Netanyahu has personally started campaigning against any return to the Iran dealDec 9, 2020 - World
Biden's team has refused to comment on the assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.Dec 2, 2020 - World
Iran's outgoing nuclear negotiator has been replaced as deputy foreign minister for political affairs by an ultra-hardliner, potentially further complicating efforts to revive the 2015 nuclear deal.
The state of play: It's not yet clear whether the new deputy foreign minister, Ali Bagheri, will play as central a role in nuclear negotiations as his predecessor, Abbas Araghchi. Araghchi was Iran's chief nuclear negotiator since 2013, played a key role in reaching the 2015 deal and comes from the more moderate camp.
A UN atomic watchdog said Tuesday that Iran continues to bolster its stockpile of highly enriched uranium despite exceeding the cap set under a 2015 accord meant to restrict the government's nuclear arsenal, Reuters reports.
The Taliban’s total victory has major implications for Afghanistan's neighbors and the broader region, with countries vying for influence while preparing for potential instability, refugee flows and the threat of a terrorist safe haven.
The big picture: It’s largely a strategic victory for Pakistan, which has assisted the Taliban and harbored its leaders, and a defeat for India, which invested heavily in an Afghan state that has now collapsed.
The U.S. has sanctioned four Iranian intelligence operatives for their role in an alleged campaign to silence critics of the Iranian government, the Treasury Department said Friday.
Driving the news: The four operatives planned to abduct Masih Alinejad, a New York City-based Iranian-American activist, according to the Treasury Department. They have also targeted other Iranian dissidents in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and the United Arab Emirates.
In his first remarks about the nuclear standoff since assuming office, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian indicated that Iran wants to negotiate with the West, but is in no rush.
Why it matters: Four weeks after the inauguration of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, it remains unclear if and when the Vienna nuclear talks could resume.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett presented President Biden in their meeting today with what Israeli officials described as “a death by a thousand cuts” strategy against Iran.
Why it matters: Besides striking up a personal relationship, Bennett's primary goal in his first meeting with Biden was to express his sense of urgency about the significant progress Iran was making in its nuclear program, and Israel's new government conducted an Iran policy review prior to the visit.
If diplomacy fails, the U.S. will consider using other means to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, senior Biden administration officials said in a briefing ahead of Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's visit to the White House.
Why it matters: Iran is the main agenda item for Bennett's visit, and he is expected to push for a "Plan B" now that nuclear talks have stalled. The U.S. officials didn't say what exactly the administration would consider but are clearly trying to reassure the Israelis that they are willing to pressure Iran.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett will introduce a new Iran policy when he meets with President Biden on Thursday.
Why it matters: With nuclear talks stalled and the White House consumed by the crisis in Afghanistan, Israeli officials worry that Iran will continue to develop its nuclear program without any pressure from the U.S. or its European allies.
Iran continues to produce uranium metal, which can be used in the creation of nuclear bombs, the United Nation’s atomic watchdog said Tuesday, AP reports.
Why it matters: The continued production of uranium metal further complicates any possible revival of the landmark 2015 nuclear deal, AP notes.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett told CIA Director Bill Burns in a meeting on Wednesday that the U.S. and Israel should start working on a joint strategy for a scenario in which Iran elects not to return to the 2015 nuclear deal, Israeli officials told me.
Why it matters: The Israeli intelligence community, foreign ministry and other national security agencies think the likelihood of Iran deciding to return to the deal has waned in recent weeks after the election of new hardline President Ebrahim Raisi.