Iranian leaders present a nuclear plan

October 15, 2013

Nuclear talks with Iran begin in Geneva, powerful quake strikes Philippines, and Russia increases Moscow security during Eid. Today is Tuesday, October 15, and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner.

European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton (L) speaks with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif during a photo opportunity before the start of two days of closed-door nuclear talks at the United Nations offices in Geneva, October 15, 2013.REUTERS/Fabrice Coffrini/Pool

Nuclear PowerPoint. Iran used a PowerPoint presentation to outline what it called a “logical” nuclear plan to representatives from the six world powers. Details of the plan are not available, but Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said the U.S., Russia, China, France, Britain, and Germany “welcomed” the proposal, adding that the plan to solve the nuclear standoff  “has the capacity to make a breakthrough.” But global leaders have tempered expectations:

A spokesman for the European Union foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, who oversees diplomacy with Iran on behalf of the powers, described the Iranian presentation as “very useful” in a carefully-worded comment that appeared to signal Iran has gone further than in the past in its willingness to engage. A senior U.S. State Department official said negotiators would be “looking at further details” of the Iranian proposal in an afternoon session on Tuesday, hinting that it was being treated as incomplete by Western diplomats… Western diplomats have said their demands related to 20-percent uranium must be addressed before further progress is made. But some diplomats acknowledged ahead of the Geneva talks that their initial offer to Iran might be changed substantially depending on what concessions Iran offers.

Relations between Iran and the U.S. have apparently warmed since moderate-backed Iranian President Hassan Rouhani took office in August. Iran is keen to escape increasingly harsh sanctions, issued against the country for its disputed nuclear program which Western powers fear is intended to develop arms capability. Israel, Iran’s long-time foe, warned Western powers not to give up on sanctions before Iran agrees to abandon its program, saying “It would be an historic mistake not to take full advantage of the sanctions, by making concessions before ensuring the dismantling of Iran’s nuclear weapons program.” The statement, notably, stopped short of making a veiled military threat against Iran – as it has in the past. The talks will conclude Wednesday.

Residents walk along huge cracks in a road after an earthquake struck Bohol province, central Philippines, October 15, 2013. REUTERS/Stringer

Philippine islands struck by quake. A magnitude7.2 earthquake killed at least 74 people and injured 260 when it hit islands in the quake-prone Philippines. At least 65 were killed in collapsed structures, including low-rise buildings and historic churches, and mudslides in Bohol, and nine more were killed in Cebu and Siquijor Island, according to a report from the regional National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council:

The death toll looks bound to rise. Dennis Agustin, Bohol provincial police director, said in a radio interview as many as 77 people had died in 11 towns on the island, much of which was left without power and communications. Four bridges and some government buildings collapsed in Bohol. Roads cracked, with many declared impassable due to landslides, prompting the authorities to declare a state of calamity in the province, along with Cebu.

Nearly 300 aftershocks were recorded after the earthquake. The islands struck were popular with tourists, though no foreign visitors were reported dead.

Interior Ministry members walk in a line while persuading people to leave after an Eid al-Adha mass prayer in Moscow, October 15, 2013. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

Eid defense. Russian authorities increase security in Moscow following the most violent racial clashes in three years as Muslims celebrate the holiday of Eid al-Adha:

Outside Moscow’s main mosque, police set up barriers and metal detectors to control the flow of people. Ethnic tension is often higher during the Islamic holiday because crowds spill out into the streets around the city’s few mosques. Crowds of residents in southern Biryulyovo district have called for tougher policing of migrants and roamed the streets hunting for men who matched a police description of a suspect in the stabbing death last week of Yegor Shcherbakov, 25. On Sunday, rioters smashed shop windows, clashed with police and stormed a market in Biryulyovo where many migrants work. In an apparent move to appease residents, Moscow’s police chief fired the senior police officer in the neighborhood district on Tuesday.

On Monday, over 1,600 migrants were detained following the riots, apparently to appease residents of the southern Moscow neighborhood where the protests were located.

Nota Bene: Typhoon Nari hits Vietnam, displacing 122,000 people.


Crying capture – A woman accused of staging her own kidnapping is arrested in Nigeria. (BBC)

This little piggy…  – A Chinese official is fired for accepting a piggy-back ride from a constituent. (Quartz)

Moving on up – Hong Kong’s trams catch up to its subways. (New York Times)

Instajail – Rihanna’s tweets lead to another arrest in Thailand. (Time)

Ruins ruined – Egypt’s artifacts are a casualty of its political unrest. (Al Jazeera)

From the File:

  • Bomb attack near Afghanistan kills influential governor.
  • Italy rescues 370 shipwrecked migrants.
  • Russia foils a plot to attack a chemical arms facility northeast of Moscow.
  • Egypt arrests a Mursi supporter suspected of being linked to a Cairo attack.
  • Mother of missionary jailed in North Korea begs U.S. for help.
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