Nation & World
For Now, the Answer Isn't No
Arresting--at least for now--a slide toward crisis, Iran is greeting as "positive" a proposal by leading world powers that would give the Islamic republic incentives to stop enriching uranium. Last week in Tehran, European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana presented the package to Iranian officials. They warned of "ambiguities" but also vowed to study it carefully. Even Iran's hard-line president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, said he backed talks, though without any freeze on Iran's enrichment.
The package was developed by the United States, Britain, Germany, France, Russia, and China and contains American policy concessions aimed at enticing Iran back to the negotiating table, diplomats say. Among them: a softening of the U.S. line against any uranium enrichment in Iran--the key process in producing nuclear fuel either for power plants or for bombs. The Bush administration is now said to be willing to contemplate Iran at some point doing enrichment if it is determined to have revealed all of its nuclear activities and to be free of weapons-related work. Even in theory, though, that may be many years away, in a future that many hope will see the ayatollahs replaced by democrats. Washington has given ground as well by dangling possible Iranian purchase of aircraft parts and membership in the World Trade Organization. It is also reportedly willing to provide help with building a proliferation-resistant light-water reactor, with the fuel supplied by and returned to Russia.
Diplomats are relieved that their deal wasn't rejected out of hand. Yet, the prospect for hard bargaining now looms as Iran aims for an even bigger concession: to conduct small-scale, experimental enrichment while it negotiates.
The Chavez Factor Plays Out in Peru
In his first go-round as Peru's president in the 1980s, Alan Garcia made a mess of things with economic mismanagement, rampant corruption, and a growing dirty war with Maoist Shining Path insurgents. Remarkably, 16 years after he left office, Peruvians voted last week to give Garcia another chance. With a now healthier economy buoyed by market-friendly policies, Garcia is promising more attention to the needs of the poor, particularly the rural poor, in a country where more than half of the people live on less than $2 a day. By most accounts, Garcia's win reflected a backlash against the growing regional influence of Venezuela's voluble leftist leader, Hugo Chavez, who had backed Garcia's nationalist rival, Ollanta Humala.
A Scary Plot North of the Border
For a nation that takes pride in its multiethnic civility, Canada was stunned by the arrest of 12 men and five teenagers in an alleged terrorism plot said to include planning the detonation of truck bombs in Toronto and storming Parliament in Ottawa to demanding the withdrawal of Canadian troops from Afghanistan. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said the Muslim suspects, in a sting operation, had obtained what they thought was 3 tons of ammonium nitrate--three times the amount used in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. Defense lawyers complained that they have been given little information on the evidence that led to the filing of the criminal charges.
Is Somalia the Next Afghanistan?
The "enemy of my enemy," as the saying has it, "is my friend." That, evidently, was the logic to the reports that the CIA has helped finance secular warlords in Somalia fighting the Islamist militia known as the Islamic Courts Union, which favors sharia law and is said to be sheltering three al Qaeda figures indicted in the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, which killed 231 people. Last week, the covert counterterrorism effort seemed to have failed as the warlords were run out of Somalia's chaotic capital, Mogadishu--which many will recall as the locale of the 1993 "Black Hawk Down" incident, in which warlords derailed the U.S. effort at nation building.
A Big Secret That the CIA Held Tight
He was one of the most wanted Nazi war criminals, but according to newly declassified CIA documents, the CIA was in no hurry to help catch fugitive Gestapo official Adolf Eichmann, a key perpetrator of the Holocaust. The CIA was told by West Germany in March 1958 that Eichmann had been living in Argentina under the name "Clemens"--actually the alias was Ricardo Klement--since 1952, but the spy agency didn't do anything about it out of concern that he might expose former Nazis and collaborators who had been recruited to be anti-Communist spies. Eichmann was finally found and abducted from Buenos Aires by Israel's Mossad agents in May 1960; he was convicted by an Israeli court and hanged in 1962. A footnote: A CIA memo from September 1960 said that officials persuaded Life magazine, which purchased Eichmann's memoir, to omit any reference to Hans Globke, a former Nazi who was a senior official in West Germany's government at the time.
With Thomas Omestad and Associated Press
This story appears in the June 19, 2006 print edition of U.S. News & World Report.