26 May 2017
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  • » 04/20/2017, 18.48

    IRAN – UNITED STATES

    Washington accuses Tehran of “ongoing” provocations, jeopardising nuclear deal



    US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson talks tough on Iran, accusing Tehran of exporting "terrorism and violence". The Islamic Republic is blamed for "destabilising" various Mideast nations and “intensifying multiple conflicts”. Trump orders review of the nuclear deal.

    Tehran (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The war of words between Tehran and Washington has taken a sharp turn, raising again the fear level in the Middle East and around the world.

    US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has in fact accused Iran of "alarming ongoing provocations" aimed at destabilising the Middle East and undermining America's interests in the region.

    "An unchecked Iran has the potential to travel the same path as North Korea and to take the world along with it," Mr Tillerson noted.

    Such statements follow President Donald Trump's order to review the Iran nuclear deal within 90 days to determine whether Iran is complying with it. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has already confirmed that Iran is living up to its end of the bargain.

    Tillerson accused Iran of "alarming and ongoing provocations that export terror and violence, destabilising more than one country at a time”.

    For the secretary of state, the Islamic Republic "is the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism and is responsible for intensifying multiple conflicts and undermining US interests in countries such as Syria, Yemen, Iraq, and Lebanon, and continuing to support attacks against Israel."

    As part of a long list of charges, he criticised Iran's involvement in the Syrian conflict and its support for President Bashar al-Assad.

    The secretary of state earlier acknowledged the Iranians had met the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal, but added that its "nuclear ambitions" remained "a grave risk to international peace and security".

    For this reason, the US wants to undertake a broad review of its Iran policy to see what it might do, thus reflecting what President Trump said during the campaign when he described the landmark agreement as the "worst deal ever".

    The 2015 deal over Iran’s nuclear programme saw crippling sanctions lifted in exchange of the agreement. The latter was largely welcomed by the international community.

    In Iran, this has led to improvements and investments in the economy, urban renewal, and energy sector.

    However, the US had maintained a series of sanctions because of Tehran's ballistic missile programme and armed support for Mideast Shia movements, including the freeze on Iranian assets in the US dating to the time of the shah of Iran.

    Washington also banned the use of US dollars in banking transactions, scuttling contracts made after the nuclear agreement. Tehran responded by taking the US to the International Court of Justice, for misappropriating almost US$ 2 billion.

    After Barack Obama's attempts to improve relations, Donald Trump's election has led to greater tensions. In fact, Washington stills considers the Islamic Republic a state that sponsors terrorism.

    Meanwhile, there is growing bipartisan support in Congress for additional sanctions over Iran's ballistic missile programme, human rights violations and support for terrorist groups like Hezbollah, and the Houthi. However, the motion threatens the nuclear deal, and could further the diplomatic and military escalation.

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    VATICAN
    Pope: together with the faithful in China on 24 May to celebrate Our Lady of Sheshan



    During the Regina Caeli, Pope Francis speaks about the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China, instituted by Benedict XVI. Chinese Catholics must make a “personal contribution to communion among believers and to harmony in the whole society." AsiaNews Symposium on the Church in China is set for this week. Francis appeals for peace in the Central African Republic, and for loving “one another following the example of the Lord”. For him, “Sometimes conflicts, pride, envy, and divisions leave a blotch on the beautiful face of the Church.” Five new cardinals will be named, including a bishop from Laos.


    VATICAN-CHINA
    May 24, 2017: 'China, the Cross is Red', AsiaNews Symposium

    Bernardo Cervellera

    The event will be held to mark the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China. A title with many meanings: the Cross is red from the blood of the martyrs; From attempts to suffocate the faith with state control; Bceause of the contribution of hope that Christianity gives to a population tired of materialism and consumerism that is seeking new moral criteria. The theme is also about the great and unexpected religious rebirth in the country. Guests to include: Card. Pietro Parolin, Msgr. Savio Hon, the sociologist of religions Richard Madsen, the testimonies of Chinese priests and laity.


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