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Stephanie Liechtenstein

Vienna, Austria
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About Stephanie
Stephanie Liechtenstein is a diplomatic correspondent and freelance journalist based in Vienna, Austria. Her articles and research are focused on multilateral diplomacy and negotiations, international organisations, foreign and security policy, the EU, the UN in Vienna as well as the International Atomic Energy Agency, East-West relations, and Austrian politics. Stephanie studied history of international relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and finished her studies with a Master in Science (MSc). In February 2019, she also completed an Online Postgraduate Diploma Course at the London School of Journalism.

She has written for the Austrian daily newspapers Wiener Zeitung and Die Presse, as well as for the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, the EU Observer, the Security Times of the Munich Security Conference, the Global Observatory of the International Peace Institute, and the Centre for Security Studies at the ETH Zurich. She has also appeared as an expert on several radio programmes of the Austrian Public Broadcasting Company (ORF/Ö1), Talk Radio in the UK, and BBC Radio Foyle. 

Stephanie also regularly gives live interviews and commentary on television, including for BBC News Channel and Euronews.

Stephanie is fluent in German (mother tongue), English and French.

See all articles and media appearances here: stephanieliechtenstein.com
Languages
German English French
Services
Video Package (Web / Broadcast) Audio package (Radio / Podcast) Interview (Video / Broadcast)
+7
Skills
Politics Fact Checking
Portfolio

Austria expels 2 diplomats from Russia's Embassy in Vienna

13 Mar 2024  |  montrealgazette
Austria has ordered two diplomats from the Russian Embassy in Vienna to leave the country due to acts incompatible with their diplomatic status, which an Austrian official indicated were related to spying. The Russian Foreign Ministry announced it would respond appropriately to Vienna's decision, which it deemed groundless. The Russian Embassy expressed outrage, denying any wrongdoing and warning of a decisive response from Moscow. This incident is part of a pattern of reciprocal diplomat expulsions between Western European nations and Russia since the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Austria, which maintains a policy of military neutrality, has expelled more Russian diplomats recently, including four in April 2022 and another four in February 2023.

Exclusive: OSCE Permanent Council paves the way for Malta to assume the OSCE chair in 2024

27 Nov 2023  |  shrmonitor.org
The OSCE Permanent Council unanimously recommended Malta to be formally approved as the OSCE chair for 2024. This decision followed intense negotiations by North Macedonia, the current chair, to avoid a leadership vacuum. The foreign ministers of the 57 OSCE states are expected to approve Malta during their annual meeting in Skopje. The decision comes amid geopolitical tensions and challenges within the OSCE, including a lack of agreement on the organization's budget and leadership mandates. Russia's opposition to Estonia's bid for the chair in 2024 initiated the impasse, which Malta's nomination now seeks to resolve. The mandates of four top OSCE officials, including Secretary General Helga Schmid, are due to expire soon, with consensus on their extensions proving difficult.

IAEA Chief Criticizes Iran's Decision to Bar Nuclear Inspectors

22 Nov 2023  |  apnews.com
IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi described Iran's September decision to ban several experienced UN inspectors from monitoring its nuclear program as a significant blow to the agency's ability to operate at the highest level. The ban affected a third of the IAEA's core group of most experienced inspectors designated for Iran. Grossi is in talks with Mohammad Eslami, head of Iran's civil nuclear program, to reverse the decision. The IAEA reported that as of October 28, Iran had approximately 128.3 kilograms of uranium enriched to 60% purity, an increase from their September report. Iran maintains its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, but Grossi warned that Tehran has enough enriched uranium for multiple nuclear bombs if it chooses to build them.

IAEA head says the barring of several nuclear inspectors by Iran is a 'serious blow' to monitoring

22 Nov 2023  |  montrealgazette
IAEA Director-General Rafael Mariano Grossi described Iran's barring of several U.N. inspectors experienced in monitoring nuclear programs as a 'very serious blow' to the agency's capabilities. Despite the ban on one-third of its core group of inspectors, the IAEA continues its work. Iran, which insists its nuclear program is peaceful, has increased its stockpile of uranium enriched up to 60% purity to 128.3 kilograms, more than three times the amount considered sufficient for one nuclear bomb. The IAEA has also not made progress on Iran's explanation of man-made uranium particles found at undeclared sites, nor on reinstalling monitoring equipment removed in June 2022.

IAEA head says the barring of several nuclear inspectors by Iran is a ‘serious blow’ to monitoring

22 Nov 2023  |  ourquadcities.com
Rafael Mariano Grossi, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, described Iran's barring of several U.N. inspectors as a serious blow to the agency's ability to monitor Iran's nuclear program effectively. Despite the ban on one-third of the IAEA's most experienced inspectors, the agency reported that Iran has increased its stockpile of uranium enriched up to 60% purity to 128.3 kilograms, which is more than three times the amount needed for one nuclear bomb. Iran insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, but the IAEA has warned that the enriched uranium could be used to build several nuclear bombs. The IAEA also noted no progress on explaining the origin of man-made uranium particles found at undeclared sites in Iran or on reinstalling monitoring equipment removed by Iran in June 2022.

IAEA head says the barring of several nuclear inspectors by Iran is a ‘serious blow’ to monitoring

22 Nov 2023  |  fox44news.com
Rafael Mariano Grossi, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, described Iran's barring of several U.N. inspectors as a serious blow to the agency's monitoring abilities. Iran targeted inspectors with significant experience, particularly in enrichment. Despite this, Iran insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes. The IAEA reported an increase in Iran's stockpile of uranium enriched up to 60% purity, which is close to weapons-grade levels. Iran's decision to bar inspectors was linked to accusations of political misuse by the U.S. and three European countries. The IAEA also noted no progress on explaining the origin of man-made uranium particles at undeclared sites and on reinstalling monitoring equipment.

IAEA head says the barring of several nuclear inspectors by Iran is a ‘serious blow’ to monitoring

22 Nov 2023  |  wvnstv.com
Rafael Mariano Grossi, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), described Iran's barring of several U.N. inspectors as a 'very serious blow' to the agency's monitoring capabilities. The ban affected one-third of the IAEA's core group of experienced inspectors. Despite this, Iran continues to increase its stockpile of uranium enriched up to 60% purity, now estimated at 128.3 kilograms, which is more than three times the amount defined by the IAEA as sufficient for one nuclear bomb. Iran insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, but the IAEA warns that the enriched uranium could be used for several nuclear bombs. The IAEA also reported no progress on Iran's explanation of man-made uranium particles found at undeclared sites or on reinstalling monitoring equipment removed in June 2022.

IAEA head says the barring of several nuclear inspectors by Iran is a ‘serious blow’ to monitoring

22 Nov 2023  |  Texomashomepage.com
Rafael Mariano Grossi, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, described Iran's barring of several U.N. inspectors as a serious blow to the agency's monitoring capabilities. Iran targeted inspectors with significant experience, particularly in enrichment. Grossi is in talks with Mohammad Eslami, head of Iran's civilian nuclear program, to reverse the decision. A confidential IAEA report indicated that Iran continues to increase its stockpile of near weapons-grade uranium, now estimated at 128.3 kilograms enriched up to 60% purity. Iran maintains its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, but the IAEA warns that the enriched uranium is sufficient for several nuclear bombs. No progress has been made on explaining the origin of man-made uranium particles found at undeclared sites, nor on reinstalling monitoring equipment removed by Iran in June 2022.

IAEA head says the barring of several nuclear inspectors by Iran is a ‘serious blow’ to monitoring

22 Nov 2023  |  www.wspa.com
Rafael Mariano Grossi, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), described Iran's barring of several U.N. inspectors as a serious blow to the agency's monitoring capabilities. The ban affects one-third of the IAEA's most experienced inspectors. Despite Iran's insistence that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, the IAEA reported an increase in Iran's stockpile of uranium enriched up to 60% purity, which is close to weapons-grade levels. Grossi warned that Iran has enough enriched uranium for several nuclear bombs if it chose to build them. The IAEA also noted no progress on Iran's explanation of man-made uranium particles found at undeclared sites and the reinstallation of monitoring equipment.

IAEA head says the barring of several nuclear inspectors by Iran is a ‘serious blow’ to monitoring

22 Nov 2023  |  ktvz.com
Rafael Mariano Grossi, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, stated that Iran's barring of several U.N. inspectors in September is a significant impediment to the agency's ability to effectively monitor Iran's nuclear program. The inspectors affected are among the most experienced, with expertise in enrichment and other areas, and the ban impacts one-third of the core group designated for Iran. Grossi expressed his intention to work towards reversing Iran's decision.

IAEA head says the barring of several nuclear inspectors by Iran is a ‘serious blow’ to monitoring

22 Nov 2023  |  WDIV
Rafael Mariano Grossi, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), described Iran's barring of several U.N. inspectors as a 'serious blow' to the agency's monitoring capabilities. The ban affects one-third of the IAEA's core group of experienced inspectors. Despite this, Iran continues to increase its stockpile of near weapons-grade uranium, now estimated at 128.3 kilograms, which is more than three times the amount defined by the IAEA as sufficient for one nuclear bomb. Iran maintains that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, while the IAEA warns that the enriched uranium could be used to make several bombs. The U.S. and three European countries have criticized Iran, urging increased cooperation with the IAEA. No progress has been made on explaining the origin of man-made uranium particles found at undeclared sites in Iran, nor on reinstalling monitoring equipment removed in June 2022.

IAEA head says the barring of several nuclear inspectors by Iran is a ‘serious blow’ to monitoring

22 Nov 2023  |  KPRC
Rafael Mariano Grossi, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), described Iran's barring of several U.N. inspectors as a 'very serious blow' to the agency's ability to monitor Iran's nuclear program effectively. Despite this, the IAEA continues its work, although Iran has targeted inspectors with significant experience. Grossi is seeking to reverse the decision through discussions with Mohammad Eslami, head of Iran's civilian nuclear program. A confidential IAEA report revealed that Iran has increased its stockpile of uranium enriched up to 60% purity to 128.3 kilograms, which is more than three times the amount defined by the IAEA as sufficient for one nuclear bomb. Iran maintains that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, but the IAEA has warned that the enriched uranium could be used to make several nuclear bombs. Additionally, there has been no progress on explaining the origin of man-made uranium particles found at undeclared sites in Iran, nor on reinstalling monitoring equipment removed in June 2022.

IAEA chief criticizes Iran's decision to ban nuclear inspectors

22 Nov 2023  |  San Diego Union-Tribune
IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi described Iran's September decision to ban several experienced UN inspectors from monitoring its nuclear program as a serious blow to the agency's ability to operate at the highest level. The ban affected a third of the IAEA's core group of most experienced inspectors designated for Iran. Grossi is in talks with Mohammad Eslami, head of Iran's civil nuclear program, to reverse the decision. As of October 28, Iran had approximately 128.3 kilograms of uranium enriched to 60% purity, an increase from the September report. Iran denies seeking nuclear weapons and insists its program is for peaceful purposes. However, Grossi warned that Tehran has enough enriched uranium for several nuclear bombs if it chooses to build them.

IAEA head says the barring of several nuclear inspectors by Iran is a 'serious blow' to monitoring

04 Oct 2023  |  CTVNews
Iran's decision to bar several experienced UN inspectors from monitoring its nuclear program is described by IAEA Director-General Rafael Mariano Grossi as a significant impediment to the agency's work. Grossi emphasized the importance of experienced inspectors and expressed hope for reversing Iran's decision. The IAEA's recent confidential reports indicate that Iran has increased its stockpile of near weapons-grade uranium and continues to block inspectors, raising concerns about the potential for nuclear weapons development. Iran maintains that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, despite international criticism and calls for increased cooperation.

IAEA head says the barring of several nuclear inspectors by Iran is a ‘serious blow’ to monitoring

04 Oct 2023  |  WETM - MyTwinTiers.com
Iran's decision to bar several experienced U.N. inspectors from monitoring its nuclear program is described by IAEA Director-General Rafael Mariano Grossi as a significant impediment to the agency's work. Despite ongoing monitoring efforts, the ban affects a third of the core group of inspectors, particularly those with expertise in enrichment. Grossi hopes to reverse the decision through discussions with Mohammad Eslami, head of Iran's civilian nuclear program. The IAEA's recent report indicates an increase in Iran's stockpile of near weapons-grade uranium, raising concerns about potential nuclear weapon development. Iran maintains that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, while the IAEA seeks further explanations and reinstatement of monitoring equipment.

IAEA head says the barring of several nuclear inspectors by Iran is a ‘serious blow’ to monitoring

04 Oct 2023  |  FOX2548 & WIProud
The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Mariano Grossi, criticized Iran's decision to bar several experienced U.N. inspectors from monitoring its nuclear program, calling it a significant impediment to the agency's work. Grossi emphasized the importance of experienced inspectors and expressed hope for reversing Iran's decision through discussions with Mohammad Eslami, head of Iran's civilian nuclear program. The IAEA's recent confidential reports indicate that Iran continues to increase its stockpile of near weapons-grade uranium and has not made progress in addressing the agency's concerns about undeclared nuclear sites and monitoring equipment.

IAEA head says the barring of several nuclear inspectors by Iran is a ‘serious blow’ to monitoring

04 Oct 2023  |  CIProud.com
Iran's decision to bar several experienced U.N. inspectors from monitoring its nuclear program is described by IAEA Director-General Rafael Mariano Grossi as a significant impediment to the agency's work. Despite ongoing monitoring, the ban affects a third of the core group of inspectors, particularly those with expertise in enrichment. Grossi is in discussions with Mohammad Eslami, head of Iran's civilian nuclear program, to reverse the decision. The IAEA's recent reports indicate Iran's increased stockpile of near weapons-grade uranium and lack of progress in explaining the origin of man-made uranium particles or reinstalling monitoring equipment.

IAEA head says the barring of several nuclear inspectors by Iran is a ‘serious blow’ to monitoring

01 Mar 2023  |  WHNT.com
Rafael Mariano Grossi, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, stated that Iran's barring of several U.N. inspectors in September is a serious blow to the agency's monitoring capabilities. Iran targeted inspectors with significant experience, particularly in enrichment. Despite this, Iran insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes. The IAEA reported an increase in Iran's stockpile of uranium enriched up to 60% purity, enough for several nuclear bombs. Grossi is in talks with Mohammad Eslami to reverse the decision. The IAEA also noted no progress on explaining the origin of man-made uranium particles at undeclared sites and the reinstallation of monitoring equipment.

Rafael Grossi Isn’t America’s—or Iran’s, or North Korea’s—Man

05 Dec 2019  |  Foreign Policy
Rafael Grossi, recently appointed as the director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), faces the challenge of maintaining the agency's credibility and impartiality amidst political pressures. Grossi, the first Latin American to head the IAEA, has a long history in nuclear diplomacy, including roles as Argentina's ambassador to Austria and chief of cabinet under former IAEA Director-General Yukiya Amano. His appointment comes at a critical time, with the IAEA's role in monitoring Iran's nuclear commitments under scrutiny following the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal. Grossi's ability to navigate these challenges and avoid politicization will be crucial for the agency's credibility. Additionally, Grossi will need to address issues related to North Korea's nuclear program and has expressed a desire to focus on using nuclear power to combat climate change.

Nuclear Vienna: Atoms for Peace in the Age of Trump. This article looks at the work of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the nuclear watchdog based in Vienna, and its role in verifying the Iran Nuclear Deal.

Analysis for the Washington Post about Austria's response to the Skripal poisoning.

Analysis for the Washington Post on the Austrian political crisis in May 2019.

Live interview on Euronews/English on the Austrian government crisis and the vote of no confidence against the Austrian Chancellor in May 2019.

Austria's Political Crisis and the European Parliament Elections

24 May 2019  |  EUobserver
Austria is experiencing a significant political crisis following the resignation of Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache after a video surfaced showing him discussing government contracts in exchange for campaign support. The crisis led to the firing of the far-right Interior Minister Herbert Kickl, the resignation of all other far-right ministers, a call for a snap election, and a no-confidence vote. The scandal has impacted the Austrian Freedom Party (FPO), which is likely to lose seats in the upcoming European Parliament elections. Chancellor Sebastian Kurz's party, the OVP, remains popular despite the turmoil. The political instability comes at a critical time, with an EU summit approaching. The scandal may also influence the broader European political landscape, although its impact on other far-right parties is expected to be limited.

Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz is known for launching bold yet well-calculated political initiatives.

10 May 2019  |  EUobserver
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has proposed a new EU treaty, sparking debate among Austrian politicians and policy experts. Kurz's proposal includes tougher sanctions for EU members that incur debt, fail to manage migration, or violate the rule of law. He also suggests reducing the size of the European Commission, ending the European Parliament's monthly relocation between Strasbourg and Brussels, and opposes the creation of an EU army, advocating instead for increased military procurement cooperation. The article discusses various viewpoints from political figures and experts on these issues. While some support the need for treaty reform, others criticize specific proposals or question their timing, suggesting they may be influenced by the upcoming European elections. The complexity of changing the EU treaty, which requires unanimity and possibly referendums, means that serious negotiations are unlikely to start until after the Brexit process is completed.

Austria's active role as chairing country from EU to OSCE

18 Feb 2019  |  Die Presse
Austria has played an active role in international institutions, chairing the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in 2017 and the Council of the European Union in the second half of 2018. The OSCE focuses on peace through cooperation, while the EU promotes economic and political integration among member states. Austria's foreign policy has been influenced by domestic considerations, with a focus on protecting its population from threats such as radicalization and illegal migration. Despite budget cuts to contributions for international organizations, Austria's engagement has made it a reliable partner and an 'honest broker' in conflicts, such as the one between Transnistria and Moldova. Vienna, with its long tradition as a dialogue hub, hosts over 40 international organizations, contributing significantly to Austria's economy.

Joint Rescue Mission for the Iran Nuclear Deal in Vienna

11 Jul 2018  |  Vienna in English
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani visited Vienna to discuss the future of the Iran nuclear deal following the U.S. withdrawal. Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen and Chancellor Sebastian Kurz expressed support for the deal, emphasizing non-proliferation and Austria's commitment to Israel's security. The visit was complicated by the arrest of an Iranian diplomat in Germany over an alleged plot against an Iranian exile group in Paris. Foreign ministers from the remaining signatories met in Vienna to affirm their commitment to the deal, with plans to mitigate U.S. sanctions' impact on Iran and European businesses.
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