News

US Awaits Definitive Iranian Response on Nuclear Offer

The State Department says the United States is awaiting a definitive Iranian reply to the offer of incentives for it to halt uranium enrichment.  Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in a U.S. television interview, called for talks based on an Iranian statement submitted in Geneva earlier this month.  VOA's David Gollust reports from the State Department.

The State Department is dismissing the Ahmadinejad interview remarks as more rhetoric, and says the major powers want a firm reply to their offer of incentives for Iran to stop a nuclear program U.S. officials believe is weapons-related.

The enhanced incentives package was presented to Iranian nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili in Geneva July 19 by EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana and diplomats from the five permanent U.N. Security Council member countries and Germany, including the third-ranking State Department official William Burns.

Though the P5 Plus One wanted a yes or no reply, Iran responded with a two-page policy statement skirting the issue of uranium enrichment and proposing an open-ended series of meetings with Solana and P5 Plus One foreign ministers.

In an interview with NBC News, Mr. Ahmadinejad again denied that Iran seeks nuclear weapons and said the two sides should negotiate over the two packages and try to find common ground.

"They submitted a package and we responded by submitting our own package," he said. "They again submitted a work plan and we submitted our own work plan.  It is very natural in the first step that we are going to negotiate over the common ground as they exist inside the two packages."

In a talk with reporters, Acting State Department Spokesman Gonzalo Gallegos said the P5 Plus One countries are not ignoring the Iranian submission, but that it is viewed by no one as the firm reply sought by the major powers.

"We are waiting for a definitive statement," he said. "We have stated clearly that it should come through the normal channel - which is Jalili to Solana, and the clock on the two weeks is ticking."

At the meeting with Jalili, Solana gave Iran two weeks to give a clear reply, a period that expires Saturday.

If Iran accepts the P5 Plus One package and suspends enrichment, U.N. Security Council sanctions would be suspended and Iran would, among other things, get aid for civilian nuclear power and access to new passenger aircraft.

Solana also offered a six-week period of so-called pre-negotiations in which no new sanctions would be added if Iran stopped adding to its enrichment capacity.

In apparent defiance of that proposal, Mr. Ahmadinejad announced Saturday that Iran has increased its array of uranium enriching centrifuges to 6,000.

The United States has warned Iran of further punitive measures if it spurns the P5 Plus One offer and continues enrichment.  It has not ruled out military action if diplomacy fails.  

 

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs