According to Xinhua News, the Chinese government’s official press agency, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao told visiting First Vice President of Iran Mohammad Reza Rahimi on October 15 that China will maintain economic cooperation with Tehran and foster "close coordination in international affairs” with the Middle East nation. Rahimi was visiting Beijing to attend a forum of Central Asian states.
Iran’s state-sponsored Press TV news channel announced on September 28 that the nation’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) had test-fired two long-range missiles.
Appearing at a press conference at the Pittsburgh Convention Center with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and French President Nicolas Sarkozy at the Group of 20 economic summit on September 25, President Barack Obama accused Iran of building a secret nuclear fuel plant and of “threatening the security and the stability of the region and the world.”
What had previously been suspected from reports leaked from private sources is now official: U.S. Army General Stanley McChrystal, the commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, has warned that more troops are needed within the next year or the war "will likely result in failure."
A Fox News report on September 16 cited sources that said U.S. Army General Stanley McChrystal, the commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan has privately been requesting between 30,000 and 40,000 additional troops, a request that has produced "sticker shock" and "huge resistance" among key legislators.
Speaking at his first press conference since Afghanistan's August 20 presidential election, President Hamid Karzai on September 17 denied that massive fraud had taken place to win him a second term in office and blamed the West's media for the controversy surrounding the charges of vote irregularities.
Yukio Hatoyama took office on September 16 as Japan's new prime minister, following an August 30 electoral victory in which he led the Democrat Party of Japan to victory over the Liberal Democratic Party, which had governed Japan for more than 50 years. The change of government may bring with it a reassessment of Japan's support for the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan as well as other changes in the Asian nation's relations with the United States.
Afghanistan's Independent Election Commission released figures on September 16 showing President Hamid Karzai with 54.6 percent of the vote in the first complete results reported since the country's August 20 presidential election. However, the results will not be certified until the UN-backed Electoral Complaints Commission finishes examining thousands of potentially fraudulent ballots.
China's Ministry of Commerce on September 14 called for the World Trade Organization to help settle a tariff dispute with the United States over Chinese-made tires. The Chinese are objecting to the imposition of a 35 percent U.S. tariff on tires imported from China, an Obama administration response to a United Steelworkers union complaint that its members have lost 5,000 of their jobs since 2004 because of the amount of cheap Chinese imports flooding the U.S. market.
Weeks after Iraq's August 20 presidential election, with disputed returns giving incumbent President Hamid Karzai more than 50 percent of the vote — enough to avoid a runoff against challenger Abdullah Abdullah — charges of vote fraud are still being investigated by the UN-backed Electoral Complaints Commission. As the process of determining Afghanistan's new government goes on, officials from the United States and the United Kingdom, who together form the bulk of the NATO forces that helped provide enough security to hold the election, have taken a strong interest in what comes next.