News / Middle East

Ashton: Iran Nuclear Talks to Resume April 7

European foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton (L) and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohamad Javad Zarif, wait for the start of closed-door nuclear talks in Vienna, Austria, Mar. 19, 2014.
European foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton (L) and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohamad Javad Zarif, wait for the start of closed-door nuclear talks in Vienna, Austria, Mar. 19, 2014.
VOA News
Negotiators for Iran and six world powers have adjourned what they called "substantive and useful" talks on Tehran's nuclear program and said they will resume April 7 in Vienna.

European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton read a joint statement Wednesday saying the discussions addressed Iran's uranium enrichment program, the country's planned Arak heavy water reactor and Western sanctions against Iran.

She gave no further details.

A senior U.S. official told Reuters it would be very difficult to overcome differences between Iran and the six world powers over uranium enrichment and the Arak reactor, which Western powers fear could yield weapons-grade plutonium.

But he said all parties aim to keep to their 6-month deadline to reach an agreement.

Iran and the group made up of the United States, Britain, China, France, Russia and Germany reached an interim deal last year for Iran to curb its most sensitive nuclear activity in exchange for limited sanctions relief.

A large group of U.S. senators is calling for a set of "core principles" it wants to see in a permanent deal.

In a letter to U.S. President Barack Obama, 83 senators said Iran must understand there will be consequences for not reaching "an acceptable final agreement," including "much more dramatic sanctions."

The senators said Iran must not be allowed to work around the sanctions that are still in place while the negotiations continue. The measures have hurt Iran's economy, and Iran wants them fully repealed as part of the final deal.

The letter also stated that Iran "has no reason" to have enrichment facilities like its Fordow site or the Arak heavy water reactor.

Western nations want to ensure that Arak, which is still under construction, is modified sufficiently to ensure it poses no bomb proliferation risk. Iran insists the facility must be free to operate under any deal, saying it will be geared solely to producing radio-isotopes for medical treatments.

The West suspects Iran intends to use its uranium enrichment program to make nuclear arms, which Iran has also repeatedly denied.

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

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid