Iran Talks will Resume February in New York
Louis Charbonneau and Justyna Pawlak, Reuters – January 27, 2014
U.S. State Dept. officials have announced that world powers will begin a new stage of talks with Iran next month on reaching a more permanent and long-term deal. New York was chosen as the second location after talks in Geneva because it was considered to have “international support structure” and U.N. support that would be helpful in the development of a comprehensive deal.
Obama’s former advisor disagrees with Iran Deal
Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post – January 27, 2014
Dennis Ross, President Obama’s former advisor on the Middle East and senior director for the Central Region, has recently spoken out about the current Iran interim deal, saying it is a “setback.” In a report put together by the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, Ross specifically mentions that the sanctions was what brought Iran to the negotiating table in the first place and that the “lax timeline” that has been given could only “encourage further regional instability.”
American Support for the Deal
Lara Jakes and Jennifer Agiesta, AP – January 28, 2014
A recent poll indicated that 60 percent of Americans approve of the six month agreement Iranian Nuclear Deal put forth by the U.S. and five other world powers, but approximately 47 percent actually believe the deal will work. Currently, 42 percent of the public overall approves how Obama is handling the Iranian situation. Many have expressed worry that “Iran is a difficult country to trust,” and given the Administration’s handling of the Syrian situation that occurred in September, many are skeptical of the deal succeeding in the long-term.
Anti-Nuke Activist Sentencing Delayed
AP – January 28, 2014
Today the 83-year old Catholic nun, Sister Megan Rice– who has been convicted for breaking into a nuclear weapons plant last May with two other activists– was supposed to find out whether she would spend the rest of her life in prison. The judge however delayed the sentencing due to the weather situation in Tennessee. The government has recommended about 6 to 9 years of life behind bars for all three activists, including restitution of approximately $53,000. The sentencing has been rescheduled for February 18th.
U.S. Pressures Japan for Plutonium
Global Security Newswire, Staff – January 27, 2014
Japan has finally agreed to send the U.S. 730 pounds of plutonium, which was originally given to Japan during the Cold War era for research purposes. The material is reportedly capable of fueling approximately 40-50 nuclear bombs. The Obama Administration has pressed Japan to relinquish the material since the first nuclear security summit in 2010, but official talks didn’t begin until 2013. The U.S. intends to sign an official transfer agreement with Japan this March 2014 during the 3rd Nuclear Security Summit.