Iranian Leader Promotes Nuclear Plans
Farnaz Fassihi, Wall Street Journal – February 23, 2012
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Wednesday that the Islamic Republic would move ahead with its nuclear program, despite growing international pressure.
Iran talks failure sparks confrontation fears
Fredrik Dahl and Parisa Hafezi, Reuters – February 23, 2012
The U.N. nuclear watchdog’s latest mission to Iran failed to budge a defiant Tehran over its disputed nuclear program, sending oil prices to a nine-month high over fears of an increasing risk of confrontation with the West.
Israel: Iran will have U.S.-range missile in 2-3 years
Jeffrey Heller and Mark Heinrich, Reuters – February 22, 2012
Israel believes that within 2-3 years Iran will have intercontinental missiles able to hit the United States, an Israeli minister said in remarks aimed at raising awareness of the threat it believes a nuclear Iran would pose to the world.
US, North Korea hold first talks since Kim’s death
Marianne Barriaux, Agence France Presse – February 23, 2012
A senior US diplomat said Thursday he had held “serious and substantive” talks with North Korea’s nuclear envoy in Beijing, the first such contact between the two nations since leader Kim Jong-Il died.
North Korea Set to Meet With U.S
Alastair Gale and Evan Ramstad, Wall Street Journal – February 23, 2012
U.S. officials are set to formally meet with their counterparts from North Korea on Thursday in Beijing for the first time since the death of longtime dictator Kim Jong Il, a meeting that could offer a glimpse of how Pyongyang’s new leadership will respond to international pressure to abandon its nuclear-weapons ambitions.
Military: Thousands of troops needed to secure Syrian chemical sites
Barbara Starr, CNN (Blog) – February 22, 2012
The U.S. military has calculated it could take more than 75,000 ground troops to secure Syria’s chemical warfare facilities if they were at risk of being looted or left unguarded, CNN has learned.
US pushed ahead with drone strikes despite Pakistani resistance
Missy Ryan and Mark Hosenball, Reuters – February 22, 2012
Shortly before the United States ended a two-month pause in missile strikes on militants in Pakistan last month, senior U.S. officials telephoned their Pakistani counterparts and told them Washington would be resuming its covert drone program despite mounting objections in Islamabad.
Turkey keeps plan to buy 100 F-35 fighter jets
Reuters – February 23, 2012
Turkey is sticking to plans to buy 100 of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 fighter jets for $16 billion, with an initial order of two planes for delivery in 2015, its defence minister said, amid concerns about the project’s delays and rising costs.