Crimea river – is Secretary of State John Kerry’s message to the Ukrainian-owned, Russia-loving region.
After a tense meeting with Russia’s foreign minister, the U.S. has declared that it will not recognize the results of Sunday’s “illegitimate” referendum in Crimea on joining Russia. Meanwhile, foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said Russia has “no plans for military intrusion in Eastern Ukraine,” despite the fact that Putin has lined up tens of thousands of Russian troops along the border. As for the “illegitimate” referendum, Lavrov said Moscow is “committed to respect the will of the people of Crimea.” While Lavrov said his six-hour meeting with Kerry was “constructive”, I think what he really meant is they disagreed on everything and left it at that. BBC News
While the U.S is slowly legalizing gay marriage state by state, Iraq has gone one step further (or very far backwards?) by considering legalizing child-marriage. The draft measure, which was first introduced by Iraq’s Justice Ministry at the end of 2013, would open the door to girls as young as nine getting married and would allow a husband to have sex with his wife regardless of consent. The measure, based on a school of religious law found by the Shiite imam Jaafar al-Sadiq, would only apply to Iraq’s majority Shiite population. While the measure still has to be ratified by parliament before it becomes law, rights activists are doing everything they can to make sure that doesn’t happen. “That law represents a crime against humanity and childhood,” prominent Iraqi human rights activist Hana Adwar said. “Married underage girls are subjected to physical and psychological suffering.” I guess America’s plan to bring freedom and democracy to Iraq didn’t exactly go as planned… Huffington Post
Are we sure we want to pull out of Afghanistan and leave everything in the capable hands of their security forces…? The Taliban was up to their old tricks again when they tricked prison officials in Afghanistan’s southern city of Kandahar into releasing 12 Taliban fighters. How did this trickery occur? The Taliban sent a fake letter to the prison requesting the release of 30 prisoners. Eighteen inmates on the list were supposed to be freed anyways, but the other 12 were not. The prison didn’t realize their mistake until the prisoners had already been released. Oops. Two have since been recaptured but the search for the others continues. BBC News
Break out the champagne – the Iran nuke deal has been reached! Unless you’re Israeli – then you can break out the anger. And unless you’re one of those people who looks more than 6 months into the future – then you can break out the mild enthusiasm because the nuke deal is only an interim pact.
Still, the not-yet-finalized six-month interim nuke deal is a big step towards Iran not blowing everybody up! After lengthy negotiations in Geneva between Iran and the P5+1 countries, the countries reached a temporary nuke deal under which Iran would dismantle its military nuclear capabilities and the other countries would lift some of the sanctions imposed on Iran by the UN, US and the European Union.
And while under the deal Iran will have to give inspectors greater access to its key nuclear sites, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is still a little skeptical about Iran’s compliance. Kerry hopes that the nuke deal will keep Iran’s nuclear program in check until a more permanent deal can be reached, but he acknowledged on Sunday that enforcing the agreement could be more difficult than reaching it in the first place.
“The next phase, let me be clear, will be even more difficult, and we need to be honest about it,” he said.
And while Kerry is taking a cautious approach, there is one guy who isn’t afraid to say the nuke deal blows: Iran’s arch-nemesis, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“This is a bad agreement,” said Netanyahu’s office, in a statement hours after the nuke deal was signed.
“It gives Iran exactly what it wanted — a significant easing of sanctions and allows it to keep hold of the most essential parts of its nuclear programme.”
“The agreement allows Iran to continue enriching uranium and leaves all the centrifuges in place which allow it to create fissile material for nuclear weapons.”
Israeli Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz agreed, saying the nuke deal was likely to bring Iran “closer” rather than further away from building a bomb.
“The current deal … is more likely to bring Iran closer to having a bomb. Israel cannot participate in the international celebration, which is based on Iranian deception and world self-delusion,” he said.
But there’s nothing that a little phone call from President Obama can’t cure (except this). Obama rang up Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Sunday afternoon to offer his assurances that Israel would be consulted in the Iranian nuclear deal. They might not listen to him, but he’ll be consulted. Obama also assured him that the U.S. “will remain firm in our commitment to Israel, which has good reason to be skeptical about Iran’s intentions.” Although if this is anything like his assurance that Americans could keep their healthcare plans, maybe Israel does have good reason to be worried…
Despite his best efforts, Secretary of State John Kerry has so far failed to reach an agreement with Iran over its nuclear program.
Representatives from Iran and the so-called P5+1 – the US, UK, France, Russia and China体彩手机在线怎么下载 plus Germany have been in Geneva trying to hammer out a deal to limit Iran’s nuclear program and ease up on Western sanctions. On Monday Kerry revealed that negotiators had been “very, very close … extremely close” to reaching a deal with Iran. But sometimes close just isn’t enough – as Kerry learned in 2004 – and the deal fell through over the weekend.
So what happened? Well, Iran is blaming it on the West – namely France. Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, blamed France for “gutting over half” of the U.S. draft.
The U.S, however, is blaming it on Iran. Kerry said Iran backed out of the nuclear deal on the last day of talks. He also maintains that the West was unified when they presented their proposal to the Iranians.
“The French signed off on it, we signed off on it, and everybody agreed it was a fair proposal,” Kerry said. “Iran couldn’t take it at that particular moment.”
While some say the nuclear talks failed because France really wanted tight restrictions placed on the heavy-water reactor being built in Arak and others say they failed because Iran is insisting on formal recognition of its “right” to enrich uranium, both sides are committed to reaching an agreement. Eventually.
Diplomats are expected to meet again Nov. 20 to pick up where they left off and both sides are relatively optimistic.
“We are committed to constructive engagement. Interaction on equal footing key to achieve shared objectives,” Zarif said.
As for John Kerry, he’s just happy Iran is talking.
“We haven’t been speaking in 35 years,” Kerry said. “We just talked more in 30 hours than we have in 30 years prior.”