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Kuwait calls on Iran to regain regional trust

KUWAIT CITY, Oct 15, (Agencies): Kuwait observed with great care the latest speech given by the President of the United States Donald Trump adopting a new strategy with Iran, a source at Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry said. Kuwait has previously welcomed the agreement between Iran and P5+1 — the UN Security Council’s five permanent members countries plus Germany — regarding Iran’s nuclear file out of its commitment towards security and stability of the region, and to reach a mass destruction free-zone in the Middle East, it said.

Kuwait also called on Iran to work in regaining the trust of the regional States by adopting policies based on the United Nations principles and international laws, namely respecting the world countries’ sovereignty and not interfering in the internal affairs. Meanwhile, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has affirmed the Kingdom’s support for the firm strategy announced by the US president towards Iran, its aggressive activities and support for terrorism in the region and the world.

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This came in a telephone conversation between the two men last night in which the king praised the leadership role of the new US administration, which recognizes the magnitude of these challenges and threats, according to the Saudi Press Agency. He stressed the need for concerted efforts and taking firm positions on terrorism and extremism and its first sponsor, Iran.

In return, President Trump expressed his appreciation for the initiative of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and his support and stressed the keenness of the United States of America to work with its allies to achieve world security and peace. The United States for the time being will stay in an international nuclear deal with Iran, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said on Sunday, adding that the Trump administration wanted to weigh a “proportionate” response to Tehran’s actions on the world stage. “I think right now, you’re going to see us stay in the deal. Because what our hope is that we can improve the situation. And that’s the goal,” Haley said referring to worries over Iran’s ballistic missile tests, international arms sales and state-sponsored terrorism.

Haley, interviewed on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” also said the reason the United States was looking closely at the Iran nuclear deal is because of escalating tensions over North Korea’s nuclear weapon development. “What we’re saying now with Iran is don’t let it become the next North Korea.” Trump’s speech outlining an aggressive new strategy against Iran violated Tehran’s nuclear agreement with world powers, said Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. Trump’s virulent speech contravened three articles of the 2015 deal, Zarif said in televised remarks broadcast late on Saturday.

They include the requirement to implement the accord “in good faith” and for the US to “refrain from reintroducing or re-imposing” sanctions related to Iran’s nuclear programme. “I have already written nine letters (to EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini) listing the cases where the United States has failed to act on or delayed its commitments under the JCPOA,” Zarif said, using the technical name for the nuclear deal. Mogherini helped negotiate the nuclear deal alongside the US, Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia. Zarif said he would write a new letter regarding Trump’s speech last Friday, and warned of a “reciprocal measure” if sanctions were reimposed.

In his speech, Trump refused to “certify” the nuclear deal and warned he would “terminate” the deal unless Congress introduced tough new sanctions against Iran’s missile and nuclear programmes, as well as its “destabilising” activities in the Middle East. Zarif responded by saying: “Our achievements in the field of ballistics are in no way negotiable. “We live in a region into which hundreds of billions of dollars of lethal American weapons have poured, turning it into a gunpowder storehouse … so we have the right to have defensive means,” he said. Meanwhile, Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization chief Ali Akbar Salehi said the country would no longer abide by the Additional Protocol of the Non- Proliferation Treaty if the nuclear deal fell apart.

The protocol allows unannounced inspections by the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Iran agreed to implement it as part of the nuclear deal, without turning it into law. “Without the nuclear agreement its application is meaningless,” Salehi told state television. He also repeated his warning that Iran could very quickly return to the production of highly enriched uranium if the US reimposed sanctions. “If one day, the leaders of the country conclude that the nuclear agreement is no longer to the benefit of the country and decide to resume 20 percent enrichment we can do so within four days,” he said. Weapons-grade uranium is enriched to 90 percent, but most of the work to get there has already been done once scientists have achieved 20 percent. Hillary Clinton says Trump’s threat to pull out of the Iran nuclear accord is “dangerous”, and she suggests her former campaign opponent is undermining the validity of the United States’ promises to other nations.

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