Daily News: 05/2015

May 29, 2015

Matthew Pennington, "Major construction at NKorea rocket site, US institute says" Associated Press / May 28, 2015 Satellite imagery shows significant new construction at North Korea’s main rocket launch site in a sign of leader Kim Jong Un’s determination to pursue a space program despite international censure, a U.S. research institute said Thursday.... View Source ›

"Iran foreign minister says nuclear deal possible by June 30" Associated Press / May 28, 2015 Iran’s foreign minister on Thursday held out hope that a “sustainable, mutually respectful” deal can be struck with world powers in talks over his country’s nuclear program before the deadline of June 30.... View Source ›

George Jahn, "UN nuke agency reports that Iran probe stalled" Associated Press / May 29, 2015 Amid accelerated international efforts to reach a nuclear deal with Iran, the U.N. atomic agency on Friday reported that work on a key element — an assessment of allegations that Tehran worked on atomic arms — remains essentially stalled.... View Source ›

May 28, 2015

David E. Sanger, "Obama’s Chief Negotiator in Iran Nuclear Talks Plans to Depart After Deadline for Deal" NY Times / May 27, 2015 President Obama’s chief negotiator with Iran, Wendy R. Sherman, said on Wednesday that she planned to leave the administration shortly after the June 30 deadline for a final deal on limiting the country’s nuclear program.... View Source ›

Rick Gladstone, "France Rejects Iran Leader’s Ban on Unlimited Nuclear Inspections" NY Times / May 27, 2015 France challenged Iran’s supreme leader on Wednesday over a disputed element of the Iranian nuclear talks, asserting that it would not sign any pact unless Iran allowed all its nuclear installations, including military sites, to be inspected.... View Source ›

Jo Biddle, "The US-Iran nuclear talks are about to shift into high gear" AFP / May 28, 2015 US Secretary of State John Kerry is set to launch a final high-stakes diplomatic push to seal a ground-breaking nuclear deal with Iran, as some officials warned Wednesday the negotiations may go beyond a June 30 deadline.... View Source ›

John Irish, "Iran, North Korea forging ballistic, nuclear ties: dissidents" Reuters / May 28, 2015 An exiled Iranian opposition group said on Thursday a delegation of North Korean experts in nuclear warheads and ballistic missiles visited a military site near Tehran in April amid talks between world powers and Iran over its nuclear program.... View Source ›

May 27, 2015

George Jahn, "Russia, US Close on Iran 'Snap-Back' Sanctions" Associated Press / May 26, 2015 Moscow and Washington are close to agreement on a formula that bridges differences over U.S. demands to quickly re-impose U.N. sanctions on Iran if Tehran violates its commitments under a nuclear deal, officials told The Associated Press Tuesday.... View Source ›

Indira Lakshmanan, "Iran Sanctions at Risk If Congress Stops a Deal, EU Envoys Say" Bloomberg / May 26, 2015 Sanctions against Iran’s economy are likely to erode if talks to curb Iran’s nuclear program fail or U.S. lawmakers try to block an international agreement, according to the U.K. and German envoys to Washington.... View Source ›

Parisa Hafezi, "Iran says nuclear talks with powers might be extended past June 30" Reuters / May 27, 2015 A self-imposed deadline of June 30 for Iran and six major powers to reach a final nuclear deal to resolve a decade-long standoff may be extended, Iran's state TV reported.... View Source ›

Arshad Mohammed, "Iran nuclear deal unlikely by June 30-French envoy" Reuters / May 27, 2015 An Iran nuclear deal is not likely by June 30 because technical details will remain to defined and Iran will not get sanctions relief before the end of the year in the best of cases, western ambassadors said on Tuesday.... View Source ›

John Hudson, "French Ambassador: Risk of Nuclear Arms Race Will Remain After Iran Deal" Foreign Policy / May 26, 2015 Gerard Araud, the French ambassador to the United States, says an emerging nuclear deal with Iran will impose tough restrictions on the Islamic Republic and improve regional security across the Middle East. But on Tuesday, Araud acknowledged that it could also pose a potential risk: spurring an array Arab countries to develop their own civilian nuclear programs.... View Source ›

Kambiz Foroohar, "Ahmadinejad Enters Fray as Iran Argues Over Nuclear Concession" Bloomberg / May 26, 2015 Iran’s former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad got embroiled in a fight among Iran’s ruling elite about nuclear concessions the Islamic Republic will make as part of a deal to lift sanctions. ... View Source ›

Hyung-Jin Kim, "Envoys from S. Korea, US, Japan discuss N.Korean nuke threat" Associated Press / May 27, 2015 The top nuclear envoys from South Korea, the United States and Japan agreed Wednesday on the need to increase pressure on North Korea and urged the country to engage in serious negotiations on its expanding nuclear weapons program.... View Source ›

May 26, 2015

Lesley Wroughton and Sam Wilkin, "Iran will need to spend most of any post-sanctions windfall at home" Reuters / May 25, 2015 Iranians will demand their government spend a windfall from the lifting of economic sanctions on improving the quality of life at home, limiting the degree to which a future nuclear deal could fund Tehran's allies on Middle East battlefields.... View Source ›

Ali Akbar Dareini, "Negotiator: Iran agrees 'managed access' to military sites" Associated Press / May 24, 2015 Iran has agreed to grant United Nations inspectors "managed access" to military sites as part of a future deal over its contested nuclear program, a negotiator said Sunday, apparently contradicting earlier comments by the nation's supreme leader.... View Source ›

Nasser Karimi, "Report: Iran raises gas prices by 40 percent in subsidy cut" Associated Press / May 25, 2015 Iran will raise gasoline prices by some 40 percent beginning Tuesday, the country’s official news agency reported, the latest cut to the Islamic Republic’s fuel subsidies that cost it some $32 billion a year.... View Source ›

Halimah Abdullah, "Obama Signs Congress Review of Iran Nuclear Deal Bill Into Law" NBC / May 22, 2015 President Barack Obama signed into law on Friday legislation giving lawmakers a chance to review any nuclear deal the White House seeks to hammer out with Iran.... View Source ›

Louis Charbonneau, "Israel thanks U.S. for stand on Mideast nuclear arms ban at U.N." Reuters / May 23, 2015 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked the United States for blocking an Egyptian-led drive on a possible Middle East nuclear weapons ban at a major United Nations conference, an Israeli official said on Saturday.... View Source ›

Danielle Demetriou, "Fukushima leak 'could cause hydrogen explosion' at nuclear plant" Telegraph / May 25, 2015 Warnings of risk of hydrogen explosion due to build up of gases in containers leaking radioactive water at Japan's disaster-hit Fukushima nuclear power plant... View Source ›

May 22, 2015

Louis Charbonneau, "U.S. official in Israel to discuss Mideast nuclear arms ban" Reuters / May 22, 2015 A senior U.S. official is in Israel to discuss the possibility of a compromise that would keep alive the idea of someday banning nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East, U.S. officials and U.N. diplomats said on Thursday.... View Source ›

Jay Solomon, "U.S. Sanctions Triggered by Plane Sale to Iran’s Mahan Air" The Wall Street Journal / May 22, 2015 The U.S. took punitive measures against an Iraqi airline and a Syrian businessman on Thursday over the sale of aircraft to a blacklisted Iranian airline, in a case that has sparked concerns that U.S. sanctions are beginning to fray as foreigners anticipate a nuclear deal with Tehran next month.... View Source ›

Jeffrey Goldberg, "'Look ... It's My Name on This': Obama Defends the Iran Nuclear Deal" The Atlantic / May 21, 2015 In an interview, the U.S. president ties his legacy to a pact with Tehran, argues ISIS is not winning, warns Saudi Arabia not to pursue a nuclear-weapons program, and anguishes about Israel.... View Source ›

Javier Blas and Joe Carroll, "Exxon Deploys More Sanction Watchers as Iran Nuke Deal Looms" Bloomberg / May 21, 2015 Exxon Mobil Corp. is ramping up efforts to track U.S. government work on Iranian sanctions that have locked out American oil companies from the Middle Eastern nation for more than three decades.... View Source ›

"Seoul, Japan, US to discuss North Korea next week" Business Standard / May 22, 2015 Chief nuclear envoys of South Korea, US and Japan will convene here next week on ways to dissuade North Korea from developing nuclear weapons, Seoul's foreign ministry said on Friday.... View Source ›

May 21, 2015

Thomas Erdbrink and David E. Sanger, "Iran’s Supreme Leader Rules Out Broad Nuclear Inspections" NY Times / May 20, 2015 Iran’s supreme leader on Wednesday ruled out allowing international inspectors to interview Iranian nuclear scientists as part of any potential deal on its nuclear program, and reiterated that the country would not allow the inspection of military sites.... View Source ›

"French minister: Iran seeks 24-day period in nuclear talks" Associated Press / May 20, 2015 France’s foreign minister says Iran wants 24 days before international inspectors could visit its nuclear sites in the event of a suspected violation of a deal with world powers over its atomic program.... View Source ›

Anna Fifield, "North Korea says it has technology to make mini-nuclear weapons" Washington Post / May 20, 2015 North Korea claimed Wednesday that it has been able to make nuclear warheads small enough to fit on a missile — a development that, if verified, would mark a major advance in the country’s military capabilities and the threat it can pose to the world.... View Source ›

Ashley Rowland, "State Department doubts North Korea's mini-nuke claim" Stars and Stripes / May 21, 2015 The U.S. government does not believe North Korea’s claim that it has developed nuclear warheads small enough to fit in a missile warhead, adding to the conflicting assessments of Pyongyang’s weapon and delivery capabilities.... View Source ›

Kentaro Hamada and Yuka Obayashi, "Japan approves third nuclear plant for restart" Reuters / May 21, 2015 Japan's nuclear regulator signed off on the basic safety of a reactor at a third nuclear plant on Wednesday, as the country inches toward rebooting its atomic industry more than four years after the 2011 Fukushima disaster.... View Source ›

May 20, 2015

Parisa Hafezi, "Iran's Khamenei rules out interviews with nuclear scientists" Reuters / May 20, 2015 Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Wednesday Tehran would not accept "unreasonable demands" by world powers during negotiations over its disputed nuclear program, and ruled out letting inspectors interview its atomic scientists.... View Source ›

George Jahn, "Iran, 6 World Powers Launch New Round of Nuclear Talks" Associated Press / May 20, 2015 Experts from Iran and six world powers are launching a new round of negotiations focused on reaching a deal that curbs Iran's nuclear program.... View Source ›

Nidhi Verma, "With nuclear deal in sight, Iran drives harder bargain in Indian trade talks" Reuters / May 20, 2015 Iranian trade negotiators have become more assertive with Indian counterparts as hopes rise of international sanctions on Tehran easing later this year, sources said, and Indian companies fear they may lose business as more countries bid for projects.... View Source ›

Matthew Pennington, "US: NKorea ‘many years’ from developing submarine missile" Associated Press / May 19, 2015 North Korea is “many years” away from being able to launch ballistic missiles from a submarine but that capability could eventually pose a threat to U.S. allies Japan and South Korea, a top U.S. military officer said Tuesday.... View Source ›

James Pearson, "North Korea ‘Modified' Submarine Missile Launch Photos, U.S. Official Says" Reuters / May 20, 2015 Photos showing a North Korean missile launched from a submarine were manipulated by state propagandists, and the isolated country may still be years away from developing the technology, a top U.S. military official said on Tuesday.... View Source ›

Masumi Suga and Emi Urabe, "Regulator Vouches for Safety of Third Nuclear Plant in Japan" Bloomberg / May 20, 2015 Japan’s nuclear regulator vouched in a draft report for the safety of a reactor on the southern island of Shikoku, boosting the government’s drive to revive atomic power after the meltdown at Fukushima four years ago.... View Source ›

May 19, 2015

Parisa Hafezi, "Iran uses maritime confrontations to project power in Gulf" Reuters / May 18, 2015 Iran is using its sea power in the Gulf to show it will not be cowed by Washington's newly assertive Arab allies, prompting critics to accuse Tehran of destabilizing the region.... View Source ›

Arthur MacMillan, "US reporter to face Iran spy charges next week" AFP / May 19, 2015 The Washington Post's Tehran correspondent Jason Rezaian, in custody for 10 months, will appear in court next week accused of spying and other crimes against Iran, his lawyer said Tuesday.... View Source ›

Paul Vecchiatto, "South Africa to Start Nuclear Buy From July, Minister Says" Bloomberg / May 19, 2015 South Africa, faced with almost-daily power cuts, will start plans to procure nuclear energy from July, Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson said.... View Source ›

Reuters, "Kerry Says North Korea "Not Even Close" to Taking Steps to Rein In Nuclear Weapons Program" Reuters / May 18, 2015 The United States and China are discussing imposing further sanctions on North Korea, which is "not even close" to taking steps to rein in its nuclear weapons program, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday.... View Source ›

Associated Press, "UK Submariner Who Questioned Nuclear Sub Safety Apprehended" Associated Press / May 19, 2015 Britain's Royal Navy says a submariner who publicly challenged the safety of the country's nuclear fleet has been apprehended.... View Source ›

May 18, 2015

Yasmin Kaye, "US officials: 'Saudis set to buy nuclear weapons from Pakistan'" International Business Times / May 17, 2015 Saudi Arabia is said to have taken the "strategic decision" to acquire "off-the-shelf" nuclear weapons from ally Pakistan, senior US officials told the Sunday Times.... View Source ›

Shadia Nasralla, "Iran prepared for all scenarios in nuclear talks: negotiator" Reuters / May 15, 2015 Iran is prepared for "all scenarios" in talks with world powers about curbing its nuclear programme in exchange for sanctions relief, its top nuclear negotiator said on Friday when asked what would happen if no final deal was reached by July.... View Source ›

Florence Tan, "Iran deputy oil min says OPEC unlikely to cut output" Reuters / May 18, 2015 The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is unlikely to implement a production cut at its next meeting in June, a senior Iranian official said on Monday.... View Source ›

AFP, "Netanyahu says not too late to stop Iran nuclear deal" AFP / May 17, 2015 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday there was still time to stop an Iranian agreement with world powers that he says would give Tehran nuclear arms.... View Source ›

Carol Morello, "Kerry arrives in Seoul amid rising fears over North Korea" Washington Post / May 17, 2015 Secretary of State John F. Kerry arrived in South Korea on Sunday armed with messages directed north of the 38th parallel at North Korea, which has sowed concerns with its recent actions at sea and in cyberspace.... View Source ›

May 15, 2015

Deb Riechmann, "House passes bill for Congress to review Iran nuclear deal" Associated Press / May 14, 2015 Congress on Thursday sent President Barack Obama a bill to give lawmakers the power to review and potentially reject a nuclear deal with Iran.... View Source ›

Phil Stewart and Jonathan Saul, "Iran navy fires shots at tanker as tensions rise in Gulf" Reuters / May 14, 2015 Iranian naval vessels fired shots at a Singapore-flagged tanker in the Gulf on Thursday, in what appeared to be Iran's latest attempt to settle a legal dispute by force with passing commercial vessels, U.S. officials said.... View Source ›

Jeff Mason and Roberta Rampton, "Obama updates Gulf leaders on Iran talks, seeks support for deal" Reuters / May 14, 2015 President Barack Obama on Thursday updated leaders from Gulf states on international efforts to forge a nuclear deal with Iran, U.S. deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes said.... View Source ›

Corey Flintoff, "Ice Cold U.S., Russia Relations Put Strain On Nuclear Agreements" NPR / May 14, 2015 As relations between the world's two biggest nuclear powers deteriorate, the treaties and dialogue that kept Russia and the U.S. from nuclear war are fraying.... View Source ›

Shadia Nasralla, "UPDATE 1-Handling radioactive waste at Fukushima plant could be improved -IAEA" Reuters / May 14, 2015 The U.N. nuclear watchdog said the management of radioactive waste and contaminated water at Japan's tsunami-crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant could be improved despite good progress in cleaning up the site.... View Source ›

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