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In brief: Negotiations with Iran end in stalemate

Fri., May 25, 2012, midnight

Baghdad – Iran and six world powers wrapped up talks Thursday still far apart over how to oversee Tehran’s atomic program, but with resolve to keep dialogue going as an alternative to possible military action.

Envoys said they will meet again next month in Moscow after negotiations stretched out for extra hours and a sandstorm shut the airport in Iraq’s capital. But the two sides agreed on little else during two dramatic days of discussions that underscored the serious challenges of reaching accords between Iran and the West.

U.S. mulls arms to Syrian opposition

Washington – As one diplomatic effort after another fails to end more than a year of brutal violence in Syria, the Obama administration is preparing a plan that would essentially give U.S. nods of approval to arms transfers from Arab nations to some Syrian opposition fighters.

The effort, U.S. officials told the Associated Press, would vet members of the Free Syrian Army and other groups to determine whether they are suitable recipients of munitions to fight the Assad government and to ensure that weapons don’t wind up in the hands of al-Qaida-linked terrorists or other extremist groups.

The plan, which has not yet been finalized, reflects U.S. frustration that none of the previous efforts has even begun to nudge President Bashar al-Assad from power.


 

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