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No exemption from US sanctions, India stopped buying oil from Iran from May 2




The US has ruled out giving any exemption from its punitive sanctions to countries, including India, for buying oil from Iran, said media reports quoting news agency PTI.

The US on Tuesday reiterated its position at a news conference in Washington after media reports from New Delhi, quoting unnamed government officials, said that India was looking at ways to resume oil imports from Iran despite the US sanctions.

US President Donald Trump had in April refused to give waivers to countries like India from buying oil from Iran, in an attempt to reduce Iran’s oil exports to zero.

US said its maximum pressure campaign was working and the Donald Trump administration remains “unwavering” in its tough policy on Tehran.

Last week, India’s Ambassador to the US Harsh Vardhan Shringla said India had stopped buying oil from Iran after 2 May when the US ended its waivers that allowed the top buyers of Iranian oil, including India, to continue their imports for six months.

India has stopped importing oil from both Iran and Venezuela, he said.

As of late April, India dropped its dependency on Iranian oil from about 2.5 million tonnes a month to 1 million tonnes a month, Shringla said last week.

“We do understand that this has been a priority for the US administration, although it comes at a cost to us because we really need to find alternative sources of energy,” Shringla said.

Noting that the US did talk of trying to maintain price stability, Shringla said in the short term, there has been reduced price stability.

Iran earlier used to supply 10 percent of India’s oil needs. At the time purchase was halted, India was buying over 3 lakh barrels of oil from Iran every day.


Chabahar Port: While Indian oil imports from Iran have come down to zero, Tehran expects New Delhi to at least speed up work on developing the Chabahar Port, which is located in the country’s Sistan-Balochistan province, said an earlier report in ThePrint.

A flagship joint endeavour, Chabahar is believed to hold immense strategic significance for India as it will allow the country direct access to Afghanistan and central Asia, for which New Delhi has to currently depend on Pakistan.

“Our ties with India go beyond oil. We have economic ties across many sectors. The impact of US sanctions will not be felt on the Chabahar project,” Iran’s Ambassador to India Ali Chegeni told ThePrint, adding, “But it needs to speed up work there.”

The first phase of the port was inaugurated in December 2017. Apart from developing the port, the Chabahar project also entails the creation of a rail link from Chabahar to Zahedan within Iran. While a feasibility study on the rail link was completed two years back by the Indian public sector company IRCON, work is yet to begin, the envoy said.


The US state department said there was no change in its policy on Iranian sanctions.

“The secretary (of state) has been very clear since 22 April that we are going to zero,” Spokesperson of the State Department Morgan Ortagus told reporters during an off-camera news conference.

“We have stated that there are no new exemptions after 2 May as it relates to importing Iranian oil. The US position there remains quite firm,” she said in response to a question.

The US reimposed sanctions on Iran in November after pulling out of a 2015 nuclear accord between Tehran and six other world powers.

Ortagus said the American sanctions on Iran were working. “Our sanctions are working, and I think that you’ve heard secretary Brian Hook and myself go through a litany of ways in which we know that the sanctions are quite effective for Iran,” she said.

Noting that the economic sanctions and the maximum pressure campaign will remain in place, the spokesperson said that the both Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have said they will be willing to talk to the Iranian regime.

“But until then, we remain unwavering and unflinching in our sanctions campaign and our maximum pressure campaign. That’s been our policy; that remains our policy. And it’s not just about a nuclear weapon. It’s about Iran’s support of terrorism in the region, their malign behaviour throughout the region,” she said.

The US has been pretty overt in its signalling to the Iranians, and its willingness to talk, she said.

“The maximum pressure campaign, economic sanctions remain on the table. If they would like to take a serious look at the 12 points that the Secretary laid out over a year ago, we’ll be ready to talk about that. The President and the Secretary mean that sincerely,” Ortagus said.

The United States has been talking to its European partners as well over the issue, she said.

“One of the main things that we will continue to talk to our European partners and allies is the imminent threat from Iran that is faced in the region,” she said.

After coming to power, Trump withdrew from the Iranian nuclear deal in 2018 and has imposed stringent sanctions against what he describes as the “authoritarian” Iranian regime.

The US is seeking to ramp up pressure on Iran to counter what the White House perceives to be a potential threat.

In April, the US designated Iran’s Revolutionary Guard a foreign terrorist organisation, the first time the designation has been applied to a government entity.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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Suicide bombing near Turkey Parliament building in Ankara, 2 cops injured

Turkey’s main opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu has slammed the attack in Ankara and stated that terrorism is a crime against humanity.



Suicide bombing near Turkey Parliament building in Ankara, 2 cops injured

Turkey’s interior minister Ali Yerlikaya on Sunday asserted that two terrorists carried out a bomb attack in front of the ministry buildings in Ankara. He added that one of them died in the explosion and the other was “neutralised” by authorities there.

Earlier, Turkish media reported that an explosion was heard near the parliament and ministerial buildings, and broadcasters showed footage of debris scattered on a street near the Interior Ministry. A footage from Reuters showed soldiers, ambulances, fire trucks and an armoured vehicle gathered near the centre of Turkey’s capital, where the police have blocked multiple key roads.

Taking to social media X, formerly Twitter, Ali Yerlikaya, the interior minister, said that two police officers were slightly injured in the incident at 9:30 a.m. He added that two terrorists came with a light commercial vehicle in front of the entrance gate of the General Directorate of Security of their Ministry of Internal Affairs and carried out a bomb attack.

The interior minister further mentioned that one of the terrorists blew himself up and the other was neutralised, which usually means was killed. He noted that their struggle will continue until the last terrorist is neutralised.

Reports said that Ankara’s chief prosecutor initiated an investigation into what it also called a terrorist attack. Authorities did not identify any specific militant group, as yet.

Meanwhile, Turkey’s main opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu has slammed the attack in Ankara and stated that terrorism is a crime against humanity. The leader of the Republican People’s Party mentioned that no matter from whom and where it came from, they will fight it together as a country and will never give treacherous ambitions a chance.

The concerned authorities in Ankara have cautioned the citizens over suspicious packages and bags that are being detonated in a controlled manner. Ankara Security Directorate asked citizens not to panic.

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Balochistan blast: Pakistan alleges India’s involvement in suicide attack, toll rises to 60

Sarfaraz Bugti told media that civil, military and all other institution will jointly strike against the elements involved in the Mastung suicide bombing.



Balochistan blast: Pakistan alleges India’s involvement in suicide attack, toll rises to 60

Pakistan interior minister Sarfaraz Bugti in a shocking claim alleged India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) intelligence agency for the suicide blast in Balochistan. The blast that took place on Friday claimed the lives of nearly 60 people, leaving 60 others injured. The Indian government, on the other hand, is yet to make an official statement on Sarfaraz Bugti’s allegations. 

The suicide bomb attack targeted a procession which gathered to celebrate Prophet Muhammad’s birthday near the Madina Masjid at a place called Mastung. The blast tore through the mosque in the southern province of Balochistan after the bomber denoted his explosive near a police vehicle where the people gathered for the procession. 

Sarfaraz Bugti told media at Quetta that civil, military and all other institution will jointly strike against the elements involved in the Mastung suicide bombing. Without providing much details or evidence, the Pakistan minister claimed that RAW is involved in the suicide attack.

Wasim Baig, the spokesman for Balochistan’s health department, asserted that seven more people had died in hospital since Friday, which had caused the rise in the death toll. He added that more patients remained in critical condition.

In addition, a second attack on Friday at a mosque in northern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had killed nearly five people. Police on Saturday lodged a report to initiate an investigation, mentioning that they had sent DNA from the suicide bomb attacker to be analysed.

So far, no group has claimed responsibility for either attack. A surge in terror attacks in Pakistan’s western provinces has cast a shadow on preparations and public campaigning in the run-up to January’s general elections, but until now the attacks had mostly targeted security forces.

The Pakistani Taliban (TTP), which is responsible for some of the bloodiest attacks in Pakistan since the group’s formation in 2007, denied responsibility for Friday’s blasts. On Saturday, a statement from the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) said that an FIR with murder charges and terrorism offences has been registered against an unidentified attacker. 

The caretaker government of Balochistan announced three days of mourning in the wake of the attack.

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Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, Mahmood Qureshi held guilty in cipher case

The PTI leaders’ trial has been requested by the FIA, and it is expected that they would be sentenced in accordance with the law.



Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan

Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi were found guilty on Saturday by Pakistan’s top investigating agency in the cypher case, a case involving the alleged exposure of state secrets.

The charge sheet against Khan, the Tehreek-e-Insaf party chairman, and Qureshi, who are both presently being held in custody on judicial remand, was submitted by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to a special court set up under the Official Secrets Act, according to the Pakistan Observer website.

Imran Khan, 70, was detained last month following the filing of a complaint against him for allegedly breaking the Official Secrets Act by revealing a covert diplomatic cable (cypher) issued by the nation’s embassy in Washington last year in March.

The PTI leaders’ trial has been requested by the FIA, and it is expected that they would be sentenced in accordance with the law.

The vice chairman of PTI is 75-year-old Shah Mahmood Qureshi. Asad Umar, the former general secretary of the PTI, is not on the FIA’s list of suspects, but former principal secretary Azam Khan has been portrayed as a key witness in the FIA’s case against Imran Khan, according to GeoTV, a well-known news outlet. The challan also contains Azam Khan’s statement recorded under sections 161 and 164.

The speeches by Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Imran Khan from March 27 are also included in the FIA’s attachment.

The Pakistan Observer further noted that the FIA had provided the court with a list of 28 witnesses in addition to the charge sheet. According to the report, the list of witnesses includes names such as current foreign secretary Asad Majid, previous foreign secretary Sohail Mahmood, and additional foreign secretary Faisal Niaz Tirmizi.

Imran Khan had been imprisoned on remand three times earlier on September 26. Along with Qureshi, his judicial remand was initially extended until September 13 and then again until September 26.

The former PM was transferred from Attock prison to the Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi on the same day, one day after the Islamabad High Court instructed authorities to do so.

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