UAE arrests US lawyer for Khashoggi on money laundering charges | News

The civil rights lawyer, who had represented the slain Saudi journalist, was arrested whereas transiting by means of Dubai airport, an official and a rights group say.

Authorities within the United Arab Emirates have arrested an American citizen and civil rights lawyer who beforehand served as a lawyer for slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi, in keeping with an official and a United States-based rights group.

A UAE authorities official confirmed to the Reuters information company on Saturday that Asim Ghafoor was arrested whereas transiting by means of Dubai airport on July 14 following an in absentia conviction for cash laundering.

A US official earlier on Saturday mentioned Washington was conscious of the arrest, however couldn’t say whether or not President Joe Biden would increase the difficulty in bilateral talks with the UAE president on the sidelines of an Arab summit in Saudi Arabia.

“There’s no indication that it has something to do with the Khashoggi difficulty,” the US official mentioned.

Khashoggi was killed by Saudi brokers in 2018 on the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate in an operation the US intelligence says was accepted by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS). MBS denies involvement.

Rights group Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN), of which Ghafoor is a board member, mentioned in a press release on Friday the Virginia-based civil rights lawyer was en path to Istanbul to attend a household marriage ceremony when he was arrested.

‘Case reopened’

The Emirati official informed Reuters the UAE has granted a request by the US embassy to conduct a consular go to to Ghafoor. He added that for the reason that unique trial was held in absentia, Ghafoor is permitted to request a retrial.

“A request has been obtained and granted, ensuing within the case being reopened, and the related authorized proceedings are beneath method,” the official mentioned.

DAWN cited US consular officers as saying the lawyer was being held in a detention facility in Abu Dhabi. The group additionally mentioned Ghafoor had no information of any authorized case in opposition to him.

It mentioned the conviction was obtained “with out due course of” and known as for his quick launch.

International rights teams say the UAE has jailed lots of of activists, lecturers and legal professionals in unfair trials on broad expenses.

The UAE has rejected the accusations as baseless, saying it’s dedicated to human rights.

US targets Chinese, UAE companies in new Iran sanctions | Nuclear Energy News

US official says absent return to nuclear deal, Washington will use sanctions to restrict Iranian petrochemical exports.

America has imposed sanctions on Chinese language and Emirati firms, in addition to a community of Iranian petrochemical producers, accusing them of serving to to “evade sanctions” by supporting the sale of Iran’s petrochemical merchandise overseas.

In a press release on Thursday, the US Division of the Treasury stated it had imposed penalties on two firms based mostly in Hong Kong, three in Iran, and 4 within the United Arab Emirates.

Sanctions additionally have been imposed on Chinese language citizen Jinfeng Gao and Indian nationwide Mohammed Shaheed Ruknooddin Bhore.

“America is pursuing the trail of significant diplomacy to attain a mutual return to compliance with the Joint Complete Plan of Motion,” stated Below Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Monetary Intelligence Brian E Nelson, referring to the Iran nuclear deal.

“Absent a deal, we are going to proceed to make use of our sanctions authorities to restrict exports of petroleum, petroleum merchandise, and petrochemical merchandise from Iran.”

Former US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the JCPOA in 2018 and began a “most stress” marketing campaign of sanctions towards the Iranian financial system that his successor Joe Biden has continued to implement.

Tehran has been escalating its programme in response to Washington’s withdrawal from the pact.

Iranian officers say they need all US sanctions lifted instantly, whereas the Biden administration is asking for a mutual return to compliance that might see an finish to nuclear-related sanctions and a scaling again of Iran’s nuclear programme.

However a number of rounds of negotiations have been unsuccessful in restoring the settlement.

One of many key sticking factors seems to be the US designation of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a “overseas terrorist group”. Tehran desires the designation lifted, however Washington up to now has been reluctant to do it.

Iran’s deputy overseas minister for financial diplomacy dismissed the brand new US sanctions on Thursday as ineffective.

“Our petrochemical trade and its merchandise have lengthy been below sanctions, however our gross sales have continued by means of varied channels and shall proceed to take action,” Mehdi Safari advised Iranian state tv.

Henry Rome, deputy head of analysis on the Eurasia Group, stated the sanctions might intention each to boost stress on Iran and to blunt US home critics who’ve argued that Biden has didn’t rein in Iran’s nuclear programme.

“Washington is probably going aiming to boost the prices for Iran of a continued no-deal situation whereas additionally deflecting home and overseas criticism that it’s permitting its Iran coverage to float,” Rome advised the Reuters information company.

He added that any single sanctions motion was unlikely to vary pondering in Iran or China absent a broader technique.

China has remained the highest purchaser of Iranian oil, whereas India reluctantly ended imports below US stress.

“Certainly, Tehran might calculate that given the state of the oil market and international inflationary pressures, a concerted [US] marketing campaign to break down Iranian power exports to Trump-era ranges is just not within the playing cards within the close to time period,” Rome stated.