Ian's Feed
Feb 3, 2012

Nuclear experts barred from Iran site: diplomats

VIENNA (Reuters) – Iran’s apparent reluctance to let U.N. inspectors visit a military site near Tehran underlines the uphill task they face in convincing the Islamic state to address suspicions it may be seeking to develop nuclear weapons, Western diplomats say.

They say the U.N. nuclear watchdog sought access to the Parchin complex during three days of talks in the Iranian capital, so far without any sign that Iran would agree to it.

Feb 3, 2012
via Breakingviews

Euro’s bounce can’t last

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

It was supposed to be the year of the U.S. dollar. So, perhaps inevitably, the euro has opened the year well, rising from $1.27 in mid-January to $1.32 now. It has been supported by the flood of fresh European Central Bank liquidity, some encouraging reforms in Italy, the prospect of Greek debt reduction and the threat of a third round of money printing by a Federal Reserve still concerned about U.S. growth. But Europe’s fundamental economic problems remain unresolved – and are likely to drag the euro down before long.

Feb 2, 2012

Little new in IAEA-Iran talks: diplomats

VIENNA (Reuters) – U.N. nuclear experts’ talks in Iran appear to have made little concrete progress, diplomats said on Thursday, setting the stage for a crucial second round this month over Western fears Tehran may aim to build atomic weapons.

Three days of discussions in Tehran which ended on Tuesday were a rare direct dialogue in the long-running international dispute, which has deepened as the West pursues a punitive embargo on Iranian oil and Tehran threatens retaliation. There are fears the confrontation could lead to a military conflict.

Jan 28, 2012

IAEA team heads to Iran to seek nuclear answers

VIENNA, Jan 28 (Reuters) – Senior United Nations
nuclear inspectors headed to Tehran on Saturday to press Iranian
officials to address suspicions that the Islamic state is
seeking atomic weapons.

The U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency hopes Iran,
which has indicated readiness to discuss the issue for the first
time since 2008, will end years of stonewalling on intelligence
pointing to an intention to develop nuclear arms technology.

Jan 26, 2012
via Breakingviews

UK’s problem: it’s the best in Europe

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By Ian Campbell

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

UK GDP stalled in the fourth quarter, contracting by 0.2 percent. That’s bad. But which major west European economy will perform best in 2012? It’s the UK again, the IMF predicted this week.

Jan 26, 2012

IAEA talks in Tehran to test Iran’s nuclear defiance

VIENNA (Reuters) – A rare visit by senior U.N. nuclear inspectors next week raises pressure on Iran to address suspicions it is trying to develop atomic weapons, though Western powers that are piling on sanctions expect no significant breakthrough.

How Tehran deals with the International Atomic Energy Agency may offer pointers to prospects for resolving a long-running dispute that an oil embargo and threats of war, along with talk of Iran closing in on nuclear weapons capability and the U.S. presidential election calendar, have escalated to crisis level.

Jan 20, 2012

IAEA rejects Iran accusation over scientist’s killing

VIENNA (Reuters) – The U.N. nuclear watchdog rejected on Friday Iranian suggestions it may have been partly to blame for the assassination of a nuclear scientist last week by leaking information about him, saying it did not know him.

The International Atomic Energy Agency, the Vienna-based U.N. nuclear body, separately confirmed that senior IAEA officials would travel to Tehran later this month for rare talks about the Islamic state’s disputed nuclear program.

Jan 18, 2012
via Breakingviews

Global inflation falls – and the global economy?

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

Spot a trend. China’s inflation is down, to 4.1 percent in December from a peak of 6.5 percent in July. India’s inflation to 7.5 percent in December from 9.1 percent in November. Euro zone inflation to 2.7 percent from 3 percent and UK inflation to 4.2 percent from 4.8 percent.

Jan 17, 2012

Iran says ready to discuss “any issues” with IAEA

VIENNA (Reuters) – Iran said on Tuesday it was open to discuss “any issues” in rare talks this month with the U.N. nuclear watchdog, which wants Tehran to address mounting concerns that it may be trying to develop nuclear weapons capability.

With the Islamic state facing intensifying sanctions aimed at its oil exports, a senior Iranian official said a high-level team from the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) would hold three days of talks in Tehran from Jan 29-31.

Jan 17, 2012
via Breakingviews

Stalling German motor is Europe’s other difficulty

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

There’s no downgrading Germany. Standard and Poor’s spared the country in its Friday attack on European sovereigns. No wonder – the German fiscal deficit came in at just 1 percent of GDP in 2011. But Germany is a big problem in another way. Its motor has just stalled again. The euro zone needs growth. Germany, its power plant, can’t even propel itself.