News / Middle East

Iran Nuclear Talks Go to 2nd Day on New Proposal

Iran Nuclear Talks Go to 2nd Day on New Proposali
October 15, 2013 10:15 PM
Iranian and international negotiators are to continue nuclear talks on Wednesday after a long day of meetings Tuesday that stretched into the evening. The goal is to convince the United Nations contact group that Iran's nuclear program is purely peaceful, as Iranian leaders say, and to eventually end crippling economic sanctions. Iran says the UN's P5+1 group welcomed a proposal its foreign minister made, but its substance remains secret. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from Geneva.
Al Pessin
Iranian and international negotiators will continue nuclear talks on Wednesday after a long day of meetings Tuesday that stretched into the evening. Iran says international negotiators welcomed a proposal its foreign minister made, but the substance of the proposal remains secret.

Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said the Iranian presentation was received “in a positive atmosphere,” and was followed by a “serious” exchange of questions and answers. He was mobbed by reporters during a brief appearance at the press center.

"We are very serious. We are not here just symbolically, we are not here to waste our time. We are serious for real target-oriented negotiations between Iran and the other side, and we believe that the plan that we have introduced has the capacity to reach that,'' he said.

Officials say the Iranian plan was presented by its Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif in a nearly hour-long PowerPoint slide show.

His deputy, Araqchi, said the foreign minister told the group the dispute between Iran and the international community is “an unnecessary crisis,” and offered details of how to end it. The deputy minister said Iran wants agreement on the final goal of the talks so it is not asked “to take steps in the dark or deal with uncertainty.” He called for a specific time frame for the talks, and also for each step along the way.

Officials say the international delegation, known as the P5+1, is willing to talk about a long-term solution to end concerns that Iran is working to build a nuclear weapon and eventually to end crippling economic sanctions.

They also want short-term confidence-building steps, though, and the European Union's foreign affairs spokesman, Michael Mann, said Iran must take the first step.

“What matters is the end result, that they address the international community's concerns about the purely peaceful nature of the Iranian nuclear program. We have to reach a situation at the end where they have proven and verifiably proven that there is no nuclear military program,” he said.

Mann said the Iranians are offering to be more open and transparent, but their proposal lacks specificity. He said technical experts only began to discuss the details of the Iranian proposal during Tuesday afternoon's negotiating session, and there is much work still to be done on Wednesday and beyond.

Mann's boss, the European Union's foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, leads the international team at these talks, made up of senior foreign ministry officials from the United States, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany.

Iran and the six nations have been deadlocked over issues of transparency, nuclear fuel enrichment and stockpiles of near-weapons-grade uranium. The U.N. Security Council has imposed tough economic sanctions on Iran to press its leaders to be more forthcoming, and officials say the sanctions will remain as long as there is a reason for them.

Initially, the pressure did not result in any change. But in June, the Iranian people elected a relatively moderate candidate, Hassan Rouhani, as their new president, and he has signaled new policy. Western officials say this is Iran's chance to put substance to his conciliatory words.

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Comment Sorting
by: Change Iran Now from: USA
October 15, 2013 10:10 PM
As a non-nuclear state party to the (NPT), Iran owes a legal duty to the international community to refrain from manufacturing and acquiring nuclear weapons. These obligations are interpreted by the NPT’s enforcement agency, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), to also require states to provide credible assurance regarding non-diversion of nuclear material and the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities. Iran’s systematic violations of the NPT are well documented. Despite Iran’s insistence that its nuclear program is exclusively for peaceful purposes, the evidence shows beyond a reasonable doubt that Iran’s nuclear work is not consistent with any other application than the development of a nuclear weapon. Iran continues to conceal its nuclear program and conduct enrichment-related activities, in violation of the NPT, the IAEA Safeguards Agreement, all subsequent IAEA Safeguards Resolutions, and numerous United Nations Security Council Resolutions. Iran, therefore, needs to be held accountable to the terms of the NPT and sanctions shouldn’t be lifted simply based on promises, but on concrete action.

by: Maithe from: Paris, France
October 15, 2013 5:32 PM
Talks! Only talks!...Who's going to believe Iran?
Rouhani - the new star - is trying to buy more time to develop nuclear weapons. And of course end economic sanctions one way or another. Everybody knows that Iran's nuclear program is not peaceful. So what are we expecting? ?...A miracle?...

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
October 15, 2013 2:10 PM
Iran should not produce or enrich uranium inside Iran. The new charm should not fool anybody. Since it already has a stake in a French chemical company working on the issue, the negotiation can guarantee a return to it to supply all the nuclear fuel needed for Iran's reactors for its medical or electricity uses. The terms of agreement must include transparency in its operation to avoid a return to enrichment after an agreement has been reached and signed. And should Iran need to return to enrichment in the future, it should be subject to new negotiation given its antecedents and relative to a change of attitude toward diplomacy inside and outside of the region. Iran should also ensure that no part of its program gets into the hands of terrorist and non-governmental groups capable of reverting to unwholesome practices detrimental to humane ethics.

by: Stehling from: NYC
October 15, 2013 7:57 AM
The UN Security Council plus Germany should demand a full rollback of Israel's nuclear weapon program and an undertaking that the Israeli government immediately becomes a party to the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the Chemical and Biological Weapons Conventions (CWC & BWC).

Without such undertakings, there will be a catastrophic war in the Middle East that will dramatically affect the global economy.

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