Khamenei: West failed to bring Iran "to its knees" in nuke talks


The Western powers negotiating with Tehran over its nuclear program failed to bring the Islamic republic “to its knees,” Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei boasted on Tuesday. A Twitter feed linked to and widely thought to speak for Khamenei on Wednesday doubled down on his remarks from the day before, which had been reported on his personal website. The supreme leader’s comments come in the wake of failed negotiations over the Iranian nuclear program and follow the decision to extend talks between Tehran and the P5+1 through June 2015. The extension was hailed by a range of Iranian officials – Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari told Iranian media that “Americans have very clearly surrendered to Iran’s might” and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani declared that Iran scored a “great victory” from the talks’ extension, which includes the release of approximately $700 million per month in frozen assets. Khamenei’s comments are likely to elicit calls in Washington for increased pressure on Iran as negotiations continue – Jeffrey Goldberg on Wednesday tweeted that it was “[g]etting harder to see the downside of triggered sanctions on Iran” in light of the supreme leader’s boasts. Top Democrats and Republicans in Washington have in recent days and weeks called for an increased role for lawmakers on Capitol Hill as negotiations with Tehran continue. The incoming Congress is reportedly preparing to reassert congressional oversight over the final contours of a nuclear deal – a tweet from Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), the incoming Majority Whip, shortly after the extension was announced indicated that the "bipartisan Congress will have more to say on [Iran negotiations] come January."


Israeli Minister of Economy Naftali Bennett has launched the flagship “Water City” project in China, which will help open the Chinese market to Israeli water companies as well as advance bilateral relations. The city of Shougang in the Shandong province was chosen as the focus of Israel’s water-related activities in China. Fifteen representatives of Israeli companies took part in the visit to China, hoping their technology will be chosen for China’s massive water system. Thanks to rapid population growth and widespread contamination of the country’s water resources, Beijing is said to be “thirsty” for Israeli solutions. As part of the project, the city of Shougang will enjoy technologies offered by Israeli firms in the fields of desalination, sewage management, irrigation, reuse of water for agricultural, water supply and more. This is a first-of-its-kind enterprise supported by the joint Israel-China Mission entrusted with advancing bilateral economic ties. “Israel and China are natural partners for technological and business cooperation,” said Minister Bennett during the inauguration of Shougang as the ‘Water City.’ “We have extensive experience in management of water resources and the ‘Water City’ project will help open the Chinese market to Israeli water companies, as well as advancing bilateral relations.” (via Israel21c)

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