Esper: "It seems in some ways that Iran is inching toward that place where we could have talks and hopefully it'll play out that way". Meanwhile, Iran finds itself backed into a corner and ready for a possible conflict.
IRNA said the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the move from a detail in a letter from Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif to EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini.
"Every port operator, ship owner and management company should steer clear of the targets identified today", Hook said at the State Department.
While insisting Iran doesn't seek a nuclear weapon, the comments by Behrouz Kamalvandi of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran threatened pushing uranium enrichment far beyond levels ever reached in the country.
US sanctions against Iran's oil exports have hit particularly hard and on Wednesday, US officials announced new Treasury Department actions to restrict Iran's oil exports that they said benefit the Syrian regime and others.
Furthermore, while the Iranian parliament has passed legislation that adopts measures to counter funding terrorism, Tehran will not give up its commitment to funding Hezbollah in Lebanon, which is also under USA sanctions, Reuters reports.
Then Iran gave Europe 60 days to either normalize economic ties with Iran or accept the modification of Tehran's obligations under the agreement and implement the Europe's proposed INSTEX to facilitate trade with Iran.
Protesters hold Palestinian flags and placards outside Downing Street Credit Kate Green Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
The deal has steadily unraveled after President Donald Trump's unilateral withdrawal of the US from the accord a year ago.
At the recent G7 summit in Biarritz, Britain and Germany were willing to entertain a French initiative that envisages the extension of a $15bn credit line to Tehran, as a form of "compensation" to Iran for economic sanctions.
Also Thursday, seven of the 23 sailors aboard the Stena Impero flew out of Iran after being released, Stena Bulk CEO Erik Hanell said in a statement. Netanyahu said the violation "comes in addition to Iran's aggressive actions against global sailing, against countries in the region", while stressing the Islamic Republic's relentless attempted-"deadly attacks against the state of Israel" are ongoing.
The US has continued its effort to choke off Iran's crude oil sales overseas, a crucial source of government revenue. Providing bunkering services to an Iranian vessel is a sanctionable activity, regardless of whether the transactions involve people determined to be part of the Iranian energy, shipping or shipbuilding sectors, the guidance said.
The remaining 16 crew members are to stay onboard the Stena Impero.
Israel's prime minister says now is the time to ratchet up pressure on Iran and not the time for talks, as the Islamic Republic appears poised to move further away from its commitments under the nuclear deal with world powers.
Iran said yesterday it had taken a step to further downgrade its commitments to the 2015 deal with the world's most powerful nations in retaliation for USA sanctions.
There is suspicion, nevertheless, that Netanyahu's lightning visit to London is in part created to bolster his global standing, and play the security card ahead of highly charged elections in a fortnight.
Australia coach Langer invokes Muhammad Ali to inspire Ashes rebound
I think his opening spell today was really good. "I will only take real satisfaction from the innings if we win back the Ashes ". He was memorably struck in the eye while batting against India at Old Trafford, the scene of this week's Test, in 2014.