World News Brief, Friday September 4

New Iranian Cabinet includes first woman minister and alleged bomber; another attempt at Doha talks kicks off; Israel-Palestine economic talks; World Bank urges more Chinese stimulus; and more

Top of the Agenda: Ahmadinejad's Cabinet

The Iranian parliament approved President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's eighteen nominees to cabinet (Iranian Students News Agency), including the first woman to serve as a minister in the Islamic republic's history.

Parliament also approved Ahmad Vahidi's nomination to the position of defense minister, despite objections from Argentina (Buenos Aires Herald), where Vahidi is wanted for his alleged involvement in the 1994 bombing of a Buenos Aires Jewish center. The bombing killed eighty-five people.

Separately, after meeting in Frankfurt, officials from Germany and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council sent a message to Iran to accept talks on the country's nuclear programme or face more stringent economic sanctions (Christian Science Monitor). An Iranian official earlier this week announced the country has a new proposal on its nuclear programme that it would be willing to discuss with international powers (BBC). But Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran's envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency, said any talks with world powers would not address the nuclear programme (Reuters).

In an interview with CFR, expert George Perkovich says Iran has given no serious signals that it is halting its nuclear program, and says new UN Security Council action is vital to maintain pressure on Tehran.

In a Los Angeles Times op-ed, CFR's Micah Zenko says Israel may well "act alone" to deal with Iran unless Tehran responds soon to international proposals on its nuclear program.

The International Atomic Energy Agency's recently updated safeguards report on Iran is available here.

A CFR Backgrounder looks at presidential power in Iran.


PACIFIC RIM: Zoellick on Chinese Economy

After meeting with Chinese leaders, including Premier Wen Jiabao, World Bank President Robert Zoellick said he believes China should continue its economic stimulus effort (Reuters), regardless of signs of recovery.

Indonesia: A 7.3 magnitude earthquake killed at least fifty-seven people (Jakarta Post) and forced thousands to flee their homes.



High-level Israeli-Palestinian talks.

Doha trade talks kick off in New Delhi.


This is an excerpt of the Daily News Brief. The full version is available on