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

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants 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.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs