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Tag: Middle East

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  • U.S. says its forces get immunity guarantees from Iraq

    June 23, 2014 | 2:44 pm

    Iraq has given assurances to the United States that U.S. special operations forces that President Barack Obama has ordered into the country will be shielded from possible prosecution in Iraqi courts, U.S. officials said on Monday.

    With the agreement, Washington has overcome a...

  • Iraq asks United States for air support to counter rebels

    June 18, 2014 | 1:38 pm

    Iraq has asked the United States for air support in countering Sunni rebels, the top U.S. general said on Wednesday, after the militants seized major cities in a lightning advance that has routed the Shi'ite-led government's army.

    However, General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of...

  • U.S. says open to further talks with Iran about Iraq

    June 17, 2014 | 2:17 pm

    The U.S. State Department said on Tuesday that it is open to further talks with Iran about the instability in Iraq but that any such discussions are likely to take place at a lower level.

    U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns met with Iranian officials briefly on Monday on...

  • Iran, six powers push to salvage momentum for nuclear deal

    June 17, 2014 | 10:14 am

    Iran and six world powers re-launched talks on Tuesday to try to salvage a deal on Tehran's nuclear activity by a July deadline, striving to prevent a long-time standoff from descending into a wider Middle East war.

    With time running short if a risky extension of the nuclear...

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  • Israel concerned about any U.S.-Iran cooperation in Iraq

    June 16, 2014 | 1:49 pm

    Israel voiced concern on Monday at the prospect of its closest ally, Washington, cooperating with its what it considers its deadliest foe, Iran, to stave off a sectarian break-up of Iraq.

    But, Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz told Reuters, the United States and...

  • U.S. may discuss Iraq with Iran, not seeking atomic talks extension

    June 16, 2014 | 11:10 am

    The United States may discuss the security crisis in Iraq with Iran on the sidelines of this week's nuclear talks in Vienna, a senior U.S. official said on Monday, in what could mark a momentous step in U.S. engagement with its longtime adversary.

    The negotiations in the Austrian...

  • Ido Daniel, one of the #BringBackOurBoys campaign managers, talks strategy

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    June 15, 2014 | 8:10 am

    On Thursday nights, three Israeli teenagers went missing in Judea and Samaria, and on Saturday night were officially announced kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists. As the Israeli Defense Forces continue the search for Eyal (19) Gil-Ad (16) and Naftali (16,) a group of Israeli...

  • U.S. Treasury to discuss funding for Iraq militant group

    June 13, 2014 | 3:00 pm

    Treasury Secretary Jack Lew will discuss counterterrorism financing during his visit to the Middle East, including the funding network of the group fomenting an insurgency in Iraq, Treasury officials said on Friday.

    President Barack Obama on Friday said the United States was...

  • Insurgents move into Iraqi town of Jalawla after army flees

    June 12, 2014 | 9:41 pm

    Insurgents moved into the town of Jalawla in eastern Iraq late on Thursday after security forces abandoned their posts there, security sources said.

    Kurdish peshmerga forces deployed more men to secure their political party offices in Jalawla before the insurgents arrived in the town, which is in the province of Diyala, bordering Iran.

    Writing by Isabel Coles; Editing by Jeremy Laurence

  • Obama does not rule out air strikes against Iraq insurgents

    June 12, 2014 | 4:08 pm

    The United States is not ruling out air strikes to assist the Iraqi government fight a growing radical Islamist insurgency, President Barack Obama said on Thursday, raising the possibility of the first American military intervention in Iraq since the end of the U.S.-led war.

    ...
  • Why higher Iran oil exports are not roiling nuclear deal

    June 12, 2014 | 3:05 pm

    At first glance, Iran appears to have exported more oil than allowed under a nuclear agreement with major powers, but rather than complaining, U.S. officials argue Tehran is skating just inside the deal's ambiguous limits.

    Iran's higher exports reflect its exploitation of a...

  • Israeli intelligence chief: Iran can build nuclear bomb within a year

    June 9, 2014 | 10:41 am

    Iran has the capability to build a nuclear bomb in less than a year, Israeli Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz said.

    Steinitz, speaking about Iran’s nuclear program at the Herzliya Conference on Monday, urged world powers to demand that Iran dismantle its nuclear program as...

  • Human Rights Watch: Shooting of Palestinian teens is Israeli war crime

    June 9, 2014 | 10:27 am

    Human Rights Watch labeled the shooting deaths of two Palestinian teenagers by Israeli soldiers during a West Bank protest an Israeli war crime.

    In a report titled “Killing of Children Apparent War Crime” published Monday, the human rights group said the soldiers used live...

  • Pope says Israelis, Palestinians must seek peace ‘undaunted in dialogue’

    June 8, 2014 | 8:02 pm

    Pope Francis told Israeli and Palestinian leaders they "must respond" to their people's yearning for peace "undaunted in dialogue" during an unprecedented prayer meeting among Jews, Christians and Muslims at the Vatican on Sunday.

    The pope made his vibrant appeal to Israeli...

  • Israel says Iran giving ‘false explanations’ to U.N. nuclear inquiry

    June 5, 2014 | 3:28 pm

    Israel has condemned as unacceptably slow Iran's cooperation with a U.N. watchdog inquiry into suspected nuclear bomb research and accused Tehran of providing "false" explanations for its disputed activities.

    Iran, which says its nuclear program is peaceful and that it is...

  • Amnesia, not admiration for Israel’s 1964 soccer heroes

    June 4, 2014 | 1:21 pm

    Fifty years ago this week, a group of mostly blue-collar workers and army conscripts led Israel to its only senior international soccer title, winning the 1964 Asian Cup in front of rapturous home crowds.

    The achievements of those amateur players, who would skip work to train for...

  • In Mideast visit, Pope Francis makes symbolic gestures to both sides

    May 27, 2014 | 11:00 am

    Perhaps the most lasting image from Pope Francis’ trip to Israel and the West Bank will be the pontiff praying, eyes closed, with his head against a wall.

    It wasn’t the Western Wall in Jerusalem, Judaism’s holiest site and a necessary stop for visiting dignitaries. It was...

  • Pope Francis and the need to confront evil

    By  Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

    May 26, 2014 | 10:38 am

    No one can deny that Pope Francis is a man who walks the walk. While many disagree with his neo-socialist world-view, who can feel anything but respect for a world leader who eschews the perks of office to champion the poor and the oppressed. The Pope is also courageously...

  • Honoring Bloomberg, welcoming the Pope, building an internet empire and more…This week from Israel

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    May 26, 2014 | 8:20 am

    A Holy visit

    Pope Francis landed in Israel this Sunday, as part of his first visit to the Middle East. After visiting Bethlehem and Jerusalem, he invited the Israeli and Palestinian presidents to come to the Vatican to pray for peace. Both Abbas and Peres accepted the invitation,...

  • UCLA and the anti-Israel students, should we be worried?

    May 23, 2014 | 1:31 pm

    As I sat waiting to testify at Sunny Singh’s hearing before the University of California, Los Angeles’ (UCLA) undergraduate student judicial board on May 15, it occurred to me that on college campuses today, students seem to want to hear only from people with whom they agree. And I...

  • Iran cuts nuclear stockpile, engages with bomb probe, IAEA says

    May 23, 2014 | 10:46 am

    Iran has sharply cut its most sensitive nuclear stockpile under an interim pact with world powers and has begun engaging with a long-stalled IAEA investigation into suspected weapons research, the U.N. nuclear agency said on Friday.

    The findings, in a quarterly report by the...

  • Israel welcomes tech-hungry Chinese investors

    May 22, 2014 | 5:41 pm

    China's purchase of a controlling stake in Israel's largest food maker reflects a broader surge in Chinese investment in an economy largely tethered to Western markets.

    The deal, announced on Thursday, gives China access to Israel's high tech expertise, cachet among consumers...

  • Pope’s Mideast trip a delicate dance around politics

    May 22, 2014 | 8:08 am

    With a Rabbi and a Muslim leader in tow, Pope Francis makes his first visit to the Middle East on Saturday, a delicate mission to push his vision of inter-religious dialogue as a vehicle for peace in the region.

    But, in a region where religion and politics are inextricably...

  • Pope’s entourage to Israel includes rabbi and sheik

    May 19, 2014 | 3:46 pm

    With a rabbi and a Muslim sheik as travel companions, Pope Francis is heading to the Middle East with what he hopes will be a powerful message of interfaith respect.

    It will be the first time that leaders of other faiths are part of an official papal delegation. The aim is to...

  • Helping Nigeria, winning the Euroleague cup, news from Hollywood and more… This week from Israel

    By Noga Gur-Arieh

    May 19, 2014 | 11:35 am

    Lending a hand to Nigeria

    Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has accepted Israel’s offer of help in rescuing some 200 schoolgirls captured in April by members of the Islamist terror organization Boko Haram. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Jonathan: “We are ready to help...

  • U.S. issues warning at nuclear talks, Iran sees ‘excessive demands’

    May 16, 2014 | 10:44 am

    Iran and six world powers are making little progress in arduous talks on ending their dispute over Tehran's nuclear program, a senior U.S. official said on Friday, fanning doubt about the prospects for a breakthrough by a self-imposed July deadline.

    Tehran also said the latest...

  • Hillary Clinton in AJC address embraces Obama Middle East policies

    May 15, 2014 | 11:56 am

    Hillary Rodham Clinton embraced the Obama administration’s second-term Middle East policies in an address to the American Jewish Committee.

    Clinton, in a major foreign policy address Wednesday coming as she nears a decision on whether to seek the presidency in 2016, outlined her...

  • Pope shuns bulletproof vehicles for Mideast trip, Vatican says

    May 15, 2014 | 11:42 am

    Pope Francis is shunning bulletproof vehicles during his trip to the Middle East this month, insisting that he use a normal car and be allowed to be as close to people as possible, the Vatican said on Thursday.

    The Vatican, briefing reporters on the trip, also confirmed that a...

  • Six powers, Iran launch crunch phase of nuclear diplomacy

    May 14, 2014 | 8:42 am

    Six world powers and Iran launched a decisive phase of diplomacy on Wednesday to draft a lasting accord that would curb Tehran's contested nuclear activity in exchange for a phased end to sanctions that have hobbled the Iranian economy.

    After three months of discussing...

  • Is Iranian bomb research ‘mea Culpa’ needed for nuclear accord?

    May 14, 2014 | 8:35 am

    U.N. watchdog findings that Iran may have worked on designing an atomic bomb helped the West tighten sanctions on Tehran which ultimately forced it, U.S. officials say, to enter serious talks on reining in its nuclear program.

    But as Iran and six world powers enter a crucial...

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