By Parisa Hafezi ANKARA (Reuters) - Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Tuesday ruled out freezing sensitive nuclear work in the country for a long time and said sanctions imposed on it should be lifted as soon it reaches a final deal with major powers, state TV reported. The six - Britain, France, Germany, China, Russia and the United States - want Iran to commit to a verifiable halt of at least 10 years on sensitive nuclear development work as part of a landmark atomic deal they aim to reach by June 30. They are offering in exchange relief from sanctions that have crippled the oil exporter's economy. "Freezing Iran's Research and Development (R&D) for a long time like 10 or 12 years is not acceptable," Khamenei said in a speech broadcast live. Disputes over how much transparency Iran should offer to ease suspicions that it has covertly sought to develop nuclear bombs, and the timing and pace of relief from sanctions imposed on Tehran, have been two major sticking points to the final deal. "All financial and economic sanctions imposed by the U.N. Security Council, the U.S. Congress or the U.S. government should be lifted immediately when we sign a nuclear agreement," Khamenei said. The U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has been trying to investigate Western allegations that Iran has been working on designing a nuclear warhead. Iran says that its nuclear program is peaceful and that it is working with the IAEA to clear up any suspicions. Khamenei voiced trust in Iran's negotiating team but, echoing hardline Iranian military commanders, also ruled out international access to Iran's military sites. "Inspection of our military sites is out of the question and is one of our red lines," he said. U.N. inspectors regularly monitor Iran's declared nuclear facilities, but the IAEA has complained for years of a lack of access to sites, equipment, documents and people relevant to its probe. In a move that potentially will complicate chances for the final accord with the six powers, Iran's parliament passed a bill on Tuesday banning access for IAEA inspectors to its military sites and scientists. France has spearheaded the powers' demand that Iran must step up cooperation with the IAEA if it wants to reach a final deal. A senior French official said on Tuesday that the verification procedures and the authorization to access the military sites were the "main difficulty" to clinch a deal. "When, where, what, how all this still needs to be made very clear. ... There is a difference of view between the (Iranian) negotiators and the leader," the official told Reuters. Khamenei accused the United States of wanting to wipe out Iran's nuclear industry. "America is after destroying our nuclear industry altogether," he said. (Writing by Parisa Hafezi; Additional reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin in London and John Irish in Paris; Editing by Andrew Roche/Hugh Lawson)
- Yahoo News
Republicans built up QAnon backer Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, but now are they afraid of what they created?
On the eve of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, freshman Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, the combative Georgia Republican known for her association with QAnon, was back on Twitter after a 12-hour suspension, and back to making waves.
- Yahoo News
With Joe Biden sworn in as president, the long wait for Donald Trump’s health care plan is now officially over. If he ever had one, no one ever saw it.
- Yahoo News
Biden’s homeland security nominee pledges to tackle domestic extremism and prevent another attack on the Capitol
Less than two weeks after a violent mob of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol, Alejandro Mayorkas, President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee for Homeland Security Secretary, assured senators that, if confirmed, he will “tackle the threat of domestic extremism” and prevent future attacks.
Capt. Scott Moss, who led the NOSC in Knoxville, was relieved of command by Capt. Dale Maxey.
- The Telegraph
Donald Trump spent his first night as a private citizen settling into his new home at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, where he has reportedly already begun preparing for his upcoming impeachment hearing. Mr Trump’s final engagement in Washington DC as president was attending his farewell at Joint Base Andrews in DC, which was attended only by some 250 of his most loyal aides and supporters. Notably absent were close White House aides and his own vice president Mike Pence. The former president then left for Florida as President Joe Biden was being sworn in, where he received a much warmer welcome. Supporters lined Mr Trump’s route to Mar-a-Lago, waving “Trump 2020” flags and signs reading “welcome home!”, while others screamed “I love you” as his motorcade drove past. Some still refused to accept the results of the election.
- The Independent
Ms Harris is expected to move into the 128-year-old residence once a number of repairs have been made
- The Week
Biden urges unity in inaugural speech: 'Politics doesn't have to be a raging fire destroying everything in its path'
President Biden returned to a recurring theme Wednesday after he was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States, calling for unity in his inaugural address."Let's start afresh," Biden said. "Let's begin to listen to one another again. Hear one another. See one another. Show respect to one another."He then added that politics "doesn't have to be a raging fire destroying everything in its path" and that while he understands many Americans "view the future with fear and trepidation," the "answer is not to turn inward, to retreat into competing factions ... We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue, rural versus urban, conservative versus liberal. We can do this if we open our souls instead of hardening our hearts." > President Biden: "Politics doesn't have to be a raging fire destroying everything in its path. Every disagreement doesn't have to be a cause for total war. And we must reject the culture in which facts themselves are manipulated, and even manufactured." https://t.co/1LntlB7T7E pic.twitter.com/Wb8GD7qL3U> > -- CBS News (@CBSNews) January 20, 2021> US President Joe Biden: "We must end this uncivil war, that pits red against blue" | https://t.co/PhIqa0n91w pic.twitter.com/gPeKpKBgVG> > -- RTÉ News (@rtenews) January 20, 2021More stories from theweek.com 7 brutally funny cartoons about Trump's White House exit Bernie Sanders steals the inauguration with his grumpy chic outfit New coronavirus variants may cut vaccine effectiveness
A British prosecutor hired by the Hong Kong government to lead a case against democracy activists has pulled out after coming under pressure in Britain including 'disgraceful' comments by its foreign minister, city authorities said on Wednesday. David Perry, a Queen's Counsel, was due to lead the case against tabloid media magnate Jimmy Lai and several others, including veteran democracy activists Martin Lee and Margaret Ng. But Hong Kong's Department of Justice noted "growing pressure and criticism" of Perry in Britain for taking the case, adding in a statement that he had "concerns about such pressures and the exemption of quarantine" and "indicated that the trial should proceed without him".
- Associated Press
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson narrowly avoided a defeat in Parliament on Tuesday after lawmakers voted against a controversial proposal seeking to bar trade deals with any country deemed by the U.K. High Court to be committing genocide. The amendment to the government’s post-Brexit trade bill was largely designed to force international action in addressing China’s alleged human rights abuses against the Uighur minority in the far western Xinjiang region.
The U.S. Senate on Wednesday approved Avril Haines as the Director of National Intelligence, the nation's top intelligence job, making her the first of President Joe Biden's nominees to be approved. The vote was 84-10, with all the "no" votes coming from Republicans. Both Democrats and leading Republicans issued statements praising the nominee.
- Associated Press
A federal judge may decide Thursday whether a Pennsylvania woman accused of helping steal a laptop from the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during the attack on the U.S. Capitol should be released on bail. U.S. Magistrate Judge Martin Carlson is also expected to preside over a preliminary hearing for Harrisburg resident Riley June Williams, 22, who is accused of theft, obstruction and trespassing, as well as violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. The FBI says an unidentified former romantic partner of Williams tipped them off that she appeared in video from the Jan. 6 rioting and the tipster claimed she had hoped to sell the computer to Russian intelligence.
- The Week
President Biden's inaugural address has won some high praise on Fox News.Fox News anchor Chris Wallace on Wednesday praised Biden's "great" inaugural address, going as far as to deem it the best he's ever watched in his life."I thought it was a great speech," Wallace said. "I've been listening to these inaugural addresses since 1961 -- John F. Kennedy, 'ask not.' I thought this was the best inaugural address I ever heard."Biden during his first address as president declared that "democracy has prevailed" and urged unity, saying politics "doesn't have to be a raging fire destroying everything in its path." Wallace noted the speech and the ceremony itself was especially meaningful coming exactly two weeks after a mob of former President Donald Trump's supporters stormed the Capitol building in an attempt to disrupt Congress' certification of the election results."It was a less an inaugural address and more part sermon, part pep talk," Wallace said.The Fox News anchor also called for those in the media to particularly take note of Biden's comment that "there is truth and there are lies, lies told for power and for profit, and each of us has a duty and a responsibility ... to defend the truth and defeat the lies.""Now he's gotta turn words, rhetoric into reality and action," Wallace added. "But I thought it was a great start." > Fox News's Chris Wallace: "This was the best inaugural address I ever heard." pic.twitter.com/W2tauGp5g5> > -- Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) January 20, 2021More stories from theweek.com 7 brutally funny cartoons about Trump's White House exit Bernie Sanders steals the inauguration with his grumpy chic outfit New coronavirus variants may cut vaccine effectiveness
- Yahoo News Video
President Joe Biden issued a warning Wednesday to his appointees that a hostile workplace will not be allowed in his administration.
Talks aimed at overcoming a years-long deadlock over disarmament at the United Nations began in acrimony on Tuesday with two countries blocking rivals from taking part in widely criticised manoeuvres that sparked concern about the forum's future. Iran blocked Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates from joining as observers, lashing out at the former's military record, while Turkey blocked Cyprus in a trend that marks a significant departure from normal U.N. protocol and might set a precedent for other bodies that operate on a consensus basis. Iran's delegate said that Saudi Arabia had used the forum as a platform for a "distraction and disinformation campaign" and called Riyadh "the largest military offender in the region".
- Associated Press
Thai officials on Wednesday filed criminal charges against a popular former politician, accusing him of defaming the monarchy by broadcasting criticism of government efforts to secure supplies of coronavirus vaccines. The action against Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit came just a day after Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha told reporters that that his government will prosecute anyone who shares false information about coronavirus vaccines. Thanathorn, former leader of the dissolved Future Forward Party, accused the government of acting too slowly in procuring the vaccines.
- The Independent
What happened to Joe Biden’s father? President references his dad’s unemployment in inaugural address
Joe Biden Sr was an important influence in 46th president’s life
- Architectural Digest
800 feet up in the sky, the Dreamy 6,000 square foot space offers panoramic views from the East River to the HudsonOriginally Appeared on Architectural Digest
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson resisted calls for an inquiry into his government's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic on Wednesday as the country's death toll neared 100,000 and his chief scientist said hospitals were looking like war zones. There have been calls for a public inquiry from some doctors and bereaved families into the management of the crisis. As hospital admissions soared, the government's chief scientific adviser, Patrick Vallance, said there was enormous pressure on the National Health Service with doctors and nurses battling to give people sufficient care.
- Associated Press
Iran's judiciary released the country's telecom minister on bail Wednesday after he was summoned for prosecution by Iran's general prosecutor, state TV reported. The state media outlet quoted Jamal Hadian, a spokesman for the telecommunications ministry, as saying Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi appeared before a prosecutor Wednesday, was released and had already returned to his office. The office of the general prosecutor had summoned Jahromi for prosecution over his refusal to block Instagram and other foreign social media messaging systems, according to earlier reports.
- The Independent
2020 candidate's son — Delaware attorney general and Iraq War veteran — died in 2015