Sunday, 25 August, 2019

Pompeo urges Germany to proscribe Hezbollah

Pompeo visits Germany as tensions rise between US, Iran Pompeo to Germany: Use Huawei and lose access to our data
Patty Aguilar | 02 June, 2019, 16:48

The United States aims to educate its worldwide partners on the risks posed by next-generation wireless networks manufactured by China's Huawei, but allies will make their own sovereign buying decisions, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.

Following the meeting with Maas, Pompeo headed into the capital for talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Germany, among other European allies of Washington, is sceptical of the hardline United States approach to Iran and favours a 2015 agreement, from which Trump withdrew, on curbing Tehran's nuclear programme.

Germany is trying to rescue the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal - which aimed to stop Iran developing nuclear weapons - while the US, no longer a party to the agreement, is putting pressure on Tehran through economic sanctions. The seriousness of the issue was not immediately clear, although a senior diplomat said discussions were ongoing about how to resolve the matter.

The U.S. has also been critical of Germany going ahead with a joint project with Russia to build the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that would take Russian natural gas directly to Germany under the Baltic, arguing it is a security issue because it would increase Europe's energy dependence on Russia.

As the US has increased sanctions and companies have been pulling business out of Iran, the Europeans have been developing INSTEX, a complicated barter-type system to skirt direct financial transactions with Iran and so evade possible USA sanctions.

Israel strikes Syria after rockets fired at Golan
Israel later annexed the captured territory in a move unrecognized by most of the global community, except for the United States. The IDF Spokesperson's Office said that there had been no interception.

GMO Fungus Mass Kills Malaria Mosquitoes
Commenting on the findings, Prof Michael Bonsall, from the University of Oxford, said: "Neat - this is a super-exciting study". Within 45 days, trials conducted in Burkina Faso, showed that mosquito populations collapsed by 99% due to the fungus.

Acting US Defense Chief Criticizes China's Bad Behavior
While taking questions from the floor after his speech, he added: "We're not going to ignore Chinese behavior". Wu told reporters that the US has recently "had a series of negative words and deeds" on Taiwan issues.

On Friday, it coincided with Saudi calls for Iranian aggression to be dealt with firmly and the release of the United Nations atomic watchdog's quarterly report on Iran's compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal.

Earlier on Friday, Pompeo met German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, saying after the talks that the United States may no longer share sensitive security information with nations that install next-generation networks, like those made by China's Huawei.

Pompeo's first official visit to the German capital on Friday made up for a meeting that was called off at the last minute earlier this month, prompting more irritation from Berlin.

Merkel said the two countries would "discuss plenty of issues, because the world is in great unrest".

"When we think about INSTEX, if it is aimed at facilitating the movement of goods that are authorised to move, it's unproblematic", the AP cited Pompeo as saying. Both wanted to deter Iran from the acquisition of nuclear weapons and expect Tehran to answer questions about its ballistic missile program.

Pompeo refused to comment, however, on whether the USA was prepared to sanction German companies involved in the project. The US claims that China could use the infrastructure for espionage purposes. She received standing ovations for demanding that people should not "describe lies as truth and truth as lies".

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