Special Report: Intel shows Iran nuclear threat not imminent Tabassum Zakaria and Mark Hosenball, Reuters – March 23, 2012 The United States, European allies and even Israel generally agree on three things about Iran’s nuclear program: Tehran does not have a bomb, has not decided to build one, and is probably years away from having a deliverable nuclear warhead.
Barak: Iran must be given deadline in nuke talks
Herb Keinon, Jerusalem Post – March 23, 2012
Defense Minister Ehud Barak acknowledged publicly on Thursday that Israel and the US have different clocks when looking at Iran, with Washington able – because of its greater military capabilities – to wait longer to strike the country than Israel.
‘Iran may activate US Hezbollah cells after strike’
Hilary Leila Krieger, Jerusalem Post – March 23, 2012
A US congressional report finds that Hezbollah fundraising cells are rampant across the United States and that the Lebanese organization could activate these cells to carry out lethal terrorist attacks.
Nuclear watchdog chief accused of pro-western bias over Iran
Julian Borger, The Guardian – March 22, 2012
The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the nuclear watchdog at the heart of the growing Iranian crisis, has been accused by several former senior officials of pro-western bias, over-reliance on unverified intelligence and of sidelining skeptics.
Allawi cites ‘dictatorship,’ Iranian control in Iraq
Ben Bimbaum, Washington Times – March 22, 2012
Iraq’s former prime minister says the United States is ignoring an “emerging dictatorship” in his country, telling The Washington Times that Iran is “swallowing” Iraq and dictating its strategic policies.
Japan readies anti-missile defence for N Korea rocket
BBC – March 23, 2012
Japan has ordered missile defence systems to be prepared in response to the planned launch of a North Korean long-range rocket next month, Japanese Defence Minister Naoki Tanaka has said.
Korean missile politics overshadow Seoul nuclear terrorism summit
Donald Kirk, Christian Science Monitor – March 22, 2012
North Korea’s plan to launch a long-range rocket next month revs up the confrontation on the Korean peninsula just as South Korea is about to welcome more than 50 global leaders here to come up with an agenda for combating nuclear terrorism.
Russia exasperated with US over missile defense
Fred Weir, Christian Science Monitor – March 22, 2012
A top Russian defense official warned Thursday that NATO’s plans to install an anti-missile shield in Europe are a “litmus test” for future relations between Moscow and the West. The tough statement by deputy defense minister Anatoly Antonov comes ahead of a planned summit between Russian president-elect Vladimir Putin and President Obama, and signals Moscow’s growing exasperation with the US position after a flurry of optimism earlier this month.
U.S. soldier to be charged today with murder in Afghan rampage
McClatchy-Tribune News – March 22, 2012
The American soldier suspected in the bloodiest rampage against civilians in the decade of the Afghan war will be charged today with 17 counts of murder. Staff Sgt. Robert Bales is at the Fort Leavenworth military prison in Kansas and is expected to be read the official charges there. The charges against Bales include 17 counts of murder, six counts of attempted murder and six counts of aggravated assault as well as dereliction of duty and other violations of military law, an official said.