deal’s formal name, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

US withdrawal from JCPOA

Craft’s letter was accompanied by a six-page explanation of why the US believes it retains the right to invoke snapback, a mechanism afforded to participants in the nuclear accord by the Security Council resolution that enshrined the deal.

US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and US President Trump had made no secret of their intention to trigger snapback, other council members say the US does not have the right to do so [Mandel Ngan/ AFP]

The US maintains that its withdrawal from the nuclear deal does not obviate its right as an original participant and a permanent Security Council member to demand the restoration of sanctions.

UN Security Council rejects US bid to extend Iran arms embargo

That argument, however, has already been rejected by the other members of the council, including US allies Britain and France, along with China and Russia.

“We do not take it that they have the legal right or the reason to initiate this thing,” the Russian ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia, said Thursday before Pompeo’s notification. “So, of course, we will challenge it.”

China has said it agreed with the Russian position, and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told UN chief Antonio Guterres in a Thursday phone call that the Security Council must resist the US demand.

“This would have dangerous consequences for international law, it will bring nothing but the destruction of international mechanisms and it will discredit the Security Council,” Zarif said.

Under the terms of the Security Council resolution that enshrined the nuclear deal, Thursday’s notification starts a 30-day clock after which pre-2015 UN sanctions on Iran that were eased will be re-imposed unless a resolution specifically extending their suspension is passed. The US, however, would use its veto power to block any resolution extending the sanctions relief.

Could be ignored

Because of the legal debate over US standing, it is possible that the snapback demand will simply be ignored by the other members, which could call into question the Security Council’s relevance and ability to enforce its own legally binding decisions.

Trump and Pompeo had made no secret of their intention to pursue snapback, particularly after the administration’s embarrassing defeat last week at the Security Council on extending the arms embargo on Iran that expires in October. 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 other UN sanctions on Iran. So do US allies Britain and France, which are hoping to preserve the nuclear deal in the event Trump loses his bid for a second term in November’s presidential election. Democratic Joe Biden has said he would try to revive the agreement.

The Europeans fear that the reimposition of sanctions may lead Iran to quit the deal entirely and plow ahead with efforts to develop atomic weapons. The Trump administration says it withdrew precisely because it eased sanctions, opening major revenue streams for Iran while gradually easing restrictions on its nuclear activities that money could pay for.



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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