January 21, 2014 |
JERUSALEM -- At a cafe in Jerusalem, Giora Shamis greeted the announcement that Iran has begun rolling back its nuclear program with a shake of his head. “I feel deep anxiety,” said Shamis, who runs a hawkish news analysis website. “I don't believe a word they say. Iran's influence is on the march and Israel's strategic position is shrinking. I ask myself now, 'Who is calling the shots in the Middle East?'” While much of the world watched with cautious optimism as an interim deal designed to limit Iran's enrichment of uranium went into effect Monday, the tone in Israel was one of resigned skepticism.
January 13, 2014 |
Iran and six world powers have agreed on a plan to launch the first phase of their nuclear deal, U.S. and Iranian officials announced Sunday, a sign the fragile international effort to curb Tehran's nuclear ambitions remains on track. The agreement, worked out in a month of talks between technical experts and diplomats, goes into effect Jan. 20, after which Iran will begin to get access to some of its frozen assets -- and will have to open more of its facilities to the United Nations' nuclear watchdog agency.
January 13, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - Key elements of a new nuclear agreement between Iran and six world powers are contained in an informal, 30-page text not yet publicly acknowledged by Western officials, Iran's chief negotiator said Monday. Abbas Araqchi disclosed the existence of the document in a Persian-language interview with the semiofficial Iranian Students News Agency. The new agreement, announced over the weekend, sets out a timetable for how Iran and the six nations, led by the United States, will implement a deal reached in November that is aimed at restraining Iran's nuclear ambitions.
January 12, 2014 |
The first war I covered as a foreign correspondent was the civil war in Lebanon. When the conflict began in 1975, it was just a series of skirmishes, a nasty but limited little war for control of a small nation. Then other countries got involved: Syria, Iraq, Libya and Israel. They supplied money and weapons to their favored factions, turning an internal struggle into a longer, more deadly proxy war in which outside powers fought one another through surrogates. Eventually even the United States sent troops, which is why 241 Americans died in a bombing in Beirut in 1983.
January 12, 2014 |
WASHINGTON -- Iran and six world powers said Sunday they have agreed on a plan of implementation for their first-phase nuclear deal, a sign the fragile effort to curb Tehran's nuclear ambitions remains on track. The implementation agreement, worked out in a month of talks between technical experts and diplomats, will lay out how the group will carry out their plan to limit Iran's nuclear progress while they try to negotiate a long-term agreement. Officials of the United States, Iran and the European Union hailed the agreement as another step forward.
January 2, 2014 |
TEHRAN -- Two deadly bombings in Beirut over the last week and the arrest of a fugitive Saudi militant in the Nov. 19 attack on Iran's embassy in the Lebanese capital reflect the escalating spillover of a proxy war in Syria. Iranian Shiite Muslims and rival Sunnis in Saudi Arabia have been battling for years for dominance in the Middle East. But the rivalry has intensified since May, when the Lebanon-based and Iranian-backed Hezbollah militia made clear it had intervened in Syria's civil war on the side of the embattled Shiite-aligned government.
December 30, 2013 |
The U.S. and Iran may have miles to go in their negotiations over curtailing Iran's nuclear ambitions, but the ease in hostility has already produced a boomlet in American travel to Iran. Three U.S.-based tour operators say they've seen a surge of bookings and questions about Iran in recent months. They've also heard encouragement from Iranian government officials, who met in New York with several U.S. tour operators during Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's visit to the city in September.
December 27, 2013 |
TEHRAN -- The chief foreign policy advisor to Iran's Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has called for direct talks with the United States on nuclear issues, a possible sign from the supreme leader that he is amenable to ending the animosity that has defined relations with Washington for 34 years. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has been the target of fierce criticism by political and religious hard-liners since he helped broker a deal with the United States and five other Western powers last month that will put Iranian high-level enrichment of uranium on hold for at least six months.
December 25, 2013 |
TEHRAN -- More than a third of Iran's parliament has signed on to a bill ordering an acceleration of the country's nuclear program if Congress follows through with new sanctions, lawmakers said. In a gesture apparently intended as retaliation for congressional sanctions legislation, 100 members of Iran's parliament have signed on to a resolution calling for an increase in uranium enrichment to 60% purity from a current 20%. The bill also would order activation of the partially built Arak heavy-water nuclear reactor, which could generate plutonium that could be used as bomb fuel.
December 24, 2013 |
In recent weeks, the media have had a field day reporting on a so-called rift in the U.S.-Israel relationship over the nuclear negotiations with Iran. The story makes for great headlines, but it's poor analysis. Despite the heated rhetoric, the pillars that have anchored America's most important alliance in the Middle East for more than six decades are just as firmly rooted today as they have ever been. Just hours after Secretary of State John F. Kerry announced the interim deal to halt Iran's nuclear program, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared on American television and called the agreement "a historic mistake.