Ian's Feed
Apr 30, 2012

Iran hopes for “successful” nuclear talks with U.N.

VIENNA (Reuters) – An Iranian envoy voiced hope on Monday that talks with the U.N. nuclear watchdog in mid-May would help resolve “outstanding issues”, but he again ruled out any halt to Tehran’s controversial uranium enrichment program.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Saturday it would resume discussions with Iran on May 14-15 – more than two months after the last meeting over concerns about Tehran’s atomic activities ended in failure.

Apr 27, 2012

Could North Korea test “uranium bomb” for first time?

VIENNA (Reuters) – North Korea, believed to be preparing for a third nuclear test, would probably be able to make and explode a uranium device for the first time after earlier relying on plutonium, a former chief U.N. inspector said.

If it were to do so, that would show North Korea had developed the technology to produce highly enriched uranium (HEU), putting it in a position to build up larger stocks of weapons-grade material.

Apr 25, 2012

Ex-Iran negotiator: “historic” chance for nuke talks

VIENNA (Reuters) – Iran and major nations have a “historic opportunity” to settle their decade-old nuclear dispute, but requiring the Islamic state to stop higher-grade uranium enrichment would be discriminatory, Tehran’s former chief nuclear negotiator said.

Hossein Mousavian, now a visiting scholar at Princeton University in the United States, voiced optimism before next month’s talks between Iran and the six major powers following a first meeting in Istanbul earlier this month.

Apr 24, 2012
via Breakingviews

Markets threaten no growth, no austerity Europe


By Ian Campbell

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Global equity and commodity and euro zone debt markets are at risk of a sizeable correction. French and Dutch political uncertainty and a worsening European recession will feed global concerns about growth and debt. The deepest worry is that as Europe’s economy weakens, the uncertainty about how to address the crisis only increases.

Apr 19, 2012

Iran open for IAEA talks, no word on Parchin: diplomats

VIENNA (Reuters) – Iran says it is ready to resume talks with the U.N. nuclear watchdog two months after their last meeting ended in failure, but still appears to be stonewalling a request for access to a key military site, Western diplomats said on Thursday.

Just days after Iran and six world powers restarted negotiations in Istanbul, the Islamic Republic delivered a letter to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on holding new discussions with the U.N. body as well.

Apr 15, 2012

Diplomacy will dampen Iran war talk – for now

ISTANBUL, April 15 (Reuters) – Renewed diplomacy on Iran’s
nuclear programme will muffle what Barack Obama last month
called the “drums of war”, but the beat will soon get louder if
warm words do not lead swiftly to action that can defuse the
decade-old dispute.

For over a year until this weekend in Istanbul, negotiations
had been frozen; aides to the U.S. president have warned of a
“closing window” for talking before Washington, or its Israeli
ally, might start shooting; and Tehran, squeezed by Western
sanctions, threatened to blockade Gulf tankers – all of which
had driven up oil prices for an already labouring world economy.

Apr 15, 2012

Iran, big powers agree – to keep talking

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – After a year of sanctions and saber-rattling over Iran’s nuclear program, negotiators from Tehran and six world powers finally resumed talks and found at least enough common ground to agree to meet again next month.

With threats of war hanging over an already unsettled Middle East, U.S. and other Western diplomats welcomed their Iranian counterparts willingness in Istanbul on Saturday to discuss their nuclear activities – something they had refused since early last year.

Apr 14, 2012

Hopes high as Iran nuclear talks resume in Turkey

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Talks between Iran and six world powers resumed in Turkey on Saturday after a 15-month gap, as delegates sought to find ways of resolving a dispute over Tehran’s nuclear programme and easing fears of a new Middle East war.

One diplomat described the atmosphere as “completely different” from that of previous meetings, as Western delegates watched out for signs that Iran was ready to engage seriously after more than a year of threats and accusations.

Apr 13, 2012

Powers seek to ease nuclear deadlock with Iran

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Iran and world powers have a rare chance on Saturday to halt a downward diplomatic spiral over Tehran’s nuclear program and ease fears of a new Middle East war when they resume stalled talks, but diplomats warn against expecting quick results.

The negotiations in Istanbul, the first between Iran and the six powers in 15 months, are unlikely to yield any major breakthrough but Western diplomats hope at last to see readiness from Tehran to start discuss issues of substance.

Apr 13, 2012

Iran, powers set for high-stakes nuclear talks

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Iran and the six world powers prepared on Friday for rare talks aimed at easing fears that a deepening dispute over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program could plunge the Middle East into a new war.

Senior officials from Iran and the big powers arrived in Istanbul ahead of Saturday’s bid to restart stalled diplomacy after months of soaring tension and persistent speculation that Israel might bomb Iranian nuclear sites.