Morning Brief, Tuesday, December 4

Middle East ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images Iran hailed the new U.S. National Intelligence Estimate on its nuclear program as proof that its intentions are peaceful. Obviously, the NIE undermines the U.S. administration’s claims (World War III, anyone?) at a time when it is pushing for a third round of U.N. sanctions. In a separate incident, Iran ...

597823_rsz_178008688_05.jpg
597823_rsz_178008688_05.jpg
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad welcomes Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem in Tehran, 20 November 2007. Iran said today it has agreed to a new round of talks with United States on improving security in Iraq, despite mounting tensions between the two arch-foes over the Iranian nuclear drive. AFP PHOTO/ATTA KENARE (Photo credit should read ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)

Middle East

ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images

Iran hailed the new U.S. National Intelligence Estimate on its nuclear program as proof that its intentions are peaceful. Obviously, the NIE undermines the U.S. administration's claims (World War III, anyone?) at a time when it is pushing for a third round of U.N. sanctions.

Middle East

ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images

Iran hailed the new U.S. National Intelligence Estimate on its nuclear program as proof that its intentions are peaceful. Obviously, the NIE undermines the U.S. administration’s claims (World War III, anyone?) at a time when it is pushing for a third round of U.N. sanctions.

In a separate incident, Iran expelled Canada’s ambassador.

The Iraqi Red Crescent estimates that as many as 28,000 Iraqis have come home since mid-September.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office has questions about the U.S. military’s assessment of the independence of Iraqi security forces.

Asia

The U.S. military is considering arming Afghan tribes against the Taliban and al Qaeda.

Pakistan’s two major opposition parties met to coordinate a possible boycott of the upcoming elections, scheduled for January 8.

Taiwan’s 15-year-olds lead the world in math skills, according to a new survey by the OECD. Surprisingly, Finland scores among the top two in math, reading, and science.

Europe

The British teacher who was jailed for naming a teddy bear “Mohammed” arrived home from Sudan.

Unemployment in the eurozone has fallen to its lowest level since 1999.

Italian police arrested dozens of Mafia members in fresh raids on the notorious Cosa Nostra.

Elsewhere

The United States may withdraw its support for the Somali transitional federal government and back an independent Somaliland. As it happens, Somalia’s president is in serious condition in a Kenyan hospital. Meanwhile, the U.N. World Food Programme is sounding the alarm about the humanitarian situation, especially in Mogadishu.

On the hot seat in Bali: China, India, and the United States—the three major countries that have resisted a binding international emissions regime.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez says his mistake was in timing the referendum before Venezuelans were “politically mature enough” for socialism.

The world is losing the war on pirated goods, top officials say. 

Today’s Agenda

Yesterday on Passport

Web Exclusive

  • The Truth About Sovereign Wealth Funds
    Worried about oil-rich foreigners taking over your economy? You shouldn’t be. In reality, it is citizens of unaccountable, paternalistic regimes who stand to lose most when rulers play games with their national wealth. By Anders Åslund

More from Foreign Policy

An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.
An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.

Is Cold War Inevitable?

A new biography of George Kennan, the father of containment, raises questions about whether the old Cold War—and the emerging one with China—could have been avoided.

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.

So You Want to Buy an Ambassadorship

The United States is the only Western government that routinely rewards mega-donors with top diplomatic posts.

Chinese President Xi jinping  toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.
Chinese President Xi jinping toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.

Can China Pull Off Its Charm Offensive?

Why Beijing’s foreign-policy reset will—or won’t—work out.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.

Turkey’s Problem Isn’t Sweden. It’s the United States.

Erdogan has focused on Stockholm’s stance toward Kurdish exile groups, but Ankara’s real demand is the end of U.S. support for Kurds in Syria.