A European court on Monday ruled that radical Muslim cleric Abu Hamza can be extradited from Great Britain to the United States, where he faces a host of terrorism charges.
The European Human Rights Court issued its ruling, clearing the way for Hamza's extradition. This means that he can now be moved to the United States, though no date has been set.
Hamza faces 11 charges in U.S. courts, including conspiracy in connection with a 1998 kidnapping of 16 Westerners in Yemen and conspiring with others to establish an Islamic jihad training camp in rural Oregon in 1999.
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As Iran gets set to meet again with the U.S. and other countries to negotiate its nuclear program, the country's economic minister insisted in an interview Sunday with CNN's Fareed Zakaria that the crippling sanctions imposed on Iran were not having as much of an impact as believed.
Minister Shamseddin Hosseini argued that his country has a much broader economy than just oil.
"Last year, the total non-oil exports increased by 30 percent and according to the latest reports that the International Monetary Fund has published, Iran's GDP - Iran's per capita income has also increased," Hosseini said in the interview on CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS.
Zakaria pressed Hosseini on the argument, asking how it could be that the country is not affected when 80% of its foreign revenues come from foreign sales of oil.
Here is a transcript of the exchange: FULL POST
European Union naval forces on Tuesday struck Somali pirate targets on the coast of the country in the first raids by the European force on the Somali mainland.
"We believe this action by the EU Naval Force will further increase the pressure on, and disrupt pirates' efforts to get out to sea to attack merchant shipping and dhows," Rear Adm. Duncan Potts, operational commander of the force, said in a statement.
Several pirate attack skiffs, the small boats pirates use to attack merchant vessels in the open ocean, were destroyed in the raid, said Timo Lange, media officer at the naval force's headquarters in England.
No Somalis were injured in the raid, which was conducted entirely by air, the force's statement said.
By CNN's Ivan Watson in Istanbul
Iran and six world powers held "constructive and useful" talks Saturday in Turkey as international diplomats seek to persuade Tehran to rein in its nuclear program.
"We have agreed that the nonproliferation treaty forms a key basis for what must be serious engagement to ensure all the obligations under the treaty are met by Iran while fully respecting Iran's right for the peaceful use of nuclear energy," EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said following the meeting with Iran's top negotiator, Saeed Jalili, in Istanbul.
Jalili had said ahead of the talks that he intended to bring "new initiatives" to the table.
Ashton said Saturday's meeting was a basis to establish a "sustained process of serious dialogue."
By Adam Levine
Eleven countries, including Japan and European nations, have significantly reduced their Iran oil purchases and should not be subject to new U.S. sanctions, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Congress Tuesday.
The countries are Japan, Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, and the United Kingdom, according to a State Department statement. FULL POST
By Elise Labott
The United States and European Union Friday expressed cautious optimism that Iran is serious about returning to nuclear talks with world powers.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said they were weighing Iran offer to talk as soon as possible with the so-called P5 plus one group of nations..
In a letter to Ashton sent Tuesday, Iranian nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili voiced Iranian's willingness for resuming talks in a letter to the Ashton.
We voice our readiness for dialogue on a spectrum of various issues, which can provide ground for constructive and forward-looking cooperation," Jalili wrote.
By Elise Labott
Iran is offering to resume talks over the country's nuclear program as soon as possible, according to a letter the nation's nuclear negotiator sent to the European Union.
"We voice our readiness for dialogue on a spectrum of various issues, which can provide ground for constructive and forward-looking cooperation," Iranian nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili wrote in a letter to European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.
CNN obtained a copy of the translated letter as Iran announced new steps in its nuclear program.
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The European Union and the United States added to the growing list of sanctions meant to pressure Iran into rethinking its nuclear program. On Monday, the E.U. agreed to cut off oil imports and freeze assets in an effort to starve Iran of funding for its nuclear program.
Soon after the E.U. made its announcement, the U.S. announced it was adding Iran's third largest bank to the banned list, accusing it of providing financial services to other Iranian banks and firms already sanctioned. The move against Bank Tejarat chokes off one of Iran’s last access points to the intl financial system, our Elise Labott reports.
The sanctions come after the U.S., Britain and France sent naval vessels across the Strait of Hormuz into the Persian Gulf this weekend. Iran will get some attention Tuesday night, as well. Expect tough language on Iran from President Obama in his State of the Union address on Tuesday, democratic sources tell Chief White House Correspondent Jessica Yellin.
The U.S. has sanctioned 22 Iranian-linked banks, including all of the state-owned banks, according to the Treasury Department.
The history of U.S. sanctions against Iran dates as far back as 1979, when hostages were held at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. Over the years, the U.S. government has approved other sanctions. In 2010, amid increasing tensions of Iran's nuclear program, the United States instituted sanctions that U.S. officials described as "unprecedented."
The United Nations and the European Union, and other countries around the world also have sanctions against Iran.
Click here to read more from Josh Levs about the key steps in the efforts to sanction Iran.
Fareed Zakaria GPS's page looks at why the EU efforts take a real bite out of Iranian oil exports.
By CNN National Security Producer Jennifer Rizzo
The United States will withdraw two Army combat brigades from Europe in one of the first announcements of actual asset reductions as part of an effort to cut more than $400 billion from the defense budget over the next 10 years.
Reductions in troop levels in Europe had been expected after President Obama unveiled the Pentagon's new defense strategy this month that promised a leaner, cheaper military with a greater focus on the Pacific. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta made the announcement about the withdrawal Thursday in an interview with the Defense Department press service.
About 80,000 troops are stationed in Europe - about 37,000 of which are with the U.S. Army. Four Army brigades are currently stationed in the region - three in Germany and one in Italy. One brigade is typically made up of 3,500 soldiers.
No announcements have been made on which brigades will be withdrawn and when the withdrawal will begin.
By Elise Labott
It appears the international community will usher in the new year with new pressure points in the campaign against Iran's developing nuclear program.
Both the United States and the European Union are considering going after Iran's oil profits, which account for more than half of the regime's revenue, diplomats and U.S. officials said. Profits from Iranian crude, U.S. officials and diplomats say, have offset the pain of increased American and European sanctions on Iran's financial sector and are the one thing still allowing Iran to pursue its nuclear ambitions.
The challenge, they say, is how to go after Iran's oil without causing a spike in worldwide oil prices.
The main target in the approach is Iran's Central Bank, which countries must deal with to buy petroleum. On Capitol Hill, Congress is pushing legislation that would prevent foreign financial institutions that do business with the Iranian Central Bank in Tehran from operating in or doing business with the United States.
At first, the Obama administration balked at the bill, concerned the measures could drive up oil prices and wreak havoc on jittery world markets. Officials were also mindful the move could backfire by increasing the value of Iranian oil sales, boosting the regime's coffers and allowing it to continue funding its nuclear program.
But the administration may now be willing to play ball, administration officials tell CNN, after adjustments were made to the legislation to provide President Obama with greater flexibility in implementing the law. FULL POST