Report

Netanyahu Set to Criticize Iran Talks

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will deliver a speech before a joint session of Congress on Tuesday morning, in which he is expected to sharply criticize the Obama administration’s approach to negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program. The Israeli premier contends that the White House has made unacceptably large concessions to Tehran: In an address to ...

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Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will deliver a speech before a joint session of Congress on Tuesday morning, in which he is expected to sharply criticize the Obama administration’s approach to negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program. The Israeli premier contends that the White House has made unacceptably large concessions to Tehran: In an address to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) yesterday, he warned that Iran was “devouring country after country” in the Arab world, “exporting terror throughout the world,” and was intent on producing a nuclear weapon.

President Barack Obama and other officials in his administration, meanwhile, have attempted to forestall criticism of the U.S. stance. In an interview with Reuters yesterday, Obama said that Iran must commit to a 10-year freeze on its nuclear activity if a deal was to be reached. He also said that he was less concerned with Netanyahu’s upcoming speech than with Congress taking steps to undermine the negotiations before they are finished. National Security Advisor Susan Rice also addressed AIPAC yesterday, telling the crowd that some of the maximalist positions adopted by Israel and its supporters were “neither realistic nor achievable.”

Egyptian parliamentary elections delayed

An Egyptian court formally postponed the country’s parliamentary elections, which had been scheduled to go forward this month. The decision came after the constitutional court ruled on Sunday that the country’s electoral law was unconstitutional, forcing the legislation to be redrafted and then submitted again to President Abdelfattah al-Sisi. While parliamentary elections were initially planned to be the first priority after the 2013 military coup that toppled President Mohammed Morsi, the new authorities have repeatedly delayed them.

Headlines 

  • Iraqi forces continued their offensive around the Islamic State-held Tikrit, and are attempting to seal off the outskirts of the the city.
  • A Saudi diplomat, who was kidnapped and held in Yemen for almost three years, was freed and returned safely to Saudi Arabia.
  • Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif met in Montreux, Switzerland, for another round of talks aimed at reaching a deal over Iran’s nuclear program.
  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan began a state visit to Saudi Arabia, as a Saudi diplomat said the two countries were embarking on a “new era” in relations.
  • Some former U.S. servicemen have joined Iraqi Christian militias in northern Iraq that are fighting the Islamic State. 

-David Kenner

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