Ian's Feed
Nov 21, 2011
via Breakingviews

Budapest needs IMF cash and its bitter medicine

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

On Monday Hungary was “standing on its own feet.” By Thursday it wanted a “new type of co-operation with the IMF.” The abrupt change of heart is only partial. The first central European casualty of the euro zone crisis is still trying to avoid conventional Western medicine. But if Hungary is to avert a crisis it needs both the IMF’s money and its cruel-to-be-kind prescriptions.

Nov 21, 2011

Iranian boycott mars rare Middle East nuclear talks

VIENNA (Reuters) – The U.N. nuclear chief urged Middle East adversaries on Monday to engage in “fresh thinking” in rare talks on efforts to rid the world of atom bombs, attended by Israel and Arab states but boycotted by Iran.

Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, opened a two-day meeting at IAEA headquarters that is seen as an opportunity to help build confidence and reduce deep mistrust in the volatile region.

Nov 19, 2011

U.N. nuclear watchdog board rebukes defiant Iran

VIENNA (Reuters) – The U.N. nuclear watchdog board censured Iran on Friday over mounting suspicions it is trying to develop nuclear weapons, but Tehran said the move would only strengthen its determination to press on with sensitive work.

Almost unanimously, the agency’s 35-nation board passed a resolution expressing “increasing concern” about Iran’s nuclear program, after a U.N. report last week said the Islamic state appeared to have worked on designing an atom bomb.

Nov 18, 2011

Iran to boycott Middle East nuclear talks

VIENNA (Reuters) – Iran will not attend a rare meeting for Middle East countries next week to discuss efforts to free the world of nuclear weapons, an Iranian official said, signaling worsening ties between the U.N. atomic agency and Iran.

Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran’s ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency, made the announcement after the 35-nation governing board of the IAEA adopted a resolution on Friday rebuking Tehran over its nuclear program.

Nov 18, 2011

Powers pressure Iran, IAEA chief “alerts world”

VIENNA (Reuters) – Major powers closed ranks on Thursday to increase pressure on Iran to address fears about its atomic ambitions, and the U.N. nuclear chief said it was his duty to “alert the world” about suspected Iranian efforts to develop atom bombs.

The six powers involved in diplomacy on Iran — the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany — overcame divisions exposed by a hard-hitting U.N. nuclear report on Iran last week and presented a united front toward Tehran.

Nov 17, 2011

Iran faces big power pressure, IAEA wants mission

VIENNA (Reuters) – The U.N. nuclear watchdog wants to send a high-level mission to Iran to address mounting concerns it may be seeking to design atom bombs, its head said on Thursday, and Tehran was expected to face censure at a meeting of agency member states.

An International Atomic Energy Agency report last week assessing that Iran has been conducting research and experiments geared to developing a nuclear weapons capability has stoked tensions in the Middle East and heightened Western pressure for harsher sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

Nov 17, 2011

IAEA seeks Iran mission to address nuclear fears

VIENNA (Reuters) – The United Nations nuclear watchdog wants to send a high-level mission to Iran to address mounting concerns the country may be seeking to design atomic bombs, its head said on Thursday.

An International Atomic Energy Agency report last week assessing that Iran has been conducting research and experiments geared to developing a nuclear weapons capability has stoked tensions in the Middle East and heightened Western pressure for harsher punitive sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

Nov 16, 2011

Arabs, Israel to attend nuclear talks, Iran uncertain

VIENNA (Reuters) – Arab states and Israel plan to attend a rare round of talks next week on efforts to free the world of nuclear weapons but Iran has yet to say whether it will take part, diplomats said on Wednesday.

The November 21-22 forum, hosted by the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, is seen as symbolically significant bid to bring regional foes together at the same venue, even though no concrete outcome is expected.

Nov 16, 2011

Powers make “progress” on IAEA Iran resolution

VIENNA (Reuters) – World powers are making progress in narrowing their differences on how to respond to a U.N. watchdog report that aired intelligence suggesting Iran has worked on designing a nuclear weapon, Western diplomats said on Wednesday.

They said officials from the six big powers — the United States, Russia, China, France, Germany and Britain — were in intense negotiations on drafting a resolution on Iran for a November 17-18 board meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Nov 15, 2011

Big power unity on Iran at stake at UN nuclear meet

VIENNA (Reuters) – Western states will try this week to overcome divisions with Russia over a U.N. nuclear report on Iran, hoping to show big power unity that will pile pressure on Tehran to address growing fears that it wants atomic bombs.

But Western diplomats fear they may have to choose between a tough stance that alienates Russia and China and a gentler, more inclusive approach which they say does not reflect the seriousness of a U.N. atomic watchdog report issued last week.