Iran sanctions bill blocked in U.S. Senate
Joby Warrick, Washington Post – May 18, 2012
A Senate bill intended to tighten economic sanctions against Iran was blocked Thursday by Senate Republicans who said they were holding out for an even tougher measure that included an explicit threat of a U.S. military strike if Iran refuses to curb its nuclear ambitions.
Six nations agree on nuclear proposal to Iran
Paul Richter, Los Angeles Times – May 19, 2012
The permanent five members of the UN Security Council plus Germany have agreed on a proposal to help Iran fuel a small reactor used for medical purposes, and to forgo seeking further United Nations economic sanctions. In exchange, Iran would be required to stop enriching uranium to 20% of purity, surrender its stockpile of uranium already enriched to that level, and halt operations at an underground enrichment facility near the city of Qom.
U.N. nuclear chief holds talks in Tehran, hopes for deal
Fredrik Dahl and Marcus George, Reuters – May 21, 2012
The U.N. nuclear watchdog chief held rare talks in Tehran on Monday after voicing hope for a deal to investigate suspected atomic bomb research – a gesture Iran might make to try to get international sanctions relaxed and deflect threats of war.
North Korea Urged to Back Down on Nuclear Test
Choe Sang-Hun, New York Times – May 21, 2012
Senior American, Japanese and South Korean diplomats warned on Monday that North Korea would face more sanctions if it conducted a nuclear test following its failed rocket launch last month. But, in their first meeting since the rocket launch, they also urged the North to back down.
U.S. House Defies Obama With $554 Billion Defense Bill
Roxana Tiron, Bloomberg – May 18, 2012
The Republican-controlled House passed on a vote of 299-120 the defense authorization measure setting spending targets and policy, which President Obama has threatened to veto. The bill is about $4 billion more than the Democratic Obama administration said could be spent for fiscal 2013 to stay within deficit-reduction targets.
NATO activates missile shield despite Russian anger
Laurent Thomet, Agence France Presse – May 20, 2012
NATO leaders launched Sunday the first phase of a US-led missile shield for Europe, risking the wrath of Russia which has threatened to deploy rockets to EU borders in response.