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Iranian Nuclear Program under scrutiny by IAEA

TEHRAN, Iran — A U.N. nuclear team arrived in Tehran early Sunday for a mission expected to focus on Iran’s alleged attempt to develop nuclear weapons.

The U.N. nuclear agency delegation includes two senior weapons experts — Jacques Baute of France and Neville Whiting of South Africa — suggesting that Iran may be prepared to address some issues related to the allegations.

The delegation from the International Atomic Energy Agency is led by Deputy Director General Herman Nackaerts, who is in charge of the Iran nuclear file. Also on the team is Rafael Grossi, IAEA chief Yukiya Amano’s right-hand man.

In unusually blunt comments ahead of his arrival in Tehran, Nackaerts urged Iran to work with his mission on probing the allegations about Iran’s alleged attempts to develop nuclear weapons, reflecting the importance the IAEA is attaching to the issue.

Tehran has refused to discuss the alleged weapons experiments for three years, saying they are based on “fabricated documents” provided by a “few arrogant countries” — a phrase authorities in Iran often use to refer to the United States and its allies.

Ahead of his departure, Nackaerts told reporters at Vienna airport he hopes Iran “will engage with us on all concerns.”

“So we’re looking forward to the start of a dialogue,” he said: “A dialogue that is overdue since very long.”

In a sign of the difficulties the team faces and the tensions that surround Iran’s disputed nuclear program, a dozen Iranian hard-liners carrying photos of slain nuclear expert Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan were waiting at Tehran’s Imam Khomeini airport early Sunday to challenge the team upon arrival.

That prompted security officials to whisk the IAEA team away from the tarmac to avoid any confrontation with the hard-liners.

Iran’s official IRNA news agency confirmed the team’s arrival and said the IAEA experts are likely to visit the underground Fordo uranium enrichment site near the holy city of Qom, 80 miles (130 kilometers) south of the capital, Tehran.

During their three-day visit, the IAEA team will be looking for permission to talk to key Iranian scientists suspected of working on a weapons program, inspect documents related to such suspected work and secure commitments from Iranian authorities to allow future visits to sites linked to such allegations. But even a decision to enter a discussion over the allegations would be a major departure from Iran’s frequent simple refusal to talk about them.

The United States and its allies want Iran to halt its enrichment of uranium, which they worry could eventually lead to weapons-grade material and the production of nuclear weapons. Iran says its program is for peaceful purposes, such as generating electricity and producing medical radioisotopes to treat cancer patients.

Iran has accused the IAEA in the past of security leaks that expose its scientists and their families to the threat of assassination by the U.S. and Israel.

Iranian state media say Roshan, a chemistry expert and director of the Natanz uranium enrichment facility in central Iran, was interviewed by IAEA inspectors before being killed in a brazen bomb attack in Tehran earlier this month.

Iranian media have urged the government to be vigil, saying some IAEA inspectors are “spies,” reflecting the deep suspicion many in Iran have for the U.N. experts sent to inspect Iran’s nuclear sites.

Then there are the experts in the US that are being ignored because they do not speak the party line demanded …

The former director of U.S. programs for production of nuclear materials and components for nuclear weapons, Clinton Bastin, sent an open letter to President Obama the morning of January 13, explaining that there is no weapons threat from Iran’s fully safeguarded nuclear power and research programs.
http://www.larouchepac.com/node/21190

Given the high stakes, it is valuable to take another look at the main source of the tension: Iran’s suspected nuclear weapons programme. That this enterprise is active is widely considered a given in the United States. In fact, the evidence, described in a report issued in November 2011 by the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Yukiya Amano, is sketchy. Furthermore, the way the data has been presented produces a sickly sense of déjà vu.

As a member of the IAEA Iraq Action Team in 2003, I learned first hand how withholding the facts can lead to bloodshed. Having known the details then, although I was not allowed to speak about them, I feel a certain shared responsibility for the war that killed more than 4000 Americans and more than 100 000 Iraqis. As a private citizen today, I hope to help ensure the facts are clear before the USA takes further steps that could lead, intentionally or otherwise, to a new conflagration, this time in Iran.
http://www.sipri.org/media/newsletter/essay/januar…

And Robert Kelley’s opinion on the most recent IAEA report on Iran?

“It’s very thin, I thought there would be a lot more there,” says Robert Kelley, an American nuclear engineer and former IAEA inspector who was among the first to review the original data in 2005. “It’s certainly old news; it’s really quite stunning how little new information is in there.”
http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2011/11…

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Euro Crisis is NOT going away … Greek debt is STILL the PROBLEM


More at The Real News

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Federal Reserve has been, is now and will in the future BAIL OUT EU

Fed Bails out European Central Bank

The Federal Reserve, private banking cartel, has participated in EU bank ‘liquidity’, newspeak for ‘bailout money’.

At last we are getting credible reports from former bank insiders of what is going on.

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Quick View

Japan: expanding at last

China: growth slowing

U.S.: slight acceleration in growth

Eurozone: in deepening recession

U.K.: entering recession

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System Shift

I quote Canadian Ian Gordon in his recent interview with The Gold Report. In response to the interviewers question on how long this will last he says,

“TGR: My final question is, how long will winter (of the long cycle) last?

IG: It will last until the debt has been eradicated from the economies of the world. So, to give it a date is difficult. If the whole world monetary system collapses under the massive mountain of debt that has accumulated worldwide, then it will happen reasonably fast, and a new world monetary system will evolve. I think that new system will be based on gold.”

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Cairo Demonstrations return

Violence has broken out in Cairo, beginning today at about 8 p.m. Demonstrators outside the state television station began firing on soldiers patrolling the area, according to reports from government sources. Two soldiers were reported dead and 25 soldiers were reported wounded so far. Other reliable reports say that multiple vehicle fires have broken out and that tear gas is being fired by the police at the crowd. Demonstrations are also under way at Tahrir Square.

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Dexia rescued … again

BELGIUM will take total control of the local arm of the troubled Franco-Belgian bank Dexia, Prime Minister Yves Leterme said after a cabinet meeting in Brussels.

Leterme said the move would “make secure” the retail bank inside Belgium and free it from “any risks resulting from the environment within parent body Dexia SA”.

Finance Minister Didier Reynders said his Government had offered four billion euros ($5.51 billion) for Dexia Bank Belgium, an amount he said was “reasonable”.

He told a news conference today: “With this agreement the wish of the Belgian Government is not to remain indefinitely in (control of) its bank nor to leave rapidly but to ensure its continuity.”

Reynders said Belgium would guarantee the financing of the future “bad bank” that would remain after the dismantling of the Dexia group, to the tune of 60 per cent, or 54 billion euros.

The guarantee by the three states – France, Belgium and Luxembourg – where Dexia is present amounted to 90 billion euros, he said, as against 150 billion when the bank was saved in 2008.

Source: http://www.news.com.au/business/belgium-to-take-control-of-dexia-bank/story-e6frfm1i-1226163065472#ixzz1aMcWFl3Z

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Keep calm and carry on …

Great advice for Gold and Silver investors.

The recent drop in the price of Gold & Silver is most likely due to margin calls on the leverage investors.

By Peter Schiff, CEO of Euro Pacific Precious Metals

The past couple weeks have seen a strong pullback in both commodity prices and stocks. Gold fell sharply off its peak after soaring just past $1,900. Volatility in commodity, currency, and equity markets has been very high recently, and these short-term price movements have Wall Street pundits in an uproar.

As gold prices soared, many advisors recommended investing in the yellow metal with appeals to the “bandwagon effect”. A rising price, they argued, indicated changing sentiment, and thus future appreciation. For those who bought on this reasoning, a falling price is a bad omen.

In addition, for a while, gold prices were rising even as stock prices were falling. As a result, some investors bought gold to hedge stock market risk. When gold eventually followed equity prices lower, these trades were unwound.

But as my readers know, following the crowd has never been the reason to buy gold. After all, that same logic would have recommended buying a house in Phoenix five years ago. Since the fundamentals still point to gold’s long-term viability, our phones have been ringing off the hook with customers smartly seeking to take advantage of the dip.

UNCHANGING FUNDAMENTALS

It’s important to understand the fundamental reasons for owning gold, and those reasons have not changed. The US government embarked on a decades-long spending spree of historic proportions. To finance the resulting debt, the Federal Reserve is printing money furiously. Because most every central bank governor appears indoctrinated in the Keynesian economic philosophy, foreign central banks are simultaneously printing euros, yen, francs, yuan, and pounds to “keep up.” Of course, this competitive devaluation actually represents countries shooting themselves in the foot.

Don’t expect any abrupt changes either. The Fed’s philosophy – a resolute faith in central planning and debasement – has been unchanged since Paul Volcker stepped down as Chairman in 1987.

Rather than considering any change of direction, the Federal Reserve Board is likely asking itself: “Should we print $50 billion or $500 billion in our next round of stimulus?” “Can the ECB bailout Greece now or do we first need to bail out the ECB?” “Should we call our money-printing’liquidity assistance’ or ‘quantitative easing’?”Or perhaps, “Do we have enough ink refills for all those printing presses?”

You may think I’m joking, but this is quite serious. While monetary policy was bad under Greenspan, Ben Bernanke has literally instituted a revolutionary devaluation program for the dollar. And gold is the only way to avoid his guillotine.

TRUE VALUE VS. SPOT PRICE

Let’s remember that it is the fundamental value of an asset which dictates its long-term market price. Yet for some reason, many see this relationship backwards – they use the short-term market price to extrapolate the fundamental value. Consider a car on the dealer’s lot: if the price of the car falls tomorrow, it becomes a better deal. If the price rises tomorrow, the car has becomes less attractive.

This principle is equally true in long-term investments. I believe that gold’s fundamental value is far higher than $1,600, and far higher than $2,000. So, while it may be unsettling for some of those who own gold to see steep short-term price declines, remember to focus on the fundamental value of the asset, not the spot price on the market today.

Has the fundamental value of gold fallen in these past two weeks? Quite the opposite.

A DEBT-LADEN HOUSE OF CARDS

The Fed is still trying to find ways to manipulate the bond market with the newly announced “Operation Twist.” This is yet another plan to suppress yields, encourage spending (as if too little spending was America’s problem), and paper-over the untenable interest payments hanging over Washington. The manipulated US bond market is perhaps the greatest bubble in existence. Further manipulation only makes it more unstable in the long-term, and when that bubble bursts, gold should skyrocket.

Meanwhile, the European debt crisis is quickly spreading to Italy. On Sept. 28th, Italy was selling bonds at yields twice as high as the previous sale at the beginning of the year. The ECB may be able to keep Greece afloat, but Italy is the eurozone’s third largest member. That’s a load too heavy for the ECB to bear.

This is especially true in the wake of Moody’s downgrade of two of the largest French banks – Societe Generale and Credit Agricole. As reported in the Wall Street Journal, “[Moody’s] said its decision to downgrade the banks included the assumption of debt restructuring that would cost investors up to 60% on Greek sovereign debt, 50% on Portuguese and Irish debts, 10% on Spanish debt and 7% on Italy’s debt.”

In other words, the Western financial system is a debt-laden house of cards. This is the root of the current market panic. But what’s harder to explain is why investors are responding by selling gold and buying dollars and euros. Then again, I was always told not to look a gift horse in the mouth.

KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON

Do not get caught in the exuberance or pessimism of short-term movements, even if they’re sharp. Observe the fundamentals – the events in Europe, the looming budget calamity in the US, central bankers’ steadfast strategy of debasement, and emerging markets’ continued diversification into precious metals. These are the main drivers for gold’s long-term appreciation.

To my readers who may have purchased metals just before this pullback, your concern is understandable. But I believe this bull market has a long way to run, and the rise up ahead looks even steeper from these levels.

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Greece to stay

The EU community cannot currently afford to pay the rescue amounts needed for Italy, Spain and possibly France if the EU decided to allow Greece to fail.

Therefore the ‘cheaper’ course to follow is to continue to ‘muddle along’ with another bail out package.

The band-aid money will continue to flow into Greece to permit the time needed to re-finance and re-capitalize the other European nations and banks that are heavily exposed to Greek debt.

There will be an announcement, likely involving some land guarantees, or other revenue potential in the future for Germany and Finland from Greek assets, coming on Friday, most likely AFTER the close of trading in New York so that there will be time to ‘re-set’ portfolios of those in the know before the wider investment community learns via ‘official’ announcements.

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There are still no words to describe this

Inspector General of FED is not sure where $2 Trillion was lent.

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