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Iraq carnage: Devious ISIS bomb plot kills 115, injures 170

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By NewsGramStaff Writer

A car bomb claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group exploded in a busy market in the Iraqi town, killing at least 115 adults and children celebrating the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, reports said.

About 170 people were wounded by the blast in Khan Bani Saad, a predominantly Shia town in Diyala province, north of Baghdad, the reports added.

Soon after the bomb attacks struck, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned “in the strongest terms” the deadly bomb attack on the market in Baghdad that killed over 100 people.

Ban voiced his hope that the perpetrators “are swiftly brought to justice”, said a statement issued here by Ban’s spokesman, Xinhua news agency reported.

“The attack, which comes at a time when the Iraqi people are celebrating the end of the holy month of Ramadan, reportedly left over 100 civilians killed and many more injured, including children.”

“The secretary-general’s thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families,” the statement said. “He hopes that the perpetrators of this heinous crime are swiftly brought to justice,” the statement said.

Ultra-violent terror group ISIL claimed responsibility for the attack on Twitter and said the car was carrying around three tonnes of explosives, said the reports.

(With inputs from IANS)

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UN Requests Trump Not to Quit Iran Deal

Under the deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iran is committed to slashing the number of its centrifuges, which are machines used to enrich uranium.

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Trump has been a strong critic of the accord, in which Iran agreed to limit its nuclear programme in return for the lifting of sanctions.
Iran Flag, Pixabay

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has urged Donald Trump not to walk away from an international deal designed to prevent Iran acquiring nuclear weapons.

Speaking to the BBC, Guterres said there was a real risk of war if the 2015 agreement was not preserved.

Trump has been a strong critic of the accord, in which Iran agreed to limit its nuclear programme in return for the lifting of sanctions.

The US president has until May 12, to decide whether to stick with the deal.

Guterres told the BBC that the Iran agreement was an “important diplomatic victory” and should be maintained.

“We should not scrap it unless we have a good alternative,” he said, adding: “We face dangerous times.”

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has urged Donald Trump not to walk away from an international deal designed to prevent Iran acquiring nuclear weapons.
Donald Trump

It comes just days after Israel revealed “secret nuclear files” accusing Iran of having covertly pursued nuclear weapons.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the files provided proof that the Obama-era nuclear deal was “built on lies”, the BBc report said.

European allies France, the UK and Germany meanwhile have agreed that pursuing the current nuclear deal with Iran is the best way to stop it developing nuclear weapons.

In 2015, Tehran signed a deal with the US, China, Russia, Germany, France and Britain agreeing to limit its nuclear activities in return for the lifting of crippling economic sanctions.

Under the deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iran is committed to slashing the number of its centrifuges, which are machines used to enrich uranium.

It is also meant to cut its stockpile of enriched uranium drastically and not enrich remaining uranium to the level needed to produce nuclear weapons.

Trump has frequently voiced his opposition to the “insane” deal, which he has described as the “worst ever”. Unless the European signatories to the deal and the US Congress addressed his concerns, he plans to withdraw on the next deadline for waiving sanctions.

Trump is unhappy that the deal only limited Iran’s nuclear activities for a fixed period (till 2025) and had failed to stop the development of ballistic missiles.

Also Read: Pompeo is Hopeful For the Change in the Course of History on the Korean Peninsula 

He also said it had handed Iran a $100bn windfall that it used “as a slush fund for weapons, terror, and oppression” across the Middle East.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has questioned the legitimacy of efforts by the US and France to change the nuclear deal with his country.

He has said that Iran “will not accept any restrictions beyond its commitments” to comply with international rules in the years ahead. (IANS)