Ian's Feed
May 21, 2012

U.N. atom chief starts talks in Tehran, hopes for deal

VIENNA/DUBAI (Reuters) – The U.N. nuclear watchdog chief began talks in Tehran on Monday, Iranian media said, after voicing hope for a deal to investigate suspected atomic bomb research – a possible breakthrough that Iran may count on to ease sanctions and deflect threats of war.

International Atomic Energy Agency Director-General Yukiya Amano met the head of Iran’s nuclear energy organization, Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani, hours after his pre-dawn arrival, according to ISNA news agency.

May 21, 2012

UN atom chief hopeful on Iran deal before Baghdad meet

VIENNA/DUBAI (Reuters) – The U.N. nuclear supervisor arrived in Tehran early on Monday voicing optimism he could reach a deal to investigate suspected atom bomb research – a possible breakthrough that Iran may hope could help ease Western sanctions pressure and deflect threats of war.

“I really think this is the right time to reach agreement. Nothing is certain but I stay positive,” Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said at Vienna airport, adding “good progress” had already been made.

May 20, 2012

U.N. seeks Iran nuclear deal before Baghdad talks

VIENNA (Reuters) – The U.N. nuclear supervisor flies to Tehran on Sunday looking for a deal to inspect suspected weapons sites – a potential breakthrough that Iran may hope could persuade the West to start lifting sanctions and deflect threats of war.

But though IAEA chief Yukiya Amano scheduled Monday’s talks with Iran at such short notice that diplomats said agreement on new inspections may be near, few see Tehran convincing Western governments to ease back swiftly on punitive measures when its negotiators meet big power officials in Baghdad on Wednesday.

May 18, 2012

U.N. nuclear chief to visit Iran, deal may be near

VIENNA (Reuters) – The U.N. nuclear chief will travel to Tehran on Sunday in an apparent bid to secure a deal to tackle concerns over Iran’s atomic activity, a few days before the Islamic state and world powers meet in Baghdad for broader talks on their dispute.

News of the rare visit came as Western diplomats said Iran and the U.N. nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, were making headway towards a framework agreement on how to address IAEA suspicions that Tehran may be seeking to develop nuclear arms capability.

May 18, 2012

UN nuclear chief to visit Tehran for rare talks

VIENNA (Reuters) – U.N. atomic watchdog chief Yukiya Amano and top aides will travel to Tehran on Sunday for talks with Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator, a few days before the Islamic state and world powers meet in Baghdad to discuss the broader nuclear dispute.

News of the rare visit came as Western diplomats said the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Iran were making headway towards a framework deal on how to tackle concerns about the Islamic Republic’s atomic activity.

May 18, 2012

Iran may seek “tactical gain” with U.N. nuclear deal

VIENNA (Reuters) – Iran and the U.N. nuclear watchdog are making headway towards a framework deal on how to tackle concerns about its atomic activity, diplomats say, a potential bargaining chip for Tehran in next week’s negotiations with world powers.

Iran says such an agreement is needed before it can consider a request by U.N. inspectors to visit the Parchin military site where they believe explosives tests relevant for developing nuclear weapons may have been carried out.

May 17, 2012

Iran nuclear output seen steady before Baghdad talks

VIENNA (Reuters) – Iran is installing more centrifuges in an underground plant but does not yet appear to be using them to expand higher-grade uranium enrichment that could take it closer to producing atom bomb material, Western diplomats say.

They say Iran’s production of uranium refined to a fissile concentration of 20 percent, which it started two years ago, seems to have remained steady in recent months after a major escalation of the work in late 2011 and early this year.

May 16, 2012
via Breakingviews

Global sell-off could echo summer of 2011

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By Ian Campbell
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.Global investors have been sucking money out of risk assets. Credible reassurance that Greece will stay in the euro would see risky bets poured back on. But for now Greece looks headed for the exit door and markets’ trajectory is downwards. The global sell-off in stocks, commodities and many currencies is likely to get worse as the dollar advances.

It might seem Greece is not a big enough to warrant global concern. But a Greek default would impose losses on the rest of Europe . And Greece will be seen as the first domino. Spanish and Italian bonds will be among those selling off, exacerbating financing pressures in southern Europe’s two big economies. A huge European effort would be required to calm fears that they and Portugal will not ultimately go the way of Greece.

May 16, 2012

U.N. atom talks with Iran may show progress: diplomats

VIENNA (Reuters) – The U.N. nuclear watchdog and Iran may be narrowing their differences on how to tackle concerns over Tehran’s atomic ambitions, diplomatic sources said on Wednesday, suggesting a previously unexpected agreement was now not ruled out.

They spoke a day after the U.N. agency said there was a “good exchange of views” with Iran in a May 14-15 meeting which tested the Islamic state’s readiness to address questions about suspected nuclear weapons-relevant research.

May 16, 2012
via Breakingviews

The pound’s climb may send the UK down

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By Ian Campbell

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

British holiday-makers will welcome it. The pound is rising as the euro weakens. Sterling will rise further in the coming months if Greece exits the euro zone and exacerbates the single currency’s crisis. But the pound’s rise promises UK pain-and serious problems for policymakers.