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 »

Trump may have to sanction Turkey for Russian deal

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Before their meeting Thursday, President Donald Trump praised Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, bragged about their friendship and claimed U.S.-Turkey relations are at an all-time high. Josh Rogin The Morning Call Trump may not be aware he might soon have to sanction Erdogan for striking a major arms deal with Vladimir Putin‘s Russia. “I think right now we are as close as we’ve ever been. And a lot of that has to do with the personal relationship,” said Trump, on ... Read More »

Turkey BLASTS US and EU sanctions against Russia

Russia's President Vladimir Putin and Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan attend a news conference at the Presidential Palace in Ankara December 1, 2014. REUTERS/Umit Bektas (TURKEY - Tags: POLITICS)

Turkey is defying history with its warm relationship with Moscow. Turkey’s economic future is solidly dependant on Russia and the eastward looking markets that cooperation with China represents. ADAM GARRIE TheDuran This attitude was confirmed by Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu who criticised the Russian sanctions which are on the books in the United States and European Union. Mevlut Cavusoglu further stated that Turkey has often been the victim of such sanctions and as a result Ankara has developed a strong ... Read More »

Japan joins US in imposing new sanctions on North Korea

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Foreign minister says assets of five groups, including two from China, to be frozen, as well as nine individuals. Source: Reuters news agency Al Jazeera Japan will impose additional sanctions on North Korea for its weapons programmes, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said on Friday, just hours after the US Senate also voted for new sanctions on the secretive state. US media reported this week that the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the Pentagon spy agency, had assessed that North Korea would ... Read More »

Saudi Arabia & allies demand Qatar close Turkish base, shut Al-Jazeera and more within 10 days

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The Arab states which have imposed an economic blockade on Qatar over its alleged financing of terrorism have issued a severe list of demands, which includes giving Doha 10 days to cut ties with Iran, shutting down Al-Jazeera, closing a Turkish military base and… RT The Kuwait emissary, which is serving a mediator in the diplomatic standoff, has reportedly presented the list of 13 demands from the… Doha has 10 days to comply, according to Associated Press which has seen ... Read More »

Time to Repeal U.S. Sanctions on Sudan?

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The clock is ticking for President Trump who must decide by 12 July whether to lift decades-long U.S. sanctions on Sudan. ICG The failure of economic penalties to alter Khartoum’s behaviour so far means Washington should repeal some sanctions and continue a process of conditional engagement. I. Overview Decision time is fast approaching for U.S. policy toward Sudan. By 12 July 2017, the Trump administration must determine whether to permanently lift the economic and trade sanctions its… Time to Repeal… Read More »

US reassures Qatar with arms sale, drill

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The United States agreed a major warplane sale to Qatar and began maneuvers with the emirate’s navy on June 15, underscoring its commitment to their military alliance despite Doha’s rift with… Hurriyet Washington has sent conflicting signals to its longtime ally about its position on the diplomatic crisis which has seen Saudi Arabia and its allies impose sweeping sanctions on the… Last week, U.S. President Donald Trump expressed support for the… US reassures Qatar… Read More »

Russia sanctions talks leave Iran bill hanging in the balance

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Ongoing Senate talks on a bipartisan Russia sanctions proposal are testing the ability of powerful GOP chairmen to work together on a package that can avoid imperiling passage of the Iran sanctions bill it could hitch a ride to. Elana Schor Politico Leaders in both parties say they want to vote on a plan to punish Russia as an amendment to the Iran sanctions bill that senators voted to move ahead with on Wednesday. Senate Minority Leader Chuck… Russia sanctions ... Read More »

A Sanctions Skeptic for State?

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What Rex Tillerson’s confirmation hearings revealed Siddhartha Mahanta The Atlantic Read More »