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US sanctions Iranian missile firms

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Five Iranian companies were sanctioned by the United States, according to reports, the companies are allegedly working on part of the Islamic republic’s illegal ballistic missile program.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin linked the measure to recent anti-government protests, arguing that Iran ought to spend more on public welfare rather than banned weapons.

“These sanctions target key entities involved in Iran’s ballistic missile program, which the Iranian regime prioritizes over the economic well-being of the Iranian people,” Mnuchin said.

“As the Iranian people suffer, their government and the IRGC fund foreign militants, terrorist groups, and human rights abuses,” he added.

“The United States will continue to decisively counter the Iranian regime’s malign activity, including additional sanctions targeting human rights abuses.

“We will not hesitate to call out the regime’s economic mismanagement, and diversion of significant resources to fund threatening missile systems at the expense of its citizenry.”

The five designated companies are all subsidiaries of Iran’s Shahid Bakeri Industrial Group (SBIG).

Under the sanctions, any assets that the firms hold in places under US jurisdiction will be frozen and US citizens are forbidden from doing business with them.

And, perhaps more importantly, foreign institutions who work with the companies could be locked out of the US financial system — a risk that European banks, for example, would be loathe to take.

Earlier, the State Departament had warned that Iranian officials involved in the arrest or killing of protesters would be held to account.

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms the deaths to date and the arrests of at least one thousand Iranians,” spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.

“We have ample authorities to hold accountable those who commit violence against protesters, contribute to censorship, or steal from the people of Iran,” she said.

“To the regime’s victims, we say: ‘You will not be forgotten.’”

Popular unrest flared in Iran last month and at least 21 people are known to have died in clashes between demonstrators and the Islamic republic’s security forces.

Washington, a long-standing foe of Tehran, has stood up for the protesters’ right to be heard, and Nauert has now gone further in endorsing what she said were their demands.

“We support these legitimate aspirations of the Iranian people, and call on the government to allow the free exchange of ideas and information,” she said.

“All of us should be able to enjoy the same basic economic and political freedoms, including the right to peaceful demonstration.”

Iranian officials now claim to have the crisis under control and state television is carrying footage of pro-government counter demonstrations in several cities.

Source : ( AFP )

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National News

Shehu Sani Reacts To Hisbah’s Call For Scrapping Of Black Friday

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Shehu Sani Reacts To Hisbah's Call For Scrapping Of Black Friday

Shehu Sani

Former lawmaker, Senator Shehu Sani has reacted to the call for the scrapping of the popular ‘Black Friday’sales by the Kano State Hisbah Board.

Recall that earlier on Friday, the board asked a radio station, demanding that it stops using the word “Black Friday” to refer to Friday.

Also Read: TECNO Stormed Computer Village with BBNaija’s OZO to Wrap up its Black Friday Sales Activities

The board explained that since Friday is regarded as a holy day in Islam, tagging it “Black Friday” is derogatory and a thus, should not be condoned.

Reacting to the statement, the former lawmaker from Kaduna described the threat by the Hisbah board as ‘nonsensical.”

He wrote:

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Court Orders Release Of Sen. Ndume From Kuje Prison

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Court Orders Release Of Sen. Ndume From Kuje Prison

Ali Ndume

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has granted bail to Senator Ali Ndume who was detained in prison on Monday following the failure to produce Abdulrasheed Maina in court.

This was made known by the presiding judge, Justice Okon Abang in a ruling on Friday, November 27.

Also Read: BREAKING: Court Fixes Date For Ndume’s Bail Application

He stated that he chose to grant the senator bail based on his record of good behaviour before the court, notwithstanding that the other grounds of his bail application failed.

Justice Abang granted bail to Senator Ndume pending the hearing and determination of the Borno South Senator’s appeal filed at the Court of Appeal to challenge Monday’s order.

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We Deliberately Shut Down Refineries – NNPC GMD

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We Deliberately Shut Down Refineries – NNPC GMD

NNPC boss, Mele Kyari

The Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari, has expressed that the corporation deliberately shut down the nation’s refineries because they became unsustainable.

The GMD disclosed this when he appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Upstream in Abuja.

He pointed out that the NNPC was unable to supply crude oil to the refineries, adding that the Excravos pipeline is the only one the NNPC managed to sustain through the contracting process.

He went on to express that it is practically impossible to run pipelines at their optimum capacity.

Also ReadBREAKING: NNPC Raises Petrol Depot Price, Marketers To Sell At N168-N170/Litre

“For instance, to run Kaduna and Warri refinery, you need to deliver 170,000 barrel of oil per day so that both will operate at 70 percent capacity,” he said.

Kyari said that at the moment, it only had over 5,000 kilometers of pipelines with 13 fuel depots, which according to him must be protected to forestall the activities of vandals.

“And I can tell you today that except the Atlas cove to Ibadan line and also the Portharcourt to Aba line, none of these pipelines is serviced.

“We cannot flow product into these lines, the cheap one is to say they are aged but the real reason is that the level of activities of vandals on these lines is gross, monumental, and profound.

“At every point within a month we fix 80 vandal points, the option is to shut them down and the result of having one depot is what we have seen in Lagos,” he said.

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