Tuesday, Apr. 28, 2009

Talking At — and with — Iran

Day 71
March 31, 2009

"You don't want a messianic, apocalyptic cult controlling atomic bombs."

Benjamin Netanyahu in an interview shortly before being sworn in as Prime Minister of Israel, stressing that the U.S. must stop Iran's nuclear drive — or else Israel may have to take matters into its own hands

"They agreed to stay in touch."

Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State, while visiting the Hague, telling reporters that Afghanistan-Pakistan envoy Richard Holbrooke and Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister had a quick chat there

The hawkish incoming Israeli Prime Minister delivers a stark message to President Obama: If his Administration doesn't prevent Tehran from developing nuclear weapons, Israel may be forced to attack. On a decidedly different note, Hillary Clinton suggests that progress is being made in communications with the Iranians by announcing that U.S. envoy Richard Holbrooke had a "brief and cordial exchange" with Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister during a one-day conference on Afghanistan in the Hague. Iran later downplays the incident, with a top official saying there were no "talks" with Holbrooke at the conference. All this news comes as the Obamas land in London ahead of the G-20 conference there, kicking off an eight-day European tour.

Back in Washington, many are thinking, Not again! as news breaks that Health and Human Services Secretary–nominee Kathleen Sebelius reportedly paid back taxes of more than $7,000, apparently stemming from "unintentional errors" revealed during her accountant's review of recent tax returns. The error does not appear to jeopardize her confirmation.

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