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Rouhani says Iran will file legal case against US for sanctions

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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Monday that the government would file a legal case in Iran against U.S. officials who imposed sanctions on the country as a precursor to action in international courts.

Rouhani said in a speech broadcast live on state television that U.S. sanctions had created difficulties including a weaker rial currency that has fed into higher inflation.

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The United States reimposed sanctions on Tehran after U.S. President Donald Trump chose last May to abandon Iran’s 2015 nuclear accord, negotiated with five other world powers.

Rouhani said he had ordered the ministries of foreign affairs and justice “to file a legal case in Iranian courts against those in America who designed and imposed sanctions on Iran”. “These sanctions are crime against humanity,” he added.

If the Iranian court finds against the U.S. officials, Iran will pursue the case in international courts of justice, the president said.

Iranian complaints about sanctions in the international courts have occasionally succeeded. In October, judges at the International Court Of Justice (ICJ) ordered the United States to ensure sanctions do not affect humanitarian aid or civil aviation safety, a small victory for Tehran.

“The Americans have only one goal: they want to come back to Iran and rule the nation again,” Rouhani said, reiterating Tehran’s view that U.S. sanctions are aimed at overthrowing the government and ushering in one more aligned with U.S. policies.

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Rouhani said the government had managed to “put a brake on the fall of rial” but that balance has not yet returned to the foreign currency market.

The rial was trading at 131,500 per U.S. dollar on Monday on the unofficial market, almost three times weaker than a year ago, but off record lows around 190,000 hit in late September.

Iranian central bank governor Abdolnaser Hemmati also accused Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other U.S. officials on Monday of waging a “psychological war” to stir panic in the currency market.

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Hemmati was quoted as saying by state media that “the central bank is in full control of the market”.

The U.S. sanctions permit trade in humanitarian goods such as food and pharmaceuticals but measures imposed on banks, and trade restrictions, could make such items more expensive as well as more difficult to pay for.

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Trump said when he pulled out of the landmark 2015 deal that lifted international sanctions against Iran in exchange for restrictions on its atomic activities that it failed to rein in Iran’s missile program or curb its regional meddling.

Reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin; Editing by Catherine Evans


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Mississippi Republican who lost to Democrat by 14 votes files request for state House to void the election and declare her the winner

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On Thursday, Mississippi Today reported that state Rep. Ashley Henley, who lost her bid for re-election to Democrat Hester Jackson-McCray by just 14 votes in November, has filed a request for the GOP-controlled state legislature to overturn the results of the election and seat Henley for another term.

Henley cites what she claims are several irregularities in voter signature collection, and "missing" ballots. "There were irregularities that happened, absolutely, documented, very much so that bring into question the legitimacy of the election results," said Henley said. "That is without question."

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Trump’s campaign manager mocked for proudly sharing poll that suggests Dems will keep the House in 2020

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On Thursday, President Donald Trump's campaign manager Brad Parscale posted a poll that was meant to warn Democrats off of their impeachment efforts, by showing how it was hurting their prospects in a competitive House race.

Specifically, the "confidential" poll showed freshman Rep. Kendra Horn (R-OK) down seven points against a generic Republican, and impeachment opposed 52 percent to 45 percent:

Nancy Pelosi is marching members of her caucus off the plank and into the abyss.

Impeachment is killing her freshman members and polling proves it.

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Two House Democrats push a clever plan that calls Republicans’ bluff on their Biden attacks

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Democratic Reps. Katie Porter of California and Max Rose of New York introduced a clever plan this week that will expose whether Republicans’ criticisms of former Vice President Joe Biden in the Ukraine scandal reflect good faith — or if, as many assume, they are just a shameful distraction and a bluff.

The lawmakers announced a bill on Wednesday called the Transparency in Executive Branch Officials’ Finances Act. It has two key components:

First, it would require all politically appointed executive branch officials, as well as the president and the vice president, to “disclose any positions they or any members of their extended families hold with foreign-owned businesses, any intellectual property they own that is protected or enforced by a foreign country, and whether any members of their families have stakes in companies that engage in significant foreign business dealings.”Second, it will “require the President and Vice President to disclose their tax returns for the previous five taxable years and prohibit political appointees from accepting payments from foreign entities.”

What’s clever about the proposal is that it latches on to two important issues, creating a wedge for Republicans. As part of the GOP’s defense of President Donald Trump in the Ukraine scandal, Republicans have argued that the president’s patently corrupt efforts to get a foreign country to investigate Biden, a political rival, were legitimate because the former vice president’s son created a conflict of interest by taking part in business in Ukraine.

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