Daily Archives: October 12, 2011

US Attorney General Eric Holder (R), Preet Bharara, US Attorney for the Southern District of New York (C) and FBI director Robert Mueller (L) announce a plot was foiled involving men allegedly linked to the Iranian government to kill the Saudi ambassador to the US. Photo credit: Getty Images

By David Gardner, international affairs editor

The US accusations that Iran is behind a plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the US – possibly by blowing up a Washington restaurant he frequents – are, frankly, weird.

There is presumably some substance to it; it is the US attorney general and head of the FBI announcing the charges, and the Obama administration is clearly taking the plot very seriously.

But there are obvious objections. Why would Iran so up the ante in its three decades-long cold war with the US, by carrying out an outrage on American soil? While what we are accustomed to thinking of as the Tehran theocracy is no monolith, and a rogue operation is possible, what urgent motive could there be to strike the US and the Saudis now? Read more

You do not need to believe that Yulia Tymoshenko is an angel, to find the news of her seven-year prison sentence deeply depressing. The imprisonment of the former prime minister of Ukraine suggests that the high hopes of the Orange Revolution of 2004 have now dwindled away – and Ukraine is relapsing into crooked authoritarianism. The debate will now begin on “Who lost Ukraine?” Read more


Welcome to our continuing coverage of the eurozone crisis. All times are London time. This post should update every few minutes, but it may take longer on mobile devices. By John Aglionby and David Crouch on the world news desk in London, with contributions from FT correspondents around the world.

José Manuel Barroso, the European Commission president, has set out his bank recapitalisation plans, while the temperature is rising for Silvio Berlusconi after he lost a parliamentary vote last night, and Slovakian politicians are plotting their next moves after blocking the expanded eurozone rescue fund. Read more