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Iran Nuke Concerns Remain; Obama—‘May Not Be Able’ to Close Gap for Deal

November 9, 2014 Iran Nuclear Program, News
IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano. Photo Courtesy of UN Photo/Mark Garten.

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano. Photo Courtesy of UN Photo/Mark Garten.

The latest report on Iran’s nuclear program from the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog agency still has some serious concerns about Iran’s activities, and in one case it appears they violated the interim agreement reached with major world powers just last year.

Meanwhile, with just two weeks left until the interim deal is set to expire, US President Barack Obama told CBS he isn’t sure a final deal can be reached. In an interview on “Face the Nation” and summarized on CBS’ website, Obama said there is a “final gap” to a nuclear deal with Iran that will give the Islamic Republic sanctions relief in exchange for “lock-tight assurances” they won’t build nuclear weapons. “There’s still a big gap,” said Obama. “We may not be able to get there.” … Continue Reading

Iran Says America Still ‘the Number One Enemy’; UN Still Has Nuke Concerns

November 2, 2014 Iran Nuclear Program, News
Just talking, or making progress? Illustrative. Photo Courtesy of UN Photo/Evan Schneider

Just talking, or making progress? Illustrative. Photo Courtesy of UN Photo/Evan Schneider

Two of the most powerful Iranian military groups reaffirmed over the weekend that the United States remains the top enemy to Iran, according to the Fars News Agency. And one of those groups, the very powerful paramilitary Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC), didn’t stop there.

“The US is still the great Satan and the number one enemy of the (Islamic) revolution and the Islamic Republic and the Iranian nation,” Fars quoted the IRGC statement as saying. The IRGC went so far as to accuse the US as “the house of the world’s plots and corruption that never intends to compromise and have real friendship with” Iran. The comments come amidst renewed concerns from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) about Iran’s nuclear program. … Continue Reading

Iran: Drafting Final Nuke Deal with World Powers Begins

June 19, 2014 Iran Nuclear Program, News
Really moderate, or just for show? Iranian President Rouhani. Illustrative. FEMA/Marty Bahamonde.

Really moderate, or just for show? Iranian President Rouhani. Illustrative. FEMA/Marty Bahamonde.

The signals coming from the Iranians regarding the nuclear talks with the major world powers sound contradictory—and those two signals are coming from the same person. The Iranian foreign minister, on the same day he announced that they had begun drafting the final nuclear deal, also was quoted by the Fars News Agency as slamming the views of the world powers.

Mohammad Javad Zarif was quoted by Fars as saying, “Some stances of the other side are completely unacceptable.” In other words, just because the sides have reached the final stretch in their talks and started talking a deal, don’t think they’re on the verge of making that deal. … Continue Reading

Iranian Officials Give Mixed Reviews of Nuclear Talks

May 21, 2014 Iran Nuclear Program, News
Really moderate, or just for show? Iranian President Rouhani. Illustrative. FEMA/Marty Bahamonde.

Really moderate, or just for show? Iranian President Rouhani. Illustrative. FEMA/Marty Bahamonde.

US President Barack Obama has said there is a 50-50 chance of reaching a deal with Iran that resolves concerns about their nuclear program, and Iranian officials agree a deal can be reached. But whether those officials believe that 50-50 chance is the glass half empty or half full depends on which quote you read.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was quoted by PressTV as saying on Wednesday that considering the “good process of the negotiations, we are on the threshold of settling the issue.” However, just last week another Iranian official sounded less optimistic. Regardless, both Iranian officials think that the problem is the West. … Continue Reading

Iran Playing Role in Lebanese Elections?

As world powers are discussing Iran’s nuclear program, what’s sometimes missed is that Iran wants to be just that: a world power. In the Middle East, Iran has certainly made moves to grab power or influence across the region, including sending military support to the Syrian regime in their civil war.

Now, a Lebanese lawmaker is claiming that Iran is holding sway in Lebanon’s presidential election as well, via the Hezbollah terror group. The Daily Star, quoting from an interview Walid Jumblatt gave to Asharq Al-Awsat, reported the Lebanese politician said, “Hezbollah and the Islamic Republic [of Iran] are two main and essential electors [in the presidential election].” … Continue Reading

Disagreement over Missiles Continues in Iranian Nuclear Talks

May 14, 2014 Iran Nuclear Program, News
Radiation Warning Symbol. Public Domain.

Radiation Warning Symbol. Public Domain.

Even if 98 percent of a deal between the world powers and Iran is reached, the last two percent may “make all the rest of it not work,” a Senior US official said Tuesday. And with Iran and the US disagreeing over whether or not Iran’s missile program is even up for discussion, it looks like more than two percent of a deal is going to be very difficult to resolve with just over two months remaining in the original timeframe for talks.

The US official, in comments released by the State Department, continued to insist that Iran’s missile program—which is addressed by United Nations resolutions and could become a threat to carry nuclear warheads to Israel, Europe and beyond—remains on the table. But Iran hinted that they absolutely oppose such talks. … Continue Reading

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