In brief: Ahmadinejad expects U.S. talks
United Nations – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tuesday he saw a “good chance” that talks will soon resume with the United States and its allies over Iran’s disputed nuclear program because “there is no other alternative.”
Ahmadinejad, visiting New York to take part in the U.N. General Assembly meetings, denied that Iran has been hurt by economic sanctions that have been imposed in the past three months to pressure Tehran to negotiate away its nuclear program. He also dismissed talk of a possible attack to destroy Iran’s nuclear installations as no more than “psychological warfare.”
New talks over the program were “bound to happen,” he told a group of reporters at a breakfast, because “what is left is talks. … There’s no other way.”
Ahmadinejad’s comments come at a time when Iran is trying to build support around the world to weaken the impact of the sanctions.
Clinton pushes for Palestinian aidUnited Nations – On the sidelines of a U.N. anti-poverty meeting, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton pressed Arab officials Tuesday to bolster their financial contributions to the Palestinian Authority and to support the nascent peace talks more visibly.
The Palestinian Authority has received much of its budget support from the European Union and the United States, with oil-rich Arab countries lagging in supplying the amounts they had pledged. The situation has become even more acute this year, Palestinian sources said, as the Palestinian Authority has embarked on a two-year effort to build the governmental institutions needed for statehood.
Clinton raised the question of aid to the Palestinians directly with the emir of Qatar during a lengthy meeting Tuesday, according to State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley.
Clinton also pressed for more aid when she met with members of an Arab League committee charged with pursuing an Arab proposal offering Israel recognition after a peace deal with the Palestinians.