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.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.