News / Middle East

    IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

    IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
    X
    July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
    Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
    IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form
    Henry Ridgwell

    Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous format that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency.  The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions.  

    The International Atomic Energy Agency says Iran has converted its stockpiles of 20 percent enriched uranium into less dangerous forms.  The enriched fuel could be used to make nuclear weapons.

    Tehran denies that it is trying to make bombs, and insists the program is for civilian use.

    Iran and Western powers agreed Saturday to extend until November a deadline on reaching a long-term agreement on the future of the nuclear program.

    But that remains a long way off, says International Institute for Strategic Studies analyst Mark Fitzpatrick.

    “They were able to agree to cap the sanctions, to cap the enrichment program, but Iran would not agree to roll it back, to make any reductions.  And that was the sticking point," said  Fitzpatrick.

    Speaking Saturday after the two sides agreed to extend the deadline, EU Foreign Affairs Chief Catherine Ashton admitted there is much work ahead.

    “While we have made tangible progress on some of the issues and have worked together on a text for a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, there are still significant gaps on some core issues, which will require more time and effort," said Ashton.

    Ashton is due to step down from her EU role before the end of the year - potentially complicating future negotiations.  Mark Fitzpatrick is skeptical that any deal can be reached in the next four months.

    “But in the meantime, Iran’s program is capped.  They are not going to get any closer to being able to develop a weapon.  And of course they say that is not their purpose anyway.  So diplomacy has been working, the program has been capped.  We do not have a solution; we are not likely to have a solution.  In four months, maybe we have to reassess and cap and extend it again," he said.

    In return for Iran converting its stockpiles of 20 percent enriched uranium, the United States will unfreeze $2.8 billion of Iranian assets.  But sanctions against Iran remain in place.  

    For now the commitment to negotiations is being welcomed on both sides, says Iran sanctions and trade expert Nigel Kushner of W Legal.

    “I have got a number of clients who are desperate to jump back into the very profitable business relationships they had hitherto in Iran," said Kushner. "And my message to them today is, ‘You can not re-conduct business.  But certainly by all means get on with your marketing.  Fly over, conduct meetings; discuss deals you might be able to do - in a legitimate manner of course - once the sanctions are lifted.’”

    Western powers and Iran have yet to decide when and where the next rounds of talks will take place - saying only they would happen in the coming weeks.   

     

    You May Like

    Video For Many US Veterans, the Vietnam War Continues

    More than 40 years after it ended, war in Vietnam and America’s role in it continue to provoke bitter debate, especially among those who fought in it

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    100 immigrants graduated Friday as US citizens in New York, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in cities across country

    Family's Fight Pays Off With Arlington Cemetery Burial Rights for WASPs

    Policy that allowed the Women Airforce Service Pilots veterans to receive burial rites at Arlington had been revoked in 2015

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora