[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/11/16/christianetom.jpg caption caption="Sr. Writer for Amanpour, Tom Evans, works on scripts with Christiane"]
On AMANPOUR. today, we focus on the U.N. nuclear agency’s meeting in Vienna and Iran’s nuclear program. A recent IAEA report stated that Iran may now be trying to build a nuclear warhead and on Wednesday, the U.S. envoy to the IAEA Glyn Davies said Iran has been playing a "cat and mouse" game with the U.N. body. Iran is pushing back – accusing the IAEA of issuing a misleading and unbalanced report singling out Yukiya Amano, the new head of the IAEA, for undermining the Iran’s cooperation. Will this meeting bolster the case among U.N. Security Council members who support further, deeper sanctions against Iran and bring China and Russia onboard? We’ll find out. Iran is not the only story in the news today. Here are some perspectives.
– Tom Evans; Sr. Writer, AMANPOUR.
NUCLEAR SHOWDOWN – Are new international sanctions against Iran inevitable?
– New York Times reporting U.S. circulating new draft proposal for sanctions against Tehran over its nuclear program
– U.S. plan for new sanctions running into opposition not just from China, a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, but also other key countries such as Brazil and Turkey
– Iran’s envoy to the IAEA in Vienna is warning that Tehran may withdraw its counteroffer on the supply of nuclear fuel if there are any developments which “might disturb the climate of cooperation” as he puts it
QUESTION: Are hopes of a nuclear deal between world powers and Iran receding?
AFGHANISTAN – Is America sidelining its allies as it builds up its forces to fight the Taliban?
– NATO commander General Stanley McChrystal may create new American-led command to run military operations in Helmand province, an area that has seen a large influx of American forces to supplement British troops
– If plan goes ahead, current British commander of allied forces in southern Afghanistan would lead a new Regional Command South East focusing on Kandahar province and relinquish responsibility for Helmand province
– NATO has been conducting a major offensive in Marjah area of Helmand province, and is expected to launch a new offensive in Kandahar province in coming months, probably in the summer
QUESTION: As the United States reinforces its grip on the war in Afghanistan, how long will it be before the Afghan government can take over key military headquarters and lead the war?
GREEK CRISIS – Should Athens sell of some of its many islands to help stave off the financial crisis?
– Member of German parliament, an ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel, calls on Greece to sell some of its uninhabited islands to raise cash, as well as stakes in companies the government partially owns
– Greece has 6,000 islands off its coast, of which only 227 are inhabited, according to Greece’s national tourism office
– Merkel to hold critical talks with Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou on Friday to discuss ways to end the financial crisis
QUESTION: Will Germany throw its whole weight behind Greece after Athens latest austerity plan, which calls for $6.5 billion of budget cuts and tax increases?