A review of the State Department’s Farsi-language Twitter account and its ShareAmerica website – which describes itself as a platform to spark debate on democracy and other issues – shows a number of posts critical of Tehran over the last month. Iran is the subject of four of the top five items on the website’s “Countering Violent Extremism” section. They include headlines such as “This Iranian airline helps spread violence and terror.” In social media posts and speeches, Pompeo himself also appeals directly to Iranians, the Iranian diaspora and a global audience.
Refusing to bow to the threat of potential sanctions, Sitharaman said that the 39,000 crore ($5.7bn) deal to purchase five S-400 units has nearly been finalized. “Our defense relation with Russia has endured several decades and we have conveyed this about it to a US Congressional delegation which visited India recently,” Sitharaman told a group of reporters at her office in South Block.
“We have told the US Congress delegation that this is US law and not a UN law,” India’s defense minister Nirmala Sitharaman noted, apparently referring to a US federal bill that was implemented in 2017.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday the United States was more isolated than ever over sanctions against Iran, even among its allies, in remarks carried live on state television. “Today, we are in conditions in which the United States is more isolated than ever over the sanctions issue. America’s illegal actions … have even isolated it among its own allies as we just saw,” Rouhani said, referring to protests held in Britain against the visit of President Donald Trump.
Israel imposed sanctions on the Gaza Strip and its dominant Hamas Islamists on Monday in retaliation for attacks by Palestinians using burning kites and helium balloons carrying blazing rags. “Hamas urges the international community to immediately intervene,” said Fawzi Barhoum, spokesman for Hamas, which is deemed a terrorist group by Israel and the West.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also said on Friday that the remaining parties to the nuclear deal had agreed to work out ways of trading with Iran independently of the United States’ “whim.” Lavrov urged new ways of trading with Iran if Washington restores sanctions against Tehran.
Russia’s energy ministry said it had conducted the first test of a German-made electricity turbine that was installed in Crimea in contravention of European sanctions. Russia sent four turbines built by the German engineering company Siemens (SIEGn.DE) to Crimea – without its knowledge, Siemens said. The shipments angered Berlin and led Brussels to impose new sanctions on Russians involved in the deliveries.
The European Union will retaliate again if US President Donald Trump imposes more tariffs on EU goods to remedy what he calls “unfair” trade relations, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said. “We want President Trump to change his mind. So it’s legitimate for us to use every method at our disposal to make Mr Trump understand that we do not accept his decision,” Le Maire said.