World News Brief, Wednesday September 30

Iran: IAEA can inspect nuclear facility "soon" but we'll never abandon programme; Philippines seeks aid after flooding; Hamas welcomes Egyptian plan to reconcile with Fatah; NATO chief wants more troops in Afghanistan; and more

Top of the Agenda: Iran Nuclear Facility to Face UN Inspection

Iranian nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi said Iran will soon tell (VOA) the UN nuclear agency when it can inspect the country's newly disclosed nuclear facility. He said the plant is being constructed in accordance with International Atomic Energy Agency regulations.

Meanwhile, Iran's Navy has launched a homemade missile boat (PRESS TV) in the Caspian Sea, and a commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards announced Iran is producing "a new generation" of solid-fuel long-rage missiles.

EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said the Western powers, which will meet with Iran in Geneva on Thursday, are committed to continued engagement (Reuters) with Iran, even though they will likely have difficulty obtaining a guarantee from Iran that its nuclear program is peaceful.


The Christian Science Monitor says Iran's latest missile tests may not play well among the country's populations in light of remaining tensions over the hotly contested elections last June.

Foreign Policy says Iran could also be hiding a facility to convert uranium ore into uranium hexafluoride-the material needed for feedstock in a centrifuge plant.

The New York Times says the debate over whether and the degree to which Iran has restarted its nuclear program "is a mirror image of the intelligence dispute on the eve of the Iraq war."


The Wall Street Journal raises some pressing questions about the nuclear facility that could be raised in Thursday's talks between Iran and UN Security Council permanent members plus Germany.

A CFR Backgrounder details the history of sanctions implemented against Iran.


PACIFIC RIM: Philippines Flooding

The death toll in flooding and landslides caused by Tropical Storm Ketsana in the Philippines has reached at least 240, and nearly forty people are still missing (ABS-CBN), according to government reports. The government said it will seek aid (Bloomberg) for the hundreds of thousands in emergency shelters.

South Korea-China: Top diplomats from South Korea and China in talks reiterated their governments' opposition (Yonhap) to North Korea's possession of nuclear weapons, and pledged to work together to convince Pyongyang to return to the Six-Party denuclearization talks. China, the host of the Six-Party talks, will send Prime Minister Wen Jiabao to Pyongyang next week, it announced.



Hamas and Fatah to consider Egypt's proposal for Palestinian reconciliation.
Head of NATO expresses support for McChrystal review, troop increase.

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