During talks with Sri Lanka Iran slams Trump on nuclear deal

Following talks with Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena today, Iranian President Hassan Rowhani slammed US President Donald Trump over the decision by the US to withdraw from a 2015 nuclear deal.Rowhani said on Sunday that if its interests were protected, Tehran would remain committed to its 2015 nuclear deal, the AFP news agency reported. Washington’s decision to withdraw from the deal and reimpose sanctions angered its European allies as well as China and Russia.China was one of the six powers – with the United States, Russia, France, the UK and Germany – that signed the historic pact, which saw sanctions lifted in return for the commitment by Tehran not to acquire nuclear weapons.  (Colombo Gazette) “If the remaining five countries continue to abide by the agreement, Iran will remain in the deal despite the will of America,” he said during a meeting with Sri Lanka’s President. “We hope that with this visit to China and other countries we will be able to construct a clear future design for the comprehensive agreement,” Mohammad Javad Zarif told reporters after talks in Beijing with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi.Zarif will later fly to Moscow and Brussels to consult the remaining signatories to the 2015 agreement denounced by US President Donald Trump. Meanwhile, Iran’s Foreign Minister on Sunday said he was hopeful of forging a “clear future design” for the nuclear deal facing collapse after Washington’s withdrawal, at the start of a diplomatic tour aimed at rescuing the agreement. read more

Ban welcomes serious international discussions on Syrias chemical weapons

“The Secretary-General welcomes, therefore, President Obama’s decision to take time to further explore this diplomatic opportunity to achieve this crucially important objective,” a UN spokesman said in New York. Mr. Ban’s statement follows a flurry of diplomatic activity noted by the media in the past 72 hours, following a reported Russian proposal for Damascus to surrender its chemical weapons and place them under international control. In the meantime, evidence collected by a UN team probing possible chemical weapons use in Syria on 21 August is being examined by laboratories in Europe.In a national address last night, US President Barack Obama cited “encouraging signs in recent days” and announced that he was sending US Secretary of State John Kerry to meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Geneva on Thursday for further talks, and that he would continue discussions with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Both countries are permanent members of the UN Security Council – along with China France and the United Kingdom – which has been deadlocked over a solution to the 30 month crisis in Syria. The UN chief welcomed the efforts by the Russian Federation to advance a possible agreement. “He hopes the US-Russian meetings later this week will be productive in moving toward a process for addressing the Syrian chemical weapons threat which all parties will be committed to,” the spokesperson said.“The confirmed use of chemical weapons would be an outrageous crime for which there must be accountability and determined efforts to prevent any recurrence,” the statement said. read more