- Iran: Nuclear Talks Were Constructive
- Credit Suisse’s $4.7 Billion Archegos Hit
- EMA Official Confirmed ”Association” Between AstraZeneca and Blood Clotting
Iran: Nuclear Talks Were Constructive
Iran reported on Tuesday that the parties were constructive in the nuclear talks in Vienna, but to make progress, the US must first lift sanctions.
“The talks in Vienna were constructive … our next meeting will be on Friday,” Abbas Araghchi said.
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi said negotiations would continue on Friday. Araghchi announced that it rejected the US offer to release $1 billion in assets blocked due to sanctions in exchange for Tehran to stop its uranium enrichment by 20%.
But Iran rejected the offer bluntly, with the state-run Press TV saying on its website: “A senior Iranian official tells Press TV that Tehran will stop its 20-percent uranium enrichment only if the US lifts ALL its sanctions on Iran first.”
Iran exceeded the enrichment limit in the nuclear program signed in 2015. The USA unilaterally withdrew from the agreement in 2018 during President Trump’s term and put the sanctions into effect.
Iran wants Washington to lift sanctions first to return to the deal. US President Joe Biden declared that he was against one-sided gestures.
At Tuesday’s talks, a European official said that Germany, France, and Britain did not expect any positive progress from the negotiations due to Iran’s insistence on lifting the sanctions. The outcome is not surprising.
The negotiations, which started yesterday in Vienna, are centered on the possibility of the US returning to the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal, including removing US sanctions that have made it difficult for Iran to export its crude in exchange for nuclear-related restrictions.
Both sides have insisted that the other make the first move and said so today as well — but for the first time, they are negotiating details on how to get to the finish line.
Credit Suisse’s $4.7 Billion Archegos Hit
Credit Suisse, Switzerland’s second-largest bank, announced a loss of 4.7 billion due to transactions with the hedge fund Archegos Capital, which went bankrupt last week. Managers of the bank’s investment banking and risk management units have left their posts.
The scandal-hit bank now expects to post a loss of around 900 million Swiss francs for the first quarter. It is also suspending its share buyback plans and cutting its dividend by two-thirds.
Switzerland’s second-largest bank, which sold more than $2 billion in shares to close the positions it took due to Archegos, announced that Lara Warner, head of the risk management unit, and Brian Chin, head of the investment banking unit, left their positions after the losses.
“The significant loss in our Prime Services business relating to the failure of a US-based hedge fund is unacceptable,” Credit Suisse Chief Executive Thomas Gottstein said in a statement. “Serious lessons will be learned.”
The bankruptcy of Archegos was the second biggest financial scandal in which Credit Suisse suffered just a month after the collapse of Greensill Capital, while the bank’s shares have fallen 25% since March 1.
Credit Suisse’s board of directors initiated an investigation into damages caused by Archegos. The bank has also undertaken a review of $10 billion of supply chain funds investing in bonds issued by Greensill. Bonuses for board members were abolished. Credit Suisse shares fell 1.5% in initial transactions.
Incoming chairman António Horta-Osório, currently CEO of Britain’s Lloyds Bank, is being kept apprised of the investigations, which are being led by a “very senior member” of the board, a source familiar with the matter said.
Credit Suisse announced that Christian Meissner would be appointed head of the investment banking unit from May 1. Joachim Oechslin, who served as head of the bank’s risk management unit until February 2019, will temporarily retake the position of head of risk management.
EMA Official Confirmed ”Association” Between AstraZeneca and Blood Clotting
The vaccine developed by Oxford University and pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has become the focus of controversy due to the severe side effects seen in people who received the vaccine in recent weeks.
A top official at the European Medicines Agency said in an interview published Tuesday there is a causal link between AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine and rare blood clots. It’s still unclear what the connection is, and the benefits of taking the vaccine outweigh the risks of getting Covid-19.
EMA Biological Health Threats and Vaccine Strategy President Marco Cavaleri told the Italian newspaper Il Messaggero that there is a link between the AstraZeneca vaccine and blood clotting.
“It is clear that it has a connection with the vaccine. But we still do not know what caused this reaction,” Cavaleri said.
“There are more cases of clotting among those vaccinated than we expected among young people,” Cavaleri said.
Last month, more than a dozen countries, including Germany, suspended their use of AstraZeneca over the blood clot issue. Most restarted — some with age restrictions — after the EMA said the vaccine’s benefits outweighed the risks of not inoculating people against Covid-19.
Coagulation cases increased due to the use of AstraZeneca in European countries, causing a questioning of the safety of the vaccine.
However, some countries, including Italy, declared that ‘its benefits outweigh the risks and should remain in use.
The European Medical Agency (EMA) said in a statement after Marco Cavaleri’s comments, chair of its vaccine evaluation team, that it was still conducting a review of the vaccine and expected to announce its findings on Wednesday or Thursday.
“Certainly, the information about the product will be updated, affirming that these adverse events are linked to the vaccine. It will be declared in an obvious way,” Cavaleri was quoted as saying.