Iran dismisses renegotiation of JCPOA: In a statement made ahead of Donald Trump’s inauguration, Abbas Araqchi, Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator, has flatly refused to renegotiate the landmark nuclear deal concluded in 2015 with the P5+1 powers. Araqchi said Iran will not renegotiate even in face of fresh sanctions imposed by Washington.
“Nuclear talks with America are over and we have nothing else to discuss,” Araqchi was quoted as saying by IRNA.
Newly-elected President Donald Trump had campaigned on a pledge to tear up the nuclear deal, which makes Iran a threshold nuclear state within a decade.
Japan remains top buyer of U.S. debt: For the second straight month, the government of Japan has preserved its role as the world’s leader in holding U.S. debt. China is the second-largest holder of U.S. debt with $1.05 trillion; Ireland follows with $275 billion.
Foreign governments clinging to U.S. debt topped $5.94 trillion when last recorded in November 2016.
Although Japan trimmed its portfolio by 2.1 percent in November, Tokyo still conserves $1.1 trillion in U.S. treasury notes.
UK will depart EU single market: UK Prime Minister Theresa May announced she intends to fully break from the European Union, not maintain in a “half-in, half-out” ranking with the economic bloc.
Over concerns for future commerce with the EU members, May addressed the relationship with the EU as a full break to avoid being held to the union’s immigration code and Court of Justice statutes.
Following the triggering of Article 50, May announced plans to negotiate “bold and ambitious free-trade agreements” with the economic alliance.
Early elections called in Northern Ireland: UK’s First Minister of Northern Ireland Arlene Foster announced early elections for the province on Monday.
Foster made the announcement in the wake of the resignation of First Deputy Minister Martin McGuinness, who stepped down after Foster refused to step aside while an ongoing probe related to a renewable heat program proceeded.
A power-sharing government, McGuinness’ resignation means the Executive Office in Northern Ireland ceases to exist, triggering elections.
Paris peace talks demand two-state solution: Paris talks aimed at reintroducing negotiations between Israel and Palestine wrapped up last week after concluding a two-state solution is the sole fix to bring about a lasting peace in the Middle East.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, met with French President Francois Hollande; Israel did not send a delegation to the talks.
Following the close of talks, Israeli officials dismissed the panel’s recommendations and stated direct, bi-lateral talks between Israel and Palestine were the best way to resolve the conflict.
[Japan Times] [Wall Street Journal] [Reuters] [AP]