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IAEA urges Iran to provide information on uranium traces at sites | United Nations News

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UN nuclear watchdog chief’s remarks come as Tehran and world powers try to salvage a 2015 agreement.

Iran has failed to answer questions about the discovery of uranium particles at former undeclared sites in the country, the head of the UN nuclear watchdog has said, calling on Tehran to provide information “without further delay”.

Rafael Grossi, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, has been pushing Iran for answers on three sites dating back many years where inspections had revealed traces of uranium of man-made origin, suggesting they were once connected to Iran’s nuclear programme.

The issue is separate from the continuing negotiations aimed at bringing the United States back into Iran’s 2015 nuclear accord with world powers.

In April, the IAEA launched a new process of “technical discussions” with Iran in an effort to “break the impasse” over the sites.

But a report issued last week made clear that the IAEA’s queries had not been resolved.

“I am deeply concerned that nuclear material has been present at the three undeclared locations in Iran and that the current locations of this nuclear material are not known by the agency,” Grossi said.

Grossi said Monday that his “expectations were not met” and that there had been no “concrete progress” on the issue, despite the Iranian authorities’ stated willingness to cooperate. “Talk must lead to conclusions,” he said.

 

Grossi also said it was “becoming increasingly difficult” to extend a temporary inspections arrangement with Iran, as Tehran and world powers try to salvage the nuclear deal.

In February, Tehran suspended some IAEA inspections, leading the agency to strike a temporary three-month deal allowing it to continue its activities despite the reduced level of access.

“I can see this space narrowing down,” Grossi said.

In late May, the temporary arrangement was extended until June 24, with Grossi describing the remaining time as “very short”.

Referring to negotiations under way in central Vienna between world powers and Tehran on the possible revival of the 2015 deal on Iran’s nuclear programme, Grossi said he hoped that by “wider general agreement that’s being worked on downtown or by some other means, we are not going to see our … inspection capacities curtailed any more”.

“We cannot limit and continue to curtail the ability of the inspectors to inspect and at the same time pretend that there is trust,” he said.

Diplomats are hoping to conclude the talks on reviving the 2015 deal before Iran’s presidential election on June 18.

The deal has been disintegrating ever since former US President Donald Trump dramatically withdrew from it in 2018 and went on to re-impose singeing sanctions on Iran.

In retaliation, Iran has been disregarding limits laid down in the deal on its nuclear activities.

Grossi reiterated on Monday that the situation in Iran was “serious”.

“We have a country that has a very developed and ambitious nuclear programme which is enriching at very high levels … very close to weapons grade,” he said.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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Lockdown: Gov’t to Send Direct Cash to Vulnerable People

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The government on Sunday announced that it would not use the direct food distribution system to those affected by the Covid-19 lockdown but will instead send them direct cash.

Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja said the national taskforce on Covid-19 has agreed to send the vulnerable people money via mobile money platform or the voucher system for those without mobile phones.

“We have agreed to have direct payment method and voucher system to provide assistance to the vulnerable people. This time, we shall not give food. People have phones, we shall use mobile money. Those who don’t have phones, we shall use voucher system [to give the relief assistance],” she said.

The Prime Minister said a committee will sit on Tuesday to determine the amount that will be given and when people will start getting the support.

This comes after President Museveni on Friday announced a total lockdown to contain the surging Covid-19 cases by halting public and private transport and restricting other businesses. He also brought down curfew time to 7pm from 9pm.

During last year’s Covid-19 induced lockdown, the government distributed food to the urban poor but many people did not receive the portions while others received half of it.

Auditor General John Muwanga reported that items valued at 55.8 billion Shillings which were distributed under the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) lacked sufficient evidence of acknowledgement to enable him verify the recipients.

He also reported the quality checks by Uganda National Bureau of Standard-UNBS on a sample of 14,069 metric tonnes of maize flour and 8,547 metric tonnes of dry-beans which established that 2,615 metric tonnes of maize flour and 2,017 metric tonnes of dry-beans intended for distribution by OPM did not pass quality checks.

The government on Sunday reported 1,367 new infections and 34 new deaths, pushing the cumulative total of infections to 71,543 and deaths to 660.

The post Lockdown: Gov’t to Send Direct Cash to Vulnerable People first appeared on ChimpReports.



Source – chimpreports.com

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Ethiopia elections 2021: Abiy Ahmed faces first vote amid conflict

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His reformist zeal saw him win the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize, but just a year later, he waged a military operation in his own country – deploying troops to Tigray to oust the TPLF as the region’s ruling party after it seized military bases in what Mr Abiy saw as a bid to overthrow him.



Source – www.bbc.co.uk

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New Cabinet to Be Sworn-In Today

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Parliament has scheduled today Monday 21, 2021 for the inauguration of the new cabinet ministers.

For the whole of last week, 79 ministers were vetted by Parliament’s Appointments Committee led by Deputy Speaker Anita Among.

Two other appointees missed out reportedly due to health related challenges.

The swearing in event is being conducted with extreme caution by ensuring that all in attendance are free of Covid19.

President Yoweri Museveni was on Friday 18 forced to lock the country after fatalities of the novel virus spiked again.

Earlier on, Parliament was forced to scale down its work force after rumours that over 100 Members of Parliament were battling Covid-19.

The Institution’s Director of Communications Chris Obore however clarified on Friday that those affected attended crowded events; The State of Nation Address (SONA) and Budget Reading events.

The above events were held on June 4 and June 10, 2021 respectively.

“Over 3,000 people that included MPs, staff of Parliament, Police, ISO, SFC, Service Providers, Journalists, Prisons staff and invited guests were tested for COVID-19,” Obore explained.

“Out of all those tested for the events, approximately 100 came out positive. Note that Parliament has 529MPs (approximately 30 Parliament staff were manning the events,” he pointed out.

Obore refuted allegations the one hundred cases were from a sample of more than 3000 and disclosed that some had already recovered.

The post New Cabinet to Be Sworn-In Today first appeared on ChimpReports.



Source – chimpreports.com

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