US President Joe Biden sits in his office in Washington. File photo
The US Treasury hit Iran's drone programme with sanctions on Friday, boosting pressure on Tehran ahead of the reopening of negotiations on the country's nuclear programme.
As Iran’s nuclear programme makes troubling advances, President Joe Biden is set to huddle on Saturday with European allies to talk through strategy as they press for a diplomatic resolution — and to plan for the possibility Iran declines to return to the negotiating table.
The Treasury said lethal unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps have been used to attack US forces and international shipping in the Gulf region.
The drones have also been supplied to Hezbollah, Hamas, and Yemen's Houthis, and have additionally been seen in Ethiopia, "where the escalating crisis threatens to destabilise the broader region," the Treasury said.
The sanctions singled out Brigadier General Saeed Aghajani, who leads the Revolutionary Guards' UAV Command.
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi attends a meeting. File photo
The meeting with the leaders of Germany, France, and Britain — known as the E3 — comes at a pivotal time, as Iran continues to enrich uranium to near-weapons-grade levels. Biden is trying to revive the 2015 nuclear deal and bring Iran back into compliance with the pact that would have kept the Islamic republic at least one year away from the potential to field a nuclear weapon.
The UN’s atomic watchdog has said Iran is increasingly in violation of the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. President Donald Trump withdrew the US from the 2015 nuclear deal and the US has participated indirectly in talks aimed at bringing both Washington and Tehran back into compliance. Those Vienna talks have been on hiatus since June, when Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi took power.
Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China and the European Union remain part of the deal.
Saturday's meeting follows days after Ali Bagheri, Iran’s deputy foreign minister and chief negotiator for the talks, tweeted that Iran has agreed to restart negotiations by the end of November and a date for a resumption of talks "would be announced in the course of the next week.”
On Friday, the United States restored sanctions waiver over Iran’s nuclear programme as the “indirect” – that is unofficial – Iran-US talks
Iran says it is not respecting the terms of the deal because the US pulled out of it first. Iran has demanded the restoration of all sanctions relief it was promised under the deal to return to compliance.
Washington has finally decided to address seriously the campaign pledge by President Joe Biden to re-join the 2015 agreement for limiting Iran’s nuclear programme in exchange for lifting sanctions.
US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will hold talks with Indian leaders in New Delhi on Friday, Indian official said, as part of a tour to build support against Iran over its nuclear programme and its ties to militant networks.
The collaboration agreement is for the Sharjah-Sat-2 project, which is a cubic satellite made up of 6 cubic pieces with dimensions of 10*20*30 centimeters in length, width, and height.
Their Highnesses Supreme Council Members and Rulers of the Emirates have sent congratulatory cables to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia, on the occasion of the Kingdom's 93rd National Day.
The UAE is leading a global initiative to protect and enhance mangrove habitats, which stems from its commitment to addressing climate change and safeguarding vital coastal ecosystems worldwide.