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Draft bill hardening Iran's nuclear stance clears first hurdle in parliament
  + stars: | 2020-12-01 | by ( Reuters Staff | ) www.reuters.com sentiment -0.98   time to read: +1 min
DUBAI (Reuters) - A draft bill requiring Iran’s government to pursue uranium enrichment of 20%, and to disregard other restraints put on its nuclear programme by an accord reached with foreign powers in 2015 cleared its first hurdle in parliament on Tuesday. The legislation was proposed in the wake of the assassination of a top nuclear scientist on Friday, and the hardline-dominated parliament cleared the draft on the first reading in a session broadcast live on state radio. Parliament has often demanded without much success a hardening of Iran’s position on the nuclear issue in recent years. Iran has already breached limits in its nuclear deal with world powers to protest at a U.S withdrawal from the accord. The maximum fissile purity to which it has enriched uranium has remained around 4.5%, above the deal’s 3.67% cap but below the 20% Iran has achieved before and the 90% required for a nuclear bomb.
Persons: Israel, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh Organizations: Reuters Locations: DUBAI, Tehran, Iran
Photos of the month: November
  + stars: | 2020-12-01 | by ( Canice Leung | ) www.reuters.com + 0.97   time to read: +1 min
Masoumeh Ataei sits on a bed at her home in Parand, suburb of Tehran, Iran November 5, 2020. Ataei, 37, was the victim of an acid attack about 10 years ago from her former father-in-law after her divorce. She suffered severe burns to her face, body...moreMasoumeh Ataei sits on a bed at her home in Parand, suburb of Tehran, Iran November 5, 2020. Ataei, 37, was the victim of an acid attack about 10 years ago from her former father-in-law after her divorce. She suffered severe burns to her face, body and hands, and lost her vision.
Persons: Masoumeh Ataei, Ataei, Majid Asgaripour Organizations: West Asia News Agency, REUTERS Locations: Parand, Tehran, Iran, Ataei
Iranian MPs seek hardening of nuclear stance after scientist killed
  + stars: | 2020-12-01 | by ( Reuters Staff | ) www.reuters.com sentiment -1.00   time to read: +2 min
Slideshow ( 2 images )But the government promptly said the move, proposed in response to the assassination of a top nuclear scientist on Friday, could not change Iran’s nuclear policy, which was the province of the Supreme National Security Council. Parliament has often demanded a hardening of Iran’s position on the nuclear issue in recent years, without much success. A senior Iranian official said on Monday that Tehran suspected a foreign-based opposition group of complicity with Israel in the killing of Fakhrizadeh, whom Western powers see as the architect of an abandoned Iranian nuclear weapons programme. Biden has said he will return the United States to the 2015 deal if Iran resumes compliance. Iran has always denied pursuing nuclear weapons.
Persons: Israel, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, Joe Biden, Donald Trump, , Ali Rabiei, Fakhrizadeh, Benjamin Netanyahu’s, Tzachi Hanegbi, law.Iran, Biden Organizations: Reuters, Supreme National Security Council Locations: DUBAI, United States, Iranian, Tehran, Iran
Air strike kills IRGC commander at Iraq-Syria border - Iraqi officials
  + stars: | 2020-11-30 | by ( Reuters Staff | ) www.reuters.com sentiment -0.99   time to read: +1 min
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - An air strike killed a commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards at the Iraq-Syria border sometime between Saturday and Sunday, Iraqi security and local militia officials said on Monday. The vehicle was carrying weapons across the Iraqi border and was hit after it had entered Syrian territory, two Iraqi security officials separately said. Iran-backed Iraqi paramilitary groups helped retrieve the bodies, the two officials said, without elaborating or giving the exact time of the incident. Local military and militia sources confirmed the account, although Reuters was unable to verify independently that an Iranian commander had been killed. Iraqi officials fear a conflagration ahead of President-elect Joe Biden taking office because he is viewed as less confrontational with Iran than the Trump administration.
Persons: Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, Donald Trump, Joe Biden, Trump, Qassem Soleimani, Abu Mahdi al Organizations: Guards, Local, Reuters Locations: BAGHDAD, Iraq, Syria, Syrian, Iran, Iraqi, Tehran, Israel, United States
Lebanon urges self-restraint after killing of Iranian scientist
  + stars: | 2020-11-30 | by ( Reuters Staff | ) www.reuters.com sentiment -0.99   time to read: +1 min
BEIRUT (Reuters) - Lebanon on Monday called for self-restraint following the assassination of a prominent Iranian nuclear scientist, to avoid a slide towards the “worst scenario”. Lebanon, which is home to the heavily armed, Iranian-backed Hezbollah group, condemned the killing of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh last Friday in an ambush near Tehran. In a statement, the Lebanese foreign ministry urged “all parties to exercise the greatest degrees of self-restraint to avoid the slide towards the worst scenario in the region”. Hezbollah, which was founded by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards in 1982 and exercises major influence in Lebanon, has said the response for the assassination is in Iran’s hands. Iran’s supreme leader promised on Saturday to retaliate for the killing, raising the threat of a new confrontation with the West and Israel in the remaining weeks of Donald Trump’s presidency.
Persons: Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, Israel, , Iran’s, Donald Trump’s Organizations: Iran’s, Guards, West Locations: BEIRUT, Lebanon, Iranian, Tehran . Iran, Lebanese, Israel
U.S. Blacklists Chinese Defense Firm for Sales to Venezuela
  + stars: | 2020-11-30 | by ( Ian Talley | ) www.wsj.com sentiment -0.99   time to read: +1 min
WASHINGTON—The Trump administration on Monday blacklisted a major Chinese government-owned defense company it said sold goods to Venezuela that aided political repression by the regime of President Nicolás Maduro. The U.S. Treasury Department said goods sold by China National Electronics Import & Export Corp., or CEIEC, helped the Maduro government restrict internet service and conduct digital surveillance and cyber operations against political opponents. The sanctions precede a Dec. 6 parliamentary election in Venezuela that the U.S. says will be fraudulent. The Trump administration says the Maduro government fixed previous elections and maintains an illegitimate hold on power through repression of the political opposition. The U.S. views the Maduro government as a major security threat, citing its relationships with Iran, China, Russia and South American drug cartels.
Persons: WASHINGTON, Trump, Nicolás Maduro, Juan Guaído Organizations: U.S . Treasury Department, China National Electronics Import & Export Corp Locations: Venezuela, U.S, Washington, Beijing, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Iran, China, Russia, South American
Israel, long suspected of killing Iranian nuclear scientists over the last decade, has declined to comment on the attack. Iran long has maintained its nuclear program is peaceful. Though long suspicious of Iran's nuclear program, the Emirates has said it wants to de-escalate the crisis. Protesters hold the pictures of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, Iran's top nuclear scientist, during a demonstration against his killing in Tehran, Iran on Saturday. The nuclear watchdog has provided an unprecedented, real-time look at Iran’s civilian nuclear program following the country’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.
Persons: Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, Fakhrizadeh, Hossein, Gen, Esmail Ghaani, Ali Akbar Sahei, Mamoud Alavi, Amir Hatami, Fakhrizadeh's, Hatami, hadn't, Majid Asgaripour, Reuters Hatami, , Alam, Ali Shamkhani, ” Shamkhani, Donald Trump’s, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei Organizations: International Atomic Energy Agency, Iran's Defense Ministry, Revolutionary Guard, Force, Intelligence, Defense, United Arab Emirates, U.S, Protesters, Reuters, , Press, NBC, country’s Supreme National Security Council, Fakhrizadeh, Iran’s Guardian Council Locations: TEHRAN, Iran, Israel, Tehran, UAE, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Emirates, Imamzadeh Saleh, , Al, Fars
Israel-Lebanon maritime border talks postponed, both sides say
  + stars: | 2020-11-30 | by ( Tom Perry | Dan Williams | ) www.reuters.com sentiment -1.00   time to read: +1 min
BEIRUT/JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Maritime border talks between Lebanon and Israel scheduled for Wednesday have been postponed, and U.S. mediators will now contact the two old foes separately, Israeli and Lebanese officials said on Monday. Slideshow ( 3 images )The negotiations were launched in October with delegations convening at a U.N. base to try to resolve a dispute about their maritime border that has held up hydrocarbon exploration in the potentially gas-rich area. Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said it had been agreed with the Americans that talks would be postponed for a few weeks. Disagreement over the sea border had discouraged oil and gas exploration near the disputed line. Israel already pumps gas from huge offshore fields but Lebanon has yet to find commercial gas reserves in its own waters.
Persons: Yuval Steinitz, , Steinitz, Amal Organizations: Israeli Energy, , Israel’s Army, Hezbollah Locations: BEIRUT, JERUSALEM, Lebanon, Israel, Iran, Lebanese, States
Israel-Lebanon sea border talks postponed
  + stars: | 2020-11-30 | by ( Tom Perry | Dan Williams | ) www.reuters.com sentiment -1.00   time to read: +2 min
BEIRUT/JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Maritime border talks between Lebanon and Israel scheduled for Wednesday have been postponed, and U.S. mediators will now contact the two old foes separately, Israeli and Lebanese officials said on Monday. Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said it had been agreed with the Americans that talks would be postponed for a few weeks. “In the interim, they will do some shuttling in order to better prepare the next round of talks,” he told Israel’s Army Radio. Disagreement over the sea border has discouraged oil and gas exploration near the disputed line. A Lebanese security source said the reason for the delay was Israel’s rejection of Lebanese proposals.
Persons: Yuval Steinitz, , ” Steinitz, Michel Aoun, Ras Naqoura, Steinitz, Amal Organizations: Israeli Energy, , Israel’s Army Radio, Hezbollah Locations: BEIRUT, JERUSALEM, Lebanon, Israel, Washington, Iran, Lebanese, States
Iran begins burial of slain prominent nuclear scientist - TV
  + stars: | 2020-11-30 | by ( Reuters Staff | ) www.reuters.com sentiment -1.00   time to read: +1 min
Slideshow ( 5 images )DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran began the burial of slain nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh in a cemetery in northern Tehran on Monday, state TV reported, as the defence minister promised the Islamic Republic would retaliate for his killing. Iran’s clerical and military rulers have blamed the Islamic Republic’s longtime enemy, Israel, for the killing. Iran has in the past accused Israel of killing several Iranian nuclear scientists since 2010. His body was later transferred to the Emamzade Saleh cemetery in northern Tehran for burial. Witnesses on Friday told state TV that there were gunmen on the ground.
Persons: Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, Fakhrizadeh, Israel, , General Amir Hatami, Benjamin Netanyahu’s, Tzachi Hanegbi Organizations: Reuters, Islamic Locations: DUBAI, Iran, Tehran, Islamic Republic, masterminding, Israel, Iranian, Fars
Lebanon’s Central Bank Fuels Corruption, Extremism Concerns
  + stars: | 2020-11-30 | by ( Ian Talley | ) www.wsj.com sentiment -0.98   time to read: 1 min
U.S. and other Western financial-enforcement and diplomatic officials are exerting pressure on Lebanon’s central bank as part of an international push to sideline Iran-backed Hezbollah, oppose corruption and alleviate the country’s economic and political crises. Washington and its allies for months have demanded a forensic audit of the central bank that they believe may uncover evidence of money laundering, corruption and links to Hezbollah by top Lebanese officials, including at the central bank, Western officials said.
Locations: Iran, Washington
Slideshow ( 3 images )BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union will begin discussions on Monday on how best to improve transatlantic relations after the departure of U.S. President Donald Trump, EU officials said. Those areas on health, notably fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, boosting the economic recovery, combating climate change, promoting peace and security and upholding shared values, including a belief in multilateral rules. EU leaders are expected to debate transatlantic relations when they convene for a summit on Dec. 10-11. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has said the United States and the European Union need to forge a new transatlantic alliance in areas such as climate change and the digital economy. Von der Leyen said the EU was looking forward to the United States rejoining the Paris agreement, which Biden has said he will do.
Persons: Donald Trump, Joe Biden, Charles Michel, Biden, Ursula von der Leyen, Trump, Von der Leyen Organizations: European Union, Trump, Belgian, European Council Locations: BRUSSELS, United States, Paris, Iran, America
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union will begin discussions on Monday on how best to “renew and reinvigorate” transatlantic relations after the departure of U.S. President Donald Trump, according to an internal document seen by Reuters. “The EU should agree a set of concrete priorities on which to engage the new US leadership,” it said. EU leaders are expected to debate transatlantic relations when they convene for a summit on Dec. 10-11. However, one EU diplomat cautioned against any assumption that the EU and the United States would agree on all issues. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has said the EU is looking forward to the United States rejoining the Paris agreement, which Biden has said he will do.
Persons: Donald Trump, Joe Biden, Trump, , , Biden, Charles Michel, Ursula von der Leyen Organizations: European Union, Reuters, EU, U.S, European Commission, Financial Times, Belgian, European Council Locations: BRUSSELS, Europe, United States, Paris, Iran, Washington, United, China
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union members debated on Monday how best to “renew and reinvigorate” transatlantic relations after the departure of U.S. President Donald Trump, according to an internal document seen by Reuters. “The EU should agree a set of concrete priorities on which to engage the new US leadership,” it said. Despite divisions between EU members - with France seeking more autonomy from Washington and eastern Europe keen to keep the United States close - there was broad agreement on the focus areas on Monday, an EU official said. However, one EU diplomat cautioned against any assumption that the EU and the United States would agree on all issues. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has said the EU is looking forward to the United States rejoining the Paris agreement, which Biden has said he will do.
Persons: Donald Trump, Joe Biden, Trump, , , Biden, Charles Michel, Ursula von der Leyen Organizations: Union, Reuters, EU, U.S, European Commission, European Locations: BRUSSELS, France, Washington, Europe, United States, China, Paris, Iran, United
DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran’s English-language Press TV said on Monday that the weapon used in the killing of a prominent Iranian nuclear scientist last week was made in Israel. “The weapon collected from the site of the terrorist act (where Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was assassinated) bears the logo and specifications of the Israeli military industry,” an unnamed source told Press TV.
Persons: Mohsen Fakhrizadeh Organizations: Reuters, Press Locations: DUBAI, Iranian, Israel
DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran’s English-language Press TV reported on Monday that the weapon used in the killing of prominent Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh last week was made in Israel, the Islamic Republic’s longtime enemy. Witnesses on Friday told state TV that there were gunmen on the ground. Speaking before the Press TV report, Israeli intelligence minister Eli Cohen told radio station 103 FM on Monday that he did not know who was responsible. Iran’s clerical and military rulers have blamed Israel, for Fakhrizadeh’s killing, raising the threat of a new confrontation with the West and Israel in the remaining weeks of Donald Trump’s presidency. Tehran has always denied seeking nuclear weapons.
Persons: Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, Fakhrizadeh, Alam, Eli Cohen, Israel, Donald Trump’s, Cohen, , Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Joe Biden, Biden Organizations: Reuters, Press, Islamic, Alam TV, West, U.S, Trump Locations: DUBAI, Israel, Jerusalem, Fars, Iran, Tehran, Islamic Republic, Haifa, Washington, United States
Protesters hold the pictures of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, Iran's top nuclear scientist, during a demonstration against his killing in Tehran, Iran, November 28, 2020. Majid Asgaripour/WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERSIran’s English-language Press TV reported the weapon used in Friday’s killing of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was made in Israel. Iran’s clerical and military rulers have blamed Israel for Fakhrizadeh’s killing. Biden has said he will return the United States to the deal if Iran resumes compliance. Tehran has always denied seeking nuclear weapons.
Persons: Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, Majid Asgaripour, , Eli Cohen, Ali Shamkhani, , Israel, Iran’s, Fakhrizadeh, Alam, Cohen, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Joe Biden, Biden Organizations: Reuters, Protesters, West Asia News Agency, REUTERS Iran’s, Press, Supreme National Security Council of, Zionist, Council of Resistance, Iran, Alam TV, U.S, Trump Locations: DUBAI, Iranian, Israel, Tehran, Iran, Jerusalem, Supreme National Security Council of Iran, Paris, Islamic Republic, Fars, Haifa, Washington, United States
Afghan female artist breaks tattoo taboo in Kabul studio
  + stars: | 2020-11-30 | by ( Hameed Farzad | Sayed Hassib | ) www.reuters.com + 0.97   time to read: +2 min
KABUL (Reuters) - Soraya Shahidy carefully lays a stencil on Nargis Merzayi’s arm before inking the latest tattoo in her salon in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul. A normal routine in studios around the world, Shahidy’s artwork in the conservative country breaks a tattoo taboo: she believes she is the first female tattoo artist in a country where some religious scholars say tattoos are forbidden under Islam. “Some mullahs say tattoos are forbidden, but there are other mullahs who say the opposite,” she said, adding that Kabul is seeing a small but growing demand from young people for tattoos. But some boys choose designs that are extravagant to me.”One client, she said, wanted a tattoo of a tombstone inscribed “volunteer of death”. Like many in the country, Shahidy thinks about the possibility of a return to power by the Taliban, who are in peace talks with the Afghan government to end two decades of war.
Persons: Soraya Shahidy, Merzayi’s, , ” Shahidy, Organizations: Reuters Locations: KABUL, Afghanistan’s, Kabul, Afghanistan, Turkey, Iran, Islam
Iran's top nuclear scientist was killed with a remote-controlled machine gun, the semi-official Fars news agency reported. Mohsen Fakhrizad, who was seen as the father of Iran's nuclear program, was killed while driving with his wife and security convoy near Tehran on Friday. The gun was mounted on the back of a Nissan truck which self-destructed after the three-minute attack, Fars said. Iran's foremost nuclear scientist was killed by a remote-controlled machine gun mounted atop a truck, the semi-official Fars news agency has said. Iranian Defense Ministry/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty ImagesAccording to Fars, after the hit on Fakhrizadeh was complete, the Nissan truck exploded.
Persons: Mohsen Fakhrizad, Israel, Ali Shamkhani, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, Fakhrizadeh, Amir Hatami, Mohamed Ahwaze, Mohammad Javad Zarif, Zarif, , Donald Trump, Barack Obama Organizations: Nissan, Iranian, Iranian Defense Ministry, Anadolu Agency, Getty, BBC, Organization of Iran, Terrorists, Getty Images, New York Times, Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, International Atomic Energy Agency Locations: Fars, Tehran, Iran, Absard, Israel, Fakhrizadeh, Sharifi, Iranian
This is part of Iran's longstanding campaign to amass foreign — particularly US and European — hostages so they can be used as pawns in future diplomatic deals with their countries, US and European officials told Insider. "Iran thinks it will always be treated like a pariah state by the West," the official added. A funeral ceremony of Iranian Top nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, in Tehran, Iran on November 30, 2020. Moore-Gilbert familyIran's playbook — according to the US official, and seconded by the European intelligence official — for dual citizens were obvious:They would be interrogated for information about Western activities in Iran. Journalists have also been arrested, said the European intelligence official, pointing to dual-national Americans who have arrested and imprisoned in Tehran.
Persons: Kylie Moore, Gilbert, , Israel, Moore, Iran's, Trump, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, Fakhrizadeh, They've, Joe, Biden, Hassan Rouhani, wasn't Organizations: Top, Iranian Defense Ministry, Anadolu Agency, Getty, Trump, Reuters, University of Melbourne, Journalists, Intelligence, US Locations: Iran, Thailand, European, Tehran, British, Bangkok, Australia, Britain, Europe, Israel
Days after the assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, a top Iranian nuclear scientist, retired US Navy Adm. William McRaven said that retaliation is all but inevitable. I don't see any way around it," McRaven, former head of US Special Operations Command and the Navy SEAL who oversaw the bin Laden raid, said on ABC's "This Week." Retired Navy Adm. William McRaven, the former Navy SEAL and special operations commander who oversaw the bin Laden raid, said Sunday that Iranian retaliation for the assassination of a prominent nuclear scientist is all but certain. "The Iranians are going to be in a position where they have to retaliate," McRaven said. McRaven had a distinguished career as a Navy SEAL, serving as the 11th commander of Joint Special Operations Command and the ninth commander of US Special Operations Command.
Persons: Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, William McRaven, McRaven, Israel, Martha Raddatz, Fakhrizadeh, Ali Shamkhani, Iran's, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Martyr Fakhrizadeh, Hassan Rouhani, Qassem, Esmaeil Qaani, Soleimani, Biden, Joe, Osama bin Laden Organizations: US, Operations Command, Navy SEAL, Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Nissan, Fars News Agency, Supreme National Security Council, Force, ABC Locations: Iranian, Iran, Tehran, Fars, Iraq, Israel, Gen
Retired Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Sunday that Trump's recent personnel purge at the Pentagon was troubling. "It's pretty difficult to think that over the course of 50 or 60 days you can do something constructive, but you can do something that's really destructive," Mullen said. Both said they were worried by the administration's rushed attempts to withdraw thousands of US troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. Mike Mullen, a retired Navy admiral and formerly the top US military officer, sounded the alarm Sunday over the recent Pentagon leadership purge, noting that there is still time for President Donald Trump and his team to do "something that's really destructive." The next day, the chief of staff to the secretary of defense and the top civilian Pentagon policy and intelligence officials resigned.
Persons: Mike Mullen, Mullen, William McRaven, administration's, Donald Trump, " Mullen, Bush, Obama, Chuck Todd, Trump, Anthony Tata, Barack Obama, Christopher Miller, Trump's, McRaven, We've, we've, Biden Organizations: Joint Chiefs of Staff, Pentagon, US, Operations Command, Trump, Joint Chiefs, Staff, Press, Trump loyalists, Fox News, Navy SEAL, Department of Defense, Trump's Locations: Iraq, Afghanistan, United States, Iran
Saudi and Israeli sources say that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman met covertly on November 22, the first such meeting between Israeli and Saudi leaders. Full normalization between Saudi Arabia and Israel remains unlikely in the near term, but defense and intelligence cooperation will continue to advance in the coming months. Saudi Arabia, and in particular its high-profile development projects like Neom, are reliant on advanced technologies such as biotech, agricultural tech and cyber technologies to succeed. However, Saudi Arabia has not yet shown that it's prepared to make the jump to normalization with Israel without the formation of a Palestinian state. Domestic backlash in Saudi Arabia could also cause notable security concerns.
Persons: Benjamin Netanyahu, Prince Mohammad bin Salman, Mike Pompeo's, Netanyahu, Saudi Crown Prince, Yossi Cohen, Mike Pompeo, Donald Trump, Abu Dhabi's, Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Evan Vucci, Joe Biden, Biden, Saudi Arabia's, Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz, it's, King Salman, Prophet Muhammad Organizations: Saudi, Reuters, Street, Saudi Crown, Iran, United, United Arab, Trump White House, AP, Congress, Trump, Saudi Press Agency, Handout, United Arab Emirates, Initiative Locations: Saudi Arabia, Israel, Saudi, Neom, United States, Arab Gulf, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan, Riyadh, Evan Vucci Saudi Arabia, Iran, Yemen, Saudi Arabian, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Palestinian, France
The assassination of a top Iranian nuclear scientist was designed to derail President-elect Joe Biden's plans to return to the 2015 nuclear deal, according to experts and former US diplomats. One top expert on the Middle East told Insider that the assassination "fits with Israeli long-standing policy of targeting Iranian nuclear scientists." A former US diplomat told Insider there are "are ample reasons to suspect US involvement" in last Friday's attack, citing President Donald Trump's opposition to the Iran nuclear deal. The Trump administration aimed to cripple Iran's economy and squeeze it into negotiating a more stringent version of the 2015 nuclear deal. But the Soleimani strike essentially led Iran to abandon the 2015 nuclear deal altogether.
Persons: Joe Biden's, Donald Trump's, Trump, Joe Biden, Biden, , Obama, Donald Trump, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, Mark Fitzpatrick, Mike Pompeo, Germany —, Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel, Netanyahu, Fakhrizadeh, Fitzpatrick, Barbara Slavin, Slavin, Ben Rhodes, Iran's, Fakhrizadeh's, Slim, Qassem, Mr, Democratic Sen, Chris Murphy of Connecticut, Sen, Bernie Sanders of, Sanders, it's, Karim Sadjadpour Organizations: East, Israel, International Institute for Strategic Studies, Iran Initiative, Atlantic Council, New York Times, Top, Iranian Defense Ministry, Anadolu Agency, Getty Images, Israeli Embassy, Middle East Institute, Washington Post, Trump, Democratic, Senate Foreign Relations, Carnegie Endowment, International, Twitter, Germany's Foreign Locations: Iranian, US, Iran, Israel, Saudi Arabia, France, Germany, Israeli, Tehran, Washington, Persian, East, America, Bernie Sanders of Vermont, U.S
Trump senior aide Kushner and team heading to Saudi Arabia, Qatar
  + stars: | 2020-11-29 | by ( Steve Holland | ) www.reuters.com + 0.00   time to read: +3 min
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - White House senior adviser Jared Kushner and his team are headed to Saudi Arabia and Qatar this week for talks in a region simmering with tension after the killing of an Iranian nuclear scientist. FILE PHOTO: Saudi Arabia's Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman escorts White House senior advisor Jared Kushner and his wife White House senior advisor Ivanka Trump at the Global Center for Combatting Extremist Ideology in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 21, 2017. U.S. officials believe enticing Saudi Arabia into a deal with Israel would prompt other Arab nations to follow suit. The official said Kushner met at the White House last week with the Kuwaiti foreign minister, Sheikh Ahmad Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, which comprise the GCC, cut diplomatic ties with Qatar in 2017 and imposed a boycott over allegations that Qatar supported terrorism, a charge it denies.
Persons: Jared Kushner, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, White, Ivanka Trump, Jonathan Ernst, Kushner, Avi Berkowitz, Brian Hook, Adam Boehler, Donald Trump, Joe Biden, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, Fakhrizadeh, Benjamin Netanyahu, bin Salman, Mike Pompeo, Bin Salman, Netanyahu, Biden, Barack Obama’s, Trump, Sheikh Ahmad Nasser Al, Mohammad Al Organizations: WASHINGTON, White House, Saudi Arabia's, White, Global Center, REUTERS, Saudi, Middle, U.S . International Development Finance Corporation, United Arab, U.S, Reuters, Gulf Cooperation Council, United Arab Emirates, GCC, Qatar Locations: Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Riyadh, Saudi, Neom, Israel, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Sudan, Tehran, Iranian, Iran, Sabah . Kuwait, Egypt
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