Iranian Atomic Urgency
• Washington Denies it Made Back-Channel Deal to Avoid Conflict With Iran. And Israeli officials who talked to Reuters dismissed the allegations.
• Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah threatened Hezbollah attacks on American bases — even if the US had no role in an attack on Iran. Reuters picked up on his latest interview:
“The response will not be just inside the Israeli entity – American bases in the whole region could be Iranian targets,” he said, citing information he said was from Iranian officials. “If Israel targets Iran, America bears responsibility.”
Nasrallah also denied possessing chemical weapons, piously declaring them forbidden.
• Iran claims it has developed 30 percent of a missile defense system replacing an S-300 system Russia refused to sell. The Independent reports that it’s part of an upcoming large-scale Iranian air defense drill.
• What prevented Iran from proposing an expected Syrian peace initiative at the Non-Aligned Movement summit? Asharq al-Awsat editor Tariq Alhomayed draws the following conclusion:
Tehran has failed with regards to the Syrian issue, and that its position now is very similar to that of Russia. Both – Iran and Russia – are capable of disrupting [international efforts], but they are not able to change the reality in Syria.
• CNN: More than 103,000 Syrians fled their country in August, “almost doubling the total number of refugees from the previous 17 months combined.”
• For the first time, the Assad regime is calling up Syrian army reservists. Reuters says the reservists are in a terrible bind:
“We have two choices: Stay and kill fellow Syrians, or desert, and be on the run from military courts,” said a legal assistant summoned for duty in Damascus.
Rest O’ the Roundup
• The Cyprus Mail updates the latest on Israel-Cyprus energy cooperation.
(Image of Dead Sea via Flickr/israeltourism)
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