Ian's Feed
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.

Jan 5, 2012

Ex-IAEA official: Iran nuclear move may raise concern

VIENNA (Reuters) – Iran appears to be testing atomic fuel intended for a planned reactor which could one day yield nuclear bomb material, a former senior United Nations nuclear official said on Thursday.

The Islamic Republic is building a heavy water research reactor near the central town of Arak, a type which Western experts say could produce plutonium for nuclear weapons. Iran says its nuclear program is entirely peaceful.

Jan 5, 2012
via Breakingviews

2012: another year of living euro-dangerously

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

Fear of euro zone breakup became the world’s leading terror in 2011. That calamity can be avoided in 2012, even if the zone may well shrink later. This year’s global question is whether the world can keep growing while Europe ails. Probably it can, but uneasily.

Jan 4, 2012

Analysis: Fuel test won’t hasten Iran bomb: experts

VIENNA (Reuters) – Iran’s latest claim of a breakthrough in its nuclear program appears unlikely to bring it any closer to having atomic bombs, but serves rather as another defiant message to the West.

This week’s announcement that Iran has successfully made and tested fuel rods for use in nuclear power plants appeared designed to show that sanctions are failing to halt its technical advances and to strengthen its hand in any renewed negotiations with the major powers.

Dec 30, 2011
via Breakingviews

BRICs raise relegation risk for European soccer

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

Global wealth is shifting south and east and the world’s best soccer players appear to be following. Nicolas Anelka is on his way from Chelsea, the top-flight London club, to Shanghai. Samuel Eto’o, meanwhile, is heading to the Russian North Caucasus region, having starred for Internazionale of Milan and a Barcelona side which is one of the finest to grace the stadiums of western Europe.

Dec 21, 2011
via Breakingviews

UK cuts pensions and workers — without a fight

By Ian Campbell

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

The compromise between the UK government and public-sector workers over pensions looks like an important breakthrough. The unions have given most ground. The government will save billions of pounds on retirement benefits over coming decades. An ugly repeat of the clashes and strikes of the Thatcher years now looks unlikely. But if David Cameron is emerging as a consensual politician, it is with a very hard edge.

Dec 20, 2011

Iran says invites UN nuclear agency to visit

VIENNA (Reuters) – Iran has invited the U.N. nuclear watchdog to visit for talks and would be ready to discuss concerns about its disputed atomic ambitions, an Iranian envoy told Reuters Tuesday.

The conciliatory gesture comes as Iran faces tightening sanctions over a nuclear program it says is for peaceful power generation but its foes suspect is aimed at developing nuclear weapons.

Dec 19, 2011

Future N.Korean leader attended Swiss school – friends

BERNE/VIENNA (Reuters) – Former pupils of a school in Switzerland believe the young lad who loved playing basketball and watching action movies and was always “good for a laugh” may have been none other than Kim Jong-un, son and anointed successor of the late North Korean leader Kim Jong-il.

Joao Micaelo, who now works as a chef in a Vienna restaurant, told Reuters he was a good friend of a North Korean teenager with a different name when they both attended the German-speaking Steinhoelzli school in Berne from 1998 to 2000.