• The United States and allies are close to an agreement in which Iran will ship its uranium to Russia for enrichment, not to weapons grade. But Israel’s defense minister, Ehud Barak, issued a statement saying a must require “the cessation of enrichment by Iran, and not just the removal of the enriched material.” [NYT]
• One month after the Obama-Netanyahu-Abbas meeting in New York, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reported to the president yesterday that almost no progress has been made in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. [NYT]
• But U.S. Middle East Envoy George Mitchell said the talks also aren’t yet a failure. [Ynet]
• Major U.S.-Israeli joint military exercises began in the Middle East this week, but officials insist they are unrelated to current tensions in the region. [JPost]
• And Israeli Foreign Miniser Avigdor Lieberman asked U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to ensure the Goldstone report doesn’t advance further, calling the world organization “hypocrtical.” [Haaretz