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'No interim deal with US'

Iran's permanent mission to the United Nations has denied the existence of any interim deal to replace the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA. The mission was reacting to a report by the London-based Middle East Eye website. The report claimed Iran and the US were close to a temporary deal that would swap some sanctions relief for reduction in Iran's nuclear activities. A spokesperson for the White House National Security Council also dismissed the report as false and misleading, saying any reports of an interim deal are false. The US quit the JCPOA in May 2018 and reimposed unilateral sanctions on Iran. Negotiations to revive the deal started in April 2021. The talks, however, have been stalled since August 2022 due to Washington’s failure to offer necessary guarantees that it will not abandon the deal again.

China-US tensions

Cuba has dismissed a report by American media about hosting a secret Chinese base to spy on the US as "totally mendacious and unfounded." Cuban Vice Foreign Minister Carlos Fernandez de Cossio described the report as a US fabrication meant to justify Washington's decades-old economic embargo against the island nation. He said Cuba rejects all foreign military presence in Latin America and the Caribbean. Citing unnamed US officials, the Wall Street Journal had claimed China is paying billions of dollars to Cuba to allow it establish an electronic eavesdropping facility there. The report added that the station has sparked alarm within President Joe Biden’s administration due to Cuba’s proximity to the US mainland. Both the White House and Pentagon have dismissed the report as inaccurate. A spokesperson for the Chinese embassy in Washington declined to comment, saying the mission was not aware of the case.

Sudan conflict

Sudan has declared the UN secretary general’s special envoy to the North African country persona non grata. Volker Perthes is also head of the United Nations’ mission in Sudan, known as UNI-TAMS. Sudan’s army general, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, had already expressed his disapproval of the UN envoy. The new development came as the army and the rival paramilitary forces fought for control of a military facility in the capital, Khartoum. The battles came only a day after the Rapid Support Forces claimed full control of the Yarmouk weapons manufacturing and arms depot complex. The RSF claimed soldiers had fled the site, which is the most important military industrial facility in Sudan, leaving behind large quantities of military equipment and vehicles. Sudan’s deadly conflict began in mid-April over a power struggle between Burhan and his former deputy, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, who commands the RSF.

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