Negotiations between Iran and the P-five-plus-one group of countries over a final deal on Iran’s nuclear energy program continue in Vienna.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry have discussed the remaining differences over the text of the deal in a meeting. They were also joined by Iran’s Deputy Foreign Ministers Abbas Araqchi and Majid Takht-e Ravanchi.
Earlier today, Kerry also held a meeting with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. On Friday, Foreign Minister Zarif said that Iran knows no deadlines over the agreement. He said reaching what he described as a good deal is possible provided the P5+1 shows a strong political will.
The leader of Lebanon’s resistance movement, Hezbollah, has slammed Israel as a hypocrite entity, which is the source of terrorism and is now claiming to fight terrorism.
Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah who was speaking on the occasion of International Quds Day said Israel was initially created by a terrorist organization and through committing acts of terror. He said Israel has formed an alliance with certain Arab regimes and they are now supporting Takfiri militants in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere in the region.
The Hezbollah secretary general also criticized some Arab leaders for what he called selling out the Palestinian cause, nation and the holy city of Jerusalem al-Quds. According to Nasrallah, Israel and its allies, are trying to topple the Syrian government, a member of the axis of resistance, because if Syria falls then Palestine will fall and al-Quds will be lost forever.
Hamas says it will not enter into talks to swap prisoners with Israel until people who were rearrested following a previous prisoner swap are first released. Hamas says more than 70 Palestinians who were freed in a deal in previous exchange have been rearrested. Hamas says they must be released first before they’ll consider trading two Israelis who are being held in Gaza for even more Palestinians held by Israel. This even though Hamas hasn’t actually publicly acknowledged holding the two Israelis who voluntarily crossed over into Gaza and then disappeared.
Israeli officials say they want to hold talks with Hamas regarding the exchange of prisoners. prisoners.
Five students in an upstate New York school district have been awarded $4.5 million after enduring years of humiliation, bullying and antisemitism – including being the butt of jokes about the Holocaust and finding swastikas on their lockers.
Hamas’ deputy foreign minister says it’s untrue that they fired rockets from Gaza into Israel before the Israelis attacked Gaza in a much criticized effort a year ago.
“We did not start this aggression,” said Dr. Ghazi Hamad. “Israel started this aggression against Palestinians. They started targt(ing) civilians, target(ing) homes, hospitals, mosques,” he told Britain’s Channel 4 News.
When the reporter challenged him, saying, “Your rockets came first,” Hamad flatly denied it. “This is not true, this is not true,” he responded.
Hamad also defended the summary executions of Palestinians without trial for what he says was their treasonous collaboration with Israel.
Israel is very sensitive to the so-called BDS movement. Which urges boycotting, divestiture and sanctions of Israel. Over its policies toward the Palestinians. Much of the BDS effort is taking place on campus. So it comes as a surprise that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu targets one such effort by students in the UK for special condemnation.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says they’re close. Very close. To reaching an agreement. Six Western nations with Iran. Over Iran’s nuclear program. But there is skepticism, fear and distrust by the Israelis. So much so that there’s a massive effort to win some Democratic votes over to the Republican side. To insure that any measure blocking an agreement in Congress is veto-proof.
Trita Parsi, President of the National Iranian-Council says, thus far, there aren’t enough votes to override a presidential veto. But that could change during the prescribed review process.
“Who knows what will happen over the next 30 or 60 days,” he says.
Two Israelis are being held in Gaza after crossing the border. An Ethiopian Israeli and a Bedouin Israeli. Little is known about the Bedouin captive. But the family of the Ethiopian is calling for his release. Calling his imprisonment “a serious humanitarian case.”
The family is imploring the Israeli government to bring him home, “safe and sound.”
There were rumors that they were about to reach a deal with Iran today. Secretary of State John Kerry says, they are close. That the reason they keep extending the deadline is that they are hopeful for a deal. But he adds, there is no rush. And the United States and its partners negotiating with Iran, won’t be rushed.