News

Rice Urges Iran to Accept Incentives Package

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice Tuesday urged Iran to prove its interest in better relations by accepting the big-power offer of incentives for Tehran to stop uranium enrichment. Rice was responding to interview remarks by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that Iran wants to seek "common ground" with Washington on the nuclear issue.  VOA's David Gollust reports from the State Department.

Rice is challenging the Iranian leader to back up what are seen as conciliatory remarks in his television interview by accepting the incentives offer and halting the enrichment drive the United States considers as weapons related.

Mr. Ahmadinejad, in an unusual interview with a U.S. media outlet, told the NBC broadcast network Monday that Iran and the United States should try to find "common ground" in their respective positions on the nuclear issue and work for an agreement.

Rice, who spoke at a joint press appearance with Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini, said Iran can show its good faith and intentions by accepting the enhanced incentives package submitted last month by the five permanent U.N. Security Council member countries and Germany, the P Five Plus One.

"There's one way for the Iranians to make clear that they have found common ground," said Condoleezza Rice. "It's to come and say we accept the proposal, this is a good basis for the beginnings of pre-negotiations within a six week period, and then we can suspend our enrichment and reprocessing, and we can begin real negotiations. And the United States will fundamentally be at the table."

In mid-June, the P Five Plus One offered to suspend U.N. sanctions and provide Iran civilian nuclear aid and various other benefits if it stopped enrichment and returned to negotiations over its nuclear program.

In the six-week pre-negotiation period cited by Rice, the major powers would refrain from adding new sanctions if Iran stopped adding to its enrichment capacity.

At a July 19 Geneva meeting, attended by third-ranking State Department official William Burns, Iran offered a policy paper that proposed several more rounds of talks with big-power ministers but was non-committal about halting enrichment.

European Union chief diplomat Javier Solana gave Iran two additional weeks to come up with a definitive response and Rice said here if the incentives side of the process is not working, Iran can expect tighter sanctions on its economy.

For his part, Foreign Minister Frattini said Italy firmly backs the two-track strategy:

"Iran making a nuclear bomb is simply not acceptable," said Franco Frattini. "This is the Italian position which is very firm. We believe in the double-track strategy: on one hand putting on the table a generous offer, on the other hand standing very firm in confirming that if Iran does not take seriously negotiations with Europe and the international community, we cannot accept to stay inactive, and we will have to implement in full."

In the NBC interview, Mr. Ahmadinejad again denied Iran is working to produce nuclear weapons, suggesting they are relics of the past century.

The two-week deadline set by Solana expires Saturday, though officials here said the major powers are prepared to wait an additional day or two for an official Iranian response.  

 

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.
Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’i
X
July 29, 2015 9:34 PM
Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs