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Obama warns killing Iran nuclear deal will damage American credibility

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Washington: Citing backing of nations like India and China that helped bring Iran to the negotiating table, President Barack Obama warned lawmakers they risked damaging American credibility if they vote to kill the Iran nuclear deal.

obama-356133_640“Let’s not mince words: The choice we face is ultimately between diplomacy and some sort of war – maybe not tomorrow, maybe not three months from now, but soon,” Obama said in a speech at American University Wednesday.

“How can we in good conscience justify war before we’ve tested a diplomatic agreement that achieves our objectives?” he asked.

Obama asserted that it was “our very willingness to negotiate that helped America rally the world to our cause, and secured international participation in an unprecedented framework of commercial and financial sanctions.”

“Keep in mind unilateral US sanctions against Iran had been in place for decades, but had failed to pressure Iran to the negotiating table.”

“What made our new approach more effective was our ability to draw upon new UN Security Council resolutions, combining strong enforcement with voluntary agreements from nations like China, India, Japan and South Korea to reduce their purchases of Iranian oil, as well as the imposition by our European allies of a total oil embargo,” he said.

“Winning this global buy-in was not easy-I know. I was there,” Obama said noting, “In some cases, our partners lost billions of dollars in trade because of their decision to cooperate.”

“But we were able to convince them that absent a diplomatic resolution, the result could be war, with major disruptions to the global economy, and even greater instability in the Middle East,” he said.

“In other words, it was diplomacy-hard, painstaking diplomacy-not sabre-rattling, not tough talk that ratcheted up the pressure on Iran.”

Using two points in history to underscore his argument-John F. Kennedy’s push for diplomacy with the Soviet Union and the vote to invade Iraq in 2002 — Obama warned that United States’  global standing was at stake.

“If Congress kills this deal, we will lose more than just constraints on Iran’s nuclear programme or the sanctions we have painstakingly built,” Obama said.

“We will have lost something more precious: America’s credibility as a leader of diplomacy. America’s credibility as the anchor of the international system.”

The decision facing lawmakers next month as they review the Iran deal is the most significant since Congress voted to invade Iraq more than a decade ago, Obama said.

(IANS)

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India Continues Engaging With USA Over H-1B Passport Issue

India is closely engaged with the US administration as well as the US Congress on this matter.

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As Trump proposes changes in H1-B visa, India continues to engage with US

India is continuing to engage with the US over the H-1B visa, largely availed of by Indian IT companies, after the Trump administration proposed changes to the programme, a senior official said on Thursday.

“It is a very important topic for us and that is the reason why we have time and again at various levels, we have taken up this matter with the US side,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in response to queries by journalists here.

Kumar said that most recently, the issue was raised during the first ever India-US 2+2 Ministerial Meeting held here last month that was attended by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary Jim Mattis.

On Wednesday, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said that the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) plans to come out with its new proposal by January 2019.

India n Passport
It will also “revise the definition” of employment and employer-employee relationship to “better protect” US workers and wages Flickr

The DHS said it was also proposing to remove from its regulations certain H-4 spouses of H-1B non-immigrants as a class of aliens eligible for employment authorisation.

The move to end the rule could have an impact on more than 70,000 H-4 visa holders, who have work permits.

The H-4 visas are issued by the USCIS to immediate family members (spouse and children under 21 years of age) of the holders of H-1B visa.

The DHS said it will propose to revise the definition of speciality occupation to increase focus on obtaining the best and the brightest foreign nationals via the H-1B programme.

It will also “revise the definition” of employment and employer-employee relationship to “better protect” US workers and wages, the DHS said.

Donald Trump, India
President Donald Trump speaks about immigration alongside family members affected by crimes committed by undocumented immigrants, at the South Court Auditorium on the White House complex, June 22, 2018, in Washington, VOA

In his remarks on Thursday, Kumar said that India is closely engaged with the US administration as well as the US Congress on this matter.

Stating that there are certain bills which have been introduced, he, however, said that “it is important to note that none of these bills have been passed so far”.

“When we have engaged with the US, we have emphasised that our partnership which we have in the digital sphere have been mutually beneficial,” the spokesperson said.

Also Read: USA And Other Countries Pledge To Eradicate Illegal Wildlife Trade

“We have highlighted the role which has been played by the highly skilled Indian professionals who have actually contributed to the growth and development of the US economy,” he stated.

“And also they have helped the US to maintain a competitive edge in the world towards innovation and science and technology.” (IANS)