Left Menu
Development News Edition

RPT-UPDATE 1-Iran says exercising restraint despite 'unacceptable' escalation of US sanctions

Reuters | Updated: 16-05-2019 06:45 IST | Created: 16-05-2019 06:45 IST
RPT-UPDATE 1-Iran says exercising restraint despite 'unacceptable' escalation of US sanctions
Iran is committed to its obligations under an international nuclear deal despite the U.S. withdrawal from the landmark agreement, its foreign minister said on Thursday, calling the reimposition of sanctions by Washington "unacceptable". Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif made the comments in a meeting with his Japanese counterpart in Tokyo as tensions rise in the Middle East, fuelling concerns that the United States and Iran are heading for conflict.

Iran is exercising "maximum restraint in spite of the fact the United States withdrew from (the) JCPOA last May," Zarif said at the start of his meeting with Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono. He was referring to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action signed in 2015 by the United States, Iran and other countries, under which Tehran curbed its uranium enrichment capacity and won sanctions relief in return.

President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the nuclear deal last year and is ratcheting up sanctions on Iran, aiming to strangle its economy by ending its international sales of crude oil. Japan was a major buyer of Iranian oil for decades before the sanctions. An attack on four oil tankers in the Gulf on Sunday, for which no one has claimed responsibility, and Saudi Arabia's announcement on Tuesday that armed drones hit two of its oil pumping stations have raised tensions.

The United States withdrew staff from its embassy in Iraq on Wednesday out of apparent concern about perceived threats from Iran, with U.S. sources saying they believe Tehran encouraged the attacks on the oil tankers. Trump is sending an aircraft carrier group, B-52 bombers and Patriot missiles to the Middle East to counter what the United States calls a heightened threat from Iran to American soldiers and interests in the region.

"We believe that escalation by the United States is unacceptable and uncalled for," Zarif told Kono in front of reporters before they met privately. Nevertheless, Iran has relaxed restrictions on its nuclear programme and threatened actions that may breach the nuclear deal, although the initial moves do not appear to violate the agreement.

"We are seriously concerned over the situation in the Middle East," Kono told Zarif. "I will spare no effort to ease tensions and try to resolve outstanding issues." Kono said it was essential to maintain the nuclear agreement and urged Iran to keep implementing it, echoing other countries.

Asian shippers and refiners have put ships heading to the Middle East on alert and are expecting a possible rise in marine insurance premiums after recent attacks on Saudi oil tankers and pipeline facilities, industry sources said on Tuesday. (Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka Writing by Aaron Sheldrick Editing by Chang-Ran Kim and Paul Tait)


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Rethinking Rural Livelihoods in the Times of COVID-19

The reverse migration caused by COVID 19 pandemic has put an additional burden of about one crore people on Indian villages particularly in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Bengal and Odisha. Besides increasing the risk of spreading the ...

‘Discounted Deaths’ and COVID 19: Anthropology of Death and Emotions

Death is a social event rather than the mere cessation of biological functions. As seen by anthropologists, death is not just physical but intensely social, cultural, and political....

Indigenous knowledge of communities a must for maximizing impact of community work

Generally, it has been observed that the majority of the academicians in higher education institutions neglect the wisdom of community people and throw their weight around thinking that they know everything and the community knows nothing. ...

In rebuking FBR, Pakistan’s courts take a stand for public health

The system, if implemented effectively, will allow Pakistans revenue service to combat the illicit trade in tobacco products and potentially add hundreds of millions of dollars to the states budget each year. ...

Videos

Latest News

New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards to be screened on 4 July

For the first time ever, the New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards will be screened on national television on Saturday 4th July at 730 pm.The Awards will be televised on Country TVs Sky Channel 81 which will be accessible to all viewers without...

WRAPUP 1-U.S. unemployment rate seen near 20% as COVID slams jobs market again in May

The U.S. unemployment rate likely shot up to almost 20 in May, a new post World War Two record, with millions more losing their jobs, exposing the horrific human toll from the COVID-19 crisis.The Labor Departments closely watched monthly em...

Japan's Fuji Rock Festival cancelled for first time because of pandemic

Fuji Rock Festival, Japans biggest annual music event, will be cancelled for the first time ever due to the coronavirus pandemic, organisers said, disappointing thousands of rock-and-roll fans who flock to the outdoor festivities every year...

Italian Cup semis to resume on June 12-13

Italian soccer will resume with the second legs of the Italian Cup semifinals on June 12 and 13. Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora announced Thursday that the competition can resume one day earlier than previously scheduled.While league of...

Give Feedback