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Tehran has rebuked Washington’s decision to unilaterally reimpose UN sanctions on the Islamic Republic, predicting that the move will damage the US’ standing in the international community.

Majid Takht-Ravanchi, the Iranian envoy to the United Nations, issued a scathing retort to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s announcement late on Saturday that Washington intends to reintroduce most of the UN sanctions against Tehran lifted under the 2015 nuclear deal. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JPCOA) was aimed at placing restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. It was signed by Iran, the US, Russia, China, the UK, Germany and France. 

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Washington unilaterally reimposes UN sanctions on Iran despite opposition from UN Security Council members – including US allies

Noting that the United States is no longer a signatory, the Iranian diplomat argued that Washington’s claim of “snapback” sanctions under the JCPOA is “null & void.” In a tweet, he described the US’ self-declared ‘deadline’ for triggering the sanctions as “illegal & false,” noting that by acting alone Washington was “swimming against [international] currents” and risking “more isolation” on the global stage. 

In a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Takht-Ravanchi said that the US was trying to “completely ruin” the JCPOA by employing “unilateral arbitrary interpretations and pseudo-legal arguments.” The Iranian envoy expressed hope that the Security Council would block such moves, warning that Washington was “undermining the authority and credibility of the Council and the United Nations.”

Pompeo has taken a forceful stance on its insistence that the unilaterally-imposed sanctions should be recognized, warning that any nation that refuses to comply with the US on the matter will face “consequences.” 

However, Washington’s NATO allies have reportedly already expressed their displeasure with the move. The UK, France, and Germany signaled their strong opposition to the sanctions in a letter to the UN Sec

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Pakistan blast: At least seven dead in Peshawar school attack

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At least seven people have died after an explosion during a class at a religious school in Pakistan, police have said.

Children of various age groups are among the dead, an officer at the scene told the BBC.

Dozens of others were injured in the attack, which took place in the northern city of Peshawar.

No group has yet claimed responsibility. An investigation has been launched.

The city of Peshawar, close to the Afghan border, has seen some of the worst of the violence during the Taliban insurgency in recent years.

Six years ago, gunmen stormed a military school in the city leaving more than 150 dead, including many children.

What happened?

The blast took place at about 08:30 local time (03:30 GMT), police told the BBC.

About 60 people are understood to have been in the class at the religious school, known as a madrassa.

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An eyewitness has told the police he saw a man enter the building with a bag of explosives shortly before the blast.

news agency that two teachers were injured.

Hospital officials told Reuters news agency that they had received dozens of injured, many with burns.

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Duterte seeks best Covid vaccine deal but ‘will not beg’ or allow private suppliers to rip off Philippines

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said he would pursue a direct government-to-government deal for a coronavirus vaccine with either China or Russia, warning that ‘corrupt’ private suppliers could try to swindle his country.

“Let me tell everybody that we will not beg, we will pay,” Duterte said in a televised address on Monday night, adding that while Manila is not seeking charity it also aims to sign a direct government-to-government deal without intermediaries.

The president did not indicate the status of vaccine negotiations with Beijing or Moscow, saying he merely mentioned the two countries as possible sources out of a “sense of urgency,” and that “all options” were still on the table. 

The one that could give us the best interest for the country will be chosen.

Duterte stressed the need to obtain an inoculation directly from a friendly foreign state, rather than a private business, warning that such transactions could only bring “trouble” and that a government deal would mean “no corruption.”




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Western pharma is ‘all about profit’: Philippines’ Duterte vows to solely procure coronavirus vaccines from Russia & China



Under its proposed national budget for 2021, Manila will devote some 2.5 billion Philippine pesos ($51.6 million) to vaccine procurement, which Duterte said would be overseen by Finance Secretary Carlos ‘Sonny’ Dominguez III.

“Since he is going to pay, I will listen to Sonny. If there are no funds, he will go to jail,” the president said, apparently threatening prison time for a member of his own cabinet.

Duterte previously torched Western pharma firms developing coronavirus immunizations, saying they were “all about profit,” pointing to some companies who asked for a “cash advance before they deliver the vaccine.” The leader gave a stern warning to any company who offered similar proposals, vowing “I’ll kick your a**.”

Though the president has offered to be the first in his country to take the jab developed in Russia, Sputnik V, it is not clear whether such an arrangement has been made. However, Moscow’s ambassador to the island nation, Igor Khovaev, recently stated the jab could be available to the Philippines by the end of the year.




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Sputnik V questions ANSWERED: Head of team financing world’s first Covid-19 vaccine explains formula to critics



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At least 7 killed, 70 wounded after bomb goes off at religious school in Pakistan – hospital official

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At least seven people were killed and more than 70 wounded in an explosion inside a seminary in northern Pakistan on Tuesday morning. Children are among the victims.

The blast took place in Peshawar, the capital of the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Senior police official Wagar Azim told AFP that a bomb brought inside the Speen Jammat mosque, which also functions as a religious school for local children, went off in the middle of Quran studi

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