Sanctions

How Italy plans to blow up Brussels

epa06779959 Italian Minister of the Interior Matteo Salvini attends the Republic Day celebrations (Festa della Repubblica) in Rome, Italy, 02 June 2018. The anniversary marks the founding of the Italian Republic in 1946.  EPA-EFE/GIUSEPPE LAMI

The Italian government wants changes on migration — but its new allies favor very different approaches. Jacopo Barigazzi Politico An Italian butterfly is about to cause a hurricane in Brussels. When EU leaders gather in the European capital later this month, the reality of the right-wing populist government’s stance on key issues such as migration and the eurozone will finally hit… The major European powers have become used to containment maneuvers for the EU’s awkward squad on its periphery — such ... Read More »

Typhoon Trump blows G7 off course

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Other leaders thought they’d kept the club together — until the US president tweeted his fury. David M. Hersenhorn Politico LA MALBAIE, Canada — As host of this year’s G7 summit, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau seemed to have just one over-arching goal: to get through the gathering without U.S. President Donald Trump blasting it to pieces. Trudeau succeeded — for all of about 90 minutes. Just an hour and a half after Trudeau finished his concluding news conference, an ... Read More »

Burundi: Killings, Abuse Ahead of Referendum

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UN, EU, US Should Expand Targeted Sanctions HRW (Nairobi) – Burundi’s security services and ruling party youth league members killed, raped, abducted, beat, and intimidated suspected opponents in the months leading up to a constitutional referendum on May 17, 2018, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The country has faced a political, human rights, and humanitarian crisis since April 2015, when President Pierre Nkurunziza decided to run for a disputed third term. The 32-page report, “‘We Will ... Read More »

The Challenge of Reinstating Sanctions Against Iran

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It’s Not as Simple as Withdrawing From the JCPOA Peter Harrell FP U.S. President Donald Trump appears to be on the brink of withdrawing the United States from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the landmark 2015 nuclear agreement with… He faces a May 12 deadline to renew waivers of key U.S. sanctions on Iran, and despite pressure from French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel to do so, Trump seems set to deliver on his January ... Read More »

Iran vows to ‘vigorously’ resume enrichment if US quits deal

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Iran has warned it is ready to “vigorously” resume nuclear enrichment if the United States ditches the 2015 nuclear deal, adding that further “drastic measures” are being considered in response to a U.S. exit. NEW YORK – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told reporters in New York on April 21 that Iran is not seeking to acquire a nuclear bomb, but that its “probable” response to a… “America never should have feared Iran producing a nuclear ... Read More »

Iran says EU has ‘differing values’ but dialogue should continue

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Iran said April 16 that EU sanctions over its human rights record were due to “differing values” but that they should not derail dialogue with Europe. TEHRAN – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet “We have certain differences of opinion with European countries and the European Union,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said at a press conference. “That is due in part to differing values between our region and the Islamic republic of Iran and the European Union, notably as concerns human rights,” ... Read More »

Russia accuses UK of staging Syria gas attack

TOPSHOT - A Syrian man waits to receive treatment at a makeshift clinic following reported air strikes by government forces in the rebel-held town of Douma, on the eastern outskirts of Damascus, on April 4, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Abd Doumany        (Photo credit should read ABD DOUMANY/AFP/Getty Images)

Britain’s ambassador to the United Nations says Russia’s claims are ‘grotesque, bizarre and a blatant lie.’ Paul Dallison Politico The Kremlin on Friday claimed that British intelligence forces helped stage the attack on the Syrian town of Douma last weekend. The U.K. denounced the allegation as “grotesque, bizarre and a blatant lie,” the Guardian reported. Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, said he had evidence that showed “special services of a country, which is now seeking to be in the first ranks of ... Read More »

14 EU states announce mass co-ordinated expulsion of Russian diplomats over Skripal case

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Fourteen members of the EU have decided to expel Russian diplomats over the Sergei Skripal case, European Council president Donald Tusk has confirmed. RT It comes despite zero evidence proving that Moscow was responsible. Donald Tusk stated that further action could be taken. Germany, France and Poland have expelled four diplomats each, respective foreign ministries confirmed on Monday. The Netherlands and Denmark will expel two diplomats each, their foreign ministries said. Italy is expelling two Russian diplomats, while Lithuania has ... Read More »

Is Trump falling into Kim’s trap?

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Donald Trump is not the cause of America’s most serious problems. But could he be part of some solutions? Peter Hartcher Brisbane Times The news that he’d agreed to meet North Korea’s dictator is something new in dealing with an old problem. No US president has ever met his North Korean counterpart while in office. Till now, the US has always set preconditions too onerous for the North Koreas to accept. It’s not entirely clear, but it doesn’t seem that ... Read More »

Russia ready to be cut off from internet with its own web

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If Western sanctions go as far as excluding Russia from the world wide web, the country’s own internet is ready, according to the Russian presidential aide on the internet, German Klimenko. RT “Technically, we are ready for anything now,” he told NTV news channel. However, the shutdown will not be painless, Klimenko added. “Failures always occur when moving from one technology to another. Someone will face connection troubles. Probably, it will be found out that someone kept data abroad, although there ... Read More »

Congress, State Department divided on sanctions against Turkey

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As the US Congress continues to weigh potential sanctions against Turkey over its unremittingly hostile stance toward the United States, there is growing debate within the policy community about the merits of such action, with some arguing it could bow Turkey into submission and others insisting it will make the problem even worse. Amberin Zaman Al-Monitor Fury at what Washington calls the unlawful detention of US consular staff and US citizens, in particular that of North Carolina pastor Andrew Brunson ... Read More »

Ukraine’s National Bank to prolong sanctions against banks with Russian capital

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Earlier Ukraine’s President enforced the decision of Security and Defense Council to impose sanctions against five banks with Russian capital 112.International The National Bank of Ukraine believes that the sanctions against banks with Russian state capital, expiring on March 16, should be prolonged. Vitaliy Vavryshchuk, the Head of the National Bank Financial Stability Department said this, as Interfax-Ukraine reports. “Yes, there is a need to prolong them,” he responded. He also mentioned that the presence of banks with Russian capital within the… Ukraine’s National ... Read More »

Europe’s Sanctions-Blocking Threats Are Empty

BERLIN, GERMANY - JUNE 27:  Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif (L) and German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel speak to the media following talks on June 27, 2017 in Berlin, Germany. The two men discussed bilateral relations as well as the Iran nuclear agreement, which eases international sanctions against Iran in exchange for commitments by Iran on its nuclear program.  (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

When it comes to Iran sanctions, the EU must satisfy Trump’s demands. Access to the U.S. financial system hangs in the balance. BY RICHARD GOLDBERG FP A European Union official’s threat this month that Europe would block any attempt by the United States to reimpose sanctions on Iran showed a new level of desperation to deter President Donald Trump from leaving the Iran nuclear deal in May. But with their access to the U.S. financial system hanging in the balance, European banks ... Read More »

Sanctions, refugees and the marginalised: Iran uprisings are Australia’s concern too

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Tehran’s response to this week’s anti-government protests in Iran has been harsh and reminiscent of the state response to the post-election uprising of 2009 Omid Tofighian ABC Back then, Iranians contested the re-election of former ultra-conservative president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad by taking to the streets in support of reformist candidate Mir-Hussein Mousavi, and decrying election fraud. A key difference this time around is that the leader of Iran’s reformist movement — former president Seyyed Mohammad Khatami — has joined centrist President ... Read More »

The Unyielding Paranoia of Recep Tayyip Erdogan

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A major sanctions case could further imperil an already fraught relationship between Washington and Ankara, and reveal the Turkish president’s illicit dealings Diego Cupolo The Atlantic A key defendant in an Iranian sanction-busting case has now become its “most important witness.”Following weeks of speculation, Reza Zarrab, a Turkish-Iranian businessman, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to charges of helping Iranian entities evade U.S. sanctions through his international network of businesses, possibly with the help of Turkish banks and government officials. Today, Zarrab ... Read More »

Lira crashes as Erdogan, Turkish gov’t implicated in Iran money-laundering scheme

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Case of Reza Zarrab seen as flash point in US-Turkey relations Asia Times The Turkish lira plummeted Friday after reports surfaced that a trader accused of helping Iran evade sanctions invoked the name of Turkish President Recep Erdogan as part of a money-laundering scheme. Bloomberg reports, citing court documents, that US prosecutors say the scheme was supported by Turkey’s… The lira dropped to its weakest point since January, hovering around an all-time low for the currency. From Bloomberg: ”US prosecutors in ... Read More »