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Posts tagged ‘Geneva’

United Nations High Commission for Refugees57,000 Nigerians now refugees.


 

Despite  the fact that Nigeria is not at war, Nigerians are now refugees in neighbouring countries as more than 57,000 people have fled to Cameroon, Chad and Niger Republic as a result of insurgency by Boko Haram, according to the United Nations.

The world body also disclosed that about half a million people have been internally displaced in the country which it described as a very alarming situation.

Spokesperson of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, UNHCR, Mr Adrian Edwards, who spoke with reporters in Geneva said of 57,000 people who fled Nigeria, 17,000 are registered as Nigerians while the rest are nationals from neighbouring countries who have

been living in Nigeria for ages.
He disclosed that Niger received the majority — some 40,000 concentrated in the Diffa region, a desert in the country’s eastern edge.

According to him, many of those fleeing North-Eastern Nigeria are traumatized and left with very few possessions, adding that besides the Lake Chad area, some of the new arrivals are from the Borno State capital, Maiduguri.

57,000 flee to Cameroon,  Chad, Niger

He said: “Since Nigeria declared a state of emergency in the three states in May 2013, more than 57,000 people have fled to Cameroon, Chad and Niger. Some 17,000 of these are registered Nigerian refugees. The rest are nationals of the surrounding countries who had been living in Nigeria for decades.”

Edwards noted that newly arrived refugees interviewed by the staff of the UNHCR in Niger have spoken of atrocities on the shores of Lake Chad in Borno State.

According to him, “One woman described corpses strewn through houses and floating in the water. She said people feared staying even to bury their dead or find missing relatives. Others recounted fleeing a village shooting incident and said women and children were being kidnapped and taken away by unidentified assailants.

“We’ve had some other accounts of shooting in villages there with women and children being kidnapped and taken away. So, it’s really a spreading of this horrible conflict we’re seeing outside of the towns and into some of the rural areas of North-East Nigeria.

“It’s hard for us to get full visibility of the situation inside North-East Nigeria, simply because we don’t have the access. And you have to remember that in addition to people fleeing Nigeria, you have got close to half a million people internally displaced inside the country. And that’s according to the government’s figures. So, these are really very high numbers and reflects what seems to be a very alarming situation.

2,000 people cross to Niger

“The latest attacks are reported to have begun in mid‑February and were continuing five days ago. In all, some 2,000 people have crossed into south‑east Niger’s Diffa region over the past four weeks.

“In addition to the attacks on Lake Chad, some of the new arrivals have come from areas near Borno’s state capital, Maiduguri, that have been affected by fighting.”

He maintained that the UNHCR reiterates to all parties to the conflict in north‑eastern Nigeria, the vital importance of protecting civilians from harm.

He said the UNHCR was working with partners, including the International Rescue Committee, the governments of the neighbouring countries, to try and ensure that countries keep their borders open and also ensure that they help people on arrival.

Wounded Boko Haram members captured —DHq

Meanwhile, following military bombardments of Boko Haram terrorists by the Nigerian Army using artillery fire and infantry soldiers swooping on their camps, scores of the insurgents have been captured as they attempted to flee across the borders through Lake Chad and Cameroon as well as Niger.

Vanguard gathered that the bombardment was jointly carried out by the Nigerian Air Force using Mi‑35 helicopter gunships while the army launched its offensive from the ground.

A statement signed by the Director of Defence Information, Major-General Chris Olukolade said: “Scores of wounded terrorists who escaped from various camps under the fire of security forces have been captured in the fringes of Lake Chad.

“The captured terrorists, some of whom are fatally wounded, are already making useful statements to interrogators of the Multi‑National Joint Task Force.

“Others were captured by troops in locations around Dikwa, Cross Kauwa, Kukawa and Alargarmo.

“In their confessions, it was revealed that some of the camps have been disbanded following the directive of their clerics who declared that the operation of the sect had come to an end as the mission could no longer be sustained.

“The terrorists, who are giving useful information as to the locations of their remnant forces, are full of apologies and pleas for their lives to be spared, promising to cooperate.

Starvation major problem

“They confirmed that starvation was a major problem in addition to ceaseless bombardments on the camp locations even when they kept relocating.

“They also confirm that several members of the group have been wounded and no treatment was forth coming. Troops have continued their assault on other locations across the states covered by the state of emergency.

“Meanwhile, members of the public who have started visiting to engage in sight seeing in some dislodged camps and fringes of  forests such as Sambisa and others have been warned to desist from doing so as the tendency will no more be condoned where operations are still ongoing.

“The general area still remains a theatre and movement remains restricted as the environment has to be cleared for safety of citizens.The public will be informed when the locations are safe enough.”

BY MICHAEL EBOH & EDIRI EJOH

Source: Radio Biafra.

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Diaspora Christian Group Tells The United Nations – “…It Was Our Realization That Boko Haram Terrorists Are So Evil.”


Reacting to the United Nations condemnation of the deaths of over 150 people in eight villages in Adamawa and Borno States by gunmen on Sunday, the Christian Association of Nigerian-Americans, Executive Director, Pastor Laolu Akande said in a statement, “Our brethren in northern Nigeria, and other innocent Nigerians numbering more than 4000 and their families, have always known and experienced the evil first hand.”

Pastor Akande said there is no formal organization to compensate the victims but with a relief fund launched in 2012, they’ve contributed $50,000 to victims through CANAN.

Akande said, “It was because of our realization that these terrorists are so evil that explained why we fought hard in our advocacy to have the US government label Boko Haram a Foreign Terrorist Organization, so that the full force of the American government can be exerted against the evil. CANAN will continue to press the US government to do all it can to help rid Nigeria of this evil.”

Speaking Monday in Geneva for the UN, Ravina Shamdasani, an official of the UN Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR), said the UN condemned in the strongest terms Sunday’s attack.

She said while OHCHR understood that the Government “was in a very difficult position as the armed groups were extremely strong they stressed that it was the Government’s responsibility to protect the citizens who lived in that territory.”

A statement, which did not mention the name Boko Haram, said, “OHCHR was appalled by the extreme and indiscriminate violence which Nigeria had witnessed in recent times, including the attacks on two villages on 11 February, which left 39 people dead, 65 injured and reportedly 2,000 homes destroyed.”

It added “OHCHR urged the Government to do more to provide security and protection to civilians, especially in areas prone to attacks and where a state of emergency had been proclaimed. ”

The UN also called upon the Nigerian authorities to launch a prompt and thorough investigation, and make sure that perpetrators of the human rights violations and killings were prosecuted and held responsible.

On Sunday, Borno State Governor said the Boko Haram insurgents were more armed and motivated than the Nigerian military.

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

North Korea’s Kim Warned he Might Face Charges over Atrocities.


North Korean security chiefs and possibly even Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un himself should face international justice for ordering systematic torture, starvation and mass killings bordering on genocide, U.N. investigators said on Monday.

The investigators told Kim in a letter they were advising the United Nations to refer North Korea to the International Criminal Court (ICC), to ensure any culprits “including possibly yourself” were held accountable.

North Korea said it “categorically and totally” rejected the investigators’ report, which it called “a product of politicization of human rights on the part of EU and Japan in alliance with the U.S. hostile policy”.

The unprecedented public warning and rebuke to a ruling head of state by a U.N. Commission of Inquiry is likely to complicate efforts to persuade the isolated country to rein in its nuclear weapons program and belligerent confrontations with South Korea and the West.

The U.N. investigators said they had also told Kim’s main ally China that it might be “aiding and abetting crimes against humanity” by sending migrants and defectors back to North Korea, where they faced torture and execution – a charge that Chinese officials had rebutted.

As referral to the ICC is seen as a dim hope, given China’s likely veto of any such move by Western powers in the U.N. Security Council, thoughts are also turning to setting up some form of special tribunal on North Korea, diplomatic and U.N. sources told Reuters.

“We’ve collected all the testimony and can’t just stop and wait 10 years. The idea is to sustain work,” said one.

 

“REMINISCENT OF NAZI ATROCITIES”

Michael Kirby, chairman of the independent Commission of Inquiry, told Reuters the crimes the team had catalogued in a 372-page report were reminiscent of those committed by Nazis during World War Two.

“Some of them are strikingly similar,” he said.

“Testimony was given … in relation to the political prison camps of large numbers of people who were malnourished, who were effectively starved to death and then had to be disposed of in pots burned and then buried … It was the duty of other prisoners in the camps to dispose of them,” he said.

The independent investigators’ report, the size of a telephone directory, listing atrocities including murder, torture, rape, abductions, enslavement, starvation and executions.

“The gravity, scale and nature of these violations reveal a state that does not have any parallel in the contemporary world,” it said.

The findings came out of a year-long investigation involving public testimony by defectors, including former prison camp guards, at hearings in South Korea, Japan, Britain and the United States.

Defectors included Shin Dong-hyuk, who gave harrowing accounts of his life and escape from a prison camp. As a 13-year-old, he informed a prison guard of a plot by his mother and brother to escape and both were executed, according to a book on his life called “Escape from Camp 14”.

North Korea’s diplomatic mission in Geneva dismissed the findings shortly before they were made public. “We will continue to strongly respond to the end to any attempt of regime-change and pressure under the pretext of ‘human rights protection’,” it said a statement sent to Reuters.

 

“DELIBERATE STARVATION”

The abuses were mainly perpetrated by officials in structures that ultimately reported to Kim – state security, the Ministry of People’s Security, the army, the judiciary and Workers’ Party of Korea, according to the investigators, led by Kirby, a retired Australian chief justice.

“It is open to inference that the officials are, in some instances, acting under your personal control,” Kirby wrote in the three-page letter to Kim published as part of the report.

The team recommended targeted U.N. sanctions against civil officials and military commanders suspected of the worst crimes. It did not reveal any names, but said that it had compiled a database of suspects from evidence and testimony.

Pyongyang has used food as “a means of control over the population” and “deliberate starvation” to punish political and ordinary prisoners, according to the team of 12 investigators.

Pervasive state surveillance quashed all dissent. Christians were persecuted and women faced blatant discrimination. People were sent to prison camps without hope of release.

The investigators were not able to confirm allegations of “gruesome medical testing of biological and chemical weapons” on disabled people and political prisoners, but said they wanted to investigate further.

North Korea’s extermination of political prisoners over the past five decades might amount to genocide, the report said, although the legal definition of genocide normally refers to the killing of large parts of a national, ethnic or religious group.

North Korean migrants and defectors returned by China regularly faced torture, detention, summary execution and forced abortion, said the report.

Kirby warned China’s charge d’affaires in Geneva Wu Haitao in a Dec 16 letter that the forced repatriations might amount to “the aiding and abetting (of) crimes against humanity”, it said.

Wu, in a reply also published in the report, said that the fact that some of the illegal North Korean migrants regularly managed to get back into China after their return showed that the allegations of torture were not true.

“The DPRK (North Korea) has been looked at by the Security Council solely as a nuclear proliferation issue,” Julie de Rivero of campaign group Human Rights Watch told Reuters.

“This (report) is putting human rights in the DPRK on the map, which it wasn’t before, and hopefully will put the spotlight on the U.N. and international community to respond to not just the security threat,” she added.

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.
Source: Newsmax.com

Smuggled Syria Photos Show ‘Systematic Killing’ of Thousands.


A cache of disturbing photos and files smuggled out of Syria allegedly shows the “systematic killing” of about 11,000 detainees since 2011 by the government of Bashar al-Assad, the Guardian newspaper reported Monday.

Three former prosecutors examined records leaked by a defector known as “Caesar,” whose job was “taking pictures of dead detainees” from March 2011 to last August – sometimes as many as 50 a day, both the Guardian and CNN reported. 

Their 31-page report on the grisly findings was released Monday to the two media outlets.

Once of the report’s authors, Desmond de Silva, a former chief prosecutor of the special court for Sierra Leone, told the Guardian the evidence “documented industrial-scale killing.”

“This is a smoking gun of a kind we didn’t have before,” he said.

Another, David Crane, who indicted President Charles Taylor of Liberia at the Sierra Leone court, said the evidence provides “direct evidence of what was happening to people who had disappeared.”

“This is the first provable, direct evidence of what has happened to at least 11,000 human beings who have been tortured and executed and apparently disposed of,” he said.

“We have pictures, with numbers that marry up with papers with identical numbers – official government documents. We have the person who took those pictures. That’s beyond-reasonable-doubt-type evidence.”

Throughout the civil war in Syria, Assad’s regime has denied accusations of human-rights abuses and blamed “terrorists” for deadly violence.

The Guardian notes, however, that any call for Assad to go before an international criminal court in The Hague would be problematic because Syria isn’t a member of the court and a required referral by the U.N. security council would likely be blocked by Syrian ally Russia.

The report notes the cache of photos allowed the death certificates to be issued without families’ first seeing the bodies; it also confirms “that orders to execute individuals had been carried out,” the newspaper said.

Families were told the cause of death of their missing loved ones was either a “heart attack” or “breathing problems,” the newspaper said.

Caesar snuck the pictures out of the country on memory sticks, giving them to the Syrian National Movement, which is supported by Qatar, the Persian Gulf state that has called for Assad’s overthrow and prosecution for war crimes.

The report itself was funded by Qatar and is being made available ahead of this week’s U.N.-organized Geneva II peace conference on the Syrian conflict, the newspaper said.

CNN reported that in a group of photos of 150 persons, 62 percent of the bodies showed emaciation; the majority of all of the victims were men most likely ages 20-40. They illustrated a ghastly scene, CNN reported.

Stomachs, faces and even legs were seen to be concave – “sunken rather than convex,” CNN reported. “On some torsos, bruising and bleeding is so severe that the victims’ skin is a mosaic of black, red, purple and pink. Oblong and parallel wounds, a mix of bruises and torn skin, line one man’s chest and torso, covering every inch of the victim’s body from neck to pelvis.”

One forensic pathologist, Dr. Stuart Hamilton, who examined the evidence, told CNN:

“This is not just somebody who is thin, or who maybe hasn’t had enough food because there’s a war going on.

This is somebody who has been really starved.”

Nadim Houry of Human Rights Watch told the Guardian his organization has “documented repeatedly how Syria’s security services regularly torture – sometimes to death – detainees in their custody,” adding:

“These photos – if authentic – suggest that we may have only scratched the surface of the horrific extent of torture in Syria’s notorious dungeons. There is only one way to get to the bottom of this, and that is for the negotiating parties at Geneva II to grant unhindered access to Syria’s detention facilities to independent monitors.”

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Cathy Burke

Iran Nuclear Deal to Take Effect on Jan. 20.


Iran’s interim nuclear deal with six major powers will come into force on Jan. 20, the Iranian Foreign Ministry and the European Union said on Sunday.

“Capitals have confirmed the result of the talks in Geneva . . . the Geneva deal will be implemented from January 20,” Marzieh Afkham, spokeswoman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, told reporters in Tehran, the semi-official Mehr news agency said.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton also confirmed the date, and said the sides would now ask the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog to verify the deal’s implementation.

“We will ask the IAEA to undertake the necessary nuclear-related monitoring and verification activities,” she said in a statement.

Ashton represents the six powers – the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany – in contacts with Iran related to its controversial nuclear programme.

Senior officials from the European Union and Iran met in Geneva on Thursday and Friday to iron out remaining practical questions related to the implementation of the Nov. 24 deal, under which Iran agreed to curb its most sensitive nuclear work in return for some relief from Western economic sanctions.

EU spokesman Michael Mann said on Friday that any agreements would need to be validated by the governments of Iran and the six powers.

The accord is designed to last six months and the parties hope to use the time to negotiate a final, broad settlement governing the scope of Iran’s nuclear program.

Western powers suspect Iran has been trying to develop the ability to manufacture a nuclear weapon. Iran says its program is aimed purely at civilian electricity generation and other civilian purposes.

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.
Source: Newsmax.com

Dozens Killed as Syrian Airstrikes Pummel Rebel Areas.


Image: Dozens Killed as Syrian Airstrikes Pummel Rebel Areas

Syrians look at the aftermath of an airstrike on a rebel area of the northern city of Aleppo on Dec. 15.

Syrian government aircraft pounded opposition areas in the northern city of Aleppo and near the southern border with Jordan on Monday, a day after airstrikes killed at least 76 people, while the United Nations issued a record appeal for $6.5 billion to help the millions of Syrians uprooted by their homeland’s civil war.

President Bashar Assad‘s air force is his greatest advantage in the country’s civil war, and he has successfully exploited it to stem and even roll back rebel advances across the country. Human rights groups say Syrian military aircraft have carried out indiscriminate air raids that frequently hit civilian targets, such as hospitals, bakeries and residential areas.

The government has relied on its air power in particular in northern Syria, much of which fell to opposition fighters over the course of the past year. One of the major battlegrounds on that front is Aleppo, where Assad’s forces and rebels have been bogged down in a bloody fight since rebels launched an assault on the city in mid-2012.

With no end in sight to the fighting, the humanitarian situation is worsening among 8.8 Syrians who have been uprooted from their homes. Of those, 6.5 million are internally displaced and the other 2.3 million have sought refuge abroad.

In Geneva, the U.N. appealed to donors Monday for $6.5 billion in funds to help support the nearly 9 million Syrians uprooted by the conflict, the largest ever appeal for a single crisis.

The appeal is based on projections of continuing humanitarian needs because of the massive displacement of Syrians both inside and outside the country into 2014. Some $2.3 billion will assist people inside Syria and the remaining $4.2 billion is expected to help refugees and host communities in countries like Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq, the U.N. said.

“We’re facing a terrifying situation here where, by the end of 2014, substantially more of the population of Syria could be displaced or in need of humanitarian help than not,” said High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres.

The situation in Syria has “deteriorated beyond all imagination,” and the country can’t afford another year of it, U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon told reporters in New York in his end-of-year press briefing.

Guterres said the Syria crisis is having a “dramatic impact” on the host countries’ economies, societies and security, adding that the refugee disaster spurred by the conflict is the largest since the Rwanda genocide and “probably the most dangerous for global peace and security since the second world war.”

The U.N. food agency, meanwhile, said it is expanding its emergency operation to provide food to more than 7 million Syrians driven from their homes by the violence. Recent assessments by the World Food Program show that almost half the population inside Syria is experiencing food shortages and more than 6 million people urgently need food to survive.

In 2014, the WFP plans to feed 4.25 million internally displaced Syrians and nearly 3 million Syrian refugees in neighboring countries, the agency said in a statement Monday.

The food agency also plans to increase the size of its food basket to provide more calories per person per day as other sources of food are increasingly scarce for the most vulnerable.

On Monday, a day after government helicopters dropped barrels packed with explosives on several Aleppo neighborhoods, the Britain-based Syrian observatory for Human Rights on Monday said the death toll from those strikes had risen to at least 76, including 28 children.

The government frequently uses barrel bombs, which contain hundreds of kilograms (pounds) of explosives and cause massive damage on impact. Amateur videos posted online showed the aftermath of Sunday’s airstrikes: buildings leveled by the explosions, rubble-strewn streets and smoldering wreckage of vehicles.

Another activist group, the Local Coordination Committees, said at least 12 neighborhoods were hit and put the death toll at 83. It said that number is likely to rise because of the large number of wounded and the lack of sufficient medical supplies.

The main Western-backed opposition group, the Syrian National Coalition, condemned the strikes, and accused the government of “waging a barbaric campaign on the city of Aleppo through which it seeks revenge and the spread of chaos.”

In a statement, the Coalition also said it has documented the names of 103 people who were killed and more than 350 who were wounded in Aleppo, in addition to 21 who died in the town of Dumeir in Damascus suburbs in air raids.

“The Assad regime continues to kill civilians across Syria, blocking aid convoys from reaching stricken areas, and refuses to release prisoners — practically consecrating through all of that, its rejection of a political solution,” it said.

The Syrian government and its opponents are scheduled to meet in Switzerland on Jan. 22 to hold their first face-to-face peace negotiations. Expectations for a breakthrough are low at the U.N.-brokered talks, which aim to find a political resolution to the conflict that has killed more than 120,000 people since it began in March 2011.
© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Source: Newsmax.com

US Sanctions Expansion Angers Iran; Russia Sees Nuke Deal Threat.


VIENNA/MOSCOW — A breakthrough agreement to end the standoff over Iran’s nuclear program appeared to face its first major difficulty on Friday with Russia warning that expanding a U.S. sanctions blacklist could seriously complicate the deal’s implementation.

Russia, which, along with the United States, is among the six world powers that negotiated the Nov. 24 interim accord with Tehran, echoed Iranian criticism that it violated the spirit of the deal and could “block things.”

The United States on Thursday blacklisted additional companies and people under existing sanctions intended to prevent Iran from obtaining the capability to make nuclear weapons. Iran denies any such aims.

Diplomats said Iran, in what appeared to be a response, interrupted technical talks in Vienna with the six nations over how to implement the agreement, under which Tehran is to curb its atomic activities in return for limited sanctions easing.

The developments highlighted potential obstacles negotiators face in pressing ahead with efforts to resolve a decade-old dispute between the Islamic Republic and the West that has stirred fears of a new Middle East war.

Western diplomats said the inconclusive outcome of the Dec. 9-12 expert-level discussions should not be seen as a sign that the deal hammered out nearly three weeks ago was in trouble.

But Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi told Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency in reaction to the U.S. decision that it was evaluating the situation and would “react accordingly”, adding, “It is against the spirit of the Geneva deal.”

Russia also made its concerns clear.

“The U.S. administration’s decision goes against the spirit of this document,” said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, referring to the Geneva agreement between Iran and the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain, and Germany.

“Widening American ‘blacklists’ could seriously complicate the fulfillment of the Geneva agreement, which proposes easing sanctions pressure.”

In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said she did not think the blacklistings announced on Thursday had made the negotiations more difficult.

“No, I don’t. I think it was always going to be very complicated,” Harf told reporters, adding the United States had told Iranian officials in Vienna that more designations were coming.

DEAL OPPONENTS

Russia built Iran’s first nuclear power plant and has much better ties with Tehran than Western states. It supported four rounds of U.N. Security Council sanctions aimed at reining in Tehran’s nuclear program but has criticized the United States and Europe for imposing additional sanctions.

U.S. officials said the blacklisting move showed the Geneva deal “does not, and will not, interfere with our continued efforts to expose and disrupt those supporting Iran’s nuclear program or seeking to evade our sanctions.”

The new measure, the first such enforcement action since Geneva, targeted entities that are suspected of involvement in the proliferation of materials for weapons of mass destruction and trying to evade the current sanctions.

Some U.S. lawmakers want further sanctions on the Islamic state. But the administration of President Barack Obama has campaigned to hold off on new measures for now to create space for the diplomatic push to settle the nuclear dispute.

Iran’s ambassador to France said expanding the blacklist played into the hands of those opposing the deal — including hardliners in Iran irked by the foreign policy shift and apprehensive that they are losing influence over Iran’s most powerful man, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

“This agreement has opponents both inside Iran and outside Iran,” Ali Ahani told reporters at a meeting of business and political leaders in Monaco.

“We are determined to keep to our commitments, but we have to be sure that on the other side they are serious, and that we can show to our people that we can trust them and that the West is a viable partner.”

“The contents of this accord are quite clear. It was decided not to add sanctions. This type of decision blocks things,” added Ahani, speaking on behalf of Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who pulled out of the World Policy Conference after his mother was taken ill.

‘NOT PANICKING’

The Geneva deal was designed to halt Iran’s nuclear advances for six months to buy time for negotiations on a final settlement. Scope for diplomacy widened after Iran elected the pragmatic Hassan Rouhani as president in June. He had promised to reduce Tehran’s isolation and win sanctions easing.

Under the agreement, Iran will restrain its atomic activities in return for some easing of the international sanctions that have battered the major oil producer’s economy.

But one diplomat said the Iranian delegation in Vienna suddenly announced late on Thursday — hours after Washington made its blacklisting decision public — that it had received instructions to return to Tehran: “It was quite unexpected.”

A European Union (EU) diplomat said he did not believe the decision was linked to the issues under discussion in Vienna, but rather “their reaction to moves in the U.S. on sanctions.”

The hope was that it was a temporary problem: “The Iranians have been committed to making this work. We are not panicking.”

Iranian officials were not available for comment.

Secretary of State John Kerry said he expected the implementation talks to resume in the coming days.

“We have been hard at it in Vienna . . . we are making progress but I think that they’re at a point in those talks where folks feel a need to consult and take a moment,” he said during a visit to Israel. “There is every expectation that the talks are going to continue in the next few days and that we will proceed to the full implementation of that plan.”

A spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who coordinates the discussions with Iran, also said they were expected to resume soon.

“After four days of lengthy and detailed talks, reflecting the complexity of the technical issues discussed, it became clear that further work is needed,” Michael Mann said.

© 2013 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.
Source: Newsmax.com

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