US ‘committed to preventing a nuclear Iran’

Updated 03 March 2015

US ‘committed to preventing a nuclear Iran’

WASHINGTON: The Obama administration pushed ahead Monday with an effort to end its standoff with Israel, arguing that the focus on tensions between the allies obscured a larger truth that the United States would never jeopardize the Jewish state’s security by allowing Iran to become a nuclear power.
Addressing this year’s annual policy conference of the American-Israel Political Action Committee, Samantha Power, President Barack Obama’s UN ambassador, highlighted the billions of dollars in military assistance Washington provides and the constant defense the US provides Israel at the United Nations.
Power, however, didn’t give ground on Iran.
“We believe diplomacy is the preferred route to secure our shared aim. But if diplomacy should fail, we know the stakes of a nuclear-armed Iran as well as everyone here. We will not let it happen,” Power said.
Iran says its nuclear program is solely for peaceful energy and medical research purposes.
Negotiators are trying to reach a framework agreement by the end of the month and a full deal by July.


Twelve killed in Indian Kashmir violence amid virus lockdown

Updated 40 min 8 sec ago

Twelve killed in Indian Kashmir violence amid virus lockdown

SRINAGAR: Nine suspected militants and three soldiers were killed in two separate incidents in Indian-administered Kashmir, officials said Sunday, as authorities enforced a lockdown to combat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
Kashmir, a restive region claimed by nuclear rivals India and Pakistan, had already been under a long-running curfew imposed to quell unrest as New Delhi scrapped the Himalayan valley’s semi-autonomous status on August 5.
Indian army spokesman Col. Rajesh Kalia said five armed militants were killed early Sunday in the northern Keran area close to the de facto border known as the Line of Control (LoC) that divides the disputed territory with Pakistan.
The clashes also left three soldiers dead and critically injured several more, he said in a brief statement.
The fighting came within 24 hours of another gunbattle between suspected rebels and government forces in the southern Kulgam area that left four dead.
Police said all four were militants from the local area.
Kashmir has waged a three-decade-long armed rebellion against Indian rule with tens of thousands of lives, mostly civilians, lost in the conflict.
India regularly accuses its arch-rival Pakistan of arming and sending rebels across the heavily militarised border. Islamabad denies the claims.