Officials arrive to inspect Iranian nuclear sites; Bombings in Baghdad kill 132; East Asian nations urged to coordinate currencies; US senate to finalise healthcare bill; and more
Top of the Agenda: Iran Nuclear Inspections
Officials from the International Atomic Energy Agency inspected one of Iran's uranium enrichment sites (Reuters) near Qom on Sunday, as world leaders await an official response from Iran on a UN-brokered nuclear deal. Iranian leaders failed to respond in time to meet the deadline for the deal on Friday. Iran announced the existence of the secret site near Qom last month.
The New York Times reports that both Iran and the United States are concerned that they are being trapped by the deal. Iran is concerned that the United States is cheating it out of nuclear fuel that has garnered power and attention for the country. The Obama administration worries that Iran is trying to prolong the administration's offer of engagement to buy time for a secret nuclear bomb program.
CFR President Richard Haass, in a Financial Times op-ed, argues that Iran's political character--not just its capability--should define the international community's response to its nuclear ambitions.
The Christian Science Monitor says Iran's decision to delay its response to the nuclear deal may "be playing for better terms in a deal it will ultimately accept."
In an interview with CFR, expert David Albright says the preliminary agreement by which Iran will ship low-enriched uranium to Russia "allows time for negotiations" on its nuclear program, but warns Iran might still block the plan's implementation.
A CFR Backgrounder looks at Iran's nuclear program.
PACIFIC RIM: South Korea Aids North Korea
South Korea offered to ship 10,000 tons of corn to North Korea on Monday in a conciliatory gesture (NYT), the first government-funded humanitarian aid between the countries in two years. South Korean President Lee Myung-bak had made large aid shipments contingent on talks to end North Korea's nuclear weapons program after he took office last year.
At a CFR meeting in September, Lee outlined his administration's policy toward North Korea.
East Asian Economies: President of the Asian Development Bank Haruhiko Kuroda said China, Japan, and other East Asian countries must coordinate their currency movements to prevent the sharp fluctuations (FT) that have increased trade tensions in the region.
This is an excerpt of the CFR.org Daily News Brief. The full version is available on CFR.org