Unclear if Iran’s election will change nuclear talks, Biden adviser says

Ebrahim Raisi will be Iran's next president.

Unclear if Iran’s election will change nuclear talks, Biden adviser says

U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Sunday that it was too soon to tell if the election of a new president in Iran would lead to a change for better or worse in nuclear talks with the Islamic state.

Speaking Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” Sullivan said, “It’s hard to speculate about the internal dynamics in Iran on a question like that. What I would say is the ultimate decision for whether or not to go back into the deal lies with Iran’s supreme leader. He was the same person before this election as he is after the election.”

Ebrahim Raisi, the hard-line chief of Iran’s judiciary, scored a decisive victory in its presidential election held Friday, though turnout was lower than usual, apparently because of widespread apathy and dissatisfaction with the limited ballot choices permitted by supreme leader Ali Khamenei and his Guardian Council.

The election came amid continued talks in Vienna designed to bring the United States back into the international agreement reached during the Obama years that was intended to keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Iran, for its part, wants a deal that will lead to a lifting of crippling economic sanctions.

“The whole question of which sanctions will be lifted is currently being negotiated in Vienna,” Sullivan told host George Stephanopoulos.

“What I will say is that the United States retains the right even under the JCPOA, even under the Iran nuclear deal, to impose sanctions for reasons other than the nuclear file, for terrorism, for human rights, for missile development,” he said.

Sullivan said the key is to remain focused on the ultimate goal.

“I think what we need to do in the United States is keep our eye on the ball. And that is our paramount priority right now is to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon,” he said.

Source : Politico EU More   

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Fugitive Belgian soldier Jürgen Conings found dead

Heavily armed extremist had threatened to kill high-profile virologist.

Fugitive Belgian soldier Jürgen Conings found dead

Belgian police believe a body found Sunday in woodland near the Dutch border is that of fugitive soldier Jürgen Conings, a far-right militant reported to be heavily armed who had been on the run for weeks after threatening to kill health experts and politicians. 

Conings disappeared on May 17 with weapons taken from military barracks where he was stationed, including a rocket launcher, machine gun and several grenades. He left messages for his wife and police laying out his assassination plans and singling out the country’s best-known virologist Marc Van Ranst as a target.

“The threat was very real,” Van Ranst told the BBC earlier this month, from a safe house where authorities had moved him and his family.  

Police on Sunday said the cause of death appeared to be suicide from a firearm, but that was not yet confirmed. The body was found in the Dilserbos woodland in the eastern municipality of Dilsen-Stokkem.

“My thoughts go out to the relatives and children of Jürgen Conings,” Van Ranst tweeted on Sunday. “For them this is very sad news, because they lose a father, a relative or a friend.” 

In an interview with De Morgen, the virologist said there was a sense of “relief,” especially for his 12-year-old son. 

As police led a massive manhunt, Conings became a hero among anti-lockdown campaigners and right-wing extremists.  

Tens of thousands rallied online to back him, with the Facebook group “I love Jürgen Conings” gathering up to 50,000 members before being taken down. Fans gathered for marches, holding banners such as “Jürgen’s life matters” and “As 1 behind Jürgen.” 

Coning’s body was discovered by Johan Tollenaere, mayor of the neighboring municipality of Maaseik, while out cycling in a group. Tollenaere told VTM Nieuws he believed the body was in an advanced state of decomposition, reported De Morgen.

Source : Politico EU More   

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