Iran’s President, Hassan Rouhani, said on Thursday that world powers re-negotiating the 2015 Iran nuclear deal in Vienna, had agreed to lift sanctions on the country’s oil, shipping and banking sectors. The claim was denied by an Iranian official, who said Washington had no intention of lifting such sanctions, during an interview on Iran’s Press TV news channel.

European diplomats engaged in negotiations for the deal said several difficult issues still needed to be agreed, and that success was not guaranteed. The White House said the US remained engaged in the negotiation process and that talks continued to work towards progress.

The US imposed sanctions on two military leaders belonging to the Iran-aligned Houthi militia group in Yemen, in an effort to pressure Iran to support a ceasefire in the country.

Yemen has been devastated by civil war since 2014, following a failed political transition which has led to a multi-sided conflict between Yemen’s governing figures, and the Houthis and its allies.

A court in Canada has ruled that the Iranian government was liable for a missile attack on a Ukrainian flight last year, which crashed and killed all 176 people on board, including 138 Canadians.

The Superior Court of Justice in Ontario, said Iran owed damages to families who had filed lawsuits over the crash, and that it would rule on the damages at a later hearing. Iran said it did not recognize the judgment, and that the court had no jurisdiction to rule on the matter.

And renewed calls to release imprisoned teacher Esmail Abdi in Iran were made this week. Teachers’ associations in Iran have urged trade unions and human rights organizations around the world to demand that the Iranian government release Abdi immediately. His wife, Monireh Abdi, has also launched a campaign to secure his freedom.

Mr. Abdi was arrested in 2015 and sentenced to six years imprisonment for demonstrating against poor working conditions and pay for teachers in Iran. Shortly before his sentence was completed a new trial was launched, where he was found guilty of “propaganda against the system and national security,” and sentenced to a further 10 years in prison.


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