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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Bradwell: Handing Future UK nuclear Infrastructure to the Chinese

flag-UKflag-China NuClear News August 2015 The Government is preparing to hand over future UK nuclear infrastructure to Chinese firms, according to the GMB Union in a “total betrayal” of UK workers. The GMB raised concerns earlier this month about the prospect of the Bradwell, site in Essex, being given “lock, stock and barrel” to the Chinese National Nuclear Corporation.
 Energy Secretary Amber Rudd responded in a letter to the union: “The UK government welcomes overseas investment in the UK’s new nuclear programme. This includes investment and participation from Chinese companies in the Hinkley Point C project and progressive involvement more generally in the UK’s nuclear new build energy programme. In the future, this could include leading the development of a site in the UK and the potential deployment of a Chinese reactor technology in the UK, subject to meeting the stringent requirements of the UK’s independent nuclear regulatory regime.” (1)
 Gary Smith, GMB National Secretary for energy, said “I have studied the letter from Amber Rudd carefully and conclude that it looks that the UK Government is preparing for a hand over of the future UK nuclear infrastructure to the Chinese state. This is a total betrayal of workers in the UK and of the long term interests of the UK economy.”
 (2) Professor Andy Blowers, chairman of the Blackwater Against New Nuclear Group (BANNG), takes a rather more fundamental objection to the proposals than the union’s. He said “There shouldn’t be investment from anybody, even British investors. The idea of creating more rubbish when we don’t have any way to dispose of what we’ve already got just seems quite frankly immoral.”
(3) 1. Western Morning News 29th June 2015 http://www.westernmorningnews.co.uk/Chinese-Hinkley-Cnuclear-deal-8216-betrayal/story-26797760-detail/story.html
2. GMB 29th June 2015 http://www.gmb.org.uk/newsroom/chinese-state-role-in-new-nuclear
3. Essex Chronicle 18th June 2015 http://www.essexchronicle.co.uk/Nuclear-plan-blight-Bradwell-scommunity-200/story-26715329-detail/story.html      http://www.no2nuclearpower.org.uk/nuclearnews/NuClearNewsNo76.pdf

August 1, 2015 Posted by | politics, politics international, UK | Leave a comment

Beneficial effects of Iran nuclear deal on Middle East stability

Iran Nuclear Deal Will Have Positive Effect On Middle Eastern Security And Stability, Putin Assures Netanyahu, International business Times,  By Sounak Mukhopadhyay on July 30 2015 Russian President Vladimir Putin told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Thursday that Iran’s nuclear program would improve Middle Eastern security. He also said that the outcome of the nuclear negotiations would positively influence the stability of the region.

Putin assured Netanyahu that the deal would prevent the Islamic republic from acquiring nuclear weapons. The Russian president told Netanyahu the deal would also ensure that Iran had a peaceful nuclear program.

“The Russian leader expressed confidence that successful implementation of the Joint [Comprehensive] Plan of Action will strengthen the regime of nuclear non-proliferation and will have a positive effect on security and stability in the Middle East,” said Iranian news agency Press TV, quoting a Kremlin statement.

According to the Jerusalem Post, Israel plans to lobby the U.S. Congress not to authorize the nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers. The deal came to its conclusion in Vienna earlier in July after both parties had negotiated for more than a decade.

The United Nations, the European Union and the United States are going to lift sanctions against Iran, which will help the Islamic republic revitalize its economy. In exchange, Iran will restrict its nuclear program. Israel, on the other hand, has expressed concerns that Iran will create a nuclear weapon despite the agreement………http://www.ibtimes.com/iran-nuclear-deal-will-have-positive-effect-middle-eastern-security-stability-putin-203221

July 31, 2015 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

Secrecy adds to growing distrust about the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP)

Break the Silence on TPP Canadians.org, CC BY-NC-SA 3.0Secrecy Around TPP Fuels Suspicions, Worries, http://www.industryweek.com/trade/secrecy-around-tpp-fuels-suspicions-worries, 27 July 15,    After chapters of the Trans-Pacific Partnership are leaked to Wikileaks, critics and backers of the controversial proposal are out in full force. With a Maui meeting looming, how will it affect the country and its industry? WASHINGTON, D.C. — Higher costs for needed generic drugs. Longer copyright protections than the global standard. Foreign investors empowered to overrule governments. A more tightly-regulated Internet.

 

Those are some of the potential pitfalls from any deal that could emerge from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the 12-country free-trade and investment pact shrouded in secrecy as negotiations head into the final stage in Hawaii next week.

A handful of draft chapters of the TPP, leaked via Wikileaks, have highlighted the proposed treaty’s heavy emphasis on expanding protections for corporate rights and assets like intellectual property — patents, copyrights and databases — that are far more valuable to advanced economy corporations than traditional cargo trade.

For critics, the proposals show a deal moving more toward protection than free trade, one more about corporate benefits than boosting economies and development. ut backers say the modern global economy needs a new framework of rules to protect intellectual property-dependent 21st century industries that aren’t covered in traditional free trade pacts like the World Trade Organization.

The 12 countries involved — Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam — have agreed to deliberate in great secrecy, with the goal of producing a deal that can either be accepted or rejected as a whole.

The leaked documents, too, show great disagreement on many issues still under negotiation.

Nevertheless, what is known from the leaks has left a whole range of politicians, academics and civil society groups deeply worried.

Higher drug costs

Many public health organizations say the intellectual property protections proposed would raise the costs of health care and drugs to many millions around the world.

TPP drafts from last year show a proposed 12-year protection for new biologic drugs, when even the administration of President Barack Obama now wants that US standard reduced to seven years to keep prices lower and foment more competition.

They also show efforts to make it harder for poorer countries to produce generic versions of other drugs, to extend patent protections to new versions of existing drugs and to force governments — particularly New Zealand — to reveal their internal pricing data on pharmaceuticals.

Critics say this will only strengthen the hand of big drug companies.

July 29, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, politics international | Leave a comment

Nuclear experts explain how the Iran nuclear deal cuts off pathways to nuclear weapons

diplomacy-not-bombsI agree with Obama that the pathways [for Iran to build nuclear weapons] are cut off. … Overall, it’s very good.”

“The inspection protocol,” she said, means that “the international inspectorate is going to be inspecting all the way from mines through centrifuge manufacturing. They will see if Iran is trying to break out.”

Former LANL chemist blogs on all things nuclear By Anne Constable The New Mexican , 26 July 15One Santa Fean paying close attention to the historic nuclear deal with Iran is Cheryl Rofer, a retired Los Alamos National Laboratory chemist who has worked on environmental cleanup projects in Estonia and Kazakhstan.

On Nuclear Diner, the blog she writes with two other people, Rofer posts her own views about Iran agreeing to curb its nuclear program in return for the end of United Nations sanctions, as well as topics such as civilian power reactors, nuclear weapons and nonproliferation. “I’m trying to write things other people aren’t writing that I think important,” she said in a recent interview. Continue reading

July 27, 2015 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

Ukraine chaos spiralling further out of control: the role of Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland

Now, the Ukraine chaos threatens to spiral even further out of control with the neo-Nazis and other right-wing militias – supplied with a bounty of weapons to kill ethnic Russians in the east – turning on the political leadership in Kiev.

Nuland, VictoriaThus, it seems unlikely that Nuland, regarded by some in Washington as the new “star” in U.S. foreign policy, will be fired for her dangerous incompetence, just as most neocons who authored the Iraq disaster remain “respected” experts employed by major think tanks, given prized space on op-ed pages, and consulted at the highest levels of the U.S. government.


highly-recommendedThe Mess That Nuland Made,
Reader Supportede News By Robert Parry, Consortium News 22 July 15
Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland engineered Ukraine’s “regime change” in early 2014 without weighing the likely chaos and consequences. Now, as neo-Nazis turn their guns on the government, it’s hard to see how anyone can clean up the mess that Nuland made, writes Robert Parry. 

s the Ukrainian army squares off against ultra-right and neo-Nazi militias in the west and violence against ethnic Russians continues in the east, the obvious folly of the Obama administration’s Ukraine policy has come into focus even for many who tried to ignore the facts, or what you might call “the mess that Victoria Nuland made.”

Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs “Toria” Nuland was the “mastermind” behind the Feb. 22, 2014 “regime change” in Ukraine, plotting the overthrow of the democratically elected government of President Viktor Yanukovych while convincing the ever-gullible U.S. mainstream media that the coup wasn’t really a coup but a victory for “democracy.”

To sell this latest neocon-driven “regime change” to the American people, the ugliness of the coup-makers had to be systematically airbrushed, particularly the key role of neo-Nazis and other ultra-nationalists from the Right Sektor. For the U.S.-organized propaganda campaign to work, the coup-makers had to wear white hats, not brown shirts.

So, for nearly a year and a half, the West’s mainstream media, especially The New York Times and The Washington Post, twisted their reporting into all kinds of contortions to avoid telling their readers that the new regime in Kiev was permeated by and dependent on neo-Nazi fighters and Ukrainian ultra-nationalists who wanted a pure-blood Ukraine, without ethnic Russians.

Any mention of that sordid reality was deemed “Russian propaganda” and anyone who spoke this inconvenient truth was a “stooge of Moscow.” It wasn’t until July 7 that the Times admitted the importance of the neo-Nazis and other ultra-nationalists in waging war against ethnic Russian rebels in the east. The Times also reported that these far-right forces had been joined by Islamic militants. Some of those jihadists have been called “brothers” of the hyper-brutal Islamic State. Continue reading

July 25, 2015 Posted by | politics international, Reference, Ukraine, weapons and war | Leave a comment

As Areva Goes Belly Up, Modi’s French Nuclear Plans May Start Unravelling

nuke-ship-sinkingWhy is India bent on joining the sinking French nuclear ship?, DiaNuke.org, Vaiju Naravane | The Wire, 24 July 15 

The ink had yet to dry on two separate agreements signed by France’s Areva with Larsen & Toubro and the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited for the French-designed 1650 MWe EPR reactor in Jaitapur, Maharashtra, when the French nuclear giant went into meltdown.

The agreements were signed with great fanfare during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to France on 10th April 2015 despite the fact that question marks on Areva’s future as a viable nuclear player had been piling up thick and fast.

In May, mere weeks after Modi’s visit, Areva announced colossal losses amounting to 4.8 billion euros (well above its capital base) and in June the French government, which owns 87% of the company, announced that Areva would be broken up, with its nuclear power arm, Areva NP, (including engineering, construction and design) being sold to another French energy giant, EDF. The French state has an 84.5% stake in EDF.

Politically driven

Why then did India persist in signing MoUs with a sinking ship? Surely Indian decision-makers were not unaware of Areva’s problems? And why is India insisting on buying nuclear technology that may be quietly buried in the near future, technology that has trebled in cost while providing no proof of performance, cost or economics of operation so far? What will be the fate of the agreements signed between Areva and L&T and Areva and NPCIL? Will they be automatically transferred to EDF and if so at what price?

Could India not have waited for clarity over Areva’s future instead of rushing into signing agreements with a company on the verge of dismemberment? Or is it that the MoUs were hurriedly pushed through so that Modi would have a big ticket announcement to make during his first European tour?……..

The hurry to enter into these agreements is baffling since it is unclear what the long-term future of the expensive flagship EPR will be once EDF takes full charge of Areva. Energy experts say the EPR’s design issues and costs dragged down Areva and EDF is unlikely to want a similar  fate for itself……….  http://www.dianuke.org/why-is-india-bent-on-joining-the-sinking-french-nuclear-ship/

July 25, 2015 Posted by | India, politics international | Leave a comment

Russia to supply credit to sell untested nuclear reactors to Bangladesh

Russian-BearRosatom eager to sign three more accords with BAEC http://www.observerbd.com/2015/07/22/100629.php#sthash.jdS4D1ks.USjrUblf.dpuf Shahnaj Begum, 22 July, 2015,  The Russian state-owned nuclear power agency, Rosatom, is eager to sign three separate deals with Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC) before signing the general contract to install the country’s first nuclear power plant at Rooppur on the north-west part of the country.

“Two separate deals will be sign to dispose of the “spent fuel” and another one will be sign for the maintenance of the power plant,” a senior official of the BAEC told the Daily Observer on Tuesday.
According to the official one deal will be signed to arrange the fuel to run the plant and another one for the “back end” for taking away the waste of the plant, and another one is for the operational purpose (maintenance), he added.
“One technical team had flown to Moscow on July 21 and another one is set to fly on July 25 to discuss the separate issues,” Minister for Science and Technology Yeafesh Osman said.
Bangladesh formed three separate teams to discuss the issue.
It may be mentioned here that Bangladesh kicked off the negotiation with Russia in November last year but failed to draw a credit line and select the technology to be applied in the plant.
“We are yet to know about the technology, but we want to procure a reactor which will have SSE (safe shut acceleration) and capacity to handle minimum peak ground acceleration value of 0.38g (which means it would be all right against earthquake of 9 on the Richter scale),” a BAEC official said.
Although Bangladesh is yet to finalise any model and technology but it was learnt that it is going to procure TOI version which is still a new one and an experimental one.
“The capacity of TOI is around 1,255 MW, however, there is no difference between VVR 1,300 and TOI rather it is all most the same,” a senior scientist of BEAC said. He claimed that the same one is installed in India and is going to be installed in Russia.
“And still we don’t know anything about the price of the general contract, before that we have to sign these three deals,” according to the ICT Ministry. In June last the Prime Minister’s Economic Affairs Adviser Dr Mashiur Rahman visited Moscow to frame a credit line but failed to achieve a US$10 to $12 billion dollars for installing the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant (RNPP) in Pabna district on the north-west of the country.
This is a follow-up to another visit by a high-powered technical committee to Russia last month.
This visit is necessary for selecting the right thing for Bangladesh and ensure a block allocation from the Russian Federation to implement the dream project, first of its kind in the country,” Yeafesh Osman said.
According to the BAEC ROSATOM will start designing the reactor for RNPP that requires money. Under the contract with the Russian Federation, it will provide the credit and agree to manage the “spent-fuel.”
Moscow financed the technical study of the RNPP. Under the deal Bangladesh would borrow an amount of $569 million with an interest rate of not less than 5 per cent from Russia.
Under the agreement, the Russian government will provide all necessary supports and infrastructure development to build the plant and supply necessary fuel to run the plant and also take back the spent fuel.
The government is going to build two nuclear plants with the capacity of 1,000 MW each at Rooppur with the latest ‘third generation’ technology from Russia where five-layer security measures would be installed, according to officials.
Following the signing of the first deal between Bangladesh and Russia, the Public Relations Director of ROSATOM, in a press conference in Dhaka, declared that ‘about $1.5 billion to $2 billion dollars will be needed to set up 1000 MW power plant depending on security features and technology standards,’ but now ROSATOM is saying it needs around $10 to $12 billion.

July 25, 2015 Posted by | ASIA, business and costs, politics international, Russia | Leave a comment

Machinations of the global nuclear lobby, and Australia’s Royal Commission on the Nuclear Fuel Chain

scrutiny-Royal-Commission CHAINflag-AustraliaLabor veers towards the nuclear idea https://independentaustralia.net/environment/environment-display/labor-veers-towards-the-nuclear-option,7965  21 July 15 The SA Nuclear Royal Commission, the ALP’s postponement of its National Conference nuclear debate and the machinations of the Nuclear For Climate Declaration could herald Australia’s deeper involvement in the nuclear industry, writes Noel Wauchope. “……….

Signing of the Nuclear For Climate Declaration This was done by Australia’s Rob Parker, President of the Australian Nuclear Association, in Paris. 

Admittedly, this happened over a month earlier. However, the nuclear lobby is right now working hard on lobbying the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), with this Declaration.

Australia’s hard-working and poorly funded anti-nuclear movement is currently concentrating on the South Australian
Royal Commission. The Commission is looking increasingly like an arm of the global nuclear lobby. Because of its inadequacies, especially on nuclear wastes (set out very thoroughly here by South Australian Dennis Matthews) and its all too strong connections with the nuclear industry, this is a Royal Commission that might well sink without trace……

Rob Parker talked about the Nuclear For Climate Declaration.

The most important aim of this campaign is to get the UNFCCC to

“… recognise nuclear energy as a low-carbon energy option, and to include it in its climate funding globalnukeNOmechanisms, as is the case for all other low-carbon energy sources.”

Here we see how this ties in with the South Australian Royal Commission…..the global nuclear industry is hanging on the hope that nuclear power will receive government funding when and if it is recognised by the UNFCCC as a clean energy source, apparently essential for combatting global warming……

At this stage, Labor appears to be holding firm to its [anti-nuclear] policy

July 22, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, politics international | Leave a comment

NPT non-signatory nuclear armed Israel is the global threat.

flag-IsraelInternational Nuclear Hypocrisy  JULY 21, 2015   NPT non-signatory nuclear armed Israel is the global threat. Shouldn’t the world impose on Israel harsher financial and economic sanctions, boycott and political seclusion than they had imposed on the NPT signatory peaceful nuclear Iran??By Dr. Elias Akleh, Intifada-Palestine.com    The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the nuclear watchdog International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have been turned into oppressive tools to limit the spread of safe nuclear technology and to prevent states other than the five nuclear states (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council; US, UK, France, Russia and China) from acquiring nuclear weapons. These nuclear states want to maintain its arms superiority and hegemony…….. .

In 1992 after the IAEA inspected all the Iranian sites they requested, the Director General Blixreported that all activities they observed were consistent with the peaceful use of atomic energy. In fact all the inspection reports by IAEA had stating the lack of any evidence that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapon program.

The American National Intelligence Estimate reported in 2007 that Iran had discontinued its nuclear weapon program in 2003. This was again confirmed by US Intelligence Agency officials, who were interviewed by The New York Times in March 2012 stating that Iran had not restarted its nuclear weapon program. Even the Israeli Mossad shared this findings contradicting their Prime Minister Netanyahu, who never got tired of warning of the alleged Iranian nuclear bomb.

The whole world knew that Iran did not have a nuclear weapon program. Yet the Western pressure continued due to the fact that Iran opposes the Zionist Israeli project in the Middle East, and has supported Hamas and Hezbollah in their struggle against Israeli occupation. ………..

The five major nuclear powers (US, Russia, UK, France and China), who seem to enthusiastically promote the NPT are themselves the biggest violators of the NPT. Overtly they pretended to reduce their own nuclear bombs by eliminating the bulky unstable old bombs, yet covertly they develop new smaller tactical and more devastating mini-nukes. These mini-nukes are part of the US-NATO arsenal and were cleared for use in the conventional war theater by the US Senate in 2002. The US, who had nuked Japan, has also used nuclear weapons, in the form of Depleted Uranium, to devastate Iraq in 2003, contaminating Iraqi soil and water, and causing all kinds of cancer and birth deformations in the children of both Iraqi citizens and of American veterans.

Recently we see a nuclear weapons arms race between the US and Russia. When the US declared its intent to deploy a major troop force near Russian borders, Russia countered, last month (June), by announcing plans to increase its nuclear arsenal with more than 40 new intercontinental ballistic missiles this year. This month (July) the US revealed that US military had successfully tested an upgraded nuclear gravity bomb; B51-12 that will replace four older versions of the bomb. Hippocratic Obama’s administration is upgrading its nuclear weapons while, at the same time, is using the NPT to limit Iran’s peaceful nuclear program.

The US and European nuclear states do not have the slightest genuine intention of enforcing the NPT unless when it serves them in controlling and punishing other developing countries. In 2010 the Obama administration cancelled the NPT conference that intended to discuss nuclear weapon-free zone in the Middle East. Last May 2015 Obama’s administration, again, stopped the UN’s effort to make the Middle East a nuclear free zone. The reason of course is nuclear Israel.

Most intelligence agencies, including CIA and FBI, know that Israel has been developing nuclear weapons as early as the 1960s confirming the reports of the Israeli whistleblower nuclear technician Mordechai Vanunu. ……………..

NPT non-signatory nuclear armed Israel is the global threat. Shouldn’t the world impose on Israel harsher financial and economic sanctions, boycott and political seclusion than they had imposed on the NPT signatory peaceful nuclear Iran??? http://www.intifada-palestine.com/2015/07/international-nuclear-hypocrisy/

July 22, 2015 Posted by | Israel, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

A win for non-proliferation – the Iran nuclear deal

Iran nuclear deal a win for non-proliferation THE AUSTRALIAN JULY 20, 2015  CHRIS PATTEN
THE AUSTRALIAN JULY 20, 2015   
Let us give praise where it is richly deserved. Despite all the criticism they faced, US President Barack Obama and his Secretary of State, John Kerry, stuck doggedly to the task of negotiating a deal with Iran to limit its nuclear program. Together with representatives of Britain, Russia, China, France, and Germany, they have now succeeded.

world-disarmament-1

The main terms of this historic agreement, concluded in the teeth of opposition from Israel, Iran’s regional competitors (particularly Saudi Arabia), and the political Right in the US, seek to rein in Iran’s nuclear activities so that civil capacity cannot be swiftly weaponised. In exchange for inspection and monitoring of nuclear sites, the international economic sanctions imposed years ago on Iran will be lifted.

This is a significant moment in the nuclear age. Since 1945, the terrifying destructive force of nuclear weapons has encouraged political leaders to search for ways to control them…………

We know how the Bush strategy turned out. The talks collapsed: no compromise, no agreement. Today, a deal has been concluded; but it is less good than the deal that could have been reached a decade ago — a point worth keeping in mind as the likes of former vice-president Dick Cheney and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu start hollering from the sidelines.As it is, not only will an agreement add cement to the NPT; it could also open the way to the sort of understanding with Iran that is essential to any broad diplomatic moves to control and halt the violence sweeping across western Asia.

Chris Patten, a former EU commissioner for external affairs, is Chancellor of the University of Oxford Project Syndicate http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/iran-nuclear-deal-a-win-for-non-proliferation/story-e6frg6ux-1227448140771

July 19, 2015 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

Despite USA’s Congress, tyhe Iran nuclear deal is to become international law

highly-recommendedIran deal set to become international law  http://www.cbsnews.com/news/un-security-council-vote-iran-nuclear-deal-resolution-us-congress-objections/ UNITED NATIONS, 18 July 15  — The U.N. Security Council scheduled a vote for first thing Monday morning on a resolution endorsing the Iran nuclear deal.

flag-UN-largeThe resolution was circulated to council members Wednesday by the United States. Members were also briefed by both Iran and the other countries that negotiated the landmark agreement to curb Iran’s nuclear program.

With all five veto-wielding permanent members of the Security Council involved in the marathon Iran negotiations, the resolution’s adoption Monday was almost certain.

The resolution implements an intricate deal that places restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program while allowing relief from sanctions that the country’s leaders say have hurt its economy.

Monday’s vote will come despite calls from some U.S. lawmakers to delay Security Council approval until Congress reviews the deal.

CBS News foreign affairs analyst Pamela Falk says the resolution will make the Iran nuclear deal international law, but will delay its official implementation for 90 days, to allow for the U.S. Congress’ consideration.

Falk explained that while Congress cannot block the implementation of the deal, if the legislative body votes against it and has enough votes to override a promised veto from President Obama, it is not clear what would happen next.

A U.S. official told CBS News that American law doesn’t “trump” U.N. resolutions, but if Congress were to vote against the measure — and garner enough votes to override a presidential veto — lawmakers could stop U.S. sanctions being lifted, which could prompt Iran to declare the U.S. as non-compliant with the terms of the deal and to back out.

If U.S. lawmakers were to decide after Monday’s vote that they wanted changes to the terms of the agreement, it would essentially be too late, because it would require the Security Council to propose a new resolution — and there would likely be little appetite for such deliberations among the other negotiating partners.

The chairman of the Senate’s foreign relations committee, Bob Corker, on Thursday wrote a letter to President Obama saying, “We urge you to postpone the vote at the United Nations until after Congress considers this agreement.”

But the chief U.S. negotiator in the Iran talks, Wendy Sherman, rejected that idea Thursday.

She told reporters: “It would have been a little difficult when all of the (countries negotiating with Iran) wanted to go to the United Nations to get an endorsement of this, since it is a product of the United Nations process, for us to say, ‘Well, excuse me, the world, you should wait for the United States Congress.’”

Sherman said the council resolution allows the “time and space” for a congressional review before the measure actually takes effect.

July 18, 2015 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

The groundbreaking nuclear deal is of great benefit to ordinary people in Iran

diplomacy-not-bombsflag-IranOrdinary Iranians the big winners in groundbreaking nuclear peace pact, Irish Independent  Mary Fitzgerald18/07/2015 The images from Tehran after news broke of an historic deal on Iran’s nuclear programme this week told their own story. Exuberant crowds took to the streets, cheering and dancing in celebration of an agreement that means their nation will now come in from the cold of international sanctions.

Many carried a large, wooden key, the symbol of president Hassan Rouhani’s election campaign two years ago, during which he put a nuclear deal on the top of his priority list.

The accord announced in Vienna was the fruit of 19 days of intense negotiations and four missed deadlines. It is designed to contain Iran’s nuclear programme, which Tehran has long insisted is only for energy purposes, for at least a decade, and will involve more comprehensive UN inspections to monitor its nuclear facilities.

As part of the deal, Tehran will get relief from the international sanctions that have crippled its economy for almost 10 years. The agreement is not only a victory for Rouhani, it is also a vindication of US President Barack Obama’s policy of engagement and marks Washington’s first real success in dealing with Tehran since the seizing of the American embassy there in 1979.

Anyone who has visited Iran in recent years will know how much sanctions have affected ordinary Iranians. Isolation from the international banking system and the loss of oil revenues have caused Iran’s currency, the rial, to plummet by two-thirds of its value against the dollar since sanctions were tightened in 2011.

Inflation has soared and the prices of fuel and basic foodstuffs have rocketed. Some estimates hold that the most recent round of sanctions brought Iran’s GDP down by 20pc and contributed to a jobless rate of 10.3pc, hitting young Iranians the hardest.

Between 2009 and 2013, more than 300,000 Iranians emigrated in search of better prospects elsewhere, and today, 25pc of Iranians with a post-graduate education are to be found living and working outside Iran.

By some estimates, the re-entry of Iran to the global marketplace means its economy will grow to more that 5pc GDP within a year. With the fourth-largest crude oil reserves in the world, the end to sanctions means Iran could increase its production to around 4pc of global output within months, thus lowering oil-price forecasts by $5-$15 per barrel.

The reopening of Iran and its consumer market of 78.5 million people means there will be a flurry of interest from investors. The country’s creaking infrastructure – particularly in its energy sector – means it needs all the help it can get……..

While the agreement does not mean diplomatic relations will be restored or Washington will shy away from criticising Tehran’s support for militant groups and its human rights abuses at home, it may usher in some form of coordination in relation to the battle against Islamic State in Iraq……….http://www.independent.ie/world-news/middle-east/ordinary-iranians-the-big-winners-in-groundbreaking-nuclear-peace-pact-31386064.html

July 18, 2015 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

Migrit rejected for nuclear investment in Finland – “a front for Russian capital”.

flag-FinlandFinnish officials reject nuclear plant investor Ft.com By David Crouch in Gothenburg, July 16, 2015   Finland’s plan to build a nuclear power station with help from Russia has been thrown into doubt after officials in Helsinki rejected a mysterious investor that it is alleged has links with Moscow.

Russian-BearThe move raises a fresh obstacle to the project, which has been dogged by accusations that Finland is placing Russian interests before EU foreign policy objectives.

Finland’s economics ministry said on Thursday that the ownership of Migrit Solarna Energija, a Croatian group listed as owning almost 9 per cent of the Fennovoima project, could not be “adequately verified”.

The ministry said it could not establish with certainty that the company was “factually controlled” from inside western Europe.

Finland’s government has insisted that 60 per cent of the €6bn–€7bn cost of the nuclear plant should be borne by companies residing or domiciled in the EU or the wider European Free Trade Association, which includes Norway, Iceland and Switzerland.

However, without Migrit, this requirement will not be met — which means either a new investor or additional investment from existing shareholders.

“We cannot speculate on who Migrit is controlled by,” said Herkko Plit, a senior civil servant in the economics ministry. “It has many relations to foreign countries, not just Russia. But . . . those people who founded it originally were Russians. The current owners are also Russian citizens to the best of our knowledge.”

Fennovoima plans to begin construction of a 1,200-megawatt reactor at Pyhaejoki in northern Finland in 2018, with operation due to begin in 2024.

But the company has struggled to find backers after the main original shareholder, the German utility Eon which had a 34 per cent stake, withdrew in 2012 after energy prices fell. Rosatom, the Russian state-owned nuclear company that will build the plant, now owns a 34 per cent stake.

Olli Rehn, a former European commissioner who in April became economics minister in Finland’s rightwing coalition government, said a decision on the future of the Fennovoima project would be referred to a meeting of the government on August 6.

“It seems that behind the Croatian company are Russian financiers,” Mr Rehn told YLE, the Finnish broadcaster, although he declined to say whether he believed that Migrit was linked to Rosatom………..

anti-nuclear campaigners said the new doubts about the project should be enough to kill it off. “It should be a sign to the government — if they cannot find investors the plant is not viable,” said Sini Harkki, Greenpeace programme manager for Finland.

She said it appeared that Migrit was “a front for Russian capital”.

“Fennovoima has had several years to find investors, and all it has found was this small Croatian company,” she added. http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/601da0a4-2bda-11e5-acfb-cbd2e1c81cca.html#axzz3g6DMCh5d

July 18, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, Finland, politics international | Leave a comment

World a little safer as deal agreed on with Iran – Obama

Obama,BarackObama praises diplomacy of Iran nuclear deal, Sky News, , 15 July 2015 US President Barack Obama has lauded a landmark nuclear agreement with Iran as vindication of his diplomatic approach and a chance for a ‘new direction’ in decades of vexed relations with Tehran.

Obama said the deal – which would curb Iran’s nuclear program in return for substantial international sanctions relief – cut off ‘every pathway’ to an Iranian atomic weapon. ‘Today, because America negotiated from a position of strength and principle, we have stopped the spread of nuclear weapons in this region,’ he said in a White House address on Tuesday.

Describing a ‘difficult history’ between Iran and the United States that ‘cannot be ignored,’ Obama shaped it as a diplomatic victory that showed ‘it is possible to change.’ ‘This deal offers an opportunity to move in a new direction. We should seize it,’ he said……..

Obama came to office vowing to talk directly to Tehran and to try to reach a negotiated deescalation – a marked shift from his predecessor, who rejected a similar deal struck by European countries. ‘This deal demonstrates that American diplomacy can bring real and meaningful change,’ he said.

But, he warned, if Iran steps back from measures agreed in the lengthy agreement, all sanctions ‘will snap back into place.’ Obama insisted the alternative to diplomacy was more violence in a region already beset by instability. ‘Put simply, no deal means a greater chance of more war in the Middle East,’ he said………

Obama said the deal was based on verification, not trust, and noted that differences between the two countries were ‘real.’

Analysts have also warned that Iran’s leaders may need to toughen anti-American rhetoric to ensure the backing of regime hardliners angered at the prospect of a deal with a power they view as the ‘Great Satan.’http://www.skynews.com.au/news/top-stories/2015/07/15/obama-lauds-diplomacy-of-iran-nuclear-deal.html#sthash.xM86hsdW.dpuf

July 15, 2015 Posted by | Iran, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

Nuclear agreement finally reached between Iran and world powers

diplomacy-not-bombsflag-IranIran nuclear agreement: powerful diplomats reach a deal,news.com.au.  JULY 15, 2015 THE world’s major powers have struck a long-awaited nuclear deal with Iran after more than two weeks of intense talks in Vienna.

Iranian state television has broadcast US President Barack Obama’s statement on the deal live, only the second such occasion since the Islamic revolution of 1979.

The state broadcaster had also aired Obama’s comments on an April 2 framework accord that led to Tuesday’s historic agreement, paving the way for an easing of crippling Western sanctions and for Iran to come in from the cold…….Iranians have poured onto the streets of Tehran after the Ramadan fast ended at sundown to celebrate the historic nuclear deal…….

  • What the deal meansAfter 18 days of intense and often fractious negotiation, diplomats declared that world powers and Iran had struck a landmark deal to curb Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for billions of dollars in relief from international sanctions.

    The agreement was designed to avert the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran and another US military intervention in the Muslim world.

    The accord will keep Iran from producing enough material for a nuclear weapon for at least 10 years and impose new provisions for inspections of Iranian facilities, including military sites.

    The so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was reached after more than two weeks of furious diplomacy, during which negotiators blew through three self-imposed deadlines.

    Zarif and US Secretary of State John Kerry, who conducted most of the negotiations, both threatened to walk away while trading accusations of intransigence.

  • Breakthrough came after several key compromisesDiplomats said Iran agreed to the continuation of a UN arms embargo on the country for up to five more years, though it could end earlier if the International Atomic Energy Agency definitively clears Iran of any current work on nuclear weapons. A similar condition was put on UN restrictions on the transfer of ballistic missile technology to Tehran, which could last for up to eight more years…….
  • Another significant agreement will allow UN inspectors to press for visits to Iranian military sites as part of their monitoring duties, something the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, had long vowed to oppose………http://www.news.com.au/world/iran-nuclear-agreement-powerful-diplomats-reach-a-deal/story-fndir2ev-1227442050742

July 15, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

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