IAEA anti-Iran resolution
The IAEA Board of Governors convenes a meeting in the Austrian capital amid a push by the US and its western allies for an anti-Iran resolution. Tehran has, however, vowed a proportionate response to any anti-Iran measure at the agency’s meeting. Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman has dismissed as unconstructive the potential resolution drafted by the US, the UK, France and Germany with the backing of Israel. Saeed Khatibzadeh said the resolution will have a negative impact on Iran's cooperation with the UN agency and on the JCPOA revival talks. The measure is aimed at accusing Iran of lacking cooperation with the IAEA and not doing enough to resolve the so-called outstanding issues with the agency. The IAEA chief, meanwhile, has repeated his rhetoric against Iran’s nuclear program.
Israeli aggression in Syria
The Syrian media says the country’s air defenses have intercepted Israeli missiles over the southern part of Damascus province. According to a military source, Israeli missiles were fired at targets south of the capital Damascus from the occupied Golan Heights. The source added that Syria’s air defenses shot down most Israeli missiles and the attack only caused material damage. Israel frequently attacks Syria, but rarely claims responsibility. Damascus says Tel Aviv carries out the attacks to aid terrorist groups fighting against the Syrian army. Damascus has repeatedly complained to the United Nations about Israel’s raids, calling for international condemnation of the violation of its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
US warning to North Korea
The United States is sending a message to North Korea that it is ready to act forcefully if Pyongyang conducts a nuclear test. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, who is currently visiting Seoul, says Pyongyang’s possible nuke test will be at the heart of the conversation during a meeting with her South Korean and Japanese counterparts tomorrow. Meantime, Seoul and Washington have put on a new show of force against the North, by flying 20 warplanes in formation. Earlier, they engaged in a tit-for-tat launch of eight missiles, in response to one of the largest missile tests ever by Pyongyang. There is also speculation that the North is preparing for a nuclear test in the days ahead. If conducted, that would be its first, in five years.