Connect with us

Politics

Nuclear deal unlikely unless Iran releases US prisoners

Nuclear deal unlikely unless Iran releases US prisoners

Published

on

The United States is unlikely to strike a deal with Iran to save the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement unless Tehran releases four US citizens Washington says it is holding hostage, the lead US nuclear negotiator told the Reuters news agency on Sunday.

US Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley repeated the long-held US position that the issue of the four people held in Iran is separate from the nuclear negotiations. He moved a step closer, however, to saying that their release was a precondition for a nuclear agreement.

“They’re separate and we’re pursuing both of them. But I will say it is very hard for us to imagine getting back into the nuclear deal while four innocent Americans are being held hostage by Iran,” Malley told Reuters in an interview.

“So even as we’re conducting talks with Iran indirectly on the nuclear file we are conducting, again indirectly, discussions with them to ensure the release of our hostages,” he said in Vienna, where talks are taking place on bringing Washington and Tehran back into full compliance with the deal.

Advertisement

In recent years, Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards have arrested dozens of dual nationals and foreigners, mostly on espionage and security-related charges.

Rights groups have accused Iran of taking prisoners to gain diplomatic leverage, while Western powers have long demanded that Tehran free their citizens, who they say are political prisoners.

Tehran denies holding people for political reasons.

Malley was speaking in a joint interview with Barry Rosen, a 77-year-old former US diplomat who has been on a hunger strike in Vienna, to demand the release of US, British, French, German, Austrian and Swedish prisoners in Iran, and that no nuclear agreement be reached without their release.

Rosen was one of more than 50 US diplomats held during the 1979-1981 Iran hostage crisis.

Advertisement

“I’ve spoken to a number of the families of the hostages who are extraordinarily grateful for what Mr Rosen is doing but they also are imploring him to stop his hunger strike, as I am, because the message has been sent,” Malley said.

Rosen said that after five days of not eating he was feeling weak and would heed those calls.

“With the request from Special Envoy Malley and my doctors and others, we’ve agreed [that] after this meeting I will stop my hunger strike but this does not mean that others will not take up the baton,” Rosen said.

The indirect talks between Iran and the United States on bringing both countries back into full compliance with the landmark 2015 nuclear deal are in their eighth round. Iran refuses to hold meetings with US officials, meaning others shuttle between the two sides.

The 2015 deal between Iran and major powers lifted sanctions against Tehran in exchange for restrictions on its nuclear activities that extended the time it would need to obtain enough fissile material for a nuclear bomb if it chose to. Iran denies seeking nuclear weapons.

Advertisement

Then-President Donald Trump pulled the US out of the deal in 2018, reimposing punishing economic sanctions against Tehran. Iran responded by breaching many of the deal’s nuclear restrictions, to the point that Western powers say the deal will soon have been hollowed out completely.

Asked if Iran and the US might negotiate directly, Malley said: “We’ve heard nothing to that effect. We’d welcome it.”

The four US citizens held in Iran include Iranian-American businessman Siamak Namazi, 50, and his father Baquer, 85, both of whom have been convicted of “collaboration with a hostile government”. Namazi remains in prison. His father was released on medical grounds in 2018 and his sentence later reduced to time served. While the elder Namazi is no longer jailed, a lawyer for the family says he is effectively barred from leaving Iran.

“Senior Biden administration officials have repeatedly told us that although the potential Iranian nuclear and hostage deals are independent and must be negotiated on parallel tracks, they will not just conclude the nuclear deal by itself,” said Jared Genser, pro bono counsel to the Namazi family.

“Otherwise, all leverage to get the hostages out will be lost,” he added.

Advertisement

The others are environmentalist Morad Tahbaz, 66, who also holds British citizenship, and businessman Emad Shargi, 57.

Politics

President Kais Dissolves Top Judicial Watchdog

Tunisia’s president dissolves top judicial watchdog

Published

on

By

Tunisian President Kais Saied has dissolved a judicial council that deals with the independence of judges.

Saied – who had dismissed the government and suspended parliament last July – said on Sunday that the Supreme Judicial Council was a “thing of the past”.

sassinations of left-wing activists in 2013.

His decision raises fears about the independence of the judiciary and caps months of his sharp criticism of Tunisia’s judges.

Advertisement

Last month, he revoked all financial privileges for members of the top judicial council, which was formed in 2016 and tasked with ensuring the independence of the judiciary, disciplining judges and granting them professional promotions.

“In this council, positions and appointments are sold according to loyalties. Their place is not the place where they sit now, but where the accused stand,” Saied said in a speech in the interior ministry.

“You cannot imagine the money that certain judges have been able to receive, billions and billions,” he added.

The council’s dissolution comes on the ninth anniversary of the assassination of secular politician Chokri Belaid, with parties and organizations, including the powerful UGTT union, preparing to hold demonstrations later in the day to pressure the judiciary to hold those involved in terrorism accountable.

It is expected that Saied’s supporters also will protest in a second demonstration against the Supreme Judicial Council.

Advertisement

“I tell Tunisians to demonstrate freely. It is your right and our right to dissolve the Supreme Judicial Council,” Saied said.

Saied’s approval of Sunday’s demonstrations comes even though a government decision to ban all demonstrations remains in effect.

Last month, police fired water cannons and beat protesters with sticks to break up an opposition protest against Saied, whose seizure of broad powers and declared plans to redraw the constitution have cast doubt on Tunisia’s decade-old democratic system and hindered its quest for an international rescue plan for public finances.

The president has initiated an online public consultation before drafting a new constitution that he says will be put to a referendum.

He has not brought major political or civil society players into the process.

Advertisement

Continue Reading

Politics

Australian Deputy Prime Minister Has Apologiseda To Prime Minister Scott Morrison

Australia PM Morrison’s deputy sorry for calling leader a ‘liar’

Published

on

By

Australian Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has apologised to Prime Minister Scott Morrison for calling him “a hypocrite and a liar” and said Morrison had rejected his offer to resign.

Morrison said in a statement on Saturday that he accepted Joyce’s apology.


In a leaked message, the deputy prime minister, who heads the junior partner in Morrison’s coalition government, said last year that he had never trusted Morrison.

“He is a hypocrite and a liar from my observations and that is over a long time,” Joyce wrote to a former staffer of Morrison’s Liberal Party who had alleged sexual assault by a fellow staffer.

Advertisement

Joyce’s remarks further shake the political position of Morrison, who must call a federal election by May. His approval ratings have fallen over his handling of an Omicron-driven coronavirus outbreak.

“I want to apologise to the prime minister … I should have never written the text that I did,” Joyce told a news conference.

My view from the backbench about the prime minister was based on assumption and commentary, not from a one-on-one working relationship.”

Joyce became deputy prime minister in 2021 as the leader of the National Party, not as Morrison’s appointee. Joyce’s party, which has the power to remove him as its leader, did not immediately reply to requests for comment.

Morrison responded, “Relationships change over time. Politicians are human beings too. We all have our frailties and none of us are perfect.”

Advertisement

Joyce’s text message, first reported on Friday night by Nine Newspapers, was sent through a third party to former Liberal Party staffer Brittany Higgins. She had alleged that she was sexually assaulted in Parliament House in March 2019.

The political commotion comes just days after a controversy about an alleged exchange between senior Liberal Party members making derogatory remarks about Morrison.

Opposition Labor leader Anthony Albanese said it was “untenable” for Joyce to continue as deputy prime minister.

“I couldn’t care less that the Liberal Party members all don’t like each other,” Albanese said at a briefing. “What I do care about is the consequences of a government that is dysfunctional.”

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Politics

Trump ‘wrong’ to say 2020 election could be overturned

Trump ‘wrong’ to say 2020 election could be overturned

Published

on

By

Former Vice President Mike Pence has directly rebutted Donald Trump’s false claims that he somehow could have overturned the results of the 2020 election in the United States, saying that the former president was simply “wrong”.

In a speech to a gathering of the conservative Federalist Society in Florida on Friday, Pence addressed Trump’s intensifying efforts this week to advance the false narrative that, as vice president, he had the unilateral power to prevent President Joe Biden from taking office.


“President Trump is wrong,” Pence said. “I had no right to overturn the election.”

Pence’s declaration marked his most forceful response yet to Trump, who has spent his post-presidency stoking the lie that the 2020 campaign was stolen from him. And it comes as Pence begins laying the groundwork for a potential run for president in 2024, which could put him in direct competition with his former boss, who is also teasing a comeback run.

Advertisement

The relationship between the two men took on a new dynamic this week as Trump escalated his attacks on Pence.

In a statement Tuesday, Trump said the committee investigating the deadly January 6 attack on the Capitol should instead probe “why Mike Pence did not send back the votes for recertification or approval”. And on Sunday, he blasted Pence, falsely declaring that “he could have overturned the Election!”

Vice presidents play only a ceremonial role in the counting of Electoral College votes, and any attempt to interfere in the count would have represented an extraordinary violation of the law and an assault on the democratic process.

Pence, in his remarks on Friday to the group of lawyers in Lake Buena Vista, described January 6, 2021, as “a dark day in the history of the United States Capitol” and framed his actions that day as in line with his duty as a constitutional conservative.

“The American people must know that we will always keep our oath to the Constitution, even when it would be politically expedient to do otherwise,” he told the group on Friday.

Advertisement

He noted that, under Article II Section One of the Constitution, “elections are conducted at the state level, not by the Congress” and that “the only role of Congress with respect to the Electoral College is to open and count votes submitted and certified by the states. No more, no less.”

He went on to call out those who have insisted that is not the case.

“Frankly there is no idea more un-American than the notion that any one person could choose the American president,” he added. “Under the Constitution, I had no right to change the outcome of our election. And Kamala Harris will have no right to overturn the election when we beat them in 2024.”

The audience applauded Pence’s line about beating the Democrats in the upcoming presidential election, but remained silent when Pence said earlier that “Trump is wrong”.

Pence was inside the Capitol on January 6, presiding over the joint session of Congress to certify the presidential election, when a mob of Trump’s supporters violently smashed inside, assaulting police officers and hunting down legislators.

Advertisement

Pence, who released a letter moments before the session got underway that made clear he had no authority to overturn the will of the voters, was rushed to safety as some rioters chanted “Hang Mike Pence!”

The former vice president, in his remarks Friday, acknowledged the lingering anger among many in Trump’s base, even as he said it was time “to focus on the future”.

“The truth is, there’s more at stake than our party or political fortunes,” he said. “Men and women, if we lose faith in the Constitution, we won’t just lose elections — we’ll lose our country.”

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Top posts

Yuga Labs Launches Bored Ape And Mutant Ape Yacht Club Community Council Yuga Labs Launches Bored Ape And Mutant Ape Yacht Club Community Council
BAYC3 hours ago

Yuga Labs Launches Bored Ape And Mutant Ape Yacht Club Community Council

The non-fungible token (NFT) and blockchain firm Yuga Labs has announced a community council will be representatives of the Bored...

Crypto Touted By Kim Kardashian Climbs 124% After SEC Charges, Token Value Dumps The Next Day Crypto Touted By Kim Kardashian Climbs 124% After SEC Charges, Token Value Dumps The Next Day
$1.26 million5 hours ago

Crypto Touted By Kim Kardashian Climbs 124% After SEC Charges, Token Value Dumps The Next Day

Following the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charges against the socialite Kim Kardashian for unlawfully touting the crypto asset...

Biggest Movers: DOGE, XRP Hit Highest Point Since Late September Biggest Movers: DOGE, XRP Hit Highest Point Since Late September
Analysis5 hours ago

Biggest Movers: DOGE, XRP Hit Highest Point Since Late September

Dogecoin was trading near its highest point since late September on Wednesday, as prices rose for a second straight day....

Fed’s Inflation Nowcasting Data Shows Future CPI Increases, US Gross National Debt Hits $31 Trillion Fed’s Inflation Nowcasting Data Shows Future CPI Increases, US Gross National Debt Hits $31 Trillion
$31 Trillion7 hours ago

Fed’s Inflation Nowcasting Data Shows Future CPI Increases, US Gross National Debt Hits $31 Trillion

A recently published forecast stemming from the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland’s Inflation Nowcasting data indicates upcoming U.S. consumer price...

Bitcoin, Ethereum Technical Analysis: BTC Climbs To 2-Week High Bitcoin, Ethereum Technical Analysis: BTC Climbs To 2-Week High
Analysis8 hours ago

Bitcoin, Ethereum Technical Analysis: BTC Climbs To 2-Week High

Bitcoin continued to trade above $20,000 on Wednesday, as the token remained near a two-week high. Bullish momentum in cryptocurrency...

Binance And Kazakhstan To Share Information About Crypto-Related Crime Binance And Kazakhstan To Share Information About Crypto-Related Crime
agreement9 hours ago

Binance And Kazakhstan To Share Information About Crypto-Related Crime

Cryptocurrency exchange Binance has agreed to support Kazakhstan in ensuring the safe development of the country’s crypto market. The trading...

Federal Energy Agencies’ Unwillingness To Act On White House’s Crypto Mining Recommendations Miffs US Lawmaker Federal Energy Agencies’ Unwillingness To Act On White House’s Crypto Mining Recommendations Miffs US Lawmaker
Allison Clements11 hours ago

Federal Energy Agencies’ Unwillingness To Act On White House’s Crypto Mining Recommendations Miffs US Lawmaker

Jared Huffman, a United States lawmaker who advocates for increased scrutiny of crypto-mining entities, has reportedly chastised U.S. energy agencies...

BNB and BUSD holders, this Binance announcement can affect… BNB and BUSD holders, this Binance announcement can affect…
Altcoins11 hours ago

BNB and BUSD holders, this Binance announcement can affect…

Binance made a major expansion and partnership-related announcements recently. On 3 October, Binance announced that it signed a memorandum of...

Top 10 White Hat Hacking Courses To Take Up For 6-Figure Salary Top 10 White Hat Hacking Courses To Take Up For 6-Figure Salary
Cybersecurity12 hours ago

Top 10 White Hat Hacking Courses To Take Up For 6-Figure Salary

These top 10 white hat hacking courses will guide you in predicting vulnerabilities accurately The rising number of cybercrimes is...

New Study Names Gameta As The Gamefi Project With Highest Monthly Subscribers New Study Names Gameta As The Gamefi Project With Highest Monthly Subscribers
Axie Infinity12 hours ago

New Study Names Gameta As The Gamefi Project With Highest Monthly Subscribers

The latest data from Coin 98 Analytics shows the Web3 gaming platform Gameta as the top-ranked gamefi (the intersection of...

What Steps Should Be Taken For Crypto Holders Who Don’t Pay Tax What Steps Should Be Taken For Crypto Holders Who Don’t Pay Tax
Cryptocurrency13 hours ago

What Steps Should Be Taken For Crypto Holders Who Don’t Pay Tax

Want to invest in cryptocurrencies? Here is how you will pay your income tax. A cryptocurrency is a form of...

A-Z of how the BNB Chain fared in September A-Z of how the BNB Chain fared in September
Altcoins13 hours ago

A-Z of how the BNB Chain fared in September

BNB Chain, home to leading decentralized exchanges PancakeSwap and Venus Protocol, closed Q3 with growth in some of its ecosystem...

Celsius Investors May Be Left Dismayed As CEL Drops 6.5% In Last 7 Days Celsius Investors May Be Left Dismayed As CEL Drops 6.5% In Last 7 Days
Cryptocurrency news14 hours ago

Celsius Investors May Be Left Dismayed As CEL Drops 6.5% In Last 7 Days

To everyone’s surprise, the Celsius Network is still operating after the drama surrounding its bankruptcy in July. Alex Mashinky, the company’s...

Decentralized Web3 Protocol Golden Raises $40 Million Backed By A16z Decentralized Web3 Protocol Golden Raises $40 Million Backed By A16z
A16Z14 hours ago

Decentralized Web3 Protocol Golden Raises $40 Million Backed By A16z

Golden, a startup that seeks to build a decentralized data hub, has raised $40 million dollars in a Series B...

Robotics Is Part Of Computer Science, Or Maybe Engineering Robotics Is Part Of Computer Science, Or Maybe Engineering
Artificial Intelligence15 hours ago

Robotics Is Part Of Computer Science, Or Maybe Engineering

Engineering, or even computer science, includes robotics Software and hardware both makeup robots. Engineering techniques are applied to create the...

Can GRT chart a new course after Graph’s new Subgraph milestone Can GRT chart a new course after Graph’s new Subgraph milestone
Altcoins15 hours ago

Can GRT chart a new course after Graph’s new Subgraph milestone

The Graph’s GRT cryptocurrency is arguably one of the poorest performing top cryptocurrencies by market cap. Its performance has been...

Billionaire Hedge Fund Founder Ray Dalio Steps Down As Co-CIO Of Bridgewater Associates Billionaire Hedge Fund Founder Ray Dalio Steps Down As Co-CIO Of Bridgewater Associates
ban bitcoin16 hours ago

Billionaire Hedge Fund Founder Ray Dalio Steps Down As Co-CIO Of Bridgewater Associates

Billionaire hedge fund founder Ray Dalio has stepped down as chief executive of Bridgewater Associates, according to a transfer of...

TA: Ethereum Price Breaks Hurdle, Why Bulls Could Aim $1,500 or Higher TA: Ethereum Price Breaks Hurdle, Why Bulls Could Aim $1,500 or Higher
ETH17 hours ago

TA: Ethereum Price Breaks Hurdle, Why Bulls Could Aim $1,500 or Higher

Ethereum cleared the key $1,350 resistance zone against the US Dollar. ETH is rising and might climb further higher towards...

Trending

Free Bitcoin MiningEarn from $50 to $75 daily with just your phone