News / Middle East

Iran Talks Enter Crucial Phase

Al Pessin

Iranian and international negotiators are heading into their final 10 days of negotiations on the future of Iran’s nuclear program and international economic sanctions.  The talks in Vienna face a July 20 deadline, but last year’s temporary agreement could be extended.  

Iran’s foreign minister took his familiar place beside the EU foreign policy chief as talks started on July 3rd.  But no one was making any promises.

“It will take the time that it takes.  That is all I can say," said EU spokesman Michael Mann.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says the international delegation has offered “reasonable, verifiable and easily achievable measures” to guarantee Iran’s nuclear program is peaceful, as Iran says it is.

But his spokeswoman Jen Psaki says “significant gaps remain.”

“We are in the middle of it right now, so I do not have much more to speculate on," she said.

Meanwhile, Iran continued its public relations offensive with another video from Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif,  but this time with a defiant element.

“As we approach July 20th, I feel compelled to warn again that pursuing a game of chicken in an attempt to extract last minute concessions cannot achieve anything better than what it achieved in 2005," he said.

Iran says it has no interest in building a nuclear weapon, but the international community wants proof.

Iran has concealed military aspects of its program for years, and defied resolutions from the U.N. Security Council and the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Part of the difficulty in determining how Iran will prove what it says, is that the nuclear program has become a matter of national pride, says Matthew Moran of King’s College.

“In Iran, the nuclear program has been invested with enormous importance," he said. "It has been made an issue of sovereign rights, and it is been sort of infused with a powerful nationalism, which makes it quite difficult for Iran to roll back."

But there are other pressures, too.  Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was elected on a platform of ending global economic sanctions linked to the nuclear dispute and improving Iran’s economy.  If the talks fail, or drag on much beyond July 20, that could become more difficult, according to London-based analyst Paul Ingram.

“I think it is a dangerous game for Iran to be playing for time for two key reasons," he said. "One is because sanctions are biting. And secondly, I think the Iranians know only too well that the politics in the United States are moving away from Obama and away from a more reconciliatory position vis-a-vis Iran."

Foreign Minister Zarif indicated Iran hopes its help with the Iraq crisis will improve its position in the nuclear talks.

But U.N. negotiators say the issues are not related, and analysts warn missing the deadline will not make the nuclear dispute any easier to resolve. 

You May Like

Uganda Court Annuls Anti-Gay Law

Court says law was passed in parliament without enough members present for a full quorum More

Multimedia Thailand Makes Efforts to Improve Conditions for Migrant Laborers

In Thailand, its not uncommon for parents to bring their children to work; one company, in-collaboration with other organizations, address safety concerns More

In Indonesia, Jihad Video Raises Concern

Video calls on Indonesians to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborersi
X
Steve Herman
August 01, 2014 6:22 PM
Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborers

Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video Public Raises its Voice on Power Plant Pollution

In the United States, proposed rules to cut pollution from the nation’s 600 coal-fired power plants are generating a heated debate. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, charged with writing and implementing the plan, has already received 300,000 written comments. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, another 1,600 people are lining up this week at EPA headquarters and at satellite offices around the country to give their testimony in person.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

The public in China is welcoming the Communist Party's decision to investigate one of the country's once most powerful politicians, former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang. Analysts say the move by President Xi Jinping is not only an effort to win more support for the party, but an essential step to furthering much needed economic reforms and removing those who would stand in the way of change. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.

AppleAndroid