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World US slaps sanctions on Iran-linked Iraqis over protest abuses

20:10  06 december  2019
20:10  06 december  2019 Source:   msn.com

Iran arrests eight 'linked to CIA' in street unrest

  Iran arrests eight 'linked to CIA' in street unrest Iran has arrested eight people accused of links to the CIA and gathering information to send abroad during deadly street violence that erupted after a fuel price hike triggered demonstrations. Two others accused of trying to collect information and transfer it abroad were arrested before they could leave the country, the news agency said. They had all been "trained in different countries on how to collect information... as citizen-journalists," it added.

The United States on Friday announced sanctions on three Iranian-linked Iraqi militia leaders for allegedly assisting the crackdown on demonstrations that have swept the country.

Mike Pompeo holding a sign: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Iraqis © Kenzo TRIBOUILLARD US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Iraqis "want their country back"

"The Iraqi people want their country back. They are calling for genuine reform and accountability and for trustworthy leaders who will put Iraq's national interests first," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement.

The United States imposed sanctions on three Iraqis -- Qais al-Khazali, Laith al-Khazali, and Hussein Falil Aziz al-Lami -- who are part of Popular Mobilization Forces, or Hashed al-Shaabi, a Shiite militia movement close to Iran.

Six European countries join barter system for Iran trade

  Six European countries join barter system for Iran trade Paris, London and Berlin on Saturday welcomed six new European countries to the INSTEX barter mechanism, which is designed to circumvent US sanctions against trade with Iran by avoiding use of the dollar. The accession of the six new members "further strengthens INSTEX and demonstrates European efforts to facilitate legitimate trade between Europe and Iran", France, Germany and Britain said. It represents "a clear expression of our continuing commitment to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action" -- the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal -- the trio added.They insisted Iran must return to full compliance with its commitments under the deal "without delay".

Some 430 people have died across Iraq as authorities cracked down on protests, which eventually led to the resignation of prime minister Adel Abdel Mahdi, a close ally of Iran.

The three militia leaders were designated under a US law that will ban them from travel to the United States and seize any assets they have in the country.

The United States also placed sanctions on an Iraqi politician, Khamis Farhan al-Khanjar al-Issawi, on bribery charges.

David Schenker, the top US diplomat for the Middle East, warned that more sanctions could come, including against government officials.

sct/ft

The Aramco attack was an 'act of war' by Iran: Senior State Department official .
The September attack on Saudi Aramco's facilities that temporarily shut down half of the kingdom's oil production represented an act of war by the Iranian state, U.S. special representative to Iran Brian Hook told CNBC on Saturday. © Provided by CNBC LLC Brian Hook, Special Representative for Iran and Senior Policy Advisor to the Secretary of State, at the United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) 2018 Iran Summit in New York City.

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