EU extends Iran rights sanctions as US nuke deal deadline nears

The EU on Thursday extended sanctions against Iran over its human rights record for another year, as Europe battles to stop the US ditching a landmark nuclear accord with Tehran.

The sanctions, first imposed in 2011, include an asset freeze against 82 individuals and one entity, plus a ban on exports to Iran of equipment "which might be used for internal repression and of equipment for monitoring telecommunications".

The European Council of member states said it decided to extend the sanctions -- which are not related to the 2015 deal to curb the Islamic republic's nuclear ambitions -- in response "to serious human rights violations in Iran".

The measures were first put in place following a crackdown during the 2009 election and subsequent protests sparked by the Arab Spring which inspired hopes of reform in Iran.

Britain, France and Germany -- the three European countries that signed the Iran nuclear deal -- are working to head off US President Donald Trump's threat to walk away from the accord and reimpose stinging economic sanctions by May 12.

Trump has repeatedly condemned the deal and demanded tough new restrictions on Iran over its ballistic missile programme and its role in conflicts around the Middle East.


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NUKEWARS
Israel will not accept Iranian entrenchment in Syria: defence minister
Jerusalem (AFP) April 10, 2018
Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Tuesday his country would not accept Iranian entrenchment in Syria after missile strikes on a Syrian regime air base blamed on Israel. "We will not allow Iranian entrenchment in Syria no matter the price to pay," he told journalists. "We have no other option. Allowing Iran to strengthen itself in Syria is like accepting that the Iranians strangle us." Lieberman did not confirm Israel carried out Monday's deadly strikes, which Syria and Russia blame ... read more

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