Iran says some ‘common points’ found in talks on restarting nuclear negotiations
AP, Washington Post – September 19, 2012
Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator on Wednesday reported progress in talks aimed at restarting negotiations over Tehran’s nuclear program, calling a meeting with European foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton a day earlier “positive and fruitful.”Saeed Jalili offered few concrete details about Tuesday’s meeting with Ashton in Istanbul, but said the two had assessed some “common points” reached by technical teams looking into the issue and had discussed “what can be done for a new cooperation.”
Iran defiant, even against big powers’ anger: leader
Iran Independent News Service – September 19, 2012
Iran will never bend to pressure exerted by the world’s big powers, even if they become “angry” at its defiance, supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a speech published on his official website on Wednesday. The Islamic republic “does not accept the demands of any superpower,” he told an audience of military personnel and their families in the speech delivered on Tuesday in northern Iran, according to his website.
Iran nuclear chief says Tehran does not intend to enrich uranium beyond 20 percent
Haaretz – September 18, 2012
Iran does not intend to enrich uranium above the 20 percent level, the chief of Iran’s nuclear program told the country’s media outlets on Monday, adding that Iran increased its enrichment activities after failing to obtain uranium for its Tehran research facility. The comments by Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Fereydoun Abbasi came after the Iranian nuclear chief said earlier Monday that that “terrorists and saboteurs” might have infiltrated the International Atomic Energy Agency in an effort to derail his country’s nuclear program.
Senate may confirm new missile defense chief
Al Kamen, Washington Post – September 18, 2012
Buzz on the Hill has it that the nomination of Rear Adm. James Syring to head the Missile Defense Agency may be voted out of the Senate Armed Services Committee in the next few days for a possible confirmation vote before the Senate takes off at the end of this week until after the election. The move would bring to a close the somewhat stormy, four-year tenure of Lt. Gen. Patrick O’Reilly, who was sharply criticized by the Pentagon inspector general in a May report that faulted him for an abusive management style.
China to host 6-nation security forum involving N. Korea
Korea Times – September 19, 2012
China will host an annual security conference next week that usually brings together government officials and scholars from all six nations involved in negotiations on North Korea’s nuclear programs, an official said Wednesday. The Northeast Asia Cooperation Dialogue (NEACD) has served as an opportunity for informal dialogue between North Korea and its nuclear negotiation partners — South Korea, China, Japan, Russia and the United States. Last year’s meeting was held in Hawaii, but North Korean officials did not attend.
A comedown for America’s defense lobby
Andrea Shalal-Esa and Marcus Stern, Reuters – September 19, 2012
To grasp how much the budget wars have altered the natural order of things in Washington, consider this: One of the most powerful lobbies in town, the defense industry, is feeling a bit powerless. It is trying to head off automatic across-the-board cuts in the Pentagon budget of $54 billion next year alone, produced by a 2011 bipartisan budget deal. But it has made little apparent progress in blocking or tempering the so-called “sequestration” of funds set for January.
Iran proposed “Observers from quartet to be dispatched” in Syria
Day Press News (Syria) – September 19, 2012
Iran proposed that observers from a contact group on Syria, comprising Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey, to be dispatched to the crisis-hit country. The United Nations put an end on August to its own observer mission to Syria that was established in April 2012, after a ceasefire failed to take hold.
Russia orders US to shut its aid mission
Al Jazeera – September 19, 2012
Russia has ordered USAID to cease operations in the country, accusing the aid mission of being a front of the American government’s effort to influence its local politics and the outcome of elections. Moscow’s move on Wednesday is seen as a slap in the face on the administration of President Barack Obama, who has been seeking to “reset” bilateral ties with its former rival.
Russia Revamps Missile Defenses Around Moscow
RIA Novosti – September 19, 2012
Russia will reactivate mothballed ballistic missile silos around Moscow as part of deep modernization of a missile defense network protecting the Russian capital, former chief of the Russian Strategic Missile Forces, Col. Gen. (Ret) Viktor Yesin said on Monday. The A-135 (NATO: ABM-3) anti-ballistic missile network is deployed around Moscow to counter enemy missiles targeting the city or its surrounding areas. It became operational in 1995 and consists of the Don-2N battle management radar and two types of ABM missiles.