Iran sanctions against EU
Iran has vowed to impose retaliatory sanctions against the EU after the bloc slapped fresh bans on Tehran over recent riots in the country. Foreign Ministry spokesman Naser Kanani, said the countermeasures will be announced soon. The EU imposed asset freezes and visa bans on 32 individuals and two entities, including Iran’s education and culture ministers. The UK has also blacklisted 8 individuals. Most of those targeted are lawmakers, judiciary officials, and prison authorities. Western powers have imposed several rounds of such sanctions on Iran in recent months, accusing the country of cracking down on protesters. Tehran has repeatedly dismissed the accusations, saying it has been lawfully dealing with rioters disrupting public security. Iran says the West is using human rights as a tool in its pressure campaign against the country.
Israeli settlement plans
Palestinian Resistance Movement Hamas has denounced the UN Security Council for taking an understated stance on Israel’s plan to expand settlements in the occupied territories. Hamas’ condemnation comes after the UNSC fell short of passing a resolution, which would have demanded the regime put an end to its settlement activities. Hamas says, issuing a statement instead of passing a resolution shows the world body has evaded its responsibilities to ensure that international regulations and conventions are not violated. On Monday, the 15-member body issued a statement expressing deep concern and dismay over Israel’s announcement of settlement expansion. It said the regime’s scheme would jeopardize the viability of a so-called two-state solution. The statement, however, does not have the binding force of a resolution draft submitted earlier to the UNSC. Israel has recently authorized nine settlement outposts in the occupied West Bank.
China says the war in Ukraine is getting out of control, urging certain countries, without naming them, to stop adding fuel to the fire. The Chinese foreign minister was addressing a security conference in Beijing. Qin said Beijing is deeply concerned and is trying to find a political solution to the Ukraine conflict. His comments came after US secretary of state Antony Blinken accused China of mulling sending arms to Russia. Beijing rejected the claim as false and said it is the US that is endlessly sending arms to Ukraine. Washington and its European allies have already equipped Kiev with billions of dollars in arms since the beginning of the war last February. They have now announced sending main battle tanks to Ukraine. On Monday, the US president, during his visit to Kiev, pledged an additional 5-hundred-million dollar in military aid to Ukraine.