Iranian Atomic Urgency
• British Prime Minister David Cameron’s visiting Washington this week. According to the NY Times, he will also discourage Israel from attacking Iran.
• The EU, particularly Catherine Ashton, want a higher profile in Iranian nuclear talks. Der Spiegel‘s not impressed.
Ashton is officially calling on the Iranian leaders to engage in serious negotiations. “We don’t want talks for the sake of talks,” she told SPIEGEL. “We need tangible progress.”
But in reality the Europeans are hoping that negotiations will continue until after the US presidential election in November. If Obama is reelected, he will have to give less consideration to his Republican opponents and the influential Israeli lobby. The US president, who would also like to avoid an attack on Iran, could then exert more pressure on Netanyahu . . . .
Nevertheless, from a European point of view, there is no alternative to the talks. “These negotiations are the very last chance,” says Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn. “If they fail, an Israeli military strike is practically inevitable. We have to prevent that at all costs.”
What Asselborn means by “at all costs” is clear: “Even if we don’t make any substantive progress, we still have to keep the negotiations going.”
• Indian security officials tell the Economic Times that Iran was responsible for the blast by the Israeli embassy in New Delhi.
According to sources privy to the investigation, it has now been ‘conclusively established’ that Syed Mohammad Kazmi, the freelance journalist recently arrested in the case, was in touch with an Iranian intelligence officer and had even visited Iran as part of the conspiracy.
• AP coverage of Marie Colvin’s funeral notes that the British government ordered an investigation into the death of the Sunday Times of London reporter. The Foreign Office verified this to Muckracker, who adds:
I initially rang the Ministry of Defence press office; they found the story strange. Given that Colvin was not a British citizen by birth [she’s a native of Oyster Bay, New York], they didn’t think it was accurate. While I haven’t verified this, the impression I got was this was not normal procedure; surely it would be the American government who would open an investigation into her death? Strange.
• UN puts Syrian death toll at 8,000.
Rest O’ the Roundup
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