U.S. President Joe Biden participates in a working session with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the Al Salman Royal Palace, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, July 15, 2022 (AP photo by Evan Vucci).
U.S. President Joe Biden’s “summer of diplomacy” continued last week, this time with stops in the Middle East, where he visited two long-term U.S. regional partners, Israel and Saudi Arabia. But unlike recent stops in the German Alps for the annual G-7 meeting or in Madrid for the NATO leaders’ summit, Biden’s meetings in Riyadh, in particular, generated a great deal of criticism and even opprobrium. Ahead of the trip, critics had warned that visiting Saudi Arabia went directly against Biden’s campaign promise to no longer give the kingdom a “blank check” when it comes to its human rights record. [...]
Then-Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu uses a cartoonish diagram to dramatize his claim that Iran was close to enriching enough uranium for a nuclear weapon, at the U.N. General Assembly, New York, Sept. 27, 2012 (AP photo by Richard Drew).
Reports that Iran is nearing the point where it could conceivably develop a nuclear weapon are once again causing widespread alarm. The latest information suggests that Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium, if significantly further enriched, is more than enough to provide the weapons-grade fissile material needed for a bomb. That alone wouldn’t be enough to build—or deliver—a working bomb, but it does put Tehran closer than ever to equipping one. The news comes as multilateral talks in Vienna to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal—known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA—have stalled. Iran could return to [...]
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