JCPOA revival talks
Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian says in order for the 2015 deal to be revived, there are certain steps the United States needs to take. Amir-Abdollahian said Iran’s demands should not be reduced to the removal of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps from Washington’s list of so-called foreign terrorist organizations. He argued that the IRGC’s blacklisting is a side issue magnified by the Israel lobby. The Iranian minister said imperative to the Islamic Republic is the interest of the Iranian nation. Amir-Abdollahian was speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos. He said Iran should be able to trade normally with other countries with no impediment. Amir-Abdollahian said Biden’s White House is following the lead of the previous administration by imposing sanctions on Iran.
Blocking Ukraine grain exports
Moscow accuses Western countries of preventing vessels carrying grain from leaving ports in Ukraine amid fears of a global food crisis. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov rejected accusations that Russia is to blame for stopping Ukrainian grain deliveries from reaching their destinations. He blamed the blockage on the sanctions imposed on Russia over the war in Ukraine. Peskov urged Western countries to cancel "these illegal actions" that are preventing the export of grain. Russia has captured some of Ukraine’s biggest seaports and its navy controls major transport routes in the Black Sea. Sanctions have also made it hard for Russian exporters to access vessels to move commodities to global markets. Russia and Ukraine produce 30 percent of the global wheat supply.
China-Solomon Islands pact
China says it has no intention of installing a military base on the strategic Solomon Islands in the South Pacific. The Chinese foreign minister says the security agreement Beijing sealed last month with the tiny Pacific state was "above board", with honesty and integrity. Wang Yi said the recent pact is not targeted at any third party. He said the agreement helps the Solomon Islands’ government safeguard stability and long-term security. Wang Yi made the remarks in Honiara, where he is on the first leg of his tour of the Pacific island states. The minister said China’s cooperation with the Pacific island countries does not target any country and should not be disrupted. The US and its allies, including Australia, accuse China of forging military ties in the region and seeking to build a military base on the Solomons Island.