FROM Angus McDowall
Another Growing Crisis in the Middle East Iran has released a videotape and three letters purporting to be from Faye Turney, the lone woman among fifteen British captives, apologizing for crossing into Iran's territorial waters. Today, a second detainee, Nathan Thomas Summers, is shown on video, once again with an apology. Tony Blair calls Iran's actions disgusting violations of international law that will isolate Iran from the rest of the world. At the same time, both Iran and the US are conducting naval maneuvers in the Persian Gulf--the US with two aircraft carriers and dozens of other ships. What are the prospects for resolution or escalation as neither side shows any sign of backing down? Today's confrontation is a current affair, but there are centuries of history behind it. What's the history of British and American relations with oil-rich Iran?
Iran Downplays British Soldiers' Arrest, US War Games In the Persian Gulf, the US Navy has begun its largest demonstration of force in the Gulf since the Iraq invasion. The massive maneuvers come just four days after Iran's capture of British Marines and sailors in disputed waters. British officials in Iran have not been allowed to see the 14 men and one woman. Prime Minister Tony Blair is demanding their immediate release . Angus McDowall is Tehran Correspondent for the Independent in Britain.
Will America's Next War Be with Iran? Iran is expanding its influence in Iraq, supporting Hamas and Hezbollah and threatening Israel's right to exist. This week, the President, Vice President and Secretaries of State and Defense have warned Iran to back off. At the same time the US is doubling its air and sea power in the Persian Gulf, a move one calls " gunboat diplomacy " aimed at Iran. What is the likelihood of a wider war in the Middle East? Would the President need the approval of Congress for strikes against Iran? If the US fails to attack Iran's nuclear installations, will Israel do the job? We hear from journalists, economists, political scientists and Middle East experts.
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.
What is Trump's plan for Middle East peace? On his first foreign tour, President Trump has promised "peace" between Israel and the Palestinians. Are there any details for re-starting talks that have been stalled for the past three years?
The Trump agenda: where's the beef? President Trump says big things are happening. After celebrating a House bill on health care, he doesn’t yet have Senate agreement. With James Comey’s public testimony scheduled tomorrow, the President today tweeted his selection of a new FBI Director. Is the Chief Executive all style and no substance? Later, terror attacks in Iran and conflicting claims about who’s behind them.