A November 13 press release issued by the UNODC — the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime — stated that opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan rose 36 percent in 2013, which is a record high. Additionally, opium production amounted to 5,500 tons, up by 49 percent since 2012.
Speaking during talks conducted in Vienna by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) — the UN’s nuclear watchdog — Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said on October 28 that Iran will offer a “new approach” toward settling the ongoing controversy over his nation’s nuclear fuel enrichment program.
Saudi National Security Council head Prince Bandar bin Sultan has predicted that Saudi Arabia will make a “major shift” in relations with the United States to protest what Saudis regard as American inaction over Syria's civil war, among other factors. Bandar, who is very familiar with America, was the Saudi Ambassador to the United States from 1983 until 2005.