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Israel nuclear threats

Iran’s permanent representative to the United Nations says nuclear disarmament must remain a top priority for the world. Majid Takht Ravanchi urged the international community to press nuclear weapon states to fulfill their legal obligations under the Non-Proliferation Treaty. The Iranian diplomat singled out the United States for having conducted over 1,000 nuclear tests since 1945. He also said Israel’s possession of weapons of mass destruction and its threats to use them must not be tolerated. Takht Ravanchi made the remarks at the high-level plenary meeting of the UN General Assembly on the International Day against Nuclear Tests.

Afghanistan evacuation

The US says the Taliban have agreed to allow some 200 American civilians and third country nationals who remained in Afghanistan following the August 31st deadline to leave the country. An American official said on the condition of anonymity that the Taliban were pressed to allow the departures by US Special Representative in Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad. The departures are expected on Thursday. The official however, did not say whether the US and third country nationals were among people stranded for days in Mazar-i-Sharif because their private charters had not been allowed to depart. In an agreement signed in February 2020, the US agreed to withdraw all its forces from the country by the end of August.

China-US tensions

China has slammed the United States for sailing a warship through the South China Sea, calling it a violation of its sovereignty and security. In a statement, the Chinese military called the move illegal and ironclad evidence of Washington’s hegemony and militarization of the strategic waters. The US dismissed the accusations by calling them false and excessive. The US guided missile destroyer, USS Benfold, sailed near the Spratly Islands on Wednesday; just a few days after China imposed new identification rules that apply to the disputed body of water. China claims the South China Sea in its entirety. However, some of its neighbors have also overlapping claims and the US sides with Beijing’s rivals in the dispute.

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