News / Middle East

    UN Nuclear Inspector Seeking Results in Talks with Iran

    Iranian pipeline (file photo)
    Iranian pipeline (file photo)

    The chief U.N. nuclear inspector begins another to visit to Iran on Monday, saying his "highest priority" is getting answers to allegations of military dimensions to the Iranian nuclear program.

    Speaking before he left Vienna on Sunday, International Atomic Energy Agency deputy director Herman Nackaerts said he wants to see "concrete results" from his two days of talks with Iranian officials. But, he also cautioned that progress "may take a while." Nackaerts previously led a team of U.N. inspectors to Iran in late January, but the visit was inconclusive.

    U.N. inspectors want Iran to explain the findings of a recent IAEA report that cited evidence of Iranian work on the design of a nuclear weapon.

    Israel and Western nations accuse Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons under cover of a civilian energy program. Tehran says the IAEA report was based on fabrications and insists the Iranian nuclear program is peaceful.

    Israel sees a nuclear-armed Iran as a threat to its existence and says military action may be needed to prevent that from happening. The top U.S. military officer, General Martin Dempsey, said Sunday an Israeli strike would be "premature" because it is "unclear" that Iran would assemble a nuclear bomb.

    In an interview with U.S. television network CNN, General Dempsey also said Israeli military action "at this time would be destabilizing and would not achieve (Israel's) long-term objectives." He said Washington believes Iranian leaders are "rational" and that the most prudent path for dealing with them is through international sanctions and diplomacy.

    Israeli media said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed regional security threats with visiting U.S. National Security Advisor Tom Donilon on Sunday. No other details of the meeting were released.

    Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said Sunday Tehran wants to resume talks with six world powers to resolve the nuclear dispute in a way that both sides can "win." The five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany have not held any nuclear talks with Iran since an inconclusive meeting in January 2011.

    The United States and its allies have said they want Iran to prove it is serious about discussing their concerns. They also have been tightening sanctions on Iran to pressure it into stopping uranium enrichment, a process that has civilian and military uses.

    Iran said Sunday it stopped limited exports of crude oil to France and Britain, in an apparent retaliation for an impending EU boycott of Iranian oil. The Iranian oil ministry said Iran also has taken steps to find other customers for the crude.

    The 27-nation EU plans to stop importing Iranian oil from July 1. It accounts for about 18 percent of Iran's crude exports, the vast majority of which go to Asian countries, mainly China and India.

    The biggest EU consumers of Iran's crude have been Italy, Spain and Greece.

    Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

    Join the conversation on our social journalism site - Middle East Voices. Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter and discuss them on our Facebook page.

    You May Like

    New EU Asylum Rules Could Boost Rightists

    New regulations will seek to correct EU failures in dealing with migrant crisis, most notably inability to get member states to absorb a total of 160,000 refugees

    More Political Turmoil Likely in Iraq as Iran Waits in the Wings

    Analysts warn that Tehran, even though it may not be engineering the Sadrist protests in Baghdad, is seeking to leverage its influence on its neighbor

    Forced Anal Testing Case to Appear Before Kenya Court

    Men challenge use of anal examinations to ‘prove homosexuality’; practice accomplishes nothing except to humiliate those subjected to them, according to Human Rights Watch

    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.
    Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Rulingi
    X
    May 03, 2016 5:16 PM
    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With the conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, between the rebel PKK and the Turkish state, many Kurds are trying to escape the turmoil by focusing on the success of their football team Amedspor in Diyarbakir. The club is increasingly becoming a symbol for Kurds, not only in Diyarbakir but beyond. Dorian Jones reports from southeast Turkey.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora