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

Unpaid Kurdish Fighters Sign of Economic Woes

Sharp cuts in Kurdistan's budget by Baghdad, falling oil revenue, coping with refugees, inflated public sector have hit regional economy hard More

Koreas Exchange List of Envoys for Family Reunion Talks

Officials will discuss date, venue and number of participants for reunion; Seoul hopes to hold event late this month More

China Targets 197 in Online Speech Crackdown

Nearly 200 punished for 'spreading rumors' online in ongoing crackdown on free speech 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.
Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 02, 2015 6:19 PM
Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Russia-Japan Relations Cool as Putin Visits China for WWII Anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Beijing for commemorations of the 70th anniversary of China's WWII victory over Japan. Putin is expected to visit Japan later this year, but tensions between Tokyo and Moscow over islands disputed since the war, and sanctions over Ukraine, could pour cold water on the plan. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Kurdish Fighters on IS Frontline Ready for Offensive

Finger on the trigger, the Kurdish Peshmerga soldier stared across the dust at a village taken over by Islamic State extremists. The Kurdistan’s Khazir frontline, just 45 minutes from the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul. And at this point, the militants were less than two kilometers away. VOA's Sharon Behn reports.
Video

Video Yemen ‘on Brink of Disaster’ as Medical Shortages Soar

Aid agencies warn Yemen is on the brink of humanitarian disaster – with up to half a million children facing severe malnutrition, and hospitals running out of basic medicines. There are fears Yemen's civil war could escalate as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia tries to drive back Houthi rebels, who seized control of much of the country earlier this year. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Apps Helping Kenyan Businesses Stay Ahead of Counterfeiters

Counterfeit goods in Kenya cost the government as much as $1 billion each year in lost tax revenues. The fake goods also hurt entrepreneurs who find it hard to carve out a niche in the market and retain customers. But as Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi, information technology is being used to try to beat the problem.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.

VOA Blogs