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'US excessive demands'

Iran’s ambassador to the Vienna-based international organizations has outlined some of the US and its allies’ excessive demands in talks on reviving the 2015 nuclear deal. Kazem Gharibabadi said the US has demanded talks on Iran’s regional influence and its missile program conditional for lifting sanctions and the full implementation of the nuclear deal. He noted that the US refusal to lift arms embargo on Iran is in clear contradiction with Security Council Resolution 22-31. The Iranian diplomat said Washington has also refused to remove more than 500 individuals and entities blacklisted during the former US administration. Gharibabadi added, the US has also failed to give assurances that it would not repeat the behavior of the previous administration in case of the full implementation of the deal. Iran and the remaining signatories to the nuclear deal have been holding talks in Vienna since May.

Tunisia political crisis

Tunisia’s presidency has now fired the head of the national television channel amid a political crisis sparked by the dismissal of the prime minister and the suspension of parliament. The sacking came after two guests were briefly banned from entering the channel’s studios to take part in a program. The North African country has been facing its worst political crisis in a decade since Sunday. That’s when President Kais Saied dismissed Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi and froze the parliament for a month following mass demonstrations in several cities against the government’s handling of the coronavirus and the economy. Saied has also fired several other senior officials including defense minister. The president’s opponents accuse him of power grab but Saied says his moves are constitutional, aimed at saving the country from corruption and civil strife.

Colombia protest

Clashes have erupted between anti-government protesters and police in the Colombian capital, Bogota, as unrest continues against a controversial tax reform bill and inequalities. The police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse the crowd that in turn threw rocks at law enforcers. The demonstrations mark a week-long pause in the unrest, after dozens were arrested last Wednesday. The protests started in April as a pushback against a controversial tax reform bill, but faced police’s violent crackdown. The rallies quickly turned into a broader movement against equalities and police violence. More than 60 people have been killed during the protests. The government has now proposed a new tax reform plan as well as a police reform bill to the congress, in a bid to subdue the unrest.

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