December 10, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Secretary of State John F. Kerry faced sharp complaints from House lawmakers Tuesday about the interim deal to rein in Iran's nuclear program, but the Obama administration won two tactical victories in its campaign to fend off further sanctions that it says could jeopardize a final deal. Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, announced he had decided against introducing sanctions legislation, at least for now, that the administration had strongly opposed.
December 9, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration will launch a lobbying push Tuesday to stop Congress from approving harsh new penalties for Iran, a move the White House warns could sink international negotiations aimed at curbing Tehran's nuclear program. A bipartisan group of lawmakers, including Sens. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Mark Steven Kirk (R-Ill.), has nearly completed sanctions legislation that it hopes to attach as an amendment to the annual, must-pass defense authorization bill, which could face a vote this week before Congress adjourns for the holidays.
December 8, 2013 |
Has John F. Kerry turned into the unexpected star of President Obama's second term? He was Obama's second choice as secretary of State (after Susan Rice). He's the same windy, stiff Bostonian who ran unsuccessfully for president a decade ago. And he's taken on a list of assignments that looked distinctly unpromising: nuclear negotiations with Iran, peace between Israel and the Palestinians, the civil war in Syria. But in 10 months, Kerry has embarked on a whirlwind of diplomacy.
December 7, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - President Obama signaled Saturday that he was prepared to allow Iran to enrich uranium on its own soil, saying that a final deal could be structured to prevent Tehran from developing a nuclear bomb. Obama also put the odds of success for the upcoming international negotiations with Iran at not "more than 50-50. " Seeking to rebut criticism of a just-completed interim nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic, Obama said in an appearance sponsored by the Brookings Institution's Saban Center for Middle East Policy that it was not realistic to try to force Iran to dismantle all of its multibillion-dollar nuclear complex.
December 7, 2013 |
TEHRAN - In a speech marking Student Day, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday sought "consensus" for his ambitious goals of political reform, economic growth and improved relations with the outside world. But as he spoke to a gathering at Shahid Beheshti University, the lack of consensus within this divided nation was evident in slogans shouted from the crowd. "Release political prisoners!" was one cry that periodically erupted from the audience, along with the familiar refrain, "Death to the U.S.A.!"
December 7, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- President Obama signaled Saturday that he was prepared to allow Iran to enrich uranium on its soil, saying that an eventual nuclear deal could be structured to ensure that Tehran's program would be only for peaceful purposes. In an appearance sponsored by Brookings Institution's Saban Center for Middle East Policy, Obama said it was not realistic to expect that Iran could be forced to dismantle every part of its multibillion-dollar nuclear infrastructure. He said that in upcoming international negotiations Iran could be allowed a “modest” enrichment program, with strong international monitoring to assure that Tehran could not suddenly accelerate production to produce a nuclear weapon.
December 5, 2013 |
JERUSALEM -- Secretary of State John F. Kerry launched his latest round of meetings in the Middle East on Thursday aimed at encouraging Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and discussing negotiations about Iran's controversial nuclear program. Speaking after a two-hour meeting in Jerusalem with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the first of three sessions scheduled, Kerry emphasized the U.S. commitment to Israel's security in context of both issues on the agenda. "I cannot emphasize enough that Israel's security is at the top of the agenda in these negotiations," Kerry said of talks the U.S. and five other major powers are holding with Iran, which recently resulted in an interim accord.
December 3, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- A poll sponsored by a liberal group found that a plurality of Americans supported the interim nuclear deal with Iran, 34% to 22%, and 41% had no opinion on the complex agreement. The poll, conducted by Hart Research for the advocacy group Americans United for Change, found that after a sample group was read a description of the deal, 63% favored it and 24% were opposed. The remaining 13% were undecided. The survey showed a majority wants Congress to refrain from imposing new economic sanctions on the Iranians over the next six months as six world powers and Iran try to work out a long-term deal to ensure that Tehran's nuclear program is limited to nonmilitary purposes.
December 2, 2013 |
Sneaking Nick Brody (Damian Lewis) into Iran was supposed to be a quiet, bloodless mission. But the CIA operation quickly deteriorates into a loud, bloody fiasco on “Good Night,” Episode 310 of Showtime's “Homeland.” The scheme calls for Navy SEALs to drop off Brody at the Iraq-Iran border so he can seek asylum in Tehran by falsely claiming responsibility for the CIA headquarters bombing. While being exploited for his propaganda value, Brody would kill the leader of Iran's spy agency.
December 1, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- Key lawmakers said Sunday they expect to press forward with an Iran sanctions package that can be imposed quickly if the interim accord to freeze Tehran's nuclear program fails to lead to a long-term deal. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, suggested additional sanctions would provide an “insurance policy” over the next six months as the interim agreement between Iran and six world powers, including the United States, is implemented.