In Moscow, Iran to Face Critical Choice in the Latest Round of Nuclear Talks
Mark Landler and Ellen Barry, New York Times – June 16, 2012
The calendar will loom large over the next round of Iran nuclear talks. Less than two weeks after its diplomats meet on Monday with those of the United States and five other major powers in Moscow, Iran faces the imposition of a potentially crippling European oil embargo and American banking sanctions.
Iran’s Ahmadinejad to leave politics, newspaper reports
CNN – June 17, 2012
ran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will leave politics when his second term comes to an end, and does not envision a Vladimir Putin-style return to office after sitting out for a term, a German newspaper reported Sunday. “Eight years are enough,” the controversial Iranian leader told Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.
Iran nuclear talks: Negotiators face double challenge
Paul Richter, Los Angeles Times – June 18, 2012
Diplomats from six world powers arrived in Moscow on Sunday facing a double challenge: to coax concessions from Iran over its disputed nuclear program, and to keep the negotiations from collapsing if Tehran refuses. After two previous rounds, the U.S. and other negotiators preparing for talks on Monday and Tuesday still don’t understand Iran’s intentions.
Op-Ed: Negotiating a nuclear bomb
Ray Takeyh, Washington Post – June 15, 2012
As the ebbs and flows of diplomacy with Iran once more fixate official Washington, a subtle shift is emerging in the Islamic Republic’s nuclear calculus. Officials in Tehran increasingly sense that it may be easier to get the bomb through an agreement than by pursuing it outside the parameters of a deal. But for this strategy to succeed, Iran has to get the right kind of an accord, one in which it trades size for transparency.
North Korea Calls Clinton Criticism ‘Reckless’
Choe Sang-Hun, New York Times – June 17, 2012
North Korea on Sunday accused Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton of being “reckless” for advising its new leader to give priority to improving the lives of his people instead of spending money on weapons. North Korea can now “steadily boost its nuclear deterrent by itself without letting its people fasten their belts any longer,” the North’s official Korean Central News Agency quoted a North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman as saying.
Attack on U.S. outpost in Afghanistan worse than originally reported
Joshua Partlow and Craig Whitlock, Washington Post – June 16, 2012
A June 1 attack on a U.S. outpost near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border was much worse than originally disclosed by the military as insurgents pounded the base with a truck bomb, killing two Americans and seriously wounding about three dozen troops, officials acknowledged Saturday.
Experts Say Romney’s Defense Plan Doesn’t Add Up
Kate Brannen, Defense News – June 17, 2012
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney promises to increase defense spending by close to $2 trillion over the next 10 years. But his plans have people asking: where would the money come from? Romney says he would reverse the defense cuts mandated by last summer’s Budget Control Act, but more importantly, he has set a goal of raising the Pentagon’s base budget to a floor of 4 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP). That’s .7 percentage points higher than President Barack Obama’s fiscal 2013 budget proposal.
Senator Urges Bigger Cuts to Nuclear Arsenal
Thom Shanker, New York Times – June 14, 2012
The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator Carl Levin, said the administration “should consider going far lower” than the warhead caps set by the New Start agreement with Russia, to bring the nation’s arsenal in line with a diminished nuclear threat and tighter military budgets.