North America

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U.S. imposes fresh Iran-related sanctions

The US Treasury Department building in Washington. (AFP) December 3, 2020 The United States on Thursday imposed fresh Iran-related sanctions, blacklisting an entity and individual as Washington continues to ramp up pressure on Tehran during U.S. President Donald Trump’s final months in office. The sanctions targeted the Shahid Meisami Group, linking it to [...]

By |December 3rd, 2020|North America, USA|

US to reduce staff at Baghdad embassy amid tensions with Iran

Iraqi security forces are deployed in front of the US embassy in the capital Baghdad on January 1, 2020. (AFP) December 3, 2020 The U.S. is withdrawing some staff from its embassy in Baghdad, Iraqi and U.S. officials said Thursday, temporarily reducing personnel amid regional security concerns. U.S. Ambassador Mathew Tueller said the [...]

By |December 3rd, 2020|Iraq, North America, USA|

Iran open to further prisoner swaps

Iranian FM Javad Zarif at a press conference in Tehran, Sunday, December 22, 2013. (AP) December 3, 2020 Iran is ready to engage in further prisoner swaps after last week exchanging a jailed British-Australian academic with three Iranians detained abroad, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Thursday. “We can always engage [...]

By |December 3rd, 2020|Australia, Europe, North America, USA|

Key targets remain for U.S. sanctions on Iran

Iranians trading money at a currency exchange office in a shopping centre in the capital Tehran. (AFP) By Saeed Ghasseminejad December 3, 2020 The U.S. Department of the Treasury last week sanctioned the Mustazafan Foundation, one of three critical holdings in the business empire of Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The Trump administration, which has vowed to [...]

By |December 3rd, 2020|North America, USA|

How could a US drawdown in Iraq aid ISIS, lead to greater Iranian presence

US soldiers stand guard during the handover ceremony of Qayyarah Airfield to Iraqi forces, in the south of Mosul, March 27, 2020. (AP) December 3, 2020 In a quest to root out ISIS group hideouts over the summer, Iraqi forces on the ground cleared nearly 90 villages across a notoriously unruly northern province. [...]

By |December 3rd, 2020|Iraq, North America, USA|

US could designate Iran-backed Houthi militia as ‘terrorist’ organization

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaking at the UN Security Council meeting. (Supplied) December 3, 2020 US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo could designate the Houthi militia as a terrorist organization this week, Al-Arabiya TV reported, citing the Washington Post. US National Security Adviser Robert C. O’Brien said earlier that the US [...]

By |December 3rd, 2020|North America, USA, Yemen|

Iranians will have access to US-made coronavirus vaccines

Emergency medical staff and nurses help while transferring a patient with coronavirus disease to Masih Daneshvari Hospital in Tehran, March 30, 2020. (Reuters) December 3, 2020 An official at the Tehran Chamber of Commerce has announced that there will be few obstacles in Iran obtaining US-manufactured Covid-19 vaccines since 30 percent of the drugs [...]

By |December 3rd, 2020|North America, USA|

Biden sets new demands for US return to Iran deal, lift sanctions

Democratic U.S. presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden. (Reuters) December 2, 2020 US President-elect Joe Biden will insist Iran agrees to new demands if it wants the US to return to a nuclear deal and lift sanctions, The New York Times said Wednesday. The Times said the Biden administration would seek [...]

By |December 3rd, 2020|North America, USA|

Iran outlines budget, promises less reliance on oil amid U.S. sanctions

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani chairing a cabinet session in the capital Tehran, April 15. (AFP) December 2, 2020 Iran’s government presented a draft state budget of about $33.7 billion to parliament on Wednesday, promising less reliance on oil revenues and higher growth despite U.S. sanctions that have crippled the Islamic Republic’s economy, Iranian [...]

By |December 2nd, 2020|North America, USA|

US takes down websites belonging to Iran-backed groups in Iraq

The US Department of Justice seized a website affiliated with Iraq's Badr Organization. (Screengrab) December 2, 2020 The US Justice Department has seized a website belonging to Iraq’s paramilitary Badr Organization in what one expert said is part of a broader US attempt to pressure Iran-backed groups in the country. “There’s been much [...]

By |December 2nd, 2020|Iraq, North America, USA|