Ian's Feed
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.

Sep 12, 2011

U.N. atom chief defends safety plan against critics

VIENNA (Reuters) – The U.N. atomic agency chief defended on Monday his proposals to boost global nuclear safety against criticism that they had been watered down, insisting the measures would help lead to a significant improvement in standards.

Japan’s Fukushima reactor disaster six months ago spurred a rethink about nuclear energy worldwide and calls for more concerted measures, including beefed-up safety checks of reactors, to make sure such an accident does not recur.

Sep 12, 2011

Syria offers nuclear cooperation, IAEA says

VIENNA (Reuters) – Syria has offered to cooperate with a U.N. nuclear watchdog probe into a suspected reactor site after years of stonewalling, and a meeting on the issue has been proposed for October, the Vienna-based agency’s head said on Monday.

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Yukiya Amano said he was hoping to get “full information” about the desert site of Dair Alzour, which was bombed by Israel in 2007.

Sep 12, 2011

U.N. nuclear chief says more concerned about Iran

VIENNA (Reuters) – The head of the U.N.’s atomic watchdog said he was increasingly concerned on Monday about possible activity in Iran to develop a nuclear missile and accused Tehran of failing to cooperate fully with his inspectors.

Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, told the IAEA’s 35-nation board he hoped to “set out in greater detail the basis for the agency’s concerns so that all member states are fully informed.”

Sep 9, 2011

North Korea may need more atomic tests – U.S. expert

VIENNA (Reuters) – North Korea has “good technical reasons” to carry out at least one more atomic test if it wants to develop a nuclear-armed missile, a prominent U.S. scientist who has often visited the reclusive Asian state said on Friday.

The North tested nuclear devices in 2006 and 2009, but still has not shown it has a working nuclear bomb.