September 26th, 2012
05:52 PM ET

Iranian president accuses West of intimidation in U.N address

By David Ariosto

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said his nation was committed to peace and accused world powers of double standards in pursuing an arms race, as he took to the stage Wednesday at the United Nations General Assembly.

His address on day two of the general debate was widely expected to prove contentious, given the Iranian leader's history of controversial statements, but he made no mention of Israel.

At times, his remarks seemed almost conciliatory.

Speaking from the assembly's iconic green marble podium, Ahmadinejad told delegates that Iran has a "global vision and welcomes any effort intended to provide and promote peace, stability and tranquility" in the world.

However, an "arms race and intimidation by nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction by the hegemonic powers have become prevalent," he said, and Iran finds itself under threat from world powers seeking to impose their views.

"Continued threat by the uncivilized Zionists to resort to military action against our great nation is a clear example of this bitter reality," he said. "A state of mistrust has cast its shadow on the international relations, while there is no trusted or just authority to help resolve world conflicts."

It was the Iranian president's eighth and final address to the assembly, with his final term in office coming to an end next year.

As Ahmadinejad spoke, the place set aside for the U.S. delegation was empty. The Canadian delegation also did not attend the speech, and Israel's representatives were absent in observance of Yom Kippur.

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August 17th, 2011
09:20 AM ET

Riding with Afghanistan's security force

A new report released this week raised fresh doubts about a key aspect of the US strategy in Afghanistan: building the Afghan security force.  In Kabul, CNN's David Ariosto headed out on patrol with members of the force to get a first hand look at the training and patrolling effort.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Hot Spot Dispatch
July 25th, 2011
05:30 PM ET

U.S. transportation funds diverted toTaliban, source says

A U.S. military task force has discovered that part of a $2.16 billion transportation contract was diverted through a murky network of subcontractors and into the hands of a group of Afghan power-brokers, criminals and Taliban insurgents, according to a source with knowledge of the investigation.

Roughly $600 million of the contract had been spent before authorities were alerted to the scandal, the source said, citing an internal report.

Only part of that money, however, is believed to have been diverted to "nefarious elements," the source added.

A Pentagon official told CNN the full $2.16 billion contract covered the movement and transportation of 70% of the material needed for U.S. troops in Afghanistan.


Killer of Karzai's half-brother worked against Taliban, officials say
Afghan Pres. Hamid Karzai at service for slain brother Photo: STRDEL/AFP/Getty Images
July 15th, 2011
11:27 AM ET

Killer of Karzai's half-brother worked against Taliban, officials say

By David Ariosto

The guard who killed the half-brother of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, had for years worked with International Security Assistance Forces against Taliban militants, according to three local officials with direct knowledge of the dealings.

Sardar Mohammed, who authorities say shot and killed Kandahar's provincial council chief Ahmed Wali Karzai, received training from ISAF and participated in intelligence gathering against militants across the region, according to Besmellah Afghanmal, a provincial council member with close ties to the Karzai family.

He "was one of the trusted commanders for the Karzais," Afghanmal told CNN. "Sardar Mohammad was working with American Special Forces closely and he was participating in many operations with American Special forces against the Taliban in (the) south."

Others, like provincial parliament member Hashim Watanwal, say Mohammad had worked with both U.S. and Canadian forces in Kandahar - an ethnically Pashtun dominated region long-considered the Taliban heartland. FULL POST

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Karzai