News / Middle East

Iran Willing to Resume Nuclear Talks as Sanctions Bite Hard

Western Sanctions Bite Hard in Irani
X
January 09, 2013 9:16 PM
Iran says it is prepared to return to talks with major world powers over its controversial nuclear program. But as Tehran continues its uranium enrichment program in defiance of Western fears it is developing a nuclear weapon, Western countries have tightened economic sanctions. Henry Ridgwell looks at the effectiveness of the sanctions and the impact on Iran’s economy.
Western Sanctions Bite Hard in Iran
Iran says it is prepared to return to talks, possibly later this month, with major world powers over its nuclear program.  As the country's uranium enrichment program continues, Western countries have tightened economic sanctions against Tehran. 

U.S. President Barack Obama last week signed off on a new round of sanctions targeting Iran’s energy and shipping sectors.  They build on a range of unilateral and multilateral sanctions against Iranian industry and banks.

The measures are aimed at curbing Iran’s nuclear program.  The West claims Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons; Tehran says the program is for civilian purposes.

Iran has indicated it is ready to hold a fresh round talks with international powers - the so-called P5+1 - the United States, Britain, Russia, China, and France, plus Germany.

Jamie Ingram, of IHS Global Insight, says the sanctions are forcing Iran to the negotiating table.

“This is hitting Iranians hard in the pocket,” said Ingram. "Also, with the restrictions on imports, there are growing food shortages.”

EU trade with Iran - even in permitted commodities - has fallen off dramatically in recent months.  That’s because European banks fear the wrath of the U.S., says Nigel Kushner, chief executive of W Legal which advises firms on trading with Iran.

“The Americans will have a quiet word with them, one suspects, and asks them not to do it,” said Kushner. "So they won’t do it even though they are permitted to do it.  I was speaking yesterday with a Swiss bank who have said, ‘We want to accept payments for medical goods, or humanitarian goods that are going to Iran, but we’re too scared to do it.' ”

Kushner says Iran is looking to countries beyond the jurisdiction of the sanctions to get what it needs.

“It might take longer, it might more cumbersome, and it might cost them more, but they will often look to countries like China, possibly Turkey, who don’t need to comply,” said Kushner.  

The banking sanctions are causing the most pain in Iran, says analyst Ali Fathollah-Nejad of the University of London.

“You have huge financial and banking sanctions, which is the eye of the storm from which every other civilian branches of the economy are then crippled,” said Fathollah-Nejad.  

He argues the West must put the sanctions up for negotiation at any upcoming talks if a diplomatic solution is to be found.

“In terms of its economic development, in terms of the well-being of its population, in terms of the well-being of its civil society, is something that Iranians inside and outside the country do care a lot about,” said Fathollah-Nejad. "And this is something that has to be put on the table.”

If the talks between Iran and the P5+1 go ahead, analysts expect a focus on short-term confidence-building rather than a solution to the crisis.

The sanctions against Iran, meanwhile, are a hot topic in Washington after President Obama announced his pick of Chuck Hagel to be the new secretary of defense.

Hagel, a former Republican senator, is on record in the past as opposing unilateral sanctions against Iran.  And if international talks with Iran fail, Hagel and the Pentagon would find themselves in the midst of a U.S. decision of whether to strike Iran militarily.

You May Like

Video Video Claims to Show Shi'ite Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

While not yet independently confirmed, brutal killing already has gotten attention of Islamic State followers on social media More

After Six Years, Little Change for Niger Delta's Former Militants

Nigerians who laid down arms in exchange for government amnesty subsidies fear program may end with upcoming presidential elections More

Vietnam Pushes for More Educated Drivers to Curb Road Deaths

Transportation officials hope that making a greater effort to get drivers to learn the rules of the road will reduce fatal crashes More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Vinayprasad from: India
January 09, 2013 11:36 PM
This article appears more like a propaganda, than anything else. These types of articles, I have noticed, came before all the earlier rounds of P5+1 and Iran talks. Every time the same story. Iran wants to come to the negotiating table because they are hardpressed. And if there is no result of the talks, all these types of articles will disappear into thin air.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planeti
X
George Putic
March 04, 2015 8:51 PM
NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960's Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7th to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960’s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.
Video

Video Land Disputes Arise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Ugandan police say there has been a sharp increase in land disputes, with 10 new cases being reported each day. The claims come amid an oil boom as investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers. Meanwhile, the people who have been living on the land for decades are chased away, sometimes with a heavy hand. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video In Russia, Many Doubt Opposition Leader's Killer Will Be Found

The funeral has been held in Moscow for Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader who was assassinated late Friday just meters from the Kremlin. Nemtsov joins a growing list of outspoken critics of Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin who are believed to have been murdered for their work. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Simulated Astronauts Get Taste of Mars, in Hawaii

For generations, people have dreamed of traveling to Mars to explore Earth's closest planetary neighbor. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that while space agencies like NASA are planning manned missions to the planet, some volunteers in Hawaii are learning how humans will cope with months in isolation on a Mars base.
Video

Video Destruction of Iraq Artifacts Shocks Archaeologists

The city of Mosul was once one of the most culturally rich and religiously diverse cities in Iraq. That tradition is under attack by members of the Islamic State who have made Mosul their capital city. The Mosul Museum is the latest target of the group’s campaign of terror and destruction, and is of grave concern to archaeologists around the world. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More