Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency appeared to gain little traction last week in clearing the way for a stalled nuclear probe, despite positive statements by participants, envoys told Reuters on Wednesday.
Last Friday’s meeting was the 11th between Iran and the IAEA since early last year to consider potential ground rules for the U.N. nuclear watchdog to look into intelligence findings that the Middle Eastern nation once may have engaged scientific activities relevant to atomic-arms development. The alleged work could include nuclear-relevant explosives tests, as well as work on a nuclear-bomb trigger at its Parchin military base.
Iranian delegates to last week’s Iran-IAEA talks — the first held under Iranian President Hassan Rouhani — said Tehran hopes to break significant ground on the matter in a matter of months, according to an informed diplomat. However, previous hints at forward movement ultimately led nowhere, multiple envoys said.
Iran and the U.N. organization are next slated to meet on Oct. 28, following two days of separate atomic discussions between Tehran and six major governments. The five permanent U.N. Security Council member nations and Germany for years have sought more concrete assurances that Iran’s nuclear program is not supporting development of a weapon capability.
A Senate panel is not expected to consider a House-passed Iran sanctions bill for several more weeks, at least, possibly placing any debate on the legislation after Iran’s scheduled meeting with the “P-5+1” nations, Reuters reported separately on Tuesday.
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In a sign that she’s ready to put a longer-than-expected primary battle behind her, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) is no longer going on the air in upcoming primary states. “Team Clinton hasn’t spent a single cent in … California, Indiana, Kentucky, Oregon and West Virginia, while” Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) “campaign has spent a little more than $1 million in those same states.” Meanwhile, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Sanders’ "lone backer in the Senate, said the candidate should end his presidential campaign if he’s losing to Hillary Clinton after the primary season concludes in June, breaking sharply with the candidate who is vowing to take his insurgent bid to the party convention in Philadelphia.”
The team behind the bestselling "Clinton Cash"—author Peter Schweizer and Breitbart's Stephen Bannon—is turning the book into a movie that will have its U.S. premiere just before the Democratic National Convention this summer. The film will get its global debut "next month in Cannes, France, during the Cannes Film Festival. (The movie is not a part of the festival, but will be shown at a screening arranged for distributors)." Bloomberg has a trailer up, pointing out that it's "less Ken Burns than Jerry Bruckheimer, featuring blood-drenched money, radical madrassas, and ominous footage of the Clintons."
Conrad Burns, the colorful livestock auctioneer and radio executive from Montana who served three terms as a senator, died on Thursday at age 81. Burns "was ousted from office in 2006 under the specter of scandal after developing close ties to "super-lobbyist" Jack Abramoff," although no charges were ever filed.
In an exchange not ripped from the page of The Onion, Vice President Biden revealed to a Vatican cardinal that he's been betting reporters on which cars are faster. After meeting privately with Pope Francis, Biden met with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State. Within moments of greeting one another, Biden said that he'd met with the pope and, gesturing to the press pool, "I've met with these guys too." Singling out reporter Gardiner Harris, who recounted the exchange, he said, "I had to pay this man $10. He's from the New York Times. We had a bet: which is the faster car, the newer Cadillac or the new [Tesla]. ... The Tesla's two tenths of a second faster. But I lost. I paid my $10." He joked that he's "seeking absolution."
Donald Trump held his first rally in California Thursday night, and things were chaotic: "Hundreds of demonstrators filled the street outside the Orange County amphitheater where ... stomping on cars, hurling rocks at motorists and forcefully declaring their opposition to the Republican presidential candidate. Traffic came to a halt as a boisterous crowd walked in the roadway, some waving American and Mexican flags. Protesters smashed a window on at least one police cruiser, punctured the tires of a police sport utility vehicle, and at one point tried to flip a police car."