Ian's Feed
Feb 22, 2012

U.N. watchdog says nuclear talks with Iran failed

VIENNA (Reuters) – The U.N. nuclear watchdog said on Wednesday it had failed to secure an agreement with Iran during two days of talks over disputed atomic activities and that the Islamic Republic had rejected a request to visit a key military site.

In the second such trip in less than a month, a senior team from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had travelled to Tehran to press Iranian officials to start addressing mounting concerns that the Islamic Republic may be seeking to develop nuclear weapons.

Feb 19, 2012

U.N. inspectors to press Iran over nuclear concerns

VIENNA (Reuters) – U.N. nuclear inspectors headed to Iran on Sunday for talks aimed at getting Tehran to start addressing their mounting concerns that it may be seeking to develop atomic bombs.

“We hope to have a couple of good and constructive days in Tehran,” Herman Nackaerts, deputy director general of the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said at Vienna airport as the five-member team prepared to depart.

Feb 17, 2012
via Breakingviews

Two-speed euro zone risks permanent divide

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By Ian Campbell

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

The euro zone’s fourth-quarter numbers conjure images of an arduous pan-European cycling race. France and Germany are pulling away from the pack, while the countries of the periphery are bunched together, wobbling and falling further behind. Fiscal cuts are sapping the periphery’s speed. The question is whether their competitiveness is improving. Labour cost and trade figures don’t suggest it is – at least not yet.

Feb 17, 2012

U.N.’s Ban to defiant Iran: prove atom work peaceful

VIENNA (Reuters) – The United Nations chief urged Iran Friday to implement Security Council resolutions under which Tehran should curb sensitive nuclear activity, but the Islamic state once again signaled it has no intention of doing so.

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also said Iran must cooperate fully with the U.N. atomic watchdog, which will send a senior team to Tehran next week to seek explanations for a trove of intelligence suggesting Iran has tried to design atomic bombs.

Feb 17, 2012

Iran offers “new initiatives” for talks with powers

VIENNA (Reuters) – Iran, facing sanctions that could cripple its oil exports, has told world powers it wants to resume long-stalled talks with “new initiatives,” and France said it might be open to addressing suspicions about its nuclear program.

Tehran made the offer in a letter to the EU’s foreign policy chief obtained by Reuters Thursday, a day after it trumpeted several advances in nuclear know-how and sent oil prices upward.

Feb 16, 2012

Iran seeks new talks with powers, vague on nuclear issue

VIENNA (Reuters) – Iran, facing harsher sanctions targeting its economically vital oil exports, has told world powers it wants to resume long-frozen talks soon but left vague whether it is ready to address concerns about its nuclear activity, as they insist.

Tehran made the offer in a letter to the EU’s foreign policy chief obtained by Reuters on Thursday, a day after it trumpeted several advances in nuclear know-how and sent oil prices upward with suggestions of economic reprisal in what may have been moves to boost its leverage before any fresh negotiations.

Feb 16, 2012

Iran wants early resumption of nuclear talks

VIENNA (Reuters) – Iran has proposed a resumption of long-stalled nuclear talks with world powers in which Tehran would have “new initiatives”, according to a letter from Tehran to European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton obtained by Reuters on Thursday.

The brief letter, which offered no specific proposals in the nuclear dispute, may not convince Western states that Iran is ready to enter the kind of substantive negotiations tackling its nuclear work they say is needed to resolve the longstanding row.

Feb 16, 2012

Iran wants early resumption of nuclear talks: letter

VIENNA (Reuters) – Iran has proposed a resumption of long-stalled nuclear talks with world powers in which Tehran would have “new initiatives,” according to a letter from Tehran to European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton obtained by Reuters on Thursday.

The brief letter, which offered no specific proposals in the nuclear dispute, may not convince Western states that Iran is ready to enter the kind of substantive negotiations tackling its nuclear work they say is needed to resolve the longstanding row.

Feb 15, 2012
via Breakingviews

Moody’s shows UK needs more austerity, not less

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By Ian Campbell

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

How cruel. Moody’s is threatening to dump the UK’s triple-A rating. Its justification – “materially weaker growth prospects” – has been seized by the government’s opponents to attack spending cuts. But Moody’s warning is in reality a Valentine to austerity. George Osborne, the UK Chancellor, really does need to continue his policy of tough love.

Feb 15, 2012

U.N. nuclear watchdog set for high-stakes Iran talks

VIENNA (Reuters) – The U.N. nuclear watchdog sent its top brass to an Iranian embassy event in Vienna last week, but the goodwill gesture likely won’t be enough to win over Tehran to transparency about its nuclear activity at crunch talks in Tehran next week.

The attempt by the International Atomic Energy Agency to reach out, with the rare presence of IAEA chief Yukiya Amano and two deputies at an embassy reception marking the 1979 Islamic Revolution, was hailed as “positive” by state media in Tehran.