Saturday, 17 August, 2019

Trump’s pressure on Iran would not lead to talks: Zarif

US slaps sanctions on 12 entities in connection with Iran nuclear programme Beijing calls on US to ‘correct’ Iran sanctions
Patty Aguilar | 20 July, 2019, 05:31

Iran earlier on Friday denied losing one of its drones to US forces, while a Gibraltar court extended the detention of an Iranian oil tanker caught in the high-stakes quarrel between Tehran and Washington and its allies.

Trump warned last week that sanctions against Iran would be "increased substantially" after Tehran surpassed the enrichment cap in the 2015 deal.

The U.S. has since embarked upon a diplomatic and economic campaign to put pressure on Iran in order to renegotiate the agreement, as well as other Iranian activities Washington considers to be "destabilizing". "Every opportunity for diplomatic contact should be attempted to avoid an escalation".

The news comes amid a tense situation in the Persian Gulf over Washington's 2018 unilateral withdrawal from 2015 Iran nuclear deal, also known as the JCPOA.

The U.S. Treasury Department on Thursday sanctioned a network of front companies and individuals involved in the procurement of sensitive materials for Iran's nuclear program.

Bakhtar Raad Sepahan, an Iranian firm with a Belgium unit, TAWU BVBA, is accused of facilitating deals for the purchase of hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of Chinese-origin aluminium products and their shipment from China to Iran on behalf of TESA.

Gibraltar meets Iran to defuse Royal Navy tanker row
Britain said it was urgently seeking further information after a British-flagged tanker took a sudden turn into Iranian waters. He called on the British government to do "whatever is necessary" to ensure the safe and swift return of the ship's crew.

Trump selects Justice Scalia’s son as labor secretary
Scalia will require confirmation by the Senate, which is already dealing with a number of Trump administration vacancies. After graduating the University of Chicago Law School, Scalia served as a special assistant to William P.

Microsoft beats estimates on growth of cloud services
An IBM spokesman confirmed that the deal is worth billions of dollars over several years but did not provide a precise figure. The biggest factor in the Microsoft's performance was its commercial cloud services business, which grew 39% in the quarter.

Trump remained open to negotiations with Iran without preconditions on its nuclear program and will maintain a tough economic sanctions regime on Tehran in the meantime, the official said.

Iran's Revolutionary Guards said yesterday they would release images to disprove the claim that the US Navy had destroyed a drone in the Gulf, Iranian news agencies reported.

"Remember this, the ridiculous agreement made by President Obama expires in a very short period of time". The drone was downed through electronic jamming, according to a US official.

On July 4, an Iranian oil tanker was seized by British Royal Marines off the coast of the British Mediterranean territory of Gibraltar on suspicion of smuggling oil to Tehran's close ally Syria in violation of European Union sanctions.

On Thursday, Iran said that it had seized a foreign tanker under a United Kingdom flag allegedly smuggling oil in the Persian Gulf. Shortly after, several media reported, citing a source in the US Defense ministry, that the United States suspected Iran of seizing the Riah, which is affiliated to a UAE port and was being detained in Iran's territorial waters near the IRGC base.

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