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India’s ‘substantial sacrifice’ helped seal Iran deal: White House

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New White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest

 

Washington: Acknowledging India’s “substantial sacrifice” in backing the sanctions regime against Iran, the White House has again warned that if the Republican-controlled Congress unilaterally kills the Iran nuclear deal, it would greatly damage America’s standing.

“No longer would countries like India, who have been making a substantial sacrifice over the years, have any interest or incentive to continue to enforce those sanctions against Iran,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters Friday.

Indian leaders had agreed to curtail the import of oil from Iran making an “economic sacrifice” and backed the sanctions against Tehran to advance US effort to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon through diplomacy, he said.

“In essence …countries like India had agreed that they would take these steps, even at their own expense, to try to reach this broader international agreement,” he said.

Earnest recalled that when the sanctions were originally put in place, US officials traveled around the world “including to India, sat down with the Indian government and asked them to curtail the amount of Iranian oil that they imported into the country”.

“And we acknowledged in the context of those discussions that this would be an economic sacrifice that the people of India and that the economy of India would have to make,” he said.

“But Indian leaders agreed to it by saying that this is something that they were willing to do if they can advance our effort to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon through diplomacy,” Earnest said.

“And the good news is that that agreement has been reached. And it is an agreement that is supported by the international community — 99 percent of the world as the President (Barack Obama) has described it,” Earnest said.

“And that’s why it would be so damaging to the standing of the United States for the United States Congress to act unilaterally to kill this deal,” he said.

“No longer would countries like India, who have been making a substantial sacrifice over the years, have any interest or incentive to continue to enforce those sanctions against Iran,” Earnest said.

“There is no basis, there is no credible claim for why they would be willing to do that,” he said.

“And there is no denying the significant negative impact on United States credibility for the United States to be isolated in this way.”

“That’s why the President has said if Congress were to move forward to kill this deal or kill this agreement, it would, in fact, yield a better deal for Iran,” Earnest said.

“Because what we would see is that Iran would get sanctions relief; they would have the ability to sell oil to India and get the proceeds of doing so…without having to submit to the most intrusive set of inspections that have ever been imposed on a country’s nuclear programme,” he said.

“That’s why I’ve long said that the case before Congress is that Iran is going to get sanctions relief,” Earnest said.

“The question is whether or not the United States and the international community is going to get anything for it. And that is ultimately the choice before members of Congress right now,” he said.

(IANS)

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U.S. President Donald Trump Interviews Indian American Judge Under Consideration

However, other factors such as immigration, the powers of the president and any possible litigation involving the 2016 election of Trump and the alleged Russian interference are at play.

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Donald Trump
Earlier on Monday, Trump appointed his Deputy Principal Press Secretary Raj Shah to a key role in the difficult process of getting his nominee for the Supreme Court approved by the Senate. VOA

Indian American federal appeals court judge Amul Thapar has emerged as a “serious” contender for a spot in the US Supreme court and has been interviewed for the position by President Donald Trump, according media reports.

He was one of four judges interviewed for the position on the nation’s highest court by Trump on Monday, according to The Washington Post and other media outlets that quoted unnamed sources who had been briefed about the meetings.

Trump’s Spokesperson Sarah Sanders confirmed that he met for 45 minutes with four candidates, but would not identify them.

Trump has said he would announce his pick next Monday.

Thapar was appointed by Trump last year to the federal Sixth Circuit Appeals Court based in Cincinnati, Ohio, that covers four states including his home state of Kentucky.

Considered a conservative, Thapar, 49, had served as a federal prosecutor before President George W. Bush appointed him a judge of the federal court for Eastern Kentucky by in 2007.

Thapar has the backing of Mitch McConnell, the influential Senate Majority Leader from Kentucky, for the Supreme Court vacancy caused by the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy last month.

“I think he’s absolutely brilliant, with the right temperament,” McConnell said on Saturday.

The Washington Post said Trump’s meeting with Thapar “was described by several White House aides as both a gesture of respect for the Senate GOP leader and evidence that he is in serious contention”.

He is the second Indian-American judge to be a leading contender for the Supreme Court showing the community’s reach across both parties and its influence.

Washington Appeals Court Judge Sri Srinivasan was among the top choices considered by then President Barack Obama for the Supreme Court in 2016.

Obama ultimately picked Merrick Garland but McConnell blocked the nomination refusing to take it up for Senate’s consideration citing the presidential election coming up later that year.

Earlier on Monday, Trump appointed his Deputy Principal Press Secretary Raj Shah to a key role in the difficult process of getting his nominee for the Supreme Court approved by the Senate.

“Raj Shah will oversee communications, strategy and messaging coordination with Capitol Hill allies,” Sanders said in a statement.

Legalised abortion that many countries like India take for granted is looming over the selection of the next Supreme Court judge, with many Senators making it the litmus test to vote for or against a nominee.

It is likely that a case involving abortions may come up before the Supreme Court leaving open the possibility a conservative majority bench could overturn its 1973 ruling legalising it.

During his election campaign Trump changed his stance and came out as an opponent of abortions and said that he would appoint judges with the same view.

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Raj Thapar told the newspaper that his son’s only dream was to become a Supreme Court Justice. Pixabay

But he said last week that he would not discuss with candidates their views on abortion.

The Republicans have slender two-vote lead in the 100-member Senate and at least one Senator from the party, Susan Collins, has said that keeping abortions legal would be a requirement for supporting the Trump nominee and another, Lisa Murkowski, has previously opposed efforts to overturn the 1973 ruling.

The 49 Democrats and the two independents are all expected to oppose any Trump nominee and Shah will have to work with Republicans in Congress to get a majority backing for the candidate.

However, other factors such as immigration, the powers of the president and any possible litigation involving the 2016 election of Trump and the alleged Russian interference are at play.

Thapar is widely considered to conservative in his approach, which aligns him with Trump and his base.

His father, Raj Thapar, told Courier Journal that his son is so conservative that he “nearly wouldn’t speak to me after I voted for Barack Obama.”

Thapar was born in Detroit and his family wanted him to become a doctor, but he chose law instead, the newspaper said.

Raj Thapar told the newspaper that his son’s only dream was to become a Supreme Court Justice.

Amul’s maternal grandfather had impressed on him how Mahatma Gandhi had defeated the British using non violence, Raj Thapar told the newspaper.

According his father, Amul had converted to Catholicism when he married Kim Schulte, a real estate agent, Courier Journal reported.

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During his election campaign Trump changed his stance and came out as an opponent of abortions and said that he would appoint judges with the same view. Pixabay

Thapar’s mother Veena Bhalla sold a successful restaurant after 9/11 to work as a civilian clinical social worker to help soldiers returning from the battlefield, the newspaper reported quoting McConnell.

Also Read: Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi Urges Indians To Report To Any Instance of Salary Delay

According to Thapar’s bio for a convention of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association his father had come to the US to study and after graduating went to work for Ford Motor Company.

Later, he bought a share of a heating and air conditioning company. (IANS)