Ian's Feed
Jul 15, 2012

Analysis: U.N.’s Iran atom probe “hostage” to big power diplomacy

VIENNA (Reuters) – Offering immunity or an easing of the sanctions pressure may be the only way – if there is one at all – to coax Iran to end years of stonewalling a U.N. watchdog investigation into suspected nuclear weapons research in the Islamic state.

Any such initiative would likely need to come from world powers as part of a broader diplomatic thrust to defuse the dispute over Iran’s nuclear program, leaving the investigation by the U.N. atomic agency dependent on how those talks develop.

Jul 15, 2012

UN’s Iran atom probe “hostage” to big power diplomacy

VIENNA (Reuters) – Offering immunity or an easing of the sanctions pressure may be the only way – if there is one at all – to coax Iran to end years of stonewalling a U.N. watchdog investigation into suspected nuclear weapons research in the Islamic state.

Any such initiative would likely need to come from world powers as part of a broader diplomatic thrust to defuse the dispute over Iran’s nuclear programme, leaving the investigation by the U.N. atomic agency dependent on how those talks develop.

Jul 13, 2012
via Breakingviews

Global warming adds to food inflation risk

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By Ian Campbell

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

The United States has just had its hottest first half-year ever. The corn crop is suffering, corn prices are soaring. Extreme weather is also hitting Russian wheat. Is global warming threatening a repeat of the destabilising 2011 global food price shock? Probably not this year. But the longer-term threat is troubling.

Jul 11, 2012

No foul play in death of Gaddafi oil boss-Austria

VIENNA, July 11 (Reuters) – Libya’s Gaddafi-era prime
minister and oil chief Shokri Ghanem died after suffering heart
failure and falling into the Danube river and there is no sign
of foul play, the Vienna prosecutor’s office said on Wednesday.

The mysterious death in late April shocked Ghanem’s friends
and colleagues, who at the time said they suspected enemies may
have hunted down and killed the man who knew more than anyone
else about the toppled Libyan dictator’s billions.

Jul 10, 2012
via Breakingviews

Scots aim to break Europe’s working currency union

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By Ian Campbell

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

The received wisdom is wrong. Europe doesn’t lack a functioning multi-country currency, fiscal and banking union. But it’s in the United Kingdom, not the euro zone – and Scotland ’s government is keen to break it up.

Jul 9, 2012
via Breakingviews

Central bank stimulus won’t solve the crisis

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By Ian Campbell

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

Following another weak U.S. jobs report, fear abounds. The sense is that the global economy is teetering and central banks can’t do much more. The point is that in the developed world they should not do more. Monetary policy risks becoming harmful if pushed further.

Jul 5, 2012

Iran submarine plan may fuel Western nuclear worries

VIENNA (Reuters) – Iran’s announcement that it plans to build its first nuclear-powered submarine is stoking speculation it could serve as a pretext for the Islamic state to produce highly enriched uranium and move closer to potential atom bomb material.

Western experts doubt that Iran – which is under a U.N. arms embargo – has the capability any time soon to make the kind of sophisticated underwater vessel that only the world’s most powerful states currently have.

Jun 27, 2012

West worried by China-Pakistan atomic ties: sources

VIENNA (Reuters) – Western states pressured China at closed-door talks last week to address concerns about its plans to expand a nuclear power plant in Pakistan and provide more information, but were rebuffed, two diplomatic sources said on Wednesday.

Beijing’s atomic relations with Islamabad have caused unease in Washington, Delhi and other capitals due to Pakistan’s history of spreading nuclear arms technology and fears about the integrity of international non proliferation rules.

Jun 22, 2012
via Breakingviews

Denmark is another costly refuge

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By Ian Campbell

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

European and triple-A rated? Tick. Definitely not in the euro zone? Tick. No external financing gap? Tick. With at least a few solvent banks? Yes! Denmark ticks all the boxes. It is a safe haven. Unfortunately, the little country – 5.5 million people – is crowded these days and it is charging investors to park their assets in the harbour.

Jun 20, 2012

U.S. think-tank sees more Iran site “sanitization” work

VIENNA (Reuters) – A U.S. security institute published new satellite imagery on Wednesday which it said appeared to show further activity to clean up an Iranian military site which the U.N. nuclear watchdog wants to inspect, including removing earth.

Parchin, which Iran says is a conventional military complex, is at the center of Western allegations that Iran has conducted experiments – possibly a decade ago – that could help develop atom bombs. Iran denies any such ambition.