World News Brief, Tuesday September 29

Iran responds to tough talk with missile tests; Merkel wins another term in Germany;  NATO gives backing to Karzai; North and South Korean family reunions resume; and more

Top of the Agenda: Iran's Missile Tests

Iran's Revolutionary Guard said it successfully test-fired (Iranian Labour News Agency) long-range missiles amid threats from the West of new sanctions over its nuclear program. The show of force comes days after Iran admitted it had secretly been constructing a second nuclear facility.

US Defense Secretary Robert Gates told CNN Iran faces "severe additional sanctions" over the nuclear site, and expressed his continued preference for diplomacy over military options in dealing with Iran.

The New York Times reports the US-designed sanctions package on Iran could include a cutoff of investments to the country's oil-and-gas industry and restrictions on additional Iranian banks.


CFR's Michael Levi says the disclosure of the clandestine uranium enrichment plant heightens suspicions that the country is seeking nuclear weapons capability, and raises new pressure for tougher sanctions.

In the Washington Post, CFR's Ray Takeyh says the Helsinki Accords of 1975 could serve as a model during the upcoming negotiations between Iran and the West. Takeyh says the United States should insist on discussing the nuclear program, Iran's sponsorship of terrorism, its interference in the affairs of its neighbors, and its human rights record.


A new CFR Backgrounder looks at the various sanctions imposed on Iran over the years.

Reuters details the capabilities of the Iranian military in this Factbox.


PACIFIC RIM: Inter-Korean Family Reunions

Hundreds of South and North Koreans living on opposite sides of the border met with family members in a reunion orchestrated by the two governments (Yonhap). The BBC reports the resumption of the reunion, a program suspended two years ago because of political tension, is being seen as a sign of a possible thaw in relations.

China: The Wall Street Journal looks at China's plans to build dozens of new coal-fired power plants alongside wind farms.



NATO powers expect Karzai to remain in power.
Germany's Merkel reelected.

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