The IAEA recently visited Parchin, an Iranian military site which had been off limits for the past decade. The head of the agency lauded the Iranian government for what he described as significant progress in governmental cooperation with the IAEA. The UN watchdog also analyzed samples from the facility and “observed” recent renovations in the facilities. The organization noted nothing of suspicion in relation to the facility.
The visit coincides with a statement issued by the Iranian government in Tehran stating that it had taken its own samples and presented them to the IAEA. That Iran has taken its own nuclear samples has angered some and led critics of the nuclear deal to label it as a security problem and a liability in security cooperation. The IAEA defended the decision to allow Iran to present its own samples by stating that it had subjected the samples to testing and found them “not compromised.”
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- Iran will introduce a number of new oil contracts by the end of 2015. The country announced that the first phase of the new contracts will be “unveiled” in Tehran and that follow-up steps would take place in London. The inaugural Iran Oil & Gas Sanctions summit will be held between December 14 and December 16 in London.
- The Asian Development Bank will provide a $300 million loan to a new Uzbek electric metering system. The investment is expected to increase the efficacy of existing infrastructure and reduce the frequency of power outages, a growing problem throughout both rural and urban Uzbekistan.
- Beyondbrics has an interesting piece on Ukrainian debt restructuring. The piece characterizes the way Ukraine restructured its debt as “revolutionary” due to provisions of the deal which is expected to bolster the Ukrainian economy and also appease Ukraine’s creditors. Ukraine’s debt maturity was given a four year extension.
- The Kazakh tenge has rallied vis-à-vis the dollar following an intervention by the Kazakh central bank. The tenge is now trading at 267 to the dollar, an improvement on the September 16 trading rate of 300:1.