World News

    Iran Hails Deal with World Powers as Recognition of Nuclear 'Rights'

    Iran's leaders have welcomed a landmark nuclear agreement with world powers, calling it a recognition of Iranian nuclear rights and the beginning of an end to international sanctions.

    In a televised address Sunday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the interim deal reached early Sunday in Geneva recognizes what Iran says is its "right" to enrich uranium.

    Iran says its enrichment work is for peaceful purposes. But Israel and Western powers fear Iran could enrich its uranium to the high purity needed to develop nuclear weapons.

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry denied Iran's interpretation of the deal reached with Washington and five other world powers. He told reporters in Geneva the document "does not say Iran has a right to enrichment."

    The six-month agreement calls for Iran to neutralize its stockpile of uranium enriched to 20 percent - a level that is a short step away from weapons-grade. But it allows Iran to continue enrichment below the five percent level.



    The deal also calls for Iran not to make further advances in building a heavy water nuclear reactor in the city of Arak. Once operational, the facility could produce plutonium, another compound used to make nuclear weapons.

    Earlier, U.S. President Barack Obama said the Geneva agreement will place "substantial limitations" on Iran's enrichment and "cut off" what he called the nation's "most likely paths to a bomb." He said the deal is a "first step" toward negotiations aimed at fully addressing international concerns about the Iranian nuclear program.

    In return for limiting enrichment, the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany agreed to temporarily lift some international sanctions that have weakened the Iranian economy.

    The United States says Tehran will gain access to $4.2 billion in revenues from Iranian oil exports and $1.5 billion in proceeds from Iranian sales of precious metals, autos and petrochemicals.

    Iranian leaders hailed the deal as the start of a process of ending years of sanctions imposed by the U.N. Security Council and Western powers in retaliation for Iran's refusal to suspend enrichment.

    Iranian state media quoted Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khemenei as saying the agreement is a "success" attributed to "the grace of God and the prayers of the Iranian nation."

    But in an interview with CNN, Secretary Kerry said the concessions made by the world powers give "very little relief" to Iran.

    Israel, a key U.S. ally in the Middle East, denounced the deal. Speaking Sunday to the Israeli Cabinet, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the agreement a "historic mistake," saying it marks the first time the international community has "formally consented" to Iran continuing its enrichment.

    Mr. Netanyahu said Israel is "not bound" by the deal and "will not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapons capability." Israeli leaders see a nuclear-armed Iran as a threat to their nation's existence because of Iran's frequent calls for Israel's demise.

    The United States and Israel have said they prefer a diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear dispute, but they also have not ruled out military action if diplomacy fails.

    A senior U.S. official told Western news agencies that the Geneva agreement followed several months of secret bilateral talks between the United States and Iran. In comments published Sunday, the U.S. official said the talks were aimed at developing ideas to complement official negotiations involving Iran and the world powers.

    The Associated Press quoted U.S. officials as saying Deputy Secretary of State William Burns began leading the secret meetings with Iranian officials in March, using Oman and other locations as venues. It said the talks intensified after Iranian President Rouhani took office in August.

    President Obama's Republican critics in Congress criticized the nuclear deal, saying it rewards Iran without forcing the nation to dismantle facilities that could be used for nuclear weapons.

    Some Republican Senators said Congress may adopt tougher sanctions in six months if Iran does not abide by the terms of the Geneva deal.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenyai
    X
    February 08, 2016 4:30 PM
    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video Sanders, Clinton Battle for Young Democratic Vote

    Despite a narrow loss to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in last week's Iowa Democratic caucuses, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders secured more than 80 percent of the vote among those between the ages of 18 and 29. VOA correspondent Aru Pande talks to Democrats in New Hampshire about who they are leaning towards and why in this week's primary.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.