UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The United States and five other major powers are closer than ever to a deal with Iran that would end a 12-year-old nuclear standoff, though more tough negotiations lie ahead, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday.
Kerry was speaking at the United Nations on the opening day of a month-long conference taking stock of the 1970 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and ahead of a meeting in New York with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, their first face-to-face encounter since recent marathon talks in Lausanne, Switzerland.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Japanese military could expand its role and missions around the world under new U.S.-Japan defense guidelines that are expected to be released on Monday and may cause unease in China.
A centerpiece of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s U.S. visit this week, the guidelines are part of Abe’s wider signal that Japan is ready to take more responsibility for its security as China modernizes its military and flexes its muscles in Asia.
IQALUIT, Nunavut (Reuters) – The eight Arctic Council nations pledged on Friday to do more to combat climate change that is shrinking the vast frigid region, with countries trying to put aside disputes over issues like Russia’s intervention in Ukraine.
Meeting in the Canadian town of Iqaluit, 300 km (200 miles) south of the Arctic Circle, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the United States pledged to work to address emissions of black carbon and methane.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. State Department said on Monday it might talk with Iran about promoting regional stability, noting it had been open to including Iran in past efforts to achieve a Syrian peace deal if Tehran had altered its policy.
But it drew a distinction between talking to Iran about issues beyond its nuclear program and actually working with Tehran on such matters, something Washington has ruled out.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A compromise allowing the U.S. Congress to vote on a nuclear deal with Tehran may prompt Iranian negotiators to drive a harder bargain, but does not drastically weaken President Barack Obama’s ability to deliver on a final agreement.
For months Obama resisted attempts led by Republicans and some Democrats to open an agreement with Iran to congressional approval. On Tuesday he backed down in the face of mounting bipartisan support for the bill, which gives Congress at least 30 days to review a final deal during which time Obama would be unable to waive or suspend many U.S. sanctions.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will make the case this week to skeptical Republicans and Democrats that the U.S. Congress should give him another two and a half months to secure a final nuclear deal with Iran.
In closed briefings with the full House of Representatives on Monday and the Senate on Tuesday, the chief U.S. diplomat also hopes to blunt legislation that would giving Congress the opportunity to approve or reject sanctions relief in the deal.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Iraq’s prime minister will seek President Barack Obama’s help to acquire billions of dollars in drones and other U.S. arms to fight Islamic State during a U.S. visit next week, but will request deferment of payments for the purchases, a senior Iraqi official said.
Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi is grappling with an insurgency by militants from Islamic State, an al Qaeda offshoot that emerged from the chaos in Iraq and neighboring Syria and seized much of northern and central Iraq last year.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Barack Obama ran for president in part on the proposition that it was time to end the United States’ wars abroad and find ways to resolve conflicts without force.
Thursday’s interim nuclear deal with Iran was the biggest achievement so far of this “open-hand” diplomacy and may have helped secure a foreign policy legacy that, for now, is mixed at best.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States announced on Tuesday it was lifting its hold on the supply of military equipment to Egypt, which was frozen when the military took power in Cairo nearly two years ago.
The White House said President Barack Obama was freeing up the equipment and making other changes to military ties with Washington’s long-time ally to support U.S. interests while encouraging Egypt’s political reforms.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Nigerian opposition candidate Muhammadu Buhari, who appears to have defeated President Goodluck Jonathan in Nigeria’s weekend election, won a cautious endorsement from two U.S. officials on Tuesday.
Buhari’s opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) claimed victory and said Jonathan had called Buhari to concede the presidency of Africa’s most populous country and top oil producer. Reuters compiled a final tally of the results that showed Buhari with 15.4 million votes against 13.3 million for Jonathan.