DUBAI: A senior Iranian official said yesterday that Iran and the UN nuclear watchdog had agreed on “some points” during talks in Tehran and would meet again, Iran’s Fars news agency reported, without giving a date.
The comments by Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran’s envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency, indicated that the two sides had failed again to finalise a deal that would allow the IAEA to restart an investigation into Tehran’s atomic activities. “In addition to removing some differences and agreeing on some points in the text...the two sides decided to review and exchange views about the new proposals that were given in this meeting, in the next meeting,” he said, according to the Fars report. European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said she hoped Iran would show some “flexibility” at upcoming talks with world powers on its nuclear programme in Kazakhstan.
Hamas closes many Gaza tunnels
GAZA CITY: Gaza’s Hamas rulers have closed hundreds of tunnels running under the territory’s border with Egypt due to health concerns over some smuggled items, an official said yesterday. “Less than 270 tunnels are operating now, down from around 1,200 tunnels in 2010,” the official said. “Many of them were closed down because they were used to smuggle banned materials that harm citizens.” The Hamas government forbids the importation of drugs and any other items it considers potentially harmful into the Palestinian enclave which is under an Israeli blockade.
Outpost demolition sparks settler protests
JERUSALEM: Israeli authorities yesterday demolished several buildings at a wildcat settlement outpost in the southern West Bank but the supreme court later issued a temporary injunction against further such action. The demolition of six mobile homes at Maale Rehavam, in the Gush Etzion group of settlements sparked angry protests by settlers who scuffled with police outside parliament and blocked Jerusalem streets.Agencies