Washington :US President Donald Trump claims Washington is ready to make a “real deal” with Iran over the country’s nuclear program, a significant retreat from his blustery rhetoric just days after he threatened the Islamic Republic with incredible hardships.
“Iran is not the same country anymore, that I can say,” Trump said during a speech at the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) national convention in the US state of Missouri. “And we’ll see what happens, but we’re ready to make a real deal, not the deal that was done by the previous administration, which was a disaster.”
Trump announced on May 8 that Washington was walking away from the nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), signed between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries in 2015, and that he planned to reinstate US nuclear sanctions on Iran and impose “the highest level” of economic bans on Tehran.
Trump on Monday threatened Iran with hardship “the likes of which few throughout history have ever suffered before.”
The US president resorts to threatening rhetoric against Iran, just hours after President Rouhani warns him against “playing with the lion’s tail.”
Trump’s pugnacious message on his official Twitter account in all capital letters late Sunday came after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s warning to him not to “twist the lion’s tail” after the US unveiled a series of anti-Iran measures.
Rouhani said the United States should know that peace with Iran will be the mother of all peace while war with the country will be the mother of all wars.
President Rouhani says the US should know peace with Iran will be the mother of all peace and war with the country will be the mother of all wars.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also warned the US president to be cautious after his threats.
US Defense Secretary James Mattis defended Trump’s all-caps tweet earlier this week and said the US president’s threat against Iran was meant to make clear to Tehran “that they’re on the wrong track,” given the “destabilizing influence that Iran has consistently portrayed and demonstrated throughout the region.”
US press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders repeats her boss’s threats against Iran as the administration is still busy handling repercussions of the Helsinki fiasco.
Reiterating previous accusations regarding Iran’s undermining security and stability in the Middle East, Mattis launched into a litany of examples of Iran’s behavior and claimed, “the only reason that the murderer [Syrian president Bashar al-] Assad is still in power is that Iran has stuck by him … and funded him.’’
This is while Iran has been offering military advisory support to Syria at the request of the Damascus government, enabling its army to speed up its gains on various fronts against terror outfits.
The US defense secretary also claimed that “we see the same kind of malfeasance down in Yemen, where they’re fomenting more violence. We’ve seen their disruptive capabilities demonstrated’’ repeatedly.
“It’s time for Iran to shape up and show responsibility as a responsible nation… so I think the president was making very clear that they’re on the wrong track,” Mattis concluded.
Amid Indo-Pak tension, Navy deployed nuclear submarines, aircraft carrier
New Delhi: Aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, nuclear submarine Chakra, 60 ships and nearly 80 aircraft were put on operational deployment by the Indian Navy in the North Arabian sea in the wake of escalating tensions between India and Pakistan following the Pulwama terror attack, officials said.
They said the naval assets were part of a mega exercise but they transited from the area of the drill for operational deployment soon after the February 14 Pulwama terror attack that increased tensions between Pakistan and India.
At a tri-services press conference on February 28, the Indian Navy said it was in a high state of readiness to “deter, prevent and defeat” any “misadventure” by Pakistan in the maritime domain, reflecting a sense of its preparedness as well as seriousness of the situation.
“The major combat units of the Indian Navy including the Carrier Battle Group with INS Vikramaditya, nuclear submarines and scores of other ships, submarines and aircraft swiftly transited from exercise to operational deployment mode as tensions between India and Pakistan escalated,” Navy Spokesperson Capt DK Sharma said.
The naval assets comprising 60 ships of the Indian Navy, 12 ships of the Indian Coast Guard, and 60 aircraft were part of the theatre level operational readiness exercise (TROPEX 19), which commenced on January 19 in Andaman and Nicobar islands, and was to be concluded on March 10.
However, the Jaish-e-Mohammed sponsored Pulwama attack on February 14 led to the rapid redeployment of ships, submarines and aircraft for operations in North Arabian sea, Capt Sharma said.
“The overwhelming superiority of Indian Navy in all three dimensions — on surface, under-sea and in air — forced the Pakistan Navy to remain deployed close to the Makran coast and not venture out in the open ocean,” he said.
Twelve days after the Pulwama attack, Indian fighter jets bombed the Jaish-e-Mohammed’s biggest training camp near Balakot deep inside Pakistan on February 26. Pakistan retaliated by attempting to target Indian military installations next day.
Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba will assess outcome of the TROPEX in the Kochi naval base on Monday.
The day-long review by Admiral Lanba with all operational commanders is intended to examine the conduct of the exercise and to assess the operational preparedness of the Indian Navy, said the Navy spokesperson.
Exercise Tropex was followed by the largest coastal defence drill — ‘Sea Vigil’ on January 22 and 23 with participation of 13 coastal states and union territories along with all maritime stakeholders.
‘Don’t have any grudge’: Husband of victim says he forgives NZ mosque gunman
Christchurch: A man whose wife was killed in the Christchurch attack as she rushed back into a mosque to rescue him said he harbours no hatred toward the gunman, insisting forgiveness is the best path forward.
“I would say to him ‘I love him as a person’,” Farid Ahmad told AFP. “I could not accept what he did. What he did was a wrong thing.”
Asked if he forgave the 28-year-old white supremacist suspect, he said: “Of course. The best thing is forgiveness, generosity, loving and caring, positivity.”
Husna Ahmad, 44, was killed at the Al Noor mosque — the first of two targeted by the gunman.
Fifty people, at least four of them women, were killed in the attack on the mosques where worshippers had gone for Friday prayers.
Ahmad and his wife emigrated from Bangladesh to New Zealand in 1990 and have one daughter.
When the shooting started, Husna helped several people escape from the women’s and children’s hall.
“She was screaming ‘come this way, hurry up’, and she took many children and ladies towards a safe garden,” Ahmad said.
“Then she was coming back for checking about me, because I was in a wheelchair, and as she was approaching the gate she was shot. She was busy saving lives, forgetting about herself.”
Ahmad, 59, who has been confined to a wheelchair since being hit by a drunk driver in 1998, believes he escaped the hail of bullets because the gunman was focused on other targets.
“This guy was shooting one person two, three times, probably that gave some time to us to move out… even the dead he was shooting them again.”
Ahmad, who was a butcher but now sells homeopathy products, did not see his wife when he left the mosque and only learned of her death after someone photographed her body.
“Her picture was out in the social media, so somebody showed me the picture and I identified quite easily.”
China says 13,000 Xinjiang ‘terrorists’ arrested since 2014
Beijing: China says it has arrested nearly 13,000 people it describes as terrorists in the traditionally Islamic region of Xinjiang since 2014 and broken up hundreds of “terrorist gangs.”
The figures were included in a government report on the situation in the restive northwestern territory that seeks to respond to growing criticism over the internment of an estimated 1 million members of the Uighur (WEE-gur) and other predominantly Muslim ethnic groups.
China describes the camps as vocational training centers and says participation is voluntary. Former detainees say they were held in abusive conditions, forced to renounce Islam and swear allegiance to China’s ruling Communist Party.
The lengthy report issued Monday also says “law-based de-radicalization” in Xinjiang has curbed the rise and spread of religious extremism.