Tuesday , August 21 2018

Hardliner call for Rouhani to resign

Swiss recommend firms pursue Iran ties

TEHRAN, Iran, Aug 9, (Agencies): Former hard-line Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has asked President Hassan Rouhani to resign. In a video published on his Telegram account Thursday, Ahmadinejad said that Iranians do not trust Rouhani. He says: “Your continued presence is at the expense of the country.” Uncertainty resulting from the US pulling out of the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers has led Iran’s already anemic economy to worsen.

On Wednesday, Iranian lawmakers voted to sack Rouhani’s labor minister, a victory for hard-liners opposed to the relative moderate amid the worsening economic crisis. Ahmadinejad has brought attention to himself since being blocked from running in last year’s presidential election.

While president, he famously questioned the Holocaust and claimed there were no gays or lesbians in Iran. The Swiss government regrets the “deteriorating” situation regarding sanctions imposed by the United States on Iran, but recommends Swiss firms pursue their business relations with the Islamic Republic on an informed basis, it said on Thursday.

Companies doing business with Iran will be barred from the United States, President Donald Trump said on Tuesday, as new US sanctions targeting dollars, metals trading, coal, industrial software and its auto sector took effect despite pleas from Washington’s allies. The move follows Washington reneging on a 2015 deal Iran’s nuclear programme.

European countries, hoping to persuade Tehran to continue to respect the deal, have promised to try to lessen the blow of sanctions and to urge their firms not to pull out. But that has proved difficult: European companies have quit Iran, arguing that they cannot risk their US business. “US decisions on sanctions do not affect the legal situation in Switzerland with regard to Iran,” said Fabian Maienfisch of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).

Renewed US sanctions may affect Swiss firms that have business relations with Iran, however. “Switzerland regrets that the sanctions situation in relation to Iran is again deteriorating,” he said. The Swiss federal government would defend Swiss economic interests but cannot dictate the reaction of companies to the new climate, he said, adding: “ recommends that companies pursue their commercial relations with Iran and inform themselves about the situation”.

Swiss-based Nestle, the world’s biggest food company which produces infant formula and cereals as well as bottled water in Iran, said on Tuesday that it sees no direct fallout from renewed US sanctions on the country. Iran’s utmost authority Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the Islamic Republic had nothing to be concerned about, a report on his offi- cial website said on Wednesday, as the country’s clerical leadership faces biting US sanctions.

The sanctions imposed on Tehran this week have already led banks and many companies around the world to scale back dealings with Iran. Companies doing business with Iran will be barred from the United States, Trump said on Tuesday. “With regard to our situation do not be worried at all.

Nobody can do anything,” his website Khamenei.ir quoted him as saying in one of his speeches in the past weeks, but was published only a day after the new US sanctions took effect. Trump tweeted on Tuesday that the new sanctions, which were lifted under a 2015 international nuclear deal, were the most biting sanctions ever imposed.

Iran has denounced as “US unilateralism” the reimposition of sanctions in line with Trump’s decision to pull out of the agreement over Iran’s nuclear programme.

Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations Gholamali Khoshrou, in a commentary published by Britain’s Guardian newspaper on Wednesday, said that Trump was making history by violating a UN Security Council resolution it voted for three years ago.

The resolution, which underpinned the pact between Iran and six powers, calls on UN member states to refrain “from actions that undermine implementation of commitments” under the nuclear accord.

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