Dismissing US preconditions
Iran says it has never accepted any preconditions for ongoing talks in Vienna aimed at sanctions removal. Foreign Ministry spokesman, Saeed Khatibzadeh, says Tehran is seeking an agreement that is sustainable and reliable with full guarantees. Khatibzadeh made the comments in reaction to latest remarks made by the US special envoy on Iran, Robert Malley. On Sunday, Malley said the US was unlikely to strike an agreement with Iran to save the 2015 deal, unless Tehran releases four American citizens that Washington claims are being held hostage by Iran. Khatibzadeh downplayed his remarks as catering to the domestic audience, saying the American prisoners in Iran are facing clear charges.
Yemen retaliatory strikes
The Yemeni army says it has launched a massive retaliatory operation against Saudi Arabia and the UAE, the two allies waging war on the country since 2015. It says vital and sensitive targets were accurately struck with drones and missiles. Saree said the Yemeni army would continue its retaliatory attacks and respond to escalation with escalation. He also warned foreign firms and investors to leave the UAE as the country is insecure and will be targeted as long as it continues its aggression against Yemen. Saudi Arabia and the UAE have both confirmed the retaliatory strikes, but said they intercepted the ballistic missiles. The attack comes just a week after Yemeni forces struck several targets inside the Emirati soil, using drones and ballistic missiles. The strikes are part of the reprisal attacks over the Saudi-led coalition’s war on Yemen, which has killed hundreds of thousands of Yemenis and plunged the country into the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.
Tensions over Ukraine
The European Union says it will not follow suit after Washington announced it would pull out the families of its diplomats from Ukraine. EU Foreign Policy Chief, Joseph Borrell, says there is no need to dramatize the situation amid ongoing talks with Russia. Borrell's comments come as EU foreign ministers are set to meet in Brussels to discuss the Ukraine crisis. US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, is set to join online. The United States has cited the threat of a military action from Russia for the withdrawal of its diplomats from Ukraine. Kiev has called the US move premature. The UK has also announced it would reduce staff from its Ukraine embassy. Australia says it has similar plans. The West claims Russia is preparing to invade Ukraine, an charge denied by the Kremlin.