World News Brief, Tuesday November 12

Kerry says Iran rejected nuclear deal; Philippines typhoon leaves thousands desperate for aid; Bo Xilai supporters form new political party in China; Syria opposition agrees to peace talks; EU and US resume trade talks; and more 

Top of the Agenda: Kerry Says Iran Rejected Nuclear Deal

Secretary of State John Kerry said Iran backed out of a deal on its nuclear program in Geneva on Saturday, and diplomats said Tehran's insistence on a formal recognition of its "right" to enrich uranium scuttled the deal (AP). Kerry said he hoped the Iranian nuclear dispute could be resolved within months, and talks in Geneva are set to resume on November 20 (Reuters). Most Iranian newspapers blamed France for the failure to reach an agreement in Geneva, with one broadcaster charging that France "made intense efforts to secure the Zionists' viewpoint" (BBC).


"Focusing intensely on the goal is vital, and not just on how an interim deal can lead to a definitive agreement to constrain Iran's nuclear program in a verifiable way. The two other prizes such a deal could unlock are: enlisting Iran's help in addressing the most unmanageable conflicts of the Middle East; and starting to turn back the tide of sectarian poison coursing through the region," David Gardner writes in the Financial Times.

"The sanctions game with Iran has been as much psychological as legal. When the Obama administration sends a signal that it is willing to reduce economic sanctions for little in return, the general impression abroad—reinforced by French objections to the soft American position in Geneva—is that the White House's resolve is waning," Mark Dubowitz and Reuel Marc Gerecht write in the Wall Street Journal.

"Imagine a world in which the Middle East is not descending into carnage and chaos but is on the brink of a monumental series of breakthroughs. By next spring, Iran's nuclear program will be secured and Egypt will be a liberal democracy. Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad has stepped aside. And, not least, Israelis and Palestinians have settled on the terms for a Palestinian state. This is the world that John Kerry inhabited as he shuttled across the world last week: a fantastical realm created by his billowing vision of what he can accomplish as secretary of state," Jackson Diehl writes in the Washington Post.


Thousands Killed in Philippines Typhoon

Survivors of super typhoon Haiyan, which may have killed more than ten thousand people, are growing desperate for aid. Police are guarding stores to prevent looting, but bodies have remained uncollected in the streets of Tacloban (AP).

CHINA: Supporters of disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai have established a new political party, naming the jailed Bo as party chairman (al-Jazeera).

This CFR Backgrounder explains China's ruling party's origins and the challenges it faces.


Syria opposition agrees to peace talks

EU and US resume trade talks

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