Top news: New data released by the International Energy Agency (IEA) suggest that the U.S. and EU sanctions against Iran have substantially impacted the country's oil industry, on which it is heavily reliant. Over the last three months, the country's exports have been slashed by nearly a third and in September, oil deliveries dropped to a new low of 860,000 barrels per day. The IEA report noted that restrictions on tanker insurance, in particular, have been crippling for Iran.
Sanctions have also taken a toll on the Iranian rial, which lost 40 percent of its value this month alone. And as the New York Times reports, the restrictions may also prevent Iran's central bank from printing its way out of the crisis because Europe's bank note industry, which has historically served Iran, is barred from doing business there.
The situation in Iran will likely worsen as a result of a new round of sanctions, approved by EU foreign ministers on Monday, which target Iran's banking, energy, and shipping sectors. But as the Washington Post reports, Turkey, which was exempted from the latest round of U.S. sanctions, will likely continue to keep Iran afloat in the coming months.
Election 2012: President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney went head to head last night in the second presidential debate, structured as a town hall discussion with "undecided voters." Although the debate gave foreign policy wonks more to talk about as the candidates mentioned Afghanistan, Iraq, and Osama bin Laden in passing, only one question - on Libya - was primarily devoted to foreign policy.
- More than 5,000 people demonstrated in Kuwait over potential election law changes.
- Qatar announced a $254 million plan to modernize the Gaza Strip.
- Iraq sacked the head of its central bank over allegations of financial wrongdoing.
- A U.N. report said Rwanda and Uganda continue to support the M23 rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
- South Sudan approved a border and oil agreement with Sudan on Tuesday.
- Fighting between Nigerian troops and Boko Haram killed at least 24 people in the northern city of Maiduguri on Tuesday.
- Taliban violence has gradually returned to Bamiyan, long one of the safest provinces in Afghanistan.
- Japanese police arrested two U.S. sailors on charges of rape.
- China plans to turn the site where it detonated its first atomic bomb into a tourist attraction.
- The EU commissioner for health resigned over allegations that he attempted to influence tobacco legislation.
- British authorities refused to extradite Gary McKinnon, a hacker accused of infiltrating Pentagon computer networks.
- Switzerland has frozen roughly $1 billion that is linked to rulers or former rulers in Syria, Libya, Tunisia, and Egypt.
- Cuba will eliminate onerous travel restrictions imposed on its citizens since 1961.
- Colombia's government and FARC rebels will begin peace talks Wednesday in Oslo.
- The Inter American Press Association said that violence and authoritarianism are the two biggest challenges to the independent press in Latin America.