Ian's Feed
Jan 17, 2012
via Breakingviews

Stalling German motor is Europe’s other difficulty

Photo

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.

Jan 13, 2012

West skeptical of Iranian nuclear cooperation

VIENNA (Reuters) – Iran will need to show genuine readiness to address mounting suspicions about its nuclear program at rare talks with senior U.N. officials this month to convince a skeptical West that it is not just playing for time.

With Iran facing intensifying sanctions pressure, a high-level team from the U.N. atomic watchdog is expected to visit this month, seeking explanations on long-standing concerns that Iran may be seeking to develop nuclear arms capability.

Jan 11, 2012
via Breakingviews

Fast-train UK hopes for some Olympic speed

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

The unthinkable has happened. The UK, traditionally associated with trains that stop all too often, is going ahead with a high-speed railway. Another sort of speed, of the Olympic variety, may mean the UK as a whole runs a bit faster than expected this year.

Jan 11, 2012

EU ministers plan Iran oil embargo, IAEA team to visit

TEHRAN/VIENNA (Reuters) – Europe and Japan moved ahead Tuesday in planning for punitive cuts in oil imports from Iran, where a senior official dismissed Western anger at news Tehran is enriching uranium deep underground as cover for ulterior motives.

A day after Iran confirmed the start of enrichment at a mountain bunker near the holy city of Qom – and sentenced an American to death for spying – the European Union brought forward a ministerial meeting that is likely to match new U.S. measures to hamper Iran’s oil exports.

Jan 10, 2012

EU, Japan prepare for Iran oil embargo

TEHRAN/VIENNA (Reuters) – Europe and Japan moved ahead on Tuesday in planning for punitive cuts in oil imports from Iran, where a senior official dismissed Western anger at news Tehran is enriching uranium deep underground as cover for ulterior motives.

A day after Iran confirmed the start of enrichment at a mountain bunker near the holy city of Qom – and also sentenced an American to death for spying – the European Union brought forward a ministerial meeting that is likely to match new U.S. measures to hamper Iran’s oil exports.

Jan 10, 2012

Iran starts uranium enrichment, condemns American to death

TEHRAN/VIENNA (Reuters) – Iran has begun enriching uranium deep inside a mountain and sentenced an American to death for spying, angering the West and undermining hopes that diplomacy could avert further sanctions or war.

The start of enrichment at the Fordow bunker near the Shi’ite Muslim holy city of Qom was confirmed on Monday by an Iranian official in Tehran and by the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency.

Jan 9, 2012

Iran starts underground nuclear work, condemns American to die

TEHRAN/VIENNA (Reuters) – Iran has switched on a uranium enrichment plant inside a mountain and sentenced an American to death for spying, actions sure to provoke Western anger and undermine diplomacy aimed at averting further sanctions or war.

The start of enrichment at the Fordow bunker near the Shi’ite Muslim holy city of Qom was confirmed on Monday by an Iranian official in Tehran and by the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency, which has inspected it.

Jan 9, 2012

Iran condemns American to die, starts nuclear bunker

TEHRAN/VIENNA (Reuters) – Iran announced on Monday it had sentenced a dual U.S.-Iranian citizen to death as a spy, and diplomats said it had switched on a uranium enrichment plant deep inside a mountain, actions certain to infuriate the West.

The moves come at a time when new U.S. sanctions are causing real economic pain, Iran has spooked oil markets with threats to international shipping, and an election in two months is widening political divisions at home.

Jan 9, 2012

Iran starts nuclear work in mountain bunker: diplomats

VIENNA (Reuters) – Iran has started refining uranium deep inside a mountain, diplomatic sources said on Monday, a move likely to exacerbate a dispute with Western powers that suspect Tehran is seeking a nuclear weapons capability.

The sources said uranium enrichment to a fissile purity of 20 percent had begun at the Fordow underground site near the Shi’ite Muslim holy city of Qom, signaling Iran’s defiance in the face of intensifying Western pressure to curb such activity.

Jan 6, 2012

Iran close to starting nuclear work in bunker: diplomats

VIENNA (Reuters) – Iran has taken steps in recent weeks that bring it closer to launching uranium enrichment deep inside a mountain, diplomatic sources say, a move that would worsen its nuclear confrontation with the West.

Iran has said for months that it is preparing to conduct uranium enrichment at Fordow – a protected site deep underground where it says it wants to make material for a peaceful nuclear reactor – but it has yet to start.