Saturday, April 21, 2018
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Friday morning said Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump will not allow the tension between their countries to turn into a military confrontation or war.
"If we're talking about the risk of warfare, I'm 100% certain that the militaries [of both countries] will not allow that, and obviously Putin and President Trump will not allow it," Lavrov told the RIA Novosti news agency.
"At the end of the day, they are leaders, who were chosen by their people, and they are responsible for their nations' welfare."
Earlier this week, Lavrov told BBC that Russia is "losing the last remnants of trust" that it had with the US, but emphasized that the trust level is "not yet zero."
He also echoed Trump's words, saying the relationship between Russia and the US is "worse" than it was during the Cold War, since "there were channels of communication and there was no obsession with Russophobia." Now, he said, the channels of communication are significantly decreased.
Israel and the US have nearly completed the preparations necessary to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
The historic move is scheduled for May 14.
Among the preparations are road signs, as well as an access road for the Embassy built behind the current US Consulate.
The new Embassy will be an interim embassy facility in the Arnona neighborhood of Jerusalem, converting what is currently used as a US consulate into a temporary embassy. It will house US Ambassador David Friedman's office, and a small portion of the staff currently located at the embassy in Tel Aviv.
The Arnona compound will be expanded, with the addition of a new annex, likely by the end of 2019.
On Thursday, a report claimed that US President Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner would represent the administration at the Embassy's opening ceremony.
Friday, April 20, 2018
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif warned the United States on Thursday of “unpleasant” consequences if it pulls out of the 2015 nuclear deal, Reuters reported.
“Iran has several options if the United States leaves the nuclear deal. Tehran’s reaction to America’s withdrawal of the deal will be unpleasant,” Zarif said upon his arrival in New York.
President Donald Trump, who has blasted the 2015 nuclear deal as “the worst deal ever negotiated”, in January decided to extend a waiver on nuclear sanctions that were imposed on Iran.
However, he made clear it was the last time he would extend the waiver and has given the European signatories a May 12 deadline to “fix the terrible flaws” of the deal.
Trump sees three defects in the deal: a failure to address Iran’s ballistic missile program; the terms under which international inspectors can visit suspect Iranian nuclear sites; and “sunset” clauses under which limits on the Iranian nuclear program start to expire after 10 years. Trump wants all three strengthened if the United States is to stay in the deal.
The EU is eager to safeguard the pact, under which Tehran agreed to curb its nuclear ambitions for at least a decade.
Seeking to respond to Trump’s criticism of the nuclear accord and Tehran more broadly, France, Britain and Germany proposed directing sanctions at Iranian “militias and commanders” fighting on behalf of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, but have failed to convince their partners to agree to the move.
Iran has said it will stick to the accord as long as the other parties respect it, but threatened to “shred” the deal if Washington pulls out.
The Times of Israel reports: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a fiery address at a torch-lighting ceremony marking Israel’s 70th Independence Day, declared that the Jewish state is becoming a “world power” and said its light will overcome its enemies’ “darkness.”