News / Middle East

Iran Nuclear Talks Moving to Moscow

Iraq's Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, right, meets with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton upon her arrival at Baghdad International Airport in Iraq, May 23, 2012.
Iraq's Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, right, meets with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton upon her arrival at Baghdad International Airport in Iraq, May 23, 2012.
Six world powers holding nuclear talks with Iran in Baghdad agreed Thursday to hold another round of negotiations in Moscow next month to try to resolve international concerns about the Iranian nuclear program.

After wrapping up two days of talks in the Iraqi capital, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said the two sides found "some common ground" but also had "significant differences." She told reporters Iran and the six-nation group agreed to more talks in the Russian capital on June 18 and 19 to "expand that common ground."

Related video from VOA's Brian Padden


Ashton represented the world powers in the Baghdad talks with Iran's chief negotiator Saeed Jalili, whom she met earlier Thursday. She described the talks as "very intense" and said Iran declared a "readiness" to address international concerns about its enrichment of uranium to 20 percent purity.


Nuclear facilities and sites in Iran.Nuclear facilities and sites in Iran.
x
Nuclear facilities and sites in Iran.
Nuclear facilities and sites in Iran.
Western powers want that activity to stop, fearing Iran could quickly upgrade its uranium to the 90 percent purity needed for nuclear weapons. Iran wants an easing of international sanctions in return for any concession on enrichment work, which it says is meant for medical research and generating electricity.

Speaking after the Baghdad talks, Jalili emphasized what he called "the absolute right" of Iran to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes. He also said the nuclear dispute can be solved only through dialogue. Jalili said experts of the two sides will be in contact to prepare for the Moscow meeting.

The world powers include the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany.

In Washington, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said there would be no let up in sanctions against Iran, even as talks continue. She said significant differences remain between the two sides and that it is now up to Iran "to close the gaps."

The overall message, however, was to keep talking.

Earlier, EU spokesman Michael Mann told VOA that the six nations presented a "clear" proposal calling on Iran to address international concerns about its nuclear program in return for "reciprocal measures" that the group believes will be attractive to Tehran. He said it is important for Iran to engage in the negotiations "seriously."

Iran's delegation in Baghdad offered its own proposal for ending the dispute. Iranian state media said Thursday that offer is more comprehensive than that of the world powers and accused the United States of being unwilling to express a position on it.

Diplomats said the world powers offered Iran incentives to stop production of highly enriched uranium and transfer the material abroad in exchange for nuclear fuel for its research reactor in Tehran. Iranian diplomats expressed disappointment with that offer, complaining that it makes too many demands of Iran without enough benefit.

In an interview with VOA, Middle East analyst Shahram Akbarzadeh said Iran may make a few concessions in a bid to ease economic sanctions.

"If by giving in to the international community slightly, if by taking one step back allows the sanctions to be cancelled, then Iran would do that," said Akbarzadeh. "But I don't think you can expect Iran to be fully cooperative with the international community."

Michael Lipin

Michael covers international news for VOA on the web, radio and TV, specializing in the Middle East and East Asia Pacific. Follow him on Twitter @Michael_Lipin

You May Like

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs