Ian's Feed
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.

Sep 9, 2011

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

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.

Sep 8, 2011

UN atom safety plan to win backing despite criticism

VIENNA, Sept 8 (Reuters) – The U.N. atomic agency’s
35-nation governing board is expected next week to endorse steps
to boost global nuclear safety in the wake of Japan’s Fukushima
crisis, even though some disappointed diplomats say the
proposals have been watered down.

Japan’s 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 7, 2011
via Breakingviews

Weakening UK growth creates tax cut Catch-22

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

The UK should cut taxes on high earners to stimulate growth, say some economists. Lightening the load on the poor would be better. Politically, that would be a lot easier for George Osborne. But the UK chancellor faces a Catch-22. While tax cuts would help growth, weak growth means deficit reduction already looks behind schedule. The government needs all the revenue it can muster.