Russia Denies US Accusation it Violated Chemical Weapons Ban in Ukraine 

A handout picture made available by the Odesa Regional State Administration Oleh Kiper Telegram channel shows the storage site of the "Nova Poshta" postal service following a missile strike in Odesa, Ukraine, 29 April 2024. (EPA/Odesa Regional State Administration handout)
A handout picture made available by the Odesa Regional State Administration Oleh Kiper Telegram channel shows the storage site of the "Nova Poshta" postal service following a missile strike in Odesa, Ukraine, 29 April 2024. (EPA/Odesa Regional State Administration handout)
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Russia Denies US Accusation it Violated Chemical Weapons Ban in Ukraine 

A handout picture made available by the Odesa Regional State Administration Oleh Kiper Telegram channel shows the storage site of the "Nova Poshta" postal service following a missile strike in Odesa, Ukraine, 29 April 2024. (EPA/Odesa Regional State Administration handout)
A handout picture made available by the Odesa Regional State Administration Oleh Kiper Telegram channel shows the storage site of the "Nova Poshta" postal service following a missile strike in Odesa, Ukraine, 29 April 2024. (EPA/Odesa Regional State Administration handout)

Russia on Thursday denied a US accusation that its forces in Ukraine had violated an international ban on chemical weapons by using substances including a prohibited choking agent.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that Moscow remained bound by its obligations under the treaty that bans chemical weapons.

The United States on Wednesday accused Russia of violating it by deploying the choking agent chloropicrin against Ukrainian troops and using riot control agents "as a method of warfare" in Ukraine.

"As always, such announcements are absolutely unfounded and are not supported by anything. Russia has been and remains committed to its obligations under international law in this area," Peskov said.



US Will Raise Pressure on Iran If It Does Not Cooperate with UN Watchdog

State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller (AP)
State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller (AP)
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US Will Raise Pressure on Iran If It Does Not Cooperate with UN Watchdog

State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller (AP)
State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller (AP)

The US State Department said Washington will continue to increase pressure on Iran if it does not cooperate with the UN nuclear watchdog.
In return, an Iranian official said his country will not bow to pressure.
“The report issued by the IAEA makes clear that Iran aims to continue expanding its nuclear program in ways that have no credible peaceful purpose,” State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said. “If Iran implements these plans, we will respond accordingly.”
Shamkhani Responds
Responding to the US position, Ali Shamkhani, the advisor of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, wrote on the social platform X that Tehran remains committed to nuclear safeguards though it “won’t bow to pressure.”
He added, “The US and some Western countries would dismantle Iran’s nuclear industry if they could.”
Iran is threatening to take action following a vote earlier this month at the IAEA’s Board of Governors that censured it for failing to cooperate fully with the agency.
Last week, the IAEA informed its member states in a confidential report that Iran has activated additional high-performance centrifuges to enrich uranium.
Hours later, the US threatened to respond to Iran if it further accelerates its uranium enrichment.
Less-Than-Expected Escalation
Reuters quoted diplomats as saying Iran is responding to last week's UN nuclear watchdog board resolution against it by expanding its uranium-enrichment capacity at two underground sites, but the escalation is not as big as many had feared.
According to the IAEA report, around 350 of the new machines were already installed in an underground facility in Fordow, 32 kilometers northeast of the Iranian city of Qom. Another 350 units are in the works, the agency said.
On June 5, the IAEA passed a resolution calling for Tehran to cooperate with its inspectors after years of stalling in order to clarify unanswered questions about suspected secret nuclear activities in the past.
Germany, France and Britain have indirectly threatened to call in the UN Security Council if Iran failed to provide answers.
In turn, Iran's government threatened to meet the resolution with a “proportionate, effective and immediate response.”