U.S. official says Iran becoming a pariah state
Jeremy Laurence, Reuters – December 5, 2011
A senior U.S. official on Monday said the situation over Iran’s nuclear programme was becoming increasingly worrying and an urgent diplomatic solution needs to be found.
U.S. calls on S. Korea to add pressure on Iran
Lee Haye-ah, Yonhap News – December 5, 2011
The United States called on South Korea Monday to add pressure on Iran over its alleged nuclear weapons program, indicating that the Seoul government could soon impose fresh sanctions on Tehran.
Mysterious blasts, slayings suggest covert efforts in Iran
Ken Dilanian, LA Times – December 4, 2011
Attacks targeting nuclear scientists and sites lead some observers to believe that the U.S. and Israel are trying to derail Iran’s programs.
Exclusive: Argentina flirts with Iran as West watches nervously
Louis Charbonneau, Reuters – December 5, 2011
Argentina is quietly reaching out to Iran, worrying key Western powers and Israel as they try to tighten Tehran’s international isolation over its nuclear program, U.N. diplomats told Reuters.
NORTH & SOUTH KOREA
Seoul to Send $5.7 Million in Aid to North Korea
Choe Sang-Hun, NYT – December 5, 2011
South Korea said on Monday that it would send 6.5 billion won, or $5.7 million, in aid to North Korea through Unicef, the United Nations children’s agency.
NK rebuffs Seoul’s flexible stance
Kim Young-jin, The Korea Times – December 5, 2011
North Korea is ratcheting up its rhetoric against the Lee Myung-bak administration’s “flexible” policy on cross-border ties, slamming the stance as pandering despite Seoul’s most recent approval of aid to the impoverished state.
Sanctions-hit Syria eyes Lebanon, Iraq corridors
Rita Daou, AFP – December 5, 2011
As Syria staggers under unprecedented Arab and global sanctions, Lebanon and Iraq are poised to provide economic corridors for their crisis-hit neighbour without explicitly breaching the restrictions, experts say.
Syria responds ‘positively’ to Arab plan: spokesman
AFP – December 5, 2011
Syria has “responded positively” to an Arab League proposal designed to end months of deadly unrest, paving the way for its signature, foreign ministry spokesman Jihad Makdesi said on Monday.
West pledges continued support to Afghanistan
Anne Gearan, AP – December 5, 2011
The United States and other nations vowed Monday to keep supporting Afghanistan after most foreign forces leave the country in 2014, as the nation faces an enduring Taliban-led insurgency and possible financial collapse.
Timeline: Afghanistan, 10 years after war began
Reuters – December 5, 2011
A conference on Afghanistan opened on Monday in the German city of Bonn. Here is a timeline of the main Afghan events of the last 10 years.