Top Dems divided on more Iran sanctions
Rebecca Shabad, The Hill – December 19, 2013
A group of democratic Senators, led by Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez, have introduced a bill that would enact a new round of sanctions against Iran if the first-step P5+1 nuclear deal falls through. Ten senior democratic chairmen have responded to the bill by writing a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid urging him to avoid any vote on the new sanctions bill.
Does Iran truly want a nuclear deal?
Editorial Board, The Washington Post – December 19, 2013
When Iran broke off negotiations with representatives of the P5+1 (Russia, China, France, the UK, the US + Germany) last week, it indicated that it does not intend to bargain in good faith. The Obama administration would spend their time better by pushing Iranian negotiators to stop posturing and stonewalling, rather than attempting to stop Congress from passing new sanctions.
Israel’s Peres says world must keep pressuring Iran
AFP – December 19, 2013
Following a meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Israeli President Shimon Peres urged the P5+1 parties to uphold pressure on Iran; “We must maintain the diplomatic pressure; ensure the sanctions regime remains effective to force Iran to comply with the inspections and limitations which the international community demands.”
Iran, six world powers resume expert talks on nuclear deal
Tom Miles and Justyna Pawlak, Reuters – December 19, 2013
Yesterday, expert-level nuclear talks between the P5+1 and Iran resumed after Iran interrupted negotiations late last week in response to the news that the United States had blacklisted 19 Iranian companies and individuals under existing US sanctions legislation. Diplomats have claimed that the first-step nuclear deal reached last month could take effect as early as mid-January.
To Boost Leverage with Iran, Give Obama a Sanctions Kill Switch
Ryan Costello, The National Interest – December 19, 2013
Today, a great opportunity lies before the US and Iran. After decades of escalation, the prospect of peace between these two countries is a real possibility. A nuclear deal, if successful, will ensure that war is avoided and that Iran will not have the capacity to develop a nuclear weapon. To realize this goal, Congress must abstain from imposing new sanctions on Iran.
Jerusalem’s Itchy Trigger Finger
Yonatan Touval – December 19, 2013
When push comes to shove, Iran’s development of a nuclear bomb might only make a conflict between Israel and Iran more likely. Why? Because of the risk of a miscalculated nuclear exchange. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei should consider this problem carefully when calculating the costs and benefits of developing an Iranian nuclear weapon.
Report: Fired nuke general misbehaved in Russia
Robert Burns, Associated Press – December 19,2013
Former commander of the US’s land-based nuclear missile force, Maj. Gen. Michael Carey, was fired from his position in October after engaging in “inappropriate behavior” while on official business in Russia last summer. An official investigation found that Maj. Gen. Carey had been rude to his hosts, drunk heavily and associated himself with “suspect” women.
Chinese Navy to Aid U.S. Ship Destroying Syrian Chemical Weapons
Jane Perlez, The New York Times – December 20, 2013
Yesterday, China’s Foreign Ministry announced that one of its navy ships would set sail for Syria and help protect the American ship designated with the task of destroying Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile. The declaration has been widely interpreted as part of China’s desire to cooperate with the United States Navy in an important international operation.