After yesterday US officials reported that Iran conducted a nuclear ballistic missile test on Sunday, which some claimed would be another violation of the UN resolution and Obama’s nuclear deal, on Wednesday Iran’s defense minister admitted that the Islamic Republic had indeed tested a new missile, but added the test did not breach Tehran’s nuclear accord with world powers or a U.N. Security Council resolution endorsing the pact.
Iran has test-fired several ballistic missiles since the nuclear deal in 2015, but this is the first during U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration. Trump said in his election campaign that he would stop Iran’s missile program. Furthermore, the confirmed launch comes at a precarious time, with president Trump seemingly looking for excuses to scrap the Iran deal, which could potentially lead to the reestablishment of Iran sanctions and the halt of Iranian oil exports to global markets, taking away as much as 1 million barrels of daily supply.
The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said Iran has shown commitment to its end of the nuclear deal struck last year while visiting Tehran December 18.
Iran has complained about the US extending a sanctions package for another decade. The US says these sanctions are unrelated to the deal; Iran disagrees.
“We are satisfied with the implementation of the [nuclear agreement] and hope that this process will continue,” IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano told the press in the Iranian capital, Reuters reports, citing the IRNA news agency.
“Iran has been committed to its engagement so far and this is important,” he said. Amano was in Tehran to meet head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi. After the White House said earlier this week that the sanctions bill would become law even without President Barack Obama’s signature, Iran requested a meeting of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) commission to discuss the situation and ordered its scientists to start developing nuclear systems to power ships. Salehi presented the maritime nuclear propulsion project to Amano and said the country would provide more details on it in three months, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA). The initial outline did include what is so far the most controversial issue of the project: the level of uranium-enrichment powering the ships will require.
The US decision to extend 1979 sanctions against Iran for another 10 years violates the nuclear deal struck by Iran with international powers, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday.
“The path that the US has taken in regard to Iran will lead to a considerable drop in international trust in the American government,” Rouhani was quoted as saying at a meeting with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Yukiya Amano by Mehr news agency.
He stressed that it was highly significant for all parties to the deal to comply with their commitments, arguing that the US recent decision to prolong Iran Sanctions Act (ISA) for another 10 years clearly violated the Iran nuclear deal.
On July 14, 2015, Iran and the P5+1 group of countries — the United States, Russia, China, France and the United Kingdom plus Germany — signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), ensuring the peaceful nature of Tehran’s nuclear program in return for the gradual sanctions relief. The US sanctions introduced against Tehran in 1979, however, were not mentioned in the document.
North Korea’s armed forces are waiting for a signal to carry out a final attack, according to the official newspaper of the Central Committee of North Korea’s Workers’ Party Rodong Sinmun.
On November 30, South Korea and the United States launched their annual aerial exercise, which lasted until December 5. The exercise focused on simulating strikes on radar systems, mobile missile launchers and other key military facilities of North Korea, according to media reports. Also on November 30, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted the draft resolution condemning “in the strongest terms” the nuclear test conducted by North Korea on September 9.
A leading Hindi news channel was today ordered by the government to be taken off air for a day after an inter-ministerial panel constituted by the I&B ministry recommended this action over the broadcaster’s coverage of the Pathankot terror attack in January.
An inter-ministerial panel had concluded that the channel ‘NDTV India’ had revealed crucial and “strategically sensitive” information when the terror attack on an IAF base was being carried out, official sources said.
The Information and Broadcasting ministry while invoking the powers under the Cable TV Networks (Regulation) Act said it “orders to prohibit the transmission or re-transmission of NDTV India channel for one day on any platform throughout India with effect from 00:01 hrs on 9th November,2016 till 00:01 hrs of 10th November, 2016”.
This is the first ever such order against a TV channel over its coverage of a terror attack, the norms regarding which were notified last year.
Efforts were made to reach the channel for its comments,but they did not fructify.
The matter pertains to the channel’s coverage of the Pathankot attack where the committee felt that “crucial information” that was aired could have been readily picked by terrorist handlers and had the potential to “cause massive harm not only to the national security, but also to lives of civilians and defence personnel.”
China’s President Xi Jinping warned Sunday that the global economy remained in a precarious condition as leaders of the BRICS group of nations tried to find ways to fire up growth in the troubled bloc.
Speaking at a summit in the Indian state of Goa, Xi told his host Narendra Modi and the leaders of Russia, Brazil and South Africa that the club of emerging powers had been undermined by both domestic and international woes.
But the leader of the world’s second largest economy said the long-term forecast for BRICS members was positive as he called for more confidence-building measures.
“The global economy is still going through a treacherous recovery,” Xi said in a statement at the summit on India’s west coast.
“Because of the impact of both internal and external factors, BRICS countries have somewhat slowed down in economic growth and have faced a number of new challenges in development.”
India ranked 97th out of 118 countries on the International Food Policy Research Institute’s (IFPRI) Global Hunger Index (GHI) in 2016, behind Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, among others, but ahead of Pakistan and three other Asian countries. It was positioned at 80 out of 104 countries the previous year.
While India has improved its score on various parameters over the past few years, two out of five children below five years of age are stunted in India. Stunting measures chronic malnutrition and affected children’s height would be considerably below the average for their age.
Besides, the country was still rated with ‘serious’ hunger levels in the 2016 Index.
The country had only the fifth highest rank in the whole of Asia, better than only North Korea (98), Pakistan (107), Timor-Leste (110) and Afghanistan (111).
Nepal (72), Sri Lanka (84), and Bangladesh (90) had higher ranks among 96 countries than India’s. Also, India had the lowest rank among BRICS nations, with Brazil in the top 16, Russia at 24, China at 29 and South Africa at 51.
If hunger continues to decline at the same rate it has been falling since 1992, around 45 countries, including India, Pakistan, Haiti, Yemen, and Afghanistan will still have ‘moderate’ to ‘alarming’ hunger scores in year 2030, far short of the United Nations’ goal to end hunger by that year.
As Russia and America creep ever closer to outright conflict, now that the diplomatic facade of the proxy war in Syria falls away with every passing day, one voice if calling for the world to stop and reassess what it is doing. Former USSR leader Mikhail Gorbachev warned on Monday that the world has reached a “dangerous point” as tensions between Russia and the United States surge over the Syria conflict; a conflict which if escalated even fractionally further, could result in all out war between the two superpowers according to General Joseph Dunford.
Gorbachev blamed the current state of affairs between Russia and US on the “collapse of mutual trust” and urged the sides to resume dialogue and push towards demilitarization and complete nuclear disarmament.
“I think the world has reached a dangerous point. I don’t want to give any concrete prescriptions but I do want to say that this needs to stop. We need to renew dialogue. Stopping it was the biggest mistake. Now we must return to the main priorities, such as nuclear disarmament, fighting terrorism and prevention of global environmental disasters. Compared to these challenges, all the rest slips into the background.” Gorbachev said in an interview with RIA Novosti.
Relations between Moscow and Washington, already at their lowest since the Cold War over the Ukraine conflict, deteriorated sharply in recent days as the United States pulled the plug on Syria talks and accused Russia of hacking attacks.
Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev (L) and U.S. President Ronald Reagan begin their mini-summit talks in Reykjavik October 11, 1986.
The International Monetary Fund has lowered its growth forecasts for the US and other advanced economies, warning that the UK’s decision to leave the EU, the US presidential elections and rising protectionism are dragging on a world economy where politics now present the biggest risks.
Updating its semi-annual forecasts for the global economy on Tuesday, the IMF sharply lowered its 2016 growth forecast for the US to 1.6 per cent from the 2.2 per cent it predicted in July, and for advanced economies as a whole to 1.6 per cent
However, it said a rebound in emerging and developing economies, which the IMF now expects to grow by 4.2 per cent this year as group, would offset that figure, resulting in its forecast for global growth remaining steady at 3.1 per cent this year.
Maurice Obstfeld, the IMF’s chief economist, said the move “sideways” for the global economy hid what were still significant risks fed by a “cocktail of interacting legacies” from the 2008 global financial crisis. These included high debt overhangs, bad loans on banks’ books and moribund investment, which were continuing to depress the global economy’s potential output, he said.
Moreover, he said, low growth and a slow recovery from the 2008 crisis in advanced economies had fuelled “political tensions have now made advanced economies a major locus of policy uncertainty”.
According to ISNA, the cards will be issued with the credit limits of $3,000, $10,000 and $15,000. It will be possible to use them both for purchases in stores and online.
“It would be wrong to think that these cards will be quickly adopted by the banking network,” the agency quoted Seif as saying.
The credit cards are set to be issued in the number depending on applications received by the banks.
The Central Bank’s decision comes after in January, the European Union, the United Nations, and partially the United States lifted their sanctions against the Islamic republic after the International Atomic Energy Agency verified Tehran’s compliance with a nuclear agreement reached in July 2015. The lifting of the sanctions cleared the way for Iran to bolster its oil production and economy.