Zarif criticised France, Germany and Britain - which remain in the deal with China and Russia - for failing to enforce the agreement since 2018.(via REUTERS)
Zarif criticised France, Germany and Britain - which remain in the deal with China and Russia - for failing to enforce the agreement since 2018.(via REUTERS)

Avoid 'absurd nonsense' about Tehran's nuclear work: Iran's Zarif tells France

French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, in an interview, said Iran was building up its nuclear weapons' capacity.
Reuters
PUBLISHED ON JAN 17, 2021 08:03 PM IST

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Sunday dismissed a claim by France that Tehran was in the process of building up its nuclear weapons, calling it "absurd nonsense".

French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, in an interview with the Journal du Dimanche published on Saturday, said Iran was building up its nuclear weapons' capacity and it was urgent that Tehran and Washington return to a 2015 nuclear agreement.

"Dear colleague: You kick-started your cabinet career with arms sales to Saudi war criminals. Avoid absurd nonsense about Iran," Zarif said in a Twitter post, in which he tagged his French counterpart @JY_LeDrian.

French President Emmanuel Macron's government has drawn criticism from some countries and rights groups over its support of Saudi Arabia's actions and allowing weapons it has sold to Riyadh potentially to be used in its Yemen operations.

"Reality check: YOU are destabilising OUR region. Stop protecting criminals who chainsaw their critics and use YOUR arms to slaughter children in Yemen," Zarif tweeted, referring to Le Drian's previous post as French defence minister.


Iran, which denies seeking to make nuclear bombs, rejected a statement on Saturday by three European powers party that warned the Islamic Republic against starting work on uranium metal-based fuel for a research reactor, saying it violated the nuclear pact and had serious military implications.

Zarif criticised France, Germany and Britain - which remain in the deal with China and Russia - for failing to enforce the agreement since 2018, when U.S. President Donald Trump abandoned the deal and restored harsh economic sanctions on Iran.

"E3 leaders — who rely on (the) signature of OFAC functionaries to carry out their obligations under JCPOA (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) — have done ZILCH to maintain JCPOA (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action). Remember @EmmanuelMacron's stillborn initiative or UK non-payment of court-ordered debt? JCPOA is alive because of Iran and not E3," Zarif tweeted.

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden, who takes office on Jan. 20, has pledged to return the United States to the deal "if Iran resumes strict compliance" with the agreement that imposed strict curbs on its nuclear activities in return for the lifting of sanctions.

In reaction to Trump's "maximum pressure" policy, Iran has gradually breached many of the deal’s restrictions. But Tehran says it could quickly reverse those steps if Washington first lifts its sanctions.

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The army claimed it has cleared the mountainous region of terrorists following several operations to eliminate the TTP. In this file picture, a Pakistan's army soldier stands guard on the Line of Control (LoC) at Abdullah Pur village in Bhimber district. (AFP)
The army claimed it has cleared the mountainous region of terrorists following several operations to eliminate the TTP. In this file picture, a Pakistan's army soldier stands guard on the Line of Control (LoC) at Abdullah Pur village in Bhimber district. (AFP)

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ANI, Islamabad
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Ecuador's Health Minister Juan Carlos Zevallos addresses the media before healthcare workers administer doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine on their colleagues, in Guayaquil, Ecuador January 21, 2021. Picture taken January 21, 2021. REUTERS/Santiago Arcos(REUTERS)

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Health workers wait for a discharged Covid-19 patient before his departure from the Luziania field hospital, a suburb of Brasilia, Brazil, (AP)

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Bloomberg
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Parents of kidnapped students of Government Girls Junior Secondary School wait for information about family members following an attack by gunmen in Jangebe, Nigeria.(AP)

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ANI
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Grounded Boeing 737 MAX aircraft are seen parked in an aerial photo at Boeing Field in Seattle, Washington, US in this file photo from 2019. (REUTERS)

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Reuters
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"You can't act with impunity. Be careful," Biden told reporters while traveling to survey the damage from a severe winter storm in Texas.(Reuters file photo)

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Posted by Harshit Sabarwal | Reuters
UPDATED ON FEB 27, 2021 04:12 AM IST
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Asked about the trajectory of the relationship between the US and Pakistan under President Joe Biden, Price said Pakistan has an “important role to play” in bringing peace to Afghanistan.(HT_PRINT)

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Saudi officials have said Khashoggi’s killing was the work of rogue Saudi security and intelligence officials.(AFP Photo)

US implicates Saudi crown prince in journalist Jamal Khashoggi's killing

Posted by Harshit Sabarwal | AP
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The Feb. 1 military takeover in Myanmar shocked the international community and reversed years of slow progress toward democracy.(REUTERS)
The Feb. 1 military takeover in Myanmar shocked the international community and reversed years of slow progress toward democracy.(REUTERS)

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Posted by Harshit Sabarwal | AP
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Posted by Harshit Sabarwal | AFP
PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 11:38 PM IST
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In a 44,000-person trial, the vaccine overall was 66% effective at preventing moderate-to-severe cases of Covid-19 compared with a placebo.(AP)

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Reuters
PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 11:09 PM IST
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Bank of America said in December it would extend pandemic benefits for employees who need child- or adult-care services.(REUTERS)
Bank of America said in December it would extend pandemic benefits for employees who need child- or adult-care services.(REUTERS)

Bank of America gives paid time off for US staff to get Covid-19 vaccines

Posted by Kunal Gaurav | Bloomberg
PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 10:50 PM IST
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The administration also will encourage businesses to advocate for the benefits of masks and vaccines. (Representative Image)(Samir Jana/HT File)
The administration also will encourage businesses to advocate for the benefits of masks and vaccines. (Representative Image)(Samir Jana/HT File)

Biden administration to promote vaccination with businesses

Bloomberg
UPDATED ON FEB 26, 2021 10:46 PM IST
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The conversation between the two strategic partners will be overshadowed by the expected release of US intelligence findings.(AP)
The conversation between the two strategic partners will be overshadowed by the expected release of US intelligence findings.(AP)

Biden team looking to stop Saudi arms deals that help it attack others

Posted by Kunal Gaurav | Reuters, Washington
PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 10:45 PM IST
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