Iran Gives West One Month to Accept Nuclear Deal

    Iran warned on Saturday the West has until the end of the month to accept Tehran's counterproposal to a U.N.-drafted plan on a nuclear exchange, or they will start producing nuclear fuel on their own. 

    The warning from Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki showed a hardening in Iran's stance over its controversial nuclear program. While the West fears it shows Iran has nuclear ambitions,  Tehran insists the program is only for peaceful, electricity production purposes.

    The Iranian foreign minister's message was broadcast on Iranian TV.

    He says that Iran gave [the West] an ultimatum, and they have one month left, giving them to the end of January [to accept]. He adds that [the West] must choose between one of the two proposals [that Iran has made], which is either to purchase uranium [directly from France or Russia] or to swap it [on Iranian soil]. Otherwise, he insists that Iran will go ahead and produce [high grade] enriched uranium fuel using its own talented experts.

    Western powers, including the United States, have called on Tehran, under the draft U.N. nuclear deal worked out last November, to ship around 70 percent of its low-grade uranium abroad. That fuel would then be transformed into more highly enriched (20 percent grade) uranium and shipped back to Iran.

    Iran, however, came up with a counterproposal insisting that its uranium stockpile be sent abroad in small batches, in quick transfers on Iranian soil, preferably on Iran's own Kish Island.

    Iran's proposal is unacceptable to the West, because it allows Iran to keep significant quantities of enriched uranium to produce nuclear weapons.

    Foreign Minister Mottaki's comments follow some of the worst violence to hit the country since June, when President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won a disputed election.

    Iran analyst Meir Javedanfar of the MEEPAS center in Tel Aviv argues that Mottaki is sending a message to tell his domestic audience that Tehran made an effort to reach a deal with the West, now that it appears the West could be preparing to impose sanctions:

    "Mr. Mottaki is telling the West that Iran will not be dictated to, that the West is not going to set ultimatums for Iran. Mr. Mottaki's message will definitely have been approved by the Supreme leader of Iran, who's worried about internal repercussions of upcoming sanctions. With this move, Ayatollah Khamenei, through Mottaki, will want to tell the people of Iran that we tried to reach out to the Americans [and] that it was them that rejected us, so when sanctions are imposed, it is the Americans that are not interested in negotiations and they are the ones who caused [sanctions]," said Javedanfar.

    Iran's nuclear energy agency head, Ali Akbar Salehi claimed last month that Tehran is planning to build ten new uranium enrichment plants the size of its Natanz enrichment facility. Some nuclear experts called the project "far-fetched," while the the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency, the IAEA, rebuked Iran for making the declaration.
     

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora