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Top EU adviser blames US for escalating tensions between Iran and the West

Donald Trump officially launches 2020 re-election campaign and upcoming Xi-Trump G20 meet makes stock markets rally.

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Nathalie Tocci says ‘reasonable to assume’ that Iran is responsible for recent attacks on oil tankers

A special advisor to Federica Mogherini, the European Union’s high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, has blamed the US for escalating tensions between Iran and the West.

“This is happening for one reason that has not been cited so far, which is the fact that the United States has violated the Joint Comprehensive Plan, meaning the Iran deal,” Nathalie Tocci told the BBC.

The deal promises reduced economic and other sanctions on Iran, in exchange for agreeing to curb its nuclear programme. Iran’s economy was crippled by sanctions from western countries as well as the UN Security Council.

Earlier this week, however, Iran had announced that it would be producing Uranium faster and at higher strengths than is permitted by the deal.

Tocci also said that it was reasonable to assume that Iran was responsible for the recent attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, deviating from the EU’s previous stance that it was unclear who was to blame.

Trump launches his 2020 re-election campaign

Addressing a rally in Florida, US President Donald Trump officially launched his 2020 re-election bid. Speaking to thousands of supporters, Trump said, “Tonight I stand before you to officially launch my campaign for a second term as president of the United States.”

In a speech full of grievances, he lashed out at Democrats and accused them of trying to “rip your country apart”.

Trump asked supporters to keep his team in place for another four years

“Together we stared down a broken political establishment and restored the government by and for the people…,” said Trump.

Upcoming Xi-Trump meeting at G20 makes stock markets rally

China and US have said that their leaders Xi Jinping and Donald Trump would be meeting at the upcoming G20 summit in Osaka, Japan. The two leaders are expected to work towards a solution that eases out the growing trade war between the two economic giants.

The on-going trade war has thrown stock markets across Asia into a tizzy, leading to sharp rise in prices for both producers and consumers, increasing uncertainty and disrupted global supply chains.

In such a backdrop, the news of the XI-Trump meeting and possibility of a trade deal has raised trade optimism and led to gains in stock markets.

“Had a very good telephone conversation with President Xi of China. We will be having an extended meeting next week at the G-20 in Japan. Our respective teams will begin talks prior to our meeting,” said Trump in a Twitter post.

In other news:

Blow for Balkan states as EU delays decision on accession talks, The Financial Times 

Shanahan pulls out of Pentagon job as reports emerge of family violence.

Why Facebook Is Minting a Coin and How You Can Use It, Bloomberg 

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