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Sanctions removal talks

The new round of talks in Vienna between Iran and the remaining signatories to the 2015 nuclear deal is in its second day. Tehran says it will settle for nothing less than the removal of sanctions against the country. The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman says Tehran will also give no commitments beyond the provisions in the 2015 deal. Saeed Khatibzadeh stressed that issues such as step-by-step negotiations or new commitments have no place in the negotiations. He said the Iranian government has joined the talks with a fully prepared delegation and serious resolve to ensure that the sanctions are removed. Khatibzadeh noted that the talks will move on the right track if the opposite side takes part with good intentions and avoids wasting time or making childish excuses. Iran and the P4+1 began talks on Monday after nearly a six-month hiatus.

US- China showdown

Beijing accuses the United States of creating an imaginary enemy as Washington has announced plans for greater military presence in the Indo-Pacific region over what it calls, the threat from China. The Chinese foreign ministry says it is opposed to the US for using China as an excuse to increase military spending and hegemony. The Pentagon said on Monday that it’s planning to upgrade and expand military facilities in Guam and Australia to counter China. The projects come as part of the US military’s global posture review. According to official the military will be focusing more on the Indo-Pacific region by cutting troops and equipment in other parts of the world. The Biden administration has openly called countering China its main foreign policy priority. Tensions have been rising between Washington and Beijing over a range of issues including Taiwan.

Sudan anti-coup protest

Tens of thousands of Sudanese have once again hit the streets to denounce last month’s military takeover and a recent deal that saw Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok reinstated after his ouster in the coup. In the Capital Khartoum security forces used tear gas to disperse protesters who were marching toward the presidential palace. Protesters chanted slogans, calling on the military to go back to their barracks. Similar rallies were also held in other cities. Last month, the military seized power and detained Hamdok and several members of his cabinet despite a 2019 power-sharing deal with civilian leaders. But the military reinstated the premier in a deal they signed last week. Pro-democracy activists are opposed to any deal with the military, citing its deadly crackdown on protests. More than 40 protesters have been killed since the October 25 coup.

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