Following the killing of Iranian military commander General Qassem Soleimani on January 3 by the United States on the order of president Donald Trump and a retaliatory missile attack by Iran on U.S. forces in Iraq, tensions between the U.S and Iran have risen.
Britain, France and Germany on Tuesday had accused Iran of violating the 2015 nuclear deal with major powers after the country took measures to reduce its compliance with the deal after Trump’s administration abandoned the pact in 2018 and has since reimposed economic sanctions on Tehran.
On Wednesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani dismissed a proposal for a new “Trump deal” aimed at resolving a nuclear row, saying it was a “strange” offer and criticizing Trump for always breaking promises.
Rouhani told Washington to return to the nuclear pact, which Washington abandoned in 2018, under which Tehran curbed its nuclear work in return for the lifting of international sanctions on Iran.
At a security conference in New Delhi, Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister said “the United States didn’t implement (the existing deal’s) …commitments, now it has withdrawn… I had a U.S. deal and the U.S. broke it. If I have a Trump deal, how long will it last?”
Zarif added that Iran is interested in diplomacy, but not in negotiating with the United States, adding the existing pact was among the “best deals” he could envisage.
According to Reuters, Iran denies its nuclear program is aimed at building a bomb but has gradually rolled back its commitments under the 2015 accord since the United States pulled out.
Earlier, British prime minister Boris Johnson called for Trump to replace the 2015 deal with his own new pact to ensure Iran did not get an atomic weapon.
Italy Reports Highest Daily Death Toll Yet Of 969
Italy has on Friday reported the highest daily death toll of any country since the outbreak began.
Even as the number of new cases declined on Friday, the country confirmed that fatalities from the virus shot up to 969, bringing the total coronavirus related deaths to 9,134, among 86,498 cases.
In Spain, 769 new deaths were reported in the past 24 hours as the European country struggle to agree on a strategy to curb the spread of the virus. The total number of deaths from coronavirus in the country is now 4,858.
The U.S. overtook China for the most cases worldwide on Thursday, fueled by a large jump in infections in New York as the number of infections in the country is now more than 86,000 according to Johns Hopkins University.
Xi, Trump Hold Phone Conversation On Covid-19 Pandemic Control, Bilateral Ties
Chinese president, Xi Jinping says his country stands ready to enhance cooperation with, and offer support to, the United States to contain the novel coronavirus outbreak.
In a telephone conversation with US president Donald Trump, Xi stressed that China has been sharing information with the World Health Organization and countries, including the United States on covid-19, in an open, transparent and responsible manner since the onset of the epidemic.
He said China has also been sharing experience on covid-19 prevention, containment and treatment without any reservation.
Xi stressed that now, China-U.S. relations are at a critical juncture. He said cooperation can lead to mutual benefits for the two countries, while confrontation will do no good to anyone. He said cooperation is the only correct choice.
For his part, Trump said he, together with other foreign leaders, appreciates Xi’s vision and initiative at the G20 virtual summit.
The U.S. President said he is glad to see China’s progress in containing the epidemic and is inspired by China’s experience in this regard. Trump said the United States is willing to enhance cooperation with china in the medical and health field, including the research and development of anti-epidemic drugs.
23 Sailors On US Navy Aircraft Carrier Test Positive For Coronavirus
Two US officials say at least 23 sailors aboard the navy aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt have tested positive for the coronavirus.
Only three cases were reported earlier this week. As a result of the dramatic increase in the number of infected sailors, the ship has been docked on the Island of Guam, so health authorities would be able to test all five thousand sailors aboard the carrier.
Chief of naval operations, Admiral Mike Gilday said the navy takes this threat very seriously and is working quickly to identify and isolate positive cases, while preventing further spread of the virus aboard the ship. He said no sailors had been hospitalized or are seriously ill.
Gilday told reporters on Tuesday authorities don’t know if the sailors became infected with the coronavirus when the ship made a port call in Vietnam in early March.
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