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.
What We're Following See More »
As the Russia investigation heats up, "the role of Marc E. Kasowitz, the president’s longtime New York lawyer, will be significantly reduced. Mr. Trump liked Mr. Kasowitz’s blunt, aggressive style, but he was not a natural fit in the delicate, politically charged criminal investigation. The veteran Washington defense lawyer John Dowd will take the lead in representing Mr. Trump for the Russia inquiry."
President Trump's attorneys are "actively compiling a list of Mueller’s alleged potential conflicts of interest, which they say could serve as a way to stymie his work." They plan to argued that Mueller is going outside the scope of his investigation, in inquiring into Trump's finances. They're also playing small ball, highlighting "donations to Democrats by some of" Mueller's team, and "an allegation that Mueller and Trump National Golf Club in Northern Virginia had a dispute over membership fees when Mueller resigned as a member in 2011." Trump is said to be incensed that Mueller may see his tax returns, and has been asking about his power to pardon his family members.
In addition to ties between Russia and the Trump campaign, Robert Mueller's team is also "examining a broad range of transactions involving Trump’s businesses as well as those of his associates, according to a person familiar with the probe. FBI investigators and others are looking at Russian purchases of apartments in Trump buildings, Trump’s involvement in a controversial SoHo development in New York with Russian associates, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow, and Trump’s sale of a Florida mansion to a Russian oligarch in 2008, the person said. The investigation also has absorbed a money-laundering probe begun by federal prosecutors in New York into Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort."
"The House voted Thursday to reauthorize the Department of Homeland Security. The bipartisan measure passed easily by a vote of 386-41, with nine Republicans and 32 Democrats voting in opposition. If the bill makes it through the Senate, it would be the first-ever reauthorization of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) since it was created in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks." Among the provisions it contains is a mandate that the Senate confirm the Secret Service director. It also boosts funding for the Urban Area Security Initiative by $195 million per year.
In remarks scheduled to be delivered today at the American Federation of Teachers' summer conference, President Randi Weingarten "likens U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to a climate-change denier" and "says the Trump administration's school choice plans are secretly intended to starve funding from public schools. She calls taxpayer-funded private school vouchers, tuition tax credits and the like 'only slightly more polite cousins of segregation.'" The pro-voucher Center for Education Reform said teachers should "consider inviting Weingarten’s resignation."