WaPo Editorial: Iranian nuclear talks need to come to a close

AS THE YEAR begins, the Obama administration and its diplomatic partners are expecting the renewal of negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program, after a six-month hiatus. But there is scant indication that a breakthrough is in store. The international coalition, composed of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany, intends to offer a slightly modified version of the deal Tehran rejected last June, with the faint hope that the pain of economic sanctions might have caused Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei to soften. But there is no public sign of that: In fact, Iran has been slow to agree to a new meeting and, according to the New York Times, did not respond to a post-election feeler by the Obama administration on direct, bilateral talks.

The coalition proposal, portrayed as a confidence-building step, would address the most dangerous part of Iran’s program by requiring a freeze in the enrichment of uranium to a level of 20 percent, which is a short step from bomb-grade, and by shutting down the underground facility known as Fordow, where that enrichment takes place. Iran would also be required to ship its current stockpile of medium-enriched uranium out of the country. In return, it would receive certain economic concessions, like spare airplane parts, and perhaps a partial relaxation of some sanctions.

Continue reading at the Washington Post.

Apple reportedly looking to buy Israeli map app Waze

iPhone maker may see local startup as solution to mapping woes; company wants $750 million, but Apple offering $400-$500 million, according to reports

Apple is rumored to be looking into buying the Israeli satellite navigation application Waze, which has become a worldwide hit thanks to its melding of crowd sourcing and traffic mapping.

A possible offer stands at about $400-$500 million, industry insiders speculated — but the successful startup, which offers maps, driving directions and real-time traffic reports to mobile users, is estimated to be worth closer to $1 billion, according to the Calcalist financial newspaper.

US-based tech blog TechCrunch reported that Waze is seeking $750 million, and negotiations could take time.

Continue reading at the Times of Israel.