Iran halts some commitments under nuclear deal
Iran has officially stopped some commitments under a 2015 nuclear deal with world powers following an order from its national security council, an informed official in the country's atomic energy body told the ISNA news agency on Wednesday. Last week, Iran notified China, France, Germany, Russia and the United Kingdom of its decision to halt some commitments under the nuclear deal, a year after the United States unilaterally withdrew from the accord and re-imposed sanctions.
Polish ambassador spat at in Israel amid rising tensions
Poland's ambassador to Israel was spat at while sitting in his car in Tel Aviv, Israeli police said, and the Polish government condemned the incident, which coincided with rising tensions between the two countries. "I am very worried to hear of a racist attack on @PLinIsrael ambassador @mmagierowski. Poland strongly condemns this xenophobic act of aggression. Violence against diplomats or any other citizens should never be tolerated," Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki wrote in a tweet on Wednesday.
Amid trade war, China's Xi preaches openness, says no civilization superior
China will only be more open to the world, President Xi Jinping said on Wednesday, as he denounced as "stupid" those who believe in cultural superiority, in his first public address since trade tension with the United States spiked last week. China and the United States are locked in an escalating trade war, with both levying tariffs on each other's imports. Just before Xi spoke, the government reported surprisingly weaker growth in retail sales and industrial output for April.
Kremlin protests after U.S. arrests Russian accused of smuggling fighter jet manuals
The Kremlin protested on Wednesday over the extradition from ex-Soviet Georgia to the United States of a Russian man accused of smuggling F-16 fighter jet manuals into Russia in breach of U.S. arms export law. Oleg Tishchenko, a software developer, was earlier this year extradited to the United States from Georgia, where he was reported to have been arrested on a U.S. warrant while attending a dance festival.
Turkey says it is discussing S-400 working group with U.S., postponing not on agenda
Turkey is discussing with the United States setting up a working group to assess the impact of its purchase of Russian missile defences systems, but will not delay their delivery, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Wednesday. Tensions between Turkey and the United States are running high over Ankara's decision to buy the S-400 missile defences, which are not compatible with NATO systems.
Defeat for SPD in bastion Bremen may threaten Merkel's coalition
Germany's weakened Social Democrats (SPD) look likely to lose the state of Bremen after seven decades next week in an election that could set the clock ticking on their strained national coalition with Chancellor Angela Merkel. Polls before the May 26 vote in the northern trading city, home to Beck's beer, reflects the disillusionment among supporters fed up with a party they feel has lost its way after serving 10 of the last 14 years as Merkel's kingmaker.
German armed forces suspend training ops in Iraq on regional tensions
Germany is suspending military training operations in Iraq due to increasing regional tensions, a spokesman for the Defence Ministry said on Wednesday. Germany has no indications of its own of attacks supported by Iran, he said. He added that training programmes could resume in the coming days.
Brexit rebels tell Theresa May: Your EU divorce deal is dead
Brexit-supporting rebels in British Prime Minister Theresa May's party said on Wednesday they would vote down her European Union divorce deal when she brings it back to parliament early next month. Brexit had been due to take place on March 29 but lawmakers rejected the withdrawal agreement that May struck with Brussels three times. The United Kingdom is now scheduled to leave the EU by Oct. 31.
Tanker attacks near UAE expose weaknesses in Gulf Arab security
Attacks on Saudi tankers and other vessels off the coast of the United Arab Emirates this week expose vulnerabilities in the security of a key oil-shipping route amid rising tensions between the United States, Iran and Gulf Arab states. The operation near the Strait of Hormuz appeared designed to test the resolve of the United States and its Sunni Muslim allies without triggering a war after Washington tightened sanctions on Iran and beefed up its military presence nearby.
Fighting breaks out in Yemen's Hodeidah as Houthis pull out
Houthi fighters and pro-government forces battled in Yemen's port city of Hodeidah on Wednesday, breaching a ceasefire and potentially complicating a troop withdrawal agreement intended to pave the way for wider peace talks. Hodeidah port, which has been under Houthi control, is a lifeline for millions of Yemenis threatened by starvation because of the war as it is the main entry point for food imports and aid.
(With inputs from agencies.)