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Iranian President says European proposal ‘only contains general commitments’

The Europeans seem to be all talk and no show

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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has repeatedly declared that Iran will remain committed to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) as long as the European signatories can compensate for America’s withdrawal from the accord. The Europeans have put on that they are keen to see the plan succeed and have repeatedly sworn their commitment to the deal, but have yet to bring any concrete or specific plans on how this can and will be accomplished to the table.

Rouhani got on the phone with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron over the matter wherein the German and French leaders expressed that negotiations and dialogue need to continue in the direction of finding an agreed upon solution to suit all parties. That’s the line that was pushed back in May when Trump withdrew America’s participation in the JCPOA and reinstated sanctions on the Middle Eastern nation, and remains to this day.

In the wake of Trump’s action, American sanctions and threats thereof are impacting the settlement of transactions of businesses operating in Iran as well as the export of oil, which America is on a crusade to hinder as much as possible, demanding that all trade partners and allies quit their imports of Iranian oil by November 4th or be subject to secondary sanctions emanating from Washington. That situation persists, and Rouhani wants to see something with meaningful and specific terms and commitments materialize in order for the JCPOA to provide some sort of tangible benefit to Iran.

Press-TV reports:

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says Tehran will continue cooperation with Europe in their multilateral nuclear deal if the remaining parties to the landmark accord can meet Tehran’s expectations during their upcoming ministerial meeting.

Foreign ministers of Iran and the five remaining parties to the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), are scheduled to meet in the Austrian capital Vienna on Friday to discuss ways of maintaining the international accord after the US’ withdrawal.

In a telephone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday night, Rouhani noted that the US withdrawal from the JCPOA has caused some problems in economic areas, banking transactions and oil sector for the foreign companies which have made investment in Iran, making them reluctant about continuing their operations in the country.

Rouhani described a package proposed by Germany, France and the UK with regard to their future plan on how to fulfill their obligations under the JCPOA as “disappointing” and noted that there was no action plan or “a clear method in the proposed package for the continuation of cooperation and, similar to the previous EU statements, it only contained general commitments.”

Merkel explained that the European countries’ package pointed to the general principles at this stage, noting that negotiations should continue over the details.

The German chancellor underlined Europe’s determination to remain in the nuclear deal, adding that negotiations should continue with patience.

Since US President Donald Trump pulled Washington out of the historic nuclear deal, European countries have been scrambling to ensure that Iran gets enough economic benefits to persuade it to stay in the deal.

In another phone conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday night, Rouhani described Paris’ efforts to save the nuclear deal as “positive” but noted that “Europe’s proposed package for keeping up cooperation in the JCPOA does not meet all our expectations.”

The Iranian president expressed hope that the Friday session of the foreign ministers of the remaining JCPOA signatories — Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany — would meet Iran’s demands for staying in the deal.

Rouhani pointed to the recent financial and banking problems caused for some European companies operating in Iranian projects following the US’ unilateral withdrawal from the JCPOA and said Tehran expects Europe to offer a transparent action plan with a timeline which can compensate the risks caused by the US exit.

Macron, for his part, underlined France’s commitment to the JCPOA and stressed the need for continuation of cooperation and dialogue to keep the nuclear deal in place.

The French president expressed hope that the Friday meeting could create a desirable balance between the political and economic issues for further cooperation.

Also on Thursday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has urged all the remaining parties to Iran’s nuclear deal to stay in the agreement.

Speaking at a news conference in Vienna on Tuesday, Wang described the scheduled ministerial meeting as “necessary.”

“I am sure that we will send a united, determined and strong signal and confirm that we as treaty members will hold on to the deal,” he said.

Earlier this month, experts from the six countries held a meeting behind closed doors in Tehran on the fate of the Iran deal.

A Joint Commission meeting had also been held at the level of deputy foreign ministers in Vienne in late May.

Trump announced on May 8 that Washington was walking away from the nuclear agreement, which was reached between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China – plus Germany in 2015.

Trump also said he would reinstate US nuclear sanctions on Iran and impose “the highest level” of economic bans on the Islamic Republic.

Under the JCPOA, Iran undertook to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions imposed against Tehran.

The remaining parties have vowed to stay in the accord.

Friday, a meeting for the foreign ministers of the signatories to the JCPOA will meet in Austria to work out what is hoped will be that sort of tangible solution to evolve this issue from a conceptual stage to something concrete and actionable. Up until this point, with Europe fielding literally one crisis after another since Trump’s withdrawal from the JCPOA, efforts to accomplish something in this regard have been somewhat retarded and consisting of generic commitments to eventually work something out. Maybe Friday’s meeting will save the JCPOA, and provide an answer to Washington on how its threats are to be received by some of its chief European allies.

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Terrorism

Possible terror attack at California mall thwarted by ant-jihad activist

Angry Muslim women and a shady Muslim man’s carefully-placed backpack were all part of the terrorism scene at the LA shopping mall on July 7.

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Los Cerritos Center, Los Angeles. Photo: losangeles.cbslocal.com

The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Office and the Los Cerritos Shopping Center are hush hush for now. It’s not yet clear if it was an attempted terror attack or just a dry run, but what is clear enough is that an observant anti-jihad activist thwarted the plans of some ill-intentioned Muslims on Saturday, July 7.

According to Big League Politics, Steve Amundson, the founder of the Counter Jihad Coalition (CJC), trained to detect security threats, noticed several alarming clues that led him to believe a terror attack was underway.

The last straw was when an angry Muslim carefully placed his backpack under the CJC’s table outside the Los Cerritos Shopping Center and walked away, later refusing to retrieve it.

Amundson was on the street that day with a pastor colleague, passing out literature about Islam and the threat it poses to America and other Western nations. An unidentified Muslim man wearing a backpack approached the pastor and began furiously arguing with him.

“Before leaving the table, Amundson says he witnessed the Muslim man strategically place his backpack underneath the CJC booth and walk away,” Laura Loomer writes for Big League Politics.

Amundson asked the pastor if he knew the Muslim man. When he said no, Amundson immediately reported the incident to mall security.

Loomer lays out the events and “red flags” leading up to mall security being called:

The events that unfolded next are shocking, and quite disturbing. Amundson told Big League Politics that after he alerted mall security, they approached the man and asked him if the backpack was his. The man said the backpack did belong to him, but he then refused to retrieve his backpack that he had placed underneath the CJC booth before walking away.

After a discussion with security, the Muslim man walked away with security, and security carefully took the backpack.

Over the past six months that Amundson and his colleagues have been tabling, he has experienced an increase in physical attacks against himself and his booth. For this reason, Amundson says he and his colleagues are trained to detect security threats and what they call “red flags”. While passing out literature on Saturday, Amundson says he witnessed and documented several red flags at the Los Cerritos Shopping Center.

The first red flag occurred when two Muslim men inside the mall began snapping pictures of the CJC booth and making phone calls shortly after. Amundson witnessed this and recognized it as “red flag one.”

bigleaguepolitics.com

The second red flag occurred when two Muslim women approached the booth and began cursing at the CJC’s booth operators, calling them liars. Mall security observed the hostile interaction and began speaking to the two women. It was at that moment when the two Muslim women distracted security that a white haired Muslim male walked over to the booth and slid his backpack under that table.

Mall security has thus far declined to confirm if the Muslim man was arrested or if the bomb squad had been called. Thus, it remains unclear if this was a dry run or the real deal.

The report continues:

Amundson’s experience at the shopping center is disturbing and concerning for many reasons, primarily because it appears as though the mall security and Sheriff’s Office are actively working to keep the public and Amundson in the dark about what appears to be a dry run of a jihadi attack. What happened to Amundson at the shopping center is a very serious incident the needs to be further investigated and disclosed to the public to ensure that people are aware of the threat that is clearly present within their own community.

Amundson applied to have another CJC booth at the same mall on July 21, which mall security rejected, citing safety concerns: “While we understand your organization’s right to engage in free speech subject to reasonable time, place and manner rules, we must consider the safety of the Center’s patrons.”

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Maria Butina, her crime: A love of the NRA and being Russian (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 61.

Alex Christoforou

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has communicated to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that Russian national Maria Butina must be set free and allowed to return to Russia, after she was arrested by US officials on dubious spy charges.

Lavrov said that the US should immediately release the Russian gun activist, who is being held in the US on espionage charges, after a phone conversation with his US counterpart.

Lavrov called the charges levied against Butina “fabricated.”

In his conversation with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday, “Lavrov stressed that the actions of the US authorities that arrested Russian citizen Butina on fabricated charges are unacceptable.”

In an official statement the Russian Foreign Ministry called for her “immediate release.”

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris examine the oddly timed, out of the blue arrest of Maria Butina, who is being held by US authorities for what they claim to be a violation of the FARA act.

In reality Maria Butina’s crime is much more troubling than simply failing to register as a foreign agent.

Maria made the double mistake of being in the United States of America as a Russian citizens who loves guns, at a time when racism and bigotry against Russians and NRA supporters is surpassing McCarthyite levels.

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Via RT

The Foreign minister raised the issue during phone conversations that were made at the request of the US and aimed at “further normalization of the US-Russian relations” following the summit between the US President Donald Trump and Russia’s Vladimir Putin in Helsinki. Lavrov and Pompeo also discussed the process of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, as well as the situation in Syria.

The 29-year-old Russian student and a gun activist was arrested in the US about a week ago and charged with acting as a foreign agent without registering her activities with the authorities. Butina has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

On July 16, a DC Federal Court rejected Butina’s bail plea and ordered her to be placed in custody pending trial over fears that she could flee or contact Russian intelligence officials. Her lawyer says the trial is being politicized and Russian embassy staff were only allowed to visit her in jail on Thursday.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has called Butina’s arrest politically motivated, adding that it could have been aimed at disrupting the Helsinki summit between Putin and Trump. On Thursday, the ministry also launched a campaign hashtagged #FreeMariaButina on Twitter to raise awareness of her case.

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Ugly breakup at FBI: Lisa Page throws ex-lover, Peter Strzok, under the bus (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 60.

Alex Christoforou

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While Peter Strzok’s testimony put a face on the deceptive and secretive Deep State, GOP lawmakers who were present at Lisa Page’s closed-door deposition said they learned a lot of new information from the ex-FBI lawyer, and ex-lover of Peter Strzok.

Lisa Page confirmed to GOP lawmakers that the text messages sent between her and her lover Strzok “meant exactly what they said,” contrary to Strzok’s testimony.

According to The Gateway Pundit, one damning text message in particular sent from Strzok on May 19th, 2017, just two days after Robert Mueller was appointed Special Counsel, intrigued investigators and the public alike.

“There’s no big there there,” Strzok texted.

According to investigative reporter, John Solomon, Lisa Page confirmed that text from Peter Strzok did indeed refer to the Trump-Russia case.

Strzok knew it was a nothing-burger yet he forged ahead.

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou, RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle, and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss how Peter Strzok’s testimony has undoubtedly contradicted Lisa Page’s cooperative deposition, as the ex-FBI lawyer is preparing to save herself, while throwing her ex-lover under the bus.

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Via The Epoch Times

Representatives John Ratcliffe and Louie Gohmert of Texas recently shared their observations of the closed-door testimony of former high-ranking FBI lawyer Lisa Page, which concluded on July 16.

One of the major questions regarding the testimony was whether it would match the one given by FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok.

But while Ratcliffe said he found a mismatch, Gohmert wouldn’t go so far.

Page and Strzok played major roles in the investigations on both 2016 presidential candidates: former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server and the Trump campaign’s alleged ties to Russia. During the same period, Page and Strzok had an affair and exchanged thousands of text messages expressing a strong bias against Trump and in favor of Clinton.

“When I questioned Lisa Page on Friday about the anti-Trump text messages that were sent between herself and Peter Strzok, there were significant differences in her testimony and Strzok’s as it relates to what she thought some of these text messages meant,” Ratcliffe said in a July 16 tweet, shortly before the second round of questioning.

“Page gave us new information that Strzok either wouldn’t or couldn’t, confirming some of the concerns we had about these investigations and the people involved in running them,” he wrote.

On July 17, Ratcliffe expanded on his further statements about Page’s testimony. Radcliffe told Fox News…

“There are differences in their testimony.”

“In many cases, she admits that the text messages mean exactly what they say, as opposed to agent Strzok, who thinks that we’ve all misinterpreted his own words on any text message that might be negative.”

Via The Epoch Times

In one of the texts, Strzok vowed to “stop” Trump from becoming president. In another, the two discussed having an “insurance policy” in the “unlikely” event that Trump would win the election.

Strzok, who gave a closed-door testimony on June 27 and a public one on July 12, said the first message meant he and the American people would stop Trump. The second, he said previously, meant he wanted to pursue the Russia investigation aggressively, in case Trump won.

GOP lawmakers were furious with Strzok’s attitude and unwillingness to answer questions. In a scathing monologue, Gohmert even linked Strzok’s credibility to the fact that he was unfaithful to his wife.

President Donald Trump repeatedly called Strzok’s testimony a “disgrace.”

The lawmakers said Page was comparatively more cooperative.

“There were times the FBI lawyers would be reaching to the button to mute her comment, and she would answer before they could mute her comment,” Gohmert told Fox News.

He said Page didn’t contradict Strzok “so much,” but “has given us insights into who was involved in what.”

“I think she’ll be a good witness,” he said.

Page ditched her first testimony appointment on July 11, prompting GOP lawmakers to threaten her with contempt of Congress. She then agreed to appear on July 13, which gave her the opportunity to review Strzok’s public testimony before giving hers.

The lawmakers are probing the FBI’s and Justice Department’s decisions before the election, suspecting they were influenced by political considerations.

Texts between Strzok and Page suggest that the FBI initiated an offensive counterintelligence operation against the Trump campaign as early as December 2015.

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