Flynt Leverett Says Iran is Sincere

Worldfocus’ Daljit Dhaliwal spoke with Flynt Leverett, director of theIran Project at the New America Foundation for some insight into theIranian leadership’s reservations about the IAEA’s recent proposalwhich would send low-enriched uranium first to Russia to be enrichedthen to France for further processing.

As the highly publicized rollout of the new U.S. policy on Sudan made clear, Sudan has become an unlikely foreign policy priority for the Obama administration. For this, the Sudanese can thank the Darfur advocacy movement, which effectively put the nation on the map for the American public over the past six years. Sudan certainly deserves every bit of attention it receives. If Africa’s largest nation again implodes, it threatens to further destabilize what is already an unstable region of the world. But the internal tension hidden within President Barack Obama’s newly formulated Sudan policy is that Darfur is no […]

It is downright striking how little attention the wider American discussion over foreign policy pays to Japan. After all, Japan still claims the title of the world’s second largest economy (even if China is expected to overtake it next year). Its relationship with the U.S. has been as intimate as any other between major powers in the last 50 years. U.S. troops are still stationed there 64 years after the end of World War II. And to complicate matters, experts say there has been a longstanding worry on the Japanese side of being abandoned by the Americans. Past American presidents […]

The U.S.-UAE 123 Agreement on civil nuclear cooperation is set to come into force now that the mandatory 90-day period of congressional review has passed. The deal has the firm backing of the Obama administration, which sees it as a model for countries looking to introduce nuclear energy to their territories. For the UAE, the deal represents a reaffirmation of its close ties to the West as well as a gateway to developing a source of energy that, for a number of reasons, makes sense for the Emirates. The third-party beneficiary of the agreement, of course, is France, with its […]

Qatar Looks to Build Local Film Industry

Qatar, along with the rest of the United Arab Emirates, has always been known for its wealth of natural resources such as natural gas. Though Qatar’s development has hinged on this direct flow of revenue, the state is now working to diversify their economy through the arts, particularly through a growing film industry. Qatar will try to reach their goal of zero percent natural gas reliance by 2030, though a new gas plant was recently built.

Former Prime Minister for Hire?

As WPR Contributor Nicolas Nagle discussed, it looks like Tony Blair is the front-runner for the position of President of the European Council, though Blair has not said that he will run for the position. As the Lisbon Treaty comes into effect in the coming months, the Council will be looking for a permanent president and some, including current British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, feel Blair is the man for the job.

BRUSSELS, Belgium — If all goes as expected and the Lisbon Treaty finally enters into effect in the coming months, the European Union will soon face another major challenge: electing a permanent president for the European Council. The debate has already begun in Brussels over not only who would be the most suitable candidate for the job, but also over the functions the post should include — a subject about which the Treaty itself is particularly vague. Opinions are divided between those who want a strong president that would be the EU’s “face” to the world and those advocating for […]

World Citizen: PA Elections in January? Don’t Count on It

One of the most reliable lessons one gleans from observing intra-Palestinian politics is the need to always expect the unexpected. Important events have a tendency not to unfold according to plan. We should keep that in mind when considering Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ sudden call for new parliamentary and presidential elections to be held on Jan. 24. Less than three weeks ago, Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit announced that, at long last, the rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah would sign a reconciliation agreement in Cairo on Oct. 26. Egypt, as the mediator that helped craft the deal, […]

Almost 30 years ago to the day, the United States broke off relations with Iran in response to the seizure of the U.S. embassy in Tehran. In doing so, the U.S. lost its most valuable source of information about the Islamic regime. To fill the void of knowledge resulting from 30 years of diplomatic estrangement, the Obama administration has turned to scholars and experts for insight into the Persian nation. Indeed, President Barack Obama’s policy of outreach toward Tehran has been decisively shaped by the wide array of Iran experts, both within the administration and without, from whom he has […]

In a landmark address to the U.N. Climate Change Conference last month, Chinese President Hu Jintao announced Beijing’s commitment to trim the explosive growth of China’s carbon emissions “by a notable margin.” But he also reiterated his country’s hackneyed dictum that industrialized countries should bear most of the burden for emissions-cutting. Hu’s headline-grabbing speech captured the essence of China’s Janus-faced climate change policy — which, despite remarkable progress, continues to be bogged down with implementation problems and overshadowed by China’s concerns with economic growth and its leadership role in the developing world. Currently the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, […]

BAGRAM, Afghanistan — In March, ordnance exploded on a home in Kapisa province, in northeast Afghanistan. One child died. Another, 6-year-old Razia, was badly burned. When Aziz, her father, took her in his arms, Razia’s scalp came away in his hands. In early interviews, Aziz blamed the explosion on the U.S.-led coalition. U.S. Air Force officers said the ordnance might have been white phosphorous, a specialized incendiary that the Taliban is unlikely to possess. Later, Aziz claimed the Taliban had, in fact, fired rockets on his home. Regardless of who actually caused Razia’s injuries, it was the Americans that evacuated […]

Southern and Eastern Africa: U.N. Under Secretary-General

B. Lynn Pascoe, Under Secretary-General for Political Affairs, briefed on eastern and southern Africa, focusing on Somalia. “We have to give the people there a real chance,” he said. He continued by saying that without development aid, it will be difficult for the Somali government to show what it can do.

Hilary Clinton Meets With Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore

Secretary of State Hilary Rodham Clinton met with Minister Mentor LeeKuan Yew of Singapore who said that now is the time for a resumption ofengagement between Southeast Asia and the United States.

‘More Than Ever, Sudan Needs Peace’

The latest report (.pdf) on Sudan by U.N. Secretary General says that there has not been adequate implementation of the peace agreement in Sudan. Notably, Sudan is still without a scheduled date for elections and there has been a proliferation in arms in parts of the country.

BERLIN — German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her Christian Democratic Party agreed to form a new government with the upstart conservative Free Democrats on Saturday, setting the stage for major changes in both German domestic and foreign policies. The CDU and the FDP, which is led by Guido Westerwelle, have been locked in tough negotiations over both cabinet appointments and policy platforms for weeks. Westerwelle, who is expected to be named foreign minister, was pushing for tax cuts of $52 billion, while Merkel was advocating much more modest cuts. In the end, it appears as if Merkel was the one […]

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