New U.S. sanctions against Iran took effect on Tuesday, and President Donald Trump, who defied Washington’s allies to impose them, pledged that firms doing business with Tehran would be barred from doing business with the U.S.
Iran dismissed a last-minute offer from the Trump administration for talks, saying it could not negotiate while Washington had reneged on a 2015 deal to lift sanctions in return for curbs on Iran’s nuclear programme.
Trump decided this year to pull out of the agreement, ignoring pleas from other world powers that had co-sponsored the deal, including Washington’s main European allies Britain, France and Germany, Russia and China.
The European countries have promised to try to mitigate the impact of renewed U.S. sanctions to persuade Tehran to continue to abide by the deal’s terms.
However, that has proven difficult: European companies have pulled out of Iran, arguing that they cannot risk the prospect of damage to their U.S. business.
“These are the most biting sanctions ever imposed, and in November they ratchet up to yet another level.
“Anyone doing business with Iran will NOT be doing business with the United States. I am asking for WORLD PEACE, nothing less!” Trump tweeted on Tuesday.
White House National Security Adviser John Bolton said on Monday Iran’s only chance of escaping sanctions would be to take up an offer to negotiate with Trump for a tougher deal.
“They could take up the president’s offer to negotiate with them, to give up their ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programmes fully and really verifiably,” Bolton told Fox News.
“If the ayatollahs want to get out from under the squeeze, they should come and sit down. The pressure will not relent while the negotiations go on,” said Bolton, one of the administration’s main hawks on Iran.
Washington accepts that Iran has complied with the terms of the 2015 deal reached under Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama, but says the agreement was flawed because it is not strenuous enough.
Iran says it will continue to abide by the deal for now, if other countries can help protect it from the economic impact of Washington’s decision to pull out.
The so-called snapback sanctions target Iranian purchases of U.S. dollars, metals trading, coal, industrial software and its auto sector.
In a speech hours before the sanctions were due to take effect, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani rejected any negotiations as long as Washington was no longer complying with the deal it reached three years ago.
“If you stab someone with a knife and then you say you want talks, then the first thing you have to do is remove the knife,” Rouhani said in a speech broadcast live on state television.
“We are always in favor of diplomacy and talks. … But talks need honesty,” Rouhani said.
He dismissed the proposal for talks as a stunt to sow chaos in Iran and confuse American voters at home ahead of mid-term elections in November.
He said Washington was becoming isolated internationally and would come to regret imposing sanctions against the views of its allies and other world powers.
The nuclear deal is closely associated in Iran with Rouhani, a relative moderate who won two landslide elections on promises to open up its economy to the outside world.
European countries fear that by abandoning the deal, Washington risks undermining Rouhani and strengthening the hand of his more hardline opponents, who have long argued that the West would never allow Iran to prosper.
In a joint statement on Monday from Britain, France, Germany and the EU as a bloc, they said: “We deeply regret the reimposition of sanctions by the U.S.”
Since the sanctions were initially lifted two years ago, Iranian oil exports have risen.
Meanwhile, most Iranians are yet to see major economic improvement as a result of the deal and the prospect that Washington would re-impose sanctions helped drive a collapse in the value of Iran’s currency this year, raising the cost of imports.
There have been protests in Iran against rising prices, and the government has responded firmly.
Presidency: Buhari Is Ready To Restructure Nigeria But…
The Presidency in his reaction to the agitations on restructuring by Nigerians has said that President Muhammadu Buhari is ready to restructure the country but the issue is that he does not have the constitutional power to do so, adding that only the National Assembly does.
This was disclosed by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu at a media parley with House of Representatives correspondents.
Garba Shehu urged proponents of restructuring to take their agitation for restructuring to the national assembly as the Buhari-led administration is committed to the promise which is contained in APC manifesto.
He said: “We in the APC are committed to restructuring. Read the manifesto of the APC. It is stated there and so, we are not running away from it. President Buhari is ready to restructure the country.
“The problem we have with a lot of the proponents of restructuring is that they are looking for the fastest way to that restructuring. They don’t want to use the parliament. They want to use extra constitutional bodies and that is untidy. If you are a democrat, you abide by the processes.
“The parliament is the institution of government working with the executive and the judiciary. For you to say no you want to do a congress at Yaba Market Square and debate; do you want to cause a fight.
“We must be organised and follow due process. If you have a case on restructuring, come to the parliament. In any case, the Senate President has announced that this 9th Parliament will start constitutional amendment in January. So, bring your issue. These are intelligent people voted for by the people.
“Those who shout restructuring saying they want a parallel body to-do that, we have said to them that they are wrong. The sovereignty of the people resides with the parliament and so, if you want to restructure the country, come to the parliament.
“If you don’t have confidence in the parliamentarians you have voted for, wait for four years and vote them out and choose another set of people. But you cannot circumvent the role of the parliament in a democracy and it is key to whatever restructuring you want,” he said.
While reacting on the controversial social media bill, the Presidential spokesperson insisted that the proposed death penalty is not the only thing contained in the bill.
Garba Shehu disclosed that there is need to curb fake news as it can lead to the death of other Nigerians which is not acceptable.
He said: “It is your responsibility as the media to help the Nigerian government on the issue of hate speech before the parliament. The Minister of Information, who speaks for the Nigerian government, has spoken of the necessity of a law to govern social media.
“I am being careful on what he wants to do because I think there are parallel processes going on. I also blame the media for creating unnecessary controversy. If you look at the law being discussed, the media has focused more on the death penalty for fake news.
“You have a responsibility of studying that bill. Only a few days ago, the American Ambassador met the sponsor of that bill and at the end, he said Nigerians should have a rethink. It is your duty to reap it open and tell Nigerians what it contained. The bill is not all about death penalty or free speech,” he said.
He also said, “I think we have a problem that Nigerians have to address. Nobody is saying that President Buhari or the parliament should impose a law against the press. I am happy that they will hold public hearing on this and if you have any objection to some of the elements, come forward and tell parliament that you have objection. This country needs a law that will regulate social media and attack fake news.”
On claims of the current parliament being a rubber stamp legislature, Garba Shehu said;
“Anybody who is thinking that because the parliament and the executive has worked together on the finance bill and the budget within record time, so we are dealing with a rubber stamp parliament, such a person better look back and see what happened in the past.”
I Am Ready For Showdown With Wilder — Joshua Declares
Anthony Joshua said he is ready for a showdown with American Deontay Wilder now that he has reclaimed his titles, as he really loves to unify all the boxing titles.
Wilder, since 2015 has held the WBC heavyweight title, but he has a river to cross first in the rematch with Tyson Fury on February 22, 2020, following their draw in 2018.
Joshua reclaimed the WBA (Super), WBO and IBF belts by unanimous decision over Andy Ruiz Jr. on Saturday in Saudi Arabia and live on DAZN, in a rematch with the man who sensationally dethroned him in June.
Joshua (23-1, 21 KOs) produced a calculated performance to avenge the only loss of his professional career, the challenger prevailing 118-110 on two of the scorecards and 119-109 on the other.
After Joshua became a two-time heavyweight champion, the attention quickly turned to a potential blockbuster fight with WBC titleholder Wilder, who is set to meet Tyson Fury in a rematch on Feb. 22.
Asked whether he wanted a unification bout against Wilder, Joshua told reporters: “Yeah, definitely. I would love to. I’ve united four.
“It’s hard to keep and unite them. We will see what happens. I think me chasing, same in the fights, it may come crashing down. I’m just going to let the path take its course. When the opportunity presents itself, I’ll step up and take the challenge.”
While Joshua vs. Wilder is the fight everyone wants to see, the 2012 Olympic gold medalist is open to facing Ruiz again in Saudi Arabia to complete the trilogy. Ruiz called for a third bout as well in his post-fight interview.
“The great thing is his view on Saudi Arabia,” Joshua said when asked about Ruiz’s determination for a third battle. “That’s a positive because he was a bit wary at first, so it’s nice to see he has changed his opinion.
“It’s neutral ground and territory. If he is keen, [Oleksandr] Usyk and [Kubrat] Pulev, Ruiz, I don’t want to mention the other guys’ names, you know who they are, but when they’re ready.
“I’ve fought a lot of great names on my record and beaten some good names, too. Andy is still on that list because we make good music. He is a good dancing partner.”
Before any potential bouts with Ruiz and Wilder, Joshua has mandatory commitments to fulfil.
The WBO ordered Joshua to make his mandatory defence against Usyk within 180 days, while the IBF wants the heavyweight champion to face challenger Pulev.
“Let’s rock and roll,” Joshua said. “No problem.”
BREAKING: Anthony Joshua Defeats Andy Ruiz
Anthony Joshua has defeated Andy Ruiz Jr on Saturday, December 7, at Diriyah, Suadi Arabia in a heavily anticipated heavyweight rematch.