1. NUKE CONFLICT

    Iran Reacts to EU Oil-Ban Agreement

    An Iranian Army soldier stands guard on a military speed boat during the "Velayat-90" navy exercises in the Strait of Hormuz in southern Iran on December 28, 2011 as Iran started 10 days of naval drills from December 24, covering east of Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman to the Gulf of Aden. The Strait of Hormuz, which Iran has threatened to block if the West applies sanctions on its oil exports, is a strategically important waterway through which 40 percent of the world's seaborne oil transits. AFP PHOTO/IIPA/ALI MOHAMMADI (Photo credit should read ALI MOHAMMADI/AFP/Getty Images)

    Ali Mohammadi, AFP / Getty Images

    Iran has responded to the European Union’s plan to ban all oil purchases from the country because of concerns over its nuclear program, accusing the West of waging “an economic war” through recent sanctions. “The enemies of the Islamic Republic’s regime, with all their tricks, have not been able to chain the nation, and now they want to chain the economy,” Iran’s finance minister said on Thursday. The Iranian government claims that its nuke program is peaceful, but the U.S. and other Western countries say a U.N. report reveals Iran has considered building an atomic bomb in the past. Analysts say that despite the new measures, it’s very possible that the Iranian government will continue to move forward with developing its nuclear program.

    Read it at Al Jazeera