Report: Iran approves reduced budget, reflecting effects of sanctions over nuclear program
Associated Press — May 28, 2013
Iran’s state TV reports the parliament has approved a budget that reflects the effects of tough Western sanctions over the country’s suspect nuclear program.
Former U.S. Ambassador Warns Against Sanctions-Only Iran Policy
Hayes Brown, Think Progress — May 28, 2013
A former U.S. Ambassador to numerous countries throughout the Middle East is concerned that the increase in sanctions on Iran being weighed in Congress may actually hurt the ongoing efforts to confront Tehran’s nuclear program.
Iran Nuclear Program a Platform for Jalili Election Bid
Ladane Nasseri & Yeganeh Salehi, Bloomberg — May 29, 2013
Saeed Jalili, the face of Iran’s nuclear ambitions as the Islamic republic’s chief negotiator, is running for president on his record of defying global pressure to curtail the program.
Iranian Presidential Candidates Accuse State TV of Censorship, Unethical Behavior
Golnaz Esfandiari, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty — May 29, 2013
Iranian presidential candidate and former top nuclear negotiator Hassan Rohani has accused the country’s state-controlled broadcaster of unethical behavior and lies.
Japan’s Abe says North Korea can settle old kidnapping row
Reuters — May 29, 2013
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Wednesday he believed North Korea’s young leader was capable of making the right decision to resolve a dispute over kidnapped Japanese citizens, repeating he was open to a summit if it would settle the row.
Abe made his remarks in a television interview two weeks after a surprise visit to Pyongyang by his aide, Isao Iijima. That visit upset South Korea and the United States, both of which feared Tokyo might do a deal on abductees without addressing North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.
South Korea Criticizes North Proposal for Talks on Joint Complex
Cynthia Kim and Shinhye Kang, Bloomberg News — May 29, 2013
South Korea criticized North Korea for proposing a visit by private companies to a shuttered jointly run industrial park while refusing an overture for government-level talks.
“North Korea should stop raising doubts through its two-faced actions and return to government-level dialogue,” Unification Ministry spokesman Kim Hyung Suk told reporters today in Seoul. “The South Korean government already proposed working-level talks on May 14.”
North Korea: inside ‘the most amusing destination on earth’
Nigel Richardson, The Telegraph — May 28, 2013
Its leader was threatening nuclear war, but the country was still open to tourists. Nigel Richardson grabbed his chance to visit.
Pentagon Vouches for Weapons Systems Targeted in Hacker Attacks
Tony Capaccio and Gopal Ratnam, Bloomberg News — May 28, 2013
The Pentagon vouched for the capabilities of U.S. weaponry, responding to a report that Chinese hackers had gained access to sensitive information about major American weapons systems.
“We maintain full confidence in our weapons platforms,” Pentagon spokesman George Little said yesterday in a statement.
U.S. drone kills Pakistan Taliban Number two: security officials
A U.S. drone strike killed the number two of the Pakistani Taliban in the North Waziristan region on Wednesday, three security officials said, in what would be a major blow in the fight against militancy.