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EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 14/09/2021

EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 14/09/2021

The Guardian – Patrick Wintour / Iran agrees deal with UN on monitoring of nuclear programme

  • Iran has agreed to allow UN nuclear inspectors to install new memory cards into its cameras monitoring the country’s controversial nuclear programme in a move that could keep the inspection process on life support, and even ease a path towards a lifting of US sanctions.
  • Rafael Grossi, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN’s nuclear watchdog, struck the deal in Tehran on Sunday after two hours of talks and will report to the IAEA’s board meeting on Monday.
  • His breakthrough makes it less likely European states and the US will table a motion of censure against Iran that would have been passed to the UN security council. Grossi had been preparing to report to the IAEA that his ad hoc agreements to monitor the nuclear programme struck in February had in effect collapsed.
  • The existing cards showing Iranian activity at its main nuclear sites will be kept in Iran under what is described as a joint seal. It has also been agreed the cameras can be serviced. No further details were given in the joint statement apart from that the two sides had reached an agreement on how this was to be done.
  • Haaretz / Iran one month away from enough weapons-grade uranium for nuke, report says

The New York Times – Elian Peltier / Norway’s ‘climate election’ puts center-left in charge

  • Voters in Norway ousted their conservative prime minister on Monday, turning instead to a center-left leader following an election campaign dominated by climate change, and the growing contradictions between the country’s environmental aspirations and its dependence on its vast oil and gas reserves.
  • Once a distant prospect for many Norwegians, global warming became a more tangible reality that all political parties in the wealthy Nordic nation of 5.3 million could no longer ignore.
  • In Norway, the Labour Party, led by former Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store, won around 26 percent of the votes in the country’s parliamentary elections and was poised to form a coalition with the Center Party. 
  • But he may also have to include a smaller left-wing party that has demanded a more aggressive response to tackle climate change, and that could make any coalition deeply divided over fossil fuels and taxes.
  • Politico – Charlie Duxbury / Norway’s Labor Party on course for election win

Financial Times – Sun Yu / China uses anti-fraud app to track access to overseas financial news sites

  • Chinese police are using a new anti-fraud app installed on more than 200m mobile phones to identify and question people who have viewed overseas financial news sites, according to individuals summoned by the authorities.
  • One Shanghai-based user told the Financial Times he was contacted by police after accessing a US financial news service. He was also asked whether he had contacts abroad and regularly visited overseas websites. The user, who asked not to be identified, said police seemed genuinely concerned about foreign scams.
  • A dozen individuals told the FT they were uncomfortable giving the app 29 permissions, including live-monitoring of call logs, text messages and conversations, in order to install it on their phones.
  • Parents from across the country said they had to download the app before they were allowed to enrol their children in school. In Shenzhen, some tenants have been required to install it before signing rental leases.
  • South China Morning Post – Georgina Lee / Alipay operator Ant Group to create separate app for lending business

The Economist / Russia holds the largest military exercise in Europe for 40 years

  • The Zapad (“west”) military exercise of 1981 was the largest and grandest exercise ever conducted by the Soviet Union, mustering as many as 150,000 troops from across the USSR and its alliance of satellite states, the Warsaw Pact.
  • The Vienna Document, a confidence-building measure agreed between Russia and the West in 1990, says that exercises with more than 13,000 troops must be reported and open to foreign observers. In recent years, Russia has simply insisted that what appear to be huge drills are in fact a series of distinct, smaller ones, and thus exempt.
  • The same chicanery is being used for Zapad-21. Belarus says that it will host 12,800 troops, conveniently short of the threshold. Russia has said that no more than 6,400 personnel will train on Russian soil. In the same breath, it repeated the figure of 200,000 troops.
  • Its premise is that Western aggressors—the fictional states of Njaris (mostly Lithuania), Pomorie and the Polar Republic (both Poland)—foment “illegal armed bands, separatist and international terrorist organisations” inside Belarus, and ultimately invade it.
  • The New York Times – Choe Sang-Hun / North Korea reports long-range cruise missile test as arms race intensifies

Today’s exclusive:

The selected pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Javier Solana and EsadeGeo. The summaries above may include word-for-word excerpts from their respective pieces.


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