Iran Assails House Sanctions Bill, Saying It Will Complicate Nuclear Dispute
Thomas Erdbrink and Rick Gladstone, The New York Times — August 1, 2013
Iran reacted angrily on Thursday to the overwhelming approval of harsh legislation on sanctions by the House of Representatives, saying the action would further complicate stalled negotiations aimed at resolving the protracted dispute over the Iranian nuclear energy program.
China reiterates opposition to U.S. sanctions on Iran
Chen Aizhu and Ron Popeski, Reuters — August 2, 2013
China, Iran’s largest trading partner and top oil customer, repeated its opposition on Friday to tougher U.S. sanctions on Iran after the House of Representatives approved a bill aimed at halting Iran’s oil exports.
New Iranian President Undertakes ‘Damage Control’
Barbara Slavin, Voice of America — August 1, 2013
…After eight years of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, almost anyone would look good by comparison. Still, the new president, Hassan Rouhani, a Scottish-educated cleric, comes equipped with personal qualities, experience and relationships that could help stem Iran’s slide into economic crisis and international isolation.
Rohani Clout in Iran Corridors of Power May Aid Nuclear Deal
Kambiz Foroohar, Bloomberg — August 1, 2013
… Success may depend on Rohani’s ability to leverage connections with Iran’s powerful non-elected bodies and most of all with Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the top decision-maker, whom he first met four decades ago during the early days of Islamist opposition to the Shah.
Will Iran Get a Bomb—or Be Bombed Itself—This Year?
Graham Allison, The Atlantic — August 1, 2013
…There can be no question whatsoever that in 2013 Iran could get a bomb; there is also no question that Iran could be bombed. But my best judgement is that in 2013 Iran will not get a bomb, and Iran will not be bombed.
Analyst Doubts Threat Posed by Radioactive Kits Seen in North Korea
Global Security Newswire — August 1, 2013
Issue specialists are doubtful that North Korea has created an arsenal of so-called “backpack nukes,” despite an impression left at last week’s high-profile military parade through Pyongyang, the Washington Times reported on Thursday.
Medal of Honor recipient urges U.S. to re-engage with North Korea
Paula Hancocks, CNN — August 2, 2013
Captain Thomas Hudner traveled to North Korea with hopes of finding the remains of an old friend shot down more 60 years ago during the Korean War. Instead, he returned home with an offer of talks for the U.S. government.
Inside North Korea’s not so isolated, free-enterprise economy
Heesun Wee, CNBC — August 1, 2013
As Dennis Rodman plans to return to North Korea this week with hopes of securing the release of a captive American, the former NBA star’s trip brings the peninsula into focus, still divided since the Korean War 60 years ago. But North Korea and its economy are far from isolated. Growing pockets of private enterprise are thriving, as the country’s fate is increasingly tied to China.
Military leaders paint dire picture from budget cuts, warn of devastating hit on force
The Associated Press — August 1, 2013
Senior Pentagon leaders offered a sober assessment Thursday of the impact of automatic spending cuts on the military, arguing that they are embarrassing and unsafe for the United States while imploring a stymied Congress to stop them.
Pentagon downplays prospects of cancelling F-35, bomber
Andrea Shalal-Esa, Reuters — August 1, 2013
The U.S. military on Thursday downplayed concerns it could cancel the F-35 fighter and a new stealth bomber, after leaked documents from a budget review suggested the programs might be eliminated as one way to deal with deep budget cuts.