by Staff Writers
Vienna (AFP) March 8, 2017
The board of the UN atomic watchdog, which tracks Iran's compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal, Wednesday backed Yukiya Amano to serve a third term as director general, the board's chairman said.
The appointment for four more years still has to be approved by all members of the International Atomic Energy Agency's in September but this is seen as a formality.
Amano, 69, a veteran Japanese diplomat, was a somewhat contentious choice when first appointed head of the Vienna-based IAEA in 2009.
US diplomatic cables quoted by WikiLeaks described him as being "solidly in the US court on every key strategic decision".
Andrew Schofer, the US representative to the IAEA, said Wednesday's decision "demonstrates the board's appreciation for the director general's leadership during some of the agency's most significant challenges".
Amano has been accused in some quarters of seeking to turn what is meant to be a purely technical organisation into a political body with excessive oversight.
But he won kudos for his handling of the 2011 Fukushima disaster in his native country and the thorny Iran dossier. He was comfortably re-appointed in 2013.
The IAEA is crucial to monitoring Iran's compliance with Tehran's 2015 deal with major powers downscaling the country's nuclear activities.
It is however not present in North Korea, which has carried out a string of nuclear tests, after inspectors were kicked out in 2009.
"We will continue to carefully monitor and verify Iran's implementation of its nuclear-related commitments," Amano said Wednesday.
He added that the IAEA would "maintain our readiness to resume our verification work in North Korea once political developments make this possible."
Brussels (AFP) March 6, 2017
EU authorities on Monday approved a controversial nuclear expansion project in Hungary that is heavily backed by Russia. The approval removes the last roadblock to the 12.5 billion euro ($13.2 billion) expansion of Hungary's only nuclear facility, which Russia is financing by 80 percent even as tensions between Europe and the Kremlin run high. The European Commission "has approved this s ... read more
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