Saturday, February 24, 2018

U.N. nuclear inspection gets under way in Iran

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran's foreign minister expressed optimism Sunday that a visit by U.N. inspectors to Iran's nuclear facilities would produce an understanding, despite world concerns that Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons.

The three-day inspection tour by the International Atomic Energy Agency team comes during spiking tension. The West is imposing new sanctions to try to force Iran to slow or halt its nuclear program, and Iran is threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz, a vital oil passage, in retaliation.

Visiting Ethiopia, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi appeared to be trying to defuse the crisis. "We are very optimistic about the mission and the outcome" of the IAEA mission, Salehi was quoted as saying by Iran's semiofficial Mehr news agency.

The findings from the visit could greatly influence the direction and urgency of U.S.-led efforts to rein in Iran's ability to enrich uranium — which Washington and allies fear could eventually produce weapons-grade material. Iran has declined to abandon its enrichment labs, but claims it seeks to fuel reactors only for energy and medical research.

The team is likely to visit an underground enrichment site near the holy city of Qom, 80 miles south of Tehran, which is carved into a mountain as protection from possible airstrikes. This month, Iran said it had begun enrichment work at the site, which is far smaller than the country's main uranium labs but is reported to have more advanced equipment.

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 that it seeks nuclear warheads.

Comments
UN Security Council approves 30-day humanitarian cease-fire in Syria

UN Security Council approves 30-day humanitarian cease-fire in Syria

The United Nations Security Council on Saturday unanimously called for a 30-day cease-fire in Syria, with Russia agreeing to the temporary hiatus only after forcing two days of delays that critics said allowed ally Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to...
Updated: 11 minutes ago
Practice makes perfect for Gasparilla 5K champions

Practice makes perfect for Gasparilla 5K champions

TAMPA — The only other time Taylor McDowell ran the Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic 5K, he came in 10th place. So as this year's event neared, the Tampa resident created a training plan, and he stuck to it.McDowell, who competed in cross cou...
Updated: 11 minutes ago

AP Top News at 2:56 p.m. EST

AP Top News at 2:56 p.m. EST
Updated: 13 minutes ago
Judge dismisses coal company suit against HBO's John Oliver

Judge dismisses coal company suit against HBO's John Oliver

A West Virginia judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed against HBO host John Oliver brought by coal company Murray Energy
Updated: 13 minutes ago
Adina Pintilie's

Adina Pintilie's "Touch Me Not" wins Berlin's Golden Bear

"Touch Me Not," an experimental movie about intimacy from Romanian director Adina Pintilie, has won the top Golden Bear prize at the Berlin International Film Festival.
Updated: 14 minutes ago
NRA, Florida faces backlash after latest school shooting

NRA, Florida faces backlash after latest school shooting

NRA faces corporate backlash after latest school shooting
Updated: 16 minutes ago
Northeast High alumnus Jon Mott wins 3rd Gasparilla 15K crown

Northeast High alumnus Jon Mott wins 3rd Gasparilla 15K crown

TAMPA — Roughly 20 minutes into Saturday morning's Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic 15K, reigning champ A.J. Richmond glanced over his left shoulder to former college teammate Jon Mott and flashed a quick hand signal."He was telling me that t...
Updated: 17 minutes ago
UN unanimously demands a 30-day cease-fire across Syria

UN unanimously demands a 30-day cease-fire across Syria

The U.N. Security Council unanimously approved a resolution Saturday demanding a 30-day cease-fire across Syria "without delay" to deliver humanitarian aid to millions and evacuate the critically ill and wounded
Updated: 18 minutes ago

Davidson beats Duquesne, coach McKillop reaches 550 wins

Kellan Grady scored 30 points, Peyton Aldridge had his fourth straight double-double and Davidson beat Duquesne 71-60 for coach Bob McKillop's 550th career victory
Updated: 19 minutes ago

Nats closer Doolittle hopes slider makes him more complete

Comfortably installed as a team's closer for the first spring in his career, Washington's Sean Doolittle is taking advantage of his newly found role security to expand his pitching arsenal by adding a slider
Updated: 19 minutes ago