Saturday, October 27, 2012

'Virtually zero'

'...  the scope for new initiatives remains virtually zero. Despite media reports of contacts between US and Iranian officials about the Iranian nuclear program, our understanding is that no substantive talks have taken place other than inside the P5+1 format led by the European Union. We expect a tougher line to emerge after the election. With the US military currently conducting large-scale joint exercises with the Israeli Defense Forces, US officials believe that the prospect of unilateral Israeli action is small at this juncture. On Syria, senior US officials remain deeply skeptical about both the virtues and modalities of intervention. US efforts are concentrated on supporting the mediation proposals under the auspices of the UN Security Council, while at the same time trying to track the flow of arms to the combatant parties. There is little expectation that either of these efforts will succeed....”

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