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Donald Trump to Unveil Missile Defence Review

The new review was conducted because "we've seen a pretty significant change to the threat environment" since 2010, CNN quoted the administration official as saying

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Thousands march across US to protest against Trump. VOA

US President Donald Trump will visit the Pentagon on Thursday to unveil his administration’s long-awaited missile defence review, officials told CNN.

The officials said on Wednesday that the review is expected to embrace putting advanced sensors in space in a bid to better detect enemy missiles, allowing the US military to intercept them even earlier.

A senior administration official said that while that a space-based layer of satellite sensors “is something we’re looking at to help give early warning tracking”, the review stopped short of calling for the deployment of interceptors in space.

He said the review calls for “further studies” of space-based counter-missile technology like interceptors or lasers and does not “direct the fielding of anything or the development of anything specific”.

Trump will be accompanied by Vice President Mike Pence, National Security Adviser John Bolton, along with senior military and defence officials.

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Donald Trump. VOA

The President had initially ordered the review to be carried out in January 2017, his first month in office, but it has been long delayed. It was originally scheduled to release later that year or in February 2018.

This is the first missile defence review since former President Barack Obama’s administration carried one out in 2010.

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The new review was conducted because “we’ve seen a pretty significant change to the threat environment” since 2010, CNN quoted the administration official as saying.

He said the administration was “expanding the scope of what we’re postured to defend against with this new review”, saying it focused on hypersonic and cruise missiles as well as ballistic missiles, something the previous review did not do. (IANS)

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U.S. To End Waivers For Iran Oil imports

Oil exports are a key source of revenue for Tehran, which has been hit hard by the reimposition of U.S. sanctions.

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U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (file photo)
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. RFERL

U.S. President Donald Trump has decided not to reissue waivers in May allowing importers to buy Iranian oil without facing U.S. sanctions, the White House said in a statement on April 21.

The United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates “have agreed to take timely action to assure that global demand is met as all Iranian oil is removed from the market,” the White House said.

“This decision is intended to bring Iran’s oil exports to zero, denying the regime its principal source of revenue,” the statement added.

The decision means sanctions waivers for five nations, including China and India, Japan, South Korea and Turkey, won’t be renewed when they expire on May 2.

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The move is part of the Trump administration’s tough line on Iran. VOA

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington has had “extensive and productive discussions with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and other major producers to ease this transition and ensure sufficient supply.”

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (Republican-Texas) applauded the end of oil waivers for Iran.

“This decision will deprive the ayatollahs of billions of dollars that they would have spent undermining the security of the United States and our allies, building up Iran’s nuclear and ballistic-missile programs and financing global terrorism,” he said.

The move is part of the Trump administration’s tough line on Iran.

“We will continue to apply maximum pressure on the Iranian regime until its leaders change their destructive behavior, respect the rights of the Iranian people, and return to the negotiating table,” Pompeo said in an April 22 statement.

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“This decision is intended to bring Iran’s oil exports to zero, denying the regime its principal source of revenue,” the statement added. Pixabay

Oil exports are a key source of revenue for Tehran, which has been hit hard by the reimposition of U.S. sanctions.

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Ahead of Washington’s announcement, an unamed Iranian Oil Ministry source told the semiofficial Tasnim news agency that the United States will fail to cut Iranian oil exports to zero.

“Whether the waivers continue or not, Iran’s oil exports will not be zero under any circumstances unless Iranian authorities decide to stop oil exports…and this is not relevant now,” Tasnim quoted the unnamed “informed source” as saying. (RFERL)