PUBLICIDAD

Iberdrola

New Biden government seeks "stronger, longer deal" with Iran

The next US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, promises to "re-examine" the classification of Hutus as a terrorist group
Anthony Blinken, el candidato a secretario de Estado del presidente electo Joe Biden

REUTERS/JOSHUA ROBERTS  -   Anthony Blinken, President-elect Joe Biden's nominee for Secretary of State 

The agreement, known as the Joint Global Action Plan (JGAP), put an end to Iran's nuclear activities in exchange for a relaxation of international sanctions. But it was criticised by the Gulf countries and the United States for having allowed Tehran to pursue an aggressive policy in the region and to develop ballistic missiles. 

Tensions between Iran and the United States have increased since the government of Donald Trump withdrew from the nuclear agreement signed with Tehran in 2018 and imposed sanctions, although US President-elect Joe Biden has repeatedly expressed his intention to return to the pact. 

The next U.S. Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, said during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that President-elect Joe Biden's administration would seek a "longer and stronger agreement", according to ArabNews. 

In addition, Mr. Blinken expressed concern and stressed that the new administration had "an urgent responsibility" to do what it could to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. 

In this sense, Iranian President Hasan Rohaní assured this Wednesday that the future of the nuclear agreement is in the hands of the new American administration of Joe Biden and celebrated the end of the mandate of the "tyrant" Donald Trump. 

"The ball is now in the court of the United States. If they fulfil their commitments (of the nuclear agreement), we will also fulfil them", Rohaní stressed during the cabinet meeting, during which he asked Biden to return to "legality", according to the Efe news agency. 

Since the announcement of the results of the U.S. presidential election, the Iranian military forces, against a backdrop of growing tension over its nuclear program and pressure from the United States, have stepped up their military maneuvers since last week. 

Meeting of the ECP Joint Commission on Iran's nuclear programme at the Office of International Organisations in Vienna, Austria, 26 February 2020  AFP/ JOE KLAMAR 
AFP/ JOE KLAMAR -Meeting of the ECP Joint Commission on Iran's nuclear programme at the Office of International Organisations in Vienna, Austria, 26 February 2020 

On Tuesday, Iranian army ground forces carried out military manoeuvres on the Gulf coast of Oman as part of a military blitz conducted by Tehran against a backdrop of growing tension over its nuclear programme.   

The Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohamad Javad Zarif, warned on his Twitter account: "Although we have not started a war for more than 200 years, we do not hesitate to crush the aggressors. 

Iran is reportedly stepping up military exercises as part of an effort to put pressure on President-elect Joe Biden over the nuclear deal signed in 2015 to contain Tehran's nuclear programme, from which the Trump administration has withdrawn and to which the new president has promised to try to return.  

Since the United States abandoned the agreement, a battery of sanctions has been stepped up in the final weeks of Donald Trump's term, a fact that analysts see as an attempt by the outgoing president to make future negotiations with Iran difficult for the new administration.  

Tehran, for its part, has gradually abandoned the restrictions imposed by the agreement. In recent weeks, Iran has increased its uranium enrichment rate to 20%. Moreover, the aforementioned manoeuvres are not the only ones that have been organised by the Islamic Republic, further compromising the diplomatic process of the return to the pact by the United States. 

The United States still has "a long way to go" to join the nuclear agreement with Iran, because Tehran must first return to respect the pact, said Tuesday April Haines, candidate of President-elect Joe Biden at the head of the U.S. intelligence community. 

Blinken promises to "re-examine" the classification of the Hutu as a terrorist group 

The Shia Huthi rebels, a Yemeni movement that was included on Tuesday in the US list of terrorist organisations, said their people have long suffered from US hegemony and that this "ridiculous" inclusion reveals nothing new. 

"Before any ridiculous classification, the United States has committed all kinds of crimes against the Yemeni people, and for a long time our Yemeni people have suffered at all levels because of American hegemony, directly or through regional agents," the political bureau of the Hutu movement said in a statement in reaction to Tuesday's effective inclusion by the United States, according to Efe.  

The future U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, promised Tuesday to "immediately review" the classification of Hutu rebels in Yemen as "terrorist organization", decided by his predecessor Mike Pompeo despite fears of a worsening humanitarian crisis. 

"We will propose to review this immediately to ensure that what we are doing does not impede the delivery of humanitarian aid," he told U.S. senators who confirmed his nomination. 

 Hutu supporters hold their weapons during a demonstration against the United States' decision to declare them a foreign terrorist organization in Sana'a, Yemen, on 20 January 2021.  REUTERS/KHALED ABDULLAH 
REUTERS/KHALED ABDULLAH-Hutu supporters hold their weapons during a demonstration against the United States' decision to declare them a foreign terrorist organization in Sana'a, Yemen, on 20 January 2021. 

The Hutus, for their part, have the support of Iran, America's great enemy in the Gulf region and the target of severe sanctions from Washington.  

The U.S. Treasury Department said Tuesday that it is exempting NGOs, the United Nations, the Red Cross and the export of agricultural products, medicines and medical devices from sanctions for making deals with the Hutu movement as a foreign terrorist organization. 

In Yemen, 70,000 people are suffering from famine and 16 million are at risk of starvation after more than 6 years of civil war, which began when Hutu rebels conquered large parts of the country, including Sana'a. The government has not imposed sanctions on the Hutu movement.