2020-08-09@14:39:47 GMT
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    U.S. Special Representative for Iran, Brian Hook, speaks during a briefing at the US Department of State January 17, 2020, in Washington, DC.Brendan Smialowski | AFP | Getty Images WASHINGTON — Brian Hook, the Trump administration's top diplomat for Iran, is stepping down from his post as Washington tries to reign in Tehran with it's "maximum pressure" campaign. "Special Representative Hook has been my point person on Iran for over two years and he has achieved historic results countering the Iranian regime," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a Thursday statement. "He has been a trusted advisor to me and a good friend. I thank him for his service," Pompeo added without giving a reason for Hook's departure.  Pompeo said...
    By MATTHEW LEE, AP Diplomatic Writer WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration will press ahead with efforts to extend a United Nations arms embargo on Iran despite widespread opposition to such a move at the world body, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday. The decision sets the stage for a potential crisis at the U.N. Security Council amid rising tensions in the Middle East. Pompeo said the United States would call for a Security Council vote next week on a U.S.-drafted resolution to extend the embargo that is due to expire in October. The resolution is widely expected to fail, as the other members of the Security Council have signaled their opposition. “The Security Council’s mission is to maintain...
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday that the United States had made progress with Russia on nuclear arms control recently and hopes China will decide to join the discussions. "In the last handful of months, we've been working diligently to get the three nations that have the largest nuclear capabilities - the United States, Russia and China - to have strategic dialogue about how we move forward together to decrease the risk to the world," Pompeo told reporters. "We've made progress with the Russians; we've had two good gatherings. I hope we'll have one before too long, and we're hopeful that the Chinese will choose to participate," he added. (Reporting By Matt Spetalnick, David Brunnstrom...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration will press ahead with efforts to extend a United Nations arms embargo on Iran despite widespread opposition to such a move at the world body, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday. The decision sets the stage for a potential crisis at the U.N. Security Council amid rising tensions in Middle East. Pompeo said the United States would call for a Security Council vote next week on a U.S.-drafted resolution to extend the embargo that is due to expire in October. The resolution is widely expected to fail, as the other members of the Security Council have signaled their opposition. “The Security Council’s mission is to maintain international peace and security,” Pompeo told reporters....
    NEW YORK/WASHINGTON - The United States is pushing ahead with its bid to extend an international arms embargo on Iran by way of a second draft U.N. Security Council resolution, despite what some diplomats say is a lack of enthusiasm for such a move among its 15 members. The U.S.-drafted resolution needs at least nine votes in favor to force Russia and China to use their vetoes, which Moscow and Beijing have signaled they will do. Some diplomats question whether Washington can even secure those nine, however. "We have tabled a resolution that we think accomplishes what we think needs to be accomplished," U.S. Iran envoy Brian Hook told the Aspen Security Forum, held virtually, on Wednesday. FILE...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration will press ahead with efforts to extend a United Nations arms embargo on Iran despite widespread opposition to such a move at the world body, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday. The decision sets the stage for a potential crisis at the U.N. Security Council amid rising tensions in Middle East. Pompeo said the United States would call for a Security Council vote next week on a U.S.-drafted resolution to extend the embargo that is due to expire in October. The resolution is widely expected to fail, as the other members of the Security Council have signaled their opposition. “The Security Council’s mission is to maintain international peace and security,” Pompeo...
    Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York City BY MICHELLE NICHOLS AND HUMEYRA PAMUK The United States is pushing ahead with its bid to extend an international arms embargo on Iran by way of a second draft U.N. Security Council resolution, despite what some diplomats say is a lack of enthusiasm for such a move among its 15 members. The U.S.-drafted resolution needs at least nine votes in favor to force Russia and China to use their vetoes, which Moscow and Beijing have signaled they will do. Some diplomats question whether Washington can even secure those nine, however. “We have tabled a resolution that we think accomplishes what we...
    By Michelle Nichols and Humeyra Pamuk NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States is pushing ahead with its bid to extend an international arms embargo on Iran by way of a second draft U.N. Security Council resolution, despite what some diplomats say is a lack of enthusiasm for such a move among its 15 members. The U.S.-drafted resolution needs at least nine votes in favor to force Russia and China to use their vetoes, which Moscow and Beijing have signaled they will do. Some diplomats question whether Washington can even secure those nine, however. "We have tabled a resolution that we think accomplishes what we think needs to be accomplished," U.S. Iran envoy Brian Hook told the Aspen Security Forum,...
    U.S. security officials have said that the development of sea-launched nuclear missiles is necessary to combat Russia, which has been developing their tactical nuclear weapons. According to a July report by the State Department, Russia has continued to expand it’s “low-yield theater and tactical nuclear weapons,” while the U.S. retired it’s last sea-launched nuclear cruise missile (SLCM-N) in 2010, when the U.S. entered in the New START treaty with Russia that aimed to reduce nuclear arsneals. The report notes that Russia is potentially relying on the U.S.’s lack of nuclear “first-use weapons” as a strategic "coercive advantage" -- meaning the U.S. would not be able to respond to the use of low-yield theatre warfare without drastically escalating the conflict. UK SEEKING US CONGRESSIONAL...
    The United Kingdom asked U.S. lawmakers for cooperation in adding the controversial W93 nuclear warhead to Britain’s arsenal -- a missile that disarmament critics call a $14 billion “excess.” In an unprecedented letter to Congress, Britain’s defense secretary, Ben Wallace, urged lawmakers to approve spending on a joint agreement between the Pentagon and the U.K.’s Ministry of Defense, The Guardian reported Saturday. Pentagon officials have confirmed that the W93 would be the next-generation submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), which security officials hope to have fully operational by 2040 -- a $14 billion program that Britain has reportedly committed to joining by replacing its own Trident warheads. “These are challenging times, but it is crucial that we demonstrate transatlantic unity and solidarity in this...
    MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump discussed arms control and cooperation in fighting the coronavirus during a phone call between the two leaders Thursday, the Kremlin and White House said. The presidents “thoroughly considered” various arms control issues “given the special responsibility of Russia and the U.S. for maintaining international peace and security,” the Kremlin said. According to the White House, Trump reiterated his hope of avoiding an expensive three-way arms race between China, Russia, and the United States and “looked forward to progress on upcoming arms control negotiations in Vienna.” The Kremlin’s readout of the call said the parties reaffirmed “the timeliness of bilateral consultations” on arms control issues, including the New Strategic...
    Washington (AFP) – President Donald Trump told his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Thursday that he hopes to avoid an “expensive” US arms race with Russia and China, the White House said. Washington and Moscow are preparing negotiations on a successor to the New START treaty capping their countries’ nuclear arsenals. However, China has so far rejected pressure from the Trump administration to join the talks, saying that its arsenal is far smaller than that of the two former Cold War foes. In a call with Putin, Trump “reiterated his hope of avoiding an expensive three-way arms race between China, Russia, and the United States and looked forward to progress on upcoming arms control negotiations in Vienna,” a White House...
    MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump discussed arms control and cooperation in fighting the coronavirus during a phone call between the two leaders Thursday, the Kremlin and White House said. The presidents “thoroughly considered” various arms control issues “given the special responsibility of Russia and the U.S. for maintaining international peace and security,” the Kremlin said. According to the White House, Trump reiterated his hope of avoiding an expensive three-way arms race between China, Russia, and the United States and “looked forward to progress on upcoming arms control negotiations in Vienna.” The Kremlin's readout of the call said the parties reaffirmed “the timeliness of bilateral consultations" on arms control issues, including the New Strategic...
    Photograph: Logan Cyrus/AFP/Getty Images White House officials held a series of discussions over the past two years on the possibility of resuming US nuclear testing, according to the former national security adviser John Bolton. Related: Fumbling the nuclear football: is Trump blundering to arms control chaos? “Certainly the subject was discussed,” Bolton, a fierce advocate of testing, told the Guardian. However, there was opposition from some in the administration who felt current computer-based testing of US warheads was sufficient, and no decision was made by the time Bolton left the White House last September. When the prospect of the first US underground nuclear test in nearly three decades came up at a White House meeting in May, it triggered...
    State Department special representative Marshall Billingslea told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the United States trails both Russia and China in the development of hypersonic missiles. Billingslea, who has been nominated to the post of under secretary of state for arms control, suggested that the military needs to accelerate a broad effort to modernize the American nuclear arsenal, in part to create the leverage that would press both Moscow and Beijing to agree to new arms control treaties. “We have an urgent need to robustly test a number of emerging hypersonic glide vehicle technologies that are coming online,” he said during his nomination hearing. “We are, I think it's fair to say, behind when it comes to...
    China has dismissed U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's calls for the United Nations Security Council to extend the Iranian arms embargo, citing concerns that the regime will become an arms dealer – with the suppliers being Russia and China. Pompeo said in press conference this week that the U.S. has intelligence which suggests “that China will sell weapons systems to Iran” and that “Iranians believe that China will sell systems to Iran.” The embargo, which prevents Iran from being able to purchase or sell arms, is a part of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also referred to as the Iran nuclear deal. The deal is set to expire on Oct. 18. RUSSIA CALLS US’S NEWEST STANCE ON...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke Monday to his Russian counterpart about convening the leaders of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council to mark the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, the State Department said. The department said Pompeo spoke to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov about the possibility of a commemorative event “in the near future” that would involve President Donald Trump and the leaders of Britain, China, France and Russia. The U.N. had planned a series of celebrations to mark the occasion centered around the annual General Assembly session in September but has been forced to cancel or postpone many of them due to the coronavirus pandemic. No details of the proposed...
    China has rejected any prospect of joining in nuclear talks with the United States and Russia, raising fears that nuclear weapons will become a new issue of contention between Washington and Beijing.  Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian told reporters Friday that "China's objection to the so-called trilateral arms control negotiations is very clear, and the U.S. knows it very well."  To try to reduce the odds of nuclear annihilation, Washington and Moscow reached a reduction treaty in 2010 that limits the number of deployed nuclear warheads each can possess. As Beijing’s military has steadily grown as a global power, Robert O’Brien, President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, said in February that the new pact should include China.   “The...
    A top Russian diplomat said Friday that he is not optimistic that the U.S.-Russian nuclear arms agreement will be extended because of Washington’s demands to include China in the proposal. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov cautioned the Trump administration that Russia will continue to protect its security defenses, with or without the New START treaty, noting they are likely unwilling to accept Washington’s new demands. The New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) was signed in 2010 by former President Barack Obama and then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. The agreement, made in accordance with the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty, limited the number of deployed nuclear warheads to no more than 1,550 along with 700 missiles and bombers. AMBASSADOR CRAFT HITS CHINA, RUSSIA FOR...
    By VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV, Associated Press MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's top diplomat said Friday he's not very optimistic about prospects for an extension of the last remaining U.S.-Russia arms control agreement because of Washington's focus on making China sign up to the pact. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned that Russia only wants to keep the New START treaty as much as the U.S. does and will protect its security regardless of the pact's fate. “We only need the extension as much as the Americans do,” Lavrov said during a conference call with foreign policy experts. “If they categorically refuse, we will not try to persuade them.” The New START treaty was signed in 2010 by U.S. President Barack Obama and then...
    MOSCOW (AP) — Russia’s top diplomat said Friday he’s not very optimistic about prospects for an extension of the last remaining U.S.-Russia arms control agreement because of Washington’s focus on making China sign up to the pact. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned that Russia only wants to keep the New START treaty as much as the U.S. does and will protect its security regardless of the pact’s fate. “We only need the extension as much as the Americans do,” Lavrov said during a conference call with foreign policy experts. “If they categorically refuse, we will not try to persuade them.” The New START treaty was signed in 2010 by U.S. President Barack Obama and then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. The...
    China rejected an invitation from the United States to join talks with Russia about limiting nuclear warheads. President Trump’s administration demanded that China participate in negotiations over the renewal of New START, a treaty restricting the number of warheads the U.S. and Russia are allowed to maintain. Beijing said it would only join the negotiations if the U.S. reduces its arsenal to match China’s smaller arsenal. Beijing's arsenal is about one-fifth the size of the ones possessed by the U.S. or Russia, but the Trump administration has argued it poses a major threat. "China's opposition of the so-called trilateral arms control negotiations is very clear," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said Friday. "However, the U.S. continues...
    BEIJING (AP) — China on Friday rejected any prospect of joining in nuclear arms limitation talks with the U.S., calling reports from Washington that it would do so a distortion of its stated position. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian told reporters the U.S. was “neither serious nor sincere” in the proposed negotiations and should instead respond to Russia’s call for an extension to the existing New START treaty limiting the number of nuclear warheads. “China’s objection to the so-called trilateral arms control negotiations is very clear, and the U.S. knows it very well. However, the U.S. is persistent on the issue and even distorted China’s position,” Zhao said at a daily news briefing. China, with the world’s biggest nuclear arsenal...
    BEIJING (AP) — China on Friday rejected any prospect of joining in nuclear arms limitation talks with the U.S., calling reports from Washington that it would do so a distortion of its stated position. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian told reporters the U.S. was “neither serious nor sincere” in the proposed negotiations and should instead respond to Russia’s call for an extension to the existing New START treaty limiting the number of nuclear warheads. “China’s objection to the so-called trilateral arms control negotiations is very clear, and the U.S. knows it very well. However, the U.S. is persistent on the issue and even distorted China’s position,” Zhao said at a daily news briefing. China, with the world’s...
    Washington (CNN)China issued a stinging response to a US statement Thursday that welcomed Beijing's willingness to engage in arms control talks. Beijing has "no interest" in any such negotiations, a statement by Chinese embassy in Washington said. State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said Thursday in a statement that the United States "welcomes China's commitment to engage in arms control negotiations," a day after a senior Chinese diplomat said Beijing would be happy to join talks if the US agreed to lower its number of nuclear weapons to match China's. "I can assure you that if the US says that they are ready to come down to the Chinese level (of nuclear weapons), China will be happy to participate the next...
    China has given a subtle hint of willingness to discuss arms control agreements pertaining to its "dangerous and destabilizing" nuclear weapons buildup, according to a senior State Department official. “It sounds a little bit like we're pre-negotiating,” Marshall Billingslea, the State Department’s point man for arms control talks, told the 2020 European Union Defense Washington Forum on Wednesday. Billingslea pegged that progress update to a new statement from a senior Chinese official who alluded to the possibility of negotiations Tuesday. The Chinese diplomat’s comments struck Billingslea as a “seeming evolution” from Beijing’s previously ironclad insistence on stockpiling more nuclear warheads, although even the new statements emphasized China’s determination to equal the American arsenal. “I can assure you,...
    BEIJING (AP) — A senior Chinese arms control official called U.S. pressure to join nuclear arms talks with Russia an American ploy to avoid signing a new deal, and said China would gladly participate if the U.S. would agree to parity among all three nations. “I can assure you that if the U.S. says that they are ready to come down to the Chinese level, China will be happy to participate the next day,” Fu Cong, the director general of the Foreign Ministry’s arms control department, said Wednesday. “But actually, we know that that’s not going to happen.” Fu spoke to journalists in Beijing after the U.S. pointedly noted the Chinese absence at talks with Russia in Vienna two...
    BEIJING (AP) — A senior Chinese arms control official called U.S. pressure to join nuclear arms talks with Russia an American ploy to avoid signing a new deal, and said China would gladly participate if the U.S. would agree to parity among all three nations. “I can assure you that if the U.S. says that they are ready to come down to the Chinese level, China will be happy to participate the next day," Fu Cong, the director general of the Foreign Ministry's arms control department, said Wednesday. “But actually, we know that that’s not going to happen." Fu spoke to journalists in Beijing after the U.S. pointedly noted the Chinese absence at talks with Russia in Vienna two weeks...
    BEIJING (Reuters) - If the United States were willing to reduce its nuclear arsenal to China's level, China would "be happy to" participate in trilateral arms control negotiation with the U.S and Russia, a senior Chinese diplomat said on Wednesday. The U.S. has repeatedly called for China to join in trilateral negotiations to extend a flagship nuclear arms treaty between the U.S. and Russia that is due to expire in February next year. Fu Cong, head of arms control department of Chinese foreign ministry, reiterated to reporters in Beijing on Wednesday that China has no interest in joining the trilateral negotiation. (Reporting by Yew Lun Tian; Editing by Christian Schmollinger) Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.
    U.S. Special Representative to Iran Brian Hook said the U.S. will not permit Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon even though a lapse in an arms embargo could be forthcoming. During an interview with Israeli reporter Barak Ravid, the U.S. envoy to Iran said "the military option is always on the table." Hook said, "yes, of course," the U.S. would consider taking military measures against Iran in order to stop the country from acquiring nuclear weapons. Hook said the U.S. intends to use all legal abilities to extend its arms embargo against Iran. If that does not work, he said the U.S. would invoke a U.N. "snapback" measure within the Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action...
    WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo appealed to the UN Security Council Tuesday to extend an expiring arms embargo on Iran, arguing “the world’s most heinous terrorist regime” is a threat to international peace and security and “must be held accountable.” The international embargo is set to expire in October as part of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [JCPOA] signed by Iran, the EU, Germany and the permanent members of the Security Council, including the U.S. The U.S. withdrew from the JCPOA in 2018. While the U.S. has circulated a proposal to extend the embargo, Russia and China, both veto-wielding members of the Security Council, made clear Tuesday they would not support extending...
    NEW YORK - U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday to “hold Iran accountable” and extend an arms embargo due to expire in October. “Renewing the embargo will exert more pressure on Tehran to start to behave like a normal nation,” Pompeo told a virtual meeting of the council that is held twice a year to review implementation of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. “The world needs this to happen. The long-suffering Iranian people need it to happen.” Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif was due to address the council later in the meeting. FILE - Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.President Donald Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal in May 2018 and...
    United Nations (United States) (AFP) – US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday urged the UN Security Council to extend an arms embargo on Iran, warning that the Middle East’s stability was at risk, but he faced wide skepticism over US threats to trigger sanctions. The United States is adamant about prolonging the ban on conventional arms sales to its adversary which expires in October and has threatened to use a disputed legal move to force a return of UN sanctions on Iran. Russia and China, which stand to gain major arms contracts from Iran, oppose an extension of the embargo which was established for five years under a 2015 resolution that blessed a nuclear accord with Iran negotiated...
    By Michelle Nichols NEW YORK, June 30 (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pushed the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday to indefinitely extend an arms embargo on Iran before it expires in October, arguing that the country is not a “responsible democracy” and must be held accountable. Earlier this month, the United States circulated a draft resolution on the measure to the 15-member council, but council veto-powers Russia and China have already signaled their opposition to the move. “Don’t just take it from the United States, listen to countries in the region. From Israel to the Gulf, countries in the Middle East – who are most exposed to Iran’s predations – are speaking with one voice: Extend the...
    The top US envoy to Iran said the expiring UN arms embargo against the Islamic Republic should be renewed to prevent it from “becoming the arms dealer of choice for rogue regimes and terrorist organizations” – hours before Tehran issued an arrest warrant for President Trump over the killing of a top general. “If we let it expire, you can be certain that what Iran has been doing in the dark, it will do in broad daylight and then some,” Brian Hook told The Associated Press on Sunday. “If we play by Iran’s rules, Iran wins. It is a mafia tactic where people are intimidated into accepting a certain kind of behavior for fear of something far worse,” Hook...
    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — An expiring United Nations weapons embargo on Iran must remain in place to prevent it from “becoming the arms dealer of choice for rogue regimes and terrorist organizations around the world,” the U.S. special representative to Iran said Sunday. Brian Hook told The Associated Press that the world should ignore Iran’s threats to retaliate if the arms embargo set to expire in October is extended, calling it a “mafia tactic.” Among its options, the Islamic Republic could expel international inspectors monitoring Iran’s nuclear program, deepening a crisis created by President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrawing from Tehran’s 2015 atomic accord with global powers. The U.N. arms embargo so far has stopped Iran from...
    UNITED NATIONS - Iran's U.N. ambassador said Thursday that he believes a U.S. resolution to extend an arms embargo against his country will be defeated and warned it would be "a very, very big mistake" if the Trump administration then tries to re-impose U.N. sanctions.   Ambassador Majid Ravanchi said restoring U.N. sanctions will end the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and major powers and release Tehran from all its commitments. "If that happens, Iran will not be under constraint as to what course of action it should take," he said reporters. "All options for Iran will be open." Lifting the arms embargo on Tehran is part of the U.N. 2015 Security Council resolution endorsing the nuclear agreement.  ...
    When President Trump exited the landmark 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia in August 2018, it left in force only one agreement limiting nuclear arms: the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, negotiated by the Obama administration and signed by the United States and Russia in 2010. New START, which limits each side to 1,550 deployed warheads, expires in February of next year but can be renewed for five more years if Washington and Moscow both agree. Currently, the Trump administration is disinclined to extend the treaty because it suffers from some of the same deficiencies as the now-defunct INF treaty: Namely, it’s a bilateral agreement between the U.S. and Russia that leaves out China, which is rapidly expanding its...
    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Iran’s U.N. ambassador said Thursday that he believes a U.S. resolution to extend an arms embargo against his country will be defeated and warned it would be “a very, very big mistake” if the Trump administration then tries to re-impose U.N. sanctions. Ambassador Majid Ravanchi said restoring U.N. sanctions will end the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and major powers and release Tehran from all its commitments. “If that happens, Iran will not be under constraint as to what course of action it should take,” he said reporters. “All options for Iran will be open.” Lifting the arms embargo on Tehran is part of the U.N. 2015 Security Council resolution endorsing the nuclear agreement. Ravanchi spoke...
    By EDITH M. LEDERER, Associated Press UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Iran’s U.N. ambassador said Thursday that he believes a U.S. resolution to extend an arms embargo against his country will be defeated and warned it would be “a very, very big mistake” if the Trump administration then tries to re-impose U.N. sanctions. Ambassador Majid Ravanchi said restoring U.N. sanctions will end the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and major powers and release Tehran from all its commitments. “If that happens, Iran will not be under constraint as to what course of action it should take,” he said reporters. “All options for Iran will be open.” Lifting the arms embargo on Tehran is part of the U.N. 2015 Security Council resolution...
    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo threatened to seek to reimpose U.N. sanctions on Iran if the U.N. Security Council does not approve a resolution that would indefinitely extend the arms embargo on Tehran, which is set to expire in October. Pompeo told a news conference at the State Department in Washington on Wednesday that without extending the arms embargo, “Iran will be able to purchase advanced weapons systems and become an arms dealer of choice for terrorists and rogue regimes all throughout the world. This is unacceptable.” He spoke ahead of a closed video briefing to Security Council members Wednesday afternoon on the U.S. draft resolution to maintain the arms embargo by U.S. Special Representative...
    By EDITH M. LEDERER, Associated Press UNITED NATIONS (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo threatened to seek to reimpose U.N. sanctions on Iran if the U.N. Security Council does not approve a resolution that would indefinitely extend the arms embargo on Tehran, which is set to expire in October. Pompeo told a news conference at the State Department in Washington on Wednesday that without extending the arms embargo, “Iran will be able to purchase advanced weapons systems and become an arms dealer of choice for terrorists and rogue regimes all throughout the world. This is unacceptable.” He spoke ahead of a closed video briefing to Security Council members Wednesday afternoon on the U.S. draft resolution to maintain the...
    Reuters June 24, 2020 0 Comments  Russia and China will be isolated at the United Nations if they continue down the “road to dystopia” by blocking a U.S. bid to extend a weapons ban on Iran, U.S. Iran envoy Brian Hook told Reuters ahead of his formal pitch of the embargo to the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday. The 13-year-old arms restrictions on Iran are due to expire in October under the terms of Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. Russia and China have signaled they oppose extending the embargo. While Washington has long argued that the embargo should not be lifted, the international community has been waiting for it to formally push the measure. Hook and U.S....
    President Trump will force all nations to renew the sanctions lifted in the 2015 Iran nuclear deal if global leaders refuse to extend an expiring arms embargo on the regime, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned. “I would remind the world that the Obama administration’s officials said very clearly that the United States has the unilateral ability to snap back sanctions into place,” Pompeo told reporters Wednesday. That legal argument irritates allied governments, given that Trump withdrew the U.S. from the nuclear deal in 2018. Pompeo underscored that option as U.S. officials attempt to convince Western allies, as well as Russia and China, to back a United Nations Security Council resolution that would extend an arms sale ban...
    PARIS - U.S. and Russian negotiators signaled progress Tuesday in talks on a possible replacement to a nuclear arms reduction treaty due to expire next February. But there are significant hurdles ahead — including China’s opposition to being included in the talks. At issue is the 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, or START, restricting the number of deployed nuclear warheads held by the U.S. and Russia, the world's two biggest nuclear powers.   U.S. negotiator Marshall Billingslea says working group discussions may take place in late July or early August, paving the way for a possible second round of talks in Vienna.   "We did indeed hold productive talks with Russia. Indeed, the talks were so productive that we found enough common ground to warrant the establishment of several technical working groups to dive further into the...
    The United Nations Security Council is set to review the United States' appeal to extend the arms embargo on Iran indefinitely, according to a report Tuesday. The U.S. has reportedly put together a draft resolution for the 15-member council urging it to extend the embargo past the scheduled expiration date of October this year. While the resolution only needs nine out of the 15 votes to pass, it cannot receive any vetoes by Britain, China, France or Russia in order to pass, according to Reuters. INTERNATIONAL NUCLEAR WATCHDOG PUTS PRESSURE ON IRAN TO COOPERATE, 'IMMEDIATELY COMPLY' WITH SAFEGUARDS Signs that Russia and China will vote against this resolution are already apparent. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) passed a resolution Friday condemning Iran’s...
    BERLIN (AP) — American and Russian negotiators have concluded a round of nuclear arms control talks in Vienna, aimed at producing a new agreement to replace the New START treaty that expires in February — the last remaining pact constraining the arsenals of the world’s two major nuclear powers. U.S. negotiator Marshall Billingslea told reporters Tuesday that a day of high-level “marathon discussions” ended late Monday night and had been productive enough to conclude with the establishment of several technical working groups to delve deeper into the issues with the idea of paving the way for a second round of talks by late July or early August. “We both agreed at the termination of our talks that the strategic...
    By DAVID RISING, Associated Press BERLIN (AP) — American and Russian negotiators have concluded a round of nuclear arms control talks in Vienna, aimed at producing a new agreement to replace the New START treaty that expires in February — the last remaining pact constraining the arsenals of the world's two major nuclear powers. U.S. negotiator Marshall Billingslea told reporters Tuesday that a day of high-level “marathon discussions” ended late Monday night and had been productive enough to conclude with the establishment of several technical working groups to delve deeper into the issues with the idea of paving the way for a second round of talks by late July or early August. “We both agreed at the termination of our...
    VIENNA (Reuters) - Russia and the United States hope to meet for a second round of nuclear arms control talks in Vienna as soon as practicable, possibly in late July or early August, the U.S. envoy to those talks said on Tuesday, the day after the first round took place. U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Arms Control Marshall Billingslea told a news conference he and his Russian counterpart agreed to set up "multiple" technical working groups and a second meeting would depend on their progress. (Reporting by Francois Murphy; Editing by Alex Richardson) Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.
    On Monday, June 22, U.S. and Russian officials are scheduled to meet in Vienna, Austria, to discuss nuclear arms control. In our political environment today, where news cycles are measured in hours rather than days, major developments in national security such as this often fail to garner the recognition they deserve. But these talks are worth the world’s attention. This meeting comes on the heels of President Trump’s decision in May to withdraw the United States from the Open Skies Treaty, a decades-old agreement between the then-members of NATO and the Warsaw Pact allowing member nations to fly over each other’s territory with observation aircraft. NEWT GINGRICH: CHINA'S SECRET CAMPAIGN TO SPY ON US AND BUY INFLUENCE IS EXPOSED Offutt...
    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United Nations says it has determined that Iran was the source for several items in two arms shipments seized by the United States and for debris left by attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil installations and an international airport, according to a new report. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said some of the items seized by the U.S. in November 2019 and February 2020 “were identical or similar” to those found after the cruise missiles and drone attacks on Saudi Arabia in 2019. He said in a report to the U.N. Security Council obtained Friday by The Associated Press that some items seized by the U.S. in international waters off Yemen are not only Iranian but...
    BRUSSELS (AP) - The European Union’s top diplomat said Tuesday that since the United States has already withdrawn from an international agreement curbing Iran’s nuclear ambitions, it can’t now use its former membership of the pact to try to impose a permanent arms embargo on the Islamic Republic. The accord, which Iran signed with the U.S., Britain, Germany, France, China and Russia in 2015, has been unraveling since President Donald Trump pulled Washington out in 2018 and reinstated sanctions designed to cripple Tehran under what the U.S. called a “maximum pressure” campaign. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft have said that extending a permanent U.N. backed arms embargo against Iran...
    Washington (CNN)US and Russian officials will meet later this month for nuclear arms negotiations, a top US arms control official announced Monday.Special Presidential Envoy for Arms Control Marshall Billingslea said that he and his Russian counterpart, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, have agreed "on time and place for nuclear arms negotiations in June."The Trump administration has abandoned a number of key arms control pacts, most recently the Open Skies Treaty, in favor of seeking a three-party agreement with Russia and China. The insistence on a trilateral agreement is widely seen as a way to scuttle New START, the nuclear reduction treaty between the US and Russia that is set to expire in February 2021. Beijing has dismissed calls to participate...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. and Russia have agreed to start arms control talks this month as the only remaining treaty between the two largest nuclear powers is poised to expire in less than a year, Marshall Billingslea, President Donald Trump’s special envoy for arms control, said Monday. Russia has offered to extend the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, which expires in February, but Trump wants to see a three-way nuclear arms treaty that includes China. Beijing, which is expanding its nuclear arsenal but is not nearly as big as the ones held by the U.S. and Russia, has expressed little to no interest in negotiating or signing a pact. “Today agreed with the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister...
    UNITED NATIONS (AP) - Russia’s foreign minister is accusing the Trump administration of unleashing a politically motivated campaign against Iran and is calling for “universal condemnation” of the U.S. attempt to get the U.N. Security Council to impose a permanent arms embargo against the Islamic Republic. Sergey Lavrov said the United States withdrew from the 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and six major powers and now has no legal right to try to use the U.N. resolution endorsing the deal to indefinitely continue the arms embargo, which is set to expire on Oct. 18. In a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the Security Council circulated Monday, the Russian minister said statements by U.S. State Department officials that the...
    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — U.S. Ambassador Kelly Craft said Friday she has shared a draft U.N. Security Council resolution with Russia that would extend the arms embargo against Iran indefinitely. Russia’s U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said last month that Moscow will oppose any U.S. attempts to extend the arms embargo, which expires on Oct. 18, and reimpose U.N. sanctions on Iran. Craft told a press briefing that she also shared the draft with the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Estonia and hopes to give the draft to the rest of the 15-member Security Council “pretty soon.” But she said first she wants to talk to ambassadors and “make sure everyone understands that we are committed to making certain that the...