UN nuclear watchdog says Iran taking ‘step in right direction’

Acting Head of IAEA said Iranian engagements doesn’t mean the issues are resolved. (File/AFP)
Updated 04 October 2019

UN nuclear watchdog says Iran taking ‘step in right direction’

  • IAEA head said Iran has been engaging in questions of nuclear safeguards
  • The organization’s questions did not directly address the 2015 nuclear deal

VIENNA: The UN’s nuclear watchdog said Friday that Iran had taken “a step in the right direction” toward dealing with questions on its nuclear program but cautioned that the issues have not been “completely addressed.”
Acting head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Cornel Feruta told journalists in Vienna there had in the past few weeks been “engagement” from Iran on questions relating to its nuclear safeguards declarations to the agency.
He added that “engagement doesn’t mean that the issues are completely addressed but it’s a step in the right direction.”
Feruta said the relevant questions from the IAEA did not touch directly on the faltering 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers but rather on Iran’s separate safeguards agreement with the agency.
While the IAEA has been careful not to specify what the outstanding questions relate to, diplomatic sources in Vienna say the agency has been waiting for information from the Iranians relating to samples taken earlier this year from a warehouse near the capital Tehran.
In 2018 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Iran of using the site for undeclared nuclear activity.
In his remarks to journalists, Feruta did not detail what the agency’s questions related to but said the IAEA was “discussing substance” with the Iranians.


Tens of thousands evacuated in Italy as WWII bomb defused

Updated 14 min 58 sec ago

Tens of thousands evacuated in Italy as WWII bomb defused

  • The bomb was found during work on a cinema
  • Residents within a 1.5-km radius were evacuated

ROME: Around 54,000 people were evacuated from the southern Italian city of Brindisi on Sunday as experts worked to defuse a World War II bomb, in the largest operation of its kind in the country, media said.
The British bomb, one-meter long and weighing 200 kilograms, was found on November 2 during work on a cinema.
The device was damaged by the workers’ equipment, making the operation trickier.
All residents within a 1.5-kilometer radius were evacuated, and gas supplies were cut in homes within 500 meters of the site.
Some air traffic and rail services were also suspended.
More than 1,000 members of the security forces and around 250 volunteers took part in the evacuation operation.
The AGI news agency said the evacuation of more than half Brindisi’s population of some 87,000 began on Saturday with the transfer of 217 prisoners to other detention facilities.