Iran Deal: Extensions likely as talks get down to wire

Another extension on negotiations looks like the most likely outcome for continued nuclear talks between the P5+1 Powers (Germany, Russia, China, the US, France, and Britain) and Iran. With the deadline approaching tonight at 12 am – Iran’s top negotiator Abbas Araqchi reported back to Tehran on Sunday to discuss new terms with Supreme Leader…

Afghanistan: Report Suggests Minimal ISIL Presence in Country

The Islamic State’s activities in Afghanistan have been limited, according to a new report issued by the Pentagon. The activities of the extremist organization have, according to the report, been thus far focused on exploration and have not included widespread recruiting or military campaigns. Furthermore, the province in which the report alleges ISIL to be…

Kazakhstan announces shift to floating exchange rate in 3-5 years

The Central Bank of Kazakhstan’s governor, Kairat Kelimbetov, tantalizingly announced once again that it intends to move away from its currency peg to the dollar and move towards what it called an “inflation targeting” method, implying a switch to a floating exchange rate regime. Bloomberg conducted an extensive interview with Kelimbetov where he explicitly stated…

Iran: Western Oil Majors Meet with Government in Tehran

Representatives from several Western oil majors including Royal Dutch Shell and Eni recently held meetings with Iranian officials in Tehran. The meetings are the first of their kind following the tentative Iranian nuclear framework deal, and demonstrate the existing level of interest in the Iranian nuclear program. According to Shell representatives, the recent meetings revolved…

Afghanistan: Taliban Lay Siege to Parliament in Kabul

The Afghan Taliban took credit for Sunday’s siege on the Afghan parliament in Kabul. The attack was perpetrated by seven Taliban, one suicide bomber and six gunmen, and culminated in the death of the seven attackers and two civilian bystanders. No members of the military were killed during the especially brazen attack on the Wolesi…

Russia considers additional counter-sanctions against EU

As EU Leaders mull the passage or extension of its sanctions against Russian leaders and upper class, an economic aide in the Kremlin said that the Russian government is considering additional measures that can be taken in response, in addition to the already-in-place ban on Western food imports and travel bans on European officials. Either…