Iran starts implementing nuclear deal, halts most sensitive uranium enrichment
TEHRAN (AP) — Iran halted its most sensitive uranium enrichment work on Monday as part of a landmark deal struck with world powers, easing concerns over the country's nuclear program and clearing the way for a partial lifting of sanctions, Tehran and the U.N. said.
An Iranian state TV broadcast said authorities halted enrichment of uranium to 20 percent, just steps away from bomb-making materials, by disconnecting the cascades of centrifuges enriching uranium in Natanz.
"Production of 20 percent enriched uranium has been halted by cutting the links feeding cascades in this facility," it said. A report by the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. nuclear agency, confirmed that the centrifuges were disconnected.
The broadcast said international inspectors were present Monday when Iran began implementing its obligations under the historic deal reached in Geneva Nov. 24. They left to monitor the suspension at Fordo, another uranium enrichment site in central Iran.
The official IRNA news agency said Iran also started Monday to convert part of its stockpile of 20 percent enriched uranium to oxide to produce nuclear fuel.
American jailed in North Korea appears before reporters, asks US to help secure his release
PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — An American missionary who has been jailed in North Korea for more than a year appeared before reporters Monday and appealed to the U.S. government to do its best to secure his release.
The missionary, Kenneth Bae, made the comments at what he called a press conference held at his own request. He was under guard during the appearance. It is not unusual for prisoners in North Korea to say after their release that they spoke in similar situations under duress.
Wearing a gray cap and inmate's uniform with the number 103 on his chest, Bae spoke in Korean during the brief appearance, which was attended by The Associated Press and a few other foreign media in Pyongyang.