U.N. nuclear inspectors last year decided against issuing an assessment that may have elaborated on Iran’s alleged nuclear studies, Reuters reports.
The proposed International Atomic Energy Agency document might have provided more information on experiments that Iran is suspected to have conducted in a possible bid for knowledge on building nuclear weapons, insiders told the news service for a Thursday report. They said the U.N. organization appeared to shelve the possibility as Iran launched a new diplomatic push on its atomic activities under President Hassan Rouhani, who was voted into office last June.
The agency findings — had they been disclosed — probably would have become an obstacle in efforts to resolve international fears that the Persian Gulf regional power is seeking an atomic-arms capacity under the guise of a peaceful nuclear program, according to Reuters. Iran, which contends its nuclear ambitions have been solely nonmilitary in nature, began discussions last week with the five permanent U.N. Security Council member nations and Germany on a potential long-term deal to address the fears.
Speaking to journalists on Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Washington wants “to figure out if before we go to war there actually might be a peaceful solution” to the dispute, Reuters reported separately.
Insiders suggested the scuttled IAEA analysis might have built on the contents of a 2011 assessment in which the agency outlined some of its key suspicions about the Middle Eastern nation’s past nuclear efforts. Last week, the agency reported in a quarterly safeguards document that it had “obtained more information since November 2011 that has further corroborated the analysis contained in that annex.”
Iran has challenged the authenticity of materials on which the IAEA suspicions are based. Earlier this month, though, Tehran agreed to respond to certain inquiries by a long-stalled agency probe intended to help confirm or debunk allegations about Iran’s alleged past nuclear-related research.
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Paul Ryan told CNN today he's "not ready" to back Donald Trump at this time. "I'm not there right now," he said. Ryan said Trump needs to unify "all wings of the Republican Party and the conservative movement" and then run a campaign that will allow Americans to "have something that they're proud to support and proud to be a part of. And we've got a ways to go from here to there."
In The New Yorker, Jeffrey Toobin gives Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, the longread treatment. The scourge of corrupt New York pols, bad actors on Wall Street, and New York gang members, Bharara learned at the foot of Chuck Schumer, the famously limelight-hogging senator whom he served as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee staff. No surprise then, that after President Obama appointed him, Bharara "brought a media-friendly approach to what has historically been a closed and guarded institution. In professional background, Bharara resembles his predecessors; in style, he’s very different. His personality reflects his dual life in New York’s political and legal firmament. A longtime prosecutor, he sometimes acts like a budding pol; his rhetoric leans more toward the wisecrack than toward the jeremiad. He expresses himself in the orderly paragraphs of a former high-school debater, but with deft comic timing and a gift for shtick."
President Obama has announced another round of commutations of prison sentences. Most of the 58 individuals named are incarcerated for possessions with intent to distribute controlled substances. The prisoners will be released between later this year and 2018.
The Daily Beast has unearthed a piece that Donald Trump wrote for Gear magazine in 2000, which anticipates his 2016 sales pitch quite well. "Perhaps it's time for a dealmaker who can get the leaders of Congress to the table, forge consensus, and strike compromise," he writes. Oddly, he opens by defending his reputation as a womanizer: "The hypocrites argue that a man who loves and appreciates beautiful women (and does so legally and openly) shouldn't become a national leader? Is there something wrong with appreciating beautiful women? Don't we want people in public office who show signs of life?"