Before Iran Talks, Israel Drills for Long-Range Air Operation

Global Security Newswire Staff
See more stories about...
Global Security Newswire Staff
Oct. 11, 2013, 11:02 a.m.

Is­rael on Thursday re­leased foot­age of war­planes test­ing their abil­ity to fly long dis­tances — just days be­fore Ir­an plans to hold talks with oth­er na­tions over its con­tested nuc­le­ar activ­it­ies, which have promp­ted Is­raeli threats of at­tack.

The Is­raeli air force “plays a cent­ral role in car­ry­ing out Is­rael’s mil­it­ary op­tion if ne­ces­sary,” the Is­raeli De­fense Forces said in re­leased com­ments, which con­tain no spe­cif­ic ref­er­ence to Ir­an. Tehran is sched­uled next Tues­day and Wed­nes­day to meet with coun­ter­parts from six ma­jor gov­ern­ments over con­cerns that its ci­vil­ian atom­ic ef­forts in real­ity are dir­ec­ted to­ward de­vel­op­ing a nuc­le­ar-weapon cap­ab­il­ity.

“No deal is bet­ter than a bad deal,” Is­raeli Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Net­an­yahu told the Fin­an­cial Times on Thursday, re­fer­ring to the Ir­a­ni­an ne­go­ti­ations that his na­tion will be mon­it­or­ing closely. “A bad deal would be a par­tial agree­ment which lifts sanc­tions off Ir­an and leaves them with the abil­ity to en­rich urani­um or to con­tin­ue work on their heavy-wa­ter plutoni­um, which is what is needed to pro­duce nuc­le­ar weapons.”

In Wash­ing­ton, mean­while, 15 House For­eign Af­fairs Com­mit­tee mem­bers on Thursday sent the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion a let­ter ur­ging it to re­in­state U.S. Treas­ury De­part­ment sanc­tions per­son­nel fur­loughed dur­ing the fed­er­al-gov­ern­ment shut­down.

“For max­im­um U.S. lever­age, the sanc­tions pres­sure must be kept on Ir­an es­pe­cially as [Pres­id­ent] Has­san Rouh­ani at­tempts to present Ir­an’s gov­ern­ment in a new light,” ac­cord­ing to com­ments re­leased by pan­el chair­man Brad Sher­man (D-Cal­if.), who co-au­thored the let­ter with rank­ing mem­ber Ted Poe (R-Texas).

In the in­ter­na­tion­al arena, the United States on Thursday pro­tested an Ir­a­ni­an bid for a lead­er­ship role on the U.N. Dis­arm­a­ment Com­mis­sion, Re­u­ters re­por­ted.

Ir­an’s ap­point­ment sev­er­al days ago as “rap­por­teur” of the U.N. First Com­mit­tee — an­oth­er arms-con­trol body — promp­ted a crit­ic­al re­sponse from Is­rael.

What We're Following See More »
Clinton to Receive Classified Briefing on Saturday
16 minutes ago
Judge: Freddie Mac Doesn’t Have to Open Its Books
1 hours ago

"Freddie Mac shareholders cannot force the mortgage finance company to allow them to inspect its records, a federal court ruled Tuesday." A shareholder had asked the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia to allow him to inspect its books and records, as Virginia law allows him to do. "The court held that Freddie shareholders no longer possess a right to inspect the company’s records because those rights had been transferred to the Federal Housing Finance Agency when the company entered into conservatorship in 2008."

Pentagon Can’t Account for 750k Guns Provided to Iraq, Afghanistan
2 hours ago

The Pentagon has "provided more than 1.45 million firearms to various security forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, including more than 978,000 assault rifles, 266,000 pistols and almost 112,000 machine guns." Trouble is, it can only account for about 700,000 of those guns. The rest are part of a vast arms trading network in the Middle East. "Taken together, the weapons were part of a vast and sometimes minimally supervised flow of arms from a superpower to armies and militias often compromised by poor training, desertion, corruption and patterns of human rights abuses."

Baltimore Is Spying on Its Residents from the Air
4 hours ago

"Since the beginning of the year, the Baltimore Police Department" has been using a Cessna airplane armed with sophisticated camera equipment "to investigate all sorts of crimes, from property thefts to shootings." The public hasn't been notified about the system, funded by a private citizen.

EpiPen Prices Draw Scrutiny from Congress
5 hours ago

The cost of EpiPens have risen 400% since 2007, and members of Congress increasingly want to know why. Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley (R-IA) sent a letter to Mylan, which makes the allergy injection devices, on Monday. “Many of the children who are prescribed EpiPens are covered by Medicaid, and therefore, the taxpayers are picking up the tab for this medication," he wrote. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) "called earlier for a Judiciary Committee inquiry into the pricing and an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission."