Iran

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, right, and Madison County State's Attorney Tom Gibbons take part in a roundtable on heroin abuse on Monday in Granite City.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin provided a fairly blunt reply to the proposition that the War on Drugs failed.

“By some measure, it has failed,” said Durbin, D-Ill. “If the measure is the cost of drugs on the street, it has failed. But when we look at the individual lives saved, there are certainly heroic great stories to be told. But we have to be honest about what works and what doesn’t.”

President Obama will speak to the press about the Iran nuclear deal on Wednesday, June 15, 2015.
Flickr | Official White House Flickr account

President Obama will take questions from the press today at noon on the Iran nuclear deal.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: During his 2009 Cairo speech, President Barack Obama acknowledged that in 1953 “the United States played a role in the overthrow of a democratically elected Iranian government.” The complex history that coup exemplifies must be understood as we interpret the moderate persona of Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s new president. In particular, as negotiations begin this week, Mr. Obama should recall his 2009 speech and remain sensitive to the sometimes-sordid role we have played in Iran’s history.

(Courtesy Euphrates Institute)

The animosity between the governments of Israel and Iran is significant.

Iranian Ayatollah Ali Khamenei once compared Israel to a cancerous tumor which should be “cut-off.”  President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said Israel would be “eliminated,” and that the country has no roots in the Middle East.

Israel has drawn a line in the sand and is threatening preemptive action to prevent an Iranian nuclear capability.

Two people from their respective countries, however, are engaging in peer-to-peer diplomacy, putting aside  hostility.

(Screen capture via UN video feed)

Updated 9:55 a.m. with recap, link to full remarks

President Obama addressed the opening session of the United Nations General Assembly today and touched on the Iran nuclear dispute and addressing the root causes of turmoil in the Middle East, among other topics.