2 April 2015   Leave a comment

The P5+1 and Iran announced an interim agreement today after marathon sessions which went beyond the agreed upon deadline of 31 March.  If one wishes to see the terms of the agreement, click here (I will not ask any questions on the quiz about these specifics).   I will have to go over the agreement very carefully before I make an assessment of its effectiveness.  But the initial read suggests that Iran made some very significant concessions on its capabilities in return for a swift removal of the sanctions–itself a major concession of the P5+1.  It also seems as if the International Atomic Energy Agency will have the ability to monitor the agreement rather intrusively.   But my initial reactions are not shared by the Washington Post or by Israel.  Members of the US Senate are also moving toward legislation which would give Congress authority to review the agreement.

Thailand’s military lifted martial law ten months after it seized power in a coup d’etat.   The move is a welcome one, but it appears as if the military will retain power through Article 44 of the Thai constitution.  Nonetheless, pressure from human rights activists and business groups has taken a toll on the Thai economy, and the military is clearly trying to reassure the world that the country is moving back toward democracy.

Islamic State fighters have claimed that they have seized control of the Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria.  The camp is populated by about 500,000 Palestinian refugees and is remarkably close to the capital city of Damascus.   If the reports are accurate, they suggest that the Islamic State is making significant progress in its fight against President Assad.

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Posted April 2, 2015 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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