The Daily Talking Points

News and Views Relevant to U.S.-Iran relations for August 10th, 2010:

  • The Wall Street Journal: Former UN Ambassador and current AEI fellow John Bolton offers his views on Chinese “hostilities” to the United States and its allies. Bolton says that reports of Chinese cooperation with U.S. and European efforts to pass multilateral sanctions in the UN Security Council were “unrealistic spin” from the Obama administration. “But the truth is that China was never serious about tough sanctions. If anything, it is now likely to double down on its relationship with Iran, particularly with regard to oil and natural gas, in order to help Iran meet its domestic need for refined petroleum products,” writes Bolton.
  • The Los Angeles Times: Paul Richter reports that China, Russia, India and Turkey are resisting pressure from the EU and the United States to toughen UN sanctions with their own unilateral sanctions. All four countries have moved forward with trade and investment deals with Iran.
  • The New Yorker: Jon Lee Anderson interviews Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, opposition leaders, and former congressman and co-chair of the Iraq Study Group Lee Hamilton. Anderson calls attention to Iran’s willingness to resume talks on the Brazil-Turkey deal to provide Iran with highly enriched uranium in exchange for half of its stock of low-enriched uranium. Hamilton warns that, “Since about three months ago, there is a discernible mood for military action,” and, “Obama is confronted with a very strong, very committed, very heartfelt opposition to Iran in Congress.”
  • Reuters: Yara Bayoumy reports that Iran has offered support to Lebanon’s army after last week’s clash on the Israeli-Lebanon border. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is scheduled to visit Beirut next month.
  • The New York Times: Yeganeh June Torbati reports that more Iranians are studying in the United States than at any other time since 1994. Young Iranians are attracted to the superior schools and research financing available in the United States. Despite the high numbers of Iranian students attending U.S. universities, Iranians seeking to attend U.S. universities must go through some of the strictest visa procedures and are treated with suspicion when they return home. (Ali Gharib blogged last week on the challenges faced by young Iranians wishing to take English-language tests administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS).)

Eli Clifton

Eli Clifton reports on money in politics and US foreign policy. He is a co-founder of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. Eli previously reported for the American Independent News Network, ThinkProgress, and Inter Press Service.