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Iran threatens to reduce cooperation with UN nuclear watchdog

Iran could reduce its co-operation with the U.N. nuclear watchdog, President Hassan Rouhani told the body’s head on Wednesday, as he blamed U.S. President Donald Trump for the “new situation.” Source link link: Iran threatens to reduce cooperation with UN nuclear watchdog.....»»

Category: newsSource: manilainformer manilainformerJul 4th, 2018

Koreas extend conciliatory steps to Asian Games

By Kim Tong-Hyung, Associated Press SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — With the Koreas, there's no separating their sports from their politics. The war-separated rivals will take their reconciliation steps to the Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia, where they will jointly march in the opening ceremony and field combined teams in basketball, rowing and canoeing. "Sports have played the role of peacemaker between the Koreas," said Kim Seong-jo, vice chairman of South Korea's Olympic committee and the country's chef de mission at the Asian Games. "If the combined teams put out good performances and win medals, that would be putting the cherry on the top." North and South Korea have used sports diplomacy this year in a bid to decrease animosity and initiate a new round of global diplomatic efforts to resolve the nuclear standoff with Pyongyang. South Korea leaders consider goodwill gestures as crucial to keep the positive atmosphere alive for what could become a long and difficult attempt to persuade the North to give up its nuclear and missile programs. There's not much Seoul can do beyond such gestures, though, as joint economic projects are out of the question when lifting sanctions against North Korea is far beyond the South's control. The more substantial discussions on the North's denuclearization — including what, when and how it would occur— are always going to be between Washington and Pyongyang. Here's a look at what the Koreas are planning for the Asian Games and their ebbs and flows in sports diplomacy: ___ BLUE FLAGS AND COMBINED TEAMS In the opening ceremony in Jakarta, athletes from North and South Korea will parade together under the flag featuring a blue map that symbolized a unified Korean Peninsula. It will be virtual repeat of the joint march during February's Winter Olympics in the South Korean ski resort of Pyeongchang, minus the gloves, parkas and fur hats. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un sent hundreds of athletes, artists and government officials to the Pyeongchang Olympics. The Koreas also fielded their first combined Olympic team in women's ice hockey, which drew passionate support from crowds despite losing all five of its games with a combined score of 28-2. At the Asian Games, the Koreas will be expected to deliver more than just feel-good stories. There's pressure for the investment to yield gold. A group of 34 North Korean athletes, coaches and officials have been in South Korea since last month for combined teams in women's basketball and the men's and women's events in rowing and canoeing. Coach Lee Moon-kyu, who has retained a core of South Korean players who won gold at the 2014 Asian Games at home in Incheon, got a first-hand look at North Korean players during exhibitions in Pyongyang in early July. Lee later picked three North Korean players for the Asian Games squad, including center Ro Suk Yong. Lee will also have a North Korean assistant coach on his bench. The Koreans will face Taiwan, Indonesia, Kazakhstan and India in their preliminary group. South Korean forward Lim Yung-hui said the chemistry between the players has been improving. "The Northern players share the same goal of the gold medal and we talk a lot about how we should be putting out a good performance there," Lim said. "We weren't given much time, but we are practicing hard in a positive atmosphere." The Koreas will field combined teams in dragon boat events in canoeing and the lightweight men's four, lightweight men's eight and lightweight women's double sculls in rowing. If a combined team wins gold, athletes on the podium will hear the traditional folk song of "Arirang,"used in both Koreas as an unofficial anthem for peace, instead of their respective national anthems. The Korean athletes are likely to become an attraction at the Asian Games, where the international media will follow closely. At the Pyeongchang Olympics, South Korean figure skater Kam Alex Kang-chan created a media frenzy by taking a selfie with North Korea's Kim Ju Sik and posting it on Instagram. The photo recalled a famous 2016 selfie taken by two North and South Korean gymnasts at the Rio Olympics which International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach described as a "great gesture." ___ THEY DON'T ALWAYS PLAY NICE The Koreas have a history of using sports to foster diplomacy since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War. The 1991 world table tennis championships in Japan were the first time the Koreas fielded a combined team at a major international event. The atmosphere wasn't always friendly, though. During the height of their Cold War rivalry and recurring periods of animosity since, sports often became an alternate political battlefield. North Korean athletes and coaches would reject handshakes with their South Korean competitors and berate South Korean reporters during news conferences. The sports detente of 1991 evaporated when a North Korean athlete who competed at the world judo championships in Barcelona defected and arrived in South Korea amid heavy media coverage. North Korea boycotted the 1986 Asian Games and the '88 Summer Olympics in Seoul, and relations dramatically worsened on the eve of the Seoul Olympics with the bombing of a South Korean passenger jet that killed all 115 aboard in December 1987. The inter-Korean warmth heading into this year's Asian Games contrasts with the awkwardness between the rivals surrounding the 2014 Asiad held in South Korea. Seoul's then-conservative government invited North Korean athletes to compete, but made it clear it had no interest in joint marches or combined teams. North Korean subsequently withdrew an offer to send its all-female cheering squad to Incheon after squabbling with the hosts over costs. North Korean leader Kim did send a senior government delegation to the closing ceremony, but they returned home without meeting then-South Korean President Park Geun-hye. The North was still seething over the Asian Game treatment years later as it gleefully observed Park's presidency crashing over a corruption scandal. "The Park Geun-hye group's mad confrontational racket is to blame for why (the North Korean) visit to Incheon did not result in improved relations," the North said in a statement in April last year. ___ WILL THE GOOD TIMES LAST? Kim has found a willing counterpart in Moon, a liberal who won the presidential by-elections to replace Park last year. Since the Pyeongchang Olympics, Kim has met Moon twice and leveraged the summits to get to U.S. President Donald Trump. After their June summit in Singapore, Kim and Trump issued a vague aspirational goal for a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula without describing specific plans. Sports exchanges and other goodwill gestures are important policy tools for Moon, who wants Seoul to be in the "driver's seat" in international efforts to deal with Pyongyang. The Koreas have also agreed to resume temporary reunions between relatives separated by the war and are holding military talks to reduce tensions across their heavily armed border. "Hopefully, (the Asian Games) will provide an opportunity to use sports to facilitate diplomacy and cooperation," Moon said while meeting Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi in Seoul last month. Seoul's presidential office hasn't announced yet whether Moon would attend the opening ceremony in Jakarta on Aug. 18. Whatever happens in Indonesia or with nuclear negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang, the Koreas will always have those heartening selfies posted by athletes. "Sports can be used to build momentum and trust, but they don't solve fundamental problems," said Koh Yu-hwan, a North Korea expert at Seoul's Dongguk University and a policy adviser to Moon. "There's not much South Korea can currently do, but at least it's trying to actively do the things it can to keep the positive atmosphere alive. ".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 10th, 2018

Israeli PM’s wife charged with fraud, breach of trust

JERUSALEM --- Israeli prosecutors on Thursday charged the wife of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with misusing over $100,000 in public funds to order lavish meals from some of the country's most famous chefs. While the prime minister was not directly implicated in the case, the indictment against Sara Netanyahu threatens to embarrass the long-serving leader and brings back attention to his own legal problems. Netanyahu has basked in months of political success, including the Trump administration's withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and its move of the US Embassy to Jerusalem, taking away attention from a series of corruption investigations facing the prime minister. Sa...Keep on reading: Israeli PM’s wife charged with fraud, breach of trust.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJun 21st, 2018

NATO’s chief appeals for unity amid trans-Atlantic row

LONDON --- NATO's chief is urging the alliance's 29 countries to set aside a festering trans-Atlantic row over trade, climate and the Iran nuclear deal, amid concern that the tensions will undermine the military alliance. In an editorial in Tuesday's Guardian newspaper, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said "the ties that bind us are under strain." He said "we must continue to work hard to settle our differences - and where differences persist, we must limit any negative impact on our security cooperation." Stoltenberg's message comes less than a month before US President Donald Trump meets with his NATO counterparts in Brussels. Stoltenberg says NATO has overcome div...Keep on reading: NATO’s chief appeals for unity amid trans-Atlantic row.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJun 19th, 2018

China hosts summit with Russia, Iran as nuclear deal wobbles

BEIJING: Iran, China and Russia may seek ways to salvage the nuclear deal ditched by Donald Trump when their leaders meet this weekend at a summit on the Chinese coast. The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), a regional security bloc led by China and Russia, is set to hold its 18th annual gathering in the city… link: China hosts summit with Russia, Iran as nuclear deal wobbles.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsJun 7th, 2018

Iran foreign minister in Moscow as Russia moves to save nuclear deal

MOSCOW, Russia – Iran's foreign minister was in Moscow on Monday, May 14, as Russia tries to keep the Iran nuclear deal alive in the wake of Washington's pull-out, pushing it into rare cooperation with Europe.  Iranian state television Irib broadcasted images of Mohammad Javad Zarif in Moscow , saying he had arrived ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsMay 14th, 2018

U.S. Withdrawal from Iran Nuclear Deal Reckless: Libyan Expert

Washington’s withdrawal from Iran’s nuclear deal is a “reckless step” that threatens the Middle East, said Khaled al-Muntaser, a Libya international relations researcher and professor. “It is a reckless step that has negative implications on the Middle East, as it came after the easing of tension between Tehran and the countries of the region since […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  metrocebuRelated NewsMay 9th, 2018

S. Korea offers to talk with North on Olympic cooperation

HYUNG-JIN KIM, Associated Press SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea on Tuesday offered high-level talks with rival North Korea to find ways to cooperate on next month's Winter Olympics in the South. Seoul's quick proposal following a rare rapprochement overture from the North a day earlier offers the possibility of better ties after a year that saw a nuclear standoff increase fear of war on the Korean Peninsula. In a closely watched New Year's address, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said Monday that he was willing to send a delegation to the Olympics, though he also repeated fiery nuclear threats against the United States. Analysts say Kim may be trying to drive a wedge between Seoul and its ally Washington in a bid to reduce international isolation and sanctions against North Korea. Kim's overture was welcome news for a South Korean government led by liberal President Moon Jae-in, who favors dialogue to ease the North's nuclear threats and wants to use the Olympics as a chance to improve inter-Korean ties. Moon's unification minister, Cho Myoung-gyon, proposed in a nationally televised news conference that the two Koreas meet Jan. 9 at the shared border village of Panmunjom to discuss Olympic cooperation and how to improve overall ties. Earlier Tuesday, Moon spoke of what he described as Kim's positive response to his earlier dialogue overtures and ordered officials to study how to restore talks with North Korea and get the North to participate in the Olympics. North Korea did not immediately react. But if there are talks, they would be the first formal dialogue between the Koreas since December 2015. Relations between the Koreas have plunged as North Korea has expanded its weapons programs amid a hard-line stance by Moon's conservative predecessors. Last year, North Korea conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test and test-launched three intercontinental ballistic missiles as part of its push to possess a nuclear missile capable of reaching anywhere in the United States. The North was subsequently hit with toughened U.N. sanctions, and Kim and President Donald Trump exchanged warlike rhetoric and crude personal insults against each other. Kim said in his speech Monday that North Korea last year achieved the historic feat of "completing" its nuclear forces. Outside experts say that it's only a matter of time before the North acquires the ability to hurl nuclear weapons at the mainland U.S., but that the country still has a few technologies to master, such as a warhead's ability to survive atmospheric re-entry. Talks could provide a temporary thaw in strained inter-Korean ties, but conservative critics worry that they may only earn the North time to perfect its nuclear weapons. After the Olympics, inter-Korean ties could become frosty again because the North has made it clear it has no intention of accepting international calls for nuclear disarmament and instead wants to bolster its weapons arsenal in the face of what it considers increasing U.S. threats. "Kim Jong Un's strategy remains the same. He's developing nukes while trying to weaken international pressure and the South Korea-U.S. military alliance and get international sanctions lifted," said Shin Beomchul of the Seoul-based Korea National Diplomatic Academy. He said the North might also be using its potential Olympic participation as a chance to show its nuclear program is not intended to pose a threat to regional peace. In his address Monday, Kim said the United States should be aware that his country's nuclear forces are now a reality, not a threat. He said he has a "nuclear button" on his office desk, warning that "the whole territory of the U.S. is within the range of our nuclear strike." He called for improved ties and a relaxation of military tensions with South Korea, saying the Winter Olympics could showcase the status of the Korean nation. But Kim also repeated that South Korea must stop annual military exercises with the United States, which he calls an invasion rehearsal against the North. About 28,500 American troops are stationed in South Korea to help deter potential aggression from the North, a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 2nd, 2018

Iran holds funerals for victims of terror attack in Ahvaz

AHVAZ, Iran --- In a collective outpouring of grief, Iranians held funerals Monday for the victims of the weekend terror attack on a military parade in the southwestern city of Ahvaz that killed 25 people, the deadliest attack in the country in nearly a decade. READ:Gunmen attack Iran military parade, killing at least 25 Saturday's assault in Ahvaz, the provincial capital of Khuzestan, was blamed on Iran's Arab separatists. At least 60 people were also wounded when militants disguised as soldiers opened fire at marching troops and onlookers at the parade. The attack has further shaken Iran, already facing turmoil in the wake of the American withdraw from Tehran's nuclear deal wi...Keep on reading: Iran holds funerals for victims of terror attack in Ahvaz.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsSep 24th, 2018

Japan to halt Iran oil imports

TOKYO, Japan — Japan’s major oil wholesalers are preparing to suspend crude oil imports from Iran in October, amid fears Washington will sanction countries importing Iranian crude, local media reported. US President Donald Trump in May pulled out of a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and last month began reimposing sanctions that block other countries […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 3rd, 2018

Japan to halt Iran oil imports under US pressure – reports

TOKYO: Japan’s major oil wholesalers are preparing to suspend crude oil imports from Iran in October, amid fears Washington will sanction countries importing Iranian crude, local media reported. US President Donald Trump in May pulled out of a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and last month began reimposing sanctions that block other countries from trading… link: Japan to halt Iran oil imports under US pressure – reports.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsSep 3rd, 2018

Japan to halt Iran oil imports under US pressure – reports

TOKYO: Japan’s major oil wholesalers are preparing to suspend crude oil imports from Iran in October, amid fears Washington will sanction countries importing Iranian crude, local media reported. US President Donald Trump in May pulled out of a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and last month began reimposing sanctions that block other countries from trading [...] The post Japan to halt Iran oil imports under US pressure – reports appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimesRelated NewsSep 3rd, 2018

FIBA WORLD CUP: Guiao ready to name final Gilas lineup on Monday

Fresh from a brave stand in the Asian Games where they finished 5th place, national team head coach Yeng Guiao says his crew will be right back in business to prepare for the upcoming FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers. To start the second round, the Philippines (4-2) will take on Iran on September 13 before hosting Qatar four days later. With about two weeks of preparation this time, Guiao says Gilas will be right back to practice on Monday, September 3. He says the final team will be pretty much announced after that first practice. "Monday is the start of practice. We will also determine Monday who are interested in accepting that invitation and then we will form the team right there after," Guiao said Saturday. The Philippines will essentially keep its Asian Games core for the upcoming FIBA window, with the exception of some due to various reasons. Christian Standhardinger, Stanley Pringle, Gabe Norwood, Raymond Almazan, Beau Belga, Poy Erram, Asi Taulava, and Paul Lee are retained from the Asian Games team, though Guiao will have to let go of either Standhardinger and Pringle as both count as naturalized players in FIBA tournaments. Included in the new pool of Gilas are Scottie Thompson, Ian Sangalang, Allein Maliksi, Alex Cabagnot, and Marcio Lassiter. In a report from Indonesia by Reuben Terrado of Spin.ph, Matthew Wright is also invited. Although Wright was suspended by FIBA following the Gilas-Australia brawl back in July, the Phoenix gunner is only barred for one game, making him eligible for the Qatar game. "One week and one big man short of playing for a medal tayo sa Asian Games. Ito kapos din pero we will make the most out of it. We are used to cramming anyway so again, it will really depend on the commitment of the players," coach Yeng said. "Wala na tayong problema sa PBA. Nagpapasalamat tayo sa PBA dahil wala tayong limitations doon sa pagpili ng mga players so I think what happened in the Asian Games is also due to the cooperation now of the PBA and the SBP. Kung pinadala lang kami as yung original lineup at hindi natin nahatak sina Standhardinger, sila Pringle, sila Poy Erram, hindi natin nahatak sila Paul Lee, hindi ganoon ang performance natin. Kaya nagpapasalamat tayo sa PBA dahil pinayagan nila yun. Now, they're opening up the doors even wider for the window. So we're very thankful but again, time is the problem now. Andyan na yung willingness to contribute players pero problema na lang, I hope we can whip up the team into a competitive condition in the next week or so," he added. But first things first though is practice on Monday and the announcement of the lineup immediately after. "After ng practice. Kailangan din kaya maaga, yung documentation at yung eligibility eh," Guiao said. "Kailangan doon may napili ka na, kailangan doon sigurado tayo na okay sa FIBA. Kung hindi, kailangan mapalitan kaagad. Ayun yung isang issue pa rin doon. Yeah, Monday evening. After practice," he added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 1st, 2018

Iran lawsuit against US sanctions opens at UN court

Iran opened a lawsuit Monday demanding the UN's top court order the suspension of renewed US sanctions which it says are devastating its economy. The Islamic Republic says US President Donald Trump's decision to reimpose sanctions over its nuclear programaims to bring it "to its knees" and are in breach of a 1955 treaty. Sanctions had been lifted under a 2015 multilateral agreement in return for Iran committing not to pursue nuclear weapons. But Trump reimposed unilateral sanctions three weeks ago. He said they were needed to ensure Iran never builds a nuclear bomb. A second wave of punitive measures are due to hit Iran in early November, targeting its vital energy sector inc...Keep on reading: Iran lawsuit against US sanctions opens at UN court.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsAug 27th, 2018

NKorea pursues nuke activities – UN-IAEA

VIENNA: The UN’s nuclear watchdog said it had not seen any indication that nuclear activities in North Korea have stopped despite its pledges to denuclearize. “The continuation and further development of the DPRK’s nuclear program and related statements by the DPRK are a cause for grave concern,” said a report by the International Atomic Energy [...] The post NKorea pursues nuke activities – UN-IAEA appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimesRelated NewsAug 22nd, 2018

US ambassador urges UK to back Trump on Iran nuke deal

The US ambassador in London is urging Britain to back President Donald Trump in pulling out of the Iran nuclear agreement, saying a united front is the best way to persuade Tehran to change its course......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsAug 12th, 2018

Cyberattacks vs US feared

WASHINGTON — The US is bracing for cyberattacks Iran could launch in retaliation for the re-imposition of sanctions this week by President Donald Trump, cybersecurity and intelligence experts say. Concern over that cyber threat has been rising since May, when Trump pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal, under which the US and other world […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 8th, 2018

U.S. reimposes tough, unilateral sanctions against Iran

WASHINGTON DC, USA – The United States re-imposed a wave of tough, unilateral sanctions against Iran on Tuesday, August 7, bringing back into effect harsh penalties that had been lifted under a historic, multi-party nuclear agreement that President Donald Trump abandoned in May. The first of two rounds of US ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsAug 7th, 2018

China rejects US request to cut Iran oil imports

The US has been unable to persuade China to cut Iranian oil imports, according to two officials familiar with the negotiations, dealing a blow to President Donald Trump’s efforts to isolate the Islamic Republic after his withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear accord. Beijing has, however, agreed not to ramp up purchases of Iranian crude, according […].....»»

Category: financeSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsAug 3rd, 2018

Iran Joins TAC Treaty

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) accepted Iran as a member of the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) on Thursday.In a ceremony on the.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsAug 2nd, 2018

Iran Joins TAC Treaty

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) accepted Iran as a member of the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) on Thursday.In a ceremony on the.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated NewsAug 2nd, 2018