- Argentina beats Dutch in shootout to reach World Cup final
- Tanard Jackson suspended indefinitely by NFL — again
- FAA investigating fireworks drone flights
- Pentagon: We’ll give Obama a drone strike with al-Baghdadi’s name on it
- Marine in Mexican custody to get day in court after 101 days
- Senate OKs San Antonio mayor as housing secretary
- NFL star likely fooled by Marine impostor who accepted first-class plane ticket
- Sen. Ted Cruz tweets Obama directions from fundraisers to border towns
- Israel hits key Hamas targets in Gaza offensive
- Ten-year sentence for New Orleans’ Nagin on graft charges
Sanctions may be changing Iran’s nuke plans
Tehran offers to resume U.N. talks
Question of the Day
Tehran has offered to resume stalled talks with the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany, according to a letter from its chief nuclear negotiator reported by Agence France-Presse.
News of the letter came a day after Iranian leaders proclaimed new progress in creating nuclear fuel rods and threatened to cut oil exports to six European nations in retaliation for new European Union sanctions.
Calling news of the Iranian offer “interesting,” Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said it might be evidence that international sanctions are having an effect on Tehran’s decision-making about its nuclear program.
“We’ll see whether, you know, the Iranians may be changing their mind,” Mr. Clapper said during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on global threats to U.S. security.
But lawmakers and scholars expressed doubts about a change of heart by the Islamic republic.
“I’m skeptical about putting any significance in that,” said Sen. Carl M. Levin, Michigan Democrat and committee chairman.
“The Iranians want to seem amenable to talks while continuing their nuclear program,” said Barbara Slavin, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. “I don’t think it’s an indication yet that they are changing their mind.”
For Iran to re-enter the talks, she said, the United States and its partners would “at least have to make them a new face-saving offer. There is no sign that President Obama is willing to do so, especially in an election year.”
Meanwhile, authorities in Thailand on Thursday said three Iranians who were arrested after accidentally setting off explosives in a Bangkok house Wednesday had been plotting to attack Israeli diplomats in an assault similar to those in India and Georgia this week.
Israeli officials have accused Iran of the bomb plots, but the Islamic republic has denied any involvement.
“What is interesting is that in the past [Iranians have] been able to get Arab terror groups [like Hezbollah] to act as proxies” for such attacks, Ms. Slavin said. “Now they’re getting involved directly. It’s a sign of desperation.”
Israel, the United States and the European Union have long suspected that Iran’s nuclear program is geared toward building an atomic bomb, and the U.S. and EU have implemented sanctions against Iran’s Central Bank and oil industry in an effort to persuade Tehran to scrap its program.
Iran repeatedly has said its nuclear program is aimed at only civilian uses but has not cooperated with international inspectors. Israeli officials, meanwhile, reportedly are mulling a pre-emptive military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities.
In his Senate testimony Thursday, Mr.. Clapper said U.S. intelligence analysts believe Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei personally would decide whether Tehran goes ahead with building a nuclear weapon and would do so rationally.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
TWT Video Picks
It's yet another example of his lack of transparency
- GOP: Lerner warned IRS employees to hide information from Congress
- White House plans for bowling alley upgrades abruptly cancelled
- ISTOOK: Flying illegals home would be 99.5 percent cheaper than Obamas plan
- Obama requests $3.7 billion to fight surge of illegals
- Power grab: EPA wants to garnish wages of polluters
- Costco to re-stock Dinesh D'Souza's 'America' after public outry
- Illegal immigrants showing up at border with 'Yes we can' Obama shoes: report
- CARSON: Health savings accounts far better than Obamacare
- Facebook allows 'Kill Kendall Jones' page, but deletes her game hunting photos
- Dinesh D'Souza book yanked from Costco shelves
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq
World Cup's sexiest WAGs
U.S.-Ghana World Cup opener