'Unjustified' US Iran sanctions
A UN special rapporteur has described US sanctions on Iran as unjustifiable and inhumane, urging Washington to immediately remove them. Alena Douhan, in a press briefing during her visit to Tehran, highlighted the negative impact of unilateral coercive US measures. Douhan said the sanctions have endangered the humanitarian situation and people’s livelihood in Iran while further affecting the vulnerable strata of the society. The UN official added that the sanctions have also hampered Iran’s efforts to import life-saving medicines due to restrictions on banking transactions.
NATO bid controversy
Finland and Sweden formally submit their requests to join the NATO alliance, a move that is likely to draw a response from Russia. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has welcomed the bids for membership, describing it as a historic moment. The decisions, triggered by Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, have earlier drawn Moscow’s reaction. Russia has warned Finland that the decision would seriously damage bilateral ties and security in northern Europe. Moscow has also warned of deployment of nuclear weapons and hypersonic missiles. Meanwhile, the bids for membership in the US-led alliance are drawing Turkey’s opposition with Ankara threatening to block their requests. The Turkish president has accused both countries of harboring terrorist organizations.
UK cost of living crisis
The UK inflation is soaring to levels unseen in more than forty years. Consumer prices rose to nine percent in April. Millions of low and middle-income families are directly impacted by the crisis as food and transport costs escalate. Also, the rising costs of gas and electricity have pushed household energy bills to record levels. Some Britons are now forced to turn off their heating, drive less, change supermarkets or even skip meals to cut their expenses. Foreign Secretary Liz Truss says the current economic situation is very, very difficult. The Bank of England expects that a further price rise will push the economy close to recession by the end of 2022. It says the inflation may top 10 percent by December.