Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif insisted Wednesday that the Obama administration has mischaracterized concessions supposedly made by Iran. He said, simply and clearly, "we did not agree to dismantle anything."
Prime Minister Netanyahu warned today that if Arab rocket attacks did not stop, a very hard Israeli response would come very soon. Netanyahu made the remarks during a visit by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
On the first day the agreement becomes effective, Iran has done what it has agreed to do. None of this means Iran has taken steps to dismantle its nuclear program. On the contrary, it means the West has accepted that Iran has significant nuclear capabilities, and must pay handsomely for minor interruptions.
In summary, the North wants all exercises in the South to halt beginning 30 January; wants all allied exercises to stop or take place in the US instead of South Korea; and wants South Korea to prohibit reinforcements from the US that include nuclear capable assets.
This country is not and cannot be a modern democracy. It is too poor and too poorly educated. Those conditions may be considered Mubarak's greatest crimes after 34 years in office.
Iraq is in no danger of being taken over by al-Qaida terrorists. However, it might be nearing a point of fragmentation. The Sunnis in Anbar Province and other areas of western Iraq also appear to be pushing for greater local self-government.
Iran's nuclear chief, Ali Akbar Salehi, said a bill moving through Iran's parliament will force the country to increase its uranium enrichment. The bill has received support from 218 of the parliament's 290 members.
The outcome of half-hearted action in Syria has been to prolong the tenure of a pro-Iranian, Ba'athist government in Damascus, creating what some analysts have called the Tehran-Baghdad-Damascus-Beirut axis.
On Wednesday, Syrian Islamist rebels seized control of a hospital used as a headquarters by forces of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in the northern city of Aleppo.
The government announced that it would not attack Fallujah for now in order to minimize civilian casualties. At least one source in Iraq, however, reported that government forces have low morale because they lack the supplies and equipment to mount an operation that has any prospect of success.
Kim Jong Un's aunt, the wife of Chang Sung-taek who was purged and executed last month, has either died of a heart attack or committed suicide, according to an unconfirmed press report.
The security situation has again devolved into civil war, at least on a limited basis. More than 10,000 people were killed last year. Several hundred have been killed in Anbar Province since 1 January.
China eventually will base an aircraft carrier task group at Sanya to protect Chinese territorial waters and island claims in the South China Sea.
On 1 January Kim Jong Un delivered his second annual New Year's address. As usual it was a paean to North Korean advancement. It contained some guidance, but mostly it was an inconsistent and bland jumble of themes.
An Egyptian court convicted 139 supporters of ousted President Mursi on charges ranging from rioting to sabotage and sentenced each to two-year prison terms.
The significance of today's statement is that it betrays Iran's intention to resume enrichment after the six month temporary suspension agreement expires.
If the Brotherhood persists in continuing protests, as they announced today, they will make it easier for the police to identify, track and arrest the most courageous and foolhardy Brothers, which is what the police want.
A report from a North Korean source to a Japanese news outlet says that Kim Jong Un did not expect his uncle to be shot immediately and is despondent because he is responsible for his uncle's death.
New information indicates that Kim Jong Un was thoroughly drunk when he ordered the execution of the aides of his uncle, Chang Sung-taek in November.
The military-backed government continues to move on multiple fronts to establish a more stable civil order. The multiplication of charges against Mursi is aimed a suppressing the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood at all costs through legal actions.