Watch This ...

This is tumbling around beneath the major headlines at the moment, but I seriously fear that it could blow up in our faces at some point. In an economic sense it could be the blow which throws the US into full scale recession and in a (geo-)political perspective the outlook could be even more gloomy.

(From Bloomberg)

European Union talks with Iran on restricting the Islamic Republic's nuclear program have failed, U.K. Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett said.

``So far they have not been successful and it looks like they won't be successful,'' said Beckett on her way into a meeting in London with foreign ministers from the other five nations negotiating with Iran.

The U.S. and European Union say Iran's nuclear power program is aimed at developing weapons, which would put it in breach of treaty obligations and risk escalating tensions in the Middle East. The U.S. is pushing for economic sanctions to discourage the Islamic Republic from acquiring nuclear arms.

Russia, which has veto power as one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, yesterday reiterated its opposition to immediate sanctions.

Beckett said she doesn't expect major decisions from today's meeting.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's arrival for the meeting was delayed because of a mechanical problem with her military aircraft, Reuters reported, citing spokesman Sean McCormack.

``We don't have the time'' to make a decision today, McCormack said, according to Reuters. The five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany probably will hold a conference call early next week to discuss the issue before deciding on any sanctions, the news service reported, citing McCormack.

Rice and the foreign ministers of Britain, China, France, Germany, Italy and Russia on Sept. 20 gave Iran two weeks to begin negotiations on its nuclear program, including suspension of uranium enrichment. That deadline expires at the end of this week and the Islamic Republic has so far given no indication it will comply.'