Specialist Correspondent
Mark's Feed
Nov 17, 2009

New nuclear site shows Iran immune to threats

VIENNA (Reuters) – Building a second uranium enrichment site is a “political message” from Iran that neither sanctions nor possible military attack will ever stop its nuclear programme, a senior Iranian official said on Tuesday.

In an interview, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran’s envoy to the U.N. nuclear watchdog, said the agency’s concern Tehran may be hiding more nuclear work after it unveiled the enrichment site was wrong, unfair and a political judgment beyond its mandate.

Nov 17, 2009

New site shows Iran insists on enrichment

VIENNA (Reuters) – Building a second uranium enrichment site is a “political message” from Iran that neither sanctions nor possible military attack will ever halt its nuclear program, a senior Iranian official said on Tuesday.

In an interview, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran’s envoy to the U.N. nuclear watchdog, told Reuters the agency’s concern Tehran may be hiding more nuclear work after it unveiled the enrichment site was an unfair political judgment beyond its mandate.

Nov 16, 2009

IAEA sees risk Iran hiding more nuclear activity

VIENNA (Reuters) – The United Nations’ nuclear watchdog is concerned that Iran’s belated revelation of a new uranium enrichment site may mean it is hiding further nuclear activity, an agency report said Monday.

The report said Iran had told the International Atomic Energy Agency that it had begun building the plant within a bunker beneath a mountain near the holy city of Qom in 2007, but the IAEA had evidence the project had begun in 2002.

Nov 12, 2009

Iranian enrichment has not grown, diplomats say

VIENNA (Reuters) – Iran has effectively stopped expanding active uranium enrichment since September, diplomats said, while considering a big power offer to fuel a medical reactor if it turns over enriched material seen as an atomic bomb risk.

While Iran’s stock of low-enriched uranium (LEU) has likely risen by 200-300 kg from 1,500 kg reported by U.N. monitors in August, the number of operating centrifuge machines at its Natanz enrichment plant has remained at about 4,600, they said.

Nov 11, 2009

Exclusive: Iranian enrichment has not grown: diplomats

VIENNA (Reuters) – Iran has effectively stopped expanding active uranium enrichment since September, diplomats said, while considering a big power offer to fuel a medical reactor if it turns over enriched material seen as an atomic bomb risk.

While Iran’s stock of low-enriched uranium (LEU) has likely risen by 200-300 kg from 1,500 kg reported by U.N. monitors in August, the number of operating centrifuge machines at its Natanz enrichment plant has remained at about 4,600, they said.

Nov 9, 2009

U.S. says can give Iran time to okay nuclear deal

VIENNA (Reuters) – The United States is willing to give Iran time to decide whether to accept a U.N.-brokered deal meant to allay suspicions it is after atomic bombs but which has drawn Iranian objections, a U.S. diplomat said on Monday.

The plan for Iran to part with stocks of potential nuclear explosive material in exchange for fuel to keep a nuclear medicine facility running has stumbled on Iranian calls for amendments and more talks, which Washington has rejected.

Nov 9, 2009

WITNESS: A march that presaged Wall’s fall — in retrospect

VIENNA (Reuters) – Many people remember the night the Berlin Wall came down, but fewer the human tide that was history in the making five days before.

When around one million East Germans swept through East Berlin calling for free elections on November 4, no one sensed the Wall would be overwhelmed by euphoric crowds the following week.

Oct 29, 2009

SNAP ANALYSIS: Iran stalls atom plan but no new sanctions soon

LONDON (Reuters) – Iran’s bid to rewrite a draft nuclear deal will block it by removing the non-proliferation payoff sought by six world powers, but Tehran is keeping harsher sanctions at bay by not rejecting the proposal outright.

* For the six, the pact’s point is to minimize Iran’s potential to build atom bombs and spur it to use nuclear knowhow for energy only by having it send low-enriched uranium (LEU) abroad for conversion into fuel for nuclear medicine in Tehran.

Oct 21, 2009

Iran, 3 powers have till Friday to OK nuclear deal

VIENNA (Reuters) – The U.N. nuclear watchdog presented Wednesday a draft deal to Iran and three world powers for approval within two days to reduce Tehran’s stockpile of enriched uranium, seen by the West as a nuclear weapons risk.

Iran declined to say if it would endorse the plan, which Western diplomats said would require Tehran to send 1.2 tons of its known 1.5-tonne reserve of low-enriched uranium (LEU) to Russia and France by the end of the year. The material would be converted into fuel for a nuclear medicine facility in Tehran.

Oct 20, 2009

Faltering Iran talks to resume, deal possible: IAEA

VIENNA (Reuters) – High-stakes talks between Iran and big powers that stalled Tuesday will resume Wednesday and the U.N. nuclear watchdog chief said a deal was still in reach to help allay concerns about Tehran’s nuclear program.

The multilateral talks, which began Monday, faltered after Iran said it would not agree to curb uranium enrichment, something seen by the powers as essential to make any accord work, and warned France could not be part of a deal.

    • 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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