Negotiations between Iran and the world’s leading powers in Geneva wrapped up yesterday, with a pledge by the parties to resume talks in Istanbul at the end of January. Here’s what FP contributor Simon Henderson, who released a paper on the talks and traveled to Switzerland to see them up close, had to say:
By Simon Henderson
Senior FP Geneva correspondent*
Geneva: European High Representative for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton, who chaired nuclear talks Monday) and Tuesday between the so-called E3+3 (Britain, France, German plus the U.S., Russia, China) and Iran, retains a common touch.
Not for her an executive jet, she flew commercial from London Sunday, eschewing the proffered British Airways champagne for a glass of water with ice and lemon. She spent the flight reading her briefing documents. It’s a fair bet that the surprise weekend announcement by Iran of its first indigenously mined uranium ore, known as yellowcake, wasn’t part of her reading material.
The news allowed Iran to claim it has mastered the nuclear fuel cycle. Until now, international concern has focused on Iran’s efforts to develop centrifuge enrichment technology as well as the capacity to make plutonium — both potential fuels for an atomic bomb. But it meant that Ashton started off on Monday slightly on a back foot. The Iranian delegate Saeed Jalili, secretary of the Supreme National Security Council pitched that Iran is entitled to master all aspects of peaceful nuclear technology. The E3+3, also known as the P5+1, are concerned that, like the proverbial duck, Iran’s nuclear work looks and sounds like a weapons program.
Jalili also asked for condemnation of two attacks on Iranian nuclear scientists in Tehran on November 29. One died, the other — who was subject to a U.N. travel ban because of his nefarious activities — was injured. Blame is being placed on the long arm of the Mossad, Israel’s secret service. Ashton, who is often criticized for lack of experience, obliged.
Arguably, Ashton should have thought of a better response, something along the lines about condemning all terrorism, a wording which would have also included Iran’s subversive activities. She certainly knew about the attacks: fellow passengers on her commercial flight to Geneva noticed that she closely studied the long article about them in that day’s London Observer newspaper.
*Simon Henderson is actually the Baker fellow and director of the Gulf and Energy Policy program at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.
A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.
Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C.| The Cable |
Talking nukes today; Wendy Sherman’s March; A potential deal? #shutdown; A military coalition, angry; Uniform waste: the Army’s universal cami; What’s up with European mil spending?; and a bit more.Gordon Lubold
Gordon Lubold is a national security reporter for Foreign Policy. He is also the author of FP's Situation Report, an e-mailed newsletter that is blasted out to more than 70,000 national security and foreign affairs subscribers each morning that includes the top nat-sec news, breaking news, tidbits, nuggets and what he likes to call "candy." Before arriving at FP, he was a senior advisor at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington, where he wrote on national security and foreign policy. Prior to his arrival at USIP, he was a defense reporter for Politico, where he launched the popular Morning Defense early morning blog and tip-sheet. Prior to that, he was the Pentagon and national security correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor, and before that he was the Pentagon correspondent for the Army Times chain of newspapers. He has covered conflict in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and other countries in South Asia, and has reported on military matters in sub-Saharan Africa, East Asia and Latin America as well as at American military bases across the country. He has spoken frequently on the sometimes-contentious relationship between the military and the media as a guest on numerous panels. He also appears on radio and television, including on CNN, public radio's Diane Rehm and To the Point, and C-SPAN's Washington Journal. He lives in Alexandria with his wife and two children.| Situation Report |
Colum Lynch is Foreign Policy's award-winning U.N.-based senior diplomatic reporter. Lynch previously wrote Foreign Policy's Turtle Bay blog, for which he was awarded the 2011 National Magazine Award for best reporting in digital media. He is also a recipient of the 2013 Elizabeth Neuffer Memorial Silver Prize for his coverage of the United Nations.
Before moving to Foreign Policy, Lynch reported on diplomacy and national security for the Washington Post for more than a decade. As the Washington Post's United Nations reporter, Lynch had been involved in the paper's diplomatic coverage of crises in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Sudan, and Somalia, as well as the nuclear standoffs with Iran and North Korea. He also played a key part in the Post's diplomatic reporting on the Iraq war, the International Criminal Court, the spread of weapons of mass destruction, and U.S. counterterrorism strategy. Lynch's enterprise reporting has explored the underside of international diplomacy. His investigations have uncovered a U.S. spying operation in Iraq, Dick Cheney's former company's financial links to Saddam Hussein, and documented numerous sexual misconduct and corruption scandals.
Lynch has appeared frequently on the Lehrer News Hour, MSNBC, NPR radio, and the BBC. He has also moderated public discussions on foreign policy, including interviews with Susan E. Rice, the U.S. National Security Advisor, Gerard Araud, France's U.N. ambassador, and other senior diplomatic leaders.
Born in Los Angeles, California, Lynch received a bachelor's degree from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1985 and a master's degree from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism in 1987. He previously worked for the Boston Globe.| Report |