Iran Ships Uranium Stockpile to Russia
Iran is shipping 25,000 pounds of enriched uranium to Russia to meet its obligations under the nuclear agreement reached with the P5+1 in July. A cargo ship with the uranium stockpile departed Iran yesterday. “The shipment included the removal of all of Iran’s nuclear material enriched to 20 percent that was not already in the ...
Iran is shipping 25,000 pounds of enriched uranium to Russia to meet its obligations under the nuclear agreement reached with the P5+1 in July. A cargo ship with the uranium stockpile departed Iran yesterday. “The shipment included the removal of all of Iran’s nuclear material enriched to 20 percent that was not already in the form of fabricated fuel plates for the Tehran Research Reactor,” according to a written statement from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. Iran must verifiably reduce its stockpile of low-enriched uranium to 300 kilograms (660 pounds), among other measures, in order for the sanctions relief provisions of the agreement to be implemented.
Iranian officials are still concerned about the new visa waiver law, passed by the U.S. Congress earlier this month, that would restrict visa-free travel rights for people who have visited Iran or hold dual Iranian nationality. Iran has criticized the law because it could interfere with European investment in Iran, which Iran says would be a breach of the agreement. “Any steps taken outside the agreement are unacceptable to Iran, and Iran will take its own steps in response where necessary,” an Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman said yesterday.
Iraqi Prime Minister Visits Ramadi
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi visited Ramadi today, though Iraqi forces are meeting “pockets of resistance” according to an Iraqi general. While in the city he gave a televised address in which he predicted that the Islamic State’s occupation of portions of Iraq will end in 2016. “We are coming to liberate Mosul and it will be the fatal and final blow to Daesh,” he said. The effort to retake Mosul will require close cooperation between Iraqi government forces and Kurdish peshmerga, Iraq’s Finance Minister Hoshiyar Zebari, who is Kurdish, told Reuters in an interview on Monday. “Mosul needs good planning, preparations, commitment from all the key players,” he said. “Peshmerga is a major force; you cannot do Mosul without Peshmerga.”
- Tensions are mounting between Brazil and Israel because the Brazilian government has not confirmed the appointment of Dani Dayon, an advocate for Israeli settlers, as ambassador to Brasilia since his name was announced four months ago.
- Syrian regime forces, backed by Iranian and Hezbollah fighters, seized a major military base from rebel groups including Jabhat al-Nusra; the base is located in Daraa Province and will limit rebel access to a road to Damascus.
- Two Bahraini military officers were killed in Saudi Arabia by Houthi forces along the Yemeni border, according to the Bahraini government.
- Members of the family of Alan Kurdi, the Syrian refugee child whose corpse was photographed after washing ashore in Turkey in September, have arrived in Canada, where they have been sponsored for relocation.
- The Israeli Knesset is considering a law that would require non-governmental organizations receiving more than half their funding from foreign governments to label their work with a notice of their funding and require identification similar to that required for lobbyists when visiting the Knesset.
Arguments and Analysis
“The Death of Zahran Alloush” (Aron Lund, Syria Comment)
“While Alloush was an unabashedly sectarian Islamist, inspired by Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabi establishment, he was also pragmatic enough to maneuver his way through Syrian rebel politics and its shifting alliances. In the past, he threatened non-Sunni Muslim religious groups, referring to Alawites and Shia Muslims as ‘filth’ that would be cleansed from Syria. He condemned democracy and pronounced himself in favor of a Sunni Islamic theocracy, where sharia law would be applied in the fullest. But in the past year, perhaps under pressure from his foreign supporters, Alloush began to try to polish his image and gain acceptance in the West. His last interview, with a female Christian Syrian reporter working for the U.S. online journal The Daily Beast, was a good example of this. Alloush folded back his fangs and tried to come off as a constructive, responsible centrist, an anti-terrorist ally, and an all-around gentleman. You know, the kind you’d like to see in a coalition government.”
“A Strategic Framework for the Fight Against ISIL” (Ilan Goldenberg, Nicholas A. Heras, and Paul Scharre, War on the Rocks)
“Ultimately, defeating ISIL is a complex and daunting task. The United States will need to consistently create linkages among the three components within this strategic framework: concluding the Syrian civil war, retaking and holding ISIL territory, and diminishing ISIL’s global brand appeal. U.S. policymakers will need to view the anti-ISIL campaign as a global war, involving diplomatic, economic, and informational tools as well as military action. Each of the three core components of this strategic framework will be explored in greater depth in the subsequent pieces in this series, with the goal of crafting a viable U.S. strategy for defeating ISIL.”
-J. Dana Stuster
MAJID ASGARIPOUR/AFP/Getty Images