War With Iran? Count Us Out, Europe Says//Crimson Tazvinzwa
BRUSSELS — With strong memories of the last catastrophic war in Iraq, Europeans are united in opposing what many consider the United States’ effort to provoke Iran into a shooting war. Yet, despite the strains in trans-Atlantic relations in the Trump years, flat-out opposition to Washington remains an uncomfortable place for European nations.
Initially, not even pro-American Britain would go along with the Trump administration, with officials defending a senior British general in the coalition fighting the Islamic State who said that there was no enhanced threat from Iran in Iraq and Syria.
But that brought an American rebuttal, and soon the Europeans, reluctant to confront Washington directly, softened the criticism. Britain officially rowed back, saying that it now agreed with the Americans, while Germany and the Netherlands suspended their troop training in Iraq, citing the American warnings. (Germany subsequently said it was planning to resume the training exercises.) Continue reading US National Security Adviser John Bolton: “To Stop Iran’s BOMB, BOMB Iran”
US to sanction nations for importing Iranian oil — including allies
The Trump administration won’t renew waivers that let countries buy Iranian oil without facing U.S. sanctions, according to four people familiar with the matter, a move that roiled energy markets and risks upsetting major importers such as China and India.
U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo planned to announce the decision Monday morning in Washington, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing a plan that hasn’t been formally unveiled. The current set of waivers — issued to China, Greece, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Turkey — expire May 2.
The administration will also announce commitments from other suppliers, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, that will offset the loss of Iranian crude on the market, according to two of the people.
The decision not to renew the waivers is a victory for National Security Advisor John Bolton and his allies who had argued that the U.S. promises to get tough on Iran were meaningless with waivers still in place. Pompeo and his team had been more cautious, though they also maintained that the market was well-enough supplied to ramp up pressure on Iran.
Continue reading President Trump Ends Iran Oil Waivers to Drive Tehran’s Exports to Zero
SANAA, (AIWA! NO!) – The White House national security adviser John Bolton said in a television interview yesterday night that Venezuelan military soldiers are communicating with members of parliament on how to support the opposition. Continue reading Washington: Military moves against Maduro in Venezuela
following the premature collapse of his nuclear summit with Kim Jong Un in Vietnam, President Trump, addressing reporters in Hanoi, said he walked because North Korea wanted full sanctions relief in exchange for partial denuclearization. It was a concession, Trump said, that the United States could not make. Later in the day, at a rare news conference, Ri Yong-ho, North Korea’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, denied Trump’s account, saying that his country asked only for a partial lifting of sanctions. In America, commentators argued over why Trump’s strategy failed, and whether he was right to bail. In North Korea, there was no such debate. State media glossed right over the collapse of the summit, describing it as an event of “great significance” that furthered “mutual respect and trust.” Continue reading North Korea: ‘Nobody—not even the diplomats, the strategists, or the scholars who have devoted their lives to the subject—is able to describe with confidence how Kim Jong Un thinks’
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called for “restraint” after two Indian jets flying in Pakistani territory were shot down Wednesday morning by the Pakistani military. Tensions continue to rise between the two nuclear powers over the disputed region of Kashmir.
After speaking to both the Indian and Pakistani ministers for foreign affairs earlier in the day, Pompeo said in a statement that he “expressed to both ministers that we encourage India and Pakistan to exercise restraint, and avoid escalation at any cost.”
Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor, a spokesman for Pakistan’s military, confirmed on Twitter that Pakistan Air Force’s shot down the jets. Continue reading US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo calls for ‘restraint’ after Pakistan shoots down Indian fighter jets amid rising tensions in Kashmir