US, Russia diplomatic and defense officials to meet in wake of scuttled Obama-Putin summit
The Associated Press — August 9, 2013
The crisis in Syria, arms control and missile defense headline what are expected to be chilly talks between top U.S. and Russian foreign and defense chiefs, a sit-down tainted by the case of National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, which led President Barack Obama to cancel his upcoming meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Diplomatic Rift With Putin Grows as Obama Cancels
Carol E. Lee and Alan Cullison, The Wall Street Journal — August 9, 2013
President Barack Obama’s decision to pull out of a one-on-one meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow next month punctuates a steady decline in relations and represents an unusually sharp rebuke for an administration pledged to engaging adversaries.
Ten reasons the U.S. and Russia are at odds
Brad Plumer, The Washington Post — August 8, 2013
…A big report earlier this year from the Congressional Research Service does a nice job detailing the tempestuous back-and-forth between the United States and Russia since 2009. Here are some of the big milestones — and points of contention — in the relationship.
‘When Obama says Putin is trapped in Cold War logic, it’s true. But so is Obama.’
Ezra Klein, The Washington Post — August 8, 2013
A few years ago, the hope was that the U.S. and Russia were moving towards a “reset” of their relationship — and with that reset, a renewed commitment to mutual nuclear disarmament. That’s not looking so good anymore — and it’s one reason President Obama canceled the summit with Vladimir Putin.
Iran political prisoners urge US to end sanctions
BBC News — August 9, 2013
More than 50 political prisoners in Iran have asked US President Barack Obama to end sanctions against Tehran…In a letter published in Britain’s Guardian newspaper, they say sanctions have turned into a collective punishment of the Iranian people.
Iran’s Leader Reduces Posts of Military Elite
Jay Solomon, The Wall Street Journal — August 8, 2013
Iran’s new president, Hasan Rouhani, moved to significantly reduce the presence of the country’s elite military unit, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, in Tehran’s next government—a trend U.S. and European officials cautiously take as a hopeful sign for efforts to contain Iran’s nuclear program.
Rosatom Ready To Hand Bushehr Nuclear Plant To Iran
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty — August 9, 2013
The head of Russian nuclear regulator Rosatom has said that state company will soon sign documents transferring operational control of the Bushehr nuclear power plant to Iran.
Op-Ed: Iran’s Plan B for the Bomb
Amos Yadlin and Avner Golov, The New York Times — August 8, 2013
…And in recent weeks, the Iranian government has repeatedly expressed its desire to reach a deal on its uranium enrichment program…But it would be dangerous to think that Iran’s proposal for negotiations alone would pave the way for a deal. What matters is not the talks but the outcome.
China Promises to Ante Up Nuclear-Monitoring Data
Richard Stone, Science — August 8, 2013
Yesterday, the world’s main nuclear weapons monitoring organization announced that China has agreed to begin sharing data from 10 stations on its territory…Data from the stations would be fed into the International Data Centre (IDC) maintained by the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) in Vienna.
‘Get Putin’ caucus presses Barack Obama on missile defense
Edward-Isaac Dovere, Politico — August 9, 2013
…But if President Barack Obama really wants to show Russia he’s serious, goes an increasingly popular line of thinking among both Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill, he’s got to get more aggressive than he and his predecessors have been with Russia on missile defense. And, they say, there’s no time like the present…