U.N. analysts said an apparent drop in Iran’s arms-usable imports may mean Tehran is hiding banned acquisitions with growing success, Reuters reports.
The development may alternately reflect a slowdown in Iran’s efforts to obtain atomic and missile components in breach of international sanctions, says an unreleased U.N. Panel of Experts assessment described in a Monday news article. The drop-off in detected procurement attempts coincides with a series of multilateral discussions intended to defuse fears that Tehran’s atomic activities are geared toward nuclear-arms development.
The document highlights an “ongoing” panel investigation of titanium tubes found hidden inside steel piping sent from China to Iran. The analysis notes no specific atomic uses for the components, which were requested by the Iranian firm Ocean Lotka International Shipping and Forwarding.
The U.N. experts advised other nations to increase their scrutiny of intermediary companies, warning that Iran could tap such entities to hide the ultimate recipients and uses of prohibited technologies.
“In three cases inspected under the current mandate, names of freight forwarders were recorded on shipping documentation in the place of consignors or consignees,” the document states.
The expert panel separately referenced a probe still in progress on possible steps to procure valves from Germany and India for use at Iran’s Arak heavy-water reactor. Citing data from German prosecutors, the document says an Iranian company successfully obtained more than 65 percent of nearly 1,800 such components it is believed to have requested from 2007 to 2011.
The Iranian firm — called Modern Industries Technique Company — has been targeted by international penalties since 2010 over its work on the Arak facility. Iran has tentatively offered to alter the unopened reactor site to reduce its anticipated output of bomb-usable plutonium.
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With three days until the first debate, the polls are coming fast and furious. The latest round:
- An Associated Press/Gfk poll of registered voters found very few voters committed, with Clinton leading Trump, 37% to 29%, and Gary Johnson at 7%.
- A McClatchy-Marist poll gave Clinton a six-point edge, 45% to 39%, in a four-way ballot test. Johnson pulls 10% support, with Jill Stein at 4%.
- Rasmussen, which has drawn criticism for continually showing Donald Trump doing much better than he does in other polls, is at it again. A new survey gives Trump a five-point lead, 44%-39%.
In contrast to Hillary Clinton's meticulous debate practice sessions, Donald Trump "is largely shunning traditional debate preparations, but has been watching video of…Clinton’s best and worst debate moments, looking for her vulnerabilities.” Trump “has paid only cursory attention to briefing materials. He has refused to use lecterns in mock debate sessions despite the urging of his advisers. He prefers spitballing ideas with his team rather than honing them into crisp, two-minute answers.”
Donald Trump "is on the precipice of becoming the only major-party presidential candidate this century not to reach out to millions of American voters whose dominant, first or just preferred language is Spanish. Trump has not only failed to buy any Spanish-language television or radio ads, he so far has avoided even offering a translation of his website into Spanish, breaking with two decades of bipartisan tradition."
Bill and Hillary Clinton have purchased the home next door to their primary residence in tony Chappaqua, New York, for $1.16 million. "By purchasing the new home, the Clinton's now own the entire cul-de-sac at the end of the road in the leafy New York suburb. The purchase makes it easier for the United States Secret Service to protect the former president and possible future commander in chief."