8:04 AM, Oct 17, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
Some American and Iranian diplomats have been spending so much time together lately that they're beginning to crack jokes with one another. Even though the subject matter of the talks, Iran's nuclear ambitions, is quite serious, a senior state department official shared a lighter moment with reporters who had gathered for a background briefing at the P5+1 talks in Vienna, Austria:
I just told Deputy Foreign Minister Araghchi that that I was coming down to do a backgrounder, and I said, you know, “You’ll know what I’m going to say.” And his suggestion was that I simply hand you the transcript from the last one, and that would probably do the trick. (Laughter.) So we thought that was pretty funny. Obviously, you don’t think that’s so funny, but we all thought it was pretty funny.
Further into the briefing, the official expanded on the state of the relationship that has developed between the Iranian and American negotiators:
In terms of mood, in a professional way, we all know each other pretty well now. You can tell when the [Iranian] Deputy Foreign Minister jokes. He reads the transcripts of these backgrounders, and when he can joke, “Why don’t you just hand over the last one? You’re going to say the same thing,” it’s reached a level of we know each other well enough to make jokes.
The current round of talks has a November 24 deadline to reach a complete agreement. The official said there has been progress, but a lot of work remains. The talks have been extended in the past when an agreement could not be reached, but the official said to keep the pressure on, an extension has not been discussed this time around.
12:10 PM, Oct 10, 2014 • By LEE SMITH
Experts continue to debate whether the explosion at an Iranian military base at Parchin earlier in the week was an act of sabotage.
3:20 PM, Oct 9, 2014 • By LEE SMITH
Satellite photographs released yesterday show that the explosion Monday at an Iranian military base at Parchin, where the clerical regime is believed to be working on its nuclear weapons program, did significant damage. The images obtained by Israeli media outlet Israel Defense and “analyzed by specialist Ronen Solomon clearly show damage consistent with an attack against bunkers in a central locality within the military research complex at the Parchin military compound.”
6:34 AM, Oct 2, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
At the White House Wednesday for bilateral talks with President Obama, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu rather publicly reminded the president of how seriously Israel takes the threat of a nuclear Iran.
3:31 PM, Sep 26, 2014 • By LEE SMITH
Colin Kahl has just been named Vice President Joseph Biden's national security adviser. Kahl previously served in the Obama administration at the Department of Defense, and left in December 2011 when he moved to the Center for New American Security.
7:26 AM, Sep 22, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Thirty-one U.S. senators have sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry to express concern that the U.S. might sign a bad nuclear deal with Iran.
"As nuclear talks with Iran resume in New York this week, we have learned that the United States and its P5+1 negotiating partners may now be offering troubling nuclear concessions to Iran in the hopes of rapidly concluding negotiations for a 'deal,'" the letter reads.
1:23 PM, Sep 21, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Secretary of State John Kerry will meet with Iran's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, later this afternoon at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York City. Matt Lee of Associated Press reports on Twitter:
4:04 PM, Jun 6, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
When the EPA released its new rules aimed to get the nation on the road carbon free (sort of) energy generation, the news was plainly bad for coal. No surprise there. The prospects for renewables – solar, wind, hydro, etc. – were enormously enhanced by the plan. This was also unsurprising. But what about nuclear power?
8:09 AM, Apr 17, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) will spend the four days leading up to the Boston Marathon conducting a helicopter-based survey to measure naturally occurring background radiation in a ten square mile area west of downtown Boston.
Romney still wrong about Russia, says Obama.11:56 AM, Mar 25, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Speaking at a brief news conference in the Hague, President Obama said he's more worried about a nuke being detonated in Manhattan than he is about Russia:
"With respect to Mr. Romney's assertion that Russia is our number one geopolitical foe, the truth of the matter is that America has a whole lot of challenges," said the president.
"Russia is a regional power that is threatening some of its immediate neigbors, not out of strength, but out weakness.
12:37 PM, Mar 21, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Iran appears to be constructing a mock-up of the U.S.S. Nimtiz. The ship is not operational. Only 2/3s scale. And not militarily capable of much of anything.
12:01 PM, Mar 19, 2014 • By LEE SMITH
President Obama has made nuclear nonproliferation one of his highest priorities but, as the Wall Street Journal explains, the White House’s weak response on Ukraine is sending all the wrong messages.
1:25 PM, Mar 18, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
As William Maclean of Reuters reports, Iran has not let deals and agreements get in the way of its effort to build a bomb. He interviewed: