(TMU) — According to reports, Iran said on Sunday that it would no longer fully abide by the limits of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)—also known as the Iran nuclear deal, and will instead “go on solely according to the country’s technical needs.”
Sunday’s announcement comes on the heals of the assassination of Iran’s second most powerful figure, General Qassem Soleimani in Iraq on Friday and is the most significant threat made by the country since U.S. President Donald Trump formally reneged on the Iran nuclear deal in May of 2018.
The announcement came after Iraq’s Parliament voted to expel all American troops from the country. Those in attendance chanted “No, no, America” ahead of the vote.
“Yes,yes Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandus”
MPs are chanting inside the hall. pic.twitter.com/t4brkHuVwR
— Mustafa Salim (@Mustafa_salimb) January 5, 2020
Iran has been repeatedly certifiably compliant with the terms of the deal aimed at blocking Tehran from building an atomic weapon, despite the recklessness of the United States.
According to ABC, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s administration released a statement Sunday saying Iran will no longer observe limitations on uranium enrichment or the amount of stockpiled enriched uranium. An Iranian television broadcaster explained:
“The government of the Islamic Republic of Iran has in a statement announced its fifth and final step in reducing Iran’s commitments under the JCPOA. The Islamic Republic of Iran no longer faces any limitations in operations.”
Iran also insists it remains open to negotiations with Europe.
As news quickly spread claiming that Iran has completely abandoned the deal, some took to social media to dispute the claims and highlight the fact that cooperation with the IAEA will continue.
Seeing lots on Iran abandoning JCPOA.
To best of my knowledge, it has not.
Measures fall under Para 36 of JCPOA.
Enrichment will be in line with "practical needs"; IAEA coop intact; and like prior steps, restrictions will be reimplemented once E3/EU adheres to committments.
— Mohammad Ali Shabani (@mashabani) January 5, 2020
There seems to be some confusion over Iran's announcement re: the JCPOA.
An Iranian official has confirmed to me that they're not leaving the nuclear deal. With this latest move, there no longer will be a limit on the # of centrifuges. IAEA cooperation & access will continue.
— Suzanne DiMaggio (@suzannedimaggio) January 5, 2020
As 5th & final REMEDIAL step under paragraph 36 of JCPOA, there will no longer be any restriction on number of centrifuges
This step is within JCPOA & all 5 steps are reversible upon EFFECTIVE implementation of reciprocal obligations
Iran's full cooperation w/IAEA will continue
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) January 5, 2020
Let's get the facts about the JCPOA announcement right. There are too many inaccurate headlines and tweets about this–largely because some Iranian media outlets had dramatic headlines.
Iran isn't ending ALL JCPOA commitments. It WILL continue to give IAEA access as before.
— Ariane Tabatabai (@ArianeTabatabai) January 5, 2020
The IAEA is tasked with inspecting and monitoring Iran’s uranium enrichment activities in order to verify that its level of enrichment has not exceeded the 3.67% allowed under the JCPOA.
The Islamic Republic News Agency reports that “Iran is ready to go back to its JCPOA commitments once the sanctions are removed.” Sanctions are one of the key tools the U.S. uses against Iran and are often a precursor to war.
Regardless, the announcement is sure to elicit a response from Israel, whose government has long accused Iran of continuing to work toward creating a nuclear arsenal.
— The Independent (@Independent) February 24, 2015
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed conclusive proof of the secret nuclear weapons program that Iran has been hiding for years from the international community in its secret atomic archive. https://t.co/Ea6p1QMDct pic.twitter.com/P4vWoixYcq
— PM of Israel (@IsraeliPM) April 30, 2018
Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia’s director of the Department for Non-Proliferation and Arms Control, tweeted Sunday that he hope’s Soleimani’s death “will not influence the JCPOA which is not already in good condition.” Ulyanov also called on Iran and European partners of the JCPOA to show restraint and to act rationally in an effort to save the Iran nuclear deal, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency.
Убийство ген.Сулеймани чревато весьма негативными последствиями для ситуации в регионе. Хотелось бы, чтобы это не затронуло #СВПД, который и так находится не в лучшем состоянии. Для этого и Ирану , и западноевропейским участникам сделки следует проявлять разумную сдержанность.
— Mikhail Ulyanov (@Amb_Ulyanov) January 5, 2020
Also on Sunday, hundreds of thousands of people filled Iran’s streets, mourning the death Soleimani.
What appears to be millions attending Soleimani’s funeral procession in Ahvaz, an Iranian city usually described by mainstream media as “restive”, and hence hardly a Soleimani stronghold. Trump doesn’t know what is awaiting him across the Middle East pic.twitter.com/axTonhi13n
— Amal Saad (@amalsaad_lb) January 5, 2020
Dolphin Swims Through Louisiana Neighborhood in Aftermath of Hurricane Ida
A Louisiana family was shocked to find a dolphin swimming through their neighborhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.
Amanda Huling and her family were assessing the damage to their neighborhood in Slidell, Louisiana, when they noticed the dolphin swimming through the inundated suburban landscape.
In video shot by Huling, the marine mammal’s dorsal fin can be seen emerging from the water.
“The dolphin was still there as of last night but I am in contact with an organization who is going to be rescuing it within the next few days if it is still there,” Huling told FOX 35.
Ida slammed into the coast of Louisiana this past weekend. The Category 4 hurricane ravaged the power grid of the region, plunging residents of New Orleans and upwards of 1 million homes and businesses in Louisiana and Mississippi into the dark for an indefinite period of time.
Officials have warned that the damage has been so extensive that it could take weeks to repair the power grid, reports Associated Press.
Also in Slidell, a 71-year-old man was attacked by an alligator over the weekend while he was in his flooded shed. The man went missing and is assumed dead, reports WDSU.
Internet users began growing weary last year about the steady stream of stories belonging to a “nature is healing” genre, as people stayed indoors and stories emerged about animals taking back their environs be it in the sea or in our suburbs.
However, these latest events are the surreal realities of a world in which extreme weather events are fast becoming the new normal – disrupting our lives in sometimes predictable, and occasionally shocking and surreal, ways.
Mom in LA Suburbs Fights Off Mountain Lion With Bare Hands, Rescues 5-Year-Old Son
A mother in Southern California is being hailed as a hero after rescuing her five-year-old son from an attacking mountain lion.
The little boy was playing outside his home in Calabasas, a city lying west of Los Angeles in the Santa Monica Mountains, when the large cat pounced on him.
The 65-pound (30 kg) mountain lion dragged the boy about 45 yards across the front lawn before the mother acted fast, running out and striking the creature with her bare hands and forcing it to free her son.
“The true hero of this story is his mom because she absolutely saved her son’s life,” California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Captain Patrick Foy told Associated Press on Saturday.
“She ran out of the house and started punching and striking the mountain lion with her bare hands and got him off her son,” Foy added.
The boy sustained significant injuries to his head, neck and upper torso, but is now in stable condition at a hospital in Los Angeles, according to authorities.
The mountain lion was later located and killed by an officer with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, who found the big cat crouching in the bushes with its “ears back and hissing” at the officer shortly after he arrived at the property.
“Due to its behavior and proximity to the attack, the warden believed it was likely the attacking lion and to protect public safety shot and killed it on sight,” the wildlife department noted in its statement.
The mountain lion attack is the first such attack on a human in Los Angeles County since 1995, according to Fish and Wildlife.
The Santa Monica Mountains is a biodiverse region teeming with wildlife such as large raptors, mountain lions, bears, coyote, deer, lizards, and snakes. However, their numbers have rapidly faded in recent years, causing local wildlife authorities to find new ways to manage the region’s endemic species.
Video Shows Taliban Taking Joyride in Captured US Blackhawk Helicopter
The rapid fall of Kabul to the Taliban has resulted in a number of surreal sights – from footage of the Islamist group’s fighters exercising at a presidential gym to clips of combatants having a great time on bumper cars at the local fun park.
However, a new video of Taliban members seemingly testing their skills in the cockpit of a commandeered UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter shows the chilling extent to which U.S. wares have fallen into the hands of a group it spent trillions of dollars, and exhaustive resources, to stamp out.
In the new video, shared on Twitter, the front-line utility helicopter can be seen taxiing on the ground at Kandahar Airport in southeastern Afghanistan, moving along the tarmac. It is unclear who exactly was sitting in the cockpit, and the Black Hawk cannot be seen taking off or flying.
It is unlikely that the Taliban have any combatants who are sufficiently trained to fly a UH-60 Black Hawk.
The helicopter, which carries a $6 million price tag, is just a small part of the massive haul that fell into the militant group’s hands after the country’s central government seemingly evaporated on Aug. 14 amid the withdrawal of U.S. and coalition troops.
Some 200,000 firearms, 20,000 Humvees and hundreds of aircraft financed by Washington for the now-defunct Afghan Army are believed to be in the possession of the Taliban.
The firearms include M24 sniper rifles, M18 assault weapons, anti-tank missiles, automatic grenade launchers, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars.
Taliban fighters in the elite Badri 313 Brigade have been seen in propaganda images showing off in uniforms and wielding weaponry meant for the special forces units of the Afghan Army.
The U.S. is known to have purchased 42,000 light tactical vehicles, 9,000 medium tactical vehicles and over 22,000 Humvees between 2003 and 2016.
The White House remains unclear on how much weaponry has fallen into Taliban hands, with National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan admitting last week that the U.S. lacks a “clear picture of just how much missing $83 billion of military inventory” the group has.