Reuters blog archive
from Global News Journal:
When it comes to further sanctions on Iran, the clock is ticking relentlessly, even if those leading the drive -- the United States, Britain, Germany and France -- are giving little away in terms of timing or what might be targeted under any new, U.N.-agreed package.
Still, companies that do business with Iran appear to be getting the message that time is running out.
On Tuesday, German engineering group Siemens announced it would reject any further orders from Tehran, although it will meet exisiting ones. Siemens, which with French scientists began building Iran's first civilian nuclear reactors at Bushehr in 1974, had sales of around 500 million euros in Iran last year, so its decision, while a tiny proportion of its global revenues, is not immaterial.
Siemens made its announcement less than 10 days after German Chancellor Angela Merkel made it clear she would back further, tough sanctions on Tehran, and two weeks after Swiss oil trading giant Glencore halted fuel sales to Iran as momentum towards tighter restrictions, made a priority by U.S. President Barack Obama early this year, gathered pace.
from The Great Debate UK:
Those involved in multilateral arms control and disarmament face a challenging year.
from India Insight:
Obama has won the Nobel Peace prize.The citation commends him for calling for a nuclear-weapon free world, emphasising the role of international institutions and preferring dialogue.Less than a year into his presidency he has yet to implement much of his programme."For the time being Obama's just making proposals. But sometimes the Nobel committee awards the prize to encourage responsible action," said Poland’s Lech Walesa, a Nobel Peace Laureate.What does it mean for India to have the most powerful man in the world honoured for his policies?The policies of the Obama administration are different from those of the George W. Bush era when multilateralism was seen as a liability.Bush’s ambassador to the U.N. was John R. Bolton whose scepticism towards multilateralism was well known.Yet Bush helped India get a crucial waiver from the Nuclear Suppliers Group and was described as the friendliest U.S. President India has had.Obama on the other hand has called for strengthening nuclear non-proliferation, prompting India to seek clarifications.Pratap Bhanu Mehta, president of the Center for Policy Research in New Delhi, argues in a recent column that Indians find it more difficult to deal with those who they think of as American liberals than the conservatives.Will we now see a more forceful and active Obama on issues like non-proliferation that India is wary of ?
The statement announcing the Nobel Peace Prize for U.S. President Barack Obama says that "his diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world's population". (Photo: Obama at the United Nations, 23Sept 2009/Kevin Lamarque)
Is there actually a set of values and attitudes shared by most people around the world? It would be interesting to know exactly what the Norwegian Nobel Committee meant by this. Are they talking about some vague form of world political consensus or even global ethics? The citation text mentions Obama's "vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons" and his preference multilateral diplomacy, dialogue and negotiations. But none of these efforts has yet borne much fruit.
The drums of war are beating in the Middle East. Proponents of a military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities have intensified their campaign in recent weeks, arguing the military option is the only way to ensure the country does not build a nuclear weapon.
But the obstacles to conducting a successful strike remain immense, making it a last, improbable resort. It is such a bad option that it is no option at all.
from Global News Journal:
Sunday's federal election threw Germany's Greens into a state of disarray -- should they celebrate their best result ever or mourn the fact they failed to prevent a centre-right coalition and languished in fifth place?