News / Middle East

Iran Says UN Nuclear Team to Visit This Month for Talks

Iranian oil technician Majid Afshari makes his way at the oil separator facilities in Azadegan oil field, near Ahvaz, Iran, (File).
Iranian oil technician Majid Afshari makes his way at the oil separator facilities in Azadegan oil field, near Ahvaz, Iran, (File).

Iran says senior U.N. nuclear officials will travel to the country later this month to discuss their concerns about Tehran's nuclear program.

The Iranian envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, said Tuesday the U.N. delegation will visit from January 29 to 31 for talks on topics "of interest" to the agency. He said Tehran's agreement to host the IAEA team is a "sign of transparency" in Iran's nuclear activities and engagement with the United Nations.

The U.N. nuclear agency issued a report last November saying it has evidence suggesting Iran has been researching the development and delivery of nuclear weapons. Iran says the report is based on fabrications, saying its nuclear program is only for peaceful use.

Western powers also have expressed concern about Iran's recent launch of an underground uranium enrichment facility that produces material of a purity approaching that needed for a nuclear weapon.

The United States and its allies have been tightening sanctions on Iran to pressure it into stopping such activities. European Union diplomats said Tuesday their member states are set to ban the import of Iranian oil from July 1, giving companies time to phase out existing contracts. The deal is expected to be finalized in the coming days.

The EU bought about a fifth of Iranian oil last year, collectively rivaling China as the main buyer. Italy, Spain and Greece have been big consumers, with debt-ridden Athens relying on easier credit terms from Tehran to finance its purchases.

An EU embargo would deprive Iran of vital foreign currency income. Iran is the second largest oil producer in the OPEC cartel after Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi has said Riyadh is prepared to boost oil production by 2 million barrels a day to offset any shortfall in global supplies resulting from a boycott on Iranian oil. Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akhbar Salehi said Tuesday the Saudi offer is "unfriendly" and urged Riyadh to reconsider it.

Iranian representative to OPEC Mohammad Ali Khatibi said Tuesday an EU embargo on Iranian oil would be "economic suicide" for the 27-nation bloc, whose members are trying to overcome a debt crisis.

Iran has threatened to respond to an oil embargo by closing the Strait of Hormuz, a vital waterway for the global oil trade. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called Iran's threat "provocative and dangerous."

India said Tuesday it will continue to import Iranian oil despite U.S. sanctions aimed at pressuring other nations to stop such purchases.

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

You May Like

Turkish Public Fears Jihadists More Than Kurds

Turkey facing twin threats of terrorism by Islamic State and PKK Kurdish separatists, says President Erdogan’s ruling AK Party More

Video One Year After Massacre, Iraq’s Yazidis a Broken People

Minority community still recovering from devastating assault by IS militants which spurred massive outrage More

‘Malvertisements’ Undermine Internet Trust

Hackers increasingly prey on users' trust of major websites to delivery malicious software More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs