U.S. Foreign Policy Correspondent
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Dec 18, 2013

U.S.’ Kerry voices ‘regret’ to India over diplomat case

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called a top Indian official and voiced regret about the case of an Indian diplomat strip-searched after her arrest last week in New York on charges including visa fraud, the State Department said on Wednesday.

Kerry’s call to Indian National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon, disclosed by the U.S. State Department, aimed to defuse a diplomatic crisis sparked by the December 12 arrest of Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade on charges of visa fraud and underpaying her nanny, an Indian national.

Dec 10, 2013

U.S. Senate banking chairman inclined to hold off on Iran sanctions

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration’s appeal to Congress to hold off on imposing more sanctions on Iran won key support on Tuesday when the chairman of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee said he would not back new legislation at this time.

Any such legislation could jeopardize delicate negotiations toward a comprehensive agreement with Tehran to curb its nuclear program after world powers clinched an interim deal with Iran last month, President Barack Obama’s administration has argued.

Dec 9, 2013

Iran’s Zarif says nuclear deal dead if U.S. passes new sanctions

WASHINGTON, Dec 9 (Reuters) – Iranian Foreign Minister Javad
Zarif said the Iranian nuclear deal would be dead if the U.S.
Congress imposes new sanctions, even if they do not take effect
for six months, Time Magazine said on Monday.

In a transcript of the interview, which was conducted on
Saturday and posted online on Monday, Time said it asked Zarif
what would happen if Congress imposed new sanctions, even if
they did not go into effect for six months.

Nov 24, 2013

U.S., Iran held secret talks on march to nuclear deal

GENEVA (Reuters) – U.S. and Iranian officials met secretly in such out-of-the-way places as Oman, using military planes, side entrances and service elevators to conceal their efforts to lay the ground for Sunday’s nuclear agreement.

The contacts, first reported in detail by the Associated Press and later confirmed by U.S. officials and a former Iranian official, helped to bring about a deal that could help to end a decade-long impasse over Iran’s suspect nuclear work.

Nov 21, 2013

Afghanistan, U.S. reach draft security agreement

KABUL/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States and Afghanistan reached a draft agreement on Wednesday laying out the terms under which U.S. troops may stay beyond 2014, one day before Afghan elders are to debate the issue.

A draft accord released by the Afghan government appears to meet U.S. demands on such controversial issues as whether U.S. troops would unilaterally conduct counterterrorism operations, enter Afghan homes or protect the country from outside attack.

Nov 20, 2013

Afghan-U.S. security pact in limbo on eve of crucial debate

KABUL/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States and Afghanistan scrambled to try to finalize a crucial security pact on Wednesday, a day before thousands of Afghan elders were due to start debating whether to allow U.S. troops to stay in the country after 2014.

Without the accord, the United States has warned it could withdraw its troops by the end of next year and leave Afghan forces to fight a Taliban-led insurgency without their help.

Nov 10, 2013

U.S. dispatches aid for Philippine typhoon recovery, Obama says

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States rushed assistance to the Philippines after a typhoon killed at least 10,000 people and will provide additional aid if it is needed, President Barack Obama said on Sunday.

Obama said America “is already providing significant humanitarian assistance and we stand ready to further assist the (Philippines) government’s relief and recovery efforts.”

Oct 25, 2013

No sanctions easing at front end of Iran talks -U.S.

WASHINGTON, Oct 24 (Reuters) – The United States is not
looking to ease sanctions on Iran “at the front end” of
negotiations over the Iranian nuclear program, a senior White
House official said on Thursday.

The Islamic republic would have to take “concrete steps” to
address its program before Washington could provide sanctions
relief, Ben Rhodes, a deputy national security adviser to
President Barack Obama, said at the Reuters Washington Summit.

Oct 23, 2013

U.S., Israel differ over how to resolve Iran nuclear issue

ROME (Reuters) – U.S. and Israeli officials differed over Iran’s nuclear program on Wednesday as Israel called for its effective dismantlement and the United States suggested safeguards could show that it is peaceful rather than military.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke as they began talks ostensibly about Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations but which appeared likely to be overshadowed by Iran.

Oct 22, 2013

Syrian opposition resists calls to commit to peace talks

LONDON, Oct 22 (Reuters) – Syria’s opposition in exile
resisted calls from Western and Arab countries on Tuesday to
commit to attending peace talks, saying they would not take part
if there was any chance President Bashar al-Assad could cling to

Eleven countries meeting in London pressed the opposition
National Coalition to join talks to end a conflict that has
killed over 100,000 people, but the group listed conditions and
said it would decide in the coming weeks whether to attend.

    • About Arshad

      "I cover U.S. foreign policy for Reuters from a base at the State Department. I joined Reuters in 1988 and have worked as a correspondent in New York, Paris, Algiers and Washington, where I have covered the White House (1996-2002) and the State Department (2002-2005, 2006-present)."
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