Iran might let diplomats visit suspected nuclear site
Yeganeh Torbati and Fredrik Dahl, Reuters – August 27, 2012
Iran indicated on Monday it might allow diplomats visiting Tehran for this week’s Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit to inspect the Parchin military base, which U.N. nuclear experts say may have been used for nuclear-related explosives tests. When asked about the possibility, Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammad Mehdi Akhoundzadeh said: “Such a visit is not customary in such meetings … However at the discretion of authorities, Iran would be ready for such a visit,” the Iranian government-linked news agency Young Journalists Club reported.
Iran opens nonaligned summit with calls for nuclear arms ban
AP – August 26, 2012
Iran opened a world gathering of self-described nonaligned nations Sunday with a slap at the U.N. Security Council and an appeal to rid the world of nuclear weapons, even as Tehran faces Western suspicions that it is seeking its own atomic bombs…Iran insists it does not seek nuclear weapons. The U.S. and allies suspect that Tehran’s uranium enrichment could eventually lead to warhead-level material. They have imposed ever-tighter sanctions on Iran’s banking and oil exports in attempt to wring concessions.
IAEA gets no deal with Iran on bomb research suspicions
Fredrik Dahl, Reuters – August 24, 2012
The U.N. nuclear watchdog and Iran failed on Friday to strike a deal aimed at allaying concerns about suspected nuclear weapons research by Tehran, a setback in efforts to resolve the stand-off diplomatically before any Israeli or U.S. military action. A flurry of bellicose rhetoric from some Israeli politicians this month has fanned speculation that Israel might hit Iran’s nuclear sites before the U.S. presidential election in November.
Attacks on Soldiers and Civilians Leave Dozens Dead in Afghanistan
Graham Bowley and Richard A. Oppel Jr., New York Times – August 27, 2012
Two American soldiers were shot and killed by a member of the Afghan Army in eastern Afghanistan on Monday when a dispute broke out during a joint American and Afghan patrol, Afghan officials said. There were unconfirmed reports that the dispute erupted after the convoy was hit by a roadside bomb. NATO confirmed that two of its soldiers had been killed by a member of the Afghan Army. In a separate episode in the southeast, attackers killed 10 Afghan soldiers at a checkpoint in Helmand Province early on Monday, in what a provincial spokesman described as the latest attack by insurgents who had infiltrated the Afghan military. The Taliban, meanwhile, cut the throats of 17 civilians — including two women — in a rural, Taliban-controlled district of Helmand on Sunday, Afghan officials said.
Putin Shows Some Openness to New Missile Reductions
David Herszenhorn, New York Times – August 24, 2012
President Vladimir V. Putin said Friday that Russia would be willing to negotiate new reductions in nuclear arms with the United States but that Washington must first change its plans for a missile defense system in Europe strongly opposed by the Kremlin…But Mr. Putin is well aware that Mr. Obama is unwilling to negotiate over the planned missile defense system, at least not before the American presidential election in November. So in the short term, Mr. Putin’s remarks were unlikely to lead to any new accord.
Op-Ed: How Mr. Romney Would Force-Feed the Pentagon
Carol Giacomo, New York Times – August 25, 2012
Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are portraying themselves as lionhearted budget-cutters, ready to slice out profligate spending in all sorts of government programs and services and lead America to lower taxes and lower deficits. Many experts say their numbers don’t add up, even if they were to impose all the cuts they want. Yet none of that philosophy seems to apply to the defense budget — which accounts for roughly half of all federal discretionary spending. Instead of proposing sensible and necessary reductions, they would throw more money at a Pentagon that has had a blank check for more than a decade. The base budget for 2013 — not including war-related costs — is projected at $525 billion, up roughly 34 percent from 2001. By 2022, Mr. Romney’s plan would increase annual spending to $986 billion, according to an analysis by Travis Sharp of the Center for a New American Security.