Thursday, 16 August, 2018

United States arrests Iranian over alleged $115 million sanctions evasion scheme

Tillerson's Departure Will Embolden Saudi Adventurism US President Donald Trump and former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Credit Reuters
Lisa Bryan | 21 March, 2018, 08:14

Trump's 2018 statement came after he fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and amid continuing threats to pull out of the nuclear accord with Iran before May.

"There is no proposal of additional sanctions against Iran".

"For many years, I have greatly enjoyed wonderful friendships with Iranian-Americans, one of the most successful immigrant groups in our country's contemporary history", Trump said in his 2017 statement. "In a speech in Tehran, the Supreme Leader Khamenei declared that Iran's regional policies are not up for discussion and that the United States and European countries do not have any right to conduct negotiations with Iran concerning its presence in the Middle East".

U.S. President Donald Trump, who has blasted the 2015 nuclear deal as "the worst deal ever negotiated", recently chose to extend a waiver on nuclear sanctions that were imposed on Iran but made clear it would be the last time he will do so and ordered European allies and Congress to work with him to fix "the disastrous flaws" in the 2015 deal or Washington would withdraw. He said those issues must be expressed in worldwide decisions and lead to more pressure on Iran.

Araqchi's remarks were actually a response to a review in which Britain, France as well as Germany have suggested new European Union sanctions regarding Iran's missiles, and also the part they play in Syria's conflict, trying to encourage Washington to maintain the 2015 atomic agreement with Tehran.

Speaking to reporters before a meeting of European Union foreign ministers Monday, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian seemed to indicate Paris was seeking agreement to up sanctions on Iran.


In January, the president informed his European counterparts that unless the flaws in the 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and the world powers are fixed, he will not extend the existing waivers for sanctions relief that expire May 12.

Netanyahu also spoke over the phone with German Foreign Minister Heiku Maas and congratulated him on his new position.

USA sanctions will resume unless Trump issues fresh "waivers" to suspend them on May 12.

"As alleged, Ali Sadr Hashemi Nejad created a network of front companies and foreign bank accounts to mask Iranian business dealings in Venezuela and evade US sanctions", Manhattan US Attorney Geoffrey Berman said in a statement. Iran denies it is in violation of any United Nations resolutions and categorically rules out any negotiations on its missile program.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Twitter accused the West of "sheer hypocrisy" in selling large quantities of weapons to countries in the region while "whining about Iran's defensive missiles".

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