Sanctions

Iran urges Europe to normalize economic ties

Iran said on June 9 Europe was in no position to criticize Tehran for its military capabilities and it called on European leaders to normalize trade ties with the Islamic Republic despite U.S. sanctions, or face consequences. LONDON- Reuters President Donald Trump last year withdrew the United States from world powers’ 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and reposed sweeping sanctions. Trump condemned the accord, signed by his predecessor Barack Obama, as flawed for not being permanent and for not covering Iran‘s ballistic missile programme or its role in conflicts ... Read More »

With Friends Like Turkey, Who Needs Enemies?

Turkey, America’s erstwhile NATO ally, is now arming America’s enemies in Libya, a flagrant violation of the 2011 United Nations arms embargo. Richard Miniter Human Events The clearest evidence of Turkey’s violation of U.N. embargoes came in the hold of a Turkish-crewed ship named “Amazon.” It delivered some 20 Turkish-made armored vehicles, known as “MRAPs,” the military news website South Front reported. A local blogger photographed the armored vehicles on the dock. Turkey supports Libya’s Government of National Accord holed up ... Read More »

Iran’s Crown Prince Strikes Back

Pahlavi wants the United States to fundamentally change how it thinks about Iran. Over the past few weeks, the Trump administration has turned up the heat on Tehran. Ilan Berman The National Interest Way up. As part of a “maximum pressure” campaign aimed at curbing the malign international activities of Iran’s ruling regime, the White House has dramatically intensified sanctions, blacklisted the… But to what end? President Donald Trump has said repeatedly that he would be willing to negotiate a ... Read More »

US Bill introduced to deter China in South China, East China Seas

WASHINGTON – Republican Senator Marco Rubio and Democratic Party Senator Ben Cardin on Thursday (May 23) formally reintroduced the South China Sea and East China Sea Sanctions Act that would “impose… Nirmal Ghosh The Straits Times The bipartisan Bill is intended to put the brakes on China’s consolidation or expansion of its claims of jurisdiction over the sea and air space in disputed zones in the South China Sea – claimed by Taiwan and… Experts said the Bill was overdue. ... Read More »

Cyprus escalation could drill hole in Irish sacred cow of neutrality

Europe Letter: Danger of war of words escalating into military conflict remains real Patrick Smyth The Irish Times The publication by the Institute of International and European Affairs of a new analysis of Irish neutrality by Prof Patrick Keatinge is timely. It comes just as fellow EU member Cyprus looks to its partners for solidarity – at this stage just political – over the illegal incursion by Turkish drilling ships into its Aegean territorial waters or Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The move, which has ... Read More »

NKorea suffering worst drought in decades

North Korea says it is suffering its worst drought in nearly four decades amid reports of severe food shortages. The Canberra Times Australian Associated Press The official Korean Central News Agency said an average of 54.4 millimetres of rain fell throughout the country in the first five months of this year. It said that is the lowest level since 1982, when North Korea received 51.2mm of rain on average during the same period. The report came after United Nations food ... Read More »

Europeans struggle to preserve Iran nuclear accord

he world powers struggling to preserve a nuclear deal with Iran are facing an increasingly uphill battle, with a new deadline from Tehran on finding a solution to make up for last year’s unilateral U.S… BRUSSELS-The Associated Press Hurriyet After Iran notified Britain, Russia, China, the European Union, France and Germany of its intentions in a letter, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in a televised address on May 8 that the… Trump issued an executive order announcing new sanctions targeting Iran’s steel, aluminum, copper and ... Read More »

The Risks of Maximising Pressure on Iran

The Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran is more likely to fuel resistance and retaliation than capitulation. Ali Vaez ICG Washington should heed past lessons lest it provokes a new nuclear crisis or a regional escalation. The U.S. decision on 22 April to end sanctions exemptions for Iran’s remaining oil customers, following on an earlier designation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO), significantly escalates the… The intent is clear: bankrupt Iran into… The Risks of… Read More »

US to end Iran oil waivers to 8 countries, including Turkey

The United States announced on April 22 it will no longer grant sanctions exemptions to eight countries, including Turkey. Washington Hurriyet The White House said that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates- close U.S. allies that back President Donald Trump‘s hawkish stance against regional rival Iran– would work to make up the difference in oil to ensure that global markets are not rocked. “This decision is intended to bring Iran‘s oil exports to zero, denying the regime its principal source of revenue,” ... Read More »

The Darkest Hours: Power Outages Raise the Temperature in Venezuela

The crippling blackouts across Venezuela are a grim portent of things to come as U.S. oil sanctions kick in and the country’s crisis deepens. Phil Gunson ICG All concerned to end Venezuelans’ suffering should vigorously pursue a negotiated transition leading to a power-sharing deal. On Thursday 7 March, at around five in the afternoon, the lights went out in Venezuela. Within a couple of hours, as the tropical night descended, around 90 per cent of the country was plunged into ... Read More »

US Wants To Change The Law Of The Sea – Analysis

The US is frustrated by North Korea’s continuing violation of UN sanctions by using rogue vessels to import and export banned cargo, sometimes transferring the cargo at sea. Mark J. Valencia Eurasia Review So it wants to interdict suspect vessels on the high seas using force if necessary. The problem is that doing so without the consent of the flag state would violate the international law of the sea. John Bolton, the US National Security Advisor is taking the lead ... Read More »

Despite US Threats, Another Ally Mulls Russia’s S-400

Another US ally — and host of a critical Middle Eastern air base — is considering buying a high-tech Russian missile system. By Paul McLeary Breaking Defense What can Washington do about it? WASHINGTON The Trump administration’s promise last year to slap sanctions on countries who buy Russian military equipment appears to have done little to deter key allies. For months, American allies from India to Saudi Arania to Turkey have weighed absorbing the promised economic hit, while a new ... Read More »

Canada allows extradition case against Huawei executive to proceed

China, whose relations with Canada have deteriorated badly over the case, denounces the latest move to extradite Meng Wanzhou. sky news Canada has said it will allow the US extradition case against Huawei’s chief financial officer to go ahead. Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of Huawei’s founder Ren Zhengfei, was arrested last December at the request of the US, which has accused her of fraud linked to violating sanctions on Iran. She is currently on bail in Vancouver and will appear ... Read More »

All Eyes on Tangible Results from U.S.-North Korea Summit

The North Korean and U.S. leaders enter their second summit under pressure to achieve concrete progress toward their respective goals, sanctions relief and denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula. Crisis Group senior adviser Chris Green suggests risk reduction measures each side can take. What has happened since the first U.S.-North Korea summit in Singapore? At the conclusion of the Singapore summit last June, the U.S. and North Korea issued a statement calling for a new bilateral relationship, a stable peninsular peace ... Read More »

Mysterious Turkish Firm Helped Maduro Move $900 Million in Gold

Two months after Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro visited his counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara, a mysterious company called Sardes sprang into existence. Bloomberg The firm started business with a bang in January of 2018, when it imported about $41 million worth of gold from Venezuela, the first such transaction between the two countries in records that go back 50 years. The next month its volume more than doubled, with Sardes transporting almost $100 million worth to Turkey. By November, ... Read More »

INSTEX: Europe sets up transactions channel with Iran

Germany, France and the UK have set up a payment channel with Iran called INSTEX, to help continue trade and circumvent US sanctions. DW Washington has cautioned EU nations against such actions. Several European countries have set up a new transaction channel that will allow companies to continue trading with Irandespite US sanctions. The announcement was made on Thursday. The channel, set up by Germany, France and the UK, is called  INSTEX — short for “Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges.” “We’re making ... Read More »