Ian's Feed
Jan 26, 2012
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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
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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
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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.

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
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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.