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Ray Takeyh

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NEWS
September 20, 2013 | By Alexandra Le Tellier
Iran's new president, Hassan Rouhani, has introduced himself to the American people as a pro-peace leader, a hippie in comparison to his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. When asked, for example, whether he thought President Obama looked weak after backing off his threat to strike Syria as punishment for using chemical weapons, he delivered a response that would make Bob Dylan sing. “We consider war a weakness,” he told NBC News correspondent Ann Curry on Wednesday. “Any government or administration that decides to wage a war, we consider a weakness.
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WORLD
January 13, 2014 | By Paul Richter, This post has been updated. See note below for details.
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.
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WORLD
August 30, 2013 | By Paul Richter
WASHINGTON - Iranian newspapers are reporting that a visit to Tehran this week by the leader of the Persian Gulf state of Oman was aimed at beginning quiet talks between the United States and the Islamic Republic. One of the newspapers, the daily Khorasan, said Sultan Qaboos bin Said, who has long sought to become an intermediary between the two countries, brought a proposal that Iran might be readmitted to an international money-transfer system if it agreed to reduce its uranium enrichment activities.
WORLD
December 12, 2013 | By Shashank Bengali
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration added 17 foreign companies and individuals to a federal blacklist Thursday for allegedly helping Iran evade economic sanctions, a move intended both to maintain pressure on Tehran during upcoming nuclear negotiations and to persuade skeptics in Congress that no more sanctions are needed. The State and Treasury departments announced the joint action shortly before Wendy Sherman, the chief U.S. diplomat at nuclear talks with Iran, appeared on Capitol Hill and vowed to "vigorously enforce" existing sanctions.
OPINION
November 16, 2013
Re "Stand by France," Opinion, Nov. 14 France's feisty objection to elements of the proposed Iran nuclear agreement may have merit, but Eric Edelman and Ray Takeyh are way off base writing that "France has an honorable history" in shielding the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and underlying norms. France has had a tradition of helping countries with suspect nuclear ambitions. Before the treaty, Paris provided Israel with the Dimona reactor that it knew would be used for weapons development.
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.
WORLD
July 17, 2008 | Paul Richter, Times Staff Writer
The Bush administration's decision to abandon a long-held policy and meet with a top Iranian official on Tehran's nuclear program has intensified the political debate in Washington about how best to deal with America's adversaries. The White House decision was hailed Wednesday by Barack Obama, the presumed Democratic presidential nominee, who has criticized Republican rival John McCain and President Bush for spurning high-level talks with Iran in the past. Obama said the United States should "stay involved with the full strength of our diplomacy.
WORLD
April 10, 2012 | By Paul Richter, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON — Iran's top nuclear official offered hope that Tehran may be flexible in upcoming international talks about its disputed nuclear program, indicating that the regime may be willing to halt production of the enriched uranium that most worries the West. Fereydoun Abbasi, head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, said in an Iranian TV interview broadcast Monday that Iran wants only enough 20%-enriched uranium for its medical needs. The United States and its European allies are worried that Iran could refine the 20%-enriched uranium it is producing into weapons-grade fuel for a nuclear bomb in a matter of months.
WORLD
February 26, 2013 | By Paul Richter, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - Six world powers floated a modestly improved proposal to Iran on Tuesday as talks on Tehran's disputed nuclear program resumed after an eight-month hiatus, with little expectation of a breakthrough. Opening a two-day session in Almaty, Kazakhstan, the so-called P5-plus-1 group offered to slightly ease economic sanctions if Tehran halts production of near-weapons-grade uranium fuel. The powers - China, Russia, France, Britain, Germany and the United States - fear Iran is seeking the ability to make bombs, an intent it denies.
WORLD
September 21, 2010 | By Paul Richter, Los Angeles Times
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tuesday that he saw a "good chance" that talks could soon resume with the United States and its allies over Iran's disputed nuclear program because "there is no other alternative. " Ahmadinejad, visiting New York to take part in United Nations General Assembly meetings, denied that Iran had been hurt by economic sanctions imposed in the last three months to pressure Tehran to dramatically alter its nuclear program. He also dismissed talk of a possible attack to destroy Iran's nuclear installations as no more than "psychological warfare.
OPINION
November 16, 2013
Re "Stand by France," Opinion, Nov. 14 France's feisty objection to elements of the proposed Iran nuclear agreement may have merit, but Eric Edelman and Ray Takeyh are way off base writing that "France has an honorable history" in shielding the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and underlying norms. France has had a tradition of helping countries with suspect nuclear ambitions. Before the treaty, Paris provided Israel with the Dimona reactor that it knew would be used for weapons development.
WORLD
November 5, 2013 | By Paul Richter and Ramin Mostaghim
WASHINGTON -- Iranian officials appear to be trying to sharply lower expectations for the round of international nuclear negotiations set to begin Thursday in Geneva. In an interview in a reformist newspaper, Iranian nuclear negotiator Abbas Araqchi said he expects this week's session will focus on the broad outline of negotiations, and that he doesn't foresee the first concrete steps toward a deal for about three months. “If both sides have goodwill, and if the seriousness and political will both sides have shown so far continues, then within three months we can get to the first step,” Aftab reported Araqchi as saying.
WORLD
October 14, 2013 | By Paul Richter
WASHINGTON - After a decade of stalemate, diplomats from Iran, the U.S. and five other nations are about to meet for talks that will provide the clearest evidence yet of whether recent signs of a thaw in relations presage an agreement over Tehran's nuclear ambitions. Iran wants assurances at the talks Tuesday and Wednesday in Geneva that if it plunges into serious negotiations, it might win international approval to enrich uranium. Although uranium enriched at low levels is used to fuel civilian power plants, many nations fear that Iran, despite denials, wants to enrich it to high levels for use in bombs.
NEWS
September 20, 2013 | By Alexandra Le Tellier
Iran's new president, Hassan Rouhani, has introduced himself to the American people as a pro-peace leader, a hippie in comparison to his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. When asked, for example, whether he thought President Obama looked weak after backing off his threat to strike Syria as punishment for using chemical weapons, he delivered a response that would make Bob Dylan sing. “We consider war a weakness,” he told NBC News correspondent Ann Curry on Wednesday. “Any government or administration that decides to wage a war, we consider a weakness.
WORLD
August 30, 2013 | By Paul Richter
WASHINGTON - Iranian newspapers are reporting that a visit to Tehran this week by the leader of the Persian Gulf state of Oman was aimed at beginning quiet talks between the United States and the Islamic Republic. One of the newspapers, the daily Khorasan, said Sultan Qaboos bin Said, who has long sought to become an intermediary between the two countries, brought a proposal that Iran might be readmitted to an international money-transfer system if it agreed to reduce its uranium enrichment activities.
WORLD
February 26, 2013 | By Paul Richter, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - Six world powers floated a modestly improved proposal to Iran on Tuesday as talks on Tehran's disputed nuclear program resumed after an eight-month hiatus, with little expectation of a breakthrough. Opening a two-day session in Almaty, Kazakhstan, the so-called P5-plus-1 group offered to slightly ease economic sanctions if Tehran halts production of near-weapons-grade uranium fuel. The powers - China, Russia, France, Britain, Germany and the United States - fear Iran is seeking the ability to make bombs, an intent it denies.
WORLD
August 30, 2012 | By Shashank Bengali, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - Iran has increased its stockpile of 20% enriched uranium by nearly a third since May, United Nations investigators reported Thursday, indicating that Tehran is pushing ahead with nuclear development despite tightening U.S. and European sanctions and the threat of an Israeli military strike. The International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog agency, also reported that Iran has doubled the number of centrifuges, which are used to enrich uranium, in an underground bunker near the holy city of Qom that experts say has been built to withstand an attack.
WORLD
August 23, 2012 | By Ken Dilanian, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - The United Nations' nuclear watchdog agency is expected to report next week that Iran has significantly expanded its uranium enrichment capability at its Fordow facility, according to U.S. officials and others briefed on the finding. The move could shorten the time Tehran would need to build a nuclear weapon. "My understanding is that work at the Fordow facility has been dramatically intensified," said Ray Takeyh, an Iran expert at the Council on Foreign Relations. "There are now 1,500 centrifuges completed, up from 700," he added, although the new centrifuges are not believed to be working yet. The Fordow facility, tucked into the mountains near the holy city of Qom, was secretly built deep underground to withstand an air attack.
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.
WORLD
August 30, 2012 | By Shashank Bengali, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - Iran has increased its stockpile of 20% enriched uranium by nearly a third since May, United Nations investigators reported Thursday, indicating that Tehran is pushing ahead with nuclear development despite tightening U.S. and European sanctions and the threat of an Israeli military strike. The International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog agency, also reported that Iran has doubled the number of centrifuges, which are used to enrich uranium, in an underground bunker near the holy city of Qom that experts say has been built to withstand an attack.
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