Ian's Feed
Sep 19, 2011

Iran nuclear chief says UK spies shadowed him

VIENNA (Reuters) – Iran’s nuclear energy chief accused British spies on Monday of shadowing him around the world — even to the “back door” of his university office — to gather information ahead of a failed assassination attempt on him last year.

Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani, subject to U.N. sanctions because of what Western officials said was his involvement in suspected atomic arms research, also blamed Israel and the United States for attacks on him and other Iranian scientists.

Sep 19, 2011

Japan set to reduce nuclear reliance: minister

VIENNA (Reuters) – There is political consensus in Japan to cut the country’s reliance on nuclear power but there needs to be a public debate on how to proceed, a senior Japanese government official told the U.N.’s atomic agency on Monday.

Nuclear Disaster Minister Goshi Hosono was speaking hours after 60,000 demonstrators marched in Tokyo to demand an exit from atomic energy after the Fukushima plant catastrophe.

Sep 19, 2011

U.S. and Iran trade barbs at U.N. nuclear agency meet

VIENNA (Reuters) – The United States and Iran traded accusations at a meeting of the U.N. atomic agency on Monday, underlining the deep deadlock between the two adversaries in a long-running dispute over the Islamic state’s nuclear program.

In speeches to the annual member state gathering of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Iranian nuclear energy chief Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani and U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu took aim at the policies of their respective countries.

Sep 18, 2011

West fears possible Iran-North Korea nuclear links

VIENNA (Reuters) – It is one of the West’s biggest nuclear proliferation nightmares — that increasingly isolated Iran and North Korea might covertly trade know-how, material or technology that could be put to developing atomic bombs.

“Such a relationship would be logical and beneficial to both North Korea and Iran,” said Mark Hibbs, an expert of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Sep 17, 2011

Analysis: West fears possible Iran-North Korea nuclear links

VIENNA (Reuters) – It is one of the West’s biggest nuclear proliferation nightmares — that increasingly isolated Iran and North Korea might covertly trade know-how, material or technology that could be put to developing atomic bombs.

“Such a relationship would be logical and beneficial to both North Korea and Iran,” said Mark Hibbs, an expert of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Sep 15, 2011

Arabs to avoid targeting Israel at U.N. atom meeting

VIENNA (Reuters) – Arab states will refrain from targeting Israel over its assumed nuclear arsenal at a global meeting of U.N. atomic agency member countries next week, diplomats say, an unexpected gesture of restraint sure to be welcomed by the West.

It would be a rare conciliatory move in the volatile Middle East, where Israeli-Arab tension has risen in recent weeks over a pending Palestinian bid for statehood recognition at the United Nations this month, a move opposed by Washington.

Sep 15, 2011
via Breakingviews

UK will get QE2 – but may need fiscal help too

The odds are moving rapidly towards a launch of QE2 in the UK. A second bout of quantitative easing – printing money – would be controversial. But a fragile economy needs extreme treatment – monetarily, and probably fiscally, too.

Britain’s substantial home-grown problems are being exacerbated by crisis in the euro zone. UK unemployment crossed 2.5 million in the three months to July. Activity in services, the bulk of the economy, almost contracted in August. Wages, up just 1.7 percent in the past year, are falling fast in real terms, impoverishing consumers and threatening deflation. And exports are stalling: the euro zone is the UK’s main trade partner.

Sep 14, 2011

Alarmed West dismisses Iran nuclear “charm offensive”

VIENNA (Reuters) – Western powers said on Wednesday there was growing evidence suggesting Iran was working to develop a nuclear missile and a recent “charm offensive” by Tehran failed to address those fears.

Statements by Britain, Germany, France and the United States at a board meeting of the U.N. nuclear watchdog made clear they were not impressed with an Iranian effort to show increased openness about its disputed atomic activities.

Sep 13, 2011

Iran stresses its nuclear “rights” in letter to EU

VIENNA (Reuters) – Iran has told the EU’s foreign policy chief it is ready to hold fresh nuclear talks, but won’t back down on its “rights” in its nuclear row with the West.

The letter from Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili to EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, dated September 6 and obtained by Reuters on Tuesday, seemed unlikely to be welcomed by Western powers as signaling a substantive step forward.

Sep 13, 2011

IAEA states adopt nuclear safety action plan

VIENNA, Sept 13 (Reuters) – The U.N. atomic agency’s
35-nation board adopted an action plan on Tuesday to strengthen
global nuclear safety following Japan’s Fukushima accident six
months ago, despite criticism from several states that the
proposals had been watered down.

The board of governors approved by consensus the eight-page
document put forward by Director General Yukiya Amano of the
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), setting out a series
of voluntary steps meant to enhance standards worldwide.