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President Bush denies any intention of invading Iran, but he's been warning about its activities in Iraq and its growing influence in the Middle East. After years of enmity, what's the state of relations between Iran and Iraq? With America's military build-up in the Persian Gulf, could the proxy war with Iran turn into the real thing? Plus, the commander of US forces in the Middle East says it's time to redefine goals in Iraq.  On Reporter's Notebook, regulators say nuclear power plants don't need additional protection against 9/11-type attacks from the air.

Making News It's Time to Redefine the Goals in Iraq 6 MIN, 8 SEC

Army General David Petraeus is already the new commander of troops in Iraq.  Today, Senators heard from Admiral William Fallon, nominated as commander of forces in all of the Middle East, Africa and Afghanistan. Fallon was cautiously diplomatic when responding to South Carolina Republican Lindsay Graham, who asked how Fallon feels about the President's increase of 21,500 troops.  Peter Spiegel is following the story for the Los Angeles Times.

Peter Spiegel, Financial Times (@SpiegelPeter)

Main Topic Is It 'War by Other Means' against Iran? 32 MIN, 49 SEC

President Bush said flatly yesterday there's no intention to "invade" Iran, but there's no doubt that the US is becoming more confrontational.  Nuclear development isn't the only issue. There are Iran's alleged activities in Iraq and its support for Hamas and Hezbollah.  Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia reportedly are increasingly alarmed, and even Israel now calls those countries "helpful."  What's the state of relations between Iran and Iraq?  After their long and bloody war, are Shiite rulers bringing them closer together?  Will the proxy war between the US and Iran turn into the real thing? We get perspective from journalists and experts on the Middle East, including a former advisor to the Iraq Study Group.

Laura Rozen, Al-Monitor (@lrozen)
Trita Parsi, National Iranian American Council (@tparsi)
Joshua Muravchik, Johns Hopkins University (@joshuamuravchik)
Phebe Marr, former advisor, Iraq Study Group

Reporter's Notebook Feds Reject Nuclear Plant Protection from Air Attack 10 MIN, 21 SEC

The 911 Commission reported that America's 103 nuclear power plants were targets considered by the al Qaeda terrorists who destroyed the World Trade Center. Anti-nuclear groups backed by eight state attorneys general have demanded that the plants be protected against attacks by hijacked airplanes. Yesterday, saying that the "inherently robust structures" provide "adequate protection in a hypothetical attack by an airplane," the Nuclear Regulatory Commission unanimously agreed there is no need for shields made of steel I-beams and cabling to provide further protection.  Steve Mufson covers energy issues for the Washington Post.

Steven Mufson, Washington Post (@StevenMufson)

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