Iran Blocks U.N. Nuclear Inspectors
Jay Solomon, Wall Street Journal – February 3, 2012
Iran denied United Nations inspectors access to a suspected nuclear site, scientists and documents during a visit to Tehran this week, dimming already scant hopes for a breakthrough to end a standoff over Iran’s nuclear work, said diplomats briefed on the International Atomic Energy Agency’s mission.
Panetta believes Israel could strike Iran this spring
Barbara Starr, CNN (Blog) – February 2, 2012
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has come to the conclusion there is a growing likelihood Israel could attack Iran sometime this spring in an effort to destroy its suspected nuclear weapons program, according to a senior administration official.
Senate Panel Approves Potentially Toughest Penalty Yet Against Iran’s Wallet
Rick Gladstone, New York Times – February 2, 2012
The Senate Banking Committee unanimously approved a new regimen of anti-Iran sanctions on Thursday that would for the first time threaten to punish the global financial telecommunications network that nearly all banks rely on to conduct their daily business.
West making case to Israel: Don’t attack Iran
Anne Gearan, Associated Press – February 2, 2012
Israel’s major allies in the West are working hard to talk it out of a unilateral military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, arguing forcefully that an attack ultimately would strengthen, not weaken, the regime in Tehran.
U.S. Will Keep Fighting as Afghans Take the Lead, Panetta Says
Elisabeth Bumiller, New York Times – February 2, 2012
Reacting to consternation among NATO allies, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta sought to clarify on Thursday night that American troops would not step back entirely from combat in Afghanistan next year but would allow Afghan security forces a “lead” role.
NATO’s Defense Ministers See Combat Operations in Afghanistan Through 2014
Viola Gienger and James G. Neuger, Bloomberg – February 2, 2012
NATO defense ministers meeting in Brussels agreed that their soldiers in Afghanistan will need to continue combat operations in a support role even after Afghan forces take the lead on the way to full responsibility for security.
U.S. airbase in Germany to host missile shield command
Brian Rohan and Madeline Chambers, Reuters – February 2, 2012
Ramstein Air Base, which already houses the European headquarters of the U.S. Air Force and a NATO installation, will host the centre, which NATO says aims to protect Europe from potential attacks by so-called “rogue states” like Iran.