News / Middle East

    Big-Power Diplomats Confer on Iran Nuclear Talks

    Reactor building of the Bushehr nuclear power plant (file photo)
    Reactor building of the Bushehr nuclear power plant (file photo)

    Senior diplomats of the five permanent U.N. Security Council member countries and Germany conferred by telephone Thursday on efforts to renew a nuclear dialogue with Iran later this month. Iran has been sending mixed signals about whether it will attend such a meeting.

    A senior official here said Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns was the U.S. participant in the conference call, in which big-power diplomats assessed chances for resuming the nuclear talks.

    European Union chief diplomat Catherine Ashton, acting on behalf of the so-called P-Five-Plus-One grouping, has proposed a three-day meeting with Iranian officials in Vienna starting November 15.

    Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in New York in late September that Iran is ready in principle for new talks and his government reaffirmed that in a latter to Ashton late last month.

    However the senior U.S. official said after the telephone conference that Iran has not provided its thoughts on either a date or venue for a meeting.

    The major powers a year ago proposed that Iran, as a nuclear confidence-building measure, export much of its stockpile of low-enriched uranium in return for fuel rods for a Tehran medical research reactor.

    Iran has sent mixed signals on the proposal as well, initially embracing it, then backing away, and then endorsing a variant of the idea advanced by Turkey and Brazil earlier this year.

    U.S. officials see a research reactor deal as a prelude to broader negotiations over Iran's nuclear program. But they say the terms of the big power offer made last November would have to be tightened to reflect Iran's subsequent enrichment gains.

    Iran rejects charges its enrichment program is weapons related and says it will make no concessions on what it says are its nuclear rights.

    The senior official who spoke here meanwhile said a U.S. decision Wednesday to put a radical Iranian opposition group on the State Department's list of foreign terrorist organizations was not related to efforts to get Iran back to nuclear talks.

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced the action against the Sunni Muslim group Jundallah, which is blamed for a series of lethal attacks including bombings of Iranian Shiite Mosques.

    State Department Spokesman P.J. Crowley told reporters the action reflects the U.S. determination to fight terrorism whatever the source, while also again denying Iranian charges of past CIA support for Jundallah.

    "That accusation is false," said P.J. Crowley. "The United States does not support terrorism, did not have any relationship with Jundallah. It has provided Jundallah with no support. We designated Jundallah for a simple reason: it met the criteria under U.S. law to be designated as a foreign terrorist organization. It has engaged in terrorism. It does represent a threat to the United States and to our interests in an important region of the world."

    An Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Thursday welcomed the U.S. decision as a step in the right direction.

    But he reiterated charges that the group - which claims to fight for the rights of Sunni Muslim Baluchis in southeastern Iran - has gotten material U.S. support.

    You May Like

    Video Twists and Turns Aplenty in US Presidential Race

    Even as Americans pause for this week’s Memorial Day holiday, much attention is focused on the presidential contest

    China's Education Reforms Spark Protest

    Beijing is putting a quota system in place to increase the number of students from poor regions attending universities

    The Struggle With Painkillers: Treating Pain Without Feeding Addiction

    'Wonder drug' pain medications have turned out to be major problem: not only do they run high risk of addicting the user, but they can actually make patients' chronic pain worse, US CDC says

    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.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora