Eased sanctions only a small help to Iran’s economy: US
AFP – November 25, 2013
A senior US Treasury official told reporters on Monday that the partial lifting of sanctions in the Geneva accord agreed between the P5+1 (Russia, China, France, the UK, the US and Germany) and Iran last weekend will only have a small benefit for the Iranian economy. Speaking at a briefing, the official said “In relation to the depth of the economic distress that Iran is currently facing, this package is really quite modest and economically insignificant”.
Israel’s Iran Dilemma
Roger Cohen, The New York Times – November 25, 2013
The Geneva accord has been harshly criticized by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu because it is seen as a threat to Israel’s strategic position in the wider Middle East. Under the status quo, its support from the US has ensured its status as the premier power in the region. If US-Iranian relations improve as a result of the Geneva deal, this status quo could change and, as a result, force Israel to rethink its role in the region.
Senators writing new sanctions in case Iran cheats
Bradley Klapper, Associated Press – November 26, 2013
A bipartisan group of senators is preparing a bill that would reinstate the full set of sanctions lifted by the Geneva accord in addition to new sanctions if Iran is found to be violating any of the specific agreements made in the accord. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), who will co-sponsor the bill, told reporters “I do not believe we should further reduce our sanctions, nor abstain from preparations to impose new sanctions”.
A battered Israel resumes campaign against Iran
Josef Federman, Associated Press – November 26, 2013
Israeli officials are regrouping after failing to stop the interim Geneva accord over Iran’s nuclear program reached last weekend. Many are now calling for tougher measures to be included in the final deal that will replace the interim deal in six months time. Among these measures include the total dismantlement of Iran’s nuclear program and a ban on Iranian uranium enrichment.
Wary of war, Israeli public gives Iran deal a chance
Jeffrey Heller, Reuters – November 25
Many Israelis have voiced their doubts about the Geneva accord reached last weekend. However, many of those questioned also said that the interim deal was preferable to the alternative of military action. “I am leaning more to the side that it’s worth the effort – the six months – to see if there’s a chance there can be a diplomatic solution,” responded one man who was asked for his opinion.
How Does North Korea View the Iran Nuclear Deal?
Jeyup S. Kwaak, The Wall Street Journal – November 25, 2013
Some experts have raised concerns that the nuclear deal reached between the P5+1 and Iran last weekend may send a signal to North Korea that it may continue with its nuclear weapons development program. Chang Yong-seok, a senior researcher at the Institute for Peace and Unification Studies at Seoul National University, said North Korea will likely conclude from the deal that it, like Iran, will be able to continue to enrich uranium in the face of US demands.
The Real Nuclear Option
Micah Zenko, Foreign Policy — November 25, 2013
Israel may consider attacking Iranian nuclear facilities with a low-yield nuclear weapon if it believes that Iran is violating the measures outlined in the recent Geneva accord. In the past, Israel conducted air strikes against other Middle East adversaries that were attempting to develop a nuclear weapons capability. Because Iran’s nuclear facilities are so deep underground, meaning that they cannot be destroyed by conventional weapons, Israel may launch a nuclear attack in an effort to stop Iran from developing a fully operational nuclear weapon.
Trident costs rocket by over 600%
Rob Edwards, The Herald — November 24, 2013
November 24, 2013
New figures from the UK ministry of defense have revealed that UK spending on a joint US-UK life extension program for the nuclear armed D-5 submarine-launched ballistic missile system will have increased by 600% by FY2015 in comparison to FY2010 figures. The program, led by Lockheed Martin, was first agreed upon in 2006. It will extend the lifespan of the D-5 missile by 14 years to 2042.