The UN atomic agency censured Iran Wednesday for 18 years of secrecy, issuing a resolution that its head said gives him more muscle in policing the country for evidence of nuclear weapons ambitions. \nWarning Tehran to stay in line, Director General Mohamed ElBaradei of the International Atomic Energy Agency said the measure sends an "ominous message that failures in the future will not be tolerated." \n"This is a good day for peace ... and nonproliferation," ElBaradei told reporters, saying the resolution "strengthens my hand in ensuring that Iran's program is for peaceful purposes." \nThe text, adopted by the 35-nation board of governors of the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency, was weaker than the US had sought. \nIt avoided a direct mention of the Security Council -- which has the power of imposing sanctions -- to allow for compromise between the US administration and key European powers wanting weaker wording. \nElBaradei nonetheless emphasized that the resolution gave him expanded powers both in probing Iran's past for signs of nuclear arms ambitions and supervising present programs to ensure they are peaceful. \nWhile the text does not directly invoke the Security Council, its wording means the council could be asked to get involved should there be "serious failures in the future," by Iran, ElBaradei said. \nAdopted by consensus, the resolution warns against "further serious Iranian failures," saying that could lead the board to consider actions allowed by its statute -- shorthand for possible referral to the Security Council. \nWhile welcoming Iran's "offer of active cooperation and openness" -- including suspending uranium enrichment and agreeing to thorough inspections on IAEA demand -- the measure calls for a "particularly robust verification system" to test Tehran's honesty. \nWashington had insisted last week it would hold out for at least a threat of Security Council action over 18 years of clandestine activities by Iran that US officials say point to a weapons program, including enrichment and plutonium processing. \nBut France, Germany and Britain opposed a direct Security Council threat, fearing Iran could backtrack on its cooperation and its commitment to clear up questions about its past were it too strongly pressured. \nBacking the three European countries, Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said in Warsaw, Poland, Wednesday that invoking the Council "would have further complicated an uneasy situation." \nA senior US official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Washington was "pretty happy" with the compromise text. \n"We were handed a lemon by the EU Three, and we turned it into lemonade," he said. \n"The US is very skeptical that Iran has stopped its covert nuclear weapons program, and it's only a matter of time until this comes out," under the resolution giving the agency greater policing powers, he said. \nIn a slap at the US and its allies, an Iranian statement said the resolution offered only "marginal relief to the few hard-liners" on the board. \n"Iran's nuclear program is exclusively peaceful and will remain peaceful," said the statement. \nElBaradei was not so unequivocal. \nHe described his agency's probe as a "work in progress," adding: "We still have a lot work to do before we can conclude that Iran's program is exclusively for peaceful purposes." \nUS envoy Kenneth Brill asserted that the resolution already found Iran in "noncompliance" -- and therefore pulled the "trigger" needed for Security Council involvement. \n"The board will not countenance further evasive maneuvers by Iran," Brill told the meeting. \nLater, he described Iran as being at a "crossroads." \n"They can decide to continue down the well-worn path of the past -- almost 20 years of denial, deception and deceit -- or they can turn toward the path of a new chapter, wherein they really do come clean," he told reporters.
FOX HUNT: To suppress dissent, Chinese living abroad that Xi Jinping sees as threats are told to either return to China or commit suicide, Christopher Wray said Chinese agents have been pursuing hundreds of Chinese nationals living in the US in an effort to force their return, as part of a global campaign against the country’s diaspora, known as Operation Fox Hunt, FBI Director Christopher Wray said on Tuesday. In a speech about the security threat posed by China, during which he said Beijing’s counterintelligence work was the “greatest long-term threat to our nation’s information and intellectual property, and to our economic vitality,” Wray gave the example of one Fox Hunt target who was given a choice of going back to China or killing themselves. Fox Hunt was launched
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A squad of gun-toting police officers patrolled Myanmar’s sacred site of Bagan under the cover of night, taking on plunderers snatching relics from temples forsaken by tourists due to COVID-19 restrictions. Each evening as dusk falls, about 100 officers fan out across the plain of Bagan covering 50km2, sweeping flashlights over the crumbling monuments to scour for intruders. “Our security forces are patrolling day and night,” Police Lieutenant Colonel Sein Win told reporters. “We have it under control for the moment, but it’s a challenge.” The central Burmese city is strewn with more than 3,500 ancient monuments — stupas, temples, murals and sculptures