Iran threatens to withdraw from IAEA
The Guardian reports Iran has threatened to step back from its commitments to the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency. Tehran warns it will reconsider its compliance with the IAEA if EU states trigger possible sanctions.
BBC News, Reuters, the Telegraph, The Times and The Economist report that the Iraqi Parliament has approved Adel Abdul Mahdi’s resignation following weeks of unrest. BBC News says it is unclear who will take over from Mr Abdul Mahdi, as the parliament speaker said President Barham Saleh would be asked to name a new prime minister. Reuters reports that Abdul Mahdi’s decision to quit on Friday came after a call by Iraq’s top Shi’ite Muslim cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani for parliament to consider withdrawing its support for Abdul Mahdi’s government to stem the country’s worsening violence. In The Times, Richard Spencer says Iraqis are in no mood to forgive Abdul‑Mahdi, despite the fact he has stepped aside, whilst The Economist stresses many Iraqi protestors are demanding an end to Iraq’s whole sectarian political system.
The Daily Mail and The Sun report that Prince William has arrived in the Middle East for his four-day visit to Kuwait and Oman. The Daily Mail says Prince William’s trip will honour the historic ties between Britain and the Gulf nations, whilst The Sun says a highlight of the Duke of Cambridge’s four-day trip will be camping in the Kuwaiti desert.
In The Independent, Borzou Daragahi reports that experts warn Iran’s ‘massive internet shutdown’ could be harbinger of something even darker to come. Although costing the county’s ailing economy over $1.5 billion, the Iranian internet blackout was meant to halt the dissemination of information about the protests and videos showing protesters angered by a sudden and dramatic hike in fuel prices.
The FT reports on Iran’s worst violence in decades. In a week of clashes hundreds of thousands of Iranians frustrated with months of economic hardship, unemployment and then a sudden jump in fuel prices, poured on to the street across the country.
The FT has analysed five things to watch from this week’s OPEC meeting. With Saudi Aramco’s IPO imminent, ministers will debate a production deal, the role of Russia and the impact of US shale on petroleum prices.
The Times have reported testimony from a former Iranian insider claiming Iran’s theocrats are as ruthless as the shah. Now under house arrest for challenging the regime, the insider has broken a major taboo by comparing the current regime to the shah.
Reuters report that the Saudi Arabian government has released 11 Saudi citizens who were detained for several days last month for questioning over suspected links to foreign entities. The official informing Reuters claimed the detainees were questioned on suspicion of ‘receiving funds’ from foreign countries and coordinating with ‘hostile’ organisations.
Netanyahu wants to stay PM to annex Jordan Valley: Benjamin Netanyahu wants to stay in post for the next six months in order to annex the Jordan Valley, Israel Hayom reported today. The timeframe is an allusion to a possible prime ministerial rotation deal with Blue and White leader Benny Gantz, who would, after six months, become Prime Minister while Netanyahu suspends himself to stand trial for bribery, fraud and breach of trust in three corruption cases. According to the report, Netanyahu wants to annex the valley as part of his legacy. Blue and White officials dismissed the report as “spin” in the faltering coalition talks ahead of the December 11 deadline to form a government.
Israeli to be put on trial in Jordan: An Israeli citizen who illegally crossed into Jordan in October is set to be put on trial, the Times of Israel reported yesterday. Konstantin Kotov, originally from the former Soviet Union, was reportedly wanted by the Israeli Police in a separate matter. In addition to illegal entry across the Jordan River, Kotov will be tried in Jordan’s State Security Court for possession of illegal drugs. Israeli diplomats in Jordan are in contact with Kotov and following the case.
Survivor of Mumbai terrorist attack celebrates Bar Mitzvah: All the Israeli media report the Bar Mitzvah of Moshe Holtzberg, who survived the 2008 terrorist attack at Mumbai’s Chabad House. Holtzberg’s parents were killed during the attack, with Moshe returning to Israel and being raised by close relatives. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi both sent celebratory video messages on the occassion, with Netanyahu saying: “We know that there is life amidst this tragedy. There is revival and there is hope. You come now with the love of the entire Jewish people, all citizens of Israel and very many outside Israel.”