News / Middle East

Iran Appeals for Understanding Ahead of New Talks

Al Pessin
Iran's Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif has issued an internet video asking viewers to understand Tehran's insistence on a right to enrich uranium, portraying the Islamic Republic as a champion of developing countries that want to stand up to world powers.
 
Called “Iran's Message: There is a Way Forward,” Zarif's YouTube video, which has been translated into several languages, was sent to the minister's 76,000 Twitter followers on Tuesday, one day before key talks on Iran's nuclear program resume in Geneva.

Story continues below video


Set by soothing music, the video opens with Zarif posing rhetorical questions.
 
“What is dignity? What is respect? Are they negotiable?" he asks. "Is there a price tag?”
 
Much of the five-minute video continues in that vein, with Zarif claiming insisting that Iranians consider uranium enrichment a right, and that Iran is asking only for the respect and dignity all other countries would expect.
 
Portraying Iran as a champion of the downtrodden, he says his country is standing up to “tyranny” and “demanding respect,” and that Iran is pursuing nuclear energy in order to determine its own destiny.
 
“There is a way forward, a constructive path toward determining our destiny, to advance, to make progress, to secure peace,” he says, reiterating his opinion that nuclear talks have not hit a “dead end.”
 
“My name is Javad Zarif, and this is Iran's message,” he says as the video concludes in a manner reminiscent of an American political advertisement.
 
Iran's demand for recognition of the right to enrich is one of the key issues being disputed as it resumes talks with the six-nation United Nations contact group. The United States, a key member of the group, says there is no such right for any country, but nations can have nuclear programs if they are verifiably not trying to build a nuclear bomb.
 
Zarif's video also contains a message apparently directed to hardliners in Iran, saying the choice their country faces is not “submission or confrontation,” and that the Iranian people had chosen a moderate path when they elected President Hassan Rouhani in June.
 
Rouhani's recent election, which led to the change in Iran's negotiating stance and made the talks possible, represents a rare window of opportunity that experts say must be used before hardliners in Iran or in the West reassert themselves.
 
Kelsey Davenport, a Nonproliferation Analyst at the Washington-based Arms Control Association, says while Iran and other countries believe a right to enrichment is enshrined in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, it is difficult for Iran to claim such a right.
 
“We should not forget that Iran is actually in violation of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty currently," she said. "So it does need to sort of answer for those past noncompliance issues before we can talk about whether or not it is in good standing with the treaty moving forward.”
 
Iran has enriched uranium far beyond what is needed for nuclear power and research, to a level close to what is used in nuclear weapons.
 
The U.N. Security Council — represented here by the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany — wants that stopped and Iran's stockpile of highly enriched uranium reduced or eliminated. The group does not want Iran to finish building a reactor that could produce another nuclear weapon fuel: plutonium.
 
For its part, Iran wants relief from economic sanctions that have severely damaged its economy.
 
These talks are aimed at taking some first steps toward those goals, and setting a timetable for a broader agreement. But even this first step has been difficult and the remaining issues may not be settled this week, in the third round of talks with the new Iranian government.

You May Like

Hostage Crisis Could Divide Japan Over Plans to Boost Military

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Monday the government is working closely with the Jordanian government to secure the release of remaining Japanese hostage Kenji Goto More

Video Brussels Shaken as New Greek Leader Challenges Europe’s Austerity Drive

Country's youngest ever PM Alexis Tsipras, 40, sworn in Monday and says he will restore dignity to Greece by ending spending cuts More

Multimedia National Geographic Photo Camps Empower Youth

Annual mentoring program's mission is to give young people a voice to tell their own stories through photography More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
November 20, 2013 11:28 PM
Iran should have enough oil to generate power needed for its people. Furthermore, nuclear power plants are no longer clean energy as Fukushima disaster had shown in Japan. How about developing solar energy plants in Iran where sunshine must be rich whole the year?


by: Godwin from: Nigeria
November 20, 2013 10:19 AM
Leaves us no other option to item 7. Let everyone go home and consult their home government. Iran cannot be trusted under any guise. Now is the time for the Saudis et al to start talking, consulting or taking action. The silence from the emirate is a bad suspense. Don't want Israel to go it alone, though it has been the only one openly threatened by Iran's nuclear weapon. But we know that after Israel, it will be Saudi Arabia (for sunni islam), then others of degenerate western countries. If Iran is this tough without nuclear backing, how hard and recalcitrant will it be when it achieves nuclear warhead? North Korea will be more civilized.


by: Sunny Enwerem from: Nigeria
November 19, 2013 4:58 PM
Am ok with any agreement with Iran as long as there is a military strike option in the deal aimed at regime change if Iran does against the agreement in any form.


by: Xiangxi from: China
November 19, 2013 3:40 PM
leave China out of this. we have much trouble with musliems already. we hope Saudis destroy Iran filth


by: Anonymous
November 19, 2013 3:36 PM
hey Kerry... and you want to trust this degenerate iranian liar...? even the chinless ugly there can not believe it... I read somewhere here that confrontation with Iran is inevitable - i agree.
frankly, I trust the israeli BB Yahoo far more than i trust the Kenyan Obama to protect US.


by: Salem m. Hafiz from: chicago il. 60640
November 19, 2013 3:27 PM

we all should stand for " Justic ".

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid