Top of the Morning: IAEA Announces Potential Iran Nuclear Agreement; Syria Spilling Over to Lebanon

Top stories from the Development and Aid World News Service — DAWNS Digest.

IAEA Announces Deal on Iran Nukes

Some late breaking news: One day ahead of a big meeting between world powers and Iran, the IAEA chief says that Iran is ready to deal. “Despite some remaining differences, a deal has been reached with Iran that will allow the U.N. nuclear agency to restart a long-stalled probe into suspicions that Tehran has secretly worked on developing nuclear arms, the U.N. nuclear chief said Tuesday. The news from International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano, who returned from Tehran on Tuesday, comes just a day before Iran and six world powers meet in Baghdad for negotiations and could present a significant turning point in the heated dispute over Iran’s nuclear intentions. The six nations hope the talks will result in an agreement by the Islamic Republic to stop enriching uranium to a higher level that could be turned quickly into the fissile core of nuclear arms…By compromising on the IAEA probe, Iranian negotiators in Baghdad could argue that the onus was now on the other side to show some flexibility and temper its demands. Although Amano’s trip and the talks in Baghdad are formally separate, Iran hopes progress with the IAEA can boost its chances Wednesday in pressing the U.S. and Europe to roll back sanctions that have hit Iran’s critical oil exports and blacklisted the country from international banking networks.” (AP http://bit.ly/K7v3D2)

The Syria Effect: Beirut Experiences Worst Fighting in 6 Years

For months, the international community has warned that the Syria conflict may turn into a wider, regional conflagration. This may already be underway: “The fighting, which left three dead, capped a day of escalating friction. The fatal shooting of a Sunni cleric by Lebanese soldiers yesterday tapped into a deep sense of frustration and anger felt by many Sunnis here toward the Syrian regime’s brutal crackdown on the mainly Sunni opposition. Though Lebanon’s government is headed by a Sunni, it is backed by Damascus and some believe it is cooperating with the Syrian crackdown…Even before yesterday’s clashes, north Lebanon has seen a breakdown of stability as a result of the upheaval in Syria seeping across the border. For the past week, there have been intermittent gun battles that left 10 dead and dozens wounded in Tripoli, Lebanon’s second-largest city, between Sunnis living in the Bab Tebbaneh quarter and a small community of Alawites in the adjacent Jabal Mohsen district. The Alawite sect is an obscure offshoot of the Shiite faith whose adherents form the backbone of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime. Furthermore, in recent weeks, Lebanon’s northern border with Syria has witnessed a spate of shootings, kidnappings of Lebanese and Syrians and brief military incursions allegedly by Syrian troops. On the night of May 19, one Syrian was killed and two others wounded as they tried to cross the border from Lebanon to return to their homes in Syria.” (CSM http://bit.ly/KY5ZhV)

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