News / Middle East

Iran Nuclear Talks Weigh On Those Watching From Afar

Iran Nuclear Talks Weigh on Those Watching from Afari
X
November 20, 2013 7:52 PM
Iranians at home and those living abroad are closely watching international talks this week aimed at ending Iran's controversial nuclear program. As VOA's Jeff Seldin reports, many are hopeful that the negotiations could end years of animosity between the West and Iran.
Iranians at home and those living abroad are closely watching international talks this week aimed at ending Iran's controversial nuclear program.  Many are hopeful that the negotiations could end years of animosity between the West and Iran.   

On a university campus in Virginia, in the Washington suburbs, this graduate student - we'll call him Ali to protect his identity - pursues his studies and is keeping close watch on nuclear talks half a world away.

Ali is Iranian and American.

"It is a burden.  A lot of us do worry if the conflict might escalate to the point where there might be war," he said.  "I do fear for the livelihood of some of my friends."

Recent Developments:

2012
  • January:  International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirms Iran is refining uranium to 20% fissile purity.
  • February:  UN inspectors end talks in Tehran without inspecting disputed military site at Parchin.
  • April:  Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad vows Iran will not surrender its nuclear rights.
  • May:  UN inspectors report they found find traces significantly upgraded uranium at an Iranian site.
  • July:  EU begins total ban on Iranian oil imports; US expands sanctions.
  • September:  IAEA demands access to Parchin; Iran calls EU sanctions "irresponsible."
  • December:  IAEA says it makes progress in talks with Iran.  US imposes more sanctions.
2013
  • January:  Iran says it will speed up nuclear fuel work.
  • February: Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei rejects direct nuclear talks with the U.S. Iran and world powers meet, agree to more talks.
  • May: IAEA says Iran has expanded nuclear activity.
  • September: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says Iran will not seek weapons of mass destruction.  Iran and world powers agree to resume nuclear talks.
  • October: Iran holds talks with five permanent members of U.N. Security Council and Germany.
  • November: Iran holds two rounds of talks with world powers. Ayatollah Ali Khameni warns Iran will not retreat on its nuclear rights.
Like many Iranians, Ali fears repercussions for his family in Iran if he is identified talking to U.S. media.  What he'd like most is for the anger and the animosity to finally go away.

“We want to see things normalized so we don’t feel a tension within ourselves, whether things are going to be safe," he said.

Born in the U.S., Ali grew up in Tehran, where his father still lives and where he says friends struggle to make a living as Western sanctions weigh heavily on the faltering economy... and on the minds of many Iranians.

"We hope that, God willing, they reach a deal and the sanctions are lifted," said Tehran resident Mohammadi.

Such sentiments of hope have been echoed repeatedly to Arash Sigarchi, host of VOA Persian's Straight Talk call-in show which hears from people in Tehran.

“If Iran can solve the problem they can find better job, they can receive more money," he said. "Because right now they are frustrated because of the sanctions and they are looking for new window to find better life in Iran."

Still, there are many in Iran who are wary of a deal with the West.  Iranian TV this week showed hundreds of students forming a human chain around Iran's Fordo enrichment facility in support of Iran's nuclear activities.

There's also Ali's father, in Tehran, from the generation that took part in the Iranian revolution.

“He’s hopeful that things will get better, but he is largely skeptical of American intentions - what will they demand in order to have some sort of settlement or peace," he said.

Knowing both American and Iranian cultures, Ali remains hopeful.

“It will cause more inner peace for myself in a way to know there is not going to be a conflict and that I could just easily move between here and home [Iran] and just feel comfortable," he said.

Waiting for the time when he is no longer caught between two worlds.

Jeff Seldin

Jeff works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters covering a wide variety of subjects, from the nature of the growing terror threat in Northern Africa to China’s crackdown on Tibet and the struggle over immigration reform in the United States. You can follow Jeff on Twitter at @jseldin or on Google Plus.

You May Like

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Judge Declares Washington DC Ban on Public Handguns Unconstitutional

Ruling overturns capital city's prohibition on carrying guns in pubic More

Pricey Hepatitis C Drug Draws Criticism

Activists are using the International AIDS Conference to criticize drug companies for charging high prices for life-saving therapies More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Change Iran Now from: USA
November 23, 2013 9:39 PM


While the UN negotiates with Iran over the country's nuclear program, human right is not on the agenda. The UN General Assembly must pass a resolution reiterating its demands that Iran halt violations against its citizenry.

Iran remains the world’s leading executioner per capita and has put to death some 588 Iranian citizens. Hundreds of political prisoners and prisoners of conscience remain imprisoned for their peaceful dissent, while women and minorities continue to face institutionalized discrimination and in some cases, persecution. Also, severe restrictions on the freedom of conscience, religion, expression, assembly and association remain
firmly in place. Such crimes against humanity must not go unheeded.


by: Change Iran Now from: USA
November 21, 2013 11:18 PM
Sanctions against Iran should be relaxed only after the machinery and materials necessary to develop a nuclear weapon are destroyed or moved out of the country. Additionally, nuclear negotiations MUST include the release of all Iranian political prisoners including the 7 Camp Ashraf residents taken hostage under the direction of Iran’s religious fascists. The UN, the EU, the U.S. must pressure the government of Iraq until it releases the seven hostages. All of the residents are protected persons under the Geneva Convention. The US and the UN has clear responsibility in protecting them, but failed to do so when it had left the Iranian dissidents living in the camp to the mercy of the Iranian subordinates. Such crimes against humanity must not go unheeded.


by: Godwin from: Nigeria
November 21, 2013 11:07 AM
It's a hope, it's a wish. But the hopes and wishes of the Iranians can best be weighed by the human chains students - the future of Iran surrounding the Foddo plant. That is their choice, not the choice of the Iranians abroad who may be protecting themselves in case their host countries behave like their home government to punish opposition. It happened in 1979, the future is bleak as long as the young ones out there still want war with the west. The only possible goodnews of it is that they were a few hundred idiots. But who knows how many more of them will become brainwashed or radicalized in the future to become more anti-west and anti-civilization? Therefore sympathy and emotion should be put aside to treat the issue on ground on its merit. For now Iran remains parriah, and courting Iran is like playing with the cobra. This Iran's nuclear issue should be approached with the strictest posture possible to ensure Iran is forced to comply with civilized ethics before it is readmitted into the comity of nations.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
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 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 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.

AppleAndroid