A high-level Obama insider said Washington wants to assist in fielding an integrated ballistic missile shield for Gulf allies, Reuters reports.
The planned antimissile deployments would be an answer to Iran’s growing ballistic missile capacities, Frank Rose, deputy assistant secretary of State for space and defense policy, told journalists in Abu Dhabi on Sunday. The United States and its partners fear that Iran’s ballistic missiles may be able to accommodate nuclear payloads. However, the Middle Eastern nation has refused to discuss the arms in talks in which Western powers are seeking to limit atomic activities that Tehran could tap for bomb development.
“As long as Iran continues to develop ballistic missiles that can threaten the United States or deployed forces and our friends and allies in the region, we will work effectively with our partners here in the [United Arab Emirates] as well as the rest of the Gulf to defend against that threat,” Rose said.
He aired optimism, though, about the potential for “a successful resolution of the Iran nuclear issue.”
Iran, which insists its nuclear ambitions are peaceful, on Sunday reaffirmed its position that ballistic missiles “have not and will not be the subject of any negotiations,” the nation’s Fars News Agency reported. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif added it is “wrong to assume that the only application [of the missiles] is carrying unconventional weapons.”
Still, an unnamed U.S. government source referenced the U.N. Security Council’s 2010 prohibition on all Iranian efforts involving nuclear-capable ballistic missiles.
“In some way, this will have to be addressed,” the high-level insider told Reuters.
Meanwhile, an Iranian military officer announced trial flights of several new medium-range ballistic missiles, Fars News reported on Sunday.
“The laboratory production of these missiles has started and one or two samples have been test-fired,” Iranian Brig. Gen. Ahmad-Reza Pourdastan said.
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In a release Tuesday afternoon, the White House announced that President Obama has commuted and/or reduced the sentences of another 111 convicted criminals, mostly convicted of drug possession or trafficking. About 35 were serving life sentences.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said Monday he'd now be willing to hold a hearing on Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland in a lame-duck session of Congress. While he said he wouldn't push for it, he said if "Hillary Clinton wins the White House, and a majority of senators convinced him to do so," he would soften his previous opposition.
We can call this the anti-Sherman-esque statement: If reelected, Marco Rubio ... might serve his whole term. Or he might not. The senator, who initially said he wouldn't run for a second term this year, now tells CNN that if reelected, he wouldn't necessarily serve all six years. “No one can make that commitment because you don’t know what the future is gonna hold in your life, personally or politically,” he said, before adding that he's prepared to make his Senate seat the last political office he ever holds.
Since Rodrigo Duterte took over as president of the Philippines in June, he has made a serious of controversial statements and launched a war on drugs that has led to nearly 2000 deaths. He called the US ambassador to the Philippines, Philip Goldberg, "a gay son of a bitch." Next week, President Obama will meet with President Duterte at the East Asia Summit in Laos, where he " will raise concerns about some of the recent statements from the president of the Philippines," according to White House Deputy National Security advisor Ben Rhodes.
The Convention of States Project, which seeks to force a constitutional convention under Article V of the Constitution, will hold a "dry run" in Colonial Williamsburg starting Sept. 21. "Several states have already followed the process in Article V to endorse the convention." Thirty-four are required to call an actual convention. "The dry run in Williamsburg is meant to show how one would work and focus on the changes and potential constitutional amendments that would be proposed."