Iran tests missiles and draws “red lines”
Siavosh Ghazi, AFP – February 10, 2014
A day after hardliners accused Iranian President Hassan Rouhani of delaying a missile test, Iran test fired two missiles. Meanwhile, Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said that “defence-related issues” (likely in reference to Iran’s ballistic missile program) are a red line and will not be up for discussion during negotiations, and Iranian nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi added that Iran will not give up the right to enrich uranium up to 20%.
Rouhani dismisses talks of the military option
Mehrdad Balali and William Maclean, Reuters – February 11, 2014
Rouhani explicitly criticized “those delusional people who say the military option is on the table,” stating that Iran’s nuclear program is to be used for peaceful purposes only and that the issue cannot be resolved through military force.
Netanyahu to discuss Iran nuclear program with Obama in March
Reuters – February 10, 2014
In the days after a deal was reached with Iran, Vice President Joe Biden visited Israel, and the United States discussed the matter with other countries in the region as well. In March, President Obama will visit Saudi Arabia, partly to assuage Saudi concerns over the deal. President Obama will also host Israeli’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House in March. Iran will be the main item on the agenda.
Syria releases its third, small batch of chemical weapons
BBC – February 10, 2014
Syria gave up more of its chemical weapons yesterday, but the total amount surrendered still only totals 30 tons out of 1,300. The Syrian government has been accused of stalling, but it insists that security and logistical difficulties have forced the delays.
New plan: wait for Karzai to leave
Adam Entous and Julian E. Barnes, The Wall Street Journal – February 10, 2014
Though the Obama administration has previously pushed for Afghanistan to sign a bilateral security agreement as soon as possible, the administration now appears resigned to the fact that it will have to wait until after Afghan President Hamid Karzai leaves office later this year. Moreover, a quick drawdown is now planned–the United States intends to keep 10,000 troops in Afghanistan after 2014, but those troops will only remain for an additional two years.