West may drop demand that Iran halt all nuclear work: EU minister ABC News 3 Oct 13, Middle East correspondent Matt Brown reports from Jerusalem A top European diplomat says Western governments may be softening their stand on Iran’s controversial nuclear program and may allow it to continue some uranium enrichment.
The foreign minister of Lithuania, which holds the European Union’s presidency this year, says Iran may be allowed to continue peaceful nuclear activities if it strikes a deal with Western nations.
That would ease a long-standing demand by the UN Security Council to cease all uranium enrichment because of concerns the nuclear program may be aimed at building a bomb.
Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, has repeated claims that the program is entirely civilian but also signaled a softer approach to the West than his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad…….http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-03/iran-nuclear-program-uranium-enrichment-israel-weapons/4995090
Obama tries to reassure Israel over Iranian nuclear negotiations Erin Delmore, @erindelmore 09/30/2013 President Obama today sought to reassure Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the United States still has Israel’s back.
On Monday, Obama and Netanyahu met at the White House, just three days afterObama’s historic phone callwith the leader of Iran.
Newly-elected Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Obama spoke on the phone on Friday, marking the highest-level direct contact between the two countries in more than 30 years.
Obama vowed to proceed with caution toward a potential diplomatic resolution to the Iranian nuclear standoff, and reaffirmed an “unshakable bond” with the Israeli people.
“Because of the extraordinary sanctions… the Iranians are now prepared, it appears, to negotiate,” Obama said, adding that negotiations “will not be easy” and that lifting sanctions would require “the highest standards of verification.”
Obama promised to consult Israel and other allies closely and pledged to “take no actions off the table, including military options.”……..
While Obama on Monday reinforced his step-by-step approach toward dealing with Iran’s nuclear program, which Iranian officials insist is for civilian energy use, Secretary of State John Kerry said in an interview on Sunday that a deal could be reached quickly……..http://tv.msnbc.com/2013/09/30/obama-tries-to-reassure-israel-over-iranian-nuclear-negotiations/
AUDIO Japan agrees to foreign help with Fukushima ww.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2013/s3855960.htm Mark Willacy reported this story on Wednesday, September 25, 2013
PETER LLOYD: To nuclear issues of another kind now, and Japan has finally accepted international help to sort out the mess at the Fukushima nuclear plant. It’s agreed to let the French help decommission and dismantle it. Our Tokyo correspondent Mark Willacy says it’s a climb-down that signals how little success Japan has had stopping the spread of contaminant since the earthquake two and a half years ago. Continue reading
Hassan Rouhani tells UN there is no place for nuclear weapons in Iran ABC News 25 Sept 13 Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani says nuclear weapons have no place in Iran’s security and that he is prepared to reach a “framework” for managing his country’s differences with the US.
In his address to the UN General Assembly in New York, Mr Rouhani blasted “violent” international sanctions against Iran and called on US president Barack Obama to avoid the influence of “warmongering pressure groups”……..
Earlier, Mr Obama used his speech at the UN General Assembly to respond to recent friendly overtures from Iran over its nuclear program.
Mr Obama cautiously lauded signs Iran’s new moderate president wants to pursue an agreement…….http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-09-25/iran-us-un-rouhani-barack-obama-nuclear-weapons/4979158
Niger audits Areva uranium mines, seeking better deal By Daniel Flynn and Abdoulaye Massalatchi NIAMEY | Fri Sep 20, 2013 (Reuters) - Niger has ordered an audit of French nuclear group Areva’s (AREVA.PA) uranium mines in the West African country as it presses for a better deal in talks over a new long-term contract, Mining Minister Omar Hamidou Tchiana told Reuters.
Areva’s two mines in Niger – Somair and Cominak – produce the fuel for roughly one-third of France’s nuclear power, providing some of the cheapest electricity in the West.
Niger, a former French colony and one of the world’s poorest countries, has long complained it does not reap enough benefits from these resources……..
Extractive industries watchdogs, including the local branch of Publish What You Pay, have accused Areva of a lack of transparency in its revenues and costs in Niger…….
Previous Niger governments have struggled to substantially increase the state’s take from uranium and details of the 2003 mining contract have been kept confidential. The IMF estimates Niger’s gross domestic product at around 5.5 billion euros, only just over half of Areva’s revenues of 9.3 billion in 2012……..http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/20/us-niger-areva-idUSBRE98J0MY20130920
Decks cleared for nuclear pact with US firmIndrani Bagchi, TNN | Sep 21, 2013 NEW DELHI: India and the US have cleared the decks for a pre-early works agreement betweenNPCIL and US nuclear company, Westinghouse. National security adviser (NSA) Shivshankar Menon said, “The two sides have resolved all government-to-government permissions and understandings required for enabling commercial negotiations”. The two sides signed a “confidentiality agreement” last week that would allow both sides to share confidential data with each other.
Speaking at an event at Aspen Institute on Friday, Menon said the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) will soon begin safety evaluations of Westinghouse’s AP1000 nuclear reactor that they propose to sell to India.Westinghouse is already building four of these reactors in China, the first of which is expected to begin operations next year…… http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Decks-cleared-for-nuclear-pact-with-US-firm/articleshow/22828566.cms
‘Sweetheart’ nuclear deal for US companies sparks furore Indrani Bagchi, TNN | Sep 20, 2013, NEW DELHI: The government’s effort to find an honourable way around the constraint of the nuclear liability law without actually violating it ran into rough weather on Thursday with the opposition accusing it of seeking to dilute the law for the sake of US and other foreign suppliers.
Zimbabwe in ‘arms for uranium’ pact with North Korea Nehanda Radio 19 Sept 13, President Robert Mugabe’s military henchmen have reportedly signed an arms trade agreement worth millions of dollars with North Korea, in return for allowing Pyongyang access to Zimbabwe’s controversial Kanyemba district, which has sparked a uranium mining race pitting Iran and other powers, Nehanda Radio has been told.
Kanyemba district is about 160 miles north of the capital, and is believed to be holding significant uranium reserves, first discovered in the 1970s by German prospectors, but never exploited due to low world prices at the time.
Several other countries have sought the rights to mine Zimbabwe’s untapped uranium deposits, and these include Russia, China and a failed bid by neighbouring South Africa and Namibia, as they scramble for the Yellow cake which is a key ingredient needed for the production of nuclear bombs. Continue reading
Rouhani says Iran will never develop nuclear weapons: NBC interview (Reuters) Reporting By Matt Spetalnick; Editing by Christopher Wilson and Xavier Briand, 18 Sept 13, - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in a television interview on Wednesday that his government would never develop nuclear weapons and that he has full authority to negotiate a nuclear deal with the West, NBC News reported.
Speaking to the U.S. network at his presidential compound in Tehran, Iran’s new president also said the tone of a letter he had received from President Barack Obama, part of a recent exchange of messages between the two leaders, was “positive and constructive.”
“It could be subtle and tiny steps for a very important future,” Rouhani said, in another sign that he may be seeking a thaw between Iran and the West after years locked in a standoff over Tehran’s nuclear program.
Rouhani’s comments came just six days before he will be in New York to address the U.N. General Assembly, a speech that will be closely watched for fresh diplomatic overtures.
Echoing what Iranian leaders have said before, Rouhani was quoted by NBC as declaring that his government would “never develop nuclear weapons” under any circumstances………
Since Rouhani was elected president in June, the centrist cleric has called for “constructive interaction” with the world, a dramatic shift in tone from the fiery anti-Western rhetoric of his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad……..http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/18/us-iran-nuclear-rouhani-idUSBRE98H11S20130918
Since 17(b) suggests Parliament intended to hold suppliers responsible even if there is no contractual liability, it is not clear how a public sector undertaking like NPCIL, which is answerable to Parliament, could give its suppliers a free pass.
Manmohan may carry nuclear liability dilution as gift for U.S. companies THE HINDU, SANDEEP DIKSHITJ. VENKATESAN It is for operator to exercise ‘right of recourse’ under section 17 of Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act
Under sustained pressure from the Obama administration, the Manmohan Singh government is looking to use the opinion of the Attorney- General to effectively neutralise a key provision of India’s nuclear liability law that would hold American reactor suppliers liable in the event of an accident caused by faulty or defective equipment.
In an opinion to the Department of Atomic Energy, which referred the matter to him on September 4, Goolam Vahanvati has said it is for the operator of a nuclear plant in India to decide whether it wished to exercise the ‘right of recourse’ provided to it by section 17 of the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act.
The AG’s opinion effectively paves the way for the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd, which will operate any nuclear plant using imported reactors, to repudiate a right that Parliament explicitly wrote into section 17(b) of the law to ensure that foreign suppliers don’t get away scot-free if a nuclear accident is traced back to “equipment or material with patent or latent defects or sub standard services.” Continue reading
|Iran will not close Fordo nuclear plant: source, Tehran Times, 17 Sept 13 TEHRAN – Iran would not suspend activities at the Fordo enrichment plant, the ISNA news agency said on Tuesday, quoting an informed source.
According to the source, Iran would not come up with any fresh proposal to the 5+1 group (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) in New York and it would await the other side’s offers.
His comments came after the Spiegel weekly published an article on Monday claiming that Iranian President Hassan Rohani is reportedly prepared to decommission the Fordo enrichment plant and allow international inspectors to monitor the removal of the centrifuges.,,,,,,,http://tehrantimes.com/politics/110850-iran-will-not-close-fordo-
Rohani Ready to Shut Uranium Plant to Ease Sanctions: Spiegel http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-09-16/rohani-ready-to-shut-uranium-plant-to-ease-sanctions-spiegel.html By Kambiz Foroohar - Sep 16, 2013 President Hassan Rohani ready to decommission Iran’s Fordo uranium enrichment facility, near the city of Qom, in exchange for an easing of international sanctions, Der Spiegel says. *Magazine cites unidentified intelligence officials on decommissioning. *Rohani will close down Fordo, which started operations in late 2011, and allow international inspectors to monitor removal of centrifuges, according to German publication. *Rohani may demand U.S. and EU rescind sanctions against Iran, lift ban on oil exports and allow central bank to conduct business overseas: Spiegel. *Rohani is scheduled to address the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 24 in New York.To contact the reporter on this story: Kambiz Foroohar in New York email@example.comVbcx
Double standard: Disarming Syria puts Israel’s nuclear and chemical arsenal in the spotlight, MondoWeiss Annie Robbins on September 14, 2013 “.…..As John Kerry meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Geneva today to discuss the dismantling of Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile the Wall Street Journal spotlights a “ripple effect“, the focus on Israel’s nuclear program:
GENEVA—The joint U.S. Russian push to dismantle Syria’s chemical weapons is starting to have ripple effects, focusing attention on the suspected arsenal of Israel.……
But a frequent complaint among Arab countries in the region—that Israel has an undeclared but presumed nuclear-weapons program—has already resurfaced.
Syria’s government has hinted that it could raise Israel’s suspected arsenal of nuclear and other weapons as an international issue ………
Israel’s regional enemies have insisted they need chemical weapons to counter the threat of the nuclear weapons Israel is believed to possess. No other Middle East nation is thought to have such an arsenal. http://mondoweiss.net/2013/09/double-standard-disarming-syria-puts-israels-nuclear-and-chemical-arsenal-in-the-spotlight.html
Iran says it has reduced its 20 percent-enriched uranium stockpile by producing reactor fuel, Newser.13 Sept 13 By NASSER KARIMI | ASSOCIATED PRESS Iran significantly reduced its stock of 20 percent-enriched uranium by converting it to reactor fuel, a senior official said, an announcement that appears to be a bid to ease international concerns over its nuclear program. The West remains concerned over Iran’s continuing production of 20 percent uranium, which is enriched to a higher level than that used to fuel most energy reactors and is closer to the 90 percent needed for a warhead. The U.S. and its allies demand Iran halt all enrichment, which Tehran rejects.
The late Thursday announcement, from the government of moderate President Hasan Rouhani, appeared to be a signal to ease Western worries. Speaking to state television, Iran’s nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi said the country’s stocks of 20 percent-enriched uranium has fallen from 240 kilograms to around 140 kilograms as it is converted into fuel for a medical research reactor. Salehi said the remainder is also being converted.
“We have converted a remarkable part to fuel rod,” Salehi said. “The amount of 20 percent-enriched uranium is small.”…..
Salehi’s remarks came ahead of a new round of talks planned for later this month between Iran and the U.N. nuclear agency. Talks over the past years failed to reach any breakthrough.
It also came a few days after Rouhani showed a willingness to use his coming visit to the U.N. General Assembly as a point for resuming nuclear talks with world powers.
Earlier Thursday, the new Iranian envoy to the U.N. agency said in Vienna that Tehran was ready for more engagement to clarify its disputed nuclear program. However, Reza Najafi stressed Iran would never give up its “inalienable right to develop a nuclear program,” the official IRNA news agency reported Friday. “Iran is ready to engage and remove any ambiguity,” Najafi said, according to the report. He added: “If other sides want a proper response, the West should speak to Iran not with a language of threats or sanctions but with a language of respect.”
A disarmament expert, Najafi, 51, replaced former envoy Ali Asghar Soltanieh after Rouhani came to power in August.http://www.newser.com/article/da8pic783/iran-says-it-has-reduced-its-20-percent-enriched-uranium-stockpile-by-producing-reactor-fuel.html
‘Nuclear liability law poses challenge to Indo-US nuke deal’ Zee News, September 13, 2013, Washington: India’s nuclear liability law posed a tough challenge for implementing the “transformational” Indo-US nuclear deal though there is a very strong desire to move forward, Nisha Desai Biswal, President Barack Obama’s Indian-American nominee for a key post in South Asia, said. “I think that the 123 agreement was a transformational agreement between the relationship between the United States and India, she said at her confirmation hearing for the post of Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia.
“But since that deal was enacted, I think that there has been very slow and halting progress because of the nuclear liability law in India and the hindrances that that has posed to advancing civil nuke cooperation,” she said yesterday.
…..India’s Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Law allows the operator of a nuclear plant to seek damages from the supplier in case of a nuclear incident due to supply of equipment with latent and patent defects or sub-standard services. The US says the Indian law is not consistent with the Convention on Supplemental Compensation (CSC). http://zeenews.india.com/news/nation/nuclear-liability-law-poses-challenge-to-indo-us-nuke-deal_876374.html
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