World News Brief, Tuesday November 24

Iran practises to defend nuclear facilities (+ analysis); Fringe groups deny Hamas claims of ceasefire; Journalists and politicians found dead in Philippines; Cambodia refuses to extradite Thaksin; Senate re-thinks healthcare bill; and more

Top of the Agenda: Iran Air Defence Exercises

Iran's military launched a week-long simulation (WashPost) of air defence exercises as tensions rise with the West over its nuclear program. The drills began Sunday as Iran's envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency Ali Asghar Soltanieh stressed that Iran needs guarantees that it will receive nuclear fuel on time before it agrees to the uranium swap proposed by the West.

Iranian officials said the exercises were a response to possible attacks (al-Jazeera) on the country's nuclear facilities. In an announcement Saturday, head of Iran's army air defense Ahmad Mighani said, "It is our duty to defend our nation's vital facilities, and thus these maneuvers cover Bushehr, Fars, Isfahan, Tehran and western provinces."

The military exercise came as a top clerical official said Iran would retaliate at "the heart of Tel Aviv" (AP) if Israel attacked Iran, after Israel warned it would consider military action to prevent Tehran from obtaining nuclear weapons Israel's military and government refused to comment.


In Time, Robin Wright says Iran's opposition Green Movement is complicating talks over Iran's nuclear program by reaching out to the United States for help.

In an interview, CFR's Iran expert Ray Takeyh says Washington's Iran policy needs to frame the nuclear development question within the context of a broader range of diplomatic issues, and that Iran's domestic turmoil hinders negotiations on its nuclear program.

In the Washington Post, Joseph Cirincione outlines five myths that must be dispelled before a strategy to contain Iran's nuclear program can successfully move forward.


A CFR Backgrounder examines Iran's nuclear program.


PACIFIC RIM: Philippines Attack

Twenty-one politicians and journalists, abducted in the Philippines as they went to file a nomination for local elections, have been found dead (SydneyMorningHerald).

Thailand-Cambodia: Tensions are rising between Thailand and Cambodia after Cambodia's government appointed former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra an economic adviser and refuses to extradite him (GlobalTimes).



Palestinian groups deny claims of ceasefire agreement.
Afghanistan announces security forces increase.
US healthcare reform moves to Senate floor.

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