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Tag: Middle East

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  • At UCLA, peacemaker Sen. George Mitchell gives insight Into Middle East

    By Jonah Lowenfeld

    March 8, 2012 | 12:31 pm

    “We must be patient and realistic in our expectation regarding the Middle East,” Sen. George Mitchell told an audience at UCLA on March 1.

    Mitchell delivered this year’s Bernard Brodie Distinguished Lecture on the Conditions of Peace, and he struck a tone that was, perhaps...

  • Israel cautiously welcomes big-power talks with Iran

    March 7, 2012 | 3:02 pm

    Israel on Wednesday cautiously welcomed the planned resumption of big-power nuclear talks with Iran, insisting that Tehran be denied the means to turn uranium into bomb fuel.

    With Israel speaking increasingly loudly of resorting to military action to prevent Iran from gaining...

  • Obama and Netanyahu disagree, in private and in public

    March 6, 2012 | 3:29 pm

    President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agree, at least in principle: Keep the talk on what to do about Iran behind closed doors. But once they’re behind those doors, they can’t agree — and they can’t seem to resist bringing their disagreements...

  • Obama offers Netanyahu assurances over Iran

    March 5, 2012 | 10:30 am

    President Barack Obama, aiming to head off any premature Israeli strike on Iran, sought to assure Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday that the United States would always “have Israel’s back” but said there was still time for diplomacy.

    Netanyahu, in a show of unity with an...

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  • Obama: Diplomacy still the way to stop Iran nukes, but military option on table

    March 4, 2012 | 10:22 am

    President Obama said it was still possible to resolve Iran’s suspected bid for a nuclear weapon through diplomacy, but added that a military option was still on the table and that containment was not an option.

    “I firmly believe that an opportunity remains for diplomacy, backed by...

  • West seeks to pressure Iran at U.N. nuclear meet

    March 2, 2012 | 8:43 am

    Western powers hope to win Russian and Chinese backing for rebuking Iran at the U.N. nuclear agency next week over Tehran’s failure to address mounting fears that it is secretly bent on acquiring nuclear weapons capability, diplomats say.

    Seeking to ward off any such diplomatic...

  • Poll: Little support in Israel for solo strike on Iran

    March 1, 2012 | 8:40 am

    A wide majority of Israelis either oppose an Israeli strike on Iran or would favor an attack only if it was carried out with U.S. agreement, an opinion poll showed on Thursday.

    The survey by the University of Maryland and the Israeli Dahaf Institute was released before talks next...

  • Syria storms out of U.N. rights meeting

    February 28, 2012 | 1:08 pm

    Syria’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva stormed out of the U.N. Human Rights Council Tuesday after demanding angrily that countries stop “inciting sectarianism and providing arms” to opposition forces in his country.

    Faysal Khabbaz Hamoui said sanctions were preventing...

  • Purim: The importance of democracy

    February 27, 2012 | 6:53 pm

    One year ago, Libyan dictator Muammar el-Qaddafi’s troops were marching toward Benghazi, the unofficial capital of the Libyan rebels. Qaddafi was calling the rebels “rats,” and a 10,000-person massacre seemed inevitable. But on Purim itself, in Libya (historically part of the...

  • Syria approves new constitution amid bloodshed

    February 27, 2012 | 6:25 pm

    Syrian artillery pounded rebel-held areas of Homs as President Bashar al-Assad’s government announced that voters had overwhelmingly approved a new constitution in a referendum derided as a sham by his critics at home and abroad.

    The outside world has proved powerless to halt the...

  • Divided by common foe, Israel and U.S. tangle over Iran

    February 23, 2012 | 7:54 am

    Ever since their first awkward encounter - a hastily arranged meeting in a custodian’s office at a Washington airport in 2007 - Iran has been one of the few issues on which Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu have been able to find some common ground.

    Nearly five years ago, neither...

  • Iran defiant as U.N. nuclear talks fail

    February 22, 2012 | 7:06 pm

    The U.N. nuclear watchdog ended its latest mission to Iran after talks on Tehran’s suspected secret atomic weapons research failed, a setback likely to increase the risk of confrontation with the West.

    The United States criticized Iran on Wednesday over the failure of the...

  • Russia to Israel: Attacking Iran would be ‘catastrophic’

    February 22, 2012 | 8:04 am

    Russia warned Israel on Wednesday that attacking Iran would be a disastrous and played down the failure of a U.N. nuclear agency mission to Tehran, saying there is still a chance for new talks over the Iranian atomic program.

    “Of course any possible military scenario against Iran...

  • For Mideast foes’ Oscar films, family trumps flag

    February 17, 2012 | 2:58 pm

    As their nations warn of war, the Israeli and Iranian directors facing off at next week’s Academy Awards share a reluctance to see politics read into their movies, both of which are portraits of troubled families.

    Joseph Cedar, director of Israel’s “Footnote,” and Asghar Farhadi,...

  • Iran’s nuclear ambitions

    February 15, 2012 | 4:18 pm

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed Iran for attacks on Israeli embassy staff in Georgia and India on Monday Feb. 13 that wounded at least two people. “Iran is behind these attacks. It is the biggest exporter of terror in the world,” Netanyahu told members of his Likud...

  • Bombings, bombardments kill across Syria

    February 10, 2012 | 8:30 am

    At least 28 people were killed in two bomb attacks in Syria’s second city Aleppo on Friday while in besieged Homs, opposition neighbourhoods endured another day of bombardment by President Bashar al-Assad’s troops.

    The Aleppo bombings were the worst violence to hit the country’s...

  • Will AIPAC and Bibi get their war?

    February 9, 2012 | 12:32 pm

    Counterpoint: Now is the time for a determined course of action on Iran

    These are strange times for those of us who follow the debate about a possible war with Iran. It is clear that the Israeli government and its neoconservative camp followers here in the United States are...

  • Opinion: ‘Decapitating’ Palestine, killing peace

    February 8, 2012 | 3:49 pm

    Here’s a “sign of the times” factoid: In recent commentary on Israel’s settlement policy, the number of Jewish settlers beyond the Green Line has ballooned from 350,000 or so to 600,000.  It is as if there had suddenly been a mass immigration to the West Bank.  But there has...

  • Former IDF chief Ya’alon: West can hit all of Iran’s nukes

    February 2, 2012 | 10:22 am

    The West could carry out a military strike on any of Iran’s nuclear facilities, former Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Moshe Ya’alon said.

    Ya’alon, the country’s deputy prime minister and minister of strategic affairs, told the 2012 Herzliya Conference Thursday that all of...

  • Rice: ‘No shortcut’ to Mideast peace

    January 26, 2012 | 10:42 am

    The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, told a Jewish group that there is “no shortcut” to peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

    Achieving a Palestinian state “can only come through direct negotiations and a negotiated two-state solution,”  Rice...

  • Netanyahu sees expansion of ties with China

    January 24, 2012 | 4:33 pm

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday he envisaged a dramatic expansion of Israel’s diplomatic ties with China, including a possible role for Beijing in Middle East diplomacy.

    Speaking in Tel Aviv at a celebration marking 20 years since the two nations forged...

  • Ross to rejoin Jewish policy group

    January 23, 2012 | 10:47 am

    Dennis Ross, the former top Obama administration Middle East strategist, is rejoining the Jewish People Policy Institute as its co-chairman.

    Ross, who left the White House last month, will serve as co-chairman of the board of directors and professional guiding council of the...

  • Nicolas Sarkozy: Time running out for Iran diplomacy

    January 20, 2012 | 8:53 am

    French President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Friday that time was running out to avoid a military intervention in Iran and he appealed to China and Russia to support new sanctions to force Tehran to negotiate over its uranium enrichment program.

    France has led international efforts for...

  • Iran warns region against ‘dangerous’ stance on Hormuz

    January 19, 2012 | 10:59 am

    Iran’s foreign minister warned Arab neighbors on Thursday not to put themselves in a “dangerous position” by aligning themselves too closely with the United States in the escalating dispute over Tehran’s nuclear activity.

    Iran has threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, used for a...

  • Obama administration: No ‘direct talks’ letter to Iran

    January 19, 2012 | 10:15 am

    The Obama administration said an Iranian lawmaker had mischaracterized its message warning against blocking the Strait of Hormuz and reiterating its commitment to dialogue.

    Ali Mothari was quoted Wednesday by The Associated Press as saying that “In the letter, Obama called for...

  • U.S. expects Iran sanctions to bear results within two months

    January 18, 2012 | 10:59 am

    The Obama administration expects a significant drop in foreign dealings with the Central Bank of Iran in the next two months.

    U.S. officials launched a campaign to have countries that deal with Iran to comply with new sanctions as soon as President Obama signed them into law on Dec....

  • Two Palestinians planting bombs killed by Israeli troops

    January 18, 2012 | 10:52 am

    Two Palestinians were reported killed in an Israeli military strike near the Gaza border.

    Israeli troops fired Wednesday on Palestinians that the Israeli military said were placing explosives near the border fence in order to harm or kidnap Israeli soldiers. Two other Palestinians...

  • White House describes ‘progress’ in Jordan talks

    January 18, 2012 | 10:23 am

    The Obama administration heralded progress in Israeli-Palestinian talks held under Jordanian auspices.

    “We believe that those talks offer the parties a real opportunity to make meaningful progress towards peace,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said Tuesday ahead of a visit by...

  • Ehud Barak: Attack on Iran ‘very far off’

    January 18, 2012 | 8:40 am

    An Israeli attack on Iran is “very far off,” Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said.

    “We haven’t made any decision to do this. The entire thing is very far off,” Barak said during an interview Wednesday with Israel’s Army Radio after being asked whether the United States was...

  • Cantor vows to raise Iran issues on Middle East trip

    January 6, 2012 | 3:09 pm

    Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), the U.S. House of Representatives majority leader, said he will raise the dangers posed by Iran during a Middle East tour.

    The delegation of nine lawmakers—eight Republicans and a Democrat—will head next week to France, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the...

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