News / Middle East

Iran, World Powers Agree to Extend Nuclear Talks

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton (L) and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif attend a news conference in Vienna, July 18, 2014.
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton (L) and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif attend a news conference in Vienna, July 18, 2014.
Lisa Bryant

World powers and Iran have agreed to extend a deadline for reaching an agreement aimed at limiting Iran's nuclear program until mid-November, citing progress made, but nowhere near enough to reach a deal.

The announcement came early Saturday morning in Vienna after the latest set of marathon talks between Iran and world powers. European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton read out a statement to reporters.

"While we've 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," she said.

Ashton said the six powers - the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China - together with Iran, had agreed to extend the timeframe for talks until November 24.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif read a similar statement in Farsi.

The two sides were working against an initial July 20 deadline to reach a deal that would curb Iran's nuclear program to ensure it cannot produce nuclear weapons.  Iran has balked at that charge, insisting its program is purely for peaceful purposes.

In separate remarks posted on the EU's website, Ashton said the two sides would return for more talks shortly.

"Well the next step is that people will return to capitals, they will consider the issues, we will bring the E3 + 3 [6 powers] together again in the next few weeks and I will meet with my Iranian counterpart, Minister Zarif, in order to continue our discussions. And then we will move to that stage and work out the timetable to do that. Our ambition is to achieve this as quickly as possible, but we are determined to make sure that the agreement is a very good one," she said.

The extension will allow Iran to access another $2.8 billion of its foreign assets as talks continue. But Secretary of State John Kerry says that is no more than Iran has been getting during the past four months of discussions.

German, French reactions

Just hours after the extension was announced, Germany's foreign minister says the coming months until the new November deadline for a nuclear deal with Iran could be the last chance for a peaceful solution for a long time.

Frank-Walter Steinmeier called Saturday for Iran to show it is ready to "dispel all doubts" about its nuclear intentions.

In a statement Saturday also, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said France hopes the extension will allow Iran to make what he called "indispensable" choices to reach a long-term, lasting agreement. He said, a first indicator will be whether Iran cooperates with the International Atomic Energy Agency's probe into the possible military dimension of its nuclear program.

Skeptics in the U.S. and elsewhere believe Iran is just buying time by continuing the talks. Hardliners in Iran see their country's nuclear program as a source of national pride and are against reining it in.

You May Like

VOA Exclusive: Interview With Myanmar President Thein Sein

Thein Sein calls allegations that minority Muslim Rohingya are fleeing alleged torture in Rakhine state a media fabrication More

Video Better Protective Suit Sought for Ebola Caregivers

Current suit is uncomfortable, requires too many steps for removal, increasing chance of deadly contact with virus More

UN Rights Commission Investigates Eritrea

Three-member commission will start collecting first-hand information from victims and other witnesses in Switzerland and Italy next week More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Godwin from: Nigeria
July 19, 2014 2:11 PM
What a shame! What a colossal failure! The only achievement presented to the world so far in this article is a new acronym of the P5+1 to E3+3 (6 powers), while Iran continues to build and stack away stockpiles of nuclear materials. No mention was made whether Iran is still being limited by the restrictions that obtained leading to the agreement to reach a deal by July 20 2014. Even while seems there is a bite in the expressions from Germany and France, I think the greatest disappointment is the USA which has failed to provide the fulcrum on which the agency would pivot its stand against a violation of the existing order. When the US has rather joined in the scramble to obtain a space in Tehran's alliance, the result cannot be more than this. There will still be another extension after this, because Iran is calling the shots and determines how it is led by the so-called world powers plus one. It only presents a picture of cart before the horse - yeah, the cart is pulling the horse in this case. Very odd! Maybe that's the kind of leadership to expect in a world where women are being touted to take over sixty percent while men should take forty.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concernsi
X
November 19, 2014 11:39 PM
The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.
Video

Video What Jon Stewart Learned About Iran From 'Rosewater'

Jon Stewart, host of the satirical news program "The Daily Show" talks with Saman Arbabi of Voice of America's Persian service about Stewart's directorial debut, "Rosewater."
Video

Video Lebanese Winemakers Thrive Despite War Next Door

In some of the most volatile parts of Lebanon, where a constant flow of refugees crosses the border from Syria, one industry continues to flourish against the odds. Lebanese winemakers say after surviving a brutal civil war in the 1970s and 80s, they can survive anything. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon.
Video

Video China's Rise Closely Watched

China’s role as APEC host this week allowed a rare opportunity for Beijing to showcase its vision for the global economy and the region. But as China’s stature grows, so have tensions with other countries, including the United States. VOA’s Bill Ide in Beijing reports on how China’s rise as a global power is seen among Chinese and Americans.

All About America

AppleAndroid