Ian's Feed
Jun 22, 2012
via Breakingviews

Denmark is another costly refuge


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.

Jun 15, 2012

Powers want “diamonds for peanuts:” Iran ex-official

VIENNA (Reuters) – A former Iranian negotiator dismissed on Friday as “diamonds for peanuts” a proposal by world powers that Tehran halts higher-grade uranium enrichment and closes an underground nuclear site in exchange for reactor fuel and civil aviation parts.

Hossein Mousavian, now a visiting scholar at Princeton University in the United States, said he did not believe Iran would accept the offer when the two sides hold a new round of talks in Moscow next week.

Jun 13, 2012

U.N. cash gap may hinder its nuclear role: report

VIENNA (Reuters) – The United Nations’ nuclear agency is significantly underfunded, a think-tank said on Wednesday, warning the shortfall risked limiting its ability to identify covert atomic activity that might have a military dimension.

The report, issued by a Canadian think-tank, described the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as a “veritable bargain for international peace and security,” but said the Vienna-based agency needed to be reformed and better financed.

Jun 8, 2012

U.N. nuclear watchdog, Iran fail to reach deal on probe

By Fredrik Dahl

(Reuters) – The U.N. nuclear watchdog said it made no progress in talks with Iran on Friday to seal a deal on resuming a long-stalled investigation into suspected nuclear weapons research by Tehran and it called the outcome “disappointing”.

Herman Nackaerts, global head of inspections for the International Atomic Energy Agency, said after the eight-hour meeting at IAEA headquarters in Vienna that no date for further talks on the matter had been set.

Jun 8, 2012

U.N. watchdog to press Iran for access in nuclear probe

VIENNA (Reuters) – The U.N. nuclear watchdog and Iran began a new round of talks on Friday in an attempt to seal a framework deal to resume a long-stalled probe into nuclear research in the Islamic state.

The United States, European powers and Israel are anxious to curb Iranian nuclear work they suspect is intended to produce bombs. Tehran says the aims of its research programme are purely civilian.

Jun 8, 2012
via Breakingviews

UK government could stimulate with less inflation


By Ian Campbell

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

A lifeless UK, royal party aside? Yes, unfortunately. The Bank of England did not give the economy a shot more adrenalin on Thursday. Yet the third round of quantitative easing is still likely to come before the end of summer. The question is how much good QE3 would do. If action is needed to enliven the UK – and that remains arguable – it’s probably time for the government to be taking it.

Jun 7, 2012

U.N. watchdog to press Iran for access in atom probe

VIENNA (Reuters) – The U.N. nuclear watchdog will press Iran on Friday for a deal that would enable its inspectors to visit a military complex where they suspect atom bomb research has taken place, but Western diplomats are skeptical a breakthrough will be reached.

World powers will be watching the IAEA-Iran meeting in Vienna closely to judge whether the Islamic Republic is ready to make concessions before its broader talks with them later this month in Moscow on their decade-old nuclear dispute.

Jun 6, 2012

Iran spars with West before nuclear talks

VIENNA/DUBAI, June 6 (Reuters) – Iran questioned world
powers’ readiness for negotiations over its disputed nuclear
programme and accused the U.N. watchdog on Wednesday of behaving
like a Western-manipulated intelligence agency, keeping up its
sparring ahead of talks in Moscow.

Iranian media said Tehran had written twice to Britain,
France, Russia, China, the United States and Germany – otherwise
known as the P5+1 – seeking preparatory meetings before the
talks due on June 18, but had yet to hear back.

Jun 6, 2012

Iran criticizes IAEA, but hopes for nuclear deal

VIENNA (Reuters) – Iran accused the U.N. nuclear watchdog on Wednesday of behaving like a Western-manipulated intelligence agency but still expressed hope of reaching a deal to resume a stalled probe into Tehran’s disputed nuclear activities.

Ambassador Ali Asghar Soltanieh spoke two days before he is due to meet senior officials from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The U.N. agency aims to seal a framework agreement that would unblock its investigation into suspected atomic bomb research in the Islamic state.