Wednesday September 18, 2019
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Pope, World leaders’ visit puts New York on high alert

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New York: Pope’s visit and the presence of many world leaders at the same time in New York has developed a state of high alert.

Pope Francis spoke at the plenary before the world leaders could assume the stage for the summit. Several streets around the UN were blocked and pedestrians were not allowed in without credentials or proof of living in the area.

Many with credentials were made to take long diversions to get to the appropriate UN entrance. Package delivery services warned customers that in some areas there would not be deliveries till next week.

Boats from security forces patrolled the East River behind the UN building. Visitors were subjected to at least three searches before they could enter the General Assembly hall.

Personnel from half-a-dozen New York City and federal law enforcement agencies were deployed for the security operations. They were backed by bomb-sniffing dogs and also by various agencies.

(With inputs from IANS)

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Iran Installing New Centrifuges, UN Confirms

The U.N.'s nuclear watchdog agency said Monday its inspectors confirmed Iran is installing more advanced centrifuges

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UN, Iran, nuclear, Centrifuges, Install
Acting Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, Cornel Feruta from Romania waits for the start of the IAEA board of governors meeting at the International Center in Vienna, Austria, Sept. 9, 2019. VOA

The U.N.’s nuclear watchdog agency said Monday its inspectors confirmed Iran is installing more advanced centrifuges that can be used to refine uranium.

An International Atomic Energy Agency statement said the equipment includes several types of centrifuges prohibited under the 2015 nuclear deal Iran reached with a group of world powers that limited its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

UN, Iran, Centrifuges, Install, nuclear
Iran says it will continue to work with the IAEA to allow inspections of its nuclear facilities.. Pixabay

The confirmation comes days after Iranian officials announced the move.  It was the latest step Iran has taken away from the nuclear agreement as it complains European nations are not doing enough to help Iran’s oil sector deal with U.S. sanctions.

Iran earlier decided to break the limit on the amount of enriched uranium it is allowed to hold at one time, and a limit on the level to which it can enrich.

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The United States imposed its sanctions after abandoning the agreement last year.  President Donald Trump has said he wants to negotiate a new deal, but one that also includes limitations on Iran’s ballistic missile program and a longer timeline than the original agreement struck under the administration of his predecessor Barack Obama.

Despite openly taking steps to go against limitations specified in the agreement, Iran says it will continue to work with the IAEA to allow inspections of its nuclear facilities. (VOA)