Iran rejected claims that a Saturday meeting may spotlight its past work with a potential ingredient for triggering nuclear explosions, Iran Daily Brief reports.
“We are not going to discuss any issues that have already been examined and closed” with the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency, Iranian Atomic Energy Organization spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi said in Persian-language news reports quoted by the website on Thursday.
He was referring to media chatter about the International Atomic Energy Agency’s possible renewed interest in the nation’s previous research involving polonium 210. The organization in 2008 said Iran had satisfactorily answered its questions concerning the substance, but IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano at a Munich conference last weekend said his organization wanted to “clarify” related matters.
The unusual radioactive material could be used to help detonate nuclear blasts, but also has some civilian applications.
At the same time, envoys are guardedly hopeful that Iran will agree in this weekend’s talks to begin allowing some investigation into whether it carried out past activities relevant to the potential weaponization of its nuclear work, Reuters reported on Thursday.
The Vienna-based nuclear agency might initially limit its demands for Iran — which insists its nuclear program is strictly peaceful — to permit scrutiny of so-called “possible military dimensions,” or “PMD,” of its atomic activities.
One Western diplomat said IAEA negotiators “absolutely have to start with some PMD issues. Low-hanging fruit would be fine as long as it was real PMD.”
A focus on less divisive priorities suggests the U.N. agency might hold off for the moment on demanding access to a military base where Iran is suspected to have carried out nuclear arms-relevant research, according to Reuters. Other points of concern include an allegation that Iran carried out digital modeling activities tied to potential nuclear tests.
The IAEA probe “is about being thorough and transparent, not about being fast,” said the Western envoy, who Reuters said was not affiliated with any of the six governments negotiating with Iran on its disputed nuclear activities.
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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."