News Roundup and Notes: July 15, 2015

Before the start of business, Just Security provides a curated summary of up-to-the-minute developments at home and abroad. Here’s today’s news.

IRAN

The U.S. will circulate a draft UN Security Council resolution today which will authorize the agreement reached between Iran and the P5+1, according to a UN Security Council diplomat. [AP’s Edith M. Lederer]  The Security Council is likely to vote on the resolution next week. [Reuters’ Michelle Nichols]

The nuclear deal has sparked concerns with America’s allies in the Middle East, particularly Israel and Saudi Arabia, who are worried about Iran’s gain in regional clout and doubt Obama’s claims that the deal will make the world safer, report Laurence Norman and Kristina Peterson. [Wall Street Journal]

Republican lawmakers are working on their approach to undermining the Obama administration’s deal with Iran during the 60 days they have to review the agreement. [The Hill’s Alexander Bolton]  And GOP presidential contenders hit out at the administration yesterday, with Jeb Bush describing the deal as “dangerous, deeply  flawed and short sighted,” while Sen Marco Rubio accused the deal of  “undermining our national security.” [The Hill’s Jonathan Easley]

The nuclear accord will likely face a “fight” when it reaches Congress, however the odds of a “resolution of disapproval” succeeding are slim given the requirement of at least six Democrat votes to pass through the Senate. [Reuters’ Patricia Zengerle]

A similar approach to North Korea’s nuclear program should be adopted following the success of the negotiation route with Iran, according to the Beijing government’s official newspaper, asserting that China’s preference for talks over sanctions is correct. [Reuters]

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is “among the most important arbiters of the deal’s fate,” a figure who still remains a “wild card” moving forward into the implementation stage of the agreement, report Jay Solomon and Carol E. Lee. [Wall Street Journal]

Following the conclusion of the accord, Iran is “projecting itself as an island of stability in a sea of trouble and demanding to be treated as an equal,” but the barriers preventing Iran from asserting itself in the region and achieving greater cooperation with the U.S. are clear, reports Ian Black. [The Guardian]

“Russia was a help on this,” said President Obama during an interview yesterday with Thomas Friedman at the New York Times, in which he makes his case for the nuclear accord.

The media weighs in. The New York Times editorial board commends the deal as one which “reduces the chance of war,” and is “sound and clearly in the interest of the United States.”  The nuclear deal is a “victory for patient diplomacy,” which opens up the possibility for Iran to play a “more constructive role” in the region, writes the Guardian editorial board.  The bargain struck by Obama is “complex and costly – if ultimately preferable,” according to the Washington Post editorial board, expressing some skepticism.  Conversely, the Wall Street Journal editorial board argues that the deal “all but guarantees that Tehran will eventually become a nuclear power.”

A public letter to Obama from a bipartisan group of nuclear and Middle East experts last month had an impact on the final agreement, the reactions of whom indicate the “sheer weightiness” of the accord reached, writes William J. Broad. [New York Times]

“[W]e’re finally seeing something resembling the new approach to foreign policy” which formed such an intrinsic component to Obama’s campaign, writes Joshua Keating at Slate.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be held “solely responsible” for the failure of the country’s diplomatic efforts in preventing an Iran deal; Akiva Eldar explains why. [Al-Monitor]

The Economist provides a helpful overview of the sticking points in the negotiations and how they panned out in the final agreement, concluding that the deal is “much better than any of the plausible alternatives.”

“A simple guide” to the Iran deal is provided by William J. Broad and Sergio Peçanha at the New York Times.

IRAQ and SYRIA

Iraq called for “uninterrupted” Turkish military support against ISIS, following the announcement of plans for Iraqi police to train in Turkey. Turkey has yet to actively participate in the U.S.-led anti-ISIS coalition. [AFP]

The Syrian conflict’s refugee crisis will irrevocably alter regional politics, given the enormous number of people forced to flee, reports Charles Glass for the Intercept.

U.S.-led airstrikes continue. The U.S. and coalition military forces carried out 7 airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria on July 13. Separately, military forces conducted a further 20 strikes on targets in Iraq. [Central Command]

To combat ISIS online the U.S. should learn from China and Russia, writes Kalev Leetaru for Foreign Policy.

A U.K. radio campaign appeals to young women not to join ISIS, as authorities fear the onset of summer holidays might result in more British youth travelling to join the group. [Al Jazeera’s Charlie Angela]

Sanctions will be lifted off an Iranian general whose role in Iraq left “American blood on his hands,” as part of the terms of the Iranian negotiation. Qasem Soleimani is one of several “questionable” beneficiaries of the deal. [The Daily Beast’s Shane Harris]

“Kurdish territorial gains without sufficient local support … is a recipe for political failure and future instability,” writes Denise Natali, providing a detailed look at the coalition’s “quagmire” with the Syrian Kurds in the fight against the Islamic State. [Al-Monitor]

RUSSIA and UKRAINE

Two police officers were injured in explosions in western Ukraine, where the President has issued orders to disarm “illegal groups” amid escalating tensions with paramilitary forces. [The Guardian’s Alec Luhn]

The U.S. would “rather that Russia did not exist at all,” according to Putin’s top security adviser, Nikolai Patrushev, in an interview with Kommersant.

OTHER DEVELOPMENTS

Saudi-backed Yemeni fighters reclaimed the port of Aden from Houthi rebels, including the international airport – the Houthis’ biggest setback in the last three months. [Reuters]  As Saudi-led airstrikes continued throughout the rest of Yemen, the UN-brokered humanitarian truce collapsed, though some aid succeeded in making it into the country. [Al Jazeera]

Kuwait will try 29 people for their alleged involvement in a terror attack at a mosque last month. The defendants span a range of nationalities. [AP]

Radicalized young men in Tunisia are crossing into Libya, succumbing to extremist propaganda and joining jihad groups. [The Guardian’s Eileen Byrne]

Taliban leader, Mullah Omar lauded the “legitimate” peace talks with Afghanistan and emphasized Taliban confidence in the negotiations to “bring an end to the occupation” of Afghanistan. [AFP]

Two drones crashed in Lebanon, at least one was identified as an Israeli aircraft. [Al Monitor’s Jean Aziz]

Controversial Japanese security bills expanding the Self-Defense Forces’ mission overseas survived the Lower House committee, despite stirring political opposition. [Japan Times’ Reiji Yoshida and Mizuho Aoki]

European countries indirectly aided rebels in the Central African Republic by trading with logging companies complicit in militia violence, reveals a Global Witness report.

The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act will be revived by Senators in early August, after being delayed by disagreement surround reform of the NSA and fears it would enable collection of private consumer information. [The Hill’s Cory Bennett]

U.K. surveillance powers are outdated and ineffective, according to a review conducted by the Royal United Services Institute that recalls the conclusions of David Anderson QC’s report on terrorism laws from last month. [BBC]

The victims of the OPM data hack have yet to be officially notified of the breach on their personal information, said government officials. [Reuters’ Mark Hosenball] 

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About the Author(s)

Nadia O'Mara

Former Assistant News Editor at Just Security

Sarika Arya

Former Summer Fellow at Just Security Follow her on Twitter (@sarika_arya).