Specialist Correspondent
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Feb 9, 2010

Malaysia dismisses IAEA envoy after Iran atomic vote

VIENNA (Reuters) – Malaysia has dismissed its envoy to the U.N. nuclear watchdog for voting against a resolution rebuking Iran and he will be replaced as rotating head of the agency’s governing body later this week.

The rare removal of a senior serving diplomat on the International Atomic Energy Agency’s board of governors underlined the volatile politics and high stakes in policymaking involving Iran’s disputed nuclear program.

Feb 9, 2010

Q+A: How dangerous is Iran’s uranium enrichment plan?

VIENNA (Reuters) – Iran says it has begun work to enrich uranium to a higher level, adding to concerns that it wants to stockpile potential material for nuclear weapons.

The following looks at the dangers of Iran’s move:


Iran said it had acted in frustration at the collapse of a U.N.-brokered plan for big powers to provide it with fuel rods made from low-enriched uranium for a medical reactor.

Jan 20, 2010

Iran spurns nuclear fuel deal in writing: diplomats

VIENNA/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Iran has notified the U.N. nuclear watchdog it rejects key parts of a draft deal to send abroad most of its enriched uranium, designed to ease fears the material could be used to make nuclear weapons, diplomats said on Tuesday.

It was Iran’s first apparently formal answer to the proposal hatched in October and echoed months of dismissive or ambiguous remarks made through the media. The United States rejected Tehran’s reply as “inadequate.”

Jan 13, 2010
via Global News Journal

Iran denies nuclear “halt” but technical woes slow pace


Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (2nd L) visits the Natanz nuclear enrichment facility, 350 km (217 miles) south of Tehran, April 8, 2008.

Iran hastened on Monday to deny an Israeli media report that it had suspended uranium enrichment for two months to mollify Western powers mulling more sanctions against Tehran over suspicions it wants the programme to yield atomic bombs.

Dec 16, 2009

Q+A: Is alleged Iran nuclear memo really a “smoking gun?”

LONDON (Reuters) – A leaked memo appearing to show Iran trying to design an atomic bomb trigger would undercut its assertion that it seeks only peaceful nuclear energy and harden fears it is nearing the capability to make nuclear weapons.

But caveats are in order. The memo in the hands of Western intelligence services and the U.N. nuclear watchdog has not been authenticated. Even if genuine, it may prove no more than a bid to develop competency for a possible nuclear “breakout” in the future, not an outright, illicit program to build bombs.

Dec 14, 2009

Iran may have worked on key atom bomb part: diplomats

LONDON (Reuters) – Intelligence suggests Iran worked on testing a key atomic bomb component as recently as 2007, diplomats said on Monday, a finding which if proven would clash with Iran’s assertion its nuclear work is for civilian use.

The diplomats commented on a Times of London report about what it called a confidential Iranian technical document describing a four-year plan to test a neutron initiator, the part of a nuclear warhead that sets off an explosion.

Nov 27, 2009

IAEA votes to censure Iran over nuclear cover-up

VIENNA (Reuters) – The U.N. nuclear watchdog voted Friday to rebuke Iran for building a uranium enrichment plant in secret but Tehran rejected the move as “intimidation” which would poison its negotiations with world powers.

The resolution was the first by the 35-nation board of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) against Iran in almost four years, and a sign of spreading alarm over Tehran’s failure to dispel fears it has clandestine plans to build nuclear bombs.

Nov 26, 2009

World powers demand Iran mothball nuclear site

VIENNA (Reuters) – Six world powers are demanding Iran immediately mothball a uranium enrichment site it hid for years in a resolution to be voted on by U.N. nuclear agency governors, calling it a message to Tehran to change its ways.

A defiant Iran denounced the resolution, expected to be put to a vote on Friday, as “counterproductive” to diplomatic efforts to defuse a standoff over its nuclear ambitions and accused the powers of “politicizing” the U.N. nuclear watchdog.

Nov 26, 2009

ElBaradei: Iran blocking of atom plan disappointing

VIENNA (Reuters) – The U.N. nuclear watchdog chief Thursday criticized Iran’s blockage of a plan to divest it of possible nuclear bomb material as “disappointing.”

Under the deal drafted by Mohamed ElBaradei, Iran would send 75 percent of its low-enriched uranium (LEU) to Russia and France. There it would be made into special fuel for a Tehran reactor making medical materials, which will run out next year.

Nov 25, 2009

Exclusive: ElBaradei says West won’t meet Iran atom demand

VIENNA (Reuters) – Iran’s demand for changes to a nuclear fuel deal is unacceptable because it could mean Tehran keeping enough enriched uranium for possible use in an atom bomb, the U.N. nuclear watchdog chief said in an interview.

Mohamed ElBaradei also told Reuters on Wednesday that U.N. inspectors had no proof of more covert nuclear sites in Iran but a newly revealed enrichment site made little sense for civilian or military ends and mistrust in Tehran’s behavior had grown.

    • About Mark

      "I cover nuclear non-proliferation, disarmament and diplomacy from my base in Vienna, headquarters of the UN nuclear watchdog, and guide Reuters' global coverage of our nuclear file. My previous postings include Jerusalem covering the Middle East conflict, Zagreb during the Yugoslav conflict, with stints in wartime Sarajevo, Bosnia and Serbia, as well as Berlin at the time of the fall of the Wall and reunification of Germany. I also contributed to coverage of the 1991 Gulf War and aftermath as well as the Kosovo conflict, ran our file in Macedonia during an ethnic Albanian uprising, and served as a chief ..."
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