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Aug 12, 2015

Head of scandal-hit U.N. Central Africa force resigns: U.N. chief

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The head of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Central African Republic has resigned after a fresh round of allegations of sexual abuse and excessive use of force by peacekeepers, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Wednesday.

“Today I have accepted the resignation of my special representative Mr. Babacar Gaye, head of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic, MINUSCA,” Ban told reporters at U.N. headquarters in New York.

Aug 11, 2015

No automatic return of sanctions if Iran breaks arms embargo: Kerry

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Violations of an arms embargo by Iran or restrictions on its missile program would not force an automatic reinstatement or “snapback” of United Nations sanctions under a landmark nuclear deal, although other options would be available, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday.

“The arms embargo is not tied to snapback,” Kerry said. “It is tied to a separate set of obligations. So they are not in material breach of the nuclear agreement for violating the arms piece of it.”

Aug 11, 2015

Dollar could suffer if U.S. walks away from Iran deal: John Kerry

NEW YORK (Reuters) – If the United States walks away from the nuclear deal with Iran and demands that its allies comply with U.S. sanctions, a loss of confidence in U.S. leadership could threaten the dollar’s position as the world’s reserve currency, the top U.S. diplomat said on Tuesday.

“If we turn around and nix the deal and then tell them, ‘You’re going to have to obey our rules and sanctions anyway,’ that is a recipe, very quickly …. for the American dollar to cease to be the reserve currency of the world,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said at a Reuters Newsmaker event.

Aug 8, 2015

U.N. council sets stage for inquiry to lay blame for Syria gas attacks

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The U.N. Security Council unanimously passed a U.S.-drafted resolution on Friday laying the groundwork for an inquiry that would assign blame for chemical weapons attacks in Syria’s civil war.

The resolution asks United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon and the head of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to make recommendations within 20 days for the establishment of an investigative body, “to identify to the greatest extent feasible individuals, entities, groups, or governments” involved in any chemical attacks in Syria.

Aug 8, 2015

U.S. think tank questions Iran explanation for activity at site

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – A prominent U.S. think tank on Friday questioned Iran’s explanation for activity at its Parchin military site visible in satellite imagery, saying the movement of vehicles did not appear related to road work.

The U.S.-based Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) said this week that Iran might be sanitizing its Parchin military site, where some countries suspect experiments may have taken place in a possible atomic weapons program. Iran denied it, saying it was part of road works near the Mamloo Dam.

Aug 7, 2015

U.N. council urges inquiry to identify those behind Syria gas attacks

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The U.N. Security Council on Friday unanimously passed a resolution asking U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon and the head of the global anti-chemical weapons watchdog to prepare a plan to set up an inquiry to identify those behind chemical weapons attacks in Syria’s civil war.

Attributing responsibility for poison gas attacks in Syria’s four-year conflict could pave the way for action by the 15-member Security Council. The body has already threatened consequences for such attacks, which could include sanctions.

Aug 6, 2015

U.N. to host Libya talks on Monday in push for unity government

UNITED NATIONS/BENGHAZI, Libya (Reuters) – The United Nations will convene a new round of Libya talks on Monday in Geneva in a push to persuade warring parties to agree on a unity government and end the violence gripping the oil producer, the U.N. said on Thursday.

There are many challenges to ending Libya’s armed conflict, four years after the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi.

Jul 15, 2015

Infuriating patience pays off for Kerry and Zarif on Iran deal

VIENNA (Reuters) – In a stunning tweet on Monday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani declared: “#IranDeal is the victory of diplomacy & mutual respect”.

Except that it wasn’t. The latest round of ministerial negotiations between Iran and six world powers on curbing Iran’s nuclear program were still in full swing, 17 days in, and Rouhani had jumped the gun. The tweet was deleted.

Jul 14, 2015

Draft nuclear deal calls for access to all Iranian sites: source

VIENNA (Reuters) – U.N. inspectors would have access to all suspect Iranian sites, including military ones, under a draft nuclear deal that six major powers and Iran are working to finalize on Tuesday, a diplomatic source said.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the U.N. access would be based on consultations between the six powers and Iran under the draft deal, which would impose limits on the Iranian nuclear program in return for economic sanctions relief.

Jul 14, 2015

Exclusive: Draft deal calls for U.N. access to all Iran sites – source

VIENNA (Reuters) – A draft nuclear deal between Iran and six major powers calls for U.N. inspectors to have access to all suspect Iranian sites, including military, based on consultations between the powers and Tehran, a diplomatic source said on Tuesday.

    The source also said that if the deal is accepted, a U.N. Security Council resolution on it would ideally be adopted this month and the steps to be taken by both sides – including Iranian limitations on its nuclear program and relief from sanctions on Iran – would be implemented in the first half of 2016.

    • About Louis

      "I am Reuters' United Nations bureau chief based in New York. My previous postings were in Berlin, Vienna, Hong Kong and Prague. I have reported from Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the United States."
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