The European Union’s chief interlocutor in atomic discussions with Iran made arrangements on Saturday to “meet soon” with the Persian Gulf power’s newly confirmed top diplomat, the Associated Press reported.
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton has represented six world powers — China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States — in multilateral talks to address fears that Tehran’s ostensibly nonmilitary nuclear program is actually aimed at establishing an arms capability. After years of meetings, the sides have gained little traction in clearing up concerns about Tehran’s atomic intentions.
Ashton “called the Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif today to congratulate him on assuming his new post,” her office said in a statement. Lawmakers confirmed Zarif to the position on Thursday, days after his appointment was announced by recently inaugurated President Hassan Rouhani.
The five permanent U.N. Security Council member nations and Germany are “ready to work with the new Iranian [nuclear] negotiating team as soon as they [are] appointed,” the statement adds. “[Ashton] confirmed the need for substantial talks that will lead to concrete results swiftly.”
Iran possesses thousands more uranium enrichment centrifuges than it had previously publicly stated, AP reported a senior Iranian nuclear official indicating on Saturday, as he stepped down as head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization. The uranium enrichment process could generate fuel for peaceful purposes, as well as nuclear-bomb material, if such a decision were taken.
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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."