November 24, 2012 |
A multi-front campaign to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon has been stalled for months by the distractions of a U.S. presidential campaign, Tehran's stop-and-go negotiating tactics and its role in deadly clashes in Syria and Gaza. Now that President Obama has a fresh four-year mandate and Iran's influence with Middle East neighbors seems to be fading, Tehran is expected back at the negotiating table soon and, some observers believe, in a more constructive mood to resolve the nuclear standoff.
November 9, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - Iran's government confirmed Friday that two of its warplanes fired at a U.S. surveillance drone flying over the Persian Gulf, but contradicted Pentagon claims that the unarmed aircraft, which was not damaged, was in international airspace when attacked. Iran's defense minister, Ahmad Vahidi, said an unidentified aircraft was detected Nov. 1 over Iranian territorial waters, and it was forced to flee "due to the timely, quick and decisive action of the Iranian armed forces," according to the official Press TV news agency.
November 2, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration has quietly eased restrictions on the sale of medicine to Iran amid signs that concern over the suffering of ordinary citizens could complicate an international campaign to punish Iran for its disputed nuclear program. Though U.S. rules have always permitted American firms to sell medicine and medical supplies to Iran, exporters have been required to apply for special licenses. Last month, the Treasury Department changed the rules to provide what amounts to a "standing authorization" for sales of certain foods and medicines to ease the paperwork burden, a spokesman for the department's Office of Foreign Asset Control said.
November 2, 2012 |
TEHRAN - Iran may be a major foreign policy issue in U.S. presidential politics, but few attendees at an Iranian government-organized rally Friday denouncing the United States seemed concerned about the outcome of the upcoming American election. "I don't care who becomes the next president in the U.S.," said Hasan Mousavi, 27, a shoe store owner who sports a bushy black beard. "The sanctions will not be lifted no matter who is president. " Like many Iranians, Mousavi says he has felt the sting of the tough economic sanctions that the Obama administration and the European Union have slapped on his nation because of its controversial nuclear program.
October 21, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - Austrian-born Daniel Frosch was only 23 when U.S. officials first realized that he had become a small but important cog in Iran's illicit weapons programs. In October 2005, Austrian authorities intercepted a parcel containing graphite cylinders, which can be used in ballistic missiles, addressed to Iran from Frosch's tiny export company in Graz. In late 2006, they tried to arrest him for allegedly attempting to sell valves and other components with military applications to Iranian state-owned companies.
October 11, 2012 |
"Argo" takes you back. Not just to the dark days of the 1979-81 Iranian hostage crisis but to a brighter, earlier time, when Hollywood regularly turned out smart and engaging films that crackled with energy and purpose. Very much like Clint Eastwood before him, actor turned actor-director Ben Affleck not only has a passion for those kinds of throwback entertainments, he knows that the only way to get them on the screen effectively is to do the work himself. After a hesitant start with "Gone Baby Gone," Affleck found his footing with the crackling crime drama "The Town" and now takes things one step further with this breakneck tale of how an ace CIA agent rescued six Americans from the jaws of the Iranian Revolution with a little help from, hard as it may be to believe, the good folks of Hollywood.
October 6, 2012
Re "What if we're wrong on Iran?," Opinion, Oct. 2 Roger Z. George calls for "extremely high standards for evidence. " Because President Bush invaded Iraq based on incorrect intelligence, the only logical conclusion is not to invade at all, since 100% assurance will never be obtained. So what, then, is the point of President Obama's policy of preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon if we have to wait for evidence of one? Michael V. Hayden, who served as Central Intelligence Agency director under Bush, wrote in a Washington Post op-ed article this week that in an exit interview with then-incoming CIA Director Leon Panetta in 2009, he said: "The Bush administration had not 'cooked' the conclusions of the National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.
September 25, 2012 |
TEHRAN - Iranian ministers have fretted for years about a "marriage crisis" in the country. The average age when people wed has climbed since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, causing concern among officials, as well as family elders, that Iranians may stray from a traditional pious path by staying single too long. Now a government minister says the country needs to legalize matchmaking websites to nudge Iranians to get hitched at younger ages. Mohammad Abbasi, the country's sports and youth minister, recently said he hoped to come up with rules for what may amount to a sort of Match.com or eHarmony suited for the Islamic Republic.
September 19, 2012 |
The saga of the three American hikers snatched by Iranian border guards along the Iran-Iraq border in 2009 and accused of spying and illegal entry held the world's attention for more than two years. Now, one year after he was released from an Iranian prison, Joshua Fattal, a teacher and environmentalist, will be a guest here at Yom Kippur services at the arts synagogue, the Beverly Hills Temple of the Arts-Saban Theatre, on Sept. 26. In my column last week, I spoke to Sarah Shourd, one of the three hikers, who is now married to fellow hiker Shane Bauer; Fattal was best man at their wedding in May. She was released after 140 days in solitary confinement; Fattal and Bauer had to wait another year for freedom.
September 14, 2012 |
JERUSALEM - As the war of words heats up regarding a possible Israeli military strike on Iran, now is the time to look at one of the key arguments used by those opposed to such an act of self-defense. Time and again we have heard the question "Why now?" asked whenever an Israeli prime minister must make a decision that placed our nation's very existence in jeopardy. Each time, our leaders knew to focus on the real question - "What is the alternative?" - and then go forward on the lonely path toward a more secure and free Israel.