NEW YORK/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The United States and the European Union both took formal legal steps on Sunday that will lift sanctions once Iran meets the conditions tied to a landmark nuclear agreement with major world powers.
The legal acts have no immediate effect but cement a process that began with a deal reached in July to end sanctions against Iran in exchange for curbs on a programme that the West suspected was aimed at developing a nuclear bomb.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – The United States was set to issue conditional sanctions waivers for Iran on Sunday, though it cautioned they will not take effect until Tehran has curbed its nuclear program as required under a historic nuclear deal reached in Vienna on July 14.
Several senior U.S. officials, who spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity, said that despite Washington’s move on Sunday, actual implementation of the deal was likely several months away. That means the sanctions relief Tehran is looking forward to is unlikely to come this year.
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The United States has confirmed that Iran tested a medium-range missile capable of delivering a nuclear weapon, in “clear violation” of a United Nations Security Council ban on ballistic missile tests, a senior U.S. official said on Friday.
“The United States is deeply concerned about Iran’s recent ballistic missile launch,” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power said in a statement.
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Israel on Friday rejected a Palestinian appeal for an international protection force for the al-Aqsa mosque on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, saying the status quo was the only way to ensure stability in the region.
The new Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, spoke to reporters ahead of a special meeting of the United Nations Security Council concerning weeks of killings that have claimed dozens of Israeli and Palestinian lives.
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Sudan’s ambassador to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) was elected to a key United Nations food security post on Thursday, amid accusations that Khartoum is withholding food rations from international peacekeepers in Darfur.
“It’s completely outrageous that in the same week we find out the Sudanese government has been blocking food supplies to peacekeepers, that they would even consider putting forward a candidate for the committee on world food security,” a Western U.N. diplomat in New York said on condition of anonymity.
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Egypt, Japan, Senegal, Uruguay and Ukraine were elected to the United Nations Security Council on Thursday, pitting Kiev against veto-power Russia in what Ukraine’s foreign minister promised would not be a conciliatory two-year term.
The 193-member General Assembly elected Egypt with 179 votes in favor, Japan with 184, Senegal with 187, Ukraine with 177 and Uruguay with 185. All five were unopposed. They replace Chad, Chile, Jordan, Lithuania and Nigeria on the council on Jan. 1.
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The United Nations and Britain on Wednesday accused the Sudanese government of refusing to release food rations and other essential supplies for international peacekeepers in the conflict-torn Darfur region.
Britain’s U.N. Ambassador Matthew Rycroft said he was planning to raise the issue of the United Nations-African Union peacekeeping mission in Sudan’s western Darfur region, known as UNAMID, during Wednesday’s meeting of the U.N. Security Council on unrelated issues.
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Israel and Iran exchanged sharp criticisms at a meeting of the U.N. General Assembly’s disarmament committee on Friday, accusing each other of being a major destabilizing force in the Middle East.
Israeli Ambassador Alon Roth-Snir told the United Nations’ First Committee that “Iran remains the most significant threat to the security of the Middle East and beyond.”
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The United Nations Security Council on Friday authorized European Union naval operations for one year to seize and dispose of vessels operated by human traffickers in the high seas off Libya.
The 15-member council adopted the British-drafted resolution with 14 votes in favor. Venezuela abstained.
UNITED NATIONS/GENEVA (Reuters) – U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has disregarded a request from a large number of member states to keep the U.N. high commissioner for refugees in his job for an extra year to cope with the worsening refugee crisis, diplomats said.
Former Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Guterres was elected by the U.N. General Assembly in 2005 and re-elected in 2010. Earlier this year, the assembly voted to extend his mandate by 6-1/2 months to Dec. 31, on Ban’s recommendation.