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CIA suspends Iran operations chief for creating ‘abusive and hostile work environment’

The L.A. Times reports that the CIA has put the chief of Iran operations unit on paid administrative leave after an internal investigation found he had created an abusive and hostile work environment, putting his division in disarray. Jonathan Bank, a veteran officer and member of the senior intelligence service,…

Iran seeks new Russia reactor in exchange for oil

Iran’s ambassador to Moscow on Monday said Russia could build the Islamic republic a second nuclear power reactor in exchange for massive oil shipments that have raised grave concern in Washington. Ambassador Mehdi Sanaei said the two close trading partners have been negotiating Iran’s delivery of hundreds of thousands of…

U.N. chief boots Iran out of Syria peace talks

UN leader Ban Ki-moon threw Iran out of this week’s Syria peace conference after it refused to back calls for a transitional government to end the country’s war. The unprecedented diplomatic action averted a Syrian opposition boycott of the talks which start in the Swiss town of Montreux on Wednesday.…

Iran agrees to limit enrichment of uranium in the presence of UN watchdog

Iran on Monday halted production of 20 percent enriched uranium, marking the entry into force of an interim deal with world powers on its disputed nuclear programme. Western powers kept to their part of the deal reached in November, with the European Union and the United States announcing they were…

Iran left off 30-country guest list for U.N. conference on Syria

UN leader Ban Ki-moon on Monday sent invitations to 30 countries to attend a Syria peace conference this month, but did not include Iran, a spokesman said. US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will meet on January 13 in a bid to decide Iran’s…

American missing for six years in Iran was really a CIA agent

An American who went missing in Iran six years ago worked for the CIA and was not in the country on a business trip as US officials had claimed, US media reported Thursday. In a case that had long been shrouded in secrecy and vague official accounts, the Associated Press…

Iranian city picks Islamic republic’s first female minority ethnic mayor

A woman belonging to Iran’s Baluch ethnic group has been chosen as the mayor of a provincial city, in a rare example of a minority politician being promoted in the Islamic republic. Samieh Baluchzehi, 26, has become the mayor of Kalat in the southern province of Sistan and Baluchistan, where…

War-weary Americans back Iran nuclear deal by 2-to-1 margin

Americans back a newly brokered nuclear deal with Iran by a two-to-one margin and are very wary of the United States resorting to military action against Tehran even if the historic diplomatic effort fails, a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Tuesday showed. According to the survey, 44 percent of Americans support…

Secret US-Iran talks paved way for nuclear deal

Catherine Ashton, The Guardian A historic agreement on Iran’s nuclear program was made possible by months of unprecedented secret meetings between US and Iranian officials, in further signs of the accelerating detente between two of the world’s most adversarial powers, it emerged on Sunday. The meetings ran parallel to official…

Gulf states fear deal will boost Iran regional ambitions

Sunni-ruled Gulf monarchies feel let down by their US ally and want good relations with their Shiite neighbour Iran but also fear the Geneva nuclear deal will boost its regional ambitions, analysts say. Saudi Arabia and the oil- and gas-rich nations of the Gulf were weighing their reactions on Sunday…

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