Ahmadinejad Says Iran Is Ready for Nuclear Talks
J. David Goodman, New York Times – January 26, 2012 Even as he became the latest and most senior member of the Iranian government to publicly declare his readiness for nuclear talks, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Thursday lashed out at the West over its tough new economic sanctions that he said have hurt the Iranian people.
IAEA talks in Tehran to test Iran’s nuclear defiance
Fredrik Dahl, Reuters – January 26, 2012
A rare visit by senior U.N. nuclear inspectors next week raises pressure on Iran to address suspicions it is trying to develop atomic weapons, though Western powers that are piling on sanctions expect no significant breakthrough.
Can Sanctions Alone Get Iran To Negotiate
Tom Gjelten, NPR – January 25, 2012
In an effort to bring Iran to the negotiating table over its nuclear program through economic pain, both the U.S. and the European Union have imposed sanctions that should make it harder for Iran to sell its oil. But the global oil business is unpredictable, and sanctions are no guarantee.
Iran won’t move toward nuclear weapon in 2012 – ISIS report
Tabassum Zakaria and Mark Hosenball, Reuters – January 26, 2012
Iran is unlikely to move toward building a nuclear weapon this year because it does not yet have the capability to produce enough weapon-grade uranium, a draft report by the Institute for Science and International Security said on Wednesday.
South Korea Holds Artillery Drills At Border Island
Hyung-Jin Kim, Associated Press – January 26, 2012
South Korea staged live-fire drills Thursday from a front-line island shelled by North Korea in 2010, in the first such exercise since North Korean leader Kim Jong Il died last month. The North called the maneuvers belligerent.
More Drones, Fewer Troops
Adam Entous, Julian E. Barnes and Siobhan Gorman, Wall Street Journal – January 26, 2012
The plan, to be unveiled by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Thursday and in budget documents next month, calls for a 30% increase in the U.S. fleet of armed unmanned aircraft in the coming years, defense officials said. It also foresees the deployment of more special-operations teams at a growing number of small “lily pad” bases across the globe where they can mentor local allies and launch missions.
Tauscher stepping down as undersecretary of state for arms control
Josh Rogin, Foreign Policy – January 25, 2012
Following her successful battle with esophageal cancer, Ellen Tauscher is taking a step back and handing over several of her responsibilities as the State Department’s top arms control official, State Department officials told The Cable today.
U.S. special forces rescue Somalia aid workers
Chris Lawrence, CNN – January 25, 2012
U.S. Special Forces parachuted overnight into Somalia from fixed-wing planes, then advanced on foot to a compound holding two kidnapped international aid workers and freed them, U.S. officials said Wednesday.
Putin Ratchets Up Anti-U.S Rhetoric as Kremlin Race Grows
Henry Meyer and Ilya Arkhipov, Bloomberg Businessweek – January 26, 2012
The U.S. “wants to control everything” and takes decisions unilaterally on key questions, Putin said on a campaign stop yesterday in the Siberian city of Tomsk, 3,100 kilometers (1,900 miles) east of Moscow. “Sometimes I get the impression the U.S. doesn’t need allies, it needs vassals.”