News / Middle East

Iran: Nuclear Program to Stay 'Intact'

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks in a joint press conference with his Iraqi counterpart Hoshyar Zebari, in Tehran, Feb. 26, 2014.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks in a joint press conference with his Iraqi counterpart Hoshyar Zebari, in Tehran, Feb. 26, 2014.
Reuters
— Iran is willing to address international concerns about its atomic activities but will keep its nuclear program “intact”, not close it down, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Thursday.
 
His remarks signaled that Tehran will not agree to dismantle any of its atomic facilities in talks with six world powers on a final settlement of the decade-old dispute over its nuclear activity.
 
Those negotiations got under way in Vienna last week, with both sides saying they made a “good start” but conceding that their plan to achieve a long-term deal in the coming months was very ambitious.
 
By late July, Western governments hope to hammer out an accord that would lay to rest their suspicions that Iran is seeking the capability to make a nuclear bomb, an aim it denies, while Tehran wants a lifting of economic sanctions.
 
Zarif, speaking to reporters during a visit to New Delhi, said he hoped a deal would be reached by the July deadline, although talks could be extended by another half year if both sides agreed.
 
“I am hoping by the first deadline we will reach a final deal and to start implementing it,” he said. “And I can assure you that Iran has that political will and good faith that is required in order to achieve that.”
 
However, he also said there was a “problem in terms of both substance and approach”, apparently referring to the other side in the talks.
 
Iran and the powers - the United States, Russia, France, Germany, China and Britain - aim to build on an interim accord reached in November under which Tehran curbed its most sensitive nuclear work, higher-grade uranium enrichment, in exchange for some sanctions easing.
 
Diplomats and analysts acknowledge that it probably will be even more difficult to reach a final agreement as the Western powers would likely press for a significant scaling back of Iran's nuclear program, including of the number of centrifuges that it uses to refine uranium.
 
Iran says it is enriching uranium to low levels for a planned network of nuclear power plants. But uranium can also be used to assemble bombs if refined further to a high fissile concentration, which the West fears may be Iran's ultimate aim.
 
U.S. officials have made clear Iran's planned Arak heavy water reactor - which could yield bombb-grade plutonium once operational - must be dealt with under any settlement and Washington has also questioned Iran's need to have a uranium enrichment site buried deep underground at Fordow.
 
Zarif said Iran was “prepared to make sure that the program is exclusively peaceful and create the necessary understanding for the West. I believe there are multiple ways of doing that and we are willing to entertain those ways.”
 
But, he added: “I can tell you that Iran's nuclear program will remain intact. We will not close any program.”

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid