Report: Rouhani says Iran will not dismantle nuclear facilities
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani
November 29th, 2013
06:54 PM ET

Report: Rouhani says Iran will not dismantle nuclear facilities

By Chelsea J. Carter

Iran will not dismantle any of its nuclear facilities as part of an effort to reach a long-term agreement to limit its nuclear development, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in an interview published Friday in The Financial Times.

Asked during the interview if dismantling Iran's nuclear facilities was a "red line," Rouhani said: "100 percent."

Rouhani's statements are unlikely to sit well with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has said any long-term agreement with Iran over its nuclear development must lead to the dismantling of the country's nuclear capability.

Iran and the so-called P5+1 - the United States, Britain, China, Russia, France and Germany - agreed Sunday to a six-month deal to limit Tehran's nuclear development.

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Filed under: Iran • Nuclear
China sends fighter jets into disputed air zone; Japan, South Korea defiant
This photo taken on October 13, 2011 shows a P-3C patrol plane of Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force flying over the disputed islets known as the Senkaku islands in Japan and Diaoyu islands in China, in the East China Sea.
November 29th, 2013
10:32 AM ET

China sends fighter jets into disputed air zone; Japan, South Korea defiant

By Tim Hume, Jethro Mullen and Yoko Wakatsuki

China sent fighter jets into its newly claimed air defense zone Thursday, as Japan and South Korea sounded notes of defiance by declaring they would continue to fly through disputed airspace without notifying Beijing.

South Korea announced yesterday it had already sent a military flight into China's newly claimed "air defense identification zone" (ADIZ) on Tuesday without alerting China, while Japan appeared to claim it had also flown into the territory since China's announcement Saturday that it was unilaterally establishing the zone.

The flights have raised the stakes in a rapidly escalating dispute over contested territory in and above the East China Sea. They follow U.S. flights into the territory earlier in the week, when two unarmed B-52 bombers passed uncontested through the zone, in what the Pentagon described as a pre-planned military exercise.

Col. Shen Jinke, spokesman for the People's Liberation Army Air Force, said the Chinese warplanes, including Su-30 and J-11 fighters and an airborne radar early warning system, were flown Thursday into the ADIZ in what he described as a "defensive measure ... in line with international practices."

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Filed under: China • Japan • Security Brief • South Korea
November 28th, 2013
08:50 AM ET

U.S. marks 12th Thanksgiving in Afghanistan

It's the 12th Thanksgiving in Afghanistan for US troops. But after 12 years of war, with Afghan corruption still rampant, billions of dollars in aid spent, more than 2,000 troops killed and more than 19,000 wounded, some are asking why don't all the American troops just come home, rather than signing an agreement with Afghanistan that could keep some troops there past 2014. Barbara Starr reports.


Filed under: Afghanistan • Military • Security Clearance on TV
November 28th, 2013
08:25 AM ET

Pakistani official outs CIA officials in drone investigation

By Saima Mohsin and Mariano Castillo

A Pakistani political party official has publicly named two U.S. CIA officials in connection with a police murder investigation into a drone strike.

Police had already initiated an investigation against unnamed persons after a recent drone strike that killed five. In a televised news conference Wednesday, Shireen Mazari, information secretary for the Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party said she filed an addendum to the police complaint, singling out two U.S. officials.

She gave the names of U.S. CIA Director John Brennan and a person identified as the CIA's Station Chief based in Pakistan. U.S. officials did not confirm to CNN the accuracy of her claims.

"I can't speak to the alleged operational issues, but more broadly I note we have a strong ongoing dialogue with Pakistan regarding all aspects of our bilateral relationship and shared interests," a U.S. Embassy official in Pakistan told CNN.

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Filed under: CIA • drones • Pakistan
China's presence looms amid massive U.S.-Japanese war games
The USS George Washington, a 90,000-ton Nimitz-class aircraft carrier is now patrolling waters off the island of Okinawa as part a huge naval exercise -- AnnualEx 2013 -- involving dozens of warships, submarines and aircraft from the U.S. Navy's 7th fleet and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF).
November 28th, 2013
08:20 AM ET

China's presence looms amid massive U.S.-Japanese war games

By Paul Armstrong

The deafening roar of state-of-the-art warplanes being catapulted into the air from its huge flight deck signaled that the USS George Washington was back in combat mode after its recent detour to the Philippines to take part in the aid effort in the wake of Super Typhoon Haiyan.

Barely a week on and the 90,000-ton Nimitz-class aircraft carrier is now patrolling waters off the island of Okinawa as part a huge naval exercise - AnnualEx 2013 - involving dozens of warships, submarines and aircraft from the U.S. Navy's 7th fleet and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF).

The aim? To provide a stern test of their ability to effectively and mutually respond to the defense of Japan or to a regional crisis or contingency situation in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region, according to the U.S. Navy.

But this year's war games have taken on an added dimension given the high-pressure atmosphere in the region at present - they take place in the shadow of a controversial new Air Defense Identification Zone announced by the Chinese last weekend.

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Filed under: Asia • China • Japan • Military
Official: U.S. B-52s flew over China's newly declared air zone
This May 26, 2010 US Air Force file photo shows a B-52 Stratofortress during testing of the X-51A WaveRider. Two US B-52 bombers flew over a disputed area of the East China Sea without notifying Beijing, despite China's bid to create an expanded "air defense zone, " US officials said.
November 26th, 2013
03:13 PM ET

Official: U.S. B-52s flew over China's newly declared air zone

By Barbara Starr

Two U.S. Air Force B-52 aircraft on Monday flew into China's newly claimed air defense zone over the East China Sea without identifying themselves as China would have wanted, a U.S. official confirmed Tuesday.

This follows China's move last week to announce a new air zone over islands that both China and Japan claim.

The flights of the B-52s would not be a departure from the United States' previously stated intentions. Since China declared the new air zone last week, the United States said it would continue with its own air operations in the region and not recognize China's new restrictions, which require aircraft entering the zone to identify themselves and file flight plans.

The B-52s, which flew from Guam and returned there without incident, were not armed because it was a training mission. The mission lasted for several hours, but the aircraft were in the newly declared Chinese air zone for about an hour, according to the U.S. official.

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U.S. urges Iran to help free missing retired FBI agent
US Daniel Levinson (L) shows a picture of his father, ex-FBI agent Robert Levinson, holding his grandson Ryan during a press conference with his mother Christine at the Swiss embassy in Tehran, 22 December 2007.
November 26th, 2013
11:55 AM ET

U.S. urges Iran to help free missing retired FBI agent

By CNN Foreign Affairs Correspondent Jill Dougherty

With a breakthrough interim nuclear deal and relations between the United States and Iran improving, the White House on Tuesday "respectfully" asked the Iranian government to help return Robert Levinson, a retired FBI agent who went missing in Iran more than six years ago.

"We do want to test the regime. The new administration has said that they want to take a different approach toward the West, toward the United States. One way that they could clearly demonstrate that is they could help us find Bob Levinson, help reunite him with his family," Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes told CNN.

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Iran deal may impact U.S. sanctions investigations
November 25th, 2013
04:40 PM ET

Iran deal may impact U.S. sanctions investigations

By CNN Justice Reporter Even Perez

The interim deal to limit Iran's nuclear program casts some uncertainty over how the Justice Department and other agencies investigate alleged sanctions violations.

The deal struck over the weekend between Iran and six world powers, including the United States, gives Iran a temporary respite from some of stringent international economic sanctions that U.S. officials say helped bring Iran to the negotiating table.

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Filed under: Iran
Syria peace conference set for January 22, U.N. says
November 25th, 2013
09:59 AM ET

Syria peace conference set for January 22, U.N. says

After months of delays, a "Geneva II" conference meant to broker an end to the Syrian civil war has been scheduled to begin on January 22 in Geneva, Switzerland, the United Nations said Monday morning.

But which parties will attend - a subject that helped push back the conference for months - wasn't immediately clear.

The conference would bring representatives from Syria's government and elements of the opposition to negotiate an end to the fighting that has wracked Syria since March 2011.

Yet the opposition is hardly a single group; it consists of numerous factions that often oppose each other. The al Qaeda-linked groups Islamic State in Iraq and Jabhat al-Nusra have made substantial gains in Syria in recent months, especially in the north, tilting the balance away from more moderate factions of the rebel Free Syrian Army.

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Filed under: Syria • United Nations
Iran nuclear deal: One agreement, wildly different reactions
November 24th, 2013
10:35 PM ET

Iran nuclear deal: One agreement, wildly different reactions

To say reactions to the Iranian nuclear deal have been all over the place would be an understatement.

In one corner, ardent supporters, like the White House, touted it as a resolution in which they didn't waver from their core beliefs. Iranian officials boasted the same.

The United Nations and the European Union threw in their weight, saying the compromise is a huge step with tremendous potential.

Then you have Israel, which says the deal is based on global "self-delusion" and could help Iran get closer to having a nuclear bomb. Meanwhile, some U.S. Republicans are skeptical about the Obama administration's true intentions in helping strike the deal.

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Filed under: Iran • Sec. State John Kerry
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