- The Washington Times - Monday, April 12, 2010

IRAN

Iran sees policy as nuclear threat

TEHRAN | Iran’s supreme leader said Sunday that President Obama has “implicitly threatened” his country with nuclear weapons in a newly outlined U.S. policy and Tehran said it intends to file a formal complaint with the U.N.

Mr. Obama announced a new U.S. nuclear strategy last week, including a vow not to use nuclear weapons against countries that do not have them. Iran and North Korea were pointedly excepted from that pledge because Washington accuses them of not cooperating with the international community on nonproliferation standards.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Mr. Obama’s language was “disgraceful” and proof the U.S. cannot be trusted.

“The U.S. president has implicitly threatened the Iranian nation with nuclear weapons. These remarks are very strange,” he said on state television. “The world should not ignore it because in the 21st century … the head of a state is threatening a nuclear attack.”

ISRAEL

Israel warns of Iran threat

JERUSALEM | Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused world governments on Sunday of failing to show sufficient concern about the threat posed by Iran as he marked the Jewish state’s annual Holocaust Day.

“We are not hearing the protests that we would expect to hear,” Mr. Netanyahu told a commemoration ceremony after sundown.

“The world is going about its business as though it’s a fuss about nothing … while [Iran] steps up its efforts to arm itself with nuclear weapons and threatens to wipe Israel off the map,” he added.

“What annoys me is the lack of indignation shown by the rest of the world.”

IRAQ

Al-Maliki’s bloc says votes in question

BAGHDAD | Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s political party said on Sunday its investigation into the March 7 parliamentary election has thrown into question some 750,000 votes, enough to change the results of the nationwide poll.

The State of Law alliance trailed by just two seats behind former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi’s party in the vote, which produced no clear winner because neither side got enough seats to govern alone. Mr. al-Maliki has demanded an official recount as both sides struggle to cobble together a ruling coalition.

“We estimate the volume of vote manipulation is up to 750,000 votes,” Hajim al-Hasani, the spokesman of the State of Law Alliance, told reporters in Baghdad. “This number could change the election results.”

BRITAIN

Health budgets slashed in Africa

LONDON | After getting millions of dollars to fight AIDS, some African countries responded by slashing their health budgets, new research says.

For years, the international community has forked over billions in health aid, believing the donations supplemented health budgets in poor countries.

It now turns out development money prompted some governments to spend on entirely different things, which cannot be tracked. The research was published Friday in the medical journal Lancet.

Experts analyzed all available data for government spending on health in poor countries and the aid they received. International health aid jumped from about $8 billion in 1995 to almost $19 billion in 2006, with the United States being the biggest donor.

Most countries in Latin America, Asia and the Middle East doubled their health budgets. But many in Africa — including those with the worst AIDS outbreaks — trimmed their health spending instead.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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