Senate Trial ‘Should Go Very Quickly’, Says Trump

Senate Majority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) listens while US President Donald Trump speaks to reporters before a meeting with Senate Republicans on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.  Brendan Smialowski / AFP

 

President Donald Trump predicted Thursday that his impeachment trial in the US Senate will not take long and again dismissed the abuse of power charges against him as “a hoax.”

“I think it should go very quickly,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office as the upper chamber’s members were sworn in to serve as the jury in Trump’s historic trial over the Ukraine scandal.

“It’s totally partisan,” Trump said. “It’s a hoax. It’s a hoax and everybody knows it’s a complete hoax.”

Trump’s Impeachment Trial Adjourned Till Tuesday

Chief Justice of The U.S. Supreme Court John Roberts (R) is escorted by Senate Sargent at Arms, Michael C. Stenger after leaving the Senate Chamber at the U.S. Capitol, on January 16, 2020, in Washington, DC. Yesterday the House formally transmitted the Articles of Impeachment against U.S. President Donald Trump to the Senate for the trial. Mark Wilson/Getty Images/AFP

 

Members of the US Senate were sworn in on Thursday to serve as jurors at the historic impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.

US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, who will preside over the trial, administered the oath to the senators who will decide whether the 45th president should be removed from office.

“Do you solemnly swear that in all things appertaining to the trial of the impeachment of Donald John Trump, President of the United States, now pending, you will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and the laws, so help you God,” Roberts said.

Senators in the chamber responded: “I do.” They then individually signed a book affirming their oath.

Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican Senate majority leader, then adjourned the proceedings and said the trial would resume at 1:00 pm (1800 GMT) on Tuesday.

Earlier on Thursday, Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee who will serve as lead prosecutor for the trial, read out the two articles of impeachment accusing Trump of “high crimes and misdemeanours.”

The Democratic-controlled House, in an overwhelmingly partisan vote, impeached Trump on December 18 for abuse of power in his dealings with Ukraine and for obstruction of Congress.

Impeachment rules require a two-thirds Senate majority to convict and remove a president and Trump’s acquittal is widely expected in the Republican-dominated Senate.

AFP

Trump Impeachment Trial Begins In US Senate

A file photo of US President, Donald Trump. AFP Photo.

 

Amid a solemn silence, articles of impeachment against Donald Trump were read aloud on the Senate floor on Thursday as the bitterly divided chamber began a historic trial of the US president for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Senate Sergeant of Arms Michael Stenger opened just the third impeachment trial of a US president in history with a warning to the 100 senators.

“Hear ye, hear ye, hear ye,” Stenger said after the seven members of the House of Representatives who will serve as prosecutors gathered in the well of the Senate chamber.

“All persons are commanded to keep silent, on pain of imprisonment, while the House of Representatives is exhibiting to the Senate of the United States, articles of impeachment against Donald John Trump, President of the United States,” the sergeant at arms said.

Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee who will serve as lead prosecutor for the trial, then read out the two articles of impeachment passed by the House on December 18.

“I will now read the articles of impeachment,” Schiff said, “impeaching Donald John Trump, President of the United States, for high crimes and misdemeanors.”

US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts is to be sworn in at 2:00 pm (1900 GMT) to preside over the trial.

Roberts, 64, who was appointed to the nation’s top court by president George W. Bush, will then deliver an oath to the 100 senators who will swear to administer “impartial justice.”

The proceedings will then adjourn and the trial will get underway “in earnest” on Tuesday, according to Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell.

Impeachment rules require a two-thirds Senate majority to convict and remove a president and Trump’s acquittal is widely expected in the Republican-dominated Senate.

 ‘The Senate’s time is at hand’ 

Trump is accused of abuse of power for withholding military aid to Ukraine and a White House meeting for the country’s president in exchange for an investigation into his potential presidential election rival Democrat Joe Biden.

The Government Accountability Office concluded in a report released Thursday that the White House violated federal law by putting a hold on the congressionally-approved funds for Ukraine.

“Faithful execution of the law does not permit the President to substitute his own policy priorities for those that Congress has enacted into law,” according to the GAO, a congressional watchdog.

The second article of impeachment — for obstruction of Congress — relates to Trump’s refusal to provide witnesses and documents to House impeachment investigators in defiance of congressional subpoenas.

McConnell has been extremely critical of Trump’s impeachment by the Democratic-controlled House and pledged on Thursday that things would be different in the Senate.

“It was a transparently partisan performance from beginning to end,” McConnell said. “But it’s not what this process will be going forward.

“This chamber exists precisely so that we can look past the daily drama,” the Republican senator from Kentucky said. “The House’s hour is over. The Senate’s time is at hand.”

The two articles of impeachment were delivered to the Senate on Wednesday in a solemn procession by the seven House Democrats who will prosecute the case against the 45th US president.

“So sad, so tragic for our country, that the actions taken by the president to undermine our national security, to violate his oath of office and to jeopardize the security of our elections, has taken us to this place,” Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said as she signed the articles.

“This president will be held accountable,” she said. “No one is above the law.”

Pelosi held back on delivering the articles to the Senate as she pressured McConnell to agree to subpoena the witnesses and documents that the White House blocked from the House probe.

McConnell has refused to commit, saying the issue will only be decided after the trial’s opening arguments and questioning.

 ‘Con Job’ 

A Trump administration official told reporters they expect the trial to last no longer than two weeks, suggesting McConnell could use his 53-47 Republican majority to stifle calls for witnesses and quickly take the charges to a vote.

Trump ridiculed the investigation and trial on Wednesday, as he has for months.

“Here we go again, another Con Job by the Do Nothing Democrats,” he wrote on Twitter.

Democrats released documents this week that showed Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani worked with Ukrainian-born American Lev Parnas to pressure Kiev to investigate Biden.

They also showed the two, working with Ukrainian officials, trying to force out the US ambassador to the country, Marie Yovanovitch, eventually removed by Trump.

In a televised interview Wednesday, Parnas told MSNBC that “President Trump knew exactly what was going on.”

“He was aware of all of my movements. I wouldn’t do anything without the consent of Rudy Giuliani or the president,” Parnas said.

Aside from Schiff the prosecution team will include Judiciary Committee chair Jerry Nadler; House Democratic Caucus chair Hakeem Jeffries; Zoe Lofgren, a veteran of two previous impeachment investigations; and three others.

Dialogue Is Ongoing To Prevent War, Says Iran’s Rouhani

A handout picture provided by the Iranian presidency shows the Islamic republic’s President Hassan Rouhani chairing a cabinet meeting in Tehran on January 15, 2020. Iranian people “want diversity”, Rouhani said as he urged electoral authorities to refrain from disqualifying would-be candidates for a general election in February. “The people are our masters and we are its servants. The servant must address the master with modesty, precision, and honesty,” Rouhani said after a cabinet meeting.
IRANIAN PRESIDENCY / AFP

 

Iran’s president said Thursday dialogue with the world remained “possible” despite high tensions with the United States, and stressed that Tehran was working daily “to prevent military confrontation or war”.

Iran attacked US military targets in Iraq on January 8 to retaliate against Washington’s targeted killing of a key Iranian general five days earlier in Baghdad, at a time when both are also locked in a bitter dispute over Iran’s nuclear programme.

“The government is working daily to prevent military confrontation or war,”

said in a televised speech, adding that dialogue with the international community was difficult but remained “possible”.

More to follow

AFP

Trump’s Trial ‘Extraordinarily Unlikely’ To Go Over Two Weeks – US Official

File Photo: MANDEL NGAN / AFP

President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate is almost sure to end within two weeks, a senior administration official said Wednesday.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said, “I think it’s extraordinarily unlikely it will be going beyond two weeks.”

According to the official, the White House believes it has an easy case and the Republican-controlled Senate will quickly acquit. Trump is accused of abusing his office and obstructing Congress.

Trump’s Impeachment Articles Heading For US Senate

Senate Majority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) listens while US President Donald Trump speaks to reporters before a meeting with Senate Republicans on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.  AFP

 

The House of Representatives is expected to transmit articles of impeachment against Donald Trump to the Senate Wednesday, setting the stage for a trial next week that will decide whether the 45th US president is forced from office.

After a weeks-long standoff over rules and witnesses, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Tuesday that what will be only the third presidential impeachment trial was now ready to move forward.

Pelosi is expected to sign the articles of impeachment at around 5:00 pm (2200 GMT) before they are then ceremoniously transferred from the House and travel through the US capitol’s main hallways before being delivered to the Secretary of the Senate.

That ceremony will follow an announcement by Pelosi on which Democratic lawmakers will lead the prosecution case against Trump in the Senate, expected to begin next Tuesday.

Trump was impeached in December by the Democrat-controlled House on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

But his conviction in the Senate is highly unlikely as the president’s Republican Party has a 53-47 majority. A two-thirds majority to approve his guilt is needed if he is to be removed from office at the end of a trial expected to last two weeks.

Although the trial itself is unlikely to start until next week, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts could be sworn in to preside over the process on either Thursday or Friday.

Trump has consistently painted the charges against him as part of a witch-hunt and again took to Twitter on Tuesday evening to decry his impeachment in the House as “the most lopsided & unfair basement hearing in the history of Congress!”

“While we’re creating jobs and killing terrorists, Democrats in Congress are wasting America’s time with demented hoaxes and crazy witch hunts,” he told supporters at a rally in Winconsin.

At times, he has called the whole process to be stopped in its tracks while on other occasions he has apparently relished the prospect of turning the tables against his tormentors in a chamber where his supporters are in the majority.

McConnell pushed back on Tuesday against any suggestions that he would try and prevent the trial from going ahead.

“There’s little or no sentiment for a motion to dismiss. We have an obligation to listen to the arguments,” he added.

Pelosi meanwhile called for a fair trial and demanded the Senate subpoena witnesses and documents from the White House that will be crucial in the trial.

“The American people deserve the truth, and the Constitution demands a trial … The president and the senators will be held accountable,” she added.

Pelosi attacked suggestions by Trump and some of his supporters that the Senate, as soon as the trial opens, vote to dismiss the charges. That would only require a majority vote.

“A dismissal is a cover-up,” she charged.

Trump was impeached on December 18 when the House voted to formally charge him with abusing his power by illicitly seeking help from Ukraine for his reelection campaign.

He is accused of holding up aid to Ukraine to pressure Kiev to investigate former vice president Joe Biden, the frontrunner in the race for the Democratic party’s 2020 presidential nomination.

Trump is also charged with obstruction for holding back witnesses and documents from the House impeachment investigation in defiance of Congressional subpoenas.

 Subpoena push 

The White House is steeling itself for a trial that could present damaging evidence against the US leader on national television.

Pelosi had delayed delivering the articles of impeachment to pressure the Senate to agree to subpoena witnesses with direct knowledge of Trump’s Ukraine actions, including his chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and former national security advisor John Bolton.

McConnell said that, as with the impeachment trial of president Bill Clinton in 1999, the witness issue will only be considered after the 100 senators — the jurors in the trial — hear the prosecution and defense arguments.

AFP

Senate Likely To Begin Trump’s Impeachment Trial Next Tuesday

US President Donald Trump speaks during the 9th Shale Insight Conference at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center on October 23, 2019, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Brendan Smialowski / AFP

 

The Senate impeachment trial of US President Donald Trump is likely to begin in seven days with key players sworn in later this week, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday. 

McConnell said he expected the House of Representatives to deliver the articles of impeachment against Trump to the upper chamber on Wednesday.

“We believe that if that happens — in all likelihood — we’ll go through preliminary steps here this week which could well include the chief justice coming over and swearing-in members of the Senate and some other kinds of housekeeping measures,” McConnell told reporters.

“We hope to achieve that by consent which would set us up to begin the actual trial next Tuesday.”

READ ALSO: US Slaps Sanctions Over N.Korea Workers But Appeals For Dialogue

Trump faces charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, and the 100 senators will be his judge.

On Thursday or Friday this week, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts is expected to be sworn in to preside over the trial, which should last at least two weeks, and could run through mid-February.

‘People Deserve The Truth’

Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic House speaker, called for a fair trial and demanded the Senate subpoena witnesses and documents from the White House that will be crucial in the trial.

“The American people deserve the truth, and the Constitution demands a trial… The president and the senators will be held accountable,” she added.

Trump will become only the third president in US history to go on trial, risking his removal from office.

But his conviction is highly unlikely, given Republicans’ 53-47 control of the Senate, and the high two-thirds vote threshold required to find him guilty.

But both parties were girding for tense weeks of hearings that could lay bare the US leader’s alleged wrongdoing to the American public on live television.

Tense Trial

Pelosi attacked suggestions by Trump and some of his supporters that the Senate, as soon as the trial opens, vote to dismiss the charges. That would only require a majority vote.

“A dismissal is a cover-up,” she charged.

McConnell, however, pushed back against suggestions that he would try to prevent the trial from going ahead.

“There’s little or no sentiment for a motion to dismiss. Our members feel that we have an obligation to listen to the arguments,” he said.

Trump was impeached on December 18 when the House voted to formally charge him with abusing his power by illicitly seeking help from Ukraine for his reelection campaign.

He is accused of holding up aid to Ukraine to pressure Kiev to investigate former vice president Joe Biden, the frontrunner in the race for the Democratic party’s 2020 presidential nomination.

Trump is also charged with obstruction for holding back witnesses and documents from the House impeachment investigation in defiance of Congressional subpoenas.

‘Witch Hunt’

The president used a rally in Wisconsin on Tuesday night to berate the Democrats for pursuing impeachment while he was busy with issues that he said affected everyday lives.

“While we’re creating jobs and killing terrorists, Democrats in Congress are wasting America’s time with demented hoaxes and crazy witch hunts,” he told supporters.

But the White House is steeling itself for a trial that could present damaging evidence against the US leader on national television.

Pelosi had delayed delivering the articles of impeachment to pressure the Senate to agree to subpoena witnesses with direct knowledge of Trump’s Ukraine actions, including his chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and former national security advisor John Bolton.

McConnell said that, as with the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton in 1999, the witness issue will only be considered after the 100 senators — the jurors in the trial — hear the prosecution and defense arguments, which could take two weeks.

New Evidence

Late Tuesday Adam Schiff, the House Democrat who led the Trump investigation and is expected to lead the team of House impeachment managers in the Senate, announced that they had received new evidence supporting the charges that they would forward to the Senate.

The evidence comes from phone records provided by Ukrainian-born American Lev Parnas, who allegedly worked with Trump’s private lawyer Rudy Giuliani in the alleged scheme to pressure the Ukraine government for dirt on Trump’s Democratic rivals.

Parnas’s records “demonstrate that there is more evidence relevant to the president’s scheme, but they have been concealed by the president himself,” Schiff said.

“There cannot be a full and fair trial in the Senate without the documents that President Trump is refusing to provide to Congress,” he said.

AFP

US Slaps Sanctions Over N.Korea Workers But Appeals For Dialogue

File Photo: Nicholas Kamm / AFP

 

The United States on Tuesday imposed sanctions on two companies for exploiting North Korean overseas labor but joined allies Japan and South Korea in appealing for diplomacy to ease tensions with Pyongyang.

Showing a united front, Japan’s defense and foreign ministers and South Korea’s foreign minister all held talks with American counterparts Tuesday on both coasts, two weeks after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un threatened to launch a new weapon.

In a UN-backed bid to curb North Korea’s cash flow, the United States announced that it was freezing any US assets of the two companies and making any transactions with them a crime.

The Treasury Department targeted the Korea Namgang Trading Corporation, a North Korean firm which it said has maintained workers in Russia, Nigeria and the Middle East.

It also blacklisted Beijing Sukbakso, a Chinese company that has handled lodging and remittances for workers.

“The exportation of North Korean workers raises illicit revenue for the government of North Korea in violation of UN sanctions,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.

Under a UN resolution unanimously approved in 2017, countries had until December 22 last year to send back all workers from North Korea.

Human rights groups have charged that the workers live in virtually slavery-like conditions, with proceeds going to the cash-strapped regime in Pyongyang.

US officials said in 2017 that North Korea had some 100,000 overseas workers, bringing in $500 million a year.

The vast majority work in China and Russia although some have been seen around the world including in Eastern Europe, according to a study by the East-West Center.

The North Koreans are most frequently seen on construction sites, performing labor for long hours and staying in isolated housing.

The 2017 resolution came after nuclear and missile tests by North Korea, but US President Donald Trump soon afterward opened talks with North Korea, holding three landmark meetings with Kim.

The regime had been pressing unsuccessfully for the United States to remove sanctions in return and had set a New Year’s deadline.

– Growing unity among allies –
In a January 1 speech, Kim warned that he will no longer abide by the moratorium on nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile tests and said Pyongyang would test a destructive new weapon.

Asked Tuesday if North Korea had made an idle threat, Defense Secretary Mike Esper declined to speculate but said the United States was prepared.

“We’ll see what happens. It’s in Kim Jong Un’s hands what he intends to do,” Esper told a news conference at the Pentagon with his Japanese counterpart, Taro Kono.

“We continue to send a message that we remain ready to fight tonight if necessary,” he said.

But he stressed: “The best path forward is through a diplomatic solution that results in the denuclearization of North Korea.”

Kono said that Japan, which has especially tense relations with North Korea, supported US pressure on Pyongyang.

Japan hopes that “Kim Jong Un can come to dialogue and, hopefully, he will make the right decision for his own people,” he said.

Esper emphasized unity with Japan and South Korea, mutual US allies whose relations sharply soured last year over disputes linked to Tokyo’s colonial rule of the Korean peninsula.

But tensions have since eased, with South Korea in November backing down on scrapping a military intelligence-sharing pact with Japan.

The Japanese and South Korean foreign ministers, Toshimitsu Motegi and Kang Kyung-hwa, met jointly Tuesday near San Francisco with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The three “stressed that trilateral cooperation is essential to ensure the future of peace in the region,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said.

Environment: Trump Announces Sweeping Changes To NEPA

A file photo of US President, Donald Trump. AFP Photo.

 

 

US President Donald Trump’s administration announced Thursday sweeping changes to an environmental law that critics said guts oversight requirements in the construction of highways, airports and pipelines and allows the government to ignore their impact on climate change.

Under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), signed into law by Richard Nixon in 1970, all major infrastructure projects must be subject to environmental impact assessment by federal agencies.

NEPA was the US’s first major environmental law and designed “to create and maintain conditions under which man and nature can exist in productive harmony.” It has proved an obstacle to Trump’s efforts to accelerate fossil fuel extraction.

The Environment Protection Agency raised an objection to the Keystone XL pipeline, planned to bring oil from Canada to the US, during a NEPA review under the Obama administration, with the former president canceling the project as a result — only for it to be revived under Trump.

The executive branch doesn’t have the power to change the act of Congress, but, as it has previously done for the Endangered Species Act, it can change rules about how it is applied — and it was these proposed changes that were announced Thursday.

Trump told reporters that he was acting because projects were being “tied up and bogged down by an outrageously slow and burdensome federal approval process,” adding he would not stop until “gleaming new infrastructure has made America the envy of the world again.”

– Raises threshold for assessment –

The proposals, which are subject to a 60-day review period for public comments before taking effect at a later date, would raise the threshold for what types of projects require an environmental impact assessment.

It would exclude projects financed in whole or in large part by the private sector, as is the case for a number of oil pipelines.

And federal agencies will be asked to complete their analyses in two years, compared to the four and a half years they are currently given, said Mary Neumayr, who heads the Council on Environmental Quality.

“Over time, implementation of NEPA has become increasingly complex and time consuming for federal agencies, state, local, and tribal agencies, project applicants, and average Americans seeking permits or approvals from the federal government,” she said.

She added that the assessments for highway projects are taking more than seven years, and some studies stretch to longer than a decade.

– Legal challenges expected –

The administration also wants to remove requirements to examine the “cumulative” impacts of projects, something that would exclude the impact of climate change — even though the proposal does not exclude consideration of greenhouse gas emissions in NEPA analyses, said Neumayr.

The definition of environmental impacts would be reduced to those that are “reasonably foreseeable” and have a “reasonably close causal relationship,” while any changes must be “technically and economically feasible.”

Environmental groups slammed the move and vowed to respond with legal challenges.

“Today’s action is nothing more than an attempt to write Donald Trump’s climate denial into official government policy,” said Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club.

“Communities across the country are already feeling the effects of climate change, but rather than protect them, Trump is pulling out all the stops to silence their voices and further prop up his corporate polluter friends.”

US House To Vote Against Trump’s War With Iran

US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi presides over Resolution 755, Articles of Impeachment Against President Donald J. Trump as the House votes at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on December 18, 2019.  SAUL LOEB / AFP

 

The Democratic-led US House of Representatives will vote Thursday to prevent President Donald Trump from war with Iran after he ordered the killing of a top general, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.

Pelosi said that the Democrats will move forward as their concerns were not addressed in a closed-door briefing Wednesday involving Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

AFP

Iran ‘Appears To Be Standing Down’, Says Trump

US President Donald Trump, flanked by advisors, reads from the teleprompter as he addresses the situation with Iran in the Grand Foyer of the White House in Washington, DC, January 8, 2020. AFP

 

US President Donald Trump said Wednesday Iran appeared to be “standing down” after missile strikes on US troop bases in Iraq that resulted in no American or Iraqi deaths.

“All of our soldiers are safe and only minimal damage was sustained at our military bases. Our great American forces are prepared for anything,” he said in an address to the nation from the White House.

“Iran appears to be standing down, which is a good thing for all parties concerned and a very good thing for the world. No American or Iraqi lives were lost.”

Trump announced the United States would be imposing “additional punishing sanctions” on Iran but made no mention of possible retaliation to Tuesday’s missile attacks — seen by experts as a measured first response by Iran to the killing of General Qasem Soleimani in an American drone strike.

AFP

Trump’s Iraq Sanctions Threat ‘Not Very Helpful’ – Germany

German Chancellor, Angela Merkel/ AFP

 

US President Donald Trump’s threat to slap sanctions on Iraq should Baghdad expel US troops based there “is not very helpful”, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Monday.

“I don’t think you can convince Iraq with threats, but with arguments,” Maas told Deutschlandfunk radio, warning that years-long efforts to rebuild Iraq “could all be lost” if the situation escalates.

Trump earlier vowed to hit Iraq with sanctions “like they’ve never seen before” if US troops are forced to leave the country.

The threat came after Iraqi lawmakers voted on Sunday to request the government end an agreement with a US-led international coalition to fight the hardline Islamist group IS in the region.

Tensions have soared following the killing of top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani by a US drone strike in Baghdad on Friday.

A furious Tehran has since announced a further step back from its commitments to the 2015 nuclear accord, leaving the future of the hard-fought pact in doubt.

European leaders have called for an urgent de-escalation of tensions, but Maas admitted that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had hoped for more full-throated backing from allies.

“Apparently he wasn’t too happy that we didn’t 100 percent support America’s actions,” Maas said after Pompeo spoke by phone with his German, French and British counterparts.

Maas said it was important that the European Union presented a united stance so it could play a meaningful role in helping to cool tempers.

“Our own security interests are massively affected by the fight in Iraq against international terrorism, against IS, so we have a responsibility here,” he said.

“I think it’s necessary that the EU foreign ministers quickly convene in Brussels to coordinate a European position.”

He also said Germany, France and Britain would decide this week how to react to Iran’s decision to forego the limit on enrichment it had pledged to honour in the nuclear agreement.

“We can’t just accept this without responding,” Maas said.

“It certainly doesn’t make things easier and it could be the first step towards the end of the deal and that would be a great loss.”

AFP