Washington (CNN) – GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum said Thursday that as president he would use "whatever means necessary" to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear program, including going to war.
In an effort to halt the steps he says Iran is taking to grow a nuclear weapons program, the former Pennsylvania senator said on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer" that in addition to using covert operations he would order "actual operations within the country to make sure the program does not continue."
(CNN) - In an interview deriding the Iranian government for their alleged role in a foiled terror plot against the Saudi ambassador in Washington, Sen. John McCain took a swipe at President Barack Obama Thursday, saying that his failure to support Iranian anti-government demonstrators in 2009 may have allowed the plot to unfold.
McCain, the 2008 GOP presidential nominee, said in an interview on CBS' "The Early Show": "we could have avoided this. We should have supported [the demonstrators], and they could have overthrown the government then."
(CNN) – Even if the Justice Department and the FBI are proven correct about their allegations against "elements" of the Iranian regime, we may still never know why they may have wanted to kill Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States, Adel al-Jubeir, a man I've known for many years.
Back in late 2002 when he was national security adviser to then-Crown Prince (and now King) Abdullah, he was very helpful to CNN and me during our live coverage from the Prince Sultan Air Base near Riyadh. At the time, the U.S. military had some 5,000 troops and dozens of warplanes based there – as the Bush administration geared up for the invasion of Iraq.FULL STORY
(CNN) - A tweet by Sarah Palin attacking the U.S. State Department for a tweet to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on his birthday distorted the State Department's original intent, a spokesman for the department said Friday.
"My tweet was simply to suggest that a reasonable celebration of President Ahmadinejad's birthday would be to release Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal. I can't imagine why Sarah Palin would object to the release of the two hikers who remain in custody, we think inappropriately," State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said in response to a question about Palin's criticism.
(CNN) – The top U.S. military commander in Iraq says the Middle Eastern country is on its way to being ready for next year's planned withdrawal of remaining U.S. troops, but Gen. Ray Odierno is also sounding a cautionary note about the intentions of one of its key neighbors.
In an interview set to air Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union," Odierno gives his assessment of the readiness of Iraqi security forces and of the Iraqi people overall.
"My assessment today is … they will be [ready for next year's withdrawal]," Odierno says in the interview. "I think that they continue to grow. We continue to see development in planning, in their ability to conduct operations. We continue to see political development, economic development and all of these combined together will start to create an atmosphere that creates better security.
"And the Iraqi people are resilient. They want this. They want to have a democratic country. They want to be on their own. They want to move forward and be a contributor to stability in the Middle East."
In the same sit-down, Odierno says that neighboring Iran may not want Iraq to move in that direction.
Washington (CNN) – President Barack Obama has a chance to make good on the campaign pledge he made during the CNN/YouTube debate back in 2008: to sit down with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
This week Ahmadinejad offered to meet "face-to-face" in a debate before the media "to put the world's issues on the table to find out whose solution is better."
The regime in Tehran has repeatedly rebuffed U.S. attempts at engagement, thwarting the international community as it continues to pursue its nuclear program, which it claims is for peaceful purposes. The United States and its allies maintain Iran is seeking to develop a nuclear weapon.
The White House dismissed Ahmadinejad's offer as a theatrics, saying Iran isn't serious about discussing its nuclear ambitions. But senior administration officials say there are serious discussions taking place between the European Union foreign affairs chief, Catherine Ashton, and Iranian nuclear negotiators about resuming talks.
Tehran, Iran (CNN) - Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is willing to hold one-on-one talks with U.S. President Barack Obama in September, he said Monday.
Ahmadinejad expects to visit New York then for the annual United Nations General Assembly meeting, he said at a speech in Tehran.
"I will be ready for talks, for one-on-one talks, with Mr. Obama in front of the media, of course," he said, posing the offer as a repeat of one he has been making to the U.S. president for years.
The White House did not immediately comment on the speech, which was carried live on Iran's government-backed Press TV.
Updated: 8:48 a.m.
The Glass Is Either Half-Full or Really Empty
Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner says he’s talked to businesses and the consensus is the economy is “gradually getting better”.
Two mega businessmen have a slightly different take.
“This economy is getting weak” says Obama supporter and U.S. News and World Report owner Mort Zuckerman who ticks off consumer spending -flat or down, housing -“off the edge of the cliff,” and unemployment, well even the administration now says the jobless rate will stay above 9 percent until 2012.
“There are very serious headwinds in the face of this economy,” says Republican Steve Forbes, CEO of Forbes, Inc.. He explained that businesses aren’t hiring because they are uncertain about the cost of health care, financial reform and taxes.
So, Just To End That Uncertainty on Taxes
Geithner re-confirmed his previous confirmation that the Administration wants to let the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy expire in January, leaving them in place for the middle-class, usually defined by The White House as households making 250-thousand dollars or less.
(CNN) - President Barack Obama is calling new U.S. sanctions he will sign into law Thursday a further sign that "the United States and the international community are determined to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons."
In the advanced text of his comments for the bill signing, Obama notes that the U.N. Security Council has passed the strongest sanctions to date against Iran, and that Australia, the European Union and Canada also have taken or are considering stronger steps to further isolate Iran's nuclear program and supporting entities.
Washington (CNN) - The Senate on Thursday approved tough new sanctions on Iran aimed at discouraging that country's development of nuclear weapons and support of terrorist groups.
By a decisive 99-0 vote, the Senate approved sanctions that target companies which sell refined petroleum products to Iran and international banks that do business with Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard.
The House of Representatives is expected to pass the bill Thursday evening, at which point it will be sent to President Barack Obama for his signature.