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NATIONAL
January 31, 2013 | By David S. Cloud and Michael A. Memoli
WASHINGTON -- President Obama's nominee for secretary of Defense, former Sen. Chuck Hagel, will stress at his confirmation hearing Thursday that he opposes letting Iran acquire nuclear weapons and will focus on developing military options to set back Tehran's program, according to a U.S. official familiar with his planned testimony. It will be Hagel's first chance to explain his views publicly since his selection last month ignited fierce opposition from several former Republican colleagues and pro-Israel groups.
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WORLD
April 27, 2014 | By Ramin Mostaghim
Nine months after taking office, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani finds himself under pressure from both his reformist supporters and hard-line conservatives as efforts to spur political change and economic progress have stumbled. Rouhani has faced a backlash in recent weeks from the very base that helped get him elected, which now sees a lack of movement to bolster personal liberties or free political prisoners. Meanwhile, both reformists and hard-liners are increasingly frustrated over economic woes.
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WORLD
January 31, 2010 | By Julian E. Barnes
The Obama administration has increased the U.S. military presence near Iran and is accelerating installation of antimissile systems in nearby countries, officials said Saturday, as the White House builds pressure for stern new sanctions against Tehran. New air defense systems are being delivered to Persian Gulf countries, and specially-equipped cruisers -- a linchpin of the U.S. missile defense system -- are being deployed in the waters of the Persian Gulf, the officials said. The moves are intended to reassure Gulf countries that they would be protected against possible offensive action from Tehran, which is under intensified international pressure to refrain from developing nuclear weapons.
WORLD
April 23, 2014 | By Ramin Mostaghim
TEHRAN - Iran replaced its top prison administrator Wednesday after public protests alleging excessive violence against inmates at a prison that holds inmates detained for political crimes. The semiofficial Fars News Agency reported that Gholam Hosein Esmaeli was removed from his position as director of the nation's penal system and appointed as head of an appeals court  branch in Tehran. Esmaeli told local media that the change was a promotion and was in no way related to last week's disturbances at the capital's Evin Prison.
OPINION
March 5, 2012 | By Bruce Ackerman
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to Washington has provoked a broad debate over the military and political wisdom of an attack on Iran. But so far, there has been little attention to the legal issues involved, which are crucial. American support for a preemptive strike would be a violation of both international law and the U.S. Constitution. Article II of the Constitution requires the president to "take care that the laws be faithfully executed," and Article VI says that treaties are part of the "supreme law of the land.
OPINION
September 15, 1991
In 1917, the Russian Revolution resulted in the installation of a Bolshevik government in the Soviet Union. In 1979, the Iranian revolution resulted in the installation of a Muslim fundamentalist government in Iran. The two governments were alike in that they both held absolute power, suppressing dissent and minorities. In 1991, after 74 years, a counterrevolution of sorts occurred in the Soviet Union, throwing off the chains of Communist rule and ending a dark period in Russian history.
WORLD
April 15, 2010 | By Paul Richter
The Obama administration signaled Wednesday that the United States would accept weakened United Nations sanctions against Iran as a way to quickly assemble a broad international coalition against Tehran's nuclear program. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said adoption of a new sanctions resolution by the U.N. Security Council is more vital than the actual measures taken. "What is important about the U.N. resolution is less the specific content of the resolution than the isolation of Iran by the rest of the world," Gates said.
OPINION
April 1, 2012 | By Alan J. Kuperman
As calls mount, especially in Israel, for military action against Iran's nuclear program, the main counterargument has been seductively simple: Iran is rational. Indeed, our country's top military official, Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, recently rejected the need for airstrikes because, as he put it, "We are of the opinion that the Iranian regime is a rational actor. " By this logic, we should not risk war to prevent Iran from going nuclear because even if Iran acquired nukes, it would never use them offensively, never share them with terrorists and never utilize them as a shield for regional adventurism.
OPINION
February 16, 2013
Re "On Iran, there's time," Opinion, Feb. 14 Ray Takeyh counsels the United States and its allies to apply patience as nuclear talks with Iran resume later this month. He contends that "time works best for the United States," while a "take it or leave it" approach will not. Unfortunately, patient negotiation has been tested time and again - not by the U.S. and its allies but by the International Atomic Energy Agency. For more than a decade the respected nuclear watchdog has attempted to get Tehran to divulge all of its nuclear activities.
NATIONAL
July 30, 2012 | By Maeve Reston, Los Angeles Times
JERUSALEM — On a day that mixed religious symbolism, courtship of financial donors and tough rhetoric, Mitt Romney on Sunday declared in his most aggressive tones to date that the U.S. should stand firmly behind Israel if it chooses military action to thwart Iran's progression toward a nuclear weapon. Flanked by several dozen Israeli and American flags, with the last glimmers of sunlight illuminating the walls of Jerusalem's Old City behind him, Romney argued in a speech that Tehran's ayatollahs "are testing our moral defenses" and monitoring "who will object" and "who will look the other way. " Accusing Iran of having a "bloody and brutal record," the unofficial Republican presidential nominee said, "We have a solemn duty and a moral imperative to deny Iran's leaders the means to follow through on their malevolent intentions.
WORLD
April 19, 2014 | By Ramin Mostaghim and Patrick J. McDonnell
TEHRAN - Iran has "virtually resolved" its dispute with world powers over a planned nuclear plant that could produce weapon material, the chairman of Iran's nuclear agency told a state news agency. Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Iran's nuclear program, told the official Al Alam news channel Saturday that Iran had agreed to redesign the Arak plant, about 150 miles southwest of Tehran, to produce far less plutonium, a key ingredient in nuclear weapons. Salehi said the 80% reduction in plutonium production capability at Arak had been "welcomed" by the six countries engaged in talks with Iran about its nuclear program: the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany.
WORLD
April 18, 2014 | By Ken Dilanian
WASHINGTON - President Obama signed into law a bill Friday that will block Iran's new ambassador to the United Nations from entering the United States. The measure is the first substantial bill from Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a likely Republican presidential hopeful, to become law. It says the president can deny admission to any diplomat who “has been engaged in terrorist activity against the United States or its allies and may pose a threat to U.S. national security interests.” The bill is aimed at barring the entry of Hamid Aboutalebi, a veteran Iranian envoy who has acknowledged that he served as a part-time translator for Iranian militants during the 1979 U.S. Embassy crisis in Tehran.
WORLD
April 11, 2014 | By Ramin Mostaghim
TEHRAN - Protesters at a boisterous rally after Friday prayers demanded that Iran retain its nuclear “rights,” as the public voiced its displeasure with the lack of concrete results from ongoing negotiations with world powers. Echoing earlier comments from Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, the protesters vowed that Iran would not shut down its nuclear program or relinquish its uranium enrichment capabilities. “Full nuclear cycle is our inalienable right!” chanted the protesters, who expressed fear that Iran's leadership would cave in to demands from the six world powers to dismantle the nation's nuclear program.
WORLD
April 11, 2014 | By Christi Parsons
WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration will not issue a diplomatic visa to Iran's new ambassador to the United Nations, the White House said Friday, complicating efforts to improve relations between the two countries. The administration opposes the selection of veteran diplomat Hamid Aboutalebi because of his ties to the student group that took over the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and held 52 American hostages in 1979. Earlier this week, the White House said Aboutalebi's appointment was " not viable . " In a rare bipartisan vote Thursday, the House approved a measure designed to bar Aboutalebi's entry to the country.
WORLD
April 9, 2014 | By Paul Richter and Ramin Mostaghim
WASHINGTON - Negotiators for Iran and six world powers said Wednesday that they have completed preliminary discussions on Iran's disputed nuclear program and are dashing to finish a long-term comprehensive agreement by July 20. Wrapping up two days of talks in Vienna, the negotiators said they would meet next month to draft a final deal in hope of reaching an accord before the midsummer deadline. The results are hardly assured because the process will entail difficult decisions on a number of contentious issues.
OPINION
April 9, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
The United States is irked that Iran has chosen as its representative to the United Nations a diplomat who apparently was involved with a student group that seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979. The embassy takeover, a violation of international law that led to the 444-day captivity of 52 American hostages, contributed to hostility between the two countries that only recently has begun to abate. But the Obama administration is making a mistake in publicly labeling as "not viable" the posting to the U.N. of Hamid Aboutalebi, an experienced diplomat aligned with Iran's reformist President Hassan Rouhani.
WORLD
September 24, 2010 | By Paul Richter, Los Angeles Times
Even as the White House praised Russia for declining to sell antiaircraft missiles to Iran in violation of U.N. sanctions, Russian diplomats were quietly recruiting other countries this week to undercut tougher penalties imposed on the Islamic Republic. Russia supported weak United Nations sanctions approved in June to pressure Iran over its nuclear program. But it has strongly objected to tougher sanctions added individually by the United States, the European Union and four other countries.
WORLD
February 19, 2010 | By Borzou Daragahi and Julia Damianova
The United Nations' nuclear watchdog for the first time Thursday explicitly voiced concern that Iran is trying to make a nuclear bomb, amid signs of fraying relations between the agency's inspectors and authorities in the Islamic Republic. The International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed that Iran last week produced its first batch of 20% enriched uranium, based on scientific data it was given by Iranian officials who plan to use the more highly purified nuclear fuel at a Tehran medical reactor.
WORLD
April 8, 2014 | By Christi Parsons and Paul Richter
WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration has told Iran that its nominee for ambassador to the United Nations is “not viable," but the White House did not outline steps it might take to derail the potential appointment. Jay Carney, the White House spokesman, said President Obama has serious concerns about Tehran's choice of Hamid Aboutalebi, who has acknowledged that he was a member of the student group that led the 1979 armed takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. Carney did not say if what he described as "diplomatic jargon" meant the State Department would refuse to grant a visa to Aboutalebi.
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